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You Raise Me Up - My First Bariatric Support Group Meeting
So gang, Tuesday was my very first Bariatric Support Group meeting. I was relieved to not have to stand up and announce my name or anything like that. The house was packed! Packed with folks at all stages of their journey. I am so grateful that this is part of my program and that I participated fully. I am only required to attend two but I intend to go to one a month to and beyond my surgery.
So what happens at a BSG Meeting? Each meeting has a theme. This one's was body image distortion. Boy do I know a thing or two about that. The person in my mirror? Who the heck is that? I have struggled with this distortion at all stages of my life. It is only in looking back at pictures that I can appreciate that I was not as heavy as I felt I was. Body image distortion can also occur, I learned, after a person has lost a significant amount of weight. Somehow, our personal reality is more than what the scale says or the mirror reveals. It is how we "view" ourselves on the inside. It was suggested that in order to track progress, it is good to take pictures of yourself before and through. It is equally important to accept yourself for who you really are. I struggle here with this. I am quite good at bullying and shaming myself. I need to take steps to correct that. Has anyone else felt that way?
After we are fed some good information, next volunteers stood to give their testimony. This night three folks talked about their experiences. One man, two years out from surgery and two women, one of which was only 90 days or so from surgery. I cannot express how inspiring these testimonials were to me. Their honest and funny down-to-earth stories made me long to be at a stage to give back the support as they are. What were some of the things they talked about? Well, one said that he was a former pasta lover and couch potato. Now, he walks 5 miles a day at the mall and has never felt better. One lady walked us through a typical day, a year post op. The last speaker shared her difficult journey and her struggles but her ultimate triumph one hundred pounds down. Just like the folks here, they truly raised me up!
I hope you all get a chance to attend one of these meetings. It is such a good feeling to be in the company of those who have struggled in the same way and took the same life changing steps.
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