Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Long Term Support Group...a Milestone For Me

Since I first started looking into surgery, attending the Long Term Support Group was like this mile marker in my mind of how far I had come. Last night, I attended my first monthly Long Term Support Group, now that I am 8 months or more post-op. I have to say, I loved it. It was a much smaller, more intimate group, and I was pretty pleased/impressed with the longevity of the folks who are there still attending. I felt kind of silly mentioning it to Martha and Kevin later after the meeting (and yes Kevin, mentioning you by name is payback for you mentioning in the general support group that I have a blog here, I know you'll read it! :) ). But, well, this is second longest I've ever maintained positive eating habits and lifestyle changes. I've done it once before, for about a year and a half. I have it in my mind that my next "milestone" will be making it to two years and still living a healthy lifestyle. I know I can and will do it...at least that's what I keep telling myself because negativity will get me nowhere. Yes, I have those little thoughts that creep into my head about failing, yet again. But I have to remind myself that this is different, I have the help of the tool to get through those rough patches. I just have to remember to use it. We tried some new yummies last night that Melinda brought in. Some would be very dangerous for me to have around the house, but others were really nice changes of pace from what we have as staples here. Zachary loved them all too...always a plus. He's become such a healthy foodie. :) He reads labels, asks what's good in terms of nutritional values, etc. I'm glad he's learning early on about healthy nutrition.

Zachary and I pulled into our parking lot and as I got out of the car I said "don't forget your backpack" to which he looked at me horrified. The backpack had been forgotten at the conference room at the hospital. I thought he was joking. I looked at him and said "you're kidding me, right?" Nope, he wasn't. So off we raced, back to the hospital to hopefully retrieve the backpack which contained his markers, his notebook, his homework, his Nintendo DS Lite and his library of games. On our way there, he's crying and telling me how much he hates himself for forgetting it. So we had a chat about how EVERYONE makes mistakes, forgets things, and of course he asks when I ever do that. I do it all the time...could I remember a specific instance to give him? I think I created one that is very viable and probably did happen, but I think I do stuff all the time...so much so that I take it with a grain of salt. This little boy is very, very hard on himself. Sounds like someone else I know. The doors were looked to the building when we got there, and the tears started to flow for Zachary. But a security guard was walking by just then, and asked what we needed, so I explained the situation and he said "well, let's take a look and see." We went inside, and in the conference room on the chair, right where we had left it, was Z's backpack. :) All was good and right with the world, though it still took him a few minutes to settle down.

It made me think about how hard we can be on ourselves in some ways, and yet in denial in others. I can look at pictures of myself at my heaviest weight and feel like that's not even me...even though I can remember how it felt to lay down at night and feel like the fat around my neck was choking me, making it difficult to breathe and sleep. I could ignore or deny something so obvious as my eating and my size...yet be so hard on myself in so many other ways. I think the lesson I'm trying to take out of this experience is that there is a great need to be honest with oneself while being kind to oneself as well. They don't have to be mutually exclusive things though, at least I don't think so. I have counseling tonight with Pat, so I think I'll mention this to her as something to talk about.

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