Yesterday and today, I had my first support group meeting and therapy appointments. While the attendance at two support group meetings is required as part of my program, the therapy session is something that I sought out in order to improve my mental health along with the physical changes that I have been making. My thoughts on these two events? Good and bad! I’ve started to wonder if I’m too hard on people… here are my thoughts…
Bariatric Support Group Meeting
As I mentioned, the Weight Management Clinic requires their weight loss surgery patients to participate in two support group meetings. These meetings are supposed to have a mixture of pre and post op patients. I had really high expectations with this support group meeting and I kind of feel as though the experience fell flat. I think perhaps I had built it up too much in my head?
In my mind, the purpose of the support group meeting should be to share feelings, opinions, thoughts, emotions, have discussions, and ask each other questions that are valuable and meaningful. When you have other people in the room that have had the surgery already, why not take advantage of their unique experiences and find out from them how their life has changed or how their relationships have changed or what the most difficult part of the process was for them? That’s definitely not what happened.
The entire one hour was basically spent asking the “vets” questions, that personally, I felt the other 12 pre-op people in the room should already have the answer to already! At this point, everyone has at least had 3 visits with the doctor, attended a nutritional class and a behavior modification class. So WHY when you have this valuable opportunity to talk with the “vets” are you asking them “Where can I get XYZ protein shake? Is it ok for me to be eating Luna bars? Oh, you mean the Lap Band has the lowest weight loss percentage?”
Am I really asking for too much? Is it really unreasonable for me to expect people that are halfway through the process to understand what they should look for in a protein shake? Is it too much to ask that people already have an understanding of all the surgeries available? I feel like the entire time was wasted by people asking questions that they should already know the answers to and it was extremely frustrating for me. I felt like I didn’t get anything out of it. Maybe I’m just expecting too much – maybe that’s how all support groups operate? It’s possible, I guess!?
Tonight, I met with a therapist for the first time – ever! I’ve been wanting to see someone for a LONG time and never really had the courage to make the call and make the appointment. The first appointment was great and I really feel like I’m going to make great changes in my mental health that will help me in this journey. It seems to me that most people that are highly successful with weight loss consistently talk to a mental health professional. You always hear the “I didn’t get to be morbidly obese because I was hungry and eating all the time” and I definitely think that’s a true statement.
The entire first appointment was an assessment. I told the doctor that I was there because I wanted to be successful in weight loss and she asked me many different questions in order to pull information out of me so that she could figure out where to start. I talked a lot about my history with food, what triggers my eating, situations that cause stress, my marriage, my relationships with my parents, etc. It was A LOT to talk about in an hour session! I think she has plenty to work with lol.
We’re going to start by dealing with the ways that I manage and handle stress. I often overwhelm myself with so many “things to do” that I end up getting upset and sometimes taking it out on my husband. Sometimes he is the cause of the stress and although I think I have valid points in our arguments, I do not handle the conversations like I should. I look forward to working on this with the therapist. She’s hoping that I can convince my husband to come to a session, which could be a hard sell. However, I think if I tell him it’s REALLY important to me, he will do it because he loves me.
Until next time….