Last night I went to a Kaiser WLS support group, and it was the best 2 hours I’ve spent on a Wednesday evening all year. I walked out of the meeting completely inspired, totally pumped up, and willing myself to get to my “within 5 lbs” phone call by the next meeting (next month).
My other experience with the Kaiser WLS support group was the completely opposite of this one. The only good thing about that meeting was that I met BeautyJunkie824 for the first time, and our friendship grew from there. Most of the people in the meeting that time had been post-op for months, all of them having RNY. The leader spent the meeting knitting and making less than useful comments. It was so underwhelming that I never went back.
Until last night. Tinkerbell and I had been chatting about how we’re really supposed to go to the support group meetings and that neither of us had gone to one. So, we decided to go to this one last night, which was at a different location than the other one I’d gone to. It had the same leader that I wasn’t impressed with, but this time the big difference was in the support group members.
There were about 10 people who were pre-op, 7 of whom, including me, where getting the VSG. Two other members were 1-week post-op, and doing great. The fact that both of them were feeling well enough to get out of the house and attend a meeting was really encouraging. There were also a few “old timers” who’d had surgeries 1-2 years ago who were giving sage advice to a few people who’d reached plateaus or were experiencing other struggles. And there were three others who were scheduled for surgeries within the next two weeks. So exciting! The combination of new and old really lent itself to lively discussions, advice, and inspiration.
One of the things that really helped me was hearing from a few people who had similar tales as I did. Two of them had been within 5 pounds of their pre-op goal weight and then gained it all back and had to re-lose the weight, which they did, and were now post-op. That motivated me more than anything else, because I know that story. I’ve never been that close only to have it taken away, but I have been striving for this pre-op goal for longer than most. But as one of the OGs said to me, “you’re on your own journey, going at your own pace. You were meant to be at this place now so that you could learn more about yourself.” And that’s exactly it!
Yes, I’ve been enrolled in this WLS program for 2 1/2 years, and it’s been frustrating and challenging. But it’s also been a way to learn so much about myself and how I handle adversity, food issues, etc. At one point last night Tinkerbell leaned over to me and said, “Bella, you were meant to be at this place right now so that we could go through this experience together. To support each other, and to push each other to get to our goals.” And she’s so right!
Both Tinkerbell and I are within about 10 lbs of calling for our “5 lbs left to go” notification. At that point, I can call into the bariatric department and start the ball rolling with getting a surgery date. I have 11 pounds to lose before I make that call, and I am feeling incredibly inspired to make that goal by February 20th, the date of the next support group meeting.