“You are worth it.” That’s the message I wanted to send last night when I spoke at bariatric center during their informational meeting. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
First, let me say that my two-year post op appointment went glowingly well! My weight was within a pound of where I was 6 months ago (despite still ‘fearing’ the scales); my BP 100/60; my pulse 60. My lab work? Fabulous. (Okay, that’s my word, but MD said they were exactly where they needed to be.) Cholesterol – 130; with a good mix of LDL/HDL. I’ve had absolutely zero issues with my new stomach since surgery and because of that, MD is weaning me off Prilosec. I thought I’d be on it forever, but he said that if there are no medical reasons to be on a medicine, then why be on it? Of course, if I sense something changing with my body after I’m off, I’m to let him know and I can start it up again. But until that time, why be on a med if it’s not necessary? I like that, actually! Plus, he’s going to have me reduce my Vitamin D to 2,000 iu from 5,000 iu. If, in a year when I go back my Vitamin D levels are not in sync then I can increase back to 5,000. So yes…all is well in my body! Praise God!
MD was pleased and said he sees no reason that I would experience any issues going forward (health wise or regaining of weight) as long as I continue with the lifestyle I’ve adapted over these past two years. I told him… “I have no intention of going back!”
I also met with RD for a few minutes. Nothing new here. She’s been great throughout this process. Heck, all the staff has been absolutely fantastic. I am incredibly thankful that I chose this center. Truly!
About that informational meeting…
Each time I speak at these meetings, I get nervous beforehand. Will I convey the right message to the people there? (Everyone is different.) Will they understand that this process isn’t to be taken lightly? Will I address their concerns even if they are too shy/embarrassed to ask questions? But mainly, will God get the glory of the work He has done in me through this journey?
With the head nods and smiles (and a couple of tears), I’m pretty confident that I connected with the people in the room at one level or another.
I sent around pictures of me from pre-surgery as I began my talk. (Those pictures are still hard for me to see/share.) I gave them a brief background of my life story – of being in the third grade the first time a boy said the phrase, “fatty fatty two by four…” and how that was the start of the emotional baggage I carried along with the weight for over 30 years. Emotional baggage that is so necessary to address, come to terms with and throw out!
I told them I remembered sitting where they were sitting and how all the information that was coming across to me sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher talking because it was more than my brain could process at the time…the procedures, the costs, the number of visits, the statistics, the fees. And I told them that one thing I wanted them to know was though they seem overwhelming, that each person in the room was worth every penny of those fees! I proceeded to look at various people and say directly to them… “You are worth it.” “You are worth it.” “YOU are worth it.” This is was where I saw the first tears. Not often are obese people (or people in general) told, “You are worth it!” But that’s what I want people to know. YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT. I am worth it. It’s hard to hear when we’ve been told otherwise for so long, but it’s even harder to believe.
I went on to tell them that if they decide this is the procedure/time/place for them – DO NOT CHEAT. You deserve not to cheat yourself of a healthy life any more, because You. Are. Worth. It.
I told them how my life has changed from before to after. I shared with them the story that goes with the picture of me on the elephant in Cambodia. How I sought out the smallest person on our team to ride with me because I felt bad for the elephant having to carry me. (True story!) I told them my thoughts on being afraid to ride amusement park rides with my children…when one lady finished my sentence, “…because the bar may not go down all the way to keep them safe.” I told them how I’d assess booths at restaurants – to which two people started laughing saying that they had JUST had that conversation while they were waiting.
I told them that I did need to have 2 units of blood in the hospital and the oh-so-embarrassing fact that there is no dignity when you pass out wearing only a hospital gown. I told them that even with that, I don’t regret having this surgery. I told them that for whatever reason, my journey has been complication-free and smooth. To which one lady said, “That’s because God is your crutch.” I thanked her for saying that and turned it around saying He is definitely been my strength. She used the word crutch which at first seemed negative, but I see it now as who I lean on…that’s the purpose of a crutch, yes? Regardless, I was thrilled that they heard this journey is to/for His glory!!
I warned them against the “Why haven’t I lost as much as <person on forum>?” “Why am I not losing fast?” “Why me/why not me?” trap we can easily fall in. I shared with them the quote of “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I told them NOT to weigh every day in the beginning but to follow the guidelines and trust the plan. I told them that now, now I *must* weigh every 2-3 days to self-monitor. I confessed that I didn’t weigh for a month and gained 3 pounds. And at first I was like, “well, it’s three pounds…could have been worse.” And then realized…OH MY GOSH! THAT’S 36 POUNDS IN A YEAR! (I’ve since lost those 3 pounds…praise God!) I told them that it is a life change…totally. The thinking MUST change.
I was able to finish up with my life boat analogy and the reminder that THEY are worth it!
Yesterday was a good day for me. It was a time to reflect on God’s goodness through this entire process. It was good to tell people… You are worth it! It was good for God to remind me… I am worth it! Yes, yesterday was a good day for me!
Pictures I shared: