Tonight I went to my WLS support group for the first time in over a year. It was definitely the right step to take and admittedly, I was nervous about it. There were so many faces that came tonight that I’ve known for years and it was incredibly comforting to see them. Some I hadn’t seen since they were going through the pre-op process and they shocked me with their transformations. Others, like me, are long past the honeymoon period and trying hard just to stay afloat. Of course there were many folks I had never met before and it was nice to hear their stories and be reminded of that place (pre-op anxiety, immediate post op success).
One person in particular, who had surgery not long after I did and has struggled with the same emotional eating issues, kindly reminded me to “do what works.” On the drive home I thought a lot about the actions I took before when feeling at my best. A lot of those actions were measures of accountability in my life – writing here – writing to Kelli – attending group – journaling my food - taking photos.
The camera and I have not been getting along as of late. I’ve slipped into the old habits of being the photographer and shying away from being the subject. This means I have less photos of me and K together… and just less photos in general. It’s easier to convince yourself that you don’t have a problem when you don’t face it in the mirror.
In the spirit of accountability… in the spirit of rekindling routine actions that made me feel accountable…
A comparison of 1 year post-op and 32 months post-op:
It is really hard to put these side by side. It’s a lump in the throat moment. But, putting them side by side reminds me of how different I feel physically on the inside right now. The photo on the left was taken a few weeks after running my first 5k – feeling alive and enjoying the cool crisp November air.
The beauty of putting them side by side is that I am reminded of what is possible. I am reminded that I don’t seek perfection. I can be lumpy and bumpy and still carry my head high, feel physically strong, and look healthy.
The spirit that I felt in this photo…
hasn’t been shining in me much lately.
I don’t have a final weight in my mind that I want. But, I do have a feeling and that photo encapsulates it for me. I know from the top of my head to the tips of my toes what lying there in the snow felt like – joyful, exhilarating… and, I acutely remember that life wasn’t perfect. I had stressors and woes and frustrations. However, I managed them in a way where the light I felt steered me through.
Lately I don’t manage my life like this. That is my goal. To return that way of being.
Attending group and posting the comparison picture are just more small steps in the right direction. I’m slowly chiseling away at the feelings of shame and embarrassment of my gain and focusing on owning it and moving on.