Monday, August 22, 2011

Expanding my Support Group.

Part of my lap-band journey included a recommendation by my doctor to have a great support group of family and friends.  When I officially decided to go ahead with my lap-band, I only told my husband and my best friend (who lives 1,550 miles away).  When I meet with my doctor, he frequently asks me about my support group, because for a while it stayed as my husband and my best friend.  Once my surgery date was set, I was told to expand my support circle.

I started by telling a few close friends, but both of them live almost 7 hours away from me.  My doctor explained that I needed people I see daily, to help me with the day to day emotions or break downs that I may have.  He explained that the weight loss journey (lap-band or not) could at times be very emotional, and he recommended me to expand my circle more.

I began by telling my Mother.  I wanted to tell her first before my sisters because I didn't want her to feel as if I waited to tell her last.  I tried to find her, to talk to her in person, but she called instead.  I told her over the phone, and she wasn't sure how to react when I told her.  The response I got was better than I expected, as I expected her to be completely against it, and to bicker about it.  By no means was it a great reaction, but she had lots of questions.  I answered every question that she had, and all of my reasons she had a different option to offer me.  I explained to her that I was definite about this, and she said she would be as supportive as she could, but we would agree to disagree.  I'll take it.

My sister-in-law and I are very close, and she walked into my Mom's house as I was getting off the phone with her, so I asked to talk to her as well.  Her reaction was very similar to my Mom's.  We agree to disagree.  It was hard to tell her because her reaction was she thought this was a cop out, that I wasn't putting forth every effort to get a hold of my weight loss and she worried that I thought this would fix it.  I know this will not fix it, and I won't wake up magically 80, 50, or even 10 pounds lighter.  I explained my reason of utilizing the lap-band as a tool to assist me in my weight loss journey.  She wants to be as supportive as she can be, but we also agree to disagree.

Next on my list was my oldest sister, and she was very supportive.  She agrees that if this is something I want to do, I should go for it.  I then tried to get in touch with another sister of mine, but we've been playing phone tag for the last week and a half, and tonight I was finally able to tell her.  My Mother beat me to it.  We talked about it, and not much was really said about it.

It's hard for me to want to tell my entire family, as we all struggle with weight and food.  We love food, and it can at times be the focal point of our family gatherings.  I also know that my extended family, and sometimes my immediate family, can be pretty judgmental, especially when it comes to weight and weight loss options.  There was a point where one of my sisters grabbed a hold of her weight and is doing great keeping it off; but another sister accused her of doing drugs.  It's a very love/hate relationship in our family with weight, and jealousy of weight loss.

I know that I am not as big as some of my family members, but I don't want to continue getting bigger.  I want to grab the bull by the horns and get myself in check.  I want to use the lap-band as a tool to guide me in portion control, better eating habits, and how to sustain a healthy weight.  If I wanted something overnight, I would have opted for plastic surgery.  Lipo the fat out, trim, tuck, whala overnight hottie...or I'd better be for what plastic surgery costs.

I have overcome another check list item in my pre-op journey, and have a few more to-do list items left.

- Until next time.

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