Weighty Matters

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The Don’t Make Things Bigger Than They Need to Be Lesson

on April 26, 2013

As you know, I was anticipating a scolding from my doctor today because I’d “only” lost 20 pounds since my last visit three months ago.  I worked to process my feelings about his expectations.  I received terrific support and encouragement from all of you here.  Friends and family reinforced the fact that 20 pounds in three months is a significant accomplishment.  My boss and I talked about it some more yesterday and she pointed out that, if he was discouraging to me, I had an opportunity to educate him on how damaging that approach can be to someone who is working hard but struggling.

I gave myself pep talks several times on the way to Miami.  I have to admit that I wore the lightest pair of pants and shirt that I own.  (Yeesh!)  I still kind of worried that my weight loss would show as even less than 20 pounds since I would get weighed fully clothed in the afternoon after riding for a couple of hours and on a different scale than the one at home.  (Yes, that happened.)  I rehearsed what I would say depending on his reaction.

First I saw the physician’s assistant and we discussed how the rate of loss has slowed.  We talked through what I’m eating and drinking, both actual items and amounts.  She confirmed for me that I haven’t veered off the plan and told me that at this stage of the game it’s natural to lose weight at a slower pace.  She encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing and not let myself get discouraged to the point of quitting.

That was a lovely positive experience but I still worried about what the doctor would say.

He came in the room, and I shored myself up.  He launched right into the topic and . . . his attitude was completely opposite from what I’d expected!  Not only did he not come out all overly cautious and negative about my weight loss, but he absolutely reached out to reassure me that I am still doing great!   We had a great conversation in which he talked about how, at this point, it’s patients’ heads that start to trip them up.  Almost 16 months after surgery, we feel hunger again and our stomachs process food more easily so it’s really important that we remember the surgery is only a tool and we need our minds to work hard and keep us on track.

I told him that I spend a lot of time working on the mental and emotional aspects of this challenge and even shared with him that I’ve been writing a blog about it since shortly after the surgery.  We talked about how there are a lot of patients who were so heavy when they started that when they reach this point and feel so improved, they decide to stop.  I assured him that even though I feel so much better and look better, I am not done.  I want to keep going until I reach my goal and am no longer obese.

After a few more minutes, he asked me to come back in another three months and said that even if it takes me another six to ten months, the most important thing is that my weight keeps going down and that I eventually reach the goal.

Totally bolstered and feeling much lighter in spirit, I made my next appointment and told everything that I looked forward to seeing them in three months and that they could be sure they’d see even less of me. 🙂   I left the office with a better bounce in my step!  It really was a good lesson in not making situations bigger and more powerful than they need to be.  I totally could have messed up my head and temporarily derailed my effort.  Thankfully, I had people to talk to — in person, on the phone and via the blog — and received stellar support.

On the way home I spoke to a dear friend who had surgery last October.  She is experiencing great success and got some great news today too.  We shared a lot about understanding the issues and working through them.  We also both agreed how fortunate we feel.

Today, and every day, I truly am blessed.

4 responses to “The Don’t Make Things Bigger Than They Need to Be Lesson

  1. Hope says:

    Nicely done! I’m glad your doctor was understanding. 🙂

    I would imagine that, at this stage in the game, a *lot* of people start to backslide. He’s probably really happy that you’re still losing.

  2. Cathy M says:

    Isn’t it amazing when the worst case scenario doesn’t occur? An active imagination can create all kinds of situations and if you’re a person who likes to be in control (and really, who isn’t?) you prep yourself for what you’ll say or do in each instance.

    I’m really glad you were able to be self-aware and self-confident and hold off the negative what ifs. I think that each day’s effort will continue to strengthen your commitment to being the healthiest and happiest you can be.

  3. Skye says:

    I, too, tend to expect the worst in certain conversations and situations and I practice how I’m going to respond — then end up not needing to! I’m so glad that both the assistant and the doctor were so positive! That’s excellent.

    And what Susanne said about everything else! 🙂

  4. Susanne says:

    I’m so glad the assistant and the doctor were so understanding.

    All your hard work and efforts are paying off! I think what’ll really be your tipping point here is your love of exercise — that’ll make all the difference. The weight loss might be slower, but your body is getting stronger and you’re feeling better.


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