These last couple of weeks have been unsettling and eye opening for many reasons.
Sometimes that is necessary in life.
We need things, people and events, to rattle us, to test us, to remind us who we are and where we stand.
Of course a reminder on how much more we need to learn and how far we have to go, never hurts either.
Last week I went to a bariatric seminar on surgical weight loss options and the experience has been weighing on my mind.
I sat for three hours damning myself for signing up to go in the first place every minute of it.
As you know, part of my process of getting knocked up is losing weight.
I am at an unhealthy weight and need to get to a lower one. As of this week, I have lost thirty-four pounds since the beginning of the year.
I wish I could say that this is the 'last thing' I've tried and it is finally working for me, but I cannot.
This is the first year I have truly focused on eating right, exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It is paying off, slow and steady, but it is paying off.
So why was I torturing myself by sitting in a three hour consultation about bariatric surgery that I hope to never have?
Because I keep all my options open.
Because I like to be knowledgeable and realistic.
Or because sometimes...I simply get discouraged and need to focus on something else for a moment.
I need to entertain a new idea in my brain from time to time. To keep me entertained and engaged in my own goals.
The seminar left me feeling unsettled.
The room was filled with such a diverse crowd, young, old, professional, disabled, happy, sad, morbidly obese and some just packing on a few extra pounds.
But they were all there for the same reason.
We were all there for the same reason.
We were hungry.
Hungry and desperate for a change, for answers, for a life altering opportunity to make our life better, happier, and healthier.
The stage was set meticulously.
Every moment was planned to perfection, plotted with education, information and dramatics.
Over ten years, he has done 4,000 surgeries. Just weight loss surgeries.
Surgery to me is a big decision.
Especially one like this that will change your lifestyle whether you are ready for it or not.
The whole team came out and talked, the surgeon, his nurse, nutritionist, exercise coach, psychologist, insurance billers-everyone.
They showed a video explaining the procedures and the differences.
All while stating that this is a big decision, take your time deciding.
I felt completely disenchanted with the quiet circus around me.
Maybe because it reminded me of church.
This crowd was being shown the possibility of salvation being highlighted by perfectly timed gospels and testimonials.
Repeatedly everyone on their team, made sure to say that no one could lose the weight without the surgery.
They urged us to think about it, remember it was a big decision.
It was even in the video we watched.
They asked questions and made broad assumptions. They proclaimed none of us have ever done a 5k.
I do approximately three a year.
They made the assumption we have not lost weight or tried in a while.
I have been trying...and succeeding.
They made the assumption we hated ourselves and our bodies and we were embarrassed to go out in public.
I cannot say I love everything on me and in me, but baby I'm working on it.
So many assumptions.
And you know what? I'm sure it's applicable to many people that walk through those doors for the seminar.
They are unhappy and want to be healthier and will at any cost.
It just did not sit right with me.
The testimonials at the end got me though.
The problem with being a people watcher is that you often times do not watch the people you are supposed to. You watch the crowd, the people presenting the show, the people in the background.
When these people who have undergone the surgery came out to talk about their successes and how happy they are now and how much their lives sucked before I found myself staring at fellow attendees.
Everyone was riveted in their seats watching these smiling thin, beautiful people standing in front of a blown up picture of their former fat, sad looking selves.
You could feel the desire of the crowd to be a success story, to be in front of everyone and say 'that's not me anymore'.
Then the script changed.
The team was no longer saying we should take a while to think about setting up a consultation but urging us to fill out our forms (make sure to put our insurance information on there) and set up a consult that very night.
"Just head to the hallway where we have girls already waiting to get you scheduled".
After all that preaching and teaching and saving the visually astounding success stories for last, you best believe that people were crowding the tables to sign up for their appointments.
Not me though.
Maybe if it was an one-on-one thing I would have done better, absorbed more, appreciated the seminar more. But I just felt like cattle being pushed and prodded and lost in the crowd.
Some people probably felt completely at ease and that it was the answer to their prayers. Others maybe felt at peace finally making it there after debating going for many years.
I do not know their stories.
I do not care about their stories.
I care about mine.
One of the most off-putting aspects of the seminar was the fact that everyone on the surgeons' team made mention that it was impossible to lose weight without the surgery.
It sat wrong with me.
Maybe I am naive or just plain stupid.
Maybe I just have not hit my wall yet where I will give up on eating right and exercising and opt for surgery instead.
I do not know.
And it felt...like a production line.
He boasted about performing 4,000 surgeries in ten years.
All I could think of was why so many of us are obese.
What happened to our society that at only one hospital in they do approximately 400 surgeries on people for weight loss a year?
I wonder how many surgeries we do as a nation annually?
No way am I knocking the surgery or even saying I will not have it down the road if it comes to that.
No way in hell am I saying it is the easy way out, because it is not. People who have it done have to work hard, watch their weight, what they eat and adapt to a completely new lifestyle.
That is hard work and dedication.
I believe people who have underwent the surgery has gotten their lives back, been rejuvenated, regained self-confidence and moved on to a healthier place in life.
I just want to exhaust myself until I have no other recourse but to choose surgery if that makes sense.
I want to keep walking, attempting to jog, and working out in my living room. I want to keep loving myself and evolving on my own terms.
I want to keep going until I cannot go any farther then I will consider surgical intervention.
For me, I was just unsettled and felt out of place.
The seminar was not bad, it just was not for me at this point in my life.
I do appreciate it has encouraged me to move harder and has motivated me to keep going.
It has lit a fire to see how long I can stave off surgery if possible.
And hopefully help motivate me to lose 23 more pounds by September 2nd which will be my next check up with my gynecologist.
We shall see.
I'm excited, motivated and unsettled.
Sometimes that is necessary in life.
We need things, people and events, to rattle us, to test us, to remind us who we are and where we stand and help light a fire under our ass.