26 February 2003
My friend who is celebrating his 5th sober year next month frequently wrote to me
during the early years of his sobriety about how it seemed that just when he needed a
special message to hear, that would come up at the meetings he was attending.
I dunno--either you hear what you need to hear, or it's really serendipity. But
whatever it is, I stayed for the meeting and I heard what I needed to hear.
The topic of the meeting was self-image and how your self-image affects your success at
changing your lifestyle. We talked about how this is more than a weight loss program, and
how for it to be most effective, it's a whole evolution--changing mind as well as body.
The thing that was the most helpful for me was hearing from a woman who had reached her
goal weight and had just become a lifetime member. She talked about the 2 or 3 months in
the middle of her journey when she just lost it and couldn't seem to get back on track and
how the things that she had learned up to that point helped her to realize that she was no
longer that out of control person, that she had embarked on a new lifestyle, and she was
able to continue her journey and reach her goal. I think she said she'd lost 65 lbs
altogether, no small amount.
It was definitely the kind of message I needed to hear. It was another of those
"been there, done that" bonding sorts of things where you feel you're not alone.
I also approached the meeting differently. I usually sit in a far corner and read a
book while I'm waiting for the meeting to begin. This time I found a group to sit with and
while I am never quite the center of conversation, I at least listened and contributed a
comment or two. And when the leader asked for input, instead of trembling in my boots and
dying because I wanted to speak but was too embarrassed, I shared my feelings and why this
time around it has been different.
What was nice was that someone responded that she could echo everything I'd said and
added her own story. I was like....participating.
In the end, it felt good. And it felt important that I include the meetings in this
program as I start the second half of it. I looked at the people who ran in, weighed and
ran out again, seeing myself for the past several months. Dr. G has agreed to start office
hours half an hour later so I can get to WeightWatchers meetings each week, and I've still
not been staying. I didn't need those meetings. (yeah right).
Well, it's time to swallow pride and admit that I do indeed need the meetings.
And I need to get more involved, talking with people, contributing to the discussion, and
listening to other people around me. There's a reason why you go to support
meetings...it's for...support. And support goes both ways--giving and getting. It's
like I said yesterday--we get by with a little help from our friends.
There is good news, though. I lost 3.8 lbs, so I've almost taken off what I gained at
last week's weigh in (I said I was going to lose at least 2 lbs this week), and I
am feeling in control again, which is the biggest thing.