My daughter and I were flipping channels and ended up watching a girl’s movie (AKA chick flick) on the Lifetime Movie Network. It turns out that this movie was the story of three friends struggling with their weight, their self-esteem and a whole host of issues familiar to those of us who’ve struggled with obesity. I was surprised when my daughter put down her book to watch with me. As the story unfolds, the women made a pact to support each other on a journey to weight loss. One of the women was gaining struggling as the other two were losing weight. She started researching weigh loss surgery, considered gastric bypass surgery, then decided on lap band surgery – much to my surprise. To keep this in context the story about her lap band surgery was just a tiny part of this movie, but it did get my daughter and I talking about my surgery.
My daughter is now 12, but she was only 6 when I had surgery. I asked her if she remembered me before surgery. She said that she remembered me being bigger, that she remembered seeing me exercising one day and had that image of me “bigger”. Leave it to my daughter, to use the least offensive term she could find – “bigger”. I asked if she remembered that she took my before picture, the morning of August 16, 2006, the morning of my weight loss surgery. She said she knows she took that picture because I always remind her, but doesn’t really remember taking it. She didn’t understand about the surgery at the time. She thinks it’s kind of cool that the picture she took is all over the bandedliving.com, and in my book, and on my blog, and that if you google me and lap band surgery, that picture that she took will probably come up.
I didn’t explain my surgery to my children back in 2006. They were too young and I didn’t want to scare them; I also didn’t want them talking about my surgery, my well-guarded secret at the time, to their friends. But, since Sandi and I decided to go public with our stories, write a book, and build the bandedliving.com community, my public lap band journey is part of who we are.
I talk a lot about my lap band support team, who to tell, and who not to tell. I’m reminded that my support team continues to change and evolve over time. I’m learning, once again, that support comes in many forms – friends, family, my on-line family and bandedliving.com, and even a TV movie!
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