My unexpected education at #YWM2014

Last week I had the awesome pleasure of attending the Obesity Action Coalition’s 2014 Your Weight Matters convention in Orlando.  They advertised the event as a place to learn about advocacy, weight control, health issues, and support. There was one item that I encountered that wasn’t advertised: eating.

Yup, eating.

As a pre-surgery candidate for weight loss surgery, I’ve attended several support groups with my bariatric center, and I’ve learned a lot from them. I follow several online support groups, and I have learned a lot from them as well. But there is one thing that support groups don’t include, and that’s observation of real life eating.

Sure they tell you what you may or may not be able to eat, you’ll hear about the disaster stories, dumping syndrome stories, and portions tolerated. But with every patient being different, one can never know what is going to happen to them until they have the procedure.

At YWM2014, I was able to have several meals with post-surgery patients. I was able to see how these patients ate, what they ate, what they avoided, how much they ate, and what was served.  I saw people drink coffee comfortably. I saw people eat cheesecake. I saw them eat eggs, nuts, bread, vegetables, meats, cheese and (shock!) alcohol. I saw people not drinking while they were eating. I saw people take a plate of food and tell the waiter not to remove it from the table because they were grazing throughout the night

They were behaving like normal people, and that was comforting. Sure the meals and portions served by the hotel were smaller, and the options were not high fat, high sugar options, but it was nice to see people enjoying food together.

This was an eye-opening education for me, and not one that people can get in a hospital support group. Patients should see this first hand. It eased my mind, and I’m sure it would ease the mind of others as well.

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3 thoughts on “My unexpected education at #YWM2014

  1. That was very insightful. I never thought about it this way because my husband was banded 6 months before me so I had an idea of the process so to speak. I am hoping to have my son Nick come with me next year so that he will see that surgery does not make us freaks that can’t eat anything and that we do not stick out like a sore thumb. I think it will show him that getting healthy and having fun can be done together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Jeff. Pre-surgery I was more than willing to say “goodbye” to lots of foods. However, now being two months post-op, I have been “experimenting” and surprised at really, the only things I “can’t” or “won’t” eat are sweets, soda, candy, etc. I thought I had say goodbye to bread, but last week I had a tuna sandwich on light bread with no issues. I feel very “normal” when I was prepared to feel a bit like a freak 🙂 I guess we are all different post-op!

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