This is a follow-up post to this one here.
The session began as it did last time with each of us seeing the dietitian one-to-one and as predicted the vast quantities of Baileys and Quality Street reflected in the numbers. It’s going to be difficult getting used to being weighed because it is the numbers that determine whether or not we move to the next stage of fertility treatment but for me I am far more concerned about the way I feel physically. I have no number related goals, I just want to be able to hula hoop on the Wii Fit for longer than 20 minutes without feeling like I’ve just smoked 80 cigarettes at a high altitude.
We did a little introduction which was really relaxed and comfortable; no ice breaker games or trust falls in sight. We discussed what our aims and objectives were for the 12 weeks and what our expectations and concerns were. We wrote them all down on post-it notes and put them up on a flip chart so we could all have a read. There were two in the ‘concerns’ column that were heartbreaking. One said ‘I will fail at this like everything else’ and the other said ‘nothing else has worked so why will this?’. One of mine was that I’m scared that emerging myself in weight loss discussion will have a negative impact on my confidence. When we discussed what each other had written down someone brought mine up. I tried to explain it a little more and I’m really worried that I came across as being very self-centred, that I didn’t understand why people have low self esteem and a bit ‘look at me with all my confidence, let me stick it in your face’ but I didn’t mean it that way at all. I wanted to say that I’ve spent so much time and energy learning to be comfortable with my body and building my self esteem that I’m worried being immersed into discussion of weight loss and the notion that fat = bad and that I need to change will unravel all the hard work I’ve done. It was really difficult to listen to people talk about their lack of confidence and dislike for their bodies. It made me very emotional and I did a little cry which I feel so, so stupid about. I hate to think of anyone being upset or hurt (so much so that that is how the majority of my GAD
manifests) and because I’ve made such an effort to surround myself with body positive people it was quite a shock and difficult to hear.
Everyone was really supportive though and despite people having differing opinions and thoughts about things I think we are all going to be very encouraging of each other. It feels like a good group of people and whatever our reason is for being there, whether it’s purely medical or aesthetic, we’re there for a common goal and we’ve all chosen to share it with a group.
Something that doesn’t sit well with me is that there is no psychologist on the team. The dietitian said she has a few people that she feels need a referral but there isn’t the option to do so. Weight in general is such an enormous psychological minefield, I think that even people who are completely comfortable with their bodies and their weight can be put in certain situations that would throw up unpleasant feeling and need some support. The lack of psychological support doesn’t surprise me though as I was told a few months ago by my GP that the mental health support within the NHS is at an all time low. She has been told by the community mental health team that unless patients are showing signs of psychosis they are to be treated by the in-surgery well-being teams which is fine but for people like myself with lifelong mental health issues, a bit of counselling is not going to cut it. So, there does seem to be a bit of a chink in the machinery but fortunately the dietitian is brilliant and very approachable which bodes well.
I’m still feeling very apprehensive about the coming weeks but from what I gathered, so is everyone else. It’s unknown territory for us all and regardless of personal issues or opinions we’re there for the same reason which automatically gives us something in common. Whilst I am concerned about the affect diet talk and negativity will have on my mental state I’m eager to push through and challenge myself a little. It doesn’t help that I’m in a pretty bad place at the moment but I know to save my spoons for this because my end goal is so incredibly important.
*Just a little note to say that I discussed this blog post with the group and everyone was happy for me to write about it as long as I obviously don’t name any names or elude to personal details. Infact, they asked for the blog address so are probably reading this and I am scared not only about the open discussion of my mentals throughout my blog but also, bra reviews haha!