Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dinner with Friends . . .

I worked in Manhattan yesterday and, after an 11 hour work day, went to grab dinner with two good friends and former co-workers, Kate and Jason. Kate and Jason knew me when I was at my absolute heaviest. They were there when I announced I would have gastric bypass surgery in the fall of 2005 and they were there when my insurance company said "Not so fast, fat man." They have always been good friends and always supported me and encouraged me.

I last saw Kate and Jason about four weeks after my surgery. We went to lunch. I brought a Rubbermaid container with some pureed chicken and peas in it. They ordered burgers and fries and milkshakes. They finished all of it. And faster than I ate my blended goodness. We laughed about what my life of eating had become compared to the "Good Old Days."

Fast forward to last night . . . Kate almost CRIED when she saw me on the street. She could not get over the emotion of how different I looked or how much better I looked. Jason, a reserved man with little to say about most things "superficial" even gushed about how I looked and how happy he was for me.

They had burgers again - with tater tots. I had a chicken breast with a little mult-grain roll (I can't get regular, people!) and some reduced fat mayo. I ate about four bites and was full from the stupid bread (one of these days I'm going to blog about how much I have come to HATE bread). Not surprisingly, the converstation turned to my diet and how I eat and what I eat and how I eat it. It's pretty typical now. My parents and I had the same talk this weekend and I had lunch with some co-workers last week that asked the same questions. It is interesting to me that people "understand" how gastric bypass works (BIG stomach ===> little pouch) but disconnect on why you aren't really eating anything.

Words like "weird" and "cool" and "crazy" come up in the conversation and I'm often left feeling like two parts circus freak, one cup medical miracle and a dash of special, for flavor. It feels good though.

I like that I am reconnecting with old friends - showing them a much healthier and much thinner and much more energetic and engaging man than I was for many years. It is interesting to me that I am back to about the weight I was at when I graduated college. My entire professional life (almost 10 years) I have been heavier than I am now. Every co-worker I've ever had, every client, every boss and every reporter meet and greet . . . they've seen a heavier me as a first impression.

My real friends have always been kind. They've seen through the weight and just accepted me. I've made their day from time to time, I've disappointed them, I've been a good friend and I've been a lousy buddy but - like last night - it is good to know that I can still breeze in to a restaurant, have some laugh with good friends, have plenty to talk about and, on a really good night, leave them in tears of delight - just by showing up and being "me."

Thanks for dinner, Kate and Jason. Hope to see you again soon!

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