Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can this really change your life? Yes!!

Can weight loss surgery really change your life???

Let me count the ways!

You may or may not be aware of what "they say" about how someone who emerges from alcoholism has to learn to grow up socially because they checked out when the disease takes hold of their life. It is much the same for many of the obese. When you and others decide that you are unworthy of taking part in the real world you are often left alone to your own devices and are not exposed to normal life lessons. Not every obese person isolates but I believe most do because we have condemned ourselves to a self loathing prison. Many obese people are absolutely sure that when they walk in a room that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the room has seen them and commented about how big they are. Of course this isn't true but it comes with the job. I was an expert at isolation at the end of my fat life....I went to work and Wal-Mart because I could get food and clothes in one spot. The thought that someone might recognize me and the shame associated with it was too much to bear. With that in mind it meant that I did not take part in the every day activities that so many people take for granted.

In 2002 my husband bought me my first bathing suit in 30 years....you would have thought it was the Hope Diamond. I dreaded pool parties and I had a running joke that I'd never been in a hot tub because the last time I was thin enough to get in one they weren't invented yet. One of the most common fears is that you'll be the one they show on the 10pm news when they run footage during obesity stories.

When I lost the weight I began to do things that I hadn't done in 30 years. Many years ago you could just mention "going to water ski" and I would have jumped up and down until you let me go. I was really good too so what was one of the first things I jumped at after weight loss surgery? You bet cha!

Just like riding a bicycle...


And then there were some new things that again hadn't really been invented yet the last time I was even close to thin. I know the people thought I was nuts in the sporting goods store but that wasn't a first and probably won't be the last. I asked for roller blades!


When you start this catching up thing that we do when we get this new life, it moves at light speed. I have done more in the last 7 years than I've done in all my life before. You can do what you believe you can do. It makes me sad when someone has this surgery and says "It's too late for that." Are you kidding me? You are as old as you feel. It's a cruel trick our brains play on us. We are living longer than ever before! If you decide that you are old at 50 then you'll be old. Since we are living longer than ever, that's middle aged now.

I missed out on so much....so very much. It is in the past and cannot be changed. Today is all I truly have so there is much catching up to do.

In the weight loss community we have terms.

pre-op = someone who hasn't had the surgery
newbie = someone who recently had the surgery
post-op = someone who has had the surgery
veteran = someone who is a few years out
WLS = weight loss surgery
Onederland = someone who had lost 100 pounds
the other side = crossed over to the other side (after surgery). We like to say the losing side
Honeymoon period = first year or so after surgery

There are many more. Newbies often have a tough time because life changes so quickly and you're on a massive high. This massive high helps you deal with the fact that you are no longer getting high on food. Your hormones go crazy, you are feeling better than ever and you might make life choices that are not good for you. You might end up drinking too much or you might feel sexy for the first time in a long time....or ever. Oh man...have I seen some things! Because you are changing so radically you need to have a system to keep you in check. I'm not kidding because I swear you'll think something is a really good idea at the time and when you look back on it later, you wonder who on earth was that person? I think it would be a great idea to stay out of all new relationships for at least a year. Unfortunately this life changing surgery is still poorly understood. The operation itself is like someone handing you a hammer and a nail and telling you to build the new you. This would be the "tool" analogy. You are given a tool and it's just like Michealangelo sculpting a beautiful statue but when he's done, it's your time to take over....to start over from scratch. You have to function just like any thin person.

I personally believe that you have to eat as boring as possible. Eat to live...not live to eat. During the honeymoon period you can either party like a crazy person because life is so freakin phenomenal or you can retrain yourself because it is easiest at this point. When the honeymoon period is over you will no longer lose weight easily and that high will lose some of it's strength. You have to plan for that.

The day I had surgery I made the conscious choice that I had drank my very last Coke. My friends didn't say "Oh my God, you're getting your guts rearranged!"
They pulled their stock from Coca-Cola.
I was addicted.
I tried quiting but then I'd have a real Coke and it was just like....ummmm..... sex.
Because I retrained myself I don't miss it,
don't crave it,
don't even remember what it tastes like.

Early mantra:
NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS BEING THIN FEELS!!

You cannot just say it...you must mean it and you must remind yourself every day just exactly what that means. You have to stay in touch with yourself and others in this process. You have to know that newbies will very likely do some strange stuff.... sometimes even the newbies don't grow up and keep doing strange stuff. You have to learn to avoid the things that cause anxiety in your life so that stress is kept to a minimum.

Anxiety=Stress=reaching for coping mechanism

It's real scary sometimes but because anything worth doing isn't easy, you have to make up your mind.... but it isn't impossible. Everyone thinks they will fail and some do. It's just like having a baby. Prepare and educate yourself. Find people that are doing it the way you like and ask them how to do it.

Avoid people that tell you crappy things. It's about them - NOT YOU! Walk toward the good...walk toward the light because the shortest way to anywhere is a straight line.

See your goal out there????
Face it and proceed directly,
do not pass GO,
do not collect $200.

I look at my speedometer...
it says light speed.
















2 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Monique said...

Hi Yvonne -- Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am really excited and ready to change my life! I have several colleagues who have had the surgery in recent years, but it's great to see someone who's maintained their weight loss for as long as you have.