Last weekend I attended the Obesity Help Costa Mesa Event and a phenomenal experience it was! I was fortunate enough to participate in a panel mostly comprised of professionals and I believe we all walked away with newly founded insight. (Kudos to OH's Kim Gyurina for the panel idea) Dr. Connie Stapleton was one of the panelists and wow does she get us! After spending over an hour with me gushing with my WLS patient advocacy passion, I don't think I scared her at all....in fact it just cemented the fact that she does indeed understand the many areas of need in the WLS community and just how far we have to go to understand our disease. It is a disease with the new phase of weight loss surgery that is still in it's infancy and there is so much to learn.
During the session there was a lovely woman who bravely asked a question about whether or not she was self sabotaging because she could never quite break into Onederland (weight in the 100's for those that don't know). The first thing I asked was whether or not she was sure she felt like she deserved it. It was obvious she did not.
We get so caught up in how much we have to lose instead of how far we have come. The first thing I suggested was to remember how desperately we wanted to become "normal". Over 9 years ago I would sit in front of the computer for hours with tears streaming down my face....I just wanted to be one of those women....one of the hundreds of women that lost all their weight.
Now that some have regained some weight we ARE normal...just like many of the population who has that 20, 30, 40 etc. pounds to lose. Instead of saying "WOW, I'VE LOST OVER 100 POUNDS!" we are miserable over the regain. I suggested that she approach it by being in the attitude of gratitude and realizing that the regain can be handled! Compared to losing 100, 200 pounds it is a flash in the pan. We cannot possibly begin to get in the successful frame of mind if we continually see ourselves as a failure. Looking at the regain as a huge monster makes it exactly that....a huge monster that we give more power to each day.
If only we realized that each day we start out as innocent as a newborn babe. Dragging the baggage from the past only does us harm and makes us weigh more! We cannot change the past...it is true that it made us exactly who we are today... but using precious energy to drag it forward each day uses up our resources to change the things we can. When we really get that....I mean really get that....we can devote all that energy to the things we have control over.
Amazingly enough I am told that I couldn't possibly know about regain because my life is perfect since I have maintained goal weight. What "they" don't know is that I still suffer from severe low self esteem and sometimes debilitating depression. Also life is life. The only way I know how to fight it is to give back, pay it forward, and stay out of my scary head.
I would like to thank Beth (melting mama) for the pictures of the event. I was in the fashion show and just love the picture I had taken with my friend Teresa (with Celebrate Vitamins) in the photo booth.
Make sure and visit Beth's link to view her images which reflect her "oh most talented" photographic eye.
More to follow in part two about Toni with the WSLFA and meeting Gastric Bypass Barbie and many others.
MELTING MAMA'S IMAGES
These events can certainly recharge your batteries as well as educate but most importantly they give you the opportunity to give back and that alone can put you well on the road to recovery.
Accentuate the positive.
Go around the negative.
Get back on the horse.
See yourself where you want to be because if you see yourself as a failure you will rarely disappoint yourself.
It will NEVER be perfect but it can be pretty good.
Love and kisses, love and light,
Weight Loss Surgery Wisdom from a Friend
2 weeks ago