Taking a page from a friend and fellow blogger, I wanted to reflect on the top-10 things I’ve learned since having my surgery in September.
- Every journey is unique. It’s so easy, and c’mon, so natural for us to compare our losses and successes to others like us-those who have had the surgery or are going though the process. Just like every single doctor that each of us have, the plans are not the same. Our bodies and medical conditions and personal battles with food are not the same. We will each go through this uniquely.
- I am not a patient person. I know this about myself, so maybe this really doesn’t count as things I’ve learned. But patience is key. You cannot just wake-up one day without a food addiction. This has been such an eye-opener. Look I didn’t expect that I would, truth is I never hyper-focused on my very real addiction until after my surgery when it really showed itself in true colors. But now I want it gone. Like, yesterday. I fight every day and will keep fighting, but I can’t wait until the fight doesn’t feel like a scene from Spartacus.
- My confidence will be restored. Whether it’s all of the endorphins from working out, the healthier food, or the clothes that no longer fit, I feel good. My husband and friends have noticed a huge difference in my interactions with them and in public -I am more myself again. Light, funny and not apart. I didn’t really realize that I had effectively made myself a bit of a recluse. More somber, quiet, no longer life of the party, no spiritually enlightening conversations, or brainstorming the possibilities of life and the hilarity that comes from doing that with friends you’ve had in your life for over 12 years. So I see a little more of myself every day in the mirror. The face, eyes and smiles that have crept back into my psychie. I am starting to like me again.
- Future clothes shopping (without buying) is fun. I have an Amazon addiction. More importantly, I have ‘Wish List’ addiction. Exploring the possibilities of wearing very different colors, patterns, and rocking a new style is fun. And all I have to do is click ‘save to wish list’. It’s like personal vision board for clothes. It’s cathartic to me.
- Meal planning is the only thing that works. Whether your planning you family’s menu for the week or planning you own (you should do both) it is seriously the only ritual that must be done in order to keep you on track. You might get to a point as far into the journey where you can wing it-you’ve got it down pat-I’d still recommend advanced meal planning. When you walk out of your office hungry and are faced with your favorite chips as the first thing you see, if you already have a meal prepared in the fridge or lunchbox-already you’re 10x less likely to nibble on those chips. Let’s not forget you’re ensuring adequate nutrition for the day by having a plan.
- Progress moves. Whether it’s a scale loss, stall or up a couple of pounds you’re still moving forward. Measurements, exercise, good food choices, proper water intake, NSVs- you’re moving. And it’s progress. It moves all around you like water in the ocean, swirling from all different directions but ultimately pushing you to its destination – the wave making it to the glorious sand – where you’ll finally sink in your feet and raise your eyes to the brighter sky.
- NSVs are 10x more potent than SVs. When you finally break through that which was impossible, or holding you back, or situations that plagued you, those are the ones that make you squeal with delight and make you feel like “Yes!” Bet you dont quite get that from just a pound or two loss on the scale this morning.
- There is no reason to mourn food. You are not depriving yourself-this isn’t a diet. It’s a way of life, a way to health. Relish the idea that one day, if you keep it up, you won’t want to choose the crap you once craved. Emotional eating may still be your battle but instead of pastries and alcohol you’ll feed it with fuel food and herbal tea. Kale will be your candy! Well, maybe not, but either way you’ll want to eat the good stuff. White bean chicken chili is my new comfort food, especially in this cold weather.
- Daily meditation and self-reflection is critical. Getting right with yourself everyday is as essential to your spirit as prayer and worship of our Lord. You have to get in touch with yourself to understand where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going to keep yourself-not just focused, sure-but that you’re still you and that you love you. You must find that love, even if you don’t think you’ve ever had it before. All the more reason to do this. I have a wall heater in my bathroom, and carpet in the main area. I sit in my spot in front of that heater every night, turn on my relaxation sounds, and reflect. Very effective for learning to love myself again.
- I am not alone and I CAN do it! Whether it’s support from the people around me or from those who read and comment on my blog (thank you) and inviting me into their own journeys to share and celebrate their triumphs and success, this community is everything. We can’t, nor should we, do this alone. I know I can do it, because I am doing it, and have an awesome support system that’s got my back even when I trip. You all rock!
While I’ve learned so much more than these ten things, these are those that reflect what’s top of mind for me right now. My motivational quote for this week:
Look in the mirror. The only competition you have is you.
This is specifically speaking to my workout goals for this week, BUT I can see the appropriateness of this quote for our journeys as well. Either way, you win. Embrace that!
Off to my heater and meditation time! See you soon,