10 Things I’ve Learned So Far

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. 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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. 
  9. 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. 
  10. 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,

Amanda 😘

    Post-op day 3, much better

    Still quite swollen but overall looks good

    Day three is much better. I managed to go the full night without pain medication, but I definitely needed it when I got up this morning before heading out to the doctor.  Getting in and out of bed is still painfully difficult.

    I’m hungrier than I thought I would be. I’ve been drinking broth and eating Popsicles, but I salivated over the oatmeal my mom and grandma ate earlier today.  I had to look it up when I can have oatmeal.  Week 4, damn.  I tried decaf coffee and it feels good to have a pretend cup lol. 

    The last 2 days I’ve slept a lot. If I wasn’t walking or drinking I was sleeping. Today I think I’ll watch a movie. 

    Besides the boo-boos I honestly don’t feel like I had surgery. I don’t know what I expected my stomach to feel like but it just feels normal. I’m really trying tap into that “full” feeling, but so far I don’t have it. Likely because it’s just liquids for right now.  I certainly hope so. 

    In the mean time, while away from work, I had some pretty awesome news. My first client gave me a perfect 10 rating and some pretty awesome comments.  It’s a big deal for my company. It was escalated to my boss’s boss’s boss and the emails have just been so amazing.  I’ve got all the feels! 

    My husband and kids are making a “surprise” visit to me tonight. I say “surprise”  because that was his intention, but when I said “why don’t you come see me tonight?” I ruined it. Lol! Can’t wait to see them though! 

    It’s been great staying with my mom. I’m taking us to get mani-pedis on my way home  tomorrow to say thank you. 

    Until tomorrow…

    Recovering

    First, I am really glad I decided to stay at my moms! Not only does she have an adjustable bed where you raise your head up and down, but it’s just been really nice to be separated from that which I would feel like I’m supposed to be doing something-my house. But I do miss my hubby and the kiddies quite a bit…

    Today my pain is either really bad or manageable. My right side especially hurts.  When I walk (which I have been doing lots of) I have to hold my belly so it doesn’t jiggle. And I have a massive headache that just will not quit. 

    You all said getting all your fluids after surgery was hard, I believed you but boy, it is hard! Broth feels better on my tummy than anything else today. My gas pain has not been too bad at all, oddly.  

    I’m hoping I feel much better tomorrow and don’t have to take pain meds. Going to the dr in the morning. Kind of irritated I have to drive all the way to Atlanta for them to change my dressing. I don’t have any drains or anything.  

    That’s my check-in for today. More later… 

    It’s Here

      
    Well, I’m finally on my way! 2-day diet didn’t kill me :). Getting ready to head to the surgery center with my folks. I’m staying with my mom a couple of days since the hubs and kiddies are off to school and work. It’s really kind of nice to know my mom will be there for me over the next few days. 

    Excited and nervous. Hope everything goes off without a hitch. Wish me luck! 

    Chew chew chew

    Ok, I don’t hear a lot of folks talk too much about the pre-op diet, but let me tell you about my day one experience.

    It. Was. Fucking. Hard. (For me anyways)

    I am practicing the whole chew chew chew thing and waiting a minute and a half between bites— that’s a long damn time when you’re starving!  My stomach must be the size of a watermelon because I have seriously been very hungry all day long. It’s funny, I really didn’t realize how little I chew my food before I start to swallow until today. If you’re still a good bit out from surgery I would highly recommend starting to practice that now.  

    I have heard a bit about taste buds changing after surgery. I have like 5 cases of shakes so I hope they’re still good to me post-surgery.

    Ode to my nightly glass of wine….I wish I didn’t still have a bottle in the house! It will be a hostess gift this weekend, I’m certain.

    So wish me luck on my next 13 days of this… It will so worth it though! I stepped out of the car tonight to talk to a distant neighbor who hasn’t seen me in awhile. First thing she asked me is if I’m still going to the gym all the time…. Um, yeah but thanks for making it so obvious you don’t believe me lady.  I can’t wait until I step out of the car in 6 months and she chews on her tongue.

    A minute and a half, lady!

    I Got My Date!!!

    I got the phone call today- I am scheduled for surgery on 9/16!! Just two weeks away (happy dance)!

    This is really happening!! I should have felt that way when the loan hit the bank and started accruing interest…but this is really it!

    I spent the evening shopping to prepare for my 2-week pre-op diet, and then spent a small fortune at GNC.  But I have to say when I told the owner I was having surgery she really hooked me up with discounts. Probably because she knows I’ll live there for the rest of my life…

    So there’s my news for today. What a great day!