Hell Bent to Get Back on Track
by Kaye Bailey
Have you started your 5 Day Pouch Test yet? Perhaps you are waiting for the weekend or a special day to start. Perhaps you are on day 2 already. So many of you have written and are excited to use this as an opportunity to reclaim your pouch and your health. This excites me and inspires me to keep fighting my own battle against a regain.
We have our food plan in order and even some recipes. But there are two other things we can address during this pouch test: mental and emotional readiness and physical activity. Today we will look at emotional and mental preparation to restore the sense of hope and excitement we enjoyed as pre-ops and in the early weeks and months following our surgical weight loss solutions.
Do you remember back when you were researching your weight loss surgery - the sleepless nights imagining finally having a method of weight control that would work and you could get off the dieting roller coaster? There were no hoops we would not jump through to get approval and get our cure. In a June 21, 2006 You Have Arrived Newsletter I wrote about this hell-bent determination: "Ayn Rand, the noted 20th century philosopher wrote, "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." It is with this kind of hell-bent determination many WLS pre-ops fight their insurance providers to have the surgery. The same grit determination must be employed after surgery. If we are to achieve a healthy life we absolutely must fight like a mad dog against everything that made us obese in the first place. We must take control and own responsibility for our success."
Read the full article: Who is going to stop me?
This was the newsletter in which we introduced the LivingAfterWLS Empowerment Philosophy - many of you can probably quote it because I reference it so often. I reference it often because I believe in it, but also because I need to be reminded of it often. In part it reads:
"The LivingAfterWLS philosophy empowers individuals to recognize and harness their own inner strengths. The first step to personal empowerment is personal responsibility. LivingAfterWLS holds individuals accountable for making their weight loss surgery successful. When individuals take responsibility they feel liberated and motivated to invest personal equity in their success." Read the full statement
When we fought to get the surgery we were personally empowered. We had to be, there aren't many advocates out there fighting on the behalf of the morbidly obese.
Yet somehow, if we get to comfortable in our post weight loss surgery life there is a tendency to lose that hell-bent determination. Perhaps we take it for granted. Maybe we just get bored or distracted. Maybe we get discouraged because life after surgery has not been without struggle. Any of these things can cause us to lose hope or feel like failures. I have gone through periods of sadness and suffered feelings of failure since my weight loss surgery. Don't we all? This despair only festers if we regain some weight or sit on a plateau for an extended length of time.
But just like we can work a plan to test the pouch and get back on track, we can mentally train our mind to get back to being hell-bent determined to take personal control of our health. LivingAfterWLS is here to champion you in the cause, we are advocates who believe you deserve to be healthy, you deserve to be kind to yourself and you deserve to achieve the greatest level of success with weight loss surgery when you harness your inner resources.
Do you remember that 1970's best selling book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull"The story is a charming allegory with a profound message: push yourself as hard as you can in pursuit of you dreams. The story of Jonathan and his friend Fletcher reveals two ordinary birds who, with passion, chose to better themselves. They were not content to merely eat and sleep. They wanted to become extraordinarily good at what they could do - fly." I loved that book and I compared surgical weight loss patients to this classic story of two birds hell-bent on becoming the very best at what they could do: fly.
To the real Jonathan Seagull who lives within us all
My friends - you can recapture the grit determination that led you to weight loss surgery. You have not lost your inner strength. Take the LivingAfterWLS Self Assessment and write down exactly why you had surgery in the first place. I bet you still have strong desires for the life you thought it would bring you. If there have been bumps in the road you are normal: this is not an easy thing for any of us. Use the assessment to identify what you are doing right and how you can set a coarse to get back on track with all the determination of a plain old seagull spreading his wings to fly. Use this tool with your 5 Day Pouch Test. Spend these five days reading about nutrition and fitness and learning key knowledge about life after gastric surgery. Make notes of your dreams and desires. Make a plan. Get hell-bent on taking back your life.
And finally, remember, you never have to walk alone in this journey. We have our safe haven Neighborhood community. There are blogs all over the Internet and support groups are sprouting up around the world. Reach out for whatever support you are most comfortable with and empower one another. I believe in you and I know you believe in me. Together we are one tough fighting hell-bent pack of friends fighting to become the very best we can be.
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