Surprises can be nice…and fun…recently I went back to Columbus to see friends, many of whom, were not aware that I had began this journey to have a healthier lifestyle…at Gregg Dodd’s Ugly Sweater Party. I had purposely not posted pictures of the “new” me on Facebook so there would be the element of surprise. Or was it that I wanted to hear them praise and congratulate me? Probably a bit of both.
When I started this journey, I thought I would not enjoy friends commenting, congratulating, asking questions or even acknowledging the physical changes that they could see. However, 2+ months post surgery and I am finding that this is one area that I can be encouraged. While still not great at accepting compliments, I do have a sense of “wow, I am doing this journey successfully” when people acknowledge the work I am doing for myself. I do have to be careful not to get on a soapbox about nutrition and labels when people ask questions about surgery or the how much I am eating – it is exciting for a couple of minutes but not 30 minutes.
I am of the opinion that humans crave (and I am sure there is science out there to back up my humble opinion), consciously or unconsciously, praise and acknowledgement. I think back to my childhood and when I wanted attention – I acted out by being a brat, doing something I knew I wasn’t supposed to do, etc. – that resulted mostly in negative attention but nonetheless it was attention. As adults, we still want attention, approval and acknowledgement. And when we don’t get it we find other ways to get/give ourselves attention
Let me give you an example from my own life…I have found through this process that outwardly I displayed a lot of confidence. However, inwardly, I was not as confident as I acted. Results: I second guessed myself, I made snap decisions, I “took control” and “fixed” things [whether they needed to be fixed or not – I “always” knew a better way]. Consequences: I got attention – most times not positive attention, I have been passed over for promotions, I haven’t advanced as far in my career as I would like, I had to buy bigger clothes to cover up the weight, health issues developed, I was exhausted all the time – this created other results: This negative attention “confirmed” my fears and thoughts – I wasn’t good enough, smart enough or pretty enough to succeed…that then created a different set of consequences – I ate in an unhealthy manner, probably (well matter of fact) drank too much at certain times and basically didn’t care. As you can see, it is a very vicious circle! On December 13, I broke my circle!
So, today, I acknowledge that I haven’t been so good to myself for several years. I am proud that I am taking control of my life and going on a journey that will forever change my emotional, physical and spiritual mindset. I care about me.
As I was sharing with a friend recently about some of my struggles to ‘get it right’ [my schedule, eating, etc]. He gave me an excellent (a big “A Ha” moment for me) suggestion…think of this as an event and create a daily ‘run of show’ for myself. How brilliant! Thank you MA! You are the best!
See it is about having a supportive circle of friends and family that will get you through…so if you are reading this and thinking about changing your destiny by having bariatric surgery or changing your lifestyle to be more healthy…go for it! Surround yourself with supportive people – chose your support group carefully and engage them in your journey. By the way, your support group does not have to include your blood relatives – it is nice if they are on board – but do this for yourself and you alone!