As one goes on a the journey of transformation and changing a lifestyle to better health there are obstacles that get in the way sometimes. For me, one of those obstacles is what I “see” when I look in the mirror, pass a window and see my reflection or look at pictures.
Of late, here is my battle: I have successfully lost over 135 pounds. I have dropped 14 dress sizes. I no longer need a cpap machine to sleep soundly at night. I no longer take high blood pressure, anti-anxiety, high cholesterol, thyroid or pain medications – yes that is 5 – count them 5 – medications gone! With all of these successes one would think that I would be floating on air and happy as a lark! YET, I battle with myself as I see the person who started on this journey 30 months ago, counting pre-surgery months – taking all the medications, not sleeping through the night, not able to sit in an airplane seat without a belt extender and so many other things! So I have been doing some thinking about why … why can’t I get rid of the mental pictures, erase the tapes – why can’t I see what others tell me that they see….
Here is my analysis of this part of the process…
- I lived with these real images for more than 40 years – so they were my friends. Losing this much weight is like a death – there is a process – much like death – that one has to go through. I believe I was so wrapped in the excitement of the success that I didn’t properly grieve the loss of “my friends”. I am now grieving them and so I have had a few moments.
- For many years, I identified myself with my work instead of finding hobbies or other interests outside of work. When one is fat, you bury yourself in work and work hard to be successful so no one thinks that you are lazy or not able to perform the job that you are assigned. I am now finding new interests…in fact, I am walking in my first half marathon ever! I am so excited and feel empowered in a way I can’t explain! And when it is over, I will find another one to focus on…who knows what I will accomplish before I turn 60 (several years from now :))
- I am in transition in my career. When transition happens, it causes upset to our routine. And for me, I need a routine to keep me on track.
- I have started eating more carb-laden foods which I wish I had not learned that I could still eat because they give me comfort. I still have not eaten rice or pasta (yes that is about 27 months without these two comfort foods). However, I have convinced myself that good bread is not bad for you…guess what…not true. While I need to increase my carbs due to the training, I need to find the right carbs to eat.
- I started allowing foods that I thought I could ignore to be brought in the house again – cookies, chips, breads, unhealthy snacks. I am not as strong as I thought and need to go back to keeping things out of the house that are too tempting.
- And finally…it is a journey that is one day at a time! And these few weeks of set back are giving me pause to re-focus and get back on track! Besides, I refuse to buy larger clothes!
While I continue to work on erasing the tapes – both mental and visual – I am forever a different person than I was 27 months ago. Today at my check up with Blue Point Surgical, I heard phrases like…’great blood work – your numbers look amazing’; ‘you look great’; ‘keep up the good work’; ‘you are in tune with what you need to do to keep on track’; ‘you are an inspiration’…so while I have had a bit of mental set back, I know that I have come a long way in two years and have no regrets of having surgery and becoming healthy, which was my #1 reason for having the surgery done.
What are your battles when it comes to making a transformation in your life? What have you done to overcome the obstacles and declare success? How do you deal with setbacks?
A visual reminder of how far I have gone in 27+ months…