Archive for the ‘Positive Self Talk’ Category

Dear Bariatric Girl 2001,

Before and After
15 years
To: Bariatric Girl 2001

From: Bariatric Girl 2016 (exactly 15 years ago)

Dear Bariatric Girl 2001,

How I wish we could have had a letter like this when we began our journey because there was almost no one who knew anything in 2001.

Guess what??? WE MADE IT! We actually made it 15 years BUT don’t get overconfident because this could change at any moment.

This is what I know so far.

So many thought I’d fail….

So many more hoped I would.

And even sadder, some were disappointed I didn’t regain my weight and worse, I let them make me feel guilty for it.

These are the things I’d like to share with you.

1. Just because you lose the weight DOESN’T MEAN YOU’LL BE AUTOMATICALLY HAPPY!!! Life is life. Same problems…you just weigh less.

2. Some people will do their best to sabotage your journey. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THOSE PEOPLE! PERIOD…. (I SAID PERIOD)don't ruin Life is like an elevator. Sometimes on the way up you have to stop and let some people off.

3. Move towards the people who look to you for…. basically….anything.  A word of support or kindness for someone who comes to you for advice may mean mountains to them and they actually want you in their lives!  Instead we often find ourselves looking to people who don’t care about us or we spend wasteful time wanting what they have that we don’t. Don’t spoil what you have by desiring what you have not… but remember that what you have now was once among the things that you had only hoped for!

4. Don’t eat crap food, get it ALL out of your house. If it isn’t in your house, don’t start bringing it in. You could never “eat just one”. Trust me, that hasn’t changed so don’t even test it out. Quit trying to force a square peg in a round hole.  You tried for 30 years to “eat just one” and it NEVER worked so consider not eating any. IT’S SO MUCH EASIER TO DO!

5. Get help for your addiction to food because everything else you do will just be putting a Band-Aid on the problem. If you don’t get help for the root problem, you won’t overcome it. Don’t get caught up on whether it’s called addiction, emotional eating… it’s whatever you want to call it. At least call it something, identify the problem, and move towards a solution because you can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge. Um DUHHHHH.

6. Support. Get some. Give some. Refer back to #2. Do not stay in a support group where people become energy vampires that suck the blood from your body. YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BATTLE IF YOU CAUSE MORE STRESS AND CHAOS TO YOUR JOURNEY.

7. Here’s my post where an organization has gathered data from thousands of people who have lost and maintained their weight. Doesn’t it make sense to take the tips reported and try them? These simple tips worked for the majority of people. If what you are doing isn’t working, why not mimic what worked for thousands? What do you have to lose? And if you can’t or are unwilling to try those methods, you must make peace with what you are doing. Get on and live your life instead of beating your head up against a wall. You’ll look up one day and your life will be gone.

I’m pretty sure if you follow these suggestions and keep it simple that you can continue to do this thing. Perhaps most importantly don’t let the phrase “one day at a time” become cliché. It is one of your simplest rules to apply…..to stay in the now. Worrying is praying for what you don’t want. SO STOP IT!

Lastly….always remember to pick your hard.

choose your hardLove you,

Bariatric Girl 2016

 

 

Take off those regain glasses and turn it around!

 

regain glasses

Regain glasses suck.

The moment regain becomes a problem we put on those regain glasses and NOTHING looks good.

A few years ago I distinctly remember reading a post from a woman that went something like this.

I hate my hair.  I don’t like my face and don’t know how to use makeup. I hate what I’m eating every day and I’m sick of it.  Oh and I gained 5 pounds.

One of my most often repeated quotes….”we are rarely upset for the reason we think”.  Of course I assume you can guess what she was really upset about.  I wrote her and told her to get a cute haircut, go to a department store and get someone to show her how to do makeup (free) or check out thousands of makeup videos on You Tube.  I also told her she could change what she eats every day.  Of course none of that made her feel better because she didn’t FEEL like doing any of that because she was wearing her regain glasses loud and proud.  It is a vicious cycle because you can’t fix the regain until you feel better and you won’t feel better unless you fix the regain.

It seems that for most people everything looks pretty awful through those regain glasses.  I want to help you take them off.   You say “Yeah right…like I haven’t tried… and mostly….. I don’t FEEL like it.  I don’t feel like doing anything.”  I have often pointed out that when you were at this weight on the way down you were ecstatic!  Do you see how your perspective totally messes with your head?  Why do we obsess about the lowest weight we ever reached instead of constantly realizing what our highest weight was and being grateful we aren’t there?  And if you choose to obsess about your lowest weight, doesn’t it make sense to move towards doing something about it instead of continuing to walk down regain road?

Unfortunately we have this big adjustment to make after weight loss surgery because the first year we are wearing the “honeymoon glasses” and EVERYTHING looks GREAT!  Remember how wonderful everything was when you lost your first 30-40 pounds?  Yet you were heavier than you are now.  You could hardly mess up at all the first year.  It was all good!

One day you wake up and you can’t find your honeymoon glasses.  You start to take for granted the little things like being able to tie your shoes, paint your toe nails, fit in an airplane seat….. and the next thing you know it isn’t enough anymore. Some of us hang in there for a while or even a long while and eventually something shifts and you start to think about how much you miss those honeymoon glasses…. you start looking for that feeling in other things like our old friend Mr. Food.  He’s tappin’ you on the shoulder every day…”Pssst….remember me? Remember how much fun we had?  Oh come on… a little sum-um sum-um won’t hurt you”.  All the while your old friend has some regain glasses stuck in his back pocket just waiting to slide them on your face.

One of the most extreme cases of the perspective meter being out of whack was a woman I met who had lost 485 pounds.  Not a typo!  She lost 485 pounds but she had gained 40 back.  She was all out of sorts and literally more miserable than when she weighed her heaviest.

485 pounds 40 lbs

I asked her to imagine that 485 pounds sitting on the floor.  Right next to it 40 lbs. I guess we could say it looks something like this.  (For those with perfectly analytical brains please forgive me…I guesstimated it)

I told her not to give that 40 pounds the time of day and dust it off. We give that regain so much power and of course we can pile plenty of shame on top of that for good measure.  Shame is toxic, shame keeps us down.  Shame keeps those horrible regain glasses cemented to our face.

Here’s the thing….if you don’t take off the glasses and begin to turn things around….chances are that you’ll look up in another year with more regain.  Get off the insanity train today. Of course you remember… “Insanity=doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome”

Everyone is different but here are a few suggestions.  You can’t build Rome in a day but you can always do the next best thing. 

Look at your before picture in the morning and FEEL what you felt like.  Sit it that for a while. I do that every morning without fail. Remember the things you wanted so badly.  BE GRATEFUL you aren’t there. If I could put you back in that body for a week you would be SO grateful to be you right now.

Quit thinking about the perceived mountain you have to move and pick up the shovel and start with one scoop at a time.  Instead of Nike’s “just do it”, change it to “just start”.  It’s too overwhelming to plan into the next century.  I can hear the questions now….how long will this take?  It DOES NOT matter.  Just move toward your goal instead of away from it….. just for today.  Today is all that counts.

Get the crap food out of your house.  I know many people who find creative ways to do this with a family that feels they have to have the crap food.  Put it in a place it can locked up but you’d do your family a favor by getting it out of their reach as well.  Sugar and junk food is as addictive as any drug and they will guarantee that you will still be wearing those regain glasses.  See my “M&M” story in this post.

Find a way to move your body that you can enjoy.  I LOVE to dance.  I hate to run….I wanted to love it but I don’t.  I wanted that runner’s high and I just could not get it.  I love yoga and if you think you can’t do it, watch this! I describe yoga as slow dancing with yourself.   Abby Lentz from Heartfelt Yoga is a dear friend. Look her up, she has DVD’s.

You won’t do anything for very long if you perceive it as suffering.  When you eat healthier food envision how you are nourishing your body.  Remember it will make you feel better and look better instead of putting on more weight which equates to depression, physical pain, more misery and a shorter life span.  Again the most important part of this is to stop the bleeding that has begun with regain.  Nothing in life is easy so here comes your choices……choose your hard.

choose your hard

 

Thriving! Triumph over Trauma is a must buy!

A must read for all things WLS I have just returned from an incredibly motivating event in Las Vegas for WLSFA.org.  We had over 500 people in attendance and when I have time to gather my thoughts I will share about the event and include links to pictures.

In the meantime I want to share with you about a book that is a MUST read!  If you’ve ever felt alone regarding how it felt to be obese….. you will no longer feel that way.  Incredible stories written by weight loss surgery patients!

Dr. Connie Stapleton, PhD wrote the book and compiled the stories and included some WLS bloggers as well. She helps you understand more about our disease and how to work a journey that moves you toward the optimum outcome.  My wish is for bariatric professionals everywhere to read about us and our disease.

Hard copy version is available here: (no longer available on the WLSFA.org site)

Please go to Amazon: http://goo.gl/3EmwEQ

If you buy the book, part of the proceeds go to WLSFA.org.  For those who no longer read paper books you can purchase it on Amazon for your Kindle.  It  helps WLSFA if you purchase the actual book.  For those that are unfamiliar with WLSFA.org it is a non-profit organization that helps cover weight loss surgery for many who have been denied.  The 7th grant recipient was just announced.  No other organization has granted seven surgeries!

The excitement I feel about this book is impossible to explain.  This is the world I have lived in for the last ten years and as much as I try to share these experiences with our bariatric professionals….I feel like I have failed miserably.  Sometimes I feel like I can’t possibly share how “not alone” many people are that write me.  Now I have a way to easily share.  This book is for the WLS pre-op,  WLS post-op, family of the obese, anyone that truly wants to understand obesity  and the professionals that treat us. Thank you Connie Stapleton and thank you WLSFA.org for making this possible!!

 

Let go…see opportunity in all things!

If you assume in favor of yourself and act as if it is possible, then you will do the things that are necessary to bring about the result. If you believe it is impossible you will not do what is necessary and you will not produce the result. It becomes a self- fulfilling prophecy. ~ Jack Canfield

If you take the approach that “good” is not an accident…that everyone and everything that shows up in your life is there for a reason and that everything is moving you toward your ultimate destiny for learning, growth, and achievement, you’ll begin to see every event (no matter how difficult or challenging) as a chance for enrichment and advancement in your life.

If you don’t feel this way then shouldn’t we just stop, give up, not even try… and just wait for the inevitable? Doesn’t choosing the first option sound like the best path?   It is the only path for me and I hope it appeals to you too.   Is it so wrong to believe things can really happen for us if we believe in ourselves?

Nope…but we have to put some effort in our journey. This has never been about the magic pill, the easy way out ….but it does open doors for you that were previously closed. The only reason those doors were closed to us before is because we believed we didn’t deserve it.

RELEASE THE BRAKES!

Release the brakes and get out of your comfort zone because it is a largely self-created prison. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” Most people drive through life with their psychological emergency brake on. They hold on to negative images about themselves or suffer the effects of powerful experiences they haven’t yet released. They stay in a comfort zone entirely of their own making. They maintain inaccurate beliefs about reality or harbor GUILT and self-doubt…and when they try to achieve their goals, these negative images and preprogrammed comfort zones always cancel out their good intentions no matter how hard they try.

The ones that walk a successful journey have discovered that instead of using increased WILLPOWER as the engine to power their success, it’s simply easier to “release the brakes” by letting go and replacing their limiting beliefs and changing their self-images. Isn’t that a relief? It isn’t about willpower….it’s about letting go and letting it happen the way you want it to.

Jack Canfield also talks about baby elephants that are trained from a young age. If you tie a rope around a baby elephant’s leg it cannot escape. As the elephant gets larger it could certainly get loose but it doesn’t know it because the elephant has been trained that it cannot. The elephant believes it is real …so as silly as it is; the elephant’s belief makes it true. We do the same thing by continuing to buy into those self-limiting beliefs!

Here are his three suggestions to break out of your comfort zone.

1. You can use affirmations and positive self talk to affirm already having what you want, doing what you want, and being the way you want.

2. You can create powerful and compelling new internal images of having, doing, and being what you want.

3. You can simply change your behavior.

Quit being that baby elephant and take that rope off your leg.

Run like there is no tomorrow and see yourself where you want to be.

Lose the self-limiting beliefs and replace them with affirmations. Sure it’s uncomfortable in the beginning but isn’t everything that’s worth having? Practice, practice, practice and then see if you can truly get your mind in a place where you can believe the following: “I believe the world is plotting to do me good today. I can’t wait to see what it is!”

Progress not perfection.

Every step you take is getting closer to what you really want out of your journey.

Let go and love yourself, Yvonne

 

Toxic Trauma Drama at the WLS Ranch

RESPECT…a very important word in life. And here’s a couple more…

Compassion, Empathy

Don’t we know what these words mean anymore? The fact that so many people simply forego any hint of the golden rule just blows me away. So many dish it out but certainly don’t want the same in return. Forums, boards, and blogs are sometimes a vast wasteland of disrespect and anonymous bullying.

The squeaky wheel so often gets the grease because so many boards don’t have a lot of structure. It sort of reminds me of the old West…Cowboys and Indians…before Marshall Dillon rode into town…… pretty much whatever you can get away with at the expense of other’s feelings just so long as you bulldoze your point through because you have to prove how right you are and how wrong someone else is. It is not a place for the weak at heart….like me.

Yup, go ahead and call me a Pollyanna. I’m just plain worn out from toxic trauma drama on forums, boards, and blogs….well wherever it is.

I’d love for the moderators to put a little icon before each of the applicable threads that says TTD.

As weight loss surgery people we are already very vulnerable and after a lifetime of negativity due to obesity, I don’t understand why we must continue to pile more anxiety upon our already stressful lives. The other problem is that it starts (usually) with a post that isn’t so bad but it’s where it goes that gets dangerous. (sorry Dad for the language but this is a bland representation of reality)

Example-
Alice: I like orange and I can’t see why anyone would like red…I mean what are you thinking?

Betty: Well I like orange too but if you like red, you’re nuts.

Cheryl: I like red, orange sucks and you can go to hell

Betty: Cheryl, you’re a freakin’ bitch!

Dawn: Betty you’re freakin’ bitch because I’ve liked red longer than anyone so you don’t know crap!

Alice: Don’t call my friend Betty a bitch and your surgery type sucks too.

Cheryl: You’re fat and I’m at goal

Betty: I can lose weight but you can’t fix ugly

Truth be told we all have a right to like orange or red. We can agree to disagree. In the meantime a newbie comes to the board looking for some real support, something that might save their life. So….newbie goes away, newbie loses out on good info OR newbie joins in the fun and never figures out how to fight the demons that are the reason for their obesity because they are too busy picking the “right” side. If you HAVE to be right, you HAVE to make someone else wrong.

The other mega fall out is just as potentially harmful. The veterans give up. Why would they want to stay? Their exit is a two fold tragedy. You lose some valuable experience and maybe I’m wrong but I’m thinking you might want someone to hang around that knows something. The other unfortunate part is the fact that veterans lose out on continued education and the all important accountability factor.

Stress causes us to trigger our food addiction (or other addictions) so what do we do?…..we jump right into ramping up the demons. Some people are perfectly unaffected and can play this game but so many are not. I have watched this first hand and I’ve seen several women sit and eat all day when the toxic trauma drama starts.

Are we our brother’s keeper? Maybe…I mean…

I know I can’t save the world but I can lead by example and do the best I can to keep my eye on the prize. Each time I take my eye off the prize, I am veering off course…and not walking toward the goal I want more than anything else….and when I participate I also help others veer off course too.

For me…the veterans are the parents in this community and when we fight it is just like the parents arguing in front of the kids. They are already coming in new and vulnerable and when we fight, we just screw them up a little more and feed the monster disease of obesity and addiction.

I’m saying the serenity prayer a little more every day.

If we really understood it, we’d get out of the business of stressing out and getting all pissed off over totally insignificant things that we cannot change. Life isn’t fair but there’s no use in wasting energy on things we can’t change when we still have so much to do to work on ourselves. Since I am no where close to doing it all just right and until I figure out a way to do that, I don’t see how I can spend time trying to tell others how to act. I certainly don’t appreciate someone telling me how to act so I’m pretty sure no one else likes me to tell them they’re doing it all wrong.

And then we have trolls….the ones that do it just to start a fight. We have aggressive trolls, passive/aggressive trolls, famous trolls and anonymous trolls. They start a fight for the fun of it and then everyone gets involved over an issue that was fake in the first place!!

I’ve been really active on the boards for almost 8 years. I have learned so much in those 8 years and the online support forums have figured out things that some of the bariatric programs haven’t even begun to cover…. but for the life of me it is almost more than I can take sometimes when my WLS brothers and sisters start butting heads over things that don’t matter.

Call me a dreamer…but I still hold out some hope that it can happen one day…

but until then I’ll continue to do my best to offer support and help to those that want it and try my best to avoid the toxic trauma drama.

So fight if you want…but for now I’ll just continue to answer to Pollyanna, Goodie Two Shoes, Naive Girl, whatever….

I’ll be the one sitting in the corner singing Kum ba yah.

p.s. Here’s the great recipe for life that I posted before.

A GREAT RECIPE FOR LIFE…

1.Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to the God of your understanding about what is going on in your life.
3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for______________’
4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
7. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
9. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
11. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
13. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
14. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’
17. Forgive everyone for everything.
18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
19. GOD heals everything – but you have to ask Him.
20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
21. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!
22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished _________.
24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You’ll be smiling before you know it.

26. READ 7 AND 14 AGAIN!

 
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