Is it Kind, True and Necessary?

There’s been much discussion of late about the rules of weight loss surgery. Sometimes it is difficult to decide just how compliant you should be when the rules seem to be constantly changing or being challenged by seasoned post-ops or even professionals. We are involved in a field still in it’s infancy so research is in short supply and most often comes from the internet where you can find a dozen different answers to the same question. After spending nine years participating on forums and attending events I have had to make decisions on which information I consider valid. My first indication of the validity of what someone is offering is whether they are walking or working a successful journey. My first few years attending talks included a person I will not name that preached hard at us on how not to regain but each time I saw this person they had nearly doubled in size. I do not judge this person’s regain but their information on how to prevent regain had to be questioned in my mind. It serves no good purpose for me to find fault in this person’s regain or information…I merely moved on to someone that was walking the walk and talking the talk.

Online we have a large population of very vulnerable post-ops that may have spent much of their lives feeling “less than”. Sometimes they are pulled like sheep into following others that have given them attention and when a mob mentality starts the followers often pile on too because it makes them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves….much like gangs pull in young men and women because they provide them with a perceived family. So how do you decide if you are being a good sheep or a misled sheep? Perhaps you ask yourself if anything that is being said would be something you would allow someone to say to you. As I have talked and written about many times I have three rules before I post.

1. Is it kind?

2. Is it true? (really true, not something you heard, don’t even believe a picture because I can fake the best of them)

3. Is it absolutely necessary?

Assuming can get you in trouble too. Just because I carry on a dialogue with someone on a forum or Face Book don’t assume that I approve of this person’s every word. Guilty by association is not fair. Judge me (if you must) by my written or spoken word. I would really prefer you not judge me at all and redirect your energy to a place that will be beneficial instead.

Sheep groups that push shame/blame/judgment/guilt will suck the life out of us and those emotions are not conducive to a successful journey. When you see the occasional bully mosh pit, step away from the drama. No matter the actions of the attacked we only lower our standards by wallowing in the mud and I will repeat for the dozenth time that I spent 30 years in the mud while being obese and I don’t wish return.

Also know that we are rarely upset for the reason we think. I have these words recorded by someone but I’m not quite sure who it was but I will share this.
 

Rarely are we upset for the reason we think. Upon deeper examination, you will find that it is a recreation of an earlier pain, played out over and over in changing scenery with different people until you resolve it. It may be a reenactment of a childhood drama in which you were accused of things you didn’t do. Pain, anger, or resentment you feel almost always comes from a similar childhood experience. You recreate the pain so that you can move beyond it. Next time you feel angry at someone, stop. Close your eyes and go within. See that you have had similar experiences before. Realize that you are reliving some childhood decision and that now is an opportunity to end this pattern in your life and come from your deepest truth. Realize other people are only drawn to play out certain roles with you to help you evolve. Let go of any anger or blame you have towards them.


If this doesn’t speak to you then just realize “pain is only triggered by another person when there is already pain within you”.

Who’s WLS rules are the best? The ones that work for you. If your journey is not going where you want it to go then I would suggest a change. You are like a radio that can receive many stations. What you receive depends on what you pay attention to. Also remember compassion is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Do not make the other person wrong and as you grow it is important to develop wisdom, release pain and rise above negativity.

Hang with the winners.
Fly with the eagles.
Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
Show others the respect you wish for yourself.

Be kind to each other…life is so very short…
Words hurt so think before you give them immortality on this thing we call the internet because once it’s out there you can’t take it back.

Love and light,
Yvonne

 

Dealing with regain and enjoying the OH Costa Mesa Event

Last weekend I attended the Obesity Help Costa Mesa Event and a phenomenal experience it was! I was fortunate enough to participate in a panel mostly comprised of professionals and I believe we all walked away with newly founded insight. (Kudos to OH’s Kim Gyurina for the panel idea) Dr. Connie Stapleton was one of the panelists and wow does she get us! After spending over an hour with me gushing with my WLS patient advocacy passion, I don’t think I scared her at all….in fact it just cemented the fact that she does indeed understand the many areas of need in the WLS community and just how far we have to go to understand our disease. It is a disease with the new phase of weight loss surgery that is still in it’s infancy and there is so much to learn.

During the session there was a lovely woman who bravely asked a question about whether or not she was self sabotaging because she could never quite break into Onederland (weight in the 100’s for those that don’t know). The first thing I asked was whether or not she was sure she felt like she deserved it. It was obvious she did not.

We get so caught up in how much we have to lose instead of how far we have come. The first thing I suggested was to remember how desperately we wanted to become “normal”. Over 9 years ago I would sit in front of the computer for hours with tears streaming down my face….I just wanted to be one of those women….one of the hundreds of women that lost all their weight.

Now that some have regained some weight we ARE normal…just like many of the population who has that 20, 30, 40 etc. pounds to lose. Instead of saying “WOW, I’VE LOST OVER 100 POUNDS!” we are miserable over the regain. I suggested that she approach it by being in the attitude of gratitude and realizing that the regain can be handled! Compared to losing 100, 200 pounds it is a flash in the pan. We cannot possibly begin to get in the successful frame of mind if we continually see ourselves as a failure. Looking at the regain as a huge monster makes it exactly that….a huge monster that we give more power to each day.

If only we realized that each day we start out as innocent as a newborn babe. Dragging the baggage from the past only does us harm and makes us weigh more! We cannot change the past…it is true that it made us exactly who we are today… but using precious energy to drag it forward each day uses up our resources to change the things we can. When we really get that….I mean really get that….we can devote all that energy to the things we have control over.

Amazingly enough I am told that I couldn’t possibly know about regain because my life is perfect since I have maintained goal weight. What “they” don’t know is that I still suffer from severe low self esteem and sometimes debilitating depression. Also life is life. The only way I know how to fight it is to give back, pay it forward, and stay out of my scary head.

I would like to thank Beth (melting mama) for the pictures of the event. I was in the fashion show and just love the picture I had taken with my friend Teresa (with Celebrate Vitamins) in the photo booth.

Make sure and visit Beth’s link to view her images which reflect her “oh most talented” photographic eye.

More to follow in part two about Toni with the WSLFA and meeting Gastric Bypass Barbie and many others.

MELTING MAMA’S IMAGES

These events can certainly recharge your batteries as well as educate but most importantly they give you the opportunity to give back and that alone can put you well on the road to recovery.

Accentuate the positive.
Go around the negative.
Get back on the horse.
See yourself where you want to be because if you see yourself as a failure you will rarely disappoint yourself.
It will NEVER be perfect but it can be pretty good.

Love and kisses, love and light,
Yvonne
(Bariatric Girl)

 

Discussing scales and regain


This was a post on ObesityHelp.com that I answered and I’d love to share my response because I think it helps to share real stuff and real answers. I hope you’ll see something you can relate to.

Here’s the original post:
For those of you who had RNY, are past your “honeymoon” stage, and are now sailing smoothly, not struggling or falling back into your obese lifestyle, what personality shift did you make that helped you become a long term success. I don’t mean the golden standards like keep a food diary, drink all your water (sip, sip, sip), or get regular exercise, not the habits you changed. I mean the head stuff, the light bulb moment, the trigger that made you do turn around and say I’m not doing this anymore and I’m not looking back.
This is what I shared:
I will be 9 years out next week. I don’t think I would call it smooth sailing but more a comparison to the “regular” people you know that are constantly fighting that 5-10 pounds. The thing that works for me is changing my relationship with food. It is fuel and no longer “sex in a plate”. I have discovered so many wonderful other things in life that I can take part in now that I couldn’t before. I am hyper aware that if I eat things that are bad for me that I will only experience a momentary time of pleasure followed by self loathing and then a need to eat again to self medicate the pain away for beating myself up. I actually don’t keep a food diary. My food diary is the scales. Every morning I check to see where I am and I do damage control when I go over the magic number and fix it while it’s small. It is a black and white thing….no “I’ll wait until tomorrow”. I fix it then and when I get back under that number I just eat carefully but I don’t journal or count calories. Let me state that this is my way. I also don’t eat more than 8 grams of sugar and I totally believe that the way to stop cravings is to stop eating the things you don’t want to crave. I spent years trying to stop drinking Coke and couldn’t but after surgery I had to. I don’t even remember what it tastes like. If you stop doing certain foods you will forget the cravings. I am not suggesting that you go in a bakery and press your face in freshly baked bread that you won’t get some euphoric recall so I don’t do that. There’s a great saying “If you hang around a barbershop, eventually you’ll get a hair cut”. Keep yourself away from things and triggers that will tempt you.The other way I keep it fresh in my mind is that every morning I seriously concentrate on my before picture that was taken the night before surgery. I remind myself just how miserable I was and how much I don’t want to go back under any circumstances. I don’t ever want to take for granted the little things that I wanted so badly. As long as I am vigilant about doing that damage control while the problem is small, I can handle what comes my way.

This picture was taken the night before surgery. I was the happiest 260 pound woman on earth because I had hope for the first time in 30 years.

I would rather be doing these things.

She then responded that she liked the concept of doing damage control early on and I continued with this:

That’s one of the reasons I very carefully stated “this is my way”. I was told once that someone considered getting on the scale every day made us a prisoner to our scale. I only do it in the morning and once a day. I record it on my daily calendar on my iPhone. I visualize what I expect to see and I’m very nearly right every day. I then forget the scale and my weight until the next morning. I don’t look at it as the scale ruling my world. I use it as a measurement to keep me in line. I could gain 5 plus pounds in a week. 5 pounds is more difficult to fix than 2 or 3. I don’t freak out, I just fix it. If I don’t weigh I would be more likely to worry about what it is. Knowledge is power. Worrying about what “might be” is more damaging for me. Dealing face on with “what is” is far easier for me and it makes me accountable.

I was listening to a bariatric surgeon speak a few years ago and he was talking about post-ops needing to keep food journals and emotional journals (write down what they were feeling before they ate the wrong things) and many other things. Later on he was asked how he stayed thin and he said he got on the scales every morning and adjusted his activities for the day when he went over his weight he wanted to be. I immediately questioned why we couldn’t be the same…just be a normal person that maintains their weight. For me the scales are my friend and knowing where we are is called feedback. How do you solve a problem if you don’t know all the information involved?

If you are a person that doesn’t care about a 20 pound difference you will not need to check that often. Sometimes men are that way. Many women care very deeply about 20 pounds. If you are the type that is deeply affected by 10 or 20 pounds, it is very important to check your progress and do the damage control or else it will eat you alive and it seeps into every area of your life. I call that “regain strain” or “looking at everything through regain glasses”. I don’t want to write a novel here but you have to find what works for you. I just know that the majority of successful post-ops have some things in common and one of them is doing damage control on the small regain. Please let me know if I can help any further OK? hugs, Y

 

Are you an anchor or a motor?

“There are two types of people – anchors and motors. You want to lose the anchors and get with the motors because motors are going somewhere and they’re having more fun. The anchors just drag you down” – Wyland – World renowned marine artist
 
 
We have these people in our lives that are called dream stealers…they tell you that your dreams and goals are a waste and constantly try to drag you back down to their level. You can easily identify those people with their victim mentality and mediocre standards. They are toxic people and you would be doing yourself a big favor by being totally alone than to expose yourself to these people that suck the life out of you. Surround yourself with winners… with people that believe in you and celebrate your victories.
Drop out of the “ain’t it awful” club. My husband is a radio talk show host and many days he was forced to talk about the “ain’t it awful” stories. Not a great deal of deep, meaningful discussions. Lots of talk about how awful the story was.
We do a good enough job on our own thinking we are going to fail so why do we waste any time with anyone that wants to help us get there? The day I decided to have weight loss surgery was the day I decided that failure was not an option. 30 years of failure but this time failure was NOT AN OPTION.
“Confidence is contagious So is lack of confidence” – Vince Lombardi
 
 
Whether it’s certain friends or someone on Facebook or the person on the discussion boards that is a constant stream of negative judgments, criticisms, blaming and complaining. Misery certainly loves company so why would you expose yourself to that mindset? So many of us want to fix those people….I did for a lot of years but I learned my lesson. Instead of hanging with the dream stealers, I want to hang with the winners. Raising the bar is the way to get yourself up out of the mud. There will always be people who find it necessary to say something unkind about someone else in order to make themselves feel more important and it’s even worse when they acquire vulnerable followers and start this mob mentality that grows and grows. Pretty soon the toxicity is infectious. Step away from the toxic people….run away from the anchors. When you hang with the winners you’ll start to think and act like them and your dreams and goals will be celebrated instead of shot down every time you express an opinion.
Will you stumble sometimes? Sure you will. Get back up, try another way, try going over, around or through and if that doesn’t work, you do it again. And when you’re in the midst of trying again, who do you want next to you? An anchor or a motor?
Ladies and gentlemen….start your engines….
 

More Musings from a Post-op January 2010

This is some incredibly important information from my friend Lulitu’s profile and since she offered it in her signature, I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing it. Very important stuff about artificial sweeteners.
From my friend Lulitu: (thanks Lulitu)
I begin my anti-maltodextrin (spenda/equal) crusade today!
A little background:
I am a Sugar Addict. After my RNY I became completely sugar intolerant, so to “Feed the Need” I switched to the fake stuff. I was at the point that I was adding it to everthing I ate. I do mean everything. At work I would go out and get a salad and add equal to the salad dressing, A Lot! Then 2 1/2 hours later I would be a Shakey Mess (low blood sugar) and have to eat again. It crossed my mind that it might be the sweetners but I wasn’t willing to look at it.
So this summer I had a Total hip replacement and have been off work. This gave me time to start learning about these substitutes and what they were doing to me. So here is what I’ve found: Maltodextrin turns into a Carbohydrate in my body, and when eaten in larger amounts drives up my blood sugar, and because I am a hypoglycemic drops it, dangerously low at times. As a carbohydrate it also makes me want to eat more. Since cutting out adding these substitues to my meals I have dropped about 18 lbs (weight that I had started to put on) and Feel much better.
If you’re having trouble with your blood sugar, or beginning to regain weight, or feeling hungry a lot, you may want to take a look at how much artificial sweetners you taking in. I am amazed at what has maltodextrin in it. I know I am sounding a bit ‘Preachy’. But I feel SO strongly about this, and I want to see all my oh family succeed, and be healthy.
Be Well My Friends
 
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