I thought about what I wanted to talk about today in my blog/article and realized I wanted to share some of the paradigm shifts, some of the changes in perspective I have been undergoing for the past 11+ years as I traversed my journey from 424 pounds to 154 pounds.
Let’s begin by defining perspective – perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. Perspective is how you look at something. The classic example – is the glass half full or half empty?
Back in 2004 when I had surgery my point of view was a pretty intense and serious one. I chose to have surgery because my medical problems were increasing while my ability to “walk” through life, both physically and figuratively were becoming quite limited. I chose LIFE over spiraling medical problems and potential early death. Pretty serious, wouldn’t you agree? Surgery was a pretty big risk, and I made a commitment to myself that if I lived through it, (yes, I was that intense) I would follow the rules my doctor gave me to the letter.
That is EXACTLY what I did. I followed the rules, didn’t look for reasons, aka excuses, as to why I couldn’t follow the rules. I had just let someone put a foreign object in my body to help me with the weight loss process; why would I even think of not following the rules. They were there for me, not the next person. The rules were intended for me, no matter how hard I tried to justify the I can’ts, the I’m not going to’s, and the just this once – they were all nothing but excuses to not follow the rules.
I didn’t do this alone. I had a team of medical folks, a support group, and my family all helping me, encouraging me, cheering me on, and challenging me to do more. This was great! The weight started falling off, my aches and pains and high blood pressure and asthma were resolving and I was beginning to enjoy the game. How many pounds down would the scale show when I went to the doctor’s? When would I need the next size down in clothing? How much further could I walk pain free? What was my next reward to myself going to be for a milestone achieved?
Do you see the shift in perspective here? Lots of things were happening. I made a fun game out of it, I celebrated my successes, I kept challenging myself. It went from all intense and serious and scary to I am beginning to actually believe in myself and my ability to succeed so let’s have fun doing it, let’s try new things, and I did test the waters of being liberal with the rules too. That didn’t work out well until I was in a maintenance mode.
The process so excited me that I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. So I did. I spoke at the informational seminars my doctor presented and shared my story. This helped keep me honest, accountable and authentic because I spoke about the times I cried because I wanted to either have something I knew was not going to serve my goals or hurt so bad after being on my feet for too long that I wanted to give up. I used these games, these challenges, the fun part of it to keep me motivated through those times I wanted to give up because I “Just couldn’t do it for one more day”. I also used my Lap band friends, my doctor, my family and my vision of who and what I wanted to be to keep me going.
It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t easy, some days were impossible and others were a breeze, and still I persisted. I never quit, I never threw in the towel; heck I spent over 18 months and a port replacement figuring out what was going on with my band. I stayed connected to the Weight Loss Surgery community, a community on line, in person, by phone and kept telling my story.
Even with all of this support, friendship and connection there were days I felt totally alone. Intellectually I knew I wasn’t; but emotionally it sure felt that way. On those days I still got my fitness done, tried to stay the course on food choices, drank as much water as I could and willed myself to connect with other people. Once I did, I felt better; interestingly there were even days when I had to consciously work at not feeling better to hang on to the negative perspective of the day. What a waste of time and energy.
It costs too much energy to stay negative. It’s truly not worth the bother to me. I surround myself with like minded people traversing similar journeys to mine who don’t judge me, they support me, they educate me, they challenge me and they are my lifeline when I need a change of perspective- point of view-outlook-attitude.
I have been honored to have earned the “title” of bariatric coach, educator, support group leader and I truly value the chance to share this opportunity to help shift paradigms with all the folks I get to touch daily. One of my favorite questions has become, “What if you were to look at it differently, what might that be or look like?”
What if YOU were to look at your journey differently, what might that be?
I offer to all of you who have never participated in one of our on line groups a special discount for joining The Original WLS Success Matters Weekly Weigh-In Facebook Group (TM) for April through June. Enter BLAPRIL in the Promo Code at checkout and save $30.
Don’t think the Facebook group is right for you? Prefer spending an evening in class with us in a small group by phone or via webcam? Use FIRST10 in the Promo Code at checkout for Back On Track or Success Habits of Weigh Loss Surgery Patients and save $10.
Or, just visit us at www.wlssuccessmatters.com and take a look at all of our programs.
What have you got to gain by participating?
A new perspective perhaps?