A Positive Attitude Is What Has Brought Me This Far in My Successful Lap Band Journey

by sandi on August 2, 2017

A Positive Attitude Brought Me This FarI was thinking about what I was going to share with you all today and my head went to the place of “I can’t come up with anything new”.  While that may be true, when I look at what I have done to lose my weight, regain my health and life, and be an active 68 years young – it’s about the “rules” for sure – food, fitness, hydration, vitamins, etc.; it doesn’t begin to touch on how I get through my days.

The biggest change that I created for myself back in 2004 when I first had surgery was the attitude change from “I can’t” to “How do I know unless I try?”  Yup, that’s what happened first – I certainly didn’t wake up after surgery with a 100% I CAN attitude.  It was about taking steps, one little one at a time and seeing that there was so much more that I could actually do to help improve my health both physically and mentally.

A Positive Attitude Brought Me This FarI guess it all began when I had to haul 400+ pounds out of bed when I needed to use the restroom while still in the hospital after surgery.  It hurt, I was frightened, I was under the influence of medication and the anesthesia was still in my system.  Sitting up took at least 10 minutes, then those 15-20 steps from my bed to the restroom seemed like miles and miles.  Then back to bed, sitting down, lying back and trying to find a comfortable spot.  I did it!!!  I wasn’t sure I could, but I did it, and later I even walked around the hospital corridor a bit.  My mind was starting to grasp the concept that there was so more I can’s to be had and pushing through and persevering, even if it hurt a bit physically or emotionally would move me to the next phase.

A Positive Attitude Brought Me This FarOh for those first two weeks on liquids I so wanted to chew something, anything, a hand, a fist, a turkey leg – I didn’t care.  I just wanted to chew.  Somehow I survived this “I can not make it through” two weeks and stayed on point and progressed to soft and then solid foods.  I was doing it!  I really could!!  When I weighed myself I was rewarded with the scale moving down, and I was realizing that the hunger I was feeling most often was not in my belly, but rather in my head.  I ranted and raved and stomped my feet and cried and made it through the understanding that if I fed my head hunger (which screamed for processed carbs and junk – delicious junk though, right) my physical hunger increased.  Being a logical Virgo I worked on stopping and thinking before acting.

A Positive Attitude Brought Me This FarSo now I had the food, the water and the vitamins worked out – I knew that I CAN was my mantra and I was able, with the help of my tool to leave the garbage out of my grocery cart, my cupboards, refrigerator and mouth 98% of the time.  I am human, I have never been perfect.  Ok, what’s next you say?  It was exercise.  I was a year out, one hundred plus pounds down and wanting to keep this miracle going.  I knew that “formal” exercise was the next piece of my personal wellness puzzle.  Out came the negative brain…..well, your back hurts, your knee is bone on bone, walking around the grocery store, the mall and the big box stores is all you can do.  You CAN’T do anything more.  So that is what I did while I let this process in my brain.  OK, so no running, no long walks outside, no treadmill for me… enough with the negative!  What COULD I do?  Hmmm, I have always loved the water so let’s find a pool I can use and try swimming again.  I searched the local gyms, the YMCA and felt really uncomfortable and out of place there.  I found a local tennis club, with an indoor Junior Olympic length pool that didn’t appear to be a “meat market” set up like the local gyms.  No, I did not feel comfortable there, only less fearful and less uncomfortable.  It worked.  I CAN swim – one lap at a time until I got up to swimming non stop for an hour at a time and the weight kept coming off which made both my knee and my back feel better.  And, low and behold, I was actually developing muscles.

A Positive Attitude Brought Me This FarI did this for quite a while and my surgeon and my GP were thrilled with my progress.  I no longer caught every cold going around and didn’t suffer from bronchitis multiple times through the year.  I felt better, I looked better and had more confidence in what I could do.  Dare I try something new?  YOU BET!  My vacations were filled with scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing (catching and cooking), and I was waking up each morning excited to be alive!  Time to try something new in the gym….My next was the treadmill and then the pool.  I soon found that I couldn’t raise my heart rate enough on the treadmill (because incline and speed both hurt my knee) to do a lot of benefit.  Dare I try that weird looking thing they call an elliptical?  YES!  Two minutes almost killed me.  Today it is 45 minutes and at least a 5k each time I hop on it.  The movement doesn’t hurt my knee and I can do some mighty fast short intervals on it.  How do I know?  Because I tried it!

A Positive Attitude Brought Me This FarI had my plastics, my lower body lift, my brachioplasty (arms), my breast lift, and was all healed.  It was time to start trying to further my fitness level.  Zumba, step class, spinning (although I could do some distance at a reasonable pace outside), aerobics were all not in the cards.  I found I did not enjoy group classes of any type.  That’s me, so I hired a personal trainer and started working on weight lifting.  Each time my trainer tried to give me a larger weight or asked me to do something I had never done before I started by saying “I don’t think so”.  I still occasionally find myself looking at my current trainer and saying that.  When my trainers would just stare back at me I began saying, well I guess I’ll never know unless I try.  And that is what I did – I tried.  Sometimes I was successful, other times not, but still I tried.  And today, in the gym, when my trainer asked me to do some things I had never done before – all with weights attached to them, I looked her in the eye and said – “I’ll give it a try”.  And, I did, and today I was successful at all of it.

The moral of this dialogue is simple – You will never know the limits of your abilities unless you push through fear and uncertainty and – GIVE IT A TRY!

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