Monday, August 6, 2012

Weighing in on Weight Loss Surgery - Part II

Many months ago, at the beginning of 2012, I wrote a few blogs documenting my first steps and thoughts towards having weight loss surgery.  I briefly published them, only to have 101 total strangers email me about buying their weight loss products.  I took the blogs down, because, I mean really -- who cares?  Truth be told though, since having surgery 9 months ago, I've come in contact with MANY people who care -- MANY people who are in the midst of their own journey.  So, if your interested, here's post #2 of mine....

My grown up years have been good.  Maturity is good.  Learning the truth is LIFE giving.  Truth sets you free - and by the time I became an adult, I desperately needed some freedom.  In my 20's and 30's, by the miracle of God's grace, I digested much truth -- an antibody for the lies I believed in childhood.  God began to set me free in areas relating to relationships, society, beauty, worship and more.  I learned how easily we all succumb to lies and just how very hard it is for humans to live a life free of fear.  When I became a parent, I also realized the importance of not having a bad teacher for third grade (if you don't believe in the importance of that and need to be caught up, just click and read here Weighing in on Weight Loss Surgery - Part I).

Most definitely, I've gained some perspective.

Fact, shame can be hard to shake.  Shame picked up in childhood -- can last...a lifetime if you let it.  It is oddly painful and comfortable at the same time.

It was freedom I sought.  And, as it began to come -- it looked differently than I imagined it too.  In regards to my weight, I imagined it looking thin, with all my 18 year old parts back -- in a cute chevron skirt with a jean jacket.

That's not how it came to me.

Freedom came to me first, in my MIND. 

I  knew my issues with food ran deep.  THE PROBLEM WAS WITHIN ME.  And, I needed to address it in an "on-going, this doesn't allow me to quit, I have lots of support, HAVE to stop my life and make this a priority, treat it like life or death, do the hard work" kind of way.

I recognized and  let go of a lie I had heard everyday since fifth grade.  "Today, will be different.  I will change myself and lose the weight."

Realization:  That was a lie.  It sounds virtuous.  It sounds American.  But it wasn't true.  Not for me -- not in THIS particular case.

I am not trying to say that NO ONE is capable of changing their eating habits and losing weight without surgery.  Surgery wasn't my only option.

But, I knew - I knew - that MORE than I believed that today would be the day I'd change myself -- MORE than that, I believed I could NEVER change my eating habits and lose a significant amount of weight. Therefore, surgery became a very important option for me to pursue, and little did I know just how much taking the steps towards it would begin to change my mind.

I believe that when the problem is INSIDE of you, MOST OFTEN, Y.O.U. aren't going to be able to fix it by yourself.  You need help, from the outside.

I made the call to the professionals.

Agenda item #1 - Attend a medically supervised weight loss nutrition/exercise class, once a month, for 6 months.  (All said and done, I would attend for 12 months before having wl surgery)

My first class contained about 200 people with an average weight of about 400 lbs.  They called me the "light weight" - this was good.  It kept me going back.  Truthfully, I learned nothing new.  Eat more veggies.  Avoid sugar.  Avoid large amounts.  Exercise...all the time.

These were my people.

Agenda item #2 - Meet with your Primary Care Doctor who needs to sign off on your surgery.

I have a rule about PC Doctors.  Go there if you have a cold or if you need a referral.  Ours never seemed to do any real "doctor" work.  And this would not be the first time I'd brought up surgery to a doctor.

Doctor #1, "I wouldn't do that.  What if you want to have a nice, big steak dinner sometime?  You won't be able to have anything big."

Call me crazy, but hadn't I had one too many big dinners?

Doctor #2, "Just think of food as fuel and don't eat ANYTHING that tastes good."

Yea, that's helpful.

Doctor #3 (first visit), "The problem is that your diet is s**t.  Just change it.  You can do it.  You don't need surgery, you can do it on your own".  

I seriously wondered if any of these people actually went to medical school.

Overlook the fact that a doctor really doesn't need to cuss to connect with me -- in fact my expectation is that a doctor be smarter than me and show it via his upgraded vocabulary, I knew by now that "You can do it own your own", just wasn't going to work for me.  If I kept to this belief, I knew I had a real chance of becoming  the 400 lbs, 60 year old woman puffing on oxygen WISHING I would have gotten more help when I was 38.  I kindly said to the doctor I had known for all of 10 minutes, "If you will just fill out the paper, I'll try...but I'm still going to consider the surgery".

Freedom came - one simple, powerful thought at a time.

As of August 6, 2012, I am now 1/2 way though my prep work for surgery and am still moving forward.

I rarely talk about it with others.  I know there are risks, horror stories and still more changes I must making peace with a more strict, disciplined me (and raw veggies).  I'm not asking other people's opinions, permission or going into it lightly.  I'm a through, thinking, praying person.  It's my journey, and I'm owning it.  Freedom doesn't come in just one way -- and I am daily saying to God with an open mind and heart that it certainly doesn't have to come to me only in the way I imagined it would.  And, that is how you know, you really want to be free.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

They weren't born Olympians

To say our adoptive son Eli came to us, age 3, FILLED with fear is not an over exaggeration.  He was a contradiction in terms.  Little vision, but still wanting to copy his siblings...trembling, he would force himself to try things.  Scared, but brave.

It all started one day when he expressed an interest in learning to drive his father's dirt bike.  "Yes, you can learn to drive a dirt bike," I said, "but first you have to learn to swim.  And you can't learn to swim if you cry every time the shower water touches your face."  For those of you who are confused, that's mommy logic.

For 2 YEARS, every time I rinsed his hair, I would remind him that we were heading towards riding a dirt bike!  When he finally had break through he would tell people, "My mom washed my hair and I didn't cry!".  

Once we had that down, I thought we should move on to a private swim lesson or two.  Eli now 5, "I'm not old enough for swim lessons".  Me, "Yes you are!  When Ben was your age he could swim laps in the pool!"  Eli under his breath, "No. I think you're suppose to be 6 before you can swim!"  Mom rolls her eyes.

 From day one I could tell Eli wasn't crazy about it.  But his super compliant personality would lend to doing everything the swim teacher told him.  THAT lent to quick progress in the water.  After a vaca to Florida and several trips to the pool with mom, he really enjoys swimming now.

He gets all around -- shallow end, deep end, water slide, with a float, without a float, jumps in and goes under -- you name it.  He recently earned a LEVEL 1 swim certificate from Miss Allie at Little Fins Swim School and was awarded his own pair of goggles from mom and dad.  To say he was excited was an understatement.  "I jumped in and didn't cry!"  He's said 100 times.

Similarly, Eli has had success in many areas.  He puts about 100 miles a day on his bike sans training wheels. Now, when his brother first took those little stabilizers off, you would have thought we'd cut off Eli's arm.  He REALLY liked those training wheels!  These days, he's the only little one in our circle going up and down drive ways, jumping ramps, poppin wheelies.  Sight or no sight, he hits the ramp as fast as he can, standing up on his pedals, lovin every minute of it.  This afternoon, I heard him tell his friend Tyler, "I was NEVER  scared to take MY training wheels off".  Liar.

When our family was on our way to Dick's Sports to purchase Eli's swim goggles and reveling in his success, Eli proclaims loudly, "Hey mom, don't you remember when I was 4 and I was afraid to go under the water?"  Me, "Yes sweetie, I totally remember that!"  Eli laughing, "And just pushed me under anyways!"
Yes, yes I did.

Proctor and Gamble says, "They weren't born Olympians".  True deal, sometimes, they just need a little push.