Do You Like Roller Coasters or Merry-Go-Rounds? on May 7, 2010 7:26 am
I was watching the last 25 minutes of the movie Parenthood. I have seen it multiple times but something in particular struck home with me. The elderly grandma talked about how much she loved roller coasters....the ups and downs, the entire body experience (your stomach up in your throat) and how much fun they are. She then talked about some people like merry-go-rounds but she didn't because she loved the roller coaster. Sounds like it could just be an elderly lady blabbing but not so and it certainly was meaningful for me.
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I do love roller coasters. I also love the metaphor of roller coasters and merry-go-rounds in the WLS journey and life in general. I must admit that I find merry-go-rounds boring. I rode them with my sons when they were little guys so that was fun, however, to pick a ride between the two - a roller coaster for me!
I have also been on a roller coaster as a WLS post-op. There have been some amazing highs - I was the post-op that was featured in a WLS program marketing campaign....complete with filming television commercials, print ads and a professional photo shoot (complete highs), completing a breast cancer walk of 60 miles in 3 days and many, many more. I've also experienced some real lows....coming face to face with a reality in my life that, in the extremely painful process, gained back 31 pounds and then having to lose those VERY slowly, struggling to get back on track with lots of attempts...brief successes.
I learned that once I dealt with the real things that caused me to have an unhealthy relationship with food, the weight took care of itself. Since then, although I have my low points, they aren't as low and the highs are higher. Yea, it has taken me almost 9 years, but I've finally got the answers FOR ME that my WLS journey is still a roller coaster but with fewer lows and mostly nice highs.
Life is the same. Once I figured out the reasons why I turned to food in the first place, dealt with it, my life is richer and deeper. Sure, there are lows but they are manageable. The highs are great and much more fun and meaningful. A merry-go-round mode for my life would just be living a status quo.....no meaningful experiences, no fulfilling relationships and friendships, it would be just the same old, same old.....b-o-r-i-n-g. When I say highs/lows, I'm not talking about drama, I am talking about a rich, meaningful mode of life. The highs can be anything from reaching a physical success such as completing an intense workout, an emotional one of my teenage son telling his friends that his mom is awesome, watching and listening to the birds singing in my backyard....whatever!
Even if you don't like roller coasters as a ride, that's okay. Live the richness, meaningful highs and learn from your low's so your ride is a full one that fills your heart!! Woo Hoo!!
Giving In and the Fallout of Regret on May 6, 2010 8:44 am
I am a fan of The Biggest Loser. I know it is a very controversial issue for many people, including OH members that don't agree with the premise, safety of contestants and the methods used for weight loss. What I like is the same thing I like when I see a movie or any other show - people that are faced with a challenge and overcome it to change or reinvent their lives. Hmmm, does that sound familiar? It sure does with me as it is what all of us do as weight loss surgery patients.
On this week's show, there was a contestant that was involved in a very difficult challenge (my muscles even hurt watching the two remaining guys). After 2-1/2 hours, the contestant (Daris) just gave up. Later on, he was very regretful and didn't feel good about himself. Hmmm, yet again, this sounds familiar to me. There have been times in my life, including post-op, that I was strong, solid in my resolve and yet gave up at the end. I will always remember this particular episode as a personal reminder.
Personally for something such as staying on track, I can be riding the wave of momentum.....having been on track with all of my healthy habits for an extended period of time. Then, for some silly reason or no reason at all, I'll give up and indulge in unhealthy food choices for a period of time. Then, as always, later on I regret it and don't feel as good about myself. I pick myself up and go again so it is a cycle. Watching this episode with Daris really resonnated with me. I certainly don't expect or try to accomplish perfection (because it doesn't exist!), but I don't want to give up, throw in the towel and break the promise that I make to myself. Yea, life happens, things change but one constant needs to stay strong and that is the commitment to myself, my health and my choices in my life.
I really love this quote:
"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision."
That quote says it for me!
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1 is too many - 1,000 is not enough on May 4, 2010 6:16 am
1 is too many - 1,000 is not enough....I say this to myself many times when I am facing down a trigger food. I know myself well enough if the conditions are just right for emotional eating (boredom, feeling like a victim to some sort of circumstances) that I have to put my guard up and protect myself. Protect myself from the trigger food and downward spiral of emotional overeating.
Some people can eat just one of something.....if I am feeling one of my trigger emotions, I know that 1 will be too many and 1,000 won't be enough. I can't even eat 1 or even 1 bite. That may sound limiting or restrictive to some people but not to me. The knowledge and awareness of myself in this way is actually very empowering. Just like Superman was powerful to all things except kryptonite, I know my kryptonites and I don't go there.
Last night I was irritated, annoyed and one of my trigger situations was going on. I was thinking that I would just have "a bite" so this saying came to my mind. Just "a bite" sounds so harmless yet that bite, for me, under the right circumstances can lead to my saying of that bite is too many and 1,000 is not enough. In fact, a few years ago when I regained 30 pounds, it started out with just a bite. That bite led to many more (more than 1,000!!!) to a weight regain. Thankfully, I lost that weight regain but gained a very valuable lesson of 1 is too many - 1,000 is not enough.
One of my strategies to combat emotional eating is to know my kryptonites, stay in control and remember that 1 is too many - 1,000 is not enough.
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The 4 C's (Control, Commitment, Choice &... on May 3, 2010 7:55 am
I'm in the process of writing a Weight Loss Purpose Statement. Something that I can say to myself when I'm in the kitchen and the Cathy cravings are calling my name. One of the things I've always remembered are the 4 C's which are Control, Commitment, Choice and Consistency. For me, the 4 C's are the essence of what I need to do to maintain my weight AND most importantly feel successful. Here are my thoughts.....
1. Control = We cannot control other people, situations, or other external circumstances. The only thing we can control is ourselves. I know I've turned to food when I feel out of control in my life. Of course, duh, when I turn to food, I am more out of control. Doesn't make sense at all but it is what I'e done in the past. I can control my behavior, my responses and reactions to emotions, my attitude, thoughts, etc., etc., by exercising my best self-control. Rather than eat out of control over something externally out of my control, I CAN stay in control! When I stay in control by following my healthy lifestyle habits, I create momentum and build on my successes. I exercise my control muscle and make it stronger. When I stay in control and not succumb to emotional overeating and cravings, staying in control gets easier and easier, and becomes second nature. Rather than reaching for food, I stay in control by using my powerful self-control.
2. Commitment = We are committed to our families, our partner/spouse, our children, our friends, our jobs, and the many roles in our lives. We value our numerous other commitments too. The most important commitment I made is to myself. I place a very high meaning when I make a promise (commitment). I would not break a promise to someone once I make it. Yet, when I go off track, emotionally overeat, or other behaviors, I am not honoring the commitment to myself. I need to honor the commitment to myself and my healthy lifestyle just as I honor the commitment I make to others.
3. Choice = All of like choices. My sons love it when I give them choices. Personal empowerment begins with choice. Rather than feel restricted or deprived, give yourself the gift of choice. I'm trying to focus on my choices. Rather than immediately say NO, I allow myself the choice.
"No, you cannot eat the cookie or bag of chips because they are not healthy and not on your eating program."
"Yes, you could choose to eat the cookie or bag of chips or you could choose to stay strong and in control by following your eating program. You know later on that you will be glad you stayed strong and in control, and kept your commitment to yourself!"
The majority of time I make the choice that is best for me and my lifestyle. Everyone wants choices. It is important to me not to feel deprived or that I'm restricting myself. Before surgery, I have turned over my choices to Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and other diet programs. I have learned to trust myself to make the choices best for me.
4. Consistency = What I do consistently determines my success. One slip or unhealthy choice isn't as important as what I do throughout my day, every day. Consistency is the key. I have a plaque in my office that is by Aristotle, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." Practicing my habits of health even during times that, quite frankly, I don't feel like it or want to, yet do it anyway is what matters. I'm always glad that I did stay on track rather than give in to not wanting to. Consistency is a valuable habit for me. Consistency creates a wave of momentum and that momentum keeps me on track.
One day this weekend was a stressful day for me. I had to remind myself of my 4 C's many, many times during the day and they got me through. Now, on the other side of that day, I'm so grateful for my 4 C's!
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A New Beginning 24/7 on May 2, 2010 7:59 am
Do you remember the days of dieting.....it was always that we had to begin on "Monday" or "the first of the month" or some other arbitrary magic day of the week, number of the month or first of the year. Now that we've given ourselves a new beginning by having WLS, EACH and EVERYDAY is a NEW DAY and a NEW BEGINNING and a NEW WAY to COMMIT. In fact, we don't have to wait for any other time than right here and right now to commit.
Okay, so you made an unhealthy food choice. So what, big deal! With your next food choice, get right back on track by making a healthy choice. Once you've done that, you are back on track and creating a wave of momentum in making healthy choices one after another. We can't change what we ate before but we CAN change what we eat from there. You are not what you ate in the past but you are what you eat today, right now and in the future. One slip up doesn't define our WLS success. Our choices that we make right now and in the future are under our control. Don't focus on what you did (int he past), focus on what you are doing now and commit to those future choices and, to quote Nike, "Just Do It!"
WLS is a way of life and not just a short term solution to losing weight. No more diets! YEA! Ask yourself where do you want to be in 5 years or 10 years? The choices you make right now will make that goal a reality you will walk in those 5 or 10 years.
So......let's JUST DO IT together!
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