Words I frequently hear are “This is HARD”, or “This will be HARD”. I have heard these words in my head, said them out loud and heard them from many folks on this journey to health and well-being after weight loss surgery.
My first response is that no one ever said it would be easy. Oftentimes, in our efforts to acknowledge that we are doing the “right thing” by having surgery we tell ourselves that “this is it”. This is the fix that will get the weight off once and for all and keep it off. Once I have surgery it will all get better. This is true, once we have surgery, we have a tool that will help us eat smaller portions, and for the first several months the weight just falls off because eating can be difficult.
And then that day happens… We’ve all hit it. The day you step on the scale and notice that you haven’t lost any weight in a week, two weeks, three weeks, – a month. “WHY is this happening to me?” is the next inevitable question. I am doing everything the same as I did last week, last month, even last year as time goes on. Sorry, but typically you are not. Your portions have grown in size, your choices are not always the best ones, and you’ve slacked off on fitness and hydration. Then there’s the vitamins and supplements…
Here’s the definition of hard, as the adverb we use, when we say this is hard, or I didn’t know this would be so hard:
|Synonyms:||Diligently, industriously, assiduously, conscientiously, sedulously, busily, intensely, enthusiastically, energetically, earnestly, persistently, doggedly, steadily, indefatigably, untiringly, all out, with application, with perseverance; with difficulty, with effort, after a struggle, painfully, arduously, laboriously…|
With a great deal of effort, with difficulty… I believe this is what I mean when I think or say “this is hard”… Is this what you mean?
The next question I ask myself is WHAT exactly is hard? What is it that is difficult to do?
Is it hard to put a set amount on my plate, to set out 64 oz of water to drink between waking up and going to bed, to choose protein first, to get to the gym or move my body on purpose each day??? What am I having trouble with?
For me it is typically about being in the moment. So, what exactly does that mean?
It means remembering that 24/7/365 – I am a WLS patient first.
This means when I want a cookie I need to STOP and think – do I really want this cookie and the consequences it brings with it… Sometimes that will stop me, other times not so much and then I eat the cookie… The next moment I have to be in is the one where I am thinking – oooh, that was delicious, another one would be great and I begin mindlessly eating the whole box/bag.
I am a WLS patient first. One is enough. It was delicious and it satisfied my craving… if I am eating more, or mindlessly reaching for me, it is typically for a reason other than hunger or craving… it often means I am Angry, Lonely, Tired, Thirsty or Stressed. If I am any of those, that cookie is NOT going to fix it.
At almost fifteen years post op do I always catch myself? NO, but then I am human and it’s about progress, not perfection.
What I have done is let go of the struggle, of beating myself up for a “wrong choice”, for telling myself that this is too hard, too difficult for me to sustain.
Those are all part of the tales we tell ourselves to give ourselves permission to “not be able to”… to say the I can’t words either out loud or in our heads.
NOTHING is too hard if we want it bad enough.
Share with me what your “hard” is and how you’re working on. Together, we are stronger than we are alone.