3 of 5 Ways you know the WLS Honeymoon is Over

Even at 20 years post op, I still  clearly remember that fateful day when I reached the “End of Invincible” That fateful moment when the honeymoon phase ended and the real work began. I am anxious to share with you what I have learned about the top 5 ways to recognize that your personal WLS honeymoon is over and what to do about it. Here is the third of five installments in this series.  (Subscribe to this blog)

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#3 THE SCALE STARTS TO GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

Perhaps like me,  you spent many years not knowing what you weighed. I hated the scale and would avoid it at all costs. But, I loved nothing more than weighing myself during the first year after my surgery.  It seemed as though I could weigh in the morning and lose even more weight by the time I returned home in the evening! Talk about motivating.  For the first time in almost forever, the scales were tipping in my favor and it was exciting!

As many do, I reached a plateau a time or two on my way down to my goal. So, perhaps you too have plateaued along the way, but this time, you sense it is different. You have reached your goal, stayed there and celebrated your success, but then, your weight starts to climb back up. Panic sets in and you know that glory days are over. Thoughts like, “I was afraid this was too good to be true.” or “I knew this couldn’t last.” keep surfacing. Self- doubt sets in and you worry that like so many times in your life, you lose, then gain. (And often with a bonus). You hoped it would be different with a surgical intervention, you hoped it would be easy. And in some respects, it has been but now reality hits and you know it’s time to pay attention.

At this critical juncture. it is time to ensure that you have put into place the Success Habits you must rely upon every day for the rest of your life in order to maintain your weight. We all know how to lose weight, we have spent so many years on diets, off diets, thinking about a diet, researching a new diet, cursing diets, getting on and falling off diets. But learning how to maintain weight is a completely different mindset. Take this time as you transition from losing to maintaining to remind yourself that obesity is a disease. And one that you will struggle with for your entire life; surgery or not. You have a remarkable surgical tool to help you manage it as long as you learn to use it properly. Commit the time and effort to learn about your own personal metabolism, your triggers, and your relationship with food. It is up to you to evaluate your behaviors, stop doing what you might have gotten away with during the rapid weight loss phase and focus on everything you have learned. Memorize and internalize Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients.

Subscribe to blog for #4 You Realize You Should Have Paid More Attention to your Bariatric Team

 

2 of 5 Ways you know the WLS Honeymoon is Over

Even at 20 years post op, I still  clearly remember that fateful day when I reached the “End of Invincible” That fateful moment when the honeymoon phase ended and the real work began. I am anxious to share with you what I have learned about the top 5 ways to recognize that your personal WLS honeymoon is over and what to do about it. Here is the second of five installments in this series.  (Subscribe to this blog)

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#2 PEOPLE STOP RAVING ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK

Boy, do I remember this. Of course I would, it was all about me! Like many of you I enjoyed months and months of friends, family neighbors, work associates and even strangers, raving about how great I looked. One of my favorite comments was “Look at you, you are going to blow away!” Loved it!

I think I even walked at little taller, and had a new strut and swagger as I showcased my success. When I knew would be seen by someone who didn’t know about the new me, I was ecstatic!  Then over time, people started to get used to my new size. I slowly began to fade into normal, the newness wore off and all of the attention nearly stopped. I missed the rave reviews, I kept wondering to myself, “Do I look fat?” Am I gaining weight?” “Why doesn’t someone say something!” Messed with my mind to be sure.

If that has not happened to you yet, trust me, it will. And it is important to be prepared for the emotional and mental grief it may cause. When it does, it will be a good time to do a little evaluating of your true motives for choosing weight loss surgery. Ask yourself why you made this decision in the first place. Did you do this for someone else? To look feel better for yourself? For revenge? To improve your health? This is a time to reconnect to your personal why. Remind yourself of what motivated you in the first place. Pat yourself on the back and learn to improve your ‘self-talk.’

Then, move on. Rather than having it be all about you, now is a great time to turn and support those coming along behind you. Opportunities abound for successful patients who want to give back by paying it forward. Motivate, encourage and support new and prospective WLS patients.  Help with an event or patient celebration, work as a hospital volunteer, become a Support Group Leader. Share your successes online and participate in one or more of the many Facebook Group discussions. You look great – now be great by helping others.

Subscribe to this blog for #3 THE SCALE STARTS TO GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

1 of 5 Ways you know the WLS Honeymoon is OVER

Even at 20 years post op, I still  clearly remember that fateful day when I reached the “End of Invincible” That fateful moment when the honeymoon phase ended and the real work began. I am anxious to share with you what I have learned about the top 5 ways to recognize that your personal WLS honeymoon is over and what to do about it. Here is the first of five installments in this series.  (Subscribe to this blog)

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YOU START ‘FREEWHEELING’ AND FORGET ABOUT YOUR GOOD HABITS

We are so careful early on. We are committed and sure we will become the most compliant patient ever! We measure our food and water, use a shopping list at the store, prepare meals in advance and eat what we plan, exercise, weigh weekly and take our vitamins.  Then, one day it seems that we can forego one or more of these good habits and still loose weight. “Hmm, this is awesome! This surgical tool is my answer, hooray!”

If you find yourself boasting about how you ate… or how you don’t exercise… or how get away with things you were warned not to do. BEWARE! I promise it will catch up to you. Our research clearly shows exactly what successful long term patients do to reach and maintain their weight. Learn what they know and do what they did.

It is important to realize that you will not be the exception to the rule and while you may feel invincible now – know that it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. There is a reason it is called the ‘honeymoon phase.’ When it ends, if you have not used the time to commit to, implement and own your Success Habits, you will be in find yourself struggling to learn how to maintain your weight. Commit once to a specific set of daily habits and stick with them. All of them!

Subscribe to this blog to continue to #2 PEOPLE STOP RAVING ABOUT HOW GREAT YOU LOOK

 

Baby Mine

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What a tender and unexpected moment.  I was grateful to attend a dance performance by our grand daughter, Baylee. She is a darling 6 year old full of talent and skill. Her first performance was to an old song from Disney’s Dumbo, “Baby of Mine.” The dance was sweet, beautiful and well done. But the words and message caught me off guard. I suppose it was my vantage point.  I was sitting behind my daughter watching her watch her daughter.

Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine

Little one, when you play
Don’t you mind what they say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine

If they knew all about you
They’d end up loving you, too
All those same people who scold you
What they’d give just for the right to hold you

From your hair, to your toes
You’re so sweet, goodness knows
You are so precious to me
Sweet as can be, baby of mine

Songwriters
NED WASHINGTON, FRANK CHURCHILL

This baby of mine, my precious little girl now has two babies of her own.  She is a wonderful mother and wife. She is an example of all the things right with this world. And is full of goodness and grace.  When the stresses of life overwhelm,  as they sometimes do, I just want to stop the world for just a few minutes to be her mom and wrap her in love, safety and support.

As I watch her as she navigates the challenges of  her life with faith and strength. I am both proud and inspired by this baby of mine.

Oh What Tangled Web We Weave..

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“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!”

Sir Walter Scott

As I walked by this web this morning, this quote buy Sir Walter Scott  came to mind. Honesty has always been so very important to me.  I try to be honest in all my dealings and respect and admire those to strive to do so as well. It can be tricky sometimes. For instance, I have found myself having to decide if I should tell someone the truth even though I knew it would likely hurt them.  I have also been in a spot where I had to decide if I should break a confidence because I believed doing to would ultimately benefit that person. Perhaps you too, have found yourself in similar situations and struggled with what to do.

A few years ago I attended a workshop at BYU  taught by Dr. Quinn McKay, Author of “Is Lying Sometimes the Right Thing for an Honest Person to do.”  It was an engaging and  fascinating discussion about honesty and integrity and how often in today’s world people justify dishonesty for a number of reasons. We discussed an example of a corporation sending out a batch of checks unsigned, in order to buy time buy time to make sufficient deposits to cover them. Was that deliberate stall dishonest? He shared a story of a time when the Boy Scouts of America, short of the funds needed to maintain their charter in a particular area, falsified the numbers in order to continue their work, justifying their actions for the good of their very worthy cause. Was that dishonest act justified?

Dr Mckay used a variety of real life examples of people who did not straight up lie, but left out some important details, in essence leading the other person to draw their own inaccurate conclusions.

So interesting all! I very much enjoyed the workshop and the book. My take away from both is this a new personal definition of honesty.

“Honesty is not just to tell the truth, but to convey a true impression.”

May we strive each day to be an example of honesty and integrity in all we do.

A Way Around

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Do you notice anything odd about this gate?  It sure seems strange to me.  It is a nice gate, well built, strong and sturdy.  And the sign is clear that “No Trespassing” is allowed. I don’t want to trespass, but it seems that if I did, it would be very easy.  I could go around to the left, around to the right, over the top or perhaps even under.If I, or anyone else decided to ignore the gate – we could.

Like an experience I shared in an article several years ago: Hog Tight – Horse High, I instantly drew a comparison to my surgical weight loss tool. Those who have had weight loss surgery have a tool, or a gate if you will. The tool is designed to help us reach and maintain a good, healthy weight, by restricting how much we can eat.  For most, it works as it should, it does exactly what the tool was designed to do.

However, it seems that through the years we discover ways around, over and under it. I have heard comments like “She has learned to eat around the band” or “If I eat sugar with _____ then doesn’t cause dumping” or, “I can eat a lot more if I drink a little with my meals”  And I admit that I have sometimes said, “I cannot eat much at one time, but can eat the wrong thing all day long.” Hello?

Do any of these sound familiar to you?   If so, then essentially you are not using your tool as it was intended. You are finding ways around, under and over the “gate”. Find out why. After all you have been through, what is it that would would cause you to cheat yourself out of the success you once desired? What is it that is causing you to sabotage your success by not taking full advantage of the surgical tool? Hard questions, all.

May I invite you to do a quick self evaluation of your behaviors. Are you taking full advantage of your surgical tool?  Ask yourself, “Am I allowing my surgery to do what it was designed to do? Or am I looking for ways to cheat, go back to old habits and still maintain my weight loss?

Our surgical tools will serve us well for a lifetime as long as we commit to using them properly.  Years of research (Read Research) have taught us all that there are very specific habits that successful long term patients have made part of their life. Learn what they know and do what they did to take full advantage of your surgical tool.  The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients

As shown in this picture, the gate and weight loss surgical tools work. They do exactly what they are designed to do. That is, unless we choose to go around, over or under.

For the Beauty of the Earth

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“For the beauty of the earth. For the beauty of the skies. For the land which from our birth, over and around us lies.Lord of all the we raise. This our hymn of grateful praise.”
Christian hymn by Folliott S. Pierpoint (1835-1917)

I’m especially grateful and feel so blessed this morning to be able to be here in these beautiful mountains. Every day I am able to breathe clean air, hike and be renewed. May I never take for granted the beauty that surrounds me. May I never become blind to the magnificence of God’s creations. May I always do my best to care for and preserve the beauty of the earth.

And may I be forever willing to share all that I see and feel with those who may be overwhelmed with life’s challenges. May the words I write and photos I share enrich your life and fill you with peace.

Feel Like A Slug?

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Last week on my morning walk,  I encountered a little slug on my road. And I wondered, do they ever get where they are going? Do they even know where they’re going? And most importantly do they even care?

Some days I feel like a slug. I act like a slug. And I am afraid I might look like a slug. Do you ever feel like a slug? Well, I know that on some days I surely do. I am 56 years old now. No wait, I’m  53. Hmm, no. I was born in 1959 so that means this October I will be 57? Really? I guess it just stands to reason that as I begin to loose my mind,  I am also slowing down and as a result, sometimes feel like a slug.

I don’t want to slow down. And I never want to be slows as a slug. But I also know that though I do not have control over the natural aging process, I can choose to stay fit and healthy. That is and will always be my choice.  Just as it is yours. So sluggish or not, each day I exercise. Sometimes with a slow and sluggish start, I still make myself get moving.

I prefer to exercise in the morning. But, it seems that it is especially hard to get started in the morning. They say that once something is emotion it will stay in motion. But that first motion that is by far the hardest. Like you,  I’ve learned that exercise simply must be part of my daily routine.  (See: The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients ) A walk in the woods, a hike up the hill, jumping jacks in the yard. (Fooled you didn’t I? ) I never do jumping jacks in the yard. LOL.

With our move to Star Valley Wyoming, so many of my routines are having to change. My exercise routine is a critical component to my well-being. For years  was a member of the coolest gym in the world and now, well, lets just say going to the gym is not what they do around these parts. So, after a few out of sync weeks, I am adapting. I am walking and hiking each day with our dogs.  I am nothing if not flexible. It has been an enriching and fulfilling experience and one that I am enjoying very much. It is still a bit cold here in the mornings, and that first step up the hill is a rough one. But, I am up, I am out and I know where I am going and why.  I feel less like a slug.

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The Road Less Traveled

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It’s a beautiful morning and I am enjoying a nice walk with our 2 dogs down a road less traveled. Obviously, the guy in this picture gave up way too soon.  As unfortunately, many people seem to do.

I think this is a good parable today for Roger and I. We recently made a very brave decision to sell our home other property and move to Star Valley Wyoming to build our dream log home. We are literally and figuratively on one of  life’s less traveled roads.  As we worked the last few months moving all of our belongings into storage, selling homes and packing to move so many of our friends, neighbors and relatives have commented, “You are living our dream.”

For many years I’ve incorporated into my speaking engagements a little something about dreaming big dreams. I learned early on that “It costs no more to dream a big dream than it does to dream a big dream”  So, why not? We dreamed it, now we are doing it! “Living the Dream” as they say takes commitment, hard work,  sacrifice and courage. And more of the same will surely be required as we continue on this adventure. Lets hope we are up for it, because here we are. Living in our 5th wheel trailer while we clear our land and build our dream home. We are blessed to have our family behind us and look forward to creating a peaceful retreat for them. We are so encouraged as people share that they are inspired by our decision.

Unfortunately, the road less traveled is a lonely one. So many dream, but never dare. So many hope but never follow through.   But life offers everyone the choice to travel any road they choose. Perhaps you are ready for a new direction. Perhaps you see a pathway in the distance that will lead you to your dreams. Follow it! Dream, then dare, hope and pray, then get to work!

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Belly Flops

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A few weeks ago, I took two of my grandchildren to a dollar store to buy a little toy for their cousin Axel who is turning 2. With two kids a trip down the candy isle was inevitable. There at eye level was a display of specially priced Jelly Beans – Belly Flops. At first, I though that is was a competitor trying to capitalize on the famous Jelly Belly name, but at second look, they WERE Jelly Bellies!  For a buck!  “Seriously?” I thought.  As I looked closer, the Belly Flops are Jelly Belly rejects. Imperfect, mis-shaped, mis-stamped Jelly Belly jelly beans. By some stoke of genius by a marketing team, now these odd, rejects have their own identity. “Brilliant!”

What a great example of turning mistakes into something valuable. You know, the lemons into lemon-aide sort of thing. I have thought about Belly Flops quite a bit over the last few weeks and what lessons they can  teach.  I have reviewed a few flops of my own and I have discovered that in my life, I only make mistakes when I actually stick my neck out. Duh. But I have come to know how important it is to actually do, reach, create, live life, give it a try, make something happen. Yes, it is much easier to live risk free and to settle into a calm, comfortable routines, but our willing to do and dare is oh so important for our growth, personal progress & development.  Like Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) shares, “When you come to the boundary of what you know, its time to make some mistakes and learn something new.”

So, won’t you join me?  Lets go out a make some mistakes.

 

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