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.

 

Sugar Free Me!

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Well, on a good day I am sugar free! And the more I have experimented, the more I have learned for myself the many reasons why I should be sugar free always! I suspect that most of you can relate to the downward (and I don’t mean weight) spiral that comes on that slippery, surgery slope once you take a nibble or two of the tiny snickers bars, or  M & M’s.

In my 16 years experience as a weight loss surgery patient, I am finally convinced that nothing good comes from something sweet. I suppose that is a little harsh – but let me share with you some of the things I have discovered for myself and why I am committed to being more mindful about consuming sugary products.

8 REASONS WHY I AM SUGAR FREE 

1.    I I don’t need it.  Though we need energy from our food – it does not need to come from refined sugars.

2.    It makes me groggy in the morning. (I will admit that I got into a bad habit of having a little something sweet at night before bed – finally put two and two together and I am convinced that my sluggish beginning to my day is directly related to eating sugary sweets the night before.

3.    It It give me headaches. Again this was a keen realization that when I over indulge in sweets a few hours later I get a headache.

4.    There are many alternatives – I use a little Splenda, Equal and Sweet and Low now and then – can’t tell the difference in taste so why waste calories on sugar if the substitutes are just as good? And I like honey as well – much better choice than refined sugar.

5.    Diabetes in my family – My recent blood work showing my blood sugar levels creeping up and bit has frightened me. I always thought that after losing over 110 pounds I would not have to worry about such things. Apparently not!

6.    Calories add up quickly from sugar sources and too many calories = weight gain – plain and simple. Don’t need it – don’t want it.

7.    I have learned to like fruit. An apple a day…..

8.  Cavities! who needs them?

After I made this list, I also make another list to see why I would choose to consume sugar products. I only found two reasons. 1. It tastes good and 2. It is easy. So, it’s my health 8 – sugar 2.  The choice seems pretty clear don’t you think? I hope you will take a minute to evaluate your sugar consumption and see if you discover, as I did, that it’s something I can live without and it will help “tip the scales’ in your favor!

What Luck!

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During my graduating year in High School (1977) I got the biggest kick out of the TV commercial featuring the winners of the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.  The two mild mannered, plainly dressed, farm folk declared (with more drawl and twang than Gomer Pile) “What luck! We Mays are in luck. We have just won a million dollars! Our lives will never be the same!”

Yep, they are lucky, I thought.  I am a May too, so how come I’m not so lucky?  Though many spend a considerable amount of time, effort, and energy entering sweepstakes – hoping to get ‘lucky,’ I have adopted a different philosophy. “The harder you work the luckier you get!” Time and time again that has proven to be the case.

Following my weight-loss surgery in 1995, I recall mustering up the nerve to call a few of my friends to tell them what I had done. The first call I made was to a long time nurse friend.  I will forever remember her immediate reply after I told her where I was and that I had just had a gastric bypass.  “You are so lucky!” she exclaimed.  “Lucky?” I replied.  “What do you mean lucky?” I have spent my entire life fighting my weight and finally, finally, I had the courage to make this gigantic commitment. It took great thought, planning, preparation, prayer, not to mention a support of my family, and a 2nd mortgage to do this.  Luck had nothing to do with it!”

The first year was a dream come true.  The weight seemed to fall off. I lost 125 pounds. No complications, no bumps, and very little effort on my part. Wow was I lucky!  I would find myself eating something I shouldn’t. Or skipping a few days of exercise only to weigh in to find that I lost another pound! “Dodged a bullet this week; Man I am so lucky!” I thought. And then…. I found that the next month, was not so lucky.  I learned by experience that I was not invincible, and that maintaining my weight loss requires much more than luck. It requires dedication, commitment, thought, focus, and constant effort.  Indeed I found, that in weight issues too, the harder I work, the luckier I am.

It has been over 20 years now and my weight continues to fluctuate up and down 15 pounds or so. Interesting, when I work hard at it, I lose – when I don’t, I gain. Go figure.

It seems that this weight management thing will always require effort. Throughout your journey, you too, will have ups and downs, good days and bad days. We have a remarkable tool, but we will always reap what we sow. As you work to reach and maintain your weight-loss goals, remember to stay committed to your Success Habits, stay in tune with your body, work hard;  and oh, good luck!

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