I Chose Healthy Living

I suppose you could consider bariatric surgery a “quick weight loss” program.  But it differs dramatically from everything out there today.

Like most of you out there, I have tried every quick loss scheme in the book. I remember fasting until my tongue turned pasty white.  I spent so much time in the bathroom I considered installing book shelves for easy access to reading materials. Then came the cabbage diet, diet pills, liquid diet, Dr. Atkins, carb-loading, and on and on.

Oh I lost weight all right—only to put it back and invite more fat cells to the party. They even brought some friends along.

Now that I’ve had weight loss surgery, I love the new me and I refuse to go back to the past.  Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

The mental and physical space we create by letting go of things that belong in our past gives us…the option to fill the space with something new.    Susan Fay West

Bariatric surgery, which does result in quick weight loss, is not the easy way out.  It’s taking control of our destiny. It’s making the choice to recognize our shortcomings and develop new strategies to overcome them.

Still, I don’t believe this choice is for everyone. In order lose the weight and keep it off, we have to change our entire lifestyles. Smaller portions are a given, in fact, I never eat off a plate bigger than a saucer or bread plate. I eat more slowly. I put away half or more of my food in restaurants even before I put one forkful in my mouth.  I concentrate on protein first, and I put off drinking anything one half hour on either side of the meal.

Besides changing my eating habits, I work out consistently and generally move around much more. Can’t say I love exercising, but I feel a tremendous sense of achievement after every session.

I probably weigh myself too often, but I try to stay within a 5 to 7 pound range and/or within a normal BMI score. And yes, even though my diabetes went away almost immediately after the surgery, I still take my glucose readings a couple times a month. Can’t take anything for granted.

Oh, I am not perfect. I try to ward off the “dumping” syndrome, but every now and then it catches me. Still, I remain undeterred. I just think of the slinky, fabulous clothing trends that don’t elude me now and the fact that I don’t take any medications, except allergy pills when I need them. Oh, and the looks and the compliments I get are thrilling.

Most importantly, through the quick weight loss afforded me through bariatric surgery, I have discovered a part of me that I had forgotten or buried. My confidence in myself and my future is off the charts. I truly feel beautiful inside and out.

So my advice is this: Love the new you. Do everything you can to keep the weight off.  Join a support group. If necessary, see a therapist, nutritionist, look in the mirror constantly, check in with a shaman, wear knee braces, live on Crystal Light, eat lobster every day, and express gratitude. Whatever works for you.

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