Weighty Matters

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Facing Facts

on November 9, 2012

I had another follow up appointment with my surgeon today.  Overall, it’s hard not to consider the visit a downer.

Disclaimer:  Even though I’ve come a long way and made a lot of progress resolving the negative impact of diseased thinking, sometimes the thoughts still rally.  I need to process this out here on the blog.

Anyway, in the last month and a half, the rate of my weight loss has slowed.  I’m still losing, but not as rapidly as before.  My body is changing for the better, as evidenced by the amount of inches I’ve lost and the increased muscle tone.   I’m wearing sizes smaller than I’ve worn in nearly 30 years.  My BMI has dropped more than 12 points.

Even the doctor told me that I’m doing a fantastic job. . . but the weight loss has slowed.  I like the doctor.  He’s warm, open and honest.  He doesn’t scold but he does tell it like it is.  I’ve done great so far but I still have a big chunk of pounds to go and it’s going to get harder as time goes on.  The first year of losing after surgery is easier than the second.

We went over my food plan and what I’ve been eating.  I still focus on protein first.   Yes, I’ve added in some small amounts of carbohydrates here and there, but I honestly am not gorging out on bread, potatoes, rice, crackers and other empty carbs.  I don’t go out and drink wine every night.  Once every few weeks, maybe, and even then only a glass if that much.

I thought I was doing really well.  Goodness knows, I’m eating less food than ever before and what I eat is healthier.   Apparently I can do better.  According to the doctor, I could be rigorously careful about my food intake, have a single glass of wine, and slow whatever progress I’d made for the week.

While waiting for the doctor, I picked up a magazine in the waiting room.  An article for bariatric surgery patients by a nutritionist talked about the honeymoon period.  I guess my particular honeymoon is over.  Not that anything about the process has been easy, but it’s time for me to accept that it’s going to be harder than it was for the first seven or eight months.

So, here’s the plan.  Keep accentuating the positive parts of what I’m doing.  Eat quality protein and make that the priority of every meal and snack.  Remind myself that the small amounts of carbs that I occasionally eat need to be even smaller and less frequent than occasional.  Continue exercising.  (My doctor was honestly impressed about the different things I’m doing — Zumba, Tai Chi, bridge walks, etc.)

Also important is to not beat myself up about the current slow down.  It is what it is, or should that be it was what it was?

I know that I could keep going the way that I’m going but, to be honest, I want the weight to come off quicker.  Maybe that’s greedy, but I’m on a roll.  I want to get to goal sooner rather than later.  That’s my plan.  That’s my choice.

Rereading what I just wrote, I feel better than I did when I left my doctor’s appointment.  Call it a gut check, but it was important for me to go over everything in my mind and, pardon the pun, weigh the different factors.   This falls under the heading of something I learned in OA — this is a program that demands rigorous honesty.  If I don’t clearly look at everything and honestly assess my choices and behavior, I’m not going to be successful in the long run.

This isn’t just about what happened today or last week or over the last nine months.  This is about the rest of my life.  One day at a time, that’s going to go on for quite a while.  I want it to be the best that it can be.

On the drive home from Miami, I was listening to the all Springsteen station, E Street Radio, on Sirius/XM.  The evening host invited listeners to call in and share their favorite lyrics from Bruce songs.  I could play that game all day.  For my own entertainment I called the number, retrying several times.  Suddenly, instead of a busy signal, the phone actually rang.  A production assistant answered, asked me my name and where I was calling from and what song I wanted to talk about.  He then asked me to hold.  It’s a good thing that I have unlimited minutes because I was on hold for about 40 minutes.  This gave me a lot of time to listen to good music and think about the lyrics I would talk about when the host finally came on the line.

My all-time favorite Bruce song is Thunder Road.  It’s the song that made me a Springsteen fan back in 1975 when I was 17.  The lines I focused on are, “So you’re scared and you’re thinking that maybe we ain’t that young any more.  Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night.”  I realized that when I was 17, that song and those lines were an invitation.  They urged me to gather my courage and jump into the adventure of life.

Today, I’m closing in on 55.  The song that was once an invitation is now a reminder to continue to be brave and jump into the adventure of life.  Maybe I’m not that young any more but I can, and should, still live my life to its fullest.

That’s my plan.  That’s my choice.

8 responses to “Facing Facts

  1. londonmabel says:

    Do you know Tennyson’s poem Ulysses? If not, you’ll like it. Not only does it contain the term “hungry heart” but it’s about being older, yet still seeing life as full of adventures still to be had.


    Though much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

    • Mary Stella says:

      Mabel, thank you for this stunning reminder. It’s been many, many years since I studied Ulysses and the only line that stayed with me was “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

      That’s my motto for the day. I’m strong in will and will strive, seek, find and not yield.

      I can’t say whether Springsteen ever referenced the poem for his songs, but he had a hit in 1980 called “Hungry Heart”.

  2. Hope says:

    Mary, you’re still kicking butt! The numbers on the scale are moving in the right direction. Maybe not as quickly as you’d like, but the momentum is there.

  3. Skye is right – you do rock. The progress you have made, and I’m really talking about the mental/emotional progress, is amazing. And the physical progress is as well!

    Food is so difficult, because so much of it has emotional overtones. Food gets equated with love so so often and the reframing needs to be from I’m having this muffin because it makes me feel loved with I love myself and I’m going to treat myself with the best care I can which isn’t the muffin, it’s the walk on the bridge and a lovely salad. Okay, that was a terribly written sentence, but I hope the sense of it came through.

    And can I just say how happy I am to be able to comment on blogs again! The i-phone is great for many things, but commenting is not one of them.

    • Mary Stella says:

      The sense very definitely came through, Karen. Thank you. Good to see you back. I know this has been a very challenging, uncomfortable time after the storm. Big hugs. I hope the worst is behind you.

  4. Skye says:

    And the choice is the power move. Knowing your options and making your choice from those options, freely and clearly, is what makes your choice powerful and will make it easier to follow. You rock.

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