Weighty Matters

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Gratitude Attitude

on November 14, 2012

Every day this month I’ve posted something for which I’m grateful.  This process really helps me look at my life with an eye toward appreciation.  Starting and ending each day with reminders of gratitude illuminates my spirit in countless ways.

I’ve done the daily posts on my personal Facebook page.  (I’m horrible about keeping up with my “author” page.)  Even though all of the friends on my personal page are actually people that I know/am related to/went to school with and so on, there are still some things that I don’t discuss in status updates.  For example, I’ve never once shared there that I had weight loss surgery.  I mentioned having surgery.  Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I posted that I was out of surgery and back in my room but, honestly, that was an accident.  Note to family: No matter how reasonable and “with it” I sound, do not give me back my iPhone until I’ve been out from under the influence of anesthesia and heavy painkillers for a minimum of 12 hours.

Long story short, when I returned to Facebook a few hours later, I was mighty surprised that I’d posted about an operation and had to do a little bit of apologizing and reassuring to those who didn’t know beforehand.  The onces who did know where sort of congratulatory in their, “Hey, you must be feeling great if you’re already posting on Facebook” responses.

But I digress.  I don’t know why I haven’t talked about weight loss surgery on FB.  Clearly I’m not hiding it, since I’ve written more than 200 blog posts here under my own name.  However, since I haven’t, it feels weird to jump in and post certain topics.  I’ve put up pictures from events, but not comparison shots.  I wrote a generic update one date about being grateful that I chose to change my life and health for the good, but that’s it.  I think at this point I’m going to continue the way that I’ve been going on until I finally hit goal weight — whatever that is.

In the meantime, I have a gratitude thing to talk about that will be hard to put up with the others without too much explanation.  So, since this blog is the place where I let it all hang out — physically, emotionally and mentally — what better place?  (Have I said lately how grateful I am to have this place to share about all of this?)

Tonight I am incredibly aware of how lucky I’ve been over the years.  I am grateful for my body’s resilience.  Even though I have physically abused it with a hell of a lot of excess weight for a lot of years, it has stood up to the challenge.   Is my right knee weaker than the left and does it often click funny and hurt?  Yes, but it’s a lot less painful and awkward now, thanks to the weight loss.  A year ago, I couldn’t walk more than two blocks without gasping, now I’m good for a couple of miles or an hour of Zumba.  I have friends who are not so fortunate.  They’re a few years older than I am and experiencing a great deal of pain.  Happily for them, they’re on their way to losing weight now and I know things will improve.  If they don’t, at least the weight loss will enable them to have joint replacements.

I’m waiting to get my knee medically evaluated.  I don’t think I’m at the point where I need a new one but if I do, then I know that I’m a candidate because of my weight loss.  That would not have been the case 125 pounds ago.

When I think of all of the ways that my body could have crumbled under the weight, I want to raise my hands and shout, “THANK YOU” at the top of my lungs.  In recent weeks, I’ve felt a little twinge in my lower back.  It doesn’t happen all of the time, but I notice it now and then.  Usually some stretches, a soak in the tub or a little ibuprofen alleviate the pain.  When I think of what could have been if I’d not lost weight, a little shaft of fear shoots through me.  What if I’d seriously hurt my back before and, at my most obese, there had been no way to relieve the pain?  Again, I am incredibly grateful to not have experienced that condition.

I don’t want to focus on imagining all of the ways that being so heavy could have added misery.  What if I’d broken my leg ever or suffered some other injury that made it difficult for me to stand, to walk, to get in and out of bed?  What would I have done?  I’m grateful that I didn’t need to find out.

Tonight I did an hour of Tai Chi and I was aware of the great easy of movement and the various ways that I can bend, twist, shift my weight, push up, balance and turn.  Tomorrow I’m going to a Zumba class and will smile while I keep up with the samba, salsa, cumbia and other dance steps.  This weekend, I’m visiting the Everglades.  Part of the trip includes a mile and a half walk.  A year ago, I would have stressed out over the thought of going that distance and hiding from everyone else how much effort it would take me.  Tonight, I’m smiling and thinking how much I’m going to enjoy seeing nature under my own power.

There’s a huge, wonderful difference in being aware of my body because it was huge, awkward, and always uncomfortable and the way I feel today — enjoying my body because of the way it moves and the way that I feel in all of my activities.  I don’t ever want to forget this change.  I hope that I remember to celebrate it every day.

 

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4 responses to “Gratitude Attitude

  1. Hope says:

    I’m grateful for this blog because it lets me take a small part in this amazing journey of yours. I just love seeing how well you’re doing.

  2. Mary Stella says:

    Thanks, Skye!
    I was reflecting on this more today. I have the day off from work because I’ll be away on a work-related trip all weekend. I took advantage of the time to hit a morning Zumba class. As I smiled my way through the sweat I thought again how grateful I am to be able to move much more freely than before! It rocks! (Or, as was the case in Zumba, it sambaed, cumbiaed, salsaed.)

  3. Skye says:

    Beautiful post! And you have so much to be grateful for, just in this one post. I can understand your not wanting to share on FB with people who you haven’t seen in a long time. It would feel too intimate. This blog is an intimate place, but the people who come here “know” you from many online interactions and support you and don’t judge you. It’s hard to feel you will get that from people who you knew well once but now only interact with on FB. Does that make sense? Anyway, good for you for all that you’ve done and for your gratitude over it.

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