Weighty Matters

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No Room For Doubt

on January 15, 2013

This time last year I was at the beginning of the liquid diet required for two weeks before my surgery.   Full liquids meant protein shakes of a certain number of calories, carbs and protein, plus cream soups, Greek yogurt, broths, sugar free Jell-O, and soupy hot cereal.  The goal was to lose weight and, hopefully, shrink down the size of my fatty liver.   Yep, it was pretty much a given that my liver would be fatty and bigger than normal.  The doctor explained to me that reducing the size of the liver would help the doctor move it out of the way when he went in to cut my stomach.

I remember at the time that I envisioned him standing over me, manipulating instruments that he’d slid in through little slices in my body (laparascopic surgery).  I couldn’t imagine what they’d use to move the liver. The surgical equivalent of a spatula or tongs?  The day before my operation, I found out that they would do the surgery robotically so the doctor wouldn’t actually stand over me.  He’d sit at the robot controls looking at my insides transmitted from an internal camera to a screen.  Overall, I thought this was kind of cool, as long as I didn’t think of it totally in terms of myself.

But I digress.

When it was time to start the liquid diet, I went overboard preparing.  I think I had three or four different varieties of protein shakes in the house because I wasn’t sure if I’d like all of them.  I stocked up on a variety of appropriate soups and yogurts, both here at home and at work.  I was determined to do this absolutely perfectly.

I was also kind of terrified that I’d screw it up.  My biggest fear was that I’d do the first ten days as well as they could be done and then lose control.  I lost sleep worrying that my compulsive eating disorder would reassert itself, I’d eat something solid a few days before my surgery and sabotage my entire effort of the previous several months.  It was definitely gut check time.  There was no room for doubt.

I psyched myself up.  Instead of staying in the space of doubt, I told myself over and over again how far I’d come, how ready I was, how excited I was to be taking this positive step to restore my health and, ultimately, save my life.  If I caught myself asking, “Can I do this?” or “How can I do this?”, I rewired the thought process.  I stopped questioning and made declarations like, “I’m doing this!” and “I’m on my way!”  It worked.   I filled up my head and heart with positive statements and shored up my self-confidence.  The good literally took over and doubt had no chance to take hold.

This turned out to be a very successful technique.  I didn’t have much difficulty after all.  I meticulously stuck to the plan and was completely ready on the day of my surgery.

There’s a saying that faith and fear cannot exist in the same place.  Faith is akin to believing in oneself and relying on self-confidence.  Fear engenders doubt.  I’m glad that I’m remembering this now because I can use this same practice any time I face a challenge where I’m possibly not quite as confident as I’d like.  I’ll nurture the confidence and determination and, literally, leave no room for doubt.

 

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4 responses to “No Room For Doubt

  1. Yeah for positive thoughts! They have more power than we realize. (shhh. that means the negative ones do too….choose wisely)
    You are an inspiration Mary Stella.

  2. Fabulous and very inspiring story — thanks for sharing!

  3. Skye says:

    As I am making some major changes to my life, I truly needed this message because fear has had me in a chokehold. I’m going to fill myself up with faith. Thank you for a well-timed and inspirational post.

  4. Thea says:

    I’m going into two important meetings, and reading of your experience helps me. Faith and fear cannot coexist — and I choose faith. Just as you did. Congratulations on mighty impressive results.

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