Today is my "surgiversary." Two years ago, at this very time, I was still under anesthesia. I was sick, I was tired, I had given my life up to the point I never went out, and I lived to eat.
Flash forward to today. I'm about 160 lbs. lighter (I gained about 7 pounds over the holiday, and have lost 2 of those back, so it's a give or take number). I can go down stairs (and up without even breathing hard). I can get to my car without so much pain in my back that I collapse on the seat with relief. I don't live to eat, although I do still have my moments where food becomes way more important than it should (I chalk it up to an obsessive personality--unfortunately they didn't operate on that).
I have to remember how far I have come, because it's very easy to get caught in the trap of feeling like a failure because I haven't lost "enough." Enough to get out of the obese category, according to those *&^% BMI charts. Enough to relieve the pressure on my abdomen (I still have all the lovely visceral fat right on my midsection) to be able to have the skin surgery and tummy tuck. Enough to feel almost normal.
I've been caught in that trap of "not enough" for a few months now, and (not surprisingly) I've gained a few pounds. It's so easy to revert to old comforts when you aren't feeling good about yourself. Although my stomach is a lot smaller, the surgery does shoot your metabolism all to hell and so there is a point where you will hit a plateau, and I've been there for at least 6 months. I've let it discourage me to the point where I got derailed from what I really want (to lose enough to have the surgery to take care of "the business"). I let myself sneak in too much carbs and sugar over the holidays, eat more food (and less frequently), and I got off track. Whenever that happens, it's easy to spiral into the: I'mnotgoodenoughandI'mnevergoingtolosetherestoftheweightandthereforeI'mafailureateverythingIdoandImightaswelleatcookies.
I can't possibly be the only one who goes there. It's like having a headache and instead of taking Tylenol, you imagine that you MUST have a brain tumor, throw your hands up in the air, and mope around complaining about the pain.
So there are two things I want to reflect on today.
One, is that I'm not a failure. I've accomplished so much more than I even dared hope for on the morning I went in for surgery and came out with a new chance for life. Gaining 7 pounds is not moving towards my goal, but it's also not the end of the world. It really is an opportunity to see what drives my eating, and to learn from it so it doesn't repeat itself over and over until I gain all of it back. This is hard to remember, and it's why I had to put it in black and white.
Two, is that it is a chance to remember what it is I want, and to accept the actions I need to take to get there. It's easy when you're a little down to forget that there are a lot of things you DO have control of. I have control of what I eat. I can control my portion size. I can decide to go to the gym instead of heading out to a restaurant where it's harder to stick to the plan. It is my decision, and I don't need to let my weight or size derail me into thinking this battle is already lost. After all, every veteran of this surgery I know of says the real work starts when you hit your one-year mark, and the war truly resumes when you hit the two-year mark.
So here it is. I've done great. I can continue to do great. I am not controlled by my situation, but I use it to my advantage. I can get "back to basics" and know that even if I don't lose any more weight that I'm doing the most respectful thing for myself. Happy surgiversary to me...