I haven’t felt much like taking pictures of myself the past couple of weeks because I haven’t made any progress. If anything, I have regressed.
With regard to my self-care, this is how I have felt the past few months. I am trying hard to plant my feet in the “I am failing” camp rather than the “I am a failure” camp. I am failing myself right now but am trying to take small steps back toward being successful again. I don’t see myself as a failure yet, which is good. But I know I am failing. And rather than pretend like everything is sunshine and rainbows along this path to health, I’m just going to say it: I’ve sucked at taking care of myself the past 6 months. There, I said it.
I AM NOT DOING WELL RIGHT NOW.
Somewhere along the way, I let everything else be a priority. I need to learn how to make ME a priority. It is tough, especially because I am so used to nurturing everyone else around me and so bad at doing it for myself. I don’t know why it is so hard to take care of myself, but it is. I know one thing is true about myself though: when I decide that I’m going to do something for myself, I become extremely, extremely selfish–so much so that I ignore everyone else around me because I’m so focused on myself. I worry about that because I have the “no half-assing anything” attitude about things. I fear that I’ve half-assed this lifestyle to a point where I’ve gained weight back (at a scary pace, really) and now I’ve got to shift gears the opposite direction to get it back off so that I can get my health back in order. This means pouring all my efforts into ME to the exclusion of all other things. If that’s what needs to happen, so be it. I have to get back to A Healthy Me, mentally and physically.
This week since my Rotary Club is not meeting, I will have a chance to go to a support group meeting at the hospital where I had my surgery nearly 2 years ago. I have missed going to those meetings so much, and right now I need it more than ever. Unfortunately, the psychologist who did my pre-op psych evaluation is not on my insurance plan (thanks, State of Texas for screwing me over yet again) so going to see him is not an option as it is extremely cost prohibitive. What I am probably going to have to do is to try and attend support group meetings once a month and skip my club meeting once a month. I need this, and I need to right this ship before my 2-year follow up appointment in July.
I refuse to allow this to continue because I know that if I allow it to go on much longer, I will be right back where I started when I started this path to good health. No longer is this truly about losing weight to get to goal (whatever that is anymore), this is now about preserving the health I have gained by losing 220 pounds.
If you’re reading this because you’re thinking about having bariatric surgery, please don’t let my stumbles discourage you from going through with it. What I will encourage you to do is to go into this process eyes wide open. Know that this process is not always easy, and gets tougher the further out from surgery you are. In the beginning things are easy because your surgeon has just cut you a new gut, and so you don’t want to eat, food is the last thing you think about, and you’re 100% motivated to make your new tool work for you. Early on, you feel invincible because your new tool doesn’t let you eat too much at once, and you want to make sure you’re doing everything just right.
But the further out you get, the more you allow your life to return to what it was unless you are completely, fanatically and with a zealot’s dedication committed to carving a completely new life out for yourself. Allow me to be a cautionary tale for you lest you think that you will lose whatever weight you will lose forever. I have never once said “220 pounds gone forever!” because I know all too well they can come back. This is an ongoing process, and to say that the weight will be gone forever is a lie. It won’t be, and perhaps that’s my problem–I see this as a constant challenge to be overcome. Maybe? I don’t know. Maybe I’m uncomfortable in this new skin and I’m not ready to be who I am now. Maybe I miss Fat Girl a little too much because for 41 years she was the only version of Me that I knew and I’m finding this new version of me is hard to get to know.
Or maybe I have to fail at this thing so hard that the only way to overcome it is to roar back at it with a fury unlike any other.
Who knows. Whatever it is, I plan on beating this so that I can at least get down to where I was when school started last fall.