These steps are not your typical *eat lots of protein, cut out most of your carbs, exercise, drink water, chew chew.. ect steps.. While these are not the only 12 things to do, they are very a very important part of your healing and creating a new lifestyle.
1. Realize that your journey is unique. It’s cool to be inspired by others and to learn and listen to other people talk about their journey,but don’t get sucked into comparing yourself to others or believing that one persons advice is “the gospel” We get to write our own book, sing our own song and dance like no one is watching. Don’t give up your “song”. How is this accomplished?
*When you read about someone else’s journey and they give you advice sit down and ask yourself “Will this help me accomplish my highest potential?” Don’t react on advice think it through so you can act with an informed decision.
*Be kind to yourself, don’t allow other’s to bully you into believing you are any less of a person for any reason. Ask yourself is this advice really for me?
2. Look in the mirror daily and say “Hello, How are you? What do you want to do today that brings joy to your life?”. You might be surprised to hear what YOU really want out of life.. Let go of any ties you have of taking care of everyone else before nurturing the self.How do you get what you want out of life?
*It’s ok to say NO.. You don’t have to compromise your wants/needs for others. Remember this is YOUR journey.
*Make a list of the priorities in your life and start letting go of things that bring you down or leech your energy. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of emotional attachments to friends, jobs, and or group activities. But if they are only bringing you down sometimes it’s better to move on.
3. They say we are what we eat for a reason. A balanced diet is a big part of a balanced life, and it filling our lives with healthy, clean, fresh foods clears our path for wellness. How will you accomplish that?
* I didn’t have bariatric surgery and come home eating a well balanced diet with fresh foods, it was more of a gradual evolution that began by admitting I had a food addiction, and that is a eating dis-order.Then it took time to find the foods that worked for me with my surgery.
If you are looking for healthy post op meals, I invite you to buy the books Recipes for Life After Weight-Loss Surgery and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery by Margaret Furtado. Online visit http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com/ for Linda Farnsworth’s recipes for success.
*Again, it’s not about perfection, if you eat well most of the time and slip up suddenly. Don’t panic, no one is perfect, so pull yourself up and rise above negativity. Tomorrow comes each day with a clean slate to start fresh. If you drag the burdens and mistakes from yesterday with you, your bound to repeat them. (This applies once again to life balance)
4. Consider the possibility that obesity did not come overnight and there is a huge possibility something in your “programming” or our life has led to to overeating as a “numbing of our feelings” or possibly the urge to eat was led by a desire to build a shield against what hurt us to begin with. This one is tough, and this is where the “They fixed my stomach but not my head statement holds true for us post ops” How do we change our programming or our habits?
*Be curious with yourself. Ask questions, and journal your feelings and your thoughts. Do you find food to be fuel and nourishment for your body or do you find it a numbing agent for your emotions? If you are numbing emotions, get help. It’s ok to find a therapist or counselor that supports you in your quest to freedom and success.
*Accept help from others. We are known for giving, giving, and giving but it’s ok to ask for help in return.
5. Get your body moving… Exercise your heart.. get your heart rate up and burn those calories….remember the heart is a physical art and also our heart involves our emotional and spiritual health too. Not only exercise physically but do things you love to do.
*Get outside and pour love into your life.
*Go to garden and smell the flowers, sit under a tree at the park and feel free.
*Take a class on beading, or belly dancing…do something that excites you and challenges you.
6.Do a daily “inner view”.. The Bariatric Journey is at times so focused on what protein powder is the best, how many calories should I consume daily, will I need plastic surgery and what exercises should I do that sometimes our inner needs are neglected.
*A great way to get to know your inner self is to “be still” quiet your mind and relax. Focus on breathing and allow your self to meditate.
7. Learn to love *water* oh what water can do for the mind, body and soul…. Body, not only does water cleanse our outer body but it flushes our inside as well. Drinking water flushes the toxins in the body (think about where the “fat” goes as it is broken down and processed. How do we flush it from our system…) water keeps us hydrated. Mind… can you imagine you are water and as life’s situations come at you head on flow around them like water.. don’t ignore them… but don’t get stuck in the drama of everyday life. Soul.. ahhh water sit and listen to the sound of the ocean. (even if you don’t live there you can find noise makers and online sites that offer ocean wave noise) let your spirit flow free.
8. Create an awareness… be mindful of your eating, your physical activity, and be aware of your thoughts and spoken word. When one hangs out with ideas of guilt and shame, there is a tendency to feel undeserving of success. It is often success and one’s inner light that is feared… understand obesity did not show up in your life because you are bad or undeserving. Everyone deserves health, wealth and wellness to balance their life.
9. Support~ Do you have it at home? Are you attending support groups? Don’t rely on people who don’t listen or support you on your journey. There are people trained in listening and giving support. You don’t want to let someone else navigate your journey, but you do want someone to walk beside you.
10. Forgive…..Forgive yourself for the things you can not change. You can’t change the past and if the past includes overeating, eating disorders, and or obesity… it’s your past.. Harboring guilt and shame will only call up the old tendencies…. Forgive yourself of what you feel were shortcomings and allow yourself to live life from a place of love and acceptance.
11. Take your future and your happiness into your own hands. When you look outside of your heart for love, or you put your happiness in someone elses hands you are setting yourself up for disappointment.Who knows what brings you joy more than you?
12. Surrender to love…unconditional love of the self.. There is where true healing is found. Love and respect for the self,exactly the way you are. Accept your imperfections,and your shortcomings.Accept your body. Don’t try to change who you are. Love your self and accept yourself at every step in this journey. Do not tolerate self abuse and then you can find love in everything you do.