OK, by a show of hands, how many of us fell off of our healthy living plans during the holidays? (Can you see my hand waving?) I’m hoping your landing was softer than mine. I fell face first into the Thanksgiving appetizers, waking weeks later with a smear of fudge on my chin. Today I am eight pounds heavier than I was two months ago.
As a barbaric surgery patient who has lost and regained hundreds (and hundreds) of pounds in my life time – weight gain is scary. Feelings of hopelessness and failure pop up as my brain chatter shifts to “Here I go again, I’m doomed to live my life in a 300 lb. body, why do I even try?”
It’s been said that even the most skilled riders fall off their horses now and again. They say the trick is to get back up, dust yourself off, and climb right back up into the saddle.
Getting back into the saddle is a concept that is still new for me in relationship to my weight and health. Owning where I am and how I got here requires a new level of accountability – these 8 lbs. I’m wearing are the result of choices I made. Some of those choices were mindful, many of them were made unconsciously as I stumbled into old habits or outdated modes of stress management. It requires a new level of love, compassion, and forgiveness – for myself. Beating the hell out of myself, name calling, shaming, all-or-nothing thinking, brutal unsustainable regimens, and guilt have never made me healthier. In fact, they contributed to the 175 extra pounds I carried. It requires that I open myself up to new ideas & possibilities, learn new skills, challenge old beliefs, fears, & thoughts, allow for both mistakes and for the possibility of success beyond my wildest imagination. It requires that I admit that I need support, that I reach out for and accept help.
Our weight is about so much more than calories in and calories out. Healing what got us where we are takes courage, commitment and the belief that we are worth the effort. Today I know that I am worth the effort.
There’s no time like the present. So I am back in the saddle with the intention of entering this new year back on track. You know, that’s an interesting phrase, “there’s no time like the present”. The truth is that there is NO time BUT the present. The only moment we have to do anything is the present moment. We can’t change the past or the future… we can only change this present moment. But every changed present moment affects the decisions we’ll be able to make at some future moment. If I want a future that’s better than my past, I can’t change it in the future; I can only change it in the present. That’s a monumental realization for a master procrastinator like me! I don’t like to start anything unless I can see the entire path to a successful completion. I want all of the specifics nailed down before I start; but in reality it’s impossible to see all of the details of a challenging project up front. This makes it easy to delay starting. And even when I do start, and then fall off my horse, I want to make sure I can see the end of the trail before I climb back into the saddle again.
Well this time I’m making a new choice. I’m getting back on my horse RIGHT NOW, even though I can’t see beyond the first bend in the trail. I am choosing to deal with each day as it comes, to make choices in my present that will support my future health and well being. I’m choosing peace instead of perfection. Accepting reality instead of fighting it. Opting to look beyond the mountain of fearful “what ifs” and trust that in this present moment the Universe is always for (versus against) me. I’m choosing to live my life NOW , instead of putting conditions on my “happily ever after”. (You know what I’m talking about… When you’re: smarter, thinner, wealthier, fitter, retired, married/single, prettier, or “have it all together”.)
Life is a wild ride, and no doubt I’ll race around a curve too quickly or attempt to pass through uncharted territory in the dark, falling off my horse again. And again. I will get back in the saddle every time I fall because I am worth it, as is the freedom that comes with good health.
Along the way I’ll continue to learn about myself, exchange habits that don’t serve my well-being for those that do, restock my tool chest with new tools and shake the dust off of some that I’ve forgotten, expand my network of support, and keep returning to the one thing I can change – this present moment.
I’m inviting all of you to dust off your sore backsides, climb back onto your horse and join me as we confidently ride in to 2015 back in the saddle!
If you are feeling like you’ve fallen off your horse and need support getting back up into the saddle, if you’re experiencing the pain of weight regain or are struggling with an extended plateau – there is hope and help! Join me for the Back On Track program beginning 1/13/15. Designed by WLS patients and medical professionals for weight loss surgery patients in need of support, education, and direction to get back on track. Participants report great success towards meeting their weight loss & wellness goals, and complete the program feeling rejuvenated, rededicated, and confident in their ability to manage their weight long term.
For more information contact Healthy Steps or Sharon McKenzie at: email@example.com
(Please note the 0 in Sharon is a zero)
Article by: Sharon McKenzie, RN, Licensed Bariatric Educator and Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Patient