Choices & Priorities

On May 7th, 2010, posted in: blog by

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You know we talk to thousands and thousands of WLS patients and read even more thousands of emails. We hear the stresses and the life stories that get in the way each and every day. The things that “keep” people from making good choices . . . at least that’s their words to us. They tell us, very sincerely, about how they don’t have “time” to eat the right things or how they don’t have “time” to take their vitamins or how they don’t have “time” to plan a meal or how they don’t have “time” to exercise and the list goes on and on. Now they do have time to email or watch tv at night or any number of other things but they don’t have “time” for their health. Huh? Let’s talk about this and really put it into perspective a little better.

You know, it is choices . . read that again CHOICES. YOUR CHOICES. Life is always going to get in the way. There isn’t a single one of us that has it easy every day. There’s going to be some form of stress that gets in the way. Maybe we just don’t have enough time to do everything we need or to get all the kids to the events they have or to handle even the day-to-day tasks at hand. Add in jobs, bills, health issues, family issues, friend issues, cars breaking down, pets to care for, neighbors to help, events to plan or attend. Believe me, I do understand. Dan & I work no less than 18 hours each and every single day. We answer in excess of 10,000 emails every single month, plus the message board, the group, do speaking engagements. Oh, did I mention that I’m CEO of a thriving business as well that takes all around the country as well? Add in that we have 6 kids, 6/soon to be 7 grandkids (and we’re so proud of all the kids and grandkids). That’s just scratching the surface of our world. Even with all of that, we still have to make ourselves and our health a priority before all of that.

There’s always going to be something. Even in a bare bones minimal day, we all have homes to care for and meals to plan and laundry to do and groceries to buy and jobs to do. Do you see a pattern here? No matter what you do or where you are, there are going to be demands. Even if you are retired, there are still demands. As long as we are living and breathing, there are demands and expectations.

So we have to make our choices a normal part of our day, a necessity. Our own needs to keep us on track and healthy has to be one of those priorities in our day. Just like breathing! It needs to be THAT important! It doesn’t need to be optional to skip over. We lived the morbid obese life before WLS. We walked through that miserable time where we tried everything didn’t we? We all jumped through hoops and did everything we had to do to have the surgery that was going to change our lives, right? We had MAJOR SURGERY as a last option. OMG, that’s extreme so now we need to remember that. Sometimes time itself seems to fade out the severity of our memories. Don’t let it do that. Remember how horrible and sharp and miserable it was being morbidly obese!

So why, after finally having the surgery and seeing how well it works and KNOWING what we have to do . . . . do we convince ourselves that it’s okay to put our needs on the back burner? Why do we allow ourselves to become less important again? I want you each to know how important you are! You have gone through more than most will ever experience. You have fought so hard to get here and to get healthy again, both physically and emotionally. Don’t let little things sidetrack you and send you back to where you started. It can happen and in tiny little steps and without you even realizing it. You don’t want to wake up and find you’re back at square one. You’ve come so far and endured so much. You’ve worked so hard. Do you really want to let it go and inch your way back to where you were before? Or even part way back there? Is there any part of the morbid obese lifestyle you would want again? Of course not!

If you are at square one . . you know we’re here for you. If you’re off track . . you know we’re here for you. But it’s all in your control to make the choices to make you a priority. It’s OKAY to put you and your health first. It’s OKAY to take the time to meal plan and to think about what vitamins and supplements you need. It’s OKAY if that takes priority over something else on your “to do” list because without you, there is no “to do” list in the first place for you to complete.

If your spouse or your partner or your child had a life saving, life alterning procedure and you knew they had to do certain things each day to stay on track . .. you would want them to do what they needed to do, wouldn’t you? Give yourself that same permission to do what you need. Remember where you were before surgery and why you did all of this. The steps you need to take everyday are so much smaller and so much easier than where you used to be, aren’t they? I mean, menu planning, weighing and/or measuring foods, reading labels, taking vitamins and supplements and even short term food journaling. Those are all pretty easy things in comparison to not being able to walk or breathe or tie our shoes or having life threatening diseases due to morbid obesity. Who remembers having to buy clothes that all came with letters attached (XXXL, 26W, etc)? Who remembers having to use seat belt extenders? Who remembers needing help doing basic tasks like tying your shoes or even putting your shoes on? Who remembers the embarrassment of not even being able to take care of our own personal hygiene because we couldn’t reach where we needed to reach? As crude as this sounds, we all know it’s true and real and a part of the morbid obese world. Not things or places we want to revisit.

Start today and make excuses a thing of the past. Make choices a priority .. choices for you. You didn’t come this far and fight this hard to go back! So you may need to get up a few minutes earlier or you watch one less tv program or you tell someone they have to wait. That just has to be a part of your reality. They’ll get over it and you’ll survive. They key is that by you making the choices that are in YOUR best interest are going to keep you healthier and feeling better which is going to in turn make for a happier home too where those day-to-day stresses are just a little easier to handle. At least you won’t have morbid obesity or weight issues to be added to that stress list. Put your name on top of that priority list. Make choices for you so you can and will be around to make a difference.

-Melissa & Dan

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