One week from tomorrow I’ll be heading in for my last skin reduction surgery. Hurray! This will be my fifth operation in the past 10 months, and believe me, I’m ready to be finished. In preparation, starting today I’m going back on the LCD plan of New Direction®. For those of you unfamiliar with New Direction®, this means that I’ll be consuming ND products for 2 meals, 2 snacks and then I’ll have a light meal that I prepare. I’m doing this for a few reasons.
First, New Direction® products are chock full of protein and protein helps with healing. I’ve found with the previous surgeries that if I stick with ND products, my healing has been faster. I’m all for that!
Second, I’ve gained some weight. Ugh. Now, as someone who writes a blog about losing weight and keeping it off, that’s not an easy thing to admit. However, I just re-read a post I wrote about getting back on track (Help! I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up – Part Two, if you’re interested), and this is what I said that hit me between the eyes this morning:
Stop playing Hide and Seek
When I was a young child whenever I would do something I knew I shouldn’t have, my inclination was to hide. I did this for a few reasons: I didn’t want to get in additional trouble, I was afraid of the consequences, but most importantly – I was embarrassed. I was ashamed of my behavior and I thought by hiding, no one would find out.
The same can be said for this dieting battle. Whenever I’ve “fallen off the wagon”, the first thing I want to do is hide. And not just from others – from myself as well! I think if I ignore what happened, it didn’t really happen. If I don’t talk about it, if I keep it to myself, I can pretend that everything’s fine. But everything is not fine and it will only be a matter of time before it’s obvious to me and those around me. So, it’s time to stop hiding.
One of the most important resources that I’ve had through this journey/battle is the support of family and friends. While I appreciate and NEED the support of those around me, the most important source of support has come from those who are in the New Direction ® program or are fighting their own battle to get healthy in another way. These are the people who are in the trenches with me. They get it. They understand in a way that those without weight issues never will. They are my fellow warriors and I need them.
In those times when I feel like hiding, I go to them instead. I connect. I tell the truth, hard as it may be, and I allow them to come alongside me and lift me up and help get me back on track. This connection is vital.
Yikes! This, this right there is why I began writing. I knew that there would come a point where I’d want to remember some lessons I’d learned, but being sixty years old, I was afraid I’d forget! And this lesson – wow, what an important one! Be honest, especially with the people who support you.
So, honestly, I have gained weight. Not gonna lie and not gonna hide it. I have been struggling over the past month to regain control of my eating, but that’s not been working out so well. Do I know why? Yes! I’m freaking tired! As you know, I consider this weight loss battle one that involves my physical, emotional and spiritual sides and I am exhausted on every side. Most days, I consider it a victory if I can climb out of bed.
Knowing that I’m completely out of gas has been helpful, but if I’m really honest, I’m still a bit annoyed with myself.
It’s also a little embarrassing to admit that I’ve gained weight when for the past year or more I’ve been held up as the poster child for New Direction® or as the queen of successful weight loss. I know that people look towards me for inspiration, and I don’t want to disappoint them. But, the truth is, I’m human. I make mistakes. I eat too many carbs. I skip exercising. I don’t drink enough water. I even ate a donut and had some ice cream! If that shocks you, I apologize.
But the news isn’t all bad. Yes, I’m tired, yes, I’ve gained weight, yes, my favorite jeans are too tight, but NO! I’m not discouraged! I can’t even say I’m really upset. How is that possible? Talk about paradigm shift!
I think it’s because I finally understand what my new reality is.
Physically, I know that my body is no longer the twice-the-size-of-me version. I know that this weight gain is temporary. I know it’s the result of the surgeries, and of being exhausted. I know that I need rest and that I’m going to get it soon.
Emotionally, I know that food is not the problem solver it pretends to be. I know that “comfort food” is only comforting for a moment and that the emotional cost that comes later is not worth the price. I know that my emotions are not to be feared and I know where to go for help when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I know that I’m more confident, more adventurous and more secure now and I like that!
Spiritually, I know that God has been with me even through this period. He continues to teach me lessons and instead of being resistant to what He’s trying to say, I find myself leaning in to listen more and wanting to accept the truths He’s telling me: I am loved. I am forgiven. I am a work in progress. God has got my back and He will see me through.
My recovery will begin in earnest next week, actually, I think it’s begun today with this post. I appreciate your support, and especially those who’ve joined the Through Thick and Thin Discussion Group on Facebook. It’s helpful to have a group I can be honest with. You all are very encouraging and I’m thankful to call you my friends.
I do have a recovery plan and I’m sure in just a few weeks, I’ll be able to fit into my favorite jeans again and over the summer I’ll be out walking the streets of New York without any issues and I’ll be strolling along the beaches of Ocean City, NJ enjoying the sunshine. If you see someone looking rested and refreshed, living their best life, that would be me. Stop and say hello!