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Food for Thought: Stuff I Know As a Veteran Weight Loss Surgery Patient

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I would consider 2012 the WORST year of my life. I lost my house to the housing bubble, my mother to ailments forever unknown, my world turned upside down — and that was just the first four months of the year! Quite frankly, I didn’t know how or even if I’d survive the rest of it.

2013 was a little better. I started to hobble my way out of the funk that had cast over me in the previous year. I started to imagine a life without one of the most important people in it…and I recommitted to THIS lifestyle.

I’ve always said my WLS, in the beginning, was 100% aesthetic. I was tired of being fat so I had surgery. And that’s true. But it’s funny how life teaches you things. As I’ve walked this journey and spoken to so many of you, my journey has become about so much more than that!

These days I’m working toward longevity. With the exception of my great-grandmother, every women in my maternal line has died before the age of 60. Being 38, you can see how that scares the bejeezus out of me. So that’s what I’m working toward. This has, of course, changed my outlook in life as well as here on the blog in several ways.

I can’t be too preoccupied with the scale. Sure, it gives important information but to me it’s only one piece in a very big puzzle of good health. I can’t be too preoccupied with loose skin, of which I have much. It’s there but, guess what? I’m here! Living, breathing and enjoying life. So if I have to do it with a little loose skin, so be it. I can’t even get hung up on hair thinning. It helps that I have alopecia totalis and have been marching toward a bald head for many years now, but back inna day that bugged me. Today, not so much. I have no hair, but I am here.

I tell you that not to tell you not to have worries or fears about what you are going through – that’s not my place! I tell you that so that you understand when I try to nudge you past your worries and fears to the bigger picture. Because when I interact with you all, I am in awe.

Do you all see what I see? I see folks who could barely walk who now run marathons. I see women who wanted to be mothers so badly, rejoicing in newfound pregnancy. I see men who for the first time feel like real protectors of their families. I see people SEEING themselves as beings of worth for the very first time.

As for me, this year I have decided that I want to live to meet my great-grandchildren, at least. I hope you don’t mind if I say I am hoping to be very old when that happens! And I have started doing everything I can (recognizing there’s only so much I can do) to make that happen.

I think I can do it. Just as I think you can do the things you set out to do. So don’t be hindered by what you are not. Be empowered by what you are. Don’t think about what you haven’t accomplished, think about what you have done.

Time is the only resource you can spend and not regenerate. So spend it wisely!