Since I realize I don’t put date stamps on my blog posts, for future reference this is being posted on December 5, 2013, the day after my 37th birthday.
I know many of you wonder what to do on your birthday. In a former life there was cake and ice cream and overly indulgent meals. But what do you do now that you’re trying to live differently.
Well, the answer isn’t the same for everyone. As a longer-term post-op I can say that I know some people who do cake and ice cream, just in smaller quantities or sugar-free. I know others who abstain.
I personally ditched the cake/ice cream paradigm right off the bat after surgery. Firstly, sweets just don’t captivate me the way they did before surgery but also I wanted to start a new tradition. For the first few years post-op I’d treat myself to a HARD workout (with a trainer even!) and I’d go out to sushi with my mother.
Then in 2012 things changed. Mama Foodie passed away in March 2012 and with her went my birthday tradition.
Last year I reacted to that by cancelling my birthday. I forbade folks from planning celebrations. Many folks were bummed about that because they wanted to make me feel special because they knew I was in pain. But in the end, I did what I needed to do emotionally and I’m proud to say I did not respond to my grief by overeating!
This year was my second birthday post-Mama. I didn’t cancel my birthday but I also didn’t make a big fuss out of it. Truth be told, I have no idea if I’ll ever feel the same about my birthday again.
So what did I do? I tried to reach outside myself a little. I volunteered to help wrap Christmas presents donated to homeless women and children. I went to work (true fact: Nik has a day job for an organization working to end poverty, injustice and human suffering). I came home and cooked dinner for my divas and we prepped the house for Christmas deco. And guess what? It was just what I needed!
The lesson here: some things in life can be overwhelming after WLS. And then some things in life can just plain be overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from people. Self-care is important to this process.