I have been getting a few emails lately on the email account for my radio show Fit Living telling me that with my attitude, I must be one of the few people who have had a perfect journey since my surgery and that must be why I am always so nice and always positive and always seem happy etc.
One even asked me about the theme song to my radio show Dynamite by Taio Cruz and why I chose it etc. Did the song make me happy? What did it have to do with me?
Yes I feel like that song reflects my attitude on life. No it has not been perfect. Surgery journey has not been perfect. I have had my share of problems. I had issues for over six months where I got sick every time I put ANYTHING solid into my mouth. It was so hard as this came right in the middle of training for my first half-marathon and taking my classes for my nutrition certifications. Yes it was bad timing. Everything was tested. Gallbladder, stomach for ulcers, colon, and on and on. It took a long time and a lot of tests before it was discovered that I had a condition called EPIPLOIC APPENDAGITIS. (And no it has nothing to do with your appendix. I thought that too at first.)
It was rough and I had a hard time. Only liquids and slider foods went down okay for MONTHS. I could have gotten very upset and very unhappy, but what good would it have done? If I had let myself get depressed and unhappy and let it ruin my day every morning, how would that have helped the situation? It wouldn’t have. I could have said “oh the hell with it” and eaten the bad for me slider type things that worked and then I likely would have gained weight and been even more miserable. And for the record, of course I was scared, and of course I was upset. My husband and I both wanted to know what was going on and how to make it stop.
Instead of letting it beat me, I chose to really research and learn and try to do everything in my power to make sure my body was being treated properly in order to help me heal. I was very careful not to miss a vitamin and was careful for six months not to put soda, sugar, or alcohol into my body. On days when only liquids worked, I added unflavored protein to broths and drank protein shakes all day long.
Sure some of it was out of my control, but I knew I could give myself a boost by making sure my body was getting the best nutrition and by making sure I was getting my vitamins in and really doing my part. Eventually my body healed and now I feel great.
I really believe in my heart that no matter what we are experiencing, how we handle the stress and how we react to our circumstances can have a profound effect on the outcome. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that there are some situations in which no matter how much we try to think good thoughts and make them go away, they will not change. Trust me, I have been there. (the joke in my family is that I have been there, done that, and wrote the book…..no literally…I wrote the book about it. www.aftertherainbook.com ) I am not naive enough to think that I can make miracles happen by thinking happy thoughts. BUT I DO think that I can change how things turn out in the end by changing my attitude. My very life right now is a testament to that theory.
I could have let myself be beat down and dejected after the events of August 29, 2005, but I chose to be a fighter. I had a tough road and yes the insurance companies won and I lost and no I will never have back the sentimental things I lost and yes I paid a mortgage for years on a house that was gone, but guess what? I have an awesome new life now in Alabama and an awesome husband and two beautiful stepdaughters and my life has never been better. Had you asked me on September 2, 2005 if I thought Katrina was the best thing that had ever happened to me, as I sat in the road in front of the pile of rubble that had formerly been my home, I would likely have punched you in the face and I have never hit another human being in anger in my life.
I know Katrina and WLS have nothing to do with each other, but my point is that you never know when something bad going on in your world can turn into something great and a real blessing! So take the rough things and try to make the best of them and you may be surprised at the eventual outcome.
I look at the obstacles I face in my weight loss journey the same way. There are days when I feel like garbage and am tired and stressed and work is getting to me etc. and I just keep reminding myself of all the great things in life that I can do now that I couldn’t do with 130 more pounds on my frame.
When I get upset over the way my extra skin looks( an issue I know many of use have because I get emails and hear from my clients about how they liked their bodies better BEFORE they lost weight and thought their obese bodies looked better than the hanging skin bodies etc.), I just remember that skin can be hidden and no matter how much of it there is, our new leaner bodies are so much healthier than when we were morbidly obese!
I may have some skin that bugs me, of course it does, I am human, but guess what? Does that skin keep me from running 10-13 miles at a time? NO…..could I have done that in my old body? HECK NO. Yep, I will take the skin over the 325 pound Erin ANY DAY.
I got an email recently from someone going on a cruise and how it was the first one since surgery and how they love the fruity cocktails and sweet tropical drinks and how will they enjoy the cruise without being able to have sugar. I have been on two cruises since my surgery and I like fruity drinks too. I grew up in New Orleans where the Daquiri was invented! What did I do? I took with me on my cruise some of the single serving packets of Crystal Light and some Splenda packets. (first off I know some do not believe in drinking alcohol at all after WLS and that is AOK. I personally like to have a drink on social occasions. The difference now is that I can sip on drink, a weak one, for hours and that is all I have.) When I wanted a cocktail, I went to the bar, ordered a shot of rum and then took my HUGE squeeze bottle and put my shot of rum and my fruit punch flavored Crystal Light and my orange flavored Crystal Light and filled it with water and BAM I had my sweet fruity drink to last all day!
My point is, there are ways around everything and ways to make any bad situation turn better, it is all in how you approach things. When something doesn’t go my way I can either choose to let it make me unhappy or I can choose to see the good that can come and work that angle.
I was speaking at a support group a few weeks ago and during the beginning as everyone went around introducing themselves, I kept hearing a few people with theme of “I only lost 10 pounds last month” or “I am only down 56 pounds and feel like I need to be at 75”. When I got up to speak, I told them all that instead of being upset at how slowly they were losing, to think about how long it took them to lose that amount of weight before their procedure and how many times they lost it and gained it back! Losing ten pounds in a month is a great thing and it is ten pounds closer to the goal you want to be at in the end!
If you visit The Bariatric Guru website, you hear the song Dynamite when the page opens. I first heard that song in Walt Disney World as I stood in the corral waiting for the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon to start. It was about 430 am and I was cold and terrified and hopeful and nervous and excited all at the same time. This was my big moment. I was either going to finish the half marathon or I was going to have an EPIC FAIL. I finished that race and it was the most amazing non-scale victory to date. Later that evening as we rode the ferry from Old Key West resort to Downtown Disney, I heard the song again!
It really struck me as an uplifiting tune and I fell in love with it. Yes I want to throw my hand up in the air and celebrate my life!!! That song truly defines how I feel about my new life and my new opportunities and the new people I have met and the new relationships.
I literally want to live every day as a celebration and as a victory over obesity and the things it kept me from doing before. I welcome the challenges the new life brings, and yes it brings plenty. I feel like they make us stronger people in the end. I can deal with things now that would have stopped me in my tracks five years ago.
I feel like the luckiest and most blessed woman alive! I have my amazing family and friends and my overall health and my radio show and my clients, and I have never been happier, even on days when I physically do not feel amazing!
My husband always tells me something and I truly believe it with all my heart. He says happiness is a choice. I agree totally. The next time life deals you a stinky blow, try stopping, taking a deep breath, and remembering the good things life has dealt to you as well. No matter how down or dark things seem, I promise there is something good to focus on! Will it make the bad part magically diappear? NO, but it will make it a bit easier to swallow.
So, bottom line, that mentality is where my positive vibe comes from. No, it does not come from a perfect life, or a problem-free life or surgery, but from my choice to be happy and to try to spread happiness no matter what life deals me.
Choosing to be happy just works for me. I like it, and I plan to keep it up! It helped me greatly through the last few weeks of having my brother and son and father all in hospital for various reasons.
So is my life perfect? NO.
Is my life problem and trouble-free? NO
Has my surgery been a perfect journey? NO
Do I have days where I just want to eat a plate of nachos and cry? YES
But on those days, I choose to remember all of the good things I have going for me since my WLS and all of the good people I have surrounding me and when I do, guess what? The bad parts just seem more bearable!
Thanks for letting me talk to you all every Sunday for one glorious hour. It truly makes me happy and I truly consider it a privilege! I hope all of you in this community continue to call in each weekend and send me your thoughts and ideas. It really is YOUR show!