This week has been a week of grieving. My 35yo nephew in-law died unexpectedly this week. His 31yo wife, 10yo daughter and 6yo son are left behind. It was such a shock. I spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday trying to find answers to all the "why's", "how's" and "what's". I talked to my niece on Thursday and was instantly put at peace and found solace in her outlook and attitude. How she could be so strong was inspiring to me. Then at the memorial, which she conducted, she was once again so strong. She gave comfort and support to everyone in that room in a fashion we should have been giving to her.
She asked us to write a memory of Peter. I found healing in the writing. I forgot how good it feels to write. At one time in my life I did a lot of writing, but strayed away from it many, many years ago. I have been trying to write more to process emotions and feelings since beginning my Back On Track classes with Ronda.
As I think of grieving in regards to my weight loss struggle, it centers on grieving over the types of foods and the amounts of food I can consume. I think about food all the time. I have to plan my meals and think about what I eat, when I eat, how I eat (slow, fork down between bites, chew thoroughly, etc.) where I eat and even why I eat. I have spent the last 2 weeks very focused on all these things. I have seen such great progress. I don't know if there will ever come a day I will be able to make eating natural; a day I won't have to weigh, measure and count to make sure I am eating correctly. I think it will in time, but until that time, this is the way of life for me. I am grateful God has provided the inspiration and desire to get back on track. He has given me the tools to be able to make this journey a success. Tools like Back On Track, Ronda, family and friend's support, encouragement from them, knowledge and desire, talents I possess, such as the talent for organization, etc.
I know if I hadn't had this surgery I would not have had the success I have had. See, for many, many, many years I tried this diet, that diet, this supplement, that supplement, Herbal Life, pills, Weight Watchers, counting, weighing measuring, dieting, dieting, dieting. Until the surgery I was unable to stay focused and be successful consistently. The big picture kept getting bigger (in weight) and my desire to be healthy continued to decrease. I figured it was just my lot in life to live with. IWLS provided the helping hand. The surgery doesn't fix the problem, but it gives me the tools and the springboard to succeed. It is up to me to use them to my best abilities. Through support from IWLS staff (Ronda, Jennifer & Pam) I have been able to see a healthier life. I can do things I haven't been able to do in so very long I thought they were out of reach.
This week I was told by someone she could see what surgery did for me. I am healthier looking and my happiness is evident. My energy is visually apparent and my speech shows my positive outlook. My posture shows the confidence. All this since surgery. There is no secret magic to the surgery. It is only a springboard to become better. I still have to do the work. I still have to have the focus and I still have to be dedicated to myself. Health is not a given, it is a present to me.
God has given me the drive to exercise regularly in order to be healthy. Before surgery that wasn't even an option. Before surgery I couldn't get on the floor and play with my nieces and nephew. Now I can! Before surgery I couldn't walk Wal-Mart, Dillon's or a block. I used the motorized scooter in the stores. Now I walk the entire store pushing a cart. I can walk miles in a day. I can stand for periods of time. I can bend. I can tie my shoes (with the bows on top). I can hug people closer. I can cross my legs. I can sit in a booth instead of at a table. I can walk through a turnstile forward instead of sideways. I could go on and on with this "grateful list", but I think you get the picture.
Yes, it is a grieving process. I grieve the comfort I used to find in food. I grieve the carefree days of eating what I want, when I want, how I want, etc., even if that mindset is what caused the dire position I was in before surgery. But the bigger benefit of my health, my abilities, my activity level and my positive outlook on life outweighs those grievances.
At the memorial service my niece chose 2 of her husband's favorite songs by Garth Brooks, "The River" and "The Dance". "The River" talks about living with the ebbs and flow of the river. We must adjust and carry on. "There's bound to be rough waters. And I know I'll take some falls. But with the good Lord as my captain, I can make it through it all." In Garth's song "The Dance" he talks about winning and losing and not knowing the events that will take place in life—"I could have missed the pain, but I'd of had to miss the dance." See, sometimes grieving is part of growing. Grieving is part of learning, Grieving is part of living and grieving is part of the progress. So as I grieve aspects of food and eating. I grow in health and I grow in happiness and I get to live with my family and friends. Thank you God for giving me a second chance with life. Thank you for this dance!
"...wisdom is the application of knowledge."
~Helen Kaitlyn Barclay~