Sunday, September 30, 2012

Four years comes with a whimper

I have often wondered about people who come to the online message boards and post "My X year surgiversary came and I forgot all about it!" How could you forget that, I wondered. Wouldn't it be like forgetting your birthday or anniversary?

Um, er, well...

The four year anniversary of my sleeve surgery was five days ago and I (sort of) completely forgot!

Of course, I didn't forget it entirely. I had plans for what I was going to post and how I was going to take my measurement and do the cottage cheese test and other things. But I never looked at the calendar and said "It's this Monday" so when the actual day came, I forgot it was the day and I didn't think of it until yesterday when I was taking a shower and planning out my day and thinking "I need to buy some cottage cheese for the cottage cheese test for my four year post" and then "Ohmigod, that was four days ago and I completely forgot to do all that!"

So now we have the taking of stock:

I am four years out and at this point I feel a bit like an alien in Weight Loss Surgery land. I go online and the vast majority of people are either pre-op or within the first six months and their concerns are not my concerns. But even the ones farther out, even years out, feel alien to me. They are all obsessing over their five, ten, 20, 30 even 50 pound gains and beating themselves for not eating perfectly. They talk about "letting bad habits back in" (i.e., not eating according to "the rules") and limit their foods to the point where they only eat cherries and berries for fruit because bananas are bad and so is pasta and they really need to start working out again.

And I just can't relate.

Maybe that means I'm doomed. I know there are people who say they plan to be vigilant forever because they didn't have this surgery to gain all their weight back and, if this is what it takes, this is what they'll do. They think that taking a laid-back attitude about it all leads to gaining all your weight back. Or they are convinced that, if they don't obsess, or follow some arbitrary rules of eating they will gain all their weight back because they can't just eat one cookie or have pasta once in a while.

But what I really think is that western society has trained us to diet and to hate our bodies and to obsess about our weight and not to trust ourselves and this is not good thing and we should fight it.

Plus, if obsessing about my weight and what I eat is and how much I work out is what it takes to be 10 pounds lighter, it's just not worth it to me. It's not worth it to me to only eat cherries and berries for fruit but never bananas because bananas are bad but berries are good. It's not worth it to me to never eat pasta or hot dogs or even macaroni & cheese ever again.

Quality of life is important to me and I lose quality of life when so much of my life revolves around food and my weight.

Bottom line: I like myself and I trust myself. I would rather be 10 pounds overweight than constantly on a diet. I know other people have made other choices and that's fine for them, but it's not my choice and it doesn't work for me to be that obsessive, not at this point in my life. (It worked for the first year though. More on that later.)

I remember reading "The Rules of 'Normal' Eating" and reading that it's better to have a good relationship with food and be 10 pounds over some "ideal" weight and rebelling. "I will not be 10 pounds over my ideal weight," I told myself. "I have self-discipline!! "

But here I am and now I understand what Dr. Koenig was trying to tell me. I still have self-discipline. What I no longer have is obsession.
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