It seems I spend an exorbitant amount of time berating myself for "mistakes" made, poor choices, and sheer laziness. And you know where this gets me? On a short shame train to Miseryville. Why? Because, all it really does is create a shame cycle. I start beating myself up for beating myself up! Talk about counter-productive!
Every day I do my best to work on this; to be gentle and kind and loving with myself. Of course, this is not always easy but it's a start.
Part of trying to be more kind with myself is cherishing my "ah-ha moments". Those moments where it clicks, when all the work I've done, all the pain I went through, all the small meals and long walks seem so well worth it. When even despite my self-perceived "shortcomings" can't compare to the greatness I am feeling. So, in an effort to keep the positive at the forefront of my mind, rather then the negative, I've begun making a list of these moments, to which I will add whenever one pops out at me. So, in my darker moments, I can have something concrete to remind me that I have already accomplished so much and I am in control of accomplishing even more.
So, without further ado, here is the beginning of my Ah-Ha List:
- Totally bypassing old clothes. Let me explain...I have a massive range of sizes in my closet from my ever yo-yoing weight. Prior to my surgery, I went through all my clothes and packed up the clothes that were too small into bins. I knew I would eventually be back into them but at that moment they were far too small to wear. Since my surgery, I have often forgotten about the bins sitting in the basement and by the time I go fishing through them I have already sailed right past and out of a number of the pieces of clothing in there. I have had the joy of reclaiming old clothes as well but actually being too big for clothes that used to be too small is a pretty amazing feeling. I still have some stuff waiting for me in those bins and I am trying to remember to check them more often so I can at least enjoy them even for a moment before they too become too big.
- My polish sausage legs are looking more and more like sausage links now. It's been YEARS since I have donned shorts but with the advent of "Bermuda shorts" and my less beefy legs, I've actually welcomed the opportunity to let my white legs free. I even have a rather itty-bitty skort I enjoy wearing from time to time.
- I can cross aforementioned sausage links! Prior to surgery, crossing my legs was out of the question, as was sitting with one leg tucked under me (which was a favorite position to sit in as a child). Now, I can cross my legs with abandon! (Only in one direction though, not sure what that is about. Anyone else have this?) I can also tuck one leg under me and find it oh so comforting. It reminds me of being a kid and sitting like that and letting my free leg swing.
- Chairs with arms no longer send a shock wave of fear down my body. I no longer scan waiting rooms for a couch or armless chair to sit in. This one is a BIG for me as my not fitting into armed chairs was actually one of the things that helped push me towards WLS. After a very uncomfortable meal in an armed chair at a lovely restaurant in Paris, I knew something had to give. (Even now, thinking about that meal makes me want to cry. That was one of my most miserable fat moments.) So from now on, whenever I sit comfortably in an armed chair, I can't help but feel a huge rush of gratitude as I do my internal happy dance.
- Mirrors and large windows don't send me screaming for the hills. Prior to WLS, I avoided mirrors and large reflective surfaces like the plaque. If I did encounter them, I never looked at the reflection. I would find something else to keep my attention. Since surgery, I find myself actually surprised by what I see looking back at me. When I really study myself in the mirror at home I often don't see the difference between me then and me now. It's moments when I am walking by a store window and look over quickly that I really see it. I am so surprised by all that's changed, that it takes me a moment to even realize that that not so bulky figure, is me!
- Boobs, glorious boobs! At my heaviest my shape was round, with little definition in my waist. Since loosing weight I have rediscovered a body shape other then round My boobs now actually stick out further then my stomach. My stomach almost looks flat in the right clothing! I am grateful that I have not lost much weight at all in my decolletage as being a little busty has always been a feature of mine with which I am comfortable.
In the meantime, what have been some of your ah-ha moments on your WLS journey?