How About a Little Self-Respect?
by Kaye Bailey
Lately as I have read emails and followed the WLS message boards I cannot help but wonder why do we torture ourselves? Why do we make life after WLS so difficult?
It seems there is a great amount of energy spent longing for old foods and the old way of life when not that long ago we longed for the new life that significant weight loss would bring us. Have you found yourself saying, “I miss my sweets or pasta or breads or XYZ?” Some of us go to the point of describing in detail the things we miss in a form of agonizing remorseful self-torture. I can’t help but think this creates the perfect storm leading us to indulge these longings and then feel pitiful for being non-compliant with this new way of life.
Why do we torture ourselves?
Consider if your closest friend went cold turkey off cigarettes. Would you describe to your friend in detail the taste, smell and chemical stimulation achieved by smoking? Would you leave ashtrays on the table or opened packages of cigarettes with matches in sight? Would you torture your friend like that? Of course not! You love your friend and are engaged in being the best support possible as they transition to a healthier way of life.
So why do we torture ourselves?
According to Dr. Dan Baker, author of What Happy People Know, in life there will always be monsters. For WLS patients the monster may well be the very foods that made us fat. Dr. Baker said, “There are always going to be monsters for me, and for you, too. They are the monsters of loss, death, loneliness, and pain. Monsters are part of life. And it’s acceptable to have them in your life – as long as you know how to blow them away.”
Dr. Baker says the way in which we talk to ourselves is key in blowing away the monsters. He writes, “Since self-talk is so powerful, however, it’s important to choose your words carefully. If you use destructive language, you’ll muddy your wisdom and create perceptions that can ruin your life.”
I suggest, more specific to our post-WLS monsters, we embrace a self-talk for love of health, nutrition and overall wellness. Instead of dwelling on all those comfort foods of the past perhaps we would be better served to become zealots for healthy eating. Instead of testing the waters and seeing what forbidden foods we can get away with how about seeing what beautiful healthy clean nutritious eating feels like?
Today is a new day and a new beginning to treat ourselves with the same love and self-respect we treat our friends. No more self-torture! Blow away the monsters and welcome to your world a new self-respect!
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