Monday, March 25, 2013

The breakdown between knowing and doing

We can be educated on what it is we need to do in order to be successful, but the gap between putting that information into practice is an emotional and mental battle for many of us.  It's a power struggle internally and externally.  I remember the offense I took when my mother would ask me, "Can you eat that?" after having had my lapband.  My curt and annoyed answer was always, "Yes, why yes I can eat that as long as it was within moderation."

It is hard to make the final decision to give up the really bad food.  "Libre albedrio," I wrote in my little leather bound journal in Rio De Janeiro, just weeks before having my lapband placed.  The freedom and determination of analyzing our plans to do something and implementing that plan.  This concept that needs to develop within our psyche to "never go back" or let ourselves get comfortable. Now, I must acknowledge my behavior has become owning my actions and words, being honest with myself when I do it wrong. There are repercussions to  poor decision-making, always, especially with food after surgery.  I had read and studied up on the LapBand as my only option on the basic principle that I did not want to cut into the natural state of my organs.  What I didn't know was the amount of anxiety that would arise from my sudden false truths I had about my diet.  What I ate.  Sure, I was confident that I could lose more weight with this assistance of a physical barrier to limit the amount of food I ate. Now, I realize I was on the cusp of the emergent new, innovative weight lost surgery, the vertical sleeve, but I didn't ever get told by my surgeon this was an option.  I went with what I felt was safe. 

I didn't realize that I would develop such severe food anxieties after weight loss surgery. I would have to deal with anxiety in a way I had never experienced before.  From the start, my band was picky.  Some days I could eat anything. I developed acid reflux, I couldn't sleep at night because I had insomnia from laying in bed face up all night trying to get to sleep. While I had experienced depression from my weight issues, I never acknowledged the anxiety that would come about from a sudden feeling of being cut off from something that provided me with comfort. My overall self confidence before surgery was solid.  I had done a lot in my career with I.T. in college and got a degree in clothing design from LSU. Heck, I even went to work for Liz Claiborne and Disney to realize that I wanted to counsel people for a living. I stood up and spoke when I saw something could be done better, but often was put down, cast out or reprimanded for thinking things could be done differently. I look back and think that much of it could have been weight bias and egotism.  I didn't pay attention to the looks because I had gotten them so much growing up that I was immune to it.

I made decent grades as I struggled through issues with learning disorder and cognitive dysfunction and passed with B's and C's to get through undergrad.  I was obsessed with working 40 hours a week, taking 15 hours worth of classes each semester at least, and branching out to discover me.  I successfully lost 75 pounds from my highest recorded weight in my life, 353 lbs. to 280 lbs. from 2002 to 2005, through graduate school.  Then, Katrina happened.  Another storm in my life in the means of a man came through earlier that year, which positively ignited my understanding of healthy living and exercise.

So, here I am now. 6 days away from the race that started it all in 2002.  The Crescent City Classic 10k.  Easter weekend, 2002, I did my first race.  A 10K. It took me 2 hours and 40 minutes to go 6.2 miles.  But I did it.  I had never intentionally set out to walk a mile when I did this race.  Sure, I had marched in parades growing up, I knew what it was like to wear my body down to exhaustion.  This was different.  This is different this year as well.  I'm on year number eleven and I'm still trying to figure some things out with fitness and health.

Yesterday, I started with a new personal trainer.  I posted it on YouTube last night and today. I don't normally do videos.  But I am going to try to get more into the blogging.  I hear you have to in order to get your voice out there to change the way things are done.

And so, I'll do that.  And yes, I will let you all watch me through the process.  Since I do intend on having revision surgery because I do believe that there is an issue with my ghrelin hormone and cortisol and gene expression, it is also what we eat, what we do, how we implement change, how we regain control over our selves and our own egos.  Connie Stapleton says it best, it's the mentally of the addict, "I want what I want, when I want it."  There is some cognitive dysfunction associated with obesity, excess hormones will effect your mood.

When you want what's good for you, you will do what's best for you.  Denial is an eternally sick place to be.

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