Written, April, 2012, 10 months post-op. And sweetheart, this is about LIFE too.

I had a check-up with my doctor this week.
We’ve never met, which means she doesn’t know what I looked like a year ago.
Generally speaking, primary care offices don’t take pictures of their patients at every visit the way they take your blood pressure and temperature.

Maybe they should.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

But I wonder…would a picture really help my doctor understand the full impact of weight loss surgery on my life? If she had my before and after pictures along with my medical records, would that show her everything that’s changed?

My latest lab results tell my doctor that my blood sugars have normalized, my cholesterol levels are healthy, and my liver is no longer suffering.  With the exception of low iron, which I’m working on, she can see my health has improved dramatically over the last 10 months.

But what can’t she see?

My new doctor can’t see what else has happened. You know, the other stuff on the inside you can’t scan or run a test on.

Only I can see that. Only I can feel that.

My doctor can’t. Either can a spouse, partner, parent, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend, or best friend. Even when you try to explain what you’re feeling, thinking and how you have changed, you’re the only one who really knows how much. I’m the only one who knows to what degree I’ve changed my thinking, reacting, my self-talk. I’m the only one who’s aware of every thought I have and every decision I make.  Only I know if I’m really eating and exercising the way I should. And when I choose not to, only I know the reason why…and that’s only if I pay attention to the WHY.

Seriously, I remember being on Weight Watchers in the early 90s. I got bored with the program and pretty much decided to starve myself Monday through Friday before my weigh-in Saturday morning. I’d lose 2-3 pounds, then I’d eat whatever I wanted the rest of the weekend. Monday morning I was back to starving myself. And guess what? It worked! I lost 80 pounds. Everyone congratulated me on a job well done. But I knew that weight loss wasn’t sustainable. My doctor also congratulated me on my healthy eating and exercise habits after in impressive 80-pound weight loss. But I knew the truth.

Ultimately, we’re the doctors of our inner-selves.  If we want to be healthy on the inside, we schedule the check-ups on how we’re doing with things.  We run the tests to see if we’re utilizing the right skills for the right life situations.  With these exams and results we’re able to determine if a change is needed.  And when it is, we’re the ones to determine what the prescription should be.  It could be something basic like not buying the cookies so they aren’t in the house when we’re stressed, or seeking help from a therapist for Cross-Addiction.

Are you ready for this?

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Because weight loss surgery it quite a journey!
And like all journeys, there are forks in the road, directions to choose, decisions to make. We consult our internal-GPS and move forward with the information we have.  If we’re off course, if the path isn’t getting us where we want to be, then we need to make a new choice.

I wish you well on your journey, as I continue with mine.

Peace, love and light to you.