The diet industry has conditioned us to think long-term lifestyle changes are unnecessary to accomplish weight loss. We are impatient and demanding, we want a quick fix. Expectations are unrealistic and result in failure, disappointment and self-loathing.
But weight loss surgery is for life.
To that end, we must re-define normal.
Normal is living without co-morbidities: asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, heartburn, and knee and back pain.
Normal is feeling your body in motion, walking up stairs briskly, and bending to tie your shoes.
Normal is playing children’s games on the floor and getting up without struggling.
Normal is hearing compliments about how great you look.
Normal is ACCEPTING compliments about how great you look.
Normal is fastening an airplane lap belt and pulling it tight.
Normal is enjoying clothes shopping.
Normal is the thrill of amusement park rides.
Normal is waking up early to jump on the scale – and thrilling at the number.
Normal is living without the incessant distraction of food and the relentless hunger.
Normal is feeling proud – not ashamed – of your body.
Normal is savoring food one bite at a time, not ravaging it.
Normal is having the power – the tiny tummy - to control eating behavior.
Normal is eating three meals a day and not snacking in between – and doing just fine.
Normal is feeling immediate discomfort when too much food, or the wrong food is consumed.
Normal is taking vitamins every day.
Normal is drinking water – lots of water.
Normal is enjoying exercising!
Normal is boundless energy.
Normal is a positive outlook, not fearing the doom of an early, miserable death for obesity related health complications.
Normal is eating lean protein at every meal.
Normal is declining doughnuts or pizza – and not feeling deprived!
Normal is making healthy eating and behavior modification a lifestyle for the whole family.
Normal is quality food, not gluttonous quantity.
Normal is taking responsibility for your own health and wellness.
Normal is respecting the science of your body, respecting the tiny tummy, and respecting yourself.
Normal is constant attention to weight maintenance.
Normal is feeling deep compassion for the obese.
Normal is being scared of the rapid transformation your body makes.
Normal is bouts of anger over years of self-loathing, discrimination, isolation and suffering.
Normal is the occasional departure from the rules that results in dumping or vomiting.
Normal is a rapid return to appropriate eating behavior.
Normal is seeing, for a time, a stranger in the mirror.
Normal is freeing yourself from obesity’s prison.
Normal is understanding that the pre-surgical behaviors and habits were unhealthy, destructive and abusive.
When a fellow patient asks, “When will I get back to normal?” the answer is Never-Ever-Never. Your tiny tummy is a one-way ticket to health, happiness and better living – the new normal!
Re-define your own normal! Chose your path into bariatric maturity. Embrace the new healthy, attractive you!
Welcome to your new life: You have arrived!