Below is the opening article from today's 5 Day Pouch Test Bulletin. Click the link above to read the Bulletin in its entirety.
Recently in a question and answer session I was asked "What is the single most important advice you give to post weight loss surgery patients?" Well, I was certainly caught off guard by this and on the spot I'm not sure I gave the best answer when I said "Make your own health a priority before taking care of anyone else so that when it is time to care for and nurture others you have the physical and mental strength to do so." I am not original with this advice and it does sound good in a sentence, but how do we do that in the real world of family-work-friends-social-religious-networking commitments?
So, I am taking the opportunity with this 5 Day Pouch Test Bulletin to amend my answer and offer something a bit different, although I do know that we do our best when we are healthy. Knowing this, I suggest we actively pursue an internal peace treaty whereby we separate the medical condition of obesity and/or morbid obesity from our moral character and personal self-worth. In 2010 I wrote an article that explains this better:
"I Am Not Obese. Since kindergarten the word "fat" defined me and I actually thought that was who I was because "You are fat" and "I am fat" were constant phrases in my world. By about age 40 I finally figured out that I am not fat. I have obesity, a disease. Have you heard a heart attack patient say, "I am heart disease" or a leukemia patient say, "I am cancer"? We are not the disease. Heart attacks and leukemia are not a moral failure and neither is obesity. We are not the disease! We have a disease that is part of the whole person that makes us the wonderfully unique and powerful person we are." Read the full article.
When we disjoint our moral character, our spiritual self, and our self-worth from the medical condition we are fighting with weight loss surgery we are able to pragmatically approach the control and treatment of the condition without making it personal. We are not bad people if we relapse with weight gain and we are not bad for having this illness in the first place. It just happens to be the cards we were dealt in this life. If you have ever been the parent of a child with an illness you understand the emotional baggage that comes with the news that something is wrong. But you also know that when you take a knowledgeable and deliberate approach in the management of the problem you are better able to function and do the right things.
So, I suggest we take a clinical approach toward our obesity. management. When we lose weight we put obesity in remission. When we gain weight obesity is in relapse. As intelligent beings we can take an active role in managing our remission by using our experience and the knowledge we glean from others. We can return to the behaviors that worked shortly after surgery to help us lose weight. Behaviors that are not supportive of our health can be considered and replaced. We have opportunities every day to improve our health and enjoy the pleasures good health brings.
Please consider this if you are using the 5 Day Pouch Test to get back on track. Take your knowledge and let it empower you because you are a good and worthy person. You are not your disease. I have met enough of you, my WLS Neighbors , to say this with complete conviction. You deserve to be your very best - obesity be damned for getting in the way!
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"I believe in you.
You deserve to be healthy.
You deserve to be kind to yourself.
You deserve to achieve your greatest level of success with weight loss surgery when you harness your inner resources."
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