Drop Some Rocks!
(Is Your Life a Burden?)By: Katie Jay, MSW, National Association for Weight Loss Surgery
Imagine that your job in life is to swim across a fast-moving river carrying a bag of rocks. People often fill their bags with too many rocks, including rocks that don’t belong to them.
A fast-moving river can be hard to get across even under the best of conditions. And it’s nearly impossible to cross when you are carrying a heavy burden.
We live in a busy world. Often success is measured by how much we do, how busy we are, and how heavy the load is that we carry.
WLS patients are faced with a choice after surgery, because we have chosen to add some hefty rocks to our bags — the responsibility of making our rigorous WLS lifestyle a priority — our ability to carry lots of other rocks will be limited.
By the very nature of our WLS we carry a lot of rocks in our bags: taking vitamins and supplements, monitoring our labs, exercising, losing and maintaining weight, drinking water, eating enough protein, dealing with food obsession, being prepared for any eating situation, adjusting our self image, fighting urges to graze or overeat or eat sweets…I could go on and on!
This added burden for WLS patients makes it imperative that we be deliberate in the number and size of the rocks we carry.
Because we carry the extra burden of the WLS lifestyle, we must take a realistic look at our lives and adjust our obligations accordingly.
If you are carrying other people’s rocks unnecessarily; i.e., doing all the work for the team at your job, volunteering again because no other parent will step up, making cookies for a friend’s party; you might want to rethink what you’re doing.
Carrying too many rocks is risky business. And carrying your WLS rocks and everyone else’s just might make your sink.
Keep these three things in mind, and begin to work on not making yourself carry such a huge bag of rocks:
Everyone has to carry rocks, but the people whose loads are the lightest tend to set good boundaries, value themselves, and take an honest look at their capabilities.
When you carry someone else’s rocks, and they are capable of carrying their own rocks, you don’t do yourself or them a favor.
Making brave choices about which rocks you will carry — and which ones you will not carry — will bring you more rewards than you could ever imagine.
Just remember, you don’t have to do everything everyone expects of you. You can say no to eating at a restaurant that triggers you to overeat. You can ask your husband or wife not to bring chips into the house. You can even say no to running an errand for a friend, if running that errand would interfere with your healthy habit of eating before you get too hungry.
The river may rage in my life, but I am determined to carry as light a load as possible. How about you?
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