When you embark upon a weight-loss journey, there’s a lot of uncertainty. Can you succeed? Can you make the changes that are necessary every single day, consistently, to get you further down the road to your goal? Will you have the support of family and friends, or will you ‘labor in silence’?
When I made the choice – no, when I was FORCED to make the decision to lose my excess weight permanently by my serious health crisis – I purposely did not tell a lot of people. I told my husband and daughter and asked for their help, which they have been wonderfully consistent about. They are my biggest cheerleaders and have helped me immensely – even going through a couple of weeks of a liquid diet both before and after my lap-band surgery.
I had a wonderful work friend who had undergone a gastric bypass a year before and helped me make up my mind as to which weight-loss surgery I wanted to explore more. She was so helpful, so loving and so completely open as to her experience that I was able to make a more informed decision – one that was right for me.
I told no one at work – though my supervisor at the time figured it out because unbeknownst to me, she had also had a gastric bypass a year or so earlier. She recognized the appointment schedule I forwarded to her when I alerted her to my impending time off. She offered her help and experience as well – and for all my positive supporters, I am grateful. I’ve talked about my decision to have surgery before – doing it all on your own is NOT the easiest way to go, but you CAN be successful doing it on your own.
For me, as a very social and family-connected person, I felt it was critical that my family and closest friends support me in my decision. You will hear lots about weight-loss surgeries in the news, on television, through the experience of stars that may or may not admit to having undergone surgery, and from social media. While all this outside information and other people’s experiences are valuable to some extent, I want to encourage you to do something that women in general are not encouraged to do.
Choose the path to weight loss that is workable for YOU. For some women, it’s non-surgery-based. They have the fortitude and commitment to work off the weight through a combination of eating correctly and include a committed exercise schedule. Some of them are on Facebook – the Couch to 5K plan (http://www.facebook.com/C25Kplan), a group that is following BeachBody’s P90X workout plan (http://www.facebook.com/P90x), a wonderful group for African-American / Black women (http://www.facebook.com/BlackWomenDOWorkout), and individual trainers like Egean “Abs Doc” Collins (http://www.facebook.com/egeanc). No matter what method of training you choose, there is someone to help you.
If you are like me and have tried nearly every type of physical activity or sport, and are faced with a serious health crisis that warrants surgery, you can also find information on weight loss surgery through forums like LapBandTalk (http://www.LapBandTalk.com), the manufacturer websites for the lap bands, and other support groups. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of all the options available for losing weight, but these are some of the methods I am most familiar with and that I have used personally.
Do your research, attend some support group meetings, talk to the staff and the professionals involved, and then make an informed decision based on your lifestyle and the demands you have on your time. If you need to travel for work, incorporate that aspect into your plan – can your ‘system’, whatever you create it to be, travel with you, or is it something that you can only do at home?
You WILL have to make changes – that much, you should be assured of – but incorporating a new lifestyle, new habits and new positive action into your life is SO worth it. There’s an old quote that says “If you keep doin’ what you’re doin’, you’re gonna keep gettin’ what you’re gettin.” If what you’re “gettin” is bad health, you have GOT to make some changes. Don’t wait until you’re in an ambulance, headed to the emergency room, as I was, to make the decision to save your own life and do what’s right for you.