My Bariatric Life

How did you "find yourself" after weight loss surgery? X-post

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When I had my gastric bypass in 2003 there were not the multi-faceted treatment teams that there are today to take patients through the journey. My bariatric surgeon said "I do the surgery. The rest is up to you." I did the physical work but I never did the mental work. I never even knew it was a consideration.

 

In 2013 I had a series of plastic surgeries to my body and face. And that is when I really felt like a different person. In part, I felt like the person I was when I was thin. But that was so very long ago that I was a "kid" back then and so I could not 100% identify with that "version" of me. And I certainly could not identify with the obese me (before RNY) or the overweight me (after RNY). It was in 2013 and 2014 that I went through a very challenging time, a series of events, that led me to a spiritual journey to find myself. And while that journey is amazing, I feel there is more that I can be doing to grow.

 

I wrote an article for BariatricPal magazine called True Love in which I discuss learning to unconditionally love myself and others. That is the essence of my growth. I have looked at many of the world religions and many philosophies and they all have one unifying message at the core: they teach us that our purpose here is to love. 

 

So the purpose of my post is to ask your help. I want to accelerate my growth and I could use some guidance. How is it that you did the mental work after weight loss surgery? How did you find yourself, what makes you happy, what is your life's purpose, what are your values? What tools have you used to grow spiritually and emotionally? What behaviors/habits did you have to stop? What new behaviors/habits did you have to start? Did you do anything to receive the "gift" of Spirit?

 

Thanks so very much. This is important to me and I appreciate your support. 

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I must say im a bit confused but your posts .. are you here to advertise your own publications - and for a bit of self-promotion - are you here for support?

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I am confused by your question. What is this self promotion you speak of? What publication? 

 

 

I must say im a bit confused but your posts .. are you here to advertise your own publications - and for a bit of self-promotion - are you here for support?

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You did reference an article you had written for bariatricpal? Your questions seemed posed as to help you research a future article? I think WIP's question was fair, I was having the same difficulty interpreting your motives. If you want help, I am all for it. If you are only looking to back up your research or looking for content, then perhaps this is not the right forum? 

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Ah got it. You see, I can see my intentions only through my eyes. So thanks for clarifying. Just so you know, I am not paid for my articles on BaraitricPal. So there is no self promotion. I write the articles to help other patients as well as myself. When I say help myself, I mean that it helps me to grow, to stay on track, etc. Not to help myself financially. Even the website that I own costs me money and does not make me any money (although at some point in the future that will have to change!). 

 

I would be upfront if I were looking for info/research for an article. And my assumption is that this site would not even allow that sort of recruiting. I would not ever pose a question on a forum and then use those answers in my writing without consent from the poster. I feel that is exploiting the patient. I think we come here in a spirit of confidentiality and to help one another and even though the things we share are public and open for people to "repurpose" them, I do not think that is fair. I feel there is a sacredness in the patient to patient relationship.

 

I once had someone steal my comment from obesityhelp and use it in an article. In principal I did not think that was fair, although what he "shared" of mine was not upsetting to me. It was not deeply personal. Also I have been writing for several years and earlier on there was an occasion when I did use some information from ObesityHelp -- I forget what it was but I think I quoted someone anonymously. It was something inspirational, but still, my point is that not getting that person's permission to do so then felt wrong to me afterwards and I have never done it again. 

 

How could I have better phrased my post so that it did not seem self serving? I thought I had made it clear but apparently I could have done a better job of it to avoid confusion. This is actually the second time this has happened on the forum so there is a lesson here for me to learn. Thanks for your coaching. 

 

Yes, I would very much appreciate help and support on how to grow spiritually and emotionally and find myself after WLS/PS. I would appreciate that very much. 

 

 

You did reference an article you had written for bariatricpal? Your questions seemed posed as to help you research a future article? I think WIP's question was fair, I was having the same difficulty interpreting your motives. If you want help, I am all for it. If you are only looking to back up your research or looking for content, then perhaps this is not the right forum? 

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I will ask you the same question that I asked duffman27... how could I have posted in a way that avoided confusing my intention of seeking help versus self promotion? Thanks for your perspective.

 

I must say im a bit confused but your posts .. are you here to advertise your own publications - and for a bit of self-promotion - are you here for support?

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There is a professional tone to your posts. ( Not a bad thing) I had questions once I noticed the link to your website and the mention of the article on Bariatricpal. You explained yourself and I will take you at your word. I also note that you refer to the patient and a patient to patient relationship. I do not consider my fellow TT members as patients, rather, peers. I consider the Forum as a peer to peer relationship. As you spend more time here you will realize that we are all after the same goal, long term health. Good luck as you continue your journey.

Ah got it. You see, I can see my intentions only through my eyes. So thanks for clarifying. Just so you know, I am not paid for my articles on BaraitricPal. So there is no self promotion. I write the articles to help other patients as well as myself. When I say help myself, I mean that it helps me to grow, to stay on track, etc. Not to help myself financially. Even the website that I own costs me money and does not make me any money (although at some point in the future that will have to change!). 

 

I would be upfront if I were looking for info/research for an article. And my assumption is that this site would not even allow that sort of recruiting. I would not ever pose a question on a forum and then use those answers in my writing without consent from the poster. I feel that is exploiting the patient. I think we come here in a spirit of confidentiality and to help one another and even though the things we share are public and open for people to "repurpose" them, I do not think that is fair. I feel there is a sacredness in the patient to patient relationship.

 

I once had someone steal my comment from obesityhelp and use it in an article. In principal I did not think that was fair, although what he "shared" of mine was not upsetting to me. It was not deeply personal. Also I have been writing for several years and earlier on there was an occasion when I did use some information from ObesityHelp -- I forget what it was but I think I quoted someone anonymously. It was something inspirational, but still, my point is that not getting that person's permission to do so then felt wrong to me afterwards and I have never done it again. 

 

How could I have better phrased my post so that it did not seem self serving? I thought I had made it clear but apparently I could have done a better job of it to avoid confusion. This is actually the second time this has happened on the forum so there is a lesson here for me to learn. Thanks for your coaching. 

 

Yes, I would very much appreciate help and support on how to grow spiritually and emotionally and find myself after WLS/PS. I would appreciate that very much. 

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Is there a way for me to tag you in a reply without using the quote feature?

 

My life's work has been in health marketing promotion/communication -- that is what I do by day, so to speak, and where I make money. Currently I am developing digital strategies to educate physicians on diseases. I mention this because it is the reason why my posts will have a professional tone, because it is the way that I am accustomed to communicating, as well, where my perspective of us as patients come from.  

 

By night, so to speak, I refer to myself as an obesity activist. There is one health network that I write columns for and I am paid for those articles. But it is not enough to make a living. I do it because it matters to me. Obesity is the most pressing health condition our country faces. Something like 68% of adults are obese or overweight. And the health implications of that are staggering. I aim to heal the world... defeat obesity and its related diseases. Why not aim high?!?! So I have these resources that I will link to such as my website or my video to help empower patients so that they can take control of their health and their lives.

 

I find myself now, having transformed my physical self, on that spiritual journey to transform my inner self -- and I'd appreciate any guidance.

 

 

There is a professional tone to your posts. ( Not a bad thing) I had questions once I noticed the link to your website and the mention of the article on Bariatricpal. You explained yourself and I will take you at your word. I also note that you refer to the patient and a patient to patient relationship. I do not consider my fellow TT members as patients, rather, peers. I consider the Forum as a peer to peer relationship. As you spend more time here you will realize that we are all after the same goal, long term health. Good luck as you continue your journey.

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Leaving all else aside, please let me just say you are an inspiration to those of us that are just starting this journey and still can not see ourselves as we may be in the future.  You are beautiful.  Congratulations for staying on track to lose all of the weight you lost and keeping it off.  I hope that as I progress I shall one day be able to enjoy a visual that is as nice as your pictures but most of all, I hope that my co-morbidities literally go away.  (there are several and some are dangerous to me currently.)  God Bless you and pray for the enlightenment you are desiring regarding your spirituality.  Ask and you shall receive.  He has never failed me. 

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Leaving all else aside, please let me just say you are an inspiration to those of us that are just starting this journey and still can not see ourselves as we may be in the future.  You are beautiful.  Congratulations for staying on track to lose all of the weight you lost and keeping it off.  I hope that as I progress I shall one day be able to enjoy a visual that is as nice as your pictures but most of all, I hope that my co-morbidities literally go away.  (there are several and some are dangerous to me currently.)  God Bless you and pray for the enlightenment you are desiring regarding your spirituality.  Ask and you shall receive.  He has never failed me.

Thank you for your very kind and lovely post. I had many comorbid diseases. I was on 10 prescription medications for obesity related diseases. I was on five prescriptions for diabetes and hypertension alone. After losing only 50 pounds I was able to get all those. And now I'm off of nine of those 10 prescriptions and have been off of them for a long time. I'm convinced that I would not be writing this message to you today had I not had gastric bypass surgery. I believe it save my life. I pray the same for you.

Late last summer maybe early fall I set out to find myself. I had no idea that finding oneself is a spiritual journey. I did not know that finding my true self would be finding my soul. The awakening has been profound. To come at oneself and the world from a place of unconditional love is such a peaceful and wonderful feeling. I continue to learn and grow. One of the things I tried most recently is reiki. And I am going to take the classes to get to the master level. There have been so many experiences and guideposts now that I see them in retrospect, which have guided me on my path. It's been happening for a few years. I just wasn't aware of it until recently. The Universe had to hit me on the head quite a few times for me to finally pay attention. One of the concepts that I keep reading about, from many different sources, is this belief that we are going through a global spiritual awakening, that at the individual level so very many people are having this enlightenment that it has the opportunity to lift the collective whole. That would be a much needed and welcomed transformation!

I wish you success on your journey. Never could I have imagined that I am where I am today. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, learning more and more each year. And suddenly here I am.

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Interesting questions! I'm going to have to think about these.

If you Google how do I find myself you will get some interesting places to begin.

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Awesome pictures! I am only 16 months post-op so I don't have all the answers. I still have about 30 pounds to lose, I am confidant I will lose those pounds because of my new healthy gym loving life despite having the metabolism of a snail. I do think the surgery is a game changer but the mental part is still there. I did not have a weight problem until I was 30 years old. I had a baby at 30, didn't lose the weight and then added about five pounds a year for 20 years. I do feel physically better than I ever have and I have been off diabetes medicine, blood pressure and cholesterol meds for a year. I view every step I take as another step farther away from diabetes. My goal is long term good health, not necessarily to make it to the lowest weight. Jen

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Thanks, Jen! Say hello to NJ for me. That is home. Congrats on your weight loss and defeating diabetes! Research shows that successful WLS is the most effect tool against diabetes. 

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