Be Your Own #1 Supporter

Recently I spoke to a group of people who hope to have some sort of weight loss surgery within the next few months. The topic was “Support Needed For Success.” I arrived early, and sat in the car looking over my handouts and notes. I noticed that I had listed family, friends, society, support groups, self awareness. But it hit me! There was one very important support system that I had missed. Oh, yes I had touched on it before but without acknowledging its importance. And that is, what YOU can do to be your number one supporter. After all, if your head is not in the game and you aren’t prepared, oh the problems that lie ahead!

Yes it is possible to be successful without the support of family. It is possible without the support of our friends. Yes it is possible without support groups (though, these are VERY helpful and have been found to increase one’s success rates). But, YOU have to be on YOUR own side in order to be successful. Think about it for a minute. No one knows YOU better than YOU. Your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, daily struggles… and if you are like me, you toil over those things trying to become a better individual. What or how can I change in order to be better in this particular area, or that particular area of my life? So I listed a few things that each of us can do in order to be our own number one supporter. You will recognize many of these, but I wanted to give them another “go over” and recognize them as ways we can support ourselves, even when it seems that no one else can, will, or maybe just don’t know how!

Keep in mind WHY you are having weight loss surgery. This is your main focus, and should be your number one priority: HEALTH. You didn’t just wake up one day and say “I’m a few pounds overweight. I think the best and only choice is gastric bypass.” If you’re a weight loss surgery candidate, you’ve been overweight for at least five years, have approximately 100 pounds that need to be shed, or have some significant health issues. You’ve probably already tried it all from the cabbage soup, South Beach, Atkins, T Factor, and Optifast diets. None of those things brought lasting results. At the end of your rope, finally as a last resort you have turned to weight loss surgery. Sure, you may want to be thin but the desire to be THIN is not the driving force or what has led you to this place. Part of being healthy includes making healthy choices, taking better care of your body, eating the right foods that will give you energy and fuel, as well as taking your vitamins and supplements on a regular basis. As you take the reigns and begin to learn control, there is a great freedom that will come to you. It’s called empowerment. You empower yourself when you make positive and healthy choices.

Keep all the stats. This will serve as your milemarker so that you can know where you were, where you are, and where you want to go.

1. Take a Before picture/and take current pictures often! If you haven’t taken a before picture, do so now! This picture will go with you over the next few months as you embark on your losing phases. It will also become your beacon or banner to remain successful after reaching your goal weight. When you become distracted and food allures you, rely on good ole faithful “before picture” to be a constant reminder why you cannot go back to the old ways of eating.

2. Next, take measurements. There will be times when your scales do not move, and you are stuck on the same number. Pull out that wonderful tape measure and redo your measurements. You will be surprised that when the scales don’t move, the tape measure always does!

3. Start journaling your food. Stats include the calorie, carb, sugar, protein counts because this is what determines your success! Too many calories in and you will not lose anything. You need to know where you are at all times. That way you KNOW and are in control of your lifestyle changes.

4. Buy a set of scales. When I asked a group of 12 people how many owned scales, not even half raised their hand. I remember well when I was obese. I did not own scales either! I can’t remember stepping on scales and wondering how much I weighed. It did not matter because I felt hopeless in losing weight. But now, with your wonderful tool, you have all the reason in the world to step on the scales! Those numbers are going down, down, down!

Be your own best friend. It took me a long time AFTER wls to realize that I am a valuable person. I never took time for myself or to put myself as my number one priority. I spent years working to make OTHER people’s dreams come true, helping OTHERS to fulfill their job duties, giving to OTHERS my time and resources. I neglected myself. And, as a result its just like neglect and abuse of a home. After years of not doing the maintenance necessary to keep it in good condition, it looks tired, dilapidated, and sometimes just plain broken down! It takes MORE time, effort and energy (and money) to remodel a home than it does to maintain a home.

Start right now in realizing that no one is going to take care of you. YOU have to take care of you. If you don’t, it will put you in such a state of dilapidation that you won’t be around long enough to even think about OTHERS. We’re taught that by putting ourselves and our needs first, we’re selfish. But that is simply not true. We are wise to manage our affairs. It makes us good stewards over what we have been given. This also works on another level.

Let’s look a moment at what being a best friend means.
1. Getting to know the person you are with.
2. Strongly liking or loving the person you have befriended
3. Enjoy their company
4. Share things with them whether joyous or struggles
5. Drop everything to be there when they need help
6. Encourage them that they can do anything they set their minds to
7. Do small things for them to let them know you appreciate their friendship.

These are things I do for my best friends. And, I have wonderful best friends who do the same for me. Start doing these things for YOURSELF! Give yourself rewards (ladies, pedicures, manicures, jewelry, new shoes!), pep talks, STOP THE NEGATIVE TALK! Learn to forgive yourself when you mess up. Would you say to your best friend, “You loser. You are an absolute idiot, and can’t do anything right. You’re stupid. You’re ugly.” I would hope not! If you were that kind of friend, or if you had that type of friend, you’d probably not have ANY friends!

Throughout the course of your weight loss journey, have fun and begin to enjoy the life you have been given! You will go through many changes as you want to try new things such as hair styles, hair colors (mine has been so many!), clothing styles, conservative to more liberal and young, oh just all sorts of things! Have fun! Love yourself!

I hope this has been helpful to you today. You can be your own best friend. When the scales aren’t moving fast enough, and it seems that you are discouraged, just remember some of the tips in this blog and put them into practice. It won’t take long before you’re in a better frame of mind, inspired by your own story until the scales move in the downward motion once again!

Until next time,

Melinda Richardson

Visit my website: Recovering Fatty