The Selfishness of Weight Loss

It’s about me and all about me. For most of us that is a pretty difficult statement to make. Since we were little children, we’ve been taught to share and play nice in the sandbox. When I began my weight loss journey, I adopted that philosophy and have learned to be more vocal to myself on giving more priority to my needs and wants.

Let me take a trip back in my magic time machine. At the time when I started exploring weight loss surgery, I was President of my church council, the Events Director of a fraternal organization, and a volunteer to a few other non-profits. My typical work week saw my evening calendar filled with meetings, events and working on documents and plans for these groups. I literally had no time for myself.

I recognized that I was about to embark on this journey that I wanted to transform my life. I was investing a good bit of money, time and personal energy into this effort. It was obvious that it had to be on the top of my list of priorities. I resigned my elected board positions and put volunteering on the back burner. For many of my fellow board members and volunteers, they were dismayed at my decision and promised to take over many of my duties. It was hard, but I politely walked away with a promise to return in the future when time permitted.

I share the above today because I feel it was a key move in making my weight loss a success. Weight loss surgery requires constantly monitoring diet, engaging in regular exercise, and learning how to live that healthier, thinner life. This change in lifestyle should be the #1 agenda item for you as you begin every day after surgery. Change is not easy and change requires effort. Pat yourself on the back for giving yourself the self support for a successful change.

Now almost three years out, I find myself allowing myself more time to volunteer. I have found that my focus has changed. I look for opportunities that are closer aligned with my post-op life’s activities. Being one of the leaders in my bicycling club is very important to me. I am hoping to volunteer as a bike patrol member in my local park system.

I devoted a large amount of my energies on making my weight loss a success for the first 18 months post-op. Over the past year, my life has taken me on another turn in the road. It just so happens that the road I am venturing down involves volunteering and being a more active member in my community. Telling my story through this blog is another of my priorities to motivate and help others.

My advice for all people, no matter where you are on the weight loss surgery timeline, is to think about being a little selfish. Be selfish with your time and energies when you suspect that you will not have sufficient time to devote to your weight loss journey. Don’t get me wrong. It’s OK to volunteer and serve on community boards or at PTA meetings. Just don’t underestimate how much time and energy you will need to invest personally to make your pre-op and post-op changes a success.

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