Fear is a huge motivator.
It can be so powerful that it locks us away from trying new things, from continuing on in the good things, and even from leaving the toxic things in our lives.
Being so overweight was definitely toxic. Both as a result of habits, but to my body itself.
So once I came to the decision to go ahead with surgery as one of my tools, in conjunction with all the other tools I was already using, a lot of fears came to the surface:
- What if this, like everything else, fails too?
- What if I blow it? I mean, it's not a magic bullet. Long term maintenance of good habits is required so we don't gain it all back
- What is everyone else gonna say when they find out?
- Will they judge me?
- Will they try to talk me out of it?
- Will they write me off as lazy? (an irony, because I realized later that so many people have already written 'fat people' off as 'lazy', so what did I really have to lose?)
- What is the criticism of others in this area going to cost me this time?
- What if I have to hear a lot of hurtful things?
- What if I never get to eat anything 'fun' again?
- Am I going to be subject to every Gastric Bypass horror story that comes out of the wood work, like when I was pregnant and had every labour horror story related in freakish detail. You know. Just to mess with my head. Cause the decision wasn't hard enough ;)
- Can I really pull off following this set of rules for life that I'm being told are necessary to do this?
- What vitamin and mineral deficiencies will I face?
- How is this going to affect my marriage? (The stats on divorce post gastric bypass) aren't good, gentle reader.)
- How will my new lifestyle affect my friendships?
- What about excess skin?
- What if I succeed?
Sounds ridiculous to be afraid of success doesn't it?
But there it is. The honest truth.
So I had to shield myself for just a little longer.
This was a HARD choice. A choice that I had to know in the hard moments I made for myself. That I could sustain by myself. That if not one person stood with me, I knew my reasons for having made this decision.
I couldn't do that with the simply based on the approval of others, and I certainly couldn't do it if I allowed myself to be talked out of it.
So I kept doing my research, making my lists of why I needed this, and quietly relied on the reassurance of my husband in the moments of weakness and doubt.
He was my rock when I wanted to run scared from this process.
And I worked on a need to know basis. The angel of a mother in law, that gave up 8 weeks of her life, to help run my household as I recuperated, and leaned how to eat again got to know.
And at the end of my 14 month wait, a couple of weeks before I actually entered the hospital, a few others outside my surgery support group got to know.
Again, it was a pretty short need to know list.
But I entered the hospital that day knowing it was my choice. That no one talked me into it, and no one talked me out of it. No one to take the credit, no one to blame.
No passing the buck.
Taking charge of your life and choices is a very powerful place to be, when you take what everyone else thinks out of the equation.
I had no idea that both the best and the worst of both worlds was about to come.