Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Emotions du jour

It is so important that we recognize which emotions come up for us that might be a trigger to our overeating. There are so many emotions, and we must become very familiar with the ones that push our buttons. Those emotions are red flags; warning signs that we must take action now or we will find ourselves head first in the food.

My emotion du jour for this week has been PRESSURE! I felt it from all angles: friends, family, business, personal — you name it, I found myself looking in the fridge and chewing more than necessary. This is a trigger for me; I start to feel pressure because I want so badly to please everybody, which is an impossible task. This is called "people pleasing": I want everybody to be happy and in the process, I forget about myself and my own happiness. Can you relate?

Today I am going to take very good care of myself, I am going to take a deep breath and a long walk with my dog and realize I am doing the best I can. Remember, lots of us use food as a coping mechanism to deal with life and all its emotions. So when we get well, the world is really like a new place to us and we learn almost like a baby how to handle all these emotions for the first time, all the emotions we used to eat over so we didn't have to face problems. Nothing in life, no PERSON, PLACE, or THING, is worth throwing it all away for. Nothing is more important than your own health and recovery.

On a different and exciting note, I'm heading to Dallas on Saturday to speak in front of some very important people about the [Our Resolution] campaign. I will be addressing bariatric nurses, diabetes educators, mental health professionals, you name it! Once again I will get a chance to speak on behalf of Covidien's campaign. I’ll get to tell the medical community all the things that are important to us patients and help spread the word about how my diabetes was resolved after bariatric surgery. I'll let you know how it goes.

Until then, make sure you start recognizing you emotions du jour!

With love and respect,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Did you listen to your mom when she told you not to pick?

No, I do not mean your nose! I am referring to your chicken pocks. I remember being very young and coming down with the chick pocks – my face was covered with calamine lotion and I was so itchy I could hardly stand myself. I would hear my mom say over and over “Stop picking! Stop itching!”

Looking back now I realize I did a great job, if you take into consideration my very addictive personality. All I have is one pock mark at the tip of my forehead – not bad, huh!

You would think I would have learned my lesson as a kid, but here is the adult version of that same story, which did not turn out as well or as disciplined. As most of you know, after losing over 300 lbs, I needed at least 12 plastic surgeries (so far!) to deal with all the damage of being obese for so many years. I always knew I would need surgery on my body, but never dreamed I would need a facelift as a result of weight loss. Yes, it was my choice, but after losing so much weight in such a short time span, my face (particularly my chin) looked like a pelican who is storing fish in its gullet so it has something to eat when the food is scarce!

Losing weight made my face look ten years older. My surgeon explained he could do half a facelift and pull back all the hanging skin from my chin and cut behind my ears and sew it back. Wow! Three weeks later I looked so much younger (or, perhaps more accurately, more like my real age). The problem was that, while I was healing, I picked at the stitches and the staples all the time – I could not stop and as a result, I was badly scarred around my ears. In the heat of the summer I had to wear my hair down to cover all the scars.

So now, four years later, I decided I had enough of being hot in the summer and wearing my hair down even in the pool and last week I went into surgery again to remove my scars. I was supposed to go under a light sedation but, as I tell people all the time, plastic surgery is not a perfect science. When I was under, my breathing was not good so they had to give me general anesthesia and what seemed to me like a simple scar revision included putting a pipe down my throat. I knew immediately when I woke up, without them telling, me because I did not feel well. Surgery is a serious decision, and no matter what you are doing you must always be aware of the risks.

Once again, I made my doctor laugh because I said to him as I always do: While I am under, “please put my ass in my face!”

Today, doctors can take fat from other places in your body and shoot it into the lines and folds of your face. As I told him, my “behind” is something I always hated, so it might as well do some good – we both laughed at that.

Anyway its four days later and I had to go out and get garden gloves to sleep with because I found myself picking at the scabs and stitches in my sleep. Once an addict, always an addict. But I am doing well. I looked under the bandages and my surgeon did a fabulous job – so if you see me this summer, I just might have my hair pulled back!

Hope you are all well and happy and taking good care of yourselves. Wishing you a continued life of “winning after losing!”

With Love,