Friday, February 14, 2014
It may not surprise you to hear that I'm an extremely competitive person – my recent lifestyle change is essentially me competing with myself, after all – but there is a light and a dark side to this trait....
During the holidays, I learned that my husband's aunt had had gastrointestinal surgery for weight loss.
She weighed maybe five pounds more than I did at the time, and was a few inches taller. We are both built a bit stocky and muscular to begin with, so it's important for me to point out that the notorious BMI calculation is never going to be accurate for us. (Not to say we couldn't both stand to lose some weight).
Here's the thing: I don't think she ever tried to lose weight the proper way, via diet and exercise. I'm sure she cut back on soda (her poison) and pizza for a few weeks, but didn't change much else, and consequently didn't see any "major" results.
At our holiday gathering, she was telling me how she couldn't have a lot of foods (like soda and pizza) anymore after having the surgery, and about how some people in her group therapy session had lost very little weight and she's gonna be pissed if she doesn't lose a considerable amount, et cetera. Basically, she seemed to have a very poor attitude about the whole affair. Very negative. And – I have an inkling – very unwilling to put forth effort.
I think it's pretty obvious that she could just, you know, not eat those foods, and work a little bit harder on her portion control, and walk a bit more every day, and she would see the same (if not better) results versus this life-altering GI surgery.
I don't know who put the idea into her mind that she needed to have this procedure. I don't know what quack thought someone with a BMI in the low 30s who has a horrible diet and never exercises should be able to have GI surgery for weight loss without trying to lose weight naturally for a period of time prior.
The whole situation seems really shady, and I'm really concerned for her health, both physically and emotionally. I know I'm not the only one who tried to talk her out of it.
Awful, horrible, competitive little me....
I've taken it as a challenge to prove to her that she made a mistake. To prove to her that her enemy number one is herself. That all the things she tells herself she can't do, can't accompish....she CAN!
I haven't seen her or spoken with her about the subject since the week of her surgery, so I don't know what sort of progress she's made (if any). But I betcha when I see her at a family picnic this summer, I'll look and feel way better than she does...and maybe, hopefully, something will click and she'll realize that she needs to take steps in a wiser direction to better herself.
I'm hoping that since we share some of the same demons (e.g. self-doubt, a penchant for deflecting blame, a burning love for pizza), she'll be inspired to charge into battle, as I have, and find a new, stronger, happier version of herself.