Change. What a terrifying word.😱 Am I right?!
Previous to having my vertical sleeve gasrectomy (which means I had a surgery to remove 80ish percent of my stomach.) I had heard several people talk about how others have “changed” after weight loss surgery. I thought that was a ridiculous concept. How could a surgery change my personality? What would being healthier do to my mental state but enhance it? Why would these people try to convince me that I wouldn’t be the same person?
Well truth be told; I have changed. I am a very different person then I was two years ago. We all change and grow and evolve but making such drastic life changes physically has also allowed me to dramatically change myself mentally and emotionally.
I do not believe this has to be viewed so negatively, though. The comments made around and to me prior to surgery regarding becoming someone different were with a negative connotation. They were comments aimed at making it seem like having this surgery wasn’t in my best interest. Maybe for some that has been the case. I do not speak for them; only myself and my own experience.
For most of my life I have focused on every one but myself. I had over flowed and crammed my schedule with nights with friends, dinner dates, plans to do this or that. I have endlessly bent over backwards for those I love and made them my top priority.
When I started this process I finally grasped that I needed to be my own priority. I needed to learn to say “no, thank you” to certain plans without feeling guilt. I needed to dedicate time to my physical health and mental health. I needed to reevaluate how I choose to spend my time. I don’t believe this is selfish or should be considered as such. I do not view this negatively. However, it is an enormous change for myself and those around me. I can acknowledge that; but I won’t apologize for it.
I believe I try to and still can be a wonderful friend even with my shifting mindset. I will always be there for those in my life. I will continue to love genuinely and whole heartedly. I will forever give random gifts or make dinner for people I love. I still love nights out with my girls, endless conversations on my porch with my dearest friends, adventures with my husband, and I still celebrate every one’s triumphs and victories.
I have simply made the conscious effort to be more present for myself when I need it.
I have also grown to love my own self care more then ever. Once upon a time I would have never taken an evening to simply enjoy the sunshine while reading a good book in the back yard and then switched to my swing bed to type up this blog. I wouldn’t have taken afternoon naps or go to bed before the sun goes down just because I wanted to recharge. I didn’t take the time to appreciate and love my own body with a longer than necessary shower and a solid face mask. I was on the back burner and I was okay with that. Now I value those self care moments so much and know I need them; without guilt.
In this moment I now realize it is okay to change, to shift, to evolve, to grow. It is okay to let others do amazingly nice things for me (like plan and throw an amazing 30th birthday party) and not let me help. 🤦♀️ It is okay to spend time alone and set boundaries with those you love. It’s okay to remove negativity out of your life; you do not owe any one a permanent place in your life if they are toxic. It is okay to celebrate yourself, love yourself, and treat yourself well.
Recently I’ve discussed this topic with some of those who are such deep parts of my life. We’ve discussed how I have shifted and changed my views, feelings, and priorities due to age and taking on an enormous life change & you know what?! They have all rallied behind me. Encouraged me to continue to make myself a priority. And they still love me enough to respect who I am now. One of the people I hold so dear to my heart said “Loving yourself doesn’t make you any less selfless; it makes you that much more of a beautiful soul because those who love you know you understand and respect them for loving themselves and making themselves a priority. ” While I didn’t think of it like that at first I so agree with that sentiment.
Learning to love myself and value my own time has taught me that when someone else is busy or simply says no, thank you; I don’t and shouldn’t take it personally. I do still struggle with this because I fight my anxiety daily of those feelings of being a bother to others; I’m a continuous work in progress! I have also come to start leaning on those I love! I have let people see me without my “tough guy” front. Again, this is a never ending battle for me but I have some pretty amazing people in my life who have shown me it’s okay to knock down some walls once in a while. It’s okay to let people see the darkness because they can help you find your light again!
I am also very well aware that not every one views the changes in me as positive. I am aware of the snide remarks and hurtful comments that have been made near me and behind my back. That is also okay! I am certainly not every one’s cup of tea ( I wasn’t two hundred pounds ago, either. 🤷♀️) and some times I am that shot of whiskey that is too strong. One thing I have always known is that not everyone will agree with my life choices; not every one will like me. That is okay!!!! I am okay with that, that has not changed.
I think some times in this world we get lost in the concept that everything will or should remain the same. Change is the only constant in this world. It is truly the one thing you can count on happening over and over. You can choose to fight it or you can choose to embrace and adapt.
For me; I choose to embrace, adapt and love change. ♥️