Your relationship with 'I can't

As promised, this week I'm going to talk to your more about your perceived limitations and your relationship with 'I can't'. Even if you don't use these words, you likely see things in terms of what's possible for you based on your past experiences. Also, you limit yourself based on your BELIEF systems. 

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." - Henry Ford


Instead, whether you BELIEVE you can accomplish something (big or small) has a large part to do with how much effort and dedication you BELIEVE you can give to that situation, whether you think you CAN accomplish it, and whether you actually WANT to put in the work.  All of this is linked to your perceived limitations. This sounds a lot like the fear of failure and fear of success emails shared last week right? 

See, the thing is, your belief systems and perceived limitations make up what you think you CAN do, or think you CAN'T do. This separates people from what they DO do, and what they DON'T do. 

ALL LIMITATIONS ARE CREATED IN THE MIND 

Did you ever see that movie, The Pursuit of Happiness staring Will Smith? While that's a touching movie, it was notably created from the true story life of Chris Gardner, who struggled with a very tough life and yet due to his undying perseverance and belief that he WOULD succeed, he kept trying, and kept falling, and kept trying, and kept falling, and kept trying... 

and well, you get the gist.. 

But my point is, he eventually succeeded because he NEVER GAVE UP on himself. 

Similarly I read recently in a book about a triathlete that would convince himself to keep going even when the pain in his legs were unbearable. See, physiologically, our body won't give out as easy as our brains do, because we are programmed to stop when we feel pain. So this triathlete shared how he would overcome his mind to work through the pain of the race until his body gave out. Freaky, right? 

However, YOU, yes you, are likely too quick to think.. "Nah, that wouldn't or couldn't be me. I couldn't get there. I couldn't do that. I wouldn't be able to do what he did." 

And.. maybe you THINK you couldn't. But, the only thing stopping you from trying is your BELIEF systems, and what you THINK you can do, or can't do. 

See, in the space that Chris Gardner was in, he felt that he had NO OTHER CHOICES. Without a college degree, with very little money coming in, no home, etc. He didn't have any other choice, but to push himself to the limits. 

When pushed against a wall, and when faced with difficulties, people are either MADE.... or, they GIVE UP and settle. 

What I mean by MADE is that people make a choice to either FACE their darkest fears and TRY, or they face their failures and they give in to the life they are currently living, continuing on autopilot, day in, day out.  

Given Chris Gardner's hardships, he could have given up, but his MINDSET didn't allow him to fail. He knew deep inside him that if he kept going, he would succeed.  And, what were his alternatives? 

What makes you different? Or what makes you the same as Chris Gardner? 

See here's the thing, there is something different....
You have the comfort of a home right now.
You likely have a job that you semi-like, or at least can 'deal' with. 
You can cover your rent or mortgage. 
And.... you're comfortable staying exactly the same because change is MUCH SCARIER because you don't know what's on the other side..  

So there is something different... It's your MINDSET.. It's your belief systems.
It's whether you FIND A WAY, or whether you find an EXCUSE to let go, give up, and stop trying. 

Believe me, EVERYONE has hard days, difficult days, and struggles. I know about the struggles.. And anyone who REALLY knows me knows about the month that I was homeless in my college years and the Christmas that I slept my car in the parking lot of a supermarket. 

Now, you know, that I'm not that same person, nor did I let that situation hold me back from becoming who I was meant to be. Even after that instance, I fought long, hard, and fast with other things like making sacrifices to have my surgery, which came MANY years later. 

My point is, no matter what's going on in your life, if backed into a corner, you either succumb to the situation, or we become resilient and grow INTO a person who is a stronger, better version of themselves. You learn things from your experiences, both good and bad. 

And, you either allow those situations to crumble you, and you allow the limiting beliefs to control you, OR... you recognize that ALL those situations were doing were GROWING you into the person you're meant to become. 

Similarly, all the struggles of this WLS journey are MEANT to GROW YOU! All the setbacks, all of the temptations, all of the criticisms or judgments received, are all meant to make you stronger. Even if you fall into a setback or eat the cookie, or the donuts, or whatever, you CAN change, because it's all about you putting yourself BACK ON TRACK...  not waiting for tomorrow, or Monday. 

And, while some people may throw their hands up in the air and say 'ugh, I'm done,' I implore you to persevere through the down days and to work on shifting your mindset by believing that you CAN change for the long-term, and this BEGINS by starting small. 

"No great achievement is possible without persistent work." - Bertrand Russell


Now, you might still say to me... 
"No, Kristin, you really don't understand my situation. See, I drive 90-min to work and back, I have three kids, and I struggle with my budget, I have to work 3 jobs, and I'm depressed." 

But here's the thing... no matter what you are going through, if you BUY IN to your limitations, if you feed your excuses, then you become SOLD on them. You begin to accept the lies that you can't change. 

No matter what you are struggling with, no matter how difficult things are, there's always a way out, when you BELIEVE in yourself, and you believe that your situation is NOT what you're life is destined to be.  

The belief that you 'can't' is only as powerful as you make it to be.


Your excuses for WHY you stay the same, are only as powerful as your BELIEFS.

Any of us, ANY ONE of us, regardless of situation, can overcome his or her old limiting mindset. ANYONE!! 

It's not about intelligence.
It's not about socioeconomic status. 
It's not about access to money or funding. 
It's not about the type of job you have.
It's not about your educational background. 
It's not about your family background.
It's not about whether you are wheelchair bound or not.
It's not about access to other resources (gym, fitness center, etc.) 

It's all about WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DO.. PERIOD..

And, this is not just about the post-op life, this is about ALL of your life, every aspect. 

Your belief systems account for whether you believe you'll change, or whether you'll believe you can't. 

So just for today... start to BELIEVE in yourself, and believe in what's POSSIBLE for you in a positive way. Start to dream big about what you can change if you just BELIEVE in yourself. 

Start by writing down 5 NEW Empowering beliefs that you want to reprogram into your mind. Then read them twice a day, and start to encourage yourself to move towards your desires, whatever they might be. 

Then, work on talking to yourself like you would talk to a best friend who wants to achieve something big. What would you say to them? How would you encourage them? 

You wouldn't tell them to give up; You would tell them to KEEP GOING!! 
This goes same for yourself! 

Next time, I'll share how you're life is eerily similar to Bird Box, and how you being blind to the world has kept you stuck in old patterns..

Until then.. remember 

"Don't limit your challenges - challenge your limits." —Unknown    

How your FEAR of SUCCESS is holding you back

Sticking with your intentions are powerful even after the desire has left. This is discipline! 

Today I want to finish out the segment from last time. I wrote to you about the FEAR of Failure which many people have after WLS.  I gave some tips and tricks on your RAS and how to start looking for your successes even when you may not be seeing them.
What have you found? Are you seeing that 'item' everywhere yet? 
If you haven't, keep looking! And give it at least 72 hours.. I promise, it shows up!

So, your FEAR of failure is not the only thing that may be holding you back, it could be your FEAR of success.  Recently I was having a talk with a 1:1 client and our convo went something like this..

Me: So when you hit goal, what do you want to achieve? 
Client: I want to hit my goal weight and be healthy. 
Me: Yes, of course, but what do you want beyond that? 
Client: I just want to, you know, be healthy, and fit in new clothes, and feel good about myself.
Me: Again, that's great, but what else do you want? What else other than weight loss will help you to feel good about yourself? What else do you want in your life? 
Client: (Blank stare.. and a huge pause..... )  
Client: Well, what do you mean? 
Me: Well, in this process most people want to change something about their lives because they've felt stuck for so long that there is so much more beyond the weight loss and being healthy that you may want to achieve... and I'm asking what that might look like for you.. 
Client: (another very big.. long pause..) 
Client: I have no idea. I've never thought about that before... 
Me: What if you could achieve anything in the world? What would you want to be, do, or have? 
Client: I don't know. 
Me: If your world was an oyster, and you could do anything in your new body, what would that be?
Client: These are great questions, but I really have no idea.

So, here's my point...  

For many of you love bugs who hit goal, you don't know what's next and maintenance can be hell because you're so used to dieting that you subconsciously gain weight, so you can repeat the cycle. You DO NOT do this intentionally at all, but you get bored with maintenance because you have NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO clue what else you want in your life that you repeat old patterns and then feel like a failure (last email) all because you don't know how to live with success and it doesn't feel like how you imagined it would feel, or what it would be. 
If success is only getting into a size 6, and then you get there.. you're brain goes.. Okay, were are here..  NOW WHAT? 

Then there's another group that doesn't manifest to goal at all. These peeps fear success because they don't know what it will mean for them to be successful. I talked a little bit about this in my book too. 

What if people don't like me when I'm thin? What if they judge me? 
What if I become the outcast because I look better than my family or friends?
What if no one gets me?
 

This becomes uncomfortable because let's say for example, you guys used to make fun of skinny people together. "Look at her, she probably just ate a pea for breakfast"  and now, you are the thinner person, and now your circle or friend group can't relate to you because you are living the life THEY WANT TO LIVE, and instead of supporting and loving you for succeeding, instead you become the outsider... (this is about their judgment and fearing their judgment by the way!) 

OR.....

You sabotage your own weight loss success because of your own fears of:
Other people being jealous of you and your success
Being too sexy and fear being an object of sexual exploitation or desire
Being the center of attention and then people might actually SEE you 
The possibility of the added responsibility of being a success and people giving you compliments, and asking you to help, etc. 
You're so attached or addicted to feeling negative, sad, frustrated and love to complain so much so that being happy, excited, and accomplished feels super foreign and uncomfortable (I know this sounds wayyy off, but trust me, I know some people like this! They do exist!) 
Being uncomfortable in any situation because this whole experience is so new that you avoid uncomfortable feelings and don't follow through 
And.. not having ANY clue what success looks like and fears that once you get there, you might not like yourself, your life, your body, and because...

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW IS EASIER.. THAN THE DEVIL YOU DON'T

Don't get me wrong.. being smaller, thinner, etc.. is NOT the devil...

But the UNKNOWN is SCARY for a lot of people.. and when you DO NOT EXPLORE what SUCCESS can potentially look like for you, you can subconsciously or unconsciously sabotage getting there, because WHO WILL YOU BE?

One time I had a woman tell me, I want to be thin, but I don't want to be a bitch.  (her words)

To which I replied inquisitively, "why would you think you'd end up being a bitch?" 
To which she replied,  "all hot women have a confidence that is so secure in themselves that they seem bitchy, and I want to be confident, but I don't want to be like that." 

So, here's my point again... OUR SUBCONSCIOUS THOUGHTS ABOUT THIN PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE, SITUATIONS, WHAT THINNER LOOKS LIKE, FEELS LIKE , etc..

.....WILL IMPACT our own journey to SUCCESS... or WILL BLOCK THAT SUCCESS!! 

This is why when I scream and shout from the rooftops that this journey is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more about #MINDSET than it is about food, I really truly mean it from the depths of my heart and soul. 

To sum things up.. if you don't have a clear idea of WHO you want to be, or WHAT you want beyond the weight loss, you will likely FEAR your SUCCESS because who you ARE now.. is who you are USED TO BEING...

And that future person, who you don't know, and you're not sure if you're going to like, love, etc.. is who you are going to avoid like the plague.
And, when you get SUPER FREAKING CLEAR on WHO YOU WANT TO BE... 
You'll be not only ready to achieve your goals, but you'll be attracted to SUCCESS like a moth to a flame. Nothing will keep you away.

So, for today, and the rest of this week, I want you to make a list of why SUCCESS would be TOTALLY SCARY for you...

Then.. I want you to make a list on all the AMAZING EXCITING things that your WLS SUCCESS would bring into your life...

Then, I want you to DEFINE what your life will look like as a WLS SUCCESS... 

What ELSE do you want to achieve in your life? 
What ELSE do you want to BE, DO, or HAVE? 


What can you focus on in your life beyond your weight loss goals?

I promise you that while these are deep questions and this is deep work - if you do it.. you'll gain new insights that you've never had before.

And.. if you are still struggling with "I don't knows" - keep asking yourself the questions every single day.. 

I don't know is a lazy answer. You guys may get mad at me for saying it.. but it's true. 


The more you ask yourself these questions, the more clear you will get. It may take a week, it may take a month, it may take several months..  keep asking.


I promise you this works. 


Let's bust through your fear of SUCCESS, so you can REALLY TRULY live your post-op life the way you want to live it... 


Let's stop going through the motions of what is, and CREATE what you want to BE...

How your FEAR of Failure might actually be causing you to FAIL

Are you staying on track with your long-term goals, or are things a little wobbly?

This week I want to share more on the topic of FEAR. Fear is one of those things that EVERYONE struggles with.

Within the WLS post-op community I see a lot of people discussing their fear of failure. Fear of failure is actually pretty normal because, well, who really starts this process wanting to fail? Of course, no one wants to fail, but that's what people tend to focus on.. Think about it. How often do you think about failing? or your fear of failure?

Yet, within that fear of failure, there is something that no one talks about.. and that is the #mindset piece.  

Here's the thing, and maybe you've heard me say this before.. "what you focus on expands",so when you focus on a fear of failure, you might actually increase that fear because you are focusing on it, and end up overwhelming yourself.

See, the brain is a beautiful and yet complicated thing. We can sift through billions of bits of data at any given time. And somehow, so we don’t short circuit, we have to organize that information. The Reticular Activating System helps with that and if you start looking for evidence of something, you are bound to find it..  

So, if your brain starts focusing in on looking for failures, guess what you'll find?

Yes, that's right, failures. Then.. when you focus on that, and start to find evidence of that, then your brain says "why bother," and then you STOP TRYING..

AND THIS.. is the big problem!

So wait, how does my fear of failure actually cause me to potentially fail??

See, our Reticular Activating System (RAS for short), is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff gets through.

The RAS is the reason you learn a new word, and then start seeing it or hearing it everywhere. It’s why you can tune out a crowd full of talking people, yet immediately snap to attention when someone says your name or something that at least sounds like it. It's the same reason you notice the song you love (or the song you hate) come on the radio, all the time.

Your RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it. It then sifts through the data and presents only the pieces that are important to you (good or bad). All of this happens without you noticing, of course. The RAS programs itself to work in your favor without you actively doing anything. Pretty awesome, right?

In the same way, the RAS seeks information that validates your beliefs. It filters the world through the parameters you give it, and your beliefs shape those parameters. If you think you are failing at life after WLS, you probably will be only because you focus on that so much. If you believe you are good at your post-op process, you most likely do great at the follow-through because you'll believe in yourself even more. If you don't think this way, you'll likely to pick up as self-defeatist attitude a whole lot quicker.

The RAS helps you see what you want to see and in doing so, influences your actions.

Next, let's mix your RAS with negative cyclical self-talk and this is why you are likely to create failures with your mind... because, like I said before, what you focus on expands.

Now, don't misunderstand me.. if you are still downing Haagan Dazs all while chanting "I'm so skinny, the weight is just falling off, Look at me, I'm so skinny" - then you're missing my point.

YOU DO HAVE TO PUT IN THE WORK... YOU MUST TAKE ACTION!

However, what I am saying is... You're perception comes from how you are looking at things, and when you focus on failures, all you will see are failures.

So, I want to encourage you to see other things...

Play a little game with me, will you?

Each day when you leave home, look for something specific in your day-to-day life when you are headed to work and back home, or driving around town... do this for a few days.

When you focus on seeing these things, I promise you'll find them. If not, you are likely living under a rock (just kidding!).

But in all seriousness, start looking for something daily. You may start looking to see a Red Cardinal (the bird), or focus on seeing a Silver colored Toyota 4-runner.

When I did this experiment myself, I was a skeptic and I said that I would find a blue butterfly. I didn't believe I would see one because while I live kind of in the country, I thought it impossible to see a butterfly because I'm inside most days. Well, within 72 hours, I saw a blue, yellow, and black butterfly hanging out by my gardenia bushes.

BOOM!  This stuff works..

So.. first, ask yourself - what are you looking for? What are you focusing on that you will see show up in your life?

Second, start looking for it everywhere. Make it a game like the 'punch buggy' game. 

Then, start to notice how often you are seeing the object that has become your focus.


And finally,shift this to your WLS life and start to look for your successes so you can FINALLY shift out of your fear of failure and begin to track your successes long term.

Also.. STAY TUNED... because....

Next time I will discuss the FEAR of Success and the prevalence it presents in bariatric post-ops, why it may also be lingering beneath the surface and how it may also be causing some subconscious mindset issues..

What is the most important thing to know as a post-op bariatric patient?

This question comes up a lot.. It’s funny because I can’t answer with just one thing. When I think about the importance … I think it’s a JOURNEY. It’s not one thing, it’s everything. 

So, for today, I decided to sum up some of the most important things that I see as a clinician and as a patient for the post-op bariatric process. If any of this resonates, leave me a comment below.

1. Slow and steady repeat action beats one-day hustles. When you're not this journey.. it's not about doing something huge or awesome ONCE.. it's about creating little baby habits that over time create your lasting lifestyle change.

2. Back to basics is always important when you hit a stall

3. Release the judgment of yourself.. that won't change anything.. you've likely been doing that all along even before surgery and how has that worked out? Instead ask how you can be more loving, kind, supportive, etc.

4. Food is 80%, Exercise is 20% - you can't exercise away bad food choices. Just remember that you can always 'begin again' after a mistake.

5. You are totally fooling yourself if you think mistakes WON'T happen or that you WON'T cave to a poor food choice EVER.. the goal is to get better at making better choices not to live from a perfectionistic state. Reality: mistakes, missteps, and oopsies happen.. pick yourself up.. dust yourself off and redirect back to the path you want to BE on.

6. Repeat of #3.. beating yourself up doesn't help you get farther along in your journey. In fact, it may cause you to eat out of spite because you may not be able to deal with all the negative emotions thrown onto the pile.. Remember kindness, love, compassion, and patience (along with success).. is a practice.. it's not a destination..

7. Your old tribe may not get you.. and that's okay. Find your tribe.. there is a saying.. "if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb In reality, if you go alone, you may get somewhere fast, but you might soon go back to your old ways due to loneliness, boredom, and a welling up of emotions.. Find your tribe, love them hard, and be involved. This is your journey.. live it fully and bring peeps along for the ride.

8. Feeling is inevitable.. if you try to continue to stuff down the feelings.. you'll end up with transfer addiction or other poor habits. Start looking deeper into what you are trying to avoid.. and when you look at it, deal with it, and release it.. you'll grow into the person you've always be longing to be..

9. Put yourself first.. if you continue to put everyone else first, you'll wonder why you aren't getting anywhere. It's not about the time, but the energy and effort you put in.. if you are too busy helping others, you'll forget about yourself and this whole process will be for nothing.

10. This journey is not about the weight but all the things you haven't been able to be, do, or have as a result of the weight.. and when you recognize that life is more than food and weight loss, you'll open yourself up to a new way of living and being.. This is why I'll ask so often, 'what do you want?' it's because once you've walked this journey and dug deep inside, the weight is only a byproduct of the work you've done, and you GET to live the life you've always wanted to live because you being to take a CHANCE on you, you begin to BELIEVE in you, your dreams, and the pure potentiality that you never saw before..

As a reminder this is a lifestyle change.

Share your thoughts below. What has this journey been like for you?

Also, if you haven’t yet, remember to join our group on Facebook.

What does freedom look like?

Last week, I shared a post all about FREEDOM.

This week, I think it’s important to discuss FREEDOM from judgment, criticism and those in our lives who persist with criticism and judgment of our choices, of who we are, of how or why we’ve decided to change our lives, etc.

Sometimes we can still feel bogged down by the pain or it might be even more present now that we’ve lost the weight. I’ve realized how much more I feel pain now that my “cushion” or “fat shield” is gone, and so dealing with painful feelings of judgment and criticism can cause me to turn my attention back to food, and this is where I stop and use my mindset tools before putting anything in my mouth!

Today I’m actually going to share a livestream I did on my Facebook page about my own struggles with this and how after surgery, I still struggle with turning to food to soothe. Although the triggers are still there, I’ve worked on my #mindset enough that I am able to stop myself before eating my feelings. 

Check out what I have to say and come on over to my group Bariatric Mindset Mavens to share your thoughts and feelings!

Watch Here!

Also, we’ll be releasing the Online Live Emotional Eating Group Program at the end of the month as well as the Emotional Eating DIY Online Digital course which you can access from anywhere. If you want to be on the waiting list for either of these, send me an email at kristin@bariatricmindset.com 

Also, remember on this journey, you are not alone and it’s through the consistent mindset shifts and breakthroughs that you gain knowledge, power, and resilience in yourself.

Let Freedom Ring

Freedom!

You are on this journey for a reason and although you may not have originally thought of FREEDOM as a word to describe your journey or your process, it is definitely part of your outcome.

I know that you started this process because you wanted more choices in your life,  FREEDOM from obesity, and all that comes with.

In my own struggle with obesity, I’ve seen my weight and obesity as a prison in which I felt trapped. I remember when it was a struggle to walk outside, to move around, and I remember feeling unable to take care of myself, let alone my family. My own issues with obesity left me feeling powerless and constantly overwhelmed. When I began on this journey through and beyond bariatric surgery, it was in an attempt to get my life back and now nearly 5 years later, it is still a process through the mindset shifts.

Today, my life is completely different, and I believe that is largely due to bariatric mindset shifts which have helped me to succeed in the long-term.

This time of year, can be tough though. Summer time is when people are going on vacation and quick eats can be problematic. Whether you are in the U.S. celebrating the 4th of July or on holiday somewhere, the celebratory get-togethers typically include food and alcohol. For the bariatric patient, both alcohol and overeating can be dangerous. Alcohol, while in moderation can be fine, however, it packs a punch with regard to calories and as a bariatric post-op , your blood alcohol levels get impacted more rapidly and for a longer period of time.

So today and for the rest of summer, consciously decide what’s best for you as you let loose for fun in the sun.

Let me also be clear….. Food is not the enemy, nor is it your friend.

Food is how we nourish ourselves and that is why food is usually at every celebration, because it is used to celebrate abundance, togetherness and joy. However, the OLD you at events might have been on a diet, or feeling the need to splurge or go overboard with foods that are not healthy and more restricting of your life than offering freedom.

As you’ve entered this new phase of your life, the FREEDOM SEEKING YOU is ready for a change.

The old mindset might tell you to indulge,  while your new bariatric mindset helps you to refocus your attention on your plan of protein first, staying hydrated, and getting in some daily movement.

The honest to goodness truth is you can have delicious food, nourish your body and have a good time as a post-op. It’s all about reframing your attention to what you WANT versus what you DON’T WANT.

Meaning, if you are choosing to make this is a lifestyle change, then it’s essential to install healthy habits even on holidays to help you stay in the game. And, if you know that eating one chip will lead to eating more, then it’s probably best to bypass the chips.

Likewise, if you can make a dish that tickles your taste buds, fulfills you and is on your plan, then you are doing great!

For today and the rest of the summer, I want to share some journal prompts for you to work through this summer. You may be tempted or triggered and I believe these will help you as you aim to stay on track through the summer and beyond.

Journal Prompts:

  • What does FREEDOM mean for me in my post-op bariatric life? What does FREEDOM from obesity feel like?
  • How can I celebrate FREEDOM in my new bariatric body?
  • When I sit down to eat, how can I honor my desire for FREEDOM? (Or.. when I eat, am I honoring my desire for FREEDOM?)
  • What is the outcome if I don’t honor my desire for FREEDOM?
  • I hope these journaling prompts help you in being more conscious and reprogramming the old autopilot thinking.

    Write them in your journal or in a notebook where you can keep further entries on your progress to success. Also, if you want to share something that you’ve gained from these prompts, head on over to the Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/bariatricmindset and tag us in your post.

Stay on track! Plan and Prep weekly meals with Food Storage containers

Hi Everyone!!

Happy #Backontrack Sunday! How are you all doing today? Are you ready for the week? 

This is my #backontrack post for today!! I got these to go boxes from Amazon that help with portions and separating food. I made rotisserie chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans with cauliflower. I made 3 for dinners this week. When I'm at the office, my husband takes my son out, or they eat together. My husband is a vegetarian and we eat VERY differently. I must have #protein as #priority, while my husband and son can eat bread, pasta, couscous, and carbs for days and be totally thin. The nerve of them, right? 

Since I know what my #sleeve and #bariatric body needs, I plan for it. This helps me stay the course, and remain successful in my journey and I wanted to share it with you. 

This is planning at its best. This helps me avoid fast food, avoid poor choices and I'm getting my protein, veggies and good carbs.

Planing and priotizing is essential for for your long term success. When we leave choices for our "tired" brains at the end of the day, we may experience regret later because we were caught In a weak moment. Set yourself up for success by planning in advance!!

These are kind of like bento boxes, but reusable, microwavable, BPA free and you can freeze and store food. They are amazing!! 

#backontrack #stayontrack #sundaysuccess

Get your own containers here on Amazon: 

foodprep.jpg

 

Get your own containers here on Amazon: 

 

**please note this is an affiliate link and I may receive compensation for sharing this with you**

H2O - does a body good. Are you getting enough?

 

11/10/2014

They tell you before WLS/bariatric surgery about the importance of water in your diet. They tell you this again after surgery when they give you fluids in post-op. They tell you in the support groups. They tell you at the doctor’s office. They tell you every time they get a chance. But, they should as this can impact overall health and hydration - not to mention weight loss. 

Water is important for everyone - not just bariatric surgery patients. However, while they tell you that you need water, what might not be said is “water helps you lose weight”. Also, due to the smaller size of the stomach or due to the size of the pouch created for Roux-en-Y patients, water is not as easy to guzzle as it was before. 

 

Yes, water - good ole H2O can help you lose the weight. WLS (weight loss surgery) patients need just as much water as before (at least 64oz a day) but the only different now is that it requires a conscious effort to fit it in your daily plan. 

After my WLS, I struggled a little with drinking plain water. So I made sure that I put a little flavoring (sugar free of course) in my water. I used powerade flavored water mix, crystal light, true lemon, true lime (with stevia) and other liquid flavored drops. I didn’t like my water too sweet so I would make it very diluted just enough to get a taste but not so much that I would gag from the sweetness. 

This helped me for the first 9 months. After that I started to drink plain water again and did not gag. That was really wonderful! I had missed plain water and the ability to drink it without flavoring. 

Everyone is different and experiences vary. I had to do what was best for me to ensure that I drank my required amount of water every day. In the beginning, I even made sure that I had a timer set every couple hours which really helped - It would say, “Are you thirsty? Time to drink some water!" 

I believe all of us (even those who have not had bariatric/WLS surgery) have trouble with drinking enough water. Therefore making it a priority and a daily habit is a good way to ensure long-term that you are getting in the H2O. 

How much water have you had to drink today?

What habits do you use to ensure you are drinking at least 64oz a day? 

Happy Sipping… 

Love and light,

Kristin 

Hair loss after bariatric surgery - not a myth!

10/31/2014

Hair loss after bariatric surgery - not a myth!

I don’t know why I ignored the possibility of this before surgery, but I did. I saw the “thin” me in my visualizations and ignored all the possible negative things that “could” happen as a result. Maybe this is because I like to think of myself as a positive person and try to avoid the negative self-talk.

Anyway, the thought of hair loss and what that would mean for me just did not enter into my decision whether to have surgery or not and I guess I figured I would take things as they came. I did not really start losing hair until at least 4-6 months after my surgery. Then it was coming out in clumps! It was awful. I contacted my surgical center/physician’s office of course and they suggested I up my protein and make sure that I took my vitamins.

Check and check!

Getting in the protein in the beginning was a process but by today (at about 1 year post-op), I am getting in about 100 grams of protein in a day. I got my labs done which showed I was right where I needed to be with my vitamins and my protein also looked good. So what was/is the issue? I saw my hair stylist next. She suggested biotin and after consulting again with my physician, it turns out I can have up to 10,000 mcg of biotin a day.

Awesome!

So I put that on my daily routine and moved along. The hair was still coming out and my pony tail was beginning to look like a rat tail, no joke! My hairstylist even joked that I might not be able to get my hair highlighted because of the damage it could potentially cause to the rest of my hair (what little left I had!!). I then ended up getting a hair, skin and nails vitamin to help with the hair loss. (Check out my next post on vitamins as well).

My hairstylist then suggested I try Nioxin which is a shampoo/conditioner product used for thinning hair. I have since switched to Bosley Medical products and will submit an update when I can effectively say whether I can tell a difference in the products. Nioxin made my hair super frizzy and I typically looked like I stuck my finger in a light socket. No bueno! I am hoping the Bosley Medical products are more about helping new hair growth instead of making the existing hair frizz (giving it more “body”).

Also, I am switching up proteins. I love my premier protein (ready made) shakes in the morning but have started using more Unjury which claims to have more benefits with regards to hair regrowth and to be a “better quality protein”. I will examine this as well and see if there is much difference since I’ve made the switch. I’m doing anything and all that I can to influence and promote new, healthy hair growth. I never thought about the psychological effects of my changing image especially the aspect of hair loss. My body is looking great and I am continuing to lose at a slow and steady pace.

However, when I see how horrible my hair looks I do get a bit sad that I am not looking a fantastic as I expected. So I have been working on this from within to be patient and gentle with myself about my own thoughts of perfectionism and how things “should” be versus how they are. Also, I recently decided to get a hair cut to chop off the rat’s tail and I welcomed a bob-cut. I have never liked myself with short hair but I welcomed the change to inspire my own self-confidence and to promote new healthy hair growth.

Since having it done, I like it much more than the rat’s tail and feel that I look much better (even with short hair) and am excited for the change. Sometimes we have to see things differently, in order for our perspective to change and to accept what is. So instead of being down and out about the rat’s tail, I cut it off and took control of a new look making myself feel better.

I hope this post inspires you to make positive changes and to see things differently as I have. Also, check out my before and after looks below. Also for those of you who would like to know more about hair loss after bariatric surgery, the causes and other remedies, please check out this article found in the Bariatric Times online magazine.

Happy Reading!

http://bariatrictimes.com/hair-loss-among-bariatric-surgery-patients/ 

With love and light!

Kristin

oh FitBit, how I love thee...

I should be a spokesperson for Fitbit. I am not but I should be. Why, you may ask? It is because I sing the praises of how using Fitbit helped me to reach my weight loss goals and continues to help me reach my weight loss goals. About a year ago I decided it as time to stop wasting time being fat. At 378lbs I was miserable. Moving was difficult. I was always tired to the point of exhaustion. My knees hurt and I despised walking or any type of exercise. Before I had VSG surgery, I had to make some changes. It started with getting a Fitbit. 
 

Following my initial visit with my doctor they notified me that my BMI was too high to have surgery as an outpatient procedure. I could have the procedure done in the hospital for an extra fee which was way over my budget. So in order to get the surgery done in the center I had to lose 35lbs fast to meet the BMI requirement.

I was scared and nervous but I was hopeful. I quickly implemented the pre-VSG diet plan which consisted of 1200 calories a day and no more than 40 grams of carbs per day. I still ate what I liked but I cut out as many carbs as I could and increased my protein intake. But more of those details I’ll save for another post. This post is about how I used my FitBit to my advantage.

My husband told me not to get it and that it would be a waste of money. Over one year later and my FitBit is still by my side and one of the most motivating tools I use to date. He has since taken back that comment and early this year he even bought one for himself and now we compete on how many steps we can do in a day. It has become a family affair!

However, back when I was trying to lose those 35lbs before surgery, I needed to move to burn those calories. My knees hurt and I was in pain, but I walked and I used the Fitbit to help me keep track of my steps. Instead of walking outside on the pavement, I walked inside. I was not ready for the gym so I literally walked in my basement back and forth, back and forth and worked my way from 5,000 steps a day to 7,500 steps a day. Also, I exceeded my goal and by the date of my surgery I had lost 38lbs!!

My point here is to start small and do what you can do for you. I walked inside on the carpet because that was the best way for me to take care of my knees while also getting the walking exercise in. I was not ready for the gym and I was not ready for the pavement. My body at that time was still too heavy and I had to do what worked for me. I had to work past the excuses of not exercising and find a way to get it done. My Fitbit helped me keep track of my daily step goals, how many flights of stairs I climbed, how many calories I burned and helped me keep track of the pounds lost.

Maybe a Fitbit is not for everyone and everyone has their favorite tools, but for me it was about starting simply and finding a way to keep myself accountable to my goals and keeping myself on track. That is what Fitbit has done for me.

Oh Fitbit, how I love thee!!

With love and light,

Kristin