Friday, June 28, 2013

blog lovin' tour // self care



Hello everyone! and welcome to the fourth week of The Declaration of You! Blog Lovin' tour.
The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they've craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You's Blog Lovin' Tour, which I'm thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more and join us, read here!

I started writing this post late for a particular reason. I haven't been blogging much lately and this past week I have been a lot away from my computer, so when I discovered the theme for the week (self care) it fit perfectly what I'm going through. I've taken a drastic decision hoping that it will help me become a healthier person, but also the person I've always wanted to be. I'm being a bit vague because I feel sometimes people judge my choice as the easy way out, but it has been everything but easy. I was planning to keep my decision among friends and family, but you know what? I've never feared judgement so I don't understand why I should start now. Plus, I find blogging a bit therapeutic and even though this is more personal than anything, I think it will be good for me to break down some taboos and to share the journey with you. (Prepare yourselves because this time it will be an only text post, lol.)

Exactly one week ago, I had gastric surgery done. More precisely, I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy performed. What does it mean? It means my stomach was reduced 70% of its size. Why did I do it? To lose weight. Yup, I did it so that I can finally lose weight and be the persona I've always dreamt of being. I've not always been overweight, but I've always felt obese. I remember being a little kindergarten girl and comparing myself to my classmates while in tights in ballet class and feeling like the whale in the room. Now I look back at the pics, and I was a normal kid. What was wrong with me? I don't know... All I know is I've been carrying this whale complex for as long as I can remember. I look at pics of about 5 years ago and I now see a normal girl, maybe a bit overweight but not more than 10 kg, that used to feel like she was 300 kg. It's sad because my self image was stronger than what the others were telling me, and my obsession with whales eventually, made me really turn into one.

In these past 5 years I finally gained all the weight I thought I had throughout my life, and came to a point where dieting was more of a terrorist attack on my body and soul than help. I tried many diets, only to end up more frustrated and fatter. I had dieted in the past, but back then losing 5-8 kg didn't seem that hard? Was it my willpower? Had I lost it? No... I really started with great intentions, but along the way my primitive being overcome the lucid me that knew and wanted to lose weight. Each new diet ended in a failure, and me feeling even worst and immersing in food even more. My weight started to cause (and was also the consequence) of other syndromes that were not dangerous, but that could become it if I didn't take action.

Last December, while on a routine doctor's appointment, I pour my heart out and told him I no longer felt I could lose weight. It was easier for me to gain 3 kg a week than to lose 100g in a month. He suggested gastric surgery and I was really surprised because I had always thought I had to be much more obese to get one. He directed me to another doctor that explained the different options. My parents and sister were really scared, but I was finally starting to see a light in the darkness. My dad insisted I could do it with just dieting and exercise, but said it was my choice. He asked a vascular surgeon friend and colleague of his (my dad is a doctor) if he could see me. I went to the appointment with him and he just explained to me why the VSG was the best option for me (among the other gastric procedures), and said it would be a good thing for me. He did say it wasn't magic and it was just a tool, and that if I decided to do it, it would have changed my life.

I had six months to think about it, and the more I did the more I was convinced this was the best way to finally start taking care of myself. I understood it wasn't a magic potion, it was a serious procedure and I was going to, for the first time in my life, get surgery and be in a hospital. It scared me, a lot! But I had made up my mind. My dad on the other hand, hoped I had desisted on doing it on this 6 months and was really against it, and even though I really really wanted him to be on board (my parents' support means everything to me), I decided to go against his wishes and have it done.

It's only been a week, and the post-op hasn't been a joy, but I feel a bit better every day. Waking up from the anaesthesia was horrible! I really hoped I was one of those persons who got not reaction at all, but apparently, I'm not. So far I can only drink clear liquids, and to be honest, it hasn't been tough at all (I'm just a little bored of only drinking chicken broth). I see food and I know it is good, but I don't feel that anger I used to feel when dieting because I can't have it. On Monday I start with puree food, and hope it's good, hehehe.

Yes, I did this to lose weight, but losing weight for me is not just finally looking good and shopping without it being a nightmare. I did this, because I want to learn to love myself. I know I'm a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, a good worker, a good designer, a good teacher... I've been lucky to always been good in whatever I do (please don't think I want to brag here). The only thing I've never been good at, is loving myself and therefore, taking good care of myself. Last week, I started my new life. It is a new journey where my body and metal health must come first. Where my choices have to be wise and thought for my wellbeing. That includes exercising (which I've never been a fan of... maybe because that's the one think I've never excelled at.) I'm determined to learn to love it and appreciate all the pros people have always said to me. I might have to fake it until I make it (like a friend said to me), but I will become a healthier person, and I will eventually fall in love with exercising.

Self care is so important... not only your physical health depends on it, also your mind and soul benefit from it and as a consequence, the people around you and your work and passions. Taking care of ourselves is a symbol of the love we have for ourselves, and if we can love and take care of everyone around us, why can't we do the same with ourselves? I'm no master, and I'm still very early in my journey, but I feel I've taken the first step towards a better life where I will really treat my body as my temple!