I’ve led a well-lived life after weight-loss surgery in 2003. Prior to that, when I was morbidly obese, I led a life half-lived. One might say I am making up for lost time. Years ago I came to the realization that my life is the dash between the date I was born and the date I die. Do you know what I mean by the dash? It’s that short line that will appear on my tombstone and sums up my life(span): 1964 – 21XX (yes, I’ve set my intention to live long).
And along that dash are the many moments in time that make up my life. So, I got to thinking, now that I was not spending all those precious moments eating, how would I fill-in my dash? What would I do to make this life, my life, a life that is worth living?
I came to the realization that my life is the dash between the date I was born and the date I die. And along that dash are the many moments in time that make up my life. So, I got to thinking, now that I was not spending all those precious moments eating, how would I fill-in my dash? What would I do to make this life, my life, a life that is worth living?
And so, I acknowledged my gratitude to G-d and family, my healthcare providers, my coaches and mentors, myself, and those who joined me on this journey of lifetime weight loss and obesity management. I became able to live my life fully, filling my dash with moments — each one precious in its own right — and making a difference in my relationships, my community, my organization, and society.
How did I do this? Well, with my relationships I learned to put the past in the past, to stop holding resentments in the present time from things that happened a long time ago and which I could do nothing to change. I found that I was being held a prisoner by my past because I kept putting it in the present time. In this way, I was not able to move forward. So I made a conscious decision to create every moment… I chose to be who I am with someone, not based on what happened in the past, but on who I want to be in that moment, which is usually a delicious and loving relationship.
To make a difference in my community, I volunteered. As a member of the Shade Tree Commission in my town, I was able to get many street trees planted in my community, and in my neighborhood, and even on the street that I live on. This improved the beauty of our neighborhood and thereby increased home values, and also improved energy efficiency by way of reducing heating and cooling costs for homes. I also worked with the mayor to get three street lights installed on my block so as to improve safety and security.
I have only one life — this moment right here, right now, followed by the next precious moment. What I am creating for myself and my future is the possibility of harmony, joy, abundance, and greater possibilities.
In my organization, I was a much better employee now that I was no longer miserable and hating myself and everything because I was obese. I was no longer held back by my obesity — let’s face it, there’s an unspoken discrimination of obese people in our society. Once I lost the weight, I was immediately promoted and continued to see my career soar over the many years since my weight loss surgery.
And I contributed to society by writing as an obesity health activist under the avatar My Bariatric Life so as to share my experience. Currently, in addition to writing for MyBariatricLife.org, I write for HealthCentral and BariatricPal. And in the past, I have written other blogs, and a newsletter, and have hosted a forum on an Colleen Cook’s BSCI weight loss surgery patient web site. I want others of the “formerly fat” like me to come to know for themselves what I have come to know for myself and for my life.
There are many more things I will do to fill in my dash… I have only one life — this moment right here, right now, followed by the next precious moment. I give up the acts of the past and declare my independence from food obsession. What I am creating for myself and my future is the possibility of harmony, joy, abundance, and greater possibilities. And THAT is who I am.
How will you fill in your dash?
I invite you to read about my complete weight loss journey in these articles:
My Gastric Bypass Story
My Gastric Bypass Revision Story
Getting Out of My Chubby Kid Clothes
Weight Loss Hero Behind My Bariatric Life
Plastic Surgery with Dr. Joseph F. Capella
Amazing Facelift with Dr. Catherine Winslow
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life