The Change Workshop

Friday, June 23, 2006

Big Change Ahead

As a tireless proponent of dealing gracefully with change I have recently embarked on one of the biggest changes of my life. I underwent gastric bypass surgery. Not something I jumped into without a lot of thought; this was one [permanent] change that I did not take lightly (no pun intended). In the past five years I've steadily gained weight and tried to lose it. I've always been a big woman - except for a time in the early eighties where I was a size 7 - but putting on 25 pounds, losing it and then cycling through that about three times was beginning to take its toll. A thyroid condition slowed my metabolism down. Then, last year, I hit menopause and gained 15 pounds almost overnight. I felt as if I was slowly dying.

Gastric bypass surgery was not something I wanted to do. I know about six people who've done it. Some have struggled, some have done well, some have done extremely well and two of those who did it gained the weight back. I was lucky to work with someone who methodically planned for it and is one of those who's doing very well. I followed her path and had surgery in early June.

As I teach in my Change class, change is inevitable. Everything in the universe swings back and forth between bad and good. So, understanding this, I knew there would be low times and there would be high times. The surgery experience was mostly positive but being in a hospital as an obese woman can be humilitating. I felt weak as a kitten when I got home and slid a little into "what have I done?" mode. But - as the pendulum swung - I gained strength and one week after surgery I felt great.

The eating is challenging but it helped that I was asked to go on a modified fast before surgery to shrink my liver so eating less was already part of my routine. I've begun cooking again and fix my own meals. As my mentor said it would, my tastes have changed and some things that used to taste great now taste bland. I am steadily losing weight and - unlike a diet - this is permanent and gives me a stomach that is a tool for being truly healthy. What a concept!

Going back to work will be challenging but I know that chaos will find its own order so I will just hang on for the ride and keep following the plan!