It has been 3.5 years since I had weight loss surgery and WLS is no longer the center of my universe. Actually, WLS has been moving further and further away from the center for some time now - it's just that in the past few months I've noticed it more. Let me explain.
When I first had surgery - in fact, in the year before surgery - my whole world revolved around the fact that I had made a huge decision to change my life, my habits and the way I thought about myself in terms of being healthy or not. The decision to alter the anatomy of my body was an extreme step.
WLS isn't just a way to lose weight and get healthy, it physically alters my body and changes the way I make every decision about my body for the rest of my life. It's not just about eating the right foods and exercising and taking my vitamins - it's having to do all those things 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without a single day off. This isn't a diet that I can start and stop anytime I want, it's a change to the very core of my life and how I live it every minute of the day.
For the first couple years after WLS, I felt every single one of those minutes of my day. But slowly I worked my way toward "normal" (and even wrote about it here a few times - "Working Toward Normal"). I was making a conscious effort to stop thinking about WLS all the time and stop allowing it to define who I was as a person. No, I'll never be a non-WLS person, but I can find a way for it to be just one small part of who I am rather than the whole.
Long time readers who know me, know that I'm a busy person. I work a full-time job, I commute to work the equivalent of another part time job (on the road 15 hours a week), I go to school full time and a bunch of other stuff (ya know, like writing a book and stuff). So it's not like I've let WLS bog me down and get in the way of living my life - but it was always occupying a large part of my thinking space.
I'm sure you've noticed in the past couple months that my blog posting has diminished significantly. I also haven't been visiting the WLS forums as often as I used to. Granted, some of this is due to a more intense workday and school schedule ... but a large part of this is due to the fact that WLS is no longer the center of my universe.
I know that my blog posts have been pretty fluffy lately. Not a lot of in depth research or lessons like I've shared in the past. Some of that is probably a result of being so entrenched in school and it using up so much of my brain power. But it might also be a result of putting so much of my WLS energies into the writing of my book (yes, it's coming!). So even though you haven't seen it here, I've honestly been writing about WLS like a madwoman! But it's draining my energy. A lot. Like, seriously a lot. So I've been a bit distanced from the WLS community and blog world these past few months.
Is this a good thing? Is it bad? It is neither? I don't know... for now it's an observation and something I'll contemplate a bit more in the coming weeks. I don't plan to go away or leave this blog abandoned or anything. The archives still have a lot of valuable information for those who are just starting their journey and I hope people find it helpful still. But I suspect the direction of this blog might change a bit in the coming months - from WLS-centric to Pam-centric instead. Sort of a chronicle of what life is like as a normal person who just happened to have WLS.
So that's what's on my mind today as I work on the final edits of the book and get it ready to be submitted to the publisher in the next week or two. My brain hurts and I'm exhausted from being overextended, but it's an interesting thing to realize that WLS isn't the center of my universe anymore and that I'm living a pretty normal life these days. It's taken over four years to get here - so this is a new place for me.