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Icy Road? Just Roll Right Over It!

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Brrrrr. It’s winter, and a bad one in some parts of the country. I’m somewhat safe because much of the time, I can work from home, but that can be risky business too. Just think about it: my office door is only six feet away from my typically over-stocked middle-class American kitchen. There’s no caramel gelato in the freezer, no cookies in the cupboard, but despite that, my brain keeps wandering back to the kitchen, over and over again. No doubt about it, winter driving is tricky business for WLS patients, indoors and out.

This doesn’t mean that your most precious vehicle (your body) is destined to slide off the road despite the nifty tool of bariatric surgery. These are just some musings from a formerly fat girl with a lot of miles on her. I’ve writtena lot on that subject – a lot? Heck, I wrote a whole book about it, but I’ll start by introducing myself. Here goes:

Hi, I'm Jean, and I'm a control freak. I have a really hard time trusting thatfate, or God, or anybody else, is in control of my life, my weight, my health,big things, small details, anything. The story I’m about to tell you is absolutely true.

Years ago I was a passenger in a car driven by my boyfriend. I was in the passenger’s seat; his 9-year-old daughter and her dog were in the back seat. It was a very cold, dark, snowy night on a curving mountain road in New England (not much different than conditions up there was I write this).

Suddenly the road before us was a sheet of ice and in panic, I said, "Slow down, Jack, that's glare ice ahead." He didn't slow down, didn't even respond, soI cried, "Jack! Are you nuts? We’ve got Kristin and Taffy in the car!"

He said, "If I brake now, we'll spin out. We're just going to roll over it."

So we rolled right over the ice, and we all survived. The car was silent for amoment or two, and then we heard Kristin behind us, saying, “Can we stop at Friendly’s for ice cream?”

What does this story have to do with bariatric surgery? Sooner or later on your weight loss surgery journey, you will hit a stretch of bad road. It will be dark out, and you’ve never driven this road before, and it’s raining cookies or sleeting potato chips and the visibility is terrible.

You'll be lost, without street signs or landmarks or a map to guide you, facing unexpected events or conditions. You'll hit a weight loss plateau or experience a weird symptom or your beloved surgeon will leave his/her practice and move to Tibet to study Buddhism. If you're like me, a person who always has to be solving a problem, you'll ask yourself, "What am I doing wrong? What can I do to fix this? What should I do now? Right now."

The answer to those questions may very well be, "Nothing." Sometimes the best course of action is no action. Sometimes you just have to stay the course.

So the next time you face a rough spot in your journey, try not to panic. Don't hit the brakes, or speed up, or turn suddenly. Just roll over it. You’re notin charge of the world and someone in heaven’s got your back. The ice and snowwill melt, you’ll be able to read your map again, and you’ll crawl out of thatditch you’d slid into. You’ll firmly tell Kristin that no, we’re not stopping for ice cream, and you’ll hit the WLS road again, one foot at a time, over andover, while your destination grows ever nearer.

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