Sunday, May 29, 2011

Balance After WLS

I've been pondering the balance question I posed a few days ago. When I'm home alone without my hubs I tend to have clear thoughts when it is just me and some crafting, so while I was laying in bed attempting to fall asleep last night, I really dove into this topic and started to write in my journal.

When I inventoried my work life balance from my first year of marriage I realized that I sucked at it. It was hard to figure out being a wife and most women go through a phase of finding their new identity the first year of marriage, but now i'm into the second year of marriage, the second year at my current job, and then I added in WLS. I have to say that WLS has made it easier to be balanced though at sometimes I feel that WLS still consumes my life, but with such a large life change [per my therapist I am doing perfectly fine] I take this all in stride.

How has my life changed since WLS? Ok let me answer this honestly - not that much, but so much all at the same time. Let's make a list!

Things that haven't changed:
1. I lived a scheduled life - I lived a very scheduled life prior to WLS and because of that the transition to a schedule that balances food, vitamins, and meds...was easy. I just had to work it out. No change there!
2. I take meds - yep, still taking meds just take less ALOT less, but I added supplements that I needed. Now that I found what works for me and where I can get them everything has leveled out.

Things that have changed:
1. I can do so much more - my energy has gone through the roof!!!! I have energy to do things before and after work, I don't nap all the time, I can take long walks and do activities. This was rare prior to WLS
2. I cook - I cooked before, but I really cook now. I like to know what goes into my food and I like to create and eat recipes that are gastric bypass is a new passion and I am loving it
3. I sleep better - since WLS I sleep better overall, I take less medicine, can fall asleep on my own, and can sleep through the night with no nightmares
4. I feel good about the way I am looking - AKA I better self esteem
5. I'm happier - overall my moods are better and I'm more even keeled. I really am happier over looks better, feels better, and it makes me smile
6. I'm mobile - yes, I can move better and I actually exercise...not as much as I want to, but yes, I can move and groove.

Well things have changed, but all for the better. Right after WLS there was a lot more change and it felt more severe, now its just life. I don't see this as a work in progress, I've just made it part of my life and my husband has adopted my new lifestyle in support and in trying some foods! Really all of the changes make it easier for me to work life balance....but there is one area where I really need to work on and that is the emotional aspect of being empathetic, absorbing anxiety and others feelings, and being able to compartmentalize.

What I need to and want to work on has nothing to do with WLS!!!!! I am naturally empathetic. I feel someone's highs and lows. I'm an absorber...yes, I absorb others feelings and situations. This is really hard when there is a specifically intense situations and where emotions run high. I will be able to feel the anxiety, the sadness, the despair and my body will absorb it - it is both a good thing and a bad thing. It is good because I can really put myself in others shoes, it really stinks because I can't compartmentalize myself [yet] to find a way to feel what they feel but not take it back into my own life. It has gotten so much better over the years, but it isn't to a place where I do it well, do it naturally, or do it all the time unconsciously. It is something that I need to learn because it will be something to benefit me long term, but right now I don't do it so well.

Though over the last two years I've been better at bringing work home and having boundaries, it was brought to my attention, that I don't do it to the point I should. I first took this as offensive, and really I still do when and how it was pointed is all about the tone, the way it was presented, and the context, but I digress. Honestly I can do this better. I need to make some new boundaries to have work and life separate. I need to get out of the house and do more. I need to want things, but in all reality life isn't perfect.

I would love to do more outside the house and travel and such, but this right now isn't in the game plan at the point where I want it to be. I'm working on the goal to be debt free and I'm really close to paying off the next chunk of the bad debt leaving only the normal things like a car, so as much as I would love to travel, go do a class or something outside of the norm...that isn't in the cards right now. So yes, I do spend a lot of time at home. I spend a lot of time with my husband when I can, and really I want this to change where we do more outside of the 'boro and we can really be a part of our friends lives, but I also want to be out of bad debt and have a better marriage. No one can really dictate my life but me and my husband, but yet some other people feel they need to put their two cents in. I guess this blog is a way for me to work out things that effect me and this does. I don't like being told what to do in my personal life, but I also need to own up to my life in knowing what goals my husband and i want to reach and one of those is getting rid of debt, being healthier emotionally and physically, and having a good bonded marriage - this doesn't have anything to do with my work.

So what has changed....very little in some ways and a lot in others, but I feel like I lived a pretty balanced life with the exception where I want to see my friends more, get off campus more, and do some more fun things, but that is coming. It is a process and for me to be a good head of the household I need to be financially sound, I need to live within my means, and I need to adapt to my lifestyle. These are as important to me as what I am putting into my mouth and my body.

Boundaries and Goals
1. back to journaling / feeling box - when something is emotional at home I'm going to a)realize what is going on b)recognize my feelings and c)journal or write it down and put it in my feeling box
2. focus on work when I am at work and focus on home when I'm at home - this is more difficult living where you work, but I'm going to make a conscious effort to do it
3. not bring work home, get it done at work or it will be done the next day
4. get off campus for date night - even if we are crafting or working on school - hubs and i need to leave MTSU for the evening and go somewhere else.
5. get back to writing in my personal journal every day to get the emotions out of me and on to paper...then it isn't in my head

Changing is a process. The amount of change that I've gone through since 2009 is immense and most isn't visible. Yes the 70 lbs is, but the emotional and mental changes aren't, regardless I realize that change is inevitable and it is something that I need to embrace and take on...which I can do - it is budget friendly!

1 comment:

  1. You sound so much like me, it's not even FUNNY! I am so proud of you for doing your therapy (and growing from it), and I'm happy to hear that you and your hubby are thriving and growing as your body is shrinking ;-) It takes the support of a good mate to really make this Bariatric After Life work, and it sounds like the balance you are seeking (and achieving) will put you way out ahead of many, many others. Good luck to you and I will keep reading about your journey! Thanks for sharing :-)