I am now 3 weeks post op Lymph sparing lipectomy (AKA liposuction) for lipedema in my lower legs. The first of six surgeries scheduled between August 20th and December 31st. 

This is what my legs look like…

After having a shit week last week complete with a broken refrigerator and melted birthday cake, I had a pretty rotten weekend too.

Usually I’m pretty quick to recover from things like that, but as the week wore on I found myself increasingly agitated and by the weekend I hated everyone and everything.

(Skip to “The Shit Mood Realization” if you don’t want details about the weekend that includes a rant about how much I hate Kohl’s. 😀 )

I did have a lovely dinner with one of my favorite girlfriends Friday night, which served as a nice distraction, but by Saturday afternoon I felt worse than ever.

Our neighbors invited us over Saturday night, which is something I’ve desperately wanted for over 10 years now. (They’re new neighbors, and the first who are our age since we moved here 12 years ago.) But I just couldn’t bring myself to go over.

Instead I went to Kohl’s (my least favorite store on the planet) to exchange a necklace Brett had bought me for my birthday.

Yeah, yeah, I know, everyone LOVES Kohl’s, but I think that store is hell on earth.

  • It’s always a total disaster- which drives me crazy.
  • Everything is ALWAYS on “sale”- which I don’t believe.
  • Their magical electronic price tags make me want to scream, “buncha dirty liars.”
  • And, I’m pretty sure that they pump that place full of the driest air possible in order to instantly dehydrate you to increase your anxiety making you want to buy more stuff that’s “on sale” so you can get the dopamine response you need to feel better.

I DO NOT TRUST THAT PLACE! (I’m laughing at myself as I type this.)

Anyway, I got home around 8pm with the same damned necklace I was planning to exchange, totally brain dead and dehydrated.

I crawled into bed around 8:15. I just couldn’t anymore.

I woke up Sunday feeling refreshed and decided it was time to do some soul searching to figure out why I was in such a shit mood.

The Shit Mood Realization

What I realized was that I was feeling trapped in my body, much like I did when I weighed 328lbs, and — unable to do the things I so desperately wanted to do.

Right now…

I can’t run, or even move very quickly.

I can’t get up and down off the ground very easily.

I can’t even sit in my favorite position on the couch.

I can’t go kayaking, because it would be impossible to get in and out right now– and I can’t risk getting my incisions infected with lake or river water.

I can’t climb the ladders at the pumpkin patch to slide down the big slide with my boys.

I can’t take them for a bike ride in the bike trailer during the beautiful fall weather.

After my next surgery (which happens on Thursday 9/17) my boys won’t even be able to sit in my lap, for who knows how long? A week? 2 weeks? 3?

I’m going to be incredibly uncomfortable the majority of the next 4 months– by choice. And will be making lots of sacrifices in many areas of my life.

If you’ve watched my “Lose Weight Responsibly” workshop (free and on-demand- see the bottom of this post!) you know that I’m a huge fan of mindfulness. In fact, it’s step number two in my six step approach to responsible weight loss.

That six step approach is effective in all areas of our lives…and Sunday I applied it to the crap that was going on in my head.

  1. I forgave myself for being angry and irritable.
  2. I used mindfulness to realize that “oh! the reason I’m irritable is because the reality of these surgeries, and the long road to recovery is setting in.”
  3. I decided that the best way to manage it to was focus on the future– what these surgeries were going to allow me to do next year.
  4. I looked for a race that I could train for, so I had something to look forward to.
  5. I reminded myself that these next four months are going to be hard, and that’s okay. That I need to practice Rule #8 for living a happy, healthy I’mperfect Life: Find Joy Where I Am and Get Excited About the Future
  6. I will be repeating this over and over again, I’m sure!

So there it is. My shit-mood was due to anxiety about the next four months.

Identifying that allowed me to make peace with it and turn my attention to something productive.

The anxiety isn’t gone, but it’s now manageable

When I start to notice myself feeling irritable I can stop, remind myself that this is only temporary, and a means to an end, with a huge reward at the end that will be worth it…. as long as everything goes as it’s supposed to (kinda like pregnancy).

Which brings me to another cause of anxiety– the “what ifs?” that I have no control over.

When that part creeps up, I remind myself of all of the success stories I’ve read, that my surgeon does 10 surgeries a week and knows what she’s doing, that my body is strong and healthy, and that the chances of complications are very low.

And there you have it!

One day at a time.

Lots of checking with myself.

Lots of deep breaths.

Lots of reminders that this is hard, but that’s okay, it’s not forever, and it will be worth it…hopefully. 🙂

It’s going to be an intense four months! But I’ve got this.