Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mean Old Man

Over the years I have had to say NO to a lot of people, both professionally and personally. As a father many times my kids would come to me with some kind of request, and after listening to what they said and considering the pros and cons of what my decision would be, I had to lots of times say no. It is always easier to say yes and make someone happy much harder to say no and make them sad.

In our family the girls would usually start off by asking their mom for something. Mom was usually an easier touch, but unless Jackie knew for sure that I would approve, she told the girls that they would have to ask dad. They would usually say something like “well dad always says NO so no need to ask him”. That meant that their case was weak and I would not just let it slide and would make them justify what they wanted to do or have.

In my profession as the manger of a large computer center I had other managers and employees who either directly or through the management chain would ask me for something. These were most times in writing in some formal format or even verbally in my office. Many times because of policy or financial concerns, I had to say no to them as well. It was hard to do. If you were going to be fired, I was the one who gave the employee the bad news. 

When and employee had done something bad or an infraction that would cause their removal, it was not so hard as they had caused the problem upon themselves. But when I had to let someone go because of financial problems in the budget, it was much harder to do. Anyone with a heart at all would feel bad letting someone, who you knew needed the job go. Many times there were tears involved and begging. But it was my job to do that task and as much as I hated that part, it had to be done, just as telling my kids no was hard as well. 

But in my life there was another kind of NO that had to be done, and that was the hardest of all. It was telling myself NO. I have been obese most of my life with periods of time where I had lost great amounts of weight via the diet methods I had participated in through the years. They all seemed to work and I lost weight. But over the months that followed, I would slowly gain the weight back or even put on more than I had before. I did not eat bad foods like fast food, very often but would eat way to much at each meal. I would justify this behavior by saying “ I will not eat much tomorrow to make up for it, or I will work out more”, or some excuse to just eat the food and not say NO to myself. 

As I have had WLS now and am again losing great amounts of weight, I hear of others who like me are having a hard time saying NO to themselves. They are eating things that have gotten them fat in the first place. Asking other WLS people if they eat this or that, when everyone knows that those kinds of foods should be avoided. Some folks even admit that they cheat even just after having surgery. Obviously they are looking at these foods and just can’t bring themselves to say NO, I can’t have those things again. 

Some people play the middle of the road game. Well you can in moderation they will say. Or occasionally will not hurt. If it is something we all know got us fat, why ever have it? I know we are human and make mistakes, I sure do, I know. But many mistakes can be avoided by just not being where these foods are being served and by not bringing them into your home. Going to a fast food joint to get a cup of chili or a salad is just asking for problems and reinforcing your longing for the old fatso inside most of us. 

Yes it takes planning to avoid problems. Taking something with you when you go somewhere that you can eat when others are eating things you should not have.  Keeping troublesome food items out of your house. This requires support from you family, but unless they want you fat, they will help. This should have been talked about and agreed to long before surgery. If things are brought into the house that should not be there, no matter who brought them in tell them to get it out NOW or take it yourself in front of them and toss it in the trash. It will only take one or two times like this and it will not come in the house again. Tell them it is ok for them to have and enjoy, but not around you and they have to work that out themselves. 

Again you have to say the word NO you can’t screw me up and I will NOT screw myself up…I have done that too long and resolve to never doing it again. No is not a bad word so get used to saying it to yourself all the time. Then you can say YES I CAN BE SUCCESSFUL FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

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