I used to focus on every little change the lipedema made on my body. I mourned what was lost. I mourned once more when I realized some things were lost forever. Through liposuction AND lifestyle changes I reached significant improvement, but I still have lipedema. Very much so. The children kept me extremely aware of my being different: Mommy can’t do this, mommy can’t do that, if I do that I hurt mommy. I considered a change of career, but couldn’t see how I could face the challenging course work and then the work itself. Simple things like travel, long hours, much walking. Despite my significant progress I still felt limited and a little frustrated. And I still retained water regularly.Little by little things changed. No matter how sweet the kids were in their efforts to help me, their response was prompted by the signals I gave them. I didn’t want them to treat me like an invalid. Because I’m not. Or worse: a victim. Yikes. It was up to me to make the change. For them I made the effort to point out what I could do and drop the fat vs skinny issue. I never, ever mentioned anything about being fat again. Mommy doesn’t eat certain things, or rarely does, because it’s bad for my legs. Period. Mommy gained a cool factor taking them in fast moving and spinning rides and became the dare devil who swims with sharks. The kids need a role model, not someone to pity.
Little by little this became the standard. My life became less and less about lipedema. I stopped measuring my waist daily. I went from stepping on the scales three, four times a day to once a week or so. When I heard about Ketogenic eating, I got tempted, but left it, because that required counting carbs. I don’t count ANYTHING anymore when it comes to food. No calories, no carbs, no scoops, grams, spoons, nor will I follow a fixed food plan. I learned that food restrictions act like a stressor for me and I’m staying away from that, because stress gives me cravings. I focus on healthy choices, although not exclusively, enjoy what I eat and only eat when hungry.
My last hurdle was my career. I loved to write, yet I felt that it was a choice I made for lack of options. It took me a while to realize, but all the other ideas for career choices I have dropped not just because it would be too challenging. Truthfully, I didn’t want it bad enough. Because if I did, I would go the extra mile and it wouldn’t feel like going the extra mile. I love to write. Long hours rarely bother me. Exactly because it doesn’t feel like pushing myself. It took me a while to see that. It dawned on me when working on a novel at night on top of everything else. I didn’t waste any more time and started my own business as a professional writer and translator.
Sometimes there’s a new challenge. Peri-menopause came knocking on my door frightfully early. I got hideous carb cravings and gained a little over the last few months. A first since liposuction. That stings, I can tell you that. After going through 4 surgeries and the cost involved, gaining is frightfully frustrating. I had hoped to have a few more years without this fuss. For a while I got fussy with the scales and tape measure again, but I’m regrouping. The stress is fading again and so is the pain in my legs. Even when I don't eat perfectly. To me that’s no coincidence. It’s sometimes difficult to step away from stress, but it’s definitely worth the extra trouble to try and break free of it.