Learning to Make Myself a Priority
Last updated: April 2023
I am so excited to be able to share my narcolepsy experiences with all of you again! I have taken a year off to concentrate on my health, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I feel refreshed and clear-headed for the first time in years, and I truly never thought I could feel like this again!
Unhealthy decisions always made my narcolepsy worse
My narcolepsy has always been an issue when it comes to my overall health. My motivation to exercise and diet would fade quickly when I attempted a daily routine. There have been quite a few instances where I was able to lose weight through a diet change; however, I could never stick with the program and always gained my weight back.
Of course, weight gain led to more unhealthy decisions and always made my narcolepsy worse. I was often in denial and convinced myself that my symptoms would be the same no matter what weight I am. It was a hard pill to swallow when I came to the conclusion that I was, in fact, making things harder on myself. Nobody wants to admit that their weight could be a factor!
A more productive life required a healthier lifestyle
I know some of you will disagree that weight can play a role in our narcolepsy. I know we are all different and our narcolepsy is unique to our own bodies. You can weigh 125 pounds and have narcolepsy just as bad as someone twice your weight. My experience is only my own, and I can only share what I have learned personally on this crazy journey.
I have always struggled with my weight. As I have mentioned, motivation has always quickly disappeared. Having narcolepsy and feeling too tired to go out and be active finally caught up with me.
I was considered morbidly obese and started taking more medication for weight-related health issues. I was getting close to being a diabetic; my cholesterol was elevated and my back pain was out of control. I went to a spinal doctor, and they explained I needed surgery and that my spine was in bad shape.
This was enough to change my entire way of thinking about my body. I hit bottom that day. I decided if I was to enjoy a productive life, I would need to develop a healthier lifestyle.
Pursuing weight loss surgery
My continued pattern of losing weight and gaining it back was a big worry of mine. It is such a big accomplishment to lose a significant amount of weight, only to be crushed when the scale starts going back up. I needed to do something different this time. The day after my spinal diagnosis, I made an appointment with a bariatric doctor. I had never considered weight loss surgery before this, and I was very curious to learn all about it.
My insurance covers bariatric surgeries, but there were a lot of hoops to jump through. This is not something that can be done casually. Insurance requires you to complete a lot of testing and nutrition counseling before you can be approved. My insurance required me to wait 6 months between starting the process and getting approval.
Finding the strength to finish what I started
I was not able to complete all the requirements in 6 months. It took me 11 months to complete the pre-surgery program. Keeping up with the appointments was difficult for me. There were a lot of times I felt overwhelmed and defeated in the process. I doubted that I could stick with ANY program, since I had always quit or become sidetracked with life.
I kept thinking back to that day when my doctor said my spine was in horrible condition and I would need surgery. I channeled that fear, and it was enough to push me outside of my comfort zone. I finally found the strength to finish what I started and was able to have my surgery.
The most important thing is to love yourself
Changing my habits and my overall health took a lot of time and focus. I worked hard to get through everything. I found courage for the first time, and I am so proud of myself now. There have been a lot of positive changes stemming from my weight loss, and I am thrilled to share them with you through my articles!
If you find yourself in my position, do not be afraid to look for alternative ways to help your situation. What works for me may not work for the next person. The most important thing is to love yourself and make yourself a priority when needed.
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