Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What Are You Going to Do Next? . . .

Like any Super Bowl MVP, a first-time Oscar winner or John Rambo at the end of Rambo II, First Blood, many people have been asking me in the last week what I'm going to do next.

First, let's get the obvious of the way . . . I'm NOT going to Disney World. Next, let's get the acceptance speech out of the way . . . I'm NOT going to thank God, my mother or my fifth grade teacher (although Mrs. Satterly is, no doubt, one of the most influental people that ever touched my life).

Sadly (and frankly), John Rambo might have put it best at the end of his second turn as the shirtless, headbanded right-fighter. After killing dozens-upon-dozens of people and freeing hundreds more (it has been twenty years since I watched a Rambo movie, cut me some slack), Rambo faces his superior officer who asks a simple question. "What are you going to do next, John, how will you live?" Stallone, cool as the other side of the pillow, wipes some brain matter and blood and sweat off his face, and simply replies "Day by day."

That is sort of where I'm at now. I'm living day by day. I've got another few weight loss goals/benchmarks on the calendar (I'd like to be 250 by my birthday in mid-June, for instance) but, for the most part, I'm no longer chasing life by the ounce or the pound That is what I'm doing next . . . moving past my surgery being the lead of the story.

We went out to lunch on Saturday. We went to Pizza Hut Italian Bistro. I kid you not. Joy was craving some greasy pizza and Ava just wanted out of the car so we pulled in to the parking lot at one of my least favorite restaurants in the world. Have you ever tried to find a healthy meal at Pizza Hut? Seriously?! Oh my GOD! NOTE - Pizza Hut was founded here in Wichita by two students at Wichita State University. It grew from there. You're welcome, world!

I ordered, after six reads of the menu, a turkey sandwich and asked them to hold the special sauces, half the cheese and the other toppings. What I got turned out to be literally THREE slices of deli turkey (maybe two total ounces of protein) on a white roll and some curly fries (Ava loves the "ench-ries"). What I REALLY got though was getting to watch Joy and Ava eat a lunch, for once, that was on their terms versus my comfort zone. The turkey itself was delicious though - once I peeled it off the bread.

I realized as we drove around looking for a kid-friendly, cheap and easy lunch spot that, for the last year, we've always eaten out on my terms or for my comfort. I challenged Joy to challenge me and to live my life day by day instead of as a post-surgery eater.

It was the first in what I hope are thousands and thousands of examples of where we will try to de-emphasize my surgery and emphasize the life that we can now have because of my surgery.

That doesn't mean I won't still talk about my surgery. Quite the opposite, I'm currently going back through my old food logs to see what it was like to try to eat right after surgery. I got a great e-mail looking for advice last week and I realized that I, having not started my blog until I was six months post surgery, I have plenty of stories to tell from the early days of last spring.

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