I have had rough and tumble experiences in life, various joys and sadness – as have we all. My life experiences have been good, bad and ugly. Some I would long to relive and some I hope will remain sealed in a box forever.
Living the now is important to me. The past is the past and the future will bring what the future brings and I will be able to hold my head high and look to the sky and not to the ground at my feet or behind me. The sun shines and my shadow falls behind me I look, I can glance at my shadow and yet I no longer step into my shadow.
My philosophy is the same with many things and once I broke free from being tied to, the ‘Sharon of the past’ or ‘the Sharon of the future’ I now enjoy ‘the Sharon of today’. Carpe diem!
I once ‘lost’ 9½ stone (133lbs) is not important to me. How I take care of myself to maintain where I am today is significant. Lifting my eyes from my feet and the trail of past events meant that I had to look around me and where I plan to place my foot in life next. For years I allowed myself to fix my thoughts, feelings and beliefs on the ‘if only’. Dreams of impossible dreams as I could not envisage being outside my personal safe zone. I was frozen by the ‘what ifs’, petrified of what I should have done in the past as well as what I must/should in the future. The possibility of change terrified me.
Change in size is truly not about numbers on a digital scale. It is not about those moments of holding your breath to lose another ½ lb. It is about understanding the ‘self’. Understanding the environment that surrounds and influences us all and how we can navigate that environment.
Weight loss surgery is not about weight loss. Change is far more than numbers.
What I do as a job – well, I have ‘letters’ after my name. I have experience in my personal life bank and these things support me in the work that I do. I am still learning and love to share what I have learnt, particularly in the years since my inside and outside self met up.
I am probably someone who has been banded in the UK for the longest period of time (2000). Today I am still learning – less about the simple bits of being banded but more of being me.
Mrs Sharon E. Bates MSc RN RM is a registered nurse and midwife who has experience as an NHS manager. She is a professionally qualified and experienced humanistic counsellor and has achieved a Master Practitioner in eating disorders with The National Centre for Eating Disorders where she is a co-facilitator. Sharon has particular expertise having undergone weight loss surgery in 2000.
Sharon trained with Dr Vincent Frering in Lyon, France and was a pioneer in the UK specialising and establishing weight loss surgery teams in the UK. She works predominantly in Bristol as a Specialist Bariatric Nurse. Sharon is a member of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity (IFSO) and can be contacted via email@example.com
She has written a book for those thinking of gastric band surgery (not well edited folks!! – SB) She has also developed some apps for weight loss surgery with a colleague and friend.