Are You Independent to a Fault?


Most will agree the house cat is a unique little creature who exhibits an independent approach to life, unswayed by human demands.

Cats will do what they want to do, when they want to do it. And if you try to make them do what you want them to do, they rebel. (Try to get a cat to stay in your lap if she doesn’t want to.)

Cats like my Lucy (who’s gone now) are so independent they won’t take a direct route to what they want even if they really want it.

The Lucy method for taking “lap naps” was quite amusing. When she wanted to get up on my lap, she didn’t walk straight across the room to me and jump up. She walked around the perimeter of the room. Slinking along, trying to go unnoticed by Ruby the dog even though Ruby was indifferent to her.

Then, Lucy disappeared under the couch for a while. I assume she batted aggressively at dust balls under there. Next, she emerged from under the couch and crawled over to sniff at the wires near my desk and she nibbled on her favorite orange printer cable.

Dissatisfied, she jumped up onto the bookshelf next to my desk – the one that has papers stacked on it – and she walked across the top of the stacks, oblivious to the papers scattering onto the floor as she made her way from stack to stack.

From the last stack she bounded up to the top of my desk – the upper part that holds my figurines and the greeting cards I have saved. Knocking all of that over, she jumped down to the work area, making sure to land on the far side of my laptop so that she could walk across the keyboard and enjoy the warmth as she made her way to me.

She paused and started to lie down on the computer, but I stopped her. By now her purr was going full throttle. Finally, she teetered on the edge of the desk examining my lap, which is slide-y and wobbly because of my loose skin. She stepped gingerly down to make sure she kept her footing.

What she really wanted was a warm, snuggly “lap nap,” but she sure took her time getting there.

Some of us approach our WLS lifestyle independently, too.

You have spent so many years being told what to eat and how to get healthy, it’s only natural you might feel rebellious when your surgeon or nutritionist tells you what to do.

So, you take a circuitous route to compliance, just like Lucy. You want the human equivalent of a “lap nap.” You want to live a comfortable and blissful life, but you are taking your time getting there, even though that wonderful life is right in front of you, straight ahead.

Have you considered maybe independence is overrated? Maybe it’s time to rethink being independent. When your behavior has a tinge of “You’re not the boss of me” in it, who are you really hurting?

Maybe you find yourself thinking from time to time, ‘I want to eat like a normal person!’

What the rebellious WLS person doesn’t allow themselves to consider is there is no such thing as normal people. But let’s say there are normal people. Even most of them follow guidelines to stay healthy. They restrain themselves. Few have such great metabolisms they can stay slim no matter what they eat or what they do, especially in our processed-food culture.

What would happen if you surrendered?

Lucy never surrendered. She always went around the perimeter and followed every distraction. She resisted my calls and ignored the lap-patting noise my hand made as I tried to coax her to me.

You, on the other hand, can surrender. Surrender your defiance when the healthy choice is an obvious and clear path. Surrender the pain and disappointment. Surrender your shame about being imperfect. Surrender your need for independence regarding your WLS lifestyle and get the compassionate support you need.

You can be healthy and encouraged about your life. You can step into a deeper freedom and find peace.

If there ever was a time to take the risk. To surrender. To change. To thrive. It’s now. The present moment. The only moment you have.