So, tonight I was digging thru some old archives on line of mine - rereading old posts, notes in facebook, really old bad poetry - and it occurred to me. I used to be a writer. At least, in my own mind, a writer that had something important to say. The older I've become, the less I hear that little inner voice screaming thoughts and ideas and ridiculousness. So, tonight, I've decided to "Lets get real" about who I am, and what I'm doing this for. A few weeks ago in a fit of disgust and, lets face it, a tantrum - I proclaimed to my husband that I was shutting down my blog because it was worthless, no one reads it, and I've got nothing important to say - that "who gives a shit what I think, what I eat, or how I feel". Wow, right?! A little glimpse at that sassy 17 year old reared it's ugly head. Boo hoo honey, grow up!
Obviously, I didn't shut down my blog. Sometimes I just need a moment to step away and let things sink in. I'm not doing this for who reads it. I'm doing this for me. Over the course of the past I'd say 10 years or so - I've been having trouble with my memory. Not something I've really talked about until a few days ago with my mother. I forget words, I forget conversations, I forget things I've done or seen or places I've been to. Not so much stuff from years ago - but recent stuff. It's scary. So I keep record of what I do so I don't forget. I photograph almost everything, so I don't forget.
Forgetting used to be one of the things I was really good at growing up. I learned at a young age to force away memories that would hurt me or make me uncomfortable.
The whose, whats, whens, wheres, and whys are not important. I'm 32 years old. And I think for the most part I've done fairly well in my life. I met my soul mate at 25, married him at 28, and have been happily with him for 7 years. He's shown me how to be a whole person, even if I do have my imperfections.
Unfortunately, it took me until the age of 32 to decide to make myself completely healthy. You can see as many doctors as you want to talk about problems, get medications refilled for such and such issue/disease/disorder - but true healing starts with you. You have to want to be well. You have to know that you DESERVE to be well. And if you're a breathing component on this grassy green earth - then you DESERVE to be well and happy. It's your God given right.
For me to truly get well, be well, and live well on this new journey we began two months and 20 lbs ago - I have to remind myself of where I've been. It's easy to become distracted by all the shiny new toys that pass by us in a day (aka, diet fads, the new hip thing to get into, etc) - but keeping it real, and close to home, is just as important as being passionate about some new adventure.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I was never the skinny popular kid that had a billion friends and was the life of the party. I was over weight, shy, and as I got older I used anger and aggression to keep people at what I felt was a safe distance. In high school - I really wasn't all that "different" than anyone else. I took what other people thought about me personally and made it into something bigger than it was. I could rattle off a dozen reasons why being "fat" isn't my fault - but ultimately - it IS my fault - for not taking control of myself. Patronizing someone who is over weight is not helping them fix the problem, it's giving them excuses to continue believing that being over weight, being unhealthy, is okay. It's not okay to slowly kill yourself with food. Self injury with food is just a slower way of cutting yourself. Believe me! I'd know! I've struggled with this affliction for years.
You don't know what rock bottom is until you reach 426 lbs. That heavy emptiness that lingers inside the pit of your stomach screaming "You're worthless! Eat another donut!" You don't know fear until you're told you'll be dead by 35, if you even make it that long. At this point in my life (24 years old) I was still going by conventional methods of "losing weight" - sure, they worked for a while, I lost some weight - but slowly and surely, it crept back. So, I resorted to surgery, having a Gastric Bypass - the thing I thought for sure was going to "save" my life. And for the most part, it did what it was supposed to. Some shit inside me was removed and/or tied off - I lost 175 lbs, and bam! I was on the track to "recovery". Except... recovery isn't just healing from having your guts cut open. It's learning how to eat healthy again. And when I say at this point in my life I was still going by conventional methods - what I mean is - I was still listening to doctors that believed in medications and supplements rather then eating whole real foods. Isopure was one of my main staples after surgery. It's where I got 90% of my protein. That's not natural! Or normal! And over the course of about 4 years, the weight started creeping back on. GB is anything by easy, but it seemed like the best option at the time.
My Heaviest. 426 lbs.
175 Less after G/B surgery.
I guess part of me was trying to "ignore" the fact that the weight was coming back. "Oh, it's just 10 lbs! At least I'm not 426 anymore!" as if that's a viable excuse! Excuses are what got me to 426 lbs. And if that was rock bottom - WHY on earth would I allow myself to go back to that dark alley? I've got nothin'. No real reasonable answer. Notta.
With immense weight comes immense health issues. Infertility, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a list of many other things that can be attributed to the way we eat, and the way we live. It took regaining almost all of what I'd lost in 2004, and becoming more and more sick over the past year to wake up to what I have been doing to myself. Sure, in the past several years I've "wanted" to lose weight. I've "tried" to lose weight - conventionally speaking - but I was just sort of hoping that the problem would go away on it's own without any real effort. I don't know why I was being that ignorant, but there it is. We're keeping it real, right? I was being ignorant, and arrogant, and stupid.
I had the wonderful opportunity to go back to Vermont, my heartland, for my nephews wedding in August. A secret I've never spoke aloud? I haven't gone back in 12 years for several reasons - but the biggest reason of all was - I was too embarrassed to let people see what I'd turned into - AS IF MY WEIGHT DEFINED ME AS A HUMAN BEING! I KNOW, RIGHT?! What was WRONG with me! My weight does not define my ability to love, to laugh, to be a sister, to be a aunt, in-law, friend, companion, or co-worker. My weight does not define my accomplishments in life, my skill, my talent, or my passion. My weight does not define who I am, or where I am going. It can only abruptly STOP my life if it doesn't change, but it does not DEFINE me. *I* define me.
And I decide the level of happiness in my life. It took me 32 years to come to that conclusion - but there it is.
350lbs in Vermont - August 2012
So as I was saying in the beginning - I was going thru old notes and what nots that I had written over the past several years - and one thing that I found in my notes still holds the same truth - even though then, it didn't truly and fully resonate what it really meant to me. Part of it was inspiration from a fellow Spark People member (that right now I cannot recall her name) and I took that base, and created my own list of "excuses". And I'm reposting that, now, so I hopefully this time will not forget.
Are what got me to 426 Pounds in 2004
Are what got the inches around my abdomen to be taller than my height
Are what allowed me to wear a size 34/36 (in 2004)
Helped my joints ache
Prevented me from fitting in movie theater seats
Provided constant pain to my feet
Caused me to avoid all camera's and camcorders
Encouraged me to ignore mirrors at all cost
Caused me to gauge where I sat in a restaurant based on how wide the booths were
Created someone who didn't believe in herself
Brought out the very worst in me
Made it easy to ignore my needs
Festered and festered in each growing pound and inch
Allowed me to eat WHATEVER, WHENEVER
To lose control of my health
Put blinders on reality
Fogged my thoughts and feelings about myself
Robbed me of 15 years of my life
Gave me a reason to Give up
Caused me to shield myself from developing healthy relationships
Prevented me from having friends because I was too worried about what others thought
Allowed me to keep abusive friendships out of fear of losing the few "friends" I had
Excuses led me to where I am now, its time to get up and do something different.
“Discipline is remembering what you want.”
While I may not be 426 lbs anymore, that same festering hunger monster still lives inside me. Slowly but surely weight was creeping back on. I gained back a hefty 80 or 90 lbs from what I lost after surgery. I refuse to allow this to continue to control my life. I am more then my weight, I am more then my excuses. I'm stronger then I give myself credit for. It's just time for me to start believing in that.
We're all stronger then we give ourselves credit for. No matter what your demon, no matter what your struggle - BELIEF in yourself can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Belief that you are better then the lowest point in your life, yet humble enough to recognize when you stumble. Admit to yourself that you can change, and you will. Realize that the control is within yourself, and you'll make progress.