Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Well after talking down on weight loss surgery for a long time I decided to face the facts and realize it was my only option. Here I am today, July 3rd, 2012, one week post-op. It's been harder than I imagined....And it is a cause of self reflection...
So back in December 2008, when I was miserable at staring at a picture of me all pudgy faced and oily, I decided to take a chance and see if I could do "it". See if I could loose a couple of pounds. A walk around the block here, a few lean cuisines there...Wow a month later I lost 30 lbs. I kicked it up a notch with a Jillian Michaels video and starting cooking at home from scratch. Increased my walk around the block to a 2 mile trek over my hilly terrain. And In August 2009, I hit 70 lbs gone. A slide back of 20 lbs and a move that made me loose my hilly terrain forced me to join a local gym in November. I worked with a trainer and hit a 100 pound GONE mark in June 2010. Between June and October, I went down only 12 pounds on the scale but lost almost 2 sizes in my clothes. I was healthier than I had even been in my life.
It was then that the long buried demons in my psyche - beyond those I had vanquished - came up to bite me in the behind. The constant attention from people, the constant praise. It was too much for my closeted personality to accept. The men who pursued me. The women who asked "how did you do it?" and not believe me when i told them. My family telling me I was so strong for doing what they never could. The surreal feeling of looking into the mirror at myself and NOT recognizing me. Seeing someone ELSE.
MOST IMPORTANTLY my COMPLACENCY in allowing my old habits to come back. My years of good fortune and blessings seemed to come to an abrupt end...
2007 - managing to break away from my home and really find my footing as an independent woman (this was a huge battle)
2008 - quitting smoking and NEVER looking back
2009 - first steps to a healthier life
2010 - making conscience decisions to change my body and health
Upon reflection, the slide I took in early 2011 was much needed for my mental state of health. I worked with a hypnotherapist and a counselor to really look inside myself. To truly address why I self-sabotogued. To understand why I made the decisions I made. By October 2011 I had really come to terms with myself and WHO I had become. Accepted myself for all my faults, all my mistakes and how to avoid those mistakes when they presented themselves. So....
2011 - preparing my mental health and finding HAPPINESS inside ME.
** Also gaining back all of the 112 pounds I had lost....
In November 2011, I noticed severe swelling in my legs and ankles. So much so that the skin seemed to crack. I could barely breathe walking across my apartment. My joints ached, my knees cracked, my chest hurt. I called my doctor and she ran a bunch of tests. Everything was normal. It was then, at Christmas, looking over pictures of the last 5 years that it clicked. I was like this when I was 370 pounds at the end of 2008. I had the same aches and pains, the same shortness of breath, the same chest pain. I just didn't notice it as much because I had nothing to compare it to. I had never been thin, I was used to the pain. This time though, I had lost weight and I KNEW that this was uncomfortable and this was NOT how my body should be.
2012 rang in with me starting over - doing all the things I had done before. But this time, it made no difference. My body bounced within 10 pounds and would not go any further. I finally broke down and met a weigh loss doctor. Upon meeting her, I told her I had done it the "right" way before and I didn't believe in surgery. She told me she would change my mind. (This seemed impossible - and for anyone who really knows me knows once I am set on something I rarely change my mind.) She talked to me. I met with other women who were in the same place as me. Met women who had been in my position and had surgery. Met success stories and not-so-successful stories. After 3 months, I was convinced this was the path I needed to take. For my health. For my peace of mind. For my future. Because whether or not I wanted to admit it - staying at 370 at 33 years old was not healthy and with the heart disease and diabetes that run in my family I would be a time bomb.
Thankfully, the surgeon had convinced me to take tests and start the process even though I was not fully sure it was my path. Her logic at the time was sound, it would cut down the wait time the insurance companies required if I did decide to have the surgery. By May we submitted to the insurance company and had an approval. And after all my experience and research and prayer - I felt this was the path I had been meant to take. I needed the successes AND the failures of the last 5 years - hell, the last 33 years - to see me through this next chapter of my life. If I had never done the weight loss the first time, I would not believe I could do it now. In the same respect, If I had fallen so spectacularly I would never be prepared for the changes in people around me or even the changes in me seeing the "new" me in the mirror.
I was given the surgical date of June 25th, 2012. And with the support of family, friends and all of my co-workers I was prepared. My final weigh in was 351 pounds. While working out with a friend the week before surgery, I said, "I wish the surgical date could be the 29th, not because I am scared but that I would have wanted to have both my birthdays at six month intervals. The day the Lord saw fit to bring me into the world, December 29th. And the day He, Fate, Destiny, what-have-you saw fit to allow me to truly take my life in my hands and become the person I was meant to be." My friend who is a spiritual woman - both in a religious and non-religious way - smiled at me and actually misted up on me.
So here is to my second birthday, June 25, 2012. The day I took my life into my own hands for the better. The day I became who I was meant to be. After all the ups and downs, I came out STRONGER and more ACCEPTING of myself than I had ever before.
Heck, I'm even 22 pounds lighter already...
** If you read this all the way through, GOLD STAR to you and thanks for listening to my rambling thoughts :-)