Ah, wise words from the wonderful J.K. Rowling. This quote basically sums up my recent change of attitude, the rebirth of myself, and the beginning of what I know will be a tough and perilous journey. Maybe not like what Ms. Rowling, or her Harry Potter, went through, but my own dark, sad path to me has been quite the battle.
It was Thursday, Sept. 13th, my daughter's 6th birthday. But instead of sitting around a table and enjoying a slice of cake, I was at Pinnacle Special Surgery attending a seminar on lap-band surgery. My eating had just become so out of control that it felt like it did when I was a smoker, like I was slowly killing myself. Not only was I drowning myself in food, but while I was breaking down any last bit of my confidence, I was taking down everything with me: My relationship with my husband, my motivation to do ANYTHING, the example I was setting for my young children. I was so sure that surgery was my last hope. Confident that my insurance was going to cover everything, this seminar became my last glimmer of hope. Yes, this is what would save me from emotional eating, the "Drug" that I had become so addicted to that I was sneaking it on the way home, eating half dozens of giant chocolate chip cookies when my husband wasn't home, washing them down with chocolate milk or soda. I had to wait a week to get my insurance verification b/c the office manager was going to be out of town that week. But excitement that I would be saved from this nightmare built. I researched everything and everything there was to know about the surgery, even joined some teams on SP. Lap band surgery was going to save me. I had a sense of relief.
The week took so long to pass by, but finally, the following Thursday I got the call from the hospital that I had been anxiously awaiting. But somehow, something went wrong. The woman told me that my insurance policy had a written exclusion for anything related to OBESITY. What? What?! How can this be? I called my insurance company, and sure enough, they confirmed what I was so certain was some awful mistake. I called the office back, and she gave me the staggering total of $12,221 that it would take to cover my surgery. I searched for loans: Denied for all of them. I totaled up the value of the credit cards I had. Shy of $6500 short. I had to face the fact. My last glimmer of hope had faded. That little light was smothered out. I went and hid in the bathroom at work and I cried, and cried.... and cried. I went home from work and cried. It was a very long night of crying. I think I finally ran out of tears when I went to bed... of course, not before drowning myself in a rotisserie chicken and about 6 pudding cups. I decided I would call in sick to work the next day and just allow myself to recoup over the weekend. My eyes were so swollen from tears, and I couldn't deal with the thought of everyone asking me what was wrong. I went to bed that night feeling crushed and lower than I had ever felt before.
This, for me, was rock bottom. I had hit it, and hard. Something had to change. I couldn't live my life suffocating myself with food anymore. I poured my heart out to my husband, something I hadn't done in such a long time. As sad as everything was, he was happy that I had finally opened up to him. The last year was rough for us, all walls of communication seemed to have been enforced with steel, we stopped talking and bickered instead. But that night, something happened with us. We reconnected on this weird but encouraging level. I woke up to flowers on the table that morning, his way of saying sorry for something that had nothing to do with him, but he felt he had to do something to see me smile. When we broke down that wall, we felt an instantly deeper bond. I had never explained to my husband how his, "are you really going to eat ALL that", while well intentioned, hurt me more than helped me. I explained to him, in every possible detail, the kind of help I needed. I needed applause for small victories, and compassion for any failures. He never understood, because I never told him. He finally got it and vowed to help me.
So I decided to change, and I would do it at my own pace. I couldn't go into this with the "ALL OR NOTHING" gung-hoism I had in the past, because that would FAIL just as it had about 2 dozen or so times before. I figured I would set the bar low, and start from there. A walk, a bike ride, some crunches or squats. Just do SOMETHING, a little bit, the bear minimum, at least once a day or every other day. I needed to be proud of myself for doing something. My other goal in that first week was to say no to food once.
The other thing was, about 3 or 4 years ago I had quit smoking. I think I had filled that void of cigarette smoking with eating. I'm very well aware of the hazards of smoking, so I didn't want to go back to it, but I definitely had been feeling the urge to. SO I went to this specialty store here in Tulsa called Vapor Kings and got myself an e-cigarette. I reach for it when I feel a snack urge. I cannot tell you what a difference having it has made to me. And knowing that it's safe and doesn't have all those chemicals associated with cigarettes. Plus, it won't shorten my time on this earth, the time I need to see my children grow. Yes, it may be a crutch and not solving the issue I have with addiction, but until I can cross that bridge, it is saving me from eating myself to death.
I'm now about 3 weeks into this journey and 9 pounds lighter. I know at one point I must have weighed more than my start weight, but I don't know. I have a long, long way to go. I didn't get down to rock bottom overnight, and I can't expect to rise to the top without getting stuck sometimes along the way. But overcoming many of the problems the past year has given me is a challenge I am finally ready to accept and tackle head on. ONE DAY AT A TIME.