Today is my surgery day, one where I'm getting my uterine fibroid (nicknamed "The Deficit") out for good. When I think of all the changes that this is may bring about, it's a bit daunting. Kind of like when I started blogging.
I've said it before, but when I started this blog, I didn't market it at all. I didn't tell anyone about it and I didn't really want anyone to see it. I had another blog that I pushed on people. Somehow, someway, Janell from Thufferin Thuccotash saw it and she was one of the first to cheer me on in the blog-o-sphere. Surrounded by myriads (eleventy hundred if you will!) of posts with no comments, Janell's would be one of the few that I got.
I'll never forget her motivating words and her confidence that I had what it took to turn my life around. She was my best cheerleader and I owe her more than she'll ever know. Somehow it clicked that if a person who lived miles away thought that I had worth, why didn't I think the same? And what if I actually *did* have worth? It was an ah-ha moment and one that I'm forever thankful for.
Without further ado, I give you Janell's post. She's snarky, has dry humor, sarcastic, and wise. I hope you enjoy her just as much as I do.
I haven't met Anne though I feel I know her so well from her writing. We've shared similar struggles. She's younger than my twin sons though through reading her blog for the past many years I've discovered our age doesn't change much about our struggle with weight-loss. You can be a chubby 19 year old, a portly 28 year old, a pleasingly plump-ish 35 year old, a fat-ish forty year old, or in my case, a (finally) ex-moderately obese 54 year old since making the decision to have gastric bypass surgery this past June 15th. One thing we all seem to have in common is a struggle with our brain with regard to food.
I can read your mind. I know what you're saying:
- Surgery is the easy way out.
- I would never have *that* surgery.
- I've lost weight before. I can do it again (by myself).
- Surgery is cheating! (judgmental -- aren't we?)
- You can surgically remove the weight but you can't fix the emotional problem of eating. (I agree -- though it's far easier to fight one battle at a time)
I knew as I aged, I'd become less mobile. I was born with primary bi-lateral lymphedema and excess weight was going to make running, jogging, breathing, bicycling, living, ballet and tap, getting to the fridge, fencing, croquet, buying See's candy, curling and baking cookies, horseback riding more difficult as I aged. Though knowing I could become less mobile still wasn't incentive enough to lose the last 70 lbs I needed to lose. I'm the one who said "70 lbs" while my surgeon said 100 lbs which would take me down to my pre-birth weight of 154 lbs.
The problem is that as we get older and still have the same diet struggle, time's a wastin. All the while - time is flying, the years are melting out from underneath you. You're gonna get older like me, less mobile, less healthy, cancerous, cranky, crabby, pessimistic and pokey. It will take you a month to remember your ATM pin number. Yet you'll still be honking about starting your diet on Monday after you ate that whole pizza and drank 37 beers last Saturday night. When you reach my age, birthdays and holidays are right around the corner. As soon as one holiday ends, you can see the next one looming larger (than the number on your scale). You think you have all the time in the world. hah! Well if so, plan your funeral while you're figuring out which diet you'll try next because one day your diet plan and your funeral will intersect.
I've read weight loss blogs of people who (seem to really) want to lose weight and become healthier. Sometimes they post daily, sometimes a few times a week; chronic strugglers post caloric intakes, exercise schedules, foods consumed, things they learned about their psyche, struggles and triumphs. Readers rally -- commenting support, cheering one - another on to the winner's circle. I've seen that circle written as 'onederland.' Then the following week these same folks are blogging again, only this time it's about how they drank Manhattans all weekend, ate half a smoked pig, stuffed themselves on chips and dip, ate only 6 happy meals, and finished last night with a whole pie a la mode. Come Monday, they are 10 lbs back up the scale, riding the self-abuse train again. And guess what? Time is beating you to the finish line.
My sister told me "some people aren't willing to give up the food." For some reason that statement stuck in my craw. I wanted to be able to give up the food. Once she said that, I thought about my addiction, my behavior and how (finally) for the sake of mobility and hopefully a longer life, I was willing to give up the food to see what was possible.
As of today, I'm hovering around 70lbs lost so far - since June 15th. I still wear the same clothes I wore when I was heavier (which either says a lot or a little about the clothing I *was* wearing). This sizable weight-loss has come at at time when my clothes may be loose but money is really tight. On one hand I'm waiting for the final (weight-loss) results while holding up my pants with the other. I can't complain because post-surgery I have loads of energy. I look better. I feel better. My hip doesn't hurt. My arthritic knee hurts occasionally (mostly after too much walking). I can move and breathe. I can easily walk up the stairs at work. I was able to give up food long enough to address the issue with weight so now I focus more on eating a nutritionally balanced diet. If I notice myself desiring less-than-optimum nutrition, I ask myself if I am able to only eat a small amount, why would I eat crap? Though I am not perfect. I'm just healthier, thinner, wiser and more wrinkled.
I decided to have gastric bypass surgery so I could spend the time I have left to live more mobile and healthier -- as long as possible. Being healthier helps me deal with emotional baggage because I'm not focused on beating myself up for eating because I didn't start my diet on Monday for the (as Anne would say) Eleventy-ith time . I'm not blogging about fluctuating weight. I don't want to write about exercise if it's not something I enjoy all that much -- not gonna be doing a triathlon anytime soon and if I decide to do one, I'll announce it on the front page of the NYT because it will *that* newsworthy. Bored and boring.
I wasted a heck of a lot of my life time thinking about being fat, being fat, overeating, eating, drinking, what to drink and making myself feel less-than because I consumed more than. Post surgery I'm focused on aspects of my life that -- pre-surgery, I didn't take the time to notice because I was too busy thinking about what I would eat for my next snack. (Oh, that, and this damn puppy.) But as you write your daily or weekly missive about the next weight-loss steps, the diet you'll start on Monday, remember that the only time life slows down for any of us is when you're waiting in line at the DMV. Other than that, time is jetting by and you're still contemplating your diet. Better to start mulling over potluck options for your funeral. At least you'll be thinking about food.