Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weighing in on Weight Loss Surgery - Part 1

Many months ago, at the beginning of 2012, I wrote a few blogs documenting my first steps and thoughts towards having weight loss surgery.  I briefly published them, only to have 101 total strangers email me about buying their weight loss products.  I took the blogs down, because, I mean really -- who cares?  Truth be told though, since having surgery 6 months ago, I've come in contact with MANY people who care -- MANY people who are in the midst of their own journey.  So, if your interested, here's post #1 of mine....

I remember when I became fat.  At least, I remember when I became conscious of being fat.

I was in third grade.  Mrs. Graddick was my teacher.  Tall, dark skinned, glasses that sat on the tip of her nose, and gray hair tied in a bun...stern.  She wore Sunday dresses and black heels only.  Panty hose everyday.  All work, no play.

For some class project or another, she decided it would be best to have each child step on a scale in front of the class.  A third grade weigh-in.  Shocked?  Come on.  It was 1982.

Innocently, without the sightliest amount of dread, I took my turn.  And...tipped the scales at 101 pounds.  Without a seconds notice, Mrs. Graddick announced, with a sarcastic tone I can still recall 32 years later, "I'm going to put you on a diet". that moment, I became fat...obviously already so in my body...but now I was fat in my mind.  All of a sudden, I knew I was fat -- and even more alarming to me, everyone else was apparently aware of it too.  At age 8, shame descended upon me like a warm, scratchy, annoying, but oddly comfortable at the same time blanket.  It really wasn't mine.  But I owned it none-the-less.

 "She'll grow out of it,"  my grandmother told my mother.  38 years later -- we're still waiting on me to grow out of it.

(Fast forward) Fifth Grade - My parents, tired of waiting for me to grow out of it - and rightly concerned on many levels, announced that we A.L.L. needed to go on a diet.  A.L.L. meant  me, my mom and dad.  My 6 year old sister was already skinny. Sigh.

Armed with a calorie count book, copious amounts of shame and a secret fear that I was a disappointment to...well...everyone...I did not protest.

1,000 calories a day.  Weekly weigh ins.  And...before you know age 10...I had my first MAJOR DIET success.  In the summer of  1984, I lost 25 lbs. and re-joined the ranks of the other fifth graders at Early County Elementary School a new woman.  And, I was ways that were good...and bad.

Sure...I'd lost 25 lbs...and even at the age of 10...noticed that EVERYBODY noticed.  But, I hadn't lost my shame.  Oddly, not one ounce.  It still covered me.  I hadn't lost a deep since of fear -- that I would disappoint -- well -- EVERYBODY.  And, even more odd, I had picked up a deep, deep, very deep need for think I was pretty.  I now CRAVED not only comfort food, but... being pretty. A contradiction in terms so it seemed.

Its funny how you can lose weight and still feel fat.  Still BE fat in your mind.  It's funny how EVERYONE can seem pretty -- EVERYONE gets to BE pretty -- just not you.  A lie of the enemy we are all capable of hearing, yes?  EVERYONE...just not you.

I craved attention from boys -- and wrongly reasoned out that if he paid attention to me, I must infact BE pretty.

Turns my stomach still.

I did survive it and in high school, I lived on one of two streets all the time...

Dieting Street (my will power) or Gaining Weight Street (giving up all restraint).  I managed to stay a size 10.  Only about 6 sizes LARGER than most of the other girls.  EVERYONE gets to be a size 4...just NOT you.

Have you ever watched the 1,000 lb man on TLC?  When I did a couple of years ago, I cried.  "I AM that person",  I told my family.  Horrified they said, "NO YOUR NOT!"  I held steadfast, "I am on the inside -- capable of throwing off all restraint in this area...1,000 lbs doesn't seem that far fetched to me."  We are ALL capable of throwing off all restraint in some area, yes?

In college I reasoned out, if only I prayed more, was willing to die to myself completely, was committed to tearing down the "high places".  If only I had a heart that would say "yes" to God in all things.  If only I wasn't so strong willed.  Why was I born strong willed?  And why wasn't my strong will working for me and not against me?

It seemed right, spiritually mature even.  But it was exhausting.


Spiritual battery.

Lately, my long term struggle with this issue has led me to consider the possibility of weight loss surgery.  As I have studied it, I've watched numerous Before/After videos of other peoples weight loss journeys.  As a result, I've decided that there are a few things that I hope NOT to say to myself.  Ever.

List of things to Never Say To Myself

#1 - "I didn't like that (big) girl, I didn't love her."  Satan comes to all of us in childhood and attempts to wound us.  No one gets out of this life without any scars.  Seems a heinous thing to say to a wounded individual that you don't love her -- even if the individual is yourself.

My journey has led me to try to thank God for all things -- including my weight gain/weight loss journey...the good, bad and the ugly.  He is, and has been,  working all of these things together for my good.  As I've thanked Him for it, all the parts of my journey, I have sensed His presence in my life and come to realize more deeply His love and acceptance for me in the here and now.

#2  -  "I wasn't happy."  Realization: skinny, like money, doesn't make you happy.  Logic accepted.  They do, however, solve a few problems.  'Happy' just isn't one of them.  Weight loss is a function of a more healthy lifestyle.  Joy is a function of gratitude.  I won't confuse the two.

#3 - "I was waiting for life to begin".  My life has been going for 39 years now.  I live it fully.  Anyone who doubts the fullness of my life should read my blog.

 I know when I begin to discuss the weight loss surgery in Part II of this blog, many will assume my thoughts concerning this procedure to be rash and short on consideration.  Oh contraire mon frere.  I assure you that I am actually made up of about 95% pure thought.  My mind works well, deep.  A lot of the time, I think so hard -- my lips actually move.  True Story -- just ask my family.  :)

So many thoughts have I, that I will leave you rest your eyes for just a moment before I go on, and on....

Until then....

1 comment:

  1. We have so many similarities it's almost eerie. Thank you for sharing.