Obesity is such an ugly word. I’ve hated being fat my entire life – which is about how long I’ve been fat. And the weight causes me to hide myself from so many things. I’m uncomfortable in my own skin most of the time – even when I leave the house feeling like I don’t look too bad. But maybe I need to be that uncomfortable.
The two times in my life I can honestly say I wasn’t overweight were the result of drastic measures. In high school, I stopped eating. No, seriously – just stopped. I drank iced tea all day long, and then for dinner, had small portions of whatever my mother was cooking. Nothing to eat, all day long, took me from a size XL teenager to a size medium teenager.
The other time, I had gastric bypass surgery. The surgery took me from a size 3XL woman to a size medium/large. From a size 26 to a size 10. And aside from the grey pallor, I thought I looked damn good. I didn’t – and I had friends and family telling me I didn’t – but I was convinced.
Then I had a couple of surgeries, followed by complications, and with each instruction to rest and recuperate, I ate. I learned that my surgically altered pouch could hold way more than I thought it could – especially if I ate stuff that was bad for me.
I’ve started and restarted diets more times than I care to count since my surgery. It really is like an albatross around my neck – and every time I feel like I can lift my head up and move forward, it drags me back down. We’ve started cooking all of our meals at home, so there are no fast food temptations, but I find myself grabbing a bag of chips or package of cookies every time I hit the supermarket.
And guess what? I’m about to turn 50 years old.
This last surgery, combined with the realization that I am now only 6 years younger than my grandfather was when he died, and only 16 years younger than my dad was when he died, has issued yet another wake up call. I don’t know how many of those calls I’ll need before I finally “get it”, but my kids leave for camp on Monday, and Jim and I are going to head back into the gym. We have no running around or excuses to prevent us from getting there. And the cookies and chips that I buy because I think my kids need them? No need to have them in the house for two full weeks. Maybe by then, I’ll have cured my own need for them.
My most recent blood work came back excellent – and my sugar level (I was full blown diabetic before my gastric bypass surgery) was 85 – which is great. But the rest of me is a hot mess. I’m going to see what I can do about that. Maybe I’ll celebrate turning 50 with a little less of me.