“Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?”-Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
So, my sister wanted to start a co-blog; sort of a collaboration on our journey through weight loss and better health. Each of us has our own issues in this department, and I’d say it’s an “issue-ful” topic for many, for sure. As we are not the only over-weight people on this earth (though it may feel like it occasionally when I travel to California, Colorado, or pretty much anywhere that isn’t Texas), we thought we’d sort of document our journey and share along the way.
I didn’t start out this way. I was a skinny, gangly, ungraceful kid who played soccer and softball (I was terrible at softball); went camping with the Indian Princess group and Dad through the YMCA, and in general ate whatever was put in front of me that wasn’t cheese or some form of dairy product. And eat we did. I was one of those kids that had to sit at the table until I finished everything on my plate. Sometimes, that meant I sat there until it was time to go to bed, but regardless…we were encouraged to eat well and hardy to such a degree that by age six, we were eating adult meals at restaurants when we went out to dinner. My father is Hawaiian, and in the Hawaiian culture, eating a lot = strength and good health. Sadly for me..such was not always the case. Eating a lot meant being hungry when I went to sleepovers at friend’s houses, because they were fed what was normal for a child their age, and I was used to a pretty big helping of more.
But on the other side of the coin, was my mother who carefully rationed soda, cookies, and anything else we coveted as kids, and so I wil freely admit that as soon as I got out on my own, I bought boxes of cookies and bottles of sodas and promptly ate and drank as much as I wanted. However, there was no more soccer and no more softball. So, I began the road to actually gaining weight.
At first, it just meant I had more curves, which was okay, because I was still attractive to the opposite sex. So, it wasn’t concerning. But I continued to gain. It did start to concern me when as an already tall woman, I started feeling as if everyone around me were smaller and a great deal more petite. I’d never felt amazonian, but I was starting to, and so I tried various weight loss methods. I even found success several different times, but the weight would come back and then some.
I got married and though you are always hopeful for that fairytale, that just wasn’t the case with us. Physical intimacy was not something we shared after a while, and to ensure that it was something that stayed that way, I allowed myself to gain even more weight. Food became a haven; that warm soft place of comfort that I was not getting in my marriage. Food was a place I could retreat to, and not have to deal with the emptiness and hopelessness I felt in my marriage. It stood for everything I’d ever been denied and everything in my life I had no control over (which is pretty much everything, honestly).
We divorced and I naturally lost weight, and became attractive to the opposite sex again. I realized during that time as I ineptly learned how to date again, that I wasn’t ready. I had lost sight of who I was; who I wanted to be; what I thought about things, and other than being the best Mom possible for my son, I didn’t know exactly what kind of woman I was anymore. I felt the needs of the multitudes of divorced men out there and it overwhelmed me. The loneliness and despair I ran into so occluded my own, that I was unaware how strongly I’d run even harder towards the food trough to fill up the nearly engulfing empitness I felt at that time. My life was so unsteady and unhappy on so many fronts; and the fear I felt at being the sole support for my young, wonderful special son, Nolan…put food in such a high place in my life, it practically became a god.
As my weight grew, it insulated me from having to deal in any other than a purely practical way, with the opposite sex; it allowed me to feel invisible. It allowed me to not have to deal; to hide. And grow I did, to numbers I’d not seen since I’d been pregnant with my son.
Enter to today. I’ve been seeing a man off and on over the last five years. Long story, but timing was never quite on our side. We helped each other heal through our own times of trial, and found a space that would safely allow us to do so, all the while enjoying a very nice, intimate friendship. Because I knew he didn’t love me, it was a safe place for me to have someone in my life without feeling the hurt that comes from truly taking chances. Love did come to me during this time…not with him, but someone that rocked my world completely…I’d not known I could love or be loved by anyone like that any more. But still, it wasn’t the right thing. He was not available in any tangible way, so I was still safe in all the ways that counted. See a pattern here? Safety, hiding, fear, control….all of these becoming themes in my life that made food a far greater deal in my life than it ever should have been.
Today, I have a job I LOVE. Me, the gangly girl grown Amazon…trains surgeons now. I’m part of a team of only 14 that travels all over the US and is known throughout the surgical circles to be the BEST. Me. Never imagined it…but fought hard to get there, even so. My son is happy. Divorced, yes, but amicable now. It was hell until this year. And could I do the short cut and get some sort of surgical intervention for my weight loss? I could…but to me, I will only gain again unless I deal with that inside me that got me here. I’ve conquered so much else along the way…this is just the final mountain, I think…before I truly reach that elusive sense of peace that is so rare in this life. But I believe it; I think it is, in fact attainable.
Food will no longer master me. I won’t hide anymore. I want my heart to be open to real and true love and that has to start with the love I have for myself. So, join me on this? Help me when I fall? Let me cry in frustration every now and then, but let’s see what victory looks like. Sound good?