I realized recently that I've written a lot of things about my "diet" (for lack of a better word), but never really wrote anything about the events leading up to my "THAT'S IT I'VE HAD IT" post. It's a revelation that was a long time in coming, as I seem to have been living the past few years of my life in the country of Fear and Denial, making side trips to the cities of Excuse-ville and Complacency-town. Well, no more. I realized I have to face this fear, this denial, whatever it is that is holding me back from becoming the best ME I can be and the woman God intended for me to be. Many of these breakthroughs have come while I've been reading a wonderful book by Max Lucado entitled Facing Your Giants. My best friend and I have been reading it together. I will be posting more about it at a later date, after I've had a chance to go back and process and journal more about my experience reading it.
About a month and a half ago, I was having a heart-to-heart conversation with my Mom. She asked me when I was going to go back on my Weight Watchers plan, because she was concerned about me. I told her I was "planning to start on Monday". We all know that trick. And we all know how well it works. She started to cry and begged me to do something about my weight because she had been having nightmares about me dying due to complications of my weight. That hit me like a ton of bricks. I had no idea she was that worried. I know she worries about me, I'm her daughter; that's her job. But to break down crying to me and beg me to do something because she is afraid I'm going to DIE? Wow. I was speechless.
I mean, I'm not stupid. I KNOW I'm fat. I didn't just wake up today fat. I've been this way for a long time. And I've ignored it for a long time, too. But, as the numbers crept higher, as the pounds slowly added up, so did the health consequences. For quite some time I've been getting regular cortisone shots in my lower back to relieve the pain (partially caused by a tilted pelvis, but mostly because I'm fat). I've been unable to stand for longer than 5 minutes at a time without severe back and knee pain. We're talking pain so bad that I sweat and get out of breath from the pain. I've been unable to walk for ANY distance (even the distance from the car to the grocery store, or from the car to go inside my work) without getting out of breath and having to sit down and rest. I've been popping pain pills and muscle relaxers like candy for months. I've been unable to wear my seat belt in my car because it wasn't long enough to go around my belly. One of the most embarrassing things of all was I had to resort to placing a chair in the bathtub in order to take a shower. I had gotten so fat that I was unable to stand for the length of time it took to bathe myself. It brings tears of shame to my eyes to admit that.
And then there are my sleeping issues. I've always snored, but over the past year it has gotten progressively worse, and my husband noticed that I had begun to have apneas (when breathing stops due to obstruction of the airway during sleep), and I was struggling to breathe at night. He finally took a video of me one night because I didn't believe how bad it was. I cried when I saw it. I literally rose up off the bed from the waist up because I was struggling so hard to get air. I began having nightmares and waking up during the night choking and gasping for breath. My own body fat was choking off my air so badly that it woke me out of a dead sleep. I haven't wanted to go to sleep for the past couple of months because I was so afraid that I would die in my sleep from my fat choking me. It was then that I decided I it was too much. I have had enough. I had to do something, ANYTHING to get this weight off. I refuse to die young from something I can prevent. I am 38 years old. I have (God willing) at least forty or fifty more years on this Earth. Do I want to spend it fat, in pain, and dependent on other people to take care of me because I was immobilized by my weight? What was it going to take? Being cut out of my house and hoisted into a bariatric ambulance by a crane? I drew the proverbial line in the sand the day my mother cried in my arms.
I first began restructuring my diet. I stocked up on healthy food, veggies, and snacks. I started planning what food I was taking to work the night before. I joined Spark People. I faithfully track my food every day. Even when I go "off plan" and eat something not so good for me, I still track it. What use is there in me being dishonest with myself? I’m not saying I've been perfect. I’m not saying I haven’t slipped up. I’m not saying this has been all rainbows and daisies. It’s been hard. But I refuse to quit.
I am still scared. Scared of failing and scared of succeeding. That’s not going away overnight. But, I have God on my side, and with Him ALL things are possible. Even losing weight. Daily I pray for the strength to stay on plan, to dig deep within myself and find the strength to face the temptations and pitfalls of dieting, and for the courage to face whatever physical and emotional changes come during the transformation. (If you would find it in your heart to pray these things with me, I would be honored.)
When I'm scared of failing (and succeeding, sometimes!), I remember those people in my life who would be devastated if I died. I remember that I owe it to the people that depend on me, the people that love me, and the people that need me to do this.
After my last post, I had a conversation with my best friend in which she pointed out that I don’t think I DESERVE to succeed. That is so true. Sometimes I do believe that. Sometimes I do believe I don’t deserve anything good in life, and I sure don’t deserve to succeed at my weight loss. That’s why I sabotage myself. Also, failure is comfortable. I’m used to it. It’s like that comfortable pair of threadbare underwear in the back of the drawer. C’mon you know you have them too! Staying in the “comfort” of failure is like continuing to wear that holey pair of undies with the stretched out elastic that are thin enough to read the newspaper through . Not logical and definitely not productive. Besides, she pointed out, can success really be that bad compared to where I’ve started? (She’s a pretty smart cookie, that bestie of mine!)
So there you have it. A convoluted peek inside my psyche, the madness behind my method. Thanks for listening.