Well it actually isn’t the beginning, I have been on this crazy train my whole life. I have officially been a “normal” person for a very short time. So, I suppose it is the beginning of sorts. I had a procedure called a Gastric Plication a year and a half ago. In that time I have lost roughly 11-12 stone. I am pretty much where I want to be weight wise. But, this healthy living lark is quite the experience. I run, well even more amazing is I can run and I do. The world is a completely different place now. My physical presence in it has changed in ways I couldn’t possibly have imagine. It’s a bit like being Alice in Wonderland. I know what is through the looking glass now and it’s different, very very different. Sad in some ways that I was denied entry into this strange old club for so long solely because of the physical space I previously took up. The world is a funny old place.
I sit her with the thimble of porridge I have for breakfast and ponder what a difference a year makes to, well everything.
So, the beginning I suppose is the best place to start. I was always big! In fact I cannot remember a time in my life that size was not an issue. I remember my first weight watchers lark at about 8 years old. A room full of “old” women talking about calories. This new language which I was totally unfamiliar with at the time would soon become my second tongue so to speak. The language of calories, kilos, fat grams and body mass index was to be my obsession. The holy grail, just out of my reach that I would spend 30 years trying to get.
It is tough being a fat kid. You are an outcast no matter where you are. Even within family situations I wasn’t safe from ridicule. I remember overhearing a relative talking about how awful it would be to have a fat child like me. I have long since let the anger and hurt go but, the burning shame I felt is locked away in the back of my mind. That part of me that will always be the fat girl who nobody wants to sit next to. Such an easy target for insults and humiliation. But, that is not what this is about. We all have demons to deal with and I am an adult. A big chunk of my fat life was as a fully informed, educated adult who knew better but allowed my addiction to food to take over my life. There is nothing like jones’in for a cheeseburger to lose all perspective. Food took over, it was always lovely and nice to me. I could rely on a nice smooth bar of chocolate when everything else seemed bleak. The scale was to become my arch nemesis. I found a way to hide or steal my various fixes. It really wasn’t in anyone else’s control. I always found a way. When I was old enough to move away, it was like a whole new world of yummy delights opened up. I became a dab hand at finding an eating buddy. At college I found people that loved a good binge as much as I did quite quickly. Exam stress was the perfect cover for my late night burger binges.
I embraced the “Big Beautiful Woman” mantra with both hands. It wasn’t me, it was society that had a problem not me. That did fly for a long time. It wasn’t until I hit my late 30′s that the physical toll that came with years of obesity hit me and gave me a reality check. I had my beautiful twins just before my 39th birthday. My knees hurt, my back was wrecked and getting up and down off the floor was nearly impossible. I started researching surgery and eventually was put on the waiting list for a gastric bypass. It would be at least a year before I could have surgery. So, I started researching other procedures. I learned about a new procedure called a gastric plication or “Wrap” being done in the Czech Republic. I spoke to a company called Cosmetic Bliss and the rest as they say is history. They changed my life!
So hear I am over a year later trying to figure out how a misfit like me fits in now. It is a study in sociology and human behaviour on a daily basis. I couldn’t have imagined the difference the size of my body would make to how I operate in the world now. My spacial awareness has changed as I no longer take up as much space. I am the same dysfunctional person I was before yet people listen to me now and treat me with an entirely different kind of respect. I was used to people going out of their way not to see me. I was invisible. Now I am anonymous and the difference between those two things is unbelievable. I don’t feel self concious buying food any more or eating in public. The desire for better health doesn’t seem like a pipe dream now. I can and do exercise with the added bonus of really enjoying it. There is a down side that that much weight loss brings. I have battle scars, also known as loose skin. I feel a bit like a deflated balloon. But, that being said the alternative was so much worse.
But, seriously this isn’t just about losing weight. I have many demons, food is just a word on a long list…