Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I have had an epiphany..

I went to the doctor on Friday, May 31st, to have my birth control method removed. It was a Mirena, and it was time for it to be removed because it was almost 5 years old. I was expecting a lot of pain, but that didn't happen.

My epiphany came when I actually looked at the scale that they weighed me with when I was in the nurse's office getting checked in for my appointment. In the past few years, I have managed to get the doctor's offices not to weigh me because I just didn't want to see what I knew was going on. Denial is a very large pink elephant in the room in my case. I suppose I thought if I didn't see the numbers, I could continue to convince myself that I had only gained a little bit back.

Oh..I can't even begin to express all of the feelings that went through my brain at that moment. I am still feeling these emotions. That morning I felt betrayed, by myself, which is a bad feeling to have, ya know? I was hurt. I wanted to cry, too. I was mad as hell, and I felt sick to my stomach all at the same time.

Dr. Phil, among others, would say that in order to change anything that you do not like about your life or situation, you have to bring it to the front of your mind, acknowledge whatever it is, and then take the steps necessary to change it. This means that I have to admit to myself, if no one else, that I have managed to gain quite a bit of the weight that I originally lost back. Saying that out loud or writing it in this blog satisfies that requirement, and it makes me pure sick..

I suppose for this post to make any sense, I should mention a bit of my history. I have always been morbidly obese to super-morbidly obese. I got that way by compulsively overeating since I was around the age of 10. If I felt any emotion, no matter what it was, I would eat myself into oblivion. Chocolate cakes, macaroni and cheese, sandwiches that were piled with meats and cheeses, biscuits and gravy, yadda..yadda.. My BMI has been as high as in the 70s range. That was in 2001. 
This picture was taken on our wedding day, obviously.. :) That was on November 10, 2001. I weighed 454 pounds that day, and I stand 5 feet 9 inches tall. My wedding dress weighed about 25 pounds, so it was a real struggle to just move slowly, much less walk with any confidence.
Here is a closeup, and it also happens to be my favorite wedding photo:


This next picture was taken in August of 2002 at a party.

Here is another picture that shows how much I lost just a wee bit better:

In the picture above, I had lost 187 pounds. I used to wear that skirt so much! It was the prettiest skirt that I had ever owned. I was at an associate's house who was going to alter that skirt to fit me better. I was quite excited to see that picture, too. It really made it something real, ya know? I weighed 271. I had weight loss surgery. If you would like to know more, please visit:


This link will take you to my patient page, as well as my story prior to weight loss surgery. I had the first part of a duodenal switch, which at that time was called the vertical gastroplasty. The only part that was altered was my stomach. The concept was to remove 2/3 of my existing stomach (the part that literally grows when I would overeat), making it into a banana-shaped stomach, so that I would lose at least 100 pounds. That weight loss would enable the surgeon to get to my organs better with the laparoscopic tools needed to do the rest of the surgery. Then I was supposed to come back and have the 2nd part of the surgery, which would help the rest of the 254 pounds that I needed to lose come off. With the malabsorption part of the surgery, I would only absorb 60% of the protein I ate, and 30% of the fats and carbs that I ate. Of course, I will have to take vitamins for the rest of my life and deal with stinky poop.. Yet, I haven't even known poop to smell like roses.. :) Still, I never went back for the 2nd part because I thought that the weight was steadily coming off, so I thought that I didn't need to do the 2nd part, the malabsorption part because it was steadily coming off and I wasn't gaining it back! I kept the weight off for a little over 2 1/2 years. In the last couple of years, the weight has slowly started to creep back on. At the time of my surgery, there were no stats available on the VG because it was a new concept for super morbidly obese patients that had a huge stomach. The doctors that were doing this 2 part procedure were basically test driving it to see if it was a viable option. While this was going on, stats were being comprised of the patients who were having it done this way.

Sadly, staying rooted in denial did nothing to make me realize how very much it was back until Friday in the doctor's office. Frankly, I am scared out of my freakin mind.. Now, I can get on with this first part of my epiphany..

On Thursday morning, May 30th, I had a conversation with a stranger at my dog groomer's the other day when I took Nikki Blue in for her first bath. This woman just struck up a conversation with me, and she told me that I needed to bless myself.. She said that I needed to take all of the energy that I put in my animals and everyone around me, and redirect it to myself and bless myself.. It was a little spooky, because when she said this to me, she did not know squat about me, or who I was in the least.

Her name is Kristie.. She was standing in line behind me dropping off her Shih Tzu for grooming as well. Both of our pups were black and white.. along with other colors that they had in common.. I thought it was kind of cool..

As I turned to leave the groomer's, she started saying things to me as if she had known me all of my life. Get that I had never seen her before in my life..She was telling me all sorts of things that no one would have known about me if I didn't tell the information to her. She told me that God was telling her this information.. and she proceeded to say other things that she would not have known without some sort of inside information.

Honestly, all I heard was that I needed to bless myself.. I asked her how it was exactly that I was supposed to do that. I told her that I have had several friends that have told me something similar to that, yet no one told me how I was supposed to do it.. She joined those friends and told me that I knew what I needed to do.. So, I got a hair across my butt and told her that no, she was wrong.. I didn't know how to do that.. I had no clue.. Because if I did know that, wouldn't I have done it already? She still didn't give me specifics.. and I left the groomer's office with just a real question in my head and the wonderment of how she knew this information unless it really was God speaking through her. How weird I thought, but I still got chills thinking about it..

Okay, back to the morning in my doctor's office and the scale.. The sickness that I felt earlier slowly turned to anger and then rage before my hubby got home. I admitted my weight gain to myself first, because self-realization is the first step to change, and then when my husband came home, I sat him down to admit how very depressed that I have been for such a long time.. I admitted how much that I would compulsively overeat when I am sad and/or depressed. I admitted that I had been sad and/or pissed off for the last several months, if not years. I admitted how when I smoke, I did it primarily to piss him off.. I admitted that I was SICK of living like this, and that it was going to stop right now.. that night..
And then..I told him that I was done..
I told him that I was not going to beg him to read the book that I mentioned by Harville Hendrix.. I told him that I was not going to nag him to do what he knew needed to be done around the house. I told him that I was going to order my larger bike seat, he was going to put it on my brand new bike in the basement, he was going to get my bike upstairs and make it a stationary one for the time being.. and I was going to lose this weight.. I told him that I refused to get back to my preoperative weight. I told him he would be more than welcome to join me in these efforts, or he could continue to wallow in the fear of the change that he refuses to make..I told him that he needed to enjoy the sweet stuff that is in our house, because I am not wired in such a way to just throw it all away and take that financial hit well.. So, I told him that I would cook it.. but that once that was gone.. that this woman would not bring any more of it into this house. I told him that I knew that if I bring the sweets in this house, that I will eat them. I told him that the only way that I would be successful in this effort was to completely obliterate them from the home..

I told him that if it meant that he would have a mood because he was not getting his sweet fix, then so be it. I told him that he could keep that snit to himself, because I didn't want to deal with it once this starts.

I told him that if he wanted to have childish temper tantrums because he doesn't get his sweet fix each day, then he was going to have them frequently. I told him that I did not want to hear it, and I would not let it effect my resolve. I told him he was going to eat more vegetables, fish, chicken, salads, etc..

I told him that if I did make something sweet like a cake or cheesecake, then I would slice it into individual pieces, freeze them, and then when he wanted something sweet he could thaw it out 1 piece at a time instead of eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

He admitted that he did not like the weight that he had gained either. Which will help me with my own resolve. For the most part, I have to accept responsibility for this weight gain that both of us have presently because I cooked all of the high-fat foods. I not only cooked the foods, I ate them as well. I cooked foods very late at night and then went to sleep. I didn't do the necessary exercise to combat the weight. I did it because I wanted to please my new husband, and I knew that he liked my cooking.

When he came to the US, he did not have excess weight on his frame. Over the last few years, he has went from a 36 waist to a 42 waist, an XL shirt to an XXL, and we won't even get into what size increases I have had. It is disgusting. I have admitted this fact to myself, so it is not staying in the denial side of my brain.

I also spoke of many other things that evening. I found out that he had not read one page, let alone a chapter, in Getting the Love That You Want like he had promised me he would 4 weeks or so ago. When I asked him why he hadn't done what he promised, his response was that he was playing his computer games instead. As I was already pissed off, it wasn't a huge stretch to say things to him that he never expected to come out of my mouth.

I told him that there was a reason why he married me. I told him that there was some trait in me that he needed to get from his primary caretaker, that he did not get in his childhood. His primary caretaker was his mom. I said that I did not know what it was exactly that he needed to heal from his childhood, but then there is so much that I don't know about my husband.

He told me that one of the things that he had trouble with where his mom was concerned was her inability to make a decision about anything. She is exasperating in that way, I will admit.. She will throw out a suggestion, then take it back..then suggest something entirely different, and then take that back too. It can drive anyone crazy and most especially her son and my hubby, who is one that craves structure and consistency.

So, he said that he knew that I was assertive, and that if I made up my mind to do something I would move heaven and earth to make it happen. He said that it took a lot to get me to that place, but once I do reach that place I am very determined.
He said that he was glad that I was at this point about my weight, because that meant that he would also lose weight. He will follow my lead if he sees me doing it consistently. He has always done that. If I am cleaning up, he may sit on the couch for a while, but he will eventually get up and start helping me do the tasks at hand. The bad thing is that once this is started, I won't be able to have a slack day, because just as soon as I do..he will think that he has license to slack off, too.

He said that if I did not have this assertiveness, we would not have our own home now, we would not have the dogs that bring both of us joy, we would not have moved into our first apartment, and we would not have any sort of life that remotely resembled a good one. He said that he knew he would still be living in the Netherlands with his parents trying to finish college and get his Masters.. He likes living status quo. He hates change. In the past, I have had to literally drag him kicking and screaming into something new. Once he gets there, he is glad that I made it happen.. but if he had to jump through all of the hoops that I jumped through to make all of this happen, he would not have done it.

Yet I still wonder what other traits his mom had that he sees in me as well. I hope that over the next few weeks, more of this will come to light. The 2 of us are polar opposites. She is very skinny and fit.. I am not. She has more energy than 4 little kids on a summer's day. LOLOL.. She wears me out just watching her.. :)

When I finished this discussion with him, I was still pissed off. I almost burned our dinner, too! I finished cooking it, called him to the kitchen for his dinner.. and then I left the room. When I left the room, he was curled in a fetal position, crying..on the sofa.

For the first time in our lives together, I left the room and I did not pay attention to him. The next morning, he was reading the book. Who knew that having a discussion this way would have caused him to do what he told me he would do?