If you're new to my blog and haven't gone back to the really old posts, you wouldn't have noticed but the nature of the blog has changed considerably over the last year. My social media posts have morphed as well. Prior to January of 2014, you probably wouldn't see many pictures of me. At all. I shied away from the camera because I was overweight. Not just overweight, I was medically considered obese. And I hated to see what I looked like on camera.
My lifelong dream came true and I hated everything about how I looked. I know it was vanity but it was also a little bit of shame. Every one in America who watched Jeopardy would see me and I cringed inside when I got this picture from the show. And that's when I made a decision. I was living back home at the time and I thought, if I'm ever going to do this, now is the time. I looked into my medical insurance and did some investigating and discovered that I was eligible for weight loss surgery. I went to the info sessions, I met with a psychologist, I had to lose weight before the surgery, and right up until they wheeled me in, my step-father kept asking me - are you sure you want to do this. At that point, I was never more sure of anything in my life. I was 285 pounds and I hated myself for how overweight I was. I had a thriving career, I was finishing my doctorate, I had been on jeopardy - why couldn't I get this part of my life under control? I was so sure.
And I made the right decision. Three years later and I am 100 pounds lighter both in spirit and in weight.
I'm currently at 185 pounds and I've got about 20 pounds left that I'd like to lose. I'm getting married next October and I know what I want to look like in my wedding dress and in my head, that's 20 pounds lighter than I am now.
What's really important though, is how I feel. I feel great. I can run three miles in 30 minutes. I lift weights, I do barre 4x a week. I am the healthiest I have been in my life. I am off my blood pressure meds and will probably go off my cholesterol meds next year.
But it's not easy. I think about food and my weight every day. I will continue thinking about it every day for the rest of my life. The surgery wasn't a quick fix. It was work. The first 40 pounds came off easily. The next 30 came off with a focus on diet. The last 30 were work. It was weight watchers and working out and monitoring my food. That got me to 185. Getting to 165 is going to take the same amount of focus. I will probably go to weight watchers for many years to come and then some.
What I do know is that I know what it's like to be 285 and be at the point where you're at the end of the airplane seat belt and the next step is to ask for an extender. I never got to that point, but if I hadn't made the decision I had when I did, I imagine it wouldn't have been long. At 285, I never would have traveled to Hawaii on my own; I would never have had the confidence to post pictures of myself in clothes and tell people where I got them. At 285, I never would have been confident in a relationship the way I am now. I know how all of that feels.
One of my weight watchers leaders says "Choose Your Hard". It's hard to stay focused on diet and exercise. But it's even harder to be 285 pounds. I choose my hard, and I keep at it. I keep at it because I love my life, I love where I'm at, I love all the plans that Phillip and I have going forward.
When I went through my surgery, I kept a second blog. You can find that here. I've always been open about the fact that I had weight loss surgery and am always happy to answer questions about my procedure and recovery as well as life after. If you have questions you can post them in the comments or if you want to message me privately, you can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for coming on this confessional journey with me - this Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month so that means it's time for What's Up Wednesday! Hope to see you all then.