Monday, April 11, 2011

Support Needed

Support Needed

After losing over 126 pounds I started going back to my old habits and gained 18 pounds back in a year. I felt like the elephant in the room (no pun intended) that everyone saw but no one talked about. It was obvious I had gained weight. I saw it, others saw it, yet some still complimented me. I suppose just thinking about what I once looked like 3 years ago and what I look like today was impressive. But in reality, I felt like a failure. No one would acknowledge or point out the falling. I no longer felt like an inspiration to myself or anyone else. It can be scary, but I think the benefits of confession, leading to healing and freedom, outweigh the fear. I have been trying to face the consequences of my unwise choices. I now admit to myself and those who have been a support to me, I gained because of unwise choices, eating the wrong things, eating for the wrong reasons, eating the wrong amount and just plain eating too often (continuously).

I knew going into this, surgery was not a cure all. But you still think in the back of your mind, “I will never have to think about all this again.” Or “I will be able to not eat what I shouldn’t eat because I shouldn’t be able to eat it and I know I can’t ever eat it again.” Or “This surgery is a tool and I will always use it.” All are deceiving thoughts in and of themselves. This life is just as hard after surgery as it was before surgery and is for those who have never had surgery, but struggle with weight issues. I have learned it cannot be done on sheer willpower. My will isn’t powerful enough for that. I must rely on knowledge, my tools from surgery, my desires, making goals, God and supporters. Ultimately it is up to me to make the right decisions. Those decisions center around food and exercise. Do I or don’t’ I?

Four weeks ago I buddy-ed up with a guy from IWLS who had surgery 11 months ago. He was struggling with all the same stuff I am struggling with. We had supported each other through occasional email and at support meetings once a month. One day he asked if I would send him my menus. From there we began to keep food logs with calorie counts, carb counts, protein counts, etc. Soon it was important to eat well in order to support and spur each other on. We email daily our eating/food log, exercise, thoughts, feelings, etc. Together we have discovered our snack calorie counts were often as big as or bigger than our meal counts. We have noted our carb count isn’t what we are happy with. This week we decided to focus on watching that carb count. Sure I knew all this when I was on my own, but to have someone else notice it and call me on it and encourage me to address it was what I needed to take things seriously again. Before I had all the excuses, all the justifications for eating what I was eating. Now I look at what I eat, I re-decide about some things I would have just eaten before. I do this because someone else is counting on me. I do it because it is important to me once again to reach that goal I had decided was out of reach. I don’t think it is. I’m going for it. I don’t know if I will hit it by target date, but I am going to give it my best shot. I am doing it for me and I am doing it for my buddy.

Support is so important in any walk of life. That is what friendships are all about. My buddy has become an important friend in my life. I think I have in his too. I know he has my back and he will tell me when I need to look at something seriously. He will encourage me through it all. I hope he feels the same about me. I know this journey is mine to walk and mine to be responsible for. I also know I find it easier to do just that with my buddy behind me. But in the end, only I can do it and I can only do it for myself.

Health is something I took for granted for so long and became 297 pounds. I started this journey at 292 pounds and I lost 126 at one time with just 16 more to go to my 1st goal. I doubt that goal is attainable without cosmetic surgery to remove the extra skin. I may not even be able to make it to my revised goal, but it is worth the try. Once I get there, maintaining will be the challenge. But for right now, I face the fear and work at it daily. I know bad days will come now and then, but I won’t throw it all away like I did this last year. As I approach my 3 year “girth-day” I will work to my goal of losing a total of 132 pounds.

Go get ‘em baby!!

Thank you to all my supporters!

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door
you didn't know you left open.
~John Barrymore~