So, yesterday I made the first step in re-claiming my life. I applied for bariatric surgery.
Let me tell you a little about myself- I am 48 years old and extremely overweight. I have smoked for 33 years and I am going to quit smoking. Today I start the journey to find myself. The old me. Healthier, happier, able to move around. Not confined to a wheelchair for long trips. Able to walk and play with my kids and grandkids. Once more capable of walking on the beach. Not ashamed or afraid to be seen in public.
I have four kids, aged 29, 27, 17, and 12. I have been widowed for ten years. I’ve been fat for eighteen years. I’ve lost my mobility in the last 2 years.I now depend on a wheelchair for anything that requires walking more than fifty feet or standing still for more than five minutes. I have five grandkids, and a sixth on the way. I am a college student majoring in Business. I used to be an EMT and Medical Attendant. I can’t do it anymore. I rescue things- animals and people. Sometimes it works out well- sometimes it doesn’t. But I’ll add more about that later- oh the stories I can tell!
Starting a blog seemed like a brilliant idea at 3 AM, however now that I’m staring at the page I am consumed by doubt- who will read me? who will care? how can I touch a life? what difference can I possible make?
All the witty repartee has departed my brain. How do I put into words my hope for the future? I am hopeful for the first time in a long time. Being fat has robbed my of almost everything I enjoy. People (close people) say things like “if you really wanted to lose the weight you would” or “you’re just lazy, you are letting yourself die”. That’s not true, if desire was all it took I would be thin as a rail. As for smoking, I get the “You don’t care about us, you’re selfish” speech on a regular basis.
I have dieted, I have tried to quit smoking. It is not easy. Smoking is/was my only vice. It is my ‘go to’ when I am stressed or bored. And dieting?!?! I’ve done the gym thing, for years I did it. Weights for 45 minutes, treading water for 45 minutes, treadmill for 30. After 2 years I had lost like three pounds. Diet? Yeah, South Beach worked the best but was expensive and I had to cook separate meals for the kids and find time to do all the food prep for myself. It was not realistic.Do I eat fast food? Yep. Usually on my way to class in the morning. I got kids to get up, make sure the animals are fed, kids to drop off, and a 45 minute drive to my class. A McD’s biscuit is quick and on the way. Not gonna lie. Do we order out? Yep. Occasional pizza when I am too tired to cook. Usually towards the end of the week.
Do I cook? HELL YEAH! I love to cook, I find I cook best earlier in the day, say around 1 or 2 o’clock when I’m not so tired and then I just hold it over for dinner. I experiment, using recipes I find on line or sometimes I invent my own. Lately I’ve been sneaking cabbage into almost everything I make. Soups, Stir fry, rice dishes, even ratatouille. It takes on the flavor of whatever you are cooking and is packed with vitamins and nutrients, plus it is filling and ‘stretches’ a recipe. I use lean red meat, lots of fish, chicken, and lots of veggies. I drain grease off of everything. I bought a non-stick Wok, which I LOVE! and cook a lot in that, minus the oil (since its non-stick) I’ve also started adding beans and lentils to a lot of dishes, they are high in protein and fiber. Spaghetti gravy always has zucchini and squash in it and is slow cooked with tons of garlic.I do, however, have a weakness for bacon, and about once a month will eat a lot of it. Not gonna lie. A nice burger with a pile of bacon and a good cheese is awesome. Tomato sandwiches are another weakness- on toast with mayo, salt and lots of pepper. I could eat them every day. Not store tomatoes though, gotta be the ripe, red all the way thru, juicy garden tomatoes. A good thing about cooking is if I spent all day cooking it, chances are I won’t want to eat it. Like I spent a whole day cooking Italian and by dinner time all I wanted was a piece of salmon and rice, I couldn’t even look at the pasta. So it’s beneficial sometimes. I find the crock pot is also my friend, I just leave it on over night and BAM! dinner is ready. It’s very convenient when I know I’m gonna have a rough week.
I love cooking for people, not necessarily for myself. For three years I did ‘Mission Meal’s’ for a local church to support medical mission trips abroad. One weekend a month I planned, organized, did the purchasing, cooked, and served 80-120 people lunch. Mostly we had soups, chili, and chowders during the cold months cooked from scratch by me.During the hot months we did hoagies (subs), burgers, hot dogs, taco salads and simple things. The hot months were easier but I preferred the actual cooking. Every Wednesday I did ‘crew meals’ for the local volunteer ambulance company, whoever was on duty showed up at my house around 5;30 and got fed. Usually seafood and side dishes. It was fun. I cook to make people happy, and inspire time together. It’s not necessarily about eating or how much you eat, its about taking time to sit and enjoy each others company over a decent meal.
And right now you are thinking “I know why this bitch is fat!” LOL. These are past things. Things I haven’t done in years. The point was- I love to cook healthy. I use to only cook to please other people and because I’m good at it. If it was just me I’d have a cup of Ramen and be done with it. Last week it was just me- I had a handful of crackers and went to bed at 6 in the evening. There were years after my husband died that I didn’t cook at all. Without him to cook for there wasn’t much point. The kids would eat anything and be happy. Hell, you throw a box of Kraft Mac and Chs in a pot and they were good to go. Its just recently that I’ve begun to take joy in cooking actual food, healthy food, in my home again.
Back to the point- I fantasize about being thin, being able to shop in regular stores for clothes, walking the dog, spending more time with the horse and maybe someday being able to ride again. I dream of walking into a restaurant and not being afraid I won’t fit in the booth. I want to walk on the beach again, I want to fit in the boardwalk rides with the kids, I want to play ball with the grandkids. I want to breathe, I want my heart to stop pounding out of my chest when I walk fifty feet. And dear God I want to stop needing to inject insulin all the time or carry an inhaler everywhere I go.
I want my life back. One day at a time.
Welcome to my journey