How Did I Get Here?

highschool
High School, 1987

It takes a lot for a person to consider a surgical attempt at weight reduction.

Even though I always felt overweight since middle school, I really started to gain after a bad break up in college. Turned to food for comfort and distraction, and got the stretch marks to prove it. I’ve been on WeightWatchers three times, Jenny Craig once, low carb diets 4 times, attended OA, a juice cleansing/fast and Whole 30. I’ve been a member of the YMCA twice, Workout Anytime and LA Fitness.

I’m 47, will turn 48 this month.  I currently weigh 283lbs.  I am 5’3″. The highest I ever weighed was 298. The lowest I’ve ever weighed in this century was 217lbs.

hyster

In 2015 I was hospitalized for severe pain. So much pain as I imagine giving birth to be- but without the joy at the end. The kind of pain that makes you just yell and nothing you can do alleviates it (short of morphine). It turned out to be a 4lb ovarian cyst trying to twist my ovary. I’d had no clue it was there. I just thought I was fat, right?  Add to that fibroids on my uterus and a smaller cyst on my other ovary, and I said “Hey, just take it all. I’m not using it.” And that was my start into menopause.

Don’t get me wrong. I like being a crone. I like not having a monthly cycle. I like not having the monthly cramping (probably made worse by the fibroids I didn’t know I had). I like not having to buy all the supplies or keep something on hand in case it came early. I LOVE knowing I will never get ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, or cervical cancer.

Though I have been heavy for what seems like most of my life, I’ve always been strong in carrying my weight. Since the menopause though, that’s changed. Yes it’s harder to lose weight, but I notice the heaviness more. The labored breathing as I try to get up stairs. More pain in my back and knees. Backaches just from rolling out of bed in the morning.

I started dieting under a doctor’s care in December. I’ve lost 2 pounds. I hit a very very dark place at the end of January where all I felt and thought was negative. Feeling so blue that it took hold and shook my brain.  Everything felt jumbled around like puzzle pieces in a box. I cried and cried. I felt like I wasn’t worth anything- and this scared me because I’m not that type.

That was my rock bottom. That’s when I decided to look into gastric surgery. I felt simultaneously up and down. Down that I had come to this. I was so weak willed that I had to look at surgery as an option. Up that I felt a hint of joy that I might actually get free of this weight.

Today I felt ebullient and even walked 11,00 steps!

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