I dread this but I feel this is something I need to do. In order to make it where I want to be, I first have to know exactly where I am now. So for today, I decided to write about where I am now in my life. Warts and all. This is full disclosure and it is scary. They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Doesn’t it! At my retirement party, pictures were taken. I haven’t seen most of them yet. But there was a group picture taken on my phone. When I first looked at it, I was shocked and very embarrassed. My first reaction was to delete it. I didn’t because a lot of my favourite people are there surrounding me and that is special. Very special. It is still hard for me to look at it. However that is the truth of where I am. So I take a deep breath and I accept this truth. And now I share this truth here with you.
This is me! August 17, 2017, at 357 lbs. If I could only convey all the pain that is wrapped up in this statement. I have a deeply ingrained issue with a food addiction and it goes way back to when I was a child. Up to my late 20s, I didn’t know what it was. I thought I had no willpower. Then I came across one of the books by Geneen Roth, possibly “Feeding the Hungry Heart, and it was liberating to finally have a better understanding of what was going on with me. That my issue was emotionally based as opposed to my being a total failure at losing weight. At that point, I was probably around 240 lbs. This was right before I got pregnant with my son. I remember that number because that is the weight I was when I found out I was pregnant and the weight I was right after I gave birth. I was 30 years old. Life went on and more weight piled on. Twice since that time, I lost a great amount of weight. The first time, I lost 80 lbs. The second time, I lost 70 lbs and that was about 4-5 years ago. I put it all back. As simple and as devastating as that!
So here I am now. Not only extremely obese but with health issues brought on by carrying way too much weight for way too long! About 4 years ago, I had my gallbladder removed. I still feel pain at times. I probably have stones in my bile duct. Not good. That’s not the worst part though. The worst part is that I’ve had osteoarthritis in my right knee since 2008 and my left is even more damaged now with the addition of a torn meniscus. I have issues with my hips as well, although it has not been diagnosed as osteoarthritis yet. All this means that I can’t get around much. Doing the 7 minutes walk to the grocery store is as much as I can do now. I have pain most of the time. It’s been a beautiful Summer but I haven’t been able to enjoy it fully because of my limited ability to get around. Although I much enjoy my home, there are times that I feel trapped. That is where I am physically.
This journey, this struggle, has made a mess of my self-confidence, my self-love and my self-trust and some days I downright hate myself. But those are the choices that I made. Mindfulness calls me to acknowledge where I am now without judgement. So I take a deep breath and I do acknowledge where I am right now, in this moment. The struggles, the fears, the self-mistrust and the hopes. All of it. No judgements, just what is. X marks the spot!
And I look at my picture and I see a beautiful smile and that smile also tells a story. A story of courage, strength, kindness, generosity and beauty. A story of resilience and of never giving up. An amazing story.