Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mind and Body Image

Today isn't a workout day and yesterday morning after my painful attempt at that, I cut out the ingrown toenail, so tomorrow morning is hopefully going to be less painful.  All day yesterday, I had a sensation in my legs that demanded more exercise.  They wanted to stretch!  I did take an additional 15 minute walk around the block on a stolen break, but it didn't feel like enough.  I guess it's good that the body was wanting that.  Work makes it difficult though.  As I am sure is the case for most people.  I am allowed breaks, but it's hard to actually take them because of the fact we are always short handed and not enough other leads are ever available.

Yesterday morning I received a call from the Pulmonary office.  No appointment yet, but they asked me a few questions seeing if I have had a sleep study done before and if there were medical records to view.  Since this is all new to me, I said I didn't, but they didn't make an appointment with me yet. They said someone would be calling for that.  So, more waiting.  At least it was something, I guess.

Today I thought I would talk a little bit about how I got here.  What made me think now was the right time to proceed with this surgery and not years ago.  I honestly don't have a solid answer on this other than I wasn't ready before.  I'd like to imagine how much richer of a life I'd had if I did this 10 years ago, and the funny thing is, I wouldn't have been ready, but not for the reasons you'd think.  You would think that I wouldn't have been ready because of the expense, and that is partly true.  Or maybe the danger involved, and that also might have been a consideration.  But really, the main reason is because I wasn't deserving.  I didn't think I was important enough to have such a drastic measure given.  My personal worth wasn't in a good place and I really wasn't emotionally in a good place.  I do believe, before undertaking such a big step, there has to be more emotional security available, a support system and the confidence to pull it off.  Ten years ago my life was in turmoil and the idea of something so life changing would have sent me in a tailspin.  However, I do feel sad that I have missed out on so much because of my weight.  And the only reason for that is because I have always been my own worst critic.  Such as:  "Let's go swimming,"  "Let's go horseback riding"  "Let's go to a splash park"  "Let's climb that hill" "Go buy a new dress" All of these statements would bring me anxiety because I knew I had limitations.  Life had taught me this.  And here are some examples:
  • When I was 16 I visited a health center while on vacation.  When leaning against a ping pong table the leg bent beneath my weight!
  • When trying to get to my seat on an airplane, I noticed that the people already seating were looking at me in dread.  They actually thought I might be the one they would be seated next to on the plane.
  • "would you like a booth or a table" at a restaurant.  Booths can be miserable when you are squeezed into them.  Having to admit this to my dining partner and then taking the table that is right out in the middle of the room.
  • Feeling excited about a mountain "team building" hike with my work team and finding out 5 minutes into the climb that I would have to turn around and return to the car because I felt like I was going to die from exertion
  • When riding a bicycle with my son, having someone yell out the window of their car, "You're so fat"
  • When walking outside and feeling very positive about my progress having another person yell out of their car window, "I love fatties"
How can any of the examples above not illustrate to me that I am some enormous elephant of a woman that isn't worthy of any consideration?  Well, these moments are damaging.  And this was only a small sample of some of my experiences.  I am intelligent to know that what other people say and do are not really important.  They shouldn't define me.  I would like to say that they haven't, but its obvious that they have.  

You would also think that the simple answer is just to exercise and lose some weight.  And yes, I can do that...I can do that for 3-6 months and restrict myself and deny opportunities with family and friends because I am on this journey to looking as thin as they are.  But honestly, most of them know nothing about the hardships of that journey.  The self discipline required and the tremendous disappointment and self loathing that comes into play when there is a set back and the brain turns itself to destruction mode and I am right back making those bad food and health choices.  The weight come back and I start the slide down that slippery slope of no return.  It is such an incredible disappointment.  But, what if I had a tool that would comfort me during those moments.  Something that would keep me on track and hold my body at bay while I work on healing my mind?  That is my hope with this surgery.

And they all lived happily ever after...mind and body.

I don't suppose there are any magic pills.  There is always going to be hard work.  I am more than willing to put in the work.  But, I don't think there is anything wrong with receiving some help.

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