Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Journey Thus Far...

For my entire life, I've been passionate about two things - singing and eating. They've both brought me many joys in life, but only one is a death sentence waiting to happen. They've both served as outlets to me in both good and bad times - whether it be my need to croon out an emotional ballad and cry over a good song that moves me, or it be an order of steak nachos *and* a cheese quesadilla from my favorite, local Mexican joint...both singing and eating have seen me through the trials and tribulations I've endured in my 29 and a half years of life. I'll continue to sing - the energy it gives me, the absolute passion I have for it...I could never leave it. But, in one week, the eating is changing.

As a kid, I was very active in swimming, dance, Tae Kwon Do (for a short spell) and every athletic thing kids do when they play. My love for eating Little Debbie snack cakes, impressing friends with the amount of hot dogs i could shove in my mouth, etc. never hindered who I was as a kid. My mother worried early about my weight, however, and had me in Weight Watchers meetings as an early teenager - she was determined not to have me follow in the heavy footsteps of those who came before me on both sides of the family. To this day, my weight has never been a hindrance to me - yes, I wish I could fit into cute clothes from the mall, do any physical activity without getting short of breath, participate in basic activities without them resulting in a sore back...(the list goes on)...but I've never had a problem dating, never had a problem maintaining close friendships and have never (thankfully) had health issues as a result of my obesity.

Over the past couple of years, I've started to think harder about what I've done to my body throughout my lifetime. I'm approaching the age of 30 in August of 2010, and I'm wise enough to witness and internalize the diabetes, heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses that have plagued various family members up the family tree. I know that the years of abusing my body with cigarettes, fast food, Diet Coke (yum!) and lack of exercise are soon going to catch up with me, and I've been nothing but blessed to have lived my life so far without health issues. Thus, the need for a radical change in my life was evident.

In 2007, I found a diet that seemed promising through my then-boyfriend's mother - "Kimkins." The concept was low-carb intake with no change in exercise. I bought into the idea, amazed at what I saw on the scale in terms of weight loss - nearly 50 pounds in a period of a few months! Then-boyfriend and I broke up around Thanksgiving and, without the support of him doing it with me, I went back to my normal routine of bodily abuse - I saw no reason to continue because life was as it always was, happy. The thought of losing this excess weight once and for all didn't disappear. In fact, I fired up the ol' Kimkins wagon again in early summer of 2008. It was then that, despite the great numbers on the scale, I had a reality check of common sense. HOW could it be good for me to eat chicken, bacon, steak, etc., minimize fruits and high-carb vegetables, and not work out? Sure, the decrease in scale numbers was impressive - but surely I was going to end up with heart disease eventually with this unhealthy diet??! I'd always heard that a good "diet" is a complete change in lifestyle - food and exercise included - but that it should never "swear off" certain foods. Feel like having a piece of chocolate pie? Do it, but in moderation. There isn't a grand food god that is going to strike you down for giving into temptations, as long as you can control what and how much you eat.

Summer of 2008 also spawned a new relationship for me, with a man who was ready to have LapBand surgery to help him with his 430+ body. I had never considered surgery for myself, seriously, at that point, despite my grandmother and father both having gastric surgery in the previous year. I had convinced myself that surgery wasn't necessary - as successful as I am in my career and in life, I COULD do it if I only had enough drive and determination to do so. As I watched that boyfriend go through the pre-op work and, eventually, the surgery itself...I began to contemplate this avenue for myself. He's doing well - the surgery worked, he's losing weight, he has more energy and zest for life than I'd known him to have...perhaps there could be something there for me?

And here we are at the end of 2009. LapBand boyfriend and I broke up this past summer, but we maintain a friendship that is good and supportive - except he doesn't know I'm doing this surgery for myself. After joining a gym in early October, and then never using the membership during the first month, I finally attended a local LapBand consultation in early November. At that point, I knew I had tried to do this on my own - I obviously "cannot" control my food intake alone, I obviously won't make time to work out even after paying for a monthly gym membership...this is what I need. I need something that will "force" me to pay attention to myself - or I'll be sure to suffer the long-term consequences the rest of my life. I went through the pre-op work throughout November - the endoscopy, the blood work, the ultrasound, etc. Early December took me to my local doctor for a cardiac clearance, treadmill stress test and his general approval of the surgery. I had hoped for all of the documentation to be finalized and submitted to my insurance company so that I could have the surgery done while I had some time off of work over the last two weeks...but, that wasn't to be.

So here I am. My surgery was finally scheduled this afternoon for next Thursday, January 7th. The next week will be tough - cold turkey on cigarettes, Diet Coke, food in general, etc...I'm sure I won't be nice :). My diet will consist of whey protein shakes for breakfast and dinner and a light lunch of chicken breast, broth and some vegetables. Normally? I wouldn't make this radical a change in my diet, cigarette and soda habits so rapidly, but knowing that the end result is a surgery next Thursday that requires this dedication of me, I'm ready to go! Although, if I post a bitchy blog in the next few days...you'll know why! I'm ready for this, ready to make a change in my life, and ready for all of the dietary and lifestyle changes that will come post-op. For now? It's time to buckle down and get myself ready for my life-altering surgery next Thursday.

Today's Weight: 338.2 pounds

3 comments:

  1. Sisser, I had no idea what led you to make this desicion as you are such a strong and powerful woman which I look up to in so many ways. However, when you told me the news, I didn't want to pry but had the feeling it was health related. As intelligent as you are, you know this is the right thing and am glad to see your stubborness not get in the way. And hey, you and Eyan are having surgery on the same day! I love you and am very proud. We will be here (from afar) every step if the way for you!!

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  2. So many ways, we are so alike (except for the singing). I always told myself that as successful as I was in my career and life, I could lose weight if I wanted to. But it just wasn't to be. I know now it was my hidden excuse for certain failures I never wanted to admit. For me it took serious medical issues to wake me up, God Bless you that you did not let that happen! I know you will succeed and I am with you every step of the way, whether it is for moral support or diet support, I am here for you!

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  3. Bestie? I'm so very much proud of you. And even more so? Hopeful. I believe in you whole-heartedly in every endeavor you undertake, and I know this one will be no different. When you need strength and support? I'm here for you, So, even Bitchy blog posting, nic-fitting, and junk-food withdrawals won't stop me from supporting you. I'm here for ya, kid :)

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