I have been thinking about posting this blog all week.
Last weekend we celebrated our country's independence.
I love to celebrate our country's freedom and independence.
The year was 1980 when the realization came to me . Just what our freedom and independence meant to others who weren't privileged to live and enjoy the United Stated of America.
I had just moved to Miami Beach, Fl. It was early morning , still dark on the beach and I was running with my dog.
I heard some voices in the still of the early morning. My Spanish was rusty, but I could pick out some words. As I peered into the sea, I saw a large raft ,being pushed ashore by some 10 or more men. As it came ashore I could see the women, children, even a small baby being held in a women arms.
There was about 30 people on this home made raft. I later took one of the home crafted paddles that the men used to propel the raft through the straights from Cuba.
This is not some day trip on a nice boat. There were no bathrooms, no protection from the sun or rain.. No motor . Only man power.
They did have a make shift sail that I believe they used. But that 90 miles of open water from Cuba to Miami is treacherous. They has been many of storms and lives lost.
When you think of these families taking all they had, risking their lives to have freedom and a chance to live in a free society, it makes you appreciate our country all the more.
I often wonder would I have the courage to risk all that they did to live here in America.
Thank God I never had too. I was lucky I was born here. I didn't have to struggle and fight for freedom and independence. Of course our heroic heroes from our armed forces do that for us.
Besides celebrating the glorious 2011 Fourth of July I had 113 reasons to celebrate more this year than last year.. And for this freedom and independence I did have to struggle and fight.
I am talking about the battle of obesity. Since last Fourth of July, 2010., when I weighed 265 , I have shed 113 pounds. That was a struggle. It took fortitude and determination. There was times of anguish, tears, and even doubt. But I prevailed and here I am today at 152 pounds.. I checked my energy level back then it was a 3. I am always at a 5 now days.
Last year I had already been on my weight loss journey for over 6 months and had lost 68 lbs. from a start of 333 lbs. But lets face it , 265 is still obese .
I was still suffering joint pain. Had to use walkers or electric carts. Couldn't sit in just any Chair. Couldn't get down on the ground, and get back up. Still too big to ride on amusement rides with someone next to me. Even if they could fasten the bar. My waist was 52 inches. Compared to 33 now. I was always hot and worried about sweating. Didn't want people to think the fat lady smelled. And I usually didn't want to ware too revealing clothes. Just too much fat to hang out. Big stomach. Big arms, Big thighs and legs.
So strap tops and shorts were out of the picture. And forget about wearing a swim suit. I would rather face a mommy grizzly bear than subject myself to the looks that I would get from people. I was always self conscious of what other people though of me.
And when it came to eating out around others, I didn't. I would just nibble. I didn't want people to think I ate very much. Of course my size gave me away. How did I get so fat unless I ate too much food? But still I would hardly eat at picnics or barbecue's.
I would usually be asked if I wanted to take some home for the next day. Of course I would say yes. But the next day was as soon as I got home. I would be starving and scarf down all the food . My daughter knew I would devour the food as soon as I got home. She would roll her eyes if she heard me say, "Oh this will make a nice lunch tomorrow".
Just in case I didn't have any food to take home, I started fixing my own ribs, potato salad , mac and cheese.
But since I lived alone, I had all that food to eat. But I could do a good job of putting it away.
Food never went to waste in my house during my obese years.
But now that has all changed.
This year on the Fourth of July I lived my life as a normal sized women. The women I had been before my morbidly obese years took over my life.
I enjoyed riding in rides at the amusement park. Sitting next to my BF.
We stopped at food stalls and ordered food. I never though about how I looked to other people seeing me eat. I never felt the guilt, that I used to feel, when eating concession
foods. I knew I was in control, I would only eat what was a normal amount. And stop when full. I would not stuff myself and feel like crashing afterwards.
I had no fear of sitting in any seat, even a camp chair. Not worried the chair would sink down into the ground and need two guys to pull it out. That happened to me once.
I also could now sit on the ground. I can sit and get up without help.
I could walk all over and not get winded or tired. I wasn't always looking for a seat to sit down. i didn't have to run to the loo every hour or so either. And didn't have to worry about any accidents, if I couldn't get to a porta potty soon enough. Or ware any of those bulky pads.
When you are morbidly obese, the fat presses against many parts of the body and causes problems.
I hung out with my BF, and some friends. We laughed, talked, ate, drank, rode rides, ate some more. Walked all over and had a great time. The whole 3 day weekend was packed with the same kind of fun. And through it all I thanked God each and every day for the opportunity he has given me. For without his love and my faith, the love of family and a wonderful doctor I would not have achieved the results I have.
That brings me to a blog I read yesterday where a Spark member writes about things she misses when she was the "fat girl."
Very though provoking blog.
She lists thing she misses about bing fat.
She lists things she DOES NOT miss about bing fat.
Then she sums it up as losing weight doesn't really change you.
. You are still the same person. Just less of you. It doesn't make you better or less of a person. And losing weight doesn't make you happy or cause you to all of a sudden be this fantastic women.
I quote, " Who I am now is who I was before and who I was then, is who I am now." un quote.
In other words heavy or thin we are the same person.
So that got me to thinking about how much of that person is the same . How much do we change when we lose an enormous amount of weight..
Maybe because I was not always obese, my situation is different. I don't know.
When I was a normal sized women, I was happy, vivacious, energetic , full of life and had a bubbling personality.
When I became obese, through no ones fault but my own . The Tisha that I knew, that others knew, slowly ceased to exist. I changed in looks, mentality and most of all ,my personality.
I sometimes looked at myself in the mirror and , wondered who I was. Where was the Tisha I used to know.
I was so unhappy with myself. of course that caused me to eat even more.
I was so sad , pathetic and wallowing in self pity. I with drew more and more, in to what I can only call obesity hell.
I was in pain. Not a day went by that I didn't feel pain and feel sorry for the person I had become. The life I was living was not really living.
People didn't want to be around me. I was not someone who was good company.
I was not one of those happy fat people. Always making jokes, laughing on the outside and crying on the inside.
Do I ever miss any of my fat, obese days. NO NO NO!!! A Hundred times NO.!!
I don't miss eating till I'm full and can only nap afterwards.
I don't I miss using walkers or wheelchairs , to get around .
I don't miss those awful 3X, 4X clothes that I have to pay extra for.
I love trying on clothes and seeing how lean and streamlined my body has become.
I don't miss laying on the couch or in the bed watching mindless TV shows all day and night.
I don't miss huffing and puffing around the house. Afraid I couldn't breath in enough air.
I don't miss having to sit in sturdy chairs all the time.
I don't miss having to sit for any chore I did, My back and knees hut too much to stand.
I don't miss the machine I had to use at night when I would go to bed. I would stop breathing in my sleep. The machine provided me with air and kept me breathing..
I don't miss eating all I can at the buffets.
I don't miss stopping for ex large pizza's and eating half that night, more during the night and finishing it off for breakfast.
I don't miss using a step stool to get into some cars.
I don't miss being confined to the house. Going out was too much effort.
I don't miss trying to get bathed and dressed as a obese women.
Ever try to hook up a bra, when you can't reach behind your back?
Don't miss the ugly slip on shoes . Couldn't tie or buckled any other kind.
I could go on, but you get the idea. I don't miss anything about being obese.
As for being a different women.
Yes I am. I am not the same women as I was
It's just not my observation . My family and closest friends say it to me all the time.
I changed in appearance. Having lost to date 181 pounds But I also changed in my mind. My thoughts and feeling are different than before. \My personality is back to what it used to be. Maybe even more out going than before. I have so much to be thankful for. And I can't regain the lost years, but I can live the ones I have now to the fullest.
I have gained a new insight to how fat people feel and how the world looks at them. I have experienced it first hand.
I talked to my therapist about what makes people feel differently when they lose weight.
Some take longer to adjust than others.
She said usually its, being fat your whole life and not knowing anything else. It takes some adjustment and time to accept your new self.
And sometimes people think if they just lose weight they will be attractive, sexy , meet a man, get married and everything will be perfect.
Losing weight could make you more attractive and sexy, but the rest is not guaranteed.
The reason a person should want to lose weigh is for her well being, To be healthy.
The reason you exercise is to have a more fit body. To ward off medical problems .
All the other things that might happen when you lose weight , are just added bonuses.
I lost weight and meet a nice man. I never planned that or thought about it during my weight loss . It just happened. But if I hadn't been losing weight and getting out again among friends, starting to live again, it wouldn't have happened.
We all have ways of doing thing.
We all have opinions on many things.
We all want to live our life as happy as we can/
That's what I am trying to do.
My way, my beliefs are not everyone. But that's OK. I don't expect to have anyone conform to my way.
Life is about diversity.
Thought for today:" Other people's choices don't have to suit me: I can live only one life at a time."
Peace and Love,