I'll be 4 months out from surgery on Friday, 12/4. It's been kind of a crazy, wild month!
More then ever this month I've struggled with the loss of food as my source of comfort. No matter what was happening in my life- home or work or life stress- food was something that soothed me and helped me cope. Without it, I've felt pretty lost. I am learning, slowly, to look for other things that I find comforting. Sometimes it's as simple as a cup of warm tea, sometimes it's a little shopping therapy for myself, sometimes it's asking for a hug or to be reassured by someone I trust. What I am learning is that I really can find a way to live without food controlling me. I haven't felt that was possible since I was old enough to feed myself food.
I have been addicted to using food since childhood. It was my boon companion, my best friend, my faithful crutch. With my less than normal childhood, moving in the middle of the night, horrible home life: food was always there. (I had no siblings, so in a way, food was my sibling, too.) This was so ingrained that nothing could come between me and food. And when I tried- and I tried dieting for 45 years - it was a fight, a struggle against deprivation and feelings of sadness. I'd hold on for awhile- and then it would all fall apart when I finally couldn't hold on any more. I no longer blame myself for this- or believe it made me a weak or bad person. I was never a weak person- or a bad one. I just had learned very early on to use a tool that was- in reality- killing me.
Letting that go has been painful, hardest thing I've ever done in my life. But the best part of this is that I'm not feeling bereft, or deprived. I hold tight to some new tools I've picked up along the last few months- my weight loss surgery support groups (both on SP and elsewhere), my medical team, the new pouch I have been fighting all along. I'm learning to use them in healthier ways, and to appreciate that this isn't easy.
Thanksgiving was small but happy. It cannot be and is not about food any longer for me. And will never be. It's not a sad thing, at least it doesn't' feel sad. Part of what makes this easier is my 'favorite' parts were always the stuffing and gravy and I had to quit both when I became gluten free years ago. This year I couldn't eat the turkey but, I will next. So this year I got dressed up (photo at top), had 1 deviled egg on a tiny plate in front of me, and enjoyed the company. And it was really okay.
Life has been stressful this month: learning to live without what I thought would be my bff (food), trying to move from one big house into a little house, downsizing, having some health issues, and yesterday, having to send a beloved pet to the rainbow bridge. I've cried a lot of tears, if I feel them I just let them come. But I'm also holding strong- as much as I can. Even when I feel like giving in or up, I let myself feel that for now and then pick back up and square my shoulders for another day. Life- and those who we love- are all that is worth fighting for. And I want to choose how I live my life from this day forward- not crippled by painful joints or bones worn down by weight, not tied to needles and pills to keep my organs working. I want to live my life free of all that 'weight', standing tall.
Official weigh in for 4 months will be Friday. The numbers don't matter as much to me either. But for those who would like to know: I've got from a 5x top to a 2x or 1x, I've gone from 3x-4x pants to a Large. No x in front of it! For the first time in 30+ years. And even that- doesn't matter- as much as just feeling like I might have a shot of LIVING, when for the whole last year I felt like I was slowly dying- slowly killing myself. That is worth more than a scale or a size.