Happy Friday! I am working all day and then headed straight to Chillicothe, IL for the Summercamp Festival . Here is one of many piles we packed:
Hopefully we’ll have some fun in the sun watching some great live music! I’ll update when I get home on Sunday.
Until then, I have a guest post from a blogger that I find really inspiring. I’ll let Jasmine tell you her own story but I admire her brutal honesty, intelligent words, and most of all, her undying push for a healthy lifestyle. She blogs at Eat, Move, Write and is one of the smartest writers in the blogosphere. And with that, I’ll leave you with Jasmine! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Wellness doesn't come naturally to me.
There, I said it.
I am a healthy living blogger who wasn't born eating rolled oats and spinach milk shakes. I don't necessarily relish the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn to work out. If I'm completely honest with you, I would probably be quite happy eating off of drive-thru menus and Chinese buffets for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, seeing as how one of the greatest struggles in my life is moderation, that life I'm referring to would probably be pretty short, seeing as how I'd likely eat myself to death.
You think I'm kidding?
Not so much.
In 2005, I weighed 343 pounds. At a whopping 5-foot-2 inches, that put me 200+ pounds overweight. The entirety of my life up to that point had been spent dieting, failing, and dieting again. In fact, I was on a diet starting in early elementary school. By the time I was eight years old, I was well-educated in the diet foods of the time: Healthy Choice frozen meals, rice cakes, and fat-free snack cakes that (not surprisingly) only served to make me hungrier and, yes, fatter.
Ah, the 80s.
Fast-forward now to the early 2000’s and you find an intensely obese woman unable to take a flight of stairs to save her life. It's a sad and extreme case of cause and effect.
It was at this time that my doctor first brought up the words "bariatric surgery." My first reaction was Nope. No way. No how. I'm not going to do that "easy way out" surgery.
What is that quote about pride coming before the fall?
It took me a long time to finally decide to have the surgery and even longer for insurance to approve me. Ultimately, I underwent gastric bypass surgery in May of 2005, exactly six years ago this month.
As to be expected, it was nothing like what I expected. It was the hardest thing I'd ever done. I have never worked so hard. I have never tried so hard. I have never fallen so many times and picked myself back up again.
But, it is precisely because of that last bit that I am able to say that I am a success story. For nearly two years after the surgery, I worked out nearly three hours every day and counted calories like a crazy woman. It wasn't the healthiest way to be, but of course, it helped me remove the weight.
Maintenance was a whole new story. And, that, truthfully, is where the real success began. My success has come in my struggles. I have often told people that surgery is no more an easy fix than a hammer is for putting a nail in the wall. Oh, and if you ever find a hammer that will put the nail in the wall for you, please let me know, because this analogy will no longer make sense. ;)
How funny it is for me now to look back and realize that my greatest successes in this journey came not through the weight loss, but through the emotional and physical struggle of keeping that weight off. It is the fact that I keep trying that I have come to use as a measurement for my success.
I have learned so many lessons about myself through this journey toward wellness. I have learned that I use food to comfort, to celebrate, to numb the hurts. I have learned that being awake in my life is hard and it makes me uncomfortable and it makes me want to eat. I have learned that just because I want to do something doesn't mean I should do it, and likewise, just because I don't want to do something doesn't mean I shouldn't.
I have learned that I know almost nothing about life, and that realizing that is one of the first steps toward living it well.
I've learned a lot, but one of the most important things I've come to know is that wellness was never about losing the weight. Weight loss required only that I altered what I did for a short period of time. However, to keep weight off, I had to change. I had to become different. I had to make different choices, better choices, smarter choices. I had to try.
And, maybe, that's the most important lesson of all. Keep trying.