Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This Body Knows the Trouble I've Seen

I've been overweight all of my life.  That may be an understatement, because truth be known, I've been fat all of my life.

I started life as a chubby baby and reached an all-time high of 280 lbs; this is me at my sister's wedding June 2000:

(Note: I am not the one in the wedding dress, the tux, or the gray haired lady on the left)

This is me about a year ago, at my current-ish weight of @ 160 lbs:

Despite that fact that my face is considerably older and more wrinkled, I am much happier with photo # 2, natch.

In Sep 2001, I had gastric bypass surgery.  Yes, while the world was watching the horrific events of Sep 11, I was doped up on Lortab on my couch getting pissed that the Food Network was off the air.  

Side note: I'm kinda happy I experienced all of that in a drug-induced daze the first time around, or I don't think I would have been able to process that emotion.  I still have a difficult time with it.

This is not to say that the gastric bypass was a phenomenal success, but that was of my own doing, or "not" doing as was the case.  See, my body has a miraculous ability to heal very quickly from any perceived trauma, which this surgery definitely was.  However, in this case, that ability worked against me in that I didn't experience a lot of the side effects of the surgery that would have been conducive to losing weight.  Which totally sucked at the time.

So, I gained all of the weight back through improper eating habits, and increased drinking habits.  This sucked.

In Jan 2010, I became deathly ill.  And when I say deathly, I mean, literally.  I had a bleeding ulcer that went unnoticed and untreated by me, and it landed me in the ICU for about two weeks.

This sucked as well.  However, it was at this point that my body and its miraculous healing abilities was appreciated by me, whereas before, it had not been.  My body not only saw me through that recovery, it actually made me healthier than I've ever been before.  And for that, I am grateful.

I lost the weight again, and am at a point now, where my weight is stabilized at @ 160, which may sound horrible to some of you but for a former fattie, it's incredible.  Especially being that I can wear "normal" sized clothes instead of shopping at specialty stores, and I can eat whatever I want.  You see, the original surgery I had almost 12 years ago did leave me with a permanently smaller stomach, and even though I managed to stretch it out over the ensuing years, ever since my illness, it has shrunken again, and now I can't physically eat as much as I used to, even though I try.  Oh yes, I fight it, and I do try.  Unfortunately.

This time around, at the age of 40, losing weight by any means is not my top priority any more.  Another thing that my illness has done for me is made me appreciate how much better it is to FEEL good as opposed to LOOK good.  I want to be healthy.  I want to wake up in the morning, not feeling sluggish and exhausted and hung over and dehydrated, but I want to feel a strength and a grace in my body that only comes with good nutrition and exercise.

So, here I am.  The good thing about doing this at 40 is that I have lost some of that narcissistic perfection that girls look for in their 20s.  My body will never be perfect. I will always have sagging skin, stretch marks, wrinkles, scars, gray hair, and a paunch.

But that doesn't mean that I can't be healthy, and that doesn't mean that I can't strive to look the best I can, and decrease these perceived imperfections as much as I can.  I can color my hair, and I can tone my body, and even lose some of this paunch.  Which is what my main focus is going to be.

As I written before, my life is in a holding pattern at the moment.  I am waiting to hear if I have a new job.  This has been an ongoing, stressful, frustrating, two month period of my life where I have eaten and smoked myself into oblivion.  Any day now, I am waiting for this to change.  I'm in the final stretch, and this is the most difficult part.

The reason I mention this is because with this new job comes new fundage, which, if put to the proper use, will change my life dramatically for the better.  Right now, I'm not in a financial position to eat the healthiest foods, or work out at the gym, or go to the doctor to get a physical, or spend one extra cent on anything that is not an immediate necessity, you know, like electricity, water, gas, internet (god damn right I said it: internet!)

The positive aspect of this is that unlike before, where the prospect of more $ meant "who hoo, let's go out and tie one on, celebrate, homie!", it now means "OMG, I can buy organic, whole grain, free range shit and join the Y!"

That part of getting old I don't mind.

For some reason, I keep trying to find a focus, a certain point of my blog, to tie it up into one neat, easily classified category.  Will it be a foodie blog, a lifestyle blog, a recovery blog, a humor blog?  

I guess in the end, it will be about all of those things, because basically, it is my online, public diary.  And I even titled the damn thing "All About Me" so fuck it, that's what it's going to be.

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