Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Easy Way Out?

How many of you out there have no addictions? Absolutely none whatsoever. If you don't have one single solitary addiction to claim, I am in complete awe of you and want to be like you when I grow up.

I have an addiction. It's called a food addiction. I love it. I want to eat when I am sad, happy, mad, unhappy, and any other emotion you can come up with to feel. I absolutely adore food, especially a sugar laden dessert. Oh my, how I love a good dessert with a cup of coffee. Heaven on Earth, my friends, is that for me.

I used to think that having weight loss surgery was the easy way out. I would smirk and know that diet and exercise were just as easy because I, myself, lost 107 lbs around the age of 25 to be an awesomely healthy woman.

I was such an ass.

For those of you who haven't discovered this widely known fact: The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight.

Especially when you're fighting food addiction, too.

(I am trying so hard here to write a good and decent post. I've already stopped twice and can't seem to gather my thoughts the way I want them to come across to you. I may just give up and write it real.)

I hit forty back in May. Good ol' forty. As much as I dreaded it, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it wasn't so bad. I didn't automatically feel old. I did feel unhealthy. Do you know what my daily prayer became each day? "Dear Lord, please let me live long enough to raise my children. Anything after that is gravy." I KNEW how bad my health was getting. I had just been put on cholesterol medication and my blood pressure was creeping its way up the scale.

How do you stop a train that's out of control?? That's how I felt with my weight. I couldn't even stand at the washing machine to do clothes without my back hurting so badly, I would feel crippled. I definitely couldn't stand at the sink and wash dishes without bending over in agony. Going to the mall? Out of the question. I wasn't going to be one of those obese people riding a scooter or sitting down every 50 feet. My pride would keep me plodding along when I would have to go shop at that torture chamber. How shameful is that, I ask you?

I would look in the mirror and my face was so distorted. It was puffy and the chins were reproducing at an alarming rate. I would talk to my reflection and ask it how in the heck did it get that bad?? My husband has always called me "Beautiful" and I truly believe he means it but I truly didn't feel like it when I would see myself looking back at me.

Everyone has a breaking point. Mine came when I finally realized what I was praying for each day. I was only forty. And all I was asking for was to live long enough to raise my children. Really?? REALLY???

I feel for any type of addict. Drug addicts. Alcoholics. I have alcoholics in my family. My Grandaddy was a recovered alcoholic. He drank until I was six and a heart attack had him making the choice: alcohol and death or his grandchildren. So blessed was my brother and me that he chose us. So blessed because that gave us almost 25 more years with him. I've watched the show Intervention many times and just ached for those suffering from the grips of addiction. Ached for the families that love the addicts.

I've been jealous of those drug addicts and alcoholics in a way. They can go to rehab and be weaned from their addictions. They are told to stay away from old haunts that have those addictions. Stay away from the old crowds so you're not pulled into that black hole again.

So what does a food addict do? Think about it. We can't avoid it. We have to have it to live. It's there in our faces. Every.Single.Day.Of.Our.Lives.  I have to deal with my addiction every single meal. If you think it's easy, then you're wrong.

I have had to scare myself silly to do this. If I don't eat right, I get to experience a dumping syndrome. (Yeah, click on those two words to see what I'm talking about.) I am scared to death of dumping and will avoid sweets like the plague. And I miss them. I miss pasta and its carb goodness. I miss rice and the comfort it brings this Southern girl. I think one day I can eat a tiny bit of that stuff again, but I don't anticipate it for another year. Dude. I can't have chocolate when I PMS. I get to enjoy (insert sarcasm) a sugar free chocolate pudding. Yay me. Even chewing gum is something I will never enjoy again. If gum is swallowed (and I'm guilty of doing that on occasion), then it can clog up the tiny hole between the pouch and the intestines. I just can't take the chance so no more gum for me.

I still go out with my friends to eat supper on the weekend. There are a few things I can eat like soup and chicken fingers (maybe a whole one!), some steamed veggies, or fish. Keep in mind that I can only have 1/4-1/2 cup of food. I've just worked up to the half cup and feel like I've gorged myself when I'm done. Oh, and I have to take 30 minutes to eat my meal. And I can't drink one sip of beverage during my meal and for 30 minutes afterwards.

I don't want you to feel sorry for me at all. No, Sir or Ma'am. I'm just giving you an idea of my personal food addiction rehab. It's not easy and it's not fun. I watch my friends eat burgers and I miss bread with every fiber of my being in that moment. I want to grab a piece and just stuff my mouth, consequences thrown out of the window.

If you still think weight loss surgery is an easy way out? Then you're an ass. It's a final effort to find a way to gain control over our minds and bodies. Sure, there are some people out there who go in with the wrong attitude and the thought that this will be an easy way for them to lose weight. Can you imagine the reality slap across the face they have after surgery?? I know the slap I got was life changing . I *knew* what was expected afterwards, but walking the walk is a totally different road. Many people who have the surgery replace their food addiction with drugs or alcohol. It's the nature or genetic makeup of the beast. I have always avoided drinking alot of alcohol because of my Grandaddy. I know I have potential because I love the taste of a good beer, glass of wine, or mixed drink.( I am totally guilty of tasting a friend's beverage!!) I may have had my share of fun in college, but those days are over and Miss Hope don't play with that fire. I also am scared to pieces with drugs. Remember now, I was the one who asked for the morphine pump to be taken off after surgery because I didn't like how it made me feel.

Makes me wonder exactly which addictive behavior is going to take over now that food isn't an option. I have to laugh because I would love obsession over cleaning house to really grab me. Yeah, not so much yet.

I promise you from the bottom of my heart that weight loss surgery isn't an easy way out. I hope this post would change your mind a little bit if you did think that way. If you know someone who has taken this road, please give them a boost if you can. An "Atta Boy" or "Atta Girl". A "You look amazing!". Maybe throw in "Wow, you are one incredibly strong person to committ to this new journey!".

Trust me, it'll make a world of difference in their lives. And Miss Hope will love you for it.


(Wild) Rice said...

Oh Miss Hope...I know the 'dumping' all to well. Different surgeries, and different enemies (mine's fat content), but same syndrome. It's a scary thing, and once experienced, something you want to avoid the rest of your life.

I still say kudos to you for making this choice, knowing all the possible outcomes. My surgery was an emergency and I had no choice. However, because of it, I'll have to avoid most fats in foods for the rest of my life.

I've said to other friends, and I'll say to you: Surgery is NOT the easy way out. Giving up and continuing on the other path is the easy way. You chose to make a difference in your life. Bravo Miss Hope.

Krys72599 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krys72599 said...

Here you go: "Atta Girl!" I'm so proud of you. There's no way, once anyone reads your post that they could consider this surgery an "easy way out."
Your post has opened my eyes. I never thought about the obstacles you're facing, many of which never crossed my mind. It was all, "Wow, what a great jumpstart to a healthier life and a slimmer Miss Hope!" I.WAS.SO.WRONG.
I knew you were going to eat substantially less. But 1/4-1/2 cup of food? And no liquids?
THAT really shocked me. And you have to take 30 minutes to eat all that?
Honey, I swallow that in one bite!
Not that this is going to make you feel better or anything, but you, my friend, are now my official inspiration.
I've put back on 20 of the 25 lbs I lost and am starting to feel it, too. And I've been saying I just don't have the willpower/inspiration/gumption to do it like I did it before.
Now I do. Now I will appreciate every bite and realize I can live on less, I don't need to clean my plate, and 3 healthy meals a day, along with a healthy snack or two? MORE than enough for me.
And YOU helped me get there!
Sending prayers for success and peace your way!!!

Sheila Richardson said...

Hope I have said this to many people and if I could have lost it without the surgery I sure would have. I had no choice with my sugar being so high and uncontrollable. I am now at 9 months and 130 lbs. I too have experienced this dumping and it's no picnic and I have experienced this a lot when my sugar would drop before surgery. I am going through a bad time right now where I can't eat much without it making me nauseous. I get this way from time to time and my doctor told me many months back this would get better with time and if not I would be in the 1% that had a very sensitive stomach and may not ever get over this. Somedays I would rather not even smell any food much less eat it, but I too feel much better. Send me your hand me downs. The pants I got for Christmas is already too big in the waist but i have a belt which needs a new hole in it. Love you and keep up the good work.