Today is World Tell A Story Day! In honor of the occasion, I am going to share something about my own story.
In the coming months, I hope to undergo a long-awaited transformation. The end is a healthy me. The means is weight loss surgery. Here is what led to this difficult decision.
Me As a Child
Shiny. Digital. Bright red numbers. Just what I asked for. I will be able to weigh myself all the time. I may have been the only eight-year-old in the world to ask for a scale for Christmas.
I learned from a young age that being thin was the way to be. Many of the key figures in my life were on perpetual plans to lose weight. Many still are on this roller coaster. My genes and jeans did not mix well. I got clothes in the Pretty Plus section, as it was called. I guess the name could’ve been worse. The boys got Husky. I always thought that sounded horrible. Husky. Pretty Plus. Same idea. Fat.
As a Teen
“Hey Amy, I am going to bring over some ding dongs and Ex-lax”, said my good friend, also named Amy. She suggested we stuff ourselves with cake and then get rid of it, to put it mildly. Thankfully, I only did that once. However, I was no stranger to binging and purging. I got too familiar with what went down and came up easily. My toothbrush was literally a double-edged sword. Brush for my teeth, handle for my throat. I counted all calories, right down to sugar-free gum. I lost a lot of weight the summer before my sophomore year. I remember everyone telling me how fabulous I looked. What I recall more was trying on pants and not even a size 1 was small enough for me. Staying that size was short-lived. What goes down, must go up. That was a recurring theme for me. This time, it was the scale. It was no longer an exciting toy like when I was a kid. It was a reminder of what I was and what I would never be. Skinny.
Marriage and Pregnancy
The test was positive. All the tests were positive. We dropped $50 in home pregnancy tests and took three different trips to the store. Three months into our marriage, we were going to welcome a little one. I remember my first meal to celebrate this occasion. Double Filet-O-Fish sandwich and fries. It was like I could finally eat. 29 and still fighting the same battles, I had worked so hard to get in shape for our honeymoon in Mexico. Now, that honeymoon was definitely over. Life was going to change in a wonderful, yet scary way. I was working full-time and stressed beyond measure. I would wrap myself in the comfort of a burrito blanket or plate of pasta. My then husband tried his best to make me smile. What we didn’t know was my hidden mental illness was starting to reveal itself even more. This would complicate life even more.
I gained 60 pounds with son number one, thirty with son number two and thirty with our daughter at age 38. I also got gestational diabetes with my second and third pregnancies I managed it with my diet the first time and insulin the next. I was prediabetic until I was not. In 2021, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Even then, I downplayed it.. My A1C isn’t THAT high. That’s like someone saying, I just have a mild case of cancer. It is what it is. However, what I know is this. It will not kill me.
Where I am Now
I have beat myself up long enough and am tired. With addiction, you must admit you are powerless to the source of your addiction. I am. I am not weak. I am not a quitter. I am someone who needs a new tool in my belt. I know it will be difficult to manage life post-surgery, and I am gearing up for that challenge. I will make it work. I must. I want to be here for my kids, for myself. I will do what I can to make that happen. It’s time for a new me to embrace all of me. The fit, the fat and the ugly. I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks for cheering me on!