Sunday, February 1, 2009

Memories Run Deep

On the way to church today, I was suddenly struck with a rush of memories... and some words that another blogger said recently. The other Kim was talking the other day about the perception about overweight people that the general public has... you know the one... if they'd just stop eating and work out - then their problems will go away.

If only it was that simple...

You see, I was the kid trapped in a body that betrayed me all the time... I was the one in choir in junior high that had to worry about fitting into the uniform dress, and having the embarrassment of having to get a special dress ordered because I didn't fit into any at the school. I was the girl in high school that was on drill team, but instead of wearing the pep rally uniform on Fridays - I could only wear the t-shirt because they didn't make the shorts in a size that I could wear. I was the bridesmaid that had to have extra fabric ordered to be placed in the sides of my dress just to stand up for my sister's wedding. Do the critics of overweight people really think that those are positive experiences? Do they think that those problems don't make you retreat further into depression because it just seems hopeless?

Have those people ever been laughed at in public because of their size? Do they know what that feels like? Have they ever had a niece ask them if they were pregnant because their tummy was so big? Or how about another niece declare to them that they are fat - just because they learned what the word means? When food is the only thing that doesn't make you feel bad about yourself... it becomes your crutch and helps you get out and face the world... granted in whatever limited capacity you can manage to get away with.

I lived like that for a lot of years...

I guess part of my experience today was a moment of thanking God for where he has taken me over the last several months, and for the opportunity to speak through this blog for those that are still in that place. There is nothing more lonely and depressing than being stuck in a body that you can't escape. This isn't a plug for weight loss surgery by any stretch of the imagination... because it isn't for everyone.

I just pray that people out there struggling to lose weight, be it 10 pounds or 200 pounds, know that no matter what route you take... it's tough. It takes a lot of personal struggle, and inner strength... but it can be done. Maybe this is God speaking through me... to me... because I am still overwhelmed at times that I still have a long way to go to reach my goal.

I just would love the opportunity to speak to the people out there with those misguided opinions of what the obesity epidemic in this country is all about... do we need to get out there and move more as a nation - absolutely! Do we need to stand up to the manufacturers out there and say "enough is enough" - definitely! Is it time for everyone to start taking better care of themselves overall - you betcha!

BUT - there does come a point where eating less and moving more doesn't quite get you all the way to the ideal body... and even more than that - neither of those things get to the emotional issues behind the problem. Weight loss surgery doesn't either, but it does take away the crutch for a time and gives you the opportunity to try to get to the root of those problems.

I used to laugh when my doctor told me that having weight loss surgery was like murdering your best friend... it really was so true. It absolutely is, and I mourned for that friend for a while in the beginning... but the gift that I was given was the ability to live life without food being at the center of every thought. Now it's more about what I am willing to eat, and keeping my protein up... but I am perfectly happy carrying a protein bar with me while I'm out shopping with friends.

My life has changed so much over the last year... but honestly - those scars from being overweight don't just go away, and I still know what that feels like. I hope that I always do because then I will remember what my life used to be like... and hopefully that will give me the motivation to keep trying to make things the best that they can be with the tools that I have been given.

I know that food and things are going to be a weird subject when it comes to having children - because I want nothing more than to keep my kids active and from having to know the pain that comes with growing up overweight... but unfortunately our kids will have the genetic structure to be overweight. So they will need both of us making good choices about meals and activity level to do our best to combat those issues. We are certainly up to the task, and I pray that we can teach them to be good people that accept people of all sizes and love them regardless of their size.