Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The naked truth

Morbidly obese? When the hell did that happen?

I have been overweight my ENTIRE life. Seriously. I can remember going to the pediatrician when I was around 8 years old and listening to the doctor tell my father that I was overweight. "Control her eating" he said "help her make better choices" was his advice. Thanks a lot doc. To my dad better choices meant adding ketchup to your fried kielbasa and waiting until 9 for cookies. He was not the right person to tell this to. No one "controlled" my eating, no one helped me make better choices. I was alone. I remember being very sad about what the doctor had said. Food was my friend, how could I give that up? I didn't, and here I sit today at my heaviest weight of 306 pounds.

There have been ups and downs on the scale front. I've dieted a LOT. In fact most of my life has revolved around diets. I've exercised too, even if it's not my favorite thing. I've been successful and lost 30-40 pounds at a time! I plateau, I get discouraged, a gain a little back and before I know it I've gained it all back and then some....and then some more.

I have now come to a point in my life where I am ready. Ready to make some big decisions, ready to change, and ready to live my life. Big decision number 1: I am going to have weight loss surgery, lap band to be specific. Now I know some of you out there are against this for many reasons and believe me, I think I have heard them all. Here's the thing.....I've tried, for over 22 years, and I've failed. I need help. It is not easy for me to ask for help and so I ask; if you cannot be supportive of this decision that I have made please be gentle in the words you use. This is not a decision I made one morning after watching the numbers pop up on the scale, nor one I made in the middle of the night while eating a twinkie. This decision has taken years. Years of researching, soul searching, doctor visits, and giving it my all to do this on my own.

I am happy to say that I was accepted into a terrific bariatric surgery program! I went to an informational session, got a referral from my primary care physician and am on the road to weight loss surgery. I have read all the literature, filled out the paperwork and am preparing for my first appointment on December 30th. On that day I will meet with a social worker. This person will make sure that this is something I can handle mentally and emotionally. They will also make sure that this is a lifestyle change that I am really ready to make. The next appointment I have will be with the center's nutritionist. She will teach me all about the new diet I will have to follow post-op and ensure that I am well educated in all things food so that I can be successful. Finally I will have a consultation with the surgeon and set the date for my surgery. This whole process will take months and in the meantime I am required to lose 10% of my weight on my own to prove my dedication to the program.

So there it is, big decision #1. I've already made big decision #2, you are reading it. This is a hard thing to share with the world. Being overweight you learn to hide so coming here to share all of this is huge. Almost as huge as I am right now (OK, that's fat girl humor.....).

11 comments:

  1. Good for you Colleen! I'm excited (and a little scared) for you! It's weird because I've never met you in person but the you I know from online is so energetic and full of life I can't imagine you being bogged down by the extra weight. Life is short, do what you got to do to be happy :)

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  2. Thanks Chrissy! It is scary! I am a very active person but there are definitely things that I choose not to do and am missing out on because of the weight.

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  3. Very proud of you for taking this step and will be thinking of you and wishing you the most success. Please keep me posted!!! I think that the emotional changes will probably be even more intense than the physical in the end, so make sure you have a great connection with a therapist/social worker.

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  4. Thank you Ange! I couldn't agree more about the emotiional changes. I will definitely seek help if I need it!

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  5. I am so proud of you Colleen,this is a big step, but what was even bigger is that fact that you came out and admited you need help, that in itself is half the battle won, so they say, and from how much I do know about you, i am sure that this is the right thing for you and you will successed in this. We are all here for you and I offer all my support and encourement to you, and I am only ever a email away if you need. I will be following you through this and hope I can be there every step of the way.

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  6. I am proud of you too! As someone who has strugled with her weight her whole life I know how difficult it is! I will be here to support you! If you need anything let me know! Keep us posted - I will be checking in on this blog frequently!!

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  7. Thank you Amanda and Kristen! I appreciate all the support everyone!

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  8. Wow - you must have an incredibly cool PCP with whom you feel comfortable sharing all of this. I am super impressed and I hope I can use this blog and your experiences so I can help many others who share your struggles. Taking a proactice approach to one's health is not something that is learned - it comes from your soul when you've realized enough is enough and figure out it's either now or never. You're a rock star!

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  9. You know Allison I do have a pretty cool PCP! She's very supportive and helpful :) Thanks for the great comment. Share this with whomever...would love for it to help other people.

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  10. Hey, Colleen, I had no idea! I'm excited for you. Let us know if we can do anything to help. NOT ordering Portland Pie the next time we're up there would probably be a good start.

    We're on Weight Watchers ourselves, so we're also watching what we eat.

    Hope to see you soon.

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