Life, As Told By Sara (Chapter 8)

May 6th, 2018

I’m not sure where to start, other than the “I’m about to lose my job updates” and “stories about pets”…..actually, I’ll start where it’ll be most honest. I’ll start with my health.

It’s shit.

That’s a large part of why I am uncomfortable talking about what goes on in my life when I don’t look at the root cause of what limits me. I am morbidly obese and have yet to honestly do something about it.

 

Us Feb 11 2017
Roland & I near Gordan’s Bay in Cape Town on February 11th, 2017

 

 

June 28 2008
June 28th, 2008. I had started to go to the gym when I lived here. I loved it, but it was too short-lived. 

At some stage in my last relationship (over 10 years ago), I actually joined a gym. Even went. Even discovered that I love to run. I was overweight then but it didn’t scare me off. They were incredibly body-positive about it and I enjoyed going. There was also the motivation that I was in a very abusive relationship and needed to find something that helped me feel like I regained control. But…..as time wore on my very abusive relationship ended up being the obstacle that kept me from going. Eventually, I stopped.

 

 

Sept 12 2009
September 12th, 2009

 

I think that’s the last time I can say I took a real honest attempt at recovering my health. I was unhappy then. But 9 years later, I’m still fat and unhappy. Just more so.

(This might be one of those posts where I dig deep. If that makes you uncomfortable, it’d be good to stop here. Otherwise, keep on….)

I’m not even sure what I weigh, but I know I’m on the way back down again. I had reached a point where a size 28 was very snug, and I’m now getting back to being comfortable (meaning, not tight) in a 26. I have to take a step back and realize that it’s STILL PROGRESS and not look at the fact that I am still morbidly obese. It’s stepping in the right direction. I don’t need to feel like a failure when I can physically see where there are improvements. I don’t need to know how much I weigh. That number no longer matters. I stopped checking after I hit over 330. That’s a ballpark of where I may have been. I couldn’t zip up my wedding dress, which was a 26 (and I loved that dress, so I was quietly devastated when I had to make sure to keep a cape over it to hide it).

I’ve started cutting back drastically on the absurd amount of carbohydrates and sugar I was consuming in my stress-induced suicide-by-food. We used to consume pasta a handful of times a week. I’ve stopped using it when I cook. I’ve worked on my water intake. I enjoy dancing wildly by myself when I’m home alone. I’m trying to keep a forward momentum, regardless of how shitty it can be sometimes. I’m trying not to worry what other people think about my progress or missteps.

 

Wedding
Roland & I at our wedding reception on August 5th, 2017. I was in the middle of dedicating the first dance to my parents ♥ 

 

I’m both very aware of my body right now but also accepting of it. I’m aware of the consequences of my negligence and I’m okay with needing to fix it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not being fussy about aesthetics here. My life….my ability to live is being impaired here and I hate that. I physically cannot live life in the way that I want to. I’ve had to avoid theme parks in case I’d embarrass myself by trying to get on a ride again, just to have my weight cause me to be a safety risk and told to leave the ride in front of everyone. I have to ask for seatbelt extenders when I go on a plane. Sometimes I’m afraid that the extenders won’t work and I’ll be denied a flight. I know it’s not that extreme, but if I didn’t dig in and be honest with myself about it, I was going to end up there.

It honestly breaks my heart to even talk about it. But…..I know that I am going somewhere.

The frustrating part is that I know I can do it. There was a point where I dropped over 80 pounds without even trying just by small changes that started on their own. I walked the 2 miles each way to and from work because it didn’t make sense to take two buses to get there. I made it a challenge to beat the time the bus would have had me getting to work by. Most times, even in snow, I won.

And, somehow, that cycle came back around and I fucked it up. I’m still affected by the decision to lose a grip in my early 20’s. I just turned 37. And this time, I let people’s opinions about my body alter my life in a way that was pretty fucking horrible. I can’t even remember the last time I was in a size 20. It was around 2006. And then, in the next year, I ended up in the relationship that changed everything.

I have these moments where I’m really motivated to make a change. Then that negative voice in my head tells me it’s not worth it as I reach for my phone to order McDonald’s. I hate how gross that tendency makes me feel, but I’ve long associated bad food choices with trying to feel better about myself….or maybe saying I don’t feel like I’m worth it at all. I think it varies time to time.

So here I am, going in the right direction, and I want to make a change. Then that fear starts coming back in and I start telling myself that I’m not worth it without actually saying it. I decided to sit down and write instead.

I tell my husband all the time that I want to make changes. He takes me to get all the tools I need, and I still find a way to ruin my own efforts. Mind you, I’m not just being excessively hard on myself for no reason. I know I’ve been slacking. I’m certainly not shaming myself. No one else is responsible for making sure I make the right choices.

 

March 24th 2018
March 24th, 2018

I have to recognize the weakness where I can, right? Being honest about it is half the battle. I can’t blame anyone but myself for that. I can recognize triggers, but in the end, it’s my choice what to do with them.

 

It’s easy to just talk about the easy things. The robbery, Bear’s amputated leg, having to euthanize Obelix….all in a span of two weeks……rocked me less than this. This was the hardest thing I’ve had to do for a while because I’m here at a crossroads….except normally I wouldn’t talk about it. Normally I’d just suffer alone.

The journey I need to go on so I can make more of this life won’t be easy. I spend a lot of time fighting back tears thinking about it. But if I’m not too hard on myself for where I’m at, maybe I can start heading more into where I’m going. I want to be able to spend the rest of my time on this spinning rock creating my best years. It’s time to start living. I would love to be able to do things without having to stop and worry if my physical state is going to be a hassle. If a friend wants to take an impromptu trip to another country, I don’t want to stall because I don’t want to be seen in public in my current condition. I want to have no limitations because I weigh too much. I don’t care what number that is.

I’m not looking for advice or praise here. But this helps me focus on what I need to do. Sometimes forcing yourself to “say it out loud” makes it less of a mystery and more of a direction. Sometimes it makes it real.

I’m sure this is going to suck. But I will thank myself for it later. I do deserve it. All I have to do is keep moving forward.

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