I struggled for a long, long time about whether I should blog this or not, but after taking a vote of the voices in my head, the ayes have it with 51%. So here we go.
Anyone who knows me knows that one of my biggest flaws is my weight (no pun intended) and my inability to sustain any kind of weight loss. Oh, I can lose it. But I immediately find it again, along with another 10 or 15 of its closest friends, and this has gone on for decades. There is so much shame and embarrassment wrapped up in all this that it's difficult to even talk about it without having a complete breakdown. I will cry the entire time I type this, and I just accept that it's going to happen whether I want to cry or not. It just is what it is.
I think what I admire most about John is his strong-minded determination. No, I did not just completely derail into another subject as I am oh-so-prone to do. Just stick with me for a moment and I'll explain. I always thought I was stubborn and strong-willed, but I am, in fact, pathetically, neither of those. And therein lies the rub: Losing weight and keeping it off requires a strong mind, I believe, more than any other single thing. You know, the old "if you believe it, you can achieve it" type of thing. I've never much believed in myself about anything (except possibly flute and, more recently, vocal talents) and I believe that's why I've yet to be successful at maintaining a reasonable weight. I am also something of the ostrich variety, i.e. sticking my head in the sand and ignoring it if I cannot find a way to cope with it. It's why I cannot watch the news at all without going into a tailspin that leads, eventually, to suicidal thoughts. I am really that crazy. You should all give John a big hug when next you see him. :)
ANYWAY!! Earlier this year, John finally (FINALLY) agreed to consider weight-loss surgery as an option after years of freaking out if I even uttered the word "gastric" in his presence. Honestly, I think God only made one man who couldn't care less if his wife weighs 732 pounds and still loves her. I don't know how I landed him, but I guess that was waaaayyy back when I was actually 150 pounds and somewhat attractive. Apparently love really is blind because that Kathy got lost years and years ago and I'm still trying to find her. John still sees her when he looks at me and it is beyond humbling. But I digress (yes, I see you all rolling your eyes and going "as usual" and/or "get to the point!"). Weight-loss surgery (WLS for those of us who like to pretend we are medical professionals and also believe it sounds more justifiable that way) is not something I would ever consider without complete support from my family, and I am fortunate to have just such a family (okay, husband, but the kids are okay with it, too, as long as Spencer knows I will still fill the house with some kind of food he can eat). So I started seriously looking into WLS a few months ago and I've had to jump through all kinds of hoops (if only!) to get approved by insurance, which I have. Along the way, I discovered I have severe sleep apnea and stop breathing about 86 times per hour, every night. I am lucky, though, that I do not seem to have any other health issues (besides being a whale, of course) and every doctor I've seen during this journey to insurance approval (approximately 334 by my count to date) has been amazed that I don't have hypertension, diabetes, other cardiopulmonary problems, etc. Nope, I'm just fat. But I know those other problems are going to arrive in the not-too-distant future if I don't find a way to get this weight off and so I am going under the knife on Monday for laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery.
I am not proud of this and I didn't really want to tell anyone about it because it's humiliating enough to be morbidly obese without admitting that I cannot take this weight off the old-fashioned way. I feel like I am cheating, and that bothers me. A lot.
I'm nervous. I'm a little worried. I'm a little scared. I'm a lot of things, but I am mostly hoping and praying to find the original Kathy at the end of this road. In support of that, I am asking for prayers for my family and for me as we all go through this together. I am praying that God will help me believe in myself enough to be successful on this journey. I am also praying that I can become one of those strong-minded people who do what they set out to do, no matter how hard it is or how much work it takes. I want to like myself. And yes, I know a person should always love themselves beyond their physical being, but I never have, not ever. I do know that my happiness is not really based on what I look like, that my problems go much, much deeper than my physical appearance. But I am hoping that if I can accomplish this physical thing, maybe it will help me accomplish my spiritual goals, too. I want to like myself. Really, I do. I want to go out again and enjoy life, party with friends, have a good time...do all those things I did with ease so long ago. I don't want to be the embarrassment of our family and too ashamed to be in any family pictures. I want to be "bubbly" again (the appellation everyone else seemed to think fit me eons and eons ago) and I want, most of all, to be deserving of the husband God gave me. He deserves so much more than what I've let myself become, and maybe, just maybe, so do I.
So if you've made it all the way to here, congratulations for surviving the workings of my mind. It's a tricky business and I've yet to figure it out myself. And thank you. But more than anything, please pray for me and for my family. This will probably be the hardest thing I've ever tried to do (besides birthing Spencer, who came with no warning and so, of course, no ability to have any anesthetic AT ALL) and I would really, really appreciate prayers from friends. Good vibes wouldn't go amiss, either. :)
And did I mention that Spencer weighed over 9 pounds at birth?? Thank God he was well worth it.