Friday, September 05, 2008

The Diary of a Fat Woman

...another entry.

If I was an alcoholic, I’d say I’ve fallen off the wagon. But I’m not addicted to alcohol, I’m addicted to food. So, I don’t know what to call this place I’ve found myself. Something happened. I’m not sure when it happened. Like most things, it came on gradually and quietly. About the time I’d hit the 100lb. mark is when it started, I guess. I went out for a walk tonight and it all really hit me. This was the first walk in months.

Here’s the journey. 300 pounds was my rock bottom which I hit around the fall of ’06. Gastric bypass is a fat person’s trip to rehab in the desert to dry out and learn how to live again before they rejoin society. Unfortunately, during the rehab process you know that even though this truly is the best option for you and things are going perfectly, it might not last forever. There will be a day when you stop fighting for it, when it doesn’t seem worth it anymore. One strike against me was that I had the surgery in a city where I didn’t live, which meant that visits of accountability with my doctor required a trip to Lubbock. I didn’t have the weekly support groups he offered. Once I went back to school I felt very far from help. This meant that I was on my own. Certainly I could have found an avenue of support where I was and I really intended to, but I didn’t. Why did I even need that? I was doing so great on my own. Walking two miles a day. Eating right. Lots of water and vitamins. Plus I had great support from family and friends. But at the end of the day none of these people knew what I was actually going through. Being addicted to food is so humiliating and demeaning. You hate the body you must live in each day. You want to stay home everyday so no one will see you. And you sure don’t want anyone to know you are struggling, because somehow they’ve managed to learn to say no to excessive sugar and carbs and to stop eating when they’re full. Why can’t I do the same?

So, fast forward a bit to strike number two- becoming a youth minister. While youth ministry fills my life with immeasurable blessings, it does bring about certain challenges to the food addict. My life consists of going from meal to meal. I mean constant eating out- every meal. Pizza, hot dogs, cookies, Mexican food, crap, crap, crap. Not to mention very little time for exercise, personal development, emotional health, peer relationships, Sabbath or prayer. Tack on an unbelievable amount of stress to the equation and you start to see the picture.

So, tonight I find myself in this place with no name- this fallen off the wagon place. The compliments about how nice I look or how much weight I’ve lost actually sting as I think about the lifestyle I’ve slipped back into. I cringe when someone mentions my weight or the way I look. There’s so much fear here in this place. Have I done permanent damage to my body? Will I ever get back on the wagon? Will it always be this hard? There’s so much regret for the time lost and this great opportunity I’ve adulterated. And so much shame. I feel as though I’ve let so many people down. I think back to the rehab experience of the surgery. All the prayers given on my behalf. The indescribable support from those who love me and even from those who barely know me. And the roller coaster I put my parents on as they’ve had to witness their only daughter endure such a war. A war I created. All of that effort from others in an attempt to help me succeed- and where am I now: back on the losing end of this fight.

I can’t end this post with a declaration that tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of my life, because I don’t know if it will be. I only know how I feel tonight. Tonight I’m dying to be that other person again. Experiencing the confidence, personal victory, and mental clarity that exercise brings. Finding the strength to make the desired choices about the foods that enter my body. And as a person of faith, if my body truly is a temple of the Lord, what does this lifestyle say about the value I have placed on such a dwelling place?

Perhaps this post is far too personal for a simple blog typically devoted the joys offered by current tv shows. But I have chosen to be a person who can be vulnerable in the presence of others. Please respect my vulnerability here.

11 comments:

Marta said...

Sue, I appreciate your transparency so much. Though we don't know each other well, I've always thought that you are such a fantastic person! Know that you prayed for!

Ashley said...

I love you and I am praying for you today. You know i struggle with the same addiction and I truly feel your pain.

Be strong, be faithful in prayer, and be accountable to yourself. I love you Susan (lupe)! I am sure this is such a huge struggle. You are a beautiful person.

Amy B. said...

Sue, thanks so much for being so open and honest. So many of us have the same thoughts, feelings and struggles but for one reason or another never voice them. I appreciate your courage. I love you. You're a wonderful and beautiful person.

Mrs. Powell's 2008-09 Geography Class said...

I love you sue! you are beautiful inside and out!!!

mamjill said...

I hope that you will be able to get back on the wagon again --- but only for the sake of your health. How you look on the outside has NOTHING to do with the wonderful person you are on the inside. Fat or skinny, you are a child of God, and you are deeply loved. By me! Jill

Amanda Peterson said...

Sue, that took incredible courage and I applaud you for it. And I understand the struggle. I have binge eating-disorder which has some similarities to food addiction. After lots of counseling and the grace of God, I can finally say that the disorder is under control, but the temptation to fall back into the old habits is always great. I'm always having to explore why I'm eating. Am I truly hungry or am I eating to push away unwanted feelings.

I don't know if it would be helpful, but I'm in Lubbock until November. If you make your way this direction or would like to chat on the phone or email, I'd make myself available to you.

Prayers for you friend.

Larissa said...

Sue,
I don't know you well, but I do understand the vulnerability part and that's so hard. Being transparent is very hard. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Anonymous said...

Sue, you know I love your transparency. I must confess that I'm an emotional eater - mostly related to boredom. I desperately need a workout buddy. We must be able to figure something out. How can we watch Project Runway and exercise at the same time?!? Maybe we should do Yoga poses while we watch. Susan can teach us. I don't mean to make light of your concerns. I really do want to be supportive and helpful to you. I love you and want you to achieve your dreams!
==Leanne

Robby and Lynsey said...

I miss my friend. I've been thinking about you so much lately and to read this makes me ache to see you. I love you. I pray for you. I wish we weren't so far away from one another. You are PRECIOUS and I pray that you find strength in your struggle, hope for the days/months to come, and assurance that you are loved beyond measure. Maybe let's chat soon...

Allison said...

I haven't been on your blog for a while. I don't have any great words of encouragement or victory for you. But I love you very much. Your friendshihp is an honor to me.

Morgandy said...

Hey friend! Let me just say that I love you so much!!! I am proud to have you as a friend. I am alos so impressed with your openess and honesty. So many people have the same struggles and are just not open enough to admit it. I want so badly to be there for you but feel helpless here in Dallas so far away. So I will pray for you everyday, not like where someone says they are praying for you but actual fervent prayer each day. Please update with specifics, if you want, or call me anytime. I love you dearly
Morgandy

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