Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Your Story: "Enough - No More!"

I can't tell you enough, how impressed I am with the stories that keep coming in. They've been inspirational, thought provoking, and a couple have been emotional and painful. 

Email me with yours at dgingo@cox.net.  I'll post everyone I receive. 

Our next story comes from LauraLynn... a fighter her entire life!

I was a scrawny kid - frail almost.  I came from  tough background, but this isn't a story of child abuse. This is a story about saying, "ENOUGH - NO MORE!"

Puberty was when I started to gain weight.  Not much - I was active.  Track, volleyball, basketball, swim team, tennis - I was always participating in a sport. But the eating habits were there.  Binging (purging was never my style - the really twisted part of my brain wished it was).  I would eat healthy foods, but rarely in healthy quantities. My junior year in high school, I started making frosting.  And eating it.  And hiding it.  How my mother didn't notice - the powdered sugar was always replaced as was vanilla, butter, and milk.  One of these days, I'll be brave enough to ask my mom why she didn't say anything - why she didn't intervene.  

Then came college - even less supervision.  All you could eat cafeteria food, working at a pizza joint, but walking/running everywhere.  I gained more weight - but still "just" overweight and not obese.  But the habits were forming.  The compulsions were there.

The next decade, the eating continued but the moving decreased.  I met a man - and married him.  He wasn't active and our every move included food.  Lots and lots of food!  Then came back to back pregnancies, more sitting around, a desk job, and emotional abuse. I reached, and maintained 300 or so lbs.  I worked long hours, was the best mom I knew how to be, and occassionally tried to lose weight. After every attempt, I gave up.  It was overwhelming, and I had zero support (the emotional abuse at home was staggering - he couldn't bear the idea of me losing weight). 

10 years ago, someone mentioned gastric bypass to me.  I was desperate - like so many other people seeking weight loss surgery - it was truly a last ditch effort.  I had tried everything else.  I had sleep apnea that was making my life a living hell - I thought I was going crazy (sleep deprivation caused me to lose my memory - I would literally forget where to pick my children up from!!).  My life was hell! My health had gotten to the point where carrying the laundry up the one flight of stairs was daunting. I had two young children to not only take care of, but I longed to play with them. I was trapped - inside my obesity. 

I researched, and was approved for gastric bypass - RNY.  I talked to the surgeon and we compromised.  I didn't want a full gastric bypass - I was concerned about long term health, nutrient deficiency, and mal-absorbtion. So he agreed to bypass less intestines and leave my stomach a little larger than normal.  November 2001, I had the surgery.  By August of 2002, I was down 130 pounds...  and living again.  Running daily, working out, playing with my kids.  I seperated and divorced my husband, became a single mom and moved into my mom's basement. I felt like a cloud had been lifted.  At 185 pounds, I had plastic surgery - a tummy tuck to remove all the excess skin that was distorting my midsection.

February of 2003, I met my now husband.  Active, loving, caring - everything my first husband wasn't.  We froliced - I stayed active - continued to eat a healthy diet in moderation.  But in my comfort of being 2+ years out from surgery, my old habits started coming out of hibernation.  You see, weightloss surgery doesn't work on the brain, where my eating habits were lying dormant.  I was comfotable at 180 or so pounds, rocking size 12 pants, and most of the people in my life only knew me at this size.  I got complacent. Some of the weight came back.  At first, I wasn't concerned - it was only 10 pounds. Then 10 more.  Then 20 more. I panicked. I quickly threw myself into exercise - started with 5k's, then 10k's and one of my friends talked me into trying a triathlon. I was simultaneously eating in moderation while I trained for these events.   

Not being a person to take things slowly, I also signed up for a half marathon!! 
Me, formerly 300 pounds, 40 year old mom, and still chubby at 200 pounds... 13.1 miles. I did it!  November of 2008 I ran, and walked a little, 13.1 miles.  But in my eagerness to do this, I got injured - and then laid off.  So, no health insurance meant no treatment, or even diagnosis.  I took a year off, and put back on the weight I'd worked so hard to take off, plus 10 more. I eventually found a job, health insurance, and physical therapy. I was ready to give weight loss a shot again. 

I finally took some time for introspection - and looking back at everything I'd tried.  I had always tackeled the symptoms - the weight.  I was always focused on losing weight.  What I wasn't looking at were the habits - the compulsions.  I also started looking online for other people going through the same things.  And I discovered blogging.  The final turning point for me was a hypnotherapy session with a friend.  She walked me through some pretty deep stuff - how I looked at food - how I looked at myself.  On Jan 1, 2010 - I started over again.  I began blogging the process - mostly just so that I would have my own record of what I tried and the results.  I also wanted to be able to 'see' my words - the pour them out of my head and onto the screen.  To SEE them - to see if they even made sense. What I didn't count on was the side effects of blogging.  The comroderie - the accountibilty - the friendships - the community.  All aspects I'd never used before in weight loss.  I won't say it's The Solution - but it was part of My Solution. 

Over the last 10 months, I have blogged my journey - my struggles and my successes.  I've found kindred souls online.  I've found people who inspire me daily, find myself using everyone as my own personal group therapy. 

I've begun working out again, and in my usual style, I dove right in the deep end.  Running a half marathon again - this time in under 3 hours!  Several multi-sport events (Swim/run and a sprint triathalon).  Mid summer, I hit a physical speed bump with a pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage.  But this time was different.  I hit the weight loss wall - like so many times before.  This time, I was determined NOT to lose my momentum.  I climbed that wall and kept on going.  I dind't gain weight - I maintained.  

My goals are a little different.  I do have a goal weight - of course I do.  But more than that, I have goals around how I eat and how I think about food. I'm dealing with the disease, not just the symptoms.  I plan on beating this.  I'm down 48 pounds in 10 months, I'm spending the winter continuing to deal with my eating disorder, and simultaneously training for a huge event.  I plan on racing in a half ironman in summer of 2011.  Nothing in little steps for me.

I'm continuing to blog - to stay accountible - to followers, to myself - not in that order.  I can honestly say that there are times that blogging is what keeps me on track. I'm honest to a fault...  because I deserve that. 

My journey isn't over.  I still have 42 pounds to my "goal" weight - and then a lifetime of maintaining. I'm on the right track, I'm dealing with my demons, and I'm facing them head on. 

All, while sharing it with the world.



LauraLynne said...

thanks Dayne!

Bendigo said...

That is a truly inspirational story. It made me look at my own issues with weight gain after the step up in age. You are so right about fighting the symptoms instead of the real problem. Thanks for sharing that it makes me want to address my own problem and not just the symptoms....

Rettakat said...

Wonderful story! It really shows determination and a resiliency in spite of set-backs.

And she is so right about changing on the INSIDE. To change our actions, we must change our thinking... at least for it to be permanent.

Very inspirational, thanks for sharing LauraLynn's story, Dayne.