Saturday, August 22, 2009

Humble thyself . . . . .

As many of you know, I have recently undergone a gastric bypass. I know many of you may have been surprised at the numerous health issues my life had been complicated by with this horrible disease, as they were not 'visible' characteristics. I do truly believe that people do not become obese simply because they are lazy, there unfortunately are many factors which contribute to this disease which the public is not aware of. Understand that I do not look for anyone's pity, I only wish to share my experience with you that hopefully it may be inspirational enough to be able to help someone else. So, please, take a moment and let me share with you . . . . .

When did this start for me? I honestly believe it started in my early childhood and pre-teen years, as a result of experiencing many years of untreated depression. Yes, at that early age! First off, I want to preface this that in no way, do I or have I ever felt that any of my immediate family, especially my Mom, was responsible for this. Imagine coming from an alcoholic family, and being abused by numerous men in many different ways. I mean, my God! What kind of impression it leaves on a child when the primary male figure in your life told you frequently how "stupid, fat, and ugly" you were. Even though that figure has been void from my life for over 30 years, those words still echo in my mind to this very day. It has taken me a very long time to realize that although I may be fat, I am not stupid, nor ugly. Another heart breaking moment for me was when one of my nephews asked me many years ago, "Aunt Julie, why are you so fat?" OMG! Talk about out of the mouths of babes, because I know he does not remember saying this to me, but wow, did that EVER hit home!!!

I was not 'obese' during my teenage years, 10 pounds over my ideal weight - yes, but obese, no. Those feelings of depression only continued beyond my high school years, when whom I thought was my one and only true love moved away. I found comfort and solace in food. Yes, I had tried going to counselors, but never 'clicked' with one that was able to help me and provide me with the tools I needed to cope and deal with my experiences and feelings. Only in the late 1990's had I finally connected with a counselor who was able to help me tremendously and I was able to move forward.

My only regrets are not taking my health condition as seriously as I should have a long, long time ago and that my Mom did not get the chance to see me finally take the initiative to take control of my life the way she wanted and literally begged me to for so many years. In recent years, my Mom would tell me as she cried, "It breaks my heart to see you and watch you leave because I never know if it's going to be the last time I'll see you alive." They say that good things come from devastating experiences, I just wish it didn't have to be my Mom's passing that got me to wake up and finally live my life!

Rest assured, I am now happily married to a wonderful man. He is one of the most beautiful persons I have ever met. Who ever thought that this city girl would marry a true country boy! We put the "opposite" in "opposites attract"! He comes from a long line of northeastern Missouri farmers, so now my 'family time' is spent literally on the farm! God is soooooooooooo good and I have been so blessed!!! I honestly do not know how I would live day to day without Sean, he is my rock. He keeps me grounded and has been my saving grace through my weight loss surgery journey.

I realize begging is not a pretty site, but PLEASE, help me to help others. I do not want another person to experience the many hurts I have --- physically, mentally, or emotionally. I will be helping the ASMBS Foundation (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) and Obesity Action Coalition fight one of the nation's leading causes of death and disability at the Walk from Obesity and would like to invite you to participate.

If you cannot participate, your donation will help in the fight against obesity by providing much needed funding to support our efforts. The obesity crisis is an epidemic and your support will help make important advances against the diease of obesity.

My personal fundraising goal is $100 and with your help I can get there!

I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for sharing your love with me. Before surgery, I considered not going through with it, simply because since my Mom's passing, I have felt so alone. All I've heard is how it takes such a 'strong' person to undergo this new way of life I have chosen. Funny, I never thought of myself of being a 'strong' person! However, through the use of this wonderful "world wide web", emails, facebook, etc., I have been shown how much people really do care and that I am not alone. Again, thank you for all your love and support. Please help me make a difference for others and continue to show people that God does work in mysterious ways!!!