October 7, 2006
Today I walked in an event called "Making Strides in the Cure." It was
one of the annual walks to combat Breast Cancer.
I am extremely fortunate that none of my family has
contacted this disease. However if I am able to donate some money and /or
my time to a worthwhile cause, I feel I've contributed to make a
difference in the human race in a positive way.
So I got up at 4:30 am so I could get my act together
and pick up my friend at her home. Then we drove to another spot to meet
another friend and off we went. I was totally amazed to see at least 1000
people there walking for the cause. Now you are thinking or even saying
out loud, big deal. So she walked. Let me share with you my story and I
will give you the short version of this deal. In 1979 I fell, broke,
shattered and succeeded to do everything negatively possible short of
severing my ankle. I was in a wheel chair for close to three months and
had to learn to walk again. I weighed 229 lbs and we had a 2 1/2 year
running around the house. My mother and mother in law helped us take care
of the apartment including cooking and helping with our little boy. My
husband HAD to work. I will always be grateful to both of them for their
selflessness. After I had physical therapy, I walked with two crutches and
then graduated to one and moved on to a cane. The weight continued to
creep up. Life can be extremely difficult for an overweight person. Many
people do not understand and think oh if she would just stop eating she
would be normal. For years I would not eat ice cream in public in fear
someone was making fun of me at another table. Sick isn't it? My self
esteem couldn't have been any lower. Sure I tried to diet. Weight
Watchers, then Phen Phen, Overeaters Anonymous & Dr Atkins and every other
crazy or non crazy diet out there. I am proud to say every single diet
worked. However, I could not stay on track long enough to lose the great
amount I needed to lose. So needless to say not only did I gain the weight
back but had the joy (said in a very sarcastic way) of gaining an
additional fifteen to twenty pounds each time I did diet. Totally my
issue. I felt like a constant failure. I was able to control everything
around me but me.
I had and still have a great marriage. Love my family,
my true friends and the world around me but something was lacked within
me. Our son graduated with honors College, Law School, got married
to a wonderful lady. I thought I would lose weight for the wedding. I
cannot begin to tell you how many times I started a diet and failed. I
didn't succeed. I was unable to walk well. Needed to sit down often and
just an absolute mess. I needed an extra seatbelt when I traveled on the
airplane. Talk about humiliation. Luckily and I think this was by the
grace of G-d that for whatever reason I was able to fit into one seat and
didn't have to purchase a second seat on Southwest. I had nightmares the
check in counter staff would weigh me.
I met some friends in NY for a long weekend. I brought
my cane and used it constantly. I wasn't used to walking far. Living in
Las Vegas, we drive everywhere. It was the worst weekend of my life. While
I was there and I realized how limited I was, I shouldn't have gone. I was
so angry at me. I hated myself. I truly wanted to kill myself. I met my
brother and his family for lunch and noticed my brother had lost some
weight. I asked what his secret was and he shared with me that he had
gastric bypass surgery. I had been exploring this option for 20 years but
I was too frightened of it. Needless to say, after that encounter with
him, I went home and a few months later had this procedure.
It is very close to the four year mark of what began as
a horrible weekend in NY which turned out to be my new beginning. I have
lost an incredible amount of weight. Yes that's very commendable. However
I was able to complete a 3 miles walk today without a crutch or a cane.
That for me was the icing on the cake. Now this procedure was and is my
lifeline to a new life. However why did I have no self esteem? Why did I
hate myself? It's simple! I allowed other people to judge me and I
actually cared what they thought. Think about it, if I was happy eating
ice cream in public, why did I give those who laughed at me, the power?
Someone recently explained to me that we cannot control what people think
about us. It's true. However we do not have to agree or care what they
Weight, needing a nose job, physical disabilities
should never factor into what we think of ourselves. If we can look in
the mirror and be happy with the person we see for the qualities we
possess, we have succeeded in being the person we choose to be for today.
Oh, mirror in the
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
... Stevie Nicks, c1975