I’ve been very open about my weigh loss journey and my decision to have RNY Gastric Bypass and how I’ve come to manage my weight over the past year. Part of my openness was borne from when I was looking into surgical options for weight loss I knew very few people who had the surgery and even less who were willing to talk about it. I want people to ask me questions and I will share candidly and openly about what this surgical tool really means.
The other reason for my open approach to this was because I know me. I was a secret eater. A true closet binger. I was the person who would order take out and pretend I was ordering for 5 people so the delivery guy wouldn’t think it was just for me. I’m pretty sure he knew but I somehow felt better emotionally doing it that way. I was afraid that if I don’t share what was happening that it would be easy for me to slip back into old behaviors after surgery. I needed the accountability of many people knowing my experience to keep me honest with myself.
I’ve spoken at the hospital where I had my surgery to prospective surgical patients and was able to share my experience with them and I loved it. I understand how hard it is to even go the the consultation for surgery. For me it felt like the point of no return. I was at the point where I could no longer do this alone. I needed help. Not just any help but surgical help. It’s truly an act of bravery to even show up to that first consultation.
Yesterday, I was asked to speak at my church’s women’s group, The Journey of Sisters, to share my story of my weight loss. This was going to be tremendously different. When you’re at the hospital group everyone there is seeking help, they are admitting that they’re ready to do something about their weight. At a church group – especially my church group with my peers – it’s definitely different. There will be women there who have never struggled with their weight and some who may be struggling but aren’t at the point where they want to do anything about it. I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or try to speak to an group of people who many not really understand the painful and personal battle that is my weight.
I decided to simply speak my truth. Yes, all these women know me but they don’t know my struggle. They saw me lose weight and gain joy but they didn’t see the steps it took to get there. I didn’t have to worry about what they knew or didn’t know. I was called to share and keeping with my firm beliefs that “God never wastes a hurt” I knew that my story was there for someone to hear. So I shared.
I spoke of the first realization that my weight had become an issue when I was 12. I spoke of how the more I focused on my weight the more I seemed to gain. I was honest about how much I was eating, how much I was hiding, and ultimately that it didn’t matter how many blessing came my way or how much I had to be truly thankful for I was still unhappy. I also spoke as a woman of faith who had no issues turning my life over to the care of God as long as that didn’t involve my food issues. That was something I was supposed to handle. Finally, I spoke of what it took for me to finally give up the reigns of control on my weight and how my life has significantly changed because of it.
I walked away learning some very valuable things:
- It doesn’t matter how MUCH you have to lose, if your weight bothers you it’s a universal feeling. I should never begrudge the person who is bothered by 5 lbs to lose nor think it any less important than the person who has to lose 200. If I could have dialed into this earlier in life I would have been more compassionate with those with smaller amounts to lose.
- That struggle is snuggle. My struggle has always been with eating but the struggle itself is also universal. Whatever you cling to so tightly that it disrupts your God-given purpose is your struggle. Call it whatever name you wish, the struggle exists there.
- Many people identified with what I was saying even if they never had a weight problem in their lives. I had no need to fear that people may not understand where I was coming from.
- It was unbelievably cathartic and beautiful to be so open and vulnerable in front of people that I know well. I’m not the let’s share all my feelings to the world kind of person but I’ve always been so impressed with people who can so willingly and easily share different topics about themselves with ease. It was nice to come out from the shadows of my fears and insecurities to be real with people that I love. I highly recommend it.