Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TV makes me want to scream sometimes

So last night was Biggest Loser night, and the final four were sent home to deal with real life before the final stretch and final weigh in. Each reveiwed their progress and stated how their weight loss has now given them a new chance at life. I wanted to smack each and every one of them and say that no matter what the scale says, they are just who they have always been, but are now doing it without a great big crutch. You have been given the tools that transform your physical body, but the internal work is a more torturous Hell than Jillian ever dreamed up for you. AND, if you think that all will now be well because you have finally learned new skills of control, odds are very great that you will face circumstances in your life that you cannot control, will make your body gain weight, and you will have to come face to face with something that many wise people say time and time again. That would be that you are NOT what the scale states. Being a healthy weight makes you more likely to be healthy, and nothing more. It will not make you more popular, bring you love, happiness or anything else. That has to come from within, no matter what your shell looks like. If you think that your weight forces people to treat you differently and in an unfair matter - guess what ? So will one of a million other things that you cannot control. Your gender, your race, your religion, your lifestyle choices, your income, your political affiliations, and the list goes on and on. You are not responsible for the opinions and happiness of others. Only that of your own.

I say this because i have learned it through life experience. I started life as a normal sized baby and then developed a weight problem at age 18 months. I spent my entire life growing up as the fat kid, and learned very quickly that the label was mine to accept or ignore. I chose to ignore it, and life was pretty good. I dated, I had friends, I participated in sports, choir, theater and more. So much more that I had trouble fitting in all that i must do in a 24 hour period, and i abused both speed and alcohol. Traditionally, these things will supposedly make your rail thin when they translate to a level of abouse, but not so with me. Here I am at age 18, about 2 months before I met my husband.
At that point I weighed about 250 , and was starting to notice the affects of PCOS. This disease can give women a masculine shape, create facial hair, male pattern baldness and metabolic syndrome that behaves in a similar way that diabetes does. It also makes you infertile and at a high risk for ovarian cancer.

So years pass, my weight gain continues in a more agressive form, my periods go insane and we marry. My body goes through some wild hormone swings, I go a year without a period and doctors prescribe fertility drugs ( which made me totally crazy) and birth control pills, which made me unbelivably bitchy. My weight continues to spiral, we deal with infertility and I baloon to 310 pounds - as I was in this picture with a couple of my neices. I was 31
Finally at long last a naturopath talks about PCOS and after tests my internist confirms that I have it. He says the only treatment is surgical removal of 1/6th of one ovary. The Naturopath says that it can be controlled with a weight loss approach that involves a lower carbohydrate intake. I discover Weight Watchers was doing just such a plan at that time and I follow the diet on my own at home with nothing but my burning desire to be a mom to motivate me. I lost 110 pounds with some hiccups, and at long last conccived my son. I thought I had everything I needed for happiness- I was thinner, I had a wonderful husband, good life and now we were going to be parents. This picture was taken when I was 4 months pregnant and at 210 lbs- 9 of them gained from pregnancy. I was 33 in this shot

Any illusion I had of being in control of my life was yanked from me with the pregnancy, and birth of my son. Then it suffered a firey death in my days as a mom. Part of my ways to cope turned back to eating bad food, out of a very old pattern that said strong people are good eaters, and I needed all the strenght I could get. About 3 years after my son was born I started to experience problems with my cycles again and had experienced several early miscarriages. An ultrasound revealed that I was still dealing with polycystic ovaries, and bloodwork showed that my hormones were totally out of balance. I chose to do nothing about it because I was not very eager to experience another pregnancy. I had forgotten that PCOS invlves a lot more than just fertility.My weight continued to spiral upward as a result of dietary changes meeting hormonal makeup.

So life continued on, we were dealing with the challenges of autisim, husband's ministry commitments, homeschooling, personal financial ruin due to unemployment and moster medical expenses, and not only my weight grew, but so did that of my whole family. We were happy , secure and involved with life though. So much so that we could not fit it all in.

Then one day a bench broke and I realized that my son would die an early death if we did not make some changes. And so we began this journey.We are getting thinner, and are still the same people inside. There are the same challenges, frustrations, enjoyments as there always were. But with a change in menu and physical activity. The only thing that will be changed through our weight loss is our overall health. And nothing more.

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