My story is not one of physical aches and pains, but one of emotional and mental aches and pains.
I was adopted as an infant by two of the kindest people God ever created, my home was filled with love and support and acceptance, but there was always a part of me that felt unloved or unwanted because I was given away, it stayed right there under the surface all the time.
As I went into my teenage years, I was always the “big boned one”, my girlfriends were all size 4’s and I was a size 10. I was into playing sports and cheerleading just like the rest of my friends. They all had boyfriends. I did not. I knew it was because I was “fat”.
The road to health and acceptance!
At 15 I met someone at a game and we became a couple. At 18 we got married and moved away from our families so he could attend school and that is where it all began.
He was at school all day and worked very late hour. We had one car, no phone, and I was alone all the time in a strange city. I tried to become the perfect housewife, like both our mothers, but I was lonely. When he was home he was studying and again I was alone. Within a few months of married life I noticed my size 12’s were getting tighter and he began to make little comments. My feelings would get hurt, so I’d eat. He was making friends at work while I was stuck in an apartment with no one but the TV and a kitchen full of food, and it become my friend. When we did go out, it was to EAT. He was from a family of big eaters and wanted large full course meals, of course being the new, young bride I wanted to make him happy. On the inside I was feeling alone and empty. Everything that I had known and loved all my life was hundreds of miles away from me. I was miserable and alone. When I tried to talk to him about how I felt, he’d get angry and become critical. Soon I learned to keep my mouth shut and deal the best I could and food was my way of dealing.
When I was 21, I became pregnant with my daughter. At my first office visit I stepped on the scale and it read 240lbs. and I was so embarrassed. After the weight lecture from the doctor I went to Burger King and cried all the way home.
Husband finished school, we moved back home and I had my daughter. My marriage was nothing like I expected it to be, but I kept plugging away. The critical comments had taken their toll on my self esteem, but I had my daughter and I was back home where I wanted to be. He took a job making very good money, but he worked long hours. I wanted him home with me, but he wanted to make money.
At 23, I had my son and I weighed in at 275lbs. During the years in between my relationship with food grew stronger. It helped push away the pain of being given away at birth, of dealing with the stress of everyday life. It now was my best friend. I cried, daily. I screamed daily, I became someone I had never been before. MISERABLE is the only way to describe it. I had everything anyone could want, . . . two precious kids, a gorgeous home on the river, a new car, jewelry….. but I didn’t have the love and attention from my husband I needed. His way of showing Love was to “buy” you things. Those things never seem to make me feel any better. I wasn’t allowed to go to company parties because he always had some excuse. But I knew the real reason….he was embarrassed by me, even though everyone loved “Mary” and wanted her around because she was the life of the party. He did not. In the public’s eye I was so much fun to be around, but what I was feeling on the inside was self hate and humiliation.
I had tried every diet known to man. Never succeeding, again failure. My husband came home from work and told me that one of the women he works with had Gastric Bypass Surgery and had lost 100lbs, how great she looked and would this be something I’d be interested in. I wanted him to love me and want me and I would have done anything to “fix” things. I called her up and got all the info. and went with her to a support group meeting at the hospital, which was an hour and a half away. I began going to every meeting and taking in all the info I could. I finally made the appointment. to see the surgeon and got the ball rolling. I had wasted so many years with my kids, not being able to enjoy them because of the misery I felt on the inside. The thoughts of suicide, the anger, the feeling of not being accepted by my husband, it was all about to change. I had read every self-help book by this time, trying to fix things, only to fail every time. But this time things were going to be different.
On Sept.9,1992 I nervously walked into that hospital, knowing that my life was about to change drastically. I was about to lose my best friend but I wanted something else more. I wanted my confidence back. I wanted to take control back over my life and I wanted to not cry everyday…..I wanted to be happy. I wanted my kids to be proud when I came to school and not be teased about their fat mother. I wanted my husband to be proud to have me on his arm, but most of all, I wanted to feel like I was okay again. No stares from other people, no lectures about being overweight, fitting behind the steering wheel of my car and not have my stomach rubbing the wheel. Not having to send my friends into a restaurant to check if I could find somewhere to sit that I wouldn’t break a chair….it all was about to change.
When I got home from the hospital, 4 days later, I was scared, but I wanted this so badly. I had a great support system with friends and family and I grabbed onto this thing and held on for dear life. The pounds came off quickly,and by the end of the year I had lost almost 100lbs.,and by Sept. 9th a year later, I had lost another 100lbs.,Mary was back!
I had my tummy tuck and lost another 18lbs,a total of 218lbs. in 18months. I can’t begin to tell you of all the things that changed for me. I was feeling so good about myself. I went to counseling throughout the process to deal with the reasons why I allowed this to happen to me. I found my birth mother and father and dealt with all that baggage. My husband and I went to marriage counseling because he wasn’t dealing with the “new” me very well at all. He became very jealous. I could be friendly and fat, but not skinny and friendly. He wanted me around all the time. Every event he attended, anywhere he went, he wanted me there. I became an ornament. It wasn’t safe for him to leave me alone anymore in his mind, someone might treat me better and take me away from him.
I had become my own person. I spoke up when I didn’t like something, which was something he wasn’t used to. I was in control of my self and how I reacted to things now, not with food anymore,but with a voice, a voice that had been stifled by him and his abuse for 13years. The fear was gone, I fought very hard to save my marriage and I tried to forgive all the years of the name calling, the emotional neglect and the anger. He became very threatened by the new me and when he couldn’t bully me with words, he turned to physical abuse. He just didn’t know what to do to hold on anymore and I wasn’t putting up with it anymore.
Five years after I lost the weight, and a lot of counseling, I left. I could not let him break my spirit again. I would not allow him to make me feel like he had made me feel for so many years. I loved him so much, but I had learned to love me even more.
My wish for everyone that reads this, is that you deal with whatever got you here to begin with. Learn from it, and begin a new and exciting life. Take back control of your life. Do it for YOU!