Monday, August 24, 2009

Allowed to dream is Susan Maria Leach's website, and it seems to be a great one. I like her book very much, and I just perused the site for the first time night before last. They have all kinds of products for post-WLS folks, plus recipes, support, etc. I haven't ordered from them yet--I have to work my way through the stuff I've already bought. (I don't know what to do to make choking down some of these protein powders palatable. I'll keep searching and trying different combos to make them taste okay.)

They have one section of the site that is all before and after pictures, and it is nothing short of astounding. I found myself moved to tears by some of the photos. I could tell the people in them just felt better, more themselves in the "after" pics--often their new bodies came with new ways of dressing and doing their hair. Mr. Salted was standing behind me at one point, and I turned to him and said, "Look at that. I've always wanted to wear a dress like that. I'd love to be that size. Oh my GOD--I could actually get to be that size. Do you think that could really happen?" I actually surprised myself--my voice sounded more passionate than it had about anything in recent memory. He looked at me a little strangely--he had just told me a couple of hours earlier that he has never been all that conscious of his body. (That was in response to me belting myself into the car beside him and saying something, "You know, I lost 20 pounds. I look the same, but I don't think my stomach fat sticks out as far." He just shook his head; he tells me often that he loves my bluntness, but it takes him aback, too.)

The whole battle to get insurance to pay for this surgery has consumed me for the last several months. I was job hunting, I was freelancing, I was temping. I was seeing the nutritionist and the exercise physiologist. I took part in the food addiction support group and dug way back into my whole life to find every gnarled roots of my personal Fat Girl Tree. I just took it one step a time, because there were a lot of steps that had to be taken. I've learned in my life, time and time again, that you just keep taking the steps. Sometimes your feet are dragging and you think you're never going to get there, but you do. You just keep walking. If you have to take a seat and rest for a minute, you do, but you get back up again. My most concrete example has always been graduating from college. I put myself through with no help, dropped out four times, and it took me eight years to get an Associate's degree, another two to get a Bachelor's degree, but I did it and I'm extremely proud of it--and I'm much prouder of the process (and the simple fact that I KEPT TRYING!) than the product. I'm still making the student loan payments, and I wouldn't change the experience now for the world. I've always identified with Sisyphus for a reason!

I know that I've just started this journey, and that it's never really going to end, but it will evolve and allow my life so many more possibilities and opportunities for change. For much of my life, I've felt like dreams were all I had, and that every single one I had just seemed impossible. Looking back on it now, it seems that I never allowed myself to dream, because dreams were just one more luxury I couldn't afford. Now I feel like I'm allowed to dream, because I may actually be able to make some of my dreams happen. The little frivolous ones, like being able to wear a certain kind of dress or owning a dog, and the bigger ones--like publishing a book, going back to grad school, jumping out of a plane, and last but not least, growing old with Mr. Salted, who is both my good luck charm and my home. I want to squeeze every drop of juice I can out of whatever life I have left. I want to spend as much time with my friends as possible, because I feel good when I'm around them. The biggest transformation hasn't been physical, and even if I lose another 100 pounds, the non-physical transformation is what matters the most--I almost can't recognize the woman I am now as the extremely lost young adult I was twenty years ago, when I looked in the mirror and saw a monster, and didn't think she would live to see twenty-one and wasn't sure I even wanted to. I'm so glad I (somehow) held on. I'm extremely grateful for this second chance to treat myself better. I know not everyone gets one.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
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