A friend and I were talking last night and it just made me think back to the life I used to live. You know, that life where every minute is spent thinking about what you're going to eat next. That time where you wake up every morning and weigh yourself, feel terrible and go stuff down the pain with more food. Then when you get home at night the 1st thing you do is go to your fridge and get something to eat, then the guilt sets in and you weigh yourself that night. The never ending cycle of my addiction to food, and my battle with weight.
Reliving this yesterday just broke my heart. I remember that girl. I remember feeling terrible about myself for years because I kept putting on more and more weight, but I couldn't seem to stop eating. No matter what I did I couldn't stop myself from eating. If you would have asked me 7 years ago if I would have ever thought I would be where I am today, I would have laughed in your face and cried behind your back.
Now 6 years out from Gastric Bypass surgery, and 150lbs lighter; my life is so different. I can honestly say that I don't think about one thing when I put anything in my mouth. I don't think of how many calories it is, or how much I'll have to workout to work it off. I enjoy every single thing I put in my mouth with absolutely no stress, or guilt. This didn't happen overnight mind you. This has been 7 years of counseling, hard work, and learning to love who "Jilly" really is. Not what I look like.
The 1st 3 months after gastric bypass I cried everyday. Like I told my friend last night, I felt like my best friend was there one day and the next she was dead and I never got to see her again. I went through physical and mental withdrawals like you would not believe. Food was my drug and I craved it day and night. I couldn't feed that craving because if I tried I got sick and threw up, so I cried. I started working out because I had to get rid of the frustrations in my body and I didn't know how else to do it. I went to counseling, I worked in my journal, and I started to go outside of myself. I started to serve others, meet new people, experience new things, and learn to love the life around me that wasn't based on food.
An amazing thing happened after those first 90 days; I learned to live without limits. I learned to live and enjoy every moment of every day. I learned to love this incredible experience that God had given. I met new friends, I had amazing experiences, I was learning new things. I was starting to live the life that I was always meant to live, but that I could never see in my addiction to food.
While driving through the drive thru at my local smoothie joint, I realize that I have learned a lot more than just what I have written thus far. In 2009 when food was completely taken away from me and I couldn't even swallow my own spit, I learned what food is really here for. Food is here to keep me alive. Food was put on this earth to sustain us and fuel our bodies. What a concept. I had never understand that until I was 25 years old. For the first time in my life I was "Eating to Live" and not "Living to Eat". That IV in my arm was the only thing keeping me alive for that year, and I gained a completely new respect for this gift that I had been given. The gift of Food. All of these lessons that I feel, took me so long to figure out.
Through these experiences I have gotten to where I am today. To the point where sipping this smoothie is delicious. I'm enjoying it not because it's yummy, but because it's something I can eat to keep me alive. I'm on a full liquid diet right now and I have been for the last 3 months. Not by choice mind you, but because my stomach isn't able to eat anything but liquids. If I try, my bowels get blocked, or I throw up. So here I sit sipping this smoothie and enjoying every moment of it. It's like that with every bit of food, or pepsi that I drink. I enjoy it 100% and am thankful for it. It was something I wasn't able to enjoy 3 years ago.
What have I learned through all this? I have learned that I am a beautiful, strong, healthy, and happy woman. I'm so proud of who I am, and I truly love the woman that I am. I'm so thankful for God giving me these experiences to grow and learn and hopefully help people in their times of struggle and trials. To the woman I see at the gas station who is 100lbs. overweight and battling with herself in the candy isle, to the 80 year old woman who is in the rest home sick and struggling to keep on weight. I'm thankful for these experiences and for the life that God has blessed me with.
Know that if you struggle you are in my prayers, I love you, and that I understand. You're not alone, and you can make it. You're worth it.