Jun 14, 2012

My Battle with Food

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.

Jun 5, 2012

28th Birthday

I made it to another year, and I couldn't be more grateful.  I must admit that my 26th Birthday was probably the best of my life, but each one after is right up there.  I always seem to be amazed that by the grace of God alone I wake up on June 5th and have spent another year on this planet.  

I woke up next to my darling hubby today which is always great!  I got on my knees and thanked God for giving me this day with my husband, and then I started to see so much love on my Facebook page.  Thank you so much to all of you who wished me a Happy Birthday!  It was a great one!

After checking my FB I came into my room and saw balloons, presents, and my Birthday Sash all ready for me to enjoy my day!  
 I started to get cleaned up for a day with one of my best friends.  As I was getting ready my hubby got a text telling me that one of my other dearest friends had left a treat for me on the porch.  She must love me a lot because she brought me a plate of cupcakes, and if you know me, you know I love cupcakes. Lisa, I have to tell you what an amazing baker you are because lady, they were to die for!  I didn't share one!
After I was all cleaned up, and feeling cute, I put on my sash and my cute friend Neenie came and picked me up to take me out for some nummy Thai food.  Man it was good.  I was able to eat some soup, and it tasted sooo good!  Neenie, Ed, and I, had a great time at lunch.  It was such a fun day, minus the hurricane winds that brought it to an end.  Unlike me, my friends have kids and this wind storm was scary stuff.  It was blowing over trees, garbage cans, breaking windows, and on and on.  So we had to cut our Birthday date short and head home so they could be Mommies to their kiddos.

Janine dropped me off with a plan to go and finish our birthday party a little later this week.  She had a special gift in mind for me that touched my heart and made me cry when she told me.  I don't have it yet, so as soon as I do I can't wait to tell the story and show the picture.  As for right now, I just have to say 1 thing about it.  She was telling me one that she picked out for me, but she wasn't sure if I would like it.  That is why I started to cry.  She has no idea that the one she picked is one that I had looked at online back at Christmas time and that this particular gift is one of my most favorite things on earth.  If she would have given me my chance I would have picked  it myself, so I was moved to tears when it's the one thing that she picked out for me.  Now you know why I'm so excited to spend this time with her later this week!

Thank you to everyone who made my Birthday so special!  I get to see my Momma tomorrow, my sister in a month, and all the texts, emails, phone calls, cards, and FB messages, meant more than any of you will ever know.  A HUGE thank you to one my sweet Sunbeams who brought me a cake last night when I wasn't here.  I just can't believe how truly blessed I am to have the most amazing people in my life.  I am the luckiest 28 year old girl I know!

Thank you for the special earrings from some of my cute adopted nieces, and my cute kitchen stuff from my sister, and the money to donate to my camera fund...you all know me so well!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! For making my Birthday so magical and special.  I'm so thankful to still be here on Gods green earth getting the chance to love each and everyone of you!  I am so blessed to have you in my life.

Thank you to my sweetheart who always makes my Birthday so special with all my favorite things, especially the candy and balloons!  I can't wait to celebrate later when you are feeling better.  Thanks for going above and beyond with the Lagoon thing even though it didn't work, we'll spend Friday at the Draper Pool and it will be just as great.  Happy 28th Birthday to me!!