“Tonight, old man, you did it!
You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it,
And indeed you did. I thought that you would rue it;
I doubted you’d do it. But now I must admit it
That succeed you did…”
It’s hard to believe it’s been 11months since my surgery! 11 months! That’s longer than a pregnancy! (Though I’ll grant when I was pregnant it felt much longer!) That seems mind boggling to me! Getting here was such a long period of will we do this or won’t we do this, and then the process that you have to go through pre-surgery of testing and check ups and insurance approvals. I stand in awe that I’m almost a year past that now and at my goal! God is so good!
I will admit that as I talk on Bariatric surgery boards to people who’ve done this, it’s easy to feel a little “lesser” in the group because my numbers are so much smaller than most others. My doctor warned me about this. He warned me that because I am a petite person (let’s face it I’m basically midget material!), I was not going to lose the big numbers most people did. I was just not capable of it. But, there are still times when friends on the boards are talking about their losses… 100 lbs., 150 lbs., 200 lbs. … and my little 70 lb. loss feels a little weak and anemic. But, I’m so thankful for it! And I’m proud of the work I’ve done to get here! So, to show the significance of 70 lbs. I’ve put together a list for you. Do you know what weighs 70 pounds?
- A full tank of helium
- The average wing-back chair
- A bushel of corn
- The world’s biggest atlas
- The average sheet of drywall
- 100 cans of beer
- 31,752 thumbtacks
- 187 bananas
- 4.7 cubic feet of average snow
- 3,600 comic books
- 262,500 bees
- An electric fireplace
- 4,037 gumballs
- 37,500 plain M&Ms
Can you imagine going through life having a wing-back chair strapped to your back? But, that 72 lbs. is no longer on me! Yippy Skippy! No more bushel of corn on this hiney! No extra bananas weighing me down! No electric fireplace needed to light my fire anymore!
Still, as I look at the two women in the pictures above, I realize that I like both of these women. The one on the left, yes, she carried more pounds – more fat cells – but, she was a good woman. She loved her family and friends. She loved her God. She was kind and considerate and creative and thoughtful and fun. She was happy, loved life and contributed to society. And her family loved her – just the way she was. More importantly, God loved her and died for her – just the way she was. In fact, He thought she was beautiful, just the way she was!(Eccl. 3:11 says “He hath made everything beautiful in His time…”; Psalm 45:11 “Let the King be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for He is your Lord.”; Psalm 139: 14 “I am fearfully and wonderfully Made”)
Why am I saying this? Because some of you are still struggling with those pounds and try as you might – and you DO try – they just won’t go away. Some of you have decided you just don’t want to fight that battle. You’re content as you are, or you just don’t have the time or energy for that war right now. And that’s OKAY. You need to know that’s okay. You need to know you are beautiful and valuable just the way you are! This isn’t every woman’s battle. It shouldn’t have to be. Regardless of what tv, radio, magazines and society in general try to tell you, you do not have to be dissatisfied with who you are and what you see in the mirror. And you don’t have to be a size 0, 2 or 5 to be beautiful or to be happy.
I chose this battle because, for me, it was time. My health was rapidly getting away from me. I couldn’t make a simple trip to the store without spending days on the couch in pain recovering. I couldn’t enjoy my grandchildren. At times I could not hold a book, stir sauce or hold my arms up long enough to do my hair because of the intensity of my pain. And the picture this painted for the future was bleaker yet. It was time to do what I could to take control of my health, to fight back. I wanted to live life to the fullest – to serve God with my whole being. I couldn’t do that if I was allowing my body – his temple – to deteriorate little by little. God opened this door for me and clearly told me to walk through.
But, being thinner has not made me a better person, a different person. And it won’t make you one. If you have a discontent spirit overweight, you’re going to have a discontent spirit thin. If you struggle with depression overweight, chances are you’ll struggle with depression thin. If you are an angry or unkind person overweight, you will be an angry, unkind person thin. These are conditions of the heart and of the mind. The solutions are not held in the number of fat cells you do or do not possess.
So, what have I gained from losing? I can move more easily within my body. I walk faster, with less pain. I can breathe more easily. I don’t huff and puff when I walk or stop for a breath as I go up the steps. The weight off of my joints has eased the pain from my arthritis in my hands and legs and knees. I’ve had some relief from the pain in my back, though that has been mild. My migraines have reduced. My sleep apnea is gone altogether. I am guaranteed never to get diabetes which is rampant in my family and to which I was inching closer and closer. Unexpectedly, I have had some great relief from my fibromyalgia pain. This was a wonderful surprise. Unfortunately, some of the pain has returned in recent months, but I’m still doing much better than I was pre-surgery, so I’m very thankful for that. Though I still have a lot of the chronic fatigue associated with my Fibro, the cognitive disfunction or “brain fog” that is associated with it seems to have improved significantly. Because of the weight loss, my life expectancy has been given a big boost, and who wouldn’t want that on their record. I’m much more mobile than I was and can go for longer periods of time. And, lastly, I feel “comfortable” in my body. That’s a biggie for me. For those of you who have not struggled with weight problems, you may not understand this. But, for years I felt as if I was walking around in someone else’s body. I didn’t recognize myself. I felt awkward in my movements. I felt decidedly “unfeminine”. Nothing looked right, nothing felt right. I felt like I couldn’t move correctly and could never quite get comfortable. It’s a horrible feeling. And it’s gone. My whole body has physically and mentally gone “ahhhhhh.. oh, here I am. I’m back.” It’s a wonderful feeling.
So, I’m here today to celebrate my victory with you. But, also to tell you to celebrate who you are today! Whether you’re the person who has chosen not to fight this battle, the person heading into the battle or the person in the midst of the battle celebrate the body God has given you right now! Don’t wait for the body you think you should have or someone else thinks you should have! You are already fearfully and wonderfully made! Treat your body with the respect it deserves and thank God for all it does for you every day!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die
In His eyes
Beautiful by MercyMe