This is the conclusion of a chapter excerpt from my manuscript in progress. This section talks about the day I decide to try one last time to turn my life around. Many have asked what motivated me to start this journey. Here is where you'll find the first look at that story.
You can read part of of this excerpt by clicking here.
"This surgery could change your life," Dr. McCarty repeated.
"Not if I'm dead!"
One of the tears escaped and slid down my cheek. I will not cry! I will not cry, damn it!
When I forced myself to look at her, I noticed her eyes showed compassion and even a little pity. The compassion I didn't mind. The pity, I secretly hated.
"Well, we need to figure something out," she said.
The doctor took the time to outline a few options.
First, signing up for the hospitals weight loss clinic. After seeing a friend pay a ton of money to sit in a room, pick up shakes that would be the only thing she consumed for weeks until she could splurge on rabbit food, I knew that route was a no-go. I couldn't even stick to drinking Slim-Fast shakes and those are a hell of a lot cheaper.
She tried to talk to me again about weight loss surgery. I still fought back. Beyond being scared of dying on the operating table, I wasn't convinced doctors cutting out part of my stomach or re-routing my digestive plumbing would be a band-aid on a long-festering wound. Somewhere deep down, I knew how much I ate and what I decided to eat was more about what was eating me more than the actual food. If I didn't address my actual habits and the reasons behind them, I'd continue to drop pounds in the short term and boomerang back up to an even higher weight.
And yeah, that all sounds great. While I don't know what the doctor thought when I shared that bit of brilliance, I am pretty sure she thought I was blowing smoke up her ass. Knowing that and acting on it are two different things. She was kind enough to keep her opinions to herself. Maybe she was worried about my attitude problem. Maybe I'll ask her one day.
Ultimately, we wound up back to the topic of Weight Watchers. It had worked for me in the past and seemed like the best option I was willing to give a serious effort. Somehow, I managed to convince her to give me six months to start making progress.
"If you can't make this work, Marie, we need to seriously talk about surgery," she said, as she filled out refills for my laundry list of medications.
"I understand," I agreed quietly.
She told me to make my follow-up appointment for January and wished me luck.
The walk back to my car took nearly all my effort, physically and emotionally. "Almost 387 pounds" screamed inside my head over and over with each heavy step. My hands shook as I pulled the keys out of my purse. I maneuvered myself awkwardly into the driver's seat, yanked the door closed and heard a scream that scared the hell out of me.
My shrieks hurt my throat and I slammed my hands onto the steering wheel, clutching it until my knuckled turned white.
"I can't do this! I just can't! Oh, God! What do I do now? Please! I'm not strong enough to do this!"
Tears finally flowed freely and my mind remembered back to when I was 287 pounds. It seemed like a lifetime ago. At the time, I believed losing 88 pounds to get out of the 200s was not possible. Now I had another hundred pounds to add to that?
I continued to scream and cry and shake myself in the parked car in that lot, not caring if anyone heard me or saw me. Most of the time I felt invisible anyway, so, I was pretty sure I was safe.
Eventually, I dropped the drama and just sat with the cold, hard truth. I had to figure out how to save my own life.
The next day, I signed up for Weight Watchers. Which go-round was this? Who knew? What I wondered was how would it be different than all the others? No answers came to me, but I had to start somewhere. I had no big goals or plans in front of me. I had to swallow my pride and tell myself, "Yeah, I'm trying this...AGAIN."
I had to trust I would find a way to not make this a temporary fix, but a lasting change. Somewhere beneath the layers of fat, I had to find the courage to reach out to save myself, because no one else could do it for me.
I'm Marie. I'm working toward a 200 lb. weight loss goal. I'm doing it with baby steps. Follow my journey here.