I am overweight. There are a variety of reasons for this, among them depression, spinal stenosis, poly-articular arthritis, and an obsession with food as the antidote to all that ails. It is, as many know, a vicious cycle. Eat, gain weight, get more depressed, eat again. At some point one becomes numb and develops the ability to look in the mirror and not see, talk to people but not look them in the eye, and become a shell of former self. That was me.
When my spinal stenosis became so bad that I could not walk more than a few steps, my weight sky rocketed. Post surgery, I felt well for a short time, started walking and began one of my many diets – and failed. Within a month, my back started hurting and one of my legs started to become numb and itchy and I was driving through McDonalds every morning to buy a small mocha frappe, no whip (I had the lingo down, naturally), about a million calories a serving.
When the numbness started to become distracting and uncomfortable, I went to see the neurologist, sure he was going to tell me that it was time to go back to the surgeon. Imagine my surprise when I learned that I had Meralgia paresthetica, a fancy term for compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, or in other words, I was so obese that fat was pressing on the nerve on the front of my thigh causing numbness and tingling. I was devastated, humiliated, fat, numb, depressed, and the worst of the FFF’s (a little nickname my sisters and I share). I had hit rock bottom.
How could I have let this happen? What happened to that little girl who only ate to live?
I am not really sure when I made the change from thin, healthy, happy Marie to the person that I used to make fun of, the one who stands in the back in group pictures and can never find anything to wear. Karma is real. Send it out into the universe and eventually it will return.
Then one day, I saw “before and after” pictures of the younger sister of one of my dear friends. She had lost over 70 pounds and looked fabulous. I decided to take a chance and ask her what kind of journey she was following.We talked for a while and it felt good to admit to the psychological problems I had with eating and weight loss. I laughed until I cried and decided to take the plunge on my absolute last ditch effort at any eating plan before deciding on bariatric surgery. Yes, of course I had considered that.
At just about the same time as I made the decision to start another diet, I just happened to find a set of Melmac dishes I had been searching for on E Bay for almost a year – the dishes I grew up with and felt a need to own again. Funny how thing work. Perhaps there is a master plan.
The dishes arrived about a week before my meal replacements, in almost perfect condition and almost exactly as I had remembered them. Much to my surprise, the dishes were so much smaller than the usual dinner plates I have been using for years. The cereal bowls I remember from my youth are tiny compared to the bowls in my cabinet. I started to put two and two together – the size of dinner ware and flat ware has increased over the years in proportion to my own weight gain. Coincidence? Probably not. Nevertheless, I took a chance on E Bay (God, I LOVE that site) and found mid-century forks, spoons and knives to add to my collection. Lo and behold, they are substantially smaller than the mismatched set of silverware I have been using. Putting two and two together yet?
So now I am on a health and weight-loss journey with the help of an amazing coach, a great support group, a few meal replacements, and a Lean and Green meal on my awesome Melmac plates with my awesome forks and knives with the cool vintage wooden handles. I am re-learning to love the whole process of the meal, not just the food. The dishes are the perfect size for my portion controlled meal, and life is really looking up. If only I had my pastel Tupperware cups to drink my water. . . but I digress. . .
I am about to place my third order for plan meal replacements. I have lost ten pounds, have not “cheated” even once
as there is no need to, and my obsession with food is gone. I have a very long way to go, but the road ahead is clear. I am getting closer to finding me every day.
This is a journey I feel confident about. I could write a book on all the diets I have tried before and why this one is the one that works for me and maybe someday I will. Accountability is important, but having all the right tools at the right time is even more important than that. Check back in every once in a while if you want to follow my progress. I may even post a picture. Who knows, while finding me, I may be able to help you find you.