I avoid a lot of things in life, for reasons that are nearly all fear-based. I fear pain the most — physical and mental — and yet, I now live with it daily. How the heck did that happen?
I can trace problems with being overweight back to age 11, when puberty struck. I did not remember then that I’d been molested repeatedly by a “family friend” from age three to six. But somehow I knew that getting my period was a bad thing connected to “grandpas”. (Not my own, who both died before I was born.) No, I considered any older man a “grandpa” — and dangerous for reasons I could not articulate.
I began sneaking food anyway I could. I sure didn’t know why, but in retrospect, I believed that getting fat would make me “invisible” to grandpas. The bigger I got, the more invisible I’d be. Yes, that thinking makes no sense if you haven’t spent your entire life trying to hide. Some women gain weight without under-standing why they don’t want to be attractive to men. It’s a cocoon. I figured that out at 11.
I knew all my life that I had a couple of other people inside of me, and mostly thought everyone did. But I didn’t know until my late 30s that I had alters whose only purpose in life was to eat when I wasn’t co-conscious. I repeatedly went on extreme diets, feeling massively deprived and hungry, and would gain weight. Doctors routinely proclaimed that I was lying about my food intake. Just one of a long list of things that made me feel crazy.
Fast forward to 2008. I began taking my Type 2 diabetes seriously 10 years after diagnosis, meaning keeping track of my blood sugars, and changing my diet to lower carb (which got progressively much lower as I realized that carbs are not diabetic friendly). This was a radical shift for me, and I refused to call it a “diet”, because it would fail. I called it “lowering my blood sugar”.
I also had surgery for a meniscus tear in my right knee that year, leaving it in a “bone on bone” condition that made the pain much worse. My ortho doc said I couldn’t qualify for knee replacement until I both lost a lot of weight, and reached age 60. I was 53.
The last five years I struggled to find relief for my knee, which is constantly painful, but excruciating whenever I leave my house because there are eight steps up to get back inside. Because of those steps, I pretty much only leave my house for doctor appointments. On the bright side, I got my diabetes into excellent control, with my A1C test going down to 5.7, a non-diabetic number.
But I wasn’t losing any weight, which had to change if I were ever to have any hope of getting my knee fixed. Otherwise, I will spend the rest of my life housebound, which for a long while I accepted as just being my reality. And even though I really hate change, last year I began to change my reality.
[to be continued in Part 2)