My name is Amy. My middle name is Irene.
I was born on September 8th, 1979 to Marji and Al.
I was the third child. My sister is 16 years my senior, my brother is 8 years my senior. And I, the chosen one, was a request of my mother...who knew there was a little Amy floating around waiting to be born.
My sister said I came out looking for a camera and ready to pose. She also says my brother screamed "Put her back in" after they told him I was a girl (even though my mom had warned him I was going to be of the female persuasion).
I grew up in a loving and comfortable middle class family on the outskirts of Topeka, Kansas. I had close to 20 barbies, give or take. I carried them around in a big trunk. I loved make believe. And I loved to make people happy.
I was bossy. I was funny. I was loud. I was bigger than most of my friends. But I wasn't fat. Although if you would have asked me at age five...I would have told you otherwise.
Somewhere in middle school I did become "fat". But I danced, cheered, acted, dated, and existed as a social being. But being fat defined me on the outside, regardless of whether or not it defined me on the outside.
I kept gaining weight, and by the time I graduated high school, I was 275 pounds.
I dilly-dallied in college for the better part of a decade (8 years to be exact). I majored in theatre for awhile, and then decided I didn't need that...because let's face it. I was dramatic enough. Then I majored in education, because not to sound bragadocious, I have a gift with challenging kids. But, then I decided I wanted to be rich when I grew up...and I graduated with a degree in Communication. What better field for the girl who always had "talks to much" on her report cards?
By the time I graduated college and moved to Florida...I weighed over 300 pounds.
At some point you stop thinking. You just eat. You drive to 3 different fast food restaurants on the way home. You just eat. You quiet the part of your brain that is trying to scream "you are killing yourself" by muffling it with hamburger buns and ice cream.
And eventually, that voice becomes so mute that its just a gentle hum inside your brain.
And then one day, the girl who loved the camera...didn't anymore.
The girl who could water ski...couldn't anymore.
The girl who loved to dance...didn't want to dance anymore.
And I decided to have weight loss surgery.
I was banded January 27th, 2009. I weighed 327.
I knew, because my doctor was clear, that with the Lapband...I could possibly lose ZERO pounds. I knew that I could fail the band. I could cheat it.
I chose not too. Well, most days I chose not too.
By my one year bandiversary, I had lost 120 pounds. I am currently at 160 pounds lost. (Give or take a few depending on the day, the tilt of the earth, the color of the wind).
I can't say that I am a much different person than I was then. I was sitting her mulling the thought over in my mind, and I have decided that I am the same person, just healthier...and happier.
But I was loved before. I was happy before. I enjoyed me some food before. I was too emotional, too much, too feast or famine. I am still all of those things. But I have captured so many of the "wants" that lived inside of me.
I wanted to be free of the restraints morbid obesity shackles you with. I wanted to be able to run and play, to swim, ski, dance, love, make love...LIVE...without my fat suit. And while you can certainly do many, if not all of those things, when you are overweight...it is not as easy.
This path I have been on for nearly 2 years has brought so many unexpected challenges, yet it has also given me so many unexpected gifts. I think we all battle our own demons. Some of my demons may be yours. Some may be all my own. And the band, or weight loss in general, can help you face some of those.
The emotional and mental hurdles I faced pre-band are still there. I still struggle with self-worth. I still am too emotional, too loud, too much. But now my PHYSICAL health doesn't hinder me or add to it. My physical health pulls me up.
I hope that we never stop finding ourselves. I hope my weight loss journey gives weigh (pun) to another one. There is peace in the possibilities of life I think. There is peace in the consistency of chaos.
And there you have my re-introduction. I know I have some new followers. I know that sometimes we forget what we read two years ago. I know that this community is a meca of support and friendship. I also know that it is cathartic to just write sometimes...and lately I have been trying to clear my mind and know what I know...worry less about the unknown. So I wanted you to know what I know about me.
Thank you for reading, for commenting, for emailing, for FBing, for Boobing it up.
Keep fighting the good fight.