Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For Your Consideration. A Re-Introduction

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.

Amy

32 comments:

  1. You're still, and always will be, such an inspiration!

    Thanks for sharing your story again :-)

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  2. Wonderful Post Amy - very inspirational - Thank you!

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  3. Thanks. Lovely post. And don't stop being you, fat or not, it is still you.

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  4. when I first was thinking about pursuing the lapband I came across ure blog and it helped me so much, now one week out from being banded I come across this post and it gives me so much inspiration...thank you and I only hope I can achieve all u have :)

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  5. Amen, sister!

    I love you so much.

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  6. You are my sunshine... my Amy Sunshine... You make me happy... when days are chocolatey overload...you'll never know dear(makes me feel like a grandma).. how much i love you! Please don't take my sanity away! Keep Shining... Aim to the E! XOXO *M*

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  7. I agree with Stef! *waves to Stef* Yours was the first blog I read when I started my journey and you continue to inspire me by not putting a false front on the face of weight loss surgery. You're a great writer and I'm so grateful to have found your blog! :)

    You rock!

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  8. Great reintroduction. Glad to see you back!

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  9. Your post is AMAZING - and inspirational. Thank you SO much for sharing your journey. YOU. GO. GIRL!

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  10. Great post! I am one of your new followers! You really should consider writing for a living. You have quite a gift! Just like my gift of over using exclamation marks!!! :)

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  11. I just happened here - a result of blog hopping... but I am glad I did. Congratulations on your achievements!

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  12. You are my hero. Can you tell some of us new followers what you did/do for diet/exercise.

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  13. Amy, this post is beautiful. When I first started researching the lapband I googled "Lapband blogs" or something on that line, and yours came up! I sat captivated for hours reading your story. I couldn't get enough. You are such an inspiration. I am finally getting banded January 12th! P.S. I took a road trip to Chicago today and we drove past Harpo studios and there was this girl getting her picture taken out front. I thought for a minute. Ha! Amy would love that!
    Anyways, I'm so thankful for your blog!

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  14. Love the re-introduction :o)

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  15. Great post! Great idea for a re-introduction as well, I just may steal it-- many people come and go, but there is definitely a group of folks that sticks around and I am happy to see you are one of them. You are definitely an inspiration. I love how you show me to embrace my own imperfections and just BE.
    This is a wonderful quality and your warmth radiates from your blog posts.
    Have a wonderful new year!

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  16. You are a wicked inspiration! Your blog is awesome :) I've read the whole darn thing. I'm having surgery tomorrow (12/30)and feel so much better prepared from reading blogs like yours! Thanks for being YOU!!

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  17. Like so many others here, your blog is what basically started it all for me! I would always say, if she can loose that much I know I can suceed! Thank you! You are such a sweet person! I've been banded for a little over 4 months and have lost 50 lbs! Thanks for continuing to be such a huge inspiration!!!!

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  18. Excellent post thank you so much!

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  19. Amy, you have been such a great inspiration to me. Like others have said you have a great gift for people and writing, you should be paid lots of money. Thanks so much for being you . Happy New Year!

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  20. You have always been inspiring to me. I remember when I first saw your blog back in like March I went back and read it from beginning to current and loved it. Loved you! You are funny and kind and your success is triumphant.

    Congrats to you for getting what you want!
    Awesome!

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  21. Wow. New follower here. Fantastic and powerful post. I loved it. I kind of feel like I know you. Congratulations on your success. The battle makes me weary at times - posts like these make me strong.

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  22. This post reminds me why I got the lap band in the first place. Thank you Ames for always being a inspiration to me. HUGS

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