Grief has an amazing way of sparking thought. My modus operandi has always been a reality escape. Sports were an early coping partner. My mother loves to talk about how I’d head to the backyard in my football outfit and play a full game ALONE. After the “game” was over, I’d grab my baseball uniform and play another full game with crowd noise. We grew up with a pond nearly in our backyard. The “Pond” intersected two streets and was a quick jaunt across the street. I’d skate for hours before school then be there as soon as it was over. Having people with whom to play, meant nothing to me. I lived in my own world, oblivious, at times to people.
Life was ironically hard as a teen. I was competent athlete. My features were bland enough to make me a solid 6.7 in looks. My grades were terrible although I did very well on exams. Homework, which accounts for 99.9% in our grading system was ignored in my world. For context, “my world” refers to my cloudy brain. I had friends. Really. Good. Friends. My life should have been good. It wasn’t. I lived in a constant state of fear. Quiet tears were produced faster than fake N-95 masks.
Trauma is real. It’s something I experienced in two forms. There may be a day I discuss, but not Today. It took years for me to understand the depth of my pain. In some ways, the surface is only beginning to get scratched. As I got older, escaping to sport wasn’t enough. I started to drink daily. I hid it well, early. Over time, I couldn’t hide it. Hurricane Brandt was in full effect. Eventually, I got sober. This is where the real story begins. I was chubby in my 20’s but manageable. At 31, I was a married father of two without alcohol as my crutch. Immediately, food took its place.
Ice cream has always been a friend. A good friend with no side effects. My metabolism was high. Exercise was still a thing. I got sober and sedentary. Remember, I cope by escaping. I ran to church basements for sobriety and parlors for ice cream. After 2 months of sobriety, I was up 15 pounds but SOBER! That weight never left. It snowballed.
People have talked about life changing moments. Fascinating tales when they were hanging off a cliff, survived it, and changed. I don’t know my tipping point. It happened. At some point, I stopped moving altogether. Travel plans centered around my lack of mobility. How close is the beach? Does that restaurant have chairs without arms? Is there close parking? Even Covid became a crutch. Instacart stopped grocery visits. Mobile pickup became an evil friend. Even Mitchel’s brings ice cream to my car. WT actual F? Obesity is a malevolent enemy.
The decision to pursue surgery doesn’t come lightly. There are so many thoughts and feelings. I’ve wrestled with the thought that this is another escape. Am I putting a bandage over a gun wound? I learned when I got sober, however, that I must surrender to win. There will be a time for a goodbye letter to gluttony. Today, I am focusing on good health and moving my frame.
To anyone suffering from excess weight. I feel your pain. I live your reality. Many of us do. Just keep trying and be gentle. Never Ever Give up!