Redundancy scares me. I feel like if I get into a pattern of routine, then I’m predictable and once predictable, people then figure me out. Not that I avoid being figured out, but I feel that if I’m predictable, too predictable, people can use that against me.
My mom is a person of routine. Has had the same job that has started at the time on the same day of the week for the last 10+ years. Lived in the same neighborhood for nearly the same amount of time. They have a security system set up at their home. One day, someone broke into a truck at their neighbors home so they asked if I could come over and check out the camera system. Watching the security footage over the week I watched my mom each morning walk around the yard in the dark, go out to her vehicle, fumble with her keys at her truck door, and sit in her vehicle to heat it up. Every. Single. Day. At the same time. I confronted her about this. “Mom! Change up your routine! You can’t go out there every day at the same time and not pay attention to what you’re doing! Have your keys ready! Don’t sit in your vehicle. Stop walking around in the yard.” Here I am sounding like the parent. She laughs me off, feeling secure in her routine. “That’s the fucking problem,” I scoff.
Perhaps this is the issue in my own life. I don’t spare change. I use up every moment it comes into my life. I seek it. I don’t settle. I don’t stick to one thing. My attention span is so short that even it has issues staying focused. I change the furniture in my home around just to see a change. Work experience? Fahgettaboudit! I’ve got a resume as long as my leg. Never been fired but I can say that I’ve stayed and then left because of boredom. Growing up with this “free spirit”, as I call it now, was not easy. Mom was pretty hard on me for not having a routine. Wake up, work, pay bills, come home. Repeat. For the rest of your life. My heart races with anxiety just thinking about that type of restriction. I’m not judging those that need routine. For some, it’s very important to their everyday lives. It helps to keep them focused and on track.
Even if my mother doesn’t understand my freestyle of living, what’s important is that I feel the freedom of living it – and I do. I often look at her and wonder if she feels free. I feel like she is locked in her life of routine. Every day another day like the other. I’ve asked her about it and she laughs, shrugs and says she’s fine with it, but is that because she has done it for so long that’s it’s familiar and easy and change would scare her? She doesn’t even know. That’s robotic to me. I DO NOT want to be that confined in life. Maybe I need to spare some change for my mother.
Have you ever had a large meal and after eating it, your stomach protruded and literally hurt from fullness? Did that fullness make you feel so uncomfortable that you couldn’t sit still, you couldn’t lay down, you couldn’t move without feeling miserable and you wouldn’t dare think about putting another bite of food in your mouth. I, too, have felt that sort of fullness but if I wait 2-5 minutes I know I will want more. Especially if the food was pleasing to my senses!
Food gives me satisfaction. It’s the one constant in my life I have all the control over yet no control over at all. Stripping me of that control and having to tell myself I can’t eat this or that just because I have no limits is heart-wrenching to me. I become furious just thinking about driving past the Dairy Queen during the summer and having to see the skinny families standing in line with their skinny kids and their skinny dogs in their skinny cars eating their fat ice creams and chubby parfaits. I just gained 15 pounds writing that. I’m food sensitive. I swear to it. My youngest daughter is 5 foot nothing and 98 pounds. When she got her first tattoo, she asked to hold my hand. Her petite and tiny hand attempting to squeeze my ginormous hand was comical and sad in the same breath. She’s always talking to me about how the double size zeros are too loose. God bless her. The child eats and her body refuses to gain an ounce. Just inhaling the smells of food cause me to gain.
But alas, I have no shame. I’m not a closet eater. I give no real care. I will merrily and happily eat as much as I want in front of whoever I want. If I want to down an entire pie without sharing, I will do so. This could be my curse or blessing. I hate fighting with myself over what I should eat and what I shouldn’t eat because God forbid I eat an apple on Tuesday at 3 pm after consuming caffeine but not before a kale smoothie because Keto enzymes in the blood flood are bad. Seriously, someone punch me in the face. It’s no joke hard work eating healthy. I don’t feel as comforted with “healthier food”. Don’t get me wrong, healthy food makes me feel good in the long run. But the immediate results I get from sugar and the taste from certain fats from fried food is where I find comfort, safety, warmth, and relaxation. I can take out 6 king-sized candy bars in one sitting (evening). And I’m sure the count could be higher, this is just as much as I purchased. It’s impossible to tell myself, “Stop. Listen to your body.” or “How about an apple?” or “Try water.” There’s no way in hell I’m NOT going to allow myself to enjoy this. This is MINE. I’m becoming agitated now just thinking about. So I eat it – bypass everything I feel – and enjoy every single slow moment with the sweet morsel of magic.
Do you ever over-explain yourself because you feel like people don’t get it or get you? It’s true, though. I see the look on some people’s faces and I think to myself, “This person doesn’t get it and if they do they are as blank as an unwritten check.” There are emotions in me I can’t explain and I’m afraid that if I try too, I’ll cause more question but if I don’t, people won’t understand me and I think it’s human nature to want to be understood, right? Then there’s the “real Tonia” that could give two thoughts on if you understood or not. Push. Pull. Who the fuck am I. That’s not really a question.
I’ve tried to think about why I feel this push/pull feeling and I believe it comes from my need to people-please. Right before I started my weight loss journey in 2015, I became the person I felt I truly was deep inside. The real Tonia. Then, I gained back my weight and I trapped her. I shut her up with a burger and milkshake because honesty she scares me a bit. I become afraid that she’s too outrageous, too straightforward, and most times too uncaring. I’ve shocked myself at some of the shit that comes out of that mouth on the fly – without apology. When that fight between the “real Tonia” and “fat Tonia” starts, exhaustion takes over and depression sets in and well, some of you know how that goes. I do believe that depression is the only consistent “thing” in my life.
The one thing I never want to do is to become so consistently inconsistent that I harm those I love the most and cause them to lose faith in me. That they would think what I say and do are excuses to avoid THEM. Now in my 40s, I’ve finally found people that are real and to jeopardize that would be heartbreaking. Perhaps the one consistency is that I continue to work on moving forward. That I find importance in continuing to work on my journey, working towards bettering myself, understanding my depression and simply being okay with being human.
On Friday, March 29th, 2019 I arrived at my first appointment for gastric bypass surgery after attending the seminar in December. I haven’t told but a handful of people that I was thinking about surgery for weight loss. I feel like surgery is the easy way out. In some ways it makes me feel like I’ve failed. The truth is, this is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make when it comes to my weight loss. This surgery is irreversible. It’s not a fix-all. People still gain weight after surgery and to be honest I’m scared as hell. If I can’t control what I eat RIGHT NOW how can I possibly control what I eat after surgery? But that’s the least of my worries on this day.
The doctor comes into the room and tosses my folder on the desk, “So why are you here today?” I stare at him. He’s caught me off guard. I know he wants to hear that I’m here because I want a better life and no longer want health issues and blah blah but doc – let’s be honest. In order to get there, I’ve got to lose weight. So I say, “To lose weight. To be healthy again.” He chuckles a bit and right away I know that’s not the answer he wants and personally, I don’t care. He quickly replies with the list of things he was looking for. I already know I don’t like him. He’s cocky. His voice is demeaning and degrading. He asks me if I sleep with a c-pap – I answer no. He asks if I have high blood pressure – I answer no. Heart attack, stroke – no. He asks if I have diabetes – I answer no but I am still using Metformin to keep it under control because I used to have Type 2. I want to scream, “DID YOU READ MY FILE?!” He asks which type of surgery I’m interested in. I pick up a large flip board with the names of the surgery because who the hell remembers “Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.” I explain this is the type of surgery I’d like and the reason why. He quickly shoots it down and tells me that with the way I carry my weight and because I’ve had several abdominal surgeries, the sleeve would be better. He leaves the room to grab the female nurse because he has to check my heart. I look over at Kristy with disgust and whisper, “I don’t like him.”
Later that evening I received an email showing the notes and wrap-up of our appointment. Under ‘Chief Complaint’ the doctor writes “Sleep apnea, hypertension, degenerative joint disease, urinary stress incontinence, chronic fatigue, exertional shortness of breath.” WHAT?! Who the hell? Whose complaints are THESE? We never discussed these because I don’t have them. What is degenerative joint disease and urinary stress incontinence?! Now I’m worried. This is the doctor that’s going to operate on me? For fuck’s sake doc. Some would excuse it as – he most likely wrote the wrong patient notes in. Well, if he can make that simple of a mistake, I sure as hell don’t want him snipping, cutting, and stitching things inside my body. So tell me, what’s up doc?