Transformation...but not what you think

Apr 29, 2019

I'm glad it has taken this long to see the end of the journey (knock on wood).

First, there is a slight chance my surgery may be delayed - which would be devestating. Not only am I mentally, physically and emotionally ready to do this, but the realities of my situation mean that would really be problematic. I retired early (Summer 2017)- because it was that or my mother would have to go in a home and I wasn't having that. So I left my job and my husband I moved to Brockville after 36 years in Toronto.  She moved in with us- timely as it turned out as she had a very bad fall literally weeks after we moved in and was in rehab for 8 weeks in Montreal.  I took her straight from rehab to here and she has been here since, struggling at times but at 94 doing remarkably well.  

I have arranged with my sisters to take her for about 7 weeks.  One sister for four weeks (in Montreal) and one of my sisters from California has taken a leave of absence of three weeks to look after her (also in Montreal).   I need that time to prepare for the surgery (she would freak if she saw me on a liquid diet - the Slimtime regime beforehand)- the surgery and then the recovery period - when I will be adjusting and becoming accustomed to the "new normal".  So keep your fingers crossed that they allow it go forward.  The nurse practioner appointment I had in January was abruptly and with no notice to me or the Telehealth I was attending, cancelled. I followed up with numerous calls and eventually it was rebooked - for the DAY of my surgery.  More phone calls later and finally I had it two weeks ago - only to be told they may have to postpone. They are doing their best to make this work, so here's hoping.

The reality is that I am glad it has taken me the better part of two years to get here.  When my surgery came up last year (around March 2018) I had to say no as my mother was deathly ill (they predicated she would live only weeks - she fooled them!)- and I was scheduled for a lumpectomy and suspected cancer in my breast (benign thankfully!).  But truth is, I wasn't mentally or emotinoally prepared to go forward - had doubts and worries and reservations.  When I restarted things again in September, because of the time differential, i had to (almost) start from the beginning.  It has been a revelatory journey and I find now I am fully prepared to go forward with zero reservations or reluctance.  

The conclusion I have reached is that while physically I craved the surgery - mentally I wasn't ready for the kind of commitment the outcome demands.  Here's the thing - the physical part of it is really only the least of it -where we have to find the desire, the commitment, the passion to change is all inside our brains.  It is no secret that most obese people have a complicated, confusing and often unhealthy relationship with food.  I am no different.  Oddly, spending the 8 weeks (every day 7:30 a.m. to 7 pm) in the rehab with my mother opened my eyes to many things, not the least of which is WHY I have this unhealthy relationship with food. She is the opposite of obese, she is tiny, thin and eats sparingly, grazes more than anything albeit she eats what she wants. But what I did see is that she herself has a complicated and confusing relationship with food - and without planning it, passed that onto to her children.  She was born and bred in Ireland (I was born there but came to Canada when I was five) - and that culture itself has a preoccupation and passion about food that means walk into any Irish household and you open your mouth, and you WILL get food shoved into it!

This is one of the cultural implications of my food issues - and one I have diligently been dealing with over the past year - and i think successfully. While I still love cooking and feeding people (bred in the bone)- I am finding ever day, food itself is becoming simply something I fuel my body with.  When I was first weighed when I first entered the program at Toronto Western, I was a scant 3 lbs from 300 .... I am now 276 - without actively dieting or becoming obsessive, but as the program demands, being "mindful" - it is astonishing how constantly checking yourself, being aware of what your eating, slowing down and really looking at and deciding, do I want this? WORKS.  I have trying to train my mind into looking at food not as something I emotionally crave, but something I simply need to be healthy, energetic and positive - and when you look at what we are anticipated to eat after the operation - it truly shows how our society has lost sight of the reality of how much a healthy body needs to exist.




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Oct 16, 2018
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