Thursday, November 6, 2008

Break Through Jurl

For the past two weeks I have been on a liquid diet consisting of two or three protein shakes, V8, chicken bullion cubes, and sugar-free Jello. The first few days were pretty rough and there was a moment that Tubbs looked so succulent I almost ate him, but then I seemed to turn a corner. Now I hardly think about eating and am rather fulfilled by bullion cubes, yum.

It reminds me of my anorexic days when I managed to go three days without any food whatsoever. At the time I said I was trying to cleanse my body and perhaps have a vision. Momma Jurl said the only vision I'd have was of a pork chop. She was right.

On the morning of the fourth day I fainted in the shower, promptly eating a Lean Cuisine French Bread pizza upon awakening. It was delicious.

I have had every kind of relationship with food you can imagine. Eating it, not eating it, eating it and throwing it up, eating with abandon as if I didn't have a problem, soothing myself, punishing myself, loving myself, and hating myself.

I know two modes: in control and out of control. Back in the day when I lived on sauerkraut and air I finally felt in control of something in my life. To pass through a day and barely eat a thing was, for me, exhilarating. The less I ate the more control I had, or so I thought.

But I can only go so long without pizza and so I spiraled into bulimia (see Vomit Jurl for more details if you're really interested). Bulimia also gave me the feeling of control that I felt nowhere else in my life and was quickly an addict.

The other day someone posted a comment asking me if I ever considered doing something about my weight issues. For starters, if you were truly a reader of this blog you would know the answer to that question and for enders, I've done it all, good things and bad things, some very bad things.

Over the last year I have been in the process of spiritual evolution and in the last couple of months have entered a perfect storm of self help. As you know, I got back in with Nancy the Therapist and next week I see her associate to see about some anti-anxiety drugs.

I have always resisted medication because it requires a surrender I've never been able to make. It requires me to admit I can't do it by myself, it requires me to admit there is a problem beyond my control, it takes away from me the accomplishment of getting healthy. Or so it has always seemed to me. But when I realized that my weight, more importantly my feelings about my weight, not only hold me back, but hold my whole family back I decided to open myself to real help.

The weight impacts every moment of my life and every fiber of my being. There are lots of things I don't want to do, places I don't want to go, because I'm fat (I really want to soften that with a Fatty McPatty or Chubbs McButter Pants comment, but as a sign of my growth I skipped the joke). I can't just love myself the way I am and move on so I have to make the changes that will get me to a better place.

Also, I'm not getting any younger and losing weight now seems one hundred times harder than it ever did in my twenties. And then there's my family's medical history aka a Grim Reaper calling card....When someone turns fifty they get diabetes, then they ignore their diabetes, then they lose a toe. Oh, and then their heart explodes. I've got to get off this roller coaster of the flab before I loop-to-loop my way into bad health. (though I've always been super healthy no matter what my weight, it is for sure harder to carry it around the older I get)

The other thing that has happened recently involves my estranged father. For now, I'll tell you that Nancy says I've got to get my issues with him worked out and that all those years ago when I thought I'd forgiven all the guilty parties and made peace, um, I was wrong. See, actually, I was just suppressing all those emotions which were bubbling up in lots of other unhealthy ways cause emotions will not be denied, they will leak out one way or another. Nancy laid some other hard truths on me such as, "Is it really any wonder you don't love yourself, you don't find yourself worthy of love when you feel rejected by your own father?" Ugh. I really hate that the root of my issues can't be found lodged in some other childhood angst, but I know she's right. Damn you, Nancy!

All of the childhood crap is very difficult for me to deal with, but it does explain a lot of the, how shall I put it, odd things about me. Like the self loathing, my terrible fear of failure, or any one of my anxiety issues. Take your pick. I'll be working on all of them in the weeks and months ahead and I'll be sure to share any revelations with all the jurls.

So to recap: seeing Nancy; getting on some meds; dealing with those nasty Daddy issues....what else?

Oh, I'm having surgery tomorrow. It's a weight-control surgery and for me to share this with all of you is kind of hard for me even though I'm a person with no secrets and all about full disclosure.

It's a difficult admission for the same reasons accepting medication was always hard for me, it feels like I'm cheating, that I'm weak, that the accomplishment will not be my own. And of course there is the shame.

When I realized that watching what I eat (which I do) and working out (which I also do) was not enough for me anymore I began to consider medical assistance. In the past I'd been able to do it on my own, but I did it by eating 800 calories a day and working out twice a day, every day. People, I now realize I can't swing that routine anymore so I've decided to give in and get help. To surrender.

I'll still have to work-out, I'll still have to eat right, but what I can eat will be severely restricted. I hope I'm not letting anyone down out there that looks to me for diet or weight coping inspiration (not that anyone does, but just in case) because that would break my heart.

But I can't keep living my life in the background, that's not who God intended me to be. I must do everything, everything, I can to reach my full potential. I will not continue to swim in a lake of shame where I drowned each day, choking and sputtering on my own fear of who I am, who I could be, who I will be.

As I said, this admission is hard for me, but I'm just not the type of person to keep such a secret. If you ask me if my boobs are real I will tell you, "No." If you ask me where I got my cute bag I will tell you, "Target." Anyone who knows me probably knows more about me than they'd why stop now? Also, for those of you struggling along this same road, I want to share this experience to better inform you about the options.

Keep me in your prayers, not just that I don't die on the operating table (though that's a good one), but that I don't seek out new ways to sabotage myself, that I avail myself of every aid, and that I surrender.


Shea said...

Good luck Jurl! You are in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

You are truly AWESOME!!!

BoBono said...

Thanks for having the courage to be so open and honest once again. It's helpful to so many of us struggling with our own issues to see someone break through, take control and decide to be better. It's a long road, but the first step is always the hardest I know. I'll say a prayer and keep you in my thoughts until you are able to check in with us again. Good luck!

TJ said...

You truly are inspiring, having surgery doesn't change that at all, but telling us about it just makes you more so. Thank you.
You're in my prayers as well, good luck.

Claudia said...

Good luck Jurl! going to Nancy and taking the steps necessary to get healthy are very obvious signs that you are in control. Congrats. You are in my thoughts and although we've never officially met, I think of you as one of my jurlfriends and wish you the best!

Liss said...

I love you and I am so proud of you no matter what you decide to do. Good luck tomorrow and you are always in my prayers!!! If you need anything, you let me know!

Elle Woods said...

I'm so proud of you, Jurl. Let me know if you need anything while you're out of commission.

Shannon said...

You are probably tired of hearing how you inspire us, but maybe you don't. The truth is that I have looked up to you for as long as I can remember. I know that Liss and I drove you and A.M. nuts growing up because we were always in your business. We looked up to you. We copied what you did, games you played, and how you talked (Sexual Chocolate), we even liked the same music you did. You are a very important part of my life and all I want for you in this life is contentment, happiness and the peace of knowing that you are an amazing person. You inspire me. Thank you for letting us in. I love you and will keep you in my prayers always.

Anonymous said...

your boobs aren't real?

K, L and M said...

Hope the surgery went well...update us when you feel up to it...way to go for making the decision..and taking that step for a happier you...hang in there.:)

Kiki said...

I have wondered why you have not done this surgery, but I get the control issues. I used to be anti-med too. Finally I just realized I could not quit turning all negativity on myself and was not strong enough to withstand it anymore. Medicine is good.
You having this surgery makes me feel weird. (Yes, I'm turning something about you into something about me.) I have thought about having surgery many times, but know in my heart am not willing to quit eating in excess. Or maybe I just can't. That sounds so weak and ridiculous and psycho-babble.
Maybe I feel weird about you getting the surgery because I will be left alone as the only fat one. Wow. How's that for honest? Misery loves company indeed.
I truly hope it went great and you will have tremendous success. Congrats to you on therapy and medicine and surgery!

jurl said...

thanks so much for the kind words and well wishes. I'm doing good, but my laptop is fried so you'll have to wait until Monday for the next installment of a "very special surgery".

Francie Stevens said...

You know I could have written most of that blog about myself as well, and totally get where you're coming from. You have a very enthusiastic fan club and we all love you and are thinking of you!!