Remembering the Pain

March 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

There was a time in my  life where it never even occurred to me that a person might be so large they could not physically fit in ANY chair manufactured.

Then I lived it.

I became that person.

I outgrew the entire world it seemed.

Little things suddenly became obstacles.

Every day life was now a mountain I could never climb.

As I’ve lost weight, these things have been returned to me.

I no longer have to fear that I will break furniture or not fit in a chair.

I have the strength, balance and coordination to get on an escalator and not worry about falling.

Many people don’t realize that the bigger you are, the more difficult it becomes even to balance.

I fell so many times over the past few years because my body was weakened by the weight.

Now I walk freely.

I go up and down stairs.

I don’t live in constant fear of falling.

Or twisting my ankle.

Or having a heart attack.

But here’s the thing—the more your life changes….the less aware you become.

What used to be so exciting….”I can fit in that chair!”….now becomes “normal”.

And what’s so exciting about normal, right?

In a normal life, you wake up and get out of bed.

You head to the bathroom.

You go get your coffee.

You sit down and check email.

Nothing exciting about that, right?

But what if you could not sleep in a bed?

What if your weight suffocted you at night so you had to sleep sitting straight up?

What if you could not get out of the recliner or bed without assistance?

Or without breaking a sweat from the struggle?

What if your feet were so swollen upon waking up that every step was frightening?

The pain induced tears.

And fear that you would fall?

What if your simple trip to the bathroom upon waking up resulted in you breaking the toilet seat…..AGAIN?

What if the distance from your bedroom to the coffee pot brought you to your maximum heart rate

So that you had to stop 4 times on your way there just to catch your breath?

 

This was my life.  Every day. For a really long time

And I don’t ever want to forget that

 

It’s vitally important that I never forget.

You want to know why?

Because PAIN is really effective in changing your life.

REALLY REALLY EFFECTIVE

 

It was very painful for me to go walking at 417 pounds.

To get up and pace the hallway or walk to the mailbox.

But everything was painful.

It was painful for me just to go to the bathroom because the toilet is located next to the wall which allowed no room for my body

In my bedroom, the toilet is right next to the wall.  That only works for you if your body is of a fairly normal size.

And the toilet paper roll was on that wall where it would dig and press into my leg.

I had to physically remove from the wall where the toilet paper roll had been hung because of that

We had to take it off the wall and buy a free standing toilet paper holder.

Because I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without being jabbed and pricked by the toilet paper roll since my body didn’t fit into that space!

The most trivial things you would never think of had become a huge problem.

If walking was painful…why would I ever choose to do it voluntarily for exercise??

It was the absolute last thing I wanted to do because it was just so painful.

But living in my body at that weight was even more painful.

THAT pain had become worse than anything.

Even worse than the pain that comes from exercise.

Or the pain that comes from saying no to food I’d rather say yes to.

The pain of living in that body every day….living in total bondage to food….THAT pain had become positively intolerable

So I decided the pain of pacing the hallway or walking to the mailbox was worth it

If it could help me escape the intolerable pain I was living in every second of the day.

Remembering our pain can be a good thing.  Especially if it was the pain that brought us to change.

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I had a “normal” weekend to some.  But to me it was extraordinary.  Filled with a million things I could not have done 19 months ago.

I took my kids to the mall.  And something crazy happened.

I realized that we went PAST the elevator in the middle of the mall.

I used to struggle to get to the elevator.  That was my goal because then I would know I had made it halfway.

But yesterday I found myself breezing past it without even noticing!!!

It seemed as if suddenly I was all the way to the end of the mall and wondering how I got there!

Usually it takes so much longer to walk the length of the mall..I thought to myself!

Usually my knees are hurting and I’m tired long before now

I don’t go to the mall that often but every time I do, I find that I have improved.

This was the first time I went to the mall and it really did not phase me in the least.

Nothing hurt. I wasn’t tired.  And the mall seemed SMALL.

Is the mall getting smaller??   Has the length of it shrunk?

These thoughts go through my mind.

The reality is this…the mall is the same.

I am the one that has changed.

And pain brought me to that point.

So reminding myself of that pain helps me to stay focused.

I don’t live in fear that I will gain all my weight back

But I do live in the very sobering reality that it could happen if I ever fall into the trap of minimizing how much pain I was in.

Minimizing the very real power food has had over my life and the potential it still carries to control me.

Lack of pain is a wonderful thing.

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it is to walk free from pain.

But I can’t forget where I have come from because that would make it easy to go back.

 

The END of the mall…we had never walked all the way to the end before!

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Fitting in massage chair at mall!  The part where you put your legs was still tight the last time I tried it.  But not this time!!

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Lady Amanda March 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Love the pics! Love charlotte’s shoes- soo cute. Looks like you guys had a good time!

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16blessingsmom March 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Holly, when I first started going on my walks after deciding to change my life…it hurt. I would have to come home and lie down. Fast forward: lost 70 pounds (still have a long way to go though). Went to the dr. for my knee, which was clicking and sticking…diagnosed with advanced arthritis of the kneecaps. He asked, “Don’t they hurt?” hmm. Yes, they do…but compared to what I felt like 70 pounds ago, I can deal with it. He had no clue what I was talking about. Every step hurt then. Yes, I have pain now, but nothing compared to then. I also do not want to forget where I came from because I have so much to be thankful for. You are such an inspiration to me, thank you!

Della

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Amanda March 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

It’s funny that you would post about “change”, that has been a topic on my mind lately. I have spent the last two-three weeks thinking about this very concept, how people in general (myself included) don’t change until the “payoff” is greater than staying the same. I have been super-introspective I guess, wondering what it is about my life that has “changed” that I am finally willing to do WHATEVER it takes to lose this weight, whereas up until this point I have not.

Love the pictures, as always. Love your perspective. Thank you for sharing!

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Lori March 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Our minister used that exact quote about pain in his sermon yesterday! Maybe I need to take note of it.
Lori

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Courtney March 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I always love hearing about your latest achievement. 🙂 The way it celebrates your victories while letting people get a glimpse into a world they likely know little about is a double whammy of goodness in my opinion.
Courtney recently posted..Numbing AgentsMy Profile

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Pam March 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Just this weekend, we went out to lunch in the older area of downtown Lincoln. Hubby & I walked out of the restaurant before my son and made the fairly short trek downhill to our car. Just then we noticed son about a block behind us coming out of the restaurant, gesturing to us. Unhesitating, I walked back UP that hill to where he was to see what the problem was. (He thought he had lost his phone, but it was in his pocket!) That made me remember the time when I hated to eat in that section of town, because there is not a parking lot outside restaurants there, you walk from wherever you can find a spot to park along the streets, and sometimes it’s several blocks. And sometimes, it’s an UPHILL walk. This weekend, that walk back up the hill to meet my son outside the restaurant was nothing. I welcomed it as extra movement. But three years ago, I would have hated it. I would have resented him for making me walk more.
I will never forget the pain of morbid obesity either!
Pam recently posted..Grilling is GOODMy Profile

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Chisty - Tired Mommy March 5, 2013 at 12:20 am

Great post, Holly. I have your blog feed in my reader and try to not miss a post. You are truly inspiring and I feel blessed to have found you on the www.

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Kim March 5, 2013 at 1:16 am

Way to go!! What a great feeling that must be! Keep it up!

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annamarie March 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

As always a beautiful, awesome post. Thank you, you have no idea of how much you inspire me and have helped me….thank you again.
annamarie recently posted..Can almost smell SpringMy Profile

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Steelers6 March 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Good thing you’ve been blogging along the
way, because eventually there will be a
totally new normal. I guess some of it is
a gradual process, & you might forget
how some things used to be. By all means,
write it down.
I find it so interesting to hear about past
challenges. Some of us have no idea, &
other readers can totally relate to something
that may be there past (or present) as well.

Keep journaling! The mall walk was an
exciting discovery!
Chrissy

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Linda Sherwood March 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I love that you keep finding new chairs to show you fit into them! What a great feature to your log. I cheer every time I see a new one. 🙂
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Anita Elmore March 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Amen!

I am so moved by your post….and I can relate. While I started out without quite as much to lose (though not far off…I don’t really know what my starting weight was because my scales wouldn’t register that…in fact, I broke my scales because I weighed too much for it. My best guesstimate is that I was around 360 lbs when I first started), I have had many of the same pains. I have not gotten to do many of the things I have enjoyed in the past because I couldn’t fit in the seats. Even going to the doctors office was a heartbreak because I couldn’t fit in the waiting room seats. There have been times I have visited friends, family, or businesses that I could not use the bathroom there because there wasn’t enough space around the toilet for me to fit, or reasonably fit….and I have broken my fair share of toilet seats (and regular seats as well). My husband and I went to Gatlinburg, TN (a fave tourist destination of ours as it only takes us a few hours to get there) and for the first time in many, many years, I was able to walk it without having to stop every 10-20 feet to sit, catch my breath and try and let my back ease up from the pain. In fact, I out-walked him this time! I still have a ways to go, I’m still over 300 lbs, but thanks to wonderful people like you, who share your stories, coupled with the pain I’ve endured and continue to endure, I am inspired and encouraged to not give up.

Congratulations on your success and thank you so much for sharing your story! ♥
Anita Elmore recently posted..I Get Lazy When It’s ColdMy Profile

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Less of Less March 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I can’t imagine what it must have been like before. It’s amazing the positive changes that you have made.
Less of Less recently posted..Zombies, Run! 5K – Week Five Review: Ninja ZombiesMy Profile

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Sarah March 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm

We can only appreciate where we are by knowing where we’ve been! 🙂

Sarah
http://www.thinfluenced.com

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Kathy March 8, 2013 at 3:48 am

This was truely inspirational. I’m so happy for you 🙂

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Cathy March 10, 2013 at 2:06 am

Holly, I came from a family of bigger women. My mother and her sisters were quite heavy. My aunts were very heavy women. Growing up I loved them so much. I never realized how they were worried about fitting in a chair, or breaking it. As a child I only thought of how I loved them and how good they smelled. It breaks my heart to think they lived through these trying times. My mom never wanted her picture taken because of her weight. When she past she weighed under 140 lbs and still felt heavy. Your writings have really made me realize the pain they faced everyday of their adult life. Thank you so much for sharing your life in this way. I’m glad you have found freedom in a healthier life! God bless you!

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D March 10, 2013 at 8:46 am

This was great to read. I’m there at the moment. I lost about 100lbs 5-6 years ago and manage to put 80 or so of in back on in the last couple of years. I have lapband surgery in 6 weeks time. It was good to read this and remember that these things, these difficulties go away, the pain will go away as the pounds do too.
Thanks for the reminder 🙂

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