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Sex Love and Obesity Part 8

In Sex Love and Obesity part 7 we left of with Superman being an unattainable man in my life, me being unwilling to tell him the truth because now that I had lost all my weight for the second time in my life I was plagued with the excess skin issues that still made me uncomfortable with my own body.

It is amazing, the shift that happens after you lose so much weight. I always thought I would lose the weight and life would be perfect. I’d lost 250 pounds, but with all the skin, I still looked like someone who suffered from obesity. I was happy with my weight loss. But, I was still ashamed of my body. I might even say I was more ashamed of my body than I had been before I lost the weight. Because quite honestly when the skin issues set in. there was this mental part that came with it. I had to face the mirror each day and see the damage I had done with my food addiction and with my struggle with obesity. It was hard enough for me to deal with. But it kept me from telling Superman the truth because I really didn’t think my heart could handle the rejection I’d feel if he couldn’t love me because of it.

It was now 2013, I’d been lying to this man for the better part of 10 years.

I was in the middle of planning my exit strategy. I was finally at a place where I knew I was leaving my husband. I had come to terms with the fact that I had to move on with my life. I had stopped working as a phone sex operator. I had accepted that my body even after reconstructive surgery, wasn’t going to be perfect and I wasn’t going to progress that career into video technology. I had started attending weight loss conventions. I had found a new passion to help others that were struggling with obesity. I wanted to do something for a living that I was proud of and I was in the middle of get the education I needed to pursue a career in the fitness and wellness industry.

It was the summer of 2013, I was in Dallas on my last hiatus from home before I started to figure out where I was going when I left. I was just about to undergo my final round of reconstructive plastic surgery. What I looked like after this, was going to be as good as it gets. This was going to be my final outcome. Whether I liked it or not I just couldn’t afford anymore reconstructive plastic surgery to fix anything else.

Superman and I were discussing meeting for the 100th time in the last 10 years. I can only guess that in his mind, we were planning another trip I would never show up for.

My life was in such an emotional place that I honestly can’t tell you how it really went down. Maybe someday I will ask Superman how he remembers it. But somewhere, during planning this trip I think we both assumed would never happen, I remember him saying something to me like, “We’ve been doing this for 10 years. Whatever it is that you need to tell me. Whatever it is you’re lying about, and you are afraid of, after all this time I deserve the truth and the opportunity to decide whether or not it is something I can deal with.”

After 10 years of loving him, years of fearing his rejection. It all came down to this moment…

I told him the entire truth.

I admitted to every lie I had ever told him. I sent real photos and I crossed my fingers held my breath and hoped that he’d be able to forgive me for everything I had put us through and love me regardless.

The following October, I got on a plane and I went to meet this man I had been in love with for nearly a decade.

A two-week trip turned into a four-week trip. We were everything I had always dreamed we would be. The trip had gone perfectly. I had known I loved him for 10 years and I wasn’t wrong. Everything I had done up to this point had been worth it. It had worked. He loved me. We were going to have a future together.

I didn’t want to leave. All my things were in Portland, I had so many loose ends to tie up. I had no job, no income, no idea where my life was going, – all I knew was that I didn’t want to be away from him. I didn’t want to say good-bye. I didn’t want to get on a plane, go back to my miserable life in Portland and face tying up all those loose ends. I just wanted that part of my life to all be over. I wanted to be with him. He wanted me to be with him. We were going to be okay.

I sobbed the entire way on the two-hour car ride to the airport to put me back on a plane.

I could hardly get out of the car when we got to the airport, my legs didn’t want to carry me. He watched me break down, watched me struggle, and part of me resented him a little bit for it. Why was he making me go back? Why didn’t he tell me not to go? Did he not see how much this was hurting? Didn’t he understand that I didn’t know if I was strong enough to face everything I had to go do?

We sat at a little table outside the path that leaded to the TSA checkpoint postponing our good-bye for as long as we could. He was on his phone. At first, I was angry. Here we were about to say good-bye, part of me questioned whether we would ever see each other again. I silently wondered if he was putting me on a plane and sending me home so that he could break up with me when I got back there instead of having to break the news to me face to face.

It wasn’t long before he sat down the phone, held my hand, looked me in the eye and in that voice that had been my solace for so many years explained to me that he had been texting his roommate and making sure that what he was about to offer was alright with him. He suggested that I didn’t have to go home, that this could be home for me now. We could have them pull my bags off the plane, put them back in the car and I could put an end to all this right then, stay with him, figure the rest out as we went.

I wanted this entire saga to be over. I wanted to not be a sex slave. I wanted to not be with someone who wanted to control me, take advantage of me. I wanted to not ever answer another phone sex call again. I wanted a normal life, with a normal man who loved me as much as I loved him.

Every single fiber in my being told me to stay.

All I wanted to do was get back in the car and go back with him. But that little voice in your head that plays the devil and angel on your shoulder started talking. How do I explain to people waiting for me back in Portland that I am not coming back? What about all the things I have there? What if they get so angry at me that they destroy all my things? What about my dog? What about my car? What about my Dad’s things? All I have is what is on the suitcases on that plane. Can I just let it all go and risk losing it all?

I didn’t want to get on that plane. But I knew that I had to. I had to go back and get the things that were important to me. Strangely enough, I suddenly had the strength to do it. His offer had given me the strength and confidence in the fact that we were going to be together in the end. I wasn’t afraid of the sting of his dismissal and rejection hitting when I got back home. His offer to let me stay right then and there told me everything I needed to know. He loved me. Somehow, after years of lying to him, he’d forgiven me. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t the girl in the photos anymore. I was me, and that was who he wanted.

I got on the plane, went back to Portland and started the wheels in motion to move to the other side of the country to start a new life. Superman and Lois Lane against the world. I’d fought obesity and I’d won. I was on my way to a brand-new career, I had the man of my dreams. This story should have had a happy ending. Should have. But things don’t work out quite the way they should sometimes.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 9 – I was too broken and damaged to be loved.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

This is #MyBariLife

There are moments that you look back on in life and think, “If I had that to do all over again, I’d sure do that differently.” Everyone has them. The emotion that drives these feelings can be different; sometimes it’s regret, sometimes it’s lack of education, while other times it’s a lack of knowledge.

When I wrote “The Truth About Why I Stopped Running” blog last week, if you asked me what emotion was fueling my “I wish I could go back and do that again” moment, I would say that it was disappointment.

You see, I was disappointed in myself for not having the inner strength, the self-awareness and self-worth to have stood more firmly in my resolutions.

I told you that I made sacrifices. I gave up running to try to fix the relationship I was in. I felt like had allowed him to steal the joy of running from me. I used a very important word – “allowed”.  I knew it was happening and I made a conscious decision to let it happen. I allowed it. That’s on me.

I did something I tell my clients not to do all the time. I turned my can into a can’t. I wasn’t physically incapable of running anymore. But, instead of finding a way to continue to prioritize it and stand firm in my resolve that it was important to me and for me, I made a different choice.

I chose to let a year and half long relationship hold more importance than the emotional value of a five-year long relationship with running.

I was disappointed in myself for that decision.

That disappointment was the prevalent emotion behind my ” I wish I had a magic time machine or a magic wand and could go back and do it again” moment.

As I said, we all have those moments.

I firmly believe when you have something true and pure in your heart and you put it out into the world, if it is supposed to happen, the powers that be make it happen.

A few weeks ago, when I wrote the “If You Are Reading This I Owe You an Apology” blog, I was contacted by Guinn Boyce from BariLife. She told me that they were happy to hear that I was going to be blogging again. She reminded me that while I may not have been blogging in the last couple years, I had been doing other great things for the bariatric community. She reminded me that I hadn’t just disappeared; I had just focused on other things.

BariLife Lemonade Multivitamin PowderGuinn also suggested that they would love to team up with me in some way. She asked me if I wanted to try BariLife’s new Watermelon Multivitamin Powder. As if I would say no to that! I am a huge fan of BariLife products! I haven’t gotten my hands on the watermelon powder yet, but I’ve been using the Lemonade version of the product since it came out last year. I mix it with iced tea and make an Arnold Palmer out of it that makes me forget I’m taking my vitamins.

I wrote back and told her that of course I’d love to try the new Watermelon Multivitamin Powder! The fact is, I use their products all of the time, so this was a no-brainer for me.  I also mentioned that although it may sound crazy, if BariLife was interested in teaming up with me as I worked on resurfacing as a prominent fitness and weight loss motivation blogger in the bariatric community, there was something that I REALLY wanted to do. I really wanted to go back to Paris and see if I could find my love of running where I felt I had lost it.

I wanted to run that Disneyland Paris half marathon again.

A week and a half later, Disneyland Paris announced the theme for the upcoming September Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. Villains. Yes, Villains. If you know anything about me and my infinite love of Disney you know that 1. I love me some TinkerBell and 2. I love me some Villains.

I haven’t participated in a half marathon event in almost a year now. My last event, the TinkerBell half marathon last May came during a really hard time for me.

My current relationship was ending, I was traveling back to Portland to collect the rest of the things I had left behind when I walked away from my marriage. That included my father’s ashes. Sifting through the remnants of my marriage and my father’s things while going through a break-up had me in a down whirl spiral with an emotional struggle with grief.

Running wasn’t working as an emotional outlet for me. Instead, I was in the middle of doing something I am notorious for – emotionally running.

I had run away from the town I was living in to put distance between me and my recent ex. I was staying with a previous ex-boyfriend 3-hours away. I was about to uproot my entire life by moving away and I wasn’t sure where the heck I was going. I was considering Dallas, Atlanta, or another area of North Carolina altogether.

I was in epic Pandora panic mode, and all the stress and conflict had me barely holding together the ends of a frayed mental capacity.

May rolled into June, June became July. I started to put it all back together but in July I decided to try giving things with my recent ex another shot again. That lasted about three months. We ended up breaking up again.

It wasn’t as hard the second time around. I was in therapy getting help and I held things together much better in round two of that relationship saga.  I was in the middle of my brand new, dream come true job, and while I didn’t have running as an emotional outlet, I was on an emotional high as the things I had been dreaming of for the last 7 years started coming to fruition.

I was busy. Which gave me lots and lots of great excuses to avoid facing my fears of running again. With no TinkerBell half marathon event on the RunDisney schedule for this year, there wasn’t an event that I wanted to do bad enough that I’d muster up the courage to pull those running shoes out of the closet and put my feet to pavement again.

But now, Disneyland Paris is coming, there is a Villains theme; it was just the inspiration and motivation I needed to want to try again. I like to think this was the powers that be saying to me, “Alright Pandora, it’s time.” Because guess what….

I’m going to go back to Paris to run that half marathon again!

I’ve always told you, fitness fits everyone, it just fits us all differently. It fits us differently at different times and different stages of life. Running hasn’t fit my emotional and mental state of mind for the last 11 months.

I want to run again. But, I’m scared it won’t be the same, I’m scared I won’t have that amazingly positive emotional connection to it that I once had. Even as I write that sentence in text and see the words, anxiety floats in my heart.

I might be right. It might not be the same. But as one of my readers reminded me, it just might be better.

I’ve always told you that fitness is a lot like fashion, you must find the style of fitness you like and wear that. Something tells me that as I put running back on, it’s going to feel like my favorite pair of yoga pants or that warm soft sweatshirt that I like to wear on lazy days.

Thanks to the amazing people at BariLife, we’re going to find out. I say we, because if you are reading this, you are part of this journey with me. Hopefully you’ll be following the next five months of this adventure with me as I train for this event, get my vitamin routine back into check, and lace up those sneakers to get back to the right kind of emotional running.

I might have lost my way there for a moment or two. But, I’m back and I’m back with a mission. I’m an Obesity Rebel and this rebel has a good cause.

I want all of you to know that no matter where you are in your relationship with fitness right now, if it’s not where you want it to be, it can change. The lives we choose to live after bariatric surgery and after weight loss are ours to make whatever we want them to be. We are the authors of our own destiny. This is our story to tell.

This is #MyBariLife, and I’m done letting my fears get in the way living it. What is #YourBariLife? Are you wanting to write a different ending to your story?  If so, why not start now? We can do it together.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

Make #YourBariLife the best it can be.

Visit the BariLife Website for all your Protein and Vitamin Needs!

 

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

This is #MyBariLife

BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
Please take the time to visit their website and check them out!

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