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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jello Growing Up....

Growing up is such a relative term.....

Are we ever really "grown up"? I am 40 and I just now feel like I am getting the hang of my life. Like most individuals whom have had weight loss surgery, it has been a life journey for me to get to this point.

As a toddler, my aunt nicknamed me "Jello", if that doesn't tell you something I don't know what does??? Even as a small child, I was getting nicknames as offensive as something jiggly and squishy as a child's dessert. All my life that name stuck as I battled abusive relationships, addiction to food and one bad relationship after another.

I longed for someone to love me and didn't know how to look within myself for love and acceptance. It wasn't until years later, years of therapy and hitting the bottom of my own barrel that I decided to get healthy within. This wasn't an overnight event and it is a constant battle to break the cycle of codependency that goes on in my head on a daily basis. There were years of "stages" to my development and it has been a long and painful journey. However, I can tell you that I no longer allow people to treat me like garbage and I feel good about myself.

In 1998, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). For years, I battled this disease that for three years left me bedridden, due to the advanced form I have. The pain with this disease can be immense. It causes, vision difficulties, severe muscle spasms, difficulty walking, bowel and bladder issues, just to name a few symptoms. I searched the best doctors out and began a new treatment and today you wouldn't know that there is anything wrong with me. But, from battling my weight prior and years of immobility, I was left with a "huge" problem, to say the least.

My weight loss surgery was another evolution in my development. After two years of feeling well from the MS, I decided it was time to take control of my weight, as well! My decision to have the Roux-N-Y was the best decision I have ever made. I am 4 months post-op and my MS is quite calm (knock on wood). I am on half the medication I was on prior to the surgery and I have lost almost 80 pounds.

When I talk about loving myself or learning to love myself, I am learning a new meaning to that now. I learned to love the inside me before and now I am learning to love the outside me, as well. As a weight loss surgery patient, as the pounds shed, you start to get more in touch with your body. When you go from a size 26 to a 12 in 4 months, you have no choice. I am able to exercise now and that is new, especially with the MS. I am taking it one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. My new motto is that, "I have MS, it doesn't have me!"

Learning to live a new lifestyle, not a diet. I am learning to let that little girl heal inside me. And the best of it is that Jello (sugar free) is still allowed.....

Jill xxx

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