I've struggled with my weight from an early age. I remember watching my parents go from diet to diet, so it seemed the norm for me to as well who I reached my pre-teen years and gained weight. I used food as a source of comfort and reward. As I gained more, I was teased, bullied, ridiculed - that pain and feeling of bewilderment wondering why friends/family/strangers would say such things to me was crippling.
Enter Mr Candy Bar, who I would eat while crying alone in my room. Mr C would be comforting for a bit, however next was the intense guilt, followed by saying awful things to myself, "You're useless - of course they are right- look how you scoffed that packet of cookies" "No-one loves a fat slob like you" This snowballed and 'bam', I was into the "try any diet" mode. I had no idea the cycle of self abuse I was subjecting myself to, or that it would continue for the next 28 years.
I had investigated surgery options and after confiding in a friend about my decision, she suggested WLS. I called, talked to Carol, asked lots, listened lots and knew this was the right clinic for me - the after care was a huge deciding factor - I really didn't want to have the Op and then go on 'dangling in the wind'. I booked my initial appointments, got the green light and the date was set, 13 August 2013. This was a week before my birthday - it was my gift to me! Again, not fully realising the epic journey to health, healing and self-care I was embarking on.
In true Jo style I was focused, stuck like glue to the regime but I did struggle with the head talk and many times my "what if" panic button would go off and I would call/email/visit Deepti and Ann who worked with me to get through these times.
I reached goal and thought I had it sussed...ah nope Jo...I had to re-learn and take responsibility with hideous consequences, but I stuck with it.
During year 3, some personal life/work/health issues arose. This is when I booked in for the retreat at The White Haus - Whoa! Total game changer for me! I met others who, wouldn't you know it, were having similar thoughts and experiences...I wasn't alone! We talked, listened, learnt and gained insight to what drives self sabotage and that annoying voice of negativity in my head. I took in what I could and went home energised, re-focused and put my own action plan in place.
It did take some time and wasn't all smooth sailing but I survived and year 4 brought new adventures and challenges and an opportunity for a second retreat. Another chance to learn more about my values and thinking and to gain some more tools to support my on-going journey.
I don't pretend to have all the answers ('cos I don't) but I'm me, I'm real, I love deeply and I am working on my trust in myself as I go on living my life and my journey. There's no full stop - we keep moving - I AM ENOUGH xx