This I Believe

Amanda - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on September 29, 2008

I’ve been overweight since I was five. I have had genetics and a strong mental dependency on food fighting against every attempt I have ever made to lose weight. I am tired of being tired. I am tired of being too big to fit into booths at restaurants. I am tired of people looking at me thinking I have chosen this life. Believe me I would not choose to be morbidly obese, a term doctors love to stick to me. It’s all true. I mean, as I write this, I am dying of being fat. It seems so wrong. It seems so cruel. I wonder at what point I could have turned this runaway train around on my own. If that time did exist, it has long since passed. At 25 years old and nearing 400lbs, I have known for awhile I have to do something or my obesity is going to stop me from achieving my dreams. I am functionally obese, which means I work a normal job, do normal things, and walk around in the regular world, in other words, I’m not yet homebound, but I know it’s coming if something doesn’t change. I am way too young to die.

So, I made the toughest decision of my life this year. I have decided to have bariatric (weight loss) surgery. My stomach and intestines will be drastically reduced forcing me to eat less and absorb less fat and calories within my intestinal tract. I’ve haven’t had more than a few stitches in my finger my whole life, so going into the operating room is frightening. It is also exciting. It feels like the walls of this prison I live in everyday are closing in on me and this procedure is going to free me from it. Working up to this decision has also taught me a lot about being mentally strong. It has taught me to count on those I love to support me through the things that are toughest for me to face. It has taught me to trust that there is a plan for me bigger than I could ever imagine. I don’t know what I will look like when I lose this weight, but I know how I will feel. I will feel joy to the highest degree possible. I will feel freedom from condemnation of others, and I will feel proud to have brought myself from a life with the end in sight to a life with endless possibilities. Some choices are easy, but this I believe; the ones that change your life can be the most agonizing and the most celebrated all in the same breath.