I have had a lot of people e-mailing me lately. They want to know the secret to losing weight. The secret is.......there is no secret. You have to want it. You have to want it bad. You have to be ready. Emotionally ready.
I had finally hit the desperate spot. The spot when you know either you change your ways or you will die fat. Fat and sad. Fat and perhaps alone. You know at that point, it is do or die. That is what motivated me. I didn't want to die. I didn't want to be sad anymore.
It started 6 years ago. It will be 6 years exactly on April 24th.
Something out of my control happened. I had a vertebral artery dissection. The main artery in the back of my neck dissected. It caused me to have a stroke.
This was nothing hereditary. Nothing I did. It was a traumatic injury. Could it have been prevented? Perhaps. But that is beside the point now. It did happen. It changed everything.
People who have vertebral artery dissections usually don't survive. Those that do are usually in what is called a "locked-in syndrome". They are the same in every mental capacity but they can not communicate or use any of their body.
But I did survive. Very miraculously.
They said it would take me months, even years to walk again. It took me 3 weeks.
They told me there was a slim chance I would be able to drive my oldest daughter to the first day of Kindergarten. I did. I drove her to school. By myself. Because I needed to prove them wrong.
I still have some numbness on my left side. I have neurological pain on my right side. I can't feel any temperature on my right side. My left eye goes blurry and I tend to forget words when I am tired.
But, if you look at me. You would NEVER know that something so traumatic had ever occurred to me. Only my close friends and family could EVER see any difference.
I don't tell most people. I don't want anyone ever looking at me differently.
But that is what makes me different.
It makes me a survivor.
It makes me want this all the more.
I didn't always feel this way. It took years to get to this point.
You see, when my VAD occurred, I weighed around 215 lbs. Was I skinny? No. But, I was a size 16 at the time and very in shape.
And when I did survive people told me how lucky I was. I knew I was. Not lucky. Just meant to be here. To do something with my life.
You go through all the stages of grief when something traumatic occurs.
I went through denial. It couldn't have happened to me. No way. Something like this doesn't happen to someone like me.
The anger. Mad at the reason it occurred. Mad at my family. Mad at my friends. Mad at myself. Mad at God. Just pissed off in general.
Bargaining. Please God. Please just make me the same as I was before.........I will do anything you want.
The overwhelming depression. Filled with so much grief I didn't even want to live anymore. I just ate to numb the pain. I was breathing but not living.
And during the depression state, I gained 100 lbs. 100 lbs!!! And that just made the depression worse. Because now, look at me. I was disgusted with myself. 318 lbs. I was filled with self hate. I didn't care. I didn't care about myself. My girls would be better off without me. Everyone would be better off if I wasn't here. That is what I thought. I truly believed I would be better off dead.
And then something happened.....................
My husband came home from work (he is the IT director at the hospital) and said they were going to start doing Lap-band. He asked if I wanted to meet with the surgeon.
And just like that I had hope again.
From a tiny piece of plastic I found hope. I found my will to fight again. I found my will to LIVE again.
So, when people ask how I have done this. When they want to know my secret, I tell them this:
The secret is:I am the secret. It is my determination that has made me successful.
I am not going to waste this gift I have been given. I wasted too much time after my stroke. This time I am fighting for my life because my life is worth saving.