I’m a weird mix of being extremely social and extremely private. I definitely need both and I absolutely love to be very open and real to those I have a chance to get to know and can see in person. I have some marvel at how very honest and real I can be under those circumstances – where really no question or topic is too personal for me. On the internet, facebook, or any area/circumstance where I have less control over who sees what and when, I am much more highly selective about what I share and fight the tendency to be anxious over what goes public. All this to say that telling even part of my personal story here is a big deal for me. I know the more I open up and make myself vulnerable in a righteous way, the easier it will get. And that is a much bigger part of my personality, a habit I have created of facing my fears. ❤
My HCG story begins about 9 years before I ever took a drop of the HCG itself. I became disabled in late 2001, just days after the towers fell. I went from being a young agile dancer to a situation where I suddenly couldn’t stand, couldn’t walk, could no longer work, I couldn’t take care of myself, my entire life just flipped upside down at the mere age of 23 years old. Not knowing any better, I went the conventional medical route of things. I trusted the doctors and the traditional medical community that they knew what they were doing. Several years later, I ended up with a literal suitcase of medications that I took daily, and a whole bunch more physical conditions than when I started. I was also severely underweight due to the side effects of some of the meds I was on. To give you a picture of that, I was 5’7″, only 93 pounds, and size 0 was a bit big. I looked like a cancer patient. You could see my ribs. I had so little fat on me that I had to bring a pillow with me to sit on everywhere I went because of the pain sitting down in most places with no natural cushioning.
In 2006, I went to the emergency room and was given a large dose of IV steroids. The amount that I had consented to was not followed, as I personally felt cautious about large doses of steroids. They assured me it was only going to be a certain amount. I found out later it was hundreds of times above that.
In the next four to six weeks that followed, I went from a size 0 to not being able to fit in a size 18. I got stretch marks. The weight was not even over my whole body. My abdomen was one size, my hips another, my thighs another, and not even close together in sizes. My face ballooned up too. I had no idea what was going on. It felt like it literally happened overnight. I suddenly could not go anywhere much. For one thing, I could not find any clothes that fit besides guy sweatpants. You can’t go too many places in male sweatpants. Size 18 would not fit at all and if I went up to the plus sizes, they would literally fall off to the ground. In addition, I am very tiny boned and also have fibromyalgia. The extra weight appearing all of a sudden was excruciating. Everything hurt. I would climb stairs like an old person, not sure if I could get all the way up, you know, like FIVE of them. I had to use wheelchairs and those motorized carts if I dared to venture out of the house. It was a nightmare.
I had never had a weight issue before. I didn’t know what to do. But it was at this point in my life that I fired my medical doctors, every last one of them. It was more than just a bad situation. The pain, being home-bound, the depression, and feeling powerless to change any of it – it was one of the darkest times of my life. I seriously for first time saw how bad extra weight could be.
Not knowing what it was like to be overweight, I had always assumed that the hardest part was looking in the mirror and self-image. Boy, was I wrong. Not that the self-image part isn’t hard, it IS. But now when I see someone overweight, I see the physical pain they are in. It was greater than I could have ever imagined. In fact, if I hadn’t gone through it myself, I would have thought people were greatly over-exaggerating, using it as an excuse to be lazy, and just out to get sympathy.
Most people get overweight gradually, over a period of time, usually years. Since mine happened virtually overnight, I got to see the comparison in a whole new way. I got to see how debilitating and painful it was. How much of my daily life and movement I lost. How even tiny things like sitting/laying down, bathing, brushing your teeth, even taking a breath, how all of that was so much more difficult and PAINFUL. I had no idea at this point that being able to see this was going to be a gift.
Most people gain weight over such a long period of time, they are unaware of what they have lost. They look in the mirror each day and don’t really notice the change they are undergoing. The pain and interference of what they can do in their daily lives is so gradual and minute, it slowly becomes accepted and slips by nearly unnoticed. To sum it up, it becomes a new normal for them. Because my weight came on so quickly, I was able to see exactly what I had lost. My life became a plethora of darkness and immense suffering. I did not recognize this person in the mirror before me. My physical body was groaning and sizzling with pain in every pore and every joint from the sheer extra weight. My emotional self was in absolute shock and frozen in trauma. I felt like I was suffocating in every conceivable way possible. Every breath, every step, every second was a strained effort, birthed in agony, and swaddled in a heavy blanket of despair.
At this point, I had no idea what had happened, I did not know what I needed to do to fix it, and I was so overwhelmed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, that I honestly did not know how I was going to make it through each day. All I knew was that I had two choices. One, I could accept this and give up. Or two, I could FIGHT.
I didn’t know where I was going to get the strength to fight, especially when I did not have the strength to even cry. Very simply, there was absolutely no way that I was accepting this new image in the mirror. I was never EVER going to make my peace with this new level of pain, with this new lack of physical ability, no way I was ever going to say that stranger in the mirror was me. All I knew was that somehow, some way, if it took years or decades, I was going to get this figured out, God help me. ❤
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