Jess at Half of Jess
wrote today about her highest weight and lowest point. She ends her post asking:
What was your lowest point?
What made you decide to change your life?
Oddly enough I don't remember too much about my highest weight, at least in terms of how it affected me emotionally. I know I was unhappy, but it was never the depth of how far I could be depressed. Losing my mom held that place solidly.
But I have two lowest points -- one was physical and the other was emotional.
Emotionally, it was realizing that a guy
was okay with using me for sex (and I was okay with letting him) but was not okay to actually date me and have a relationship with me. I was an embarrassment of sorts. That realization made me quite sad for myself, and made me wonder if I was selling myself short. This lead to the great celibacy pledge
of 2006, which has continued in 2007, 2008, 2009 and into 2010. It's not what lead me to want to change physically, but it was what gave me a backbone...
...which leads me to my lowest point physically, which was emotionally very trying and physically exhausting.
Imagine being at work, in the bathroom, and unable to get up from the toilet. Being able to sit was hard enough, but getting up...my back was not having any of it. Now I know I've talked about my back injury before
, but I haven't really explained it. The long of the short of it is:
- 1997: in high school gym a linebacker body checked me into a wall accidentally
- Feb 1999: in college, I got up from a lab table, and couldn't stand up; orthopedist asked me if i had too much rough sex (was a virgin)
- 2006: (Aug.) started experiencing sciatica; doctor told me to lose weight and get stronger core muscles; (Sept.) did physical therapy; (Oct.) joined a gym, got a trainer
- March 2007: Went to concert where I was pulled down in audience, landed awkwardly on someone’s foot and equipment, and had seven people fall on me; MRI shows annular tears, bulging discs in L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1; no exercise allowed
- Turns out that not only did I have a traumatic injury (they could also see where my tailbone was fractured from a freak accident in 1993) but I also had the familial (my mom had a very bad back) genetic degenerative disc disease. In other words, my spine was aging faster than I was.
For the next three months, I wasn't able to stand up straight.
I developed plantar fasciitis
in both feet. I needed Valium and Vicodin to sleep. I was hobbling home every day from work in pain, shoving ice packs down the back of my pants the minute I got through the door. During this time I did two rounds of epidural steroids
that left my body weak. I put on some weight from (1) not being able to move and (2) the horrible depression that comes with feeling like a 60 y/o in a 26 y/o body.
I think worst of all was when my friends didn't quite grasp what I was going through. I think most people thought it was like having sore muscles. Few people realized that just about everything I did caused pain -- from sleeping, to sitting in a chair, to washing dishes at the sink, to carrying home groceries. Fewer people offered to help, and I wasn't at the point where I knew how to ask.
I still go through periods of time where either my back hurts me or because of my back the mechanics of another body part are off (such as my knee
). But it's because of this injury, I know just how tough I am. I have the resolve of a Spartan. My mom dealt with the pain of her bad back by drinking, but I knew I wouldn't go the same route.
But truly, the lowest point I had was wondering how the hell I was going to get out of that bathroom stall. Would I need someone to come under the door, unlock the stall, and pull me up (along with my pants). Would it be a friend or someone random? Would I have to go through this every day? I just sat there and cried -- out of pain, out of embarrassment, and out of feeling helpless.
Now, you don't really rebound from a low point like that in a normal way. You take a deep breath and realize that (1) any day you're walking is a good one (2) that a spinal fusion could be lurking around any corner and (3) given both of those things, might as well take advantage of the good days you can walk and try to run.
It's cute and funny when a thin, pretty woman is injured and needs help getting out of the bathroom.
It's not as funny when it's the obese woman.
Who would ever want a broken woman?