After marriage, I stopped working out, consumed a lot more wine socially, ate decadently and paid for it. Truthfully, I am still paying for it--currently I am over-weight. In fact I thought carefully about showing current full body pictures of myself because of my weight.
|My Wedding Day|
My pause to be cautious was solidified by a series of comments from people who saw me after diagnosis and/or spoke to me on the phone.
I told one friend of my diagnosis and she said, "Well at least you'll lose some of that weight..." I bought into the statement as well. It was a silver lining in a dark cloud, I guess? Long after treatment began, another family member greeted me with a, "Oh my you've kept that weight on...". She continued with a five minute diatribe concerning my weight. Another caring phone inquiry came when a family member asked how I was doing? The second question, "Have you lost any weight?" Not a pound, I retorted and we both chuckled--mine out of hurt and caution to make the voice on the other end uncomfortable. We laughed again--this time genuinely for me--when it was pointed out how a close friend also soldiering through Breast Cancer hadn't lost a pound and strutted around with her fat, bald head and big earrings. By that time I had been doing the same.
I've encountered a number of women who lost weight, some with no real weight to lose so they look gaunt, yet others maintained. My eyebrows and hair were gone, but my weight and bright skin caused people to question if my bald head was voluntary.
The point is that I've struggled with my weight all of my life. And my long hair and pretty face often compensated for my obesity. And when hair loss was inevitable, I had to get comfortable with me, and re-learn and reaffirm to like the me I am today.
How did I do that? I posted pictures that I didn't consider necessarily flattering but poignant. I thought of people: past folks who might gasp and comment or not, and those who only know me at this weight. During the surgery phase, I considered a full mastectomy, double even for the sake of getting a new tummy behind the ordeal. Yes, a tummy tuck is a perk and power to those who benefitted. For another minute I tried cutting people off at the path: I know I'm fat and yes I'm battling cancer. To this day #TeamToni stop-gaps that self-assault.
Finally, I began to look on the bright side. There are plenty of skinny and fat people in urns, in the grave, on their death beds, at home, in hospice, living poorly--not only referring to wealth--sad and healthy. And while I will conquer this weight again--when the time is right--my job is to soldier through this phase of my life--Breast Cancer.
Obesity is never the option. However, my bright side is that when this condition came to me--some say obesity is a cancer factor--I thank GOD that I had/have a body to fight it with. Sure changes and challenges accompanied the condition but my body, this body has the gumption to fight!
My look on the bright side: To keep fighting with what and who I have, that is divinely me, not the me boxed into some corner cowering about a distraction. And if you have a problem with my weight, I'm going let you keep your problem. Right now I'm fighting and winning a war, my weight, a battle I'll win another time.
Whatever your circumstances or situations, find the bright side. Lock into it, own it and ride it until the bright side becomes better.
|Me and CoCo|