THIS CHILD WILL NOT THRIVE.
These words were written on my charts during the very start of my life. I will spare you the medical details of all I went through. Needless to say I was a very sick little girl. Lucky for me, my condition improved and for the most part I have gone on to live a fairly normal life. It is a life however, that has always been closely tied to doctors and specialists of all sorts. When my mom found one that worked well for us, we stuck with them. My current family doctor has known me since I was a preteen. She’s the one who gave me my required vaccines when I entered into the Veterinary Technician field. She helped facilitate and support my decision to get my tubes tied. As it goes with most doctors, she’s seen it all. Including my weight gain.
I hit a point about 3 years ago where the pain in my feet was excruciating. I used to be in denial about the reason why. “I work on my feet all day. I walk a lot for my job.” But my feet shouldn’t feel numb after a 30 minute dog walk. I wanted help with the pain. I figured my doctor could recommend someone. Instead she told me to lose weight. I remember hearing the words leave her mouth. It stung so bad. It was the first time my weight had ever been talked about in a doctor’s appointment. Internally I became so defensive. Couldn’t I just get a referral to chiropractor who deals with feet? They would massage them and the pain would subside. Lose weight?! Didn’t she know I spent years “accepting” myself? How dare she call that into question? I dug my heels in deeper. Whether or not I knew it, I wasn’t mentally ready for that change. I nodded my head along with the suggestions she made for me to start living and eating healthier. I was moments from tears and words were too hard to form. Her instructions felt so basic. I was certain she was dumbing it down for me. She made the process seem so simple. Like I could just go home right then and there and start doing it. It hurt to see the disappointment on her face as she turned to leave the room. Sort of like she knew I had no intention of even trying.
To “try” something is to admit that there is a possibility of accomplishing the task in front of you. If you can’t see at least a possible positive outcome then why even bother? After that doctors visit I already felt like a failure, so why on earth would I want to fail more? I truly did not believe that I could lose weight.
Belief is a strong power to posses. It can hold you back from things or it can propel you forward. It would be about a year later that I gained enough self confidence to TRY. The more confidence I gained in myself and my abilities, the more I could envision myself succeeding. It became real to me. It became attainable. I started to want it really bad.
I gained enough confidence to be consistent with my new lifestyle even through the moments that tested my new found conviction. I recall me and my mom being invited to a little housewarming party for a friend of ours who just had a baby. It was around the time when I had lost the first 20 lbs or so. I went out and bought a new outfit because I was feeling pretty good about myself. You know what – I actually felt GREAT about myself. I walked into the party with swagger. No one commented on my weight loss. Not a word. They actually commented on how fit my mom looked. I stayed strong in that moment. My mom’s success was not my failure. My weight loss and progress I was experiencing was already making a huge difference in my life. No one else needed to validate that for me. I told myself to just keep doing what I was doing. They’ll notice one day.
The reactions I get from people now is amazing. I work hard at staying humble. Getting my doctor’s attention is on a different level though. And just try to wipe that smug look off my face when my doctor walked back into the room a few weeks ago. I was beaming from ear to ear. First time in my life I couldn’t wait to see that woman.
“Amanda! You look great! What program are you doing? Weight watchers?”
“Nope, doc. Just started eating whole foods and introduced fitness”
She was floored by my results. She ordered some blood work for me to make sure my insides were on the right track too. As she wrote, she expressed great interest in my new lifestyle and even took my word for it this time when I told her my current weight.
Her eyes wandered for a second. She looked me straight in the eyes and told me she always knew I was a smart girl, even from a young age. She was glad I figured it out too.