I will never forget a cold wintery night in January of 1984. I don’t remember the exact date but… as usual… I had a lot going on. I was 3 months pregnant, one step away from being homeless again and living with my unemployed, cheating boyfriend. Yay, me. I was coming home from work and was riding the public bus (by the way, that pic is NOT what I looked like..but hey, that’s how I felt I looked) . It wasn’t the best of times, but in my mind it wasn’t the worst of times either. I was reminding myself that because I was tired and a little depressed at my life. I tried to think of the things going RIGHT instead of the many things I was doing wrong. I weakly smiled as the bus came to a stop. I got off at the intersection of Main and Broad Streets in Lansdale, Pennsylvania right in front of the Hotel Tremont (yes, that is a pic of how it looked)…when there WAS a hotel there. I remember walking down the steps from the bus and there was black ice waiting for me and I was the first passenger getting off. I stepped onto it and immediately fell down to the ground.
I heard a crunch.
I knew it wasn’t good, but I never IMAGINED what was to follow.
My boyfriend was waiting for me and helped me up. I said something was wrong with my foot and I tried walking on it. Bad move. I looked down and my foot was pointing out to the side in an ugly unnatural angle from my body.
My life went from “eh, not the greatest” to…”You’ve GOT to be kidding me.”
I ended up in the hospital…with no insurance, not working, pregnant and about to have my whole ankle reconstructed with screws. I did a real job on it because of being stubborn and trying to walk on it. Long story short, after a long week and a half in the hospital, (and oh GOD, I hate hospitals!), I had a long road ahead of me. My doctor sat with me in the hospital and gave me a warning. He told me the damage was pretty bad and he could fix it…but I’d always have a walker or at least a cane for the rest of my life.
I remember looking at him and saying that wasn’t acceptable. He snickered. I said, “No, you don’t understand. I’m going to be a mother. I don’t have TIME to use a walker or cane!” He patted me and told I needed to accept my reality.
I was saying “Ain’t nobody got time for that” long before that video came out!
I knew my reality.
Nobody else could do it for me. I knew what I had to do. And I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
After my operation and a few sessions of physical therapy, I got my crutches and made decisions. I moved back in with my parents. Boyfriend gone. And I got ready to take on delivering a baby and going forward as a single mother. By myself, on my crutches. 300 pounds, pregnant…and a bum ankle.
My son, Mike was born that June while I was still on crutches (that, my friends, is a whole other story for another time). I soon graduated to a walker and a cane for getting around. I practiced walking constantly. I went to a follow-up appointment. Dr. Spellman told me not to get too sure of myself and to be prepared to use that cane from now on. Again, I told him that was unacceptable.
While my own son was learning to walk around 7 months old, I was finally walking almost limp-free without a cane, walker or crutches. I did it. I went back to that doctor’s office one afternoon with my toddler son in tow and wanted to show that doctor I did it. Of course, he didn’t have time (it wasn’t an appointment) and I was asked to leave. (yeah, I got loud) It didn’t matter that I couldn’t show him, I knew it. But I triumphed. I didn’t care how many diplomas, certificates or other paper he had on his wall. For as far as I was concerned, they were as useless as toilet paper in his opinion on my ability to walk. I didn’t care WHO told me I wasn’t going to walk unaided. I was walking…and even more.
Today, my leg isn’t perfect. I still have the scars on each side and it occasionally gives me problems when I over do it. I work with it. I don’t mope about it. I now wear an embolism stocking to keep swelling down. It’s no biggie, it’s just something to keep going forward with less problems. I keep it in mind, but for the most part it doesn’t hold me back.
I’m reminded of all this because it’s been 6 months since I hit my weight loss goal. I still find it hard to believe and say that at times. People tried telling me that I could never do it. Medical people tried telling me that the odds were against me. I didn’t care. Time was ticking for me. I needed to fix myself. I wasn’t taking NO for an answer anymore. Family told me I’d never do it. My stubborn kicked in once again. I still have the memories and scar tissue of what it was like to live fat. The painful memories, the physical scars such as stretch marks. I will always have that. I can either dwell in those memories or go forward. I keep them in mind, but they don’t hold me back. I push forward… through the DIScomfort zones, into new territories, new horizons. I have my daily precautions of my new life… I plan out my food in my plan… I always will. Just like I wear my stocking for my ankle. (a stocking every day beats a cane everyday!)
They said I couldn’t….and I did. It wasn’t the first time, …it won’t be the last!
Sometimes we let others’ opinions get in the way of our goals. We don’t value our own opinion for one reason or another. We need to realize that the most important voice we need to believe is within OURSELVES. We accept THEIR reality for us instead of creating our own.
There’s a bunch of reasons we trust others – because they’re older, more educated, have that paper on the wall that says THEY should know, etc. What would WE know? We DO know at times, we just don’t realize it. We need to have more faith in our OWN decisions.
I want you to pursue your weight loss goals with the same tenacity. Don’t let others people’s opinions… no matter how “smart” they want you to believe they are…affect you. YOU believe you can do this and you WILL! Now go preplan and ROCK this day!!!
And that last picture IS what my ankle looks like today…with the screws that were used to reconstruct it. I have a long scar on each side of my ankle. It reminds me where I came from. How bad my life was ‘screwed’ up…and I came back and KICKED ITS ASS.
You can too.
Hey, if this post helped you out, share it with a friend, pin it, post it in Facebook, tweet, chirp…do what you do!