Before I had this surgery, I had to go through a fairly comprehensive psychological evaluation that consisted of an interview as well as 600+ questions on a computer and written test. I have no idea what I scored, I just know that the psychologist approved me for surgery. So my guess is that I’m pretty sane…

There are many reasons that people get fat or have a weight problem- one way or the other. For many it IS an eating disorder; for others…I don’t know. I can only speak for myself.

I have just about every reason in the world to have an eating disorder diagnosis- broken home, abusive parent, absent father, virtually no stability (moved 20+ times before I turned 18, went to 14 different schools, the list goes on), my mom is overweight as is most of my family- food equals love. But I feel like somehow, that’s not my problem. I really do not believe that I have an eating disorder. I think that I LOVE food, good food and bad food and that I have (had) bad habits- but I do not believe that I have a bad “relationship” with food- which is essentially what an eating disorder boils down to, right? Of course I’ve made many, MANY bad choices, but those choices weren’t a product of a disorder.

Prior to surgery I had been told that I might be angry or depressed because I wouldn’t be able to eat like I used to- I was fully prepared to feel that way. I even warned Brett that I might get mean or exceptionally moody or…who knows what. But I haven’t. Not at all. I haven’t missed any foods or felt deprived or angry that I couldn’t eat. In fact, I’m happy to not be able to eat! It feels incredible to have that habit broken and I’m enjoying other things instead.

So how did I get to the point of being so big that I needed surgery? (I don’t THINK I’ve written a blog about this yet, but if I did, here it is again- probably in much more detail)

It was a combination of things- learned habits, bad hormones and the snowball effect.

So first of all, I’ve always been heavy- at least since the second grade. How did that happen? Genetics? Learned behaviors? YES! What’s different here is that although I was always the fat kid I didn’t let it stop me- it didn’t stop be from being active, it didn’t stop me from playing sports, trying out for cheer leading, performing or eating. Sure, there were a few times I remember being unsatisfied with my body and wanting to try a diet but it never lasted. I guess that’s a good thing? My family was aware of my “weight problem”, they made comments, but it was never a BIG deal- they never forced me to go on diets or exercise or…in fact it was kind of the opposite, but I don’t feel like going into that much detail right this second, mostly because I’m lazy AND I don’t want to get sidetracked (shoot, it’s already happening!) Okay- so…I think that BECAUSE they didn’t make a huge deal of my weight, I never felt like I wasn’t good enough or that food was my enemy or, I don’t know, any number of things that lead to eating disorders. I guess I was lucky in that way. But ss I got older, the childhood habits and weight snowballed.

There were times when I lost weight, three that I can remember. The first was in 1999 when I was living in Los Angeles and doing Pirates Penzance, dancing four hours a day, five days a week and eating protein bars for dinner (Howard Stern said they were good- he was wrong, but I ate them anyway). I lost about 20lbs during the 8 weeks of rehearsal plus the 6 week run of five show weekends. I was already “overweight” when I was cast- about 250lbs, so I got down to about 230 by the end of the run. The second time was 2001 when I took metabolife (I LOVED that stuff!) and went from a desk job to being a preschool teacher- I lost 20lbs in one month and went from 290lbs to 270lbs. The third and final time was 2003 when I played Psuedolous in “A Funny Thing Happened…Forum”- again rehearsals five nights a weeks, blah, blah, blah. I lost another 20lbs over the course of a few months and by the end weighed about 260lbs. I just tried to find a picture of what I looked like back then but I don’t know where any are- if I even have any. My point is, that unless I was losing, I was gaining. And even though those numbers seem like an insane about of weight to most people, they were just numbers to me. That was just who I was, who I’ve always been. Those numbers didn’t stop me from dating or going out dancing or being active- they were just the number that appeared when I stepped on the scale.

It wasn’t until the last few years that the weight started to bother me- age, I guess. It was around the time I turned 30. My joints started hurting and I just felt lethargic all the time. I’m sure that also had/has something to do with an extremely sedentary lifestyle. About a year prior to turning 30 I started working from home (the same job I have now) and would go days without leaving the house because there was no where I HAD to be- it was one of my new “bad habits”. A habit I’m still fighinting which I’m planning to break starting Monday (more on that later). So, I continued to eat like I always had with practically ZERO activity, other than going from room to room in my house. As my body hurt worse, I stopped doing the things I used to do for fun, like dance, hike, theater, etc.– the weight kept piling on and I felt more and more miserable.

I know many people who read this will thinking to themselves, “but HOW? how do you get to be SO big?” The answer is: I never saw it coming. I just went about my daily business and the weight creeped on, pound by pound. You see, when you’ve always been overweight, a little extra is really no big deal- the fat is almost invisible. It’s not like when you’re thin and you see every pound you put on. Think about it. If you start out with one cotton ball and add two more, you see a huge difference, right? It’s those cotton balls have increase by 200%, but when you have 50 cotton balls and you add one or even 3 or 4 or FIVE, you’ll barely see a change- that’s kind of getting fat works. I have no idea why cotton balls popped into my head, but regardless of what the item is, the more you start with the less you notice when more is added. Yeah?

So that’s that. It was a slow process, one that took a good 30 years to complete and one that is currently being dismantled, pound by mother effing pound.

It terrifies me to think that I could have gotten worse and probably would have if I hadn’t taken control of the situation. I had just accepted my life the way it was- accepted the fact that I would always be fat and that was it, that was my destiny- not because of an eating disorder but because my 127lbs 11year old self had snowballed into my 300+ pound 34 year old self. The End.