Friday, August 16, 2013

The post about the reason I spent the majority of my life morbidly obese

The reason I will run 23K this Sunday even though I'm already anxious
about it.

Ok, I don't know if this is the real reason or just another excuse.  I had a A-HA moment during my long run last weekend.  When you're running alone for 2+ hours, weird stuff pops into your head.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that I was adopted.  I was adopted as an infant.  Right from the hospital to my forever home. Other than the family I grew up in, I have never known any other family until I was 39.  That is when I met (some of) my birth family.  I am half Ojibwe and half...I'm not sure. My adoptive mom always said that my birth mother told her I was half French Canadian.  So let's just go with that even though when I met her, my birth mom said she didn't know who my father was.

Anyway during my long run, I was thinking about my two moms.  My birth mother and my adoptive mother.  I was thinking about how much the mother that raised me has influenced my parenting style today.  She definitely had a positive impact on me, but also made me think about what I would do differently as a parent. Then I thought about how I was told I was adopted.  It happened when I was 6.5 years old.  It was one of my older brother's friends who delivered the news to me in a very mean and spiteful 13 year old boy manner. It was along the lines of "You know this isn't your real family right?  Your real mom didn't want you. And this family could give you back any time..." Now keep in mind I was likely bugging the crap out of him and he came from a broken home.  I hold no ill feelings toward him.  He turned out to be a lovely man.

Anywho, back to me.  So I went crying to my mother who was less than thrilled with the news that was just delivered to me. She went and talked to that boy's father if I recollect and I'm sure he got in trouble.  She admitted that I was not a baby from her tummy, but told me I was a baby from her heart.  Here I thought I was half Polish and half Scottish only to learn that I was Metis (half Ojibwe and half French Canadian).  I mean, my parents probably should have told me from the get go that I was adopted.  I looked very different from my fair skinned, fair haired family.  But when you're 6, it just doesn't register.

In set the anxiety.  What if Wayne was right? What if my parents sent me back to...I had no idea where that would be.  I know I started hoarding food, binging and putting on weight by my 7th birthday.  Is this the reason why?  I was always an anxious and scared child.  Not just about the adoption thing, but about death as well. My parents were older than other parents.  My mom was 39 and my dad 40 when they adopted me.  I remember calculating in my head how old I would be when my parents passed away.  Part of the fear of them passing while I was young was that I would have no where to go.  Who would take care of me if they died?  None of the extended family I'm sure since I was not a blood relative.  This was a non-issue, but try telling that to a 7 year old. This shit was real to me.

I would fake being sick from school so I could stay home and be with my mom.  I mean if she fell sick or something, I should be there with her.  And I also wanted to spend as much time with her as I could.  In my young head, she was dying...and real soon!  I think that I may have turned to food at this time for comfort. I was the only member of my family with a weight problem.  Everyone else was average size.   My parents were loving people, but we didn't share worries.  We bottled up everything inside, which is something I still do today.  Maybe if I could have talked about my fears, I would have felt more secure and not relied on food for comfort.

I may be onto something, or I may be completely full of it.  I learned I was adopted just before my 7th birthday, and I started gaining weight when I was about seven.  One thing may have something to do with the other.  I always search for answers as to why I'm a binge eater.  I think that understanding why I binge will help me stop the behavior.   As an adult I continue to struggle with anxiety.  There are some nights where I just lie awake and stare at the ceiling. I worry about everything from Julien's happiness, to finances, to work, to the drunk that lives across the street with his young family. I need to learn to let go of stuff and stop letting things eat at me.

A couple of months ago a family member that I haven't had contact with since after my mother's death (ten years ago) asked me for money via a message on Facebook.  I (very nicely) rejected her request and was attacked via FB message and blocked by her.  It really threw me off and continues to bug me to this day.  I know I over extend myself to people and they take advantage of that.   That's my "inner fat girl" rearing her ugly head.  As a morbidly obese person, I did whatever I could do to keep relationships.  When you're about 300 pounds, friends are not plentiful.

Even now I feel like I put way too much effort into relationships and get nothing in return.  Time costs nothing and there are a lot of people in my life that can't even give me that.  I'm surrounded by people all of the time but I always feel lonely.  My mom and I were very close.  She was someone I could always count on and I never felt alone when she was alive.  She took care of my emotional well being because I always had someone I could talk to.

Julien is starting to get anxious about death and separation.  He's started asking me a lot about death.  This conversation started by him asking about who my mother was.  My mother loved her grand children and when she died, I felt a bigger loss because my future child(ren) would never have the opportunity to know her.  That still makes me sad today.  I know she would have been really close to Julien.  So Julien is asking about my mother and I'm explaining to him that she has passed away because she was very sick and can never come back.  So then he said, "so if you die mommy, there won't ever be a Leigh anymore?"  This broke my heart because I could see the panic in his face.  All I could say to that was even though I won't physically be here after I die, love lasts forever.  Last night he told me that he would love me forever. Even after I was dead.  Made me smile through my watery eyes.

I have no control over whether I get in my car tomorrow and am in a head on collision with a drunk driver. But I do have control over what I put into my mouth and the choices I make for my overall health.  That is why I choose to follow as strict Paleo as I can.  That is why I continue to run and train for a marathon even though I don't always feel like it and on most days my feet and my body hurt.  That is why I encouraged my husband to run and eat Paleo with me. Without us, my son has no one.  I owe it to him and myself to be the healthiest version of me I can.  I need to be around for him for as long as I can.  I know first hand how hard it is to be motherless at a young age.  I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening to him. He continues to be my inspiration every single day.

Just because I need a laugh right now.