One comment, over ten years later now, still pops in my head quite frequently. It was from a woman named Maude - she was in weight maintenance mode, and both her successes and her struggles inspired me tremendously, and gave me a glimpse of what I could look forward to as my weight loss journey transitioned into the rest of my life.
She said she was proud of me, not just for working hard to lose the weight, but for doing it in my early 20s - she said her only regret about her own weight loss was waiting until she was older, because she felt like she lost so much of her younger years to sadness and frustration and endless body complaints.
But you, she said. You're accomplishing all this now. I'm so excited for you. You're standing on the edge of great things - the next few years are going to be amazing. I know it!
Standing on the edge of great things. I've never, ever forgotten that phrase.
When I look back, with such space between then and now, I am torn. It's been quite a decade or so - the weight fell off, then crept back on, yes. But also, it's been a whirlwind of transitions, one after another, without end. The birth of my son, then my divorce - several states and jobs - my remarriage, my promotion at the job I hope to eventually retire from - the loss of my father - adventures around and outside the country. It's been a lot! And so, so much of it was amazing. But there's also a great deal of anxiety and sadness, too.
The last few years in particular have had their share of challenges. My husband and I have been struggling, suffering, devastated by infertility - it's been just as, if not more emotional, than my divorce was. Getting divorced and being a single parent was difficult, but there was always a sense that this too shall pass. But with infertility ... the days, weeks, months go by and the sense of sand running out in the hourglass just gets more intense, and there's no end in sight.
We got approved a few months ago for medical intervention to help with infertility, and we're supposed to meet with the clinic later this month (their earliest appointment was 10 weeks after the referral from my husband's doctor). This is all I have hoped, wished, prayed for for years - we both have.
And yet, I am torn.
Because here I am, 36, and no longer feeling like I am standing on the edge of great things. I feel tired, in a sense beyond physical exhaustion - just drained from the emotional challenges of the last few years. I feel anxious and worried about pregnancy - not only if it's even possible, but if it will stick, how it will be different compared to ten years and quite a bit of weight ago.
I'm the heaviest now that I've ever been, and I hate it. I'm as active as I can be - with a nearly ten-year-old son, we're always on the go. But I still struggle with anything other than weight maintenance.
So, here's the crossroads.
At the end of this month, I'll either be starting procedures for pregnancy ... or getting bariatric surgery. Both of them are scheduled for the same day, and I'm frantically listing pros and cons to see which one is pursued now and the other is tabled (for now, or for longer).
My heart is overwhelmed, and there's no one, single correct answer that will make the aching and the anxiety suddenly disappear. I suppose whichever path I take, though, I'm going to need to start writing more - get the thoughts out of my brain and try to make sense of them.