I did something last night that I NEVER would have done 100 pounds ago. And it was sooooo cool!!
My church is preparing to build a new sanctuary, and we recently installed a new parking lot. Due to this construction, there is a HUGE mountain of dirt behind the new parking lot. It’s about as tall as the two-storey part of the building it sits behind.
This week we’ve been having a tent revival. For those of you who aren’t familiar with such things, a tent revival is kind of what it sounds like: we pitched a huge, circus-type tent behind the church building and have been having special services in it. It’s just a fun, different way of having church that kinda spices things up every now and then.
So after service, all the kids head immediately to the dirt mountain to climb it and slide down. They have been having an absolute blast and coming home covered in dirt from head to toe. It’s absolutely wonderful!
Well, I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. As a kid, my aunt would babysit me all the time, and she lived on the side of a mountain. Behind her house there was this huge bank with nothing growing on it, just tons of wonderful red clay dirt. My cousins and I would spend long summer days climbing that bank and sliding down it until the red clay dirt seeped through my clothes and caked itself on my skin.
I can still remember the spankings I’d get when my mom realized I’d been on that bank again and had ruined another set of clothes. Cuz that stuff would never wash all the way out. But no matter how many whippings I got, that bank had to be played on. The fun was worth the consequences!
So from the moment I laid eyes on Dirt Mountain at church, I have been itching to climb it and slide down just like my kids have been doing.
Well, you can’t play in the dirt in church clothes, even if the dirt is sand instead of red clay. So I planned ahead. Last night was the last night of the tent revival, and I purposely wore a jean skirt with a nice-looking top that was totally washable. My 7-year-old was beside himself with excitement that Mom was going to slide in the dirt with him.
And I did! After service was over, I kicked off my shoes and spent a good half hour on Dirt Mountain. I haven’t had that much fun in years! It was, as the title of this post says, complete and utter joy!
And the best part of all was that I had the energy to climb, and did not feel the slightest bit self conscious about what I was doing. I never would have done it when I was 100 pounds heavier. I would have stared longingly at the dirt and wished I could, but would have been too embarrassed to actually do it.
I’m actually in tears as I write this, thinking about what this means to my life as a whole. I’m no longer emotionally shackled by fat. I can do fun and silly things without being overwhelmed by the fear of people shaking their heads at the fat chick.
Yeah, I know that was all in my mind. Whatever anyone thought about me sliding in the dirt last night is probably exactly what they would have thought if I’d done it when I was fat. The difference is 100% within me, and how I feel about what they think.
This is why I had gastric bypass surgery. It wasn’t about health so much as it was reclaiming my life and my self. Getting rid of the thing that had so crippled my self-image and self-esteem that I could not be the person I wanted to be.
You can call it vanity all day long, but it’s much deeper than that. I’ve finally become the fun, exciting person and Mother that I’ve always wanted to be.
And that, to me, is worth any complication or problem or difficulty living with a gastric bypass will ever throw at me.