I remember the very first time I looked at a wedding dress growing up. I might have been ten. It was in a magazine. Fitting for a princess. I remember thinking to myself. .. “One day I will be a princess bride”, I was young and little girls can dream right? I didn’t know my future, I only knew that I didn’t have any problems believing that I would make a very pretty bride just like in the magazines.
All those years I dreamed of being a princess bride. I married my ex when I was 20. I had a nice wedding but it was NOT my dream wedding. There were many factors that had to do with that, and maybe I had forgotten about that little girls plans for the moment. Back then I was a size 12. My ex thought I should lose weight. That was my first sign. At a size 12 I thought I was beautiful, but he on the other hand felt I should lose weight? What is wrong with people?
My mom wasn’t there for me because she died when I was 17, but I believe she would have given me some pretty good advice, and possibly taught me some valuable lessons along the way. I don’t regret that marriage. … but I do wish I had opened my eyes sooner to the sadness I was living. I wanted to be his perfect wife. I was reminded constantly of how he thought I should be and what I wasn’t! He never saw me as anything but over weight. As the weight packed on, I became a yo-yo dieter all to please a man. Thinking back I was 165 pounds at 5’8 ! What I wouldn’t give to see that size again. I was certainly larger in the thighs and legs. …. but at least if I knew then what I know now I could make the changes to keep this awful nasty life sentence of a disorder at a distance.
If any single person could stop me and ask me to explain what I felt on a daily basis all those years. .. well I’m not sure what I would say. I punished myself and tried very hard to make him happy and forgot about the person I was and started to hate the person I became.
Now add this with trying to have children. Yep..I carried a lot of guilt. I also started infertility treatments. Well because I had not been diagnosed with Lipoedema yet, I injected myself with hormones so that we could have a baby . Lipedema doesn’t work well with hormones, in fact it only makes it worse. You can imagine the weight I started packing on and all in my lower extremities. Unhappy me , unhappy husband. …fluffy and still no kids. Like I said if I only knew. Years later we adopted two boys. By then the damage was done and evident. You can only be put down so much. Everyone thought I should be skinny. I ate good , exercised.. but the weight just wouldn’t come off. I finally quit trying. I didn’t like the person I had become. I was unhappy. Depressed. I cried daily. I couldn’t even look in a mirror. I didn’t shop for clothes often or would hide under them. I was running from it all. Finally it hit me like a hammer hits the head of a nail. If I can’t make him happy, maybe I need to focus on me. Maybe it was time for me to start loving myself again. I finally left him. I had to move on.
Now self acceptance is important. If you can’t love yourself then how can someone else love you?
Now I can’t say that it was easy. It was hard. I learned a lot of lessons. Some very hard ones in fact. I learned that there are lots of different people out there. Some are not very nice or accepting of a woman my size. I learned that loving myself in this body was important. I finally met a wonderful man who loves and adores me just as I am. …and guess what? He wants to marry me! Now this should be great news. .. it is honestly. But in my journey over the last 9 months of wanting to get in shape for this wedding so that I could feel beautiful in a dress that a little girl once dreamed of has become just that, a dream because a month ago I learned that I in fact could not lose weight from the waist down without expensive surgery… six surgeries to be exact. Imagine my disappointment. The heartache.
How can I plan a wedding. My dream wedding to the most amazing man a girl could ever ask for? I never saw myself walking down the aisle as I am now. I envisioned me as the most beautiful healthy bride taking my soon to be husbands breath away. It’s heartbreaking to know that there is not much I can do. Planning a honeymoon is just as heartbreaking. Why? you ask… well I’m limited. I am too large for flying or let’s say it would just be uncomfortable. I have to pack stuff to treat my legs. I won’t be up for a whole lot of activities, but I can’t say no to them either because “yes” there is a skinny girl in me that still doesn’t recognize my new limitations. I’m happy and sad at the same time. I have thought of postponing the wedding thinking some miracle will fall in my lap. I think all of us ladies that have been dealt this fate hope and pray daily that a “miracle” will happen. That we can put the pain on pause. .. That we can erase it out of our lives. If only it could be that easy. Maybe tomorrow will be the day when I start finding happiness in my wedding planning again, since my diagnosis I have done nothing. .. maybe it’s depression. .. maybe it’s reality because I am realizing that the wedding I had always dreamed of with him is not possible now. Lipedema is a very ugly and cruel thing to live with. It doesn’t go away with pills. No diet will make it disappear. Treatment is life long. Everyday. It’s painful. It’s more expensive than any diet ! I have to learn to love myself. You see all those years I let others tag me as a fatty. I knew I was. I allowed it to reflect who I was. …and “yes” I honestly thought that one day I would figure out a diet that works for me and I would then be my old skinny healthy me, again a girl can dream. It didn’t matter how many diets I tried before, how many exercises I tried … how many times I failed because my body would keep letting me down. One day .. Just one day something had to work, something would work. So getting getting diagnosed with Lipoedema is a cruel joke to me and I have to learn how to live with it!
I have a great group of people supporting me with the most love and understanding I could ever ask for! Without them I would be very lost. I love that they are still right here by my side. As I learn more about this I find strength. As I share this blog with ya’ll I find comfort and courage. Til next time. … stay blessed.