The road to obesity is a gradual one - nobody wakes up one day and finds themselves 100 pounds heavier overnight. But, there are signposts along the road, telling us that things are getting more and more out of control. Despite the fact that I have a very poor memory, I will never forget a certain "signpost" day back in 1996. I was at my desk, typing away, and my left hand kept making the weirdest mistakes when typing. After half an hour of curse-worthy Backspace-ing and retyping, I decided to investigate. My keyboard seemed fine, there was nothing wrong with my software...then I realized that I couldn't feel the tip of my left index finger. The one where my wedding ring lived.
I had weighed right around 150 pounds when I got married in 1988, at 18 years old. I was tiny - at 5'5" I was only about an inch taller than Lor. But, in 1990, something weird happened: the growth spurt I should have gotten back when I was 13 finally arrived. By the end of the year, I was 5'8", and weighed in at almost 200 pounds. I was also pretty lazy and had just discovered beer, so the pounds just kept on coming. And now, at 26, I was so heavy that my wedding ring was cutting off circulation to my finger.
I spent several hours (I was a poorly supervised employee) trying to get the ring off my finger, but had no luck. No lubricant, no amount of time under the bathroom sink, no matter how I pulled and tugged, it stayed embedded between the rolls of fat on either side of it. Almost weeping in frustration, I took myself back to Shipping/Receiving, grabbed a pair of metal snips, and cut the ring off of my finger.
I was so disgusted with myself that I stopped wearing rings altogether. When our 25th anniversary rolled around, Lor and I chatted and made the mutual decision to get our "renewal" rings tattooed, so we wouldn't have to buy new rings. (Now THAT was fun, let me tell you.) I told anyone that asked that it was because I was a guitarist - that rings just didn't work for me. Not only was this a bald-faced lie (plenty of musicians wear rings), but I had also stopped playing back in 2005. I just didn't want to admit that I was unwilling to risk having to cut another ring off of myself.
Fast-forward a few years. In January of this year, I was helping my cousin, a world-class silversmith, with setting up his website at ShaneCasiasDesigns. Working with him gave me a chance to look over all his jewelry up close and personal, and I was totally mesmerized by one of his designs, a Crusader Ring:
|Ring by Shane Casias, Photo by Rebecca Lowndes|
I could not stop looking at it and playing with it, even while the two of us were supposed to be working. We successfully implemented and published the site after a couple of weeks of work, and I went back to sitting around the house, working on my blogs.
A couple of weeks after the site went live, a box arrived at the front door. As a "thank-you" gift, Shane had crafted me a Crusader ring of my own. $500 worth of custom jewelry, made just for me. I could barely stand the excitement as I unwrapped it and tried to put it on...
...and it didn't fit. The only finger I could get it on to was my right pinky, which made me look like a mob boss. Regretfully, I put it back into its black velvet case, telling myself I would mount it on a chain to wear as a necklace, knowing I never would.
On March 3 of this year, I had my first Bariatric appointment, having topped the scales at 302 pounds a month earlier. Lor and I began the slog toward long-term, permanent weight loss. One of the benefits of the pre-surgical diet is that you do lose some weight on it (which is the whole idea), and just for kicks and grins, after 10 weeks on the program, I decided to try the ring on again.
|Guess which picture was taken by a pro.|
And THAT, my friends, is worth no coffee, no sweets, and carb-counting till the cows come home. I may not feel like I am making any real progress, but I can slip that ring on my finger at any time to prove myself wrong.
Catch you all next week!
Considering A Skull Ring To Celebrate When I Hit 100 Pounds Down,