Every Last Bite

Lying in bed, Lauren pulled the pillow over her head in an effort to block out the annoying buzzing of her digital alarm clock. Suddenly realizing what day it was, she sat up and flipped the switch on the clock. Today was the day! The one she had waited for, pleaded for and dreamed of for what seemed a lifetime. After fourteen years of being a prisoner, trapped inside of a body which stole and suffocated the life from her, today was the day she would be granted the keys to her freedom. Today, Lauren would surrender her body and her entire future to Dr. Matthews in the hopes that his miracle weight loss surgery would change her miserable life. Many of her friends had looked down their noses at her, calling surgery “the painless, easy way out” but the decision to go under the knife had not been easy at all. Anything could happen, mistakes could be made, and why even the excessive dose of anesthesia needed to knock her out and keep her under could kill her. As for painless, well the headaches, nausea, sugar hangovers and strict diet were certainly not going to be a piece of cake and she did her best to block out the thoughts of massive hair loss and loose hanging skin. Nope, the direction she had chosen was far, oh so very far from easy.
Suddenly, an ominous wave of anxiety came over her as she rolled toward the edge of the bed. She knew in her heart, that today’s surgery was her last option. Nothing else had ever worked, and she had tried everything under the sun at least once…some twice! Sure, they produced slight results for a while and she lost a few pounds but when all was said and done, for every pound she had lost, she gained back three. All of these miraculous diets had reneged on their promises, leaving her larger than life struggling to survive at a whopping 450 pounds. As she swung her enormous legs over the side of the bed and gradually stood up, she found herself already out of breath as her joints and bones popped and snapped back into place. She wobbled into the bathroom, squeezing her massive body into the small glass shower cube in an effort to get herself clean and ready for today’s surgery.
Over the past few years, life had gotten so hard. She was forced to leave a job she loved because standing on her feet all day had become impossible. She was thankful that she’d managed to accrue a pretty large nest egg in her savings account for it had sustained her over the past year and was going to pay for a significant portion of today’s surgery. Her partner of more than seven years had also grown fed up with her vicious, unpleasant attitude. Tired of her negative outlook and emotional and verbal abuse, he’d gone for a ride one day and never came back. Her friends and neighbors who had grown weary of unanswered phone calls and doorbells had ultimately given up trying to connect with Lauren. The only person that she ever allowed into her ever shrinking world was her sister Ava, who showed up once a week with bags of groceries and the other essentials that Lauren needed to survive. Ava had tried to help her sister eat healthier by adding fresh fruit and vegetables to every order, which, by the way, was never eaten and tossed in the garbage right before Ava’s next visit. She had been amazed at how Lauren continued to gain weight, even though she couldn’t leave the house, and assumed that she was only eating the food that she brought to her. What she didn’t know was that Marco’s Party Store and Pizza Place was located just around the corner and was more than happy to deliver all of her favorite food obsessions including pizza, subs, candy, chips and soda every couple days, in fact they had just delivered Laurens “final supper” only yesterday. Knowing that the surgery would end her ability to consume and enjoy all of her favorite food addictions, she had gorged herself into a coma last night…all week in fact, telling herself that this was the final time…the last hurrah. After today, everything would change. She knew this to be true, because she had already googled it. She had wondered if on “special occasions” she would be allowed a piece of candy or two, or a hamburger or a Pepsi. The site had said that it was not recommended but certainly “possible”.
She looked out the window and then sat down at the kitchen table waiting for her sister to arrive and drive her to the hospital. While sitting there, she eyed a Hershey bar sitting there, a leftover from yesterday’s nine hour binge. Knowing that she was not supposed to eat or drink before her surgery, she forced herself to look away. Eventually, her gaze fell back upon the shiny brown wrapper. Picking it up, she felt a bit angry for missing it yesterday and cringed at the thought of throwing away a perfectly delicious candy bar. She stared at it as she headed for the garbage can in the corner of the room. As Lauren held it over the can, she found that she could not let go and began to wonder if eating just a little bite would affect her surgery. Probably not, she rationalized, as her fingers began to tear open the wrapper. Smelling the rich milk chocolate, she took just a small bite and closed her eyes as it began to melt in her mouth. The craving consumed her senses and before she could talk herself out of it, she began cramming the rest of the bar into her mouth, chewing furiously. As she swallowed the final bit of it, she realized with disgust that she should have not eaten it…but it would be absolutely the final, last candy bar of her life…wouldn’t it?
Alana Marie

After Thought
Losing weight begins in your mind. All of the diets and weight loss plans in the world will not work if you don’t first learn how to control your addictions. Even Weight Loss Surgery fails for a very large percentage of the recipients because they concentrate solely on the physical act of food addiction. The secret is in treating the mental addiction first. Get counseling guys. It is quite possibly the most important piece of the weight loss puzzle.

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