16 January 2013

What I Love Wednesday: Sissy

I've said before that one of the catalysts for this ol' weight loss journey of mine was an email my little sister sent to me on January 16, 2011. The contents of the email were things that had been discussed before (many many many times), though I usually got incredibly angry and defensive whenever they were brought up. This, time, however, something clicked. Maybe it was just finally acknowledging how bad things really were and being terrified and needing someone to push me enough to get the momentum to start.

Me & Sissy, June 2012

While I've kept the email all this time, I never go back and read it: it's still painful and difficult to look back and think about where I was back then. As the big sister, it was my job to inspire, encourage, motivate, and set the example for my little sister and I failed to do that for most of our lives. I not only let her down, I let myself down, too. But, after spending all this time talking about it, I decided to dig it up and post it here, exactly two years after I first received it.

Hi Jill, 

First I want to preface this by saying that mom, dad and I love you more than you could ever know. You are wonderful and we are very thankful for you! However I am sure you have guessed that is not the sole purpose of this email. Sister, I am not going to sugar coat anything - I am very concerned with your increased weight. I know, I know…nothing you haven’t heard before but I couldn’t go much longer without saying something to you. Your weight continues to scare me. A lot. I don’t want to pretend like I know what your struggle is like but it scares me to think that my big sister could be heading down a road of some very big health problems in the near future. We give dad crap all the time about his family history of heart disease and diabetes – Jill; we are a part of that same family. We aren’t excluded. We have to take care of ourselves too.

Sis, you could be taking steps as we speak to improve your health that I just don’t know about and that would be awesome to hear. And trust me, all 4 of us have a lot of weight to lose – and I think we can only be successful at that if we support each other. However I can’t will or beg you to get healthier. That has to be on you.

You may think sending an email is me being passive aggressive – but I know you hate talking about this stuff and tend to shut us out whenever the conversation comes up. I figured an email would allow you to read it in the privacy of your own home and react however you need to react (you can cry, scream, voodoo doll me, cuss me out…whatever you want without having to actually talk to me). You may not believe me, but I am not doing this to be confrontational…I hope you see this email as an act of love. You are my big sister…I look up to you, want what is best for you and want you to be around for a very long time.

Mom, dad and I want you to be healthy – and happy. Let us know what we can do to help.

Love you, 
[Sissy]

I would like to think and believe that even without this email I still would have gotten the courage and determination to start on this journey, but the fact is I don't know. I can't say for sure where I would be today without my little sister's courage to make me confront my scary and desperate situation.

Over Christmas she surprised me yet again, this time with a pair of Stella & Dot earrings she purchased through our mutual friend and Stella & Dot Independent Stylist Julie (who also blogs over at Wearing Mascara).


Yes, those are snake earrings. An odd choice at first glance, but like a snake I'm shedding my skin! Believe me, the Slytherin in me approves.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

6 comments:

  1. Nothing else to say except sisters are amazing. So glad you have each other.

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  2. I don't know what I would do without my sister. She's my best friend. Thank you for sharing this private letter. You are amazing.

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  3. How funny that I found your blog through the Weight Watchers Twitter feed, then clicked through to this post... & found that you're a friend of Julie's, as I am! Small Internet world.

    I have to say, while I'm glad the email from your sister worked for you, I would not respond well to something like this from my family or friends. While we all want to know that the people we love care for us to the point that they'd worry for us, I frankly don't think it's anyone's business how big I am or am not. I started Weight Watchers just this week, & I'm doing it for me, not because anyone else says I should. I wish people, even people we love, would keep their comments to themselves &, especially, would not assume that being obese is synonymous with being unhappy. It's one thing to address someone about their unhappiness, whatever the root cause is, but I don't think it's ever appropriate to comment on someone else's body, even someone you love. That's just my two cents!

    I have a significant amount of weight to lose, ideally, though not as much as you did; I'm at about 200 right now & would love to get down to 160; beyond that would be beautiful, but I can't even conceive of being there, so I'm not thinking that big. But when I find stories of people like you, who've come so far, I know I can do it if only I commit to it, & I believe that the time has finally come for me to really commit. I should've done it a long time ago, but there's no use in would've, could've, should've. I'm doing it NOW, & I'm going to do it right. Thanks for being an inspiration!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I agree that for the most part that people, family, friends, whoever, shouldn't comment on another person's weight, I also know that while I knew I was heavy and in very very poor health (and that's another thing -- a person can be fit and fat. It's possible to be big and still be in good health. That was not me and I think THAT was what concerned my family. It wasn't a vanity/size thing, it was a "You are going to die soon" thing), I didn't realize how heavy. You become desensitized to the person in the mirror and are blind to how bad it is. I've had this conversation with other people, too, where body dysmorphia comes in and you really are genuinely unable to see where you are and sometimes you just need someone to step up and force you to look at the truth.

      But I love Julie! We went to high-school together :)

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