Wednesday, July 13, 2011

12 Months later...

I can't believe that it's been almost 12 months to the date since I last logged on.  I've been basically running away from myself for 12 months and just living as fat girl!  When I sit here and have a think about it, it really is a scary thing that 12 months can go past so quickly.  Looking back, a lot has happened.  My photography is plodding along but more interestingly, I was accepted into the Bachelor of Midwifery degree that I was too terrified to apply for!  My plan was to continue to study via and complete their on-line Bachelor of Nursing and then cross over into Midwifery.  This was my plan to avoid actually seeing anybody.  With 2 days to go before the cut-off date for applications I had a sudden change of mind and found myself applying for Midwifery, essentially facing my demons!

I found myself counting my blessings, grateful that Victoria University, or any other university in Melbourne didn't do interviews like they seem to do in the UK. I was sure that a face-to-face interview would mean I would have less of a chance to get in (because of my size). In November I got an early round offer for my first preference.  I remember logging onto the VTAC website and reading my offer letter about 5 times and crying.  I tried to call Man but it went to voice-mail so I tried to call a friend and she didn't answer.  It was about an hour before I finally got hold of Man to tell him and I spent that hour just staring at the computer in utter disbelief, silence and occasional crying.   I can recall my feelings of dread as the day to enroll came closer and closer. I honestly believed that I would be refused enrollment. I felt like I was unworthy of being admitted into the degree because of my weight. My insecurities lead me to go home that night and chance my VTAC preference, so that ACU was now my first preference. When the regular round of offers came out I also received an ACU offer. I now had to choose between VU and ACU. I knew that on paper this must mean I was a strong applicant, but it gave me no comfort.
The 1st semester started in late February.  Up until this point I had only gained back about 3kgs of the total I had lost.  This first semester was been hard, and I found myself totally addicted to full sugar Coke.  Yes, that's right, somehow I started drinking Coke again.  Fat girl thought it was needed to help me have energy for lectures.  As a result I am now the same weight I was back in April 2010, I have nothing to show for those 3 months of hard work, nothing except for a regular direct debit from the gym of $59 per month that I only canceled in May.

So far I seem to be accepted by my peers and lecturers.  Even through my follow-though clinics to date I have seen that Midwives do come in all shapes and sizes, however this has been little comfort. I have come to the realisation that I have prejudices, and that I am prejudice against myself.  

I have now finished my two week clinical placement and attended many follow-though clinic appointments. I have found that I can physically perform the job and that some of the women actually warm to me because of my weight (because they are also of a large BMI). I felt like I had to work extra hard and walk extra fast to prove myself and as I have already realised, I probably wasn't really proving myself to anyone, but only myself. I had a couple of moments when I was very self conscious of my weight, one was during the first c-section I went to. I felt like I was just taking up too much room and that the scrubs were a bit too tight. Another moment was during hand-over. A pre-natal woman who's BMI was over 60 was given day leave. Some jokes were made about her rushing straight to McDonald's during her day leave. Through all of this I have realised that I am going to be a capable midwife, and that I do deserve this opportunity however, despite proving that I can work 40 hours a week and keep up with the pace of a busy maternity or birthing ward hasn't helped me with my comfort with myself. I now see these feelings are not there to prevent me from continuing my studies but are rather there to help me move forward and slowly lose weight, not for my future employer, not for my fellow students, but entirely for me.

I see now that I had no reason to be afraid of applying to the course, but my weight still is an issue, if not for others around me, but for me. It is on my mind probably 80% of the time.

Oh, Man and I also got married in December! I really should post some pics of the wedding at some point.

Anyway, I am probably at the stage I was in about March 2010 now. I've been off coke and all sugar soft-drinks for about 3 weeks now. I had an appointment with my GP last week to have some blood work done (to make sure I don't have diabetes or something). I need to get back on track. Although I performed well on my placement, I went to 3 c-sections and you can imagine how ashamed I was that the normal scrubs didn't fit me. I had to wear 2 hospital gowns into theatre and scrub pants. My next clinical placement is in November and I want to be able to wear normal scrubs!

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