Good morning folks! I had a really candid conversation with a friend about weight loss, weight loss surgery, and being healthy. I have been extremely blessed in that everyone in my life either close or on the periphery has been extremely supportive during my process.
I remember this person preparing me for the negativity when I told her I was going to have “the surgery” and I thought “who is going to be mean about that?” I mean really its a personal health choice and while I get people not necessarily understanding my reasons or my needs I had a hard time imagining people being hostile about it. Then I had to bully my primary care physician into giving me the referral. And of course during the counseling sessions you go through the counselor said I should prepare for people to treat me differently and negative reactions to this choice. THEN the dietician said the same to me and I began to wonder what it was about losing weight that made people behave so horribly to a person. Who wouldn’t celebrate someone taking their life back and becoming healthy. So, I prepared myself for this. and lo and behold it was a wasted exercise. This NEVER happened to me.
I have had people question my choice. It has always been done with respect and curiosity rather than disdain. I had one guy tell me I would finally be dateable (I no longer talk to him). I have had the side eye when I go out with friends and eat less than 1/2 of a child sized portion of food. We all laugh about it and they joke I’ll be eating my entrée for 3 days. I learned early in life some things are just not worth feeling bad about especially when teasing comes from love and not malice. And rather than be mean about my weight loss my friends and family cheer me on. They are genuinely happy for me.
I think this process shines a spotlight on the kind of person you are. I am a firm believer that who you were fat is just exemplified as you shed the pounds. If you were a fat bitch you just shrink into a skinny bitch. If you were miserable fat you are still miserable skinny. If you were mean spirited and elitist fat then you are that same mean spirited elitist person skinny. You have to work on you at its root. Health benefits of losing weight aside if you do not work on who you are at your core losing weight will not fix it.
Oftentimes fat folks are excused because it is assumed we all suffer from poor self image. After all at a certain size we are so far from what society deems beautiful or handsome that people will excuse a sour attitude and blame it on our weight. However, people are less forgiving the closer you get to what society deems acceptable. The truth is many people may very well be reacting to you as a person rather than the weight you loss.
Now I’m sure this is not the case 100% of the time, and in those cases of true spitefulness I say brush your shoulders off. You can’t expect everyone to be in your corner and as long as you love yourself others opinions are just like assholes and sometimes just as nasty. However, if its everyone maybe you should look at who you surround yourself with and take a longer look at yourself.
**Down to 219 — Yay Me!!!!!
It has been pointed out that my posting is too infrequent. So, what’s new you ask? Several things…
The first is an observation. I don’t like the “bariatric” diet. I cheat regularly. Daily even. *gasp*. Yup, I an having secret meetings with fresh fruit, raw spinach, steak, and my dietary version of crack — BACON. Now, I know that doesn’t strike you as too horrible, but my body does not like all this roughage. Nor is said roughage, red meat, and bacony goodness on the approved list of foods. My system does pretty good with steak as long as it’s tender and I only eat a couple ounces. I stick to no more than one or two thin slices of bacon and life is good. But the fruit and spinach. The new gastric system is no quite as happy. It’s not painful, but I am gaseous. So I have developed a strategy that includes Gas-X by the case and so far that seems to be helping. Score 1 for me.
This segues into my next “dietary” experiment. Whisky. Now for those who know me, you understand I enjoyed a double of Jameson neat. So, it is no surprise that I would test this theory of “no alcohol consumption” put forth by my weight loss team. I was informed that drinking is no longer an option for me. I chuckled at that concept and nodded politely knowing full well I was going to test that limit. So, today I did, and dammit if the doctor wasn’t right! 1 shot. 1 shot and I was lit like a Christmas tree and in need of DD to get me home. There was a time in the recent past when I could toss back several doubles and still be the most sober person in the room. Those days are long gone. I will not be testing the alcohol limits again. I enjoyed the calming effects of Jameson, but now it is closer to comatose after 1 ounce. It’s just not a good feeling. So, score 1 for the Doc…
Lastly, my clothes keep falling off of me. Yeah, I know. It’s a great problem to have. Except, I have to leave the house everyday, and I can’t go 2 weeks without needing new clothes. This week I realized the size 18s I was so thrilled to fit now require a little help to stay up. The 2x sweaters I was sure would last the winter now fall off my shoulders. And the F cup I prayed the Lord would let me keep has collapsed into a 36DDD. I feel awkward and deflated. You never realize how much of your identity is tied up in your appearance until it changes dramatically. For me it was the twins. Babies rested easy on them. They got me out of speeding tickets. Occasionally they got me free stuff and upgrades. I put them with a pretty smile and some charm last year and got a very nice buy back price on my old iPhone. Men were mesmerized by them. They had an almost hypnotic effect. Now, not so much.
People compliment my appearance and it’s good to hear. I appreciate it. I’m not sure I deserve the “proud of you” statements. My stomach is the size of a golf ball. It’s not like I didn’t have drastic help. I am still working out. But, I am feeling a weird mix of pretty, but not myself. Almost like I don’t fit in my skin anymore. I feel out of sorts. It’s odd that at 303lbs I knew who and what I was. I had embraced me even if that me was in horrible health. Now at 228lbs it’s a struggle to get comfy in my skin. I don’t recognize my face in the mirror. Today I actually thought to myself maybe you’ve lost enough. I know that’s not rational. I’m still overweight. But the prospect of losing 75 more pounds is a little scary. Not because it seems unachievable, but because I don’t think I know how to be that Ingrid.
When a person decides to take on Surgical Weight Loss it is not something that you wake up on Monday and say “hey, let’s spend the next six months hanging out in doctor’s offices.” It’s never that arbitrary, (or at least it shouldn’t be). This is a ‘I’ve done all I can do on my own and unless Jillian Michaels or Bob what’s-his-name are going to move in my house along with Oprah’s chef – I need help’ kind of deal.
So, when you put it out in the universe that you are going to do this, people have all kinds of reactions to you. Some say “way to go!” Others say nothing as not appear rude or disapproving. Still different people will offer you advice on how to do it without such a drastic change. And my favorite are those who find out I had to lose significant weight prior to surgery (30 pounds to date! Yay Me!) who say “well why don’t you just keep doing that” (because I actually NEED to lose more weight than my current diet will achieve). Anyway, I’m good with pretty much all the reactions. While I cherish my privacy, when you drop half a person in less than a year people will notice and ask. However, I was not completely prepared for what I heard yesterday.
Overweight women tend to have a harder row to hoe in the dating arena. Not because we are any less funny, charming, kind, or cool. It is because our bodies tend not to be society’s ideal. I get that. That is not a news flash. What angered me was being told how cool and funny I was; only to then have tacked on that when I lose my weight men will flock to me because I’ll then be cool as hell AND physically appealing. WHAT! I consider myself pretty darn cute right now. Overall health aside — I have never seen me as unattractive.
Talk about a backhand compliment. Men can be fat and still be dateable, but not women and that just sucks. I get preferences. I prefer men who are taller than my 5’3”, with jobs, reliable transportation, and good hygiene. I figure personalities will sort themselves out after the first date. I guess my biggest offense comes from this dude basically telling me who I am as a person is not enough. That’s a little hurtful. I may be a handful, but rest assured right now, before I lose even one more ounce, I am pretty damn good as-is