September 7, 2008

Fear and Self-Loathing in Bellingham

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I really do want to keep this blog up to date because I am having a LOT of feelings and thoughts that I really need a way to keep straight. I'm super tired right now because I didn't get much sleep last night and Sam was fussy all day, so I'll try not to be too uninteligible.

Today I had a conversation with Justin about Lap Band surgery. It's not in any way a real option right now - I haven't done any research on it, talked to my doctor about it, or even decided if it's a step I'd want to take if I qualified for it. It's hard for me to even think about that kind of option because I feel like it's cheating. I feel like it's taking the easy way out. Despite the fact that at 267 pounds I'm well into the 'Obsese' range on the charts, it's not like I'm up above 300 or anything. Although, at this point I feel dangerously close and I don't really know what to do about it. It's all really scary. I feel as though if I don't do something about it I am destined to be fat, unhealthy, and out of shape forever.

In my daily life, I don't like to think about my weight. I'm forced to think about it at least once a day when I get dressed in the morning. It used to be that I tried to pick out the clothes I had that hid my rolls the best. Now I try to mask it, but accept the fact that they're going to show - it's impossible not to see the roll of fat above the waist of my pants, or the horrible second roll that hangs down below my belly button. It's impossible to put my bra on without thinking about the rolls of fat that continue back from my breasts under my arms, too big for my bra to hide anymore. Once I'm dressed and ready to go - that's it. I won't look in the mirror again all day. When I look at my face in the mirror, I immediately notice my chin. It's not a double chin, not quite. But there's potential there.

I can walk around, trying to convince people that I shouldn't be discriminated against because I'm fat. I can try to say that everyone is beautiful how they are. I try to convince myself that my husband truly still finds me attractive. When I have thoughts when eating out that other people see me eating and wonder why I don't just put the food down because I'm already fat enough, I push them down to the bottom of my mind. When I was a little less heavy, I tried to say things like 'in another time, I would have been considered beautiful'. I can talk about the media and how it skews the self image of so many girls and women. I know that's true, but I also don't want to be skinny as a pole with fake boobs and a six pack. In fact, I'd settle for a size 14 or 16, still considered plus size in our society.

The truth is, I hate my fucking body. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing the fat. I hate how huge my ass is. I hate buying size 26 pants and 3xl shirts. I hate that I can't shop at regular stores, that even when I dress up, I'm still fat first. I hate looking at pictures of myself. I hate that I can't shop at Hot Topic. I hate that carrying around this 110 pounds of extra weight hinders my activities. It makes me less flexible, it makes small theater seats and airplane seats sometimes unbearable, and I feel embarrassed when I am lagging behind when I walk with friends. I know that getting in shape has more to it that just losing weight, but I also know that it would be a lot easier to work out and to do these physical activites if I wasn't carrying all this fat all over me.

I go through my daily life, and push it down. I try not to think about it - after all, what's the point. The truth is that I know if I let myself think about it too much I'll be so paralyzed with fear, doubt, hopelessness and self-loathing that I won't be able to do much more than sit there and cry.

When I think about weight loss surgery, I think that it's a copout. I think it's the easy way out. That it would be admitting that I am too fucking lazy to try and do this on my own. Inside, I am hopeless because I feel like I've TRIED it. I've tried exercising, I've tried eating less. I've counted calories and worked out 2-3 times a week for periods of 6 months before and lost ZERO weight. Writing down everything I eat this past month has been a blessing and a curse. It does make me think about what I eat, which prompts me to eat better. However, it also makes me see that I am NOT eating a HUGE amount of calories most days, maybe once a week I have a bad day, but I really don't feel like I've overeaten. It's a vicious cycle - I go for a couple of months eating better, but I don't see a change, so I just give up and start overeating again, sneaking food, eating things that aren't good for me.

I know that part of this is emotional. I do use food when I'm stressed or upset. But part of the reason I do that is because in my mind, I think that I've given up. I know for a fact that if I was losing weight, seeing some kind of result, that I would be able to convince myself not to have that extra portion or eat things that are bad for me. I have had the willpower to do things right for a while, several times in the past. It's just that it's never done any good, which leads me to believe that my willpower doesn't matter.

Tomorrow I have my followup appointment with my new doctor. I'll bring my food log and admit that I haven't had time to pick up a pedometer yet because of how busy I've been this month. I will secretly be hoping that something is off with my body. That he found something in my previous bloodwork that explains part of why I am so fucking fat. Or that he wants to run more tests. That against all odds, there will be some other explanation for all of this than the fact that I'm a lazy, overeating, uncontrolled pig.


Syd said...

I'm where you are. Hi. 230 lbs. 5'3" the heaviest I've ever been. I started belly dance a couple of years ago, and in some ways I have a better body image than I did at 160 lbs. However, I'm sick of it too (the rolls, the clothes, the insecurities).

I've been "doing this extreme diet" on an off for about 5 months, it works really well if you stick to it, but I can't seem to stay on the wagon because it's quite restrictive. I eat when stressed but my normal (non-dieting) eating patterns are not those of an obese person. Sometimes i think it's my job, since I sit at a desk all day. I tried standing, but still, I'm fat. I feel the same way about lap band and other surgeries.

Oh crap, I don't have any answers, and this probably isn't helpful. This comment is just to say, hey, you aren't alone.

Trish said...

May I offer a suggestion of something to check out? I just read your blog on pregnancy and problems conceiving and so forth, and it occurred to me that you may have what I have: polycystic ovary syndrome. It has caused me to gain weight for no real reason, and makes it very, very difficult to lose weight. Everyone who has it has different symptoms, but generally you see the weight problems, and troubles getting pregnant. Some women have periods but don't actually ovulate when they do, whereas others, like me, don't have periods at all. Look it up on Wikipedia or something; you may notice symptoms of it, and it's worth investigating with a doctor. Because if you know you have it, then you can do something about it.

More to the point of this post: if you would ever like to get out for a walk sometime and need a buddy, let me know! I'm trying to get into walking, but have nobody to walk with. I also work out at the Butterfly Life women's gym at Bakerview Square, and I'm always looking for others to come work out with me. It's a great, supportive environment, because everyone is there for the same reason.

Don Mills Diva said...

Oh my - this post almost made me weep. I am so sorry you are struggling with all of this. Just wanted to say that if you do decide on the surgery it's not a cop-out - you do what you need to do to get healthy and that's that.

growingapair said...

I really don't see anything "easy" about lap band or other procedures-- it's still an ENORMOUS amount of work and a significant lifestyle change.

If this is the way it's going to work for you, then why let anything hold you back? When you're feeling healthier, moving more, and reclaiming the years back that being overweight can mean, WHO CARES how you got there!?! (I know, you care, but really? Isn't the end the point rather than the means?)

Many members of my family have had the procedure. And there's nothing easy about it. Or lazy.

Kori said...

I have seen you following my blog and wanted to hop over to check you out, and I read this. And I cry. Because I just want to say "do it. go get the surgery." And at the same time I totally and completely understand your feelings. Thank you SO much for being honest and open about all of this. This is my first trip here and I can honestly say that you floored me; I will be back, and gladly.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Just more hugs... lots and lots of them.