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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Like Opening a Can of Worms

Now I know from those who have gone before me and have had weight loss surgery that this is going to be one heck of a ride emotionally. I'm a firm believer with dealing with things and moving on, so I really wasn't prepared for some of the emotional eruptions I have faced thus far.

That being said, I always, always, always have to say my peace, piece, peas... whatever. :)

I am sure like many others in my situation, I have spent the majority of my adult-life working extra-hard so as to convince others that my weight doesn't bother me; that I know who I am and it doesn't make me less of a person. I try to be confident, and am told I come off so, but never have I felt comfortable in my body. Everyday there is something to deal with -- even if it is just a dismissive glance from a stranger.

I've done things that people at healthy weights wouldn't consider doing. I love cycling and I enjoyed pushing my body, as I did with the triathlon... I even loved taking tap dance classes. I love doing these things, but it also sent the message that I don't fit the stereotype of being fat, dumb and lazy.

It is a fact that my weight is a long-time source of misery for me, despite any contrary behavior I may have exhibited over time. Is being skinny going to cure all of my life's problems? Hell no! But it will give me peace with this one area of my life I have not been able to conquer on my own.

While on vacation I had a breakdown of sorts. We had a busy entertainment itinerary for the kids, including Sea World, Wild Rivers, LegoLand... you get the picture.

Wild Rivers happens to be a water park. I have never, ever, ever, ever been to a water park -- and there's a reason for that. I don't feel like sharing my pannus with the rest of the world. At 240 lbs, I might have... but I would have had to think about it long and hard (I even had a hard time with cycling shorts then), but at 288 -- no freakin' way. It took me all summer to find a swimsuit that hid enough, but didn't leaving me look like Omar the tent maker made me a moo-moo swimsuit.

To make a long story short, it was terrible experience at first. After about 4 hours, I eventually I got to the point where I felt comfortable, noticing there were other sizable folks there. It just seemed like everything we did on that trip magnified my weight issues. I had problems keeping up physically as we walked around the amusement parks, I couldn't fit on rides with my daughter and then the whole swimsuit-in-public thing just ate my heart and soul.

I was miserable and it showed.

As if my misery wasn't enough, my Sister created challenges, making it difficult to deal with her inconsideration and overall lack of communication/planning

I was so miserable that it came to a head after my Sister left, and my Mother persuaded me to talk. I finally told her about the surgery. She was supportive, and just wants me to be happy with myself. I was a little surprised because I wasn't sure how she was going to take it.

My Sister on the other hand didn't quite get it. She thought my misery took root in some childhood resentment of her. This doesn't surprise me that she'd think it was her -- that's to be expected. She said she was confused and that since I never showed my insecurities before that she didn't think they existed. She was basically challenging how I felt telling me my problem was otherwise.

She said some other things which I took issue with simply because it proved to me:
  1. How little really know one another.
  2. She will always think it is about her... she's the "pleaser" in the family when something is wrong, she thinks she has to fix it.
  3. She didn't even try to understand one thing I wrote

She went as far as to tell me that for the sake of my daughter I should deal with my issues so that I can live my life without misery.

Thanks for pointing that out Sis, because I didn't know that I was unhappy. She has quite the knack for pointing out the obvious.

My daughter is precisely the reason my eyes were opened and changed my heart towards weight loss surgery. I know this is the one area of my life I need help in conquering, and I thank God that there is a way to get help -- I will never take this journey (the good, bad and ugly) for granted. Every single minute of panic, happiness, sadness, grieving, elation, etc is a learning experience.

That being said though, I thought the really emotional part would be after! LOL

After I got home from vacation I wrote a letter to her and I copied my Mom on it, because there were some things in it I couldn't articulate to her directly. 2 weeks later my Sister wrote back with her half-hearted attempt, making me wonder why she even bothered.

I wrote her for one last time on this subject, and decided that was it. Just let things be. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this, because she'll always see the root of the problem as something it is not.

It's starting already though -- I'm changing my role in their lives, and they don't know how to cope. I'm no longer keeping my feelings wrapped up nicely in a little box, tucked away in the corner of my brain, and pretending that I'm okay with my body anymore. I'm letting it all out. They can, as my friend says, "be part of my team" or they can warm the bench.

No one is going to stop me from making me the best I can be.

2 comments:

Jen, Former Fat One said...

It is going to be a bumpy ride, no use trying to tell you it won't be. But you can come out of it ok. I think I managed to. And that fact that you see already how your decisions affect others will help you stay focused and not get derailed on their hang ups. Good luck. Great post!

Dagny said...

Oh honey, wait until YOU start changing in ways you can't even imagine now! Your relationships are really going to change too! How your family and friends relate to you might change more than you will change. It sounds like you are already doing a lot of work to mentally prepare yourself. I think you're going to be well-armed and ready!

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