12.13.2011

Fat

I am fat. That's a given and how I got here is a combination of genetics and mistakes, but it is what it is. I often go through phases in which I try to take better care of myself through diet and exercise, and it works for me, if only temporarily. Often I get stuck at a certain place and lose the motivation to continue and turn to food as a comfort when I shouldn't. At the moment, without putting in much effort, I have been doing well and fitting into smaller clothing sizes. It feels good, but as always, I save the larger sized clothing for the day when I fit into them once again. I'm not sure that is a good choice, but for me, it seems to be the circle of life, and that's how I roll.

Being fat sucks. Being tired and feeling sick and having no energy is not a wonderful way to live your life. Luckily, I stay active, even with my excess weight. My children and husband demand an active lifestyle, and so we continue to enjoy walks in the woods, days at amusement parks and zoos, bike riding out in nature...all things I love and treasure, and am blessed to be able to do with my family. I haven't yet held them back from doing what they enjoy in life, even if I have held myself back many times due to my weight and size. I know they would all prefer me to be healthier and also more eye appealing, but never have my own family made me to feel like I am a burden (I am not, I do everything for them, for the record, but they could whine and complain much more than they do).

I despise being fat, and hate when people mention that I look as if I have lost weight...I do not like that attention on myself. I don't like people noticing as it makes me feel even more self-conscious. Sometimes I think that alone plays a part in my losing motivation. Stupid, maybe, but being heavy is not only physically exhausting, but also emotionally and mentally. It plays with your mind and your body. It's not a fun manner of living.

Lately, I have been confronted with numerous friends and acquaintances who have chosen to do something about their weight once and for all. However, they are doing it surgically, rather than through diet and exercise. And I am sort of stuck in this fight with myself about how I feel about doing something so drastic. Is it okay, is it necessary, is it an easy way out, is it the "magic pill" everyone dreams of finding? Here is what I have concluded given my own weight battles and my own experiences:

I believe that being overweight is somewhat of a choice. Yes, there are many other roles playing a part, but ultimately, it is me who places the food in my mouth, and if I make poor choices, I will gain. If I choose not to get out and exercise, I will have no muscles to break down the fat. This is also a choice, and one I am not very good about completing, other than for necessity. So, it lays on my shoulders, the choices I have made in getting me to this place.

Once you reach a certain weight, it is no longer an easy task to turn it around. Your habits persuade you, and even in your very best of intentions, it is easy to fail. Often, with being overweight, you are confronted with additional health issues, such as diabetes, joint pain, back pain, stomach issues, an inability to have children, heart problems. These are all medical issues, but stem from choices you have made. It is a result of being overweight. I, personally, have been lucky not to suffer any serious medical issues due to my weight, but do tend to have pain in my knees and ankles, surely from the weight they are forced to carry. This does scare me for the future, when even healthy people are confronted with walking difficulties and other medical issues, completely unrelated to weight issues, but present nonetheless due, simply, to aging. I am not boding well for the future, due to the care I have given my body thus far in life.

Medical issues can be turned around, and prevented with weight loss. I get this. I also get that having gastric bypass surgery or putting in a stomach band reduces your weight. But what really bother me about these processes, is that too many people I know are doing it not because of health issues, but simply as a chance to be free of extra fat. And I struggle with believing that this is acceptable.

I hear my friends giddy with happiness over the prospect of upcoming surgeries, or seeing others melting away into a normal-sized person. And I am jealous that it isn't me being allowed to walk into any store to buy clothes, or sitting on a plane without worrying I am taking up the seat of the person next to me, or not going on a rollercoaster for fear I won't fit in the seat. But still, I have done this to myself. Is it right for me to then have surgery to take away the pain of the years of abuse I have done to my body?

I know these surgeries are not easy. I know you must go through a period of hell before you reach your desired weight. I know it isn't an easy solution. However, when I speak to some people about it and they haven't taken any opportunity to try to do this for themselves before resorting to something so major, it does make me a little mad. Why have they been able to abuse their bodies for so long, and not have to fight to get desired results? I am not speaking of all people who do choose to have this surgery. People who have struggled with their weight, sincerely tried doing something about it, and failed for whatever number of reasons, I can back them up. But for others, I just struggle to uncover how this drastic measure will result in the new person they think they will become by losing weight.

I understand the desire to be free of excess weight and all the pain that comes with it. I understand the need to seek happiness you can't find hiding behind layers of fat. But, I don't know to what extent I agree and support gastric bypass surgery. I know I would be a candidate for it, and I also know that with our medical system here it would be affordable. Hearing my friends and acquaintances discuss their choice to have this surgery almost makes me want to head to the doctor and start the process. But something within me knows I am here because I did it to myself. And I am not sure I can allow myself the freedom of losing this weight, knowing I didn't do all I could for myself, mentally, emotionally, and physically, before resorting to something so major. I think I owe it to myself to have to fight for what I want. And if I fight and then can't manage it, then maybe I have the right to search out a deeper level of help.

I don't begrudge these people their choices or decisions. I do envy what they receive at the end. I just hope that they find what they have been seeking all along when they reach goal weight, without dealing with the problems that brought them to that point in the first place. Or, better yet, that they do deal with those issues and find complete happiness and pride in the person they become after going through gastric bypass. For myself, I've got a lot more thinking to do on this issue.


3 comments:

spacetrekkers said...

Hey mate :)

I felt exactly the same as you for years. As you know, my old doctor used to suggest it every time I went to him and I would always get really pissed about it. It always seemed so drastic and permanent and I didnt want to go through all that. But in the end, I just had enough!

I have tried just about every diet over the years, tried eating healthy and exercising a lot until I stalled and nothing more was coming off, been in weight watchers about 10 times over the years, been on the jenny craig diet a couple of times, tried dieticians and psychologists, but nothing has permanently worked or helped a great deal. And now it is even harder with the arthritis which just keeps getting worse and worse each week seemingly :(

Statistically, everything is against me also. Apparently, only 2 or 3% of people my size, EVER get down to normal weight without surgery and then there is always the risk of gaining it back again :(

I am scared to death of the surgery, the healing, and the long road back to normal eating again. And of never being able to eat certain foods again and all sorts of things.

But at the same time, I feel that if I dont have this surgery, I will be dead from a heart attack by the time I am 50, that is so very real a possibility :( And after 25 years of nothing else working so far, I dont feel I have an option :( I am tired, also, of feeling embarrassed or humiliated, tired of missing out on so much, and would just like to be able to do normal things again.

But I do know where you are at, at the moment, I have been there for many years before finally making the decision. I say you have to do what is right for you, not for anybody else, but you :) Surgery might be the answer for some, but if it doesnt feel right for you, then it might not be :)

Love you mate!

Jade said...

Hey sweet friend. I dont know what its like to be you, but I do know what its like to be me and uncomfortable in my body. It can dictate minute details of our lives leaving us feeling trapped.

Surgery is an option for those open to it. My mom decided to have the band surgery about 4 years ago. She was boarderline Diabetic, had little to no energy, and was largely depressed. She was also a smoker for 20 years prior to this and was required to stop smoking before she was able to have the surgery.(she was tested for nicotine) 4 years later and she is 120 pounds lighter and happier than I've ever seen her. But that was her personal choice and it worked for her. And you have to decide what works for YOU. You have to do what you feel ok with, what you feel will improve your quality of life, and help you improve the quality of your families life. You've got my support in whatever you decide as long as its healthy.

I also wanted to stop by and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Years. I hope 2012 brings you all tons of fun adventures and all a little closer to your yearly goals.
Hugs to you sweet friend.

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