Yesterday I found myself in a place I never thought I’d be.
Over the summer I was on track to “writing myself right” and I was walking my way to health.
But then something shifted, and I lost my way again. A few weeks ago I found myself in my doctor’s office, looking at a number on the scale that was higher than its ever been before. My doctor terrified me with the words that, “if you’ve gone this high it will be not time before your weight doubles.”
I didn’t agree with her words. I’ve gained and lost my whole life. I know, deep in my bones, that I can beat this. However she convinced me to sign up for a Bariatric Surgery consultation. “You don’t have to have the surgery,” she said. “It’s really a program to help you deal with your weight.”
“I know what I have to do,” I said. “I know what I have to eat,” It’s just that my head knows but my body responds in its own way.
I went home and cried.
Yesterday I found myself in an introductory meeting, surrounded by people who (for the most part) had more severe weight issues than I do. I listened to the explanation about the program, the expectations before surgery, the different types of surgery. All the while my mind was screaming “How did I get here?!” and I fought back tears. I learned that I wouldn’t even really be a candidate for bariatric surgery, or at least for a surgery covered by insurance, because my BMI is not high enough. I felt relieved, but I still wondered how I’d even gotten so close to needing the surgery. Throughout the presentation I thought, do I want to follow this program in a non-surgical track? Is this program right for me?
At the end of the presentation a group of patients who had the surgery done went up and shared their stories. They all said how it was life changing, and hard work, and took commitment. They’d all lost (or were on their way to losing) well over a hundred pounds of weight. The all seemed happy, but . . .
They all admitted that they couldn’t see their thinner selves in the mirror. They still saw their overweight selves.
One of them had admitted that she also had a tummy tuck, plastic surgery to remove the excess skin that came after her bariatric surgery. She was still in pain two years later.
A few of them said, “the excess skin isn’t beautiful, but it wasn’t beautiful before when we were fat.”
Why not? I asked. Why can’t fat be beautiful?
Now, granted, there are many health reasons to lose weight, and extreme obesity is a dangerous condition. But it doesn’t mean people who carry extra pounds are not beautiful.
I felt like I was at a sales presentation, marketing procedures that will make you beautiful and, in that way, make your world perfect.
It doesn’t work like that.
I left thinking, this program isn’t right for me. While they do include psychological help, as well as nutrition and physical therapy, it just didn’t feel like a match for me. Maybe I’m making excuses, but I have to go with my gut here.
But then again, my gut has been leading me wrong for a long time, or I wouldn’t have been there in the first place, would I?
This morning I woke up with a new determination. I am getting back on track. I’m going to find my way back to a healthy weight, by eating with awareness and exercising. I will go back to the plan to “write myself right”. I will believe in myself and my ability to do this. I will confront the issues that lead me to seek comfort in food. I started today, eating a healthy breakfast and then doing a 1 mile power walk with weights (a video exercise program)
While I’m doing this, however, I’m going to get up every morning, look into the mirror and say to myself, “You are beautiful just the way you are.”