Friday, June 21, 2013

Some Days the Glass is Just Half Empty

As of this week - 10 weeks post-op - I am down 53.4 pounds.  At this rate, I should move into Onederland by the end of the month.  *Fingers crossed*.

However, as happy as I am to be losing weight, there is that doom and gloom side of me that can't really see it for the accomplishment others think it is.  Yes, I have come a long way.  And yes, I look better than I did two months ago.  And yes, I am proud of my progress.  But my weight has fluctuated so much over the years that I've been this weight before - many times, in fact.  So when I hear people say, "Wow, you look great!" the compliment is appreciated but I take it with a grain of salt because I just think, "I look like I did two years ago.  And a couple years before that.  And a few years prior to that.  And when I first moved back to Buffalo ten years ago I was this exact same weight. And in fact I was only about 10 pounds heavier than this while I was traipsing around India exactly a year ago."  To me, it's not that impressive.  People tell me I look "amazing," but really, I don't look that much different than I did at various points throughout history.  My hair's a little different, I might have a few more wrinkles and I've taken to wearing lipstick more than usual, but I still can't fit into those cute [insert smaller size] dresses I always thought I'd "diet into someday."  I'm still significantly overweight, as I have been for most of the last 30 years.  In the grand scheme of things, not much has changed.

My progress is met with a fair amount of trepidation in my mind because this is historically the point at which I've gotten stuck and have subsequently given up and begun gaining the weight back.  I know that's not going to happen this time, but it's a hard sell for my pessimism-prone brain.  But this is ultimately WHY I had the surgery. This time I can't just give up and start horking down whole pizzas and pints of Haagen Dazs again.  I've upped the ante this time, and I can't go back.  But I'm still, right now, in a place I've been before.  So while it feels better than it did a few months ago, it feels pretty much the same as it did a few years ago.  I feel good, yes, but I still suffer the ill effects of excess weight because, well, I'm still overweight by 60 pounds.  I'm still invisible to the opposite sex. I'm still wearing plus-sized clothing.  I still feel fat.  I'm still one of the biggest people in the room wherever I go.  I'm barely 5'5" tall and weigh 206 pounds.  That's still rather large.

About five years ago I was about this size after having lost 50-some pounds.  I was feeling good about myself, so I decided to put myself out there and joined some ridiculous dating site or another (does it matter which one?  They all suck).  I got barely any responses, and when I took a chance and wrote to someone I found interesting, he wrote back and said, "Sorry, big girls aren't my thing."  I was positively crushed.  Even though my friend who was sitting next to me when I got the message assured me that I was beautiful and shouldn't listen to tools like that guy, I broke.  I went home that night, curled up on the couch and ate a whole pizza and washed it down with a liter of Pepsi because, why not?  If I could lose 50 pounds and still be called a fat girl, still be rejected, still not be able to get a date, then what the fuck was the point, after all?  By the end of that year I'd gained half the weight back.

Even now, as I face a number of obstacles in my life, I'm  still tempted to overeat to comfort myself.  Only now I get really, really sick if I do, and I'm becoming rather weary of throwing up.  So I've been trying to find other ways to get past the hurt, anger, frustration, fatigue, and other negative emotions that I have traditionally medicated with food.  I go to the gym every few days.  That helps.  I spent all day in my garden yesterday.  That was great.  But old destructive habits die hard, and tonight when faced with a long, arduous project that I wasn't particularly into, and a sudden household to-do list that I hadn't planned on tackling for a few more days and couldn't possibly make a dent in on such short notice, my first thought was, "Fuck it.  I want to eat."  The old me would have gotten my hands on a chicken finger sub, a bag of Cheetos, a box of snack cakes, and a 2-liter Pepsi and gone to town, stuffing my feelings and responsibilities as far down as I could until I could fit no more in there, ending the night passed out in a cloud of sugar, salt, and self-loathing.

I still hate that my house is a mess, my work's not finished, I work a job that robs me of quality sleep and peace of mind so that I can continue to have health insurance, et cetera.  And I KNOW that with or without surgery, now is the point in time when I am most vulnerable to fall into my most destructive habits.  But I can't.  And I'm all twisty and conflicted now.  I'm down 53 pounds but I'm still fat.  I've had 85% of my stomach removed but my brain is still trying to convince me to do bad stuff.  I try to clean a little of my house every day in an effort to maintain the habits I started to develop while I was home for five weeks and not working.  But it's still messy and cluttered, and the rat cage is neglected because every time I want to wheel it outside and give it a righteous scrubbing, it fucking rains.  My house is never clean enough.  I never have enough money.  My goal is still so far away and I just want to cut the shit and get there already.  It's just. never. enough.

I know this is a downer post, and I'm sorry.  But I can't fart sparkly rainbows all the time, and that's just the truth.  I know my life is no more difficult than anyone else's.  There are parts of my life that really fucking rock, actually.  But right now I just feel overwhelmed and unsure of myself and in a really vulnerable place in my weight loss, and it'll be a good twenty or thirty more pounds before that starts lifting.

When I was in school, I was always stressing about this project, that deadline, this assignment, that presentation.  I'd freak out and my friends would say, "Don't worry.  You'll get it done.  You always do."  And somehow, their vote of confidence always proved correct.  I spent a lot of nights in the studio, logged a lot of hours in the library's 24-hour study quad, greeted many a sunrise while furiously tapping out a paper, mounting a print, or cutting a mat to do it, but it did - it got done. 

And so I just need to remember my three Ps - patience, persistence, and presence.   I must be present in the now, persistent in my pursuit, and patient with myself.   The house will get cleaned eventually.  The bills will get paid somehow, some day.  And the weight will come off this time.  It'll be okay.  I'll get it done.  I always do. 


  1. I know what you are saying. I feel the same way. I am at a stuck point too. I have been hovering at 210 lbs for years and I really want to change that. That number is where my body REALLY wants to be but it's where my personal self HATES being. I don't want to be over 200 lbs anymore. I have only been on a diet for three weeks but I have been stuck at good ol' 210 for two of those weeks despite being really good about not eating junk and exercising. My stomach keeps saying "Screw it, accept this weight and eat whatever you want, fatty". But my heart doesn't want that at all. I know it's going to take me a LOT more work than ever to get off this number. I am terrified that I will work my butt off and then find myself back at 210 in a few months.

    I guess we both have to get it in our heads that we aren't going back. We CAN'T go back. We are NEVER GOING BACK. It's just not a possibility. We have to deal with that and accept the enormous amount of work it is going to take to get there from here.

    Good luck.

  2. You are doin it!!! Keep going hussy! You got this! :)

  3. You're awesome, Deedee! I've been keeping up with your blog and sending you invisible high fives.

    1. ANNE!!! It's so good to hear from you!! I miss seeing you on FB and was actually starting to worry a little! I can't wait to hear about all your summer adventures!