I know the title is a bad pun considering I’m talking about my failure to lose weight. It is, however, typical of the mood I find myself in. I’m stuck between devastated and hopeful, a deep desire to put on my jammies, crawl into bed, and give the world a giant middle finger. But, I can’t do that. I have kids that need a mother, a husband who needs a wife, a bank account that needs the dollars I earn writing. Kind of hard to do all that from bed.
I am usually that person who functions well when the shit hits the fan. I can paste on a smile and pretend that everything is alright in front of others. However, when the door closes for the final time at night, and I am left with only me and the dog, the tears flood the room. The shame overcomes me and the worry becomes the boss of me. I am, and have been for years, the fat friend, the lazy woman, the person defined by the number on the scale. My body’s relationship with gravity has been my cross to bear for years. My weight almost literally consumes me. And the options are running out for me. PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), the reason I gain weight without trying, is slowly taking over my life.
I have more health issues than you can shake a stick at, none so bad that I am not walking around, but bad enough that my weight exacerbates most of them. I am scared to death that I will be the woman I saw on television weighing 600 lbs., housebound, and treating her husband as more of a caregiver than a spouse. I avoid mirrors and cameras. I hate going to social events because I feel like all eyes are on me. I hate meeting new people because they inadvertently give me the full body scan before meeting my eyes. People remember only one thing when meeting me–I was the fat one.
I literally have a team of doctors trying to figure out why I can’t lose weight. Eating right (via Weight Watchers) and exercising weren’t enough. I lowered my points and increased my activity. No dice.
So, here I stand on a precipice. My options for weight loss as thin as floss. The doc told me today that my options are:
A. I drastically change my diet and exercise, helped with a diet pill. I am staring down the real possibility that I have to be a human being who never really eats. For the next thirty days I can have salad and soup, averaging no more than 1,000 calories a day. It doesn’t matter that I will be hungry. It doesn’t matter that I will be grouchy. It doesn’t matter that I cannot be present at family meals anymore. I have to treat food almost like an alcoholic treats alcohol. I have to NOT eat.
B. Gastric bypass surgery. Be carved up like a holiday meal and force my stomach to do what my body stubbornly would not. Live my life on supplements with a stomach the size of an egg.
C. Do nothing and treat each spoonful of food as if it were a shovelful of dirt scooped out of my grave, because that’s the destination this fast track leads.
I can’t tell you the shame and fear and self-loathing and sadness that I feel. I miss the stupidest things that skinny people take for granted, like my lap, off-the-rack clothes, and no one watching every bite I take. I know that the weight isn’t my fault, but I still blame myself for letting it get this far. I know my body is betraying me via my endocrine system and there isn’t much I can do. All that knowledge does one thing: feeds my anger.
I’m pissed at my own body for keeping me from living the life I want. I’m pissed that a little thing like metabolism, something I can’t even hold in my hand, is what works against me. I’m pissed at whatever gene made me this way. And I’m royally pissed that I cannot control any of it.
For now, I am choosing Option A because I’m not ready to accept that I can’t somehow redeem myself. Am I fooling myself? Possibly. But I have to know, before I go under the knife, that I did all I can do. I did the diet. I did the exercise. I ramped them up. I took the medication.
I have to fight this weight like I would fight any life altering disease.
I have to fight for me.
I have to fight for my family.
I love them and giving up now would be like giving up on them, and there’s too much life that needs living in me. Too much that I would miss out on. And none of it is worth even one bite of cake, one spoonful of pasta, or a nibble of potato chip. Not one morsel.
I also need to show myself and my kids that there is still fight in me, because Option C is giving up. And I am nowhere near giving up yet.