Thursday, April 2, 2009

Regaining Weight

I've thought a lot about the topic of regaining weight. When I lost so much weight in 2004-2005, I was terrified of regaining weight. I was terrified of getting back to the place of bad habits and feeling terrible again. One positive thing that came out of regaining weight in 2005 is that I have faced my worst fear and I've survived. I regained a whole bunch of weight and I did not die. I'm just not as scared to regain weight anymore. 

Now, that may sound rich coming from me considering the fact that I'm still 300 pounds and that I'm actively losing weight and not really struggling with regaining weight. I watched an Oprah show tonight while I was on the treadmill and it featured three famous women and each of their personal struggles with losing weight: Valerie Bertinelli, Marie Osmond, and Star Jones. I appreciated all of their stories, but I certainly identified in ways with Star Jones who seems very much to me like a fat woman in a thin body. She is struggling to right herself after drastically losing weight through gastric bypass. It seems like this journey has been a difficult and long road for her and bless her heart, she seems to be trying to be as honest as possible now. 

I felt like a fat woman in a thin body too. It is a scary place to be where you have to find how to stabilize yourself in this new world and this new body. I applaud her doing her best to look at it honestly after trying to hide it for so long. 

I also appreciate her reasons for keeping it quiet for a long time. I would likely do the same thing. I was so angry for a long time after regaining weight and as I felt a lot of pressure to consider gastric bypass surgery. I was angry because the minute you start to lose weight people start to comment and ask what you did and to tell the truth you have to reveal a very personal medical intervention that is really none of their business. People can do things like get a breast augmentation or a tummy tuck or even any other kind of surgery and they can often keep that surgery private, but the very nature of obesity means that it is a very public part of your person whether you want it to be or not. 

One thing I promised myself before I started trying to lose weight again was that I would prepare myself for people's comments and questions. I have pat answers that I'm going to give and ways that I'm willing to defend myself against unwanted interest in my progress. 

I'm not saying that most people are this way. Most people are just excited and happy for you and you are thrilled to talk to them. It is the other people who have issues around weight too who start picking at you for information and make you feel confused and befuddled. 

I had one person who constantly talked about what I was doing whenever I was around her. It completely overwhelmed me emotionally. I didn't want to talk about it with her but I felt forced to do so. She also talked me up so much that I started to feel all this pressure like I was unnaturally good or unnaturally full of willpower. I hate that kind of talk. There is something about it that smacks of sanctimonious drivel. Weight loss for me has nothing to do with willpower or white-knuckling my way through a diet and it puts me in a weird head space when people talk to me that way. 

So, no, I'm not as scared about regaining weight. I'm more wary and more cautious about righting myself emotionally to handle the scrutiny that comes from changing myself in such an unfortunately public way. That is what I need the most help with through this journey. 

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