You Don’t Just Lose Pounds

After that day of working on Kelly, I had to hurriedly clean up the flat and get ready to go home to my family. We wanted to celebrate my birthday. Our old flat was very untidy, as always, but it bothered me more than usual. I am no longer used to it! Dinah didn’t want to come down to see me.  It was either this or sulking, so this was the better choice. She only sent Tippy down for a short hello. Sissy wasn’t in a good mood, either. She has some papers to write for University, so she was jumpy and would explode at the slightest provocations. Mam was cooking, there was rabbit with mustard sauce, yum! We ate. Dinah’s chair stood there empty. It felt unsettling. Then we had cake and the candles and singing, and I got a few presents: some money for a summer ballet workshop and a bottle of perfume, and my sisters gave me some money to have my iPod repaired (I dropped it in Switzerland and the glass broke). It all felt very forced. It was late, I was tired after working on Kelly all day, nobody was in a festive mood, and the tension from Dinah, and Sissy, too, seemed to hover in the air.

Afterwards, Dad made a remark on how much thinner I looked, and Sissy, who was in the next room and overheard it, got up angrily and rushed upstairs.  Now the mood was ruined completely. Dad felt bad and started shouting about how he couldn’t even say what was on his mind anymore because everybody was so touchy about this subject. I was sad, but tried to make him understand how difficult it is for Sissy. How difficult it is for both my sisters to see me suddenly change. He can’t see it, somehow. He thinks they should be happy for me. But I understand, especially with Sissy. I was in her shoes for years. I was fat and I knew I should lose weight, and I wanted to be thin, but I couldn’t. I felt there was this thing that was wrong about me, and I knew, theoretically, how to change it but I  JUST COULDN’T. I was fighting very hard to develop some self-confidence anyway, a sense that I was ok as I was. After years, it began to bear fruit. It is SO hard to do, however. Sissy is lucky that she has a friend who is very much like her, and they help each other. It is especially hard with Dad, because he just can’t understand, no matter how often and how patiently and eloquently we explain. He thinks that if we are fat and hate it, we should just lose weight. Never mind that he is fat himself and can’t manage to lose weight. And his attitude is evident in every look and innocent-sounding remark. Plus, you get hyper-sensitive about this topic and feel insulted very easily. It was one of the great pains in my life so far, feeling that my father disapproved of my fatness. It hurt SO much. So I completely understand Sissy, and I felt sorry for her.  My parents and I talked about this for some time, and then they drove me home.

When they had gone, I felt very lonely and cried a little. I hate that my family is fighting about me. I know that ultimately, it is Dinah and Sissy’s own battle with themselves, but my weight loss has triggered this whole mess. I never thought it would go so far. I never wanted it to hurt those who are closest to me. I feel as though I had lost Dinah for ever, and am losing Sissy.  Is this the price of losing weight? It’s not easy as it is. Yes, I look better, I make progress in ballet, I get a lot of praise. But it’s also scary, expensive, tedious and, ultimately, very lonely. I kind of lost my family with the weight. I’m also still obese, and flabbier than ever. It’s not as if I had suddenly got a perfect body. My motivation seems gone at the moment, too, and every day is a struggle. Is it really worth it? If I lose more, start approaching a normal shape, what will happen? I am so scared that my colleagues will give up their supportive attitude when they begin seeing me as competition. I’m scared men will see me as an object. My co-dancers will hate me because of my ambition. Sissy will hate me once I am noticeably lighter than she. I will be thin but unhappier than ever… There it is, the essential fear: others might disapprove of me.

But I know that I can’t go back. And eventually, I will want to go on. It is just fear and uncertainty that are holding me back. I want to be who I really am. And fat is not who I really am. Maybe I need to stop here for a while and let the rest of me ‘catch up’ with the weight. You don’t lose a third of your body and remain the same inside. This is so much more than diet and exercise, and I am slowly beginning to understand just how big it is. Ultimately, I need to find the courage to go on, into the unknown, alone.

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
This entry was posted in Ballet, Family, Health, Love, Milestone and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to You Don’t Just Lose Pounds

  1. antoinetta13 says:

    Please don’t give up…you’re doing this for you not your family.

  2. Wow. I am quite shocked. SHOCKED! This post truly upset me. Please don’t think I’m talking trash on your family but how can none of them be supportive? Are your sisters teens? Your weight loss is an amazing feat. You shouldn’t feel ANY shame in becoming healthy and creating your ideal shape. You’ve probably worked so hard. I KNOW! It’s unfairly hard. I don’t think your family will abandon you, but it may take a while for them to maybe understand. I know you’re probably just venting, but you aren’t alone either. 🙂

    • annalienor says:

      My parents ARE supportive. It’s just my sister who are having trouble with the whole situation. They are not teenagers anymore. The story is complicated and this post ia only a part of it. Basically, one sister is thin and my behaviour triggers anorexic thoughts in her. The other sister is overweight and wants acceptance, support and love without having to lose weight first, which is only fair. Hearing my father praise me probably made her feel inferior. I see both their points, and I didn’t mean to blame them for everything. And you’re right, I was ‘venting’. It’s just very difficult (for the whole family) because my weight loss opened old wounds and there is a lot of tension between us. But I’m sure it will be ok one day.
      Thank you for your support.

  3. Hello there, I know this is an old post, but ever since I found your blog recently I find myself continuing to read and read your story. There have been way to many times that I’ve read what you wrote and I’m thinking “Me too!”, from your obsession with ballet to your difficulty making friends, and love of cats.
    But this post especially… first off, congrats on the weight loss. Second, I know how much it hurts when one loses a lot of weight and everyone is either unsupportive, resentful, or jealous, whether they be family or friends. I’ve been there, it sucked so much that I almost sabotaged myself and regained the weight just to not feel so, I don’t know, guilty and alienated from my family and everyone whom I considered a friend. Everyone in my family is obese and I think to a certain extent my parents took it personal, like “you don’t want to be like us?” however weird that sounds, when I lost weight. The worst is getting used to attention that I never prepared for receiving when I was younger, it makes me so uncomfortable! So many of your concerns expressed in this post reminded me of the struggles I still continue to face. So many people think all there is to weight loss is just the actual weight loss, but then they probably haven’t gone through such a big change.
    Anyway, best wishes from a fellow ballet-obsessed young lady!

    • annalienor says:

      Thank you for your comment. It’s lovely to hear that we have so much in common. I read some of your blog and am going to read more when I have more time.
      It’s sad that your family isn’t supportive of your weight loss. Your parents should at least be happy for you. Thankfully my parents are. I was always the fattest in the family and they were worried about me and tried to help me. And until now my sister Sissy and I are still getting along. And the others in ballet and at work either say nothing or compliment me. I can’t say anything about attention yet, all I got were a few more looks. Or different looks, rather.
      I agree that weight loss is a very big life change. It’s never easy for those around you to see a person change so much when it’s maybe not what they want. I hope you found some new friends who support you. It takes time to adjust to our new body. It feels like a new identity (to me).

      • I’m happy to hear things have been good well for you!
        My parents are very slowly starting to get used to the idea (reality?) of a slimmer daughter. At least there’s less negative comments now, though they are always trying to feed me, lol. As for my little sis, she doesn’t resent me because she knows that once she’s old enough to move out I will help her. But I know that she is not happy with her body and it makes me sad I can’t do more yet.
        On the friends front, I’ve made a few new friends and I’ve found it’s just easier to not even mention the weight loss. Everytime I’ve made the mistake and mentioned it, they always ask what I did, and if I tell them they start giving me weird looks and treating me differently. So now I just keep my mouth shut. It can be hard to find supportive people though, I don’t know if it would have been possible without Boyfriend’s support. We’ve often talked about how lack of support is a big reason people don’t stick to a weight loss plan.
        I’m still getting used to the new thin identity. For a while I wasn’t recognizing myself in pictures, which was so surreal.

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