Weight Loss Complications

It’s been three months since I have been ‘feeling new’ and being less strict with my diet and I have lost roughly 10 kg/20 lb. Yet for the last few days, the delight I took in my weight loss seemed gone. I’m getting thinner than some of my colleagues now and I imagine they must dislike me for it. I am afraid of making enemies. I feel guilty for possibly making others feel bad about themselves. When I was fat, people who lost weight made me feel very bad. They seemed to accuse me of weakness and failure by their very existence and success. Naturally, I disliked them. Judy, my superior, was recently called fat in her absence by some other colleagues. It shocked me. It made me see her (and me) in a new light. I’m no longer considered ‘fat’ by my colleagues. Does that mean our roles are reversed now? In a society where thin means good, weight loss creates a power shift. It can be hard to deal with, not only by those who are suddenly ‘overtaken’. I was always on the bottom of the hierarchy, which had a certain security and comfort. I never could (and never had to) compete. And now I’m up there in the middle of it and it is noticeable. I never get compliments or comments about my weight loss from the younger colleagues now. They used to praise me. Maybe they thought it was cute at first: look at the fatty trying to lose weight. Now, I’m competition. Only the older, more motherly women still support me. The situation is unsettling.

Mrs. H. said that what I am experiencing is usually something you live through during adolescence. I’m just very late. I always saw myself as isolated at the bottom, different, not part of it. I now have to find my place in the hierarchy. I have to find out and become who I truly am and then live it. I have to learn how to deal with competition. She said it was a part of ‘individuation’.

***

Then there’s Dinah. Every pound I lose is going to make it harder for her, and also for me. Her being thin was always the thing I most envied her for, even when I wanted to be quiet and ‘poor’ like her, and I think it was the thing she most enjoyed having over me. I don’t feel guilty for the way my personality may make her feel, but for this, I do. It would have been better if we’d met three months ago. I am pushing for a meeting soon, constantly asking the others how she is, whether she mentioned my text message. I hope that by Christmas, we can sit at the same table again. I dream of her every week now.

***

On Monday, I had a long talk with Tina, a woman from ballet. She used to be obese as well and lost weight after weight loss surgery. Then she had another surgery to tighten the skin on her stomach. We were going home together and talked about how nice it was to no longer be fat. Only somebody who has been there can truly understand. I knew about her surgeries and asked her some questions. She answered in great detail. She had a stomach by-pass surgery where a part of her stomach and intestine were removed. She can’t eat large meals and has to take vitamins because she can’t absorb them anymore. It seems a very drastic step to take. Weight loss surgery was suggested to me by my doctor, but I always refused. I knew that I would lose the weight naturally one day. The idea of cutting open my body and mutilating it in such a way seemed horrible. Tina described her skin surgery as well. It sounded even more horrible. I have seen pictures and descriptions online, too. I don’t think I will ever do something like that. Of course I don’t like loose skin and would love to get rid of it. But not by cutting and carving up my body. I’m going to try and get really lean and be patient and hope the skin tightens up. If it doesn’t, maybe I’ll reconsider. But not until I have tried everything else.

The skin issue has taken away some of my new confidence. For a time, I found myself beautiful. I still do when I’m dressed, mostly. But I have lost 10 kg in the last three months and the skin hasn’t caught up. I doubt anybody could find this attractive. Maybe, hopefully, one day someone will like me enough to overlook it. I am trying to do this myself, with varying success.

***

Sissy, my little sister, is fat and trying to live a happy, confident life without having to lose weight. She cut her hair short recently and has lots of crazy clothes. She is fighting the thought that everybody has to be thin and that fat people have no worth, no beauty, no right to be happy, to love. She is better at it and braver than I ever was. I never could get rid of these thoughts, they were always there back in a corner of my mind. I focused on other things and managed to feel good enough about myself to allow my weight loss. But I definitely never identified as fat, it was always painful to me (when I didn’t ignore it), it always felt as if my fatness was at odds with my true self. And to be honest, I can’t possibly imagine Sissy being truly happy at her weight. I love her, but I would love to see her lose weight. No, I have to rephrase that: I would love to see her truly happy and confident, not limited by her body. If she can achieve that at her current weight, all the better. And I want her to be able to accept me and my weight loss, and not make her feel bad or jealous. I don’t want to lose her, too.

She lent me a book called Fat!So? It made me think. It cites lots of scientific literature saying that diets ultimately don’t work, weight loss isn’t permanent and that some people seem to just be fat no matter what. It tells fat people to stop being ashamed and to live happy, healthy lives. I think it’s a great book, but it has made me a little less hopeful as to the possibility of staying thin (once I am thin). All these negative aspects aside, I still want to keep losing weight. I don’t want to stay at this weight. And I never want to go back. I really feel as if this was the real me, not the fat version. To get fat again, I’d have to change who I truly am, my identity. Last autumn for example, I felt insecure and like a bad, ugly, weak person and promptly gained back some weight. I hope it doesn’t happen ever again. The statistics are strongly against me. But then, I am not a statistic. Somehow, I tell myself that all those people who regained their weight didn’t change as fundamentally as I have. That it will be different in my case.

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
This entry was posted in Family, Friends, Health, Law of Attraction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Weight Loss Complications

  1. Definitely been there, at the point where people stopped praising my weight loss efforts and instead started to develop what seemed like resentment, or even jealousy. I felt so bad for making them feel bad, but felt like I have to live my life! Stay strong; with time they will come around, as they forget what their (before) image of you was and eventually accept the new you.
    I also felt like my “fat self” was not the “real” me, and that one day “real” me would emerge. While I admire the courage of those that don’t let their excess weight stop them from pursuing their dreams, for whatever reason that was just not me.
    Also, as far as I’ve experienced “diets” may not work in the long term (when the person stops dieting and starts eating like they did before, it comes back. I used to “diet” and failed), but a lifestyle/relationship with food change does there are many people who have kept it off. When I was losing the weight I heard from plenty of naysayers that the weight would return, but now, 3 years later it hasn’t. Just slight 3-4 pound fluctuations (if I really treat myself) at most, nothing like before.

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