Sunday, June 19, 2016

I Woke Up So Angry


Last night I had some dreams... dreams where I was thin again. When I woke up, the first thing on my mind was an old, dear friend who had gotten back in touch with me yesterday. She said she missed me, and asked me to come and visit her, and wanted to meet my daughter and hug her and tell her she loves her even though they have never met. This friend was Godmother to my sons, the only person in the world I trusted enough to have, love, and raise my children if something happened to my husband and me. This friend, I love, and have loved since we met when I was 20 years old and she was in her 30's. She threw my first baby shower and she sewed curtains and a baby quilt for my first nursery. She is my sister, one of those people that even if you don't speak for a long time, when you finally chat again it's like you've never been apart.

Her health isn't good. She has a lot of things going on. We used to be neighbors, but now she lives 9 or 10 hours drive from me and the last time I drove it was before my daughter was born. I have other friends who live there, too. But I haven't been back in 40 or 50 pounds. Yep, there, I said it. I have not gone back because I am fat.

I have waited and dieted and lost weight and gained weight, waiting over a decade to visit my friends because I was waiting to be thinner than I was when I left there... or at least the same weight. I didn't want to deal with the shock and surprise on people's faces... or if not on their faces, what I imagined was in their minds... when they saw me this fat. I didn't want my weight to be the first thing they saw when I walked up to them after a decade apart. I wanted my weight to be a total non-issue. THEN I would go visit.

But I did lose weight, I got all the way down to 175 pounds which is a lot less than I weighed when I left there. I could have gone then, but I thought I was still too fat. I was still losing weight and waiting for the skin to shrink and for my skin to look better and to buy a new wardrobe of clothes that fit. For almost a year I weighed in the 170's and 180's almost the whole time and I still never made that trip! Why didn't I go when I weighed 175 pounds?? Now here I am, back at almost 240 pounds (yes I weighed) and hating the fatness so much that there is NO WAY I would go on that trip to see the people I love.

WHY? It makes me SO angry that I woke up with all of what I just wrote flashing in my head in a split second, and a tear rolled down my cheek as I was still in bed covered in the sadness and anger at myself for never having gone, and still not going. I have missed out on *so much* because of this stupid weight. Yes I *know* they love me and my weight wouldn't change that. I *know* that good friends won't think badly of me for being fat, and they'll understand. And yet all this time I waited to be skinny enough to feel okay enough to go visit them. Because it is just so horrifying to me to think of the embarrassment and the reality of my weight and how crappy I look.

It's a perspective that is very, very different from my day to day "oh I feel fine, oh I don't look too bad, hey this being fat is not so terrible." Yes I can do a lot more things than I could at 278. Yes I am happier and accomplish more and have fewer health problems. I am comfortable and it's okay and the people here are used to my obesity and I have long since gotten over (or stuffed down and become numb to) the shame I felt when friends who met me in the 170's watched me literally balloon up 60+ pounds and stay fat. The embarrassment of that is pretty much over because now they have known me fat for longer than they knew me at a normal-ish size, so I assume my fat is the new normal and it's what they expect when they see me. It's been long enough that they're probably not all wondering if I am going to lose the weight and get back to the old normal. But the people who haven't seen me this big, I never want them to see me this big. It is hugely embarrassing and I guess I don't want everyone in the world to have a current mental image of me as really fat. I just don't.

I have written about the emotional losses and isolation that comes from being fat before;  but today it truly pained me. I want to see the people I care about. And yet I still feel like I HAVE to get at least closer to the weight I was when they last saw me first. It tears me up inside. I am tired of not having any pictures of me with my kids (hardly any since I got back over 200), tired of avoiding people who don't know how fat I am, and tired of worrying that I won't get to see my friend again because of her health issues, because I am so hung up on my fatness but too uncommitted to actually lose the weight. I am so mad about it, it might even be enough to get me to do something real to get these pounds off NOW.


36 comments:

lilypad said...

I have these same kinds of thoughts often. I stop living because I have not fulfilled some milestone that I have set for myself. The thing is, we miss out on so much by doing this. The clock doesn't stop ticking while we sort these issues out. Get out and see your friends now - before too much time has passed and the opportunity no longer even exists.

Anonymous said...

Funny you wrote about this today , Lyn. My brother, whom I love dearly lives in SC. Well when I saw him last I was 25 lbs thinner. He came home and I didn't want to see him so I literally wrote him a email to tell him I had gained weight and didn't want him to be disappointed in me.
When he finally saw me last night he just hugged me tightly and said he loved me no matter what. It was hard for me. I watched his eyes to see if he was looking at me and my fattness... it just never goes away.

I'm not going to stop living anymore because of what someone says or see's. I'm me. I recently saw my sister who had gastric bypass and she didn't look happy at all being thinner. As a matter of fact she was in the corner not participating in "life." I don't want that either.
I don't like being fat but I don't like having to think about it every second of the day .. I still ... sit by my pool, go in the pool and put on a bathing suit... my house, my rules... my life.


There has to be a point that everyone in one way or another finds true happiness. Is that forever thinking what I put in my mouth? I don't think so. Is it worrying who is looking at me the wrong way? NOPE... I don't want to be 300 lbs... no one does. But I don't want to worry constantly of who , what , why and where that someone is judging me....

I think we're good people.
I don't want to count my food.
I don't want to take pics of my food.
I don't want to look at food that its evil.
I don't want to go out with my husband and worry I eat the wrong things.
I just want to live!

:) Go visit your friends.
I bet they will love you 100 % NO matter how you look.

Ro

Anonymous said...

They are your friends and they won't judge you for what you weigh. I have a friend who weighed around 200, she told me she had gained 30 lbs, didn't I notice? Honestly I didn't see that change. I don't think of her as her weight, I just see her as my friend.

And if you look across the nation, I don't know what area your friends are from, but about 90% of people are gaining weight as the years go by. I have struggled with my weight for about 30 years, fighting it but not changing much in actual pounds weighed.
In the 80s, people called me fat all the time, I would walk into a store and the storekeeper would loudly state she didn't carry plus size clothing. I wore size 14.
In the 90s-2000s I was considered average and wore a size 10.
Now I am considered thin and wear a size 6.
All of this at 5' 10 1/2" and 145 in the 80s, now 5'9" and 145, never varied more than 20lbs or so. I haven't changed that much in weight but the rest of the world is changing. You might think you feel fat and out of place but I guarantee that isn't true anywhere except maybe NYC or LA.

So if I may make a suggestion, You might want to book a flight or hotel or whatever you need to do to plan your trip. Do this 6 months in advance. Then you will have a firm date t work toward, it will help with your lifestyle goals.
And then even if you don't lose more, or even gain some, and you do go ahead and go, I think you will be glad you did, and your friends won't be judging you.

Anonymous said...

What does "something real" mean?

Lyn said...

lilypad, Ro, and Anon~

thank you, you are right. I sent her a message and am going to find a time we can talk on the phone about a visit.

last anon~

it means something hard for me, and outside of my comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

Lyn,

Glad to see that you're going to talk to her about going on that trip. Your family and friends love you regardless of what you do or don't weigh. The person they've always loved is still the same person regardless of the outer shell.

As far as being angry, yes, use that as motivation to get a grip and do something uncomfortable. Weight loss isn't cut out to be easy, especially not big weight loss, but it can be done. I sincerely hope you let this angry feeling motivate you to do better for yourself. Just like the rest of us, you deserve a life that makes you truly happy.

Anonymous said...

I would send an email and tell them your fat and then go. If she dies, you will always remember how it was you that didn't make the effort. Just go, she wants to see YOU. She's asked!!! Drop the reason and just do it. You think they haven't seen fat people? Over 60% of the country is obese. Go, before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand this. It is comfortable to be in a bubble of denial that we are happy and content with our current situation. Should we embrace HAES? Should we do Medifast? Should we give up sugar? What will work to get me THIN and HAPPY? But it is an elusive promise. The thin RARELY lasts, as you well know. There is a medium in there somewhere that is NOT thin, and NOT fat, but healthy and not obsessive about food. Giving up on weight loss may not be it either. It is different for all. I pray you find your sweet spot on this one!

Rachel rbs said...

I'm sorry you're having a rough time and want to see your friends. Maybe this anger WILL be a good fuel to keep you moving forward! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I think that you may be focusing on the wrong thing in this situation. It is clearly about being there for your friend. Whatever is happening for you can be put aside to be the good friend that you claim she is to you. Go to her, and forget yourself for a minute. When you are home you can make a new plan for your health. Don't let your ongoing years long struggle interfere with another relationship for one more minute. Just my two cents.

Lori said...

I totally understand your post. Been there, done that.

But, my advice is still - go. See your friend. She won't care about your weight. Take pictures of yourself, buy clothes that fit now. Just live and enjoy life. Don't let your perceived shortcomings stop you. There will always be something, like the skin when you were thinner.

Now, to take my own advice!
Lori

Lyn said...

Thank you all. To clarify...

1) I am calling her today and setting up a plan to go see her soon. Meaning I want to go this summer, but will see what her schedule is like with surgeries etc. I am not going to let my weight stop me from seeing her. My weight no longer matters in this case; she is a dear friend and it just doesn't matter. I woke up angry that I let my weight be the issue in not seeing her and other friends for SO long. I realize how ridiculous that is and how letting my own fears and embarrassment dictate my life that way is hurtful to me AND others. My daughter deserves to know her love.

2) I am angry about feeling semi-content at my weight for so long that I haven't felt motivated to change it. I am angry that my efforts were not enough to see a bigger loss/lower maintain range. I am pretty pissed off that I have to do drastic things to lose significant amounts of weight. Yeah I can go back to eating junk less often and walking and biking more but I will only lose a pound or two a month, as many years of record keeping on this blog have shown. I am not sure my anger is a healthy one because it feels disordered (thoughts of "I hate food, I just won't eat, moderating doesn't work, normalizing doesn't work, I will just eat as little as possible) but I am not too worried about starving myself because if I was mentally and emotionally capable of doing that to lose weight, I'd have done it a long time ago.

Xani said...

Lyn- As always I am wishing you peace with your struggles. Also I wanted to recommend you listen to this week's This American Life radio show/podcast, #589 "Tell Me I'm Fat" It contains some unique perspectives.

Anonymous said...

I am reading this and know how very hard this is.Just know that you do have a lot of supporters

h2oratt said...

Wow I totally relate. How sad that we deny seeing people we love because of our weight. As I said I have been listening to podcasts about heathy eating.. Wanting to try eating for less inflammation. What do you think would be best for that? No sugar and carbs seem to be the culprit.

Lyn said...

h2oratt~

I agree, sugar and refined carbs definitely cause inflammation. I think cutting those out or down dramatically will help. For me when I was doing AIP I found that sugar, wheat, most grains except rice, and peppers caused me joint pain and rosacea flare ups. Some people find that cutting out dairy also helps, but I'm on the fence about that. Also, eating fish (like salmon) or taking fish oil cuts inflammation. I also take turmeric and ginger supplements to reduce inflammation. I hope that helps, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with losing a pound or two a month. The months and years will pass anyway, so why not settle on some very achievable goals--less junk food, calorie-intake awareness and modest physical activity.

Personally, I find calorie-counting (even on days when I overindulge) and eating primarily a home-cooked, whole-foods balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains/complex carbohydrates, beans/nuts and fish (we're not poultry or mammal flesh-eaters), eggs and butter, etc., works the best for me. All those packaged treats and fast food? Pure poison and specifically engineered to be highly addictive! If you must have treats (and who doesn't once in a while?), make them at home with "real" ingredients, eat some and freeze the rest. And if you must binge, promise yourself to binge on a yummy salad before anything else.

There are no magic solutions (although the diet/weight-loss industry would have us all think otherwise), and a long-term program of modest losses will retrain your brain to be satisfied with healthy, whole-food choices.

For the record, my highest weight was 170 lbs. I'm 5'3" and 60 years old. Currently, I weigh 141. My goal weight is 125. I've settled on a goal of losing one pound a month, and won't reach my goal until I'm 62. And I'm okay with that!

Best wishes.

Anne

Lyn said...

Anne~

There isn't anything wrong with losing a pound or two a week. I have done it lots of times over the past decade. Even though I have done that for months several times, my brain has never been "retrained" as you mention, to want only healthy, whole food choices. My brain always, eventually, sends me back to the junk. And junk, even in single servings, and higher carbs, even in normal portions (one hamburger bun, or one bowl of pasta) causes me rapid regain. Thus it took me six months to lose eleven pounds, and less than six weeks to gain it back. That is not going to get me thinner.

I don't know the answers to this; obviously something is different in my brain with the past eating disorders (I don't think it is remotely normal to binge eat the way I did in the past; no I do not binge anymore, ever) including the compulsive eating and obsessive food thoughts I have battled, which seem to be coming back slowly.

Andria said...

"I am pretty pissed off that I have to do drastic things to lose significant amounts of weight."
Really? That's how it works and you know it, Lyn. It's not easy for anyone. I eat about 1400 calories a day and run 25+ miles a week just to maintain (5'6" ~165lbs). That's life. You're entitled to be angry, but channel that anger into action instead of just fuming.

Lyn said...

Andria~

No, actually it doesn't always work like that. Many people lose weight being moderate, eating 1600-2000 calories a day at my weight and still losing. I think it is great that you can run and that you have found what you need to do to maintain, and I hope I find my sweet spot too. FTR maybe my idea of "normal" is based on what I experience around me; I only have one friend who runs, most of the people I hang out with are either normal weight or a bit overweight (not obese, maybe could lose 15 or 20 pounds) and don't go to a gym or do any extreme exercise on a regular basis. Most of my friends also eat what I'd call a "normal plate" at dinners we go to, potlucks, or restaurants we eat at together. I don't see much in the way of restricting (granted I am not in their houses seeing what they eat every day, but they're generally fine with having a donut when we go to coffee or eating a hot dog and chips at a pot luck, fried foods and sodas at restaurants etc). I have to accept I am not them, and my history of extreme weight swings between 140 and 283+ pounds as an adult, plus periods in my life of binge and restrict (varying between 800 calories a day and 8,000 calories a day) have left me with a not-normal experience with eating and dieting.

I am in the action now. Not just fuming. There WILL BE results on a weekly basis no matter what it takes to make that happen.

MaryFran said...

I have done the same thing! These emotions and feelings are debilitating! But seriously....GO!!! Your friend is in poor health and you will hate yourself more if you miss a chance to see her! If this friend is as awesome as she sounds she will not even blink an eye at your weight....she will be too busy looking into your eyes and into your heart and soul!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the therapist you were talking to a while back already broached this possibility - But think about this. If you aren't willing to see people that you really, really care about, and that you know feel the same about you - just because they haven't been around to see your weight go up - perhaps you are using food as a substitute for people and companionship. And the inevitable weight gain from all that food kicks in to insulate you from the effort required to maintain friendships. We as human beings are generally very rational actors. Just a thought. I'm certainly no psychiatrist.

I agree with Andria on the effort thing. There are the few rare unicorns that can eat anything they want and never have a weight problem, and the even rarer weight-gaining unicorns who at 240 pounds can continually lose weight at a good pace on 2000 calories a day without breaking a sweat (by which I mean strenuous physical exercise on a regular basis). Most of us aren't unicorns. Hang out with a really slender friend long enough and you will see her making all kinds of concessions - using a paper napkin to mop up the grease pooled on top of a pizza slice, having a salad with a squeeze of lemon only for lunch after indulging in dessert the night before, leaving half the food on her plate at a restaurant because it was good but she didn't love it. These are behaviors I have personally witnessed among the "naturally thin."

You seem to repeat the same cycles over and over in your blog. I think if I were you, I would research my blog for other instances when I was fed up and full of determination to do whatever it took to lose weight. What did you end up doing that time? If that was helpful, why did you stop? etc. You have so much GOOD INFORMATION right here at your fingertips. I think that's a huge asset for you!

All the best,
New England Anon

Ginger said...

You have spent a long time in denial, "only one bowl of Doritos, it could have been the whole bag" and it sounds like you are finally waking up. Losing weight is hard, especially if you've already lost it once. I think it gets harder and harder. Have you heard and read about the study with the biggest loser contestants? They can't eat anywhere near what a normal person who hasn't lost weight eats and not gain. There is a consequence to eating the way we have, and sadly that is a reality. It will be a lot of work and you will have to do things you don't like, just like I tell my kids, I'm sorry you don't enjoy---, it is still necessary. Maybe that is counting calories or working out or both. You know what works, you just don't like the restrictions. You will have to make the decision on weather you want to continue to gain weight or stay where you are at or bite the bullet and do what you don't like, it really is that simple

Lyn said...

Ginger~

I don't think it is simple at all. Telling an anorexic to "knock it off and just eat" doesn't work. There is a reason for that. Telling a bulimic to "just quit puking, it's gross" doesn't make them stop. Eating disorders are not simple and are not a matter of self control. Trust me, no one would decide to die from their choice of eating, or lack thereof, or to live in a body that isn't healthy. Making the decision to lose weight is something I have done many times and that people do every day. It really is not "that simple."

I agree it gets harder every time. I am feeling like I have to turn one unhealthy mindset into another to be able to lose the weight. At any rate, I may be in denial about some things but how many Doritos I ate isn't one of them. One bowl. I don't binge. I make poor choices, but I don't lie about my intake.

Lyn said...

Anon (New England)~

interesting thoughts, thanks!

Monique Noel said...

Just wanted to second Andria, and NE Anon. Very few people can lose weight and keep it off by eating moderately and doing "activity" type exercise. All the bloggers I follow are actually pretty strict about diet and exercise. Some examples:

Karen (aka Garden Girl) has said in the past she eats about 1300 cals/day and NO grains.
Kara (Two Ton Teacher) has lost about 30 lbs. eating 1500 cals/day and running daily (she is also in her 30s which is a huge advantage)
Jeanette (Wolf For Life) when she blogged would eat around 1800 cals/day, hiked the Adirondaks, was in her early 30s, and still gained weight if she had too much alcohol on the weekends.
SkinnyMeg just turned 33, counts macros religiously, works out 2 hours/day and does Cross Fit to maintain her weight.
Yami Mufdi (instagram) has been eating 1100 cals/day and working out like a fiend for her latest bikini competition. Her lowest weigh-in that I saw posted was 141 lbs. She is 29 years old.

Just pointing out, there are a lot of people in the same situation as you. All of these women have lost a lot of weight and maintained that loss through hard work. They didn't get the metabolism we all wish for that allows us to eat what we like without gaining. But they are making the best of it and I admire them.

Hope you are able to get out of your comfort zone and lose the weight that has been holding you back. :)

Anonymous said...

You sound like you are planning something drastic. Are you having surgery?

Lyn said...

Monique Noel~

I see that most weight loss bloggers do restrict quite a bit. I did that too when I was losing. I don't think it is normal. I think it is normal *for weight loss bloggers*. People who aren't needing to restrict to lose weight don't have much to blog about and probably would never think of writing about their average, normal life on the Internet. At least that's what I see in the people around me. None of my friends I see on a regular basis blog, or make any kind of big deal about their weight or eating. The people most likely to be blogging are those who have to do something out of the norm to be a normal weight, IMO.

Lyn said...

last Anon~

no, no surgery. I am not going to eat much though. If I have to convince myself that food is the enemy so be it. The only food that benefits me is plant based and protein. If I have to restrict, it is easier to just blast whole categories of food out of my life than it is to endlessly weigh and measure and count calories and carbs. I am letting myself get really hungry before I eat, pushing it until I can't wait anymore (blood sugar0.

Monique Noel said...

Hi again :) I think that, because I have been overweight in the past, I don't have the luxury of eating intuitively. I mean, if I could eat intuitively, I never would have gotten overweight in the first place lol.

Regarding your comments about thinking of food as the enemy, and never really being able to retrain your brain to like the healthy stuff...I think you're wrong! I can recall reading blog posts where you have written about preferring fresh fruit to processed sweets, or eating a cake and finding it too sweet, etc. I have been in that mental place, too. Then I eat a cupcake, or a macaron, or whatever, and I start craving foods that I know don't benefit my health. But given enough time eating on track, I know I go back to wanting healthy foods. I think you will, too!

Lyn said...

Monique Noel~

well that's true. I have been in that head space where I loved all the fresh stuff and wanted nothing to do with the junk. I know I will get there again! I just wish it was a permanent change.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

have you ever looked into the Whole30? For 30 days you eat only fresh food and protein. You eliminate/avoid alcohol, added sugar/processed food (fruit is allowed), legumes/soy, dairy and grain. It sounds restrictive, but when you think about everything you can eat - fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, beef, every vegetable and fruit (including potatoes). For 30 days your body/gut has time to heal. After the 30 days are complete, you start a re-introduction schedule where you slowly re-introduce all these foods to see how your body reacts and it really helps to determine if there are any sensitivities to certain foods. The goal isn't about weight-loss, but about changing your relationship to food and the dreaded sugar-dragon. Weight loss is often a component, but one of the rules for the 30 days is to not weigh yourself during this period. It might be something you'd be interested in looking into....

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

yes, in fact I did something very similar to the Whole 30 called Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). It's a little more restrictive than Whole 30 (not only eliminating grains, legumes, dairy, and processed foods but also nightshades like potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and seeds/seed spices. I did this for several months and felt pretty good. It helped a lot with the mental state and getting off the junk, plus I lost weight. I've thought about doing something similar again. Thanks for the reminder.

h2oratt said...

Have you ever listened to the podcast Phoenix helix.. It is on iTunes. She has written a book on air diet. Each week she has a guest on to talk about reversing auto immune disease.

Lyn said...

h2oratt~

I used to read her blog when I was on AIP. She has great recipes on her site. I'll check out the podcast, thanks!

Nine Dark Moons said...

THIS:
"now they have known me fat for longer than they knew me at a normal-ish size, so I assume my fat is the new normal and it's what they expect when they see me."
is what i'm also dealing with. and avoiding people b/c i'm embarrassed. in my head i always weigh 150 - i think of that as my "normal" weight even though i've rarely been that weight since my late 20's. now, 20 years later, and stuck in the high 190's/low 200's, i am just so fed up and angry with myself. how can we want something so bad yet rarely achieve it? and when we do achieve it, why can't we hold onto it? i got down to 159 2 years ago - and I STILL thought i was fat and still pushed myself to get to 150. why couldn't i just be happy with 159??? i still felt like a failure. i was 159 for exactly 2 days before gaining it all back. it sucks.