Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hurt Feelings

So this morning I can't help but feel saddened. I am in the process of making a terribly hard decision. One that undoubtedly will change my life forever. The change ahead could be wonderfully healthy or tragically flawed. I DO NOT know what lies ahead.

I lay in bed at night and echos of my friend's and family's voices fill my head with, "Ah Lynn, why don't you just eat less and exercise more!?". I would love to have an answer for them, but after 25+ years of absolute self hatred and madness, I am terrified to "try one more time" only to fail again.

I am tired of doing well for three days and then shoving my finger down my throat because I ate something I wasn't supposed to. I have tried numerous diets, counseling, medication....etc. in the past and I have failed. It is this fear of failure, yet again, that has led me to consider the Lap-band surgery.

It is NOT that I am weak, or taking the easy way out. It is merely a tool that I have not tried yet- a last resort if you will. Some people are understandably upset about my consideration -after all, I haven't gone under the knife just yet- and I have no problem with hearing others' words of disappointment. Trust me, I am disappointed in myself that I have even had to consider this option. But, why would care about me any less? Why am I all of a sudden not of interest to you? Does my story and struggle no longer exist? If you don't want to keep up with my continuing battle with my ill health, then that is fine. But, please don't make me feel any worse than I do. I understand that some people might feel frustrated...think I am a dumb little girl...but, just because you have lost weight successfully the old fashioned way, doesn't mean that I can or that you can magically do it for me.

I have a past as well, and while I might not be able to blame a terrible molestation experience on my situation, I am still left to struggle with what I have been doing to myself for over two decades. Can I dare risk struggling for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 13 more years? Can I risk that I won't be here for my boys when I die of a heart attack at the age of 39?

If someone has a magic globe out there, please let me know. But until then, I am going to trudge along reading all of your stories for continuing inspiration while I also explore all of my options. I hope you can all understand. I look up to all of you in all different ways...some of you are father figures...some of you mothers....some of you the best friend that will never turn your back...and I thank each and every one of you for being patient with me. I can only hope that I will continue to find non-judgmental support.

I just want to add one more thing. When I thought I had finally "gotten it" last summer I too felt bad for those who hadn't yet "gotten it". I remember looking at overweight individuals and feeling bad for them. I wanted them to feel how wonderful it feels to lose weight- how easy it was for me now. If they would just give it a try- Something had clicked and it felt wonderful. Food wasn't my crutch anymore for some reason and I had successfully lost 35 pounds. It felt wonderful! Then, unexpectedly.... well, you know the rest. Can I keep going in circles?


Anonymous said...

I know, I felt the same way when I chose gastric bypass.

The thing to remember is that morbid obesity is a MEDICAL CONDITION. You wouldn't ask someone to will-power their way out of other medical conditions. Perhaps they could, perhaps they couldn't, but why take the chance with your life? You wouldn't deprive medical treatment from anyone YOU loved who needed it, why should they?

The problem is that people just don't see it that way. I think a lot of it has to do with denial and cowardice. They can't bring themselves to take the step that you have, or they don't want to admit that obesity is unhealthy.

Go ahead, read all those blogs out there: hundreds and hundreds of people who've been struggling with obesity all their lives, trying fad diets, losing and gaining, or watching the scale sit at the same spot and asking over and over "Why, why, why?"

A lot of them are very self-righteous about not "taking the easy way out", but the results (if they get them) are slow coming and not easily maintained. All the time that they're spending trying things that DON'T work is placing strain on their heart, their joints, and increasing their cancer risk.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." -- Albert Einstein.

You've taken the sane road. You're doing something DIFFERENT, and what's better, you're doing something proven to work.

You're friends and family may have to struggle a bit at first to reach your level of sanity. They'll make it, when they see what a positive change this has made in your life.

Kathi said...

Fab Kate is so right. Another good friend of mine had some really good words of wisdom. You have to make YOU your #1 priority and the heck with anyone who wants to get in the way of that. YOU are WORTH it and that is what you have to constantly remind yourself of. Good luck.

Chocolate Maniac said...

First, if/when you try a different SSRI, ask the doc if there's a sample you can get started on so you don't waste the $60 if it isn't the right one.

Second, it's hard to not take comments of disagreement to heart and obsess over them, but you must! As many people are in this world, there are different opinions. And the funny thing is, they ALL usually think they're right! Are they? No and yes.

For themselves and their life experience, they might be right on target, but for others, probably not.

There are some absolutes, of course. None of us should be stealing, lying, cheating, murdering, etc. And many decisions stem from the basics. BUT, your choice to try something new, I don't believe, falls under any of those absolutes God handed down in the 10 Commandments.

When you get advice from someone who has never struggled with their weight, you can just smile, and repeat in your head, "They don't have a CLUE what they're talking about!!!"

When the advice comes from someone who struggles with weight themselves, it's harder to blow it off, right? Because they have been there; they know the battle. But the thing is, they know THEIR battle, not yours. And although they're advice works perfectly for someone just like them, it might not be the best fit for you.

So, pray about your decision. God won't lead you the wrong way. Those of us who love you and care about you the most don't want to see you hurt, disappoint, broken, or hopeless. We want what's best for you, and none of us knows what that is. God does, and He'll share that with you (and may already have).

Let His advice be what you take to heart. The rest can be left, with a peaceful realization that, though people often mean very well, and sometimes have plenty of good suggestions, your answers in life are always found with the one who has known you personally since you began your life in your mother's belly.

Sean Anderson said...

I do sincerely care, even though I've never met you Lynn. That's why I left the comment I did a few weeks ago.
I don't pretend to know what it's like to walk in your shoes. I simply hoped that I could offer a little inspiration to someone struggling.
For nearly two decades I weighed over 500 pounds. I constantly had painful open sores on my right leg because of lymphadema. I had severe sleep apnea---high blood pressure at 219/120---and numerous other medical problems. Lynn, even with all that, I still couldn't get my mind around how to really lose weight. When my insurance said NO to funding the Lap band---Yes I checked because my boss told me---either check it out---or you're eventually not going to be able to do the things your job requires---I knew that it wasn't an option. And I got severely depressed and really scared.
I just knew that I woud die soon if I didn't do something.---But I couldn't do it.
Until I decided that my only choice was do it or die---that's when I had to confront my severe issues and behaviors with food.
All of us are different. With me I had to determine that NOTHING was off limits---I just had to count the calories---I stayed at 1500 calories---eating everything from pizza to fast food---to fried stuff---it didn't matter---as long as I was consuming 1500 calories or slightly less per day and moving just enough to call it exercise.

I've learned a lot about myself over the course of the last 310 days. And one quote from Ralph Marston really helped me understand why it was working this time... Here it is:

SET YOURSELF FREE by Ralph Marston----"There is no outside force holding you back. You are holding you back and you are blaming it on someone or something else. The way you are able to continue holding yourself back is by maintaining the illusion that you're a victim. Once you realize that illusion, you will naturally and easily move forward. In fact, it is easier to fulfill your best possibilities than it is to avoid them. So let go of the blame and watch the limitations drop away. Certainly there will always be challenges that hold you back. For each challenge provides you with a pathway through which you can move toward fulfillment. It is your very nature to accomplish. Lovingly accept your destiny, and allow that accomplishment to be manifest through you. Set yourself free to follow your purpose. Set yourself free to truly live."

My best to you,
Take care and best wishes always,


Angi said...

Just go for it babe! You can rationalize the expense of having it done by calculating how much you'll save in food costs!! I know that our bills are down alot just since I got mine done 3 weeks ago. It's not worth wasting your life away with "I think I can, I think I can..." Like I said about that, if I could have done it the normal way, I would have already.

Not to mention, that your health would be better, you'd need less drugs, and heck, you may not even need the antidepressants any more. Weight does alot of stuff to your psyche.

So, go for it! Get the surgery. It'll be the best decision you've ever made. I know it was for me.

Good luck!

- Angi

meandmygizmo said...

I went through the feelings of being a failure, weak, etc but I decided to have the surgery for ME and not worry about what anyone else thought. I feel free to share the experience with anyone and if they want to judge me so be it. I can take weight off but I don't keep it off. I consider my "gizmo" a tool to help me keep the weight off forever. It is not the easy way out. I still have to journal my food, measure my food and exercise. It's not a magic tool but it's a great tool to help keep me from feeling hungry all the time!! I was just banded on 6/18/09 and I would do it again!! ;-)

Lady Downsize! said...

My heart aches for you. I know EXACTLY where you are. I've been there, and I am still struggling. I am at more than 50 pounds over you, and I have been in the same range for what seems like forever. Like you I was focused on my weight number, and the fear I, a sole-supporting single parent, would die an early death. I've been blogging about it for two years. Although its been a long process, I think I may have made some headway. I read a book called a Traveler's gift, and have paid attention to positive things.

For me, I stopped thinking about my weight and more about what got me there, like figuring out what specific incident or mood the a regain when I was losing successfully. It was always something Usually it's something. When you lost 35 pounds, can you identify the event or thought process that reversed your progress? What about other times when you were losing?

Like you I considered lap band surgery, and I’m not going to tell you what to decide, because I know we each have to make our own choice. However, I’ve seen cases where people have gone through with the surgery only to regain because they didn’t get to the root of things and old habits still returned. The surgery isn't enough, and the procedure an also cause death.

You sound like you are in the same dark place I was, ‘the pit’ I call it, where everything seems sour. It’s in that place I feel like a failure, like I can't succeed in weight loss, parenting, friendship ... everything! I had to keep myself aware of those thoughts and dismiss them as soon as they arrive. "They have no power over me. I can do anything I set my mind to." or "They will not suck my joy." If I didn't lose or gain on one weigh I just kept going. That’s just one time! Losing weight is the hardest thing I've ever done, and I really hope you don’t give up on that or yourself. It’s a process, and even if the weight doesn’t go away right away, by getting to the root of what makes you tick, you will find greater success. When you find those things that trigger relapses, you can then figure out a new way to deal with them next time.

No matter what happened yesterday and every time before, there is always what you decide right no, this second, and everyone of them going forward. Please, I hope this helped.

Sarah said...

Ahhh Lynn... I think you verbalized so well, what so many of us who have been through the decision went thru. Thank you. I'm so sorry that your at this point but, you do move foward. As many have said, you have to make this decision for yourself, and if others are involved that is your decision. Be strong. You are strong. Please know that whatever your decision, it is YOURS to judge - no one elses and you'll be a success. We're here with you!

jo said...

Kate wrote: "The problem is that people just don't see it that way. I think a lot of it has to do with denial and cowardice. They can't bring themselves to take the step that you have, or they don't want to admit that obesity is unhealthy."

I love Kate and her blog, but I'm going to have to disagree with this. I'm no coward and I'm not in denial. I think I've made it pretty clear from the start that health was my #1 concern. Many of the bloggers I read are the same. Not all, but many.

Like I said before, everyone has to find what works for them.

Saying that surgery is the easy way out is like saying a C-section is the easy way out. That's BS. I see surgery as the hard way, but I don't do surgery well. I never considered surgery due to that and cost.

Obesity is a medical condition, but it stems from mental issues. I think no matter what route one takes on this journey, if they don't figure out how and why they got obese, and how not to revert, it will never work.

It's a hard journey, no matter which direction we take. Yes, it hurts when people don't support us and our decisions.

The bottom line is that it is your body and you have every right to do with your body what you choose.

Fat[free]Me said...

Hugs - don't feel hurt - we all like to weigh in (sorry about the pun) with our opinions, but ultimately the decision is yours.

Only you know what you truly want, only you know what will work best for you in the long term.

Do a lot of research, discuss it further with medical people and those around you whose opinions you value.

Whatever you do, we will still be here for you.

Sunshine said...

When I decided to have weight loss surgery I also made another decision. I decided I would make no explanations or apologies for my decision. No one knows what it feels like to be you because they can't walk around in your skin. NO ONE has a right to pass judgement on what you decide to do. Dont feel bad for taking a step that will change your life or give you back a life you've been missing. This is about you. Take the good wishes and leave the rest. It isn't worth wasting one more minute on people who think they know you better than you know yourself. Hold your ground and do this for yourself with no apologies. My family has supported me all along but I did lose some friends because of my decision. Frankly, those people who cant be an encouragement to others can kiss my shrinking butt. Hang in there, Lynn.

Fat Daddy said...

I just found your blog, and your post was heart breakingly honest. I too struggle with weight (currently 317 down from 355).

I have my own blog - fatdaddyrantsblog.blogspot.com, where I wear my struggles on my sleeve.

I admit that I discussed why I am not ready for the surgical route yet. The over riding theme of my blog however has been that you have to do what is right for you...what will work for you.

I will be linking to your blog. If you get a chance to stop in and see the Fat Daddy, I love to hear feedback.

Good luck!

lori said...

People who have weight loss surgery live longer and have happier lives than people who attempt to lose weight through a medically supervised diet. You have children. You have a moral responsibility to take the actions that give you the best chance at a long life. People are just trying to shame you because that makes them feel good about themselves and their own choices.

There is no moral value to losing weight through dieting over losing weight through surgery. Doing the former does NOT make you a better person than doing the latter.

Here's a press release on one of the studies that found a longer life:

Our bodies have a set point for our weight - a place where it's difficult to both lose and gain weight. We know this from studies of children who were surrendered for adoption. As adults, their obesity level reflects the adult obesity level of their biological families, not their adoptive families. Identical twins who are surrendered for adoption and raised in separate homes have nearly identical levels of adult obesity and once again, that obesity level reflects their biological families, not their adoptive families. This could not be if weight was anything but mostly genetic. Once you wrap brain around the truth of what you're dealing with, taking appropriate action becomes a lot easier. You aren't obese because you're an undisciplined twit who eats too much. You're overweight because of your genetics. And if you don't want to be overweight, like all genetic issues, you must tackle a medical solution.

This article is a really good primer on what we know about obesity and weight loss. Very little of what we know is ever actually acknowledged in even our informed cultural discussion.

Last but not least, I have a blog where I talk a lot about the medical science of obesity and weight loss and the joys of having a lap band. I don't mean to push my blog, but I think there's a lot of stuff there you can benefit from.

Best of luck. I'd like to link your blog on my site.


Brooke said...

Hey Lynn- big hugs. I think Kate echoed my sentiments to a "T".

I have spent years in therapy trying to get over my compulsive eating. Confession time: I also worked in an eating disorder clinic for 5 years that specialized in compuslive/binge eating.

And guess what? I never lost weight while there. And, neither did the clients. Well, that's not entirely true. Some lost 5-10, maybe even 15 lbs. But that usually took a couple of years worth of counseling (and if they were self-pay, a whole lotta $).

At that ED clinic we did genuinely help cliints with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. We were even very successful with bulimia and anorexia.

But, we didn't make a dent in binge/compulsive eating.

It was why I eventually moved on.

Like Kate said, I have spent years wondering why, why, why? I still don't have an answer.

For me, I just know I need a physical barrier in place to stop me. Right now, it's as simple as mechanics for me- taking my head and "why" out of the equation.

You're doing a great job. This is a rough patch. And you have lots of people who get you and your struggle.

Whatever you decide will be right for you.

BTW, I am having my surgery in TJ Mexico. I did a year of research. Am spending $7900.00 US. Feel free to send me a note if you have any Q's, or check out my blog. I am happy to chat.

lori said...


I think maybe you ought to consider whether compulsive eating is biological in nature and not psychological. If that's the case, all the mooning around with a therapist isn't going to help one anymore than counseling people to get over their epilepsy. Or for that fact, performing an exorcism for epilepsy.

We're so committed to this idea that anyone can lose weight if they just diet and exercise, and there really isn't any evidence that it works over the long haul.

Anonymous said...

*Hugs* Lynn! You have to do what you gotta do, girl. Only you can make this decision. Stay strong.

Becky said...

This is totally your choice. Although I am 240+ pounds (255 at my highest) it was just never even a consideration for me for some reason. I know that I over eat and make poor food decisions. I know that I don't have to buy the junk I buy. etc, etc. For me, this time, it is the fact that what I am doing now to lose weight, I will HAVE to do this for the rest of my life. I never got to that point last time, I just thought I'd be at my goal weight forever and didn't take the "lifetime" aspect seriously. Getting to goal and then dropping all my new habits and healthy changes, doesn't work. I've been there. But that's just me. I do want to encourage you, until you get your surgery, to not stop making healthy food choices and working on the "why do I eat..." I don't know how long it will take for you to actually get the surgery done, but you could make some really nice progress with your weight in the meantime. Good luck!