Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gall Bladders, Stretch Marks, and Weight Loss

I wish someone would have shaken my shoulders, looked deep into my eyes and told me exactly what was going to happen to my body as I got older and fatter. I don't even remember a doctor being honest with me other than to say that I was "overweight" and should do "something" about that and blah blah blah diabetes blah blah blah fat blah blah blah exercise.

Ok so perhaps doctors might have said a thing or two now and then. To be honest, I didn't go to the doc because I didn't want to hear what they had to say about my weight. The times I did go were uncomfortable so eventually I just stopped going.

I liked to live my life in a big bubble of peace and pizza.

Outside of the doctors office though, I think that as a society we tippy-toe around overweight people because we don't want them to feel even worse about themselves. While I agree that there's no reason to degrade, insult, or treat them with disrespect, I don't think we need to cater to their addiction. Are we, as a society, making being fat too acceptable and comfortable?

If life would have been more uncomfortable for me, would I have made changes sooner?

I don't know. I'd like to think I would have although, now that I'm writing this, I'm somewhat changing my mind.

As a fat girl, life was uncomfortable. I was embarrassed each time I shopped at Lane Bryant. Each time someone asked me where I got my shirt, I wanted to cringe because I didn't want them to know I shopped at the "fat store". I didn't fit in airplane seats, car seats, or any seats for that matter. Yeah, that was uncomfortable physically because my butt cheeks just wouldn't or couldn't squeeze together enough to fit in the seat but also uncomfortable mentally because it was a poke in my peace pizza bubble. Being told I couldn't join the mounted search and rescue horse group because I couldn't get up and down off my horse ... yeah ... uncomfortable. Life wasn't good. It was hard.

I just didn't let it sink in how hard or uncomfortable it as and that all that hardness ... all that uncomfortable-ness ... that was all brought on by my addiction. It wasn't Boeing's fault for designing seats for skinny peeps. It wasn't the mounted patrol captain being a jerk that kept me from the group. It was me. My weight. My actions. And my inability to control my own addiction.

There are marks on my body that are reminders of my past head-in-the-hole-ness. I have a lot of weight stretch marks. They are reminders of the choice I made to be fat and now that choice I'm making to be healthy.

Next week I'll have gall bladder surgery which will leave me with a series of small scars (very small) that will be additional weight war wounds.

I'm not sure how to deal with these marks and scars yet. Part of me is annoyed with myself for ever even getting to the point of having them and that's the part that wants to revert back to blaming everyone else for them.

"If someone would have told me I'd have stretch marks and need gall bladder surgery, I would have dieted way sooner."

Hmm... ok so I'm pretty sure I heard it at some point, somewhere, somehow and I'm pretty sure it was my choice to disregard that information whilst cramming more food into my mouth.

The other part of me is thankful for the reminders of where I've come from. I'm using them to remind me to make wise choices. These are small warnings and I'm thankful that my risky eating behavior didn't leave me with far worse issues especially considering my family history of heart disease and diabetes. Stretch marks and gall bladder attacks pale in comparison to the worse case scenario.

These small reminders might be unsightly, but I'll take them. They tell the story of who I was and who I won't be ever again.


  1. Here is a question that has always plagued me: "Why didn't people TALK to me ask I got fatter and fatter?" I think a lot of times, when someone starts gaining weight fairly consistently and rapidly, that it's an indication that there's a larger problem going on, either medically or emotionally. As I gained weight, nobody said, "Hey Christine, what's going on with you? Is everything okay?" (I only VERY RECENTLY came up with the answer to that question.)

    I'm fairly new to your blog, so I don't know about your own personal journey, but I caution you about making widespread generalizations about overweight people. You said, "While I agree that there's no reason to degrade, insult, or treat them with disrespect, I don't think we need to cater to their addiction. Are we, as a society, making being fat too acceptable and comfortable?" Not all overweight people are overweight because they eat badly or "are lazy." Some are, true. But there are a large number of people out there that have an underlying medical issue causing them to gain weight. I don't think it's fair for anyone to make assumptions that you know why they are overweight. I think more compassion and outreach is needed.

    I think you're absolutely right that we need to stop tippy-toeing around overweight people. I think it's okay to say, "Hey Barb. Every day I see you at the office, and I know you're dealing with weight issues. Can we talk about what's going on with you? I would like to help -- what can I do to help you?" I think proactive outreach could help a lot of people. Tippy-toeing doesn't help anyone.

    Just my two cents. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.


  2. Hi, Christine: Thank you for your response.

    I certainly didn't mean to imply that overweight people are lazy. I was not lazy and yet I was over 300 pounds. As you mentioned, I had underlying emotional issues and eating was my way of dealing with those.

    What I meant by my statement was that it appears that society pretends that weight gain isn't happening or is taboo to talk about with someone. It's talked about behind their backs, but I don't think it's often mentioned in a caring, loving way that can help that person get to the root of the problem. As you stated, I think it should be cause for alarm and discussion.

    Your solution of talking with someone and asking them seriously if they are ok and truly caring about their answer is a very positive response to the problem.

    I only hope I have the courage to do this with others going forward. It's a tough thing, but I think it can be really positive if done in the right way with the right intentions.

  3. First best to you with your gall bladder surgery. Scars, stretch marks, etc., not sure what to make of them. They are as you say, reminders of the former us. Maybe being a guy I dwell on them less, not sure if it is a guy-girl thing really. But as the skin loosens and hangs, and somebody told me that won't go away, well with that I get the same sense of 'What Was I Doing To Myself'. At the very least these marks, skin, and all serve as reminders and to find perspective; we can't change the fact that we did what we did to ourselves, but we can find comfort in knowing today we are better off carrying less weight & more scars/skins that when we carried all that weight.

  4. 量力而為,別勉強了,Cut your coat according to your cloth...................................................

  5. Good luck with the upcoming surgery and STEP AWAY FROM THE DOUGHNUTS! They are so not worth it. Think of how you felt when you were at your lowest weight. Felt great didn't it? You will be there again soon but if you indulge in that doughnut you won't.

    Actually, they give me really bad heartburn so I avoid them but the smell is tempting

  6. Nice story as you are discussing that what you are now and what you want to be after reducing your weight.

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