Thursday, March 21, 2013
This story immediately caught my attention on Good Morning America today. The headline was "Woman Loses 200 Pounds, Now Miserable" and told the story of Jen Larson, who had gastric bypass surgery at 308 pounds, and how after losing 200 pounds found herself miserable.
"What, the what?!" most people were probably thinking watching this story over their morning coffee. But I was intrigued by the headline and I was enthralled once the segment came on my TV. I stood there captivated, understanding all to well what Jen lamented about her significant amount of weight loss, feeling the anxiety come over me from how much I identified with exactly. what. she. said.
GMA Interviewer: Did you find yourself becoming more obsessed with your weight when you were thin?
Jen: Absolutely. You know, being thin didn't make me happy. I'm still looking in the mirror and I'm still hating what I see and how is this even possible?
Shut. The. Front. Door. This. is. me.
I often try to articulate how much more self-conscious I am about my body now that I've lost a significant amount of weight. I always feel uncomfortable when I mention it to friends, family, etc, so I don't do it very often. But the truth is, I NEVER looked in the mirror when I was heavier with the same HATE and DISGUST that I do now that I am smaller. Especially now that I'm up 25 pounds from my lowest weight. I am still 5-6 dress sizes SMALLER than my biggest, and yet I look in the mirror with disgust EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Another "Ah-ha" moment was when they interviewed Psychoanalyst, Bethany Marshall, "Obese people live with the fairytale or the illusion that if they lost the weight their lives would be better. But what happens is when they lose the buffer they feel people are scrutinizing them."
I never thought that weight loss was an automatic fix to all of life's problems, but the part where she talks about the buffer being lost is so true. When you carry around an extra 100 or 200 pounds, you feel like you have an invisibility cloak protecting you from the scrutiny of public eyes. Although this is ludicrous. I'm here to tell you I am more "noticed" at my current size than I ever was at 350+ pounds. People look you in the eye more often, hold open doors more often, make friendly conversation more often, and then there is the issue of extra attention from the opposite sex. These are all things I've had to figure out how to internalize and deal with and I'm still figuring it out.
I truly believe these are things hindering my weight loss. I've had to re-learn to live in new skin, so to speak, and I think my inability to do that at the moment is turning me back into the food addict I was at 355 pounds. I am regressing and spiraling out of control.
I don't want people to think that losing weight is a bad decision. It 150% was the best thing I've ever done for my life and gave me SO much more confidence and ability to live life with fewer worries. I am glad I am still fighting to continue until I am 100% the healthiest and strongest I can be because I know that is what's best for my quality of life. However, seeing this segment gave me a voice. It made me realize these feelings - every single one of them - are normal. Now that I have this realization in the back of my mind, I feel like I can approach this next chapter of the journey with clearer eyes and continue to fight the good fight.