Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Losing Weight for What?

Obviously there are a huge number of good reasons to get the surgery and lose the weight.  Too many to list, really, but here are a few of them:

àTo be able to participate in more activities with the kids like being able to chase them around without worrying about falling down and breaking something (me or household items) and actually having a chance to catch them (they all run too fast for me now…it’s very sad).

àTo set a good example for the children by showing them that I can do whatever I set my mind too, and that being too fat is unhealthy – they know this, we’ve talked about it and though we’ve taught them acceptable and love for all sizes, I don’t ever want them to have to go through what I have over the years.  I want them to see me achieve major weight loss so they can see that nothing is impossible if you really want it.

àTo be able to do all the things that normal-size people can.  I know I might get flack for saying normal-size because society should not dictate what is normal and everyone should love themselves no matter what size they are – which is true, I admit – BUT I’m not talking about what society and the media consider a normal size, because that’s too skinny to be healthy in my opinion – I will never be a size 2 and although I have nothing but love for my friends who are a size 2 most of them didn’t try to get that size, they just come by it naturally (okay, I’ll admit to jealously about that part).

To me a normal size is anywhere from a size 8-16 for a woman, a medium or large size shirt in general.  The national average seems to be 12-14 or 14-16 depending on who you talk to.  Marilyn Monroe was a size 16 and is still considered one of the sexiest women in history.  What I really mean is by doing all the things that normal-size people can do, is like riding a bicycle, not needing a seatbelt extender in a car or on a plane, being able to climb up or down a steep high without thinking I’m going to die, or being able to step up into a train or trolley at the zoo without practically tipping the whole thing over as I hoist myself onto it and barely squeeze into the metal benches no one else seems to have a problem with.

àI want to do the things that most people take for granted with a general measure of ease and quite possibly even a little grace.  You know, every day things like climbing a staircase without pausing at the bottom, gritting my teeth and thinking “okay, here we go – hope no one’s watching”.   Or sitting in a chair – any chair – without carefully and discretely examining it to decide whether or not it will hold me and often choosing to stand because I don’t want to risk breaking it – especially in public. 

à To no longer be the ugly girl when I go out with my friends in public.  There are obvious and not so obvious looks from people (mostly guys) and interactions that make it clear I’m the ugly one and what am I doing hanging out with them?  I don’t ever get this sort of thing from my friends (otherwise they wouldn’t be my friends) and I don’t think they even notice it, but I do.  I can’t help it – I’ve noticed stuff like that all my life.  Even though I try not to, I still can’t help noticing every now and then. 

This reason, or objective – of no longer being the ugly one – is one of the things that makes me hesitate to have the surgery, not because I enjoy being the obviously ugly one among my – let’s face – pretty darn pretty friends, and not because I’m angry at myself for being pessimistic and negative about my looks – because I’m not.  I’m being realistic.  I’m ugly, okay?  I’m not fishing for compliments so I don’t want anyone to say, “no, you’re not ugly – I think you’re beautiful!”, because I’m not and I’ll hit you over the head with a frying pan if you say that to me!  (seriously, I will, I have one right h— Okay, I don’t, so I’ll just hit you with an electric tea kettle, but I’ll fill it up first!)

And don’t say that I have a pretty face because that’s the most backassward compliment/insult ever for this fat person, but more on that another day.  Suffice to say that if you tell me that, I will bitch-slap you into next Tuesday.

My body is ugly, my face ain’t too great either – although I do have nice eyes and lovely hair.  (And lovely shoulders – I really like my shoulders).  Don’t try to make me feel better by saying I’m pretty because you’ll just come across as being either fake or blind or both.

Do I have a beautiful personality?  You bet!  I have a great personality (albeit a slightly unstable one, but just makes it better right? RIGHT?!?).  I am a fantastic person who is fun to be around most of the time, has a great sense of humor, and is one of the coolest aunts ever.  I have a lot of talent and a lot of great things going for me – but beauty ain’t one of ‘em and I’m just being honest.

So that gives me motivation to lose weight, right?  Because if I’m thinner, I’ll be prettier, right? Ehhhhhhhh….no. Life don’t work that way.  Being normal-sized doesn’t automatically make you pretty, it’s true.  However it is a step in the right direction! 

Except…even if I lose 200lbs - which is the most anyone seems to have lost through surgery, and I’m more likely to lose 100-150 – which is great, don’t get me wrong - that’s still a far cry from normal-sized.  200lbs less puts me at 225lbs, which is great in theory and would be much much better for me BUT…that’s about what I weighed in high school and I was still fat and made fun of there.  I still felt ugly a lot of the time and had trouble doing the kinds of things my normal sized friends could do.  So I lose all this weight just to end up where I was 20 years ago?  To end up still being fat, just less fat?  Is it worth changing my life forever (because the surgery will do that) just to look like I did when I was still fat and miserable (part of which was because I was fat, though part of it was not)?

Is it worth it? 

That’s the central questions I have been asking myself when it comes to getting the surgery.  Is it worth it?

Is it?

The answer of course is YES, because I’m just going to keep getting fatter and fatter like I have my whole life if I don’t.  I might be able to lose some weight on my own, but I know – I know – that it wouldn’t be much and I wouldn’t be able to keep it off.  I need the real world consequence of having pain and nausea when I eat too much or something too sugary.  I need that Pavlovian training – it’s the only way I’ll ever lose enough to stay under 400lbs.

So, it’s worth it for many reasons, but I still feel a sense of disappointment and anger that it can’t magically turn me into a size 10.  There’s no magic wand that anyone can wave to make me feel beautiful in my own body, no matter how much weight I lose, because I’ll still be different from everyone else – even my friends.  I’ll still be fat.  I’ll be a happier fat person, but I’ll still experience those little glances of disgust and polite (or not so polite) brush-offs.  It makes me sad, but that’s the way it is. 

I just wonder what it would be like to look like my sister Gen, who, in my opinion, is the perfect size -5’7 and around 140-150lbs.  She looks amazing.  What would my life be like at that size?

The reality, of course, is that I would still be worried about my weight because my sister still wants to lose a little more weight even though she’s perfect as she is to me.  Maybe being happy with how you look is just something most women can never achieve.  The grass is always greener, as they say…


  1. Marilyn Monroe, if she really was a size 16, was a British 16 (American size 12 or so). But whatever size she was, she was beautiful and not stick-thin, so the point is still valid.

    I've always thought you had a nice bone structure - your hands and feet are so dainty. And I'd love to have your hair, but you already mentioned that. :)

    I don't know if this will make you feel better or worse, but you know what I look like and I'm 230lbs. Your body chemistry is has changed over the last 20 years (and you're better medicated), so maybe you'll look the same as high school and maybe not. Personally, I'm all for you being healthier, regardless of looks.

    And I think most women want to lose weight because we're taught from a young age that you can never be too rich or too thin. Which is bullshit, of course, but that doesn't stop us from believing it.

  2. Really? You don't look 230. And you can run a marathon so, you know, WOW. Also - you have boobs. BIG boobs. And I'm jealous of that because all of my boobage is in the back. Still, I'd love to look like you size wise (but with my hair ;).)

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  4. Marilyn's measurements were 5 ft. 5.5 inches tall; 35 inch bust; 22 inch waist (approximately 2-3 inches less than the average American woman in the 1950s and 12 inches less than average today); and 35 inch hips, with a bra size of 36D. Her weight fluctuated a bit through her career, usually rising in times of depression and falling back to her normal thereafter, but her dressmaker listed her as 118 pounds and the Hollywood studios tended to list her between 115-120 lbs.