Wednesday, August 4, 2010

(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?

Struggling with your weight is in many ways an outward battle. When you are heavy and you walk down the street, people know. You look around the room and know you are the biggest person - and not in a good way. God forbid there are creaky lawn chairs involved in a bbq.

Being heavy isn't like some demons that you can keep hidden. So much of weight struggles manifest in practical, out there experiences... seats are taken up, clothes are too tight, sweat is way too prominent.

But, much of a struggle with weight takes place inside our heads. The toughest part of the struggle. The internal dialogue that seemingly doesn't end. The endless, silent agony that has plagued me for as long as I can remember. That little voice inside your head that is continually obsessed with food and weight - good and bad - 24/7. You're own little running commentary that is cataloging and documenting you based on one rating - up or down, thin or heavy and equating it all to "good or bad".

That's the most destructive part of having issues with weight - I think. God knows, others can have a profound affect of "feeding" that voice but I did the most damage to myself. How messed up our thinking can get. How we can hurt ourselves so much. The weight (pun intended) of living under the oppressive thinking patterns that I let myself get into was crushing.

The only time I can remember having that voice retreat was when I was pregnant. For the first time, I ate when I was hungry. I ate what I need to eat to sustain myself and nourish my baby. Food was about fuel but mostly, it was about making me feel better. But again, my outward behavior was just a part of it. The bigger piece - I didn't obsess. It was a non-issue in my life outside of nourishment. I don't even know how much I weighed when I went in to give birth. I knew I was being as healthy as I could be and that was what was important.

Maybe it was because it wasn't about me anymore? It wasn't about how I was feeling? Or what had been said to me? Or what I thought people were thinking or would think? Maybe I just gave myself a break for once? Maybe it was the hormones?

Last week when I was talking to my therapist (How many times am I going to type "talking to my therapist" in my blog? I should get a ticker), I was trying to verbalize something that I was terrified of jinxing - or even really admitting. I'm scared to type it too....

It's not gone completely but a good amount of the internal obsession has retreated. I feel like my thinking is healing, along with the scars on my stomach.

There have been some comments lately about a sense of "Peace" and I totally get what people are talking about and I'm glad I'm in line to get me more of what they're selling.

In the weeks leading up to surgery, I was talking to my husband and got emotional verbalizing a hope (almost too impossible of a hope) that my weight could one day not be an ever present issue. It didn't seem like that could ever be a reality. I'm not ready to say that I believe that this reality will exist. But, I am willing to say that just maybe, maybe... it might one day. That's insane.

So much of my life has been defined by weight - lost weight when we moved, gained weight at high school graduation, lost weight in college, "heavy" again by graduation, on and on and on.

What if... I lose weight and it stays off and I eat healthy (relatively) and don't obsess (outside of weighing myself every morning) and maybe even exercise on a fairly regular basis and provide a healthy role model for my daughter.

What if?

What if I lose the weight and it stays off?

What if?

It's enough of a new paradigm that this is even a viable question, let alone a plausible outcome.

I don't know. It really is crazy.

What do I know...

I feel better than I have in a long time.
The inside of my head is a happier, less obsessive place than it's been in a long time.
It's nice to have more options when I get dressed in the morning.
It's nice to have a bit of hope and to marvel at the possibilities every once in a while.
PMS can bite me - but that's another post for another day.


  1. Fantastic Post!! I hope we are all successful in this quest for peace about our weight.

  2. Susan - I think what your experiencing is pretty normal. Prior to lapband and even to this very day (my two-year anniversary is Sunday) my weight is uppermost in my mind. Before it was about losing weight. Now it's about maintaining my weight - I get on the scales every single day. Even though I don't have much of an appetite these days, food is on my mind a lot. For whatever reason, I guess weight and food are just a big part of who I am. You will see many mindset shifts as you continue on with your journey. It sounds like you're willing to be reflective and try to figure out what's going on in your head, so you will be successful with your weight loss, with maintaining your new weight, and with your "new" old self. I'm wishing you a fun and spectacular journey.

  3. This was a great post! I think it's why so many of us seek out the lapband. To quiet the voices in our heads. My doctor calls the lapband a "food lobotamy" in that it moves the focus away from the food obsession. I'm glad you have hope.