First, the GOOD. I’ve made it a week—and am feeling much better. A wonderful friend, Crystal, sent me flowers today, and grape juice still tastes good. Tomorrow I go on “liquids” which means my dining choices have multiplied exponentially! Yay!
Now, the BAD. For eight more days, I have to continue with the shots. Oh? I didn’t mention the shots? Blood thinners that have to be injected (yes, injected) once a day for two weeks after the surgery. The needles are super thin, so the injections don’t hurt that much. It’s the medication that hurts. Burns. Sizzles, in fact. And the burning sensation lasts 30 minutes, sometimes more. Oh, and it gets better. Guess WHERE these injections go? Nope, not my butt. My stomach. Yeah, that already sore vessel is just ripe for further abuse. Argh!
And finally, the UGLY. This is probably going to be the most difficult—and of course, the most revealing—entry I’ll write. You may get uncomfortable, but bear with me. (Not “bare”—no one wants to see me naked; you should see the bruises!)
Okaaay. Right off the top, I start making jokes, which should tell you that I am slightly uncomfortable on this subject as well. It’s the “O” word—obesity. Eek. I said it. Even the word is ugly. Truth is, all the labels for obesity are: fat, fleshy, gross, heavy, paunchy, plump, porcine, portly, pudgy, rotund, stout, and finally, corpulent. Wow. Corpulent. Why does that word make me think of medieval bishops in shiny red robes gorging themselves on turkey legs?
Anyway, I digress. I have a tough question for you. (I’ve already asked myself, and I will tell you MY answer). Have you ever looked an obese person and felt disgust? Annoyance? Did you want to say, “Jeez, just push the plate away” or something along those lines? Okay. Now, my answer as promised, which may surprise you. MY answer is “yes”. When I’ve seen someone much larger than I or someone the same size who was wearing ill-fitting, inappropriate clothing, I’ve thought, “Yuck. At least make an effort!” In my analysis of that, I think that it was denial on my part. I never accepted how large I am until this journey began for me six months ago.
Because accepting myself at this size (I’m still not comfortable telling anyone a number—I know that will change but for now, that secret is mine) meant accepting something else—HOW and WHY. No one—and I mean NO ONE—gets to be clinically obese without a reason. Some medical opinions believe that obesity itself is a disease. However, I’d challenge that theory and state that obesity is, instead, a SYMPTOM. A symptom that there’s something else wrong. Perhaps it’s a glandular disorder. Perhaps it’s an emotional disorder. But I promise you—there IS a disorder behind it.
And here’s where it gets REALLY ugly. I was sexually molested by a male relative from age 4 until about 15. At one point, when I was 14, he said to me, (and yeah, it’s a direct quote—I remember it like it was yesterday), “If you don’t start watching what you eat, your curvaceous curves aren’t going to be curvaceous anymore.” And I thought to myself (another direct quote), “If that’s what I have to do to keep you away from me, you son-of-a-bitch…” And so it began. I started using food as a defense—and have continued to do so for nearly forty years.
I went to a therapist when I was in my early 30s, and he helped me. A lot. In fact, I was pretty sure I was healed. Tonight, as I sit here typing this as tomorrow’s post, I have to admit that I was wrong. I wasn’t healed. Well, not completely. I was partially healed.
But dammit, I deserve more than partial healing. So it’s with this blog post—and the surgery—and the admission of the fact that I am, indeed, morbidly obese, that I begin to heal completely. And you know what? That isn’t UGLY at all. It is, in fact, BEAUTIFUL!