Can’t Shake the Numbers

In the last two weeks I’ve become really obsessed with numbers. The numbers on the scale, my BMI number, how many weeks it will take me to get to X weight, now many inches I’ve lost, how many calories I’ve taken in…. numbers numbers numbers. I’m getting obsessive in a way that I haven’t in a long time, and part of me is getting a little worried. But there is another part of me (or part of my disorder) that is excited, that feels happy and hopeful. If you’ve never had an eating disorder, you won’t understand. It’s just too weird for most people to wrap their heads around because it’s an excitement over hurting yourself! I would you want to be miserable all the time when you could be happy? I can’t really answer that. And I’m trying to fight it. But the disorder that takes up space in my head? It’s trying to buy more real estate and losing weight, having a smaller stomach, it’s a CHALLENGE. How can I turn this opportunity into maximum weight loss, it says. How can I turn this into a reason to restrict? How far can I make this girl go?

It’s really hard to separate myself from the disorder because it sounds like me. It sounds like me making plans to restrict myself as much as I can after the effects of the surgery start to wear off and I’m alone again. It sounds like me calculating the weight I would need to get to in order to be classified as “underweight” according to BMI. It really sounds like me thinking, Just let me get to that weight, and then I promise I’ll bounce back– I just want to prove that I can do it.

I just want to make one thing clear: I have a rational mind. I know that this type of plan is 1) dangerous to my health and 2) totally unattainable, regardless of weight loss surgery or fasting. My body is not meant to be at that weight. I will never be skinny. That’s not why I got this surgery! But now that I’ve had it, I’m SO TRIGGERED by it. I find myself on Bart sometimes fantasizing about that number. It’s so special to me. It feels like I hold it in my heart. I’m walking around in this world trying to be normal but I carry it with me everywhere and it speaks to me, encouraging me, taunting me.

I have a rational mind. I know that this is a problem.

Maybe this is just a phase and once I get past it, I will be able to focus on healthy weight loss and my real goals– hiking, having kids, being able to keep up with my niece and nephew, having a long and healthy life free from chronic disease. I’m hoping I can fight the disorder and get past it. Maybe it’s just my hormones going crazy since the surgery. I don’t know. Also sometimes all I want to do is just graze all day on food, so maybe that’s to counteract the fasting and I’ll be okay.

 

 

Bad Body Day

Some days I look in the mirror and I think WOW. I’m one beautiful boss lady.

 

Seriously, there are days where I’m honestly a little surprised about how good I look. Those are my good “body days” where I’m just totally feeling myself, where I’m not nitpicking about each little flaw. Where I think I’m beautiful WITH my flaws. Where I can eat without all the accompanying emotions (frustration, boredom, sadness, embarrassment, shame, whatever), and just be totally in love with myself. That’s what I imagine self actualized people feel like on the regular.

Today is not one of those days. I’m really starting to struggle with weight loss on this preop diet (I keep fluctuating instead of consistently losing, I feel like I’m losing the same damn five pounds AAAARRGHHHH), and every time I put something in my mouth to eat I am constantly second-guessing: will this facilitate weight loss? Does this have too many carbs? BLAH BLAH BLAH ALL THE TIME. Or I will eat a piece of candy and feel totally mad for hours. My body FEELS large, like I’m super conscious of the amount of space my body takes up today. I feel like I’m too big for everything. Days like today suck. I’m so over it.

I have my preop consultation with one of the surgeons at Kaiser on December 8th. I’m freaking out a little because it feels like a deadline. When I first met with Dr. Z, the psychologist (who made me cry) he told me that I could “easily” lose 50 pounds by our next appointment in January– 20 pounds in the first month, and 15 pounds for the second and 3rd month. Well, I lost 20lbs the first month, and Dr. Z called me saying he was really impressed with my progress so he made me the appointment with the surgeon. Now I’ve got to lose another 15lbs by the next appointment and I don’t know if I can. Keep in mind, he didn’t actually say, “Lose 50 pounds by January or you don’t get the surgery”, he just said I could easily lose that much weight. So…. I don’t know if that’s an actual requirement, or if he was just trying to be encouraging. Either way, it’s causing MAJOR amounts of anxiety. And as I get closer and closer to the 8th, the more freaked out I am because I’m NOT losing weight. I’m gaining and losing, back and forth like ALL THE TIME.

I’m just saying, in this moment right now, I’m totally discouraged. I’m so worried that I’m going to fuck this all up and then I won’t be able to get the surgery. And I have no one to talk to about this.

No More Eating in Bed and Other Life Changes

For the past few months Kourtney and I have been talking about getting healthy, a topic that is really hard for me to engage in because of my eating disorder history and body image issues that have yet to be resolved. Health is such a loaded topic– it’s burdened with politics and stereotypes and misinformation, with body shaming and societal pressure and for me, grief and pain. So I often try to avoid the conversation because it makes me feel very small and huge at the same time. Small because I feel worthless, like I’m so worthless I don’t even exist. And huge because I am a physically big in a world made for smaller people so my size is very conspicuous. Health, weight, worth and self esteem are tangled together in my life, so it feels impossible to separate them. How do I get healthy without worrying about weight? How to I love myself as I am if I actively work to change my body? How can I separate weight from self worth if I keep seeing before and after shots of sad fat people in happy new skinny bodies?  Continue reading