it’s my life

One of the (many, and varied, and deeply psychologically
complicated) reasons I got this surgery was because I was tired of worrying
about food, and tired of worrying about my body, and tired about worrying about
clothes and what I look like and how others judge me for my body. One of the
things that has happened, post-surgery and post-153
pounds, is that I spend all my time worrying about eating enough protein and
eating the right things and wanting to eat the wrong things and struggling with
food. And I spend the majority of my time deep in my crazy head, thinking
my new body as it relates to my old body
and how to be a person who is about half the size I used to be and how to
reconcile that and how to stay true (whatever that means) to the person I used
to be.

And when I’m not worrying about that, I am panicking about
how to clothe it and having enough clothes and figuring out what size I am—I
look at something on the rack and sometimes I think it is my size and it is
four sizes too large, or six sizes too small, and realizing I have no idea how
much space I take up any more and being startled when I catch a glimpse of
myself in a plate glass window, and catch myself thinking, Oh, I am still
fat
. Because what the fuck? Does that ever go away? Sometimes, more
startling, I catch a glimpse of myself and go Oh, that’s how small I
am? Creepy.
It is one of those things where you never catch a break for yourself, and
you never win.

And when how I fit in the world and what exactly I look like
is not occupying my time, I am spending all my time thinking about my skin and
how it is falling down, draping over this new skeleton I found, and wondering
if I need the surgery of plastics and thinking that maybe I look okay in
clothes, but is how I look naked going to be the next thing that drives me to
drink? Is it important how I look naked? Why is it important how I look naked?
I knew going in to this that I was never going to have a Sports Illustrated
kind of body and yet it still bothers me to lie in the tub and look down and
see my stomach floating up and gently undulating in the water like some kind of
unpleasant albino sea foliage. The loose fabric in my bra, the lumps I’ve still
got left—saddlebags and the soft skin over my bellybutton, the take-off-and-fly-away
character of my arms—are all in the back of my mind and never feel hidden
enough by my clothing.

And when I see people—and people, please know that I know this is
all in my head—I wonder what they think, and what the hell they see, of this
weight loss. If they remember what I used to look like, and if they think about
what I look like now, and if they think I look okay or think I could still
stand to use a couple more pounds and wonder if I’m going to gain it back and
wonder if I know that I think I look good but I don’t really look good and I
just assume that they really give a damn about what I look like now, and my
weight loss and my body because if I am unable to stop thinking about it,
clearly they never stop thinking about it because I am so important.

But also, and simultaneously, I wonder if they don’t think
about it. If they don’t care and it’s not important and they are all fine, you lost weight, whatever and I am boring when I talk about it and do I talk about it too much; and why does people not caring bother me as much
as the thought of people looking at me and knowing that I lost all this weight
and thinking whatever it is they think about? Why is this something that
occupies any part of my brain? And why do I have the urge to tell people I’ve
just met that I’ve lost so much weight—so that I can spend all my time
wondering if they think about it or not think about it? Is it because if they
look at me and think that I’m kind of chubby that they’ll know I used to be so
much bigger and in that way my chubbiness will become practically svelte and
acceptable? Acceptable? Fuck you, brain.

My brain is firing off randomly and obsessively, but I’m still able to function, of course. It has not become a
mumbling, shuffling, unbathed kind of obsession that has short circuited the
whole rest of my brain and the whole rest of my life, though with that kind of
agenda, you’d assume I’d have no time for anything but fretting insanely about
insane things to fret about. And sometimes, I don’t worry at all, and sometimes
I don’t think about it, and sometimes I just live my life. But it feels like a
current running underneath everything that’s always there, even when I’m not
thinking about it. It feels like the thread that ties my life together now. It
feels like it’s something I’m never going to get away from.

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  5 comments for “it’s my life

  1. anon
    October 15, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Is this where I am supposed to say all sorts of positive things about how this will change and you won’t always feel and think this way?

    I dearly and sincerely hope someone will make those comments (there have to be some people out there who lose a lot of weight and, like, you know, ADJUST to their new bodies/lives/etc.), but it isn’t going to be me.

    You pretty much just detailed me and my life and my thought processes. (And, boy, does that make me feel sorry for you.) And it’s been seven years since the weight loss for me. And, in comparison to your huge weight loss, mine was “only” 80-90 lbs (it varies, I still bounce up and down).

    So, I dunno. I wanted to believe I wouldn’t still be in this place, mentally, all these years later. But I guess I have to accept this as part of who I am and try to make peace with it. Or continually rage against it. I go back and forth between the two.

    Don’t forget, though, that I always say I’ll take this over my former life any day. So much changed for me that was positive. I still have my crazy, sure, but I am a happier person now.

  2. October 15, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    This might be the first time that I’ve read about someone’s weight-loss surgery and I haven’t wanted to punch them in the face for saying things like ‘I feel like the real me now!’ Thank you for expressing what I’ve felt for a long time. It’s actually very comforting to me to realize that I’m not the only one with Crazy Fat Girl Thoughts.

  3. October 15, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    I am there.

    Three and a half years. And, I’m still there. Wow.

  4. October 16, 2007 at 1:04 am

    you will continue to shift. It’s a fact of life.

    Nice post.

  5. October 16, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for pretty much describing my state of mind. At least I know along with you & the other commenters, that I’m not alone in this craziness.

    68 lbs. gone and I spend entirely too much time naked in front of the mirror thinking one moment “Look at my gut, I’ve got a long way to go.” and the next moment “Holy crap, I’m so small.”

    Every time someone tells me how great I look now I hear “‘Cause you sure were a fat cow last year.”

    What a relief to read of someone else who has similar thoughts.

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