On my mom's board this week, there was a "fight club" posting about Obesity and how America is becoming an obese nation. It really irritates me to have people just say "you know what? Don't eat so much" For some, it's just not that easy. When reading this, please be kind. This is information that no one in my life besides my husband really even knows. Maybe I need to get out there and advocate for obese people and let everyone know it's not because we are all lazy.

I'm morbidly obese.

Yep, I said.

I'm 165 lbs overweight. I have battled this my ENTIRE LIFE. Weight Watchers when I was 12, exercise, sports, L A Weight Loss when I was 23 and between all those every freaking diet you can think of, imaginable. Cabbage soup diet, did it. Jello diet? Did that one too...

For some people being overweight is a matter of bad choices and overeating. My husband for example. He eats A LOT at one meal a day. And drank a lot of pop (he's cut that out almost entirely and lost quite a bit of weight).

But being obese for some is also a psycological issue. Everyone has accepted that anorexia is a disease but not obesity. Obesity is really just the opposite of anorexia with a lot of the same psychological issues. Control over your own life? Sure...I can eat that control. Can't control my emotions? Even more food, because I can control that.

Is it my fault that I'm overweight? Yep. But not because I necessarily overeat. Well, at least not all the time. But when I've gone to dr's and TRY to get help...they tell me to stop eating so much...and to not put sugar in my coffee, eat sugar cereals, etc, etc, etc...all things that I don't do anyways. My kids eat incredibly healthy...and yet, I have a weight problem.

When I bring up any shrink visits I've been told that all I need is will power and to not eat so much.

Well...let's see. (insert the skeletens in the closet) I used to hide food. Sneak it out of the garbage if necessary in order to eat things I wasn't "supposed to have". Have a secret little stash in my room in order for my brothers and dad to not make oinking noises when I ate. Oh yea, and my grandma that pretty much told me that I was going to never have a husband, boyfriend, family because I was a fat cow. And on the day that I turn 29, you might ask "do you still do those things?" Yes, I DO!!!! My husband is supportive of me and would NEVER make oinking noises and yet, I still find myself in my kitchen sometimes shoving food in in order for him to not know what I'm eating. Or sitting in the car before coming inside so that I can eat my brownie in peace without having to share it with the boys. Do I do this every day? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But I do...and I can guarantee you that I'm not thinking rationally when I do it. And feel incredibly guilty afterwards. Those all sound like psychological issues to me.

I have considered gastric bypass...but the problem I have with that is they STILL DO NOT address the psychological issues. So why should I put myself in a very dangerous situation without attacking the reasons I got so big in the first place? I'm ECSTATIC that insurance covers this though...and I think that it should be covered for certain people.

I DO NOT blame McD's, fast food or anything else. I blame myself...and the medical profession for not treating obesity as a medical/psychological issue. I should also mention that I typically do eat healthy...in fact my triglycerides and blood sugar are perfect...my blood pressure is low...the dr's are amazed at how healthy I am for being so obese. We eat healthy in my house and I DO NOT make eating a real focal point in any way because I don't want my boys to go through what I've gone through my whole life. We do occassionally have baked french fries and chicken nuggets for lunch...but 85-90% of the time we have fresh home made meals including fresh/frozen vegetable (not canned), fresh fruit, whole grains and protein. Oh and no juice. Only milk and water and the occassional sugar free lemonade.

It's a daily battle for me. One that I've cried over many, many, many times because I leave dr offices feeling like a horrible person. Why can't I control this? Why can't I just have will power? I've come to realize though that it is a disease for me and that I do need help.


nzmommy said...

Wow, what a post, Lisa. I too am obese and find there isn't anyone to help. I don't want a quick fix like gastric bypass. Besides I heard there are my more problems with that anyway. I do have a thyroid condition which I take a hormone replacement for and my doctor just says 'stop eating the bad things and exercise'. I kid you not that I would have to exercise 2 hours a day to lose any serious weight. And I'm not having exercise control my life. My doctor says my thyroid doesn't hinder me, then why am I still on a hormone replacement if it doesn't affer me losing weight?

I too grew up in a home where I wasn't 'supposed' to have things. I had to ask to have things. Any sweets or 'junk' that came in the house was for my stepmoms lunch and obviously for the adults to have any time they wanted. I can honestly say I don't remember having much when I was a child and tended to splurge when we were somewhere that had those things. I remember once I got older and dad gave us lunch money, I would use a portion to buy junk/sweets/candy, normally things I wasn't allowed to have and also soda. Then when dad kicked me out at 15, mom pretty much let us eat anything and bought anything for us to eat. Absolutely no structure to it. So that is where I gained my weight. But I think it would have happened eventually.

I am not strict on my girls but they do eat healthy. There isn't anything I won't 'allow' them to have because I think everything in moderation is good. If they don't get it at all then there will come a time where they splurge on it and then it's hard to turn back. Of course they don't get whatever they want and we monitor that by what we buy. No soda at all. Kamryn has juice but again it's only 1/3 juice which I am happy about since many her age drink full strength and even soda. Lauryn is only having water. However, there is a standing rule in our house that the girls can always have ice cream or yogurt everyday if they want. Obviously only 1-2 servings throughout the day but girls need calcium and they are definitely going to need it once puberty hits.

Anyway, I didn't want to hyjack this but wanted you to know that I am there with you and know how you feel. I feel it constantly. And I live in a country where it feels like overweight/obese people need to feel shame constantly. I can't even buy clothes to fit me and that is horrible when you are made to feel so badly because nothing fits. Hang in there *hugs*.

Hannah said...

Awww Lisa, I'm sorry.
I don't know what to say. I'm not obese, but I do struggle with my weight. I have done ever since I got married. Right now I'm only about 5kg overweight but it still upsets me that I can't wear the clothes I want to, etc. And I know I should be living a healthier lifestyle - more exercise, particularly.
You could try reading Dr Phil's book "The Ultimate Weight Solution". I read it, and it was very helpful. Because my main problem is emotional eating. Eating when I'm not hungry, eating because I'm bored, or because I think I "deserve" it. He talks about that a lot, and it was helpful to me. Not that I'm doing amazingly now or anything, but at least I feel like I'm making some progress with the whole thing.
Okay, so that reply probably didn't help, but I just want to say that you are an AWESOME person and it is what is on the inside that counts. What a cliche, but it's true. You rock.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a post... I dont really know what to say but you have true friends, you have husband, you have kids, you have families... some people dont get that luck like you do.. That is what it counts.

Thinking of you..

MommyWithAttitude said...

Lisa I'm not obese, but my mom is and I've struggled with my weight all of my adult life, except about a six year window where I got on a huge exercise addiction kick.

I'm totally a compulsive/guilt eater and understand the psychological component, unfortunately.

I hope you can get the help you need to feel good about yourself and get healthy.

I'm going to start blogging more about my weight issues too.


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