Post-Op Week 57, Skinny Bitches and Dreaming the Impossible Dream…Weight

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Down nearly a pound this week, but that’s the water retention from this past week subsiding.  I just want my belly not to stick out past my boobs, is that too much to ask??  I don’t care if I have the middle-aged lady pooch, I just don’t want to look like I have a beer gut!

I’m starting to think that my goal (170) might be unreachable, especially since I have been dancing around the same weight for the past month or so.  At this point, I will be glad to get down below 200 pounds to get to the vaunted “Onederland,” which is just 20 pounds away.  But losing that 20 pounds seems insurmountable. 

I’m hoping that the addition of kettlebell workouts and swimming–I signed up for a month’s worth of lessons to relearn how to swim–will help push things along.  At the very least those things should improve my fitness level some so that I can hopefully start running again.  I miss being able to run.  Running to me equals freedom.  Running to me is my time to bring a little Zen into my world.  It is a time when I can clear my head, not think about anything other than my feet hitting the ground rhythmically, and breathing.  I feel alive when I run, and right now, I’m pissed that my knee is still not stable enough to do it.  I’m working on building the musculature around it so that I can do it eventually, but I am really impatient.  Hopefully learning to swim again will fill the gap that not being able to run has left me with, and I can swim a couple of times a week, schedule permitting.

It’s hard not to get discouraged right now, especially when I see so many others who have had WLS around the same time that I did reaching their goals left and right.  I don’t feel like a failure, but I am super frustrated with my (lack of) progress right now and feel like I’m spinning my wheels in the deepest mud.  I’m not completely happy with how I look, and it makes me wonder if I ever will be.   I hate being an overachiever sometimes.  This is one of those times.

Plastic surgery is not going to happen for me, because even if I could afford it, I don’t know that I want it.  Even if my insurance covered it (it does not), I don’t think it is a path I want to go down.  My body is starting to settle into its new shape, and quite honestly, I’m okay with the shape it’s becoming.  I know I will never be Gisele Bundchen or Candice Swanepoel skinny–that was never my goal, and besides, I don’t have the body composition to look like them anyway.  Now that I’ve regained my health, my objective is to look healthy.

If there is a woman whose body shape I could emulate, it would be plus-size model Ashley Graham:

Mind you, she and I have nearly identical measurements, save for two things:

  • She is 5 inches taller than me.
  • Her waist is 8 inches smaller than mine.

Otherwise, we wear the exact same size in clothes.

She is gorgeous, and her shape is the shape I have been working toward.  I have to be realistic, though:  I don’t have the time in my schedule to work out like she does.  My job also does not depend on me looking a certain way as hers does.  So I will do what I can, when I can, and hope that this tire around my middle shrinks down some more and that I can get closer to being under 200 pounds as possible.

Earlier this week, someone posted in one of the sleeve forums that I read about how she was jealous of other thin folks.  There was also discussion of people’s perceptions of them as “skinny bitches” now that they’d lost all their excess weight.

While I haven’t gotten the “skinny bitch” epithet (and it is exactly that) thrown at me, I can’t help but think it a lot more lately as I see folks who are at my current weight just starting out in the WLS process.

I have to remind myself constantly that at my heaviest, I weighed over twice what I do now.  The fact that I have lost half of my heaviest weight (most of it through WLS) is pretty amazing.  But it doesn’t keep me from being frustrated that folks who weigh what I weigh now are having WLS to lose far less than I have to lose.  I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be having surgery–that’s not it at all.  I’m simply expressing my frustration with the fact that not everyone’s starting point is the same as mine, yet there is an unspoken expectation that I feel that “the struggle is the same.”  And it’s not.  It never was.

When it is all said and done, I will have lost what they currently weigh just to get to my goal weight.  Why this matters to me, I don’t know.  But the more I lose, the more it becomes evident to me just how big I once was, and I think that’s unsettling to me the further and further I get from my start weight.  It disgusts me to think I was once that large and that I’ve lost half of my former self.  I try not to extend that self-judgment to others who struggle with their weight.  I know all too well how it is to be that large.  I know what it feels like to have judgmental stares cast and comments made.  I try to have empathy because just a short year ago, I was in that same spot.  I try not to judge myself harshly for still being obese, because let’s face it, I still am.  And it is frustrating.

I am nowhere near MY goal weight–I am just a couple of pounds below my doctor’s goal weight, and continuing to lose, albeit slowly.  And even at MY goal weight, I will still be classed as overweight.  But I am okay with that.  I will never be that “skinny bitch,” physically OR mentally.  People may think that about me now, even though I haven’t been called it to my face, but in my head, I’m not skinny.  I never will be.

I don’t know that I will ever know how to think like someone who is naturally thin–do any of us who have had WLS really know how to do that?  I don’t think so, or we would not have resorted to having WLS to lose our excess weight in the first place.  We would have had a normal relationship with food and activity, instead of one we force upon ourselves through surgery and the maintenance of the bodies we get as a result of surgical weight loss.  I’m not saying that I regret having surgery to lose weight–that’s not it at all.  If there is any regret here it is that I didn’t have it done sooner, because I am starting to feel as though I have missed so many opportunities in my life as a result of having been twice my size for so long.

What sucks is that I think I’m nearing my body’s set point, and my surgeon warned me this might happen around this weight range.  After our support group’s discussion of weight ranges and maintenance on Thursday night, I’m starting to rethink what my goal should probably be.  Dr. A led a great discussion about maintenance of weight loss, and how there are four categories of weight:

  • Ideal weight:  in other words, what “they” say you should weigh for your height.  This is what the medical ideal weight range for you is, based on your height.  For me, it is 117-147 pounds.  This is a weight range I will never see, for multiple reasons.  I have a large frame (I am already bony in a lot of spots), and I believe at even 147 pounds, I would look frail and sick.  Not the look I’m going for.
  • Your Dream Weight:  This is the goal weight you have set for yourself.  If you could weigh anything, this would be it.  I suppose for me, this would be 170 pounds.
  • Weight You Can Live With:  This is a weight that is most likely more than either your dream weight or your ideal weight.  This is a weight range that you may find yourself settling for because your best efforts may not be enough to get you to your dream weight.  You may find that the work needed to get to your dream (or even your ideal) weight is far more than is sustainable for you.  This is not something I have given much thought to, but might need to start thinking about a little more.  The way I’m working things is not unsustainable, but my current weight range is not where I want to remain.  I want to get and maintain an adult weight below 200 pounds.  I suppose if it means I stay between 180-190, that might be okay.  I just don’t know what it will look like.  I just want to be able to run again, and at that weight, I think I will be able to do it.
  • Unacceptable Weight:  This is a weight or a weight range that you don’t want to find yourself in.  For me, this is anything over 200 pounds, which is where I happen to be at the moment, by nearly 20 pounds.  And it is where I fear I may stay.

I’m not real happy with the possibility that where my body might settle is higher than my original goal, but it is still within what my doctors feel is reasonable. It’s something I need to think about some more.  I suppose what rankles me most about it is that I feel that if I set my sights on the “weight I can live with,” I will feel as though I have settled.  Settling is not something I do, because it means I have to compromise whatever goal I have set for myself.

I don’t want to reach a compromise here.  It’s my health.  It’s my body, and it’s my only shot to look “normal,” something I have never had the opportunity to do as an adult.

As a friend commented earlier, I am on a plateau, it will eventually end, I just haven’t walked far enough.  Time to pick up the pace.

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2 responses to “Post-Op Week 57, Skinny Bitches and Dreaming the Impossible Dream…Weight

  1. I feel your pain!!!! I started out at 370 lbs and I am currently 208. I would do anything just to get to ONEderland but the scale seems happy at my current weight …. Hopefully I will get there someday!

    • It is super frustrating having started as a heavyweight and seeing all these other folks be at goal already. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to them but it is so hard not to! 😦 Just gotta keep working at it…19 pounds from being in the 100’s. I just want to see a “1” as the first number in my weight.

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