Friday, September 23, 2011

Bariatric Betty gets the call, just in time.

First, a warning, there is a rant coming...
A lot of things happened this week, starting this weekend.  I took the family to a local apple orchard where we got to pick our own apples.  It was a beautiful sunny day, my waistline is smaller than it's been in a year thanks to my increased exercising and decreased after dinner snacks, and I felt great.  Most of the best apples were high up on the tree, so after sending my older son to climb up a couple of times, I left him on one tree and climbed another next to it.  My younger son was with me and I climbed up about three or four feet and started picking.  When I came down I was pretty pleased with myself until I saw my older son stomping towards me. 

It turned out he had overheard a family laughing at me, saying "I bet that branch is going to break with that fat lady on it".  He was trying hard to restrain himself from going and starting a fight.  My younger son looked like he wanted to cry.  The family had moved on, and I steered us into another part of the orchard.  It's not the first time my weight has been made fun of, but that hurt my kids.  Try explaining that some insecure people are going to always find something to make fun of other people about - and that it's not worth getting mad over.  Not a fun discussion.  I tried to make light of it by saying "at least next year there will be less of me for people to make fun of..."

Here's the truth.  I feel horrible.  My kids had to hear people laughing at me.  And it is those cruel people who are responsible for their pain.  But I have to take responsibility for being a target.  I know that I'm working on losing weight.  I know I don't deserve to be made fun of.  But I also know that there are ways that you attract the wrong sort of attention and if I had already lost the weight, they probably wouldn't have sad anything this weekend.  Of course, they might have made comments about my chest, or my clothes or anything else, but something about being overweight paints a neon target sign on people.  Don't they think I would be thin if it was easy?  I know that most thin people don't understand the difficulty of losing a signifigant amount of weight (and keeping it off) when you're obese.  That over 85% of us either don't succeed in the first place, or gain it back.  And some people think that having a gastric bypass is "the easy way" to lose weight.  They don't understand that I'll still be on a restricted diet for the REST OF MY LIFE.  That I will never be able to eat as many calories as a naturally thin person.  My body will not stay a healthy weight if I eat like they do. 

I read a quote from an actress recently that talked about how she easily lost weight for a role recently.  She said "you just have to want it enough, eat less, and exercise more".  She went from being skinny to being underweight for the role.  Does she realize that she gained the weight she lost back, too?  For her, that was healthy, but I'm sure she was relieved to stop feeling hungry.  I'm happy for people who can eat the proper amount of food and feel satisfied and stay a healthy weight.  But my brain doesn't work like theirs, my metabolism doesn't work like theirs, and I'm always tired because I'm carrying around 100 extra pounds.  It's not easy.  Don't people like that understand that we wouldn't subject ourselves to lifelong dieting and surgery if there was any other way that we had found to make it work???

So when I spoke to Diane, my Patient Advocate at Hospital C for the rest of my life, on Tuesday it couldn't have come at a better time.  She recommended that I see a P.A. (physician's assistant) at a health services center nearby because he does a fabulous job documenting medically supervised weight loss for the insurance company, I called and made an appointment.  I meet him later today.

I also returned the elliptical I bought at Walmart for $200.  It was wobbly and having problems with the LCD screen and starting to make louder thumping noises when I used it, so I got a full refund.  Luckily, I found a used Nordic Track elliptical for $150 through craigslist, and bought it.  So now I have a better elliptical that was more affordable and I am back on it daily!  90 days from now, I should be able to get pre-certified approval for the surgery from my insurance company.  I'm on track, and not looking back.

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