Friday, October 21, 2011

Bariatric Betty sells her past and her deals with her lying scale

In my former life, I was very active with my sorority.  Many who know me find this amusing, because I was raised by liberal/ hippie parents (brought home from the hospital in a tie-died onesie, no less) and tend to agree with liberals in general.  I also tend to dress super casual and wear little to no makeup on most days.  But it's true.  I love my sorority - Phi Mu - and have served it in many ways over the years.  When I was in college I found that the stereotypes of sororities were false; the women were intelligent, down to earth, and willing to live by stricter rules than the rest of the college students while donating their time and money to local children's hospitals.  What's not to love?  After I graduated I traveled for a year representing the sorority as a chapter consultant.  I supervised and reported on dozens of collegiate chapters and advised them on risk management, recruitment, scholarship, and philanthropy among other things.  Was I skinny?  No.  I was overweight, but nicely put together and with the attitude that I could make a difference in women's lives.  And I did - it was fabulous.  After my term was up, I decided to serve in a different way (I missed having my own home during a 100% travel position).  I was appointed the National Music Chair, which I LOVED.  I have always sung, and apparently word spread of my teaching women to sing while I traveled.  I attended local and national conferences, created choir programs and directed performances.  Later I served for years as a local officer, supervising collegiate chapters (mostly from afar) but still attending conferences and conventions.  As a result I have accumulated a LARGE wardrobe of suits, semiformal, and formal dresses over the years.  Not only because of the number of teas, balls, and conference sessions I have attended, but because of my fluctuating sizes. 

I ended up resigning as an officer of the sorority mostly because of the overwhelming needs of my special needs son at the time.  But I have to be honest, part of it was because of my weight.  I had less and less energy, and dressing up was getting more and more difficult.  Trying to find semi-formal and formal dresses as a 5'2" size 22 was difficult.  Forget attractive, it was just finding things that fit and didn't break my bank account.  So the dresses and suits have gathered dust for the last 5-6 years in my closet.  I donated some of them when I moved about a year ago.  The rest I hung onto for sentimental reasons, and because I thought - someday I might need them. 

No more.  When our local PTAs held their fall community garage sale, I purged my closet.  50% of everything sold goes back to the consigners, and the rest goes to PTA scholarships for graduating seniors.  Best of all, anything not purchased is donated.  So many plus size women will be getting some new outfits - maybe for job interviews, maybe for nights out or weddings.  Mostly, it's me letting go of what was.  I would like to volunteer for my sorority again, and when I weigh less I will have more energy to do so - plus have more fun getting dressed up for parts of it.  I only kept two dresses and one suit.  All are smaller sizes than I current wear, and ones that I actually felt pretty in when I wore them.  6 months after surgery I'll get rid of them too, or take them to the tailor.  The day before surgery I will be donating 90% of my "fat clothes" - only keeping enough to wear for the first month.  And meanwhile I'm buying smaller pants in assorted signs at the same sale - an idea I got from one of the WLS support groups on facebook.  They suggested getting some at garage sales since I will be changing sizes so quickly - you don't want to invest much until you stabilize.  I'm letting go of my obese past - and using the money I get for clothes for my healthy future.

My lying scale.  Ughh.  I look forward to stepping onto my scale every morning.  Nothing in my stomach, I've used the bathroom, I'm only wearing pjs.  This is the lightest I will be all day.  I usually weigh myself and then step back on holding my shoes (which are 1 1/2 pounds).  Here's the thing, when I was weighed at the doctor's office I didn't have my shoes on but it was 5pm.  And it said I weighed 5 more pounds than I did that morning WITH shoes.  Phbbbblltttt.  That's harsh.  I know that you are always heavier later in the day, but ouch.  So I don't trust my scale, even though it is pretty new.  I add 2 pounds onto the weight I get in the morning with my shoes before I record it in log, because I don't want to have a bad surprise when I go back to the surgeon's office.  And I don't want them to look at my log and say "Hmmmm, you say you lost x pounds, but you also say you weight 5 pounds less than you do."  OK, would they do that?  I doubt it.  But it's my insecurity talking.  So I call my scale a liar, add two pounds before logging my weight, and just feel happy when  the number goes down.  And when my clothes fit better.  And when I get a complement.  :)

Lastly, I had to do a drawing project with my kids.  No matter how well I thought I had explained the operation to them, they kept thinking I would come home from the hospital skinny.  I wish!  So we traced my torso on posterboard, and then I drew in all the relevant internal organs.  I showed them the incisions that would be made, and how my Roux-en-Y bypass would rearrange things.  Then I said "When I come home, this outside line tracing my body will still be the same.  The surgery will not take fat away.  The outline will get smaller as I diet after surgery - the surgery just helps me not feel so hungry and lose weight faster."  Then they said "So, in a couple weeks you'll be skinnier".  Uhhhh, no.  "In a couple weeks I'll weigh less but still be obese.  In a couple months I won't be obese, I'll just be overweight., and in a couple of years I should be really healthy."  We'll see if the info sticks this time.  And I'm keeping the posterboard - because 6 months after surgery I want them to trace me again with a different color marker - so I can see how far I've come!

No comments:

Post a Comment