For a very long time I was in denial about how bad my weight had gotten. In my head I knew I was winded walking across the room, couldn’t play with my kids, and could never find clothes in my sizes, and yet still denied to myself how bad it had gotten. It set me back a long time and it was the main reason it took so long to get back on track.
I was watching a show last night I usually find kind of inspirational. I was watching My 600 Lb Life. If you have not seen it, check it out. They follow people in the 600 to 700 pound range as they go for bypass surgery and then follows them for a year as they learn to adjust to this new way of living and eating.
It is NORMALLY inspirational because most times you really see people through their ups and downs, but at the end you think they have a shot at really getting their life back. This to me is much more inspirational than some other weight loss shows, like that one where they put you on a ranch, scream at you constantly, humiliate you, make fat people work to the point of passing out or throwing up all for good television. No names mentioned of course.
I say normally because last night I was so angry at the woman, I felt like switching the show off. Her name was Pauline and she was 678 pounds. She was living on the usual diet that gets a person to that weight – fast food and lots of it. Her 21 year old son was virtually her care giver as she could little for herself and could hardly move around.
She goes to see the doctor about this surgery, and he sends her away to lose at least 40 pounds to see if she is serious. She barely makes this losing 44 pounds, and so they so the surgery. It all turns around right? No.
After that kind of surgery, you need to get up and move because you are prone to blood clots which can be fatal. She whined and cried about how it was hard, and just refused to do more than a few steps. She was supposed to work with physio therapists when she went back home, but she told the doctor they never called her. The doctor had his suspicions and called the physio people, and they said they DID call and she basically told them to go away and she would do it on her own. This was not the first lie she was caught in.
She was sent home after surgery after spending way more days in hospital than she should have. She should have been up and around after 2 days but kept whining a crying about how mean the doctor was to expect her to move around. After going home, she came some months later for a check up and had gained weight.
The doctor said you must have gone back to your old eating habits, which she denied, and yet we saw her do exactly that. It went on like this for an hour with the doctor finally coming to the conclusion there was nothing more to do and predicting she would likely gain it all back.
Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t want to seem like I am throwing this woman under the bus. My blog is supposed to be motivational right? Not everyone is as far in their journey as I have come. I get all that, I really do.
My frustration was the fact that this was very expensive medical treatment, especially in the United States. This was a chance to get her life back, which is what she said she wanted, and yet she fought the doctor at every turn. I was angry and was thinking if you didn’t really want to do this, why did you agree to it? Even the doctor on the show said she seemed to want a magic pill solution.
She had all the classic symptoms of someone in denial. Things weren’t really that bad. The doctor was mean. He was expecting too much. This was too hard. She complained about being trapped in this body, yet did everything to make that trap bigger. She lied about physio. She lied about her diet, and then said the doctor didn’t understand that if she didn’t eat every two hours she got nauseous. I was angry because I can think of so many people who would have loved to be in her shoes, to have that chance, and yet she didn’t seem to care. It was everyone’s fault but hers.
It also reminded me that I was in denial for a long time, and shared many of those traits. I hope not to the same degree but my wife would know better than me how much I was in denial. I realized how I had been and why it took so long for the penny to drop, as the old saying goes.
In the past I worked years in the addiction field, and we heard it said all the time you can’t help someone if they are not ready and don’t want the help. She clearly didn’t.
I am assuming you do as you are reading this blog, but just take a step back and ask if there is any lingering denial on your part. Are you still making excuses and blaming others? “My wife bakes all the time.” Does anyone stick a gun to your head and say eat? “There is lots to snack on around the house.” So get rid of it – if it isn’t there you won’t eat it. Make sense?
Are you still looking in the mirror and saying, “Oh I am not that bad” and yet you are easily winded, you can’t play with kids or grandkids? Your clothes still don’t fit? You avoid mirrors like you are related to Dracula? Do you tell your friends “I need to lose weight some day.” As far as I know “some day” never appears on any calendar.
I can say this because I have been there, and I just wanted to give you a wake up call about denial because this show really struck a nerve with me. I remember my biggest denial lie was “I am just big boned.” Sure I was big boned, with really big meat on those bones!
I hope maybe (if needed) I have struck a nerve with you. We also used to say in the addictions field “The first step to dealing with a problem (or addiction) is admitting you have one.” Do you? Can you admit it and put the denial aside to work on it? I hope so.
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.