Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Fear of weight loss
In talking to Heather, it was talked about how losing weight doesn't really change the underlying circumstances that created us. In other words, if we used food to buffer us from our issues, what will happen once we lose weight? What will we use to handle stress? I wasn't sure...
Worse yet was the realization that I will be the same person but in a different body. But besides all that, the question in my mind remains, "Who will I be?" I don't think Heather understood (she's thin, yanno...), so I explained -- I said that being obese, you identify yourself (whether others do or not) as the fat sister, the fat daughter, the fat wife, the fat mother, the fat friend, the fat student/coworker... that being fat almost defines who you are as a person.
I know it's been mentioned on message boards and even in articles I've posted here that the fear is, will I lose my identity, even though being the fat [insert descriptor here] is NOT who I want to be? Let's be honest -- it takes a lot of energy to be fat. We expend a lot of energy thinking about how bad we look, wondering what people think when they look at us, trying to figure out what to wear to this function or that outing that will make us look LESS bad, trying to be invisible yet being upset that we are invisible, not looking at ourselves in the mirror, not doing fun things because of our weight, making excuses for not going out, feeling less than... the list goes on and on. It becomes so ingrained in who we are (well, for me, at least) that I wonder WHO WILL I BE when I get to a reasonable weight? And I'm upset that I let this "thing" define who I am and take up so much of my thought processes and dictate my life.
The fact is, my problems won't disappear when I lose weight. I will still have the same issues I have today -- I'll just be more healthy physically. But I worry that the weight loss will unearth feelings that, until now, have been stuffed away under a layer of blubber. It's like taking the sewer cap off the sewer and the gases escaping. How will I handle things? And WHY is it that I've let eating/fatness/weight be the buffer between myself and my feelings or hard situations? What am I lacking that THAT is all I could think of to turn to? How will I replace bad reactionary habits with good, healthy ones? And what will those be?
The fact is, I'm scared. And though I know to some degree what I'm afraid of, it's also about as solid as mist. Just like I stayed in an abusive first marriage for longer than I should of because it was familiar, so too do I believe I've hung onto my weight for a long time because it's familiar. It's the unknown that unnerves me. How sad is that?
Posted by Beth at 11:59 AM