The Shame and Guilt of Morbid Obesity
I really hate the term Morbid Obesity, but it is my reality at this time. I’m severely overweight and I’m struggling every day to deal with it. I’m not at my biggest (and, of course, nowhere near my smallest) but I’m not healthy (yet) and I want to change my ways. There’s no magic pill or magic formula for me at this weight, but I don’t have to live with the shame and guilt of Morbid Obesity every day and I’m putting it all out there (as I always do) this week in this Fatty Friday post.
You may have noticed that I didn’t post last week for Fatty Friday. I don’t know how many people are following my struggle, but if you are, I apologize. I needed a break. I took a break. I needed to wallow in my sadness, shame, and guilt because I gained last week.
I gained 2.4 lbs last week.
There it is for you, folks. I’m back under 40 lbs lost again and I was/am bummed about it. I keep these posts going for the accountability and for the sharing of my journey, but I failed. I didn’t want to be accountable for the cake that I ate at my son’s SpongeBob SquarePants party. I didn’t want to be accountable for the pizza and nachos that I ate. I didn’t want to be accountable for the days following that weekend when I just didn’t eat “right” for several days in a row. I took the lazy, hiding, shameful route and I just didn’t post. That’s the full truth of it all.
Following that weekend, I decided to get back on track and eat “right” again and things would be okay. I’ve gained before during this journey and bounced right back and lost even more than I gained. Remember over the holidays when I gained and then lost it all the next week? Well, my “plan” didn’t work. I just kept eating. I kept craving sweets and giving in to the cravings. At one point during this past week, I text my husband at least three times saying I wanted chocolate cake. I do this to him from time to time as a joke, but he figured after three texts that I was serious. I was. I wanted chocolate cake. That night I ate chocolate cake.
So, when Howard said that he needed to be off the appetite suppressants this week because he’s on antibiotics and that we could technically skip a week of weigh in because I would have two weeks of meds, then I just breathed a sigh of relief and decided that I could restart (again) and recommit (again) to get back on track. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve been perfect, but I’ve had a couple of days where I ate “right” according to our plan and on those days I felt great. I had one day where I just gave in to the cravings/convenience foods and the following day I felt hungry and sluggish and guilty. So, I ate right again and now I think I’m back on it for the long haul.
Will I fail again (probably)? Will I have guilt over it (probably)? Will I continue to shame myself over it (probably)?
The Shame and Guilt of Morbid Obesity
I know that everyone experiences life in different ways so I can only assume that people experience Morbid Obesity in different ways as well. Here are a few things that have struck me in the past and that I live with every day.
- When I go to a buffet restaurant, I am always fully aware of all the people looking at me when I approach the restaurant, approach my table, and approach the buffet. Generally I don’t even visit the buffet more than once (that drives Howard insane because he says I don’t eat enough to make the buffet price worth it) and sometimes I might go back for more. I always imagine people looking at the fat girl going for more food and that’s why she’s fat. I have left places still hungry because I was too ashamed to get up and get something else, even it was a salad bar.
- When I go to a restaurant and order something healthy, like a salad, or a particular meal minus the potatoes or rice, I always watch the server for an eye roll or a “whatever” type of look. Howard is particularly sensitive to this one as well because he likes to order a burger minus the bun, but still with all the veggies on it. Most waiters are fine with all of that, but we have seen a couple of “huh?” looks before. I just imagine that they are thinking, “look at the fat girl who is pretending to eat healthy”.
- When I visit my son at school for a party or visit his teacher for a conference and I’m scared of sitting on those little chairs because I don’t want to hit the ground when they break. I’ve learned a way to “perch” on them so it looks like I’m sitting, but I’m really just sort of squatting. I can imagine the other moms thinking “look at the fatty who is going to break the kids’ chair”.
- Finally, booths…we just can’t do them. When we enter a place that asks if we want a table or a booth and Benjamin LOVES to sit in booths and we have to say table. We also have to make sure that the table chosen for us is not too close to another table because we have to pull the chair out further than most people. I’ve had to wait for a different table before because of this happening. The hostess was so super nice about it, but I was mortified. Benjamin’s goal for us (he’s our cheerleader for now) is to get our “tummies smaller” so we can sit in a booth as a family.
- And one more…our boy. I just don’t want him to get to the age where his friends or classmates start telling him that his parents are fat or treating him different because of this. He knows we’re fat. He knows he doesn’t want to be fat. He cheers us on to losing weight and we cheer him on for eating healthy with us and “gaining” weight as he gets taller. In some ways, I’m glad he’s seeing our struggle so that he can be different than us, but in other ways, I’m just ashamed that I couldn’t lose the weight before he started to notice.
All in all, my motivation for losing weight and feeling healthy is to just be healthy. I’m motivated by my boy and keeping up with him. I’m motivated by wanting to be around for him for many, many years. I’m motivated by the feeling I get on the days when I eat well. Today, I feel motivated. I’ll be back next week to let you know how I did with eating, starting to exercise, and weighing in after taking a week off.
Do you experience the shame and guilt of Morbid Obesity?
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