8.18.2007

bariatric surgery & body image

are linked. they're bound, tied up in one another & it seems that some folks are focused more on what they'll look like post-surgery than how they feel. the attitude toward nearly-instant gratification in regard to weight loss has always startled me. i'm under the impression that nobody gets fat overnight, so they ought not anticipate losing the weight overnight. it's like people forget. there's no microwave for this shit. at least, i don't believe that there's one. folks have complications, they get sick, they ignore doctor's orders once they lose the weight . . . the variables involved are too many for there to be a specific outcome every time. it's not even guaranteed that the weight loss will happen -- some ppl never even make it through the surgery. that worries & saddens me. i don't like the idea that you can get some kind of magic eraser thing going on when it comes to how damaged your body is. because, that's essentially what excessive weight does. some folks have thyroid conditions, some have no idea how to best nourish themselves, & others have a strong emotional connection to food. there are ppl who fall into all three of those categories & then some. my point is, it usually doesn't happen overnight. & if you do it to yourself, why can't you undo it yourself? that's where i am.
every day i'm smarter
paying more attn to what my stomach tells me, regardless of what the bitch ass clock at work says
& knowing what the deal is w/ the things i put into my body. i'm really not keen on crash dieting (that shit is dangerous, not to mention maddening), nor am i gonna ingest any random pills to burn fat. cardio can do that for me.
i'll be satisfied w/ the outcome.
the latest goal is mine exclusively to be aware of, it's not about a number, it's about a feeling. it's about noticing some things. i find that if i'm doing things that make me feel fulfilled in general, i'm less likely to feel like a slug. even if i'm tired, i'll keep going if there's something i want to do.

my work ethic, i suppose, gets in the way of the shortcut. if there's something that i really want to happen, i'll make it so. period. determination & motivation must be maintained in order to achieve. that's a fact.

i don't knock ppl for having the surgery. i don't. that's btwn you & your insurance company. some folks need surgery before they get to the diet & exercise thing. i know someone who actually didn't know what it was to eat to the point of satisfaction instead of the point of being stuffed . . . or eating until the food was just plain gone. that's odd to me. i come from a family where the depression era dictated food shopping patterns. you don't eat just because it's there -- that's greedy -- but you eat to the point of satisfaction, as long as there's enough for everyone. i also grew up around two uncles who learned what a "man's meal" should be from their trucker father. one uncle was a construction working part-time drug dealer & the other was a phone tech (bell atlantic, anyone?) & part-time drug addict. my mother was an emotional eater who didn't want to influence her daughters negatively. so, she changed her habits early on. lean protein, lots of fruits & veggies, & NO KOOL AID. i think i'm the only black woman who grew up in a house where kool aid was considered trash. soda wasn't really allowed either. i didn't have the experience of having a soda & chips for snack every day on my way home from school. because it had no nutritive value. because my mother or grandmother cooked every single day, & there was plenty good in celery sticks w/ peanut butter.
my household was also full of secrets, the occasional drama, keeping up appearances kind of shit. let's not be stupid -- some black folks think food will fix anything. the easiest way to stifle things is to stuff them inside by any means. raise your hand if you know anyone who'll give a kid some food if they're upset, no matter what, feed them ice cream for getting an A on a test. like, no matter what, i'm going to feed you instead of knowing that you're hungry. kind of sick, but true. i don't think people recognize that. maybe they do & don't care.
i just know that i'm working to support myself. i am not making enough money to be a binge eater. (don't laugh, it's true) not with where i do my grocery shopping. the wildest shit i'm prone to do is eat the results of an entire trader joe's guacamole kit. not a great idea, but it's not a cheesesteak platter for lunch at my sit-down job, after an omelet & home fries for breakfast not even 3 hours prior. it's complicated. this whole nation is based on the principle of having more, & not necessarily the principle of having/ doing better. it seems almost 2nd nature to many americans, from what i see, to over consume. there are plenty reasons why.

i could be here all day writing about overeating, emotional damage, consumption, & weight.

but i'm gonna get an early start on my day. i need to at least get dressed to go walking...

2 comments:

sugar rush said...

i wanted to say something deep & insightful & junk, but i'll settle for "i like this entry".

PretaMulatta said...

a whole trader joes guac kit wont kill u. hell, after my juices this morning, it sounds like JUST the thing (remind me 2 tell u about how we have avocado shakes in the morning 4 breakfast sometimes in brasil)...

as someone who has struggled *YES ME* with her weight thru college, i know how differently people treat u when u're heavy, and PARTICULARLY when u're a heavy woman of color. brother will tell u that u look good & 'thick' and everyone else, and most importantly YOURSELF, u think that u dont look good, u dont feel good, and it's all linked.

u take good care of yourself. u exercise. i have a VERY good friend who was doing those things, but her weight was out of hand & she had the surgery. it was lifechanging 4 her. i'm a proponent of doing WHATEVER it takes 2 make yourself FEEL better, which i believe makes u LOOK better, even if that's surgical intervention. is surgery traumatic? yes. do u feel better when u look better? hopefully... but sometimes the issue is bigger than the food, bigger than the weight, bigger than what people on the OUTSIDE think of us.

sometimes it's all inside, sadly :-/