On Monday I popped into Lane Bryant, mainly to see if they had any summer type shirts with more then just a little cap sleeve. I picked up two different shirts that I thought might work, and took 3 different sizes of each into the dressing room.
The store clerk was very nice and offered to put back the sizes that didn’t fit and asked why such a range of sizes. So I explained that I had VSG last year and depending on the style I was wearing anywhere from a 14/16 up to a 22/24 in shirts. She was interested in how much weight I had lost and if I thought it was worth it etc. So I told her all of my stats and how I really wished I had done this years and years ago, but hadn’t had the money or the confidence to do it.
At that point another shopper piped in to say that she just couldn’t imagine “taking the easy way out” of losing weight and went on a small diatribe about how losing weight wasn’t meant to be easy, that we needed to learn from our mistakes in food & diet. We needed to EARN our skinny jeans and it was our lack of hard work that would make us fail in the long run.
Being me, I let her finish and then told her nicely that the surgery was only a tool in my journey. I know a number of people who gained all of their weight back after about the 2 year mark because they were unable or unwilling to deal with the issues that lead to their weight gain. That I was using this tool to help me be successful in dealing with some of those issues and hopefully I would find long term success this way.
I continued with the fact that I really didn’t care how I lost the weight as long as I lost it. For the first time in my life I’m losing weight without major physical & psychological pain! I wished her the best of luck in her own weight loss journey(she was doing Weight Watchers) and left the store.
Where does the idea come from that we, as fat people, must suffer or be punished because of our fat? Have we self perpetuated this idea? Did it come from some skinny person some where? Who determines when we have suffered enough? How long do I need to carry on the mental self-flagellation before I’m worthy of weight loss?
I don’t know the answers to these questions, although it might involve the number 42 somehow, I’m not sure. But I do know this. I’m not going to stop talking about my surgery and my journey just because someone else thinks I’m taking the easy way out. I am going to actively reject the idea that I must suffer physically or psychologically to legitimize my weight loss. I am going to continue to retake my self confidence and self esteem that i allowed to be stripped away from me ,because of my fat, by others & myself.