Thursday, August 18, 2011

What are you going to do when the fat is gone?

I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs lately and each of them talk about no longer being able to eat their emotions and I keep wondering….what did we all think would happen when the fat was gone? Why didn’t anyone prepare us better for what would happen when all we were left with was our skinny little asses and broken hearts?

I think anyone who enters a weight loss journey thinks in the end – at goal – that we’ll live in Care Bear Land and life will be paradise. It’s what we dream of. Skipping from cloud to cloud – in our brand new skinny jeans.

The thing is though – that even when the fat is gone – life remains.

Shit happens. People die. Bills pile up. Jobs are lost. In-laws piss you off. Kids get sick and even puke. Explosive Man still blows up. It storms and your roof leaks. You want to kill your boss. You still hate your ex. A size 2 still doesn’t fit past your knee. Toilets still have to be cleaned.

The world just keeps turning.

The only thing that changes is that when the fat is gone – if you look in the mirror and there are still tears streaming down your face - you are forced to admit that fat is no longer the reason.

You are unhappy – in spite of the fat. Without the fat.

My God – no one planned on that happening, did they? No one told anyone that the whole mother-effing life you lead could be turned upside down because you shed a layer of skin.

But it can be. 

Before you lost the fat? Well, you could cry. Be in a bad mood. Huff and puff. Stay at home with your bottle of excuses. Not participate. Be grouchy. Be pissed and bitter. Hate how you looked. Be mad at the world. Live in oversized clothes. Never care about your appearance. Never smile. Go to bed early. And get up late.

All because fat gave you the right to those feelings. Not a single person questioned your attitude. They’d do the same if they were in your shoes right?

Fat gave you a reason – to be unhappy. And by God – you used it.

Now? You’re losing fat. Maybe even done losing and now maintaining.

So when you cry now – stomp your feet – want to kick small bunnies – scream at every human being and have road rage before you ever even set foot in a car – you can no longer say:

It’s because I can’t move because I’m too big.
It’s because I didn’t sleep because I’m too big to sleep well so I’m exhausted.
It’s because I hate the way I look.
It’s because my blood pressure is too high.
It’s because of all the meds I take.
It's because I can't breathe.
It’s because I can’t work out because of my size.
It’s because nothing fits me.
It’s because I’m discriminated against because of my fat.
It’s because people point at me when I’m in public.
It’s because I’m embarrassed of how I look.

And the list goes on.

You can’t say those things anymore. Instead – if someone asked you what was wrong – now that you’ve lost weight – when everything should be paradise – you might actually have to face your inner demons and say:

I’m not happy with my career.
I’m angry about my childhood.
I’m not in love with my partner anymore.
I am not being my authentic self.
I haven’t let go of some of the things in my past.
I’m carrying guilt, shame and hurt.
I cannot forgive someone for something they did years ago.

And the list goes on.

You can bet your new skinny ass it’s easier when someone asks what’s wrong to just be able to say, “I’m fat – that’s what’s wrong.”

The person might give you a lecture on eating and working out – but you never have to dig deeper. You never have to admit that even if the fat were stripped away – you’d still be unhappy. You never have to even go there. Fat does it for you.

Some would even say they were happier when they were heavier. Of course they were. Because back then the only problem they ever admitted they had – was fat. Everything else was perfect. If you had granted them one wish pre-fat – they wouldn’t have changed a single thing in their perfect life – just the fat.

The truth is – fat never did any of us any favors. Most of us thought it was a blanket and a shield and the fact is – it was a straight jacket. Fat made you a kept woman.

Kept angry. Bitter. Sad. Pissed.

It quite possibly kept you settled. Unforgiven. Ashamed.

It kept you everything but your true self.

I’ve always found it so interesting when people say they can’t shove down their emotions with food anymore. I feel like I never did that.

What I did was binge so I could cry and hate myself – for binging. God forbid I didn’t binge and hated myself for the real reason behind the tears.

Or I ate crap for weeks and gained 20 lbs so I could cry and hate myself – for being fat, eating crap, and letting myself go. God forbid I let myself feel some pain and make some changes and face my fears instead of using fat to mask the real reasons behind my pain.

If I binged or was fat – that was enough. THAT was why my heart was aching and my world was cruel. And anyone I told that to would nod their head because that was valid.

My real feelings? The real hurt? Apparently I never thought that was valid enough to warrant taking care of. I was fat. Everything else came in second place after that.

Fix the fat – then maybe I’ll fix the “other stuff”. But if I never allow myself to fix the fat – I never will have to fix the “other stuff”, now will I?

People would almost “expect” me to be a sad, hateful person. I could see it in their eyes, they’d say, “Of course, you’re miserable. Look at you. Who wouldn’t be?”

And their pity was mine. My fat had a voice. A feeling. It was something I could put a label on because I was too scared to label anything else. It was absolutely everything that was wrong in my life…except it wasn’t.

I say this now because I’m realizing I didn’t come this far to slide backwards or get “un”healthy or gain any weight back….simply because I lack the courage and fortitude it takes to keep going forward – and to face things that may break my heart in the road that lies ahead.

As I strip away more and more layers of fat – I uncover shitloads of broken dreams and cracked hearts and old fears and more hurt than I ever understood was under there.

And it scares the living shit out of me.

You better believe that gaining 60 lbs back and telling myself the only thing wrong with me every day is that “I’m fat” would be easier and less painful than continuing on this journey and seeing where it takes me.

I can’t choose that woman anymore. I don’t want to be her now that I see me – today.

She was never authentic or true to what was in her soul. She was too caught up in fat.

I am strong enough now to conquer the demons I’ve taught myself to shove down for years.

I don’t owe fat anything. None of us do.

I’m 100% certain that nothing I face going forward can be as scary and heartbreaking as anything I’ve faced in the past – because I’m stronger now than I was then.

I’ve got a lot less fat weighing me down….and I’m going to keep it that way.

Are you?


Becky said...

Wow, that was well worth the read...just wow. And you're right, fat isn't everything that is wrong in our lives, it's just our whipping boy until we aren't fat anymore.

Seriously, that's a lot to process right there. Thanks for this post!

vickyd said...

Well said, Draz. I think I had a lightbulb moment while reading it...I had an argument with the hubby this morning and I just now realized that although we have had similar discussions in the past I never addressed the REAL issue because I just wrote the problem off as being "because I was fat".

Thanks for opening my eyes...

Bonnie said...

Fuck Fat....

I'm tired of letting it rule my life, and that's why I am getting rid of it....forever

No more fatty fat fat bull shit excuses.....
I'm going to start doing things because I can, not because I'm fat.

Debi said...

Wow. Thank you for writing this.

I'm with you. I will no longer blame 'fat' for my problems. I will make the effort to deal with whatever the actual issue is, not mask it with something else to make it easier.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is totally amazing. I am posting this link on my blog - as long as it's ok with you. You said it better than I could EVER put into words!
I really adore your blog.



Barbara said...

Damn.. this post is a classic.. you need to publish this... it made me stop and think.. I always want to live in fantasy land now.. and not face pain.. I medicate, eat m&m's, the fat is going away.. and the reality is creeping in.. brilliant post Draz

Mrs B. said...

A seriously excellent post, and something every overweight person should be considering. Thanks, dear!

Banded Mommy (Angie) said...

W-O-W! Seriously Draz... write a book. A combo of completely funny stories and true open your eyes experiences.

LegalMommy said...

Wow. I just "found" this through another blog. This post is amazing.

Caron said...


MandaPanda said...

Yes yes yes! I have totally been going through this lately. I always said that if it weren't for my weight, I'd be pretty happy with things. Turns out...not so much. *sigh*

Shannon said...

what a great post. even barely half of my weight of has made me have to look at the real issues head on. It's a scary but rewarding process.

Bandster Momma said...

What a great post. It really makes you think.

Lap Band Gal said...

me likey :) great post!

Kristin50 said...

This is fantastic! It is all so true. Our weight is NOT what makes us happy or unhappy! It is merely a shield of underlying problems we MUST address eventually.

I have always said you can push it under the rug or hide it in a closet but one of these mornings the Sh*t is gonna hit the fan.

Thanks for posting this!!

Theresa aka Tessie Rose said...

Excellent post!

Rachellabelle - My Hips Don't Lie said...

Holy wow and amen! This should be in a book. Thank you for writing this. Food for thought for all of us. (That's calorie free, right?) :)

Amanda Kiska said...

Amen, sister!

Ronnie said...

I'm glad you're finding some answers, I think that's the most important part of the journey.

Now I wish I knew what my inner demon was.

Love you! :)

Cat said...

This is such a profound post darlin. Thank you so much for putting the spot light on this even for a day, in your blog so we can each sit back and think about what being fat has meant to each of us, and what not being fat will mean moving forward. I agree with whoever commented that you should send this into a magazine to be published. Very though provoking.

*puffy hearts*

Stephanie said...

This is so true. Plain and simple. 125 lbs ago I dealt with my stress by eating and all that was doing was preventing me from DEALING with the issues that caused me to be stressed. You know first hand the shit I deal with in my family and how I let that overtake other aspects of my life (cough, cough...being the OCD planner from hell) and it doesn't matter what you weigh, be it 272 or 148, you need to learn how to deal and cope and move on from the negativity. Life is not easier, skinnier. I may not hate the reflection I see in the mirror, but I still have to deal with what is in my head.

Beth Ann said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Janis said...

It also doesn't give you the excuse to resent someone subtly and not so subtly for being thin, and when they finally get sick of being resented all the time and leave, blame them for not wanting a "fat friend."

Yes, I'm still more than a little ticked about that one. :-P

Elizabeth said...

This is an awesome post and very true. xo

Vanessa said...

This post is great! All so true ~ perhaps why I gained back the same 80 pounds 3 times. I will not do it this time, thanks to the band and a new way of thinking.

Rachel said...

I love this post, thank you for writing it. My surgeon made it a requirement to see a psychologist every three months at least - one who works primarily with WLS patients. I had a hard time accepting this at first, but now embrace it whole-heartedly. I've realized that this is not just about the outside, but primarily about the inside. xx

Cece said...

Well said ... you speak the truth :)

JRD said...

This was amazing Draz - you are so articulate. This is part of the reason I think I could never make the transition to "skinny thinker"...when I was fat [well, still am, but before I ever had any success with weight loss], I always tried to say "I'm totally ok with it - I'm a sexy, plus size woman/beauty comes in all forms, shapes and sizes"..which is all true! But ultimately, I didn't REALLY feel that way. I didn't really love myself, and fat was an amazing excuse to eat, binge, blame others for my unemployability, my singledom, etc. Anyway, this really resonated with me - thank you, as always.

Bridget said...

I so love this post!!

Fangirl Says/Monica said...

What a fantastic post! This one is getting bookmarked. :D

Dizzy Girl said...

I am really amazed right now- you hit the nail on the head D. Better than I think anyone has ever done it before- at least for me, in this moment. I've blamed being "fat" on a million things. A million. Now that this truth is uncovered- what's next? You know? Do I have to actually face my PROBLEMS? I guess, like you, it remains to be seen.

xo- Thanks for all the love baby girl-


Dinnerland said...

What a great post, Draz!!! I am going to make a tribute post to this post one of these days...

Ali said...

Its interesting, the things that have really changed from 75 pounds ago are wearing smaller clothes and better health. The other issues (finances, relationships, MEN, work and on and on) are still here. Funny that I thought EVERYTHING would change. It's taking lots of work to overcome all the issues now.

Thanks for posting.

mallory said...

I struggle with this constantly. I do not want to face what's really making me upset but now that I have lost some weight and am happy (sort of) with my body, I have to take a real hard look at my life and that is way harder of a struggle then losing the weight.

Great post.

o.c. bandster said...

WOW! a great post! you said so many things I have said to myself at different stages in my life. Thanks.

Laurie said...

This is perfect, just perfect.
Why aren't you publishing something awesome like this?

Andrea said...

Woah...this is so deep and good! I'm definitely realizing that I'm having to deal with emotions and face things that the fat covered up. Great post!

MizFit said...

Im with Barbara.
We need to spread this post aROUND!

Joanna said...

What a great post!! I think it's the first time I've ever read one of your posts and got this choked up.

One thing I can say is that I blame my fat for the bad that's happened in my life - it's my coping skill. It's not a good thing, but I've never blamed my fat for being the reason I'm unhappy.

I got fat because I was in an abusive relationship, and food was my comfort. I wasn't able to lose weight because I was so stressed about supporting my kids and being a single mother.

When I did start to lose a ton of weight, I could openly admit I was eating better and working out because I was happy with the world.

Once stuff started getting rough, again - with me not being able to find a job....I turned to food again as the comfort to help me work through my stress.

My problem isn't with finding the root of my problems, it's finding a better cure for dealing with those problems. That's where I struggle. I will openly admit my problems, and then use them as excuses as to why I overeat.

I'm still struggling. It's so hard. I hope that soon I can figure it all out and work on my issues with a different coping mechanism.

Again - great post!!

AutumnLeaves said...

"The only thing that changes is that when the fat is gone – if you look in the mirror and there are still tears streaming down your face - you are forced to admit that fat is no longer the reason."

What an excellent post and such awesome insight.

I'm not fat due to emotions, but because of age and hormones. I can't get it off no matter what I do. Hard when you've been slim most of your life. Anyway, I still think this post is spot on, Draz.

Leanne said...

well put Draz, well put. I think this speaks to each and every one of us. Well it spoke to me immensely and I was just reading quickly as I head off to work... I wish I had the time now to share the link and comment more... beautiful.

Laura Belle said...

I'm struggling with this so much right now. My mind says you're doing this to be healthy, my heart says you're doing this to run away from the real problems. Why do I think losing 10lbs will make my life all sunshine and sparkles?

Working on the real problems is so much harder. I'm so tired of working on my problems. But i'll have to, for the rest of my life. Because that is life.

I shouldn't turn to food, but I do. I shouldn't turn to alcohol, but I do. I shouldn't hold it all inside, but I do.

At some point I AM going to wake up and realize that all the 'bad' things I turn to are not helping but hurting. I pray for that wake-up day all the time. I actually pray for the willpower and the strength to make that day come all the time.

This was a great post. I wish I would have read it sooner.

Lana said...

Holy Shit! I need to frame this sucker! Damn!

Dawnya said...

This is why you are the Queen of blogland. You are so insightful and always spont on. Thanks for sharing this post.

Ms. Chunky Chick said...

MOMMA PIMP in the house! This was an amazing post and gave me a great idea for my own post. But I 2.0'ed it. Thanks Draz for saying the shit that we need to say and making us think of shit that we need to think of. LOVE LOVE YOUR HOTTNESS xoxo

Julie Harmon said...

Thank you!! You have seriously given me something to think about..