Disclaimer: This post may be triggering, so read at your own risk.
I had a bit of a breakdown tonight. It basically involved me, dissolving into gasping, wracking sobs (the women in my family are not pretty criers), and trying to muffle them because everyone else was sleeping.
What triggered this, you ask?
A picture of myself and a friend, from a few years ago.
Even though I like to -think- I accept myself the way that I am right now, it’s because I try my hardest not to think about what I used to look like. Let me put things in perspective. I have gained 100+ pounds in 5 years. I have NEVER been skinny, but I used to not be as fat as I am now. And as much as I try to not let it bother me, I’m still gaining weight. And it DOES bother me. I hate having to buy new clothes all the time, because my old ones don’t fit me. I know there’s a reason (I have PCOS, and I haven’t been treating it, and I’m a compulsive eater), but it makes me feel disgusted with myself. I get that we’re all prone to bad body days, but does it have to feel so heart-wrenching? Like, I can’t believe that I used to be so much smaller than I am now? And part of me wonders why I can’t be that way again. I want this love/hate relationship with my body to be all love, and no hate, but I wonder, can I really banish the hate forever? Bad days happen to the best of us, so I almost think this would be impossible, but man, if only. If only I could just look at an old photo, and think, “well I looked good then, but damn, I still look good now”. But it feels like it just can’t be so (yet, anyway). I know it takes time to build up the sort of body-confidence that many have, but I almost feel like I don’t have time. I feel as though I need it NOW, and no later.
New commercials have been cropping up for this Realize Band (I say new because this is the first time I’ve seen them, though they could have been on longer). Now, I feel the need to mention that my mother said, “would you think about that?” I firmly said no, and the subject was dropped (Thank goodness for that). Of course, the whole thing, like all surgical bands, is based off the idea that fat folks overeat, so of course that’s why we’re all so fat. Ugh.
Anypants, I decided to look into the thing, not because I had any interest in getting one, but to see what they had to say for themselves. A link to their site can be found here. They have a section on testing your gastric operation knowledge, because “some may be factual, and some could be completely wrong.” Okay, I’ll bite. So I took the test.
First question, not too bad. Blah, blah, 1-2 pounds per week, which as we all know, is safe and maintainable, as long as you eat right and exercise. Second question has the patient cutting out all high calorie food and drink, and “follow a specific eating and behavioral plan in order to lose weight.” Someone help me realize how this differs from something that doesn’t require putting an unnecessary piece of plastic in your body? Question three, relatively normal. I find it interesting that they did use the term restrictive though, since they’re trying to sell a product. Oh, but apparently question 4 is an ABSOLUTE MYTH. According to them, the “benefits” of gastric band surgery are not ONLY weight loss, but decreased blood fats, blood pressure, and diabetes (because don’t you realize fat is unhealthy? ). Another study apparently says that it decreases medication use, and improves quality of life. Because fat makes us miserable, and we can’t possibly be fat and happy. That would be silly! The stuff of fantasies, even. Question 5 involves telling folks that they’ll need emotional support, which, hey is something I can agree with. But then again, I think that any sort of change requires emotional support, if it’s available at all. Question 6, bands need adjustment. Well yes, I’d imagine it would, since you’re inserting a foreign object into the body. Oh, but of course, they can’t help at the end but insert a dig into there about how if you don’t listen to the, you’ll regain the weight, you uncontrollable fatty, you. Question 7 just involves hospital stays (only an average of two days, outpatient, ooohboy!). Question 8, this one involves online food journaling, and online help! Let’s modernize keeping the fatties skinny, that’s the only way to keep ‘em hooked.
Myth versus fact quiz aside, I also decided to check the risks page. Now there’s some light reading. Oh, the risks aren’t light, there are many, many of them, but not once do they describe any of them, and of course, right after the first section, they just have to mention that “Risks are associated with any type of surgery, including abdominal surgery. These risks are greater for individuals who suffer from obesity.” So, don’t worry about the risks! They could happen in any surgery. But, they’re worse for you, fatty, because the surgeons don’t like operating on you folk.
I could go on, but I’d just recommend checking out the site for yourself. Or not, if you think it would be triggering. I have never once in my life even considered gastric surgery, and man, this certainly doesn’t even come CLOSE to changing my mind. It’s obvious that they cater to those who are desperate to be thinner, and prey on insecurities. The whole thing just disgusts me, that idea of someone messing with my biological processes, whether it is gastric bypass surgery, or, as this is about gastric banding.
Never again. I am never drinking Gatorade again. I was feeling dehydrated last night, so I decided to pick some up from the convenience store downstairs. Big mistake on my part. I’ve been having stomach problems since I woke up, ad it feels like someone delivered a swift and powerful kick to each of my kidneys. So I’m not going to Women, Self, and Society (even though I love that class to death, I can justify not going because I don’t have to take the final, since I’m getting an A), and instead, I am going to lay down, take a nap.
(I’ve been so tired these past few months, ugh. I might have to go find a doctor and have him/her take some blood tests, just to be safe. Definitely not my mothers GP though, that woman does nothing but tell me how I need to lose weight. I’d expect more understanding from someone I’ve known since I was a child, but I suppose since she lost weight through “just not eating as much and exercising an hour everyday, and ‘she’s even 50′, I guess that means everyone should follow her example. MORE UGH).