"How it feels to be obese"

k9ophile

Well-Known Member
In the latest The Week magazine Tommy Tomlinson shared his thoughts. He is the author of The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America. He opens with stating his weight, then adds that it feels like confessing a crime. A few weeks ago, I told my best friend how much I weighed before surgery. We've been BFFs for over sixty years. I'm not sure I've ever told my sister. Telling my weight, does indeed, feel like confessing a crime. It's easier for me to say I smoked marijuana and dropped LSD than it is to say I weighed 355 pounds. Maybe it feels like a confession because we've all been judged and convicted by others.

He also said, "Those are the hardest words I've ever had to write." I have waivered about posting this for at least ten minutes and I'm "confessing" to others who can easily relate to the pain of being ashamed because of weight.
 

Kate

Well-Known Member
I have never told anyone my highest weight. Not my best friend who has held my hair and seen me naked, not my mother or my priest. There is the high weight that I will *admit* too and then there is the weight that I actually was before I went into the doctor’s office (after having lost from that weight to the weight I was when I saw my surgeon for the first time). In some ways it is so funny that we feel this way because it is not as if I can hide the fact that I was morbidly obese. Not only is it obvious when people see us but it is especially obvious with me since I carry weight in my face (first place I gain it and last place I lose it). Maybe (for me) it has something to do with growing up with normies. My sister is California Barbie and my parents have never struggled with weight in the way that I did. While I was not obese until after college, I was always bigger and this genetic throwback to the Bohemian peasants I descend from—meant to have lots of babies, work in the fields all day and survive disease and famine.

Your post also reminds me of the way I felt when a nurse in my surgeon’s office said, “You know if I saw you on the street and didn’t know you I would never guess that you had had weight loss surgery.” She meant it as a compliment and I remember feeling both proud and ashamed at that moment. It is always nice to be acknowledged as having accomplished something but I wasn’t sure how to feel about that statement. It made me feel as if I was denying part of myself. As if now that I fit into the more normal side of society—size twelve to sixteen—I could pass as one of the regular folks and as long as I didn’t talk about it no one would ever know that I had —shock! Gasp! Horror!—been fat.
 

k9ophile

Well-Known Member
As if now that I fit into the more normal side of society—size twelve to sixteen—I could pass as one of the regular folks and as long as I didn’t talk about it no one would ever know that I had —shock! Gasp! Horror!—been fat.

Maybe we're supposed to wear something like a scarlet letter. I can be quite sarcastic, yet it does seem like telling someone I had WLS is also like confessing a crime because it says I was fat and chose "the easy way out". I swear, my brain has done more damage to me than my weight ever did.
 
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