Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weighty Matters

"I need to go buy some smaller clothes. All the ones I own are hanging on me."

She stopped mid stride, mid parking lot to look at me. She didn't quite snort but almost, before she said she wanted whatever I had. I bit my lip before I said something I'd regret. I felt a surge of anger that caught me off guard. If I couldn't tell my best friend about needing new clothes who could I tell? If she couldn't hear the worry beneath my words, who then?

I hate that this is often the way it seems to be between women. Weight loss being the thing that matters. I've listened to co-workers the past several years exchange weight loss tips and diets and have seen them lose and gain the same 30, 40 or 50 pounds. Last week one of them yelled in the background as I was talking to another on the phone, "I'll have whatever she's got." and I thought, "Really?"

Did she forget that the doctors have been puzzling over what is causing my steady, unexpected weight loss? Did she forget the dreaded "C"word that has been bandied about for months now? Or is it really all about the number on the scale?

I think of an elderly woman I know who, at 83, talks about losing those last 10 pounds. I look at her frail body, the kind that looks like it would break if hugged too tight, and feel angry that this is her desire in old age. I wonder what she sees when she looks in the mirror or steps on the scale?

I have lost count of the number of women who have vocalized to me the past few months that they'd gladly have whatever it is that is going on with me if it meant they lost weight without effort like I am. They look concerned about the uncertainty of it and in the same breath tell me how great I am looking. How can it be bad when you look so great?

I've never felt twinges of guilt like I have these past few months for being concerned about weight loss. I feel like I have a dirty secret and there's an unwritten code of silence. It's made me question just how we, as women, relate to one another when it comes to body size and image. It's made me hesitant to tell someone, who has lost weight, that they look great. Who are we under all that? Surely we are more than the number on the scale.

I am closer to getting a confirmed answer about my unexplained weight loss. One, that if proved true, is far less sinister than what has lurked in the shadows all year. One that might mean the weight loss will go on and on with no ill effects, just the nuisance of having to buy ever smaller clothes. If so, it will feel like I dodged a bullet. And in the process stepped in front of one I never thought I'd face.


Joy said...

I hear you. I understand. I have had similar conversations with friends that are less than supportive of my weight-gain struggles. I hope they find out why you are losing weight and that it is a benign worry-less reason, and I would wish your worry away, if I could...

Jim said...

Forty-eight years this past April and I still don;t come close to understanding women; but then I'm also not all that adept at understanding me sometimes. Never been to any kind of meeting where we all "confessed" to one another; but am familiar with wondering, at times, whether to open my mouth or not. I try to listen to the tug on the anchor-line, but admit to often missing it on both sides of the issue. In spite of all that, It's good to hear you may well have positive news on the mystery of your weight loss.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Back when I was overweight, really obesely overweight I mean, I suffered daily. I tried everything on my own to lose, I failed all my attempts. I felt ugly, unlovable, like a mutant at times honestly. It was fed by other people's quips, so sensitive I am. One small remark could send me on an emotional down slide for days. IF THEY ONLY KNEW!

If you had asked me the truth on a lie detector back then, I would have absolutely said, if it meant a deadly disease to get skinny, I would take it. Interesting, I ended up having a very drastic surgery and the weight came off, the body never wen't back to perfect or even close to perfect proportions and within a couple of years of that weight loss I did get diagnosed with a fatal and progressive disease and I'm ok today.

Sometime today, being sober, I forget that I already have a deadly disease that's in remission, I should have died, according to the latest statistics I have a 1 in 35 chance of living in remission.

The disease of self-perception, where I'm constantly seeing me and I fail in comparison, that disease is SO deadly for me. It can cause me to seek to take my own life to get out of the pain and frustration. I know cause I've tried. It's a miracle ... this life I have today.

I consider that frequently when "others" irritate and hurt my feelings. I'm feeling my fatal and progressive disease.

Today because I realize that this fatal and progressive disease is remiss compared to the beautiful life I can share with others when I'm willing to see the bigger God inspired and created tapestry and move into sharing life gratefully with them...those others who I assume are also sick like me, sick because they're just human, not superhuman and have failings and frustrations...

I wonder how many miracles God can work as we find ourselves in remission of the diseases we worry and fear....when we just really seek to enjoy the gift of the life we have today and help others to do the same?

I don't know .... some days are full of worry and fear, and I just find myself so ... selfish. I'm sorry Hope that I never considered that oeople who were thin might truly be struggling too. I used to really believe that... even as I knew there were diseases out there that caused that and that they struggled, I used to think, I'd rather die of that than live with what I've got.

Every day that I become more aware of the gifts and the miracles, I am so grateful for the opportunity to really be a part of loving people today, all of the people put in front of me, because I've been given the opportunity not to feel and experience all that pain of self-centered terror that comes with the anger and frustration with God's flaws... my body, health, life, family.... all flawed in my perception... until I progressed in this spiritual program....


Much love to you today Hope!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! You have no idea how much you helped me today!!!

Black Pete said...

Just when we need to be supportive to one another, we become competitive, it seems. I, too, pray that your weight loss turns out to have a more benign cause, and I pray that the women friends you really need will become known to you.

Anonymous said...

As women, we are fickle and competitive. I don't want to be either. I hope your diagnosis is manageable and okay. Sending you love and light.

owen swain said...

On the "far less sinister" note - thanks be to God.