Weighty Matters

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Not an Introvert

I’m really glad that I’m not an introvert. I’m pretty sociable, a good networker, and almost completely comfortable heading into lots of different situations by myself. While I don’t make close friends easily, I am easily friendly and can chat to complete strangers.

This comes in handy in my line of work. It also comes in handy in general. It’s a useful life skill.

It used to be more difficult when I had to overcome self-consciousness over my body size. I often imagined my large body preceding the rest of me into a room. I projected that the people already in the room, automatically judged me with the most negative opinions. I also generally compared myself to others, or rather looked around and noticed that I was usually the heaviest person in the room.

When I think about those decades, I marvel a little that I didn’t become an introvert or seek to hide instead of reaching out to connect with others. If I had, I know that it would have made my life and my job even more difficult. I will admit that I employed a lot of “fake it until you make it” attitude to help me perform in those social and business situations. Even if I dreaded, anticipated, or imagined the judgments, I pretended otherwise. I acted “as if” I was more confident than I felt.

It’s really nice that I don’t do that whole “body size judgment” projection any more. When I walk into a situation, confident and sure, I’m not acting. That’s me all of the way. I know that I really always was an extrovert and now that’s completely unfettered and free of any lingering uncomfortableness.


Endless Possibilities

I emailed the man who wrote the essay that I cited in yesterday’s blog. He wrote me back and told me about a new book he has out. He also commented that it seems a number of bariatric surgery patients develop alcoholism and he doesn’t know why.

I wrote back and clarified that I’m not an alcoholic but that the 12 Step teachings help me a great deal with my addiction to compulsive eating behavior, binge eating, etc. I also offered up from my personal experience that it doesn’t surprise me that someone would transfer their food issues and pick up a different drug of choice, i.e. alcohol or narcotics. I’m grateful every day that I choose to delve into my issues and emotions, go deep into the past, including my triggers and everything else. It’s important that I do all this work for my recovery, even when the work is painful. The only way out is through. If I don’t do the processing, I could easily find some way other than binge eating to numb the feelings.

When I was active in OA, we frequently were joined by people from a local outpatient drug/alcohol rehab program. They’d discovered that when they stopped using drugs and alcohols, they began to eat more sugar and fat-laden carbs etc. These addiction transfers are all too common.

I also shared with the man that we who have had bariatric surgery don’t tolerate alcohol very well. I used to have a good head for drinking. Now, it goes right into my bloodstream and I’m muddled from less than a single glass of wine, so I’m careful about when/if/how much I might imbibe.

Anyway, I hope the info is helpful. I know that I connected with the message of the man’s essay in a big way. I woke up early this morning – 6:00 a.m. — to a day where the wind finally laid down. By 6:15, I was on my bike, pedaling toward the beach. It was a beautiful morning. I could see the sun breaking on the horizon meanwhile, over my shoulder, the almost-full moon still glowed bright. Amazing.

A little earlier tonight, I called a dear friend of mine who had weight loss surgery about a year ago. She had both her knees replaced in June. Like me, her life, health and ability have dramatically improved. We talked for quite some time about a lot of things, but one thing kept resonating. We talked about the possibilities we have in our lives today. Honestly, we both know how, before we had the surgery, it was so hard to envision that our lives could change so much — and so much for the better.

When I was at my lowest point, I could scarcely wrap my brain around the possibilities. I couldn’t bring myself to really believe that it could happen, let alone that it would. It was honestly hard to hope. Now, activities and adventures that super obesity had rendered near-impossible are not only possible, I actually do them! I used to spend a lot of time stressing and worrying about so many things. Some I automatically discounted, so sure was I that my weight or diminished physical strength stood in my way. Others I feared even trying.

I live, work and play in an entirely different world now. Nothing is impossible. It’s no longer a matter of whether I can, I know I can. Living life unlimited is amazing.