Dear Doctor, Surgeon, Nutritionist, Concerned Family and Friends,
We write to you today to help alleviate your burden and need to tell us that our overweight bodies are not good for us. We want to let you know that you can relax now and know that it likely has more of an impact on us, than you. Rest assure that we have the knowledge and the wherewithal to obtain knowledge to help ourselves with this issue. We truly do understand that it may be hard for you to understand why the issue has not yet been resolved. We do understand that it may confuse you that we would backslide at times when we were doing so well and seemed so much happier and healthier. We understand that our overweight bodies can not only create additional illness but make our current ones more difficult to manage. We apologize if we have made your job more difficult and at times impossible. We would like to work with you as a team but here is what we feel prevents us from doing so. We hope this information can help you to better understand and help us to come see you without reservation.
Please don’t judge us when we step on the scale: Please do not assume that we must have no nutritional knowledge, self-control or that we suffer from depression. Truth: We often know what we need to do. Actually we tend to do what we are supposed to do quite often however it seems that the longer we deal with this issue the harder it becomes. It does feel like we gain weight much quicker for a lot less indulgence.
Please know that we are not sitting on the couch all day eating Bon Bons. We have a busy and productive lives just like you.
Please don’t think we have no willpower, We have likely spent more than 75% of our lives in a state of deprivation trying to manage our weight. We likely have more willpower than most because of this issue.
Please don’t think that we are lazy, if anything we overdo because we don’t want to be told that we did not do enough.
Please don’t see us as non-compliant- The truth is, we are actually rule followers and at times perfectionist in how we think. We don’t need you to be critical, we do enough of that for all of us. If you needed to be restricted for your whole life away from what gives you pleasure would you do so perfectly. What if every time you went to eat a piece of birthday cake or went out to dinner with friends and you needed to think about what to order, how much to have, what you would feel like, how it would impact you, what you will need to do to offset the damage EVERY time- would you comply?
We are not weak because we indulge at times We are human. We are not stuffing our faces 24/7 with no control. That yeah right look you give us makes us feel really unsupported, that you don’t believe us and it is not even worth it to be honest.
Please stop sending us to therapy as if there is such a disconnect that we must have some major underlying impairment. We may chose therapy as another tool to help us, but we are not crazy and in need of being fixed.
Please surgeon why do we have to prove that we can do this? What does us sticking to a plan with a carrot dangling at the end prove? Is this so you can feel comfortable taking out our stomaches. Why do you need comfort, why is this about you? Don’t you know that we are good at being compliant and disciplined? We have done it eight million times before. We can meet any demand you set for us. Just understand that that is not a predictor of what we will do post op. At times it could even be counterproductive because we may want to rebel.
Surgery is not a reward for compliance it is a tool to help get it. Most people will continue to evolve in their journey- not before. When we succeed at something that we never believed possible we then go to the next level. We need that platform and confidence to create the next goal. We have a lifetime of failure in this arena. None of us believe that we can be successful because we feel like we have failed. We learn to be successful as we find success.
Lastly, please, if we do ask you for help, please do not suggest to us a diet that is unrealistic. If you cannot do it yourself for over a week, please do not think that we should either. Being too restrictive and then being overly indulgent is the number one issue in our self-perceived failure prophecy. It is the cause of our critical brain. We set ourselves up with an unrealistic plans, we fail to stick to them and instead of acknowledging that it is unrealistic to live on shakes or sub 1000 calorie diets we feel like we are week and lazy failures with too much desire for food.
I write this for the us that I have come to know and respect. The strong, the kind, the worth it people that want so badly to be healthy and of a normal weight. Years of ups and downs has such an effect on someone’s willingness to try again. Readiness comes when the change is not scarier than the present reality not when someone tells you you should. Being overweight is our area of resistance and struggle. We all have an area that is more difficult than other areas. Please treat us with the same kind of kindness and understanding that you would treat someone with a resistant disease. Small steps, loads of kindness, patience and hope will win over judgement any day.
Your overweight team: A caregiver, a perfectionist, a hard worker, a rule follower, a CEO, a mom, a dad, a sister, a brother, a friend, an athlete, and a loved one
Wow, this speaks such a powerful message that I have read it several times.
A new way to see myself, providing me with the strength to say that I AM NOT A FAILURE , just someone traveling the journey as a “strong, kind, and with it” individual who has found that challenges can be addressed!
I have had some success and have reached that well known eluded platform. I’ve stepped up on that platform, and even if I take a rest on it, ivnow know that’s ok, and I am hopeful as I start my journey into that next platform level.
Thank you Rachel for helping me climb my mountain, and for showing me that it really isn’t a mountain, yet a series of hills in my journey!
Betty, Thank you for your feedback. It sounds like you really get it. We are not linear individuals with static capacity, we are individuals that are continuously up and down in the valleys of growth. Thank you for your feedback- it is nice to know that it resonates.
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