Sunday, May 23, 2010

Appearances are Everything

Several years ago, I underwent weight loss surgery. After the collapse of my engagement, I pretty much stopped caring about what I ate and essentially, ate whatever I wanted to eat, whenever I wanted to eat it. I edged up to nearly four hundred pounds, couldn't walk, couldn't breathe...and...adding insult to injury, when I was measured by the seamstress for the maid of honor dress for my sister's wedding, my waist measurement was only an inch shorter than my height.

It was time to do something. The insurance approval process is long and arduous, and it began just after my sister's wedding. In the first series of labs, I came back as mildly insulin-resistant, i.e., on the fast track for Type II diabetes- it proved helpful, since my sister was already diagnosed as a brittle Type I diabetic. The history of hypertension and heart disease on both sides of my family sped the process. When the last of the required information was submitted to my insurance carrier, I was approved in forty-eight hours- and then the real battle began.

One of my second cousins died on the table during the Roux-en-Y bypass surgery a few years ago, orphaning her children. Although the surgeon thought I should pursue it (because I'd lose a lot more weight and at a faster rate), I refused in favor of the LapBand. There was a pretty voluble argument, concluding with my explaining to him about my cousin's death. I'm happy with the results of the LapBand, but...I'm still fat, and I still have a complex about it. Days like today, I wonder whether I made the right choice.

It's bad enough to be rejected by the cool guys, which is to be anticipated if you're a. fat, and b. smart, but getting blown off by your fellow nerds really sucks. Yes, at the end of the day, even if you can converse with them into the wee hours about theoretical physics, Star Trek, and the finer points of Weird Al, you will still find yourself adjudged on the basis that your dress size is a double digit, beginning with a two. No corset or cool boots are going to obviate it, although you may get superficial props for the costuming.

I have never been comfortable in my skin, and I doubt that I ever will be. Bright, check; funny, check; intelligent, check; such a pretty face, check; still skewering myself over the same things after twenty-five years, big, honking check. I guess it's just easier to blame my size when I don't want to accept that the rejections in my life could stem from something else. Meanwhile, I'll just sit over here, be quiet, and wonder what all else is wrong with me...


improvislaw said...

We apparently decided to get on the same wavelength this weekend.

Farmchick said...

First - Cool guys are highly over rated.

Second - It doesn't matter what you look like, people pass judgement regardless. I find this more so in small town life.

Third - Bravo to you for taking charge of your health. THAT is so important. I am not sure any of us are truly satisfied with how we look.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mary Taylor,

Thank you for sharing your heart in this blog post. You are a smart, funny and I think beautiful person.
I have come to relatively grasp that whether people want to admit it or not we all struggle with appearances.
Growing up, it was like we had to put a smile on our face no matter what. I believe in the old saying making lemonade out of lemons. However, I doubt the lemons are smiling when they are getting squeezed to death. As the bible says, there is a time to laugh and a time to mourn.
I said this to maybe encourage you that you are not alone in getting down on yourself. I went through a time when after my dad left my mom that nothing could console me. I ate badly and I looked like I was pregnant even though I was not because my body seems to like to do the old spare tire when storing the extra food that I did not need. It is pretty embarrassing to get asked when you are due when you are not pregnant.
Well, I must go. I know you are probably going where did that come from. Your blog post touched my heart and I just wanted you to know someone cared. God Bless.

Robin Slinker Bare