Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh man! I can't believe it's Thursday the 28th - The long answer to a short question

Hello fellow humans,

Today I received a business email from a very nice blogger and she had a good and serious question. And, I had just finished and sent off all of my articles that were due tomorrow so I had a minute and I felt like talking. I'm sorry for the long answer; scratch that xxxxx, long essay. I think I may be a bit manic today because I was pretty depressed yesterday. Ouch. I sound so bipolar. Anyway folks, I wrote such a long email reply that I decided to post it. I will get to the blow by blow of yesterday's surgeon consultation, but not today. I have probably written about 8,000 words or more today and I think I may be getting "typer's finger."

Here's the email:

Hello again Anne,

Great question! I am bipolar and an insomniac. I take enough prescription drugs to kill a horse. So... 

Yes! My meds are a HUGE weight gain contributor. While they do cause weight gain, but they do something far worse. They make it just that much harder to lose weight and then the psychological effects wear you down. I lost a ton of weight when I went vegan. Part of it was the animal protein, but most of it was watching and counting everything that passed my lips and then an absolutely extreme exercise schedule of five plus hours in the gym each week and then I rode from 70 to 100 miles per week on my road bike. 

After six months I started gaining weight back anyway. I even toughened up the regime and still, I gained weight. It was so frustrating I didn't know what to do so I went to a vegetarian diet plus fish because I was losing hair on the vegan diet despite all of the added supplements and soy drinks. Then my weight just went up by 10 pounds each month and I lost faith entirely. I still go to the gym, but not nearly as much. I would say that 50% of my weight gain since discontinuing the vegan diet was just slacking off. 

I did all of that after I had tried every diet under the sun. There was a time that I took diet pills and seriously put my health at risk. I wrote an article about diet pills back in 2009 . 

I have been on at least ten to fifteen diets in my adult life. I am a very determined person and I always willed my way to losing weight, but then six months or more would pass and I would gain back the weight plus 10%. Your body only know one way to fight change due to weight loss or even stress and that is to gain extra weight as a protective barrier. Its that primal psychological effect that makes it so hard for everyone and even harder for obese people. 

Being obese is mostly psychological. That is why I am going through therapy and hypnosis to attack the emotional scars that I wear. For some, its childhood abuse; for me its the suicide of my father, my grandmother, my uncle, two of my grandmother's siblings. It goes further back than that, but you get my point. I also had this weird thing about needing the weight to protect myself from bullies and cancer. I thought I needed the weight to pull me through cancer. Pretty silly until I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2007. 

The bariatric surgery is a tool to get me down to my ideal weight and the psychological work is to help me keep it off. So many people fail to take care of the fat in their minds and, regardless of surgery, they fall back on the old routines and start gaining weight. Their are dangers in any kind of surgery, but I have decided that I simply have to do it. I have exhausted all of my options. I can't handle losing 100 pounds just to gain it back in two years. I'm strong in every way and incredibly motivated, but I'm tired of my war against obesity so here's fingers crossed. And yes, I do intend on dramatically increasing my exercise and by way of the surgery, eating healthy is not just good, its mandatory.

Your method of weight loss is absolutely the healthiest and particularly good for people that have to lose 50 pounds or less, but for super obese people like me, it just doesn't solve the problem fast enough. I'm pretty sure that I am committing suicide through fudge. My body HAS to shed this weight if I plan on seeing my grandchildren grow up. And I am a big lover of life and I enjoy my resurrection as a writer. I don't want to die.

Well, now that I have used up 30 minutes answering a simple question with an essay, I guess I'll just have to use it as a blog post :-)

I feel for your relative and I don't have an easy answer. I am bipolar. Most of my family has committed suicide. I will always need medication. Period. But, I can't grow into Jabba the Hut because that's not living either. What a nasty circle. And that is why I write that particular blog. I am also near completing a book about a suicidal bipolar teen. I figure... write what you know. I'm also starting to outline a fiction novel about a fat man. Again, it's what I know.

Maybe the worst part of being fat and I'm sure your relative is already feeling the effects of fat discrimination. Kids will giggle when you pass. Some people (not you) can offend you by making comments like "just put the fork down and pull away from the table." It like when I wear a business suit. All of a sudden I become "Sir." When people see me they immediately size me up as someone who is weak and maybe stupid. Of course, anyone that talks to me for a few minutes realizes that I am first manic and second intelligent. When compared to a monkey maybe, but smart nonetheless. 


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