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hello i am fat

the story so far.

Hi! It’s been awhile. It’s been a busy couple of months. I was finishing up grad school, and working on a thesis, and neglecting my entire house entirely and then I went around the world in a little tugboat and cured cancer. I wrote a first draft, cut off all my hair, bought a car, cleaned my house, cured more cancer, and am probably going to be scheduled for bariatric surgery sometime in October.

Crazy, crazy couple of months.

In between thinking about grad school stuff and trying to write down things that make me sound smart and maintain a relationship and cure a lot of cancer, all I have been doing is thinking about my health, and my body, and the future of my health and the future of my body if things keep going the way they have been, which is a sad future full of doom and plork.

There is a way to articulate this, this conclusion I have come to, how I made my decision and why, but it is difficult to do, in short sentences and pithy paragraphs. And it is very true that if you think surgery is a ridiculous, stupid, short cut kind of asshole move, then there is not a whole lot I can say to change your mind. Amusingly, that is where I was, the day I started thinking about it, and it’s taken five months of researching, and reading, and thinking, and talking to doctors – my own, and the surgeons who do this kind of thing, to figure out if I really wanted to do this to myself.

It has been difficult and frustrating, and kind of crazy and enlightening and amazing and heartbreaking – talking to people who have gone through surgery, and reading about it, and talking to the doctors who have watched their patients for five or more years and how their lives have changed. Thinking about my own life, and my history of weight loss which is more of a history of weight gain, and writing pages and pages and pages arguing with myself just like a crazy person.

In the end, it turns out that that as much as I want to, I can’t do this alone. I am so tired of working hard and having everything go to shit over and over again. I am tired of feeling bad about myself for failing, and I am tired of failing. And I am so extremely tired of letting that failure feel like it consumes my whole life.

Surgery is not a magic cure – I am going to have the same issues going into the operating room as I do now. They do not, as the patients on one surgery group I read are fond of saying, operate on your head. It’s a weight loss tool, is how they think about it, and I’m still going to have to do all that work – the exercise, the dieting, the watching what I eat for the rest of my life, but the difference is that it will work. It will stick. Stick! Like I threw paint against the wall, instead of magic markers and haddocks.

This is what it boils down to: I would not do it if I didn’t really believe in the work that I’m going to have to do and the non-magicalness of the whole thing - I am pretty good at recognizing when I am bullshitting myself, and I don’t think I’m bullshitting. I am ready to do this, and accept the risks that I know are inherent. For me - it is worth it, I think, to take that risk.

And I think what I’m doing here is justifying myself, which I did not plan to do. This is what I am doing, and those are the reasons I am doing it, and I’m doing it now, while I am still
relatively healthy and young, and still devastatingly attractive.

So I went in several months ago for an initial consultation, while I was still deciding – I figured there would be insurance issues, and I would rather have everything underway while I was deciding and be able to turn down my approval, ultimately, if that is what I chose to do, rather than making up my mind and then having to wait a year. I got denied, and then took awhile to decide whether to appeal, or abandon the whole thing. I went to a patient support meeting, and talked to the people who were post-op, all of whom were ricocheting off the walls, delighted with life and full of energy and glowing and thrilled, and I went home and wrote an appeal letter. And then this afternoon, I got my letter of medical necessity, and I sat down, and made the decision to do this.

There are still hoops – I have to get the doctor I’ve chosen to be accepted as my physician, and I have a battery of tests to go through, and I have to quit smoking (I don’t want to quit smoking). There is my supervisor to sit down with and discuss when is best to be away from work, and for how long she can spare me, and I have been exercising but I want to start weight lifting now to strengthen my body and minimize the muscle loss, I hope, and I want to start cutting back the wine with dinner, because oh, I will miss that, and it is better to tear the band aid off slowly, slowly than all at once, motherfuckingow, and I want to prepare myself mentally like some kind of fancy kung fu master, kapowie kazing, and I want to remember the person I am now, who I like, and make promises to not forget that I became the person I am because I have spent my whole life being overweight and that is something to not ever lose sight of.

I also have to work on not being completely fucking terrified of major surgery, and curing some more cancer.