Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sarah complains about fatness. Again.

My surgery is exactly four weeks from today. Four weeks. That seems so very far away and yet no time at all. Will it really happen? Will my life really change? I'm having a difficult time pretending to be happy when I know that it can all change and then I don't have to pretend anymore. I mean, I am happy about lots of things, of course, but I don't think I could ever accurately articulate just how awful being fat is. And even if I could somehow find the words, you could never know. Because, maybe, for a moment you would feel what I feel, but then you get to walk away. I cant walk away.

This is the beginning of my fourth week at the gym and I've actually gained weight. I've been making better eating choices and exercises and I gain wait. Its so discouraging. This is why I've failed so many times before.

Every Tuesday and Thursday I have a class on the second floor. Every Tuesday and Thursday I stop to "read" the bulletin board on the second floor long enough to slow my breathing back down again so that everyone in my class doesn't hear me panting from going up one set of stairs. And somehow, this is so much more awful than spending half and hour on the elliptical because at least then I'm supposed to be winded. And I've read about how fat deposits inside the ribcage so that the lungs don't expand as much as they should, even though the larger body needs more oxygen than before. I know that being overweight throws off the center of balance, causing my walk to be more inefficient and energy-expensive than a normal walk. I know that my muscles have to carry around an excess of more than 100 pounds. None of these things matter when I'm panting on the landing, looking up at the next half of the stairs. Being fat doesn't mean I'm lazy, but it sure does look that way.

I always feel like I have to work harder at work so that people will see that I'm not lazy. Do people make that assumption? And then I always wonder if I smell bad because other fat people smell bad and I'm not sure if its something inherent about being fat that makes a person smell or if maybe people don't wash well. But what if I smell bad like those other fat people?

I'm not sure if anyone else in the room notices that I cant cross my legs and that crossing my arms requires a most unnatural effort.

I swear, I'm going to tell you every wonderful thing that happens after the surgery. I will tell you when my jeans fit again and when the armrests at the movies no longer plague me. I will tell you when I can buy rings again and exactly how it feels to breathe.

What things will change? What things will never change? For example, I am a wiggly person. I can't sit still for very long; I am uncomfortable! When I lose weight, will I be comfortable, or will I be fidgety at any size? And I don't know what my body shape is. You know, they say there is a triangle, hourglass, inverted triangle, and rectangle but I'm just fat. I don't know where my hips and waist are underneath my skin. I don't know what my face shape is. Will the double chin melt away to reveal a long face? Will it be square or oval?

And will there ever be a day that a man will look at me and I don't cringe, waiting for the look of disgust that must surely be below the surface? Will I ever, ever know what its like to feel pretty? I've heard the words before, but only when someone is trying to comfort me, and that's not comforting.

People tell me to be positive. Its almost over! Still, I have so much grief, so much pain that I never talked about. I never acknowledged. And even though this surgery is coming up soon, I'm still here, everyday. Still here. And I don't think I'll ever be anything other than the girl who used to be fat. It will be there, always. I am who I am, partly because of being a fat woman. I'll have to figure out how to be a not-fat Sarah later, but what do I do with girl who learned to be woman who lived in this body right now?

I really look forward to having problems like that.

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