Saturday, January 31, 2009

500 Thread Count=500 Pounds

Disclaimer: In the following post I am in no way demeaning, degrading or making fun of overweight people. I am overweight. I am taking medicine to try to curb my food addiction. I have tried and failed every diet possible and I struggle with weight control. So, just to be clear, this post is not meant to be cruel. It is just a stream of consciousness rambling looking at what makes me tick kind of thing.

So I think it is fair to say I have had a bad week this week. To recap and to add to what you didn't know: I told my boss off, one church member got arrested for breaking and entering, another got arrested for 1st degree murder, a friend's father died and another good friend threw a drink at her husband in a continuing downward spiral of their marriage in which I am trying so hard to NOT tell her what I really think and instead to just listen and be supportive right now. Our church had a meeting talking about changing its status (meaning it wouldn't keep Hubby and we will more than likely be moving) and I've been dealing with a bad cold. I know, wah for me. But there it is, a pretty crappy week. Every day this week I have told myself if I could just make it to Saturday, I would let myself wallow in bed a while and succumb to my lovely 500 thread count sheets. And yes, I know, an inability to get out of bed is a sign of depression, but this week kind of tips the scales, don't ya think?

So as I was wallowing in bed, I was thinking about a TV series I had watched while I was on the Wild Island and had access to cable (did you know I don't have cable?). The series focused on 1/2 ton people. One was called "1/2 Ton Mom" another was "1/2 Ton Dad", etc. I watched about 4 of these shows just flabbergasted with these people. I mean, come on. How in the world did these people let themselves get so fat that they ended up unable to lift themselves up off of a bed? Who has that little respect for themselves that they allowed themselves to become 1/2 ton of flesh? Hmm????

But all of these people had several things in common besides being bedridden. 1.) They all thought they ate less than they did. 2.) They all had someone in the household who enabled their behavior and 3.) they all suffered from some sort of depression or personality disorder. But more importantly, it all had to start somewhere. They weren't born at 800 pounds. They had to have a flashpoint in their life that turned into a downward spiral, a point where they just gave up and gave in. Realizing that today kind of scared me.

Because you see, all week, all I've wanted was to climb under the covers and hide. That's all I wanted. But I have a daughter...and a job...and a husband. I had to keep going. But I found myself needing to soothe myself. So instead of packing myself a lunch one day, I snuck out after work and got a Little Thickburger. Nothing else, no fries or sugar packed drink. But still, 600 or so calories laden with fat. I slipped because I needed comfort. But I told myself it wasn't that bad because it was still "just lunch." I rationalized it away. But then the next day my daughter asked me to stop and get her an ice cream. I haven't had ice cream in months. But I thought, "what the heck, how can one scoop hurt me?" So I succumbed. Different day, just a scoop, but still...Before my medication that burger would not have replaced a meal, it would have been on top of the meal and that scoop wouldn't have been a scoop, it would have been a sundae. I would have told myself I wasn't eating as much as I had. This time I knew exactly what I was eating and I felt guilty both times. But I admitted it. I am admitting it.

Then today, as I was wallowing, I realized I had the second part on the road to bedridden obesity. Hubby has always been a step away from being an enabler. He waits on me hand and foot. He is not all that great at communicating or listening to me. Those things he has to work really hard at, but he makes up for those shortfalls by being demonstrative and loving. If I have a headache, he gets me an ibuprofen. If I need a tissue, he gets up off the same couch I am on and gets one. If I want something to eat but it's not in the house, no matter how tired he is, he offers to go out and get me something. How many eggplant parmesan subs did he buy when I was pregnant? One every 3 days for 38 weeks? All week I've been telling him how much I just wanted to hide in bed all day today and he said that was okay with him. He said he would take E to the movies and just let me wallow. He was going to help me succumb. What if it was more than just a day? How many days would he support this need to hide?

Which leads me to number 3. I fully and wholeheartedly admit I suffer from depression. I cycle in and out of it. I've talked to "people" about it but never taken medication for it since it never lasts longer then two weeks. But it runs in my family. So while I was hidden under my covers this morning, snuggled in with my daughter, pretending I didn't exist, I got to wondering-is this the flashpoint? Is this the start of the downward spiral? Is this how the 1/2 ton people gain the first 20 pounds past morbidly obese? Because I see that happening to me. I can see me taking one week to just hide under my covers, say I don't feel well, let Hubby care for E while I sit in my bed and eat. My system doesn't metabolize food quickly. Even if I ate just 500 extra calories a day more(one little Thickburger), I would probably gain 5 to 10 pounds in that one week, which would depress me more, which would cause me to sneak food more, which would cause me to cycle again, which see what I am saying?

I get it. I get how these people get this way. Only now they're not just "these people." What if, ten years from now, I'm one of "these people?" Hubby told me he would leave me before he ever let me do that to myself. I hope he means it. But I hope I never have to find out.

Man, I have got to get off my damn chair!


Jeannie said...

I'm fairly overweight myself and 30 years ago, I'd have thought it impossible. Then, I ate whatever I wanted and I was lean. But I was active and I didn't have a "thing" about food. So whatever I wanted wasn't very much. Strange how that changes.

I think the enablers are probably a key component in the grossly obese. I wonder if the obese people had been ill or laid up somehow for a considerable amount of time that their families got conditioned into bringing them food. And face it - the obese one would have to be some super whiny or ill-tempered manipulator to get folks to bring them that much food. I would also not allow such a person a phone. The enablers are sick too. I think there are relatively few situations that have the right components for that extent of obesity. And just because your husband is caring and lets you have a day in bed, doesn't mean he'd let you have a year and bring you 8 meals a day, and change your diaper.

FreeDragon said...

I think it's great that you are questioning things. That's how you realize what's going on. My cousin was always a heavy girl and a week after she got married she broke her foot. Her new husband glady waited on her. He did every little thing she asked. She never really recovered. Oh, her foot healed just fine, but in those weeks that she laid around she became accepting of special treatment and her husband began to see it as his duty. So even when the bones healed she still laid around and he still did everything. She became very obesse and eventually couldn't get up even if she wanted to and her husband still waited on her. I think if either one of them had questioned why they lived that way then they both would have been a lot healthier and happier. I don't think it's the big things that get us down, it's the acceptance of small things.

Anonymous said...

I'm not even reading this because y'all have a long ways to go with fat and body acceptance. I am going to recommend that you check out the blog Shapely Prose. It's as funny as this and it will live you food for thought (pun only mildly intended). I'll be back after the next post. I hope you feel better.

/ dw

Anonymous said...

I know this sounds harsh, but JUST GET UP!!!! I definitely believe in physical symptoms from mental issues and vice versa. It's a viscious circle and the only way to end it is to break the circle. Make your mind more powerful and push past those things that you can't fix. And fix the things that you can.
There's lots of days I would love to wallow in bed and feel sorry for myself, but I don't. I GET UP! I have 3 kids, a career, & a loving husband that mean more to me than the crazy things going on in my head at the time.
I could say a lot more on this, but I won't.
JUST GET UP!! Press on and take charge of your day. Do something fun and good to overshadow the bad things that happened to you this week. Try to do that everyday.
It's much harder than wallowing, but much more fullfilling!!!

You know I say this with LOVE - J

Anonymous said...

My home computer isn't working so I missed this post, but there are a few key points you are missing in the equation to 1/2 ton.

While I agree that there are environmental and psychological factors that play a part in extreme weight gain, there are also significant metabolic and genetic factors as well. There are simply some people in teh world who could spend their lives bedridden and NEVER gain 1/2 ton. There are others who look at food and gain weight.

I am sure that iti would be possible for you to gain 1/2 ton, but I doubt it. 1/2 ton people are relatively rare and there is a reason for that.

Lazy Andie, who is likely shutting done her blog anyway...

Bubblewench said...

Wow.. catching up.. Suprised at the comments.

I have been there. I KNOW the feelings you are talking about.

I think this is a pretty fantastic post about one woman facing the issues of her body. It's not easy.

And I don't get how people can sit there adn tell you how easy it is to just 'get up'. It isn't. I know.

Anonymous said...

The whole weight/depression thing is a tough one and I think everyone has to figure out their own answers.

However I just wanted to point out that there is a *link* between calories and weight and that this link can be exploited in order to gain/lose weight. Assuming equal energy expenditure, 500 hundred extra calories a day is 3500 calories a week. 9000 calories is a kg of fat. so at most you would put on 1 pound a week.

The same goes for losing weight. If your reduce your daily intake by 500 calories (and that is nearly an upper limit - otherwise the metabolism will go down), you can only expect to lose 1 pound a week. Not a lot, I'm afraid.

Of course, if you're not that kind of person (a sort of "reassured by maths" kind of person) this is of absolutely no use to you