Friday, January 22, 2010

50th Post - Killer at Large

When I first started this blog, I didn't know I would ever have 50 posts. I obviously should have many more, but I am still pretty proud of the fact that I even got to 50. I wasn't sure what I was going to post for my 50th post, but decided that I would share something with you that I am proud of.

May 23, 2007 - thinking back to this time in my life... I had been working for eBay for almost 6 months and I was in the thickest part of being a busy Account Manager. I remember coming home from work on the day I was to be filmed for the documentary Killer at Large. (You can also find it on iTunes)

When the director and his cameraman arrived, they rushed around moving things this way and that way... my couch forward, my table back, my new palm tree into the corner... they closed the blinds and put up big tripods and light fixtures. They had me sit down on my couch, and put a mic on me... I felt so important!

The interview lasted about an hour, the director asked me all sorts of questions, from things like my life in high school, to my dating life as an overweight person, to having gastric bypass surgery and losing 200 lbs. It was very interesting to talk about some of the things I hadn't thought about in a long time. I was able to express things that I wouldn't have even thought of talking about.

I really felt like what I said would give a voice to overweight people who don't often feel comfortable sharing. I said things that I would not have talked about when I was fat. Because those things usually go unsaid.

I talked about inadvertent discrimination, in all aspects. Such as not getting opportunities, not feeling as smart, not wanting to try, accepting the fate of being fat, and not being seen as a sexual or physically attractive person.

Feeling out of place. Feeling awkward. Thinking about things that thin people don't. Overthinking things that thin people don't think about at all. Things like "I hope my back fat isn't hanging over the side of this chair." and "I am uncomfortable right now because I know my shirt is stuffed in between my stomach rolls, and I'm afraid someone will notice if I pull it out. But if I don't pull it out, then they will see my fat. I will think of a distraction and make a funny joke, and when they're laughing, I'll pull my shirt out."

Thin people might laugh at that or think that the overweight person is crazy. But I guarantee you, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And it's sad because overweight people don't want to think that way, but irrational thoughts like that are so common, it's scary.

And you all wonder why I overthink EVERYTHING.

I also spoke of addiction, and how food is like a drug to me. I compared eating 4 Big Macs in the middle of a busy mall food court to shooting up heroin in the same place. People may look at you funny if they noticed 4 Big Macs on a tray - but they wouldn't stop you or call the police. You seem much more likely to die from heroin - but the numbers are actually in favor of obesity if you compare drug overdose to obesity as cause of death.

It's easy to maintain a food addiction in this country. It's generally socially acceptable to eat in public... even if you are considered "morbidly obese" because food is a necessity - something like air or water. And sadly, food is as accessible (and almost as cheap) in America as air or water is.

Now - I would like to share the section of my interview that made it into the film. I didn't actually see all of those things I said make it into the final cut. I remember being sad that my comments about addiction and abuse of food didn't make it in. The stuff that made it in was really "my story" and how I overcame my problem of obesity.

I still struggle with my addiction to food every day. I don't let it control me as much, and I don't focus on the negative that came with the guilt associated with food. I am sharing this today mostly to remind myself that I have come a long way, and that my road is special. I sometimes struggle to remember that I was built to overcome adversity and tough stuff. I feel weak - but really I am strong. Now, if I could only just fix my brain...


Aimee said...

Wow, what an amazing and brave post. Sometimes it amazes me that you understand what goes through my head so well. Just because I didn't know you when you were my size. It is always nice to know that some one else knows your struggles. Makes you feel less alone in the world.

Thanks for sharing this!

Mystern said...

I have to agree with Aimee here, That's an amazing emotional and brave post.

I have a million thoughts running through my head now, but all I can really think of to say is "Thank you"

Thank you for sharing yourself.

(as a side note, I never knew I had a movie star as a friend!)

Ara said...

You are such an amazing inspiration!!! I identify with so much of this post! Thank you for posting it. :)

Tyson said...

Just last night, I was thinking about all the things I hide. It is incredibly exhausting to pretend everyday that everything is fine, and that I am no different than others. I am certain that I am not taken seriously in many cases because of my size. There are plenty of food addicts in the world, but I really don't think that the general public thinks this addiction is real.

It gives me some hope when I hear from someone who has had similar struggles, and has successfully transformed their life. Thank you for bravely sharing your story.