I’ve got to change my of living, ‘cause troubles all that I can see. I gotta change my way of living, Lord trouble’s all that I can see. My life is in such a mess, there ain’t no one to blame but me. -Change my Way of Living, The Allman Brothers
La Reaction-Weight Loss
Predictably, my weight loss has been a topic of conversation. I knew that it would be. But it has been a surreal experience. It would seem as though my family doesn’t know what to DO with me. I have been fat my entire life. While they seem happy for me, I no longer fit into the box they had for me. (Shrugs). I’ve gotten a lot of the usual—Don’t get too skinny. Are you sure you don’t want more food? No, eat something else. My internal answers are often as follows: Fuck you. No, thanks I’ve had enough. Fuck you again. The staff at my grandmothers seem to be praying for my recovery. No, I’m not sick, but they are praying none the less. I mean prayers are always welcomed, so thanks? (Again, April shrugs)
As only a fat person can tell you, when you are overweight, especially if the rest of your family is not, there is a barrage of “helpful” suggestions. Pleas for weight loss. “Tough” love, etc. Now that I finally have done what it seems the world was after me to do, there is this feeling that I am doing harm to myself. My reaction: Oh please. Take many seats and leave me alone. And if you are wondering, YEP I am planning on loosing more weight. Uh uh. How many pounds you ask? 30. Uh huh. No, it’s not too much, fuck you very much. If it sounds as though I am angry, it is because I am. I did this for me and I’m happy I did it. I am resentful that I am being questioned about my weight loss.
My sister friend E (who is also Haitian and is familiar with the madness that comes along with being Haitian) said to me before my trip, that I should just prepare myself for the barrage and accept it. She suggested that I that I should say that I was done with the weight loss. She is a much better person than I. I can’t help it. I am, or can be, argumentative. Here is the thing. I don’t think I should have to sensor myself. While I won’t go up to people and announce to them that I plan I loosing 30 more pounds, I don’t think I should have to keep a truth that I am not ashamed of to myself. Jury is still out on that one.
When I was planning my surgery I told a handful of people. And I was very choosy about who I told and when I told them. My brother knew I was planning it about 4 months before I had it. The closer I got to the date, the more he asked me to tell our parents. Finally 2 weeks before, he straight up told me that he couldn’t (wouldn’t) keep my secret and told me to tell them. I opted to tell them exactly one week before. (I wanted to tell them the day before but my boyfriend but the smack down on that).
In telling my parents about WLS, I made it clear that I did not want them to tell people. My father was affronted by this. When my mothers back was turned I whispered to him “It’s not for you, it’s Mom.” He nodded sagely, knowingly, like a man who’s been married for over 40 years and knows his wife and said “Mommy is a whole other story”. I give my mother a list of people she was NOT allowed to tell. The list was long and specific. Basically she was allowed to tell my father (who already knew) and her son (who also already knew). My mother did not keep my confidence and told, at least, one of my aunts. When I found this out last year I was beyond angry. I was on fire. She was on vacation when I realized it. I spent the day tracking her down and gave her a tongue lashing. I forbade her to discuss it further. Talk about a waste of breath. Everybody, including my grandmothers housekeeper, knows. I give up. My mother cannot keep a confidence. I won’t share with her anything that I don’t want broadcast to the whole world. Too bad. Lesson learned.
I’m not embarrassed about having had WLS. I just didn’t want the judgement that come along with it. Because people will and do judge. Hell, I judge it from time to time. I didn’t want to have to explain it to anyone. There are things that we do that we just do them for ourselves. The more I think about it, the more I wish that I had either told everyone right away or had told no one at all. Ah well. Too late for all that. I'll just live with it.