Can I be reincarnated as my dog?

When I was obese I wanted to lose weight because of how I perceived I was being treated.  The pain was immense and I didn’t want to lose weight so much to be happy but to stop the painful existence I lived for thirty years.  Just like losing weight doesn’t make you magicially happy it also doesn’t change the perception that some people have of you.   There will always be someone standing in line to complain about you over something.  Always….

The girl in this picture was smiling for the camera but I was thinking I don’t want to be there, I don’t want to be in the picture.  I am on crutches because I have two ruptured discs and my weight was killing me.  I just wanted the outside to match the inside.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Then everything will be alright.

Three years ago I attended an Obesity Help event and a woman came up to me and said she needed to apologize.  Because I had just met her I couldn’t imagine why but she told me that she “assumed” things about me because of my picture.  She continued to say that she could not have been more wrong.  When I told her how much it hurts to be misunderstood she said “Well I’d rather be misunderstood as a thin person than a fat person”.   For the next thirty minutes I tried to explain that pain is pain whether you are obese or thin. 

My whole life was spent trying to win the approval of my father and people around me.  I was running a race I couldn’t finish.  It was debilitating and impossible.  Nothing can be done about people that wish harm to me.  I can’t change them so I wish them no harm and I mostly want to get out of their way. 

My heart gets me in trouble.  I want everyone to get along.  Just call me Rodney.  I want to agree to disagree and leave it at that.  So much energy….wasted energy…. on too much negativity.  If I choose to concentrate on the tragic parts of my life they will get too big and I will crumble…. so every day I push those parts down and start over.  If today I am hit by a bus I don’t want to go out knowing I spent a moment without living for the beautiful parts of life.  My family, my friends, my furry children that loved me fat or thin… I am never on guard with them watching every action and word I speak because they love me just like I am.   I have a great deal of work to do on myself because I am still plagued with the stinkin’ thinkin’ monster that tells me every day that I am unworthy and unloved. Loving Sundance 

When Sundance sits in my lap and looks up at me with those eyes…so innocent…he doesn’t have to worry about anything except eating, walking, pooping, peeing  and being loved.   He makes me feel worthy and loved.

Now…how can I be reincarnated as my own dog?

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I have always been misjudged. For as long as I can remember, people accused me of being stuck-up, and I never understood why. I mean, I was sweet and funny, I could draw the best cartoons for people, and I wasn’t a mean girl. 
But time after time, people would get to know me, and then divulge their big secret — that they had been completely wrong about me and couldn’t figure out why they’d thought I was such a different person than I turned out to be! Of course, I HATED being judged like that. I hated being accused of such ugly behavior. I wanted EVERYBODY to like me and this sort of news just ruined my plans. Little did I know that I was codependent and NEEDED them to like me, but I digress. 
I soon figured out that the impression people had of me was most likely taken from the fact that I was incredibly shy and they interpreted that to be arrogance. That, and I have always been blind (even with contacts) and completely unobservant. I miss EVERYTHING — except what people are feeling. That’s hard to miss 😉
Anyway, I spent my before life fighting to explain that I am an introvert. I am shy. I get embarrassed quite easily, and I worry that people are talking about me. Ironically, I also happen to love being the center of attention and am right at home on a stage (wrap your head around that one for a bit). In my before life, I was so painfully shy, I’d rather have DIED than go to a party — unless you were having me do stand-up at the party – then I was fine. 
Such a dichotomy. Such a confusion — mostly to myself. 
All I know is, people mischaracterized me and it hurt. I didn’t WANT to be perceived as a bitch. I didn’t WANT to be cast as the mean girl. I wanted to be LIKED. 
Fast forward to the AFTER me and the fun hasn’t stopped. 😉 I get mischaracterized all the time! The difference now is, I realize that I cannot control what others think of me; I can only control what I DO. If I know that I’m doing the best I can for my own health and wellbeing, that I’m being authentic and true, then nothing else matters. And there is great strength and peace in that knowledge. 
When I first started out in this crazy online community, I took on the moniker of Gastric Bypass Barbie. Why? Because people often told me I reminded them of a living doll — a Barbie — and I took that as a huge compliment. As a matter of fact, I still do, and often use the name at Starbucks (LOL) Trust me, they do NOT misspell Barbie! Anyway, the point is, I’ve learned that I have to be comfortable in my own skin. And, whether I’m answering to Barbie or Boobie, I have to be the best version of ME that I can be. This isn’t Junior High — this is real life, and there are no letter grades — only pass or fail 😉
I’m glad I got to know you, my friend. I will readily admit that I was intimidated by your online persona. I really looked up to you and feared that you would shoo me away like some little groupie — LOL. Isn’t that insane? I now realize that NOTHING could have been further from the truth! You are so accessible, it’s not even FUNNY. Actually…I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that…
Anyway, thank you for being YOU. WE make a good pair 😉

I know exactly where I was when your beautiful face appeared in front of me for the very first time. I said “I know you!” and we haven’t slowed down since. OK you made me laugh. Are you going to talk to me about being so accessible? My co-dependence is sticking out again isn’t it? And it makes me sad that you would even think for a minute that I would shoo you away OR that I have groupies! I’m rolling on the floor on that one. Like I said…you need to do stand up. But seriously folks…Cari, I don’t think I’ve seen someone work so hard on themselves as you have. You are an inspiration to me. You keep trying to get it right and best of all you remind me of my own words when I lose my way. Thank you for being so good to me and a big thank you for coming up to me in California because it changed my life for the better. (My husband just LOVES you too)

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kevin McCarthy, Yvonne McCarthy. Yvonne McCarthy said: New blog post about my misperception about losing weight and trying to fight stinkin' thinkin' #wls […]

I, too, have often been “misjudged”-but-for me-it was often to my ADVANTAGE. As a nurse, I could “hide behind the uniform”. To alot of people a nurse is like a nun-someone to be “held up”, because you are helping their loved one.You can ALMOST hide being 340 lbs–seriously!! BUT-it also worked to my DISadvantage, because I learned to USE that uniform TO hide, and not have to face what/who the REAL Gina was. I believe I still would have chosen the same career path, but would have gone further (Dr. Gina?), had I been at a “normal” weight, all those years ago. It wasn’t until the last wt loss “conference” that I felt a bit of “stigma” of being “judged negatively” and hearing snarky comments, from people bigger than me. I did not know these people, and they did not know me, or my STRUGGLES, or that it has taken me nearly NINE YEARS post op to reach a healthy “goal weight”. Did I kinda like sitting at the “cool girls table”? Well..yea…but I would have sat anywhere, if they hadn’t been talking smack about me, where I could hear…Guess I should have taken it as a COMPLIMENT-but I’m not used to such things!

Gina I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your friendship. You are possibly the most fair person I know. You are absolutely right…people will judge you and not know your back story. We both attended that first event in 2004 and that’s when it happened to me. Same thing, different date. That’s why I wear my name tag with my pictures on it because nothing speaks better than a photograph. Of course that doesn’t stop the majority of assuming I don’t have a back story and they might be surprised to hear some of the current story. I don’t share negative aspects that are going on in my life and I dare to say that if I were diagnosed with terminal cancer, no one would know until you showed up to be my hospice nurse. (If I were so lucky to get you). And for those that don’t know, Gina is a hospice nurse…she sits with you until you pass over. Gina I’ve told you many times…I don’t know how you do that but you tell me it is your passion. So yes, anyone that’s ever made a snarky comment about you can’t possibly know anything about you. Too bad because they are missing out on one incredible person. Oh and one more thing. The only “cool girls table” is the one you are sitting at.

I love your blog so much. Just when I am at the end of my rope, I read your writing and I am there. I am reminded of how far I have come and how nice it is to be right where I am right now. I’m not perfect, not by any means, but I am healthy and that is a huge beginning to the rest of the package.

I was at a WLS support group meeting a month ago and one of the women there kept giving me the evil eye. I felt as if she were mad at me for something and she didn’t even know me. Obviously I was at a support meeting for WLS so that should have been her clue. At some point in the meeting I had something to say to contribute to the discussion and the woman spoke up. She didn’t like me because I was a light weight. This was a new term to me. I was shocked to find discrimination with the WLS community. I spoke with the woman afterwards and she ended our talk by telling me she might feel differently about me after her WLS and weight loss, but until then someone like me doesn’t “count”.

I’m the person who loves to talk and gets along with everyone. I’ve been a social worker in domestic violence and a court appointed defense attorney, so I deal with some of the worst of the worst, but I still like my clients and want to make sure they get a fair trial, which they are entitled to have. I’m not comfortable being judged by this woman simply because I wasn’t fat enough in her eyes. I do hope to see her and follow her weightloss and will be hoping for the best for her always.

Thank you Thorney. I don’t like labels much because it divides us even more. How surprised was I when I found out that some of us are called lightweights? We have to remember that our community is made up of all kinds and just like in the thin world there are people who are judgmental. You have a big heart like I do and it makes it difficult to understand how someone can hate us when they don’t even know us….when they don’t know that we would give the shirt off our backs. I have been hurt by people I have cared deeply for, gone to battle for. The reality is it’s not about you or me. The reality is they don’t care that we care because of something that is going on within them. Some of the WLS community are very broken from abuse of all kinds and it’s far more damage than some lay person can deal with. For that reason we have to turn our attention to those that wish to spend time with us. Misery loves company and I feel the greatest of compassion for anyone or anything that suffers even a little bit. I learned a very difficult lesson that I cannot fix everyone’s misery….as much as I wish I could. After spending nine months trying to help someone that had no one else she committed suicide. Was I qualified to help? No I wasn’t… but she had NO ONE else so I did the best I could and unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Now I will continue to support and hope there will be others that can be helped. When it really comes down to it we are all doing the best we can do every day. Thank you for your kind words….you are so appreciated.

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