Brutally honest - prepare your eyes for a shocker

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

OK, here I go.

The entire past month, I've dreaded going to my sister's wedding. Why? I'm a selfish bastard. I did not want to face relatives that I haven't seen in years (10+) and let them see that I've turned into an obese man. To add insult to injury, my family was with me and that added additional stress to my experience. They were going to judge me, laugh at me, feel sorry for my family, all the crap that they've done during my early years. I was terrified and embarrassed about what I've come; to my son and to my wife. An extremely hurtful anticipatory trip indeed. In a nutshell, I didn't want to face reality while my family was completely excited about the wedding, the trip and staying in a city that is fun and beautiful. How was I going to handle this? I pondered pulling an anxiety attack and staying home, I even thought about lying to my family and saying that I had a horrible cold and that they should go without me. I did none of those. But all is not good on the western front.

The morning of the flight, I began to stress. Palpitations, rapid heart beat, moody Dave and bitchy Dave began his drama; kind of pathetic actually.

I parked the car and prepared for the point of no return. Where I locked the car and made my way into the security area. THAT was the point where I realized that I was going to see these people and either feel embarrassed or just face the music so to speak.

As I made my way onto the plane, I actually fit into the seat and was able to NOT use a seatbelt extender on my trip. OK, so I was a little happy. Actually a lot...

As the plane took off, my mind went 100000000 an hour thinking about how I'd face my Aunt, Uncle, cousins, their spouses, my new BIL's parents and their other son. To top it off, this a mixed marriage so my new BIL has two teenagers that would surely make fun of me and laugh their asses off at my obesity. Yes, it's true, I was a mess. This obesity has turned me into a shut in and a person that (my family has mentioned this numerous times) would rather stay at home rather than meet new people or socialize. I am embarrassed at myself; there I said it. I am ashamed of who I am and it affects my ability to properly function. As I write this, I am actually getting these feelings again; those of shame, sadness and anger....all mixed into one ugly mess in my head.

To top it off, as I entered my sister's house, her roommate in college who I had a crush on YEARS ago (25+ years) was there. She was the same fit woman, all grown up. And here I was, the big depressed mess of mass and anxiety. I was caught off guard big time. But you women are nice, you never insult us in front of our faces, you smile, hug and say how nice it is to see us after all those years, but I know the truth; your laughter and gossip will soon be on Facebook and Dave's fat will be a public laugh fest in no time.

Then the wedding; Saturday morning. As we were waiting for my Aunt, Uncle and all the other guests, I was literally panicking. THERE they were. People started entering the wedding site and coming over to hug and kiss me. What were they thinking, what will they say?, how will they broadcast this to the world. I was a mess. My entire life was shattered during the wedding. There I was, the proud brother, father and husband, sweating and wondering how people were judging me. I royally screwed up this experience for myself. I am a good actor though. I smiled, kissed, hugged, shook hands and never let on that I was an internal mess. The reception was over, my Aunt (who is a saint), came over and gave me a huge hug. She was so sincere like she's always been and whispered that it was so nice to see me and my family - know she meant it and I will never forget that hug. The last time I saw her was at MY wedding 18 years ago and almost 100 pounds lighter. I could have melted in her arms; she's always been sincere and has sent me birthday cards well into my 30's and 40's but somehow we lost touch recently. I am not on Facebook due to my anxiety and stress, so nobody knows what I look like. Spark people is the only place I am visible with a picture. Partly because I have the 'protection' of people who know the struggle and pain of being obese.

There. An unadulterated version of my weekend. I am happy to be home in the comfort of my sheltered lifestyle. I hope that the next many months change my outlook as I continue to get healthy and lose weight. Thanks for listening to this rant of anxiety and letting go. Family times are difficult and I'm not sure why. This has always been the case no matter what.

Love my friends here. emoticon

You guys don't judge and accept me for who I am. Hopefully, I can overcome this disorder one day and be proud of myself once again.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I know exactly what you went through. I go through the same kind of anxiety. Although my family does include a lot of overweight and obese people, for some reason I can't help but beat myself up for not being one of the skinny ones. At my most recent family gathering though I didn't waste my time with all that. I knew that this vacation was well earned because I haven't been on a vacation in quite a few years. I was not gonna allow my inner self to hijack my vacation and it mostly worked. I had a great time with my family. It took a lot of effort to push all those anxious feelings away but it was so worth it. I came back from my vacation and knew that I was ready to lose weight. One reason is because I want that comfort of being who I am rather that what I think people see.
    1692 days ago
  • WAYNE1997
    Honesty is excellent for letting the power of the thing go. I want to also encourage you to try an exercise I did and learned from sparkcoach. Talk to yourself from your future self. See yourself as you want to be in a year, or 5 years. The imagine that you can call yourself and talk to your current self and thank yourself for all your daily efforts. Because each day and each effort is what brought you to your future self's enjoyment of the health that your efforts today are making. Visualize yourself in your future and enjoying what you will accomplish one mini goal at a time.
    1814 days ago
  • NWFL59
    Thanks for posting. Several people have already given you positive comments and I wish to echo them. Be kind to yourself and use your thoughts to help motivate you to make any changes you desire in your life. You are in control of your daily choices so draw strength from them. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1821 days ago
    that is tough. But you are going forward and it's great! You went you suffered and realise it was not as bad as you thougth. Now think of it. How many other things you didn't go to for the same reasons you didn't want to go this time? How many events you didn't enjoy because you thought too much of what people think? Let me tell you one thing. Most people don't think about how you look. Most people care about who you are.

    I sure am happy you felt comfortable talking about all of your issues here. You are a lot stronger than you seem to believe. But I have faith in you you'll get there!

    Have a great day!
    1821 days ago
    How ever many people there are in SP, you could have been writing for all of us at family events!!
    Loved the prose and how well you articulated the journey.
    My daughter has a saying she tells me when I go out that really has ingrained itself in me.

    "The party doesn't start till YOU get there!!!"

    My feelings can be put aside and I shine -it's amazing and then I come home to my little shell and climb in at least there's a warm cosy feeling.

    Thanks for this blog and just to let you know, I can see the changes in you as they occur, changing your user name, spilling in a blog the good and bad days, being real with us 'safe' people you are on your way!!!

    Great job!!!

    emoticon emoticon

    1821 days ago
    Dealing with family is totally difficult because there's no chance for a clean slate, but that doesn't mean you can't make your own changes! I'm sure none of those folks are perfect, either. I'm proud of you for going to the wedding AS YOU ARE. That wasn't an easy thing to do, so you get tremendous respect for not chickening out.
    1821 days ago
    Dave, I understand your plight. I have lived the last 15 years as a relative shut in. I don't do many social functions and the ones I do attend are all with close friends that I have known 20 yeras or more. Other than that, I don't go out to get a drink, go on dates, go play billiards, rarely go to a movie, etc. I spent a lot of time (since my divorce in '98) just being alone, where I felt I belonged and deserved to be. These days when I do end up around people that I don't know all that well, I keep pretty quiet, keep to myself and think that everyone must be laughing at me on the inside, or just waiting for me to leave so they can really talk about me. But it turns out that just isn't the case. My good friend Mike is a real people person, a social butterfly who will strike up conversation with anyone and he and I talk about these things. He has told me several times that the people that I was feeling so insecure around had nothing bad to ssay about me! They actually have asked him about me after I'd left. Asked why I was being so quiet, if I was stuck up (quiet often comes across as being snobby!). They would say that they thought that I was a pretty cool guy and that I needed to open up more and just get more loose!

    What all that verbal diarrhea was about is that we often build up scenarios in our heads that don't actually reflect reality. Besides, do you think that one of your cousins at the wedding was overly concerned about how much you weighed when he was spending the whole time trying to hide the fact that he's an alcoholic? Or that some other guest has a failing marriage and they were just putting on a show for the family?

    Try to not be so hard on yourself! And just in case someone does have some rude words for you sometime down the road, you can use the line that I always liked, "I've been called worse, by better people".
    1821 days ago
    Hi Dave,

    I'm sorry what should have been a very happy time for you was in reality very stressful. I think most of us, overweight or not can have a distorted view of ourselves, our flaws, and how others see us

    I agree with CLPURNELL, you can't give other people's opinion of you that much control. Especially people you don't see in over a decade. None of those people are perfect either. I bet they are just as nervous about things they see as flaws in themselves too.

    You are a great guy who's worthy of being liked and respected and called family and friend. Show the world how personable you and how great it is to be your friend.

    I've also learned that you'll never move forward if you keep looking backward. Concentrate on the positives, the NSV's and your goals.

    Keep moving forward, you can do it! emoticon emoticon

    1821 days ago
    I bet it felt good to write it all out here. I know I've had those feelings, too. It sounds like your family genuinely loves you. Lucky!
    1821 days ago
  • DEB9021
    You might be surprised to learn that other people don't care as much as you think they do. They are all busy with their own worries and hang ups. Your fit friend is probably equally obsessive and worried about her figure and thinking that the wrinkles on her face that you didn't even see were ruining your young image of her.

    The only opinion that matters is your opinion of yourself. Fix that, and others will see you as you see yourself. It's true ... Beautiful people come in all sizes and it's not about weight. It's about confidence, poise and an energetic spirit!

    Keep Sparking, creating healthy habits and healthy attitudes, and you will start feeling better about yourself regardless of what the scale says. Go for it. You're worth it!
    1821 days ago

    I tell you this with much love and compassion. They key for you is going to be to stop caring what anyone thinks about you. They haven't walked a mile in your shoes so their opinion of you as a person is irrelevant.

    Second you have to change the way you think of yourself. You are it seems a great Brother, Father, Husband. So know that and trust in that. Start thinking of yourself in positive terms. You can't hide a 100 pounds so don't try. Own the weight and stop letting it own you. Once you own it it is yours to lose. Be proud of who you are. there is only one of you. You are special and you deserve to feel that way!!!

    emoticon emoticon
    1821 days ago
    I think they all were genuinely happy to see you!

    All of us who had a lot of weight to lose carry with us this kind of baggage. I have numerous memories of rejection and humiliation due to my weight. But you know what? Those are stories in the past. That was a me who no longer exists.

    "You've got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it." ~Lee Iacocca
    1821 days ago
    Dave: There is a very strong possiblilty that all of those people were genuinely thrilled to see you. Because the you who you are is not defined by your body! While it was a difficult situation for you, I am really happy that you went.

    Keep up all the good work!
    1821 days ago
    Good on you and very brave for laying it all out there.....that is tough for anyone to do.

    But it's the essential first step. Emotions are strong motivators; they get us do things and they prevent us from doing things....the toughest life lesson is to channel our emotions to where we want them to take us.

    There'll be lots of ups and downs on the road and it'll be uncomfortable....ask yourself if that disconfort is better or worse than the discomfort you just went through.

    Keep at it, stay strong, we'll get there together!
    1821 days ago
    I'm the same way. I am not very social and prefer to stay home and it's because I am self-conscious about my appearance. I know I was better about it when I was thinner, so I'm hoping to get back to being more adventurous.

    I'm glad you have Spark where you feel you can come for support and not be judged!

    1821 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.