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Morbid Obesity – How to Overcome Denial

In my late 30’s I began to have a vague understanding that I was morbidly obese. It would be there when I would try on pants that no longer fit me, or a shirt that would suddenly pull on my bra in an unsightly way. I would have this argument: My God, look how fat you are, now you can’t even fit into your size 18, 20, 22, 24 pants. You really are getting fat. Then the justifications would come: stop being so hard on yourself, you need to love yourself the way you are, society is fatphobic, you’re just a very strong woman.

After all, admitting that I had expanded beyond another wardrobe just wasn’t going to happen. Anyone who has ever been obese knows the shame and humility we feel from our lack of self-discipline and willpower. So, to prove to myself that I was just a big, strong woman with immense willpower, I would go on a strict diet, exercise frantically, ignoring the pain from my injured knees as I ran, or the hunger pangs as I died. hungry. . I’m not fat, I’d tell myself, just out of shape. You know the result: sudden weight loss, redemption in my own eyes, and a return to old clothes. The weight would rise again, and then some.

Only when I really recognized that I was obese, morbidly obese, and that I had done it to myself, did I come close to being able to change. I had to move beyond denial to acceptance of the reality of my condition. No more blaming it on genetics, because genes didn’t put a bag full of cookies in my mouth. I couldn’t justify it being an unhappy childhood, because my parents’ disapproval of 30 years ago didn’t make me eat a whole gallon of ice cream in one sitting. I couldn’t blame him for money, career success or lack thereof, romantic problems—I had to deal with denial to turn my life around.

Losing weight is a challenge for everyone. Being obese just meant that I had more to lose, that I had gotten further away from my desired goal than anyone else. I suspect that if I had continued to deny the reality of my obesity, I would have weighed another 50 pounds more than that day in August of my 40th birthday. That day when I got on the doctor’s scale and emotionally passed out because the slide had to be adjusted to a number higher than 290. Actually, I don’t know what weight I started at… I know it was over 290 and under 300 I just knew that denial had the potential to kill me and I had to get my life back.

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