Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weight Part 12

I feel like a failure.

I didn't mean that in the context of my weight. Over the last few weeks, we've been talking about wanting to work less, letting the Advocacy for Patients board take some ownership and responsibility for fundraising, and while I consciously believed that the weight issues had taken me to larger, lifestyle issues, I sort of left the weight issues behind. After all, my weight is stagnant no matter what I do, so maybe focusing on lifestyle and work will lead to some epiphany.

Wouldn't you know that the lifestyle and work issues led me right back to my weight.

I've had a very rough couple of weeks. I found out that the fundraiser that was supposed to generate enough money to hire another full-time lawyer and move us out of my house got canceled, and there went my best laid plans. When I told my Board about what happened this past Saturday, I said that I had failed to find a way to finance the growth -- and all I felt was failure. I sort of forgot about my efforts to get them to take some ownership; I was stuck in that feeling of failure.

Today, when I went to tell Ellen what was up, I felt like a failure at a lot of things -- fundraising, motivating my Board, and being a good patient who remembers all the things she's supposed to say and doesn't get distracted. But every time Ellen tried to direct me to talk about how I feel about all this disappointment, I went back to: What am I going to do about Advocacy for Patients?

Finally, Ellen said "why don't you want to talk about your disappointment?"

I didn't know.

And then she said "is this also disappointment about your weight?"

You mean failure? Hmmm. Yeah, I guess so.

And there's the connection; we're back to my weight.

And yes, I feel like a failure. I changed my diet. I've been cooking, for goodness sake -- not something I would do if I wasn't trying really hard. I've been swimming every morning. I know I've greatly reduced the quantity of food I'm eating, and I'm sticking with cooked veggies and fruit even when my gut says it's not a good idea. Why can't I lose any weight?

Ellen had told me a few weeks ago that it was time to talk to the doctor about it. I mentioned it to him, but I've had him focused on some more pressing things -- getting my insurance company to approve my meds. And I knew he wouldn't get involved until he saw the results of my sleep study, which he is hoping will be the answer to all of my problems. That's tonight (ugh. They don't let you bring cats. What's Emily going to do all alone?). So I've sort of been in a holding pattern. At least, I thought I had successfully set it aside. But the truth is that I do feel like a pretty big failure, and there's no question that this is part of the reason why.

And then the session was over, which really stinks when you don't feel like you've resolved anything or come to a stopping point.

But it's clear; my failures begin and end with my weight. When do I stop beating myself up over things that appear to be out of my control? When do I give myself a break?

I know people think I'm tough on those around me. I think I'm tougher on myself than on anybody. Jennifer


  1. Jen are you taking steroids? If so, your weight may actually be beyond your control.

    I am no stranger to weight issues. Last December, I made it a goal to reduce 1-2 pounds per week. According to experts, taking baby steps, losing weight slowly, while changing lifestyle and eating habits, produces long term results.

    In the past, I have gone on "crash" diets and have lost weight. It always came back, because I had not made the lifestyle and diet changes permanent.

    I am assuming you have had regular blood work, to rule out thyroid issues and other
    problems which, if left untreated,can set you up to fail.

    Talk to your doctor, ask what, if anything, is setting you up to fail.

    Since last December, I have reduced 30 lbs!

  2. These are really helpful thoughts. I'm not on steroids, it's not my thyroid. I had a sleep study Tuesday night and they said I have sleep apnea, which they also said can contribute to weight gain. So I am going to play that out and see if the CPAP machine makes a difference. If not, I will turn to my doctor for more help. I appreciate you sharing your success with me. Congratulations! I'd be thrilled with 30 pounds lost. Good job! You inspire me. J