When Julia made the decision to end her seven-year marriage, she was making a decision to reclaim her life. That meant rebuilding her self-esteem by going back to teaching and furthering her career by going back to school. It also meant undergoing gastric bypass. I asked Julia to talk about why that was important to her. Here’s Julia:
To be thin was something I had always wanted to be and I never had been. In second grade, I was already really, really overweight. By fifth grade, I weighed 152 pounds. They called it out in gym class and I was destroyed.
I lost a lot of weight in high school just before going to college but then at my first fraternity party, I was date-raped and so I gained all the weight back. My husband would constantly tell me how ugly I was and how he didn’t want to be with me. Then when I would think about it, it would be “I want to lose weight for him” and that would make me more mad.
So having gastric bypass surgery was something I wanted to do for myself. I wanted to discover who that thin person was.
After I had the surgery, I was in ICU for a few days. I’m allergic to a lot of painkillers so they were using some exploratory ones and wanted to monitor me plus I’d had a history of blood clots in my legs. I was dating a guy at the time who was a homicide detective and so he was able to come into ICU to see me. It’s funny because as I lost weight, he lost interest in me.
The process of shedding the pounds was exciting and I went from 250 pounds to 128.
All of a sudden, it was not a great place to be and I didn’t like it at all. Strangers would talk to me at the grocery store, people look at you differently. When you’re overweight, you’re one of the quiet people moving through the world that people don’t even see. I pass people like that in Target and I make sure I look at them and smile.
When I was thin I got a ton of attention and it didn’t feel natural. Even people who had been friends all of a sudden wanted to do things with me. It was hard because I was still the same person inside and all the attention made me really uncomfortable.
I think psychologically that’s why I started heading back up again and unfortunately recently, I had to start a drug that makes me gain weight. And the last year when I was in school, I ate. It worked. It made me feel good and so now I’m not in school I’m working really hard to lose it. I certainly don’t want to go back to 128 but I think if I could be around 150, that would be a healthy weight for me.
I think I also need to do a lot more counseling around my weight.
The Divorce Coach Says
Not all issues can be blamed on marriage or our ex and clearly Julia’s weight issues predate her marriage. I found her comments about not liking the attention she got when she was thin very interesting. Not sure I’d ever thought about it.
I haven’t had weight issues to the same degree as Julia but I think I’ve spent my entire adult life wishing I was smaller, and that was even when I weighed forty pounds less than I do now! I said a few weeks ago that as I was walking from my office to the car park I started to think, “Now if I just lost five pounds, it would be a start.” I stopped myself and asked myself what it would feel like if I was just happy with the way I was. And that ‘s what I’m working on.