The Connection Runners + LIFE

I'm hurting for you

Once I started losing weight I had some questions nag at me. Of course the main one was "How did I let myself get to 278 pounds?!"

But outside of that, how did my friends and family let me get that large?

I am fully aware I'm 100% in charge of my own health... .but if they cared about me shouldn't they have said something? I wasn't just a little overweight. It wasn't a vanity issue, it was a HEALTH issue. I was eating myself to death. I had high blood pressure, I got winded easily and was on a direct path to heart disease and diabetes.

Why didn't anyone say anything?

Charles tells me, that looking back he didn't realize HOW LARGE I had gotten. Obviously he knew I was overweight, but he didn't see me as obese. Love is blind I guess. 

But I was obese. I was morbidly obese. I was dying from being fat.

And yet, no one said anything.

My father and I were watching an episode of Biggest Loser last year, when the girl got on the scale and the number was revealed I said "That's how much I used to weigh"

He said he never imagined I weighed that much, and when he saw me he didn't SEE me as that large.

Look at these picture. What do YOU see?

I'm looking at them I see an obese person. Those were taken on a family trip to Disney. I spent the trip worried that I wouldn't be able to fit on a ride. In fact, there was one ride where I had to sit in the double seat by myself. And did my family see that as a chance to express concern? No.

Did I know I was fat? Absolutely yes!

Did I need someone to tell me? Emphatically yes!

Oh sure, it wasn't going to be new information for me. I KNEW I was obese. I knew exactly how much I needed to lose to be considered only "overweight" and I knew to the pound how much I needed to lose to be considered "healthy". With a past in healthcare I knew all the co-morbidity's.

I had all the text book information but dammit I needed someone who LOVED me to tell me I was out of control. To show they cared, to acknowledge the issue, to do SOMETHING. Every bite was a cry for help, help I never received.

I'm not writing this to blame my family and especially not to make them feel guilty. I am the one who ate and lazed myself to obesity, and I am the one who got myself off that path, saving my life by making changes. So this post isn’t about placing blame, but I received a text the other day that stopped me in my tracks. It was a text, out of the blue, from a close family member that simply said this:

"I'm 50lbs+ overweight"

I fired back a text without thinking:

"I noticed on Halloween"

That probably sounds terribly unfeeling, but it was true. We pulled up at an event that weekend and my family member was standing outside. I almost didn't recognize the person and was immediately struck with how much weight they had gained.

And what did I do with that information? Nothing

In fairness to myself, six months or so ago I did sit down with this person and have the weight conversation. I even made them healthy breakfasts and lunches to take to work, and I encouraged a gym membership.

But since then, I haven't done anything. In fact, last week I noticed they had gained a significant amount of weight and I didn't take any steps to reach out to them.

At this point I know a lot of you are talking to your screen, telling me maybe it isn't my business to monitor someone's weight, that weight is personal and I could hurt someone's feelings, so let me explain the root of the issue:

The dirty little secret behind being morbidly obese is you don’t get that way simply because you like food, you get that way because you're hurting over something. You aren't feeding your body, lord knows you don't actually need that much food, you're feeding your hurt. I know that better than most. So while weight is a symptom, I’m really addressing the hurt.

My family member isn't the best verbal communicator (I'm sure it has nothing to do with his gender) So right now I'm taking the time to tell him:

I see you, I acknowledge there is a problem. I'm hurting because I know you're hurting. I love you and I'm here to help you in any way I can.

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I'm hurting for you + LIFE