My doctor looks at me with concern. She asks how much weight I’ve lost since my last visit. I answer. She says, “I don’t want you to starve yourself.” I tell her I’m okay. I tell her I’ve got it under control. But only half of half of that is true. I’m not okay. And when I say I’ve got it under control, I mean I’ve got my weight under my control: my obsessive, unhealthy control.
A few hours later, I go and see my cardiologist. He says to me, “You need to lose weight.” Before I could finish telling him I had already lost 185 pounds, he tells me “you need to lose more.”
All he sees is the fat. He doesn’t see anything else. He doesn’t know that my protein is low, that I’m undernourished and anemic. He doesn’t know that I struggle just to make 500 calories a day sometimes. He doesn’t know how many times I’ve fainted because I didn’t eat for days. He doesn’t know how I spent time in the hospital having every bit of food I ate (and didn’t eat) monitored because my eating disorder had left me severely ill. He doesn’t know I am at my lowest weight in two decades.
He just sees the fat, and the need to lose it. He sees that I am not good enough. I tried to tell him the good thing I did, and it was just ignored. Because it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough.
I knew in that moment, that doctor had just opened a door for me. He gave me a warped, valid excuse to limit my eating.
And it worked. I found myself saying “I can’t eat that. My doctor said I have to lose weight.”
I focused on what he said and ran with it. I wasn’t lying. He did say it. But I didn’t want to acknowledge what my other doctor had told me. I didn’t want to acknowledge that this doctor knew nothing of my history. That wouldn’t help my cause. I believed what he said because it was a belief I had already.
And after my lapses in judgment when I ended up eating, I heard that doctor’s words bouncing around in my head, along with the words of my mother. I felt so sick, but it wasn’t from the food. It was from the guilt and the shame I felt for eating. I tell myself that this is why I shouldn’t eat. Those sick feelings are signs that I was doing something wrong.
It’s a vicious cycle. It’s a constant battle that never has a winner.
I don’t know why I even bother trying. No matter how much weight I lose, it will never be enough. I will never be enough. Just like my mother said. No one will ever love you looking like that. You’re gross. I tried and I tried, but I never lost enough weight for her to love me. But I will still keep trying. I will keep losing until I won’t be gross anymore. I will keep losing until somebody can love me.
Fat on the outside; starving on the inside.
Fine on the outside; dying on the inside.
6 thoughts on “Lose enough”
Try another cardiologist on the team. One differs from another dramatically. My nurse told me the other one is so focused on weight and is terribly judgmental lacking tolerance and understanding. Mine accepts as me as I am to a point. He does gently talk about better eating plans but with acceptance of where I am, not judgement. I don’t need anyone fucking me up with judgement more than I do already all on my own. Not a lot of professionals understand the emotions involved in eating due to past trauma.
Only those who possess a bit depth have a hint of understanding and may be hard to find. It is usually easy to make an appointment with a different partner. And good practice knows and accepts that personality between patient and doctor is important and varies for each patient. You deserve what works for you and feels safe offering hope and real help.
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Thank you. Up to that point he seemed caring. But that harshness just ruined everything about him for me, even the good aspects.
I understand the importance of weight and such, but like you mentioned, there’s a lot more emotional stuff involved that can’t really be ignored.
My echo was fine, so my need for a cardiologist isn’t really necessary at this point. He told me to follow up in 6 months, but I believe that is standard. I will probably not follow up or even find another cardiologist unless a need arises.
Dealing with the medical community is terrifying. It is hard to find one who possesses both compassion and ability. When sick and vulnerable having to suffer all the ones who are not adds to the pain considerably. I wish you all the luck if the need arises again.
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This sounds just truly devastating. Just to hear what this person said to you just was so painful to read.i am so sorry that Doctor made you have all of those emotions and forced those feelings of not mattering. Those last few lines you wrote were so powerful and so painful. I am so sorry you are hurting especially at the words of some Doctor.
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I know that his intentions were not to have me feel this way, but it still bothers me. I think I would have been better off not saying anything. It wasn’t the initial comment about losing weight that bothered me as much as the reaction that what I have done isn’t enough, because it brought up all of that bad stuff from the past.
I’m so so sorry.