''I can't watch these shows because I find them offensive, ghoulish, cruel and demeaning''
I wanted to share an article today, that has left me really thinking. I agree with the writer completely. I don't find it entertaining. Maybe if I were thin and had been all my life, and had no identification with it, I might feel differently. But having lived this life, having felt desperate enough to do something major about it, I get this. It makes me sad. I've not looked at the emotions in my weight and weight loss stuff yet. I'm almost 25kg down and it's noticeable, but I haven't examined how it makes me feel, really.
I'm guessing the contestants on shows like The Biggest Loser are desperate too. To go on TV and literally bear all like that... I couldn't have done it. Before I ever heard of surgery, I'm not sure there were many more options - I applied to one of the early seasons. I was hope-less. I didn't want to go on the show but I wanted to stop the spiral of bad health I was falling into. Surgery is not an easy option either. It's far harder than I anticipated, but I had to do something urgently. I would have died far earlier than I am likely to now. I would have had less chance of seeing any grandchildren. I was beginning to experience some serious health issues as it was, and it would only get worse as my weight increased every single year.
It makes my heart hurt to think of what we do to these people in the name of entertainment. It's not entertainment to fuck with peoples pain. And weight you are not comfortable with, is pain. It's not funny to taunt and tease them with bad foods. It's not fun to watch them struggle about in mud, pain on their faces, wobbly skin falling about. It's horrible.
If I stop now, and look at my emotions, this makes me feel sick and it makes me feel really, really, sad. My weight was/is something that I despise about myself. It made me absolutely drip with self hatred. And hatred is a very strong and powerful word. It made me think I deserved to keep eating until I slowly killed myself. That's awful. That's really, really, awful. What a horrible way to feel about yourself. I'm not even a bad person! Making the decision to have serious, irreversible surgery on my stomach was hard and scary. Not being able to eat how I used to is taking a lot of getting used to, and has resulted in some painful mistakes. But I know that, unlike those contestants, I can't ever gain it back. And I've been able to maintain some dignity in losing it. I now look at myself in the mirror, and rather than hatred, I see hope. Rather than repulsion, I see a me I like. I feel like my outside is starting to match my inside. I like me. And that is an enormous emotional leap.
I have friends that watch the show, and I don't want anyone to think I think less of them for doing so. I don't at all. I'm only telling it from my perspective, from someone who was morbidly obese. Who could qualify for that show in an instant. I'm not a bit overweight. I was not a heavy girl. I was huge. With 25kg gone, I could still get on the show. I've a long way to go, but it's hard enough doing it with supportive friends and family around. Exposing myself to the judgement of a nation, wearing unflattering clothes on animal scales and throwing dignity away with it... I might as well give up any hope of being able to respect myself now were that my future.
And maybe that's what's key here.