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I felt like an ex smoker today



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You know how people who were one thing, and then reformed themselves all of a sudden become fanatical about that thing they used to be? Ex smokers are one of the best examples, policing the ranks of those who continue to smoke, evangelizing them to save them from that particular sin. They are especially known for their zeal. I sort of felt that way today.

After my post op check up (which went very well), I drove up to visit my parents and help my Dad with a few chores around the house. While we were working, my Mom declared that we needed to go to the store to get some things she had been wanting for a while. Now "we" translates and "Dad and I". As for the store, she did not care, as long as it had everything she wanted on her list. It was that discussion that led to the circumstances where I found myself a short while later.

We wound up in the mecca for fat people. There were more fat people there than at the Golden Corral on 10% off day. Yes. I am talking about Walmart. I hate going to Walmart. I don't like having to walk for what seems like miles just to discover they really don't have what I want. What's even worse sometimes IS finding what I want. Then I have to stand in line to check out - a line that stretches into the hazy distance like people lined up waiting for Judgment Day. And today was even worse. We were at a Walmart in a popular vacation spot for people from a very large city whose initials are N.Y.C. So it was fat people with an attitude.

I also made the mistake of texting Mrs. LittleBill to tell her I was at Walmart, thinking she would at least sympathize. I received an LOL and a list of stuff to look for. So now I had two missions. We had to park so far away from the building that all we could see was the top, peeking over the horizon. I am pretty sure we were in a different zip code. The parking lot was solid with vehicles. In the distance I could see people dodging back and forth between the city drivers zooming around looking for the best spot. I said to Dad, "Maybe today isn't such a good day to try and go in there." He turned to me and said, "It's not worth my life to come home empty handed! We're going in!"

We eventually made it to the door. I grabbed a cart, and waded into the mêlée, calling out to Dad that we could split up and cover more territory more quickly. It was like a cross between bumper cars and the demolition derby. People were smacking into one another left and right, coming out of the ends of the aisles like they had been fired out of a cannon. Baleful glares and insincere apologies were exchanged with abandon. And in all of this, there was a huge number of human juggernauts, cruising through slowly, yet unstoppable. They drew my attention with fascination.

Like the ex smoker described above, I looked from person to person, thinking: "You need bariatric surgery. You need bariatric surgery. You REALLY need bariatric surgery! I can't believe I used to look like that! Did I really look like that!?! This place is a GOLD MINE for my surgeon!" It was actually kind of weird. On one hand, I felt something of a kinship with these people while on the other hand I was repulsed. I think a lot of the latter had to do with attitude though. I really get impatient with rude people.

In one sense it was something of an NSV for me. I am still fat, but I am not the land yacht I used to be, and to a degree, I felt a whole lot slimmer as I negotiated the killing fields of the retail environment. It was also something of a wake up call, to learn that I do not perceive myself in the same way that I used to. I am going to have to work on that one for a while. It kind of snuck up on me and grabbed me by the throat. But at least I made it out of there alive.

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People in AA are the WORST. Talk about evangelical ex alcoholics!

That's totally normal what you're feeling, by the way. I did for quite some time. Now I just look at them and empathise. I've also struggled with bringing the subject of WLS up to some friends and family members who I think would benefit from it, but I'm over that now, too. They know they're fat, and they know that WLS is a great option as they have seen me be pretty darn successful with it. I only hope they decide to do something about it before it becomes sadly too late.

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Ahh yes I too have had these thoughts. I just don't have the energy to get on my soap box if they aren't willing to help themselves. I have however talked to 4 patients from my surgeons office that were on the fence so hopefully I paid it forward with them.

~LA

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People in AA are the WORST. Talk about evangelical ex alcoholics!

That's totally normal what you're feeling, by the way. I did for quite some time. Now I just look at them and empathise. I've also struggled with bringing the subject of WLS up to some friends and family members who I think would benefit from it, but I'm over that now, too. They know they're fat, and they know that WLS is a great option as they have seen me be pretty darn successful with it. I only hope they decide to do something about it before it becomes sadly too late.

Yeah, I've got some friends and family members who could definitely benefit, but they are smart enough to see how things are going with me. One or two have even alluded to the possibility, and I said I would be glad to discuss it, but they will have to bring it up. As for fat strangers from NYC? Fuggedaboutit!

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I think this happens to all of us. All the people I have spoke with have done this very thing. I believe it is actually the disgust we have with letting ourselves get in that state being transferred to the people we see. Everything we are repulsed by stems from the seed of self loathing we may have had.

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I know EXACTLY what you mean. I almost want to stand at the Little Debbies section and hand out flyers for my surgeon. But people have to be ready or we get even more train wrecks post-op than we already see. I'm happy to talk about it, but like you and others have said, they have to bring it up.

I'm torn between not wanting to fat shame people and wanting to jump up and down screaming "don't let this ruin your lives, people!!"

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