This Is War! Kind of...

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, January 18, 2011 Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I hate lying. Unless, of course, the lying is to spare someone's feelings, or serves a greater humanitarian purpose or makes you seem more awesomer. Or thinner. Or richer. Or funnier. Or right. Then I'm all for lying. But mostly, I hate lying.

Which is why the last four days have been particularly difficult for me.

Husband, Ruby and I took a trip to Ohio to visit my father, stepmother and this side of the family this past weekend. I love my dad's family. Dad's the oldest of 9 kids who each have about 9 kids who each have about 9 kids and all of these relatives live within about a 5 mile radius of one another. It makes for a great Thanksgiving Day football game, charades marathon and rousing game of “guess how we're related?!”

We're of German-Catholic stock on that side, which means we're all tall, big boned, large breasted and smell of sauerkraut and beer. We only wear lederhosen on special occasions and Lisel, Gretel and Marta do a fine rendition of “Edelweiss” after they've downed a few Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. Clearly, we also believe that Jesus hates birth control, but He loves a good Pilsner.

Like most families, our get-togethers usually revolve around food and chit chat and often, a game of Texas Hold 'em that leaves at least three family members not talking to each other for a week and one family member $15 richer (Jesus is also ok with moderate, unlicensed gaming as long Pope is getting his cut).

What makes our family unique, however, is that, whilst eating our third chili cheese dog and reaching for that second iced brownie, we are usually chit-chatting about diets.

At any given time you could throw a dart in the room and hit a person on a diet. Our family is the Baskin Robbins of diets. You can't throw a stick without hitting a low-carber, a Atkinsonian, a South Beach resident, a Weight Watchers Lifetimer, Special K Challenger or a Jenny Craigonite. But most of us are still fat.

We talk a good talk, walk a good walk for a few weeks and yet, inevitably, we gain back what we lost during our Slim Fast phase, plus, plus, plus. We're our own research group. Send over the AMA! Send the CDC! Send Richard Simmons! We've tried it all, we've reported back, and guess what? The diets didn't work. We're still fat.

I remember being a senior in college, fighting the freshman 35 for the tenth time and looking over at one of my high school age cousins. She was thin, almost skinny! She wore tight jeans that showed off her cute tanned, belly-ringed stomach and I swear I thought to myself: “She better live it up because knowing our genes, her days in THOSE jeans are LIMITED”. Sadly, I was right and I don't think she's even touched a bikini since her second year of college. She too, is overweight now.

The weekend was great in so many ways. Ruby got to play with her third cousins – or first cousins once removed – or hillbilly siblings – whatever you want to call it. The husband got to eat his own weight in chili-dogs, and I got to witness the relationship between my parents and my child blossom.

But before we edge into the land of sentimentality, let me be frank. The best part of this trip was having all my relatives comment on how awesome I look. None of them (not even my dad) know about the band and here's where I start to cross the 'lying' threshold.

As my family are all diet connoisseurs, they wanted to know “my secret”. “How did I do it? Which diet am I on? How long have I been 'dieting'? How many enemas do you have to get?”

Like other banded friends out there, I pulled out the standard answer for the WLS patient on the DL: “I eat less and move more”.

Technically, this is all true. Technically, this is not a lie. Technically, FOX News is “news”.

Technically I feel like a big fat liar. Without the “fat” part.

Where the wicket gets particularly sticky is that I have two aunts in their fifties who had gastric bypass about 7 or 8 years ago. Although they both lost significant amount of weight (and look & feel amazing), they are still far from the 'normal' BMI range. They don't really 'work' their surgery but they've been successful at going from 'morbidly obese' to just 'overweight'.

They're both happy. They feel they've come 'far enough'. They eat fast food for about one meal a day. They drink lots of non-diet soda. They've thrown their calorie counters to the wind. They don't exercise. AT ALL. They also smoke heavily. And one of them DOESN'T WEAR HER SEATBELT! EVER!

I can safely say these two aunts of mine don't live very healthily. But in THEIR minds, they've won. And maybe that's all that matters. Maybe some people don't need to have a 'normal' BMI or make the right food choices most of the time or get healthy in mind and body to consider themselves a victor. Maybe they just need to lose the weight and be less fat than they were before.

I just couldn't bring myself to tell them or anyone else in the family about my band because I'm not sure that we're on the same type of journey. They feel 'done' and although I share their sarcastic wit, their long legs, their remarkable laughs, this is where our genes part ways:

I don't feel done. I'm still in battle. Its not full on war but the safety is still off my gun and I'm still watching for land mines. I don't know that I'll be at peace with my weight loss struggles until I've changed all aspects of my relationship with food. I'm hoping that Leona will forever be my 'front line defense' and so far, she's working pretty well, but there is a heck of a lot of other work that needs to happen in the head region of this body before I'll feel confident saying “I'm done” and “I've been victorious!”

Maybe once I'm there and feeling like I've won the war against fat, against food, against my own genetics, I'll also be ready to share all my 'secrets'.

A recent photo for your viewing pleasure...52 pounds down

We're cute

25 Response to "This Is War! Kind of..."

Anonymous Says:

Great post! You write beautifully!

Kristin Says:

Hysterical as always (particularly the Fox news bit). It's tough to dodge the questions, but you made up your mind and stuck with it. And you look awesome!

Something About Kellie Says:

I love your posts! I kinda wish I had kept my banding secret too - but I would have struggled not letting it slip (excuse the pun!). Well done on your achievements thus far and I am certain one day you will find that place where you feel victorious :)


You are cute! The both of you and jeez you look amazing.
I hear you about the 'eat less, move more' scenario - we have all been through that. Its tricky knowing what to say. I do exactly what you do - just white lie. Cant do anything more or less. xx

Libby Says:

Love your posts. I know exactly how you feel not wanting to share all the news about your band. I am in the band closet too (with all but 3 people). You look great and that is all that matters. You are eating less and moving more. 'nough said ;-)

Marie Says:

Great post! You look marvelous! I have only told one person and I'm so glad. A lot less explaining and you technically aren't lying.

Lee Ann Says:

Enjoyed every word. Looking good Mama!

Amanda Says:

You are cute! Very!

What a great read! I have kept it a secrete from a lot of people but I have also told a few people that I wish I would have buttoned my loud mouth! No judgements people...because in the end I will make this might help me but certainly it is the will power and me that does it. Not just the band!

I always ALWAY enjoy reading you, so thanks!

Ronkidonks Says:

You're a great writter!

I also have told very few people outside of my immediate family about my band. As the weight contines to fall off and the weightloss becomes more noticeable, I'm getting more questions about "HOW?"...I've been successful so far with the typical response, but I sometimes feel bad about kind of misleading people.

You look great by the way!!

Anonymous Says:

I really look forward to your posts. Great story, and you look fantastic! Your little girl is simply adorable!

Camille Says:

I haven't told my family either and like yours, they are all overweight. I always feel a little guilty because I know they want my secret, but I'm not ready to share. I also don't want to hear about taking the easy way out. Great post. Love ya bunches!

Theresa Says:

You always deliver! Great post as always and you look amazing! I've told everyone and their pets, but I never could keep a secret!

Gilly Says:

No words...only worship!

My saftey is off too. Let's try not to shoot our eyes out. <3

Amy W. Says:

yes. the fox news part made me giggle. I love you.

Catherine55 Says:

I really enjoyed this post! And, you look fantastic!

I know what you mean about feeling like a (sexier, skinnier) liar. . I feel that way sometimes too, especially when people I don't want to tell about my surgery grill me for diet pointers. But, ultimately, my privacy is more important than their curiosity. . or their rights to make comments (helpful or critical) about my decision. So, I just try to reconcile myself with the fact that I can't be 100% open and honest. It's not easy, but it's better than telling people and having to deal with the consequences of that. No one has an absolute right to know about your decision.

Anyway, you tell a story so well -- your post was such a pleasure to read!

Steph Says:

You look awesome and I have to give you an award for the best blogging line I've read all day: Technically, FOX News is “news”. I about died laughing at that (and the rest of your blog!)

LDswims Says:

What a fantastic blog! I love it!

And yes, you're cute. So totally cute!! What great photos!!

Alexis Says:

love, love, love. You seriously just crack me up. This was such a great post. You are looking fantastic!

Darlin1 Says:

Great Blog! and like you I might need to tell some little white lies---but I'm basically not telling anyone I've been banded!!!!

Amanda Kiska Says:

You are beautiful and you look great! I have told some family and not others so I know how you feel. My dad's side doesn't know, but mom's side does. It is hard for sure!

Lee Ann Says:

Thanks for the sleep apnea tip. I haven't had a sleep study.....but thanks. My primary doc just submitted her own appeal to the insurance company and if I'm denied on that end I will ask her to write me a referral to get the sleep study done. I so appreciate any advice! I probably did have it when I was pregnant....snored like a truck driver.....and well, hopefully I have it a wee widdle tiny bit now too,eh?! i just googled and neck fat makes you more susceptible. welllll, i don't have that but my boobs are huge and surround my neck if i lay down a certain way........bwahahaha. dang, i guess i shoulda done this before i lost 30 freakin pounds but it's better late than never. thanks for mentioning it to me. :) at the very least, i'll have the satisfaction of bleeding my insurance company out of more money for having denied me. ha!!!

Mel Says:

I also busted out laughing out loud at the Fox News is really "news". I love it:)
Fantastic post, as always, I really enjoy your blog.
You look fantastic!
I think with all those cousins, we must be related some how, as your family sounds just like mine:)
I am in the same boat as you, very few people know, and I do feel guilty each time I am asked, but I am just not ready to go there yet.

Rachel Says:

You are an excellent humor writer...I'm a new fan!!

Libby Says:

Hi Sherry,
I nominated you for an award. It is posted here -

crafter Says:

Don't feel guilty about not telling. It is your business and yours alone. I think it is crazy that society has come so far about not keeping the bad secrets (like abuse) that we all feel now that we have to share every single detail of our private lives. Some things should be yours only unless you choose.

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