A Weighty Issue

29 Jan 2015

PictureDo you see what I see?

Weight, What?
I am a total Type A, perfectionist, always striving to be and look my best.  But what does that mean for my appearance since I’m so sick?

Society tells me that thin is beautiful BUT my doctor tells me, that thin indicates that I’m sick.

However, in society, beautiful does not equate to sickness and having weight on you does not equal beauty.  Are you confused yet?  Because I am. 

Weight is a hard topic for me to write about for a variety of reasons, hence why I’ve avoided it up to this point.  My weight fluctuates so much when I am sick that I have a variety of clothing sizes. I have worn anything from a 00 to an 8.  After spending 5 continuous weeks in the hospital, I had dropped down to a mere 116 lbs, which in my head I knew was not good and I understood that I was underweight BUT I also got used to that weight and enjoyed being very thin.

Prednisone and TPN.  Now it gets complicated, because a couple months after my hospital stay, when I started TPN and went up on prednisone, I gained weight.  For anyone who has been on prednisone, you know that it can make you gain killer weight, super fast.  Like 20 lbs or so over a couple months.  All of a sudden, I hated how I looked.  I knew I was still thin, but it didn’t feel like it because I was comparing it to the weight I was after the hospital.

Body Dysmorphia.  To make matter worse, I have what is called body dysmorphia.  To put it simply, I don’t see what others see when I look in the mirror.   I found out that I saw a different reality, when I struggled with an eating disorder in high school.  No matter how much weight I lost, I had the inability to see it, but the minute I gained weight, I saw it immediately.

Up and Down.  This is a hard topic for me to write about because I have such little control over my weight and yet it bothers me so much when I don’t perceive myself as thin.  It makes me question the influence society has women and their appearance.
I mean look at me, I should be celebrating gaining weight, because it means that for once my body has proper nutrition!  But instead, when I gain weight I can’t stand it and get frustrated.

Wait? Weight…Again?. I hate that I care so much about my weight.  I hate that I can’t be happy when I gain weight and I hate that I don’t see what everyone else sees.  Its a frustrating and never ending cycle that is only aggravated by society and my disease.
Due to that fact that those two influences in my life present conflicting views on weight and the fact that I have a perfectionist personality, I think weight is something that I will always struggle with.

Although this is hard to talk about, I know other people deal with this issue and so i want to be honest about where I am coming from.  There are times that I have looked in the mirror and been fighting tears of frustration because I didn’t like what I saw.  I am confident and independent, but that does not mean that there are not things that I struggle with.

I want other people to know that they are not alone in this struggle with weight.  Especially those who struggle with a chronic disease.  There are so many other things to worry about when you are sick that it seems dumb to worry about weight, but in all honesty, for someone like me, it is a constant battle in my not so normal life.


Sarah Brocker

Hi my name is Sarah Brocker and I have Crohn's Disease. I've got 8 scars and am missing two feet of intestines and my life isn't normal, but whose life is normal? I want to use my experiences to help you, even if it means sharing embarrassing experiences. I am also looking to break the stigmas associated with IBD in order to make living with IBD just a little bit easier. All I want to do is help, so please, let ME help YOU!

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