Monday, December 10, 2012

Frank Talk about Rapid Weight Loss

Well, here's one you've never seen before on "The Gods Are Bored!" With the exception of a few potshots at Governor Chris Christie, there's not much to be said about weight loss chez moi.

It's tough as all get out to shed pounds once you've put them on. This is especially true if the weight gain is gradual, the accumulation of years of bad eating habits. Once you feel like you're overweight, it's the very devil dieting your way out of it. And once the weight is off, you struggle day by day, hour by hour, to maintain.

There is, of course, one way to achieve rapid weight loss without purpose-driven dieting. You get sick.

Take my cat, Alpha. Alpha is a relic. She has lived with us for a dozen years and was about six when we rescued her. She has no teeth left. Over the past six to eight months, she has lost about half her body weight. Food disagrees with her. She can't bite the hard stuff, and the soft stuff causes digestive issues.

There's nothing particularly novel about this. Very elderly people usually lose a lot of weight too. It's just sad, for me, when I gently pick up my Alpha and feel every bone just barely covered with skin. Yes, readers, we did take her to the vet -- and our vet's office is in Camden, so this doctor knows people on a budget. He said we should just take Alpha home and be nice to her.

I, too, have experienced rapid weight loss since June. At the end of the school year I was about 25 pounds heavier than I am now. People notice and compliment me on it, as if I'm a poster child for Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Then comes the dreaded question: "How did you do it?"

How did I do it? I was sick! Still am! It's easy to lunch on a small salad and water when your appetite says, "Oh, just forget it."

Here's how you can tell the difference between someone who is dieting with Weight Watchers and someone who is losing weight because they are sick. The Weight Watchers person talks about it and seeks moral support. The Weight Watchers person cheers when he or she drops pounds. The sick person just shows up in the lunch room trying to hitch up her pants, because they have become too large.

The fact that my malady is not exactly life-threatening makes it even harder to explain.

My complexion is pink, my energy level is normal, my smile is bright, and my teeth are white. I still love buzzards, and faeries, and festivals, and my family. I'm just not hungry. It is a result of anxiety. And since many people think anxiety is something you can overcome by shaking yourself like a wet dog and moving on, it's very, very difficult to explain my rapid weight loss.

The frank scoop on weight loss is this: If someone is getting thinner, assume first that they're sick and let the story unfold. They'll tell you if they're dieting. If the visibly-reduced person says little or nothing about the weight loss, chances are there's some underlying issue. Best to err on the side of ignorance.

The word of Vulture for the people of Vulture. Thanks be to Vulture. Ramen!


Sarita Rucker said...

I've also lost a lot of weight this year due to illness. Not anxiety, but some due to depression. Also to other health issues.

My body seems to have decided that appetite loss is the new way to deal with any problems it has. Not fun.

I hope your appetite loss gets resolved soon. I also really hope that you haven't had to deal with being light headed and weak like I did earlier in the year.

-Pam said...

I've had similar problems with illness and weight loss. I'm hoping 2013 will be better. 40 pounds in 8 weeks was not fun


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I've only once experienced rapid weight loss from anxiety. Thirty years ago when I was just a young whippersnapper starting out in my profession, the extreme stress I experienced caused me to lose 60 pounds in 6 months. And I ate like a horse the entire time, too. Weight just melts off you when stress has the old metabolism cranked up to "red alert! red alert!" on a 24/7 basis.

Wishing you calm, peace and balance, Anne. May your anxiety ease and your body rest.

BBC said...
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Ismail N said...

"If someone is getting thinner, assume first that they're sick and let the story unfold." Something that I have never considered before, but how right you are! I play sports, eat moderate meals on time, but still gaining weight. In 15 years, I've gained almost 15kg. But I like myself, can't get myself to work hard to lose the weight. So, if I do lose weight, I'm sure it's due to an involuntary evolution, like illness.