My weight has been on my mind all the time. All. The. Time. and today, at work, a patient had a code blue. We had a lot of people taking turns doing the CPR, but it was brought to everyones attention that I hadn't jumped in yet... I was busy doing other aspects of the code (pushing drugs, etc...) But being called out for not doing compressions by someone else was embarrassing. It is sort-of standard to have everyone take turns doing it, so there are fewer people who are tired at a time. The actual words said were "Well, you aren't doing much!!!" - made me feel completely ineffective, although I know I was doing a lot of other things, I was simply not taking center-stage. But OK, fine, since it was mentioned, OK. I'll take a turn. So, when one girl tired out, I jumped on...
I dunno how many of you have done CPR, but after you've done it a lot, its pretty monotonous. Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down... until you get tired and someone else takes over and this code was running for an extremely long time. It gives you a moment to think while you are going up, down, up, down, up, down...
Well, when I climb up on the bed, over the patient and as I am bouncing up and down on the patient's chest, the thoughts going through my head are: - I hope I don't kneel on this patient's arm and break it... I hope my belly isn't falling out under my shirt.... Am I pushing on anyone else's work space right now because I'm so giant?? I'm kneeling on the bed and I just put my big butt in the respiratory therapists face, oh no!!!
... Of course, it all lasts 30 seconds or so, and someone else takes over because it is very rigorous and if you start to get too tired, your compressions become ineffective... So its not like you are up there very long, but still....
The thoughts of my weight, the effect my weight has on those around me and their impression of it is all consuming. It effects how I dress, when and where I eat, the time of the day I go to the gym and today, it effected how willing I was to take my turn saving someone's life.
That being said - a disclaimer - OF COURSE, if there was no one else there, I would NEVER EVER EVER let my weight stop me from giving someone CPR - please don't confuse that. But because we had lots and lots of help and lots of people taking turns with that aspect of it, I was quite glad to do other aspects of the code - but the REASON I was happy to do other aspects of the job was ONLY because of the eyes that are on you when you are the person the bed doing the compressions. It mortified me and it was so terrifying because of me weight.
When it was all said and done, while everyone else is finishing up paperwork, etc... I had to leave to go to a bathroom and have a little cry because I was so embarrassed that I had to have my gigantic butt up in the air in front of 20 people, and when my tiny co-workers got up there, they looked fine, and other people were able to reach around them, and work through them - whereas, I felt like I was hogging up a zip code worth of space.
In my head, I would hope that people weren't actually looking at me. Sort of the whole idea of - if you only knew how little people actually pay attention to you, you would never be worried. But... I so desperately want to be thin... It is scary how much weight effects me. Of course, it effects me physically... but the psychological aspect of it is amazing. I felt disabled on the job:(...
I don't really have a point to this post, just a vent, I suppose. I'm so tired of being so self conscious and feeling like I am in the way all the time... :( Have you ever been asked to do something, that - although you are more than capable, are reluctant to do it out of shame or... self loathing.. or...?
10-24-2010, 02:00 PM
I am always thinking that kind of stuff too. Especially if I have to STAND on the bus! OMG! The stuff that goes through my head! (I hope my butt isn't in anyones face, I know this person wants to push past me but it's not going to happen, if I step on someones foot will they call me a fat ***?)
Then getting OUT of the bus, pushing through a bunch of grunting groaning people, I have one friend who was overweight, she was all the way in the back and knew pushing through would be hard, she yelled, "Can you open the back door!?" and the driver said, "no, you have to come up front!", so she pushed through, it took forever, the driver was complaining and then she said, "well maybe if you had opened the back door..." and he said....." Well maybe if you would lose some weight!"
I would have burst into tears right there had that been me.
I know that internal dialogue. It's weird, I really do wonder if it'll ever go away for me. Cuz I feel NOW, like I would LOVE to be at your weight, but it is hurting you mentally, it would be amazing for me. So I think. But I wonder if when I get back there, if it'll just be more of the same. :(
10-24-2010, 03:15 PM
I felt exactly the same way when I first started out. I had become the biggest wall flower. I hated waiting for my husband to use the bathroom at movie theaters because I felt like people had to walk around me (a whole zip code as you put it) while I stood up as flat against the wall as I could.
I can tell you this though. Now that I've lost a good bit of weight, I think about this now and then, about I used to feel. I have never, not once, had a negative thought about a person was heavier because they were in my way. No one else thinks about us the way we think about ourselves. No one felt like they couldn't reach around you. They were probably too busy supporting your efforts.
I don't know if that helps. :( But I can tell you it gets better.
10-24-2010, 03:27 PM
Sorry you are feeling this way. :hug:
I have had those 'moments' too. Finding places to sit, being the 'big' person in the room and more.
Chin up - you are not just your weight!!!!!
10-24-2010, 03:31 PM
I don't think anyone was thinking about how you looked and if they were, it's their own personal issue they have to deal with. You are saving lives and should be very proud of yourself. I know you have your weight goals and I can sympathize and understand feeling self-consiousness in certain situations because I have also felt that way. I have to constantly remind myself that my extra weight is a small part of who I really am and can be changed if I so desire.
10-24-2010, 03:58 PM
I absolutely empathize. When I fell and hit my head last month, the only, Only thought I had as I went down was, "Thank goodness I've lost weight".
I've been known to refuse to take ailments of an internal nature to the doctor for fear of him/her having to see (ahem) the lower parts of me.
The big battle I have ahead of me - and I have at least another 40lbs to, 50 would be better - is that yes, in one sense my weight is psychologically disabling me, for sure; but at the same time it protects me: I am psychologically/emotionally disabled anyway, and it's so easy to blame it all on the fat. "When I'm thin I'll be happy" - nuh-uh, for me that's when the hard work starts.
10-24-2010, 04:14 PM
I felt the same way each year In CPR class, and that wasn't even saving a life, just learning how. I am sure nobody was thinking those things, though. We are our own worst critics.
I also have had the bus experience. Lottie, I hope your friend reported the driver. So inappropriate. One time I was on the bus and a bigger woman got on when it was standing room only. She tried to stay up front where the aisle was wider, but was forced back. She looked like she was going to cry when people tried to get past her and I felt really bad for her, as I had felt like that before too. I was not much smaller than her and had to get past her to get off and I was mortified that people were goignt to comment on both of us.
10-24-2010, 05:16 PM
I haven't had that happen in a more dire situation like that, but I have experienced that kind of discomfort with my weight. I don't know if I've been asked to do something, but I've done stuff and been uncomfortable or not done stuff because of my weight.
I've been terrified of passing out because no one would be able to carry me (not without like 3 people or so).
I've been thrown from an inertube when tubing on a lake, which wasn't a big deal, but then it was HIGH edged boat so someone had to haul me back in. My friend (who is skinny) was pulled right up, but it took two people and a lot more effort to get me up. I was honestly humiliated.
I've felt like I shouldn't do something because it might make people have to see how fat I am - I felt like I shouldn't subject people to that. Now it makes me angry that I let myself think that way about myself.
You've done great so far, based on your ticker - just keep working on your weight because it's what YOU want. Trust me, that helps infinitely with motivation and follow through.
And I agree with Eliana - I've never, ever thought badly of a larger person who was maybe in my way. It's never occured to me. Skinnier people get in the way, too.
10-24-2010, 09:07 PM
yes, it can feel deflating and obsessive for me sometimes
I have to tell you reading your post (OP), I thought it was pretty impressive your being there to save a life, that's actually kind of amazing, even if it feels monotonous at times, wow, you're there saving someone's life! I think that's extremely specially above and beyond anyone's weight.
10-24-2010, 11:04 PM
I know how you feel sort of. I think so many people over look the psychological affects of being overweight. I think losing weight is very psychological too, not just physical. I worry about people looking at me all the time. When I eat lunch on campus I am worried they think I am fat. Being overweight has stopped me from doing a lot of things I wanted to do. It is also destroyed several relationships I have had.
Just keep going! Don't give up. Thank you for sharing your story.
10-25-2010, 12:13 AM
I am right there with you; sometimes I feel my weight is paralyzing. I'm to the point where I avoid nightclubs, and shopping and fun in general. The crazy part is that I just got this way: I used to be the life of the party and my weight was not an issue. But something changed and that's how I knew it was time for a change. So hang in there, we can get through this.
10-25-2010, 12:27 AM
You are not alone.
I decided I wanted to be cremated based only on the fact that it mortifies me (excuse the pun) to think that people would be walking around looking at my dead body and commenting on how fat I am.... and not to mention the poor pall bearers.
I won't go to church, I avoid social functions, I won't go anywhere in public that I am afraid of running into people I used to know before I got this big...
I have often wondered how the heck I make myself go to work everyday.
It can be extremely debilitating I know... you just have to get to the point that you don't care what other people think. It's not about them. It's about you, your happiness, your health.
Good luck sweetie.
10-25-2010, 12:42 AM
You are NOT "in the way" and only insecure cruel people notice you as much as you think they do. It makes me sad to hear so many people feel this way, but I admit I've been in that boat before. Even now I worry that when my students are gossiping about me and snickering it's because they think I'm fat.
10-25-2010, 01:10 AM
I think everyone at some point is probably worrying about what others are thinking about them and their weight, and is self-conscious. For me, I hate going out and meeting new people. I don't know how many times I've been asked if I'm pregnant or when I'm due. Unfortunately I gain 90% of my weight in my belly and chest area with little arms and legs. I think it's normal to worry about what other people think of us or if their staring at whatever part of your body you're most uncomfortable with.
With all that being said. I'm sure that most people that we think are staring at our bellies or butt probably aren't. I think since I'm self-conscious about my belly I worry that EVERYONE is staring at my belly! I'm sure that if you guys were working on a patient that coded I doubt they were looking at your belly or butt! It's hard to not be worrying about those things though.
10-25-2010, 01:47 AM
As a fellow nurse, I think that the last thing on everyone's mind is your weight during a code. The adrenaline is pumping and the focus is on the person that is dying, not on whom looks the best while giving compressions.
As a side note, did the patient make it?
10-25-2010, 05:22 AM
OH my GAWH! This was the perfect thread to come across tonight (or early this morning, actually). I'm not trying to get comfort from anyone's pain, believe me, but I can TOTALLY relate. I fell down some stairs a while ago and it killed my back, but I had to do everything I could to get up because there was no way the 3 people staring at me could do a thing to help me up. At least if they did, it would take all 3 of them and I wouldn't have dared allowed that to happen. I literally limped away crying saying all the while through a fake smile, "I'm alright. I'm fine, really." I was in horrible pain and probably should have gone to the ER, but wouldn't be seen at my current weight being poked and prodded. I eventually did have to go to the doctor and receive shots in my spine for nerve damage pain. Ugh! We should never get to the point in life when our embarrassment overrides our health needs! But, then again, I guess our need for food overrides our health needs all the time which leads to the trouble we're in! Oh my!
Anyway, all that being said, I'm here to lend support and let you know that I know how you feel, too! I weighed myself tonight after 2 weeks of honestly trying to eat better and exercise (except for 3 slip ups; I know that's a lot) and nothing has budged. I was depressed so I came online and found your story. I hope that you feel better soon and have good luck on your journey to a healthier you!
10-25-2010, 12:29 PM
Thanks for all the words of support guys - I really really needed it. When I went back to work last night, someone actually said "My goodness! Where did all of you go!? You look like you have really lost weight!" -- It made me feel a lot better.
As much as I am sorry to read people's stories about being psychologically effected by our weight - I'm glad to see that I am far from alone in this. The internal monologue is daunting when it comes to that kind of thing. I worry that these feelings will never go away...
I share a lot of the other fears people have... I have a fear of passing out and having to have other people need to find a way to get me off the floor. I fear being hospitalized and being the patient that people complain about having to take care of because their back hurts from moving that person all day. I worry about someone THINKING i'm lighter than i am, trying to pick me up or something and dropping me or hurting themselves! Goodness - I even worry about walking into the wind because I dont like my shirt pressing against my belly fat!!!
I think I am also more worried about what other people are saying or thinking about my weight because I know I pay a lot of attention to how other people look. Its never really negative though - I notice how skinnier women look because I'm envious, so I sort of assume people pay the same kind of attention to me, only with a negative spin.
@Renstwin - No, the patient did not make it. We worked it for just shy of 1 hour but never got a pulse back. Bummer.
10-25-2010, 02:02 PM
I completely know how you feel! Of course, not in that exact situation, but I know how that creep of humiliation, feeling like everyone is staring at you for all the wrong reasons, feeling like every extra ounce is a million pounds and in everyone's face and way.
Looking back, it's rather ridiculous and funny, but when I first started dating my sons father, I was really self conscious about my weight. I was not at my high weight, but was probably a size 14 or so and not pleased about it. For one of our first dates, he took me bowling. I was SO self conscious and aware of my weight that every time it was my turn, I would make him walk up there with me so that he wouldn't be looking at my body and sizing me up while I was bowling!!! HOW SILLY IS THAT?! (I know that's not really as serious as your situation, but just so you know that I've been there.)
Chin up. You are quite obviously doing wonderful things with yourself and your life and moving in a good direction with your weight. And we ARE in fact our own worse critics.
10-25-2010, 05:42 PM
Gonnaturnheads- Yeah that is a bummer!
I hope you are having a better day. We are our own toughest critic, and no one will judge you as harshly as you judge yourself.:)
10-25-2010, 06:46 PM
Just reading this makes me wanna cry and little and give you a gigantic hug!
We are almost always SO much harder on ourselves than others are on us.
I would bet that not a single person in that room even gave a millisecond of thought to your weight, but that isnt what matters here.
How you feel in your skin is what matters, and I hope that in time you feel more confident as you feel more and more empowered by your progress.