• Katie

Mentally healing after a Lipedema Diagnosis

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

For years, my whole life, I have been fat.

I have tried countless diets, seen personal trainers, doctors have prescribed weight loss aids and I even had A gastric bypass.

Not even the surgery could cure me of my fatness. Why can’t I lose weight? Everyone becomes thin after weight loss surgery? But not me... what was I doing wrong?

After years of leg pain I begged my GP to see someone about my leg pain and varicose veins. This doctor mentioned one little term in passing that I barely even picked up on at the time ‘Lipedema’.

It would be another 6 years of daily pain, mobility issues and fat shaming before I could really understand why I couldn’t lose weight. Even after a gastric bypass, my legs, upper arms and posterior didn’t change.

While pregnant with my daughter I packed on more than 70 lbs, my legs swelled up like balloons. I assumed it was just pregnancy swelling and it would resolve some time after delivery with the rest of the baby weight, but it never went away. It was during that same pregnancy that my husband sat me down in our bedroom, looked me in the eyes and told me “your fat is disgusting me so much, I can’t stand to even look at you. If you don’t lose weight once the baby is born I won’t be able to stay married to you anymore.” To put it into context- during my pregnancy and for the following year he because a major gym buff, losing over 100lbs and transforming his body into a completely fit muscle machine. He figured- if he could put the effort in and lose weight, so could I.

By any reasonable logic- if you diet enough, you should lose weight, right?

Unfortunately most of us us go through years and years of dieting, develop eating disorders, depression, and walk around with deep deep shame. We are skinny people walking around in what so always felt like was a ‘fat suit’.

If anyone has ever seen the movie ‘Shallow Hal’ we are Rose Mary, but we haven’t a Hal in sight to see us for the beautiful person behind the tree trunks we have for legs.

Guess what?

It isn’t your fault! You can take off your fat suit of shame and look at yourself for what is real and true inside. We have focused so long on our outward appearance that we try in vein to control.

It is time to retire your shame and guilt about the extra pounds you carry around and forgive yourself. You really were born this way, it isn’t because you have eaten too many chocolate bars, spent too much time on the couch or skipped a session or twenty at the gym.

I am sure we all have a bit of weight that is our fault - I certainly do enjoy baking and sampling my desserts, but for the bulk of it - it would have ended up on your thighs regardless of the twinkies your mum packed in your school lunch box (Stop blaming yourself too mom).

Our quality of life has been greatly altered by a medical condition we don’t even understand.

I am am hoping that as a community we can work together to heal our hearts and minds. You are not your fat!

You are beautiful.

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