This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hello! My Name is Dr.Fatty and I'm a Negative-holic.

Here's the deal. I'm new to blogging. I'm new to weight loss. I'm doing really well so far. I know that. I do. But, I've had years and years and years of practice at negativity. As far as learning to be positive goes, I am an infant.

Some people are glass half-full people. Some people are glass half-empty people. Me, I'm a -why bother to look because I probably don't even have a glass anyway and if I do it's not as nice as yours because I'm such a loser-person. I think, no, I know it has everything to do with my brain chemistry. My mom is chronically depressed, maybe bipolar. My dad is...well...undiagnosed, but likely paranoid narcissistic personality disorder and bipolar with schizophrenic tendencies. So you can imagine why I might have issues.

I can remember being 8 or 9 years old and just lying on the sofa crying all day for no reason. People would ask me what was wrong and I'd say, "I don't know. I'm just so sad." Geez. That's depressing. Then as I approached my teen years it got worse of course. Add it up: teen angst + obesity + no self esteem + genetic tendency for depression = recipe for disaster.

All my life people would tell me how pretty my face was or my eyes or my hair. I never new how to take a compliment. I always heard my Dad's voice, "You'd be so pretty if you'd only lose weight." Which always meant to me that I wouldn't be pretty UNTIL I lost weight.

When I was 14 I left a very small rural school to go to high school in town. I was terrified. The only thing I clung to was that I was smart and I could sing. I might be uglier and fatter and poorer than all those people, but I was smarter and I had a good voice.

In high school, I met my best friend. We are alike but different in so many ways. She is a glass half full person. She is one reason I started to see myself differently. She and I became everyone's funny fat friend. We were friends with all the different groups from jocks and cheerleaders to theater types to nerds. I began to come out of my shell. Have fun.

In college, I started getting attention from boys and making new friends. I was smart and I was funny and people always wanted to sit by me. Then I met my husband and my life changed forever for the better. But my brain and thoughts lagged behind. Inside I was always seeing the down side, always looking for the disappointment. Always thinking, "yeah, but..."

That's when I started noticing my inner voices I always talk about. Most of the time my natural inclination is something like Eeyore. That's right Eeyore is one of the voices in my head. "Why bother. Oh well." But somewhere along the way I found my inner cheerleader. "You are worth it. You can do this. You are beautiful no matter what you look like. You have much to offer others. You are a good person."

But, I have anger issues sometimes. That's right, it's angry Eeyore in my head. Unfortunately all that anger is turned inward. "You are so fat and stupid. You can't do anything right. You'll never be anything." To survive sometimes my inner cheerleader turns into bitchy head cheerleader from high school, "At least you aren't THAT fat. Look at HER."

But I don't like being that way, withdrawn and scared of the world, grumpy and dark and negative. I'd much rather be happy and positive. But, for me it doesn't come naturally. Some days I wake up with a smile and it feels great. Others I wish I didn't wake up at all. Sad, but the brutal truth. There have been times when I've been suicidal. Not for a very, very long time. So, I know what the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness can do to you. I've worked very hard to overcome that.

When I'm at work I have to be understanding and up beat and empathetic. I'm good at it and I enjoy it. But, it is work for me. Sometimes I feel like I have to be "on" all the time. With my natural tendency toward being alone and mopey, you'd think I'd have been a radiologist. My inner Eeyore has caused problems with my relationships. People don't always understand when you are quiet and want to be left alone.

Since I've started down this path to wellness, I find it gets easier and easier. It is absolutely amazing to me how much I am changing. The longer I think good thoughts, the more I WANT to think good thoughts. The longer I eat good foods, the more I WANT to eat good foods. The more I achieve with exercise, the more I WANT to exercise. And realizing all this just makes me want to do more and more.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to rid myself of little Eeyore. That's where I get my snarky sense of humor. And I don't think there's anything wrong with being happy by yourself from time to time. I just want to rid myself of the self doubt, and victim mentality. The self hate and anger. The only way I can do that is to recognize it, talk about it, see where it's coming from.

All of you here in bloggerville are playing a critical role in this transformation of mine from less Eeyore to more Tigger. I never imagined how good it would feel knowing you were out there cheering for me. That I could complain and you'd understand. That I could brag and you would be proud of me. That we are all on the same team here. Fat people, thin people-- just plain people trying to get better, better in mind, spirit and body. So for that I thank you. And if you see that angry Eeyore me sneak its way into my writing in blogs or comments, try to remember its about me, not you. Feel free to call me on it.

What about you? Are you a half full person? Are you naturally optimistic? If not, how to you battle it? If so, how do you stay that way when faced with challenges?

TTFN...Ta ta for now!


  1. Glasses ? It's Friday, can I have a glass of beer? How about a Pizza...I love reading your stuff. It makes me seem so normal....Only good things..

  2. I tend to be more pragmatic -- the glass is simply dirty, and someone's going to have to wash it.

    Most likely me ;)

    Outside of that metaphor, I don't know. I try to figure out if I'm an optimist or a pessimist and it just makes my brain hurt. I know I used to be optimistic, and I think for the most part I still am, but over the past forty years I've also had several experiences that have jacked my cynicism level way up.

    Thing is, it's healthy for me to know that not everyone is a good person. I used to not know that (I was pretty sheltered). But it's also important to remember that there are good people out there, and chances are even the person darting the evil glare in my direction is just having a bad day, and the glare wasn't even directed at me specifically.

    It's a bit hard to maintain when there's a run of real jerks, granted... but it ties my stomach up in knots much less when I try to assume the best rather than the worst.

  3. Well let me just tell you that Eeyore is a damn eloquent writer!

    I am a glass half full person by nature but when I started blogging I was determined to be more optimistic. If I write it - it will happen, kinda thinking. But I slip a lot. I can somehow though be more optimistic in the blog more often than in real life.

  4. OK. If I make Allan feel normal, what does that say about me?? Ha ha! And you, you can have a beer. A super ultra lite one. Or maybe just water.

  5. I'm more of a "who cares if I have a glass as long as everyone else I care about has one that is full" kinda person.

    I too am amazed by the support out here. We don't have the same expectations and threats as we do in the real world. It;s so comforting to know there are other people like us. People going through the same stuff and people who have been there and lived to talk about it.

    Thanks for being able to share your vulnerability with us.

  6. I had something really profound to say about Eeyore and Tigger and a great book I read once, but my mind went blank after I read the words "Allan" and "normal" in the same sentence :p

    Normal is boring and that doesn't sound like either of you!

  7. Lanie-when you think of that profound stuff about Eeyore and Tigger, let me know. I think they are very profound. Sometime I do a post on my theories about the psychological side of the Pooh characters.

    PS-Normal is boring and I too find it funny to see the words Allan and normal in the same sentence. Hee hee!

  8. Interesting getting to know you. Of course you're smart. (We knew that) Do you still sing?

  9. When I start feeling like the glass is half empty, I only need to look at the poverty and devastation in the world and realize how many people don't even have a glass. I know it sounds trite and cliche, but it's always a good reality check for me. On a day-to-day basis, I try to catch myself in little moments that bring me peace and happiness, like sitting in a chair by the window reading. And of course taking my daily Vitamin D helps (or at least I've convinced myself that it has helped my moods!). Thanks for such a personal and honest post today.

  10. I am definitely a glass is half full - while my husband is the opposite - yet together we somehow make it work!

    When I was at my heaviest, it was Christmas time and I opened a sweater - I held it up to myself and I didn't realize it at the time, but after watching the video that was being taped, you could hear my Dad in the background saying "is that one size fits bus?!"

    Hopefully you can start the journey to be a positive person and be more Tiggerlike! :D


  11. Dr, you are one of my favorite blog reads. Your posts always are thought provoking and well written. I too fight the negative self talk, and my wife occasionally calls me Eeyore much to my dismay. I am working everyday to improve my attitude. Its a daily struggle.


  12. Allan jokes, are you all sure that you want to have a set of Allan jokes. Remember, I am the mean and evil one..LALALALALaaaaaaa. Alright, no more Allan bashing, I am quite sensitive you know...

  13. I'm definitely glass half full (or is it a smidge MORE than half??). An optimist. Funny, though, I definitely need my alone time to recharge my batteries. I'm not an extrovert, but my morning greeting is likely to be "hey there, what a beautiful day." DH is the same way--he's definitely Tigger. My favorite character is Christopher (I like to be the sensible, fixer, leader person).

  14. Man, I can relate to so much of this -- from the Narcissistic biopolar mother, to sitting on the couch crying for no reason at all except being SAD, etc. I too have an eeyore inside of me! I would say that I'm naturally pessimistic, but that's getting easier over the last few years. Certainly my husband makes me realize that every day is a wonderful new day, if for nothing else than because he's in this day with me. Since loosing this weight, I'm not taking my anti-depressants anymore, either. And I don't think that's a coincidence.

  15. Eeyore is my favorite WTP character.Ihave a collectionof Eeyores, about 30 of them. I had more but recently gave a bunch away to charity. I myself am a glass half full person, but I don't beleieve anyone if optimistic all the time. I know I am not. You say it is Eeyore that is inside you which drags on you, I have someone inside me too I call the 'Hungry-Demon', he gets in my way at times and sends me down paths I don't want to go. The important thing is we realize the Eeyore,or Demon in us and come up with a game plan to defeat it. For me, and it seems for you too, the game plan includes blogging. A potent tool for us too help ourselves and each other.

  16. I am glad you wrote a little about your father and those comments. You already know that mine did the same. Maybe they were pals at some point? The point is, that this is part of the healing process and in my opinion part of our journey to uncover ourselves in a healthy way.

    I am overall quite optimist-but I never believed as much as I do now that I could really do this (getting healthy thing). I know now that I will and am. There are so many things that I have missed out on because of my weight-like pictures and swimming in a swim suit and finding the inner runner within. Michele


Progress to TouchDown and GOALLLL!!