Disclaimer

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.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jealousy and Insecurity

Today my post is about something that has been bothering me a while. In my life there are all kinds of people. Fat, thin, fit, unfit. Some are naturally thin and eat everything they want. Some work very hard, freakishly hard, at being and staying thin.

About 2 years ago, my partner decided to go on Slimfast. Everyday she has only slim fast for lunch. She eats a snack of fruit and that's it. I haven't seen her eat anything but fruit and an occasional cheese stick in 2 years. I'm not kidding. My partner is not overweight. She never was. She is much taller than me. She lost, I think, about 25 or 30 pounds. She is now very thin. For a long time she was the one in the office people were talking about looking so good.

I'll admit I've been jealous of her at times. She is one of these people that is naturally beautiful and knows it. She takes care of herself and I have to admit she works very hard at being pretty. She shops only at the best places and dresses just so. People are constantly telling her how good she looks. It left fat little me feeling like the unpopular one all over again, just like in high school.

Why does being around people like that make me feel so insecure? It's not like we aren't equals in almost every other way. We have similar careers, similar family lives. Where does that feeling of, "I'm not worthy" come from?

And, why do some people just need attention to feel better about themselves? I've never had attention before. In fact you know from my post yesterday that the new attention I'm receiving is freaking me out a little. But, it is clear to me that she thrives on it. One day a couple of weeks ago, she wore 4 inch heels to the office with a short skirt. Now, we are a casual office. We don't dress up usually. We wear scrubs most of the time. Usually it is slacks or the occasional skirt. This outfit was WAY WAY more than the usual, even for dressing up.

All day it was all about her legs. Every single person that came in this office that day commented on her legs. How could you not? She's tall w/ great legs in amazing shoes. She looked great. And she was obviously thriving on the attention. I mean soaking it up. And when people would say something about her legs, she just shrugged it off, bat her eyes and say, "Oh I just shaved my legs and now I can wear a skirt." Sure.

I just don't get wearing THAT to work knowing you're going to get THAT response. I don't wear low cut blouses or skirts that are too short even though at my fattest I am curvy and have decent legs. I just don't. For one thing, I don't feel comfortable as a physician exuding sexual vibe. It just seems wrong to me. But, maybe it's my insecurity with myself. I don't know.

Maybe the thinner I get and the more comfortable I get with people looking at me I'll be able to wear something like that to work if I want. Maybe I'll learn to love the attention. But, I just don't know.

I find myself wondering what all the attention I'm getting does to her need for the limelight. Lately every drug rep and all the employees talk about me and my workouts and how good I'm looking and how well I'm doing. And they know I'm eating actual food. They know she never eats.

She told us once what she eats everyday M-F. Here it is: Breakfast-South Beach Bar, Lunch-Slim Fast and Berries(1 cup frozen with skim milk), Dinner-cottage cheese with tomatoes, cucumbers or other veggies. That's it. She has a cheese stick sometimes, but certainly not everyday. I've gotten to where I can tell when she's on her period because she eats actual food, but never more than a few bites. The other day she ate 2 tortilla chips.

She supposedly eats more on the weekend, but I have real trouble believing it. She doesn't like talking about her diet. She always deflects it when people ask. I wonder how patients feel when she tells them how she lost weight? Sometimes I even wonder if she has an eating disorder. But, who am I to judge. She is thin and healthy. She's not feakishly twiggy thin.

And so what this whole post boils down to is...Am I jealous or just insecure? Is she jealous of me and all the attention I'm getting? And if so, how do I feel about that? When will I feel like I look good again? I used to feel good and confident. I didn't think that much about my appearance before. When I did get dressed up, I felt like I looked good.

I still do most of the time, but I guess now I realize that when I walk down the street, people who don't know what I looked like before still see fat lady. Knowing that bothers me. A lot. Sometimes I wish I had a sign on my forehead that said "You should have seen me before. I've worked really hard to be this fat." Shouldn't I be confident and MORE secure, not less? Shouldn't I be LESS jealous of those thin people in my life, not more? Or is it just me knowing thin is in my grasp, but seems to take forever getting there? (I'll post another time on my issues with no patience.)

It all circles back to the mental hurdles and challenges of this weight loss stuff. It's all how you feel inside and it affects everything. From how I feel about my new "skinny" size 16 jeans I'm wearing today, to the cookie I walked by and caught a whiff of and wanted to snatch off the counter, but didn't of course. That mental marathon I'm running is WAY harder than the workout I did this morning at 5:15am or passing up that cookie. WAY harder. The worst part is that there are no "rules" or guidelines for fixing that part. I don't know how to quantify how to change that stuff. There's no calorie count or heart rate monitor equivalent. No Couch to Healthy Self Image program.

I guess the closest thing to that is this blog world where I feel so much more myself now than out there in the real scary world. Here I can say it how it is. Ruminate, bitch, gloat, excel, fail, whine, complain, triumph, brag and anything else my heart desires. For that, I thank you all.

And on that subject...Weigh in today shows no loss. Damned Sodium-a-Thon. But, I'm close to a loss. I can feel it. Isn't it weird how the more you listen to your body, the more it talks to you?

Enough rambling for me today....

17 comments:

  1. A wife, a mother of three, a physician, and a friend to many...Do I need to tell you that you are hot to help your self Image. Step back, look at the good stuff, and remember what you have...Your a peach with me...

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  2. I struggle with these things also... still fat and do I tell people I lost almost 160lb to gain credibility or not??? On vacation my mom told the whole world so I was getting kudos at our time share the whole week which felt weird and good all at the same time...

    and thin or not we all feel insecure sometimes and your co worker is used to getting a little pick me up by dressing and looking a way that will get mentioned. Sometimes i have found I do the same now that I am smaller than I have been as an adult.

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  3. About six months into my workouts a new person joined her group - she was tall, thin - a marathon runner. She approached me after a week, saying "you know, there's a really good diet that you might be interested in" - I was a little upset at first, but then I realized she didn't know that I had already lost something like 80 pounds - she just saw a (still) overweight person. Which, after I nicely told her, gave me great perspective whenever I see overweight people - hey - they might be 50 or 100 pounds down on THEIR journey - you just never know!

    So your partner. Weird that in a medical field, she is not eating a healthy, balanced diet. Way to role model - NOT. And yes, I'm sure she's feeling insecure since you are finally the one to receive attention. Too bad that she's acting out with mini skirt - that is really inappropriate. This could get really weird.

    That said, I'm happy for you - obviously you are changing for the better and people are noticing - and I'm sure it's not just your size, but your attitude and enthusiasm for the new healthy lifestyle you are living! Enjoy and revel in it - you deserve it!

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  4. Insecurity is a strange thing. Why do some of us suffer from it, and for very different reasons, while others are seemingly so self-confident? I don't think it has to be weight related, although I know it is for many. There are some very zaftig women out there who are supremely confident:) And when I am at my thinnest, I am still not that way.

    It certainly sounds like she is looking for attention. Funny how you each might be insecure and jealous for such opposite reasons:)

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  5. I would shrug off the partner's mini skirt, I am certain she was just trying to get some lost limelight back. She is a child, let it be.

    As for the self image, it is strange. I sometimes get to feeling good about myself and then I will be walking down an aisle in Wal Mart an still see a kid stare at me at I come and go and think, I know I used to be fatter but am I still amazingly fat? One thing I have always had, to offset my physical image, is the fact I am intelligent and charming. I often have gotten by on that and I keep that close as my security blanket. I am betting that you have the same qualities, just based on what I see you write here. So don't go putting all your eggs regarding self image in one basket. I don't!

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  6. First of all...sodium? Drink water to flush that stuff out! You'll see a drop in the scale surely!

    As for your co-worker...sounds to me like all those social power struggle dynamics that social behaviorists thrive on. Without knowing you or her personally or better, it's not really fair to judge either one of you on what you guys MIGHT think about one another and how you MIGHT feel inside.

    I DO think it's fair to say that everyone likes to feel good. Everyone likes to get compliments. Everyone feels powerful when they get attention. Everyone consciously and subconsciously does stuff to get attention, to gain social power.

    Does that mean that your co-worker isn't THRILLED for your weight loss? Absolutely not! She could be completely stoked on your behalf! Don't assume the worst (that she's jealous of you taking her spotlight) because that will only cause some bitter power struggles in the office and "drama" that you don't need in your life! Instead, assume the BEST: that she's THRILLED for you! (Because she probably is!)

    It's too bad that she's spent so many years of her life not eating and not enjoying food. Isn't food great? Isn't it great that you can enjoy food AND lose weight AND feel great about yourself? Enjoy the attention that you are receiving but don't let outside affirmations determine your self-worth. And don't waste your time comparing your own self-worth to that of your skinny co-worker. You wouldn't do that to other people in your life, and it's unfair to compare yourself to her, as well.

    I think you're awesome by the way.

    Christine
    www.phoenixrevolution.net

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  7. You're right that the mental aspect is so much harder. That's what's got me at the moment, and I'll admit it freely.

    You are rocking the weight loss, and you're doing an awesome job with that as well as with juggling the rest of your life. And you know that even though the scale isn't saying what you feel in your bones, that it's not indicative of your true success.

    Plus it will cooperate shortly. They tend to do that right after weigh-in :)

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  8. Hey, Friend,
    I had a co-worker. We both lost weight. She had less to lose and got to her goal. Much much to-do around the workplace. I got close to my goal and then started to back-slide. My co-worker, who could exert iron will-power, kept open Costco size jars of cashews and chocolate truffles on her desk (two things she knew I loved), happily exhorting me to help myself. At WW they call it sabotage. I think your partner does seem jealous of the attention you've been getting. Who would want to wear high heels and a short skirt to work??? And, I, personally love cooking and eating REAL food. As my mom would have said, "consider the source," she obviously has issues with self confidence and food. Those are her problems. You're working on and overcoming your problems. Keep repeating: I can wear size 16 skinny jeans. And put a smile on your face--she's going to face a lot more difficulty overcoming her problems than you. You're half way there.

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  9. Your partner is obviously an attention-seeking whore.

    Ok, not really, but I bet the next time you see her all tarted up like that you chuckle thinking about it.

    It doesn't matter what she, or other people, look like. There's always going to be somebody that looks better or has what you think you want. And there is always going to be somebody who is struggling that wants what you obviously have. You can't rate yourself in accordance with other people that way. You've got to remember that you are the best Dr. Fatty you can be and that's all that matters!

    If Allan loves you, that's a good sign! He has pretty high standards!

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  10. Lainie is nuts, but an astute nut at that...Love the "attention seeking whore" comment...LMAO

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  11. "For one thing, I don't feel comfortable as a physician exuding sexual vibe." this made me LOL. But yes, you probably don't want to be known as Dr. Hottie... but then maybe you do tee hee!

    And honestly, in defense of your partner who hasn't eaten in years... well that's just sad. But if there was any way I could rock 4" heels and a short skirt I'd be there in a minute.

    Keep it up... you are amazing!

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  12. What I find most disturbing about this isn't that your partner displays this behaviour, but that she sees nothing wrong in modelling such unhealthy eating habits, as someone who should know better. And I think that's what you should focus on as well. You've recognized that you were modelling unhealthy behaviour for your patients, and are taking steps to change. She sees nothing wrong with her behaviour, despite the fact that her diet is severely lacking is basic nutritional requirements.

    The self-image battle we all wage isn't an easy one. And it's so easy to look at someone else and say "Why is it so much easier for her?" But just because she seems to have found an "easy" way, doesn't mean it's the right way.

    Celebrate your every success. And every time you start to question yourself, remember to celebrate them all again.

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  13. Lanie caught me off guard... too funny.

    I just wanted to congratulate you on your awareness of the situation. In the past you probably didn't have such and understanding of the true dynamic. She has her own issues... but you are fixing yours.

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  14. I really like this post! And I can relate to it quite a bit...for a few reasons. I won't list them all here, but wanted to comment on a couple things. The first is that it's odd how uncomfortable the attention you get from weight loss can make you feel. I have been feeling that lately when people comment on my weight loss and how good they think I'm looking. I can't help but feel like it's almost a backhanded compliment that implies how bad I looked before! What's strange is that I was pretty upset when that attention disappeared as I gained my weight, but now I'm somewhat uncomfortable to receive it again.
    The other issue you mentioned was the sexy way your partner has been dressing. I thought that was funny because my family physician is quite the sexy doctor. She's always dressed up in slinky dresses and knee-high stiletto boots. I mean, she's absolutely beautiful, but I have to admit that It was a bit off-putting when I started seeing her as my new physician a few years back, but I'm used to it now.

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  15. I think she wanted to get back some of the attention that has now been going to you. You said that people are asking you about your exercise and making comments on your weight loss and she wants some of that attention!

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  16. Honestly, I think she has insecurity disorder syndrome (how’s that for a DX!). Dressing like THAT begs for attention. She exhibits attention-seeking behaviors. Why? Insecurity. Plan and simple. I seriously doubt you would exhibit those behavior when you are enlightened. Bad asses are not insecure.

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  17. New to your blog, but I from what I can see you have a really good handle on how to make this journey work for you! Your partner - jury's out on that as I don't know her - but first impression she has issues! Keep up the good work!
    TL

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