Stand By Your (Wo)Man

Photo Credit: hugovk via Compfight cc
Our surgery dates are getting ever closer, and we are now at the point where we are ticking off days on the calendar before Lor’s liquid diet begins. In about a week Lor will have her pre-surgical appointment, and I will have the appointment where my surgery gets scheduled. Tense times in this neck of the woods.
As we’ve gone through this whole process together, I’ve had the opportunity to really observe Lor’s daily operations in a detail I had not ever been privy to before. The ins and outs of her daily life, her schedule, and her diet have left me with one overall impression.
Sometimes, it sucks to be a woman.
Take our weight loss journeys for example. Lor was chatting with a family member and mentioned how “unfair” it was that, while I have lost about 29 pounds so far, she had only lost about half of that. I mentioned that I started off at more than 30% heavier than her, so why wouldn’t I lose more? And then promptly forgot about the matter.
But, during our most recent meeting with our nutritionist, I found out that this is a real, live issue. “Men lose faster than women, and in the places where bariatric patients want to lose,”she told us. “Women tend to lose weight in all the areas we don’t want to lose in before we ever start reducing the areas that we want to lose weight from.” She went on to talk about how important it was to not compare weight loss, that each journey was our own, etc. – but I had seen the flag of Female Solidarity being raised in that medical office. I was outnumbered and I kept my opinions to myself after that.
The fact remains that Lor has always had a healthier life than me. She has always wanted to eat fruits and vegetables while I wanted crap. She has always wanted to go outdoors and be active while I wanted to stay inside and play video games. The fact that she is having to go through this surgery to manage diabetes is manifestly unfair – but there you have it. Life isn’t fair. If you are a woman, apparently less so.
Women are still 400% more likely to undergo bariatric surgery than men.This despite the fact that there are more obese men in this country than women. Sadly, many of these surgeries are not really motivated by health issues like mine and Lor’s, but instead by self-esteem. The “beauty cult” in the U.S. tells women that they must be young, slim, and beautiful forever. Men, meanwhile, are free to pile on the pounds – because it represents success, or power, or something. And just spend a little time talking with any group of bariatric surgery survivors, and you will hear the horror stories of men trying to talk their ladies out of having surgery, of sabotaging their partner’s weight loss, or even leaving their wives after surgery. Why? Fear of infidelity, mainly – these men believe that once their spouse has reclaimed some self-worth, she will leave them for someone better.
I say if your husband or boyfriend is that much of a prick, you should trade up. Bariatric surgery is hard enough without some insecure man stabbing you in the back at every turn.
A friend of ours was visiting the other day, providing moral support, and she and Lor began chatting about “female problems.” With nothing to add, I decided to keep my own counsel. She finally looked over at me and attempted to bring me into the conversation. “What do you think?” she asked. 
I blurted out “I think I am glad I am not a woman,” and I cringed the minute I said it, hearing how blatantly sexist and superior it sounded.
No one took any offense. Our friend just patted me on the shoulder and said “And you should, honey. You should.”
Thinking I Dodged A Bullet,
– Hawkwind

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