Lola Rolls
Advice on Life from a Former Sideshow Fat Lady

Depression After Weight Loss

Posted By on Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

Dear Lola,

My weight has been an issue my entire life. Things got really bad after college when I hit 350 pounds. I felt tired and out of breath all the time and fell into a deep depression, which only made the problem worse. I had gastric bypass surgery about two years ago and reached my target weight about four months ago. The problem though is that I’m still struggling with the same depression. I thought I would be happy once I lost weight and that I would be able to move forward in my career and meet someone special. Instead, my body looks like a melted candle, and I’m alone and stuck in the same dead-end job. What do I do now?

–What to Do When Dreams Come True

Dear When Dreams Come True,

Society conflates being overweight with so many different concepts and judgments that we can be led to believe, for example, that being fat means being unhappy, and, by extension, that becoming thin will also mean discovering happiness.

You need to frame and address your issues in the contexts that actually apply to them. If you’re depressed, then you what you need is medical and psychological assistance for depression. Also, you’ve been through some very major physical changes, and, touching as that does on core issues like self-perception, I think some sort of mental health help would be in order regardless of your preexisting condition. Once your depression is managed, you will be in a much better position to undertake a job search or pursue any further education and training you might need.

You mention that you don’t like being single, and, certainly, if your energy and outlook improve with treatment, there are many options available for you to get out there and meet someone. My advice though would be to delay the online dating, meetups, and hookups until you’ve improved your body and self-image. You didn’t like yourself when you were fat and you don’t like yourself now that you’re thin. That’s a terrible way to feel and a horrible outlook to have when entering a romantic relationship. Cliché though it may be, you need to love yourself and believe in your inherent worth. In time then, you may come to appreciate the beauty and rightness of your body as it was and as it is today.

Barbara Boehm Miller
Fiction Writer and Creator of the Character, Lola Rolls

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