Tag Archives: weight loss

You deserve love, all of you

I just read the most horrific, disgusting, and saddening article entitled “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to be Loved” I thought about posting the link here so people could see for themselves the vitriol this man is spewing, but I refuse to give this drooling troll any more traffic to this shameful article.

I know body type discussions can be a hot topic. Everyone has their preferences and that’s everyone’s right. But to say any human doesn’t deserve love due to a physical trait, especially something as random as a number on a scale (be it a high number or a low) is beyond comprehension to me.

My weight fluctuates a lot. Some months I’m up, some months I’m down. Does that mean that in March I deserve love and in February I don’t? Not only is this logic outright insane, it’s just cruel.

I could go on and on about the details from the article, refuting them one by one but I won’t because it just makes me sad and I don’t want to drag myself or anyone else down.

The point I want to make is simply this; Regardless of your personal preferences, please don’t forget we are all humans and all humans deserve love (with the possible exception of the awful person who wrote that article, but I’m going to let Karma work that one out).

100 Pounds Down and Holding-ish

Or otherwise titled “My Coming Out Party” 

What a whirlwind it’s been but I made it! 100 pounds down (give or take a few depending on the day). Would I like to be smaller? Sure. Will I be? Probably not. I’ve been hovering within this 5 pound range for quite a while. I’m ok with that. In fact, I’m great with that! I hit my triple digit goal. I feel great and my health has dramatically improved. My photographer friend Jessica came out to visit and took some pictures to commemorate the occasion. (Ok, ok, for the dating sites….which is a whole other nightmare of a blog post) I thought I’d share one even though I’m quite camera shy. I’m in a bit of a “coming out” mood, so sharing this picture is a first step. Along with the pounds I’m ready to shed some of this compartmentalization I’ve been wasting so much energy on. So this is me. Flawed, bipolar, but a lot lighter in more ways than one. 

62 Pounds – Yeah, I’ll take it, but what next?

So, it’s been 4.5 months since the weight loss surgery and I’m 62 pounds down. This is about average. I can see the number on the scale drop and most of my clothes look ridiculous (even the smaller ones I had saved “just in case”) but when I look in the mirror I still can’t see the difference. I wonder if there will ever be a time when my perception equals the reality of my new body. I still have a long way to go on the body part but that’s a breeze compared to the mental work I will need to do. Will I ever be able to look in the mirror and not see a fat person looking back? Is the constant berating from my childhood permanently affixed to my self-perception? Will I ever admit to myself that I’ve been hiding behind my fat suit in order to avoid intimacy? (OK, well I guess I just admitted that, so check one thing off the list)

What if people (men) start to notice me in “that way”? I’m not sure how I would react. I would probably be terrified or have a high school flashback and just assume they are mocking me. And what about…….lord help me……dating? Ugh it makes me nauseous to even think about it. But there’s another part of me that craves that elusive companionship and wonders what it’s really like to fall in love. I mean, I’m 44 and have never had a truly, mutually loving relationship. That’s messed up. I really don’t want to live the second half of my life never having experienced that feeling. It just seems so hollow to live this way, but I don’t know how to change it. It’s like I have the romantic relationship maturity of a 14 year old. My logic-brain gets it but logic-brain is easily usurped by low-self-esteem brain and gets it’s ass kicked regularly by set-in-my-ways brain.

I guess I’m just going to have to go with the flow on that one. My mom used to say “Every pot has a lid”. So, Mr. Lid, if you are out there, drop me a hint. And if I run away just grab my handle and hang on to it until I simmer down.

Here Goes….

Well, for what it’s worth the surgery is done. After a 3 day puke fest and an additional 3 days of gut wrenching pain, I am now at home and healing and feeling surprisingly good. I’m off to a respectable start with 18 pounds gone already. I’m titrating down from the Depakote after showing my psychiatrist my latest liver blood work. (it was almost 3 times high normal). The good news about this is that I know the Depakote would have slowed my progress with the weight loss. The bad news is that I’m going back to 2 out of 3 of my past medications; Lamictal and Abilify. Abilify also causes weight gain but it shouldn’t be as bad as the Depakote and hopefully the surgery will override these effects. It also has a bit of a tranquilizing effect that always made me feel a little underwater. Add to that I know *something* was eating at my stomach before but I never could prove a link to the drugs. Since I’ve pretty much been through the entire list of possible medications in the past 10 years I’m going to have to pick from the lesser of all evils.

So, it seems I’ll still be doing the mind/body balance dance. I guess I always will be. Neither will ever be perfect and that’s ok, I just want to be the healthiest I can be. I’m a little surprised how hungry I still get knowing how small my stomach is right now (4-6 ounces). One of the supposed advantages to this surgery is that they remove the part of your stomach that generates some hunger hormones so I guess I was expecting not to struggle with that feeling. I guess it could be mental, or my hormones rebalancing themselves, but I hope it levels out soon. I have to be super careful to measure out the little bits of food I can eat or I know I could easily consume far beyond my capacity, making myself sick and stretching out my new stomach. I will ask about this at my followup appointment next week.

In the meantime I’m off of work until at least next Thursday. Other than the growing boredom and the underlying guilt about not being at work, I think the downtime is good for me. The last year and especially the last 4 months have been a pretty intense and hectic experience. I’m seeing this 3 weeks as my hitting of the reset button mentally and physically. And watch out, Spring, I plan to emerge from my cocoon reinvented and renewed and ready to take on the world.

On Getting Mad at the Bullies

Ok, short rant before I go to sleep. I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately between work and working out. Some of them have been about weight management and those who struggle with it. I’m not going to dwell on this for long but I have to say something. The articles aren’t even the point. Most of them are not well written, organized, or really have a true point, but it’s the comments that are striking to me. It’s all-out fat bashing season out there and the cruelty of some of what I’ve been seeing is unreal. It’s not only acceptable, but even socially encouraged to humiliate and ridicule people with weight issues. Sure, my weight challenges are primarily due to poor choices I’ve made, but let’s try an experiment. Let’s all try wearing giant signs around our necks all day…every day… that detail in a public way all of our moral weaknesses, addictions, and poor choices and see who wants to be the first to cast stones at the fat people. Empathy, folks, it’s not that hard. Ok, rant over, let the positive life-changing resume.

On Changing it all at once

I posted several entries this past fall whining about needing to change my life… then I went silent for awhile…and actually changed my life. My job was a nightmare of constant travel and stress which I was allowing to impact my physical and mental health. Yes, I allowed it. There are many out there who can handle this type of work very well, and thrive in it even. I realized that unfortunately I’m not one of those people. I don’t admit defeat easily which is why the last few months have been tough.

Last we left off I think I was winging my way home from my spa vacation. Right after I posted my last post from the airplane something struck me. I realized that I had the ability to control what happened next, and I didn’t have to feel weak or guilty about it. So, I emailed a former colleague who had moved on to a different company and had at one point expressed an interest in bringing me along. I had dismissed the offer at the time because I was fairly new in my current position and was hopeful for a successful long term run there.

Alas, success is a relative term. I thought for awhile what success really looked like to me and somewhere during that flight my definition changed. Maybe it’s an age thing, or I finally just hit the endurance wall, but suddenly my priorities shifted. I weighed the potential career glory, financial rewards, and general reputation within my professional community with all the other things that had started to suffer in the wake of it all. It became achingly clear that my priorities had been skewed when I looked at all I had given up. Physical health, mental health, appearance, relationships, social life, community roots. At the end of the day, the math was obvious. I had to change.

This change needed to go beyond just quitting my job. I had to quit my job *with purpose*. My next move couldn’t just be change for change’s sake. It had to be backed by real lifestyle modifications or else it would be just another flakey job-hop. I would have to pack up and move again, 2 times in 10 months…so there had to be a good reason. The move, while painful, was also symbolic. A clean slate in a semi-new city (I had lived in the area before, so I was close enough to rekindle some old friendships which was a good thing)

But all and all this was a brand new ball game. I took this new position that promises much less travel and a 9-5 (ish) lifestyle. I even got MLK day off…for the first time ever. I’m 3 weeks in and even though those 3 weeks have resulted in 2 business trips, they were much smaller in scale and in the long term will be the exception rather than the rule (I hope).

The first thing I did when I knew I was going to be relocating and starting over was book an appointment with a Dr. who specializes in weight management. She was the first person I visited upon reaching my destination. It was an extreme experience. She put me on (a closely supervised) 800 calorie a day plan. This seems shocking and I guess it kind of is, but I see her once a week for a check up and weigh-in and this is just the first (albeit hard core) phase in a long term approach that will slowly reintroduce me to food over time. (I live mostly on protein shakes and soups in the meantime).  I predict it will take me about a year to lose the 100 pounds I need to lose. 100, really? I let it get that out of control? How does any sane person let that happen? I’ll address that in more detail in the next post. The reality is, even though there were factors working against me, this happened on my watch. I will accept the responsibility of fixing it.

The second thing I did was hire a personal trainer. I’m starting out with 28 sessions at great financial expense, but I know this is what I need in order to be successful. I know that, at first, I must have that structure and accountability in order to set myself up for success.

I’m 3 weeks in to all of this. at my 2 week weigh-in I was down 11.5 pounds. I know this pace will slow over time but I needed to start with a big number to get my head in the right place. I have to limit my workouts to light strength training only for the time being due to the strictness of the 800 calorie regimen.

The third thing I did was start a weekend pottery class. Pottery is something that I have always loved. Not only is it creative but it is in a way very spiritual. Well, that may be a bit of an overstatement but if you take a look at the process from an Eastern point of view, sitting at a potter’s wheel, completely focused on one thing…centering the clay as it spins in a mesmerizing dance, it can be quite a Zen experience. Plus, you get pretty pots when you are done. And you get to meet new people.

The 4th thing I did was reconnect with as many people as possible. This is a bit of a challenge because most socializing happens these days over food and drink, but I have a strategy for this. I will allow myself a single drink and a very restricted meal about once a week. I told my doctor that I was not going to become a hermit just because I need to lose weight, so we developed a plan that allows for the occasional well planned restaurant visit.

Add all of the above to starting a new job and moving into a new apartment and it amounts to a boatload of change all at once. It has been a bit overwhelming but I guess that’s the way I roll, rip off the bandaid fast. I’ve never been good at baby steps. Maybe that will be my next project, but for now I think I have my hands full.