Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Follow me....

....and bring your friends.

I am now here:


And here:

Come hang out. Tell people how super awesome and funny I am. Did I mention your hair looks great today and you have really nice teeth and you look like you've lost weight? Because I mean it all.

It's where all the cool kids go. What are you waiting for? Let's go!

Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition

Just wanted to let everyone know that my blog is about to get a makeover! I can't technically be called a "Flabby Ninja" anymore, but I can continue to wow you with my super human awesomeness and bitch/blog about everyday things. You know, the things we all want to bitch/talk about but don't want to say out loud because people get all "Oh no she didn't!!" and "Did she just say what I think she said??". And the answer to both is YES. I. DID.

So be prepared, put on some Depends and enjoy the crazy ride!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A spoon full of sugar.....

…..makes you feel like total ASS. Seriously. I have always had what you call a “sweet tooth”. I craved sugar like a drowning man craves air. I had to have it. Starburst, Skittles, Lemonheads, Lifesavers, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, cake and ice cream were all my drugs of choice. For the first month without sweets, life seemed almost unbearable. I hated everyone I saw eating something sweet. I wanted to high five them in the face….with a chair.

As time went on, it got easier to walk past the dessert table without wanting to swan dive head first into a raspberry cheesecake. I could even smell cookies baking without salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Eventually, not eating sweets was just a way of life. Ironically I found comfort in making the things I can’t eat, because somehow just touching and smelling it satiated my need to physically inhale it.

Over time I started to allow myself a treat here and there. A cookie at a Christmas party. A small piece of cake at a kids birthday bash. A few pieces of candy from the kids Halloween stash. Then the late night snacks started. Instead of having a cup of tea before bed, I would have a few vanilla crème cookies. Maybe wash them down with a miniature Butterfinger or two. As long as the scale didn’t move up, I had it all under control. Until I didn’t.

I started finding myself stashing candy in my drawer at work. Grabbing a candy bar in the checkout line at the grocery store and eating it in the car. Grabbing a handful of chips while I was cooking dinner. A couple of times, the scale got angry and screamed big numbers at me. My once loose pants didn’t feel so loose anymore. So I would slow down, eat less for a few days, maybe try a laxative and then start over.

I started feeling like absolute shit. I was tired all the time. I didn’t want to work out. My body felt sluggish and worn down. I had headaches and mood swings. Most men would say this was just me being a woman, but after a year and a half of living a healthy life, I could tell it was more than that. I was OD’d on sugar and coming off the high. No one has created a rehab for that, my friends.
Food is a drug. Plain and simple. Like an alcoholic with a drink, you can’t choose to just indulge a little. You have to go cold turkey. So I stopped making excuses, put down the miniature Snickers bar, stopped buying those delicious vanilla crème cookies, and hopped my ass on the elliptical. I opted to eat supper an hour later so I would have no excuse to snack at night. I stopped bringing candy to work. I started prepping my foods ahead of time so I had no reason to skip over the uncut celery and opt for the carb filled sandwich. I stepped away from the bowl of Halloween candy and put my chubby, chocolate covered hands in the air. I surrendered.

My name is Lisa. And I am a sugar-aholic.

Surprise, surprise, once I made the change I felt better (after a few days of feeling like total garbage!). I lost the 5+ pounds I had gained. My pants fit again. I found a renewed energy. I started to believe in me again. I play the following on repeat in my food addicted head:

I will not fail. I am strong and I am capable.
I will not fail. I am strong and I am capable.
I will not fail. I am strong and I am capable.

And it gets me through.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Run, fat ass, RUN...

A little over a year ago, the way I looked at exercise and the confidence it could give you changed. I went to Vermont with my best friend, Sarah, to visit and to watch her sister run a marathon. No joke. She ran 26.2 miles. Without dying. And so did a lot of other people. It was amazing.

I remember talking about it on the way to Vermont, and my friend Sarah and I were talking smack about how crazy these people were to do such a thing. I mean who wants to spend 2-6 hours of their day RUNNING? Not these girls. At that time we couldn’t even fathom running a 5k. 3.1 miles seemed like an awfully long way to run without an ice cream truck or a check from Ed McMahon waiting at the finish line.

But then we went, and what I saw changed me.

People of all sizes, shapes, ages and physical capabilities….running. Some fast, some slow, some with walks in between, but running nonetheless. And as we stood at the finish line I saw people bigger than me, and older than me, and maybe slower than me (?) crossing the finish line. And in that moment, I thought….I can do this. Maybe not 26.2 miles, but I can run. I can at least try to run. I can stop using my size or age or fears as a reason not to do something. That’s the point. Stop making excuses, and try something new.

Now the funny thing is, I went home hell bent on trying the Couch to 5k running plan because, damn it all, I was going to be a runner. I never did quite successfully make it past the 2-3 mile mark before I realized that will does not a runner make. But my friend Sarah, the one who SWORE that she would run to support me but had no interest in doing marathons of any kind, is now one HELL of a runner. She is aiming for a half marathon, which is only half as crazy as a whole one, but is crazy nonetheless!

Did I become a distance runner? No. Can I run a marathon? Only if you give me a year and a lot of naps. The point? Get up and do something. Anything. Just turn off Maury (don’t worry, he’s NOT the father!), put down the Ben and Jerry’s, stop making excuses, and find something that motivates you. Whether that be yoga, or running, or mall walking, or competitive laundry folding….try something new today. You never know what you’ll be good at until you try.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It ain't all skinny jeans and rainbows.....

For the longest time, I was the unofficial spokeswoman for gastric bypass. People would ask, “Are you glad you did it?” and without hesitation I would reply, “Absolutely! Everyday!”. They would ask, “If you could go back, would you still do it?” and I would reply with fervor, “A million times over!”. Over time my hesitation to answer these questions grew. My answers became less enthusiastic, and more questionable.

As you can imagine, the height of my excitement came at a time when my weight loss was almost incredulous in nature. To stand on a scale week after week and watch the pounds literally dissipate was amazing. I was awe struck and blinded by smaller jeans and the reappearance of a waistline I had forgotten existed so many years ago. I overlooked all the missed celebrations, the bouts of “dumping”, the jealousy over those around me who could indulge in sweets or finish a meal, and the fact that my stretch marks were no longer hidden under layers of cheese cake created flubber, because in turn, I was not only wearing skinny jeans, but I was, in fact, actually becoming SKINNY. And trust me when I say that the only time that the words ME and SKINNY went together was when used in a sentence like, “Hey, give ME the SKINNY on the nearest Cheesecake Factory!”.

The truth is, when someone promises to change your life in a way that you had given up hope on, you are willing to take the leap no matter the cost. When someone says this will affect the rest of your life, it doesn’t sink in just how long that will be. But let me tell you, my friend….it’s a mighty long time. When the initial excitement fades, and the weight loss comes to a stand still, and you are the lone wolf at the dessert table, holding an empty plate and drooling over the double chunk, macadamia cookies, I can guarantee you, you are instantly reminded of just how long “the rest of your life” actually is.

Is it worth it? In some respects, yes. Whether or not we want to admit it, we live in a visual and judgemental society where first impressions really are the lasting ones. People look at me differently now, they judge me differently, and they accept me easier than they did the 317 pound me. I blend in better now that I can fit in an airplane seat or a restaurant booth. People don’t give me the stink eye when I walk into a store like Ann Taylor or Express, nor do they worry I might want to try on their clothes. I am no longer the fat girl with a pretty face. I am the average woman. I am just like everyone else. Is that a good thing? Not always. It makes me less memorable. Less apt to speak out because I’m not really standing for anything. But also, it’s a good thing because I don’t stand out. It’s easy. Sometimes too easy.

I find that I not only lost weight, I lost a part of myself. When I was the big girl in my group, I never wondered what my friends thought. I ate what I wanted, wore what I wanted and knew that I was accepted. Now, sometimes I look around and almost feel shame for the way I look. I try not to try too hard. I don’t wear revealing clothes because I don’t want people to think I’m a narcissistic whore just because I lost weight. I try to eat what everyone else eats, because I don’t want to be the annoying girl eating a salad while everyone else chows down on steak and baked potatoes. I try not to make anything about ME. Maybe part of it is because I am always afraid that I will inevitably fail, and I know that if everyone’s eyes are on me ALL THE TIME, it means they will be the first to notice when I gain weight back. So, by not tooting my own horn, they won’t be able to say “I told you so” when I fall flat on my fat ass.

These are only a few of the things that run through my head everyday when I wonder if I made the right choice. And I never thought it would be this way. I thought it would be all protein shakes, skinny jeans and fields of rainbows. What it ends up being is a lot of time avoiding people all together, looking in the mirror, pulling on excess skin, wishing I could trim it off with a pair of scissors, and never feeling like I measure up. And then, an equal amount of time internally beating myself up for feeling/acting like a total asshole when there a millions of people out there who wish their problems were as minute and trivial as mine.

So am I still glad I did it? I don’t know. Would I go back and do it again. I can’t say for sure. All I can do is deal with the fact that it’s done, and I made the choice to do it, and I have to learn to live with it and do everything in my power to be grateful for this opportunity. Because although hidden sometimes, it’s still a blessing.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Baaaaccckkkk.....

It seems that the saying is true that time heals all wounds. Or cleverly disguises them enough so as to allow us to get out of bed and face the world each day. Whichever it is, I am learning to cope with the choices I have made in the last couple of years that have brought me to the place I am at today. I am learning to let go of some of the anger and resentment I have carried on my back like a concrete block and stand straighter and accept the consequences for my lifes actions. Truthfully, most days I am held together by tape and glue. But there are other days I am stapled and nailed within an inch of my life and on those days, even if only for brief moments, I feel strong.

Like yesterday, when I opened my email expecting the usual spam, only to be pleasantly surprised with a comment to my last blog from The Chicken’s Consigliere which read in part:

“This is the most honest post I've ever read. What a talent you have for putting it all out there. Come back to blogging. I'm not one to talk because I post maybe once a month, but you have a voice that needs to be heard.”

And so I re-read my last post. I thought back to all the self help websites I have read through, and all the bariatric support group posts I have laughed and cried through, and all the stories I have heard from the women I have come into contact with who battle through the same war I wage upon myself. And, in that moment, I realized that the true honesty that is derived from this kind of angst is rarely spoke of. The fact that I allowed myself to evolve from such deep self hatred to a liveable acceptance is miraculous in and of itself. So, if only one word, or one post, or one line from my narrative strikes someone in such a way that they ask me to keep doing it, I feel it’s my duty to oblige. It’s less of an obligation to anyone and more of….an honor.

I don’t filter my words or thoughts. So, that sometimes makes it hard for me to let down my armor and put it all out there for the world to see and judge. But until I actually had gastric bypass, I thought it was taboo and rarely done. Turns out, it’s popularity was not only ever increasing, but had become a last ditch effort for millions who struggled with their weight and food addiction. It was the last resort to outliving our shame and overcoming our demons. And no one spoke of it. It was as dirty a secret as a back alley abortion in 1950. Everyone knew people were doing it but no one said it out loud. And I just don’t get WHY?

Yes, people are closed minded morons much of the time. They spew ugly judgments and jealousies in the form of words like “cheater” and “lazy”, but until you have walked a day in my 5 inch stilettos or made butt molds out of your excess abdominal skin like I have, I suggest you either do some research first, or sit your skinny ass down on the couch, have a cookie and shut the fuck up. Allow us to do what we have to do in order to get back just a small part of our lives and our dignity.

And as long as these timid and embarrassed voices are too afraid to tell the world how it really is to survive this war, I will speak loudly, proudly and unabashedly. You don’t have to understand it or appreciate it, read it or accept, just don’t judge it. That’s all we ask.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So unFLABulous

Ok, so I am all about personal accountability and learning from your mistakes, but really with the leftover skin after gastric bypass? I mean, REALLY? Ya know those stress balls made out of gelatin or mens testicles, or whatever that creepy, squishy material is? Picture that as my ass cheeks. All 6 of them. And you know how you look at a St Bernard and think, “Aw, his jowls are so cute I just want to squeeze them?” Well, that is exactly how you feel if you looked at my stomach. Ooooh, and you know how you used to try to fit 2 quarts of water into a 1 quart balloon when you were a kid and it would sag and then lay unbroken and useless on the ground after trying to throw it. You guessed it, my tits. Some might say it’s a small price to pay after having lost 180+ pounds. I say it’s about 20 pounds of what-the-fuck attached all over my disfigured body as a constant reminder of late night mini pizzas and entire bags of Doritos.

I’m not gonna lie here, I was a total self righteous ASSHOLE when I got my surgery. I was all “I’m not gonna have loose skin because I work out and follow the rules, plus I am all super awesome and my fat ass can defy gravity AND physics so suck on that flabby people!!”. And then, right around losing 150 pounds it happened. I woke up one morning looking like a Sharpei that is one vet visit from being put down. Things just….hung there. Like, “Um yeah, sorry to do this but we have NOWHERE to go so, yeah we are just gonna hang out here….sorry about that”. And I was all like “Really? 12 months of yoga, running, sweating, hiking, eating fat free, sugar free, high protein, low taste bullshit and this is what I get?” And my pants were all like “Hey, at least we are smaller and you don’t sweat in weird places anymore!”. Silver lining….tinged with sarcasm and bitterness. And smells strangely like popcorn.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so eternally grateful to the amazing Dr. O’Malley at Highland Hospital for giving me my life back. And I never did expect to look like I did when I was 18, but I also didn’t expect to look like I probably will at 80 either. In clothes, I rock. See?

But undressed I am a hot, flabby mess. I know I am not alone and there is a secret society out there that no one wants to admit membership to, where other women are undressing and looking like they are Body By Silly Putty but sometimes I feel very isolated in my disappointment. It’s like a giant conspiracy theory going on between the gastric bypass surgeons and the plastic surgeons. And it is what it is, as money makes the world go round, but in a utopian society aftercare would be a part of the process. There would be the gastric bypass and after you have been successful in losing the weight, there would be skin removal. And if one was covered by health insurance for medical reasons, the other should be covered for mental reasons. Because I look in the mirror and DO NOT see what everyone else sees. I still see the insecure fat girl who tells jokes and puts on an air of self confidence to avoid letting the world see how hurt she really is. I feel like I have worked so hard to get to this place and while I am proud of myself for accomplishing so much more than I ever gave myself credit for, I am also disappointed in the fact that I am left with this constant reminder of my past mistakes.

Most days, I am ok. Most days I put on a dress or an outfit and look in the mirror and think, “Wow girl, you did it. You actually pulled it off you crazy bitch!” And other days I think, “Just one more favor God. Just one more. I know it’s selfish and I know there are a million other way more important things in the world that need your attention, but please, just make me feel normal again.”

So, in short, yes, I am "skinny"…..sort of. And yes, I am grateful for the most part. And for the part that is a whiney, ungrateful little bitch who cries like a 5 year old who dropped her ice cream on the ground just as the ice cream truck pulled away, a glass of wine and a reality check usually shuts her the fuck up. But if anyone has an extra $20k lying around that they were just dying to get rid of, or if anyone knows of a good plastic surgeon (or one that performs free surgeries out of their basement with a rusty butter knife and a staple gun), feel free to send either gift my way. Please and thank you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just Relax(ative). Shit happens.

Instead of the usual TMI Thursdays, how about a WTF Wednesday to break up your week? You're down with that? Awesome. Let's roll, bitches.

So first and foremost, there have been many bodily changes that I have had to adjust to since gastric bypass. How and when to eat or drink. What foods upset my delicate balance (I know. Ha Ha, me...delicate). What underwear will suck in what is left of my gut while not giving me four buttcheeks. But the one thing I have not been able to get a handle on is my inability to....how should I say this mildly....drop a deuce on a regular basis (total pun!). For those of you who are ebonically challenged...I no longer have the ability to regularly:

-drop the Cosby kids off at the pool or

-make the prairie dog come out of the hole or

- pop a squat or

-leave a sacrifice for the porcelain Gods or

-make a caca

In laymens terms....I can't take a shit when I want to. At least not without the aid of a strong laxative and my husbands coffee. I don't know how many people will admit this out loud, but I have no internal filter so I will freely say that I enjoy a good, strong morning porcelain smackdown. I want to cleanse my colon on a daily basis so I don't have to walk around with my pants unbuttoned looking like a bloated Roseanne Barr.

I eat LOTS of fiber. I eat LOTS of fruit. I drink kind of a lot of water (even if only to flush the alcohol out), and I workout. I rarely indulge and I have done everything short of reaching my arm up elbow deep into my poop shoot to pull the shit out myself. The only thing that stops me is the tattoo next to my asshole that says "EXIT ONLY" in big black letters.

So on a weekly basis, I have to clear my schedule to clear my colon. I have to take a day off from life to suck back a couple of laxatives, find a couple of good magazines, and make sure the toilet seat is warm. As disgusting as that sounds, it feels sooooo good. To free my body of all that toxic buildup and not walk around looking like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day float is glorious and freeing. And I don't apologize for it.

And FYI to those who wish to attempt this vile form of excretive therapy, let me warn you....whether you are linking up to be BFF's with Ex-Lax or Dulcolax, they are all LIARS. If the box says "Gentle Overnight Relief" it basically means that if you take it and expect a solid 8 hours of sleep, you will be rudely awakened within 4-5 hours with cramps, the night sweats and you will prairie dog your laxative taking ass to the bathroom at record speed. You will find yourself projecting out of bed like something out of the Exorcist as you run down the hall in the dark while yanking your pants down around your ankles. Chances are your colon will be empty before you are even fully awake enough to realize what just happened.

My advice: take it in the morning and clear your schedule. Don't do ANYTHING that takes you more than 10 feet from the porcelain throne. Put your phone around your neck because you won't remember to grab it before the mad dash and remember to stick a bookmark in your favorite magazine. Because you will pay tribute more than once. Or twice. And don't wear thongs. Or white underwear. As a matter of fact, just wrap your ass in paper towels and call it a day.

The most important thing I can share with you is this....

After taking a laxative,

Don't trust a fart for 12-24 hours.

I'm just saying.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TMI and other things you never wanted to know about me...

I think it’s time to set the record straight and lay it all out there. People think they know me. They think they read my blog or laugh at my jokes and they “get” how quirky and ridiculous I can be. Luckily, most people find it to be part of my charm. And I hate to ruin this illusion that the universe has of me, but truth be told, I have issues. A lot of them.

So let this serve as an informative insight into the mind of the Flabby Ninja. Buckle up, put your trays in the upright and locked position and enjoy the ride.

~Everytime I am driving, I have a feeling that I am an extra in the movie 2012. I fear that at any minute the earth is going to open up and swallow me and my Volvo whole and we will be sucked into the center of the earth. The problem with this scenario is that I get stuck in an air pocket and don’t die right away. I am reduced to listening to AM radio and eating year old McDonald’s fries and ketchup packets my kids dropped under the back seat. I will have to drink my own urine for survival and eventually I will get bored and just…die.

~Whenever I am naked in front of a mirror, I like to cup my breasts and play a little game of “20 year old boobs….36 year old boobs” where I lift them up and remember what they looked like before I had kids and lost 165 pounds, and then sadly drop them a foot lower to where they are now.

~If I have to poop at work I would rather hold it in and run the risk of imploding because I have this thought that everyone will know what I am doing in there and they will judge me for it. I also fear that after I do poop I will unknowingly smell like backed up feces and Febreze air freshener for the rest of the day.

~I am a Google-Aholic. And, not because I have an innate need to be informed or because I am researching how long strep throat is contagious or how to hire a hit man that isn’t a cop so I don’t have to do 25 to life, but because I like to type in partial sentences and see what Google “suggests”.

See what I mean? Good times.

~Yoga makes me fart. Every. Single. Time.

~I used to be seriously grossed out by the thought of spiders crawling into my mouth while I slept. Now that I have had gastric bypass and struggle to get enough protein in my diet, I often wonder how much protein a Daddy Long Legs contains? If I have to unwittingly eat them, I may as well get something from it, right?

~I kind of enjoy farting and trying to see if it smells like anything I ate that day. It’s even better when it’s so bad that I try to leave the room and walk away from it. As if my ass and it’s stench won’t follow me, right?

~I hate when people touch my face. It makes me irrationally violent and chances are if you do it I will be tempted to stab you in the neck with a fork and spoon out your eyes. I do not want your urine tinged, nose picking, germ infested hands anywhere near my mouth. You’ve been warned.

~I talk to myself. A lot. I know this isn’t unusual but my internal voice sounds like a Southern Belle. She starts all conversations with “Hey ya’ll” and ends them with “Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?”. Maybe this is why I sometimes have the urge to tease my hair and wear lots of mascara.

~I HATE CLOWNS. They are descendants of Satan put on earth to torture and eventually destroy us. They are evil and creepy and I always envision them naked under their oversized polka dot costumes with a constant erection.

~Whenever I run outside, I always feel like I look like Phoebe in Central Park in that episode of Friends.

~Touching the fur of a large dog grosses me out. I love dogs and I think they are adorable, but every time I pet one my hands always feel dirty and flea-like afterwards.

~Sometimes I do things like dance around the house or make my “sexy face” when reading or watching TV because I think there are hidden cameras in my house and people are watching me.

~I don’t believe in the 5 second rule. Whether it touches the floor, the rug or the couch cushion, at some point someone’s foot, ass or vagina was in that spot.

Lastly, and most importantly….

~I love to swear, talk about sex, poop and vaginas. Something about it is very freeing to me. My internal filter is on the fritz so I am always amused when I say something that catches someone more filtered and less vulgar off guard. I take mental photos of their looks of shock, awe and disgust. I compartmentalize them and use them to make me laugh when I am having a bad day.

Still think you know me? What don’t I know about you?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Me vs. well, Me.

Sometimes, when I don’t want to do things….like run or workout, I create voices in my head. New ones. Not the ones that are usually there rambling about and telling me to do things like cut my own bangs because they will totally come out even, or the one that tells me that horizontal stripes won’t make my ass look fat. This is the Fat Me. The one that used to sit on the couch watching re-runs of America’s Next Top Model while devouring a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream. She motivates me through the things I don’t want to do, until I’ve done them and can shut her up with a cookie or a sugar free chocolate. This is how today’s conversation went.

Me: I don’t want to run today

Fat Me: Do you have something better planned?

Me: No, I’m just tired and my hair hurts.

Fat Me: Your what…seriously? Is that even a thing?

Me: I did yoga yesterday.

Fat Me: Gold star for you fatty. Who cares? Get on the damn treadmill.

Me: My knee hurts.

Fat Me: It’s going to hurt more if you don’t keep running. Because you will get fat. And your knees don’t like to carry around your fat. Remember?

Me: I worked all day.

Fat Me: You sat at desk and pushed papers. Get on the treadmill.

Me: I’m used to running outside now. I don’t want to confuse my body with a treadmill again.

Fat Me: Your body will adjust. Get on the treadmill.

Me: But, I’m ate a Fiber One bar today, and a lot of fruit and I am super gassy.

Fat Me: Running will push it out and that has to shed a few ounces right? Just run and fart. Maybe the excess air will propel you forward and lighten your load.

Me: I’m afraid to fart.

Fat Me: Why is that?

Me: Because they are untrustworthy today. What if I go to release a squeaker and I drop a dirty bomb?

Fat Me: I have no words.

Me: See, I should wait until my ass isn’t dropping stank.

Fat Me: Just get on the fucking treadmill. Two miles won’t kill you. Surely, you can manage a couple of miles.

Me: Fine, I will try.

Half a mile into my run……

I’m so tired.

Fat Me: Tough shit. Run.

Me: I did a new yoga DVD yesterday. Bob Harper’s Yoga for Warriors. You know, the guy from The Biggest Loser? Only this video wasn’t done with fatties. It was skinny people with abs and a metabolism. And it didn’t hurt too much when I did it, but today everything from my toenails to my hair follicles are throbbing with pain.

Fat Me: Well, while you were just trying to justify your pain you just ran another quarter mile. Keep talking.

Me: I really need to fold laundry. And people are coming to look at the house tomorrow so I need to mop the floors. And oh shit, I have to remember to make my bed. I hate making my bed. I need a pedicure too. I know that has nothing to do with making my bed, but I just remembered that while I was hanging out in downward dog yesterday my toes looked like I have been Fred Flintstone-ing my way to work for the last 20 years. And I have to pay the cable. Should I go grocery shopping tomorrow or wait till…..hey, why is there a wrapper under that chair. I’m gonna kill these kids with their candy stealing, wrapper dropping asses. Oooh look, another .5 mile. Sweet!

Fat Me: See how that works. When you stop bitching like a little girl and think of other things, you end up halfway done with your run.

Me: Maybe today, just today, I could just do a mile. I will make up for it Friday.

Fat Me: No you won’t. You suck at running and there is no way you can add another mile onto Fridays run.

Me: I could do it tomorrow.

Fat Me: Or, you could shut the fuck up and just do it now.

Me: My lungs are burning.

Fat Me: That just means you’re alive. Keep running.

Me: I have sweat in my eyes.

Fat Me: Blink it out. Isn’t all the damn crying you’re doing rinsing it out anyway?

Me: Hey, look….I’m at 1.75 miles. Maybe I could just walk the rest.

Fat Me: Seriously, you came this far and you can’t push a couple more minutes?

Me: *Sigh*

Fat Me: Sigh all you want sissy girl, but don’t stop running.

Me: (Asshole)

Fat Me: What was that?


Fat Me: That’s what I thought.


Fat Me: Good job, fat ass. See you Friday.

And it was at this moment that I looked down to take stock of what I had just done.

325 calories burned

2.1 miles ran

4235 steps

3.5 incline


Who the hell touched the GODDAMNED INCLINE???? I don’t run on an incline on the treadmill………

Damn candy stealing, wrapper dropping, incline increasing, treadmill violating kids.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Remember when.....

I am having...let's call it....a moment. I am once again a fat girl trapped inside a less fat girl's body. I am having issues, to put it mildly. I feel like a character in the movie Inception. What appears to be my reality is really only a deep sleep, and when I wake up, this will have all been the unreal-est and the cruelest of dreams. I will wake up fat and sweaty and crying and clutching a Ho Ho in one hand and a bag of Pepperidge Farms Macadamia Chocolate Chunk cookies in the other hand. I will more than likely find myself via 2009 on Southwest Airlines, with a seatbelt (and seatbelt extender) wrapped across my ever expanding mid-section, drooling on my husbands shoulder, hoping that people don't use me as a flotation device if we should crash and burn.

I am petrified of food. I am petrified of relaxation. I am terrified at the thought that a lazy Sunday will result in somehow immediately gaining back like 50 pounds. When my body aches, and my knees are burning, and my lungs are out of oxygen and I think I can't possibly push one more step, I push a little more because I can't help but to remember.....

Let's play a little game of Remember When.....

~Hey, remember when you were so fat, that you couldn't bend over to tie your shoes? Remember how you had to somehow maneuver yourself in between your legs with your knees bent at weird angles to tie a crooked bow while your face turned blue?

~Remember when you weighed 120 pounds MORE than your husband, and you feared that he might find out?

~Remember that time a rude flight attendant tossed a seatbelt extender at you in front of a plane FULL of people and the only reason you didn't jump in the aisle and go all Kung Fu Panda on him was because you were too fat to climb over the middle and aisle seat?

~Remember the day your doctor told you that you had more than likely continued to get reproductive cancer because you were a "very large woman"?

~Or the best one....remember all the times you missed out on playing with your kids, hanging out with friends, wearing that cute outfit, or living a REAL life before you were too stupid to get it and before 20 years and a lot of cartilidge in your knees was just gone?

Ah, good times. Good times.

I'm tired of being afraid. I'm tired of letting my past haunt my present and possibly, negatively affect my future. So right here, in the here and now of today I am taking control. No more fear. No more what if's, coulda been's or if I had only's. The only thing I am going to focus on is what I HAVE done to get me HERE in this very moment, and what I am going to do each and every day for the rest of my life.

I'm going to live.

I'm going to accept my past mistakes and try not to make them again in the future. I'm going to stop letting who I was define who I am going to be. I'm going to love myself. All of myself. Every imperfect, extra inch of skin. Every scar. Every stretch mark. Every part of my body that I can feel and see that reminds me that despite it all, I am still here. And I am blessed and lucky. I am going to remember all the dreams I had for myself when this journey started and I am going to work at making each and every one of them come true. And if they don't, I am going to be ok with that, and make new dreams as I go along.

Someday, instead of playing remember when I will say remember to.

As in, remember to love yourself, be proud of yourself, be humble, and be present. Remember that tomorrows aren't promised, and yesterday can't be changed, so move forward and remember to appreciate the life you have, not mourn the one you had.

I like that game much better.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Flabby...a Year in the making.

It's hard to believe that a year ago today my entire life as I knew it changed. Where do I even begin to jot down/describe/explain/rationalize what the last year of my life has been since my gastric bypass surgery? In two words, that will still never come close to truly expressing the person I have been allowed to become, the past year has been life altering.

In the course of 12 months I have loved myself, hated myself, loved my future, resented my past, sought the silver lining, avoided the Little Debbie snack cakes, ran like a maniac (both from my past and into my future), learned how to hang out in downward dog without sweating, turning blue and passing out, almost always chose the fresh veggies over the frozen pizza, said no to chocolate, cake and pie, grown out of my shoes, my friends, my wardrobe and sometimes, my sanity and learned to live with the addiction I have to food without hating myself for allowing my world to revolve around it for so long….just to name a few.

I can’t do this long ago promised blog justice without explaining the vast and expansive range of emotions that came along with each and every month of this journey. This journey which has only just begun to scratch the surface of the rest of my (hopefully) very long and healthy life. But before I do that, let’s get “the number” out of the way because I swore that if I came this far, and achieved my goals, I would share it with the world despite my own personal insecurities and humiliation at its revelation.

12 months ago, as I stepped on the scale, sucked in my gut so I could read the number and held my breath like I was competing on The Biggest Loser, the scale scathingly glared back at me with the number……..


There, I said it. It’s out there in the universe and I wouldn’t take it back. Because it might someday be the one thing that keeps me from ever ending up back there again.

Today, 12 months, a 5k, approximately 100 yoga lessons, much sweat, speed walks, weight training that strained muscles I didn’t know I had and various sizes of yoga pants later the scale was much kinder when it read back to me…….


I have gone from a 26/28 in clothing to an 8/10. In 12 months. Yessir.

From this:

To this:

Now, once you have picked your jaw up off of the floor and stopped whispering “Jesus Christ” and “Holy Fuck” at the computer screen, let me tell you just how gut wrenchingly, mind blowing, fuck-me-seven-ways-from-Sunday HARD this was. From the beginning people made comments or jokes (or comments disguised as jokes which were actually truth) about the fact that I “cheated” my way out of being fat. When I think of cheating, I picture the hot football jock with one hand up the head cheerleaders skirt, while he peers over the shoulder of a pocket protector wearing nerd jotting down his answers right before the big homecoming game. Easy peazy.

I picture all the crazy people who get colonic enemas and go to fat farms and pop pills until their heart is racing like a ticking time bomb, or wacked out celebs that live on cabbage soup or water induced with hot sauce for weeks. These people aren’t learning how to live. They are learning how to cheat the system so they can “win” for a little while. They are cheating a system that can’t be cheated, and always seem to end up back where they started looking for the next quick fix.

What I did was take control of my life. I learned how to live the right way. And maybe I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the surgery, but rather than allowing the surgery to fix me, I used it as a tool to learn how to fix myself. It opened doors and windows and very large gates into a world that I had only been able to peer at over fences for so long. It allowed me to learn how to rationalize my love affair with food, and choose a long term monogamous marriage with a healthier life. This surgery became every voice in my head all screaming at the same time and vying for my attention until they were exhausted and passed out and I could take the time to filter through them and figure out where things went so horribly wrong.

And while I promised to reveal my weight and my journey, my demons will remain my own. Because I have confronted them, compartmentalized them, dealt with them, and dismissed them. And I will NEVER do that again. Because on more than occasion it almost broke me. I wasn’t sure I would make it to write this blog some days, but I am here, and I am strong and I intend to stay that way.

So, here is what the last year has been like for me month by month:

Month 1: This month still remains a blur of confusion, tears and oh-my-sweet-baby-Jesus-what-have-I-done? I felt like I was swimming in sugar free jello, sugar free pudding, meal replacement shakes, hormones, questions, cheese sticks and an overwhelming need to lock myself in a room alone and bounce off of rubber walls until I figured out what had just happened and how I was going to adjust. I remember about 2 weeks after surgery we celebrated my sons 10th birthday. We ordered Pay-Per-View wrestling, ordered pizza and wings, and had all his favorite snacks. I was ok through the pizza and wings as I slowly sipped on my Atkins shake but within the blink of an eye, I suddenly had a want for chips and dip so badly that I completely melted down and cried for about two hours. It was the first time the reality of what I had done hit me square in the gut and knocked me for the first of many loops.

Month 2: Still in a daze, I was getting excited about what the future had in store for me. I was able to start eating chicken and refried beans and soft veggies, and I had never in my life been so grateful for these options. I was walking regularly, my legs weren’t hurting me as much, and I had lost about 25 pounds and come under 300 pounds. Life was good!

Month 3: Somewhere in this month, I had lost 50 pounds. 50-FUCKING-POUNDS!! I had never been able to lose 50 pounds in my entire adult life so, while I was still a big girl, I was rocking every curve I had and I was SO proud of myself. I was finally allowed to start eating according to the “Lifestyle Plan” so I was able to choose from more foods, but I was still so scared about choosing the wrong things that I pretty much stuck to chicken, veggies, yogurt and cheese. I also had some hardships in this month, because I would look at myself and wonder how I could lose 50 pounds and still be such a fat, lumpy mess of a woman. My mind started working overtime and it was only the beginning of the mental journey.

Months 4-5: I was on a roll! I was getting into the groove of exercising regularly. I was enjoying the freedom that came from being smaller and being able to tie my shoes without holding my breath. I loved that I could not only button my smaller jeans but was able to sit in them without cutting off the blood flow to my abdomen. I was feeling happy and positive and not at all expecting what was about to happen in the months to come. I was busy with the planning of one sisters baby shower and the other sisters bridal shower and wedding. I was this close to losing 100 pounds and I could taste the victory in the same way I can still close my eyes and taste the rich indulgence of a fatty, sugar filled éclair.

Month 6: Two weeks before my baby sisters wedding I was at a 95 pound weight loss. My goal had been to lose 100 pounds by the time I hit six months. So, naturally, I stopped losing weight altogether. The fact that I was now 222 pounds and had gone from a size 26 dress to an 18 fell on deaf ears. That damn five pounds haunted me and taunted me for a month. It stuck to my ass like cottage cheese and became the bane of my existence. I went through a lot of physical and mental turmoil (self created, of course) in remembering that even after I had lost all this weight, I was still fat. And I looked in the mirror and felt disgust rather than pride. Instead of seeing a smaller waist, a tighter ass, firmer legs and stronger arms, I still just saw the extra skin, the stretch marks, the permanent reminders of cancers and surgeries past, and the fact that I had in fact, put my body through hell. But then:

Months 7-9: This was by far the best part of my entire journey thus far. About two weeks after I passed the six month mark and was ready to give up the fight and indulge in a Real Housewives marathon and a box of Ho Ho’s, I started dropping weight faster than a paying man drops his pants for a pricey hooker. I had the food thing down pat, I was trying new things, I was becoming a certified Yoga freak, I was active and constantly on the go, I was working, I was running, I was just a maniac. And in those two months I dropped over 30 pounds. I got down to a size 14 which is a size I hadn’t seen almost since I was 14. For the first time in almost 20 years, I was able to say without hesitation that I was happy. Truly and genuinely happy.

Months 10-12: These months have been monumental, not so much in weight loss, but in gaining perspective. The weight slowed down (no thanks to Thanksgiving dinner, holiday goodies and Christmas ham!), but I started noticing muscular changes in my body. The number on the scale didn’t always seem to coincide with the work I was putting in, but my clothes were fitting differently and I was losing inches pretty steadily. I struggled daily with accepting who I was becoming and learning to love my body despite all the things I could still find wrong with it. I’m embracing the changes I have made and battling that inner fat girl with all the new muscle and strength I have found in this last year.

There are days when I am constantly reminded that the decision I made is one I am going to have to live with for the rest of my life, and I don’t know that I have fully come to terms with that. I have been so focused on just getting through the first year, and making the most of the time I had when you lose the most weight, that I pushed the rest of it aside. Every once in awhile, it hits me that I’m not the fat girl anymore. On the outside anyway. It occurs to me that I will never be able to have a real “cheat day”. I will never just be able to go to dinner and order appetizers and a meal and dessert and drinks, and not end up with my head in the toilet throwing it all up, clutching my aching gut and living with regret for the next couple of days. I will never be able to celebrate all the little things in life with food, as I was accustomed to doing for 35 years of my life. Nothing will ever be the same. I’m not saying that isn’t a good thing, just that it will be different and I can’t predict how long it will be (if ever) before I really come to terms with it.

When I look back on old pictures, it still makes me very emotional. I am immediately overcome with a tsunami of emotions ranging from pride to sorrow. I embrace the person I have become but still feel a sense of shame over the person I was. It makes me wonder how I ever let myself not only get so big, but get so unhealthy. How did I not notice what I was doing to myself all those years? How on earth did I gain 170+ pounds over the course of 15 years and never once say ENOUGH? And then, I have to remember that asking the questions won’t change the past. What is done is done, and my job now is to look forward into the future and embrace this gift that has been given to me because truthfully, I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if I will somehow lose sight of all these victories and defeats and go back to being a 300 pound woman battling depression and old demons. I don’t know if I will lose more and become an advocate for an active, healthy lifestyle. I just don’t know. The only thing I can predict is how I will feel today. How I will handle this very moment in time, and how I will somehow mentally document it and appreciate it. Because in this very moment, I like who I am. I like the perfectly imperfect person I have become. And while I will always be the fat girl on the inside, I now know fully that I can be someone different on the outside. Not just in the way I look or dress, but in the way I portray myself to others. I can change the person I see when I look in the mirror by altering my perception of who I thought I always was. I’m stronger not only physically, but mentally. I feel like if I made it through this, I can make it through anything.

There was a time that being called a “cheater” for having this surgery destroyed me. It hurt on a level so deep that I thought the wound would never stop bleeding. But today, I realize that I would only have been cheating myself if I hadn’t made this decision. So, label me world. Call me what you will, pass your judgements, whisper behind my back when I walk by, writhe in your jealousies and insecurities, and call me all the names you want because in the end, I made a decision that best suited me, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I feel like despite it all, I am the same person I always was, just more informed and in a smaller body. I still laugh at my own jokes, make up songs about my dogs and my kids in random moments of silliness, fart in public when I think no ones around, wear full butted underwear, get hard nipples when I see a pretty cupcake, and can't take a compliment even on the rare occasion that I believe it. I'm still just me. I'm quirky and a little nerdy, aggressive and dominant, bitchy and pushy, overbearing and hyper, happy and sad, and always unpredictable. Now I'm just harder to catch and easier to push out of your way. All in a days work. Or 365 days work. But whose counting :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I am learning so many things nowadays, that sometimes it's hard to articulate them and get them written down. I am learning:

~You can't appreciate your successes until you have rejoiced in your failures

~Nothing worth having ever came easy, and sometimes the hardest things produce the biggest rewards

~You can't fully accept your joy until you have fully embraced your sorrows.

Before having gastric bypass, I thought losing the weight would be the hardest thing I ever did. When I was 300 pounds (there, I have said it outloud) I never imagined I would ever get back to a healthy weight. The prospect of having to lose SO much was just too daunting. I thought the weight, and the number would be my nemesis, but I was wrong. Losing the weight was the easy part of the process. Gaining back who I am meant to be has been the hardest part. I had to let go of all of my vices, let down all the walls I spent so many years building, and learn how to love myself again.

For so long I relied on my self deprecating humor, the fat jokes I would tell to avoid hearing them from someone else, and being the "fat girl with a pretty face" as my defense against the world. No one could hurt me worse then I was hurting myself. By building a wall of armor around myself in the form of fat and humor, no one could see into my soul and see just how much I was hurting. No one could get past the jokes and the smiles and the personality to see the person I saw when I looked in the mirror.

To look at me you would never know the failure I felt as a mother who couldn't always give their kids the love and attention I knew they deserved, both because I was broken physically and emotionally. No one could look at me and ever imagine the disappointment in my heart at not being able to be the kind of woman that made my husband want to love me the way I loved him. No one could look into my soul and see the fear I felt battling cancer, and wondering if I would be around to see my kids grow up, and then dealing with the fact that I may have self inflicted that illness upon myself by allowing myself to become so morbidly obese. Instead, people looked at me and thought I was strong for leaving a bad marriage, giving my kids a better life and fighting and beating the odds with those cancers. But what they saw was a mirage. None of it was real.

The real has come out in my very private world and I feel like the only way to recover from all those old demons and addictions is to say the words out loud. Put all the thoughts and feelings I have been storing out into the universe so I can be freed from them, so I never have to wage this war again.

I think my biggest hinderance is never feeling good enough. Not when I was fat, and not now that I am not. I hold this unattainable standard for myself as if to allow myself to fail. It's like I set goals I know I will never achieve so I can beat myself up for not achieving them and that is something I need to let go of. When this journey began, all I wanted was to lose 100 pounds. I thought if I could just do that nothing else would matter. Then I lost 110. Then 120. Then 130. And now, 140 and instead of rejoicing in that victory, I find myself wondering why I can't just lose another 30. Instead of allowing myself to be proud of what I have achieved, I still pound myself into the ground over what I haven't done.

I look at myself in the mirror and still feel disgust and disappointment at the image that glares back at me. Instead of seeing the muscle and the smaller waist and all the hard work that has gone into going from a size 26 to a size 12, I see stretch marks and loose skin and smaller breasts and all the scars and imperfections that are the result of so many years of letting myself go.

One of the most prolific phrases I have heard to date is one I posted on my Facebook page yesterday:

"....Dreaming of the person you want to be is wasting the person you already are"

And, in that moment I realize I am wasting so much time beating myself up over the things I have done to myself in the past that I lose sight of the person I am becoming for my future. I have to let go of old ghosts. I have to relieve myself of all the voices in my head that say I'm not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not worthy enough. How do I do that? That is the puzzle piece still missing. It's that pesky corner piece hiding under the sofa cushions just waiting to be found.

I've gone from this:

To this:

in 10 months and yet I still won't allow myself to love myself. I put on the clothes hoping that will change what I see, and nothing. I put on a mask of confidence and security hoping that if I wear it long enough it will become a part of who I am.

You can never emotionally prepare yourself for what the physical change will do to you when your physical being defined who you were for so very long. When you used that physical shell to protect your emotional being, and then that protection is gone, you feel very exposed and vulnerable and that is a feeling I was not equipped to handle.

So, while I may look unscathed from the outside, on the inside I am covered with scars and burns that will take much more than losing 140+ pounds to heal from. While you might look at me and think I have nothing to complain about, and wondering how I can still have insecurities, remember that I am human and that your outsides don't always match your insides. When I smile, remember that I have also cried. When I project joy, remember that I have also lived through immense sorrow.

Losing the weight was the easy past. Finding yourself is the real journey.