Friday, September 20, 2013

Faddy Fatty 2x4

As most of you know I am a former fatty. And I can say that because to this day I was bigger than anyone that I knew personally. And most times, when I watch other women struggle with their weight, I don’t give my opinion on anything unless I am asked because I did have gastric bypass and I feel like people judge me for it. Some say I took the easy way out. Because physiologically altering your entire body FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, and foregoing all things delicious like milkshakes and chocolate cake, and appetizers and desserts for the sake of being able to eat even a ¼ of your dinner is totally my idea of living it up, ya’ll. And THEN, when you say fuck it, and decide to indulge anyway so you can feel normal for just ONE SECOND and you have that tiny piece of cake, or that delicious Jamocha shake from Arby’s, you find yourself curled up in the fetal position, sweating like a 2-ton sumo wrestler, crying and begging for death while feeling like someone is repeatedly stabbing you in the gut with rusty shears. That’s my idea of partying down, Miley Cyrus style, foam finger shoved into my vagina, face down, ass up, making a fool of myself for all the world to see. But, I digress. Here’s the thing. Three years later, surgery or no surgery, I find myself struggling right along with the rest of you again. I too shimmy, shake, jump and wiggle my way into my skinny jeans. I Spanx, tuck, belt and suck in every ounce of every fat just like you. I battle daily with getting my pants to close without the aid of rubber bands and safety pins. I lie on the bed with my legs outstretched, sweating like a pig and sucking in my gut until my belly button touches my spine and my ribs fracture just to button my favorite pair of jeans fresh out of the dryer. But one lesson I have learned – and one thing I refuse to every do again – is fad diet. There is a reason it’s called a fad ladies. And that is because it’s not meant to last forever. And neither is the weight you will lose from it. Because while that pill or shake or eat-kale-mixed-with-laxatives-and-water diet seems like the cure all to your weight loss nightmares, it’s sure to come back to bite you in your skinny little ass the first time you go off the plan and splurge on some yummy spinach artichoke dip at a party, or my person favorite, an entire (oversized) bottle of Barefoot Muscato on a Friday night while watching reruns of America’s Next Top Model. If you want something that will last forever, do something that will change your outlook forever. Don’t look at that “naughty” food as being your enemy. Look at it as a reward to work towards. Instead of saying no, say how can I get to a point where I don’t have to feel guilty about eating that? If you have time to sit on the couch reading about the newest weight loss plan, surely you have time for a few extra lunges or a walk around the block with the dog. And if you choose not to do anything at all, then learn to love who you are. Because you ARE beautiful exactly as God made you. For the longest time I found myself striving for this unattainable perfection. I beat myself up daily to the point that I would have rather been fat again because I was happier then. And while my body is far from perfect now, it’s the body I have worked hard for. It carries me, and sustains me, and allows me to live a healthier life and I am grateful for it every single day despite its physical imperfections. Think how boring this world would be if we all looked exactly the same! I think a woman with curves is just as beautiful as a woman without any. Maybe more so! Long story short, stop spending your kid’s college funds on overpriced organic bullshit from a store. Go buy fresh from a goddamn market and support a farmer. Stop buying ridiculously over priced diet pills that promise miracles that will never happen and make your own miracles happen through healthy eating and exercise. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or live off of kale and almonds. Chase your dog and kids around the yard. Play basketball at a nearby park. Take a long walk by a river at sunset. Enjoy a delicious grilled chicken and fresh veggies and sweet potatoes. Living healthy doesn’t mean living boring. Like all things in life, it’s all in your perception of it. The day we die, no one is going to stand over us whispering about how amazing we were because we were so thin. They will talk about who we were as PEOPLE. And I for one don’t want to be a thin, DEAD asshole who was only remembered for being a THIN, DEAD asshole. Put down the diet pills. Wash that stupid shake down the sink. Enjoy a piece of cake for fuck sake. And smile. Then get to the gym fat ass. Just kidding. But no really, if you’re eating cake, go to the gym.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The skinny on the not so skinny

I made a decision today.  A very scary, mind numbing, ridiculous decision, and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.  I had to sleep on it, think about it, eat some ice cream cake while I pondered it, and drink a glass (or three) of wine in order to come to terms with it.

I am throwing out my scale.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.  Thankfully, it still tasted like ice cream cake and Muscato.

I have spent the last year OBSESSING over the number on the scale.  I could literally put on an outfit, look in the mirror and think I looked good, then stepped on the scale, saw the number, took off my clothes and put on a nice stretchy pair of yoga pants.  And why?  Because although my mirrored perception labeled me as anything BUT fat, the scale said otherwise.  The scale....the stupid, black, plastic, LYING bitch of a scale told me to stop eating ice cream cake and drinking wine and thinking I can wear skinny jeans or leggings.  The scale judges me, taunts me and calls me names like Heifer, Fatty and Lard Ass.  The scale tells me that all of my decisions are bad one.  That all the hours I log running, gym-ing and yoga-ing aren't enough.  That I'M not enough.  And these judgements are not the things I want to teach my blossoming, easily influenced teenage daughter. 

I have to allow myself to love who I am.  No matter the weight or the size.  I have to accept my curves, my "love handles", my thighs and my big butt. I have to accept that I have given birth, grown a little older, survived cancer, and sometimes eaten a few too many chocolate, macadamia cookies.  I have to step off the scale, grab a sledge hammer and beat that bitch down, the same way that she has beaten me down for the last year.

I'm ok.  No really, I am.  A little rounder.  A little less guilty over that ice cream cake and wine.  A little more accepting of my short comings.  A little bit stronger.  A little less afraid to chase my dreams (and the occasional ice cream truck).  I.  Am.  Ok.

Or at least I will be once I smash that damn scale to pieces.  And then I will toast to it with a nice glass of Muscato as I wear my skinny jeans while sitting in front of a full size mirror.  Suck on that you judgemental, digital bitch.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Not lean, Just mean

Most days, I am very grateful for the opportunity that was given to me when I received the gastric bypass surgery, and in return when I received my life back. But some days I’m all WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH MY BODY AND WHY WON’T IT GIVE ME A MOMENTS PEACE???

Lately, I can’t seem to find a system that works for me. Not eating regular meals with small snacks in between. Not eating 6-8 meals throughout the day. Not eating every two hours. Not Weight Watchers. Not fruits and veggies and lean protein. Not overpriced colon health pills or bottles of Philips. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. And it’s really starting to piss me off.

I have been trying to shed the 10-ish pounds I gained for what seems like all of eternity. That’s really tough to do when the only thing that my body doesn’t rebel against are protein shakes. It hates veggies and fruits, breads or carbs of any kind and basically anything warm and delicious. A woman (especially this one) can not live on protein shakes alone without losing her mind and stabbing someone in the face with a 5” stiletto.

ALL fruits and veggies make me bloated and uncomfortable and create a complete aversion to anything with a button and zipper closure. Carbs load me down and cause me pain. There is no amount of Beano, Philips Colon Health, Miralax or Tums that sooth me.

Which leaves me two options:

Eat the fruits, veggies and carbs and suffer through the pressure and pain


Eat nothing but soup and protein shakes until the day I die. This would be, like Friday because that just isn’t how I function.

I don’t mind eating healthy, but I could never be one of these girls that survives on cigarettes and the tears of small children. I need food and sustenance, people. The more time that passes by, the more my body starts rejecting food that was previously just fine. So far the list of “no-no’s” is as follows:

Whole grain bread


Salad dressing

Marinara sauce





Red Meat


Granola Bars






The list is longer, but gets depressing and just makes me hungry.

I find myself asking more and more lately, if I could go back, knowing what I know now, would I still make the decision to have the surgery. I used to be 80/20 in favor of having it done. The more time that goes by, the more that number changes in favor of not having it done.

I knew that over time I would have to make adjustments. I have repeatedly had to fight the demons that drive me towards eating out of emotion and boredom and my unending love of all things food (does all that fighting count as a workout??). I research and learn ways to become better, to eat better, to make better choices, to deal with my vices and insecurities. But how can I make better choices if I have none?

Everyday of my life lately is like being 5 years old, having the best birthday party ever, complete with bounce houses, baby horses, balloon animals and purple unicorns that take you for rides over the rainbow, and being told the only thing I am allowed to do that day is to mow the lawn. Only instead of bounce houses, balloon animals and imaginary animals that take you for rides over rainbows, my life is a 5,000 sq ft warehouse packed with brownies and cakes and candies, and those amazing Brach’s conversation heart candies that need to be available to me more than just at Valentine’s Day, and being told the only thing I can eat is the cardboard boxes they were all delivered in.

It’s like, wait….so, I did all of this work to learn to live healthier and eat better and now I don’t get to do any of that. Seriously? Like, for real? Somewhere, Ashton Kutcher is hiding behind a bush with a camera crew and they are all going to jump out and tell me I have been punk’d. And they will laugh and laugh and laugh, until I junk punch them all with a pointy toed shoe, take all of their money and go buy myself a fucking ice cream cone.

Oh yeah, ice cream is on the “Do Not Eat” list too. I’m like a fucking polar bear behind the glass watching some sticky handed little shit stand there licking his triple scoop, double fudge ice cream cone while some asshole zoo employee tosses smelly fish at me.

The inability to eat and still not lose weight only frustrates me more everyday. If I were eating ice cream and candy and Doritos dipped in chip dip (YUM!), then fine – I’m a fat ass by choice. But the fact remains, that while I may not be everyone else’s definition of a “fat ass”, I am not comfortable with where I am or how I look. So, I am trying to make the conscious and healthy decision to do something about it, but life keeps knuckle punching me in the gastric pouch and adding cellulite to my ever expanding ass. Way to be a team player, Life.

All this talk of food and unicorns has me starving so I guess the only rational thing to do is to go make yet another protein shake, close my eyes, pretend it’s a Red Robin’s A-1 Peppercorn burger and get out of my head for awhile. The silver lining is, I am still alive.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weight Watchers, Count Me In.

So, in my infinite state of crazy obsessive-ness in regards to my body and my weight, I joined Weight Watchers. I’m still not sure why, or what I thought I would learn that I haven’t already implemented in my life, but my tax refund was burning a hole in my bank account and half a bottle of wine told me this was the way to go.

I thought maybe counting points rather than calories would help me rationalize my food intake. I thought the fact that I could chow down on fruits and veggies all day and not have to use the points I was saving for that piece of cake after dinner would make this more palatable.

In reality, I only end up more confused, always hungry and very gassy. Like seriously, after 2pm don’t even think about walking by my office without a gas mask and a can of Febreze.

Don’t get me wrong, this system definitely made me re-evaluate what I was eating and the quantity in which I was consuming things. And when I weigh in tomorrow, if the scale has dropped by even a couple of pounds, I will rescind every horrible name I have called Jennifer Hudson in this past week (being that I hate her, and she is the face of WW, she was an easy target). But I am seriously mind fucked about this “eat-all-the-fruit-and-veggies-you-want-as-if-they-carry-no-nutritional-value” thing for two reasons:

1) When I was tracking my diet on, you had to count fruits and veggies. And even though their caloric value wasn’t substantial, it added up quickly. Especially fruits, which carried at least double the calories of most veggies. I would see every calorie, fat gram, carbohydrate and protein I ate in a day, so I had an overall sense of how I did, and what I needed to do differently tomorrow. With WW, I see how many points I have used, and how many I have left, but I have no true idea of what I actually ate in a day.

2) If the whole point of a “diet” or “lifestyle change” is to learn how to eat smarter, and fruits and veggies don’t “count” as far as WW is concerned, then shouldn’t we fill ourselves with something that has more nutritional value? Oh wait, you can’t without using your fucking points.

According to WW, for my old age, my short stature and my current weight, I am A-OK. It says I am the ideal weight. Which is a crock of shit. In any case, if I want to lose, say 5% of my current body weight, I can eat 26 points worth of food per day and I should be able to lose the aforementioned 5% in 7 days. Riiiiiigggghhhhttt. If it were that easy, don’t you think I would have already lost it without having to pay $55 for a three month membership??

At this point, I have two incentives to drop the 10 pounds that only I apparently think I need to lose. (Ya’ll haven’t seen me naked, so don’t judge!). First, I won’t be able to hide underneath hoodies and bulky sweaters for much longer, so unless I want to hibernate for the summer or sweat my ass off wearing Spanx under my tank tops, I need to drop these 10 pounds. And most importantly, Weight Watchers and Jennifer Hudson conned me out of the $55 that I could have used to buy the Spanx I would need, so I have to see this through and conquer this confusion.

This whole thing is making me even more annoying and obsessive than I normally am on any given day. I spend hours a day on my mobile app and my computer making up fake meals just to see how many points are in it. I think of the worst thing I could eat, and then see how long I would have to work out to earn the points back, even though I have no intention of eating the naughty food. Last night, after a 40 minute workout, I used the 6 points I earned along with the 44 “extra” points I have for the week to polish off a bottle of Sutter Home Zinfandel/Muscato (they really should make those bottles big enough for two people). It’s become a game. A challenge, if you will. I will beat the system and drop the 10 pounds, if only to justify the money I spent to drive myself insane. Game on Weight Watchers, game on.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's Fat Tuesday and it's just my size

Generally speaking, most people have good intentions when they make stupid comments. I get this, and try to compartmentalize and rationalize their indirect meaning, but all too often, I dissect them, tear them apart and make them into something detrimental to my overall mental health.

For instance, when I lost all my weight I was pretty damn skinny. There were bones and excess skin and shoulder bones protruding from everywhere. And everyone was all “You’re too skinny, you need some meat on those bones”. To which I replied (in my head, of course) FUCK YOU. I mean really? I shed 180 pounds of “meat” and worked damn hard to do so.

When I looked in the mirror back then, I felt beautiful and accomplished. I saw all of my imperfections and embraced every single one of them. I wore shorts for the first time in 15 years. I wore a bathing suit that didn’t have shorts or a skirt attached for the first time since I was a teenager. I could order a cheeseburger and not wonder if the waitress was silently judging me. I could wear pants whose size didn’t have a ‘2’ in front of it. I was no longer considered plus size, but the all American, average sized woman. I felt amazing.

But as it usually happens in my life, the rain that I thought was watering my flowers in life, was really just the Gods pissing all over my happiness. Over the past year I have gained 10 pounds and gone up a pant size. And there it stuck. For all the world to see and judge. And I tell you this for two reasons:

1) It’s relevant to the whole “people speak with good intentions” theory

2) I am going to use it as my platform to get off my fat ass and do something about it

Weight gain is a slippery slope. You start out gaining a couple pounds and thinks it’s no big deal. You can lose that by taking a morning constitution. You think you can put in a few more laps on the treadmill or make that extra loop on the digital display on the elliptical machine and work it off.  Eazy peezy.

Then you gain a few more and think it’s still ok. As long as you don’t go past that weight. That magic number that makes you give up and say fuck it, pass me the Ben and Jerry’s, throw out all of my skinny jeans, and load up the sweatpants and baggy shirts.

That’s where I am ya’ll. In the land of loose khaki pants, Victoria’s Secret oversized sweatpants and “flowy” shirts. Because I am on the verge of giving up and giving in, but still not so far gone that I could stop making excuses for myself, get my shit together and do what I know needs to be done.

I need to throw out the comfort clothes, the comfort foods and the backup clothes that hide my stomach, and take my ass to the gym. I need to sweat and swear and hate it all, and then put on a pair of skinny jeans and know that I worked my way back into them. I need to set my pride aside for a minute and remember where I came from and what a shit storm it was to get to where I am. I need to stop making excuses for myself, cork the wine (and the whine), put down the latte and make a change.

Because I can’t stand for one more second to hear something tell me I look “fine”. Or for them to say “You look perfect now. You were way too skinny before.” Because, this tells me they can tell I have gained weight. And while I appreciate the support and enthusiasm, it’s these half truths that got me to 317 pounds in the first place. No one wants to tell their sister/daughter/wife/best friend that her ass is spreading like the continental divide. And I appreciate that to an extent, but fortunately for me, I know the harder truth to swallow and I need to digest it and move on with life.

I think what bothers me most is that when I look at women who look just like me, or my more curvy and voluptuous friends, I envy them.  Because I think their bodies are beautiful.  I think they look like women and mothers and human beings with a story and that is magical to me.  So, why can't I see myself that way?   Why can't I accept this body that I have been gifted?  I think it's because I am afraid the minute I stop obsessing and worrying is the moment I let it all go and end up right where I began.  And to me, that was not beautiful or magical. 

So, where is the balance between sane and insane?  Where do I draw the line between acceptance and criticism?  When will I look in the mirror and see myself the way others see me?  I guess I will have plenty of time to figure that out as I strap on my sneakers and begin my next chapter.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Let them eat cake!

I have always been the type of person who judged her value and worth by how many friends, loved ones and Facebook acquaintances remembered my birthday. I wanted birthday gif’s, eCard emails, flowers, cards and presents. Lots and lots of presents. And I had a mental checklist of who remembered and who forgot. I never called out the people who forgot to wish me Happy Birthday, but I compartmentalized it to use at a later date.

This year is different. Both because I dyed my hair blonde:

And, because I feel content with myself for the first time, well…ever. I don’t need the accolades (although they are GREATLY appreciated), and I don’t need a cake full of candles (do we really need to have that fire hazard??), nor do I need a mantle full of cards, flowers or expensive gifts.

WAIT, if anyone is reading and you want to send me an expensive gift, I guarantee I won’t say no.

I just feel like the mere fact that I am here is celebration enough. My life is as perfect a life as one could ask for. I have an amazing family, supportive friends, smart and healthy children, a good job that helps support my shopping habits, a nice home, my health, a body full of tattoos and a clear conscience. How many people get all of these things at once? I have blessings in spades, and I don’t take a single one of them for granted.

My cousin posted on my Facebook that 38 is the new 28. To that I say, AMEN. I would never want to be 28 again. That was not my finest hour. But 38….that’s a whole different story. At 38 I am finally starting to feel like I really have my shit together. I feel…grown up. But in a good way.

People try to placate me by telling me that I don’t look my age, and that’s all fine and good, but if I wore every wrinkle and laugh line and butt dimple of my 38 years, that would be ok too. Because it’s all a part of my story, and it’s a story I am proud to tell.

Does it freak me out that I am inching closer to 40? It should. I should be having a pre-midlife crisis and wearing mini skirts and listening to boy bands and trying to recapture my youth. But I don’t feel the need because I am happy to be moving forward on my journey. With age comes wisdom and experience. It also comes with spider veins, crow’s feet, a bigger ass and a slower metabolism, but those are all small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

So bring on 38, 39, 40…hell, bring on the golden years. I will relish in and enjoy every single one of them. And just for today, I will forget the size of my jeans, my incessant need to go to the gym and the guilt I feel if I allow myself to enjoy a cookie or a glass wine. Today I will indulge in life’s simple treats. I will drink wine and the cookie cake my co-worker brought in. I will have a delicious dinner with my family and not count the calories or the carbs.

And in the words of Queen Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake”. And eat cake I shall.