Friday, December 23, 2011

  • ‎30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself  (would love to reference this but I have no idea - received from a friend in an email)

    As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
    Here are some ideas to get you started---

    1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

    2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

    3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.

    4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

    5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

    6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

    7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

    8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

    9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

    10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
    ‎11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

    12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

    13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

    14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

    15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

    16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

    17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

    18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

    19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

    20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

    21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

    22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

    23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.

    24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

    25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

    26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

    27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

    28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

    29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

    30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I just did the very thing that illustrates to me that internalized hatred is alive and well!  We definitely internalize the things we hear and sometimes, even, believe that it is okay to repeat them.  I saw a picture of a buffalo in an online support group - totally benign thing.  But I immediately thought of a fat joke - and a racist joke - the minute the picture came up.  AND, I told it!  What in the world is wrong with me?  I know exactly what is wrong with me - we have been taught that saying negative things about fat people and people of color is FUNNY!  IT IS NOT!  Not in any way - differences are not funny.  They have no value at all - they just exist.  Difference is not deficient!  I must remember this!  We all must remember this!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So, this is the bumper sticker that I saw on a truck the other day.  You know the truck; big, and jacked up - wench in front, heavy duty tires, 5 miles to the gallon in gas, full of dirt, and sometimes with a flag from the antenna.  This is the type of 'comedy' that is still allowed in this world.  I have realized that there are many 'funny' things out there that are hurtful, and this journey of really changing my life to be a different person - a different identity other than fat chick - has made me very aware.  I have seen others:  a Native American person dancing and the slogan "White man can't dance" -  the movie from the 80's "White Men can't jump" - "NO FAT Chicks" - etc. etc.  It's disheartening that a world as diverse and educated as ours still finds crude and mean things like this funny.  I have, myself, participated in things like this.  I happen to love t-shirts with funny slogans.  I currently have two that I am going to really consider never wearing again - "Blondes might have more fun but brunettes can read" and "Shuffling:  another thing the White Man stole."  I don't know what compels us to scapegoat another's differences to make us feel better.

I had the wonderful experience of participating in a mindful eating exercise last night.  It was interesting.  People didn't like not talking and didn't like the exercise at first.  I think that overall it was an okay experience, and I had one person who verbalized it was tough for her because it was the VERY first time it became aware to her that she might have an issue with food.   Internalized hatred is part of this type of experience.  Large people have learned to hate themselves, because of bumper stickers like the one above.  They have learned from the world that they aren't acceptable - it's a generalized learning about not being acceptable in ALL areas.  I mean, in reality, the essence is that being fat is bad, but as people we compartmentalize and turn the general statement regarding the disgusting nature of fatness   into general disgust for oneself.  Psychology has studied this for years. Internalized hate and oppression leads to depression/sadness/fear/anxiety/helplessness and hopelessness.  When a person feels completely ineffective in changing the emotions/actions of themselves or the opinions of others - they often get stuck...  Stuck in the bad food cycle, stuck in the ugly emotions of feeling and being different, and stuck in the guilt/shame/eat cycle that leads many of us to obesity.

I have had someone remind me over and over again (Thanks, Beth!) that it was never about the food.  It's about these things - it's about our minds, bodies, and spirits.  It is about getting the rest of the world to understand that our differences doesn't make us something abhorrent and disgusting.  Nothing about human is abhorrent and disgusting (well, maybe a few things), but not about the nature and existence of them (no matter size, race, age, creed, color or custom).  When this issue is tackled, many of us can be free.  Unfortunately, I don't see the world changing quickly.  So, freedom comes from thinking about freedom.  It comes from thinking that leads to the emotions brought out by stickers like the one above - so simply - STOP THINKING, it ONLY Hurts the Ball Club (Thank you Kevin Costner and Bull Durham).  Let your actions be your guide.  Eating and health is serious business.  Become aware of your feelings (they won't kill you), don't hide from them with food, make intentional and mindful decisions, and LOVE YOU! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

What is the culture behind this...

I have been thinking (I know a true rarity). One of my passions is the oppressed. As a professional, I have always written about and worked to help the most disenfranchised and marginalized people in society (primarily the poor and those with mental illness). I have also studied cultures and how cultural norms impact culture and behavior. As I experienced over the weekend, and have seen on message boards today, I liken the WLS (Weight Loss Surgery) community to a group of marginalized and disenfranchised people who are working to overcome the emotional dysphoria that is present as a result of the oppression it has experienced. Essentially, the obese (very oppressed in society) become the WLS people (also ostracized and oppressed) and this culture is wrought with the emotional upheaval that comes with change. As time goes on, the WLS community is building, and with that - people join with their own backgrounds, their own ideations, their own cultural attitudes. All of this collides into this new culture that is new and not very well known. In this, comes the attempt to become empowered. New cultures that come out of oppression strive to obtain empowerment. There are two ways to do this: aggression and assertiveness. Martin Luther King Jr spoke of assertiveness. But, as we are biologically based to fight when feeling endangered, many of us (including me as I sit on my soap box) use aggression to fight for our power and control. I have to wonder if some of what the WLS community is experiencing isn't what people who have risen from the ashes of oppression (Natives, African Americans, poor, mentally ill folks, children, the LGBTQ community, the obese) is the first stages of gaining this new identity in a world where differences are discouraged...

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Well, I can tell that I don't put my thoughts down here enough, because it was next to impossible to find how to post a new thought today. I am not the type of blogger that makes their money by doing this (though that wouldn't be horrible) nor am I very well written. I just have thoughts on my mind that I need to get out and if, in some way, that helps another person, then so-be-it. I have been consumed with thoughts for the last few months. There have been so many astronomical changes in my life is the last 19 months (that's how long it has been since I had surgery and have tried to make my life one that is not relegated to being the fat chick). It seems like every patient I see has problems with approval and the with the need to be approved of by someone. It seems like everything in my life is about my future identity and how I am going to recapture it now that I am not the fat girl of the group anymore. I look in the mirror and I see me. I don't see the fat person I used to be, so I guess that is good. I see the much smaller version with the saggy skin. I see the person with wrinkles, and zits, and other war wounds associated with weight loss surgery. I see that my hair is shorter, because I had to cut it off since my nutrition has not been as good as I could make it. I see the new me and I sorta like it. This could, quite possibly be, the first time in nearly 39 years that I have looked in the mirror (for a while there I wouldn't look at all)and actually liked what I see. But, the new me and the old me haven't quite reconciled. I mean; I don't even really know who the new me is yet. I was so used to being the fat girl that I don't know if I can grasp what being something else entails. I don't have to be the brunt of jokes from society. There was an article that recently came out in a magazine where a doctor (who has since publicly apologized) wrote about the jokes that he and some of his colleagues have shared at the expense of large people he has seen in the Operating Room. These jokes weren't very nice, but they do reflect more of the norm in society. FAT people are free game. Some comedians have even made money on their size and their ability to poke fun at themselves (and other people of great size). However, this is just another way to rationalize away the emotions connected with being fat and having the world tell you that you aren't valuable or that you are a JOKE! I am not a joke. I have never been a joke, even though I have spent the majority of my life fat. I have been a serious person, with serious emotions, and serious needs since I was born. I just didn't believe that until recently. I hope that, if you are reading this, you are considering your worth and how to reclaim it. I hope that you believe, even if it is for the first time, that you have value. WE ALL DO! Doesn't matter the package we come in - we are valuable as humans! If you have a disability of some sort, you are not less valuable as someone how does not. If you are popular, and rich - that doesn't make you more valuable than someone who is not. If you are the most popular blogger in cyberspace, you're thoughts aren't particularly more valuable than anyone elses. You just are! That being you is all that you ever need to be! Fat or thin, short or tall, smart or not....just be you!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tired just doesn't explain it...

I am absolutely tired of hearing things like, "You would be so pretty if..." and "Wow, that fat lady on Mike and Molly..." or "Did you see how fat..." These are the snippets of information that attempt to go into my brain all day long. I stop them before they get there, but knowing how information is processed in the noggin, I know that the seed has been planted, and therefore, I will still internalize the gist of what was being said - FAT PEOPLE are not equal to everyone else.

When I was in the 6th grade, I struggled A LOT! I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to fit in so badly, that I pretty much did whatever I could to make that happen. In fact, I would lie, steal, cheat, or _________(insert here) just to get someone to like me. I grew up in a small town and pretty much everyone knows everyone there. I was involved in Camp Fire (which was fantastic and still many of my best memories are from these experiences) but by 6th grade the lines between cool and uncool were quickly being delineated. I soon realized that I was on the uncool side. I wanted to be cool so badly! So, if someone said they did so and so, I would lie and say I did so and so too. You can see where this is going. Eventually, I alienated myself even further from everyone, because I was uncool, FAT, and a liar. I got a letter from EVERY girl in my 6th grade class. They all signed it and basically told me how much they hated me. They called me fat, and liar, and stupid, and worthless. Luckily, there were some other friends of mine in the other 6th grade class that didn't participate.

And, there were two girls, Bethany and Patty, who weren't a part of it. They were probably considered uncool too, but on the day I got that letter, they became super cool to me. They allowed me to play tether ball with them at recess. They didn't know about the letter, or they were too nice to participate, or they just didn't care if I was cool. I never got the chance to ask. But they were nice to me. Even if I was uncool, a liar and fat.

It took many years for me to realize that I was lying to myself and to others in order to gain approval. I was trying to make up for being fat with some other cool 'fact' about myself. The problem was, that those made up things didn't really matter. I needed to focus on the cool stuff that was already inside of me and get that straightened out. Unfortunately, it is about 27 years later and I still am struggling with wanting to be the cool kid. I have figured out that being the cool kid just really means being accepted. And when you are fat in American society, you are far from accepted...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Not about being fat, but funny nonetheless.

I work with children. I love kids! I have been working with kids since I was in camp fire and I knew from an early age that I would spend time with them. I have been in private practice for only about a year, and I spent the last 20 years in publicly funded mental health. Publicly funded mental health came about due to issues with institutionalization of individuals who didn't really need to be 'locked up' and in 1963 the government mandated that community mental health centers would be created to help people in an outpatient setting. So, I have seen my fair share of interesting in my life.

Luckily, when working with kids, there is more fun than 'interesting.' I mean, there are always cases that are sad, and difficult, but for the most part I have had one hell of a time. And, I have seen a great deal of kiddos grow up to be successful and happy adults. It's very rewarding...

Where am I going with this...

About 5 years ago, I was working with a brother and sister who were having problems transitioning between their divorced parents' homes. After going away to visit one parent for the weekend, there would be difficulty transitioning back into the routine of the other parent's home and getting back into school activities, etc. It's actually pretty normal for routine changes to be difficult, but parent's are usually to blame. But, I am not here to bitch and complain about that. I am here today to tell you about a very funny thing that was said during a play therapy session.

It was me, a 3 year old girl, her 5 year old brother and my colleague (a psychiatric nurse practitioner who was shadowing me to get some experience working with kids). We were on the floor with different types of dolls and I was asking them to play out the experience of how they were feeling. The boy usually would take one doll or dinosaur or whatever, and hit another doll and say he was 'mad.' Pretty normal stuff actually. His little sister wouldn't really say much, but she would just play with a dolly that she could change clothes and comb hair, etc. At this age, they didn't really play together, despite encouragement, so I just let them play. Out of nowhere, the little girl grabbed a pteradactyl (I know this isn't spelled right) and swept down and grabbed her little baby doll. She used the dinosaur to smash the baby doll over and over again. I was telling her, "Use your words now and tell me how you feel." (I know, so contrite and psychobabbly). She looked me straight in the eye, and said "MMMMMM, tastes like chicken."

I have never laughed so hard in my life!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Speaking of babies

I was super morbidly obese while pregnant with my youngest boy. I did things right, minus cutting out caffeine. I worked hard at being a good patient, but I just couldn't tackle my weight, even for the baby growing inside of me. I didn't gain more than 10 lbs, and most of it fluid due to complications (toxemia). They warn you you are obese that there can be complications with the baby and even birth defects, but they aren't specific. I had over a dozen ultrasounds and no one could see that my son was missing part of his brain since the neurons didn't migrate and start to form vital areas of the brain like they should. It turns out that the ultrasounds weren't good because of my weight, but no one told me that. I was told that it was not me, since I wasn't diabetic, and that it wasn't me because I didn't use substances that could provide prenatal insult. HOWEVER...I knew that my weight and lack of health was the REAL reason my beautiful boy was disabled. I lived in a rural area that was conservative in medicine, but I had the privilege of also being a professional in the same small community so I get some latitude. I got the tests I wanted and I found out that my son was going to die. Before age 2, and there was probably nothing anyone could do to make that better. I blamed myself. I am sure that my husband blamed me, but he won't tell me the truth. I did what I know what to do--research. One doctor gave me no hope, so I got journal articles on the research being done with this disorder. For a meager $200 bucks the world's leading neuroradiologist who studied my son's illness was willing to read the xray and make recommendations. Best thing I ever did, because that neuroradiologist called up our neurosurgeon and said 'Do the shunt surgery to take the pressure off...make the kids time the best it can be.' I am forever grateful for that man and his willingness to help based just on a desperate email from an American Indian mom in rural Eastern Washington. The shunt surgery happened, and then it malfunctioned. I think the surgeon was tired and angry that I went over his head...this surgery was the last of the day and I think it just was error contributed to this. But, then I overheard him telling his medical assistant - she did this to her own kid by being so obese and now she wants me to crack him open and make him suffer to appease her guilt - WOW! That hit me like a ton of bricks. We got a team of people who didn't really know what could happen with someone with this disease because many people don't live long with this. The team predicted he wouldn't walk, talk, see, hear, or live past age 2. Wasn't given much hope. Here's where I know that my weight issue finally spiraled to rock bottom. I was already 411 lbs and I had lost 40 lbs after the delivery of my child. But then, I started to eat. Started to eat to cope, to eat to feel something other than sorry and guilt. Before two long, I was 623 lbs. So, even though I wanted MORE THAN ANYTHING to live my life with both of my children, in miraculously and lovely ways, I couldn't! I was too fat. I didn't have the energy. During the 6 month period of therapy and self-reflection to get to the point where my insurance company would give me my WL surgery, I realized something VITAL to my life. When I heard that my little boy wasn't going to live, probably because of me (whether it was genetic or my weight and complications), I decided that I was gonna die with him. I was gonna eat myself to do death. By age 6, he had outlived what was predicted. He wasn't qualifying for special services for school anymore and his cognitive abilities were developing. I had an epiphany. If he's not dying, I am not going to die either. Some people would look to alcohol, drugs, work, sex, anything to make their life seem normal for a minute. I looked to food to give me normalcy but also to make it possible for me to die right along with that little boy. I didn't know that until it was almost too late. That's not fair to him, to my other child, and to my husband. It's not fair to me! I NEED TO LIVE! I need to be healthy and deserve it. I can't go back and do things with my weight that might have helped him not develop his illness, but I don't have to keep doing the things that started the problem to begin with. It's time to live like we are dying...we sort of are...slowly hopefully...but every second of every day counts and shouldn't be filled with regret, sadness, and guilt. My son hasn't given I am not going to either! What sparked my decision to really go after weight surgery was when I went to the ER for pain in my lower left and upper left quadrant. It was my appendix and gall bladder. But surgeon on call didn't even touch me. He just said i needed weight loss surgery and that I should mortgage my house to see it was done. He didn't operate. I was just obese and complaining because I hurt as a result of being too fat. I took him off the golf course and he didn't like that. The pain persisted and someone finally didn't see me as the fat ass I was - they saw me as a human. He told me I was worth taking care of myself and delicately proposed options. He got me thinking, and I started therapy, and then case management for the surgery, then the surgery. 400+ lbs lost and I still have to force myself to live when I see that my children struggle. I have depression, which is common for weight issues. I'm a work in progress. BUT I AM GOING TO LIVE.

Ignorance isn't bliss, it's hurtful...

This is the type of stuff that fat people endure on a daily (multiple times per day) basis.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Holy S*@#, I can fit...

I have had some seriously interesting experiences over the last few days, and I felt compelled to share them with all of you! For those of you who have never been heavy, overweight, or obese it is probably news to you that there are things that you can't do, even if you want to. For instance, you can't fit into any old car seat or seat belt, even if you do want to drive the firebird with t-tops. It's pretty discouraging to realize that you have eaten yourself into a cage. I mean, I know that it shouldn't be a surprise to me that, after eating myself to 623 lbs, I couldn't fit into things - but it's still pretty disappointing when the realization hits that you are too FAT to ride an amusement park ride. Or sit in a swing. Or slide down the slide. Or fit in the bath tub. Sadly, I had done just that - eaten myself into a cage. One that wasn't easy to get out of. I couldn't move or exercise because it was painful to do and because I was so heavy that I would hurt myself each time I tried. I wasn't able to quit eating for any extended period of time to help my situation. So, I was helpless. Hopeless. Disgusted. Then, I had weight loss surgery. I lost a lot of weight. I am out of my cage. I slid down the slide! I fit into just about any car. I can WALK! I have been liberated. But, the discrimination doesn't stop. There are people who once thought of me as disgusting because I was so fat, that are now telling me that I took the 'easy way out.' There are people who have had weight loss surgery that are telling me that I am 'not using my tool' if I choose to eat certain foods. There are professional people who, despite their recommendations to have weight loss surgery, who have told me that it is my 'own fault because you chose surgery' when I come in for post-surgery complications or questions. there ever going to be a time in my life when I am okay just being me?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Body dysmorphia?

Okay, so I have seen a lot of people wondering if there is something wrong with them in WLS forums, and many people have bantered about the term 'body dysmorphia.' As a result, I feel compelled to write a little bit about this and set some points of discussion out there so that perhaps the term can be better used.

As taken from

Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful that you don't want to be seen by anyone. Body dysmorphic disorder has sometimes been called "imagined ugliness."

When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to "fix" your perceived flaws, but never will be satisfied. Body dysmorphic disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, the fear of having a deformity

IT IS NOT when you aren't sure what your identity is now that you are no longer 'the fat chick/person.' That's trying to figure out a developmental milestone. If you always thought you were gonna be a 'fat chick/person' you probably resolved yourself to that identity in your mid- to late twenties and went about your business. If you went ahead and had WLS and drastically changed your outside self, then your inside self probably can't or hasn't caught up. It's a matter of making them match! So, this confusion is CLOSE to dysmorphia, but isn't quite dysmorphia. SEE ABOVE DEFINITION!

Being confused about yourself is a normal process that happens when you make big change. That is one of the reasons why WLS people/specialists recommend support groups and therapy, so that you have someone else there to help you through the process. Unless you are obsessed about your perceived flaw or ugliness, you are probably not suffering from dysmorphia, but rather, the confusion created when big SHIT changes and you aren't prepared for the rapid nature of said shit storm....

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's all about size

So, I have been sparked by a recent video blog that I have seen where a gal was humiliated by an airline into buying an extra plane ticket, and I figured that today was a good day to tackle the topic of sizism. It's out there people, and ya'll know you have been sizist at one time or another. I think people with weight issues are the worst of all, but that's just my take. Think about the last time you were in the aisle at a department store or grocery store and a larger person asked to get past. They said, "Excuse me" and you moved about 2 cm over to let them through. If you were paying good attention, 2 cm wasn't going to help much, but you didn't care, because you did indeed 'excuse' them and moved. It's not your problem that they can't fit in the space. Or, in same said department store, the aisles are so crowded that people have to shimmy to the left and right to look around. It's not just larger people who have trouble in these circumstances--people who are carrying babies or pushing strollers can't get through either. None of that truly matters though, because much of the world is determined to use a one-size-fits-all infrastructure for things. I get it that airlines, movie theaters, baseball stadiums, etc. all need to put as many seats as they can in a space in order to maximize their profits. However, if they gave a little more room for folks (whether large, with children, or normal size, WHATEVER) perhaps more people would come because they know that they would feel comfortable and enjoy themselves. I have avoided concerts, baseball games, theaters, airplanes, grocery store aisles--all because I was afraid of the humiliation it would bring if I didn't fit or if I broke something. If you are of a healthy weight, you have probably never had to consider these things. You have probably never had to use a seatbelt extender, or cram yourself into a seat small enough for a 5-year-old, or think about whether you could go to lunch with a friend because you can't fit in their car. Am I saying that the world should just supersize itself and not use the law of averages--heaven's no! I just wish all people would consider the differences of people (size, attitude, cultural, etc) and proceed with a sense of caring rather than one of disdain. If we walk through this world remembering that different is not deficient then things like the video blog of the gal trying to fly home on SWA wouldn't have to happen. If we treat each other with respect, despite our differences, then there wouldn't be hate, hate crimes... I guess it's a tall order, but it's definitely one I am willing to tackle. Now that I have had WLS, I am smaller in physicality, but my brain still tells me to watch out. This hypervigilance can be put to good use as an advocate for others who are afraid of how the world treats people who are different. I will always look out for the bigger guy. Cuz, like his cousin the little guy, he can get hurt pretty badly by the masses.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beck Counseling & Consultation - Home - Moses Lake, WA

Beck Counseling & Consultation - Home - Moses Lake, WA

live like we're dying

If you are an overweight person, you are doing exactly this. Living like your dying!! Cuz, essentially, you are. Quickly! One could argue that we are all dying slowing, but an overweight/obese person is dying QUICKLY! One foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peel (or ice cream wrapper, your pick). There are so many things that I have missed out on as a fat person. The thing that bothers me the most is that I don't have the approval of my peers. I have been told that I can't get a job because I am fat, I have not been included in fun activities because I am fat, and I have not been included in wedding parties, because I am fat. So, I continue to live(die) at a steady pace, filling my face with the stuff that actually makes me better momentarily, but makes me dead all that much faster. I have told my teenage son that, should be consider using drugs, I would just put an end of the misery faster and quicker by ending him myself rather than watch him slowly die at his own hands. I guess that makes me a hypocrite because he has been watching me with my addiction, wasting my life, and not enjoying myself. SAME THING!

Why is it that I want to be approved of so badly that I would go to such extremes to get approval, but I won't put that energy into taking care of my health and doing a little exercise? Where did I get the idea that I was entitled to have a vise or addiction in order to live through the stresses of life? I mean, we don't really have to have addictions. But, we do need to eat. When food is your addiction, where does that leave you? It leaves you confused, hurt and angry, and then back to doing the very thing that got your hurt, confused and angry. And, when do I decide to get off this roller coaster ride?

It's really my choice. But society doesn't seem to understand or get it. I think that does prevent me from having positive thoughts at times. However, I have to get it into my thick skull that I can't worry about what society thinks--I have to change how I think. I can't rely on the support of the world to help me with my obesity. Society hates fat people! It's that simple! So, I have to learn to love myself and LIVE despite food and despite the people who hate me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Guess what? I'm still angry

Okay, so I am nearly at goal weight. Isn't that when I am supposed to be happy? I have been promised utopia by a society that worships the thin, yet; I haven't found that my weight is at all connected to happiness. I have been happy when I was fat, and I have been happy when I have been thin. I have been healthy and angry; fat and calm. I guess the point of this post is that the answer to happiness is completely unrelated to a number on a scale. I wish that more people were aware of this fact, but it seems that more and more people are finding happiness in ways that are destructive or are looking for happiness in places where it is hard to find. Not to say that I have the answers, because I certainly don't. What I do know; however, is that to find happiness it takes the ability to get out of one's head--out of one's comfort zone--out of one's habits or rituals. Eating is a habit for me--probably more of a ritual. I eat when I am unhappy. So, this means that I am fat and unhappy at the same time. Being sad isn't something that society values, so instead I am angry. Over and over and over again--the cycle continues.

How many of you out there are angry because that is the emotion that is allowed? How many of you--if you really reflect on yourself--are angry (hurt, frustrated, sad, depressed **insert any emotion here**) and refusing to honor the feeling by eating it all away? Why do us 'fat chicks' do that and how do we stop? For, we have to stop. It's killing us--it's make America fat. The utopia connected to "perfect weight" is a myth, but the happiness connected to sense of self is still a possibility. Utopia actually means a place that can't exist... ...I want to exist and I want to be healthy. So, no more self destructive eating and no more fear of emotion. It's all something to be valued.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Uh Oh...I forgot I was fat!

Okay, so I haven't been very diligent in writing this blog, but I think that I do have some stuff to declare and it's time that I get to it!

I have been blessed with an opportunity to have weight loss surgery and to reap the benefits of my hard work in the last 15 or so months. However, that hasn't changed the fact that I still think of myself as a 'fat chick.' To compound this problem, the whole world thinks of me as a 'fat chick' **eek, go get your torches and pitch forks**

To some, the latter statement might seem to be an over-generalization, but the world does indeed abhor fat people. My most recent experience illustrates this so well, that I hope to eloguently and poignantly express it to you, my readers and fans...

To set the mood PICTURE YOURSELF AT WAL-MART (this is the only department type store that we have in the little hell-hole, er, I mean "place" where we live). There is a hustle and a bustle all around you and you are checking out the produce. The number of people at Wal-Mart is astounding and you find yourself elbow-to-elbow with about 10 other people trying to get to the apples. Then... happens! A lady, who is very well-dressed and coiffed, comes up to the apple stack and pushes her way to the front. You look at her, perhaps with a look of disdain on your face (after all, she just cut in front of all the other patrons) and she smirks at you. You smile back, hoping to make up for the derision that you had a second ago, and she states, "You really could use a few more apples in your diet... could be so beautiful if only you lost those extra pounds!" It is here that you look up and really SEE the person who is speaking to you. It is here that you realize that she is talking to you and YOU are the 'potentially' pretty person of which she speaks. The other 10 people are aghast, but steadily work their way through the apples to make their purchases. A few onlookers begin to rubber neck (after all, this is Wal-Mart) and await your response to the well-dressed gal. You pause, thinking of something to say. A light comes on and you respond, "Thank you! I didn't realize I was fat! Holy cow! I should get on that right away, and thank you for the advice. You know, I was thinking, you would be so pretty if you weren't, well... UGLY!" And you haughtily walk off, tail between your legs (not literally even if it is Wal-Mart)and head to the car so you can compose yourself and do all that you can to be LESS fat. The crowd of looky-loos snicker, and mumble, and laugh, but you can see that some of them are taking delight in the interaction...

Yes, this has happened to me. Even though I have lost over 300 lbs. Even though I feel fantastic, and am a pretty lady. This person had the gall to tell me what I needed to do in order to be 'pretty.' For those of us who handle obesity on a day-to-day basis, we have encountered this time and again. Unfortunately, the type of interaction I just described is not the first of its kind to happen to me. I have had it happen a lot, particularly when children used to see me and point at me like I was a circus act. For people who don't have a weight issue, or who don't realize that different isn't deficient, it seems like a good thing to point out the obvious to others. However, it isn't nice! Remember what Thumper says..."If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!"

Was it kind of me to call her ugly? No, it was not! And, I regret my witty comeback (sort of) to this day. However, it hasn't changed the fact that people who are overweight and obese have to suffer through these moments nearly on a daily basis, just because they exist. Isn't it time that we all just move along, and encourage each other, instead of belabor others' shortcomings? I would hope so. There is an ad out that says that getting older makes things easier. The ad is referring to the discrimination that happens to LGBTQ youth when they are younger. I love the ad, but I also realize that things don't really get better with age; you just get more mature and can handle the meanness of others. It doesn't mention that people will still be mean... It's sad, sad world when a person has to be sorry for existing.