Monday, July 21, 2014

Fattist: How Do We See Ourselves and Others?

The Urban Dictionary (I know, an incredibly credible source- I edited this definition but you can click the link to see the original) defines "fattist" as: fattistsomeone opposed to fat people, fat culture, and the fat influence in our culture; fattists believe the overweight [people] should be actively working to be thinner.
I came across this today on Facebook via Voluptuous Vixen, a community that is: "Promoting a positive atmosphere for CONFIDENT women who embrace their curves (and those who adore them) to discuss hot topics and issues." 

Tess Munster, Model
I have tried so hard to be one of those women-when I was at my highest weight (HW), I wanted to be a woman who said, "Eff your beauty standards!"  a movement supported and cultivated by Tess Munster, a plus size model who is stunningly beautiful and has confidence in spades.  It is so easier said than done and despite my weight loss, I find myself wondering all the time what the new perception people have of me is.  
I was talking with a good friend this morning who had WLS many years ago (lap band) and it triggered something for me (again): When will I stop thinking of my self a fat?  When will I stop assigning labels to my body?  We all know that labels do no good when it comes to standing tall-labels hold us back and hurt.  This, after all, is where many of the -isms come from.  Intolerance.   
When will the moment come that I stop hating on myself and just continue to become the person I want to be and not what someone else believes I should be?  
I had an interview this morning for an in-house position at my school.  I had to go to the Brooklyn UFT offices and interview with someone from Teacher Recruitment and from the UFT.  The suit I had planned to wear no longer fits so I paired new, smaller pants with a suit jacket that it a little big but I am not swimming in it like I am in the other one.  It looked fine. I threw on one of the new tops I got at The Gap last week.  I felt fine.  Defiantly conservative, but that was ok.  I used to avoid my reflection at all cost when I was walking on the street.  Today, post interview, I caught my reflection and I didn't recognize that girl.  I still expect to see the HW body.
Does this make me a "fattist" by default?  I was not ok with being fat.  I was never ok with being fat in large part (sorry :-) that it seemed like the world, my world, was never ok with me being fat.  How could I ever embrace my body if I always thought it was "wrong". I was "WRONG". I could assert that any person on a diet is a "fattist".
I don't expect my dysmorphic perception of my own body to dissipate any time soon.  I suspect the reflection in the windows on the street will look like someone else for a long time.  I can only hope to keep challenging my thinking and questioning the "norms" that pushed me here.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Things Happen with Threes

The guy on the right is my friend and colleague +Andrew Levine, brilliant chem teacher, Doctor Who lover and bowler. We hatched a plan to go bowling this summer on Wednesday mornings at the Melody Lanes.  This week was our first outing.  It was a great time!  Toni Ann, another teacher/friend joined us as well.  So glad to have people in my life who are game.  We played 4 games, great exercise and the special needs kids bowling next to us offered great tips and encouragement.  ("Just aim at the middle!")

Later that afternoon I got to see Jill (thanks for coming down!) and Toni for dinner and drinks.  We started out at Vu NYC in Koreatown (32nd btw Bway and 5th, I think).  The picture on the right of the Empire State Building is from the rooftop bar.  Don't order the happy hour house wine, but I am sure the cocktails are fine.  We moved on to Wine:30  order the shrimp appetizer.  So good and always good to see my girls.  (We missed you Tes.)

This was today- Im almost at 8 mos out- on the 25th.  I'm in a bit of a stall- no change for about 10 days but it happens.  Thankfully the battery on my scale died so I really have no idea.  I do know that I fit into an XL at the Gap yesterday- it was AWESOME!  I know the clothing keeps getting bigger even if the numbers on the scale are stuck.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

WLS and Reality TV

I was having a bad tummy day yesterday. I have found that sometimes a specific food is just fine and other days it is the kiss of death.  There is no predicting and that is extremely frustrating.  Yesterday I had a mini bagel from our local bagel shop.  In the past it has not been a problem.  It was toasted (which helps with any bread products) and I had light cream cheese- about 2 T.  It is something I do maybe once a month as focusing on protein is the number one thing for use WLS folks.  To compare- during the week I have a Chike Iced Coffee protein shake (20g protein, 2 shots expresso, 2g sugar).  I love it and it is a great way to jumpstart my day.  I make it in the bullet blender with some ice-which makes it a little foamy/whipped, more like a late, and it does not need any extra anything.  Sometimes I add some SF caramel syrup which is a nice treat and change of pace.  Ok, so all that said, a bagel is a treat and yesterday it was a treat gone bad.

When something is going to go wrong, it takes about 3 hours for things to "turn".  We ate at about 1030 and by 1 I knew it was going to be a bad day.  Sometimes you can tell right away if things are not sitting right- and not to be graphic, but come on, I have talked about BMs in my blog, purging it is the best thing to do.  The solid is hurting and having such a tiny tummy means what ever I ate if causing physical pain.  It had been too long though and there was not much I could do.

I don't know how to really explain what the pain is like.  For me, it is located on the left side, just below the bottom of my ribs.  It feels like a cramp but you can stretch it out.  I can't really lay down- laying on my left side being the most comfortable of any option - but laying on my back is the most painful.  There have been two times when the only thing I could do was just sit in my chair and wait it out.  It can take hours.  It is exhausting.

Yesterday, this little bagel was the bane of my existence.  I slept a bit, I tried some water, later in the afternoon I had some mint tea that helped.  I was beginning to feel better.  I was distracting myself with some TV watching and came across My 600-lb Life on TLC .  It is about folks living at 600 lbs+ who decide to have WLS, I would say in all cases to save their lives.  I watched the episode about James, a man who was 728 lbs. who had two other family members who had died from weight related illness/co-morbidities (his father and sister-if ever there was an argument for genetics and obesity, this was it).  The problem with the show is that they leave out so much- I had so many questions about how he was being educated, found myself horrified when they showed him going through the drive through and gorging himself on greasy fast food in his car (the eating in secret that I was so familiar with) and it made my stomach hurt and my heart hurt.  I turned to Charlie, who had joined me at that point, "He is not doing the head work. How is he going to do this if he doesn't do the head work?"  I know I say it all the time but the mental heath part of this is AS IMPORTANT as the physical health.  I have been in regular therapy for over 5 years (thank you Aetna for amazing coverage) and the last year I see my LCSW 2x a week-one double and one single session.  My therapist has been essential to my journey and I know will continue to be.

Like many shows on TLC they highlight the different and the curious- the extremes-that many of us are so curious about. We can cheer for the success of people like James but I found it more frustrating than anything to was left with so many questions about his care and journey.  I hope that he is continuing to lose and is closer to his goal.  I hope that he has begun to address the mental part of his relationship with food.

I continue to be proud that I didn't have to get to 600+ lbs to decide to have surgery. I wish I had not reached 386 lbs. and the pictures feel painful sometimes to see and to remember. Some days are better than others. The picture on the right is from this week- I am in an 18 skirt and I am still shocked that this is me.  I also bought a pair of skinny jeans, levis that FIT.  I had not wanted to even try them on when I took them out of the box- they looked too small.  They were not.  In fact, they are a little baggy on my thighs (and tight on my calves- but I guess that is the point of skinny jeans).

1x (7/11/14)
I also picked up a dress- a 1x.  After removing the ruffle that had been around the neckline, I am happier with the dress.  It feels good to wear dresses and to not feel so crestfallen when I try something on.
28/30 (Aug. '13)

I know this is a process and I have worked to be open, reflective and transparent here in my writing.  For those of us that like the voyeur quality of reality TV, take it at face value and know that you are never getting all the facts.  It is sensationalizing an experience and there is no way they could show us everything in 60 minutes.  I hope that folks like James are happy with their choice and continue to find success in their WLS journey.  It is extremely difficult and being followed by a camera crew would be an added component that would challenge even the most determined of WLS patients.  

I am glad I did this on my terms, my way.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Red Silk Pajamas

My cousin Kris got me red silk pjs from Bloomingdales one Christmas. I had never been able to... Or confident enough to wear them. As I was unpacking today I thought I would try them on again. I think I had tried them on, maybe 50 lbs ago, and they were still too tight. Today they really fit...son to be to big but I will keep them to wear this winter.

Rock on.

Movin' Right Along

I'll be honest.  The only fun thing about moving is being DONE with moving.  We moved 3 bedrooms- well, one bedroom, 2 offices- and over 110 boxes.  The picture to the left is just a small portion of the boxes at the new place in the living room.  It was 5 high and 5 deep.  Today, 6 days later there are 2 boxes left.  We rocked it but let me say again, the only FUN part of moving is being done.  My office still looks like a bomb went off.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend it will be settled.  :-)

For the most part, we are settled in.  The new shelves came Thursday so I was able to finish unpacking the kitchen and I made dinner for us last night for the first time since we moved last Sunday- filet mignon and pierogis with sautéed sweet onions (Thank you, +FreshDirect for always amazing meat!) I had 4 oz of cooked meat, one tiny bite at a time, 2 tablespoons of onions and the filling of 2 pierogis- about 2 tablespoons.  Each perfect bite was a delicious treat.
The stove top is gas, not quite full size like a range but it works. I have yet to use the oven.
The windows look out onto a courtyard of the apartment building next door-
no one is ever out there but there is a beautiful tree that the birds love- we have already seen a cardinal.
New shelves from +Williams-Sonoma (FANCY!)
All the china made it in one piece- the Giger's are going to go on the wall here.

     The bathroom is my favorite room at the moment- it is the smallest and the most -done- thank you +T.J.Maxx!  I got a few perfect items to set up- it is so nice to have a vanity that is bigger than a shoe box.  We have had such funny bathrooms over the years and this one, is my current favorite, despite the pink tub and toilet.  
+Cynthia Rowley towels (I also have a lot of her clothing- her plus size stuff is fantastic, can't wait to buy her off the rack pieces:-)

Dollar store jar with ribbon from the wash cloths I bought.  Thank you super glue.
I decided to put up this photo we have in the bathroom as well.  It is beautiful and ties everything together.
 Photograph by Ralph Pugliese Jr. +we got at the family winery a few years ago on a trip to LI.  His work is lovely and we have a couple others.  Check out his stuff here:

As for WLS, I burned a crap ton (that is an official measurement) of calories moving and lost 7 lbs. last week- I'll own that I was not doing my best eating but sweating and unpacking in 95 degree weather is great exercise.  My current total is 135 lbs lost.  This is this morning. :-)  I feel kind of human today-thanks to mascara I think.  In the mean time, I'll keep movin' right along and getting things done.