Sunday, April 29, 2007
I have no idea what happened to me, but a few weeks ago I suddenly became a person who Works Out. As in I get up every morning at 6am, put on my sneakers and follow along to a DVD featuring a woman with a darling Australian accent who encourages me to listen to my body because it is my coach. Well, if it's my coach, then it has apparently decided it is time for me to get my rear in gear, to borrow a phrase from my middle school gym teacher. So I work out in the mornings and then, a few times a week, I go out and take 5 mile walks with my coworker. My coworker walks fast, and is tall with long legs. I do not walk fast, and I have stubby legs, so these walks sometimes kick my ass. But I feel so awesome afterwards. (Good thing, too, since we're going to have to up those walks soon since we're doing the Breast Cancer 3-Day in November.)

When I work out a lot, I can't really stand the idea of putting junk food into my body. Which means that on top of all this working out, I'm suddenly eating all kinds of fruits and salad and protein. I go out to lunch and I don't finish my sensible meals of grilled chicken and salads. And I'm not snacking as much and my sweet tooth is suddenly disappearing and so you know what happened?

I lost 8 pounds in 3 weeks. When I saw my doctor last week, she walked into the exam room and said "Well hello, skinny!" because I had lost 7 pounds since she saw me last month. (Sidenote: Have I mentioned that I love my PCP? She's tiny and awesome and so, so, SO supportive and she actually knows lots about WLS because weight management is one of her areas of interest. I kind of want to have her babies.) My jeans are fitting a little looser, I'm starting to be able to wear shirts I put away after the weight gain from the wrist debacle, and my skin looks better than it ever has. In other words, things are AWESOME right now and I am kicking ass at this whole weight loss thing. I am totally regaining my Healthy Fat Girl status.

There's a part of me that thinks that maybe, just maybe, I should just rethink this WLS thing. I mean hell, I'm doing so well! Maybe I can keep doing this, the eating salads and avoiding cupcakes and saying no to piles of hot, buttery sourdough toast. I'm a fat, hot, buttery piece of gorgeousness just the way I am, and I'm healthy and happy and doing great at this whole living life thing.

That last sentence is totally true. I believe it with all my heart, and I am having a hard time reconciling that with the fact that I am about to do this big, giant thing that's going to make me not fat, and probably not buttery. And I wonder sometimes, how can I call myself a proponent of fat acceptance when I am about to do the one thing that's pretty much guaranteed to make me not fat? I know I'm doing this for my health. I'm doing it for my tired knees that really want to keep doing those 60 mile walks but won't be able to for much longer if they keep having to haul around 300 pounds. I'm doing it for my heart, which would very much like to keep beating for another 60 years but probably won't if I don't make its job a little easier. I'm doing it for my feet, which love how cute they look in those 4 inch heels but will probably start getting bone spurs if I don't lighten their load.

But that's not what most people think when they hear that someone has had or is planning to have WLS. They think people just want to get skinny. I have a group of acquaintances in my circle of friends that belong to NAAFA and are proudly fat. And more power to them, because these women have got self-confidence and moxie up the yin yang. They are not people I see often enough to know them well enough to feel comfortable discussing this whole thing with them. And I'm sure that they will assume that I did it to get skinny, and I'm pretty damn sure that they will assume that I hated being fat, and therefore, I hate fat people.

I worry that I will have to make more of an effort to let the world know that I think people of all shapes and sizes should be accepted exactly as they are. I worry that fat girls will look at me and think I'm a Skinny Bitch. I worry that my fat friends will think I want them to have the surgery too, that I'm judging them for not doing it. And I'm worried that they will judge me for doing it.

That last bit is why I haven't even really been telling anyone about this sudden change in behavior, this fantastic turnaround that has weight dropping off of me, because I figure if I tell anyone, they'll suggest that I not do the WLS. But what they don't know is that I've done this before. I've lost the weight before and then I've gained it back. And it invited some friends to join it. And I know how I am, and I know how my body is, and I know that this is the best way for me to lose the 150 pounds I need to lose. Need, not want.

I need to do this. Now if I could just get over the fact that I feel like I'm betraying every fat girl out there, that I'm betraying the fat girlfriends who have told me that they wish I had my self confidence, that they love how just out there I am. It's a hard thing to reconcile, and I wish that someone would just tell me how to do it before I end up driving myself crazy.

Well, crazier.

Preach it
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
This week my surgeon's office called to touch base with me since we're right about halfway through the Interminable Wait. The insurance handler type person mentioned that hey, I might as well go get a psych consult in case they need it for the approval. See, my insurance's clinical policy bulletin on WLS is vague and open-ended, with lots of room for interpretation. And while it is a pretty short list of requirements, my history of past episodes of depression severe enough to be medicated means I get to go get my head shrunk before I get my belly shrunk. (Ha. so clever!)

So now I'm waiting to hear back from the behavioral health people to find out who I need to go to. I'm wondering exaclty what this is going to entail, other than me proving that I really am stable enough to behave after the surgery.

In other news, this entry over at Big Fat Deal (which is informative and smart and funny and run by three of the most awesome women I know) has me thinking a lot about The Fat Club. You know the one...the one where we can call each other fat but no one else can. It's the one my friends and I have laughed about in the past. The Fat Club is where it's okay to have a big ole booty and where one may on occasion poke one's belly while providing funny sound effects (ahem). We can call each other fat and not get our feelings hurt because we're all in the club. We're all right there, with our fleshy bellies and our mounds of boobs and our thighs of thunder. And we laugh about it and talk about how our menfolk love the curves and we have ourselves another martini.

And we all think we're beautiful. Because we are. Quite frankly, I've been out with Weetabix and Mo Pie and we are a whole pile of Hot Fat Chicks who Do Not Give A Shit what anyone thinks, and not a single person in our path has been able to deny our hotness.

But let me tell you. If someone from outside The Fat Club calls me or one of my friends fat....oh, it's on. Feelings are hurt, shame is thrown around, and quite frankly, it sucks. Because outside of The Fat Club, fat is still a bad, bad word, a harsh, angry, hateful word.

I once had a random homeless guy yelling at me while I sat at a light because he didn't like where I stopped my car. The worst insult he could come up with was to repeatedly call me a fat bitch.

My husband almost killed the man because he got so angry on my behalf. No word should ever make him that angry.

So yeah, I think we need to expand The Fat Club out. Spread the word and proselytize a little bit. Stop describing ourselves as Rubenesque or full-figured or zaftig and just claim it. Fat. Own it. Say it. Make it mean the same whether it's spelled with a "ph" or an "f".

And the next time someone calls me fat, I'm going to do my damnedest to remember my own words and simply reply "Yeah, and?"

All I want is normalcy
Friday, April 06, 2007
Have I mentioned that I absolutely loathe sitting through my WW meetings? I'm surrounded by these people who are all so balls to the wall and gung ho on the diet and it makes me irritable.

It makes me irritable because I can't do it. I cannot throw myself into it and embrace the good health guidelines religiously and lose weight every week like those people do. Especially this one guy who sits behind me and spouts of crap about "facing the beast" and how the way he gets through his workouts is to be angry at himself and belittle himself for being stupid and getting fat. And the people there just lap it up, agreeing with him and talking about what an awesome strategy that is.

No. It is not awesome to call yourself stupid for gaining weight. It is not awesome to be angry at yourself while you work out. It is not awesome to belittle yourself and encourage other people to do it to themselves too.

I will fully admit that I'm not following the program as written. The last couple of weeks I didn't rack a single Point, and really, I wasn't surprised to have posted a gain last night. But you know what? I only ate half of my Chinese food lunch last weekend. I did a five mile walk on Monday night, followed by a three mile walk on Tuesday. I drank so much water that every day I lost track after 3 liters. And I remembered to take my vitamins every single day.

But apparently, I should be mad at myself, because that will motivate me to not eat the marshmallow egg. Fuck that. Being mad at myself (or my mother or my friends or my job) is what got me fat in the first place because nothing calms me down like a quick shot of carbs and sugar.

I hate sitting through the meetings because it's just another reminder that I'm not normal. I can't sit down to a meal and eat just enough to satisfy me; I have to eat it all, even if I know I'll be overly full afterwards. If only I had a dollar for everytime I groaned "I'm gonna have a pizza/ice cream/pie/pasta baby!", I would be a very rich woman. I have yet to meet a cupcake I did not want to immediately devour (and usually did), and more than once I've eaten enough cheese to feed an entire nation worth of rats.

This is not how a normal person behaves around food. Normal people do not daydream about cheesecake or count the hours until their planned binge on pizza. Normal people don't have to have arguments with themselves about whether or not they should eat that Twinkie, and they don't have to constantly convince themselves to cook a vegetable to go with dinner.

Eating is not the center of their universe. But it is the center of mine.

This is not what I want to be. Logically, I know what I need to do. I have the knowledge, and I even like most of the healthy foods that I'm supposed to be eating. I should totally be one of the balls to the wall WW dieters. But I'm not. And sitting through these meetings is not helping me become a normal person. It's just making me more obsessed with food.

And man, that pisses me off the very most.