Monday, August 17, 2015

The skinny about (my) fat

Once upon a time, through no fault (or merit) of my own, I was a thin person.

Actually, at the age of oh...22 or so I had a ROCKIN' HOT body.

Acid washed jeans and ankle boots aside, I love this picture.  Did I have an adult beverage in my right hand throughout the entire decade of the 90s?  Photographic evidence points to "yes."

Then I got fat.

I wish I had a good reason to put here for why I got fat.  For awhile...about 15 years ago, I went to Weight Watchers meetings and heard all kinds of reasons for getting fat.  From thyroid problems and low "eating your feelings" and stress eating, etc.  Here's the truth behind my weight gain:

1. I like to eat food that tastes good.  Sadly, good-tasting food is usually high in fat and/or calories.  That's why it TASTES good.

2. Unless I can pretty much count on an orgasm at the end of it...I do not like activities that make me sweat.

That is it.  Period.  I was not suffering from self-esteem issues.  I was not compensating because I was never my mother's favorite.  I did not equate food with love.

I was simply taking in more calories than I was expending.  And I did it for 24+ years.

Now, I would like to point out that at no point was I hating my life.  In the picture above?  The project that I had been working on for the past 10 years of my life was being inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.  I was part of that because I am a damn good engineer.
I have a husband that I love.  We have a beautiful daughter.  We live in a nice house.  I love my job and my friends and my family and my pets.  And even at my heaviest, when I was tipping the scales at over 250 pounds (how much over...that's between me and my doctor) I didn't hate the way I looked.  I knew that I was overweight...but I never considered myself in the gag-a-goat ugly category because of it.

Did I wish I weighed less?  Yes.
Did I wish it enough to not eat whatever whenever I wanted it?
Did I wish it enough to go to the gym and sweat consistently?

Negative Ghost Rider...the pattern is full.

So I kept right on going...until I went too far.
That extra poundage was taking a toll on my health.

I had sleep apnea, high blood pressure and gastroesophageal reflux disease of Biblical proportions.

That last one led me to Dr. Black.  I HAD to have a Nissen procedure.  And he recommended I have a gastric sleeve procedure as well.  Because I was fat.  Too fat.  Life-shortening fat.  Dr. Black is a fantastic doctor...but he's not gonna pull any punches and pat your head and tell you it's okay because you still have a pretty face.

But then again, I still had my two basic of good food and hate of non-orgasmic physical activities.  Wasn't I just gonna end up where I started?

Well...happily, when they go in and cut out a large portion of your stomach...they cut out the section that produces the hormones that tell you that you are hungry.  Also...and the "why" of this was never really explained to me...your tastes change.  I still want what I want...but what I want is now different.  Fried and dough-y foods make me cringe now.  I used to LOVE  Meh.  Fruits and veggies taste better now.  No lie.

As far as exercise...for the first six weeks, the injunction was: "Walk or you'll get a blood clot that will kill you."  Soooo...that was motivation.  I do hate to sweat...but I hate to die even worse.

A friend of mine had this on his Facebook feed:

After the 6 weeks?  "Exercise or you will have great big rolls of extra skin that you will have to have a painful surgery to get rid of."  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a wienie.  A big ole chicken wienie.  I don't like pain or stitches or drain tubes or any of that.  20 minutes a day on a treadmill for pain avoidance?  Done. 

And so far?  I am headed in the right direction:

Picture on the left is of my daughter's BFF (and my practically adopted second daughter) was taken just days before the surgery.  The one on the right was taken 2 months post op.

I have to tell you... I feel great.  My sleep is SO much better.  The apnea thing is long gone and I haven't had heartburn at all.  My energy levels are fantastic (partly from not lugging around the 48 pounds that I've lost so far...partly from getting a decent night's sleep).

And I can't lie...I'm pretty excited about the fact that I am ALMOST at the point where I can shop in the regular section and not in the "Plus" section (usually the three racks over by the bathroom/customer service area).

It's a bit embarrassing to just throw it out there that I let myself get so far out of hand.  It's embarrassing to admit that I couldn't get myself back IN hand without help.  But there it is.  I got too fat and I needed help to get un-fat.

This is really one of the nicest things I've ever done for myself.  Wish me luck on the rest of the journey...


  1. Proud of you!!! But I am hurt!! You left me out of your love list. I didn't even make it to the like list. Hell I am not on any list. But being the good sister I am I will tell you I loves ya!!!!

    1. You're a friend and a sister...that puts you in the love list.

  2. Thank God you had the money for the surgery or you'd be dead by now.

    1. Well, Dorian, thank you so much for your touching concern for my well being. Although, I don't think I'd be "dead by now", the risk of esophageal cancer due to the constant wear from GERD was the driving issue for going ahead with the surgery. I didn't have a pile of money sitting around to pay for the surgery out of pocket, though. What I had was a JOB and the foresight to sign myself and my family up for the insurance offered through my employer. I pay the premiums, but I am thankful for the talents God has given me that allowed me to go to school, get a degree and get the job I have. The insurance paying for the that, I'm sure was a pure cost benefit decision (as most things with insurance companies are). Paying for this little ole laparoscopic surgery I'm sure was much less than paying for the health issues that the surgery addressed.

    2. Why would you even take the time to respond like this? Do you get a sense of satisfaction? Are you so unhappy that you have to try to share?

      You should feel bad about yourself, Dorian. That was mean and uncalled for.

    3. Thank you, Michelle. I'll never understand why people want to act like butt-munches