It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for March, 2015

WLS Support 101- When you’re doing it WRONG…..

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I’m sure the fact that I blog about weight loss surgery (wls) matters, angers people. In fact I know that it does, because I’ve gotten quite a bit of vitriol for still remaining online and on social media, in the weight loss surgery community. Both with people who do it anonymously and those who’ve attached their identity with their hate.

I’m kind of proof positive, that someone can have not necessarily an optimistic view point, as it applies to my own gastric bypass complications but NOT  subject that on everyone on the weight loss surgery community. Most of my weight loss surgery peers, especially if they get me, even if they DO NOT, find I’m supportive of their their weight loss journies. Whether they elected to have bariatric surgery or not. Whether they had ideal or catastrophic circumstances, afterwards.

I probably was the most anti-wls peep on the planet, 3 months before my gastric bypass reversal that occurred in 9/2010. And for about 3 months afterwards. Then I realized a couple of things, that still stay relevant to this day, especially given the fact I support people’s choice to have a surgical weight loss intervention to lose weight, in addition to supporting people’s right in what I do with Size Acceptance/Fat Acceptance (where this will have relevance as it applies to the weight loss community whether or not people have a surgical intervention, will make more sense,as I go along, in blog, if people don’t already understand this about me, to begin with, as people think it’s a conflict of interest and it really isn’t. For multiple reasons) which means I support people’s right not to have to lose weight and not get judged. For ANY reason. Just like I also abhor thin shaming. Also for ANY reason.

The people I tend to anger in the weight loss surgery community, number for many reasons. For some, they are upset I talk about weight loss surgery matters, because apparently I didn’t have an optimal outcome. I came out of my gastric bypass, with my life. And barely with that. I had an epic regain PRIOR to my reversal. My gastric bypass reversal is confusing to many, because I was on the heavier side, even though I had lost quite a bit of regain, by the time I was reversed. But my reversal was NEVER about being non compliant or my weight, which I was not the most non compliant bariatric surgical peep and had nothing to do with my weight, thin or fat. It had everything to do with that I acutely was going to die from multiple gi bleeds, multiple times (this is before my lil hands ever got a hold of an NSAIDS which I sparingly took at this time) in 2010, to secondary reasons of my inability to absorb essential nutrients and vitamins for many years, it progressively getting worse, as I further got post op. And the secondary complications that are caused by severe long term nutritional deficiencies by someone who’s actually taking their vitamins.

Here’s what I learned during the 6 months I was VERY anti-wls. I NEVER successfully talked anyone out of having weight loss surgery. Like EVER. That what I say about weight loss surgery will vary on who’s asking and WHY they are asking. And where they are asking it. If someone is primarily in the weight loss surgery community, but hasn’t had surgery yet, I’ll tell them both the positive and the risks of ANY bariatric surgery. And if I don’t know best about a surgery, I’ll refer them to my fellow wls peers who believe in saying both the positives and potential negatives about any wls.

I however will talk  primarily, about the risks, primarily, if someone is in the  Size Acceptance/Fat Acceptance community. Not saying all SA/FA members are anti wls or anti weight loss. Most of them, ARE however, anti weight loss. Usually for ANY reason (which is understandable, to a certain extent, given how much weight loss is shoved down people’s throats). I figure by nature, if someone is in the SA/FA community, or of having a lot of their social support coming from anti-wls peeps, they aren’t looking in the first place to be talked IN to having weight loss surgery. They are looking to be talked OUT of weight loss surgery and probably are NOT ideal candidates for weight loss surgery. And the few who’ve had weight loss surgery, even after talking with me, ended up regretting it. That’s why I operate the way that I do, about this.

There’s many reasons and the reason why it needs to be said on a weight loss surgery specific blog, of why Size Acceptance and Fat Acceptance should matter more to my wls peers even though I understand why they fear it, is because even if I could keep my answers that’s strictly relevant to the wls or weight loss community, it fails everyone. But so this doesn’t end up being a 10k word blog, that’s exactly what I’ll do.

The fat/fitness/food shaming has no business in wls support. IMNSHO. It’s one thing if a certain weight loss surgery post op, is asked for advice, while some peers may be blunt, it’s not with the intention to shame, that’s just their communication style. It’s another when people shame and scare people about regain issues. Or judge people who’ve had regain or never got to goal.

I can’t stand when this is done. Especially IN the weight loss surgery community. People sometimes have extenuating circumstances of regain or never getting to goal. Or they lost a significant amount of weight, but they started at such a higher weight, that while they were able to lose a significant amount of weight, they aren’t thin. Or they can’t become thin because of circumstances, another has NO idea of what someone is up against. Such as medical health issues, mental health issues (i.e. certain psych meds, and I’ll be writing another blog specific to that, soon) or other health issues, that people out of ignorance or ego, choose not to understand.

Some people WILL be successful in their weight loss endeavors, even if they don’t follow the normal rules of weight loss. Whether they are bariatric surgical peeps or not. Some people whether they want to lose weight or not, have barriers from them being ever to have a prayer of getting to their goals.

Don’t EVER judge something you can’t understand. For one, this happens all the time, especially by weight loss surgery peers to another weight loss surgery peer. You wouldn’t believe how ridiculous, as well as MEAN, some newbie post ops are to another post op. Truthfully, as kind and empathetic as I try to be to most people. I truthfully laugh at newbie post ops (and in my case, being over 13 years post gastric bypass) a newbie to me is any wls peep under 6 years post op of just how egocentric and all knowing they can come off. In the wls community it’s anyone usually under 3 years.

I’m not sorry for saying that NO ONE is ever an expert on someone else’s life journey. Weight related or not. AND we know how crappy we get treated by non wls peeps for having wls. For those who treat another person crappy when struggling especially if they are are only a few years post op, look absolutely ridiculous. To both non wls people AND wls grads who find their self righteousness both kind of frightening and entertaining (not talking in absolutes, you can’t, that’s one of the points of this blog). For most of us who do try to help others with wls matters, in a positive manner, also know, and this only comes with time, that even the most positive wls journies, people have their struggles and it’s cyclical. Same in my case where it’s been mostly negative, but I can find some positive things about my wls experiences.

I WILL defend though, for people to talk about whatever they want, however they want to, in their own social media spaces. I’m talking more about those who are mean spirited, if not vile, in what should be other wls peers’s safe spaces on social media.

There’s a reason most people, even in my case, where I was reversed at almost 9 years post op, even if I WASN’T reversed, that grads continue to disappear from the wls communities, online. Most of the time it because of complications and/or regain, which a lot of people are so harshly judged by other wls peers, people end up with a lack of support. And people find me for that reason. And that’s one of many reasons why I live such an open and public life. For multiple reasons, this being though, at the top of the list, as it applies to the wls community.

What’s more repugnant to me, is those who shame others to promote a bariatric based business. Whether it’s a bariatric  blog, product or service. ESPECIALLY by those who’ve had regain and maybe lost it or they never had regain issues but they lack empathy and they are further out. They should know better but they don’t. They feed on drama and hating on others.

There is NO need for anyone to be that way in the wls community, even though a few people will find those sort of people, inspiring. They really aren’t. Usually they are the type that they never help people, unless they are getting paid for it or unless they are getting a lot of attention.

The people I choose to support in the weight loss surgery community are people who are honest about their weight loss surgery and choose to support their other peers, positively. It doesn’t mean they sugarcoat things. They just concentrate on positive support that helps, even if they are blunt about it. They talk and act of what has worked for them, they don’t have to point fingers at others who are struggling. They may have bariatric based businesses but they also pay it forward, somehow, for free.

I posted a picture in a few of the Facebook wls communities, a couple of weeks ago… What I was told both in groups and privately is very telling. While I said in another blog that I technically wouldn’t post another “before and after picture”. I did so privately. And what I was told was both amazing and also frightening. Depending on the source.

Here’s the picture….
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(very left pic taken 9/2001, 3 months before rny gastric bypass on 12/2001, pic 2nd to the left, July of 2005. While I kept off my weight for 6 years, the last 3 1/2 years being the thinnest and fittest I’ve ever been. Pic 2nd to the right, pic taken 10/2009, after almost 2 years on the psychotropic cocktail from HELL, pic on the very right taken 3/2015. I’m a size 14/16 on average. Sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller. Hence the comment above, “inbetweenie” )

Here’s some of the positive comments I got….
“Wow you look GREAT, Lisa”
” Look great, hope you had fun”
“Look great, hope you are feeling better, cute outfit”….

Here’s some of the baffling, stupid and mean comments that I got on pic from fellow wls peeps ….
“Well you’re not technically an “inbetweenie”. Because that would require you keeping at least 1/2 your excess weight off or being 1/2 your size”
“WOW!!! You bounce a lot, weight wise!!!!”
“WOW!!! That shirt has to be plus sized or you still have to. As you’re HUGE” (and the person who said this was an insensitive idiot, ok, that I digress. But I kid you NOT, they were STUPID enough to say that, as I mentioned I stretched the xl shirt out, when buying it before I lost a lot of my regain, in early 2010)

Seriously though. WTF??? All the comments that were negative, well were negative. Some people do find me scary or my circumstances that I get. Getting technical of why they find me scary,isn’t necessary. I’m not looking to be an inspiration for weight loss. I am however looking to be considered at least a little inspirational for someone who had major life changes that were nothing less than HORRIBLE and who had to start all over again, from having nothing to trying to make the best out of what life has thrown me. And for those who get that about me, great.

The point I’m trying to get across is that what you will need in support will vary, as far as a weight loss endeavor. I do personally think that if one is a source or needs a source that shames in any way, you may have a weight loss/ wls success as far as measurable weight loss, however you’ll be miserable or one will make OTHERS miserable, by being negative, to others, about it. Also realize that people have the right to own their own weight loss experiences. If someone had a great outcome for example from weight loss surgery, they have a right to be happy and share that happiness with others who are like minded. At the same time, if someone had a crappy experience after weight loss surgery, they have a right to share that, too.

I try to have empathy or apathy for almost everyone. As it’s unrealistic that we’ll in ANY online community, will get along. But I’m pretty vocal against the haters and shamers. And while people will be sometimes vicious in their criticism in me, it won’t break me. If I could physically and mentally survive what I’ve had to, those who only get attention by shaming and hating on me, usually do so, also to others, don’t have a prayer of saying anything that will change how I live my life. I will though say something though, in defense for those who they actually do HARM, to, as not everyone has a voice.

Hopefully this helps those who need it, if they are struggling with any weight loss surgery issue of how to find the best support for them. Feel free to either ask for my opinions on the best weight loss surgery peeps to follow or if you need support of some kind due to complications and/or regain. You can either post questions (as I try to keep my blog a safe place for those who are struggling with almost anything but at the same time, I’m wls positive as far as those who had optimal outcomes) or you can find me privately.

Hopefully this starts a dialogue within the weight loss/weight loss surgery community. I am not against posting comments that are different to what I believe, as long as they are shared respectfully.

Just remember your weight loss or your weight loss surgery “journies” are UNIQUELY your own. No one has the right to judge or put parameters on what’s considered a success or a failure. My own opinion is that no one is ever a failure for trying. But I also have to say, for some, you have to respect that any weight loss endeavor is NOT going to positively mentally or physically impact their lives. Just the opposite. That’s why I do the kind of activism I do. Because I think any body bullying and those who body bully, SUCK.

Note: To my haters. It would be self destructive to keep writing wls blogs if people didn’t read em. And not a constructive use of all the time, some of you viciously point out, that I have. So keep that in mind before you send me ANY hate, privately or on social media. OK???

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There’s NO social media in Heaven

Nor is there any social media in HELL.

Because this is a serious blog, as I’m heartsick, like most of the world, due to the horrific Germanwings tragedy, where 150 people died on Tuesday. It’s compounded in the last 72 hours of 2 police officers, who were murdered in the line of duty. SJPD Officer Michael was murdered in San Jose when responding to a suicide call. The other peace officer, Wisconsin State trooper, Trooper Trevor Casper at the age of 21, was murdered when trying to stop a robbery suspect.

I’m not looking for a theological debate whether or not there is an afterlife. The point of this blog is to start a dialogue to prevent more of these senseless tragedies from happening over and over again. And what part, if any, social media has to play in it.

It don’t think it will help to debate what to call what happened with the Germanwings tragedy. I look at it, from my perspective, as a mass murder/suicide, though. Again, I’m not a clinically trained professional of any kind.

I can only hope that, globally, we start initiatives to find out the WHY in past tragedies, which will vary, on how to prevent future tragedies and loss of life.

Meaning that the motivation in each of these murders, may be different. And require a different approach in getting people who need help, to seek it, before they commit these horrific acts of violence.

Where I think social media plays a part in people who need the most serious of interventions, is the fact that the perpetrators of these crimes, gain a lot of attention. Even in death. But in their terribly irrational and/or erratic states or when they snap, they think there is some payoff, because they will get attention for the worst reasons, possible.

Again….Even IF they are DEAD. And if there isn’t a suicide component and/or they aren’t killed upon being captured, they still get horrifically, an additional payoff of being considered newsworthy, all over social media, tv and in print.

I think at best, other than major initiatives for help, is to start with NOT giving violent dead criminals or violent criminals who kill , ANY attention on social media.  It’s feeding into an irrational need for those who have the propensity to be violent, it hurts all of society and it’s disrespectful to their victims.

There’s not much more I can say. I’ve talked about murder/suicides, murder of police officers, as well of how many people are killed either by strangers or loved ones in their daily lives.

I can only hope that government and the best of medical and psychiatric professionals, as well as others who can help given insight, into comprehensive initiatives for prevention of these tragedies and help for those who are capable of killing people and violent harm.

But again, it bears repeating. The fastest way to help, until initiatives are in place is to STOP giving criminals all this media attention.

Note: Again, if someone is in medical or mental health crisis, of any kind or someone you know, PLEASE seek immediate professional attention from an acute care facility.

Just because it’s called Facebook…..

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(no copyright infringement intended with David Guetta’s “In Love With Myself”, which I’m not)

Doesn’t mean ya havta post a pic of one’s self, every second of the day, ya know???
And the answer would be NO, I don’t have an Instagram account….
And of course, I’m not talking about any of my Facebook friends. Just their friends, who make it my newsfeed 😉

Facebook…. Where it matters in what you see and look like, not what you say and stand for……

I STILL am addicted to Facebook… And have a love/hate relationship with myself, as a result….Anyone else?

“Like Toy Soldiers”….

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(Note: Lyrics used in blog, also from Eminem’s song “Like Toy Soldiers”. Lyrics from Celine Dion’s song “My Heart Will Go On” James Horner-music/lyrics Will Jennings. No copyright infringements intended with images and lyrics used in this blog. And only in an “unstapledlisa” blog, would you get an Eminem/Celine Dion mashup. While I’m discussing one of the most heartbreaking things, EVER, in my life, I only make a little fun of myself, at times, because if I didn’t use humor as a distraction, I’d be crying all the time )

“Step by step, heart to heart, left right left, we all fall down, like toy soldiers” -“Like Toy Soldiers”…….

March has traditionally been a hard month for me, since 2009, as that’s when I first started missing major milestones in my daughter’s life (March is Zoe’s birthday month, the same goes in October, which is Zach’s birthday) and I was still in the system. I’m more grief stricken, as I get older and as I lose more precious memories of that I had while they lived with me. And mourn the fact that there’s been so much time I’ve had not to be able to create new memories, that I wouldn’t have a prayer of remembering, anyways. I, however have, Zoe’s brother to thank for giving me Eminem as a coping mechanism, now. However, Eminem’s music was a coping mechanism for him, when he was old enough to see me physically and then, mentally disintegrate. And at least I could help him, help himself, indirectly by giving him music that helped him, coped.

“Why would I wanna destroy, something I helped, build? It wasn’t my intentions, my intentions were good” -“Like Toy Soliders”

However, I couldn’t do much then, when things were at the worst, for all of us, even though I did try to protect my children as much as I was capable of. Not much in the last 6 1/2 years has changed. Other than my memory issues are still getting worse. So is my medical health issues, as far as severe chronic pain. My mental health issues, still for the most part, have to be managed, by awareness, which some days, it is a full time job. It also is another full time job, to try and remember what little precious memories I have, of my children. Which pretty much secures my having to spend a lot of time, revisiting all aspects of my past. For the rest of my life.

“You’re here, there’s nothing I fear, and I know my heart will go on,we’ll stay forever this way, you’re safe in my heart and my heart will go on and on” -” My Heart Will Go On”

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My youngest sister emailed about 10 days ago, above pictures that were taken in September of 2003. My son was almost 11, Zoe was almost 6 months old. I know she meant well, and I’m glad she did. But this made my March “mourning” even more bittersweet. While I have some memory of her taking the set of pics, that she did. I have some memory of how I communicated with my children with my children at different ages, including when they were babies. Both verbally and non verbal expressions of love, it’s just that I’m losing more memories as I get older (it’s very hit or miss what makes it in to both short term and why I have problems with long term memory retention) and I’ve lost memories that I had of my son (before I got pregnant with my daughter/before she was born), post reversal in 2010, that I remembered then (meaning post reversal), but that I can’t remember now, 4 1/2 years later.

The 1st picture above, with Snoopy and Charlie Brown, is starting to go viral in my newsfeed. And I think it’s great about trying to prove a point about accepting the curveballs and bad things in life, that we can’t predict and have absolutely NO control over.

But, TRUTHFULLY I can’t say “My entire life can be summed up in one sentence: It didn’t go as planned and that’s ok”….

NO!!! It’s NOT fucking ok and I’m not ok about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that everyone that I love is still alive. I’m grateful that due to family, that my children are doing great. I’m grateful that I have a roof over my head. I have freedom of choice. That I’m still alive. And I constantly continue to shock those who are closest to me, by complaining a lot, but not for one second, lacking empathy and gratitude for all that’s good in my life and wanting to help others.

“But the battle wages on, for toy soldiers” – “Like Toy Soldiers”

The thing is, too. I did a lot of things RIGHT, as a mother, before my apocalyptical breakdown. I taught my children that love need not be competitive. With them being 10 1/2 years apart in age, that I had enough love for the both of them. And it was exponentially increased with the 3 of us as a strong family unit. That they shouldn’t judge people by they way they look. That show gratitude for all that’s good in their life. We did “normal” family things. I was a responsible, loving and nurturing mother for as long as I was capable of. But then came the day, I couldn’t help but do the bare minimum, which was NEVER a reflection on how much I love them.

I remember shortly after I launched this blog in August of 2013, I was able to see my daughter on a last minute basis for lunch, Labor Day of 2013, and she was 10 1/2 at that time. She had told me that while she had many fond memories, when we lived together, that she loved her life, now. With my parents. She also added that, in the last 18 months that she lived with me, but had respite care (she falls in the ASD, high functioning, though) that her respite care worker, did not take her to the places that she had claimed, and didn’t care for her very well and lied about how happy Zoe was in her care. And apparently, Zoe felt the need at the age of 4 1/2 to 5 1/2, to NOT tell me the truth. While I didn’t use respite care, except for when I was sick in the hospital with complications, and or when I was feeling most poorly,I’d usually get Zoe, early and  I still allowed her respite care worker to bill for days she wasn’t there (I had about 40 days a year for Zoe and maybe used 10 days a year, it was really hard to be away from my kids, so I only used respite, as a last resort)

I NEVER at my sickest, was sick enough, to have the expectation that my children had to care for me or coddle me. I was NOTHING short of horrified that she experienced that, and she thought at such a young age, that I needed somehow to be protected from that.

As more time goes by, I see my children less and less. . It’s easier for me to talk more on a regular basis with my son, who’s now an adult, because I don’t have to struggle with filters, like I do with my daughter, who is now a tween and turns 12, in a day and half. And my son is almost 22 1/2. He knows that as I get older, it’s harder for me to hide things from his sister and himself (i.e. when pain levels are super high or my memory issues, although Zach knows about my mental health issues). The only thing I’ve asked of him, now, is that because it’s likely by the time, my daughter is old enough to ask tough questions about me, that he helps her remember that I do love them both dearly. But my daughter still has a lot of good memories about our lives together as a family, from the time she was toddler.

The problem is, that as more time goes by, my memories dwindle down, no matter how much I try to prevent it. And I can’t make my peace with it.  It’s also harder for me to have a filter, as far as hiding reactions. My boyfriend and I, took my daughter, early last summer, when she was done with school, to celebrate the last day of the 5th grade for her. We had a nice lunch at one of her favorite restaurants. On the way back, in the car, to drop her back home, she said the following. “I’m so glad to be going to a new school. There was this boy who would bully me by making “yo mama” jokes”.

I couldn’t help at first but look at her in horror. I quietly asked if that boy knew that she didn’t live with me (Zoe knows about my medical health issues (including that I had a gastric bypass for weight loss) and she’s a smart girl, she has known for quite awhile that I have memory issues, too, since she was about 7 years old, but we haven’t discussed that). She said that, yes, the boy did and it made her feel bad, she knew enough to allude that “yo mamma is so fat” but not say it outright, because my boyfriend was there.

I saw her one other time, last summer. We had gone out to lunch and to see a movie. Then I saw both my children, on my son’s 22nd birthday, in October of 2014. I have NOT seen my children, since then.

In their case, it’s in their best interest, to not see them very often. It is painful for us to be together, because it’s tinged with remorse that we are no longer what we were as family, when we lived together, so it’s very bittersweet. Even though they’ve had a great life in the last 6 1/2 years due to my parents and my sisters who have helped out. If they weren’t ok with that, as far as how little I see them, I’d see them more. But then I’d also risk both of them seeing more often, no matter how much I try to hide it, that I can’t remember things and it’s getting worse, (as well it’s harder to hide my medical conditions, no matter how hard I try to hide it) and I don’t want to put that on them. That’s one of the reasons why I blog. So that my daughter has in my words, that I love them and that I wish more than anything, I could have been everything they deserved. That my lack of action and participation is NOT a reflection of my love for them. That I’d do anything and give everything to change that, but I can’t. So I love them dearly, but from a distance.

This isn’t a regurgitation of other past blogs about my children and I. It’s new insight and reflections of my love for them, given how limited I am, to show them that I do love them. More than anything. Much more than words can express. So I am so grateful for the pictures above of them. Even though they were NEVER intended, when taken, so many years ago, to be made public. But they express much more than I’m ever going to be able to convey in words.

So I’m grateful this March. Just like I am everyday, that I was Zachary and Zoe’s mom. It was a privilege and the best part of my life, when I was actively in my children’s life. And if I have to be in severe pain, physically and mentally as a reminder, every day, I take it as my due. I just hope that they realize they deserved all the good, that was our life together. And that they NEVER deserved any of what was bad. That their lives have meaning and have ALWAYS mattered.

And they always will….I love you  dearly and always, my beloved Zachary Aaron and Zoe Arielle…. ALWAYS

(note/addenum: This blog was published actually 3-22-2015. Zoe turns 12 on 3-24-2015. Happy Birthday, Zoe Arielle)

Truth about vitamins and the weight loss surgery community…..

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Well, I know better than to speak in absolutes about any person, let alone any “community”. Such as the weight loss surgery community. And of course there is a lot of weight loss surgery people who not only talk about the importance of vitamins but take them, faithfully. Or they don’t  talk about vitamins, and they take them, as they are supposed to.

While the topic of vitamins and which vitamins to take, come up often, in the weight loss surgery communities. Not often as it should, the matter comes up where weight loss patients who do admit that they don’t, they experience some backlash from the community, that’s probably why a lot of people don’t admit their non compliance.

As someone who did/does  take their vitamins, faithfully, I truthfully would get upset, years ago, when I’d hear about those who didn’t. Given the bizarre complications I’ve had, truthfully, sometimes I’d get to the point of not just being upset but to the point of being outraged.

Then of course, I got over myself and realized, being the medical and mental health activist that I am, that it is a form of self sabotage, if not self destruction for some, and people who don’t take their vitamins, they need support, NOT judgment.

And that’s my goal with this blog is to start a dialogue in the weight loss surgery community about why people DO NOT take their vitamins. And what we as the weight loss surgery community can do to support them, although professional help, both medically (i.e. dealing with your surgeons office) as well as mental health support, from a professional, definitely should be considered.

I will say this and I’m pretty blunt and to the point when it comes to non compliance of taking vitamins. DO NOT tell me, or anyone else, that you had weight loss surgery for your HEALTH, but you don’t take your vitamins, coming up with a myriad of excuses.

While I know there is a few people I know well, who long term, haven’t taken vitamins and are doing just fine. They are in DEFINITELY in the minority, and a lot of  people are playing “Russian roulette” with their health by not taking vitamins.

It will NOT matter, if you keep your weight off. It won’t matter you are compliant with food requirements and exercise for most people who don’t take their vitamins and make excuses about it, for most weight loss surgery patients, especially for those who elected to have malabsorptive bariatric surgeries such as roux-en-y gastric bypass and duodenal switches, are risking major medical health issues that are irreversible and reduce one’s quality of life, by not taking vitamins, as prescribed.

A few weight loss surgery patients have even DIED from this.

Even if a bariatric post operative has had a major regain, weight wise, doesn’t mean that they won’t have serious sub-complications  from failure to take their vitamins. But taking them is NOT enough. A bariatric surgical patient, regardless of what kind of weight loss surgery, needs to take their vitamins for the rest of their lives and make sure their vitamin and other essential nutrient levels are monitored  for absorption for the rest of their lives. By a physician.

As I know quite a few long term weight loss surgery patients who have always taken their vitamins and didn’t experience serious nutritional deficiencies, until they got further out. Like really, far post weight loss surgery. Some peeps I know that took their vitamins, faithfully, didn’t experience absorption issues until 10+ years post op. It can happen at any time. But you don’t have a prayer of absorbing, something you aren’t taking. And even it’s not hurting you, right now, it could, in the future.

I had a technically performed PERFECT laproscopic roux-en-y gastric bypass by a nationally ranked surgeon. I took my vitamins and I just couldn’t orally supplement enough. I needed for a couple of years, pre-reversal, IV infusions of ferritin and “banana bags” and they weren’t enough. Even my gastric bypass reversal, didn’t right away fix my absorption problems.

While most people post gastric bypass will NEVER have the bizarre set of complications, as well as well as the bizarre disabilities that I ended up that are irreversible. Enough people have been disabled and experienced a great reduction in quality of life, due to the sub-complications that come from non compliance with vitamins. EVEN if they are doing everything else, correctly.

I get discounted a lot and am used to quite a few weight loss surgery patients who discount what I say because of “it won’t happen to me syndrome” . Sometimes people will discount what I say,  because I write poorly. They don’t realize that I write poorly, largely due to the irreversible cognitive damage, I sustained from long term severe nutritional deficiencies.

I usually use the analogy that if people wouldn’t drive a car, without making sure they have oil in their engines and have it changed, why would they do this to themselves??? Especially in my case where I lost the ability to ever be eligible for a driver’s license, among many other abilities, due to the severe long term nutritional  deficiencies. That I had absolutely no control over.

So how do we help those who aren’t taking their vitamins? By being supportive of them and not judging. Letting people know there are resources by bariatric vitamin companies for those who are in a super rare category of truly not being able to afford their vitamins.

By gently reminding people, the severe consequences on their physical health, that can cause irreversible damage medically and that could also cause mental health issues.

So, I’ve put this out there, to start a dialogue with my fellow weight loss surgery peers. Now, I want to know what you all have to say. Also if you need support because you’ve not admitted to not taking vitamins, of making this a safe place for people to talk about it.  As I won’t approve judgmental, triggering and/or shaming responses, regarding non compliance with vitamins, on this blog.

Can Target be SAVED??? HOPEFULLY….

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(photo credit: Me. Took this picture at Target on Nicollet Mall, on 3-7-2015)  Which is next to their headquarters, here in Downtown Minneapolis, and I reside 8 blocks away from the store)

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/03/10/a-short-history-of-target/

http://fortune.com/target-new-ceo/?utm_content=bufferebf06&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

I’ve wanted to blog about Target, for a long time now. I’ve had in the last 2 years, a love/hate relationship with the retailer. My own experiences, while I’m not a professor at the Carlson School of Management, like the gentleman, interviewed in the top link, above, while he’s not totally wrong with his deductions of why Target is struggling, in my opinion, which I don’t have a MBA and have a degree in NOTHING (originally went to college though, for Marketing) , I’m still going to give my opinions, trying to separate personal prejudices, from ACTUAL reasons that I think has hurt them over the years.

As well as give my opinion on what needs to change……

Being in size acceptance and as a fat acceptance advocate, Target has gotten some bad press in the last couple of years, for good reason about their clothes, as it applies to antagonizing their plus sized female customers. I know that before my gastric bypass in 2001, it was a lot easier to shop there for clothes at a size 24, in the late 90’s and  early 2000 and 2001. I never had a problem finding well made clothes that were affordable, well made and cute. While I’m a size 16 on average, now, I have a terrible time fitting into their plus size clothes. Even their biggest sizes. But their clothes overall, are not made well and the quality of them is not good. As well as they are UGLY. And WAY overpriced. So I choose to shop for clothes, 2 blocks away from “my Target” on Nicollet Mall, at Macy’s.

But even my thin friends say they would NEVER shop at Target, now for clothes. And they come from all different socio-economic backgrounds…….

I can’t take personal, that I refuse to have a RED card to get a discount on my purchases. I do take issue with cashiers who make me feel  REALLY bad that I don’t want one (it takes 2-3 days to clear my checking account, not a good idea for someone with the cognitive disabilities that I have). And given the fact that I get all my prescriptions at their Nicollet Mall location, I don’t get a discount because I’m poor enough, to not have a co-pay. I don’t understand penalizing poor disabled people who they are making, such as in my case, thousands of dollars, every month, on my prescriptions.

It’s also frustrating that I can have hold ups with medications because “C2s” have to go through corporate. They also don’t order enough in certain pain meds to meet demand. In my case, it’s a good thing I’m not the drug seeking hypochondriac that I’ve been pegged, by physicians. So I never run into an issue where I’d be out of any of my meds. But for other people that could be frustrating to say the least.

And it’s really irritating that my piece of crap LG Optimus F3 phone that I got last year (right before the Brightspot plan went up) from Target/Brightspot  won’t accept a text from their own pharmacy. It doesn’t support that. And it’s annoying that I could be saving $100 a year, even with the $25 I get from Target, in gift cards for every 6 months of service, now that Straight Talk, lowered their price plan but increased hi speed data, compared to what I pay with Brightspot.

See, Target, I’m REALLY trying….. You’re making this a lot more difficult than it should be, though…

Prices are also lower at stores that have a higher median average income, sometimes in a wide variety of merchandise. This makes me super angry. I can’t go by their Nicollet Mall store, that’s here in Downtown Minneapolis, I get that the operation costs might be higher for that store. However there’s really NO middle class for make up of those who live in Downtown Minneapolis. Even though that may be the case for who works in their corporate headquarters or people who work nearby. It’s pretty much poor or wealthy people that reside in Downtown Minneapolis. But I’m sure that wealthy people have just as big of a problem, paying $9 for a can opener, like the not so wealthy. However their Lake Street store, it costs more for me to shop there, then it does at Super Targets in upscale Twin Cities suburbs like Minnetonka, Plymouth and St. Louis Park. They have fresher food and more variety, in their upper market bracket stores.

Because I have a boyfriend who lives in Dakota County, it’s cheaper to shop at their Super Target in Apple Valley or their Target in Inver Grove Heights. It’s actually frustrating, period, to grocery shop in Downtown Minneapolis, that I don’t blame on Target. And I also like their Super Target in St. Paul/Midway. But the point I’m trying to make, I have a lot, as well as lot of us here in MN and Downtown Minneapolis, have to worry about the potential, enormous negative domino effect that these layoffs will have personally to those laid off, as well as the city of Downtown Minneapolis and the state of MN.

Target, somehow, in the last several years, if not longer, kind of went through an identity crisis. While they were able to cater to all socio-economic classes and people of all shapes and sizes, that’s no longer true about them. Somehow they lost the ability to have a wide variety of merchandise that has appeal to all sorts of people. Whether it’s clothes, household items, electronics, there’s nothing outstanding about their variety in their merchandise, the quality of it and certainly not their price points. Except with food. Again, though, that can vary, depending on where you live.

HOWEVER, I’m still spending a good amount of my discretionary and disposable income on food and necessities at Target. And if I wanted organic in all my foods, well that’s what Whole Foods in Downtown Minneapolis, is for…..

As well as the little luxuries I can afford. That’s because I realize how much is at stake for the economic welfare of most, not just in Downtown Minneapolis, but in MN and the U.S. I may not want to shop at Target, like I used to, and I hope some of the things I’ve discussed above, resonates with someone. I’m not totally maschostic though. I can’t just do this on principle, alone. I do shop at other places like Walmart now, in the last 5-10 years. But up until 2008, at least a good 50% of my discretionary and disposable income as a single mother of 2, was spent at the Super Target in Plymouth, that I lived a 1/2 a mile away from. If I wasn’t there every day, it was at least, every other day.

When I did work, I worked for a few large conglomerates based in the Twin Cities.I’ve also been laid off, from them. I think Target, was more than fair, as far as severance for the first round of employees (who I feel terrible for) who were just laid off. I’d like think that it was more than social media pressure that they did that. IF that if they had to restructure the way they did, as far as jobs and don’t take in consideration of that they aren’t meeting the needs and expectations of shoppers, like they used to, I don’t have much hope for their survival, truthfully.

I hope in this case, that my medical, mental health and neurological disabilities ARE a barrier, in not being so optimistic about their survival. And I hope I’ve explained to the best of my ability, that my opinion as a shopper there, should be taken in to consideration. As my being a complex disabled shopper, who is shopping there on principle (even with things that offend me about the store) they still make at least $25k a year from me, because of my medications. That’s more than TWICE my annual income.

I’m not that egotistical, to think that I’m smarter than ANYONE employed at Target Corporation. I’m saying to Target and to Mr. Cornell, I’m around and free if you want to discuss this for lunch (and NO, I’m not delusional), sometime or to thank me for purposely irritating the annoying,loud, scary extremist Christian protesters, who protest against the store, in nicer weather and when there’s a lot of people in Downtown Minneapolis, only because they are infuriated over Target’s support of gay marriage.

Um…. You’re Welcome, Target ……

p.s. I am grateful in my quirky way of my nightly view of the LED show… I suppose you aren’t taking requests for that, either ;)… If you are, I want my “fishies” back…..
p.s.s. If cutting out the nightly LED shows would help save jobs, go for it……I’m shutting up, now….

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Is this encouraging or is this insulting???


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I’ll give you my NOT so humble opinion. Then I’d like to hear your opinion.

I understand that “memes” like this picture above, are supposed to be “inspirational”….. As well as kind, supportive and empathetic.

I find them to be INFURIATING and let me explain, WHY. And this is making it in my blog, as I’ve seen it now posted several times in different pages and from different peeps on social media.

For one, people are assuming any person in a larger body is new or struggling with exercise. And needs some random stranger giving them words of advice or encouragement.

I’ve had this happen to me. On more than one occasion. I remember right after my gastric bypass reversal when walking briskly  around the hospital campus (I can’t stay in bed, when inpatient in a hospital, my other blogs explains prejudice that I’ve experienced by a lot of physicians,  probably give insight why, being in a acute care facility, causes me great anxiety). I had a lady who had to jog to catch up to me, to tell me I should be proud of doing something about my weight. I just gave her a dirty look, given the fact I had a NG tube coming out of my nose, 3 IVs and an IV pole with me.

I had that happen a couple of months later when walking briskly around Mall of America. I had another thin lady say the same thing, after having to jog to catch up with me. I just told her that I was trying to increase my appetite for a donut eating competition (not something easily done, even if one’s gastric bypass has been reversed and I was lying for shock value) and briskly walked away.

I’ve also talked about in the last year, in past blogs, about  bullying I’ve had to put up when exercising. While I’m not capable of  exercise at an athletic level, like I used to be, I walk briskly and as intensely as I’m able to, though. Even sprinting at times. On occasion, while smoking a cigarette. I’m not proud of my smoking habit, when I say I’m on average of a 2-3 pack day habit, in the last 2 years, since I’ve moved to Downtown Minneapolis. I will say in defense for all the fat hate, I’ve been subjected, lifelong, that I picked up smoking at the age of 15, in hopes to lose weight.

I’m also NOT saying that my weight loss peeps can’t be proud of finding fitness as a result of their weight loss. Or they can be happy to have found fitness as a means of losing weight. There’s apps and social media to get and give encouragement, though.

Absolutely, NO need for anyone, to bother a complete stranger in the middle of their workout.

SO what I am saying though is my health and quite a few others, who don’t want to discuss it, especially ad nauseum, have that right. ESPECIALLY,  if I’m ACTUALLY in the middle of working out.

As well my health or fitness level, well, it’s NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS, nor is it something for you to judge. Nor can you tell that about anyone. Unless they are showing signs of serious physical distress. And that can happen during exercise whether someone is thin or fat.

Unless, I fall down while walking or fall off a balance ball and smack my head, please leave me the FUCK alone, when I’m working out, and I’m sure there’s many who agree with me. Regardless of their weight. I’m also not going to engage in any type of “health” debates, here. Let’s just keep this at the topic on hand, which is the meme posted above, in this blog.

The point of this blog is whether or not, total strangers should be coming up to people who are larger than they think they should be and give words of advice or encouragement, regarding exercise or a person’s misguided perception that intentional exercise is being done for the sole purpose of losing weight?

The reason why I’m telling you this, is when people do this to me, they are RUDELY interrupting my workout. In an ideal world, my larger working out self in public, wants to be LEFT ALONE. Given the fact that I went to a great school to be a Certified Personal Trainer in 2005, while I could NEVER work in that capacity,now, I know what I’m doing, whether I’m using equipment or trying to get a cardio benefit when sprinting while smoking (which I wouldn’t advise, if I was working in a professional capacity, but I haven’t keeled over yet, I barely get winded, it’s just hard for me to exercise, only because of my severe chronic pain issues). But I still do it, regularly, when I can.

IF you wouldn’t give someone who’s thin who’s working out, advice or encouragement, why would you do this to someone who’s larger, who’s not asking for advice?

Just saying in this case, again, APATHY and minding your own business, can work wonders. And if you workout at anything resembling an intense level, where you know what “THR” and “RPE” means, and you use that to gauge the effectiveness of your workout, if you wouldn’t want to be disturbed during a workout, why is it ok to do this, to someone else?

It’s NOT ok, in my not so humble opinion, to do this, to anyone during their workout. Now I want to hear your opinions……

Again, same rules apply. You are more than welcome to respectfully disagree with me. Just know that any comment that could potentially trigger a fellow reader will be not be approved.

Note from a former Certified Personal Trainer: This blog is not encouraging or discouraging exercise. And it’s not meant to be taken as a blind endorsement of exercise. Please make sure, regardless of your weight, that you are cleared for exercise by a physician. The kind that treats people in person, not like one of those “Dr. Oz” types 😉

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