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

Posts tagged ‘wls’

When HATE is a TRANSFER ADDICTION….

   I get privately asked a lot of why I still remain in the weight loss surgery community when I am reversed. Part of it because I like people and weight loss surgery is one component of their lives. The other is because well I had weight loss surgery, I lived my life and truthfully, nearly died for almost 9 years before my gastric bypass was undone in 2010, with a rny as a tool.  

   I still also after over 3 1/2 years of being status post open gastric bypass reversal can relate to a lot of people in the weight loss surgery community. 

   I am not a “weight loss surgery specific blogger”. For many reasons. Not just because I’m reversed and didn’t keep off most of my excess weight. However I do still remain a part of the weight loss surgery community online and on Facebook. 

  There always has and always will be drama and hate in any online community. The weight loss surgery community is no different. My opinion is that a lot of us are online whether we are weight loss surgery peers or women and men, who’ve been of weight, looking for distraction, of not wanting to think about eating or food. This is not a weight loss surgery specific issue, either. 

   We aren’t all going to like each other. Some people aren’t meant to be friends at all. Or the relationships only are seasonal. But whether it’s weight loss surgery specific, there will always be drama and there always will be haters. 

    So I guess the question that I’m going to ask and am going to answer is what do you with people where it’s obvious that “hate” became their transfer addiction in the weight loss surgery community? 

    You can be a part of it and not engage in drama or hateful actions. Or you can choose to walk away (because I’ve been a part of a group mentality at one time, and while I never did anything, I also let someone for a short period of time do my thinking for me, and ended up saying things I wasn’t proud of, to a certain group of people and had to apologize). You definitely don’t have to own it,forever. Either by engaging at all, or if you have by removing yourself from the person causing the drama and hate.  

     Absolutely NO ONE has any right to tell you how to think, feel or act in the weight loss surgery community, online. Whether you loved your weight loss surgery journey or you regret everyday that you had weight loss surgery. You are entitled to feel what you feel. And no one has the right to make you feel bad about what your opinions are or who you are, if they aren’t causing harm to another.  

     If you don’t like the “hating and drama” that end up does happening in the weight loss surgery community, your best bet is to just not engage. Even when some people will go out of their way to hurt any one of us, because there ARE people who will go way out of their way to hurt you and those you care about. Because what happens sadly, when hate becomes THEIR transfer addiction and you let it affect the way you live your life, shame and sadness becomes yours. And you don’t deserve that, OK? And given the magnitude of the hate and drama that I’m seeing, towards some of my fellow wls peers that I adore, I think legal action is going to be necessary. Do know others care and provide non judgmental support to the wls community if you find yourself a target by any hater. Especially one in particular who goes WAY OUT OF HER way, to cause harm to quite a few in the wls community. 

       This is my opinion… Now I’d like to know some of yours…..

Ugly Hurts………

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXXQLa-5n5w

Official Beyonce/”Pretty Hurts”…. No copyright infringement intended

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I just heard for the first time, a couple of days ago,  Beyonce’s song “Pretty Hurts” and it blew me away both the song and video being hauntingly stunning and raw…. 


“Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worse, perfection is a disease of a nation… Vogue says thinner is better…… You’re trying to fix something that you can’t fix what you can’t see, it’s the soul that needs a surgery”…….

   I wasn’t going to at first give either Beyonce or her video for it any credence before I saw her video and heard the song for the first time. For someone who’s been horribly bullied for being fat and ugly from the time I was in pre-school to the time I had my gastric bypass which was 3 days after my 32nd birthday (I’m almost 44 1/2 now). The desire though to look and be perfect which was a big deal when we were young has never been a bigger deal now in our society for both young girls and women.

I am not saying that people who are considered beautiful don’t hurt inside. Whether they are thin or not. It’s just easier to be beautiful and thin on the outside, in our society. Doesn’t mean it’s any easier for people who are thin and beautiful on the outside, internally. Or that thin people don’t get bullied. I still recognize this even though it’s not a problem I’ve ever had (well I did put up with some thin bashing at my thinnest).  You might get a pass for being fat if you have what’s considered a beautiful face. You’re kind of FUCKED, in the era of Facebook and Instagram if you are neither thin or beautiful.

I titled this blog “Ugly Hurts” for more than one reason. I’m an ugly looking person with an even uglier life story. I thought pathetically that being fat was the worst thing to happen to me, for the longest time. Which I’ve gone into deeper detail in other blogs of mine on here. Then also  as stated in my first blog on here, at the age of 38 1/2 in 2008, I had my first psychiatric hospitalization due to suicidal ideation. I had gained a lot of my weight back that I’d lost from my gastric bypass when initially I had my nervous breakdown the year before due to medications I had been put on. Because I did try to commit suicide 10 days after my first hospitalization, after I gave up custody of my children, where they lived in a filthy cluttered house the last 2 years they were with me due to hoarding,  I nearly got committed to a long term mental health hospital during my 2nd psychiatric hospitalization. Even though I didn’t get committed, I still ended up in the mental health system for almost 16 months.

And I still had medical hospitalizations due to gastric bypass complications while in the mental health system.  I’ve been living on my own since January of 2010. Because I continued to have gastric bypass complications that continued to get worse, more hospitalizations and I nearly died a couple of times, my gastric bypass was reversed in 9/2010 and because I got more sick then “Obesity” could ever make me or  posing a medical threat to me, my bariatric surgeon did NOT revise me to another bariatric surgery.

However my medical and cognitive disabilities are still getting worse. My mental health issues have to be controlled by awareness, as clinical professionals have deemed it’s not in my best interest to be on psych meds, any longer or have ECT and living independently with medical and cognitive disabilities  is almost a full time job in itself. The damage though that has been done for wanting to be beautiful  while never expecting it,  is very visible in me on the outside even though most of my disabilities are internal. Being eating disordered most of my life. My gastric bypass complications that while I’ve managed to still get fat again, the long term severe nutritional deficiencies, aged me and made me even uglier on the outside. The thousands and thousands of times I’ve thrown up due to bulimia the 10 years before my gastric bypass,  pregnancy related hyperemesis and gastric bypass complications, fried my hair, skin and have all but  destroyed my teeth. Not only is it humiliating to have to worry about what comes out of my mouth as far as words, it’s humiliating of what my teeth look like due to decades of erosion from vomit .

I carry a lot of shame for a lot of things. Despite of everything that I’ve gone through that carry shame, that are considered just to be superficial.  I actually wrote a blog a couple of months ago that talked about the mini internal nervous breakdown I had when I saw Sports Illustrated’s 30th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue. I figured that would be relatable to a lot of women, who’d I hoped would spare themselves, reading the magazine. Because of what the lyrics of “Pretty Hurts” says. In the magazine, not only does it shows all the supermodels looking gorgeous, regardless of age. But it just sets a dangerous precedent for women, kind of like what Beyonce does. Women not only have to be beautiful,be thin, successful, we also have to be really smart, have an amazing sense of humor and be wealthy, regardless of  our age.

 What I had wanted to say that is so damaging to most women, unless they are featured in the magazine. And it’s probably damaging to them, too, in the era of Photoshop. As most of those models are exceptionally beautiful without Photoshop, but without Photoshop, they don’t even look like that. So we’ve managed to set such stringent standards of beauty that even most supermodels aren’t capable of.

I never published that blog though. Because while I could relate as a single mother or as a woman who had a “normal” life with a lot of responsibilities at one time, who worked full time, had her kids full time, drove a car and managed a household, it was never enough. I still wasn’t pretty enough. And then once I became thin enough, I got sick (from my gastric bypass complications not my weight either thin or fat). Not only did that change the playing field for me, it totally took me off of it,after many years of being physically sick. I had all I could do survive still being so physically sick, psychologically disintergrating and so heavily medicated and then being in the mental health system.

So I never published that blog.  I didn’t think coming from me, at this point in my life, I’d have ANY credibility. Not to mention that after everything that I’ve been through, that if all I agonized was about my weight and my looks, after everything I’ve lost in ability, that would make me a superficial imbecile. Not to mention I’m an “armchair activist” when it comes to serious matters such as medical and mental health activism, anti-bullying, body diversity.

However, I’m still human. And female. And I’m on social media. And while there was a time that I could do better as trying to my hardest to conform to what society and the media says I have to be a worthwhile woman and mother, I can’t now. Both in what I am supposed to be doing and truthfully what gets to me, is sometimes what I look like and how much I weigh.I’m the antithesis though in both what I do and what I look like when it comes to perfection. I’ve gotten to the point that every time that I try, it takes so much effort, that I rarely even try anymore. I’m kind of suspended between multiple worlds as I’ve said before. My old life as a single mother with 2 children that I love more than anything who was fat at one time then thin. Who had a bright future at one time. The isolating and ugly life that was my life temporarily in the mental health system. That people who’ve been in the mental health system can’t relate to me and people who haven’t been in it, or have the complex disabilities that I now have,can’t relate to me either, that makes my life so small. But I get it more than I don’t. I don’t live with any delusion or any denial. So as tough as being a perfectionist is, which I tried and failed at, so long ago, so is being a realist, now.

I do make an effort to advocate and be an activist. I don’t want my daughter who’s a tween to measure her self worth by what she looks like and what she weighs. I don’t want her to get bullied or be one. Because it’s Mother’s Day today, I want my Mom and my sisters to know I never meant to fail them either. They are beautiful inside and out. Smart and productive people.They are amazing mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and aunts.  My failures and shame are not theirs or a reflection of them or a choice that I would’ve consciously made. And that I’d give anything to change. What I can do in abilities, of being able to make them proud of me. And yes, of what I look like.

And  I’d be lying if I didn’t fess up to the fact that I have the ugliest of hurts. On the inside and out. Both justified and the superficial. For my social media peers or anyone who feels shame on what they look like, how much they weigh or they don’t feel they will measure up, this is what I want to leave with you, with.

You are much more then the sum of your parts on the exterior, the size of your clothes and how much you weigh on a scale. There is beauty in almost everything and all of you. And there is people who see it, even if you don’t. So change the criteria you use to measure your self worth, OK? What you all have accomplished can’t be measured in a photograph or by a scale. For how many of us still do that, maybe we as women can help each other, not do that to ourselves anymore.And ask for help if you are struggling if not drowning, emotionally.  And maybe others, society and the media can stop being hateful to those who they feel fail miserably just because they can’t ever measure up in unrealistic and impossible standards of beauty that are imposed upon us.

At the same time, it’s ok to feel good about yourself, if you’ve made changes in your exterior whether it be weight or how you look. It just isn’t something that should just be your proudest moment or most defining thing about you. You are so much more. And you’ve all accomplished so much. As women. Some of you as mothers. Professional and personal accomplishments. And if this helped, either in articulation of my sadness about my failures, especially this Mother’s Day, then maybe I’ve accomplished something that I can be proud of. And this Mother’s Day I will be celebrating quietly and by myself, the fact that I’m grateful for the amazing women in my life. My amazing beautiful, smart and wickedly funny Mother who I’m so lucky is alive and my sisters who’ve done so much for my children, their children and for a lot of others.

But most of all, I will be celebrating that I was blessed enough to have 2 wonderful, beautiful, smart and healthy kids. And while I do most of my celebrating and honoring by myself and from afar, that if I can’t help them, I can do my part to try to make this an easier and better world for them to be in. Especially my young daughter.

Note: Picture I used for this blog, is not one I’m actually very proud of. Because I get used by some people in the weight loss surgery community as an example of bariatric surgery failure, as well as others, I did at one time put a picture up of my “before and afters, because I was fed up about it, at the same time I’m both very angry at myself and a society that continues to only measure my worth in what I look like and weigh The picture to the very left, was taken 3 months before my gastric bypass in 12/2001. The 2nd picture to the left  was taken Summer of 2005, at my very fittest. The picture 2nd to the right, was taken in October of 2009 when I had gained almost 100 lbs back, after being on so many psych meds even though I still couldn’t absorb major nutrients and had horrible ulcers which contributed to the bald spots in that picture,. Sadly, most people only see how fat I am. They don’t realize how physically sick I still was, before my gastric bypass was reversed. The picture on the very right was taken 8/2012, almost 2 years post gastric bypass reversal.

THERE IS NO ONE TRUTH ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY!!!

   Well there is no one universal truth about ANYTHING. So weight loss surgery would be included in that. But  I actually think there’s only one, and I’ll leave ya hanging for a bit until I decide to share that with you…And I’m more then happy to discuss or debate this with anyone who will disagree with me. While I discuss MY opinions on weight loss surgery. More positive then you’d expect from someone who nearly died from weight loss surgery complications obviously a lot of resentment from someone who did nearly die from complications and has to live with being disabled and fat again. And who’s supportive of choice.

Meaning that people who have weight loss surgery should not get judged for having a surgical intervention, nor should anyone get judged for being fat enough to get it, nor should people get judged for not wanting to feel like that they have to lose weight. Or that they are failures if they regain weight post weight loss surgery or never get to their or their surgeon’s goal for them.

I was thinking of what to call this blog or exactly what I wanted to discuss. Because of my disabilities discussed ad nauseum in previous blogs of mine, what should end up being 2,3 or 4 blogs, I lump in one blog. 

  Most of my social media peeps know that I don’t watch a lot of television. Yes, I’m digressing, and yes, it’s on purpose this time.  I I do have a love/hate relationship with the TLC channel. And despite my best attempts not to watch most shows regarding weight loss as I find them sensationalized at the expense of the people who are portrayed on them, I kinda have a fascination with “My 600 lb life”.

   Most of my fellow weight loss surgery peers who I co-exist with, well we all have our differences in opinions on the show. Some people will not watch for reasons as stated above, some do, happy that weight loss surgery has a place on television and a lot of us are angered at the fact that because it capitalizes on sensationalism of some aspects of weight loss surgery that is not the norm, even though it’s appreciated among the weight loss surgery population that all of our stories i.e. “wls journies”, matter and do vary.

    I’ve learned more then I ever dreamed that I’d need to know about weight loss surgery. While I adore my “wls peeps” and we agree to disagree as I’m respectful of my friends who advocate for wls (I don’t advocate, but I do defend people’s right to have wls and my not projecting my issues with weight surgery on the wls community, just like they appreciate that I’m willing to subject myself to a lot of judgment for wanting to support people both in good times and in bad post weight loss surgery as I can relate to both). 

   This is the one thing I disagree with. And I’ll be honest enough, like usual to admit, I didn’t have weight loss surgery for my health. I had it because I hated being fat in a world that hated me for being fat from the time I was very young. It’s something I don’t talk about much in the wls community because it goes against most of what my wls peers believe in. You’ll have to decide for yourself the relevance of this knowing that I’m too broken and too jaded to do anything for my health. I’m not self destructive nor do I want to hurt anyone with my beliefs or my blog either… But here’s the secret, I’ve been harboring. It’s not that I don’t share it because I’m afraid of rocking the boat. It just hasn’t been relevant up until now.

   Here it goes… I do NOT believe that “Obesity” in itself is a disease. The reference though however is major, in the respect that I do believe “Obesity” as my weight loss surgery peers define it, IS a multi-faceted complex disease as it applies to those who participate in the show “My 600 lb life”, that’s why I referenced it. I do relate in some way to those who feel that way,because I will always have some form of eating disordered behavior and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my weight is comfortable, because it’s not. Most people do not have fluctuations in their weight like I do (even though I haven’t been “thin” for almost half of my “weight loss surgery journey” life, now (My laproscopic gastric bypass was on 12/5/2001 and it originally SAVED my life due to non weight related issues) and my gastric bypass was reversed to save my life after a major weight regain 9/7/2010 (I can’t make this crap up). I was NOT revised to another weight loss surgery because I was in worse health from having weight loss surgery and it wasn’t worth the risk to revise me to another weight loss surgery and the risks of my having more complications due to another weight loss surgery was more realistic then my dying from any “obesity” related health issues, which I’ve never had other then the mental anguish that goes with being fat from the time someone is a young child. And while most people relate to some aspect of “Obesity” being a disease, I don’t believe it is for everyone. For those it applies to, though, that’s why we need support. 

So….That’s my truth and opinions regarding weight loss surgery. But everyone’s truth post weight loss surgery, regardless of what weight loss surgery they elect, will vary and be as unique as we all are. The ONLY thing we have in common is we chose a surgical intervention to lose weight. That’s it…

Here is the ONE truth about weight loss surgery, and it could be used as a metaphor for any struggle in life, that I’ve learned, and the sooner any of my weight loss surgery peers can get this they will be better off. It is expressed in how my fellow weight loss surgery peers do their advocacy as well as most bariatric surgeons offices try to relate this to the weight loss surgery community, pre-operatively as well as post operatively in supporting weight loss surgery patients, post operatively. It’s about as concise as I’m able to be, this is a big deal though. Because it’s one thing to know this on an intellectual level, it’s another thing to live it. So here it goes, according to me, the ONE TRUTH about WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY (and anything)

*It will NOT matter both short term or long term how much weight you lose or keep off, if you are mentally imprisoned in any way*. Some of us are mentally imprisoned by chemical make up. Losing weight and using weight loss surgery as a stepping stone to be in better health if that’s your goal, if you don’t learn balance in all areas, you will NOT be better off. Whether you have complications or not. Unless your work is based in bariatrics, that’s a little different. At the same time if you are happier and healthier and it’s not at anyone’s expense it’s not for people to judge. And judgment is not going to come from me. So hopefully this doesn’t seem judgmental….But there is a lot of truth in this paragraph. There has to be balance and we vary on how we struggle to find balance after we have weight loss surgery. But that could be said for almost every major life event. It’s just in my not so humble opinion that if one has a optimal experience post weight loss surgery that should be the best thing that ever happened to them. I think it’s a sad reflection because in reality, it IS sometimes the best thing that happens to people in the weight loss surgery community for how poorly fat people are treated.  

My other fellow weight loss surgery peers both who are pro-weight loss surgery and some are mixed and some are anti-wls their opinions may differ. As well as they talk about all other aspects of life, post operatively as a weight loss surgery patient, in their blogs, in their work. I do as well in the weight loss surgery community. This is though one of my few blogs that is strictly weight loss surgery related and falls within the realm of what *I* feel comfortable discussing, as my purpose is to support my weight loss surgery peers in a constructive and positive manner whether their weight loss surgery journies have been optimal OR a disaster.  

Note: For my fellow weight loss surgery bloggers, you are more then welcome to add your blog in the comments. Because I’m controversial in the community my support of your work is NOT dependent on your being supportive of mine, publically. Although I do appreciate those who do support me publically on other social media venues.

I will post a separate blog for size acceptance so I ask that if you are fall into the category of being a wls peep who’s anti-wls, this is not the blog to comment on.

 

 

Who’s REALLY “The Biggest Loser”???….

   You couldn’t be on the internet for more then 5 seconds and not hear about the Rachel Frederickson’s shocking win on the “The Biggest Loser”…

  It probably trended more because I exist both as a long term weight loss surgery peer (for support, not by example) and size acceptance / fat acceptance peer as I believe the only thing you tell by someone’s size is how much space they take up.

  It’s probably a good thing as of late that no one is reading any of my blogs. Because this is what I have to say and it will probably offend EVERYONE. No holds barred and my honest brutal opinion that probably will leave me with a deficit of social media contacts by the time this is done if anyone actually DOES read this. 

  I think it’s a HORRIBLE of how harshly this woman is getting judged. As someone who’s heard more of her life that I was “too fat”. Then for about 3 years, I heard that I was “too thin”, “too sickly and “why don’t you eat a cookie?”  and that I “took the easy way out” by having weight loss surgery and it has BEYOND sucked being invalidated due to weight my whole entire life.

   I couldn’t give a FUCK less, if she went on a national television show that I loathe for multiple reasons and would NEVER watch and people think she deserves to get judged. She does NOT . I don’t give normally “TBL” any attention whatsoever in my mind and how I conduct my digital life. Nor would I normally give it any mention.  If people though want to watch it for any reason, they can knock themselves out. That gives absolutely no one absolutely ANY right,  “carte blanche” to hate on her.

 There’s nothing to gain, if you pardon the really bad pun, in those who normally  promote a “body diversity” accepting agenda, if people who HATE this show bash the contestants. We live in a society that conditions people, from the time they are very young to find adipose aesthetically displeasing and fat bigotry couldn’t be anymore rampant (I sincerely hope the universe DID NOT take that as a challenge). It still does not change Rachel’s right not to be hated for losing weight….

 While I’ll never join the “TBL” bandwagon, I couldn’t be anymore disgusted on how much hate and criticism that she is getting. Whether one is fat, formerly fat or has NEVER been fat, no one has a right to judge another, based upon looks and how much space they take up. What any of us have been called regardless of our size but because of it, that hurts, isn’t going to change by putting this woman down because she could’ve just gone on the show to not take up anymore space, and guess what? I get it. A lot of people who’ve been fat or are “formerly fat” and are now thin get it. Or like me who are fat again. Which I don’t love. But I’d be the most superficial person alive to judge myself about my weight, after nearly dying from everything I’ve done to get thin.

   I couldn’t handle the comments from the ONE and only media source I read an article on her. After seeing this trend ALL day. Bashing her and calling her names.

   I adore all my social media peers, regardless of what their beliefs are. I hope in this case we can respectfully agree to disagree. But I honestly think it’s wrong for anyone in my world, let alone the world in general to be so hateful to this woman.

    It makes our society for judging others so harshly on weight and for judging her to be truly the “biggest losers”…..There are NO winners when we war on weight for any reason and on any person of any size.

p.s. Rachel, you look beautiful, now. But you were just as beautiful before you lost weight.

 

Gym Gyrks…..

*** Disclaimer… I am not a clinically trained professional (although I did get a certification as a Certified Personal Trainer in 2005, but I let it lapse due to my disabilities) . Please make sure before starting any type of fitness or diet regimen (which I’m not trying to promote a diet regimen (although it’s your body and if you want to lose weight that’s your business, just give some ideas on supporting those who are looking to start working out a gym or start a fitness regimen), once that you’ve been cleared for exercise by your physician***

With the winter holidays behind us, and a new year, there is a lot of advertising and sales for both weight loss products and gym memberships. And a lot of people join gyms in hopes of getting fitter or feeling better, regarding whether or not they want to lose weight.

Given the nature of what I do in social media by co-existing in the both the weight loss surgery community as a long time peer for support as well as a size acceptance/fat acceptance advocate. I see fitness is a hot topic whether people join gyms in helps of losing weight, or for my size acceptance/fat acceptance peers who ALREADY work out, and have to deal with a lot of crap that people can’t believe either people can be fat and fit or that their motive for being in a gym is NOT to lose weight.

I normally hate the advertising that we get bombarded with around New Years to promote weight loss and fitness. I am not saying that if people want to have either losing weight or getting fit that they shouldn’t do that. It’s your body, your business and your life…   I’ve seen and have stopped following some peeps on Facebook, those people who have a tendency to mock those who make fun of those who do join gyms around this time of year and then with a holier then thou attitude if they work out on a regular basis make fun  of how busy a gym gets but only temporarily….

This is my “how to go guide’ from a psychological perspective, how to get yourself  to a gym and/or workout/exercise in public, get what you want accomplished and this also will help those who fall in the holier then thou attitudes if they are gym rats to realize they should concentrate on their own workouts and not analyze or make assumptions about anyone else and what’s helpful and what is not.

For those who have joined a gym in hopes to get some exercise and whether you’re fat or thin . The hardest thing will be once you’ve joined, is  of getting yourself there. Once you’ve done that, that’s half the battle. The other will be how to stay there or keep going if that’s what you want . If you are a seasoned “gym rat” this can help you not interfere in another’s right to be there and what you might be doing or saying that you  have no right to. Just like everyone has the right to workout without judgments or assumptions made .

It could be helpful and if your gym offers this, an initial consultation with a personal trainer can be helpful on learning how to work the machines and weights for strength training and to help get ideas when doing workouts to safely help build cardio endurance. Please keep in mind, that chances are they are going to want to sell you personal training sessions but you don’t have to take them up on it. They still have an obligation to make sure you know how to safely work the equipment and to evaluate what your needs are in learning how to do that,as well as learn how to execute proper form and function and give you ideas depending on what your fitness goals are to help give pointers on different forms of exercise and how to evaluate yourself without putting yourself at unnecessary risk by giving you ideas on how to assess properly how effective what fitness regimen you choose to do that in the safest manner, possible after they’ve educated you on how to do that .

For those of you who are joining a gym to lose weight and or want to work with a personal trainer whether your are thin or fat …..

1. Take baby steps. It sounds cliché but your more likely to stick with a fitness routine but to do it safely, get rid of the all or nothing attitude when it comes to working out. One of the ways that a lot of personal trainers are able to sell their packages is that they have their clients do too much, too soon, because they figure that if a client is “rewarded” with a quick weight loss, they’ll be able to sell more sessions. That is not in your best interest of your health. Especially if you are a weight loss surgery patient. It may be exciting to see the numbers go down on the scale, quickly. But you’ll end up, especially if you’ve just had weight loss surgery and can’t eat very much of eating 500 calories a day but working out with the intention of expending 1,000 calories a day or more of hurting yourself. Eventually this will also metabolically come back to haunt you, that’s if you don’t black out in the middle of a work out. Doing too much too soon is not an insurance policy that you won’t become fat again, if that’s what you are afraid of….

2. You also may find when you start a regular fitness regimen and if it contains both strength training and cardio, that you actually gain weight on a scale. If you are adequately fueling your body and hopefully able to get in adequate amounts of protein and liquids, you’ll be building lean muscle mass. This is where you cannot go by the scale. Go by how your clothes fit you. How you feel energy wise. But I cannot stress how important it is to properly fuel your body. Your intention of losing weight, will harm you in the end, if you are early on in your weight loss surgery “journey” or if you haven’t had weight loss surgery but drastically cut calories  and exercise too much, on very little calories….

If you are fat and just staring to work out at a gym to improve your fitness levels or that you’ve been working out for a long time …

1. You have every right to  be there, just as anyone else does. You will find out though that some people whether you are new to working out, or if you already extremely physically fit, that you will NEVER be able to get people to understand that some people go to the gym because either it’s good for them, or that you aren’t intentionally working out to lose weight. Try to ignore those who think they are being helpful by giving you unsolicited advice or give you kudos for doing something about your “weight problem”.

If you enjoy exercise or the health benefits exercise brings, keep that as your focus when you are going to get the unwelcome comments others may feel obligated to tell you or congratulate you “for doing something about your weight”. If you know why you are there and what it does for you, that’s all that matters. If you try to educate those who will never understand that fat people do work out because they like it and enjoy health benefits even though they don’t want to lose weight, realize some people will NEVER understand that. Don’t let it ruin your time at the gym.

Otherwise you’ll end up spending much more time, most likely being understandably pissed off debating people then actually working out. I wish I was wrong, but you are never going to educate a majority of people who either at the gym or not, will not believe you are at the gym because you like the way you feel after a workout. They are going to believe that you are lying to yourself about not wanting to lose weight or that you are doing something wrong as it applies to losing weight. It’s better to let that one go. It doesn’t matter if some stranger or even family and friends don’t get the benefits you get by being at a gym or working out. You get it. Don’t let that interfere with the benefit you get, and the only way for that to happen is to understand and accept, a lot of people will NEVER get it…

If you are new to working out and can only do 3 minutes on the treadmill or any piece of equipment, that’s AWESOME. That’s 3 more minutes doing whatever that you wouldn’t be doing if you weren’t there at all. The truth is, some people are small minded enough to watch what you do with not good intentions. However I wouldn’t give anyone the satisfaction if they are such a jerk that watching people when they initially are learning to work out, get a laugh at anyone’s expense. It’s not worth letting yourself get hurt or angry. And it’s definitely not worth letting someone dictate how you live your life if that’s enough for you not to go back again.

2. It’s is possible that if you start an exercise regimen, even if you don’t intend to lose weight, that still might happen. You do not have to make any excuses for that, either. If it’s noticeable where people start commenting on it, you don’t owe them an answer or an explanation whether it makes you uncomfortable that people won’t understand why you don’t care about the weight loss or the fact that if you are in size acceptance/fat acceptance groups that while talking about intentional weight loss is usually frowned upon, whether you like the weight loss or not, it’s not anyone’s business to judge you….

For the “Good Samaritan Gym Rats”…….

1. If you see new people at the gym fat or thin. Feel free to say hi or smile. But try not to say anything else….Especially if they are working out. You wouldn’t love it if someone interrupted your workout. Don’t do the same to someone else.

2. Unless someone asks for advice on anything, don’t give it. Whether it’s regarding equipment or  asking them why they are there. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate a person who has fat on their body for being at a gym. Or ask them how much weight they hope to lose. You wouldn’t want your valuable time at a gym spent answering or trying to dodge questions that are no one’s business. Don’t do the same thing to anyone else….

For the Gym Gyrks…..

1. Smirking or taking secret pics of someone who is fat or struggling on a piece of equipment or is sweating after 2 minutes on an exercise bike, in a gym pool, does not make your athletic prowess any greater. It does however, make you a COLOSSAL asshole. It doesn’t matter why someone who doesn’t fit your ideal standards of beauty or body aesthetics is at a gym. Let alone is your business what fat people eat in a gym or outside of it. Secure people in their beings, even insecure people who are halfway decent human beings, don’t look down or put people down to make themselves feel better.

2. If you are the type who does wonder why people only make it to the 2nd week in January when it comes to going to the gym and you’ve internally made judgments, don’t be surprised that some people may have picked up on them and you were part of the problem in someone feeling extremely uncomfortable working out in public. Realize a lot of fat people are in a no win situation. No one believes, incorrectly that people who are fat ,can either be fit and/or healthy. If you’ve used the excuse of your hatred of fat people under the guise of being worried about health, realize it’s bigotry and hate that’s consuming you. People who are physically, mentally and spiritually confident and kind people don’t make themselves feel better any anyone’s expense. While in the end, if someone really wants to work out either in a gym or in some other manner, they will find a way. But life is hard enough as it is. If you can’t be kind, be apathetic….But realize you are COLOSSAL asshole just the same and maybe your New Years resolution is to realize your prejudices and get over them…..

Haunted/You’ve Got Time…

http://youtu.be/bLXIiMJpdUg
Note: No copyright infringement intended with Regina Spektor’s song “You’ve Got Time”………..

****Again, I cannot stress enough, I am not a clinical medical or mental health professional. I talk about major topics that are not suitable for sensitive and vulnerable people who are adults. This blog is not appropriate at all for any minor child. I am currently still working on getting an editor as well as help to re-design my site, my problem is and it will be very clear early and mid blog of why I can no longer wait on topics I feel the most passionate about but nothing about my blogs is an “easy” read both in topic and in my writing skills due to my cognitive damage, please use caution on whether or not this is an appropriate blog ****

I’ve made mention on Facebook lately, of my love/hate relationship  of Halloween. That probably has to do with being a fat child and the fun of trick and treating and being eating disordered from the time I was a young child . It has to probably do with the fact as an adult, that while my 21 year old son had a Mother who took him trick or treating, volunteered at all his holiday parties at school while in elementary school, had seasonal traditions, my 10 1/2 year old daughter has very little holiday memories  as she has not lived with me for 5 1/2 years now that I’m not raising and I wasn’t the best person to take care of her the last 2 years if not longer of her life when she did live with me. And my son who’s 10 1/2 years older then his sister was old enough to witness what was happening to me and had a completely different mother and it was horrifying for him to see me decompose mentally…While I’ve had to somewhat make my peace it’s in her best interest and she’s very happy, healthy and thriving, living with my parents,  I can’t not help be haunted that while I did make some mistakes so much of what happened to us should have been prevented some how and I can’t help my and the systems that failed my children not continue to haunt me and what it did to the rest of my family.. Much more so then how much I was bullied on Halloween and all year around both as a child into adulthood…But so little of the positive stuff I was able to do for all 3 of us happened before my daughter could have any real memory of it. She doesn’t remember going to Florida or Wisconsin Dells. Or our seasonal traditions that happened outside of our house before she was 2, when the majority of that took place…I remember Zoe’s first Christmas (we are Jewish but I’m digressing) but I cannot remember her first Halloween. I remember taking her to Valentine’s Day Dances and volunteering at her preschool but in my case I have no control of what I remember and what I don’t anymore and that scares me the most….Halloween or not….

But speaking of things orange and black…. How about that show “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix???  I didn’t pay attention to the original buzz, truthfully. I think part of it was fear. And it was for good reason…I just started watching it and pretty much consumed the whole season in about a 2 week period of time, a couple of weeks ago…  I found the show groundbreaking and fascinating like most. I also found a lot of relatable aspects if you read my original blog on here. So the horrifying parts, were truly horrifying as I lived some of it….I’d see people smack the shit out of someone for no reason and I was lucky while threatened with violence it never happened physically. I’d see people take a shit  or piss on people and in places around the group homes. I also saw people when bringing up concerns of mistreatment (such as myself) get unfairly punished for it the 15 1/2 months “I did time” in the mental health system…..

Even though the show is fictionalized, I am sure that the stories that come out of that show is someone’s truth…. My 1st blog on WordPress (I have a blog that I haven’t written much for a long time now, about my gastric bypass reversal on Obesity Help which is extraordinarily kind of them to host, given the fact that site is very heavily bariatric surgeon supported, and the owner of the site was kind enough to check in with me to see how I was)  was primarily about my Summer of 2008, a little before it and a little after it both my life and the blog itself being a trainwreck….

So the hate relationship I have with the show is that while that summer and the events before it and after it, is haunting me, especially as of late, part of me wants to know if I can pull a “Piper Kerman” and somehow figure out a way while staying true to the activist I want to be, of somehow making money and bringing awareness to mental health issues and giving a voice to those who have none. Especially for us who end up “doing time” in the mental health system. But I have a bunch of cognitive and neuro issues that are not just irreversible but progressively getting worse due to the past obscene amounts of psychotropic drugs  I was on. Due to the long term severe nutritional deficiencies from my gastric bypass complications  that also played a large part in the damage I sustained. Why it’s getting worse when I’m not on those meds anymore (not my decision, both my Primary Care Physician and more then one psychiatrist have said I could not be on those meds or have electric shock therapy and live independently, but more about that, later)

My life circumstances like Piper’s are quite unusual. Other then the severe depression that comes with being bullied one’s entire life for being fat, I was extremely smart, and came from an upper middle class family and a  productive member of society. I kept jobs for a long time and worked to make money from the time I was a teen if not younger. I also did volunteer work which required me to mandated reporter when I did volunteer work before my kids in a domestic abuse shelter on a crisis hotline but had a lot of interaction with the residents when volunteering. I also facilitated before my daughter was born, for years, a single parent support group. Both volunteer and in a paid capacity for the single parent support group. I was a mandated reporter who was required by law to report cases of child abuse to CPS which did happen in both positions that I had to call them as well as I had participants in my group who were court mandated to attend my support groups. To end up on the other side as a parent, 12 years later  with a Child Protection Services AND an Adult Protection case for being a hoarder at 37 and nearly getting committed after my “one and only” suicide attempt in 2008  and nearly getting committed at the age of 38 1/2 , which led to 15 1/2 months in the mental health system and in group homes from August 2008 til the end of 2009.

I put up with an enormous amount of crap in the last several years doing the advocacy and activism I do as a medical and mental health activist and as a long term weight loss surgery peer for support but also as a size acceptance and fat acceptance advocate. The details of exactly why I do this have been mentioned in my past blogs and will still continue to be a theme for future ones. I also  get a lot of criticism about my advocacy and activism both because of what I choose to advocate for and the fact that for someone who had an apocalyptic breakdown, it gets questioned on whether or not I have the ability to do this effectively and without risking harm. I do try to safeguard my readers by disclaimers I’m not a clinical professional as well as by having clinical professionals read my blog.

I’m not trying to play a medical or mental health professional on Facebook or the internet at large. Again a lot of systems failed me without me being the total victim. They also fail a lot of people. My honesty with my weight loss surgery complications, support systems that should’ve protect my children and I when I physically and then mentally started to disintegrate, have helped a lot of other people. Also note not all my medical and mental health issues are due to my gastric bypass nor did I or my surgeon have any inkling that I had the problems I did based upon my ability to be as functional as I was.  I’ve had a lot of people privately reach out to me with their most painful aspects of their lives, by sharing what I have and have gotten help for their sakes and that of their children. I’ve also because of trying to remove stigma from mental health issues whether it be suicide or hoarding, help people understand who have had to live with that, to get the support they need and realize that lots of times because one cannot make rational sense out of irrational acts especially those who have loved ones who are mentally ill, they understand better they did nothing wrong by being in those circumstances and a lot of times those who hurt them didn’t mean to, as much devastation having to live through that caused . Both before launching my blogs and especially after…

It would be enough. But I still kinda  want to do more. I get accused a lot of having the time that I do to think about things, of having too much time on my hands. I also get assumption of underestimating of what I exactly do with all the time I have. A lot of time I do have is spent on doing advocacy of some sort. It also though takes an enormous amount of time to do the most basic things now with the disabilities I do have. Severe chronic pain diagnoses with cognitive brain damage and un medicated Bipolar 2 disorder make it hard sometimes within a 17 hour period where I have to get out of bed, because of pain, of do anything but be online to distract myself from pain but not do anything else so I don’t fall. It can take 6 hours from waking up to get a glass of water. It can take 45 minutes to make  a tuna fish sandwich (and I usually cannot eat within 3 hours if not longer when I wake up due to my gastric bypass complications). Not because I have the luxury of “you’ve got time”….. I have to prepare myself mentally if I go out by myself because I have a falling history and because I have waivers that allow me access to clinical professionals if certain things I fall out of whack, such as I can be  horrible with money (other then rent)  that I can’t accumulate too many incidents that prove I’m not capable of managing my own affairs. My life as a proactive single mother of 2 who worked full time and ran a functioning loving  household with children in activities was a lot easier, believe it or not, then my life is now. I could do so much more then with a lot less effort…

While I complain a lot like the fictionalized Piper on the show “Orange Is the New Black”, there are certain things that people when they’ve had their freedom of choice taken away for any period of time,  will never take for granted. I’m glad the real Piper Kerman as much as she’s chosen to reveal of herself, is awesome in the advocacy she does and it’s similar to reasons  why I do my advocacy and activism. To give a voice to something that is of a real issue that no one really who’s gone through it wants to talk about it because of the stigmatization. But we can’t help NOT talk about it, because so many people who go through the system of any kind, have so much shame. And there is so much abuse in it. Some of it by fellow peers, more if it is by people who run the system and safety mechanisms that are supposed to keep us safe which from both a victim and activist point of view is very hard to understand being failed by those systems and people who should be protecting the vulnerable and defenseless…

I’ve had the choice taken away  of not being able to leave a place. To go outside. To eat what I want. to smoke a cigarette.  To have to account for every action and everything I say. To have to take medications that were clearly ineffective in having any therapeutic benefit but caused both enormous physical and psychological damage but that I mal absorbed any potential for anything other then that I was zoned out.( But not zoned out enough to know while I didn’t belong in the system, I wasn’t initially after my suicide attempt to be in society on my own with my children or without them, that was reinforced when I physically got sicker after I got out. Also a very important note, people who are court ordered to take meds sometimes think they don’t need them when they do. That decision of medication management in the mentally ill can never just fall solely on the patient for that reason) The fact I don’t have to be accountable to everyone in my daily life is a big deal that most people will never ever realize how once that is taken away, that it’s never taken again for a minute, for granted EVER again.

At least in my case where it’s a mixed blessing to have all these cognitive, neuro and psychological disabilities, damage and barriers but have the awareness that I have them so I am not a safety hazard to myself or to others. It’s very difficult to do this un medicated. I am lucky I have the waivers that allow me the support services I have as a safety net.   It’s not realistic though  that I’ll ever have the health I need to raise my daughter like I hoped I’d get her back in 2010 once I got out of the system, but then nearly died a couple of times due to my weight loss surgery complications that led to my reversal. I can’t drive a car again. If it came down to it, where she had no one to raise her but me, I could do that lovingly and legally (my parental rights were never taken away from me as I gave up custody of my children prior to my suicide attempt) but not without a lot of help. I guess I for self preservation figure that I hopefully took all the “hits” so to speak that if I can’t raise her, someone in my family can.

It’s very hard to write these blogs when everyone in my life is so private in my family, as well as in my private life. My children know I blog and I have their blessing, my daughter is too young to know what I blog about so that is why I am blogging about this and my son is 21, now but still ok with it. She does know I blog about what happened from a medical perspective of why she doesn’t live with me anymore. Because I can’t raise her, and for my self preservation, I’ve had to stop playing “what if” about so many things. I didn’t choose to have the chemical imbalances that I do. I didn’t choose to have the predisposition to be eating disordered from the time I was a very young child. I didn’t choose to be bullied and not know how to defend myself. I didn’t know this when I had children that I had pervasive mental health issues. And if I knew this, I wouldn’t have risked having them, so it’s a good thing I did not know as much as I’m never going to be at peace that I wasn’t able to raise them to adulthood and support them in any fundamental way and I haven’t been able to for years now. But I love them more then anything and I’m glad they are here, and so are they.
Going forward I can only hope while I still have the capacity is try though in my small way to do the advocacy and activism I feel passionate about. I don’t want my daughter or my son  or anyone’s child  or any adult to live in a world where it’s ok for people to mean or violent to one another. It can’t be our normal that we live our lives dependent on digital devices and then use them to create harm if not death in people. It can’t be our normal where we stigmatize and victimize the vulnerable but non violent. Initiatives have to be in place to safeguard and protect people’s physical and mental well being. I want to be a part of those initiatives. While I can’t defend in any way violent nature, for some strange reason I can understand it, even if I’m not capable of perpetuating it.

People become hateful or apathetic to both strangers and loved ones alike. Both horrific intangible and tangible abuses are becoming every day news events that even the kindest people for self preservation have  to  develop selective amnesia so we don’t live in a society that has daily life PTSD, in this modern but very violent world of ours as much as there is still a lot of good in people. But it  can’t be our normal regardless of why people abuse and kill that they continue to do so without some kind of major initiatives in place in evaluation, intervention and treatment. That those who are capable of life ruining, if not life ending actions of re-directing the ability for harm to do good. Life isn’t a really cool violent movie or video game. People get harmed and killed because of their apathy or hatred towards another human being or wanting to commit revenge if they’ve been harmed themselves.

Not everyone can be saved but more people can by awareness and wanting to do something about it then pretend it doesn’t exist because of fear. Just think in the last 12 months of how many adults or children did not have to die, if major initiatives were already in place. Invading people’s internet privacy is not going to change this. Trying to figure out people’s mindsets and why sometimes even the most loving and caring people are snapping and having initiatives in place for redirection and rehabilitation  is the ONLY way this is going to stop…I’m not afraid to talk about taboo subjects. I am not afraid to develop a dialogue with people who have horrible intentions towards another that if they feel so strongly of the harm and destruction they create, why do they do it in secret, I just obviously can’t do this of my own accord only as part of an initiative. I don’t believe much in as a mental health activist as a defense “not guilty by reasons of insanity”. I don’t understand that where people are losing so much hope in human life that they feel they have a right so horribly misguided that they take those who they say they love, their right to life whether they think they are doing them a favor or doing it out of revenge. I’ll never understand why people do that as many of us do not unless they are the tops in the psychiatric world, that doesn’t mean non psychiatric people can’t work with psychiatric professionals on finding out why people do this and redirect that devastating energy to do positive things or at least be apathetic but not to the point where people don’t value which should be a right to a peaceful enjoyment of life.

Lastly, because I hear this so often about others who resent the time I have and are busy on digital devices and multi-tasking, if you accidentally kill someone while operating a digital device when you are doing something that requires your full attention, you’ll have all the time in the world to be haunted by a careless mistake that turns into a tragedy for not just those you harm or kill , but yourself and your loved ones. Please keep your focus at tasks that require your full attention on the task and put the fucking digital device away or have safety mechanisms in place if you have to talk to someone and do something like drive at the same time regardless if a digtal device is a distraction or not….No one has ever regretted not spending enough time on a digital device when they are needed for other things that require their full focus. A lot of people have an enormous amount of regret (this is also going to be a whole separate blog) for actions or neglect due too much time on it, myself included…
So here is my 4th blog for ya…. It’s kind of a lot at once…. While none of us are guaranteed a certain amount of time, I’m guaranteed for sure not to have the time I would like. That’s why I can’t put off things like this that is so important to me. I want to make a difference, I have an idea on how to go about it…. The little delusion I allow myself to have is that as poorly as this is written, the thoughts articulated are significant and that it goes viral because it has the potential to help a lot of people…..

The little delusional self serving side of me, is hoping there is a book deal and that Jenji is going to try and come in contact with me….At the same time of course it scares me to death, too…      But the truth is, I just hope that if nothing else, the fact I’m haunted by not having a indefinite period of time to get what I want accomplished, that something about this helps people. The fact that I’m still alive, that I can read and write, that resonates with this. If I would’ve died in 2008 or in 2010, there are so many memories for as much as I have forgotten, I wouldn’t have any. I also wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this… Life is precious and no one has a right to take someone’s peace of mind, let alone another life….

*** Discussion questions for this blog or just to think about… You don’t have to answer all or any ***
1. Are disabilities of another especially mental health or cognitive enough for you to discount what someone says?
2. What are you are fears about talking about mental health whether they are personal opinions you have, such as those of us with mental illness that some life instability has the potential to adversely effect you somehow?
3. What do you do to foster your best mental health and that in those you love?
4.  Did anything regarding what I said about my societal fears resonate with you or do you resent it or do you think I’m being an alarmist?

Bonus “lighthearted” questions to ponder or answer ……

5. With Piper’s character on OINTB did it ever strike you if Carrie Bradshaw, if you were a “Sex And The City” fan ended up in prison, she’d be just like the “fictionalized Piper” or better or worse in the whine department? 😉
6. If you watched either  show, who is your favorite characters and least favorite  and why?
7. If I’d ever get a book deal or  show about my life  which would probably would be called ” Crazy Is The New Cool” (and that can only happen if I find someone who will write it, would you read or watch #CITNC 😉 note: There are a lot of aspects of mental illness that are not funny whether it’s harmful to one’s self or to others . But if I didn’t crack a joke at only MY expense, I’d cry all the time. I’m not mocking any aspect of mental illness at all in any other individual, ONLY making a crappy but kind of funny joke about something not funny as I can’t be in uber activist mode all the time……

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