"How are you so confident?" "I'm an asshole!" Okay? It's my good time, and my good life, despite what you think of me. I live my life, because I dare. I dare to show up when everyone else might hide their faces and hide their bodies in shame. I show up because I'm an asshole, and I want to have a good time. And my mother and my father love me. They wanted the best life for me, and they didn't know how to verbalize it. And I get it. I really do. They were better parents to me than they had themselves. I'm grateful to them, and to my fifth grade class, because if they hadn't made me cry, I wouldn't be able to cry on cue now. [Dabs tears] If I hadn't been told I was garbage, I wouldn't have learned how to show people I'm talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn't have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn't told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn't tried to break me down, I wouldn't know that I'm unbreakable. [Dabs tears] So when you ask me how I'm so confident, I know what you're really asking me: how could someone like me be confident? Go ask Rihanna, asshole!"
It is funny how people are. When a thing happens and people say things like, "Don't worry, we will always have your back" and how you sort of know they don't mean it. It is interesting how they will find ways to weasel out of your existence, quietly, so that you do not notice.
One year ago I attended a weight loss related event and a thing happened. Friends and businesses alike, sent me all kinds of messages of support: WE HAVE YOUR BACK AND WE STAND BEHIND YOU GO DO ALL THE THINGS AS YOU ALWAYS DID!
Edited to add - I also find it curious that these people are always willing to privately hoo-rah me - but never stand up in public after I've supported them for years and years. I guarantee private emails will follow this.
And then they were gone. Crickets, guys. This coming from the woman who had no less than 30 lbs of free PLEASEWRITEABOUTOUR protein in her house at any given moment - NADA. I have 6,000 members in a support group and I take Walmart vitamins. Is selling out --- worth my sanity?
So, if you're responsible for the Anti-Beth-PR-Campaign because of what I DID on year ago? (If you don't know, don't ask.) GO YOU. Be proud of what you did. Pat yourself on the back.
You may have noticed by the slowing-to-a-stall blogging that I lost my mojo. It was partly due to this, and ironically enough (... and I have said this before) I am doing "better than ever" in terms of my weight loss surgery life -- which is WHAT MY BLOG IS ABOUT.
I just ain't got time for fake people. I got old, guys. I got teenagers up in here and it's all drama, all the TIME, and who needs adults with drama? No more. No thank you. All done. I realized a year ago that it just wasn't worth it - and I gave up a lot of things. I dropped 1,000 people on my Facebook feed and just let go. I rarely see anything anymore and it is calm. I tell people it's puppies, babies, puppies and occasional food.
The only problem with this is -- when you no longer are a part of the drama -- you don't get invited to the stuff. Apparently to get invited To The Things, you need to Be Dramatic.
Well shit, go me. And no, I'm not willing to go back. I kind of like it quiet and calm.
"So you're a blogger, are you going to write about this?"
"If I told you..."
I might have already put it on Facebook because I have compulsive posting issues.
I had my Very First Fitness Profile At A Gym yesterday.
Just Because Someone Has Bariatric Surgery - It Does Not Make Them A Magical Athlete Who Runs Marathons, Lifts Weights Or Even Gives A Flying Fuck About Doing These Things.
"But all the people on the Facebooks -- they post photos of the try-athelete-a-thons -- and the Things They Can Do Just Six Weeks After Surgery, and all their new muscles and how they can make it rain, and Why Can't I?"
No. It is not *typical.
Here comes Beth -- pissing on your surgiversary parade again. Boo-hoo. This is my opinion only. If you do not like it, fine.
However individuals that have bariatric surgery -- they are tore up. One does not go from super morbid obesity to Athlete! *with added sparkles and instant motivation* overnight. It just does not happen that way.
Sometimes it takes a very long time to get some any motivation, inspiration to get your butt off the couch and do something anything! In my experience over the past ten years post weight loss surgery: motivation comes cyclically and there's always an underlying trigger and goal.
For a select few post WLS patients, just losing weight is enough of a motivation to get going. You see this in the "honeymoon stage" of weight loss repeatedly - people get all sorts of excited during the rapid stages of weight loss and sign up for their gym - get into a class - buy a piece of equipment for home use - sign up for their first walk, run, "I did my first 5K!" These kind of things are all common.
For me, this happened ever-so-briefly. I got out and walked miles and miles and miles to the Black Eyed Peas - it was 2005. I reached to my "goal" weight. We joined the YMCA. Things were going swimmingly in All Things Weight Loss!
But you know what - life happens sometimes.
"WHAT IS THIS THING YOU CALL LIFE?!?! HOW DARE IT INTERFERE WITH MY SIZE 6 PANTS?!"
Shit happens. You deal.
I threw away my size six pants, bought maternity pants, and she's now seven. (And cute. We'll keep her.) However that wasn't the only Life That I Got. My life imploded at about the same time - and I haven't had a normal living/working situation since.
Again, I'll say this:
Shit happens. You deal. (OR. You don't. And it's pretty obvious when you aren't.)
It looks like a bad ride on the rollercoaster until about one year ago.
And you know some health-coach-wannabe posted that on my weight chart a few years ago - and I nearly tore her head off. It was truth.
My weight chart reflects that I was not dealing very well with my shit.
That kind of honesty hurts sometimes - and I am sorry if it bothers you. But we - as former current-always-cycling-obese folks (...I will always be a big girl) wear our issues. When I stop weighing myself, checking in with my jeans-that-should-fit, eating as I know I should, I need to check MYSELF.
Weight is very personal. Let me repeat this. When I stop weighing MYSELF - it means something is out of balance. It means FOR ME - that I have made a choice to stop doing something right elsewhere: usually my eating choices. To be perfectly honest, it takes very little change in calories or types of food to increase my body weight at this stage so I notice upswings immediately.
(This is when the trainer reading this realizes he got way more than he bargained for. Why did I ask for this URL!?)
A little more than a year ago - I was in a regain pattern. I saw a number on the scale that frightened me. (Personally. We ALL have a number. Your number may be different than my number may be different than her number. I am five foot three, and my personal number was the qualifying number for WLS again.)
I knew that something had to change and I knew that I had to do something different because I was stuck in a rut of this pattern up cycling up so many pounds and back down so many pounds.
I have been a weight loss patient for many years - I know how to lose weight - goodness knows I can regain it - but - maintaining is different. I had to think about it: what haven't I done before?
No shit, right? Nope. My exercise motivation over the last ten years has been apathetic. I have more excuses than most of you, honest. I still do, and it's hardly worth throwing them out there because there are people out there with much bigger challenges than you or I - that are busting their butts - and we aren't.
"What do you mean, EXCUSES, Beth?"
I can't drive a car, when I was diagnosed with intractible epilepsy I had to lose my drivers' license, I can't get to the gym on my own, I am not supposed to exercise near the road, I can't walk on my own, I have four kids, begging them to go is a pain... yadda yadda yadda...
And, the worst of all?
I. am. *lazy. I have always been lazy. I may always BE lazy. I may never really enjoy Exercising On Purpose. It may always feel like work to me.
"Just put in a DVD."
That's where lazy comes in. See? That has happened maybe five times in my life -- and each of those times I ended up blogging about the video instead of working out. TV + Me = No.
So, there's that - I started moving my ass just a little bit.
It worked. It did not take much. I don't try very hard. *See above, lazy. I lost every pound of the regain, plus some, and I have maintained the loss for six months.
As for exercise - if you have been following me on Facebook - I try to get to the gym at least three days a week or more - it is increasingly difficult with my husband's work schedule and six of us in this house but we do what we can. When I do get there - I aim for a full sixty minutes of cardio on a cross-trainer or elliptical machine, and sometimes another fifteen to thirty on another machine or treadmill at a lower intensity.
I was not able to do that much exercise right away. It was overwhelming to me -- which was why I started to write this post to begin with. I started with FIVE MINUTES on the machine, many months ago and pushed through to where I am now. Because you know what -- six months ago -- had you told me "Go do an hour on that machine --" I'd have laughed at you.
That is why I am sharing - because - it's NOT too late to start. I was nine years into my journey when I started "again."
#2 - Food journaling, eating of Le Crap.
*GASP! What do you MEAN the Bad Girl Does Not Actually Eat Cupcakes?*
I cannot validate the caloric-cost. Sorry. I never really have. To be honest: I don't know why that was really ever equated with ME - because - I HATE CAKE. If you knew me at all, you'll know that if we go to the local cupcakery (1-2 times a year) they sell frosting shots, I buy ONE. I put it in the freezer. It's about 2 ounces of pure butter and sugar. It's enough carbohydrates and fat to put a horse in a coma. I am a SUGAR-CRACK-HEAD. I dump on sugar. Therefore, I can't, I don't. But I would if I could. I know myself. I do not purchase nor eat much in the way of junk.
Let me rephrase that: I eat a fair share of what I consider crap, I purchase none of it and I try hard not to allow a lot of stuff in my house. I have a harder time avoiding it if it's in my face, I try to make choices based on what's left in my alloted calories for the day. I do okay.
I aim for 1200-1400 calories, I land around 1400-1600 most days, some around 2000 calories.
I journal about 60-75% of the time lately, days where I am distracted by stuff get forgotten (yesterday was totally lost...) and holidays tend to be screwed the heck up, but overall I have done okay with assessing my intake and my weight has stayed the same.
Where am I now? Where do I "start?"
I passed everything except flexibility - which may have sucked because I just had a brain angiogram and I have a plug in my groin. LOL. (I didn't tell the trainer that.) However, that sit-reach thing brought back awful memories of elementary school and the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. Blech. I couldn't ...
I find this quite amusing -- the suggestions were to lose "two pounds of body fat" to be in the "fit" range, which I did by taking off my clothes and going potty this morning.
I'm fit. "I fit."
And, to add resistance training - because my personal goal is to gain muscle mass and retain health. This is my start.
It's not too late. Have you done a fitness profile?
YOU ARE INVITED to join us for the 2nd Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention, taking place this year in Phoenix, AZ, August 15 – 18 at the beautiful Arizona Grand Resort & Spa!
“Rise to the Challenge” with the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) in Phoenix, where you can learn from the country’s leading experts and arm yourself with the knowledge to better manage your weight and your health!
The Your Weight Matters National Convention is the largest National meeting dedicated to providing evidence-based strategies for individuals impacted by excess weight and obesity, proudly brought to you OAC. As a National non-profit organization, the OAC is dedicated to helping the millions of Americans impacted by excess weight and obesity through education, advocacy and support.
The OAC’s National Convention is a 3-day educational event designed to bring together all individuals who struggle or are concerned with weight-related issues. The entire weekend is dedicated to presenting a comprehensive agenda, comprised of diverse topics that are designed to help any individual who has ever had a concern about their weight. We bring-in the country’s leading experts on weight and health and give you the RIGHT tools to be successful in your lifelong journey with weight.
The OAC invites you to “Rise to the Challenge” and have the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid trip to the 2013 Convention in Phoenix.
Caesar demands - asks...
If you refer 10 or more registrants to the 2013 Your Weight Matters National Convention, you will be entered-in to a Grand Prize drawing for an all-expenses paid trip to the Convention! The individual whose name is drawn will receive airfare, three-nights hotel stay and a Full Event Registration. Participants must recruit a minimum of 10 registrants to be eligible to enter the raffle for the Grand Prize.
All individuals who refer at least one registrant will be entered-in to a Runner-up drawing for a complimentary Full Convention Registration and a free OAC Membership (or renewal). You will receive one entry into the Runner-up drawing for each registrant who indicates that you referred them to Convention.
(If you have not watched this - DO - embed the words inside your brain - that little dance - can you? Would you?)
Have you already registered for #YWM2013? (GO YOU!)
If you HAVE?
Please please please shoot the OAC a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the name of the individual that recruited you to attend. Because, they get a shot at winning the trip - and that's super-helpful. The more the better.
I am approximately five pounds above my very lowest post op weight, which I saw one year post op before I got pregnant and right before I bounced up to 175 lbs. I will say this, my lower weight looks different the second time around. That first low-weight crash post surgery looks like death-warmed over. I look healthier now, and I think it's honestly because I eat food now and haven't had a massive weight loss like in 2004.
People have asked me "What are you doing differently now?"
Food journaling and keeping myself aware of the calories I take in. I don't journal everyday, but I DO journal.
I stopped using soy milk, and swapped to unsweetened almond milk in my coffee and for whatever other "milk" uses I have. I don't use dairy milk at all.
I quit my Starbucks habit pretty much altogether. I get an iced coffee or cappuccino if someone else takes ME out for coffee, but it's rare, and definitely less than once a week. Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, once a week.
No crackers. If I must, one serving, with protein.
No potato chips, etc.
No candy, only super dark 70%+ chocolate if I must have something. One serving.
No protein bars, except to review them, unless I am REPLACING A MEAL with one.
No protein shakes, except to review them, unless I am REPLACING A MEAL with one.
This isn't "new" - but zero alcohol in my house. It's just a rule. If it's not here, I can't have it. It's just the rule.
If there's one thing I have learned this year - it's that I can't graze without noting. I can't just nibble all day long and expect that I won't see gains, because I do. I gain very fast on relatively low calories.
I have also learned that giving up things I can't control - stressors - outside influences - people, even - helps. I started losing the weight as soon as I made this connection.
Look at my weight loss timeline. Look at the dates.
Now look at my regain photos from the last year - same timing.
Seems easy enough, right?
Let. it. go.
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” ― C. JoyBell C.
People CAN be TOXIC to your HEALTH. Let. them. go.
(*Not the ones in this photo. LOL. But, I am also 25 lbs lighter SINCE these photos and the timeline. It's a visual.)
When I was a kid I used to think that pork chops and karate chops were the same thing I thought they were both pork chops and because my grandmother thought it was cute and because they were my favourite she let me keep doing it
not really a big deal
one day before I realized fat kids are not designed to climb trees I fell out of a tree and bruised the right side of my body
I didn’t want to tell my grandmother about it because I was afraid I’d get in trouble for playing somewhere that I shouldn’t have been
a few days later the gym teacher noticed the bruise and I got sent to the principal’s office from there I was sent to another small room with a really nice lady who asked me all kinds of questions about my life at home
I saw no reason to lie as far as I was concerned life was pretty good I told her “whenever I’m sad my grandmother gives me karate chops”
this led to a full scale investigation and I was removed from the house for three days until they finally decided to ask how I got the bruises
news of this silly little story quickly spread through the school and I earned my first nickname
to this day I hate pork chops
I’m not the only kid who grew up this way surrounded by people who used to say that rhyme about sticks and stones as if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called and we got called them all so we grew up believing no one would ever fall in love with us that we’d be lonely forever that we’d never meet someone to make us feel like the sun was something they built for us in their tool shed so broken heart strings bled the blues as we tried to empty ourselves so we would feel nothing don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone that an ingrown life is something surgeons can cut away that there’s no way for it to metastasize
she was eight years old our first day of grade three when she got called ugly we both got moved to the back of the class so we would stop get bombarded by spit balls but the school halls were a battleground where we found ourselves outnumbered day after wretched day we used to stay inside for recess because outside was worse outside we’d have to rehearse running away or learn to stay still like statues giving no clues that we were there in grade five they taped a sign to her desk that read beware of dog
to this day despite a loving husband she doesn’t think she’s beautiful because of a birthmark that takes up a little less than half of her face kids used to say she looks like a wrong answer that someone tried to erase but couldn’t quite get the job done and they’ll never understand that she’s raising two kids whose definition of beauty begins with the word mom because they see her heart before they see her skin that she’s only ever always been amazing
he was a broken branch grafted onto a different family tree adopted but not because his parents opted for a different destiny he was three when he became a mixed drink of one part left alone and two parts tragedy started therapy in 8th grade had a personality made up of tests and pills lived like the uphills were mountains and the downhills were cliffs four fifths suicidal a tidal wave of anti depressants and an adolescence of being called popper one part because of the pills and ninety nine parts because of the cruelty he tried to kill himself in grade ten when a kid who still had his mom and dad had the audacity to tell him “get over it” as if depression is something that can be remedied by any of the contents found in a first aid kit
to this day he is a stick of TNT lit from both ends could describe to you in detail the way the sky bends in the moments before it’s about to fall and despite an army of friends who all call him an inspiration he remains a conversation piece between people who can’t understand sometimes becoming drug free has less to do with addiction and more to do with sanity
we weren’t the only kids who grew up this way to this day kids are still being called names the classics were hey stupid hey spaz seems like each school has an arsenal of names getting updated every year and if a kid breaks in a school and no one around chooses to hear do they make a sound? are they just the background noise of a soundtrack stuck on repeat when people say things like kids can be cruel? every school was a big top circus tent and the pecking order went from acrobats to lion tamers from clowns to carnies all of these were miles ahead of who we were we were freaks lobster claw boys and bearded ladies oddities juggling depression and loneliness playing solitaire spin the bottle trying to kiss the wounded parts of ourselves and heal but at night while the others slept we kept walking the tightrope it was practice and yeah some of us fell
but I want to tell them that all of this shit is just debris leftover when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought we used to be and if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself get a better mirror look a little closer stare a little longer because there’s something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit you built a cast around your broken heart and signed it yourself you signed it “they were wrong” because maybe you didn’t belong to a group or a click maybe they decided to pick you last for basketball or everything maybe you used to bring bruises and broken teeth to show and tell but never told because how can you hold your ground if everyone around you wants to bury you beneath it you have to believe that they were wrong
they have to be wrong
why else would we still be here? we grew up learning to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them we stem from a root planted in the belief that we are not what we were called we are not abandoned cars stalled out and sitting empty on a highway and if in some way we are don’t worry we only got out to walk and get gas we are graduating members from the class of fuck off we made it not the faded echoes of voices crying out names will never hurt me
of course they did
but our lives will only ever always continue to be a balancing act that has less to do with pain and more to do with beauty.