A portion of the proceeds from this record will be going to the March For Our Lives Initiative.
Donate now at https://marchforourlives.com/.
Lin-Manuel Miranda & Ben Platt Found/Tonight
A portion of the proceeds from this record will be going to the March For Our Lives Initiative.
Donate now at https://marchforourlives.com/.
Lin-Manuel Miranda & Ben Platt Found/Tonight
"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.
The Power of Empathy - "Hey, I know what it's like down there." This is a great visual representation of a skill many people LACK.
"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?
Um. #1 - Exercise on a regular basis.
*SHOCK AND AWE - GASP!*
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?
Why is she all trench-coated up?!
The hair - the coat - the ridiculous pose - are we just attempting to cover her curves?
Why doesn't she appear like any other ELLE cover-model?
Thats right, because people are afraid of fat people.
Get over it.
I've got that Barenaked Ladies song "One Week" playing in my head as I write this post --
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.
Would you join us? Please do.
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 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!)
Carnie Wilson Speaks At WLSFA 2013 Las Vegas Luncheon
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.
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.)
Here's to YEAR ten. It's a big one.
This. Man. Yes this is a complilation of the video I shared before -- it has MORE.
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
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
was a broken branch
grafted onto a different family tree
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
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
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
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
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
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.
"No freedom until we're equal, damn right I support it."
We press play, don't press pause
Progress, march on
With the veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
Till the day that my uncles can be united by law
When kids are walking 'round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
About time that we raised up
Complex partial seizures are often preceded by a seizure aura. The seizure aura is a simple partial seizure. The aura may manifest itself as a feeling of déjà vu, jamais vu, fear, euphoria or depersonalization. The seizure aura might also occur as a visual disturbance, such as tunnel vision or a change in the size of objects (macropsia or micropsia). Once consciousness is impaired, the person may display automatisms such as lip smacking, chewing or swallowing. There may also be loss of memory (amnesia) surrounding the seizure event. The person may still be able to perform routine tasks such as walking. Witnesses may not recognize that anything is wrong.
Complex partial seizures might arise from any lobe of the brain. Complex partial seizures most commonly arise from the mesial temporal lobe, particularly the amygdala, hippocampus, and neocortical regions. A common associated brain abnormality is mesial temporal sclerosis. Mesial temporal sclerosis is a specific pattern of hippocampal neuronal loss accompanied by hippocampal gliosis and atrophy. Complex partial seizures occur when excessive and synchronous electrical brain activity causes impaired awareness and responsiveness. The abnormal electrical activity might spread to the rest of the brain and cause a secondary generalized tonic–clonic seizure.
This morning I was sitting here with Bob and Tristan after the big kids had gone off to school, and we were talking about Christmas presents.
I remember stating out loud, "Not today, brain." This statement is obviously part of a pre-seizure aura, and comes very frequently.
A few minutes later, I seized. My husband and youngest daughter saw, and my husband grabbed my phone and video-taped what happened mid-way through, caught the END and uploaded it to my Facebook page, unknown to me. I apparently just got up after this, walked away and laid down on my couch.
I suppose, after seeing the 86+ 42 comments to this video on Facebook (that I didn't know I uploaded, beacuse Mr. did it, because I have NO MEMORY OF THE EVENT... because I NEVER DO...) it's caused a reaction.
I guess you could say I am surprised by the feedback from the internet.
I appreciate and understand the safety concerns, as I would be equally concerned, and perhaps maybe now my concerns make more sense to you? I live in this body. I have lived in this body with seizures since at least ... 2006. I know many of you have always understood it -- but many don't.
I have been sharing posts, snippets, videos and updates about living with epilepsy for more than five...six... years, and I have had people complain, some unsubscribe, some ask me not to discuss it, some suggest that I have Munchausen's disorder, and that I "fake" it, or receiving comments along the lines of...
"OMG I AM SO SORRY for YOU HOW CAN YOU LIIIIVE THAT WAYYYYY I would just DIIIIEEEEE," I don't really respond well. "OMG, I cannot IMAGINE not being able to...." "You're getting WORSE, you know!" "How are you NOT 300 pounds again? I would just EAT MYSELF to DEATH!"
And, it goes on. I get some seriously shit comments sometimes.
Yeah. I have seizures. I. have. them. all. the. time. So what? I have polymicrogyria. I am considering brain surgery. It is likely that I have a lot more seizures than we know about. It seems like I only notice them when there's an adult home.
I figured that particular pattern out on the last three days the Adult Was Home.
I suppose now you understand why I don't take well to those making light of the disease -- it's not something you can "get over." I can't medicate it and go about my day, though I try, the medication makes me a bit uh... where were we?
I have zero short-term memory left, which is likely a permanent neurological condition.
I cannot work, I have been denied disability twice, and I continue to appeal.
Beth Sheldon-Badore Honored with the Obesity Action Coalition’s
“OAC Advocate of the Year” Award
Massachusetts resident Beth Sheldon-Badore was honored with the Obesity Action Coalition’s (OAC) “OAC Advocate of the Year” award during the OAC’s Your Weight Matters Inaugural Convention in Dallas.
As a longtime OAC member, Beth has been instrumental in leading the obesity advocacy fight on both National and state advocacy issues.
“Beth has been a key asset to the OAC this year in her advocacy efforts. Advocating for the OAC is a tireless effort and Beth exemplified the true meaning of ‘advocate’ in every sense of the word,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.
About the OAC
The OAC is a National nonprofit charity dedicated to helping individuals affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to bring together individuals struggling with weight issues and provide educational resources and advocacy tools. For more information on the OAC, please visit www.obesityaction.org.
About the Your Weight Matters Convention
The Your Weight Matters Convention is a national convention focused on providing individuals with quality, evidenced-based education on weight and its impact on health. For more information on the Convention, please visit, www.YWMConvention.com.
"That man’s words mean nothing to me, but really angers me about this is is there are children who don’t know better — who get emails as critical as the one I received or in many cases, even worse, each and every day."
She said that bullying scared her as the mother of three daughters. "If you are at home and you are talking about the fat newslady, guess what?" she said. "Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat."
Livingston thanked the viewers, friends and colleagues who have stood up for her, and ended with these words:
“I leave you with this: To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now. do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience — that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many.”
Weight loss surgery community, I hear you!
"We won't give up our fried chicken sandwiches! You can peel the Chick-Fil-A from my cold, dead, hands, it's MAH chicken!"
Regardless of the political stance, you do not need a fried chicken sandwich in your post weight loss surgery life, do you?
"But, I go there for the FRIES."
Your argument is invalid. What part of your post weight loss surgery diet includes fried chicken and waffle fries? (Don't answer that. I eat fast food too.)
However, it's not a NECESSITY. In ANY way, for ANY surgery-type.
Make your OWN!
It's full of THINGS YOU NEED IN YOUR DIET!
Make it yourself -- SO GOOD FOR YOU!
Or - join me in donating to GLAAD today!
I donated the cost of feeding my family at Chick-fil-A to GLAAD!
Thank you for supporting GLAAD and helping us share stories about LGBT people and allies that move us all closer to equality. What people see and hear in the media has a huge impact on the decisions made every day in schools, businesses, churches and voting booths. Visit www.glaad.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest stories that are changing our culture.
Thank you very much for your standard donation to E-appeals & Campaign Donations.
Because, I support my LGBT families. Love is love.
Speak out against Chick-fil-A anti-LGBT stance by donating the price of a Chick-fil-A meal to GLAAD!
I read a blog post yesterday regarding storytelling as a means of keeping a person "sick," stuck in the past, or marinating in their overall... bad place. The blogger went so far as to suggest that the telling and retelling of ones stories might be an addiction. *gets the crack pipe ready to share a story*
"I think we do it because it feeds a need for validation and justification (or even vindication) really. We need people to tell us we look good. We need people to tell us we “didn’t cheat” with surgery. We need people to tell us we are successful. We need people to forgive us (?!) for regaining 4.7 pounds. Mostly…we need to believe these things about ourselves, but since we don’t believe it ourselves, we seek the approval and agreement of others.
Here’s my next theory: I think this behavior is an addiction. I say this because I am an addict, and I know how easy it is to become addicted to the feeling you get when people praise you, or when people condemn others who dare to disagree with you. I believe it’s an addiction because, I am never content to stop telling the story to just ONE PERSON. Oh, sure…I might start with my best friend, but once I curry her agreement (and know she’s on my team, of course), I have to go collect OTHERS, or I might stop believing my story. Of course, I’ll have to embellish my story a little to get others to agree with me. I might have to make it sound more dire, or harrowing, or riveting. And, with each telling, the story will become more powerful, more believable, and more tellable.
Given that, how can I NOT share a riveting, powerful, extraordinary, unbelievable story with EVERYBODY. EVERYWHERE???
It’s a regular feeling-feeding frenzy. And it sounds like Addiction to me."
As I get the visual of myself lowering a chum bucket (blog post) into the sharky waters (The Interwebz) Yeah. Because I'm trolling to Find Others to Agree With Everything I Say, right? I ... guess?
I apologize? *takes a hit*
What is addiction?
The seven criteria for substance dependence are:
(1) Tolerance is defined by either of the following:
(a) A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
(b) Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
(2) Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: (a) The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance (refer to Criteria A or B of the criteria sets for Withdrawal from specific substances). (b) The same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
(3) The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
(4) There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.
(5) A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (such as visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), use the substance (such as chain smoking) or recover from its effects.
(6) Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.
(7) The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Text Revision, Fourth Edition, (Copyright 2000). American Psychiatric Association.
Or behavioral addiction -
The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance-related, such as compulsive shopping, sex addiction/compulsive sex, overeating, problem gambling, exercise/sport and computer addiction. In these kinds of common usages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user themselves to their individual health, mental state, or social life. There may be biological and psychological factors contributing to these addictions.
The blog post struck a nerve with me. And here I am, indulging my "addiction" with likely 2000 words in response. *twitch*
I am a storyteller. I may not be much good at it, because I lack attention to detail (sometimes I have the opposite -- complete detail with photographic memory) I have poor short term recall, and I lose parts of my stories. Or not, but mostly I suck at storytelling.
That blog post just told me not to Say Things Like That, like "I suck at storytelling," because then I will marinate in that Feeling, and then You Will Feel Compelled To Give Me Sympathy Or Give Me Compliments.
Uh, please don't. #1 - I can read through bullshit. #2 - I don't need sympathy over writing crappy blog posts. If you did not want to read this, you'd just click away, right?
Thing is: I can't tell if I Suck. I might just be in the moment -- and writing out my feelings -- or sharing an experience because it's fresh on my mind. When I bring up past issues, I try to share them with as much detail as I can recall, but that's where I fail. (Don't Say That You Fail, Beth!)
I just come to the computer and type, as I am doing right now. I never plan to tell a story, whatever I share is whatever comes out of my fingers. Because, uh, my fingers are magic. I Am The Best Blogger Ever, And Everything I Type Is Pure Gold I Win At Blogging And Storytelling.
But mostly not. I know I suck. I blog because I can, not because I'm any good at it. And most of you quit reading about 200 words ago anyway.
I would suggest that most individuals who find cause to make blog entries (for example) are, indeed, storytellers. I agree with the original blogger's suggestion that some people do rehash bad things from their past in order to garner more sympathy, attention or otherwise, but only sometimes. Some people tell stories to garner lots of things, attention might be the least of things they want. Ever heard of someone faking a debilitating disease for money? It happens. People do bad things sometimes.
There are thousands of situations that people Do Not Share On Purpose because they might rather have No Attention. And in our weight loss surgery community - in particular, People Do Not Share Lots Of Things Because -
They do not want to expose personal history, it HURTS.
They don't want to appear less than ... anyone else.
They may find that it's better to hide lots of things about themselves because they feel judged.
Here is a comment from someone else in the community, who has dealt with some serious shit, in regards to this topic -
"Revisiting the past is a necessary evil for many of us that need to deal with the original reason of why they became obese in the first place. People need to tell their story to help them heal in order to get to that next step of recovery and happiness. The events that happen in a person’s life that causes them to become obese are countless… some are abused, molested, lose a role model, bullied, eating disorders, and alcoholism… and on and on we can go. These are real issues and HAVE to be spoken about.
Once a person loses the weight their life will NEVER immediately be a flip of a coin and have a “HALLELUJAH I AM HEALED” scenario, the truth of the matter is the internal, physiological and mental causes and issue will take years of talking, therapy and talking, and more therapy to be resolved or repressed to a manageable level. So, to answer the questions below:
What would happen if you stopped telling your story? If people stop telling their story they could regress, gain weight, have a transfer of addictions, or simply become depressed and have a feeling of being unwanted. People have to tell their story, because for most that is the ONLY therapy they can get / afford. Lets face it when we lose all the weight we become a “different” person.
- What would happen if you stopped saying where you’ve been and focused on where you ARE? Again refer to the above. Simply put, where you have been (the past) is what got you to where you are today (it is a part of you). You CAN NOT forget about the past, because for most of us, the past is who and what you are it is where you spent most of your life. The new you is honestly a small fraction of who you are and learning the new you will take years.
- What would happen if you lived in the now, rather than in the past? Living in the now and not in the past has to be a balance. You have to talk about the past in order to make the now a better place. You have to talk about the past in order to improve quality life for the now. You have to talk about the past to deal with the emotional issues that all of us have to make today better.
THE BARIATRIC AFTER LIFE (TM) IS NOT ALL ROSES AND BUTTERFLIES LIKE SOME IN THE COMMUNITY MAKE IT OUT TO BE. You can’t shy away from the bad, or it will never go away."
I agree, to much of that.
In order to heal remember you have to tell your story, seek professional help, join a support group that is right for you and if you fall down or regress, remember you are not alone, and continue to fight and tell that story.
The blogger says -
Each time you speak the negative — each time you retell your story — you give it renewed energy. Each time you replay that tape about how disappointed you are in this or that (person, behavior, event), you give it new life, new purpose, new meaning. But, you know what? If you just leave it unsaid and move forward, the story fades away in significance, power and meaning. Amazing.
And MM says -- Then You Find Yourself In Therapy at Age 35, Crying Because You Have No Fucking Clue Why You Are So SAD. Or, why you are binge eating again, or why you are ____________.
Some story-tellers make up (better than the reality...) stories about themselves to avoid having to deal with (or answer questions about) who they really are and where they came from. I have seen people create personas for themselves to shield their real selves. Lots of this is about protection, fear and not DEALING WITH THE PAST, and sometimes people are truly stuck in their past, or dealing with severe narcissism.
(I know, I know, I've got a ridiculous cartoonish banner up top and a blog called, Melting Mama. I did not know that I would be blogging long-term, nor that anyone would ever see the stupidity that is my name. That said, it's really me. I am cartoonish. It's not fake.)
Their motive might be as simple as making themselves appear shiny and special, because their reality sort of blows. We sell, of ourselves, what we want Others To See.
"I believe that the more we focus on the past…our unhappiness, discontentment, rage, disappointments, hurt, pain – even successes – the less we live in the present. "
We NEED to clean out ours pasts in order to move on!
I would suggest that storytellers choose to share what we do in some type of self-preservation. Some of us share many facets of our lives, including things that aren't so shiny. Many story-tellers (bloggers, mostly professional-types) try to maintain a mostly positive storyline, and that can be helpful to those who need to see those kind of messages.
But, often, positive-only storytellers have something to sell us. It's just the truth. If I want to sell you something, I do it with a positive spin. (I know how to sell something, go find a review post for a product I really LIKE. It's mostly positive.) I wouldn't dare give you the reality of post op weight loss surgery life if I wanted to sell you... weight loss surgery. But I am not in the business of selling weight loss surgery, nor the happy that comes post operatively.
And the truth of the life after WLS, for many, sucks. Not all the time, and not forever. And for some it's super-awesomely-wicked-great, and that's super! Go YOU! But, for many it's not. Would yo ulike to discuss how many people I've been in contact with in the last three months that were suicidal?
It's a problem. Stuffing our issues back in our pasts? Does Not Help In the Least.
You are not alone.
And it gets better.
These are a few of a handful of powerful messages that an elegantly designed "belonging intervention" by social psychologist and Stanford assistant professor Gregory Walton conveys to study participants who are going through a difficult period.
In a series of ongoing studies, first published in 2007 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the belonging intervention uses a technique known as "attributional retraining" to help people shift blame for negative events from "It's just me" to "I'm not alone, and there are others going through it."
The goal is to convey to the subjects that when bad things happen, it doesn't mean they don't belong in general.
Why is this important?
"We don't have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that's what I want in life." So began a stunning meditation by Marina Keegan, a 22-year-old Yale graduate who died in a tragic car accident May 26.
What is the opposite of loneliness? Is it belonging?
Because as humans, we need to belong. To one another, to our friends and families, to our culture and country, to our world.
Belonging is primal, fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being.
Belonging is a psychological lever that has broad consequences, writes Walton. Our interests, motivation, health and happiness are inextricably tied to the feeling that we belong to a greater community that may share common interests and aspirations.
Isolation, loneliness and low social status can harm a person's subjective sense of well-being, as well as his or her intellectual achievement, immune function and health. Research shows that even a single instance of exclusion can undermine well-being, IQ test performance and self-control.
Walton's earlier studies demonstrated that a sense of social belonging can affect motivation and continued persistence, even on impossible tasks. That is, if you don't feel like you belong, you are both less motivated and less likely to hang in there in the face of obstacles.
Even outside a research setting, these are valuable lessons we can all draw from as we navigate life's difficult circumstances. Though Walton's research has involved only students, his work has powerful implications for the workplace and other contexts.
According to Rajita Sinha, the head of Yale's Stress Center, stress itself is not necessarily a bad thing. But stress that is sustained, uncontrollable and overwhelming, in which people can't figure out options to solve their problems, wreaks havoc on us.
Walton's belonging intervention has the potential to downgrade uncontrollable stress by allowing people to put a narrative around their traumatic experiences.
It places those experiences in a box, he says, "with a beginning, a middle and an end. As a consequence, the meaning of the negative experience is constrained, and people understand that when bad things happen, it's not just them, they are not alone, and that it's something that passes."
So what exactly does the belonging intervention involve?
In a broad sense, storytelling.
Walton and his colleagues enlist the study subjects as experts to help "others" who may be similarly situated and going through a difficult time.
The researchers provide subjects with statistics, quotations and stories from upperclassmen about their experiences -- how they struggled at first but eventually got through it -- and ask participants to use that information to write about getting through their own difficulties and how it gets better.
The participants, who believe they are writing for the next generation of incoming freshmen -- an audience many of them relate to and care about -- begin to engage with the material and use it to reflect on their own experiences, ultimately coming to the conclusion that no matter how bad they feel, they are not alone.
This is particularly powerful in settings where people have a looming alternative explanation, as in the case of minorities, women and gay youth.
Please read the whole article at