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#myfatstory

 

Katie Hopkins: My Fat Story

Discovery - http://press.discovery.com/uk/tlc/programs/katie-hopkins/

Premieres Friday 2nd January, 9.00pm

Outspoken TV personality, Katie Hopkins has hit the headlines for her controversial views on obesity; insisting that fat people are lazy, saying that she would not employ someone who is overweight, and claiming that losing weight is easy. Earlier this year Katie hit the headlines again revealing her new three stone heavier figure. Sick of hearing people's excuses for being overweight and justifying Britain's obesity crisis, Katie had decided to prove her argument by piling on the pounds to experience being weight, before attempting to lose it again by simply eating less and moving more. This two-part special exclusively follows Katie through every step of her project, as she struggles to put the weight on and deal with her increasing size, and then as she loses the weight. Will she prove her point or will she have to eat her own words?

Probably not.  It's different in the UK right now, the National Health System is socialised medicine, and the patients have their weight-loss surgeries done "on the system" sometimes waiting a long time for treatment -- and people may feel differently about the care being done on the UK's dime.  

I suppose I'd have to watch it, and it's meant to be inflammatory.   I mean -- "FAT PEOPLE ARE LAZY."

Really.  Throw that out there and watch the reaction.  BAIT.  FLAME.  RAWR.

Would you watch?  What do you think?


Ruben Studdard - "I feel like taking the easy route out is not something I should do."

Wendy Williams is not a nice person.  That's all I have to say about THAT.

Ruben, thank you for being classy and not tearing this woman's FACE OFF.

However - Ruben... DEAR.

"I was raised to believe that I can do anything. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me and I have to stand firm on that belief. I feel like taking the easy route out is not something I should do. I should make sure I take responsibility for my health, and get in the gym and work it out."

WLS is not a easy route out, WLS is taking responsibility of ones health. 

Thank you, end of conversation.

 


9 Years Post Gastric Bypass.

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April 5th, 2013 marks nine years since I had roux en y gastric bypass surgery at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  I made it another year.  I am alive.  I  made it past your cash bets.

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.  
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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.

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 Now look at my regain photos from the last year - same timing.

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 Seems easy enough, right?  

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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.  

*foreshadowing....*


All the weight I didn’t lose

All the weight I didn’t lose - from Salon.com 

"I am the “after” side of surgery, having lost more than 250 pounds. No one gets this, at least not without an explanation, because I still weigh over 200 pounds, and the weight loss fable is supposed to end when you’re thin, not when you’re merely “an average fat American.”

Yes, some of us do "get it."  

This is a powerful article a friend of mine who happens to be a special kind of "after"  (which is not the kind of " air quotes" that indicate failure, but that she has SHIT TO DEAL WITH and y'all need to stop judging a person at first glance, you know?) posted in my BBGC support group.   Thank you, Sarah.  I GET IT.  Some of us DO.  Rawr.  

Please read it.  Please open your mind to all "afters," and stop the WLS shaming.  

Continue reading "All the weight I didn’t lose" »


The Biggest Loser Season 14 Returns ... with kids?

I was just passively listening to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, when I noticed the human product placement of Jillian Michaels into the NBC parade line-up, and then the commercials started:  

Now we can warp the thinking of a whole new generation of obese kids.  

My 15 year old shook her head, stood up, and left the room.

Continue reading "The Biggest Loser Season 14 Returns ... with kids?" »


Body image MYTHS - DEBUNKED! WLS will CURE MY BODY IMAGE WOES!

Body dysmorphia
David B. Sarwer, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as well as Director of Clinical Services at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders. He received his B.A. in 1990 from Tulane University, his M.A. in 1992 from Loyola University Chicago and his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1995 from Loyola University Chicago.

Clinically, Dr. Sarwer is the Director of the Stunkard Weight Management Program and is actively involved in the Bariatric Surgery Program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He conducts behavioral/psychological evaluations of patients prior to surgery. He also treats individuals with eating or other psychological concerns after bariatric surgery. Dr. Sarwer provides psychotherapeutic treatment to persons who have body dysmorphic disorder or other appearance concerns -

Dr. Sarwer needs to immerse himself in our WLS community forever thankyouplease, or not, because we have the BODY DYSEVERYTHING -

Man on scale
Because, this? No.

Here are some question and answers via Jean Fain L.I.C.S.W,, M.S. on Huffington Post - they are AMAZING little chunks of AMAZING -  

 

Body Image Researcher David Sarwer Debunks Hollywood Myths http://huff.to/RHjGnH 

Myth 1: The fatter you are, the worse your body image.

Q. People assume that weight gain and bad body image go hand in hand, and yet, that assumption doesn't reflect the truth. What's the truth about weight gain and body image?

A. There's typically very little relationship between someone's objective appearance and their subjective body image. Individuals who are the most objectively attractive will sometimes have very negative body images, and individuals who are less attractive will sometimes show relatively little body image distress. [That said,] as the American population has gotten heavier, we are perhaps a little more accepting of full-figured body presentations in public. Ten to 15 years ago when we talked about the body image of overweight individuals, the focus was: "Isn't it unfortunate that people who are overweight feel like they need to camouflage their appearance in big, baggy clothing." Now, the discussion has gone 180 degrees in the other direction: "Why are overweight individuals wearing inappropriately form-fitting and revealing clothing?"

Myth 2: Losing weight is the best way to boost body image.

Q. You've written that weight reduction is the most popular form of body image therapy. But is it the best way to boost body image? What do you have to say about that?

A. A number of studies have shown that as individuals lose weight, even very modest amounts of weight, they show improvements in body image. At the same time, a lot of people after weight loss, including the more dramatic weight loss we see with bariatric surgery, still have a good degree of residual body dissatisfaction. There are limitations to how much weight you can physically lose. Perhaps the best way to address this [residual] dissatisfaction is learning how to think and behave differently. 

Myth 3: Gastric bypass surgery cures body image woes.

Q. Clearly, bariatric surgery decreases weight-related health problems, but what about body-image woes? Is it reasonable to expect gastric bypass, among other surgical weight-loss procedures, to boost body image?

A. With all bariatric surgery procedures (gastric bypass, the sleeve, the banding procedure), the average weight loss is somewhere between 25 and 35 percent of an individual's initial body weight. Individuals typically reach those weight losses within the first 18 to 24 months after of surgery. With those weight losses, there are typically significant improvements in things like diabeteshypertension and heart disease within the first year or two after surgery. But before patients reach the largest percentage of weight loss, they report significant improvements in body image. As patients are losing weight within the first three to six months after surgery, they report significant improvements in body image. The caveat: after they've lost weight, some patients complain about the loose, hanging skin. That's probably a big reason why more than 50,000 Americans every year turn to plastic surgery after massive weight loss.

Tummy Tuck Massive Weight Loss
Myth 4: Liposuction, tummy tucks and other shape-altering surgeries transform body image.

Q. The hope is that liposuction, tummy tucks and other shape-altering surgeries will transform body image, but is this hope well-founded? Do these popular procedures actually boost body image, or do they leave people feeling just as bad, if not worse?

A. After cosmetic surgical procedures, patients do experience improvements in body image.[1] The primary catalyst for a cosmetic procedure is dissatisfaction with a part of their appearance -- with their nose in the case of rhinoplasty, their love handles in the case of liposuction, or their breasts in the case of breast augmentation. After surgery, the vast majority report improvements in their physical appearance and their body image. In some cases, however, patients may be dissatisfied because of complications or scarring. In other cases, it may be they had unrealistic expectations about what the surgery was going to do. Somewhere between 5 and 15 percent of patients suffer from body dysmorphic disorder. They're preoccupied with a relatively slight defect in their appearance. Those patients typically don't report improvements in their body image after undergoing cosmetic surgery.

Myth 5: Breast implants boost body image.

Q. One of the most surprising things I've learned from your writing is that there's an increased suicide risk among women who get breast implants for cosmetic purposes. I know you're not saying the surgery causes suicide, but what have you concluded about body image and breast implants?

A. Seven studies throughout the world have shown an increased rate of suicide two to three times greater among women who have undergone cosmetic breast augmentation. (These studies were looking at women who get breast implants for cosmetic purposes, not for cancer.) The reasons are not particularly well-articulated, but it's likely that these women have preexisting [mental illness] that is not picked up by the plastic surgeon or not even recognized by the patient herself. One of the strongest predictors of a subsequent suicide is a history of psychiatric hospitalization. These women already have a history of significant mental illness that is returning some time within years after the cosmetic procedure.

Jean Fain is a Harvard Medical School-affiliated psychotherapist specializing in eating issues, and the author of "The Self-Compassion Diet." For more information, see www.jeanfain.com.

 

 


Review - Before & After, Second Revised Edition: Living and Eating Well After Weight-Loss Surgery

Before & After, Second Revised Edition: Living and Eating Well After Weight-Loss Surgery

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Regurgitated Self-Importance Now With More Hate! 

Photography Project Explores The Dark Side of Weight Loss - LOVE!

Yes, this!  Realistic!  

Jezebel

Julia Kozerski is a photographer who explores themes of beauty, body-image, and identity. As you can see in the image above, she makes photographs that are starkly beautiful and brutally honest; pictures that can make the viewer feel painfully uncomfortable. Here, a fleshy woman lies naked on a bed in a gray room, her gaze turned toward letters on the wall. It is daytime. She is alone. The sheets are rumpled. The word is "LOVE." The title of the work is "Hunger." And that is Julia Kozerski, in the photograph. She is her own subject.

In a project titled Half, Kozerski documents the results of dramatic weight loss. The photographs are stunning, in the true sense of the word: Causing or capable of causing emotional shock. We are flooded with media messages and images about losing weight: PSA campaigns, sneaker ads, reality shows, before and after commercials, in which celebs beam with joy in photos proving that they've slimmed down. They're often perfectly toned, in a bikini, grinning ear to ear.

NSFW Photo after the jump -  

Continue reading "Photography Project Explores The Dark Side of Weight Loss - LOVE!" »


Lady Gaga responds to weight critics nearly nude pics #bodyrevolution2013

The singer’s blog, titled “A Body Revolution 2013,” invites fans to “be brave and celebrate with us your ‘perceived flaws,’ as society tells us,” by posting their own photos.

“May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous,” Gaga wrote.

Continue reading "Lady Gaga responds to weight critics nearly nude pics #bodyrevolution2013" »


I Have The Regain.

I have a case of the regain.   Oh noes.  I have been clear about it, and I do not hide the fact that I have regained weight and I do not hide from the camera.  Evidence: Facebook. That said, I don't make a big deal about the number I see on the scale, because I do not allow the number to define me.  I am very much over allowing a NUMBER tell me WHO I am and HOW I am going to feel on any given day -- and I rarely weigh myself.  Several months ago, I was started on a new anti-epilepsy medication that often causes weight gain and it did, and my weight slowly crept up to That Place Where I Freak The Eff Out. Since then, it's come back down to a reasonable place to where I can manage it, and I am within ten pounds of my low-normal-average. But here is the weird thing - it's SO VERY OBVIOUS.

 

One year ago - I hit a low in the summer July/August of 2011. I had life drama and things went awry for a while.  I might have dropped a bit lower - this photo was taken in early September 2011 - 

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This past weekend, at 174 lbs. 

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 I actually saw a few pounds higher many weeks ago and NO NO NO NO NO this will NOT HAPPEN and put the kabosh on some bad habits - 

"Hey, let's have one two three pieces of toast with gallons of butter on it?!  WHO DOES THAT?!"    

Obviously, Beth does.  "OMG, say it isn't so!"  It is.  It can be.  I am pushing nine years post op, and three or even four pieces of 35 calorie bread breaks down to nada ounces in your pouch -- and really -- is nothing.  So.  Hushyomoufabouteatingtoomuch.

But.

Screen Shot 2012-09-25 at 6.22.54 PMI stopped that bullshit.  

Because I am smart enough to know better because I refuse to purchase size 14W, mmkay?  

I know better.  I have demons, they appear in the form of buttery carbs, hence they Do Not Belong In My Area.

I am already down several pounds, but, I am still remaining apathetic about it because the pounds do not define me, I DO.

The reason I mention it at all -- the regain -- is that someone else asked me how much I had gained since I saw them last!  I was taken aback a bit, considering I thought I was pretty damn upfront about my size, and I did not realize I had been ... watched so closely.  

I suppose I expect a certain amount of it -- considering that I blog about weight loss surgery, I expect that there is a certain subsection of people waiting for long-termers like me to Fail, Publicly and Like a Trainwreck.  But, I also have complex issues making my long-term-WLS-life more sticky than they might like to read about -- which is why I rarely write about MYSELF AT ALL.

Because it scares people.

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I did not really respond to the well-meaning-regain-question-asker with anything other than, "Well, I am taking a lot of neuro meds."  True.  I am up to a couple thousand milligrams of AEDs a day, and in pre-operative testing for brain surgery.

This person said that she noted that I was noticeably bigger than the last time she saw me, and she assumed from a purely medical standpoint (she meant no harm...) that I simply must be taking medication to cause gain, that it was not something I was doing -- like -- toast eating.  It's the truth, so it really did not bother me since I was already aware, you know?  I live in this body, I know when I can't zip up my OWN PANTS!  

In the big picture -- it's still only ten pounds.  Ten apathetic pounds.  


Oh. Yes. She. Did.

Hold the Press Releases, Suz!  

How do you go from not paying your taxes, failure to ship orders since 2011, closing your store, foreclosure, shutting down all communication to... THIS?

Continue reading "Oh. Yes. She. Did." »


"I saw somebody... I didn't know who they were." 650 Pound Virgin Regains 400 lbs.

Did you hear that? It was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor, and my heart crumbling for this man, this beautiful man. Let me say that his regain was likely expected. You cannot expect success with unrealistic expectations after massive weight loss.  Reality shows SUCK at putting morbidly obese individuals in unrealistic situations that cannot possibly be mimicked from home, long term.  And it screws them up, metabolically, FOR LIFE.

650-virginI remember watching the episode 650 Pound Virgin years ago, amazed at the 400 lb loss and transformation, as it mimics many of our post weight loss surgery changes.  And he appeared to climb out of his shell, this kid, adorable!

But, he "saw somebody," that he did not recognize --- and crashed.  

How familiar does THAT sound?  Honeymoon -- flying high -- reality -- crash.  It doesn't matter how you lose the weight, it can still happen.

Chin up, dude, you got this.  

PS.  The first commenter to suggest WLS, I slap you.  "But, why?  We could SAVES HIS LIFES!"  I get that.  But it's NOT. OUR. PLACE. TO. GET. IN. THIS. MAN'S HEAD.  We can only support his choices, by far, mostly.  I feel for him.   


The importance of belonging - THIS is why I do what I do.

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*

Bariatric After Life -

"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?

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Am I feeding you with my stories?  Am I feeding myself?

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. 

Comic
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.

However.

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.  

Right? 

"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.

I am in the business of sharing.  Here, there, everywhere.  If this makes me a story-teller, so be it.  Your sharing HELPS others, to realize...

CNN - 

You are not alone.

You belong.

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

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/01/health/enayati-importance-of-belonging/index.html#


How Do I Know If I Am Overweight or Obese? Thank you The Weight Of The Nation.

Everyone is watching the documentary The Weight of The Nation.  It took over my Twitter stream, since it's full of RDs, dieticians, nutritionists, weight loss related Tweets who clearly are promoting it, and... OMG.

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 I have yet to watch it, as I am afraid it will spawn 69268 angry blog posts.  However, clicking around their accompanying web site this morning (because you know I will watch it...) I am finding some nicely "written for everybody" information.

So here, let's start with this!  Am I fat?  Yep.  Aw, hell.  I am obese.

Height: 5 feet, 3 inches
Weight: 169 pounds 

Your BMI is 29.9, indicating your weight is in the Overweight category for adults of your height.  For your height, a normal weight range would be from 104 to 141 pounds.  (Um.  Kiss my fat ass?)

As an Adult, How Do I Know If I Am Overweight or Obese? 

Weight of The Nation -

  • Weight and height are used to calculate a number called the "body mass index" (BMI). For most people, BMI is a good estimate of body fatness.
  • A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
  • To find your BMI, try one of these BMI calculators:

For example, if your height is 5' 9" and you weigh between 169-202 lbs., you are considered overweight; if you weigh over 202 pounds, you are considered obese.

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The CDC  BMI Chart tells me that my...

Healthy Weight - it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle!

And I stab my eyeballs out.


When a MM goes on TV and flashes her Slimpressions?

It would not be the first time.  I kid, because I don't think I've ever flashed my Slimpressions on TV before.

I head to New York City tomorrow to meet with ABC's 20/20 for an interview regarding things somewhat unknown to me about All Things Weight Loss Surgery.  

Hold me.  

What does one do in situations like this?  I mean, I got the itinerary yesterday.  MM get in a car and go to the airport and meet your driver and OMG. WHAT DO I DO?    First!  RAISE $3900 for the OAC!  THEN!

SHOP.  I had about two minutes to find something to wear, and zero clue of how to dress for such an occasion.  

If you ever want to get advice from everyone -- mention that you might be on national TV.  

Add other people's idea of What Works On TV Because We Know these things to my own clothing quirks, and that rules out nearly everything you find in a store.  I had one afternoon (about two hours with two very tired and children, one who cried the whole time...) to find an outfit, and little funds.  

I stopped just short of crying in the middle of Macy's.  I DID GOOD, I didn't lose my composure!

You see, my local mall has very few shopping options, and I have many clothing quirks.  

This might turn out being part of the interview -- the trouble with EXCESS SKIN AND ALL THAT IS LEFT AND THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO LIVE IN YOUR SKIN, FOR-EVER.   Let it be known, not everybody gets to have plastic surgery.  Sometimes you have to keep your extra bits. This was only solidified in my afternoon shopping trip that left me with yet another black dress.  

Forgive me, fashionable women of the internets, I can't handle colors, short sleeves, short dresses or anything that allows the non-use of Slimpressions because I. will. be. wearing. them.  I will be wearing a black 3/4 length sleeved belted dress with a Slimpressions The-Have-Nots and Slimpressions bottoms with Spanx tights.  Because I can.  And, given the state of my post weight loss and post baby body at 8 years and 1 month post weight loss surgery, I need to.

And if the Slimpressions don't make me feel super, the shoes might help -

459867_3363659244921_1072296476_3051673_1224120975_o


Weight hate by PCRMs "Sit next to a vegan" campaign

As you can see, this commercial further perpetuates weight bias and stigma. The commercial clearly displays an individual affected by obesity as clumsy and careless. Negative weight bias such as this must stop! We need your help!

OAC leadership originally contacted PCRM in January 2012 regarding another campaign against obesity that we felt was offensive toward individuals affected by the disease. Pictured right, you will see a PCRM campaign targeting cheese consumption and obesity.

If you feel this commerical further perpetuates weight bias, please contact the following PCRM representatives:

Neal D. Barnard, MD
President
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
5100 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Ste.400
Washington DC, 20016
Phone: (202)-686-2210, Ext. 314
schimes@pcrm.org

Patrick Sullivan
PCRM Communications Director
(510) 834-8680
psullivan@pcrm.org

When sending emails to these individuals, please CC biasbusters@obesityaction.org. Also, please share any responses you receive as well with the OAC.

 


Plus-sized bodies are beautiful.

In PLUS Model Magazine, January 2012 edition, we learn some things.  

 Size 12 (THE HORROR!) can be DROP DEAD GORGEOUS -- even if Photoshopped.  I know, I know.  But, she's got wrinkles and folds!

KatiaJan2012_1
Also --

- Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.

- Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18. Today the need for size diversity within the plus-size modeling industry continues to be questioned. The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14, while the customers continue to express their dissatisfaction.

- Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.

- 50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.

Screen Shot 2012-01-12 at 1.51.14 PM

(Please don't whine about how "Even at a size 12, I will never look like that, because I've lost _____ lbs and my body is a mess."  In this community, we are all floppy and flappy, but WOMEN?!?  YOU ARE A SIZE 12 NOW.  IS this not amazing?   As for this woman:  she's naked in a magazine because she's photoshopped and beautiful TO BEGIN WITH at her normal American size.  Not everybody is a model.)


I'm sure these things don't shock to those of us who've been much, much bigger than a size 14.  We KNOW how awful it is to shop for clothes, there just isn't any VARIETY once we're looking for "plus size" apparel.  (Do not even MENTION plus-size girls clothes, I will cut kittens.)

How do we fix this?  PLUS Model Magazine suggests --

Tips on how we can help create change:

- Support the companies who market to you. 
- Use social networking sites and email to let brands and designers know how you feel about clothing, options and the use of straight sized models (thin models) to market to you.
- Your dollars count! If you stop buying at “Store A” and let them know you will not be purchasing clothing until they market to you, this will raise concern.
- Use every avenue and opportunity you have available to you for your voice to be heard.
- Indie designers need our support.

Agreed.  We, as "plus-sized" women much push for options if we want them.  


Stiff Panties Burn Calories. Well. There's that, Santa!

Geekologie says --

$32 Calorie Shapers are resin-coated biker-shorts/sparkle-panties that are stiffer than regular boxer-briefs and, when walked in 1.5-hours a day per week, can burn enough additional calories to offset 16-ounces of beer. WELL WOOPTIE-F***IN'-DO-DA. I'd rather just convince myself I never drank that beer. Besides, who in their right mind wants to walk around IN A PAIR OF HARD UNDERWEAR? Aaaaaaaah, my nuts are saying silk but my belly's saying STIFF ABRASIVE POLYMER AND ENOUGH FRICTION TO START A FIRE.

I am NOT wearing anybody's stiff panties.

No.

No.

Never.