I signed on with a company to do a monthly product review of bariatric-approved products. My first product arrived this weekend, and in the spirit of full disclosure before I even start the review I have to tell you (...before I laugh, cry, or other?) that I hand-picked the first product because I know I like it. It's something I used to promote back in The Day of Blogging. (I do not know when the day ended, but it's no longer that day.)
The reason I am oversharing with you -- is because -- when I sniffed around the blog to find the first post about said product and it was written or even re-written MORE THAN EIGHT YEARS AGO. Guys. This means I could have written about this item nine or ten years ago and I am about to throw it back in your faces because I am:
Old As Hell (Did you figure out how long has been? Because I just had a minor heart failure.)
Still Around (Sorry?)
Crazy (...to still be around? LOL)
Have Five Kids To Feed And Free Product Sounds Amazing Right About Now
All I know right. now. is that it has taken me until 2pm to start this post because BABIES ARE A BIG HUGE FAT PAIN IN THE ASS AND I MEAN NO DISRESPECT TO BIG HUGE FAT ASSES BECAUSE I HAVE ONE AND I LOVE FATNESS, mmkay? If you ever need a reason not to get things done? Babies. Babies who are mobile and big trouble and right at the very moment seeking things to hurt themselves as if driven by a baby-seeking motor of "WHAT CAN HURT ME IN THIS ROOM" are what you need to stop everything from being accomplished. Baby who is now standing on my chair. Baby who is now crying.
A post by a Facebook friend the other day got me thinking about blogging. It seems that many of us who used to Write All The Time for ourselves, have stopped. Why is that? Why is it that blogging has become a chore? Why did we start writing in the first place and what changed?
I will tell you what happened: PEOPLE GOT GREEDY. For me, I started blogging because I needed an outlet that would "listen" neutrally. The faceless internet seemed like a good idea.
As I wrote, somehow I got an audience, and an audience creates attention, and attention sends advertisers. I took on advertisements and started earning a part time living from this blog. Heck, I started a blog about blogging because I made a GOOD living from it for a very short time.
The thing is: I have very strong opinions and cannot be paid to be swayed. It tears me up when I read sponsored posts and Tweets and Facebook plugs from other bloggers after they've been given ad money and the posts are no longer in their voice.
Some blogs and connected social media become nothing but pitches. #spon #ad
Where did genuine bloggers go?! Where are you?!
I didn't want to become that, and honestly I hate being called a shill. I used to enjoy writing about product because I USED IT or I LOVED IT or my favorite: I hated it.
I have lost that because everyone and their Mama is overexposing EVERYTHING hoping to get paid. I did get paid. I still have a trickle of advertising, but I can't push it as hard as I "could" because I feel like it alienates those who read my stuff (...for whatever reason they do?) and feel pressured. Bloggers who used to "connect" with me, I realize, I am no longer useful to them if they can't use me. It's sad.
Sometimes I felt like a fake by posting about products I didn't really like. I lost my oomph and advertisers took notice and dumped me. Sadly, sometimes I think it was a relief. I'm not your salesperson. You didn't hire me.
I think these days, most sponsored content needs to come organically. Why do "we" push so hard to be paid to do what we were already doing for free, for ourselves? If someone wants to pay me to be MYSELF, bring it. I can't change or remain silent because you don't like me as I am.
I feel like I have censored myself for so long because I have been afraid of the ADVERTISERS getting mad.
No more. Fuck them. If they're paying me to share product, it's because I AM WORTH IT, and if they choose not to? That's fine too.
Sorry. If I write about your product, it's because I USE IT, I LOVE IT or IT SUCKS. There's no ulterior motive, unless I specifically state that there is. ;)
Oddly enough last year was my best in terms of weight loss and weight maintenance after my roux en y gastric bypass now eleven years ago.
I just searched the blog for my yearly *cringe* "surgiversary" updates and it appears it really was.
"Best." I maintained a nearly-normal bodyweight for half of the year, guys. If I look back on my averages over the last ten years, the weight is smack-dab in the middle of average. I am just that.
I started out the year at my near lowest, while using the gym and eating decently. My goal had been to continue that - and ignore weight if I could add muscle tone.
One of the most common questions I get inboxed to me is: What Do You Eat Everyday - What Do You Do?! Here is the thing: PEOPLE VARY DRASTICALLY. I realized that my intake vs. output is a delicate balance.
Here's my intake for the most part of the last 90 days:
This looks mostly like this, with days of "Want pizza for dinner? Who wants mozzarella sticks?" Once a week. I eat very little meat, though I am still cooking it a couple times a week for the family.
Protein, veggie, carb - whatever is made for the family or...
Frozen vegan meal
More dinner, usually, I honestly don't eat at dinner time... I eat before bed. I might have a few bites at dinner time, especially if I am cooking, and then I don't want anything.
This isn't much different than my eating of the year before - and I maintain my weight at this level of calories. I would assume I eat about 1500 - 1700 most days with days lower, and days higher (rare).
I actually lose weight at this intake if I am moving enough.
Disclaimer, BMI SUCKS and I have NEVER been in the normal category for more than two minutes because I am SHORT AND I AM SHRINKING so if I want to EAT, I HAVE TO MOVE MY ASS.
I was. I'm not. No excuses.
My intentions were good, but life always seems to have different plans.
I developed some super fun back pain that coincided with less time at the gym (...yes I think movement HELPS pain, but getting past pain to MOVE is now the problem!) and was diagnosed with some degenerative disc disease. My time working out was cut drastically with my spouse's work schedule changing - kid's school schedules and just having no means to go. Adding the lack of gym time to pain = Beth not moving her ass because it hurts = Beth not moving. I started slugging out at home from August (...when the schedule changed) to this winter. I hate to whine because Everybody Huuuurttttts. I'm also super realistic and I know I'm getting older, and it is unlikely that my back will Get Better at this age. It isn't going to benefit me to complain about it now because it's going to get worse with time.
Grinding along through back pain is difficult though, when it makes every part of your day a little more complicated - you'd think just sitting would be restful - easy. Sitting here is the most painful part of my day aside from attempting to sleep laying down, I live in a series of twitchy z-z-z-zaps. If I could pace all day long, I'd be fine.
And I just may start doing that.
Why? *changing tenses, writing badly but writing*
There was a single motivation -- I got on the scale after knowing that I was not fitting in my size medium running pants. THEY SQUISHED ME LIKE A SAUSAGE. I knew I had gained weight, I could see it - but - I kept squishing into them. So what if my legs are more puffy? Whatever.
And then my boobs. MY BOOBS. I didn't HAVE ANY, and a few weeks ago I'm all - O - O - and WHY DO THEY HURT I'd better start my cycle RIGHT NOW or I am going to cry and I just might cry right now or throw up.
I'll save you the dramatic implosion that occurred after three of those, but I've been to the MD twice, and I see a maternal-fetal medicine doctor tomorrow. I was not planning this, obviously, nor was I telling anyone, but a certain spouse outed me - and a lot of people took it as a joke.
I don't find it funny.
I've got this. I have never had a pregnancy WHILE on anti-epileptic medications, so that is of course of concern as I CANNOT be unmedicated and live safely. If you recall, my seizure activity became evident during my first post-RNY pregnancy and it was undiagnosed for a very long time. Also, apparently, I AM OLD. I am "Of Advanced Maternal Age."
ADVANCED. AGE. 3-5. This was the year, that I told my husband, I think we are old enough to have kids now. Forget that my oldest is the same age as I was when I got pregnant with her.
She said, "Well, at least it isn't me." Yes, thanks for that.
Grandma MM doesn't really have a ring to it. And I think my mother would explode.
My theory about this: is that Facebook is so big, so many users, that it's team of eyeballs that look-over-the-things-that-offend-the-people cannot possibly fathom the Things That Offend Each End User Of It's Free Service.
Even when someone like me -- gets a thinly veiled threat or not at all veiled -- and I re-post it -- I get the boot.
Soon, there were two dozen angry rabid post weight loss surgery patients, (some that were former members of my group, some that I did not know) jumping on a hate filled thread on Facebook -- name-calling and wanting me in a hole, too. Why? I have the thread. It may or may not still be going. I don't know. It is painful to read. I was called a bitch, a victim, and worse.
And for attempting to stand up for myself, I am the one in the Facebook slammah. Facebook's popo clearly can't follow the chain of events and regard my actions as the problem. The persons whom are actually at fault are publicly posting and GLOATING about their success in getting a person bullied offline.
One is accepting cash donations. Why?
So. Here I am. In jail. Eating mush. Getting violated.
Hey, I suppose I shouldn't knock it too hard, it's free delivered food, free clothes, and a place to sleep, with no kids to bother me - and do I have to pay taxes? <g>
Because inflammation is an underlying factor in so many chronic diseases, the fact that people in their early 20s are already showing signs of inflammation is a warning bell, Copeland adds. Using data from the larger study, his team will scrutinize other measures of adversity, such as the stress hormone cortisol, and epigenetic changes in which environmental factors affect the way genes are activated. The scientists will also look for biomarkers of more positive methods than bullying through which kids can increase their confidence and social standing.
This is why SO many bullied kids are FAT. STOP IT.
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.
I quit 'writing my stories' long ago as my husband would call it because I tried to keep my blog totally "on topic."
You see what happened. Yeah. I stopped writing. I stopped writing altogether. It seems that I only have the urge to 'write my stories' when triggered to write a Something That I Have To Write Down For Myself - not for anyone else.
I am not a blogger who blogs for other people. I do not blog for you. I blog for me, or at least I used to and that is why I started writing in the first place. I lost my mojo for the task of writing because it feels like a chore now rather than a hobby and within the space of the niche I write in, it felt crowded and those who wrote alongside me seemed to want me to quit.
This is that moment where I put my tail between my legs and come to you and say it -- because this is what I Need To See - Proof That A Thing Works?
I have a very literal type brain. (More on that later this year. I promise you. My next appointment is Valentine's Day.)
Figure out where Beth's seizure focus is?
I must have proof of a thing in order to believe it. I do not blindly follow anything without seeing results, documents, charts that show me "IF YOU DO X, Y will be yours." This is why I am a hard "sell" and you rarely see reviews here anymore. (More on that, coming, too.)
In 2012 I was in a regain pattern and found myself hitting a high weight that I could not imagine after RNY.
I refused to allow it although I know realistically it is possible. I've been there before. And knowing that I need to eat food -- I realised I needed to do something different because obviously eating as much food as I want/need to and not moving my ass was no longer working.
I added a little bit of exercise -- and I saw a little bit of endurance increase. And I struggled to keep going, and keep at it and now I finally see body results.
The scale is in solid maintenance mode. I see range of up 5 lbs down 5 lbs up 5 lbs down lbs every single month. But I guarantee my muscle mass is increasing. I will get a new assessment done at some point to ensure this -- and see because I am interested in knowing the percentage of change.
This is where those people who used to scream at me to MOVE MY ASS get to say, "WE TOLD YOU SO." I did not listen. I was (...somewhat, but not really) lazy. I thought I could get away with just "eating okay" and being relatively active.
Nope. I am proof it (...sitting on your ass) doesn't work.
For the holidays -- I got dental work. BEAM. You know we are PRACTICAL up in here. You should know I have been putting this off for YEARS. I needed approximately a cars-worth of work done - and one surgical procedure. This is going to be a minute of one or two-at-time visits.
No lie. I had the worst two done a couple weeks ago, and two done yesterday.
Oddly -- I noted that my cyclic left eye twitch stopped immediately when the dentist injected me with novocaine. Perhaps novocaine is a cure for my eye twitch (... brain twitch?!) I only mention that because the eye twitching often precludes my seizure activity, to which I say Give Me More Novocaine?
I remained Numb In Mah Wips for about six hours - and definitely drooled coffee on myself while attempting to sip and shortly thereafter gave up on lunch.
Dental Work = An Awesome Diet Plan. *Not that I am dieting because I don't.
I am doing THIS. This is yesterday's gym time - -900 calorie burn.
*Except I'm back to normal today - and eating old leftover cold rice because I am in week five (...six?) of no kitchen.
I am all about ending fat talk, and fat shaming, and fat bias. We can very clear about that.
I love my fat people. I am forever my 320 pound fat girl. She is inside me. She has a memory. She can return at ANY GIVEN time, fat cells have memory.
The issue I take with this campaign is the marketing of weight loss and diet products like the above, "Special K" - by making us all warm and squishy inside - to self promote.
*side eye to other companies - and individuals in my WLS community that do this*
I AM LOOKING AT YOU.
It's "bullying to yourself."
OWN yourself. LOVE yourself at your size, whatever size it is.
I also want you to be healthy and to get healthy by any means you choose - but - I do not know whether I necessarily like these businesses tagging diet, wellness, coaching, body wear, etc. products to yourcurves to make money. (I know, shut up, Beth.)
You feel "better" (... good enough?) about yourself to do something about your weight, and in-turn buy their product or service because they made you "feel" emotions, a salespitch?
I watch companies use sabotage as a sales method as well - "love - control - accept your muffintop!?" alongside messages of "how to create the look of six pack abs" no wonder we are confused! Do not even get me started on plastic surgery.
I know I am making this bigger than a box of super-refined rice cereal.
This here is a highly-contrived Multi-Million Dollar Marketing Pitch aimed at make you feel all the feelings. It's not about the size of your ass.
I used to blog a lot and somewhere along the way I got my hand-slapped and I felt compelled to stop telling my stories. I feel like the stories are coming back, bubbling to the surface and I'm going to have to write. I am not exactly sure when I lost my 'words' but I am totally aware that I did, and I know I feel even torn posting about posting again, know this.
I saw a quote someplace that suggested that if you ever had a second thought about posting anything online - even for a second - that it probably should not go up. This made me second guess a lot of what I want to say, write, and half of what I start to post and take back.
I also feel like I need to take a step back and reassess the things I want to put out there, the direction I want for my blog, my peers, my support group and where I was going with just me, you know? I started all of this with just me, many years ago, for me. Blogging filled a need at that time.
I also, honestly feel like everyone was jumping in the blog game trying to get a slice of this thing called work-at-home-luxurious living that they seem to think people like me have (...had?) and I sort of wanted out. I had people telling me that "folks trying to be like you, Beth."
But if they were, they'd be housebound and unemployed*, be jealous, bitch can't even get a gallon of milk, and I am reminded of this ALL DAY LONG.
Somedays I feel like an ass because I have women posting things like, "You're my inspiration!" when I am over here thinking about that other woman who probably thinks "It's because she has all that free time to work on herself" when in reality my life is pretty ...
It's 94 degrees in my bedroom right now where I should be packing my suitcase in anticipation for my flight out to fitbloggin' 2013 tomorrow morning. However instead of packing I am playing the "until the very last minute" game because -
It is 94 degrees in my bedroom
And I am avoiding all things boob sweat. (I am currently sweating, sitting still.)
There is also this one thing -- I weighed in at 183 pounds last summer to fall.
I now weigh 144 pounds and that is a visible size difference.
The thing is -- I've been wearing the same clothing regardless of its fit -- which means I probably look a mess quite often in a size 12-14 on a size 8 body. I likely rock the plumbers crack. #thumbsup
I could use some clothes that fit, but I would rather not until I know I am settled into a size that I am staying in unless I find super-inexpensive deals. I bought clothing prior to the last set of events I attended - and they're too big now.
As someone who is pretty much stuck-at-home since I do not drive due to my seizures, I don't shop much at all, and rarely shop online either. Also: with five other people in the house, you don't just SHOP for clothes, you have to consider everyone, and we have a list seven miles long of "needs, wants and like-to-haves..." and my stuff sometimes gets bumped. That's just the long way of saying I can't just run out and shop. I do not have that luxury. If I were an employed adult with a dependable weekly paycheck, who could drive myself to the mall? I suppose I might consider it more often, but I know I'd likely end up spending on the kids first because that's what parents do. School's out this week. #brainimplodes #sendababypool #sendairconditioning #help
Do you like how I am avoiding?
It is working.
I am still sitting here.
The suitcase is empty.
I will also mention that it is empty because I did not get a sponsor for this event. In the spirit of being honest: I did not try very hard to gain a sponsor. I did not ask much. I was quite disheartened after the last event I attended and sort of gave up. I promised myself that I would not attend another blog conference (...or otherwise) after paying out of pocket in full for the last one that went completely belly-up on me and my entire support group. I swore I would never do it again, until this time.
I suppose I should attempt to put some poorly fitted clothes in a suitcase now that the sun has moved a bit. (Still. trying. to. waste. time. here.)
I am off to Portland, Oregon in the wee hours tomorrow for fitbloggin' 2013 - which is my third trip to fitbloggin' - because they sort of rock. I went in 2010, 2012 and now this year. I will be live-blogging a session sponsored by #soyjoy about snacking! *shrug*
It's a funny thing when you post your lowest-to-date weight, instant comments happen. I suppose I should expect it. I watch the comments scroll on other people's blogs, pages, etc and I try to ignore them but I do wonder what the guidelines or cut offs are for making judgements on a person's shape/size.
"Now don't you go wasting away on us!" (I am a nine year and two month bariatric surgery post op, I think I have this whole cyclic regain pattern pretty much DOWN to a science.)
"Gosh, I hope you are not going anorexic over there!" (Wait, what?! No, really, WHAT?)
"I NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU EAT EVERY SINGLE DAY."
"What do you eat? 600-800 calories? Show me."
"OMGoodness aren't you just a little thing!"
"I hope you calculated your excess skin in there!" (Um. It's about 5-7 lbs. If I take Skilsaw to my arms, belly and thighs, I will be in exactly the top range of normal body weight. I'd probably become Super Anemia Girl too.)
I don't think it matters which direction you go - there is a comment somewhere.
And it just proves that we are SO INDIVIDUAL. You cannot judge your path against someone else. Please don't try.
*cue Britney Bitch*
Why do other people feel compelled to immediately (No, seriously, THE SECOND YOU TAKE A BIG SHIT AND POST YOUR WEIGHT LOSS...) judge themselves against you?
Oh my goodness, aren't you a crass little creature! *unsubscribe*
I have never (in my life) seen 145 lbs. I am a short woman, which makes 145 lbs "overweight." May I own it for five seconds before I sabotage it?
Please do not make body comments about anyone. Ever. You have NO idea what kind of lasting impression it has on them. I am stronger than most.
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.)
Which will really help when I have to take my neurocognitive testing next week. My cognition was already a mess, now that I have added Topamax back, there may be zero brains left for an actual many hour test.