Karma’s Full-time Job is Being a Bitch

Bitch is working overtime.


When I was 21. I was overweight. Over 350 lbs. I think. I didn’t really keep track of my weight. I didn’t care. Everyone else cared. I hated everyone else for caring.

I knew how much I weighed because I used to donate plasma at the local plasma bank and they always weighed me on their very accurate medical scales. I think they wrote 348 one day on my chart. So we’ll just say I was 350 lbs. or more. Anyway.

I went to stay with my brother and his family in Ohio for Christmas that year. I always loved seeing my brother, his wife, and their kids. I was always attentive and ready for fun. I tried to please everyone, laugh, crack jokes and just get along. I was the ultimate get-along girl. I just wanted peace and happiness for everyone around me. That’s when I felt my most happy and secure. When everything was going good for everyone else. It’s my nature as an empath.

We were all sitting around in the dining room one afternoon, watching my brother and his son put together some piece of DIY furniture. Talking, laughing. It was interesting enough. I was sitting on the floor and my 5-year-old niece sits down on my lap.

“Aunt Tina (my nickname was Tina), why are you so fat?”

No salutation. No beating around the bush. No pretense. No shame. Just straight to the fat. I thought for a minute.

“Well, why are you so skinny?”

She wasn’t. She was just a normal 5-year-old girl.

No hesitation. “Because God made me this way.”

Hm. Ok. “Well, God made me this way.”

Then my nephew contradicted me. “No! It’s because you eat too much.” My brother laughed. He didn’t chide his son. He didn’t correct him. He laughed.

This rebuke coming from a self-professed bacon thief. My brother’s wife had to cook a pound of bacon any time bacon was served at breakfast. This was even a topic of conversation during this trip. Of all the people in the room to say I ate too much? My brother and nephew ate more than anyone.

In retrospect, I had a normal appetite. Maybe I had seconds of certain dishes from time to time, but everyone had seconds. I was no different than anyone else at the table. I had always been overweight. Since the age of 5. Just about my niece’s age.

What no one knew, or cared to know, was that I was battling my own body. For years. I was on my way to cancer. Thyroid. And no one cared. I was a joke. I was humiliated for a cheap laugh. I was made to feel that my battle was my own lazy fault. I was gluttonous. Slothful.

I pushed my niece aside. Quietly got up and left. I took a lonely walk that afternoon. Down an isolated back country road. I had no car, no place to stay, no place to go. I just walked. I was so angry. So hurt. I fumed and cried. But I didn’t want to be near anyone from that room. Not one person stood up for me.

My mother eventually drove up, parked the car, and we talked. But.

That day hurt. My relationship with my brother’s family was never the same after that day. Never. We left early the next morning.

Oh well.

Today I weigh 220 lbs. I’ve lost over 293 lbs. after losing my thyroid to cancer, my gall bladder to weight loss surgery and dragging myself through hell and back.

My brother’s family has had to struggle with weight and medical issues as well. I wonder if they still think it’s just a matter of overeating?


Matthew 7:1-3 NASB

Judging Others

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

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Touchdown

If you do nothing else all day, walk the length of a football field. 100 yards. Touchdown.


I made 17 touchdowns today! 😀 119 points on my scoreboard!

Walked over a mile this morning. Couldn’t have done that even one year ago. Goal!

Also, I am 258.0 lbs! 255 lbs total loss. Rah-rah, sis-boom-bah!

AND I’m technically just obese now. 😀 No morbid or super morbid obesity. Woo! Yay! 58 lbs to goal.

Crash

Have I not published this??? Wha…?

This was 2012, the night before I was diagnosed with heart failure. Before all of my surgeries. Before gastric bypass. I was over 513 lbs. at the time. ❤


I’m at the pool. Again. I haven’t started swimming yet, but I’m here. I hate walking to the pool from the locker room. I can feel everyone’s eyes on my body. Fat shifting, legs jiggling, bright white flesh, unforgiving florescent lights, bathing suit from the 1920s. Ah, the ‘20s, when horizontal stripes were all the rage. When a woman could feel confident about her swimsuit choices. When covering her thighs was an option. You were encouraged to wear a dress into the ocean. I would need a burka to feel confident about bathing suit season. I could rock a burka. Whoosh. I’m in.

I look at the children splashing in my lane. They’re the excuse I give to postpone what I came for. Where are the parents? These kids are related. Same curly hair. Same features. Their careless parents rely on the apathetic lifeguard who is more concerned about how his towel is folded under his Speedo than rescuing either of these sputtering, flailing novices who are in over their heads. Boys. Rough-housing. Slapping the water, slapping each other. The bigger boy is holding the smaller boy under the water. I’m hoping one of them will seriously injure the other. The lifeguard blows his whistle. The big boy lets go. They settle. They look at the guard and then at me. Either the sharp tweet or my intense stare has sent them splashing in another direction. Wait. Don’t go.

10 minutes. I’ve been swimming for 10 minutes. I can stop now. At least I did something. There are other swimmers who want the lane. I look ridiculous. I’m not even doing this right. I’m not burning any calories. I’m so slow. My breathing is terrible. I can’t breathe. I’m tired. I could take a break. I don’t want to do this anymore.

No. You are fighting for your life here. Focus on your heart. Your strained, stressed-out heart. I haven’t been able to breathe very well for almost two months. I start thinking about how every stroke, every paddle, is strengthening my poor old heart.

And then, when I change my thinking, when I choose to fight, I start to swim. This is a race. And I’m going to win. Now I love my body. I love everything that I’m doing. I focus on the water moving over my arms and my pale, slick legs. Slowly, I am washing away the food, and the fat, and the failure. I am washing away all the hurt I’ve done to myself for all these years. I begin to move with determination and calm, embracing my power and submitting to the task. This is spiritual. I submit. And I swim for 30 minutes, not just 10.

The next morning, I am admitted to the hospital for heart failure. Crash.

Ankle Bone’s Connected to the…Self-esteem

That’s me, pictured above. That baby never knew what an ankle bone felt like.


I felt my ankle bone for the first time. Ever.

I have been overweight since the age of 3. I have always eaten too much. Been hungry all the time. Always been fat.

I’m not being mean. I’m being honest.

I don’t mind saying I’m fat. People have called me fat in the past and it hurts. But mainly because of the way they say it. Or their intention behind it.

I have girlfriends who call me fat, but so are they. If you’re my friend, also fat, and say it with a joyful heart, you can say just about anything to me. I might call you a bitch, but through smiling, laughing lips.

However. If you come for me? Strap on your adult diaper, Homes. Because you’re about to see this fat girl move like a spider monkey.

All that being typed, the main thing you should know, I’ve always been a fatty. I’m so used to being overweight, that I just don’t even think of myself, have never thought of myself, as a normal, pretty, unfat, skinny person. BUT!

Last night? I felt my ankle bone. For the first time. Ever. Like, I’ve never felt my own ankle bone. Since birth. Usually, what passes as my ankle is a soft mass of skin on top of cotton balls in a bag of gel. Ankle bones are a skinny person thing! I have a collar bone now too. 😀 Also! I have shoulder blades. LOL Bony ones! And my tush has fallen clean off leaving the remains of a skeletal pelvis under a flabby skin sack, aka bony butt.

I am now at 265.4. I’ve lost a total of 248 lbs since 2012. Thanks to weight loss surgery, exercise and eating right, I am getting skinny! Well on my way of reaching my pre-skin surgery weight of 200. Goal! I am only 65 lbs away!!! That feels good. Kind of like an ankle bone for the first time.

My worth and value are not summed up in an ankle bone. Or weight loss. Or anything physical. But it sure feels nice to be healthy, with strong bones, and a pumping, happy heart.


You don’t have to be thin, blonde, blue-eyed, well-endowed, perfectly proportioned.
Or have an ankle bone protruding.
You just have to be kind and full of grace to be pretty. ❤
I want to be pretty.

pathways

from 2013:

Okay, so here’s an interesting breakthrough. My brain, the well-worn pathways in my brain, tell me I’m stupid if I don’t get food. I was sitting here after denying myself junk food and feeling like I hated myself.

“Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel overwhelmingly like I hate myself right now?”

My brain is feeling bad because I am choosing not to give it the food it wants. To make a new pathway is very difficult for the brain. If I give it the food it’s asking for (that I trained it to ask for) then it’s happy. If I deny it that food, it gets mad and sad.

When I was very young, when my parents would fight, I rewarded my pleasure centers with food and that made my chaotic world seem okay. I have worn a path to my pleasure center with food. You may do it with sex or drugs or alcohol. I am making new pathways and this is the most difficult thing I have ever done. And one day my brain will thank me for good food choices.

Your brain works the exact same way. Trust me.


A friend explained pathways to me after she went through an intense therapy group for eating disorders. Still thankful for that. It has been one of the most significant pieces of the puzzle in terms of changing eating habits and emotional eating.

unlovable

from 2014. i’m better now. almost.


so, okay. i have this terrible condition that rears its ugly head every so often. i start to feel bad. mentally, internally. then it sort of morphs into something worse. a terrifying feeling of not being loved. then i set about to let everyone in my tiny family know about it. i moan and shout from the next room, “No one loves me!” then my family rushes in and kisses me and reassures me. “We love you!” it’s a fun, silly game, but one that i need sometimes because while i make a joke, i still need that comfort and love to bolster my fragile mentality.

well last night, i finally realized, what i really feel is, “I’m unlovable.” i begin to feel as if no one in the world could possibly love me. that i’m too fat, ugly, annoying and selfish for anyone to love. so i said, from my bedroom last nite, “I’m unlovable!” then my family rushed in, Lilli who is so smart, “I love you! And God loves you!” I said, “No, you don’t. You can’t possibly.” and she made some silly joke to make me laugh about how i was being impossible. and then Guy rushed in, hugging me and kissing me, singing Voice of Truth.

…and the voice of truth tells me a different story,
and the voice of truth says do not be afraid…

which is his subtle-not subtle way of saying, “Shut up! Stop lying to yourself.”

and that’s what i am doing. i’m lying to myself. i’m listening to that tiny, crazy voice that tells me:
i’m worthless.
i’m scared.
i’m not loved.
and that’s not the voice of truth, that’s not the voice of God. that’s the voice of the enemy–my own thoughts OR the twisted up world OR the devil.

i am lovable. i am loved. if for no other reason than God loves me. i am thankful for my family. for my husband, who is the voice of reason. for scooping me up and sparing me from my own terrible thoughts, for giving me undivided attention even when i’m pretty obvious about it. i love you, Guy. thanks for the reminder.

Anything is Possible

I often have to remind myself:
It’s not entirely your fault you were fat.

This may sound like a huge justification or rationalization, but it’s not. It’s a rejection of a lifetime of shame. Of being called lazy.

It’s funny, someone who blamed me and my weight problem on the simple fact that I ate too much, is now, or was, severely overweight with heart trouble. Hm. Ain’t that easy, is it?

Karma’s a bitch. But I won’t be. You shall remain anonymous. You’re welcome. I hope you can get some help. For your heart and mind.

December 12th, 2016–I had gastric bypass.

At my heaviest, I weighed 513 lbs. I’m currently at 280.4 lbs. Lowest weight to date since August 2012. That’s ~233 lbs lost for those without a calculator, superior math skills or too busy for subtraction of the hundreds column. 😀

233 lbs. Major.

When I met with my weight loss surgeon for the first time in August of 2016, he told me something significant.

“You have a genetic disorder that requires surgical intervention.”

He believed that. And I believe it now, too. Thank you, Doctor. You gave me my life back. In so many ways.

No one gets to be 513 on their own. No one. A series of events have to happen for a person to gain 300+ lbs over their ideal range.

Genetic predisposition to obesity. Bad eating habits established by the age of 5. Lack of nutrition or access to a quality food source. Misinformation about dieting. Emotional chaos at home and at school. Thyroid. Gallbladder. Disease. Surgery. Sickness. Pregnancy. Teasing. Shaming. Cruel humor from your own family. Being misunderstood. Culture.

I can tell you one thing. Stop shaming fat people. It doesn’t help. Sympathetic, empathetic, emotional support for obese people is the only way to help them. If they want it! Demanding better food from food suppliers and the government; supporting a system of a better food source for the general population, for everyone, is a start. Being educated helps. Actual involvement in an overweight person’s life is essential. Compassion and understanding are needed. Listening is key. Stop judging fat people. Chances are you know someone who is overweight. They aren’t lazy. They have a medical problem. What’s your reason for being a self-righteous asshole?

And exercise isn’t the only answer. I haven’t exercised regularly through my whole weight loss journey, especially since I had gastric bypass. I haven’t always been able to. I’ve simply reduced my calorie intake. I am more active, but only when I choose to be. I bike, but not with a rigid, unchanging schedule. I bike and walk when I enjoy it.

I exercised and dieted for over 2 years. Worked out for 3-5 nights a week at the local Y for at least an hour each time. Usually, I was there at the Y for 2 hours. I ate the right foods in the right amounts. I couldn’t get past ~60 lb loss until I had gastric bypass. And then it FELL off. I was killing myself doing what skinny people told me to do with my body. It didn’t work.

I used to think it was a matter of willpower because that’s what every skinny person ever told me. Until my surgeon.

LISTEN! It could mean the difference between life and death for someone. I would know.

Get surgery if you’ve tried everything. You may have some other condition preventing weight loss. At least see a physician who specializes in obese patients. It may just save your life.

Fight for yourself. Advocate for yourself. No one else will.


BTW! I can wear size 22 jeans! LOL What? I can zip them up after I pour all my floppy skin into the legs. WTF???! I haven’t worn size 22 jeans in a long time. 😀 That’s hawt! They are a pair of 22 jean capris that a weight loss surgery patient gave me after they were too big. Thank you, Friend! I’m in them now! Still losing. I will pass them on when I’m done!

Hello, Gorgeous! Here I come 270s!! Bye, bye, Shamers! I’m too busy for you.

Gratitude

November has officially become a month-long thankful pack of sticky notes on Facebook. That’s great. Truly. But what about the other 11 months? 🙂

So I hesitate to join, but. I will.

I am thankful for so much. But this Thanksgiving, I am deep-down, toes-to-tassel thankful for my life.

Since 2012, and really before that, I have been sick. Heart failure. Twice. Thyroid cancer. Gastric bypass. Gallbladder failure.

And now, 226 lbs lighter, I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Even when I was young. Mainly because I also feel emotionally better. It feels like all the sickness is finally gone. I can just tell.

For years I struggled with a failing GB. Probably a decade, in hindsight. Also, I probably had a thyroid issue my entire life because I have been overweight from a young age.

Mom always said, “You were born hungry.” A mother knows. Just wish she could have told or shown the doctors where to look. Nonetheless, this was my destiny.

I am thankful for my trouble. It has taught me endurance.

James 1:2-4 NASB

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

(Perhaps missing/lacking a few organs, but otherwise, lacking in nothing. LOL)

It has also taught me humility. Patience. Joy. Peace. Understanding. Wisdom. Tolerance. So many things.

Under any other circumstances, would I be the person I have finally come to love entirely? I don’t know. God didn’t do this to me. But he knew how far I could go. He knew the traps. He knew the joys. He knew how strong I could be with him.

I truly did not think it was possible. To see 287.6 lbs again. That’s what I was yesterday afternoon, on the scale. I did not think it was possible to live past the age of 50. I did not think it was possible to ever feel right again. Out of pain. Able to walk. Able to work.

One year ago, I was preparing for surgery. High-protein diet to shrink my liver. Thanksgiving was the last day I could eat. I savored it. Thinking it might be my last tasty morsel before a lifetime of bland, tiny meals. Or worse. My last meal before operation table disaster. Dying.

But I made it. I made it to the next Thanksgiving. How wonderful to be on the other side. Maybe that’s what it’s like to go to Heaven. Thankful to be done and home at last.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Maybe this is what I needed for this ultra-thick head. Maybe this was my come-to-Jesus moment. Maybe this was my “fall on my knees because I have nothing left.”

I’m by no means done. I am just beginning again. And I am so thankful just to be alive. And 287. 🙂


Only 87 lbs to goal!!! 😀

Fat

Lost my inflatable armor.
Nothing but skin and bones.
Nothing to protect me now
When they start throwing their stones.

I finally dropped my baggage.
I’m certainly much more thin.
The only problem now?
Unfortunately, so’s my skin.

I built that big wall high.
Tall enough for you.
Only a few who really knew
Could see the courtyard view.

Fat feelings of disappointment
In how I was rejected.
Only accepted when
I embraced what they expected.

I remember who you are.
I never will forget.
Those who leave a scar,
Those who owe a debt.

You pay me back
By feigning love.
One thumb up
From that little white glove.

This may surprise you,
I always deserved your like.
You were hateful and mean,
Only now does sympathy strike.

Outside? I may look tough.
Wrinkly, worn and old.
But this is recycled flesh.
Inside? I’m a newborn soul.

To those few who bothered to know,
They who loved me without fear,
I couldn’t have made it alone alive.
So. Thank you. I’m still here.

299.4

Welcome to Loozers Lounge!! LOL I’m the biggest loser.

I broke 300.

I did not think this was possible! So excited. only 99 lbs until skin surgery. 😀 Better find a surgeon. Wish I had my weight loss surgeon. He’s the best. But I have to afford the surgery first. Flying back to KC would cost even more.

Who cares! I weigh 299!!! Woot!

Total loss=214 lbs!!!!!

This is good news.  This has been a tough week full of sadness and setbacks. Welcome, Good News! I needed you.