Most People

I hear all the time–“Most people are good.” There’s even a country song about it.
Most People Are Good

I don’t believe this. Most people aren’t good. Most people are selfish. Hurtful. Say the wrong thing. Do the wrong thing. THINK the wrong thing. Cut each other off in traffic. Scream at their kids. Act impatiently. Demand perfection, yet fall short in every single way a human can because…simply because we are not Jesus H. Christ. (the H stands for Herbert, betcha didn’t know that)

Most people are spiritually bankrupt. In fact, all people. In fact, me. I have no currency to enter heaven or even behave in a Godly way. Because I’m human. But thank God that he left us his Holy Spirit. To inhabit our lives so that we may be those good people we tell everyone we are.

I believe that most people wouldn’t murder someone. I believe most people wouldn’t steal. I believe that most people wouldn’t set a bag of poo on fire on their neighbor’s porch. If that’s what you mean by good. But come on. THAT’s the bare minimum. That doesn’t make you a good person.

Most people are people. Meaning–most people are human. All people are human. Except Mark Zuckerberg and Nicolas Cage.

An old woman came up to me last night, after the show, and poked my belly. She said, “That’s not you.” I don’t know what she meant, but I assured her THAT was all me.

I’ve lost so much weight. I have mucho excess skin. It still looks like I carry quite a few extra pounds. My legs are saggy. I basically have a saggy meat apron where my stomach should go. I don’t mind. I feel great. But to have someone poke your belly? Well, that’s just downright mean.

People have been saying all kinds of mean things to me lately. I try not to let it bother me. But this is exactly why, for years, I insulated myself with food. Extra fat. Isolated from community. Refused to love other people because I didn’t want to be hurt over and over. Protected my vulnerability and extra sensitivity. Avoided confrontation because I was ill-equipped to deal with people’s ignorance and arrogance. Unable to say completely what I wanted for fear of never stopping.

Where does some old woman get off poking me in the belly? Most people are dicks. But I don’t have to be. The only way I can be saved. The only way I can claim goodness. To accept the Holy Spirit each and every day and cling to his providence of fruits. Then my vine shall blossom.


God fill me with your holiness. The Spirit of your Son. So that I may love this depraved world. Let me complete your work. That is my purpose. That is my strength. That is my whole reason for living. For your sake. For our collective sake. Amen.

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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.

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.

302.8!

I am down to 302.8 today! I am less than 3 lbs away from the 200s! That’s amazing.

So that is a total of 211 lbs lost from my heaviest. 😀

For you that have chosen to go through gastric bypass or are in the early stages after surgery, you will hit plateaus! People don’t really talk about this. I have hit 2 major plateaus. Otherwise, it falls off.

I hit a plateau at 380 and one at 320. I seem to be through and back to losing now, but those sticky points are tough. Don’t lose faith. Always go back to the basics and you’ll come through it okay. Don’t worry, it’s only temporary.

I feel great today except for some unrelated jaw pain. I feel energized and alive. My activity level is getting higher and higher. My stamina is back and I can walk, work and even ride my bike.

I used to have to take short naps during the day or limit my chores/work/exercise. But no more! I’m awake all day, working, walking, riding, enjoying life again. 🙂 I hit the hay pretty hard at the end of it all, but that’s what you’re supposed to do!

Good luck to anyone contemplating surgery. It is totally worth it. And in some cases, the only cure.

Haters Gon’ Hate

It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back. So shake it out.–Florence and the Machine

Haters gon’ hate, hate, hate, hate, hate…Shake it off. Shake it off. Ah, ah.–Taylor Swift

Thank you, Taylor.


Feeling a bit uneasy this morning, which is rare these days, but not extinct. Mainly because I thought of one particular hater from just last year.

Just before my weight loss surgery, I announced on Facebook my intention to get gastric bypass. Everyone supported me. Some even wondered why I had waited so long to go for it.

My yearly struggle to drop pounds for my heart health concerned many. Since May 2012, I had been seriously, aggressively trying to get healthy. I was diagnosed with heart failure in August 2012. I had a slew of friends and family encouraging me to work out and eat right. Everyone accepted me for me: what I looked like, how much I weighed. I never felt pressured to undergo surgery. Especially those closest to me accepted me–my husband and my daughter. I felt safe.

So when I finally decided on weight loss surgery, it was my decision. No one prompted me to get it. It was a choice 11 years in the making. I had considered some form of weight loss surgery since 2005.

Things conspired to put off the surgery. Insurance coverage. Being a mom. Going back to school. Many things. But last year, it was finally right. And then one person challenged me.

This person was also extremely overweight. Super morbidly obese. She was a self-proclaimed fat advocate.

Everyone should accept all fat people, no matter what. Doctors should never treat anyone for obesity or blame symptoms on obesity. Fat people have rights.

I had started down this path years earlier. (Of course fat people have rights. Not debating that.) I even wrote a play about it. Won an award for that play. Synopsis: working through all of my eating disorder issues, I’m fat. If you have a problem with my being fat, get the f— over it! But that was not the solution. For me. This was not my path for long.

This person even saw my play. That’s how we met.

She knew about my heart failure. In fact, we were supposed to meet the Tuesday after I went into the hospital. We had made plans earlier in the month and just before our friend date, I wind up in the ER. So obvs, I didn’t keep our meeting. I’m glad.

When I announced my gastric bypass, she came out strongly against it. She was the only one.

She told me to wait. Try other things. Try different foods. Accept myself and fight for my rights with doctors and others. Did she not follow me on Facebook?

I had been actively posting for 5 or more years about my weight loss/gain, thyroid cancer, heart failure, un-diagnose-able gastro-gall bladder pain, arthritis, diet, exercise, health trouble/struggle.

Where has this bitch been?? I asked myself. Sorry. LOL But really.

I tried to reason with her. Explain. Counter. Inform. Be patient. Be neutral. Ignore. But she hounded me.

“Don’t do it!” was her repeated harp.

I finally blocked her. I had to move forward without her negativity. I knew the decision for weight loss surgery was a serious one, but right for me. It was time. And I didn’t need someone telling me otherwise. Doubting me. Doubting my ability to make an informed decision or to calculate risk. It was well beyond time for surgical intervention.

Sometimes, you just have to shake it off. Shake off doubt. Shake off negativity. Shuffle off people, attitudes and bad energy just to move forward on your own path.

I am so thankful for my surgery. So very blessed to have my life back. Able to ride, swim, live, serve, love. WORK! Not be a drain on my family, friends or society. I’m at 309.6 as of yesterday. That’s 147 lbs since surgery. 204 lbs since heart failure in 2012. I am confident, if I hadn’t had surgery, I’d be dead in the next 5 years. Absolutely.

So who on Earth would want to kill me? Deny me my life? Encourage me to accept less than a healthy, full life to appease their own view of fairness or health? Not a friend. I can tell you that.

Get behind me, Devil. I won’t give in to fear. I won’t give in to hate. No more doubt, negativity, criticism. I won’t give in to dwelling on past hurt or slights either. I’ve got too much living to do. Watch me dance.

 

312.4 lbs.

I had a very difficult month in July for weight loss. But I’m back to losing! I weigh 312.4 this morning. I’m down 7 lbs. this week so far and that feels great. I’m not exercising either. That’s the weird part. It’s strange not having to exercise to lose these pounds.

I do have to climb the stairs to our apartment several times a day. So maybe that’s helping. I haven’t been back on my bike lately because I have some strange foot pain. It feels a little gout-y, but I’m taking my gout medicine every day. I’m sure it will work out and I’ll be back on my bike in no time.

I really buckled down on sticking to no-calorie drinks and paying more attention to what I was eating, when I was eating it and how much. That’s paid off. It’s not just a matter of eating 3 squares. I have to space it out. Eat small meals. Slow down. Eat more protein. Take my time. Eat enough of the right kind of food. Sometimes I don’t eat enough! Recalibrate my diet and adjust! Get back to the basics. I know what to do, it’s easy though to slip back into old routines.

Glad to be going down again. I was getting a little nervous there. 🙂 Probably just one of those plateaus that we all hit and I had to bust through. Phew.

Weight loss since surgery=144 lbs.
Total weight loss since 2012=201 lbs!!! Can you believe it???