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.

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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???

Present Tense

Here is a link to the video on Youtube. My daughter made the video when she was 10 yo. Thanks, Lil.


I am four years old.  They are fighting.  I don’t remember the words now, but they are yelling.  Fuzzy scenes, like cloudy dreams, blurring in and out of focus.  Down in the basement, in the laundry room, I hear hot voices and cold words.  I peek around the corner.  He pushes her down on the concrete floor.  She’s weak, flailing, grabbing with desperate hands.  She can’t resist.  She scrambles up when she sees that I’m there.  She stutters a lie through tears, “I’m okay.”  She says it certainly.  Forcefully almost.  But I see the truth in her eyes.  She’s scared and we both think she’s going to die.

My mother has long, dark hair.  She would look like a Native American mother warrior with her tan, lined face and downward-turned eyes/mouth except for her bangs.  She won’t wear her hair without bangs.  She fell out of a moving car when she was just five years old.

Her forehead is scarred from the accident.  It is a terrible mark.  It’s dull purple with blue and yellow streaks, permanently bruised somehow.  It has deep white ridges where the flesh comes together to hold back brains, blood and skull.  It looks as if the bone just under the skin is broken and could spill its contents from the slightest pressure.

I touch it as if it could bite me.  It is tough though, surprisingly and sufficiently.  It’s troubling, remarkable and totally unbelievable that someone could have such a scar and be walking around performing everyday tasks.

I’m staring up at her from the front seat of the car.  She’s seatbeltless.  Hair full of wind and eyes on the road.  Her fingers are wrapped around the thin metallic wheel.  Her forehead is rough, but her cheeks are feathery and thin, soft under my tiny hand.  When I trace her lips, she playfully snarls, bares her teeth and chomps at my fingers.  She has beautiful, somber eyes, full of pain and pensiveness.  She doesn’t often have a smile, but when she does, you know it’s for you and you know it’s for real.

She is five years old.  She is riding quietly in the backseat of the sedan.  She falls asleep.  Her hand, arm or knee gently releases the door latch.  Within a breath, she is inches from the road, ground rushing under her.  My grandmother, from the front seat, is holding her hand or arm so she won’t fall.  My grandfather is braking.  My mother will be crushed by the turning back tire unless Grandma lets go.

Grandma lets go.

Li’l Lil is taken to the hospital and that sickening cut at the top of her sadly-sweet baby face is her rippling flag of salvation.  Her never-ending experiment of bangs begins.  On some level, consciously or not, this must make her feel like a little girl for the rest of her life.  A scared, torn-up little girl who hides her secrets behind those bangs.  I know how she feels.

Dear Reader,

This is an excerpt from my book Present Tense.  It’s a very short, vignette-style memoir. Quick read with lots of imagery.  You can find the rest of my book Present Tense at amazon.com.  Here’s the link: Present Tense.  You can read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Thanks for reading!


This was from Vol. 1. More of Vol. 2 later today!

in the teens, yo

I am in the 3teens!! I weigh 319.6 today! 😀 OMG! I am so stoked. I can’t believe it just keeps falling. I feel so lucky.

My belly has been a little flip-floppy over the last coupla days. Today is a little uneasy, but I’m still getting food down and it doesn’t come back up!

Where does all the fat go? Where is it coming from? I feel mostly like a deflating balloon because everything just looks smaller, not a different shape. When I was younger and lost weight, it was usually from my stomach. But I still have my big ol’ saggy meat apron. UGH!

Oh well. You’re my saggy meat apron, Meat Apron. *pats belly*

*covers Meat Apron’s ears* How do they even cut it off during surgery??! How could you stop the bleeding? How could it go back together??

I’m mainly thinking about skin surgery now because to reach goal I will have to have some of my skin removed because it weighs so much. Can I keep it? In a jar? Under the bed? LOL

I wanted to keep my thyroid or cancer nodules, but there was paperwork involved. Sorry, Thyroid. It was nice knowing ya. *trash*

And I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I will always love you

Gonna Getchu

I’ve explained to my husband several times. “I’m gonna getchu, Sucka!”

I’ve been threatening to catch up to his weight for a while. Idle threats from a 456+ lb. thyroid cancer victim.

“I got time!” he supposed.

Well. I’m here, Sucka!

I am at 321.4 today and I’m breathing down your neck, Guy! HEEHEE!

I’m a very competitive person when it comes to my husband. I think it’s because I’m an Aries. Or just a jerk.

I don’t like competing with strangers. Just my husband. It’s because I admire him so much and I want him to admire me. So I have to beat him. At everything. I’m so sorry, honey!

He is my equal. My peer. The funniest sonuvagun I’ve ever met. I want him to think the same. This is my Aries persona: I must best him. Crush him. NO! JK! I just want to impress the man. He’s hard to impress. Aries is attracted to someone who is better than they are, but then they try to outdo their partner. I’m just so crazy. Egomaniac.

Every time I update him with my weight loss, I see, at the same time, excitement and terror! He knows how close I am. He squeals with delight and sheer hole-puckering fright when I tell him how much I’ve lost every day. I love his glee and equal gloom.

Thanks, Guy. For helping me. Caring for me after surgery. Watching me suffer with your hands tied. Listening. Wiping my cold-sweaty brow. Sharing CPAP duties. Taking me to the ER when my guts were open to the world. For just staying. For almost 19 years. I love you so much, dear. You’re my sun, moon, stars. I don’t deserve you, but I’m thankful for you.

AND I am, in fact, coming for you. Get ready!

Super Morbidly Obese

I am not obese. I am not morbidly obese. I am super morbidly obese. That title comes with a cape and tights. That no one wants you to wear.

#SuperMartha

I think superheros who are super morbidly obese have a hard time flying. My powers are eating. And being funny. Except now my Kryptonite is food. Can’t hardly eat anything any more. That’s okay. I still have that being funny thing.

I AM super morbidly obese, but just so. I am on the cusp of becoming just regular, old morbidly obese. Super morbid is 50 and above and I’m just at 50. That shouldn’t feel so good, but it does. I was at a 76 BMI. So, yeah. Lost 26 BMI points. Phew.

I’m about to lose my super. Then I’ll just be a plain-old hero. Right?

I’m okay with that.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! NO! It’s Super Martha! Duh-tuh-ta-da! :*

 

Wishing on the Whoosh

I’m a whoosher.

Whooshing is when you lose weight in hunks. I’m not sure why. Someone, on a chat, said that you lose weight in chunks because first you lose fat, then the fat cell fills with water? Then you lose the water. Makes sense, but I have no idea if this is true.

Sounds plausible.

But I do, in fact, whoosh. I completely stalled last week and now I’m losing again. I think I’m totally stopped and then, all of a sudden, whoosh! I know plateaus are normal, but this is stranger than a plateau. I’ll get stuck, then I’ll lose 5 to 10 lbs in just a matter of days. To me, a plateau is more of a 2-3-week situation. I’ve only hit one true plateau so far. So that’s a relief.

Don’t get me wrong! I will take it! Just wish I understood the whoosh.

Ever since I had weight loss surgery, I’m whooshing like crazy. It was more steady at first though. I was losing every day. Now I lose every few days, but I still drop like a rock. I’m sure that’s normal.

Anybody else whoosh?? Just curious.

Side note. My daughter used to play Super Mario Brothers (so did I, shhh). The character named Boo (the ghost) was super creepy and ridiculous. We were stuck on a level and joking around one day. After Boo kept swooping down and killing her (us), I said, “Whoosh ’em in the Boo-hoo.” And she lost it. LOL Now that’s a silly little inside joke. We don’t bust with that often, but when we do, it’s hysterical.

I think Boo is whooshing the scale for me. LOL 😉

Only Dogs Like to Eat Alone

My mom told me not to pet the cat or dog when they were eating.

“Why?”

“They don’t like it,” she summed up. “They’re territorial.”

Whatever that meant. I was only 5 or so. Just don’t do it. Got it.

I never really had a pet that I took care of. Our family had dogs and cats of the outside variety. No perfectly-quaffed poodles or sofa Shih Tzus. We had one indoor cat and one indoor dog before I turned 7. But Tiger ran away and Kelly the Collie up and died. The other animals?

We had a stray named Frisky. He was a tan, lean mutt from our country neighborhood. He stayed outside and my parents fed him scraps. He stuck around, occasionally let us pet him and hooked up with another pup. She was a mutt as well with doberman coloring. Black with brown brows and tips. She gave birth to over 27 puppies during her short life and we had an unintentional puppy mill under our porch.

The dogs got sick, some came down with Parvo (or that’s what I was told), some were shot because they teased our horses (One was caught nibbling at a run-down horse, meaning-some dog(s) or coyote had run the horse to death and then one of our dogs gnawed at its carcass. True!), some ran off. And at some point, we no longer had any dogs. I don’t know what happened to all of them. I really don’t.

We lived on a small farm. Dogs were expendable and unconsidered. Just a fact of life. I didn’t start caring for animals until I met my husband’s cats for the first time. I don’t mean to write so callously about these dogs, but I was a child and nobody asked my opinion as to the condition, well-being or healthcare of said animals. I can see now, it was a problem.

However, for their brief life, they ate well. Mom and Dad threw leftovers, scraps, meat, bones, gravy, dog food in their bowl on the hill. Also, there was an all-you-can-eat mouse buffet under the house for our cats; the occasional rabbit for the dogs. I didn’t understand or research the eating habits of domesticated beasts. That was above my paygrade. And in the 80s? No interwebs. Even if there had been, my parents wouldn’t have sprung for the luxury of computer connectivity.


Do you like to eat alone?


When it comes to eating, I get it, dogs and cats are in it to win it. The biggest mouth gets most of the food. And everybody knows it. You better be cool with that or risk a fight over vittles. Big dog on the porch always wins.

But thankfully, people are not territorial. We don’t push each other away from the bowl. We don’t have to eat shoulder-to-shoulder in a trough of slop. We all get our own individual portion of the beautifully-baked pie. But after weight loss surgery, my pie’s a little different.

Fixing dinner for your family after weight loss surgery kinda sucks. Knowing that you can’t enjoy what you’re preparing because you’re nervous about the outcome makes eating not as enjoyable as it once was. Whipping up a dinner or meal for others isn’t much fun if you can’t really taste it.

I try to make healthy meals, but it’s difficult. The flavor can suffer sometimes from a lack of salt or sugar or calories. That’s okay, but it is an unsatisfying task to cook for others and only provide a hot meal, not a delicious one.

I’m learning to accept it, but it’s so ingrained in my sex and culture. I am learning to eat on my own. Not share in indulgences. Eat my own menu. Savor my healthy cooking. Walk away in the middle of dinner. Allow others to prepare their own choices. Find recipes that satisfy taste and health. But it’s a lonely road to walk sometimes. I miss shared meals and food experiences. I miss connecting over food. It was a large part of my life. The biggest. Sad, but true.

Cooking and eating have been my favorite things. Food and taste and savory meals, those are my bedrock of love. My husband agreed to marry me mainly for my ability to bake an authentic Italian lasagna. Ricotta, not cottage cheese. LOL

My meatloaf was once described as crack. Highly addictive. But I can’t make meatloaf like I used to. Secret ingredient: Dale’s Seasoning. Which has twice the amount of sodium found in regular table salt. Two times more sodium than SALT, which is sodium!

Bad, Meatloaf! Bad!

Salt is toxic. Salt lead to my first round of heart failure. Salt is consumed at 2 to 3 times the amount we should have daily. With my surgery, I am eating significantly less of everything, including salt. So I’m able to put back in some of the sodium I reduced over the years. But I don’t want my family to have it either.

How do I love my family without food?

I have to release the burden/blessing of providing food and find my worth as a mother or wife by providing other things. What are those things though?? LOL I am trying to allow my daughter to have some control over food choice and prep. That’s hard, but she’s ready and able. I have to let go of her apron strings because she long ago dropped mine. I can provide her with self-sufficiency and independence. Those things are much more valuable than meatloaf.

My worth is found in another bowl. A water dish of my own. The one with my name on it. And I don’t have to share it with anyone.

I know there’s a balance to strike. I know that. I’m learning. I’m finding that balance. It’s just hard to change your whole lifestyle on a dime. But I am learning to eat like a dog. By myself. From my own special dish of value and worth.