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.

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Kathryn, Rachel, Irma & Torrence

This will be the third in a series of 5 short articles.
Irma blew through on September 10, 2017.
This was my first experience in a hurricane.

Here’s the first article, if you missed it. Kathryn
Here’s the second article, if you missed it. Rachel

They all relate by the final article, I promise.


The photo above is from just before the hurricane hit. You wouldn’t have known anything was happening. We were in a well-protected school, rated to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. We chose that shelter by luck. Maybe more than luck.

Written just a few days after the storm.


We had our power restored  by the first day after Irma hit. We were lucky, so very lucky.

First, let me say, thank you, Florida Power and Light! You are working hard to restore everyone and you had us back up the next day. Thank you so much!

Second, everyone we encountered during Irma was safe and as kind as people in a crisis can be.

Third, when we got back to our place, everything was just as we left it. The only damage–two eaves were blown out and the attic/under-roof was exposed. No big deal. The condo association will repair. We were so very lucky. Luckiest McLucks-a-lot. Unbelievable.

Had Irma not swerved at the last minute from the coast and taken a hard right, we would have lost everything, undoubtedly. I can’t express how thankful I am.

I am troubled by the undeniable climate change. I am troubled at our growing dependence on things and phones and computers. I am troubled by the chaotic world around us. But at the same time, I am deeply humbled. I am appreciative of those people in a dark world who carry light with them. The people who try to make the world a better place. The people who try to make sense of the world around them. The people who rush to the trouble, and carry out the survivors.

We met a Red Cross volunteer. He seemed to be our personal angel. He would check on our family, update us with news, and even brought us cookies. 🙂 He was truly the embodiment of Christ. So thankful for him. Donate to Red Cross if you are inclined. (More about our angel in the next article!)

Our daughter had to spend her birthday in a storm shelter/elementary school. On the cold, hard cafeteria tile. Surrounded by strangers. No one even realizing someone had a birthday. (I thought about finding a treat and lighting a candle, but decided not to embarrass my 14 yo, LOL) Everyone just hoping to live through Irma. We tried to make it as good/fun as possible for her, staring down the threat of a potential Category 4 hurricane. But it was tough.

But we are here. We are alive. No injuries, no damage, in the scheme of things–no problems.

Irma hit at around 8-9 pm Sunday night.
We left the shelter around 7 am Monday morning.
Got home around 9 am Monday morning.
Had water to shower. (Had gone without shower since Friday morning, gross!)
Got power back on around 7-8 pm Monday night.
Got internet back today at around noon!
We are whole again. Still praying for anyone who is still out of something.

Tonight, we make up for cafeteria tile and storm sheltering. We’re going rollerskating! Her favorite. Happy birthday, Lil. You made it to 14! and then some. 😉 I couldn’t be prouder or more thankful than I am for such a wonderful young lady. ❤


You are either moving out of a storm or headed into one. No one is without weather. It’s about who you have in your boat when the waves hit. Right?

Irma: Lucky

The photo above is from just before the hurricane hit. You wouldn’t have known anything was happening. We were in a well-protected school, rated to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. We chose that shelter by luck.


We had our power restored  by the first day after Irma hit. We were lucky, so very lucky. But we didn’t have an internet connection, so I’ve been jones-ing for blog time. I’m back, baby!

First, let me say, thank you, Florida Power and Light! You are working hard to restore everyone and you had us back up the next day. Thank you so much!

Second, everyone we encountered during Irma was safe and as kind as people in a crisis can be.

Third, when we got back to our place, everything was just as we left it. The only damage was a few eaves blew out and exposed the attic/under-roof. No big deal. The condo association will repair. We were so very lucky. Luckiest McLucks-a-lot. Unbelievable.

Had Irma not swerved at the last minute up the coast and taken a hard right, we would have lost everything, undoubtedly. I can’t express how thankful I am.

I am troubled by the undeniable climate change. I am troubled at our growing dependence on things and phones and computers. I am troubled by the chaotic world around us. But at the same time, I am deeply humbled. I am appreciative of those people in a dark world who carry light with them. The people who try to make the world a better place. The people who try to make sense of the world around them. The people who rush to the trouble, and carry out the survivors.

We met a Red Cross volunteer. He seemed to be our personal angel. He would check on our family, update us with news, and even brought us cookies. 🙂 He was truly the embodiment of Christ. So thankful for him. His wife is 7 months pregnant. That is quite a lady to let her husband help hurricane victims when she’s about to give birth! Donate to Red Cross if you are inclined.

Our daughter had to spend her birthday in a storm shelter/elementary school. On the cold, hard cafeteria tile. Surrounded by strangers. No one even realizing someone had a birthday. (I thought about finding a treat and lighting a candle, but decided not to embarrass my 14 yo, LOL) Everyone just hoping to live through Irma. We tried to make it as good/fun as possible for her, staring down the threat of a potential Category 4 hurricane. But it was tough.

But we are here. We are alive. And we have interwebs! No injuries, no damage, no problems.

Irma hit at around 8-9 pm Sunday night.
We left the shelter around 7 am Monday morning.
Got home around 9 am Monday morning.
Had water to shower. (Had gone without shower since Friday morning, gross!)
Got power back on around 7-8 pm Monday night.
Got internet back today at around noon!
We are whole again. Still praying for anyone who is still out of something.

Tonight, we make up for cafeteria tile and storm sheltering. We’re going rollerskating! Her favorite. Happy birthday, Lil. You made it to 14! and then some. 😉 I couldn’t be prouder or more thankful than I am for such a wonderful young lady. ❤

Tough as Nails

Here’s an old inking of nails that I did in drawing class at college. They were galvanized nails on a strip. I hate drawing, but I love to ink.


Drag those nails
Across my back.
Pound them in.
I can take your attack.

When you are done,
I’ll treat the pain.
I’ll save the nails
For a day with rain.

Later on, you’ll see.
Those nails? I use.
To build my empire.
Your abuse–my muse.