My Miracle

I can now walk 1.25 miles with relative ease, with only mild back pain. A year ago I couldn’t walk across my house without pain.

I can now stand and cook and do dishes for short periods of time. A year ago I had to sit after just a couple of minutes.

I now have an occasional day where I get out of bed with only mild pain. A year ago it was a mental struggle to get out of bed because I knew I would be in a lot of pain as soon as I stood up.

I have an upcoming trip to Atlanta and NY, and am musing over whether or not I could do it without my scooter. Not sure I can do it, but if I can, it would be the first time in 6 years.

I still have a long way to go, but it feels like a miracle.

Dog Walking

So I just got a new dog, Esther, a stray who showed up on my son’s doorstep and whom I’ve now adopted. I had decided I would be ready for a dog when my kitchen remodel was done, and when I could walk to the local park with the dog. Just days after both of these were true, the dog showed up. Can you say “fate”?

Every day I walk this dog. Sometimes just around the yard, sometimes out in the neighborhood. At some point my back/hips start hurting. But at the beginning they don’t, and none of it is excruciating like it used to be.

A miracle.

A bit about clothes

I went to a weekend retreat at the end of March, and to an event at a leather bar on April 2. I knew I would need some clothes, so I had one skirt altered to fit me. I measured, and ended up having the seamstress take off … 24 inches!! Really. Granted, the elastic on the skirt was pretty stretched out, but incredibly, it now fits well. I’m sure I haven’t lost 24 inches, but wow!

Here I am…

Walking

Today at the basketball game at Maples Pavilion I walked from the car and back, and I walked to the T-shirt stand back. But the big news is that between each quarter I walked all the way around the arena. I did this at a pretty fast clip, got a little bit out of breath, but it all felt good and my back only hurt a little. This is a huge accomplishment.

Bought some clothes in “regular” sizes

I decided to look for some cute, sexy clothes for an upcoming weekend retreat. Just a few things, because I’m still changing sizes. I went to Kohl’s, a regular department store, not a large size store. I ended up getting a sweatshirt, a few T-shirts, and one cute blouse. It was completely weird for me to be able to shop in the regular sizes! The clothes I bought were L or XL. The XXL shirts I picked out were definitely too big. It’s kinda surreal.

In pants I’m still big; an XL fits but is snug, and some XLs were too small.

So weird

Avoiding Fat-phobia

I did something today that I’m sad about: I removed a fat image of me from my portfolio website.

I am looking for a job, and fat-phobia exists, and might get in the way of someone considering me for a job. I feel icky about this, like I’m “caving”, or catering to fat-phobes.

I did this to some extent in the past. Before the pandemic, and before video conferencing was common, first interviews were often conducted in person. However I insisted on my first interviews being on the phone. I explained that this was the easiest way not to waste time with an in-person meeting, but actually it was really to avoid them seeing my fat body and drawing conclusions about me before actually knowing me and being impressed with me.

I was interviewed for a tech TV channel a few years ago. It was a great interview, and I loved including it on my site. However it shows most of my body, the body that is 90 lbs larger than my current body. I am fat, really fat in this interview. I decided to remove it. I’ve replaced it with an audio version only, branding it as a “podcast”.

Sad.

Nothing Much To Say

I haven’t posted here for a while because, well, I don’t have much to stay. I’m continuing with my eating plan, exercising, living life, but not losing weight. My back is sooooo much better, but I still have a long way to go. I can’t walk for more than about 15 minutes before I’m in pain. I still have a huge belly, which I know will take plastic surgery to fully correct but I can’t get that until I have a lower BMI.

“Stalls” like this are very common, and I keep telling myself and seeing how far I’ve come, but I’m still super frustrated. It definitely tells me that weight loss is way more than a “numbers game”. I track all of my food, and generally eat between 1100 and 1300 calories a day. Given my activity, that *must* be a calorie deficit, but I’m not losing.

Goals, BMIs, Surgeries

When people have bariatric surgery, often they’re asked what their goal weight is. I have resisted coming up with a number for two reasons. First, because this isn’t about weight, it’s about my mobility. Second, because I’ve discovered how variable the results can be, and I don’t want to feel like a failure if I don’t meet some goal that my body just won’t achieve.

That said, I actually do need to think about weight because of this nasty never-was-supposed-to-be-a-measure-of-health number known as the BMI, or Body Mass Index. This is important to me because I will absolutely be having plastic surgery to deal with the sagging skin resulting from large weight loss . I’m not talking about a little pooch; I’m talking many FEET of skin, mostly around my belly, mons area, sides/back, and upper arms. Some surgeons won’t do plastic surgery unless your BMI is below a certain level, usually around 30. For someone who is about 5’5″ tall like me, that’s 180 pounds.

I do not think I will get to 180 pounds. My surgeon thought I would get below 200. I would be thrilled with that. But I might not be able to find a surgeon who would operate on me. This is enough of a problem that there is at FaceBook group (probably many of them) dedicated to plus-size women wanting plastic surgery, where we share info about procedures and what surgeons will do them. There are women on that list who are my size (currently at 224 pounds) and larger who have had great results from plastic surgery. My current BMI is just over 34; It was over 52 when I started this journey.

In addition to getting to a low BMI, some surgeons won’t operate after weight loss surgery until you’ve been at a stable weight for 3, 6, or even 12 months. I guess this is to make sure you won’t need more surgery later. I’m just impatient to have surgery because right now my belly is keeping me in larger sizes than the rest of me needs, and my mons area is keeping me from being able to cross my legs or ride a bicycle, something I used to love to do and want to do again. Plus my insurance may cover some of the surgery, but they also have hoops you have to go through to determine “medical necessity”. I’m not sure I’ll qualify; you need to have things like rashes, which I’ve learned how to avoid over the years, so I don’t really have them.

My other impatience has nothing to do with weight loss: I have a hernia around my belly button area that I’ve had for 20 years, but it was mostly dormant. But in the last few months I’ve had painful attacks. I’ve gotten through them, but if they continue I will need to have it repaired. However the most efficient thing to do is to have it repaired when I’m having plastic surgery on my belly anyway.

Anyway, this is all very complex, and distracting. but it’s on my mind so I figured I’d write about it.

Visibility

As an adult I went from being fat to being super fat. The difference in visibility is that while I was fat, people noticed, but it wasn’t crazy. When I became super fat, I started getting stared at, first by children, then by adults. Generally the adults looked at me with disgust, or at least disdain, in their faces. I was constantly aware of being super fat, putting up barriers to the negative emotions hurled at me and trying to brush off the stares (and occasional comments) as if they meant nothing, even though each one hurt.

I am no longer super fat, although I am still fat. I really notice the difference in how I am perceived in the world. I don’t get stared at in that in the same way. I don’t get those negatives. I am mostly just ignored. It’s such a relief to blend in. I don’t really, because I’m still fat, but the almost 90 lbs I’ve lost have made a world of difference in my stress level.

I just wish this society wasn’t so fat-hating. I wish it didn’t make so much of a difference.

The next time you notice a fat person, especially a fat woman, please smile in recognition that they are likely struggling.

Leather Pants!

I’ve never owned a pair of leather pants because I could never find a pair big enough for me. Today Rio was cleaning out some piles of donations, and came across a pair that looked like it might fit me, so I tried it on just for fun. It fit! I expect (hope!) they won’t fit in a while, but for now it’s pretty cool!