À Votre Santé!

doctorLike most overweight women, I dread going to a doctor– especially, most especially, a new doctor.

You never know if a doctor is going go treat you like a second-class citizen if you’re obese.  Worse?  They’ll diagnose you fat before they listen to what brought you into the office in the first place. There are some great pieces about this on the Dances with Fat blog.

I scheduled an appointment for a regular check-up with my new doctor here in Florida because I hadn’t had one in a while. To my surprise, I had a wonderful experience.  Not one person– the staff, nurses, or the doctor herself mentioned anything about my weight. Even after I weighed in on the scale. As part of the check-up, the doctor said she wanted to run a series of blood tests, and I complied willingly.

I took the blood tests and made a second appointment. The tests came back terrific.  No problems with cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid. All within the normal range.  The cholesterol could have slightly been better, but nothing to worry about at all. She did note that I had some B-12 issues, and I told her that was hereditary.  I remember my father having issues as he aged.  She was very concerned about this, and we set about to put a program in place to raise my levels.

Never once did she mention my size.

It’s as if I were a “normal” person, which in fact, I am. How refreshing. I will drink to that.

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Why It’s Okay to Be Fat

Over the weekend, I caught a little of Ragen’s Fat Activism online conference.  You can still sign up (until Wednesday) to hear the speakers here.  I’ll get to listening to all of these over the next few months.  

In the meantime, this speaker, Golda Poretsky, did a TEDx talk on, “Why It’s Okay to Be Fat.”  I think it captures everything I’ve been reading and learning on this topic.  

Give it a listen.  

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The Fatcinating Blog is Pivoting

brideMy son turned 18 this summer and is headed to college in a few weeks.  He’s my last child and empties my nest. It occurred to me that he has never known me to be a thin woman.  Never.  I was a fat bride in 1995, and I’ve been a fat Mom his entire life. Even my darling daughter pictured in the photo here has never known me to be thin.

This blog began as an attempt to work on weight loss. Although I lost 50 pounds a few years ago, I ended up injuring myself, taking on an unhealthy obsession about losing weight, and eventually gained all the weight back.  The best outcome of that exercise was learning how to cook.

In my last post two months ago, feeling the pressure to conform to society’s disdain for the obese, I began once again on the path to restricting my food intake.  Over the summer I’ve discovered a blogger, Regan Chastain, who has greatly influenced my opinion on these tough issues. Regan is a fat activist and writes powerfully about the everyday prejudices faced by the obese population.  I was mostly drawn to her cogent and honest discussion about the myths that link obesity to disease and morbidity.

Thinking again about my wedding so many years ago, I’m reminded of my rail thin ex-mother-in-law who has suffered with debilitating health issues for as long as my son has known her too.   In the past 18 years, where she has cost the federal government and State of N.J. thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in medical costs (medicare and state pensions), my physical health has been exceptional.  I simply have no physical health issues that warrant any concern at all.  With the exception of the injury caused by my severe weight loss program, I’ve had a cold here, a skin rash there, an achy elbow… that’s about it.  In the past few years, I didn’t even have health insurance because I literally never went to the doctor.

So, this blog is pivoting from today forward.  I’m going to write about the “Audacity of Enjoying Life While Fat.”  I’m mostly going to document what it’s like to be an obese person in a society so fixated on a premium of fitness, physical attractiveness, and conformity within a rigid standard for acceptable physical appearance.  I will leave the past posts as a reminder to people who stumble upon this blog, that I was once like you. Someone who felt ashamed of what they looked like.

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“You’re Making Yourself Sad!”

BoehnerMy three-year-old grandson has this adorable thing he does.  If you’re making a sad face (say, like this photo of Congressman Boehner), he immediately pounces, points his little finger at you and says, “You’re making yourself sad!”  He shouts it with much impassioned judgment.  Of course, it cracks everyone up, and the victim of his wrath quickly turns that frown upside down.

I recently had to speak at a public event here in town.  And, as I stood in front of the audience, even though I knew my topic cold and had rehearsed my talk several times, all I could think about was how I looked.  Recall, speaking in public was one of my original motives (along with being taken seriously professionally) for beginning a concerted weight loss program.

The fact that there is a profound stigma and societally acceptable prejudice levied against the obese does not make it easy to not care what people think.  It bothers me to no end to see how women in every facet of life are judged first by how they look, everything else second.  Especially, most especially, when it comes to weight.

After that event, I realized it was really me who was condemning me.  Who knows what anyone thought?  They probably just thought I was a terrible speaker (which I was because I was fighting this unfair image war in my head while I was trying to get through the talk.)  It’s what I thought that mattered here, and it impacted my performance.

I was making myself sad.

So, rather than have more wars in my head, and limit my ability to support myself by not wanting to speak or be seen in public, I’m back at it.  I can’t possibly change the world’s opinion about this, so I’ll just have to conform to “fit” in.

Have no idea if anyone is still subscribed to or reading this blog.  But, I’ll be continuing to update here with my progress.  I reconfigured my Withings scale.  Considering I gained all the weight back I had lost, it’s back to the drawing board.  The good news is I lost about 4 pounds this week.  I’m just back to no carbs, no sugar.

I’m making myself happy… by at least trying.  That has to count for something.

 

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A New Year’s Resolution


In 2014, I’m going to stop caring about being overweight.

I’d like to be thin for the same reasons I outlined in my 2011 post when I kicked off my successful 50-lb weight loss program.  The weight loss was gratifying, but it reminded me of something I’ve learned about in my professional life called the 9x problem.  At 50 pounds down, I was feeling better, but my life was definitely not 9x better.  For all the effort and obsession I put into losing weight, I started questioning why I was doing it.

Recall, I am not unhealthy.  Blood pressure always normal, no signs of diabetes or history in the family, no heart problems, etc.  I just checked my year-end records, and I did not go to the doctor once this year for any health-related issue.  I’m in that 30% class of people obese, but metabolically healthy.  I know that just irritates everyone, but that’s the way it is.  Obviously, if something cropped up where my health was affected, I’d address the issue.

At 54 years old, I’m pretty sure my body has decided it wants to stay this way.  So, this blog will lie dormant until sometime (maybe, maybe not) I get motivated to “get back on the horse.”

Happy 2014.

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The Dreaded Diet Plateau

Heard this story this morning on NPR.  Explains what happened to me.

How To Find A Path Off The Dreaded Diet Plateau.

So, Zumba next time?

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Back at it!

green2vegasSo, these are two photos I took last year and sent to my daughter to show her how I was progressing.  I remember at the time, especially the photo on the left, I was disappointed because I still thought I looked larger than I felt.  Eventually, around the time of the last post on this blog (well over a year ago), I gave up trying to lose weight out of frustration.

And now, I’ve gained 30 pounds back.

There you have it.  Yo meet Yo.

Yesterday, I signed up for Weight Watchers.  I had a lot of success doing this on my own, but I thought this time around it might be better to be surrounded by people who are struggling (succeeding and failing) like I am.  So, not sure what to expect, but it is a first step in the right direction.  I’m generally not a “joiner,” but figured the weekly commitment and lectures add some forced discipline too. Everything is still the same – would like to lose weight for reasons important to me, unrelated to health issues and well, morbidity.   I found out last week that I was selected among 5 women who will be featured in a national women’s magazine next fall.  That is as good an excuse as any to get back on track and work (again) toward becoming the woman I want to be.

So, here we go.  As usual, I’ll be chronicling what I’m learning and doing.  It will be nice to hear your comments and encouragement.  Hope you’ll hang in there with me.

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