Fighting The Stigma

We’ve all seen the articles, the news stories “She lost over xxx-lbs! No surgery! No gimmicks!”

 

How hard could this all be , Fatty? You must just be lazy!

How hard could this all be to follow, Fatty? You must just be lazy!

Well, fuck you.

 Weight Loss Surgery is not a gimmick, it is not the “easy way” out, it isn’t “cheating.” By the way, if it was a “magic fix” then post-op regain would never happen! I am sick and tired of the stigma that people like me (who had any kind of WLS) have to go through all the time.

 I have heard all of the following statements at one time or another since having surgery:

“Have you seen The Biggest Loser? Those people lose hundreds of pounds the ‘old fashioned’ way.” (Yeah, the old fashioned way where you are stuck at a ranch and workout 8 hours a day and are barely allowed to eat or drink water before getting on a scale, ok.)

“I think you could have done it by yourself if you just exercised and ate right.” (Oh, my God! Exercise and Eating Right? Why didn’t you SAY SO? If I would have known it was so easy I would have TRIED THAT before REMOVING PART OF MY SMALL INTESTINE! You have blown my mind!)

“But people who get that surgery have to be like, really super duper fat right? You must have been really, really fat.” (Yeah. Thanks?)

“My cousin had a neighbor who had his stomach stapled and a staple came off and he died.” (OK???)

“You don’t look like you had surgery. Aren’t you supposed to get like, skinny?”(No shit. Someone said to me to my face. At my old job.)

“Well, you must be happy that you could eat anything and just turn skinny.” (LOL. See above.)

“Can you even eat?? I heard you can’t eat. OMG, what do you eat??” (Food.)

“You know that people can gain all their weight back and more? Like that singer lady?” (Sigh. Yes, Mom. I am aware of Carnie Wilson.)

“Yeah but I rather lose weight on my own, you know? Like, work for it instead of just cheating.” (Yep. To my face.)

So, let me just say again, for the record: THIS SHIT IS NOT EASY!

 My weightloss or my story isn’t any LESS than yours because I had surgery. I still wake up six times a day and work my ASS off to keep losing weight. I fight cravings. I struggle to make the right food choices. I log my calories. I work just as hard as anyone to get in shape and I think some WLS patients work even harder because they feel people constantly looking at them and judging them. I feel it all the time. At family functions, at my old job after surgery: people watch you like a hawk. They watch what you eat, when you eat it, how much you’re eating and they feel free to make comments. Why? Because somehow they think that because you had WLS your body is something they can freely talk about. As if we didn’t have enough to deal with when we were fat (Basically the same things, think about it. Everyone is a doctor when talking to a fat person.) now we have to deal with more shit after we decided to do something about it.

 Weight Loss Surgery isn’t a magic potion that will make you skinny and happy. It is a life-changing decision that is never come to lightly. And my weightloss matters as much as Whoever, who lost it the “old fashioned” way. Where is my story on ABC? My People Magazine cover? Did you know that 95% of people who diet and lose a significant amount of weight fail? Sorry I took three years to decide to increase my 5% chance of success. That doesn’t make me less than you, it just makes what I did different than what people usually do.

 I think more WLS patients need to get their positive stories out there and fight this ridiculous bias against us. We are constantly bombarded with all these stories about how people lost weight “all natural, “without gimmicks” and it’s almost like they want us to feel shame.

 Well, fuck that, I’m done feeling like a failure.

 

Having Gastric Bypass Surgery changed AND saved my life; I’d do it all over again.

2009-2013

2009-2013

 

I’m proud of my weightloss and you’ll never take that from me.


Any of you had WLS out there and been shamed for it? Fight back! Fuck the Haters!

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Why Do Clothing Stores Hate My Boobs? (Yes, I’m taking it personally)

It’s ridiculous, really.  We are bombarded with commercial’s for Victoria’s Secret super duper push-up bras, and it almost seems like everyone on TV/Movies has large breasts (with tiny frames!) yet I go to an H&M or Urban Outfitters or hell, even Macy’s and for the life of me, my 38D’s don’t fit in shit! Dresses are the worst. I get the size I’m supposed to be and it’s all honky dory with the zipper until BOOM! BOOBS! Damn thing won’t close. It is so frustrating. I feel like I have lost all this weight and should be enjoying all these cute dresses but nooo, my boobs won’t fit anywhere! I have to get like a XL-XXL and then the rest of the dress looks ridiculous. I always leave stores feeling so unhappy and like that fat girl I used to be. But then I can’t shop in the Plus Size section because everything is huge and, let’s face it, hideous (at least the places I’ve seen). Yeah, what’s up with designers and ridiculous loud patterns for Plus Sizes? Do they want to shame fat people by only making ugly clothes?

H%M "Plus Size" Dress

H%M “Plus Size” Dress

How in the living fuck is this woman plus sized?? Where are my boobs supposed to fit in there??
I swear, the whole fashion industry is so fucked. THEY ARE LOSING MONEY BY ALIENATING THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS!!!!!

Did you guys hear about these “real women” mannequins in Sweden? They come in a size 6 and a size 10 (mind you, the “average woman” is a size 12-14) and everyone is oohing and aahhing over how progressive this is and how these look like “real women.” First of all, they just look like slightly bigger mannequins; second of all, I am tired of all this “real women” crap. We are ALL REAL WOMEN, made of FLESH & BLOOD. We need to stop making this line between thin and not thin women and saying that one is better than the other. Also, I think we should have all kinds of mannequins with all types of bodies. I bet you I won’t look like that mannequin at a size 10 (that tall Swedish bitch -JK … kinda.) and neither do a lot of women who wear that size. Designers are missing out on customers by ignoring people beyond a size 6. It’s ridiculous! We are all fucking different, why can’t fashion reflect that? I guess I just don’t understand it. I’ve always heard the adage of “dress the body you have, not the one you wish you had” but do you know how difficult it is to dress my body? And I know I’m not the only one, either. My friend  and I once got into this long conversation about how we love all these adorable dresses on ModCloth.com but there’s no way we fit in them, even their “plus sizes.” And you know what it comes down to? That’s right: BOOBS. Why is it so difficult to find a dress that fits ALL OF ME?!

OK. Rant Over.

I just want some pretty dresses, dammit.

 

 

 

Do you guys have issues finding clothing that fit a specific part of your body?

Sometimes I Feel Like A Failure

I know that everyone’s WLS Journey is different and all that bullshit but I can’t help but feel like a total failure when I start googling before and after pics of people who’ve had the surgery, or when I see how my old WLS blogging buddies have already hit their target weight or are under it. Yes, I shouldn’t compare myself to others blah blah blah; but it’s really hard not to sometimes. After I gave birth I dropped most of what I gained during pregnancy super fast since I breastfed and then suddenly I blink and I had gained 17lbs of it back. Then I gained 5 lb more. And now those are gone after a couple of months but I am still 40lbs away from my goal. Only now I think I want to weigh 10 lbs less than that. To top things off my doctor found a nodule of my thyroid, then I had an ultrasound and she’s all “Oh, I don’t like how that looks” (BTW who the hell says that to a patient?) and then she tells me that I have hypothyroidism which is what’s making my weight fall off so slowly right now even though I’m barely breaking 1,000 calories a day. Oh, and I have to get a biopsy. So what is Kat’s brilliant thought-process during this whole time between now and getting this stuff treated? I figure “Man, if this is hindering me losing weight then I better eat even less so I can maintain what I’ve lost so far.” Wow, Kat! Genius! No, really, this is the most clever idea! The

I'm Ashamed To Even Get Ny XMas PIcture Taken

I’m Ashamed To Even Get Ny XMas PIcture Taken

worst part is that I know that these are not good thoughts and strategies. I know this is a fucked up way of handling this but yet, here we are.

I look in the mirror and sometimes I still see that girl at 360 lbs looking back at me. I have to go force myself to look at my “before” pictures which aren’t many because I used to avoid people taking pictures of me or, worse, I would photoshop them to make me look thinner. I know. The horror. Even looking at those pics doesn’t do much anymore because I feel like in a way, I’ve let everyone down. Everyone assumes when you undergo gastric bypass surgery, you WILL get thin. I mean, that’s pretty much ingrained in you. But I’m not thin. It’s going to be 3 years this December and I’m still “chubby.” I’m all for accepting your body as is and some days I do, I wake up and look in the mirror and feel that I look great! I’ll do my make up and feel pretty and do my nails and be all girly. And then there’s the days where all I can see are flaws. Extra skin, flabby arms, a hint of a double chin. Will I ever stop feeling this way? Will I always have body issues? Will I ever just stop looking at my body as a sum of its flaws and really understand how far I’ve come? I can only hope. But let me tell you, today was not that day.

How about you? Do you have days where you just feel like you’ve failed? How do you deal with it?

Roller Coaster

10 Weeks!

So, as of today I’m 10 weeks pregnant (apparently the baby is the size of a kumquat!) and beginning to really FEEL pregnant. This past week has been full of icky morning sickness and ridiculous crazy hormone-induced mood swings. I’m exhausted all the time and craving all kinds of awful junk food. It basically sucks because I really can’t have any fast food without feeling sick, but I try sometimes anyway and have to put up with the agony. I’ve been reading a lot about pregnancy after gastric bypass and I have to stay on top of my vitamins and what I eat, not to mention eat more often than I was before. I’m also dealing with some body image issues, as I keep thinking that I’m totally getting fat right now. Yes, I know, I’m pregnant, my belly is supposed to get bigger, but I feel like a cow already. I’m trying hard to stop negative thoughts about my weight from now on (apparently body-image issues are a huge thing for post-WLS pregnant women) because the last thing I want is to pass all these body-image, self-esteem, weight issues to my kid. Especially if it’s a girl, I don’t want her growing up with all the stigmas surrounding weight, I want her to be strong and to love herself, you know? So, I’m basically trying to fight with myself here so that my baby doesn’t have to go through all the years of self-hate, shaming and food issues that I went through. Pretty simple stuff, huh?

Well, other than that things have been fine. I hope things have been well for everyone. I promise I’ll start blogging more often very soon!

 

Workouts With Leslie

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, Friday I had my first training session with Leslie! We did weights, abs and yoga. It was a workout of about 2.5 hours and she kicked my ass!

My whole upper body has always been my weak point so she came up with a whole variety of weight-lifting exercises for my shoulders, biceps, triceps and abs that were both easy but very intense! I’m writing this entry with total T-Rex Arms (when your arms are so sore you can barely move or really stretch them so you look like a T-Rex). She made me a little sheet to track my reps and how much weight I used. It was all very organized and neat and all in all a great time. I found out I can do a lot more than I thought, and also that Yoga is not as easy as it looks. To see what our routine entailed, you can check out her detailed blog entry here.

We’re going to make these workouts a weekly thing and also, she’s gonna make me a little sheet with workouts that I’ll do on my own during the week. I’m going to be trying the gym at work this week for free and I’m going to try other gyms around my area to see what I like best. Since I can’t run for too long at a time until I fix the whole hip situation, I’m trying to focus on building muscle and strength; combining it with the little cardio I can do.

Tomorrow I’m starting my own version of Phase One of the South Beach Diet and I’m both looking forward to and dreading it. I hate that I can’t drink any wine or have any corn or potatoes for two full weeks. But it’s all for the sake of shocking my system and getting over this carb obsession I seem to have. Damn you carbs! At least the food list of what I CAN eat is very extensive and inclusive, so I don’t see me being too hungry during this whole ordeal. And after doing the 5 Day Pouch Test, I’m getting full a lot faster so I’m feeling good and confident.

I hope everyone had a nice, fun weekend and is ready to start a brand new week!

5 Day Pouch Test: Day Five

Well, I survived a whole week of this. It was tough, but I did it. I weighed myself again on Saturday and I lost an additional 4 lbs, which puts my total count at 9 lbs in five days! Yay! What I’ve learned from this is that I do have the willpower to take control of my eating and I actually feel very proud of myself.

Is this something I’ll do often? Probably not, but I’m glad I did it now.

Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to!

5 Day Pouch Test: Day Four

A bowl of guacamole beside a tomato and a cut ...

Image via Wikipedia

Day four was good, for the most part. I barely felt hungry all day and I got full at around 6oz (as opposed to 8-9oz) and I got to eat Chipotle! I had their burrito bowl with black beans, pork (carnitas FTW!), some cheese and guacamole (did I mention that avocado might just be the love of my life?). Anyway I always have to divide their bowls in 2 or 3 servings but it is worth it! All hail Chipotle!

The only bad thing yesterday was how tired I felt all day, and my stomach is still behaving in cleanse-mode which can be annoying.

I’ve decided to start my own version of South Beach Diet on Monday (no fat-free products, and trying to avoid all their processed stuff) so that I can fight my still-there carb cravings. They are still strong. I MISS BREAD! To be honest I hate saying that I’m even the South Beach thing because I want to stress that I am not doing a “fad diet,” I’m just trying to not go overboard with carbs again. They are SO my trigger foods! Their system is good because you cut carbs for 14 days and then you incorporate whole wheat back in your diet gradually and in small quantities. It doesn’t hurt to try, right?

How about you? Are carbs your trigger food, too?

Today I have my first training session with Leslie! I am SO excited, I can’t WAIT!!