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?

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!

Quick Update

So, I was able to finally get a workout in today! Yay!

I did 30 min of walking-jogging but I am definitely not as in shape as I used to be! I am only able to really run without stopping for 2-3 minutes at a time and then I can walk briskly, but still; not bad. Barely any hip pain. Also, when I got home I did 20 minutes of light strength training: lunges, squats, planks and push-ups, all with small dumbbells of 5 lbs each (as opposed to all the weight I used to pile on before *sigh*).

Small steps, I guess. I definitely feel my mood improve whenever I work out, so my goal is to keep this up and hopefully keep improving, running-wise. I sure do miss doing the Stronglifts workout but I need to wait until I get my hip MRI and all that. So, soon, I hope.

The rest of things have been going well, I keep meaning to write more but I have been drawing a blank kind of, when it comes to topics. But I should have some extra time this week and probably get an entry or two in.

How about you? Have you been improving on your workouts or have you fallen behind like me and have to start over?

 

“Did You Gain Weight? You Look Kinda Chubby Today.”

Warning: This is kinda ranty.

So, I’ve been going crazy without doing any real workouts for the past three weeks. My hip pain has been a little inconsistent (just when I think it’s gone so I try to walk for more than 15 minutes, then BAM! Pain!), so I haven’t really been working out. This lack of exercise has me feeling kinda down on myself; Mark commented that I’ve been “moping around” the house. I won’t lie, all this sullenness is due to me stressing about the fact that since I’m not working out then I’m not burning calories, which means I won’t lose weight. Even though the scale keeps telling me that I have not gained weight (in fact last weigh-in I had lost 2 lbs), when I look in the mirror I see a bigger belly, the beginnings of a double chin and I just feel big. Then yesterday we went out to have lunch with my family and my brother decides to lean over after we’ve ordered our meals and say “Did you gain weight? You look a little chubby today … Maybe it’s the shirt?” Sigh. I’ve talked before about how my family is not the most supportive when it comes to my weight sometimes; it’s easy for them to focus on how I’m still not “skinny” rather than how far I’ve come. I know this, and I don’t hold it against them; yet still that one comment ruined the rest of my evening and just has me in a funk today.

Could this be hormonal (my period is due very soon)? Maybe, but I’ve been feeling this for the past two weeks. It is something that I’m struggling with a lot and I just wish I could wake up and feel great about myself all over again. Why is my self esteem so tied up to my body image? This is something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember; as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize this comes from the way I was raised but even realizing that hasn’t helped me completely get over it. I’ve come a long way but I get in these weird funks every once in a while.

My goal for today is to go for a little walk outside (15 – 20 min max), listen to some music and try and keep negative thoughts out by focusing on the good things that have happened today. I’ve done pretty good with counting calories and not going off the deep end with food, so I’ll focus on that as well. Hopefully I’ll be out of this funk soon enough.

How about you? Do you have days where you’re just down on yourself and how you look? How do you get over it?

Calories: How Many Should We Eat Post-Op?

This is a question that I see pop-up a lot, especially when you’re more than a couple of months post-op. Personally, that was a big question for me as I started working out and trying to consciously lose these last forty pounds. A lot of us are given some guidelines post-op by our surgeons but they don’t really tell you how many calories you should be consuming daily.

According to the ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) guidelines –this is from where most of the surgeons get their info- the daily intake should be:

  • 1,000-1,400 calories depending on the individual and activity level.
  • 60-100 grams of protein depending on the individual and activity level.
  • 27-47 grams of fat based on 20%-35% of a daily 1,200-calorie intake.

It doesn’t really specify what the carbohydrate level is, which is annoying, since carbs are my problem food (really, doesn’t everyone have a problem with carbs?). My doctor never really told me how many grams of carbs I was allowed, or anything about calories. I went to see the nutritionist that works with him and he was kind of an idiot. He said that a) exercise was not a priority, b) I should eat less than 1,000 calories a day, and c) all I should worry about is protein. Sadly, I had not looked up the caloric-intake information at the ASMBS website at that time, so I couldn’t argue with him, but I left that meeting feeling very discouraged. I wish that my surgeon had taken more time to explain things to me, or at least had better staff at his office; I swear, they are so nice to you pre-op but afterwards they don’t really seem to care: which has resulted in my skipping the one year follow-up appointment because of being very annoyed at their poor customer service (they rescheduled 3 times without telling me and gave me an attitude because I didn’t “stay on top of my own appointment”). Ugh. Frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, my doctor was awesome (he’s one of the top bariatric surgeons in the country); it’s just his staff that sucks.

My personal experience with calorie-counting has been all over the place. After surgery, I never counted calories; my surgeon and nutritionist had told me to basically “experiment” with food but keep my servings at 4oz-6oz. They also told me to just eat every three hours. I had no problem with this and since it was my “honeymoon period” I dropped weight no matter what I ate and never gave calories a second thought. When the plateau started happening after a year post-op, I first went to the nutritionist, then decided to start counting calories and it’s what I’ve been doing for the past four months consistently and it has given me results, as I now only have 26 lbs left to lose since I started back in January. My caloric intake varies, depending on if I’m exercising or not, and not really by choice. I gave myself a personal max of 1,400 calories per day and I don’t really get there most days, whether I work out or not. On a good regular workout day I get to about 1,200-1,300 calories before my deficit after working out. This past two weeks I have not been working out because of my hip injury and have barely been eating because the pain meds made my stomach freak out and I feel like my pouch has shrunk, so I’m getting between 800-1,100 calories a day, depending on the type of food. I have been paying attention on hitting my protein goals daily but I feel kind of lost on the whole carbs thing, and I plan on making time in the future to see a nutritionist and put together a detailed meal plan for me. I’m a firm believer in counting calories; you are way more aware of what you’re putting in your mouth when you have to write down how many calories it has. Also, as I’ve mentioned it before, myfitnesspal.com is awesome for counting calories! You can do it on your computer or your phone (their App for the iPhone is awesome!) and you can also log your exercises to see how many calories you burned. It’s very social (like Facebook for calorie-counting) and I think that also makes you more accountable (feel free to add me, my name on there is “katgoespao”) and that’s always good! 😀

How about you? Do you prefer counting calories or just restricting portions? Or both?

Quick Update

I have been in pain all day, the heating pad is my friend. Nonetheless, I managed to get 48min of cardio and I hung out with my cousin Diana and showed her some of the workout I do, which was nice. I missed hanging out with her, and afterward we watched a movie and basically took turns sitting and laying on the heating pad. We were both exhausted and sore and just wrecked.

I feel like I ate a lot today, probably because I ate pizza. It was a little too greasy and I got slightly sick but I’m okay now. Just exhausted and sore EVERYWHERE.

Today’s Stats:

Cal Consumed-1225 / Cal Burned-268 / Net Cal-957 / Carbs-165g / Fat-50g / Protein-29g

Yeah. Crappy day protein-wise and carb-wise. Hell, even my net calories were bad. It’s okay, though, tomorrow will be better. It has to be, because I do weights tomorrow. So my goal is to eat enough calories so that I can kick ass! Wish me luck!