Saturday, August 18, 2007

My first post

I've been reading fat acceptance blogs for the last couple of months and have learned so much that I want to see if I can make my own contribution. I read the news online a lot, and have always been pissed off when articles come out bashing fat people for being weak-willed, stupid, lazy, gluttons who can't stop feeding their faces.
None of those terms apply to me and I've been fat for a long time. Can't be weak-willed when you're a single parent setting limits for your child. If I was stupid, I wouldn't read as much as I do, nor would I have been able to graduate from high school ranked 40 in a class of 160. As for being lazy, when you're a parent, working and going to college, and have a house to take care of, you sure can't be lazy. Gluttonous: well, it's not something you can be when you have to adhere to a strict budget. And gluttony doesn't just refer to food, it also refers to going overboard on any kind of material goods (the only thing I am gluttonous about are books as I am an avid reader).
I have tried diets and found that they don't work. For the longest time, I bought into the myth that I was fat (up until I got pregnant at 17, I was 5' 9" and weighed 175). When my daughter was born (April 1972), I weighed 235. I lost the weight when I got hit by a car in October of 1972. By the time I got out of the nursing home the middle of December '72, I was down to 160 lbs. When I went back to work and back to my roller skating, walking, and biking all over Spokane, my weight went back to 175 (and wore a size 14). I stayed at that weight until I got pregnant with my son in December of 1974. By the time he was born in October of 1975, I weighed 325. In 1977, I was seeing a doctor who prescribed diet pills for me. I got down to 220, but had to quit taking the amphetamines because I was turning into the bitch goddess from hell. When I quit taking the pills, I gained back all the weight I lost. I tried diets, Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, and Atkins. I would lose weight, maybe 50 lbs, then, no matter what I did, I stopped losing weight. I was told I had hit a plateau and to keep losing weight, I would need to further restrict my caloric intake. Now, 1200 calories a day isn't all that much, and going down to 800 calories a day just wasn't an option for me. At 800 calories, I had no energy, I had headaches all the time, and my blood sugar was dangerously low. As soon as I went back to eating enough to have the energy I needed to keep up with life and not have to deal with headaches all the time, I gained back every pound I lost and then some.
After I moved to Minnesota in 1993, a friend of mine had a vertical banded gastroplasty and went from 400 lbs to 160. Three years later, she was dead from myocarditis (I think it was because she ended up with short gut syndrome and couldn't get enough nutrients from what she ate, although I didn't know it at the time). In spite of what happened to her, when my doctor recommended that I have the same surgery (even though all my numbers were good, other than weight, and the only problem I really had was severe back pain on walking and standing), I went along with her. She didn't want to run any tests to see what the problems with my back were, because as we all know, everything that is wrong with a fat person's health is caused by their weight, there can't be any other cause.
So in 1997, I had a VBG. I weighed 350 lbs (and was a size 24) when I went in for the surgery, and within 3 months, I was down to 280. Now, all this time, I had been eating everything pureed because I had a ring at the top of my stomach about the size of a dime and not much would go through that ring. When my doctor told me I needed to start adding regular foods to my diet, I had nothing but problems. I think part of it was caused by the fact that I have an upper denture (and it's not a regular denture, it's the plastic temporary one because at the time, I couldn't afford a regular plate) and couldn't chew my food as well as I needed to. So most everything I ate ended up coming back up. All the vomiting made the stapling come undone and I gained back all the weight I had lost and another 40 lbs (so now I'm 390 and a size 28/30). My doctor wanted me to have the surgery done again, and I told her no, in no uncertain terms, that since diets and weight loss surgery didn't work for me, I was evidently meant to be fat. Since I am healthy, and the only problem I really have is the inability to walk very far or stand very long without severe back pain, I'll deal with it.
I try to eat a healthy balance of foods and I don't pig out on junk food all the time. Don't get me wrong, I might eat fast food a couple of times a month, and we do have chips and snack foods in the house, but I don't eat them all the time. Since I've been reading the fat acceptance blogs, I've found the Health At Every Size movement, and have working on incorporating that into my life. I have never exercised for exercise's sake, but I have gotten Megan Garcia's Just My Size Yoga and have been gradually adding that to my daily activities. My husband's stepson is giving us an exercise bike next week, and I am planning on using that at least 3 or 4 times a week. If I don't lose any weight, I don't care. All I'm hoping is that I will become more physically fit and better able to stand and walk.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Vesta! What the haters can do to us. You are absolutely ALL the photos! And there couldn't have been a cuter little girl on the planet than you were.


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