Friday, September 16, 2011

Thyroidectomy went well - should have done this 4 years ago

I went in on the 13th to have my thyroidectomy. Dr M scheduled 3 hours for the operation, but it actually took 4 1/2 hours because my thyroid was larger than we thought it was. It was almost wrapped around my wind pipe and esophagus, so required more time to find it and get it all removed. So much for it being nothing to worry about when you first told me it was enlarged 4 years ago, right, Dr W? According to Dr M (my wonderful surgeon), my thyroid should have come out when it was first diagnosed as being enlarged.
At the time, I asked for a referral to an endocrinologist to have my thyroid checked, but Dr W refused. Her take on it was that I was using my thyroid as an excuse for being fat (even though my TSH, T3, and T4 results came back normal), so there was no need to see an endocrinologist. Silly me, I listened to her, until I talked to my dad and he told me that my grandfather (his dad) had had an enlarged thyroid that was cancerous. When they went to remove his, it was so large that they couldn't get it all - if they had, he wouldn't have been able to talk or swallow because they would have had to cut the nerves on either side of his neck that controlled those functions in order to remove all of his thyroid.
When I got home from that vacation, I found an endocrinologist myself, and then told Dr W she would give me a referral to her or I would find another doctor that would - that with a family history of thyroid problems (my mother also had problems with her thyroid), I didn't think it was anything to mess around with. I got my referral, got an ultrasound, it was enlarged all right. Dr A (wonderful endo) referred me to Dr M, we discussed surgery, decided to wait 6 months and see if my thyroid was still growing or staying the same.
Had the 2nd ultrasound in July and it showed that my thyroid was getting bigger, so we decided it needed to come out as soon as possible. Scheduled the surgery, had it done, and I can't believe the difference it makes already.
Don't let anyone kid you, an enlarged thyroid makes swallowing difficult. I didn't realize how difficult it was until my thyroid was gone and I got to eat an actual meal in the hospital - I was on a liquid diet for supper and breakfast after surgery, had a chicken breast and rice pilaf for lunch and swallowing it was so easy. Taking my pills is easy, they don't get stuck anymore and I don't have to eat something to push them down and/or drink a huge glass of water on top of that.
I am so glad I had this done, but damn, I wish I'd had it done 4 years ago when I was first told that my thyroid was enlarged. The surgery might not have taken as long, and I wouldn't have had 4 years of difficulty swallowing food and pills.
Dr A started me on Levoxyl, she said no generics, has to be brand name. The reason for brand name only is that the FDA is happy with generics having a 25% difference in the amount of hormone between batches, while the brand names don't have any difference in the amount of hormone between batches (much better quality control, according to her). And when you're trying to regulate your TSH, T3, and T4, you want to be sure your dosage is the same every time you refill your prescription. You have a much better chance of that with name brand than with generic (and if my insurance wouldn't cover the name brand, it's only about $200 a year for the dosage I need). Luckily, TriCare will cover the name brand and the co-pay isn't high at all ($6 for 2 months' supply).
I have an appointment in 6 weeks to have TSH, T3, and T4 checked to see if the dosage needs to be adjusted. Dr A said if it does, she'll adjust, check in another 6 weeks, then if no more adjustments, check again in 3 months, then in 6 months, and then once a year unless I have problems (or unless I lose or gain a substantial amount of weight - dosage is based on weight, didn't know that until she told me).
Just got the call from pathology - no cancer!!! So even though it was a multi-nodular goiter, it wasn't cancerous - just enlarged. Thank Maude I don't have to worry about that.
So, my advice to anyone who is told their thyroid is enlarged but it's nothing to worry about - if it's your general practitioner telling you that, get a referral to an endocrinologist, get a second opinion. It's nothing to fuck around with, I can testify to that.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eat to Live - Another "lifestyle" change?

So I had an appointment with the surgeon today to schedule my thyroidectomy (it's gotten larger, ultrasound in July said it's bigger than it was on ultrasound in December). Not a problem, I figured it was going to have to come out, I'm prepared for that (surgery is scheduled for Sept 13).
What I wasn't prepared for was the surgeon telling me that there's a program at the hospital that I might be interested in, she and several of the staff are following it and are really pleased with the results. It's based on the book,Eat to Live, by Dr Joel Fuhrman. From what I read of the reviews on Amazon, it seems like another diet to me, disguised as a "lifestyle" change. It claims to be able to cure type 2 diabetes, help fat people lose lots of weight in a short amount of time (and maintain that weight loss), and cure the other diseases that are correlated with being fat. Sound too good to be true? Yeah, color me skeptical. I've heard it all before, done it all before, and none of it has worked for very long. Now I'm not averse to trying something that might help with the fibromyalgia and the digestive issues I have, but a "lifestyle" change that tells me I have to limit the amount of meat I eat, increase the amount of fruits and vegetables I eat, and eat more beans/legumes/whole grains when eating those fruits/vegetables/whole grains means I'm going to be spending the majority of my time in the bathroom - sorry, it ain't happening. Yeah, that kind of "lifestyle" change will help me lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time because I'll be shitting my brains out and dehydrating myself with diarrhea (those digestive issues I have from the VBG). Not exactly healthy, in my book.
When I explained that to Dr M (the surgeon), she said I should try modifying it to what I can eat without issues and see how I feel in 6 weeks. Ok, so for 6 weeks, I'm going to basically eat very little meat, very little/no dairy, no fruits/veggies/grains (digestive issues), and beans/legumes/rice. Sorry, that's not much different than how I eat now, except that I do occasionally eat veggies and deal with the issues they cause (oh, and I eat more meat than she thinks I should; sorry, not giving up my pork/chicken/shrimp/fish/steak/roast).
What is it with doctors that they think they have all the answers and have to dispense them, even when their patients aren't asking the questions? I didn't ask her for a "lifestyle" intervention, or a way to lose weight, or a way to lessen my pain from fibromyalgia or arthritis. All I want her to do is take out my enlarged thyroid. Once that's done, I'll probably never need to see her again - I'll go back to my endo for any follow-up care I need, like thyroid hormone replacement therapy. If she's following this and it's working for her, for whatever reasons, fine. But please, she doesn't need to be proselytizing to her patients about it unless they ask her advice on weight loss or how to improve their lives with diet (she even wrote the name of the book and author on her card, gave it to me, and told me I could find the book at Barnes & Noble if I wanted to look through it before I bought it!).

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm not a poet, but this is inspired by this.


Yes, I'm fat....
But no, you will not shame me.
No, you will not make me hide
nor will you take away my pride of self.
Yes, you can cat-call me but I will not
allow you to make me run away. I will walk
tall and proud through life no matter what
you do. My NO shows that my life
has meaning, shows that I deserve respect,
shows that I deserve the dignity
that all humankind deserves. My NO
demands that respect and dignity, and I will have it.
My NO is adamant!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pop the Pig game

Ok, granted I don't watch much television, but my husband does, and I hear the commercials. There's been a really annoying one on lately for Pop the Pig, a game where you roll the dice, feed a pig hamburgers, and see who makes him so fat that he pops.
Talk about brainwashing kids into thinking that eating too much is what makes one fat! This game is a good way to do that, and one that parents will buy without even thinking about the connotations of what it's saying. Well, some of them won't think about it, some of them have already bought into the stereotype that fat people got that way by stuffing their faces - and I quote:
Good Game to fight obesity
By Diana Diets from Miami, FL on 3/24/2011
Can Withstand Use, Easy To Play, Entertaining, Fun, Interactive, Nice Layout
Best Uses:
Children, Family
Describe Yourself:
Was this a gift?:
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Comments about Goliath 1011325 Pop the Pig Game:
Great game to fight obesity. Basically if you eat too many hamburgers you will get fat

This reviewer gave the game 5 stars. From her name, I would venture to say she's bought the Fantasy of Being Thin, lock, stock, and barrel, and is probably a fat-phobe to boot. Not someone I would want as a friend, and not someone from whom I would take game recommendations.
As for the game itself, I give it -5 stars, wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy (not even MeMeMe Roth), and if this is the kind of game we can expect from Goliath, I don't think I'll be giving them any of my money on any of their games.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Altering big men's tees to fit fat women

I finally figured out how to alter all those big men's tee shirts I've bought. I have to buy a 5X to get them to fit my rack of doom and to fit around my hips, but then the shoulders are waaaaaaay too wide - the shoulder seam comes halfway down my upper arm and the sleeve then hits me below my elbow - not a good look, even in a tee shirt.
I took one that I didn't care about ruining, and removed the sleeves (I just cut them off very close to the seam and then trimmed the seam off the shirt). See the picture below for what the deconstructed tee looks like:

The first thing I did was measure how wide I needed the shoulder to be, from my neck to the edge of my shoulder. On me, that's approximately 5 1/2 inches. I added 1/2 inch for seam allowance, and cut from the shoulder down to where I thought the sleeve opening should end, curving it slightly to point A (where the dotted line is on the diagram of the tee). This left about 3" of the original sleeve opening that isn't needed. With the tee turned inside out, I made a very narrow dart starting at point B and ending at point A (1/2" wide at point A).
I then took the sleeve, laid it out flat and smooth (just like I cut it off the shirt, didn't open up the underarm seam, you want that left sewn up). I then cut a curved line along the seam line of the sleeve (the dotted line on the sleeve). This makes the tee sleeve just like a blouse sleeve. I then put a small notch at point C on the sleeve, to match with the shoulder seam on the tee.
It's a good idea to mark which sleeve came off which side of the tee so you know which side to sew it back to when you're done making your alteration cuts. I did this by putting a small safety pin in one shoulder of the tee and its matching sleeve (the other shoulder had no pin and neither did the sleeve, making them a pair).
By matching the notch on the sleeve top with the shoulder seam on the tee, and the underarm seam of the sleeve with the narrow dart you made in the armhole of the tee, you can then finish pinning the sleeve into the tee, easing any fullness at the top (shoulder area or cap) of the sleeve and then sewing it in place. I left the tee inside out, the sleeve was right side out, and put the sleeve inside the shirt to pin and sew it - setting a sleeve "in-the-round" is easier this way and you can put the sleeve on the bottom/tee on top which makes it easier to "ease-in" any fullness you may have in the cap of the sleeve.
This isn't a project for a novice seamstress, but I think anyone who has made a lot of blouses/tees/tops could handle this project. My first attempt involved some ripping out of seams and resewing them, but it worked, and the tee looked good when I finished it, and best of all, it fit much better (and that narrow dart under the arm doesn't show when I'm wearing the shirt either).
ETA : Sorry, I'm not much of an artist, that's the best I could come up with for what I did and how I did it.....LOL! I also don't like how the crew necks fit me, they're too tight and I'm always yanking at them, so I altered them too. I took my scissors and snipped the crew neck banding from the edge to the top-stitching (made those snips every 3/4"). I then turned the crew neck under completely, pinned it in place, and top-stitched it down with thread that matched the tee shirt. After the top-stitching was complete, I trimmed off the excess crew neck fabric close to the top-stitching. Voila! A larger neck opening that isn't tight and still looks neat and clean.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Abby shows her fat-phobia - again.

Dear Abby has done it again. A lady wrote in to share how she and her husband keep from screaming at each other when they have an argument - they go to the refrigerator and split a candy bar (they keep a supply there just for that). They both like chocolate, and by the time they have finished sharing the candy bar, they can speak rationally and calmly to each other. Sounds pretty sensible to me. Half of one candy bar isn't much, doesn't take that long to eat, but gives them something to do together that they like and gives them time to cool down and become rational again.
What does Abby have to say?
Ingenious. The two of you have discovered yet another reason why chocolate is good for the heart. I hope as time goes by you'll sustain a high level of compatibility because otherwise you're going to weigh a ton.

This is wrong on so many levels. Abby, you're assuming that people get fat from eating an occasional candy bar. You're assuming that this couple is going to be arguing several times a day, every day of the week, every week of the month, every month of the year, every year of their lives and eating candy bars every time they have an argument and that's going to make them fat. Fuck you, Abby, and your fat-phobic ASSumptions. Educate yourself about being fat, what really causes it - and it's not always eating tons of candy/"junk" food and sitting on one's ass all day long - and until then, STFU. You don't know what you're talking about, you have no empathy for fat people and what their lives entail, what they have to deal with on a daily basis from fat-phobic asshats like you, and you don't really care. If you cared, you'd take the time to educate yourself and you'd have more compassion for fat people. I really don't see that happening.

Friday, May 13, 2011

MN and same sex marriage

I got an email from my local MN state senator today updating me on what's going on in the MN legislature. Below is one of the most important issues in that update:
MARRIAGE AMENDMENT: The Senate passed a bill that will allow Minnesota citizens, not courts or the Legislature, to define marriage. The proposed constitutional amendment asks voters to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman in Minnesota. Placement on the 2012 ballot allows a year of public discussion in communities statewide in order to be prepared to vote in next year’s general election, rather than allowing a small number of politicians or activist judges to decide the definition of marriage. The House will take up the proposed legislation next week. If passed in the House, it will be placed on the 2012 ballot.

So it looks like in 2012, the citizens of MN will get to decide if the definition of marriage will remain as being between one man and one woman, or if the definition of marriage will be expanded to include all genders.
I'm hoping the citizens of MN will be able to rise above their passions and biases to vote against limiting marriage to one man and one woman, and vote to allow all adults to marry whomever they love, no matter their gender or their partner's gender.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The place to go for shoes in central MN - The Boot Shack

DH needed new shoes for work and we had to be in St Cloud anyway the other day, so we stopped in one of the shoe stores in the mall on Division Street (Schuler's Shoes). They didn't have any boots that would work for DH, but they recommended we try The Boot Shack. So over to The Boot Shack we went.
This is a very small place, but it's crammed to the gills with boots - mostly cowboy boots, but they do have an awesome selection of work boots too. That's not the most impressive thing about this place, though. Not only do they measure your foot when you're sitting down, they also measure your foot when you're standing up and putting your weight on it. Why do they do this? Because for some people, the length of their foot changes when they put weight on it, and so does the height of their arch. They're very good at explaining why they measure your foot the way they do, and how shoes should support your feet, etc. The upshot of all this is that DH has been wearing the wrong size/width shoe for years, which is why his feet, knees, and back hurt when he's working, and why his shoes don't last very long (he can wear out 2 pairs of New Balance tennies in 6 months and those things are expensive). He ended up trying on about 4 pairs of boots in 4 different sizes to find the ones that felt the best - putting both boots on, walking around in them, taking them off, trying the next pair, till he found the pair that felt the best. DH spent over an hour getting his feet measured and trying on boots to find the right ones (we've never spent that much time finding shoes for him before, not even at the shoe store the VA sends him to for his shoes because he has type 2 diabetes and is entitled to 2 pairs a year). His boots ended up costing us $180, but if they last and his feet don't hurt at the end of a 12-hour day spent on concrete floors, they will be well-worth the money we spent on them. We also got him a pair of New Balance sneakers in the correct size, so hopefully, those will last longer than his last pair did.
I just called The Boot Shack today to see if they have women's sneakers and they do, all the way up to a size 13, in widths from AAA to 4E (they carry men's boots/sneakers in sizes up to 18, in the same widths, and they're even having a pair custom-made for a man who needs a size 19, now that's service). So we'll be going back in the next couple of weeks - I want to get my feet measured to see what size I really wear and see if I can find a pair or two of shoes that will keep my feet/knees from hurting when I walk, and maybe, just maybe, stop the supination of my feet (my right foot especially tends to roll to the outside and wears the heel off on all my shoes). I've never been to a shoe store that measures feet as well as this one does, or spends as much time finding shoes that fit your feet and will work for what you need them to work for.
The service at The Boot Shack is outstanding - if you're in Central Minnesota, I highly recommend them:
The Boot Shack
2221 Roosevelt Rd
St Cloud MN
And, no I'm not getting anything from them for this post, I just think they're a great place to go for shoes/boots (I saw other people being waited on while we were there and they got the same amount of attention that we did, it was totes awesome!).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there (NOT)

Yeah, we're rethinking our business with State Farm Insurance. I've been with them for almost 10 years now, and DH has been with them even longer. We insure 2 cars, a truck, a minivan, and our house with them, to the tune of almost $3,000 a year. I had one claim with my mobile home, about 8 years ago, and one claim with one of my minivans about 7 years ago (and they fucked me over with that one). DH and I have had several auto glass claims with them (he drives to work on a state highway and in the spring/summer/fall ends up following tractors/combines that kick up mud/rocks, you get cracked windshields). We've had one claim with them on the house insurance when wind blew away one of those metal pole/tarp sheds and a power surge that same weekend took out DH's computer. No problems with those claims (other than the one with my minivan 7 years ago).
This time, DH was driving to work early in the morning on the state highway and a semi crossed the centerline. DH saw him swerve and he swerved to keep from getting hit. Well, the semi took off the driver's side mirror on the 2002 Buick LeSabre Limited we just bought (it gets better gas mileage than his truck). Luckily, that's all it did, didn't put him in the ditch, or anything else. Truckdriver probably didn't even know he hit anyone, so of course he didn't stop. It was 4:30 a.m. when this happened, so it was dark, both vehicles were doing at least 55 mph, there were 8 or 9 cars behind the semi, and another semi behind them. DH couldn't see what the trucking company was that owned the semi was because of the darkness and oncoming headlights from the cars.
When we report this to the insurance company, what's their first question? Why didn't you follow the semi so you could at least get the name of the trucking company and a license plate number? DH was supposed to turn around after being hit by a semi (that would shake me up, let me tell you), catch up to that line of traffic, pass a semi, a line of 8 or 9 cars, get a license plate number, and then pass the semi so he could see what the trucking company was that owned the semi? And how many laws would he have had to break in order to do this? Well, let's see now. He'd have had to have driven over the speed limit to catch them all, he'd have had to broken the speed limit to pass everyone so he could get up to the semi that hit him, and then he would have had to be able to write down a license plate number and trucking company name while driving, so that's distracted driving, at the least. Perfectly reasonable request on the part of the insurance company, don't you think? Yeah, right. To top it all off, if he had done all that, he'd have been late to work, which he's only been once in the 4 years he's worked there (and that was when he put the truck in the ditch when he hit a patch of ice, he was late, but still made it to work when he got pulled out of the ditch).
So we took the car in to get an estimate to have it fixed. Have to have the mirror replaced, the chrome weather strip by the window has to be replaced, and both doors on the driver's side have to be painted where the mirror bounced off them and scratched the paint. Body shop gave us an estimate of $1,686 and some odd cents. But because it was a hit and run and our insurance can't collect off the semi's insurance, they have to send an adjuster out to look at the car and give us his estimate (and now comes the part where State Farm screws over the insured customer). The mirror is adjustable from the inside (aren't they all nowadays) and it's heated. They don't make after-market mirrors for this car. So the new one costs $680. The adjuster says he found a used one for $135. So he's cut $545 off the body shop's estimate. But he added in $50 for replacing the driver's side window that's chipped (I can't see the chip, but the adjuster says it's there), replace that with a used window. I asked him if they were going to give me a guarantee on the used mirror that's as good as the guarantee I'd get on the new mirror. He said "What do you mean?" I said "A new mirror has a life-time guarantee, if anything goes wrong with it, they replace it at no cost to us. When you buy used parts, you don't know how long they're going to last. If this used mirror quits working in 6 months, are you going to replace it at no cost to us? Since you're the ones refusing to pay for a new mirror? Are you going to give us, in writing, a life-time guarantee on this used mirror?" He handed me the estimate and left without giving me an answer.
So those commercials that say "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there", I'm sorry, if I had neighbors like State Farm, I'd be moving. And when DH gets home from work and finds out what the adjuster had to say and what State Farm is willing to pay, I'm betting that I'll be online looking for another insurance company and State Farm will be losing our business. Hope they're happy that saving $545 may cost them $3,000 worth of business every year. Not to mention the bad publicity they're going to get from me blogging about their less-than-stellar attitude (chase down the semi that hit you, indeed).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Much as I hate to - kudos to Wal-Mart

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, Wal-Mart has some shitty policies and it's not the greatest place to support, but I have to give them kudos for bringing back the Just My Size high cut stretch satin panties that they used to carry. I can finally buy them again in all the awesome colors that I used to get and can't get by ordering from Just My Size online (see my post here where I bitched about getting six pair of panties, 3 black, 3 beige, and was basically told tough shit when I complained).
And they're selling them in a 3-pack instead of a 2-pack, the cost has gone from $7.98 for 2 pair (that was 2 years ago, at least) to $11.97 for 3 pair - but I don't have to pay shipping and I get to pick and choose what colors I want instead of taking whatever colors JMS decides to ship to me when I order (and 2 pair from them cost $9.98 the last time I ordered). Oh, and I just checked their website, and guess what?! JMS is no longer carrying those panties at all. I guess since Wal-Mart has decided to carry those particular panties again, JMS is too good to carry them now. That's fine with me, JMS doesn't want my money, much as it pains me to give it to Wal-Mart, I will since they're willing to carry what I want, in a size that fits me, in the colors/prints I want.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Some thoughts on fat identity

I've been mostly reading the intarwebs brouhaha over the girl who's a size 6 and had her pic posted on Fuck Yeah Chubby Girls. Personally, I don't think she's chubby, fat, or anything in-between. I think she's a thin to average-sized young girl with just a bit of belly pooch. I think it's awesome that she's learned to love herself/her body in spite of the messages our society sends girls/women about how they should look/dress/act/etc. But I can totally understand where she's coming from.
Now, before y'all start flaming me - understand where I'm coming from as a DEATHFATZ woman who, when I look back at pictures of me as a kid/teenager, wasn't really fat back then but sure as hell thought I was because that's all I heard. Sure, I never wore single digit sizes in my life (well, maybe as a baby and a toddler), and I don't remember ever wearing a size that wasn't classified as "Chubby" in girls' sizes or ever getting to wear any of the clothes like my peers wore when I was teen (I had to shop in the womens' sections of the stores to find anything over size 14/16 to fit me). But I wasn't fat like I'm fat now. If I had tried to join FA back in the 70s, at my then size of 14/16, I'd probably have been laughed right out the door. I didn't have trouble finding clothes to fit, I didn't have to worry about fitting in seats, I didn't have to worry about being mooed at or having things thrown at me for riding my bike in public or roller skating or anything else I did. Thin privilege - I had it and didn't know it because I had been told all my life that I was fat because I didn't wear single-digit sizes and wasn't petite (hard to be petite when you're 5' 9" at 15 years old).
Then life happened and things happened and diets/diet drugs/WLS happened, and I got fat, fatter, fattest. I learned to deal with it, developed a fuck-you attitude in spite of the hurt I felt at the judgmental behavior of asshats/douchecanoes who called me names, didn't want to hire me, didn't want to date me, didn't want to be my friend, didn't want to (insert whatever activity) simply because I was fat. I decided that if people were going to judge me on looks alone, then I didn't need them in my life and they could eat shit and bark at the moon (to steal a phrase from my husband).
Then I found FA and what an eye-opener that was. But ya know what? There were some people in FA that thought I didn't belong in FA at all because I had had WLS years before I even fucking knew what FA was. Even though that WLS failed and I ended up fatter than I was before the surgery, even though I'm adamantly against WLS. They still thought I didn't belong. Guess what? I'm a bitch and I don't get run out of places I want to be all that easily. There were also some people who were very supportive, and I just figured, "Ya know what, fuck the ones who think I don't belong. They don't know me yet, they may not like me once they get to know me, and that's okay. They can do their thing, I'll do my thing, and we'll ignore each other. If they don't ignore me, then I'll tell them to fuck off, no skin off my nose if it pisses them off." I started my own blog, did my own little thing, commented here and there, and life went on. I've made a place for myself in FA, in spite of the ones who thought I didn't belong, and life went on.
The other thing I was thinking about on this topic was how my now ex-daughter-in-law always used to say she was fat. Now, when I first met Tina, she was not fat by any means (not at 5' 11" and 135 lbs). And I told her so, forcefully, many times. She used to really piss me off when she would piss and moan about how fat she was and how she needed to lose 10 or 20 lbs (her nickname among my son's friends was Stick Stickley). What I didn't know at the time was that she had been called fat as a kid by her parents, sisters, and brothers. Now, I haven't seen pictures of her when she was a kid/teenager, so I don't know if she was actually fat or not, but I know what it's like to be called fat when you aren't really fat, but are just taller/bigger than other kids your age. The funny thing is, she could benefit from FA because she's actually fat now - she has MS and lupus and one of the side effects of her drug regimen is weight gain. She's really upset about it, and has been talking about getting a lapband so she can lose weight. I don't know how many times I've told her that when weight gain is a side effect of the drugs you're taking, no diet or WLS is going to make you lose weight and keep it off forever (not that diets and WLS work for permanent weight loss anyway, but still....). I told her that if she gets a lapband, what she's going to lose isn't fat, but will be muscle mass, and with MS that's not a loss she can afford. I've preached FA, lived FA, even my husband has told her that she shouldn't care what other people think, that her opinion of herself is the only one that matters, but she's still fixated on what everyone else thinks of her. Which is understandable when you stop to think about how girls/women are bombarded on a daily basis with the demand that they be perfect in every way - and just when a few women look like they might actually have a chance at attaining that "perfection", the goalposts are moved. When the images we are given to live up to are airbrushed and photo-shopped to a fare-thee-well, is it any wonder that women have a hard time loving themselves/their bodies? When everything is sold to us in order to "help" us attain that "perfection" - from clothing to make-up to soap to diets to exercise. Personally, I've never been much into perfection - it's too much work. I'm satisfied with working toward things that make me happy, and striving for perfection isn't it. My house doesn't have to be spotless, but it does have to be clean. My clothes don't have to be the most fashionable, but they do have to fit and be colors/styles I like. I don't have to be athletic, but I do want to be as healthy as I can be - so I eat as well as I can afford within my gastrointestinal limitations and I do what exercise I can with my mobility issues. I don't do any of this to satisfy anyone but myself. I don't have to live up to anyone's expectations but my own.
Remember the movie, Looker, starring Susan Dey? How they were looking for perfect women, doing computer images of them, and then using those computer images to make television commercials? Are the airbrushed/photo-shopped pictures in magazines that much different? I'm really surprised that, with the level of technology we have today, that Looker hasn't come to pass and real, actual women haven't been done away with entirely.
As for that teenager that submitted her picture/comment to FYCG, the censure doesn't belong to her, it belongs to the moderator who allowed it to be posted. If it wasn't appropriate for the site, then the moderator should have told the teenager so and steered her to other sites that would have been more "appropriate". But to be nasty to a teenager who has finally learned to love her body in spite of society's messages to the contrary, no matter what her size, well, I'm sorry, but that's not very nice, and certainly not very admirable. She wasn't being malicious, she wasn't trying to rub her thin privilege in our faces - hell, I'm betting she didn't even know what thin privilege is (well, she probably knows now, she's probably gotten an education out of all of this, and not in a good way, sorry to say). It's one thing to flame trolls and to tell them off and boot them from FA spaces, but she wasn't trolling. She was celebrating learning to love her body, and that's something we should all be celebrating, no matter what size we are.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I got my Nook - the first book I bought? I Beat The Odds by Michael Oher

I've been wanting a Nook or a Kindle for a long time now, and after doing some research, I settled on getting a Nook. I got the Nook because I can add a memory card to it and expand the number of books it will hold (and if I have more memory cards, that means even more books). My main reasons for wanting an e-book reader are that I just don't have the room for all the physical books I'd like to read, and when we travel, I can't carry enough books to read with me. The Nook solves both of those problems. Since I also have the Nook reader on my computer, and my computer has a 750GB hard drive, I can store thousands of books on it and transfer them to the Nook, take the Nook with me, and I have a portable library (and it doesn't take up nearly as much room as bookshelves full of books do).
The only drawback I have is that you don't get a physical manual with the Nook, it's loaded on the Nook itself. Not very conducive to learning how to use your Nook when you're trying to read the manual on the Nook and operate it at the same time. I solved that problem by going to Barnes and Noble and downloading the manual to my computer so I can bring up the manual on my pc and read it while I'm figuring out what I need to do on the Nook. Works for me.
I've heard some people say that the Nook doesn't turn the pages fast enough for them, but I haven't had a problem with that. And the charge lasts through a couple days of steady reading. What I really like is that the USB cable that came with it has an adapter that can be plugged into a wall outlet for charging (plug the USB cable into the Nook and into the adapter and plug the adapter into a wall outlet and voila! you're charging your Nook). The covers for the Nook on Barnes & Noble seem a little spendy to me ($29.95 is the cheapest one, and I haven't seen one I like yet). I think I've figured out a way to make my own cover for it, padded and out of fabric I like, so I'm going to do that.
One thing I found out is that any books you have in your library on the Nook have to be downloaded in order to read them. I had downloaded the Nook e-books off my computer on to the Nook, and had only downloaded one to read. When I was done with it, I wanted to read another one, and couldn't. This was because I was at my son's house, didn't have access to the internet, and couldn't download anything without internet access. So I had to wait until I got home and could access our internet connection to download another book (I downloaded all 6 books I had on there so that I can read any one of them or all of them without having to download them one after another).
Anyway, DH and I had seen the movie, The Blind Side, and I had seen on B&N where Michael Oher had written a book about his experiences and how he got out of the ghetto. I was curious to see how faithful the movie was to his real life, so I bought the e-book. Now, I know that movies take poetic license with the truth in order to make things more dramatic/interesting for the audience, but that movie did a real disservice to Mr Oher. It made him out to be a lot dumber than he really is, and that he didn't know much about football when he started playing it. He wasn't dumb, he just didn't have many teachers who cared enough to teach him the study skills he needed to succeed, nor did they really care if they taught him at all (he did have a couple of teachers who cared, but out of all the teachers he had before he got to high school, that wasn't near enough to help him). And he had studied football for years, from the time he was 7 years old, because he knew that sports and education was the only way he was going to get out of the ghetto and be able to make something of himself. He worked hard to find people who could help him do the things he needed to do, and for a kid who didn't have any positive role models in his family, that's impressive (he was one of 12 kids, had 5 older brothers, 3 younger brothers and 3 younger sisters).
I read this book in one sitting, and if you've seen the movie about Michael Oher, I highly recommend that you read his book. You'll come away with a whole new perspective on him. I know I did.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just My Size - Less than satisfactory ordering experience

Ok, I realize that Just My Size doesn't have much choice over whether stores decide to carry their merchandise or not. Wal-Mart used to carry the JMS high-cut, spandex/satin panties, which I loved and bought the hell out of. They carried them in a myriad of colors and prints and I owned a wide variety of them. Well, Wal-Mart, in their infinite wisdom, no longer carries those panties, and neither does any other store. The only place I can find them is online. Not a problem, I thought, I do a lot of online shopping. I figured if I ordered more than one package of two pairs, I would get a variety of colors.
WRONG!!! First of all, I ordered 3 packages - that's 6 pairs of panties. Did they ship them in one parcel? Nope. I get the first package, it's one package, of 2 pair, one black, one beige. Two days later, I get the second shipment, it's 2 packages - 2 pair each, each package consisting of one black, one beige. I ordered 6 pair, hoping I'd at least get a variety of colors - I'm sorry, but black and beige is not a variety. WTF is up with that, JMS? Is that all you're making now in the spandex/satin high-cut panties? Black and beige? What happened to the red, brown, blue, pink, leopard print, pink/blue geometric print, white on white pattern, black on black pattern, brown geometric print? What happened to the diversity of colors you used to have? Did you decide that fat women over a certain size are no longer entitled to a variety of colors/prints/patterns in their panties? Am I going to have to make my own panties now, in order to get what I want, in the colors I want, like I have to make my own bras in order to get one that fits and is in the colors/fabric/style I want? Can you really afford to offend customers this way? Because let me tell you, you've offended the hell out of me, pissed me off, and lost a customer.
I'll be taking one of my old pair of JMS panties apart and using it for a pattern and making my own panties from now on and you can kiss my fat ass's business good-bye.
ETA: This is what I wrote to JMS on their Contact Us form:
I ordered 6 pair of the JMS satin stretch hi-cut panties, hoping I would get assorted colors, as advertised on your website. I was very disappointed when my order arrived to find that I got 3 pkgs containing 1 pr black/1 pr beige panties each. Is this something which is going to happen every time I order panties from you? If it is, I'll not order any more panties from you, I'll take an old pair of my JMS stretch satin hi-cut panties apart and use them for a pattern and make my own from now on. I used to be able to buy these panties in red, pink, brown, blue, black on black pattern, white on white pattern, brown leopard print, brown geometric print, blue/pink geometric print, black, white, and beige. I also used to be able to find them in stores, now the only place I can find them is online at your website, and you don't give me an option to pick the colors I want. I love the way these panties fit, they're the only ones I'll wear, and I would love to have a wider selection of colors.

ETA: This is the response I got from JMS Customer Service -
Dear Customer,
Thank you for inquiring about our assorted colors in packaging. We are
unable to list the colors of this item because these may vary depending
on how the manufacturer randomly packages these.
Please let us know if we can assist you further.

A totally inadequate response, if you ask me. So yeah, I won't be ordering from them again. I'll be taking an old pair of my stretch satin panties apart and using them as a pattern and making my own panties from now on (I figure the lycra spandex swimsuit fabric will work just as well if I can't find stretch satin fabric).
They don't care to address my concerns, I don't care to give them any more of my money, for anything.
I just contacted JMS Customer Service again, for all the good it will do.
I told them that their response was less than satisfactory and
In other words, you have no intentions of trying to remedy this situation at all. Your customers are stuck with whatever you decide to send out because you won't contact your manufacturer to ask them to supply more colors/prints/patterns. Thank you for letting me know how much my business matters to you - not much at all, apparently. Since you aren't willing to do anything to remedy this situation, you obviously don't need my business.

This is especially upsetting with all the brouhaha they've had in the news with how they're updating their image, going with better colors/prints/fabrics/etc for their clothing line. I guess that only matters if it's clothing that whole world can see. If the whole world doesn't see your panties, it doesn't matter that they're boring and blah, you don't need to have colors/prints/patterns that you like, you can put up with black/beige/white and be damned glad that they even deign to carry them in sizes to fit your fat ass. Well fuck that shit. If you aren't going to give me the panties I want (in the colors/prints/patterns that I want), that you used to carry, then I'll be damned if I'm going to spend my money on any of your clothing line, I don't give a fucking rat's ass how goddamned cute/fashionable/affordable it is. Fuck me over in one area, and you've lost me as a customer in every area - I'm a curmudgeonly bitch like that.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lynn Stainless Steel Cookware has AWESOME customer service

This is just so awesome, I had to blog about it. DH has a set of Lynn Stainless Steel cookware (pots & pans) that he had when we got married (the Saturn series 300F, to be specific). I don't know how long he's had them, but they're really nice pans, easy to clean, and they cook foods well.
The reason I'm writing about them is because the handle on the lid to our 5 quart dutch oven broke one day when I was draining pasta and the lid fell off into the sink. I super-glued it back together, and that lasted for about a month. Last night, it came apart.
Today, I called the company to see if I could get a replacement knob or lid, or did I need to purchase a whole new dutch oven. The awesome part? I can get just the knob I need for the lid and they'll send it to me for FREE!!! Now that is customer service, something I thought had gone the way of the dinosaurs.