Thursday, August 28, 2014

Catching Up

Well I didn’t really mean to disappear for 14 months.  I meant to just back off for a while and then pick back up once I wasn’t busy anymore.  I started realizing that the blog was actually taking up a lot of my time, of which I don’t have much.  In addition to posting regularly, there was the time-consuming task of reading everyone else’s stuff and taking the time to leave comments—which was really important to me because I think, to some extent, that’s why we ALL wound up here…for the support and encouragement.  So I would work all day, then come home and make a healthy meal and do some prep for other meals (because NOTHING CONVENIENT is good for your body.  Like pretty much nothing.  It sucks.), try to get some exercise in, and with any luck still have some time for myself to just unwind and think and maybe watch Top Chef.  And before I knew it the blog became an obligation, an added stress instead of a helpful resource/journal. 

What brought me back?  Something happened at work yesterday that bothered me, and I felt the need to write about it.  It was basically just a journal entry, but then I decided to post it on my lap band blog.  It just felt appropriate.  And now that I’ve actually shown my face round these parts, I’ve started wondering how all of you are doing, and wanting to hear about your struggles and successes and failures and the wonderful meal & snack ideas I used to get here all the time!  So I’m gonna try to ease my way back in.

Since I last posted (with the exception of just a couple hours ago) things have been pretty up and down for me.  After the initial 30-something pounds lost, they just started to creep back on little by little.  And then I’d lose a few and gain 5 more.  And this went on for probably 7 or 8 months.  Finally in April, just over a year after my band surgery, I made an appointment with an endocrinologist.  I just knew there was something wrong on the inside—my body had to be working against me.   At least I hoped that’s what it was…because if not, then it was just me sucking at life.  She seemed to be reading my mind!  I would mention something and she’d finish my sentence for me.  That first day in her office I almost cried.  I thought, I was meant to find you.  She started me on a combination of Metformin and Spironolactone.  That was just over four months ago and I’ve lost 30+ pounds since then.  I’m taking it one day at a time and just trying to appreciate the way my body feels a little stronger each day. 

Oh yeah, I also got engaged.

Ha, that would be great if I just left it at that but I can’t.  We set a date for October 17, 2015.  We both really wanted a fall wedding but this October just isn’t enough time for me to not freak out all over everything trying to plan it.  The ceremony & reception are being held in the same venue, which is an old brewery in my hometown of Washington, MO.  There’s lots of natural stone walls, exposed brick, cedar beams, just tons of great natural elements we’re both super excited about.  Since it’s still over a year off, there’s not a whole lot of planning being done at this point, but over the last week I’ve been working on a game for people to play at their tables during the reception, and it’s a wedding-themed Cards Against Humanity/Apples to Apples type game (less vulgar—more or less suitable for a mixed crowd!).  It’s been a blast coming up with different questions & answers, and fulfills my need for a wedding-related project that I could actually do NOW.

That’s about it for me.  I really am looking forward to seeing how all of you are doing, which ones still post regularly, maybe see some new faces here and there.  Adios for now.


Fat Chicks

So, I know I haven't posted anything in over a year, and it's very possible no one will see this.  But I had something to say, and this seemed the most appropriate place for it.  

Today one of my co-workers told me that my sense of humor reminded him of “that one chick from SNL.”  There are a handful of female cast members, yet I felt certain I knew which one he was talking about.  “The fat one?” I asked.  He got a panicked look in his eye and stammered for a minute before describing some of the recurring sketches she does.  He did I...and he knew that I knew...that he was talking about the fat chick. 

This is NOT the first time this has happened, and I find it pretty convenient that I remind so many of my male friends and co-workers of overweight comediennes.  I myself am overweight and lean heavily on my sense of humor, sometimes to a fault.  But does that make me comparable to every fat female comic?  I'd like to think people see more than that.  When something like this happens it forces me to look at myself the way some people must see me, and it's pretty upsetting.  I accept myself the way I am, though if I'm being totally honest I don't really feel like I belong in this body.  The way I feel inside doesn't match the reflected image in the bathroom mirror, and sometimes I'll catch a sideways glance in the glass of a door or window and have to look twice to convince myself it's really me there.  When that happens I realize how I look through other people's eyes, and I know that there are many who will never really, truly get to know me.  I want to think that I'm wrong about this but it's difficult when, just today, someone who interacts with me every day has basically reduced my personality to "fat funny girl." 

I believe a lot of people are programmed to view overweight women as unappealing, unhealthy; basically the worst thing a woman can be.  We're punchlines, dirty little secrets, worst case scenarios and cautionary tales.  But we're NOT seen as complex individuals.  No one wants to imagine a fat girl as someone who feels complicated emotions or has sexual desires.  Why has society created an environment where it’s totally normal for these women to feel like they’ve done something wrong…is it fair for me to feel as though I’ve let someone down because I’m not the standard of physical beauty?  

Although I truly don't believe he meant to upset me, my coworker found me funny and his instinct was to compare me to another fat girl who is also funny, even though there's very little overlap in our personalities.  And maybe I took it too personally.  Maybe recognizing parallels in character with different types of people is not one of his stronger qualities.  But as a result of what he said, I spent the rest of the day feeling self-conscious, scrutinized and generally not good enough.  It’s something I’m working on; I shouldn’t allow someone to make me feel that way for what is certainly an insecurity of mine…but I’m not going to say the problem only lies with me and others like me.  I don’t see an immediate future where everyone is suddenly sharing messages of body-positivity, but I’m going to do my best to surround myself with people who seek beauty within.  That’s the only beauty that truly means anything.