Saturday, June 24, 2006

Old Posts from Yonder Year

These are a compilation of posts I migrated from my other blog. I changed my blog address because I had alot of people who knew me that read that blog. I wanted to be able to express anything I wanted, and with an audience of people who knew me, I felt I couldn't do that. Enjoy if you would like...
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Well here I go again on my own...(forgive the Whitesnake reference). I guess its because I’ve been living in CelebReality on Vh1. I have exhausted all my efforts to go about getting clean off of white powdery substances that now I must re-enter the 12 step program that has saved my life twice. Before you go and assume that I’m “riding the
rails” or “taking a ski trip”, etc., let me tell you that my white powdery substances are more cunning and baffling than any illegal substance on the market.

Yes my friends, my substance is one you can get at any corner store, gas station, or major market. I am a food addict addicted to sugars and starches and it has debilitated my life.

At one time a svelte size 8 and 15 months later over 400 lbs. Introduce me
to a gutter drunk that has that kind of track record....

I was trying to find another way to get this weight off. I hate that "getting the weight off" is such a negative connotation for a part of who I am. This extra weight I carry is a part of me and when it does become less, it will still be with me, it doesn't go away. It lives in
my memory and unfortunately the fat cell never forgets. Much like the elephant, the fat cell retains memory of the fat that once graced its membrane long after the fat is gone.

I tried many things since that dreadful Chirstmas day in 2003. I will reveal more about that day as time goes on. I went away to a rehab for eating disordered people. Remind me to tell that story sometime. I went through a 16 month period in outpatient eating disorder recovery. Its not easy being the only fat one in the room, if you know what I mean. I wanted to get the "surgery" but was rejected because I'm too fat! How fucked is that!
Too fat for obesity surgery...C'mon!

So, back to the only thing that ever worked for me and gave me a life that I never thought possible. I was free at one time. Free from the counting calories, the constant nagging of a craving, free from feeling so fucking gross.

Whew! made it threw one day without the white powdery substances! One day makes such a difference. When I'm "in the food" (I know that sounds as if I'm using the hole of the donut as an intertube, but bear with, wouldya?)...going 30 minutes without putting something sweet into my mouth seems impossible and I'm completely unwillinging to go without. But something changes when you have 24 hours of abstinence. It seems possible today to not use.

For today I won't go into the details of where this addiction has broken my life down in ways you can't imagine unless you can visualize the following:

Imagine a rock;
This rock is not round and smooth, but jagged and its the kind that hurts your foot if you step on it,
Imagine this rock is at the bottom of the waste dump in your city
Imagine this waste dump has been there since the city's inception many moons ago
Imagine the rock fell into this waste heep and immediately slid to the bottom
That's where you'll find me!

Quote of the Day "Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and
disappointments, but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in
their proper figures."
– Joseph Addison

If it is true, as a wise person once said to me, that our happiness is in direct proporation to our pain, or vice versa. I think the point of the comment was to comfort me in all my pain and let me know that the deeper pain I have had, the greatest happiness that is available. But let's disect this: does that mean my happiness will be my measure of happiness? So, if I am the rock in the bottom of the heap (read yesterday's post to find out about the rock), does that mean the rock's happiness would be something like perhaps getting to the top of thetrash heap? Or, would the rock's happiness be flowing in some brook somewhere? I'd like to be flowing in a brook somewhere, but I think I'd be lucky just tomake it out of the bottom of the trash heap.

Four days ago all I could think about was getting the new food item. It became very challenging because nothing was hitting the spot. I couldn't find that food that would "do it for me". In conjunction with finding the perfect food, I had to coordinate with myself as to how to get these foods. When you're 4 franklins, you can't just saunter into anyplace and pick up what you want. There is strategy involved people.

First and foremost, I have to move. That is a challenge in itself. Moving entails getting up and finding a shroud that will cover my body. At the same time, I have to wedge myself into the japanese car (I think the Japanese hate fat people!). Now that we're in the car, where should we go? A drive-thru is always a safe option because most of the time the people that work at the drive-thru don't speak good English, so if they are making fun of me or making a comment, I usually couldn't understand it. It becomes pretty sad when the drive-thru staff gets to know your order so well, I wouldn't even have to tell them what I wanted. They would say, "Drive Forward", and tell me the price and I would give them the money and voila!, the order was ready.

But always going through a drive-thru doesn't provide you with all you need to satisfy the addict beast inside. I had to go "in" somewhere to get those items. Now, this poses more problems than you think. Since I have a small frame with alot of flesh, my bones can't support me very well. So I would have to strategize on how to get around the store in under 5 minutes, and if there is a line in the store, I am likely to be in a lot of pain (face wincing, sweating, etc.). But because I was in the food, I had to get this stuff and wincing aside, the job had to be completed. So after the purchases were made, back to the wedging in the car. I don't think I mentioned the hoisting involved when getting out of the car. I'll talk about that at a later time. So back home we go...hoist out of the car, grab the bags, hurry and get to the door, (please don't let me run into anyone), get in the house, put the bag on the counter, and strip out of the binding shroud and into clothes that
have "give". Bumble over to the bag, grab it and take it to the couch and then the games begin. For a little while, I am in my own world, relief has set in, away from the world, and their judgments, and it's just me and my "stuff". I'm telling you people, food addiction is just like heroin addiction!! Are you seeing the similarities?

Now being full, the high wears off a bit because I have to get up again and go to the bathroom (mainly because my body rejects sugar and flour—so the bathroom becomes a frequent destination for me). I'll save you the details on that, but being this big requires alot of apparatuses to take care of business. Nuff said.

So the anatomy of a binge. I've always hated that binge word as it denotes that there is a "session" of eating, but the truth is there were no sessions for me...it was a way of being.

I finally got the courage to go and have my hair "did". When you're four hunsky, getting your hair "did" is not a priority, not only because caring about my hair was not a priority, but also because it is so humiliating to show up at a hair shop. Here's one reason:

Small chairs and Big Ass. Not a good combo. Fuck the Italians and their screwed haute design chairs. Who would be comfortable in this? Not me.

Fatty Saves Her Pride

Anyway, in typical fat girl fashion, I found myself making the people in the salon laugh the entire time I was there. I have to admit I was pretty damn funny. But the pain of the whole experience was too much to bear so I had to draw attention away from the pain and turn on the humor.

I did about 45 minutes on Jonathan from Blow Out. Jonathan is the most self-focused guy I've ever seen on TV and I've watched alot of TV.

I absolutely loathe him, but of course I still watch. I'm obsessed with my hair and always have been. I've been trying to get "bangin" hair as Jonathan would say since I was 7. So with that said you can imagine the pain I have been in while gaining all this weight to go so long with a hair do!

I think the amazing thing is this: I realized that my humor worked for me in this situation. It actually saved my sanity because I wouldn't have been able to tolerate the pain if I hadn't been cracking everyone up.

My writings have been very cathartic for me. To sit down and post my thoughts for the day is like a new generation journal. In my previous posts I have bashed a certain 12 step program and beat it into a pulp. After re-reading it, I realize just how sad and hurt I was about my experience there. I bet the first and foremost hurt is one that is brought on by me. I think I wanted the weight issue to be gone forever. It's baaaccck. This disappointed me.

Being at this weight, in excess of 4 bills, has taken away the following things in my life:

  • Attaining a Master's Degree in Psychology/Social Work
  • Following my dream of working in the mental health field
  • The ability to go to any show I want
  • The ability to go to any activity
  • The ability to care for myself in a natural way
  • The ability to go for a walk
  • The ability to form a lasting partnership with another human being
  • The ability to have a job
  • The ability to add to society
  • The ability to go on a trip
  • The ability to find clothes that fit
  • The ability to find shoes that fit
  • The desire to dress becomingly
  • Respect for myself

I notice that alot of these missing areas of my life involve "ability". And that is what this disease has taken from me, the ability. After almost 3 weeks of abstinence from flour and sugar, things are getting better. I get bogged down in the details of how long this will take for me to get to a reasonable weight where I can once again participate in life and maybe even attain a dream.

The debilitating nature of morbid obesity is fatal. The thing with this disease is it kills slowly and painfully. After I was fired from yet another job, I wanted to jump in front of a train, literally. I found help and have been going to a group to get that kind of thinking in check, however, with morbid obesity, sometimes suicide sounds like the only option. It's just too hard sometimes.

Today, in my group we talked about "burden". I immediately started getting very emotional. There is something about that word that really resonated. I feel like a real burden to my mother who seems to be the only one in my family that wants anything to do with me. It makes me so sad. I know that I can't depend on her as its too taxing to depend on one person. My mother has always been there for me and has never abandoned me. My father and my brothers on the other hand always do. The men in my family don't like to be present for the bad times. This is a bad time and I feel totally rejected.

The media is really going nuts on this obesity epidemic sound bite. They show the pictures of the headless obese people walking around and discuss the fact that the US is getting fatter and fatter. Gastric Bypass surgery is becoming so common and yet we continue to get fat.

This proves that Gastric Bypass, Optifast, Diet Center, Jenny Craig, 12 step programs, etc, are merely tools to use on the journey, but not the end of the need for tools. It also discredits my belief that "nobody likes a fat woman". I remember while growing up my mom would say to me, "Nobody is going to hire you if you're fat. Nobody will want to date you if you're fat." I was only 160 lbs. then. I think this has always stuck with me. Relationships have been quite difficult for me not only with men but with the workplace as well. I still need to write about how many times I've been fired.

I lost 200 lbs., twice, in 12 step rooms. It didn't cost me a dime and I didn't have to go under general anesthesia to lose weight, yet I found myself after 2 1/2 years of abstinence and a 200 lb weight loss, in the same place as Carnie. The difference between us has been that I don't have my insides rearranged to prevent severe weight gain and I quickly gained 200 lbs in less than a year.

…And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today (AA Big Book, pg. 449) I have always loved that passage and I think it applies to all of life's ills. Today, I have been thinking alot about sensationalists and rumors and real support. I have been young in my decision-making – too trusting, too desperate, too scared. I don't want to support any group that does not honor people of size as acceptable.

In Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (Feebleminded Anonymous), it is required that a person have 90 days of prescribed abstinence before they can speak at a meeting. Please understand that these are 12-step meetings and they are based on the tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous. This requirement of 90 days is a blatant disregard for the steps and traditions that have made AA last since 1935.

The enlightenment I am getting now as I look back upon my experience in Feebleminded Anonymous has woken me up to some truths that are hard to swallow and make me sad. As a Fatty, I entered the program because I was "desperate". Because of the world's views and my own views, I felt I was unacceptable at 240 lbs., 337 lbs., and 400 lbs. I really believed that my problems and low self-worth were based on my size. I found out as I lost 200 lbs. twice in a 10 year period that I was just as self-loathing in a small body as I was in a large one.

It is true that for a while I was elated to be a small size. I was able to do things that I hadn't been able to do in a large body and I celebrated this fact. However, deep inside I was so sad. I cried all the time. People would say to me, "What is wrong with you? You're thin! You should be happy!" These comments I believed to be true and felt even worse for feeling so bad. I really believed something was wrong with me. Something was terribly wrong with me and I couldn't figure it out. I became even more self-loathing and the only soother that has ever made me feel safe was to eat alot of cake! Well, this put me in the doghouse to be sure. The pattern continued as I beat myself over the head trying to convince myself if I just abstained then I would get to the root issue and I would feel whole.

For me, I do believe that abstaining from sugar and flour is important. My body does seem to have a serious reaction to these substances. I truly believe I am addicted to these things. However, it is not a moral issue. I'm not a good person if I don't eat them and a bad fatty if I do. It's a new way of thinking for me. I'm working hard on this. I don't want to hate myself anymore.

I think it is important to tell you why I want to abstain and have the result of losing weight.

  • It is very hard for me to be mobile at this weight.
  • The activities I enjoy require me to have mobility.

That is it! It is simple. I have never shamed another fat person nor do I find fat people wrong or bad or lazy or disgusting. I know the Feebleminded Anonymous program is full of haters. My sadness tonight has surfaced because I realize that my friends in that program and myself included have had to hate fat. It's such a criminal act to be fat or "in the food" or "struggling with the food".

As Fatties, we clamor to these member's every word and follow our sponsor's direction to the very last detail with the belief that if we do not, we will surely suffer. There is such a polarity going on for obese people right now. There are the losers who abstain or get surgery or participate in weight loss schemes. I notice these people are really
afraid to notice or get close to the opposite camp, which is Fat Acceptance. The losers (losers of weight --- not losers in society) are afraid if they embrace Fat Acceptance, they will stay fat. The Fat Acceptance camp is afraid and angry to go back to the losers because of the shame, humiliation, and exasperation they have for their past experiences.

I am in the middle. I want to lose excess weight because I want to be able to work again, walk freely, and be comfortable. I also want to promote fat acceptance. I want to scream from the hilltop to all my friends, please don't hate yourself into weight loss. It won't work, it won't last, and please love yourself into acceptance. Don't be afraid of the Fat Acceptance. Embrace it and don't deny who you are.

I think Feebleminded Anonymous is a very DANGEROUS program for Fatties. There are alot of people in that program that really aren't Food Addicts of the variety I am speaking about. A Food Addict of my variety is seriously ill and will be homebound or dead from the addiction. A "lightweight" as I call them, will never know what it is like to be homebound or have trouble with getting to work because they can't walk very far.

My statistics show me that the people of size in Feebleminded Anonymous don't have long-term weight maintenance. They definitely achieve weight loss, but weight maintenance has alluded us. We are either on our way up and feeling like we don't belong on the planet any longer or on our way down and full of hope that we are doing the right thing...following the righteous path. The people of size in Feebleminded Anonymous continue to try to fit their round bodies into the square hole. Your goal weight in this program is determined by your height so if you are 5' then you are to weight 100 lbs. If you are 5'4, you are to weight 120. A number of studies have shown that formerly obese people should never lose that much weight. My goal weight at 5'5 should be 185 according to these studies. This would be heresy in Feebleminded Anonymous.

It is with a humble heart and a hope for the future of at least those Fatties that read my writings that we can support each other into loving ourselves, and EACH OTHER no matter what weight we are.

3 comments:

angela said...

i have enjoyed reading your blog, i just landed here yesterday but i checked out the past month. i have also lost a lot of weight and gained it back, been in and out of the rooms and now, i'm just trying for some simple no sugar no wheat abstinence. i have a mostly friends only journal at livejournal but if you would like to read it i would add you, it used to be public but i'm a single mom and my friends told me it wasn't wise.

www.livejournal.com/bigfatmama

i look forward to reading more of your posts!

Miss Michele said...

Angela, I tried to reach you through your link but it is blocked as you said. Please email me with it as I would love to talk with you.

laber66@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! Reading this page has turned me to tears. I am so out of control with my sensitivity to my weight issue that I have lost my life. By lost I mean, I have lost myself. I don't leave the house other than getting into the car to go through a drive thru for a burger or to hit the local dairy queen. I dont answer the door or agree to see anyone. I own a very thriving business that I started on my own. I used to be involved everyday, now I run the store from home by yahoo messenger the phone and my husband and kids running the errands I need done. My employees havent seen me in months. I dont know who I am and I am so lonely even when I am surrounded by family. I feel as though everyone would be better off without me because I hold my family back from doing fun things and enjoying life. I need help and I need to learn self acceptance. I have tried but the FOOD always wins. It cures the hurt at least while I am eating. I dont understand this desire to sabotage myself. I have a beautiful life, most people would be jealous of but yet I am still so unhappy and alone and embarrassed in my own skin. Please email me, anyone that reads this . I could use some one that understands. trbccowan@wmconnect.com.

God bless