Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How Bounty Paper Towels Ruined My Day

Today's weight: 375 lbs - still losing :D

OK, this requires another trip into the past. It also is a map or snapshot, if you will, of how my disordered brain works. While I know that much of what is wrong with me (the disordered eating patterns, the need to check locks and stoves and irons multiple times which, thankfully, I've been able to beat back over the years although I still check my torch like 10 times before leaving the studio, the angry outbursts such as screaming at inanimate objects like, um, my desktop monitor) has a chemical base at least some of my outbursts have direct triggers from my past, most specifically, from the abuse my mother put me though because she was batshit crazy too. I think she was either schizoaffective or a functional schizophrenic looking back on all the events of my life with her. I know for a fact that she was a major narcissist.

That doesn't excuse what she did to me. Well, why not? I mean, she told you herself that she was abused when she was a child in Germany, her mother neglected her and her sister, a farmhand (they had a big functional farm) took her into the attic and stripped her down and took nude photos of her at the age of 4 or 5, etc. etc. etc. I could go on about war atrocities for hours, trust me, I was brought up on those like other kids are brought up on fairy stories.

The bitch did equally horrible shit to me. In fact, she did things to me I don't recall hearing in the war stories. Yet when I had children of my own and I was afraid (trust me, I was very very afraid) that I would be a horrible mother I turned out to be a good one. I didn't abuse my kids, I never hit them, I never sexually abused them, I never told them they should never have been born and would have been better on the end of a coathanger.

Yes, people say things like that to their kids. Somewhere someone is saying that to their child right now. I've been in enough group therapy and shared/listened to enough stories, many much worse than any of mine, to know that as truth.

So she doesn't get a pass. War happens. Shit happens to people during war. You never get over it, I know that. I know soldiers never get over what they see/do/experience during war, I worked with and cared for enough vets during my nursing career to know that. Yet most of these people don't go on to torture children.

Some do, I'm sure, but not most.

How you act, how you behave, who. you. are. is what you decide to be.

That's not to say that an untreated schizophrenic can "decide" not to hear voices, that's absurd. Some mental illnesses are beyond an individual's control. Some are beyond anyone's ability to treat and control. We still don't know enough about the human brain to figure it all out.

If you are canny enough to be able to abuse kids and hide it though, you get no pass from me. I don't care what was done to you, you have a choice not to repeat it.

All this leads to Bounty paper towels.

When I was 7 or maybe 8 we were in Georgia, at least I think it was Georgia. I remember the trees with the hanging moss vividly and I don't know how many plantation museums I was forced to endure because my mother wanted to see what life was like before the Civil war took it all away. We won't discuss racism in my family here, that's for another day. Suffice it to say that my views when I was finally able to think for myself did not correlate with my parent's views at all on most things involving human rights and we'll leave it at that.

This would have been around 1967 or 1968-ish, timelines are still an issue for me all these years later but on this I think I'm pretty close.

 So one day we're driving through a forested area that had lots and lots and lots of the trees with the hanging moss (which, if I'm not mistaken, is a parasitic growth that eventually destroys the tree it inhabits - I think I heard that numerous times on the endless rounds of plantation tours). My mother was in her element. Oh, look at the lovely trees. When we get home and I'm going to do some sketches of these trees. I'm sure I'll get an A in my next art class with all the lovely tree sketches (she was a perpetual student, always in college some damn where).

We round a bend in the road and I remember this vividly, it's one of those moments that is seared into my brain I think partially because of the huge shit fit my mother threw and partially because of what it meant to the rest of my life with her and my father.

There (as Arlo Guthrie would say), in the middle of forest, away from everything in the forest, with the stumps still left around the edges of the property to remind one that this *was* once a forest filled with lovely half-dead parasite ridden trees, was the Procter and Gamble factory, belching smoke from it's smokestacks to drift over the rest of the forest.

My mother lost it. She started screaming about how they were ruining the forest (I'll cede her that point, I bet that forest is long, long gone). She made my father turn the car around rather than beating it on down the road as he was trying desperately to do and stop at the gate. She got out of the car and started screaming at the building. She threatened to write the President and all her representatives (which she did, I heard the Remington clacking away deep into the night when we returned home) and that she was never, EVER, buying P&G products again.

Even back then, I think, Procter and Gamble made a lot of shit. So the original proclamation morphed into "No Bounty paper towels are allowed in this house, ever".

If I fucked up and bought Bounty paper towels and brought them home, as I did a few times as a teen when I took over the shopping she was too lazy to do, I paid for it in the form of a screaming beating my ass with a wire wig brush for 10 minutes fit. My father, over the years, was also subjected to these although in his case it might be having plates thrown at him or his car fucked up in some way.

My father was a pedophile and he used me regularly, the reason he gave was that my mother didn't give him what he needed so he had to get relief somewhere, didn't I understand? I knew what she was like, right? Everyone in the family has to do their part. He was a very weak man, despite being almost 400 lbs and massively strong from years of construction work. He was the kind of guy I picture these days as enjoying having a woman walk on his face with high heels on and then saying, "Please, may I have some more?" I think theirs was a very bizarre dom/sub relationship and he was definitely the bottom. He would beat me, but only when she made him, re: "Wait until your father gets home".

There was one day that he and I, for some strange reason, were doing the grocery shopping together, an event that rarely took place. In the paper aisle he picked up the Bounty paper towels and said, "Let's take them home and unwrap them and put them on the rack, she'll never know..." with this leer on his face. I think back on that now and think what a small, sad example of a father he was. I was always the one that shielded him from her, when he should have been the protector.

Which brings me to today. We ran out of paper towels. I reached in the pantry and got a new roll. Bounty. Flashes of the whole sick, sad Bounty affair passed through my mind like Game of Thrones on triple speed. I pushed it back. I put the towels on the rack. I went back to work.

6 hours later I'm sitting at the desk in my office crying and screaming at the monitor because Paypal wanted to make sure I was really who I say I am even though I have the password and can they send me a text? I'm also, through the tears, considering ditching the keto crap because I feel awful and maybe if I had some FOOD I'd feel better.

I didn't do it, I wrote this instead because this is how I process these events when they come up. Fucking paper towels. All the anger I have around those fucking paper towels. All the years of fear and double checking brands and praying something wouldn't set her off. But something did, of course. Something always did. In retrospect the original incident had nothing to do with polluting the environment, I see that now. My mother was in the middle of one of her narcissistic crazy daydreams and when we rounded that bend in the road the Procter & Gamble factory fucked it up.

Processing this explains lots of weirdness in my own behavior to me. I don't like to use paper towels as a general rule, although I keep them in the house and studio. I use cotton towels that are washable, those big white cotton ones that look like feedsack towels that I buy from Colonial Patterns whom I think are the only ones that sell them anymore. Like gingham fabric, they are going the way of the dodo. These things imprint and become a part of who you are and until you dig them out, remove the mental weeds, they'll do their best to take over the garden of your mind.

I have my hoe, I'm ready.



Monday, January 14, 2019

What's YOUR problem (or mine)?

I've had a bad patch for the last couple of days. No, I haven't "cheated", I haven't changed my way of eating (or WOE), and I'm still focused.

My brain, however, has other plans. My brain wants to spout a non-stop litany of pizza, brownies, cookies, and bread. I've read the science. My brain misses it's insta-glucose, the instant feed it gets from all things sugar. It doesn't want to go into it's fat stores and go through all the hassle of converting what I have into usable energy. As Winnie the Pooh would say, "Oh bother!" So much easier just to instruct the body to walk across the kitchen to the honey pot, or whatever can be found.
It helps that I've removed all my trigger foods from the house. In fact, in times like these it's what saves me. Am I hungry? No. Do I want to eat? Oh Hell yes. Two days ago I actually had an emotional meltdown complete with whining about how sick I was of being upbeat and healthy and on track and how all I really wanted to do was dive face first into a pan of brownies.

The difference, this time 'round, is that I see what's going on, I blogged about it just the other day when I wrote about my sugar addiction. There is, however, a huge difference in understanding something intellectually and trying to battle physical and emotional habits you've had for a lifetime.

I *was* trying to work this morning, to get some crochet finished so I can list it on Etsy. I was watching 'Weight Loss Ward' on YouTube while I was trying to work.  I often watch shows like this, shows about other super morbidly obese people and their struggles because it makes me feel less alone in my own struggle. One of the comments was (paraphrasing), "Why do they always go on about how they were abused? The people on 'My 600 lb. Life' do that too. Get over it."

So I read that, and I got really angry, and it triggered me I guess because now my brain is filled with, "You need to eat. EAT EAT EAT EAT!" in neon letters in my head. It's misery and at some point you want so badly to give in not even because there is hunger, which there isn't, or because you want some of the yummy keto options in the house, which I don't, but just because you want your brain to please please please just shut TF up and leave you alone. It's an earworm but more irritating and when accommodated potentially life threatening over time.

And in answer to the ignorant person I would respond what do you think we are all TRYING our best to do? Don't you think we are trying to get over it? I don't want to think about it and I damn sure don't want to be super morbidly obese. Apologies to those of you that are happy where you are because I was once too but now I'm older and in pain and I was very sick and I just don't want to be fat anymore, I just don't.

So I fight. One of the ways I fight is to come here and write about it. One way is to watch other people's struggles although I think now I need to give that a break because it's like my brain is taking advantage of that and trying to pry open a crack in my resolve.

Another way I deal with it is getting out of the house. It's cold today. I had planned to stay in and work. Now I'm going to bundle up and walk because I sense that I need that. I'm going to my favorite park that is often deserted and has a workout plaza for seniors that I really like.

I don't think I'll ever "get over" my abuse. It walks with me now and will for the rest of my life. I don't have to give in to my old coping mechanisms though, I can fight those. It's rough some days, like today, but I have hope that new habits and resolve (or willpower, if you prefer) will win out and change my neural pathways for the better.

Weight loss isn't just lack of hunger ("If I could just not be hungry I would be fine"), at least, not for me. It's a hard slog to change decades of behavior patterns that began in childhood. It's learning not to listen to that part of your brain that wants sugar, or replays old pain and old messages.

In the end, it's trying to figure out who you want to become.






 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Age Appropriate Clothing

OK, so I'm obsessed with watching (clothing) hauls and unboxings on YouTube. I was watching one today with someone younger than me chirping on about one of the styling boxes (Dia&Co, StitchFix, Trunk Club from Nordstroms) and she says, "I love that the stylist picked stylish clothes that were age appropriate......."
 
You know what clothes are age appropriate? The ones you decide to wear. I'm sorry, statements like this are a huge problem for me. 
 
Another one that gets me is, "I love this shirt/blouse/sweater but I can't buy it because it doesn't cover my problem area."
 
Girl, that area is only a problem if you let it be. It's part of you and whether it was kids or stress or genetics that gave you that area that's not a reason to hate it. Love yourself. Love ALL of yourself. Work on it. That way, next time, you'll buy that shirt/blouse/sweater than you love.
 
Want to wear make-up like Jeffree Star? Do it. 
 
You're 70 years old and want to wear thigh high boots with garters? Do it, it's going to rock your world and probably someone else's as well. 
 
Like something trendy because that Fashion Nova fit but think you're too old for it? Fuck that. Buy it, wear it, have fun with it because life is too damn short to let other people's narrow-minded views impact the way you express yourself.
 
I spent decades, literally decades, hiding in tent tops afraid that some little thing I wore would offend someone but something has turned over in me and now I just don't care. If I like it I'm wearing it and if someone else doesn't like it they can kiss my ass.
 
Just as art is expression, fashion is expression. It's a way to tell other humans something about who you are and if they don't like what they see, well then, job done. Job done because if they can't handle what they see then they most certainly can't handle me....or you. 
 
Buy it, rock it, live your life because you never know, shit goes down and you might not be here tomorrow and not living every day to it's fullest is the largest kind of stupidity. 
 
You here Boo, do somethin' with it.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

My Eating Disorders

I completed a 60 hour fast this morning with ease. I ate today and just set Vora (it's an app that tracks fasting) for a 48 hour fast that ends Tuesday night at 5:52pm. Later in the week I'm going after a 72 hour fast, currently the 60 hour one is my max.

Something has turned over in me. Initially I was struggling with the fasting and couldn't wait to eat and now? Today I found myself irritated with all the food and just wanted to get the feeding over with so I could fast again. I feel better when I fast. It's easier to fast. I don't have to think about food when I fast, it just.......goes away.

Go the fuck away food, you bother me.

Now, I have to watch myself. I have to watch myself and I will explain why.

The fasts I'm doing are moderator fasts from a group I'm in. I know better than to go past 72 hours because I know myself. Could I fast longer than 72 hours? Um, yes. I have this feeling I could do one of those 21 day fasts I see on YouTube. There are two reasons I'm not doing one of those:

1.) I'm 58 years old, I'm just too old to put my body through that shit.

2.) I'm eating disordered and have been all my life, it's too risky.

So what do I mean by eating disordered? Am I talking about the (obvious) excessive amounts of food I had to eat to get to 460 lbs? Well yes, there is that, but there is also a history of bulimia.

Wait........what?

Yes, I said bulimia, as in bulimia nervosa. I was a card carrying member of the scarf and barf club for 2 years in the mid-70s, from when I was 15 to when I was 17. Back then it really wasn't something everyone knew about and I, at least, didn't realize there was a name for it.

You just heard from your girlfriends that hey, you can eat whatever you want as long as you puke it up after or you use laxatives to evacuate it.

Cool. My mother had been feeding me lomotil on the regular from the age of about 6, if there was one thing I knew about it was shitting, in all it's forms, from liquid to I can't for a week.

I made Ex-Lax brownies (the chocolate kind blends into the batter better, or did back then - Betty Botter bought some butter..... or Ex-Lax) and if that wasn't enough, or I didn't judge it to be enough, I could use good old Milk of Mag along with it, or anything else on the bowel aisle, take your pick. In that time I probably used most of them, occasionally in conjunction with diet pills and Ayds candies because you gotta be sure those calories don't stick, right? Out out out they go.

I never could make myself vomit worth a damn for which both I and my teeth are eternally grateful.

As a result of that two year feast then poo fest (along with my lovely lomotil addiction off and on through the years, thanks mom) I've had bowel problems all my life. Back in the early summer I ended up with a CAT scan for abdominal pain that turned out to be an obstruction that almost ruptured. Needless to say, I get my fiber in these days, oh yes indeedy, that shit (literally) was painful. I love my greens.

So why am I telling you all of this? I think it's important to discuss eating disorders, ALL eating disorders, in a real way. Not only how they happen but what they can do to you for literally the rest of your life.

Also, I feel that monster in the back of my head. She's always there, she's never really left. She was with me when I was eating entire packages of Oreos and Little Debbie Snack Cakes and Cheetos and Goldfish and Snickers and a giant bag of peanut M&Ms and then Ex-Lax brownies with Milk of Mag chasers.

She was with me when my kids were small and I took them to McDonald's and ate my meal while they played and then they wouldn't eat most of theirs and I didn't want to force them like I was forced (do you know what the starving kids in India would do for that? *blink blink*) and McDonald's doesn't keep for shit and you can't waste food you bought, you just can't, so you eat their leftovers too.....

....and then take them to Braums for ice cream.

This was reality for me, people. This was my life.

She was with me when my son had a psych break and I didn't know if he was going to come out of it and was he going to act like an 8 year old all his life (the answer is no, he's fine, he works, he's happy) and what about work? I can't be a nurse anymore, I can't be an underwriter, I have to be home for him, what am I going to do?

She was there with the answer.

I was going to eat. I was going to eat my way (weigh) to 460 lbs.

She was there when I came to the realization that I was almost bedbound, that I couldn't walk down my own fucking hallway in my own fucking house without puffing and panting. She was there when I struggled with bathing and wiping my own ass (my, we are bowel obsessed, aren't we?).

She was there when I had had enough and decided to turn it around.

She's there now. She whispers. She says that if I'm going to fast I should FAST, not hours but days. Days and days and days. Because I'm a lazy fat fuck and that's the punishment I deserve.

But I have her now, I have her number. I know her. I know she lies.

Her name is Addiction, and she lies.

You can come at me with your bullshit about "There's no such thing as food addiction" or "That's just an excuse you use you fatty..." and I would agree with you. There is no such thing as food addiction. It's not food, it's sugar, and sugar addiction, that shit? That shit is the really real. Harder to kick than cigarettes or speed and in the end, just as deadly.

Control can be an addiction too. Can't control the abuse you suffer daily? You can control what you eat. Can't control your crappy job? You can control what you eat. Can't control who's president or the extinction of animals or the fact that we are poisoning our own planet, literally shitting where we live (even cats know better than to do that)?

You can control what you eat.

Like Janet Jackson used to sing:  Control - I like to have a lot.

So how did I come out of bulimia? Well, I'd like to say I got therapy or someone cared about me enough to notice I was killing myself but the truth is I split. I ran away from home for the, what? The third time that time, I think. I didn't have the money to buy laxatives, I barely scraped enough together to eat at all. When I got dragged back home (long story, another time maybe) I just never picked it back up. Oh, I still ate. By the time I got to nursing school I was 350 lbs.

Then I lost it. Got married, had kids, and gained it. Went on HarrisFast and lost some of it. Started eating again and gained it all back plus some. Lather/Rinse/Repeat.

My story isn't unique. There are thousands and thousands struggling with the same issues on the daily. Some of us survive them and sadly, some of us don't (I miss you, Karen Carpenter).

If you are one of the people who struggles just remember:

She lies.

Her name is Addiction and she lies.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Walking and Social Anxiety



I've started walking every day and my legs and knees are slowly improving and hurting less and less. 

The social anxiety is still an issue. I have to find a park that's not covered in people because I get accosted (mostly by older women out walking a dog the size of a tennis ball) otherwise, like today: 

I stopped to drink from my water bottle and this older non-fat woman coming from the other direction stops in her tracks with this look of concern and says, "Are you OK?" in this panicked voice. 

*SIGH*

Not the first time that has happened and I'm sad to say I snapped, I am usually kind and have better control but I just wanted to walk in peace and listen to Cardi B tell me about drip drip. I put the cap on my bottle, looked at her, and said, "Yes, I'm fine. Just because a fat person walking turns red and stops to drink water it doesn't mean they're going to have a heart attack in the middle of the path. Thank you for your concern." It was a better response than the one in my head, trust me on this.

Honestly, the ignorance is astounding and every time I go out to a park with more than a few people, literally every. single. time., someone feels like they have to walk up and ask me if I'm ok, or if I'd like some water (when I obviously have a water bottle in my hand), or just some outrageous crap like clapping when I walk by or saying, "Good for you!"

News Flash: I do not need nor do I want your concern/approval/comments/gestures. What I want is to be left the f&^% alone to do whatever workout I want to do. 

And people wonder why they don't see more fat people out in the park walking and taking care of their health, or in the gym for that matter. It's because of this kind of sh*t. I don't care if you are 90 years old and think the world is your oyster I don't want to hear it, don't want to know you, and I especially don't care what you think.

On the brighter side, I'm 24 hours into a 48 hour fast and snake juice has helped that immensely. If you don't know what that is check out the YouTube link below. Be warned, the guy will yell at you and "Hey fattie!" will be the first words out of his mouth. I'm OK with that, I am a fattie. I'm working to one day not be. His snake juice recipe is what I drink when I'm fasting. It keeps me sane and headache free. The more I fast the more I want to fast because when I fast I feel awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vz_U8kxDlg&t=369s 

Oh, and here's some trees. I like trees. I like to take pictures of trees on my walks. I know I'm boring. Shut up.


Monday, December 17, 2018

No...more....BACON!

Current weight: 381

Yay! Yes I've dropped considerably since my last post and there is a reason why.

First, my apologies: I have no photos today because I've been working my ass off trying to finish Xmas projects. If you are any type of maker you know that end of the year holiday struggle.

Second: The reason I've dropped a chunk of weight, at least, the reason I think I have, is because of two changes in my diet:

1) I significantly decreased my cheese intake. I only eat white cheeses and limit that to two ounces a day and under. The reason for that is experimentation and advice from my internist to omit all orange cheeses. I think cheese causes inflammation for me and I tend to hold onto weight longer.

2) No more bacon. Why? Because I actually began to look for bacon that didn't have sugar added somewhere in the curing process and guess what? I couldn't find any.

Knowing that I'm insulin-resistant and eating bacon for breakfast on the daily I realized that had to be at least part of the issue with my weight staying around 388 for several weeks. So I decided to delete it from my diet and what happened?

I went from 388 lbs to 381 lbs in less than a week.

It's the hidden sugars that will mess you up if you're insulin-resistant. I actually figured out the bacon thing because my husband bought some applewood smoked bacon and I told him, "No, no, you can't get applewood smoked, apples have sugar. We have to use bacon that doesn't have sugar...."

LOL

So maybe I'm just an ignorant person when it comes to the meat curing process. Also, keto and bacon, hello? If you google and ask "Is bacon keto friendly?" you'll get a resounding yes, they are matched like hand and glove.  It's, "Come to the keto side, we have bacon!"

Baaaa-cooon.

Here's the thing, maybe not everyone who does keto is insulin-resistant but many of us are, especially those like me who have been fat for most of their lives. What I have found on this weight loss adventure is that you have to do one thing consistently and that's research. You can start out doing keto like I did, finding a YouTube video that explains the basics of the diet and the way to get into fat burning mode which is, frankly, the reason most of us do keto. I do realize there are body builders et al who do keto as well but that's not the population I'm talking to here. I'm talking to MY population, the one I belong to, the fluffy/fat/obese/morbidly obese/super morbidly obese/ bbw/ssbbw population.

Research is key.

Be willing to change your opinions. Be willing to accept new information. Be willing to look at your own personal weight loss as an experiment, your own personal science experiment, and test out ideas and make hypotheses based on the new information you find.

Like Maya Angelou said:  "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

So if I don't eat bacon or processed meats (I get my meat from a local butcher) and I don't eat more than 2 ounces of white cheese a day then what the hell do I eat and how is that fun?

I eat lots of organic meats and fish like salmon and sardines and I eat lots of vegetables, in particular spinach, which I love. I eat avocados. I eat healthy fats.

I don't eat for fun, that's what got me into this mess in the first place. That, and eating when I'm stressed, or when I'm bored, or to cover over/numb out the pain from either my past or things that happen in my present. Recently someone in social media called me a psychotic bitch. Back in the spring that would have sent me nose first into a package of Oreos, and not the six-pack either but that big ass bonus double-stuff bastard. Yeah. Now? Now I cry, or I shrug it off, or I go and make something. What I don't do is eat. I've learned about myself that I have to allow myself to feel my feelings and there is nothing wrong with feeling your feelings. If there was we wouldn't be able to cry, right? Right. Is it scary to feel your feelings? Of course it is. To me though, it was scarier to face a future of pain, poor mobility, and amputations. I'm 58. I already had, at my heaviest, a purple area on one heel that was painful and would not resolve. I knew what that meant, I'm no fool. I like my feet and I decided I want to keep them. Both of them. My feet are fine now, that area cleared up about one month into keto. One day, it just wasn't there anymore. I still remember how hard I cried when I realized it was gone.

Do I eat anywhere near what I did when I was at my highest weight which I estimate was around 460 lbs (I started weighing at 442 lbs)? Oh HELL no. I'm fat adapted, have been for awhile. I'm just not that hungry anymore. I do intermittent fasting on the daily and extended fasting here and there.

Without research though, without learning to ferret out hidden sugars and all the pseudonyms for it, I would not be as successful as I have been. Also? When you're fat adapted deciding to give up bacon isn't the, what word would describe the emotional reaction best (?), isn't the agony it would have been at 460. Organic meats, fish, avocados, and spinach? Are you fucking kidding me? I need crunchy! I need sweet!

Except I don't. I have (lifts nose in air and extends pinky like a fucking lady) moved beyond that.

Not because I'm strong, not because I'm brave, not because I have insane amounts of willpower and NOT because I'm any different from you.

It's because I took a chance and then another and then another in little baby steps until I was fat adapted. That, though, didn't happen until I decided to love myself for who I was. If you want to know the first key, that was the first key for me. Accept yourself. Love yourself.

Success will follow.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Trust the Process

Still at 388 lbs.

No, I didn't cheat. Still strict keto, still doing intermittent and extended fasting. I refer to those sometimes as IF and EF when I forget to write them out, I'm used to the place where I hang out on Facebook where everyone knows the acronyms. While I'm on the subject, my favorite Facebook group and the place where I've gotten the best support and no negativity is called:

 The Obesity Code Network: Fasting Support with Megan Ramos & Dr. Jason Fung

My internist first suggested low carb to me and from there I found keto. From that point I found Dr. Fung's books, The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code and after that I found the group I linked above. That's how I started on this path. Prior to that, in the spring of 2018, I had just started cutting back on the amounts I was eating but things weren't changing much, I still felt bad, and my lab numbers were awful.

My starting weight was, I believe, somewhere in the 460s. I don't know that as fact because I wasn't weighing myself at the time, I'd given up.


You'll see this photo, I'm sure, over and over again on this blog simply because it's the only "fat" photo I've found so far. I have memory cards of my daughter's wedding and I need to go back through that because there may be one there but right now it's still too close for me, you know? Even this one is hard for me to look at. Not because I think this version of me is ugly or doesn't deserve my respect because she survived a LOT, but because it makes me remember what life was, how hard it was, at that size. When you struggle to walk down the hall in your own house, life sucks. It just does.

These photos are from last Sunday:



Before I started loving myself I could have pointed out everything that was wrong with me in these photos and I would never have taken any photo that showed my VBO (visible belly outline). The change in attitude and the addition of self-love is in large part due to three plus size fashion influencers I follow on YouTube and IG:
Kandy Foxx
And I Get Dressed (KellieB)
Jessica Torres (thisisjessicatorres)
These women, decades younger than me, taught me to love myself and and to fiercely be who I am with zero fucks given. In other words, to live my best life. I am eternally grateful to them and to all the women out there doing the same. We all need to be warriors for the girls coming up to see. Shame needs to die.

Now, I mention this because, and this is key, loving yourself is the first step in the process. Not, "I'll love myself in xxx lbs." No. Bad girl! *spanks hand* Right now. Love yourself right fucking now.

Because to live your best life you don't have to lose weight, that's a personal choice. However, to live your best life you do have to love yourself because, as RuPaul says:






Also, I promise you when you begin to love yourself everything changes. Everything.

So, trust the process - wth does that mean?

It means that there will be stalls as you lose weight. Yes, even with strict keto, yes, even if you are really big like me, and yes, even if you do some extended fasting.

Why?

Because your body is healing itself from years, and sometimes as in my case, decades, of damage and insulin resistance. The first fat you lose according to the research I've read, and trust me when I say I a have read tons of research (it's what I do when I'm feeling weak and want to dive head first into the loaf of bread my husband brought in the house, the bastard, lol), is the fat surrounding your internal organs. Trust me when I say this is a good thing. It's good because when your organs are released from fat bondage they can function better and you feel better. I live this truth now every day.

Also, when fat is released from the cells that have stored it the body will fill those cells with water as a sort of place holder, or bookmark. It's saying, "Oh, this is temporary, we'll be back here. Let's just put water in here for now so we don't have to go through all the bullshit of re-expanding the storage center." However, when you don't give your body anymore fat to store, and when you are strict keto and IF/EF you won't, then your body will be like, "Well damn, I guess the bitch is serious....." and will release that water and you'll see it reflected on the scale.

I'm not in a hurry.

I'm living my life, I'm committed to this way of eating, this way of life.

I trust the process.

I found my happy.  😍