“Fat Acceptance” has been a catch-phrase for at least 40 of the years I have been alive. In 2 parts, I share my experiences and lessons learnt being a part of the…
I’ve been fat ever since I got my tonsils out when I was 7-years old.
Fat kid, teen, adult and now a “mature” adult.
Trials (and Errors)
I’ve done dozens of diets, been prescribed Black Beauties & other speed (starting at age 8), belonged to many gyms, taken Phen-Fen (with success, but with heart valve damage), tried Topamax (fail), used Wellbutrin (fail), had a Roux en Y Gastric Bypass (with fabulous success, then epic failure), done hypnosis & acupuncture (fail & fail), become a daily Mindfulness Meditation fanatic (fail for weight loss/huge win for pain relief), have tried to have anorexia, then bulimia, hand-written hundreds of thousands of journal pages, letting them “hold” my pain, shame, revulsion, self-hate, wishes, fears, hopes &, eventually, resolution with my size.
I remain in resolution.
I will never diet or take diet drugs again. Ever.
Time & Money
Thinking about the masses of time and money I’ve spent trying to lose weight makes my head spin.
- Going to the gym
- Writing out menus
- Researching rules and techniques for success
- Real life or online support group meetings, including social networks talking about losing/gaining weight
- Shopping slower to read labels and make sure food is “appropriate”
- Learning new cooking methods
- Fighting with family about the change in foods in the fridge and cupboards
- Gym membership
- New cookbooks
- Membership fees & apps
- Tools for success (exercise equipment, pedometer, walking/running shoes, gym clothes, etc.)
- Tossing all the “bad” food in the garbage
- Buying all the “good” food
- Probably eventually buying more “bad” food for my family because they whined so much about foisting my diet on them
- $28,000 cash for RNY gastric bypass (GB)
Can I include the time and money (including the taxpayer’s) for the years of therapy discussing and crying about all of this?
I was a Fat Activist in the mid-late 80’s, mostly in the lesbian community. I’ve written about being fat-positive for almost 3 decades.
In the beginning, when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s, I was healthy… labs were fine, no diabetes, my joints or feet didn’t hurt. I crowed (bragged, was arrogant) about how it was the fat-hating that made fat people sick and die, not the fat itself.
Now, at 56-years old, I see how delusional I was. I am well on the road to dying before most people in my family did, and they all had diabetes, too. My future resides in my memories of my Cuban relatives & the diabetes complications they endured before dying. Heart attacks, going blind, having toes, then feet cut off, eventually dying in a coma because the body just gave up.
I see it coming as if it was a roaring train heading right for me.
Litany of Pain
Here are my fat-related illnesses and issues:
- Type 2 Diabetes (diagnosed at 34 years old), now on 2 insulins and metformin
- I heal terribly because of the diabetes, often needing antibiotics for residual infections
- Stage 3 Kidney Disease from the diabetes
- Pain with every step I take
- Osteoporosis and arthritis in my feet, which have broken 3 times just from walking for exercise, and one foot breaking while swimming
- Broke one foot falling off the Wii Fit Board trying to exercise… needed 3 surgeries to repair
- Arthritis in my lower back, was on opioids for 8+ years for the back pain, becoming incredibly addicted, finally getting clean 3 years ago (yay me!) Now I use Mindfulness Meditation for pain relief, though many times I wish for some Norco.
- It took me years to find surgeons I felt safe with to get my 4 hernias repaired (one surgery) and then my gallbladder out (a separate surgery, with 3 hospital visits afterwards because of infection)… several turning me away because of my enormous belly size (blessedly, I found the docs and those issues are resolved)
- Bone loss from possibly 2 main sources: lack of exercise & the Gastric Bypass
- Walking with a walker, but should be in an electric wheelchair, my feet hurting so badly
- Using an electric wheelchair when I shop
My world has gradually become smaller and smaller. After 32 years in birth work (where I hurt daily as well), I am now a sedentary Phone Sex Operator. I live in a small space and leave the house only for doctor appointments, physical therapy, shopping and seeing my doggies at mom’s house.
Writing that makes me sad.