The Depth of my Periphery

There’s something that I notice everywhere I go – other women.

No, I’m not changing my sexual orientation. I simply have become hyper-aware of the bodies of the women around me. When I was fat, I noticed all of the thin women that surrounded me. I was always convinced that I was the biggest gal in any room. I was the fattest chick walking into the bakery. I was the heaviest heifer in the fashion shop.

To some extent, I still feel this way. Whereas my formerly size 22/24 self could never find my size in a clothing store, I now have the same problem finding sizes 12/14. It seems to be always sold out. The reason? It’s an AVERAGE size.

I’m average.

Of course, that’s a GREAT thing to be when it comes to weight. I never wanted to be the skinniest girl. I never wanted to be recognised for my body, even if the recognition was good. I have spent a lot of my adult life afraid of getting attention based on my body. Of course, I have deep personal experiences that led to this fear, but at the heart of all things has been a lack of celebration of my BODY.

So now that I am prouder of how I look, I find myself looking at other women to try and find similar body types to myself. I try and look for women who dress well and accentuate their positives in the hope that I could find my own positives to accentuate. My husband is indispensible in this regard. He’s only too happy to ogle pretty women in the name of making me feel better.

What I’ve found is that there are SO many differences in us ladies that it is impossible to find your body twin.

A recent realisation struck me while having a discussion with a colleague. I found out that we wear the same size! But the difference is this: she’s just gone up a size, whilst I’ve just gone down a size.

How does this affect us? Her weight gain makes for a much firmer body than my weight loss. Whereas I’ve lost fat (hurrah!) and therefore become somewhat more jiggly, she’s gained fat (boo!) and yet only the size changed – not the skin.

It’s a strange realisation when you think that surely it should be the other way around. If I’m getting skinnier, how come I look like a fatter and flabbier size 12 than my colleague who has put on 7 lbs in the last two months? It seems unfair. Especially when we show up to work in the same dress, and her body looks amazing, and I feel lumpy and unpleasant.

I wouldn’t trade my new body for anything. Unless of course it’s a tighter and smaller new body. J But it does make you think about how hard it is to compare yourself to others.

Even my mother, who had gastric bypass and had almost identical body type to mine and lost pretty much the same amount of weight looks completely different to me.

So how do I figure out how to dress for MY body type?

The truth is that there’s no such thing as a body type. My body is mine and there isn’t another like it. What works for me isn’t going to work for the next girl. And the styles I choose for myself may not belong in the pages of Vogue. But I will wear what makes me feel good. What allows me to look in the mirror without wincing.

Men may objectify me. Women may judge me. But I CAN feel good about how I look without being stuck up, vain and arrogant.

Life is too short to worry about everyone else. Today I will worry about me.

Monday Goals

I intend every monday to write a list of goals through the week. The WLS community on LiveJournal is my inspiration (much like for my Friday Ps and Cs), but it’s easier for me to add them here.

Goals for week beginning March 16th:

  • Drink at least 2 liters of WATER each day
  • Begin the Couch to 5K program
  • Eat 3 meals per day with minimal snacking
  • Take my vitamins each day
  • Take my metformin each day
  • Take my dianette each day
  • Update my blog daily
  • Remember to keep a food diary
  • Get a job!

I know I can do it! Post your goals here, too, if you are a reader!

Oh Me, Oh My

Wow. My original plan for today was to get up and do a yoga DVD or some other exercise with my husband. Since I have the day off from C25K, I figured that keeping fit in some other way would be useful. I didn’t count on waking up feeling like my whole body had been beaten with a big stick!

In my case, the moniker “Couch to 5K” is particularly apropos. I literally haven’t done any exercise in months. It’s a shame, as I realise that if I’d done more along the way, my weight would be even lower by now. But I didn’t. And since I can’t change the past, I am looking to change the future!

Anyway, whenever a new exercise regime is established, I do think it’s important to start slowly and build up in case you either injure yourself or become overwhelmed. I thought I’d be okay with a bit of yoga, as it’s low impact. But in the end, I just decided to have today as an “off” day.

This evening I have an appointment with my GP to discuss the results of a blood test I had done recently. I’m trying to establish once and for all whether or not I am diabetic. If I am, there are things I need to be doing. If I’m not, I get to have an occasional piece of chocolate! 🙂

The Dreaded Doctor Visit

So I just got back from the doctor. She was running half an hour late, so it took AAAAGES. But worth the wait as I love my doctor. 😉

Anyway, the results came back and *drumroll please*




This is such awesomely amazing news, that I nearly didn’t hear the rest of it…

As it turns out, I have reactive hypoglycemia, low white blood cells, and HYPOTHYROIDISM!


I guess this means that my previous high weight actually had an excuse!  I have to go back to have further blood work in a couple of weeks just to verify things, but as soon as they verify it, I’ll have to take a pill for the rest of my life.

The white blood cell thing also explains why I’ve been sick so often.

It’s good to finally have some answers. And now I can go back to having the occasional piece of dark chocolate! Huzzah!

Dangerous Dinners

Last night I did something stupid. REALLY stupid. COLOSSALLY stupid.

It’s something that, if done again, could lead me down a path which I would never want to revisit.

Since my surgery, I have had the odd take-away meal from McDonalds or somewhere similar. Generally, this involves ordering a small fries and a plain cheeseburger. I remove the bun, eat MOST of the burger/cheese and about half the fries. This works well. It makes me feel “normal” without causing any real problems.

My husband has recenty been struggling with his diet. He’s not fat by any stretch, but he’s been feeling less in shape than he wants to be. But he struggles with motivation to start eating healthily again. Last week, he came to the decision that he wanted to pick a day and REALLY start going for it on the diet/exercise front. I offered to help support him, and I advised him (perhaps badly) to get all the treats out of his system and then buckle down as of Monday (today). He thought this a great idea and set about drinking a lot of beer, eating a lot of curry and looking forward to the coming week of healthful living.

Unfortunately, he had four days to fill before Monday came around.  Perhaps we both should have known better than to plan in this way. I know only too well that putting off a healthy life is all too easy to do. It’s simple to tell ourselves “this is the last time I will eat this way… I better have that ENTIRE pizza tonight, or I’d better have TWO curries to get it out of my system…”  There’s even a term to describe it: “Last Supper Syndrome.”

Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of “last suppers.” Every diet that I’ve ever tried was preceeded by DAYS worth of overeating in anticipation. It got to be a running joke for anyone who knew me.

But back to last night. In the anticipation of starting up HIS healthful living regime, I somehow let my husband’s Last Supper syndrome influence ME. I started to feel that come Monday, I should begin a healthful eating plan, as well. I have been indulging in Dr Pepper a lot lately, which I want to stop, and as mentioned I have eaten a few take-away meals and eaten a bit of ice cream (Skinny Cow or Diabetic versions, but ice cream nonetheless!), which has not been helping my weight loss. So Monday became D-Day for both of us. And without even thinking, I became part of the Last Supper mentality.

So last night, Ross and I drove to McDonalds. I had been anticipating a small Shamrock Shake, but UK McDonalds don’t tend to have them. I had wanted a small sip of one to satiate my craving, and the rest I was going to give to Ross. I ended up ordering my usual plain cheeseburger, but this time I decided on a MEDIUM fries. And to top it off, I bought a Toffee Sundae to go with it!  Ross had already decided to get a burger and fries from a different establishment, but upon seeing my Toffee Sundae, he decided to order one, too!

Once we’d got his food and returned home, I set about eating my food. I started with the fries (a big no no! protein first, kiddies!), eating them slowly at first, and then shoveling them down my gullet. Then, I removed the bun and ate the burger. All of this took less than 5 minutes. As a meal for me SHOULD take half an hour or more, I really was stupid to have eaten in this way. I knew I wouldn’t fit the ice cream quite yet, so I waited.  My husband ate his meal with relish, and both of us watched TV during the proceedings (another big no no! food should be focussed on – we eat a lot more when distracted!).

After about half an hour (not NEARLY long enough), I started on the sundae. And I did NOT take my time. I devoured 3/4 of the thing in about 3 minutes. And that’s when I suddenly realised my folly. What was I DOING to myself??

I had once again fallen victim to “Last Supper Syndrome,” but I had done it in the most idiotic way possible. Not only was I endangering my health by eating such unhealthy food, but I was endangering my body immediately by forcing too much food into my much smaller stomache. I could have ruptured it! It is DANGEROUS to do what I did. Yet I never allowed myself to think of the repercussions.

As you can imagine, I spent a good few hours in the bathroom, with vomiting, diarrhea and intense stomach pains. I wound up taking a long hot bath to try to make myself feel better, but all that happened is my heart rate increased hugely, and my nose kept running. I sincerely wondered if I needed a hospital.

Luckily for me, I was okay in the end. I went to bed and immediately passed out, and when I awoke this morning, I felt a lot better… at least physically.

Mentally I’m struggling. How could I have let myself go through all of that. Have I learned nothing since surgery? This is the OLD Katie at work. I should never have been that weak as to allow myself to lose track of all that I’ve accomplished.

That said, it goes to show that surgery is not a fix-all. It is merely a means to an end. If we cannot get our eating habits under control, we WILL gain the weight back. We must choose to have “enough” rather than “plenty.” We must choose protein over carbs. We must choose healthy over junk.

Today I start over again, and I promise myself (for whom else should I promise?) that I will not allow myself to fall into old traps.

Fat Acceptance

I read an article this afternoon entitled Overweight Women: To be Celebrated? Or Shamed? It got me thinking about my own thoughts on the matter.

When creating this blog, I filled my blogroll with a lot of useful links to weight loss websites. I also created a category I called “Inspiration.” You can see them in the right hand sidebar if you look.  Many of the blogs in this category are of other surgery survivors, as well as women who have lost weight through more traditional means.  I find them inspiring to me, and I hope you do, too.

That said, I also have links in the same category of women who are overweight and happy about it! They are healthy and vivacious and in control of their lives, and I’ve no doubt they would still be so if they were bigger or smaller. They are women who accept themselves unconditionally and are to be lauded.

Still, my thoughts on fat acceptance are many and varied. On the one hand, I applaud anyone who can be a positive role model for the overweight. Especially when they can show that they are not simply lazy gluttons, but women with full lives which include healthy eating choices and moderate exercise. I do not base whom I find attractive (male OR female) on the size or shape of a person. I do judge based on whether the person takes care of him/her self. Do they make an effort with clothing/makeup/hair, etc?

I have several girlfriends who have never had a problem with their weight. Some of them are model thin, and others are curvy in the exact right places. But being thin is no guarantee of being attractive.

I even know a set of identical twins who couldn’t be more different in how they are viewed by the opposite sex.  Bianca* uses a straightening iron on her hair each day. She gets up early to put on her makeup, and she dresses with style in the most recent fashions.  In contrast, her twin Bella* will only put in extra effort if she is forced to do so for work. She generally rises an hour later than Bianca, and she wears makeup only on special occasions. She leaves her hair with its minor wave in it, and usually she wears it in a ponytail.  Both of these women are gorgeous. Despite the levels of effort they put in, there is no denying that they are twins. Anyone could see it. Yet Bianca is the one who always gets asked to dance in clubs. She gets free drinks wherever she goes, and she could have a different date every night of the week.  There’s even a difference in how men describe them. Bella is often referred to as “beautiful” while Bianca has been described most often as “hot.”

In the same vein, I have two friends who are sisters (though not twins) who are both overweight. The younger of the two wears makeup daily, gets her hair cut at a salon every 6 weeks, and buys clothes to update her wardrobe as often as she can reasonably afford it. The older sister makes no effort whatsoever. Her hair is extremely long but is in terrible shape with split ends and dandruff. She wears no makeup, and she can usually be found wandering around in cheap sweat pants and a stained t-shirt. She is in her early 30s, but she looks older, and she hasn’t had a date in years, despite the fact that she was once married to an attractive man.  Standing side by side the two sisters have an incredible likeness. Their facial structure is similar, and their body shape is nearly identical. But the younger one is full of life, and she has a new boyfriend every couple of months.

Basing attractiveness and/or health on how someone looks doesn’t always work. Two women of the exact same build could be seen by the same man, and he may have a very different response to each.  My own husband has shown me that men can be completely contradictory in this regard.

A few days ago, we were driving down the road when we saw a larger woman in baggy sweats, hair in ponytail, walking down the street with no makeup and a cigarette in hand. My husband made a disgusted noise and pointed her out as “an uggo.” Of course I gave him a smack and told him how rude that was, and he apologised for voicing his thoughts out loud. He realised I might find that offensive.  A day or two later, he saw a picture of a very nude Beth Ditto in a magazine, and he commented on how one of the pictures was actually quite appealing. Never mind that Beth Ditto is a LOT heavier than the woman we’d seen earlier in the week. Never mind that her rolls were on display for everyone to see without even a baggy sweatsuit to cover her “offensive” body. For some reason my husband saw a difference in the two women.  I have no doubt it had to do with the difference in the effort put in by the two women.

In this day and age, we are all warned of the associated health risks of being overweight. Diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, etc are all problems associated with the obese.

But how about this? My BMI right now is FOUR pounds away from being a “normal” weight. I am overweight by FOUR pounds. And I’m on my way DOWN. Some women who are overweight by four pounds are on their way UP the BMI chart, where health problems may become a worry. But here’s the kicker – yesterday morning I weighed in at 170 lbs.  By 8 PM, I weighed in at 176. That’s 6 pounds in the space of ONE day.

Last week I was on my period, and my weight was almost 10 lbs heavier than normal. Weight fluctuates. It happens to EVERYONE based on what we eat and drink or even what time of the month it is.  So even if I hit a normal weight, losing four pounds, the likelihood is that later the same day I’d be back to being overweight!

The answer according to doctors is to get my weight down enough so that when it fluctuates by four or five pounds, I’ll STILL be a normal weight.  And of course at the end of the day, that IS my aim. I don’t yet look the way I want to. I’m not the size I want to be. I still have around 30 lbs to go. Because my ideal weight for MYSELF is not just “normal.” It is small enough so that if/when I faint, my husband can catch me without hurting his back. It’s being able to fit into a smaller sized dress so that I don’t stand out in my crowd of friends as “the big one.”

Right now I’m the healthiest I’ve been in my whole adult life. Sure I could make better decisions. The tiny slice of apple pie with a side of cheddar that I had at 9:30 last night was not smart. But I’m healthy enough that I can have the occasional off day. It won’t kill me. But if I decide to have a slice of pie and cheddar EVERY night at 9:30, I start down a road that I will find hard to recover from.

I guess my point is that right now I am comfortable with my weight. I want to be smaller, but I’m 88 lbs down from my heaviest, and I’ve already done better than I thought I would.   Life is not to be lived by only doing the bare minimum we need for survival. Sure I could live on a tiny portion of fish and brown rice day in and day out, but my life wouldn’t really be nearly as much fun.

Friday Pros and Cons

I haven’t done Ps and Cs in quite a while, so I figured I’d go ahead and stick some in today!


* I have become irrevocably re-addicted to Dr Pepper
* I don’t drink NEARLY enough water anymore
* I’m feeling really lousy about my looks lately due mostly to the state of my hair
* I am awaiting yet FURTHER results from the doctor regarding whether or not I’m diabetic
* I don’t have a job, though I’ve been back in the UK for over three weeks, and I’m getting antsy
* I haven’t been taking vitamins very regularly
* I’ve been eating too much junk food
* I had a recent depressive episode which I thought I’d put behind me for good. 🙁


* I have at least switched to Dr Pepper Zero, which has no sugar, fat, and negligible calories
* I am down to my medium-term goal of 170 lbs with only my major goal left to hit
* I have job interviews lined up next week, one of which looks really promising
* I’ve been migrating all of my old blog entries onto this new site and feel proud with how it’s coming along
* I am back on Dianette, a birth control which also helps my PCOS. So far no weird weight fluctuations!
* My cats are beautiful and very affectionate, which makes me feel better most days

Medium Term Goal

Today I hit my mid-term goal!  My first goal was 199 lbs. Today I reached 170!

The next stop is my final goal of 145!!

I can’t tell you how exciting this is!!!

DATE:27/05/200819/06/200808/07/200830/07/200823/09/200805/11/200805/01/200912/03/2009TOTAL LOSS
Under breast:43.2540.53938.537.7537.7536.536.56.75
Over breast:52514848.7547.545.7542.542.259.75
Over Knee:23.520.252019.518.251918.75176.5