Category Archives: weight

The Aftermath

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After losing nearly 100 lbs ive developed the opposite of what people may think would happen. Insecurity and body dismorphic issues. Which is at times overwhelming and drowns out rational thinking. I was looking through photos last night and found a face picture that for the first time really let me see how far ive come. Because, you see, I dont see the current day me. I see the old me. The one who I have been for the better part of my adulthood. This was the face that was with me when I became a mother, when I was at my lowest, my highest, when I got my first grown up job, bought my first house became fiercely independent. I made soul mate friends with this face. This was the face in front of the heart that said “You’re beautiful. Size does not define you” I drank up all the body positive kool aid and celebrated my curves. I was wearing a two piece at the pool at 294 lbs and dared anyone to have an issue with it. I didn’t care about fat arms or cellulite. Didn’t care about scars. I ran races, I did mud runs. I offered no apologies for my space in this world and I was there to back up my bad assness if need be. I would slap on bright red lipstick and had no issue bringing attention to myself. No one was ever terribly unkind.

And then I made the decision to have my surgery. Mainly because it was hard to breathe going up the stairs. I was knocking at the door of 300 with no slowing down in sight. I was out of control, had a heightened sense of self worth and was literally headed towards health issues at 120 mph. I was embarrassed that I needed to get surgery but decided ultimately it had to be done.

And the pounds started to come off slowly. 1 pound a week on average. Which doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up eventually. People would comment on me losing weight and I would roll my eyes, thinking “guys 10 lbs isn’t going to make that much of a physical impact when I have 150 to lose total”. What no one prepared me for was the paranoia that I would feel thinking people were watching me, judging what I put in my mouth, wondering why I was losing so slowly. So I became concious of every bite. I felt shameful when I would eat. I thought that people would think that I was going to fail and that silently they were judging me. I had never had those thoughts before.

As the pounds eventually added up to a significant amount – around 50 lbs people started to be very vocal about my body. Positively but very vocal. They congratulated me and encouraged me. But with every positive word I became even more insecure. At around 75 lbs loss, I went to my reunion, one that I helped organize with love and was really excited for. I tried on dress after dress, nothing was right. Suddenly I realized that I had excess skin on my arms that would have to be removed surgically. And that my breasts weren’t as full or my stomach. And I remember standing in the mirror changing my dress and feeling like a failure. I went down to the reunion and people were just amazing and we all looked great and people mentioned my confidence and congratulated me on the loss. With every compliment came the toothy pageant smile and thank you. On the outside I was gracious and appreciative on the inside I felt like it was overwhelming.

Then came 100 lbs. This I was excited for. I had finally arrived at a major milestone. I fit into smaller clothes. This was where i felt the most proud. It was bitter sweet, the fat had melted off, I decided that I only needed to lose another 27 lbs not 50 and for the most part looked great under clothing. I knew I would have to save up for skin removal surgery eventually. But that was ok, because I could just tell people “but I lost 100 lbs!” And they would be understanding and I wouldn’t have to apologize for the batwings. Which is insane, because I never felt like I needed to explain myself before. But now I felt like I had an asterisk by my name that gave you an explanation as to why I was where i was. And the truth is no one really cares. People aren’t that awful in real life. This was a battle I was fighting within myself.

The 100 lbs was short lived, as you all know I got really sick and had to have the band removed because of slippage. I was admitted into the ER for emergency surgery as my body began to shut down. I made the decision to not have it fixed because the whole ordeal had been so traumatic that I was scared for my life. Besides I only had 27 lbs to go to goal, I could surely do that without the band.

That was 2 months ago. Since then I have gained 25 lbs. I hadn’t eaten in 10 days when I was in the hospital because of complications, so I knew when I started eating again that I would gain some back. That my body would hold on to it because it was starved for almost 2 weeks.

My new pants and dress that I was so proud of fitting into, doesn’t fit anymore. But that’s ok, I would change the way i eat and work out. Eventually I will find my way back right?

No one really noticed the 25 lbs. People still compliment me but I started to feel really insecure. I started to feel like a failure. Again, I felt like I needed to explain that ive lost 100, but gained 25 because of surgery and that I was working on it. I felt that asterisk by my name come back except this time I added an apology for failing.

I have become incredibly insecure in the past few months. Depression has set in. I’m back in the same cycle I fought so hard to get out of. I joined weight watchers, I’m taking pills, I joined the gym. But I can’t make it to the gym because I’m overwhelmed and insecure and those people there don’t know that I had lost so much, they just see me know and I have so much work to do.

I’m wearing long sleeves. I’m sad about summer coming (my favorite season) because of the excess skin and I can’t afford to have it fixed because I’m still paying for the original surgery, plus the emergency surgery (my insurance didn’t cover any of it) and I feel like if I step out in this body and people see the excess skin, that they will think “I’d rather stay fat than have that skin”

I’ve started to walk with my head down in the grocery store ive lost motivation to do things. I don’t want to meet new people because I don’t want to have to apologize for my existence. When I look in the mirror I see the before picture not the real one. My best friends talked me into getting a haircut recently and I kept saying how I didn’t want to go short because I had a really round face. They tried to show me that it wasn’t the case. I sat in the stylists chair and explained that I wanted it short but I was insecure about my big cheeks and she lovingly pointed out my face shape and cheekbones and tried to explain to me that what I saw wasn’t what she saw. So I chopped it off. And I felt great and I felt powerful and I sashayed out of that salon like a powerful goddess.

The next morning I woke up, as I was getting ready for work I became overwhelmed. I was trying to style my hair and realized people would be looking at me because it was so dramatic. My hair was past my shoulder blades and now it was in a cute lob right at my jawline. And so I started to think about the attention it would bring and suddenly my clothes weren’t right. So I changed. And that wasn’t right. So I changed again. I changed so many times that there was a giant pile of clothes all over my bedroom. I was late for work, I had to get my kid to school and I was having an epic teenage level threat con alpha meltdown that all my clothes didn’t fit right, they looked old, I looked old, and my skin looks like it’s melting and fuck, nothing in my life is ever going to be right again. Eventually I pulled myself together and made it to work. I mentioned to my friends my fit and they were supportive and said we would go buy new clothes. I’ll tell you as a side note, if you don’t have supportive girlfriends, please go get some they are literally my lifeblood and the reason I function day to day.

I came home later and sat on the couch. There’s alot going on in my life right now. Parenting has been tough, the house has been tough, financially its been tough. I’m sad all the time. And because of these issues I can’t really do anything about it. I feel frozen and stuck. My friends have mentioned that I need to get out more, that I need to date. My son says the same. But I feel paralyzed. The thoughts that have made me feel so insecure are so loud that all I have done lately is sit on my couch and it makes me sad. But I can’t muster up the mental strength to go out and apologize or explain my existence.

There is enough rationality left in my brain that ive recognized that I am most likely in a state of depression and I have a doctor’s appointment in a week to see if it’s hormonal or mental or both. But I know I can’t keep up. And I know that this is no way to live. And I know that what I “see” as far as physical doesn’t match up to reality. Even as I stare at this side by side, I dont see the “new” me I see the girl who I was. The one who wasn’t afraid. The new me is weak. I don’t even know what she likes. But so far she really sucks and sits at home all the time and cries and then puts on a fake face to go outside. I wore red lipstick the other day and couldn’t wait to take it off because it called too much attention to my face. “Fat Denise” was fearless, a walking goddess who deserved love and took what she needed. A motivator. I would flirt with the cutest guy in the room because who could resist this? Lol I was cocky and brave and funny because I had to be. This new Denise is a hot mess. I feel like I’m trapped inside a melted suit. Like my body is some sort of hand me down that doesn’t quite fit.

No one prepared me for that. I don’t have the luxury of a supportive partner who loved me then and loves me now and who’s seen all the scars and marks. I’m out here trying to sell a beat up clunker of a car while competing with this year’s newest model with all the features bell’s and whistles. If you don’t know what I mean, go take a look at these dating apps and see what you’re up against. These women are beautiful and young and their skin is tight and I’m supposed to stand out how? Suddenly being 38 a single mom and my body looking like it does is more of a “ooh I found this can of dented soup in the discount bin– do you think its safe to eat?” And then it gets put back because for 20 cents more you can buy a can that isn’t dented and avoid potential botulism.

I told y’all it was dark in this brain of mine. And I don’t know when it will get better. If I ever save up enough for skin removal, will the insecurity of the skin move switch to scars? Will I then have to apologize for looking like Frankenstein?

And these are the thoughts that now keep me confined to the house because I don’t have the energy to explain. And I know that I have to try to heal my brain and heart and thoughts one day at a time. And I have to figure out a way to drown out the mean thoughts about myself. I have to try to remind myself that this is just a shell and that internally I’m still the same woman I admire. Even if i can’t find her when I look in the mirror she’s still there and she needs me to get my shit together. I don’t know if anyone really could have prepared me for this.

If you got this far, thank you for reading.

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Get Rid of 100 Things: Chapter 1

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Happy New Year everyone!! Its been a while since I’ve written and it’s simply or rather not simply been because the latter half of 2017 was whirlwind. It happens. I helped plan our high schools 20th reunion this past September, Kiddo was struggling with turning in his work on time and grades were suffering because 13 year olds…amirite? And then the holidays of course. I ended up having emergency surgery in December to remove the LapBand that I only had for 18 months. The good thing was I had lost 100 lbs, the sad thing was it almost killed me by slipping, and even worse I still owe $7,000 on that surgery and lord knows what the bill for this will be. I didn’t eat for 10 days and well the icing on the cake was a tree hit my house on New Years Eve. Clearly in  a past life i angered the gods and apparently their time to shine was fourth quarter of 2017. It wasn’t all bad here’s a trip down memory lane for the year before i get to the reason for my post.

 

So now that that is out-of-the-way onto the Getting Rid of 100 Things. When I saw my friend on Facebook post it, i had to pause and i thought hmm how would i do this. The woman who posted it is full of wisdom and always inspires me to think so i knew not to take this lightly. Sure we can look at it physically throw away 100 items. Easy. But I thought I could mix it up to just try to improve my life in general. Yes, there will be a physical purge at some point but i thought it only right that my first thing to “Get Ride Of” is UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.

It’s a new year. If you haven’t been constantly reminded of it by all the New Year New Me posts on Facebook then you’re lucky. I don’t normally make resolutions because I have a hard time committing to anything. Hell, I’m surprised me and my shadow still hang out. But I bit into the hype as one does and mixed in with having my LapBand removed and the fear of gaining weight i decided to sign up for a Women’s Half Marathon in November and that I was going to go on a low carb diet to get these last chunk of lbs off. I figured that i would lose 23 lbs in a month (WTF) AND RUN. Can I tell you that a week in  I was sticking to the diet, worked out but jumped on the scale and i was 15 lbs heavier. Now before you oooh and gasp I need to remind you that prior to this I had emergency surgery, had not eaten for 10 days and then was on a liquid diet for a week so in that time I lost 25 lbs. Its only natural to gain it back for the health of your body as nourishment comes back to sustain you.

But I wasn’t reminding myself of that. I had failed. I gained weight back (which after weight loss surgery, it becomes your biggest fear) i had jumped into bad habits of thinking negatively, I stopped telling myself nice things in the mirror, I criticized my body who really did work very hard this year. I ate sad high protein food and punished myself when I didn’t lose 5 lbs overnight. I found myself crying and depressed and basically had resigned myself to dying alone, undiscovered for years on my couch. Yes I have a flair for the dramatic and it gets the best of me from time to time.

When I saw my friend post the #GetRidOf100Things i sat and thought and came to the idea that my first trash out for the new year was to get rid of the negativity. And that meant, for me. to Get Rid of Unrealistic Expectations. Not only as it pertained to my health, but overall when interacting with people. So ill break it down in the areas where I think this could benefit.

      1. UNREALISTIC BODY EXPECTATIONS: Yes run that half marathon, do it for fun for camaraderie, do it for the adventure. Do not get mad if you don’t finish by a certain time, half to walk a little or are the last one to finish. Do not feed yourself sad food that makes you feel even sadder. Yes make better food choices, portion control, but if you want a piece of pie eat the damn pie. There’s no such thing as bad food enjoy the moment in moderation. Understand that a 23 lbs weight loss in a month isn’t healthy. When I had the LapBand I lost up to 1-1 1/2 lbs a week and i was ok with that. Eventually it got me to a 100 lbs weight loss (OK 85 now that I’m eating again) but if I was happy with a lb then, why all of a sudden is anything less than 7 lbs a week unacceptable?! Who wants to live like that. Stop setting myself up for failure of the heart and mind, I’m not going to win Miss Hawaiian Tropic and I’m OK with that.

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      UNREALISTIC RELATIONSHIPS: Honey if he’s just not that into you, there is nothing you can do to salvage that. This year I held onto, clawed and grabbed and tried to feed an unhealthy relationship because we had been friends for 15 years. I figured if the moon aligned right, i won the lottery, dressed pretty, was agreeable and the moon rose over Capricorn (whatever the eff that means) that it would just come together and guess what? all the sweetness in the world couldn’t make that work. In the end this person couldn’t even call me on my birthday and refused to sit with me in the hospital while i was waiting emergency surgery. Lesson here: You can’t get blood from a turnip. And I’m done trying to sell myself the story that i can. Next time ill read the room early and leave in time to enjoy the day.

 

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    1. UNREALISTIC TIME CONSTRAINTS: If I can do it I will, if i cant oh well. It is what it is

 

 

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      1. UNREALISTIC FUTURES: I have a vivid imagination. Oftentimes it gets the best of me and I go dark. Like real dark. I tend to think about the things that i don’t have and spiral down from there. Well circle back to me dying on the couch. In this scenario, I’m 38 years old, I’m unmarried and a single mom of one child, a dog and a cat. Often i think about how my son is almost a grown adult and will be going away soon to college or start his life. I imagine he wont call or come home often (even though he’s been raised better) and my married friends and family are all far away. I’m too old to date (nonsense) and I’m going to end up old and alone and no one is going to hold my hand as i leave this good earth. What the actual macabre shit brain!? So I’m going to try my best to not doom and gloom myself to the point of insanity. The next time I’m home on a Saturday watching TV and the cat is in my lap and my kid is upstairs ignoring me it’s just what it is. It’s not an indicator of what is to come and i will not in fact die on the recliner alone with the cat eating my face……you see what i did there? this ones gonna take work 😉

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      UNREALISTIC COMPARISONS: I will refuse to compare my journey with others. I will not look at Facebook pictures and get sad because my life isn’t like XYZ or that I cant buy a car like XYZ or that i wish i could buy those expensive xyz like XYZ. Not gonna do it. Its poison and leads to ungratefulness.

 

And that’s it. For my first throw away I am going to choose better health and get rid of Unrealistic expectations. What 100 things can you get rid of? I’d love to hear!

 

Fat Girl PSA

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    Its been a while since ive written, so its only natural i go in gung ho about a pet peeve of mine. As you all know,  Ive been very open about my weight loss and that i had Lap-band surgery. Ive told you guys i did it for health reasons and not for vanity (but if i did it for vanity so what #TreatYoSelf) As of this morning I have lost 84 lbs, so suffice to say its a big difference. I get that. People are going to notice, they are going to react. No one prepares you for the attention you get positive or negative. Our bodies are literally on display wherever we go. People will offer unsolicited advice, congratulate you on a job well done, make judgment on what you eat, police your moves, invite you to a dozen FitBit challenges when you would rather melt in to the couch. All well meaning and I get  that.
But here is what bothers me the most- 
   Today i was at Sam’s Club with my friend for work. We frequent SC weekly for over 10 years so the workers know us pretty well. There’s a nice guy who means well (bless his heart) and today as i was walking in he loudly exclaims:
Sam’s Club GUY: “Look at you! You’ve lost so much weight!”
Me: (awkward smile) Thanks! yes i have
SCG: (To my friend) doesn’t she look beautiful now?!
Friend: Shes always been beautiful
Me: Uh, Ive always been beautiful ( I laugh sweetly and awkwardly)
SCG: Yes! Yes! i know, but you look more beautiful now!
Me & Friend: *eye-roll*
Friend: She was beautiful before
Me: I get what your trying to say, and thank you, but it implies that i needed improvement and that’s not why i lost weight, Thank you for the compliment, I also thought i looked fine 84 lbs ago.
SCG: (Wont let it go)
We smile and keep walking.
Whats the problem you ask? The implication that I was not as attractive or beautiful until i lost weight. it may seem that I’m ungrateful for the compliments. It may seem i need to ease up. Maybe I’m one of these liberal feminist snowflakes that just cant let it go. But here’s the thing- Not everyone who is “fat” is ugly, being skinny doesn’t make you automatically beautiful. The outside has changed and rearranged itself, but I’m still the same person on the inside i was almost 100 lbs ago. I don’t put all my self esteem  in my looks, in these 38 years i realized that there’s a whole lot of ugly walking around with a shit ton of make up and designer clothes.
 My issue is the message that we send women in society. That you have to check off some crazy perfection checklist in order to be considered worthy. That you breasts have to look a certain way, that you have to “bounce back” from childbirth within a certain time frame. – What the hell does that even mean? Bounce back? You know whats bouncing back? My uterus after creating life and it hurts!
Ive had people say, “What are you going to do with all this attention when you reach your goal weight?” Me: Uh….watch Netflix. Its like there is this magical day waiting for me where i will wake up and a million little vermin will sew me a dress and clean my house and i will get swept away by a man with a foot fetish and a bad memory. What? That’s NOT what Cinderella is about?
  Let me tell you what will happen. I will wake up like i do every morning. I will take a steaming hot shower that would melt the devils skin off. I will yell for my son to wake up. I will sing or talk to myself while i get dressed and then tell the cat to stop yelling at me to hurry up and feed her. I will brush my teeth, and drive to school/work/ wherever. I will laugh with my friends, call my mom and get on FB to announce i made Goal. Life will go on in whatever fashion seems fit. What i will not do, i bash my former body. I will not say “I was gross, or ugly or let myself go” Because this body, the one that’s under renovation at the moment has given me 13,870+ mornings, noon’s and nights. That’s 13,870 days of seeing the sun and experiencing life. My legs have probably walked the circumference of the Earth by now in steps, my womb held my son safely. I nursed from my breasts. My skin, may have scars and stretch marks- but its literally held me together. My arms hugs people, my hands comfort. My favorite part of my body? My brain- it has made me pretty fearless and unstoppable. How could i turn my back on myself now?
  There was a saying when i was younger that we used to sing “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the others gold” Except when i look at my “old self” there’s nothing brassy or tarnished- it still glitters.
  All I’m saying guys, is that mind your words when giving people compliments. You may mean well, but try to just give a compliment without tearing down the person you are speaking to. Beauty fades, memories last forever and people will never forget how you made them, feel.

One year later, 50 lbs down

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A year ago today I took that crazy leap into bettering my health and sat in the pre op room waiting for my doctor to arrive.  A year ago i decided to take a serious look at my health and did something drastic about it.  Facing issues with PCOS, high blood pressure, pre diabetic, insulin resistance, stress i knew that i had tried and failed one too many times.  It wasn’t an easy decision to decide to have LapBand surgery but i felt i had no other way to turn.  My doctors had prescribed medication, i had tried personal trainers, dietician, hypnosis and a slew of other things.  Finally being told by my endocrinologist that my body was just working against me and that without intervention it would get worse.  I still enjoyed obstacle races and hiking but it was getting harder by the day and i felt myself changing internally for the worse.  So i took out a hefty loan and went for it.

Today is my one year anniversary.  I’ve lost 52 lbs and went from a size 24/26 to a 16/18. You might be thinking “wait if she had weight loss surgery a year ago, shouldn’t she have lost a whole lot more than 50 lbs?” And my answer to that is No.

First the science.  I have a metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome and in insulin resistant. All that combined in laymen terms means that it is so easy for me to gain weight but takes a thousand times more effort for me to lose a lb. The other part of the answer is that LapBand surgery is different from the other surgeries.  With LapBand a silicone band is placed around the stomach that connects to a port that is sewn into a muscle.  The band has little pillows that the doctor adjusts with saline.  It can restrict the amount of food and allows me to learn portion control and better food choices.  My stomach is not cut or re-routed. Because it is less drastic the weight loss expected for my surgery is about 1 -2 lbs a week.  So 52 weeks and 52 lbs down.  Now I also chose this surgery because I wanted the slower weight loss.  I know, crazy right? But seriously i wanted out to be paced so my skin would have time to shrink down with it and the chances of my excess skin being  out of control might be minimized.  Another reason was simply, i didn’t have the surgery to be super skinny.  Miss Hawaiian Tropic 2017 was never on my radar lol. I wanted to live and have a better quality of life.  I wasnt suffering from self-esteem issues, i still considered myself to be attractive and i knew that being skinny wasn’t going to be the key to success.  What was going to be the key was how i thought and handled this process.  And that all starts with the mind and heart.  So I’m quite proud of the 50 lbs and i have a quite a bit more to go to make sure that physically I’m at my best so i can do the things i love and be here to meet my future grandchildren one day.

So cheers guys.  It’s been a helluva ride and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Go out and be awesome ♡

 

The reality of it all

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I know ittired-womans been about a month since Ive last posted and the last time you all heard from me I was out of surgery. It has been an interesting month. I’ll cut to the chase and answer what I’m sure many of you want to know.As of today I have lost 22 lbs. It wasn’t easy and it downright sucked. To take years of bad habits and turn them around literally overnight and detox from sodas and sugars is straight up torture. Add to that the fact that you are also recovering from surgery and having your stomach look like dead Jon Snows chest- it all equals a recipe for F-U-N.

There have been times when I have attempted to communicate with the dog and the cat to have them go fetch me a steak, alas a Lassie I do not have. I just have the type of pets who sit on your chest while your recovering and try to smother you while you gasp for air. My mother has been a tremendous help and my son has stepped up to help with household stuff when needed.

The rough part really came when I had to return to work a week after surgery. My doctor had recommended 2-3 weeks. But in the real world, I had used up my sick and vacation days to take care of my son when he was sick so there weren’t that many left. I showed up to work with a bag full of prescribed drugs, a heating pad and a prayer. Now i work in a hotel and for those of you that know hospitality it is rare that you just get to sit there and not do anything. My amazing co-workers helped when they could when it came to lifting or anything I couldn’t handle. Id have good days and bad days and then really bad days where I had to go home early and just sleep. And as the pain got better- i got hit with a new pain. Somehow i developed a pinched nerve in my butt. It showed up a week ago and I’m literally sitting here in searing pain because it now has traveled to my hips and my thighs. Dr. Google says it may be my sciatica. Which means I need to go see the doctor. But here’s the reality of it all. I had to take out a loan for my surgery because my insurance doesn’t cover it, which added an extra $470 bill to my already stretched budget. Whenever I go see this doctor I have a $200 co-pay so I’m trying to budget that in, then as Murphy’s Law would have it, my car battery died and I had to borrow $154 from my Mom to pay for it. Now add in this new pain and I’m looking at needing to go to the Chiropractor which is going to be another bill that I frankly do not have the money for. So I’m taking Tylenol and researching stretches all In hopes something fixes it- but we all know that in reality I need to go to the doctor. Last night I was in tears on the couch because the nerve pain was so bad and my mother and son had to help me up the stairs and into bed. I didn’t sleep and then had to hold onto walls this morning to make it into the shower to get ready for work. The last place I want to be. My sweet son asked why I couldn’t call off of work and I had to tell him that I didn’t have any sick days or vacation days. The truth is (and it was not conveyed to him) that if I don’t work we don’t eat. Its as simple as that. So he gets on the bus and I wave him off and start the car to get to work, at the same time I’m crying my eyes out. One for the pain and two because the burden of this all is just too hard.

One thing that people don’t understand and I hate to be on this Single Mom soapbox. But it is really hard. Really really hard. I don’t say this to minimize any ones journey. I’m not up here saying that it is THE hardest or that others cant relate but from my perspective it is the hardest thing I have ever done. To be perfectly frank – on paper I make a decent living, I do not currently receive any child support and asking my son’s father for help is like getting blood from a rock. I literally have to beg and then be put through a waiting period before I get any scraps thrown our way. There have been times I have had to ask my parents for money for groceries. I do not qualify for any government assistance because on paper I look good. Over 3/4 of my income go to my mortgage and health insurance and house bills. I do not drive a fancy car, get my nails done, go out to fancy restaurants or have new clothes or even a savings account. I work paycheck to paycheck. I work for us to survive. And honestly the weight of that sits on my shoulders everyday. This morning I cried because I do not have relief from this even for a day. I do not have someone to share this load with and Its getting heavier and heavier by the day and so i cry. I cry because I cant just come home and say “Help me, I’m tired” I cling onto my mother who has been with me for over a month because she will leave next week and then who will help me when I cant get off the couch or I’m too exhausted to cook or even exist. The fact that I have her is a luxury and I would be lying if I said next week when she leaves I will have a giant void to fill and then its back to my normal life of doing it alone.

My son asked me this morning why I couldn’t just find a husband to help me. As if it were that easy. As if me being exhausted to do basic stuff could afford me the energy to go out and date. Let alone to convince someone that I am amazing and fully capable of adulting even though inside I’m falling apart.

And that my friends is the ugly, unglamorous truth. This is what I deal with and this is what you will probably in normal conversation never hear me say. I don’t like to be a burden to others and I don’t want people to think I cant do this because I can and I will. So today I’m back on the saddle so to speak, I will wipe away the tears cried this morning, put on fresh lipstick, smile and when I see my son this afternoon I will hug him with the heartiest hug ever mustered. I will make sure he feels safe and is fed and he is ready for school tomorrow. He will be none the wiser and I will feel better to have Mommed up. Nothing has changed and I don’t expect it to. I’m a realist that way. After he goes to be I will be up trying to think of how to squeeze in a second job without leaving my kid alone – which wont happen. I will think of things I can sell- which isn’t much since we don’t have expensive jewelry or anything worth value. I will get upset because I filed for child support over a year ago and have yet to receive a court date and I know that if i ever do it still wont be enough to help. I will consider getting a roommate, I will consider renting out a room on Air BnB. I will cut back on the A/C and things like that to make it another month. I will make it work and none will be the wiser. And I wont get a badge or a job well done after all this is a thankless job. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but again I would be lying if I said it wasn’t the most exhausting thing. I like to think that I will emerge a warrior of sorts or that my son will grow up to be a well adjusted, kind and magnificent man and then this will all have been worth it. I just want him to be happy- he deserves that.

Beautifully Fat and Gracefully Unapologetic

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Hey guys.  I’ve been debating whether or not to say anything about my surgery today and finally decided to think about it differently than how i was looking at it. This is definitely the ultimate adventure,  one that will prolong my life and allow me to continue with the shenanigans currently planned.
So some of my friends know that i struggle with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) for basic info click here PCOS for Dummies
Basically it has made my life really difficult in regards to my ovaries, my hair has thinned,  my face has broken out,  I’ve been told my son is a beautiful miracle because it can cause fertility issues, it reeks havoc on my hormones and gives me weight gain that is nearly impossible to lose due to the lovely metabolic disorder that accompanies it.  Sexy huh? There is no cure and many doctors do not know how to treat it. I have had to seek out specialists because it has caused me to become morbidly obese and you can imagine all the medications i have to take to prevent diabetes and heart disease on top of keeping an eye on ovarian cancer. I’ve also learned throughout all this that many insurance companies fail to acknowledge obesity as a disease and attach a shameful stigma to it. Many do not cover the medication or the surgeries to prevent diabetes and other co morbities, unless it is coded a certain way and any mention of Obesity and it sends up a red flag. In my situation my employer specifically excludes bariatric surgery or any treatment of obesity. That’s insane! After talking and emailing H.R i learned there are no appeals, no relief. It was suggested i purchase additional insurance from another source, but here’s the kicker, The insurance under the new Healthcare Act allows states to decide whether or not to treat bariatric surgery and Georgia, amongst many others is not required to cover it. When i called around for information i was told it was considered “cosmetic ” which is utter and complete rubbish. I wasn’t fat because i sat around eating copius amounts of twinkies and milkshakes. I am fat because of a metabolic disorder, something beyond my control. So in order to save my life,  i had to apply for a $10,000 loan. And I’m sitting here praying i can pay for it and that for the next three years my son won’t get sick,  break a leg,  the house won’t need repairs-  that i have no life emergencies because it will literally put me in a financial hole. But i deserve to live.
Which brings me to why i didn’t want to tell anyone about my surgery.  If you have been on the Internet, logged onto social media or even seen the news you will see that there has been a positive shift of body acceptance going on.  Plus size models are on covers of Sports Illustrated,  in lingerie, in bikinis. Hell, i even bought one.  But if you dare click on the comments people post you will read hundreds of people bashing plus size women. Calling us disgusting. That we don’t deserve to be happy with ourselves, we don’t deserve to feel beautiful. That its not ok for us to enjoy a cheeseburger every now and then without snickers from people.  The sad part is that people think they are supplying new information, trust me, in our lowest moments we have already told ourselves that we are unworthy, undeserving, stupid, lazy, that we should settle.  Then one day we woke up and joined “Team F@#$ that $hit” and shut down the noise.  I deserve to be beautiful,  to be loved,  to have amazing sex,  to run races alongside fit people. I earned those medals and finished the mud runs and I deserve what every one else deserves-common decency and respect.
I will admit I was torn when i finally decided to go ahead and have LapBand surgery.  I was ashamed.  It took my doctors almost 10 years to talk me into it and when it got to the point where it was affecting my life,  the choice was made for me.  So here i am.  Fresh off the O.R table.  Recovering from surgery this morning. I dread coming out about this because i feel that now I’ll be under a magnifying glass,  that people will watch my every bite,  every sip even more and if i don’t lose at the rate that they feel i should,  will they whisper that I’m a failure? The sane part in me says “so what!” shut out that noise.  I curse the media for telling me that I’m not good enough unless i fit a mold, that I’m only defined by a pre-determined standard of beauty.  And truth be told,  I’ve never thought i was ugly,  I’ve not had any issues where im ashamed of my size, I don’t look in the mirror and put myself down. i dress very well and I’m physically active. I fucking slay on a daily basis and i encourage you to look away and carry on with your life if you can’t handle my awesomeness- But i had to do this to save my life not to please others or to make it more comfortable for them to be around me.  I did this so that I could be around for my son and future grandbabies. So i could make it to my 100th birthday which is on Saturday September 22, 2079 – so if you’re not busy, you’re totally invited 😆
My great adventure today was LapBand Surgery.  I’m feeling sore, I’m groggy and maybe it’s the meds talking but I’m feeling brave.  I offer no apologies and today i reject the social stigma of weight and beauty and i gift myself “treat yo self”,  i celebrate life, i celebrate me.

When a dream is just a dream

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  They say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.  I used to always laugh whenever I heard that saying because in the past it has never served me well.  The heart wants what it wants and when it doesn’t get it,  it throws your whole mind off balance.  Kind of like an emotional hostage standoff with yourself but you never really win.  The mind is logical the heart acts like a three year old in a toy store throwing a tantrum over a toy it can’t have.  Unrequited love,  it’s the story of my life. 

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  I’ve lost count how many times I have fallen hard for Mr Wrong.  How i completely open up and love so very hard.  There was Mr. Untouchable -who guarded his heart with a steel fortress, Mr. Soul-jah who was a vital part of me growing up and I remember anytime I would say I love you,  i would say it in a whisper almost afraid it would fly away if i said it any louder,  Mr. I really can’t stand you-but im gonna do the right thing-until i can’t-then I’m going to tear you down piece by piece until you are a shell of your former self and the oldie but recent who has so many names :Mr.  Nomad- mister Mt Everest- mister soul,  mister best friend,  mister music, mister not in my life at the moment because I woke up one day and over waffles and conversation i realized he would never love me. This one in particular has been rough.  It has me dreaming about him,  it has me angrier than I’ve ever been,  it has me sadder than I’ve ever been.  This one has been someone I’ve loved for  15 years on and off, who became more than a love,  but someone who knew what i was saying without me saying anything at all.  He was my version of the unattainable,  unconquerable Mr.  Big,  except in this ending there is no him chasing me down in Paris or standing outside my window with a boombox in Say Anything style.  There’s not going to be a fight where we run outside and kiss in the pouring rain,  there’s no being away and suddenly running through the airport,  flagging down a taxi and banging on the door to declare that this whole time you’ve been an idiot and in fact are in love.  That crap only exists in movies,  in real life you get the occasional “hey ” text and then deafening silence in between.

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  My friends are so amazing and supportive and still hold on for hope that one day someone amazing as me will come into my life.  My family or more so my mother has realized I’m 36 and in a loving,  only a way a foreign mother can say- has all but given up on that hope for me,  but reminds me that at least i have a child,  a house and a car.  Every now and then she sprinkles in the occasional “it’s ok to be a lesbian joke” as if she’s trying to coax me out of a closet that doesn’t exist or come to grips that I’m not married. Lol but in her ultra feminist rant and in the same breath will just say “ju dont need a maaan” (say it with a thick accent like Sofia Vergara- that’s how my mom sounds) but behind closed doors im sure it’s more like this

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  So back to friends. They have helped me swipe on dating apps and told me to let go of my Mr. Big, who have been there for my numerous rants and ups and downs they have been great.  They tell me to get out more and offer dating advice from their married couches.

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Imagine their surprise when i told them that a co worker is setting me up on a blind date with Mr. Unicorn.  Mr.  Unicorn has earned this nickname because he frankly sounds too good to be true.  My matchmaking friend has told him about my independent,  feminist, no nonsense,  single mom, big booty,  plus sized life and he’s still interested. I have been told personality traits that border on the line of unreal and get the fuck outta here- no one is that awesome. (6’9, has a career,  no kids,  likes to send flowers, likes plus sized girls,  is a good friend ect) So i dubbed him Mr. Unicorn because you hear of people like this,  but i personally have never met one) so you can imagine the  flurry of excitement and advice on how to act,  what to say,  what to wear,  what not to say.  A team,  a freaking team of friends have thought of every excuse i could come up with and have combated them with solutions before i could come up with them.  I have 6 back up babysitters in case i try to use my child as an excuse,  i have 3 sets of couples who can show up unannounced and “bump into me ” at said location. i have a team of women mad that i won’t pick an outfit and people treating this like I’m the fucking next in line to take on the throne lol.

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I guess it doesn’t help that i haven’t been on a date since 2003. I’m not even lying about that part.  I mean yes I’ve been with guys in between that time but my self esteem was so low i didn’t require much maintenance so no formal dates were had. So i know I’ll muck this up by being super awkward

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So here i go,  doing what i know is not best by trying to get under someone else to get over someone else.  It has failed in the past but maybe I’ll get to meet some awesome people.  And in the words of the amazing,  talented Kristen Chenowith, Maybe this time. …

-Go out & be awesome ♡ Denise

Adventure Completed- I am a Triathlete!

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TRIATHLETE

Yes this totally happened! Yes it was hard af! Yes I should have trained better and not been hellbent on bingeing TV shows. Yes I almost drowned because Mr. Iron-man Junior with the rock hard abs and the cute speedo shorts was zooming past me at lightning speed. Yes- my inner spirit animal- Mr. Samuel L Jackson came out to cuss during my bike portion. Yes i did this with a hangover from the epic NYE partying over the weekend. Yes this was nuts and i couldn’t have done it without my squad who fed me jelly beans and sips of coffee in between transitions because technically i was an extra on the walking dead.

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Squad Goals: Ahissa (far left- my sista from anotha mista) and my adrenaline junkie inspiring me to do crazy shit friend Tasha (in the red, center)

But seriously i have such a newfound respect for these amazing people that do the Triathlons. My heart is beaming with pride for my friend Tasha who has turned this life into a passion. I feel bad that I didn’t do as great as i could have out of pure laziness. But there is always a sprint or next year to go for. 😉

TRI

I don’t know my results. That’s not really what i was going for. This was more of a challenge for me and a slight adrenaline rush. I know my truth lol but I do feel really cool accomplishing something new.

Swim                                    Bike                                        Run

 

So  I leave you with this for the new year and I hope you all take it as a personal challenge to “Go out and be AWESOME! ♥”

DO IT

 

Im Tri-ing!

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Got my first piece of #tri “equipment” today my first ever swim cap.  Carefully picked out as to give me street cred.  Hence the graffiti. Plus it’s cool.  Now waiting on my bathing suit.  First indoor triathlon in 11 weeks Adventure 4 of 36!

go out & be awesome ♡ Denise

Adventure #4- Indoor Triathlon

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indoorTriHeroI’ve decided on Adventure #4 – An indoor triathlon hosted by Lifetime Fitness….in January! Now this is bananas! However I am up for the challenge. I haven’t signed up with a buddy to do it but if any of you want to go on this adventure with me, let me know!

In order to let help you understand where this crazy idea came from I have to introduce to you to a great friend of mine, one of my bestest friends, Tasha who I had the pleasure of befriending in 2013. Both single moms and a bit of a wild card we fit together just right. I met her when I was having a rough time near the end of my relationship with my sons father. She lived in my neighborhood and our sons all went to school together. She was always positive through my walk through hell and when I made it out to the other side she is still here and I love her for that. She is a true adventurer and a risk taker and a dreamer but most importantly Tasha is a DO-ER. Once she sets her mind on something she finishes it and then somehow manages to have a thirst for the next big thing. I love that! When I met her she was just getting into OCR racing (Obstacle course racing) she had completed a Spartan, a Battlefrog, Bad Ass Dash,  Down and Dirty and a few more. She kept talking about it in such a way that I just had to try it for myself. It was with her enthusiasm and motivation and help that I competed in my first Spartan race. She knew I was slow, overweight and sluggish but she stuck by me through the whole race and at the end I got to call myself a Spartan. For any of you who have done one you know it’s no easy feat so I will own that title as long as I live. She also got me to do my second Spartan race in April and now here I am signing up for an indoor triathlon all because my dear friend caught the tri-bug a little over a year ago. She had never competed in one and I’ve seen her go from occasional racer to full on athlete mode in the past year. Watching her get such great joy from the sport, get excited with passion and hear her stories of meeting great athletes and achieving her goals makes it so appealing. I’ve seen her go from a not so very strong swimmer to one who is swimming in open water, from a 5k runner to a 10k runner and now a bicyclist. All to be admired.

She has been trying to get me to Tri for a while but I let my insecurities and bum heels get in the way. Always saying “I need to do that” but never really going for it. Well that’s about to change y’all. Because she told me about the indoor tri and I went ahead and signed up for it. Yep committed to it. On January 3rd I will become a triathlete. I will start my new year off crossing off a mini goal and I hope that this will help me heal my body and get myself motivated to get healthier and stronger physically. Now the next 11 weeks may be peppered with obscene words, a little self-doubt and a mad post or two about how id rather be fat and happy eating pizza than skinny and eating clean. Just be forewarned and when I say these things out of Hanger, exhaustion and self-doubt – just say the following back to me:

“You are a triathlete”

Anyone interested in looking if one is offered in your city or would like to join me in Alpharetta on January 3rd you can check out the following link. Wish me luck!

http://www.indoortri.com/

**A side note of encouragement. For those who are wanting to try something new just go for it. I am far from the athletic build. I’m soft in ALL places, I have a butt that high fives me in the back, really busty, have bad feet and I’m slower than molasses. If I can do it you can too! And in my experience I’ve seen more people cheer on the slower, overweight girl trying her best over the girl who’s always winning. People love and underdog. They love to chant for the “Rudy’s” of the world. So join me on my journey we’ll be AWESOME together! ❤

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Me and Tasha getting ready to compete in my first Spartan    Goonies Never Say Die!

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Tasha showing off her well deserved and earned medal after one of her races