“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 GB
- 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.
Part 2 On Its Way
In Part 2 of My Wall-E-esque Life, I will talk about the place the Fat Advocacy Movement does have in our lives. While it might not be health (despite the incessant refrain that it does), it is most assuredly have an enormous place in our physical and emotional world.