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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More on Surgery and My Fat

This is a conversation I had recently (via e-mail) with a very dear friend, and it's a lot of what I want everyone to know...

Subject: Interesting?
I haven't decided, because I haven't finished, but I am reading. Words. Lots of words.
I read down to about 100 in the comments. Now I am eating a sandwich.

So yeah, I sent this to you because it was the original article that spurred some kind of email/comment that ****** posted on FB and I thought I would read the beginning of the saga. Which turns out to be the middle of a saga? I don't know. I want to use the word "saga" more in daily conversation.

I don't know if I should have an opinion or not. I am 30, tired of feeling this way, and tired of worrying about feeling this way.
Have I gained weight? Yep. Have I lost it? Yep. Will I continue to need to eat every day for the rest of my life? Yep.
Can I be troubled to worry about what I will eat every day? No. I just can't care about it right now.
Just like I can't care about "loving my body."
I am a succubus that uses this vessel to eat, sleep, whine about my job, and play Farmville.

You, who have worked your ass off at working off your ass... I admire your ability to care at all at this point.
As someone whose mom died an untimely death as a consequence of "lame" surgery, I can understand the reality of the risk of surgery and how much everyone seems to minimize that risk. It takes colossal gonads, in my opinion, to be willing to consider something that you have truly worked to avoid.

I think some of the sentiment I got from the comments is that there is something more to the mess than every individual someone sitting around on a couch stuffing his pie hole, whether it is gunked up food or whatever. The reality is, genetics and/or genetically altered food (if you aren't a freak that believes in creationism) humans are hunter-gatherers. While the instinct to gather and eat food all day remains, it no longer takes the amount of calories and time to locate, well, calories. Maybe it's time to engineer less nutritional food? The enigmatic futuristic rice cake diet that we can eat and eat forever and never consume any calories?

Yes, the solution does lie in a cake. The end.

I think I still care just because it's such a deeply ingrained habit. I have been fat forever... I haven't ever experienced a life where I didn't have to care. I've been terrified of my fat flopping onto my airplane neighbor since the very first time I got on a plane (and let's not discuss the fear of having to ask for a seat belt extender... or boycotting Southwest Airline's super cheap flights altogether because they were the first people to ever introduce mandatory 2nd seat purchases for "customers of size"...).

***** is a huge Dan Savage fan. I could care less, though I do know that he makes asshole-ish fat comments on a pretty regular basis... which is hypocritical on a massive scale since his whole gay preaching thing is about acceptance of everyone, regardless (fine print: regardless does not include anyone with a BMI over 22, fuckyouverymuch).

I just got something in an email from the obesityhelp.com forums today that pretty much summed up my thoughts on this whole surgery thing and the huge risk that goes along with it.

"I used to be embarrassed to take a plane or to go out in public. It was difficult to get behind the steering wheel. My lifestyle was very stifling. The consequences of my obesity, and the depression and social isolation it caused, made the risk of the surgery far more acceptable since I had been unsuccessful with every diet imaginable."

See how that's all in past tense? I long for that to be in past tense for me. My BMI is 48. Now, I think the BMI scale is bullshit because it ignores a lot of other factors needed to determine true health, BUT... a BMI of 50 is "super morbidly obese" and that's the highest category there is. That's what category those people on TLC who weigh 800 pounds belong to. "Super morbidly obese" people get transported by crane and weighed by truck scales and sometimes they wind up fused to their furniture because one day they wake up and they're just too fat to get up and go to the bathroom.

Right now, I'm pretty far from that point... BUT, assuming that I am perfectly capable of gaining ANOTHER 60-pounds in six or seven months... I am less than a year away from weighing 400-pounds, barring some drastic intervention.

There will never be a better time for me to take advantage of this surgery and use it as the drastic intervention that I so desperately require. I am SO healthy (aside from my fat) that it's disgusting. My blood pressure is damn near perfect, my blood work all came back perfect, and I am young enough that recovery should be swift and results damn near immediate. If I decided to give it another five years... ten years... lose and re-gain 50-pounds three or four more times... My body will be older, I will be just as fat (if not fatter), and I may have developed some obesity-related complications by then.

Thank you for caring enough to worry about me. Do you know that ***** hasn't said a single word about my thinking about having this surgery? Some support network I have, huh?

This addresses a lot more issues than you brought up in your email, but I know you and you're smart enough to be thinking about this shit, even if you don't say anything.


mmmm cake....

Friday, February 18, 2011


Some of my closest friends have not offered their opinions (either support or dissention) about my surgical decision.

I wonder if they fear my dropping them like a stone if they disagree with what I want to do. There is precedent for that, so I guess I understand it.

Still, it would be nice to know that they care one way or another.

You know, maybe this is why I have never been able to lose weight and keep it off in the past. My support network is just so small as to be non-existent. Online-only friends, anonymous forum posters/commenters, and friends I've met but who live so far away they are basically online friends now... always supportive, positive, caring. What is it about real life that negates my ability to rally support like that?

I haven't got much else to say... just that I'm still completely uncertain as to which surgerical option I would choose (although the band, as opposed to the bypass, is looking like the better option), and I can't wait for my first pre-op "class."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Surgical Option

There hasn't been a bigger flip-flop in the history of flip-flops since Janet's boobie flopped out of her malfunctioning wardrobe and the entire country flipped over it.

I am considering the surgical option.

Not only am I considering it, I am favoring it.

That's probably not even truthful.

I'm stalking it. Courting it. Being nice to it in the hopes that it will eventually marry me.

Yes, Angela of the no-surgery-ever-no-way-no-how-I-will-not-die-to-be-thin... has flip-flopped.

Apparently, all it takes to persuade me into an option with which I vocally, loudly, adamantly did not support... is a man in a white coat with a Russian accent telling me that it was the only option for weight loss that would offer me a 70-75% chance of success.

The problem came when we started discussing calories and I started throwing out all of my tips, tricks, tweaks, secrets, and cheats for meeting my daily calorie goal (of which I'm well-aware). If he'd given me a quiz from the hospital's nutrtional weight loss program, I probably would have scored a hundred percent AND gotten extra credit points for excessive elaboration on certain subjects.

He looked at me and said, basically, that I obviously know what to do and how to do it. My problem is continuity and maintenance (aggravated by current and recurring depression). Gaining and losing 50-pounds at least half a dozen times in the past decade is proof enough for him that the non-surgical option is probably not going to be my saving grace - especially since there doesn't seem to be anything more I need to learn on the nutrition/exercise side of things aside from implementation, follow-through, and a pile of therapy that's yet to be scheduled.

In discussing the options, we decided that it would be prudent for me to start the motions of the pre-op classes, if only to educate myself more fully about what is involved with the surgery and to make a more informed decision as to whether or not I want to have it. But, I can tell you, now that I have allowed the possibility to exist, it's all I can think about. I want it done and I want it done now.

I feel like I've done my time as a fattie. I've put the work in, time and time again, only to watch others (who know less and don't try nearly as hard) succeed where I fail.

And I am sick of it.

I turn 30 in two weeks. If I would get the surgery as soon as possible after completing the required classes (September or October, most likely), I would probably be down 60-pounds (plus the 10% I have to lose pre-op for insurance purposes, so make that almost 100-pounds total) by the time I turn 31.

I deserve this.

I deserve not to have my 30s suck.