Not bad for a fat girl


Now I’m Not Complaining, But…

There have been a couple of issues that have come up for me recently that have been a bit, well, frustrating. Let me backtrack just a tiny bit by saying that I have been doing a good job of working out ever since I went on vacation back on July 4. I’m proud and happy and truthfully a little surprised about that. I’ve been doing water workouts and walking both outdoors and on my treadmill and generally being more active. Yay me! And I feel good about it. Not just in my head good, but in my body too. I’m also sleeping better as a result. Of course my reduced intake of caffeine might have something to do with that too, but either way the result is positive.

So here are a few things that have come up recently. First, the seatbelt on the plane. I know, I told you all that when I went on vacation it wasn’t as bad as I recalled, and that was true. However, last weekend I went on a quick trip on a different airline and OMG that seatbelt just BARELY fit. I willed it to buckle, and to my great relief, it did. Once it was on it felt fine, but getting that sucker closed was not easy. C’mon! I’m working out. I’ve dropped a few pounds. Why must it still be so tight?! I know that’s just me being impatient, and really I should be immensely grateful that it did buckle. After all, if I hadn’t lost those couple of pounds, it wouldn’t have, right?

Next, shopping. Clothes shopping in specific. I’m one of those people whose life is tied up in the whole school year calendar thing. For me, the end of summer is the new year, and that’s when I generally look to freshen up my wardrobe with a couple of pieces. It has been an annual tradition for my mom and I to go hit the mall when I visit her on summer vacation, and she generously will purchase a few items for me. Yes, I know I’m spoiled. The issue here is that my mom and I are completely different is every aspect you could ever imagine. I know people say this, but really, in this case it’s true. First of all, being an adoptee we share no DNA, so our physical attributes are nothing alike. She’s tiny. Seriously. Always has been. I think I outgrew her by the time I was ten. She’s also very outspoken (that is the tactful term I will use out of respect) and her taste and mine don’t exactly match. This makes shopping together something of a challenge. Ok, that’s too much sugar coating. It makes shopping together hell.

Plus size shopping isn’t really a fun experience to begin with. First of all, you have to wander to the back corner of the department store to find the tiny selection of items in your size. On your way there, you are struck by the incredible array of fashions available to women who are in the size 4 to 12 range. In the store where I generally have the most success, the ratio of offerings is about 8 to 1. Once you arrive in the Siberia of the shopping world, you promptly ignore at least half of the items, because they are designed with the tastes of the Golden Girls in mind. As you come across the items that are meant for those who are not yet in assisted living, you are stunned by the prices. Eventually, you discover 3 or 4 items that might be worth trying on, and you cross your fingers that maybe they are included in the current sale.

As if this whole scenario wasn’t disheartening enough, I had to do this with the little spitfire who is my mom by my side. She felt it necessary to remind me several times that the prices were outrageous, but she conceded that we didn’t have many options. I had already struck out at two plus size only stores that I had hit on recon missions solo. I finally found a few items to try and headed off to the fitting room. That’s where things really went bad. First, the chair was missing. Mom needed a chair. She was able to find a sales associate who managed to bring her one (score one for the associate!), then she settled in with a sour look on her face. I couldn’t blame her. I wasn’t really enjoying the hip hop concert that the two women who were already in there were sharing with everyone either. Seriously? Turn it off, ladies, you’re in public. While I held my breath waiting for mom to ask them to turn it off (she didn’t) I contorted into two or three outfits, each one worse than the one before. Finally I found a dress that I thought was cute. I opened the door to show my mom, and she looked at me with the same look that a person makes when they realize they have just stepped in fresh dog poop. Ouch.

That was it, I was done. I put on my old t-shirt and shorts and abandoned the thought of finding anything that would:63571898_1-For-Sale-PLUS-SIZE-CLOTHES-

1. fit

2. look good

3. appeal to my picky mother

4. be reasonably priced.

I gave up. I quit. I was near tears and aching with the realization that no matter what I put on, it wasn’t going to get a positive response from my mom because it wasn’t the clothes that she was repulsed by, it was me. That was the most painful realization of all. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. My mother used to point out fat people to me and ask, “How much do you suppose she weighs? She must be at least 300 pounds!” It just didn’t occur that she had zero empathy for me. How could I have been this foolish, to allow myself this humiliation? I can afford my own clothes. I don’t need this charade. This annual shopping trip is an unnecessary charity event which calls for me to be humiliated and shamed. It’s absurd, and it’s over. I will shop with my dear plus sized friend, with whom I can laugh about looking like an Oompa Loompa or discuss the merits of longer versus shorter hemlines. Or I can shop on my own, and decide for myself whether I feel attractive and put together. And yes, the prices are often high, but feeling good about myself is worth more than the price of a dress.


On the Medical Front

Low Tech Medicine

Yesterday was an “interesting” day for me on the medical frontier. Two things happened that made me really think about this whole health and wellness idea. As in, “I’m really glad I’m taking this health and wellness thing seriously.” The first thing that happened was I had a date with liquid nitrogen. If you’ve never experienced it, I can assure you that you’re not missing out on too much fun. Liquid nitrogen is used by physicians to freeze and subsequently cause nasty little skin growths to fall off. It hurts. Depending on the area treated, it can hurt quite a bit. Of course, that’s just me talking. Someone else might say it’s mildly annoying or something like that, but to me, it’s pretty uncomfortable.

Here’s how it went down. First, I was ushered into the “surgery” room about five minutes after my appointment time. Pretty darn good, I’d say. Then I chatted with the nurse about all the fun things that were to be removed. The thing is, most of the little nasties are skin tags, and they tend to form in areas that rub, as in the nooks and crannies that a fat woman like me has in various and sundry places around her body. This, of course, requires the doctor have access to all these areas, so I was offered a paper drape and left alone. Big deep breath in, shorts off, and I get myself situated and wait. And wait. And wait. I know they’re busy and I know that the later in the day it gets the more likely they are to be backed up. I totally get that, but tell it to my fear and anxiety response that was steadily climbing. By the time the doctor, nurse, and medical student arrived for the party, I was good and stuck to the paper covering on the exam table, due to my stress sweat. Weird, since the air conditioning was so cold that I was beginning to get frostbite in my toes. Anyway, that’s how the doctor found me, crunched up paper on my lap, soggy paper under my bottom, and me with jitters and very little dignity left in the middle. Great.

Lucky for me, he’s a pretty awesome guy, so I managed to carry on while he got on with the festivities. Ow. Ouch. Oh. Eighteen triple zaps of the freeze ray later, he was done. He helped me sit up and my head spun. I’m such a big baby, I know.

But, wait, if you were paying attention you know that my medical adventures weren’t quite over yet. That’s right, there’s a part two to this post!

So, in conjunction with the aforementioned skin appointment, I also had an appointment to pick up equipment for an at-home sleep study. I felt very official walking out of the building with my little black plastic equipment case (similar to the one pictured above, but black). Inside it held the contraption that would tell my doctor about my sleep, and if I had any issues that he might be able to help me with. Now, let’s be clear on this, I do not want a C-PAP machine. I have no desire to be hooked up like a fighter pilot as I drift off into dream land. The doctor tells me that there are other, less obvious things that might be appropriate, but first we must do the sleep study.

I was relieved that it was at home, because the images I’ve seen on tv of people doing sleep studies are ridiculous. Of course those people can’t sleep! They’re all hooked up and in a strange bed with people staring at them. I couldn’t sleep like that either. My equipment was much smaller. It most resembled the headgear worn by the nerds in Sixteen Candles. After a slightly inauspicious start (it told me there was a fatal error and started beeping, this was slightly stressful, but I worked through it and got it recalibrated) I actually was able to sleep with it just fine. I dropped it off this morning (before 10 or I had to pay a  $75 fine, gulp) so now I wait to hear what the doctor thinks. Maybe a mouthguard? I’ll keep you posted.116065_1231069417348_220_320

All this medical nonsense got me thinking about how much my body would appreciate me giving it a break. I really do make it work hard, even just to do simple things like tie my shoes and sleep. Still, it isn’t giving up on me. Yesterday I took a brisk 30 minute walk on the treadmill followed by a 15 minute swim/water jog. It really felt good, so I have hope. The mirror isn’t encouraging me at all yet, but I have to give myself a break. I deserve it.

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Facebook, Here I Am

I just created my facebook profile for all the little thoughts that don’t necessarily require a full blown blog post. I will also be keeping track of the reading portion of the 47 for 47 challenge there and would love to see what you’re reading and doing.  My facebook page is Bea Buttons. C’mon over!