Archive for January, 2011

Published by PaintingChef on 31 Jan 2011

Hello stranger.

This weekend, I did something that I have managed to avoid doing for probably close to 4 years. Something that, technically, we all do at some point on a daily basis. And the fact that I’ve avoided it has, apparently, been something of a well-honed self-delusion technique.

This weekend… I looked at myself in the mirror. Naked.

It all started out ordinarily enough. Saturday afternoon, Patrick and I decided that we would go out and run a few errands and I caught a whiff of something, realized it was eau du 10+ hours of sleep and quickly made my way towards the shower.

As has become my ritual, now that it is finally moving (somewhat quickly, might I add) in the right direction, I stripped down and stepped on the scale that lives hidden in the back corner of Patrick’s closet. Still going down. I did a little naked jig and walked towards the shower, ready to avoid my reflection.

But instead I stopped. I looked. I looked at my five little incisions. I looked at my breasts. I looked at my arms and my legs (bless those legs, I won’t lie, the legs remained pretty good). I looked at my swollen but noticeably smaller belly. I turned to the side. I turned to the back and looked over my shoulder. I just… looked. I looked and realized that I was seeing a lot of this for the very first time. I looked because I’ve put this body through so very much and as I’m helping it to heal from that, it’s high time that I learned to love it.

It’s a highly evolved defense mechanism that many of us fat girls (and boys) develop. The ability to never truly look in the mirror, to never fully grasp what we are seeing. I had finely tuned the ability to completely dress, undergarments, dress (always a dress), tights, shoes, makeup, hair, never seeing more than individual components of the whole picture. Focus on the legs, focus on the eyes, focus on the hair, and see only the good. One step back, a quick turn, nothing glaringly out of place and walk away. Never take in the whole picture, in doing so, you will only see the truth and you aren’t emotionally ready to see what you’ve done to yourself.

Physical weight loss is just that… physical. Yes, losing weight will allow me to move and run and dance like a thin person. It will allow the pants to be smaller (thereby, I’m convinced, fitting even more of them in my closet). But once I reach the culmination of this journey, I’m not going to suddenly look in the mirror and see the “me” from 15 or even 10 years ago. I’m going to see someone whose body bears the scars of what it has been through. And I need to start loving that body now, not 18 months from now. Because I don’t want to remain a fat girl in my head forever. Becoming a new person is as much about the outside as it is the inside and I’m not sure which part is going to be more work.

And for that reason, I learned to look. And I’m learning to love.

Published by PaintingChef on 24 Jan 2011

In which I started out with a point but that point dissolved into a cloud of Dr. Mancini and Chinese Dumplings and then I just gave up.

It’s done. I did it. Well, let’s get real… I slept and the doctor did it. Dr. Mancini, for the record, and despite the fact that he looks like a naughty five year old boy in a grown man’s body, his name alone supplies me with all the Melrose Place love I could possibly ever need.

The surgery was probably fine. I woke up in a traumatic situation though. The recovery room was a zoo. I had a stabby nose-breathy-thing that caused me great pain with deep nose-breaths so I was taking little ones to avoid the pain. This, apparently, made the oxygen meter very unhappy and resulted in frantic nurses telling me to BREATHE! BREATHE! That, coupled with the old lady next to me who had forgotten that her surgery was for a toe amputation AND the old man across the room from me who was Very Naked and Disoriented and Not At All Interested in Staying in his Bed made for a fun wake up situation with all the yelling and the drama and the panic.

And then I went home and things got much, much worse.

I can’t lie, it was a horrible experience and I spent the next 30 or so hours throwing up every third sip of what I drank while feeling like an ill-tempered donkey was kicking me in the chest which I found out was actually, A Big Problem and that I should report to the emergency room immediately. Fortunately, Dr. Mancini (hee!!) took pity on me and took time out from his Saturday evening plans of taking down Amanda Woodward once and for all to meet me and spare me the ER drama. (How very un-Mancini of him.)

But regardless, I am on the mend. I have had the surgery and while I am extremely sore and not able to swallow the amounts of the delicious liquid narcotic so kindly supplied to me that I would like to imbibe in to keep the pain at bay, I am, conveniently, able to operate machinery, drive a car and sign legal forms as I am very much (to my dismay) of sound mind at the moment. Worst. Run-on. Sentence. Ever.

I’ve moped about and walked around and even taken a trip to the library where I got two Jennifer Egan books for my healing pleasure. I have a stack of trashy magazines and I burned all too quickly through the lovely trash television I accumulated on the DVR. Patrick? Made a sandwich. It smelled heavenly and I would have cut him for a bite had I been able to move off my chair swiftly enough. Sadly… a sandwich will have to wait a long, long time as I am, once again, on a clear liquids only diet. There is only so much satisfaction watered down apple juice can provide however I am finding much joy in the strained wonton soup from various Chinese restaurants around town.

In unrelated news, Patrick is on his way to becoming a dumping connoisseur. This may or may not result in bodily harm to him.

Published by PaintingChef on 14 Jan 2011

Once it’s out there, you can’t ever take it back.

I’ve weebled and wobbled every which way. I change my mind every hour upon the hour and I’ve started this post no less than fifteen times. But in the end, it comes back to one thing. I have to write about it. I have to deal with it and admit and put it HERE in this space where I have to put things for them to be real to me.

The “Year of the Serious Quest for a Baby” took a pretty big toll on my life. You all read it here as I bitched and moaned and tried to feel my way around what was happening and what I was dealing with. It also took a very big toll on my waistline and my ass and my health in general. But let’s be honest, none of those things were in very good shape to begin with.

I’ve struggled with my weight on and off for a large part of my life. But for the better part of my teens and early 20s, I had it under control. Then there was the perfect storm of happy and in love and marriage and PCOS and blah, blah, blah oh look I’m a fattie. There is nobody to blame but myself and my own laziness and again with the blah, blah, blah.

Anyway. For the past week I’ve been on a very protein-heavy liquid diet that I will follow for one more week and then on Friday, January the 21st, I will have Lap-Band surgery.

There. I said it. I think that finally admitting that will allow me to write more openly and honestly again. But I’ve been in hiding too long. I need to take charge of this and I need help doing it. I was afraid that having this surgery was akin to admitting defeat but actually, I think it’s the opposite. Instead, I am choosing a weapon and saying that this won’t run my life any longer.

I DO want to have children. One day. But I also want to be able to run around with them and watch them grow up and live a long and happy life with them. So for them and for me and for Patrick, this is the decision that I have made. I’m still figuring out what I want to say about it and I’m sure I’ll bet you all over the head with Tales of a Fattie before it’s all over with. So… you know… sorry about that in advance.

But it’s here now. I can’t take it back. There are so many other things I’ve wanted to say about this as I’ve written this post in my head while laying in bed or driving or in the shower (yes, those are the places that I compose posts in my head…shut up) and I don’t feel like I’ve said any of them. But I said the most important part. I’m doing this.

I may not be ready to talk about in person yet or with anyone I actually know in person (although some of you read this so if I don’t mention it in person, just know I’m working on it) but I’ve told the entire fucking internet. Who would have thought THAT would have been the easier part?

Published by PaintingChef on 05 Jan 2011

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