Bones or No Bones Day: Bones
A big topic that has consumed me as of late is weight loss surgery (WLS), weight management, body positivity, healthy at every size, and every other thing even tangentially related. I cannot stop thinking about it, I cannot stop talking about it with friends and doctors, I cannot come to gripes on how the fuck I want to live my life as a guilt shamed thin person or a perfect fat person who owns who they are.
It is painful, stressful, and gives me a constant headache.
This has been going on for an eon.
Part of me says to let it season a bit longer and a path will appear for me to move forward on, but these thoughts have been my constant companion for the last few years, ramping up more so upon discovering how many people I know or know of are getting WLS recently.
It never seems to end.
At the core is asked, “What do you want?” and my first response is, “To not be like my mom.” As a nurse, she was never that great at taking care of herself and she started to rapidly go downhill in her early 60s when she just stopped caring. She lost toes to diabetes, she wouldn’t or couldn’t move, she never ate right, and by her early 70s she was in a wheelchair.
(When asked about his health, my brother often answers the same as I do: We do not want to be like mom.)
What does it mean to not be like mom? Well, taking care of oneself is key. Eating and sleeping better. (Which by the by seems snortily funny right now since I can barely sleep through the night without Trazadone and now that doesn’t seem to be working.) Moving. Movement is essential. I want to run a, hell I’ll take a walk, 5K for my 50th in June 2022. I want a vibrant and active lifestyle. I’ve got shit to do and I plan on living to my 80s so I want to make the most of my time.
I piled on all my recent ailments to my doc this past Monday where her resident spoke to me and agreed, which I knew, that I was the perfect candidate for the surgery. I’ve tried all the diets, I have a high, with the crackpot idea, BMI. But I do not have diabetes, I am not pre-diabetic, nor do I have heart issues, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. I’m a healthy fat. I can walk for ages when unprompted but sometimes my compressed muscle in my back gives me pain after about half a mile sometimes. (Not sciatica, thank god.) Sometimes my arthritic ankle bothers me but it’s a nearly 30-year-old injury that has suffered regardless of my weight which has been a 100lb spread.
Shows like “1000lb Sisters” and “My 600lb Life” make me incredibly depressed. Because I get it. Laying around doing nothing and eating seems far easier than taking care of yourself when the opposite is actually true. Preventive care, of any kind, works wonders. I don’t want to be in the world where I cannot participate in. And I want to scream at the TV when they show the person has been shoving so many BK or Mickey D bags and wrappers that when the door opened, they tumbled out like loose stone. We only see what we are told to see on these shows so how much worse, or better, is it really? (And the manipulation and glorification of these people’s lives is gross.)
There is shame leveled with how i feel. Shame I “let myself” “get this way” and shame when I could barely fit into the table seating at a restaurant recently. Shame that I shame other fat women because “I’m not that fat.” Shame that I can barely sum up the will to even tell myself “I love you’ in the mirror. I am blinded by the shame and the guilt that I have for myself so deeply that I cannot even believe in positive things like (what Best Kate said), “..you are a badass gorgeous person who deserves to live your best life today.”
But I don’t feel badass, or gorgeous, or anything. I’m just - here. I exist in this space and body and but it’s rare to feel true joy or happiness about something.
And in a body that I hate.
My chum Sara, who had WLS six years ago, recommended Jen Larsen’s Stranger Here to give me a first person look at what surgery is really like. I can say after reading it, I’ll never look at chicken breasts again! But the book, which I devoured in 1.5 sittings (and recommended to Best Kate who also read it), was poignant (though the end felt a bit rushed) and thoughtful about their experiences. The one thing that really stuck with me is near the end where Larsen writes how angry they are with themselves letting so many years waste away due to their shame and guilt on being who they are or thought they were. I replied quietly and to myself, “Yes. This is true.”
(Larsen has a new YA book out called The Big Reveal which I absolutely loved and reviewed here.)
I just want to be comfortable in my own skin and right now, on top of “not wanting to be like mom,” I’m open to doing anything to get that way.
(I’ve structured this as part one because part two is going to continue on with the thoughts, and I am not a fan of LONGREADS (sic).)
My class finished, and I passed. My next class is on the Elizabethans starting in January 2022. Right now, I have three thoughts in my mind: Take the diploma program at Oregon State on technical writing; get a diploma in creative writing and performance from U of Cambridge or getting a diploma in creative writing from U of Oxford. Step one I may hold off on as I’m taking a five week workshop via STC which is the professional organization for technical writers. The next two is a tossup as there are pre-reqs required for U of Oxford and U of Cambridge are vastly different as well as the classes. Plus cost is different (cheaper at Ox). I may also look into Open University or a domestic program. Dunno yet. Just know that I want to take something having to do with creative writing.
For the first time in years, I will have cards sent out before Xmas! It’s a yule miracle. I’m up to Rs in my address book and those who have already signed up should get their cards in the last week. I’m working on them this weekend to finish out the list so if you want on, sign up! (I have stamps to send international if you were on the fence and live outside the US.)
Things I Recently Wrote
Chocolate chip pecan cookies. I made a batch a few weeks ago and munched on them for days and days. Sometimes chocolate chip pecan cookies can make you feel guiltlessly happy.
Interesting Things (or things to buy)
Mio water enhancers. Mini me tipped me off about them a few months ago and I’ve been obsessed since. I drink loads and loads of water to begin but I’m doubling down even more so with Mio. I buy the four packs from Amazon once every three weeks or so.
Links to Read That Are Not (Terribly) Depressing
Get vaccinated and mask up! There is a pandemic going on.
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