Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fat Girl

I am having fat girl surgery soon.  I am not ashamed of it.  Some people try and hide this kind of stuff.  I revel in it.

I haven't been fat my whole life, only the last ten years.  Sometimes when I look in the mirror I wince.  I feel as if I have a skinny person inside of me screaming to get out.  Hopefully, the lap band will help that skinny girl inside of me escape.

Annie Lamott calls her unflattering body parts by name.  In awe of all things Annie Lamott, I named the ring of fat around my stomach Edith.  I don't know why I chose that name, but somehow it felt right.

Sorry Edith, but I want to vanquish you.  I want you to be merely a memory that I can point at in pictures and say, "Look, I used to be that big." 

My husband says the problems started when I began eating half of a large pizza with him at Round Table.  I think the problems started long ago.  Growing up, my dad was obsessed with food and rewarded us with McDonalds. 

In high school, I swam fifty laps a day during my sophomore and junior year.  I could eat whatever I wanted.  It wasn't until after I quit the swim team that I started putting on weight.  I ate and slept my way through my senior year.  On the weekends, I drank to cure my blues which made them worse and added more pounds.

After high school, I went on Weight Watchers and dropped all the weight.  I was obsessed.  My sister Annie and I worked out at the Spa, an all female gym in Upland, for two hours every morning.  We ate toast for breakfast, white rice with salsa for lunch and boiled chicken breast with broccoli for dinner.   We went out dancing at least two nights a week and bypassed dinner for tight dresses.

At Mt SAC, I found solace in writing for the college newspaper and struggled to get enough credits to transfer to a university.  It took me five years and I took Algebra three times, but I finally transferred to UCR along with at least another ten pounds.

At UCR, I was a size twelve and felt fat.  I look at pictures of myself back then with my huge mane of hair and voluptuous body and want to scream, "You are beautiful damn it!"  I know I can get back to that girl although I might have to get some hair extensions.

During law school, I went up to a size sixteen and graduated at a size twelve/fourteen after I let Jenny Craig and her plastic foods into my life for three months.

I moved to Houston right after law school graduation and my weight spiralled out of control.  I slept only four or five hours a night and watched late night TV until two a.m. with my cat Leopold on my lap. 

I went to my job at a law firm tired and depressed.  I took Lexapro for three months and gained thirty pounds.  I didn't think it was possible to gain a pound of day, but I proved it could happen.  I was a size sixteen again (ahemmm, OK, a size eighteen).

I moved to San Francisco to join Adrian in his second year of dental school and worked out at Curves and ate low carb.  After three months, I was a size fourteen again and could squeeze into a size twelve if I held my breath. 

Six months later, my long hours at the firm made it impossible for me to get to Curves before they closed and I was back up to a sixteen again.

When my dad died I moved back home to the Inland Empire and lost all control food wise.  I remember one day, about a month after my father died, I stopped at a donut shop slash Chinese fast food restaurant and stuffed myself with orange chicken until I couldn't breathe.

When I became a public defender, I found passion in my work again.  I was making a difference and changing lives.  I had hated my job as a civil attorney for so long that it took me quite a while to recognize what fulfillment felt like.

About six months ago, I went to my doctor to talk about having a baby and he told me part of the reason I couldn't get pregnant was because of my weight.  I had to make a choice and I decided to try, to really try and conquer this demon.   I put the baby plans on hold and closed my eyes and visualized my thinner self.

The approval process has not been easy.  I had to see a dietitian and get a psychiatric evaluation and now they will cut me open, albeit laparoscopically.

I don't expect to ever get trimmed down to my twenties' Cybergenics induced weight.  I would be happy to be a size 9 or 10.  I want to keep my boobs.  I want to wear pencil skirts and get a tattoo.  I want to shop for my underwear at Victoria Secret.

I know this fat girl surgery is not a panacea.  It will not cure all my problems.  I know this.

And, as I told my husband recently, it will not make me nice because (unfortunately for him) there is no surgery to cure me of being a bitch.  But, I want to be a thinner bitch.


  1. I love the honesty of this post. I love that you put the numbers and sizes out there. As one whose weight fluctuates, I know an important part of the process is examining your weight history, being honest with yourself (and others) and looking at the ups and downs and loving all of you. So this is right on track. I recently lost almost 20 lbs (still aiming for 20) and I took a shortcut in that I signed up with a medical weight loss center and took appetite suppressants and voila the weight just fell off. Now, of course, I need to keep the weight off without the drugs which is proving just as much of a challenge as it would have been to have lost the weight without the pills in the first place. I am reading Marianne Williamson's new book a Spiritual Guide to Weight Loss and really going to try to change my consciousness about weight and attitude towards eating and weight. The first exercise is about embracing the Fat You and loving her but also not allowing her to enter your life in that manifestation. So, your comment to Edith fits right in with MW teachings. I think it is a hell of a lot easier to keep weight off than it is to lose it in the first place. Hopefully the lap band catapults you to a new you and you will be able to continue the inner work from a much less challenging place. Bravo~

  2. Jay Bird! Congratulations on your upcoming surgery. Loved this post. I applaud you for being so frank in this discussion about your battle with weight gain and yo-yo dieting. If people could see me they'd say, "Shut up skinny bitch! What do you know about struggling with weight?" What I know is that before you can win any battle (e.g. alcoholism, gambling, debt, etc) you have to first be completely honest with yourself. It's easier to win if you know who you are instead of who you project.

    Good luck.

  3. Thanks for all of the kind comments you guys! They say write what you know and I definitely know this stuff!