Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday Goals

So, one of the things I know that I do, and I'm sure that other fat chicks have a problem with, is setting unrealistic goals. We hear on the news and from our doctor that we "have" to exercise at least an hour a day 4-5 days a week. So, we say, "Hey! I will exercise for an hour 5 days a week! Yee Haw!". But then reality sets in. Something comes up at work, a kid or cat get sick, it's raining, a really good tv show is on -- whatever the reason, we miss a day and then just give up; we have it so ingrained in our heads that we MUST exercise 4-5 times a week for an hour a day, that we convince ourselves that anything less is worthless.

But the truth is, it's not. Something is better than nothing. That is the point of the daily twitter suggestions at the top of the web site, that is the purpose of the weekly events. What ever you do counts. Walking around an art festival or traipsing through a forest taking pictures of birds won't get you a gold medal in the olympics. But the thing is, you aren't sitting on your couch either. And, it's kind of like eating a vegetable pizza; there is a healthy component (the veggies) but they are buried in something good (the non-veggie part of the pizza!)

"But wait!" you say. "How can we have fun? What about the mantra "No pain, no gain"? Well, personally, I have found that if leaving my couch isn't fun, I'm not about to do it. So let's have a new mantra: "No pain, no having to spend $40 at Walgreens on aspirin, heating pads, cremes and ace bandages!"

Okay, so on to the point of this post. For this weekend, let's make some realistic, non-couch goals. Here are mine:
  • Go the Friday night Audubon meeting
  • Go to the art festival at Fox Lake Park on Saturday (see the events page for details, shoot me an email if you want to join us!
  • Finish the paper mache on Timmy Flamingo and start the paint
  • Shop for Thanksgiving (I will be making my infamous bread with the bad name.)
What are your non-couch goals for this weekend? Leave a comment with your plans for getting off your butt!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Sad Death of Sporti

So, back when I realized that I could go out and do stuff, I had one tiny obstacle. Ok, two obstacles, and, well, they weren't that tiny at all. The problem was, when I exercised, my knees were getting bruised. Not because I have bad knees, but because I did not have a good sports bra. Fortunately, this was back before the internet got really weird, and a google search for "DD sports bra" only returned 2,000 porn sites. Once I sifted past the porn, I found a website called I heard angels sing when I discovered sports bras and shorts and activewear that was made just for fat chicks! It was so incredible and glorious to discover a store that realizes that all fat chicks don't just sit around on their butts! I immediately ordered new shorts and some sports bras.

One particular bra, I called her "Sporti," and I became fast friends. We hiked Idaho, and Wyoming, and Colorado together. We moved south together and waded through swamps, and hammocks and scrub. We did pepper busting, mangrove planting and yard work together. It was such a joyous 10+ years together.

But alas, all good things must come to an end... (cue the dramatic music here.) A few months ago, after a long hike though a swamp, David and I were driving home. I was driving, and I felt something on my shoulder under my shirt. I reached under my shirt to feel for whatever it was, and suddenly, there was shaking, and crying from under my shirt... "I... I... I can't take it anymore! I've been stressed to the limit!" and with no other warning, Sporti died, right as we were driving. When my hand emerged from under my shirt, it brought with it some shards of elastic which were all that was holding her together.

Had I known, I would have tried to do something to help her. Oh, sure, there were signs, a few rips here and there, stains, the fact that my boobs hit my knees when I wore it, but still, I really didn't think the poor old bra would ever just up and die like that. I brought her home and washed her and put her back in the drawer. Deep inside, I knew that I should probably just let her go, but after all we have been through together, a part of me wanted to believe that maybe we still have a few hikes left together, maybe a few trips to the gym... heck, maybe I could rebuild her, I mean, look what they did with Jaime Sommers!

But alas. It has been a few months now, and I see the shredded carcass of Sporti every time I open my underwear drawer, and I'm thinking, maybe it's time to let her go. So I turn to you, dear readers, to ask for advice. What do you think should become of Sporti?

a) Make her into art
b) Turn her into a kitty hammock (two kitties can swing at once!)
c) Cremation, then burial at sea
d) Make her into the official DeeMotivation flag and fly her proudly at future events

Reply to this post with your vote or suggestions of your own. And, in case you think I am making this story up, here is a final portrait of Sporti:

Comments from original blog:

(Anonymous) at 2009-11-20 00:19 (UTC) (Link)
Alas, poor Sporti

I vote for turning it into an artsy kitty hammock.

- Jeff
Select:(Reply) (Thread)
(Anonymous) at 2009-11-20 00:40 (UTC) (Link)

I think you should make a christmas stocking out it. Richard had an old white tee shirt with a little hole in it and when Reilly was a baby he would stick his little finger in the hole and say something really funny. I made Reilly a Christmas stocking and lined it with the tee shirt, circled the hole and wrote the story of how he stuck his finger in the whole and would laugh! KEEP IT!

LOVE the memoir of Sporti! I am so enjoying your site! KEEP IT UP!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why Did I Create This Website?

The FAQ answers this question, but I thought I should expand on this topic a bit.

As mentioned in the previous post, I've had a weight problem my entire life. Back around 1996, some people I work with were doing a charity thing, climbing Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire for Habitat for Humanity. I was recently divorced, kind of lonely, thought I might meet new people. I weighed around 230 at the time, but had done a little hiking, and didn't think it would be that bad. Well, it actually wasn't that bad at all. I got about 3/4 up the mountain, and was feeling pretty okay about myself. I was quite winded, and sat down on a rock to rest. I thought to myself that I made it much further than I thought I would, and now I could go home proud. My buddy Wayne happened along at that moment and asked me why I was sitting there. I told him that was as far as I could go and I was turning back. He said, "ARE YOU CRAZY?? Look! The summit is RIGHT THERE!" and he pointed to what to me looked to be 12,000 feet away. But I got up. And I went the rest of the way. And it wasn't 12,000 feet. And when I got to the top, I started crying because I realized for the first time in my life, it was not being fat that kept me from doing stuff, it was the voices in my head telling me that I was too fat that kept me from doing stuff.

My life changed that day. I haven't turned down anything fun "because I'm too fat" since then.

So, let's flash forward to a few weeks ago. I was chatting with friends, and we were talking about what keeps us from doing stuff. We had started specifically talking about why we don't exercise, but I also realized that many times fat people just don't go out in general. It turns out that lots of us have that voice in our head, but very few of us have Wayne to tell them to get off their butt, it's just a few more feet to the summit. So, I started this web site in the hope that maybe I can convince just one or two people that it's just a few more feet to the summit, and the view is really spectacular from there. And I live in Florida now, so summits are a lot easier to reach here :-)

Comments from original blog:

(Anonymous) at 2009-11-18 17:11 (UTC) (Link)

Dee, that was a great day. To accomplish what we did was remarkable. Being out there and climbing that obstacle. Refreshing to get to the top and to see the view. Great time to catch your breath and more importantly to reflect. It was not just an accomplishment for you but for me as well.


A Little Background: Me and the Lap Band

In June of 2007, after struggling with a weight problem my whole life, I decided to get a lap band. I fell for the sales pitch, hook, line and sinker. There are some things the lap band sales people don't tell you before you get the surgery, the main one being, the surgery only helps if you are someone who ONLY eats if you are physically hungry. Now seriously -- you do not get to be morbidly obese eating only when your body needs food. Even if you ate chocolate covered steak, if you only ate it when you were genuinely hungry, and stopped eating when you are full, you are not going to become morbidly obese.

Another thing they don't really talk about is the fact that things like broiled chicken and raw veggies can get stuck in the band, but candy, ice cream, pretty much anything made out of sugar goes right through without a problem. This means that at the times you are stressed, or sad, or have the urge to eat for any reason other than hunger, you quickly realize that not only can you still eat junk, you can still eat it in large quantities, without any problem at all.

And the last thing, the ugliest thing, that the lap band sales people don't tell you is that the surgery does absolutely nothing to help you with self control. Now okay, you are probably reading this and saying to yourself, "Well, FREAKING DUH!" But no, I honestly went into the surgery thinking that the lap band would help with self control issues -- I mean, to me, that was really the entire purpose for having the surgery, If I thought I had any semblance of self control, I would not ever have had the surgery, I wouldn't have needed it in the first place.

So, I had the surgery, came home from the hospital, and pretty much lost my mind. I thought about food constantly. I had always been pretty obsessed with it, but this was seriously pathological. It only took me about two months post surgery to realize a few ugly truths about myself:

  • I have never, literally never, been hungry in my life
  • When left to my own devices, I eat like a four-year old whose parents abandoned her in a candy store
  • I have absolutely no self control

It destroyed my soul that after about a year I hadn't lost any weight. Ok, well, I lost about 30 pounds, but honestly, I've lost more than that after a good fart; when you start at almost 270 pounds, 30 doesn't mean jack. So, I started going to counseling. Oh my. The first shrink I saw, I went into her office, sat on the couch, and when she asked me why I was there, I started crying and said that I just can't stop eating and I don't know why. I swear I am not making this up: she replied with, "Oh, I know just how you feel, this morning I ate a box of pop tarts and then I..." She rambled incoherently for quite a while before she let me speak again. It went downhill from there. I went back for a second appointment, and I mentioned that I am an atheist. She told me that was my problem with food, I need jesus in my life. I walked out and didn't go back.

A while later I tried another shrink. She seemed a little more sane, but she only had experience with alcohol/drug addiction. While I can appreciate they are similar problems, she clearly only had one hammer (the 12 steps) for this nail. After trying to explain the whole "atheist" thing to her, and after a few weeks of her telling me about the wonders of the 12 steps I finally bailed on her as well.

Now I was not only destroyed, I was pissed off as well. By this time I had lost count of how many lap band adjustments I had. I was afraid I was going to go postal the next time the lap band salesperson told me that I just hadn't hit my "sweet spot". After over two years, I pretty much just stopped going for adjustments as losing three hours of work for nothing was serving no purpose other than making me stressed that I was missing three hours of work. The only thing I gained from the lap band sales person was on my last appointment, she told me about a new shrink in town who specializes in eating disorders and works with lap band patients. To be honest, I was beyond skeptical, assuming that this person was just someone else on the lap band payroll, but out of desperation, made an appointment.

I actually made quite a bit of headway with this shrink. I found out a lot about myself, a lot about why I eat, but I found out one last thing about myself that may or may not be a good thing. That is: I don't hate myself anymore. I don't know that I ever really did, but I am fat, and society really kinda frowns on that; I don't think I hated myself as much as I felt really guilty for not hating myself.

My biggest epiphany came a few months ago. I decided to make two lists for myself, short term and long term goals. The list consisted of stuff like, I want to see a Green Jay, I want to hike the grand canyon, I would like to sell another piece of my art. There was nothing on that list about losing weight. The epiphany was that it just isn't what I want to do with my life. I'm not saying that I'm giving up, or that it's not something I will never do, I am realistic enough to know that I'm pretty healthy now, but that won't last the older I get. I'm just saying that losing weight is not something I have any desire to spend the rest of my life obsessing over. 45 years is enough. It's just time to move on to bigger and better things.


Welcome to the official blog of the DeeMotivation web site. Please leave a comment here to let me know you are out there! I'd love to know if you plan to attend any events, if you follow along with the Right Now! commands, and what else you would like to see on this web site.

Thanks so much for visiting me, and I hope you stick around.