Sunday, September 27, 2009

Home gym in progress, & trying to let go

I am trying to be positive. Right now, it's difficult. At 7:30 last Sunday I was holding my bird and watching him die and knowing it was the end of an era in my life. And I am benefiting from his death, from the deaths of all my critters over the last few years, because I have an extra room in my house now. The glassed in heated porch where many of them lived, and where all various toys and extra cages and paraphernalia and food was stored, is now empty. It has some insect damage to it and in 2 weeks it's getting repaired. It has 20 feet of windows that I can't afford to purchase curtains for (at the discount houses, they don't have enough of any one style to cover that many windows). I found a bunch of really nice striped tablecloths that I am going to cut up and make curtains from (more than enough material for only $35!). I'm going to paint the room to match the curtains, but lighter. Moving my Bowflex in there, putting my yoga ball and hand weights, and I'm getting a free treadmill from someone at the pool.
Yeah, Rosie's going to have a room in her house that's a gym. Don't get too impressed--it's tiny. The Bowflex and treadmill will have to be folded up so I can use the other things. But I will have NO excuses. Not that it's rainy or cold and I don't feel like going into the garage, or that it's winter and the Bowflex doesn't work in the cold (it doesn't).
So part of me is excited, picking out table cloths to make into curtains and thinking about paint colors and how I am going to arrange everything in this tiny space (it's maybe 5' by 10'). Then the other part of me remembers all the critters that used to live in that space and how much I loved them and how much I miss them. And how much I hate seeing all the empty toys and cages and supplies being washed out in the rain, and the bags of food and bedding rotting in the trash.
I need to move on. Being attached to the past hurts. It pulls on me like a rope around my waist, yanking me backward. But I don't know how to untie it.
(cross posted to my SparkPeople blog)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sports Bra Saga and a sad ending

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a sports bra to contain and constrain my elephant boobs.  I had no idea what size to order.   I guessed wrong.  When it came, the bra was so big I could have worn it around my waist.  I sent it back and requested one two band sizes smaller--I want to say it's a 40 or 42--the bra doesn't have a size tag, believe it or not.  It came Friday afternoon and I didn't use my Bowflex Saturday so today was the first day I could try it out.
I pulled it out of the package--it certainly looked small.   I wrestled it over my head and hoisted up my twin elephant trunks and stuffed them in.  Oh my god.  My left boob overflowed its half of the bra, squishing the right boob off into my right armpit (the part of it that wasn't overflowing in the middle).  No lie, it looked like I had a pair of baby pigs stuffed in the sports bra. 
The bra pictured is similar to the one I purchased.  Notice the racing back.  Very comfy and handy during a workout--there is no weight across your shoulders and they have full range of movement during exercises.  Except of course when you have boobs that are the size of 6 month old kittens.  Each boob equaling a kitten.   Then that racing strap digs at the back of your neck, because instead of the weight of your boobs being on your shoulders, now the nape of your neck is holding them up.
But wait, you cry.  Rosie, don't you know that if a bra is properly fitted, you can drop the straps and have the same support!?  The support should come from the band and the cups, not the straps!
In response, I pat you on the head and congratulate you on having small, firm boobs.  No doubt your shoulders are not deeply grooved from bra straps.  I'm happy for you, really.
The end result was that I did my lower body workout.  My boobs were NOT hanging down to my knees and swaying like some part of an elephant.  That was good.  However, the back of my neck--ouchy.  The unevenness of having my left boob on the right and my right boob turned into ooze poking out everywhere--not comfy.
Okay, this was going to be a funny post.  But my husband called upstairs and said my elderly parrot just fell off his perch.  I ran downstairs and got him from his cage and held him while he died. 
I don't feel very funny right now and I don't remember where the post was going.  I'm sorry. 
(picture source)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

watching the Biggest Loser sets us up to fail

I've lost 54 pounds since January, with no trainer, no cook, no one standing over my shoulder, no one helping me.  I was really proud of what I had accomplished.  I worked hard.  I gave up foods I love, I spend hours in the pool and smell like bleach all the time because of it.   The most weight I lost in a week was 4 lbs.

And then I watch the opener of season 8 of The Biggest Loser tonight.   No one lost 4 lbs.   One person lost something ridiculous--22 or 24 lbs.  In a week.  I can't do that.  The person who got SENT HOME lost 13 lbs! 

I'm in a Biggest Loser competition on Spark People and in the 11 weeks my goal is to lose 25 lbs.  In 3 months.  Not in a week.   I look at someone else's 22 lb loss in a week and I don't feel encouraged.  I want to throw in the towel and say fuck it, why should I bother limping along at a pound or two a week?  Last week I did over 400 minutes of exercise on around 1150 calories a day and only lost 3 lbs.

My nutritionist told me my 25 lb goal isn't even realistic!   She thinks it's TOO HIGH.  For 11 weeks!  

Yeah, I lost 3 lbs last week.   When I saw that I was happy because usually I only lose 1 or 2.  Then I watched TBL.  3 lbs would get me laughed off TBL.

Monday, September 14, 2009

can my adipose tissue cure cancer and alzheimers!?

Okay, here's a checkmark in the pro column of being fat:  stem cells have been found in fat tissue.
Stem cells, you know, those things they used to get from ground-up babies aborted by filthy liberals?   (I don't really believe that!)  They aren't just for breakfast anymore!  I mean, they aren't just found in dead babies anymore.  Obviously the EMBRYONIC type cells have to come from babies (hence the name) but multi-purpose cells can now be harvested from liposuctioned fat.
Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that the millions of fat cells removed during liposuction can be easily and quickly turned into induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, more easily cells.
Unless you've been living in a cave, you know that stem cells might hold the key to horrid diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's, even help people to regrow limbs and organs.  A stem cell can transform into any type of cell.
Embryonic stem cells are controversial because the embryos are destroyed when the stem cells are removed for research. The iPS cells, which have many of the same basic properties, do not raise the same ethical questions as embryonic stem cells because they come from skin or now fat cells that have been reprogrammed to go back in time, so to speak, and have the ability to turn into any other kind of cell in the body.
I think liposuction is gross (when I watch it on TV I want to faint. It's so VIOLENT.), but they can take all my fat if it will save someone from dying of Alzheimer's or cancer.
stem cells can be made from fat cells!
(image source)(screenprint of original)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

fat pics vs fatter pics

Many pounds ago I asked a friend to take a picture of me in shorts and a sports bra to document what I looked like as a super morbidly obese person.  I made a little animated gif out of it rotating between front, back and profiles, with my stats.  Turns out I can't put an animated gif on Blogger/Picasa or on Flickr and I don't feel like opening an account at yet another photo place just for 1 gif. 

Having lost 50 lbs, I was photographed again by someone else.  This friend, well, she isn't the photographer my other friend is.  I'm not straight on in any of the pics so it's hard to compare them to the original ones.  But I can tell you that I think I look FATTER now.  Especially on my back.  I have rolls of hanging skin.  It is nasty.  And after only 50 lbs.  My elbows appear to have moved--again, hanging skin.   When I reach my goal I am going to look like a Sharpei.
So it is discouraging to have lost so much weight and have nothing to show for it.  My pants are literally falling off me when I walk (I pinned or sewed up most of the waists now, took them in 4-6 inches in most cases)...BUT my waist measurement has only gone down 2.5 inches.  That's not going to show in a photo!  My arms have gone down only 1/2 an inch.  (My doctor said they probably won't shrink and I will need brachioplasty.)
My arms are way worse than that picture.  They are 20.5 inches around (were 21). 
The biggest change was my chin.  I'll show you that, in fact.  Here ya go: 

The reason my bra seems to be higher up is that it wasn't a full profile, my body was turned slightly toward the camera.  And I think it's a different bra.   The absolute downslope of my breasts (which have NO lift or perkiness whatsoever) has already been covered in my earlier Elephant Trunk Boobs post.
The first set of pictures I thought I did when I was around 360 but they actually at 248.  So at 198 I'll be 50 lbs less and I'll have my better photographer friend take another set then.   14 lbs from now! 

(dog image source: Flickr; surgery source)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

too fat to fly Southwest Airlines

I have never heard anything good about how Southwest Airlines treat overweight people.  And when (not if) I am down to a normal BMI, I will never fly Southwest.
According to this articleEmery Orto, 6 feet tall and 350 lbs (BMI 47.5), was denied entry onto a SW plane in Las Vegas, even though they allowed him to fly there a few days earlier.  He and his wife were not even allowed to retrieve their luggage.   An airlines rep decided that he could not seat in an airline seat with both armrests down (he claims he can, and also that he does not need a seatbelt extension) and denied him entry to the flight (as he was heading down the gangway!).  He was not allowed to demonstrate that he fit in the seat.
As far as I can understand, SW didn't refund the money the Ortos paid for their tickets, and they had to purchase new tickets on United, who had no problems with Orto's size and did not require him to purchase an extra seat. 
too fat to fly, says Southwest Airlines
(picture source=article source; screenprint of original)

Friday, September 04, 2009

doctor & medicine update

This week I had my followup appointment at the Yale PCOS clinic.   Long-time readers might remember that in January I got diagnosed with PCOS by my (former) ob-gyn and then got the run-around trying to find someone willing to treat me.  An ad in the paper led me to the brand-new Yale PCOS clinic (in New Haven near Ikea and Long Wharf Theater), where they told me I probably don't have PCOS.
Did you follow all that? 
I lost a bunch of weight since that first July visit to Yale, and I was mostly good following what their nutritionist told me to do (it's difficult to keep my fat as low as she wants--I'd be allowed MORE fat if I was on Alli/Orlistat!) and my exercise routine is up to about 6 hours a week.  So, I am a good girl.  I get a pat on the head.
This appointment was to go over the results of the now infamous 26 vials of blood tested in late July.  My regular doctor had already gone over them with me and said I was basically fine.  Which is not what one wants to particularly hear when #1--26 vials of blood!!!  and #2 one is looking for co-morbidities to help with getting insurance approval for WLS.  I'm not sure the vague diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome even counts as a co-morbidity.
The Yale doc also thought I was basically fine and doing great with diet and exercise.  But my blood sugar is a bit wonky and it will probably even out with continuing lifestyle changes (ie, diet and exercise).  But she said I did barely qualify to be on metformin/glucophage and it was my choice if I wanted to try it.  My (now former) ob-gyn had said that I should be on it, but wouldn't prescribe it.  My regular doc left it up to Yale.  My (new) ob-gyn gave me a blood test to see if I qualified and then never followed up or returned my calls about it.   The Yale doc said that it wouldn't make me gain weight and that it is an appetite suppressant and would help me LOSE weight.  So you know my hand was out waiting for the prescription.  Being on metformin for insulin resistance, no matter how mild, counts as a co-morbidity.  And how much does it suck that I have to search for diseases to get the insurance to pay for WLS?
I was all psyched that I got it for free--no copay!  I'm supposed to take 1 a day for a week, 2 a day for a week, 3 a day for a week and then go to the final dosage of 4 a day.   However, the pharmacy only gave me enough for 3 weeks (7+14+21=42, which is how many they dispensed) and it says no refills.  So I have a call into Yale, which won't get returned until Tuesday due to the holiday.   Not that I am going to run out.
The schedule was predicated on it being "well tolerated".   I have a raging headache and everything I eat falls out my butt in liquid form.  Somehow I don't think that's toleration.  (Is that even a word?  Sounds weird, but spell checker doesn't flag it.)  Today is day 2 of the first 7.
I know if I sit and read the list of side effects I'll think I have them.  They said it might cause "stomach upset" which I took to mean I might have to eat some Tums, and "gas", which I took to mean farting.  What I am doing is not farting.  My bottom is burbling like lava, and that's my 5 minute warning to get to the toilet.  It's not like being SICK though.  There's none of the urgency, and no vomiting, thank the gods.
I am now going to look at the pages of fine print so kindly dispensed to me by Stop and Shop's fine pharmacy folks, who are so much better than Walmart's that I guess I can't be upset that Stop and Shop's people lost my insurance card and under-filled my prescription.
The warning begins with the fact that I could get something called Lactic Acidosis and that it could kill me.  It then lists vague symptoms, some of which I have, such as drowsiness/tiredness or a general feeling of being unwell.  Except that I was feeling that way on Tuesday and I started the medicine on Thursday.  If I exercise heavily I could go into hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Reading this fine print makes me want to toss the pills out the window.  I think any weight loss will come from losing all my food through the rear exit as soon as I eat.  Decrease in appetite?  Well, yeah, since after 2 days I'm trained to know what happens when I eat!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

OK, I need some help...

I have reached that magical point in my weight loss where my tastes have totally changed. I never believed it was real. I always thought people were lying or trying to make themselves look better when they said that their old favorite foods just don't taste good anymore.
The only thing that still tastes good to me is pizza. Twice this week I had some "favorite" Mexican food, of the more fried variety, and neither time enjoyed it--packed most of it up for hubby to eat later. Today I had my "favorite" burger at Chili's and it was no stretch at all not to finish it, or to finish the fries. The lovely buttered bun that once made me drool seemed wet and greasy and I left most of it on the plate. The meat seemed flavorless and again, greasy. The fries were bland and gross. I'd think I just got a badly cooked plate of food, but when I went to On the Border unexpectedly yesterday, my flautas weren't good (I ate 1 of the 4) and I nibbled on a single tortilla chip which just tasted like crunchy salt. The appetizer platter I got earlier in the week at a local Mexican place was also uninteresting to me. More than half of that got boxed up also, and the little I ate, I didn't enjoy. Diet Pepsi is starting to taste bad and I'm drinking more and more water. My last two attempts to eat a 3 Musketeers bar as a treat on a very low-cal day ended with me abandoning the chocolate halfway through.
So you are thinking, what is this girl's problem?
This girl's problem is that she has a very weird eating disorder. This girl cannot eat new foods.
So when I stop eating, for instance, flautas and burgers and fries and nachos, I can't ADD anything to replace them. I have to take what I already eat and expand that to fill the hole. Except that every day, something else tastes bad to me. I'm going to end up living on fruit, fat/sugar free Jello pudding and Jello, Special K protein bars, and vitamins.
I've been in therapy already for this, had acupuncture with moxibustion, gone to an addictions specialist and had my eating habits treated like a a drug addiction, and gone to two different conventional "let's sit and talk about this" therapists. So it's not like I haven't tried to resolve this. One of my best friends has a psychology degree and has been trying to get me to eat new things, but it's VERY slow going because it is so very scary for me. Some days I think I'd rather hold a tarantula (I'm terrified of spiders) than consider eating a strange food.
The technical name for my eating disorder is food neophobia. It makes me very OCD about food and eating. Anyone have any ideas!?
(Cross posted to my SparkPeople blog)
(photo source)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Rosie by the numbers or, BMI is depressing

I was sure that at some point in my wanderings through the internet I'd seen an expanded BMI list--many just say over 30 is bad and stop there.   I found one, and I wanted to explore the weight ranges for me (5'5" ish) for each category.
The chart is not exactly the same as I've seen in other places--it starts with healthy at 20 when most are 18.5--but it's close enough, right?

  • 60+ - super-super obesity 366 lbs+. I never quite made it here. Two more pounds. That is scary as shit, let me tell you.
  • 50-60 - super-obesity 305-365 lbs. I'm here now (315 lbs)
  • 40-50 - severe obesity 244-304 lbs. I will still be in this range after I've lost 100 lbs from my starting weight. Then again, I will arrive IN this range in a few weeks, a big drop from the edge of super-super obesity.
  • 35-40 - morbid obesity 214-243 lbs. A HUNDRED pounds from NOW, I'll still be morbidly obese and eligible for bariatric surgery.
  • 30-35 - obese 183-213 lbs. 182 is half my starting weight.
  • 25-30 - overweight 150-182 lbs. My goal is 150.
  • 20-25 - ideal 122-149 lbs. Perhaps after plastic surgery to remove extra skin I can slide into this category.
  • 18.5 (what other places have as low range of normal) 113 lbs. The lowest I weighed as an adult was 114 in college.
It is sobering to look at how huge the upper ranges of BMI are.  Ideal weight for me is only a 27 lb range, but super obesity is 60 lbs.
(cross posted to my SparkPeople blog)