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About nimiety

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests
    Books, culture and criticism, powerlifting, politics, feminism, the internet, wildly overambitious cooking projects, the theory and practice of fatness.
  • Age


  • Surgeon
    Alfons Pomp
  • Hospital
    Weill Cornell
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve

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  1. I didn't lose weight in August. I did a lot of other things, some of them productive and some of them pleasurable—and the month was a bit of a whirlwind—and I didn't lose weight. Right now, I'm sitting pretty much the exact amount of water I'm carrying because I'm carbed up (i.e. I've been eating enough carbs to keep my glycogen stores filled & thus retaining enough water to keep that glycogen soluble, which for me is about 5-6 pounds and a look of puffiness—higher scale weight, but stable mass) above where I was at the beginning of the month. Now, I don't necessarily want to freak out about that. I feel pretty good about my body at this size, and the stuff that bugs me is post-weight-loss stuff, mostly—the skin stuff has gotten pretty real for me. My arms, my thighs, my stomach, my breasts—that's the stuff I struggle with. I think physically I might be a little smaller than I was, but nothing major. The XLs I bought from the Gap were too big and the larges are right on point; I tried on clothes at J Crew and the 14s were roomy. I bought a one-size skirt from a boutique on West Broadway yesterday, the kind of store that doesn't even make an XL, and their stretchier larges fit just fine. I thought about a drapey blazer, but it just didn't feel like me—it's an adjustment, not just buying the thing that fits. Anyway, it's time to decide what my approach is going to be for the rest of the year. My major priorities are twofold, and the first one is significantly more important than the second one: 1) I don't want to be a lifelong dieter—that was the whole point of surgery. I chose the VSG because it's the surgical option that's most like punching the reset button on your metabolism. Ghrelin production is a major part of the regulation of appetite, and removing the fundus of the stomach, where ghrelin is produced (and which is metabolically and endocrinologically central in other ways as well), suspends the metabolic freakout and defense reactions that would normally attend extremely low calorie intakes like those that happen after surgery. As metabolic function restabilizes, the body has the chance to reset a stable setpoint, is the hope. I want a stable setpoint. I want a weight that works for me that my body will defend as metabolic regulation reestablishes itself. I also want that weight to be sustainable for me without extraordinary measures. I do not want to be one of those people who's counting every calorie and striving for extremely low caloric intake ten years after surgery. I want to be able to settle into routines that maintain a stable weight without monitoring, or counting, or the more punitive kinds of self-denial. I want my eating life to be flexible, and pleasurable, and also sustainable and healthy. I do not want to be on a diet for the rest of my life. That does NOT mean that I won't need to keep an eye on things and check in, and keep best practices in mind. I committed to doing that when I signed on for surgery. But it DOES mean that if I can be 180 pounds and eat in a way that doesn't stress me out or 150 pounds only if I eat in a way that does, and sustain that way forever, I will choose the higher weight. Stability and sanity are, in combination, priority 1 for me. 2) That said, I have some vanity and lifestyle preferences. I would like to always be able to find my size in a straight-size store. I would like a little room for bounceback, should any occur. I don't have it right now. I'd like to have a low enough body fat percentage that plastics, if and when I go for them, can do as much for me as possible. I'd also like my cheeks to be a little less puffy, my cheekbones and jaw a little more defined. I've also thought about my powerlifting future. To be competitive, one wants to be at the top of a capped weight class, and that means either staying right where I am, or losing some more weight. The next class down caps at 158.5, so a walking-around weight of 155-160 would be a good place to land for that. If the "window of opportunity" for weight loss after surgery—which is to say, the amount of time it takes your metabolic function to reestablish itself and a new defensible baseline of energy balance—is about 12-18 months, I've got about five months left. Putting in some effort in those five months to see if I can maximize the benefits of surgery would save me effort down the line, which is also a way I made the decision to have surgery. I decided that I was willing to devote some seriously intensive effort so as to reduce long-term effort. We're now in a place of slightly diminishing returns—that is, the difference between weighing 160 and 180 is a lot less significant than the difference between weighing 332 and 180, or even 200 and 180, frankly. So it's harder to get the energy up every day, especially when my life has changed and is changing in all these ways that make me want to run around and be a normal person and drink drinks and do whatever. That said, the window is closing. And right now I'm feeling like it's worth a try to maximize that window. There are also other good circumstances for another push: the summer is ending, which means less orgiastic socializing, and the semester is starting, which means more routine. Plus, with the presence of a new person in my life, I foresee the necessity of fewer first-date drinks in my life! Not none, by the way—it's not exclusive, and it's also got some geographic distance—but definitely fewer. I'm looking forward to settling into something more routine for a few months. And so putting in some effort to see if I could lose another 20-25 pounds before the end of the calendar year seems worth it. I'm going to try not to belabor myself with this. I'm going to remember priority 1. But I'm also okay with making some changes that would make the best use of my tools right now—cutting out Diet Coke again and making sure I'm pushing water, reintroducing protein shakes, skipping alcohol, and tightening up the ship a bit on food choices, especially carbs, all seem like sane principles for the next four months. Getting back on the scale daily seems to be working for me. I may go back to tracking in MFP. I think there's some emotional ambivalence about being smaller than I am now, too, and that seems like an important thing to do some thinking around, but I can do that thinking while also putting in the pragmatic work. And the window is closing, so if I wait to decide, it may be too late to get the greatest possible benefit. So September-December are going to be a time of buckling back down after a loose, louche summer—not straightjacketing myself, just seeing what some reasonable effort can produce. So I think that's the plan.
  2. I had high hopes of posting on the day, but I was running off to Philadelphia and then the woods to camp for my sister's 30th, and had some personal distractions besides. More on that later. I had surgery on July 28th, 2016. I weighed 332 pounds. Today is August 8th, 2017, and when I belatedly replaced the batteries in my scale, I weighed 180.4 pounds. It's hard to know what to say about that. I've lost 151.6 pounds. I'm under my original tentative goal weight and basically at my second tentative goal weight. My BMI is 31—still obese, but barely. On July 28, 2016, my BMI was 57. On Sunday, at a party, someone without much tact said to me, "You've lost like half your bodyweight!" and she not all that far off. What do you say about that? (I said, "It's been a wild year." This has become my go-to stock response. I like it because it shifts the focus of conversation off of my size and onto my experience. Most people do not care to take up that conversation, I notice.) I'm living my life. My life is different. And it's not. And it's different mostly in ways that have nothing to do with the weight I've lost, and it's different in ways that are intimately related to the weight I've lost. And I am still here, still the same person I've always been but also deciding who it is, that person, the person I've always been, the person I sometimes don't recognize in the mirror. I literally talked to myself in a mirror on Sunday, at that party, after that conversation. "Who are you, stranger?" I said, staring myself in the face. I was fairly drunk on two glasses of wine at the time, in my defense, but there was a strange kind of identification/disidentification with that image. She's me. She's a stranger. She doesn't look all that different, but I don't all the way recognize her. It's confusing. One year ago, literally speaking, like August 8th, 2016, I was still recovering in my parents' apartment, just across town from the hospital. I was staring at the walls. I was experiencing postsurgical depression but didn't really know it (please be aware, any newbies who happen to be reading, that it's very common among bariatric patients!). I was following the rules to the letter. My whole world was that tiny apartment and the postsurgical packets and protein and water. And now my world feels strange and wild and wonderful, open and full. I am struggling with the ways in which that does and doesn't feel related to my size. It has really been a wild year. Last July 28th, I hadn't slept and I hadn't eaten for two days and I took a wee-hours taxi from deep Brooklyn to the hospital and arrived half an hour before it opened. I remember sitting on the retaining wall with my bag and my fear. This July 28th, I had the same bag with me, but was heading off to camp for my sister's birthday, and the prospect of a bus trip was different, and the prospect of a weekend party with strangers was different too. I am strange to myself and compelling to other people in ways that I was not before, and some part of it is the whirlwind, the intense energy I'm throwing off right now as my life alters and rearranges, and some part of it is the way the world sees (and doesn't see) fat people. I walk through the world and I can be anonymous in new ways and individuated in new ways. It is different to be in the world. My collarbones jut. My arms are saggy lump-bags that hang and gather and pucker (they were my least favorite feature at 332 pounds, and they are my least favorite feature at 180.4 pounds). My waist caves in like an inlet between my ribcage and my hips. I have been crossing my legs every now and again. I can't tell if I am still a fat person or not. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I have started to think about the idea of passing. I have felt like I pass for not-fat. I have been afraid of invoking that stigma. I know that I live in a body that is non-normative. I can't tell if I want to alter that or not. Plastic surgery would alter and diminish, but not erase, that non-normativity. I will always have it in some degree. And I will always have the mind that has resulted from that having. A few weeks ago I heard that my ex-boyfriend was seeing someone new and it hurt. I miss him, even though I don't want to be back in that relationship. And a few weeks later, I'm also seeing someone new, and it's thrilling. That's the other reason I missed the one-year mark, honestly—romance haze. What I think is interesting about this relationship is that it's with a person who represents both the expansion of my world—O brave new world, I keep saying to myself, that has such people in it—and also an opportunity for me to claim kinds of non-normativity both consistent (fatness) and new (queerness of a couple of kinds). Bodies feel strange and new to me—the ideas and experiences and histories that live in them. There are ways in which this, more than any of my previous experiences, has made me able to really directly experience the beauty of a queered or grotesque body. I look at myself naked in the mirror and I sort of love what I see, sometimes as much for its strangeness as despite it, without having to talk myself into loving it. And also I wonder how much of that is enabled by my collarbones and cheekbones and waist. I don't have to know now, and I don't. It's only a year. It's not even over. My weight is still drifting downwards. I am settling towards some equilibrium of behavior and habit, but haven't gotten to it yet. I'd still like to be a little smaller, so I am still paying attention, but I am letting things loosen up, too. Some days I feel good about that, others okay, others concerned. I have not drawn very many firm conclusions, is what I'm saying. But here we are. It is a year later. My understanding is a work in progress, as indeed am I.
  3. It's alive.

    Thank you all so much for your kind comments and support. They mean so much. It's been a really hard stretch. I think I'd've lost a little more weight these last couple of months had it not been for the tumult and upheaval, but I'm pleased and even a little proud to be where I am, and I'm trying to take good care of myself.
  4. Where "it" is both this bloglet and its author. Things are a little bit bananas over here. It is hard to figure out where to start. My relationship is over. We met seven years ago tomorrow, on the Brooklyn rooftop where last night I drank wine and ate scallops and corn and heirloom tomatoes with my friends, and now it is over. It feels like my life is crumbling around my ears. I feel at sea in so many ways. I do not love my ex-boyfriend less than I did. I will miss him terribly, and we are going to try to stay in each other's lives. But our partnership is over, and I am going to have to grieve it. My previous serious breakup did not make me feel all these horrible things, so I am in uncharted territory. I am also in uncharted body territory. I'm under 195, and I went to a wedding a couple weekends ago wearing a size 14 dress from J. Crew. Today I strolled out of the house in size 14 Gap skinny jeans—which I believe is the first time I've worn pants not to the gym in oh, round about eleven or twelve years. My experience of the world is changing. My behavioral baseline is changing too, and that's something I'm thinking about—how much I need to work to keep myself in "active loss" mode, and how much I can let myself start moving towards a behavioral mode that will let the chips fall where they may, weight-wise. I'd definitely like to lose another 20-30 pounds. And the loose skin has started to drive me nuts. I signed up for RealSelf and started reading plastic surgery reviews. And honestly, I want to put all those things out there and up here, but that's just about as much depth as I can handle tonight. I hope everyone is doing well. I'll be back sooner rather than later.
  5. So, I've looked up and found myself in the countdown-to-200 portion of things. I weighed 203 this morning. A ton of stuff is happening in my life right now, much of it stuff I'm not ready to talk about here yet, but even through all that stuff, which has me spread a little thin and a lot distracted, that number's got me focusing on it. It sticks in the head. It's sort of some childhood dividing line, maybe. It's a myth. It's an outdated idea. I blew through it circa age 14 and then I learned how fungible were the numbers you said you'd never cross. How little that counts. I'm still doing this thing right now where I'm hovering between plus sizes and straight sizes, dancing around on a line that's hard to see and understand that has so much also to do with stigma, with social categories, with visibility, with femininity. When I walk around in the world I don't know what size I am. I feel simultaneously like I have so far to go and like I want to stop right now. But there it is: 200. Below it, the girl you were supposed to be. Above it, the woman you became. (Brigid Berlin: "My mother wanted me to be a slim, respectable socialite. Instead, I became an overweight troublemaker.") My therapist pointed out to me yesterday that I love the woman I became more than the girl I was supposed to be, that even as I find myself with the greatest access I've ever had to the version of "slim, respectable socialite" with which I grew up, the quasi-creative white-collar job and the husband with the same kind of job and the dinner parties and the chitchat and maybe the kids you'll probably send to private school even though you have political qualms about it but honestly they have to get into college, I am also leaning the hardest into my own desire to be a spinster, a free spirit, a revolutionary, an art monster, a weirdo. She's right, and I appreciate having that pointed out to me. I was always so afraid of not being able to make my own decisions. When WLS was first being authorized for teenagers, in the late '90s, which is when I was one, the New Yorker did a piece on it and I nabbed the issue of the magazine so that my father couldn't read it. I thought if he read about it, I'd end up on the table whether I wanted to or not. (I had no idea whether I wanted to or not.) I have, historically, not really understood my ability to make my own decisions. There are a lot of reasons for this vacuum, in my life, where agency ought to have been palpable. But none of them are really the point. The point is that I feel it now. When I walk into the room full of people whose bodies and social selves intimidate and entice me in equal measure, even when I feel like it's not my body preventing me from being one of them, I'm still not one of them. Not in the digital media room. Not in the art room. Not in the sense of absorption that I fear. Not in the sense of being claimed, being stuck, being colonized, being coopted. Something stubborn and tenacious in me says no, rolls its eyes at the ill-informed views on Syria no matter how glamorous their speaker. Which means that over 200 or under it, I am still running this show. The world won't absorb me unless I choose to be absorbed. I get to choose who to be. My way. Which means that being under 200 doesn't seem like such a big deal, honestly. I mean, today, anyway. I might still have a meltdown of some variety when I see a number that starts with a 1. No promises.
  6. I'm seeing strange new things when I look at my face in the mirror—fatness is no longer the first thing I see. My jaw is newly prominent, my neck asserting itself. I have high cheekbones; they catch the light. People's attention registers me in a new way. It lingers longer; it checks in. I'm wearing a size 14 dress from ASOS Curve and it's gotten too big for me. It drapes over my hips, pools at my feet, makes me look a little boxy. Simultaneously, there are two pairs of size 14 jeans (one pair of skinny jeans from the Gap, one from Lucky Brand) that I can't even pull up all the way. I climb out onto my fire escape and I am not afraid that it will buckle under me. I have put a little outdoor rug on it, because I have been sitting out there in these first days of spring, watching the neighborhood's rhythms at intervals. I have put out a plant-pot full of soil and sprinkled wildflower seeds. I have imagined having phone conversations out there. Good ones. I was sitting out there the other day thinking about how hard it is to know what I want when it occurred to me that all I had ever wanted was to be thin. Not that I haven't been fighting the dominance of that ambition for fifteen years now (I have), but that nevertheless it had occupied space, that it had squashed some parts of the organic development of my own sense of where I was headed. The blight of that ambition; its radiating rot. I am making more social plans, including with people I would not have wanted to see at my biggest. I am less averse to making a trip downstairs at midnight with a bag each of trash and recycling, more likely to make a dedicated trip instead of waiting until the morning, and less winded by the return trip (fourth-floor walk-up).
  7. [This post was written several days ago. There's an update at the end. I'm still posting it as-is because I want to save the thinking-through.] My life is really busy right now and that has stalled my weight loss. It's not "a stall." It's me prioritizing other things and not leaving enough room in my day or my brain to plan and take care of eating, water, logging, counting, etc. I know that this happens to a lot of people after WLS, and now I know that it is happening, has happened, will happen to me. I have this intense rush of social energy, a desire for input, experience, I'm rushing around, overstressed, overworked, overeverything. It hasn't left a lot of room for planning, weighing and measuring, logging. There was also my dad's birthday, Easter, Passover, just a little constellation of things that threw me. And also I think in some way this is a very comfortable place for me, this size right here. I'm a solid size 16. I don't yet feel sure that a straight-size store would clothe me. I do, however, feel like I've hit the point at which I'm no longer on the heavily stigmatized side of the kid of invisibilizing, dehumanizing fat stigma that I and many other fat people have experienced. I can take up space in a room now. I notice myself wanting, rather than shying away from, the conversational spotlight. This week I ran around like a crazy person, hopping from space to space to space, all the spaces my patchwork life spans. I don't feel out of place in my classroom and I don't feel out of place strolling through Park Slope with my friend and her little boy and I don't feel out of place taking two client meetings in a row on the Upper East Side and I don't feel out of place in a room full of avant-garde artists and I don't feel out of place in a room full of establishment artists and I don't feel out of place in a room full of digital media types. I can be in those places and feel like I get to be in them, enjoy being in them. I am really enjoying that. But I think I know that the attention would get more intense if I got a chunk smaller. Even a pretty little chunk. I think I know that I am hovering on the edge of something, some boundary. I think that scares me, that I am protecting myself from it. I seem, at the moment, to be clinging to my otherness in some capacity, like if I don't, they will consume me, assimilate me, leave me nothing of myself for my own. I am a person who worries about demands other people make because I worry about my ability to say no to them, and I worry about my own discomfort getting a lot of attention. I am a person who worries about the obliteration of interpellation. It's funny, because when I was first talking through WLS with my therapist, this is where I said I wanted to end up. I said something along the lines of "If I could pick a place to end up, and that place could be a nice solid 14/16, I would do it." I wanted to be assured that I could still be fat(ish) if I wanted to be, and I think I felt afraid of really truly giving up fatness as an identity position and as an aesthetic and political element. I've done so much thinking and working around it. And honestly, it makes me feel great to be fat and to still be comfortable in all these spaces. It reminds me of all the things that I can do that other people can't—it makes me feel a little superhuman. It makes me feel strange, and strong, and individual, and gifted, and dangerous, and glamorous, and very much myself. It makes me feel like I am inventing something, a new way of being. I like that feeling. So I do think I owe it to myself to take my potential discomfort being smaller seriously, and to affirm for myself that I don't have to be if I don't want to be. I don't have to be any smaller than this. I could be this size my entire life, and I could make of it a thing of great beauty and joy, a thing of newness and possibility and invention. THAT SAID. There has been eating this past couple of weeks that makes me very uncomfortable, from an ED perspective. There has been a sense of disorder, of chaos, of being out of control. I have felt like I have not been able to set intentions or make dependable choices. And that, friends, is a situation that cannot stand. I am righting the ship. Not that the ship capsized—it's just some turbulence. I am seeing new lows on the scale as of today, even though I am pretty sure that I'm still holding water from being carbed up. (Side note: do people know about this? I only learned this in powerlifting—but carbohydrates refill your glycogen stores, which means your body holds water to render all that glycogen ready to use. When you're eating low-carb, your glycogen stores are low to empty, which means the second you refill them, back all that water will come too—so the weight you "gain" if you regularly eat very low-carb and you, say, eat a couple slices of pizza at a bar while knocking back whiskeys on the rocks NOT THAT I DID THAT oh wait yes I did includes that adjustment to water balance. This event frequently convinces people who regularly eat very low-carb diets, including keto, that carbs are the devil, which is not the case in my not-so-humble opinion.) So I'm feeling grateful for my surgically-installed tool even as I know I need to devote some thought to the way it's interacting with my disordered reactions AND to pulling myself back towards a baseline that works for me. This might be the time to see that beloved ED nutritionist who does bariatrics too, now I come to think of it. [Update: then I left this open for three days, during which time I did my end-of-month weigh-in, found myself less than two pounds above my goal for the month, and then today saw a weight below it. Gonna write about this too, but I didn't want to lose this bit of thinking, so I'm slapping it up even if belatedly.]
  8. @Jen581791, I think it's really important to not get lost in obsession about a particular goal weight, and I also think it's important to go through this process with as much focus on behavior and input (rather than outcome) as possible. I am not a fan of all the five-day-pouch-test pick-a-diet-plan stuff. It's just not my style. I have a deeply health- and behavior-focused surgical program, thank God, and for me, it's far more important to get to a place of balance where I can start to put things on sustainable autopilot than to fit into a particular size. I'm not trying to get skinny here—I'm trying to find a weight that works for me and that I can maintain without killing myself over it every day for the rest of my life. And yes, for me tracking and checking in are a big part of my approach right now. In no small part because that kind of work keeps me dealing with the feelings, keeps me engaging, keeps me in touch with what's going on in this part of my life. Keeps me processing. For me personally, I feel like that's what it's all about—if I can keep my head in the game and keep taking things on as they come up, I'll be okay. Once I start avoiding...trouble. So yeah, for me...ever-present. At this point, I occasionally choose not to track a day, or to go ahead and eat the bread, or whatever, but even 8 months out, I find that right now, being vigilant about my behavior keeps me feeling like I'm doing what I can do.
  9. I really appreciate feedback like this. Thank you! Glad it was helpful for you.
  10. I've had so many goals, even just this time around alone. I've made so many lists, over and over again. Even just this time around alone. (Yes, I know that saying "this time around" implies that it's just another ride on the weight-cycle merry-go-round. I don't exactly think that, but I don't exactly not think that, nahmean?) And I've had so many goals. I don't think I've ever known what was really reasonable to expect. I could intellectually process, sure, but I don't think I could really imagine being any of those outcomes personally. Even here, I was saying "I could live here" like fifty pounds ago. But I'm starting to approach a place that would have felt like a totally reasonable place to end up. I'm down just shy of 115 pounds from surgery just over eight months out. I weighed 217.8 this morning. That puts me 18 pounds from one thought about a goal and 37.8 pounds from another thought about a goal (the one listed here) and 52.8 pounds from yet another thought about a goal. I want to lose more than another 18 pounds. And given that I'm only 8 months out, and still posting double-digit monthly losses, I should be able to do that. I can feel pretty confident about predicting that, even though the idea of predicting anything about this situation also sort of feels like asking for trouble. But I want to lose more than another 18 pounds, and I think I can. Frankly, I think I can also lose more than another 37.8 pounds. I'm starting to suspect I'd like to—I'd like to fit into the size-14 Gap jeans that right now get up my thighs but not over my @*#; I'd like to see the cheekbones I've sometimes suspected were there emerge; I'd like to be able to pick any dress I like. I'd like to have a little room for bounceback, too. Looking at the patterns of people whose starting weights, basic situations, and results are pretty similar to mine, I think I can expect my losses to start to taper down to closer to 5 than 10 pounds a month reasonably soon, but not immediately. I've been solidly averaging 10-11 pounds a month (I only lost seven-point-something in February, but I'd lost almost 15 the month before) since the first wild postsurgical rush. I think over the next two to three months, 10 will get hard, if not impossible to hit (without making sacrifices I'm unwilling to make, anyway). Cautiously, I've set a goal of losing 10.8 pounds in April, which would bring me to 207—which would in turn put me in a good spot to try to get under 200 by the end of May. I'd love to hit 182 (150 lost) by my one-year-out mark (7/28), but it feels like a stretch. Then again, I've beaten a lot of my own predictions. We'll see. One consideration is how long I want to stay in active loss mode. The vast majority of days, I weigh and measure and log; I push water; I log in here or Instagram to check in with this part of my life, to support a few other people and hopefully learn a thing and keep myself motivated. I've logged into MyFitnessPal every day since the first day I logged on after surgery—even if it's a day I've chosen not to log, I like to check in on how other people are doing, look over my data, even just count water. I shop and cook and plan my days around this. But I also know that I don't want to be a person whose eating/body/weight is one of her top three priorities forever, ideally. Too much other stuff to get to. Got a life to live over here. Then again, I also know that settling towards maintenance mode—defining it, figuring out how it works for me—is ALSO going to be a lot of work, and possibly/probably keep this issue in the top-three list for as much as a full couple-few years after active loss is over, and (especially because of my ED history) keep it in the top five or six indefinitely. If that's the case, well then, I might as well maintain the weight I actually want (within values of what's possible for me as a person and a body). Which brings us to the second difficulty, which is that I really don't know what that weight is yet. Some days the thought of being a size 8 seems appealing, sometimes I feel like I'd rather be a 12. Some days all I care about is how my face looks, and would happily make that decision (to the extent I get to make it) on that basis alone. And maybe that's fine. Maybe I just take it one day at a time and see how things settle. I'm curious and interested but not suuuuper invested in, like, a single-digit dress size. I'm interested in plastic surgery but not sure if I'll be able to afford it anytime soon. But also, it's nice to have numbers to look toward, even if they sort of don't mean much. In short, I don't really have a Goal Weight, and I'm okay with that, but I sure do have goals.
  11. Restriction; Lenses

    Yeah, it's a challenge, and no mistake. I read Jen Larsen's memoir Stranger Here about going into WLS with an active eating disorder and it was really incredibly painful to imagine, because I can imagine it so clearly. There but for the grace of God go I—although luckily, I was right up-front with my surgeon and he was right up-front with me in exchange ("That's a problem we can't fix"), which I really appreciate. This has been a test of my recovery and will continue to be one, but it's also driving really productive next steps—which means I was recovered enough to take it on, but there was really no way to find that out without doing it and risking some real difficulty. In general, I have found few changes in my tastes and appetites since surgery—certainly not the Russian roulette experience I was anticipating—but yeah, that definitely might be one. It would be an interesting one.
  12. Unsure

    If you have disordered eating patterns, I would strongly recommend working on those directly as soon as possible. Read Jen Larsen's book Stranger Here as an example of how difficult the experience of going into WLS with an active ED (even a subclinical one) can be. You don't deserve punishment. You deserve care.
  13. When I started this entry, I was staring resentfully at about three-quarters of a cup of pork larb (a Vietnamese meat salad I've adapted for my nutritional needs and abilities in Vietnamese cuisine, which are fairly minimal). Here's what I wrote about it: It's good—I know it is; I've eaten several portions of it in the last couple of days. It's savory, and salty, and fresh, and bright—there's red cabbage in there for crunch, red onion for bite, fresh parsley and cilantro from the pot on the windowsill, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, coconut aminos (I finished a bottle of soy sauce and now I'm using up this substitute still lingering in my pantry from my paleo moment). And yet I'm grumpy at having to eat it. I've had a hard time getting enough of anything in the last week or so—enough food, enough water. I can't imagine why, but I'm finding it such a struggle right now. I haven't been logging this week on MyFitnessPal just because it's so clear to me that I'm way under the mark, but I also know that I'm letting myself make up some of the gap in ways that don't really help me out (i.e. don't involve protein), so I need to keep an eye on that this week. It's still true that I'm feeling a lot of restriction right now. I'm not sure why—I'm under a good deal of stress in my personal life, but I've never been a person who lost her appetite when she was stressed out before. Usually quite the reverse. I'm also struggling with water still—not every day, but I'm coming in at 6 glasses as frequently as at 8 or above right now, and that's not where I want to be. I had a nasty bout of constipation—the only one I've had since surgery—and that might also have been a factor in appetite, I suppose, but it's over now. Anyway, I'm still keeping an eye on things. I've mentioned here that I have an eating-disorders history; I'm not sure I've mentioned how serious it was. Has been. I was in treatment during what would otherwise have been the first semester of my junior year of college—inpatient, then intensive outpatient. The kind of treatment that means you've stopped your life in order to address something that is derailing it. I don't have many friends from that troubled, tumultuous, confusing, overwhelming time in my life, but I've got a couple, one of whom is back in New York after a stint of living and working and studying abroad. She came over last Saturday and we talked food and relationships and feminism and recovery, and it was very, very good. I'd forgotten how funny she is—she has a tendency to embroider and riff, and each laugh emboldens her, egging her on to ever greater rhetorical heights. It was great fun. I actually had told her that I was thinking of surgery, but hadn't told her I'd pulled the trigger, so I had to tell her that, and then was really glad I did. She instinctively asked the right questions: how did you manage it with your parents? How are you staying sane having to think about food and your body that much? It was always funny to me in treatment, being the fat girl amongst all of these girls whose private racing minds were always circling thinness, but the fact was, I found fellowship there. Not with everyone—much like I haven't found fellowship with everyone in fat politics, or everyone in powerlifting, or everyone anywhere, I suppose—but still. There was fellowship there, understanding, of a type that people who haven't been plunged into the tumult of profound dysfunction can't really grasp. They don't see its logic. Anyway, I'm picking that lens back up. I'd let it drop over the last phase of my life—I think I thought that starting an Ivy League PhD meant that I had to be all better. I think I didn't know a way to be both kind of crazy and basically fine. The people who know me from this most recent phase of my life look at me and they don't see dysfunction. They don't see remedial. They don't see chaos, or insanity, or disorder. They think I'm fine. And that helped me see myself that way. But I also think that for a long time, I've been recovered enough—recovered enough to manage, but not to thrive. The post-surgical process is pushing me to take those hard steps, the next ones. I'm grateful. I'm trying to step up. I'm also overwhelmed, afraid, anxious. I feel, sometimes, like an overlap of one—like I'm the only person who has the particular blend of eating-disorders and fat-politics approaches I have. And maybe I really am. I can't decide if that's lonely or if it means I should be talking about it—thinking, writing, making. Anyway, this week was a long haul. But it was good. Painful, but good; hard, but good. Teaching is keeping me sane right now—it feels like the only break I get lately from the constant throb of feelings about my life and my body and the way they're all jumbled up together. Therapy is also keeping me sane right now, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. Yesterday's weight was 219.6 and sub-200 is suddenly feeling real.
  14. Basically my entire wardrobe has migrated into the clothes box at this point—it's been expanded into two bags. I had one really foul day when I was trying things on and looking terrible in dresses I just love and never wanted to lose, and it's a little depressing opening my closet and seeing pretty much only fast fashion and not anything more substantive. But I've also had a totally great time wearing things I'd never gotten into that I'd bought anticipating weight loss or more stretch or whatever, and yes, some of them are totally out of date, and yes, I have still had fun wearing them. I don't want to pull them out every day, but I've taken victory laps in some fairly ridiculous clothing over the last couple of months. I also get that I'm being a total princess-and-the-pea about this and on the whole, I'm psyched to get to dress in a way that feels like it suits me authentically, which is really on the table in a new way since my clothing options have opened up. (I'm also completely overwhelmed by that, but luckily, being a broke-@*# graduate student does enough limiting of the options that I don't have to hyperventilate.) Frankly, bringing back the Ramones shirt sounds like a totally great idea. And actually kind of a way to process feelings around size, too (sometimes I think men tend not to give themselves enough chances to do that, but I certainly don't know you well enough to say whether that describes you or not).
  15. Follow-Up

    Bless. Honestly, I'm not a master; I wish I were. I fell in love with the sport a few years ago and had to leave just as I was getting to be okay; I miss it like hell.