Daily Archives: June 10, 2013

Weighty Matters

We’ve all heard to eat right and exercise our entire lives. It’s really that simple, yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percent of adults age 20 years and over who are overweight is 69% The percentage of Americans who are obese is 36%. If it’s so simple then why are these numbers so staggering? Well, because it’s simple, but it’s not easy.

Like many people who begin taking bipolar medications I gained weight. In fact, the meds I take increase appetite AND reduce metabolism. Not a good combination. It’s frustrating and perhaps even maddening at times. Sadly, I’ve known some who have stopped taking their meds as a result.

Now, I’m not kidding myself, I’ve had a weight problem since I was a kid. However, when I first began treatment for bipolar disorder my weight skyrocketed. I’m a short guy – Only 5’5″ tall, but when I started writing this blog in 2008 my weight was 293 pounds. I had expected that to be my max. Being open and honest on this blog would be my catalyst to give me the motivation to start losing weight. I was wrong. I gained 10 more pounds and maxed out at 303. I was stuck there for several years. In “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” Veruca Salt was the girl who turned into a big round blueberry. That’s what I looked like, or at least how I felt I looked. Well, I didn’t think my skin color was blue, but I sure felt that big and round.

Veruca Salt

My doctor sent me to a gastro-bypass surgeon, but, when the procedure was explained to me I wanted no part of it. Having my intestines detached from my stomach, then having my stomach cut and rearranged, then having my intestines reattached, was too disgusting to consider. In addition, in order to have the surgery, patients are required to lose 10% of their body weight. My thought was that if I could lose 10% of my weight, then why the hell would I not just keep going. I decided to join Weight Watchers instead.

It was through Weight Watchers that I’ve lost 90 pounds. I went from 303 pounds down to 213. Sure, I have a long ways to go, but I’m ecstatic at my progress so far. I did gain some of the 90 pounds back, about 10 pounds, but I refused to let that dissuade me. I persevered and am currently working to get back to that 90 pound loss and continue forward. Currently my weight is 218.

There are other weight loss programs out there, but with Weight Watchers I don’t have to buy disgusting foods. What does anyone learn from that type of program? Do they plan to buy those packages of food the rest of their life? There’s also the Cabbage Diet, the Dolly Parton diet, the Onion Soup diet, the Baby Food diet, the Grapefruit Diet, etc. etc. etc. Many of these help to loose weight, but once you go off of them most people gain all their weight back, and a very large number of them gain back more weight than where they started.

What makes Weight Watchers so successful? Well, let’s go back to my earlier comment that maintaining a healthy weight is simple but not easy. That’s what Weight Watchers is all about. Through Weight Watchers you learn how to ear right. Most of it we know, but they reinforce it. And then there’s exercise. When I was at 303 pounds I could barely walk. There is a supermarket directly across the street from us and I could not walk there without having to stop at least four times to get my sides to stop hurting and to catch my breath. It was demoralizing. Compare this to one day last week in which I walked 11 miles and enjoyed it.

The two big wins you get from WW is accountability and support. The accountability is the weekly weigh in. Believe it or not, I look forward to that every week. I look forward to it even on weeks where I think I may have gained. I have the belief that I can’t move forward unless I know where I am and that’s why I look forward to the weigh ins. Your weight and/or weight loss is not shared with any other members unless you would like to have it shared.

Then there is support. This is the big win with Weight Watchers. The leader of the meeting Maurice and I go to each week is outstanding. In fact, the entire staff is amazing. Lots of love and support. In addition and very important, support also comes from other WW members. Having people applaud when you have lost 5 pounds is extremely motivating. They are excited when you lose and supportive when you gain. There is no other program out there that is as rewarding, at least not from my perspective.

So, the big question is, do I work for Weight Watchers? Nope, I don’t. I’m just grateful for having found a program that makes me look better, makes me feel better, and in all likelihood, helped to save my life.

Weekly Photo Challenge; Fleeting

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Dread head

I did not want to get out of bed this morning. I am full of pretzel gut twisting anxiety and dread. I actually smacked the alarm clock and curled back under my cover in my bed for a bit. Scumbag bladder had other ideas, though. Some days, that stupid thing is the only reason I get out of bed with any desire.

Back to the weekly torment of interacting with others and hoping my moods and anxieties don’t annoy them. Talk about stressful.

I can feel my gut starting to contort already. I don’t want to deal with R. But thanks to scumbag car deciding it needed to have yet one more problem, I am reliant upon the man to fix it. Which just adds to all the icky feelings. I am sick of being indebted to others. I am one step shy of doing fat girl porn for fuck’s sake. I mean, how much worse can I feel about myself on a daily basis? At least then my dignity would have a price tag and I wouldn’t need to feel bad for this other shit.

Then again, considering my own disdain for the entire cheesy porn arena, I doubt that would work either.

Maybe foot fetish porn? Nah, I have hideous big feet. Hmm.

Gah. I am just livid right now. I need a shower, I am skanky.

I have all the motivation of someone being shuffled down to the electric chair.

I am hoping his intern starts soon. Then I will be justified in popping in to do my wench things and leaving without feeling guilty for leaving the 50 year old child alone.

I would really like to know what happened to me. I used to love to shower. Now it’s just one more chore I have to propel myself through. Breathing seems like a chore sometimes. But I don’t feel depressed. When I don’t have to deal with the stressors of outside pressure from others, I am perfectly okay. Still a mess, but a coping mess. Throw in other people and their expectations and their being annoyed by my mood swings…

And I am a pissy little bitch because if I am that much of a pain, let me go away and stop feeling so damn shitty, for fuck’s sake.

Yep. It’s gonna be one of those days.


Mr. Chickadee and I spent the last week in Downeast Maine, with five days of vacation in Acadia National Park …

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The Sooner Done, the Sooner Over

Yes yes, I know, cringe at the bad use of English. But considering the main person I coach the phrase to is my three year old, sometimes filler words fall out in spite of myself. *whistles*

However, this phrase is one I consider a huge step for myself. You see, I have historically been both a procrastinator, and and a perfectionist. So I’d waffle on doing things until the last minute ’cause I wanted them to be done right… then I’d bum-rush through whatever task just to get it done and see where the pieces fell. It wasn’t great in school, obviously — I’d write entire papers overnight when I should have been sleeping, and then my poor mater got stuck taking my paper and typing it up so I could turn in a properly printed copy. I totally praise her for not throttling me in these instances — I’m not sure I’d have the same patience.

However, in my drive to beat procrastination, I tend to shoot myself in the foot with the anxiety gun. This blog in particular is both my pride and joy and my ultimate torture — I’m happy that I can turn out (hopefully) enjoyable posts, but man if my brain doesn’t flip out because I ‘need’ it done in a timely fashion. I laugh at myself though, which hopefully goes to show that I’m not engaging in self-flagellation — I know that there’s nothing stopping me from ‘slacking’ and not posting here but myself, so there’s definitely no woe is me. It’s just me laughing at myself from most angles while one tiny part stomps and grumbles.

But really, good on you brain for getting better about both procrastination and perfectionism. There’s still a long way to go on both, but as I said the other day — I think it’s important to celebrate the little victories, especially when it comes to wrangling with one’s mental health.

And me, I’m going to go back to filling up the wastebasket with tissues; my poor nose is a very raw bulb right now. But ah well, this too shall pass! I hope everyone out there is doing well.


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Awkward Happiness

As this is my 100th blog post on the Awkward Indie Girl Blog, I thought I would celebrate with some “awkward happiness.” I want to share some of my hospital memories, the ones that make me giggle or smile and remind me why I believe in people.
I’m afraid that if I don’t write these down, I will forget them. These won’t be presented as full stories. Instead, they’ll be little vignettes of my stay.
Names have been changed.
It was two days before Christmas, so the Family Guy Christmas Special was. The nurses didn’t allow Family Guy, so we were all huddled around the TV with the volume turned down low. We were stifling our laughter, trying to avoid drawing attention to our forbidden activity. We got about halfway through the episode when Frank burst out laughing. The joke wasn’t even funny. We glared at him, but it was too late. “WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING?” shrieked one of the nurses from behind the glass station. She ran over, grabbed the remote with her long pink fingernails, and changed the channel to the X Factor. While Carly Rose Sonenclar sang, she lectured us on how Jesus wouldn’t approve of our vulgar humor. 
“I own a taxi cab company. If you give me your number, I’ll give you free taxi rides for the rest of your life.”
A tempting offer. “No, Frank.”
“What if I promise to drive you to the beach for all the crabs you can eat.”
“No, Frank.”
“All you have to do is give me your address.”
“I’m not telling you where I live.”
“Oh no! Not for nasty purposes! It’s just purely work-related. My brain’s like a computer. That way I can find the quickest route from your house to the beach.”
“No, Frank.”
“What if you pick me up?”
Lunch was one of the most boring times of the day, so a few of the patients came up with a game to pass the time. The game was called, “How High Can We Get Anna’s Blood Sugar?” I am fully aware that this is an evil, revolting game. While I never played, I didn’t stop it either. The rules were that you had to give Anna, an elderly, overweight woman with poor portion control, your dessert without getting caught by the nurses. Anna ate everything. The nurses couldn’t figure out why her numbers kept going up.
Many of the patients who were in the ward were homeless. During their stay at the hospital, they were given scrubs to wear. The pants, however, were often too big and strings/belts were forbidden items. Consequently, I saw a lot of butts during those seven days.
“Have you ever flashed your boobs at a stranger?” Karen asked me.
“No…” Where was this going?
“I have,” she replied. “I was visiting my boyfriend in prison, and we were getting private time to talk. I flashed him before I left. One of the guys working there gave me a high five on my way out. Those two -way mirrors will always get ya!”
There was a fight in the ward the day I was discharged. Frank insulted Eddie, and neither of them really knew how to fight. They were mostly just slapping at each other until Eddie pulled his Timberland boot off and beat Frank on the head with it. Security came to separate and tranquilize them both. This didn’t stop Aaron from telling the same joke for the rest of the day:
“Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Boot who?
“Will you escape with me?” Michael whispered.
“Michael, we can’t escape. We’re here to get better,” I said.
“I’m already better, and I need your help to escape. Those doors look pretty heavy, but I think if we all ran at them at once from the end of the hallway, we could bust out,” Michael explained.
“Ok. If you get everyone else to agree with your plan, I’ll do it.”
“I’ll vote for what you want to watch on TV at 8 if you give me your salt packets.”
Transaction made.
We were supposed to come up with 26 words, one for each letter of the alphabet, that were positive about ourselves. I can’t even tell you what most of the guys came up with. You’d think the nurses would learn and take that game out of the curriculum. Surprisingly, Frank’s was almost appropriate. 
“B – Birds sing in the trees about how sexy I am.”
I don’t want it to seem like I’m mocking these people. For my seven day stay, they were my friends. We took care of each other. There were many funny moments during that time of healing, and I just want to show that. In each day, there is humor, and where there is humor, there is often love. I can laugh about the people I met because I love them, and they laughed about me, too. Remember, hospitals, like the world, are filled with humans. Some very funny humans.
P.S. If you want some more humor, you should check out my new YouTube channel!

meme-ories-photo meme post

Every once in awhile I want to do something different. So today’s post will be things that happened to me today or occurred to me, only it will be in the form of various popular internet memes. Paranoid Parrot, Scumbag Brain, Evil Toddler Success Kid,and Confession bear will be assisting me. Feel free to comment if anything hits home. This may seem like a humorous post but there is nothing here that didn’t actually happen or pop into my mind.

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