May 162018
 

I guess the way to start is to just jump right in and not sugar coat any of this. I think that is part of the problem with the Internet and social media in general. So, much of life gets white washed or “social media washed.” Our posts on Facebook are usually our best posts. They are the ones when something good has happened – a great meal, a reward of some kind, a birthday, a holiday etc. Rarely, do we post the truth. Even the selfies we post are of our best angle. We don’t post about how we bumped another car in the parking lot and didn’t leave a note. Even our dog photos are the cute ones not the ones where they are tracking mud on the white carpet…unless, they are being cute while doing it. If we post bad things it is an effort to get some kind of reaction. In essence, those types of phishing posts aren’t truthful either because we aren’t asking for what we really want. With that, I am going to start on my new journey with some truths.

The beginning of February, I wasn’t feeling my best. I was tired and felt bloated and awful. We had spent the previous few weeks grieving for our sweet dog, Cassie, who we had said our final goodbye to on January 19. It had been 3 weeks of “Eat–ALL-the–THINGS” especially if they were filled with carbs and were delicious. This was after 5 weeks of the roller coaster of thinking we could save our dog, only to find out on the day before we said goodbye, that it was a futile (and expensive) attempt. The things I ate to smooth the grief were certainly not nutritious. Delicious? Yes. Nutrient dense? Nope.

So, on February 5, 2018, I started a new way of eating. I know some people who know me will think this is crazy. I have spent so many years being The Fat Girl. How in the world can I diet that away? Well, I am certain that no matter how much dieting I do, I will always be some version of fat. And, that’s okay! I just want to feel and be my healthiest best.

When I was on Oprah, I told her “I love my body!” And, I meant it. I know she was shocked that I could love my body. The truth was I did love that body. When I was on Oprah in January 2002, I told the producers I weighed 335. I lied. I weighed 375 at that time. (My highest weight was 385…)

Something else I haven’t discussed publicly is, in 1998, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Since then, I have not been someone to not be aware of my blood sugar. Even though I do not take insulin, I do test my blood sugar often. I have always felt, even when not eating my best, that knowledge was a good thing. Kind of silly in some ways though “Yup, my blood sugar is high.

Amazing to see this number after a meal

Must have been that bowl of white rice I just ate…” Over the years, I have been on different oral medications and have been religious about seeing my physician for preventative care and maintenance. I am happy to say that my last report from the doctor visit in February was amazing with no evidence of any secondary issues from being a diabetic. I will be very curious to see what my blood work looks like after I go for my quarterly check up in June.

 

In the past, when I have eaten low carb, my doctor has said, it’s a great way to eat but that it’s not sustainable. I think that’s one of the mantras that physicians say. They are either for it or against it but they all say it’s not sustainable and that once you stop you will gain back all the weight you have lost. Well, sure. Isn’t that the case with any diet? If you stop and go back to old bad habits then you gain weight. It’s kind of simple math actually. I don’t need an MD after my name to know that.

Here are the truth bombs, if you haven’t already surmised them:

  • I am a Type II diabetic
  • My highest weight was 385
  • I’m going to be 52 in June (which I didn’t mention but have tried to hide from the world. As if, I’m going to be cast as a 22 year old in the next Avenger film…)
  • I am eating a Ketogenic diet – super low carb…

What I can also say is on February 5th, when I started this new way of eating I weighed 313. (I think that’s what I weighed when I got married in 2004…) The last time I weighed myself was last Saturday and I weighed in at 285. Then my husband hid the scale. I had asked him to hide it and have regretted it since. All the years of dieting, even though I am happy in my skin, messed with my head. The number on the scale is an unhealthy way of looking at one’s physical successes. (Don’t get me started on what I think about BMI and how I firmly believe it’s faulty science and quackery and partly to blame for the body issues and body dysmorphia we have in our country…but I digress)

May 11th, 2018 at the gym

We also joined (or rejoined) the gym in February. We had gone in the past but just didn’t keep it up. It’s so easy to get lazy and complacent about going to the gym. Hell, about anything in life. It’s WAY easier to boil water and cook a bag of pasta and toss it with butter (and eat it out of the pot) than it is to make Zucchini noodles. It’s a hell of a lot easier to sit on my couch and not go to the gym too. But not going to the gym will not fulfill on my desire to live a healthy life.

Another thing, I will never demonize or judge or shame fat people. EVER! When I said to Oprah, “I love my body!” I did mean it. This is the body I have. Bigger or smaller this is the body I have right now. It has been quite a ride so far and this body has taken me to some amazing places – literally and figuratively. I know the hardships of my size and the joys of my size. I know other people are living wonderful fat lives and they should do what brings them joy. I will NOT ever tell someone they NEED to lose weight or eat a certain way or that they shouldn’t eat something. Everyone has their own path and everyone has their own struggles. For some, this is NOT a struggle or an issue for them.

With all of this said, I am going to blog and vlog and photograph this journey I’m on. I’m going to be honest. I’m not going to hide the bumps in the road along the way. I don’t have a goal weight. I think that’s a dangerous and slippery slope. I will weigh again before I see my doctor in June so, I can have an informed conversation with him about my progress towards being my healthiest best self.

And, I don’t know how long I will do this either. It’s a day-by-day adventure. There are no rules. Except for the rules of eating Keto. Yes, there will be some that say I’m “Lazy” because I don’t track everything I put in my mouth or that I’m doing a “dirty” version of Keto because I may use a sugar free sweetener that’s not “approved.” To those people, and anyone else who thinks that, I have choice words for you…really, there is NOTHING lazy about what I am doing right now. Learning new ways of being and breaking old habits and adding new behaviors takes effort. It also has its rewards. It is taking something for me to eat this way and for me to go to the gym 5 days a week. Who am I?!

 

PS.  Look for me on Instagram as @yet_another_fork_in_the_road  There will be pictures and updates there that won’t necessarily make it to this blog.  And, I will be moving this part of my blog to a new website soon as well…

 

 

Jul 012015
 

not_headless

Why is it still okay to make fun of fat people?  And, why am I shocked that it is still so prevalent?

A father of a friend of mine, who happens to be a Facebook friend, posted a scathing article about flying next to a fat person.  He then commented about the horror of sitting in your seat watching a fat person approach and that feeling of pleading that they don’t sit next to him.  It was a terrible article and an even nastier comment.  Rather than call him out publicly, I sent him a private message.  In that message, I explained that I am that person.  I am the fat woman squeezing down the aisle of the plane.  I am the person who is nervous that I am not going to have enough room and more importantly, I am the person who is concerned about disturbing someone else.  I wanted to let him know that the person walking towards him has feelings and underneath their size has a heart that’s breaking.  I wanted to give the headless fat person a face.

The other day, I was figuratively punched in the gut when, I was poking around Facebook.  Someone had posted a video of a fat woman wriggling into a pair of jeans.  She was, of course, headless and faceless (as most fat people are when they are being “exposed” like they are on the news or in the “don’t” section of fashion magazines.)  As I watched the video a couple of things came to mind.  First, I thought it was amazing how she was able to maneuver herself into pants that were clearly too small.  Second, I thought, “that could almost be me…but I think I may be larger…”  Then, mistakenly, I read the comments.  Why was I shocked at how heartless and cruel the comments were? me_pool

The comments section, on most posts, is for people who don’t have the courage to say things in life.  The comment section tends to bring out the absolute worst in people.

So, here I am sitting in my house reading that my “friend” finds this woman disgusting and is laughing about it and saying, “Ewwww.”   I am left with two questions, “Is she disgusted by me? “ and “Why am I friends with this person?!”

I personally have been oinked at while walking in a mall.  I have had people yell pejoratives to me out of car windows.  Often times, in stores and in restaurants I will find people staring at me and giving me the up and down look as if I can’t see them.

Statistics show that of overweight teens (and I loathe the term overweight as it implies a correct weight and someone is over that weight…) 24% of boys and 30% of girls are subject to some sort of bullying because of their size.  I have seen some statistics that show upwards of 60% of elementary school kids are more likely to be teased because of their size.  There have also been an alarming number of childhood suicides because of this horrible practice.  How many fat kids have to kill themselves before we stop?

Why do we continue to tell fat people that they need to change when we don’t tell the bullies to?

Maybe instead of the War on Obesity we should have a War on Hate.  Maybe we should just stop waging war altogether.

Unlike what the news portrays, people of size do have heads and faces and hearts.  So, stop making fun of us.  Stop judging us.  Just stop it!!

Jul 182010
 

I admit it, I love Las Vegas.   I love to play the slots.   I love roulette.   I love the great restaurants.   I love to people watch.   It is a feast for all the senses in a most prurient way. Over the past year or so I have been spoiled by getting to stay at the Mandalay Bay.   Yes, I know there are more extravagant hotels in Las Vegas.   But there is something about the Mandalay Bay.   It smells a bit like heaven and coconuts.   Unfortunately, my great offers this time around weren’t for the Mandalay Bay.   I knew I would get 2 nights on the strip before we moved down to the South Point for my husband’s conference.   I had some GREAT offers for the MGM Properties.   So, I had to choose.   I was leery of choosing the Luxor even though in the past I have done well gambling there.   My birthday there last year was awful.   When you have to change rooms three times you just give up.   It was crazy since my husband’s birthday celebration there 3 months earlier was amazing.   Even the bed we had on his birthday was the most comfortable bed I had ever slept on.   It seems that is the only bed of it’s kind in the hotel.   With that said, we did opt to stay at the Luxor for the first 2 nights of our stay and while the woman at the desk told me she looked at the print out and we were going to have a pillow top mattress, we did not.   She was adamant that we get the room with the jacuzzi jets in the tub.   That was sweet but I knew it was highly unlikely we would use it.   The mattress was old and quite bouncy.   Given that it was bizarrely comfortable.

I gambled, well, a lot.   More than I anticipated.   I got stuck at a machine.   It was crazy.   I was like a poster child for why you shouldn’t gamble.   You know, I would hit a big jackpot and then give it all back.   Then I would put my money in because, of course, I was going to hit another jackpot.   Then I would give the money back and put in more of my money.   Yes, I know that is how they built Las Vegas.   Since I visited, the Luxor can definitely afford to buy it least one more pillow top mattress.

Out of my last six visits to Las Vegas over the past year I have only stayed at one other hotel besides the Luxor and the Mandalay Bay (or THE Hotel at the Mandalay Bay) and that was New York, New York.   Every time I have been to Las Vegas over this past year,   I have walked by RM Seafood which is at the foot of the Mandalay Place as you walk out of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards the Luxor.   If I say I have walked by it 15 times I may be close to accurate.   I have read the menu a handful of times.   I even brought my husband there last August when we stayed at the Mandalay Bay.   He loves seafood.   But no, we ended up eating somewhere else.   So, this trip we had one free night together.   I asked if he wanted to try RM Seafood.   I had seen Rick Moonen a while back on Oprah where he made his signature catfish Sloppy Joe.   Not my bag of meat (as they say) but I knew my husband would be thrilled to eat seafood.   My mother was apoplectic when I told her we were probably going to go there.   “OHHH!!! I love him.   He should have won Top Chef Masters.   If you see him, tell him I said so.”   “Okay, Mom.   I will…”   As if I was going to see him.   I called over to the restaurant.   Made a reservation which was more like a, “Hey, can you seat two for dinner as soon as we can hoof it through the Luxor casino and through the Mandalay Place?”   The answer was yes.   We got there around 7:45 on a Wednesday evening.   The place was hopping.

As a woman of size, I always scope a place out to make sure I am going to fit where they are taking me to sit and to be sure that I am not going to bump into people along the way.   Once seated I always plot my way back out of the restaurant and watch as people are seated so I don’t have to say, “excuse me” as I bump into the back of someone as they are eating. The hostess took us to a perfect table.   The table moved so I was able to sit on the very comfortable bench.   My husband sat across from me.   We read the menu back and forth to each other.   You know, “Oh wow, did you see the crab cake?”   “They have barbecued macaroni and cheese.”   I don’t know who the people were sitting next to us but they were clearly “someone” when they were done their waiter came by and said, “Rick took care of it. Dinner is on him.”   Or something like that.   How nice of Rick! I didn’t even think that was “Rick” as in the “R” in RM. Our waiter was great.   John ordered the crab cake appetizer and the Cioppino for dinner.   He barely spoke to me during dinner. I ordered the macaroni and cheese as starter, and the pan roasted chicken with a side order of mashed potatoes for dinner.   Just typing it my mouth is watering.   Even though we wanted dessert we were full from the outrageous meal and didn’t order it.   We ate exactly what we wanted.   (Of course a little over a week later, writing it, I would KILL for what I left on that table.) During our meal the GM came over to our table and chatted with us a bit.   What a charmer! Then Rick, himself, came over to our table.   Yes, Rick Moonen!   It was such a wonderful surprise.   He was charming and humble.   His food is definitely a work of art and it shows.   He clearly LOVES what he does.   I look forward to going back again not just for the food but for the atmosphere of being around people doing what they love.

Then we moved down to the South Point Hotel.   My husband was going to attend TAM8 (The Amazing Meeting).   Financially, we figured next year I will attend as well.   I was so pleasantly surprised by the room at the South Point.   It was big and spacious…not a lot of furniture cluttering up the space.   But there was enough furniture to relax in different places in the room.   The two chairs at the table did not have arms.   The couch was firm and comfortable.   The bed was a bit firm but nice.   The pillows were great (even though I brought my own.) The bathroom was perfect.   One of my pet peeves as a big woman is a toilet that is crammed between two walls.   I have hips and those hips don’t need to rest against a wall while I sit on a toilet.   Sorry to paint a picture you may not be interested in, but suffice it to say, this bathroom was awesome!   Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a 4-star hotel.   The toilet seat is plastic and there wasn’t a clock in our room.   We did have a flat screen television on the wall so I was able to eat a great deli sandwich from the deli in the hotel and catch a rerun of South Park while John attended a dinner.   As someone who, admittedly, can sit at a video poker machine for hours I will say their chairs in the casino weren’t very comfortable.   It was as if the chair was pitched forward.   Or it could have been the way my large ass fit on the chair.   I don’t know.   I definitely was aware of the seat and I can say I haven’t noticed that in other casino’s.   At least I didn’t notice it at the Luxor.

One night at the South Point we found ourselves sitting in the bar.   John had a beer and I was sporting a killer headache.   It could have been from staring at a video poker machine all day in an uncomfortable seat with canned air.   Regardless, I had a club soda.   I noticed that Paul Provenza was sitting with a group of people.   I am a HUGE fan.   No pun intended.   I really am.   The Aristocrats is sheer genius!! He had spoken earlier at the conference.   I would have LOVED to have been there.   So, here he was sitting with some people.   I wasn’t sure if he was with those people or if they, like me, just had to meet Paul Provenza.   I didn’t want to interrupt.   As time went on he got up to leave and I had the amazing opportunity to say hello and tell him how inspiring I thought his new show the Green Room on Showtime is.   We had a great conversation about stand up comedy.   He introduced me to his friend and producer of the Green Room, Barbara Romen.   Both of them were very generous with their time and attention.   Those brief conversations spurred me to consider performing stand up again.   Maybe…we’ll see.

It was a great time.   It definitely had me look a what’s next for me and it had me take a hard look at where I fit, both literally and figuratively.

Jun 222010
 

a piece of meThat is the killer line that a lot of fat women get.   Even the ones that don’t have a pretty face hear that.   It’s always said with the inference being, “but it’s a damn shame about the rest of you!”   But that is never said.   Okay, it’s rarely said.   You can hear it though, “You have such a pretty face…but it’s a damn shame about the rest of you.”   Ahh, it makes me curse.

Speaking of cursing.   I got into an argument recently with someone I care very much about.   I don’t often have those kinds of confrontations.   Which isn’t to say, I don’t have confrontations.   I seem to have more and more of those as I get older.   Just ask the manager at the Verizon store here in West Hollywood.   That poor excuse for a manager in customer service knows I don’t shy away from confrontation.   But this other interaction I had I was most calm even though I raised my voice.   I should say that everything is really good between us now.   However, this person did tell me I used obscenities.   Fuck, I don’t even think of them as obscenities.   Sure, I try not to use them when I speak to my step father.   He is awesome and very old school and doesn’t like to hear “obscenities” coming from my mouth.   So, in deference to him, I don’t use those words. For most other people, get over it.   They are words.   Of course, I don’t curse like I have something wrong with me that requires a seratonin reuptake inhibitor.   Sometimes it’s just called for. And, most of the time it just shouldn’t matter.

People are so funny about words.   I was talking to someone yesterday and I called myself “fat.”   He tripped all over himself, “don’t call yourself that!” he stammered.   Really?!   I explained that it’s just a descriptor.   I wasn’t saying anything bad about myself.   It wasn’t like I was calling myself ugly or unfortunate in any way.   I told him as long as he didn’t yell it at me I was fine.

I was talking to a girlfriend this morning about that exchange from yesterday.   She agreed with me about it being a descriptor.   At least she mostly agreed.   When I told her some guys had walked behind me and oinked, in a shopping mall outside Chicago a couple of years ago, she couldn’t understand why I didn’t confront them.   It wasn’t like I was going to make a difference for those boys in that moment.   They were young and ignorant.   Plus I think they probably thought I was hot.

I have a theory.   It’s a theory I have had for a while.   It started when I discovered there was a whole world of men who actually preferred big women.   Yes, just like there are men who prefer brunettes and men who prefer blonds or big breasts or small breasts etc. there are men who like big women.   Yes, like a preference!   What I also discovered was there are men who have an overwhelming desire to try a big woman.   Sure there are the men in between.   There are those men who are afraid they will be ostracized if they let people know they have a preference for big women.   They are afraid of what society or their mother’s or their buddies will think.   Wimps and cowards, I say!   Those are the men who are the ones who oink when they see a fat woman or yell out of the car, “Hey Fatty!”   They are the ones who protest the most.   Which leads me to my theory that the ones who are the most vocal about it are the ones who are dying to get into those size 3x panties.

Here’s a thought.   Maybe when I say the word, “fat”, people cringe because to them it is awful.   Not just the word but what it’s describing.   Maybe we have been so trained, especially in our current culture, to believe that fat intrinsically is bad that when we here the word we cringe as if someone said something stupendously awful.   That guy I was speaking to was talking about an actress who he feels “needs to lose 10 pounds in order to be a star.”   She is maybe a size 6 on fat day during her period.   Maybe the word “fat” isn’t just an ugly word to people but maybe it also describes something that is beyond ugly.   I had a friend growing up whose mother was afraid of having me play with her after school for fear that her daughter would get fat too.   Like it was contagious.

I am ridiculously fortunate to be living the life I live.   I am happy.   I am healthy.   I have a great husband. I live in Los Angeles.   I have a wonderful family.   I have fabulous friends.   I am pursuing what gets me out of bed in the morning.   Our bills are paid this month.   I have health care.   I have a twenty in my wallet.   I love my body. And, I am FAT.   I know there are A LOT of people out there who, thin and fat alike, can’t say most of that.   Maybe it’s my mission to make a difference.   Maybe I should challenge people to stop looking at what they perceive as wrong with themselves and stop trying to fix themselves and start loving themselves and nurturing themselves and stop wanting and hoping and start making a difference for themselves.   When I told Oprah I loved my body she cringed and said, “You love your body?!”   Clearly, she has issues with being fat.   Maybe I should start with her.