Momentary love

People talk about love as if it’s never-ending. Once you’re in love, you’ll always love that person to some degree. Love is a long-term investment in the eyes of many, if not most. I disagree.

I loved Amine for a weekend. I loved Zak for two weeks. I loved Neil for a year. I loved Velvet for a decade. I still love Nick.

Love is no less important, no less transforming, and certainly no less real whether it lasts forever or just a few days. In some of these cases I knew our time together was short, that we wouldn’t be together forever… but I gave my whole self over to the experience of loving another person for however long we had together.

I have a tattoo on my arm that says “Take my hand, take my whole life too” from an Elvis song. This is genuinely the way I love. I don’t half-ass it. I don’t hold back. I don’t reserve parts of myself for the ‘just in case this doesn’t work out’ scenario. If I love you, I give all of myself to you.

There is nothing wrong with loving someone momentarily. Life is made of moments. Certainly loving this way may open the door to some potential pain, but you can’t go through life being afraid of a broken heart. Give yourself to other people… I’ve learned that the more deeply I love others, the more I love myself.

Sleep studies should be called ‘lack-of-sleep studies’… oy vey.

I mean, really… Folks, how am I supposed to get any sleep at all with all THAT attached to my body? I’m also a stomach sleeper, so lying face-up and trying to sleep was awful. Second only to the goop they put all over you to keep the electrodes in place… I really ought to have taken a picture, I looked like a freakin’ animatronics project!

Overall it wasn’t awful though. The tech came in a few hours into my ‘sleep’ to put the CPAP on me, so I guess we can expect that in the near future. Not surprised, really, but I’m certainly not looking forward to it.

In other news, I’m finishing my move across town this weekend. I’m down on the scale, but I don’t like posting numbers from anything other than my nutritionist’s scale for continuity purposes. Overall I’m feeling really pleased. I find myself easily staying under my 1600cal/day goal most days, unless it’s a fun event or something. I’m really noticing some body changes, especially in my face and double chin. Hopefully this dang surgery is scheduled soon! 🙂

Nearly halfway there, hallelujah.

I was pretty disappointed by my last weigh-in at the nutritionist’s office, which I think was like 1.3 pounds. Today my friends… I am down 11.4 pounds in five weeks! I’m nearly halfway there! 27lbs down, 33 to go!

I also found out today that I’m going to have an overnight sleep study. I’m kind of annoyed by that, since we had to do the overnight oximeter at home four times! 🙄 But it’s all part of the process, smaller steps to get to the big finish, so I’ll do it with as little whining as I can muster… 😋
373.4lbs today. Down over 45 sticks of butter since my last weigh-in, and  down 108 sticks of butter total!

Swedish meatballs

I went to the dietitian again today, and in the month since I’ve been there, I’ve only lost 1.3 pounds. It’s fairly par for the course in my life… I have a decent run with weight loss, and then stall out. I’m trying not to be too critical, since in that month we’ve had Christmas, New Year’s, and I was on vacation, but it’s still pretty defeating since I’ve still been pretty decent when it comes to what I’ve put in my body. I need to get better and exercising… I have another appointment in one month, and I’ll be damned if I’m only down a little over a pound again. I just ordered a scale on Amazon, so I can keep better track of it myself instead of going a month between weigh-ins.

4.5 sticks of butter since last time. 64 sticks of butter total. Progress, however slow.

The start.


These photos have been saved as a draft on here for weeks. I found this card shortly before Christmas, and to be really real… I sobbed. I lost it. It still makes me cry as I sit here, weeks later, and think about the little girl who sat down with her mother (the drawings with words are mostly hers) and made this card. I must only be five or six in this photo. I wonder what I thought at the time. Was I proud? How long had the focus been on my body, my weight?

I know without a doubt in my heart that my mother’s intentions were good. I know that. But does it surprise anyone after seeing this card that I’ve struggled with my weight and food my entire life? Because I’m not surprised at all. And maybe that’s where my tears come from. Knowing, finally, where things went wrong. I don’t blame this on my mother, please don’t get me wrong… But I wonder how differently my life would be if the focus had been put somewhere other than my weight.

I think this is evidence of my first diet. Until my adult life, I cannot think of a time when I wasn’t on a diet. Christ, I’m still on a diet. My whole life has been about my weight. How sad is that?

Bread and Butter

The earliest memory I have is of my grandfather. He died when I was a baby, in a car crash. I don’t know a lot about him, really… but I do know how he liked his bread and butter.

I’m maybe two years old. I’m sitting on his lap around a big dark circular table. I don’t remember what we’re eating exactly, only that he’s buttering a piece of bread. He put it in my hands and then used his hands to show me how to fold the bread in half, like a half-sandwich. He made another for himself, and we ate.

That’s it. That’s my first memory. That’s the only memory I have of my grandfather. From other people I’ve learned a bit about him, especially his fondness for laughter. Maybe I get that from him too…

The worry is strong in this one.

I’ve been watching a lot of weight loss/gastric bypass videos on YouTube lately. After having such a crap week eating-wise (because it’s been a great week otherwise!), I really need to get back on the wagon in regards to the changes I need to make before surgery. These videos range from inspiring to cheesy to depressing, but one thing they all do is stoke my worry-pit.

What if I don’t like my body after weight loss?
That wasn’t something I’d given a whole lot of thought to before starting to make these changes towards healthier living. These update videos show my these people with deflated breasts, swinging thighs, flat butts… I may be fat now, but at least I love parts of my body. What if my chipmunk cheeks completely go away? What if I lose a lot of hair? It’s already so thin! What if the excess skin is just as detrimental to my mental health as all this fat?
I guess the thing is… at least right now I’m fat, and the things I don’t like are changeable. What happens when a lot of the fat is gone but the skin is still there? How do I change it like I did with the fat? 

Gorgon, too fat to fly.

“No one wants to see round women…”

I don’t generally like fat-based poetry. Don’t get me wrong, I like poetry and I love spoken word poetry. But there’s something that makes me cringe whenever I hear artists talk about their experiences with fatness. Maybe it’s shame (okay, so it’s probably shame) and internalized fatphobia (yeah, okay, it’s that too), but I can’t help it. I just don’t like it. But Rachel Wiley’s Gorgon really made me feel something.

What this video made me realize is the true reason behind my decision to undergo weight loss surgery. It’s not the lower back pain, the shoulder pain from huge boobs, the not being able to walk around the mall for more than a store or two because I’m too fat… Those are reasons that I’ve told people. And really, those are a factor. But bigger than all those combined is this: It’s the fact that people can’t stand to look at me. Society hates me. Wouldn’t you undergo surgery too, if your whole life had been a series of jokes at your appearance? A lifetime of your family trying to convince you to lose weight, even bribing you with money per pound lost?

“We are too much. We are not enough. We are not people, but punchlines, head shakes, tongue clicks, ‘such a shame’, ‘such a waste’, ‘such a pretty face’…”

I’ve never just been called pretty. It’s always in reference to my face, or my hair, or my eyes or my clothes. Not me. Not the entirety of me. I just want a normal life. I just want to be allowed to exist, exactly as I am. That’s the goal of my weight loss surgery. Of course I want to alleviate my pains, don’t get me wrong. But more than that? I simply want to exist in a world that tolerates me.

Shall we start again?

It’s been over a year since I posted last… A whole lot hasn’t changed. I’m still living in Maine (so much for that exit plan, Kels), I’m still working at Job Corps, I’m still living in my basement apartment. But a lot has changed.

My nan died. A woman I couldn’t imagine my life without isn’t in it anymore. I’ve experienced losses, but so many of them were as a child or people who weren’t an everyday presence in my life. Losing my grandfather a handful of years ago was the hardest loss I’d suffered until this May. I had planned for him to someday walk me down the aisle at my wedding. I loved him dearly, and struggled with his illness for the last year or two of his life. But his death wasn’t unexpected. Sad, of course. Heartbreaking, undoubtedly. But thankfully we’d all had time to process it before he died.

Not so with Nan.

Three weeks after she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she died. One week after the doctors told us they could put the brakes on her cancer, she was gone. Days after she had her first radiation cap fitted, she wasn’t here anymore.  You see, she didn’t die from any of these things. She had several massive strokes that left her basically unconscious for the last days of her life.

We were all so ready for a fight. We were going to beat this cancer. It was going to fucking suck, but we were going to get through it. We would be there for all the radiation and chemo appointments, the hair loss, the puking, the bitchiness that was sure to come with it all. It was bound to be a long, tough road but we were all on board and ready for the assault.

To be left with nothing to fight for just days later was something we were all unprepared for.

Most days I get through life just fine. But driving home to my apartment every night, right below the house that used to be hers… it’s like another small hole gets poked in my heart. She’s not here. I can’t be pissed at her for invading my space, for not giving me the privacy I wanted so badly. I can’t go upstairs and eat dinner and watch Orphan Black or Top Chef with her. I’d give anything to be able to hear her tell me what to do again.

There’s a whole lot in my life she doesn’t know about anymore. She doesn’t know I’m back in school, like she wanted. She doesn’t know I’ve started the process of getting bariatric surgery. She doesn’t know how much I miss her every day.

I feel like so many people on the periphery of my life don’t quite get why I’m still so upset by her death. I feel like people hear ‘grandmother’ and think of frail little old ladies who need their hands held walking up the stairs. This woman was a force. That’s seriously the only word I can use to describe her. Fiercely independent, bold, witty, never one to shy away from anything. She was a defender. As much as I absolutely love and appreciate my mother, there’s a lot both she and I wouldn’t be today without Nan. To have a force like that taken away so suddenly has left me –I think many of us– in a weird state of unbalance. Some days I feel like I’ve got my feet back under me, but sometimes I’m just absolutely off balance.

So here we are. Just twelve days shy of being without Nan for four months. It feels like a lifetime, and at the same time it feels like an instant. I’m sure, as with all things, it’ll get easier in time. I look forward to that… For now, though, it hurts.


The last photo I took of Nan and her sisters.