Tag Archives: obese

#IAmNotADisease Should Be #IAmNotACharacterFlaw: The AMA’s War On Obesity

OK, so last week I wrote a post in support of the AMA’s decision to call obesity a disease.  I still stand by that.  The medical community has long recognized Anorexia and Bulimia as diseases and developed treatments for people with those illnesses.  Obesity, on the other hand, has always been treated as a character flaw and not something that should be medically treated.

Insurance companies have refused to reimburse doctors for treatment.  Many doctors’ only discussions with their obese patients is basically, “You should lose weight,” and then the patient is kind of left on their own to wade through the morass of diet products and schemes.

The consensus of some people seems to be that the medical community is only looking to make a buck.  Maybe so.  But, would I rather leave obese people looking for answers on late-night TV infomercials instead of talking to their doctor?  And maybe having their insurance company pay for them to seek help?  Maybe go to a nutritionist?  Find an exercise plan that works for them?  In extreme cases, find a medical solution that may include surgery or medication?

There are many people out there who advocate for fat acceptance, and I agree with them.  They rightly point out that there are many people who are larger who are quite healthy.  But many who are obese have serious medical problems.  I know I did.  And my obesity was killing me.  Instead of treating the symptoms of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart problems, organ problems, sleep apnea, etc., why not just treat the illness itself?  I’m tired of people treating obesity as if it is different from any other illness.  As long as the obese person is seen as the problem, the treatments people need will remain elusive and inconsistent.

There has to be a middle ground somewhere.  I still think the AMA made the right choice.  I would rather fight a war against obesity than a war against those who are obese, which is where I feel we are now.


When I first started this process, I set a goal for myself.  I wanted to have a go weight so that I knew where I wanted to stop and how much weight I wanted to lose.  When I was in high school, I weighed between 125-135.  I know that the average weight for a woman my height can range from 106-140 depending upon the size of her frame.  I believe I have a medium frame.  The average weight for a woman who is 5’1″ with an average frame is 115-129.

height weight chart


I would love to be in that range, 115-129.  That would be perfect.  But, I am not too concerned with perfection.  I am very concerned about my health.  If I end up in the 125-135 range, but I’m in good health, I will be happy.  Heck, I’d even go up to 145 as long as I am healthy and can do everything I want to do and can fit into cute clothes.  I would just be tickled pink.

That said, I do have a goal weight.  My goal weight is 125.  I do not know if I will ever get there, but that’s it.  To reach 125, I have to lose 173 pounds off of my original weight.

Well, today I am proud to announces that I have reached the half-way point.  I weigh 212 pounds.  That means that I have lost 86 pounds, 86.5 being half of 175, so roughly estimated, I have lost half of the weight I need to reach my goal weight.

That is all I have to report today.  I just had to blog to say, “Yay me!”



OMG They So Totally Fit!!

So, a few weeks ago I think I said that I ordered a couple of pair of jeans online.  My old pants, ranging in sizes 26-28 are too big and really starting to fall off of me. I ordered two pairs of jeans, sized 24 short.  (Yes, I’m short.  I’m 5’1″.)  I have been very concerned that they would be too small.

It’s one thing to have your current clothes feel roomy and slide off of you.  It’s quite another to comfortably fit into the next smaller size.

Well, I tried on both pair and they both fit perfectly.  I never thought I’d be so happy to fit into a size 24, but I am so happy to fit into a size 24!  For one thing, it increases the number of pants that actually fit me properly from zero to two.  But they are also 1.5 – 2 sizes smaller than the pants I was wearing before.

Whoo hoo!

I also bought a very snug support garment for my top from Spanx.  Wow, what a difference that makes!  The Spanx top also offers a little more support than the binding garment they gave me at the hospital, plus it is a lot less bulky.

Tonight is the Christmas party for my writer’s group and I will be donning my new and improved jeans, my Spanx top and a size 24 blouse as well.  Yay me!  (Although, that’s probably more information than they wanted to know.)

Oh, and btw…check out my new weight loss!  46 pounds down baby!

New jeans:


Feeling Good After A Rough Week

I had a very rough week.  I had a lot of problems, from stomach problems, feeling bloated, stress at work, headaches, feeling tired, and blood pressure spikes.  I had to take my blood pressure medicine a couple of times.  The stomach problems were mostly early in the week, but persisted in a small way through Friday.

I decided that it was all due to stress from work.  This week, work was quite stressful.  Fortunately, I do work from home.  If I worked in the office, I do not know if I could have handled the stress.  Part of the problem is that I am kind of a supervisor.  I have no actual power, mind you, but my co-workers do look to me for answers and support.  I also manage the phones, the time off schedules, and the vacation calendar in addition to my regular duties.  Therefore, my phone is always ringing and my instant messenger is forever blooping at me.

I also talk to our customers on top of all of this, so it can get quite crazy at work.  I went back to work a month after the surgery because we are moving into our slow season.  And since I work from home, it is easier for me to manage the stress and deal with my meals.

This week wasn’t so much busy as it was stressful.  Everything seemed to happen at once.  For example, I was on the phone with a client who was calling from overseas on Skype and he was upset about something.  My other line kept ringing the entire time I was on the phone.  My co-workers were calling me, either to ask me questions or to transfer calls to me.  Plus I had a bunch of instant messages.  I ignored all of these interruptions tried to deal with the customer on the phone.  Then I had one person who, because they could not get through to me any other way, starting calling my cell phone over and over again.


Granted, the person calling my cell phone had a relatively serious personal emergency earlier in the day and was calling to give me an update.  OK, that was kind of important.  And many of the other interruptions were things that I did have to take care of.  My co-workers were simply doing their jobs.  They are all good, hardworking people.  But the stress can sometimes be overwhelming.  It’s mostly my fault that people call me over and over.  I’m usually very responsive and answer people right away.  So, if they do not get a hold of me, they are not used to it.

I am supposed to be keeping my stress level low to help my stomach heal after such a huge surgery.  As I have discussed in previous posts, I do have a problem dealing with stress sometimes.  I have not done enough to retrain my coworkers to deal with my new reality.  I will have to fix that.

I did tell my boss, who is very understanding about everything I have been going through, that I need to slow down and reduce my stress.  I told him about my stomach problems and blood pressure spikes.  He was great.  He told me that I need to take care of myself and to only do what I can.

I’m currently out of vacation time until the first of the year.  I cannot afford to take anymore time off this year.  Any time I take off from here will be without pay.  I can go back on medical leave and get short-term disability, but I really do not want to do that.  I know that the week before Christmas through the second week of January will be painfully slow.  I cannot take Christmas off, but I’m thinking of taking the first two weeks of January off.  After the second week of January, our busy season begins.  I will need to be at work.  I feel if I rest up and do what I can to decompress, I will be ready.

I will still need to make sure I do what I can to manage my stress level, but I feel I will be better prepared if I take some more time off.

Now, that was the worst of it…onto the good news.

I lost two more pounds!  I’m down to 256.  That’s a total of 42 pounds.  I am feeling better.  My blood pressure is back down in normal ranges.  Yes, I’m still taking my medicine, but I do not want my pressure to spike again.

So, in the spirit of reducing stress…here is a kitten!



This is Annabelle.  She is my step-niece’s kitten.  My step-niece found Annabelle on the side of the road and nursed her back to health.  Took her to a vet.  Made sure she had all of her shots.  Paid for a surgery, which is why Annabelle has a cone on her head.  The cone is gone now, but this is the most current picture I have of Annabelle.  She’s a pretty laid back kitten and will sit on you endlessly for petting and she loves treats!


A Quick Note About Thanksgiving Dinner

I decided to spend the day with my brother and his in-laws.  I think I posted that before.

They were so nice about meeting my new diet requirements.  I brought the Baby Bullet with me to do any necessary pureeing.  There was some confusion over what I wanted to drink during dinner.  I had to remind them a couple of times that I cannot eat and drink at the same time.  No biggie, that all worked out just fine.

I pureed my turkey.  I had sweet potatoes and asparagus as well.  I did not need to puree the sweet potatoes nor the asparagus. The asparagus was quite mushy so I just mushed them up some more before eating them.  I added a little bit of gravy to the turkey before I pureed it.  I stuck to the plan, two tablespoons of turkey, one tablespoon of sweet potatoes and one table-spoon of asparagus.  I slowly ate and took the full 30 minutes to complete my meal.

The stuffing, one of my all time favorite foods, stayed at the other end of the table away from me.  I do not know if that was by design or if it was a happy coincidence.  If  I had stuffing sitting in front of me for 30 minutes, I’m not sure how well my self-control would have fared.  Alas, I did not have to test my will as the stuffing stayed safely far away from me.

I felt quite satisfied that I had a good holiday meal and I was full and not craving anything too dangerous by the end of it.  Not to mention, I had a great time visiting with my niece and her cousins.

At one point my niece and little Georgie were pretending that I was a dragon they had to kill.  George poked me in the stomach and I had to nicely tell him that for now, they had to stay away from my tummy.  My niece interjected by saying, “Yeah, Aunt Colleen has a really big boo-boo on her tummy.”  The conversation quickly devolved into a discussion on how big the boo-boo was with each of them trying to out do the other.  I ended it by saying in an animated fashion, “It’s the biggest boo-boo you have ever seen, George!”  They both fell down laughing and continued with their game slaying the giant Aunt Colleen dragon.

They were very cute.  Little baby Ollie who is two and not one, is just adorable.  He’s definitely the strong silent type.  I can see his little mind going as he tries to figure out a different way to get around his parents and the other adults in the room.  George and my niece are loud and a bit chaotic.  While adults are trying to settle those two, little Ollie is silently doing something he knows he should not do.

Example:  The adults are corralling Georgie and my niece back to the table with their cupcakes so that they do not drag cake throughout the house.  Also, to teach them that we eat at the table not while playing with toys.  Ollie took advantage of the distraction and silently slid under the table, cupcake clenched in both fists, and slipped away into the other room with the toys before anyone noticed he was gone.

The kids were so cute.  Of course, I can say that being safely ensconced in the Auntie arena since I do not have to take them home at all!

One another note, I do have a tree.  I bought a pre-lit tree at Target for $50.  It’s a six-foot tree, which is bigger than I wanted, but it’s narrow and does not take up too much space.  I like it.  I bought some extra lights and I have it decorated already.  I am done shopping for my niece.  I did not go to any stores on the dreaded day after Thanksgiving shopping day.  I did however, do some shopping online and I am having presents sent to me at no additional cost.  I am excited about the holidays this year.  So, bring on Christmas!

(presents under tree are simulated through decorative boxes and one toy bear. no actual presents were used in the creation of this photo)



The Return Of The Cycle

OK, so some people may find this post gross, but I’m going to do it anyway, so consider yourself warned.

For the past 7 years or so, my monthly cycle has been slowing down.  I’m getting close to that age where these things happen naturally in women.  I think it was accelerated a bit by my obesity and the doctor thinks so too.  I still have one or maybe two cycles during the year and it always catches me off guard.  On the whole, however, I do not have to worry about buying pads or tampons on a regular basis.

Fortunately, I keep a small supply of pads on hand just in case.  It has proved to be a wise thing to do, especially if one of my friend’s are visiting and I hear them say, “Oh no!” from the bathroom followed by the inevitable, “Um, Colleen…”  I can then tell them with confidence, “Under the sink on the left!”  But primarily I keep a supply on hand in case I need them once or twice a year.

Before the gastric by-pass surgery the nurse asked me about my cycle and I told her I had not had one in a while.  She then told me that they may start-up again when I start losing weight.  She said that young women often get pregnant a year or so after the surgery because their bodies become more fertile again.  I was not really ready for that possibility as I long ago gave up the notion of having children.  I was a little bit shocked to hear that my periods may return.

Well, it has been one month and one day since the surgery and I woke up to a little surprise visitor this am.  I honestly thought that I would have to lose a lot more weight before my cycle started up again.  I was a little bit shocked to see evidence of it so soon.  I do not know at this point if this is a yearly or bi-yearly event or if this is a return to pre-obese normalcy.

I am not sure what to expect at this point, but I feel the need to go and stock up on supplies just in case!

Eight aka Three And A Half Minutes Of Hell

OMG Eight.  Eight days until my surgery.

Today I completed my stress test.   Well, I tried to complete it anyway.  I managed to make it three and a half minutes on the tread mill.  I know.  Not impressive.

My asthma was kind of a problem, but the real problem was my back.  I suspected this might happen.  I only got up to about 3 and a half minutes.  I wanted to try to push myself further, but when she sped up the tread mill, I almost slid off the back-end.  I could not keep up with my little smurf sized legs.  I’m 5’1″ and I have very short legs.  I kind of felt like George Jetson screaming, “Jane! Stop this crazy thing!”

I am very upset I was not able to make it to the full six minutes.

I talked to the doctor after my attempt.  A little over a year ago, my blood pressure sky rocketed.  It took me a while to get it under control.  But just as a safeguard, the heart doctor did a sonogram of my heart.  The results of that test were very good.  The limited results they got from the test today did not show anything un

I was really worried about this test.  Heart disease runs in my mother’s family.  All of her brothers have had some kind of surgery or other procedure.  They all have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Even the women have had to deal with some of these symptoms.  I am glad that I am addressing this issue now, before I have a heart attack or need surgery.  It is my hope that the surgery will help prevent the onset of any other symptoms.