This year is the 30th anniversary of the publishing of Shadow on a Tightrope by Aunt Lute Books, and there is a blog carnival this week for the book! I am so happy to be participating. I can’t think of a lot of books that have changed my life, but I would say that this one has. I was about 19 years old when I first picked up SOAT. I was bulimic and fat, and had always been told that being fat was the worst thing in the world to be. In high school I had starved myself down to a “normal” weight, but I gained back some of the weight by the time I was 19 when I was trying to starve myself again. I remember being in Seattle at Bailey Coy Books (now out of business) where I found the book, and later reading the book during my lunch break at the University Bookstore where I worked for a short time. I could not believe what I was reading! For one thing, there were these other fat people out there! Who knew?!? And some of them had endured horrendous surgeries that I didn’t know existed back then (which are all too common now). AND then they were saying that fatness wasn’t the horrid devil wrapped in bacon strips that I had always been told it was! WHAT?!? Did I read that correctly? I didn’t know it at the time, but the book forever changed my outlook on fat and fat activism. Maybe not all at once, but it all stayed with me. It found a little space in my brain, and when everyone else and all of society screamed at me to be thin I remembered the words in SOAT. I remembered (for once) that this experience of being fat was not something I had to do alone, and even though I didn’t stop the bulimia for years, and hated myself for being fat a lot, the messages from SOAT were there working their magic. And, I really think it was like magic that these words in a book could so profoundly alter my view of the world. Years later I stopped the bulimia, and I now consider myself to be a fat activist of sorts, and SOAT is still helping me to figure out how to live with my body and how to live with a world that hates my body. I am forever indebted to Aunt Lute and all of the people who put the book together. I hope that this book can get in the hands of more fat people just so they know that it doesn’t have to be like this, they don’t have to hate themselves, and they aren’t alone.
Mental Health Update: Monday, May 28, 20122012, Abilify, Acceptance, Anti-anxiety meds, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, Anxiety, Autobiography, Bipap, Body Image, Body Narrative, Brain, Buspar, Depression, Diary Rant, EDNOS, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, Happy, Health, Injections, insanity, Kristin Bell, Medicine, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Stabilizers, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, Psychology, Psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, Sleep, Sleep Disorders, stigma, Weight, Zoloft
I thought I’d do a little mental health update, since it has been quite some time since I’ve blogged about my overall mental health. As some of you dear readers may know, I have schizophrenia. I first had issues with it when I was about 15. My first hospitalization was when I was 16. Towards the end of 2000 I got mostly stabilized with my Haldol injections and Zoloft. I haven’t been in the hospital since then! Yay! Quite a long run I’ve had and I hope it continues! For quite some time I had problems getting things done, being motivated and feeling down…that sort of thing, even though I was mostly fine. I think it was last year that I started taking Abilify and it has made a HUGE difference! I’m still taking Zoloft, Buspar, Haldol and some non-psychiatric meds in addition to the Abilify, but the addition of the Abilify was great. I’m doing really pretty well these days. Sometimes I have anxiety, although I think it might generally be related to performance issues with school. I also tried taking Topamax to help with weight loss, but I thought it might be making me stupid and giving me more anxiety, so I quit taking it. I think overall, the Topamax was not helping. It seemed like I was becoming less motivated and more sad with it. I also had that bad anxiety day that I wrote about recently.
So, I think I was just hoping for a magic weightloss bullet with the Topamax. It didn’t work. Boo. I have lost about 90-100 pounds though which is good, but I still need to be less sedentary. I’m also a believer in fat acceptance, but of course it is hard to say that I never want to try to lose weight. I would be an even bigger believer in fat acceptance if I wasn’t actually fat I think!!! hahaha. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is kind of true. I can accept the hell out of everyone’s fatness, but my own! lol.
Anyway, enough about fatness for now. What I want to say is that I’m doing well on the whole. My sleep patterns have improved with my sleep apnea machine, and while I’m not sleeping on any kind of normal schedule yet, I’m getting sleep every day and mostly at the same time! I still tend to be somewhat paranoid, but I’ve found that opening up with people over the years on the internet has really helped me to realize that I don’t need to be afraid of everyone in the world. I still have some delusional thoughts that blow through my brain now and then, but I consider them to be more of a slight annoyance than a big deal right now. But seriously, it is because of the medicine. If I wasn’t taking my meds, and doing so faithfully, I would be in and out of hospitals and massively psychotic. Some people don’t believe me, because I “seem so normal,” but I have to wonder what THAT means anyway? And, I don’t know, it seems like I should be insulted when people say that to me, but I’m not sure why I find it so insulting! I don’t necessarily want to be abnormal, even though I pretty much am, but I think it just bothers me that people attach a kind of value judgement to the term “normal” as if “normal” is superior. It is definitely easier to live in the world if you are “normal,” but it isn’t the only way to be in the world, that’s for sure. Normal is just such a peculiar word, no?
So, I’m doing fine. Some anxiety here and there, some weird thoughts here and there…a depressed mood now and then, but mostly just good. Which is nice. Thank you meds and thank you lucky stars! So, that’s my update after living with schizophrenia for 24 years. Wow! 24 years! Man am I getting old!!! LOL.
Yah, Barbie Totally Needs to Lose Weight!Anorexia, Barbie, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Children, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, dolls, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Figure, Grrls/Women, Kristin Bell, ModelMuse, Obsessions, Plus Size, Thin, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry
WHAT?!? Yes, it is true. They now make an even skinnier Barbie! Apparently she wasn’t thin enough, so they have flattened her out some more. It is okay with me, as long as they make a FAT BARBIE, which they never will do! It is hard to say how much Barbie really warps young minds, but I do think she has had some influence over generations of girls. There have been endless discussions about the body image of Barbie of course, but Barbie is only a part of what the issue is. While Americans get fatter, body image issues get more complex and the Hollywood image of beauty gets thinner and thinner. I guess I can’t be too surprised by Barbie’s new look, but did Barbie really have to go there?!? At least her boobs are smaller, but the dolls are seriously anorexic. Barbie was so thin and out of proportion before. What good could come of anorexic Barbie dolls I ask you?
Steps To Body Acceptance: A ProcessAcceptance, Anorexia, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Discrimination, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Extended Plus Size, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Health, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Plus Size, Self-Harm, Steps To Body Acceptance, Supersize, Thin, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry
It has been a long while since I’ve written about body acceptance. I sort of ran out of “steps” that I could think of. For me, it really is a process. I told my therapist that when it comes to weight, weightloss and size acceptance, I feel like I am walking on a balance beam. Not quite a tightrope, but still balancing nonetheless.
Over this past year quite a lot has changed. My blood sugar levels were elevated with an A1C level of 6.3, so my nurse practitioner qualified me as diabetic. She also did other blood work and discovered that I was really low in Vitamin D and that my thyroid was off (hypothyroidism ), so I started meds for those too. I decided that I was sick of people suggesting that I get a gastric bypass, and I felt like I really could be in better shape, so with the combo of meds for my thyroid and blood sugar, watching what I eat a little more, and getting a bit of exercise, I have lost some weight.
However, I still want to maintain my outlook as one of size-acceptance. I know it seems kind of weird to say I am for size-acceptance and still be trying to lose some weight. There really is no manual for this kind of thing, so I’m just working on it as best I can. I am taking steps to improve my health. I got my A1C level down to 5.3 (non-diabetic) so far and my other labs are looking better. I’m still taking meds, but I’m TRYING to take a bit better care of my body. I know that at my size I am not quite as healthy as I could be, but I also know that I am not going to starve myself and turn into a raging bulimic again to try to maintain and lose weight (well, I really hope not at any rate!!!).
But, it is hard in some respects, because when I do make some attempt to pay attention to what I am eating, all of those negative thoughts tend to come back to haunt me. Thoughts like if I eat something “bad” I am being a “bad” person. My therapist calls thoughts like that ANTS (automatic negative thoughts). You know, some months I might gain some weight or not lose weight, and I have to be okay with that.
As a person who has struggled with weight issues all of my life, it isn’t like losing weight is just a matter of calories in and calories out. It is a whole quilt of past experiences, thoughts and feelings related to weight and how I have dealt with things throughout my life as a fat person.
So, I feel like I’m in a process of understanding how to accept myself and my body while trying to take some steps to improve my health. For me, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, the whole world drifts away and what matters is how *I* feel and how *I* can function and accept my body in this life. So, maybe I want to lose some more weight, but I still eat. I still eat “bad” stuff and I’m not ever going to live on a diet of celery, that is for sure. I don’t want to give up my life and I don’t want to give up eating. I just want to live my life the best I can!
P.S. And just so you know I am not anywhere near skinny, I have posted a picture of myself that was taken a couple of days ago! lol
So…the Bulimia.Acceptance, Anorexia, Anxiety, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Denial, Depression, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Extended Plus Size, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Food, Grrls/Women, Health, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Obsessions, Plus Size, Psychiatry, Scales, Steps To Body Acceptance, Supersize, Support System, Surviving, Teeth, Thin, Weight, Weightloss
Well, not only am I a schizophrenic, but I’m a regular girl type. The kind of girl you all know. Which means that growing up I had regular girl problems (not that eating disorders are girl-only problems), not just schizophrenic girl problems. I was a chubby kid. And then as a teenager I went on a crash diet right around the time I first started losing touch with reality. I essentially starved myself so the weight would come off, but then, my hair started to come off too. And, eventually
The Fat Skeleton in the ClosetAnorexia, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Counselor, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Extended Plus Size, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Food, Health, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Obsessions, Psychiatry, Scales, Secrecy, Surviving, Therapist, Thin, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry
I don’t talk that much about my eating disordered self. My eating disordered self is like the proverbial (fat) skeleton in the closet! Okay, I know skeletons aren’t fat, but mine is! haha. People tend to think one of two things when you are fat. They either think that you don’t have an eating disorder and that you are just lazy, gluttonous, disgusting, and everything else along those lines…OR if they don’t think that, they think you DO have an eating disorder and the eating disorder is OBESITY period. So, basically
Steps To Body Acceptance #6Acceptance, Activism, Allies, Anonymous, Anorexia, Anti-anxiety meds, Anti-depressants, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Denial, Dental Care, Depression, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Extended Plus Size, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Food, Friends, Hate, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mirror, Obsessions, Plus Size, Scales, Secrecy, Shame, Steps To Body Acceptance, Support System, Thin, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry
Well, it is that time of year: the holidays. I know that for people with eating disorders this can seem like the most terrible time of year. Whether you are facing holiday get-togethers with family, friends or co-workers or are just tempted by the food that is normally around, there is no doubt about it: if you have food issues these times will be hard. The thing I want to say about this is
Steps To Body Acceptance #5Acceptance, Anorexia, Anti-depressants, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Depression, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Extended Plus Size, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Figure, Health, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Plus Size, Secrecy, Steps To Body Acceptance, Supersize, Surviving, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry
Well, it is taking me a little more time to come up with steps for body acceptance, because I don’t want to end up repeating myself here. I have a couple of steps that I’ve been thinking about, but I can’t really remember them at the moment, so I’m going to go with one that really struck me today as I was watching someone’s video on youtube where they were talking about being skinny.
Steps To Body Acceptance #4Acceptance, Allies, Anorexia, Anti-depressants, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Denial, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Family, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Figure, Food, Friends, Health, Hiding, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Obsessions, Plus Size, Scales, Secrecy, Shame, Steps To Body Acceptance, Thin, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry
I don’t really know how many of these steps there are going to be. I kind of just write about them as they pop into my head even though I may have given them some more thought previously. Anyway, on with step number four. Step number four has to do with dealing with the people you may encounter in your life and the people who are important to you. Just like
Another Fat People Shopping ResourceAcceptance, Blouse, Body, Body Image, Boys/Men, Clothes, Dress, Extended Plus Size, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Figure, Gown, Grrls/Women, Kristin Bell, Pants, Plus Size, Shirt, Shopping, Supersize, Swim Suit, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry
I just found this page with a LOT of links to shopping sites for fat people (women and men). Some of these sites I have never even heard of. And there is