Posted on 08/26/2008 by Yvonne McCarthy / No Comments / Leave a Comment »
One of my fondest memories as a child was Granny Whiddon’s garden.
Don’t ask me how… but I scored some Angel Trumpet seeds that were from 1980, and I planted them a couple of years ago. As it rarely turns out, the Angel Trumpets seem to like Dallas, Texas far better than Jackson, Mississippi or north Louisiana. Every year my plants get bigger and bigger. Their technical name brought up all kinds of stuff on the internet because apparently some people eat the seeds to hallucinate. Angel Trumpets are also called Datura and if you wish to Google it, there’s a horrible story about what a German teenager did to himself after making “tea” and drinking it. It involved an emergency room visit and a couple of things that could not be reattached to his body. In fact if you don’t do it just right, you’ll die…. so you can bet I am one careful gardener when I get them on my hands.
Posted on 08/04/2008 by Yvonne McCarthy / No Comments / Leave a Comment »
As I have said many times, the weight loss surgery field is so very new and EVERYONE is learning new stuff every day. It isn’t that the people in charge are bad people….they are learning just like everyone else is but somewhere, sometime back in WLS prehistoric times, someone thought it was a good idea to tell you not to have unrealistic expectiations.
Digging into my deepest core feelings, I said “I don’t think that’s good!”
Here are the reasons….
It all started when I heard a bariatric doc say that we should not have unrealistic expectations. He said not to expect to get to the weight you were when you married.
What if you got married three years ago? My brain interpreted it this way. “Ok little fat girl…we know you are less than and can’t do things we regular people can do.”
Granted… this is more than unfair because it was what I heard. For me, it was comparable to telling the “fat girl” that she could only make a C on the test instead of an A.
I am currently at the exact weight I was at my very smallest in college (35 years ago). I starved myself for two years just to be thin.
When I was challenged by my teachers in school, I performed. I had one teacher that seated us according to our grades. If you made an A on the last report card, you sat at the front table. Guess where I was sitting??
The front table.
My dad was really strict but I only had to make a C to maintain my privileges and that’s pretty much what I made if I was uninterested or unchallenged in class.
When I went to college I had the priviledge of choosing my classes and because I loved music and the courses I took, I was on the dean’s list. I knew I could do it if I wanted to. I also knew I could do this weight loss surgery thing and succeed….mostly because I blindly believed with my entire soul that it was my last chance and I was going to prove that I could do this! Believing it from the very beginning, knowing it was the answer, and making promises I wouldn’t mess up this miracle was what I needed to make it happen. That’s a subject for another blog entry but for now I wanted to address this unrealistic expectation concept.
I don’t know if it’s the same for others as it was for me, but telling me I couldn’t do something was probably not the way to go for someone who was pretty sure she was a failure because of obesity. Being a master and always first in line to beat myself up, I could do a bang up job all by myself. Perhaps it is because of the quote below…. that I put so much stock into what we have to say….the people who have walked this path.
“No one can lead you down a path that they haven’t been.”
I look forward to the day that we as patients can contribute to the programs designed for us because we have so much to offer and I’m ecstatic when there are professionals that totally get what’s going on with us. It seems to be getting better every day!
Below you’ll see the video that chronicles the changes in my life due to weight loss surgery.
Wow….what a joy to be “Living My Life!”
hugs and blessings, Yvonne
aka Bariatric Girl
Posted on 07/28/2008 by Yvonne McCarthy / No Comments / Leave a Comment »
This will be a reoccurring theme in this blog because after all, it is about the positive side of weight loss. Stuff I have done, stuff I can do, stuff that has happened because weight loss surgery made it possible. Believe me…I am well aware that my brain had to follow but it was because I was able to get to a manageable size that I allowed me to try some things that I would have never done. This will explain what led up to winning the contest mentioned in my previous post.
A couple of months ago I was standing in Starbucks and saw a poster on the bulletin board. It said Cesar dog food was hosting a small dog contest at the mall near me. Online there were details about the only two mall contests and one of them was in Dallas!
My first reaction was “I want to do this!” Of course there was a bit of “stinkin thinkin” going on.
Sundance came into our lives because of a wonderful woman named Vicki that fostered him when he showed up at a shelter with an atrophied leg that had to be amputated. You can see a video here.
OK so there’s another one.
Sundance’s other video
So continuing with stinkin thinkin process…..
What would they want with a 3 legged dog and 50 something woman?
You can dress girl dogs up with hundreds of accessories.
What would I dress him in?
Would he even wear it?
Why do I question myself?
It doesn’t cost a thing to participate except some time. I’m in!
I found a very inexpensive hat and t-shirt for him and then splurged on a leather vest for me. The rules didn’t give you much of a hint on whether the “person” was supposed to dress up too so I went for it.
When I arrived there was literally a red carpet and something like 6 to 8 photographers that were shooting pictures…flashes going off everywhere. This is one of the shots they took.
As I walked up to the line there were 25 people with dogs ahead of me.
Cute dogs and cute people.
I recall seeing this woman that worked at the mall and she formed her lips perfectly so that I could understand her words even though I couldn’t hear her. She said “You should win” and smiled at me. That alone was enough return on my investment for the dressing up, worrying about Sundance and worrying about my thought process that got me there.
As I approached the stage I was asked why I thought Sundance was a star. Explaining his former life and how difficult it was made him a star in my eyes. I told them his life had become a fairy tale now and the hardest thing he’s had to do since he’s been with us is to wear that hat. I guess it worked.
Now the important part.
Yes it happened because of the weight loss surgery but the procedure alone was not the total answer. My plumbing was rearranged so that I could get to a manageable size to do the things that I could not before. After losing that weight I had to do “surgery” on my brain. That was definitely the hardest part but only because it is a bone of contention among the bariatric pros. Many programs, various information…but nothing concrete. The field is new and I believe most of us are stumbling around in the dark…desperately looking for an answer to keep the weight off. That was truly the issue in the first place wasn’t it?
In future posts I will address what has worked for me. It slips out in most of what I write but the very first and most important issues is to stop blaming, shaming and judging.
Do I mean others? yep…but most of all quit doing it to yourself.
There’s a great quote from Robert Burney. He says that the battlecry for people like me is “I’ll show you, I’ll get me!” When we do these horrible things to ourselves we only hurt the one beautiful soul we are responsible for. ME!
So my challenge to you….for just today. Go 24 hours without shaming, blaming and judging yourself or anyone else. In fact if you come into contact with someone that is absolutely awful, feel pity for them but do not judge them. Again when you are so adept at doing it to others, you will also be adept at doing it to yourself.
Oh ye of little faith, do not condemn something prior to investigation! It is a sure way to continue to walk in the dark cruel world of obesity. I am free! At least for this very moment because we cannot be perfect but we CAN get better every day.
I was already ahead of the game because I did not have a cruel word for anyone but I made up for it in terms of how I talked to myself. I quit that just about the time this little contest came along and look where it got me. It allowed me to be the person I should have always been.
A trophy, some incredible prizes, a chance for a grand prize (to be announced in October) and a beautiful dog and family. Those external things don’t make me happy….the happiness comes from within.
In the past I did it backwards. Wanting things to make me happy. Now I am happy and things are coming to me every single day that are beyond anything I ever expected.
Posted on 07/20/2008 by Yvonne McCarthy / No Comments / Leave a Comment »
I was concerned when I started this blog. I wanted more quality than quantity and I didn’t need added stress in my life to be a stellar blogger every single day. With only 7 years under my belt in this new life, I am still learning life lessons as a thin person and believe me….they are totally different than obese life lessons.
Posted on 07/05/2008 by Yvonne McCarthy / No Comments / Leave a Comment »
This is a letter to my formerly fat self…just before surgery.
Dear Bariatric Girl (2001),
Who is Bariatric Girl?
Musician, Artist, Photographer,computer geek and weight loss surgery aficionado. On March 30th, 2001, I had weight loss surgery weighing in at 260 pounds. Since that day I have lost and maintained a 130 pound loss. Yoga and walking my dog were the only exercise I was getting until I started with an instructor and creator of "Body Juggling". Click on the picture on the bottom of this page and it will take you to the site. Read More »