Thursday, December 06, 2012

Relearning my body.

So I alluded to a thing I wanted to talk about but was feeling weird about it.

I'm feeling like I'm about to come out of the closet. It's weird.

Anyway the thing is my body.

Things happening to my body.

Let me back up a little bit here.

For the last three years or so, my life has been really stressful. Financial issues due to my partner losing and regaining benefits. Health issues for both my partner and I. Some really crazy making shit.

So during the last few years my body has filled out a solid size 16ish.

A while back Uniballer commented that he thought I'd lost some weight and I poopooed it.

Then it started getting cold and I had to wear pants I hadn't worn since last winter.

They fell off.

Y'all, y'all know how I feel about pants and I panicked. Full blown poverty fueled OH MY FUCKING SHIT HOW AM I GONNA STAY WARM WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED OH SHIT ALERT ALERT...

I'm talking disco freakout meltdown.

I have not been in touch or friendly with my body in a while. I have a problem when I don't feel well or can't do things.

I had to sit down and painfully start figuring out what was going on.

So one thing, the stress has lifted. Partner has his benefits, health benefits, financial. Because of our increased financial stability we've been eating better.

I was afraid I wasn't eating enough. I have problems recognizing hunger before my blood sugar crashes. More so when I'm depressed, stressed out or having a bad period of insomnia.

So I did one of those things that is so hard, I got naked and had a good long look in the mirror. I tried on every pair of pants I own and yep, Uniballer was not seeing things I lost some weight.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried in the shower because I didn't want to spend money to buy new pants. Yes, that is what upset me. Buying more pants.

I got over it and can say that as of now I'm fitting into an Old Navy 14 pants comfortably. Ass, hams n all.

I'm having a lot of feelings about this, none of which are happy.

I need to buy new bras, I have huge boobs that don't shrink but half a cup when I am +/- say 50 pounds. My band size has gone back down to a 38.

My cute underwear I got just a few months ago doesn't fit.


Objectively I'm okay. I'm about the same size I was back in 2007 or so when Torrid was my favorite girlfriend and I could religiously (as I found out while digging in my closet) wear their size 12 pants with no problem.

But, BUT here's the other problems.

I've been looking for a new doctor and one of the things I mentioned on a new patient survey (I'm on the wait list for that doc) is that I've lost some weight and am concerned. I want to make sure there's nothing wrong.

Rather than leaving that in my areas of concern on the return email, the first thing the fucking note said was congratulations.


Because I said I am fat.

Er, no I think I put obese. Whatever.

No advice about what to look for if there is a problem, no questions about appetite or yanno, things that could indicate a problem. Just congratulations on the weightloss you didn't want in the first place.

That makes me so angry and frustrated. I feel like I'm already behind the 8 ball on this. I don't want pats on the back I want to be certain it isn't indicative of any other problem.

And my other big problem and it's a doozy.

I'm afraid that I will lose more weight. Why? Because I honestly don't really like how it looks when I'm much smaller than I am now.

I have been everything from a size 4-20 and my self esteem was the lowest when I was the thinnest. I mean, honestly when I was thin it was supposed to be great right?

It wasn't.

It was pretty awful for me. I had the worst time finding clothes because I didn't want to wear tight clothes which, being broad shouldered and busty at every size, everything wound up being. I had problems wearing pants (same one I do now) because I have big thighs even at a size 4 and no size existed that fit me right.

I don't like it.

I'm a little afraid of that.

To keep that from happening I've been very vigilent about making sure I'm eating enough. Especially days when I haven't slept.

I have ridden this ride before in terms of trying to get adequate health care and everything. I don't want to do it again. I don't want to spend time convincing a doctor that no, NO I really am not okay with more weightloss, no I don't want help with it in terms of losing more weight, I just want to be treated for the problems I have.

I also am having some trouble dressing myself because in some things I fit straight sizes, in other things I need plus sizes. I don't like not knowing what of my clothes will fit.

I don't want to wear saggy ass pants.

I'm trying to keep a sense of humor about it. I tease myself about my tiny pants. But I'm nervous.

I feel like I've lost touch with my body in a bad way and I'm struggling to get back in touch with it. It's harder because my body is displeasing me. My knees are swelling and hurting, I'm pretty sure that this may be the year I get diagnosed with some kind of arthritis rather than the ubiquitous you're just fat.

Maybe this doctor will take my life long insomnia seriously.

Maybe this doctor won't make me do fasting glucose testing repeatedly. Did I ever tell you guys about that? A while back, I went to a doctor and I was weighed in at something like 210 pounds and immediately the doctor decided that since I was over 200lbs and black I had to be diabetic.

I did the test once and she accused me of cheating because my fasting levels were on the cusp of low normal/low problem. She decided I hadn't eaten for two days because yanno, fat.

She made me do it again. SAME results, no apology. All I got was a migraine from low blood sugar and my time wasted.

I'm just..ugh.

I'm frustrated, scared and anxious.

Will this be the doctor to help me be as healthy as I can be? Or am I going to wind up asking for nothing and dealing with my various health problems on my own?

I don't know.

SO there it is.

My shrinking ass secret.

I'm not as fat as I was.

In retrospect it's not that big of a deal but it is a big deal. As it is, I try to dodge any discussion on weightloss with most people because I just don't want to deal with it or feel pressured to explain why I'm not excited about it.

I'm also not excited because I had a holiday season outfit of AWESOME all picked out featuring an Asos skirt someone gave me but the skirt doesn't fit anymore.

Not excited about that.


I guess that's all.

No wait, here is the first full length photo of me I've taken in a while.

The outfit I wore today. LOOK NO PANTS. I am excited about the winter weight leggings I got on Ebay that kept my hams warm without having to wear real pants.

But yeah there I am.

Now I turn to you my homies, do you have any advice for me?

It's going to be okay right?

Homo Out.


Anonymous said...

I'd love to just say yes, it's going to be ok but as I don't know you (I've never even commented before) that would be so presumptuous. But I hope hope hope it is ok, that the weight loss is not indicative of anything bad and that you and your body find a happy groove.

My weight fluctuates a lot, it's a pain in the ass clothing-wise. I recently remembered and reinstated my teenage love of safety pinning everything up (I tend to do it in neat rows like an easy-application D ring rather than a pure punk way) and then using cheap ribbon to make stuff lace up at the back. On the right cut of clothes (I too avoid pants where possible, they're always uncomfortable on me) it's fairly low-effort adjustability. For more elegant things, little loops made out of ribbon instead of safety pins. When my weight climbs I tend to cut stuff down the back/sides and make it lace up the same way to give myself more room, with fabric scrap 'modesty panels' sewn in if I'm not planning to wear another layer underneath. Not everyone's style, though.

alumiere said...

I hope you do find the right doctor; I have thyroid disease & a host of related broken and it took me 4 tries this last time. Don't be afraid to walk away if the Dr. Says and/or does the wrong things.

I'm currently struggling, to stay skinny (my joints hurt a little less) but that is me. However my weight bounces between 120 and 160 so I understand the frustration with clothes. If you have favorites that are currently too big and belts/pins don't work a good dry cleaner or seamstress should do tailoring, and they should be able to take them in a few inches without removing any of the original fabric...

If you were in LA I'd say come hang out for a few hours and I'll do it/teach you to do it yourself. Basically put the garment on inside out and at the side seams pinch in the excess fabric and pin it evenly in a straight line, then sew along the pins. Hand sstitching is fine. is a decent option for a full skirt, but for an a-line or other fitted skirt you need to use the side seams and fold the excess down toward the back of the skirt. You would probably want to pin/sew past your hip curves then blend it into the existing seam with an angled/curved line.

Hope that helps! FYI - most of my big skirts just get pinned in at the sides of the waist and my tops hide any little bunchiness. Also if the bra cups fit but the band is too large you can take those in too. I do that in the center back between the straps and the hooks using safety pins first then hand sewing.

Anonymous said...

I genuinely do think it's going to be alright. You know your body well, and you know how to share that knowledge. I'd recommend you print this post out and bring it with you to the doctor to give them a heads up on the crappy ways you've been treated in the past. It will be an easy way to be your own advocate without having a meltdown in the doctor's office, which is never fun.

Anonymous said...

You should trust your gut, of course. But I'd really recommend following up on this unexpected weight loss thing. Something really similar happened to my best friend and it turned out she had diabetes. Weight loss and fatigue were like her only symptoms. Find a doctor who takes you seriously!

Veronica said...

I really, really, *really* hope your new doc will listen to you, believe you, take your concerns seriously, and not blame things on your fat that isn't your fat's fault! *Crossing all my fingers and a few toes*

maggiemunkee said...

i'm worried that the weight loss could be something autoimmune-related, especially given the way you describe your arthritis. :(

that new doctor had damn well better get with the program, especially once you tell him you suffered from ED in the past and bring up weight loss with great difficulty.

get more in touch with your body. long, full-body scrub and then lotions evvvvvverywhere.

Cyndi said...

I guess I wrote a novel...I have to break this into two comments to post it.


Hi Shannon,

I want to say I totally hear you. I have different issues from you but I'm dealing with some things similar to what you mention in this post.

I gained a lot of weight very suddenly after emergency surgery and a bad reaction to meds 3 years ago. I was already overweight then. I'm not sure what size I was because I'm so belly heavy that I had to wear XL pants with really stretchy elastic just to get them on me (without looking like clown pants). I'll guess my pant size in the waist was 20-22. In the last 15 months, I've lost 50 lbs and am wearing size 10 pants with no elastic (I'm bigger on top still; not just the boobs).

I am glad to have lost the weight and would like to lose a bit more, but I am dismayed at people's reactions. I get a lot of "congratulations" too. And people assume I'm on a weight loss diet and am "sticking to it" or some such insulting idea. The truth is I discovered a whole new set of food allergies (I'm amine intolerant). I also needed to go back on lowcarb because I was heading towards being diabetic (I've been hypoglycemic my whole adult life, no matter what my size). I don't believe in counting calories and I don't limit fat. I only limit carbs because I feel so much better when I do.

The new diet reduced my inflammation so much that, for the first time in years, I can actually raise my arms over my head (thoracic outlet syndrome). I started taking ballet (for the first time in 30 years). I can now ride a bicycle (for the first time in 25 years). And take long walks. And hike. And exercise without pain for days afterwards.

Weight loss is just a side effect of all this. But what do people focus on? You guessed it: gosh you LOOK so much better. Sure, some of it is my face isn't as red anymore with the autoimmune skin crud but it's my shape they're really focusing on. I'll admit, I don't mind some of that. I do mind it being considered the important part of all this. I've even had people ask if health benefits were a side effect of losing the weight. Oy!

And clothes, yeah. I have already shrunk out of my "save for Fall 2009" box (put away before surgery and hell happened) and the other boxes and misc clothes I had saved. I have exactly one pair of long pants that fit me well (though they're getting loose) and two more that are wearable but not great on me. The new bra I finally got last summer (the only one that is decent) is too big now and yeah my underwear is falling off me too (though it's also fairly old so I can justify that one).

I don't have the same budget constraints that you do but I don't have unlimited funds and I don't want to spend a lot of money on stuff I might not be able to wear for long. I also can't wear used clothes cause of fragrance issues. Fortunately, I live near an outlet mall.

I am glad to have a fantastic doctor/endocrinologist, but even she blamed my weight gain and inability to lose weight (which I've had for a good 20 years) on "eating too much." She swore I must be eating more than I think. I even did a calorie count for a typical day a few years ago and it was just 1750 calories (I was exercising regularly and breastfeeding at the time).

Cyndi said...


But those repeated glucose tolerance tests are crazy. They aren't even the best ways to diagnose you. And to repeat them? Stupid. I've never even had one. My endo used various blood tests instead. When I was pregnant she didn't insist I got through the stupid glucose tolerance test because I knew it'd make me sick. She had me do a fasting blood test, go home and eat a decent meal with carbs in it, then return to the lab for a repeat glucose blood test (it was normal).

Something I work very hard to get into people's heads is that being overweight does not indicate laziness, bad food habits, lack of exercise, or whatever us you want to use to blame the fat person. At my heaviest I was exercising as much as my body allowed and eating very healthy food (organic, homemade, no junk, lots of fresh veggies, etc). I don't have a problem with overeating and I don't turn to food when stressed (I actually starve myself when stressed or depressed).

My mantra is health first. I'd rather be healthy and 200 lbs than unhealthy with whatever definition of a rocking skinny body you want to use. My weight follows my health. I improved my health (in unusual ways, not the idiocy of "eat right and exercise" but really researching and trying new things and finding what was best FOR ME) and didn't focus on my weight. Health first.

With me so far? Agreeing? Because it goes both ways. *IF* your weight is tied to your health and you improve your health, your weight will go down. Some people are fatter or thinner than the societal norm and it has nothing to do with their health. But you're posting stuff that makes me think it is in your case. This means that if you improve your health, if you get to the bottom of this blood sugar stuff, and if you finally get a decent doctor and reduce some of the inflammation and/or autoimmune stuff causing the arthritis symptoms then your weight will probably go lower than it is now. And that's okay!

You look good now. You've looked good in the other pictures I've seen of you. And you'll look good if you lose more weight. You'll find clothes that fit you. And you'll rock them (no matter what weight you're at).

JoGeek said...

I just moved to a new city, and one thing or another I dropped a dress size in the process without trying to. The first time I put on an old skirt and it fell off, I freaked. I seriously started wondering if I had cancer or something. It leveled off fairly quickly so I'm pretty sure it was just a change in activity level and diet, but it was pretty scary to have my body do something on its own like that without checking with me first. I also had the "fuck I can't afford new clothes" reaction.

So yeah, I hope it's gonna be okay for you, and that you can adapt to the new body shape without much pain. Here's also hoping that you can find that perfect unbiased doctor who's all about HAES and really listening to you.

TabbyCat said...

Oh, yes, don't you love it when your clothes start migrating for no reason? Mine are doing that, right now. (Oh hello pants I am wearing, will you please stay OVER MY BUTT?)

Now, my suggestion is this: if you have a friend who is handy with a needle, ask him or her to take your pants in for you, so you don't HAVE to buy new clothes. I am actually doing this with some of mine. My body, too, has done some stealth weight-dropping. All The Pants are too big -- and how I didn't notice this is odd, since all I wear IS pants... I digress.

As to the doctor struggle.
Sigh. Just... sigh. All I can offer you is love, because I can't help you otherwise -- much as I'd like to, since you have been very helpful to me of late!

Put on your No Fuck You armor, I think. Because seriously, no fuck YOU, stupid doctor.

Anonymous said...

If you can't afford to buy new bras and you only need a smaller band but not cup size this might help. Buy a bra back extender at a fabric or crafts store. If you can sew a basic stitch or have friend that can, sew the bra back extender to the back of your bra behind the eye part of the fastener. this will enable you to fasten your bra tighter without permanently altering it. If you gain back to your former weight you just have to remove the extender. I hope this helps you. It sucks to have to buy new bras, especially when you're large busted and they are so expensive.

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