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It is as though by not giving up on myself I am giving myself the ability to not give up on other people. You’ve got this, I promise. Xoxo

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I think the most amazing and relieving thing about losing 100 pounds is not physically inhabiting so much space yet retaining the same amount of space in the hearts of my loved ones. Y’all rock ♡☆

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I think the most amazing and relieving thing about losing 100 pounds is not physically inhabiting so much space yet retaining the same amount of space in the hearts of my loved ones. Y’all rock ♡☆

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This weekend I went to 2 different stores (a regular grocer and an all natural grocer) and got as many yogurt brands as they had that were over 10g of protein. Please note that I linked to all of the websites for the yogurt brands so that if you’re interested you can try to find a retailer near you.

I tried to grab the plain and lowest calorie/fat of each brand. My dietitians suggested to me that for any high protein item consumed (yogurt, protein shakes, protein bars) to try and make sure that the grams of protein is greater than the grams of sugar.

If I couldn’t find the plain I chose the flavored yogurt with the highest protein and lowest sugars. There may be other brands out there that I might add at a later date at which time I will post an update link. There is also a chance that I didn’t add certain yogurts to the list because they were too high in calories and too low in protein. Feel free to send me any suggestions of brands to add/try.

I also have not tasted all of these yogurts so I will also edit the taste profiles later. For now I hope this is an easy way to get a good idea of where you can find good yogurts packed with proteins and low in sugar.

There are 18 brands and 21 different kinds of yogurts featured here.

I went to Stop & Shop

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And Whole Foods

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(Though I accidentally put the Chobani in this photo as well, which Whole Foods incidentally does not sell. Whoops.)

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March 3, 2013image

Today

I did not get to almost 300 pounds by loving myself. 

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Many people seem to think that weight loss is purely vanity and that weight loss surgery in itself is a cosmetic procedure for the weak. But that is not the case.

I did not think I was ugly pre-op.

I did not feel repulsive. My husband and I had sex fairly regularly. I thought my lips were pretty and that my eyes, though mud brown, were not ugly and looked quite pretty when accented by eye liner. I thought my belly was big but I was proud of my curves. I was proud of my cup size and of my derriere. 

But I was also critical of myself. I was always embarrassed by my cellulite and my bigness always felt like such an imposition on other people. I felt self conscious about how big and fat my shoulders looked in pictures and damn it if my face didn’t look like Jabba the Hutt in every single picture because of my chin{s}. 

I was a good 8 or so months pregnant in this pic but gosh it sucks to be tagged on it on facebook….

Now that I’ve lost what wavers between 92 and 95 lbs (as my weight has tends to waver in a 1-4 pound range depending on the week) I like how I look in pictures. Candid shots aren’t nearly as embarrassing. I should be flying high having basically eliminated the double {triple} chin problem. And, what the hell, it is nice that my boobs go past my belly and that finding clothes that fit is 100 times easier. But weight loss doesn’t cure self-esteem.

A pic that I recently got tagged in at my cousin’s graduation. You can see that I have excess skin on my arms but for the most part I look a damn sight better than I did in the previous picture. But looking “better” does not make me cured of self consciousness.

Now that my face is smaller I’m more self conscious about how hairy my eyebrows are (my father thinks they are fine signature of my Greek heritage, go figure), how big my nose is, and how speckled my skin is. The surprising thing about my weight loss is that it also seem to have made my ears more prominent, at least in my eyes, so now I am more self-conscious of them when I’d never given them a second thought before hand! Though, I do have a friend that has an affinity for rubbing ear lobes and she told me that mine were quite nice. Other than that, I had never thought they were abnormal. And now I find myself being skeptical of them. Even though they can’t even be see in this selfie, I feel self-conscious.

I have also grown more self-conscious of other aspects. I’d never cared about my scars or thought they were very apparent. I always thought my feet were a little club-like but nothing to be ashamed of. But now? With less weight on them, my toes don’t touch and my feet are veiny and I AM self conscious of them. They also get hair on them if I do not tend to them carefully and my goodness, I am on my feet so often that my soles are like leather. 

No, my weight loss did not cure my self esteem problems.

My weight loss made it easier for me to get in and out of bed.

My weight loss made it easier to keep up with my son.

My weight loss made my food addictions take a seat on the side lines.

My weight loss allowed my feet to hurt less at the end of the day.

My weight loss allowed me to kneel on the floor without my knees feeling a lot of pain

My weight loss allowed me to go on longer bike rides.

My weight loss allowed me to go up stairs without clinging to bannisters.

My weight loss allowed me to live a healthier life.

I still don’t think I’m unattractive. But I still feel flawed. 

And that’s okay, because that’s part of being human.

xoxo

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In the wake of the SCOTUS/ Hobby Lobby decision and the reactions thereof I have done a lot of intensive thinking (go figure).

The mainstream objection to feminism is exactly why we need feminism. It is the core of the catalyst in the feminist movement. I once had a professor address my Sociology of Minority Groups class and ask us what feminism meant and the answers essentially boiled down to “the protection and just consideration of all women.” She asked us “who would be against that? Who would be against women being treated fairly? I want you to think about that when you think about how society reacts to feminism.”

Ever a profoundly insightful human being, Gail Dines had it right. Why is the social reaction, at large, to feminism one of great scrutiny and even embarassment?

When the body positive and the #365feministselfie project were started, women were debased by and in large with attempts to bring them low (or lower) despite their happiness and confidence.

When Robert Thicke’s “blurred lines” was objected to by feminists and trauma survivors, we were scoffed at.

When a young man became a mass murderer on principles of misogyny (yes, and insanity) our outcries were decried as unbased and discriminatory.

When social media was inundated with reactions in the wake of that crime and also to the serious happening in Nigeria (where more than 200 girls were abducted and ultimately absorbed into the sex trade) via tags such as #yesallwomen and #bringbackourgirls we were greeted with a backlash of racism, xenophobia, apathy, sexism and misplaced guilt (#notallmen, for instance).

And now we have this visceral reaction from women and supporters thereof in the wake of this SCOTUS/Hobby Lobby decision. A decision that has culminated in the policing and unfair treatment of women’s bodies under the puritanical and patriarchal ideology of uterine ownership and the objectification of women’s bodies.

This is not just about health care. This is not just about insurance premiums. This is not just about song lyrics. This is not just about body shaming. This is not just about the resistance of men to the independence of women. This is not just a about sex crime. This is not just about crime against women in general.

This is about the fact that it is 2014 and we are supposed to be intelligent, compassionate, and civilized human beings yet we support, en masse, the degredation and dehumanizing of women.

I ask you, what is the common denominator in all of the aforementioned affronts to women that have become big news in the last 6 months?

It is not just the simple dispassion for the protection and care of bodies belonging women and girls. It is the cynicsm and mockery of the movements asking for equality. It is the inability for a nation of supposed adults to have an adult conversation about sex, sexuality, and reproduction. It is the rejection, not only of the notion that not all women want to become incubators, but that it is okay to make such a choice. It is the discomfort our brothers, fathers, neighbors, uncles, and even some of our female peers have in saying that violence against women is a real thing that is happening to women and girls right here and right now.

It is the fact that none of this okay. It simply is not.

Feminism is here to protect and make equal the lives of women. All of these movements have striven towards that goal. And so I ask you, why is feminism mocked when these problems are very present and very alarming? Why is the support of women as autonomous equals humorous or silly? How is the government and society able to sanction the unfair treatment of your mothers, sisters, aunts, and so on?

A brilliant professor once told me that she believed men needed feminism because they needed to know that they are better than all of this—that she believed that of them.

And so here we are, at a culmination of acts against women, the voice of Gail Dines ever at my shoulder. And I can only hope that the authentically good and essential nature of feminism is able to come to light. I can only hope that there are strides made towards the humanization not just of women, but of men. Because as of right now, we are merely fruit to be swallowed and barbarians with gnashing teeth. As of right now, something needs to be done.

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I’m unsure if I recounted this experience before but as a part of the process to get approved for WLS I had to meet with their resident psychiatrist for an evaluation.

Dr. Paul Davidson is truly a wonderful soul and he totally gets the ins and outs of WLS from a psychological perspective. He is a great cheer leader and an awesome voice of reason. You can tell that he’s heard it all. Either way, I have seen a few different therapists over the years to great result. I was not unused to sharing intimate details of my life with people that are there to help me. What I’m not used to is those people being caught off guard by what I’ve said.

In my first meeting with Dr. Davidson, I confessed to him (in short) that a major benefit as a person who has survived multiple traumas against my mind and body by predators who are still at large would be to become unrecognizable. To lose so much of my weight that it would be hard to identify me. In our second meeting Dr. Davidson told me that he found that statement to be, essentially, shocking and profound. He did not make me feel guilty for my pronouncement and actually supported the sentiment. He let me know that while I may feel as though I am escaping recognition by those from my past that becoming slimmer will open me up to more unwanted attention from people that I don’t know. 

But anything would be worth it to escape at least on aspect of the suffocation of my trauma. Any degree of change would help me move on. And so my weight loss took on a life of it’s own and I found myself letting go of my trauma more and more. As I slimmed down and stuck out less in a crowd, my anxiety eased. It’s always there, in the back of my mind, but being out in public causes me far less distress.

And then I was letting go of other things. Wearing size 20 to size 24 clothing is not cheap. Over a decade I had been hoarding clothes from over the years in all different sizes, unable to let go of my expensive wardrobe. I had prided myself in being able to dress my big body and look “better than most fat girls” (in ignorant but astute feeling to be addressed in a later post). If I was going to be fat I was going to at least dress nice. I was uncomfortable if I was dressed lazily….because I was living with the anxiety of “gosh, if I’m going to be huge I can not look lazy as well. I cannot support that stereotype.” It even affected my mothering. I was so anxious whenever I was out with my son as how I would be perceived as a fat mother. No matter if I wore my son on my back and if I fed him healthy foods, I always felt there to be a stigmatic gaze upon us. 

The truth is that I was not only letting go of the trauma of being recognizable my assailants in my weight loss, but I was letting go of all the little traumas of living in a fat body. 

Now I am almost a size 12 (I do own and fit into some size 12 clothing and my 14s are too big but 12 jeans are still a bit snug). I am one size away from being the size of the average american woman. I don’t feel sloppy wearing t-shirts or cargo shorts. I don’t feel like I’m support the stereotype of lazy fat girl by wearing sneakers. I’ve brought 3 large black trash bags of those clothes I had coveted to the donation bin and I have 3 more bags prepared to bring now. My drawers are not overflowing with articles of clothing that I don’t wear. My laundry is not a forever cycle of the items I had tried on but took off because they were too small or because they made me feel uncomfortable. I literally wasted so much detergent and water washing items that I wore for seconds at a time.

I was able to let go of my anxiety while at the beach.

I was able to let go of my anxiety of eating something while walking down the street.

I was able to let go of the big belly that I used to sleep on at night.

I was able to let go of the big breasts that were pushed up to my face by the rest of my fat body. (Though they are still large and a bit altered from the weight loss, I love them)

And now I no longer fit into clothes at Lane Bryant or Torrid, the only places I’d ever been able to find clothes that fit and I let go.


This is not about a wardrobe of fabric, however much it may seem so. This is about flesh and meat. This is about carrying myself through life every day in fear of the people that hurt me and trying to cover my ever-judged body by colorful and well-fitting fabrics. This is about escaping the guise of those who judge the obese. 

I had never looked in a mirror and seen an obese person but I know how the world saw and even as I have lost weight I have felt those gazes of judgement drift away. I know that my insecurities made me a more suitable prey for predators. I know that letting go of the pounds, the traumas, and the insecurities has left me with a profound sense of freedom without feeling as though I have fed into the superficial standards of the world we live in.

I have become less visible in so many ways. I have been able to send my anxieties into the wind. I have been able to send plus sized clothes to women in need. I have been able to feed myself when hungry and on the way home. I have been able to be out with my son without the anxiety that his chubby cheeks are being frowned upon. I am so much the same person but my presence has taken on a new form. Lighter, not just in weight, but in baggage.

And for that I am so grateful. Not just to myself and all the work that I’ve done but for the whole team at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, in particular Dr. Davidson and Dr. Robinson. I am so grateful that I have been allowed to shed so much of that toxic cocoon that I was suffocating in. 

xoxo

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Just thought I’d share my favorite low calorie “treat”: home made salsa. I usually add it to my eggs in the morning so that I get the protein in. I also will put it on burger meat or chicken patties for added flavor. Pictured here I used a whole habanero pepper but that was a mistake, I should have used like 1/4 of the pepper because I like spicy but this was wayyy too spicy (delicious but my mouth was burning).

Either way, in my food processor I combine:
1/2 a cup of onion
2 cups of tomato
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of diced scallion
1/2 a lemon squeezed 
1/4 a cup of pepper of choice (i usually use any bell peppers, a mixture of some to add color, but with the habanero I should have cut that down!)
Spices to taste (a dash of salt/pepper/cayenne pepper)

Then blend to your desired consistency  I like mine pretty smooth.

Voila! Home made salsa :)

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This is a new segment I’m starting where I share products that I love to eat and that are good for me too :)

Just thought I’d share my breakfast this morning. Siggi’s yogurt and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. 16 gms of protein and 160 calories (100 in the yogurt, 60 in the chia seeds), 5g of fat (all from the chia seeds) 16 carbs, 9 sugars, and 5g of fiber.

The orange ginger is my favorite flavor!

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