Tuesday, April 1, 2008

fat is where i started, part 1

this is a long story. so long, i will take two days to tell it. and let me say, it feels bloody boring to me at this point. i feel pathetic and whining to tell it. here is the story of my life, lived each day with issues. issues with my weight. issues with how i see my body. issues with my relationship to self and value and appearance. issues that breast cancer has pushed to the limit.

must there always be issues? i think of this as my ugly story.

it's not a story easily told. in fact, i've been debating for days if i even want to put this out there. can i be this vulnerable? will i feel empowered or more ashamed? will you all throw up your hands and say "enough"? will anyone understand? has anyone reading this blog ever tried to lose 50 lbs or more?

cancer is easy to show sympathy towards. but fat? we hate fat in this country.

(deep breath)
when i was 13, i lost 40 lbs. i ended up skinny. the eating disorder begins.
when i was 17, i lost 40 lbs.
when i was 23, i lost 45 lbs.
when i was 28, i lost 55 lbs.
when i was 34, i lost 75 lbs. it took me 2 years. i swore i would never go through it again.

however. here i am.

now 41, i need to lose 50 lbs.
at the very least. why at the least? well, i learned the raw truth last week. i have one D-cup breast and one B-cup breast. i can do the math. i know that when i am at my healthy weight, 50 lbs less than now, i had two B-cup breasts. so, what will i have now, after cancer, when i lose this extra weight? one B-cup and one, well, nothing-cup breast. i don't want to have to add anything, to accept a fake boob. the whole reason i said no way to a mastectomy and yes to radiation was to avoid the fake boob. having something in there freaks me out. what if i can't feel what is going on in there and another tumor grows? even thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. and until last week at the bra store, i thought it would be as simple as just have my "good" breast reduced to match.

most of my grief is centered here, on this. i see before me no good choices. i don't want to (nor is it healthy) to stay fat, even to keep my natural breast. but then when i think of working so hard to lose those 50 lbs and then find i have no boob, or not enough to be even minimally proportional. i know i can't become (and don't want to) a kate moss type to match my nothing boobs. all my life, since i first grew breasts, even when i wasn't happy with my body or weight, i still had one thing i could count on. great breasts and a curvy figure that was proportional. it took years to learn to love my body and treat it right. now, it's like starting over again.

my own ground zero.

call me vain, but i want to be able to look good, to love my body again. some of you will say, but you do look good, you are beautiful, blah, blah, blah. thanks. sadly, that means little. i know what my beautiful is, and this ain't it.

all this weight must be lost and issues resolved before i have any reduction or reconstruction surgery. i can't even make a decision about what path to take until i lose the weight. in case that wasn't enough pressure, the surgery needs to happen in december, before the end of 2008. insurance issues, as you can imagine.

so many fucking issues, i just want to run far, far away. but i would still be there, in that new far away place, with myself. and this extra weight, these non-matching boobs, this self-loathing that accomplishes nothing.

to be continued...tune in tomorrow...


salmonpoetry said...

i think the key line in here is, buried beneath all the bad feelings, "i know what my beautiful is..."

it's no wonder none of us like our bodies, work so hard to accept them and then things go and change, slowly or dramatically, as with your breast. we're pummeled with images and messages that no matter how we look, it's not right.

maybe there'll be a happy medium in there, after 25 or 35 pounds you'll feel ok about things and the disparities between the breasts won't be as dramatic and you can even them out more easily. maybe with diet and herbs the irradiated breast will bounce back some. it seems like if you start down the path towards 'what my beautiful is,' you might be able to assess the roadblocks (and solutions) as they come up. i know it seems daunting, all that ahead and how things might end up, and feeling miserable where you are.

the good news is, the things you probably need to do to start losing weight will also probably help you feel better. i know that exercise works better than prozac for me, and eating good healthy food lifts my spirits while lessening my waistline. well, actually, nothing helps to lessen my waistline, not even healthy food. see, we're all struck with those body 'blech!'s"

if you ever want to get some exercise with a walk in forest park, i am up for it...sometimes company on a quest like this can be helpful.

Tay said...

thankyou for your compassionate response, Lisa. I was so anxious posting all this. Forest Park sounds good sometime soon.

Kristin Shiga said...

I know that no amount of us thinking you are beautiful can have any affect on how you feel. So I ask you, what can I do to help you find your beautiful again? Do you need a walking partner? Accountability coach? Workout buddy? Let me know. Maybe we can find our beautifuls together. . .

Catherine Chandler said...


As far as the weight issues go, I know how you feel. I have about 25+ lbs to lose and (as much as I hate to admit it), am now officially on the Slim Fast diet. I looked at myself sideways in the mirror the other day and thought "no way. I can't believe I'm this big". Not that "slim" runs in my family--we're all broad people, but I know what 'my beautiful' is and this sure as heck isn't it.

I'm not one of those girls that wants to be a skinny-mini...I just want to be 135 lbs, maybe 125. I know how much effort it takes for me to stay at those levels though. I need to exercise every day, and that's hard to fit into my routine.

I joined Sparkpeople.com a couple years ago...I lost about 20 lbs, only to "rebel" and start pigging out 6 months ago and gain it all back plus some! And I stopped exercising because we had to give up our gym memberships. What I liked about sparkpeople is that it's free (yay), there are 'support groups' of all kinds, and lots of tips, tricks, recipes, exercises, rewards, etc. I now realise that until I re-instate some habits like walking every day, I need a bit of support, a bit of track-keeping, and motivation.

I'm all for doing this together, you and me :) Just say the word and I'm there.

You know what really got me back to this "holy crap it's time to lose weight" point? When one of my best friends remarked how big my butt was getting (even though she thought it was sexy)! Yikes.