No-Diet Talk

Reading the comments on this post really got me thinking. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that having a “no-diet talk” policy is a good thing.

For a lot of us, the road to dieting is a road to crazy-ville. I know that’s true for me. Like Rachel has said, not all diets turn into eating disorders, but most eating disorders began with a simple ‘diet.’ And while I never had a full-blown eating disorder, I’ll be the first to admit that I was well on my way to developing one. My only saving grace was that I had someone who loved me to stop me from killing myself.

My last diet – just last year – ended the day my husband lost it, screamed at me, and smashed my scale to smithereens with his bare hands. What set him off? Well, for one thing, I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t even eating enough to keep a baby alive. 2 pots of yogurt (low-fat, of course) and 1/4 of a meal was pretty much all I would eat – and that was on a good day. If I was having a bad day, I would eat even less. I would drink water to try and fill up my belly, so I wouldn’t feel the hunger. And after a while, I would become immune to the hunger pains anyway.

He watched me starving myself and weighing myself 3.. 4… sometimes even 5 or 6 times a day. It became an obsession. I was obsessed with becoming thin. It was all I could think about. I ate, drank, even breathed ‘weight loss.’ It was the sole purpose of my existence at the time. Nothing else mattered. Not him, not the children, not the house (I’m a housewife, so the house is my ‘job.’) All I could think about was becoming thin. Or at least thinner.

I was weak, I would get dizzy spells, I was cranky as hell (okay, I’ll admit it: I was a bitch)… and yet the only thing that mattered to me at the time was becoming thin. Losing weight. Taking up less space.

Until one day he found me in tears in the bathroom. After all my hard work, the scale actually said that I’d gained five pounds. GAINED!!! I was hysterical. No amount of dieting was ever going to work. I was going to be a fat, ugly, worthless pig for the rest of my life. That’s the really sad part. I really believed – at the time – that fat = ugly/worthless/pig. At least for me. (That’s the strange part. I could look at another fat woman and not think those things, but to look in the mirror always brought those thoughts. It was like those particular slurs were meant for me and me alone.) When he saw just how distraught I was, and knew that no amount of trying to support me was helping, he lost it. He couldn’t stand to see me literally trying to kill myself just in the quest to become thin. He started screaming – not so much at me, but at his own frustrations regarding the situation – took my scale, and broke it. It was in pieces. Several pieces.

At first, the thought of not dieting, not knowing how much I weighed? It scared me. It fucking terrified me. I, like a lot of fat people, had the irrational fear that I was going to keep gaining and gaining and eventually take up the whole world. And I feared that he (Hubby) would one day become disgusted with me and would leave me for someone thinner and infinitely more beautiful.

But that didn’t happen. I didn’t gain weight. I haven’t taken over the world. My husband hasn’t left me. If anything, he was the catalyst that led me to FA. Not directly, of course, but I don’t think I would have been ready to accept the concept of FA if I was still in full-blown dieting mode. I don’t think my brain could have grasped the concept.

And, if anything, finding FA and realizing that I don’t have to lose weight just to become an acceptable human being, has made me a better person. Trying to accept and come to love myself just the way I am, without trying to change myself, has improved almost every area of my life. It’s certainly improved my marriage, and I can finally see that my fears over losing my husband just because of my weight were not just unfounded, they were downright ridiculous. Because he’s always loved me just the way I am. He’s attracted to me because I’m fat. (I have to tell you, that knowledge is still mind-blowing. After spending 9 years terrified that he’d ‘settled’ for me, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around that one.)

So… no-diet talk? For me, it’s a must. It would be SOO easy to fall back into that mindset, that thinking that I will only become an acceptable human being once I take up less space. And that thinking? Is crazy thinking. In-fucking-sane. I realize now that I deserve so much better than to think that I have to be something I’m inherently NOT just to become “worthy.” Worthy of what? Of whom? And who says? Who the hell crowned himself king of the world and decided that I have to be X to become a worthy human being? And why in the hell did I ever believe it?

So… yeah. NO DIET TALK. It’s much better for my mental health. And, reading the comments on Paul’s post just proves to me that I’m sure as hell not alone.


Yeah, what he said!

Browsing the Fatosphere, I found this by Red No. 3.  I understand why he has comments turned off *coughtrollscough* , but it’s times like this when I wish I could post a comment over there, even if it’s just to give him a written high-five!

I swear, it’s like he read my mind.

I’m going to wake up on New Year’s Day and not be thinking about my weight. I won’t be making any resolutions about losing weight. Fat hatred isn’t inevitable. Self-loathing doesn’t have to be a way of life. Everyone has the capacity to liberate themselves from fat hatred. Everyone. I don’t buy into the notion that self-love should be withheld from people if they really don’t want to. No matter how certain you are that you can’t accept your body. No matter how much self-justifications you make for self-hatred.

That’s pretty much what went through my mind when I first found Fat Acceptance.  You mean I don’t have to hate myself?  I might actually be correct in thinking that I’m meant to be this size (after years and years and years and years of useless dieting)?  That it might be okay for me to accept myself the way I am?  That maybe – just maybe – I might be okay, regardless of what size I am?  I don’t have to keep fighting my body to make it smaller just because I think I should be smaller?  I don’t have to constantly obsess over what I’ve eaten, what I am eating, and what I’m going to eat, because it might *gasp* make me even fatter?  (Which actually has never happened, so I don’t know why I’ve thought that, but I have.)

The only thing I would add to what he wrote is directly related to one of the quotes he used.

“I need to get healthy”

I would add that thinner doesn’t always equal healthy.  That just because you’re not thin doesn’t mean you couldn’t – or shouldn’t – exercise.  That exercise in and of itself is healthy for you regardless of whether or not it results in weight loss.  To be honest, that was one of the biggest epiphanies I had when I first found FA.  Once I got over the “you mean I don’t have to hate myself just because I’m fat” bit.  You mean I should exercise even if I don’t lose weight?  That I might find it fun if I do it just to do it and not obsess over what the scale does or doesn’t say?  Wow!  (It really was a wow, at least to me.)  Realizing that there is such a concept as Health At Every Size and that I can – and should! – adopt that concept for myself was such a revelation to me.  I had been so indoctrined in the exercise = lost weight routine that I really and truly thought that I shouldn’t even bother if it didn’t result in my losing weight.

But Brian, dude, you rock.  Yeah.  What you said.  😉

Giving Thanks

Seeing as it’s Thanksgiving, and I’m an American… even though I’m not doing anything at all to celebrate the holiday today (you know… ‘cuz I live in England and all), I thought it would be a good idea to think of some things I’m thankful for.  Given the mood I’ve been in today, I think it would be good self-therapy.

So here goes:

  • I’m thankful for my husband.  He is not perfect by any means, but he has a good heart and means well.  As I’ve said to a friend before, “he’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for me.”  And that is absolutely true.  We have our problems, but he is the love of my life, and the last 8 years of my life have been even better all because he’s been a part of it.
  • I’m thankful for my children.  Even though there are days when I’d literally like to kill one or all of them, being their mother has taught me so many things.  My oldest, S, has taught me more about patience and unconditional love than I could have learned in a lifetime had she not been in it.  Being the mother of a special-needs child is indeed special, and I can honestly say that despite her difficulties, I have way more good times with her than bad (although her increasing ability to communicate with others has a lot to do with that, but I’m thankful for that too; life was more frustrating for BOTH of us before she started learning to tell us things, even if they are in her own way).  C, the next one down from S, has taught me how to communicate with my children, and is the most helpful 10-year old one could possibly know.  L, my first actual biological child with The Hubster, reminds me that children need direction, discipline, AND LOVE – Every. Single. Day.  She’s the one that won’t let me go down to the corner shop without a “huggie,” and would happily lay by my side every minute of the day.  My youngest, yet another C… well, she’s teaching me new things every day.  Mostly about how to count to 10 and not kill the little brat discipline her in an appropriate manner.  *sigh*  She’s 5.  She’ll grow out if it, right?  Right.  (I hope I’m right! 😆 )
  • I’m thankful for my biological mother (you’ll understand why I specified ‘biological’ in a minute).  Despite the fact that we were estranged for over 13 years (and I had even begun to wonder if she was even still alive!), we have developed a wonderful relationship, and I know that when there’s a problem I can go to her.  When The Hubster had an affair 3 years ago, she was the first person I spoke to about it, and she was a key component in our being able to work through our problems and repair our marriage despite what he’d done.  If I didn’t have her to talk to, to cry to, and to ask advice from, I don’t know what would have happened.  I will forever be grateful to her for that, but it’s just another indication of the kind of relationship we’ve been able to create despite the fact that I’d only ever lived with her for maybe 4 or 5 years of my life in total.
  • I’m thankful for my grandmother, whom I call mother.  And that was my choice, not a demand from her.  By the time I was 11, I realized that my biological mother would never be able to be a ‘real’ mother to me (and I have to point out that I didn’t have any malice about that thought, it just was what it was; I realized that I didn’t really know everything about the dynamics of my family – especially where my biological parents were concerned – so I just accepted my situation as it was: my grandmother was raising me, in essence being my mother, and therefore had earned the title), so I chose to start calling her by the title of ‘mother’ or ‘mom’ or the awful ‘ma’.  (Although she doesn’t hate ‘ma’ – her NICKNAME is ‘Ma Bell’ [Bell being my maiden name].)  She took me in when I was 18 months old, raised me until the age of 5 – at which time a horrible motorcycle accident left her unable to physically take care of me – and then again from the age of 8 until I moved out the first time at 19 (I was one of those ‘revolving door’ young adults – I moved back ‘home’ more times than I care to admit).  My childhood wasn’t the greatest – she and I didn’t get along that well – but she didn’t have to do what she did.  She did it anyway.  And now that we don’t live together anymore, we have a much better relationship than we ever had (the fact that I’m 7,000 miles away might have something to do with that 😉 ).
  • I’m thankful for my extended family.  We’re about as dysfunctional as you can get, but I can honestly say that I know my family has meant well at all times for me.  And I do have some wonderful memories of huuuuuuuuuuuuge family get-togethers – memories I just wish I could create for my own children, but that’s not possible.
  • I’m thankful for all of my friends – past and present.  Some people (Sheryl) have stuck around through thick and thin over the years.  Some others (Keesha) were only in my life a short time, but made a lasting impact.  Some others (May) are recent additions, but that doesn’t make them any less important.  In some ways, friends are more important than even family are.
  • I’m thankful for my health.  I could be healthier – and I’m working on becoming so – but considering the choices I’ve made in my past, I could be a hell of a lot worse.  So I’m thankful that I am as healthy as I am.

Actually, now that I’m getting into this, I realize that I could be here all day (who knew I had so much to be thankful for? 😀 ), so I think I’ll just stop now.  But the ones above are the most important thanks givings I could possibly come up with.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans, and Happy Thursday to everybody who isn’t.  Just because you’re not an American doesn’t mean you can be thankful.  Right?  😀

Has the insurance industry lost its collective mind?

According to my husband, who just watched SiCKO a few days ago, if we ever decided to move back home to the U.S., we’d be… well… fucked.

Ya see, my hubby?  He’s “underweight.”

Me?  I’m “obese.”

And my oldest daughter?  She’s autistic and epileptic. (Heck, she might even be overweight, too, but I actually don’t know how much she weighs!)

All three of us would be ineligible for insurance coverage.


My hubby and I because of our weights, and my daughter because of the disabilities she was born with.

You know what really gets me about all of this?  I used to work in the insurance industry! 

I used to work for UniCare, from 1999-2003.  If I’m honest, I’d probably still be working there if we’d never moved to the other side of the freaking world.  I worked in this office.

I used to not want to tell people where I used to work.  I don’t know why – I guess it seemed like I was betraying something if I told people where I used to work and how insurance companies actually treat their clients’ claims and whatnot.

But with all of this shit that I’m hearing about how the insurance industry in the U.S. is going down the toilet, I thought it was time to speak up.

Apparently, not only would half of my family (I have three other daughters who would be accepted in a heartbeat for coverage) be ineligible for coverege, but they wouldn’t even tell me up front.

According to the hubby, in the movie SiCKO, there is a story about a woman who underwent major surgery while under insurance coverage.  She was told prior to the surgery that everything would be covered, and the claim was actually PAID by the insurer.  But then (insert suspenseful music here)… some claim investigator found out she’d had a yeast infection years before and didn’t disclose that information.  So her coverage was retroactively cancelled, they requested a refund from the doctor and hospital, and told said doctor and hospital that they should go after the patient for the money.

All because of a yeast infection.

Now, if you’re a woman, I ask you: do you know a single woman who has never in her life had a yeast infection?  I didn’t think so.  Would you think that not disclosing information about a yeast infection would get you booted off your insurance plan?  I didn’t think so, either.

The reason I’m speaking up about this now?  Because I know for a fact that when I was still working there, UniCare – and most other large insurance companies – wouldn’t have dreamed about doing something like that, because they would be taken to court and sued – and they’d lose.  I was “just” a “lowly” data entry technician (don’tcha love “professional” titles?), but I was one of those people who would literally talk to anybody about anything.  And I smoked – so I would meet people from all of our departments just by talking to the people around me outside.  And while, granted, I wasn’t in the office with them all the time, I know enough from my discussions with people about the ways claims were approved or denied to know that something like a yeast infection – back then, anyway – would have been laughable as a reason for denying a claim.  That’s not even touching cancelling someone’s coverage for one.

I don’t know what the hell has happened with the law in the last 4.5 years, but obviously some “genius” (yes, I’m being ironical) decided to pass some law that said that insurance companies could get away with this shit.  People have been fighting with insurance companies – and especially HMOs – for YEARS because of fraudulent practices.  And now they go backwards instead of forwards?

Is it just me, or has the entire fucking world lost its collective mind?  Not just the insurance industry, but the whole thingNew Zealand is denying entry to people just because they’re fat.  Here in the UK, you’re being denied treatment because you’re fat.  Women are afraid to go to the doctor when there’s something wrong, because we’re either hysterical, hypochondriacs, or we’re just too fat (even when we’re NOT).

It’s not just angering me, it’s downright scaring me.  What’s next?  Are we going to pass a law that says that if you’re not absolutely 100% “perfect,” you’re going to be put to sleep?  Yeah, I’m exaggerating here – but only a little. 

The fear?  It’s almost enough to make me go back on my promise to myself never to diet again.  Almost.  But you know what?  I am intelligent enough to realize that even if I DID diet again, there’s no guarantee that I would lose any weight.  As a matter of fact, I seem to be slowly shrinking now, without even trying.  But I’m feeling better than I have in years – because I’m eating well, I’m exercising, and I’m not berating myself about every single little thing.  If I were to go back and try dieting again, I would be depressed, anxious, and I can guaran-fucking-tee you that I would go right back to hating every single thing about myself.  The evil twin inside my head would rip off her gag and start telling me how ugly and worthless I am.

And I’m not willing to go back to THAT for anything.