Start Here

For a little background about me, start here.

I've copied and pasted my first five posts here, to save your from scrolling and clicking your way into a carpal tunnel wrist brace. Here goes it:

First Post:

So the thing I want most in the world, I already have. My husband means everything to me. But that aside, the other thing that I truly want the most is to lose weight. Lose Weight. Two words that have defined my life for as long as I can remember. My entire life has been about either having to lose weight or being congratulated for having lost weight or being consoled or criticized for having gained it back. 
I’m almost 40. I’m facing a grim reality that half my life is over. An optimist would say that I have an entire half of my life to live. I’ll be an optimist, because to look at the flip side is just a little too depressing. Now how will I live this new half of my life? With envy and regret? With pain and extra pounds?  Or with the freedom and confidence that I know comes with weight loss? 
I’ve started this blog several times. And then restarted it. And then restarted it again. I’ve written, deleted, written, deleted. The first post I was content enough to leave standing is the one still posted. I started this blog in several different directions, but in the end, I’ve found it hard to define a blog that doesn’t yet exist. So instead of starting this blog with a clear direction, I’ve decided to just go with a stream of conscious kind of thing with an emphasis on my big booty - kind of like my real life. So here goes nothing - and everything.

Second Post:
Let me Count the Ways:
Let’s begin at the beginning. I always find that a good place to start.
The first real diet I can remember trying was Weight Watchers. It’s hard to find someone who will knock this program - and for good reason. WW is a sensible, easy to follow plan that does work. That being said, I’ve been a WW on and off about a billion times. After a while it becomes second nature to eyeball any morsel of edible matter and calculate points like a diet savant. 
Your mind becomes consumed with activity points, food points, flex points, fiber, SmartOnes, journaling, and the meetings. Oh the meetings. I’ve attended meetings in several different locations, but they are all strikingly similar: sweet senior citizens who very discretely handle your payment and accordion-folded weight loss log. Weighing in on the private scales while the leader or assistant either congratulates you for your stellar weight loss or displays genuine concern over your gain while you feverishly try to cram your log back into it’s protective plastic sleeve, hiding the number that defines you from the world. Surely that’s an activity point or two, no? The meetings themselves all consist of a combination of metal folding chairs, wood paneling, and a chalkboard. Being somewhat cynical and sarcastic and a pretty good public speaker and teacher, I always found it hard not to mentally critique the leader. I spent most of the meeting making silent snarky comments to the imaginary fat-fighting friend sitting next to me. I spent the rest of my time watching significantly overweight people trying to get comfortable in a folding chair straining under their girth. Can they not invest in something more fatty-friendly? Padded benches perhaps? Once, a leader asked us all to look around the room and notice how we were all sitting. Most of us had our arms crossed with our hands resting on our combo belly-lap-boobage area. She said that we were hugging our fat, holding on to it, afraid to let go of it. Actually, I was just trying to keep my ass centered on the chair and my arms off of the arms of the poor person next to me who was also trying to keep her ass firmly in the chair. How closely can you pay attention to the virtues of brussels sprouts when you are wondering who will be the first to collapse their collapsible chair? I’ve attended meetings solo, with best friends, my sister, and mother-in-law. Although I love her dearly, that last one was not the best idea. She adored the leader who had this absurd habit of stressing really important words in baby talk. Yeah, baby talk. My mother in law found this endearing and funny. I found it the perfect fodder for the sarcasm-lobe of my brain to go into over time. “Ok, people. Remember, it so, so important to weigh and measure EVWYTHING that goes into our MOUFS, K?” It was a good thing my arms were crossed in the perfect ass-centering position or I would have had to shoot my had in the air and ask, “Does the INCWUDE BWOCCOWI?” But I displayed spectacular restraint and lasted about 3 meetings before I decided it was better for me to quit than to let my mother in law witness the release of all my saved up sarcasm in a tirade that surely would have been quite a scene before promising everyone would “See Less of Me Next Week!”.
I have no problems with the program itself. I think it has all the elements necessary to help someone successfully lose weight. I actually lost 40 or so pounds a few different times with WW. Intellectually, I know its probably the best way to lose, but I just can not get geared up for it again. Sowwy Weight Watchers, it’s not you, it’s me. Really.

Third Post:
My love-hate, on-off relationship with Weight Watchers, which began in my adolescence, may have been my first dysfunctional diet hookup but WW and I were not exclusive. I also had an early dalliance with Overeaters Anonymous. I was pushed into this one by my mother. She worked with an OA member and apparently they had numerous smoke break chats about the muffin top I was cultivating while leaning against the brick wall of our local Winn-Dixie. I didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. I was going to OA with a total stranger and I was going to like it. I remember I was already firmly planted in the sullen, eyeliner-overload phase of teenage-hood, so when a bespectacled chunky little 50-something with the personality of a wet noodle came to pick me up, I was less than enthused. After an awkward send off by my mother and an even more awkward car ride to a local hospital cafeteria, I entered my first and last OA meeting. The actual meeting was a blur. What I do remember is getting lots and lots of brochures with a heavy emphasis on a “higher power” who would help me through my diet journey and nothing about what I should or should not actually be eating. There was also a lot of hand holding, crying and confessions. At this point in my life, I really didn’t have a lot to add to the discussion besides the fact that I just liked Doritos and Coke a little too much. It was all way too deep for me at that age.
To be fair to OA, it really didn’t get a fair shot from me. I was too young and too consumed with memorizing the lyrics to the latest Duran Duran songs to pour my whole heart and soul out to a room full of strangers. Besides that, I didn’t have a whole lot to pour out yet. In retrospect, there were actually issues that were causing me to stuff myself with potato chip sandwiches, but I just didn’t realize it at the time and as a moody adolescent I certainly was not feeling the urge to explore my feelings in a room full of strangers.
 I did learn a tremendously valuable lesson from the whole experience though. I may not have completely internalized it at the time, but this was one of the first experiences that crystalized the fact that you can not force anyone to do anything they are not ready to do. 

Fourth Post:
Three Squares
I’ve been writing about many of my past experiences and dwelling on why they didn’t work. Then today in a waiting room, I read an article in which the author suggested that so many of us are running from our past or running toward something we want in our future instead of focusing on today. Just today.
Something so simple, yet so true. Does it really matter what I did in the past? They were just diets, things I ate, plans I followed or didn’t quite follow. In the grand scheme of things, they don’t have much impact on my life today. I suppose it might be nice for someone researching diet plans to read someone else’s experiences with those plans. I know that has been helpful for me in the past. If I were to continue to review these plans, my list would be very lengthy. I could discuss NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, Atkins, South Beach, Mayo Clinic, Slimfast, Gastric Bypass Surgery. Uh, that last one there throws a wrench in my plan of not dwelling on what I’ve done in my past. Yes, it does.
I did indeed go under the knife. In 2002, I had open Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery. I have the rope-like pink scar running from my breastbone to my belly button to prove it. I also have a forever altered internal plumbing system. My surgeon was amazing. I had counseling before and after the procedure. I met with a psychologist, nutritionist, the surgeon, and a support group once a month for over a year. I was successful. I lost about 140 pounds and I was happy, healthy, comfortable and confident. I was careful...until I got careless. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. I’ve allowed myself to to gain 90 pounds over the last 4 years or so. Insane and incomprehensible, even to me. So what do I do now?
I would like to adopt the mantra of focusing on today and letting go of the past, but to some extent I will always have to have one foot in the past. I am physically different from most other overweight people and I always will be. Even with one foot in the past, I can still take steps in the right direction.

Fifth Post:
I think I have finally decided on a groove for this blog. If you started at the start, you already know that this blog has been a bit schitzophrenic in its development.  Now I  am settled on its direction (for now, ha!). The title has been Who I'm Supposed To Be for a while now but it didn't dawn on me until a few days ago, that each post should also have the same title. Well, not exactly the same, that would be way to confusing.

I think I'll title each post with I'm Supposed to be followed by something that I should be but currently am not. For example: I'm supposed to be someone who has her shit together. Now, they won't all be so vulgar (that's not bad, right? Just keepin it realz!) but that's the gist. Then I will post all the things I obsess about that fall under that category. I already have a bunch lined up in my brain. Like these little beauties: I'm Supposed to be Able to Cross My Legs, I'm supposed to be Someone Who Wears Jewelry, I'm supposed to Wear the Clothes in my Closet. Get it? I think I'll abbreviate the first part, because I'm already sick of typing all that out. Maybe I'll start with ISBSW and if you're one of the cool kids who actually started at the start and read this post, you'll know that that means "I'm Supposed to be Someone Who..." but as I type this I'm envisioning all of the people who won't have read this asking me repeatedly wtf that means. (see how I turned down the vulgarity there? Teachers call that differentiating. You can either say the real f-word to yourself, or substitute something more family friendly, like fudge for example. mmmm fudge. great. now I want fudge.)

The thing that makes me a little nervous is that I read The Secret (well, I listened to the audiobook) and according to Rhonda, I'm not supposed to think so much about what I am currently or what I don't like because I'll just attract more of that to me. She might be on to something because all I do is obsess over my fatness and I seem to keep attracting more fatness. I'll have to weave in some positivity to counterbalance...

So I hope you'll join me on this little journey. I have found so many great blogs of people who were already done with the struggle, which are so inspiring, but I've never really followed along with someone on the way down to slim town. So if you'd like to hang with me while I try it, you're are welcome to come along for the ride.