Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tales from the Front

The Battle of the Bulge continues! Each day is a fight in this war on fat...and I intend to win! That being said, if frank talk about the woes of being fat or fat people in general disgust you, click here. That's a nice fat-free website for you to enjoy (or is it.) See what I did there? Ha! Yes, I amuse myself. But seriously...

Here? I plan to address my blubber.

Since joining the war full time last September, I've learning many valuable lessons. I've also spent a great deal of time putting Google through its paces trying to find information on a variety of topics. My latest quest is the search for support.

No. Not a group of like-minded people who will help me fight the good fight. SUPPORT. As in...holding up and sucking in all the flabby bits.  I am one of those fat folks who seem to carry a great deal of my bulk out in front...low on my abdomen. I have, what Google helped me discover the current vernacular for, an "apron of fat" in front.  It's also know in medical circles as a pannus or panniculus. Google also shared disturbing images of people with "two butts". These are people with my same apron who have crammed the flab into VERY tight pants with a front seam for so long, the seam is permanent. They have created a front butt that looks exactly like their hind end.


I don't want a front butt. It's not pretty. At the same time, this apron causes me a great deal of discomfort. It just...hangs here. Very heavily. It impedes my ability to walk, sit properly, stand for any length of time, and it pulls my spine all out of alignment. On the good news side, since I've lost 50+ lbs, my apron has gone down in size a tiny bit. Sadly, it's only a tiny bit. I sincerely hoped that big apron hanging down low in front would be the first thing to go as I lost weight. But no.

I need something to hold that sucker UP. I need...a belly bra. So I turned to Google again. Years ago there used to be a pregnancy aid called a Belly Bra. It was a bra that had this nice stretchy pouch of fabric that was attached to the bottom of the bra cups. It went over the pregnant belly and had a wide band of elastic that helped "hold you up". Support! It sounded like the perfect thing. But alas, they don't make it any more. And even if I managed to find a used one on Ebay...they never made it in my bra size.

I thought about other ways I could give my belly a lift. How about a nice wide ace bandage? I could bind my belly up into a higher, more comfortable position. It would be a major undertaking trying to wrap myself up each day, but if it made getting around less painful, then why not? Well... because no one carries bandage material that wide. Believe me, I looked. If you find it wide enough, it's not long enough to wrap around me.

So then I thought about standard support garments. You know...girdles and what not. And guess what. They don't make them for people my size. Why do they only make support garments for THIN (well, I think they are thin) people??? If I were a size 18 or 20, I wouldn't NEED the support. At least, not in the same way.

Then I found a few surgical supply websites that offered custom compression garments. Things designed for people who are recovering from plastic surgery. Sure, they'd make me a compression suit in my size. If I wanted to spend over $1000. Uh. No. I don't have that kind of cash to just spend on something that might not even work. Plus, at the rate I am shrinking, it probably wouldn't even fit right in just a few months time.

Next, I started looking at different kinds of fabric. Maybe I could just SEW something. I'm not a very talented seamstress, but I think I could cobble something together with a few yards of some kind of spandex blend. So so many kinds of spandex was overwhelming! I had no idea what kind of fabric would work. I wanted something...sporty. Breathable and maybe even high tech. Moisture wicking? Yeah! That would be cool. No pun intended. Still haven't found it yet. I don't sew much, so I really didn't have any clue where to look for high tech fabrics.

Then I got a handy bit of spam in my mailbox. Swimsuit sale. Ugh. But wait...swim suits can be supportive. I've been wearing a swim dress with matching swim shorts for many years now. I haven't shopped for a one piece in probably 8 years or more. So I went swimsuit shopping. The horror! My gosh, the suits in my size are just...yikes. Plus they are so bulky, I could never wear them under regular clothes.


Then a Facebook friend posted a photo of some dancers. They were part of an alternative dance company that included a dancer in a wheel chair and OH BOY an obese dancer. Yep. There are some heavy folks that can actually move with grace and agility. I'm not one of them...but look! A plus sized leotard! Duh. Why didn't I think of that? Maybe I did and just dismissed it immediately. I mean really. Who makes dance wear THIS big? When you think ballet, you don't think fat. Nope.

So I went to Amazon. Sure enough, they had a couple plus sized leotards. If you think XL or a size 16, 18 or 20 is "plus". I don't. I think of those sizes as "average".  I had a feeling the dance industry was going to be a tough nut to crack. They have been anti-fat probably since dance was invented. Heck, I remember a ballet teacher yelling at one of the girls in my class when I was a kid about how fat girls never became dancers. I wasn't fat back then. Heck, the girl she was yelling at wasn't that fat either. But I digress...

I wasn't ready to give up. A leotard was really the perfect solution for me. I went back to Google and was rewarded with a bunch of websites that sold plus sized dance wear. Sure, most of them were like Amazon. They had a very small selection and their "plus" was not even close to what I needed. Then I found one website that had dance wear up to 3 XL. XXXL leotards! And the size chart even had weights listed. Happy dance time!

I ordered 1 in white. It should be here by the end of the week. Crossing fingers and toes that it works for me. No front butt! Yeah, I'll suddenly have a "beer belly" but if this helps me hold up the apron and maybe even gives me some even compression as I shrink...I have high hopes. I want to support the skin and see if I can encourage it to stay in place as I get smaller. I know I'll have a lot of extra skin, but if I can keep it from hanging to my knees, that would be good.

If this works, I'll post a glowing review of this website. Maybe I can help a few fat dancers along the way. Fat girls can TOO be dancers. You go, twinkle-toes!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Midnight Muffin Incident

I met with my nutritionist at the weight loss clinic today. (Shannon is a total peach. Like her lots!) I was relating my struggles over the last month, particularly a day or two before my period hits. OMG, the cravings and hunger just get completely out-of-control. One night, at midnight, I found myself obsessing about the dozen chocolate chip muffins Tyler picked out at the supermarket (his favorite.) I finally gave in to temptation and ate a muffin in less than 5 minutes. It was so good (and I ate it so fast) that I went for another. Less than 10 minutes later, I had inhaled 2 muffins and was still craving them. I dragged myself away and just went to bed.

Bad bad muffins. Naughty naughty Mommy.

Some hours later I woke needing to pee and found I couldn't move. Every joint in my body was screaming in pain. Agony! I nearly wet the bed struggling to get UP. I had no idea what was going on. I felt fuzzy headed and feverish. And, oh man, the pain was unreal. All over. I barely made it and crawled back to bed thinking I was coming down with something. I had also noticed that my stomach was distended and kind of red and hot to the touch. Weird.

I spent the entire next day in bed, unable to move. I ate nothing and drank only water. John asked me at one point if he should call the doctor and I was seriously thinking about it. I felt B-A-D. But after about 24 hours of rest, I was feeling loads better. Days later, I was still a tad achy, but it was manageable. I found myself wondering about it. It certainly wasn't period related. I didn't have a fever. I wasn't sick, in the normal sense.

Was it...the muffins?! That was the only thing out of the ordinary. All that flour and sugar...could it be? The more I thought about it, the more I realized...that joint ache, bloated, inflamed, blah, sickly feeling was how I used to feel EVERY DAY before I cut refined sugar and flour out of my diet. It was how I always felt, so it was my "normal". I had adapted to it, sadly. But all these months later, suddenly eating 2 chocolate chip muffins in the space of 10 minutes was like, as Shannon said, taking my glucose tolerance test all over again. And I failed. Big time.

It was a light bulb moment today at the clinic. I feel so much better without wheat and sugar in my diet. SO much better.

Bad bad bad muffins. Never again! (And I am down another 3.5 lbs. Go me!)