NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

TMI Tuesday…It’s Baaaaaack!

November1

Some of you are bummed, but you’re not alone. I’m bummed, too. I love Tank Top Tuesday. But I received no submissions and I am in far from photographic condition at the moment.

Today’s TMI Tuesday topic is Family Shit *TRIGGER WARNING for family politics and lap band discussion*. Specifically, my family shit and recent developments. Nothing not safe for work that I can think of. Please share your thoughts and experiences in comments; as always this is where the action happens! Ha-ha! If you know me, are a member of my family or would simply rather not know about my family issues, I ask that you please come back on another day. Thank you so much! =0)

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Some back story: My dad and his wife are fat. This is his second wife. I believe my dad has high blood pressure, cholesterol, not sure what else, but also a very big belly. He’s a school bus driver and believe me the perfect career for him. He loves kids and is a beyond safe driver. His wife has diabetes type 2 and hepatitis, but I’m not sure which type. I have very little contact with them presently due to the endless lies and manipulations I get from his wife and the fact that he goes along with anything and everything she says and does no matter how ridiculous. At one point my entire family did not talk to me for three years and was left out of my sister’s wedding because of her lies. Her story kept changing, too. I kept asking why and I kept getting a new story. I don’t believe that I have ever done anything at all to offend this woman. In fact I let her legally adopt me as an adult as a gesture to her and my dad. Ugh!

So last week I get a bit of a frantic instant message from my sister asking that I talk to our parents because they are being pressured by Kaiser to get the Lap Band in order for them to lose weight. *HeadDesk* I knew they had been considering it and that Kaiser was all gung-ho about it, but hadn’t heard anything in awhile. Also I am not talking to them because of the above bullshit. So I write them an email for my sister and hopefully to give them some informational resources so that they can make an informed decision rather than just doing what they’re being told to do by Kaiser.

I am writing to you out of the blue because my sister is very concerned about both of you possibly getting weight loss surgery/lap band.
I understand that you are both adults and if you want to risk your lives for vanity’s sake, that is your prerogative. But might I ask who will care for you both while you’re recovering? What changes have you made in your lifestyle prior to considering such drastic measures?
You see, people keep dying from these procedures but it’s not in the news because of corporate control. This may sound like a crazy concept, but it’s true. Pharmaceutical companies not only pay a lot of money for their marketing -if only they spent that amount on actual research and trials- but they also sponsor medical schools and hospitals. Kaiser’s “preventative” medicine is a load of garbage. They are preying upon your fears, and it sounds like they are doing fabulously at it.
If you do any research on the subject you’ll find that there is little to no follow up on patients after one year. When they do get in touch you find mostly unhappy and very ill people. People who cannot go a single day without vomiting. People who have had more surgeries as a result of the first. Lap bands slipping or worse, growing in and around organs. People who have had to spent 6-9 months in bed because they can’t manage more.
The truth is that most gain back all of the weight they had originally lost and then some. Top that with the added health issues caused by the procdure and you’re trading this huge risk, your health and possibly your life…for nothing.
Lap Band nor WLS will not cure any of your current health conditions. Don’t believe me? I urge you to check out http://www.lindabacon.org/HAESbook/index.html it’s written by a local expert, Linda Bacon PHD, it has changed my life and improved my health.
That is what this is about, right? HEALTH? Because if it’s for anything else, you’ve been bought/sold/paid for long ago and nothing anyone says will prevent you from doing this. If that is the case, so be it. Just say the word and you won’t hear from me again.
I happen to be a bit of an expert on being fat. Funny thing, I’m also healthy. It’s not an oxymoron. It’s more common than you’ll ever know because we’ve all been marketed into feeling shame and guilt over our bodies by the 64 billion dollar diet industry. I feel no shame or guilt for my body. I’m fat. I’m healthy and happy. Our bodies are not perfect thermodynamic machines. It’s not a case of calories in versus calories out. It’s never been. We are complex masses of neurons and whatnot. If you want to feel better, get healthy and stop hating your bodies? Read “Health At Every Size.” It is not a diet book in any way. It is about listening to and trusting your body to do what it already knows how to do. It is about re-connecting with your own instincts and body and getting to a healthier you.
Doctors in my opinion, are a bunch of ignorant, power-hungry, greedy assholes. They get all of 20-30 hours of nutritional training…I’ve had more than that. They see fat as a disease. Funny, fat people have been around for thousands of years in all areas of the planet in all aspects of class/wealth. Why is it suddenly a disease? Because they changed the Body Mass Index a few years ago and overnight a million people went from normal to overweight or obese. The word obese alone is ignorant and filled with hate. Obese directly translates: To over eat. Yet I don’t over eat. Studies have shown that most fat people <in the medical world will always be known as obese, the bastards> in fact eat less than their average sized peers. What’s up with that?
Stigma. That is what is up with that. Stigma, hate, guilt, shame, ignorance….The American way, no?
In  the end it’s all up to you. But My sister is very upset and wants y’all to live long and healthy lives. Only you can choose the healthy option. Only you can seek the truth underneath all of this bullshit marketing. Once you set back and see it for what it actually is, you’ll see that the problem wasn’t what you were told all along. It was never your fat.
And before you even go there, yes I know that for every “lap band kills” article there is a “OMG my life is awesome because of lap band” article. You  have to get to the actual science/studies. Follow the money/sponsorships and the truth is there.
Some blogs that will help or get you headed in the right direction:
http://suethsayings.blogspot.com/ 
Anything on this one: http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/
But these would be a good start:
http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2007/02/selling-elective-surgery.html
http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2007/10/jfs-special-latest-research-on-actual.html
http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2008/09/no-evidence-that-bariatric-surgeries.html
Feel free to hit me up for more links/resources. I have friends who are best selling authors on the subject.
I just hope that you make a fully informed decision.

My dad did not respond, as per usual, his wife did:

Dad appreciates your opinions. But as we said in an earlier email, it is for health reasons & physical reasons, NOT VANITY. I could care less about the damned body mass index. You are right there. It’s a load of crap. What I want is the physical ability to do things I’ve not done in years, square dance, roller skate ( I used to be a very good skater) throw a baseball with Dad & eventually Daniel. I want to reduce my diabetic medications & NOT become insulin dependent. That is important to me. For Dad it’s a day free of knee, back & ankle pain. Fewer pain killers, fewer other daily medications. To be able to NOT hurt walking or going up the stairs of his bus, or even the steps at home.
We will go through the classes we need to attend, get all the information possible & finish the process of education.
And so today I responded with this:

You say it’s for health, but the lap band only makes your stomach smaller. It won’t magically make you lose weight or improve your health. It’s also banned in most European countries due to the horrible “success” rates.

If you feel that you overeat to the point where you lose control, perhaps you should consider seeing a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. Because that is what overeating is. A lap band will not change that. It will make you feel sick, it will make you vomit if you eat even a little too much.

But it will not improve your health or mobility issues AT ALL. If you can’t square dance and things like that now, how do you suppose the lap band will change this? I’m talking about the science part here. How can forcing you to eat less suddenly make you feel better or move around more? Are you prepared for the very long and complicated road to recovery…just to get back to normal?

I urge you to talk to actual people outside of Kaiser who have had this exact procedure and ask them what it feels like, what the recovery is like, what has helped and what has hurt them as a result of getting the lap band.

If you honestly believe you eat so much that the only way you will ever get healthier and become more mobile  /maybe ask yourselves why you stopped doing the things you want to do again in the first place\   please consider a therapist first. They can help you change your relationship with food. Also the book I mentioned in my last email, again, has helped me and so many people regain trust in their bodies and heal their relationship with food.

But please think about this. Because scientifically, it makes no sense at all. Would you restrict and otherwise healthy kidney? Liver? Pancreas? So why your stomach? What has your stomach done to specifically fail you? I just don’t understand the point, ya know?

As for dad’s pain, have you considered eastern medicine? I’ve had wonderful results from acupuncture when I had horrible back pain from a job I once had. I’m going to go back for my knee pain and I have no doubt that it will help. Again, how can restricting your food intake help with this?

Oh, well. I won’t bother you about this again.

It is very frustrating. But I feel a bit of relief having gotten it off my chest a bit. By not talking to them for awhile I realized that I had never told them about fat acceptance/liberation. How could I? My dad freaked out when I told him I couldn’t eat red meat anymore. I mean FREAKED OUT!!! You’d have thought I told him I was a cannibal. So yeah, fat acceptance wasn’t a forthcoming topic. As an activist it was extra hard. I would probably have a much easier time talking to a complete stranger about this stuff, in fact I have and so I know it was. Ha-ha!

I am not really looking for critiques on my above emails since they’ve already been sent. I may have been wrong on some of the info, no worries. They won’t look any further than their own backyard for information. They don’t give a shit about my opinion or facts or science. They have been duped, plain and simple. My issues with them run far deeper than I can get into just now. But getting this lap band shit out in the open will help me. Keeping it to myself has been difficult, especially when so many of you have been so supportive of me through some tough imes. Thank you for that and for being you!

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14 Comments to

“TMI Tuesday…It’s Baaaaaack!”

  1. On November 1st, 2011 at 8:48 pm Jen Says:

    This sounds like a super complicated relationship with your dad and his wife but go you for even bothering to write those emails at all. Hopefully some of it will be heard.

  2. On November 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Jen: Thank you, I hope so too.

  3. On November 1st, 2011 at 8:58 pm annabanapants Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that both your dad and step-mom suffer from serious banana-in-ear-itis, and therefore cannot hear what you are saying.

    I do salute your attempt to give them some real information, and hope you can continue to do so well. Some of my relatives seem to inhabit a similar realm of unreality, so you have my deepest sympathies.

    Keep up the good work, and know that even if you aren’t able to enact positive changes in their lives, you are being a positive influence in others (such as mine).

    Take care, continue awesomeness.

  4. On November 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 am Not Blue at All Says:

    annabanapants: Thanks, hun. I gotta do what I can, right?

  5. On November 1st, 2011 at 9:11 pm thirtiesgirl Says:

    As I’ve shared a bit here, I know from experience that families are complicated things. What I’m a bit puzzled by here, though, is why you wrote to your dad and step-mom about WLS when it seems to be your sister’s concern. I don’t mean to imply that you’re unconcerned for your dad and step-mom’s health and well being and unconcerned about the fact that they’re considering WLS. But your sister brought her concern to you and asked you to communicate with family members who have been far less than supportive to you… and I don’t understand why.

    I can guess at the answer: that your sister probably thought you were the best person to write to your dad and step-mom about this issue because you’re the size activist in the family; you’ve done the research and know how to talk about this stuff But here’s why I’m puzzled: why couldn’t your sister have solicited this info from you and written to your dad and step-mom herself? If her concern was so overwhelming she felt she needed to bring it up with them, why didn’t she do it herself, after getting the info from you? And why didn’t you tell her to do it?

    Again, I can guess at the answer: we need and want our families and what support we believe is still possible to get from them. I used to do it all the time. No matter how poorly my mother treated me, how emotionally neglectful she was of me, I still went back for more. I still tried to communicate with her, still tried to forge an equal relationship of sharing and openness with her… and never got anything in return. So I’d shut down, get angry, disconnect from my family for a bit, and eventually reach a place where I could at least have a civil phone conversation with my mom, but on surface matters only. Any discussion of emotional issues, what was *really* going on with either of us, was not to be had, could not be tolerated. The only way my mother and I can exist in a relationship together is to keep it at pleasantries, fakeries (“how are you doing?” “fine, just fine”) and nothing deeper than that. …And yet, I’d forget. That desire for something deeper, more meaningful, more connecting would show up and I’d try again to have it, to mean something more to my mother than just a reflection of her. I needed my mom in ways that she was unavailable to me. And that need has never gone away.

    But in the past few years, I’ve become more accepting of the way things are between my mother and I, and I’ve stopped trying to have the kind of relationship with her that I can’t have. That’s not to say I’m happy about the way things are, but I spend less time being sad, angry and upset because I’ve made yet another failed attempt to get the thing I most want but know I won’t get. My mother and I have far fewer arguments. …But then again, we talk far less than we used to. I don’t have a constant need to call her every other week like I used to, still trying to find some kind of connection. I’m calmer now.

    Which is why I think it would have been more helpful for you to let your sister talk to your dad and step-mom about the WLS issue. Strengthened by information from you and your knowledge of the dangers of WLS, yes. But I think it would have been more strengthening to continue to change the steps of the age-old dance you’ve been in with your family and step out of this issue, letting your sister take the lead since it was her idea.

    Until your dad reaches a point where he realizes that his wife has put a wedge between him and you, his daughter, and decides to take steps to change that, your family dynamic will stay the same. Especially if you keep trying for a connection that, right now, he doesn’t know how to make on his own. I deeply hope that one day he gets there. But I think it would cause you a lot less heartbreak if you continue to maintain a healthy distance from your family until they’re ready to make the changes they need to make. It’s their turn to make a decision and hopefully make a positive change, and no amount of concern or need on your part is going to make it happen any faster.

  6. On November 2nd, 2011 at 10:38 am Not Blue at All Says:

    thirtiesgirl: Have you ever had someone put into words what you never could? You just did that and rocked my world, lady. Wow! Yes on most of your points. The thing is that I’ve been endlessly accused of shit I never did and that pisses me off. I’m a big “Why” person, but with her I know I’ll never get that answer. Once I realized that, I walked away. I have no emotions left for them. But then my sister asks me to write to them. I think she did try to talk to them about this, but she’s the “baby” and rarely gets taken seriously. Also, I’ve got more experience and knowledge on the matter…but you’re right. I get it. I am just getting to know my sister again after being black balled for so long that I’m afraid of losing her again. We’re nine years apart and it’s like we’re almost strangers. So I let her walk on me a bit, but I can handle it and I can say when enough is enough. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. Funny thing, I haven’t seen or spoken to my birth mother since I was 16, I was considering contacting her the other day to ask about mental and health history…but I think I’ll throw that idea out the window. Life is just too fucking short to waste on wasters. Thank you!!! *Hugs* And if you’re ever in the bay area, do hit me up, I’d love to hug you in person.

  7. On November 1st, 2011 at 11:10 pm Lauren Says:

    Wow, that’s hardcore. Even if you have had a rocky relationship with them, I doubt you would want to stand by and revel in the fall out of such an ill informed choice. It kinda makes my dealing with my dad’s angst seem like small fry. I’m doing better at not letting him get to me, but it is still hard some days. Good vibes your way!
    I need to get a good camera so I can start sending you ootd. I was sleeveless this Sunday! It was rad to get that in before the weather turned.

  8. On November 2nd, 2011 at 10:38 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Lauren: Ooh! I’d love pics of you for the blog or just you know, for whatever. You amaze me!

  9. On November 2nd, 2011 at 7:28 am Cia Says:

    I have totally been meaning to submit my arms to Tank Top Tuesday, but kept putting it off. Next time I wear something sleeveless I won’t be so shy. But I really like your TMI Tuesdays, so it’s good that they alternate. 😉
    The constellation with father and stepmother and these issues is really familiar to me. My father and stepmother are not really fat, but the way they talk with contempt about their own and others bodies (and my when I’m not listening, no doubt) makes me not want to visit them so much.
    When my father saw himself dancing with me in my wedding video he exclaimed: “I need to lose 20 kilos!!!”. He was talking about himself, but it made me feel horrible as I am both wider and taller than him. That was over a year ago and the last time we visited.
    It was really inspiring to read the letters to your parental unit, because I know I’m going to have to have a similar conversation with them. So thank you for that. 🙂 And good luck with future interactions with your family. You’re not alone in needing that!

  10. On November 2nd, 2011 at 10:43 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Cia: One thing that took me awhile to see and to stop getting hurt by is that people see themselves through a very different lens than they see others. It’s true that when you judge yourself you tend to judge others, too, but my point is that your dad’s 20 kilos comment truly had nothing to do with you. He sees himself a very specific way in his head, so when he sees on video that it’s not quite the same image: freak out! It happens to everyone. I’m sorry that it caused you distress, but I think you participating in fat acceptance/liberation means that you are already working on you and feeling better about yourself. Believe me, that joy spreads! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Feel free to drop me a line if you have questions or just need some moral support. *Hugs*

  11. On November 3rd, 2011 at 6:30 am Heather Says:

    I would say it needs a trigger warning- I skipped over some stuff because I just couldn’t stand to read it. Blarg.. next time maybe you can send your sister the information with a nice “*you* talk to them”.

  12. On November 3rd, 2011 at 9:59 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Heather: I believe she has talked to them before and was simply frustrated with their response. She’s the “baby” and tends not to be taken as seriously as me. Funny thing, she’s the only one of us who went to college…go figure. I will put a trigger warning, thank you.

  13. On November 4th, 2011 at 11:44 am Amanda Says:

    I think the only hard thing for me is that with my dad’s family I still live a double life of sorts. It isn’t like they don’t know about the work I do, its on facebook and the web, they just pretend it doesn’t exist. It is like if I hated my body and was popping out babies they would suddenly be interested in my life.

  14. On November 4th, 2011 at 11:55 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Amanda: Ah, that sucks. I’m so sorry. But you can’t allow their ignorance, willful or not, to hold you back or down. *hugs*

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