First Things First…Dieting Advice

So…This wasn’t how I was going to start my first day of the blog but since it needs to be addressed I will address it as such. I did not start this blog to gather dieting advice. I love to hear from everyone on what has worked for them and what they have tried in order to succeed in their goals. I am very PROUD that you are making your life work. I have started this blog to chronicle MY journey of weight loss, to discuss what has and hasn’t worked for me. NOT to solicit advice to to hear what I am doing wrong. I appreciate you telling me what I could do, but if I have told you that I have done it, please do not keep pushing it in my face to try something. You are going to start sounding like a broken record and generally going to stat to bug me.

I am GLAD that your diet worked for you

I most likely HAVE tried your diet and it either DIDN’T work for me or it sounded like something I DIDN’T think I wanted to try

I WILL be going into detail on the various diets I HAVE and HAVE NOT tried and hopefuly getting stories from people that they have worked for and not worked for so that you guys have a wide range of views

But in case you did not read the ABOUT section or the Welcome To My World post my journey is steadily going towards gastric sleeve surgery and is going to be focusing on my life pre and post op. Along with the issues surrounding weight loss with auto immune diseases, binge eating disorder and mental health problems.

As I have said I LOVE to hear from ALL of you so please keep an open mind, an open heart and stop knocking on my door with your dietary guidebook in your hand. Because  I will answer naked with a handful of pita chips and tell you I do not believe in the beach body you are selling.

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Skin Envy

Ever since I wrote this I have been completely taken aback at the impact it has had on my life. As a disabled 32 year old that is still figuring everything out, you have given me the platform to speak about something that I feel is really important to a lot of people.

*This article was originally published in Elephant Journal. I was blessed to have had it make such a difference in the lives of the people that have read it. The link to it is at the bottom of the post. Please Enjoy. Share. Comment*

I have been having some bad days lately. Days where looking at the reflection of myself in the glass of buildings have made me cringe. I have fallen into a spiral, a struggle that I know I fight everyday.

Ever since I wrote this I have been completely taken aback at the impact it has had on my life. As a disabled 32 year old that is still figuring everything out, you have given me the platform to speak about something that I feel is really important to a lot of people.

I have received the kindest words, the most inspirational stories and the sweetest thank yous. From men in their twenties to women in their forties, teenage bloggers who have had a life harder than most should to people just overcoming their weight issues; my story has run the gamut of international emotions. And on days like today, when I can barely move, it is those stories that inspire me to write more. To smile and know that I have fulfilled one of my childhood dreams of touching the lives of people and making a difference.

So there you go, my diatribe. I would love for any of you to read my story and pass it along to those you think need it even if they don’t know it yet.

there is more of me to put out there, and I am finally brave enough to try.

Skin Envy

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Like a Fat Kid Loves Cake (part 2)

I had a lap band placed in 2013, the Friday before Mothers day. I worked my ass off to get that lap band. I went through the program and got told I had to stop because I was in an outpatient program. I started again once I was cut of that program and went through 6 months of exercise and getting ready for surgery. I lost 32 pounds before surgery. By my bandaversay I had lost a total of 83 pounds

*An abbreviated ending to the story…And obviously my story isn’t over. Not even close. I suppose this puts me at about December 2015* 

I never finished my story of my weight loss and gain, I never really thought about updating this page. I was stalling. I was ignoring. I was trying to come up with a different excuse not to write here at al, but I stopped running out of words. Because I’m scared. Because I a sick of who I am. I am tired of sitting straight up so my boobs aren’t too heavy on my heart. I will catch you up as quickly as I can.

I had a lap band placed in 2013, the Friday before Mothers day. I worked my ass off to get that lap band. I went through the program and got told I had to stop because I was in an outpatient program. I started again once I was cut of that program and went through 6 months of exercise and getting ready for surgery. I lost 32 pounds before surgery. By my bandaversay I had lost a total of 83 pounds.

 

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Then the downward spiral happened. There was a custody battle, I was in the hospital very sick… Yet, I was still doing ok. I had a new bf, my old one still lived with me, as well as his son. I went through long periods of time with my head somewhere is should have been. I pushed through, went about my life, broke up with my other half and turned the stress level down yet I kept getting sick. But the sick didn’t stop. I couldn’t hold down food, I couldn’t look at food without throwing up. I had pain, I was not doing well. I had tests done.

They pulled out my Mirena because they found I had an allergy to progesterone. Then did every scan they could on my gall bladder, including  an endoscopy we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I had discussed with my surgeon turning the band into a sleeve a while back, I thought this would actually help in my weight loss and healthiness. When they found nothing with my gallbladder we set a date for a band removal. I did it right before Pixies birthday. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant.

It wasn’t the lap band, it was I was pregnant. I lost the baby in June. It was most likely the anesthesia.

I mourned, parts of me still are in mourning. I had lost so much over the past few years and now this. Now my little one. It was not ok, I was not ok. I had to get healthy. So I wanted a month, watched the video to get back into the program and had just started it. I was 305 pounds.

By the time everything was in place, I hadn’t seen the nutritionist yet or the exercise physiologists but I saw the psych. Who after 2 classes and no gym time at all decided that I couldn’t be part of the program. I wish I had a happier ending to that story but I don’t The doctor said that I relied too much on the surgery to get better. Which is bullshit and my surgeon knew it. I got two letters in the mail and had an appointment with the doc and yup that was it. I was not even allowed into the nonsurgical program.

So there you go…I buried my sorrows the way any fat kid does…..in cake.

My BMI was over 60

This shrink didn’t care about my health

I felt very alone….

 

Like a Fat Kid Loves Cake (part 1)

…Why can’t it be like a fat kid loves green beans, or like a fat kid likes sushi. There are lots of things fat kids like to eat, other than cake. I should know, I have been one most of my life In fact a lot of skinny people I know LOVE cake, and soda, waaaay more than the fat kids do.

*This was written over a year ago, it is a glimpse into my past and my struggle with weight throughout the years*

 

…Why can’t it be like a fat kid loves green beans, or like a fat kid likes sushi? There are lots of things fat kids like to eat, other than cake. I should know, I have been one most of my life, In fact, a lot of skinny people I know LOVE cake, and soda, way more than the fat kids do. This saying has always had a double-edged sword protruding out of it and there is no way to get rid of it until the positive body image movement happens, which in reality I don’t see happening anytime soon.

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As I type this I have just finished a rather large meal of gorgeous steak with a rather large loaded potato and now am watch my songbird and my charming bake boozy cupcakes whilst I fiddle away at the keys. I am not to blame when it comes to using inappropriate terms, nor am I one to turn around and say “Well, since I am a chubby gal I can say it and you can’t”. I’m not THAT kind of narcissist”. I keep calling this my “last fat kid weekend”, my final fiesta before I head back on the path toward my weight-loss journey that I started so many years ago. But why don’t we start at the beginning? Before the neurosis and binge eating disorder, before the surgeries and body dysmorphia. There was a little girl. And I do mean little girl.

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I grew up in NYC for most of my life, raised by a Puerto Rican and a Scot. Now I have a HUGE family (of whom I spend more time with my PR side) and they love to eat. I grew up in a world full of food. I was a dancer, a softball player and as one of the ONLY girls in an apartment building I biked and climbed and ran and jumped and skinned my knees on concrete for at least an hour or two a day. Looking back at pictures of me as a child I would not in the least call me heavy, but I was always body conscious. It had been that way from a young age, wearing tee-shirts over my swimsuits or shorts, always being “sure” I wanted to put that last bite of food in my mouth, blousing out my shirts so my nonexistent belly didn’t show. Things were always a bit too big then just fitting a bit tight. It didn’t help that I developed a chest early and that it grew fast and furious.

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I went to a private school, where if you weren’t popular you were treated like crap and since I went on scholarship I wasn’t popular. And they would tease me, for being ugly to fat to everything else they could think of. The funny part was a lot of them were bigger than I was, but I still was not that body conscious I wasn’t prepared for the real world I guess. The real world started happening when I was about 9. When I was 9 years old, they thought I had cancer, after major testing and so forth they found out I had Graves Disease. Graves disease is a form of Hypothyroidism. Now for all you non-medical people out there, your thyroid controls your metabolism and all that good jazz, so when your thyroid is hypo you are under-producing the hormone needed to run that machine smoothly, leading to weight gain, fatigue, and many other bothersome symptoms. I was to be put on medications and closely monitored. Well, I was fine for a bit, that year I started to sleep away camp and found a best friend, who was skinnier that anything (naturally) and the only reason I was like was because of her, and the next year of school (sixth grade) went by so slowly because my medication seemed off. I started getting hives, swelling up for no reason…something was wrong. The doctors played with my meds and as an effort to kill the hives Benadryl and prednisone were introduced to my body. And I blew up. Now if you have ever taken prednisone you know what will happen, if not just think about the hungriest you have ever been and multiple that by like Gremlin after midnight and there you go. I gained I can’t tell you how much weight on my small frame. It was not a good year for me.

 

As far as I remember it that was the year a few things happened, I put my hands and arms through one of those reinforced wired windows at school while trying to open it, my mom signed me up for therapy which  and I started to binge. Now I never liked shopping for clothes unless I was with my GK. GK never picked at me, she let me go through clothes at my own pace and she just got me when it came to clothes. It was the year I was in sixth grade that I would wait until everyone was asleep and sneak into the kitchen and eat what I could, I snuck things into my bedroom, I would hide and eat everywhere I went. I was just hungry all the time and even if it was a healthy snack I would hide it and at dinner, I would eat and eat until I was uncomfortable or until my mother gave me the look. That summer at camp was a lot harder for me, that awkward age between 10 and 11, boys just really noticing you, my best friend have too many boyfriends and me just wanting to be kissed I was by no means a blimp but I had put on the pounds. My asthma was not good and the hives still came back all the time. Constant infirmary visits.

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Between 11 and the summer I turned 13 I went through a lot. I was now in a public school, the same one my best friend went too. I was beginning to be aware of my own body and get very uncomfortable around it. I was realizing that I may not only be attracted to guys (which made the locker rooms a really odd place for me). My friends were all smaller. My hives were so bad I was on a constant stream of steroids and my mother would sit by my bed at night to make sure my throat didn’t close up. We would fight constantly because of my body or my clothes. That summer the doctor that made a decision that would change my whole life, a decision I wish I had more say in, that maybe that had gone about a different way or waited just a little bit longer because it wouldn’t be till soon after that that research would emerge about the side effects. That summer the removed my thyroid.

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Now Thyroid surgery is a big deal if they take out part of your thyroid you are usually better for the long term but since they had to remove all of mine (because they were convinced it was causing the hives…it wasn’t) my whole world changed. You see there has been a proven link between thyroid removal and the switch that keeps the circuit of mental illness at bay. it is like the thin sheet of plastic between the baking soda and vinegar in a homemade volcano, everything is peachy but pull the plastic and KABOOM!!!! I immediately lost all of the weight from the steroids because of the recovery in the hospital, got my first kiss (from my first crush since I was like a year old) and all was well….kinda. I walked back into school that year feeling like a new girl, I was in the 8th grade ready to take my tests for HS and on new meds and actually feeling better. But it didn’t matter, the kids hadn’t gotten any nicer (but I noticed it more, it hurt more), my mother got pickier (so I ate more, It hurt more) and I was getting bigger (everyone told me I was nuts, but I could see it in the mirror). That year, I lined up and took pills in plain site of an entire cafeteria full of students during breakfast and no one noticed me. (But that is a whole other story in a whole other post). I couldn’t wait to get out of that school. I tried fad diets and all sorts of shit the teen magazines were peddling but at that point, I was just me, and I figured hey this is what I am stuck with, better deal with it. (When I graduated JHS I was a size 12)

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Now we are going to speed through high school because high school was a very up and down point in my life, but that falls more on the mental side of things. I was still binge eating, only now it wouldn’t be hiding it just from my mother, it was from certain friends (like the ones you think are friends but put you down because they want to take your bf or are using you for something). When I started HS I was a size 10, I got called fat. I got told I should hide my *insert body part here*. When I graduated HS (After a year of being on bed rest and being in and out of the hospital) I was a size 16. The names never changed.

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Welcome to my World

It’s 1145pm on Sunday, July 10th and I have sat here for a good hour staring at my computer trying to figure out what the hell to type to welcome you to my world. My words may come up as snarky or crass sometimes, but hey at least I am honest. So on that note…let’s get this party started.

It’s 1145pm on Sunday, July 10th and I have sat here for a good hour staring at my computer trying to figure out what the hell to type to welcome you to my world. My words may come up as snarky or crass sometimes, but hey at least I am honest. So on that note…let’s get this party started.

If you have read the ABOUT section then you would know that my name is Shaina and I have two wonderful awesome kiddos. You will see pictures of them at some point. They keep me on my toes or at least they do their best to. At this current moment in time, I am 5’5 and weigh roughly 317 pounds. Which means I have gained 4 pounds since the last time I weighed myself at the doctor….Fuck. That is how I feel about that.

My weight loss journey has had many ups and downs which will be chronicled in great detail (as I have written it out as such) in another post and currently I am speeding along towards my decision to have gastric sleeve surgery. My surgery will be taking place sometime between the end of the Summer and the beginning of the Fall. With the surgery, I am hoping that I not only gain control of my weight loss and energy levels but that I also gain some more control over any of the 5 autoimmune diseases my body is wracked with. Fingers crossed as I know this is not a miracle cure for anything, I have very realistic goals, but one can hope for little things to fall into place.

Over the course of all my writing, I hope to gain some insight into other people’s experiences, I hope to become more self-aware and mindful and I hope to be able to be a touchstone to all of you going through the journey as well.

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