Woman Within and Advocacy

Earlier this month, I was at a conference that dealt partly with advocacy.  It was very comprehensive and informative and the folks at the OAC (Obesity Action Coalition) did a great job.  http://www.ywmconvention.com/  One thing that I have been paying attention to since I arrived home is how I can be an advocate or a  positive voice for obesity, weight loss surgery, certain conditions, etc in my daily life.  This brings me to the Woman Within magazine.

I started receiving this magazine after I had purchased a plus sized bathing suit in 2008 or so.  I had not paid much attention to the name of the catalog until I continued receiving it after I lost weight.  What does that name mean anyway?  Woman Within?

Woman Within?

To me, it means that they want you to buy clothes so that you can bring out the character of the Woman Within the layers of fat and skin.  There is a woman within that shell, I guess.  It implies that there are no womanly features on the outside.   Within means Inside.  So, I am led to believe that there is a thinner woman on the inside who wants to be more fashionable?

I guess the frustrating part of the whole thing is that I never put a second thought to it when I was obese.   I must have agreed that there was a skinny woman within who wanted a better style.  There are several examples of things like this that only have started to upset me about my past obesity SINCE my weight loss.  Most of these examples deal with how I am treated by other people.

To be honest, as a thin person, people smile at me more.  They talk to me more.  They don’t cut me off in line as often.  (And, when they do cut me off, I speak up more!)  Men give me more attention.  They hold the door for me.  I get sly winks.  I get mail in my “other” inbox on Facebook from random men who think my “smile” is hot.  It’s not fair.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the day.  I guess it is from the Bitch Within.

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So let’s start at the beginning….

You all don’t want to hear how I got to be 200 lbs — do you? To make a long story short, there were fertility drugs and pregnancy losses in there and just plain eating crummy.  I have a blog about the life after pregnancy losses, but here I want to focus on other stuff.

So, one day in April 2010 I went to a seminar about weight loss surgery and the rest is history.  I had to do a 6 month medically supervised diet that turned into like 10 months of jumping through hoops with my HMO.  I swear they wanted me to fail so that they wouldn’t have to pay for it.  Finally, on January 25, 2011 I had surgery on a freezing cold day.  Our furnace died like 2 days before and we bought heaters at Walmart to keep our pipes from freezing.

I went in on a Tuesday morning and by Thursday afternoon (in a blizzard) I was home resting with my Vicodin and the furnace guys. On Saturday morning, the visiting nurse pulled out my drain & I felt a ton better.  By Monday and Tuesday I was rolling around town in my little Jeep buying more yogurt.

And that was the beginning.  It was freezing cold, I could eat about half a yogurt at one sitting, and I was already down to about 180.

(This is a picture of me just before surgery all high and shit. Am I flashing gang signs? I have no idea.)

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