Monday, December 13, 2010

'How much weight have you lost now?'


The lowest I have been so far since the surgery was 105. I'm currently 108.5. I started at 112.5.

I stopped posting numbers all the time because I felt like I was putting a lot of pressure on myself about it that might not have been particularly helpful to the whole process. I find posting numbers very motivating when I am losing and very demotivational when I am not losing. So if I don't feel great about my numbers, I won't post them. At the very least, I've managed to weigh myself once per week or less which is better than back at the start where I was doing it multiple times per day.

It's been very hard to avoid the temptation to engage in dieting behaviours - sometimes I wonder if I just should. Then again, define 'dieting behaviours'... I do believe that the implant has made it so much easier to maintain the same weight, if not lose weight. It's not been for null.

Day 164

Back to basics.

I want to be somewhere between 70 and 90 kilograms – a comfortable size 14. Knowing my body and seeing the bodies of the women in my family I don’t think it would be realistic for me to expect my body to be smaller than this. I still consider myself chubby at this weight as opposed to say, words like ‘thin’ or ‘lean’ but this feels like the right weight for my body and I feel my best at this weight. At this weight, issues like reflux and joint stiffness in the morning resolve themselves.

I want to be fit, alert, and have energy. Regular medium to high impact exercise gives me this.

I want to feel good in my body as a result of the foods that I eat. My body feels best when I am eating leans meats, vegetables and not too many carbohydrates or sugars. I have concluded that I have some issues with carb addiction/cravings – it is easier for me to eat an appropriate amount of food for my body and to eat better foods when I do not have carbohydrate cravings.

Too much alcohol stuffs around with my feelings of clarity and control over carb cravings.

Too much weed stuffs around with my energy and my feelings of positivity.

Everything else is just detritus, things left over from the past, failed dieting attempts and bad experiences I’ve tied up with my fat. I can take those things, try my best to understand them, and pack them away. They will always be a part of me, but they are not me. My body isn’t a problem. My body is a gift.

You can ask me anything.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Days 161 - 163

When S first left Australia, I was still working in my uni job. To visit, it was necessary for me to get an extra job, I went back to waitressing, to lose the weight I’d gained while he was in Australia AND to save the money to go see him in Germany (and here might be where you really begin to appreciate that consideration of my weight infuses almost every part of my life). I worked with a surprising amount of Germans at this waitressing job – a higher end, but casual, restaurant attached to a higher end, by casual, pub in the city. Mostly business people (read: solicitors from top tier firms) and douchey twenty-somethings there to have something over priced to eat before they drink the night away.

Recently, almost a year since I finished up at that job, through one of the German wait staff, after her return home and via facebook, I was linked with 2 more German boys – both 20 years old, from Dresden and in Australia for one year. Young, dumb, full of cum. Beautiful, warm boys.

My old workmate wanted me to take these boys out to some nice places, maybe show them around a little. She gave me a short list of examples of nice places I should take them. But to be honest nice places aren’t really my bag. So I took them to The Victory, Downunder Bar and (hilariously!) the German Club instead.

Tonight was their last night in town – they’re headed up North with another friend from Dresden in a camper, then onward – so to top it all off we took them to karaoke at the Brunswick, in New Farm.

A guy who reminded me of one of the slimier lawyers I’ve worked with in the past put the crack on (if you could call it that). Pasty, shaved head, rubbery lips and a cheap suit. He opened by suggesting he had seen me at the races that day, which on a level was patently ridiculous being that I was at this point in a pub in boots, tights and a pleather jacket I’d clearly not worn to the races. No, he hadn’t seen my red lipstick and black hair running through the rain that day with my heels in my hands. Somehow he seemingly seamlessly segued into a crack about me being a ‘shemale’ and placed his hand over my vulva to ‘check’ that I ‘didn’t have a dick’. The thing that absolutely blows my mind is that all this ‘material’ was delivered to me with a warm smile, in the style of a come on.

I freeze and my eyes open wide.

He has made another joke. He is laughing. He puts his hand back on me briefly and then takes it off again.

I tell him, tersely, that he is not to touch me like that and that it’s incredibly rude to touch someone’s vagina without invite (what?). He apologised. I did not walk away. I do not want to make too much of a fuss.

I did not walk away.

I do not want to make too much of a fuss.

I did not walk away.

He starts talking to me about shaving. How? How the fuck did we come to be speaking about this?

Maybe I don’t want to drink anymore for a while.

He asks me if I am shaved. I am evasive. He asks me if my boyfriend prefers me shaved.

He is trying to confirm if I am available.

I laugh, I tell him my S is German and German guys shave. ‘Hey, look at this’, I take two steps and lift the arm of one of the German boys and I pull his sleeve to expose his smooth armpit.

When I turn back he has already moved on, he is engaged with one of his party. I am relieved to be disengaged from him.

The German boy with the naked armpit is confused as to why I have displayed him in this way. I explain to him briefly what has happened. He tells the two other boys and they are angry but businesslike – they want to hurt him. I tell them no, Br has already gone to tell the security guard and get him kicked out. This is better, because he will be gone and he boys will not put themselves at risk.

He is outside, he is smoking. I point him out to the boys.

The security guard is in front of me. He is letting me know that he has told this man that if it happens again there will be a problem. The security guard is gone.

I know the security guard, I have met him at closing at the Vic before, he used to work there, he is a friend of Br’s.

The boys are determined that something will happen. They are my security, they say.

I agree that if there is no stopping them then we will all have to leave straight after. I leave with Br to bring the car around so we can leave hastily.

When the boys exit through the front they are not rushing. There has been no fight. They confronted rubber lips and he said it was an accident. A female patron intervened.

I find myself explaining, as if providing a cultural tidbit as their mandated Australian guide, that this does not surprise me and this is not the first time that something like this has happened.

A friend mentioned to me the other day that a girl that he knows was assaulted when she was a minor by someone around my age now. I talk to him about what will be involved legally, incentives and disincentives that she might consider about taking a legal path, we agree that if any action is to be taken to bring this person to a punitive measure direct action is probably most effective. I confirm that many female lawyers do not believe they would not make a complaint of rape. I confirm that I have chosen not to make a complaint about sexual assault in the past.

Sometimes you can’t find any words. I am not a person this happens to often. But when this happens I cannot find words. I am simultaneously disgusted and completely unsurprised, resigned. Different male people have put their hands on my body uninvited so many times in public spaces, as if with no contemplation of rebuff. It’s this sense of entitlement that shocks, appalls and immobilises me. It terrifies me that these persons might act in such a way because they believe that I will not consider myself to be in a position to be picky about how I might receive attention.

How can this happen to me?

I think I am so fearless. I think I am so strong?

I did not walk away.

Happiness, Todd Solondz (1998). Camryn Manheim as Kristina talks about how she hates sex. She confides the story of her rape, eating directly from a pack of ice cream. She is a deer in headlights. I’m not sure that he doesn’t think he is giving her something she would never say no to, so he is unable to recognise or understand her lack of willingness for what it is. She is quietly distressed. She struggles little.

Are fat female bodies more likely to be subject to invasion in this way? I have assumed that I would feel more entitled to defend myself if I was thinner. I could be absolutely wrong.

You can ask me anything.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Days 158 - 160

A client is screaming at me. She doesn't understand that I'm not her enemy. She is crying. She has no food, no money for food, two children. I ask her if she would like a referral. She screams at me with more vigor. She shouldn't have to go to a charity.

She is under 50kg and if this isn't sorted out soon she'll end up back in hospital again.

I wonder if she can hear my fat over the phone. She's still screaming.

You can ask me anything.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Days 148 - 157

I haven’t forgotten about you.

I’ve had all of this swirling ambivalence. The same things again: One the one hand, intellectual, feminist, fat acceptance. On the other, concerns about youth, beauty and leanness which seem so legitimate because they come from what feels like such a primal, natural place, where things make sense just because they are so and for no other reason.

But isn’t that the real magic of patriarchy? It’s ability to convince you that it doesn’t exist.

It’s been quite a few years since I wanted to be thin. I’m not sure what came first, realising that fat girls are just as beautiful, or realising that I would never be a thin girl. It probably doesn’t matter.

Ainsley Crowhurst is the name of the girl who first made me consider the possibility that I did not need to be thin to be beautiful and I wish I knew where she was so I could thank her. In my mind it seems so much more likely that she is somewhere else, somewhere interesting and beautiful.

It occurs to me that it’s not my responsibility to be a role model of any kind. I want only to reassure you that the things you feel are normal and you are not alone. We are both moving toward happiness as best we can with the resources available to us.

Sometimes people will make you feel like you should have already reached a certain destination. Maybe mine is fat acceptance. But it’s ok that I can’t hold myself out to you as a glowing example of FA. I am what I am at this point, just like you. I’m not willing to reconstruct myself for the purpose of this exercise.

I read a story in one my Father’s Picture magazines. I was 12. When my parents would leave the house I would climb onto their bed to reach the top shelf of my Father’s wardrobe to pull out and read Picture. Girls younger than I am now with fake tits and makeup that didn’t match their wardrobe. Someone wrote in and recounted the story of banging some fat girl, they said it was like fucking a bowl of custard. That story haunts me.

So I guess it makes sense that I found it easier to think of myself as beautiful once I had confirmed with an amount of certainty that I was sexually attractive. How sad, the idea that if I was good enough at sex then my aesthetic failings would be somehow more forgivable. I wrapped this all up in a facade of sexual confidence for good measure. If I told a lover, the spell would lift and I would appear before him in unforgiving live action rather than as the bright stylised caricature of myself that I had drawn for him with my pouting, posing, my wit and charm.

The mistress Shame’s workings are mysterious. I suspect I thought that if I articulated it to him, the magic of us would be gone. He’d suddenly see it all: my bad breath, my blackheads, my proportionately too short legs, my old-lady hands. Our fantastic sex life had created a film over all my imperfections—isn’t that how it works with men?—and if I’d explicitly spelled out the problems, the veil would lift.

I comfort myself by drawing to mind all the naked bodies I have viewed in my life. I recall all my tender feelings. My gentle appraisal of the imperfections of the people I have loved.

I am certain we all feel the same.

You can ask me anything.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Days 138 - 147

I need to do washing.

So all my feelgood clothes are smelly.

So I wore a blue silky shirt with an elasticised hem and flippy floaty cap sleeves that I generally think of as too girlie and skinny black jeans with buckled sandals.

On the way up to telephone advice I always check myself out in the reflective window next to the stairs. It’s a few metres away so I get a sense of what I look like to someone a ways away from me, I turn and walk up the stairs so I can appreciate a few angles.

I noted that with a cardi on I did not like my outfit. But I also realised that the main standard by which I seem to judge an outfit when I do this each day is it’s ability to emphasise my waist. I have a waist. I can emphasise it. This pleased me.

But today’s shirt is a bit billowy and I feel boxy.

But then walking back into the office I get a completely front on reflection from the office door. Without the cardi, I decided that I like how my hips look in these jeans even though I have not become completely accustomed to skinnies. I also decided that while I do look a tad boxy I feel that it’s a hip shouldery boxy.

Now I feel good.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Days 134 - 137

The other day, when I handed in my last assignment, I did it via a post box outside Lock and Load. This was a calculated move being that I intended to then onward into the cool, dark beer garden behind to relax and enjoy the company of K and C as a celebration of handing in my piece of shit assignment.

We ordered cocktails. For K, green and tasty (because she likes the environment). For Me, pink and tasty (because I like pink). For C, a beer (because she likes beer).

The sun is starting to go down and warm light is filtering through the canopy of the beer garden. ‘It smells like summer holidays!’ – C. The waitress is pouring our drinks. She looks like a young Sia. ‘The neighbours smoke reefer sometimes’, she states. How scandalising!

I had to do the thing where I convince myself that I don’t need an entree and a main. Because my learned behaviour at any celebration is to eat up big. This is getting easier each time. But we got a plate of chips to share. A few chips plus my chicken and cous cous was a little much and by the end I was stretched out and complaining. Next time I should be more willing to order an entree instead of a main. Or order a main in an entree size. Whichever. When this works it works because I promise myself that even though I order a small portion I am allowed to order whatever I want afterwards if I am still hungry. I reassure my body that I trust it. But I’m rarely hungry after and my body is often a warm and welcoming place to be.

On C’s iphone we read to each other from the Poetry Graveyard. How grown up and wanky we’ve become. We plan a feminist bookclub to meet moonthly on the days that our menses overlap, we’ll have it here in the beer garden. We’ll read She Comes First, first.

Maybe we start talking about how terrible commenters are on local news websites. C's favourite part of reading blogs and news sites is reading the comments below and the interactions between commenters. She is disappointed more people don’t comment. I get it though, it’s all so personal and sensitive. In commenting at all we betray so much of our own position. Mostly I don’t invite comments or even respond to them that much anymore because I want you to pretend that I don’t know you’re reading. I want to pretend you’re not reading. So I can just say what’s really there for me.

But I see the stats, I know you’re there. It’s ok. We can share these few secrets. I trust you.

A few people have messaged me and said lovely supportive things. They tell me more than I would expect them to in real life. I wrap your secrets up in banana leaves and I put them away. I probably won’t be able to find them later, but that’s ok. Now we are both members of the most exclusive club.

When I was little, maybe 10 or 12 or so, when I’d started to think about these things more, I was scared for a brief time that I was transgendered. Let’s not talk about the cultural implications of feeling like you have to be scared of a realisation like this and instead focus on why I thought this. I didn’t think I could ‘do’ feminine right. Because feminine and masculine are just pantomines – things that we ‘do’ rather than things that we ‘are’. This was all probably to do with my loudness, my Mother’s preference to cut my hair short, my height, and my fat. My idea of femininity was this impossible, willowy, ethereal, Disney Princess kind of thing and I found myself struggling to reconcile this with my ideas about myself. Freckly, mousey and thick. The daughter of a woman who only shaves her legs for weddings and funerals. I never felt sure that I was beautiful or womanly at all until I was at least 19. How odd, for all of these things to lump together, like too much pasta boiled in a small pot.

Androgyny, as described by Bem, is most functional. To be both masculine and feminine and to call on these qualities as circumstances demand, to know the value intrinsic in both. But knowing this doesn’t necessarily free you from a concern that you might have failed as a man or a woman. You’re smart, you already knew this, implicitly or explicitly.

Everybody’s body looks funny naked. I never met a person who didn’t look a little strange without their clothes on. Even the most beautiful people. One time I saw a beautiful person naked and they looked funny. True story.

What am I trying to say? I don’t know, I had a cupcake for breakfast and crashed at 1030. You’re not your body. But you are wonderful and your body and mind are amazing and ordinary and full of secrets and yours. You will be ok.

Aham Brahmasmi,
I am spirit, not matter,
I am not the body, I am not the mind,
I am the eternal spirit soul,
I am only temporarily in a material body,
The body is temporary, I am eternal,
Aham Brahmasmi.

Blah blah blah. Whatever. Now for your viewing pleasure, direct from radiology: Me in a hospital gown.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Days 131 - 133

I haven’t been near a set of scales for a while. Last time I went to the clinic I had put on a kilo. I keep telling myself that this is the first time in my life that I have been disappointed by putting on one, singular, kilo in the space of 30 days.

Biggest gain in shortest amount of time? Probably 5kg in 2 weeks when I was 17 on band tour in New Zealand. I ate tinned fruit with cream for breakfast every day and every meal was all you can eat.


Another friend who had the surgery a few months after N and I had a substantial success in her weight loss in the last month. Of course, your duty as a friend is to feel happy for the other person, and proud of their achievement. But it's bittersweet because it puts in relief what you perceive as your own failings when you're both engaged in a challenge you feel so invested in. In a way, it's a selfish way to be because you end up turning something wonderful about someone else's life into a negative reflection on your own life. In doing that you simplify someone else's efforts, you deny efforts they made, and you make it all about you. The fundamental attribution error most definitely applies, specifically, the self-serving bias and you've made no effort to get around this cognitively. How do you get around these sorts of biases? How do you feel ok?

Number one, it's important to know that we all tend to do this, if we don't think too hard about the world around us - you're not an asshole. You can also look for consensus information - if the same results occur for most people in the same situation, you can safely assume that the likely cause is the situation. You can also ask yourself how you would act in the same situation. Finally, you might look for unseen, and less salient factors that can affect the outcome.

The second and the fourth strategies are fine: most people who have weight loss surgeries lose substantial amounts of weight; and I know nothing of my friend's medical history or anything to do with her eating or exercise habits. The third strategy causes me strife at the moment because I'm not doing that well right now, but of course I'm not in the same situation as my friend. I may be female, of the same age and have also have had the surgery, but our lived experiences are entirely different, as are our relationships with food, exercise and our bodies.

So really, I should just stop comparing myself to other women. Because upward social comparison can be a bitch for your self esteem if you're not careful.

Last time I went to the clinic I saw the psychologist and the dietician at the same time as a group session. It wasn’t an inquisition, I didn’t need a shower afterward. How are my serving sizes? Yeah, not a problem. Marijuana use? Nonexistent, almost nothing on my plate but study. Food choices? Could be better, could be far far far worse. But assignments meant that I didn’t exercise and at least on two occasions in the last few weeks I snacked on biscuits or chocolate while studying. So we talked about making little changes. A bit more activity etc etc.

Today I have had:
• Tub of forme yoghurt
• Small mocha, skinny, equal
• Chicken and salad sandwich, no butter
• Half an apple

This is a menu old me would have been so proud of. Now it’s just pretty run of the mill.

I just put the other half of the apple in the bin. Congratulations.

I was more assertive (aggressive? assertive) this time in asking questions. ‘Who is doing well and what are they doing?’ - They are the people who are consistent, the ones who just ‘plod’ along.

Well fuck it. I’m tired. Assignments are over. I’m not going to enrol in Summer Semester. I’ll write papers and when they are more or less done I’ll enrol and submit them and that can be that. And it doesn’t matter how long it takes because it’s not like I need a Masters degree to get a job. I already have a job I love and enough money to live on. I don’t think I need to kill myself to do this and I don’t want to.

I’m talking with both sides of my mouth at the moment though. On the one hand I don’t want to have to knuckle down to finish off the (admittedly nonessential) Masters degree because I want to ‘have a life’ and ‘be happy’, but on the other hand I am here dreaming of duromine and boiled eggs and 5:30am starts to go to the gym and exercise myself into oblivion. I’m dreaming of nothing but protein and going to sleep hungry. Is that ‘having a life’ or ‘being happy’? Is it? I don’t know. I’ll be happy with my weight.

I forget how it came up. I think I showed Br a pro-ana blog I’d seen ages ago where the author had posted in September 2009 saying that everything in her life was falling apart but at least she was losing weight. That was her last post. Br made me promise that if it came down to keeping things together or being thin, that I would just be fat and ok.

We went out and I wore a new dress. I drank. I think at least 3 boys approached me. None of them was particularly charming or interesting or said anything aside from complimenting me on my tits so I had no interest in engaging with them. I danced with a boy who then propositioned me - ‘No thanks, I have an S’, I reply. He goes on to say that we don’t have to have sex, we can just hang out, it’s not like that. ‘No thanks', I reiterate, 'thanks for the dance, not interested’. This joker approaches me at least 3 times on the dance floor and then another 3 times off the dance floor.

This is fine, I just tell him no each time.

Br finishes work behind the bar and we go to have a slice of pizza and feed $2 into the little machine that tells you just how drunk you are. Another boy, unrelated, comes up to me and rests his hand on my arm comfortingly and earnestly tells me that he doesn’t think I’m a bitch, and I look good in my dress and I looked good out there dancing. (ok?). I chirpily thank him for keeping me up to date on the shit strangers are willing to say about me when I’m out of earshot and bid him adieu.

Later I cry and Br drives me home.

The thing that shits me off is that the whole thing is so fucking dehumanising. I end up being nothing but tits and a vagina hiding under a skirt on a dance floor. This guy knows nothing about me. So unfortunately he doesn’t understand that I don’t like to have sex with people who wear hats at night. So it just makes it all the more easy to slag me off and call me a fat, slut, bitch.

Which brings me to my next point:

(click image to view)
I should start by pointing out that I know the original poster to be a certified ‘nice guy’. Not the type who tells you in a pub that he’s a nice guy and then fucks you around, like an actual Nice. Guy. We can see here that Old Mate starts by reassuring Nice Guy that he’s not actually mean because he is only being judgmental of the part of this woman that is killing herself. So we can see a separation of person and problem which is heartening but we end up with the same result which is judging her and naming her, ‘Trollop’. I manage here to humanise myself despite my fatness and we can see him change from taking a fat shaming stance to taking a stance of reassurance. So we can probably conclude that he’s not a total cunt. And I have friends in common with him, so says facebook, which I hope would tend to indicate that he’s not the worst person on earth. But I don't want to pull that whole thing apart. I just wanted to demonstrate that fat shaming isn't something that happens in far off universes where everyone is a bastard. People I know, who know me, do it. People who are nice do it.

I make plans to eat nothing of substance. I make plans to go to the gym every day, walk to work and home AND go to zumba classes. In my mind all of these things become rational and doable. Then I am disappointed by reality and the failings of my body. Whatever. I feel desperate today.

Desperate to never drive past a sushi shop, a kebab shop, an Indian takeaway, a McDonalds, a Subway. I dream of a world with delicious, ethereal, insubstantial salads on wings, bobbing above my head. I chase them around fields of flowers and butterflies and when they reach out with uncurled, unfurled tongues and taste the salty sweat on my brow they know that I have burnt the exact number of kilojoules they will provide to me when they flutter down, touch my nose gently with their opening and closing wings and whimper quietly in ecstasy as I eat them.

Fat, race, religion and everything to do with gender and sex mean nothing, everything is beautiful and I have nothing to post on facebook but links to youtube clips of kittens riding robotic vacuum cleaners and I never compose deconstructions on culture and fat.

N was telling me how when we were in uni, I just never seemed to care, that I was so confident. I still cared, I cared a whole bunch. I'm just not scared that being honest about it makes me weak anymore. Don't be scared that falling apart means you've failed. Each day pushes relentlessly into the next. You'll have so many more chances.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Days 123 - 130

Today C completed the last exam of her LLB. So we had mexican.

I have learned that I cannot:
• Order main sized meals anymore. Stop fucking kidding yourself and have the entree tostada instead of the enchilada.
• Write more than 2500 words in one night. I'm not 19 anymore, writing for 12 hours straight is no longer an option.
• Live on less than 7 or 8 hours sleep per night. Especially if I want to drink wine with dinner.

We search for stable and enduring properties in individuals and situations in an effort to construct causal theories allowing for behavioural prediction. In doing so, we tend to distinguish between personal and environmental factors.

We run into traps when it comes to the behaviour of others - internal causes of behaviour such as intentions are hidden and we tend only infer them where there are no clear external causes. Nonetheless, we also tend to display a bias toward preferring internal rather than external attributions even where there is clear evidence of external causality. It is possible that we prefer to attribute behaviour to stable underlying attributes because this renders behaviour more predictable, increasing our sense of control over our world.

It is true though, that positive illusions may be adaptive for mental health – depressed subjects tend to be less likely than non-depressed subjects to overestimate the degree to which they control chance events. Depressed subjects are also less likely to display unrealistic optimism in making projections about the future.

As an extension of these principles, we tend to cling to an illusion of control and believe in a just world. Deserts theory in legal scholarship is premised on the same assumptions - bad things happen to ‘bad people’ and good things happen to ‘good people’ – people have an ability to meaningfully exercise choice and have control over the course of their lives. This pattern of attribution allows us to view the world as a controllable and secure place in which we can determine our own destiny.

Deserts theory also allows for these general patterns of attribution to lead us to conclude that victims are responsible for their misfortune – unemployed people are out of work because they are not trying hard enough, rape victims were asking for it, Indigenous Australians are responsible for their disadvantage and should stop expecting handouts.

Fat people are lazy, greedy, undisciplined slobs.

In the fall out of tragic life events, victims of trauma and violence may experience a strong and debilitating sense that the world is no longer stable, meaningful, just or predictable. One way to restore meaning is to take responsibility for the event and self blame.

GM Vaughan and MA Hogg, Introduction to Social Psycology, (Pearson, 4th ed, 2002).
W Weiten, Psychology: Themes and Variations, (Wadsworth, 5th ed, 2002).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 122

Stupid shit I have considered doing to lose weight:
• Illegally importing diet drugs
• Taking ecstasy and dancing all weekend
• Getting myself lost in the bush for a few days (just kidding)(sort of)

Whenever I need to study, in the spirit of procrastination, I respond by wanting to do one of three things: sleep, fuck or eat. How very primal. Not particularly constructive though.

I have weight watchers jelly fruit cups and sugar free red bull. They have 12 and 8 calories respectively. It’s comforting to think about just how many fruit cups I could eat in a day and still lose. This makes me feel very safe. Also it’s fruit. Fruit has vitamins. Vitamins are good.

I was reminded today of a conversation I had with Dr. Douchebag, a guy that K dated once or twice. He knew about the surgery and in the course of discussion he explained how the body is very efficient at turning energy to fat, but incredibly inefficient at converting fat to energy. I was reminded of this conversation when I read the following response to a reader comment posted on fiercefatties.

‘Evolutionarily speaking, our bodies have adapted to gain (or maintain), not lose, weight. If you’re a hunter gatherer and you’re losing weight, your body interprets this as a famine and begins protecting its stored energy (fat). It does this by turning down your metabolism, turning up the hormones that encourage you to seek food (hunger and appetite), and resetting your homeostatic system to protect you from starvation.

Your modern body cannot tell the difference between famine and caloric restriction. If you drop from a 2,500 calorie-per-day diet to a 1,800 calorie-per-day diet (or less), your body switches into famine mode and does everything it can to undermine your weight loss efforts.

The longer you diet, the greater response your body has. Eventually, dieters exhibit what is known as semi-starvation neurosis, which basically means you think about food constantly. You become obsessed with every meal, every morsel, and every image, utterance or imagining of food around you. When it gets bad enough, you break your diet and begin binging (which is what your famine-brain wants you do to) until you’ve essentially undone all your work.

Now, you say that starving yourself doesn’t work, but exercise is an incredibly inefficient means of losing weight. It is much easier to restrict your caloric intake than to burn it off through exercise (although exercise does increase lean muscle mass which, in turn, turns up your metabolism, but each person’s individual metabolic range is genetically determined).

So, the most effective way to lose weight is caloric restriction, but this leads to famine-mode and semi-starvation neurosis and your body and mind sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Older studies have shown that 95% of those who lose weight will regain all the weight they’ve lost (and possibly more) after five years. Critics say Stunkard’s research was old and inadequate, but even the NIH has admitted that long-term weight loss is nearly impossible.

And you’ll notice that there are virtually zero studies of the long-term success of any particular weight loss method. The exception being this JAMA study which compares various weight loss strategies, including Atkins, Zone, Ornish and LEARN (LEARN being Kelly Brownell’s “slow and steady” method of lifestyle change).’

I was devastated. Oh cruel fate, am I destined to sweaty summers and plus sized fashions?

It took me a day or two and some encouraging words from C to realise that even lovable, huggable fat appreciators have their own agendas.

The majority of people do not succeed at weight loss long term. This much is true. For a plethora of reasons. Some within and others outside the scope of their control. And fat acceptance is a movement that is absolutely fantastic for those who would prefer to be fat and happy than to live a life of miserable struggle. There is nothing wrong with this. Embrace every delicious moment! There is nothing wrong with a focus on health at every size. But of course this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are stuck with our lot. In the majority of cases though we could realise a higher level of happiness by adjusting our expectations. Happiness of course simply being a function of the differential between desire and reality. This I can agree with and live by.

The moral of course is that just because some fat, fabulous person put a well researched smackdown on some random via the internet does not mean that I am going to exceed 100 kilograms for the rest of my life, or even the rest of this quarter. I mean I’ve had a fucking weight loss surgery for fuckssake. If I had a band I would probably not struggle with the same doubts about the efficacy of the device, but being that this is a trial sometimes I just freak the fuck out. Basically.

Also, I should probably just let go of the fear that the whole international fat acceptance movement are going to rock up on my doorstep with torches and pitchforks just because I chose to have a spot of weight loss surgery. It’s clear that I think fat is just another type of beautiful amongst many others, but I’m still not sure how my desire to be a bit less fat slots in with their world view. Either way, I’ve finally moved into an apartment with a back door as well as a front so if they do arrive with a thirst for vengeance and blood I can just head out through the back.

In an effort to increase positive self-efficacy beliefs I have taken two steps in tandem:
1. Joined calorieking again. The site makes it really easy to see where you are making poor food choices (e.g. piece of cold kfc for breakfast, sunday morning); and
2. Started consulting and inputing my calories consumed, recorded via calorieking. Their calorie calculator will project weight loss or gain over time based on your stats.

I am using the power of the internet to assure myself that loss is inevitable. So really, I should just give myself a fucking break.

Yours sincerely,

Broken Record

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Days 119-121

Sunset comes later, pinker and warmer.

You forget every other reason you are doing this.

Remember how it felt in summer; tight waist, broad hips, sticky nights and cool breezes. Fairy lights and dark green leaves. Short cotton skirts, couches in backyards, a hand on your knee. Long hair, bare shoulders, swollen breasts. Strangers.

Sweat, wine, no future or past, stars.

Remember how it feels to be alive.

Remember that you have all the time in the world.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Days 113 - 118

A long time ago, a really long time ago (not that long ago), we don't know when exactly, but there lived some of the world's first scientists. These weren't your typical scientists - they began by letting their minds get very still and in this quiet space they were able to discover amazing things and uncover incredible secrets about the human body, mind and consciousness.

They discovered things like the way you breathe affects the way you feel and what you eat affects how you think. They noticed to function well the mind and memory need rest and that meditation is the deepest rest of all, giving you incredible amounts of energy.

They also discovered that experiences can cloud our vision by getting stuck in our minds. Meditation can clear these out so we hear, see and feel more clearly.

Meditation is universal, just like you don't have to be Italian to eat pasta.

What if everyone could have a more peaceful and clear mind?

We are all connected.

We can create a better world and it starts with something as simple as closing your eyes, meditating and feeling a deeper connection with yourself.

When you feel good, you treat others around you better, and the cycle continues.

To really open your eyes, sometimes you have to close them.

I’ve been doing assignments in the last week that I did not prepare for. Last night I slept two hours and the night before, maybe three or four. I feel ok. I am surprised by how good I feel. I wouldn’t lie to you and tell you that I had not been assisted by sweet, sweet caffeine. But having taken up zumba, and walking to work three out of five days (which I have not done this week – see my previous statements re assignments) I have been craving and needing coffee less to deal with clients and to feel clear. I feel much clearer.

Do you ever have that thing where you weigh yourself, at that ideal time (first thing in the morning, pre-breakfast, post-bathroom), and this is your true weight. And if you weigh yourself at other times you might be up to 2 kilos heavier? This scares the hell out of me. So just not weighing myself for a while has made me feel better. But by the same token I have this sense that I am not losing. Based on the exercise I have been doing and the amount of food I have been eating I feel like I should.

The thing that I think is missing is the effort. N showed me something a while ago, something terrible and dream shattering about rats thinking about donuts and getting fat and other rats not caring about the donuts and eating whatever and not getting fat. The article then somehow went on in what I recall being a very credible and logical fashion to explain how if I have lost weight in the past by munching nothing but carrot, celery, boiled eggs and duromine while working hospo jobs and working out then I will need to recreate the same conditions to lose weight again. Really what I concluded was that there was a huge element of mind over matter involved. I then of course became very concerned about self efficacy but had my fears allayed by my psychologist who assures me that walking is a completely valid form of exercise and advises me not to punish myself with crosstrainers.

I am scared that what is missing is the mindset. I realised that I have become (relatively) relaxed about these things. Certainly more relaxed about food and fat than I have ever recalled feeling in the past. There is this sharp, dense, point of fear in me that what I need is to feel hopeless, alone. I am so used to weight loss only occurring during times when I felt. like. shit. Times when the only shining light in my life was my shrinking arse.

I’ve been struggling with these conflicting feelings – wanting to be this less fat version of myself (which i clearly fetishise), wanting to be healthy, wanting to love myself, feelings of identification with fat girls as a group, feelings of having betrayed fat girls by wanting to be thinner (but not really thin...), feelings that wanting to be less fat rather than thin is really just me wanting to be the hot fat girl because I have this sense that I could never succeed as a hot thin girl (this is crap, hot fat girls are hot). In large part, feelings of guilt for essentially failing at fat acceptance – agreeing with the ethos, thinking that other fat girls are beautiful, but still desiring to be less fat.

My body is mine. It is mine. I do not have to cram it in any mould regardless of whether we’re talking about the beauty myth or fat acceptance. I can do with my body as I wish and my body can be however it wants.

My body has a duty to no one. The actuality of my body is never a betrayal. To anyone. Hair, teeth, bones, dust.

I was in a dream last night. I was standing on the other side of a sheet of glass from you and I was crying. I had just had the realisation that I am allowed to lose weight and to be me and that these two things aren’t mutally exclusive. I realised that now that I know and accept this fact, that it is all about to happen. I was overwhelmed by this, in the very best and happiest way possible.

I love you too.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Days 110 - 112

There are some rules I set for myself.

Fat girls can’t wear:
Skinny jeans
Maxi dresses
Small prints
Bias cut
High waisted

People told me I made flattering choices
People told me I carried my weight well
People told me I looked like I weighed less than I actually I weighed
People told me I had amazing breasts
People told me I had a beautiful face
People told me I had good skin
People told me I had a little waist
People told me I had a great ass
People told me I looked sexy when I danced
People told me I WAS sexy

One day I started believing them.

But I still don’t wear hats.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Days 103 - 108

Ways that I know the implant is there:
• I have scars
• After I eat, if I lay on my side I can feel a pulling sensation
• I get mild back pain from the weight of the implant in the front of my body
• If I try to eat or drink too much in one go I get a short sharp pain at the implant site
• I need to burp more after eating
• I eat less than half what I ate before
• In days where I feel like I have overeaten, I have in fact eaten around the same, or less, than I would have eaten previously on a day where I had watched what I had eaten
• I don’t crave sweet foods much
• If I want to get drunk, I have to drink short drinks or I will run out of room and get sleepy

Stupid shit I have done trying to lose weight:
• Not eating
• Eating only rice
• Eating only instant pudding
• Eating only meat
• Liquid diets
• Praying
• Trying to throw up
• Taking dexamphetamine
• Taking ephedrine
• Double dosing duromine
• Double dosing reductil
• Viewing thinspo
• Masturbating (I was working on a theory that orgasm increases metabolism)
• Isolating myself from friends to avoid eating out and drinking alcohol

I do meditation in West End. I went recently to a two part meditation course for beginners. The instructor talks about happiness. He told a story about a football game. The game was down to the final minutes, tied, when a player gets the ball and runs toward the goal posts. As the last seconds are ticking over he is nearing the end of the field, he looks over his shoulder and there is no one behind him. He makes the goal, looks up at the scoreboard and a point is awarded to the opposing team. He has run toward the wrong goalposts.

Are you running toward the right goalposts? People have funny ideas about how to find their happiness, he says. A lot of the time these ideas orbit the filling of the body. Food and sex.

Am I happy? Yes. But I feel like I’m waiting for something. To fit my old jeans. For S to come back.

Finish uni, get a job – these were my goalposts. It never occurred to me that I would have to find some new ones.

A told me that she is waiting for something extraordinary to happen. I think we’re not quite sure what to do next.

I am happy. My happiness is warm, soft, ordinary, content.

Some days I can’t be bothered and it feels like the things I used to enjoy are not as enjoyable. This is anhedonia. It doesn’t happen often enough for me to worry about it too much. I tell myself it’s because I have been doing fuck all exercise. There’s a part of me that is tempted to think that I enjoyed life more when I was thinner though.

On the other hand I have a lingering sense that I am holding myself back because losing weight feels like a betrayal of Fat B. Mostly of little Fat B.

Losing weight doesn’t mean I will forget her. Losing weight doesn’t mean I’ll turn into some born again judgmental weight loss cunt. Losing weight doesn’t mean I have caved in to every asshole who made me feel bad about my body and it doesn’t mean that I will be more vulnerable to them and it doesn’t mean that it will be harder for me to recognise them.

Lillian Behrendt says, ‘our bodies deserve happiness, and sexual fulfillment, whether it’s with a partner, multiple partners, or alone, is part of that. Loving and taking care of our bodies is more than getting enough nutrients, resting when we’re tired, drinking water and engaging in some form of movement. Loving and taking care of our bodies is also allowing ourselves the pleasure we don’t think we deserve.’

I walked to work today and then home after. I’m going to keep doing it. Maybe after a week or two I’ll actually feel like going to the gym. I deserve to enjoy exercise.

I deserve happiness. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to love my body.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Days 101 - 102

Last night I stayed up late to finish an assignment. I finished at 2:30am, and then lay in bed awake until 4. I don’t usually have trouble sleeping. It’s been a long time since I did an assignment. I think S had only just left Australia. Then when they made me a lawyer, I left on the next plane. I ended up posting my Soundwave ticket home to my cousin and staying an extra week.

By 4pm today I was flagging. I went across the road to the pub to get a sweet coffee. I was standing at the bar waiting. A group of men behind me speaking in a language that did not sound like Polish, Greek, or German. Tiny yellow leaves on the ground. The air is cool and wet and pushes my hair. For the first time I realise that weight loss is an inevitability. Even if I do nothing, I will lose 20 kilos within 12 months.

Am I ready?

Am I ready not to be fat?

Will I remember what this feels like? What this felt like? All the times it made me feel like dying. How ridiculous, for something so superficial to make you feel like you cannot. go. on.

All the times as a child I prayed to wake up thin. To wake up somewhere else. To sleep and dream forever.

It’s been a long time since it was that bad, but there have been times in the last 5 years when I have just felt. so. tired. Lose. Gain again. Lose less. Gain again. Lose more. Gain again.

In Sunday school I was told a story about a little girl with brown eyes who wanted blue. Every night she lay down and prayed that when she woke up she would have blue eyes. God never answered her prayer and she was so angry. So hurt. She thought God did not love her. When she was grown she went to a country far away on a mission. She went to convert non-Christians. There was a temple the missionaries wanted to gain access to, to convert people but you could not enter as a Westerner. So they dyed her skin with coffee. Without her brown eyes she would not have been able to gain entry to the temple. God had a plan for her.

The less said here the better.

There is no plan. I can be whatever I want to be. I don’t have to be ready now, I have weeks, months. I don’t want to ever forget.

I wake up every morning, I put my clothes on and I ride my bike to school. It takes me half an hour. I don’t eat breakfast and I don’t take lunch. I sit on my own and I read. I stay in the out of bounds areas. I come early enough that no one will see me and when the bell rings I slip back into the crowd. I am 163cm tall and I weigh 62kg. I want to lose 10 but I don’t know how to make it happen. I am too ashamed to ask how. I am enormous.

There is one small mirror in the bathroom at home and I have to stand on the corner of the bathtub and lean forward to see myself. I stare at my body and I wonder what I am doing wrong. I wonder why God hates me so much. I am 12 years old.

It wasn’t always like this, but it was like this in one way or another for a long time.

‘If you keep eating like that you’ll end up as big as a house’.

Sometimes everything is fine. Sometimes there will be a fight before dinner ends. I will sit at the table on my own and finish my food while I cry.

I am on the ground, curled around my stomach. I look up and through the kitchen window I can see my neighbour, 2 years older, and another girl from school, my age, looking down at me, watching. I know they can hear.

I don’t like eating when I am upset. There is a horrible feeling in my stomach.

I don’t get upset that much anymore. I am mostly happy.

I am 22. I was 92 kilograms in March, I am 96 in July. I am sitting on his bed cross legged eating a bowl of ice cream. I am wearing his hockey jersey and a pair of underpants. The jersey is long and it goes halfway down my thighs when I stand. J is telling me that he kissed another girl. He was very drunk. He touched her breast through her shirt. He couldn’t get hard. She tried to touch him through his clothes and he left the room and left her in there. I can’t eat the ice cream. I go upstairs to stand with his Mother and help her with the dishes. The kitchen is bright and the house is full of dull, homey noises and warm cigarette smoke. J tells me that he will never ever do it again and I cry and he kisses my face.

I want to go back to every time she cried and hold her.

I will be ready. I will never forget her.

I will be ok.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Days 97 - 100

3 months. 6 kilos. What a fucking joke.

N and I went in with expectations that the results would be comparable to lapband. We’ve all heard sordid, sticky tales of lazy gluttons who get banded, eat nothing but crap, never moving from the couch except to eat, shit, work and sleep who are rewarded with up to 2 kilo per week losses. Well, if those sloths can lose 2 kilos per week doing nothing imagine how much I’ll lose! Cocky, judgmental, self important bullshit.

Month 1: Recover from surgery
Month 2: Germany
Month 3: Lose weight you gained in Germany

There are lots of ways to rationalise your own behaviour; to deal mentally with your achievements and your failures. As a fatty, there is often a lingering sense that you have nothing but excuses for your failure to reach and maintain an ideal weight. There are combating needs to maintain esteem and to maintain motivation.

C once told me that she didn’t believe that I had sufficient self loathing to lose a substantial amount of weight. It wasn't a criticism.

It makes sense to me then that the times in my life that I have lost the most weight have been times when I have been the unhappiest.

We generally afford ourselves the luxury of substantially private failures. Bad grade? Lie. Got dumped? Just don’t talk about it. Fat is wearable failure.

I am hesitant at times to write unless I lose. I certainly want to write more often than I want to weigh myself.

Bowlby, inspired in part by Anna Freud, was interested in the long term consequences of the initial caring relationship. Secure attachment results in a greater ability to confidently explore the world presumably because you internalise the primary caregiving relationship and apply the same principles to the world at large. Securely attached individuals trust that the world and the people around them will nourish them with the things that they need. Avoidant and anxiously attached individuals have learnt that the people they care about will fail them and that they cannot trust others to provide for them – both respond by attempting to reduce the likelihood of future hurt, one by avoiding the vulnerability that comes with relationships altogether, and the other by clinging desperately. A: ‘You can’t hurt me’. B: ‘Please don’t hurt me’.

Individuals who learn how to function despite having had problematic initial caring relationships are those who learn to forget the hurt of past betrayals and who have a continued ability to trust despite the real risk of being betrayed again.

I need to stop punishing myself with the hurtful things people I cared about have said to me.

‘You can't do ballet, you’re too fat for a leotard.’

‘You keep twisting your ankle because you carry too much weight.’

‘Are you sure you should wear that?’

'You'd be beautiful if you weren't fat'

‘If you want to lose weight, you will always be hungry.’

You will always be hungry
You will always be hungry
You will always be hungry

My Mother gave me a poem for my seventeenth birthday.

Let it wash over,
Rebirth comes only from death,
All will pass in time.

After a fight I asked her why she would stay with someone who was so clearly telling her they want her to go.

'It’s better than being alone'.

Fights seep through thin walls,
Better to hurt those you love,
Than to be alone.

I need an exorcism.

I have been adjusting to leaving food on my plate. As I scrape my plate into the garbage I remind myself to take slow deep breaths. I remember the same tight chested feeling walking into my first weight watchers meeting, joining a gym, attending a group fitness class, running in public, walking into Rebel Sports, walking into Supre.

Like a pavlovian dog, I’m slowly learning that when ordering, Large ≠ Love. Larger portions mean having to make an awkward decision about when to stop eating that my life experience has left me ill equipped to make. This results in the exaggerated discomfort of overeating when I do not make this decision effectively. It’s easier to make better choices when I don’t let myself get too hungry because I’m still holding onto the patently false idea that the hungrier I am, the more I need to eat in a meal.

It makes me think about the correlations between poverty and obesity. Poor people love with food. Wasting food = wasting money. Huge portions. Plates scraped clean. Cheap meat. Limp vegetables. Deep fryers.

I was 12 when I decided to run away. I did not want to be obese, shoeless, unemployed, beaten, pink mewling mouths opening and closing. I concocted a scheme where I studied hard, I left Caboolture for University, and I never ever went back.

Dreams of not worrying about fat or money.

So fucking afraid,
You will always be hungry,
You will be ok.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Days 94 - 96

H came with me to Zumba today. My first class. Super lame. Fun.

I’m relatively certain that the soundtrack included a latin cover of 2 Live Crew, We Want Some Pussy.

There’s an amount of jumping involved and I feel something in or near my stomach swishing around. It could totally be the souvlaki N and I ate for breakfast slash lunch on the way home from the surgery after doing fasting bloods for our three monthly check up this morning. It could be that sack full o’ saline I let a stranger stitch into my abdomen. Maybe we’ll never know. Either way it felt like I was going to lose my lunch.

So I retired briefly to the powder room of the Serbian Orthodox Church to take a wee breather. I sat and thought about how the appointment had gone today. In seeing the psychologist, I confessed to what was essentially a complete lack of dedicated exercise, save for the few occasions I had ventured out with K and her canine pal. It seems that the group 12 months ahead of us has not been going as well as was originally hoped and one of the reasons is an apparent unwillingness to commit to change re food and exercise. So I promise to do two Zumba classes and go walking twice in each week until my next appointment.

I think about the rate at which I’m losing. I think about the other fucking promise I made to try to reach a goal of 5 more kilos lost before Christmas. This is a relatively modest goal, 500g or so per week. This is around about what I’ve been losing anyway, without much in the way of dedicated exercise. I think about the time I got down to 82kg taking all that reductil and duromine while I was working hospo. Then a lightbulb explodes all over my face like a jagged moneyshot and I realise that at that time I lost about 15kg in 6 months.


Here I’ve been, beating myself up about this shit, when I’ve been losing around about the same amount that I was losing per week when I was going to the gym regularly, worked in an active job and was dosed up on prescription speed.


And here I’ve been losing this amount without much in the way of effort at all.

Back in those days, the golden, rose tinted duromine days I refused to weigh myself at home. I would only step on the scales at my doctor’s office, and I would usually be down by about 2 kilos each month.


So you know what? Get fucked scales. Eat a dick.

P.S. I didn't spew.

This post is for N.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Days 90 - 93

We go to Oktoberfest and we run into some people from law school. I’m introduced to a man I remember from class, M. He wears a t-shirt with a large graphic print of a light bulb and a grey cardigan. He extends his hand across the table to shake mine firmly. We have never spoken before.

‘Aaaaaaa B, I remember you. You always used to sit in the back and ask boring questions.’

Later he is standing beside me. In the course of conversation I say something snide. Then I apologise and I explain that I was offended by what he had said previously. He asks, ‘can’t you take a joke?’

Michael Sharp. 1996. I am 10. His family has been away from Brisbane for a number of years while his father fills a position in the UK. Now that he is back, he has an accent. He has dark hair and narrow features and for the first time in my life I like a boy. He makes fun of me. He calls me fat.

Moving into my apartment I found a page from my year 3 school report titled ‘Personal and Social Development’. Under general comment my teacher writes the following:

‘B is good at her schoolwork and makes valuable contributions to class discussions. She is somewhat of a loner, and often lacks an awareness of her social environment'.

When I was younger still school had referred me internally to a program to build my social skills - I kept on hitting other children when they called me fat. Michael calls me fat and I say to him, as advised, ‘Please don’t call me fat, when you do it hurts my feelings'.

‘Can’t you take a joke?’ he replies.

I am in the principal’s office. She is huge. She is warm and well meaning. She tells me how children often make fun of each other because they want to be friends.

I am 12. A teacher is on the brink of tears. What I hear her saying to me is that I must accept the things that the other children say or do to me. I can tell a teacher but I cannot hit, shout or call other children names. I remember her beautiful, sassy, stylishly dressed, fat.

I am 10. I am hosting my first sleepover. We make up superhero names for ourselves. I called myself ‘Fatman’ (Batman). I have already started to learn that fat approaches acceptability where you are funny, fun. Later my Mother tells me that I should not make jokes like this, I should not degrade myself.

Speaking briefly with M, I am reminded of an article I read not long ago on Jezebel. The writer is critical that Ask Men advises men to act like complete dicks to win the hearts and minds of the ladeez. It feels like power play. M is putting me in my place. I understand that he is better than me. I should be thankful that he is speaking to me at all. Later, I will acquiesce to him if he asks.

There is no constructive way to call douchebags on this shit. If I do, my fatness will be thrown in my face.

A man gropes me in a club and I tell him to stop. ‘Why would I want you, you fat slut?’

We'll talk about the pathologisation of attraction to fat women later. You know we will, you know me well enough by now.

If I am not fat, there will be something else: I am ugly, slutty, stupid. I am a bitch.

I am boring.

I leave the German club to meet friends in the City.

Holly writes about how getting skinny is the second act of a fat girl’s tragedy.

‘I remember all of the people at home who assured me, “You never had to change,” after I lost 80 pounds. I wanted to spit in their eyes.’

When I was young and fat I dreamt of what the world would be like when I was thin. Later, when I found that the world was a little different when I was not fat, I was so angry. My life felt like an experiment that ultimately proved to me that people are cunts. On another level, I was overjoyed. Guilt and disgust followed.

Happiness is surrounding yourself with a sufficient number of people who share the same essential values as you do. Based on the biased sample you have selected for yourself you can start to construct a fiction that all people are essentially good, flawed and beautiful. The universe loves you, and you can trust the process of life. Whether or not these assumptions are true, they are constructive. You love without fear.

Start weight: 112.5
Last recorded weight: 106
Weight lost: 6.5
LT goal weight: 75
ST goal weight: 99

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Days 76 - 89

There were exploratories to make sure we were appropriate for the surgery; among them, an endoscopy to check out our throats and stomachs. I had concerns that there would be scarring from past reflux which would rule me out. I walked into the theatre with the anaesthetist and I lay down on the bed. He showed me how he wanted me to lie on my side and I breathed in the gas and counted like he said. When I finished counting I asked if it was a problem that I was still conscious. The nurse told me that it wasn’t because it was over. I was in recovery and N was in the bed next to me. She’d been awake for around 10 minutes.

Going back for the surgery it was a different anaesthetist. He made me feel different. I didn’t trust him as much. Maybe I was just scared. He had the hairiest arms I had ever seen. Wiry hair spilled over the top of his collar. I try to bring with me the calm of meditation from only two nights before. Slow breaths. I watch how my body responds to the gas. I gracefully let go of control. I know that if I don’t I will panic - I do and don’t like going under. Feeling recedes from my fingers and I float to the bottom, cool and silent. My vision is the surface of a pool of dark, shimmering water viewed from below. I am alone, aloof. I think of S. My eyes are sliding shut.

I am awake with tunnel vision. There is a face on a stage, smiling. The stage is warm blankets, pulled to my chin. My arms are trapped at my side. They’re not trapped but I can’t move them. Then I don’t want to move them, I don’t care anymore. I am in a swarm of bees. Pain buzzes in my ears. Vibrates through me like a hangover. Words travel to me via underwater intercontinental cable, prickly static. I am breathless as I speak. She gives me pethidine, I think. I still don’t care. Minutes pass then more pethidine. More. Did she give me more? Maybe.

N is here I think. I can’t see her. I can’t sit up. I ask, I want to be next to her so much. They tell me she is on the other side of the room. I know that sleep will be safe. Time reduces pain. Sleep reduces time. I breathe as slow and deep as I can and float down again, this time without help.

The day passes quickly enough, drugs, naps, uncomfortable sips of water and broth.

This hospital is made of glass. I have my own room, window from floor to ceiling. The sky is midnight blue. I can’t remember if I can see the moon, or its reflection on the adjacent panes. The hall is quiet, a nurse is with me speaking softly. Soft, friendly glow of a television. She helps me sit up and the air drops out of my lungs. She holds my hand and we walk to the bathroom. My knees are soft. I am a kitten, home from the vet, without my uterus. I am helpless.

People have seen me go to the bathroom before. There’s actually something quite nice about the kind of easy female friendship that allows you to get drunk and take turns peeing and reapplying lipstick in the same room. The warm comfortable intimacy of peeing in front of a partner.

I piss therefore I am.

Everything is natural. Nothing about you is distasteful. Every part, every process is worthwhile. Every scent is you. One day you will die and if I still love you I will savour every aroma, every flavour.

I am alive. Sitting on a toilet far away from home, far far away from my mother who does not know where I am, does not know about the surgery, in the middle of the night with a nurse standing in the doorway. I open my knees and wipe, hands shaking, in front of this caring stranger. Breathing, sitting, pissing. This is the most pain I have ever known. Dull, thudding, prismatic. I want to vomit and I am terrified (Terrified.) of vomiting. My hand is on the railing next to me. The nurse is helping me out of my gown. I am naked and this unfamiliar woman is the centre of the universe. She kneels and puts my feet into the legs of my pyjamas before she helps me stand and pulls them up. She disconnects the drip and feeds it through a tshirt then guides me through the shirt as well.

Getting back into the bed is an adventure. It takes me 5 years to move from standing to sitting. 3 years later and I have swung my legs, clumsily, breathlessly, onto the bed. White-knuckle on the handle above the bed and I lower myself onto the mattress, already lifted to 55 degrees. I don’t know how long that took but when I was finally on the bed, head on a pillow, more drugs in my veins... there are no words.

In these moments I refuse to think about whether it is worth it. I know, from past experience, that once the pain has receded into the past it won’t matter anymore.

Yesterday I got a fill. I make sure to tell the surgeon that the port is below my scar. This time he finds it first time. They’ve started using a pump to do fills instead of a syringe. There is pressure backwards, your body wants to deflate the implant, so it takes great strength to force 100ml into the device. The pump doesn’t care and steadily pushes it in. Which to be honest is a whole lot more comfortable. It means that you can keep filling until you feel full – people are putting in 200, 300ml. The pump looks like a tackle box and sounds like a creepy crawly. I feel and hear a pop. The implant has exploded. No, worse, it’s punctured my diaphragm. The clinical nurse explains that the implant changes shape as it inflates. Like a kiddie pool unravelling itself on your back lawn as it fills with air. The tip of the implant is folded over, it fills and fills with saline and then pop! the tip flips over. Sitting above my stomach in its intended shape it will be more effective she tells me.

I mention to the clinical nurse that sometimes it scares me that the loss is slow. That I’m used to getting onto some duromine, flogging myself and losing 7 kilos in 3 weeks. I’m used to dieting, she says. That is not what I am doing now. I am eating a variety of healthy foods in more appropriate portion sizes. I will lose weight as a result of having better eating habits.

Today I am wearing tights that did not fit before Germany. On Monday I wore to work a dress that I have only ever worn as a shirt, over jeans.

C put me onto Fat Aus. In the car I tell Br how I have mixed feelings about her. She is beautiful and I look at her in the things she wears and I think she looks fantastic. I can identify that I would look pretty well the same in the same items of clothes but I know that I would choose not to wear them. I worry about what this means. Maybe I am not, at this point, willing to be as honest with strangers about what my body looks like under my clothes. I remind myself that's it's just a body. Fragile, beautiful.

Start weight: 112.5
Last recorded weight: 106.3
Weight lost: 6.2
LT goal weight: 75
ST goal weight: 99

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 75

I say I love my body.

Like many relationships, this is a complicated one. I didn’t always love her, I think for a long time I hated her. There are so many things that I blamed her for that I shouldn’t have.

I do feel I can say that I love her now though, but that’s not to say that I wish there were things about her that were different, or things about our relationship that were different. There are things about the past that I wish I could change, but I can’t and that’s ok.

I don’t expect things to be perfect and I’m not upset that they aren’t. I think that’s what mindfulness is about, finding happiness by letting go of desire.

Imagine a man running naked down Ipswich Road with his shoes in his hands and his clothes folded under his arm. Funny, yeah?

Imagine a woman doing it. Try imagining an attractive woman doing it. Try an unattractive woman. An overweight woman. Are these funny? Are they funny in the same way?

The naked female body has become so thoroughly sexualised. It concerns me that a naked man can be funny but a naked woman tends rather to be desirable or undesirable.

So I try to love my body and to view my negative feelings about it through the lens of feminism. I feel like this helps me to identify that negative self talk arises largely as a result of cultural and social conditions. If I can completely and entirely deconstruct the negative feelings I have about my body maybe I can achieve a level of insight sufficient and necessary to resolve these feelings. Maybe I'm a wanky ex law school piece of shit. These thoughts make me smile.

To feel good about my body I try to see myself through the eyes of men that have cared about me. This of course is absurdly counterintuitive. But fuck it, whatever. I think I can get away with this shit by calling myself a cultural feminist.


Who actually manages to accept their swinging belly?

I, for one, have a pair of underpants that pretty much go from hip to underarm.

Every now and then the glossies will publish a ‘Body Love’ edition. Love your body. Fuck the diet. They’ll show you an array of naked ‘real’ women. They’ll tell you age, dress size, occupation. The women will give you a short spiel about what they love about their body. You’ll see some saddlebags, some thighs that touch, some average looking boobies. You’ll even see some soft pudgy bellies. But fuck me, heaven forbid you see any apron. There’ll be one girl who you’re told is size 16. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a size 18.

The average woman in Australia is size 16. Remember, this theoretical woman may not exist.

Let’s go back to first year stats. If you put together a sample, with equal numbers of women being size 14 and size 18 and no other, then your average size with be 16. Size 12 and size 20, the same again.

And the thing that absolutely shits me to tears is the lack of acknowledgement that I could exist beyond size 16. Sure, the average woman is size 16, so we’d best include her in the body love special, but the other half of the sample that is over size 16 is conspicuously missing.

You know what? I’m fucking hot naked.

I’ve been told this and I choose to believe it.

I truly feel like clothes are holding me back. If I didn’t have to think about the clothes I want to wear and how they interact with my body the large bulk of my neuroses re body would be moot.

I can stand in front of the mirror, at over one hundred kilos, and find angles that please me. I can see myself through someone else’s eyes and see what is beautiful there.

Even the apron.

Boys always grab at it. I’ve discussed this with C before. She theorises that what is beautiful to a man (sorry ladeez who love ladeez) is the differential between masculine and feminine. Breasts, hips, round bums. Soft, pudgy, hanging bellies. A boy will grab onto a belly and it is different from his. The differentials end up all wrapped up in the shared nudity and tactile experience of the sex act, maybe this is why. Consequentially the aesthetics of real desire might be far removed from the aesthetics that are presented to you in the media. We’re not accounting for personal tastes here though and if our sample is ‘Boys Who Have Been In My Pants’ we’re not necessarily talking about an unbiased sample of men. But I certainly know that the aesthetics of my own desire are poorly represented in mainstream media.

But media saturation makes it hard not to buy into airbrushed ideals especially when it comes to your own body (please refer to Photoshop Disasters).

I’m finding it hard to properly acknowledge my progress when it comes as a reduction in centimetres rather than a reduction in kilos. I am now only 2 kilos more than I was before I left but I am 4cm smaller on my waist and hips. I have to tell myself this over and over. And it’s ok, it’s still so early. It’s ok.

I bought a pair of pyjama pants on sale before I left. They were on sale so I didn’t bother trying them on. XXL, $14.95, paisley. I tried them on when I got home. Have you ever insinuated yourself into a pair of pants so small that your legs were like bbq sausages and a good two thirds of your arse crack hung out the back? I tried them on again last night and they were tight but there was no indication at all that I should pursue a career in plumbing.

I am getting smaller.

This is slowly working.

I can calm the fuck down.

I’ve walked the dog with K a few times since I’ve been back. The psychologist says my aim is to be active in some way or another, that is all. I should find activities that I enjoy, things that require the least motivation. This is baffling to me on a level as I have only ever really engaged in activity with a view to losing weight. How fucking sad for me. So, for the first time in my life I am trying to figure out what I like doing.

I'm realising I have no hobbies. How. Fucking. Sad. For me.

Maybe there’s a table tennis club nearby. I’m not that good but how awesome in ping pong? S’s Japanese friend taught me a couple of things and I became so much better! And it’s not something where I feel like my weight makes me conspicuous. Which has certainly been a huge deal for me in the past.

N has Zumba on dvd. I might borrow it. I love dancing... I always told myself that when I was thinner I would do a class. I’ve become tired of telling myself that I’ll do things when I’m thinner.

Let’s go dancing.

I wrote this for Carol.

I refuse to weigh myself today because I have my period.

Start weight: 112.5
Last recorded weight: 107.5
Weight lost: 5
LT goal weight: 75
ST goal weight: 99

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Days 50 - 74

Q: What do fat people do in summer?

A: Sweat.

I put on weight while I was away and I've been avoiding writing.

You make shitty little promises to yourself.

'I'm not going to buy any new clothes until I've lost 10 kilos’

And then your clothes slowly turn to rags and drop off your body. You're naked in a school yard and an assignment is due that you’ve forgotten about. The usual.

I realised a while ago that I was punishing myself with the clothes I wanted to wear. I let them hang in my wardrobe and remind me of how far away I was from the goals I had set for myself. Fuck that. I took them off the hangers, lovingly folded them and pushed them under my bed, so we could be reunited some time down the track. S says that the Germans say ‘Mann sieht sich zweimal im Leben’ – ‘In life, you always meet twice’.

'See you next time, denim minidress’

'In a while, ruffled cocktail dress’

I got off the plane, shunned my loved ones and headed straight for the scales, tired, bloated, covered in a sheen of rancid sweat.

And the scales said 109.

I’ll save you the hyperbole.

This represented a gain of 4kg and I figured that was better than the 6 I put on last time in Germany.

A day later I visit the clinic and I am 108, which, from the perspective of the clinic, represents a gain of 1kg only. I have lost 4cm from my waist and hips.

On the drive down, N and I speak about our progress. Things are not happening as quickly as we were expecting them too. Especially given our perceived reduction in appetite and portion sizes. Things were in fact, pretty much staying the same. N is back at the gym and seeing her trainer but not seeing the results that she was expecting. Disappointment ensues.

The psychologist again encourages me to focus on process and not outcome. He tells me I can eat whatever I want. I realise I have no snacks in my house. I have a chilling, bowel liquefying fear of having ‘dangerous' foods around me. I am Bronte hiding in her room with towels at the bottom of the door to stop calories getting in. Except, you know, fat.

I give myself permission to go to the supermarket and buy whatever I want. Whatever I want. And then to go home and eat what and whenever I want. I am on the brink of tears. I have been locked up tight for years.

I don't cry. I figure he sees enough sobbing fatties in his working day. Let's try for something different.

(I buy oat clusters, bananas, milk, one punnet of every different brand of strawberry yoghurt, rice pudding, chocolate mousse, tinned fruits, tofu, tuna, ricotta, olives, corn, tabasco, ryvita, apples, rice, vegetarian curries with dahl, vegetables, potatoes and paneer, broccolini and lean cuisine)

I try to reassure myself. I can probably safely say that I will never be heavier than now. I can’t imagine how that would be possible. Another participant, a year ahead of us, also a blogger, lost of total of around 20kg in the first 12 months. Not a staggering amount and possibly a disappointing amount from her perspective. But as far as I can tell from the information she presents in her blog, this may well be her first substantial loss. I don’t see her gaining it back in the future. How could she?

If I am 20kg lighter in a year this will represent a little less than half a kilo loss per week. Which is probably healthier than one kilo loss per week, depending on how you do it. If I am 20kg lighter in a year I will be 92kg. Disappointing? I can cram myself into a pair of size 14 jeans at 92 kilos. I was 92 kilos at my admission and I reckon I was looking pretty fine. You know, for a Rubenesque lady. My Mother even deigned to tell me that I had ‘managed to dress appropriately’. I’m pretty sure this means ‘You look beautiful and I am very proud of you’ in my Mother’s language.

It may or may not be relevant that in past lives I garnered a pleasing amount of male interest at 92kg. How much male interest garnered at the Downunder Bar on a Thursday night counts, I am unsure.

I guess it is important to note that I don’t require myself to be thin before I consider myself to be beautiful or attractive. Fuck that. True, there is more primping required for me to feel the same level of comfort with my look when I am heavier. This is a point I have pondered before.

In The Whole Woman, Germaine Greer describes women as ‘hairy, smelly and bloody’. Previously I had credited myself with an above average regard for my own vagina and vaginas in general. In a lewd, crude sort of way I felt that on a conversational level (read: in the context of shit talk in the beer garden) I was capable of promoting the vagina and its interests. Hell, I even bought a vaginal portrait necklace from VulvaLoveLovely (I wore it to the pub and inexplicably lost half of my labia minora – a fact pointed out to me by my ex’s paramour). But to be perfectly frank my current level of vagina love took a lot of work. And washing. And grooming. And skipping of sugar pills.

It saddened me when I realised that to love my vagina I required her to be odourless, hairless, bloodless. To a great extent I was requiring the same things of the rest of my body. I cannot express to you how much terror the potential for body odour evoked (evokes) in me. A piece titled Obesity Really Is Disgusting reposted on from Corpulent discusses the results of a recent study into negative attitudes toward fat people – the findings being that negative attitudes towards "obese" people are based on an emotional response of disgust rather than moral appraisals of fat people as lazy or undisciplined on the basis of the perceived controllability of body weight.

So being fat is one thing. But if you can somehow manage to make yourself slightly less disgusting, then that’s probably ok. Enter Summer’s Eve, Gillette Venus, Max Factor and Yasmin. Isn’t this the basis of most teen makeover movies? The girl isn’t even actually ugly, she’s just gross. She’s only ever a brow wax and costume change away from being a stunner.

That reminds me. I need a brow wax.

Start weight: 112.5
Current weight: 107.5
Weight lost: 5
LT goal weight: 75
ST goal weight: 99

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Days 45 - 49

Today we journey to the Netherlands.

'Why?' you may ask (as if you would) - to sit in a tent, smoke weed and eat German meat that we have frozen and brought with us. If it was allowable, I'm pretty sure S would have packed his suitcase to Australia with German meat and then repurchased all his other personal items once he got to the island in 2009.

It is worth noting that I am wearing shorts today. Shorts. I rehearse witty reparte in my mind to arm myself when a stranger rags me on how fat I look in my shorts. Then I remind myself that my shape is the same regardless of what I wear. Also, it seems unlikely that European people would actually be rude. Also, I have fucking Ausstrahlung. 


I put on a cardigan just in case.

Then I let go of the negative feeling sitting in my chest.

I'm allergic to the adhesive on dressings it seems. I've been keeping the scar covered since it opened up more and when I pulled the dressing off the other night and started to bleed.

I'm writing this while S showers. I'm supposed to be packing.

So I decided to go to the doctor. Any lingering doubts about whether I needed to or not were cast aside when I realised how exciting it would be to go to the doctor in Germany (S has written a comprehensive guide re going to the doctor in Australia vs Germania).

The surgery is in an apartment building. It's dark inside and the walls are covered in mahogany cabinets. One wall is covered in pictures of Christ and the Madonna. There is a model of a doctor in a white coat riding a motorcycle. Newspaper articles on the wall, time spent overseas with Red Cross, competitive kick boxing.

I sit in front of the doctor and S sits off to the side. The doctor speaks to me and I smile and wait for S to explain that I sprechen keine Deutsch. I can tell that they are talking about how I speak only English. I can tell that they are speaking about how the consultation will be paid for privately. I don't think my travel insurance will cover me given that the surgery is a preexisting condition. Maybe I should have thought about this harder. It's possible I was too optimistic.

The doctor speaks to me in English and asks me how I am. I explain my issue. The doctor cannot understand my accent when I say 'weight loss'. 

I lie on the examination table and pull up my dress. The same pretty dress as last time I realise. When I try to pull off my dressing or point to the wound the doctor jokes about having practiced medicine for 32 years - he thinks he's getting pretty good.

The doctor is speaking to S in German again but he has his hand on my foot. It's meant to be reassuring and it is.

I'm self conscious and my ankles are crossed. He's calling S up out of his chair to look at my wound. I had actually been hiding the wound from S, turning away when I changed the dressing. Here he is standing over me, discussing it with the doctor in German. The doctor speaks in English again, he explains that larger wounds through fat tissue often have trouble healing, fat tissue has trouble regenerating in this way and it's generally not preferable to operate in this way. When he says the word 'fat' he taps my bare stomach lightly and I flinch. He starts to explain that he is using the word fat in a clinical sense. I wave him away, it's ok, it's just fat, it's just a word, it's just my body, it's ok.

He puts betadine cream directly into the two openings along the scar. A hydrocortisone cream goes onto the eczema next to the scar - it mustn't go into the openings though. He covers it with a large dressing, a proper one, not just a big square bandaid.

S takes me to the chemist and we buy the creams and the proper dressings. I will take antibiotics for 3 days, they will continue to work in my system for another 7 to 10 days. I should not expect the wound to get better straight away. I should shower only once every two days and change the dressing after the shower. I should not swim.

We take the train to Kamen, where S's father lives. I think he knows a few more words in English than last time I saw him. He comments in German about how Stefan is not wearing a jacket, then he notices that I am wearing sandals. S doesn't translate; his father is pointing at my feet and I can recognise the word for 'barefoot'. 
'I heard it was Summer'
'No summer in Germany', his father says in English.

I can communicate that I would like some strawberry cake, that I would not like some fruit, that I would like to drink water. I can make a joke. S's grandmother is 95 and her eyes are so bright. She looks 10 or 20 years younger to me. I can understand S's father telling me she is doing so well because of the quality of the care he provides her.

I can say 'Goodbye Grandma'.

Still no scales. I'll be happy even with a 2kg gain by the end of the trip to be honest. I am eating a lot less than last time. Less spontaneous eating of sweets, trouble finishing my meals.

It's time to go.

Start weight: 112.5
Current weight: 105
Weight lost: 7.5
LT goal weight: 75
ST goal weight: 99

Friday, August 13, 2010

Days 34 - 44

Any time I felt nervous about the prospect of things going terribly, terribly, terribly wrong I would reassure myself that I am most likely the youngest and lightest person in the trial.

N and I had been talking (about weight loss, what else? No, no, I kid, sometimes we talk about law. Sometimes.) and I had told her I was considering lap band. Imagine multiple metaphors where I push enormous stones up hills or swim against the tide toward a beach and we can pretty well skip the rest of the conversation. I had gone so far as to sign up for top cover with a health insurer with a view to going ahead with the operation in 12 months time. I'd applied for a loan from my bank to see if it would be possible to go ahead sooner. My GP was willing to give me the referral but was encouraging me to wait the 12 months and to see an endocrinologist who specialised in weight loss in the meantime.

N msg'd me and told me to call a surgery about a clinical trial - she had already called them and made an appointment for the following week. At the time I was 109, 107 on a good day (read: dehydrated after drinks the night before). I was able to determine with some gentle prodding that I needed to have a BMI of 40 on the day of the first appointment or I would be excluded. I assumed at the time that it was going to be an efficacy study of lap band which was perhaps naive given how long the procedure has been about. I calculated my BMI to be 39.4 on that day.

There was no way I was letting an opportunity like this pass me by.
So I ate.

For the first time in my life I could eat anything, at any time, in any quantity with absolutely no regard for my weight. In fact, I was slightly nervous that I would not be heavy enough.
Irresponsible? Maybe. Fuck off, lol.

Ultimately I scraped through. At my first consult with the surgeon he asked me to confirm my BMI and weight. I didn't look 112kgs, he said. I keep it packed around my liver and in my tits, you see.
Getting bloods done to confirm our suitability for the trial we were able to identify other candidates in the waiting room from their telltale boxes of vials. There was something like 15 vials to fill. It would have been less than a normal blood donation but it looked enormous. Many of these other women (no men that day) were mothers with small children crawling over them, sticky and enthusiastic, others seemed to be late 40's, vibrant lipstick, booming voices and strong opinions. Scarf wearers. Fuck, if there is one sort of fat woman I don't want to be, it's one of those. This fat archetype sits second on my list of fat stereotypes I do not want to be, directly after Sweaty-Dim-No bra-No shoes: The Caboolture fatty.

This is when I realised my prospects of success were probably quite good, being young, healthy and relatively light. My willingness to abuse diet drugs helps too I guess.

Saturday I went shopping - I wanted sundresses for Germany. I noted that my larger scar was tender and puffy. It was a darker red, almost purple and I thought I could see pus under skin. I was basically shitting myself. I had been cocky and the universe was punishing me.

I went to the GP and waited for 2 hours. I reassured him that the opening at the end of the scar was standard, and had been viewed by my surgeon. He poked the scar, made thoughtful noises, and then prescribed me antibiotics "just in case". I went back to my strategy of feeding the scar with positive thoughts.
That night I spread out my dresses to show K and A. Going to my room to try one on to show the girls, I took off my hoodie and t shirt. As I pulled it over my head I felt cold dampness - there was pus all over the inside of my shirt. I was frozen in place with my shirt halfway over my head when A found me. She calmed me down and encouraged me to take a shower. Under warm water, gently pressing my stomach, more and more was coming out of the opening at the end. I was certain it was all over.

The literature they gave us to read over before consenting to go ahead with the study outlines risk. In an earlier trial they had concerns about the effectiveness of the method of attachment. A number of participants were operated on a second time to confirm the implant was still correctly attached. In all cases the implant was successfully reattached or it was confirmed the implant had been correctly attached all along. One participant developed an infection after the second surgery and ultimately her bowel was perforated and she had to use a colostomy. The implant was removed.

I was sure this all meant that I was destined to shit in a bag for the rest of my life.

On Sunday I realised that a second part of the scar had opened. Visions of the whole fucker undoing like a zip and my entrails unraveling into my bedsheets while I slept.

One of the receptionists from the surgery reassured me this was a good thing and all the shit inside had to get out and then it would close again. I was certain I was rotting from the inside out like a ripe avocado filled with black putrid flesh when you slice it in half. My organs were liquefying and would drip out of my scar. On this day I realised my dettol cream expired in 2007.

I've completed the course of antibiotics and I'm in Germany. S took me to the chemist to translate for me so I could get more dressings. The pharmacist encouraged me to see a doctor if the scar had opened.

In the shower, nothing more comes out of either openings. The skin around the scar is pink instead of red. The second opening as well as the first are shorter and don't gape. It's possible that there was an abscess in there the whole time waiting to let go. I prefer this scenario because I can reassure myself that it has done what it needs to do and it is resolving now. The circle of life. You know, for abscesses. Or whatever.

It's been a week since I weighed myself.

Start weight: 112.5
Current weight: 105
Weight lost: 7.5
LT goal weight: 75
ST goal weight: 99