Many people who have the physical diagnoses of fat disorders such as Lipedema, Dercum’s Disease are said to have trauma in their history. Many with eating disorders have a similar background.
I’ve come to know many, many people who are in this circle of physical health and emotional concerns with that history.
Trauma if left as it is, can make one’s life less than it could be. It can ruin a life. It can shorten a life. It can impact future generations.
Don’t throw away the power you have by allowing yourself to linger in a life that isn’t all that it could be.
I learned this mostly by taking myself by the hand and pulling and pushing myself forward. Sometimes through therapy sometimes in having my life move forward. all on my own.
Life has a way of taking that blank slate of a precious baby each of us once were and puts emotional dings, scrapes, dark marks and dents into our sense of self and world view.
Many of the world’s ills are passed down from one generation after the other. Humans are the most capable creatures we know of on the planet, yet we seldom seize our own power we have to heal ourselves. If we can’t heal up some of the junk we emotionally carry around, the world is having to live without all the positive we have to offer it.
If we aren’t careful, we can end up knowingly or unknowingly wallowing in the muck of other’s dysfunction and take on a confused toxic world view.
Is this really a social issue?
1 in 3 children are abused physically, sexually or emotionally by age 14. Then consider how many young adults are abused by significant others physically, sexually or emotionally in their 20’s 30’s and into the twilight years. It’s not uncommon for people to have layers of abusive experiences that puts them in a mental haze and inner physical turmoil that changes even their brain chemistry.
The important point I wish to make is don’t shy away from doing the work needed to rebuild yourself. Your value and my value is not based on the attitudes of those who in the past have harmed us.
I have had to rebuild myself and when I was up and running again, even though still in the process of repair, some people would say they didn’t know me anymore. I was nothing like the girl who would roll over and play dead on command.
Reality can be painful but it forces you to live where you have the most power in your life. Reality is where growth takes place. Where there is growth then life changing positive decisions can happen.
So if you haven’t done so already, find power and purpose in rebuilding in yourself what needs to be rebuilt.
There is no reason to apologize for believing every life has a place and deserves respect and dignity. You will be forced to include yourself in these ranks the more you understand.
Once you really learn and understand this and know that you are worthy,, you won’t settle for the dysfunction you’ve taken part in or subjected on yourself.
Be prepared because as an individual heals, those who are wallowing in the dysfunction will try to pull you back. Your health is too unsettling to their world and for them it’s uncomfortable. Pick and choose your battles. Sometimes you can maintain relationships and there are times when you have to walk away. Each situation is different. Forgiveness is fine, self preservation when based on what you know to be true, is a must.
If you have the feeling that in their eyes you are expendable, if they leave you feeling small and not worthy, and there is a long history of such behaviors and attitudes, it’s ok to walk away. They may raise a fuss through dysfunctional means, but that should only strengthen your resolve to not waste your time with them.
In our household. we take care of eachother. Doesn’t matter who the caregiver or the one needing taken care of is. We look out for eachother. Hey we are a family of adults making it work!
Anyone with a severe chronic illness or the caregiver of someone who is chronically ill, knows that self care is both a must and many times the hardest to provide oneself.
There isn’t anything more basic in self-care than good solid nutrition. The less hassle the better too. The less hassle. the more likely it’s going to happen. The less hassle, the kinder you are being towards whoever is responsible for making it happen.
When dealing with chronic illness, it can be our biggest weapon to ease our suffering and even in some cases reverse the chronic Illness. Good nutrition can help slow down some chronic condition’s advancement and prevent new ones from taking hold. It can allow our medications a chance to work better, or if lucky, it can replace the need for prescription medications all together.
Living off store bought frozen entrees with less than healthy ingredients like high sodium, animal products and non whole foods, for me would never help. Fast food will make most people’s health more complicated. So the sooner any of us in these sorts of shoes can figure this out for ourselves, the better.
With Dercum’s Disease, Fibromyalgia,and Lymphedema, Lipedema and Diabetes and low grade start to coronary disease, it has come down to me to figure this out. How to eat to not make things worse. What can be healthy to eat, inexpensive, and easy enough to prepare that my husband can manage along with all his other responsibilities. If it can be easy enough for me on a good day to prepare and toss individual servings in the freezer, that’s great too.
This week I am recovering from the Plant-Based Nutrition Summit last Saturday, and one grocery run on Monday. (Dercum’s Disease is like that, overdo it and you are down for the count. It doesn’t take much). Even a motorized scooter couldn’t save me from being a pain filled zombie on Sunday, part of Monday, and bed bound on Sunday and part of Tuesday and all day Wednesday through Thursday morning.
Yet unlike the past when this would start to happen, I’m not eating greasy cheeseburgers my husband is bringing home, or processed foods on white bread, or even sodium filled frozen entrees. We aren’t going broke from food either.
Now that we are established in a plant-based diet as a household, we have kept it easy to manage and afford.
The easy sandwich/pesto recipe:
Aldi sells frozen peas 79 cents a bag. Trader Joe sells Miyoko Vegan Crème cheese $5.50 a container. Broccoli is cheap everywhere fresh or riced.
in a freezer bag, we combine frozen peas and riced broccoli (or riced cauliflower). Keep it in the freezer. Defrost half per batch you are making. Place in food processor or high power blender, can be somewhat lumpy. In a bowl, stir in garlic, onion chopped or onion powder, some crushed red pepper if desired, and 2 Tbl of either Miyoko Vegan Cream cheese or no-oil hummus.
It will keep for a few days in the fridge and makes a great sandwich spread, or on whole grain toast in the morning for breakfast. Very good as a type of stir in for whole grain pasta. You can add basil and oregano and lime juice to liven it up. Put cucumbers on top of it or tomato. Add some shredded carrot to it.
Or forget the grain pasta and use a peeler or veggie noodle maker and stir it into veggie noodles for a 100% vegetable dish.
You Can’t Go Wrong With A Great Salad
Never underestimate the power of a good salad. Never over estimate how much it cost to eat salad. These days even Aldi can keep you fresh organic greens and other produce for very little money.
I try to follow the daily dozen rules of Dr. Michael Greger to keep my nutrition well rounded. Gone are the days of ice berg lettuce being sufficient. Now it’s 2 servings of greens a day along with a serving of cruciferous vegetables and two serving of “other vegetables” that are low glycemic index. Also I need to get two servings of fruit and a serving of berries. In addition to all that, three servings of beans/peas and three whole grain servings. One serving of seeds and nuts and I’m also suppose to have flax seeds once a day.
If I know I’m going to be down for the count in bed for several days possibly, I direct my husband or try to plan myself to throw together salads that will incorporate a little of everything to make a salad. Dark greens, riced cruciferous veggies of some type, brown rice or barley, well rinsed and drained black beans, sliced cucumbers and shredded carrots. I’ll put fresh fruit around the sides such as something easy to rinse and use like fresh blueberries and easy to peel like orange sections. Then just some lemon or lime juice.
Black Bean Burgers Too
The sandwich spread mentioned above and one or two varieties of salads that are kept on hand and prepared, can keep well rounded nutrition within easy reach. I also keep black bean burgers in the freezer that we make. There are many recipes online and in plant-based cook books. Here is one of my favorites
Roast a head of cauliflower in the oven and slice it when it’s cooled. Very easy to keep for a few days and eat from as needed. It freezes well too.
No Cook Over Night Oats
Overnight Oats are wonderful too. I’m not talking about the Overnight Oats you see on the grocery shelves. This is like a breakfast oatmeal and fruit custard without eggs though. No cooking involved either. You can find the recipe online by looking it up, but basically, it’s one part old fashioned oats and two parts non dairy milk of your choice, and a tablespoon or two of chia seeds stirred in. Oh and also you can put in the fruit of your choice, any amount you want.
I like using a one cup storage container to make it in and eat it from to keep the portions reasonable. I use berries, but apple slices are good too with some cinnamon mixed in. I tend to use more fruit than oats. So the oats and non dairy milk are a sideline, but that is just my preference. The chia seeds make a gel that helps to solidify the entire dish into pudding sort of combo, if you will.
The gelling process happens as it sits airtight/covered in the fridge overnight. When you get up, it’s ready to eat.
You can make a few of these overnight oats up at one time and eat off of them for a few days for breakfast. Adding nuts or sliced banana is good too.
Nothing wrong with some herbal tea, but you will find that eating this way will replace your need for caffeinated coffee. Your mind may become better focused and you will know you are doing all you can for yourself and those you care about.
Well nourished people are healthier and more content in life. Take care of eachother and help it happen.
So how goes it in your life? Did you have a good weekend?
Saturday, I got out of bed with one set of measurements, and came home later that day with a larger body. No I didn’t don a fat suit at the end of the day. It’s just another day in the life of someone with Dercum’s Disease, Lipedema and Lymphedema. Before taking on a Whole Food-Plant-Based Diet it use to be far worse. No complaints from me. In the end I still reached the lost 62 pounds mark.
I don’t get out much. Swelling up that bad is the price to pay for just walking out my front door to do literally anything. It’s painful. Saturday I was just too enthralled with the line up at our local Plant-Based Nutrition Summit to not attend the all day event. I would get around by way of motorized mobility scooter and figured if it got bad, I would leave early.
The St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit held at Washington University on Saturday, July 14th, 2018 was sold out and a very happening event. This was no small venue, it was huge with people coming from all over the place to hear some of the brightest and most revered minds in nutritional, science. I saw it as a chance to not only learn but to also share with others when appropriate, about the oddball disorders lipedema, Dercum’s Disease and Lymphedema.
All three disorders can add non-calorie based weight gain. Lipedema, 11% of women have it and it makes them look bottom heavy and the weight just can’t be lost easily through traditional dieting. Dercum’s Disease Disorder is also stubborn when it comes to losing weight. Additionally, Dercum’s Disease is associated with a long list of other health issues that can shorten your life. Things such as diabetes and cardiac issues. Because it’s so rare, most doctors know very little, if anything about it. Yet Diabetes and Heart Disease would be explored at the Summit. So I brought some awareness business cards with me and my before and after losing 50 pounds shots, and a one sheet explanation.
So I figured while I got a couple books signed, I would thank the doctors and slide to them some information on it all regarding the disorders themselves and how in my case the positive impact this way of eating has had.
Well I later swelled up big because of the disorders. The pain got worse and the lumps (Dercum’s Tumors) got big enough to be seen from a few feet away..
As much as I wanted and needed to go home and get to bed I chose to stay. These doctors may not have heard of some of these disorders. If they had heard of any of them, they may not know that Whole Food Plant Based eating did the unimaginable, it helped some of my symptoms that I was told to give up on.
So I stuck it out on my mobility scooter and was first person in line for the book signing. The book signing was at the very end of the day.
Dr. Michael Greger was pleasant from start to finish, as was Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. I shared with them the information I brought with me.
Dr. Greger also made the point of saying that it was important for me to make sure those similar to myself know that eating like this has in my case, had a positive impact on some of the symptoms.
I went home and got in bed and stayed in bed through all day Sunday. My husband was fantastic serving me food in bed. Roasted brussel sprouts and brown rice with watermelon were delicious!
My body slowly on Sunday deflated. I stepped on the scale and since a week ago, another 8 pounds lost. 62 pounds gone now. 40 more to go.
It’s been a great weekend. I highly recommend all books written and any public appearances made by Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. If there is a documentary they are in, watch it.
I have always been a fat girl. Accomplished, success driven, but always large. Raised and fed like my twig of a fraternal twin sister, I always have had chubby cheeks and arms, stomach, hips and legs as well. So being fat has been my life long identifier. If I ever forgot, the world was always there to remind me. I just coexisted with it while doing every diet in the book.
My identifier the past decade has been that I’ve been a member of the Fat Disorder community. Many of us are much larger than our calorie intake would indicate and most of us are considered by people who pass us on the street as morbidly obese.
Most picture us sitting all day eating bon-bons and ordering in pizza and devouring massive amounts of foods. Actually those of us in the fat disorder community have been dealing with disorders that create size issues based on genetic lymphatic problems. Our lymph fluid fills our tissue and also some like myself have fatty tumors that are so painful throughout our body. (Lymphedema, Lipedema and Dercum’s Disease)
As we all know the pressure to be thin especially for women, is pretty strong and we’ve all read over time or known people who suffered from eating disorders because of that pressure. Now can you imagine walking around looking “circus lady fat” or people assume you are lazy and eat too much?
There are eating disorders that eventually blend in for many with such disorders.. Nothing creates misunderstandings more than someone being very large but calories having nothing to do with that largeness. The more one feels like an outsider, and nothing does it quite like being very large can, the easier it is to limit your calories for yourself to unhealthy levels or go the other direction. Some people decide why care about the number of calories since they will look large anyways. They eat quite a bit for comfort. When the latter happens, then more weight piles on a body already overwhelmed with disorder related weight gain.
No one should sit in judgement. The world is not kind to those with fat disorders.
The world didn’t like my being large. I didn’t care for it either, but after dieting since I was a child and learning what was what regarding my weight, I learned to accept my largeness and high level of disability as did my now husband and others who love me.
So having had fat disorders starting in childhood, imagine my personal euphoria when seeing how physically and emotionally healing the correct plant-based diet can be.
The big moment was after this last bit of weight loss, I refigured my BMI for the first time in ages. . I am no longer morbidly obese!
My labs show the healing power of a low fat, low glycemic index, low sodium, no processed food, no animal products of any kind, plant-based diet. No counting carbs, no counting calories. A totally new relationship with food and my body was put in place three months back.
It will only work if I could accept myself as someone deserving to be healed physically and emotionally. Meal time has become not an experience where I numb out, but instead I now know exactly what the food I eat is going to do for my body and life. My level of gratitude is enormous. There is peace in such healing and gratitude.
I still have my fat disorders and technically diabetic. I don’t know when the weight loss will stop. My blood pressure is normal, blood sugars are normal, and my LDL cholesterol dropped 57%. By month two I had dropped from a 3x to a 0x in a plus size women’s boutique. I was still swelling up from the fat disorders but the swelling was not the rush of 14 pounds coming on me at the drop of a hat. It was a weight fluctuation of just few pounds.
That horrible term, “Morbidly Obese” no longer applies to me. Onward I go. These disorders I’ll likely carry the rest of my life, but eating to heal my body, I stand a fighting chance not to be viewed as a side show attraction any more. If however, people still do see me as a side show attraction, I’m charging admission and doing a tap dance.
*For my sisters and brothers in the fat disorder community, give plant-based eating a try. No counting cabs, no counting calories. It will help to better regulate your body. It will help diminish inflammation. You stick with different non animal product food groups and keep it low sodium, unprocessed and low glycemic index. Read some of my prior writings and start with looking up either the app for your phone or tablet, or look online for Dr. Michael Greger’s Daily Dozen
Note: You can come and hear Dr. Michael Greger and others speak at the STL Plant-Based Summit on July 14th, 2018 Get information here
This is NOT a typical weight loss journey you hear about. I didn’t decrease calories and then started to jog in the mornings or joined a gym. I am one of a significant number of women who look large because I have lipedema. You will learn more about that as you read my blog.
I wrote this entry months ago. Please work with your doctor and check out the resources to get more precise details on the doctors whose research and books in the end has helped me calm the beasts known as lipedema and lymphedema. Also it’s helped with my diabetes and even at times my dercum’s disease and fibro.
There are great resources listed below. And if you want to get a feel for it all watch Forks Over Knives on YouTube or Netflix. It will give you a general idea. (note…there are other food selections you can use besides what you see on that program, so no worries)
Homemade Veggie Burgers
Homemade Veggie Burgers
Super easy, homemade tasty veggie burgers, stuffed mushrooms, cashew cheese
Mutiny Of The Body
For the first time in 55 years, my body took control of itself and that meant only food it needed crossing my lips. I had not planned on ever being what some would call vegan or plant-based. My body staged it’s own mutiny and took over the ship, so to speak. It had quite a foe to defeat, the destructive monster my memories and habits had become surrounding food.
Without me even thinking about it, meat became intolerable to me, and then fish and dairy did the same thing. So I embraced what my body was insisting and committed to a plant-based low fat diet. I did this without reading anything about it. I became a fast student in learning all I could after that. 30 days later I’ve lessened inflammation, weight, and unhappiness.
My Body’s Opponent
I was raised on rump roasts, noodles, potatoes and gravy. eggs and bacon, pizza with mounds of sausage, pepperoni and animal fat cheese on Friday nights , lots of bread made with white flour. The vegetables were there but usually from a can. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ,with that glow in the dark powdered cheese that would be combined with margarine and milk to make the cheese sauce, was served a few times a week as a side dish usually with meatloaf. My dad would pile his plate high with food. My grandfather, mother and father were all overweight. Night time was a time for sweet snacks and my mom called it “a party”. If anyone was sad, well there was always ice cream and lots of wonder bread waiting for them. All get togethers and visits included food, rich delicious foods that were meant to spread the love. By age eight, I was a fat child who had been taught that food is comfort and comfort is food. Family and friends meant food too, and lots of it.
Also added into the mix and unbeknownst to me, I was predisposed to appearing large and blimp like even as a child. I have a condition known as lipedema as well as lymphedema. Even as a child that made one leg larger than the other. fat arms, and put a tummy on me. No matter what I ate or how much exercise, I was a big girl. They didn’t recognize such things back then about that non-calorie based weight gain disorder. Inflammation was terrible in someone like me. Extremely painful.
Having yourself blimp up when you are trying to live on soggy tuna fish sandwiches 5 days a week (my mom put me on weight watchers at age 8, really makes a kid insecure. Not talking calories, I’m talking about how the wrong foods, lack of nutrition, and inflammation inducing foods made me balloon up even when eating lean fish and vegetables 5 days a week.
That was a great deal of inflammation swelling up all parts of my body. It put both traditional and lipedema fat on my body, dragging me down, and by more than a decade ago, making my rare disease Dercum’s Disease, worse to the point of disability. I was since, diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and always struggling to keep my sugars in control.
Thanks to my stint on the high animal fat KETO diet, my cholesterol, blood pressure and heart rhythm suddenly required medication I had never needed before. (Don’t get me started on KETO. If you are doing KETO, get your labs done every couple of months at least).
I saw vegans and vegetarians over time and admired them. I always knew it was healthier but in no way could I have seen myself giving up the foods I had grown up on. A change of eating like that would change how my household would handle social eating and going out to grab a bite. It would change a way of life I felt. So I refused to do it.
But then my body threatened to vomit if I didn’t change and it made most of the foods I grew up with pretty unappealing to me. It spoke and I listened.
The Fruits Of Going With What Your Body Tells You
In 24 days I’ve gone down 20 pounds exactly. The painful swellings have been greatly reduced. I’ve gone from being this nervous, confused, hungry woman going to stores grabbing processed vegan burgers and fake chicken to answer my mind’s need for a meat fix, to taking fresh whole foods and creating my own black burgers.
I had to eat at a diner and managed to make a meal out of oatmeal with nuts and sliced apple, and ate it with a side salad. I’ve created vegetable non-meat meatballs, to have with zucchini spirals and fresh tomato sauce. Baked spaghetti squash, pizza crusts with so many fresh veggies in it that it was green and tasty!
I turn down chocolate because I have no cravings. I have no desire for drive thru foods. I’m still in considerable physical pain from Dercum’s Disease. I’ve been depressed for moments when I’ve had to face my feelings instead of eating to hide them. The sun has always risen the next day. I don’t expect foods to taste like food use to taste. Just because I’m not comfortable emotionally sometimes doesn’t mean that it’s wrong what I am doing. It’s all new to me and it’s an adjustment. I stand a chance to see how my body is suppose to feel so it’s worth it. I’m getting more nutrition than before. I will be getting blood work done.
So stay with me as I blog about this journey. Below are the resources that started me on my way.