Last year I started this blog. I felt at that time that the most honest title I could give it would be “The Unlikely No Meat Please Gal”. Meat and animal products had been the center of all my meals for 55 years.
I grew up in the Ohio farmlands and there were a few decades where very few vegetables were consumed but many, many meals of meat, eggs and dairy. So the chances of ever saying, “no meat please” were practically non existent. So that was the title of this blog,”The Unlikely No Meat Please Gal”
After more than a year of not eating meat, dairy or eggs, I felt that it was time to change the name of this blogging effort. I thought about why my commitment to not eating meat and other animal products was strong, and the new title was easy. I thought about the reversal of my heart and diabetic issues. I thought about how the dress I wore when I married my husband 10 years ago is now way too big for me and yet a year back I couldn’t have squeezed into it. And just the hope it all has brought to me.
I am indeed “The Glad To Not Eat Meat Gal”: A fat girl from St. Louis, Missouri who is now at a much healthier weight and better lab results. All of that inspite of 3 fat disorders (lipedema, lymphedema, Dercum’s Disease) that makes it very difficult to lose weight. Am I cured of any of them? I stand firm in saying that it has reversed some of the symptoms. I would not say that I am cured, but I’ve changed the quality of my life and I no longer feel helpless. So in addition to everything else, less depression that comes with being diagnosed with a rare disorder that had taken over my life.
From 13 pills a day to one prescription and a selenium supplement, down in clothes sizes and up in hope,, I am forever The Glad To Not Eat Meat Gal. I am forever no animal products or oils, period.
Thank you to my friends, family, doctors, Forks Over Knives community, the STL Veg Girl, Dr, Joel Kahn’s publicly shared information on this topic, nutritionfacts.org , Clayton Medical Associates and my fellow members of the Lipedema, Lymphedema and Dercum’s Disease communities who have supported me on my efforts.
So what is your Weight Party? You know, instead of Political Party, what is your Weight Political Party? You never heard of such a thing? Well in my corner of the world it’s all around me. I’m in a position where I am seeing people’s reaction to an almost 40 lb weight loss. The sociologist in me finds it fascinating and perplexing. As someone who is living it, it’s mildly annoying but I know it is what it is. It may not be formally named or recognized but as sure as Trump is in the White House, the politics around people’s weight exists.
Think of it like this:
Are you a Weight Conservative?A weight conservative is someone who lives in a very black and white world. Thin is the only acceptable weight anyone could be. All else is repulsive and those who appear obese are to be shamed, shunned, and judged. And the only weight lost worth commending someone for, is when all the weight is loss. You feel entitled to look down on anyone larger than a size 8. For you the only way people get large is through self indulgence and laziness.
Perhaps you are a Weight Liberal. You believe in the dignity of all humans and people who lose weight are just serving the expectations of the weight elite. You feel before and after photos are degrading to the human spirit. People who lose weight should not be celebrating their weight loss on Facebook or publically anywhere. Why? It might be offensive to those who have been traumatized by people expecting them to lose weight when they have disorders where they can’t lose weight easily. You have lots of compassion which is very welcomed in this world, but at times you can be more enabling then empowering. You value people for who they are though, and that is fabulous.
I myself am a Weight Libertarian Independent. That means that I think each person should do what they think is best for them. I don’t know other people’s story, but each person knows their own. It’s ok to be happy at whatever stage of life and at any weight.
People are not their weights, but the fact is that if possible, it’s better for your health to eat to be healthy regardless of it impacts your weight or not. I understand weight is on people for different reasons. Some it’s calorie based, sometimes it’s disorder based such as lipedema, lymphedema and Dercum’s Disease. Sometimes its PCOS or thyroid related. Sometimes it’s a combination of more than one issue.
I believe in liberty for everyone to deal with their own situation their own way and without shame. There is no judgement. Feel good about yourself and celebrate your life. It’s not about the approval of others, it’s about you allowing yourself to feel good in your own skin.
With my health conditions I can appear more slender and 20 lbs heavier in the same day.
After a few months of Whole Food Plant Based no oil or added sugar.
Later the same day and looking 20 lbs heavier
I actually was told in a Fat disorders Facebook group that posting my before and after photos was triggering to some members. Triggering was happening because it reminded them of being told to lose weight. For them that was scarring. I felt terrible knowing that, but I’m proud of my weight loss. I am healthier because of it. I have 3 fat disorders that do make it hard to lose the weight so I’m ok if I’m never thin. I though, I wonder if it has occurred to them that sometimes people do benefit from sharing information on what works when you have a fat disorder.
It’s all worth mentioning because it just goes to show the amount of damage done by society’s expectations and views regarding weight loss. For now I seem to not be slim enough to be acceptable to the Weight Conservatives. I’m an offense to some of the Weight Liberals because I found a way to work with my fat disorders and I’ve lost close to 40 lbs in 10 weeks. I’m sorry that it reminds them of doctors and people being merciless to them in judging them for their weight. They needn’t worry though, the fat disorders are forever with me and likely will keep me pudgy to some level the rest of my life. So they can take comfort in that. I’m forever one of them.
Yes I still want to lose more. I know that is going to offend some of my fat disorder peers. I’m sorry they feel that way. A year ago I was told by a doctor there was little hope with the fat disorders being involved, and yet here I am down 40 lbs. Of course I’m happy about it. No one is going to stop me from being happy about it.
In summation, I want to say that people are not their weights. Health is important, but weight sometimes can’t be helped. I don’t know how to break this to the fats disorder community, but some with fat disorders let food be our comfort because of the weight and pain we can’t control. It’s time that where that is the case, to own up to it without judgement or self loathing. You certainly can have both fat disorders and typically gained weight to deal with. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. This world needs each and every one of us. Take good care of yourself even if your efforts never make you as thin as the rest of the world would want. The quality of your life and your life itself depends on it.