Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life is so much more than fat.

For a really, reallllly long time I made my life about fat…..or getting rid of fat…or being envious of someone else not being fat. I was either actively getting fat or actively getting unfat. I was either fat and self-loathing and desperate and full of self-pity or I was getting fit and hopeful and self-supportive. Every outing, event, and day centered around what I was going to eat or what I wasn’t going to eat depending on which fat or fit stage of life I was in.

This weekend I spent 3 days with about 50 women who have lap bands (and one who doesn’t…Hi Julie!). For 3 days of my life I didn’t think about exercise or fat or food. It wasn’t all-consuming. Besides being a monumental weekend….what I didn’t realize I would learn is that food is about sustaining me…it’s about eating when I’m hungry. Beyond that, it’s not necessary and I survived without making the weekend about food. I made it about moments and people. I made it about facing my fears and embracing my successes. I made it about being a woman with her best friend on a weekend getaway. I made it about me driving for the first time and singing at the top of my lungs in the car the whole way.

Life is about so much more than fat.

In a room of women at all different stages of losing weight…goal, near goal, a ways from goal….no one noticed. I swear to God no one saw bodies or fat or how far some of us still have to go. The desperation of once being trapped in our own bodies wasn’t evident. The hope that one day we’ll reach goal wasn’t all we talked about. All any of us knew that night and in blogland is – we are not alone. Someone has felt what we felt. Someone has been where we were. Someone will be there when we fall. Someone else will be there to pick us up.

We are each other’s mirrors. I looked into everyone’s eyes and saw myself….and those moments changed who I am.

Believe it or not, I never even took any meds to get me through the weekend. Not one.

And today I know that life is so much more than fat.

When people met this weekend and when people said goodbye…tears flowed. It was indeed hard to say goodbye and hard to let go. I’m not a crier….mostly because the meds I’m on make it difficult. It isn’t that I don’t want to or don’t feel it with the same depth – the tears just don’t physically come. So yes, I was sad to leave the BOOBS in Chicago but I never shed a tear. I even surprised myself by that.

However, when I pulled into my driveway, Watermelon and Banana were standing in the driveway holding a Welcome Back sign like I’d been gone to a war zone for years. They were jumping up and down and waving and threw the sign down to run to me. They said, “Look Mommy – there’s a picture of you with a big head and a tiny body.” And in that moment I realized my own child saw me as tiny. Words she’d never spoken before. She wrote words to describe me and read me every one….creative, hard working, pretty, loving….etc. Words written on my soul. I was holding her tight. Then I switched to the other one to squeeze her even tighter hoping the tears wouldn’t come so I wouldn’t have to explain.

And the thing is I held them both with one hand. My other hand was in Rambo’s. He let me go to them. They needed me first. But from the moment I stepped out of that car he never stopped touching me and holding my hand. When it was his turn…it was then that I lost it. And I heard him say, “Oh baby…don’t cry…it’s okay.” And I couldn’t stop.

I am not the woman he said goodbye to when I left. I am different. I am more me. I am the me I was always afraid to be. I am more than the fat I was or am or may be again or may never be again. I am a woman who struggles but does the best she can every day. I am a woman who loves others deeply and who loves the people I call family even more.

Life is so much more than fat. Life is about saying goodbye and coming home. It’s about letting fat…or losing fat….be the reason you start a blog and take steps and meet women you didn’t know before. It’s about not letting fat be the reason you never take steps or meet women you didn’t know before.

Life is so much more than fat.

It’s about coming home after a weekend of amazing women and looking in my girl’s eyes and knowing they are a part of me and my heart is empty without them. It’s about coming home and looking in Rambo’s eyes and for the first time in a long time….seeing the beauty in me that he has always seen.

I’ll spend the rest of my life fighting to hold on to feeling and seeing that beauty – that he sees so easily – every day. That is who I am. And thank God I finally caught a glimpse of it….because now it’s what I want every second.

Every one of you gave me the ability to come home and see it……and I am forever grateful…..because I used to think and live and breathe fat. 24/7 fat. Being fat or being un-fat. And now…….I know better. 

Life is so much more than fat.


Island Bandit said...

lovely. i just shed some of those tears for you.

MrsFatass said...

You have The Scarlett Effect that I wrote about last week. Our reasons for having it are different and the same, but kind of all boil down to finally seeing ourselves like those special loves of our lives see us. I'm trying like mad to hang on to mine, and I know you are too.

The weekend that put me in that frame of mind? Well. Before saying goodbye to that experience, I said "when I start to forget, please remind me of how I feel right now."

So. I get it. And you're right. And I adore you.

(umm . . . and no meds?!?! Holy shitballs)

The Ninja said...

Ah, Draz. I am a crier, a big blubbering baby sitting in my office, blowing my now running nose, because your words are so touching. I am so happy for you, I am glad that the weekend away had such a positive impact on your life, and I am glad that you share your story with the rest of us.

tessierose said...

Wow, Draz! That was beautiful and of course I'm bawling! This weekend was amazing, I'm so glad I got to meet you, you are every bit as beautiful and amazing as I thought you would be. We are indeed lucky to have found such a wonderful supportive community. When I got home everyone asked me if I had pizza or this or that, I was amazed to say that this is the first time that I have ever been on a trip that it didn't become about food. You are part of that amazing step into a new kind of freedom and I'm so thankful. I miss you already. Huge Skittle hug!

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

This is why I'm allowed to go to FitBloggin forever after more.

Love you.

Lady Lap Band said...

Hi Drazil!

Thank you so much for this post! You have NO IDEA how much I needed it. Life is not about food. I hope one day to get to a place where I am thinking about things other than it. I'm on this journey to try and figure out how to do it. Slowly but surely right? I'm so glad you all had such an amazing time!

I plan on going to next years BOOBS. I hope you'll be there, I'd love to meet you!!

Talk to you soon!


Pamela E. Williams said...

See you made me cry!! Ugghh!!! I hate to cry. There are no words I can say that express how you have just made me feel right now. I'm at work trying to swallow this fierce lump in my throat and keep folk from coming in asking "what's wrong". I'm so glad that you saw the beautiful soulful you that Rambo, Banana, Watermelon, Jenny and the rest of us see everyday. I may not have met you Draz, but I feel you in my heart.

Lucas said...

You have me crying right along with you. First of all, no meds? Awesome! What a wondeful new perspective you must have on who you are and what you can handle. And it's so fabulous that you are starting to see yourself through others eyes. If we could only love ourselves as much as others love us, how amazing that would be. I'm thrilled you were able to have that weekend, and especially delighted that you were able to have that homecoming. Sounds like it all went straight to your heart.

Jacquie said...

I am a crier, not that you knew that I'm sure...is your shoulder still wet from Sat. Night? You got me again with this post girl! What else is new?

I'm glad you had a great welcome home from the family! Love you!

Sandy Lee said...

Love you little girl. It was that same feeling when I walked in and saw you and Jenny on Friday night. The dam just bursts. It was for me, like coming home and seeing my special family. So I lie here in a bed overlooking Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco crying for what you have discovered. I could see that change as the minutes grew over the weekend. Those little girls and of course "Dean" are so lucky!!

Can't comment much this week. Had a few hickups getting onto a flight to get us here but we are in SF. And I felt like you when I saw my DH. Flutters again, because for me the weekend was life changing too. I have friends. Friends who get me and all the crap.

Be good. And keep on crying. It's good for the soul!

Off to see SF, eat lots of fish and drink a bit of wine. Maybe even try one of those Long Island iced tea that y'all got me drinking. Mighty fine tea. I miss blogging so will try to get a post out this week. I can't seem to get my mind around all that happened. It was such a celebration of us and all the bloggers we read each day. That a little ripple can turn into a tsunami of caring. Love you babe.

Jennifer said...

Stop it, you made ME cry. Goosebumps and Tears -that's a double whammy. God, I love you.
and..you know me, I have to say this:
I remember trying, not nearly as eloquently of course, to tell you that I wish you felt that way. I'm so glad that a weekend such as this will hopefully forever change that mindset inside of you. You are SO SO SO MUCH more than what you thought you were.
And you are SO Right - I didn't see bodies (yes, I noticed they were so much smaller) but I saw faces and eyes filled with love and support. Not fat or skinny or skin. It was just a room full of beautiful souls and now I'm crying again. OMG.

That's all.

LDswims said...

I'm right there with Jennifer - I have been hoping and praying that you'd get this! You are so much more than you give yourself credit for. You are not struggles or depression or anger or fat or indifference. In fact, you are peace, you are happiness, you are pleasure, you are gorgous and you are living life! I'd love nothing more than to see you emphatically embrace that and it sounds like you might just be doing that.

Love you much - keep being you and forget about all that other stuff. It's the moments that take our breath away that are the moments to strive for...

LauraLynne said...

wow. And welcome back.

Kristin said...

Lord, ladies, the midwest is gonna start flooding if you keep this up.

As always, beautifully said, Draz. And right on the money.

Tina said...

Geez Draz-you made my eyes get wet and I wasn't even there. Have you ever thought of writing a novel? You have a way with words my girl.


1reign (Mimi) said...

WELCOME BACK DRAZ!! See my sign I missed you terribly!! I'm glad you were able to get that this weekend, life should be about more than just weight. But at times it seems all consuming and if you let it, it shadows everything in your life. You have given me some food for thought today (thanks for the grub) and as fantabulous as your weekend was I am so glad you are home!!!!!! love ya!

1reign (Mimi) said...

Oh yeah and stop making me cry at work!!!!

DB said...

beautiful & touching.

Jess said...

I am glad you got to experience something so grand, Draz. You deserve to feel it. :)

Nicole said...

Great Post Draz! It is so very true
Life is so much more than fat.

amandakiska said...


Nikki said...

I, personally, and a crier...I cry at movies, TV, songs, poems, even at emotional conversations. Now that I am pregnant...I cry while cooking dinner, when I get sickies, when I can't sleep, when I wake up to pee for the 5th time that night...so yeah...long story short...u got my water works flowing!!

I am so so so so glad that this was so good for you! It is amazing the transformations that can take place in people with doing things that we never thought possible!!

OH!! I have been poking around blog land...and I just wanted to say...YOU LOOOOKED AAAAAHHHH-MMMAAAAYYYY-ZZZZIIINNNGGG! That dress was fab! :)


Canadian Bird said...

I AM a crier. Like Nikki, I cry at commercials, my bullies' faces, great hugs, & everything in between. But THIS POST??? WOW! You said it all, girl.
It's true... there was never more acceptance & love as in that room, that hotel, that city, that 19 hours I got to spend with all of you.
I know we didn't really have any time to chat, & for that I'm truly sad. I missed out on a lot in Chicago, but I still gained SO much. And a hug from YOU was one of those things that made it all (the delayed & cancelled flights, the SORE feet in high-heeled shoes) worthwhile.
Thanks for the memories... hope to make some more at BOOBs 2011!
Robin at Band on the Run

Stephanie said...

thank you for all your hard work. It was nice meeting you.

Diz said...

Sounds like BOOBS was amazing. :( I wish I could've been there! I'm so happy you're starting to see who you really are- AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED, DEDICATED...MOM (and WIFE). XOXO!

Sarah said...

I've been holding in tears today for a few reasons not fat-related, and you just burst my dam (damn!)... but it needed to be burst. And honestly? I've always been amazed at the honesty in your blogs but this one is beautiful... in ways that others don't measure up. For what it is worth, I'm super proud of you... of us... thanks. Miss you.

tasha said...

Enjoyed this post very much -- keep 'em comin ;)

DiZneDiVa said...

I have been looking for the words to say how I feel and you found them. I am rarely speechless, as you well know, but the overwhelming feelings that this weekend has reaffirmed was incredible. And you are just as amazing off the Page as you are on it... I feel blessed to have found you and your supportive friendship... *Maria*

Cindylew said...

I'm all choked up, can barely swallow and have tears streaming down my face.
This is my favorite post of yours of ALL TIME.
I love you tater tot.

Something About Kellie said...

This is an amazing post and I hope you continue to see that woman you caught a glimpse of more regularly :)

Jenny said...

Lady, are you trying to kill me here? I think you're a wonderful person and you're family and friends are lucky to have you.

Justawallflower said...

I don't have anything profound to say to that, but just that you are obviously a beautiful woman, and it is wonderful that you are realizing that. I am very touched by so many of your posts, and genuinely happy for your happiness. i am also encouraged by so much of what you say, but particularly that you are no longer living for your fat. I live for the day that is true in my life. I know that day is coming, and I will try to be as patient as I can for it to get here, whether it is a year from now, or five years from now, I will embrace it when it finally arrives. I'm afraid that inside I will always be a recovering fat person, just as an alcoholic is always an alcoholic. Anyway, thanks for all you do lady!

Genie @ Diet of 51 said...

OH, Draz, I knew that weekend would change you!!! Congrats! You've shed your cocoon!

So touching, the way your family welcomed you home. A watery-eyed experience for sure.

♥ Shrinking Kenz ♥ said...


Bonnie said...

We are all so lucky to have had such an amazing weekend, yet still look forward to coming home. My life really is amazing.

MizFit said...

Such a beautiful post and amazing realization and SO SO FLIPPING TRUE.

life is too too fleeting to make it about ANY one thing.