Saturday Ramblings

1am is still Saturday if you haven’t gone to bed yet, right?

Note to self: The expensive twice-daily asthma med works best if the evening dose is 12 hours after the morning dose, not 18 or 20. You carry it with you. See an alarm on your phone & use it, font just turn it off.

Kath posted about a current fat acceptance tag on twitter, if you haven’t seen it already. Also the HAES blog has a piece on activist burnout.

I started watching the first season of Mad Men on Netflix.  Is it weird that I’m describing it as “a grown-up Bewitched”?

Wednesday Trying to be Monday

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Image from IGIGI

Good: Wearing nifty IGIGI dress from Gwynnie Bee.
Bad: Turned my left ankle and fell in my driveway this morning.
Good: Ankle feels okay.
Bad: Right hip & knee, which I actually fell on, are sore.
Good: Hubby brushed off dress. 
Bad: Headache.
Good: Five compliments on the dress at work today. And it has POCKETS.
Uncertain: What does this say about my “normal” clothing?

In other news, I seem to have determined that IGIGI 30/32 fits me. (This may be expensive news.)

A Periodic Welcome Post

Welcome!  Hello and thank you for reading this blog.  This post is to explain some things so’s to avoid confusing newbies.

What’s this blog?

I started this blog to have a place to talk about fat acceptance and how my life is and isn’t affected by being very fat.  Some notable sub-sections are the “Day in the Life” section and my posts on exercise.

Do you look like the really fat people used to illustrate stories about overweight folks? 

Yes, even though most fat people are MUCH thinner than I.

Aren’t people your size common these days?

Not really, no.

Are you trying to lose weight?

I’m not trying to manipulate my weight up or down.

Why not?

Because losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

Well, fat is okay if you’re healthy, but —

No. 

But what about health issues caused by being fat?

There are no health issues that only fat people have, which makes it hard to believe that weight alone causes them or that losing weight is the only treatment.  And, losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

But you agree that if someone is REALLY, REALLY fat then they really SHOULD lose weight, right? 

No.

Fat acceptance?  Tell me more. 

Fat acceptance, as implied by “fat” and “acceptance” being together like that, is about accepting body diversity instead of focusing on weight loss.  On a societal level it’s about fighting weight discrimination and encouraging lawmakers and public health officials to stop the emphasis on weight.  More info is here.

Do you have a job? You were posting about interviewing.  What’s the story? 

I was “let go”, aka fired, from my software job in October 2010.  I started a temp job in March 2011, converted to a perm employee in December 2011, and was promoted in March 2013.  The new job pays me significantly better, I feel more comfortable in the work culture, & it has a more walkable workplace than the old job.  I consider it a win.

What’s the deal with your father? You were posting about him, now you’re not. 

In the summer of 2010 I realized that my father was drinking to excess again and seemed to be having trouble coping with life.  In 2011 I became concerned that he was weakening physically (and in denial).  I called social services to help convince my father he needed help.  He was hospitalized that spring and diagnosed with bladder cancer, dementia, and decreased kidney function.  I took over managing his care, his money, and selling his house.  He died in March 2012. I am still dealing with his estate.

And your mom?

Mom died over 5 years ago.

Anything else? 

I’ve lived in or near Seattle, Washington for all my life.  I studied computer science in college and work in software.  I’m white, married, bisexual, middle aged, wear glasses, sleep with a bite guard and CPAP, sunburn easily, and have naturally curly hair.  I drive an 11-year-old Prius.  I play computer games like Freecell, Simcity, and Tropico. I’m an only child and not really close to my remaining birth relatives.  I have asthmasleep apneavitamin B12 and D deficienciessome arthritis in my knees,  “light bladder leakage”astigmatism, and a history of depression.

Thankful Thursday

[An occasional exercise in gratitude.]

It’s Thursday.  I made it to Thursday.

Monday I took 5 hours out of my day for a training class on interviews (with a special focus on behavioral interviewing, joy) followed by working late. Then my carpool buddy and I drove to the 1 post office still open so he could drop off his tax extension.

Tuesday I conducted two 1-hour interviews and a half-hour informational interview and, again, working late while carpool buddy was a morale event. By the end of the day I felt like my brains were mush.

Wednesday I had no meetings, no interviews, just work. One of my team members was out, but I still got lots done, including figuring out a bit of code that delighted me.

Today, Thursday, I had multiple meetings, including my annual performance review discussion with my boss.  Since I’d been promoted to management I had an idea it would go well, and it did. I got a raise, some stock, and a renewed sense of impostor syndrome. Also a feeling of “now what?”

….and then it was off to the Fairmont hotel for dinner with the man of house at his company’s quarterly dinner thing.

I’m grateful that what started as a temp job just over 2 years ago has turned into a place where I’m comfortable, liked, and rewarded.

I’m grateful that my boss and coworkers appreciate me.

I’m grateful that I can direct the raise into saving for emergencies.

I’m grateful that I can go back to work tomorrow and maybe have a normal day. ;)

Music Monday

I discovered Jeff & Maya Bohnhoff’s parody of “Get Off Of My Cloud” this summer at Westercon. Lately I’ve been listening to it a lot more. Why?

My birthday is coming up. I’m going to be 47, which moves me kinda-sorta-maybe closer to my “late forties“. Most of my coworkers are in their 20s and 30s, which increases my feeling old.  And I’m in software, and yes, a lot of what I’ve worked with in my career might as well be ancient history.  So, taking “a stop-bugging-me, post-teenage-alienation song” and turning it into a “leave me alone, you little hooligans!” song works for me right now.

Late Forties?

On if the things that WordPress includes in its blog statistics page is “referrers”, aka, links people have followed to my page. Some are perennials, such as search engines and other fat blogs. 

Recently one was to a forum I didn’t recognize. Curious, I followed it to a discussion of fat and health, where I was cited as being in my “late forties”. 

Me: “LATE forties? 46 is LATE forties? Sure, I’m over 40, but … 46!!  Not 49!!”

Anyway. I’ll be over here waiting for the AARP welcome packet with my hair dye & Daria DVDs.

What I do with asthma

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  • Advair inhaler, twice daily.
  • Spirivia inhaler, once daily.
  • Flonase nose spray, once daily.
  • Singulair & antihistamine, once daily.
  • Rescue inhaler, 2 puffs before exercise or as needed.
  • Vacuum several times a week.
  • Weekly wipe down surfaces in bedroom.
  • Weekly wash sheets, comforter cover and pillowcases in hot water to kill dust mites. (Dust mites is a major allergy for me – bigger reaction on a scratch test than the straight histamine.)
  • Weekly spin comforter and mattress cover in hot dryer to kill dust mites.
  • Mattress cover is washed monthly; pillows & mattress have dust mite proof covers.

….and we also dust more often in other rooms, but the bedroom gets the most attention since I am physically there more than anywhere else.

But of course, “choosing” to be fat shows I hate the idea of improving my quality of life & I want to be sick.

A Periodic Welcome Post

Welcome!  Hello and thank you for reading this blog.  This post is to explain some things so’s to avoid confusing newbies.

What’s this blog?

I started this blog to have a place to talk about fat acceptance and how my life is and isn’t affected by being very fat.

Do you look like the really fat people used to illustrate stories about overweight folks? 

Yes, even though most fat people are MUCH thinner than I.

Aren’t people your size common these days?

Not really, no.

Are you trying to lose weight?

I’m not trying to manipulate my weight up or down.

Why not?

Because losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

But what about health issues caused by being fat?

There are no health issues that only fat people have, which makes it hard to believe that losing weight is the only treatment.  And, losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

Fat acceptance?  Tell me more. 

Fat acceptance, as implied by “fat” and “acceptance” being together like that, is about accepting body diversity instead of focusing on weight loss.  On a societal level it’s about fighting weight discrimination and encouraging lawmakers and public health officials to stop the emphasis on weight.  More info is here.

Do you have a job? You were posting about interviewing.  What’s the story? 

I was “let go”, aka fired, from my software job in October 2010.  I was eligible for unemployment.  I interviewed regularly and took a few programming classes. I also started a temp job with more time commitments, stress and a longer commute in March 2011 and converted to a perm employee in December 2011.  The new job pays me better, I feel more comfortable in the work culture, & it has a more walkable workplace than the old job, so I consider it a win.

What’s the deal with your father? You were posting about him, now you’re not. 

In the summer of 2010 I realized that my father was drinking to excess again and seemed to be having trouble coping with life.  In 2011 I became concerned that he was weakening physically (and in denial).  I called social services to help convince my father he needed help.  He was hospitalized that spring and diagnosed with bladder cancer, dementia, and decreased kidney function.  I took over managing his care, his money, and selling his house.  He died in March 2012. I am still dealing with his estate.  Naturally this involves a lot of stress.

Anything else? 

I’ve lived in or near Seattle, Washington for all my life.  I studied computer science in college and work in software.  I’m white, married, bisexual, middle aged, wear glasses, sleep with a bite guard and CPAP, sunburn easily, and have naturally curly hair.  I drive an 11-year-old Prius.  I play computer games like Freecell, Simcity, and Tropico. I’m an only child and not really close to my birth relatives.  I have asthmasleep apneavitamin B12 and D deficienciessome arthritis in my knees,  “light bladder leakage”, astigmatism, and a history of depression.

A Periodic Welcome Post

I thought it might be helpful to fill in any new folks.

What’s this blog?

I started this blog to have a place to talk about fat acceptance and how my life is and isn’t affected by being very fat.

Do you really weigh 400lbs? 

Pretty much, give or take 5%.

Do you look like the really fat people used to illustrate stories about overweight folks? 

Yes, even though most fat people are MUCH thinner than I.

Aren’t people your size common these days?

Not really, no.

Are you trying to lose weight?

I’m not trying to manipulate my weight up or down.

Why not?

Because losing weight doesn’t work long-term for most people. Including me.

Fat acceptance?  Tell me more. 

Fat acceptance, as implied by “fat” and “acceptance” being together like that, is about accepting body diversity instead of focusing on weight loss.  On a societal level it’s about fighting weight discrimination and encouraging lawmakers and public health officials to stop the emphasis on weight.  More info is here.

Anything else? 

I’ve lived in or near Seattle, Washington for all my life.  I studied computer science in college and work in software.  I’m white, married, bisexual, middle aged, wear glasses, sunburn easily, and have naturally curly hair.  I drive a 10-year-old Prius.  I play computer games like Freecell, Simcity, and Tropico. I’m an only child, dealing with the death of my father this year, and not really close to my other birth relatives.  I have asthma, environmental allergies, sleep apnea, astigmatism, and a history of depression.

Surprise

As I got out of the shower this morning I was greeted by the man of the house singing “Happy Birthday” and holding out a plate with Top Pot maple bar (with birthday candle).  I was delighted and happy.  Sometimes it’s nice to realize that surprises can be good as well as bad.

Food Wants and Aversions

I grew up either on a diet (and craving what was denied by the diet) or off a diet (and eating everything the diet denied).   No in between.

Now I can and do eat what I want.  And I find my wants vary.  Some days I really, really want, really crave … a banana. Or something meaty.  Or something fresh and crunchy, like a crunchy salad or apple slices.  Some times I want a burger.  Sometimes I just have no interest in them — or am somewhat repelled by them.

I’ve also begun to notice how this is affected by other things.  If I get busy at work and don’t eat, I want more energy-dense food later on.   If I have a salad for lunch I often want something more substantial for dinner, and vice versa.

The weird thing is that I can remember being in a state where passing up food meant deprivation.  Now it usually means I’m not hungry, or I don’t care for whatever-it-is.  Sometimes this puzzles or disappoints people who want me to provide their “cover” (“They only don’t have calories if I make them for you”).   Sometimes this leads to a brief discussion of HAES, sometimes it’s just there.  But that’s OK too.

Parents

It is beginning to sink in that my father is dying.  My mother died nearly 6 years ago, so I’ve been managing his finances and meeting with doctors and such.

A large part of me feels numb.

I’ve written before that I didn’t have the best relationship with my parents as an adult.  Part of this was due to my fat, though that certainly wasn’t the only issue.   In the past couple years I’ve gone from seeing my father a few times a year to seeing him once a week or more.  He seems to feel that he’s very close to me.  I see him as an amiable relative who is slipping away.  It’s also a loss, both of what was, and a reminder of what could have been.

I should note that I’m not sure I can have a full, two-sided relationship with someone with dementia.  Partly it’s the memory loss (he’s asked me to visit at least once a month, and I explained I’ve been visiting once a week).  He is dependent on me, in many ways, and that affects things.  I’m not looking for the relationship I didn’t have 20 years ago, because that’s not possible now.  But I am reminded of the relationship we could have had 20 or 30 years ago.

This isn’t just my regrets, or my loss of a parent.  He made his own choices.  It’s very possible that his dementia is due to his longterm drinking. I know his drinking affected our relationship, and my relationship with my mother, same as I know their wanting me to be thin affected me and my relationship with my parents.

I realize these may not be the typical feelings at facing the eventual loss of a parent.  But there it is.

Five Things Makes a Post

  1. New job! I have a new job.  The place I was temping hired me in late December.  I’m not doing exactly the same job, which is both “new and scary” and “cool and interesting”.   It’s also been interesting to note that the things I was looking forward to ending with the contract (the commute, say) are now things I’m stuck with, and the things I was thinking I’d miss (the walkability of the neighborhood) are now things I get to enjoy longer.
  2. According to the New York Times, my household is in the top 48% for the Seattle-Everett area this year (based on my unemployment for the first 3 months + contract for 8.5 months + signing bonus + hubby’s temp gig.)
  3. Asthma has been kicking my butt lately.  My nurse practitioner upped my dose of Advair and OMG I had so! much! energy!  this! week!   I have been enjoying it but also crashing harder at the end of the day.
  4. A coworker was floored that I am able to pick up my father’s wheelchair and load it into my car.  I pointed out that once I remove the back and seat, it collapses into a big flatish bundle.  “But isn’t it heavy?”  About 40lbs, really … which doesn’t seem all that much to me.  So I guess the weightlifting is doing me good.
  5. I have been reading more about caregiver stress and considering support groups.  I feel a bit strange about doing it, since I’m not doing the daily hands-on care.  But I am taking him to doctor visits, making medical decisions, getting his mail, managing his money, and being a supportive daughter.

Bonus: The new blog banner is a chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting and Sounders green and blue sprinkles.  These are sold by http://www.toppotdoughnuts.com/ at Seattle Sounders games.

Waiting

I am waiting outside a medical supply store that’s closed for lunch.

Why?

To pick up some catheter supplies for my dad.

Yes, my life is so glamorous. :/

Semi-Random Update

I am sitting naked on my couch, wrapped in an afghan.

“Breakfast” this morning was a banana, 2 butterflake rolls, and a glass of diet Pepsi.

My temp job is taking huge amounts of my time.  I will likely be working some today, for example.

More permanent positions may be added in my group. I have given my grandboss my resume.

The last few months I’ve been carpooling with friends.  This cuts the average commute time to 30-50% of the typical bus commute, but it also reduces how much walking I do.  I’ve been eating lunch out more just to get out of the building and walk.

I spent time with my father on Thanksgiving for the first time in years.  I took him to lunch at his favorite restaurant.  He was back at his care home in time for the big Thanksgiving dinner there. I had dinner at my place with members of our family-of-choice.

Before leaving to get Dad yesterday I realized the cotton no-underwire bra I’d put on would probably give me a bit of  “4-boob syndrome” as the day went on.  At the time, I didn’t care, since I was going to be with Dad, and that type of  thing isn’t uncommon at the restaurant in question.  This also had me thinking about class.  After lunch it definitely was “4-boob” time, so I changed when I got home.

Dinner included: Turkey, stuffing with water chestnuts and cashews, green bean casserole, mashed yams, butterflake rolls, sparkling wine, coffee, hard cider, marionberry pie and pumpkin pie.  Most of this was cooked by the man of the house.  Yum.

Not Doing Everything

Unvirtuous Abbey (“Digital monks praying for people with first world problems”) tweeted this week:

For those who have to carry the burden of what they see but are limited in what they can do, we pray.

That … says a lot, actually.

For many of us worldwide media means that we see much more than we can act upon.  So many causes.  So much suffering.  So much.  Toss in a 40+ hour-a-week-plus-commute job, a house, a parent needing care, and … it’s a bit more than I find easy to cope with.

Lately I’ve almost felt like I was drowning.

I’ve pulled back a bit, been online a bit less. This weekend I focused a family member’s birthday and some around-the-house tasks.   Tomorrow I go back to work.  I’m planning focus on getting to bed earlier this week and planning lunches instead of relying on beef jerky and dried fruit.  Wish me luck…