LEEK: art therapy

Have you seen her? She looks like your onion ass all over.

WHAT?

She’s big, not like you, she don’t have a neck or nothing man, like that girl on Willy Wonka, a blueberry, like your onion ass ALL over.

MY WHAT?

You know you got that onion ass, nothing you can do about it. I know you’re losing weight but it don’t matter how skinny you get, you can’t get rid of that… you’ll always have an onion ass…

I let him dig himself into a deeper hole trying to explain why he calls my ass an “onion” when I should just consider the source and move on, like this middle aged man pronounces “vagina” as “va-jay-jay” and probably pees out of a “winky” but my mind was stuck on that onion thing. How the hell does my ass look like an onion? Onions are round and firm – he’s never touched it, never will, so I don’t understand the comparison.

I happen to like onions, buy spicy red onions to slice in thin slivers on leafy green salads (spinach is the “new lettuce” in my world) and sweet whites are good sliced. I also occassionally buy yellow spanish onions for cooking although I do prefer shallots minced for some dishes and sliced green onions for others. And, of course, we cannot forget chives with their mild onion flavor as snipped chives is a favorite garnish.

Never once, in my 52 years on this planet, has it ever crossed my mind to describe my big ol’ butt as an onion. And yes, suppose he is right in that my body type will never change, I always was and always will be “pear shape” but geez… if asses are in the onion family, I am a shallot and he is a freaking leek.

Still, it bothered me. It laid on my mind like an irritation, especially that “you will always have an onion ass” and the best way to purge my mind of irritations is with a little art therapy.

The following colored pencil drawing started out as onions until I worked over it in my typical abstract fashion. Faber-Castell Polychromos on hot pressed 100% cotton watercolour paper, 4×6 inches.

Thanks for reading today!

Goofy Photo Day

I went looking for a photo… figured if I’m keeping it real here, I should throw up a photo of my real face instead of a colored pencil drawing interpretation of myself on the day drawn. Unfortunately, I shy away from cameras so the most recent snapshot of me was over three years old.

I thought about it for a minute. Maybe I should get dolled up and ask someone to take a picture of me? Nah, I’d have to explain how to use my Minolta SRL D7. I can set it up for auto everything but for some odd reason, when I hand a “fancy” camera to someone, they seem lost, as if there is a lot more to it than just pushing the button.

So, I did the cell phone in the mirror thing that the young ones often do to throw a photo up on facebook, minus the sucked in checks, pouty lips, overdone makeup, and that chicken neck thing. Maybe they think that looks sexy? I don’t know.

I was just playing around, acting goofy by making funny faces at myself in the mirror while trying to learn how to do this. It takes a bit of practice to get your whole head in there.

I’m thinking that I should do this again… like every ten pounds down as proof of recovery is on the scales or at least that is how the doc documents recovery.

So this is me… with no makeup and bad hair, lol.

I threw it up on facebook to see if any of my friends or family would notice that I am smaller now.

By the way, I’ve been tweeking this blog up with a new “about me” and other things… decided to add a new catagory called “Feeding Bees” to throw things like yesterday’s post in, maybe post some other food related things in there someday.

Speaking of tweeking, I need to decorate that bathroom, maybe get some plaster fish or something. I have lived here almost a year and it is still as plain as it was on the day I moved in. Oh well. Thanks for reading!

Big Fat Money Machine

Subtitle: Cashing in on the Obesity Epidemic

I have started this post several times… write & delete, repeat, delete… in part because a young mother of two in Illinois had to be life-flighted to hospital for emergency surgery over complications just 9 days after a bariatric proceedure. When I got a prayer request from a mutual friend, I found myself angry, praying oh no… not again, please God, please don’t let her become another statistic. One in every 200 customers (patients) die within 30 days of bariatric surgery so I didn’t want to write about this until her crisis had passed. Word is, she is doing okay now.

The other reason I write and delete is embarrassing. I am one of the 87 million, the 37.5% of American adults classified as obese (statistics source: CDC).

Yes, that is 87 million potiential customers for bariatric surgery so crank the math. That’s a whole lot of money. That’s also a potiential half a million dead fat people if ALL obese adults can be talked into surgery.

Okay, so a 0.5% mortality of 87 million is only 390,000 but I rounded up because that tooted low mortality rate, from what I understand, is for ALL proceedures and does not count people who die from complications (or suicide) on day 31 or 67 or day 212. Some proceedures have lower mortality rates than others. Allergan, Inc. (NYSE: AGN) cites a 0.05% mortality rate for their LAP-BAND® implant, so only one of two thousand (instead of one in two hundred) die within 30 days of that surgery. I’ve yet to find the actual data for other individual proceedures… that 0.5% is most often quoted, sometimes with a “much safer now as it used to be 1%” spin, but who knows if it is lower now because docs have more experience or if the 1:2000 thirty day mortality rate of LAP-BAND® proceedures has sugarcoated the overall stats so they can quote the “low” 0.5% kind of as a marketing ploy.

If you think bariatric surgery is used only as the absolute “last resort” for the extremely obese who could drop dead any moment anyway, think again. The FDA has lowered the min. BMI required for LAP-BAND® implants down to 30. How fat is someone with a BMI of 30? Well, it depends on your height. For a short person, that’s only 28 pounds over “normal” weight.

Yes, I hit the FDA’s BMI charts because I wanted to know what numbers would get these people off my back… how low do I need to go to be ineligibe for bariatric surgery? At what point will they STOP trying to sell me on the idea?

Now I’ve got this shrink trying to talk me into it. I am very disappointed about that because this is the first time in my life that a doc (my doc) was willing to address the problem (he put a name to it: binge eating disorder) instead of the symptom (excess weight). Of course, this is the first doc that I was straight up and honest about how I gained the weight. He hooked me up with this shrink to address the problem in my head with cognitive behavior therapy. This shrink is supposed to be a great therapist, but the only thing he has successfully done is piss me off enough to cop an attitude – by george, I am going to recover from B.E.D., with or without his help.

This shrink has revealed that he, himself, is a “grazer” who eats all night long (sorry, I’m not you?) with a sister in OA (so he knows a bit about that but from what he’s said, he thinks its a diet club), his own son recently had bariatric surgery, and he does “a lot” of those pre-surgical psych evals required by insurance companies before they agree to fund bariatric surgeries.

Now THAT is scary… it is scary because my research for stats last week came across a list of reasons for shrinks to FAIL a potiential customer’s psych eval in a paper written by a doc for docs in a medical journal (reliable source) and I have THREE things on that list. Even if we ignore two as done dealt with, not a problem, what the hell is he doing suggesting bariatric surgery to someone with binge eating disorder?

I have no idea what he charges for the psych eval, but a quick google search tells me that some shrinks charge as much as $550 for less than an hours work… a one 45 minute interview and a test, with results faxed to the surgeon who will make the ultimate decision. Oh yeah, money trickles down the feed chain, selling surgical options is a sure fire cash cow, one big fat money making machine.

Perhaps I should be quiet and not write my thoughts on this… but if I am feeling pressured into opting for bariatric surgery, how many of the 87 million potiential customers just in the United States are also feeling pressured? Bariatric surgery is being sold as the end-all, be-all, only viable option out there.

If writing this saves one person from becoming another statistic, then it was worth writing.

Bottom line, my dear bloggy friends, if the problem is in your frikken head, mutilating your gut is not going to fix it. Treat the problem, not the symptom. Recovery IS possible. Thank you for reading my rambles.