mental health, story of my life

In Which I Have Good News And Bad News

21st May 2015

FATGIRLslim | In Which I Have Good News And Bad News

I have some good news and bad news for y’all.

The good news is that my recent hospitalisation wasn’t a heart attack, and that’s an absolute definite now. I got the above letter in the mail today (along with an annoying two calls yesterday from my doctor’s office) telling me about said letter.

So nothing unusual showed up on the 24-hour ECG monitor that I had, and the ultrasound didn’t show anything up.

That’s the good news. That’s the only good news.

Once again, I’m as healthy as a horse. As well as being the approximate size as one.

The bad news?

I still don’t know what the hell’s wrong with me. I don’t know why the hell it felt like I was having a heart attack, or why I’ve spent the last two weeks feeling like my stomach’s eating itself.

(I’m still positive that it was the alcohol that started that off. What else could it have been?)

But I’ve no idea, now, what the hell it is, overall, that actually caused it. Or what caused the heart-attack feeling chest pains and palpitations. And apparently, it’s nothing in my abdomen and it’s nothing to do with my heart.

Now, I’ve got an appointment with my doctor tomorrow to talk about my medication (changing from Tramadol and potentially MST to Tapentadol) so I’m gonna ask about whether or not there’s anything we can do to investigate it further, because I’m not entirely happy about completely random heart palpitations and chest pains.

Sigh.

On top of that, I also got the notification that I got refused a consultation with a psychiatrist for potential schizophrenic episodes. Which is just that little cherry on the cruddy cake, you know?

I shouldn’t speak ill of the NHS, but… JFC man.

story of my life

In Which I Went Away With The Green Fairy

15th May 2015

FATGIRLslim | In Which Tracy Went Away With The Green FairyI don’t know if anybody actually believes me when I say I’m an alcoholic. When I was in college, first year was fine. I had good friends. We had a good time. But by “good time”, I don’t mean I drank every day. By “good time”, I mean, I went out one or two nights nights at the weekend and we got drunk. (It wasn’t even expensive to get drunk. Thank you, cheap Student Nights and Student Prices.)

Second year, however, was Hell. The people that I roomed with either didn’t come back for a second year, or they got rooms elsewhere. And the college really screwed up my room and board, to the point where they ended up putting six guys in a flat with me. Six guys, who insisted on hanging pages from Nuts magazine up in the kitchen and whispering behind my back whenever I walked into the kitchen. I moved rooms just before Christmas into a different flat… full of people I didn’t know, didn’t care about. By that point in time, though, I was drinking every day, just enough to dull the sensations of loneliness. I’d gained so much weight that I physically couldn’t make it to college because it hurt too much to walk, and I couldn’t afford to get the bus because I was spending it on alcohol.

I was buying alcohol before I was buying food. I was buying alcohol (and what little food I did) before I paid rent.

So I drank. Because I was alone.

I went from before sometime in approximately October 2005 in February 2006 hardly coming out of my room, and I got kicked out of college (for not turning up to class among many other things – despite the fact that the college at the time had duty of care[?] towards me, and never once actually checked in to see if I was okay despite not turning up to class more than three times in four months) and worse than that: I’d become an alcoholic in less than a year.

When I got home, I knew it had to stop. Not only because I A) didn’t have the money and B) was starting to feel the actual physical side-effects of the alcohol addiction, but because I was back with family, and with support, I knew I could. I never told anyone. I just… stopped drinking every day. When I got a job again, I drank (to excess, costing anything up to €150) on the weekends, but I never drank every day. Instead, it changed back to food addiction – a problem I never actually had in college. In college, my diet wasn’t dreadful. But Mum, Dad (and sometimes Linda) and I enjoyed our weekends out in Ireland. Minus the cost, of course.

And when we moved back to Scotland, that stopped entirely, because I don’t have a job, and we don’t have any friends here, and there don’t really seem to be any places like The Greville Arms here in Hamilton – there’s The Palace, but that seems to be for kids. So we just don’t go out. I don’t drink.

Or.

I don’t drink to excess.

I’m still an alcoholic. I don’t drink every day, and it’s very, very rare that I even take a drink. I will never call myself a recovering alcoholic, because that would indicate that I’ve made a decision to stop drinking.

This weekend, though?

I made the conscious decision to drink.

I made the conscious decision to go out, and buy a 500ml bottle of Absinthe, and a 50ml bottle of Glenfiddich Scotch (because if you’re gonna burn your throat with Whisky, at least get the goddamn good stuff), and I bought a bottle of Bailey’s too, but had intentions of Irish coffees.

My parents went out to my Aunt’s 60th birthday party on Saturday night (happy birthday, Aunty Christine!) and I stayed at home, because my name wasn’t on the invite and social anxiety says IF YOUR NAME IS NOT ON THE INVITE YOU ARE NOT INVITED OKAY and also oh god huge family gatherings and PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW AND no. So I didn’t go with them. I stayed at home, and I talked to my friends on the Playstation Network. And we all got drunk.

And I drank probably 450-475ml of Absinthe. Plus 50ml of Whisky.

I had a two and a half hour blackout. And I do mean a blackout. I can’t remember what happened. My parents tell me that they came home to me, slumped in my computer chair, listening to Queen at the top of my voice, and when I (eventually) turned it off, I started screaming.

I got up, stumbled to the bathroom and cracked my head on the basin and eventually got up to use the toilet. Stumbled back out to the hall. And lay down on the stairs, where I apparently had a conversation with someone who wasn’t there, in a conversation that wasn’t English. When they told me about it, I said I was probably “away with the green fairy”.

My parents were at the point of calling an ambulance to take me to hospital to get my stomach pumped.

Right now?

I’m wishing they had.

Since Saturday, I’ve been in a worse hell than that.

I didn’t even get a hangover, but my stomach’s been so sore, that I’m worried that I’ve done something. I mean, it’s entirely possible that the alcohol’s upset something in my gut, or that I really do have an inflamed gallbladder, because it sounds exactly like what Mum’s been describing. It’s nothing like what I felt when I was having the non-heart-attack-heart-attack, but it feels like what Mum’s being describing.

It feels like my stomach’s eating itself alive.

Now, the good news is:

My mother threw out the alcohol (yes, even the unopened bottle of Baileys, sadface) and warned me that if I ever drank like that again, that she would beat the shit out of me. I don’t doubt her for a second. She was literally kicking my ass when I was on the stairs – I have the bruises to prove it.

The other good news is:

I am still an alcoholic. I’m just an alcoholic who won’t ever be getting drunk again. I have a problem with alcohol, in that I don’t know when to stop. (Sound familiar?) But I know that if I say to someone, “don’t let me drink more than one, because I won’t know when to stop,” then I’ll be fine.

But right now, I’m not fine.

Right now, I’m in pain, and I’ve lost about 6lbs in the past week – because I’ve been in too much pain to eat properly, and I haven’t had a bowel movement in more than a week… which may be part of the problem.

Just.

Ugh.

My name is Tracy Webster, and I am an alcoholic.

Image Attribute

Privat-Livemont-Absinthe Robette-1896” by Henri Privat-LivemontThis image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.10090.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.العربية | čeština | Deutsch | English | español | فارسی | suomi | français | magyar | italiano | македонски | മലയാളം | Nederlands | polski | português | русский | slovenčina | slovenščina | Türkçe | 中文 | 中文(简体)‎ | 中文(繁體)‎ | +/−Printed by Des Presses de J.L. Goffart, Bruxelles (Brussels), 1896.This version from flickr.com/photos/trialsanderrors. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

babble, Fit... Finally!, review, story of my life

[Fitness Programme Review] Fit… Finally!

8th May 2015

Disclaimer

Betty from Fit… Finally! has been kind enough to let me try out her amazing fitness and weight-loss programme free of charge, in return for a review of my thoughts on the programme, and my before and after results posted on FATGIRLslim.  No monetary compensation has been involved!

FATGIRLslim | Fit... Finally! Review
Image taken from fitfinally.com and used without permission (hope that’s okay, Betty!)

Fit… Finally!

Betty’s programme is… well, in a word?  Comprehensive.  She’s gone to great lengths to make sure that everything’s covered, from the whys and hows of eating enough carbs, fats and proteins, and the goods and bads of carbs, fats and proteins.  If she ever makes a statement about a study, it’s backed up by a link to aforementioned study.  A statement about something making you bloat, crave, give in to temptation?

Yup, you guessed it.

Linked. Credited. Everything has been cited.  I don’t honestly know how she had the patience to put it all together!

The Fit… Finally! programme guides are split into several different parts: “Eat To Lose”, “The Magic Ingredient” (but, like Fight Club, I’m not allowed to talk about The Magic Ingredient!), the “Cravings Control Formula” and the amazing “8-week Home Workout Plan”.

The Home Workout Plan on its own is astounding.  Exercise plans and printable planners, with ways to track how you’re getting on.  A list of foods that’ll give you very little energy to huge amounts of energy (energy density) and an explanation of macronutrients and-

Well, wow.  I could go on and on and talk about everything and explain it all, but that’d ruin the whole point of it, wouldn’t it?  :)

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not the first time I’ve seen the information.  It may well be the first time I’ve seen all of this information in the same place, along with the secret ingredient.

I think it might actually work.

The First Week

I grossly misunderestimated the changes I’d need to do.  Not only in the diet (spoiler: all white products to brown!) but in the exercise, too.  I mean, there’s a whole exercise component, because while you can lose weight just with dieting/changing your diet, you won’t go lean with it.

And holy wow, I’m a lot more out-of-shape than I thought.

So I figured that week two will be much, much better, because now I know what to expect.

(Death.  Lots of death.  Holy crap, body weight exercises kill when you weigh more than 400lbs.  Please don’t ever get over 400lbs.)

And also that I’m just calling week two “Fit… Finally! week one” and calling week one “Fit… Finally! practise week one” because I can.  Because I said so, hah.

It’s not difficult is the thing.  It’s different is the thing.  I was used to going to the gym and pulling weights.  I was used to cardio in the form on Zumba and Spinfit classes.  (Speaking of: I’m gonna get back to that, anyway.  And the pulling weights thing.)

Bodyweight exercises?  Whole different ball game.  It’s like becoming a PC gamer when you’re used to being a console gamer – an analogy I can use because I’m pretty sure that if I tried to be a PC gamer, I would die within seconds.  But I’m comfortable being a console gamer.

Workout in the gym?  Safe environment.  I know how to use the machines.  I know how to use a spin bike.  I know how to Zumba.

Bodyweight exercises?  OW JESUS F— MY BODY DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT I CANNOT GET BACK UP RIGHT NOW i’m just going to curl up in a ball right now and cry kthxbai.

Yeah, just like that.  That was practise week one.  :)

I mean, don’t get me wrong: IT WILL WORK.  I know it will.  It’s all good.  It’s health and nutrition and all that stuff that I know that’ll work.

It’s just that I hurt, and I need to not hurt but the only way that I won’t hurt will be, uh.  To eat better and exercise more to lose more weight so that I don’t hurt as much during exercise.

Yeah.

Thoughts On The Next Few Weeks

I’m optimistic.  The plan is, as far as I can tell, foolproof.  The nutrition is backed by science.  It doesn’t require any shakes or “magic pills” – just that one magic “ingredient” that is not an actual ingredient, just another component of the plan, like the nutrition and exercise.

It’s like looking at one of those weird eye pictures.  It doesn’t make sense until you know what the magic ingredient is, and then everything makes sense, I promise.

That’s why I’m not “cautiously” optimistic.

Just plain optimistic.

Availability

(AFAIK) You can buy Fit… Finally! exclusively at http://www.fitfinally.com for the price of $77 with a 100% 60 Days Double Guarantee

FATGIRLslim | Fit... Finally! GuaranteeImage taken from fitfinally.com and used without permission (hope that’s okay, Betty!)
babble, body talk, clothes, fatshion, story of my life

#WeAreTheThey – In Which I’m Really, Really Annoyed With Jamelia’s Comments On Loose Women

23rd April 2015

FATGIRLslim | #WeAreTheThey - The Loose Women Logo

There are plenty of you who won’t know what Loose Women is – and trust me, I wish I could keep it that way.  But with comments made recently by one of the panelists, singer-songwriter Jamelia, on the UK’s afternoon women-with-opinions gossip show with regards to the “normalisation of obesity by high-street stores” I sort of feel the need to write down something.

(Yes, this is all to do with that #WeAreTheThey on Twitter and elsewhere!)

I’ve been gone for (holy cow) almost a month, because I’ve been trying to work on a blog redesign, and I’ve been trying to learn how to use video editing software so that I can start putting up semi-professional vlogs… as well as doing my college work, and just doing nothing, apparently, and, funnily, in one of the videos I’ve recorded, one of the comments I’ve made is how society as a whole has made me feel as though I’m exactly what I tell myself I am: fat, ugly and disgusting.

By saying that high street stores are normalising obesity by including plus-size clothing, it’s demonising anyone who’s got a body weight over a certain amount, or someone who wears a certain clothing size.  It’s doing exactly what society, magazines, movies, TV shows and other people have been doing to me either knowingly or unknowingly for years.  Making me uncomfortable in my own skin.  Making me feel disgusting for being over a certain size; for being as fat as I am.

And worse than that, most high-street clothing stores still don’t carry plus sizes!  New Look’s plus size section goes up to a size 26, while their normal range goes to a 24 – a whole extra size for their extended section!  I found out last night that Marks & Spencer have finally extended their plus size range up to a 32, but with only 28 or 29 items in their plus sizes, and such a limited style and design, it’s not at all worth it, even for the increased quality I know you’ll get with M&S clothing.

Even high-street stores that you know stock plus-size clothing isn’t always a guarantee.  H&M, for example.  Their East Kilbride store doesn’t stock their plus sized range, but their Glasgow store does.  People who are above a size… let’s say a size 24, where a lot of designers who design for plus-sizes have decided that fat people stop existing… so above a size 24, usually have to check beforehand, if the store they’re going to, carries their size.

This is not promoting obesity.  This is demonising plus-sized women.  Punishing them for something they sometimes don’t have control over.  And even the stores that are plus-size exclusive charge sometimes, and often, extravagant amounts for clothes that are of no better quality, and certainly of no current fashion trend.  We fat women are left behind in the fashion stakes, the lingerie stakes, clothing, shoes, underwear, tights, knee-highs, boots, jackets, bras, socks, winter wear, pyjamas…

You name it, we’re screwed over for it.  There is not a fashion brand that I know who would say, “It is really cool to be fat.  Eat as much as you want!  Get fat!  It’s awesome to be fat!”  Precisely the opposite, in fact.  It’s still in, to be thin.  Maybe not heroin chic any more – we all know that “plus size” models are coming in to fashion, little by little – but when anything between a size 8-14 is considered plus size, you know there’s something very wrong with the world of fashion.

Now, Jamelia has “apologised” for her comments, saying that she only meant the extremes, and I’m going to quote her here:

“I didn’t make it clear that I was talking about extremes, I was talking about above size 20 and below size six, those sizes being available,” she said.

So apparently I’m not allowed to shop on the high street.  I’ve to be consigned to special fat-people-only clothes stores (isn’t that what Evans used to be?) because someone else thinks that it would promote obesity?

You may be entitled to your opinion, Miss Davis, that just doesn’t mean it’s the correct one.

What do you think about Jamelia’s comments?  Do you think she’s right, and that plus-size clothes should be kept to plus-size only stores, and “straight” sizes should be kept to straight-size only stores?  Or are you with the #WeAreTheThey hashtaggers, and think that women – people – of all sizes are beautiful?

Me, personally?  I think that there should be no plus- and straight-sizes, and that there should just be… y’know, clothes stores, that cater for everyone, no matter their size, so that we can all look as fabulous as we want?

400s, body talk, story of my life, weigh-in

Monthly Measurements: April 2015

2nd April 2015

FATGIRLslim | The Measure Of A (Wo)Man

  • Neck: 16″
  • Upper arm R: 20″
  • Upper arm L: 20″
  • Wrist R: 7.25″
  • Wrist L: 7.25″
  • Bust: 59 (-3”)
  • Bra band: 52” (-3”)
  • Waist: 58.5” (-7.5”)
  • Hips: 72″ (1”)
  • Upper thigh R: 34.5″ (-0.5”)
  • Upper thigh L: 34.5″
  • Calf R: 20.5 (+0.5)″
  • Calf L: 21.5″
  • Ankle R: 10.5″ (-0.75”)
  • Ankle L: 12.5″

This is one of those, “*THROWS HANDS IN THE AIR* I GIVE UP, I JUST DON’T KNOW ANYMORE,” kind of moments.

Maybe I was really bloated last month.  Maybe I got really lucky this month?  I don’t know.  I JUST DON’T KNOW.  A 7.5″ negative difference in my waist is huge – that’s not something that you can do by accident unless you have something stuck between yourself and the measuring tape, y’know?

The difference in my bust and the bra band: again, I don’t know, because I still feel like my breasts are trying to escape from my bra the whole time.  But then, I always feel like that.  I’m still wearing the 46DDD (US) that I bought from Lane Bryant in 2009, so it’s got little to no support left in it.  The other’s a 46G wire-free from… somewhere.  UK measurements.  The two are not the same.  The G-cup should technically be bigger, anyway, and yet I have more sideboob with the G-cup.  GO figure.

Basically: I hate my body, but not for the most obvious of reasons.

I just wish it made some goddamn kind of sense.