BARIATRIC_HIGH_LOGO-300x101

On being unpopular.

I just read a blog post regarding cliques, classes and the post weight loss surgery as a bizarre extension of high school.  (You need read that first, or this won't make much sense.)

BARIATRIC_HIGH_LOGO-300x101

I have said it for years — as morbidly obese individuals — we can be stunted, socially — often at the age we became obese.   Whatever the cause of the obesity — things get STUCK.  Some morbidly obese persons go through teenage-hood missing out on a lot of the social norms and live out these opportunities as an adult, after weight loss surgery.  They lose the weight, and come out of their shells, literally.  It can be an amazing time for some people!  HELLO PUBERTY FOR THE SECOND TIME!  

The blogger says,

"Thus, when people lose a lot of weight, they often go back and try to relive their high school experiences – and that means forming exclusive/non-inclusive cliques, gossiping, causing drama, putting others down, being promiscuous, dressing provocatively, being stuck-up, getting drunk, taking risks, or just being a rebel."

So we sort of agree.   I suppose a few of those shoes fit.  I'm a motherfucking rebel, yo.  Look at me, avoiding my laundry pile.  Rawr.  

Though I did not experience the whole LIVE LIFE ALL OVER AGAIN myself, it's because I did not spend a long time at my largest size, and I do not feel that I was slighted any of my childhood or teenager hood and I have nothing to prove.  I am simply pleased to be at a normal size, and I am the same exact person I was prior to losing weight.

I also don't feel compelled to GO TO MY PROM AND GET A BOYFRIEND OMGZ!  I did all that.  I did not miss out.  I do not see the draw of doing it all again.  I don't care if you missed out the first time, get over it and grow up.

I was not in any cliques in high school nor now. I was an anti-clique type of person, and I am still firmly planted there.  

What is a clique –

A powerful, yet unstable social hierarchy structures interactions between Group Members in any given clique, always topped by the highest-status member, labeled by psychologists as the “Leader” or “Queen Bee.”[1][10] In her now famous ethnography of adolescent cliques, ‘’Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence,’’ author Rosalind Wiseman explains the standard set of roles most frequently adopted by male and female clique members.

Females:

  • Queen Bee – Leader: rules by “charisma, force, money, looks, will, & manipulation”
  • Sidekick – Lieutenant: invariably supports the Queen Bee’s opinions
  • Banker – Gossip: collects and employs information for her own gain
  • Floater – Similar to a Liaison; closely associated with multiple cliques
  • Pleaser – Can be in or out of clique: immediately adopts all of the Queen Bee and Sidekick’s opinions, yet never gains their approval
  • Target – Outside of the clique; regularly excluded and humiliated

Males:

  • Leader – Like the Queen Bee except well-respected: Athletic, tough, rich, & gets the girls.
  • Flunkie – Like the Pleaser, he does anything asked of him, but he also responds to any member. Inadvertently annoys others with his actions regularly.
  • Thug – Although often smarter than he lets on, the Thug communicates primarily through nonverbal bullying. He typically appears popular, but may not actually be well-liked or respected.
  • The Get Wits – Groupies of male clique: respected by adults as high-achieving “good kids,” but only unsought tagalongs to the clique.

I am a love-all, seek-all, exclude no one type of person.  I still am.  

Screen Shot 2012-05-27 at 10.54.51 PM
My high-school friends were often on the fringes, sometimes they were oddball types and often very, very smart individuals.  My friends were typically quite opposite of me – MENSA IQ type people with extraordinary brain skills and socially awkward, quiet and otherwise unlike me.  To this day, I seem to attract these types of people.  Some of the best friends I've had have been my opposites.

In high school, my friends came to me because they saw something in me that brought out the better parts of them.  I was outwardly expressive and made them lighten up.  I was funny, and fun to be with.  I would like to think I am still the same.   I would also hope they saw empathy and understanding.


In regards to the above blog post, if I take it literally (which I know isn't the way it was meant…) I *was a marching band geek, I was in Marketing/DECA (You are looking at the National Retail Management Delegate for 1994 and 1995 right. here, baby..) I was in Student Council, as a Marketing Delegate, wanted desperately to do Yearbook Work, etc. etc… and… I … uh… hated the cheerleaders and jocks.

I… uh… still sort of do.  Sorry.  I loathe the cheerleader mentality.

Hey, give me a break here – many of them bitches were MEAN GIRLS.  

Have you ever had spitballs thrown in your hair or pennies tossed at you just because of Who You Were?  Well, it sucks.  It hurts.  And WHY on earth would we want to GO BACK THERE?

*think about it*

We'd never throw anything BACK, but hell if we didn't WANT TO.  

I may have gotten a kid or two suspended for saying nasty things to me and I fought back once or twice.  I admit my fails and I still fail all the time.

And, you know what?  

I REFUSE TO RETURN TO THAT KIND OF THINKING OR BEHAVIOR. 

We are adults, at least the last time I checked I was — as my 14 year old reminds me daily that I Am.  (Ask HER about Mean Girls.  You have no idea how much better "we" had it, ladies.  WE DIDN'T HAVE FACEBOOK!  We had PAGERS.  We passed PAPER. NOTES.  Drama traveled sloooowly!)  I LOATHE TEENAGE GIRL BEHAVIOR AND WANT NOTHING OF IT.   Sorry, dear 14 year old daughter, but you are not the typical teenager, and I thank my lucky stars.  (Seriously, go ask YOUR 13-16 year old daughter about girl-drama.  Go.  Ask her to log in to her Facebook and look at her friend-feed.  It is DISGUSTING.)

551811_10150970620153707_318094793706_9918091_781402558_n

Here I am an old 33 year old broad, a YouTuber, a blogger, a semi-decent "marketer," the founder of a group self-titled "Bariatric Bad Girls," in the very community the blogger above is lining up into classes and cliques and URLS.  

I fit into almost every clique – class – category of that blog post.  

Uh.

Why do I feel like I need to classify myself now?  I did not know that we had cliques, classes or labels.

I do not fit in any of the categories listed.  Square peg here.  Round hole.  I break holes.

  • What about the group of 1060 individuals I chat with every single day, many of who fail to fit in ANY category?  
  • What about many of those inviduals who have been EXCLUDED from other "social opportunities?"  
  • Where do they go for, in this case, social support after bariatric surgery?  

My particular  online group contains such a wide variety of humans, seriously, we are the craziest high-school you've ever seen.  We house 1060 bariatric patients, many who have been shunned by the mainstream or "popular" kids, and we are inclusive of any and all types of people in all kinds of situations.

Now, I do not want to assume the following is pointing a finger at my group, but … the shoe…. feels bad… really sick to my gut … bad.  I don't know if it has got a thing to do with *us* but there aren't many big groups out there in this community, there are many small groups, countless very small ones, I'm just feeling the… post and it stabs –

Via Gastric Bypass Barbie – Bariatric Afterlife –

"All of the “glorious” parts of high school come roaring back in the Bariatric After Life, and that can be a slap in the face to witness for people just beginning their journeys. When they first set foot in the online WLS community, they can feel judged, put down and excluded…all over again, and when that happens, they sometimes latch onto the first group of people who pay them any kind of attention, regardless of whether it’s a good or healthy fit because (they reason), it’s better to belong to A GROUP, than NO GROUP – no matter how unhealthy that group might be. We’re human and desperately want to be accepted. It’s how we’re made!

Of course this makes me sad, because I want everyone to believe strongly enough in their own value that they make healthy choices in friendships and behaviors. I don’t want people to settle for what they can get. I want them to blaze their own trails and create their own successes.

Unfortunately, peer pressure is alive and well in our community and it is, perhaps, even more potent than it was when we were teens because, NOW, we are all adults…and that means it’s incredibly easy to justify bad behavior in the name of “choice.”"

I just said it in my group — if you FEEL THAT WAY — feel that we are AT ALL a bad fit, a bad influence?  You do not belong in the group — NO GROUP should make you feel that way.  The door is open, please leave!  Man.  There's no need to feel bad!

My group — though titled "bad girls" — has ZERO to do with being "bad" at any level.  What is a Bariatric "Bad Girl?"  (Funny, that… I just started posting videos on this Very Topic.)

Sadly enough, it's about being EXCLUDED, which feels like SHIT.  It burns.  It's another penny being thrown at the back of my head because We're Not Good Enough.

I'd have posted this to you on your page, butcha unfriended me.

I went to comment via Twitter, but you blocked me.

This is what burns.  Stings.  

We are all equals in the same community,  we aren't the "bad kids" sitting in detention you know. We're often the kids that haven't got a clique to join.  We are inclusive.  

We are the unpopulars, the super-geeks, the girl who has to take meds, the kid who sneaks butts, the kid from horticulture class who grows weed on the side, the girl who is the prez of a fan club,  the kid who has to watch his little siblings because mom is stoned every night, the kid who plays sports because his mom makes him, the freaky arty kid, the sick kid who left school half-way through the year, the kid who has seizures, the one with the crazy hair that you made fun of,  the one who goes to church every day,  the one with Aspergers Syndrome, the kid who leaves classes to meet with the School Psychologist, the kid who's mom and dad are from Iraq, the girl who goes home to an empty house everyday, the girl who goes to school in homemade clothes, or the one with no new clothes every year,  the kid who has no food at home, the girl with the mom who drinks too much, the pregnant girl,  the one who had a baby and you didn't know it, the stoner, that girl who only eats white foods, the one who had surgery when she was little and now has problems, the drinker, the one with the parents who beat the shit out of him, the fat girl, the really fat girl, the reformed bully, the bully who doesn't really admit to being in the group, the gay kid that doesn't know it yet, the girl who likes chicks, the one you heard who did that thing, the Jesus freak, the super freaky kid, the emo kid, the anorexic, the bulimic, the cutter, the kid who tried to commit suicide, etc..etc..so forth and so on… you know…

…MY FRIENDS.  

My friends who NEED SUPPORT because we are not mainstream.  We are not popular.  There may be some here and there who are super fucking popular in their own ways, in their social standings, or careers, but it's got JACK to do with their standing in a medical weight loss community.

Do people in the heart surgery or brain surgery CREATE CLIQUES?  Because if so — I'mma start me a group called Epileptic Excellents.  Damn.

Haven't many of us spent the last 15-20 years of our lives trying to BREAK OUT of the ridiculous high-school categories?  Haven't we been trying to come together as adults and beat a common cause?  Doesn't it feel gross to be labeled?

But, I will take your advice, Barbie!  "Love yourself enough to hang with the winners and risk being unpopular."  I am.  Fuck haters.  I know I will never be "popular" and that is the risk I take for BEING MYSELF.  I'm out.

476316_10150979215253707_939508664_o

18354366_9bef13fc51_o

Obese women are discriminated against in the workplace – Study

Many of us have dealt with fat discrimination directly, and in bizarre way, it is why I ended up having weight loss surgery.  In a new study in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers gave study participants resumes with small photos of applicants attached, both before and after weight loss surgery. The researchers discovered that criteria like starting salary, leadership potential and the selection of the candidate for the job were all negatively affected for obese women.  I would suggest that this phenomena is similar for obese men.  Mr. had weight loss surgery after being harshly judged AT work.

18354366_9bef13fc51_o

Would you hire this woman – with an obese BMI?
6854708210_df0cccef95_b

Or this one, at a "normal" BMI?

MNT 

"Participants viewed a series of resumes that had a small photo of the job applicant attached, and were asked to make ratings of the applicants suitability, starting salary, and employability," said Dr O'Brien. "We used pictures of women pre- and post-bariatric surgery, and varied whether participants saw either a resume, amongst many, that had a picture of an obese female (BMI 38-41) attached, or the same female but in a normal weight range (BMI 22-24) following bariatric surgery. 

Are we more hireable after losing weight?  Apparently so.

"We found that strong obesity discrimination was displayed across all job selection criteria, such as starting salary, leadership potential, and likelihood of selecting an obese candidate for the job." 

The higher a participant's score on the measure of anti-fat prejudice, the more likely they were to discriminate against obese candidates, while those with a more authoritarian personality also displayed discrimination. 

Dr O'Brien and co-authors Dr Janet Latner, from the University of Hawaii, and Dr Jackie Hunter, from Otago University, noted that one of the particularly interesting and new findings was that the participants' ratings of their own physical appearance (body image) and importance of physical appearance were also associated with obesity discrimination. 

"The higher participants rated their own physical attractiveness and the importance of physical appearance, the greater the prejudice and discrimination," said Dr O'Brien. "One interpretation of this finding might be that we feel better about our own bodies if we compare ourselves and discriminate against 'fat' people, but we need to test this experimentally.


The more attractive you are — the more you judge others?  This horrifies me.


Weight hate by PCRMs “Sit next to a vegan” campaign

As you can see, this commercial further perpetuates weight bias and stigma. The commercial clearly displays an individual affected by obesity as clumsy and careless. Negative weight bias such as this must stop! We need your help!

OAC leadership originally contacted PCRM in January 2012 regarding another campaign against obesity that we felt was offensive toward individuals affected by the disease. Pictured right, you will see a PCRM campaign targeting cheese consumption and obesity.

If you feel this commerical further perpetuates weight bias, please contact the following PCRM representatives:

Neal D. Barnard, MD
President
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
5100 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Ste.400
Washington DC, 20016
Phone: (202)-686-2210, Ext. 314
schimes@pcrm.org

Patrick Sullivan
PCRM Communications Director
(510) 834-8680
psullivan@pcrm.org

When sending emails to these individuals, please CC biasbusters@obesityaction.org. Also, please share any responses you receive as well with the OAC.

 

Who you are

"Who You Are"

I stare at my reflection in the mirror:
"Why am I doing this to myself?"
Losing my mind on a tiny error,
I nearly left the real me on the shelf.
No, no, no, no, no…

Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It's okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart.
Tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising,
Just be true to who you are!
(who you are [x11])

Brushing my hair, do I look perfect?
I forgot what to do to fit the mold, yeah!
The more I try the less it's working, yeah
'Cause everything inside me screams
No, no, no, no, no…

Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It's okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart.
But tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising,
There's nothing wrong with who you are!

Yes, no's, egos, fake shows, like WHOA!
Just go, and leave me alone!
Real talk, real life, good love, goodnight,
With a smile, that's my home!
That's my home, no…

No, no, no, no, no…
Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It's okay not to be okay…
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart.
Tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising,
Just be true to who you are!
Yeah yeah yeah

I think… I am…

Gratitude.  Sounds simple.  Are you grateful? 

grat·i·tude – [grat-i-tood, -tyood]  noun the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

Grateful people are suggested to have happier — less stressed out — less depressed overall — and more satisfied lives.  If you are grateful it's said that you gain self-acceptance, purpose, direction and know your goals in life.  People who are consistently grateful learn how to cope better with every day realities — and spend less time brooding and being miserable. 

Perhaps being more grateful would help a person cope with every day problems without resorting to denial or the attempt to cover up problems with addictive behaviors:  alcohol, drugs, and yes, I'll say it — food.  "I numbed my pain at the expense of my liver." Miranda Lambert, who also says… "Hide your crazy and start acting like a lady…" in the song "Break Mama's Heart."

If you can't be happy, how can you be grateful; if you can't be grateful, how can you be happy?

It’s Just Disease.

What IF?  What if disease is…. an empowering situation?

From TED –

14 year-old, Claire Wineland was born with cystic fibrosis or "CF", a genetic disease that causes excessive mucus secretions and collection, especially in the lungs. In her short life, Claire has undergone dozens of surgeries and has spent weeks at a time in the hospital.

This is not, however, what characterizes her. Claire is a singer, an artist, a composer, and a natural-born comedian. She radiates with a warmth and wisdom beyond her years. She has been called a "little Buddha" a "bridge among people", and a "true old soul." She is precious to anyone who has met her, especially to her mother, Melissa, and her father, John.

On April 13, 2010 after a relatively routine surgery, Claire became septic and within 24 hours, was in complete lung failure. Her parents were given the option of watching Claire die or putting her on a dangerous oscillator vent, which no child with CF has ever come off of. Her parents opted to put her on the high powered vent and into a drug induced coma so the doctors could try everything possible to reverse the damage to her lungs and her body.

What followed was a remarkable two-week journey of prayer, love and healing. The family was buoyed by an inconceivable amount of support from friends and family. While Claire lay in her coma, kept alive by the maximum amount of life support possible, her friends and family began to pray. Spiritual groups of every possible denomination worldwide were given Claire's name or in many cases her picture, round the clock vigils of sometimes 50 or more people met in the hospital cafeteria and Claire's parents and family slept by her side and in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for 17 straight days.

So many people were inspired by Claire's journey that a public Facebook page, "Claire Wineland Love, Songs and Updates" , was created to disseminate the seemingly ever changing information. Within two weeks, the fans on the page grew to over 900. Out of this grew the desire and need for a foundation.

Claire came through this harrowing event inspired, passionate, and very excited about making a difference for other children and teens by sharing her experience, strength and hope with them. She continues to suffer many setbacks but maintains a positive attitude and believes this is the key to living a fulfilling life — despite being burdened with such a deadly disease.

Claire and her parents want other families to experience the benefit from the kind of support that they received and continue to get; hence, this is the motivation for the foundation. Claire's experiences have catapulted her into a position of being a spokesperson and an inspirational model for people living with this disease. She has documented and created videos on how to enjoy life with Cystic Fibrosis and live life to the fullest. Claire's Place Foundation is a way for Claire to give back and make meaning of what she has had to go through; the foundation is her way to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

www.clairesplacefoundation.org