Tuesday, August 16, 2005

FAT GIRLS AREN'T ALWAYS FUNNY: Sometimes they're petty and gross...

Oprah is showing reruns this week...and because our fan base is like 10 times what hers is, I thought I would try to perk up her ratings today and send a few of you her way.

Today's Oprah features a woman named Stacey Halprin. Oprah has been following her weight loss story for a while and if I had Tivo I would record her journey every step of the way. (On a side note, I barely have basic cable and Jeopardy comes in all fuzzy so I can't even read the questions).

I don't enjoy Stacey for the reasons you may think. Sure, she used to weigh 550 lbs and lost a bunch of weight, but I am no longer inspired by other people's weight loss. I know people can lose weight. I know how to lose weight. When and if I want to, I will lose weight. So, no, it's not inspiration I enjoy ... it's the pictures and descriptions she uses to describe the effects of losing such a massive amount of weight in such a short time.

See, Stacey had gastric bypass surgery and because of how much weight she lost, the fact that she had been nearly immobile, and how fast she lost the weight, Stacey ended up with pounds and pounds of hanging flesh. She described her post weight loss body as literally looking like her skin was melting off. Indeed the pictures Oprah shows of Stacy show a body encased in hanging folds of loose skin, almost like a jumpsuit of lard, or melting candle wax.

So Stacey decided that after losing that much weight and enduring years of being in a flesh prison, she would do something about her hanging skin ... she had pounds of flesh surgically removed. Neither of the pictures as the top of this post are of Stacey. I couldn't find many pictures of her on the web, and none of her body. Yet the pictures*** represent something of what she went through. The first one is literally the excess hanging belly of a woman: It's 47 lbs of flesh cut from her living body. The second picture is of an a "body contouring" surgery. It's a less intense version of what Stacey went through.

Why you might ask am I writing a post about this? Well, I am a sick fuck and when my twin interests of all things fat and medical procedures are peaked, I just can't pass up the opportunity to stare and pretend that I am just another normal devoted Oprah fan (which in general, I am).

Honestly, what I like most about watching Stacey's story and her pictures is that she looked worse then me, because sometimes I think I'm the fattest woman in the world. Also, she got to live out a fantasy that I have always had, namely cutting off all of her excess flesh. I once read that having that fantasy was a sign of having either an image or an eating disorder and I have to say: Duh!

So, now that you know that I am a terrible person who hangs on every word of a fellow fat girl's pain out of a purely prurient interest, I will leave you fine readers with one of my favorite images. This is a picture of an abdominoplasty panniculectomy. The patients, "pannus was so massive she could not walk. Her skin would tear from the stress of the gigantic hanging flesh". And so she had it removed*** ...

*** Please note: We voluntarily removed the pics from our site because, well, we didn't ask permission to use them and that made us feel icky.But please keep in mind that if you google the words "pannus" "fat" "belly" "abdominoplasty", you are sure to find some awesome pics of fat panni and bellies in all of their glory...

19 comments:

Augustus said...

Yeah, I have to admit I share your same "prurient interest." I'm actually happy to find I'm not the only person in the world that does.

I'm not one for weight loss surgery - I'd never do it myself. There's something so hopelessly unnatural about it. Plus, even with the surgery most people still tend to eat pure crap, just in smaller amounts. I'd rather be the fat vegetarian that I am, continue to exercise, and take my chances!

On a similar topic, here something that bothers me. Have you ever seen pictures of men and women before and after the fad diet/surgery only to notice they look healthier, happier, and sexier in the before pictues?

Out who concept of body image is f*ed in this country.

dani said...

I had a duodenal switch in February and my weight loss is going really well. I KNOW that I am on the road to plastics though. The question is, how bad will it be? Right now my gut already hangs down past my pubes, so I'm sure it won't be pretty. Though no matter how slow you lose the weight, if you weigh 300+, there is no way your skin will bounce back. It just isn't happening. Once skin is stretched out (you can tell by the stretch marks), that's all she wrote. I'd love to see photos of her after her surgery. There are very few photos out there of people who have pretty much the full body skin removal.

dani said...

I also wanted to add that with the DS, my life is pretty damn normal. I can eat "normal people" sized meals, and pretty much whatever I want as long as I get enough protein in. I never, EVER wanted to have a gastric bypass, but when I found out about the DS there was no question. It cured my PCOS and blood sugar issues imeediately. Hopefully I am still allowed to post here!

Augustus said...

Dani -

That's some good info. All of us who are fat ponder the idea of surgery to combat weight loss. I continue to hear good and bad on both sides. I've thought if my health were truly in danger, hell yeah, I'd do it - I'd have to. But so long as it's a matter of will power, I'm hanging in. I don't have a negative body image - I'm fat but firm; I've continued to work out since High School.

It's a personal choice issue that keeps me interested.

hopefulloser said...

Who doesn't want to see this stuff, it's great (and sick, what-ev).

augustus, i'm a fat vegetarian too! I always get comments like "all the vegetarians I know are emaciated?" or "you break the stereotype of all vegetarians being thin".

That last picture is the craziest! They couldn't have contoured her a little nicer? It looks like she got into some kind of accident with industrial machinery. Weird!

DK said...

I too had the DS almost two years ago. I am down 170 pounds, and do need PS. However, that last photo..she got chopped up! But, if there is that much skin, you cant do it all in one surgery, sometimes it takes a few.
Yes, WLS IS a personal choice. And it is not something that will magically make your life that much better. You will just be healthier, that is, if you follow up w/primary care docs, and be healthy. But you also have to work on your head. Be prepared for the changes, and realize that your true self is not your body size, but rather your heart and soul. It's hard work.

Anonymous said...

That is so funny! I thought I was the only chubby vegetarian out there...lol!! My friend told me that one of her relatives gained a whole pile of weight after becoming vegetarian, because she overate cheese and ice cream and butter! (I kinda have done the same thing)
It's good to know there are others out there like me, I thought I was a freak of nature!
As for the weight loss surgery, I dont think I would do it unless it were a last resort. I have heard horror stories about GP surgeries and it can be scary.
I Love your site!!! Here today for the first time!
Fat Chicks Rule!

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Augustus said...

Ha! I never knew there were so many fat vegetarians out there. People look at me like I'm insane when I tell them I don't eat meat products! There's always a lot of cognitive dissonance going on there. I admit I tend to eat a lot...you can still get a hullava lot of calories from two pounds of tofu stir fry!

floradoragirl said...

It's so good to feel Im not alone! Lol!

kathrynoh said...

I'm so glad I read this. I have a total fascination with before and after stories especially where people have lost huge amounts of weight to the point where my interest is starting to worry me.

mainja said...

okay, so i googled it and found the pictures you were talking about. i also read the story attached. what i find facinating is that she was 240lbs, which is a good 70lbs lighter than me, but looks much biggger. i don't know, i find the whole perception of weight and size based on pounds very interesting.

um. yeah. don't know my point.

carry on. as you were.

Anonymous said...

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