1. I am XftYin (or Zcm) tall. How much should I weigh?
This is the single most commonly-asked question in my inbox. So here’s the giraffe I show everybody!
I’m sorry, I meant graph.
Simply follow your height to the green sections for your healthy weight range! But always remember that every body carries weight differently. Focus on health, not size.
2. Can you tell me how to lose X amount of weight? I am XftYin (or Zcm) tall. How much weight can I lose in Q amount of time? Will this diet I found make me lose X amount of weight?
Eat healthy, drink water, and exercise more. Just create a calorie deficiency from the amount of calories it takes for you to maintain weight (for most, maintenance is at your BMR. Adjust for your activity level). About a 500 calorie drop from your maintenance level should do, but never go lower than 1000-1200 net calories daily. Weight loss varies from person to person depending on age, gender, height, metabolism, medical conditions, effort, diet, exercise, etc. There is no way to know how much you can or can’t lose on what programs, methods, or regiments.
There is no magic trick we’re going to give you. There is no big weight loss secret. No matter what weight loss program you’re doing, or even if you’re going it alone (i.e. off a program), there is no special method or answer that you haven’t heard before. In the end, it all comes down to eating right and getting a good amount of exercise.
3. How do I lose fat in this specific area on my body (tummy, thighs, back, privates, breasts, etc.)?
Say it with me, kids: There is no such thing as spot reduction. Your body chooses where it takes the fat from. All you can do is eat healthy and tone the muscles underneath and skin on top so it looks tighter and leaner as the fat shrinks.
4. Do you have extra skin from losing all the weight you did?
Yes. Yes I do. A lot of it. For more on my excess skin, watch this video.
5. Why don’t you get your excess skin removed in a foreign country to save money? Have you considered getting a grant? *insert other money-saving suggestion*
First off, the other countries: I am not comfortable leaving my country for surgery. Not only is the cost of travel and recovery lodging ultimately more expensive, but there are numerous health hazards in other countries that could lead to substandard procedures, infection, and even death. A friend of yours getting a boob job in Guam is not the same as having mass quantities of your largest organ (skin) removed, huge chunks of bare flesh lying open as they shape it and stitch it up. These are much more serious and dangerous procedures. Hell, there’s a chance I could die even if the operation was executed perfectly. Here’s the thing: you don’t look for the cheapest surgery. You don’t skimp and cut corners when someone is cutting your body wide open. You look for a quality surgeon in a place where you’ll be able to heal comfortably. Your life is not worth saving a couple thousand dollars. I would rather spend an extra year or two saving than get a subpar surgeon.
As for the monetary advice, I have looked at grants, I don’t qualify for Kickstarter, my insurance won’t cover it under any circumstances. If your suggestion extends beyond this, I’ve probably heard it and/or tried it. I really appreciate the intent to help me, but it really is tiresome to tell people over and over again, “Just because your uncle got lucky and found that special grant money for his surgery doesn’t mean it’s out there for everyone.” If you genuinely have something new or unique or you personally have a means to help, I’m all ears. I just can’t keep answering the same futile suggestions over and over.
6. If I lose weight, will I have excess skin like yours?
I have a great deal of excess skin because I lost a whole lot of weight really really fast. And I had carried that weight, stretching out my skin, for over half a decade before I lost it. But even if you did everything exactly the same as I did, there is no way to know if you will have the same amount of excess skin or any at all. It is different for every person. All you can do to prevent it is stay hydrated, maintain proper nutrition, do regular toning exercises, and shoot of r a weight loss of no more than 2lbs per week (a healthy rate). Keep this up after you hit your goal weight, too. (minus the weight loss) If maintaining this for a year does not cause your skin to go back naturally, you may need to look into reconstructive surgery like I am. *shamelessly points to donation button in sidebar* But as I said, give it a year of true dedication after hitting your goal weight before you worry about if your skin will go back. And even if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just skin. :)
7. I hear you have a lot of maladies. What all are they?
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (which comes with a whole lot of crazy symptoms), gastric bypass (not so much a “problem,” but it affects things), insulin resistance resulting from PCOS and exacerbated by gastric bypass, asthma, Fowler’s Syndrome, chronic back pain resulting from injury, my chronic sprained ankle seems to be healed but can still be touchy, iron deficiency, protein deficiency, severe allergies (I ALWAYS have tissues on me), sugar addiction, OCD, a couple findings of the early stages of skin cancer, Panic Disorder, depression, excess skin from weight loss, and a stomach ulcer. And in the fullest disclosure I’ll provide, I’ve also experienced some severe psychological trauma that occasionally comes back to haunt me.
8. How did you get so fat?
I’ve only gotten this question once, but I think it is a fair but politically incorrect question to ask of a weight loss blog.
I have been overweight since I was in preschool. I do not know what it is to be a “normal” size. I was 200lbs by the time I was 10 years old and 296 by the time I was 13 years old. You see, I have a severe case of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. My ovaries’ ultrasound basically looks like black-and-white swiss cheese. This led to severe weight retention, regardless of how strict a diet I kept, because those of us with PCOS retain carbohydrates differently than “normal” folks. I even ate salads for a month yet still gained weight. Yet the adrenal symptoms also caused me to develop a sugar/carb addiction, which is just the worst for my circumstances. The doctors have told me that my addiction level is equivalent to that of a crack addict. I’m currently working on fighting this and have recently managed to conquer my candy cravings.
9. What weight loss methods have you tried?
This is a list that I often struggle to remember in full because I have been overweight my entire life. I was seeing therapists when I was 4 and put on anti-depresants at an early age. I started seeing nutritionists when I was 8, so despite my size, I actually know quite a lot about health. The weight loss methods I remember: weight loss camp, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Atkins, vegetarianism, personal trainer, Curves, HCG, diet pills, and at my lowest point, I tried to make myself bulimic. Didn’t work. I have like… no gag reflex. But it’s better this way. EDs are never the answer. I tried these methods of weight loss repeatedly, together, separately, and every other which way. As I said, there are others I can’t recall easily, but I’ll add them when I remember. None of them worked for me, though, and it wasn’t a matter of commitment. This is why I got gastric bypass surgery.
10. How did you get from 326.5lbs to your current weight?
On December 18, 2008, I had gastric bypass RNY surgery. The decisions to do this was not an easy one, but after spending all of my life trying and failing to lose weight through other means, my doctors and I concluded that this was the only way. This procedure involves bypassing a large portion of the stomach and portion of the intestines, creating malabsorption. It also limits the amount of food one can ingest. Depending on how much I’ve eaten previously in a given day, my stomach can hold anywhere between the size of one egg and two eggs.
11. How much weight did you lose from your surgery?
I got down to 172lbs at my lowest weight, indicating a loss of 154.5lbs. Unfortunately, I’ve gained back a bit since but am working to lose it again. That’s why I made the blog.
12. Gastric bypass surgery is the easy way out! You cheated!
Okay, that’s not a question. I kept my surgery hidden for 2 1/2 years because of these kinds of comments. People judge you for it. When I made this blog, I decided that honesty was the most important thing, so I “came out” of the surgery closet. Let me tell you, getting this surgery has been no “easy way out.” It saved my life. Nothing else worked. Anyone who knows me personally can tell you that I am a disgustingly dedicated person, so I can tell you that when I start a diet, I stick to it. And those diets just didn’t work. (See above.) The surgery was the most painful experience of my life thus far, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat because I know that I wouldn’t be alive without it. And it’s no easy life. I’m on a dozen different supplements, I see doctors more than I see my family, I battled malnutrition for about half of 2011, the excess skin has exacerbated my back issues, and now I have a stomach ulcer at the surgery site. And again: I’d still do the surgery. I can get a lot more ranty and preachy about this, but I really don’t need that in this post.
13. What do you use to track your food?
There are a ton of sites out there for this. I use MyFitnessPal, but there is no right answer. Whatever helps you track is what’s right for you.
14. What is an ED?
Fabulous question because it is important information! ED stands for Eating Disorder. There are a variety of eating disorders, and none of them are something you want. They are called “disorders” because they are unhealthy and can ruin a life. For more information about EDs and different types of EDs, please click here. I do not condone EDs in any way, shape, or form. I even try to avoid reblogging from pro-ED blogs. What I advocate is recovery from these EDs. Tough love. I will tell you how bad your ED is because I want you to get better, not because I’m trying to put you down or push you deeper down the rabbit hole. We’re about healthy here. I don’t care who you are or where you come from because health is a universal need and should be a universal goal.
Alas, I cannot give you a meal plan. What I eat changes regularly. It’s also tuned to my specific health needs. I love to cook, and I love flavor, more so since my surgery. Believe it or not, gastric bypass can alter how you taste things! It has really broadened my edible horizons. If you want to know what I ate in a given day, just ask. :)
16. What has been the biggest obstacle for you in your weight loss?
This is another fabulous question! The hardest thing for me has always been my sugar addiction. As I mention in an earlier question, the doctors have told me my sugar addiction is equivalent to that of a crack addict. So yes, it’s a real thing. I have ripped apart cabinets and other peoples’ kitchens before to find something with the right kind of sugar in it for a sugar craving. It’s sad, but it’s true. This is something I am currently working diligently to overcome. I have recently starting following the steps in Your Last Diet! The Sugar Addict’s Weight Loss Plan by Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons, author of Potatoes Not Prozac. This book has been proven very affective for people with sugar addiction trying to lose weight, so I’m putting my faith in its slow-but-steady methodology.
17. Can you follow me back/promo me please?
Sorry, but it’s not that simple. I get a surprisingly amount of new followers on here everyday, and to follow back each would be insane. Additionally, I am very picky about what I want to see in my dash. I am also picky about what I promo unless I do a promo contest, so I’m not just going to bump your blog because you said “pretty please.”
If I see you responding to my posts with intelligent comments, I may check out your blog. If I happen to check out your blog and like the majority of what I see, I will follow. But there’s never a guarantee. Furthermore, if the only time you ever speak to me is to ask me to check out your blog/promo/follow back, I will intentionally never look at or follow your blog. It is stupid, rude, and the messages are obnoxiously flooding my inbox. This is Tumblr. I’ll follow what I like, not who I feel “obligated” to follow.
18. You said you followed me, so why don’t I see you?
This is because this blog is not my primary account. Any messages I place in your ask box or any follows that I do will show up from my primary account, RisaEllen.
19. You haven’t made a video in a while. What up with that?
Give me a reason! If I get a question that provokes me or requires an intricate response, I will likely do a video. So check out my ask box and tell me something good. ;)
20. What’s a “Random Dance Party?”
I post Random Dance Party’s whenever I feel like it. I always try to pick a song you can move to, and the point is to do some spontaneous calorie-burning. Dancing is a fun and fantastic way to burn calories, so as soon as you see the post, play the song and don’t stop dancing until the song is done. :)
21. How do you deal with hateful messages?
For info on this, please read this post. And remember:
22. You have so many gifs! Where do you get them? How do you use them?
When I see a gif I like, I right-click and save it to a gif folder on my computer under a name I’d likely use to search for it. For example, this one’s labeled “Gasp1.gif”:
I know, it’s shocking.
To upload a gif to a post, go into the create post or reblog post page. (You should know how to do that.) Above the top right of the text box should be, in gray, “+ Upload photo”. Click that, select your gif, and watch it upload!. If the gif doesn’t move, the file is too big. If there is no upload button, open Tumblr in a separate window. Go to create a text post. Upload your gif there. Then cut it and paste it into the text box of the post you want it on. The only posts you can’t add images to are chat posts. But this works on everything else!