PART I: Weight loss after hysterectomy … Is such a thing possible?

dreaming skinnyI’ve been waiting quite some time to write this post because I wanted to be sure I could be committed to working on my issue of weight loss post-hysterectomy.  I have gained almost 20 lbs. (9 kG or 1.4 stones) since last year or roughly 15 months after my hysterectomy.

Wow, stones don’t sound so bad … I can see why people in the UK and Ireland might be reluctant to change to kG.  On a daily basis I have to ask my patients what their weight is.  Many of the women groan or make a comment like, “too much.”  Sometimes I give them their converted weight in kG and tell them they could use that number if it makes them feel better … the usual response is a laugh.

Just to make things fun and confusing, let’s just say my weight last year at this time was 7.64 stones and recently it has been 9 stones.  See what I mean?!  A weight gain of seven to nine stones doesn’t seem like any big deal.  Those of you UKers & Irelanders are probably thinking, What’s the big deal, you skinny bird?!

Well … it IS a big deal because it’s my body and it’s the most I have weighed in my life!  EVER!  This has never been my normal weight.  Granted, I’m not in line for bariatric surgery and I don’t want to get there for sure.  I am uber supportive of weight-loss surgery for anyone who wants it for health reasons.

Weight is just one clue doctors look to for an indicator of poor health. But to see what’s really going on, they have to peek under the hood. The scale is not a proxy for your health, says Dr. Church, director of the Laboratory of Preventive Medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

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Weight has been an issue my whole life … most likely not in the way you are imagining.  No, I wasn’t the fat girl … I was the skinny girl.  If you don’t think there’s problems with being thin and I’m not referencing health problems … I’m talking about subtle bullying and discrimination.  Yep, thin Lizzies are discriminated against and subtle comments are thrown our way endlessly and needlessly.  It’s the whole skinny shaming.  And if you are doing it STOP IT!  Trust me people, my becoming fat won’t make you happier, and no, no you will not look thinner because I gain weight.

I have experienced this delightful (sarcasm) treatment from friends, co-workers, my boss and strangers.  Although, oddly, I’ve never received anything passive-aggressive, judgy or negative from any males throughout my life in regard to being TOO thin. On the flip side, there have been times when I was thin and was then accused of being overweight by men in two different relationships.  Both of these twig & berries people are history.  twigandberries

For instance I have been told, “You’re too thin,” “You don’t need to go to the gym, you’re so skinny,” “You probably don’t eat,” “You have anorexia,” “You’re anemic,” “You’re so thin and I’m so fat” and many more mean things that I refuse to relive by posting them here … and countless other little verbal jabs and stabs — you know, those backhanded compliments.  I have been excluded from hot tub & pool parties and not because I had some smokin’ hot body … I was just skinny.  But in truth, I’ve always been skinny-fat.

What Is Skinny FAT?

There is a medical term floating around for this syndrome now known as “MONW” or metabolically obese normal weight, which means being a “skinny fat” person. This means you are under lean and over fat or not enough muscle and too much fat (specifically belly fat.) Shockingly, it is better to be fat and fit, than thin and out of shape [my emphasis].

The Skinny Fat Body Type:

  • Thin in clothes, but bare skin shows some flabby areas
  • Cheerio-sized wrists
  • Weak, non-muscled arms with dilapidated deltoids
  • Love handles, abdomen & lower chest are main areas of fat accumulation
  • Wide waist

Sadly this is me to a T.  Not only have I been ridiculed and chastised for being thin, I’m actually not very healthy body wise.  Who knew?

When you’re eating a diet high in sugar and processed foods, it causes visceral fat storage, and that can lead to all sorts of risk factors of being overweight, says Dr. Mark Hyman.

Some things that only skinny-fat people will understand from Thought Catalog:

  1. Medium-size clothes are your nemesis. They’re too tight, exposing every roll, wrinkle, and crevice. Large-size clothes are too loose. The fit resembles that of a child who raided their parent’s closet.
  2. All it takes is one hefty meal to get you big time bloated. Your food baby causes your belly to resemble a 2-months-into-pregnancy tummy.
  3. When you go into healthy mode, it’s difficult to deny who you really are. You can eat chicken breast and brown rice for lunch, but if you come across cookies, cakes, pies and brownies, your resistance is futile. God forbid the junk food be free, then it’s just blasphemous to pass on. Even when you’re being healthy, you’ll find ways to make not particularly healthy choices. Like, a full steak and asparagus meal at 3 am.
  4. Your fat loves assembling in the same inconvenient spot that you don’t want it. Belly, thighs, face – one of those is likely to seem like it’s taking the brunt of any weight gains. You’re not immune to a double, triple or even quadruple chin. We’ve all seen ourselves on front cam, with the phone staring up at us and it’s basically the world’s least flattering mirror.
  5. Immediately after a workout you’ll look in the mirror feeling hopeful that there’ll be a fresh set of abs or bulging biceps happening on your body. There won’t be — but you definitely feel like it’s feasible enough that it’s worth checking for a six-pack.
  6. AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE … Nobody has any tolerance for you complaining about your body because you’re not blatantly overweight, and it comes off as an obnoxious person fishing for compliments to stroke their ego.

Now that I’ve figured out I’m skinny-fat and am accepting of this changeable situation, the real work has begun.  Since my last real post three weeks ago How to gain weight AFTER a hysterectomy I have lost four pounds by simply stopping sweet eating and not drinking alcohol.  I haven’t done anything more special than this.  However, losing weight while being skinny-fat isn’t the real solution to this so-called fat or weight gain problem.

Hint: The solution is not running or exercising more … at least not for us skinny-fats!  Which comes as quite a relief since I loathe aerobic activity.  The only running I do is  … away … or to … depending upon what food awaits me!

I’ll explore this topic more in PART II: Weight loss after hysterectomy …

In the meantime, while you check the fridge for yummies, pass out candy to unsuspecting sugar victims this halloween waiting for my next great writing masterpiece, read this: Crash Diets and Too Much Cardio: The Road to Getting Skinny-Fat.  This is the best article I’ve come across in my new me post-hysterectomy health conscious journey.  Enjoy! 🙂

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PS: For all you cat junkies out there … here’s something for you.  This made me chuckle today.

halloween kittiescontinued