Weight and See – Shut Your Mouth!


Weighing Scales

Why don’t we kick this off with me cutting to the chase before I go off on a mini-rant?   It’s been ten days since I weighed myself and I had the best of intentions about posting as soon as I did, but well, if good intentions were horses we all know what the streets would be lined with!

Previous Weight (April 1, 2014):      286lbs

Current Weight (May 16, 2014):        275lbs 

I let time get away from me during May because Meg was finally back home, Gaby was baptized and then the following week had her First Holy Communion, then we did about a million things while Meg was here, including going here . . .

Howe Cavern sign UTO

. . . and managed to not have any sort of cardiac event.  I didn’t ascend the very last part of the underground trail because while going up would have been hard, coming down would have killed my ankle. I’m finally getting to the point where my doctor thinks she can stabilize my Achilles tendon and keep any more damage from happening as well as prevent the tendon from further separating from the bone, and coming down a bunch of steps would have been agony and possibly jeopardized the progress I’ve made.

Howe Caverns are pretty cool except for the fact that they’re way underground and there’s all this rock everywhere, some of it pretty close to your head while you’re walking, and then there’s an underground river and did I mention that it’s way underground?  Yeah, it is.  And there I go, hyperventilating again just thinking about it.  All in all it was pretty cool and I’m pleased I managed to not die on what was probably a little over half a mile of walking.

My ankle is feeling even better since my last doctor’s appointment where she nearly killed me with another steroid injection!  The past two I’ve gotten I haven’t felt at all, but this time around she told me she was going to “fan it out.”   When she said that, I didn’t think anything of it . . . until she did it! I may or may not have pictured punching my doctor in the throat.  Oh my gosh that hurt like a sonofabitch (sorry Bob). There may or may not have been a tear and sniffle or two on my part.  However, two weeks later I’m feeling better than I have in a long long time.

I’ve even managed to keep moving during the day, at a snails pace, but hey, I’m moving.  My eating isn’t as clean as it should be, but my portions (outside of the evening Gareth made Shepherd’s Pie. Yum!) are where they should be.

I should be happy that there continues to be any downward progression with the numbers, especially when I look back where I was over the last 18 months.  The thing is, I look at me and I don’t see a single change.  I hate looking at myself in a full-length mirror, absolutely loathe it, but I do it every once in while and then I get angry because I see no outward signs of weight loss.  Nothing. My boobs are deflating, but I think that’s just my age. Sometimes I think I can see the weight loss in my face, but then I look in the mirror with my hair pulled back, and nope, those three chins haven’t evacuated the premises yet.  The only physical anything I’ve noticed is that all of my shorts from last summer are really really loose, but I that could just be the fact that they’re stretched out. The other thing is, no one else is noticing anything either.  I think when you’re as big as I am, the weight loss has to be massive before it’s noticeable. That’s just my theory anyhow.

This photo of me and Gaby was taken back on May 10th at her school’s annual Kid’s Mini-Gala (it was luau-themed this year, hence the goofy Hawaiian leis) and every once in a while I’ll look at it and think, “Oh yeah, I do look a little smaller.”  But then I reason that it’s only because my kid is on my lap.   I don’t know.  Maybe once I’m under 200lbs it will be noticeable?

Mom and Gaby at Luau UTO.jpg


So now that we all know how much I weigh (I physically cringed when I wrote that. I know a few of the moms at Gaby’s school have shared my blog and it’s always in the back of my mind when we’re at school functions, “Oh my God, they know how much I weigh and probably know, if they’ve dug very deep, that I’m not exactly “Catholic-School-Mom-material) can I ask you a favor?  If you’re going to compliment an obese woman, can you just leave it at the compliment and say nothing else, especially nothing about her weight?  Or is that too much to ask?  OK here’s an example from last week when I was at a certain high-end cosmetics store at the mall, looking for a my normal brand of mascara.  Typically I order it online but I only needed the mascara and didn’t want to pay shipping on top of $30 for the mascara.  It’s my one make-up splurge and it’s already damned-expensive enough! Anyhow here was the exchange:

Girl behind the counter: “I use the same brand.  Do you know it comes in a really deep sable brown as well? Do you mind if I ask you something personal?”

Me: “I guess not.”

GBtC: “You have such a beautiful face. You have great skin and the prettiest eyes I have ever seen – what color are they, exactly? I . . . I  just feel bad for you because you’re so big. You could be really really beautiful if you lost some weight.  I have a friend . . .

I don’t know what she said about this friend of hers because I put the mascara down and walked out.

I walked out because this is not the first time I’ve heard something similar either about myself, or someone else.  We hear it all the time when it comes to fat actresses who happen to be attractive in addition to being fat. “She’d be stunning if she weren’t a fat ass.”  Don’t sit there and deny that it happens all the damned time, because it does!  I heard this from our postman a few months ago.  I’ve heard it as long as I’ve been fat which has been . . . Oh pretty much my entire life.  I’ve even heard it, ad nauseam from my own mother. So, I grew up believing that my self-worth was predicated on my weight, and that there was no way I’d ever be truly beautiful if I were fat.

Here’s the thing, when you say something like that to someone (it’s mostly always women), you then negate every other single thing about them that makes them the person they are. It’s as if being fat takes away any other aspect of their existence.  We’re all still good people. Some of us have profound and accomplished careers, others are just happy to be productive members of society, being happy in who they are, until some moron comes along and tells them that being fat nullifies everything else worthwhile about them.

Apparently we can’t be accepted as truly beautiful because we’re fat.

Listen, you all know, especially if you’ve been reading me for any length of time, that I walk a very fine line when it comes to the “fat hate” thing.  I don’t believe in the general “fat acceptance” movement because it tries to perpetuate the myth that you can be healthy at any size. No, no you can not. If you are 50+lbs overweight, at some point, your body is going to let you know just how not healthy you are.  That said, the fact that you are overweight, obese, or even like me, morbidly obese, the fat itself does not dictate the kind of person you are.  No one has the right to tell you that you are any “less than” simply because you are more than the societal ideal that is shoved down our throats all the time. I get asked pretty frequently if I hate fat people?  No, not at all. I just don’t think it’s acceptable to facilitate the fallacy that you can be 5’5″ and 300lbs and be as healthy as the person next to you that is 5’5″ 140lbs, eats a healthy diet and gets moderate amounts of exercise.  Human physiology just doesn’t allow for this on the long term.  I do not, for one moment, believe that you should be discriminated against because of your weight. However, let’s all take minute to be honest . . .discrimination against the obese is not only legal, it’s perfectly acceptable.  That has to stop!

As much as I don’t know how to stop the collective runaway freight train that is the obesity epidemic in this country, (it is NOT as simple as saying, “Just put down the Big Mac! Our entire food supply chain is screwed and full of obesogens and that’s part of the problem, the other part is probably a combination of not knowing what an actual, healthy serving size/portion is,  and then the fact that we eat a ton of sugar which is proving lethal to the human body), I do know that until we get ahead of that train in order to slow it down, there are fat people and we’re going to continue getting fat, but we still owe each and every person their dignity. Being fat doesn’t strip you off that dignity.

I will never be my ideal, perfect 125lbs.  I know that.  For me, if I can get myself down to between 145lbs-160lbs, I’ll be happy.  I have endless plastic surgery ahead of me to remove hanging skin which can, in and of itself present some awful health problems, but even after having all of  that removed, I’ll be lucky to see 145lbs.  And I’m going to have to work my ass off – literally – to get there.  At the end of the day though, while I’m still 275lbs, I’m still a good person who doesn’t deserve to have everything else about me impugned because I’m fat.

Here’s another thing about this whole “You’re pretty but you’re fat” thing  . . . I can’t help but wonder if the people who say these sorts of things about fat women, would say them about fat men?  When was the last time you looked at your overweight husband, boyfriend, brother, father, co-worker, friend, and said, “You know, you’re really handsome, but would be drop dead gorgeous if you weren’t fat!

So, if you’re going to pay your fat friend or family member (just because you’re family, it doesn’t make it OK to say it  and then try and say, “Well I’m just being honest.” Because no, in reality you’re just being an ass) a compliment, leave it at that. If you can’t stand associating pretty with fat and the fat obscures every thing else about that person, then you should probably just shut your mouth!



I’m Audrey, the voice behind Barking Mad, a freelance writer and photographer, and owner of Barking Mad Media, LLC. In another life, my “voice” (they call it “air talent” nowadays) could be heard on Clear Channel and Entercom ( KISW, KJR, KHMX, WCOL, WNCI, and several other large-market commercial radio stations) radio stations around the country. I'm married to my lifelong British pen-pal, and have 4 beautiful children. I hope you’ll join me as I embark on a poignant personal journey to lose 225lbs and in the process, gain my life back. I also write about surviving the loss of my 2-year-old son, Joshua, coping with the subsequent depression, and morbid obesity.

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  1. Congrats on the weight loss you’ve accomplished to date. I feel confident that you’ll continue to lose weight.
    You’re so right that people are very cruel to obese people and we do get discriminated against a LOT! Like you, my mom made me feel like my self-worth was based around my weight. However, during her final days she apologized profusely for that over and over again.
    I think people generally really don’t get how hurtful and down grading they are when they make statements like that. Many people also feel like it’s our fault that we are obese in the first place, and they have no mercy on us. When in reality, it doesn’t always happen that way.
    Great post!! As a fellow obese person who totally utterly understands your position, I want to ramble on with you. As they say, sometimes we like to preach to our choirs.

  2. First of all, congratulations on your weight loss! Secondly, some people don’t have a filter and it’s ridiculous. You are beautiful at any size!

  3. Ok seperate from your situation, i come from an obese family. Talking about weight and “fat” is normal. We have seen so many things happen as a result of being overweight- falling down stairs, broken bones, diabetes, etc. so we try to be open. I don’t, and no one in my family does, give backhanded compliments but none of us shy from the topic either. My grandmother and my aunt both had gastric bypass and it did help a lot. Now my grandmother says all the time “I never want to be fat again” and not for looks…I mean she is 70, but because she feels she wasted so much of her younger years in physical pain from being overweight.

  4. Oh my! This was a good read, but also very painful. I can’t believe a woman tried to sell you here friends services or whatever the hell she was going to do. It blows my mind that people do this. Seriously?! No, you can’t ask me a question. It sounds to me like you’ve lost a lot of weight and have a plan to lose more. It also sounds like you have more than enough going on in your life and need to be given a break. Try to be kind to yourself.

  5. Thank you!!! I OH SO know how you feel. As a over 300 obese woman, I know the daily struggle. I feel like every single decision I make involves my weight. I shop online more than anything else just because I don’t want to deal with people judging me.

  6. First Congrats on losing the weight and being brave enough to share that struggle. Second, I’ve been to those caverns and they are beautiful but if you are claustrophobic very scary and I was. I remember being terrified of an earthquake and being stabbed by one of those pointy rocks hanging down. As far as weight goes, since getting pregnant with baby #3 (and I’ve got 5 now) I’ve had an ongoing battle with my weight. I dream of the day I hit 165lbs but know I will never be the desired 135. I have had many encounters with rude people. With my last I got stuck with the extra belly fat and can’t seem to get it gone, I carried him completely in my lower belly and have been asked how far along I am. Or when someone sees me and tries making me smile they say “Oh I see you are trying to lose weight, you can see it is coming off.” I smile and grin, especially when I know the scale hasn’t moved down. :( People try being nice but don’t realize it hurts us. Just know that no matter what as long as you are beautiful to yourself and others you are beautiful inside and out. Keep positive.

  7. So sorry that happened to you. But hold your head up, the scale is moving down. I struggle with my weight as well so I understand how frustrating it is. Just hold your chin up and keep going.

  8. You have done so great so embrace yourself on that. Keep motivated and surge forward, girl!

  9. I am so appalled at the cosmetics person saying that to you. I’m really glad you didn’t even bother to respond and just left. This whole piece should be in a magazine; it’s beautifully written and is such a “real” expression of your life. You are amazing, Audrey.

  10. great job. keep up the good work and ignore the ignorant comments. people don’t know better

  11. This post really resonated with me. I’m also very overweight and trying to lose weight to improve my health.

    Good for you for taking this step. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to post my weight on my site.

  12. I’m so sorry someone said something like that to you buy KUDOS on the weight loss! I, too, cringed when all my local peeps starting noticing my weight #.

  13. I’ve been on both ends of the weight spectrum, from anorexic to obese. The one compliment that makes me cringe EVERY TIME is “You have such a pretty face…” Whether they add to the end of that or let it hang, it always makes me cringe. While I do have a pretty face, all of me is beautiful, thanks. All of you is beautiful, too. From the top of your head to the soles of your feet, you’re beautiful.

  14. You can do it Audrey. My husband is in the process of an incredible transformation and has dropped almost 90 pounds so far. It can be done, and YOU can do it. Keep a positive thought and never give up.

  15. Congrats on the loss! Great job!

    And you are totally right, some things are just better left unsaid.

  16. You are doing amazing! And yes, any moving is good! I struggle so much with my weight…I need to lose about 120 pounds.

  17. I’m right there with you. I am SO PROUD of you for walking out without the mascara. That girl needs to learn a thing or two.

  18. Hugs!! I had an interesting encounter with a trainer at my gym last summer who told me that if I were to hire him as a personal trainer that I would be “rocking a bikini” and i told him as I looked him square in the eye… I already AM rocking a bikini. Sigh. Some people. {{hugs}}


  19. Angela S says:

    I have been struggling with my weight for years. People can sometimes be so cruel, but we are our greatest critics. I think your weight loss is something to be very proud of!

  20. I am amazed at all of the progress you have made. Sta positive and try not to be so hard on yourself. You’ve done a great job so far and will continue to do so!! :)

  21. Congrats on your weight loss, I’m rooting for you.

  22. You don’t need to listen to what anyone else says. In the end, the only ones that matter are the ones living under your roof, that’s it. I used to look in the mirror and hate what I see, but I don’t anymore, because I know that the reflection is what my kids see and they love me, unconditionally, so why can’t I? I went years without images of myself with my children because of this, and I regret it, wholeheartedly, now. Now, I’m working out and loving it because I want them to see it’s fun and NOT a chore, and when they join me, it makes me feel like I’ve already succeeded. I’m also worried about what sort of body image problems I might pass onto my daughters if I’m too hard on myself. I imagine my daughter saying to herself the thoughts I sometimes think about, and it makes me IMMEDIATELY stop. They will never hear me say those words, and, in turn, it’s helped me stop thinking them, too. My kids are the reason I do what I do. Perhaps that might help you overcome your self-loathing if you look at yourself through the eyes of your children?

    BTW, I think you’re gorgeous. And I also think that mascara counter lady and anyone else who says “You’d be gorgeous if…” needs a good swift roundhouse kick to their face. Just sayin’ 😉

  23. I can’t believe she said that to you. I mean, ya I pretty much can believe it. How rude. I had someone say to me once “it’s such a shame…you have such a pretty face. Do you belong to a gym?”

    Um…what does the gym have to do with my face?

  24. Shari dally Ulrich says:

    I think you look beautiful! What I actually want to say is “yay” that Gaby was baptized and had her first holy communion’. I know that you are not Catholic and I think it’s pretty cool that you enrolled your child in that school and that you’re allowing her to develop her faith. And not just allowing her; you’re accepting it, encouraging and supporting her!

  25. Remember when we finally first met, in Columbus Airport, in 2002? You were stunning then and you still are. I’ve never thought any different.

    Love you.

  26. . . . And now everyone has a mental image of my deflated, saggy boobs.


    Sorry ’bout that!

  27. Audrey, I am very sorry to hear this. People can be so cruel. I suffer from Hypothyroidism, which causes my weight to go up and down. Loved reading your blog and I totally know where your coming from. I have started Thrive http://deannaw.le-vel.com/IndustryShift and it has helped so much, not just with the weight but in all aspects of my life. Get yourself in front of a mirror and really look into those beautiful eyes and remind youself how much you matter to you and others. If I was the boss of the lady with the Mascara, she would have been fired on the spot.. Just saying :) Have a magical day and hope to hear from you soon.

  28. Get over the idea of “if only”, young lady. You are a terrific wife and a neat mom and have a gorgeous smile and a neat kid and wonderful complexion (apparently). Feel good about those things.

    Old story: Grandma takes grandson to the beach. Dresses him up in a cute little sailor outfit, etc. While walking along the beach, a huge wave comes in and when it recedes, the kid is gone. Vanished out to see. And Grandma can’t swim.

    She falls down and prays that God will save him, and sure enough, the next big wave dumps him at her feet. Whereupon she says “But God .. he had this little sailor hat when he went out……”.

    Some folks will go way out of their way to find fault. Don’t let them ruin the joy you should feel, right now, for all the good things going on in your life. Including the loss of weight. Nobody should have the power or the right to do that to you.

    And I love your gargantuan cat, too.

  29. Audrey, I not going to go there, because you already know what you need to know. BUT, I am going to remind you that you are a beautiful woman inside and out. You have an amazing heart, you are pretty, you are funny, and you have a whole lot to offer the world most especially your family and friends that love you unconditionally. My wish for you is that one day you will believe what we already know. That you are good enough! You are loved for you.

  30. One of these days, I’m going to show up at your front door and literally shake you for being so hard on yourself!!!! You have made TREMENDOUSLY progress in the last few years. I want you to think about what you weighed a few years ago and think about the fact YOU LOST A WHOLE PERSON! Not just a tiny person, but a pretty good sized person! You always have been beautiful, but the change in your body is nothing short of fantastic. STOP STOP STOP berating yourself for not losing more. Not one of us has ever done what YOU have accomplished. Maybe you don’t see the 15 lb. changes, but your heart does and your knees do, and it’s ALL good. Do you need to load the wagon up with pounds of butter like Oprah did just to get a visual on what you have done? Here’s an even easier idea: Go to a pet store and pick up a 50 lb. bag of dog food. Then pile another 50 lb. bag of dog food on top of that. And then another. And another. Are you getting the point? Audrey, think of what you HAVE done, not what you haven’t. And if you don’t and I can’t personally show up at your door, I’ll hire someone to come bitch slap you into reality! YOU ROCK! As to the people who say hurtful things: not all of them know that what they’re saying is hurtful. BUT THEY DON’T COUNT! Gareth counts. Gaby counts. Meg counts. Matt and Zach count. Those of us who love you and know what you’ve done –we count. The rest of them don’t. They don’t know your story or how far you’ve come. Okay?