The Elephant in the Room

It is the first year anniversary of Affatshionista and it has been quite a ride. I have made new friends, I have a new fatshion hero, Beth Ditto and it has been one of the more engaging project I have ever taken on.  Thank you all for being here, it would not be any fun if I wrote it and no one read it, and I am having a fabulous time. Sometimes at an event someone will say to me “I read your blog and I really enjoy it or it makes be braver”, what could be more gratifying than that, because each of you reading my blog makes me braver.

The first post on Affatshionista is below, and it is a post from a prior blog in 2008 and I have also included my 2013 health update:


I first posted this in my blog in 2008 and thought y’all might like to know my point of view! I think one of the “elephants in the room” in my life is my weight and my health.I think people want to know more but are afraid to ask. I am glad they feel that way because the conversation, if raised, rarely goes well. So here is what I think you might actually want to know:

AS A BABY I was premature and weighed 3 1/2 pounds, I was very sick and frail as a child, epilepsy, asthma, pneumonia, etc. Both my parents smoked heavily and in fact died from cigarettes.
MY WEIGHT At around 12 I developed a HUGE appetite and became overweight, from skinny to overweight in 2 years. From age 13 until about 35 I dieted, binged, fasted, took courses and therapy in listening to my hunger, anything I could think of, I continued to put on weight. Then I decided I was going to be happy however I was, and I still put on weight. According to my doctor’s records, in 1990, 18 years ago, I weighed 284 pounds, this is the most I have ever weighed. Today I weigh 272 pounds.
Update: 2/22/2017, Today I weigh 248 pounds.
EXERCISE I have exercised off and on all my life, I used to swim as a kid (Palm Springs, everybody swims). Stopped exercising in my early 20s. Then in 1984 or so after law school I became enamored with aerobics, even trained to teach aerobics for large women in about 1990 or so…I exercised 2 – 4 times a week, it varied…Posed for a leotard ad for large women, went to an aerobics conference with my teacher, was on tv 4 or 5 times dancing with my teacher and a couple of other people. Was always the “fit” big girl and proud of it. In 2001, my knees started giving me problems and then a couple of years later my hips started to hurt after walking more than 2 or 3 blocks, I have less stamina. I have exercised less since 2001. I still go to the gym most Saturdays, 30 minutes on the bike and workout with the fat girls. I know if I did more it would help, but I seem to be unwilling to make it happen in my life.
Update: 2/22/2017: Need to get back to water aerobics.
MY HEALTH Until a few years ago I was VERY healthy. Great heart, no problems except mobility and then about 18 months ago I had some symptoms that looked like diabetes. I was not surprised because of my weight, age and body type (barrel shape) I am a good candidate for diabetes and other problems. After some tests, I have struggled the last 18 months with pre-diabetes. I have lost about 10 pounds, eat far fewer carbs and more protein and vegetables. I still have a sweet tooth and desserts are my favorite, but I try to be conscious of what I eat. Today the doctor called and I have pushed back my pre-diabetes for the time being. All my tests are normal. I am pleased and he is pleased.
MY LIFE So, yes, I know I am fat, I have lost and gained lots of weight in my life, I am no longer doing that. I try to be friendly with food so it is not a struggle all the time, but it is my biggest foible. I do not know how to lose and keep off weight. The success rate is about 3% after 5 years. So, if you are concerned about my weight or my health, know that I too am concerned and doing all that I can to be healthy, but I will continue to be a human being that is good at some things and bad at others.

April 10, 2008 – 8:34 PM

Update on My Health, February 2013: I had my physical last month, the first in several years.  And guess what, it was fabulous!  My blood sugar was perfect, my heart beats per minute were normal, my cholesterol was good, my triglycerides a tiny bit high, but exactly the same as several ago, and guess what…I have only gained 2 pounds since 1990, when this doctor started keeping track of my weight. So I would say all in all this is a WIN!

Update on My Health, February 2017: My health continues to be very good, no diabetes, no high blood pressure, etc. On the other hand, my mobility is declining. I had my first knee surgery three years ago this week, and I still favor it, so it is much better but not perfect, as with all of life I would say. I am going to have the other knee surgery in June, and that may help. AND, I have some pain and stiffness in my back that keeps me down now and then. But I still love my life and feel very lucky.


Feel free to contact me at affatshionista@gmaildotcom

7 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Room

  1. thats Awesome. glad you are healthy. 😀 And keeping your weight level. LOVE the title of this page. I wondered what it could be. Sorry if the convestation doesn’t go well. I have RA, knee, and spine/neck issues, and am pre diabetes and tying to watch my sugar intake cause of it. It is a struggle.

  2. Thanks for commenting. I have a little arthritis that I realize my doctor and I never talk about. I also have joint issues and will be having some surgery when I turn 65 this fall, so all is not rosy, but I love hearing from you, thanks.

  3. It is so like you and so compassionate to see people’s concern for what it is-worry that something is not the way you want it and as always concern something might happen to them that they don’t want, that they are out of control of. I was “thin” up until 1995 and I attribute the extra 25 lbs to relaxing more into my life, having my good husband provide every darn thing I wanted and not giving me a hard time about anything-no pressure like I was used to in my life. The ice cream snacks at night, the extra helpings, etc. So then there were 10 years where I was doing everything I could think of – diets, cleanses, didn’t eat till dinner, diuretics and the weight would go down and then just come back to where it was cause I would start resuming the practices outside the scope of what had had the weight go away.
    A scare from my dr that my cardiovascular was impacted two years ago shook me to the core, and he gave me a food program, not a diet. By this time I had surmised that if I ever was to loose the weight, whatever I did I would have to continue to maintain the weight loss.
    So the program was to eat food, no Sugar. – 3 meals a day, with the right amount of protein, carbs, lots and lots of veg and lettuce salads and became friends with the stinky greens that filled the kitchen when I cooked them: kale, collard greens, spinach, etc. The weight came off in 90 days, only 1/2 lb a week, but I maintained and held the ground for 90 days. That was 2 years ago and I have maintained the food program, with some sugar now and again.
    But back to you-I really understood and confronted my own prejudice against being heavy during the 16 years when I felt unable to move the weight off my body by my efforts (while I worked out aerobic dancing 3 times a week, 90 minute sessions.) It had been a non issue until I was 54 and I just thought people didn’t make an effort, didn’t care if they had extra weight. I know for sure people treat you differently when you are in a more lean state. My experience is they take you more seriously, look to see who are, rather than sizing you up quickly. (Pardon the pun)

    But you, Robin, I have always felt fill your size with your astute and real character. You have a lot of attention on others and not yourself. You have a real appetite for genuine interacting and your heart is large and accessible. You see people. You speak up and reach out. You’re my friend and I love you.

  4. Wow, Affinity, this is so great to read! Truly, I have wondered about your weight and history and it’s awkward to bring up – although I”m not sure why! and I do worry about your health – so thank you so very much for posting this. Refreshing!!

  5. I enjoyed your blog. It takes guts to live large in a society that promotes skinny is the only healthy. I, too, struggles with weight from puberty on, reaching my top at 27 years old flirting with 200#s. I found love and gratification changed my course and my body got to a more “normal” range” but the mental struggle never stopped. Always stressing about how much to eat, scales, and self image.

    I finally found freedom this 51 days ago when I started eating on the Whole30 plan. No more measuring, weighing or calorie counting. I just eat from the yes list and not the no list and I feel so much better and free for the first time since I was 13. The scale had become the source of a good or bad day. I can still go down the rabbit hole of self recrimination if the needle moves in the “wrong” direction. So many years of judging myself by the scale.

    I applaud you for your decisions and dedication to being your outrageous self.

  6. i love you affinity! this is my favorite post of yours. i especially love this: “I will continue to be a human being that is good at some things and bad at others.” ain’t that the truth for all of us. xoxo!!!

Leave a Reply