I Look Good and I Do What I Want

a journey of loving my body and myself

so gross May 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mae @ 11:24 am

In case anyone thinks that the lap band I have is a net positive rather than a net negative (still paying off that debt!), allow me to share a little bit of this morning’s fun. Warning: its pretty gross.

I am recovering from some pretty painful dental work on Monday afternoon. I couldn’t sleep so I got up early to come to work. I am wearing a white shirt with blue and black stripes from Target (clearance rack) that I really kind of hate. Anyway, I stopped at Starbucks on the way in because although I have coffee at work, I felt like I needed the strong stuff after my semi-sleepless night. I got my skinny cinnamon dolce latte and a cinnamon scone. I’ve been at my desk for about 45 minutes, consuming both very slowly as I am very “tight” in the morning (due to the lap band) normally.

For some reason I am extra tight this morning, possibly because of PMS. In any case, one of the side effects of the lap band is called “productive burping” or PBing. What happens is your small pouch up top gets full, and your body senses it is having trouble getting the small pouch to empty through the stoma (small tube connecting to the stomach) and so it sends up either some gas or some mucus from the stomach, to “help” dislodge things. Normally this feels like coughing up a little something into my mouth, which I then either swallow if its a small amount and not a very powerful PB, or spit it out, usually into the toilet.

I’ve had a few instances where particularly powerful PBs made for a stressful dash for the bathroom; however, since I’m fully healed and more used to the band now, its unusual for me to deal with anything more than an occasional, small annoying PB.

For whatever reason, this morning, somewhere about 2/3 of the way into my latte, I had the audacity to take too large of a sip of coffee. After a few short moments, it came back up in an explosive way, and I basically yakked thick, coffee-colored mucus onto the front of my mostly-white shirt.

At work. Luckily its early and I didn’t do it in front of anyone.

Dabbing with water and those insta-distintegrating industrial papertowels really, really isn’t effective on coffee-mucus on a white shirt.


I get to wear this all day.

I am so glad I spent $10,000 for the ability to vomit on myself in public on a regular basis.

Also, nearly every sentence in this essay, My Secret Body by Anne Lamott makes me go “Goddamn!” It feels so real that I almost believe that that is my story when I read it. A quotation:

I ate frosting and Cheetos for weeks. Also, cookies that a local bakery made with M&M’s instead of chocolate chips. I’d buy half a dozen and keep them on the kitchen counter. It was terrifying. It was like knowing there were snakes in my kitchen.

That is my kitchen! My house! Since my husband came home we have had dessert nearly every night– brownies or ice cream sundaes. And he’s looked at me strangely, wondering when the other shoe is going to drop and I’m going to start blubbering about calories and how I hate myself. I look at him strangely, daring him to tell me I “can’t” or “maybe shouldn’t” have a sundae. But he is a kind and gentle man, one who is well-versed in the atrocities of control that I was subjected to as a child. He knows that telling me, “Maybe you shouldn’t have that ice cream,” is maybe as hurtful as hitting me would be.

So, I get my sundae. I take it back to the house, where strangers can’t see me eat. I eat it, looking at him out of the corner of my eye. He waits patiently for me to stop looking at him and start looking at myself because I am the only one who decides what I do and don’t eat.


4 Responses to “so gross”

  1. Wow. You are a beautiful writer (I love your last two paragraphs… “I eat it, looking at him out of the corner of my eye.”), and thank you so much both for being so honest about your lap band and for linking to that Anne Lamott essay. I hadn’t seen it before.

  2. Mae Says:

    Aww, shucks, you are too kind!

    Now, Anne Lamott is a fantastic writer, isn’t she? I’ve long been a fan. I feel more deeply in a love with her after discovering that essay a few months ago. I think what appeals to me so much about her (and other writers) is the soul-baring honesty. I strive for that myself, because I think other people recognize true honesty when they see it.

  3. Wendy Says:

    I do that “looking around to see if I’m gonna get in trouble for eating this” thing, too.

    It makes it especially hard that the grandmother who was the most controlling person in my food life is now seriously ill. I want to be sad that she may be dying, but really, I just feel anger at how callously she treated me.

  4. Mae Says:

    I struggled with the same feelings, Wendy, when my stepmother went through cancer treatment a couple years ago. I was astonished and ashamed at my own apathy. Now, we never truly worried about her dying as she lucked out and got one of the most treatable cancers out there. But, I can understand where you are coming from.

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