Thursday, June 28, 2012

At Camp They Call Me Tomato

At camp they call me Tomato.

It's something I love about my life, and myself, that there is a place in this world where I am Tomato.

Everything is right when I am Tomato.

Part of what makes my Tomato-ness so exquisitely wonderful, is that I know I am loved, and accepted, all the way down to my salsa center.

This blog, my tumblr, my twitter, my youtube and any other spaces I may create in the future are places of respect and consideration.

In kindergarten, they used to give us 'R & C' slips for being respectful or considerate, but it took me many years to understand that R & C is the core of love, and the answer to eliminating what drives us to hate and hurt each other.

If you have something to add to a post I've written, or a video I've uploaded, share! If you outright disagree with what I'm saying, share!!! 

Your thoughts matter to me, your opinions matter to me, your perspective and your life experience are precious and I will be honored if you choose to share any of it with me.

Please know that this blog is a place where your voice will be heard (and you don't have to agree with me, not even a little!)

If you are reading these words I love you and I want you here. You are welcome here, and I will do everything in my power to give you the respect and consideration that you ALWAYS deserve.

This is a place where you matter.

Love Tiff!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Crayon Wall

Nearly every day I walk an hour around the marsh at noon. On every walk I have a different daydream, this is one I wanted to share with you, since its about you. 

The daydream goes like this: 

I'm walking in line in a hallway. As far as I can tell, there are infinite people in line ahead of me, and infinite people in line behind me. 
At the beginning of the dream I feel uncomfortable. I don't see anyone's faces. I feel as if I don't belong here. 
The walls are grey, white, beige. The carpet is threadbare, worn down by a billion shuffling feet. 
There is no sound in the hallway, I feel like its possible there are souls in the bodies in line ahead of me and behind me, but I am unable to communicate with them. I don't see that anyone is trying to communicate with me. 

I want a box of crayons, and now I have it. Stopping in line, I turn to the wall and begin to draw and write on it. Right there on the wall. Though I KNOW its not allowed, someone will yell at me. You aren't supposed to draw on the wall. Its not your wall, you're not allowed, its not okay. 
I'm not worried about getting in trouble. 
The threat has only a tiny voice compared to the roaring in my ears. I have to get the roaring sound in my head onto the wall. 
So I use my colors, I draw scribbles at first, then stick people and flowers, blue fish, red fruits, green trees, orange fires. The more I draw the better I feel. I'm not afraid of the hallway anymore. I don't feel anxious. Sometimes I stand up and walk a bit down the line again, when I need more space, or I need to take a break and think about what to draw next. 
I start to write messages on the wall. 
You are beautiful. 
You are a miracle. 
I love you. 
I now feel right about the hallway and the line. I can see that there are pictures all over the wall. Layers and layers of messages, colors painted by the hands that were there before me. Its easy to see I was never alone in line. I know we're all connected, and we're all communicating. When I see a happy message I feel happy, I feel loved, and I make my own happy message. I know that whoever sees my message will feel happy too, and know that I love them. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Red Winged Black Bird

Home in the reeds. 

Swaying sentinel. Wings out. Fire bright. 
Warm orange heart and Fierce red soul. 

Floating crisp black, just above the green 
Hickory brown, pebbled blue 
Hidden treasures to protect 

Will you ponder the endless blue above? 
or may eyes search only for threat 

Can you taste the grey white clouds? 
or must duty hold you tightly bound 

Peer down between the cattails 
Strange eyes only see 
Winter's dead brown mixed in tall growing grass 
Brittle dusty debris, jumbled sweet greens 

lines trace and forms dance, quietly rustling 
fragile feathered mama 
precious growing eggs 

Ah. I see your soul, little black sentinel 
Such a duty 
        settled on sun bright shoulders 
Such a beauty 
        I know little of love if I do not love you. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

95% of Diets Fail

There is a widely quoted statistic out there that "95% of Diets Fail". A little bit of research will uncover that this fact comes from a small study of 100 people done in 1959 by  Dr. Albert Stunkard and Mavis McLaren-Hume.

This statistic is absolutely everywhere in the current dialogue on weight, and the study is anything but strong scientific evidence. 

However, just because the study isn't suitable for the massive citation it receives, does not mean that "Diets don't fail" or indeed that we have any idea how to lose weight or change bodies on a grand scale.

The many wonderful ladies in the Health At Every Size movement have excellent insight into this.

They point out that while the statistic is based on just one small study, there is absolutely nothing out there to refute it. In decades and decades of research, we have yet to produce ONE large scale "weight loss success" story to refute the claim that diets do not work.

It would be more apt to say that "We have no idea". We have no clue how to lose weight.

Pretty depressing.

But what about the people we know who've lost weight and kept it off? The inspiring stories of people in the National Weight Loss Registry?

Its easy to write them off as a statistical anomaly, as a collection of "freaks of nature". Its even more fun to silence those voices by dismissing them in this way.

If you know me in real life, or from my youtube, you know how irritatingly positive and optimistic I like to be.

As far as I believe? I'm not willing to use the fact that no one has succeeded yet as a way to claim that losing weight & keeping it off is impossible. I'm not even willing to say its improbable. Instead, I believe that we have yet to figure it out. OR that the way to lose weight exists, has been found, and has been discarded.

Why discard it? Duh, what if its completely impossible to turn a profit on it? What if its not something that can be neatly packaged for the masses? What if real weight loss is not only one of the most difficult endeavors, but also so complicated, so specific to each unique individual, that we can't possible make billions off of it?

Who is going to shout about THAT from every billboard? Yeah, nobody.

No, I'm not going to say weight loss is possible for everyone. I'm not inclined to believe anyone will find a way to make it easy, simple, and accessible to all. But I also refuse to say weight loss is impossible; only that we haven't figured it out yet.

From all the stories I've read, the people I've spoken with, and the research I've sifted through, I'm still not convinced its out of reach. I think the way to successful weight loss is likely to be super boring, extremely slow, and impossible to turn into a profit.  

~Love Tiff

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Too fat to wear a bikini

The following is a belief I had for a long time, that I changed once I used my goofy noggin to examine it!

I am too fat to wear a bikini.

Hmm. Last July there was a really adamant voice telling me that a bikini was not something I could wear unless I was properly "skinny". But was it the actual fat tissue that was stopping me from stepping one foot and then the other into bikini bottoms and tying on a cute top? I didn't have any trouble getting a bra or panties on my body, and the bikini doesn't seem super different from those things...

Would they stop me at the checkout line and say "We're sorry, you are simply too fat to purchase that bikini."? ...I'm pretty sure they actually just want my money.

Weren't there people in the world who would be totally grossed out by my fleshy roly-poly tummy? Wouldn't they say nasty mean things to me and about my body? Well yeah. But what kind of person would they be? They'd be the kind of person who thinks they're physical beauty ideals are more important than my bikini wearing happiness, right? I decided to take pleasure in their displeasure; to welcome their disgust while simultaneously causing it. If I could get that kind of person to actually vomit, then that would be the ultimate success! Trololololololol ;D

But what about the nasty mean comments? Well, from what I've seen on the internet, people leave nasty mean comments no matter what you do. They also seem to REALLY enjoy making those comments. Wouldn't it be nice of me to give them an opportunity to make nasty mean comments? I'm such a nice lady ;)

After thinking about it, I decided I really wanted to wear a bikini, though I had never ever done so before! What was really stopping me was my belief that so much of my flesh should not be seen by another person, more specifically, that the offensive flesh of my tummy must be hidden or else!

Well, 256lb Tiffy looked down at her soft, white, large and roly-poly tummy and it didn't really seem like it could be all THAT dangerous. So I went and bought a bikini.


I have this blog thing that I write in. I am a person that loses weight without paying anyone money for it. I share tips and things. I have a youtube channel also and I put videos on it that I have been told "will never go away"

Is my fat really stopping me?

What weight loss means to me

The quickest way for me to lose 50+ pounds would be to amputate a few limbs. Bam! Instant weight loss success story!

...Or maybe not?

When we talk about weight loss, we are really talking about changing our body composition. We are aiming to use up some of the extra fat stored on our bodies, and there's about a million reasons why people choose to try to do that.

The big common reasons, though,  are to look more physically "appealing" or to be healthier, and more capable of doing physical activities, sometimes a combination of the two.

I encourage you to take just a few moments to be curious about the actual physical limitations that fat tissue creates. Does its physical presence prevent you from chasing your dream? Does fat cause the inability to think or feel? To love, smile, or laugh? To help others and share your advice and experiences with the world? Are you telling yourself that fat is in your way for something it really isn't?

Its very liberating to realize and understand that the fat on our bodies is NOT actually a deterrent for many of the things we think it is. The physical fat tissue in your body does not prevent you from feeling a warm summer breeze, from watching a duck look after her ducklings, from thinking about the meaning of life, from smiling, laughing, loving and being happy.

Fat tissue just isn't as limiting as we take it to be. Fat Stigma is another matter ...for another post I think.

It's a very healthy practice to be open, aware, and curious about what you are telling yourself about yourself! Be curious about what you believe about fat, fat tissue, fat people, all these things. Why do you believe what you believe? Do some of your beliefs contradict each other?

Finding the strength and courage to question what you assume and believe about ANYTHING is a difficult endeavor, but it can also be exquisitely liberating.
(and fun! ...and it may lead to jiggles!!!!!)


Further Reading and Resources:

Geneen Roth on being more valuable than your weight
Stop Hating Your Body, A Body Positive Tumblr

My daily walk: An abundance of Heaven

I originally intended to write about why I go on my daily walk for mental health (I've got the depression!) and  physical health reasons. I was prepared to share how my walk is my own little slice of Heaven, but after paying special attention to today's walk I believe it would be much more apt to describe it as an Abundance of Heaven.

The marsh I walk around every day is positively VIBRATING with life!
I saw...

Milkweed and Cattails
A young Doe in the woods (she was not particularly impressed with me I don't think)
A baby bunny sunning in a patch of dirt
A cardinal singing on top of a light post (He was really loud! I could hear him way before I spotted him)
A red-winged black bird swaying on his reed perch (I saw dozens actually, they are my all-time favorite bird!)
A crow eating a mouse in a field (I could see it squirming! His crow buddies seemed jealous that they didn't have mice to eat)
Thistle and Clover in bloom
An abandoned bird's nest
Three gold finches in a tree
A raspberry bush just beginning to grow fruit
A lady grackle squawking at her man grackle
A little blackbird collecting straw for her nest
A squirrell with a ratty tail running across the crosswalk
More swooping barnswallows than I could count!

I also ate two very tart red grapevine 'Y's, yum!

~Love Tiff!

The following link is BY FAR the very best reference on walking I've found on the web:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Numberies! Scale Goals Update

Back by Popular Demand!
Meaning one person asked me if I still had it ; )

X   255 One Pound lost!
X   246 Down 10 lbs
X   236 Down 20 lbs
X   229.5 FIRST 10% loss GOAL!!!

X   226 BMI down to Obese I
X   226 Down 30 lbs
X   220 The weight on my LICENSE!!!
X   216 Down 40 lbs
X   206.5 SECOND 10% loss GOAL!!!

X   206 DOWN 50 LBS!
X   196 DOWN 60 lbs
X   194 BMI=Overweight, not "obese"
X   190 Lowest I've ever been
__   186 THIRD 10% loss GOAL!!!
__   186 Down 70 lbs
__   176.8 "Marginally Overweight"
__   176 Down 80 lbs
__   167.5 FOURTH 10% loss GOAL!!!

__   166 Down 90 lbs
__   161 BMI is NORMAL!!!
__   156 DOWN 100 LBS!!!
__   150.5 FIFTH 10% loss GOAL!!!

Beginning stats JULY 1ST, 2011
Weight: 256 lbs
BMI: 39.5
Chest: 48"
Waist: 41"
Hips: 51"

Stats on OCTOBER 18TH, 2011:
BMI: 35.4
Chest: 44"
Waist: 37"
Hips: 47"

7/01/11: 256 lbs/ 0 lbs lost
7/05/11: 253 lbs/ 3 lbs lost
7/12/11: 252 lbs/ 4 lbs lost
7/19/11: 250 lbs/ 6 lbs lost
7/26/11: 249 lbs/ 7 lbs lost

8/02/11: 248 lbs/ 8 lbs lost
8/09/11: 247 lbs/ 9 lbs lost
8/16/11: 246 lbs/ 10 LBS LOST!!
8/23/11: 245 lbs/ 11 lbs lost
8/30/11: 242 lbs/ 14 lbs lost

9/06/11: 243 lbs/ 13 lbs lost
9/13/11: 241 lbs/ 15 lbs lost
9/20/11: 240 lbs/ 16 lbs lost
9/27/11: 237.5 lbs/ 18.5 lbs lost

10/04/11: 233 lbs/ 23 lbs lost
10/11/11: 236 lbs/ 20 LBS LOST!!
10/18/11: 229.5 lbs/ 26.5 lbs lost
10/25/11: 227.3 lbs/ 28.7 lbs lost

11/01/11: 228.2 lbs/ 27.8 lbs lost
11/08/11: 223.6 lbs/ 32.4 lbs lost
11/15/11: 221.7 lbs/ 34.3 lbs lost
11/22/11: 221.2 lbs/ 34.8 lbs lost
11/29/11: 216 lbs/ 40 LBS LOST!!

12/06/11: 213.8 lbs/ 42.2 lbs lost
12/13/11: 213.3 lbs/ 42.7 lbs lost
12/20/11: 212.1 lbs/ 43.9 lbs lost
12/27/11: 212 lbs/ 44 lbs lost

1/03/12: 211 lbs/ 45 lbs lost
1/10/12: 207.7 lbs/ 48.3 lbs lost
1/17/12: 207.9 lbs/ 48.1 lbs lost
1/24/12: 204.1 lbs/ 51.9 lbs lost
1/31/12: 201.6 lbs/ 54.4 lbs lost

2/07/12: 200.0 lbs/ 56 lbs lost
2/14/12: 206.6 lbs/ 49.4 lbs lost
2/21/12: 203.6 lbs/ 52.4 lbs lost
2/28/12: 203.6 lbs/ 52.4 lbs lost

3/06/12: 202.1 lbs/ 53.9 lbs lost
3/13/12: 204.8 lbs/ 51.2 lbs lost
3/20/12: 197.7 lbs/ 58.3 lbs lost
3/27/12: 197.1 lbs/ 58.9 lbs lost

4/03/12: 195.7 lbs/ 60.3 LBS LOST!!
4/10/12: 195.4 lbs/ 60.6 lbs lost
4/17/12: 195.1 lbs/ 60.9 lbs lost
4/24/12: 195.2 lbs/ 60.8 lbs lost

5/01/12: 192 lbs/ 64 lbs lost
5/08/12: 195.8 lbs/ 60.2 lbs lost
5/15/12: 193.3 lbs/ 62.7 lbs lost
5/22/12: 190.1 lbs/ 65.9 lbs lost
5/29/12: 191.6 lbs/ 64.4 lbs lost

6/05/12: 193.3 lbs/ 62.7 lbs lost
6/12/12: 189.8 lbs/ 66.2 lbs lost

Friday, May 11, 2012

Woman Under Construction

This is pretty obviously true for me, huh? I mean, I'm wearing my transformation for all the world to see! Weight gain and weight loss are so very visible, whether you want people to know you're on a weight loss journey or not doesn't really matter.

Every one of us is a work in progress. We're constantly changing, learning, and adapting. We go through periods of rapid and immense change and we go through periods of subtle or little change. This is true for every person on this planet! Neat! So many billions of humans learning and transforming, and constantly growing! I think it is pretty darned awesome.

If you're working on something like telling the truth more often, being kinder to your family, managing your finances better, or any one of the many goals we set for ourselves as we advance through life, you often have the luxury of deciding who you want to share your struggles and successes with.

Fat and the gaining or losing of it upon our bodies isn't so easy to hide from the world. While five percent of your total weight gained or lost may not be very noticeable, anything more than that will be fairly obvious.

No one ever said anything to me when I gained weight. I preferred it that way, and I may still prefer it that way. I appreciate it when people refrain from commenting on my body size without me asking them.

On the flip side, with weight loss EVERYONE has said something to me, and I've always known that losing weight would mean hearing a lot of comments about my body.

Knowing that losing weight would bring comments about my body from all over (albeit always positive and encouraging) was actually something that seriously hampered my weight loss efforts in the past.

Just hearing someone say something as plain as "You look great" would cause me to feel really hurt and angry. The reason is pretty simple. I had become quite adept at shutting out the idea that people may be judging me, but its not possible to believe no one is paying attention to your weight and your body size if they keep commenting on your weight loss.

Every positive comment, no matter the content, showed that people DID notice my body and my weight. Not only that, but every positive comment seemed to carry with it the implication that I was BETTER as a thinner person, which also implied to me that I was somehow WORSE when I was bigger.

I still have these conflicted feelings. I'm thankful that people are proud of me and happy for me, but every positive comment does bring a bit of bitterness out. ESPECIALLY when the comment comes from either my mother or my father. This is likely because I have a lot of unresolved anger in general towards my parents regarding my weight and that is a can of worms for another day I think : )

This is one of those weight loss issues that I haven't confronted yet, hopefully I'll find a way to resolve my feelings about it someday. I'll definitely share when/if I do!
Conflicted Fatty is Conflicted

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Losing my Fat Happies!!!! Sad face! D:

OH NOOOOooooooooo!

I have had an EXTREMELY UNSETTLING series of thoughts!
In losing weight, I had naively assumed I would only be losing nearly useless fatses from my fleshy pink body, but I have inadvertently lost my favorite weapons and threats too!

ALWAYS if someone was irritating or bothering or irkling me, all I had to say was "IMMA SIT ON YOU!" and that was a sufficient threat!

Now that my body mass is only sufficient to smush small children, super models and other extremely little humans, I am without my easily accessible arsenal of threats!
I will have to come up with more clever threats... so frustrating!

Goodbye my dear, dear threats! :'(

The following have served me well, I ask for a moment of silence to remember their years of service:

"You keep talking smack like that and I will FALL ON YOU."
"Don't worry friends, if they try to stop us I will SIT ON THEM."
"Pick me up and MAKE ME."

No wonder skinny people feel the need to carry guns, I feel so vulnerable and insubstantial!

I'm developing a profound sense of pity for skinny folks, the world must seem like such a big scary place for them.

(Please try not to take me too seriously)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tiffany's Epiphany 1: Why I started my Weight Loss Journey

Who am I and What led me to starting my weight loss journey?

Let us create the historical documents of Fatty Fatty No Friends!

I'd like to start by introducing you to Tiffany Sudduth in the spring of 2011. She weighed about 250-260 lbs, but she hadn't stepped on a scale in a couple years. She had gone to college for 5+ years, but she hadn't finished her degree. She'd met hundreds of people, and made hundreds of friends, but she had lost contact with almost all of them. She had a cute loving mom and dad, and two derpy brothers, but she was angry with her parents, and estranged from her family. She had just turned 24 years old in February, and after a long and complicated battle with depression that had raged since she was 10 years old, she was beginning at last to heal. She was a young woman who was raw, scared and still very sick, but the sky was lightening in the horizon, and dawn was finally on its way.

Of particular importance was her age: 24 years old. The thought occurred to her, and began to nag at her, that she had never imagined she would be alive at 24 years old. For quite a long time she had internalized, at the deepest level, a belief that she would not live past her very early twenties. Yet there she was. Alive, and still fighting.

When you're severely depressed, you spend a lot of time in the company of your own thoughts.

In the spring of 2011 I was at a distinctly turbulent place in my own Tiffany-universe. I had decided to fight the depression, and I had decided I wanted to beat it. I spent long hours wondering if I wanted to live or die. Not thinking about the issue in despair, but giving honest thought to it. Okay, so I had committed myself to taking medication, to focusing on my sluggish foe, what did this mean for my life? Well, I had to conclude that this meant I had decided to live. I looked at the options to live or to die. I thought of them without fear; objectively and calmly. I was not afraid to die, but I was quite afraid to live. Filled with a tense anticipation, I turned my thoughts towards my future. If I wanted to live my life out, what did that mean about HOW I was living it?

This was new to me. This planning, this honest analysis of myself, my life. My habit had always been to hide in fantasy and daydreams, constructing microcosms of people and places in my head in which to live. I was not accustomed to being "real" about myself. To looking at who I was in this world, what I was doing, and what life I was leading.

Looking back, the next step was really obvious.

If I was going to live; to really CHOOSE life, there were things I wanted to do, and being overweight was in the way of many of those things. There were things I wanted to do!!!

If I was going to be alive, I wanted to go skydiving, running, swimming, biking, rock climbing and hiking. I wanted to have the energy to do those things! I wanted to dress in pretty clothes, and put together fun outfits. I wanted to wear shorts, short sleeves, and dresses. I wanted to be blissfully in love. I wanted to experience intimacy on a level I hadn't ever sought before, and I wanted to have really good sexy times!

In the spring of 2011 I was raw, scared and sick, but I was healing.

I chose to live, and in so choosing I set out on a journey to transform my body to be a tool that would fit the life I wanted to live.

There were things I wanted to do!

Monday, April 9, 2012

One Pound Obese

As of this morning's weigh in (I do it daily, remember!) I am LESS than a pound away from saying goodbye to "Obesity" as it is technically defined through BMI calculations.

The journey so far has been long, and enjoyable : ) So many revelations about my body, so many beautiful moments rediscovering who I am, so much patience has gone into this!

It's been a long time coming to get here, and I'd be lying to say I'm not scared. I'm trotting into uncharted territory! Going where no Tiffany has gone before, and the land of "Healthy" is finally visible on the horizon.

My first five pounds of weight loss seemed like nothing at the time, but looking back I am able to see how spectacular that accomplishment was. I had faith in myself, and in that simple faith I had the key to everything.
I have not starved myself. I have not deprived myself of opportunities to socialize. I have not worked out to the point that I was being crazy.

I'd like to say at this moment to anyone embarking on a weight loss journey, no matter how small, or large ;), GUARD YOUR MONEY. There is a giant industry out there, it wants your dollars and it does not give a damn about your health. In fact, the diet industry is dependent on the continued failure of diets. If everyone was healthy, who would they sell too? Guard you money, do not buy crazy things, do not be bullied.

Have faith in your body. You are magnificent. Your body has the capacity to astound you, I promise!

Weight loss is inherently "expensive". I had to buy new shoes. Workout Clothes and the like. Purchasing food has been a headache from time to time. More than ANYTHING though, a diet will cost you precious energy from every day, and TIME. It's very true that time is money, and TIME is what makes diets so very expensive.

Nevermind pills, nevermind workout videos, nevermind personal trainers, treadmills, supplements and fads. A true and successful "diet" WILL cost you energy, patience and time. Be prepared to "spend" energy on your diet. Be prepared to "spend" patience on your diet. Above all, be prepared to "spend" time on your diet.

A little foresight can go a long way towards preventing disappointments later on.

P.S. I love you and you can do it!