Monday, October 31, 2011


Today is the day where people everywhere will don a mask and/or costume, pretend to be someone else and go around asking for tricks or treats.  There will be happy faces, sad faces, mad faces and scary faces.  Spirits of goodness and evil will abound.....matching or contrasting the people behind the masks. It's all in the name of fun. Unfortunately, some people do this every day of their lives. So much so that they don't know where their fantasy ends and their reality begins.  Sure, sometimes circumstances call for us to fake a smile when we'd rather growl, give a compliment where it isn't necessarily deserved or swallow our pride and do/say something we really don't want to say or do.  Then, there are times we find ourselves doing one or all of these things way more than we care to do them, to 'save face,' 'keep the peace,' or 'be the bigger person.'  We do them because we don't want to get anybody upset,  make anyone feel bad, be a part of the problem or, God forbid, be disloyal........especially when it comes to family.

Growing up, we are taught to never let anyone/anything come between us and our matter what. Family first, 'blood is thicker than water' and all that good stuff. (As the saying goes) You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family and if you don't already, you better find something to like about your sister, brother, cousin, auntie, uncle, grandma or grandpa. After all, family is everything.....right? For the most part, loving, or even liking, our relatives is not an issue; we're usually good with the family that was chosen for us.  But sometiiiiiiiiiiiiimes (woooooohhhh!), we wish we could UNchoose some of our relatives......disown them.....obliterate them from the face of the earth.  Okay, I've gone too far.....but, you get my drift (I know y'all can relate).  I don't know if it's due to my age or my experiences.....probably a combination of both......but my tolerance level for BS is at an all-time low and I really can't take it anymore. I have some relatives who have all but worn out their welcome in my life and in my heart.  You know the kind....'just gotta have it' drama kings and queens or Mr./Ms. One-Upper, always in competition mode or Sour Sal/Susie, nothing/noone is ever good, right or happy in their world or Woe-is-me, Nobody-Loves-Me Always the Victim.  They suck the energy right out of every situation and everyone they come in contact with. 

For years, I have dealt with these people, shared with them, loved, encouraged and gone to bat for them.  Yet, at the end of the day, none of my efforts seem to be matter.  Not only do my actions go unreciprocated but are never appreciated and sometimes, downright dismissed and ignored. No amount of talking things out and telling them how I feel has changed that and probably never will. They are who they are. So why should I keep spending wasting my time, trying to build/sustain happy, healthy relationships with them when they obviously don't care to?  Why have I continued to be part of such lop-sided relationships, subjecting myself to unnecessary stress and constant drama?  I'll tell you why: because I've been hoping for a miracle that is what I was raised to do (thanks alot Dad!), because I love my family, because it's expected of me and because it is the 'right' thing to do??  Yeah.....unh hunh.....riiiigggghhhhht.  Actually, all of those reasons seemed to be good enough reasons to do so.  But, when I stopped to think about it, I realized,  all of those reasons have nothing to do with my happiness and everything to do with someone else's.  Well, it's about time I tend to my own happy...and, in order to do so, I must separate from the crazies some of my family members.

Yes, I'm breaking up with them y'all. I am going to entertain the possibilities of life without (so much of) them. I will no longer cater to the needs of 'the group' over the satisfaction of my own. I refuse to participate in activities that cause me stress, strain, pain and sadness.  I am no longer going to play the game of, 'Us Against The World' when I know it's really 'Us Against Each Other.'  I can't keep smiling for the cameras when what I really wanna do is throw the camera in your face(speaking to my relatives here). Yes, I are used to behaving this way because it is how you were groomed to be. Your upbringing didn't leave room for true, unconditional love becaue it was tainted by someone else's feelings of inadequacy, jealousy and hate...or just plain ole ignorance. However, I was not raised like that. I was taught to love, cherish and honor my family; to  be there for mine and always have their backs. I tried to show you how to love (Weezy F. Baby!  Okay, I digress....) yet, time after time, you've rebelled, denied, shunned and disbelieved.  You've disrespected the family legacy, gone against the grain and disturbed my peace more times than I care to recall. Your numerous violations to the family unit have shown that all efforts to keep love alive have been in vain. You are so far gone now that, even if you wanted to, you don't know how to stop playing the role.....and I really do feel sorry for you. However, I can no longer be a part of this reality show-like life we've all grown so comfortable being a part of. Unlike you, I am happy with the role I was given in my own fabulous life this world...quirks, flaws, mistakes and all. Therefore, I am leaving the set and finally removing the mask.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cheers To The Freakin Weekend.......

In celebration of the upcoming 'holiday,' there are Halloween parties going down, all over town, all weekend.  My sisters, friends and I usually get together and throw a big bash but, this year, we're keeping it simple: On Saturday, a small group of us will get together and have lots of ghould food and drinks, music and cameras flashing (or clicking) everywhere.  We're planning to party at a club or two; I'm sure, whatever we decide to do, we will have a blast doing it.  

Enjoy your Halloween, everyone....and BE SAFE!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I spent a few days in Charlotte, NC this past weekend and.....oh, what a feeling!  I went to visit my sister & her boyfriend and to see what the Queen City was all about. Along with escaping the daily stress of my life at home, I mostly wanted to get an idea of what life would be like, as the third  wheel roommate in my sister's house. Although I didn't get a tour of the city, I went along with my sister, as she ran errands. I realized almost everything is a drive away; there would be no such thing as running to the corner store real quick. I also met a few good people and saw some great (looking) neighborhoods. Nights were quiet and peaceful so I was able to get a good night's sleep.  What a difference a restful sleep makes!

As for extra-curricular activities, I didn't want to go to any clubs so partying was not in the plan.  We did go out for drinks on Saturday night, though. We stopped in at Wet Willie's and had one of their famous alcoholic daiquiris and some food.  Then, we went to a sports bar where a live band was playing. I loved the atmosphere of the place but the crowd was geared more towards my mother's age group. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself. While I didn't experience the nightlife full-blast, I've done my research so I know Charlotte has a lot for me to discover and experience. I spent most of my vacation close to the (my sister's) house but, I must say, with its 'small town in a big city' appeal, Charlotte felt like....home.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Higher Power.....

Starting today, on Sundays, my blog will feature strictly inspirational, spiritual and motivational posts; whether they be in the form of song lyrics, poetry, short story (fact or fictional), testimonial or even photographs.  I'm not a particularly religious person but I do believe in God, a higher power, spiritual leadership. I wanna take the time to acknowledge, share and reflect that which empowers me when I am weak, reminds me of hope when my days are dark and keeps me faithful when life deals a challenging blow.  Also, that which keeps me healthy, sustains my happy spirit, enlightens my mind and serves as a buoy of my heart.

Please feel free to share, in the comment section, what inspires, motivates and invigorates your spirit.

God Is Love and Love Is Me.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Livin Large...........

I am afraid of heights but I love to fly. The first time I flew in an airplane, as an adult (flew to California as a toddler but I have no memory of that), I found it to be a relaxing experience. Nothing about it scared me, at all. I looked out the window as the plane made its ascent and all I felt was a sense of calm. I was on my way to Atlanta to visit my cousin, see the much-talked about city and develop my blueprint for a small-town escape. At the time, I was 190 lbs. Since that trip, back in 2001, I have flown many times and gained 47 lbs. Most have been pleasurable experiences. The two times I did not enjoy my flight were the time I had to sit in the middle of two strangers and the time (yesterday) I sat near two people who apparently had issue with (people who are) my size. The time I was assigned a middle seat, on a full plane, the ride was very uncomfortable. I basically sat with my arms crossed in front of me almost the entire time. I didn't want to touch my 'neighbors' or infringe upon their personal space. When I got off that plane, my joints and muscles ached but I don't think I made the trip uncomfortable for the people I sat between.

Yesterday, on my way to Charlotte, NC, I had to take two flights. On the first flight, I sat in a row containing 2 seats, near a slim woman who seemed to be on the friendly side. For the first hour of the flight, she fidgeted and moved around quite a bit in her seat. Seems she couldn't decide if she wanted to read or sleep. While she was reading, she rested her arm on the armrest between us and her elbow felt like it was perched in my side. I said nothing. I wasn't sure if she was doing it purposely, as if to say, 'you wanna take up some of my space, I'm gonna take up some of yours' or if she wasn't aware that she was poking me with her bone. I finally decided to pull myself into my space as much as possible and go to sleep.

On the second leg of the trip, I had a window seat in a row of three seats. My two seatmates were already settled in by the time I boarded the plane. Once seated and buckled in, I noticed the woman seated beside me had begun to fidget and move around like my seatmate on the last flight.  She finally decided to read, and she rested her arm on the armrest between us. Then, I felt the elbow. This woman seemed to be poking her elbow more than was necessary. But, because I didn't want to cause a disturbance on the plane, I said nothing. I simply shifted my body away from the armrest, as much as I could.  I was pretty comfortable pressed against the wall of the plane and figured I'd be fine for the 34 minute flight.  Then, a man walked up to the row in front of us and indicated to the people sitting there that the middle seat was his.  As he took his seat, he said to them, 'I'm glad you two aren't large.' 'Wow,' I thought to myself, 'Damn, people actually say that out loud?' I mean, I know there are people who think overweight passengers should pay for two seats if they take up more space than the one seat they paid for. But to actually hear a person say that, it hurt. I couldn't stop thinking about the obnoxious remark and I couldn't help but wonder if my seatmates thought I should've paid for another seat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Focus Man!

When I first started this blog, I made a few posts regarding my weight, my 'relationship' at the time and a few other things that were on my mind.  I had less than 5 entries and I didn't post again for some months (closer to a year, I believe). I then came back to it and decided to make this a blog strictly about weight, thinking, if I put my business 'out there' I will be more inclined to 'handle my business.'  So I deleted the first few posts and started anew.  Now, I wish I hadn't done that.  

I had (have?) a bad habit of getting rid of (or ignoring) things that may be too uncomfortable for me to face or think about. Then, when I get through the hardest part, I always wish I could look that thing (or person) in the face and say, 'See?  You didn't hold me back/down forever.'  Like with my diaries/journals from many years ago. I've kept the ones that date back to 1999/2000 but anything before that has been destroyed. Why? Because there were some things I just wanted to forget about or never wanted to be discovered by anyone else. Now, I wish I could go back and read them, just to be reminded of how much I've grown as a person. Of course, I know what I've been through and how much I've changed, without having a directory about each experience, but it would be nice to have a more detailed perspective.

Anyway, I've (finally) decided not to streamline the Buttafly Diaries. Instead, I will keep my blog all-inclusive; open to various subjects and potential conversation pieces. There will be times when I'll want to talk about my big thighs, and others when I'll want to talk about my sister's big mouth. Sometimes I'll feel the need to brag about my gran'diva and other times, I'll need to virtually scream complain about my Big Brat (aka 21 year old daughter). Through my blog, I want to talk about some of the big moments along with smaller ones, my personal experiences as well as, what's going on in other people's lives the world. I will still share my weight loss journey, in great detail, because I'm hoping it will serve as a guide (of what or what not to do), learning tool or source of inspiration/motivation for someone else. But I won't alienate bore those who are not interested in that part of my life experience. 

I hope my audience will grow along with me and be open enough to share words of wisdom, constructive criticism, encouragement and friendly banter with some laughs thrown in for good measure. 

As the transformation of a Buttafly continues, won't you come along?   :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011


I come from a huge family (that consists of maternal, paternal and step- members) and share close relationships with a lot of my relatives.  I'm especially close to my 9 siblings plus a few extra sista-friends (sf).  So, naturally, there's always 'something going on' and 'somewhere we must to go.'  God forbid, one of us claims we can't attend....all hell will break loose!  You better be on your deathbed (or something of that caliber) to miss out on any event deemed 'mandatory' by the sisters/sfs.  So what, if you're trying to stop drinking, so what if you're trying to eat healthier, so what if you're trying to lose weight.  You had better be there.....or else!  And of course, there will be (unhealthy) food & (alcoholic) beverages served at these functions so if you don't have self-control, too damn bad for you.  This is especially unsettling because there really isn't much of a break between these 'mandatory celebrations/gatherings.' When I try to think of one whole month where there is no one's birthday, anniversary or other milestone to celebrate, I can't.  In addition to official celebrations, not a week goes by when there is no suggestion by one of my siblings/sf/me to 'get together, have some drinks and get our gab on.'  NOT ONE.  And every weekend must be commemorated by the consumption of alcohol and one of the following: wings/pizza/chinese food/fish fry or some other form of fast/junk food.

As this weekend begins, I just shake my head because I know what I'm getting ready to get myself into.  I've already received the invite from my Sis to 'bmob and show up at her house by 9pm tonight.'  Tomorrow, we'll be celebrating my aunt's birthday, where there will be gallons of alcohol and tons of food (and loads of fun).  Sunday will likely be a 'man-down' day as I am sure I will need at least 24 hours to recuperate from the weekend.  I'm looking forward to the great times that lie ahead but I shake my head at the fact that this weekend will not serve as a step towards my goal.  In fact, no day or weekend spent with my family (in celebration mode) will bring me closer to my goal. It will only hold me back. That being said, I may have to (temporarily) cut my family ties in order to gain control of my health and develop/sustain healthy habits.  And they (I) will not be happy about that.  PRAY FOR ME!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Breaking The Cycle........

The first time I realized I was part of a cycle that needed to be broken, I was 20 years old and in college. For a history class, I had to write an autobiography incorporating one of the topics given by my professor. I don't remember what the choices were but I decided to write about 'Breaking The Cycle.'  In my paper (on which I received a grade of A+), I discussed the cycles of poverty, abuse, teen parenting and (similar) partner choices in my family. I vowed to become a shining example (of what a responsible, successful woman is) for my then 3-year old daughter. I promised to teach her how to be a better decision-maker than I was. I wanted her to use my footsteps as a guide but not a designated route. However, it never occurred to me that there was another familial cycle that needed to be stopped.......the cycle of obesity. It wasn't until my daughter became pregnant last year and began 'eating like a pregnant woman' that I realized she may be on the path to becoming overweight.   

Prior to her pregnancy, she didn't eat alot and was more of a healthy eater than I was. Like most kids, she enjoyed eating chips, candy and sugar water juice, but she preferred my cooking over fast food, water over soft drinks and apples over cookies & sweets. I guess it helped that, although I was quick to order in, I never was much of a snack/junk food consumer. So, when she did have those things, they were nice treats. Around her 3rd month of pregnancy, I began to notice a big change in her eating habits. She was eating more chips, candy, sweet drinks and fast foods. Plus, she was staying up until all hours of the morning....eating! I warned her to slow down and be mindful of what she was putting in her mouth. I mean, she definitely had room to splurge since she only weighed about 115 lbs before pregnancy but, still, I told her to be careful. By the end of her pregnancy, she had gained around 35 lbs total. Not bad. It didn't take long, after she gave birth, for her body to 'bounce back.' She retained a few pounds, and went from a slim size 3 to a curvy 5 (whoopteedooooo!). I was happy that my daughter's post-pregnancy body was one she could still flaunt, and hoped her regular eating habits would resume. But, that didn't happen. Her body didn't change too much but her life did......drastically.

She went from being a carefree, full-time college student to a full-time working Mom who with many responsibilities. This, in addition to having household chores/responsibilities, as she still lives at home with me. Naturally, this lifestyle comes with a certain amount of unavoidable stress, and having once been in her shoes, I can relate. Unconsciously, I dealt with my stress by staying up late and eating., not realizing it was a huge problem until I was way past the 'borderline.' After one particular time of 'shaking my finger' at my daughter as she partook in some fast food meal at some ungodly hour, I realized there are glaring similarities in mine and my daughter's behaviors. She also deals with her stress by staying up late and eating. Slim-gene aside, (I warned her) if she continues on this path, she will find herself in the plus-size section of somebody's store, holding back her tears. When I tell her these things, she just laughs and blows me off, saying/thinking it won't happen. Granted, she takes more after her Dad's every damn thing naturally slim body size/type than my voluptuous, fluffy side of the family but, still, the possibility remains. 

Up until I became pregnant with her, I was always a slim-'normal' sized female. I weighed around 135 lbs. pre-pregnancy, gained a whopping 50 lbs and weighed 150 post-pregnancy. Over the years, my weight increased as my life fell apart responsibilities increased. I went away to college when my daughter was 3 years old and I still weighed 150 lbs. At the end of my first year of college, I weighed 162 lbs.  At the end of my second year, I weighed 180 lbs. In the years following, my weight increased gradually. I've been in my current weight range of 234-240 lbs. for about 7 years. No one could/would have predicted that I would become an obese person and it still boggles my mother's mind that I went from 'that' to 'this.'

I pray that my daughter will take heed to my warnings one day soon. However, I know my actions will speak much louder than my words.Getting my health and body under control is as important for me as it is for my daughter and, now also, my gran'diva. This cycle has got to be stopped. Meanwhile, I feel like a mother helplessly watching her child walk onto a busy highway......

Have you broken or vowed to break a vicious family cycle?  How did you do it and what was your family's response?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

(Press) IGNORE.....

Being morbidly obese overweight carries a certain stigma that is socially accepted by everyone the majority. Seemingly, if you are fat, you are a candidate for the death penalty unworthy and undeserving of real love, positive attention, good job, great friends, pretty clothes, shoes, wonderful gifts, etc.  And don't you even think about simple things like Respect and Consideration.  All of the things 'normal' people expect, strive for and receive are not 'for you, Fatty.'  

I went into a Best Buy store, some months ago, looking for cables that would allow me to connect my laptop to my television.  I had no idea what I needed so, after looking at what seemed like hundreds of different kinds cords and wires, I looked around for a sales associate.  A couple guys walked by but seemed to be helping other customers at the time.  So, I waited a few more minutes.  Then I began to realize that, yes they were helping other customers but other customers who had arrived after me!!  I was finally able to get the attention of one of the associates, who, after barely listening to what I needed help with, told me he'd 'be right back.'  Well, folks, I waited....and patiently waited.....and frickin waited some more.  After a good 15-20 minutes (yes I really did wait that long....or seemed to anyway), I went looking for someone else.  I finally found someone who did help me but even so, I left the store feeling......really bad.

Not bad as in, 'Oh, I'm such a worthless piece of fat crap,' but bad in the 'Damn, it's really like thaaaaaaaat???' kind of way.  I probably should have reported this guy.....but the truth is, it wasn't the first time I got the 'Fat Girl Ignore' and it wouldn't be the last.  And what was I gonna say anyway, 'Hey that guy blew me off because I'm fat?'  Sure, I could've said, 'I asked him for assistance and he left me hanging in the aisle,' but his response most likely would've been something along the lines of, 'I was busy helping another customer, ' or 'I got caught up in something else and forgot,' or 'I DID come back and couldn't find her,' blah blah blah.  Something tells me, had I gone to a manager to complain, they would have laughed about it after I left.

Have you ever been overtly discriminated against (in a store, at work, at the doctor's office, etc.) because of your weight?  If so, how did you handle it?  Do you think I should have done something different in that scenario?   

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Since my last post, I made a decision to begin the process for weight-loss surgery ('WLS').  I've tried all kinds of diets and I've tried to manage this myself.  Nothing has worked.  So I put down my pride and picked up some information regarding 'WLS.'  There are many options available.....gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric banding and more.  The decision is mostly up to the patient but there are recommended procedures for people of a certain weight and/or health condition.  Although I've yet to get my recommendation from the doctor, I've decided I want the Lap-Band surgery.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the short of it is: a surgical band is placed around the opening of the stomach to make the opening and the stomach itself much smaller than normal size.  This restricts the amount of food that can pass through and be held in the stomach. After surgery, the stomach is said to hold (approximately) the equivalent of 2 oz. of food.  TWO OUNCES Y'ALL!  However, the band can be adjusted to make the opening bigger or smaller, according to weight-loss goals and health needs. Click on this link to learn more -

Before one can be scheduled for surgery, there are a series of medical and psychological evaluations to undertake.  You cannot have the surgery if it will likely endanger your life or you aren't mentally ready.  No doctor is going to do the surgery 'just so your boyfriend won't leave you' or 'to help you snag a woman.'  The pre-surgery process usually takes anywhere between 3 - 6 mos but can take much longer, depending on your specific medical history and how well you follow instructions. Since my official start on August 9, I've taken 4 of my 17 required steps.  I would like to be able to schedule surgery for late January but, at the rate I'm going (verrrryyyy slowwww), I don't know if it's gonna happen then......if it happens at all.  'What do you mean, if it happens at all?!'  you're probably wondering.

Well, during the orientation phase, we learned about the different WLS options available, amongst other things like healthy eating and exercising.  We were also told (more than a few times) that the goal isn't to get  surgery.  Instead, the goal is to teach one how to take control of their health; recognize what went wrong and make choices to make things right.....without surgery.  However, it is also acknowledged that, if it was just that simple, there would be no need for the orientation or the surgery.  That being said, I'm hoping fooling myself into thinking   that I can finally get a hold of things and do this on my own so I won't need the surgery. HA! Who knows? Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

In the meantime, in sticking with the plan (within the next 6 weeks), I need to schedule appointments for my Sleep Apnea evaluation review, with the Nutritionist & Dietician and my primary care doctor.  Hell, I'm gonna lose 25 lbs just from the change I'll have to dish out in co-pays.........Oh My!