“I Want To Stay Hopeful Even Though I Get Scared About Why We’re Alive At All” – Lana Del Ray


And right now it’s probably the only thing that’s keeping me going. It’s been a rough couple of months, peppered with truly awesome sprinkles of pure joy, and release that have fueled me through the motions like some sort of beautiful fem-bot.

Before I venture of the topic of why this blog was created. I figured it’s worth mentioning that I hit my goal weight of 140 back on October 16th and this morning when I got on the scale I weighed 130.4. I don’t really want to lose any more weight considering I probably have like 10 to 15 pounds of loose skin that has to go. I’ve even had weeks where I ate like shit (as far as food choices) and got on the scale and still dropped two pounds expecting to have gained or maintained that week. If I get down to 125 I am going to call my doctor and see if they want to see me, because I am starting to feel like I am getting too thin.

Excuse my candidness if this post offends anyone but the only way I can get through the dark times is to try and make light of them. While the meds they put me on have helped me from wanting to slit my wrist on a moment to moment bases, I have certainly returned to the dark side in the last couple of weeks.

All I find myself wanting to do is lay in bed and listen to Lana Del Rey and pondering what the fuck it is I am doing with my life. While the medication has helped my mood it’s also made it really hard to create or do much because I have little to no energy. So then it makes me wondering if I am on the right path but when I try to think about what I would be if I wasn’t an artist my all my mind hears is crickets. So at the moment I am on auto pilot just trying to navigate this shit storm until I figure it out. Art is hard kids especially when you are in the middle of a creative block and your homework relies on your ability to create.

My saving grace this quarter has certainly been my creative concepts class. It’s taught by my favorite photography professor but we are allowed to use whatever medium we want. It’s been nice not to have to rely on photography for the whole class. The class works by all of us submitting 10 concepts at the beginning of the class and for each project everyone pulls one concept out of a bag. We then all vote until there’s only one concept left.  The way you determine if you passed the assignment or not is if 2/3rds of the class votes that your piece met the concept. There has been some really cool work presented in this class and I wish you could take it more than once.

For our concept “I can’t hear you” I decided to do a burlesque/pole routine. This truly is a non-scale victory for me in a couple of ways. I grew up my whole life hating watching videos of my performances because of my weight. For the first time in my life not only do I love watching this video I have watched it many times because I have a hard time believing it’s me lol.

I know this is probably another post that’s going to generate a lot of worry for some people who read it. It’s okay I weather the storm kids it’s just sometimes the water is fucking rough and I am prone to sea sickness so it hits me a little harder than others.



“Been Tyin’ Hard Not To Get Into Trouble, But I’ve Got A War In My Mind”

Again it’s been a while since the last time I have posted, partially because I hadn’t decided how open I wanted to be with this particular experience. It isn’t without reason that I have been silent, many things have happened.

The summer quarter started with school and the job I had been offered called me out to Seattle to negotiate me relocating. In the mean time between this time and the last time I had posted my depression and anxiety had spiraled to paralyzing degree. I spent 98% of the days in July and August wanting to die. I had a plan but wouldn’t act on it. It was more like I fantasized about something random taking me out or just not waking up. For the unnecessary pain and anxiety to just end. The day after I returned from making the decision that I would relocate to Seattle I completely lost my mind in ever sense of the word.

I woke up for my long Thursday block of classes and just broke down into tears and couldn’t pull myself from my bed. I took an Ativan and went back to sleep and when I woke back up I knew I was beyond the help of anything I was going to be able to do for myself. I sent an SOS out to one my best friends we went to breakfast where I proceeded to unload on her. After a long conversation we figured it was best for me to go to the ER where she works and see the psychiatric team where they would evaluate if I needed to be admitted, or if they could just refer me to a team of people and send me on my way. They quickly decided it would probably be best if I was put on a 72 hour psychiatric hold because I would get the best care this way. I was admitted to an in patient crisis facility where I spent three days.

They put me on a cocktail of drugs and it was like moving through molasses while trying to get used to and tweak the dosages so I could function. All of this happening while I am having to deal with assignments and getting dropped from classes because of Dr. Appointments and the schools attendance policy. So a month out I am finally starting to feel like the fog is lifting and a bit more like myself. I had to create the two portraits as finals for two different classes the first had to be a self portrait and the second just worked out that way.

Marie final first draft

Printing_Final_WM (1 of 1)

I turned in the following artist statement with the flower image :

“Last quarter I started a project called Nature’s Sirens (see example below). What I told everyone else is that it was the representation of spring tempting you and pulling you in. In reality the dark and haunting film images were a symbol of my depression and anxiety and how the sirens were pulling me and drowning me in their darkness. I’ve let them pull me in so deep. I feel like I am blinded by their madness. When told to do yet another self portrait I found it challenging because at the moment the only thing I know for sure about myself is that I have temporarily lost my mind, and I am an artist. It takes losing 170 pounds to not recognize yourself in the mirror, and a complete mental breakdown resulting in a 72 hour psychiatric hold to make you question everything you’ve ever known. The combination of both results in a total loss of self.

I chose to wear one of my siren masks because I feel like I am flying blind at a million miles an hour toward my future. I’m lost in a beautiful madness because all I want to do is set forth and create beauty, and yet I am about to set down my art tools and return to the corporate world. Below the madness I find moments of peace and surrender and it’s those small moments that are holding me together at the right now. My last self portraits have been magical and colorful and this is no different, it just has a bit of madness mixed in this time.”

May Flowers film WM-23 Tiffamy wm-36

The diptych I turned into printing is a quote from an old Nina Storey song. It’s how I feel. I feel like I have burnt my old life to the ground and I have no clue what the future holds for me at the moment because the only tools I know how to make sense of at the moment are my creative ones.

I woke up Friday morning (the morning after my last class) not having enrolled for fall, still not having any real answers about the job and Seattle and started unraveling again thinking what the fuck am I doing moving across country to give up my dream to work in another cubical? I gave it some serious thought and yesterday finally decided that it doesn’t matter if I end up having to live in the back of my 4Runner I am staying and I am finishing school. This morning I turned down the high paying job in Seattle and I enrolled for the fall semester. Maybe I am fucking crazy or maybe I just need to put my trust back into the universe that school and money will find a way to work it’s way out for me. It’s time for me to ride the waves instead of fighting them.

I leave you with two things. The quote that  is the name of this blog is a Lana Del Ray Lyric from Drive. A quote from the spoken word part of her music video really resonates with me, I encourage you to watch the video even though it’s super long because really the whole thing does.

“Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people, and finally I did on the open road. We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore, except to make our lives into a work of art.

Live fast. Die young. Be wild. And have fun. I believe in the country America used to be. I believe in the person I want to become. I believe in the freedom of the open road. And my motto is the same as ever:

“I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself I ride, I just ride.”

Who are you? Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them? I have. I am fucking crazy. But I am free. “

“I Push Things Out Through My Mouth I Get Refilled Through My Ears”

Since it’s too hot to venture outside at the moment and this particular topic has been weighing on me heavily in recent weeks I decided to touch on another topic that is not necessarily weight loss surgery related. I often see WLS patients saying that after surgery they are no longer able to deal with their significant other and cheat or end up divorced, but I wonder if this spreads into their other relationships (work, family, friends etc). As I slowly find myself subconsciously “cutting” people from my life I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t apart of the metamorphosis? Or is this just my anxiety and depression telling me lies so I can justify my solitude.


This secret was up on Post Secret a while ago and it’s what started me down this rabbit hole. Except scratch out male and insert I need to find people who truly appreciate me. If there’s one thing I have learned in the last year, and especially the last quarter of school is that I am much stronger and independent than I give myself credit for. Anymore lately I find myself wanting to be alone than with others simply because it doesn’t feel like my efforts are appreciated. I am so thankful for my small circle of friends who have gotten me through this last year. Without them I would probably be a complete mess.

I have always been a firm advocate and cheerleader of the principle that you curate your family, it doesn’t have to be blood, and just because you are related to them doesn’t make them your family if they can’t respect you. I time and time again stand by friends and help them move past toxic relationships that aren’t nurturing their soul anymore or at all. All the while turning a blind eye to the energy vampires in my life and neglecting my own emotional needs.

I am a very giving person, a perfectionist, and a people pleaser which can be a blessing and curse. I long abandoned “real” religion and adopted two ways of thinking after coming across these two quotes by the Dalai Lama the first:

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

The second being:

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

I find that I am most happy when I am serving, and helping others. If I can do anything to make someone smile or their day a little easier or better I will do it. Often times at my own expense of time, energy or effort. I don’t do it for praise or with any expectation but because it makes me happy to bring joy to others. I am also very careful about how my actions, or lack their of might effect others as I would never want to intentionally cause pain. This causes me to give endlessly, and in the past it was probably because I didn’t think I was worth investing in, so if I could help someone else it made my life have purpose.

I just figured kindness was a common through out others. However in this day of instant downloads, and online ambiguity common courtesy has gone out the door. More often than not any new connection I make would rather ignore someone they don’t want to see or talk to anymore rather than being honest. This can be temporarily or they end up ghosting them disappearing all together leaving the other person dumbfounded and lost without closure. What is ghosting? It’s when someone just disappears like a ghost ignoring all contact and giving no explanation. In fact this behavior is so common place these days that huff post did a whole article on how it’s becoming the new normal amongst men leaving lovers. but I find that ladies are just as guilty of it, and it’s not just happening in romantic relationships. As someone that has social anxiety and is in a semi-delicate place at the moment ghosting is something that scares the shit out of me because I have been abandoned in the past.

IMG_2893After spending the last year cutting the fat (literally) from my life, I am in a place where I don’t have time our energy to continue cultivating relationships with people who might ghost me, or others for that matter. I call these types of relationships fast food relationships because their like the McDonald’s equivalent of soul food and they leave you feeling shitty or empty afterword. McDonald’s doesn’t give a shit if you end up in agony after and either do the ghosts.

I am sure I am not the only weight loss patient who put up with a lot of emotional neglect because they didn’t feel like they were worth it. It’s fucked up it takes losing another humans worth of weight to realize it, but once you do don’t forget it. I encourage everyone to fill your lives with people that value you and drop the ones that don’t. A lesson I’ve had to learn is talk is cheap and if they can say how much they care but every other actions proves otherwise then they aren’t really their or healthy for you. I am going to leave you with one last quote as it helped me feel a little less broken when I realized my bullshit detector might be broken causing me to want to hide from the world. Just because people have fucked you over in the past doesn’t mean that everyone’s a ghost or a vampire so don’t be afraid to get back out there. Don’t be taken advantage of and be inspired to have a life full of soul food, and not fast food relationships.


“It’s Like Drowning. Except You Can See Everyone Around You Breathing.”


I’ve struggled with blogging about my depression because I doubt it has very little to do with my gastric bypass, since it’s something that I’ve always dealt with. The last thing I want is for people to think this is some sort of cry for help since I am working on it and I feel like it’s getting better. I figure if there’s at least one person that identifies and feels less alone in their own struggle than it’s worth shedding some light on. So I am going to try and channel the braveness of The Bloggess  and talk about the black hole I feel like I’m in (if you have never read Jenny Lawson’s stuff she is hilarious check out her blog after this post). It’s going to be pretty long so buckle up.

Most people have no idea that this is something that I have struggled with my whole life, so this post is likely to come as a shock to a lot of people. I wear a very convincing mask that all is well in my pretty little head, but their are periods where it’s a dark and lonely place. It’s been 10 years since my depression has been bad enough where I would say I it’s dramatically effecting my life. Through out middle school and high school I made several attempts on my life and it’s a good thing that my parents kept the guns in the house locked up tight or I probably wouldn’t be here today. I was raised in a family where it wasn’t really okay to talk about your feelings, or if you did they were just kind of dismissed and you were told to just get over it, or suck it up.  I don’t blame my parents for this, having grown up in large families on farms I feel like they themselves probably didn’t get a lot of attention or nurturing from their parents. However if someone observes our family for long enough you will certainly notice this dynamic. We are very close and would do anything for each other, but we aren’t very affectionate towards one another.

My hair dresser actually pointed this out the other day. She was like “you and your sister aren’t very touchy feely, like I don’t think I have ever seen you guys hug.” I thought about it and had to explain to her that it’s like that with my whole family. I can count on one hand the number of times I have hugged or told (or was told) I love you by someone in my immediate family in the last 3 years.  I hug my friends hello and goodbye every time I see them. In fact I am such a hugger that I hug people the first time I meet them 98% of the time. I have a handful of friends whom I tell I love them every time I get off the phone with them or we part ways.  It’s not that we don’t love one another but I feel like no one knows how to deal with or express emotion. For example my father thought it was perfectly acceptable to tell me via text message of my grand father and grand mothers passing. When he text me to tell me of his mothers passing HE DID IT FROM THE FLOOR BELOW ME!!! To top it off I never saw him express any emotion even though he was close with his mother and I knew he was hurting from what my mom told me.

If it wasn’t for a very loving counselor in high school who was also a yoga instructor I would have never learned how to deal with my depression and anxiety. She was the one who built the foundation for me to be very independent because she taught me how to navigate my way out of the black hole. However with these tools it reinforced my intense need to just deal with shit and not let people in, and to fix it before anyone knew it was broken to begin with. When you start to feel very alone this can be a dangerous things.

While my depression seemed to have gone away with the exceptions of a few short (a couple of days to a couple of weeks) visits in the last 10 years my anxiety hasn’t gone anywhere. Back in October or so I spoke about how I finally had to be medicated because it was too much to fix with yoga and breathing. I went off the meds when I lost my health insurance and while my anxiety remained elevated it was manageable.

Then all of a sudden in New York City my depression sucker punched me in the face harder than I have experienced in a very long time. I found myself in the middle of one of my favorite cities feeling alone, depressed, and insignificant. I am typically someone who gives zero fucks about what you think about me. I know I am talented, kind, generous, beautiful, and hard working and I don’t need your validation. However I felt like I was right back in middle school. Up until I started pole I never had girlfriends because I was always really picked on by girls. I don’t know why but they feel threatened by me and thus feel like the need to break me down. I wasn’t expecting to make best friends with anyone on this trip by any means. What I wasn’t expecting however was to be treated as if I wasn’t even there and to be talked down to for no reason. At one point we were sitting in the lobby and I tried to ask one of these heartless girls where we were going first this morning and she completely ignored me as if I wasn’t even there. Even if did feel excluded it shouldn’t have mattered I was staying in a nice hotel on week one of a two week vacation (with the other week being at a luxury hotel on a tropical island).

Then I come back only to find out that they were talking tons of shit about me (despite me having very minimal interaction with them the whole time) saying I shouldn’t have been allowed to go on the trip because I was only in my second quarter, and should have had photo history one and two etc..blah blah blah. The thing that really pissed me off is that they ran around telling everyone that the group was constantly waiting on me which couldn’t have been further from the truth. With the exception of one morning where I forgot my metro card in my coat I was walking at the front of the group every time and was always one of the first people in the lobby when we would meet to leave. The morning they had to wait for me wasn’t even my fault. My professor held everyone up even though I begged for him to just go ahead without me and I would meet them there because I knew that these two girls were probably going to bitch and treat me even worse.

For some reason this unleashed the circus that is my depression and it’s been hard and intense since. To give you a glimpse of what my depression would sound like if it could talk I give you the following script. Please keep in mind that I am non-violent and feel bad hooking worm when fishing so when I use the word kill I don’t mean it. Honestly when I get really pissed at someone and I don’t want to say something bitchy I just imagine them exploding into glitter and confetti and it helps. So when I say kill I mean explode like a glitter bomb.

Depression: You want cookies

Depression: You want to fuck

Depression: You want to fuck while eating cookies

Depression: Let’s be sad about trivial things, shall we?

Depression: Everyone hates you

Depression: Kill them.

Depression: Kill them too.

Depression: Kill them and eat their cookies.

Depression: Shhh it’s okay you’ll feel better soon.


Depression: Whoops you drooped a spoon better cry

So after 9 weeks of this constant inner monologue, nothing but school work without seeing any of my friends, and financial struggle it all became too much.  I did something stupid I promised myself I would never do again and I made an attempt at my life. Just as it was with any of the past attempts, it’s not that you want to die but you don’t know how else to make the pain stop, because in reality nothing is really wrong. It took a friend to shake some sense into me and let me bawl on their chest to realize how silly I was being for letting my depression take so much power from me.


I joke around about being a machine because most of the time I walk around unphased by the things that happen to me. No matter what I show up with a smile an produce. I also feel like a robot because I am not very good at expressing or receiving affection and emotions. Right now If you tell me you love and that you need me I am likely to bawl like a baby not because I didn’t know it but because when I get like this I forget that there are people who give a fuck out there and that I am not alone.

Things have been much better mentally even though I have barely been able to pull myself out of bed and isolation the last couple of weeks. I think a lot of the intensity around this round of depression was based off my work load. I apologize to any of my friends who have felt neglected by me in the last few month in the result of my black hole. Thanks for baring with me as I try to get through this. Since nothing is truly wrong it’s hard to know if my depression is a result of the rapid weight loss. Your hormones do go out of whack so it’s impossible to rule it out. However if you or someone you know is struggling with depression and you don’t feel like you have someone to talk to please visit the following page for a list of people whom you can talk to for free.


I better wrap this. The whole point to this rant is that you don’t always know what going on behind someones smile, and just because it seems like it’s all rainbows and sunshine they might actually be drowning under a black cloud. Play nice with one another kids, and hug everyone because you never know who might need it.

“Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes How do you measure, measure a year?”

Next Tuesday will mark one year since I went under the knife and changed my life forever. The last year has been a whirlwind of change, growth, and curve balls. I am doing this post early since it will require a bit of time to gather all the details and photos required to write it, and next Tuesday I will be back in class. If I get a chance on Tuesday I will post some official one year numbers. At this time last year I was morbidly obese (301 pounds with a BMI of 53.8), scared about having surgery, unsure if I could handle the post op life change, and terrified that I would be one of those people who have gastric bypass and only drop 50 pounds never even getting close to their goal weight. This was me, and I was leading a life that was ruled by fear.  The night before surgery I was 296.6.


Today I am almost a year out from the best thing I could have ever done for my life. I am no longer led by fear, I have learned that if you take a leap of faith it’s not always spikes waiting to impale you, it can be a circus net awaiting your landing.  I am currently overweight with a BMI of 26.6 and 15.2 pounds to go until I hit my goal. I have no regrets, well one and that’s that I didn’t do it years sooner. I have lost 158.4 pounds total. Even now as I write that number it doesn’t seem real. I have a hard time seeing it in the mirror sometimes but it punches you in the face when you look at before and after pictures. Here are my current measurements.

1 year measurements

I am not sure what it is about birthdays or anniversaries that make you question your life plan and where you’re at. It could just be that I haven’t had a moment to process anything since October. I am glad that my birthday and surgaversary are close together because the last week or so have been a bit of a mind fuck.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I am approaching my golden birthday (29 on the 29th) marking the last year of my twenties, or the fact that this last year has housed more change than you can shake a stick at, but it makes me wonder what the next revolution around the sun holds for me. The one thing I do know is if it’s as transformative as this last year, the chapter that is my twenties is going to close monumentally.

Time Keeps On Slipping Into The Future….

It turns out that when I’m not chained to a desk 40+ hours a week it’s about as easy for me to make regular updates to my blog, as flying a block of cheese to the moon. A lot has happened but I’m not going to dive deeply into most of it (in this post at least). I just realized that the 14th marked the 10 month mark from my surgery and that perhaps it was time for some sort of update.

Seattle, New York, and Sint Maarten were all fantastic. I’m not going to lie, and be totally accountable because I don’t want to say I do everything by the book when I haven’t. I broke down and had wine and dessert in Seattle. We went to a ridiculously delicious (but pricey) El Gaucho. I didn’t have to drive and was with my parents and enough strapping lads that if I got black out drunk off a glass of wine I would make it home in one piece. If I was a light weight before surgery I am like the cheapest date on earth after because one glass of wine is equivalent to drinking 3 or 4 cocktails now. I had bites of all the desserts that came out to the table (table side liquid nitrogen ice cream, cherries jubilee, from scratch keylime pie). Then in Sint Maarten when we went to the french bakery I bought a macaroon and eclair (I ate them over a few days). I also got black out drunk when I was in Sint Maarten because I drank a bottle of wine way too fast without food. I rallied and was fine within a couple of two hours to quote my friends “you went from passed out topless on our balcony to giving a concert (we went to karaoke) in like two hours with no hang over.” I am not saying you should go out and drink and eat sugar. I also don’t need a lecture on the risks of drinking before 18 months or at all after surgery. I am fully aware and rarely partake. Here are a couple of pictures brought to you by that bottle of wine.

I included this one because the other one make my stomach look bigger because my body is tilted toward the camera

I included this one because the other one makes my stomach look bigger because my body is tilted toward the camera

If you look at my top you can see where I dropped my self head first into the sand when I tried to drop back into wheel drunk.

If you look at my top you can see where I dropped my self head first into the sand when I tried to drop back into wheel drunk.

I ate pretty shitty as far as what I should be eating while on vacation, but we were on the go so much that I probably could have ate a whole cheesecake everyday in New York and still lost weight. I came home and everyone was like damn you look like you got much smaller while you were gone. Considering we were walking 15,000 to 20,000 steps everyday in NYC, and I was swimming everyday in SInt Maarten as well as working out a few days on the island my body was put in beast mode. The blisters on the bottom of my feet are finally almost completely healed and smooth.

I came home and had to face the music about not doing any homework on vacation and consequently have been doing work  non-stop to try and save my GPA. I really haven’t done anything or have seen anyone unless it involves something to do with school. This week has finally been the light at the end of the tunnel as far as the school load goes.

As far as a weigh update goes this morning when I did my weekly weigh in I weighed 169 pounds. That’s 144.6 pounds down from my highest weight of 313.6 in December of 2013 and 132 pounds down from the start of the 3 day liquid diet for surgery.

Everything had been going swimmingly until last week around this time I started experiencing abdominal pain right below my breastbone. It’s not constant and gets worse when I eat and radiates into my back/shoulder blade. This is all pretty consistent with gallbladder issues. I am going to wait this out as long as I can before I see a doctor for two reason. 1. I have no insurance 2. If you miss 3 classes in one quarter they drop you from your classes. If I end up having to have surgery not only is it going to cost way more money than I have but all of the work, money, time and effort put into this quarter will have been a complete waste.

So everyone keep your fingers crossed that this gallbladder thing will calm down long enough for the quarter to end, and for my ass to get on medicaid. I am not super hopeful however, the only reason I have a moment to update this thing is because I feel to shitty to do anything else at the moment.

Howdy Stranger

Sorry that I have done another vanishing act. School started again and i have been so busy between that, and shooting photos for clients that I hadn’t noticed it’s been a while since I have updated. Briefly before I get to that I am excitedly awaiting the Diamond Candles I bought myself as a reward for all my hard work lately. If you have ever wanted to try one you can get $10 off your first order through this link http://my.cndl.es/x/qlLee2 . I had always wanted to order one but was a little gun shy without seeing them in person. We bought one for a friends divorce party and it burns forever. It took about 6-7 hours to get to the ring and there was still a ton of candle left to burn after.

I will talk about that stuff a bit more later, on to the nitty gritty. I hit Onderland folks! I hit it about a month ago on February 7th. It seemed like it took forever to loose those last few pounds to get out of the two hundred but I did it.. As of last Friday my current weight is 188.4. Can you believer it!!! In 7.5ish months I have lost 112.6 pounds and 125.2 total from my highest known weight of 313.6. I have lost 40% of my total body weight, that not my excess weight, I have lost a super model lol. I took some measurements and they are as follows:

Bust: 7/13/14 – 49 in- — 3/9/15 40.5 in

Waist: 7/13/14 – 50 in- — 3/9/15 36 in

Hips: 7/13/14 – 60 in- — 3/9/15 48 in

Thigh: 7/13/14 – 33.5 in- — 3/9/15 23 in

Calf: 7/13/14 – 18 in- — 3/9/15 15.5 in

Eating has been better but I haven’t been getting enough protein in. Consequently that’s probably why I still feel faint fairly often. It has also kept me from working out. I went to one pole class and felt fine. It’s just very hard to make sure I have hydrated and ate enough to feel like I am not going to push myself to a dangerous point in class. It also doesn’t help that I get going and forget to eat. I have been trying to keep high protein snacks (nuts, cheese, etc.) on hand to munch on while I am busy so I don’t go too long without something to eat.

School is going well despite having to drop a class this quarter. I should qualify for this pretty decently sized grant for this next quarter which is nice.

I have been kicking ass and taking names and thought it was time to treat myself for my hard work. I have done a few things, I purchased the diamond candles. I love them because they remind me of pyro ways as a child. I loved playing with candles, and I used to love when my mom would let me buy a charm candle from her work. They were shaped like teddy bears or Christmas trees and would have a fortune capsule and other charms that would reveal themselves. I could never wait and would use lighters and sticks to dig that shit out. Diamond Candles are a similar concept except there is a costume jewelry ring inside the candle that has a code. You take the code and enter it into the website and you could win a ring that’s worth $100, $500, $1000, or $5,000. I know your chance of getting a super nice ring is slim but as long as the ring in the candle is cute the value is worth it. The candles burn forever. They are typically $25 but if you use this link it’s only $15 for the next 4 days. Not only do you get $10 off but I get a free candle. It’s would be a great way to congratulate me on my progress 😉 just kidding…kind of.

Then I am going to NYC with my school for AIPAD which is a big photography convention in NYC. While I am there I am crossing something off my bucket list and I booked a photo shoot with pinup photographer extraordinaire Viva Van Story.

Well that it for now, I will try to post again before NYC and Sint Maarten, but I can’t make any promises. In the next 40 days I have finales, and I am going to Seattle, New York, and Sint Maarten.

Be well my babies, and Mahalo.

“The Best Thing About New Years is the Christmas Lights” – Widespread Panic

Happy New Year everybody! It’s amazing to think that it’s time to start another year. As I sit back and think about where I was one year ago from today I am very proud of the things that I have accomplished. 2013 wasn’t perfect but I have done things that I thought were never possible. I have been watching a lot of Biggest Loser lately since the cold just makes me want to crawl under blankets. Jillian Michales always says “feel fear, and then do it anyway”. I feel like that quote perfectly sums up 2013 for me. I was over living in fear so I started doing stuff even though it was scary, and my life has changed in so many ways.

Never ever did I think I could lose 100+ pounds and be on the verge of onderland for the first time since my childhood. I have a 4.0 and am on the Presidents list for the first time in my life. Both of these things were achieved by doing things that scared the shit out of me.


I can tell you after doing something that terrifies you, it makes you see that you are so much more capable then you have ever thought. After this last year I really feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. So this year break the grip that fear has on you. Feel fear and then do it anyway.

Sharpies and Positive/Negative Reversal

One of the reasons I decided to go to an art school is they don’t make you take all of your core classes up front, they spread them out throughout the program. Since I didn’t want to have to be downtown at 7:30 am I opted for all but one of my classes to be academic. The only art class I got to take this quarter was Design Fundamentals. For our first assignment we had to create four black and white designs that created an optical illusion of positive/negative reversal. If we did it correctly when you look at the design the positive and negative space should swap back and forth.

We could either cut the design out of paper or we could use ink or paint. I opted to use sharpie and pen and it took FOREVER!!! Here are the four designs I came up with.

Rewind The Future

Since much doesn’t change on the weight loss front from week to week I thought I would share some of the stuff I have been working on for school. I’ll share some art but I only had one art class this quarter. I thought I would start with a paper we had to write for my critical thinking class.

The assignment was to choose a commercial or print advertisement and analyze the effectiveness of it. This particular ad goes hand in hand with my nightmare of what my future might have looked like if I didn’t have gastric bypass. Below is the ad and my paper.

The advertisement I chose to analyze was Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Rewind the Future. The commercial was released on September 18th, 2013 as part of their Strong For Life campaign making it a little over a year old. The commercial is meant to create a shocking reaction that many viewers can identify with either personally, or through someone they know.Since this advertisement is being presented by the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, they are using ethos as its primary persuasive tactic.

The advertisement opens with a point of view shot from a 32 year old man on an emergency room table in cardiac arrest. As the doctors go over his vitals one asks “how does this happen?” We then begin to rewind as we see his eating habits through his life all the way back to his infancy where his mother is appeasing him with french fries to keep him from crying. The screen cuts to black and in writing says your child’s future; we then cut to an aerial shot of the medical staff cutting the patient out of his clothing and the words printed over it “doesn’t have to look like this.’ The screen cuts to black again, and we see the message “There’s still time to reverse the unhealthy habits our kids take into adulthood. We can show you how” followed by information on how to access their services.

While the intended audience is for parents with young children, or young adults, I believe it makes anyone who has been brought up with a similar lifestyle to think about the choices they make.  Even though I am not the intended audience for this particular clip because I do not have children, I personally identified with its message. I was brought up in a household where we weren’t told no to whatever we wanted to eat, and were raised on fatty, starchy Mexican food. At the time that I first saw this commercial, I had just begun the long process of getting approved to have Gastric Bypass. Upon viewing this it reaffirmed the reason I was going under the knife to

insure that I wouldn’t end up on an ER table at 32 under cardiac arrest. I think it’s a very powerful message for parents to see because part of the problem with my weight is I didn’t learn how to eat properly until I was 17, and the problem was out of control.

The advertisement has come under a lot of flack for being anti obese people, as seen in an article from the August issue of Good Housekeeping by April Rueb. I don’t necessarily agree with that viewpoint; I think it’s more anti a health issue, not anti a group of people. I would, however say that it does portray a couple of negative stereotypes. It makes it seem like every single heavy person is a walking heart attack, which is not true. All of my blood work prior to surgery showed that I was actually very healthy despite my weight with no comorbidities. I decided to go under the knife to make sure that I didn’t occur any comorbidities in the future. It also made it seem like every heavy person is lazy. I know many big people (myself included) who play sports, work out, and are active but have other conditions that make it hard for them to lose weight.

I thought the scare tactic was effective for this particular message. I feel like most of the time when advertisements come on about health or fitness that people tend to zone them out since we are constantly bombarded with them. Since the advertisement holds no punches as far as shock factor goes, it makes it successful in not only capturing the audience’s attention, but also making them remember the message. The use of the point of view camera angle was effective in making you experience what the patient is experiencing both on the operating table, and during the flashback sequence. The flashback sequence was effective in highlighting habits that parents don’t see as hurtful but really make an impact on the choices their child will make about food in the future.

The language used is a bit accusatory making it sound like unless you follow their tips that this will for certain be your child’s future. My one concern I would have as a parent would be the unnecessary stress this ad might have on my child. If my child was overweight it might cause them to be unnecessarily stressed out about keeling over at the age of 12 since children can’t always fully comprehend. Adversely it might cause a child who doesn’t have any weight issues to become unnecessarily obsessive about what they are eating.

Overall despite the few flaws I found with this particular campaign I thought  it was effective. They knew by being shocking this video would go viral causing lots of people to see it. In a day and age when according to the American Heart Association one in three teens is overweight or obese, which is triple the rate from 1963, perhaps Americans can use fright as motivation. I think this advertisement was so poorly received by some because we have become a society where everyone is a winner, so no one feels bad. We have also gotten to a state where we want to put our heads in the sand when it comes to anything that is unpleasant, making childhood obesity a big elephant in the room because parents would rather ignore the problem than hurt their child’s feelings.

The ad is certainly food for thought for anyone. The fact of the matter is for a lot of children raised on fast and processed food this will be their future. If it’s not a heart attack, it might be joint issues or diabetes. I think the ad has an important message that the best start that you can give to your children’s health is to teach them healthy habits as a child. Like the saying goes, you can’t teach a old dog new tricks. By the time a person is 18 and able to make their own decisions about food they might be so set in unhealthy ways that irreversible damage has been done. While scare tactics don’t always work, because it’s such a dramatic difference from the smiling faces we normally see on health ads, it makes a lasting impact with the viewer.


  1. Rewind The Future [Motion picture]. (2013). USA: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. YouTube
  2. Rueb, A. (2014, August 14). This Anti-Obesity PSA Sends a Powerful Message But does it go too far? Good House Keeping.


  3. What is childhood obesity? (2014, August 1). Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/HealthierKids/ChildhoodObesity/What-is-childhood-obesity_UCM_304347_Article.jsp