4th of July is the date!

"Miss Independence". Mixed Media. 6"x12" on Stretched Canvas
Available here.

I made a new painting. It's titled "Miss Independence". She's celebrating her freedom. 4th of July is very near. I'm counting the days. Really. I have the calendar marked. Only that this year I won't be watching the fireworks or hosting a BBQ. This year I'm going to do something more radical: I'm going to change my life forever.

I've been struggling with my weight since I was born. First I almost died when I was a few days old because I was refusing all types of food. Then somebody found out that I could eat soy milk and my weight started to pile up. I went from being compared with a Somalian baby in the newspaper by my cousin to be an overweight baby in just a few weeks. Then an chubby child. Then a big teenager. And then a fat adult. The problem got worse when I had my first child and I was in bed rest. My weight just went up and up. I managed to drop some pounds with the intragastric balloon and exercise. I still was overweight but I was happy and enjoying my body again... I enjoyed it so much that I got pregnant :P and I was put on bed rest once again... and now I am in the same place as before: extremely depressed, fat and tired all the time. Having 2 kids is not the same as having one and I have to admit, I let myself go.

So Independence day it is. I'm having weight loss surgery. It's called Gastric Plication and it's not as radical as a Bypass or a Sleeve, there's not cutting, just folding (There's also not covered by any insurance). The main idea is to get a smaller stomach so I don't eat so much. It's a decision I made a few months ago and I'm still struggling with it. Some days I feel like a failure for not being able to control myself and lose the weight by my own means. Someone even suggested that It was "Just lack of willpower" what keeps me like this. But willpower only takes you so far. I needed something extra, a tool of some kind that helped me. Yes, I need help. I need help like someone who needs a loan to start its own business. It doesn't make that person a bad business person. What she does with the money is what counts. If she goes and makes a successful business and pays the loan, does she have less credit than someone who saved money just because she got help to get started? Some may think she does, but what matters here is not how she started the business, it's what she made out of it. The same here. Maybe the surgery will help me to eat less, but It won't do all the work for me. It won't control what I eat (I can eat any type of food, just less quantity with my surgery, unlike the bypass). The surgery won't make me exercise. The surgery won't control my cravings. The surgery it's a tool. You can do whatever you want with it. It won't make me skinny just by having it. I will make myself thin. It's something I owe to myself. It's been almost 33 years already. Time to change.


Netty said…
Loving your art piece Danita, she is so very cute.
Regarding the 'op you have to do whats right for you and if it gives you a kick start then thats brilliant. I wish you all the luck in the world. Hugs Annette x
Carrie Clayden said…
I support you in your weight loss decision. Most importantly you need to be happy and healthy, hopefully this procedure will motivate you to get active. That's the key. Just getting in an exercixe routine and sticking with it, and eating less. That's the balance, and once you get used to it, it becomes natural. You will love the feeling you get from feeling good and you will be motivated to stay on track. I love your art, and just got Kelly's book which you are in, congratulations...it is important to like yourself Danita so I encourage you to make a positive difference by getting to the weight you dream of, just like anything else...you can do it!!
fanny said…
take care of U that's the most important!!!!
bon courage Danita - et j’espère que tout iras bien pour la suite et que tu obtiendras ton rêve
Anonymous said…
What about life regression with hypnosis? You may have a past life that as effected you with this.
Your art is fabulous as always!
Gloria said…
I support your decision to do what is right for you..What you believe will work for you. No one else is in your shoes you need to stay stong and maybe find some forrums on line with people who have done the same surgery so you dont feel alone in this..Its a big world and we are not alone . I will keep you in my prayers that it all goes well.. You are loved and admired by many.. Good luck amazing artist girl...
Thelma-Art said…
Hola Danita, soy Thelma. Hace 2 años que fui talla 14 con problemas de alta presion y mucho dolor en mis rodillas. Casualmente empece mi dieta en Julio decidí ir por la via lenta pero segura y sin rebotes. Lei de todo e hice a un lado todo lo magico. Lo que me dio mucho resultado fué dejar el azucar y disminuir el consumo de harinas. Pero solamente estoy a dieta de Lunes a Viernes. Los Sábados y Domingos me olvido de la dieta pero no me excedo mucho. Todos los dias tomo solamente agua y cafe sin azucar ni leche, eso fue lo mas dificil. Tambien hice ejercicio, compre varios CDs para tener buen repertorio, pero al final busque ejercicios gratis en internet. Bueno al final de un año pude usar talla 2 como NUNCA en mi vida. Y hace un año que sigo siendo talla 2.
Te deseo mucha suerte y que siempre encuentres la motivacion. Saludos!!!
SaraLynn said…
This is such a beautiful illustration. She looks so joyful and full of hope!

I've known several people who were helped by similar surgeries and I truly wish you the best!
Thelma-Art said…
Disculpa, creo que me mal entendi con lo del agua y el cafe, eso es lo que tomo. Nada de jugos, ni refrescos ni de dieta. Pero si como avena, pollo, muchas ensaladas, quesadillas, verduras, muchos cacahuates y nueces. Como cada 3 hrs. aunque sea un yogurt. Y los fines de semana, carne asada, huevo con papas y tortillas de harina (solo 3 por dia). Tambien pastel. Espero que estes muy bien, me encanta todo el arte que has realizado todos estos años. Saludos!! :)
Peachy Cheek said…
Hi Danita! How brave of you. I support your decision. Weight lost is hard! And if you need help doing it then that's your decision. Trust me, I know all about it. It's a little different with me because I was thin all my life, but when I went to college I didn't gain the college 15. It was more like 40+ pounds. My back started hurting. I have been trying to lose it. I finally feel like I am getting there.I recently started eating so much fruit and vegetables and walking. And I have been feeling really great. I hope when the winter comes I don't stop, because that's what happens.

I support you! I wish you the best!!

Take care sweetie!

Annette said…
Dear Danita,
I have tried a diet that really works for me and for my husband. It has lowered his blood sugar also. I have been very happy with it. It is called the Carbohydrate Addicts diet and it restricts your carbs for the first two meals of the day and allows carbs for one hour (your last meal). It is a very manageable diet. It really helps with the cravings. There is a book.
Good luck with your surgery.
JessiVille said…
First of all, I adore your independence girlie! She is so fabulous! Second, I totally support your decision to take control of your life. You go girl! Jessi xox
Danee said…
My feelings regarding weight, weight loss, weight loss surgery, the weight loss industry... are complicated. I do think willpower plays a role but the reality is everyone is struggling and you look at a photo from the '40's and EVERY SINGLE person is thin. THIN. T.H.I.N. Willpower? No way- there is something more going on. Yes, they moved more back then buy I believe it is the food industry whether it is the commercial baker, large scale food company, fast food restaurant or Monsanto, is the problem. Unless we grow or raise it ourselves, it is a food that is causing as much or more harm than good. Women seem to have more weight problems then men so what is it about female hormones that we pack on the pounds easier and more of them? I don't know but I suspect it has to do with the amount of refined carbs, sugars, fake sugars, sugar wanna be's we eat each day. Everything is full of them- read the label on any barbecue sauce and the first or second ingredient is sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. The sheer number of products we eat a day that made with or from corn is staggering. We aren't made to be strictly corn eaters.

Another important problem that is adding to our growing waistline is how little Americans know about good nutrition. Far too many Americans have no idea what they are eating, what they should be eating or what makes for healthy eating.

I wish you the best and stop beating yourself up…. you do what you need to do for you.

debsea said…
bah on the lack of willpower comment! i am struggling as well, it is HARD work to get rid of weight! it's slow and frustrating. so i salute you in your decision for your surgery. we all have to deal with the commitment to lose the weight in our own way. i hope your surgery will give you the confidence you need to keep going! best of luck!
Lovely art piece!
High-five to declaring your independence :]
I wish you the best :]
mexicancolors said…
Despues de los hijos ya nada es igual, yo sufri PPD y se que es dificil aceptarse como es uno. Al contario tuyo yo sufro para subir de peso y se supone que debo de comer muchisimo y cada rato pero mi fuerza de voluntad a veces no es tan fuerte y la verdad no sigo el regimen de la nutriologa. Al final lo importante es lograr lo que te pones en tu mente y eso ayudara a tu salud y autoestima que de verdad es muy importante.
Mucha suerte con tu cirujia cuidate mucho.
Sarah said…
You are beautiful in every way Danita! Best of luck and health to you.
Bettyann said…
Go for it Girl...whatever works...good luck !!!!love miss independent
PaperPumpkin said…
I am thinking of you! I support you! Depression is a terrible thing, so if something makes a sweet and loving person like you so upset, I say Problem Solve--and you are. Good for you. Stand by your decision and make it work! Hugs, kathy
What a beautiful text, Danita. You have my support!
I have admired your work for years, and now I have yet another reason, Your bravery. Blessings, to you in your surgery and speedy recovery.
Ana Gonzalez said…
El otro dia oi a un especialista que decia que para adelgazar hay que retirarse de la sarten, o sea comer todo a la plancha, nada de fritos.

Espero que consigas lo que te propones, mucha suerte!
Bo Kim said…
Hi Danita,
I've been enjoying your art for long time- i do not think you have problem with will power over weight because look how hard you've worked on your arts! they are constantly renewed & produced! no person with will-power problem can do this! good to hear that your surgery went well! hooray!

Bo Kim
Cara Carmina said…
wooow this is a great post and a very honest one... I have lots of respect for letting us know how you feel and why you took the decision to go with this procedure to help you go on... :D as usual my best wishes and my most yellow hugs! :D

hope you are feeling much better by now... :D

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