Monday, December 28, 2009

The First day of skiing

I love skiing. I am fat, but when I ski, I'm not. I don't feel as earthbound as I do in everyday life. I love the swooping down the hill and the carving of turns. I love the sound of my skis whooshing across the snow. I love everything about it. I'm not anywhere near an expert, but I feel so pretty when I ski. I don't want to lose this thing that I love. It will happen if I cannot lose weight. It will happen if I can no longer fit my legs into ski boots. It's a near thing. Yesterday it took two people, besides myself, a good long while to wrestle the latch of the ski boot to the red safety latch.

This blog is about my quest for normal weight and normal legs. I would like to be able to go into a ski store and choose ski boots because I like them, and not because they are the only ones that will ever squeeze around my legs.

I read Lyn's blog regularly, and when I read it this morning, she asked what her readers were going to do with the rest of the year, and the idea for this project came to me. Quite possibly, no one will ever read my blatherings, but I need to put it out there, and make it something real for me. That way, I can't deny the problem and I need to get on with it and do something positive about it. I don't think it will be easy, but I promise to myself (and to readers, if I ever have any) to keep it honest.

I have a condition called lipedema. It can also be spelled lipoedema. It should be Latin for "bog ugly legs". It is a fat disorder which begins for many, as it did for me, with the onset of puberty. My legs, before then were just normal legs. Puberty hit, and my ankles disappeared. My legs were bigger than my friends' legs, even though I weighed the same, or less. My legs looked like tree trunks, heavy all the way to the ground. I was like a ballerina above the hips; all fine bones and slim muscles, but below the hips I was more russian peasant, and OLD Russian peasant at that. It was pretty upsetting, and all the more so because I didn't know what it was. I just had big, fat legs, and I felt faulty.

Then, a couple of years ago, I found a website that put a name on my affliction. I looked at these pictures and I saw my legs. It was comforting in a way to have a name, but not comforting at all in that there is no cure. Lipodema doesn't respond to dieting and exercise. So, what should I do? Give up? Get older, fatter, heavier? Lose my mobility? Get Lymphedema? There are folks in the Lipo/lymphedema community who just say, "accept it, there is nothing you can do". I can't do that. Just no bloody way. So, what is my plan?

I am going to eat clean, exercise hard and often with the goal of reducing my non-lipedemic weight. I KNOW I can do this. I KNOW it. Then, when I have reached a "normal" BMI, even though my legs will still not be normal, I am going to be assessed by a physician for water-jet assisted liposuction, which is a new technique that shows promise for this condition.

So....these are my goals.

1. To be able to do up my ski boots unassisted. This is possible. I did this last year. It wasn't easy but I could do it.

2. To get stronger and lighter so my skiing, and my day-to-day lifestyle improves.

3. to get to a BMI within normal limits

4. To have liposuction on my legs.

5. To be able to walk into a ski shop, try different things on without the horrible embarrassment of knowing that nothing will work, and choose Ski boots because I like them.

So. That's the beginning. I will get organized with photos, but at least I've made a beginning.


  1. Congratulations on starting, Helen! That was an inspiring read. You sound quite determined! I'm rooting for you :)

  2. Congratulations Helen! You CAN do this and I know you will!!!

  3. Oh My dear Lord! someone read my post! Hi Lyn and Julie and thank you

  4. I think blogging can be a great tool and I am thinking of starting one myself to help with my journey. Lyn and others are such an inspiration.

    People are reading Helen and taking comfort from your thoughts. Good Luck!