Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rabid Squirrels?

If you find yourself running but you don't seem to be getting anywhere it can mean one of two things.

1) You're in one of my re-occuring dreams where I am being chased by a number of different things, from tornados, to evil gunmen, to police officers, to rabid squirrels (don't laugh squirrels have been known to cause bodily harm 10's of thous...ok 10's of people each year) but no matter how fast I run or how many corners I turn I just can't seem to get that little long toothed guy off my back.


2) You're on the fantastic treadmill that I am only 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) away from owning!!!!!!!

If you've been following my blog then you already know this story so either skip the next couple lines or bare with me while I bore you with the details for those new comers.

When I began this journey I knew that I had tried 'diets' before and even been sucessful for a little while. At one point about 5 years ago I lost around 45 pounds and was feeling pretty good about myself. Then, like every other 'diet' I had tried, I had a slip here, a slide there, a full out binge once or twice and eventually I ended up back where I started plus a few extra pounds... for good measure.

Even though I knew I was doing something different this time I still didn't have 100% faith that this was the big 'IT'. This wasn't a diet, this was a life change. So to motivate myself I made a deal with my husband (my mother acted as expert witness in case he conveniently forgot our deal once it came to coughing up the money to actually buy the treadmill) that when I lose my first 15 kilos or 33 pounds I would reward myself with a treadmill.

I chose 15 kilos as my goal because... well it's a nice chunk of weight off my arse...literally. And if I can lose 33 pounds then I could convince myself that this was for real. I wasn't messing around. This is the big I-T.

So now I am almost there. I weighed in this morning and another 2.1 kilos (4.6 pounds) were gone. I have now lost a total of 12 kilos (26.4 pounds) and oh so close to that first target and owning that treadmill.

I'll have to admit I'm pretty darned excited and even a little bit proud. I really did it. I really am doing it. I'm really going to get... no not get but EARN that treadmill.

But it's not only the fact that I am doing it but it's the fact that this journey has been so different then all the others in my life. Although in the beginning, when I made the deal with my husband, I did it with the uncertainty that I could actually pull this off.

I am now so certain that this is it, that this it the big IT that it makes me laugh. Not an "oh that's funny ha ha" laugh, not a little chuckle to myself but a full on, rolling on the ground, crazy, hysterical, villainous, tickle me until I pee laugh. The kind of laugh that makes your face hurt and leaves a stitch in your side for hours afterwards.

It's like I'm the not-so-quick-witted, kind of dorky kid at the party who didn't get the joke that everybody was laughing at, but on the walk home that little 'something' clicks in my head and I am standing on the sidewalk...all alone... cracking up.

I get it. I finally, really honestly get it.

Don't mistake my 'getting it' with getting cocky though. It was and will continue to be a long, hard, sweaty, tear stained road. It's a road that's filled with bumps that I'll have to clamber over while trying to stay steady. It's a road filled with road blocks that make me think this is the end of my journey and I can't possibly keep going. This road has patches of black ice that makes me slip, falter and bust my arse time and time again. But this is the road that I have to take. It's the only through road that leads to my final destination.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Push Vs. Shove

I’ve always known there was a difference between these two words but it’s never been so apparent until recently.

When I think of a push a few things come to mind. I think of a mom pushing her baby in a stroller through the mall. There’s a dad in the park pushing his son on the swing. My neighbor pushes his car down the street while his wife sits inside to pop the clutch at just the right moment to get the old girl started one more time. An old man pushes his wife in her wheelchair outside the nursing home so she can see the sun and smell the flowers for another day. There’s the push-up bra... well... we all understand how helpful THAT push is. A push is a gentle something, a nudge that is harmless.

Now shove takes on a whole different meaning. A shove is what the bully does to the weak kid on the playgound before he steals his milk money. A shove is what the guy gives to the other fella who’s been dancing with his girl just a litle too long. A shove is what rotten parents do to each other at Christmas time when there’s only one more Spanish-speaking-singing-dancing-crying-peeing-jumping-sit-me-on-the-floor-and-I’ll-make-so-much-noise-your-ears-will-bleed Elmo left on the shelf and little Mary Ellen doesn’t have one yet. A shove is mean-spirited and can often cause harm.

While on my weight loss journey I have noticed the difference in pushes and shoves. Some pushes and shoves I have inflicted upon myself, some have been given by family, friends, strangers and collegues.

As you know I have been walking and jogging since I’ve started this whole thing. Recently I’ve noticed a little bit of pain in my inner shins after I have jalked. A little searching on the internet and a few message board questions later, I discovered my pain could be caused from shin splints. I did some further reading and although the pain seemed similar to what the website was explaining I thought to myself that it was more likely that my legs hurt because I am simply not used to the exercise yet. I mean really, I haven’t used these muscles in years, why should I expect them to just hop to it without any backtalk?

So I took the following day off to let my legs rest and then went back for another jalk. As I started down the path I had some soreness in my shins again. I said to myself “this is gonna suck.” But I continued on my way. (Push). I got to the end of my path and the pain hadn’t changed much, so I turned around and started running back from where I came from. (Push) About halfway through my second lap the pain was a bit more intensified. I slowed down to a quick walk to try to releive the pain and catch my breath. Once I could breathe again I decided to try run through the pain, assuring myself it was just because I have never really been a runner before. I took about 3 steps and hobbled to a complete halt. (SHOVE!) I hobbled and wobbled the rest of the way home and am now recovering nicely. I’ve decided to slow my jalks down to once every 3 days and supplement my cardio with bike riding. I’m also stretching like Gumby as often as possible. Knowing when I am pushing and when I am shoving is an art I still have to master.

I was going out to lunch with the girls at the office the other day. We don’t have a lot of choices in the neighborhood so it was either a Turkish Pizza or going to the snackbar where they sell croquets (A Dutch treat), french fries with mayo (another European habit) and other deep fried, greasy foods. As we were walking out the door trying to decide which place we would dine at that afternoon my boss, who is very aware of my weight loss goals and is a friend, said outloud “We’re not going to the snackbar, Sarah has to watch her weight.” (Push or shove?) Sometimes it’s a grey area.

I knew this was a push from her. She has been one of my biggest fans and a great support through this whole thing. She may want to work on her delivery of the push and I’m sure to outsiders it sounded like a total shove (the half dollar sized eyes on one girl, who didn’t know about my lifestyle change yet gave me that hunch) but it’s just the way she is.

So maybe you’re wondering if what you’re doing to help a loved one is actually a push or a shove and you don’t know how to really tell the difference, as there is a very fine line between the two. Here are some basic guidelines that will keep you on the gentle side of the line (and not turn you into one of those Elmo grabbing psychos).

If it makes me cry, it’s a shove. (hey, you’d be surprised at who thinks this is a push)

If it makes me feel embarrassed or ashamed of myself, it’s a shove. (Trust me, over weight people feel bad enough, we dont need the extra help beating ourselves up about it)

If it makes me take a step back and rethink my actions, it’s a push.

If it gives me knowledge or power to overcome an obstacle, it’s a push.

If it is a prize that I really truely want, need and deserve, it’s a push.

If it’s a reward that undoes any of what I am working towards, it’s a shove. (Go ahead and have the pie and ice cream, you lost 2 pounds this week, you deserve it!)

I know there are more examples out there but I think you get the idea. I’m not saying you have to walk on eggshells around somebody who is going through a life change like mine (or any other life altering experience) or treat them like small children. Heck, I’m even a fan of tough love. But should I ever eat too much and not make my goal for the week, throwing it in my face or reminding me of it every time I eat a meal is a shove. Asking me if I want to go for an extra bike ride this week is a push.

Doors can be pushed. And when you push a door it opens and you can walk through. Feel free to hold one open for me so I can pass through.

When you shove a door it opens as well, but as quickly as it opens, it swings back and smacks you right in the face. Don’t shove my door.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Moving to Plan B (or at least forming one!)

Craptastic! Today is my regular weigh in day and that's exactly how I felt when I hopped on and off the scale 7 times. Craptastic. After last weeks 6.6 pound loss I was really looking forward to seeing another loss (or at least stayed the same) but that didn't happen. For the first time in my journey, and hopefully the last, I gained during the week.

And no I'm not going to follow that sentence up with some all inspiring, cliché filled, deep thought about how I 'gained' things like perspective or gaining friendship or gaining self confidence or even gaining control. I just plain old vanilla, simple as can be, gained weight. Granted it was only 0.5 kilos or a little under 1 pound, it's one pound more than I would have liked to gain.

As I posted earlier this week its been raining like cats and dogs here. It seemed like every time I tried to go for a bike ride or for a jalk it would start pouring. It's a crappy reason to gain a pound, but it's one of the things that contributed for sure.

Marco, my cheerleader, my love, explained to me as I cried (yes, I cried over one pound) into his chest that, had I taken a healthy 'visit to the restroom' before weighing in then that could have made all the difference in the world. Thanks for that sweetheart...Mr. Romance. You were very quick on your feet. I love ya!

Other contributing factors could be that I am retaining water like a camel. Hey, it happens. It could be that gravity was extra strong this morning therefore making me weigh more. It could be that Scooter snuck up behind me and put one of his little paws on the scale, tipping it the wrong direction. Yes, any of these things could have played a part in my gain but I'm not going to sit here and over annalyze things.

It happened. I gained. I believe it's from lack of a back up plan for wet weather and being stuck indoors but who knows. What I do know is that using the weather for an excuse to not do my cardio isn't going to get me that treadmill any quicker. I have 5 lousy kilos (11 pounds) to go before I have a permanant solution to this problem, but until then I need a Plan B. 'B' is for Brainstorm!!!!

I do live in an apartment with 6 flights of stairs indoors. I could run up and down those for a while.

As one friend suggested, I could skip rope (or pretend to skip rope since the ceilings are a little low).

I could get an exercise video to play and workout to in my living room. Heck, just moving the furniture around to have enough room is a workout!

I could jog in circles from one room to the next since the house does make one full circle. I may get dizzy, as it's a small house but we'll see.

So there ya go. I have a plan B. See, all I needed was a little Brainstorm.

If you have any other indoor activities that I could do for cardio in a small apartment, feel free to Brainstorm along with me and post your ideas as a comment. I'm always open for suggestions!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

God must be bored today...

You would think on a Sunday like today that God would be busy. I always imagine him in his long flowing gown, hair pulled back out of his face and a sweet pair of jogging shoes. He's running to and fro, listening to prayers, forgiving people, performing miracles, birthing babies, saving puppies, conjuring up storms... you know, typical God stuff. His secretary would be taking his calls, writing memos, taking messages, sending out the angels. The phone's ringing, the fax is going off, the doorbell's buzzin and the computer continually calls out "you've got mail" I always imagine their conversation to go a little like this...

"Lord, it's Kenny Watson on the line again asking about his roller blades. His birthday's in two days you know, you can't keep putting him off."

"Not now Rose! I'm delivering triplets in Shanghi, I've got one heck of a hurricane brewing in Mexico, there's some turkey shootout in Alabama that apparently the whole state is praying to win. It's a big prize this year Rose, a $25 gift certificate to Denny's is on the line. Just take another message please!"

That's what I picture God to be doing on a Sunday until today. Today he's a little bored and taking it out on me!

I woke up this morning to a dreadful view outside. It's yet another cloudy, rain filled day in the Netherlands. It's something I've gotten used to, no biggie.

So I thought I'd jump in the shower, get all nice and clean and take the dog for a walk afterwards. Our morning walks are always the best. It's good to get out and stretch both of our legs, he gets to play with his friends and I get in a quick 5000 steps. It looked like rain, but if I didn't take the dog outside every time it looked like it might rain, that poor little guy would never leave the house.

Well I get out of the shower and sure enough, it's pouring outside. Not just a sprinkle but an outright pour. I looked at the dog, he looked at me. Yeah he could hold it a little while longer.

An hour later, he still hadn't gone out and it was going on 11 hours since he'd been out last. Scooter's a good puppy with a great big bladder and I was so very thankful for that this morning. It looked like there was a break in the rain so I put on my jacket, grabbed his leash and hauled him downstairs. (We live on the 3rd floor and his little Corgi legs are too short to walk down the steps himself).
We got to the end of the block and the rain started coming down just a wee bit harder. No big deal, we'll just make it a short walk, I thought.

So we get about 3 more blocks down, he hasn't done his 'real business' yet and it's starting to pour. I urge him on "come on Scooter, go potty Buddy."

Apparently he doesn't care for cheerleaders. He wasn't in any rush to do anything. That is until the thunder boomed. Scooter's not a big fan of thunder, or lightening, or airplanes, or car horns, or bike bells or really anything that makes noise. He's a bit of a chicken.

So the thunder claps and he takes off running with his tail between his legs. I, being a good mother, followed him yelling "it's ok buddy, it's ok!" He finally stopped sprinting about a block up the road and went into a quick walk. At this point the rain is really coming down hard.

So we go one block over and start back toward home when yet another clap of thunder scared the bujeesus out of him. Now we're running again, through the puddles, through the grass and finally stopping under an apartment complex out of the rain. We stood there for about 5 minutes until I looked down and saw his little legs were just shaking. He was so scared. Again, being the good mother I was, I said Ok lets go and we ran all the way home through the pouring rain.

I picked up his little wet body and carried him upstairs. I dried him off with a towel and then myself. He never did do any "big business" while we were out and that really bothers me.

So I waited another hour or so. There was a break in the rain. I put on new clothes (the other clothes were soaked and in the washer), grabbed the dog and out we went. This time we only made it to the end of the drive way when the thunder clapped, the rain poured down and he looked at me like "Holy crap take me back in!" He sprinted back up the driveway, back to the apartment and actually ran up the stairs on his own.

Once again, I dried the dog, I threw my clothes in the washer and waited. Two hours passed and I was getting anxious. He always does his business in the mornings. It was getting to be late afternoon, he just ate a bowl of food and surely he had to have a rumbly in his tummy by now.

I looked outside and there is was...the sun! It was actually sunny! I stuck my hand out the window to make sure and sure enough! It was dry! So I threw on my third pair of clothes for the day, grabbed the dog and we made our way outside.

We made it a full 5 blocks this time before the sun disappeared and it started sprinkling again. SHIT! We cut across a neighboring lawn and headed back towards home. This is where Scooter decided he liked it outside and he didn't want to go home.

I turned to look at him and there he was, laying on his back, feet in the air, like he was dead.

He does this to me all the time. It usually happens when we're finishing up his walk and he doesn't feel like going home yet or when we see another dog and he wants to stop and play.

First he lays down and won't budge.
"Scooter come." I say happily.
Blank stare from the dog.
"Scooter, come!" not quite as happy and accompanied by a yank on the leash.
Blank stare ahead, then he slowly turns his head to the side to make sure I know he's ignoring me.
"Scooter, mommy said come!" I step towards him.
He rolls to his side like he's just absolutely exhausted.
"Scooter get up!"
This pushes him to the end of his game.
He finishes his dramatic roll onto his back with his feet in the air "playing dead".

I've had cars actually stop and ask me if he was ok because he really does look like he is dead. "Yeah he's fine, just a spoiled brat."

So here I am in the pouring rain with my "dead dog" laying in a puddle (because he wasn't wet enough with just the rain). So I go over to him, put him on his feet and say "let's go!"

I take a step toward the house, look at the dog and again, he's on his back in full dead position.

"Scooter, mommy said get up! It's raining, now get up!"

I place the dog on his feet once again and before I am upright he's back on his back. It's now officially pouring.

Six times we played dead in the rain. Apparently it was fun for him. I wanted to kick his arse. I was tempted to just pick him up and carry him home but he was a soaking wet, dirty dog and I had on my 3rd clean shirt of the day.

I actually said, outloud to the dog "you are not the boss!" as I picked him up and placed him on his feet for the last time.

He finally decided to walk again and we made it to shelter during the real down pour, only a block away from the house.

Then just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. The rain finally stopped. I walked him over to the grassy area and he did "big business". Thank God, we could finally go home. Once again I carried him upstairs, dried him off and changed my clothes.

So that's how I spent my morning and afternoon today.

It's like playing dodgeball in gymclass. Only in this class God is the big kid and has buckets of water to pelt you with instead of a big ruber ball. God always wins at dodgeball.

It's now sunny an absolutely dry outside. I don't dare put my clothes on and take the dog out.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Boys beware! This post is for girls eyes only!!!!!

Can we just talk about periods, pads and pms for one post? (if there were any brave gentleman left, they’ve surely gone now!)

Holy cow what a week this has been. For as long as I can remeber part of my monthly PMS symptoms have come in the form of food. There is just something about the few days before ‘that time of the month’ that drives me insane.

It’s not that I have to eat badly for those two days... it’s that I eat constantly even if it’s healthy foods. It’s like my stomach is a bottomless pit and no matter how many healthy snacks, fiberous foods (which are supposed to be more filling) and meals I try to eat, I am just constantly hungry. For those two days my belly has amnesia and my thighs are paying the price!

Now before I was really watching what I was eating I would just do what my body was telling me. Eat Sarah... EAT!!! It wouldn’t even be a full hour after an American size meal and I would be ready for round two or dessert or second dessert if I had already had the first.

So now that I am being more health concious, those two days are absolutely crucial days in my month. Mostly because I don’t realize that I am overeating as I am just listening to my belly. Sometimes I don’t realize how much I’m eating until I’m searching for my third snack of the day and it’s only 11 o’clock in the morning. Thats when the bell goes off in my mind, hey.. something’s not right here. A quick flip through my calendar confirms it... I officially have PMS.

This week I was at work during my “monthly munchies”. That was a good thing since it is a semi-controlled environment. All I had around me was my apple and my snack in my drawer. Unfortunately lunch is a free for all in the canteen filled with different breads, meats, cheeses, veggies, peanut butter, honey, jams and fruits. You can take as much as you want, nobody keeps track. This is where the real challenge was for me.

I usually fill my plate with tomato and cucumber slices. Then have a piece of ham and a slice of cheese on two slices of “Zwarte Bread” translated “black bread”. I don’t think there is an equivalent in the US, but it is similar to adark rye or pumpernikel I think.

On a side note, one trick I have learned for feeling fuller at lunch is to get all the components of my lunch together at once and look at the abundance of food on my plate. I look at it all and say, wow thats a good amount of food. Then I assemble my sandwich. It kind of tricks me, or rather it keeps me from tricking myself. Before I would say, oh I only had one sandwich for lunch and THAT would justify me eating snacks later. Now I mentally picture what I had for lunch all laid out on my plate and I can’t really justify snacking later in the day.

So I filled my plate as usual. I ate my veggies as I talked with my co-workers. Then I ate my sandwich too while still chatting away. Then my meal was gone, my plate was clean and my belly acted like I hadn’t touched a thing. So I decided, ok, maybe I am just unusually hungry today. I did only have a slimfast shake for breakfast as I was running late. I took two small slices of another kind of bread and thinly spread some peanut butter one one side and honey on the other. I ate it. It was good. I sat there.

At this point I think I actually heard my stomach whisper to me... “psssst...hey lady, I think there’s some nutella over there with our name on it. Mmm mmm mmm hazelnut chocolate spread. We haven’t had that in a long time. Come on lady, just one little sandwich.” I looked around and spotted the nutella. Mmm chocolate....

Just then it was like I snapped. Like a crazy women I grabbed my plate, my silverware and my water bottle and bolted up from the table. My coworkers stopped talking and just looked at me like I had horns growing out of my head. I fumbled around with my chair, trying not to knock over the person behind me and said “uh I gotta go. See you upstairs”. I practically ran out of the lunchroom and up the stairs to the third floor.

I had to remove myself from that situation or it could have been ugly. It would have been so easy to sit there and eat until I had a little familiar full feeling in my stomach. It was so hard to leave when my body was telling me, whipsering to me, begging me to stay. I’m just lucky I had the foresight to know that this happens to me every month and to watch for it.

It’s the first time since I’ve started this journey that I’ve dealt with PMS and I’ll have to say I handled it better than usual as far as my eating goes. Of course I still had the normal bouts of hysteria, peace, sadness, anger, love, rage and the plethora of other emotions you go through being a woman. I may have been a bitch on wheels for a few days but at least I wasn’t taking it out on my thighs this time. Just ask Marco, he’ll tell ya!

At this time I want to thank my husband for being so understanding during my monthly episodes of craziness. You’re a trooper sweetheart! I love you!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Today was my weigh-in...

As you know, I weigh-in weekly, on Tuesdays. This morning I couldn't believe the scale when it said I lost 3 kilos! Thats 6.6 pounds in one week! YAY!

I don't even know how to expand on that. I'm flabbergasted!

Monday, August 14, 2006

I had a monumental moment yesterday. Actually it was more of a Forrest Gump moment yet monumental just the same.

I think I've mentioned it before that I have been jalking, or half jogging half walking. I have my little trail I go down that is pretty secluded. I don't have enough guts to actually jog in public yet.

So Scooter, my Welsh Corgi pup, and I start out walking briskly to the path for a little warm up. When we get to our start point I jog for a little while, picking a stop point ahead of me. When I reach my stop point I walk until the next jog point and so on and so forth, until I reach the end. Then we walk home together. Occasionally my husband will come along with us. He resisted the jalk at first, but now hes usually at the end of the road waiting for me to catch up. He's such a trooper!

I've been jalking now for about 3 or 4 weeks, only a couple times a week. At first it was hard. I could barely make my stop points without gasping for breath and sometimes I had to stop before I reached the end.

Over the weeks I have really seen vast improvements.

First I noticed it was taking me longer before I was out of breath but my legs still wouldn't go any further.

Then it was a combination of both my legs and my lungs that were outlasting my little stop point goals. I was really getting better! I started picking longer targets and found myself jogging right past them.

So the other day I jalked my entire path, only walking very briefly to catch my breath a few times and then it was right back to jogging. It was definately a great feeling but what was even better is when I reached the end, I turned around and did it again! (Hence the Forrest Gump reference, you know when he ran all the way to the coast and didnt know what to do so he turned around and ran back) Scooter wasn't quite sure what to think. He looked at me like “ummm, Mom, we just came from there.” But soon enough he caught on and was running right along side me.

It wasn't even just the turning around, having extra energy and pushing my limits that made me feel great though. It was a combination of things.

That day I actually continued to jog when I would see other people on the path. Before I would always stop as soon as I saw another person as I feared they would make fun of me or laugh or just look at me strange like “hey there not thin woman, dont you know you're not thin?”. That day I just didnt care anymore. I was doing this for me not for anybody else.

I actually felt like I had some sort of form that day. Prior to then I always felt a little unsure of myself. Was I running right? Did I look like Phoebe on that episode of Friends? I've never been a runner. I've never been a jogger. This is actually the first time in my life that I've even attempted such a crazy thing. But that day everything seemed to just fit. It seemed right.

So that was my momumental moment. It wasnt something I had thought about. It wasn't one of my goals. It wasn't something I planned or even strived for. But ya know what, I think those unpredictable moments are turning out to be some of my favorite times.

It's like throwing a surprise party for a friend. Everybody is in their hiding places...the lights are turned off...you hear shuffles and whispers of “shhhh” through the dark room... your heart is beating quicker in anticipation of what's to come. It's that moment, when the lights flip on and everybody jumps out of hiding and shouts SURPRISE! That's the moment when you realize this party was for you. That's what that moment was for me. My own little suprise party.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Stuck in the middle...

That’s where I am in my weightloss right now. Stuck right smack dab in the middle. Now I’m not talking about the numbers. I am not stuck there yet, the weight keeps coming off. It’s my body that’s stickin me, like a sneaker stuck in a big wad of pink bubble gum on the hot pavement. The sneaker still works, it just not as smooth of a stride.

I went to a movie premiere for the first time today. Saw Miami Vice. I was looking forward to it, all the cameras, maybe some famous people, seeing a cool TV series from my childhood on the big screen. The invitation said dress like they did during the original Miami Vice days, so typical 80’s. Well I didn’t like the 80’s fashion during the 80’s so now that it’s making it’s comeback, I STILL don’t like it. I did manage to throw on some pastel lipgloss and purple eyeshadow. I scrunched my hair into ringlets of curls and tried to make it as big as possible. Miami Vice wasn’t about the women anyway, it was all about Don Johnson and his T-shirts, sports jackets, linen pants and boat shoes.

So in getting ready to go to the premeire I put on my clothes. I am only down about 15 pounds as of my last weigh-in so dressing shouldn’t be that big of deal right? Wrong!

It’s really too bad you can’t choose where you lose the weight. I’d go directly to the mid region (read: belly and booty) and make myself lose it there first. But that’s not an option, ya lose a little there, a little there... all over.

Apparently I have lost a little here, a little there and a whole lot in my legs and thighs. My jeans fit fine around the waist and in my booty but looked baggy in the thighs and legs. We’re talking Marky Mark baggy.

Now I think wearing clothes that are too big is equally as bad as people who wear clothes that are two sizes too small. I always hate unthin women who think wearing an oversized shirt or pants makes them look thinner or actually HIDES their body. The truth is, you look just as big but now you look big AND frumpy. Nobody likes frumpy. Frumpy is the dwarf that didn’t make the cut in the fairytales. I mean Cinderella can put up with Sleepy, Grumpy and Sneezy but no princess or ANY woman would put up with Frumpy.

I didn’t even notice the frumpiness until I was already out of the house and running into Burger King for an emergency potty break and looked at myself in the mirror in the restroom. I have this habit of not looking at myself in the full length mirror before leaving the house and this isnt the first time it’s come back to bite me in the rear.

So anyway, I went to the movie, frumpiness and all. I did snag an interview with one news crews. I was surprised, as they usually only want to talk to the Dutch speakers but even after saying “sorry my Dutch is crap” they still asked me questions. I’ll never know if it actually aired though, neither me nor Marco were wise enough to catch what station the crew was from. (And to be TOTALLY honest, I rarely watch the Dutch news).

Coming home I decided, what the heck, I may as well try on my ‘skinny jeans’ since these ones look like a garbage bag. Now keep in mind my ‘skinny jeans’ are still plus sized to everybody else. Where as I would have lept for joy if I slid my leg into these jeans and they went up over my hips, most non-food-challenged people would probably sleep into a deep depression if my skinny jeans fit them. I call these my ‘skinny’ jeans because they’re a size smaller than the jeans I was in and I’ve had them forever. When I wear them I just feel hot. It may sound silly but every time I put these jeans on I just feel sexy, confidant and... well... HOT. No other way to describe it I guess.

So I went into the living room, pulled them out of the cupboard and tried them on. Up over the knees, up over the hips, a little tug and .... VOILA! They were zipped. I am in my skinny jeans!!!!!!!!!

Well I guess I shouldn’t proclaim that quite yet. Yes, I got them on, but no they weren’t comfy. Again the legs and hips were perfect. It was my belly and booty that were feeling a bit pinched. So I slid them off and put them back in the cupboard for another week or so when I’ll finally be brave enough to try those suckers on again. I did try on some more forgiving cotton pants and they actually do fit. They have more ‘give’ then denim so my wardrobe is expanding!

So even though I can’t pick exactly where the weight comes off at, it is coming off and I am noticing in my clothing finally. I’ll be glad when I am no longer stuck in the middle but moving on down the road to those smaller sizes.

Stuck in the middle, that's the only way I can describe it, but unlike the sneaker, I'll continue to march in stride.

Vote for Summer

It's summer holidays here in the Netherlands. Usually when I would think of summer holidays my memories would be filled with things like bbq's, the smell of my softball glove, swimming in my friend Liz's pool, lemonade stands and then later in life memories of late nights sitting on the porch drinking vodka and lemonade, catching a Cardinals baseball game or hanging out at 6 Flags all day. Summers were always hot in Midwestest but we managed.

When we were kids I think we were just immune to the heat. We went through various ways to try to keep cool over the years. One summer, after begging, pleading and bribing, we got a slip-and- slide. If you're not familiar with the legand that is slip-and-slide, I will enlighten you. It's a long sheet of plastic, about 15 feet in length and about 4 feet wide. Ours was bright yellow. How it works is you get the plastic wet with your garden hose. After the plastic sheet is watered down you get a running start and hurl your body onto the plastic, through the water. It was the ultimate summer fun. Just a little hint for all you non-slip-and-sliders. Should you ever wish to purchase this toy and lay it in your front yard for hours of fun with the kids, please check the yard for stones, twigs and the occasional walnut. They are not fun to slide over and leave nice purple bruises on the thighs of those you love. (DAMN the walnut tree!)

Summer in Holland is bring on a whole slew of new memories for me. They're quite a bit different from summer at home. Memories of a Holland summer include me waiting for hours for the rain to stop so I can walk the dog but finally having to give in because he's standing in front of the door with his leash in his mouth and his hind legs crossed. So like a good mommy, I pull on my hooded jacket and schlep outside to let him do his business. When I get back in and get him towel dried the rain stops. Of course.

Another fond memory of summer holidays happened at work of all places. Let me tell you, there is nothing like walking into your office first thing in the morning and looking up to see the entire place has been invaded aliens who have left behind gigantic orange pods. Pods or no Pods, you make youself a cup of coffee. After your first cup-o-joe you realize that your ass is wet and these aren't really pods left by other life forms. The enormous orange creatures are giant tarps left by the insurance agents. They've taken the liberty to throw the tarps over the entire office to protect your desks from the rain that has been steadily dripping onto your chair all night long. (apparently THIS is their answer to all the insurance claims we've been having due to water ruining our equiptment) Yes, I work for an enormous company that makes enough money to feed the entire continent of Africa at least three meals a day (and 2 snacks!) for the entire year, yet we use rain tarps to protect our computers, printers and files. Sad but true. You do have to laugh every time you shut down your computer, push in your chair and unroll the tarp though.

Don't get me wrong. There is atually some good weather in Holland... and I plan to enjoy BOTH weeks of it this year!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Pas op! Drempel (translated: watch out! speed bump)

Today is my regular weigh-in day. Tuesday. Every Tuesday I step on the scale and so far 5 out of 6 times I've been pretty happy, amazed at times. Today was that one day that I stepped on the scale and the numbers weren't exactly thrilling.

Now I didn't gain anything, so that's the good news. I didn't even stagnate. I actually lost 0.4 kilos (a little over half a pound). But with my goal of 2 pounds a week, that half a pound looks tiny, miniscule... almost obsolete.

I won't lie. I expected it somewhat. As I confessed to my Euroknottie friends this morning, I will confess to you. This past week wasn't as stellar as my weeks in the past. I didn't push my cardio workout as much as I had before. I did do my strength training religiously, but I wasn't nearly as diligent with my cardio. My eating started off strong at the beginning of the week. No problems, but then the weekend rolled around and I got sloppy. We were busy on Saturday, it was kind of an eat-on-the-go day. We all know meals on the go go straight to your arse in most cases. Sunday was a whole different animal altogether.

Sunday was my father in law's, Fons, birthday party. A little cultural background here. Dutch people 'celebrate' every birthday, no matter how old. Now when you're a kid it's pretty much like American birthday parties. There are streamers hung, birthday cake eaten and presents ripped open. When you're older, or in Fon's case, quite a bit older, parties take on a whole different meaning in the Dutch world.

First you invite all of your family and friends over at around 2-ish. The younger generation skips parties like these now days so you get more of geriatric crowd. When you arrive you kiss the birthday boy on the cheeks (3 times, right cheek, left cheek, right cheek) and congratulate him on his birthday. But you're not done there!!!! Then you kiss everybody else at the party (3 times again) and congratulate them on the birthday boys birthday. It's easy to make sure you get everybody at the party becuase they are all sitting in a semi circle of chairs that have been set up in the in the living room. After making your way around the entire room you pick your seat. You must always be sure you pick a good one because you won't be moving the rest of the party. I learned that lesson the hard way as I chose a seat next to Marco's not-so-quiet Aunt at one of my first parties.

When you sit down the hostess will ask you if you'd like cake and coffee. You enjoy your really strong coffee and little slice of cake. Then after everybody has arrived and has been visiting for a while there will be a food tray passed around and you will be served drinks, generally of the alcoholic nature.

On the tray there is different selections of meats (think a variety of summer sausages), blocks of cheese with dijon mustard for dipping, and crackers with different spreads on them. When the tray is passed you take one item and only one item. Although cheese and crackers sound like a great snack DONT DO IT! Do not take more than one snack. This tray will be refilled and passed around again, about once every half an hour. Each time you will take one snack.

In the mean time you're more than welcome to drink as many alcoholic beverages you'd like on a basically empty stomach. Your continue to get piss drunk for hours until it's time to go home which can be anywhere from 7 in the evening to 1 or 2 am.

Now at this particular party, my husband and I played host so his parents could enjoy their guests. We were able to stay in the kitchen and serve everybody rather than sit in the circle of death...er... I mean... semi circle of fun. This also led to me snacking pretty much all day long on blocks of cheese and summer sausage. As the server you have access to the goods at all times so you're not confined to the snack-every-30-minutes time frame. Add cheese and salami with the slice of cake and it makes for a pretty good reason that I didn't meet my goal this week.

Now I say it's a good reason in the sense that I realize that THAT is probably playing a large part in my lack of weight loss, not to be confused with me saying it is a good excuse not meet my goal this week.

I figure I can handle this week in a couple different ways. I can say "geesh you suck Sarah, it's only been 6 weeks and you've already slacked enough to not make your goal." That, of course, would be self defeating.

I could say "hey you tried your hardest, it's just your bad luck this week. Everybody has bad weeks once in a while." Although this is true, everybody DOES have a bad week once in a while, or you hit a small plateau in your journey, that would be lying to myself. I didn't try my hardest. I did slack. I don't want to lie to myself anymore, it's really not ok.

So here is what I've decided to do:
  • I'm going to kick up my cardio back to where it was and maybe even push myself to the next level.
  • I'm going to re-read over the food serving suggestion in Dr. Phil's book. I'm going to write down on a note card how much of each type of food I should have a day (ex: 4 servings of veggies, 2 fruits, etc.) and keep it with me.
  • I may try keeping a food journal for a couple weeks to really see what it is I am eating to make sure I have an honest overview of what I'm putting in my mouth. I didn't want to be a slave to numbers (counting calories, counting points...) but maybe doing it for a couple weeks will put things into a better perspective for me. If I can get to where I am comfortable again winging it on my own then I will stop listing. I can always revisit my list making (I love listing!) if I need to a few months down the road.
  • I'm going to still meet my monthly weightloss goal. I'm keeping it mind that during my first 5 weigh-in's I lost more than my goal, so one week of not meeting the mark doesn't destroy all I've already accomplished.
  • I'm keeping it as real as I can. It's disappointing, yes, but it's not shattering. I'm not going to go out and binge this week because "i've failed already so why bother trying." which is something I TOTALLY would have said to myself before.
  • I'm going to kiss my husband more often every day and tell him thank you for being such a great support system. Without him I wouldn't be here writing this blog today, not that I'd be dead, but I would probably be sitting on the couch watching TV. I could have easily flipped my lid (and I won't lie, there were some tears) but he really helped me keep things in check.

And last but not least, I am going to remember that in the long run this journey isn't about the numbers, it's about being healthy, living healthy and living long.

I'd like to thank all the Euroknotties for their kind words of encouragement. You know who you are!!! How are those uniforms coming?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Stroll down memory lane with me...

In my very first post I said I could trace my eating habits and obsessions as far back as 6 years old. I'll take the opportunity to elaborate on that scene as well as some other defining scenes in my chubby life.

What's funny is, if you ask my mom if I was an overweight kid she'll say no I wasn't. How is it I remember myself bigger than what she did? Maybe it's a mother's love seeing her own child through rose colored glasses? Maybe it's a distorted self image and view of myself? Maybe it's because I have an older sister and like all siblings, in order for us to torture one another properly while growing up, we would call each other names like fatty fatty bo batty, stupid, ugly, chubs and a plethora of other nasty things. It's not that we didn't love each other, it's just... well ok maybe we didn't love each other then. We look back at what absolute jerks we were to each other and laugh until we're in tears but maybe with each dig we took we really did some irreversible (or at least long lasting) damage? I'm no psychiatrist, but if it made a big enough impression for me to remember it years later, doesn't that say something?

I come from a childhood of 'you eat everything on your plate'. This was no matter if you were truly full, not feeling well, didn't like the food, whatever. If you took it, you ate it. Even if you didn't like it you had to take a little bit and choke it down, gagging all the way. (LIMA BEANS YUCK!)

In my parents defense, I think their plan was to teach us portion control, to try new things and to eat balanced meals. We should have only taken a little and had more later if we were still hungry. But more often than not I would take way more than normal (I was hungry at the time I took it) and didn't really have a clear idea of how much my belly could really handle. So many times even though I was full, I would clear my plate.

I guess it began because I was kind of scared of my dad in a way. I know I didn't want to piss him off or maybe it was just that I wanted to make him proud. It was probably a little of both. My mom was a softie, she was easy, but I always had this little fear of my dad. I guess when my mom and dad first got married I wasn't a very 'good' eater. I was picky, I didn't finish my food, I was a typical kid I think.

From what I remember my dad had told me that if I didn't eat all my food in the lunchroom, that he would know. I don't know how he would know, but he would know. Kind of like the same way he always knew if we were jumping on the bed or having a pillow fight or doing other things we weren't supposed to be doing. He claimed to have eyes in the back of his head and that he could see through walls, but I checked his head out many a times as a kid and never did see those extra eyes.

So at 6 years old, first grade, I went into the lunchroom knowing that somehow, my dad was watching me. I sat there with my tray in front of me. It was foods I liked that day, so that was good. I ate my main course, my potatoes, drank most of my chocolate milk and all I had left were my peas. Those damn peas. Now, I liked peas, but I was already getting really full. I sat there eating little spoonfuls at a time. Eat, chew, swallow, eat, chew swallow. I kept chewing and chewing and chewing but I really think those peas were multiplying on my plate. I took a look around the lunchroom and I was the last kid left, all alone in the lunchroom. I wasn't going to get to go to recess if I didn't hurry up but I had to finish my plate. The lunch ladies were cleaning the tables around me. I started to get a nervous sick feeling in my belly. I really wanted to go outside and play. Mark Thompson, the cutest boy in 1st grade, was gonna chase me. I had about 4 spoonfuls of peas left but it seemed like an impossible amount. All the tables around me were clean. Those peas were still there. I took a mouthful with a little sip of milk to help them go down. I gagged. I felt tears stinging in my eyes but didn't know why. Those peas felt like concrete in my mouth. I swallowed that thick mouthful and looked at my plate. I think the peas were laughing at me. One kind old lunch lady finally came over and said "sweetie, you don't have to finish all your lunch, you can go play." I didn't say anything, just looked at those peas on my plate. She took my tray from me and went on about her work. My belly was really hurting now. I was so full, but mostly I was so scared of what was going to happen when I got home. Was I gonna get in trouble? Would my dad really know? I sat there long enough that I really worked myself up. I ran into the girls bathroom and threw up. There in the toilet were those stupid peas that were gonna get me the switch. I threw up again and flushed the toilet. I blew my little six year old nose and tried to stop crying. Throwing up always made me cry. There was nothing I could do now. That lunch lady took my tray and I was gonna be in trouble. I put water on my face, because that's what my mom always did when I was sick and it always made me feel better. I dried my face and went out to recess. The bell rang as I walked out the door. I missed it. I didn't get to play.

I don't remember what happened when I got home. I know my dad never did use the switch on me, it was just a threat tactic he used to keep us kids in line. Now, as an adult, I know my dad really had no clue what I ate at school. I guess he was just depending on my honesty and innocence as a child to tell him the truth. I never did lie to my dad so I'm assuming I told him. Maybe he didn't even ask. I guess that part didn't leave such a big mark as the rest of it.

I remember around 3rd of 4th grade being constantly told to suck in my stomach. "Don't walk around with your gut hanging out, Sarah suck it in". So I did. To this day I walk with my stomach constantly sucked in even if it doesn't do much good. Under my belly I know there is a 6 pack of rock hard abs, there's no way there couldn't be. As I got older I tried not to suck in all the time and relax my muscles but it gave me a backache. I had trained myself to suck in my belly so well that it actually hurt me when I didn't do it. I see pictures of me at that age. I did have a little tummy but I wasn't chubby all over, just some baby fat. I have a niece now, she's 9. Her names Ryleigh and she is absolutely beautiful. She's got these great cobalt eyes that just shine when she smiles. People say she looks like me which always makes my heart swell just a little. She has a little chubby belly and it sticks out like mine used to. Over the summer I almost told her to suck it in. Thank God I didn't.

I found a little white diary that has a rainbow on it and a broken lock. I used to keep it back in 4th grade, so I was about 10 years old. It was so funny to sit there and read how my mind used to work. I talked about the boys in my neighborhood. I wrote that my sister was teasing me about liking Brain Grove but no way did I like him! I did, however think Brain Fingers was cute. He was the new boy in class and we all know how cute those new boys always are. I 'talked' to my diary like I thought I would open it one day and all the answers to my questions would be magically answered. I asked it questions. One question that sticks out in my mind went something like "Dear diary, do you think I'm fat? I do." I didn't have much else to say just wondered if my diary, my friend, thought I was fat.

My grandma was always one of my best friends. She was so smart but not in a know it all way but in the "always say the right thing at the right time" sort of way. She always had great advice no matter what the subject. She had brilliant stories to tell about when she was young and just dating. She was top of her class in high school and all the boys thought she was really cute. She was your typical grandma I guess. One thing that sticks out in my mind is that she always told me I had nice legs. No matter what size I was she always complimented me on how pretty my legs were. It always made me feel so good.

She had congestive heart failure in her 50's. She also had very bad knees. She was overweight and I really can't ever remember a time when she wasn't overweight. CHF in your 50's is very very young. Thank God she was able to get help via medications. They kept her alive up until the day after her 69th birthday. We were so lucky to have her for so long. But she was the type of grandma, like many of my family members, that gave you her heart in the form of food. Going to grandmas was like going to a bakery/grocery store filled with all of your favorite items. Now I was never short of kisses and hugs with my grandma, my whole family is very affectionate with each other, but I was never short of sweet rolls, pizza rolls, ice cream, chips, cookies and soda either.

It was about 5th or 6th grade, the timing is really hazy, but I remember my grandma used to always pick my sister and I up on Wednesdays and we would do her grocery shopping for her. Since her knees were so bad it would hurt her to walk around the store so we'd just do it for her. She'd always say we were her legs. We did it on Wednesdays because that's when senior citizens got their discount. When we were done shopping she'd reward us by going to Rebans, the local fast food place, to get ice cream. Wednesdays they had pineapple ice cream and it was my favorite. For some reason, this one particular Wednesday she didn't want to take us for ice cream. I don't remember if it was late, or maybe she didn't have any cash, anyway, the reasoning behind it didn't matter. She drove right past Rebans and was taking us home.

Now I was a bit old for throwing temper tantrums or having meltdowns as some little kids have, but this was very different. I remember this sick hot feeling in my stomach. It was sheer panic. I remember crying for ice cream. Not just being pissed that I didn't get some, but frantically crying that she was not taking us for ice cream. It's very hard even now to put into words how I felt, especially if you've never felt this way yourself. I don't even know what to call it. I was scared. I needed to have that ice cream. I was an absolute mess about it. The story goes hazy after that. Surely I calmed down eventually but that feeling, that empty burning feeling in my belly, that I will never forget.

I was maybe 12 and already THAT addicted to food.

Sounds like I was one messed up little kid huh? I agree, I look at this stuff and think 'WOW, how did I ever make it out alive?' But really I had a pretty good childhood. I was lucky I guess. I know a lot of overweight kids had it a lot worse than I did.

I was never one of those kids who got teased for being overweight, well not counting my sister. She was 'not so thin' too, so that was like calling a kid with glasses 'four eyes' while you push your own spectacles up on your nose. I always had friends growing up. I think it was because my parents always taught me to hold my head up high and be proud of who I am. My mom would say "Your a Kelly and don't ever forget it." It helped that I went to school with the same kids all my life up until 8th grade so they just never knew me any different.

I didn't have a rotten teen life full of hate and regret. I never lashed out at my parents. I was never the troubled teen or a rebel. I was just a chubby teen doing what all teens do. I believe I was a size 16 or 18 when I left high school.

Being overweight never really negatively effected my adult life either. I always dated. I made friends easily. I would go out dancing and not be self conscious of myself. I was still 'pretty' and could actually pull off size 18 - 20 pretty well. I was never one to allow myself to be the butt of other people's jokes. I didn't put myself down to make others laugh. Yeah, I've read and heard other people's stories about how horrible their life was, being overweight, all the emotional scaring, so, yeah I guess I lucked out there.

See, my parents didn't TOTALLY screw me up! There's still hope for me.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The highs, lows and DOH's!!!!!

So I've been doing this change of life thing for about a month now (I refuse to refer to what I'm doing as a diet. The word 'diet' has such a negative essence to it. 'Diet' to me is eating only tuna fish, watermelon and green beans for a month to lose a quick 10er. A diet is cutting out all carbs and pretending you actually like pizza minus the crust, garlic bread hold the the bread and pasta sans noodles. Diets have never worked for me, therefore this isn't a diet because this is working and will continue to work.) and I've had some definite ups and just a few downs.

In my month or so of really paying attention to my intake of food and exercise I have found somethings that've worked for me and some that have really made me look at myself and think "why didn't you see THAT one coming?!?!?!" So here's the "skinny" on what I'm doing, what I did and what I smacked myself in the forehead over...

If I don't have it, I can't eat it. Simple logic, really. It was also one of the easier things to do that really worked for me. I do have to admit, if it weren't for my husband this step may not have been such an easy one. First of all, Marco has taken over the task of grocery shopping for the most part, bless his big heart. I don't go to the store so I'm not tempted to buy heaps of unhealthy food. Of course it's not always possible that I avoid the store, so when I do have to go, I don't rush in unarmed. I go in full armor, which consists of 2 main items. By grabbing a small carry basket that you can only fit a small amount of food in instead of a shopping cart that you can load tons of stuff into I've protected myself from impulse buying. The biggest part of my shield comes is a very small package... it's a list. I will not shop without a list. I've always been a list maker anyway... something I've inherited from my mom... but this list making just makes my little compulsion to make columns of words seem functional and less like I have OCD. I know the store well enough to know exactly where everything I need is. I write the list accordingly to the layout of the store and shop quickly. I go in, I get the list, I do not deviate and I get the heck out of there. So at home, I don't have junk food, chips, snacks, chocolate, soda.. so I don't have it so I can't eat it.

That little plan also came back to bite me in the arse the first week into it. I didn't buy junkfood, so that was good, but I didn't buy anything to replace my snacks either. So when I went to the cupboard or fridge there was just nothing in it at all. That made me start looking into Marco's little stash of treats, which weren't the healthiest. So I had to re-work my list to make sure I had SOMETHING in the house for when I did get hungry.

Something else that worked was keeping a bottle of water with me at my desk at work. It's unbelievable how much that has really changed my drinking habits. Before, I wouldn't drink anything pretty much all day. Now I am constantly drinking water and definitely get my daily intake plus some. I took a look at how many calories/sugar/crap that was in the juices I had been drinking with my lunch and it was really eye opening. If I'm going to ingest THAT many calories, it's gonna be in something substantial, not some little glass of juice.

Along the same lines, in the afternoons at work one girl from the department usually goes and gets everybody a soda from the machines. As I don't want to totally restrict myself from the things I like (like 'diets' do) I do allow myself 2 diet cokes a week, but only if I've already drank at least 3 bottles of water already that day. I will also have a diet soda on the days we eat with the in-laws for dinner. It only happens about once a week or every other week, so it's not a big deal, yet it surprisingly leaves me satisfied.

Another small thing I have learned that helps is brushing my teeth. Not that I didn't used to bunch my teeth before, don't get me wrong. But now, in the evenings, after supper, I immediately go and brush my teeth. I love the way a clean mouth feels. It's just so... kissable. And nobody I know wants to eat right after they've brushed their teeth. This will usually sustain me from wanting to snack late in the evenings and I'm good until bedtime.

What totally backfired on me (a definite Doh! moment) was bringing a ton of snacks to work with me to keep in my drawer at my desk. Although they were healthier than what I would usually bring it just seemed like I was trying to tempt myself. Every time I would open the drawer I would see the food, which then would make me want to eat the food, even if I wasn't hungry before opening the drawer. Why test myself? I now grab 2 snacks for at work, one for morning one in the afternoon and leave them in my purse. If I am truly hungry I'll eat a snack but many times I come home with one snack left that I just didn't eat because it wasn't sitting there staring me in the face.

As far as exercise is concerned so far I've found that mixing things up is what works best for me. If I walk every day for a month I'd be bored out of my mind and really would have no interest in keeping up with it. So I've found various activities that I like to do and that Marco can do with me and so far it's working really well. We bike together, we play tennis, we shot hoops (but only once as we both majorly sucked), we swam, we walked and we're gonna play squash one of these times. By keeping my routine anything but routine I find it so much easier to stick with it. I don't dread exercising because I found things that I like and things that I can do with Marco. Anything that gives me some extra one on one time with him is great in my book! I do exercise alone when he's not around. My favorite so far is naked free dance, but that's a whole different blog!

One oops moment, or rather "why didn't I see THAT one coming" happened during bike riding. We had ridden the night before along the canal and out in the country. It was absolutely beautiful. So the next night we thought, hey that was fun let's do it again. Now keep in mind I hadn't ridden a bike in probably 3 years before this. Well about 5 minutes into the second ride I had a searing pain and burning in my tailbone. I really thought my arse must be on fire. Apparently my bottom needed to grow accustomed to that tiny little seat. Being a trooper I pushed on... about 10 minutes after that, so 15 minutes into the ride, I had to literally reach down to touch my butt as I could no longer feel it and I was pretty sure I dropped it somewhere along the canal. We ended up having to stop to let our...ummmm..Extremities.... regain consciousness and blood flow. Lesson learned. Baby steps, build up and get a cushy seat!

I've posted this one before, but I'll say it again because it's so very true. I don't make myself feel frantic about exercising or eating and it's really been helpful. I don't wake up thinking "oh my God I have to exercise, I have to get this weight off, I have to lose 100 pounds." I've set that realistic goal of 2 lbs a week or 8 lbs a month and I have come to terms with the fact that weightloss is gonna take some time. Patience and persistence!

So those are a few of my high and lows so far. Hopefully the highs will grow, the lows will slow and the DOH's, well there's always gonna be some of those.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

She shoots.... she SCORES!!!!!!!!!!

We've all seen a million different ways of celebrating victories. The actors, after their flawless opening night, take a deep bow. There's the Olympian who holds their hand on their heart while their national anthem is played. There's the European footballers who whip their shirt up over their head (exposing their extremely well toned hot bodies), jumping blindly in the air after scoring a goal. There's are endless video clips of American Footballers dancing in the endzone. You've seen piles of baseball players on the pitchers mound, basketballers smacking each other's rears and musicians smashing their instruments after a kick ass show.

So I've been doing some thinking about my celebration dance. What'll it be? Will I step off the scale and do an Ozzie Smith style backflip? Will I hang my head out of my kitchen window and hoot and holler for all the neighbors to hear? Will I just hug my husband and have a little cry of relief that I made it, alive? Celebration dances seem to be pretty important. Everybody seems to have their own style, something that is all them and nobody else. It's a very important aspect to think about and shouldn't be over looked.

Along the way I've have small celebrations of course.

So my total goal is to lose 100 pounds in a year. Now that is a daunting task if you say it like that, and honestly that number, as a whole, scares the buhjeezus out of me. So I don't say I'm going to lose 100 pounds anymore. It's too big and overwhelming. I say I'm gonna lose 8 pounds a month until I reach my goal, and that little change in my thought process really makes an enormous difference to me. Then it sounds pretty doable. But then I break it down even further and say I'm going to lose 2 pounds a week then it looks like an actual achievable goal. Something I can actually do. 2 pounds? yeah, I can do that. 2 pounds in a week, no problem!

Every week I weigh in. On a Tuesday actually. I don't know why Tuesday, it was just the first day of the whole ordeal. My mom always used to say you should never start a diet on any day but Monday. But the way I see it, I wasn't starting a diet, I was just changing my life around a little bit. Tuesday seems as good as day as any to me.

So on Tuesday's I step on the scale and see if I've reached my goal of 2 pounds. Usually my husband is lying in bed as I step on the scale, half asleep, half awake. The scale is kind of old and a little loud and creeky when you step on and of course I never get on it just once. I guess it's just because I can't believe it, but I never step on the scale just one time. It's usually about a 4 or 5 time ordeal for me until my poor sleepy husband finally opens his groggy blue eyes and says to me "how'd you do?" That's the moment when I really believe the numbers and that I did it, I made my goal.

So I've made just one reward for myself so far. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself so I'm just going to keep it simple for now and dream bigger a bit further down the road.

When I lose my first 30 I will reward myself with a treadmill. It was a deal I made with my husband (in front of my mother so he couldn't suddenly forget later) and he seemed to think it was fair. If you lose 30 pounds you can bet you're taking things pretty serious and that deserves to be rewarded. I'm halfway there and you better believe I've been doing some shopping around!

So that's my goal for now. My first 30. But you can bet the farm I'm already practicing my dance for the endzone. Five, six, seven, eight....jazz hands!

It's more than just a+b = c for me

I've actually asked my doctor before about a weightless plan. Know what he told me? "Here's a 2000 calorie a day diet plan to follow and exercise for an hour a day 4 to 5 times a week." No more, no less. It was all simple math to him. less food + more exercise = weight loss. He shoved a bunch of papers in my hand and off I went to lose weight. I wasn't even asked to come in for a follow up appointment to see how it was going.

Now I tend to think I'm a pretty bright person and what I lack in brains I make up for in wit. I was never dropped on my head as a child (that I know of). I didn't have to wear special shoes. I didn't jump off the roof with an umbrella to see if I could fly more than once. I didn't touch the electric fence for fun enough times to do permanent damage. So why my doctor thought the simple math of less food + more calories = weight loss was supposed to be the bright shining light at the end of the my dark long food filled tunnel was beyond me. Didn't he think I thought of that? Did he think he really cracked the code to being overweight? I'm assuming it isn't his fault for not being able to help me more, because I've asked 3 different doctors the exact same question since then and they always come back with the same formula for me. The same rotten obvious answer.

I know a lot of people don't believe this, but for some, dare I say MANY, overweight people, it is so much more than that simple formula. Eating is so much more than putting nutrients in your body to live. Food becomes your Prozac. It becomes your Xanax. It's a way to calm yourself after a fight with your lover (or ex-lover depending on the fight). It's a way to celebrate when you got the job or passed the test. It's a way to soothe, settle, punish, glorify, drown, save, and appease. Now I can't speak for the masses, but I will speak for myself. I was a nervous eater... and a happy eater...well... I was a sad eater too. Oh and I ate when I was pissed off. I ate when I was bored. Oh and when there was a party or a holiday... well... you get the picture. I was a definite emotional eater.

It was obvious my doctors weren't going to give me any more advice that would help me. Now don't get me wrong, it is NOT my doctor's fault I was overweight. I've never been a big fan of people who blame their crap life and all of their emotional baggage on their parents or a rotten childhood or whatever. At some point you become an adult and need to take responsibility for your own life so I am absolutely responsible for myself. But I will attest to the fact that habits are hard to break and habits you've had since childhood aren't even thought of as habits anymore, they're just your way of life. But anyway...

This is the part of the story where the trumpet sounds and the knight in shining armor rides in on his white horse to saves me, the princess. This is where my epiphany happens, this is where I wrote down the formula for the umpteenth time and it actually worked! Well ok, so it wasn't THAT thrilling. What actually happened was I picked up a book... at the bookstore... I came home and read it. All of it. This is the part where one doctor actually gave me more than a formula to follow. I got more than a handfull of paper, a wish of luck and a pat on the back. I got ANSWERS!

I read Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weightloss Solutions. And no I am not Dr. Phil's wife pretending to be a blogger to push his thoughts onto unsuspecting souls and promote his book. I know some people aren't big fans of him and I don't plan on spending my time here defending him or really even talking about him, but I will tell you a thing or two about my life since really reading his book.
  • I have dug to the root of my weight issues. I have gone all the way back to where it may have begun. Through reading and really putting sincere thought into why I am the way I am, I have found memories back to as young as 6 years old and having issues with food.
  • I have a plan. Believe it or not, I've never had one before. It was always, I need to lose weight. I'm going to lose weight. I'm going on a diet. But there was never a clear cut plan. I have one now and it's working.
  • I don't have this hurried frenzied feeling of needing to lose weight right this very second. Believe it or not, when I used to 'diet' and I wouldn't have that familiar really full feeling in my belly I would actually get nervous, sometimes to the point of being dizzy or being short of breath. Hence food being my Xanax.
  • I am not obsessed with weights, measures, pounds, minutes or calories. Not that I was ever obsessed with them before, but there have been 'diets' here or there that would really make you crazy with all the numbers, formulas, tracking and calculating. If you can't tell, math was never my strong point.
  • Because I have a plan, I am more calm and confidant that this is a reachable doable goal for me.

And those are just the few changes that I've seen so far. I've only been at this monster for a month. I'm no expert by any means so don't get me wrong. I may not even be good at this yet. I'm just taking things one step at a time and learning as I go. But I finally feel like this is it, it's the big one. I've stolen the answer key to all the exams and I'm ready for my first test!