Tuesday, November 28, 2006
But like Christmas, once it's here it'll be wonderful and once it's gone you'll never get it back.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
So two years is your cotton anniversary according to what I've read. There's not much you can do with a gift in the category of cotton really. I mean you have clothing, bed sheets and q-tips (cotton swabs). That's about it. I really thought hard about the q-tip gift but didn't think I could pull it off without getting sticks and rocks in my stocking for the next 5 or so years.
I went with the most obvious cotton... the clothing. I didn't want to just give clothing though, it had to be special clothing. Let me tell you... the clothing I came up with is about as 'special' as they come.
I decided to decorate a shirt for Marco to celebrate our anniversary. As I still haven't gotten that Beadazzler I've been asking for for Christmas I decided ironing on was the best bet. I was discussing this idea with my friend Alexandra and we decided it was a brilliant idea, cheap, easy and just so darned clever.
So we schemed up a plan to meet at her house on Saturday for some food and an ironing party. I bought two long sleeve t-shirts to decorate and had been thinking of ideas for weeks. Alexandra bought special printer paper to print our images out and all you had to do was iron it on. Simple enough, no?
Three hours into 'project anniversary' and a small breakdown on Alexandra's part, we decided maybe it wasn't as simple as we thought.
The directions were in Dutch which really wasn't a big problem, so we thought. Between the 4 of us (me, Alexandra, her partner Theodore and her son, none of us speak Dutch as a first language) we decided the directions said you just print out the images, place them on the t-shirt, add heat and Voila! So we did our printing, cut out the images and turned on the iron. As it was warming Alexandra began thinking. If we iron on the images this way the writing will come out backwards won't it? We took another looksie at the directions and decided that even though we thought it said you didn't have to mirror the wording that the directions had to be wrong. We were sure it was this companies first time producing such an item and they didn't realize their mistake!
So back to the computer to mirror the images. I'll be the first to admit that I am not computer savvy. I can do the basic functions, get my way around Word and really that's about it for me so I wasn't much help. Alexandra's computer was... let's see....how should I put this....well...it belongs in a museum next to T-rex. It was a little less than up to date and even less likely to cooperate with us.
After a few hours of copying, pasting, pdfíng, saving, shutting down, losing it, choosing colors, re-doing it, e-mailing it to the other computer, shrinking, stretching, centering, printer problems, fonting (is that a word?) we finally got the images mirrored and printed out. Just in time, too, as we used up all the paper!
So Alexandra bravely ironed the first image onto the t-shirt (this is where the breakdown comes in). The paper wouldn't come off the image. We decided she didn't heat it enough. She ironed it again. Still wouldn't come off. Again and again and again. The paper was still stuck to the t-shirt. With her nails she decided to just pick the paper off and see what was underneath. (breakdown ensues)
"Sarah! It's stuck! It's not coming off!"
"What do you mean."
"This *beep* *beep* paper won't come off! It's stuck!"
"Here let me try."
I took the shirt and tried to pick the pieces of paper up off of the image. My finger immediately went through the burnt dried out cloth. She baked it to a crisp. I'm almost certain that if she'd have continued ironing within another minute the shirt would have been engulfed in flames.
I started cracking up laughing of course. Alexandra wasn't so much laughing as almost in tears.
Her son came over to see what was going on and within minutes diagnosed the problem. Had we bothered to do a little experimenting with the paper prior to printing and ironing we would have seen that you have to peel the paper off before ironing, leaving just the image to be ironed on. This also meant that none of the wording had to be mirrored, it needed to be the right way. That's 3 hours of our lives we'll never see again!
Thank God we hadn't ruined the originals that we thought were unnecessary. Once she got the hang of it Alexandra had the t-shirt ironed on and ready to go within 15 minutes. We wrapped it up and I was on my way home, one t-shirt done and all the wiser.
Being the child that I am I couldn't possibly wait until our actual anniversary to give the gift to Marco. I had to see the expression on his face when he opened it. He actually seems to like the gift but shortly after opening it asked "is this all I'm getting?"
I made my way to the shops today... where are those darned q-tips?
It says your third anniversary is leather. I wonder how good Alexandra is at tanning hides?!?!?!
(I'll post pictures of the finished product in a day or two)
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Almost as quickly as I paid for the clothes (I think I easily spent $500+) I began gaining the weight back. I don't know if it was nerves of moving overseas, my first plane ride (yes my first plane ride was at 27 years old and a 7 hour flight to London, may as well start off big!), meeting new people, experiencing new things, starting a new chapter in my life or what, but I quit concentrating on losing weight and quickly outgrew my new wardrobe. I'd say within a month they no longer fit. Many items I didn't even get to wear.
So for the past 3, almost 4 years I have lugged these 'smaller' clothes around with me everywhere. When I moved to Wales I brought them along in case I decided to lose the weight again while I was there. They sat in my closet and no Welsh man (or woman) ever laid eyes on them.
When I went from Wales to Amsterdam I lugged those suckers with me again, determined to one day fit into those clothes. Every year when the seasons changed I would take those clothes down from the storage, open the suitcases, say a quick hello and pack them away once again (once I was frusterated enough to stick my tongue out at them & flip 'em the bird) . Occasionally I would think ''I may as well get rid of these things" but never could quite make myself do it. I mean, what a waste of money!!!!
Only recently have I had enough guts to take those clothes out and not just say 'hello' but actually put them on.
Talk about bad timing! I should have taken them out a while ago because so many of them are already too big! I know that's supposed to be a good thing, but what craptastic luck!
I did find some sexy new bras and undies that I never got to wear that now fit like a glove. WOOHOO!
I have posted on a message board for asking for people to participate in a clothing exchange with me and have two girls who are willing to share their old clothes while I need them! You just gotta love message boards don't you?
It has also put a little thought into my head about forming a clothing exchange type of store/website/something for people who are in my situation. It's such a shame to have to pay full price for clothes you will only be fitting into for such a short period of time. I'm all for buying gently used, good condition clothing and passing my things on to others! I don't know how I would even begin such a project but it's much needed.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Oh and Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!!!!!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
When they came out with the game show channel, re-running old game shows, I was in absolute heaven.
My name is Sarah and I am a game show junkie.
Most recently I have felt like playing $100,000 Pyramid, the winner's circle of course. If you aren't familiar with the game...well shame on you... but it's fairly simple. One person is given a specific word/phrase/sentence, like "What a dentist might say" and has to somehow get his partner to say that sentence by giving them clues, such as "open wide" or "looks like you have a cavity".
So here's some clues... see if you can figure out what the phrase is...
*stepping in front of a speeding locomotive*
*taking a long walk off a short pier*
The clock is ticking!!!! Did you guess it?!?!?!?
If you guessed "things that will kill you" then you're the winner!!!!
That was fun! Let's do it again!
*stepping in front of a speeding locomotive*
*doing 3 sets of 12 squats at the gym*
If you guess "things that will kill you" again then you're... well if you didn't guess it you're not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, if ya catch my drift.
Oh yes, the "squat of death" is how I like to refer to it. It's oh so good for your body yet so very unbelievably painful to do. We did our first full set of new exercises at the gym today and can I just scream OUCH?
I knew the squats were going to be difficult. I remember doing them in gym class in junior high. I also remember one of my study hall teachers using them as punishment for kids who couldn't keep quiet.
So when you know you're going to have to do something that will cause yourself pain, you try to prepare yourself for it. All day today I told myself I was going to hurt. I was going to be in pain. I even prepared myself by taking an ibuprofen before going to the gym.
But no amount of prep could have gotten me ready for the hurt I was going to be in...None.
I tackled the squats first. Kind of like eating peas when you were a kid... you eat them first and then wash them down with the rest of your food. Just do it and get it over with.
So I stood in my place next to the bar...made sure my body was in position...pulled the bar up from the bar-rest... and squatted.
Such a searing burning pain shot through my legs I thought somebody had set me on fire. It wasn't pain like getting smacked in the head with a 2X4 but more like pressing really hard on a fresh black and blue bruise sort of pain.
I squatted again.
Same searing pain.
I squatted again.
Less pain yes still painful.
This repeated until squat #12 was completed. Then I rested as I watched my husband do lunges with, by the look on his face, the same pain shooting through his legs that I had.
Then I repeated. Twice. 36 squats total.
Now if you would poke me in the eye 12 times I would probably stop you after the 1st time and most definitely by the 3rd or 4th time. Not only that but I'd be a little pissed off at you for poking me in the eye, yet I will put myself through 36 painstaking squats for what? To be fit? To be healthy? To look good? A tight ass? Hot thighs?
Yeah, that's right. And I'll do it again on Wednesday.
Just a little background. When we first joined the gym, six weeks ago, Leineke (pronounced lean-uh-kuh and a typical Dutch name) weighed us both, did our BMI's, and sat us on a bike to see what fitness level we were at.
The weighing and BMI's weren't surprising. Embarrassing... yes, but surprising no. The fitness level, however, was devestating. She had a scale that calculated your age, weight, height and heart rate after exercising for 5 minutes on the bike between a certain set speed. Somehow she figured out where we were fitness-wise. Here's a breakdown of the fitness scale.
You can be (and I'm improvising here):
a: super fit
c: above average
c: Below average
d: way below average
f: very weak
Yes folks I was off the scale, way below average, worse than bad, in no shape but round, unfit.
Leineke asked that I try to improve at least one point by our next meeting. That wouldn't bump me up to very weak, but it would be an improvement.
Well I did even better than one lousy point... I bumped myself all the way up 1.2 points!!!! I am officially very weak! Now usually that wouldn't be something that would make me happy but considering they almost created a whole new scale on a count of me, it thrills me!!!
Some other stats: I lost 6 kilos (1 kilo=2.2 pounds) in as many weeks, so that is really right on target with my goal. She said 4 of those 6 kilos was fat loss, so woohooo for that! My bloodpressure is good, right on target. My BMI decreased by 1.4%, which is pretty good. My heart is still having to work too hard when I am exercising, but that is understandable as I am still over weight.
We also got our new workout regimine. She decided since we used machines mostly for the first 6 weeks we would throw in some free weight training for the next 7 weeks. We did the walk through with her only doing one set of each exercise just to get the feel of it and to make sure we wouldn't injure ourselves.
I'm not going to lie... one set of each exercise kicked my butt. It's going to be hard and I'm going to be in some pain for the next couple weeks until I get the hang of this new routine. It's gonna suck but I'm going to do it!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
This week I'm going to once again concentrate more on my food intake. This week has been/is the dreaded visit from Aunt Flo, so some weight gain was expected seeing that I have the appetite of a grizzly bear. Since Thursday last week I have been continually 'hungry' even if I had just eaten an hour prior. Getting this under control is one of the hardest parts of my journey and I continue to struggle with it every month.
This weekend we meet with the trainer to weigh in, do BMI, fitness level...all that gooes stuff and we get our new workout regimines. Should be interesting!
I'm still not far from halfway to my goal. I think within the next 2 to 3 weeks I'll be making my appointment at the spa for my massage. Ahhhhhhhh.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
- You don't blow your nose in a restaurant while others are eating.
- You don't date your friend's ex-'s.
- When you're at the urinal you keep your eyes forward (so I've heard).
- You don't invite people who belong to AA to your wine tasting party.
- You don't wear white to another woman's wedding no matter how much you dislike her.
- You don't smack somebody else's kid even if they are rotten.
- You don't hop on the machine right next to me at the gym when there are 5 of the exact same machines open elsewhere!!!
Ok, so that last one may not be a rule but if it isn't it sure as heck should be. To me that's the equivalent of going into a fairly empty theatre and picking the seat right next to another couple. Yes, you can sit anywhere but it's just known that you don't do such a thing.
So I was only 10 or so minutes into my 30 minute cardio on the treadmill. I was jogging away... minding my own business...rocking out on my Ipod...in my own little exercise world. Marco was next to me doing his thing. There was one guy on the machines behind us which left 3 treadmills in the back row and 2 treadmills in my row open. From every treadmill you get the same view so that's no reason to chose the one next to me.
So this guy hops on the treadmill next to me and is getting all set up to work out. I momentarily contemplated moving machines to the other side of Marco but I hate having to stop my pace in the middle of my workout and I was kicking a little ass that day and didn't feel like quitting. I rationalized that he had every right to work out next to me and had the gym been more busy this would actually happen anyway.
Then I notice the guy start looking at my stats on my machine. Again, this is out there for everybody to see I guess, but it's just known that you do your thing and don't look at everybody elses business. Yeah you can walk by and glace at somebodies stats but this guy was just flat out looking.
I gave him a quick glance and half assed smile that said "hi there wierdo, I'm very uncomfortable right now and please quit looking at my machine" and went back to my workout.
That day I happen to be trying something new with my jogging. I was keeping a steady speed but alternating the incline myself. I usually do the 'hill mode' where it changes the incline for me throughtout the workout but I wanted a little extra push that day so took on the task of inclining myself. It was going well.
Inappropriate man started his workout and of course it totally threw me off my pace. I don't know what it is but if I am on the eliptical or treadmill and somebody next to me is going faster than me I just feel propelled to keep up. If they're going slower it's no problem but I just can't have somebody going faster than me. I guess it's the competetor in me or just plain old wackiness.
I changed the incline on my machine to try to control the urge to speed up. As soon as I pressed the button to make the treadmill higher his head whipped around to see what I was doing. I think I actually felt the breeze it created. Wwwhhip!
I continued on my machine trying to ignore the fact that every single time I changed my incline, which was about every 3 to 5 minutes, this guy was all up in my business looking at what I was doing.
I tried to motion to Marco my dislike for the jackass next to me but that message is hard to convey without being totally obvious. You can only do so much with slight headjerks and facial contortions without others thinking you're having some sort of spasm.
I made it through my last 20 minutes without looking at the guy again. Then the strangest thing happened. When I stopped jogging and went into my cool down mode he just quit jogging altogether and got off his machine. Stopped the whole program right in th middle, no cool down... no anything! So since he didn't even get on the machine until I was 10+ minutes into my workout it means he only ran for about 17 or 18 minutes. What kind of routine is that?!?! Who jogs in 17 minute incriments? Aparently this guy does.
Then there's the whole nudity-in-the-locker-room-yet-still-chatting-like-we're-fully-clothed thing that I'm still very uneasy with but that's a whole other blog.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
In an act of bravery (or stupidity) today I pushed open the door of the salon, stepped up to the counter and said "cut it all off"!
And so they did.
Ok so it's not all off but it is really the shortest I have ever had my hair since I can remeber. The picture doesn't even capture the lack of length and bulk that the back of my hair no longer has. It's kind of one of those shorter in back, longer in front, a little bit stacked for volume type do's. This picture is practically right out of the salon so it's about 100% guarenteed my hair will never look like this again.
I don't know what made me do it really. My hair hasn't endured much transformation over the years. In the 90's it was all one length, wavy, long with big mall bangs. (Hey, it was the look!) In the mid-to-late 90's I finally cut it off shorter... all the way to my shoulder blades. It was still big and curly but my mall bangs had calmed to just the blunt straight across my forehead look.
Since it was a new millenium I decided to go wild and grown my bangs out in the 2000's. So for about the last 6 years I have had various lengths of the same haircut. Long layers to help me deal with my curl and anywhere from shoulder length to mid-back as far as length goes.
But lately I've been thinking I need a new look to go along with my new body. So I did it. I like that it really makes me look like I have a neck. I like that I don't feel like I'm hiding behind a mass of waves anymore.
She took a lot of bulk out of the back and it is just clean looking. I think it makes me look a smidge bit older but what 30 year old should have the same hair-do she had when she was 20?
Tomorrow is the true test though. I will wash it for the first time and be left alone to deal with what comes out from under the towel. Wish me luck, I'm sure I'll need it.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I notice a definate pattern with my weight loss. One week I will have a big loss, like this week, then the following week I usually gain 1 or 2 pounds back, or stagnate. I seem to be making a 'staircase' pattern but the general slope of the pattern is going down which is what I am really concerned with.
Sorry this is so short and not very interesting, but it's a crazy busy week!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
So we went into C&A (one of the few stores here who realize bigger people need clothing too...maybe we should all run around naked one day in protest?) and I grabbed a pair of pants 3 sizes smaller than what I used to wear. (They were one size smaller than my 'skinny' jeans which I happened to have on that day.) I grabbed a shirt I liked in two different sizes just in case I had a bout of 'wishful thinking' with the smaller of the two.
I slipped into the dressing room and tried on the smallest shirt first. Amazingly enough...it fit. Not only did it fit, but it looked really good. I marched out to show Marco and he agreed. He noted that I looked hot but if the shirt shrank any at all it would be unwearable.
I argued that yes, he was right, BUT I am not going to get any bigger and I actually plan on getting smaller PDQ so that shouldn't be a problem at all. This shirt was 4 sizes smaller than what I was when I started this journey... it looked good and I was buying it! (plus it was only 15 euros).
So I went back in and slid into the jeans. Zip-button and I was in! They looked good too. I paraded out to show my new found size to my husband and once again got the two thumbs up. WOOHOO!
But besides getting a couple pieces of new clothes I also figured out something else. Maybe I haven't been feeling so great about myself lately because I am still wearing all the same clothes I had been wearing before?
Yes, I did revive my older pants that I hadn't fit into for years but had I outgrown (or would that be ingrown?) them without realizing? I was still wearing them same shirts I had worn over the summer before any of this lifestyle change really started.
As I slid on my 'skinny' jeans to go pay for my new clothes I took a looksie in the mirror. My skinny jeans weren't looking so hot anymore. They were way too big in the booty, big in the legs and I could even fit my arm down between my body and the waistline. My t-shirt hung down well past my butt. It draped (or drooped) sadly across my (newfound) collar bones and cascaded over my boobs to just kind of hang out in the general area of my stomach. I could have been wearing a potato sack and looked just as good.
Well no freaking wonder I don't feel like my body has changed! I'm still dressing like I was 42 pounds ago!!!!
So we payed at C&A and shopped on. A little giddy from my last purchase I went to the workout section of V&D and grabbed a couple articles of workout gear. I slid into the pants and shirt in my new sizes and DAMN! I looked good! I actually had a shape other than lumpy and frumpy. I actually had curves instead of bumps. I looked like I had lost weight.
Why didn't I see this or think of this sooner? Of course I don't look good in my old clothes. I have never liked when people dressed in clothes that were too big for them (even when it was trendy in the 80's and 90's to wear oversized sweatshirts over leggings. Gag!) to try to hide their bodies and that is exactly what I was unknowingly doing to myself.
So I'm looking forward to my next paycheck and getting a few new pieces. Of course I don't want to go all out and buy tons of everything since I don't plan on being this size long but I definately do need a few more shirts to get myself through this stage of the process.
I'm hoping that this will help a little bit with the doubt I've had recently. We shall see.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
As I said in the beginning of this journey, I read Dr. Phil's book The Ultimate Weight Solution and it has truly been instrumental in my weightloss. I don't want to shove the book down anybody's throat but if I'm going to tell my story I'm going to touch on the subject now and again.
The book is about 7 keys to weight loss success. The key I have been struggling with the most recently has been the very first key, right thinking. And honestly, after not really feeling up to the task of losing weight in recent weeks, I made reference back to the book to see what is going on with me, I was quite shocked to find what was actually going on in my head.
This chapter talks about your inner dialogue. What you are really saying to yourself. This is where I start to scare myself. I have read this chapter multiple times since having the book and throughout one of those times I had made little tick marks by the parts that really applied to me. So as I looked through the book this past week again I read my marked passages and one stood out. Of course it could be the huge darkened *asterisks* I drew by it that was the dead give away but once again, it caught my eye.
The passage is called Self-downing and it is definitely something I've been guilty of the last few weeks. Self downing is where you tell yourself things like 'I can't do this. I've tried it before, I have no self control and I just can't do it." You could possibly start obsessing over what you didn't do or what you could have done better. You think things like 'Gosh if I wouldn't have eaten ______ I could have lost 3 pounds instead of 2.
It won't make sense to any of you reading this because if you've been following my story you will know that I have been successful over the past 5 months. Not just a little successful, but I've done pretty damned well. I am just about dead on my goal, I've made leaps and bounds in my lifestyle changes and I've stuck to what I set out to do. So why the self downing?
Hell I don't know.
What scares me the most is I have seen all the talkshows with girls who have negative self images. I'm sure you've all seen them too. The stick thin women who, when asked to draw themselves, make portraits of overweight figures. They are people who have such distorted body images of themselves that it makes the audience sit silently as they listen to the sad story of the girl gone wrong.
I remember watching those people and thinking what a mess their lives must be. And now as I sit here going through my own life transformation and those stick thin women and their messed up images are becoming so much clearer to me. I'm no longer an audience member sitting silently but I'm up on stage telling my story.
Now I like to think of myself as a logical person. I know I have done well. The scale doesn't lie. My clothes don't lie. My husband doesn't lie. When I write down my accomplishments on paper I look great. I've started jogging for the first time in my life. I've gone from gasping for breath after 20 seconds of exercise to wanting to push myself further after 30 minutes of cardio. I'm lifting weights, taking stairs... I'm doing it all.
I know I've done well because I have a whole freaking fan club of people telling me I've done well. These people are my support group and I love and need them. They are my family, my friends, my co-workers and even strangers who have stumbled upon my blog. They are my cheerleaders. They are my 'pushers'. They are key 7, my circle of support.
I know I've done well because I am a logical person... but no matter how logical I seem to be there is just something I seem to be unable to get a hold of and I don't know why.
Here are just some of the things that have gone through my head in the last couple of weeks. Be prepared, they're not pretty. I've thought:
- geesh, after losing 42 pounds you'd think you'd look better. You're still pretty disgusting.
- The 'other shoe' is going to drop any time now. You've lost this much weight in the past and what did you do... you gained it all back. Any time now you're going to fail.
- It's your imagination that your body looks better. Look at yourself!
- I've actually wondered if anybody would have guts enough to comment on my weight once I've gained it all back or will everybody sit silently and then just talk behind my back about what a shame it is because I had been doing so well.
- Three times a week at the gym isn't enough for somebody your size.
- You're just never going to look good. You're never going to look normal. No matter what you do, you're never going to be fit. You just waited to long, it's too late for you.
What in the hell am I thinking? Why in the world would I say those things to myself? I wouldn't even say most of those things to people I don't like and I've been known to be pretty mean! What is so wrong with me that I am so messed up in my head that after being this successful I still see myself as a failure or somebody bound to fail? Why am constantly looking over my shoulder or just waiting for the other shoe to drop? Am I NUTS?!?!?!?!
I'd love to blame this one on my childhood or the mean kids on the playground. I'd love to point a finger on a place in a timeline where I say 'this is when this started' and 'this is why it happened'. I'd love to say, ok I was told this all my life by other people so it's no wonder I tell myself this now, but I'd be a liar.
I have never had somebody constantly talk down to me. My parents have always been supportive of me, encouraging me. I have never had bullies on the playground mocking me. I didn't even have a bad relationship where I was verbally (or physically) abused in any way. This is just something that I can't put my finger on.
But whatever the cause, I've discovered I'm doing it and I'm doing it big time. I am absolutely self downing. It's incredibly ridiculous and uncalled for. I don't deserve to be treated like this by anybody and I sure as hell shouldn't be putting up with it from myself. Funny thing is, if somebody would say any of those things to me... outloud... to my face... I'd be so pissed... I'd be so angry... I'd tell them exactly what they could do with their negativity (along with a few other choice phrases). I would never in a million years stand idly by and let somebody berate me in such a way.
I am hoping by posting this here and acknowledging this monster that I've kept to myself that I can get it out of my system. There you have it. I'm my own worst enemy.
Who knows... maybe this post wasn't inspiring in the way that most people think of inspiration... but maybe somebody else will read it, who has some of the same feelings and will feel a little bit more normal, a little less like the freak on stage and a little more like part of the audience.