Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm back. I'm still not thrilled with myself but I thought I'd let you all know that I'm still here. I'm still going to lose weight. I haven't given up. I'm not going to quit. I've said all along that quitting is not an option. It's just not. It will never be an option.

I've been in kind of a weight loss haze since Tuesday's weigh in. During my angry run Wednesday night I did go over all the comments in my head that you guys left for me. There was some really great advice tucked away in there and it made me stop and think.

And think. And think. And think. So much of weight loss is a mental game. I've written before about people who say "weight loss is a simple process, it's more calories burned than taken in" like it's this easy child-like formula. If it were that simple, if it were really truly a + b = c then posts like I wrote on Tuesday wouldn't happen. So much of this is an internal struggle of emotions that have nothing, yet everything, to do with food.

I just can't believe that it's over a year into all of this and I am still struggling (at times) to get this right. It makes the task at hand just seem that much more daunting when I have serious periods of mental/emotional struggle. At the same time, I've always known that I would have moments like this along the way. I haven't been totally naive. It's just that when you imagine these meltdowns in your head you're never really prepared for the power of the explosion when it really does happen. It takes your breath away like a kick in the stomach.

I've had time to sit and catch my breath, "regroup" if you will. I don't know what I'm going to change (besides my pisspoor attitude) or how I'm going to make it work but I will change and it has to work. There's just no other option.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mother @%^@#

***disclaimer: This post is not for the easily offended nor for those looking to be inspired or uplifted or encouraged. It will contain swearing. Lots and lots of foul mouthed swearing. It will also contain a bad attitude. A piss poor, bad, awful, screw the world, I’m fed up with trying attitude. You have been warned. If you are easily offended please come back on another day when I am no longer seething.***

So…I had a gain this week. I’m back up to 108.7 (or was it 108.9) I can’t really remember now. One kilo is 2.2 pounds for those who don’t use kilos. Gee how I’d love to say it doesn’t matter. I’m okay with it. It’ll come off. Keep on going Sarah. But you know what… it does matter. I’m not okay with it. It’s not coming off and I don’t want to keep going. I’ about all of this bullshit. Guess what?!?!? It’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows. Sometimes it just fucking blows. When I stepped on the scale this morning I actually said out loud “I quit”. Of course I didn’t stop with “I quit”. I continued on with “I fucking give up. I cannot do this anymore. I suck. I hate this. Why fucking try? This is just useless.” I continued to berate myself in the shower and the middle finger made a few appearances on my drive into work.

I’m tired of thinking and rethinking and thinking just one more time. I tired of writing about thinking. I’m tired of thinking about thinking. I’m tired of everything having to be such a fucking effort. I’m tired of wondering about every single morsel, snack, meal, drink. What sucks the absolute most is that this is how it HAS to be if I want to lose weight. I don’t have the option NOT to think. I’m tired of thinking of ways for this to work.

Maybe I’m just supposed to be an obese woman? Maybe that’s my fucking calling in life? How absolutely stupid I was to even think that I was hoping to be losing new weight soon. OF COURSE NOT! You’re going to just keep losing these same 6 or so pounds over and over and over, the same 6 pounds you lost back in APRIL and MAY and JUNE and JULY and now AUGUST, because this is where you’re supposed to be SARAH!

It’s just so fucking exhausting sometimes and I’ve had it. I’ve seriously just freaking had it. I look back at the posts I’ve made here recently and I’m pretty sure tendons in my eyes snapped from them rolling so far back in my head. Little miss positive and perky aren’t I? What a fucking moron. What a joke. What a bunch of shit. And to think I actually GIVE weight loss advice to others on their blogs! Where the hell do I get off? Here’s some freaking advice… DON’T LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A CLUE!!!!

(fine, I’ll add this other stupid disclaimer although I don’t want to really. I’m not going to give up but for fucks sake I’m just a little pissed. It ain’t purty but it’s my reality right in this very moment. If I'm to keep an accurate log of how this journey really goes then it's only fair I include this crap too)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Out of wack with priorities?

Marco and I were on our way home from shopping today and I made the statement that I was just going to have a relaxing evening at home and maybe even take a nap. He was going to be at work so it was supposed to be just me and Scoots hanging out. I had an inkling that I'd be doing some dancing later (see post from earlier today) but if I didn't that was okay with me.

So he left for work and I sat down to relax and catch up with some of my regular bloggers. Most of the blogs I read on a semi-daily basis are weight loss related. It's just inspiring to see other people who are dealing with the same issues I'm dealing with and I love to share any helpful advice I can with some of the newer people who are just starting out.

Most of my regular bloggers hadn't written anything recent. I commented on a few of the ones who had added a new post. I followed some of the other commentors to discover new blogs. I checked their blog rolls to find other weight loss blogs. I spent a good part of an hour reading about weight loss.

Then I got to thinking. What if I dedicated as much time to losing weight as I did to reading about losing weight? I guess that statement is a bit unfair as I am totally 100% trying to lose weight every day and it's on my mind with every meal and snack I make. But what are my priorities?

There isn't a day that I don't click into at least 3 (and usually more) other weight loss blogs to see what my fellow 'losers' are up to but there are plenty of days where I don't dedicate myself to a workout of any kind. What if I dedicated that time to working out instead of sitting behind the computer? What if I even dedicated half of that time to exercising? That's 30 minutes a day I could be exercising. That means today instead of sitting here wishing one of my bloggers would have blogged about something new, I could have been jumping rope, walking, jogging, riding my bike, lifting some weights... even just stretching out. Instead of burning 20 calories clicking away on different sites I could have burned 200 outside playing catch with the dog (and he would have LOVED it).

I think I need to give myself a quick reality check. Am I really as dedicated to losing weight as I think I am? Yes, I want to lose weight. I talk about it a lot. I write about it. I do eat to lose weight. Some days I work out to lose weight. But do I really give my weight loss the type of dedication it deserves? I mean, it is my health here that we're talking about. Should that precede over reading another blog about weight loss?

I do want to be real though. I realize that not every minute of the day can be spent trying to lose weight via exercise. I do realize I need down time. I do also realize that having a network of fellow bloggers out there struggling along side me can be (and is) very beneficial and actually I think it's extremely important.

I think today was a wake-up call that was a long time coming. After really thinking about what I've done today that would actually benefit my heart, my muscles, my weight loss, (it didn't take long to think about it as I hadn't done anything really) I got dressed and took the dog outside to play. He was thrilled. I played fetch until he couldn't breathe anymore and then I brought him back in and went for a jog. It's something I haven't done for a very long time. I ran for about 30 minutes then I came home and did a few strength training exercises and hit the shower.

I'm going to try and dedicate just as much time, if not more, to getting in a little bit of exercise each and every day as I do to reading about losing weight. Exercise of some sort should be a part of my daily routine. If I can read blogs for 30 minutes a day there is just no good excuse for me not to be exercising 30 minutes every day. I deserve that.

BMI oh my!

I just realized that after I lose 26 more pounds I will no longer be able to say that I am obese! Of course I'll still be over weight but that just seems like a much nicer word than obese doesn't it?

"I'm Sarah and I'm obese" just sounds yucky. It sounds like there is no hope. You're not just over weight... you're obese (and let's not even throw in the "morbidly" part). Obese just sounds so definite like there is no chance for me, no hope. You're not just chubby or thick or chunky... you're obese. What a rotten word.

"I'm Sarah and I'm over weight." Ahhhh that sounds nice doesn't it? It sounds like I have much more control in the matter. It's a little like "yeah, I've got a few pounds to drop but it'll happen".

I'm not one to be obsessed with labels but I will have to admit, I'm pretty excited to soon be over weight. Now that's not something you hear every day.

(and only 35 pounds after those 26 pounds will I no longer be labeled overweight but let's get 'obese' taken care of first.)

Dripping with cheese...

And I'm not talking about food! It's ME that's dripping with cheesiness! I didn't want to go to the gym because of my back injury (which is doing MUCH better) but I did want to get in some sort of cardio. I decided to slip on my Ipod, slip off my clothes, put on my sports bra, undies and workout shoes, close the blinds and dance my pants off (well they were already off) in my living room. (cheesy move #1)

So I started movin' and a swayin'. I threw in a "running man" and "the cabbage patch" along with some other hot moves (I even did the St. Louis dance and thought of Keith and Josh) and was just having a great time knowing that nobody in the world would ever believe that I do stuff like this if I wouldn't confess it over the Internet. (makes ya wonder what other nut jobs are doing!)

"(Bump) Like This" by Kelly Rowland and Eve was on and I just cannot seem to get enough of that song for whatever reason. I bet I listened to it a good 8 to 10 times yesterday. I "bumped" along with Kelly and Eve and managed to work up a sweat. I needed a drink.

I shimmied and shook past the mirror on my way to the kitchen and saw how utterly ridiculous I looked in my workout "clothing". I literally laughed out loud at the site of myself. There is just something about a white sports bra, pink striped panties paired with sock and tennis shoes that will crack a girl up.

So I did something even cheesier than dancing half naked in my house. I grabbed my water bottle from the fridge and two-stepped my way into the bedroom.

I opened my closet and pulled out a dress I bought for a wedding about 6 years ago. It only fit me for a short amount of time before I "grew" out of it. I don't even know why I kept it to be honest. I put it on. It fit. In fact, it was too big on top.

So then I was dancing in my little black dress and my socks and tennis shoes. I boot-scooted back to the mirror to take a look and laughed again. I don't think anybody call really truly pull off a dress with sneakers.

Cheesy move #3. I kicked off the workout shoes and put on my black strappy high heels. MUCH better. So there I was all alone at home in a hot black dress and sexy sandals, dancing by myself, working up quite a sweat. I shook my arse for a good 30 minute workout.

I don't know if I should laugh at the ridiculousness of it all or cry at the ridiculousness of it all. But the ultimate cheese of it all (cheesy move #4) is that I'm looking forward to doing it again tonight!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I've quit the gym

Marco and I went Thursday and gave our one month notice at the gym. But this isn't the bad news it may seem to be. We're quitting this gym because we're getting a new place! We're FINALLY getting out of this one bedroom tiny apartment and are moving into a much bigger three bedroom apartment in another part of Amsterdam (in Sloten for any Dutchies reading).

It was kind of sad turning in my notice at the sweat box. I still remember when Marco and I first went to the gym to check it out and how new and shiny and exciting the whole thing was. I have had some great trainers, some great workouts, some funny firsts, some deep thoughts... it's just been one of the biggest keys in my success so far.

I still haven't seen a gym in our new neighborhood but I've been told there are some. We don't be moving until September or maybe even October so I still have time to look around and find something that suits us.

Marco and I have tossed around the idea of foregoing the membership and taking some personal classes or lessons instead. I was thinking salsa or some sort of high intensity dance stuff. I believe he may have been thinking something a bit more sporty, like kickboxing. Maybe we'll do a mix of the both.

It does scare me a bit to think of not having that membership though. Am I strong enough to push myself on my own? Will I be dedicated enough to find cardio to do by myself? Will the temptation of sitting on the couch, vegging out be even stronger when I know I'm not paying the gym for their "services"? It's scary.

I did lose my first 30 pounds without a gym membership, so it can be done but maybe those first 30 were easier than these next 40 will be?

I can begin jogging outside again I suppose. I got away from jogging after joining the gym and finding that the elliptical machine causes less soreness/pain in my feet. There is a great soccer field right out back that I could run around. We'll be on the bottom floor so I can do some jumping rope without having to worry about knocking the downstairs neighbor's chandeliers off the walls. There will be plenty flights of stairs in the building that I can run up and down if I wanted to. I can get that exercise ball I've been eyeing at the sports store and maybe buy some more hand weights to keep my muscles in shape. Maybe I could even look into some DVD's to do some cardio at home. (I have looked for some already here but for whatever reason I can't find an updated workout video, everything is still from the 1980's it seems).

It's all possible. I can do all of these things. But will I? God I hope so.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I have myself a back injury. I’d love to say it was due to some excruciating workout at the gym where I sweated buckets and lost inches off my arse in one go. The true story isn’t nearly as fascinating as that though. I was walking into the kitchen to make Scooter, my dog, breakfast when the entire middle of my back seized into a ball sending me down to kiss my toes quietly yelling “ouch ouch ouch ouch” as it was only 7:45 AM I didn’t want to wake the neighbors by screaming “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT IS THIS PAIN!”. Yes folks, I got an injury from walking.

I was able to straighten up most of the way but when I stood fully erect the muscle would contract and once again send me back down, whimpering. I made it to work, driving was interesting to say the least. I took some pain killers that seemed to do absolutely nothing for me. I’m fairly certain I need muscle relaxers but trying to get anything but Tylenol from Dutch doctors is like pulling teeth. My boss gave me some Tiger Balm to rub on it last night before I went to bed and that seemed to help a little but at 5 this morning that tiger had had its last roar and I was in agony again. (it’s not really agony, just a bit of wincing pain really but agony sound better when you write it.)

I’m not really sure what caused this muscle spasm. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, especially at work and my shoulders and lower back had been aching for a few weeks. Last week the muscle pain spread from my back to up under my ribs. I’m trying to tell myself “let it go, let it go, let it go” but when you physically hold in stress I don’t think any chanting is going to help or at least any chanting that I’ve tried. Work stress on top of my every day life stresses recently is just a prescription for pain. I know I should go in for a massage but massages are kind of the extra little perks in life that don’t fit into our budget right now.

Marco put a fresh coat of magic balm on me before I left for the office this morning and I’m sitting here warm and tingly emitting a lovely eucalyptus/menthol vapor from under my shirt. Needless to say I’m skipping the gym so my food intake is going to play a huge role in my number on Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


What a craptastic start to a day. Let me preface this by saying I have been "cheat" weighing Sunday and Monday to get an idea of what to expect Tuesday morning on the scale.

Sunday I was pleasantly surprised, I had dropped 1.2 kilos (2.64 lbs) from last Tuesday's weight in, coming in at 106.5. WOOHOO! I was OFFICIALLY losing new weight!

Then Monday I was still happy to see that, although different from Sunday, I was still down 1.1 kilos (2.42 lbs) at 106.6. Still woohoo worthy as that would mean I was back down to my lowest weight ever once again.

Now today, my official weigh in day, I wake up just itching to get on the scale, knowing I'm going to have yet another loss to post about, making it three weeks in a row of losses (a Turkey Loss, if you will) but what does the scale say? 107.7...what?!?!?! Actually it said 107.8 twice but 4 times it said 107.7 so I took that one).

How in the world did THAT happen and WHY couldn't it have happened tomorrow, NOT on my official weigh in day?

I know your weight can fluctuate by a few pounds on any given day. I'm just a bit bummed it chose today to fluctuate. That sucks.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I spoke too soon...

Remember how I was saying I haven't been feeling like eating most days and that nothing sounds good and attributed my weight loss to my sudden aversions to all things edible?

Well my appetite met it's match on Saturday night. Nothing sounded good all day long. I had a breakfast bar for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and just did NOT feel like cooking what we had planned out for dinner. Marco threw out some suggestions but none of them sounded good. Then three little words popped into my head that made taste buds do a dance.

The Taco Shop

Did you hear the choir of angels sing "aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh"? I know I sure did.

The Taco Shop is an authentic Tex-Mex shop (is it possible to be authentic and tex-mex?) in Amsterdam that is run by people who make Tex-Mex like no other. It's better than most of the Mexican restaurants I've been to in the mid-west as a matter of fact. I say this all the time but only because it's so true, the taste and aroma of food has the ability to take you to an entire different place in your life and The Taco Shops transports me right back home with the very first bite.

We only visit The Taco Shop about every 3 months or so, if that. Marco's not a big fan of Mexican so I really have to do some persuading to get to go and actually sometimes I even forget about it. Saturday I remembered!

I took a quick look over the menu and after about 3.4 seconds of thought, decided upon the biggest cheese drenched Sanata Fe burrito thing, smothered in a rancho sauce that comes with a side of rice and corn chips. Real healthy huh?

It was the best freaking burrito ever. I enjoyed every cheese smothered bite and I finished the entire burrito, minus a few of the beans. I didn't eat the chips or the rice but who needed to after that mega meal?

We left the restaurant and headed directly to our favorite Italian Ice cream shop, Pisa Ijs (pronounced Ice) where I had a small cup of 3 different flavors which were equally as divine as the meal.

I have a feeling that I should feel guilty but you know what? I don't. At all. It was a once in a very great while thing and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm not going to become a repeat offender of the calorific evening and like I told The Pound Slayer in his post about if he should give into his craving for a hot fudge sundae or not. Nobody got healthy by eating one salad and nobody got fat by having one sundae (or burrito or piece of cake or whatever it is you're craving).

And to quote... well myself...nothing is done or undone in one snack, one meal, one day, one week or even one month. I had a fantabulous meal. I enjoyed it. It's over. On I go.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Never in my life...

Over the past year my life has definately been overhauled, thanks to Dr. Phil's The Ultimate Weight Solutions (oh come ON! I haven't pimped his book out in a long time, quit rolling your eyes!) and some hard work on my part. I am no longer the person I was a year ago and that's a very good thing. I've been thinking recently about the things I used to do to myself with food and what havoc my emotional eating used to wreak on my body. Here's a run down of some of the way's I've abused my belly and body with food over my lifetime.
  • I've stuffed myself so full that I've actually gotten sick.
  • I've eaten to cure boredom/heartache/stress/happiness/illness.
  • I've purposely worn clothes that are "feed-your-face-like-you'll-never-eat-again" friendly (read: elastic) because I actually planned to stuff myself to the gills.
  • I've convinced myself that if nobody sees me eat it then I haven't really eaten it and it doesn't count.
  • I declared Thursday a weekly public holiday and called it "Fat Free Thursday". The meaning behind F.F.T. was that you could pretend that everything you ate on Thursdays was fat free even if it wasn't. Steak and Shake anybody? SURE! It's fat free Thursday. MMM I'm gonna have a 2 way with a Chili 5-way.
  • I've snuck food away from a common eating place because I knew it wasn't good for me and I was embarrassed and ashamed to be seen eating it.

There's a plethora of other horrible ways I used to manipulate and violate my poor body but I'll spare you the gory details.

Since I've started my most recent weight loss endeavor and dropped some weight I've also dropped these habits. It didn't happen over night and some of them didn't leave without a fight but I feel like I really have control now. That's something that I've never felt before ever... in my whole entire life. It's empowering.

But that's not what I'm talking about with the title of this post. Although I've never in my life felt so in control of my eating, I've had another "never in my life" moment or two in the past few weeks (actually about 10 out of the 14 days). It has definitely contributed to my last few losses come weigh-in time.

I've actually experienced food aversions. *an audible gasp is heard from the crowd (of three)* Yes, I have actually been nauseated by the thought of eating. The idea of passing a morsel of sustenance through my lips actually made me get goose bumps (or chicken skin as the Dutch refer to it) and do that strange shaky thing with my body. You know the one, where your entire body shudders and you stick your tongue out making the "I've never been so repulsed in my life" face... oh that's just me?).

The thought of eating/cooking/buying food has made my stomach turn. I did not think that this would ever be possible. (and please do not suggest that I'm pg. I'm not.)

I really don't know what to contribute this sudden aversion to food to. It's not too hot to eat and honestly I could be in the middle of the Mojave and still feel like a little something, ya know? I'm not taking any medication that would cause it. It's like I've been zapped off into a different realm but everybody else stayed the same.

But recently, in the past few weeks I have actually skipped whole meals, opting for a fruit or snack bar (or in some cases nothing, which I know isn't good for me but I just didn't feel like eating) instead because I just couldn't be bothered to actually eat.

I took a trip to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner and walked out empty handed. An entire grocery store and I couldn't find one single item that I wanted to eat.

I've taken this odd-albeit-good-for-my-weight-loss new happening in my life and kind of ran with it. I've been thinking that this as possibly the next step in my weight loss where I try to tune into my body more and listen to hunger signals to tell me when to eat rather than eating when it's time. It's called "Intuitive Eating" and there's a great book out there on it (that I haven't read).

Maybe the chapter of my weight loss book-of-life, where I deal with my emotional eating and form a new healthier outlook on food, is closing and a new one, is taking shape? It's a bit early to tell but we shall see.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Great News on the Scale this Morning!

I’m down another 2 pounds this week (well actually 1.98 lbs but I had thick underwear on so it’s 2! Or 0.9 kilos). YAY! That’s two weeks in a row I’ve been going in the right direction.

I am only 0.2 kilos away from my all time lowest official weigh-in weight from back in March and only 1 kilo away from my all time unofficial weigh in weight! YAY! This means that before long I’m going to be losing new weight, not the same old crap I’ve already lost once before. This is great news and even greater motivation!

I have to contribute this week’s loss to my stellar eating habits because my gym routine went down the drain this week, with only one visit to the sweat box. Repeating my “every calorie does count” mantra when I go to eat something or when I am choosing my foods for meals is really working out well for me. Just taking that fleeting second to actually think about my actions makes all the difference in the world, well at least in the scale!

I read a statistic on one of the message boards that I visit all the time (the nest) that weight loss is 70% food and 30% exercise. (I haven’t read this in a health source only on message boards) This week is proof for me that that statistic may actually ring truer for me than I thought. It has been my eating habits that need some cleaning up rather than pushing myself harder in the gym. Also, all of those lovely muscles that are taking shape are burning more calories for me. Woo-hoo for muscles!

I’m really excited to be back on track and losing. I’m excited about the weight loss challenge and I’m super stoked to be losing new weight soon and to watch my body transform once again.

Geesh with all this excitement I may need a valium.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Fat Bloke Thin Challenge!

I've taken my weight loss to a new level recently and I'm pretty excited about it. After being so inspired by contestants on The Biggest Loser series that have been airing here recently I have found a little weight loss challenge of my own.

I have joined in Fat Bloke Thin's weight loss challenge! (Thanks Pound slayer!)

I'll admit I'm a little on the competitive side (just a smidgen) and when I found his blog through a blog, of a blog, of a blog I was immediately excited by the thought of actually losing some poundage and having other un-thin people simultaneously trying to lose weight in order to beat me. Well okay, so they probably aren't out there on the treadmill thinking "I've got to beat .02" but I think it will make a big difference for me when I'm in the gym doing my cardio.

I can see it already. I'll be up on the elliptical machine ellipticalling away and I'll know all these other blogger-people out there will be trying to reach the same finish line that I'm running for. I think it will be great motivation!

And yes I realize people can lie about their weight and how much they've really lost each week but really I could do that every single week here too. What would be the point of doing it if you're just going to lie?

So yay for Fat Bloke Thin and weight loss challenge and yay for me beating the pants off of all of them! (just a smidgen I tell ya!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Well good morning to me!

Today is my official weigh in day and to be honest I was a little scared. It got very warm (by Holland standards) yesterday and I was retaining water like a desert cactus. My puffy feet and ankles looked like they could burst out of my shoes at any moment. Usually when I am retaining water I can expect a gain on the scale but not this week!

I was pleasantly surprised that the scale showed a loss of 2.4 pounds for this week (1.1 kilo). YAY! That brings my total weight loss as of today to 62.26 pounds (28.30 kilos) and I’m currently weighing in at 238.92. I’m still not losing ‘new’ pounds yet as my highest weight loss was at one time 66 pounds but I’m very close to being there. I will be thrilled when I can finally lose some “new” weight.

I credit this week’s loss to a few things.

1) I’ve been repeating a key phrase in my head every time I reach for food. I just say to myself “every calorie does count”. It may seem silly but it really works for me. For a while there I was taking one small ____ or a little bit of _____ and justifying it by saying that it’s such a small quantity that it doesn’t really matter. But when you add all of those little bits and pieces up throughout the day they do matter and I have to stop myself from that way of thinking. Especially because once I start doing a little here and a little there it’s so very easy to snowball into old habits of a lot here and even more there. Saying “every calorie does count” makes me stop and actually think about my actions. It also makes me do a quick mental count of what I’ve had that day and see where this new food I’m reaching for fits in and when I ate last. It also makes me take notice if I’m eating from boredom or habit rather than hunger.

2) The Biggest Loser series. It really has kept me motivated at the gym but I think what gets me most though is that very first part of the show when they all weigh in officially for the first time. All of the contestants seem just absolutely flabbergasted at their weights, some even cry, but the worst (or best) part for me is that almost all of those people start off weighing LESS that I do right this very moment! So even before their journey’s begin, they’re lighter on their feet than I am. The fact that they see losses of 10, 15 and 20 pounds in the first 2 weeks has brought new perspective to my weight loss. I believe I’ve been too easy on myself recently (meaning the last 4 months). Not that this is easy and NOT that I am expecting a 5 pound loss in a week but I have let the little gains here and there become okay in my mind a little too often. I need to be less OK with the one pound gain 2 weeks in a row than I am. I am still a very large woman and it shouldn’t be commonplace for me to gain or stagnate as often as I do. I’m going to try to stay as real as possible though. I have been dealing with a lot of emotional “things” in my life. I probably won’t lose every week but I’m hoping a little voice in my head nags the hell out of me when I do, to make sure that it’s not just a slacker attitude that’s stopping the pounds from falling off.

So yay for this weeks loss and here’s to hoping the next few weeks will bring me back up to -66 and beyond!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Hosting our first foreign exchange student!

I don't think I've mentioned it here before but Marco and I are hosting our first foreign exchange student. Her name is Mara and she comes from Greece. She arrived Friday and has adjusted to her new life in Amsterdam wonderfully so far. Her English is pretty crap but I've learned a few key phrases in Greek so communication isn't too big of a problem yet. She'll only be with us for 2 short weeks so we hope to bond quickly.

Below are some of the first pictures of her arrival!

This is Mara in her favorite chair:

This is Mara walking with her new best friend, Scooter. (I'm the human)

OK so she's not really a foreign exchange student but she is Greek! Mara is the adorable puppy of my friends Alexandra and Theodore. She's staying with us while they're vacationing in Spain and Portugal. Lucky bastards.

She is probably the sweetest dog I've ever met. Marco fell totally head over heels for her the first time we were introduced to her. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE Scooter but when we chose a dog Marco was thinking more of a lap dog that is lazy and sits next to you and likes to cuddle. Scooter would rather chew off your hand than let you snuggle him and lazy? This little terror of fur will chase a ball all day long if you didn't make him stop to catch his breath before he passes out.

But Mara is the lapdog of Marco's dreams. She'll sit on your lap all day long if you'll let her. She is sitting on my lap right now as a matter of fact. She has her little blanket on the floor that she sleeps on every night and has just been an absolute angel all weekend.

We had one small bout of food aggression with the two of them but I've sense separated the food and water bowls into two different rooms and it hasn't happened again since. I did have to learn two words in Greek, come and there, since she doesn't "speak" English or Dutch but that was no problem at all. Her English is coming along though! She actually does come when I say it and if I need her to go lay down I will point and say THERE and she actually goes. I don't know what school she went to but we're signing Scooter up! (awww, that's so mean. Scooter really is a great dog and just so stinkin cute! see?)

I know this wasn't weight loss related but I'm just so excited to have her with us that I wanted to share!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

We're a funny couple, we really are.

Don't you wish sometimes that you could spy on the every day ordinary people that you know while they're relaxed at home, just to see how they really are? I'm not talking about over the top reality television where you're followed around by camera crew's acting "natural" but really capturing people's true selves when they think there's nobody watching.

Who knows, maybe your sweet little old neighbor lady who bakes cookies at Christmas time for all the little neighborhood kids is really a secret chat-room-o-holic and has cyber relationships with unsuspecting red-headed bearded men. (I don't know why they're red headed, ask her!)

Are you curious if Miss Prissy Pants in the cubicle next to you goes home and has belching and farting contests with her significant other?

Wouldn't you love to catch a glimpse of the bad-ass-bad-attitude-tatooed-pierced-make up wearing-Goth-teen-who-hasn't-cracked-a-smile-in-3-years as he goes inside his dungeon room and locks to door before he practices his Grand jeté and Pliés in a pink tutu?

Wouldn't you just like to catch a peek sometimes?

If you were peeking in our house last night here's a brief synapsis of what you may have seen:

After the gym I took my shower and we watched some TV before Marco hopped in to get all squeeky clean. I was dead tired from the workout and was ready to crash. So as he's in the shower I start brushing my teeth for bed. I had already put my pajamas on and by this I mean I was naked, naturally. Yes, we sleep in the buff at the Aarssen homestead.

So as I'm brushing away I'm checking myself out in the mirror. Just my upper body is reflecting back at me. I'm looking at my pretty little collar bones. Nice to see you! I'm doing that turny thing that women do all the time to look at their backs. I'm really just checking myself out. Then I put my toothbrush away and really decide to take a good look at what I got.

So there I was in front of the mirror full-out posing. I mean really posing:

I admired myself for a while, laughing at the rediculousness of what I was doing. I have some definite tone in my arms and my shoulders have this nice curvy thing going on when I flex my biceps out to the sides of my head like you do when you're a kid.

I was a little surprised and kind of impressed. So of course I whip back the shower curtain and make Marco look at me, posed.

"Look at my arms!" as I flex and then turn back to the mirror to make sure I'm flexing properly to get the most muscle for the viewing.


"Feel 'em"

Like a good sport he squeezes my arms and raises his eyebrows in fake surprise. He then goes back to showering.

I strike my second pose and whip back the curtain again.

"Look at my shoulders!"

His eyes dart back and forth between the two making a pit stop somewhere around my "pectoral muscles". *wink wink* He smiled.

"I see them"

"NO, really look at them. Do you see the swoopy thing?"

I break pose to point out the aforementioned swoopy thing with one arm.

"See it?"

"Yes, it looks great sweetie."

I wasn't convinced he was really seeing what I meant though. Men.

I continued to strike poses in the mirror as my poor husband tried to enjoy his shower.

When he was finished he joined me in front of the mirror in his pajamas, so yes, naked. Then he posed for me. I felt his muscles and "oohed" and "ahhed" in awe at all the right times. We took turns posing and making one another feel our muscles and we laughed. We flexed our arms, legs, backs, necks, forearms and butts and groped one another, making sure to give proper credit where credit was due.

I think we felt each other up for a good 15-20 minutes before I was all flexed out and flopped into bed followed shortly by my husband.

The moral of the story is that on the outside we're an every day, normal, run of the mill couple. I go to the office, he goes to the restaurant, we come home, we walk the dog, we wave at the neighbors but...once the doors are closed and the chains are locked we turn into "Sarah and Marco... Body Builders Extraordinaire" ...well minus the grease and steroids.

You just never know!

A new personal best!

Yesterday I really had to force myself to the gym. I'm having an awful time at work lately (I could start a new blog just on that!) and have been totally stressed out. I'm talking about the "my colleagues won't look me in the eye as we walk past one another because I could spew fire our of my pupils at any given moment" type of stressed. I came home with a headache and just did not feel like working out. I actually told Marco I wasn't going to go. I popped a couple Ibuprofen and we hung out for a little bit discussing my rotten day. After half hour or so started dinner and settled in for a long relaxing evening home.

Marco was hell bent on getting to the gym with or without me (good for him!). He changed into his workout clothes right after supper and was putting on his shoes when I had a change of heart. I still wasn't 100% sure I wanted to go but I asked him to give me 2 episodes of Friends to see if I felt any better and if so I'd go with him. Those must have been some magic words for my body because after the first half of the first episode and half a commercial break I already knew I was going.

We did our weights together again. I've really been pushing myself with the weights and it just makes me feel like such a bad ass. It's so silly because to look at me, I'm still this 241 pound woman, hardly a bad ass but on the inside I feel freaking fantastic like I could conquer the world. I think lifting heavy is a great stress reliever too because after a few machines I quit thinking about work altogether.

As I was doing my quad exercises I asked Marco if we could skip the cardio. Naturally he said no but it was worth a shot right? I can lift forever but cardio is just hard for me to get motivated to do.

We hopped on the elliptical and ellipticalled away (I guess that's what you do on an elliptical machine). Marco has been really pushing himself on the cardio and has really been breaking some personal bests recently. Being ever so slightly competitive I decided it was time for me to break a personal best of my own. I cranked up the music and found a spot to focus on on the wall and ellipticalled away (I find that if I watch TV I tend to work out at a slower pace than if I don't watch TV and concentrate on what I'm doing, hence the picking a spot on the wall to focus on).

I pushed myself into doing 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) in 30 minutes (plus a 5 minute cool down)! I've done over 6 kilometers before but it was in a 45 minute time span. When I was done my legs were shaking like jello but I felt fan-freaking-tastic.

There is one thing that I'm not sure of though. I usually use a hill mode on the machine on a level 13 and go about 4 kilometers (2.48 miles) in 30 minutes plus cool down. This time I did a manual level, so no hills, on level 8 and did 6 kilometers. What I am unsure of is which workout is better for me, a harder level and not going as far or an easier level (not easy, just easier than I usually do, let's keep that straight) and going quite a bit further? I think there are several schools of thought on this and who knows, maybe there is no right or wrong answer. Both workouts hurt in the good way and both workouts get my the heart rate up there, so does that mean they're equal? Maybe a combination of the two would be best?

I'll probably never have the "right" answer to those questions and that's okay with me. I'm too busy doing the happy dance for my workout to care.