Saturday, October 24, 2009


I'm thinking I should print this out and put it on my fridge.

I am home alone. Well, not really. The Hubster went to play hockey for the first time this season and Big Sister is hanging with her mom. Little Sister is in bed, so I have the place to myself.

This is a dangerous, dangerous time for me. I am not hungry. I had plenty to eat today…a smallish breakfast because I had Turbo and Pump this morning—I absolutely cannot kick it on a full stomach—followed by a protein-filled lunch consisting of an egg and ham sandwich with some fruit…nuts and granola later for a snack…and a good-sized fillet of grilled salmon with a double helping of broccoli for dinner. I am not hungry.

But I am starving. I want to eat. I want to make brownies or cookies and eat the whole pan before they have a chance to cool. I want to shred up some cheese and make quesadillas. I want to make dip and eat all of the little bags of chips we bought for the girls’ lunches. I want to investigate my fridge and eat everything I can find.

But I don’t. I have to weigh in tomorrow morning, and while I haven’t been tracking this week, I am feeling pretty good about where I’m at. I hate it when I have a good week and ruin it the night before my meeting by eating something too salty or too heavy. I like Weight Watchers and I can honestly say that having this accountability is really helping me, but only being able to count my weight once a week is hard…it really can be thrown off by a poorly planned meal or two.

I shouldn’t be thinking about it. I should get up and do something productive…or, better yet, go to bed and get some real sleep and then wake up tomorrow refreshed and ready for breakfast to go. I should NOT keep sitting here, thinking about food I want, food I shouldn’t have, feeling sorry for myself and dreaming about the cheeseburger I’m having for dinner tomorrow.

Monday, October 19, 2009

On the Horizon...

I'm changing. I can feel it. Not just my body, not just my clothes. Me. The way I think, the choices I make, the way I feel about myself. Change is coming.

Writer Sarah and I were talking books one day, and she told me she was reading The Four-Day Win by Martha Beck. Always on the lookout for a life-changer, I rushed out to the bookstore that day and bought it. (Along with a couple more cookbooks to feed my addiction.) I took it to bed with me that night and started reading.

I laughed at the first chapter title: “Why are you so Damn Fat?” On page two, I had an epiphany. (On page TWO!) “Bottom line: eating is a deliberate behavior, however compelling.” My eyes got big and I dropped the book. I might have cried a little bit.

It’s true. Not matter how many times I’ve thought that I have no control over what I eat, I do. I have to make a conscious decision about putting the food in my mouth, chewing it up, and swallowing it. It isn’t like breathing or blinking. It’s something my brain has to okay before I can do it. So, why did it take a book to tell me that?

Chapter Five starts out with an explanation of “The Polar Bear Effect.” The reader is challenged to think of anything she wants to for the next ten seconds as long as it has absolutely nothing to do with polar bears. It’s impossible. The more you think about the foods you shouldn’t or can’t have, the more you will crave them.

The day after I read the chapter, we had a party at my office. I had offered to make dessert, thinking I could bring in some fruit or something else sensible that I could eat, too. I was told that cookies had already been purchased for the party, and imagine my dismay when I walked in that morning and discovered they were my absolute, all-time favorite cookies ever. I went into panic mode.

I thought about them all day. Oh. My. God. There are cookies in the break room. I LOVE those cookies. I haven’t had them in SO long…they are SO many points. If I have one or two, I’ll want more. I have to have those cookies. There are cookies in the break room. COOKIES in the break room.

Just before lunch, it hit me. Those damn cookies were my polar bear. I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about them if I kept telling myself I couldn’t have them. I took a few deep breaths and thought about what I should do. In the end, I decided I would have two cookies for 3 points. I ate them, enjoying every bite, and tracked my points. When they were gone, I flossed my teeth and popped some gum to get the flavor out of my mouth. The next morning, there was still an entire tray of those cookies left. Instead of being upset that they were still there, I was able to ignore them because I wasn’t still thinking about them and stressing over the fact that here cookies down the hall from my desk.

I feel empowered over food like I’ve never felt before. I am in control. I make the choices. And I can do this.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


No, not that kind of purging. While there have been times I wished I had the nerve to stick my finger down my throat and relieve myself of a heavy meal, I know I never could. In short, I don’t do puke—at all. It’s in my wedding vows. The Hubster promised to love, honor, kill spiders, and clean up all the vomit. (It was very romantic.)

I am talking about the purging of STUFF. Tangible things that take up space and create havoc in my tiny living quarters. This afternoon, I found myself sans children and decided to tackle a project I’ve been putting off for far too long.

My closet. (Cue scary, psycho, knife music here.)

I have really big closets. (We’ve discussed this before.) Two years later, my closet is still jam packed full of crap. It is not a walk-in closet anymore…it is a climb-in-and-pray-nothing-falls-on-you closet. In fact, when I got close to the bottom, I found a garbage bag half filled with trash…probably from the last time I attempted to clean the damn thing. I hate it.

Time to do something about it, then. This afternoon, I turned on the radio and got busy. I started with the floor, so I could reach the clothes. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was because there were a lot of empty boxes acting as “filler.” The Hubster seems to think we need to keep every box that comes through our door…shoe boxes, stereo boxes, shipping boxes…everything. Well, those babies went in a big pile right inside our front door so they would be the first thing he saw when he got home.

I moved his stuff—guitar stuff, tools, etc in a pile by his side of the bed so he could go through it in his own time just as soon as he walked in the door.

There was clothing on the floor…not on purpose (mostly) but errant from slipping off a hanger. I started trying on everything I could reach, and in the process, I learned a few things. Of course, I was compelled to share my new found wisdom here.

Don’t buy clothes that don’t fit. Period. Don’t think you’ll save time by not trying something on in the store because if it doesn’t fit, time is wasted going back to return it or, even worse, money is wasted when it sits in the closet for so long you pass that size. I found pants in my closet that still had tags on them because they were too small when I bought them. I thought I would keep them for when I lost a few pounds…but they’ve been buried for so long that they’re now too big for me. (I know, so sad. Go get a tissue. I’ll wait.)

Also, don’t buy clothes that don’t fit. Don’t buy that cute sweater a size smaller because they didn’t have in your size and it was such a steal, you had to have it. You don’t know how it’s going to look on you when you get there—if you remember you have it. (See above.) I had a cute, pink sweater I actually bought at a garage sale…probably two summers ago, thinking I would be able to wear it in a few more pounds. I never got there and it sat, taking up space in my closet. Now that it fits me, I don’t like it. It’s too short, the neck is cut funny, and it’s itchy. I put it in the donation bag.

Know your body. For example, I don’t buy turtlenecks. I don’t like stuff by my neck; I know I will never wear them; I do not buy them. Ever. Once in a while, I will find something cute with a cowl neck and try to talk myself into it…but I usually manage to avoid temptation by putting my hand around my throat for a second or two.

And, know your body. The ladies in my office are always freezing. They wear cute sweaters and rub their hands together and comment about how cold it is. One woman even knitted everyone shawls to ward off the chill. I am always fine. It is very rare that I am cold at work. While everyone else is sporting layers and running a space heater at their desk, I’m in short sleeves with my fan on, pulling my pant legs up under my desk. That said, why the hell do I own sweaters? Hey, Genius, don’t buy sweaters! You will never wear them because you know you’ll get hot so don’t buy them! No more sweaters.

Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold 'em. (Know when to walk away, know when to run...sorry. Couldn't help it.) Some things, I just have to hold on to. I told the Hubster he could ditch the suit he wore to our wedding, but I couldn’t bring myself to do the same with the maternity dress I wore. Age has stained it, though, so I decided to do something with the fabric. (I don’t know what yet, baby steps, people.) I also held on to the dress I’ve been saving for the last ten years now, hoping that one day, it will fit me again. I unzipped it today, but didn’t try it on. I was flying high off of all the clothes that were too big for me and didn’t want to bring myself down by squeezing into something I wasn’t ready for.

So, when all is said and (almost) done, I’ve got five bags full of clothes to donate-—plus two more I’ve already donated—and two bags full of garbage. I can see the floor in my closet now, and, while I’ve generated a few “side jobs”—like going through the box of old pictures I found in there, I’m feeling pretty happy with how much I accomplished today. Some of the clothes were hard to get rid of…shirts that I liked, pants that were comfortable…but it felt SO GOOD to try on so many things that just hung off of me. I focus on my trouble spots—my stomach that won’t seem to shrink, my calves, which are anything but sexy…but at the end of the day, my body is changing…so I must be doing something right.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stalked by Jillian Michaels, Part Two

Seriously? This is freaking me out.

Here is the post I started last night and saved as a draft before I scooted off to bed.

An Open Letter to Myself

Dear RC;

It’s Friday. Take the night off from exercising and do NOT feel bad about it. I know what you’re thinking. We already had a night off this week. We skipped Pump on Tuesday to babysit for the Mrs. C. We should run on the treadmill tonight. Maybe see how long we can go on the elliptical. Something? Anything.

No. No. NO. We will take the night off. Think about how great Saturday morning Turbo feels with fresh legs. We’ve worked hard this week. We’ve already got 7 hours in, looking at 2 more on Saturday. Hello?—9 hours in the gym is pretty damn good. Be proud of us and what we’ve already done this week. Don’t worry about doing MORE.

I was tired and not really doing a very good job at convincing myself--come on, just 20 minutes of Pilates? How about the PiYo video I haven't opened yet? Something? Anything. No!

Luckily, Jillian Michaels is looking out for me and I got this in my inbox this morning.

From: Losing It With Jillian Michaels
To: Me

Date: Friday, October 16, 2009 at 4:34 AM
Subject: Prop Those Feet Up--Take Time Tonight For You

Pamper Yourself

You've been working hard lately, and now it's time to take a little pampering break. That's right, guys: I want you to take a break from your life! Forget about whatever it is you think you have to do and give yourself some TLC. To hell with the laundry, the dishes, the accounting, the errands, and even the Internet! Turn your cell phone off and try these tips tonight:

Soak in a tub. Nothing feels quite as decadent as a warm bath. Add some essential oils — such as lavender and rosemary — or organic bubble bath. Place some candles around the bathroom and then soak away the stress.

Take time out to read. Whether it's a book, your favorite magazine, or the newspaper, set yourself up in a quiet place and indulge yourself without interruption.

Make a pampering appointment. Get a new haircut, go for a manicure and pedicure, or get a professional shave at the barber's.

Go to a movie. Think you don't have time to catch the latest flick? Think again. This is your downtime, kiddo. Grab some air-popped popcorn — but hold the butter — and go Hollywood!

Sleep in. Seriously, it feels so great to just turn the alarm off before you hop into bed. Give yourself permission to sleep, sleep, sleep the morning away.

Enjoy it while you can — because tomorrow it's back to work!

I am still feeling a little anxious about planning to not exercise...but I am also feeling a little better about it, too. Funny what a well-timed mass email will do for me.

Happy Friday! I am taking the night off!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I tend to avoid things that I am uneasy about. If I think a patient will yell at me, I don’t want to call them back. If I’m worried about an email from an angry author, I won’t check my email for days. If I think I’ve gained weight, I avoid the scale at all costs.

Considering my addiction to the scale, it’s a pretty big deal for me to not weigh in every day. It’s me making a conscious decision not to step on that little machine that I usually rely on.

I have been avoiding the scale this week. My meeting on Sunday was fantastic, but I was disappointed that the 40 pound mark eluded me. (I weighed in at 39.8 pounds…it was all I could do not to shed all my clothing right there in the lobby and demand to be weighed again.)

I tracked my food on Sunday until we picked up pizza for dinner, and then I decided that I should get to have one meal a week that I don’t worry about points. (Not a whole cheat day, just one meal.) On Monday though, I helped myself to two pieces of apple cake with homemade caramel sauce. I’d left my tracker in the car and never got around to writing down what I ate that day. At home, I had a hankering for some onion dip…which I just happened to have ingredients for. Tuesday, I successfully evaded the cream cheese Danish screaming my name from the break room…however, I was starving when I got home and ate some leftover pizza while I cooked dinner…and then some chicken nuggets while I was babysitting Mrs. C’s clan…and then two pieces of garlic bread…and some hot chocolate…when I got home. Oops.

Today was tricky. I had the day off of work, which can often spell disaster for me. At work, I just bring healthy food and (generally) only eat what I bring. At home…well, I can make whatever I damn well want. (And I keep mostly healthy stuff around the house, but I like to bake… ’nuff said?) When I got up, I made a deal with myself that I would write down every bite I ate today…to keep me honest.

I did well, and only went over by 2 points. I also earned 30 activity points today, so I’m pretty sure I’m okay. Tomorrow morning, I will get on the scale. I know it will be fine. I know I am obsessing over it for no reason. I know that, overall, I make healthy choices, and that I’ve worked my ass off in the gym. (Like burning 2000 calories in the gym today? Yeah, I’m not so worried about those two points. It was a glass of milk, anyway. Not chocolate or something like that…Mmmmmm, chocolate. Oops.)

I know that the anxiety I’m feeling about weighing in after a few days is unfounded. I know…or I hope, at least, that I will be thrilled with the number I see when I step on the scale in the morning. I just have to remind myself that even if it’s not as low as the number I saw on Sunday, it’s not the same number I saw a month ago. It’s not anywhere close to the number I saw when I started this journey. Still, I know it won’t be the last time I use avoidance as a defense…it’s just something I do.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I am a well-endowed girl. Always have been. I never struggled with little-girly training bras or had that awkward does she/doesn’t she need one? stage. I went to bed flat-chested one night and woke up with C cups.

It was embarrassing when I was younger. I always had the biggest boobs of anyone in my class. In the middle of seventh grade, we moved from Indiana to Colorado…I’ll never forget that first gym class. My mom had oh-so-thoughtfully written my name across the front of my shirt. We were running in gym and a BOY ran up beside me and introduced himself. When I told him my name, he said, “I see that,” his head bobbing up and down with the writing on my shirt. I was mortified.

Once I started high school, things improved because most of the other girls finally had them, too. There were still problems…In choir my sophomore year, we had to wear tuxedo shirts. Um, hello? Girls are not made to wear tuxedo shirts. Shopping for prom dresses was a chore, too.

Ugh. Boobs. Women who don’t have them want them, but girls who have them know they’re more trouble than their worth.

Finding bras that fit has been next to impossible. I never wore the right size. I was spilling out all over the place…it was not pretty. Finally, I went to get measured and discovered what I hoped I wouldn’t. I was a 46G. Woah.

My chest accessories have long been a hazard in the gym. They often served as my excuse not to exercise, until I learned that double bagging it is the only way to go. Still, even under wraps, they regularly pose problems.

I was having trouble with triceps exercises during Body Pump one night and Turbo Jennie came over to assist me. She told me to keep my elbows closer to my ribs. “I can’t,” I whispered. “My boobs are too big.” Ha! Not a defense she would accept. During my birthday turbo round we were shaking it, and she yelled over the music, “Birthday Girl, put those things away!!!” During a Hip Hop class, we were dipping and shimmying and she looked over her shoulder and asked me, “You don’t even have to try, do you?” Ah, yes, my breasts are a frequent topic of conversation and cause for consternation.

Most recently—yesterday, to be more specific—I had a little trouble in PiYo. The class is an athletic offering of pilates and yoga and is guaranteed to get me sweaty and swearing. I love it and I hate it…it is HARD, but awesome and I am loving the changes I’ve seen in myself since I started taking it. Last week, we started a new round and Jennie demonstrated the shoulder stand.

I watched her with wide eyes, shaking my head, thinking to myself, I can’t do that. There’s no way. But I tried it (because she made me)…and I did it! I was amazed with myself and very excited. This week, I knew it was coming and I was ready for it. The first time, I executed it with no problems. The second time, however, was a little more difficult.

I was a little overzealous in getting my legs in the air and almost fell over. I managed to stabilize myself, but my knockers—defying two sports bras and two tank tops, but not, it seems, gravity—slid forward, into my face, smothering me. There were several seconds where I struggled to catch my breath as I actually choked on my own boobs. After I shoved everything back into place, I tried a repeat performance, but by then, I was giggling too much to hold the pose. (It did not help that a girl next to me fell over right after that. Jennie scolded us for having fun.) Of course, I had to share with her the reason for my laughter after class. Nothing like ending the night with a mouthful of mammary.

In the 20 years or so that my weight has been yo-yoing, I have very rarely lost in my chest…yet, it was always one of the first place I gained. So it seemed I just kept getting bigger. This time around was different. The weight loss was noticeable in my face, first…but then my boobs started shrinking.

In the last year, I’ve dropped about a million bra sizes. Okay, not a million, but it sure feels that way. (As Jennie pointed out, it just goes to show that they’re only fat. Sorry, boys.) Don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of boobs to go around. (I often offer them to other, “less fortunate” women. I only wish it was that easy.) I’m hoping that this is a good sign…another thing on my list that tells me that this time the last time I have to struggle with my weight.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. (No way, right?) Ladies, whatever size your jugs are, remember to do a self exam once a month, see a doctor for a breast screening once a year, and get a mammogram yearly after age 35 or 40, depending on risk factors. Also, visit this website daily and click to give free mammograms to women in need.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Just a Quick Note...


I just wanted to say thank you SO much to everyone for their support, kind words, and sweaty hugs over the last few days. I cannot even begin to explain how much it helps me to write out my thoughts and have a good cry over them...and of course, I'm always so compelled to share. I'm glad, seems that most of us have been there before, and I thank you for sharing your stories and understanding. I have the greatest friends EVER.
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Monday, October 05, 2009

I've Been Here Before

I will always think of myself as a Fat Lady. In my head, I will always be the girl to whom boys didn’t pay any attention. The girl who cried in the dressing room every time she tried on clothes. The woman who couldn’t fit on the amusement park ride with her daughter. When I look at myself, I see me at 274 pounds. Granted, that was almost four years ago, but it’s the heaviest I’ve ever weighed in at. The heaviest I’ve ever been. The heaviest I’ll ever be.

I’ve gone up and down, and up and down…and up and down for years. For most of my life, really. Where I am now…I’ve weighed less. I’ve weighed more. I’ve been here before. My friend, KB, is worried about me. She thinks I’m becoming obsessed. Worried that I am giving myself an eating disorder. I fret over food, panic about portions, and struggle with the scale. To be honest, I’m a little anxious about it, myself.

I know that she’s right. I need to take a deep breath, take a step back, and stop agonizing over this weight loss thing. But I’m terrified of going back. I had to look back through the years and find out when I weighed in at 274. Was it two years ago? Was it four? Or was it yesterday? Will it be tomorrow because I ate too much tonight? She points out that I won’t be going back because of the lifestyle changes I’ve made with both food and exercise. But I’ve been here before. Over and over again. Up and down. And up and down. And every time…EVERY single time, I swear that this it. That I’m making changes for good. Over and over again, I made myself that promise.

I want to believe that this—right now, right this second—that this is the time. That this is really, really it. No going back.

But what if it’s not?

I lost 3 pounds last week. Despite missing a few workouts. Despite overeating on a couple of occasions. Despite candy corn, Jimmy Johns, and chicken tacos, I lost 3 pounds, bringing my total to 37.4.

37.4 pounds! It's amazing and I am thrilled and proud of myself...

But I’ve been here before.