Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Here

Saturday morning, I got on my scale and was surprised at the number I saw there. It was exactly fifty pounds lower than my starting weight. I still had twenty-four hours to get through, so I tried not to be too excited about it. My day included two hours of exercise, some shopping with Little Sister, and a concert, after which my friends and I went out to a bar. They ordered appetizers. I had water with lemon. They were concerned I wasn’t eating, but I had eaten soup before the concert and I wasn’t really hungry. (Okay, when the spinach and artichoke dip, fried cheese, and buffalo wings came out, I got a little hungry.)

Plus, it was nearing midnight, and I kept thinking about something Leader Pam shared during my first meeting with her. “Think about how you will feel if you eat this. Think about how you will feel if you don’t eat it.” Usually, when I think about how I would feel if I ate it, the feelings are negative. It might be something that would make me sick—a number of things will do that to me…too greasy, too much sugar…it might keep me awake, it might make me smell bad…and I will always, always be upset with myself for eating it, especially when it turns out to be something I didn’t really want—something I could have lived without. I generally don’t get around to thinking how I would feel if don’t eat it, because by that time, I’ve usually decided not to eat it. With the appetizers, was no different. I knew I’d worked hard all week, and I didn’t want to blow my whole week by eating something so heavy nine hours before weigh in.

I came home and crawled into bed shortly after one in the morning. When my alarm went off a few hours later, I stumbled out of bed and packed my gym bag and some breakfast, grabbed my Weight Watchers stuff and headed off to my meeting. I was nervous about stepping on the scale, but I kept reminding myself that a loss was a loss, even if I didn’t hit that magic number.

Turns out, I didn’t need to worry.

Leader Pam was watching over Leader-in-training Lysa’s shoulder and she smiled at the number that popped up on her screen. “You had a great week.”

I was suspicious. “How great?”

Lysa gave me the good news. “Fifty pounds!”

I almost clawed my way over the counter and kissed her. I could not wipe the smile from my face. Fifty pounds. I grinned through the whole meeting and later met a couple of Turbo buddies for (what else?) some Turbo and lunch. In the car, I shared my good news.

They were both so sweet, and so excited for me. One of them asked how much more I want to lose. “I want to lose...” I hesitated, doing the math in my head. “Oh. I guess another fifty.”

“You’re halfway there!” She told me.

Halfway. Luckily, we were still in the parking lot so I wasn’t driving when I realized that she was right.

Have I ever made it this far before? I’ve weighed less than I do now, back in 2003, the first time I did South Beach, I weighed about 8 pounds less than I do now. But I didn’t feel this good. I didn’t look this good. And I never thought I could do it.

But I can. And it doesn’t matter how quickly or how slowly I got here. I’m here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Speechless...for once.

Something wonderful happened in a dressing room at the mall today. My mom and I were in the small room together. I was trying things on and she was hanging them up for me, a relief after the horrors of back-to-school shopping with my girls. One shirt had me on the fence…it was cute, flattering, and pretty colors, except for a big orange flower splashed right across my left boob.

I decided I couldn’t live with the bizarre foliage and took it off. I went to hang it up and my mom said, “Wait, I want to try that one on.”
Thinking she meant the shirt she had brought in the dressing room for herself, I continued hanging up the weird-orange-boob shirt. Then, I realized what she was saying. My mom wanted to try on the shirt I had just been wearing. It was like a dream come true. Really.

Turns out, neither one of us looked good with a weird, orange flower spattered across our bosoms, so we left the shirt in the "No" pile--in betweent the "Maybe--after I double check the price" and the "No way in hell" piles. The next shirt I tried on had big, billowy ruffles for sleeves and an unflattering elastic band that raised the Is-she-dressing-for-two? question. I was giddy as I took it off. “Here,” I told my mom. “Try this one.” We giggled over the ridiculous shirt while I held back tears and tried to contain my excitement. Trying on clothes in the dressing room with my mom without having to shop in a completely different department. Without even having to find different sizes.

I'm trying to come up with something clever that describes exactly how I felt when I realized I had obtained this goal...I almost wrote without even really trying, but the truth is I've been working my buns off. I've met other goals...Losing my first 10 pounds. 10% of my body weight. 20, 30, 40+ pounds. But this is a different kind of goal...And this is a rare occurence, so take note--I have no words.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Monday’s child is fair of face.
Tuesday’s child is full of grace.
Wednesday’s child is full of woe.
Thursday’s child has far to go.
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But a child who is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

I was not born on a Tuesday, something that is painfully obvious.

I took dance as a child, a pretty little blond girl in a pink tutu. It was not something I excelled in. Not something I stuck with. Maybe I should have. Maybe I would have learned the fundamentals needed to be more graceful…or at least gain the ability to put one foot in front of the other without running into something or hurting myself.

At the shoe store I worked at in high school, I was often falling victim to one trap or another. Running into hooks, tripping over boxes, falling into sock bins. I was hilarious. I even won a fake award for being “Most Graceful.”

My lovely daughter seems to have inherited her mother’s poise. (And, funnily enough, she was born on a Tuesday.) At her first dance recital—actually, her second, since she refused to dance the first time and we spent twenty minutes crying in the hallway instead—we could see the difference in the kids who were naturally good at dance, and the others who had to work at it. Little Sister fell into the latter category, preferring to stand in the middle of the gym floor, mouthing the words to the song instead of performing the carefully choreographed moves.

As I aged, (Aged? Really? Yes, like fine wine or good cheese.) I hoped I would be able to execute day-to-day moves with more elegance. But that’s not the way it works. I am constantly putting myself in harm’s way, however unintentional.

A month or so ago, I was distracted at the Y, trying to get to class on time, worrying about changing my shoes, and chatting with someone at the same time and I walked into the leg press machine, which was being used by a rather large, muscular man. He felt terrible, but truthfully, it was my own fault. I was bruised for weeks. Just last night, I tripped over my own feet in the studio. There's just no hiding that kind of grace.

This morning, in the shower, I found a bruise on the back of my leg. It’s fairly new, and when I saw it, I started laughing because I know exactly where it came from. Monday night, in PiYo, I managed to kick myself in the calf. I don’t remember what we were doing (or rather, what we were supposed to be doing, because I’m fairly certain it was not kicking ourselves) but I do remember my foot making contact with my leg and thinking I was going to end up with a bruise.

That right there? That takes talent.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"We’re not stopping until somebody pukes!”

It’s a favorite quote from Turbo Jennie.

Tonight, I was almost there.

Tonight, Turbo Kick was held in the sauna. Sixty-eight people showed up to kick it to Round 38. We were literally asses to elbows, crammed together in the studio. During the warm up, a woman near the wall had to stop herself from hitting the wall on her cross punch. Ouch! It was jammed-packed-crazy-full in there.

To make matters worse, the air wasn’t working. At least, I’m pretty sure the air wasn’t working. Maybe it just felt that way because of all the people? It was HOT! Within minutes, my skin was flushed and sweat dripped down my face. During a quick break, a turbo buddy asked, “Is it just me, or is it 800 degrees in here?”

“It’s really freaking hot,” I told her, eyeing her pregnant belly. “I don’t know HOW you’re doing this.”

There were lots of red cheeks tonight. Lots of sweat (and CALORIES!) on the floor. After the second turbo—a couple of minutes of high intensity burn, for those who aren’t schooled in the ways of Turbo Kick—I started feeling…weird.

It could have been the heat. Or the headache that’s been plaguing me all day. It could have been that I was already exhausted from Hip Hop and work and…life. I stopped a couple of times and got a drink of water, trying to breathe through it. But the people…and the music…and the moving…I had to get out. Had to.

Walking out of the studio was like that first step outside on a crisp fall morning. Getting out of a hot tub and rolling down a snow bank. A breath of fresh air after being trapped for hours. I stumbled my way across the weight floor and into the bathroom. I dry-heaved over the toilet, positive that I was about to revisit all of the healthy food choices I made today.

After a moment or two, I turned on the cold water in the sink and tried to cool myself off. From the bathroom, I could hear Jennie yelling over the music in the studio. On the fitness floor, people were peering into the crowded room, trying to see what was going on in there. I had to go back.

It was like getting into the car after it’s been parked in the hot sun all day. Reaching into the oven to read the meat thermometer. The stinging heat that burns your nostrils when you step into the sauna. It was hot.

I kept it fairly low impact and managed to make it through the finale and the rest of class. It was a killer, though…can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Gym Panties

This picture cracks me up every time I see it.

“Ugh, I am having some major underwear issues,” I told a pal during Turbo Kick tonight.

“I’m going to be honest with you,” she told me. “Sometimes, I just opt out.”

Good point, but my pants were thin material and I already felt like I was jumping around the studio half naked, so au natural was not an option for me tonight. (Um, or ever.)

I have certain pairs of underwear set aside for the gym. From time to time, I forget to pack “gym panties” and end up Pumping in pink lace. One night, in Hip Hop, I hitch-kicked and almost split myself in half. It was a giggle-fit that just could NOT be explained, followed by some very delicate minor surgery…and it’s hard to be discreet when one wall is completely covered in mirrors.

Recently, I’ve been on a mission for black gym underwear. Nothing fancy: just plain, black, cotton panties to wear under my gym pants, which also happen to be black. This way, when my too-big-for-me pants start to slip, I don’t have to worry about my underwear peeking out, because TA-DA! They’re the same color as my pants. Extremely clever, I know. Yes, I could buy new pants. But I didn’t think it would be too hard to find plain, black, cotton panties. But can I find them? No. No, I can’t. (Did I forget to say cheap? I meant to say cheap, too.)

During a trip to my local Walmart, I found a package of 3 pairs of black with 3 pairs of white. I considered it, until I checked the sizing measurements and realized they didn’t have my size. (Oh, and that felt good—the packages they had left of the black and whites were all too big for me!!!) I found another package with one black, one white, one gray. I figured that ONE pair of black gym panties was better than NO pairs, so I bought them. They are cute; cotton boy shorts, which I have bought before, but not to wear to the gym. I thought it would be okay. I was wrong.

This underwear is creepy. It creeps up, it creeps down…It creeps to places it just shouldn’t visit, and there is absolutely NO time during Turbo to put things back to where they should be…and really, what’s the point, because the next roundhouse, back kick, side push, or knee sends them right back into hiding. Seriously? My apologies to anyone I unintentionally mooned over the last few workouts. I’m working on it, I swear.

How about you? Do you do step class in satin? Karate commando? Turbo in a thong? (Okay, and no one will ever, EVER convince me that thongs are good, period. And hello? No one wants to see that thing poking out from under your pants. Ahem.) What’s your workout gear game plan when it comes to undergarments?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Pot Holes

I’ve been writing this in my head all day. I was going to title it Inviting Failure. But I haven’t failed. This is just a stall. A bump in the road. I will get past this and I will be okay.

I made a big mistake this week. I’ve been excited and anxious for today’s weigh-in because it marks my anniversary with Weight Watchers. It was Monday, November 3, 2008 that I joined. This is the longest I have ever made it on the program. This is the most I have ever lost on the program. This is the last time I will ever have to lose this weight. I am confident in that.

This week has been a rough one for me, food-wise. We had two parties at work, food left over from a board meeting, and yesterday, we went to KB’s house, where her husband is all but a gourmet chef and makes the most delicious food EVER. And, did I mention it was Halloween?

On Tuesday, I sampled the party fare, but did not stuff myself.
Wednesday…Wednesday is where I made my mistake. I was standing in front of the fridge, searching for something, anything to munch on, and I told the Hubster, “You know, I think I will just expect to gain this week.” Little Sister had been sick, and I had been at home with her. I always struggle with food when I am at home during the day—fajitas for breakfast and popcorn for lunch, meals for champions, right there. It was as if I had given myself permission to fail…not to fail, but to…to not succeed. And it was nice to not be anxious about the scale for a few days. It was nice to allow myself a treat and not agonize over the choices I made. However, those few days of peace were not worth the anguish I felt today.
On Thursday, I managed to avoid the cookies in the break room that rivaled the size of my head. I even talked myself out of seconds of a sandwich that I really wanted.
But on Friday…what happened on Friday? Sausage and cheese dip happened. And bagels. And candy. Candy happened on Friday. Mother Nature showed up and gave me another excuse to gain weight this week. (Um, did I just tell the whole world what they think I just told them? Yes, I did. I’m a girl. It happens. It’s one of the facts of life, even—no, not the TV show, but who’s singing the song right now? “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have the facts of life…the facts of life.” You’re welcome.)
Saturday, I rolled out of bed in time for Turbo Kick and Body Pump, and then went shopping, and it wasn’t until I arrived home around 2:00 that I realized I hadn’t eaten anything all day. I grabbed a sandwich, and then indulged that evening at KB’s house, and only snagged a few of Little Sister’s treats.

Still. I woke up this morning feeling lousy. Before I even stepped on the scale, I knew. I tried to tell myself that it was okay. That I’ve lost for the last 6 weeks, and I was bound to gain sooner or later. I reminded myself that I expected it, given permission, even. Then, I got to my meeting. Leader Pam weighed me in. “You’re up a little bit,” she told me. “Is everything going okay?” I explained work parties and gourmet food and Halloween, and yes, even the facts of life to her, and she smiled and said that life happens, and it’s okay not to be perfect all the time. Then she handed me my book. I was horrified at the number behind the plus sign. Tears sprang to my eyes and I looked back at her. “That is NOT a little bit.” She patted my hand and told me it was okay. I was not okay, though.

I stewed in the meeting, setting ridiculous goals for myself. (Cabbage soup all week? Working out 3-4 hours a day?) Afterwards, I cried in the car as I drove to the YMCA in Prior Lake, texting Turbo Sara that I needed a good butt kicking. Since I got there early, I ran on the treadmill, pushing myself, punishing myself, sweat flying everywhere. By the end of class, I was dripping, my heart pounding. But I felt better, too. I know that this is temporary. I know that I am not going back to where I was, and that I have the tools and the knowledge (and the support) to turn myself around right now, before it gets worse. Before I give up. Before I stop believing in myself.

While I’m unhappy with the gain I had this week, and anxious about what the holidays in the next two months will bring, I’m impressed with my attitude. (Okay, not my initial attitude, my I’ve-had-a-while-to-think-it-over attitude.) This is a major breakthrough, a key change for me. I won’t pout and feel sorry for myself and drown my woes in chocolate. I won’t push myself so hard, I lose hope. I will lean on people I know will support me and I will look to myself to make the choices I know are best for me.

That said, I’ve set some more realistic goals for myself. I will track my points every day. I have discovered that this really helps me. It makes a difference in my weight loss and I will do it. I will continue my regular workouts, which hasn’t been a problem, but I will push a little harder. Jump a little higher. Do a little MORE. I am starting a new Kettle bell class on Thursday, and I am a nervous, but excited for the change, too.

In January, when everyone and their mother joins Weight Watchers to help them with their New Year’s Resolutions, and the studios at the Y hit capacity with all the “tourists” who hang out for a few classes, never to be seen again, I will be there, smiling, encouraging, and making room for them. I will get through this. I will lose the weight. And I will succeed.

I know I have been remiss in my blogging of late. The A/C adapter on my laptop died and it’s a proprietary part, which means I have to shell out $70 to Dell or risk eBay to obtain a new one. Since funds are a little light right now, I’m putting off the purchase, which chains me, once again, to my desktop. Blogging is much more fun from my recliner.