Thursday, September 8, 2011

It really is working!

I am now 11.2lbs down from September 1st... 11.2 POUNDS........ I want to shout it to the rooftop. I can't believe how excited I am. How giddy and crazy happy. I really feel like this is going to work. Thank GOD it is going to work. That number represents more than 10% of the weight I intend to lose. My goal is to lose 106 pounds total. I would like to be 180 lbs.

It wasn't so long ago that I was scared and full of despair. I honestly believe that this is going to be my last true chance to lose weight and really lose it. I'm still relatively healthy. If I were to remain at my current weight, I don't think that would be true or possible! Already I'm having joint pain, especially in my knees. How much longer until Diabetes begins to rear it's ugly head? I have a much higher chance of having the disease, my father has it, his grandmother DIED from it. I don't want that to be me. I won't let it be me. At the same time I look at my mom and grandma, and I see the ravaging effects of arthritis. If I don't lose this weight now, before I'm 30, before my joints start to deteriorate, I could be like them. I don't want that, not for me and not for my baby! Eventually I'd like to have another baby someday, but I want to be healthy before I get pregnant, maybe that way it won't be as hard on my body. (I doubt it) Perhaps though, I'll do better afterward as well!

But enough doom and gloom! The numbers don't lie. I now weight 11.2 lbs less than I did 1 week ago. I couldn't be happier right now. I am well on my way to my goal. And I can see it just getting better and better from here on out!

At the same time, I have to keep this in the back of my mind, this diet is hard. The want to have something I shouldn't have right now is almost overwhelming at times, but I keep this mantra in running though my head.

 "It'll taste better a year from now at one of my Celebration Meals after I lose the weight!"

I just need to "give up" this one year of my life to be able to be in a place where I can enjoy times out with friends, and feel good about my self, and get myself to the point where my body doesn't hurt on a regular basis, where my weight and my breast size doesn't control me!

A few years back a group of my friends went with me to Dorney Park. We girls all had a total blast! But it was awkward on a few rides because of the chest bars getting in the way, a few times I had to sit in the Extra Wide seats. Next year, I think I'm going to get the girls together again, and we'll go again! And this time I won't have to mash my boobs through the bars to ride the rides I really LOVE! It would be a victory in my mind! And it will be all the sweeter because I will have acheived it in my own time and in conquoring the doubts in my mind. I CAN do this. I know I can.

And the results on my scale are telling me that I'm well on my way!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm Lovin' It

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been doing a lot of internal searching though, and I think I might be on the verge of finding some answers.

I’ve been seeing a therapist about my eating issues, and we’ve really been focusing on changing my “all or nothing” mindset. This is probably my Achilles heel. I’ve always been that person who gives 110% when it comes to some goal of mine…and then if I trip up or have a set-back, I figure that I’ll never reach that goal anyway…so I just give up.

Since I’m an imperfect human and am bound to screw up eventually, this mindset has obviously not worked for me.

Since one of my BIGGEST goals is to learn how to eat like a normal person (who does not obsess over food 16 waking hours of the day, who eats what’s good for her body 90% of the time and eats what isn’t—guilt free—the other 10%), I need to let go of this idea that there ARE screw ups.

This is a novel concept for me. I mean, yeah, we’ve all HEARD that it’s OK to treat yourself once in a while, and if we have a binge-fest we should just get right back on the horse that bucked us off, etc, etc, etc…but think about it: No matter what I eat, no matter how much I eat, I have not failed.

Seriously. Wrap your mind around that. There ARE no failures when it comes to food.

I’m finding that the more I focus on this—that there’s no possible way for me to fail, because “normal” eaters do not view eating in terms of success and failure—the more this yucky, disgusting, heavy burden is falling off of my shoulders.

Consider this:

Scenario one


You’ve had a rough day at work. You’re alarm didn’t go off this morning, you were late to work, your boss yelled at you for being late, you had to deal with idiotic co-workers all day, the coffee machine broke down over-night, and, well, generally, it’s just been the day from hell.

You get off of work and feel exhausted. There’s no way you’re going to cook something when you get home. As you’re driving, you spy the Golden Arches, and instantly you feel yourself start to salivate over thoughts of those heavenly French fries.

You pull up to the drive thru menu (because you’re WAAAAY too tired to get out of your car and walk 3 feet inside) and—in the name of comforting yourself—you order your favorite burger and two large orders of the heavenly fries. Somewhere in your mind you realize that this is a 1500-2000 calorie meal (even more if your pop isn’t diet), but damn, you’ve had a bad day and you just don’t give a rat’s ass right now. You pay for your meal, grab the bag and pull over somewhere to eat in the car so that those waiting at home don’t realize you’re having a pig-out fest.

As you lick your fingers after the last bite of burger and last heavenly fry is demolished, reality starts to set in. That calorie number you pushed aside earlier rears its gigantic head to mock you now. Suddenly you’re feeling self-conscious at the cars whizzing by you on the street. Can the drivers guess what you’re doing? You feel horrible about yourself. You failed by eating the food society says chubby people like you should never eat. You roll down your window and dump your trash in the street (waiting until there’s no cars in sight to witness this very un-pc gesture or—even worse—what restaurant the trash came from) so that no one who knows you can ever find the evidence and drive away.

Now, not only have you totally screwed up by porking out on a humongous load of salt and fat, but you also are one of those creepy litterbugs. You feel like absolute crap.

So, knowing that you only have a house full of “healthy” food, you swing in to the nearest super market and load up on cookies and chips and whatever else is going to “make you feel better.” You ignore the little bell of alarm that goes off in your head when the grocery bill comes to an obscene amount of money—you’ll just put it on your credit card and pay it off later.

You get home, shut yourself in your room, turn the tv on, and chow down.

Afterwards, as you stare at the empty packages, bags, and wrappers, you realize you have absolutely no discipline or self-control, you’re never going to succeed at your goals to lose weight and become a healthier person, your broke, in debt, and a litterbug…so you pull your self-pity a little bit closer to you and wait for the cycle to continue tomorrow.

Scenario two


You’ve had a rough day at work. You’re alarm didn’t go off this morning, you were late to work, your boss yelled at you for being late, you had to deal with idiotic co-workers all day, the coffee machine broke down over-night, and, well, generally, it’s just been the day from hell.

You get off of work and feel exhausted. There’s no way you’re going to cook something when you get home. As you’re driving, you spy the Golden Arches, and instantly you feel yourself start to salivate over thoughts of those heavenly French fries.

You pull up to the drive thru menu (because you’re WAAAAY too tired to get out of your car and walk 3 feet inside) and consider your options. You could have a buffalo chicken salad (spicy chicken sure sounds good), but you can’t quite get the thought of those heavenly fries out of your brain. So you order them. And your favorite burger to go along with them—it’s been a long time since you had your favorite burger. This is more than enough for supper.

You drive home and park your car and sit down at your dining room table with your bag of food. It looks good, it smells good, and you take your time eating it. Your spouse or kid or roommate walks into the dining room and sees your meal. You offer them some of your burger and fries, because you’re starting to get a little full.

After you’re done, you wad up your trash and put it in the garbage can where it belongs and you don’t give the meal another thought. You open the fridge and pull out some fruit and vegetables to prepare for tomorrow—along with a buffalo chicken salad.

So. Of the two scenarios, which one sounds more appealing? Which one sounds more sane?

McDonald’s happens. Doritos happen. Cookies happen. They’re a part of our culture and as such, you would pretty much have to be a hermit who doesn’t own a tv or radio or any sort of magazines to never be exposed to these “temptations” ever again.

So you’re left with two choices when the inevitable happens. You can indulge and then wallow in guilt and a sense of failure and doom, or you can indulge, guilt-free, enjoy it and move on.

I mean, really? Does it even SEEM like a “choice?”

I plan to delve a little deeper into these two scenarios tomorrow—do the old compare and contrast—so tune in!



















Friday, September 2, 2011

I can't believe, but It's true

I was going to post yesterday. Since it was day one of my new diet, but by the end of the night, just before I went to bed, I was so stunned by the results that I literally couldn't believe it! So I decided that if I weighed in today and got the same results then I would post, because then I could believe it.

I believe!!!

I believe that I am now 2.6 lbs lighter than I was before. Yeah, that's right. 2.6 lbs gone in 2 days. Now, I can and will accept that at least 1.5 lbs of that is excess water weight. but that's still leaving 1.1lbs removed via my diet.

Even more than that, I'm proud of myself. I spent today, pretty much the entire day, being tempted. and Boy oh boy do I mean tempted. We were at an event for hubby's unit. and they basically gave us a giant cookout. There were hotdogs, and cheeseburgers with the fixings, fritos and doritos and chocolate chip cookies and Pretzel factory soft pretzels. And I still did not give in. I stuck to it... and I was rewarded with that last .6 lbs, gone today!! I am so happy about that!! It literally feels like a Victory right now. It might be a small one.... but I proved 2 things to myself. I'm doing this, and it's working.... and I'll make it through the temptations and come out on the otherside. If I could do it today? I can do it tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that!!! So now I'm 2 days closer to my goal; 180lbs by the end of July, next year!!! I can totally do this!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Week to Go, The countdown begins

Well, I have one week to go till day one of my new diet and hopefully a brand new life! I'm starting to stock up on those food that I'll be eating once my diet starts, and I'm starting to makes shopping lists of the foods I'll need regularly (I'm very good at that sort of thing).

I'm really excited. For once going into something like this I feel like I have support! Real Support... and that maybe this time, I'll actually succeed!

Hugs everyone, and I can't wait to report back next week with my starting weight. And I think for the first week a daily update of how much weight I've lost!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Healing... finally and a little bit of fear.

All good things take time apparently.

Healing is one of those things. As of now, the wound is finally starting to close, it's still going to take a few more weeks, but as of now you can actually see where it's starting to grow back skin. and the wound is visually smaller as well.

I am so thankful.

I haven't started to my diet yet (I wanted to get the healing  happening first). And I'm still looking to make that happen for September 1st.

In the meantime though, my dear sweet hubby lugged my old stationary bike up to our bedroom (we have room up there, and I can watch TV and pedal at the same time.)

Somethings are as easy as riding a bike... some are not. Since my surgery I hadn't actually gone for a long walk. To be honest about it I was afraid to. The first few weeks I was in so much pain that walking for 2 or 3 miles just couldn't happen. But then there was this little voice in the back of my head telling me that it's been so long since I had really walked, I wouldn't be able to. That fear has kept me from really walking and going out. Why I have this fear I don't know. Maybe a bigger part was that I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to finish, and if that happened I'd be stuck.

Well, the day before yesterday that fear has been conquered! Thanks to my dear sweet friend, Tigerlady! She came to visit and walked with me (it felt good knowing that if I got stuck she could rescue me!) So we did it! 2.15 miles (round-trip) to the park and back with the baby. Done in 40 minutes! (with a break in between since the baby wanted to play on the playground). The only problem I had was with the last half a block.... the hill we live on is so steep, but I still did it! I did notice that I had slightly more trouble breathing than I normally do. But it wasn't to totally bad, I made it, and I'm not afraid of the walk anymore!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Frustration and regrets.... almost

   The past week has been the most frustrating I've had in a long long....LONG time. The healing process has come to almost a standstill and it's NOT good.

    I currently am fighting an infection in the incision on my right breast. It is NASTY. Weepy, pussing, bleeding and crusty are all appropriate adjectives. And I could cry.

    What did I get myself into? The thoughts keep running in my mind, how bad is this going to scar now? My left side is doing pretty darn well, I no longer need any sort of bandages and only need to apply some cocoa butter and lotion daily to minimize scaring.

     What I see on my right scares me, the area affected is as big as my hand. It runs the length of the incision and at it's widest part is probably about 5 inches of affected area. What basically happened was that there was the incision was already compromised, but to prevent the body from closing up around the non-absorba stitches he had to remove them, since then the incision has pulled apart.

     So now I'm back on restrictions. I'm not supposed to be reaching above my head (I wish) or lifting my daughter or anything other than sitting, and resting and sleeping and healing. But this is the real world.

    The whole thing scares me, I mean there has been no visible difference in the past 2 weeks. And I keep wondering, how long is this going to take? How long till I can get back to normal? It is so frustrating! Did I go through all of this to spend the next how many weeks attempting to stave off infection? only to be left with some huge disfiguring scar? God I hope not.

    And I am so worried that I will.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Mad Dog Is a Bad Dog

As I previously mentioned, my goal is to just make it a habit of GOING to the gym every night (I'm starting out slow, with 3 nights a week...but I eventually want to make it up to 5+...btw…haven’t decided yet what to do about weekends since various plans make weekends hard to stick to a set “appointment”) at around 7:30. DVR is set, shoes are ready by the door, water bottle is full of icy cold goodness…and it’s off to the races!

So…step one of getting out the door and dragging my butt TO the gym is in progress. What about step two, though? What do I do when I actually GET to the gym?

Assuming we’re talking about a night where I DON’T sit on my behind in the lobby and actually opt to DO something…I’ve given this a lot of thought. In the past, I’ve always had this mind-set that I have to work out very intensely for a very lengthy period of time in order to see any results. This is probably true to some extent. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t push your body, you’re kind of cheating yourself. I do NOT see how a person can get their backside in shape without breaking a sweat. But that’s a post for another day. The point of TODAY’S post is that I’ve had an epiphany.

The problem with pushing one’s self like a crazy berserker is burn out. Every time—EVERY TIME—I’ve vowed to get off my patootie and get into shape, I’ve attacked the exercise portion of things like a rabid dog. Gazillions of laps around the track. Hours on the boring-as-hell elliptical machine. Gallons and gallons of sweat lost. Pretty soon the self righteous pride I feel for pushing myself so hard turns into this icky dread of having to torture my body like that during the next workout. You see, the teeny tiny bit of progress (aka stepping on the scale buck naked, with an empty bladder, AFTER I’ve spent three hours sweating like a pig at Ribfest) I see between rabid dog phase and burn out phase is NOT enough to keep the momentum going. The fact that I’ve gone all sadistic on my body and cannot INSTANTLY get fit pisses me off and I get frustrated and run to the nearest available store that carries Crunchy Cheetos.

So, I’m trying something different this time around as far as exercise routines go. As much as it feels WRONG to do this, I’ve told myself that it’s OK to go to the gym and only “torture” my body for a half hour. Right now the focus need not be on getting insta-skinny but on building a habit of consistently working out. We’ve all heard this truth millions and millions of times—that we need to start off slow and build a habit that we can sustain for life in order to beat the battle of the bulge. I’ve always thought that was nonsense.

But the thing is, what I HAVE been doing (rabid dog) hasn’t worked for me. So I’m going to start slow. This week it’s going to be 30 minutes. Next week it’s going to be 31 minutes. The week after that it’s going to be 32 minutes. And so on and so forth. If I do 31 minutes on the torturous elliptical machine and STILL feel like doing something else (like walking)…I can. No problem. But I don’t HAVE to. ALL I HAVE to do right now is be consistent with going to the gym. All I HAVE to do when I choose to work out is 30 or 31 or 32 etc. minutes. Everything else is optional at this point.

The goal is to work myself up to an hour a day. (Eventually I’d like to start lifting weights too, but I’m going to let that be a little ways down the road for now.) At an hour a day of consistent exercise, with consistent good eating habits, I will be rocking the weight loss. And I’ll get there. It’s hard for me to not rush ahead and try to be “there” right now…but I just keep reminding myself of what HASN’T worked in the past. And I’m reminding myself that the ultimate goal is to make this whole thing a habit, a lifestyle change. Pin up girls take care of their bodies on a consistent basis. And while it seems insane to be going too “easy” on myself, I need to remember that ANY sort of consistent exercise is WAY more than I HAVE been doing…and it IS going to benefit me and my body in great ways!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Minor Set Back and final dates

3 Steps forward, and one step back.

That's about where I am right now. It seems I have a slight infection in my incision, which while not earth shattering or dangerous will probably set back my total recovery time for an extra week or two. The pain right now I'd put at about a level 2 or 3 (out of 10) most of the time, with an occasional bump up to a 6 or a 7 when I whap something... or it just decides to go poof, hurt now!! (the nerves are slowly rebuilding and reconnecting themselves, so I get twitchy sometimes, and it isn't comfortable when it does)

But with everything healing and happening now. (and the fact that it hurts to walk long distances right now since I still "bounce" a little). I have set a date to start my diet as September 1st. I like that date, it's a nice round number (hehe yeah I know) but it's a great starting point and someplace I can say HERE WAS WHERE I BEGAN!!

It has a nice ring to it... my new life begins on September 1st. so come that Thursday morning, I'll log into Dukan's website and enter my information and get my "true goal weight" and how long it should take me to get there! I'll also put that info into my Sparkpeople.com page and set up my tracker ticker tape and everything... it'll be awesome! and now I can't wait for September!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: How to Be a Pin Up Model



I don't know about some of you, but I've never had the knack for being a girly-girl. It's not that I don't want to look pretty or look my best. It's that I've always been sort of clueless about HOW to make that happen.


I always used to envy those girls who just seemed to "get" it. You'd spend 50 minutes grunting and groaning and sweating like a football player during your freshman gym class, and "those" girls would emerge without a hair out of place, makeup flawless. It's ridiculous.


Point is...I'm pushing 30 and, while I've KIND of mastered the makeup thing (I'm a "less is more" kind of girl), I basically throw my hair in a pony tail every day because trying to get it to do something cool is pretty much hopeless. SO...can't master a modern hairdo...how in the HELL am I supposed to transform myself into a pin up girl, with all those complicated hairstyles and that extremely glamorous makeup?


This is the answer. I bought this movie on a lark. I figured it might be interesting. And it was.


It's divided up into three parts: hair, makeup, and modeling. I'm not interested in the last part--at least, not at this point. But the hair and makeup was a lifesaver. You want to know the secret to getting a great cat-eye? How about the art of pasting on fake eyelashes? Did you know that there's a reason your hair always goes flat with curling irons and hot rollers??


It's not an extremely long movie, but it's concise and to-the-point. Most of all, it is amazingly inspirational, and a great guide to those who are as lost and hopeless as me in the girly-girl department!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Step one down.... so many more to go!


Hellz Yeah!!
      OMG yeah.... Look at that Picture. That's me, looking NORMAL!

   I'm now 12 days Post operative. That's 12 days since I lost about 7 lbs of breast. Let me repeat that.... 7 pounds of BOOB! Gone... no more... bye bye.... see ya.

   Wow is there a difference. Already, the little ruts on my shoulder are starting to go away, my arms aren't going numb on a regular basis they way they were before. I haven't had a backache, or a major neckache since the surgery (I will cop to a couple of mornings of stiff neck, but that's more from sleeping on my back and slipping partway off the pillows while sleeping)

    I will also fess up. I'm still sore and bruised and occasionally freak out about the fact that there is less than half the boobs there was before. But it's a whole lot more of happy feelings than negative ones. And the negatives is mostly the pain talking.

    I have gone from a figurative N cup to a D cup. Lets put that in perspective I lost 10 inches of breast. 10 inches! that's almost a foot! (how scary is that, my breasts were just that damn big).... don't believe me... how about some side by side photos!


12 hours Pre Operative

12 Days Post Op, same shirt
 
Yeah, Check that out. In the first picture my breasts are past my elbows, now.... not at all! Heck yeah this rocks right now.



    I have now made it to the land of happy bra-dom. I can now walk into a Walmart or Target or... well, not quite a Victoria's Secret (I have the cup size, but need to loose like 8 inches for the band sizes). But now at least it's in the realm of possiblities. Hell it could happen.

     But I can't lose perspective right now. I still need to lose a lot of weight, but now it will be easier. I can walk and move around a whole lot better. So now I can start excercising better.

    Or rather I will, once I get the OK. At this point I still have stiches in, and it still hurts to move, and I still have swelling to deal with. Even with all of that, though, I am really happy where I am right now. Now I just need to heal. And learn to deal with the ugly incision marks, although eventually those can and should fade to the point I wouldn't notice them. But that's all still a ways off. I'll just be happy when the 6 weeks are up and I can go back to normal living (that should be about the time I get the OK to go back to my regularly scheduled activities. 4 weeks from Tuesday. And I'll be there!


12 Hours Pre Op

12 Days Post Op
  I love being able to look at these pictures... Look at how far apart they are. It still amazes me. I look and I still don't believe it. Then I look at the First picture, that one at the top, and the only though I have
HELLZ YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Entering...the Twilight Zone... *do do do do...do do do do...*

So I did this crazy thing tonight. I joined the gym...

When I went to the psychiatrist, she had some little tips for me as far as eating and exercising went. She suggested that I first and foremost eliminate all the junk food from my house. "But what if I have a craving for something?" I whined. "How do I stop myself from going out to the store and getting what I'm craving?"

She told me that I didn't. She said that the key was to not have the crap IN MY HOUSE. She said that if and when I'm craving something "bad" for me, I go to the store (if I can muster the energy) and I get the smallest size possible of whatever it is (can anyone say "fun size bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos???) and eat that BEFORE I go home. That's how I'm supposed to deal with cravings. She said that (1) this will allow me to never feel deprived...if I want something...I can have it...nothing is off limits (2) I'll have to REALLY want something to make the effort to leave my house and go to the store just for the itty bitty "fun" size of whatever it is I'm craving. (This doc just seemed to intuitively know how my lazy self works...)

So far I'm going in the right direction with this. This week I've had absolutely NO fast food. (Uh...I'm not going to count the pizza I ordered from Pizza Hut...not counting that...ok...that was bad of me...BUT...I only ordered ONE pizza to eat over the course of the week instead of my normal two! I'm making reductions!!) I have no junk food in my house (I ate the last of the Reeses Pieces I had stashed in my underwear drawer last Monday...), and when I went to Subway and wanted a chocolate chip cookie, I only got three of them (OK...I know the goal is to only get ONE...and I'm getting there. Seriously. I used to get a dozen at a time...no joke...)

So as far as food is concerned, I'm making progress. At the end of May, I was 302 lbs. No lie. This morning I weighed in at 289. Hell yeah! That's what I'm talking about!

So...I'm making strides in the food department. Today I decided to bite the bullet and implement the second half of my shrink's advice.

She suggested that I make it a habit to go to the gym everyday. "But what if I want to work out outside? What if I don't FEEL like working out that day?" This woman had answers.

She suggested that I pick a time--relatively the same time--every day and set an appointment for myself. This is the time that I designate for the gym. She said that I GO to the gym each and every day at that designated time. She said if I get there and feel like sitting on my butt in the lobby, no problem. The point is, I'm developing the habit of going to the gym on a regular basis. Her theory was that 9 times out of 10, once I GET to the gym, even if I didn't initally feel like working out, I'll probably convince myself to do SOMETHING by the time I get there. (Boy does this lady have my number...that's EXACTLY how I tend to roll...) And she stressed that if I get there and I seriously don't want to do anything, I can allow myself to do that...that's permitted. The objective is just to GO.

So I did that tonight. I polished off four (instead of eight) pieces of my naughty pizza) and felt a little sleepy. Honestly...was tempted to take a nap. But, I set my DVR to record MTV's "True Life" (didn't want to miss the "I'm a sugar baby" episode!!) and went to the gym. Once there...I signed myself up. With my employee discount and with incentive my insurance company gives (if you go 12 times a month they give you $20 back...) my montly gym membership comes to $2.81. Yes. You saw that correctly. $2.81.

Seriously. There's absolutly NO excuse for me not to do this. This is cheaper than a large order of McDonald's french fries...and I have a DVR at home so I will NOT miss out on my favorite shows...No excuse whatsoever.

I took my shrink's advice. I didn't really feel like working out tonight...it was a big enough step for me to just GO and get signed up. So all I did was walk around the facility and search out the sauna (disappointment: there's no designated semi-private sauna just for women...you'd have creeper guys watching you in it...so I probably won't be using that much...very sad...).

But I'm damn proud of myself. I'm on my way to a new and healthier life...each tiny little step, each smidgen of progress is a big fat deal (no pun intended)!






Sunday, July 3, 2011

30 Hours and Counting.... plus Dukan

30 hours to go till my life changes.

In 30 hours I will be sitting in a surgical center waiting for a double reduction mammaplasty. A fancy way of saying my breasts will be getting smaller.

I am scared and nervous and excited and happy! I want to cry and I want to shout for joy... pretty much at the same time. I can't wait to see what I look like, and how much I weight will I lose, and how small will I really be.

I want to be able to walk into a normal store and buy a normal sized bra. I can't wait to try it!


On another note:

A certain someone keeps asking me what the Dukan diet is all about. I'm going to give a basic explanation, these directions are not meant to replace the book (DISCLAIMER). And if you're really interested and it sounds like something for you please please actually get the book and read it. The book is only about 250 pages, and that includes the recipes. It's a pretty easy read.

OK so here it goes...

The Dukan Diet consists of 4 phases, The Attack Phase, The Cruise Phase, The Cconsolidation Phase and the Stabilization Phase. It is a "diet" that you pretty much follow for the rest of your life. However, you start out strict, but by the time the Stabilization phase comes around you can pretty much eat whatever you want.

The Attack Phase-
   The Pure Protein Diet - expect to lose 1-2 lbs PER DAY!
   Lasts for 1-10 days, depending on how much weight overall you are looking to lose (usually between 4 and 7 days for most people)
   Your diet consists of pure LEAN PROTEIN (Lean meats, Organ meats, Fish, Shellfish, Poultry {except water fowl}, low fat Ham {minus the rind, smoke turkey and chicken}, Eggs, vegetable proteins {certain types of soy}, Non-fat Dairy Products). You also need to add in 1.5 Quarts of Water per day and 1.5 tablespoons of Oat Bran.
    You can eat as often as you like, as much as you like.
     Don't Skip Meals.
     Drink when you eat.
     You must walk for 20 minutes per day (and walking in the house counts!)
     Anything not on the list is strictly forbidden, this means carbs, fat, fruits and vegetables (if you are worried about vitamins and minerals you can take a multi-vitamin)
     And this is unlimited so you can have as much of the approved foods as you want!

The Cruise Phase-
     The Alternating Protein Diet. Expect to lose 1-2lbs per week.
     Everything that was allowed in the Attack phase is still allowed, with unlimited quantity.
     You will begin to alternate days of Pure Protein (the attack phase) with days of Proteins and Approved Vegetables.
      Those vegetables that are allowed, are NOT restricted in quantity or combination, raw or cooked.
       Vegetables that are forbidden: potatoes, corn, fresh or dried peas, beans and lentils, Avocado (really it's a super fatty fruit, but some people consider it a vegetable anyway)
      No Grains allowed (Rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, millet, etc)
      (included in the book are several recipes for dressings and marinades that are super super low fat or non-fat that are allowed)
      Oat Bran is increased to 2 tablespoons per day
       Exercise is increased to 30 minutes of walking per day (at any plateau, increase to 60 minutes)
       Follow this Phase for as long as it takes you to reach your "TRUE WEIGHT" (for more info on that check out Dukan's official website with the True Weight Calculator)
     
The Consolidation Phase
     The Transition Diet. You won't be losing weight, instead, you will maintain the weight loss you have already achieved.
      This diet lasts for 5 days for every pound you have lost (the idea is to get you body "used" to it's new weight so it doesn't try to hoard calories as much, see book for better explanation)
      First- Split your transition days in half (if you lost 40lbs, that's 200 days or a little over 6 months, so the first half is 100 days)
      You can have:
          All the Proteins from Attack phase.
          All the Vegetables from Cruise Phase.
          1 serving of fresh fruit per day (except bananas, grapes or cherries)
          2 slices pf 100% Whole Grain Bread per day
          1.5 oz of cheese per day
          2 Servings of Starchy food per week (for the first half of the phase only 1, second half 2)
          Lamb, roast Pork and ham, once or twice a week (depending on what half you're in)

Also:
    2 Celebration Meals per Week (basically any foods you choose BUT NO BINGEING.) 1 Celebration Meal per week for the 1st half of the phase, then up to 2 the second. And NO BACK TO BACK meals.

And Absolutely and without fail: 1 day of Pure Proteins (attack phase rules) per week, the SAME DAY every week.

The Stabilization Phase-
      Welcome to the rest of your life (but in a good way, in a totally new body!!). You should be maintaining your True Weight without dietary restrictions except for 1 day per week.
      Eat normally 6 days out of 7.
      That one day of the week is Protein Thursday (or whichever day works for best for you, provided it's the SAME DAY EVERY WEEK).
      Protein Thursday is a pure protein day, however! you will add in more water, 2 quarts. But certain of the meats have been changed (the idea is to get the absolute leanest meats, so some that were normally allowed in attack and cruise phase are out because they still have too much fat.)
     Eat 3 Tablespoons of Oat Bran a day.
     Never take escalators or elevators (unless it's more than 5 flights up, in which case walk the first 5, then relax the rest)

What that really boils down too, is once you do all the hard work to get down to your true weight it's only really 3 simple things (or rules) that allow you to maintain your weight loss over time.
1. Protein Thursdays
2. 3 tablespoons of Oat Bran a day (oh and there is a delicious recipe for a non-fat Oat Bran Galette, basically a pancake of sorts, that works as bread for a sandwich or a breakfast treat)
3. No escalators or elevators.

There are also further chapters dealing with things like major obesity, menopause, losing while quiting smoking, what to do if you hit a plateau... that sort of thing.

My plan is that as soon as I get the OK from the Doctor that I can start it (probably a month) then I will be kicking butt on the Dukan Diet!

    

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Broken
































So today was kind of a crummy day for me. My guy and I broke up. It was a long distance relationship and he seemed to think we were wasting our time.


So I'm kinda heartbroken right now. As in, a lot. A small part of me is glad that this happened before I wasted even MORE time loving someone who didn't love me back enough...but mostly I feel like this just bites the big one.


Normally, I'd stuff myself to oblivion at a time like this to try to "numb" the pain. I had to go to the grocery store tonight to pick up food for my cat. And I walked out of there with only a pack of gum for "me."


I was damn proud of myself, let me tell you.


It seems like every time life has handed me lemons I cope by eating...thereby getting fatter, and getting just more and more depressed. I don't want to cope with this heartache that way, though. I HAVE learned that drugging myself with food only leads to MORE heartache in the end...so tempted as I am to do it again...I have to resist.


I'm becoming more and more convinced that I have some sort of food addiction eating disorder, and pandering to that at a time like this is absoulutely the wrong move--my gut instinct is SURE of that. I need to find some OTHER way to numb the pain this time. Some healthy, CONSTRUCTIVE way to cope.


Exercise kind of seems like the logical choice.


Cuz, see...as heartbroken as I am...there are other fish in the sea. I know that in my brain. Right now, my heart isn't so convinced of it...but my brain is telling me to give it time, and my heart will catch up. And when it does, I want to be ready. I want to feel absolutely kick-ass about myself. I want to feel the best I've ever felt, and look the best I've ever looked. And I want to be able to hold my head up with pride knowing that I got over THIS without drugging myself with food.


I will not break.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shrink

I went to a psychiatrist on Monday for the first time in my life. It wasn’t a pleasant experience by any means, but I think I had a little bit of a breakthrough.

Some background: I’m a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I did one tour in Iraq during 2003-2004. I was a fueler for a heavy equipment unit (that operated things like dozers, scrapers, road graders, etc), so basically I drove around a gigantic fuel truck (aka the “Bomb on Wheels”) for the year that I was over there. I was fortunate and didn’t actually have to kill anyone while I was over there, but I had a couple of near-death experiences. It was a stressful time in my life, to say the least.

After I got home, I had a hard time adjusting, and finally, after a few years of crying every day for no reason, gaining a huge amount of weight, not being motivated to go to class (or to do anything other than pretty much sit in front of the tv), being antisocial, sleeping large chunks of the day away, etc, etc, my mom convinced me to go see a counselor. The counselor referred me to a nurse practitioner who said I had post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

So they drugged me up. And it made things a little better. For a while.

Then the medicine I was on stopped working. And I spiraled back to the deep, dark hole I was trying to escape from. I tried a different place. I saw a psychologist. All she did was talk about herself. Stopped going there almost immediately. So then I tried the VA. I’m not going to get into this except to state that it was an unpleasant experience, and was NOT helpful.

Fast forward to April of 2010. I was just kind of “existing.” I was KIND of managing life…but not really. And I definitely wasn’t LIVING life. So I went in to a plain old family practice physician’s assistant and told her that I wanted to get this fixed. I told her that if we could find a medication to take away the nightmares, the depression, I would be willing to be on that for the rest of my life if need be…but I couldn’t go on living my life the way it was—in the deep, dark hole.

That physician’s assistant was awesome. She recommended a medication called effexor that has really turned my life around. Before, I had been functioning at about 10%. Maybe. Today, a year later, I’d say I’m probably functioning at about 70%. This is awesome, but for me, it’s not good enough. I want to be functioning at 100%.

So I went in to see a psychiatrist on Monday. I started a job and moved to a different city this past year, so that physician’s assistant isn’t available anymore to manage my effexor. The doc I saw for my annual physical didn’t feel comfortable managing effexor because she wasn’t very familiar with it (and it’s an antidepressant that’s actually addicting…so managing it well is important…), so she recommended I get established with a psychiatrist.

I was pretty nervous about going, to be honest. I actually procrastinated several months before making the appointment. What can I say? It’s not always really fun sharing some extremely personal details of your life with a stranger. But I’m to the point where I want to be ME again, and I’m willing to go through a little bit of pain to make that happen if need be.

I ended up being super impressed with the psychiatrist. She explained to me that there are three different categories of antidepressants. Each of those categories of antidepressant treats a different part of the brain. She said that people who suffer from depression frequently need more than one medication, (from the different categories) to bring them up to 100%. The effexor that has been helping me falls into one of those categories. But since I’m still not totally up to snuff, she said she thought I would benefit from trying one in another category in addition to continuing with my effexor. I’m game for that.

We talked a lot about my weight issues as well in this session. The new antidepressant the shrink prescribed for me is supposed to help reduce appetite. She said that a lot of my weight issues are a result of the depression, and if we can get that depression to go in to remission, those issues should disappear. But we also talked about how I’ve had certain eating issues since childhood. Those aren’t likely to resolve themselves with medication. I’m going to have to do therapy to get rid of those. So I’ve agreed to be referred to therapy.

What kind of therapy? I don’t know yet. The psychiatrist was going to find out what’s available in my neck of the woods, and someone will be contacting me. More than likely, though, it will be some sort of addictions therapy, because I think I have an addictive personality--I have never had a “normal” relationship with food, and I could probably benefit a lot from that type of therapy. (I used to drink a lot...but that's a story for another day...)

I need to learn how to eat to live, not live to eat. It's going to be an uphill battle I think. Part of the big struggle here is that a person HAS to eat. I obviously just can't quit food cold turkey. So I have to develop some sort of game plan about how to change how I view food.

It's a little scary. I only really know of "one" way to eat. The comfort foods. The crap. The thought of having vegetables be the main course for a meal just seems...wrong. And uncomfortable. It goes against everything I "know."

Clearly the first step is reprogramming my brain. So bring on the shrink!

Where I am now and where I'm going....

I weight 287 pounds. That is where I am.

Where I'm going isn't quite as easy to pin down.

I hate being this overweight, and at the same time I am quite comfortable with my body. Does that even make sense? On one hand I dislike how big I am, how much I weigh and how easy it is that I am frustrated with my body. On the other hand there's that part of me just screaming to accept it, this is my life and just move on.

How does one get out of the mindset that this is where my body is and I'm stuck with it. I've been this heavy since my thyroid first went crazy (back in 2007). When I was married on St Pat's Day I weighed about 230 pounds, give or take a couple. And while I still felt big, I didn't feel ugly or gross. Not the way I do now.

Since then I've gone through a pregnancy and finally this year am too the point that my thyroid levels are back to normal, I even had blood tests just this week to confirm it!

But looking back it's fairly easy to see what went wrong and how....

   I was always overweight to begin with. When my thyroid went hyper my metabolism became very screwed up. I was up and down and up and down. And worst of all my appetite was all over the map! I could literally sit down at a Thanksgiving meal, eat 2 full plates of food and 20 minutes later my stomach would be signalling my brain "hey where's food, you're still hungry." Any sort of appetite control I had was gone. Even with it gone I was still not making the right decisions. Instead of watching what I was eating and how much, I just let everything go... and boom I put on upwards of 50 lbs on in less than a year.

Things were still out of whack when I got pregnant in 2009. Oddly though... things got better then. A lovely combination of severe morning sickness and a hyper-awareness of what I was putting in my mouth (mostly the morning sickness though) led to the loss of right around 50 pounds total. So that the week after I gave birth I actually only weight 232 lbs. I looked good though. In this picture, taken right around New Year's that year, I felt pretty good (even with the lack of sleep!) I was a size 18 for the first time since before college. And that's an 18 without the spandex or stretchy stuff!

More important though, I was learning some new and important things about me and my body.

1) I can walk! For a girl with severe asthma, who at times has been terrified of leaving the house, being able to walk 5 or 6 miles is incredible! But I can do that. I can even do that pushing a 20lb baby in a 10lb carriage.
2) I ENJOY walking.... especially if it has a purpose. I had fun walking, especially around the little town I live in. It's nice, the people are nice, the scenery is pretty. But even better is walking 3.5miles there and back again to go by the bank and then the grocery store! Or just as fun, putting in 5k (that's 10laps) at the mall with a friend that I met through Spark. It's always better when you don't feel lazy about what you're doing.
3) I've gotten pretty good at keeping track of what goes in my body. Whether it has been actually counting how many ounces of water, or measuring out cup of carrots or 3 ounces of chicken. I can and will use those scales and measuring cups. And it doesn't even take that long.
4) 3 ounces of chicken, or beef, or pork is not nearly as big as pretty much everyone seems to imagine it to be. It's usually closer to being 1.3 of a chicken breast, or about half a handful of ground beef. And wow is that important to know!
5) While I'm good at writing it down and keeping track, I'm downright awful at coming up with "balanced meals" on my own. Give me a strict diet plan, or meal plan, I'm all over that! But just throwing myself into the abyss leads me to usually go for the comfort foods (baked chicken, with stove top stuffing, mashed potatoes and a biscuit on the side... and usually some form of green veggie but in no way is it actually balanced!)

   Knowing these truths though are important. They give me the starting off place. So here it goes....

Where I am: 287 pounds, at which I'm not all that happy with, I'm comfortable here, but it's neither healthy or my ideal.

Where I'm going:
My immediate goal is to get back under 250lbs as soon as I can.
My intermediate goal is to get under 200lbs.
My final goal: I will never be 110 lbs, but I don't have to be that tiny to be happy or healthy. So rather than follow what the BMI calculators seem to think I should be at, I'd rather go for a goal that is both achievable, and maintainable.... so I'd like to eventually be between 170 and 180 lbs.

Now, goals are great. They tell you where you want to be. But it's all moot unless you have a road map to get there. (this is a journey after all) So I have a few directions or mile markers that should help me get there.

The first is to get that breast reduction done! Being able to breathe easier and hurt less will go a long way to getting myself physically fit.

Exercises at least 5 days week, even if it's only for 20 minutes a day of walking. Actually, that is really my ideal, to be walking at least 20-40 minutes a day or more.

Get on a diet regime that I can enjoy and stick with. Right now, my best chance to do this will be the Dukan diet (I've already discussed this with my Doctor and she's all for it!) So as soon as I get the go ahead post-operative, I will be starting there.

Most important of all, don't be afraid to ask for help! I have a tendency to bottle things up and get easily frustrated, or give in to something (like chocolate and Coke) without asking someone to help me out here. So I plan on using this blog as a lifeline of sorts, along with my friends to keep myself on the straight and and narrow.

If all goes well those 4 things will get me where I really need to be!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Big Fat Goalie, Continued...

So I’ve spend some time this weekend thinking about how to reach my ultimate goal of getting back into shape again. To be quite honest, I’ve contemplated all of these “extreme” ideas such as eating an “all fruit” diet. Or exercising 5 hours a day. Something to just make the weight magically disappear.

I have to admit, it’s tempting. I’d love to be able to get rid of 20 lbs per month.

But I don’t think such extreme measures are healthy or sustainable over the rest of my life.

So what I’m going to do instead is start with the little, more manageable things and let the chips fall where they may (I’m hoping all the chips will end up in the trash…no more Doritos for me!)

Normally I’d use “breakfast” as an excuse to pump myself full of sugar. Can anyone say “Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Poptarts?” But here’s the thing. I want to look like a pinup girl. I want to emphasize those healthy curves and to get rid of my excess fat. I seriously doubt pinup girls eat Poptarts. They’re sooooo full of processed ingredients, evil toxins. And let’s face it. You eat one, and then 20 minutes later, you’re starving so you eat another one, and on and on the vicious cycle continues. Until pretty soon, you’ve eaten the whole freaking box and lunch is still an hour and a half away. How unsexy is that? “Hey Baby, wanna come share some evil, processed junk with me? Whoops, looks like I made like Miss Piggy and already ate them all…maybe next time, Sugar.” Oh yes. The guys would just be drooling at the thought, wouldn’t they? (Not at you…you’re Miss Piggy…no, they’re drooling at the thought of Poptarts. Seriously addicting, evil things….)

Because I want to be sexy, and because “sexy is, what sexy does,” I’m eating blueberries this morning. Yes, yes. I realize that we’re all having pictures of Violet Beauregarde and how she turned into a giant blueberry in the Wonka Factory…but she was just a nasty girl from the get-go...NOT sexy.



Real blueberries—unlike Wonka blueberry gum--are nature’s own beauty complex. www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8 All sorts of stuff in these little bad boys that are good for making a pinup girl.


Basically, the point is, I need to be changing what I’m eating. I have a secret confession. It’s horrible to say, and I don’t want to admit it. But I’ve been eating WAAAAYYYYY too much fast food. I’ve been going through the drive through at lunch at least a couple of times a week since I started a new job last August. And then I act like I can’t figure out why I feel gross and unhealthy and why I am not losing any weight.


The fast food has almost become like an addiction though. It’s one of those things where the thought of it, the smell of it, the first bite of it, is WAY better than reality. Because reality is that it makes me feel literally sick after I’ve eaten it. And it keeps me fat.


So. The first part of the plan is to eat stuff that’s good for my body, that will provide fuel for my body, like blueberries. The second part involves not eating crap. Such as McDonald’s.


I figure I’m going to need to break this process up into a series of mini-goals. Two mini-goals a week that I will focus on and build on as time goes by.


My first mini-goals is to not eat any fast food this week whatsoever. It doesn’t benefit me one single bit. In fact, it literally makes me feel like crap. So, that’s the first thing on the chopping block. And I don’t think it’s going to be an easy thing to cut out. I’m already salivating over the thought of a Frisco Burger for lunch. *sigh*


My second mini-goal is going to be to exercise each day this week. I need to be developing that routine again asap. I don’t have to exercise for a long duration…I just have to exercise, period.


What mini-changes can you incorporate into your life this week to set you on the road to becoming a pinup girl?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Next Step....

     I've been thinking a lot the past few days. Less about what I'm planning on doing, and more about how I'm going to go about it.
   
     I know what I need to do. Work on the two prongs of weight loss, exercise and eating, properly, a diet, however you'd like to phrase it. But when I think and look at those two points, I keep seeing where I screw up. I seem to never have a plan, or I go to the other extreme and over plan to the point of anal- rentiveness and either way I set myself up for failure.

    To begin with, I never really hold myself accountable. I say I do, I think I do... but really I don't. And for that I have no one to blame but myself. Things have changed though. I have a husband I love with all my heart and a beautiful little girl who is the other half of the center of my world. I am also now accountable to Miss Kitty and my other friends who are following this journey. I only hope to hell they hold my feet to the fire on this! Because I need this.

    So here's my deal, bug me, question me, quiz me..... and don't accept any excuses. I'll fight like hell because I hate change. Even as much as I know it needs to happen I despise it, and I need to be bodily thrown out of this rut I've managed to dig for myself.

    Now for the game plan:

      Phase 1: Figure out what my exercise level is.... and up it. So starting first thing in the morning I am going to start wearing a pedometer and tracking DAILY how much I'm actually moving. It'll give me the picture, then I can start to expand on that end. I already have some upper body strength and flexibility exercisers that the Physical therapist showed me for my neck and shoulders. and Hopefully starting next week we can start with the same for my hips and lower back. If I can add in some real cardio (probably after I recover from my surgery at the beginning of next month) that could put me on track to no longer be the weakling I am.

    Phase 2: My Diet (how I hate that word). Something's gotta give. Over the years, I've done modified Atkins's, calorie counting (I was spending upwards of 2 hours+ a day tracking my food), Weight Watchers, and the one I had with the most success was the Yoplait 2 week-tune up. I think I know why I did best with the yoplait thing. First, I planned for it out the wa-zoo! I must have spent a month making lists! First my daily meal plan, then lists of the recipes I would use, then lists of the ingredients needed, then finally shopping lists! But I actually stuck with it. And lost 7 lbs in those 2 weeks, but it was so restrictive for 2 meals per day, that by the end of week 2 I was ready to skin something! Right now I think I'm going to go with the Dukan diet. Yes it's restrictive, but not nearly as bad as the 2 week tune-up. It also includes tons of foods that I actually would eat (kind of a necessity). But for this to work, I need to get into that preparation phase. Because of the way the diet is designed to work there are certain food substitutes that you need to make for it to be a viable lifestyle. My plan is, from now, until I'm recovered from my surgery, to slowly start to try them out, give it a test run before I run headlong into this thing and get all burned out.

    Anyway, that's my plan, and I'm sticking with it!

   

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The First Step in the Long Hard Road


     It seems to me that in my life I’ve always been a big girl. Looking back over old family photos I know that’s not quite true. I really only started getting that way around the age of 12 or 13 maybe. At first, it seemed no big deal. By the time I was done with High School I knew I was fat but I didn’t feel huge. Until I tried to buy a prom dress.

     Wow was that a horrible experience. By that point I HATED going clothes shopping with my mom (Sorry mom, I still love you though) because she had this seeming way of saying exactly what she meant. And it wasn’t not always very kind, too bad it was VERY TRUE.  And I think it’s safe to say most of us don’t like being told what’s wrong with ourselves.

     Right around my senior year though, I really got the message. And it all started with my boobs. Yeah, them. I wound up having to buy a prom dress 4 sizes too big for me, and then had to have it altered 7 ways from Sunday because my boobs were huge. If you actually look at me from the neck down I almost look proportional. Almost. But you add in a headshot and suddenly it’s like I’m sitting in a green room somewhere waiting to get on the Jerry Springer Show.

     In college I mostly made light of my, hmm, Assets. Mostly because everyone stared, and a LOT of guys commented. And it seemed easier to make a joke than to let them know how uncomfortable I was with my own body.

    Through all of this I had ups and downs (mostly ups) weight wise, and as I gained my breasts got larger and larger. Soon though, I was having the hardest time ever finding bras that actually fit me.  And the more unhappy I got the bigger they seemed to get!

    What really drove it home though, was Christmas about 3 years back. I went to family party, and I wore what I thought was a festive outfit. Jeans and a bright red top, made with a little bit of stretch in it. Well someone took my photo at the party, which is something I usually try to avoid! And when I saw the picture I was stunned. In a full frontal view, my boobs were literally as big as my head, maybe even bigger. It was my total OMG moment!

     I was trying to figure out how to “fix” the problem with the coming New Year. Then I got pregnant! So much for those plans! But I was lucky to deliver a healthy happy baby girl, who, with a lot of frustration and interesting gymnastics physically, I was able to breast feed for an entire year!





    Now it’s time to start what I was trying to do a few years ago. Fix things. To start with, there is no physical way I can lose the weight in my boobs through normal means. I have asthma and severe back/neck and shoulder problems because of them. They are large to the point that they interfere with my ability to exercise (believe me I’ve tried!).  That of course leaves me with my:

STEP ONE: LOSE THE BOOBS!

Very shortly (I hope) I will be having a breast reduction done to relieve my physical problems. My hope, and feeling, is that with support it will be the first step in getting my body to where I want it to be!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Big Fat Goalie

First of all, let me start off by stating right up front that this post has nothing whatsoever to do with hockey. Or soccer. Or Lacrosse. Or whatever other type of brutal sports out there that have goalies. I’ve just always liked the phrase “Big Fat Goalie.” So I’m using it as this post’s title. So sue me.

OK. Moving on.

I don’t like goals. Type A personalities tend to have “goals,” and along with those goals, they all drag around these goal-related plans and lists that they tend to obsess over and dramatize about wherever they go. It’s weird to me. WAAAAAY too much hassle.

Another thing I’ve noticed about these type of goal-oriented people is that they all have routines. Boring, utterly predictable routines that they follow day in and day out. And God help the person, animal, or natural disaster that interferes with their routines. Personally, I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. The only concrete plans I tend to make for my life seem to revolve around my refrigerator. I do have a fairly simple routine that I follow, however. Get home from work. Microwave something. Settle back into my chair. Push the button on the remote, and proceed to completely engross myself in the latest car-wreck-waiting-to-happen on Jersey Shore.

But I suppose I should make some goals for myself. “Everyone says” that goals lead to success.

There’s probably some truth to this.

But I find that it’s not the “defining your goals” that tends to lead to success. Rather, I think it’s the single-minded obsession that one applies to achieving the goal that you’ve defined that results in success.

When I was a senior in high school, I decided I wanted to lose weight. I was a little chubby at the time, but absolutely nowhere near the “chubby” that I am today. Back in the day, it was just "baby fat" making like the spare tire wrapped around my middle.

OK. OK. It wasn’t really baby fat. I was a chubbo back then because I liked to pork out on snacks from the pantry when my mom wasn’t looking (but that’s an entirely separate topic in and of itself—better saved for another day).

Anyway, the point is, I had a few extra pounds to lose. I had never had a boyfriend in high school because I’d never felt good about myself and totally lacked confidence around guys. I was 18 and I’d never been kissed. And it was bugging me. A lot. I grew up in a small town with limited “options” as far as guys went, and I was determined that college was going to be different for me.

So. I set out to lose the weight. I went at it with a dogged determination. Without even really realizing what I was doing, I implemented all the “tools of success” that we’ve all heard about a million times.

I had found this little article in a magazine at the school library about the effects just one hour of exercise a day can have on your body in the course of eight weeks. There were pictures of this girl’s body each week, and you could literally see the fat melting away off of her as time went on. I remember, every time I got the urge to totally blow my diet, I’d whip out that little article that I stole and look at those pictures…it reminded me that, if I just stuck with it, if I just didn’t give up this time, I would be that girl. So I whipped that little stolen article out a lot. A LOT.

I also, unconsciously, developed several set routines that I didn’t deviate from. I clung to them like saran-wrap on jelly. The first routine involved what I ate. Almost every day breakfast and lunch was variably the same for me. Some sort of oatmeal and/or toast for breakfast. Fruit for lunch. After school, before I did anything else, I’d change into workout clothes and go running. I’d get home and be starving, so I’d have some v8 juice and more fruit while my mom was getting supper ready. For supper, I’d eat whatever my mom cooked, but I was very strict about my portions. Lots of fruit and veggies. A smaller portion of meat. And a very small portion of the starchy-item like potatoes or bread. I’d eat until I wasn’t hungry anymore—not until I was full. Any sort of condiment was in very small amounts. I never measured how much peanut butter or butter I’d spread on my toast, for example, but it was just a very thin layer on the top (I said goodbye to the half inch slab of peanut butter I used to slather on my bread. It was a sad goodbye.).

I wasn’t trying to go “low fat” or “low carb” or even “low calorie.” I was just trying to give my body the minimum amount of food that it needed to keep me going, keep me smart, keep me running. No more. No less. If someone cracked open a bag of oreos I’d have one. One oreo that is. Not one bag of oreos. If my family had pizza, I’d have some. One slice. Not one pizza. I absolutely said “no” to chips and crackers of any kind (because I knew that I couldn’t trust myself around them. My resolve was fragile at this point, and I wouldn’t be able to regain it if I let Doritos cross my lips.).

I exercised every day. I wasn’t a fiend about it, though. When I was running, I told myself that if I felt like walking, I could walk. If there was a day that I absolutely didn’t feel like running at all, that was fine. I’d walk the entire time. I tried to get in at least 45 minutes each day, but if one day I only got in 25 minutes, hey, at least that was 25 minutes. And eventually I developed a habit. It felt weird if I didn’t exercise. My body had learned to crave it (It was still craving the Doritos, but hey, now it was craving running too…progress!).

And as I watched the scale drop, as I felt my pants get bigger, as I discovered I had collarbones for the first time ever, I got excited. I no longer had to whip out my little stolen article and look at it quite so much. The “validation” for why I was doing what I was doing, why I was sticking to my guns so-to-speak was evident to me each and every time I looked in that mirror.

Then my routine switched. I went off to college. And I floundered. I hadn’t made any sort of strategy for continuing on the way I’d been. I remember the free ice cream bar in the college dining facility to be my downfall. I gained 25 lbs my freshman year of college. Not the freshman 15. The freshman 25. It wasn’t pretty.

Skip ahead a little bit, and I find myself in basic training. I had to run a lot and drop some of that 25 lbs just to get to basic training. You know how you see those movies about Army or Marine basic training, where the drill sergeant is in your face making your life a living hell? Well…it’s not quite how it is in the movies. In a lot of ways, it’s worse. But hey, I lost weight. And I built a helluva lot of muscle. With only 5 minutes to eat per meal, you really can’t help it.

It was during this brief period of time that I first realized what it meant to view food as fuel. Seriously. We only got 5 minutes to eat at each meal, so you couldn’t very well take your time to “enjoy” what you were eating. I figured out extremely quickly that I had to get the most “bang for my buck” out of those 5 minutes that I possibly could.

Whatever source of protein the chow hall was serving got immediately shoved into my mouth. That was my number one priority—-protein. I knew--as hard as those drill sergeants were working us—that I needed to stuff as much protein into my body as possible to carry me through to the next meal. So that was my first priority.

My second priority was calcium. I remember scarfing yogurt and even drinking milk (which I've never really liked unless it's a deep, dark brown...from a chocolate cow...), just to make sure I was getting the calcium I needed for my bones that were getting slammed around left and right every day.

If I had any time left over after stuffing my face with meat and dairy, I’d reach for fruit. I knew I needed fruit and vegetables for the vitamins and minerals they could provide me with. But since I was focusing on getting the most fuel efficiency I could from every limited bite, I went for the fruit. You can chew an entire banana a lot faster than you can chew an entire carrot, and the banana’s going to provide you with more energy in the long run.

And you should have seen the pounds fall off. I have never been so happy with my body in my entire life as I was when I was eating and exercising like this. I was fit. I wasn’t flabby. I had muscles, but I didn’t look like a shemale. I rocked. And I rocked it.

Honestly? That’s my ultimate “goal.” To get back into that kind of shape, that kind of mindset. Where food was fuel, and I used just enough of it to get me to the next “fuel stop.”

So I guess now my next step is to design a plan for myself on how I’m going to reach that goal. Within the plan I’m going to have to implement a couple of die-hard routines. I’ve resigned myself to it. No more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. Time to pretend I’m a Type A personality instead of very, very Type B.

And so it begins.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

That Girl

This is who I'd like to be.

Her.

The girl to the left. Look at her.

What do you see?

Now...if you're one of those "Mean Girls" you probably see a girl you hate. She looks like she's got one up on everyone else doesn't she? Perky boobs. A butt that defies gravity. Long, perfectly shaped legs. No cellulite to speak of. A teeny tiny little waist. And I guarentee that there isn't a stretch mark on her to speak of.




She probably has a man who looks like this guy:








They probably do a lot of this:







And, this all makes me look like this:








Cute, aren't I?

No. Actually, this is me down here.


Oh look! I do have my own guy! But unlike Barbie and GI Joe above, I'm about twice as big around as him. I know...I know...you can't see it in this picture...but this is my first post, so cut me a little slack here. Full body picture will be scrounged up shortly, ok? In the meantime, if you look closely at this one, you can see my double chin! Obviously, not my best feature. It's one of those "wobbly bits" Bridget Jones loves to complain about.


My guy is great. He loves me for me. But there's still a problem. I don't love me. Sure I have a great personality. Sure I'm smart. Sure I have friends and family (and a guy with a gorgeous smile) who love me. I have a good job. I have a decent house. I have a cat, who's a total brat who keeps me constantly entertained.


But I'm still not happy.


And I think the problem stems from the fact that I know that I'm not my best self. Not only am I the first to admit that I'm totally vain and feel like crap because I don't look my best...but I flat out just feel like crap. I'm not healthy.


You know how every magazine article and Dr. Oz re-run tells people to start small in regaining their health? Do "little things" like park the car farther away from the store, or take the stairs instead of the elevator?


I don't think these magazines and/or Dr. Oz quite realize what they're saying.


You see, even though fat people are still stigmatized in today's society, its impolite to acknowledge that fact. You know everyone's thinking, "Well, she's fat because she's lazy." But no one will say stuff like that. Totally politically incorrect. So instead, we fat people get "helpful" little tips from the skinny populace such as those referenced above. Problem is, for someone like me, I am lazy.


There. I said it. Or typed it, rather. I'm admiting it. I'm lazy.


Ok. To be perfectly honest, I probably could dredge up some fairly legitimate-sounding excuses as to why I am the size I am today (I wasn't always this way). And for a long time, those are "reasons" that have been running through my head as I sit in front of the TV, watching Bridezillas, and stuffing down a dozen chocolate chip cookies. Poor me. It sucks to be me. Life has just handed me some really crappy cards, and I haven't always played them well, and so it's not my fault that I got depressed and just couldn't say "no" when I was in the bakery section of the grocery store today.


Kinda, sorta, sounds legit, right? I mean, depression! That's some major stuff right there! Who's going to argue with an ego that screams "I'm depressed!"



The thing is though, I've come to realize that this is just a big, (excuse the pun) fat excuse. The fact is, yeah I've dealt with depression. Yeah I've had some really crappy stuff go on in my life. But the ultimate reason I'm fat? I'm fat because I've been lazy.


I know everything there is to know about "calories in, calories out." I don't have some metabolic syndrom or whatever that's preventing me from losing weight.


I like to eat.


And I like my soft, comfy couch more than the pavement outside.


Add these two things together and you get a weight problem. It's not rocket science.

But I've decided I want to be done with all that now. I want to get healthy. I want to feel beautiful and sexy and have the confidence to stick out my chest like the girl we all hate above. Heck. I want to be that girl. Because I guarentee that that girl doesn't have this weird, obsessive relationship with food like I do. That girl eats to live; she doesn't live to eat. She knows the meaning of "A moment on the lips, forever on the hips," and all of the other cheesy-yet-true cliches out there.


And so it begins.

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