Thursday, June 30, 2011


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. 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:


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.


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 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.

In the Begining

Sometimes it's hard to know where to start. For me, I would need to begin where I began to hate my body. I was a teenager when my curves went from cute and sexy to annoying and ugly. I started to hate my body as I got bigger and bigger. I tried a few things to try and fix the problem. But I lacked the motivation, the will and the knowledge on how to get there. I think I know now though. It will take my friends and family to stick with me and stay by me as I work to get healthy. And it will take time. But one day... hopefully sooner than later I will be a Pin Up Girl!

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