Tuesday, September 22, 2009

As requested...

...here I am.

I'm not sure what I can offer today except discouragement and frustration, but I'm here anyway. It's been a helluva week on a personal-level and doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon. I won't go into it all here, but if you've got some prayers of strength and encouragement to send my way, that'd be great.

I'm still on the diet train, but my gym membership lapsed and I have had too many other expenses to renew. I'll get back on the train soon, though. I haven't worked this hard to stop now, that's for DAMN sure!

I'm also fighting off some sinus bug. My head's clogged and I'm tired all the time. I hate that feeling. It's one I haven't felt in a while, especially considering how healthily I've been trying to live, so I'm pissed about that more than anything. I don't have TIME to spend laying around sleeping and resting up...dammit!

I haven't weighed myself yet today, but I'm certain I've gained again. It's been an incredibly busy week and I've been having to eat a lot while on-the-go, which is never good and since I'm a stress eater and the last couple weeks have been extremely stressful, you can add that into my equation, too. I'll pull myself together one of these days and start kickin' ass again. I'm not too worried about that. This is just a setback, not a stopping point.

In the meantime, I *am* going to have an apple pie from McDonald's tonight. And I'm NOT going to feel the least bit bad about it either. It's either the pie or a bottle of wine. I remember a day not too long ago when it would've been both....times two.

Baby steps.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Who's that girl?

I meant to write about this over the weekend and it slipped my mind. How, I'm not sure, because it's actually one of those "WHOA!" moments that a fat girls dreams about.

I remember as a kid I played with my Barbie dolls and one of my favorite scenarios was to take my plainest doll and dress her frumpily, make her hair look simple and pretend that she was one of those girls who just blended into the background. Then I would imagine there was some sort of social function, like a dance or a party and I would transform my ho-hum girl into a beautiful woman. I'd jazz up her hair, dress her in my most sparkly outfit and find the greatest shoes. She'd walk into the room and the other dolls would whisper back and forth "Who's that?" I know Freud would have had a blast with that one because honestly, I always wanted that for myself.

I was never beautiful growing up. I was plain, chubby and a little on the frumpy side. I always imagined that same scenario for myself....the social event being a wedding, class reunion or something along those lines. Someday, my peers would see this huge transformation from chubby Melanie into beautiful Melanie.

I'm not to the point yet where I'm getting the double-takes (at least if I am, I'm not noticing them)...but I did have a mini-transformation moment Friday night. There was a wedding reception and many of the guests were people I hadn't seen since late winter/early spring. Some of them follow me on Facebook, so my weight loss wasn't completely shocking to them, but for many, they hadn't seen me since Sweater Season.

I can't tell you how many people nudged their spouse, asking them "Is that Mel?" But I do know that many people gave me that awkward "Hmm, do I know you" look before they recognized my voice. It's odd, actually. I've looked pretty much the same since high school, so for someone NOT to recognize me is completely foreign to me. I have to say, I kinda like it.

The surprised look on people's faces is probably my favorite part of this whole thing.

I like playing "Who's that girl?"

I only have myself to blame

Weigh-in this week wasn't good. I'm up 3lbs. I'm not happy about it and I was stubborn enough to pause for a few minutes and think about what caused me to gain.

Water weight? Mother Nature? Those Doritos from earlier this week? Muscle-weighs-more-than-fat?

Sure, I'd LOVE to blame any of those things, but I know it boils down to pure laziness. I haven't been to the gym like I should. I haven't been eating as well as I could be. I haven't been drinking as much water as I should be. It's all my own fault.

I'll own it.

And I'll have ONE more cookie (okay it might be partly Mother Nature's fault), then tomorrow? I'm kickin' ass at the gym again - as long as my back will allow it. I did seriously pull a muscle tonight and that's not a good thing when you rely on your body being in good shape.

I will say that I am trying not to be too hard on myself. This is the first gain I've had since I started. I've plateaued a lot and gone up or down a pound or so from week to week. Honestly, to have gone this far without the typical roller coaster I usually ride is surprising and something I see as a bit of a milestone. I'm usually up and down all over the place by now. The fact that I'm not is impressive, if I do say so myself. I think this proves (if to no one but myself) that this time is different.

So even this weight gain isn't a setback. I refuse to let it be. I've got new clothes I have to fit into. This scale-needle-moving-the-wrong-direction thing won't become a habit. Believe me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dangers of Splenda??

This isn't to pick on my girls who love their diet sodas & drink mixes...it's to widen your view of how dangerous artificial sweeteners are. We've known for years that Aspartame has caused cancer in lab rats. What's a weight-watching girl to do??

If McNeil Nutritionists are to be believed, we should switch to Splenda! Splenda is marketed as no-calorie, natural sweetener. It's made by combining sugar with chlorine atoms, which they point out are in numerous foods & beverages we consume daily. What they DON'T tell you, however is how dangerous excessive chlorine consumption is...or how more of it can be absorbed by those with healthy GI tracts, as opposed to those with unhealthy intestines. On the Splenda website, they don't tell you about the toxicity of the product, but they're sure quick to point out how it's FDA-approved and safe for children & pregnant women.

Based on EVERYTHING that I've read outside the Splenda website, I beg to differ. Don't believe me, though. Do your own research. Google "Splenda Harmful" "Splenda Side effects" and "Is Splenda safe". Read the links I've provided here:

Why is Splenda Potentially Harmful?
Splenda - harmful?
Splenda - Potentially Harmful to Humans?
Dangers of Splenda
Truth about Splenda
Sucralose Toxicity Information

Please don't think I'm preaching. I've BEEN where you are. I *LOVE* sugar. I love soda..and sweet tea. I thought I couldn't live without them...and some days I still indulge. But I refuse to drink the fake stuff. It will kill me FAR more quickly than the sugar in regular drinks. I've learned how to doctor stuff up a little bit...I add lemon juice to my water instead of Crystal Light. If it's cold enough, I can drink almost anything unsweetened.

Please do the research if you won't take my word for it. This stuff is NOT natural. It's NOT an alternative. It's death in a granule.


Fucking Doritos anyhow.

I was doing SO well. And that friggin' chip had to go and screw it up.

You're on my hit list, Charles Doolin.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I need motivation!

Okay, *I* don't need motivation, but that's the feedback I've gotten from a lot of you.

I hate to be the one to bear bad news, but if you want me to motivate you, you're going to be sorely disappointed. I can't do that. Your motivation has to come from YOU. I can tell you what motivates me. That might trigger something in yourself, but I, personally, can't motivate you. I wish I could! You'd all be size sixes by now!! :)

There are hoards of things that motivate me. It changes daily, depending on my mood. Typically though, when someone decides to lose weight, it's based on one of two issues: health and vanity.

Let's address the health factor first. This isn't one I'm immune to. To spell it out, my mother died of colon cancer when she was 50. I was 15. I was the one to take care of her throughout her disease and I would NEVER wish that job on anyone, much less my own children. My grandmother died of heart failure when I was a child, too. My sister suffers from diabetes & heart disease and has since her early- to mid-thirties. I'm thirty-five. I'm surrounded by health issues that could take my life if I'm not careful. I have entirely too many things planned for myself to die at a young age. I had to make changes. Permanent, life-long changes.

Vanity. Ahh yes, vanity. I could ramble on about how I hate my double (triple?) chin, how my thighs rub together when I walk, how I can't sit up to a table at a restaurant because my belly's too big...but if you've ever struggled with weight, you know all this already. My vanity is a more personal issue. I spent much of my life in this frumpy life of mine. I've spent the majority of my life with women like myself who don't see themselves as anything more than ____'s wife or _____'s mom. I was like that too. It was as if a light bulb went on for me. I don't have to just identify myself in relation to someone else. I'm my own woman! I've got a fabulous smile and amazing eyes and a fantastic personality, but because we're so fueled by appearances, nobody can see that, not even my husband.

Now, before it comes across like I'm dogging on my husband, I want to clarify this is NOT about him. He's a very very good man and loves me regardless of what I look like or how big my ass gets. But let's face it. After several years of marriage, the fire can slip from the flame, if we're not careful. That's where we're at. I know that my appearance (and lack of energy) is partly to blame. I don't blame HIM. I blame ME. When I feel like I look like crap, the LAST thing I want to do is get naked in front of him. I want to throw on my tshirt & sweats and crawl into bed. I don't want to have sex. But more importantly than that...I don't want to hear "God, you're beautiful" when the first thing that crosses my mind when he says that is "You're only saying that because you HAVE to. You're my husband." I've let my own hang-ups about my appearance interfere with my sex life.

No matter how many times he tried to convince me that I was beautiful...or that he loved me no matter what I look like, until I see MYSELF as beautiful, he's not going to convince me otherwise. And let's address that whole "I love you no matter what you look like" issue. To me, that's code for "I know your ass is twice the size of when we met, but I love you anyway." That's not a compliment. That's his way of settling for me and the size I've become. NOBODY should settle. Including my husband.

Hmm..I kinda got off track. My apologies.

What specifically motivated me?
I hated the way I looked. I hated the size I wore. I hated the fact that I had exactly TWO stores to choose from if I needed to shop for new clothes. I hated that I couldn't sit in an armed chair without those arms digging into my hips. I hated the fact that my seat belt choked me. I hated the fact that I had gotten so fat that my scale was just a few pounds away from NOT being able to weigh me anymore. I hated the way my belly stuck up out of the water when I took a bath. I hated the way other people looked at me. I hated the way *I* looked at me. I hated second-guessing what people thought when they saw the fat girl (uhh, hi. that's me) ordering a super-sized meal at McDonald's with an apple pie (or two). I hated knowing that my daughter had to lie to me everytime she said "Mom, you're NOT fat." I hated everything about my appearance, my confidence (or lack thereof), my poor health. I hated that I whined about all of that and yet STILL chose not to do anything about it. (That little revelation came to me about 2 yrs ago when I blogged at Sparkpeople)

Several months ago, I had the TV on and was watching "Half-ton Mom" on TLC (followed by "Half-ton Man" and "Half-ton Teen" and all the other "let's see how much of a spectacle we can make of these fat people" shows). It hit me. That is going to be me. One of these days I'm going to wake up to a phone call from TLC and they're going to want to do a TV show about ME and my fat ass. Okay, so reality check was cashed and I realize that's probably NOT the case, but really, as I watched the show, I realized just how many similarities I had with these people. My question for them was always the same: Didn't you see how fat you were getting? Didn't you want to do something about it? And I realized that I couldn't even answer those questions myself. I didn't see how fat I'd gotten. I didn't want to do anything about it...at least not for very long. Its not like they woke up one morning and they were suddenly 6oolbs and said "Holy shit! How'd I get here?!" The same is true for me. I didn't step on the scale every day and see 150lbs and then one morning, BLAMMO! 267! It snuck up on me....and if I didn't put a stop to it, I would end up that big.

That's where it started for me. That's what motivated me....realizing if I wasn't careful, I could become a reality show. While I sometimes have a flair for the dramatic, I do NOT want that kind of attention. Ever. I don't want to be the "fat lady freak show."

And with that, I'm heading to the gym. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It finally hit me.

..I'm not disgustingly fat anymore.

No, this entry isn't to fish for compliments. I'm honestly just beginning to see what is going on with my body. It's one thing to notice a little difference here and there. Or to see the numbers go down on the scale & measuring tape. Or try on new clothes (or old ones, which is even better than buying new stuff!) and have smaller sizes.....but when you look at a picture and think to yourself "Holy crap! Who's the hottie?!" and you realize "Whoa...that's me!" and you seriously have to take a second look, that's when it becomes real.

I was heading out tonight for a home-party at a girlfriend's house and since I've lost weight, I felt like I wanted to spiff up a bit. I had to touch up my graying roots today with some dye, so I had done my hair, threw on some makeup and chose some clothes that a friend of mine had given me a few weeks back (they didn't fit when she gave them to me). I had sis take a couple pictures of me with my blackberry and this is what she caught:

Who IS that woman? Has she really been held hostage all this time?


That's pretty amazing if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Deep breath

I can do this.

I can admit publically what a fat slob I'd been.

I can do this. *inhale. exhale. repeat* I can do this.

*exhaling loudly*

People have wanted to know where I started, what size I was, what size I want to get down to, etc.

Here goes:

49" waist
50" hips
17" neck
Size 24

*trying not to hyperventilate*

Damn, that hurts when it's put in bold print like that. Eeeeeep! How'd I EVER let myself get so big? It disgusts me to even think about.

Where I am today:
40" waist
44" hips
15¼" neck
Size 16

*breathing a little more easily*

I still have a LONG way to go, but that's good for starters, right??

My goals aren't necessarily in measurements, but if I had to pick a weight, I would like to see 165 by May. I don't know what size that is or what measurements it'll bring me, but that's my medium-length goal. IDEALLY, I'd like to see 135, but I don't think I'll see that without some major tummy tucking & lipo.

Jesus, did I REALLY just admit my real weight on paper??

One week down on Blockhead Twitter Biggest Loser

I was nervous about weighing in today because I had a weekend full of junk. Soda, fried foods, steak...even french fries. (Uggh, I KNOW!)

I stepped on the scale with my eyes closed and cautiously peered through one squinty eyelid.


Wait. What??


OMG! I LOST! And I didn't just lose the two pounds I *wanted* to lose, I lost THREE!

I hopped off the scale and grabbed my measuring tape to log my waist, hips & neck measurements for SparkPeople and was shocked to find that I'd lost inches THERE too! I'm down another inch of my waist (total of 9"), another inch on my hips (total of 6") and I'm down a half-inch on my neck - bringing me down almost 2" on my neck.

The triumph of my week, however, wasn't in weight loss or inches lost. It was in the world of fashion.

I'm down to a size 16. Something I haven't worn in over 12 years. I went through my closet a few weeks back and got rid of all the stuff that doesn't fit anymore. I ended up with two GIANT tubs of clothes to take to Goodwill, including all my jeans. As it's cooled off a bit, I've realized just how much I needed new jeans...you know, that aren't falling off my hips or cinched together with a belt. So I went shopping yesterday.

I don't normally spend a lot of myself, nor do I buy myself many clothes at once. I'll find something cute here or there, but to actually shop with the purpose of replenishing my wardrobe is a new concept to me. I digress. I walked out of Old Navy with two new pairs of jeans, an adorable denim skirt and the cutest little black dress. (Did I mention, there was HUGE sale at Old Navy?!)

Which reminds me...there's a new winter coat in my future too because I KNOW the old one isn't gonna fit. (Just tried it on. I look like a kid wearing his dad's coat. Sad...I liked that coat.)

So anyway...that's where I am this week.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Checking in

I joined Twitter's Biggest Loser this week and since I'm the most competitive person I know, I'm fairly certain I won't have a problem doing this. I'm pretty excited about it, actually.

I went back to the gym last week and I've been working pretty hard. Doing HIIT mostly, but increasing my pace. I also hopped back on weights and need to bust my ass on that for a while. I took some "during" pictures a couple weeks ago and noticed how big and flabby my arms are. I know my legs will always be big (gotta love genetics), but my arms....no way. I *will* get Madonna's arms before I'm done with this!

I am officially down 33lbs since I started this journey just 2½ months ago. I still have a long way to go yet, but I feel good about my progress and people are starting to notice a change in my physical appearance. Feels good!!