Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

Deja Voodoo

There’s something about the phrase “in real life” (when used to describe someone’s activities in the world outside their computer) that has always bugged me. Like most people, I’ve had an online life for at least 10 years now, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from those experiences it’s that the people you meet online are real. You might not be able to break someone’s nose online, but you can surely break their heart. You might not be able to hold their hand, but you can surely comfort and support them. And while you may never know exactly what some of your online buddies look like (physically, anyway), in my experience, online relationships can be, in many ways, more honest than the, so called, “real” ones.

Maybe that’s why I struggle sometimes with using events in my “real life” as an excuse for neglecting my online one. I don’t like the notion of putting one aspect of my life ahead of another… though I know sometimes we don’t have a choice. Things happen and, whether we like it or not, our priorities shift as a result.

That said, as many of you know, in my real other life, I’m a public school librarian. I spend my days talking to 14 year olds about books, producing student created pod and vodcasts, teaching classes in broadcast journalism, storytelling and public speaking, thumbing through catalogs, meeting with vendors, and, on really good days, opening up boxes upon boxes of shiny new books. Seriously… it’s a good gig and I love it.

One of the major perks of being a *school* librarian, of course, is the fact that, like teachers, I get the summers off, and for me, summer officially begins Monday. *cue Alice Cooper song* I’ve been doing this for 11 years now, and let me just say that it never loses its allure. I’m just as excited about sleeping in on Monday as I was when I was 9 and that first Monday when I *should* have been getting up for school, but I actually got to sleep in, finally rolled around.

What most people don’t know, however, is that the weeks just before school gets out are hell. There’s so much to do and *never* enough time to do it. I don’t know about other people in my profession, but I *always* end up working lots of extra hours in order to get everything finalized before leaving for the summer… and even then I still end up with a lot of items NOT crossed off my to do list. You’d think, by now, I’d be used to it, but I *still* fall apart during the last few weeks of school — and this year was no exception.

The thing is, you’d also think that, after all these years, I’d have figured a few things out. You’d think that since I know that the last few weeks of school are going to be a nightmare that I’d take steps to simplify other aspects of my life. For example, maybe the last few weeks of school aren’t the best time for me to join online challenges and outline my own 10 step program for losing weight. Rather, maybe, the last few weeks of school would be a good time for me to focus on the goal of simply maintaining my already achieved weight loss rather than reaching for more. Maybe, and this will sound crazy, I know, but maybe the last few weeks of school are the wrong time for me to set any goals at all. Seriously, you’d think, after all these years, I’d have figured stuff like that out. But… you’d be wrong.

Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?

A few weeks ago I blogged about being at the point where I needed to either give in or start over. And the truth is, I’m *still* at that point. I haven’t given in, not by a long shot, but I haven’t started over either. I’ve been in this pudgy purgatory, if you will… making the right choices, occasionally, but usually following them up with a series of wrong ones; thinking a lot about how much I *want* to be back on track, without actually taking any steps towards making that happen; and not feeling strong enough to do what I know I should, but also not being able to truly enjoy this hiatus from being healthy. It sucks, because while I haven’t, by any stretch of the imagination, done the right things over the last few weeks, I haven’t enjoyed being off my “diet” either. As a matter of fact, I’ve kind of hated not eating properly. How screwed up is that?

In my absence, Paola wrote me an open letter on her blog The Food Confessional. Here’s part of it:

Whether or not you sometimes take a few steps back, you know how to eat to lose weight. You are stuck with this knowledge. You can never unknow it. And, now, when you go to Starbucks for a whipped cream coffee and a cake, you’re gonna feel like shit, spoiling your experience, because you will know it’s doing you harm.

Is this where you are now, stuck between a rock and a hard place?

In the end, you don’t have much choice, you must get back onto your diet. The alternative is to eat cakes and jars of peanut butter, but never really enjoying them as much as you used to, and always be miserable.

Man, is she right.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the last couple of weeks it’s that going back to simply not caring about how I eat, whether or not I exercise, or how I treat the one body I’ve got just isn’t an option. Sure… I can stuff my face full of brownies and root beer (and believe me, I have), but whatever *joy* that kind of food once brought me, is long gone. Sure, I can eat them, and they taste good, but now there’s always an aftertaste. Whether I like it or not, my mind *always* involuntarily starts adding up the calories. And there’s something about those numbers whispering in your ear that kind of ruins the whole experience, you know?

So… here I am.

Starting over.

Again.

The truth is, I don’t really have a master plan for the next few weeks. I think I need to take it slowly and start thinking about all of this through the “one pound at a time” lens that helped me lose weight in the first place. What I don’t need to do now is bite off more than I can chew. I *need* to experience some success this week and the only way I’m going to do that is if I take it slowly.

Here’s what I know for sure:

  • Counting and recording my calories is not optional. The simple truth of the matter is that when I hold myself accountable in that way, I do much, much better. I realize that food diaries are not for everyone, and as much as I’ve tried to convince myself that I could do it without recording what I eat, at this point in the game, I simply need that extra step.
  • I hate exercising, but I have to do it. Enough said.
  • Drinking calories is stupid. In the last few weeks I’ve gone from drinking 3+ liters of water a day to falling back into the habit of taking in hundreds of liquid calories a day in the form of icy coffee drinks and/or other fizzy caffeinated concoctions. No more.
  • Portion size is (still) a problem. I may blog more about this at a later time, but for now, I’ll just say that my portion sizes have been creeping back up. If I’m going to be successful, I know that this is an issue that I have to tackle.

And that’s all… for now.

I guess the bottom line is that at no point over the last few weeks did I ever think about giving up. I always knew that, sooner or later, I’d be exactly where I am now, a bit ashamed of myself for not doing the right things for so long, but knowing that it’s never too late to start doing them again. Thank you again to everyone who nudged me back sooner, rather than later. I continue to be grateful to you guys for just being so cool. To me, you guys are *real* and amazing and you constantly inspire me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok. At the risk of making this post even *longer* I’ve found myself in the awkward position of having been tagged (again). Here’s the thing: I suck at these things. I can never think of anything windswept and interesting to say, so I usually just decline politely and hope like hell that the tagger (me being the taggee) will continue to like me despite my inept rudeness. But… since this one is short and I simply can’t bring myself to say no to Fat Bridesmaid, I’ll do my best to play along. Apparently, I’m supposed to tell you 5 things about myself that you might not otherwise know… and then I’m supposed to tag 5 other people. So… *takes deep breath* here goes nothing:

Boring facts about me:

  1. I’ve been wearing a Make Poverty History wristband since 2005. So far, poverty hasn’t gone away… but I still wear it. Every day. I’m like Johnny Cash, only not as cool.
  2. I once won second place in a short story contest. I got $500.00 and my story was published in a small collection that I’m sure no one bought. I was driving when I got the call that I’d won second place and I nearly drove off the road. I still have the stub from the check they sent me.
  3. I drive a yellow, VW bug convertible with a black top. I call it my bumblebeetle. Which leads me to….
  4. My house was once overrun by wood boring yellow jackets (not carpenter bees). It’s a long, long (long) story, but by the time I figured out what was happening, there were (this estimate was given to me by the “bee man” who, without any protective gear, goggles or gloves, cut giant holes into my walls and removed the entire yellow jacket nest, by hand, in order to find and kill the queen bee) between 35 and 40 THOUSAND yellow jackets living in my walls. It was like something out of a B (har!) movie. At the time, as you might imagine, it was a horrifying experience, but since then, bees have sort of become my symbol.
  5. When I was in college, I worked at one of those stores where everything is a dollar. The town where I lived and worked at the time was a very touristy spot and home to a small movie studio where several major motion pictures/television shows have been filmed…. so it wasn’t uncommon to see celebrities, even in the dollar store. Anyway, one time Delta Burke came into the store and she bought 50 key chains, all of which read: “I’d slap you, but shit splatters.”

Ok. So now I’m supposed to tag some other unsuspecting bloggers, but rather than slap the yoke of internet fodder around anyone’s neck, I’ll just say that I’d love to learn 5 things about anyone who would like to play along. So… if you’re reading this and want to post a few bits of flotsam and jetsam about yourself on your blog, go for it! Consider yourself tagged. I’m sure yours will be far more interesting than mine. :)

Oooh! And thanks to Fat Bridesmaid for wanting to know more about me. Your kindness and curiosity make me blush.

June 14, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Pedometer Challenge: Week 2 Wrap-Up + HYC Update

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketMan, this has been a busy week. But a good one. Before I get into my good news report, here are my pedometer numbers for the week:

Sunday through Saturday, respectively

And today…

Totals:

Weekly total (I’m not including today in the weekly total): 90,254 steps
Daily Average for Week 2: 12,893 steps
2 Week Combined Total: 184, 216 steps
Daily Combined Average: 13,158 (this average includes my *bonus* steps from the first week)

Gosh. All this stepping is sure paying off in a number of ways. First of all, on Friday I had a long awaited doctor’s appointment. Anyone whose been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I have a love/hate relationship with my doctor and that a visit to his office, nearly a year ago now, is one of the things that most put a fire under my ass to finally start taking off the weight. Since then, I’ve been back to the doctor a few more times, and each time I go, I’m more and more determined to prove to him that I *can* lose enough weight to be taken off of the blood pressure and cholesterol medicine that he started me on last July.

Unfortunately, this kind of motivation sometimes leads to crazy behavior on my part.

For example, *knowing* that this appointment was coming up, I started weighing myself all the time. April arrived, and the moment I turned the page on the calendar and saw that doctor’s appointment looming, I went into scale overload. I found myself weighing every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I was so determined to show a “big loss” when I got to the doctor’s office, that I swiftly flew into obsession mode — which, let me just tell you, isn’t a nice place to be.

Anyway, after a week or so of this, I decided that I’d never make it to the end of the month, if I kept obsessing… so I just stopped weighing all together.

I thought… fuck it. I’m already doing everything I can to make myself healthy, stepping on and off the scale isn’t going to do anything except make me feel bad. So, I put the scale away for the rest of the month. I didn’t announce my decision here because, frankly, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stick with it, but within a few days, I’d stopped thinking about the scale at all and was, therefore, able to focus on the business of actually taking care of myself. Imagine that! :)

So… Friday came and I went into the appointment blind. I didn’t even weigh myself that morning. “It is what it is,” I thought as I drove myself there and sat in the waiting room, vowing not to hate myself too much if I hadn’t lost any weight or even if, heaven forbid, I’d gained.

But then something amazing happened when I stepped on the scale in his office.

*drumroll please*

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

244.4lbs.

Now, the last time I posted my weight here, I was 254lbs. Since then I know I’ve popped up a couple of pounds and then back down one or two, until the week that I finally decided to stop weighing altogether.

But now I’m 244.4lbs. :)

I’ve decided to round it down to 244 even and call it a 10lb loss because, well… just because I want to. I realize, of course that’ll mean that I don’t get to spend any time enjoying the 70lbs lost badge, but somehow, I’ll manage, I think.

But wait!
That’s not even the best part!

The best part is that during my visit, the doctor said that the *next* time I visit (in 6 months) that we’ll look at reducing the dosage of the blood pressure medication — the first step in, essentially, weaning me off it completely.

I simply cannot tell you how ecstatic that makes me. Getting off this medication was, and continues to be, such a motivator for me. I don’t want to take *any* kind of medication for the rest of my life.

I’m only 37.

I just want my body to reflect my real age and not all the years I’ve added to my life by being obese. I know lots of people who spend all their time thinking about what they will look like once they finally reach their goal weight… and don’t get me wrong, of course, I think about that too. But the truth is, what I want most is to be healthy. And I don’t think that’s any more noble of a goal than the goal of just wanting to look hot in normal sized clothes… it’s just a different goal. (Though, looking hot wouldn’t be too shabby either, now that I think about it!) For me, getting off the meds and being healthy is the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know what weight that will be or what being at that weight will look like… I just know that I’m not going to allow being fat to kill me. And when I finally reach the point where I can say goodbye to the medication and where I start feeling and acting like someone who is only 37, well… *that’s* when I will have reached my goal.

Anyway, Friday was a good day.

But then again, Saturday was a pretty good day too. On Saturday a package arrived at my door containing these gorgeous earrings, which were hand made for me by the utterly fabulous Paola. What’s really cool about them, I mean, besides the fact that they’re absolutely beautiful, is that Paola sneakily asked me what colors I liked and then crafted the whole gift around my response – with pretty orange paper around the box, tied with a blue ribbon. So cute!

And the card read: “Keep on walking!”

Now, I ask you. Seriously. Does it really get any better than that?

It’s funny, you know… even writing all this out, it feels like it’s not really even happening to me. I mean, as hard as I’ve worked and as much as I’ve wanted to prove other people wrong about how much I will be able to accomplish, the truth is, I don’t think I ever really expected to lose 75lbs. Sure, I’ve tried to stay positive, and I can’t even count the number of times each day I have to remind myself that I *can* do this, but the truth is I’m usually far *less* surprised when I fail.

I wonder what it is about me that causes me to expect so little from myself.

Anyway… it was a good week here, folks. I hope yours was equally fantastic.

May 4, 2008 Posted by | pedometer challenge, weigh day | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Finally!

273.8 – 268.2 = -5.6lbs
But, more importantly, 268.2lbs means that I have *finally* hit the 50lbs gone marker!

I suppose that the number 50 shouldn’t be any more exciting than the number 45 or 55, but it does feel like a milestone.
50 pounds gone.
Never to return again.

*doing happy dance*

Here’s to the *next* 50!

***********

In other news, I made a smashing acorn squash stuffed with brown rice for dinner tonight, and it was such a hit I thought I would post the recipe here:

Ingredients:
1 medium acorn squash
1 tbls honey
1 cup (uncooked) long grain brown rice
2 cups water (water amount subject to change depending on what type of rice you use)
1 tsp herbs de provence
1 tbls flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
1 tbls low fat sour cream
2 tbls milk (I used 2% but you could easily use skim)
salt and pepper to taste

Steps:
Mix rice, water and herbs de provence and then cook as directed (it takes about 45 minutes in my rice cooker).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400′.
Then slice squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds and stringy inside bits (discard).
Place squash face down in an oven proof dish that has been filled with approximately 1/4″ water.
Bake squash for approx 40 minutes or until the inside is tender when pierced with a fork.
As soon as the rice is finished, toss gently with sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and parsley. Set aside under very, very low heat just to keep warm until squash is finished.
When squash is finished, remove from oven, turn over in pan. Drizzle flesh with honey and place under broiler for about 5 minutes or until golden on top.
Stuff squash with rice mixture and enjoy!

This recipe makes enough for 2 people, so you’ll have to adjust the ingredients for the number of people you’re serving. Honestly, I wish I’d taken a picture of it because, not only did it taste yummy, but it also looked quite elegant. Maybe next time. :)

**Note:  The dish contains approx 360 calories per serving.  Sorry to all you Weight Watchers out there, but I have no idea how many points that is. :) 

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments