Wednesday, May 31, 2006

another month bites the dust

end of may, last day, to be exact. & i'm fifteen calendar days into this blog. just a bit over two weeks, so i can't really expect any sort of dramatic transformations, except that i do. i will say that i'm proud of myself for actually keeping up with this thus far, & even posting new blogs a few times a week, so yea, kudos to me! & through my random typed babbling i may have learned a thing or two about myself. so a good start, not so bad, not so bad.

my birthday is just a couple of weeks away. right now i'm still in the mid-260's & i'm really really hoping to be back into the 250's by the time my birthday rolls around. on the one hand, seriously, how will a few pounds make a difference? but then again, that would actually make me feel lots & lots better. back near the start of the year i was hoping to be down into the 220's by then. that won't happen without loss of limb, & i'm very attached to all my limbs, so i think i'll be keeping them.

two weeks until my birthday. two weeks from tomorrow that is, so fourteen days between now & then. so resolution time kids. yeah, i do realize it's june, not january. but i'm about to turn from 28 to 29, just a hair away from the big 3-0. so let's do some resoluting for my last couple weeks of my 28th year. fourteen goals? one for everyday? or maybe five 'cause it's a nice prime number? i think we'll go with five. i can always drum up an additional unofficial nine to keep them company. but for public record, here's the five things i want to accomplish in the next two weeks.

the official list:
~drink at least 96oz of water/day
~make my bed everyday
~exercise 10 out of the next 14 days for at least 60min/day
~write 28 poems
~only eat out 2x in the next 14 days

the unofficial list:
~say one nice thing about myself each day
~write for an average of one hour each day
~attempt my firm workouts at least once
~take my puppy for 5, or more, walks
~get my hair cut
~get my 'lock lexxy up 1 level
~no eating after 9pm
~take the stairs at work once (up&down)
~write 10 blogs on here (excluding this one)

so we'll see what happens. i would like to give a big thanks to jenn for helping me come up with this list. & if i die on the stairs at work, she made me do it! : )

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

perception vs reality

childhood self-image
my perception of myself as a child is that i was huge. not just pudgy & squishy, but by god a fat f*cking piece of humanity that should be hidden away from the universe. yeah, maybe my adult self is exaggerating a bit on behalf of my childhood self, except, except there's all those strong memories of self loathing & wishing that i could just-wake up thin-go to sleep forever-be normal-& all the other variations that have crossed my mind since i was about seven.

childhood reality
i was flipping through pictures yesterday ranging from my wee young toddler years all the way up to around when i was 13-14. & for the first time i really saw, i mean actually saw that i wasn't really a fat kid, not until junior high. granted i was pudgy, like the pillsbury dough boy with pigtails & glasses, but in an endearing sort of way. yeah, i could've definitely lost a few pounds & been a-ok, but i wasn't that obsese, not like some of the kids that are profiled on the talk shows "my toddler weighs 100lbs & i'll keep feeding him pizza anyway" it really wasn't until that dreadful transition from elementary to junior high that i actually blew up. & while looking at the pictures i cried. the tears actually streaming so fast down my face i could barely see.

as a kid i looked in the mirror & i really did see someone who was so huge that there was almost no hope. granted, it probably didn't help anything that my best friend was the skinniest girl in our grade, & a gymnast, & a dancer to boot. all of that aside, it didn't change the way i felt, waking up each morning, getting on the bus, & going to school. being out of breath in gym class, feeling squished & uncomfortable in my desk. all of that along with some not so encouraging messages from a few family members made me see someone with four chins who was five feet wide whenever i looked at my reflection.

no, it's not another episode of "let's blame all our problems on our rotten childhood." i am old enough to know better. & i realize that by the time i was 14-15 the decisions i was making were completely my own. i was well on my way to being an adult & i could have changed things if i had really really wanted to do so. except for, i did want to change, but i felt that i didn't deserve change.

when i was in my early teens my pediatrician made me go to a weight loss clinic. while at the clinic i saw a dietician, a physical therapist, & a psychologist. now that i work in health insurance i realize that i had a pretty sweet deal, especially since my parents didn't have to really pay anything for the appointments other than their regular premiums. but at the time i wasn't ready, i was being forced to be there. so i politely listened to what they said, then went home & did what ever i wanted. when the psychologist gave me a test to see if i was depressed i lied. the test was so see-through that i just answered it the way they wanted me to answer it, no way was i about to admit that i was so depressed that suicide was always on my mind. & that sums up the whole experience. i told them what they wanted so they'd leave me alone. & i don't think i lost a single pound. a part of me really wanted to try, to get in shape, but a larger portion of me was in such a dark place that it seemed as impossible to me as waking up one day on the moon.

i'm not sure how much it really helps me to analyze, or over analyze, my early years. except that, it may help me to figure out how to change some of these behaviors. i do know that i'm a self sabotoger. it almost seems that i have no control as i munch the reese's miniatures or drive myself through taco bell to grab a snack when i'm on my way home to have dinner. now i'm not trying to live up to the fat person cliche here, but i do know i do these things. when i'm doing well on exercising & eating right there's something in me that suddenly decides that i will simply die if i don't immediately get a king size whatchamacallit. mmmm....whatchamacallit. sounds kind of good right now.....

the sad part in all of this? right now i know that i'm sabotaging myself with my behavior. i'm very aware that what i'm doing is derailing all the hard work that i'm putting into my life. & a part of me could really give a rat's ass on the whole thing. & another part of me is so upset that diving under my down comforter & crying myself to sleep sounds like a wonderful idea. i won't even try to pretend that i have all of my shit together because that is such a bald faced lie. at one point i really thought i had all my shit together. but here's the thing, while i was working out & losing weight i didn't really figure out what caused me to sabotage myself. i never found out why i feel that i can't help myself when i'm faced with temptations. there are some days where i am SO unbelievably good at resisting whatever the nearest kryptonite is, & other days i dive head first & do the backstroke.

Friday, May 26, 2006

crunchy crunchy snap crackle pop crunch

nope, not a new breakfast cereal by kellog's, that's the sound that my knees were making yesterday when i was doing squats & lunges at work. maybe i ought to back up a little in the story? i work in a call center, the late shift, so i get to leave at 8pm. most days there are very few phone calls coming in the last couple hours of my shift. since i missed my workout yesterday morning i thought that i would take advantage of the slow evening & the fact that i just so happen to have some free weights at my desk. yeah, i am that much of an uber geek that i have free weights at my desk, i also have a balance ball too that i sometimes sit on. in my defense, it's hard trying to lose weight while working in a call center. we have treat friday every week! & any reason at all & we through a floor wide pot luck. today it was my supervisor's turn for treats. she brought in six pizzas & a box of ice cream sandwiches. seriously, how is a girl to compete with six pizzas & ice cream sandwiches?

in a valiant attempt to try to feel i'm actually getting something productive for myself accomplished while i'm at work i do try to get a bit of exercise in on those days that i don't do my morning workout, like yesterday. a very long story short: fiance sick+central air not working+emergency run to target for a furnace filter=missing my morning workout. i won't claim that i'm super motivated & that i workout between every call because it just isn't so. but with my new commitment my weights have stopped completely gathering dust.

yesterday evening, thursday, i had a complete pill of a member on the phone. the kind of person that just argues & argues & argues until they wear you down & give-in to what ever they want so they will just shut the f*ck up. i am proud of myself that i didn't give in to her. she finally got frustrated & said she'd call back another day. fine, do that, if the person who answers the phone has any sense they'll do the same thing i did. so fast forward half an hour. i was reading a book & rather bored & wanted a snack, & i remembered i had a couple miniature 3musketeers in my desk. i unlocked my desk & took one out & savored every little bite of it. then about 15 minutes later i wanted the last one. i even started to unlock the drawer when i spied my lonely free weights sitting on top of the file cabinet. i had a brief argument with myself before relocking my desk & picking up my weights.

i had 35 minutes left of work & so i figured i could do 30minutes of upper body work no problem, after all, these were only 2lb weights. yeah, right. they wound up killing me. i did get some upper body lifting done & then to rest my arms i started doing lunges. at 7:30pm the call center is very quiet, deathly quiet even, & to be honest i like it that way. it's too noisy earlier on when everyone's here. too much inane chatter that just annoys me. the bad side about the call center being so quiet is that i could hear every single grating crackle that my knees made as i lunged. & it really grossed me out. who knew that two little joints could make such a loud splintering sound? then, of course, because i was hearing my knees grate i began to feel the joints rubbing harshly, which then caused me great knee pain.

a year ago when i was much thinner i don't remember my knees crunching like that. i know that they have, in the past, sounded like they were going to splinter apart if i had to walk one more flight of stairs. then again, that was back when i was over 300lbs & i was able to out weight many of the minnesota vikings. also back around that time my dad started buying glucosimine, or something like that. an over the counter supplement to repair & strengthen cartiledge in the joints. i did take those for a while, even though they were wickedly expensive. then, as i lost weight, the creaking lessened & then stopped, & so did my daily supplements.

even though i'm pauper broke right now i'm very tempted to take a jaunt over to walgreen's or snyder's & pick up some of those handy-dandy-little-magic-pills to lessen my knee pain. because, i will admit, that i hobbled around most of thursday night, & i'm limping a bit today. then again, the old fashioned "more activity, less weight" may ease up that joint pain too.

blech, isn't it obnoxious how often the answer to a medical problem is "lose weight." i'm getting rather sick of it, & for the record, yeah, i know, i'm fat & need to stop being fat. i get it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

kudos to the big man

i just wanted to say that i'm really proud of my dad. between his april doctor's appointment & his may appointment he lost about 12 pounds, which is just phenomenal! basically he's just adding in a bit of extra walking here & there at his job, cutting back on his soda & candy & fast food, & making gradual changes. for instance he now eats yoplait light instead of regular yoplait. he's also monitoring his water consumption & trying to get in the eight-eight ounce glasses that everyone talks about. i know the changes seem small & like not a hell of a lot when you list them out, but obviously it's helping him since there was a 12 pound dip in the scale.

way to go dad! i'm proud of you for your persistence & you're setting a great example for me. &, of course, being a great advisary...since i am the competitive type i need to work hard to do better than that *winks* a little family competition is quite healthy, especially when the end result is better health for everyone involved.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

the mighty jello bowl

first off, yes, last night i broke down & asked my mom if my ass is getting smaller. it's an addiction, i admit it. perhaps there's a twelve step program? if so i'm already at step one, admitting that i have a problem. back to my mom, she did agree that, indeed, my ass is getting smaller. which made me fairly happy. & then i started to worry because the butt in my work pants is starting to sage dramatically. my rump kind of dissolves into a pile of fabric right around the tops of my thighs. but at 50+ bucks a pair for new business casual pants, they'll serve until they are actually falling off of me.

& onto more recent events, while working out on the elliptical this morning i noticed that my fat seems to be getting mushier, if that even makes any sense. i've been working out, not as much as i would like, admittedly, but definitely more than i had been doing. i'm doing a mix of different types of cardio, weight training, & pilates. my weight hasn't changed that much, but according to my handy-dandy-at-home-fat-percentage-scale, my body fat percentage has dropped a couple of points. so does that mean building muscle/losing fat? could be. so that whole thing deserves a "yippee!"

now here's my gripe. my stomach, arms, & thighs seem to be getting flabbier. it's like the muscle is sucking itself into my body, adhering itself to my bones, & leaving all this flabby flapage hanging all over. yeah, i know, not the sexiest of images, but a girl can't always be a goddess. (ok, well she can be, but that can lead to pill popping & excessive vodka consumption, so i'll be frumpy now & again, thank-you very much.) this is a very frustrating stage of this whole process. i have been reassured, often, that this will decrease as i continue to lose weight & that the most important thing is to keep up with the weight training to help de-flappy my body.

i tend to not be a very patient girl. when i want something i want it ten minutes ago. yes, i know patience is a virtue. i've never been very virtuous, at all. but i am really working on this whole patience thing. my biggest problem at this stage of the game is that every single day i feel like i'm working out hard, eating less, not eating the yummy calorie laden treats that i want, & still no visible results.

& what about the shrinking booty you ask? well yes, there is that. but that means i have to do an ass check several times a day & that can be just weird. right now it would be really nice if the scale would move in a downward trend. or if perhaps my clothes would all start being really loose on me. or the flapage would decrease considerably. it's just one of those days folks. i really think i should stop looking at the gym mirrors when i go in there. the image of myself red-faced dripping sweat from a 3/4 sideview is not one that i need stuck in my head all day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

check, check, check that a**

i've developed a rather bizarre habit lately, checking out my ass every time i leave the bathroom at work. now it's not like i'm standing on my tiptoes or doing anything really odd like that. but we do have a full length mirror right next to the bathroom door, it's just begging you to look at yourself as you leave (probably to prevent the embarrassing toilet-paper-hanging-out-of-the pants issue for those people that make toilet paper seat covers). the way this all started, i believe, is when my mother commented that it looked like my ass was getting smaller. yes, that's exactly the way she put it. this then prompted me to ask my good friend jenn "can you do me a favor? does my ass look smaller?" she then told me she would NOT look at my ass. i guess friendship only goes so far.

now i don't really want my mom to think i'm ass crazy, so i haven't continued to ask her what my posterior looks like to her. & if i ask my wonderful fiance to check it out for me then that leads to other events....which leaves me the option of self checking in the bathroom at work, because, of course, i don't have any full length mirrors in my house. my work pants do seem to be getting looser, but that could just be because they're getting a bit older. because when i put on my blue jeans i can't really tell any difference. & the scale sure as hell isn't moving eithor. do you ever get the urge to just punt your bathroom scale?

i have been told that compulsive weighing is no good for you when your goal is to lose weight. the individual ups & downs every day can be rather demoralizing. does the same apply to compulsive mirror watching? if my butt happens to look a bit bigger will it make me run to a hershey bar to alleviate my disappointment? guess is no because, i am a smart chica & i do understand the equation of: too much chocolate=increased ass size. now while i do have a nice ghetto booty, i would like it to be more toned & taut, rather than look like i should be dancing on that jiggly jello commercial.

in a perfect world i could take my extra butt tissue & have it transplanted up north to my tits & then things would be just grand. unfortunately medical science does not yet offer a butt-to-boob fat transplant yet. it's a wickedly terrific idea & i'm sure that there would be plenty of people that would jump at the chance to play a little ms. potato head & rearrange some fleshy parts. but since medical science doesn't seem to want to help me on this venture, i guess it's still hours of cardio, weights, lunges, & pilates.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

back fat

so one of the things that got me thinking on this whole body issue was a couple of weeks ago i was driving over to old chicago to meet jack & josh for a cheeseburger & a drink. i was driving along down 394 west when all of a sudden i felt very uncomfortable. i twitched & shimmied in my seat & then it hit me what was bothering me. i could actually fell the fat on my back, the small rolls of fat folding into each other under my t-shirt. & i was repulsed.

normally i roll with the punches, & being obese i usually literally roll. but at that moment i just couldn't believe that i'd neglected myself for twenty one years. yup, i've been overweight for that long. it started when i was 7 years old, in second grade, & got progressively worse as time went on. the kicker of it all, is i look back at pictures of me when i was younger, & it wasn't until end of elementary school, beginning of junior high, that i actually became a rather large porker. before then i was just kind of a piglet. overly round & puffy for my age, but it could still be described as "baby fat". i stopped believing that whole baby fat line when i was, hmmm, about sixteen. until then i held onto that phrase like it was gold hoping that one day, yes, hallelullia praise the lord the fat has left the body!

but no, next century & twenty-some years later there i was on the way wrong side of the 200lb mark. now i have no idea what prompted me to do it, but i reached my hand up & felt my neck, grabbed a hunk of flesh & realized that in addition to the back fat i also had neck fat. now granted, the neck fat may, possibly, be a bit of an exageration, but the pudge on my sides & back is no hallucination. that is an undisputible fact, ask anyone who's seen me with my top off.

you'd think that after this realization i would've gotten to old chicago & said to my waiter "can i have a salad with lite dresing on the side please?" instead i did order the cheeseburger i was craving, with, of course, a diet pepsi. because yeah, at that point the diet soda makes all the difference in the world. & i admit it, i enjoyed every juicy mouthful. the fries were just ok, but the burger was fantastic. i do highly recommend their burgers. you might want to get it to go & grab the fries from ruby tuesdays across the street though. at least, that's what i'd be inclined to do.

while the desire for a healthy future. to be a beautiful bride. to be a fantabulous role model for my future children. to be able to finally snowboard. to finally feel good waking up in my own skin. while all of these things are great motivations, & have motivated me in the past, it all came down to the fat. knowing you're fat is one thing. having to actually go buy & then wear the size 24 or 26 jeans reminds you. there's something surreal about realizing that just sitting, not looking in the mirror or at your clothes, you can feel how large you actually are, now that's the mother of all wake-up calls. &, of course, it helped that all of this came close on the heels of walking into the bridal salon & ordering my wedding dress in a 24. i really wanted to crawl into bed & cry. with a cheesecake.

yeah, the shame & depression that is caused by my weight also gives me the urge to soothe myself with all the same things that i've turned to in the past that have helped me get to the point that i'm at right now. while it is by no means a healthy cycle of behavior, i am becoming aquianted with it & coming to grips with the fact that i need to be hyper aware of my emotions & my eating patterns. do i want pizza because i'm hungry & pizza sounds good? or do i want it because i had an absolute shitty day at work & i might feel better to sit down to a plate full of pizza? eventhough the end result might be eating some pizza, the motivation behind the eating is important for me to recognize.

a small victory

last night when i got home from work jack had a surprise for me. while he was on a walk around the neighborhood he suddenly had an ice cream craving, so he stopped at the neighborhood gas station & each got us some ice cream. actually, he got us each a pint of ice cream. he then told me "honest hun, i'm not trying to sabotage you, but i was really craving ice cream & i couldn't get some for myself with out getting some for you too!"

my reaction to that was a mixed one. on the one hand, it's so sweet that he thinks of me all the time like that. & it's so sweet that he doesn't want to "treat" himself without treating me. then again, he bought me ice cream the same day i started my new blog & decided that i was really, & truly, dedicated this time.

i'll admit, i did have a bit of the homemade turtle sundae that he bought for me. but while he finished his entire pint i had four small spoonfuls & quickly tucked it into the freezer, letting him know that "by all means, be my guest & have some of the ice cream if you want."

i'm not sure if it's because i just decided that enough really is enough, or if it's because i've been slowly weaning myself off sugar, but the ice cream was way too sweet for me. i wound up feeling sluggish & a wee bit sick after i ate it. it really could be a mind over matter issue, but i'm hoping that i'm learning a little bit, or that i have learned a little bit.

one thing i do know is that the temptation will always be there for me. when things aren't going well at work, or i'm stressed about money or school or whatever, it's always going to be tempting to comfort myself with something fatty or sugary. something that makes me feel safe. food has been my best friend, & it's been my greatest enemy. right now the challenge for me is to strike a balance between these two feelings & come to peace with the fact that i need it, but i don't have to let it control me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

to cut or not to cut....the surgery debate

a good friend of mine, josh, is currently going through the process of getting gastric bypass surgery. i'm not a huge advocate of this drastic step, but i support him 150%. another friend of ours, marty, had the surgery & it literally saved his life. now josh didn't come to this decision lightly, he did a lot of soul searching & realized that he couldn't lose weight without help. & if he didn't lose weight he wouldn't have a long life ahead of him. i applaud his honesty with himself & his courage to undertake that journey.

i'd be a liar if i said that i've never pondered the possibility. once, i even asked a doctor about it, this was back when i was over 300lbs, & i was told that i wasn't fat enough & not to ask again because she'd never recommend me. (as an aside, that should've been a clue to find a new doctor) at this point in time i still need to lose 100lbs to be at the top end of my "normal" weight range, but it's a hell of a lot better than needing to lose over half of my total body weight.

my fiance has seen me struggle & held me as i cried saying that i was fat, ugly, & i was such a failure that there was no way on earth i could lose a single pound on my own, let alone 120. he's suggested that perhaps i might want to try the lapband. when he first mentioned it i was wholely insulted that he didn't think i could get myself healthy on my own. but after some distance & deep thoughts (NOT by jack handy) i've realized that perhaps, just perhaps he's right, maybe i do need that surgery.

because i did get down to 229 on my own, i do have a reasonable amount of confidence that not only can i get back to the 220's on my own, but that i can surpass them & finally get back under 200lbs again. now, while i do know that i really can do this on my own, i will admit that i am very weak. wickedly weak. & my current home situation has me surrounded, nearly constantly, by processed foods full of sugar, & fat, & partially hydrogenated oils, & all sorts of other yummy delicious foods of the devil. & unfortunately i'm unable to move into a place of my own where i can control the quality & quantity of food that enters the front doors. so i do feel a bit set up for failure by my home life.

so i made a deal. with myself. with god. with the devil. with who ever would listen. & i now proclaim it in writing. my current health insurance will not, under any circumstance, pay for ANY weight related surgery or treatment. the cheap s.o.b.s won't even pay for a nutritionist. (ok, i do work for them, so i might want to temper this rant a wee little bit) but my dear fiance has open enrollment for his health insurance in august, & with my high deductibles & out of pocket amounts it's an even exchange of me going on his insurance. (yeah, if you thought you might get better health insurance by working in the industry, yeah, right, that really doesn't happen) in august he'll sign me up on his insurance as his domestic partner, ooh, it sounds so tawdry. & my insurance will become effective in september. so here's the deal that i made. if i don't make significant changes in my life by the time my new insurance starts, then i will start the process of going in to have the surgery for the lap band.

it hurts me incredibly to say those words aloud to my friends, much less to write them here for god & everyone to see. but i've also come to that breaking point in my life. i'm a few months away from being 29. we want to have kids after we're married & i really don't want to put my health, or my baby's health, at risk by being morbidly obese. it makes me feel weak & powerless. because, i feel, that in the end it's up to me what i put into my body. it's also up to me the amount of activity that i get in a week's time. i'm completely free to control my actions. & by admitting that yes, maybe i do need medical, surgical, intervention, it makes me feel like i'm weak & unable to control my life.

definition of significant? no, not 100lbs by september, that would be setting myself up for failure. i've often heard that 1-2lbs a week is a healthy, realistic, weight loss goal. it's approximately 15 weeks until september, so my scale goal will be 15-30lbs by september 1st. not too unrealistic, but not too much of a slacker goal either. my fitness goal, is to be consistently working out 5+days/week. which is completely doable since i have a gym at my work. yeah, totally no excuse for not getting my ass on the treadmill. & my nutrition goal will be to a: eat out only once per week, or less, & b: to get at least 96oz of water per day. in addition, nutrition wise, i want to make sure that i'm taking a multi-vitamin every day & that i'm making a good effort to actually eat vegetables every day. i'm not so much of a veggie girl. steak yes. chocolate hell yes. veggies, yeah, not so much.

starting over (yet again)

so for probably the millionth time in my life i'm deciding that yes, it is time for me to do something about my life & my health & lose weight.

in the past my efforts have been private & hidden. i've made vows to myself, secret pacts, never really proclaiming it to the world. i may have let in a friend or two to my intentions, but mostly i waited for people to notice the magical transformation that was occurring. which, to be honest, never really occurred.

to my credit i am not at my highest weight, that was back in the early part of this century when i tipped the scales at 323. it was a definite low point in my life when i realized that i out weighed most of the players in the nfl. not a happy thought for a five foot five twenty something year old chick, to realize that she was heavier than professional football players. at that time i also realized that even if i lost half of my body weight i would still be overweight. it was at that point that i first really came to grips with the fact that i was out of control & i needed to change my life.

in april of 2005 i was at my lowest weight of my adult life, to my knowledge, i managed to get down to 229. the only other weight that i remember that was less than that was in eighth grade i weighed 180lbs. around the time i hit 229 i also met my wonderful fiance, jack, & proceeded to abandon my two hours a day of exercise & stopped eating healthy foods & started on a year long binge of fast food, eating out, & in general, bad nutrition. i don't blame anyone. it tends to happen. new relationship, new love, & a few pounds creep back on.

ok, so about forty pounds crept back on. & i swear, it almost feels like i woke up one day with this extra forty glued to my stomach & ass. i'm not naive, & i know that it is because i started eating crap food again & i acted like exercise was a foreign concept that i'd never heard of in my life.

so i'm starting this blog, beckah's blog, to hold myself accountable to others, & myself. i'm not looking for pity. but over the past few weeks i've read several weight loss blogs, some better than others, but most of them had something valuable within them. so i'm going to share my experience & hope that through this process i can help someone other than myself.

so welcome to my blog, i hope you enjoy your stay.