Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I am done my regular course (YAY!!!!) and all that's left are some guest speaker things.  Life is GOOD.

So I'm waiting tonight to meet some friends.  They're not going to be here for another half hour or so, and what I really should do is start packing up some things so that I can ship stuff back home and so that come 4:30 Friday morning I won't have to scramble (yeah, talk about an early flight!)

Anyway, I keep looking around feeling like I "should" pack a little and instead I keep grazing on over to the "skinny popcorn" bag and grabbing a handful.  There's a name for this behavior.  ProcrastinEating!

According to the Urban Dictionary (ha..the authority for made up words!):


(v) The consumption of food undertaken to avoid a dull or arduous task, irrespective of hunger levels or the time of day.

(ex. 1) Mark: Man, this History paper's taking me forever...I could go for some Guacamole and Spicy Salsa dip on crackers... 

(ex. 2) John: Dude, you ate lunch half an hour ago. Quit ProcrastinEating and get back into it!


It amazes me in a way that I'd turn to a handful of any kind of food for procrastinating when my biggest health goals right now involve weight loss.  Yet, there I was, doing it.  It didn't throw off my food consumption or weight watchers points, I mean, not even a little bit, so there's no concern there.  It's just the behavior itself that makes me pause and evaluate.

I'm thinking that it is just human nature for a large part of the population - and it has nothing to do with food, food addiction, weight loss or gain, or fitness.  It has to do with good ole procrastinating and whatever's handy will fit the bill to get out of doing what we don't want to do.  Smokers will smoke.  Eaters will eat.  Busy bees will find some busy work other than the thing they don't feel like doing.

Then it occurred to me - rather than grazing, I could have just taken a nap!  Then I would have been rested to hang out with my friends tonight AND I would still be doing the procrastinating I clearly wanted to do!  Problem solved!

I'll make a little note of that one and tuck it away for the next time I feel like procrastinating.  Like tomorrow probably.  :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now

Laying in bed at the hotel last night my neck was stiff from sitting in a grueling class all day so I laid out flat with no pillows for a while.  After a few minutes it occurred to me:  while laying there I could actually see my toes! So then I jumped up to try this little stunt while standing.  I can do it!  After compensating slightly for the chest area, I can look straight down and see those little piggies!  Whoa!

I had a thought about skipping the treadmill this morning, but have pushed that thought out of my mind.  In the past few months I've gotten reacquainted with my collar bones, shoulders and rib cage; now I can see my toes.  I'm inspired.  I can't wait (and I do finally think it may be possible) to find my long lost hip bones.  What a reunion that'll be!

Ok.  Off to the gym.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baked In or Iced on

Healthful living is better when it is baked in and not iced on.

I am learning (and living) that being healthy isn't a pill you take at the end of the day, or choosing a pear for dessert instead of ice cream (after eating 2 plates of pasta for dinner!), or eating junk all day and then spending an hour at the gym. Those are all things you do to try to make up for a lack of "built in" healthy choices.  

On a web forum for abused women I used to frequent we called that sort of thing "fruit stapling."  Taking a dead tree and stapling pretty fruit on it to make it look good doesn't make it a healthy, vibrant tree.  Underneath you still have a dead tree that isn't producing the good fruit!

This is true for food itself, too.  When the nutrition is "baked in" - healthy, whole, organic, natural - it tastes good and feeds the body what it needs to fuel us.  When it's food that's been stripped of its natural goodness (bleached, processed, etc.) and then sprinkled with vitamins .... it's just not the same.  It's "iced on" but not "baked in."  And our bodies absolutely know the difference!

I'm really trying to make my healthy lifestyle "baked in" from the inside out - and I can feel the difference.  Good choices are becoming automatic - I'm not having to stop and calculate or wrestle so much with good choices; they are becoming natural.  I'm not having to hit the treadmill to atone for bad choices.  I'm getting on the treadmill because it feels good physically and mentally and I like that feeling!

I used to always hear people say "don't need to make this a lifestyle change" and I thought I understood.  I didn't.  I do now.

A dear friend of mine always says that over time, we become our choices.  I agree completely.  Through tiny daily, sometimes hourly, choices, I am becoming healthy from the inside out.  My health is getting baked in.  And I am starting to really feel the difference.  :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Matters?

Earlier this evening I had the chance to meet some truly wonderful people from Quitnet.  We had a couple of drinks, some dinner, lots of laughter, and several good hugs.  It was a delightful evening, celebrating our journeys and being genuinely glad to have crossed paths with each other.

It's a beautiful evening, clear skies, a slight breeze, and being a Saturday night there are people and a hubbub of activity, so I decided to walk back to the hotel rather than take Denver's awesome "FreeRide."  I could hear music playing and people laughing, glasses clinking in the outdoor cafes and pubs, and the clickety click of horses hooves on the pavement as the carriages pulled passengers along the 16th Street Mall.

I was feeling all warm and fuzzy on so many levels.  I was thinking about how I'm losing this weight, making so many new friends, how my job/career is successful and how I get to stay at such a great hotel and how easy it would be to get used to a "silver spoon" kind of lifestyle.

And then I started paying attention in the center aisle area as I walked.  There are walkways on either side, but there is a center island area, too.  While the bustle of activity is on the outer edges, the inside was made up of locals.  There were people sitting around chatting.  In another area, there was a table and there were men sitting around playing chess.  There were a couple of people sitting on a bench.  They each had a large bag, like an overnight bag, and their clothing was tattered.  There was a woman bent over, struggling to close/secure a rather large trash bag full of belongings and she had two pieces of luggage she kept trying to keep from tipping over.

And it slowly occurred to me...some of these people are homeless.  I watched the woman for a while struggling with her bags.  She wasn't angry or upset.  She was just "taking care of business" in her own way.  I wondered about her story...about their stories.  Why was she there?  Were these all of her belongings?  Why was no one there to help her?  I felt...I don't know what I felt....almost an affection towards her.  Maybe a bit of understanding..that there but for the grace of God go I...if I lost my job I don't really have "backup" and I could end up homeless.   And it just underscored how very, very fortunate I am.  Yes, life has been hard for me sometimes.  But I have so very much to be grateful for, so many positives come my way all the time.  

I looked to see if I had any cash.  Mind you, she wasn't asking anyone for any.  I just felt..,it's one small thing I could do.  As I handed it to her, she thanked me and said "God bless you."  I could feel myself starting to cry so I looked away and started walking so she wouldn't see me.  I felt like she had a lot of pride and wouldn't want that....

A little further down I heard a man singing and playing the piano.  In Denver, they have placed pianos all along the sidewalks for people to sit and play for free.  Just walk along, find a piano, sit, play to your heart's's pretty cool.  This man had a beautiful voice.  As I rounded the corner to see him, there was another man standing beside him, he also had a bag of belongings and he was really engrossed in the music.  I wondered about them.  Did they know each other?  Were either of them homeless?  What was their story?  They both were sharing a moment with me though...the genuine appreciation of music.  I lingered there a while before coming up to my room just now.

The weight loss is important.  The job and career are important.  The travel and sightseeing and education - all important.  But what really matters is who I am as a person.  Do I see the people around me?  (I think sometimes I don't.) Or do I hustle by and not see them?  Do I stop to listen to the music?  Or do I have some important agenda and no time to stop and share a moment with someone?  Am I a good person?  Do I care about others?  Am I the kind of role model I would want for my son?  Am I raising him to be the kind of man who "sees" others?

Ahhhhh the things that rattle around in my brain.  What matters isn't reaching every goal or racing to the finish line.  What really matters is the journey we take to get there, and the little choices we make along the way: see, or don't see?  stop or keep going?  share or ignore?  reach out or pretend you don't see.

It's been a beautiful night and I think it couldn't really have ended any nicer for me than pausing to reflect on what matters.  :-)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Taking Care of Business

I'm in the midst of a lot of work travel.  It would be so easy to just let go of my forward momentum and blame it all on "travel."  It can be difficult to find solid, healthy choices and to stick to a good routine while on business travel.

So I thought it out in advance and made a commitment to myself to keep on moving forward.

First thing I did was contact Attila the Hon - my personal trainer - and work through a fitness plan I can do while on the road.  This includes workouts I can do in the hotel rooms as well as options for the in-hotel fitness centers.  I have loosely stuck to it, too. The first hotel didn't have a fitness center per se, but this one does and I hit it upon arrival!  I spent 40 minutes on the treadmill and another 45 doing weight training.  Yay me!

I also peeked around the hotel and there are some healthy-ish options, but they were not good enough for me.  For instance, there's a Starbucks in the hotel.  They have yogurt.  But it's sweetened/sugary and has granola plopped on top.  I just don't do that anymore.  So I explored the area and found a small farmer's market with lots of produce, some organic and whole foods and deli meats.

I asked the hotel for a mini, in-room refrigerator.  They stated they only had a few and that they were likely already deployed throughout the hotel.  I told the girl I had "food allergies" and couldn't find anything at the hotel suitable and safe for me to eat.  She said, we'll find one and send it right up to you!!!"  (Hey, it's true.  When I eat sugar I can't stop eating it and then I blow up like a blimp.  I'd call that an allergy!)

So here's my little stash:

I have mixed field greens, a package of baby spinach, avocado, carrots, mushrooms, nonfat greek plain yogurt (I LOVE this's a daily staple and I was so excited to find it!), tomatoes, Boars Head turkey, packets of tuna, whole multigrain baguette, apples, bananas, oranges, jerky, whole raw nuts, string cheese, homemade ranch dressing, oatmeal and craisins for in-room breakfast, organic cottage cheese..... I'm SET!

The conference I am attending includes guest speakers and a long course. 8 am to 6:30 pm!  Plus evening keynote speakers etc.  And NONE of it includes breakfast or lunch or dinner, just snacks and those snacks are junk.  No problem, I've got it covered!

The end of this leg of my whirlwind summer is going to be in Maine with my parents and son for the 4th of July weekend. I have already given myself permission in advance to eat what I want on cookout day.  But until then, there's no reason to not eat healthy.

I'm meeting friends later today and while at dinner, I will find a healthy choice.  I'm meeting a group of folks I met through on Saturday night and I may or may not be healthy, but I have 49 extra weight watchers points for the week...I may use 'em on some Baileys.  :-)  Hey, I'm doing a lifestyle, for the long haul, change.  So I don't quit living - I just factor in the "extras!"

Anyway, there's my little travel testimony.  If eating healthy and maintaining fitness is your goal, you can do it no matter where you are.  You just gotta stay focused and 'take care of bu'ness.'  It may take a little extra work, but the benefits are worth it.  For me, the real benefit is how I feel about myself.  Which is pretty darned good these days!!!  Not to mention the extra energy I continue to have to get through this difficult and demanding course.  It's all win-win!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Mirror vs. The Camera

I was starting to like the mirror again until I realized the horrific truth.

What I see in the mirror is some kind of illusion, some blessed warping of reality that filters out a lot of fat and blech from my own eyes.  Because I can look in the mirror, and like what I see....then snap a pic at that EXACT same time, upload it to my pc, and become truly disgusted by what I am seeing.  It's like two different people.  Of course, it's not.  It's all me.  And by all, I mean, all 249 pounds of it.  Blah.

I'm getting ready for a lot of travel starting very soon and ending pretty much at the end of August.  So I've been in trying on clothes including bathing suits and coverups.  I want to scream.

Sure, one can say 70 pounds in 8 months is good.  But I guess I was hoping for more.

Or maybe I was hoping that the weight would come off know, less sagging, more of it coming off my midriff than is actually happening, less pancake flattening of the bosom, etc.  *sigh*

I'm really sad and angry tonight.  Sad that I didn't get to this point decades ago.  Sad that I couldn't get it friggen together until now.  Sad that I wasted my youth being so freaking isolated, depressed and hopeless.  Sad that now that I actually WANT to look pretty, it feels like it's too freaking late.  I know, shaddup Carly.  I'm just saying, that's how I feel right now.  And angry because so many EXTERNAL factors contributed to the problem in the first place...from being molested as a child to the garbage food our government allows in the food supply chain, to the fact that crap food is cheap and healthy food is so expensive, etc.  I'm just plain crabby.

(No doubt trying on clothes nekkid kind of set the tone here.)

I've worked SO hard and feel like it's not working.

On the UP side, however, I tried on my 11 year old's Ravens Jersey (size XL, just regular old XL) and it fit!  As did an XL t-shirt.  Not 5XL, or 4XL, or 3XL, or 2XL, or 1XL...a regular flipping extra large.  So I ran to the dresser and found a work shirt they gave me some time ago...and it fit, too!  So that made me feel good.  For about a nanosecond.

Well, it can't all be roses and joy joy and love love and sweetness, can it?  No, I didn't think so.  Tra la la.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

70 Down, 70 to Go

I hit the EXACT halfway mark today.  As of 5:00 a.m. this morning, I am down precisely 70 pounds, with exactly 70 more to go.  WOOHOO!

It's exciting and I feel great---better than I have in decades.  I no longer smoke.  I exercise regularly.  As I posted about yesterday, there are so many things I can do now that I couldn't do before.  Like seeing my feet, for instance.  ;-)   I have newly restored dreams and hopes and a belief that there is a lot more living for me to do.  It's all good.


It can be daunting to look out on the horizon to try to see the next 70 pounds coming off.  This isn't my first rodeo.  I know this second half is going to require more effort, more commitment, more exercise, less calories, more creativity......and more drive.

It can be difficult because I do feel pretty good already.  I can't even fathom what losing more is going to feel like - it's been so long since I was in this territory (close to two decades) and I haven't been near my goal weight since I was a teenager!  (and that only lasted a couple of years).

I have no doubt in my mind that I'm going the distance.  I didn't come this far to turn back now.  No freaking way.

I just need to keep chasing out any UNhelpful thoughts, and keep making solid "next right choices" each day, to the best of my ability.  And remember that sometimes a great choice will include detouring over to a hot fudge sundae with my son or enjoying a cookout with the family.  And that's OKAY.  In fact, over thr 4th of July weekend I have already given myself permission to eat a nice juicy burger, some of my mom's potato salad (hear that mom?  *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*),  and maybe even have a Bailey's or two.

Remember my post on INCREMENTALITY?  It's how I got here, and it's how I plan on getting to the finish line.  One bite at a time, one step at a time.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Look What I Can Do!

For those of you who have never really had weight issues, this might be a real eye opener.  For those of you who have struggled with weight, say like, I don't know, 30 pounds overweight...(amateurs!) this may also be an eye opener.

I have lost just about 70 pounds now.  And every week I am discovering things I can do that I haven't done for years.  Things that "normal" size people have NEVER considered.  Things that everyone just does and would have no reason to think about - ever - unless they were seriously overweight.

I am sharing this in the hopes that maybe folks who aren't severely overweight will develop a little sensitivity to those who are, and realize, this is clearly not a "choice" (who WANTS to suffer with severe obesity???).  I also hope that those who have experienced one or more of the things I am talking about will feel a little less shame and know that you're not alone....

I was talking to my BFF on the phone last week (that's Best FAT Friend), and we laughed till we cried talking about all the things we used to do or couldn't do that we have overcome.  This is just a partial list.  Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
  1. If I ever get arrested, I feel happy that they will be able to put real cuffs on me as I can now touch my hands together behind my back.  Previously, I could not even touch my fingertips together behind my back.
  2. Speaking of backs, I can now scratch mine almost anywhere.  Before, I needed a back-scratcher.  My son is eternally grateful he no longer needs to hear "up a little further...over to the left...down a little... ahhhhhhhhhh"
  3. For the first time in decades, I can take my bra off by unhooking it normally.  I used to have to keep it hooked and pull it on and off over my head.  Not that it really matters, but it feels kind of prettier doing it like they do in the rated R movies.  :-)
  4. I can cross my legs.  Before, crossing my legs involved resting one ankle on the other knee.  That was as close as my thighs would allow my legs to mingle.
  5. I no longer have to do an olympic gymnastic dismount in order to take care of personal hygiene matters in the latrine.
  6. I can go to any restaurant, anywhere, and not have to worry about if they are going to put me:  (a) in a booth that's bolted to the floor meaning I couldn't move it away so I could fit, or (b) at a table too close to another table so that I couldn't pull myself in close enough to allow others to pass behind me.
  7. I can fly on any airline and fit in the seat and using their built-in seatbelt without an extension.
  8. I can see what I'm doing when I shave my legs!  I used to bend over, swish the razor around blindly on the back of my legs and hope I wasn't leaving a patch of carpet back there.  Fortunately, I couldn't possibly see back there so what you can't see can't hurt you.....
  9. I can almost reach through my legs to tie my shoes.  You know, how people lean forward over the knee and have one arm on either side of the leg as you tie the shoe?  I'm almost there.  Check the shoes of fat people.  You'll notice the ties are off to one side or the other instead of being centered on the shoe.  That's because we tie our shoes by crossing one leg over our knee and from that angle it's very hard to get it straight.  I can at least reach MUCH better with my legs crossed so that the ties are in the middle.  Yay!
  10. I can go on every freaking ride at Six Flags now.  :-)  I meet the weight requirement for every single ride I wanted to go on.  My son's whole life I could not ride with him on most things because I exceeded the limit, so he had to ride alone.  Yesterday was a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
Well there you have it.  A tiny peek into the world of limitations caused by being overweight.  There is so much more to someone being overweight than meets the eye.  

If some of us eat for emotional escape/comfort, imagine how much more we are in NEED of emotional comfort when navigating daily life is wrought with landmines and pitfalls to avoid or compensate for, or navigate around.  Add to that the rudeness of a whole lot of strangers who openly glare, point, make rude comments or outright laugh like children, and one really does need some emotional comforting.  So we turn to the thing that has worked in the past...eating.

It's all so complex.  It takes many steps to reach the point that you're ready to let go of the food and stand openly without it.  I'll post on another day the real process that got me to this point.  It's been quite a ride.


Monday, June 13, 2011

The BIG Reveal

Well, the time has come to boldly go where no Carly has gone before.  It's time for The Big Reveal.

I think some of you will find it tremendously helpful to know who and what you're dealing with here. Like where I really started, where I am heading, and to quantify that with specifics. So (deep breath) here goes...

First, below is a photo album of where I started last summer and where I am today, which is almost exactly at the halfway marker. I am posting the slideshow here, but it is also tucked into the blog on the righthand side so that once this blog post gets bumped down, folks can see the photo roll no matter which page you're on.  

Of all the things I have shared with you, this right here...this is the most difficult and leaves me the most vulnerable to your possible rejection. Hey, this emotional stuff runs deep. It's pretty hard to admit I weighed 320 pounds. It's painful to acknowledge I was wearing a size 30/32. But last summer I did, in fact, reach 320 pounds and was wearing a size 30/32. That is a 5XL.

Here's a breakdown for you:

Using the calculator at National Institutes Of Health BMI Calculator at 5' 10" tall and 320 pounds, my body mass index (BMI) was 45.9, which according to NIH is obese (anything greater than 30 BMI is obese). 

But it breaks down further than that.  Almost all sites break it down as seen on Wikipedia.:

According to all sites, there are these varying classes of obesity. Wikipedia further breaks it down this way:

  • Any BMI ≥ 35 or 40 is severe obesity
  • A BMI of ≥ 35 or 40–44.9 or 49.9 is morbid obesity
  • A BMI of ≥ 45 or 50 is super obesity

That would be me. Well, that WAS me anyway. I was exactly 1 BMI point over "morbidly obese" and into "super obese."  Having a big toe into that category is pretty freaking scary. And,  well....sad.

I am now 252 pounds which puts me at a 36.2 BMI, or "severe obesity." I am 7 pounds away from scoring Class 1 obesity (just plain old regular garden variety obesity like the majority of other Americans). It's pretty sad when "just being obese" is your next major goal.

On the UP side, however, I have lost 68 pounds, and according to the charts, I have another 78 pounds to go until I am what they consider "normal" weight. That's pretty freaking exciting to me today. I have already gone from a size 30/32 to a size 18/20 (some 22's still for sure, but many 18/20's fit me). I can't imagine how small I will be when I lose another 78 pounds!  

I may find that 180 or 185 ends up being my perfect weight. Or that size 14 is ideal. I don't know. This is all brand new territory. I haven't been near this weight for decades, so it's a mystery to me yet to be revealed! The smallest I can ever recall being was a size 12 when I was 19 and that was just ONE pair of jeans and I squeezed into them for about 2 weeks before rising up to a size 14. At a size 14, I looked and felt pretty flipping good. 

Anyway, there's my "confession" of sorts. It is what it is. I'm so freaking tired of hiding myself from anyone. From avoiding people. Or leaving out bits of information. I am me. This is it. Take it or leave it.  

Life isn't a dress rehearsal and if I don't dive in and just start living to the max now, I may not get a tomorrow to try it. 


"Those who truly matter don't mind, and those who mind, don't matter."


I just submitted a new word to the Urban Dictionary.  (I love making up words or redefining existing ones!)

The belief or mindset that anything can be accomplished if you tackle it one small step at a time. The frame of mind that is the opposite of "all or nothing" thinking. Phrases a person with a positive incrementality might use include "baby steps", "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time", and "start small and build." "Slow and steady wins the race" is the motto of the person who possesses incrementality. This is the tortoise, not the hare.
Start small; develop incrementality!

Her incrementality helped her to make major lifestyle changes one baby step at a time.

(Urban Dictionary Page Here)

If anyone were to ask me "how are you doing this whole life makeover?" I'd answer with one word:  incrementally. I have implemented one small change at a time until it became a habit, and then I incorporated another new behavior.  It's been a total evolutionary process that has spanned a few years.  It wasn't exactly intentional initially but it has evolved into the way I keep my forward momentum in pretty much all areas of my life now.

I used to be an "all or nothing" kind of gal. Going on a "diet" involved emptying my house of all evil foods and buying a ton of "diet" foods: Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Splenda, Sugar Free this and Fat Free that and Diet Sodas, Baked Lays, and any other "diet" product I could get my hands on.  I wouldn't allow myself to eat anything that wasn't "diet food" or low or no calories.  And this diet would last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days (maybe even a couple of weeks) and I'd fall "off" the diet, and soon the "diet foods" were replaced once again with high fat, high sugar or highly processed foods of the worst kind, officially ending the diet.

A few years ago I started learning a bit more about nutrition (in large part from a friend who's really knowledgeable about this subject) and started making (and used this phrase at the time) "incremental changes."  For instance, I switched from regular whole milk to organic lowfat milk consistently.  I also started drinking a little more water each day.  Once those became truly habitual, I tried making sure I ate at least one vegetable (or a salad) each day.  Just one veggie per day.  And I did that for a few weeks until it became habit.  Prior to that, there were seldom even veggies in the house, let alone being consumed daily!

After that I tried eating one healthy thing along with each meal.  If I went to McDonald's and got a Big Mac, that was fine.  But I had to also have a side salad.  I could eat an entire box of sweet sugary cereal for breakfast, but I had to also have a yogurt or a piece of fruit, etc.  Over time, I really had something healthy with every meal, but what also started to happen was I started eating less of the junk in favor of the healthier choices.  I think my body just started to get happy and wanting the healthy food since I was choosing it more and more often.

This time around, there is no "all or nothing."  I don't get "on" and then fall "off" a diet.  I really don't.  I am making choices each day, each meal, each snack.  Mostly I choose healthy because it feels good.  Sometimes I choose cheesecake because that feels good, too.  Until I'm done and then I remember it doesn't feel as good as I thought it might.  :-)  But at any rate, I'm not "off the diet."  I just choose something super healthy at the very next meal or snack time.  I don't wait until Monday morning because the week's shot anyway.  That's all or nothing thinking and it sabotages my forward momentum!

Try making an incremental change today.  One small thing.  Commit to drinking a couple of glasses of water and keep at it for a couple of weeks until you realize you always have your water with you or nearby.  It won't take long for this to become your new normal.  Once you've done that, try adding one extra veggie per day.  No matter what else you eat, make sure you add a healthy vegetable (dark leafy greens, or broccoli, maybe carrots that are easy to pack and take along?)  Do that for a few weeks and you'll see it really does become habit!

Make today's Word Of The Day "Incrementality."  Get rid of that all or nothing mindset and replace it with the thought that doing one small thing is better than doing nothing.  It really is!


Sunday, June 12, 2011


I came, I saw, I did a little shopping.....

I went on a girl date with myself yesterday. I have business travel starting next week and lasting for a couple of weeks. After that I have a trip to my parents and then two (yes, two) real vacations; the one in August involves both a family reunion and a high school mini reunion.

And of course, most of my clothes don't fit me and have already been given away. I am existing by recycling the same capris and skirts every other day but even they are getting loose. I will actually need two sets of clothes:  some that fit now and some that will fit in two months as I continue to lose weight. I don't want to wait until August to look, because by then the racks will be totally picked over - so I need to guess what size I'll be in August! Such a dilemma. Add to that the fact that I need three categories of clothes:  dressy, business casual, and very casual, and it becomes pretty daunting.

Well yesterday I decided to tackle some of it. First stop was Dress Barn. What a blast! (No, really!) I tried on a gazillion dresses and skirts, different lengths and styles and even different sizes. Some that fit now and some a size 18 knowing that in 2 months they'll fit just fine even if they are too tight today.


There's so much to say about this whole experience it's hard to distill it down, but I'll try:


When I am gaining weight, I feel I am losing femininity. One can argue with me until the end of time that weight does not create masculinity and I will tell you that, for me, it is just my reality. I equate large with masculine. Dresses and skirts didn't even feel remotely pretty on me at my larger sizes. I didn't wear flowery things. I wore khakis and capris and t-shirts and could not stand to look in a mirror. I didn't wear makeup. I didn't "fix" my hair. I didn't wear jewelry  I hated the way I looked and no part of me felt "girly." I felt very unpretty.

That's all changing, and rapidly. I enjoy fixing my hair, picking out makeup, and trying on girly clothes! The flowers, the bright colors, the skirts and dresses. My coworkers can tell you I went from never wearing dresses/skirts to wearing them all the time now. I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN. Oh, I am a woman. But I kind of like acting like it nowadays!


I didn't even use that word before. In December last year, as is our tradition, my friend Chrissy took my son out shopping for me for Christmas. I asked her to please find me a top or two and to accessorize it for me since I would have no clue what to wear with anything if it didn't come with the outfit.

Well, after trying on all those dresses at Dress Barn I realized I don't have the right shoes for the outfits. On a whim, I stopped at the Super Goodwill to see what they might have (for clothes and accessories). A friend suggested I try getting clothes there or at Salvation Army since I keep losing weight so fast - it would save me tons 'o money.

Well, I found a pair of shoes or seven!



My new most favorite place to shop. OMG. I bought 7 pairs of like-new shoes, 5 tops, 1 pair of shorts and 1 pair of capris. The grand total?  $54.00!!!!

If you are losing weight and going through sizes at Goodwill or Salvation Army! They had everything from skirts and dresses to jeans (great name brands, too!) I will most definitely go back there as I continue to shrink. And I just may shop there even after I reach my final goal weight. Heck, why spend $50.00 on jeans when I can buy the exact same thing for $5.00? Holy cow what a discovery!!!!

Wrap Up

Shopping can be fun! Now that I have all those amazing girly shoes, I will need outfits to go with them. And once I have outfits to go with them, I will need to find places to go to actually wear them! And that's EXCITING! I think I'm ready for that. It's taken a lot of years of hard work to get to this point. I'm pretty happy to have lived long enough to see it all coming together like this...because just a year and a half ago, between the smoking and the obesity, I didn't think I'd live more than a couple of more years.

Amazing what hope can do. Never let go of your dreams. One day you'll find a way to make them happen.


P.S.  I only bought three things at Dress Barn: that khaki skirt and a top, and one summer dress that I didn't show a picture's too tight right now, but by August it will be just right. I'll show it then!

P.P.S.  I do need one more dress for this upcoming trip...would you pick any of the ones I showed up there? Cast your vote! lol

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I have done the majority of life alone.  It's just a fact.  It's not a whine, or a complaint.  I'm not searching for sympathy or a "there, there."  I'm not condemning or blaming.  I'm not trying to figure out the hows or the whys of the matter.  I just want to talk about what it's like for me...being alone....doing life alone.  I think it's relevant.

I searched for ages looking for a drawing, or painting, or sketch...some pictorial representation of my kind of aloneness.  This comes close:
She walks alone among people.  She is not necessarily frightened.  But she does seem to need to figure out where to go, what to do, how to herself.  She's found something that brings her comfort to hold onto in her aloneness.  And she is walking.  Can't really doesn't allow for onward, forward, taking the next steps to.....where?  She doesn't know...but she'll keep on walking.  She'll bump into folks and maybe travel a little part of the journey with them.  Then they will leave her alone again and she will pick up and start walking again until she arrives at her destination.  I think she'll just know "home" when she gets there.

I am not home.  Not yet.  There really isn't one.  No home base.  I have lived in this state for 20 years, but it's not home.  I have traveled with people, and enjoyed many parts of those travels, but there has always been an invisible wall between me and them of which I have been very aware.

For the past 6+ years I have been really, truly alone.  It's hard to describe.  There are no relatives in this state and only very recently have I made closer acquaintances.  It's hard to make friends when you have a 45 minute commute each way, a full time job and are a single parent.  The apartment I moved into after separating ended up being a very "rough" place to try to bring up a child, so I bought this house.  It's nice.  So much better than the apartment.  In some ways.

I needed to put in some window air conditioners.  I asked around; there was no one to help me.  I asked at work.  Folks politely explained they had other engagements, etc.  I asked at baseball.  Folks kind of ignored me.  The forecast was for 100 degrees and I couldn't have my son baking in that heat (my house has a ton of glass and it's like a sauna most of the time as it is.)  So I ended up paying someone off craigslist to come do that as well as haul a couple of things off the property that were too big for my CR-V.  Since I don't know anyone with a pickup truck who would actually help me.

Those are times when I feel painfully alone.  Most folks would know someone in the state to call.  An uncle, cousin, friend's husband, etc.

Parenting is kind of like that, too.  I'm that little girl in the photo, trying to figure out life and what I'm supposed to be doing and at the same time, also try to figure out this whole parenting gig.  I'm doing okay of course.  My son's amazing.  I am blessed.  He's truly a gift in my world.  But still, parenting isn't easy and there's no one to ask "was I too harsh?" or no one to run things by as they are happening.

I've been to some pretty dark places in the past 6+ years.  I sometimes wonder what all this is for....I mean, what's the goal?  What's the prize?  Why am I killing myself to get it all right?  Am I going to wake up one day wondering where life drifted off to while I was busy keeping afloat?  Will the weight matter?  Will the smoking or not smoking matter?  Will my faith matter?  Will anything matter?

Oddly, I'm not in a dark place at all today.  I'm really not.  I'm just sharing the kinds of thoughts that run through my head when I'm not being goofy and dorky and positive.  Y'all see fun, funny, positive, can-do, go get 'em, etc.  But there's also another very real side to me.

This side gets really tired of doing the tangible aspects of life so alone. (I know I have moral support and oodles of 'virtual' friends!)  It's been a hard several years and I'm ready for a break.

The great news is that this year, life is coming together finally.  I am finding really nice (live, in person) friends to hang out with. My friendships from the past few years have seemed to grow stronger than they ever were before.  And I've had more company in the past two months than in the past 5 years (no kidding.)  So this seems to be a turning point for me, and I'm glad.

It really feels like inner and outer balance are all within reach and are, in fact, starting to happen.  Whew.  Let's hope this is a continuing trend.  Scratch that.  I will make sure this is a continuing trend.  :-)


Fear THIS!

I had a little binge yesterday.  Two turkey sandwiches on whole grain wheat, followed by two skinny cow ice creams.  That was a lot more food than I ever eat at once and it was also done kind of frantically.  Like, what else can I shove in my mouth now?

I went into a dull carb coma after eating it all and went to bed fairly early.  I didn't think about it until this morning as I was getting on the scale.  The scale's fine.  But I have to figure out what the heck happened before I repeat it.  Something was at the root of it.

Here are some guesses, and I think they involve "FEAR."

  1. I am traveling soon and so I tried on my bathing suits last night.  Uh, the old ones literally slid off me, so they are not options.  I had purchased a new suit size 18/20 months ago (when I had just started) as a goal for August.  For the heck of it, I tried it on.  IT FIT!  But instead of feeling great about it, I felt panicky and really exposed somehow.  For YEARS my suits have had those little skirts.  You know the ones that hang down covering the "ROLL"?  Well this suit is just a suit.  No protective skirt.  I don't know.  It's unsettling as much as it is exciting.
  2. I am traveling soon and meeting a bunch of new people.  That's exciting!!!!  And also....well, it comes with a slight fear of....rejection?  Fear of....not being "there" yet.  I wanted to be "normal" before all my summer travels this year and it's just not going to happen.  I won't be at my goal weight until maybe March of next year and clearly, even then, there will be saggy floppy skin spots that no amount of exercise or dieting can eliminate.  That's....upsetting.  I'd love to meet folks and not have to hide my flappy arms or gut.  Gack.
  3. I can feel changes happening in my life...I am more organized.  I am keeping a much prettier house.  I am tending to my outside gardens daily and really enjoying it.  I am wearing a bit 'o makeup and dressing prettier (khakis and polo shirts were my business casual attire almost daily last year.)  I am becoming from the inside out the kind of person I really want to be.  That is a little scary.
  4. I am attracting male attention.  I've even caught a man or two doing either a double take or one of those top to bottom looks and I'm still freaking obese!  THAT is a little scary.  I am pretty sure I'm going to be getting more attention like that the more weight I lose. I don't really know how to handle that attention.  Any time I have lost weight in the past I have either latched on to the first guy or two I dated, or gained the weight right back.  I don't really trust myself to know what to do in this new territory!
So I guess I had a moment of recidivism.  Turning back to what USED to work (burying feelings and/or hiding in food.)  

Well, I don't want to DO that anymore.  So a hail mary, an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill, and a forward march is in order.

I've decided the fear of the known, (the obesity, the overeating to cope, the hiding, the shame) is MUCH greater now than the fear of the UNknown (what AM I walking into????)  So I'm making a conscious decision that next time I feel overwhelmed with feelings/fears/vulnerabilities I will either hop on the treadmill while thinking it through, or come write about it.  Food is NOT the answer.  This I know.

Fear?  CAN TAKE A HIKE!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Keep Your Legs Crossed!"

An old phrase told by mothers to daughters as they leave for dates:  "Keep your legs crossed."  That might have been funny for some, but for us fatties, it was another reminder of our size. Not only couldn't I KEEP my legs crossed, I couldn't really GET them crossed in the first place. Which may explain a thing or two, but that's for another kind of blog entirely....  ;-)

This morning while enjoying my morning BFF phone check-in, it occurred to me:  MY LEGS ARE CROSSED! Just sitting there, comfy as could be, sipping coffee and chatting away, my legs went into (and stayed in!!!!) the crossed position. HOLY COW!

I'm sorry, but that's a big milestone.

I don't think non-fat people can appreciate how very restricted overweight people are, and how much we can't actually do that non-overweight people can do. Like crossing our legs.

In fact, I hated going anywhere where I had to sit out and exposed as opposed to hiding my legs under a table somewhere. My fat always forced my legs apart (it was HARD to try to keep them even together, forget about crossed!) It often consumed my thoughts when sitting at an to keep my legs from falling apart like a guy's.

Pedicures sucked, too. It took effort and a lot of muscle to keep my legs together while getting the pedicure.  The fat thighs just naturally pressed against each other forcing the legs apart. It was a workout sometimes just getting through the pedicure keeping my feet in the proper place! And I was painfully aware of the discomfort during the entire pedicure.

Ahhhhh the little things really matter.

I feel more feminine this morning. I can cross my legs. I can now wear dresses and skirts pretty much anywhere (whether there's a table to hide my legs or not) because I can sit pretty like a "lady."  :-)

Some of you may be thinking, wow, a whole post about crossing your legs? But some of you understand.  And to all of you (((((((((((((((huge hugs)))))))))))))))))))) May you all one day be able to keep your legs crossed.  ;-)


Friday, June 3, 2011

Wait A Sec...

Don't look now, but I think my boobs are actually sticking out farther than my tummy! :-)

Back in the late 80's I remember a friend's father telling me that a woman isn't fat until her tummy sticks out farther than her chest. It's kind of funny the things we hold on to throughout our lives. That's always been one of them. Well, well, well, Mr. Smith...guess what! It took over two decades, but I finally did it!  Hooray!

This is a pretty big day for me.  I'm about to reveal some of the information I've held back.

When I started this whole "year of me" I was wearing a size 30/32 top and size 30 pants.  I passed through the 28's, 26's, 24's and currently own a bunch of 22's (the jeans are 22's.)  The top, however, that I bought two days an 18/20!  Holy Shrinking Violet, Batman!

I'm ALMOST halfway there.  I have lost 65 pounds.  I actually am going for a total loss of 140 pounds.

I have already lost the equivalent of a typical 8-10 year old.  By the end of the year I will have lost a whole woman.  Unfreakingbelievable.

I have been so busy these days that blogging is really hard.  I have around 200 linear feet of garden to water, weed and love every morning, a house that is seriously organized, clean, pretty and a priority, a son who plays baseball and is otherwise very active, and ohhhhh yeah...about 90 minutes of commuting each day to and from my full time job and oh yeah, the whole single mom and homeowner thing.  Since all the other priorities are straight, blogging  has taken a bit of a back seat.

I had a two week hiatus from working out and started back at it yesterday (my abs may never forgive me for putting them through this again!).  I plan to do weight training 3 times per week and cardio 5 times.  I'm getting so close to my family reunion in August I don't want to slow down now!  I'll still be several months away from the actual goal come August, but I want to feel like I've done all I can up until that point.

Also, my high school friends are making an impromptu mini reunion while I'm in town (how cool is that?)  I haven't seen many of them since I graduated in 1983!  So that's all the more incentive to keep it going.  My new goal is to lose another 20 before August 6th.  You think I can do it?

You think anything can stop me?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...