Friday, December 31, 2010

This Just In...


Today is the day, the last day of 2010 & the end of my ill-named but no less passionate "Overweight in '08" campaign--my goal to start 2011 with a BMI of less than 30 & thus be done with obesity.  Until the last minute, I was convinced that I had failed in my quest & was doomed to start the new year with Opal & her friend, obesity. 

The bad news: I didn't make my weight goal, I missed it by 0.2 lbs.  The good news: I'm horrible at math & it didn't matter.  I had calculated the weight I needed to get the BMI, but I had used a simplified online calculator that just wasn't accurate.  As of this morning, my BMI is 29.5...OVERWEIGHT!

As I was getting weighed & having my measurements done, I had prepped myself for defeat & was busy giving myself the mental pep talk about the value of trying & setting lofty goals.  Blah blah blah.  In reality I was so discouraged.  Even as I was having my measurements done & they were coming up great, I just didn't care.  All I could think about was my BMI & my failed attempt.  It didn't matter that I knew that I would still hit the goal at some point, I wanted it so bad in that moment that it was crushing.  When the little gizmo popped up my BMI reading, I balled like a baby.  Thank goodness for my loving Curves family understanding how hard I've worked & how much it meant to me.

This has been an interesting venture.  The burden of public failure was more stressful than I anticipated.  Perhaps this goal was harder than my prior mini-goals, or perhaps it was my fear of humiliation, but I was a basket case for the last three days.  Perhaps it might have been good for me to fail...a dose of humiliation can do great things for one's motivation.  However, I'm much happier to be able to say that I am no longer obese & I will never be that way again.
Weight tracker & BMI printout to be framed at a later date.

I am excited to have this fresh start in 2011.  This is the year that I will hit 100 lbs gone.  This is the year that I will run my first 5K.  This is the year that I will hit my goal weight (thought I haven't yet decided what that will be).  But right now, I'm most excited to show off my little sheets of (illegible) paper that say "Mission Accomplished."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Face of Obesity


Is this the face of obesity?

Yes, yes it is.  I have plans to change that, but for today, I'm going to climb onto my soapbox & preach something I am extremely passionate about.

One third of Americans are obese, so out of three people in a room, chances are one of them is obese (to say nothing of the other third that are overweight).  The problem is that we're not willing to acknowledge it.  Skinnies & fatties alike want obesity to look like Danny (430 lbs), Michael (526 lbs), & Patrick (400 lbs).  As the last three winners of "Biggest Loser,"  it is easy, comfortable & comforting to identify them as (formerly) obese.  With that visual in our heads, we can feel safe that we are nothing like "those" people (said with all love because I have nothing but respect for those guys & their hard work!).  It's the same feeling that you get watching "Springer:" I might be bad, but I'm not THAT bad.  Truth is, I am that "bad."

I, in this picture, am obese.  My BMI is 30.  I am nearly 30 pounds outside of the upper limit of a healthy weight for my height.  I am wearing a large sweater & size 14 pants.  I am 178 lbs.

I, in this picture, am not ugly.  I am not stupid.  I am not dirty.  I am not lazy.  I am not deluded.  I am not without self control. 

If we can't see obesity for the precise problem that it is, we can't fix it.  Obesity is not a character flaw, it is a serious medical condition, one that many suffer from whether they can acknowledge it or not.  I am thankful that I have gotten to a place where I can see obesity for what it is & put myself in a position to correct it on a granular level.  That is all that I can do. 

Sermon finished.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Smile, You're on Candid Camera


Candid photos...eeeeeek!  A nightmare for anyone with body issues.  Even at my heaviest, I was able to take a posed picture that didn't make me want to cry.  All I needed was a mere twenty minutes to dress, camouflage, suck & arrange.  A candid photo affords no such's the unvarnished, un-sucked-in truth & the truth often hurts.  

As I was going through the some 300 pics that we snapped on Christmas day, I had a realization:

1)  The digital age makes for an unreasonable & unmanageable amount of family almost made me long for the time of my youth when any event could be documented in 24 pictures (36 if it was a really special occasion).

2)  I don't want to vomit looking at the candid pictures of me opening gifts with my children.  Somewhere along the line my body truly has changed shape in places that I can't see on a regular basis & my relaxed posture has improved dramatically.  Don't get me wrong, all candid pictures of me still prominently feature my big mouth hanging wide open (I've merely shed pounds, not changed the core of who I am!), but they don't all make me wish that I had a graphic design degree & a proficiency with Photo Shop. 

So, in the name of being completely honest, a collection of candid photos that may not be flattering, but they no longer cause me to cry.  Feel free to not look at them as they are about as exciting to others as vacation photos or reunion pics.

Prominently featured: the hip & thigh & a box of cookies that Sara didn't eat by herself.

Up close & personal with no double chin (partial credit goes out to my good friend, Turtleneck).

Thigh spread: not as spready as you once were.

Ok, not a candid shot, but my hips are not dwarfing the Snuggie box!

Yes, that is the Perfect Brownie pan, completing Sara's "As Seen on TV" Christmas.

Mom, my level of embarrassment at you posting such unfiltered pics is just shocking. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Little Pink Box


Christmas presents for Sara this year rotated around the idea that everyone who sees me on a somewhat regular basis is tired of seeing my clothes fall off.  I've been avoiding purchasing too much in the way of new clothes because I am not yet to a stopping point...this is merely a weigh station (so to speak).  My friends & family were so sweet & I now have a set of gift stores who's doors I haven't darkened in years!

One in particular brought me to tears.  Ladies, you know this box:
In case you might not understand (so much the better for you--there will be no hating here!), this is a BFD!  I've always thought of lingerie gifts as a cop-out as far a presents for a woman are concerned...let's face it, it's not for the lady.  But here's the thing I realized as I opened this little pink box: it was nice that my husband COULD buy me something from Vickie' hadn't even been an option for so many years.  Yes, that is me crying in that picture.  Yes, Dave said that was the reaction he was going for.  He said he even contemplated actually picking something out for me, something he was too terrified to do in the past, but then he remembered that he's a man & he has no idea what I would want.  Too bad for him, too...that cute pink gift card is going to buy me some sensible knickers that don't pool in the crotch (yes, I just said crotch in public) of my pants as they are hanging off of my body (that is how I roll these days).  No feathers, no sequins, just cotton that fits.   

So, time to go shopping!  It's a good way to get some extra steps in on my way to the big weigh-in on Friday & a great way to put an end to every night being Amateur Night at The Hurler House.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Eleventh Hour Update


Today was last weigh-in before the polls close on my big campaign.  Next week I'll know for sure if 2010 was my last year of obesity or if Opal & friends will be singing "Auld Lang Syne" with me. 

Last week I had 5.4 pounds to go.  I was a little frightened & overwhelmed.  I knew that it was possible, but the weight of my public commitment & my sincere desire was crushing.  After WW on Saturday, I decided that I couldn't regret the outcome if I tried my hardest.  Over this last week, I laced up & went to work-out four times.  I did two Zumba classes.  I went to the mall & walked when I didn't have any shopping to do (which is odd because I still seemed to come home with bags).  I was careful about every spoonful, finger-lick & sip that went into my mouth.  I worked hard to make every rep, step & bite work hard for me.

No campaign is complete without some baby smoochin'!

The result of all of that last minute campaigning?  I'm only 2.2 pounds away.  Still a big task, but not insurmountable.  Stay posted.  Exit polls will be available next Friday.  If I'm to win, I have some more stumping (& running & lifting & zumba-ing) to do, so I better hit the trail. 

Here's to "Overweight in '08!" stay classy, San Diego!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Red Letter, Green Sweater Day


Yesterday was a bigstinkingdeal kind of day--the good kind, not the sarcastic kind.  We packed the kids in van & braved the crowds to finish our Christmas shopping.  This in itself is not notable beyond the fact that Dave & I have finally matured past the point of doing all of our Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve--at Walgreens.   The mall was as expected, a crush of crazies & their whining children who were promised a visit to Santa but not prepped for the hour & a half wait.  (Side note of hilarity: it took two mall cops to shut down the Santa line when it was time for the big man to take a lunch break.  At first I thought that was excessive, but you know there were frazzled moms that made the brute squad perfectly necessary).  Back to the throngs of people, here's the part where it gets good...

Dave: "Sara, I can't auto-recognize you in a crowd anymore."
Sara: "Huh?"
Dave: "You look so different & we go out so little that I'm not used to what you look like when I'm trying to find you in a crowd."

Aside from the clearly depressing part about us not going out in public--even to a mall--on a very regular basis, how exciting is that?!?!?  I have pulled off the ultimate disguise & I can now begin my life as a spy.  Even my husband won't recognize me as long as I do all of my spying in densely populated spaces.  Montana, you are safe.

I swear that is stove-top cleaner, not a bottle of hooch in the background.
As if that wasn't awesome enough, I got lured into a store promising an additional 40% off of sale items (I know, how could I just walk by?) & ended up hesitantly coming out with a sweater with no "extras" on the tag.  None.  Not one & certainly not two.  When we got home, I tried it on immediately.  Dave was outside shoveling.  I was so excited that it fit, I tore out of the house screaming "I'm extra free, I'm extra free!"  Poor guy, he looked at me as though I was making some sort of commentary on the state of Tibet & I'm sure my neighbors think I'm insane (the screaming was accompanied by a little move-busting--wouldn't you know, Dave was playing "Dynamite" when I came out).  Sorry neighbors, sorry neighbors' house sitter, on a day this great, nothing to do except host a dance party on your front step.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

C is for Cookie!


Something to make you smile:

Less grin getting: I had four cookie occasions last week.  FOUR! In ONE week!  That's a lot of say nothing of the eating.  Thankfully I'm 10 months into figuring out this whole moderation thing, so I still had a pretty good week.  Old Sara would have been high on the hog (or pillow puff...mmmmmm...), but New Sara took time & savored some, shared a lot, & enjoyed the events that surrounded all of those baked goods.  I tried really hard to think about the people I was baking/decorating for/with.  It took the focus off of sugarplums & marzipan (ok, I have no idea what those things are, but aren't the words fun?) & onto the people & the fun of the holiday...something I am perennially bad at. 
I am hoping that the influx of sweets is over at our house, because with two weeks left until the New Year, I've got 5 lbs to mini-goal & that BMI's not going to lower itself.  So, enough typey-typey, more movey-movey!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010: Dynamite!


I've never been a big crier.  Probably because I look AWFUL doing it.  Even as a child, my eyes would become immediately bloodshot & my nose would insta-drip down my face & I'd develop a weird saliva issue.  Pretty.  I think somewhere along the line I decided it wasn't worth the the ravages to my beauty to bother crying too much.

This morning, the enormity of my past year hit me like a ton of bricks & I couldn't stop the show.  It took quite the mix of odd circumstances, but when they all came together it was like Niagara Falls up in here.  It went as follows:

1.  Yesterday Lincoln asked, "May I pretty please have strawberries for breakfast."  I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing my three-year-old self's heart's desire of breakfast food had something to do with the golden arches & a lot of syrup.  My kid craved berries...real ones, not the "crunch" variety.

2.  Last night I watched the "Biggest Loser Finale."  I have nothing but love for BL & I would count myself among the people that they refer to incessantly on finale night: "the millions of people at home that the Biggest Loser has helped."  However, there was something different for me about this finale (the third I have watched).  I didn't see the contestants as Herculean anomalies, I viewed them as peers...& quite frankly, some of them dropped the ball & squandered a fabulous opportunity.  To date, I have a higher percentage of weight loss than 9 of the 21 people featured, & almost identical to another 2.  That's not to say that I think that there was anyone who hasn't done great things in their life, & I don't want to minimize anyone, but it really put things into a brand new perspective for me to have these people seem extra-ordinary rather than extraordinary.

3.  This morning I got into the car at 5:45 to go to work out.  This is not out of the ordinary at all for New Sara, but quite unfathomable for Old Sara & given my already reflective mood something struck just right as...

4.  "Dynamite" came on the radio.  I rarely listen to current pop music, but I was driving Dave's car (yes, Dave's) & he had the radio set to our local KISS station of teeny-bopper drivel.  "Dynamite" is frothy, it's celebratory & it was just the kind of party anthem that I needed to set the happy waterworks on full force.

Even now thinking about it, & listening to Taio for the 50th time this morning, I'm choking up & feeling incredibly proud of myself & thankful for the journey & just plain happy about how I have used the time given to me in 2010. 

However, back in the car on the way to work out this morning, I was snapped out of my reverie & back to dry land by the end of the song, at which point Elvis Duran comes on to segue into a pleasant little game called "Stan on the Crapper" (couldn't have made that up if I tried).  *sigh* Back to the real world.

Sunday, December 12, 2010



Lincoln trying to help me detox by sharing the burden.

I have a problem.  My name is Sara & I'm a nursorexic.

I have been fretting about the day that I ween Coraline from the time I got pregnant.  Because I had a plan to start WW back up at exactly six weeks postpartum, I knew that I would be nursing while on plan.

With Lincoln, I lost the baby weight initially by nursing alone & when I weened I gained most of it back.  I had gotten into some awful eating habits while nursing that really kicked my butt (or rather grew it) when I was done.  This time around, I realized that nursing moms need more calories to sustain, but I was deathly afraid that I wouldn't be able to discern needed calories vs superfluous.  It took a couple of months to get through the initial ravenous stage, but then I leveled out & now I feel very comfortable that I am eating appropriately to sustain Coraline's gain & my loss.

While her gain IS my gain (both on a lovey-gushy mommy level & on a very physical poundage level), I am terrified that I will have a repeat performance & actually gain once I'm not pumping my calories into my baby.  I'm afraid of my inability to scale back once I'm done "eating for two."

I find myself fantasizing about being one of those mothers who has a second grader that comes home & has milk & cookies as an after school snack--with me starring as the milk.

I wonder if it would be weird to just keep pumping--forever.

I think about going out in search of needy babies who have no mother to feed them--orphans or kittens or something.

I have always said that my reasons for nursing were more selfish than pure.  I hate to wash bottles & I hate measuring out formula.  I'm lazy when it comes to feeding my baby & it turns out that for me, once I push past the tricky early weeks, nursing is the laziest choice.  Sure, I love that I'm setting my kids up with antibodies & nutrients, but I love it even more that I don't have to sterilize nipples.  And now, I also love it that Coraline is sucking the life right out of my posterior.

Nursing has become such an integral part of the process that I am scared the whole thing will fall apart when that piece is gone.  I'm not in any rush to ween right now, but as she craves more & more solids,  I find myself feeling nervous & thinking about THE END--the day I can no longer use my daughter to justify my three o'clock cheese habit.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Walk This Way


A couple of years ago, when I was still working, I wore a pedometer for a few months, lost it & didn't replace it.  At that time, I was averaging about 3,000-4,000 steps per day.  With a desk job & no work out plan in sight, that doesn't seem too surprising.

On Saturday, I purchased a new pedometer on a whim.  Though I scoff at all of the celebrity moms that coyly say, "Oh, I just stay in shape by chasing after my kids," I have to admit that it certainly doesn't hurt.  I'm sure also involved in the increase is the fact that I have lost weight & thus gained energy...a sort of positive vicious circle.  Since Saturday, my step average is about 8,000, not counting work outs.  Who knew?!?

It's a fun game to see if I can increase my step count over the prior day & I like having a way to quantify my daily activity outside of working out.  I'd like to see my average for a week above 10,000, a good goal to help me on with my looming goal for "Overweight in '08." 

Definitely a good impulse buy.  Now, if only the DVD copy of "Undercover Brother" were that useful.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This One's For the Girls


I just had a delicious revelation.  Pardon me for being crass, but my cans look great (I use the word cans in the interest of honesty because that is what flew out of my mouth when I had the shocked revelation to Dave the other night)!

Since I haven't gotten any new bras, gone under the knife, or found a time machine to take me back to 2001 (all of which I am open to), I am left with one conclusion...Opal's taking damage!  I have no idea how many hit points she has left under her belt, but I know this, she is beginning her retreat & it's left me looking a little more buxom. 

One of my self-worth barometers has always been boob to belly ratio.  If the boobs had clearance beyond the belly, I could live with looking in the mirror.  If the belly eclipsed the boobs, wailing & gnashing of teeth.  I was surprised & horrified when Opal began digging in her heels & the bosom started saying "Bon voyage!" Though I had lost a good amount of weight I felt worse about my body.

Happy days are here again--this morning's measurements confirmed that the old girl shrunk 3.75 inches this month!  I think this will likely be a cycle that I endure throughout the rest of the process, losing irregularly & going through awkward stages.  If only I could special order where I wanted to shed pounds on any given day.  *sigh*  There's no pleasing some people.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Miles to Go Before I Sleep


I've been on this leg of my journey to sincerely shed pounds since my thirtieth birthday on February 17th.  Since then I have abolished about 87 pounds, gotten into a new "century," dropped 4 pants' sizes (8 if you count the odd sizes, too), decreased my BMI by 12 points & whittled a combined 35 inches off of my whole body.  So, given 9 months & all of this success, why am I still so filled with self doubt?

The past couple of weeks, I have really struggled with my faith in myself & the progress I have made.  Though I have come so far, in my head I often revert back to Old Sara.  When I get on the scale & I'm waiting for the number to pop up, I guess what I think it will be...always putting a 2 in the first position, though I have been out of the two hundreds for two months.  When I think about my clothes, I sometimes ransack my room for "the only jeans that fit"...just to remember that I shrunk out of them six months ago & took them to Goodwill around the same time.  And then there are the less concrete, but more damaging things about the adjectives that I use to describe myself in my head where no one can hear me: fat, lazy, lumpy, saggy, stupid, huge, unattractive, dirty & my personal favorite: squishy.

It came to a head because I was out of my controlled environment while on vacation.  I had wonderful, supportive family all around me & not a single food pusher among them.  And even though the scale subsequently showed that I made great choices & proved that being on plan doesn't mean being deprived,  I couldn't help feeling out of control & I couldn't stop the nagging voice in my head from saying undermining & hurtful things.

I'm sick & tired of this kind of reverse pride.  As a middle-schooler, an influential adult said to me that humility is "the accurate assessment of yourself," neither fluffing yourself up nor putting yourself down.  Both ends of the spectrum amount to a kind of detrimental pride.  That has stuck with me for nearly 20 years & I often go back to that idea as a way to gauge how I am presenting myself to others, but now I am realizing that I also need to shine that light internally.  Clearly I have come a long way, but mentally, there is still so far to go.  How do I rewrite so many years of internal self-loathing into a healthy appreciation of self?  Not sure, but once again I am fully convinced that the battle against bulge for me (as for so many people) is primarily a war in the mind rather than a war of the behind.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mortification, Thy Name is Motherhood


Speak No Evil
Lincoln is in love with rhyme.  He loves to hear rhymes & more & more, he loves to create rhymes. He doesn't feel constrained to keep himself to real words.  He just likes to throw out rhyming words & syllables with nonsensical abandon.  He gets the biggest kick out of it.  I exploit his love, using it as a way to fill time while waiting in line or in the car.

Today, we were at the doctor's office for his three year check up.  Given that it has suddenly become winter, we were bundled to the hilt to get here & there.  After his appointment, we were standing by the reception desk getting ready to brave the cold & Link says "Let's rhyme!  Gut!  Butt!" 

At that point, I decided to gloss over his minor infraction & see if we could just move on.  As I fought to get a squirmy baby into her coat, I absent mindedly said, "What other 'ut' words do you know?"


I stole a quick look at the receptionist to confirm that she was shaking...with laughter or with rage, I'm not sure.  For my part, I was trying really hard NOT to visibly laugh as doing so would surely guarantee that his made-up word would become a permanent fixture in his schtick.  He should probably trust his comedic instincts--nothing kills like a three year old calling his mother a slut at the pediatrician's office.