Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another 100


Through the magic of computer check-in, I learned that tonight's Zumba class was my 100th workout.  That's 100 times that I have done something that I previously would have laughed at.  That's 100 times I made a good choice rather than an easy choice.  That's 100 times I've laced up when I had little to no desire to do so.

My reward?  I wore MEDIUM pants to my work-out.  I don't think I have EVER worn medium pants as an adult. 

Me gusto Zumba & the 10" overall that I have lost since I started!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary


One year ago today I re-joined Weight Watchers.  I've lost 102 pounds total...87 of them with Weight Watchers.  My refreshed outlook + a vintage sweater that I bought my Sophomore year of High School + boots that I was only just able to wear after purchasing them 7 years ago = Happy Sara.

March 2010

March 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

She'll be Comin' Round the Corner When She Comes


Up two pounds for the week.  In all honesty it is less than I expected.  I'm a daily weigh-er, but I didn't touch the scale this week...I walked into weigh-in blind but for the knowledge of what I felt I had "earned" 

I cried all the way through the meeting--not because of the gain, but because of my apathy & bitterness.  Even though the topic was fortuitously "dealing with setbacks," I was still mopey when I got home.  Once again, no guilt, which I have decided is a big problem. 

Over the course of this week I identified that I have a six month cycle of success followed by bitterness.  It's illogical, it's ungrateful, but it's how I feel.  Yet again after all of my success & all of my blessings & all of my hard work I am overwhelmed by the enormity of my task & how far I have yet to go.  My last six month bitterness yielded the beginning of my blog.  The outcome of this six month bitterness is TBD, BUT I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I kept very busy feeling sorry for myself for the last couple of weeks & bemoaning that "I have to do this." 
Then three things happened:

1) Lincoln reminded me that I needed to go exercise.  A subtle reminder from a three year old helped me put my task back into its greater perspective.  While I am taking this journey primarily for myself, little eyes are watching & little lives are being shaped.  When Lincoln asked me if I was going to Zumba class on Thursday, not only did I go (when I was going to flake out) but it helped me get back to a motivation that was outside of myself.  This proved key when...

2)  Dave reminded me that I'm not special.  Of course I'm special in that everyone-is-unique-&-has-a-voice kind of way, but sometimes people need to be reminded that in the human experience there isn't anything new under the sun & everyone has something that is his cross to bear.  Dave & I often tell each other that we "are not beautiful or unique snowflakes," especially as pertains to the things that get us down.  Realizing that I'm not the only one with a problem, or even THIS problem was key to snapping me back into the mindset that this is my struggle--could be better, could be worse.  That brought me to dealing with my wall, mentally & physically when...

3)  While she was giving a presentation at the Healthy Living Expo, I learned that my first BL crush, Rebecca, not only hit a wall in her process, but it was at the 100 pound mark as well.  It was almost an off-hand remark, but what was practically a throw away line for her was just what I needed to remind me that this process isn't voo-doo, it's science.  I can sit & wish for results in one hand &...well, you get the idea.  If I want to press through a wall, I have to DO something.  Back to measuring food, back to drinking water, back to religiously scheduled work-outs.  I can't control everything, but I can control the things I can control.

I do believe that puts me squarely around the corner & where I need to be.  I've got menus planned for next week & a grocery list put together & I've been sipping away at my gigantic water cup.  Tomorrow I'm going to get my house back in order (the state of my house nearly always reflects my mood) & get ready to face a new week with the promise that at this time next week I will have posted a weight decrease & a confidence increase.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where's My Stinkin' Wagon?


Not only do I feel like I've fallen off of the wagon, it seems as though my particular wagon backed up, ran over me, backed up again, ran over me again, & then took off like a runaway-pony-express-scene in an old Western. 

To the previous chocolate debacle, let's add a peanut butter epic & see how that helps the cause...& in case that's not enough, let's add some nachos & a margarita for good measure.  This week has been forsaken. 

At the beginning of the week, I was secretly worried that I had hit the dreaded plateau.  Ha ha!  A plateau seems highly unlikely at this point.  All signs point to me wracking up a tidy little gain on Saturday, and yet I still don't feel guilty.  I wonder when that becomes a problem.  I'm all for banishing self loathing, but perhaps a little baby loathe could be useful right about now.  Instead I feel oddly content & have placidly tracked every wayward bite.  I suppose that's something, but it would be more of a something if I could step away from the junk & chase down my wagon.  I've got to get back on before it rides off into my sunset without me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chocolate: the Eighth Deadly Sin


Ugh!  Attack of the chocolate craving...it's like a killer tomato, only more points.

I've had a hard week of being hungry & craving junk--specifically chocolate junk.  Last night I found myself foraging for chocolate in my (relatively) sweets-free house.  You know what I came up with & devoured?  Two Market Pantry Chocolate Chip Granola bars (leftover from the 4th of July Parade) & three glugs of chocolate syrup (age unknown). 

I know I'm just hungry because my body is adjusting to weening & the loss of those extra calories, & I know I shouldn't be ransacking for chocolate like a junkie in a deserted crack house, but that's where I'm at...as evidenced by the look of guilt & horror that was surely on my face when Dave came downstairs last night & busted me in the dark with the fridge open, pouring Hershey's down my throat like it was the last drink in the Sahara. 

The silver lining: I'm really not beating myself up about it.  To quote Lincoln when he poos himself, "It's OK, it happens."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Run, Sara! Run!


I was prepared for the twitching legs.  I was dreading the burning lungs.  I had no idea that my mouth would taste like I taken a right hook to the chompers. 

I officially went for my first run, & I have to say the best part was saying to my son, "Mommy went for a run this morning."  Second to that was watching the steam billow off of me in the dark morning air once I was done.  I could do without the bloody mouth taste & the accute awareness of each & every one of my neighbors that might possibly be awake.

I've been building up to this baby run for a LONG time.  The first fledgling idea of me running came in October when I was looking for an easy-out anniversary gift for my husband.  I got a card, wrote something cute about wanting to run with him my whole life, blah blah blah, & I was off the hook for a gift just by promising to do a 5k with him in the spring.  But now it's time to pay the piper.

I had done a little research on how to train for my first outting.  Someone suggested that I check out Hal Higdon's website.  I did.  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  He is clearly a knowledgable chap & I'm sure that he has a lot to offer to someone that is in a different place (physically, but most definitely mentally).  For a laugh, take a look at his "Novice" 5K training schedule  First run?  One & a half miles.  No offense, Hal, but our definitions of novice don't quite match up.

Hal got me spooked, but in rode C25K on a white horse...or white running shoes.  The plan seems do-able, both at my stage in physical fitness & for my schedule & it doesn't make me want to cry just thinking about it.  The only problem is that I'm a rule-monger.  If I miss one scheduled run, I know I'm liable to throw the whole thing out.  With that in mind I've been hemming & hawing & talking about it & shopping & talking about it & making playlists & talking about it...but not DOING IT.

Then I stumbled on the best blog: Ashleyanne is Doing It!  She's living up to her title; this girl is doing it & doing it good!  Man, is she inspirational.  We started out in fairly comparable places (not that I actually know her, but you know how it goes when you start digging into someone's blog...it's like reality TV only you only watch the confessionals for the characters that you care about!).  Anyway, while I was sitting around making excuses for why I couldn't move more, she started running & racing.  Reading about her journey spurred me to put the new gear on & actually GO.

I wanted to answer two questions with my first run:
1.  How far can I go without stopping?
2.  How long will it take me to do a mile?

1.  0.44 miles
2.  12 minutes & 20 seconds

I think I'll do a couple more of these run-around-the-block-&-hope-that-no-one-sees-me runs & then go back to the C25K idea.  They've got an ipod app that will lay over my music & tell me when to switch between running & walking, so I can't use that as an excuse to not do it. 

I'm not fast, I'm certainly not pretty, but by gosh & by golly I'm a runner.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

100% Guaranteed One Pound Weight Loss in Under One Hour


Did I hook you with the promise of easy loss?  Did I peak your curiosity?  Did I make you lose a little faith in me for falling for some gimmick?

You CAN lose one pound in one hour.  I did it & so did 9.5 million other people (in 2006).  Impossible, you say?  What is this wondrous weight loss method & how can you join in the fun?  It is possible through the miracle of blood donation.  It takes about one hour to donate one pint which weighs approximately one pound.  Yes, you will gain it back & no, it isn't completely painless, BUT, if you time it right & weigh yourself right when you're done, you're guaranteed to feel just a little bit good about yourself just looking at the number on the scale.

Why talk about blood donation?  Ever since I had my son & learned that I am O Negative, I felt guilty about not donating blood.  I was fit as a fiddle & bogarting the popular blood.  You know what I did about it?  Nothing.  It took me three years to get over the fear, to get over the laziness, to get over the hump & just do it for the sake of being a good citizen.

So, I'm not going to talk about the children with Leukemia, the teenagers in car accidents, the 80,000 people in the US with Sickle cell disease.  I'm not going to mention that 25% of us will need some sort of blood product in our lifetime & the only source of that blood product is human donation.  I'm not going to bore you with the fact that someone in the US needs blood every two seconds.  Instead I'm going to appeal to your prurient nature. What's in it for you?  One pound gone.  If you're like me & didn't get out to donate for the kids, maybe you will do it for the scale.

Baby's First Blood Donation

Epilogue: While you're thinking about blood, check out my friend (both in the blogosphere & real life) Foy & her take on blood donation.  She is an avid gardener & great cook & has a LOT to offer on the subject of good, nourishing, local food.  Today she's taking a break from the green & growing to talk about the red & flowing as we agreed to do "dueling" blood blogs.  I'm sure her take will be a little more philanthropic than mine, but I figure the ends justify the means.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Whip It


If you live in the DSM area & you get disgruntled in crowds like I do, then maybe you've gone to Merle Hay Mall in the past couple of weeks to avoid the epic amounts of hormone addled, tweens in skinny jeans that populate the bigger malls.  If you HAVE been to Merle Hay recently, then maybe you have seen the billboard featuring my beloved Rebecca Meyer (from BL) touting "Whip It 180"...whatever that is.  Maybe the billboard is elsewhere, too, but a couple of days ago I saw it by the mall & my Rebecca obsession demanded that I figure out what it was about.

I came home and bravely googled the words I remembered from the billboard (Rebecca + Meyer + Whip + It).  Instead of unseemly content, I found that Wellmark is putting on some sort of fitness challenge & Rebecca is the celebrity/trainer involved.  It took me exactly 3.7 seconds to decide to enter the contest.  I wrote up the little essay, waxing poetic about Rebecca & the idea that I wanted to attain fitness along with thin-ness. 

Suffice it to say, I didn't get selected, but I am chalking that up as a win.  From the looks of things, they were looking for Old Sara, & she don't live here no mo'!  Even though I won't be getting the swag or the chance to meet Rebecca & try to gather her hairs to make a creepy Rebecca shrine, I think I am going to sign up for the culminating fun run.  Here's to wishing the best of luck to all of the semi-finalists & getting ready for one mile on April 26: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Splish, Splash!


Last night, while my husband put our son to bed, I took a bath.  Seem unremarkable?  It probably should, but... 

Old Sara had sworn off baths.  Our bathtub is awful.  It was made by someone who hates happiness & loves stress.  It is narrow & sloped weird at the back end...completely uncomfortable.  It is so bad that I vowed that I would not buy another house without climbing in the tub first (Dave sincerely hopes that all tests will be performed in full clothing, but maybe I'll need the true effect...all apologies to any future realtors we might encounter).  All of that being said, I can only blame so much of my bathing ban on the tub.  Part of the problem was the size of my rump.  At my heaviest, I could (*TMI alert*) dam off the back of the tub with my butt.  Talk about a bad feeling--mentally & physically!

In an effort to soak some of my sulking away, I lifted the ban, climbed into the tub, stole some of my kids' Mr. Bubble & I just sat.  I sat & sat & sat.  I brought a book into the bathroom with me, but I didn't even touch it.  Honestly I didn't even think, I just sat.  I could have sat all night, & would have if I had had the forethought to not run the dishwasher before I drew my bath.  It got a little chilly & still I sat. 

Somewhere during all of that sitting, in the absence of voices & music & Internet & obligations & food I found myself sitting in the middle contentment.  Not complacency, but contentment.  Yup, I've got loose skin.  Yup, I have no idea if or when it will go away.  Yup, I'm scared to death of my next step into fitness as well as thinness.  But, I've come a long dam (ha ha ha) way & these hurdles are no bigger than any of the others that I have already cleared, just different.  Like I tell my son...everything is different & different is good. 

And so, for something completely different from my recent tone, may I present to you, KARAOKE Friday (yes, I just sang it here in the kitchen with the kiddos):


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Boo Hoo Hoo


Momma always said be careful what you wish for. 

Recently I have been lamenting that I wasn't brave enough to start writing about my process from the very beginning.  As a journal, the flaw lies in missing those moments, both physical & mental that got me to my point now.  As a piece of writing, the flaw lies in the omission of my origins--the mountaintops are made somewhat irrelevant in the absence of valleys.

Essentially, I have been lamenting that I don't have enough negative stuff to document at this point in my journey. Ha ha ha.

Cue body image issues, self doubt, sub-conscious sabotage, raging hormones, a crowded store, more body image issues, Spring Oreos, jealousy, haters, more body image issues, & (most recently) a hip wiggle move in Zumba that sent shock waves through my thighs & me into yet ANOTHER bout of waterworks in public.  *sigh*  This is getting old.

I was having a good workout--probably the first Zumba class at 100% since my knee injury.  I felt great, my blood was pumping & I was excited.  Due to a laundry/laziness issue, I was wearing leggings instead of my usual work-out pants.  Odd that I mention apparel?  Thin fabric + hip wiggle + excess skin = boo hoo hoo

I started bawling with one & a half songs left of class.  I phoned in the last 10 minutes & then I sat & pouted.  Someone asked me if I was ok & then it all started flying out.  A couple of women came by to congratulate me on the article & I started blabbing more.  Extra skin...boo hoo hoo...flabby tummy...boo hoo hoo...c-section scar...boo hoo hoo.  Ugh.

I got my wish, now what am I going to do about besides cry?  Hmmmm...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Black & Blue Ego with a Pink Headband


Sometimes, when I know that a blog-worthy event is coming up, I will pre-write bits & pieces in my head.  Title ideas, little descriptive snippets & word combinations that I find humorous will drift around in my mind--sometimes making it onto a post-it note or old envelope to be found or lost at my leisure.  Today I had one of those events.  Today I bought my first running shoes (& an obscene amount of gear).
Titles that bounced in my head are as follows:
  • Can't Catch Me, I'm New Sara
  • These Shoes are Made for Running
  • Kicking Fat & Taking Names
An astute reader (or perhaps one that is merely awake) will notice that the tone of these titles varies from the tone of the final selection.

I had a rather glamorous, albeit far fetched, version of shoe shopping in my head.  We would go to the small local running shop & easily find the perfect shoes replete with glittering halo & a host of villagers, ewoks & wookies celebrating my arrival to the running community.  I would run into the sunset & live happily ever after.  And, scene.

Here's what really happened: I took exactly 17 steps inside the shop door, became completely overwhelmed by the crowd & chaos, felt completely out of my league & literally ran out the door crying.  Sobbing, actually.    Maybe it was the fact that every piece of clothing I touched was XS or maybe it was the leggy high school track girls, or maybe it was the crowd in general, but I just couldn't shake the idea that I didn't deserve to be there, that I was too fat to be a legitimate customer that was worth their time.  I KNOW that this isn't the case, I KNOW that any of the employees would have been more than accommodating & likely excited to bring a new convert into the fold.  Regardless, I couldn't get rid of the idea that everyone from shop clerks to customers would wonder why I was wasting their time.  One hundred & four pounds gone & the biggest work is still not finished, the work in my head.

Dave was so sweet.  He convinced me to go to Scheels "just to look."  I didn't want to do it.  I didn't want to give up on the running store out of fear or shame & feel like a quitter.  Dave reminded me that the stated goal of the day was to get me set up with the things I needed so that when I feel ready I can lace up & take those first steps.  In the process, I may have stumbled upon a new goal for a different day, but today was about getting me ready to run. 

Lincoln requested that I model my new clothes
So, in the middle of a soul-less big box store, with a morose look on my face, I bought my first running gear...& more gear...& more gear.  It was shameful, really.  I even bought a special headband complete with pink sequins...because how could I possibly run without that?  As a side note, I may have found the best way to get my husband to spend money.  Have a level five meltdown about body image in public & he will buy me anything!  I have plans to recreate the whole thing in Pottery Barn next weekend.  Shhh, don't tell!

I haven't given up on any of my previously mentioned inspirational or aspirational blog titles.  They may show up some time in the future, maybe even when I walk into a small local shop & say, "Can I see those in an 8?"  For now, I'm still feeling a little fragile & unsure about what it means that I still find myself saying "I'm too fat for that."

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Good Old Days


Fat & happy (truly!)
Everyone can rattle off a list of things that can be drastically improved by removing excess pounds.  It's a no-brainer.  Here are some things that were better (either in perception or reality) when I was heavier.  Yes, I would like some cheese with my w(h)ine.

  • I miss some of my clothes.  Not a lot, but there were some pieces that I really loved & hated to part with.  Hopefully someone at Goodwill thought they were just as great.
  • I look older up close.  Yes, weight ages people, but get close to my face & I look older because the fat filled out the fine lines & the already huge hollows under my eyes.  Bye, bye fat!  Hello, wrinkles & dark circles!
  • It's harder to get dressed.  With a body in flux, the areas that need camouflaging change week to week.  It was much easier when I knew the problem spots & dressed accordingly--all black.
  • I have to carve out a new large-group persona.  In the past, it was very easy to play the role of Jolly Fat Girl #1.  JFG is a very well defined role in our society & without her, I'm feeling a little lost.  What's really hard is that JFG on a thinner body sometimes plays out as Stupid Girl or, worse yet, Self-Absorbed, Deluded Girl.  The self-deprecating humor that plays so well with JFG just feels conceited & out of touch.  For an introvert like me, a large-group persona is not only useful, it's a survival skill & I'm floundering without it.
  • I now feel my meals being scrutinized.  When you're obese, you are quite aware that people watch what you eat & are judging you because of it.  You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.  Order a burger & people think "that's why you got that way," order a salad & it's "well, a little late for the salad, don't you think?"  That feeling is still there & I'm used to it, but the new layer that makes me supremely uncomfortable is that I feel like people are now trying to alter their behavior because they fear my judgement.  Just because I eat ___ doesn't mean anyone else has to.  I don't care what others eat & I hope they don't care what I eat. 
  • I am less comfortable naked.  Before, I could look in the mirror & there was a lot to see...but it was relatively tight (lumpy, but tight).  Now, all I see are puddles of skin.  Did you know your forearm can have loose skin?  It can & I fiddle & futz with mine all day long.  It's depressing & could possibly be a permanent reminder of what I did to myself for so long.
  • I am entirely too preoccupied with my (food, appearance, weight).  When you just inhale food, you don't have to think about it, especially if you're eating out all of the time.  Now I am in a constant struggle to get my head in the real world & out of my head.
  •  I miss cake nights.  When I hear people say "I can't believe I ate like that.  It would make me sick to do that now,"  I don't believe them.  I think they are likely hiding behind mock disgust to alleviate some of their shame.  I'll come out & say it: I miss gorging on baked goods.  I will probably miss it until the day I die. 
  • People sometimes think I'm fundamentally different.  It's hard when people treat me differently (either better or worse) because of my changes.  I'm still the same me on the inside, I'm just changing the hard-candy shell.
Feels good to come out & say it, there were things that were better when I was 269 pounds.  But, I'm left with this thought: I miss the puff of a cigarette on a cool Fall day, but I know it's horrible for me, so I don't do it.  Same thing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

To Butter, or Not to Butter


This frosting is good to eat & to wear...once in a while.
My daughter is small.  Not just, "oh, she's cute" small, but actually quite shrimpy for her age.  She's got the height...just not the heft.

At her recent well-baby check, our pediatrician told me that I needed to start pushing calories on her.  She recommended Pedia-Sure, bumping up her full-fat dairy, & then she said it: "...& it wouldn't hurt to put butter on all of those vegetables that she's already eating."

I've been in a tizzy ever since.  I'm stuck at the intersection of my experience & my job as a parent.  Though butter specifically was never my problem, I am hyper-aware of my job cultivating a healthy pallet for my children.  They don't have a concept of white bread, canned fruit or kool-aid.  They expect a vegetable at every lunch & dinner & a fruit at every meal.    They don't expect treats every day (though they do enjoy them on occasion!).   

I absolutely believe that Adult Sara is fully responsible for the choices that got me to 269 pounds.  That being said, in some ways Adult Sara was informed by some of the tastes that she developed as Kid Sara.  I want Kid Link & Kid Cora to have the best possible start at maintaining health lives & bodies by giving them an appreciation for wholesome food. 

The idea of putting butter on some peas may not seem like a big deal, but for me it has been one of those Big Issue moments in parenting.  Do I follow doctor's orders?  Do I go with my gut?  If I go with my gut am I compromising my child because of the mistakes I have made?  Is this just another example of others paying the price for my bad choices?

Possibly.  More probably I have a heightened awareness of the stakes of the game that cause me to be a little paranoid.  Two things ultimately caused me to stay away from "The Buttertons" & continue giving her veggies as God intended them--out of the freezer. 

1.  As Dave pointed out when I was wringing my hands & rending my clothes over the issue: the pediatrician likely used the butter merely as an example in response to my answer to her question, "what does she eat right now?"  I listed a few of the staples, among them veggies, & she gave me ways to boost calories within those parameters.  She was probably assuming that I was a rational, independent thinking woman who would take the ball & run with it.  Little did she know.

2.  As a good friend pointed out to me when Link was just a "folded-up-chicken" baby: the choices I make for my kids are the best choices for them because I am their one & only Mom, making decisions with love & their best interests at heart.  I'm the only Mom they have.  For good or for ill, it is my job to mother them, Dave's job to father them & our jobs to make the choices that will ultimately get them from point baby to point productive member of society (fingers crossed!).  If my mom-dar says no butter on corn, then no butter will be present on her corn. 

Doughnuts, a good "sometimes" food.
I feel very confident about our resolution of Butter-gate, but it has made me think about my job as Mom as it relates to my weight issues.  This will not be the last time I have to weigh my history & prejudices against what is best--or even just OK--for my kids to eat.  I am incredibly thankful that my own journey has made me mindful of the task of raising healthy eaters while my kids are still young enough to be unaware of the fleeting pleasures of whole meals of baked goods.