Wednesday, December 27, 2006

On a roll

And I'm not talking about ham, turkey, or roast beast with mayo. I've lost 6.4 lbs this month - a month when others gain 10. While I still have Mt Everest to go, I am feeling a bit of joy over brushing the snow off of my shoes and taking the first step. The next boulder is New Year's Eve. Going to a six course foodie extravaganza - everyone brings a course. Have plans to use exercise to compensate but have worries that the food and drink will use up all points for 2007!

Still holding on to the same goals: write, water, and motion.

Here's to a healthy, happening 2007.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I am so totally good

It's Christmas day, and since the Y wasn't open, and the weather was something like the mid-40s, I went out and ran for an hour.

An hour, people.

I rock. Santa, didja hear that? I am so totally good.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Goals for the new year

179.4 - down 1.4 The traveling tracker helped this week. Even with 3 social "free food" meals and a few other temptations out there, I managed to lose. Had I not had two pizza-centric meals yesterday and had controlled the other snacking better, I may have lost even more. I did eat lots of fruits and veggies and limited my pizza intake much better than I would have in the past, so I'm making progress.

I don't have weigh-in next week and probably won't post, so time to set my 2007 goals. It's been over 6 months since I hit my 50 lb goal and it's time I moved on. Only 2.6 from the 55 lb goal. I want to be there for the 1/4/2007 weigh-in. That's my first goal.

These goals are set with a more realistic 1 lb per week loss. My average since I started the plan is around 0.80 right now because of my "maintenance" period for the last few months.
171.8 by 02/01/07 - 60 lbs lost for Gary's birthday
158.0 by 05/24/07 - BMI defines my weight as "Normal" In time for Memorial Day and the first swim of the season
156.8 by 05/31/07 - (1 yr from first weigh-in) - 75 lbs lost
140.0 by 09/27/07 - Lifetime goal. 2 year anniversary of joining Weight Watchers
131.8 by 11/22/07 - 100 lbs lost, just to say I did 100. Thanksgiving. And I'll be giving thanks!

Only two social events remaining for the year: Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. I'm making a fruit platter for both and I can make wise food choices and still enjoy myself. Here's looking forward to the new thinner me in 2007.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

this is a test post

content to follow

When I'm home I behave

213.8, fat % 47.1. Not happy about this fat percentage, but overall weight is down point 2, which is better than gaining, I guess. Lots of eating crap. I didn't go over points, but let's just say I haven't been ODing on the veggies. And holiday cheer (in the form of beer) is a factor as well.

Next week shouldn't be all that bad. When I'm home, its really not that much of an issue. It's when I'm at work, and people have all this stuff put out, that I falter. I think that's where a lot of people falter. But I'm taking the whole week off work. The presents are done, so I have time to get in really good workouts, plus this nasty bronchitis is finally waning, so I can get in true cardio workouts. Plus, I have a massage and facial scheduled for after Christmas, so I'll be taking good care of myself.

Last night we baked christmas cookies with the kids, and I had a few wads of cookie dough, but really, that was it. Again, at home, its like I'm conscious, I'm in control. But then Melissa at work brings in a tray full of cookies and, well, that's breakfast. I had three and a cup of coffee.

Happy Christmas, friends!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Cookies almost gone

12/7 - 182.4 - up 0.6. Cookies are still a problem. Still eating 10 or so a day. Gotta cut that out.

12/14 - 180.8 - down 1.6. Don't know how this happened, but I'll take it. Must be losing muscle weight as I haven't exercised much lately. Had the cookie exchange on Saturday. But tried to steer my snacking toward the fruit. Had dinner at the Melting Pot with the girls. Had a wine flight instead of a fru-fru drink so only 2 points. Went with the California salad and the vegetarian fondue in broth. Two reasons - 1) keep the points down & 2) when I come back with Gar in January we're going for the Big Night Out and lots of meat! The 4 girls at our table shared a small chocolate fondue which finished the evening off nicely and not too terrible. Cookie consumption down to 5 a day. Walked at lunch with Jenny most days.

This week I have the "traveling tracker" for our group. Forcing myself to track and knowing others will read my entries make me watch myself. Gar had a work party Friday night. Limited myself to two wines and tried to balance the "bad" with the "good" at the appetizer buffet dinner. The scale is looking good so far this week. Exercise activity has been up, too. Free food coming on Wed and Thurs - my usual downfall. Must stay focused and on track.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Awareness, its the first step

The good thing about the last two weeks is that I kept track of things - how much I ate, how much exercise I did(n't) do, how much water I drank. Now I really know that I am overeating, only exercising 10 minutes a day, and drinking only a glass or two of water.

But onward ho I go! I went ice skating at the outdoor rink in Centennial Olympic Park this morning. Glorious to skate outdoors in 70 degree weather even if it is a small rink. Milwaukeeans, think Winterfest in Cathedral Square Park. We're going to visit as often as possible while its available. A little walking is also on the schedule for this next week.

Lost 2.2 since my last post. More to follow, I just know it. One step at a time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blog Maintenance Notes redux

OK, I'm on the new Blogger Beta, and its not liking dealing with the new templates, and I'm going to have to work on this this weekend. Please bear with me during construction. Whole new look and everything.

Dodging a bullet for the second year in a row.

Well, that was dodging a bullet. Both mine and Brian's birthdays were this week. We started out this week at a fabulous steak house, where I learned I don't really need a 12oz filet. The 8 oz would have done nicely. But it wasn't a cheap piece of meat, and the better $$$ value was the 12 oz. I have GOT to get over the $$$ value part -- because the weightloss value would have been the 8 oz. Especially considering the lobster bisque I started with.

Nevertheless, the numbers this week: Holding steady at 214, with 46.3 fat percentage. It could have, should have been worse. Just look at the birthday drinkie poos me and my girlfriends had on Friday. This is a place that serves ice cream drinks. I didn't even bother trying to figure out points. However, I was still good for the rest of the weekend. My work buddy Karina has this fondue party every year that I attended Saturday night, so I re-read this same post that I wrote about this same party last year and applied my lessons learned, and that's why I'm not posting a 5 pound gain this week. (Instead of eating, I spent my time working up karaoke nerve to sing the one song I could stand to sing among the selections, Rick Derringer's "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo." Lordy, did I really do that? Was not eating yet another serving of bacon and swiss fondue worth grunting out "Lordy Mama, light my fuse"?). Still, though, this whole "reviewing your past lessons" thing really works.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I've got a Secret -- Finally!

Wednesday Weigh In Numbers first: 214, fat % 45.9 Down 3. Lost the two from Turkey week, plus another one. Told you I'd bounce back during stuff your face season!

Anyway, it's the holiday dress up season, and I was happy to find a few smashingly casual but low-cut tops to pair with festive bottoms for holiday parties and such, that FIT. You would think I'd have learned by now that big tits are an ASSET, but when you've been as fat and as down on yourself as I had been, you don't think anything can save you, and the "Gee, I should show off a bit of this DD-clevage, for it is considered sex-ay" never passes through your head. So I had this epiphany that for the holiday season, even though my belly and ass aren't where I want them to be, if I simply call attention to my jugs, perhaps people would overlook the fact that I still have a BMI in the mid 30s.

Problem is, all my bras do not support a low cut blouse. They're fat girl's bras. You know -- there's a minimum of six, count 'em, six hook-and-eyes in the back, and the part where it crosses your heart is well above your heart. They're comfy, the're functional. They hold up the jugs. They're practically sports bras. But I call them Birth Control Bras. They are not the sort of bras you let peek out from underneath a low-cut holiday top.

So I drove out to the mall to get myself some low-cut bras with which to wear plunging holiday necklines. I'm almost walking into Cacique (which is French for "Lane Bryant's Answer to Victoria's Secret") and suddenly I spot Victoria's Secret directly across the mall. Do I risk it? Do I walk in there and see if I've lost enough weight to be an Angel, and risk the esteem-killer of having to walk out dejectedly because I'm still too fat? Because dammit, I can buy my pants at Old Navy now, I can order online from Eddie Bauer, and most of all, I am through with Lane Bryant, god bless 'em, but I.Am.Through.With.Them.

Fuck riskiness. I've got to know if I can do this. I dart across the mall to VS.

I'm not even going to try to look on the counters. I learned a long time ago to head straight for the drawers. Even when I lose the weight, I'm still going to be a D, if not the DD I am now. They only display the itty bitty little bras for 34AA girls right in front, draped on those padded pink hangers. I see they have exactly what I need, the "Angels" bra that pushes up, but plunges deep. Yeah, there's a little padding on the sides, like I really need more volume, but that's for shaping. OK, Perfect. In black and fleshtone lace, so that it's pretty even if it does peek through. And I'm hoping I can pull off a 38DD. Would that be large enough? Cup size is never going to shrink, but would a 38 make it all the way around, without cutting into my back and make that awful No-Really-This-Is-Just-A-Particularly-Bloated-Period dent in my skin? I need a fitting room. No, I don't need assistance. I just need you to unlock the door, and leave me to my own devices.

Its been a long time since I've been able, physically and emotionally, to set foot in a VS, and a lot's changed. It's gotten a little trashier, and maybe that's what the market wants, but the nice thing I always liked about VS was that it wasn't Frederick's. The name even implied that this was a place meant for a queen to procure her intimate apparel, not some tacky trollop looking to buy some crotchless undies. And here you are in these fitting rooms, with the hot pink lettering on the mirror that says "STRIP." Oh great. This is so not me. Is this a two-way mirror? Jesus.

But suddenly, none of that mattered, because, honeys, IT FIT!!!!!!!!!! No cupth runneth over, no straps digging into the shoulder, no six hooks and eyes in the back, no back band cutting off the circulation to my spine. It fit, perfectly, pushing up and readying my boobies for some Elizabethan holiday cheer. Oh, this is soooooo ME! The old V'ron, that is.

I let out a little yelp of glee, and skipped, skipped I tell you out of the fitting room. And I'll take this in solid black too and, oh, I'm going to need one in white, la de da, and I'll need these "full coverage" bras for work in tan and black and navy, and ohmygod will you look at this fabulous one in pink and brown and blue polka dots! And matching polka dot panties that aren't butt floss! Yessssss!

So the real test is going public. Do I have the moxie to go out with a plunging neckline and a pushup bra? Because moxie is what makes the difference between a pathetic slut and a badass buxom blonde. And where better to test this out but Trash Fest? This way, I can get away with being a little trashy, and if it's not working, I can just plead "costume" and go back to turtlenecks, sports bras, and maybe a little rhinestone pin for the holidays. I arrive good 'n' early to get used to showing this much skin. Mind you, the shirt I'm wearing is long sleeved and I'm wearing black trousers and its topped off with a beat up old fedora. I'm making it absolutely clear where the center of attention should be, and it wasn't the red lipstick I chose to slap on at the last minute. But I'm wearing my contact lenses, makeup, a spritz of hair spray, yes, I'm pulling out all the badass power woman moxie stops. I'm walking tall like I just bought the remake rights to The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom. Amazing what the right Bustenhalter will do for you.

Also good 'n' early is a family friend, who often joins us to watch the Daytona 500, and never minces his words about anything. (You might be asking, "But V'ron, what of Brian? What did he have to say?" Well of course he told me I looked great. He has to. He's my husband, and he will tell me I look great if he knows what's good for him.) But back to the family friend. He normally sees Frumpy Fat V'ron, in all but a plaid mumu and curlers.

"You're looking good tonight," he says to my breasts. 20 years ago, V'ron the feminazi would have indignantly retorted, "Uh, they don't talk, you sexist pig-dog!" But that was then and this is now. Instead the next paragraph reads as follows:

"Why, thank you," my breasts replied brightly in a perky voice. "You know, I figured that if I showed a little valley, nobody would notice the mountain that is my ass."

"Not really paying attention to anything else," he said, eyes still not meeting mine.

"Good. Mission accomplished. Appreciate the input."

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Magic isn't working

One post in 3/2006 and I magically disappear. Sorry for that. But vanishing from life has been the standard operating procedure in all aspects of my life for most of this year. Feels like it is finally time to shake my head (hard) and try something new. Since my post early this year, I have gained 10 pounds - actually less than I thought - and now tip the scales at 282.8. Sadly, it is the most I have ever weighed in this lifetime. I've spent enough time beating myself up for it. Time to set some *gasp* goals. For the next four weeks, I'll:

1. Walk every day. At least 20 minutes.
2. Track consumption. Ignorance has not been bliss.
3. Post once a week. I need support here, it is obvious!
4. Drink water. I'm grazing when I should be guzzling.

I can do this. It ain't magic!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Down, up, up

I try to blog from home, but then I don't do it, so I'm getting it done here at work so I can catch up.

11/16. 178.0, down 2.0. Yeah, my lowest yet. Finally see my "next 5" in sight. What did I do this week? I did really watch it. I did have some snacks at our friends when we all got together for scrapbooking. But then I had 3 days of Covey 7 Habits Training (wow, do I really need to get myself and my life together). And here I did really well. It was the free food and I fought it all the way. Every day, the mini-chocolate bites were on the tables and chips in the afternoon. I didn't have a one. Lunch was brought in, but from past experience I know how lacking in fruit and veggies it can be, so I brought my lunch bag full just in case. The lunches actually had decent selections, so I'd load up a big plate with salad, and then grab a small bowl or plate for the entrée. I passed on the fab desserts each day, except the last day where I allowed myself one slice. I was raised in a clean-your-plate-there's-strarving-kids-in-China house and still have trouble throwing perfectly good food away, or even watching someone else throw perfectly good food away. Hence the need to clean my kids' plates. So it was painful to know there was all this extra buffet food left, but I'm finally making paradigm shift (Covey's oozing out here) that it's not my responsibility to save (and eat) the extra. I even got to spread some healthy knowledge. I brought pomogranate seeds one day in the class and others were asking about them, so I brought in another one the next day and showed everyone the inside and many people sampled the seeds.

11/21 178.6, up 0.6. Went to see our at-work leader at the actuall WW place this week with other TDSers since we won't have Thursday weigh-in. What did I not do this week? I went to the Women's Expo and sampled whatever I wanted. And when the men in tuxedos offered my chocolates I didn't turn them down. I think I probably continued to work through more of the halloween candy. I remember thinking I gained 2 pounds and so was thrilled it was only 0.6.

11/30 181.8, up 3.2. Back to 50 pounds lost. Was expecting 5 lb gain, so this was good. I'm feeling pretty good that I didn't go up so much that I lost my 50 lb mark. Turkey day was good and I did pretty well. Then Friday something snapped and I was into the mini chocolate bars at work - unfortunately I know who has them and where. Then there's the leftovers at home and then I just gave myself permission to eat whatever I really wanted for the rest of the week. And so I have. That's why I expected to gain much more. I haven't had a decent workout in a while either. I'm probably losing muscle weight.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh, and the definition of "Holiday Season"

Most people call New Year's the end of the Holiday Season. Not for me. My company holiday party is January 6, and believe me, that is Festival of Fabulous Food at the ritziest hotel in Milwaukee, with Hors 'd ouvers to die for, and a five course meal, and free drinkie poos. Then comes the party that we'll be throwing, and I get all Martha Stewart for that. I'll declare the holiday season over after that. Still aiming for a net loss.

Two steps back, but still

217. Fat Percentage 46.9. Up two.

I would really really really like to blame this on Turkey Day, but frankly, I was good. Again, its because I saw it as a challenge, so I prepared. I picked only my favorite stuff, and I noshed on veggies most of the afternoon. I worked out every day.

It's the other days in the long weekend that were the death of me. Friday, I went out to see some bands and I guess I was thirstier than I thought, and I quenched that thirst with beer, not water. Bad Bad Bad. Note to self: beer does not quench thirst, it only makes you think you are. Saturday, that's probably where I really blew it. I was good all day, but when I got to the basketball game, I had "dinner" in the form of the BBQ Pork Nachos (yes, they sound gross, but really, they're really good, don't knock 'em till you've tried them) but also succumbed to the"heavenly roasted nuts". What was I thinking? First, I know that I'm weak for cashews to begin with, but then roasted with some sugary coating and served hot? Lordy, that was stupid. At least I got a small. And then, we went to see some bands afterwards, and if you read my regular blog, you'll know that these were the kind of bands that made you say "Jesus, I need a drink."

But it could have been worse, and such is the holiday season. I'm still confident that when its over, I'll come out on the losing side. My birthday's next week and I'm already planning how I'm going to handle it. I did this last year too -- I gained two pounds from Thanksgiving and the next week dropped some. (There's a reason I keep my long-term history). That was actually the week I declared "This Time For Sure" and started this blog. So, onward!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Countdown to Black Thursday

In retail, its Black Friday. If you work in retail, you prepare pretty much all year for this, the onslaught of challenge to just how well you do your job. On Friday, can you work 10 straight hours with only a short break now and then and still maintain your excellent Customer Service Skills? By 7:30 pm, can you still be civil to people? If you can, you can truly call youself Professional.

For us who are working on long-term weightloss, tomorrow, Thursday, is not the big game, but the coin toss. Will we call and get heads, and will we take the ball and start off on the offensive, or will we succumb, and start out on the defensive.

215.0, down 2.5 from last week, and at least i've made up for the setback from a couple of weeks ago, going into Thanksgiving.

I'm overall feeling good today, and about the season coming up. I had the day off work today, so I got up, and it was beautiful and sunny and reasonable out: so I went for a good long power bike ride. I was already planning to ride to work, but since I took today off (its not like anything is going to get done today since 70% of the office-based workforce is out also) I just went for a loooong ride. Feel real good. I'm baking the breads for tomorrow, and I'm going to make a variety of rolls, some plain white but fresh-from-the-oven rolls, and some six thousand grain dark robust thing for us people who need whole grain in our lives. I'm feeling good about this whole "eating holiday" since it will be spent at KDK's and since I know I can count on her to have lots of veggies sitting out to nosh on I have to retun it by making the carbohydrates as yummy but loaded with all the good stuff us WW people know decreases the points value.

I'm taking the ball and going on the offensive. That's how I did it last year. Gimme a F! Gimme A I! Gimme a B! Gimme A E! Gimme a R! What'sit spell?!?!? FIBER! What's it fill? Your tummy! What's it clean? Your colon! FIBER!!!!!!!!

C'mon, fellow dieters! Let's go! Let's go! Let's goooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Businessperson's food

OK, I'm back home and I'm by my regular scale and I'm posting a 1.7 pound gain this week. I have only two words of explanation:

Hotel Food.

That is all.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm late for Wednesday Weigh-in

...because i'm still away from my scale, and I like to use the same scale to ensure consistency.

Just wanted you all to know that I am not shirking from reporting a good or bad number.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's everywhere! It's everywhere!

CHICAGO IL. --Your intrepid weightloss reporter is on special assignment in Chicago, (actually Rosemont, where there's a bazillion airport-based convention centers). I'm at a 4-day Project Management conference, and the challenge is maintaining program whilst eating hotel food, but I'm doing it semi-consciously, because i'm here to learn about Project Management stuff and....

... so I'm in this workshop titled "Persuasion and Influence: Necessary Skills for Today's Leaders" and its all well and good and we're learning the Four Cs ("conviction" is one of them) and the Twenty Thousand Ps ("Passion" is one of them) and there's not enough chairs, so I'm sitting on the floor and I can't see our presenter, and that's perfectly fine until she makes her point by recommending a weight loss book. And so, of course, I kneel up so I can see her, because instantly I'm thinking "Hmmmm. She didn't sound fat. Let's see just how fat she is." And she's not fat, per se, but she's a tall, commanding woman who probably has been told by some dickslap that she's fat. Maybe she has a paunch that she hides well. So she's plugging this book, it's called "Let's Do Lunch" and she's got passion for the goal and she's loaded with conviction that this is the way to go , and she's lost some 20 pounds in just a few months, and that's all well and good, but once, just once, can it NOT be about weight loss? Couldn't it have been about getting end users to like the upgrade of the software you're about to roll out? Couldn't the non-IT example have been about getting the customer on the homebuilding project to like the Corian rather than the marble? I'm already applying my work tools to weight loss: I did my performance review just last week like the fine ladies at Angry Fat Girlz suggested I do, and I even set milestones and deliverables and wrote myself a weightloss project charter like the good little card-carrying Project Management Institute member that I am. And before I had dinner, I spent an hour and a half in the health club here, but for one stinkin day out of the office, just once, can it not be about weightloss?

I guess not.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Down one

231.8/180.0/131.8 - Down 1.0 lbs this week, 51.8 total. But still in the 180s. I'm so tired of the 80s. I've been hovering in the 80s since April. I would have been so happy with even a 179.9, just to officially see the 70s finally. OK, so I must keep focus, keep tracking, keep eating my veggies and shunning the chocolate.

I really have a problem watching other people eat stuff I shouldn't be eating. It's that childish "It's not fair" mentality. I did pass up the Cinnamon Toast Crunch for the Fiber One with skim and a touch of splenda this morning. I was actually surprised that I even had to fight myself since I was actually looking forward to the Fiber One. But seeing someone in the house reach for the cinnamony sugary cereal set off my desire. If I could just live alone I could do some much better!

Our WW group has a group goal of 300 lbs lost through the holidays. 30 people X 10 weeks X 1 lb per week. I've done my share so far. And I try to remind myself of the group when I want to reach for a treat. We'll see how long that lasts.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Setbacks only mean you have to keep working harder

Well, on top of having to admit I live in a back-asswards state full of fearful dogmatic people who have the audacity to call themselves "christians" who think its perfectly appropriate to amend our constitution by limiting the rights of people instead of protecting the equal rights of people, I have to post a freaking weight gain today.

Weekly weigh-in: 215.8, fat percentage 45.8. At least the fat percentage is down, but I'm up 1.6 pounds. And I really don't know why. I journaled all my food. Yesterday we had a huge lasagna lunch at work, but was that 1.6 pounds worth? OK, don't let this get me down, it just means I have to work harder.

It's like this election. I should be happy that some of my measurements went down this week, just like I should be happy the Democrats took back the house. I should be happy my fat percentage went down, just like I should be happy that our governor won decisively and that a right wing wacko finally lost his state senate seat to a reasonable democrat in a republican leaning district. But that damn weight gain, like that foul discriminitory amendment, needs to be approached not as defeat, but just another sign that I have work to do, and now is not the time for giving up, or resting on any other laurels I can find.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Did someone mention rut?

First I'll catch up on reporting my progress.
10/12 - 180.1 - down 5.8 - total loss 51.4. Highest point so far
10/19 - 183.4 - up 3.0 - birthday, other pigging out. Was happy not to have gained 4
10/26 - on vacation - no weigh in
11/2 - 181 - down 2.4 - despite nephew's birthday (yummy pizza and "cake", V'ron!) and weekend up north with salty snacks and alcoholic beverages

I have no words of wisdom. Why do I insist on eating candy and sweets? Probably because my gym has a fitness challenge including avoiding sweets. So I must eat them. Halloween - had to try one of each candy bar.

I've been setting a second alarm in the bathroom to ensure that I get up in the mornings to get in some treadmill and weight time. I haven't been getting as much time as I'd like, so I need to step it up. Once my trainer sessions are over, I also need to devote that same amount of time to working out at home. Need to start planning that out.

Up at the cabin we went walking every morning 3+ miles, so that was good. I also took up weights and a mat and did some stuff on my own. Got in some hiking in the forest, but that wasn't really strenuous. I packed a lot of veggies and fruit and salad stuff and made sure to reach for that first every meal. My friends' husband always goes for the salty snacks around 10 PM when we're playing cards and that was my downfall. Did I pull out my fat free popcorn instead? No. Chips and french onion dip? Townhouse crackers and port wine cheese spread? Bring it on. And then there was the recreational drinking. Must plan ahead even more next time we go up north.

And now to planning ahead for the holidays. I need to get out my WW tools and really use them. I'm looking through the latest WW magazine for the holiday recipes and hope to incorporate many into our Thanksgiving dinner. I did try out the squash souffle last weekend and it was wonderful! Will definitely substitute that for the high fat/calorie sweet potato souffle I normally make. Will have to test the stuffing recipes next.

Between WW and my trainer, I only have 2 or 3 ways I could be tracking. Maybe that's my problem. Too many choices. I've been doing very badly at tracking and admitting the "bad" foods.

I'm back on track so far today. And I'll try to be better at weekly postings as well. At WW we now have a group challenge to lose 270 lbs between now and 1/4 (1 lb per week per person). So maybe if I think about the group that will help motivate me too. Can't let myself down. Can't let the group down.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I'm baaaa-aaack!!! Now , let's keep this momentum going.

Woo, between this past weekend, and the fact that I'm gearing up for the "challenge" season, I'm all pumped up. Especially after this morning's Wednesday Weigh-In!

214.2. Fat 46.3%. Down 3.4 That's more like it.

Amazing what a dose of self-confidence and moxie will do for your willpower and such. And I'm not at all nervous about the upcoming non-stop American Eat-A-Thon that is the impending holidays. I lose weight during the holidays last year, and I'm confident I can do it again. Why?

Because its so in-your-face about it that I'm already digging out all my tools. It's like if you know you're going to box in a match where your opponent is pretty damn tough, you're going to be prepared. You're going to train, you're not going to put any stupid food in your mouth. You see the challenge coming, and you meet it. Unlike summer, which is supposed to be easy for us weightloss girls: tons of fresh fruit and veggies everywhere, plenty of exercise to get in, la de da. Winter? Comfort food (read: mashed potatoes, cream, deep fried everything) no time or weather to get exercise in.

No, I learned last year that this was my peak time to lose weight because the challenges are there. They're classic ones. People throw in the towel over the winter because it's supposedly hard. No, I can't just "maintain." If I'm going to think about it at all, I'm going to continue to lose.

It really is the season to hone those lifetime eating skills. Eat only things you really like. Don't eat food just because it's there. Be picky about what you choose as a treat. Remember to eat balanced. I was all fired up last year around this time because I'd just started a blog, called it This Time For Sure, and sure enough, I lose weight over the holidays. I'm fired up now for many of the same reasons. I need to keep this momentum going.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Well, I'm Beginning To See The Light

Today's title comes to you courtesy of the Velvet Underground, or more accurately, Milwaukee's own Velvet Underground Project, a VU tribute band packed with friends of mine who I went to see Friday night. "Hey, Miles," I said to my bass player as I walked into the bar like I owned the place, and went directly to where he was setting up to play for the night. "I've got callouses!" I held up my left hand to prove it, and he high-fived it.

I went there with a goal in mind: I was going to formally tell my band's bass player and drummer (who also plays with the VUP) that we will begin rehearsing in January, with an eye toward playing out in April. I said this loudly enough so that others would hear this, and that was the point.

One thing I've learned through this blogging process is that "This Time For Sure" is working because I've gone public. I've said before that I'm not exactly where I'd hoped I'd be by now, but I'm doing better than I've done in many many years, and its because I'm doing it publicly. I refuse to fail publicly. Private failure has been acceptable for me because I can usually cover it up. I can get by. In fact, I'm a damn good faker. People think I'm some kind of good guitar player -- in fact, Friday night a friend was telling me this. "No, I'm not, " I told him. "I'm creative, yes. But I'm really not a good guitar player. I am a magnificent fake." Further to this evidence was a woman who said she couldn't believe I weighed more than 200 pounds. I explained, "I wear it well. I'm dressed in black most of the time, and I know how to call attention to my assets and downplay the fat. But yes, I'm over 200 pounds." When you've been living on that river in Egypt as long as I have, you learn how to turn your shanty shack into a fabulous condo. Yes, I am the Martha Stewart of De Nile! And that's my problem. I've held my goals so privately so that I allow myself to fail because people don't see me failing, and somehow that's OK.

But if I put my specific goals out there, and make them public, my ego won't allow me to fail. THe key is specificity: "oh we'll play sometime" doesn't cut it. I can always weasel out. No, setting a date -- January (and I will indeed get more specific when we know what our schedules area) sort of jolted me into it, very This Time For Sure.

"Awww, we were just going to be starting this Kinks' tribute band, but I guess now..." Andy Pagel, my drummer started saying. I interupted: "And what's stopping you? For I am not a Jealous and Vengeful Diva. You can play in a Kinks tribute band. I *love* the kinks, and I'm glad such a band is going to exist." (You're not going to just play Lola and You Really Got Me. You're someday going to play The Village Green Preservation Society from start to finish and I'm going to be there to hear it!) But the fact that it gave Andy pause turned the Diva on in me. He realizes I'm serious this time. It wasn't, "Well, you'll have to work around the fact that I've got yet another band," no it was almost "I'll put this other thing on hold while we make Loblolly work." No you won't. I'm not putting any of the rest of my creative life on hold, I thought, clutching my camera, while I make Loblolly work. You won't either. But thanks for taking this -- and me --seriously.

Something happened Friday night-- and I kind of knew it would -- when I went out. I had my hair done the previous weekend, by Annette The Best Colorist In Town and I asked to her really blonde me up. Walking into the Up and Under and going straight back to my drummer and bass player and announcing this loudly and suddenly thinking "I am not a Jealous and Vengeful Diva" and BAM! That I was thinking of myself as a Diva at all is significant. I'm a blonde again! I'm a diva again! I didn't just slither in and meekly query: "Hey, would it be cool if we started practicing maybe sort of and see what happens?" No, I said we ARE going to rehearse in January, and we are GOING to play in April or so and that was that. No wishy washy bullshit that I can weasel out of.

I'd set expectations high, so, grabbing my camera, I retreated back into my comfort zone and played rock and roll photographer all night, forcing myself to learn how to shoot low light digital if it killed me. It was also a nice thing to hide behind while I contemplated the public goals I set for myself: AHHHHHHHGGGHGGH! What the hell did I just do? I'll tell you what I just did. I stopped pussyfooting around, that's what I did. And I still have my camera, this nice little lens I can hide behind while I work this performance thing up.

What does this all have to do with weight loss? Well, a huge part of it is moving out of that condo on Da Nile, and believing in yourself. Saturday morning I woke up, and ate a nutritious breakfast, and headed to the Y and worked out. Saturday night I put down the better part of a pizza, and only snacked on a few pieces of halloweeen candy as I took the kids out trick-or-treating, consciously thinking how great I am for not downing an entire bag of Tootsie Rolls. Sunday I did a marvelous bike ride, and again ate nutritionally sound and well. I skipped all the leftover ice cream we had from Stella's birthday. I've got a goal now, its not weight related, but my weight -- and how I feel about myself -- is an element of it. Practicing my instrument and writing songs, in a way, is a discipline that is very similar to weight loss. I cannot go on stage weighing 200 pounds. No no no no no no no. And I needed something to kick me into that discipline. I've got my camera and my writing to be comfortable in while I discipline myself in music and weight loss. The comfort can't come from food: no the comfort zone has to be non-food related, and my camera and this blog are my comfort zones. (and I'm kicking myself out of my photographic comfort zone by going digital, and it actually feels goo. Kicking ones self out of a comfort zone is scary, but exciting, and thus, good.)

Yes,After I wrote this, I did indeed get my guitar out and started practcing. Writing that post really helped jolt me, and not just because of the public and private feedback I got from it either. (But let's not write that off. We're out here writing because we need feedback, and I got it in droves. Everybody who wrote me needs to know how much I appreciated it and how much I am already applying their advice). Writing it, just like this post, was cathartic. But back to that git-tar: I'm marginally remembering my scales, and the chords pretty much came back to me. I successfully remembered how to play Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" and a few Velvet Underground songs at that! (As I mention in the other blog, if you can play the Lou Reed songbook, you're ready for Rock and Roll). Now I just have to remember how the hell my own songs go.

Oh, and we turned back the clocks this weekend, so when I got my bike out to ride to work this morning, the sun had already begun to come up (before this weekend it was still dark.) I listened to "Beginning to See the Light" in my ipod while I rode in and a gorgeous sunrise over the lakefront bathed me in purply-orange lighty goodness. "Some people work very hard, but still they never get it right...well I'm beginning to see the light." No, that verse applied to me last month, but this one applies to me now: "I met myself in a dream, and I just wanna tell you -- everything was alright ... now now now now now now....I'm beginning to see the light!"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Still in the rut

217.6. Actually up point 6. But at least the fat percentage is down, to 45.9. Whoop de do.

Actually, this is whoop de do. I remember six months ago when i hit this point, it was the lowest I'd weighed before i had Sammy. I was doing the happy dance all around, I hadn't gotten this low in years! I need to remember that this is a long journey and there's going to be peaks and valleys.

And ruts.

Other than that, I got nuthin' today. Back later when I'm more philosophical. But I'm recovering from an all nighter with a sick three year old who had a stuffy nose, some icky dreams, and general "Mommy, life sucks sometimes and so i just need you to hold me all night while I scare the piss out of you because I'm breathing like Darth Vader."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rut vs. Plateau. I'm in a rut.

The difference between a plateau and a rut: Simply put, a plateau is when you're doing everyting correctly, and you're still stuck at some weight that won't budge. A rut is when you're not doing everything correctly, you thusly are stuck at some weight (or range) and YOU won't budge.

I am in the latter. I'm in a rut. Its official. Some people would rather be in a rut than a plateau, because a plateau seems like nothing you can control. But I'd rather be in a plateau, because my issue isn't chemistry or physics. Its behavior, and knowing that my behavior was correct and I was maintaining discipline would assure me that eventually I would break out of a plateau. But I'm in a rut. I can't put my finger on why. I'm stress eating, I know that. I have to find a different way to comfort myself under the stess and busy-ness I'm going through. The physical side of stress, I'm managing that well. I've been going to the gym during these dreary days and getting kickass workouts in. But the mental part of stress -- I'm medicating that with food. Chocolate. Creamy soups (which are also anesthetizing these cold dreary days we've been having). Ugh. I start each Wednesday, as I did today, all gung ho with writing down my numbers and This Time For Sure attitude, and by Saturday, if not Thursday morning, I've blown it to Purgatory. So I'm in a rut.

I'm posting a 3.8 pound gain this week. Numbers: 217, that's up 3.8 and holding steady at (ugh) 46% fat. Ugh Ugh Ugh. I can blame probably 2 pounds on the extra-bloated period I'm in the middle of: my measurements show no increase in anything below the waist but I've gone up a bra size, which argues strongly for menstrual water retention. Still, the pigging out Friday night (that pecan crusted salmon with the vanilla cream sauce at the Water Street Brewery WAS to die for) preceeded by pizza at lunch and succeeded by all day eat-a-thon around the house Saturday probably had more to do with this week's gain.

However, I can't get all down on myself. I checked my charts over the past couple of years: historically I post a ridiculous gain in October. Must be those "bite sized" halloween candies. Still, I have GOT to get my groove back and out of this rut.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We need a sports league for fat fortysometings

Wednesday Weigh In numbers first: 213.2, fat %= 46.3. Down point 8.

I know I'm in the minority here; I actually love the exercising part of losing weight. You hear all these tips on how to get motivated, how to move more doing things you enjoy, I blow these off because moving more is NOT my problem. (In fact, one of my problems is thinking that all the exercise I get somehow negates the fact that I still have to eat better). You could almost say that if not for my fat, I'd be a jockette. Except for one thing: I love playing most sports, I just suck at them. I'm uncoordinated.

I *love* playing basketball. I'm a damn good guard, but I can't shoot for shit. I'm good at the free throw line, and I probably hit more 3s (and that's college 3s, not NBA 3s) than most of my friends, but I can't remember the last time I successfully sank a layup. It's really embarassing.

I remembered how much I loved soccer while playing the adults-vs-kids soccer game last month. Back when I was a kid, soccer wasn't at all huge here in the USA. In fact, I suspected that it was actually a game made up by gym teachers because football was too complex and violent to teach us. I mean, what's with the no-hands rule? That sounds like something a gym teacher would come up with, just like that game you played on those little 4 wheeled scooters and the giant rubber ball. Wait, the greatest athlete in the world, Pele, plays soccer? It's really a game? Cool! I love soccer. Wait a second, I just remembered. I suck at soccer. I'm a lousy goalie, I can't remember the last time I scored a goal, but like basketball, I'm a damn good guard.

Love softball. Where I grew up, in Country Club Hills, IL, there was a girls' softball league that was huge. Huge, I tell you. I don't think boys' little league came close to rivaling it. On Tuesday and Thursday nights in the spring and summer, ALL the city parks with ballfields in them belonged to the girls. At the end of the summer, CCHills sponsored a huge softball tournament with something like 32 teams from all over the Chicago south burbs, and the girls from CCH who were on the all-star team for this tournament might as well have been royalty. The fact of the matter was if you were a girl in CCHills and you didn't play softball, there was something wrong with you. The jockettes played softball. The cheerleaders played softball. The brains and geeks played softball. Even the chain-smoking rough girls with their slut blue eyeshadow played in the CCH Girls' Softball League. I played catcher and right field. (Translation: I sucked.) I was such a crappy fielder that they tried to get me to pitch. Even though this was slow pitch, I had difficulty with this. I could bat OK, and as catcher I actually picked a few leadoffs off first. (Probably because it never occurred to a runner that such a lousy catcher would even attempt to pick them off). I'm reluctant to call our coaches "coaches." They were more managers, rattling off a batting order and passing out schedules. We'd practice, and here's the brilliant advice I would get: "Veronica, just hit the ball." Yeah, OK, "Coach," thank you for that keen insight as to what's wrong with my technique. (This reminds me of Jim Bouton's pitching coach in Ball Four, who would advise Bouton: "Throw strikes." Yeah, OK, Sal.)

The problem with team sports as exercise is that, especially if you’re a woman in your 40s like me, is that as kids, we were just getting to the very beginning of a generation where girls besides naturally talented jockettes were given any kind of instruction or coaching to not suck as bad as we do. (Title IX was passed in 1972, took a little (!) longer for non-jockette girls to realize that sports were cool, and for the educational marketplace to catch up to this concept.) As a result, because we're so crummy, and nobody every worked with us just to get up to a tolerable skill level, we loathe participating in the sport. Who wants to do something that you're crummy at? I could push through it and play, because I just naturally love the sport -- especially basketball. (In fact, in basketball, the lousier a shot you are, the better the aerobic workout!) But overall, I can see why a lot of women my age and older eschew team sports as their exercise. Not only were we not that good (or ever given decent coaching or instruction) to begin with, now we're old, we're out of shape, and a lot of us are downright fat.

So I've hit the gym in pursuit of exercising, and I've found a zen in that. I've always loved riding my bike from the time I was a little kid, with my flower power banana seat bike, to my first ten speed, to the various bikes I've had in my life. Cross country running: throw on some headphones, get some decent shoes, and go. No strategy or major coordination here. Weightlifting: now this is outright zen. But I do so miss getting more of a chance to play some team sports, and the social interaction and the friendly competitiveness that goes with them. You also get a decent workout playing soccer, because you're concentrating so much on the game that you forget you've been running back and forth across a field for 45 minutes. (My quadreceps, however, later reminded me of this fact the day after that parent-vs-the-kids game). But it was so sad that they had to almost beg the parents to play, instead of getting up off the folding chairs and mutter something about "Oh, I can't play this, I'm too old/out of shape/lousy." I'd joked that "Yeah, they don't really have a league for fat fortysomethings, do they?"

We need a league for fat forthsomethings. I would play in it in a minute. But with the whole competitive nature of sports, its so hard to re-teach people that the primary thing is FUN, not winning or showing off your mind blowing skills all the time. When I first started working out at a gym, yes, I was a bit self-conscious going into that weight room filled with hard bodies, what with my abdominal flap (thank you mo pie, for actually naming yours "flappy") and my spaghetti stirring arms flapping about. After a while, though, you just go into your own little world soundtracked by your walkman (GWTP, V'ron, that's IPOD now!), and you don't (at least I don't) care what people think. Its been so long since I've cared, I admit having difficulty understanding what the big deal for newbies is. But then I'm hip to that apprehension when I step onto a ballfield with my Darrell Strawberry glove (yes, it's as black as his coke-snorting heart!) and trudge out to right field, hoping everybody on the opposing team is indeed right handed so my team will never know just how crappy I am.

As long as you don't count on me to ever sink a layup, anybody wanna play a few sets of three-on-three hoops with me?

Friday, October 06, 2006

KDK's new goal dates

Time to revisit my goals and assign some new, reasonable dates.

171.8 - 11/23/2006 - 60 lbs lost in time for Thanksgiving
158.0 - 2/1/2007 - BMI Normal in time for Gary's birthday
156.8 - 2/8/2007 - 75 lbs lost
140.0 - 4/19/2007 - Lifetime goal weight in time for my 13th wedding anniversary
131.8 - 5/24/2007 - 100 lbs lost just to say I did it in time for the pool opening on Memorial Day and a hot new bathing suit to swim in

50 again

231.8/181.8 (unofficial)/131.8. Down 4.4 if the weight is right. Had a class off-site and didn't make it in to the official weigh-in, but my scale at home is generally in-line with the WW scale. I'm rather bummed that I missed it. Another woman who started at the same time as me was officially granted Lifetime yesterday and her boyfriend came and I heard it was rather emotional. Soon enough it will be my turn, right?

Sunday a team of us had to work to rollout out some applications, so our boss paid for breakfast and our team lead got souffles, bagels, and pastries from Panera. I had one of each and then looked up the nutrition info. Yikes. The rest of the week I've been watching the foods carefully, eating a lot of veggie based main dishes. Made a eggplant/butternut squash/pineapple/chicken curry dish over brown rice. The worst thing in it was the coconut milk. Also found a roasted butternut squash/potato/onion/red pepper covered with balsamic dijon marinated chicken recipe that was really good and about 5 very healthy points per my serving size. Got some farmer's market lettuce and spinach, so we've been having some wonderful salads too. Our community farm share has been full of winter squash, potatos, carrots, onions, green beans, garlic. Yummy!

The exercise has been good this week too. I've finally resigned to set up my Palm in the bathroom to go off about 10 minutes after my bedroom alarm, so no matter how much I want to stay in bed I have to get up to turn off that alarm. And once I'm up and brushed my teeth, I'm finally energized enough to get down to the treadmill. The trainer sessions are going well, too. I had Jamie (the hot one) on Tuesday. He does some good strength training. He had me using the 20 lb dumbbells and then the 25, but he had to help with those. (And if that sounds light, well, I've never had much for arm strength, so it's heavy for me!) Thursday was Andy, who gets my heart racing every time, but throws in some arms or abs just in time to give me a break. Can't wait to see who I have tomorrow. I'm going to look at a used weight set tomorrow. I like to work out while I watch The Biggest Loser.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WWI: Looking back and forward

Wednesday Weigh In: 214.0, fat %46.2. Down 1. I should be relieved, but the fat % pretty much points out what went on. Even though I had a highly active weekend, I also ate a lot of institutional food. It was good food, but I did eat a lot of it. I did, however, write everything down, which has been a goal, so had I gained, I at least wouldn't have been all mystified: "Oh, how could THIS have happened." Well, when you go over points for the week and your bank is down negative 23 points, you're going to see an increase. The fact that I lost a pound this week is accounted for by the high activity, and just dumb luck. But look at that fat percentage. That's where I paid for it.

OK, I'm back at reality, so this is good. I've already planned out today's meals, and I'm looking good.

Saw the doctor yesterday for my annual. Since I last saw him, I'm down 20 pounds, which I was disappointed in, but he said it was obvious I'd lose weight, I'm looking good, and I go for a blood draw later this week after I can guarantee a 12 hour fast to get a cholesterol screening. He's predicting I'm down. I don't have high cholesterol, but as an oveweight person, I should still keep an eye on it. Plus, it’s one more measure of how this whole weight loss thing is doing me good. He also pointed out that 20 pounds over 10 months isn't really all that bad -- that "they" say its good to lost roughly 2-3 pounds a month, so technically I'm on track for long-term loss. This is down from the ol a-pound-a-week gague, but whatever. I'm losing, and perhaps this slow way does bode for long-term results, and a long-term change in my eating habits. I keep justifying that if I were one of those girls who "only" had 20-30 pounds to lose, I'd easily drop it in a year or less, but not really learn anything. Wanting/Needing to lose 100 pounds pretty much ensures that I do some major behavioral change here, as well as some self-knowledge stuff.

Still. I want my fat gone. I want it gone today. I'm really such an American, I'm into instant gratification. That's the lesson here that I have to learn.

Wow, I've been blogging a lot lately about lessons I have to learn. Time to learn them already. Sheesh. But the girls over at angry fat girlz point out that its Performance Appraisal Season, and they're right: I should do one on my weight loss performance over the year, emphasising strenghts/weaknesses, goals and roadmaps to get there. As I (am about to comment over there) we used these tools in the workplace all the time, they're best practices and they WORK. Why not apply business best practices to our daily lives?

Monday, October 02, 2006

How Stella's Mom Will Get Her Groove Back

So I did this mother-daughter camping thing at the Y with Stella, and didn't realize how much of analogy I was in for when I got there.

They have a standard climbing wall there, and neither me nor Stella could get past about 75% of the way up. I dind't feel so bad, because if Stella can't do it (and she's a little monkey) I wasn't going to be able to. After all, she only has less than 50 pounds to hoist up there. But later in the weekend, we both decided to try the Alpine Tower. This thing is harder than it looks. There's a point where all the pieces converge, and it’s the tricky part. We weren't first in line by any means, but the first kid to give it a try got to that point and stopped. "I can't do it," she said. "Try it," we all encouraged from the ground. "Leroy (our belay person) has you covered." The kid pushed on, got to the top, and set a standard. Pretty much every kid that followed got to that convergence point, and had the self-doubt. We would all holler encouragement from the ground, and the kid would get past it, make it to the top, and come down a new person. Some kids hung longer at that point than others, that's for sure.

By the time it was Stella's turn, it had rained (and it was a bit wet, increasing the scary factor), but Stella, getting her groove back, pretty much flew up the entire thing in record time. That convergence point didn't faze her a bit, she just blew past it like it was nothing (she claimed later it was indeed nothing). Then, a few kids later, it was my turn.

Push on else be the lone failure
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
So I get going on this thing, and I make it up to the convergence point with no problem. And I had the classic issue that my feet were the wrong way. I knew my arms weren't going to be able to hoist my 200+body up to the next level -- but my feet/legs were in the wrong position for them to do the work. I stood there, holding on for dear life, and was tempted, for a minute there, to just come back down. But it was too late in the line; nobody had NOT made it to the top. I couldn't let my little girl see me be the first to blow it off. Only one other mom had attempted it (and succeeded), and she was a slender woman who looked to be in shape. But that's not an excuse. She had her own issues, I had to deal with mine. Taking two steps back wouldn't have worked here. I just had to trust my arms to hold me for the 1.5 seconds it would take me to swap out my legs. So I used my head, I got myself some good holding points. The trick was not to use the ones that everybody else used: I ended up using some of the ropes and parts of the logs themselves. You have to do what works for you, and what worked for a 50 pound kid or a slender in-shape woman wasn't going to necessarily work for me. Applying this, I swapped out the legs. Once I did that, I was "home free." And looking back, my head knew that I wasn't going to die: after all, Leroy had triple checked my harness ties, my helmet, and was clearly trained and experienced as a belayer. If I slipped, I had plenty of things helping me out. But I didn't want to have to use them. Leroy was an emergency backup, not the crutch I should use to succeed.

The home free part … well, sort of. It was still physically difficult to get all the way to the top, but the mental challenge, the point where you either give up or move forward, had been conquered. It wasn't just the "I believe I can do this" thing that was in doubt. I physically needed to figure out what I had done wrong, and what I had to do to correct it, emotional doubt aside. There was cold hard physics that had to be analyzed. And once I got past it, I still had work to do. Getting to the top, and then, allowing myself to trust that Leroy was going to get me down safely via the support ropes. (The moment when you slide your butt off the top plank took some getting into, I'll tell you.). But even that rope ladder was a bit tough. If you hung on it too long, it would start to twist and turn, but then you learn that stops quickly if you just continue climbing it.

Wow, do I have to even explain the obvious analogy to how this fits on this weightloss blog, and so perfecly explains how I'm feeling right now? I feel like I'm at that convergence point. I feel STUCK. I can't go back, no; that would be humiliating and a terrible example to show for my kid, and just another way for me to tell myself I'm a failure. But I have to trust that I do indeed have that strength, the intellectual know-how, and the emotional drive to do this. All that was flashing in my head, really, as I hugged those giant logs, trying to figure out how I was going to get past this point. And I got past it by stopping feeling overwhelmed, taking a breath, and just attacking it as a physics problem. Its amazing how much you can accomplish if you just let cold hard physics run the show.

I'm at that point right now as regards weightloss. I can see very clearly that once I get past it, I'll be well on my way again, it will still be hard, but this convergence point is really hanging me up. I probably hung at that convergence point longer than any of the kids, (certainly Stella!) and had to really think through what my strategy was going to be. I have to do the same here with the weight: there's so many things converging at this point, but the tools I need to get to the goal are in my possession. I have to just shove all the self-doubting, aside, take willpower for granted, and then apply simple physics. And I need to think this through and develop the plan.

Oh, BTW, Stella admitted much later that she wasn't scared at the convergence point, but when she got to the top, it did take a bit of guts to shove off and let Leroy lower her to the ground. OK, she's not totally invincible either. But she got her groove back by picking herself up after a disappointing morning on the indoor climbing wall, and conquering a previous failure. I need to decide if Stella was teaching me a lesson (as our kids often do, the question is do we listen), or if there's some kind of drive inside her that she inherited from me, and I need to take pride in and use myself. I suspect it's equal parts both. But as easy as it looked for her, she had her own demons to conquer, which goes to show you that everybody does.

If you're curious, you can click on any of the photos, and then click on the "Stella and Vron Conquer the Alpine Tower" set link to see the whole thing, or just click here. It was a rush, let me tell you.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Insert Title here

231.8/186.2/131.8 - Up 1.8. The weekend away from home got me off track. I didn't plan as well as I should. And I took up the defeatist attitude and kept eatting whatever all week. I had to admit to Sue at lunch that I didn't track. So we're both tracking this week and showing each other next week.

Last night I did a highway clean-up. Our company pays for our dinner at a local sports bar when we do this. And every time I get a salad. I didn't want to do a salad this time. There were 4 of us from Weight Watchers at dinner all sitting next to each other, so I felt the pressure to order something "good". I went with the grilled chicken sandwich and the steak fries and diet soda. I don't do much soda, but it's the free food thing again. At least I did pass on dessert.

Next week I'll revisit my goals since most cannot be accomplished by the dates I set earlier. My sister gets married next summer, so I'm setting my sights on reaching Lifetime weight before we go to CA.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Rat's Gonna Stick Out

In the past few weeks, I've had a chance to go out and see a bunch of bands: we've either gone to a few street festivals (they're really cramming them in), or we're out anyway and we've dropped in to see a band. And if not seeing a band, I've been to a couple of parties lately where I'm running into people from the "scene" who remember my band. And in all these situations, I get asked when we're going to play again. And over the past few years, my excuse has been: "We'll I haven't got time. I've got a toddler and I barely have time to pick up my guitar, much less rehearse with a band. I don't even have guitar callouses, I just about remember my three chords, shit, I just about know how to play my own songs. "

"Oh, and I really want to drop at least 20 more pounds before I step on stage again." Which is a nice way to say "And, uh, well, I'mfat..Isn't that enough reason to stay off the stage?"

We all know that's an excuse, because I was fat when I first started playing, and somehow people managed to find value in my music and performance. And, I have often lately mused to people, "As Anna Nicole Smith has taught us all, if you're a blonde with big tits, it matters not that you are fat." So the fat isn't the issue. It's a symptom of the issue. And I had a revelation this week. Its not the fat I've gained. It's not the toddler (who's now 3, he's become a full-fledged KID) taking up my time.

Its my moxie. I've lost it, and I have to get it back.

I size myself up musically, and I'm not seeing the big picture of myself anymore. Let's face it, my voice? I wouldn't last 15 seconds with Simon Cowell. My guitar playing? Well, I'm better than Kelley Deal, but people tell me I'm a great guitar player, and I'm here to tell you, I'm not. My husband is a great guitar player. My bass player is a great guitar player. But I think cloudy hindsight (I won't go so far as to say "legend") has taken over the fact that, well, I know my chords and can play some cliche leads but I'm no Matt Brandabur, and I'm thusly afraid I won't live up to my hype. I've written some OK songs. But somehow, we got fans. Somehow, we even got a teeny little paragraph in Billboard. For some odd reason, people still have our bumperstickers on their guitar cases and even the bumpers of their cars, and I still see Loblolly T-shirts being worn. It's not that cool a logo, apparently people liked the band. How the hell did I pull this off? How did a fat, oddly-voiced, quirky songwriting and marginal guitar-playing blonde chick with a gap in her front teeth that rivals Lauren Bacall's manage this? On paper, I really couldn't tell you. The only thing I can think of is that I had moxie. (Note use of past tense.)

And the fact that I've been telling people "Well, I'll get the band back together when I lose 20 more pounds" is just a cover. It's as though deep down inside, I know I won't lose those 20 pounds, and thus my excuse for not putting on my best cool band clothes, not strapping on my Rickenbacker, not plugging it in, and not getting up on stage and screaming out my blues is safely locked in. I can get on stage and do joke bands easily. (Speaking of Anna Nicole, I did appear at Trash Fest as Patti Nicole Smith, singing the legendary punk priestess' top songs decked out in all my fatness, with Anna's dreadful tinny drawl, just picture it: "The boy looked at Johnny…") I can do joke bands. I can put on a disguise and be a degenerate German chanteuse braying out a Pixies cover. But my own real band? With my own real songs? Did I set that 20-pound deadline in order to avoid dealing with what has turned into a severe case of total stage fright?

Worse yet, am I going to let that stage fright sabotage my weight loss goals? And is that why I've only dropped 25 pounds in the past year, despite this blog, despite my efforts, despite the support of everybody who reads this blog and has laughed and cried with me in this phat little community of ours?

Reasons why I should be getting my moxie back:

  • Everytime I go out and see somebody on the scene, they ask me "So, when's Loblolly going to play again?" I need to learn believe that this isn't just polite conversation. If people just need to start a conversation with me, they could always ask "So, how's your kids? How's your photography going? How's that writing going? Still working at Anonymous Law Firm?" No, these people really want to see this band play. With me in it.

  • Really, I have one of the best drummers in town (and I'm not saying this to pump him up...enough people have said in different contexts, "Yeah, Andy Pagel man. He's one of the best drummers in town") who has been on my case to play with Loblolly again. For years. And I keep blowing him off with excuses. It's not like he has nothing to do. He's totally in demand, he's playing with a variety of bands (from a western swing band, to a Velvet Underground tribute band, and he even gets to pretend he's Keith Moon in a Who tribute band.). He's not wanting for gigs. He wants to play in MY band. He wants to play MY songs. Enjoy this, V'ron. Believe it.

  • My bass player, Dan Mullen, who is a very good guitar player (he's my guitar teacher for chrissakes) wants to get the band back together again. He's said he's totally up for it. He has rehearsal space. He has the time, now that he's no longer in the band that he made his name in. His songs rock, and he's come into his own as a stage performer. He's finally found his voice, and he's using it. He's busy with as many bands as Pagel. In fact, he's in half those bands with Pagel: that VU thing (with a "Nico" who can actually sing, unlike the real, constantly flat, Nico!), a Buddy Holly/Greatest Hits band, and god knows what other fun things Mark Shurilla can come up with. He's totally a snob, and won't waste his time with untalented performers (I've heard him whine about this). So why the hell would he want to be in a band with me? Clearly I must bring something to the table. On top of that, he's been recruited to play guitar with another terrific band, with another saggitarian egotistical performer, but yeah, right, that's going to last as long as I lasted in a band with Stoney Rivera.

Don’t get me wrong, Stoney Rivera is a great, great performer, and the Psycho Bunnies was great fun to be in, for the five months we lasted before we "exploded in a pyre of pulled hair, damaged egos, and broken guitar strings." Love that girl, love her, I tell you,, and thank her immensely for the break she gave me, the trip to England she dragged me on with the band, and honestly, the moxie (there's that word again) she helped me find. But except for staged reunion shows, we should never, never, never be in a band together again. I learned a lot from her; she is not exactly a waif herself. It appears I need to re-learn a few things from her.

OK, here's what I have to do:

  • Lose the damn 20 pounds already. It's not an excuse anymore. It's a good milestone. Note new milestone listing on this blog's sidebar.

  • Pick up that guitar again. Tonight. I'm picking up the guitar to-fucking-night, after I get home from soccer and swim lessons with the kids at the Y. No excuses. I learned my three chords back in 1990, I can re-learn them again. Just the other day, Stella discovered that her acoustic guitar got totally broken over the weekend, the neck snapped off like Pete Townsend had gotten hold of it. I remember getting that guitar for her when she was Sammy's age, and the reason I got it was so that I could practice on my guitar and she'd have her own instead of bugging me to play mine. Elmo's guitar just wasn't cutting it for her anymore. So, probably, to facilitate this, I'm going to have to replace that child's acoustic guitar, because I know Sammy's going to be just like Stella, he's not going to let me play unless he has his own axe. He's like this with everything else in my life: my camera, cooking, biking, computer: "Let me try!" He's three. He's a boy. He's my Sammy. $30 for a ToysRUs "First Step" guitar will be totally worth it to keep him out of my hair.

  • Speaking of hair, I have a hair appointment in a few weeks with one of the best colorists in town. I still have the big tits, but need a little help with the blonde. And its not just the hair color itself I need help with. I need to remember how to be a Blonde again.

Because it matters not that I am fat, and not that great a singer, and an OK songwriter, and a marginal guitar player. The fat is just a symptom, and I will not let it be an excuse, nor will I let my stage fright be an excuse for not losing the fat. Besides, as Marty Balin grudgingly admitted about Grace Slick in 1968: "You put six ducks and a rat on a stage together, the rat's gonna stick out." And what makes the rat stick out? Moxie.

Oh, its Wednesday! You want numbers?

215.2, fat percentage 45. Down 1.8 pounds, up a few percentage points. Whoopee. Down some weight AND I had an epiphany!

Friday, September 22, 2006

One year and back on track

231.8/184.4/131.8 - Down 5.6. It's amazing what eating right and exercising will do, especially if those pounds are the recently gained vacation weight. Let's hope the trend continues.

I tracked my food all week. I think I'm going back to points for good. It worked so well for me those first few months. And I eat too many non-core foods. The week included a girls visit for scrapbooking with chips and dip and a dinner out, but somehow I managed to do ok. I showed my tracker to my WW friend and will continue to do so to keep myself honest.

I had my first couple of training session on Tuesday. I wore a way too large shirt over my ok-to-wear-in-the-basement-but-not-really-anywhere-else normal tank and spandex shorts and I looked pretty dumpy. So of course my trainer was Jamie, the hottest trainer in the group. And here I am looking so completely crappy. When I got home I immediately figured out a way-more-flattering workout outfit. Yeah, I'm married and I love my husband, but if I'm going to have these hot, thin, fit guys working me out, I want to look decent, and eventually I want to look hot. I want to be a hot mom. One of the women in the WW meeting said she wanted to be a MILF and I thought 'I like that goal.' Is this shallow? Oh well. I've never been the hot girl. I'd like to try it out!

The first training was decent. I walked out sure my arms would be sore and thinking I didn't remember doing much leg stuff. The next afternoon my legs and butt were really sore. Guess it was the lunges. Thursday I had the woman trainer, also a Jamie, and she really did a number on my arms. I think I have Andy bright and early at 6 AM tomorrow morning. He did my physical assessment, but I haven't seen his training style. Which part of me will be a-hurting on Sunday during the JDRF Walk?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

They're only numbers, and they're all excuses.

And weird numbers they are: 217. UP 2. But get this: Fat % down to 42.3%. That's my lowest ever. And that puts my "pure fat" weight at its lowest ever. Still, I'm way up past the 212 I joyfully posted a few weeks ago. I'm up 5. Ugh ugh ugh.

At least my measurements aren't up. In fact, some are down. My waist is down.

I'm in the throes of a horrific period, accompanied by gas gas gas. I am this walking, sloshing gasbag. If that's TMI for you, well, this probably isn't the blog for you anyway.

Tomorrow is the autumn equinox. Maybe the position of hte moon and all that has something to do with it.

I actually ate well this week.

I'm just a bag of excuses and number crunching, aren't I? A waterlogged, gassy, menstrual, fat bag of excuses. I just have to soldier on.

OK, carry on.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Sun Came Out

... yesterday, and as such, I went to a REAL running store and bought new running shoes. I'd posted elsewhere, but might as well post here, that they need to come up with a sensor that warns you "Your running shoes are old. They have lost their cush. Buy new ones before you bash your heel in" instead of me waking up one morning feeling like somebody banged the living crap out of my heel. The problem is that, like car brakes, the deterioration is so gradual that you don't notice it until you feel damaging pain. At least with car brakes you have a chirp, and if you ignore the chirp, you risk your brakes not working!

So anyway, the sun finally came out yesterday, so I went to ol Rodiez's Running Store, which the "Health And Fitness" thread girls at MilwaukeeMoms dot com advised me was the place to go, and I learned that tended to roll inward a bit, so I needed support there, and now I have a pair of Saucony Grid3 shoes that, (like KDK13's pack of trainer sessions) are my gift to me and my goals.

Amazing what a little sun can do for the spirit.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

One year anniversary

231.8/190.0/131.8 - Up 0.8. Not surprised at all. Where has my exercise and tracking gone? Just because I'm trying to do Core doesn't mean I don't need to track. And well, about that Core thing. As soon as I eat a non-Core food my good intentions seem to fly out the window and the day is shot. The flex tracking thing worked for 6 months - why do I need to change? Just freakin' stop eating crap! Think about what I'm eating and just say no. And get my lazy butt out of bed at 5:00 and get on the treadmill. What's so hard about that? Why am I purposely sabotaging myself? Why am I still up at 11 PM when I need to get up at 5 AM?

So today is a good day to re-evaluate and celebrate success. One year ago I was sitting in my first WW info meeting hearing about the program and deciding I needed to do something because I wasn't getting any thinner or healthier on my own. And where am I now? I'm 41.8 lbs lighter. I have more muscle and stamina. I'm wearing size 14 and sometimes 12 for the first time in years. It may not be where I could have been, but it's way better than where I was. Time to cut myself some slack and celebrate - not with food or drink - but with this post. Yeah me! OK, that's done.

Another woman in the WW meetings and I set a goal for ourselves this week. Mine is to track. Track all week. And I have to show her my tracker next week. This will motivate me. I've also signed up with a personal trainer place and have paid for my sessions, so there's no turning back. I've wanted to do this for months but kept putting it off. My gift to me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blame it on the weather

I'm 215 today. Up three. Here's the thing. I get on the scale this morning, as I do for every Wednesday Weigh in, and it takes forEVER to come up with a number. When it does, that number is 208. Woo-Hoo I at first think. But then, that can't be right. Not the way I ate this weekend. Not the way I ate yesterday, and certainly not the way I didn't exercise like I normally do. So I look at it, wondering if the batteries are going, or if maybe three years of bathroom merm are finally interfering, because it ususally doesn't have to "think" about the weight. You just step on it, and it goes.

So I get some bathroom cleaner, wipe it down, and, well, I'm at 215. That's more like it. shit. That's not really more like it, but its a lot more realistic. There's a part of me that was going to post the 208, but I would have cleaned it off anyway, eventually, and then I'd have to post a ferocious gain, and what would we have learned. Part of this whole process is being honest with one's self.

But I would like to blame something other than myself, and as I posted yesterday, this transition to Autumn isn't going well. Its been downright crappy her for the past week. What is the "sun" thing scientists speak of? Hasn't made an appearance in SE Wisconsin for almost a week now. Its been dreary, rainy, bluhhhhhh for awhile. And chilly and cold. The leaves aren't even turning yet, so you don't even get that glorious red and orange to brighten up the landscape. Its all gray. My car's in the shop, but its too rainy and icky to ride my bike to work, and when I get home all I want to do is watch TV and, well, eat.

I think more than being a stress eater, I'm a boredom eater. I've got to spice up this bluuhh day, so let's EAT Ick. Bluhhhh. Shit. I'ts gray, its rainy, my car's in the shop, I need new gym shoes, my scale is playing tricks with me and I'm fat. I feel fat and bloated and gassy. Bluuhhhh. Ick.

It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Catching up

OK, I'm way behind. I'll try to catch up now. I was not NOT posting because I wasn't losing. Just too busy at work and home and didn't make the time. But go ahead and believe I was avoiding it, because had I done a good job of losing, I'm sure I would have found the time to post.

7/13/06 - 182.6 - down .6, total loss 49.2. Almost back to 50 lost. Not at all the 60 lost for vacation as I wanted. Off to Costa Rica so no weigh in for two weeks. And heck with tracking food. Or working out. I'm going to enjoy the trip without worry and pay for it when I get home.

8/3/06 - 185.8 - up 3.2, total loss 46.0. Must have been a good girl for a couple days back home since my total vacation gain was 5 lbs. The food was decent and I managed to eat enough of it. They did keep us going, so we got some decent activity. Our return was followed up with a potlock corn boil at our community farm and then a donors only reception at the new library. Hey, we gave a lot of money to the library so I must sample each elegant edible many times, with many mimosas to wash it down. I'm wearing my "little black dress" and everything.

8/10/06 - 184.6 - down 1.2, total loss 47.2.
8/17/06 - 186.2 - up 1.6, total loss 45.6
8/24/06 - 182.8 - down 3.4, total loss 49.0 - almost there when here comes another vacation and another missed weigh in
9/7/06 - 189.2 - up 6.4, total loss 42.6 - Wow, how much dessert and Culver's did I eat?! We were home all week with my parents. I had some fruits and veggies to use up. What better than zucchini cake and banana bread. We got these banana flavored Frango chocolates that weren't all that great alone, but they made the bread pretty yummy.

Well, now we're back to fall and I sometimes can wake up in time for a workout and when I can make it to work on time, I can walk at lunch with Jenny. Now if I can get a handle on what I eat, I could make some headway again. Is this the same song and dance I've been spouting since March?

I also have to get the hormones under control or at least note them on my calendar to proactively stop myself. For the last few days I seem to be out of control on eating. And I never feel full. I finally realized that my time of the month was here and then the over-eating made more sense. But since it seems to start about 3 days before the actual event, I need an alarm in my Palm or plan out my Tracker to write a warning - cycle about to start, do not overeat!!! And plan some strategies for this time of the month. I also need to give myself permission to eat a full bag of 94% fat-free popcorn anytime I want if that will fill me up and stop me from rampaging through the pantry.

Two days to weigh in. Not looking too good yet. I'll keep you posted. Really.

This transition to autumn isn't going well

I'm looking at bad news on the scale tomorrow, and I think I've just nailed why:

While I've been not perfect all summer, I had a very active summer: weekends filled with 2 hour bike rides, mornings getting up early enough to get an hour in before work, active vacations involving bike riding, hiking, climbing up stairs to water rides, running around with the kids. The weather's gloomy, its not conducive to working out, and I can only do an indoor workout for so long before I gotta hit the showers.

But my eating isn't adjusting to the slightly but nevertheless decreasing activity level. I have to do this. I have to get back into Eating Boot Camp mode again. Or I just have to accept that its Autumn and I have to establish a new routine, both with eating and exercise, because this summer eating style just ins't cutting it, literally.

See you tomorrow, when I post probably what should be a gain.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Heart Rate Monitor Revelations

I bought a $40 heart rate monitor a few weeks ago, and I will say that it's a GREAT investment. When I got my fitness assessment, I was given a heart rate range that I should maintain while exercising. It's very revealing to see where that rate is when hooked up to this device. I reach my max a lot faster than I thought.

Here's another interesting fact: My heart rate gets to the same level with a brisk walk as it does on the ellipcial trainer - showing that yes, a brisk walk is just as good for you from a cardio-vascular standpoint as time spent on a machine.

I will continue to visit the gym (and the elliptical) (and the weights) a few times per week, but it's good to know that a walk in-between is just fine too.

I was also told that a $40 monitor is pretty much just as good as a $100 one. I bought the Polar one with the EKG quality monitoring. All you really get for more money is more features. I'm barely using the features on the one I have, so I'm happy with it.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Fitness Milestone!!

I just ran an hour this morning without stopping.

Mind, you, this wasn't exactly Boston 'thon pace.

Nevertheless, I ran it. And i didn't stop. When I got home, I looked at my watch chrono and could see I was two minutes short of an hour, so I just kept running around my yard so I could post this.

Woo Hoo!!! You couldn't have told me a year ago I'd be here already.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

WWI - Living in the English Renaissance

Man oh man, you'd think that 211 was my final goal, the way I seem to be avoiding it. Its only a milestone, and a pre-pregnancy milestone at that. Nevertheless, I'm not there, in fact, I'm up this week. I knew it would be; so just to take some of the sting off, I did a run this morning before work and weighed myself after the run, which historically can shave up to 2 pounds off. Its water weight, but when you're dreading weigh-in, you'll take any way you can get to get rid of any excess.

Wednesday Weigh-In numbers: 213, 44% fat. Up 1, but the fat percentage is way down, the bright spot in this otherwise messed up week.

Its the weekends that kill me, and this long weekend especially. I was pretty good going in -- even at the Renaissance Faire I went to with Stella's Brownie troop on Saturday. They had a wide selection of really excellent food (no, I didn't get the Turkey legs, but then I wasn't dressed to period anyway). It was one of those deals where you got something (a well-seasoned spinach calzone) and then right as you're swallowing the last bite you see -- oh my gosh -- Beef Ribs! Damnnation! I coulda had a V8! Old Veronica would have gone and had the beef ribs anyway. But New Veronica did not, knowing that later in the day Sammy was going to want some ice cream and I would have to help him finish it (they only came in giant waffle cones, something a 3 year old tummy wasn't going to finish). So I actually stayed within points.

One thing particularly cool about the Ren Faire is that, frankly, a lot of the women are fat -- and proud of it. They walk about like "Hey, I'm fat! Check me out! Get a gander at these knockers -- there's more where these came from!" And if they're not fat, the costumes do their best to make them look fat. Apparently, fat was the thing to be during the English Renaissance. The costumes push up your boobs to make them look as rubenesque as possible. The giant dresses are built to hide what could be a bony ass underneath. If you did not have fat on you, apparently it was embarassing. Methinks perhaps I'm a woman out of time, because even when I hit goal, I'll still look good in these costumes as I will still have child-bearing hips, melon-sized breasts, and a jolly ol' face. But when you think about it, its kind of sad that even 500 years ago, there was fashion that constricted or shaped women to be whatever the tastemakers of the time decided was good-looking. I look at these costumes, with the push-up bustiers that put victoria's secret to shame, and think "That can't be comfortable." So maybe its another lesson in how you can't please everybody, and just be who you are and learn to love it.

No, it wasn't the Ren Faire that killed me. It was the Sunday birthday party followed by a welcome home party that did it. I'm at this kids' birthday party with Stella, and for whatever reason I'm sitting down next to a bowl of M&Ms. That's white chocolate M&Ms. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Neither had I, so of course I had to try them. They're good. They're really good. They're too good and that bowl is right in front of me and its there and I'm eating them and its there and I'm popping them in my mouth, and I'm finding different ways to make them last, like sucking on one until the hard shell breaks, and I realize no, these are M&Ms, they're not tootsie pops, and I return to eating them like they were potato chips and I'm eating regular M&Ms to compare and contrast white and regular chocolate and and finally I say ENOUGH and push it away. But the damage is done. I eat a hamburger and there's all they mayo-based side salads and I'm going nuts. And then I head off to the welcome home party, where our hostess had made really good food, but I'm already stuffed, but I don't want to pass up a chance at this roasted organic piedmontese beef and before I know it, I'm regretting this whole day. Then comes Labor day, a dreary, rainy, yucky day. To get a workout in, I'm going to have to drive to the Y, and of course I can't get to the downtown Y because its Labor Day and there's a parade and I at least work up the oomph to get to the South Shore Y, only to find I'm not going to have a luxurious workout followed by spa heaven because it closes at 1:00 pm because it's Labor Day. So I do an elliptical trainer for a half hour, followed by weightlifting and some ab work, I plunk my sweaty body in my car, and drive home. And because its Labor Day, I have a hankering for some grilled food, but its too dreary and rainy to do anything like that, so I jump and say yes when Brian suggests we just get some take out Indian food, and I order this creamy fat laden-curry spicy comfort veggie thing over seven cups of rice, and now its Wednesday Weigh In, and, well, here I am. One pound up. During the week, I'm good. I'm in business mode, I'm methodical, its routine, and I'm successful.

I have got to get a handle on weekends. Either that, or get a ticket to the Wayback machine and go live in the English Renaissance.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

WWI - When we lose the weight: a transition from empathy to sympathy

Numbers on Wednesday Weigh-In: 212, fat % 45.6. Down exactly 1.

The weightloss blogs I read fall into basically three categories (and many overlap) 1) They're just damn good writers, and often very funny, but they otherwise caught my eye because they have a voice that speaks to me 2) The blogger is roughly where I am weight-wise (give or take 20 lbs) and so we have that hovering-around-200-so perspective together or 3) The blogger has been at it (blogging, and specifically about weightloss) for about as long as I have been so we have that "I've been at it for almost a year now and I'm hitting a plateau combined with hitting my stride" thing in common.

I've noticed some trends in the 2s and 3s -- let me know if you think otherwise. Normally I hate generalizations, but there's some common themes I'm finding, has anybody else noticed these?

Among the 2s:

  • The visibility factor (or the lack of invisibility anymore) is manifesting itself. We all seem to be getting noticed, especially by men. We don't seem so fat. Perhaps, to them, we've gone from "fat" to "she could stand to drop a few pounds." As such, we're not used to this attention. Its not just from men, and its not just sexual. We're making more of an impact at work, in the arts, everywhere. We're liking it, by and large, but we're not quite sure what to make of it. And I know I'm wrestling with the idea that "you didn't look at me twice when I was really fat" but at the same time, I'm not turning away the newfound attention I'm getting and I'm enjoying something that, not a year ago, I was whining about not being fair.
    We're starting to be able to buy our clothes (albeit, we're still in XL, or the loose 14s and 16s) at places other than Lane Bryant, or, as Wendy McClure mentions in "I'm Not the New Me," the fat section of department stores. For some of us, we're getting to re-visit old stores we used to live in, for others, it’s the first time we've stepped in there. (I'm in the former group.) It's cool. We can start finally imagining ourselves wearing things other than mu-mus, but at the same time, we're waving the flags at fashion designers to learn how to dress our fat bodies in something other than a tent. So, I guess this means at least we haven't lost our empathy. Its cool, but in my case, dangerous. I'm not done yet, but I'm starting to feel comfortable in my old, not-so-fat clothes, and comfort tends to make me lazy.

  • We're starting to wonder what our perspective is going to be when we do achieve our goals. I know I'm at a point where for the first time in years I'm seeing this as do-able --that I might actually hit that seemingly far goal of 100 pounds. In this respect, I think I'll always have empathy for overweight women, but when empathy transitions to sympathy, when does it become patronizing? And how do we keep from being patronizing, beyond the obvious difference between "I remember when I was there, here's what worked for me" as opposed to (and I've seen this in more than a few books/blogs written by former fat women) "I remember when I was such an idiotic fat cow." That's the easy difference, it gets harder when you realize that, after all these years of being victims of a form of elitism, we're sort of joining the elite. Its like I've written before, I love the people in this phat little club of ours, but given the choice, it’s a club whose eligibility I'd rather not qualify for. I'm seeing a lot of us at this point struggling with this: to remain "fat accepting" yet to want to cast off our own fat. Is it elitist to say: "Well, fine for you if you're OK with being fat or not ready -- for whatever reason (god knows it took me a while to be truly ready to do this) to lose it yet, but its not acceptable for me."? It really is the opposite of the Woody Allen paradox: "I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would have me in it." We are members of this club, and we want out. Is that an insult to the current club members?

And among the 3's:
  • Those of us who have been here for almost a year (I started this blog in November '05), I think we're hitting our strides and understanding that we're in for the long haul. I can just picture the ones who have been at this for a few years now, just smiling at us and remembering the day when, as many of us are starting to post, it hit them that its really going to happen, that goal (mine is 100 pounds) isn't just a pie in the sky. We're using "when" instead of "if" to precede the clause "I lose the weight." I've already seen some people trying to decide what the tattoo is going to say, they're shopping for clothes they know don't fit them now, but will someday. There's some door we all seem to have busted through, the difference between, say the weightloss blogs that started up fast and then disintegrated after a few months, and us, who have gotten through some kind of barrier. I don't know when that occurs -- its like in child development, you can tell a new mother to "Wait it out, trust us, the kid WILL start sleeping regularly after about 6-8 weeks." When is that line that we have to cross that brings us to the next level. I would have loved to have known, the way I was told (and can pass on to a new breastfeeding mother) that it really does get better after the colostrum's done, and your milk comes in. It’s a gift I would love to be able to give to some dieting newbie -- get past, what, 6 months? -- and you too will start to believe it. I'm going through my archives and I think I started believing in my ability to get to my goals after about 4 months, slowly, bit by bit. I think the best advice I can give to somebody who's new is to don't just look at your weight. Look at your measurements. Look at your ability to run/bike/swim a mile in whatever baseline you have. Look at your ability to tie your shoes without doing it from the side. (Look at the fact that you don't have to stick to velcro shoes!) But I'm wondering what the next level is, and what I have to achive at the next level. And I'm also wondering what the next level's challenges are. I know what they are here, at least for me. They're to not get cocky, to not get lazy, that those huge differences didn't just happen overnight. My noticing them happened overnight, in reviewing my archives, the things that got me excited were things that I tried out of the clear blue sky: those Old Navy pants, being able to run for more than 10 minutes, being able to lift my hips off the floor recently. But the methodology that got me there didn't happen overnight. That took close to a year. MUST REMEMBER THIS.

  • We're also getting philosophical. We're kind of beyond the basics of what plan, how many calories are in this, etc. Its big picture for us now. Digging into why are we doing this, what fundamental changes are we struggling with, etc. This is the scary part. We are starting to realize that to get to that next level, its not just a diet. It’s a serious change in the way we do business with ourselves. The fact that we've lasted this long proves we can do it. But will we? Are we ready to make that change? We all seem to be answering yes, even if we don't know exactly what those changes will entail. I sure as hell don't. But it’s a hellava ride, and I'm looking forward to reading back in a year to see if I figured it out.

Blog/Plan Maintenance: Scope and Objective Modifications

Having said all this, a big of blog/plan maintenance. In the parlance of Project Management, scope/objective changes: I'm changing my starting weight to 245, adding the category "blog starting weight" which will remain at 234, and my overall goal to 145. Here's why: 245 was my worst weight ever that I can't blame on a pregnancy. If I'm going to take credit for losing weight, I need to take into account that I dropped 11 pounds over a year trying to get my act together on this weightloss thing. With that in mind, I still want to be able to proudly say "I lost 100 pounds" and I have to get real -- I don't think I'll get down to 134. I weighed that as a freshman in high school, before I really grew boobs. I know very few (actually no) women who weigh what they weighed in junior high. While I don't want to set lower standards, I also don't want to set myself up for failure. I don't want to drop 100 pounds down to 145 and say "Failure." Dropping 100 pounds, whether I count what I lost before I started this blog or not, is success.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

WWI - Transitioning to Autumn

Wednesday Weigh In, 213.0, fat % 45.2. I'm holding steady on total pounds, but the fat % implies that I lost 2 pounds of fat this week. I'm reaching for it, but I seem to be really stuck here (I was GOOD this week, honest) and I need other numbers besides the MotherShip Statistic (total weight) to keep me going.

I just got done signing STella up for her fall classes. Its somewhat depressing, as summer is the time of year I look forward to, and as the cliche goes, it gets shorter as you get older, and the thing that hits you in the face is the shopping for school supplies and stuff in the fall. I carefully signed Stella up for her fall sports and activities, and at least this time, 2 of them at at the Y, so that will guarantee at least 2 formal workouts. I can't even remember how long I lasted going to work on a bike -- I have really good winter biking pants, and long gloves, and good cool weather workout tops. I think I made it to early November. Didn't do it every day, because I don't ride when its snowing.

But the class scheduling had me thinking that my summer workouts and winter workouts are two totally different things. Summer is mostly cardio, endurance, etc., and I don't lift weights that much because lifting weights is pretty much an indoor thing. Who wants to be inside lifting weights on a gorgeous summer day? But in winter, who wants to be outside shoshing around? I like a good winter hike in the woods, or ice skating, or sledding, but that's about it. So the Winter Workout tends to be a half hour on some machine (stairclimber, elliptical, whaever I'm in the mood for) followed by weights. By the end of any given winter, I'm pretty happy with the weights, but by the end of summer, its like I have to start all over with, say 10 pounds on the biceps... feh! Oh, and for daily cardio, there's that stairclimbing in my building. Its almost a punishment for myself when there's no other way I can get a workout in.

Still, I hate this transition period. Am I cardio or am I weightlifting? Am I outdoors or indoors? The days are getting shorter, even this morning I got up and had to use a lighton my bike until I was about half way to work. By November, I won't even be turning it off halfway. But now, I'm watching the sunrise along the lakefront in the morning. I should enjoy this and love it for what it is -- an opportunity to see the sunrise every morning over the lakefront. Its like last week's post, an analogy for this whole process. I need to enjoy this part of the journey, a transition from really fat to, as kdk13 put it, "only overweight" (there's a whole different set of challenges at that point), for what it is -- seeing the size 14s rise over my hips like the sun on the lakefront.