Thursday, March 29, 2012
For the most part I dislike TV. I'll watch some sci-fi series, but for the most part I avoid it like the plague. Commercials and ads are sometimes the worst. In the past 15 years, my TV got more use for gaming consoles than it ever got for TV watching. I didn't even pay for cable in the apartment I had for four year or the triplex I had for 10. Unfortunately, there's not much chance of avoiding the TVs at the gym. Every cardio machine is pointed at them.
I just happened to noticed one of the ads tonight. It had a slice of pizza and a slogan about when your favorite food fights you. Basically the point was that when a food makes you feel bad, you should just keep eating it and pop a pill to get rid of the body symptoms screaming at you that the food isn't good and healthy. (Foods in the ads are pizza, burgers, corn dogs and the like.)
Is it any wonder so many people eat poorly with the socially acceptable answer being "take an antacid if it makes you feel bad"? (And I've seen it in more than a few blogs - the "I can't believe I ate that. I feel terrible now.") Maybe it's just a quirk of mine, but I don't keep doing something that is painful or uncomfortable unless there's a very clear reward - and eating food isn't a reward to me; it's meant to be a pleasure.
The other thing tonight was I had an odd little epiphany.
I keep saying stuff about the relationship baggage I'm carrying. The key issue is ability to trust.
Suddenly tonight something dawned on me.
I make a big deal about being weird, unique, unusual - essentially that no one else is exactly like me.
... so why am I thinking and reacting as though everyone else will always be the same?
Just because one guy borrowed $80 and never paid it back does not mean every other guy is going to flake on paying me back. Even if a SECOND guy tried to borrow $80 for diapers, spent it on drugs, does not mean every guy will.
I've learned how to protect myself. I don't loan money that I can't afford to give. I even subsequent to those two situations wired money to a guy I knew in WOW so he and his wife could pay rent and get some food. Sure, he didn't pay me back either, but I didn't go into that expecting anything but to give money to help someone.
Somehow I've been hung up for years on the idea that I can't trust a guy to be 100% true to me.
But even if one, or five, or fifty are cheaters ... there's plenty who are not. And I'm judging them ALL based on the one. /facepalm
I kept myself from seeing that all I was doing was cowardly avoiding risk.
Why did it take me this long to see past my own flimsy mask on this one? I have no idea.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I just noticed that I was missing the Spark Diet Stage 4 link on my main page. Last I knew, it would do little "how are you doing" checkups every couple weeks, but I have no idea when that was.
Which way did it go?
I've poked here and there, but I really do not see a way to find out whether it's even there still or if I've somehow stepped off the Stages (into the Twilight Zone?)
This blog title ... when I was little and watching cartoons, I definitely had favorites and not-so-favorites. I remember quite well the dogs and sometimes Bugs Bunny with the variety of gags that involved asking "Which way did he go?" (in what was a slow, almost moronic manner) and being pointed off in the completely wrong direction, often over a cliff edge. The one I remember liking best was one in which the dog had set up a pile of mattresses at the bottom of the cliff, so instead of being "hurt" by going the wrong way, he was prepared.
I was also a keen fan of Wile E. Coyote and hater of the Roadrunner. Not because Wile E. was clever or capable, but because he NEVER quit trying. No matter how many Acme Co. contraptions backfired on him, no matter how illogical the twists that let the Roadrunner go right through a painted tunnel or run on air, he dusted himself off and started plotting. Sometimes he tried similar things, sometimes he tried completely new things. He learned from past failures what might backfire and did what he could to test for that problem.
(And having written that, what a great role model he makes for anyone falling off the wagon to get right back on! Hehe.)
I loved Tom & Jerry cartoons in which their love for each other was demonstrated - that even when they were at each other's throats, they would defend and fight for each other if an outside threat showed up. (Maybe being the oldest of 5 made that seem very personal.)
I was going to write more, but I think I'll stop with that. What cartoons do you remember best? Any life lessons you feel like you learned then or could learn now from them?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Whew, I finally did it today. I got caught up on friend's statuses, blogs, team posts, blogs by teammates ... though, of course, the feeling of being caught up is as temporary as the time it takes someone to post something new.
Realizing that the end of March is rushing up on me, and I haven't worked on two of my goals at all, I read up on Planks at least enough to do one. I did one on elbows and toes. I'm not quite sure how much it's doing for me, though, as I did it after my whole normal strength training session (which has me do 3x12 reps on an ab machine and 3x15 reps of crunches with my legs on a balance ball). I still need to read up more on them to decide.
The other goal is calling two different doctor's offices. All I've done on that one is collect the number of a doctor's office near work. I need to actually make the call (or maybe even take my break or lunch and walk over there).
Other than those, March is looking good. I definitely still need to work on more consistent fruit and veggie consumption, but have gotten enough to say I've upped it. Sodium has been much more in line with where I want it. And I've come to love apple juice, strawberries, and protein powder. Even tossed a banana in one day for yummies.
So, the issue. Of all things, I really really really hate clothes shopping. This has nothing to do with weight, as I hated it even in my teens. I remember being dragged to second hand stores (Thrift Village was the step-mother's favorite) and pretty much letting her buy whatever fit on me that she pulled off the rack. I didn't even particularly care wearing those things to school; clothing just wasn't a big interest of mine.
For a brief stretch of time from 18 to 22, I did buy nicer clothes. I had a lifestyle and image to keep up, I suppose. But shopping trips were in and out quick as possible. I rarely went to a dressing room more than twice and the idea of buying more than one or two necessary clothing items was not even in my head. (I bought more earrings at the time than clothes.)
More recent years saw the issue compounded by weight as well as money. Where I could shop got narrowed down to fat people stores, which cost more and did not have clothes I liked. I bought the bare minimum to be presentable at work, and even that wasn't always easy. I have a sweatshirt that is ratty to the point it should have been tossed years ago, one that was a way too big Christmas present for my EX, which means it is bordering on 18-20 years old. I only in the last month tossed a shirt I bought for my DS's high-school graduation (3 years ago) when the collar had almost worn free of the neck. Until then it was being worn and washed once a week.
Pants didn't last as long as I could have wished. Jeans and dress pants inevitably developed wear and then holes at the inner thighs. Embarrassingly, I wore some of those well past the point they needed replacing for lack of any other option. I even roughly hand-stitched cutouts from other old pants in as "patches". I couldn't afford $40 pants to replace them. Maybe I should have considered skirts, but those have their own issues.
Necessities were even harder. I couldn't even afford enough underthings to wear a clean set daily. I'd do laundry as often as I could (also an expense) which had the side effect of degrading the material quicker. Socks, which can be bought cheaper in packs, were about the only clothing I made sure to keep replaced ... and even those had some really rough stretches.
Sometimes gaining weight was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to buy the next size up - when I wouldn't do so because something was wearing out.
I literally have NO skinny clothes to shrink into.
All of which brings me to now. I've gone done two to three sizes now. I was wearing a 22/24, maybe even a 26/28 (Lane Bryant sizes), when I started on this journey. The first purchase I made was a pair of sweat pants. I was walking in slacks, but it wasn't exactly comfortable and they were wearing out too fast. Some weeks later, I finally had to cave and go buy a replacement pair of slacks and two new bras to replace the only one I had that was long past dead and lacking any support.
But at least those were a single store, very focused, shopping trip. Into store, scan for least atrocious pants, try on, grab right size bras, pay and get out. (Even that green shirt on my main page - I grabbed that at Target while grocery shopping because I'd had to toss a torn shirt and needed something okay to wear to work.)
Yeah, yeah ... aside from what I buy, I shop like a man. I know this.
And thus we come to my Spring to Summer goal ... replacing all my shirts. UGH! If I could just wave a magic wand and have old shirts gone and new shirts in their place, I'd be so happy. Instead, I have to go shopping.
I have the money now.
I don't have as much weight.
I ~STILL~ don't like shopping.
On Saturday I sent myself to the mall. I figured I'd pick up some shirts then go to the movies since there's a theater there. The movie idea got bailed on because Saturday night ticket prices raised my eyebrows. (lol, I have more than enough money finally ... and I'm still a cheapo). Back into the mall. Complete circuit of the mall looking at window displays as I walked past. Right back out of mall and heading home without a single purchase.
I wanted to slap myself when I got home empty-handed. Instead I went grocery shopping (something I don't mind nearly as much).
On Sunday I sent myself to the mall again with the determination I was not allowed to leave without at least two shirts. YEESH! I seriously felt forced, by myself, to try on multiple shirts and ultimately to buy colours I wouldn't normally consider wearing.
Ack, it's me in a pastel spring pink!
And some sort of sky blue.
Okay, okay, maybe it's not THAT bad. But that's how I felt trying to shop in a store that wanted me to look like an Easter egg. (Yes, I took pictures in the dressing room. They helped me compare colors in a way one at a time in the mirror wasn't.)
Four shirts later (since they had a "2 for ..." sale and I was determined to not have to do this again right away), I headed off to the next store.
Have I mentioned that I really hate shopping? I should clarify. I hate shopping for clothes for me. As I wander the mall, I remember all the years raising DS and DDa and going to stores like Hot Topic and Zumiez for their clothes. Standing around while they browsed and tried on and browsed some more, while I was the credit card carried, doesn't bother me nearly as much.
I have no idea why it's such an issue for me. Well, I know one part is that I'm just not into clothes, really. Clothes are function far more than form. Socks are one of my favorite clothing items because they serve such a necessary function. Comfy socks, warm socks, make me happy. Other clothes? Meh.
Have I mentioned I'm weird?
So, yeah, I have my own little issues. They just don't revolve around food.
+++ WARNING: FLEE NOW TO AVOID BRA TALK +++
On to the other store. The fat clothes store. For the one thing I'll probably still be buying there even when the rest of my clothes are simple Women's Large sizes:
My nemesis in this life. As should be pretty obvious from my pictures, I definitely got busty genes. (Which is really funny in a way. When my mother was alive and I was more around 170 pounds, she and I wore the same shirt size. For me they were snug at the bust. For her they were snug at the shoulder. She got Welsh broad shoulders and minimal bust, while I inherited my grandmother's build.)
Anyway, do you know that in 30 years of wearing them, this was only the second time I spent more than 10 minutes finding the right size and paying ... and actually tried them on? What was the first time you ask? ... When I was 12-13 and apparently grew overnight from flat to C, and was taken in to get my first *snicker* trainer bra. Yeah ... right. C is not trainer.
C was just the beginning. Pre-pregnancy in my late teens I was a DD. I made it to a maternity E and settled back down to a DDD. That's literally 8 inches difference between bust and chest/strap. And while the strap size is going down (42 to 40 just between the last pair and these), the cup size doesn't.
Which brings me to trying on 38 and 40 straps, DD and DDD cups, multiple styles. I think I actually spent well over 30 minutes in and out of the dressing room. I left the store with four bras (another sale - buy one, get one half off). I think that is more than I have owned at once in two decades. Scary!
It's amazing how five different bras in a 40DDD can go from comfortable to OMG squeezing and spilling to Um, I'd need another inch or two to fit in here. I am glad I tried them all on, though, as I was able to walk out knowing every single one would be worn without discomfort.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
First, before I talk about the goals, two things about my previous blog:
1) I do want to say that my EX is not the reason I got so messed up. I left out a lot of the buildup. You could call my EX the straw that broke the camel's back, perhaps. I met my EX and married him coming out of a couple of years of being really disconnected in a weird way. (No drugs or drinking, no depression, just ... not sure how to describe how off-kilter I was.)
I actually wrote and deleted a LOT from that blog because I have yet to figure out when things got odd in my life. Some of what I'm looking at seems to almost be inherent in my nature - stuff I remember being like at 4-6 before I even went to school. Some seems to be family-related because my siblings have similar issues. Some, like the trust issue, didn't start with my EX - I had one friend borrow money and then vanish. I had another borrow money for diapers and spend it on drugs. I walked out on my first "real" boyfriend after about a month when he and a friend started doing lines of cocaine in front of me.
So, no, my EX was little more than the catalyst for the decision - not the cause of.
2) A brief reply to MORETOLOVE66 who (along with many others) made some good points in her reply:
I'm not even really focusing on losing weight, in fact - it's a byproduct of my focus which is going back to normal eating habits and returning to an active fitness level. And it is 100% for me. I don't actually have any plans or expectations of a Mr. Miracle (hence why I use that appellation rather than the more common Mr. Right) - nor am I sure I'll ever handle the baggage well enough. (I just don't completely shut the door on the possibility. I'm not made of stone, after all.)
AMEN to attitude being a huge part of how others react to us, far more so than the weight. I can't say just how cold / rude I was to the few who would try to talk to me, how carefully I avoided eye contact, made sure I had something more important to pay attention to, even talked deliberately about things I knew would turn people away. Recognizing all that was part of breaking the weight = invisible = good thing connection.
Spring has arrived. My Spring goals were revamped based on my foot and joining the gym to:
== By Spring Goals ==
1) Maintain my ongoing streak of cardio and ST, if at all possible. If not, no more than three total days missed.
Didn't miss a single day. Even made sure to go on days I was meeting up with DDa and DS.
2) Build up to being able to do Cardio program on bike or elliptical for 10-15 minutes.
Well, halfway. I can do the Cardio program on the elliptical with ease. The bike is less about my heart and lungs and more about my quads, glutes, and knees. I am slowly building up to it on the bike, but I'm not there yet.
(While I'm not saying Goal Met, I do consider this well done. The reason for not meeting the goal wasn't a failure to push - it's a body progress one. I will get there, but without a deadline.)
3) Go to gym for ST three days a week.
This, to me, was the easy one. My default schedule is M,W,F for my strength training (weight machines), but if things come up, I shift the days over to M, Th, Sat or M, W, Sat. I always have three days a week.
Even more fun, now that it's such a routine, I've been starting to more closely pay attention to how much weight and push for the next level where I can. I'm also researching to try to decide if I should do less reps / more weight or stick to my current routines, learning how much to increase, and more.
== Goals for Summer ==
1) Replace all my old shirts. Not only are they now pretty much too big, but more than a couple have been really shabby for quite a while now. It's long past time to change it up.
2) Workouts maintained. Minimum of 30 minutes cardio (usually 40+) every day, though two "rest" days of lower intensity / effort. Three days weekly of Strength Training (full body for now, split if I get to point of needing more rest between.)
3) Increase non-workout walking such as to and from transit and work, using stretches and paying close attention to how my foot feels.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I haven't forgotten that several people asked about this in one of my earlier blogs. It's just not something I want to give a too quick pat answer to - and yet it is something that makes me keep digging further and further into the past and memories and while I write fantastic walls of text, this would end up a book. Ultimately, I just have to leave a lot out of what led me to where I start this from.
Suffice it to say that the reason seemed eminently rational and reasonable at the time. (Don't they always?)
My EX is a cheater. The girlfriend he was with when we broke up for good was, in many ways, rather similar to me. She was also big-boned, she was taller than him, she was white (he's Latino), she was opinionated and independent. It was like a slap in the face, that someone else similar could replace me. It turned me from someone he had loved, even if we had our troubles, to being someone who fit his type but wasn't important beyond that.
For a few years after that breakup, he would break up with her and then talk to me about eventually getting back together. Somehow this always seemed to happen around Christmas when I was over for family stuff and he was drinking. A week or two later they'd be back together.
He's an alcoholic, though I only came to see it at this point. (I had the wrong idea of what an alcoholic is like - thinking they couldn't go weeks without a drink. When we were together most of his heavy drinking was family events with male cousins - just a social frat-style drunkenness.)
Anyway, when he's drunk, I'm the best thing that ever happened to him and he's heart-broken he let me get away. When he's sober, I'm selfish and lazy and so many more negative things. Yeah, a little backwards - go figure. I didn't want to be "loved" by the drunk alcoholic. That just made me feel even less appealing, that he had to be drunk to want to be with me. I wanted, maybe even needed, the assurance that I was special without booze to grease his tongue.
I finally realized it was all talk, and decided to try meeting other men. I did some of that through an online dating service. One wanted to meet at a local place that has private hot tubs. The only one I actually dated for about a month had no real appeal other than trying to make myself give him a chance. I broke up with him, though we'd already drifted apart.
At that point, I kind of gave up. It felt like all men were going to be 1) cheaters, 2) interested only in sex, or 3) not independent enough to meet me halfway.
So I decided I wanted nothing to do with men.
I remembered reading articles and complaints by "fat people" that they were basically invisible, people didn't look at them or pay attention to them. There I was at an emotional point where being invisible and having nothing to do with men made sense.
I decided to eat myself into invisibility.
It was a lot slower than it could have been because I never decided to quit being active. I hiked regularly until I lost my car (2006 maybe) in an accident. I walked daily even after that. I even did things like walk on my breaks and lunches or go up and down stairs to blow off steam when I was stressed.
It was also slower and, perhaps, less damaging on the whole because I did learn certain eating habits from my mother. I prefer low-fat milk, finding whole milk grossly thick. I've always preferred whole grain breads. I love veggies, so salads were a regular part of my meals. Even while multiplying portion size and adding lots of treats, I also ate plenty of nutritious foods. Sometimes I took vitamins, sometimes I took a one-a-day, sometimes I supplemented my eating with Slimfast shakes - not to diet, but to have an easy "breakfast".
An example of my crooked healthy / unhealthy eating - Pasta-Roni with a can of tuna added as well as frozen peas and frozen corn. Basically a tuna casserole on the easy and cheap. But just the box of pasta was about 2.5 servings, and I'd eat the entire thing. To drink with it, I'd have 1% milk, but I'd have 32 ounces with probably twice as much chocolate milk powder as suggested.
I was definitely keeping my body nourished and not always on pure junk food, but I was stuffing in so much extra in that weight gain was what I would get.
Nor was my weight gain regular and steady. Just like losing, there were times I'd step on the scale and it would be going back down for no obvious reason. I didn't really have a "fat" goal in terms of a number. Instead, if I got a compliment or approached by a man ... that meant I wasn't fat enough yet.
At some point it got twisted up enough that I didn't want attention from anyone, I didn't want to be noticed for anything I did except, perhaps, for getting my job done. I showed up at work, did my job, went home and got online and in game. I narrowed my world down so small it's astonishing. The only people who knew me outside work and home were the regular clerks where I bought food.
At some point in this process, other rationalizing cropped up.
Somewhere along the line, I started fantasizing about meeting someone who would ignore the fat and see the real ME. I started to convince myself that the only way I could possibly know if a man was interested in me and not my body or sex was to stay as fat as I was or gain a little more. Of course in those fantasies, once I was sure of him I'd just easily drop off all the weight and reward him - like some absurd fairy tale.
BUT, I couldn't possibly lose the weight sooner. I had to wait for Mr. Miracle to show up.
Because if Mr. Miracle didn't meet me until I was back down to a healthy weight, then I'd never be able to know he really was interested in me or that he wouldn't just cheat on me like my EX did with a girl who looks enough like me, “ME” just being a type he likes.
Honestly? I'm still scared about that last bit (being a type rather than the "one and only"). I've disconnected my weight from the irrational equation, but I don't think I've let go of the baggage yet and I'm not sure how to. My self-esteem is fine, but there's a deep layer of insecurity about any esteem and attention I receive from others. (That's something I really don't show demonstrably - only my kids and my best friend see me at my worst in that regard.)
So, long story short, my reason for gaining weight looks pretty darned irrational from 20/20 hindsight. Exactly as irrational as would lead others to ask "Why on earth would you DO that?" But in the moment of decision it seemed to make sense. And in the time following the decision it seemed to work as planned, which just reinforced the irrational idea that it was a sensible and workable decision.
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