Monday, November 23, 2009
HELLOOOOO SPARK WORLD!! I'M BACK!!
Boy, I've missed everybody! Thank you all for your notes of concern. I've been tied up with taking care of two ailing, elderly parents -- my 96 year old father, and my 81 year old mother-in-law. They are both like the proverbial Timex watches. They "take a licking and keep on ticking"!!
My father is the most cheerful guy there is. Just recently back from the hospital, I went up to see him in his nursing home room. Despite the fact I had seen him the day before, he exclaimed "Joanne I haven't seen you in ages"! While the Large Jamaican nurse, Bonita, bustled around his room, he chattered on about how I always managed to stay thin and keep my figure and never let myself get fat like -- and he points not so secretively at Bonita, who sees his gesture. Mortified, I start to chastise him but she breaks out in a raucous laugh and reminds me of what a sweetheart that he is, but his mind is getting more childlike and besides he isn't saying anything that isn't obvious! I told her for some reason he doesn't remember that I was indeed heavy just a few years ago, and in fact spent most of my adult life overweight. She explained that it's a facet of his dementia. He can remember details from his childhood, but not what he ate for breakfast.
You see, I wasn't one of those roly-poly children. I was painfully thin. The neighborhood boys loved to tease me - "Hey Joanne - I bet if you turned to the side and stuck out your tongue, you'd look just like a zipper"! My older brother had the teasing down to a fine art. Somewhat of a late bloomer, I found myself still stick straight in Jr. High just about the time the rest of my friends were developing cleavage and curves. He knew this caused me angst and so he would slide up to me and say " You know what your "teats" look like"?
Yep. He'd say teats, knowing that if my mother -- who had supernatural hearing caught him saying "tits" she would cuff his ears. So this way if she overheard anything, he could claim he was discussing barnyard animals. If I tried tattling on him, it would be his word against mine and therefore in the interest of fairness, she would cuff us both!
Anyhow, his next line would be "They look like two raisins on an ironing board" and collapsing into gales of laughter he would lope off while tears of pure anger and shame burned in my eyes! He even found an ingenious way to torment me without uttering a word. He'd just hold up two fingers with one hand while pantomiming the motion of ironing with the other and then point at me!
My weight started to pile on with the 45 pound weight gain during my first pregnancy and blossomed steadily up through two more pregnancies continuing up until I reached my all time high -- 203 pounds on a 5'4" frame!
Not genetic, I had nothing or no one to blame but myself. It was the usual - I ate more calories than I expended. But the big question was why? Was I an emotional eater? Not particularly. I'm a cheerful, the glass is half full kind of person. When I feel stress I usually try to meet it head on and plan accordingly. I am a creature of habit and mostly an organized individual. I enjoy self-indulgences like bubble baths and reading. Nice ways to redirect stress eating urges.
Did I eat out of boredom? Sometimes, but not a big issue. I gave up TV in favor of SparkPeople. Can't eat while you type:)
I could kick into a binge for sure. I did that plenty. But what triggered it? My love of food? Yeah... I'm getting warmer.
Then one morning a month or so ago I had a revelation. A breakthrough if you will:
I walked into my office in the phone triage room where I'm a nurse in a busy ob/gyn clinic carrying a bag of Hershey's miniature candy bars that I like to keep in a container on the counter for several doctors who enjoy a little chocolate now and then. It's mutually beneficial -- they get a treat and I get a captive audience to answer questions on charts I've stockpiled on the side of my desk. I don't really have any trouble staying out of them myself. I've managed to convince myself over the years that unless it's premium chocolate like Godiva, and I have plenty of time to savor a reasonable piece, I skip it.
As I opened the bag and inhaled the sweet chocolately aroma, I exclaimed "Mmm I love the smell of chocolate"! One one of the newer - overweight - triage nurses, Kathy, who only knows me as the "thin Joanne" who eats tuna and vegetables everyday with a piece of fruit for lunch, pronounced to the other two nurses "Ooo you wait, now she'll have to go to the bathroom and throw up that vapor"! A little titter arose from the others as Kathy winked at me. Not easily offended, I unwrapped a piece and popped it in my mouth, chomping it down. "See", I declared defensively, "I eat like a normal person"!
While sitting at my desk a few minutes later, feeling guilty and remorseful at eating 80 calories so senselessly, the image of my mother catching me -- around age 15 as I bent over an ironing board trying to iron my hair straight, came to me. Jerking me up by the other side of my hair she shrieked, "What on God's green earth are YOU DOING"???
"I'm straightening my hair", I stammered "All my friends are doing it"!
She leveled me with a stare that only my mother could do that bored holes right through me and without blinking she demanded, "And if they were all jumping off a cliff, would you do that TOO"?
And then it hit me -- PEER PRESSURE. The desire to feel a part of the group. To be liked. I ate and binged on food like an alcoholic with drink to feel accepted. And just like an alcoholic, the course was one of self-destruction. Why did I feel like I needed to prove to anyone that I was a "normal" person? Why couldn't I feel liked without participating in their excessive behaviors? Why was I constantly justifying my "odd" lunches? Did I have to eat what I knew was unhealthy for me or else launch into one of my long winded explanations of how just a little miniature candy bar used to trigger a "What the heck" attitude in me and set off a binge of astronomic proportions?
Work potlucks. Church potlucks. "Ladies night out". Dinner with my nieces. Holiday dinners at my daughter-in-law's. How many occasions did I find myself overeating so I didn't hurt anyone's feelings? So that I felt like I fit in?
By not attending I would appear even more standoffish than if I went, ate reasonably, and offered no explanations. I always volunteered to bring something healthy like the veggie tray and I always noticed that I was able to toss the empty tray away at the end of the day. I wasn't the only one eating healthy apparently.
Maybe, just maybe, some of my angst was self-imposed.
Gradually, I began to reframe my thinking. I quit worrying about what others thought or didn't think about my eating. I pulled out my before picture one day and showed Kathy who gasped, "No way! That can't be you -- you look awesome now. How did you do it?" "Tuna, veggies, and fruit for lunch", I said smiling.
When my dearest friend that I work with, Terry, brought in her terrific homemade salsa I noticed she brought in a special bag of whole grain tortilla chips for me. Yes, she chuckled when I counted a serving size of chips out on my plate chip by chip, so I could could track it online later at home. I rolled up the bag but before putting the clip on I looked at her and unrolling it quickly I reached in and took out one more chip and tossed it over my shoulder to the plate. "If I'm going to be naughty", I told her, "It'll be with YOUR salsa"!
We shared a laugh and I knew...
That I don't have to prove anything to anybody. I'm liked for who I am -- not for what I eat - or don't eat.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
If you were to ask my husband to name a few of the highlights in his life, he would be most likely to mention 2 things:
The first being that football tackle he made in high school -- you know the one. The one that almost won the game that time.
The second would be the after effects of the first time he tried Kashi. "Man Honey, you had to be there. Cory family record"! Somehow, I feel grateful I wasn't there...
If you continue to stare at him long enough, he might be pressed to add "Oh yeah, the birth of my kids and of course when I married Joanne".
I don't tell you about these things to make my husband sound like an insensitive fool. When it comes to foot in mouth, he has no trouble with that on his own. He's a male. That being said, I'm not trying to bash the whole male population either. But the species male are different creatures from the species female -- ask any woman who co-habitates with one.
It is said that when she becomes pregnant, a woman starts eating for two. I actually think that starts when she first moves into the same living space with a husband or male significant other. He's in the mood for pizza and beer. You go eat pizza and beer. He doesn't like eggs -- you can't remember the last time you had a slice of quiche. The freezer that used to hold frozen blueberries and frozen yogurt now houses buffalo wings and fudgesicles.
When you do start having kids the "eating for" number increases. I found myself eating for five. I think my oldest son's first word was "McDonalds"! My middle child refused to eat anything that touched an onion. My daughter, the sweet child, the compliant child, inherited her father's love of chocolate.
I figured out early on that being the parent -- the adult, by rights gave me some control over the content of my children's diet. I strived to strike a balance and cater to some tastes while encouraging healthy choices. That lasted until the teen years when a driver's license and an after school job bought them more freedom of choice.
But the husband. That was a different story. First there is the whole king of the castle thing. Isn't the home a man's sanctuary. The place where he can kick off his shoes and enjoy life. Make rude bodily noises and nobody chastises him? Eat greasy popcorn and wipe his hands on his jeans -- better than the couch -- unless he yells "Honey, bring me a napkin" first?
And why not? He works hard and brings home a paycheck that pays for the groceries.
And just like a DJ scratching the record -- ERRRRRRNT the thought hit me....
Wait a minute. I work too! I not only contribute financially to the grocery cart, I put them in the cart, purchase them, load them in the car, carry them in the house, put them away, AND cook them. For the stay at home mothers and homemakers, except for the official paycheck, I bet you do all that too. That's not to say my husband won't ever go to the grocery store with me and help. He loves to go. It's his chance to make a date with his mistress--
Little Debbie. Sometimes it's easier AND cheaper to go by myself.
So I wondered. Is it easier for me to complain to my friends and Weight Watcher group that it's so hard to diet when I get no support??? To make him my ultimate excuse for not taking responsibility for my own choices? The last of my children left the nest for college and marriage so it was just my husband and me. I decided to have the heart to heart talk with him and find out really just how supportive he would be if I really made up my mind to get busy and get the weight off.
I started out with the worst thing a woman can say to her husband and get taken seriously.
"Dear, do you think I'm fat"? Appropriately he assumed that deer in the headlights look and replied that line he summoned out of his testosterone memory bank:
"It doesn't matter - I love you no matter what you weigh".
Hmm - let me restart this conversation....
My husband actually was very receptive to my plan to lose weight and get healthy. No, he wouldn't promise to always do it with me. He wasn't at that level of commitment. But at his near normal weight, he didn't need to be. He did agree to eat whatever I cooked and not complain. He agreed that joining a gym was a good idea and didn't mind eating supper a little later so I could go right after work. He even volunteered to start dinner if I had a recipe available.
True to his word, he did what he could to help. He ate at healthier restaurants with me, he kept his stash of candy bars and Little Debbie cakes in the back of the cupboard out of sight and tried not to eat them in front of me. He tried new foods willingly , although I caught him once poking around the layers of a casserole with his fork -- checking for hidden black beans.
It wasn't always easy. Change. Radical change can be difficult -- almost threatening. As I mentioned in prior blogs, when I lost weight I literally transformed myself. I got contacts, changed my hair, stopped dressing dowdy. With the new look and cute figure, the male attention paid to me increased ten fold. I didn't put two and two together until my husband started backsliding on his prior fantastic support.
The complaints started: "Chicken again? Don't we eat beef in this house anymore?" "I think you're becoming obsessional about all this weight loss stuff!" "You're spending too much time at the gym, don't you think?"
When I met one of my husbands co-workers, Scott, for the first time, he purred, "Jim, your wife is beautiful!" What does my husband say? "Joanne"? I swatted him and replied "Noooo, he means YOUR OTHER WIFE apparently". Later, in an attempt to smooth the damage, my husband admitted to a certain jealousy. Something he had NEVER been prone to. Never needed to. Oh for goodness sake, I told him. Get a grip! Scott is married -- to Michael!
Finally he admitted the whole idea of a thin, pretty wife scared the heck out of him. He didn't know quite how to cope. I reminded him that he married a young, thin, pretty woman. She just came back. Yeah, but he was young then too, and thinner, AND with hair. He worried there were Greek god looking guys at the gym on the prowl. I wasn't wearing my wedding ring because I had waited until I got to my goal and stayed there a little while before having it sized down. The jeweler had said the last time they couldn't keep changing it without thinning the band too much and risk breaking it. That un-nerved him. After reminding him that I loved him with or without a full head of hair, I invited him to join the Y with me and check it out for himself. He did and went a few times -- long enough to discover that the only Greek god look-a-likes were young enough to be our son. After 2 months of non participation, I took him back off the membership and his foray into the jealousy arena seemed to fade away.
We still have our ups and downs. I'm still changing along my road to self discovery and the psychological impact of it surprises me let alone the innocent bystander - my husband. But he's trying. I took him with me a few weeks ago to shop for a new bathing suit appropriate for swimming lessons -- my latest venture. I had to explain to him that the tannkini from Victoria's Secret that I already owned wouldn't work because the built in "miracle bra" would only serve as a flotation device and Hello! I'm suppose to swim, not float! I found a nice suit that was black with a white panel in the center of the front. Thinking the vertical lines and black sides would look slimming, I opened the dressing room door. Ta Da! What did he think?
He blurted out "You look like a penguin"! I stared at him silently for a full minute before slowly shutting the door in his face. Recovering, I hear him shout over the door, "A THIN penquin! A down right skinny penguin! A definitely HOT looking penguin -- wait do penguins get hot?"...
Yeah, he's trying...
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Someone asked me the other day just what was the defining moment that made me decide to lose weight? You mean like the straw that broke the camels back, I asked? Hmm...
That's a good question. Which time? I've had so many defining moments, epiphanies, straws.
Maybe it was the time I struggled into a pair of snug jeans before we went out to dinner. I had to lay down on the bed to even get them zipped up only to forget this fact when I was done with dinner and had to use the restroom. The woman that walked in while I was lying on the floor -- feet sticking out of the stall -- trying to zip my jeans, shrieked "Are you all right??"
Um yes, please don't call 911...
I was the epitome of yo-yo dieters. I was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers many times over with a drawer full of pins and keys to commemorate each goal success. Some people rotate their clothes in the closet by seasons. I rotated by sizes -- goal, heavy, heavier, and heaviest.
My middle son even wrote a song about it. He played the guitar - badly. Think Phoebe on "Friends" singing about smelly cats. That was him in the coffee shop strumming away and screeching an Ode to Yo-Yo Ma:
" No not the talented fellow with the cello, but my Yo-Yo-Ma who's on a losing streak again, her mood is insane, the diet's to blame , her rules are a pain, but we love her just the same -- My Yo-Yo Ma" Thanks, James...
Every January 2 a bunch of us at work would start up the annual biggest loser contest. $20 dollars a participant. Winner takes all April 1st. Four years ago I walked into work on that post new years day -- that had been filled with football munchies-- and didn't see a sign up for the contest. I asked the usual crew of heavyweights where the sign up sheet was.
"We're not having the contest this year". Really? Why not? "Because you always win!!"
So why was I still fat??
I was flirting with high blood pressure. My cholesterol was in the 250 range. My fasting blood sugar was what it should be after a meal. I felt miserable because I felt like a failure. I hated to fail. I had to be perfect. If I started a diet on Monday morning and blew it Monday night, I had to wait until the next Monday morning at 8 am to start again. I had to be the perfect dieter or I wouldn't do it. My prior successes were just longer runs of being perfect.
I didn't exercise because I might not do it right. I might not look right. Have the right clothes. Join the right club.
As I said, my son played the guitar -- badly. But that didn't stop him from getting a real "gig", unpaid of course, at a local coffee shop downtown. He didn't care if he wasn't perfect -- or even good. The eclectic crowd of latter day beatniks actually loved him. He was just goofy enough and bad enough to be appealing. He had no fear of failing up there. His attitude was "To hell with them if they can't take a joke!" His fame was short lived though, right along with his life. He died suddenly four years ago. Sitting alone with my tears and memories I sometimes thought about another one of his attitudes on life. "Lighten up mother, we can't all be perfect". Ooo how that used to grate on my last nerve when he'd say that. Knowing he was thinking "Like you".
Maybe that was my defining moment. I'm not sure. but for whatever reason I was 49 years old and looking towards my next half century and thought it was time to conquer some fears. Starting with my fear of exercise. In all my prior weight loss efforts, they were always achieved through diet alone. It might have been Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins, but never exercise. I decided that might just be the one thing that could bring about change.
No more dieting. I wasn't going to worry about what I ate yet. One thing at a time.
I joined the YMCA. I toured there first and found ordinary looking people just like me in various shapes and sizes wearing ordinary looking workout clothes. It seemed like a comfortable and affordable fit. The first time I went, I found the woman's locker room downstairs one flight from the main floor. I had purchased a gym bag and lock and felt all sportsy and athletic. The cardio room was on the second floor -- one flight up from the main floor. To get to it I had to walk up two full flights of stairs. I was huffing and puffing so much from the effort, that when I finally got up there I felt like I had completed my workout before I had even started it.
I asked one of the doctors I work for who is a triathlete, to please be my "secret" advisor. Someone to be accountable to. He readily agreed and advised me on everything from maximum heart rate to where to buy proper shoes. He absolutely agreed that starting with exercise would be the key. He told me it would take a month or so to become a habit, but after just about two weeks I'd feel so much better that it was like a built in reward. He was right. I felt like I was gaining confidence. I was thrilled to find that climbing those stairs was no longer such a chore. I started taking the stairs in my building instead of the elevator. I parked my car at the back of the lot for work and shopping. I walked on a treadmill but soon became interested in checking out the elliptical and bikes. I made friends at the Y. I looked forward to going after work. I started out with three days a week and when I decided to add strength training I increased it to six days a week.
AND I found that I was losing some of my urges to binge. Definitely I wasn't having those out of control cravings that so typified my prior eating patterns. I began to think maybe I could handle healthier eating. But NO DIETS. I decided to start with three things. Low fat, high fiber, low sugar. Use those guidelines when choosing food but not worry about portion sizes -- yet.
I became a label reader. I actually planned menus. Had fun trying new recipes. I made some rules for eating out -- like only salad, grilled chicken, or chili in a fast food restaurant. Stick with restaurants that had light or healthy selections. Next step was watching portion size and keeping track of what I ate. And I lost weight!
As they say, the rest is history. For three years I've been at goal more or less. The most I put back on was the 15 pounds while swimming in the river denial, but as you know, my daughter yanked me out of there! I run now and wouldn't think of skipping a workout. I preach exercise like a born again believer.
Most importantly, though. I allowed myself to occasionally stumble and be less than perfect. If I succumbed to temptation and over indulged , I didn't call myself a failure. I didn't wait until the first Monday in January to restart. I STARTED OVER WITH THE VERY NEXT BITE.
Because, after all -- we can't all be perfect....
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Today was one of those days that will go down in "Joanne history". For starters it was the last day on this earth that I could still honestly claim to be age 52. Anymore birthdays are like any of our holidays and tend to start way too early with the hoopla. You hate to be ungrateful at any age, but especially once you've passed that big half a century mark. The stakes go up. People start saying things like "It beats the alternative".
Ack! My husband tisks. "Look at your dad. At age 95 he's had one foot in the grave the the other on a banana peel for years"! Yeah, but look at my mom...
Which leads me to part II of my day. The Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.
My mother was a brilliant woman. A WWII war bride from New Zealand who followed a soldier to America and while all the other post war wives were sewing curtains, making molded jello salads, and hanging diapers on the clotheslines, she was doing all that -- AND going to night classes at a local university to get her college degree. How many 5 year olds can remember playing first assistant with the beige thread while their mother dissected a frozen cat that smelled like formaldehyde on their kitchen table? She valued education above almost anything else. But never above my father who was eons ahead of his generation in supporting her endeavors. She got her college degree in English literature and eventually a masters degree as well. She taught high school students for years inspiring them to branch out their knowledge of Shakespeare beyond Romeo and Juliet. At that play she used to huff "Why would you kill yourself over a man? They're all the same in the dark"! Believe me I pondered that comment for years until I asked her one day just how did SHE know this? Never having seen my mother at a loss for words, she finally stammered she didn't know from personal experience, but her mother had told her. Hmm...
Anyhow, I'm getting off track. She was a great woman. A stubborn woman. She had no time for sickness. That's too bad, because she was smart about a lot of things, but not her health. Like many men and women of that generation finally freed from the constraints of depression era hunger, she became overweight. Which led to diabetes. She had mastered everything else in life by studying it, so she spent years reading the latest theories on diabetes and insulin, yet didn't listen to her doctors to diet and exercise. She became almost distrustful of them. She flat refused to have a mammogram for years stating that if you went to a doctor, they would find something wrong with you. Finally, when I became a nurse, I set up her appointment and more or less forced her to go. And she was right. They found something. Breast cancer. By this time in her life - age 66 she had already had a stroke from plaque in her arteries so she wasn't the best candidate for surgery, but at that time she had no alternatives. The risk was less than letting it go. She died a few days after the surgery from a heart attack. Her doctor said had her weight and diabetes not been contributing factors, she would have survived the breast cancer as her lymph nodes were clear.
So with my new found love -- running, the desire to try to run a 5K, and the Race for the Cure having special significance for me, it seemed like a perfect fit. I wasn't up to running more than 2 miles in a stretch yet, but I thought I'd run what I could and walk the rest. We had a large group from my ob/gyn clinic walking and we made plans to carpool to the race site. Yes today it was one of those cold Iowa October days which the weather man promised would warm up as the day progressed. Still, having learned a previous lesson about running in the crisp fall weather, I donned my race shirt and topped it with a nice sleeveless fleece. I even had a pair of those little stretching gloves to keep the fingers from turning into ice pops. I tucked my kleenex into my sleeve and leaving the house at the break of dawn, left to meet my friends -- hubby still in bed.
Speaking of friends, I was so excited because one of my very most special Sparkfriends, Laurie of the "Don't make me slap you with my flip flop" fame, has a daughter who lives in my area and she was going to be here to run the race. We have so many things in common including mothers that had died from complications involving breast cancer so it was especially poignant that we meet at this race. And meet we did, despite the throngs of people, with the help of our cell phones. It was like meeting up with someone I had known for years. That's how we clicked. Several hugs later we were ready to race!
We set off for the starting line and being "New and Newer" to races actually found the signs marked for the different paces and dutifully lined up where we thought we belonged --- only to discover that legions of walkers ignore the signs at the back saying walkers line up here. So needless to say, when the gun was fired, we were still trying to make our way through strollers and old ladies wearing pink feather boas and sipping Starbucks. I felt worse for Laurie who had her shoe chipped and actually hoped to get an accurate time. We agreed to go at our own paces and catch up later.
I felt good. Walking through so many people actually served as a little warm up for me and when I saw some other runners head over to the sidewalk and by-pass the walkers I grinned from the sheer cheesy sensation of "joining the runners"! True enough, in the sunshine, it began to warm up too. I had my ipod on because I am so used to running to music and also to loosely keep track of how far I had thought I had gone. Despite not usually running on concrete and up and down inclines, I was doing pretty good. Streets were blocked off with a policeman and biker at every intersection. Wait a minute -- BIKER? Yep as in Willie Nelson look a like, leather jacketed, bandannad motorcycle bikers giving us the thumbs up. Every so often there would be high school cheerleaders cheering us on or handing out water. The whole atmosphere was so conducive to keep running that the time seemed to fly like the wind in my hair.
I had long passed my 2 mile song when I finally saw the last stretch. By now my legs had started to feel a little like I was dragging bowling balls and my breathing felt a little heavy so upon spying that final hill -- yes a HILL no less, I gave myself permission to walk. I wasn't really disappointed. How could I be? I had ran further than I ever had in my entire life! I was exhilarated!! 3/4 of the way up the hill I saw a sign from my clinic "Doctors for the Cure - Ob/Gyn Associates" and that spurred me to start running again right on up and through the finish -- slapping people's hands as I passed by.
Crossing the finish line, I was over come with emotions and found that my face was wet with streaming tears. I was 52 years old and had never felt this good! I figured I had ran about 3 miles which was thrilling in itself, but that wasn't what brought on the tears ---
It was realizing that because she didn't take care of her health, my mother would never know that at age 52.364 years, her daughter had accomplished something so remarkable in her life and also that she had never had the chance to get to know her granddaughter whom inspired me to do it.
Mom-- I hope you are up in heaven with Laurie's mom, and smiling...
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Here it is Sunday again and time to blog. My "Denial is a River in Egypt" blog had such tremendous response I am still in awe. Trouble is -- how do you follow THAT up?
I asked my hubby what if I go down in Sparkpeople history known as the "One Hit Wonder"?
He wisely replied "I bet Katrina of Katrina and the Waves ala Walking on Sunshine fame is still trying to spend her millions". He is right. Even if that's the only inspiring, motivating, words that come out of my brain, I still have so many many new friends and well wishers whose lives were touched by those words and that took the time to let me know....
Thanks to everyone who responded and let me know that they are struggling right along with me. I'm not in the boat alone and to me that is priceless.
People have looked at my picture and said I am beautiful. Me? Beautiful? I've always considered myself passable, but beautiful? I guess make up and a good hair stylist can work wonders...
It amazes me. Why are we our own worst critic? It's like standing in a dressing room trying on size 2's and still feeling fat because there is a little roll of loose skin around the belly that all the crunches in the world isn't going to budge. Yet I don't feel at risk for a true eating disorder other than food addiction. My self image isn't fueled solely by my appearance, thank goodness.
This has gotten me to thinking. When I was heavy, I didn't highlight my hair. Sculpt my nails. Wear contacts. Why didn't I? Because when I was over weight I put my life on hold for the great someday when I was going to be thin. For our 25th wedding anniversary my husband wanted to fulfill our dream of taking a cruise to Alaska, but I refused to go. Please, I begged. I don't want to go on a cruise and be fat. There is so much food on a cruise I can't stand to gain anymore. He relented but said get busy...
Our 28th anniversary arrived and I had finally gotten serious enough to lose 25 lbs. and I agreed to go. A cruise! Just the two of us! After spending most of our married life busy raising three children and spending every single vacation in his hometown so the grand parents could see our kids, we were finally going on a vacation -- ALONE.
I was almost petrified. This was a romantic occasion. It required "romantic wear". To be more exact. It required sexy...
I have a habit of seeking counsel from those in the know when I have questions. So with that in mind I went to lunch with my favorite niece. My spicy, sassy niece. A curvascious, busty, blonde who exudes sexuality in a size 14. First thing she does is order pasta. I gasped -- carbs! Aren't you on a diet I asked her? "Not today" she laughed. I laid out my quandary for her. Where do I find sexy nighties in MY size? She laughed again and waving a breadstick at me said "Aunt Joanne, Aunt Joanne, haven't you been in Lane Giant lately? They have a whole selection of heifer teddies"!
Lane Bryant she told me. A teddy is...
Yeah yeah. I know what a teddy is.
Did I know that even heavy people have permission to feel sexy?, she asked.
Wow! Talk about being hit between the eyes! I couldn't help but wonder what else was I not giving myself permission to feel, do, think, until I hit that magic goal weight number on the scale?
We went on our cruise and had a great time. Yes, I felt plenty sexy in my "heifer teddy"! I've since graduated to Victoria's Secret as anyone who read my "Free Panty" blog knows. I wish I could say that I reformed my thinking that very day but as I said in "Denial" it took a push from my daughter only six or so months ago to let me permit myself to run. Now I'm putting on a bathing suit and taking the swimming lessons I always wanted to take.
Don't put your life on hold until you are at you goal. Get out there and enjoy it. Try things you always thought you couldn't do because you are heavy. If I had ran when I first longed to, I would have been at goal a lot sooner than I was. Put on a bathing suit and get in the water! Write that book, learn to play poker. Whatever. AND wear something sexy...
That's why Lane Bryant sells them!
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