Tuesday, May 24, 2011
In some ways I'm becoming a new person on the inside far faster than the outside.
The outside is taking its sweet time turning into a hardbody. I mean, really, should it take more than a few weeks to lose 176 pounds? Shouldn't this be a quick and nearly painless process? It has been 5 weeks or so, shouldn't I be Heidi Klum by now? Once I said "I'm going to lose some weight" shouldn't the weight have fallen off, as though I had a de-fatting Harry Potter wand? I decided to be thin, shouldn't that be enough?
I'm told that this is NOT how it works, that losing fat and gaining muscle are long, drawn out processes that takes nerves of steel, a whole lot of faith in physics, and patience. Seriously, patience? Who dreamed up that idea? You could fit all of the patience I have in my entire body in half of a thimble. That cup does not runneth over.
It's almost ironic that obsessing about each morsel I eat and each calorie I burn from minute to minute fuels a process that will take over a year. Perhaps I am being punished for being so focused on immediate gratification for so long. (Why yes, I do need a Snickers, I'm stressed, and if I deserve a Snickers, I surely deserve a bag of Haribo gummy bears, and a Coke to wash it down... then 2 minutes later I'm angry that I had any of it, but it is too late. Sound familiar?)
Anywho, the outside of my bod is doing its thing even more quickly than I could have reasonably hoped, even though I chose to go ever so teensy weensy slightly off plan for the weekend and CHOSE to have a slice of wedding cake and I may have ever so slightly chosen to have wedding cake for breakfast the next day, after shrimp, roast beast and 2 amaretto sours at the wedding, and on the way home I may have had multiple "samples" of off plan food like 14 french fries, a White Castle cheeseburger (ok, 2 of those tiny demons), a bagel with cream cheese and oh, perhaps some bacon with my breakfast cake.
Again, I digress. The outside is moving along nicely, and when I say that, I mean fat loss and toning, not the small army of esthetic enhancing professionals that interceded in my frumpitude.
So, the brain transplant.
I have been feeling crappy, I have ear infections that have been plaguing me, and I am having problems with a toe that has decided to be naughty. So last week was the week of the doctor. Family doc for ear infections, foot doc for toe, eye doc for contacts, etc. So, long story short, it turns out that the reason that I've been feeling crappy and less than motivated to workout and generally under the weather, is that I have no less than 4 infection sites in my body. I have staph in my ears, an undiagnosed infection in my toe, and yeast infections on my skin. News Flash: One infection can make you feel dreadful, more than one, not so good.
Back to the brain transplant.
A year ago, hell, 6 weeks ago, the toe alone would have been a good enough excuse to skip the gym. Can't you practically hear the whining? "My toe hurts, I can't workout, whine whine whine." The ears are totally respectable reasons to stay out of the pool. That would have been another delightful reason to sit on the couch, free of guilt.
This freakish new version of me, the one that cares about the long term, about continuing the path of weight loss, Jenn Version 2.135, doesn't even look for excuses.
Old Jenn: I have an infection. WOOT! No gym tonight! Hehehehe! See how smart I am, I found a perfectly legitimate reason to continue forward with my morbid obesity guilt free.
New Jenn: Toe hurts too much for treadmill or kickboxing. @#%^. Ears can't go in the water. Double @#%^. I guess that leaves stationary bike and an abs class.
Now, I ask you, who is this new Jenn and what have you SparkPeeps done with my tubby old companion, the one who felt safely insulated in layers of fat, unnoticed and hiding in many ways? If you find her, I respectfully request that you throw her in some prison from which she cannot escape.
I'm so done hiding. I'm done sitting on the couch. I'm done watching others live. I miss the girl who left the country for the first time, by herself, at the age of 20, because, and I quote myself "I don't want to wait until I'm retired and can't go rappelling"(abseiling is what they called it in Australia).
I'm done making excuses. I'm looking for skinny inside and skinny outside to collide some day rather soon.
New Jenn, I'd like to reintroduce you to Way Way Back Jenn... the one who moved to Turkey and went rock climbing and hiking and could run for miles, the one who had the legs that men whistled at, the one that was fearless, or at least never feared an airplane seatbelt.
Monday, May 23, 2011
I wasn't kidding when I decided I was done being frumptacular and I was going to start taking care of myself. I was, and am, sick of being dumpy and frumpy and totally lacking in style and personal care. I also am entirely lacking in patience of all kinds, so I was in no mood to wait for my transformation from Hag-O-Rama to chubby cuteness, so I started a frenzy of appointments.
I thought the bun was the worst culprit of frumpitude, and I was right, because people thought I was lying today at work when I said I had 10 inches cut off. They never saw it in anything other than a ponytail or a bun, so how would they know how much was hacked off? (Yes, I donated my hair. Kind of a no-brainer, don't you think? I think donating hair is like donating organs, if you can you should. Period. )
Between Thursday and Saturday, I did the following (and my debit card nearly melted just prior to bursting into flames):
Eye Exam and Contact Lenses
Bought a dress (the first 3 I tried on were black and grey, but I overcame, I bought some color)
Bought shoes (and not flats!)
I felt like I was in Miss Congeniality, where her "pageant consultant" says "Eyebrows, there should be two!" However, when I strolled out of the salon, I did not hear Mustang Sally playing and it will be a while before I have the body of Sandra Bullock.
So, here it is, the big makeover...
Before, taken at a rest area in Tennessee:
Captain Ouchie Infected Toe shoe shopping pre-wedding:
Here is the interesting thing: people are nicer to me now that I'm not a total dumpy frumpalicious dowdy hag. I do not believe it has anything to do with how groomed my eyebrows are, the "pinky nightie" OPI color on my fingers, the extra light ash blonde highlights (heavier in the front and less in the back), or the fact that I splurged on some Mac lipstick. It has everything to do with the fact that when I'm happier in my own skin, I smile more, and I am, in general more pleasant to be around.
Yes, shocking, absolutely shocking--the more I like me, the more other people like me--who would have thunk it?
So, my SparkPeeps, what will you be doing to make you feel better about yourself? Will it be a bath with candles? A mani pedi? A cut? A color?
What kindness(es) you will be performing for yourself?
Friday, May 20, 2011
I'm in sunny Tennessee for the weekend. I'm exhausted but happy to be here.
It is insanely difficult to eat a clean diet while road tripping, but I did bring 1.5 pounds of the most beautiful organic strawberries on the trip and they were awesome. I didn't eat them all, but at least a quarter pound of them prevented me from getting some sort of lard platter with butter and a side of fried things from Cracker Barrel.
I did not workout today, primarily because of time constraints, but OMG my abs hurt so bad from the abs class with the supermodel on Wednesday. I have to rise from a seated position like I'm 85 years old and constipated, holding my stomach. I sneezed earlier and I think the pain was a good approximation, if only for a second, of childbirth.
Since the Supermodel AND the instructor asked if I would be back next Wednesday, I guess I'm going back. I keep hearing strength training this and abs that and core this and weights that, so this is a good way for a strength training idiot to do it without too much agonizing over the high reps low weights vs low reps high weights with the attention one would normally give selecting a name for their first child. Seriously, some people are very into their weight training and I'm just not there. I don't have an opinion on 12 vs 15 reps per set. I may never have an opinion on the matter.
Tomorrow is the wedding. I have acquired some new things that are totally outside my normal comfort zone, and I can't wait to take some pics and show off some before and after pics. (This statement makes me wonder if I have been taken by aliens and somehow returned to my body, only with a brain that doesn't hate photos!)
Shopping for the Wedding With Captain Ugly Toe:
Thursday, May 19, 2011
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who voted for my last blog and made it "popular." I feel more honored than you will ever know. Thank you all, truly, from the bottom of my heart. I am both shocked and pleased that you found my writing meaningful!
I went to the gym yesterday with a real plan. Not my usual plan to "move large ass, make it smaller." I was going to treadmill, then I was going to be adventurous and try the elliptical for the first time, then I was going to do an abs class followed by a weight training class. Three new things in one trip to the gym, this is progress, especially when none of those three things include falling off the elliptical.
I don't particularly enjoy the newbie feeling, I get no sense of elation at trying a new class at the gym, I experience something more like fear and a distinct please-don't-let-me-puke-from-the-exertion feeling. Afterwards, I may think a class was great, but in the moment, I'm fearing humiliation and my pants falling down or tripping and giving myself a concussion, getting caught picking a wedgie, farting during a crunch and the like.
I make it to the classroom, pick a spot towards the back and side of the room. There isn't a sign or anything saying "this way oversized people" but the fat girls always gravitate to this spot, as if it was magically going to render them invisible or make their BMI plummet 10 points.
In classes, I'm like a fat magnet. There is always someone next to me who wears a size 16 or bigger. Maybe my greater fatness is like armor for their self esteem? Maybe my size 22ness (WOOT) draws people nearby, because they are officially not the biggest, lardiest one in the class?
I digress. I pick my spot in FatVille and then The Supermodel walks in and takes the spot ahead of me in fat Siberia... where she clearly does not belong.
I am not exaggerating when I say this, I'm being serious. Six feet tall, perfect size six, curvy and tight and skin like a porcelain doll. She also had an amazingly cool probably Eastern European accent. She was miles beyond normal gorgeous, she looked like someone photographers would commit murder to photograph. (It helps to know that the gym I go to is about 1.5 miles from the world headquarters of Victoria's Secret, and I've met Stephanie Seymour wandering about town in the past, so real life supermodel is not out of the realm of possibility here.)
Anyway, The Supermodel has been to this class earlier this week, so she helps me pick out the equipment I need, and is extremely sweet, damn it.
I'm right behind this gorgeous, flawless creature who does not sweat, she glistens, glows and radiates beauty and good genes. At first I started to go into self-loathing mode, my inner voice getting all wound up while we do abdominal torture. "Why are you even in this class, you will never look like her, you will never be thin, you will never be any better than you are today, people like her belong here, not you, you've failed every single time you've tried before and this time is not different"
But then something clicked. Something in my sick little brain stood up and practically screamed "NO MORE!" In that instant, her perfect body became inspiration. Her magnificent face and body was no longer an excuse to feel inferior, it was incentive to go harder, faster and longer. If I do another pushup, I will eventually have a flat stomach like she does. If I hold this plank for five more seconds without peeing myself from the agony, I will be slim like her. If I do 10 more pelvic thrusty butt clenchy things, my derriere will be impertinently perky like hers.
I never TRULY understood the saying "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" until yesterday.
I was feeling completely inferior to someone I didn't know a thing about aside from a) appearance and b) cool accent. Not a damn thing. She could have been a schizophrenic serial killer with bad breath and I would have still assumed she was better than I.
Here is a fact: I feel inferior around thin women. It doesn't matter if they are mean, stupid, ill-mannered, ignorant, rude, smelly, bitchy, or any other number of things, I ALLOW myself to feel inferior because they are thin, as though that is the only standard that matters. NO MORE. I will no longer feel inferior because I wear a larger size than someone else.
I am a good person, I am worthy of love and respect, I am kind. I am smart. I can be funny on occasion, I work hard. I work daily to improve the world I live in. I will no longer consider myself inferior because they don't sell my size in the vast majority of highly fashionable stores! I am just as good as anyone else, size 2 or 22.
What makes you feel inferior and what are you going to do about it?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I have served my sentence. I committed a crime against my body and my brain has made me pay for at least fifteen years. 1996 was the year I tipped from a weight in the 100's to a weight in the 200's, and not a moment since have I cut myself some slack about it. My internal monologue is more brutal than the words that abusive spouses use, and no, I am not exaggerating. I talk to myself in a way that I would not tolerate from anyone. I talk to myself using words that I would report to the humane society if I heard someone else doing it to their DOG.
The self-loathing, the hating myself and punishing myself for getting fat and staying fat and getting fatter every month are over. Clearly, since the self-hatred started about #200, the guilt and the horrible feelings about myself have not been beneficial, since I did gain another 111 pounds AT THE MINIMUM, since I started the internal self abuse.
Here is what I think about fat and food guilt: you feel like butt, so you eat to self medicate, which makes you get enormous, which makes you feel like bigger stinkier butt, so you eat to self medicate, and then, shockingly, you get more ginormous. Well, that vicious cycle is gone. The fat has left the building, right behind Elvis.
I will not feel guilty about food, and I am OVER punishing myself for being huge, consciously and unconsciously.
I will no longer be doing the following:
***Buying frumpy and matronly clothing. SCREW SWEATER SETS!
***Going six months between haircuts. Kiss my newly size 22 butt SUPERCUTS!
***Letting my brows turn into caterpillars. Bring on the wax, my byotches!
***Waiting too long to wax the girl 'stache and chin or not doing it at all. UNACCEPTABLE level of manliness! Say NO to the mustache!
***Buying men's clothing because it fits better. Seriously? WTF? I know some of you are doing it, too! STOP!
***Saying coloring or highlighting my hair is too expensive and believing it. Bring on the stinky goo and the foil!
***Keeping my hair down to my waist, all one length, with grey showing because it is cheap and easy. Not that there is anything wrong with cheap and easy, lots of my friends are proud to be cheap and easy. :)
For far too long doing nice things for myself like a good cut and color, and having the jungle that is my brows bulldozed, seemed like putting lipstick on a pig. Chanel lipstick on a really ugly pig. A waste of time, energy and money.
Why on earth would I spend that kind of money trying (and failing) to make something as hideous as my carcass look every so slightly better? A cut won't cover the mounds of adipose. Who gives two shits about how my brows look or even what color my eyes are behind my Coke-bottle glasses when my ass didn't fit into a size 24 anymore? Let's not pretend that makeup can obscure the fact that I'm the human incarnation of Jabba The Hut. Who cares, really?
But here is the truth about the whole damn thing: I care. I do. I care a lot. Maybe not six weeks ago, but I certainly do today.
I'm done with having my outside reflect the deep-seated loathing that I feel for myself. (I'm also done with feeling deep-seated loathing for myself!!) I am done wearing five shades ranging from light grey to medium grey to dark grey to charcoal to black in an attempt to be invisible. Some days I'm going to fake it until I feel it and other days I will actually feel some like for myself. In time I expect the like days will be far more common than the shame days.
This change isn't external, it is internal. I am comparing photos from the last five years to current photos at the same weight. I looked a lot better then, because I still had the last vestiges of love for myself in those pics. I still cared for myself, even if it seemed futile. I still put makeup on.
I have to go to my sister's wedding this weekend. I have no idea where my makeup is. BAD SIGN.
Contact lenses are no longer a 40 pound reward. They are moving from the want list to the need list. As are cut, color, wax, wax and more wax. Some makeup will also be moving to the need list.
I am making a solemn vow to be doing the following in the next few weeks:
Expensive Cut (by this I am referring to anywhere other than the Supercuts mentioned above)
Painfully Expensive Color (I have soooo much hair, this is going to be pricey!)
If I could figure out a way to get all of this done before the wedding on Saturday I would. I may call in reinforcements in Chattanooga (home of the wedding) to get this done. I will probably have to take money out of savings since this is unplanned, but I'M FREAKING WORTH IT!
I AM WORTH A HAIRCUT. I AM. WORTH. A. STINKING. HAIRCUT.
What are you worth? What have you not been doing? What do you need to start doing to prove it to yourself that you are WORTH IT?
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