Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Well, I'm not THAT confused. Not about this journey, at least not today.
Yesterday I weighed in and I was up .8 lbs. Now, that's, like, not much at all. One thing I've learned is that if you have a pretty large weight loss one week, you stay the same or don't lose much or even gain the following week and it's no big deal. In fact, it can happen in reverse, for anyone thinking, oh God, I've gained, what do I do? Well, keep on the program and maybe step it up a tad, e. g. walk a little more or lift something heavier or make better choices at the dinner table and suddenly the following week you're losing again. Last week I had lost 4 lbs. so this little gain is no biggie.
And, it's got another reason, because, heh, it's that time o' the month yet again. It's funny, the euphemisms we come up with, for something that is perfectly natural, albeit a bit messy. I recall a college roommate referred to it as her friend coming to visit. Me, I was so clueless, I kept asking her who was visiting (after all, we shared a room). She couldn't even add the adjective "monthly", as in "my monthly friend is coming to visit". At least that would have been a lot more enlightening a lot more quickly. I grew up referring to every bodily function by either a clinical term or some sort of adjective that most people in polite company don't like to use. Eh, such things don't bother me, to say or talk about. But I know they bug other folks so I won't dwell on it. Suffice it to say the .8 lbs. is not just attributable to regular old fluctuations but also due to the standard hormonal boogie-woogie that goes on every 28 or so days.
But -- I hear you asking -- what the heck does ANY of this have to do with today's theme song?
Okay, I don't REALLY hear you. I'm not, like, delusional or anything. ;)
But I'll tell you anyway.
It's not my age (heh, it hasn't been my age for a good 28 years!) No no no.
It's my size.
I swear it's true. I was rummaging through my closet as I am getting together more stuff to mail out and I came across a blazer I had purchased. It's grey and short (not over the hips, which is key, because my hips can often be one size while the rest of me is another). And the last time I tried it on I could not button it.
I can button it. And it has room in it.
So I went on a trying on spree. Last week we went to City Sports and bought tee shirts. I bought two that would fit and two that I didn't think would fit. The smaller ones happen to both be green -- one is a Celtics shirt and the other is a Red Sox shirt. The Red Sox shirt is still too small although I can get it on.
But the Celtics shirt fits. Snugly, but it fits. It's a women's large. So I dared just a little bit more. I had the clean laundry in the basket. And my husband -- who had also bought stuff at City Sports -- had a long sleeved waffle weave jersey in there. Keep in mind that it is obviously a man's size of some sort. Without looking at the tag, I put it on.
It fit. It was comfy. Heck, I will borrow it, I am sure. I took it off in order to put it away.
I looked at the tag.
I about fell over.
It's a ....
... drum roll ...
... wait for it ...
it's a Medium.
A FREAKIN' MEDIUM!
Not a large.
Not an extra large.
Not a number with an X at the end of it or in front of it.
It's a Medium.
As in, what some people are smaller than, but a lot more people are larger than.
Trembling, I put it back.
I put the green Celtics tee shirt back on (I am wearing it right now). It's kelly green. It has the clover logo on it. It's snug enough to make me look REALLY busty.
But it's a large. And my blazer is an eighteen.
And I am pulling away from the land of the big and over the top and larger than life and into the mainstream.
Go Celtics. Go jes. Go all of us.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
It's been a great day. The morning was spent kind of hanging around and then lunch out. I'm becoming less and less of a fan of Pizzeria Uno but at least they publish their nutritional information so I can account for what I eat. But, frankly, their food is WAY too salty. And I digress.
After lunch it was off to the Post Office to mail out a package of clothes to my Spark buddy Emma Smart. :)
Then of course (it's the weekend) food shopping. And, I saw my friend again. They were setting up some sort of extra seafood spot, probably to try to sell more of it. He looked a little put upon. I can understand that; the extra seafood spot was being set up near checkout so it was kind of this mess of ice and fish and whatnot. I saw the dude, he saw me and I just kind of mouthed, "I'll be back." That got a smile, which is always welcome.
After we were done food shopping and the food was put away, Mr. J and I went out and played frisbee. We played for a good half hour, longer than we have so far! I am getting better at aiming and also am more interested in running for the disc. Now I'm tired. It's a full enough day, plus I'm still kind of recovering from the week.
Tonight: baseball and tuna steaks. And dreams of flying discs. A good Saturday.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Actually, I can see lots and lots of reasons.
This post is inspired by a fairly recent (late September) blog post from WolfKitty. In it, she talks about craving a pre-diet food and then, when she gets it thinking, "it's not all that".
I've been thinking about my old life, and being that I am nearly halfway through the weight loss portion of our program I think it's natural to look back and think about such things.
So, what was the old jes like? She had trouble with seat belts. Standard sized seating for things like stadiums and trains was too narrow. She couldn't get up the big hill at Plum Island without some major exertion and then shin pain for a subsequent few days.
She also ate papadum chips by the bag, great big handfuls of them. She ate poptarts for breakfast and deluded herself into thinking that that was all right because most of the rest of the day was healthy. She plunked down in front of a computer or TV every morning and night, and the rest of the day at work was spent with PCs and not people. She did go outside, but usually just to sit and read or write. Certainly not to exercise. She rarely helped with snow shoveling, lawn cutting, laundry or grocery carrying (although she did cook and washed dishes).
Her taste in food did cover spice but also a lot of fat, sugar and salt (she was never much of a fast food person). She hated every picture of herself. She saw her clothes getting more and more expensive and less and less like anything she ever wanted to wear. She selected clothes from catalogs based on size first and not on style, color or function. She had a lot of colds and general malaise. She was probably hurtling toward a life of sleep apnea. She also napped a lot, sometimes more than once in a day.
While that is the portrait of an overweight person, to be sure, it's also the portrait of another kind of person. A depressed person. Perhaps not clinical. But definitely someone on the low end of feelings, when it came to happiness, to energy and to self-esteem.
I suspect that major weight gain, such as I had and such as I am still shedding, is bound up tightly with depression no matter what else is happening. How, exactly, can such things happen? Sure a 10 lb. gain can happen. Or a 20 or a 50 lb. one. And these things take a while. But 200 lbs. overweight? And the last 40 or so -- I kid you not -- all happened within Calendar Year 2007, after a year ('06) when I had dropped 10 lbs.
Depression. Not a pretty word. But, I am sure, an accurate one. What does depression make you do, other than eat? Well, it makes you sleep. It depresses your immune system. It kills your self-esteem. It also, I believe, makes you crave certain foods. Sugar. Salt. Fat.
When the fog lifts, and the sun begins to shine again, a miracle takes place. Exercise gets interesting again. Fun creeps back into life. Self-esteem starts to rise. Naps become less appealing because they are not needed AND because you're too busy to waste your time that way. You treat yourself better. You have a spring in your step. You care more about your appearance. And food tastes differently.
Fat and salt and sugar still exist, but they have their places and those places are not front and center. You rediscover flavor. Jalapenos. Apples. Tuna steaks. Peanut butter. Snow peas. Dill. Sourdough bread. Yogurt. Olive Oil. Mint. Rice. Mangoes. Carrots. Cheeses.
And food is eaten differently, too. It stops being great handfuls that you need to cram in as quickly as possible. It stops being something that you'd better get out of the way, keep your fingers away from her teeth, folks, don't feed the animal, the animal is dangerous. It stops being that and returns to knives and forks and spoons. It returns to napkins and carefully arranged plates and bowls. It returns to conversations and thoughtful menu planning and shopping. It returns to ... civilization.
If anyone asks me, will I cheat, the answer is, why would I want to do that? It's not so much about the weight, not really, as it is about the feelings. Why should I make myself feel that old way, ever again? To what end does it enhance? What purpose does it serve?
If anyone asks me, when I am finished and on maintenance, will I return to my old ways, the answer is, what, are you insane? Sure, I may try some of those old foods every now and then, although I bet that for me, like it was for WolfKitty, they will be far less alluring, and my memories of them may be rosier than they ever really were. After all, no food is forbidden; you just have to watch portions. And yes, I may nap every now and then. There's nothing wrong with naps, so long as they don't dominate your days. There may be -- gasp! -- days I don't work out.
But to return to the old ways completely, and chuck all of this, it makes no sense. Life is meant to be lived, not to be endured. Food is meant to be enjoyed, not tossed behind your teeth as fast as possible to squash the screaming stomach beast. Beautiful days are meant for walks or runs or frisbee or maybe just hanging around but enjoying them rather than sleeping through them and making them slide past as quickly as possible.
I am no longer swimming in a circle. I am swimming forward. I am walking forward. I am jogging forward. I am running forward. I am flying forward.
I'm going to break the light-speed barrier. And if I do, I'll tell you yesterday. Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Warning: this video is very, very weird.
The song is because yesterday I saw my friend. It was for less than a minute as he was busy talking to some coworker but he did say hi and I did, too. It had been a while as I haven't been food shopping when he's been working. A small thing, but, hey, I'll take all the smiles I can get. In the interests of weird karma, while I did see him in a totally random and unexpected way, I was also a total mess, as in uncombed hair, no makeup and an old shirt thrown over jeans. I need better flirting outfits! :)
Aside from my buddy being otherwise engaged -- e. g. no time to chat -- I, too, was on a mission. I was walking through the grocery in order to get to City Sports. Why there? Because I need tee shirts!
My current crop are HUGE on me. I bought a few (my husband went with me and he got a few for himself, too), including some that will fit now and others that will fit later. Today I did some tossing, and I'll do some more when the new stuff comes out of the wash. Today, actually, I decided, well, tomorrow it'll be October. There's just no way that it'll be tank top weather again until maybe May. Hence I took out the tanks from my work wardrobe, traded them for bigger or rattier tank tops in my tee shirt drawer and sent the rejects off to Goodwill. I also did this with short sleeved tops although I had fewer smaller versions of those. What I bought was all short sleeved stuff so I'll do the replacement trick with a few there, too.
I'm just tired of swimming in my old clothes. I'm no clothes horse by any means but this stuff is OLD. And it's falling apart, which is a good reason to replace it even if I wasn't losing weight like gangbusters. I'll probably just sleep in these tee shirts but it's still better if they aren't tents.
My smaller pants are getting long on me. These are 22s, pants that were impossible dreams not that long ago. Soon enough, they'll be fodder for Goodwill as I zoom past, on my way to double digit sizes that don't start with a 2. I am anticipating the day when I can call the large women's catalogs I get (Woman Within, Jessica London, that sort of thing) and ask them to take me off their mailing list as I won't be needing their stuff any more.
So long, ensign …
Monday, September 29, 2008
In case you don't know, a Bar Mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony. Essentially it means, you're thirteen, you're a man (or a woman, if you're a girl and it's a Bat Mitzvah). This is where I was all weekend -- doing the Bar Mitzvah thing with my older nephew and a hundred nearest and dearest.
I am tired. Man, I am beat. It's not just from all of the traveling and the change in the routine, but also because my husband and I went to the hotel gym on Saturday. We walked/jogged on treadmills, lifted weights, swam in the pool and marinated in the hot tub. It was delightful and we didn't feel like, oh God, what a chore, what a millstone around our necks, what a horrible obligation. Instead, it was fun, and we wanted to go back to the pool before leaving. The only two things stopping us were the lifeguard wasn't going to be there before we left plus we would've had an issue transporting that much volume in the way of wet swimsuits. :)
As for food, I did very well if I must say so myself. Now, I could've gone without the alli. Heck, I could've left it at home if I wanted to. But I didn't want to get out of that habit. So I took it at every meal and was careful. And yanno something? At the reception my plate was piled skyhigh, but it was roasted vegetables, salads and some salmon. I never felt deprived and always felt like I was a part of what was happening.
At the reception, we also danced a bit. My husband isn't too into dancing but we did the obligatory hora and I managed to get him off his feet to dance to the B52s' "Love Shack". It was a blast; my cousins were also dancing and we found out we had that in common as well. I wish we could see my cousins more often as they're fun people. It's hard when they're in New York or New Jersey and we're here in Massachusetts.
Oh yeah, and the icing on the Bar Mitzvah cake is that I lost 4 lbs. and my butt, heh, that measurement is FINALLY under 50" (49" if you please)!!! Therefore, I had, as we say, an awesome, excellent, kick-bun (rapidly disappearing bun) week/weekend!
A Bar Mitzvah is a regeneration. It's a transition. You move from childhood to adulthood. We don't use the New Testament but it does have a great quote that sums it all up, from 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
And that's what it is, you move from one phase to another one.
And so it is with weight loss, at least it is with a huge weight loss such as I'm going through. You move from one stage to another, and then another. The Bar Mitzvah, for me, was my first truly large goal. It was a definite place, an end point that I could neither change nor weasel out of nor negotiate away. And now it has come and gone, but I am still here, and I am still committed, and I am still losing and I am pushing through to the next phase.
What's the next phase? I suppose it's to finish up the calendar year and see how far I get. The end of the year is another hard stop, another date that cannot be moved no matter how much I desire it. I changed my ticker to 100 lbs. off as that is a huge milestone and is also my next alli goal. I'll probably, from now on, for the most part have the ticker follow the alli goals. How far do I really, honestly, heart to heart, it's just us talking, you and me, where do I feel I'm going to be at New Year's?
New Year's is a different proposition as it is a major massive milestone. After all, it's when I started all of this. I said to my husband, "My New Year's Resolution is to treat myself better.". And so I am walking that walk. Where will I be when resolution time rolls around again? Ah, gentle reader, that's a mystery.
Come along with me as we journey through this, the next phase. Sometimes I'll lead, sometimes you will. And when you do, I will follow.
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