Monday, May 18, 2009
Well, maybe you aren't. But I know I surely am.
It's inevitable, I suppose. It's that all of the things that make me up as quirky or odd have also manifested themselves in my weight loss journey. And that's not a bad thing.
When I first started, I absolutely hated, hated, hated the idea of drinking water. Water? Brr and blech, at the same time. Cold and bland was not going to cut it, and keep in mind that I started in January. In New England. Ice was not going to be in my vocabulary unless I was slipping on it in front of my neighbor's driveway.
So I changed it up, and realized that the water did not have to be barely warm enough to be liquid for it to provide me with a benefit. Now, it's not absolutely, positively 100% ultra stupendously perfect. It would be, I suppose, if it were cold as anything, and not have a decaf tea bag dunked in it, or sweetener thrown in it, or a flavor stick dissolved in it. Yes, if it were frigid and bland, I might -- just might, if I was really good and lucky and the stars and planets were all properly aligned -- lose .0000000000001% more weight than the way I have it, which is either boiling or close to it, with one or more of the aforesaid flavor options going on.
But I don't care. It doesn't matter. The flavor sticks, the steam, the sweetener, they make it possible for me to drink the water. Take them away and virtually no water is drunk. So which is worse? A flavor stick and a higher temperature, or no water? Gee, whaddaya think?
Same with the bottle or cup. For me it's about ritual. It's not exactly a Japanese tea service, but I like having my mugs. My bottles. My little sticks all lined up and ready to go. My tea bags. I sound like I've got OCD, but it helps me to remember -- drink four of these and the daily water requirements are done.
Walking isn't always easy to fit in. So I get off two stops earlier and, get this! I don't even count it. It's just serendipity. I pretend to myself that the bus broke down or it was going express and that was the closest I could get to my home. In the meantime, I still walk.
And then there's sweets. On my page it says that a part of my plan is lying to myself about why chocolate is evil. Well, of course chocolate isn't evil. Morality doesn't enter into it. There may be less than pure morals on the part of manufacturers of foods that are not so good for us. Yeah, I'll buy that. But food? Once it's ready for the table (unless you eat exceptionally fresh -- e. g. still swimming -- sushi), it has no consciousness, no mind. But I tell myself a little story anyway. And the story goes something like this. I don't eat red meat or pork. This has been true since age 13 for red meat and since age 0 for pork. So far, so good. Hence I tell myself, when something looks particularly tempting, that it's made from lard. Look, beef-flavored cookies! Wow, how'd they put a whole ham inside a cheesecake? Amazing how it says french fries, and they seem to be made with potatoes, but didja know they're really made up of pork? That pie is really a cleverly disguised burger, dontcha know.
I push foods away from me, if I have to sit at a table with them. Sure, I can reach a foot or so, but I don't. Eh, it's too much effort. Those tortilla chips are SO far away. They could be on Mars for all I know. I cannot bring myself to make the effort to grab one. Or a dozen.
Like my friend said to me when talking about the side effects I can get from taking alli: People Need to Get Over it. And he's right. Long as I do what I'm doing, the ick factor is minimized. And I'm not going to let it stand in the way of me taking the help I need, and getting this done. I'm not going to put squeamishness ahead of my health. I'll barrel through, and get over it, and set my mind onto it in whatever way I can spin it so that I make sure to do it. That's another thing I do because it needs to be done.
So, yeah, I'm a little nuts. But the gist of it all is that I do these little things, and I follow these little rituals, and they help me to get where I need to be. And, don't be so quick to laugh -- I bet you've got a few of these, too. A special mug. The right pair of shorts. The perfect go-to recipe for just when it looks like you won't have time to do much of anything other than dive headfirst into a gallon of Rocky Road.
Whatever you need.
Whatever it takes.
Even if we all look a lil weird while doing so.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I selected this song because it's silly in any language (the words are here if you're interested: www.emilieclairebarlow.com/music.php
?albumid=1&trackid=3 . The non-English language is Brazilian Portuguese.
But I also selected it because it's different and it shakes things up and that is one of the big ways that I keep myself motivated.
I am, by nature, a rut person. I get something comfortable and I stick with it, long after I've dug a trench in the carpet.
This is not necessarily such an awful thing because, after all, if it keeps me doing right by myself then that's excellent.
But it can get ... dull.
And that's when the trouble starts.
It's the little things first.
* Oh, it's raining out. Can't go for my walk.
* Oh, they put the dressing on the salad instead of the side. I won't bother the server. I'll just eat it this way anyway.
* Oh, I forgot to track my food today. I'll just keep it my head (and then it flies out as a million other things take its place).
* Oh, my sneakers are old. I won't replace them.
* Oh, this old thing used to be big on me. Now it fits again. I'll keep it just in case.
* Oh, this old thing used to fit me. Now it's too small for me.
And on and on and on.
It's very easy to slide down that slope.
But if you shake things up, you get and keep your motivation. How about these internal monologues instead?
* If I hadn't walked today, I wouldn't've seen that hawk.
* I got my cardio planting vegetables today. Can't wait for fresh peas!
* I figured out how to make my own low fat, low salt tomato sauce. Cooking for myself is kinda cool.
* The fishmonger and the butcher and the produce guy all want to help me choose something healthy. They're such nice people.
* The server doesn't mind fixing my salad when I ask nicely. A little extra tip for her doesn't hurt, either.
* I got new sneakers! I'm gonna go break 'em in!
* I bought this top and it seemed like it was made for a child when I first got it. Now it fits!
* My bigger clothes are going to my friends who are also trying to lose weight. I like helping people out.
Here's another way to get and keep motivation: measure yourself as often as you weigh yourself. Don't just rely on the scale for your good news. I personally love numbers and charts and graphs (I'm such a geek) so for me there is really something magical about seeing a graphed slope go down (in a good way, of course). Even for weeks when I haven't lost weight (which includes this one, for those of you keeping score at home), so what? I've lost something like 20" off my belly.
Yeah, you read that right. 2 feet off is coming hard on the heels of that.
That's more fun than any sitting around, and it's tastier than any extra dressing that 'accidentally' got on my salad. That, my friends, is motivation on the rocks, with a twist.
Speaking of a twist, I'm motivated to do a little cardio, which will definitely get my coworkers talking.
Maybe a samba.
Monday, May 04, 2009
You're gonna be the one who saves me
And after all
You're my wonderwall
199.2 this morning, first time since 1991.
I had all of these profound ideas of what to say, and I had the song planned since I hit 299, but dammit I'm just sitting here weeping.
There is no maybe about it.
You ARE the ones who saved me.
Thank you from the bottom, top and all of the sides of my heart.
I love you all.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sure the nutrition tracker has helped me. I suspect it helps most people.
Way back, before Spark, before alli, before I buckled down and got into getting healthy, before, before, before, before, back when three quarters of a bag of potato chips would disappear and I wouldn't know where it went, before and back to when someone in college dared me to eat a whole large pizza and I did, and back to cleaning my plate and all of that, back, back, back, somewhere in there portions were lost.
And in their place came greed, and stuffing, and piling. Dinner wasn't dinner, it was excavating layer upon layer of fat-sugar-salt-carbs, over and over again. Sure, sometimes fat-sugar-salt-carbs was Mexican. Sometimes it was Greek. Or Italian. Or kosher style. Or Chinese. But it was always fat-sugar-salt-carbs.
Sanity had to return. The dinner plate had to stop looking like a strip mining operation in Morgantown, West Virginia. It had to turn back into pieces and care and choices and waiting.
Yes, waiting. I don't mean waitstaff, although that's a part of it. It's the feeling of not so instant gratification. Of anticipation. Of small delays, and how they improve the process.
And it was about experimenting with flavor, with things that didn't strictly fit into the old fat-sugar-salt-carbs mold. Things like fresh vegetables, and fruits, like dairy and proteins and spices. Yes, cinnamon!
Tracking all of that has a meaning that goes beyond calories or carbs or points. It is a diary of what you did, how you felt, how you took care of yourself. There is still excavating, yes. It is still an archaeological expedition. But it's not to the base of a seemingly bottomless mass of food. Rather, it is a trip through nutrition, all laid out for all time and all to see, a record of accomplishments and, yes, of slipups and poor choices sometimes. For they are a part of all of this.
It is a journey into the self.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
It's been a whirlwind. Yes, I was on television. In Britain!
On GMTV's home page it shows their TV highlights. I'm #2! Plus I was listed under their Today page as a top story, just under (of course!) the Queen's birthday celebration. Her Majesty was 83 the day of my broadcast.
Also, check out this link:
This woman, Sue Jameson, took me under her wing and was so kind and so lovely. She did a lot to assure that I was comfortable and happy. It was so good to have a friend there. We traded emails -- she'd like to know how I do. And, frankly, I'd like to know how she's doing. A very sweet lady.
So, here's how it all went down.
I went to work Monday morning and by that time had a train as I'd already spoken with the producer and had a go. Started dealing with basic work stuff, my mission was to make sure that it would be almost as if I wasn't going to be gone at all. I managed to do that, and I doubt the intern had much to do later on on Monday. I also went in and told my boss, I think she was not quite understanding what I was doing. Then I headed out at noon, only telling my colleagues I was going to NYC to visit my inlaws. Heh, well, that's not 100% true of course.
Mr. jespah met me at South Station and saw me off. The train was lightly populated and I didn't have a seatmate until Stamford. It was on time, which was helpful. Got to the inlaws' at, I think, around 4, 5 PM, something like that. Quickly settled in to get the clothes and props ready and order dinner. Plus I had plenty of voice mails to answer. Once we were done eating, I asked my father in law to wake me at 10 PM. Hence I got about 3 hours of rest although most of that was not spent sleeping. Sue had suggested that, she said people who did not do that tended to really fade by 2 AM.
I had a snack and was ready to go at midnight; the car service was expected at 12:30. Well, it didn't show! After five minutes of waiting, I called Sue. She determined that the car service's computer was allegedly down and they'd lost all their reservations. Hence she came and got me in a cab, and promised to take care of the return trip while I was on. She also told me, while we were in the cab, that she was expecting some major diva editor from Marie Claire magazine. The diva had already insisted on $1,000 for her own personal makeup lady. The New York office had balked, but the London office ended up having to pony up for that. The diva and her entourage were expected at 5 AM. I told Sue, well, maybe the makeup lady is expensive because she works fast.
We got to the studio and it's located at the Thompson Reuters Building at 3 Times Square. The building where the big ball is dropped on New Year's Eve is right across the street. The place was mainly deserted, which makes sense, given the hour. We were greeted by Larry the engineer. Then the phone rang, and it was David Mason in London, wondering where we were. He had just called Mr. jes at home (woke up the poor man), asking where I was as I'd be on in 10 minutes. Eek! Sue then grabbed the phone and told David, "I'll talk to you, she's got to do makeup!" I was doing my own makeup and hair. I work a lot cheaper than the Marie Claire gal.
The room where I was filmed as tiny and mainly black. There was a director's chair on a platform and a small box in front of it to put your feet so that they wouldn't dangle. Then they got me wired up. I got an earpiece in my left ear and the microphone had to go under my dress and be clipped to the side. Sue put it under my dress (so I guess I ended up knowing her pretty well, har har) and everything got plugged in. Then they left me alone in the room and closed the door, I assume to get technical stuff done in the control room. I learned later that a part of that was putting my before picture up.
I waited and then heard a voice in my ear, "Hello, this is Robbie in London, can you hear me? Can you tell me the pronunciation of your surname?" I told him, he said I sounded fine and told me the names of the people who'd be talking to me. Then there was music and suddenly I was talking to Penny Smith and her guest. They asked me some questions and the slant was definitely about the side effects. Which is fine, I have nothing to hide. That interview is the link above. The other interviews don't seem to be up yet. After I was done, Robbie's voice was back in my ear and he said, "Are you sure you've never done this before?"
The second segment wasn't too long after the first one, less than a half hour later or so it seemed to me. That time I talked to Kate Garroway, and was able to show my old Red Sox jersey so you can see how much I've lost. I think talking to her was a little more difficult than it was to talk to Penny but I think in general I did the best with that segment.
Once that one was done, there was over an hour to go to the third and final bit. I grabbed my snack (a Fiber One Chocolate Bar, very nice) and so did Sue, and then Larry gave me a tour and showed me all of the equipment. They are connected with Reuters so there's a news feed coming in. We looked at footage of the perp walk of the teenaged Somali pirate, and also some silly footage of a goat seen in some restaurant, I think somewhere in South America. To which I said, "Their meat is REALLY fresh." Larry is from Massachusetts so we also talked about the Red Sox. He mentions he's often bored during these things and goes online. I told him to go to my website and showed him the site. We also talked about Spark People!
By this time, Sue was tired (she had a cold), told me she'd normally hug me but didn't want me to get her cold. She went home so it was just Larry and me. He showed me some more feed footage and then it was time to go back on. He told me I'd have to put the microphone under my dress as he said he only does that for supermodels. I said, "Well, maybe next year." He replied, "Maybe!"
This time, I spoke with Lorraine Kelly and their resident health expert, Dr. Hilary Jones (who is a man). I think I did the worst in this segment as it was getting close to 4 AM and I was very tired. But Dr. H. did say that he thought I looked really good already. I think they had a hard time believing I still have 55 pounds to go. On that segment there was also a woman who had tried alli and it hadn't worked out for her. Unfortunately I didn't catch her name.
Then it was time to go. Larry got me to the car service and I was whisked off, by limo, to the inlaws' apartment. By the time I got in, it was after 4 AM. I immediately got into bed. My father in law got me up at 8. I hadn't slept all that much.
My train was at noon so I had breakfast and lounged around until about 10:15, then left for Penn Station. When I got there, the cabbie had to let me off across the street. There was some guy collecting charity, asked me and I said to him, "I don't have any free hands." I was carrying all of my stuff, of course. He said, "That's okay, baby girl, I'll catch you when you do." Ha, so I guess I'm Baby Girl now. Better than being Big Mama.
The train was on time and I ended up sitting near a guy named Edward Ellington. As in the Duke's nephew. See: www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/
ward.htm The guy looks just like the album cover, although now he's probably close to 60.
I got home yesterday, and have been answering emails and of course composing this blog entry. I also sent a thank you note to everyone at GMTV and asked if they'd pass along a message to the woman who had tried alli and it hadn't worked for her. I just wanted her to know that this is not easy to do, and offered my support.
And now here we are. Last night a triumphant dinner at the local Vietnamese place. Surprisingly, I stayed within my calorie range both days. Today I'll go back to the gym, too, so probably tonight I'll finally get a full night's sleep.
After all, a diva needs her beauty rest.
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