Monday, July 27, 2009
Well, shedding my skin would certainly help with weight loss. I'm up another 1.4 lbs., which is annoying and a tad disturbing but I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing (I'm within calorie range every day, drink 10 c of water/day and am #5 on the Boston SparkAmerica fitness minutes list), so things will eventually unstick and go downwards. Eventually.
Even if I want to turn the scale into a lovely planter or objet d'art.
Still Life With Scale
Be that as it may, things are more than okay.
Last weekend, a friend we've known from online for, what, a decade? Close to it, I'm sure, well, she came up from Houston. We have never met in person before. She's behind my recipe for Mac's Cajun Dirty Bulgur. And of course the three of us (plus two others from my site on Saturday) all hit it off famously. Then she had some time to kill on Sunday before her flight so I brought her to the house.
This is remarkable not just because she is an awesome friend but also because she is MY inspiration. She lost 125 lbs. on Weight Watchers and has kept it off for a few years. Right now she is looking to drop the last 30 or so, but is in no great rush.
As you can imagine, we had some interesting conversations when it was just the two of us. We have had very similar experiences, plus she's had the experience of maintenance, or at least a semblance of maintenance.
Some wisdom and observations from her:
* There are people who are truly happy for you, people who are jealous, and people who are actively looking out for you to fail/backslide.
* Maintenance is a terrifying word, sometimes it seems easier or better to still be working on losing, versus being done and trying to stay the same. This is the case even though, with a large plateau, you are often essentially in the midst of maintaining.
* Losing face is as tough as losing weight. What happens when someone finishes, leaves and then is suddenly 50 lbs. up? They often stay away because they swore it would be different, and then it wasn't, so they stay away longer and the hole they're in is dug even deeper.
* Know the differences among regular meals, replacement meals and special meals. Eating at home is inevitably a regular meal. Replacement meals are standard restaurant fare. Special meals are things like your own wedding supper. Regular meals should be as healthy as possible. Replacements should be as healthy as possible, too, and are not enough of a special treat to warrant going off your regimen by too much and letting it all go to hell. Special meals should be rare -- but they also are, truly, a free zone. Do with that what you will.
* You can only be responsible for your own actions, your own self, your own body and your own health. Being encouraging to others is one thing -- feeling or acting responsible for them sticking with things is another matter entirely, and that way lies madness. Let people, ultimately, stand or fall on their own.
I've come out of last weekend tired but with more mental tools at my disposal.
So what if the scale is up?
It does not define me.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Today, July 20, 2009, is exactly 40 years since the lunar landing.
President John F. Kennedy, on September 12, 1962 (hey, I was 10 days old!) said:
"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best..."
It's the month in review, and I assure you I will get to that, but I want to talk about that quote a bit first.
When I plunked money down for alli, for a full year at the gym, for plastic surgery, I made commitments. And I've made time commitments, as well, from walking to and from farther away bus stops to taking a Saturday for a race, to careful food shopping and recipe reading/creating/modifying/calculating/rec
ording. And you've made those kinds of financial and temporal commitments as well, haven't you?
If you have had any success at all, you've put up with something, at some time or another.
You've gone down different supermarket aisles, and bypassed the old, familiar ones. You've drunk more water, and experienced the attendant results of doing so. You've lifted weights and felt pain afterwards. You've walked and taken more time, and perhaps that has prevented you from doing something else. You've gone to bed earlier, missing out on TV or the 'net or time with your family. You've stayed away from vending machines and fast food, and cooked your own food instead. You've controlled your portions, even when you didn't want to, You've insisted on salad dressing on the side. You've passed on the birthday cake. You've gone to the gym rather than the movies. You've purchased more healthy foods, even if sometimes they were more expensive, or harder to find, or you really, really wanted a cupcake instead.
Make no mistake about it: these things are difficult. Sure they may not be in little doses, but over time there is a lot there, and it can seem taxing at times, or like a huge mountain looming ahead of you, particularly when you're first starting out. It can sometimes feel like it's not at all worth it. It can feel like every moment of every day is a struggle, particularly if success is elusive or feels like it's far away and in the past or the distant future.
But you keep doing these things, anyway. You keep on keepin' on.
We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
Do you have respect for things that come easy? Does tying your own shoes give you an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment? Most likely not, I suspect, much like how it's rare that anyone gets a medal for peeling bananas or adding two and two. The reason for that is because, for most adults (and I am not diminishing someone coming back from a stroke, etc., please do not misunderstand me -- for them, shoe-tying may be an incredible achievement, and I salute them for it), these things are easy.
But what about the stuff that's HARD? Differential calculus. XML programming. Anatomy class. Playing anything by Mozart. Making a soufflé. Dancing a minuet. Juggling five or more different-sized objects. Biomedical engineering. The legal Rule Against Perpetuities. Public speaking in front of a thousand people. Parenting a troubled child. Designing a state of the art hospital. Corporate accounting. Pitching a no-hitter. Writing a novel. Or landing on the moon.
Those things are very, very hard to do.Yet people -- and you may be one of those people -- do these things every single day. They get up in the morning, and they do them. And those things are very worthwhile, and those things are awarded with Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, or patents, or large contracts or a community's gratitude, and all of the trappings of success and appreciation.
Yes, those things are exceedingly hard.
They're almost as hard as changing your life for good, shedding your skin and becoming a new person.
Yep. They're almost as hard as permanent, sustained weight loss. The awards for permanent, sustained weight loss aren't handed out in Stockholm or Oslo. But they are awarded in your doctor's office, in your family's eyes and in your own skin.
If they can put a man on the moon, then surely you can put your life right and get on the path to health, and truck on down it. And then keep on keepin' on, and live the life. Walk the walk. Get up every morning, and just do it.
Here's the month in review.
It's been a year and a half since I started alli. I took a five-week period off recently in order to kick-start weight loss again, regroup and try a few things to try to break out of a plateau I'd been on for a month and a half or so. Hence I've taken alli for 17 months.
In the past month, I've run two 5K races and my second time was a good third less than my first. I've had an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon and am scheduled to get things tucked, trimmed and lifted on January 15th, 2010. I've gone back to taking alli. Plus I met the very beautiful Lab-Lover and Quirkles.
I gained .8 lbs. last week (which is also .8 since last month), but such is life. Overall, I've lost over 150 lbs. And I am coming to understand that I've probably plucked most of the lower-hanging fruit when it comes to weight loss. This does not mean that I have nothing left to lose, but rather that the easier (and it has been anything but easy!) stuff is gone so now it's just going to be tougher. But I'm okay with it. I keep doing what I should be doing: eating right, watching my portions, drinking water, exercising, resting, lifting, being as happy as I can be, and I'm okay with it regardless of how the scale shifts around because I know that I am giving it my all.
Except for my thigh and big ole butt, I'm within an inch or less of my personal best in all areas. And even those two areas aren't bad, as in 1 3/4" above the best for my keister and 2 1/4" above my best for my thigh. As for overall, the results are truly remarkable as I have lost a whopping 108 inches (yeah, that's no typo) from eight areas (bicep, bust, band, waist, belly, butt, hip and thigh), total. That's, er, NINE FEET of me gone. To add some perspective, I'm only 5 1/2 feet tall.
Pretty good, certainly good enough to race twice. Yesterday I buried my husband in frisbee, and he used to play in a league! Now, I was in the shade and he was in the sun, but still! I have my quiet and slow days like anyone else, but I make sure to get the workouts in, even if I'm less than thrilled to do them. I am always glad to get them accomplished.
I'm trading around 14s, 12s and 10s for pants, depending upon the cut of the garment and how stretchy it is. When I started, I was a 4x/28W. Up top I'm wearing a medium (I think that's pretty much a confirmed size 10). When I started, I was a size 3x/26W but was getting into 4x/28W tops.
I wear bracelets a lot of the time now; my wrists and hands are so much smaller. I can fit into a teeny silver bracelet I remember from college. My wedding ring is practically falling off my left middle finger. It hasn't fit my left ring finger in ages. My engagement ring is still in the safety deposit box, but it's from when I was about 40 lbs. lighter than I am now. Perhaps it's time to get it out and see if it fits.
I've got a size 10 - 12 Winter jacket for later in this year. It fits me just fine, including over the hips. Two years ago, I wore a huge 4x/28W Winter jacket. I suspect the old one would make a lovely tent. For a family of four.
Choices, choices. Respect the hard stuff. Respect yourself as you do those hard things, even if you don't succeed all the time, even if the scale is less than kind, for it does not define you. And, just as surely as the Moon circles the Earth, keep on keepin' on.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
It's not an eye doctor; it's a plastic surgeon.
I had my initial consultation today. And, yes, I signed up.
Off goes the Scarlet F.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This song was played at my wedding, I confess. Hey, I was married in mid-1992. But this entry isn't about my wedding or my love.
It's about our new friend!
This is not a direct photo of our new friend, but looks pretty much the same. A very, very small brown rabbit is living underneath our hibiscus plant. We've left out the occasional carrot which has been accepted, we believe, rather graciously.
And we named him (or her -- we're too polite to ask) Little 'Bit. Hence the song.
But the title kinda works, too.
I have every reason to feel lousy, I gotta say. I regained what I lost three weeks ago, PMS is about to come knocking, almost all of my measurements are up and the day was stressful.
But yanno something?
I'm fine. I really am.
Oh, I'm not jumping for joy. No. But I'm not hanging my head, either.
Went to the gym, pounded out my frustrations on the treadmill and I feel ...
Hey, there's something to this exercise business after all.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Now for some news about the race itself. First, how the six of us did, in a field of 195 runners:
#105 Mr. Jespah 27:34
#118 Laurel 28:32
#162 Quirkles 33:29 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.as
#163 Thomas 33:32
#180 Lab Lover 35:25 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.as
#194 me 43:38
I was not last. I was second to last, but still! I beat a 33 year old, by some 3 minutes or so.
Last night's blog, I was in a rush. Tonight I want to give good info about the race.
We had a blast. Mr. J had never run one of these before. It was my second. He asked me if I wanted him to run with me. Naah. Go play and do well. And he did! We know Thomas from another site, and Thomas and I are in a BMI race to 30.0. This is why (jokingly, of course), he suggests I have some lovely pastries at every meal. Hey, he's competitive.
Here are pictures of us.
Quirkles (watch out, Thomas is gaining on you!):
Mr. Jespah, on the right (hubba hubba):
Who's that gal on the left, in the red hat?:
We're all so dang cute. I recall the first picture I ever got of Mr. J (we met through the Village Voice personal ads) was of him in swimming trunks. That was 20 years ago. These pictures remind me of that dude.
The day was warm and sunny. Nice day for basking but kinda warm for trucking along on foot. I had my new iPod, I had semi-figured out iTunes and had a Running playlist. First song: David Bowie's "Heroes" (it was yesterday's blog song, too). There's just something about bouncing along with the Thin White Duke singing, "We can be heroes, just for one day".
Then the next song was today's blog song! Blues Traveler's "Run-Around". I had to remind myself: DON'T SING ALONG.
The course took us around the park and then on a bridge over into Cambridge. It was then that my right glute decided: I wanna stay in Boston. I told the glute it had no choice and it was coming to Cambridge. It whined, and I limped a bit, but I did not leave any body parts behind (heh, I said behind).
On the Cambridge side of things, it was a small highway (Memorial Drive), but traffic was light, probably due to the holiday weekend, plus the students are mainly gone this time of year. But it was sunny! Intensely sunny. I decided to pace myself and only jog when there was shade. There were trees but not always cheek by jowl to the street so shade was intermittent.
The pack had thinned considerably. On occasion I would catch glimpses of the other side of the Charles River and see people getting close to the finish line. I mainly saw a guy in a dark orange shirt and a woman in lavender sweats on my side of the river. Mainly they were in front of me.
Going slowly means you catch things that other people miss. I picked up a small profit along the way (I think Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy" was playing then): it is now my lucky nickel. Inflation has hit the lucky penny.
I pressed on.
I passed Miss Lavender Sweats, it was not too far before the bridge to return us to Boston. That was a little uphill. I think my right glute was happy to be returning to Boston (ungrateful body part!). The rest of me was pretty cool with that, too.
Over the bridge, it switches back very slightly, and I could see Miss Lavender Sweats. I waved; she was focused. The orange shirt dude was far away already. Lavender Sweats then passed me. We were pretty much neck and neck until Blondie came on. I mean, "Call Me"? What was I thinking? Too odd for running.
I passed by some sort of official, who asked me if there was anyone behind me. I said I didn't think so.
The finish was looming.
I expected a slow time. My last time had been over an hour. I figured, given that I had listened to about eight songs (I turned off the iPod after Blondie), if they're around an average of five minutes apiece, that's forty minutes, but that hardly seemed right to me. Given my limping, the heat, and the placement of the moon in the sky for all I knew or thought about, I figured I did not beat my PR (personal record).
I saw the clock.
Forty something something?
Are you people on crack?
Is your timer broken?
I mean, come on!
This is ME we're talking about.
I'm not fast. I'm not an athlete. I'm not in shape. I'm a lumbering beast and no gazelle.
The clock came closer.
I said to hell with it.
I started to run.
I ran like I haven't run in four decades, not since I was a child.
Pound pound slap slap
Lavender Sweats was in view.
Pound pound slap slap
Mr. J. Lab Lover. Thomas. Quirkles. Laurel.
Pound pound slap slap
Through the chute, heart going fast but not gallumphing out of my chest. Not winded. Not dying. Not coughing. Not barely able to keep my head up.
I called out, "Miss! Miss!"
Lavender Sweats turned around.
"You ran great!" I said. Lavender Sweats thanked me profusely. This might be the first time that she was not dead last. I made her a winner.
I went to join everyone, walked around, joked and then we parted ways after the raffle (I think Laurel won a RoadID). Mr. J and I had lunch with Thomas who I then dropped off at his hotel.
And I recognized that I am not some lumbering beast, although I am not necessarily a gazelle, at least not yet. And I'm actually in some semblance of shape. And I am an athlete, despite what my right glute wants me to believe.
And even if I am never elite or fast or even that good, I can make the gal in the Lavender Sweats smile. And that's worth something.
Miss Lavender Sweats:
Get An Email Alert Each Time JESPAH Posts