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My Upper Arms Wave Back At Me...

Monday, July 18, 2011

I was hoping that they would wave goodbye to me at some point. I mean, I am starting to lose some of the weight I gained. My jeans are loose and actually button with breathing room. My shirts don't look like they need bungee cords to keep the buttons closed, and it feels awesome.

But when I wave to someone, my upper arms still wave back - on a time delay it seems.
Are they coming out for a bow on stage like a performer would for his curtain call???

I was trying to think of things with wings (ha), and then weed out the unappealing ones, since I need some inspiration; flapping wings of hope if you will. Some reassurance that these wings will not linger forever (please!).

My brain has chucked the ones below at me like bones to a dog, and I will chew on them for now until I pick one:

Chicken wings - If they weren't so ugly.
Bat wings - Hmm, blood me no like-ey.
Butterfly wings - This is a finalist, but I'd like to fly in straight lines, and not a drunken zig zag.
Angel wings - Beautiful, but my sarcasm wouldn't quite 'fit' the wings (without staples).
Buffalo wings - Sweet spicy goodness. Might be a keeper.
Hummingbird wings -Oooh, think of the calorie burn!
Ladybug wings - Cute from a distance, but not up close - ick.
Flies - We won't even go there.

I've pushed through my push ups, I've crushed my head with those skull crushers. I've done enough arm extensions over my head to land an oncoming 767 to the SFO runway nearby, yet the 'wings' remain.

And I need to tell myself to stop squeezing that excess skin as if it will pinch off like pizza dough.

So it looks like I haven't moved forward on my decision to pick a pair of wings that best suit this stage of my weight loss goals, but I will continue the hunt, and would love any suggestions you might have.

Until then, I'm signing off, and giving you my Miss America farewell wave with my Colgate smile.....................................
........oh wait............................yep, there goes my underarm waving back at you.
I'm not smiling anymore. Hrrrrumph!!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNSWIMS 7/21/2011 9:56PM

    My arms keeping waving after my hand is done. BOOO!

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1HAPPYWOMAN 7/19/2011 9:54PM

    You made me laugh! I too have been squeezing my wings, wondering if they'll ever leave. I console myself with the idea that autumn is fast approaching, and soon the long-sleeve seasons will be upon us. Then I'll have many, many months to work on the wings.
And if sleeveless seasons comes and I'm still wingy, I'll throw a wingding, serve hot wings, listen to Paul McCartney and Wings, maybe watch a Red Wings game....

Congratulations on all your hard work and the success you're seeing. Most especially, congratulations for meeting challenges with a great sense of humour!

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WINACHST 7/19/2011 7:43AM

    Be patient - good things come to those who wait - er, I mean do those push ups. I read that if you place your hands closer together when doing push ups it target the triceps more. I still have a little jiggle but it ain't near what it was two years ago - Now, if I can just get rid of this butt jiggle when I run emoticon

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BUTEAFULL 7/18/2011 10:41PM

    you have joined the bat wing club, short of plastic surgery, I don't think they go away completly

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JONICACALDWELL 7/18/2011 10:16PM

    "Bingo Arms" like when grandma's play the game and the stand up with their arms over their heads and yell "Bingo!"

Mine go away if I hold my arms out and flex. They quickly reappear when I put my arms down at my side or wave. Grrrrr.

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CANNIE50 7/18/2011 10:02PM

    oh, I almost forgot, if you are seized with the desire to have sleeves of tattoos, there will be more "canvas" to work with!

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CANNIE50 7/18/2011 10:01PM

    Okay, not to be sappy, but we are going to be grateful that you have strong, working, capable-of-doing-push-ups arms. I also have the floppy stuff. When I find myself fussing about it, I think of all the things I enjoy doing with my arms: hugging, holding babies, lifting fork or spoon to mouth, giving suggestions to other drivers, lifting weights that skinny girls cannot begin to lift, planking, hugging (it bears repeating - I really love to hug). You get the idea. So, here is me hugging you with my chubbly, wobbly, arms. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I Survived The Candy Aisle At Walgreens!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I need a gold medal! And not one filled with caramel!

Is this even possible? Did someone take over my body? Even the boot that I had been sentenced to for 3 months knew how to do the 'Walgreens waddle' on down that aisle - too many times in the past.

I practically did my own personal Soul Train waltz down Candy Lane, snapping up boxes (yes, plural) of lemonheads and dark chocolate covered anything. I would envision being cheered on by life-size gummy bears and waxy-coated swedish fish, all applauding my sugar dance.
'Do the peppermint twist!',
'Shake it like that last milk dud in the carton!'
'Pucker up like a sour patch kid!!!'

Ouch, I feel the sugar headache coming on as I re-live it in my mind...

I have vivid memories of childhood trips to the liquor store a few blocks away, where I would spend my allowance on brightly colored boxes of tooth decaying treats. My parents would never allow these baubles of chemicals and sucrose to grace my lips, but they were always off at work, so I was safe. Even though I was going home to an empty house, I still would feel a bit paranoid about the contents of my jean pockets, so I would scarf them on the sidewalk right outside the store before walking home.

Growing up, my junk food fascination only grew as well, and I came to literally rely on drug stores, for my fix like a junkie: 3 boxes of king sized candy for $2.00? Heck Yeah! - my brain would reply. And so the pattern went on for decades.

My husband had become accustomed to the red vines lasso-like pull that junk food had on me too.
He knew that we simply could not go to the store for a bottle of shampoo. I would ditch him immediately upon entering. And where would he find me? Ta-da! Junk food aisle...

But the most amazing thing happened recently. I needed to pick up a prescription so I went to the drug store. I waddled myself down the candy aisle (in my boot), and got in line at the pharmacy window.

Let me repeat that: I went down the candy aisle and got in lane at the pharmacy window!

This was an AISLE people! As in, a long route, a pathway, and even sometimes felt like walking the plank on a pirate ship. This was not simply a mini cardboard box display of old fog-covered chocolate from last Easter. We're talking floor to eye level taunting from the sugar devil here!
I left the store with my prescription in hand, and nothing else.
This was an earth-shattering event for me. I had such the cheshire cat smile on my face, let me tell you.

Did I lose those cravings for partially hydrogenated, palm oil injected, artificially flavored snacks? No.
But thanks for a lot of self examination, support from Spark friends and Spark teams, the life-sized gummies are not screaming relentlessly in my ear.

Treats are fine in moderation, but not when they prey on you, and spin a cotton candy web around your thoughts until you choose to give in.

This has, and will continue to be a daily battle. But for today, I choose to create some healthier snacking habits.

Stay posted for some random blog in the future about how I fell off the tootsie roll wagon... ouch! Say it ain't so!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1HAPPYWOMAN 7/17/2011 3:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I hope that expresses my admiration! And I hope you are SO PROUD OF YOURSELF, because that is a really big change. It sounds like you've done some real work and come a long way! WAY TO GO!

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WINACHST 7/17/2011 5:42AM

    Good for you. I know exactly how you felt when you resisted that temptation. I have expereinced it many times in the past myself.
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CANNIE50 7/16/2011 10:07PM

    I salute you! Your will of steel, your iron discipline, your willingness to face the enemy and dodge the sugar-bombs....seriously, you have seen that it is possible to escape the grasp of what at one time seemed like unbeatable cravings. I am proud of you. Love your description of an evil Candyland. emoticon emoticon

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WYNTYR1 7/16/2011 9:24PM

  lovin your descriptions!!

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SLBRANTLEY 7/16/2011 7:24PM

    That's just emoticon! emoticon emoticon

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BOOKWORM27S 7/16/2011 11:32AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I know EXACTLY how you feel! I have been in that same situation many times.

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DOTTY7267 7/16/2011 11:30AM

    Good job! I know it's very hard to change a habit like that.

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EILEENNP 7/16/2011 10:55AM

    Hooray for you! I love your descriptions. Best of luck in your journey.

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Is this a test? Because I don't know the answers...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am happy to say that I have learned a lot from my short time on Spark. I have been absorbing and sharing insight with other Sparkers on how to get out of my emotional eating patterns (that I have created). I am better educated on how to work out more effectively to lose the weight (that I have gained), and have built some healthy supportive Sparkly shiny friendships to cheer each other on in this journey.
But how am I supposed to take criticism from my spouse about my healthier lifestyle?

"I liked you just the way you were".
"You're curvy, and it's nice"
"I'm not sure if I like where this weight loss is heading..."

I didn't know how to reply to those statements. Was this a test? Since I would surely fail.
I felt like a 4th grader put in front of the classroom who didn't study, and therefore failed - Lose 1 point...
Was I supposed to reply? I wasn't sure. There's an awkward silence now- Lose 1 point...
My insides want to boil over like too much soda in too small of a glass. I'm upset and my time is up - Lose 1 more point...

I wanted to remind him that I have been unhappy and unhealthy for a while, and no doubt taking that out on him at times. I should have reminded him how supportive he was during my countless failed attempts in the past. So now that I am DOING instead of attempting, he's not on board anymore?

Later, I let his comments roll off my conscience since I knew that the burden was not healthy, and would likely trigger some emotional eating - Gain 1 point...
I made sure to be open for another opportunity to have a good conversation and restate my goals, ultimately benefitting our relationship - Gain 1 point...
I have made extra effort to reinforce my love for him each day. I will not repay fear and insecurity with the same actions - Gain 1 point...
I will stay focused on the prize; become healthier, be more calm in stressful times, rejoice in happy times, be more loving all the time - Gain 1 point...

I WILL pass this test when it comes around again (and it will). Life is full of them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYWATCHERRS 7/13/2011 4:31PM

    Maybe he's scared that you'll be so awesome when you've reached your goal that he'll kind of be left behind? Maybe he's unsure that you will still love him when you are fit and fabulous?

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WINACHST 7/13/2011 8:08AM

    Wouldn't it great if we had all the answers and knew exactly how to respond in every situation. I know that for me, when I first got on Spark People, I had a tendency to spend a lot of time on the sight; it is so easy to lose track of time that I had to learn to limit the time I spend on the sight or before I knew it the day was almost gone.

Great job in responding the way you did. I think you passed this test. emoticon

Oh, and congrats on being able to wear 2 shoes!!!!!

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CANNIE50 7/12/2011 9:27PM

    Oh, the tests - life IS full of them, right? I think you did very well. It is often a little scary for one spouse when the other changes. I like the approach of being loving and reassuring. I know for me, I want to know that what I think MATTERS to my husband. You married a good man so that is more than half the battle, right there. emoticon

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The Hamster Wheel Abuser

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I had a moment of clarity recently, and am now seeking to change my ways.
I am a runner, or, I was until this foot injury months ago (Good Lord has it really been since April?).
You see, my foot started to hurt out of the blue, so I went to the podiatrist. I had 2 separate bone fractures and was ordered to wear the big black boot you can see on my Spark Page for 12 weeks. Count 'em, 12...
I also had to use some bone regenerator machine to nudge my bones into healing faster, since my system is already compromised by a rare disease that I have.

Oh the thoughts that came at me from all angles were incessant.
How would I get my long runs in? What on earth can I do now to work out?
That doc is just being conservative. Surely I can at least do the elliptical right? Umm...no.
Have you ever tried to ride a stationary bike with a massive foot brace? Well I did. Not pretty.

I even had to sleep with the Bertha Boot for the first 4 weeks. Let me just say, you know that line about when the woman of the house is not happy, no one is happy? It's true.
I even went through the 8 stages of grief, I swear.

I didn't know how I had hurt my foot either. I used to joke that I needed a good story to tell people who inquired about my Bertha Boot. "How did it happen?" someone would ask. "I was running with the bulls in Pamplona" I would reply. The best story yet was that I hurt it while drop kicking toasters (ha!).
Although I had no injury to claim, and yes my body is considered a bit more fragile than others due to my disease, I am now certain that I did this to myself.

I would only run 3 days a week on the treadmill and do Insanity dvd workouts on the other days, so it seemed balanced. But it was the duration of those runs and the mindset behind the hours pounding on that hamster wheel that made me realize I had turned something beautiful into and ugly thing.

With the TV on a news channel as I spun that treadmill wheel, I would later tell my friend, "ask me the weather forecast anywhere in the country. Go on, I dare you!" It seemed funny at the time.
But I would usually run between 13-16 miles on my long runs, and I wasn't training for anything.
I was trying to un-do the damage I had caused by stuffing my face the night(s) prior.
Somehow I had twisted my runs into a caloric depletion mechanism and made my bingeing on junk food OK. How could I turn something so wonderful into an unhealthy obsession?
It hit me like a brick as I looked down at Bertha. This was not good. Not at all.

You can't fix things backwards. I needed to change to behavior behind it.

Since I joined Spark, I have been working day to day to improve my eating choices; my 'relationship with food', as they say. I guess that food and I were really tight for a while, but in an abusive way. If you've ever been in a controlling relationship you might understand that feeling. I had not only been damaging my body and spirit by allowing myself to behave this way, but also injuring my marriage at times by being too hard on myself, directing my blame on him.

So as much as I hated the foot brace and wanted to wear those 2 running shoes, I am now actually thankful for this time, since I can see the true cause of those fractures. Fractures in my spirit if you will, and how I needed emotional (and physical) healing.

I can't wait to get my body moving more and leap into cardio workouts once I get the green light from the doc. But I don't think I will jump back onto that hamster wheel for a bit. I need to re-learn some things; do some mental re-wiring.
And be grateful for this journey, without the spinning tread beneath my feet.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINACHST 7/11/2011 8:31AM

    Great Blog! I can relate to feeling the need to exercise more to negate calories that I have eaten. This week I was given orders by the doctor that I needed to take it easy this week, meaning no running for me. MY first thought was I really need to watch what I eat because it is the running that keeps my weight down.

I am glad that you are able to see the positive in your injury and are going to be stronger (mentally and physically) when you are able to start the cardio routines again.

Best wishes to you.

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RYDERB 7/8/2011 2:48AM

    Wow! I'm so touched by this blog! I'm glad that your fractured spirit is healing. "We are stronger in the places we were broken." is one of Jillian Michaels motivational lines. I believe and hope for that everyday.

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JENNSWIMS 7/7/2011 9:30PM

    What a great blog! There are days when I find myself wanting to exercise more and more and more... not to get healthier or so I can run a 5k, but so I can eat more. Twisted thinking indeed, and I appreciate you talking about it so openly.

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CANNIE50 7/7/2011 9:00PM

    I am very moved by this blog. Several of the lines really hit me. I love that you are now rethinking your relationship with exercise (as well as to food). I have said for years that I exercise to get stronger, to battle off depression, to spend time with friends. I don't think of it in a cash register way - calories consumed, calories burned. I have never gotten thinner through exercise, though it does seem to keep a bit of weight at bay but when I was binging I would have had to work out like Michael Phelps to burn off a binge. I think of exercise as an expression of gratitude, rather than penance for gluttony. I wish this for you - it brings more joy and less pain. You are really finding your wisdom and grace - they are the two biggest benefits of aging (though I still say you are a mere child, relatively speaking) . You are making amazing strides and I could not be happier for you - you deserve only the best.

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The Change (no, not puberty)

Monday, July 04, 2011

An elderly couple walked past my husband and I as we were waiting for one of my many doctor appointments this past week. They looked to be about in their 80's. I swear they were the same height, about 5' tall. She had a scarf over her hair, and he had a hat on. The woman in a skirt and blouse, the man had a suit on. Both were wearing huge Reebok sneakers, shuffling by, linked arm in arm. They took 2 laps around the block in front of us. It was beautiful.

I look in adoration at couples who have been together for decades and are still happy. Key words: still happy. I often wonder if each feel that their partner has changed, and as a result, their relationship was even better. Was she slim and perhaps a a knock out beauty years ago? Did she ever struggle with her image? With her weight? Was he supportive of her efforts; loving her regardless?

In the past I know I have been told in a heated argument, "you've changed" when I might not feel the same way about something anymore. My husband and I used to stay up late and then sleep until lunchtime the next day in our courting period. Somehow I morphed into a morning person. I was never into running, but decided to start 8 years ago. Not sure how that happened, but there it is.

Aren't we supposed to change? Was I supposed to retain the naiveté about the all of the things I did when I was married at 24? Should I whip out the canned veggies, ranch dressing and shake n' bake tub to make tonights dinner since this was what I considered a gourmet meal as a new bride?

People mature. Taste buds evolve. What once required American cheese to constantly reside in my dairy shelf now has real cheddar (light of course), and the cupboards are no longer stocked with sleeves of chips a'hoy cookies and fruity pebbles for that afternoon snack.

Educating myself with tid bits about health has encouraged me to keep healthier options for well, everything in my home. From sunflower seeds to SPF 30, I want to lengthen our years as healthier people, and not retain the same summertime behavior as I did years ago (too many cocktails by the pool and baby oil - eeks!)

I think that the evolution of my marriage was first met with strong resistance. Some people don't like change, but how else does one grow?
Growth in relationships with spouses, friends, strangers, even how we relate to food shows growth within ourselves.

After all, I speak for myself personally when I say that my relationship with food needs desperately to grow and mature, far from the adolescent behavior I have had with it for too many years. How else did I gain so much weight? How else will I attain my goal in the long term if I don't change?

How many times have you ruined an otherwise nice evening since you felt bad about yourself, and then dragged your significant other over the coals for it? I've got my hand held high here. That's definitely something that needs to change.
When (and I do mean when) I do change my behavior around food, I know I will be better (and lighter) for it. That healthier relationship is something I have struggled with (and lost to) for years, but I know it will transform other areas of my life, my weight, and my marriage for the better.

As I drink my tea and type away, I can see that little note on my Yogi tea which says, "Realize that the other person is you".
Got it.

Now where do I order 2 pair of oversized Reeboks???

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RYDERB 7/6/2011 12:47AM

    Your blog reminded me of this quote…
"We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons; inspiration or desperation. If you don't like where you are, change it! You're not a tree. "
- Jim Rohn

The old couple you described could have been my parents. They've changed a lot over my lifetime, but they did it holding hands. The first "fight" I ever had with my husband, was over Bologna emoticon I bought "low fat" and flipped out! Today, we were grocery shopping and he just started laughing. I looked to see what was so funny and realized we were passing the Bologna. It's been over 14 years since he's touched the stuff. We've definitely changed! Thanks for giving me a little more inspiration to keep changing for the better!


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NUMD97 7/4/2011 4:22PM

    This was very sweet. Nicely written. Thanks.

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JENNSWIMS 7/4/2011 3:35PM

    Awesome. I tell my husband that I want to grow old together, not go to a nursing home together. :)

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GENELDABELDA 7/4/2011 12:37PM

    thanks so much for your blog. At first, I thought you were going to be talking about hot flashes but I was pleasantly surprised. I can totallly relate. A year and a half ago my husband got serious about improving his health. He lost over 100 pounds by exercising and changing his diet big time. I could hardly get excited for him because I felt so insecure about being left behind, and it really hurt him.

Now its my turn, and this change feels good. And yet it is something you have to do yourself. My spouse changing did change our relationship but it didn't change me. Only I can do that...and it feels good to be able to say, "I am!"

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CANNIE50 7/4/2011 12:07PM

    I love the images, and I can relate to so much of what you say in this blog. As you well know, I have been having "food fights" with my husband for our entire 20 years together. It has gotten so much better, based on him seeing that I was actually serious about "cleaning up my act" rather than just me waiting for him to change to make things easier on me. Yes, my hand is held high as well, for spoiling an evening based on my own failings. I am happy to say it happens much less often, now.

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