Sunday, July 24, 2011
And I have the 'bruises' to prove it:
*Bulging belly, grumbling out curse words in it's own language. If only Rosetta Stone had a CD for that one...
*Puffy eyelids that refuse to react to the anti-puff eye cream I slathered on them. It's not me, the eye cream is crap, right?
*Swollen kielbasa sausages for fingers, and what seems like the my entire bottom half of my body, snickering at my failed attempts to get my wedding ring and jeans on comfortably. Who swapped out my jewelry and jeans for kid's sizes?
What was my downfall you ask?
I received 2 HUGE jars of European Nutella, straight from Ireland as a birthday present from a friend. And my husband bought me a HUGE carrot cake with 1"wide layers of suicide cream cheese frosting separating the layers of satan's evil cake.
Here's the kicker that is driving me batty: I knew both were headed into my home. I asked both parties to not bring me either the hazelnutty spread from Sodom or the gorgeous carrot filled cake of Gomoraah, but both would not be swayed. I also belted out an S.O.S. on Spark to my Sparkly pals AND posted my anxiety of both 'gifts' on my Spark Team. I received very useful suggestions and tips on how to deal with the trial to come.
I especially liked the suggestion that I start a food fight with the cake to ensure it would not end up in my mouth and on my thighs....
And though I felt armed for the sugar battle, I lost! I lost control of my urges, lost respect for myself, and apparently lost all sense of time since this was not a one time sugar buffet. I CHOWED on this junk for 2 days!
In the back of my mind I was thinking about how far I have come in my weight loss goals, and how fast I was not just taking steps backwards, but leaps. But it didn't stop me. WTH?!?!?
No one can be as on hard on me as I am on myself. I read this a long time ago. I know it's true. I need to regain my Spark if you will. I still have work to do, pounds to lose, respect and strength to gain.
Maybe I should take a trip back to Walgreens and waddle down that candy aisle again and remind myself that I did this parade march once, and this "walk of shame" will be choreographed into a victory dance soon. I just need to need to keep practicing the moves!
No leg warmers required...
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!!
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!
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.
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.
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