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Back 2 School Shopping

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I don't know what it is about fall, but for me it will ALWAYS be associated with getting a new wardrobe. That feeling of fresh, new beginnings - a new pair of shoes, and a pretty little something to wear on the first day that the weather turns.

I mentioned in my last blog how woefully neglect I am on clothing right now. I've been holding off buying ANYTHING because I don't want to invest only to give everything away in a couple of months - but the straights got dire my friends, so today, I splurged. I still have a little buyer's remorse, but overall I feel really good about all my new threads!

I had a good feeling about today. Sometimes you can walk into a fitting room and absolutely nothing looks right on you and you leave depressed and angry. But I knew that that wasn't going to be today. I had lots of time today to shop, so I meandered around Lane Bryant, touching all the fabrics, going through all the sales racks, holding up one shirt against another. I was there on a mission: bras, underwear, jeans, a sweater to go over tank tops, and maybe a couple of shirts if the funds allowed. I grabbed as much stuff as my arms could hold and headed to the fitting rooms.

I tried on the bras first, and sadly, was not as small around the ribcage as I thought I was, so I had to send those back for the next size up. Still fine though - the next size up was still down a full size from the bras I'm currently wearing. Next were the tops. Now I knew from what I have at home that I'm swimming in a 22/24, and an 18/20 is comfortable, but getting big - so I took a deep breath and selected a 14/16, pulled it over my head, and...IT FIT!!!! OMG OMG OMG. OK - don't get too excited - the shirt is a baggy one, so it's supposed to fit loose and it's definitely not LOOSE. Try another one. It fit too, and so did the next and the next. I was flipping out. I've NEVER worn the 14/16 size at Lane Bryant. I was already an 18/20 before I moved to the U.S. and so I skipped right by that size and went on to the next ones. Thrilled. With a capital T. Now the jeans. I had grabbed a pair in size 22 which is what I'm currently wearing at home. But the ones I have at home are from a Canadian store and everything there tends to fit smaller than the stuff here (made for us American big-bottomed girls) and they're getting a little loose on me now, so I also crossed my fingers and picked out a size 20. Well - I've already told you that I had a feeling about today. So you know I'm going to tell you that the 20s FIT! Oh yeah! I did a dance in the fitting room. Seriously.

Mission accomplished. 2 new bras (42B), 5 new pairs of underwear (size 18/20), 1 new pair of jeans (size 20), 4 new tops (size 14/16) and 1 new sweater (also 14/16). I won't even tell you what the price tag was - but that's ok. I deserve this stuff. I've worked hard for it. And I feel pretty! I never did get my 40 pound reward, so this is it. Wahoo!

The thing that excites me the most though is that quite possibly my next shopping trip could be to a normal store! (for tops anyway). Lane Bryant has been good to me. But I'm over her and her big bottomed ways. I'm ready for Ann Taylor, and Neiman Marcus, and heck - even JC Penny is looking pretty fly these days. Sizes have changed a lot since the last time I was here - and I know my body is different too, so it's strange to me that the last time I was a size 12 I weighed 180lbs and at the rate I'm going now, I should be in a 12 when I'm still over 200. Not sure how that works exactly except that there are fat cells and heavier layers buried deep, deep down somewhere that it's still my job to seek out and blast away to see the scale move some more. But I'm happy that for the time being my closet is reaping the benefits of my loss. Vanity sizing or not - a girl sure does feel pretty when the number on the tag drops!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALLIKIA 9/10/2010 3:12PM

    Eep! I can't wait to get to this point and I'm so excited for you! Almost out of the "big girl" stores is HUGE!! (uhm, not the right word but, yet, it is... *lol*) Great job!!! I wanna see the new stuff!! PICTURE TIME! ;)

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LOTUSFLOWER 9/10/2010 12:05AM

    I am so proud of you!!!! You must feel fabulous!!!!!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/9/2010 12:43PM

    Good for you! Congrats, that has to be an awesome feeling!

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TANSHAN1 9/7/2010 9:40PM

    Congrats on getting some new threads!! AND them being the size they are! You are doing AWESOME!!!

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MUSTANGMISSY 9/7/2010 9:02PM

    Freakin' awesome! You must be so excited. If you need affordable casual stuff I'll bet you could fit into Old Navy's regulars now. Their regular sizes go up to 2xl in the stores. So proud of you!

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    Hi there! Impressed with your weight loss and dropping sizes! A 14/16 tops and 20 bottoms is amazing for 270. I'm at 262 and still in 24 bottoms and 2X tops. Happy for you that you can afford new clothing. I do not know what to do when I get down to need new clothing. I'm too broke to buy any. But anyhow, motivated by your posts. ;) I added you as a friend after finding you from a friend's blog.

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SANDYBRUNO 9/7/2010 4:18PM

    Good for you. It is a good feeling to get into smaller sizes. I like to shop at Kohls now. I was so happy when I could fit into their clothes.

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SWELL10 9/7/2010 4:02PM

    Woo Hoo!!! Isn't it awesome to buy a smaller size. I did the same thing a couple weeks ago. Went into Lane Bryant and tried on a 14/16 top and it fit! Rock on girl!! emoticon

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WYND10 9/7/2010 1:59PM

    WAY TO GO!!!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 9/7/2010 12:53PM

    Oh yes, oh my yes, I completely agree - "Vanity sizing or not - a girl sure does feel pretty when the number on the tag drops!"

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JESSSPARK 9/7/2010 9:40AM

    woo Hoo! :)

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SPARK-A-LICIOUS 9/7/2010 12:31AM

    good for you! congrats hun!!

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Too Busy To Blog!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Hi Everyone! I'm sorry I've been slow on the blog posting lately. I have so many great ideas for things that I want to write about and by the time I look up from what I'm doing it's too late, and I should be in bed, but I need to get some stuff out before I can sleep so here goes - this is going to be a crazy, mixed up jumble of everything going on in my life right now, so sorry for the dump!

Blog #1 - Title: GONE

So The Scientist left yesterday - which is why all the cryptic, sad status messages from me. It was an exhausting day. There were a lot of tears, and hugs, and more tears, but we made it through and now he's spending some time with his parents in California before leaving for Germany on the 15th. I miss him. And I will continue missing him for a long time. But, it was not meant to be. We will be lifelong friends, I'm looking very forward to having someone to visit in Germany (and other wonderful places around the world since he travels frequently), and I have had a wonderful two years with him, but I know in my heart that he is not my "forever man" so I have to move on. And he knows this too. Deep down we are two different souls who have shared so much over two years - good times and bad times. I think this move is the best thing that could have happened for his career and I wish him so much success and love and happiness. But I am on a road to achieving those things for myself too and I can't let this stop me now. Besides, I told him when he sees me in November that I'm going to be a skinny bitch - so I have to live up to that promise!

Blog #2 - Title: Threshold

I've officially lost 40 pounds. The next FRACTION of a pound that I lose will officially push me into a territory that I have never breached before - The Most Weight That I Have Ever Lost On A Diet territory. But this is not a diet. And that's why this is different. And not only am I not afraid of this new territory, I am running towards it with open arms like a fawn through a field of daisies. BRING IT ON!!! I am so excited to be here and to be feeling what I'm feeling right now and to NOT BE AFRAID. God it is freeing! I am brimming with anticipation for what the next 10, 20, 30 pounds looks like and I know I can do it. The 40-pound threshold doesn't scare me - it only makes me want to push harder!

Blog #3 - Title: Lucky 7s?

I hate 7s. Seriously. As a continuation of the above blog, as long as I keep seeing sevens on the scale I am not stepping over that 40-pound threshold. Grrr. I'm SO done with the 270s right now I can taste it in every fiber of my being. And again this morning - 273. Exactly 40 pounds, on the nose. Not an ounce more. However - I have been under an inordinate amount of stress this week/month, I've been doing everything right, and it's going to happen. It's GOING TO HAPPEN. 69, 69 , 69 , 69....hey now, get your heads out of the gutter! At least I'm not going up. But these darn plateaus are KILLING me. *Razzberry to that*

Blog #4 - Title: Who Is This Healthy Chick?

My non-scale victories have been off the charts this month. Thank god for that because like I said above, if I see one more 7 I might go postal. But I officially did the "are you too skinny for your pants?" test today - which I equate to being able to pull your jeans on and off without unbuttoning them. I can now do this with my old "skinny jeans" that are a size 24. These are the very pair that I couldn't even button at my heaviest. Woohoo! I can smell the 18s in my closet. Ten more pounds....just ten more pounds.

At rehearsal last week I was microwaving my dinner - homemade mini meatloafs with polenta and carrots - delish! One of my actors commented on how good it smelled every night and how smart I was for prepping my dinners in advance. Score one for me! And here I thought I'd look like a geek for bringing my tupperware all the time. Turns out, I'm the belle of the ball. Now everyone else salivates over my healthy food while they eat their greasy take-out or worse, try to tide themselves over with stale rehearsal cookies and donuts until they get home at 11pm to eat dinner. No Bueno! It gives me such an incentive to pack my lunch and dinner every day, even though it is a lot of extra work. It has made such a difference in my energy levels too. This might be the first show I've ever done where I didn't gain at least 5 pounds from all the eating out, social drinking and bad food schedules. I am so proud of myself for accomplishing this since it really has been a detriment to my health in the past.

I ran day 2 of Week 4 of C25K this morning. When I stepped outside in my standard tank top and sports bra I was shocked. It was actually COLD outside today. (And it still is - yey Fall!!!) I knew the cooler temperatures were going to make the run easier, but I had no idea that I would increase my speed as much as I did. I had to tack on an extra block just to finish the recording. I am so pumped for the cooler weather. And I'm a runner. When I came back inside I was barely sweating - talk about feeling healthy!

Even though I ran today, I miss the pool. And my body misses the pool - I have noticed that I really do not lose as much weight when I'm not swimming. Only one more week until my schedule returns to normal and I can get back in the water. I can't wait to buff up my shoulders again. I love my arms when I swim - they get so strong! And with the addition of running and Zumba, I have every confidence that I'm going to blast that 270 in the next couple of weeks and push through the 260s as well. But today I really needed someone to notice me. It's gotten to that point where I can REALLY see a difference in myself. And I don't want to be the center of attention when it comes to my body - but today, because the scale was the same yet again, I needed to hear it from someone else. Needed to feel like all of this was worth it - even with the running, and the pants, and the good feeling inside. And I got what I wanted! My co-worker approached me today, cautiously (which was nice of her). She said - "I don't know how you feel about me drawing attention to this, but I did want to say that I am really noticing your weight loss. You can totally tell that you've lost a bunch of weight and it's looking really good on you." That's all I needed to hear. It's not just me. Other people can see it. Now I can go back to my anonymity and hope that no one notices for the next 40 pounds...haha - highly unlikely.

Blog #5 - Title: The WW Challenge

This is a blog that I will extend into a full length one just as soon as I get time. But to give you an idea of the new challenge that I set up for myself, I'll tell you this: I was going through an old folder of WW stuff the other day - my 5 pounds lost ribbons, old Points books, recipes, calculators, etc. from my 6+ times joining and quitting the WW program. Some people love it - it's not my thing (as is evidenced by my upcoming challenge). I also found 3 of my old weigh-in books that span a number of years and a number of failed attempts at losing weight. I am approaching the weight I was at the last time I joined WW. In 25 weeks I yo-yoed up and down on their program, losing almost 20 pounds at one point and then going right back up again to only 6. My challenge is going to be to get to the lowest weight in that book and then destroy it forever! No more failed attempts. No more diets that don't work for me. I have already proven here that I can do whatever I put my mind too. So I'm going to take that last failed attempt and prove to myself that I can get past it...and then keep right on going. If I continue to do these challenges back to back, one WW weigh-in book at a time, by the time I finish with my third book challenge I will be under 200 pounds, and at a weight I haven't seen since I was 13 years old. Yep - I found my book from when I was 13. I just want to hug that child and tell her it's all going to be ok. Because I'm going to make it ok and blast through that bad memory too. I'm excited. More to follow in the next blog with photos!

Blog #6 - Title: Fall Fashion

I'm running out of clothes. And fast. The stuff I bought to wear last fall/winter is all too big. I have SOME clothing left over from my "smaller" days that I'm into now. I'm desperately trying to wear all of my favorite summer clothes one more time before the season ends because I know once we hit the cold weather I'll never wear them again. It's exciting, but it's also sad (because I spent SO MUCH MONEY on all that stuff not so long ago). And I just got the new Lane Bryant catalogue - Lord Help Me. I want everything, and yet I want nothing. I don't want to buy something I'm going to wear twice and have to get rid of. I want to buy things that fit now, but I also want to buy things that are a little too small so I'll have stuff to work into. And despite how much I love some of the things in the pictures, I'm OVER Lane Bryant. I'm DONE with fat girl stores. I can't wait until I can shop in normal places - but that just isn't yet. I still need to go through one more round of big, expensive clothes before I can start shopping the sales at Nordstrom Rack. And I also need underwear and bras, which are expensive and which also will be falling off me soon enough - too soon to really justify their expense, but I suppose spending a little cash is better than boobs flopping around in a bra that's too big. Oh, If I Had A Million Dollars...

Eesh - this was supposed to be a brain dump to help me sleep. I think all I did was stimulate myself more. I'm pumped for these challenges. I feel healthy. I'm on task to have more of a new body by November for me and for The Scientist. I'm making a list of the things I absolutely need and want to buy to get me through to the next round of sizing.

But I seriously have rehearsal in about 7 hours, and sleep is important for my health as well, so I must go to bed! Thanks for reading!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MMS354 9/10/2010 12:07AM

    You sound great! I just plopped down $50 for a bra that FITS (what??!) and it was worth every cent. I look thinner and my body looks WAY better and slimmer. What a difference! Do it - you'll be glad you did!

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MUSTANGMISSY 9/7/2010 3:06PM

    Loving the positive vibes I'm feeling girl! So very happy for you and all the changes that you're feeling now. Send that fall weather over to New Jersey ok? I feel the need to get back on that c25k wagon (as soon as I can find a sports bra that fits well!) My poor girls were really starting to feel the c25k once I got to week 4. I got the same Lane Bryant catalog and I feel the way about it too. At the same time I feel apprehensive about venturing into regular size stores as well. Like they're all thinking "What's SHE doing in here?" Here's a big high 5 for you, girl! You are truly an inspiration.

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WYND10 9/7/2010 1:50PM

    You sound so positive! I love it!!

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PELESJEWEL 9/6/2010 12:25AM

    emoticon OMG! Love this blog! Each # spoke to me, especially:

#1 ~ Love, release, flow, it's all part of the process...
#2 ~ CONGRATULATIONS!! I share your joy!!
#6 ~ What size are you now? I have purrty stuff (recovering fashion victim!)

P.S. I was wondering about you & the pool, because your water blogs inspire me soo much!

Comment edited on: 9/6/2010 12:25:58 AM

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    So glad to hear from you! I've got to say.. congrats ont eh weight loss so far and you are going to get to the 60's soooo soon!!! I can feel it.

Also, as for the scientist, I think you've handled it so maturely and with a lot of courage and intelligence. Very classy. You have a life long friend and you will look amazing when you see him in November!

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SANDYBRUNO 9/4/2010 4:38PM

    I still have a lot of fall smaller clothes that will fit. I should be able to make it to the spring. I may even be okay the first part of summer. I found some smaller shorts. Don't buy too much. You seem to really lose good when you lose. We all hit plateaus and I think I am the queen of plateaus. I can't seem to get out of the 240's. I was at 241.8 this morning. I know I am retaining water though. I'm sorry your man is gone but you are probably right it is probably for the best with each of you at different places in your life.

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Oh, For Shame! or The Life of a Lemming

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I admit it. I'm wrong! About a lot of things. But I'm tired of feeling ashamed because of it!

OK - hold the phone. Let's back this up a bit so you get an idea of where I'm coming from here.

I'm a pretty opinionated I wasn't always like this. In fact, for as long as I can remember, I haven't had much of an opinion at all. Or if I did, I was lead to believe that what I thought didn't really matter. No one ever said to me "your opinion doesn't matter" (in so many words) - but that is honestly what I believed.

I believed that if I didn't like NKOTB when I was in Grade 5 that the other kids would laugh at me. Sure I had a mad crush on Joey at the time, but I basically started liking their music because everyone else did too.

As I advanced to highschool and my peers became involved and opinionated about politics, pop culture, boy and drugs, I also stayed the course and followed step with what everyone else was doing and saying for fear of standing out or, in the worst possible case scenario, being asked to defend my position on something.

University was more of the same - I became an expert in writing the papers that the professor wanted to read, and giving the answers in class that my T.A.s wanted to hear. Socially I was no better - I went to raves because they were "cool" at the time, wore baggy pants and t-shirts and hung out with the wrong kinds of people - all because I lacked the ability to assert myself.

What I didn't realize about being a lemming, however, is that it had the opposite effect of what I wanted it to. Pretending to be the same as everyone else doesn't make people like you more (as I thought it would), in fact, it makes people like you less because you are no longer an interesting person with your own thoughts and opinions.

Now, those of you reading this are probably thinking that this behaviour is fairly classic. It's just bowing to peer pressure the same way all young people do. But in my case, this "lemming-ness", this desire to jump off a cliff because everyone else was doing it, went far deeper than the standard pressure from others to conform. I was so afraid of being shamed for my opinions, for being me, that I opted not to have any to avoid being chastised for my beliefs. I opted not to have a self because it was easier not to.

I wasn't born with this fear. In fact - if I look at my personality now as my "birthright" personality, I never should have had any problems with a fear of self-expression. I am loud and outspoken by nature. I am a proud person and I love being in the spotlight. I can be brash, but I am also humble and gentle when I need to be. And now I can honestly say that I am not ashamed of any of those traits. But I am still working on honing my abilities to be those things when I need to and want to because every so often the old feelings of fear and embarrassment will creep up on me.

So where did these feelings come from? Quite honestly, they came from being teased by my own parents as a child. I never felt comfortable at home talking about anything that was near and dear to my heart because of how it might be received. I remember my very first school-girl crushes - how tender and vulnerable a young girl's heart is at that point in her life. And how my mother used that for her own amusement with her friends who would then tease me about "being in love" and "who's the boy now?"...I was mortified. I remember shopping for my first bra - almost in a full B cup by the time it happened because I was chubby, and my mother telling me that we were going bra shopping because I was flopping around all over the place when I ran to the car after school. She then bought me 3 bras, wrapped them up like a birthday present and gave them to me to open in front of my family and younger brothers...I was horrified. When I first got my period I was at my babysitter's house for the day and had already endured her telling my younger brothers and her kids why I had opted not to go swimming that day. I had lived through her handing me a diaper-like pad while my brothers and their friends ran around the swimming pool singing "Jenn got her period, Jenn got her period". But the worst came when I finally got up the nerve to tell my mom. My grandmother was in town visiting, and though my mother didn't make the announcement at the dinner table, she may as well have as she hugged me and fussed around me about how I was now "a woman" in front of dad and grandma...I wanted to die.

After puberty, it became about my choices of friends. Always one to choose the outsiders (why not? I was one myself), my mother never approved of who I was hanging out with. They were always too loud, too silly, too immature, or not from the "right side of the tracks". Of course my opinions of my friends never mattered all that much. I was told who I was and wasn't allowed to fraternize with.

There was also my precociousness. My love of language and desire to try new words and phrases. I'm sure many people have experienced the embarrassment of saying the wrong word at the wrong time, or using it where it doesn't belong. But today that is still one of my biggest fears because of being laughed at mercilessly when I made a mistake. It's a wonder I wanted to learn anything at all.

Standard stuff? Maybe. All part of growing up? Sure. But I think it could have been handled differently. Because since all of these things were happening to ME, it would have been nice if I was actually involved in any of it. If my opinions and thoughts and feelings were ever cared about or taken into consideration. If I felt like maybe, just maybe, my life and my deeply personal experiences weren't being used as entertainment for someone else.

So I conformed. I became the same as everyone else. I used the same words, watched the same tv shows and lost my opinions. And I got fat because I also lost the ability to connect with myself. I no longer knew how. I ate in the closet to feel good about myself and because it was the one thing I could control that was my little secret. The one place I didn't have to conform. I didn't have to tell anyone and if I was careful, no one would ever know...except for my expanding waistline.

The only things I was fairly adamant about were:
1. I hated exercise and always would, and
2. I couldn't ever lose weight because I was destined to be fat

So here I sit today, a lot of personal work later, re-learning how to connect with myself, discovering who I really am and caring for that little girl who has been so ashamed and embarrassed in the past - adamant about many things, highly opinionated, blog-writing and bossy (sometimes), and this is what I think:

1. I LOVE exercise - and I will not be embarrassed about admitting that I was wrong about this in the past (even though I know my mother will call me out on my complete distaste of it before - because that is what she does).
2. I can and I will lose the weight. All of it. Because I don't need it anymore.
3. I am an interesting person BECAUSE I have opinions. Like them or lump them, my opinions are part of who I am and therefore they are VALID.
4. I am pro Obama, I like Lady-Gaga but I think she's nuts, and Real Simple is the best magazine on the shelf.
5. Raves are horrid and I never want to attend another one in my life - which is good cause I think that fad is finally over now.
6. Lemmings are cute, but dumb.
7. I will LISTEN to my children - their thoughts, their feelings, their opinions. And I will empathize with their hearts and minds before I make comments that could hurt or shame them.
8. I am still terrified about feeling like I don't know something in a crowd and my first instinct is to nod and say "oh yeah, I like that" or "oh yeah, I know what you're talking about" but I am consciously working on admitting when I don't know something or when I do have an opinion about something.
9. I will be friends with people I like and who like me - regardless of which side of the tracks they come from.
10. Joey is still the cutest New Kid emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WYND10 9/7/2010 1:39PM

    LOVE this. Be your beautiful self. It's glorious to see. And I was always a Jon fan. :)

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ALISSA_SAL 9/1/2010 5:17PM

    Wonderful blog! Very honest and fearless - I especially identified with not wanting to seem like you don't know something in front of a crowd - like the latest band or show or whatever. I was always like that too - "Oh yeah, I love (insert band name that I've never even heard of)!" So silly. Anyway, great job!

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TEENY_BIKINI 9/1/2010 4:35PM

    I just love how you evaluate things and how you get to the heart of the matter and you are so eloquent and fearless.

Keep on singing out loud. I just love it.


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    A fun read! I'm pro-Obama as well... in fact, I think I'm probably the only person in the state of Idaho who voted for him. (In fact, our city became infamous when schoolkids began chanting "kill Obama" on the bus.) When I say something positive about our president, I get looks of horror and the occasional "Don't you realize he's the Anti-Christ prophesied in the Bible?" (Yes, seriously.)

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AFITJULIE 8/31/2010 3:48PM

    It takes a strong individual to do the soul searching you have obviously done and come out stronger for doing it!
I am so impressed by your ability to share this!!

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MMS354 8/27/2010 12:51PM

    Yikes, you had me cringing at those early days. But I'm thinking that all those embarassing moments and tough times have molded you into a really fascinating and strong person. You sound like the kind of girl I'd like to hang out with!

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PAULIGAL 8/26/2010 11:07PM

    Wow. So well put, my friend. Thank you so much for reminding me that as a mother I need to really watch what I say. My oldest is 9 1/2 and she still thinks boys are "icky", but I know puberty and first loves and boobs and training bras are just around the corner. Just one seemingly innocent joke or comment from a parent (or anyone, for that matter) can affect a child for life. I still remember being in Jr. High and struggling with my homework, feeling overwhelmed with everything and WANTING to do well, I just didn't know where to start. So, I just didn't do my homework at all (seriously, I think I had undiagnosed ADD but in the 70's and 80's it was called "lazy"). My Dad, out of frustration, lost his cool one night and called me "stupid". Just one time. I never ever forgot it and for a long time I believed it. I know that he never meant it and he was really proud of me.
So thank you for yet another amazing blog! I will focus on keeping my mouth closed and my ears open when with my children!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDYBRUNO 8/26/2010 10:39PM

    You need to be proud of your opinions and not be ashamed for not thinking the same way everyone thinks. I am pro-Obama too. I was working at a cabinet company when he was running for president. I let everyone know I was voting for him even though everyone else was for McCain. I have always marched to the beat of a different drum so I didn't have a lot of friends in high school. Be pround and loud about who you are. Your opinion counts.

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MYSHERIANN 8/26/2010 7:39PM

    Doesn't it feel GOOD to get these things off your chest!? It's obvious you are DETERMINED to do everything you can for your overall health & wellness. As parents we all make mistake and DON'T even realize it. Some more than others.....Try to have a soft heart and PUSH ON with your awesome goals in life!

My Dad was an alcoholic/abuser, BUT he did spoil us on Christmas and taught us extreme work ethics.....learn from the negative and embrace the positive!

PS- I LOVED NKOTB SO MUCH.....I knew I was going to marry one of them, but I had to break their hearts and marry my husband! emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/26/2010 7:30PM

    So refreshing. You are doing awesome work, inside and out.

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MANLEYSANDY 8/26/2010 7:28PM

    You are really making such wonderful strides. I admire your strength and dedication!

It is almost liked we lived the same life...Not only did my parents not care about my opinions, or what I had to say, my dad's favorite saying was, "put your hands in your lap, put your feet on the floor and shutta your mouth"....If your looked the phrase "Children are to be seen and not heard" in the dictionary, there would be a picture of my parents standing there!!

Number 7 touched me the most, because I vowed, that if I did nothing else as a mother, I wanted to raise a confident child, who did not care what people thought about what he looked like or how loud and silly he was...I listened to everything he had to say as a child (sometimes I tuned him out) but I always cared...He is struggling today with the normal transition to adulthood, he is 22, and he was spoiled, sorry, I can't or won't take that back, but I know when he looks in the mirror he LOVES the person he sees...

Thanks for letting me share in your means a lot to me!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

As a kid I used to HATE Sunday drives. My parents would always load us in the car after church in our Sunday best and then proceed to take the LONG way home. It was the worst. All we ever wanted to do was get out of those stuffy clothes and enjoy our last day of freedom before going back to school on Monday. Driving around, stopping off at the neighbours' place, and visiting were NOT my idea of "good times".

I never really thought that one day I would appreciate the value of a Sunday drive since now it is one of my absolute favorite things to do. It also helps when this is your ride:

1974 Black Corvette "Sting Ray" - it's beautiful. So's the guy who drives it! :) I'd like to say I'm not the least bit materialistic, but I'd be flat out lying. I like things. I really like PRETTY things. And this car is pretty. I didn't fall in love with the scientist because of his car, but when he showed it to me on our third date (after seeing Batman, funnily enough) I knew there was definitely going to be a fourth date - preferably in the car!

Two years later and this car holds a lot of great memories for me - trips to the Dunes, a drive downstate to Springfield, cruisin' along Lake Shore Drive with the top down and seeing the lights of the city. There is NOTHING like driving in a convertible. And the attention we got when we were out driving didn't hurt either. Kids on every street corner would shriek with joy at seeing "The Batmobile", guys would elbow each other and shout "Hey, nice ride man!", and the girls would point us out to their boyfriends, and I always imagined, would wish they were me - cuddled up next to my beau in the front seat. Ah, summer lovin'.

But with the pending move to Germany, the scientist knew that the days with his beloved car were numbered. We went back and forth about whether he should keep it and store it, or ship it back to California to have it live with his parents for a bit. Ultimately, he decided to sell it and posted the add a few weeks ago.

Since my rehearsal hours are picking up and he leaves in another week, he suggested that this weekend we take Saturday and just go driving. I had made other plans for the day, but was happy for the suggestion and agreed that it would be nice to just get out of the city for a bit - so off we went, heading for the Indiana Dunes, hoping to get lost somewhere fun.

It was a great day. If a road looked interesting - we took it. We ended up much further away than we normally go, so decided to keep driving towards the Michigan Dunes. I saw a sign for a store called the "I Love Toy Trains" Store. I thought it looked interesting so we made the turn. Unfortunately, that store was closed, but beside it was this little gem:

Oink's Ice Cream Shop - over 55 flavours and about 10,000 pigs! I got a cup of Mackinaw Island Fudge Frozen Yogurt and the scientist got a waffle cone with the most delicious raspberry ice cream I have ever tasted. We sat inside the air conditioning for a bit and counted the pigs:

Here's a couple of pictures of me and my windblown hair! Riding with the top down is fun, but at high speeds your hair can take a bit of a beating!:

Back in the car again after our little pit stop and headed for the beach. We took some lakefront roads and ogled the HUGE, beautiful houses. Oh to be a millionaire. Massive estates with private beachfront properties. Drool. As the sun started to set, we took off our shoes and dug our toes in the sand for a walk along the beach:

The sun was sinking fast, so we walked out on the pier to sit and enjoy it with the moon rising behind us:

Once the sun was below the horizon, we packed up and headed off the beach for dinner. Found a great local restaurant called "The Stray Dog Bar & Grill" where I got a delicious Greek Chicken Salad - so fresh and so good after our day in the sun.

Our drive home was quiet - we talked for a bit, but it's actually hard to have a good conversation over the hum of the motor and the whipping of the wind in your ears. I think we were both a little lost in thought - him of the upcoming move to a new country I'm sure, me of the last days of summer and the pending end to this really wonderful period in my life. It has been bittersweet in the best of ways and while I am ready to move on, I will miss so many things.

Two years ago, the seat belt in the car was too small to fit around my oversized hips - girls who rode in cars like that in the 1970s weren't a size 26. We never got a seat belt extender for the car since they were hard to find, so I usually just slid down in the bucket seat and hoped we wouldn't get pulled over (I know - so dangerous!). But I vowed that by the time I had to say goodbye to that car, that the seat belt would fit. And this weekend it finally did. I wore the belt the whole time - still a little snug, but on and snapped, nonetheless. I was so proud.

The car sold this morning. Neither one of us could even bear to watch it drive away. We hugged and cried a little in the kitchen while we listened to the sound of the motor drone out down the street. It was his very first car - and at 9 years of ownership, it's the longest relationship he's ever had :) So today is a sad day. And I know if I'm having this much trouble saying goodbye to the car, next Thursday when he leaves is going to be very rough indeed.

Thanks 'Vette. It's been a swell ride.

Damn, I'm going to miss that car...and that man.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VICKYMARIEC 6/30/2011 10:03AM

    First - i had that same shirt but in chocolate. Second - the man and the car are hotties! Third - you live a life (at least from what you've shared so far) that I only wish i had. I know we don't always share everything on here, but regardless of your size you haven't allowed it to hold you back. I cannot wait to keep reading!

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MMS354 8/25/2010 11:17AM

    I love it - great story, great pics - looks like a blast of a day. Sorry for the bittersweet ending. You look so cute! I'm looking forward to hearing your story continue to unfold.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 8/25/2010 12:59AM

    You made me cry!

Three words for you:
You look incredible!

Comment edited on: 8/25/2010 12:59:37 AM

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ZURDTA- 8/24/2010 2:30PM

    Cripes - shivers down the spine - so moving. A truly beautiful day... bittersweet.


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    Awww thanks for sharing!!!! It's always hard saying goodbye, hugs!

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DEBBIELYNN11 8/23/2010 8:53PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing!

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MUSTANGMISSY 8/23/2010 8:41PM

    I know how tough it is. I cried when I traded in my first Mustang. I'm sure there will be another one in your future!

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WYND10 8/23/2010 8:38PM

    Very nice car. Very nice blog. And you made me cry. I am thinking positive, happy thoughts for you and the scientist, and I truly hope you enjoy these last few days together. *hugs*

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SANDYBRUNO 8/23/2010 8:30PM

    I'm sorry you are losing both the car and the man. How unfair is that? Are you keeping in contact? If so maybe someday you will get back together.

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WILDVIOLETS 8/23/2010 7:56PM

    Awww!!!! How sweet, great story! emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/23/2010 6:30PM

    BUT, BUT, BUT ... you get the man in the end, right?

Thank you for sharing your awesome day. You look so happy and this adventure sounds like so much fun. Great photo's too!

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MYSHERIANN 8/23/2010 6:05PM

    Yikes- I'm in tears......What an awesome story. Thank you so much for sharing!!! You look like you had a BLAST! Thank goodness you took pictures! PRESS ON TO YOUR AWESOME FUTURE!!!!

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The Blame

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm going to say something here that might be a little controversial, but I know I'm right, so I'm going to say it anyway:

I am not 100% responsible for my obesity.

Yes, I am the one who snuck cookies into my room as a child, and I am the one who ate two dinners some nights in university because no one was watching, and I am the one who swore from here to Sunday that I would NEVER enjoy exercise because it just wasn't my thing.

But there are MANY other people who have contributed to my weight problems, self-image issues, and food addiction throughout my life - and so I'm taking a stand right here and now to say that THIS IS NOT ALL MY FAULT!

So many of us have heard so many negative comments about us - whether it be the mean-spirited kids on the playground, or the teenage kids at the mall, or even the comment that you weren't meant to overhear from a colleague at work. But the most painful comments are the ones that come from the people we love. The comments that are made "for your own good" or "because we love you". The comments that make you feel guilty for being angry about them because maybe, just maybe they're right. Or maybe they're not. Maybe things are said, actions happen, or the people that you love behave the way they do because they too are hurting and acting out their hurt on us is the only way to make themselves feel better. I've had a lot of that in my life - being the scapegoat at the bottom of the totem pole. But the buck stops here. And here's where I start pointing fingers.

I will preface all of this by saying that I have a wonderful family. My parents are still together after 39 years of marriage. They have loved me endlessly and wholly for each and every one of my 29 years. My living grandparents are still together and have been so supportive of me growing up. My brothers are awesome individuals. I am envious of their awesomeness on a regular basis. My aunts and uncles and cousins are all very close and loving and I miss them so much being a long way away. But my decision to move away was for me. And it's a decision I had to make because living at home (or close to it) was making me very, very sick. I am an incredibly lucky person to have all the love that I have in my life. But until I started making changes for myself, I could not love me - and all of the love in the world from other people will not make up that missing piece.

So here we go: I blame my mother, in part, for my obesity.

I had a very tough phone call with mom last week. When I called I was expecting to talk to my father, so when she picked up the phone I was surprised and unguarded (as I normally have to be to have a conversation with her since she has subtle but powerful ways of getting to me if I'm unprepared). The conversation got into a territory that I am uncomfortable with - she was asking me a lot of personal questions, making vast assumptions about my life in Chicago, and threatening an uninvited and unexpected visit. I was rendered speechless - which doesn't often happen with me. Then the topic of conversation switched, very suddenly, to my upbringing and how well I have managed to do for myself and how amazed she is with me and how well I turned out. She went on to say that I have continuously overcome obstacles and that the majority of those obstacles were from her, since she has opposed most of my bigger decisions in life - my choice of school, my choice of career, my choice of men, and my decision to move to Chicago - she was absolutely, steadfast and firmly against all of them, and voiced her opinions about all of them on a number of occasions throughout my youth. Odd - maybe, but I know at this point that she was fishing for a compliment - wanting me to thank her for my good, solid upbringing - to tell her that all those years of tough love must have paid off. But at this point in the phone call I was, quite frankly, pissed off. So instead of giving her the one thing that she truly desired at that point, I turned the tables back on her and asked if this was her giving me an apology. Now it was her turn to be speechless. She changed the conversation and we finally ended the phone call.

The next day I received an email from her. I only got through the first 2 lines of it before I realized the tone of it and deleted it before it could hurt me any deeper. I should have known better. I knew her reaction to my request for an apology would not go unmentioned again. Of the 2 lines that I did read, she criticized me openly for my audacity to ask her for anything and questioned why her love for 30 years of my life wasn't enough. I never responded. I didn't feel that an email of that tone warranted a response from me. I didn't get the answer from her that I wanted/needed, but in hindsight, I got the one that I expected.

Now without knowing the full context of the relationship between me and my mother, it might be hard for anyone reading this blog to fully understand what the problem is. But ultimately, the point of this blog is not to help anyone understand our relationship. The point of this blog is to understand that I share the blame for being fat. My mother's inability to see me as a complete and separate, individual and whole person from herself has lead me to literally become larger than life just to feel like I exist. She cannot give me an apology for things that have happened in our past because she honestly believes that she has done nothing wrong. But were I a complete and separate, individual and whole being - were I a person that existed outside of her sphere, she would never have done the things to that person that were done to me. She never would have said the things that she has said. And had she done or said those things to that complete and separate, individual and whole person - she would most certainly apologize. My mother is a loving and giving and gracious person. If she knew that she hurt a person the way she has hurt me, she WOULD apologize. But right now, she can not apologize to me, because I am not done becoming a complete and separate, individual and whole person - without her.

That's why I am here. That's why I am working every single day to love and understand and accept myself. That's why I am learning as much as I can and laughing, and crying, and feeling - MY feelings, MY emotions - NOT my mother's. For so many years I have lived FOR her. And I can't do it anymore.

For all the mothers who will read this - PLEASE KNOW - we (your children) love you so hard. We love you enough to sacrifice ourselves when we see that you are unhappy. We love you so much that we will refuse our own natural tendencies if it's something we think you want. We will thrive for you, achieve for you, and flounder with you if you let us. But at some point the child HAS to leave. It is human nature. And it is your job to let us go - as hard as that might be. It doesn't mean we don't love you. It doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt us just as much to sever the ties as it hurts you (though we'll pretend it doesn't). But we need to become our own people, and we desperately need your support to do that. Otherwise, we start to deteriorate. We shrivel up inside and expand outside to make up the difference. We become lonely and timid and start to believe that the only person in the world who loves us and understands us is you - because that is the way you made us.

Though she will likely never read this, I am hoping that some day I will have the courage to have this conversation with my mother. I know that I will not be able to complete my transformation until it happens and that terrifies me. But at the same time, I'm ready. I want her to know how much I love her - even though I already make a point of telling her all the time. I want her to know how bad I feel for her that her own life is so small that she needed to have mine too to feel full. I want her to know how hard it has been for me to systematically pull myself away from her to make myself whole. I want her to know my pain, though I have a feeling she already does and that is why she does the things and says the things she does sometimes. But most of all I want her to know that it's NEVER too late to have what she wants for herself. I wouldn't be who I am today had I not learned from an incredibly talented, beautiful, caring and loving individual like her. I just wish she didn't need me to know that about herself.

I'm done blaming people for today. I'm ready to accept my own responsibility again. After all - my mother never tied me to the dinner table and forced me to eat - I did that all on my own. But she shares in this weight. And knowing that this isn't ALL my fault, makes me feel just that much lighter. It's ok to be angry. We have to get angry sometimes to heal. It's all part of the process. I might blame someone else tomorrow (stay tuned, because I probably will) - but my own tears just from having written this today have cleansed the hurt I was feeling. She's too far away to hug in person - but right now I'm hugging my mother in spirit. And that makes it all better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MMS354 8/25/2010 11:10AM

    Wow. Really powerful blog. And so true! Although my mother issues aren't nearly as extreme as yours, I know EXACTLY what you're going through. Funny, I've been writing a momblog in my head for the last week or so but am too chicken to write it down (for fear of discovery because apparently I'm an 8 year old kid, not a 38 year-old woman - ha ha).

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ZURDTA- 8/24/2010 2:35PM

    I got my own mother issues (which are far more complex and subtle than my father issues) which I am still trying to deal with and understand (I'm 41!) and I have been very careful to NOT put any of that crap onto my own children - although they get it from her too... at least I am there as a buffer and can immediately correct her or put her straight if she strays into guilt/blame/comparison territory.

Thanks for sharing this... parents eh?

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MYSHERIANN 8/22/2010 2:45PM

    Wow- Very deep. I think it's IMPORTANT for one to separate themselves in order to LIVE the life that YOU want and deserve. I hope you surround yourself with support and positive love so you can be ALL YOU CAN!!! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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REDSMARTIE 8/22/2010 12:35PM

    I have no words other than to say thank you.

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PAPAMIKIE 8/22/2010 12:08AM

    I will accept and reject everything you have said!!!

Why to I take such a strange position?

It is quite simple, if we accept complete an sole responsibility for all that happens to us, then we are in the power seat. If we are the entire cause of our unfortunate situations, then we are also the entire solution to them.

If we can pretend that the beginning and the end of our problems lies with in the domain that we control then everything becomes ours own to manage, and at the same time, everything is manageable by us.

If at the same time we can know that we are not solely responsible, and perhaps not even partly responsible, then we can dump any self blame. This is something I learned long ago, we talked about it as “both and/or logic”. It involves being able to hold two opposite and mutually exclusive premises to be true depending on which was going to be effective in a give situation, or for a given goal.

So if we accept that we put on weight, we over eat, we do not do what we know we should do because of our choices, then we can make new choices and decisions, we are suddenly completely powerful. If at the same time we can accept that much of where we have arrived are accidents of genetics and environment, then we will waist little time living in self blame or guilt.

So I start out by accepting and rejecting everything, so I can model a way of thinking that I have learned can be very powerful for outcome generation. If you pretend that everything is your own doing, then you can say, so if that is true, what am I going to do to change it. It is surprising how often this type of think will lead to clear concrete and do able steps to change things.


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TEENY_BIKINI 8/21/2010 11:45PM

    " We shrivel up inside and expand outside to make up the difference." Wow. Just wow. You can write the heck out of a sentence. Speechless....

I get it. I remember asking my mother for an apology after I graduated from college. She couldn't understand why - needless to say, I never got it. Trust me when I say - I so get it.

I am constantly awed by your strength and the sheer power of your beauty and your fierceness. I am awed. Deleting that email is just one example. Go diva - go on with your bad self.

You can do and be and say and think whatever the heck you want and I will support you. That is all.

Battle on!

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JENJESS48 8/19/2010 4:37PM

    Ah, family. Our relationships with them are always complicated. For me it's my dad and not my mom that I have issues with, but I completely empathize. I also commend you on your maturity, ability to recognize the problem, and forgive.

My dad has always played severe favorites with his only son. To the point that he nearly ruined my wedding with it. (Yeah, seriously.) You can imagine my hurt. But talking to him does no good; it's like we're from different planets. My sister, however, knew how angry I was and also has a knack of explaining other people's emotions to my dad. (This can be really tough because he has mild Asburger's.) Her chat worked to the extent that his behavior was impeccable at the wedding reception. That went a long way to healing the hurt. I know he loves me. He just doesn't know how to relate to me. It sounds like that's part of your mom's problem, too.

And yes, we do ultimately have to take responsibility for our own actions. But no one is an island: we live in an interdependent web. Everything we do is informed by other people. So sometimes others have to take part of the blame for our actions or situations. And it's eminently fair to point the finger at your mom.


I'm glad you're feeling better.

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LOTUSFLOWER 8/19/2010 4:05PM

    Thank you for sharing this, as a mom it was important for me to read this, and also as a daughter. emoticon

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MANLEYSANDY 8/19/2010 2:42PM

    I really enjoy reading your blogs. You have such honest insight, and true accountability. What a strong person you are.

You did not even have to explain in detail the nature of your relationship with your mother, because I can totally understand it. All I can say is, love just is not enough. To make a long story short, after a stupid issue with my mother a few years ago, I finally realized that I had to accept her for what she was, what she was and was not willing to give, and what it really takes to be in her good graces. It is sad but I have been waiting for 40 years for her to be something she is never going to be, and once I finally accepted this I felt a so much better. I could go on, and on, but I just can really feel what you are saying, and it is so important to put the pieces of the past together to move on in the future!

Kudos to you, and I look forward to more of your has really helped me!!


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MADEBYMARZIPAN 8/18/2010 10:22AM

    Wonderful blog, as always. I am so IMPRESSED that you deleted that email without reading the whole thing. Considering the sort of power and sway our mothers have over us, it's amazing to me that you had the strength to say "no, I won't let her make me feel that way." And I think you're so brave to have struck out on your own! You've made great strides so just keep moving forward!

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WYND10 8/18/2010 9:36AM

    You're so right Jenn. The people we love can drive the knife in and twist like no others, and usually they have no idea what they are doing. I love that you can place the blame but not let it make you angry or take away the love you have for your mother. This is a beautiful and heart wrenching blog. Thank you for writing it.

I hope that you and your Mom find your way toward understanding together. It might not happen right away, but I think it will happen.

And never forget your beautiful, amazing, talented and holy crap strong.


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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/18/2010 12:43AM

    It's complicated its it?! It doesn't have to be but it is.
I think you said it best here, "But the most painful comments are the ones that come from the people we love."
You're a brave, beautiful, and loving woman. When the time is right speak your mind even when your voice shakes.
I agree, "I am not 100% responsible for my obesity." And some of your childhood, as stated in your blog, reflects so much of mine. Years past, with the help of my wonderful therapist I found my own strength. I found myself and I started to heal. As a child I couldn't cope so I ate & I cried. As an adult I cope & I still cry.

Be you! Do you! Continue to be fabulous and continue to cleanse your heart and soul.


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TANSHAN1 8/17/2010 11:00PM

    Hugs and tears for & with you my dear. I too know this feeling about Momma...I WAS fortunate enough to be able to sit down with her and have the talk that we had needed to have for 24 years...I weighed 29 pounds when I was 9 months old..I had my stomach stapled when I was 14...oh yeah been through every diet & diet system known to man & mother...I finally (like you) realized that it wasn't ALL my fault...I mean, come on, less than a year old and weighing almost 30 pounds...we got a lot straightened out that wasn't a simple one or two hour talk...lots of crying and contemplating between sessions of baring our souls and each of us placing and taking blame.
I applaud you for your courage..I know how much it takes to stand up to your parents...even when it is right & necessary. My angels be upon you and continue to guide your words, thought and deeds.

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SANDYBRUNO 8/17/2010 8:28PM

    I totally get where you are coming from. My relationship with my mother was much the same. I never truly understood her until about 5 years before I lost her. I took her in after my father died and she lived with us for about 10 years. My mother never learned how to drive so I didn't want to leave her living alone. Hopefully someday you and your mother will develop a relationship but it takes a long time to get over the pain.

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YOGAGIRLNH 8/17/2010 8:21PM

    I, too, have had issues with my mom, so I can definitely understand where you're coming from. Concentrate on taking care of yourself--treat yourself with as much kindness as you would treat those you love. emoticon

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DIANNED4 8/17/2010 7:03PM

  I think you should print this blog and sit down with your mom and have a heart to heart. My mom is 82 and she deep fried everything. She did not push to eat the veges. Dad (God rest his soul) has been gone now for 5 years. Every Friday night he would stop at the store and buy soda, icecream, candy bars. His treat to us! Did they know they were teaching us bad habits, no they thought they were loving us. My mom was taught how to cook the way she did by her mom. I don't blame them one bit. I grew up overweight, had no friends, no self-esteem, quit high school. No childhood sweethearts. It wasn't until I went and got my GED at 17, my drivers license and my first job, that I realized on my own that I was a somebody and then took control of my body. Sure I've had ups and downs, gained weight way to many pounds when I was pregnant for my son. I'm not going to blame him because I ate to many oreos. But, again it was I who faced the fact that I am in control of my life and only I can fix anything about myself that I'm not happy with. Through my life I've openly spoke to my mom and although there were times of negativity from her, we still kept open lines of communication - if she was negative I would tell her how I felt. Sometimes mom's say things they don't realize are hurtful and are really just trying to help. I've found sometimes I do the same with my own son and have to step back and apologize and explain how much I love him and that I just worry about him. So, again, I say have a heart to heart with mom. I wish you both much happiness as mom and daughter.

Comment edited on: 8/17/2010 7:06:14 PM

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