Thursday, November 25, 2010
After a momentary panic this morning (I received a text message from Orbitz at 5:30am to tell me that my flight for today had been rescheduled to tomorrow!) I am currently sitting at my gate waiting to board a 747 to Frankfurt, en route to Berlin!
The airport is fairly quiet - it being a big national holiday and all, but it's fun sitting in the presence of German nationals (I'm sure) listening to them speak in a different language...except the language that I hear right now is actually French, so I'm feeling very international!
It's been over a year since my last big trip to Paris, and a 65 pound weight difference. Right off the bat, I can feel the change - and I know this trip is going to be even better because of it. I actually feel kind of svelte in my tight black yoga pants, running shoes and hoodie.
After getting my flight switched this morning, I was set to depart a full 2 hours earlier than I had originally planned, so that meant moving QUICK to get out of my house and still get done all the things that I needed to before I left. Running up and down the stairs for some last minute laundry, dishes, clean the cat litter, change the bed. By the time I dragged my suitcase out the door and breathed a sigh of relief I realized that I had barely broken a sweat. Amazing. That wouldn't have happened last year.
On and off the train with heavy bags didn't seem as much of an issue this time. And as I rolled up to the check-in I took just a second to recognize that hauling all of my stuff through the airport wasn't nearly as terrible an experience today. I wasn't out of breath, I wasn't sweating or exhausted - if fact - I was rather comfortable. Awesome!
I made it through security so fast that I forgot about the half bottle of water in my bag - so to ensure that I drink my limit today I chugged it before walking through the scanner. They let me through with my yogurt for my lunch, thankfully, and once I was through I located the Great American Bagel for a sandwich. Everything according to plan I made it to my gate to relax with some food pre-flight. The next time I eat will be on the plane and I've figured that I have just enough calories left for my in-flight meal and a glass of wine.
The waiting area seats are the same size that I remember, but this time I can sit cross-legged in one seat and have room on MY LAP for my sandwich - and now my laptop. I couldn't be more thrilled. So many NSVs in one day already, I can't wait to experience more!
The airplane seat and the belt are to come, but I know that those won't be an issue today. I can finally cross that goal off my list - no more seat belt extensions!
Happy Travels indeed :) More to come from Germany. We just started boarding so I'm signing off for now.
Happy T-Day Spark Friends. Auf Weidersehen!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tomorrow, while the rest of America will be gorging on turkey and watching football, I will be peeling the plastic wrap off of my pre-packaged in-flight dinner and cracking the twist top on my tiny bottle of airplane wine...and I couldn't be more excited!
I'm excited about my trip, but I'm also excited that I get a by tomorrow - a free pass out of having to worry about over-indulging on turkey and stuffing and family drama. I am breathing a sigh of relief just thinking about it.
But I'm nervous too. I'm worried about gaining weight while I'm there which I REALLY don't want to happen. And everyone knows that Thanksgiving is only ONE day, while a trip to the carb capital of the world is going to last exactly 18 days. Pretzels, beer and brautwurst anyone?
My weigh-in today was not a good one. I was really hoping to see 245 before I left, and especially after I accomplished my other goal of a 4 mile run before I left yesterday, I thought I was due for at least a pound loss this week. But no such luck. I was actually up 0.4 pounds (I don't record gains on my ticker though, so now it just gets to hang out at 66.2 pounds lost for another 3 weeks...ugh). I have a feeling I know the culprit - that home made lentil soup that I made over the weekend and have been eating for lunches all week packs a HUGE amount of sodium AND fiber into one bowl, so despite an increase in water consumption this week, I just don't think it's enough and I'm hanging onto some water weight. Either that or I could also have estimated the calories wrong on the Recipe Calculator. Whatever it is - I didn't get my loss this week and that doesn't put me in the best mind frame to leave on vacation where we'll be eating out 3 meals a day.
So I need a plan for Germany to stay on track and enjoy myself without freaking out about a serious weight gain on the scale when I come back.
I already know that I am taking my food scale with me so that whenever possible I can measure what I'm eating. I should be able to do this for breakfasts and lunches since breakfast is included in all of our hotels and I plan to take away a few items from the buffet to pack as snacks or a light lunch that I can measure.
Stick to what I know! Yes, the breakfast buffets may be appealing, but I know what's in oatmeal, yogurt and an apple or other piece of fruit, so keep it simple for breakfast and lunch so that I can indulge a bit at dinner and not worry so much.
I'm actually nervous that I won't be able to find enough veggies in Germany. I know that's got to be just a wise-tale. People over there HAVE to eat fruits and vegetables - it's just not what you hear about the traditional dishes besides their love of cabbage. So if I have to, I will go to a market and buy some baby carrots to pack in my bag to ensure that I get enough freggies a day!
WATER! I'm packing my water bottle and I'm planning on using it! At least 10 glasses a day since we'll be walking a lot as well and will need replenishment.
And speaking of walking - WALKING! A lot. About 8 miles a day if I can. Which shouldn't be hard since most of what we have planned are walking tours. And also RUNNING! I have decided that I need to get at least ONE run in around the Tiergarten in Berlin. Cause that's just awesome. And I can map my route on SparkPeople. And that is also awesome! I already have my running gear packed. And finally HIKING! We have a day planned to hike Zugspitze (the highest point in the Bavarian Alps) and that's going to be such an amazing day. Just hoping we don't get snowed out!
Beer is going to happen - I'm in GERMANY! But it doesn't have to happen more than once a day, or even once every couple of days. I'm not used to drinking anymore anyway, so one stein will likely have me on the floor! I'm just going to use my best judgment if I want a drink and weigh it in with the rest of what I'm eating for dinner.
Stay away from the bread basket! This is going to be REALLY hard because bread is my favorite, and rye and pretzel bread are my favorite of the favorite. But I'm going to be consuming enough other carbs, so I don't need to go crazy and puff up like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I won't deny myself what's worth it, but GO EASY!
Log In to Spark every day! You, dear friends, are going to get the benefit of my travel log :) I've decided that I want to keep a blog of my daily adventures anyway, and what better place to do it while keeping myself on track? So I'll be signing in as much as I possibly can to track, post photos and blog about my travels to keep myself accountable and to document my own vacation.
So a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you! I wish you all the best of holidays with just the right amount of yummy food, and plenty of exercise. I'll be thinking about all of you while I'm thousands of miles away - because you are what keeps me grounded and on track on my journey - near or far. I am so thankful to have all of you in my life!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Over the past few weeks I have turned into the biggest blubber-butt ever. And I'm not talking about fat, because thankfully, my booty continues to shrink - woohoo!
I'm talking about being an emotional mush bucket. For a person who has walled-up her emotions for most of her existence into this tough exterior, believing that to cry (especially in public) was a sign of weakness, I sure have turned a new leaf. The floodgates have opened my friends. Be careful what you say, because if it reeks at all of sentiment, you might set me off.
I cry at EVERYTHING now. Sheesh. Not only am I shedding my physical layers of emotional protection so that these raw feelings are closer to the surface, but we have also entered THAT time of the year in which it is the American Way and the goal of every marketing company known to exist to pull at the heartstrings of poor little people like me. Pass the Kleenex.
Christmas is a VERY emotional time of the year for me from the get-go. I was born into it. My birthday is December 23rd, and I was born at 11:49pm so I was ALMOST a Christmas Eve baby. I popped out of the womb crying "Carol of the Bells" - I'm sure of it. They brought me to my mother wrapped in a stocking and wearing a tiny knit hat (that she still has pressed between the pages of my baby book). There is so much "special" in my life rolled into a 3-day window every year, that I can't help but get a little verclempt when the first chill of winter hits the air.
And while we're on the subject of my mother, let me also mention that she is OBSESSED with Christmas. When she was still a stay-at-home mom, she made a crafting business for herself by selling hand-made Christmas decorations. I remember all too well helping her in her shop. She would have me hold up two fingers to help her tie tiny red bows, since my little pinkies were just the right size. Forget Christmas in July - it was Christmas in my house 365 days a year. Years later, after she went back to work full time, she insisted on hosting the extended family every year since she was the only one with children at the time and it wouldn't feel like Christmas any other way. I became accustomed to lavish party after lavish party with both sides of our family and a number of family friends. Christmas always lasted a week at least and culminated on New Year's Eve when all our neighbours would join my family around our player piano and sing songs late into the night. Nowadays, mom has switched to insisting that she DOESN'T want to host Christmas every year and how much she wishes that someone else would step up and take the responsibility. I hate to tell her that the real reason no one does is because we all know how much it would break her heart if she were stripped of the annual duty. The planning and prepping and baking and fretting about every little detail have become so much a part of the person she is, that without it she would seem sad and broken. That can't be an easy existence. Living your life for Christmas. Every year I watch her wind up like a top, and every year I watch her deflate when it's all over. It's like the most depressing movie you've ever seen. And for 25 years of my life I have tried to avail her of some of that burden. I would wind up with her. Spin through the appetizers, and the Christmas crackers, and the presents and music and guests and dishes. And every year I would eat more and drink more and sink myself into the same depression when the party was over. I lived my life for Christmas too. Until I started seeing my therapist and coming to terms with the fact that Christmas for me is a big mixed bag of hope and hurt. Every year I hope for it to be something that it never turns out to be and every year I walk away a little more hurt.
Last year, in a fog of a feeling that I hadn't really experienced before, I baked 8 different kinds of Christmas cookies. Just me, in my apartment, by myself - I laboured for hours on shortbreads, and nut bars, and gingerbread and peanut butter bon bons. All of the same cookies that my mother makes every year (though I stopped at 8 variations, when she typically does at least 14). I ended up with about 10 cookie platters. A couple I brought to work. A couple of gave to friends. But at the end of the day I still had about 5 plates that I ended up eating all by myself well into the New Year. It wasn't until later that I started talking about my feelings and beginning to understand why I needed to make those cookies. Even though I consumed most of them, the real reason I made them was not in an effort to binge, but in an effort to love. Those cookies to me WERE love. And last year when the seasons turned and my emotions started coming to the surface I needed that love to get me through the intense loneliness. I needed my mom - and baking all of her cookies was, at that point, as close as I could get.
This year I am not baking cookies. I'm not decorating, and I have sworn off television for the time being since every dang commercial that even hints at bells and snow makes me cry. But I can't avoid Christmas. And being that this year is my 30th birthday, I can't avoid that either. So I am coming to terms with the fact that I'm a blubber-butt for holiday sentiment. I just returned from the opening night of my theatre company's annual production of Miracle on 34th Street. I literally walked in the doors of the theatre and started welling up. There's something about the sight of red and gold ribbon that creates a perpetual lump in my throat. And I can't hear "I'll Be Home for Christmas" without bawling like a baby. I am intrinsically linked to Santa Claus and Frosty The Snowman and I don't know if that is ever going to change.
But what I can change is how I deal with my emotions and the yearly pull to drown them in a vat of eggnog (with rum please). I know now that I am lonely. Everyone is at some point in their lives. And though food is and has been my friend in times of need, it's not really going to help me in the New Year when Christmas is back in a box. The January blahs will still exist, and there will always be Christmas again next year. And as much as it sucks to pop the balloon on Christmas, it IS true that Christmas happens every year, so why must we continually live it up year after year as though it's our last day on the planet? Eat, drink and be merry? Or eat, drink and be sorry later.
So this year - bring on the tears. I'll cry every day if I have to. What I'm not going to do is soak up those tears for the loneliness that we all feel around the holidays and the great expectations that they bring with fruit cake, or shortbread, or venison tortiere (my absolute holiday favorite). This year I am making a pact to be honest with myself and honest with my family about my emotions. Because they're not ALL about loneliness. Honestly, most of them are happy tears. Christmas with my family is a joyous and wonderful time (I'm crying writing this, just so you know). It is warm, and inviting, and delicious. It smells of all of the things Christmas should smell of - a fire in the hearth, food in the oven, spiced cider on the stove, pine trees and berries and my grandmother's perfume. So if I get a little emotional at the overwhelming spirit of it all, I think that's only normal. And it's my plan this year to let it all out. Cry, love and tell my whole big, happy, crazy, annoyingly wonderful family just how happy I am to be home.
A phrase we hear often in the theatre while rehearsing a play:
Now once more; with feeling!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
And I blew the number out of the water one week early!
On September 28th I set out to destroy the memory of my last attempt at Weight Watchers with my new found love of SparkPeople.
At 265.4 pounds I was exactly the same starting weight as I was when I joined WW in 2005 - a last ditch attempt to get some control over my life that was in a downward spiral. I was in a new city, depressed, in the middle of a divorce, with no friends or family for support. For 25 weeks I yo-yoed up and down around that starting number, never getting a solid foot on the ground the whole time. At the lowest point, I weighed 249.2 pounds before ballooning back up to 259 pounds by the time I gave up and quit.
The challenge this time was to get to that lowest weight by the time I left for Germany (9 weeks in total), at which point, I would tear that old WW weigh-in book to little shreds and burn it in effigy - removing it and the memory of that horrible time in my life completely.
Well - I haven't gotten to the burning part yet - I'll take pictures of it smouldering on my BBQ tonight, but as of today I AM DONE with that challenge!!!
In 8 weeks I have gone from 265.4 pounds to 246.8 pounds! I surpassed my own challenge by a whole 2.4 pounds!
But that means I'm already well underway for the next challenge. It's another WW challenge (and I think it's only fair that I call it the WW2 Challenge - take that how you will). The WW2 Challenge is the "Weight Watcher Wedding Weight Challenge" and dates back to the summer of 2002 when I joined Weight Watchers yet again to lose weight for my wedding. I was successful that summer in losing 28 pounds, putting me solidly at 230 pounds on my wedding day. Enter the honeymoon though and by the time I returned home I had already gained back 8 of those pounds that I lost and it only went up from there.
Since I am already half way to the finish line for this challenge (my weights from both challenges overlapped in the middle) I only have about 17 pounds left to lose. Score! So I'm setting my goal date a little closer this time to stay motivated through my trip to Germany and the busy Christmas season. By New Year's Eve of this year, I want to be done with this challenge. That's only 6 weeks and means I have to lose almost 3 pounds a week. I'll be honest - I'm not optimistic about those stats - my weight loss is going to slow down - I'm going on vacation, I'm doing a lot of traveling, and I have to go home to face my family (ALL of them) whom I haven't seen since I started this journey. But maybe this challenge will keep me motivated and on task. (And really, setting an arbitrary date in the middle of January - which is probably when I'll more likely hit this goal - just isn't as special as going for the gusto on New Year's Eve!)
New Year/New Me - and another book to burn and more memories to set aside. This is an emotional challenge, just like the WW1 Challenge was. Through this challenge I'll be sorting through old wedding pictures, deciding what to keep and what to throw away. My wedding dress is sitting in a box in my living room right now. I want to put that sucker on one more time, take some pictures, and then give it away or sell it if I can. As much as my prior marriage is a part of who I am today, I'm ready to move on from it in every way - and that means parting ways with the mementos. Freeing up closet space, and brain space, and emotional space for what is only to come - which at this point, can ONLY be good :)
Here are the official numbers from my WW1 Challenge (for those of you who like to count):
Start Date: September 28, 2010
End Date: November 17, 2010
Start Weight: 265.4
Week 1: 264
Week 2: 262
Week 3: 260
Week 4: 258
Week 5: 255
Week 6: 254
Week 7: 252
Week 8: 247! (holy crap, thanks TOM)
End Weight: 246.8
Total Weight Lost: 18.6 pounds
Total Weight Lost To Date with SparkPeople: 66.2 pounds!
Inches Lost: 15.5"
Waist - 3.5"
Hips - 2.5"
Bust - 2.5"
Arms - 1" each
Thighs - 1" each
Calves - 1" each
Neck - 1"
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Despite the fact that when I was born I weighed "eight pounds, two and a half ounces" - a weight that has been drilled into my head as being HUMONGOUS for a baby in those days (I had a big head and gave my mother an especially long and arduous labour which she won't ever let me live down), I have also been referred to for most of my life as "tiny".
It is true that in my adult life, the tallest I'm ever going to be is 5'2" (if I'm lucky). I know I'm probably going to get shorter from here on out - my grandmother is shrinking as we speak and now stands at a mere 4'9". My mother and I stand about the same height, though I think at times, she might have a fraction of an inch on me. I'm little. And now, I'm getting even smaller.
Mom loves to talk about when I was 3, how I was just "a little slip of a thing" - so tiny, so delicate. I was a dancer, I was active, and I was a beautiful child. I can say it - I was frickin CUTE - I hope that my kids look like I did when I was young, unless the man I marry is even cuter than I was - hehe.
But then the weight gain started. And people stopped calling me tiny. They would still call me beautiful, but let's be honest - calling someone beautiful who is grossly overweight always seems to come with a caveat. And it becomes harder and harder to hear and to believe. I was still short, but I was no longer "sleight" or "delicate" or "petite". I grew to be wider across than I was up and down. And I lost my "tiny".
Instead I became known as "larger than life", "boisterous", "big", "powerful" - and to get things done I really knew how to "throw my weight around". I began to identify with that. I began to make excuses for the fat - I needed the fat to be present in a room. I needed the fat to get noticed, to be someone, so that I wouldn't be a shrinking violet. The fat became a good thing because it made me powerful. It showed everyone who was boss. Don't cross me or I might sit on you, or worse - I might eat you. Ridiculous, but who's going to argue with the fat chick?
Yesterday in the office my co-worker and I were talking about running as we now so often do. She paused for a minute, looked at me really hard and said "You know, I never really noticed how TINY you really are. I guess because you were..." she trailed off, but I completed the sentence for her - "So very, very big" I said. "Yeah," she said "I just assumed that you were bigger and taller than you really are. You're tiny." "And I'm getting tinier!" I said back. We both laughed.
Tiny. I've missed that word. I like that word. Just because I'm tiny doesn't mean I can't be powerful. Being tiny doesn't make me less of a person. In fact, being tiny in this case makes me more of a person. For so many years I have needed the weight to literally give me a space in the world. But bit by bit, as the weight comes off, I'm learning that I'm not really shrinking. The ME inside is not shrinking. She's still loud, and boisterous, and big, and larger than life, without the over-sized exterior. But what's really great is that she can also be timid, and meek, and quiet, and personal if she wants to be, without the fat to get in the way of that.
I'm re-claiming my "Tiny". I can't wait to be REALLY tiny. Because "tiny" is not a reflection of the person I am inside, it's just the super cute and fabulous package that it comes in.
Get An Email Alert Each Time KITHKINCAID Posts