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.
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.
Monday, August 16, 2010
As a reward for starting my C25K Training, I bought myself a whole set of new measurement items last week. I got a brand new scale (ooh, shiny), a brand new food scale (ooh, sexy) and a brand new tape measure (ooh, slick). I couldn't wait to bust out my new equipment, and in my daytime fantasies before I accepted delivery of these items, I had imagined myself stepping on that new, shiny scale and seeing a nice low number - the new scale's gift to me for buying it.
Such was not the case. As I cracked the casing and pulled off the plastic, the new scale flashed its bright blue display at me...why hello there. I calibrated it, stepped on, and...saw a number I haven't seen in over 3 weeks now - 283. Sad face new scale, I thought you were going to be my friend!
Now granted I did have my first non-tracking day EVER this past weekend. Saturday we had a yard sale, so I trucked boxes outside in the morning, then went to Zumba, then sat outside and moved things around all day, then packed it all away once we were done. By the time dinner rolled around I realized that I had only eaten brunch that morning and we were both STARVING. It was also our two year anniversary this weekend, so we went to try out a Cuban restaurant that we'd been meaning to try for a few weeks now. I ordered fish and rice, the scientist ordered ribs, and we both ordered a couple of margaritas each. Now even though the margaritas hit me like a ton of bricks on a relatively empty stomach and after a day in the heat, and even though I consumed my own meal and a good, big "taste" of his ribs, I really can't imagine that the damage I did that day (less all the exercise I did this weekend) could have packed on 5+ pounds.
Unfortunately, I don't have my old scale to do a side-by-side comparison either. Anxious to bid that sucker bye-bye (I was having issues with it being consistent anyway) I sold it in the sale for a measly $3 not thinking I would need it to compare anything.
So I'm going to accept that the new scale is weighing in approximately 5 pounds heavier than the new one. Fine. What I'm not going to accept is that number as a gain this week. I still have 2 days until my official weigh-in day. I may push weigh-in this week to Friday just to give myself another 2 days, but I highly doubt that even then it will say 274.2 (my last weigh-in number). This morning it was down to 279 - so thankfully I am NOT in the 280s, now or EVER AGAIN.
Regardless of the scale, I have lost over 35 pounds. That number is real. So I think what I'll do is take my number (either this Wednesday or this Friday) and record it as a missed weigh-in week, and suck up the possibility of a loss this week (I feel lighter!) and then adjust my starting weight to compensate, keeping my loss at 35.8. Unless, for some miraculous reason I end up lower than 274 by Friday - which COULD happen, though it's unlikely.
The good thing is that I finally have a scale that works and comes HIGHLY recommended. Most of the reviews on it even said that it was accurate to within .2 pounds of the scale at the doctor's office. Bonus. Nothing like going to the doctor thinking that you lost 20 pounds and have their scale only register 2!
So 270s, we meet again. I guess we'll be hanging out for a little longer than anticipated. That's cool. I can roll with that. But I have to let you know that I'm not planning on staying at your party much longer...cause the 260s have some sweet diggs down the street and I have an itch to go check them out!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
It is THE HOTTEST DAY EVER in Chicago today. I'm on lock down in my office in the air conditioning. I need to go home soon, but I don't even want to step foot outside right now. But all I can think about is running.
To my surprise, I got a message in my Spark inbox today from LOTUSFLOWER (Kathy) www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.as
p?id=LOTUSFLOWER - also from here in Chicago. She was inviting me to run the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race with her on November 6th.
The email exchange went something like this:
KATHY: I really want to run this one, although I've never run a 5k in November, I've heard it's easier than in the summer...I wanted to pass this along in case you wanted to run with me, or meet up, etc.!
Hot Chocolate 15k/5k
November 6, 2010
ME: Oh my gosh - my heart just started to race even reading that! Could I really do it? I don't know!!! I wasn't planning on signing up for any races until NEXT race season, but November could be doable...
Serendipitous really, but I got a seat on the bus yesterday with a copy of Chicago Athlete magazine sitting in it talking all about the Chicago Triathlon and I just ate it up - I am SO ready to be at the point where I can train but I'm trying to go easy on myself and not try to tackle this running thing too fast.
Let me think about it. I'm kind of excited - and I'd love to meet up and run with you!!!
KATHY: Well I totally think you could do it, but I understand wanting to wait until the next race season, too. If you started C25K this month, or even next month, you'd have 6 weeks to train - there's about 11 weeks until the race.
When I did my first 5k I was exactly 4 weeks out from the race, so I knew I wouldn't be done with C25K, but I ran all but 30 seconds of that race. Then I just finished my second one last week and ran the whole thing, due to my busy work schedule I still have one more session of C25K to run before I technically "graduate".
Just think it over and let me know, I'm 99% sure going to sign up for it, but am ready to run with you whenever YOU are ready. You know your body best. I'll be here for you to motivate you, inspire you, run with you, and cheer you on whenever you are ready.
ME: I just finished Week 1 of C25K actually, so I've already started, but I know because of the heat and my schedule I'm going to repeat Week 1 again until I feel like I've had a "good" run. I'm only running 2 days a week right now because of my swim and Zumba schedule as well. But when I read comments of other people who have started and can only get through 2 of the 8 intervals, I feel really good about where I am. I'm heavier than I wanted to be when I started, but I have been able to run all 8 intervals from the first day. Just worried about upping those intervals to more than 60 seconds right now!
I think I SHOULD sign up for it. It's 12 weeks away, so even if I repeat a couple of weeks, I could still do it. And so what if I have to walk part of it? I'd still be doing it. Plus - running my first race right before the end of race season will only make me that much more pumped to start next year! AND it's called the Hot Chocolate 5K...haha - yes please!
I think I'll do it. Eek! So what do I do - just email the address and request a sign up?
KATHY: Yaay! You CAN do it. You are doing awesome already with C25K. I SO want to try Zumba, there's a class at my gym, I've been a bit intimidated by it...I need to just try it.
I could only run 2x a week and sometimes 1x a week, but it's so worth it. You are doing awesome!
Here's the direct link to register for the 5k. AND you get a very cute chocolate brown sweatshirt!
I'm going to sign up today too! I run pretty slow, a 12 min. mile pretty much. We can always start off together and see what happens!
ME: OK - signing up right now! I think I decided to run it BECAUSE of those "Will run for chocolate" sweaters we get! Super cool. I have no idea what I run, so I just put in 12 min mile - hopefully I'll get there by that point.
Here's the deal - I sign up to run the 5K with you and you take the Zumba class! It's SO much fun. Well - I lie a bit there - it's a big ass kicking, but I love my instructor and I SWEAT like nobody's business, so I think that somehow equates to fun :)
So there you have it - 2 Chicago ladies, 2 challenges - I run the 5K with her, she goes to the Zumba class at her gym. Isn't this FUN??? We're going to need lots of support, so be sure to drop by her page and give her some Zumba love. And anyone who wants to come run with us in Chicago - the more the merrier! I even have room at my place if people want to come in from out of town! I'm all about making this an EVENT!
Ahhhh! I just signed up for a 5K!!! Holy crap. I'm a runner. I AM DOING THIS!!! Just not today on the hottest day of the summer! Today is for air conditioning and rest. Training starts tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
First and foremost, this is a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the wonderful Done Girls who have wished me continued success and who support me endlessly every day! Being Done Girl of the Day is an absolute honour and one of which I am very proud!
It wasn't an easy start to the day, but I successfully finished W1D3 of C25K! There will absolutely be a W1D10 at this point, but hey - I made it to 3 and that's what's important right now. It really was too humid to run this morning - almost 100% humidity at 7:30am. Holy crap Batman. My face was so red when I came inside to the air conditioning I thought I looked like an overgrown cherry tomato. But I survived and was then gifted with an amazing show of support from all of my wonderful friends.
Today I am also saying GOODBYE to one of my 2 student loans. I have officially paid off a $10,000 loan and I am SO EXCITED about that. That in and of itself feels like a 100 pound weight has been lifted. Only one more to go and I will have complete financial freedom! Something I have never felt since leaving home.
This looks like it's going to be my year. I have made so many personal advancements in my health, my wealth and my spirit. Look at me go! I really feel like the sky is the limit at this point. I have goals and ambitions and positivity in my life. And though things aren't perfect all the time, I don't feel as though the struggles are as bad as they were before I found Spark and started making all these life changes. When I think of what my life will look like a year from today I get excited. There are so many wonderful things in store and I can wait to experience each and every one of them - losing 100 pounds, paying off the second loan, starting to save for a house and a car, advancing in my career, shopping in regular sizes, running my first 5K, maybe 10K?...the list goes on and on.
Thank you - ALL of you, who are following me, cheering me on, supporting me and making this journey fun and enjoyable!
But I also want to thank ME for believing in myself. It's not easy to do sometimes, but when I look over my shoulder at the road behind me, it makes all of this SO worth it!
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