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Is 31 too old to still have tantrums?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Is it ironic that I have been trying to be more positive lately (like even about bad/annoying stuff), have a positive outlook, and this morning basically took a giant crap on my head?

I think maybe it is, but I don't feel like looking up the definition of ironic. I do know most of the stuff in the song by Alanis Morrisette isn't ironic, just unfortunate.

Isn't it unfortunate? Don't you think?

On the one hand, I want to stick to my keep your chin up, think positive, complaining never solved anything plan. On the other hand I want to complain SO HARD.

It's all just a bunch of individual little stuff, but also largely I am way too busy so I am stressed and anxiety ridden about it. You know how you can handle 1-2 little things that go wrong, but when 150 go wrong it's more like one huge thing...

Also it's officially time to admit that my hip hurts. It has been hurting on and off, but this morning I actually stopped my run way before the halfway point. I COULD HAVE done more, but I felt like, if I push myself today I could potentially hurt myself badly enough to miss my race in 2 weeks. I should really see a physical therapist, find out what's actually wrong with it, and learn some exercises to make it better.

You know. In my COPIOUS FREE TIME.
I can't even.

ARGH.

I will leave out the 20 page rant on how much I hate my new employer chosen worst health insurance plan EVER so I don't know if I can even find a doctor in a 57 mile radius that I can see without paying double up front and signing in blood...

Blah blah blah I'm lucky to have insurance blah blah blah should be grateful blah blah blah every day is a gift blah blah blah...

In summary, I'm a jerk, and I'm crabby for lots of reasons, but the main one is my work to-do list is making me want to quit the job I used to love, and I will probably have to work 12 hour days for a couple weeks to actually accomplish everything (First World Problems!) and BEST OF ALL I'm being denied the ability to say "at least I had an awesome run today," why bother functioning, the end.


Amazingly this has not caused me to go off the rails with food. Because comfort food is for sadness, and I am so, SO mad.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENCANTA 10/16/2012 11:05AM

    I'm genuinely hoping your Tuesday is starting off better than your Monday. If not, feel free to tantrum in my general direction. Yes, I've turned it into a verb now.

Everyone is entitled to be crabby once in a while. This does not make you a jerk. However, venting in a blog and not emotionally eating does mean that you have incredible coping mechanisms. :applause:

Also, whenever I was stressing out (and I can stress hardcore, man) at work or about work, the serenity prayer would become my mantra. Which was weird for 2 reasons: I'm not religious at all whatsoever, and it wasn't till I had been chanting it over and over in my head for a few months when my mother told me it was the prayer used in AA groups. It was amusing to me at the time, what can I say? I just think having a mantra in stressful times at work isn't so different from repeating words to oneself during a workout. Like Dory in Finding Nemo! "Just keep swimming."

Hang in there girly!!!



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JUMPINJULIE 10/15/2012 3:12PM

    I'm so sorry you are having a hard time. I have a quote in my room on a plaque by winston churchill and it states: if you are going through hell keep going. Sorry for swear. I hope that brings a smile to your face anyway. emoticon

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LEB0401 10/15/2012 1:58PM

    OMG... are we the same person????????????

I've titled today "Murphy's Monday" because EVERY.THING.IS.GOING.WRONG.
1. Did not turn crockpot "ON" last night so woke up to raw oatmeal swimming in room temperature milk... no bfast!
2. Alarm did not go off, woke up 30 mins late
3. Bf did not make coffee, feed dogs, or let them out bc he was running late as well
4. Raining and thundering outside so it took double the time to get the dogs to actually go outside and poop!
5. Boss's Day is tomorrow so I had to shell out $30 on a stupid made up holiday lest I look like the ungrateful employee
6. Now I have to awkwardly give my boss said gift and not make it creepy [have you figured out yet I'm socially inept and ruin every situation with my natural freakazoidness??]
7. Coworker is annoying me, nothing unusual, just not in the mood for it.
8. Huge reporting package is due today and color printer decided to cop a 'tude. EFF IT ALL!!


uggggggggggh I could SCREAM!!!!!!



Also.. my left hip has always done this weird popping thing, and it intensified when I run. Are you my long lost twin?

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SENIMMO 10/15/2012 1:16PM

    We are never too old for a well deserved tantrum. Venting is good for you. We've all had days where we've wanted/needed to yell and scream and pull our (someone else's) hair out. Eventually those feelings go away and we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back to what we need to do.

I think you made a very good call not pushing yourself with the run. Find out what is causing the problem, make sure it isn't something serious. I know having a good workout is important, but your long-term health is more important. And you have an event coming up that's important to you. Be careful.

I hope you are feeling better, and if not- throw a bigger fit emoticon it might help. emoticon emoticon

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CREEKLADY1 10/15/2012 1:08PM

  Hang in there...it always gets better...lol....

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Running. and post-vacation update.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Running;

Today there was no Wall.

No fighting, pushing, reminding. No

"Just finish this song."

"Just one more minute."

"I know I can do a little more."

No inch by inch until the end.


Today there was only joy.


Just a voice that said Yes

FASTER



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Sometime soon I'll go back to my journal & how I got here with running. It's so strange to me now, to see where I started versus where I am.

I didn't run at all on vacation - we were too tired at night, and too eager to get going each morning. But I did WALK. and WALK AND WALK AND WAAAAAAALK. I estimate that except for the days we were traveling on planes, and the day we took a train tour, we walked 5-8 hours a day. Some was slow walking (walking around in a museum) but we also hiked all over cities, and hiked through woods on a mountain, and up huge hills. It was crazy, and fun.

There was one moment - the nice part is, I can't remember exactly when it happened anymore - but I remember one moment feeling fat and out of shape and cranky with myself. But I just reminded myself that it would have been a very different trip six months ago. Before I lost 25 pounds and started running.

Mostly I had sore, sore feet!

But it was amazing. We had fun, and learned things, and saw amazing places. We took great pictures and bought fun souvenirs, and didn't break the bank.

I did take a few moments to notice that Europeans are way thinner than Americans. I mean, I knew that, but seeing it is something else. I was the fattest person in the room every single day except the flight home.

Which could have been rough, but I just reminded myself of what I've accomplished, plus I could not only buckle my airplane seatbelt, I could pull some of the strap through to tighten it.

I should explain that I have A Thing with the airplane seatbelt.

It's my white whale. Nothing else is ever the last straw. I don't know why. Seeing 300 on the scale, having some of my 22s get a little tight, barely fitting in and being pinched by the theater seats on Broadway (the last show I went to at my top weight, I had bruises on my hips when I got home.). All those things upset me, but none made me say "All right, this is IT. I am DONE."

But that airplane seatbelt. ARGH. It is my nemesis. I refuse - REFUSE! to ask for the belt extender. I never have, even at my highest weight. But I've had a couple of close calls, where sucking it in, using my legs to press myself as far back in the chair as possible, holding my breath, and PRAYING, I barely got the buckle to click together. I nearly cried once, just thinking about pushing the call button to ask for the extender. That's been my "this is IT." moment. (If I could have an airline seat installed in my house, and put a Sharpie line on the belt where it is at goal weight, I'd probably never gain weight again. I'm such a weirdo...)

So I was both excited and nervous to fly -25 pounds. Would it be not a close call, but still an effort to buckle? Easy to buckle? Buckle + extra belt?

Yeah, I got about 4-5" of extra belt. I was pretty psyched. I took a picture of my belt, with my hand holding up the extra. Hahaha. When I get it off my camera I'll post it for you guys.

I didn't write down my food. I kind of wanted to go back and log everything but, meh. I'm just gonna let it be. Too much work to try and remember.

We discovered early on that we were at the beginning of winter season, so most of the touristy places had really short hours (like 10-4 or 11-3). We didn't want to waste time stopping for lunch mid-day, plus most days we forgot to even think about it, we were go go go. So most days we had big breakfast + early dinner.

I was still worried though. I still consider my portion size skills and all that pretty delicate. Not to be trusted. I think I did okay with some things, but worried about others. I worried a little, but it was also kind of nice to just.... eat. Just, have a meal. I did do things like not finish all the fries/mashed potatoes with things. It helps that portion sizes are not so crazy outrageous there. That was nice. The food was like... food-sized. Not trough-sized. (ha)

I was hoping to maintain on vacation. I was 276 the morning we left.

Sunday night getting back, I stepped on the scale and saw 271.4.

WHAT. WHAT?! Yeah, I lost almost 5 pounds with all that walking walking mountain climbing walking!

I didn't log that weight because I still don't trust my scale, or my body, the first time I see a "new" number. I need to see it again before I believe it's real! The next day I was 271.8, so I logged 272 in SP, but then yesterday I think I was 271.1! I forgot to weigh myself this morning, I was in such a hurry to get dressed for the gym, but I'm excited to see where I am at the end of the week!

I was also worried about whether I'd get back on track when we got home. Monday was the biggest challenge! We were back but I'd taken the day off work, so it was a lying around the house day. I did track my food though. Went over by ~70 calories but nothing too crazy. I'm back on track yesterday & today for food (even with chocolates I brought back for my coworkers on my desk all day long). Went running this morning.

That's where I'm at today, though. Running. Not the food thing, that's fine, I don't even care. I was like... how is running going to go after a week off? I'd worked myself up to 32 minutes running (at my snail pace of 4.0mph) and run a practice 5k, but what would a little over a week off do to me? We got to the gym late so I didn't have time to attempt 32 minutes, but I went for 25. I only did 24, BUT:

I ran the first half at 4.3mph (my former "fastest" speed!). Normally at the halfway point I slow down a bit, from 4.0mph to 3.8 or 3.9. Today I sped up. 4.4, then 4.5. I felt great. I even did a few minutes at 4.7, and finished out at 4.5. This is amazing to me. Groundbreaking. I felt great right up to the last ~3 minutes. Normally I have to really fight with myself to keep pushing from the halfway point on.

I'm happy I had a great vacation. I'm happy I lost a few pounds. But mostly today I'm ECSTATIC because I feel like A Runner.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENCANTA 10/11/2012 10:24PM

    First of all, congrats on losing weight while you were on vacay. I say forget previous food-tracking. You did fabulously without it, clearly. Also, I understand you had super sore feet from all the walking. Hopefully there were no blisters-those are no fun. Also-good for you for remembering what you've accomplished thus far when you started getting cranky with yourself. That's not always easy!

I totally smiled at the thought of you having an airline seat installed in your house for motivation. I'm thinking putting up the picture you took of the seat belt with you holding up the extra 4-5'' might be a cheaper, and a more easy to maneuver, alternative. Unless of course you already have a whole airplane-themed room.

I totally laughed out loud when you talked about the food being "food-sized" vs "trough-sized" because it's so dang true!! I think that's the technical term for the servings at Cheesecake Factory. Just sayin. Anyway, I digress. Girrrrrrl, I can so totally relate with portion issues. I am also a card-carrying member of the Clean Plate Club, so that combined with my portion distortion makes eating out oh-so-fun. I know the tricks for controlling portion sizes when I eat out, and I really watch it when I'm eating at home, but it's just something that I'm always aware of and struggle with, so know that you're not alone.

Now, let us turn to the most inspirational part of your blog. For me, that was the running part. Because of you, I jogged 35 minutes non-stop today at 4.4mph. I need to blog about this myself because it's such a BFD. Point being, I did this because YOU motivated and inspired me, and for that I thank you. You brought me to the realization that I too am A Runner. Freakin sweet. Thanks, Twin! =D

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JENCANTA 10/11/2012 2:33PM

    Sooo...I was totally going to post a comment on this but when I got to the end, you so totally inspired me that I now need to go change and go to the gym. No joke. I will return to comment later. Thanks for the kick in the pants!!!!

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JUMPINJULIE 10/10/2012 5:18PM

    You rock. I apprecite your comments on my blog. You made me laugh so hard. Anyway i ran alittle futher distance so just keep going until i can run the whole block. Thank you for adding me as a friend and i'm glad you had a good vaction. emoticon

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Rant; Ramble: Raincoats. Resentment. Rage. Redemption. Relief. Realization.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

So I'm leaving for vacation on SATURDAY (so soon!). I have plane tickets, passport, train tickets, hotel reservations, plans, numbers, maps, directions, itineraries, all that good stuff.

It's going to be rainy and chilly, and all I have are sweatshirts and fleeces, and a big wool pea coat. I don't want to bring my great big winter coat, so I want something warm and waterproof that I can layer under.

TO THE MALL!!

My mall doesn't have an LB (have to drive to Hour Away Mall for that) so I just went to the department stores. At first I was excited - they have a whole North Face section, and a nearby section with a bunch of other coats and outerwear. Score! I found a couple of cute things with zip together layers and other stuff but a bunch they only had in small & medium, and one was a ridiculously bright color plus over $200, so that was out. Then I found a cute, warm-ish raincoat that came in several colors, including an adorable green, in XL, and was only $90. Yay!

Problem? North Face XL does not equal Old Navy XL, and my Old Navy XLs are t-shirts which are stretchy, and raincoats are not stretchy, and ALSO ALSO my Old Navy t-shirts are ACTUALLY XXL, I FORGOT. So. I have that body dysmorphia thing that's the opposite of anorexia where no matter how fat I get I just picture myself as this "kind of big but not huge" size in my head, and this was a great big ice cold dose of reality to the face, but that is not even the end of the story AT ALL.

I got over it as best I could ("it" being that an XL raincoat which was hard enough to find in the first place only comes within 2" of closing if I mash my breasts flat to my chest with my hands first, let alone zips...) and headed for the ever so cleverly named "women's" section of the store (because NORMAL SIZED WOMEN are "misses" don't you know. Sounds so much younger and cuter. If you need the larger size you are obviously far too old and hideous to be referred to as "miss." Plus we can't keep the fat people coats and the normal people coats together, THEY MIGHT BE CONTAGIOUS, not to mention putting all the coats together would make SENSE because it's a DEPARTMENT store and "COATS" totally qualifies as a department... HAVE YOU ALL NOTICED WE HAVE REACHED THE "RESENTMENT" PORTION OF THE BLOG???)

I have a lot of clothing-store-related rage...

There were winter coats and fleeces, but very few raincoats in the "fat" section. And the ones that were there were only "water resistant" rather than, if you are, say, "normal" sized you also have the choice of "water proof" because I GUESS IF YOU ARE FAT YOU DESERVE TO GET WET. Don't you know?? Fat people don't go outside! They don't leave their houses, or even their couches. They don't do sporty or outdoor activities, they don't go on vacation, and if they did they apparently would not deserve a decent looking raincoat that actually keeps you from getting wet.


Let me interrupt myself for a second to say that 1) yes, I am aware that I take this entirely too personally, but I have been doing it for almost 20 years and I am not about to stop now, and 2) YES I KNOW you can find larger size online, but the thing is? Weather reports are not accurate a month in advance, so I did not know it was going to be rainy most of my vacation until last week, and NORMAL PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO SHOP AT THE LAST MINUTE FOR A RAINCOAT, SO I SHOULD BE TOO. Shopping online is for "I sort of need this thing in general" not "I need this in the next few days." And paying for 2 day shipping also feels like punishment to me, like how dare I be both last minute AND fat? Pay extra! I refuse. I stomp my little feet and have a tantrum and scream NO NO NO NO NO like a four year old, so don't even bother telling me about all the great places you shop online. I seriously do not want to hear it. I know you mean well, but really please don't, okay? Thank you.


Anyway. The FOUR (YES FOUR) actual raincoats in the plus sizes were the ugliest things I have ever seen in my entire life, as well as being $250 and up. I REFUSE to pay $250 for something unbearably ugly, so I left the store.

The first thing that came to mind? I wanted to go home all angry and eat garbage. Like, say, cheese fries and chocolate ice cream. I will get to this feeling in a bit, but that is totally where I was.


I stuffed that feeling down because I REALLY DO NEED A COAT DANGIT. I figured I'd check the other department stores in the mall, and if I still couldn't find anything I'd suck it up and drive the hour to LB. GRRR. So, next department store.

I feel guilty about this, but we've all been there, so I'm going to tell you all anyway: As I was browsing the selection of mostly ugly winter coats in the women's section of store #2, and throwing evil looks at the only-goes-up-to-XL,or-at-least-this-store-
only-carries-up-to-XL Columbia outerwear, there was this woman also trying on jackets. She was probably a size large. And for a second, I so intensely resented her.

MUST BE NICE to be able to try on 10 different coats, and stare at yourself in the mirror trying to decide which one is cutest, and then agonizing with yourself over whether you're going to get the cutest one or the cheaper one, and thinking about whether it matches the stuff you want to wear it with. I wouldn't know, because my choices are always "well these two items out of the entire *&^%$@* mall are the only ones that fit; which one is less hideous?"

And really, it's not her fault. I reminded myself of this. She's not being small *AT* me, she's just who she is, I don't know anything about her, and just because she's smaller than me doesn't mean she has a better life overall. Who I really HATE are the clothing companies and stores that make me feel like a great big bag of worthless crap. Every single thing about the "plus size" section of general clothing stores screams "I judge you by your size" at me.

(At some point I will probably do an entire post about the plus size lady tops/dresses prints situation. What is up with the prints??? I am not a circus clown! No offense, circus clowns...)

For the first time in a long time, I was totally aware of all of these things as they were happening to me. It's like half of my brain was going "HELL WITH THIS, I am so mad! When I get home I am getting ice cream, and then I'm going to rage about this all night! This it totally going to ruin my vacation, every time it rains I'm going to be constantly thinking about how I'm to $#@@*&$ fat for a raincoat. MY LIFE IS CRAP!"

The other half of my brain was like "well, that's counterproductive. Number one, we can always get a men's coat. I'm sure you can find a decently cute plain black one, and honestly it will probably be better quality than a lot of the women's stuff that's more fashion than function anyway. It's fine. Also, you've lost 25 pounds so shut up, you're on your way to being the girl who can try on 10 coats and then pick one, but make no mistake. Going home and eating a pint of ice cream is not going to get you there!"

As all this stuff was going through my head, I noticed a bunch of coats on 1X, 2X, and 3X hangars. It turns out they were made by an actual outerwear company (Free Country, as it turns out), are actually functional (made for rain gear, not "the fabric feels slick to the touch which makes it not a fleece"), has multiple pockets (women's clothing? with pockets??? What kind of bizarro world is this??) came in multiple colors, FIT, AND IS CUTE.

Oh, and the original price was under $100, AND it was on sale.

I'm so relieved. I feel a little guilty for having a bunch of tantrums, though to be fair I had them inside my head and did not subject other people to them, but on the other hand, I don't think I'm crazy for not wanting to spend a bunch of money on a piece of clothing that's just going to make me feel bad about myself for my entire vacation every time I have to squeeeeeeze into it. This one not only fits, I can wear layers under it to stay warm.


So I went home, and I showed my husband the coat, and he agreed it is super cute, and we had dinner, and I stayed within my calorie range for the day, and all is well.

Except that I just keep having this clothes shopping experience.

I find what I need eventually, and I own clothes I love, even dresses. I've gotten better over the years about getting tough, getting mad, and refusing to settle for ugly crap just because it fits. But it still rankles me so so hard.

And I hate the effect it has on me. I've been so excited this whole time I've been on SP. And I've accomplished a lot. I've lost 25 pounds, I've become a runner, I've trained myself to where I can run for 32 minutes straight, I've run a practice 5k, and in under 50 minutes (my race goal for the year, in practice!) I've lost a pants size, and close friends have noticed and are complimenting me. I'm eating really healthy most of the time, I feel great, and I love seeing the scale just go down, down, down.

And all it takes to ruin all that, to feel like it's all been taken away from me, is one damn size XL raincoat.

You'd think that's when your motivation would be the highest! How much I HATE this experience, how much I hate being a size that's segregated to the sad shameful part of the store, or driving an extra hour to go to the special store for freaks like me. (I am not saying everyone who is a size 20 is a freak. I'm saying that's how clothing makers & stores treat us.) That should drive me to want to work even harder to get OUT of this category, but the very first thing that comes to mind is to do something counterproductive, something to ruin it, something that will only make me feel worse about myself.

For the first time in a long time, I didn't. I understood exactly what was happening, and I left it where it was: a feeling, not an action. But it's scary.

It's a positive feedback loop. That's what I realized.

"Positive" doesn't mean "good," it means the effect or feedback increases the initial cause or issue. This is from climate science. Like: it gets warmer, ice melts, ice-free ground absorbs more heat from the sun than ice, it gets warmer.... the effect of it getting warmer (melting ice) leads to MORE warmer.

A "negative" feedback loop doesn't mean "bad," it means opposite. Like: it gets warmer, more water evaporates into the air, more clouds form, clouds block radiation from the sun, it gets cooler. Warmer leads to clouds leads to cooler.

My weight loss journeys in the past have not had negative feedback loops, only positive feedback loops. My loops have always been, something happens to make me feel bad about my size, my body, or my eating/exercise habits -> I want to feel better so I eat comfort food -> I feel bad about that so I hate myself for a while -> I feel sorry for myself and eat more comfort food -> I gain weight, increasing the likelihood something's going to make me feel bad about my body.... Positive feedback. I need some negative feedback loops!

Yesterday, just being aware of it helped. The question is, what do you want more? To feel better right now, or to work towards a future goal? The problem is, most of us most of the time want to feel better right now. We're just wired that way. It's really hard to put that aside. I did it yesterday, but what about next time? I guess all I can do is be ready.







Realization #2: I am never, ever, ever, ever, EVER going to write a "short" blog post. C'est la vie!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORSEGODDESS34 10/10/2012 12:40PM

    I have had this EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE! Okay, maybe not exactly the same, but darn close. I have ranted in my head and raged in dressing rooms, many, many times. The only difference is that you had a total epiphany at the end, where my meltdowns usually just ended in tears. So cheers to finding your way out of the funk AND finding a great coat. :) I'm so excited to see where you go from here, and if you ever need someone to cheer you on, just give me a shout! emoticon

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ADARKARA 10/10/2012 12:16PM

    This blog was hilarious to me, because I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN. I went to Burlington Coat Factory a few weeks ago and spend 40 minutes trying things on and the only ones that fit and were reasonably priced were HIDEOUS and made me feel like a 90 year old woman! I'm 31 for goodness sake! I've lost 50 lbs and still can't fit into regular XL coats. Coats are cut small, remember. =P

*hugs* Glad you noticed where you were slipping and made the adjustment. Have a great vacation!

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SHRINKING_SARA 10/10/2012 11:39AM

    I had this very experience winter of 2010. My mom had donated my perfectly cute Lane Bryant winter coat because I left it at her house... and then I was stuck trying to find something "acceptable" because cute was out of the option last minute (and for some reason, LBs coats that year were hideous!) I actually threw a "skinny bitches get all the cute coats" scene at Macy's in which several people stared. (no joke) Then I found one I could bear at Kohls a bit later (they have a good selection of coats in all sizes).

Then I started losing weight -- by winter 2011 I bought a coat at a "normal" store! I had options! Now its winter 2012, and luckily for me, I have to go get another new coat... but I love shopping. I loved it when I was a size 18 too though. You just need to remember how cute you look now, and how much better its going to get if you keep working!

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NAUSIKAA 10/9/2012 4:12AM

    This was probably the blog I've enjoyed most of all the ones I've ever read on SP... you had me roaring at "they might be contagious." Your writing is so engaging! I am one of those people who lost a ton of weight and then gained a half ton back so while I could probably shop in the Misses section in the US, I of course live in a European country where a US size 6 is considered an XL here. So I pretty much don't buy clothes, ever. I have barely bought a single item of clothing since I was in the USA in 2008. The stories I could tell you about trying to find a swimsuit or a bra here.... I hope your vacation is awesome and you don't end up needing that raincoat after all! Off to read more of your blogs!

Comment edited on: 10/9/2012 4:13:46 AM

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JENCANTA 10/5/2012 3:01AM

    You had me at "verbose." So of course I had to check out your blogs. Hurray! I love alliterations! Okay, but really-why is it that plus-size clothing is generally so god awful fugly? WHY? Although, since we're on Spark and we'll be shedding our plus-size clothing I guess it doesn't really matter. I totally understood where you were going with trying to find a jacket though-I went through the same thing a year and a half ago before moving to Utah for a few months in the winter (for work at Sundance-totally legit). I may or may not have purchased a men's jacket. I don't want to talk about it. But yay for you finding a cute one! I don't know where your travels have taken you but I hope you're enjoying yourself. Cheers!

Comment edited on: 10/5/2012 3:02:01 AM

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LEB0401 10/2/2012 11:17AM

    Hey! I'm a little late, but I hope you're having an awesome time on vacation. If passports were needed then I'm sure it's somewhere wonderful.

I just want to send LOADS of support your way. That was tough. I admire your strength for sharing the bad experience, and the resilience you possess to get past it and keep working toward your goal.

You're right, it isn't fair what a size 20 woman has to go through at the mall versus a size 10. When you get to size 10 though, I hope you have the funnest shopping spree ever!

emoticon

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KOFFEENUT 9/27/2012 4:07PM

    WHEW! I'm glad I hung in there with you, because you arrived at an AWESOME place. Not only did you find what you needed, but (more importantly) you found a positive way to handle your resentment and rage. And THAT is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself!

Rain or shine, I hope you have a terrific vacation!

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Officer Mealtime says: "That's all you're eating???"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekend stuff plus a message board thread got me thinking about "food pushers" - you know, those people who are always trying to get you to eat. Whether it's junk food or dessert or seconds, family or coworkers, we've all had them at some point! Why is this so common, and why do so many people feel guilty about standing up for themselves?

I mean, okay, I'm fiesty and I don't care if people think I'm rude, mostly, so I really don't put up with it, much. But it comes up a lot whenever a bunch of people trying to eat healthy get together someplace and talk about the challenges. There's always at least a couple people saying something like "I felt bad so I ate it anyway." Why?!

Pretty much my main strategy, like a lot of people, is just to say "no thank you."

People said they'd also say things like "that isn't on my diet" or go so far as asking the pusher "why do you want me to be unhealthy?"

Personally I would never get into a reason. I don't bother saying "I'm full" or "I'm watching my weight "or "I don't eat sugar" or any of that. Why? Because I don't need a reason.

Who has had a conversation like this with a coworker or friend?

"Have a pumpkin muffin"
"No thank you"
"Oh, have one, they're delicious!"
"No thank you"
"It's just a muffin, it won't kill you!"

... I mean, this is a person who has just given you the magical ability to see the future! You now know with 100% certainty that no reason you give them is going to be good enough.

I hate pumpkin
I'm full
I'm watching my calorie intake
I don't eat flour
I'm allergic to muffin shapes
I heard you're a terrible cook
In my religion it's a sin to eat orange foods on a Tuesday

...Does it matter?

A person who just refused to take no for an answer twice in the space of 30 seconds doesn't care what your reason is; they're in it for the ability to "prove" your reason isn't good enough.

Some people may genuinely mean well. Maybe they want you to "treat" yourself and not feel deprived. But here's the thing: that's not their decision.

It's YOUR decision if when where and to what you treat yourself. Some days I choose not to have any "junk" or dessert. Sometimes I save some calories for pudding; other days I want a couple Twizzlers at 4pm. Sometimes I'd rather have extra avocado on my tacos at dinner than sweets or snacks during the day. Why?

MIND YOUR BUSINESS, that's why. What do you care? Will something bad happen to you if I eat chocolate pudding later alone in my apartment instead of a pumpkin muffin right here in front of your face? No? What, you mean it doesn't affect you in the slightest? That's what I thought. So here's an idea: MIND YOUR BUSINESS.

It boils down to this: Adults in polite society have the ability to take "No" for an answer. People who can't or won't listen don't get the energy it would take me to choose a "proper" excuse. They don't get the attention they crave through arguing with me about my excuse. I don't NEED an excuse. No means no.

If someone can't take no for an answer, that says WAY more about them than it does about me.

I wouldn't even be shy about pointing this out. "I've already said no; why can you not take no for an answer?"

For a different approach (though in the workplace you might want to clear this with your HR office) you could also try* just looking them deadpan in the face & asking "Why, do you get some sort of sexual thrill from watching people eat ______?" Definitely takes cojones, though, plus there's the aforementioned HR issue. (*Try this at your own risk. This user/blog bears no responsibility for any legal emotional or spiritual ramifications blah blah blah disclaimercakes.)

I've never had someone spoon food onto my plate in spite of my "no." I'm sorry people have actually had that experience. That is just BEYOND, and I think the most offensive, controlling, patronizing thing I've ever heard. I would have no guilt at all about standing up and walking my plate to the trash to scrape it off right in front of them.


Why do so many people seem to think this is okay??? Would they do this to you in other areas of your life? I mean, picture it for a second:

You get dressed to go to work. Your aunt or coworker or whoever the food pusher is, comes in. "I don't like that shirt, you should wear a yellow shirt."

You: "No thanks, I don't really like yellow. I'll just wear this one."
Pusher: "Oh, come on. I love yellow! Yellow is very "in" right now. Wear this yellow shirt I brought with me."
You: "Uh, no thanks. I don't like the way my skin tone looks in yellow. I'll just wear this."
Pusher: "I can't believe you're discriminating against yellow shirts like this. It looks fine! It looks good! Just put it on, it won't kill you to wear it once!"
You: "No."
Pusher: *marches over, pulls your shirt off, and starts forcing the yellow shirt over your head*


So. What do you do here? Do you give in and let them change your shirt for you because you're afraid of hurting their feelings?

Or do you CALL THE POLICE, because WHAT THE HELL?????

People push you around if they find that they can. It's not entirely about food.
You need to say no, mean it, and make no excuses. NO EXCUSES. No thank you, end of discussion. You don't owe them anything. Don't feel guilty.

If some friend of a friend at a party wants to get all bent out of shape because I didn't eat a cookie, I mean.... Wow, that's your problem. You're either spectacularly manipulative or spectacularly fragile, and either way you clearly have problems that me eating a cookie while you watch are not going to solve. "Depressive Disorder Brought On By People Not Eating My Baked Goods" is not actually a recognized medical problem, so you know... deal. It doesn't mean I don't like you as a person, it just means I don't want a cookie. Stop making a federal case out of it.

Though now that you're having infantile tantrums and trying to manipulate me I find myself liking you a little bit LESS as a person, so there's that...

With family it can be trickier, but the same strategy works: say no thank you, end of discussion.

I'm lucky in that my family members are mostly well-meaning rather than manipulative. But I'm sure some of you have those family members that say it hurts their feelings if you don't eat something. Get this: just because they love you and you love them doesn't mean they aren't manipulating you. It also doesn't mean you have to give in. They're adults too, and they're responsible for their behavior just like you are.

Also, if they happen to not be adults, that doesn't really change the situation. My three year old niece tries to feed me chips, if she is sitting on my lap and eating chips. I just say "no thank you!" or tell her it's very nice of her to share with me but I don't want any chips right now. Part of learning to share is learning to accept a "no," so it's a good lesson for her as well.

Sometimes it's just cultural, generational, or both. My husband's grandma is a 93 year old Italian grandmother; I think she's contractually obligated to be a food pusher. (She would be the eponymous Officer Mealtime.) This weekend my husband made the grave error of not eating lunch with the rest of us; grandma may be 93, nearly deaf and half blind, but if you don't eat a meal she will NOTICE. Ha. My own grandmother will worry about my weight, or my father's - and then ask us repeatedly every single dinner if we want more cake. She just doesn't get the disconnect.

What do I do? Sometimes I lie, or evade. I don't feel bad about it, I'm doing it to spare arguments and genuine hurt feelings. "I had some cake already; it was delicious." I'm sure it is, I had some last time. I don't need to eat it every time, but I don't need to rub it in her face either. "I already had breakfast." This only works on my grandma; Officer Mealtime wants to know WHAT you ate. Even if I had oatmeal or a protein shake, I just tell her I had a bagel. There are always bagels in the house, and for some reason this is an acceptable breakfast where others are not. I'm not doing it to hurt her; nothing bad will happen to her if I eat oatmeal instead of a bagel. It just means I get to eat something healthy, and she doesn't worry about me. Win-win.

If you can figure out which type of food pusher you're dealing with it can help; but it almost always works to just calmly say no and refuse to explain or excuse. You're sending the message that you're in charge of your decisions and you won't be influenced.

Who's your biggest food pusher? Are they manipulative, or misguided but well-meaning? How do you deal?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEB0401 9/25/2012 7:34PM

    Another blog where I literally lol'ed!

Maybe it's a southern thing, or maybe it's world-wide, but I think the root of the food-pusher's motivation is so that they can hear "Oh my, this is delicious!". They want the attention of being either the best cook or the person who knows where to buy the best foods. If you say no, they'll be denied that affirmation, so they insist. It's them being selfish, and you can be selfish too by putting your needs above theirs.

I HATE food pushers!

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LOLATURTLE 9/25/2012 5:01PM

    oh I do say NO!
I like your story, it's like several others I read today that inspired me to write this long rambly blog! Some people have no idea how pushy they are - we've got to shock them out of it.

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PICKIE98 9/25/2012 2:13PM

    Rambling replies:
** Nobody can step on me unless I get down on the ground.
** If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.
** Somebody did put food on my plate, ONCE, I handed them the plate and got another plate and started putting MY foods on it. 'Nuff said.
** Age, gender, relation, is of no consequence to manipulative control-freaks. "No" is the universal word. It is all that is required, it is all I am willing to give, it is all they will get. After that word, I look them in the eye, smile and walk away. It is their burden to have such a bankrupt life, that they are compelled to trail normals like a hound at the hunt.Would they force drugs on me like that? Same thing if I know I am not supposed to have them.

I am not as polite or patient as you are. One time after three people tried four times each, to force food and drinks on me, I finally left the room, sat in a chair with NO food. When they asked me why, I told them I was afraid to eat anything from people who were so suspiciously insistent that I eat THAT food. What was in it that I HAD to force it down?
They never did it again.

Comment edited on: 9/25/2012 2:14:54 PM

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N is for number. It's also for nerrrrrd.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I like data.

I know all the issues with BMI as a measure, I just think for where I am now it is helpful. I enjoy poking about with the math. We'll see how my body responds as I get closer to the top of the chart's "healthy" range for my height; it may or may not be appropriate for me, but I'm certainly not going to decide until I get there!

Plus I think it will be fun for me to look back at these updates, in 18 months or so, when I'm sipping champagne by a tropical resort pool in my size 6-8 bathing suit. AS YOU DO.

Ahem. Anyway. Numbers.

My starting BMI was 44.3; that puts me in the "morbidly obese" category.

Current BMI, having lost 22 pounds so far, puts me at a BMI of 41. Progress!

I need to be below 40 to switch from morbidly obese to just plain obese. That will happen at 270 pounds, just 8 pounds to go. (8 pounds is less than half of what I've lost so far. Pshaw! Nothing! Cake! Please! Hahaha.)

My next stupendously awesome milestone will be to drop my BMI below 30. That will let me pass from "obese" into the "overweight" category, a place I have not been in over 10 years! That will happen at about 202 pounds.

The last time I can be sure I weighed that little was probably freshman year of college. MAYBE sophomore year; I didn't have a scale. I know I was 260ish senior year, and I THINK I was 220 or 230ish junior year when I met my husband.

On the way down to "overweight" at 202/30, I will pass some other interesting-to-me-only milestones: 260 is the weight I kept sticking at the last time I tried Weight Watchers. It was at the time just over 10% of my body weight lost, and I just. Could. NOT. Crack it! I saw the scale drop to 258 a couple of times and then it all went to hell. NOT THIS TIME, MY FRIEND!

I probably will be mildly excited about 250, just because it's "mid-decade."

230 is what I weighed on my wedding day. Which means it is also when I will fit back into my AWESOME, GORGEOUS custom made polka dot dress I got for my rehearsal dinner. YESSSSSSSSSSSS. I am more excited about this than my actual wedding dress, I have to tell you. I'm sure there will be pictures. If you come and look at them, fair warning, you are required to love my dress. There will be no "eh, not my cup of tea." My dress is MAGNIFICENT and I have MATCHING SHOES.

Getting below 210 I think will be fun, just to see a number starting with Two Oh and feeling like I'm in spitting distance of numbers starting with One.

I'll probably think more about numbers in overweight land and on the way to healthy once I get closer.

My current set goal is 180 just to pick a round number. I was 185-190 mostly, probably 195 for a bit, all through high school. I always felt fat but of course I was not REALLY *THAT* fat. Now I have new perspective on fat. But anyway, I'm just interested to see what my body is like when I get down there; I doubt I'll look 16 again! I would like to put a little distance between me and 200 once I get below it; I'll decide when I get there if 20 pounds is enough distance.

Numbers! PERCENTAGES! Also fun.

I have lost 7.3% of my starting weight. My total goal, to lose 120 pounds, will mean losing 40% of my starting weight.

This puts me in place for a TRIPLE fun milestone:

in 8 more pounds, I'll have lost 30 pounds, also known as 10% of my body weight. In addition to dropping out of the morbidly obese category, 30/120 and 10/40 have something very special in common: I'll be ONE QUARTER OF THE WAY TO my first goal!!!!

SAY WHAT?!?!?!!

Yep. I'm within spitting distance of 1/4 of the way done.

Psychologically it's hard not to look at the end goal and go "gee, I have so far to go," and it makes you feel like you're at the beginning. Oh, I've only *just* *started.* WOE IS ME.

But HI. DID YOU KNOW? I'm almost 1/4 of the way there? That's a whole entirely different thing, people. I will take it. I will take TWO. YES.

Because this post was about nerdy things, I have homework for the one or possible zero people who are reading this: Think about how far you've come. Not about how far you have left to go.

You can do numbers like I did, if that is fun for you, or just make a list (it can be quick in your head, even) of what you've accomplished and gained and gotten better at. Just take a day, or an afternoon, and think about the positive of what you've done. Just take a break of worrying about how much you have left to do.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEB0401 9/20/2012 8:17PM

    Things really started clicking with me, too, when I ran the numbers. The math took all the emotion out of it.

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MARJORIEWRIGHT 9/20/2012 4:53PM

    emoticon Good Luck emoticon!! emoticon emoticon

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