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A little Told Ya, a LOT of MUD, then wind, bread, and back.

Friday, November 09, 2012


We are okay. Thank you for asking. Sorry for not checking in sooner. We were very lucky in the storm; our part of NJ did get hit pretty badly; quite a few people are still without power. We were fine - only lost power for a couple days (and we had candles and wine, so really....) no trees fell on my car, our basement didn't even flood all that badly. All that's down there are the water heaters, so we were without hot water for.. um. Less than a day. Then we basically got to have an extended party, because work had no power so I had almost 2 weeks off work, and friends from around the city still without power came over to charge their cell phones and hang out in a place with lights, play games, drink wine, watch movies, and let me play with their little DOG (and YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT LITTLE DOGS).

(Can I just repeat that for posterity? For three glorious days I had a little dog in my apartment. IT WAS AMAZING.)

Little Dog is too amazing to be captured on film!!

Little Dog washes the dishes. Aw.

We're very lucky. Of course my heart goes out to people who sustained serious damage to their homes, and are still without power.

We do have some family who had bad flooding in their home so we're heading out to help them clean up this weekend. But they are all safe and healthy, so really. It's fine.

But MORE IMPORTANTLY, how much does my butt weigh lately??? Is what we really should be talking about OF COURSE.

I totally get an I Told Ya So on the last blog post - I did go back up to 272, and 273, and 271, and on and on and on for the past, what, two weeks? but I've been bouncing around 270/271/269 since late last week, and this morning I was 268.5, which I am also not tracking on account of my I Don't Buy It, Dude relationship with my scale. But I'm headed in the right direction again.

But BEFORE THAT, I did in fact go to my first 5k. I do not say I "ran" my first 5k, because I personally consider much of the course that I did to be Un-Runnable, but it was SO. MUCH. FUN.

So much mud!!!!

I did "Run For Your Lives," which is a 5k race plus obstacle course, where zombies chase you. It was AWESOME. I went with two friends from work, and we had a BLAST.

The course was at a camp in Maryland, and somehow the magical designers managed to design a course that was more uphill than downhill (kudos!), and a lot was trails through the woods, complete with roots, rocks, and ruts gouged by rain over time. It was a prime ankle-breaker, is what I am getting at, so much of it we didn't so much "run" as "hike." One hill must have been close to a 40 degree angle, and it was LONG! It was so steep I could go on all fours without really bending over much. Amazing.

We started out in tunnels. They let one tunnel at a time, staggering the runners a bit (labeled Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert, hahaha), and when we came out it was around a corner, down a hill, and right into a field of zombies.

You wear flag football type flags, three of them, and the zombies try to grab them. Once your flags are gone you are "dead"/eaten by zombies. I never planned to survive the race, haha!

My goals were 1) finish the whole course
2) challenge myself to do some obstacles I really frankly do not have the upper body strength for. ...Yet!

That was it! I succeeded, better than I hoped for. I still had a flag after the first two waves of zombies, which was longer than I expected.

Obstacles included climbing over multiple ~4 & 1/2 foot walls (high enough that you had to jump and THEN hoist yourself over, and I'm pretty tall), crawling through a long tunnel built of boards and covered with plastic, jump in and cross a FREEZING COLD river (I just swam it, haha), crawl through mud under barbed wire, crawl through a tunnel, climb a huge scaffold up to a mud/waterslide, slide down and then climb out of the pool of muddy water, OH, and run and slide through a mud trench under a fence. Which was electrified. I don't have many photos of the obstacles, because for obvious reasons I didn't have my camera on me. But the hubs had it, and he got a few excellent snaps.

This of course, plus all the hills and various ditches and trenches along the way.

It probably took us around 1 & 1/2 hours to do the whole course, but it was incredibly fun. Three or four months ago, before spark and before running, I wouldn't have made it up all those hills. I was tired, and I was hating the steepest ones, but I only had to stop and rest ONCE, on the very steepest one, and I just stood for about one minute to catch my breath. I never felt like I needed to sit down, or like I wouldn't be able to finish the course. And I climbed over every darn one of those walls!! Once in the middle-ish I was exhausted and it took me 3-4 tries to get over. The people behind me waiting their turn, and my buddies, were amazing. They were like "YOU CAN DO IT!!" "I saw you do one earlier, you're amazing, you can totally get over that!" I pushed myself too, because they were cheering me on, and because no way was I coming home from that experience saying "remember that one wall I was too fat to get my big butt over?" NO THANK YOU. The zombies were all awesome and funny. They did chase you, but they made it fun. They were somehow encouraging and scary at the same time, haha.

It was an experience I never would have attempted, prior to about 4 months ago. It's something I would have sat back and said "gee I wish I were athletic, I wish I were the kind of person who could do this." Instead I said screw it, and work at becoming the kind of person who can do that. I won't win any time awards and I lost all my flags, but I did the whole course and all the obstacles, and not one person looked at me like "you're too fat, go home."

There were runners of all shapes and sizes and everybody was having a blast. If you've always wanted to do something like this? GO DO IT. You'll surprise yourself, amaze yourself, and be glad you did.

Huge loves to my buddies who did the race with me. I showed them the website back in June, thinking like I said "gee I wish I could..." Instead of saying can't, my one friend said "hey there's one on my birthday! I'll go with you." And there we all were. I wouldn't have done Couch to 5k without them, or without this race.


Plus now, someday, at goal weight, when somebody I haven't seen in years asks me "wow, what happened to YOU?" I can answer "oh, you know. Zombie apocalypse..."

So that was the race. We drove home to NJ on Sunday, and Sandy/Frankenstorm/Snowpocalypse/etc was supposed to hit Monday so we basically had time to get home, grab a few quick supplies, and hunker down! My work was closed that Monday through mid week this week, so I've been cleaning my apartment, reading books, cooking, then watching movies and sewing when the power came back on. Got a jump on my Christmas ornaments and finished 2 presents I've been working on forever.

I started tracking again, REALLY tracking, all my meals and snacks, on Monday. It's hard to eat right and track when you're cooped up in the house, can't go anywhere or get fresh veggies (there was a driving ban in the city, no non-essential/non-emergency driving, plus stores were w/out power anyway...), and doing things like baking bread and cookies for entertainment - we have a gas stove, so even without power we could still cook!

I just sucked it up this Monday. I just said, you know what? Enough. Time to get back to it.

Most of my bruises from the race have faded, so I'm going to see if my gym has power & normal operating hours, and get back to that too next week. Back to routine, here we go.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENCANTA 11/10/2012 4:39PM

    Again, I'm so glad you're okay.

How much do I LOVE that you did that race? Seriously. I've been reading about them and I think it'd be so much fun!! Thanks for sharing pics. =)

I've been so completely and utterly off track it's not even funny. I'm in the process of getting back on track too with tracking and working out. This week has still been a little tough and I'm riding out the weekend. But next week-NEXT WEEK-oh, man. It's ON!!! emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 11/9/2012 4:39PM

    You are amazing. You rock. I'm so happy for you that you did and had tons of fun LOL. emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/9/2012 4:16PM

    Wow, You Rock emoticon emoticon

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LEB0401 11/9/2012 4:12PM

    Glad you're ok!

Awesome race!! Did you feel like you were in the Walking Dead the whole time?

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Accountability! Plus, I'm not sure how to feel...

Monday, October 22, 2012

SOOOOOOOOooooooooooo, I'm back.

Thank you awesome SparkFriends, for putting up with my super crankiness combined with total disappearance. And for the kind words while I was away having tantrums. haha.

Anyway. Accountability!! I only tracked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday breakfast last week. Since I didn't track I'm doing my accountability here. It is boring; feel free to skip down to the ********s

I didn't stress eat M or T, but Wed was a WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY. Mainly because I was at work until after 9pm, STILL didn't finish the task that needed to be done for the next morning, broke my cell phone, and cried all the way home. It was horrible, I don't want to have a day like that EVER AGAIN. UGH. So yeah, dinner was mac and cheese, the horrible nutrient free out of the box kind, and I ate almost the entire pan. But I can't remember if I had lunch that day, so maybe it evens out?? (denial, denial! it's nice to see you here! denial, denial, today! --do you guys know this song?) Thursday was not much better. No time to eat breakfast so I got a breakfast sandwich & coffee on my way in. Skipped lunch, mostly, and crap for dinner again (Chinese food! greasy! But I didn't eat seconds.) Friday... I am trying to remember. I think I had the same takeout breakfast, no lunch, again, and went out for pizza (CHEESE CHEESE GREASE AND CHEESE) with a friend for dinner. Plus I ate chocolates all week. Not like, king size candy bars, but still. I HAD been doing well staying away from the chocolates....

Oh and since I was resting my stupid annoying jerk of a hip, no fitness minutes. Literally ZERO. No exercise after the unsuccessful run on Monday. Unless hysterical crying counts as exercise; I haven't actually checked in the tracker.

Saturday I finally started to get better. Made a big pot of plain oatmeal for me & the husby. I had mine with banana and almond milk. Lunch was random snack food, we were out running errands. Ha. Not my best, but better! Dinner was beans beans BEANS and rice and whatever veggies were in the fridge. However, I also bought candy while I was out so I ate that too. Note to self: don't buy candy. Bad plan. Yesterday was um... leftover chinese food for breakfast (SHH! I got up late! It was really lunch! It's fine!) and takeout sandwiches for dinner. BUT, I made us cake for our anniversary and we never got around to eating it, so that's good right?


So it was a weird weekend, and not the healthiest of foods, but at least I tracked them all. And even with the snacks/candy, since I didn't eat three full meals PLUS that, I actually was not that bad on calories. I don't feel awesome, though. I need more fruits and veggies this week. I would punch you in your kidney for an apple right now, actually.

Here's where I kind of don't know how to feel about this... I got on the scale this morning and saw 270.0.

SO HERE I AM. At my first big milestone. I've lost 30 pounds. 10% of my starting body weight. 1/4 of the way to my first goal of 180 pounds. Also, I am now "obese," no longer "morbidly obese." BMI is 39.9, down from 44.3.

It took me near 4 months - 17 weeks. 30/17 = 1.76 pounds per week on average, which I think is super respectable. I'm aiming for 2lbs/wk, but considering when I was aiming for 2lbs/wk on another different weight loss tracking program/site I was lucky to lose 0.5/wk, I will totally take 1.76.

And I sort of feel like "... oh."

I had such an awful week, but I don't feel like I "earned" it, with my awful week. I think that's a way I might have felt in the past - everything else is terrible, I deserve to feel good about something, so I feel good about losing a few pounds. I was thinking yesterday that I need to get back to the good stuff this week; I'll feel better, I'll be better insulated against stress. Thinking I'll probably have to work to lose some I gained back, plus those pesky 2 pounds that wouldn't leave before, to get down to 270. And then when I did, it would be like "TADAAAA!"

And my body is like OH HAI, WENT ON WIZOUT U, K? Which is fine. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. And I'm not endorsing quitting your workout routine and eating chinese food as a plan. And I'm DEFINITELY not bragging "haha, I ate crap and lost weight anyway, while you all work hard! pthbthbthbhtbhtt*!" No. It's also not like, oh now I'm done. I missed the last bit and it's over. HA! No, I have plenty more pounds to struggle at losing. I have plenty more work to do.

I guess it's a manifestation of how deeply I have internalized being obese. Losing weight is officially in my mind something I am not good at, or even not capable of. So I look at the scale and go "yeah, no. that didn't happen." I'm seriously expecting to weigh myself tomorrow, or on Thursday, or this Saturday, and see 273 or 275 or 278, because this has to be a trick or something.

So I'm experiencing this. And I'm standing back to analyze the experience that I'm having. And it's all very strange and I don't know how to feel.

...ta daa? I guess?

*if cartoons have taught us anything, it's that the sound you make when you stick out your tongue and blow a raspberry at someone is spelled "pthbthbthbthbhttt!".

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COLEYBANANA 10/23/2012 10:28AM

    You are doing amazing!! 30 lbs is a lot to lose. I'm struggling with my first 5 lbs. Keep going, you are doing great!

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JUMPINJULIE 10/22/2012 6:35PM

    emoticon I want to say welcome back missed you. Anyway Thank you for the comments on all my different blogs. I totally expected to have lost nothing this weekend for how bad i was feeling i was doing and guess what? I lost two more pounds and that adds up to ten WHAT????? Who knows way that stuff happens. I'm so happy for you that you have lost thirty pounds you rock. I say don't ask questons of the scale gods LOL and go with the flow. Anyway i hope you have a great week.

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LEB0401 10/22/2012 3:57PM

    First of all... CONGRATS!!!! Second of all... HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!

Though you say you ate all this junk food and whatnot, look at how much you're AWARE of the food you put in your body. That's amazing! No wonder you're losing.

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JENCANTA 10/22/2012 2:31PM

    I love that this has been your experience this week and you've lost. Seriously-how awesome is that?!

And this week you're just going to kick even more butt, I just know it. =D

I've also had the exact opposite experience this past week but I think I may have found the problem. Maybe. I'm gonna have to blog about it. Anyway...

emoticon emoticon emoticon

How's that for alliteration?! ;)

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JOHNMARTINMILES 10/22/2012 11:30AM

    The thing that all life altering programs have in common is, you guessed it, accountability!

Make Today a Great Day!

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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.


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 always gets

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Running. and post-vacation update.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


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



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.


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!


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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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