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Operation Meltdown Complete

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last week was not good, and I'm not talking about in the food sense here. It was an emotionally draining, up-and-down rollercoaster kind of week. Starting with Saturday evening after the hubby's b-day party where - apparently - some gf/bf breaking up happened (and don't get me started about how rude it is to break-up with your S.O. at someone's birthday party), I stayed up too late, woke up Sunday with a sore throat and it was all down hill from there. I spent a good three days pretending I wasn't sick before I gave up the ghost.

Besides that whole being sick thing, I just wasn't feeling good in that "my heart feels like it's going to beat of my chest" palpitating kind of way. Made an appointment for the Doctor, got an EKG, and surprise of surprise: I have a freaking arrhythmia. Time for more tests! Had a mess of blood work done, treadmill stress test the next day, and off to the doctor later today for a 24 hour heart monitor dealymabob. Add in a whole list of don't's from the doctor including: no high or moderate intensity exercise, nix the caffeine, stay emotionally stable (!!!).

It really set me off, and I spent a lot of time saying "what the hell's the point of losing 40+ lbs if my health problems are just getting worse?!?!" and hating myself and crying and lying in bed with the blankets pulled over my head.

So, I disappeared. I didn't read any blogs, I didn't write anything, I didn't reach out for help or a shoulder to cry on (although my best friend and my husband were there), and I hid. Which is what I do when I'm depressed.

I didn't try to find the silver lining staring me in the face. My resting heart rate has gone down over twenty beats a minute when not on medication - I might actually be able to get off meds entirely when I lose all this weight! My cholesterol levels have gone down almost 60 points without medication, and all my cholesterol levels are in the "desirable" range! The techs found no signs of Coronary Artery Disease on the treadmill stress test!

I finally got out of bed Sunday (after being sick for five days on top of all that!), re-prioritized, and realized I can't live my life in fear of tomorrow. Today, I'm doing exactly what I need to do in order to become a healthier person, and I'm kicking this obesity problem's a**.

Still haven't quite made it past the whole crying every couple of hours thing, but I'm getting better, and I'm feeling better. Every day is a gift and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARIANERA 4/15/2010 9:03AM

    emoticon

Hope you feel better soon. And good for you for keeping on in the meantime.

Ari

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COOKINMAMA 4/15/2010 4:25AM

    oh, my heart goes out to you... I have those times too. Take care of yourself, give yourself some TLC and allow others to do the same... you are worth it! emoticon

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Betraying the Fat Subculture

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Iím a traitor. An awful, evil traitor. An awful, evil traitor who has done the worst and most awful thing a traitor can do. By embarking on a journey to rid myself of this excess weight and aiming to become healthy and get fit, I am a traitor to the fat subculture.

A traitor to the fat subculture? Seriously? I donít know how making your health a priority is betraying the overweight/obese population of the world, but there are a number of people out there who think what Iím doing right now is wrong. They say I should learn to accept myself. They say I should be happy with my size. They say a whole lot of other things too. I say Bah!

Yes, on the outside I present the appearance of being a happy, healthy fat person. Iíve got a loving husband, great friends, a good life. Hell, I could be the freaking spokesperson for Fat Acceptance. But guess what? Iím not healthy, Iím happy with the things in my life, but every day Iím packing this extra weight I feel bogged down, my body hurts, my knees creak, my lower back hurts if I stand for too long. Donít get me wrong, I like who I am, but the way I feel is an entirely different story.

I appreciate what the Healthy at Every Size and Fat Acceptance Movements are trying to accomplish, but telling me Iím setting back their movements by trying to lose weight? Youíve got to be kidding me. Iím trying to prolong my life here!!!! And my very, very big other issue is those ďfatĒ people who use FA and HAES as their excuse to not do anything, to eat whatever the hell they want, not exercise, and continue to scarf down potato chips while they watch the Biggest Loser on tv and scoff.

The sad reality is that most people who want to lose weight are jealous of those who have, and Ė while they wonít admit it Ė subconsciously want to see those people fail because it means they shouldnít try. When I was in denial, sure Iíd watch those makeover shows and the weight loss success stories, but in the back of my head Iíd say ďit can never last, theyíll just gain it all back again, and more.Ē

In the end, I guess Iím happy to be a traitor, if thatís what I am. This traitorís gonna go back to eating her mini bag of 94% reduced fat popcorn, and canít wait to get on the scale tonight for the official Weekly Weigh-in.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AZIMAT 4/1/2010 5:53PM

    Your life is YOURS. What you want to do is what you should do. Yes, some are going to feel left behind, all you can do is invite them on the journey, or wish them well in thier present state.

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TIGGERIFFIC123 3/25/2010 1:49PM

    Wonderful post!! You keep making positive healthy choices and do what is best for you. If that makes you a traitor then you are in very good company here in Sparkland! You will be healthy body, mind and soul for which there is no substitute!! Keep up the amazing work!

Rhonda

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THORNTONSTEPH 3/25/2010 11:50AM

    You go girl, I'm right behind you! emoticon

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SHULAMIT58 3/25/2010 10:58AM

    Fabulous post!!! You go, girl!!! Yes, not being MEAN to people dealing with obesity is one thing-- making it a lifestyle CHOICE, as if it's a positive GOOD, is another. And especially when there's an attitude of 'now everyone else out there better start making chairs bigger, and airplane seats bigger, and plates bigger, and car seats bigger, and hospital beds bigger, cause I'm here to STAY, so you better just DEAL with it...' And what sort of message does this give to these folks' children?? You're a terrific traitor :-).

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ARIANERA 3/25/2010 9:00AM

    emoticon

Ari

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ANDYLIN90 3/25/2010 1:53AM

    Hey, you go Zansidhe! Keep up that great attitude.

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Keeping it Together

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My mom has cancer.

How the hell do you react when your parents call to tell you that one of them has cancer? How could I react? I wanted to cry and scream, but didn't. I stayed calm because I knew that's what they needed.

But what happens when you can't lose control? What happens when you can't vent all your frustration at the world? I wanted nothing more than to just start eating and eating and eating and not stop. Eat until I felt numb, until the fear and upset disappeared.

My immediate reaction was to throw diet out the window, head to the greasiest pizza place I know, stuff most of a large pizza down my throat, and drown my sorrows in a pitcher of beer. My husband, bless his soul, would have been a willing accomplice, except he knows how much I would have hated myself in the morning. Instead, he sat next to me as he was pretending to get ready to go to said pizza place and said:

"I wonder how many POINTS a slice of their pizza is? Forty?"

It was enough to stop my deadly downward spiral and start me thinking. That little voice in my head kept screaming for pizza, but every other fiber of my being said "no, this isn't what you want to do."

Would my mom want me to fall off the wagon when I've been this successful? No, she wouldn't. Is she going to fall off the wagon just because of this bump in the road? No, she's not.

So, despite that urge to indulge, I stayed in control. The hubby, best friend and I went to Outback where I allowed myself to have a big, honking margarita along with my usual meal: Chicken on the Barbie with steamed vegetables (no butter in the preparation) and the Seared Ahi appetizer. Frankly, everything but the ahi tasted like ashes, and the margarita was too sweet.

Tonight's meeting topic at Weight Watchers, "Why We Eat", probably comes at the perfect time. Regardless of whether I feel like going or not, I'm going. This particular topic on this specific night is exactly what I need to reinforce good behaviors even in the face of the worst of news.

Food does not control me.
I will not find solace in food.
Food will not make my problems go away.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARIANERA 1/28/2010 9:20PM

    My prayers will be with you and your mother.
emoticon for you.

And a big
emoticon
for your husband for knowing the right thing to say. I am proud of you for hearing your husband's intent and not taking his words as criticism.

Last night was the 20th anniversary of my mother's death from breast cancer. I was just a kid at the time (well a college student), so don't have any good advice on how to support your parents through these "interesting" times as a adult.

Ari



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KIDDER136 1/28/2010 9:09PM

    I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. Sending prayers for her and your family. That is the biggest test of your will power and you kept yourself in control. Good for you.


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LENA383 1/28/2010 1:17PM

    I have been in your situation too many times in my life. I know how scary it is to know someone you love has cancer. If you need any support, please let me know. Your family is in my thoughts.

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ROUSEHEAVY 1/28/2010 11:27AM

    oh girl!!! give urself credit!!! u r super strong!!! & ya, its ok to vent. bite someone's head off....yell, scream!! whatever it takes to get out the feelings cuz when u hold them in is when u want to eat worst. hang in there missy, we will say prayers for u & urs!!! all our luv!!

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AZIMAT 1/28/2010 10:32AM

    I'm sending prayers for you and your Mom. I'm glad to hear that your spouse is so supportive.



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TIGGERIFFIC123 1/28/2010 10:04AM

    I am so sorry to hear all that you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

I know all to well how you are feeling I have just gone through this with a close family member. We be strong for them and then we yell, scream, cry and vent to our husbands, friends (including our fellow sparkers) and sometimes anybody else who will listen.

Burying our emotions with food is what we used to do. Now we feel them, deal with them and continue to make mindful choices about our food and exercise. SP provides us with all of the tools we need and all of the support we need to get through these tough times and continue on our journey.

What we eat, weather or not we exercise does not change the diagnosis or treatments. It does however change how strong we are both physically and emotionally to be able to support them through this very difficult time.

I am so glad to hear you will go to your meeting this evening even if you have to force yourself. There are days you are going to have to force yourself. BUT you have PROVEN that YOU CAN DO IT!!

I know I am not alone as I tell you that you have all of our Support...Just keep reaching out! You know where to find me if you want to chat!

Take Care,
Rhonda

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DALMOMOF3 1/28/2010 9:59AM

    I am so sorry to hear of your mom's diagnosis, that was a true test of your commitment to stay on track and it is awesome that you did. prayers to you and your family

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New Yearís Resolutions and Holiday Catch-up †

Monday, January 04, 2010

The idea of basing your weight loss goals on some flimsy resolution you set for the New Year is probably not the best of plans. Like so many others before me, Iíve made many a broad, sweeping statement about what Iíd like to do in the New Year, generally something along the lines of ďI donít wanna be fat next yearĒ. Great. Wonderful. Then, next year Iíd find myself ten pounds heavier. Woops.

I avoided making generalized weight loss related resolutions this year. Yes, I have a goal weight in mind, but no specific time line. Frankly, I set goals for myself all the time, and donít follow through on 75% of them. Rings a bit of setting myself up for failure, eh?

On the other hand, I find the Weight Watchers goal setting technique to be pretty awesome. Itís all about setting positive, realistic goals and stating how and when you plan to achieve them. We discussed it in depth at last weekís meeting and came up with possible goals we would like to set for ourselves. Although I donít plan on making weight related resolutions, I did resolve to set a mini-goal or two and see if it helps or hinders.

Today was my first day back at the office after more than a week and a half away from work. I donít know about anyone else, but I find it much easier to stay on plan when Iím working. Call me crazy, but I feel better prepared when I have to sit at my desk all day long.

That brings me to the holiday re-cap.

Food wise, I stayed on plan 90% of the holiday season. And by plan, I mean staying within my calorie ranges. My protein to carb to fat ratios were all way out of whack, and my sugar high was, well, high. My good eating habits flew right out the window, and I started the season with a bang. Hello, heartburn! There was the inevitable baking frenzy (chocolate chip cookies, ginger snaps, chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies. And did I mention chocolate chip cookies?). My mother-in-law made pumpkin pie. We ended the season with an epic party at our place and the alcohol, it did flow.

Exercise was my salvation. Yeah, Iím shocked too. I upped my exercise while I was out of work to make up for all the crud I shoved into the piehole. Discovered the joys of Fit TV, the show ďShimmyĒ (yay DVR!), and just how much belly dance can kick oneís considerable butt. Acquired several new workout DVDs ($7.99 at Costco!), and am looking into creating a monthly rotation so that none go to waste.

I managed to make it to WW meetings on the Wednesday before Christmas and the Wednesday before New Yearís. Actually saw a little success at the scale last week, but think that the weekendís festivities bumped me back up a couple of pounds. Oh well, back on the wagon, I say.

Well, Iím looking forward to this year and the successes to come. Hope you are too!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARIANERA 1/5/2010 1:03PM

    I agree that getting back to the routine of work was a relief. If you have a system for work-days, it does make things easier.

I'd love to hear your mini-goals when you are ready to share them.

Ari



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Taking a Look at the Past

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Looking back at the entries I've written in the past I realized something was missing. Obviously, the title of my blog is "Singing for a Smaller Me", but I've never really addressed my passion for music. I haven't talked much about it here because I made a conscious decision to focus my attention on my weight loss effort. Setting up good habits now will help me more with my singing/acting career in the long run than allowing bad habits to creep in by spreading my focus too thin.

I come from a reasonably musical background: my dad plays and teachs piano, my great grandfather was in the New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus, and my great grandmother - so I've been told - had an amazing coloratura soprano voice.

Since I can remember my dad was at the piano playing classical music, improvising jazz solos, and regularly teaching piano lessons. I don't remember a time in my life when there wasn't music.

At eight years old I expressed an interest in playing the piano and it was my good fortune we had a built in teacher. On and off I played for a few years, learning the basics, but never really applying myself - piano practice was not my forte. By the time I was twelve the piano lessons had stopped, but I developed a deep and abiding love of music, and regularly twiddled around a bit on the piano.

Over the years, performing in one way or another was a constant. For a long time it was dance lessons, then it was piano, however, around twelve or thirteen years old I found my real passion: singing. Musical theatre, classical, jazz, you name it. Oh, and acting too.

It all fit together pretty well: My dad and I would sit at the piano for hours as I sang and played. And as it turns out I had a pretty natural talent for it, and a naturally pleasant sounding singing voice.

My vocal epiphany also came at the same time I slowly began putting on weight. It wasn't much of an issue in middle school or high school - they still cast me in just about every part for which I auditioned. But as I got older and continued to put on weight, I was regularly getting passed up by less talented but better looking girls. Still, I continued to perform and went to college to study opera.

My response to those who told me to lose weight was that it didn't matter in opera. Yeah, right. In this day and age, unless you have a phenomenal talent or are one of the lucky ones that has a very rare vocal type, it matters. Modern audiences don't want to see a 250 lb woman playing the soprano who's dying of consumption. They want a Salome that can do the Dance of the Seven Veils, and petite geisha girls as Madame Butterfly.

But I digress . . .

It wasn't until after college when I was auditioning for professional companies that it finally hit me. I wasn't being passed up for parts because I wasn't good enough (although there are plenty out there just as good or better than me), my weight was working against me. Talent only takes you so far, and as a soprano struggling to make a name for herself, I need to stand out in every possible way.

Now, I know that losing weight won't magically make directors cast me in every show. Still, it is one reason out of many that I keep chugging along.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURAANN821 12/28/2009 11:40AM

    Music is a very large part of our family, as well. Like you, I dabbled with the piano, as a young girl. And like you, I was never very good about committing to the required hours of practice. I loved to sing and I would spend hours in our family dining room as a young girl, playing the piano and singing. In school, I performed in every musical, talent show, etc. Unfortunately, my family was torn apart by abuse and as I teenager, I fell into the trappings of drugs, alchohol, etc. I did not follow my dreams and it took me many many years to heal and be a whole person.

Nonetheless, today I have two beautiful children, who both have musical talents. My son is a fantastic guitar player and he has a tremendous tenor voice. My daughter, a fabulous soprano. They both have performed in many shows, and have been selected for State Choir. My daughter actually tried out for American Idol (she did not get chosen, but it was a lot of fun).

You are certainly a beautiful person, and it is sad that the world judges us based upon our looks.... but it is the reality. As this is sad but true, it is also a blessing, as it is the thing that is pushing you and driving you to be your best. It's your motivation.

So, you go girl! Sing and dance..... the lbs. will drop off.

emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/28/2009 11:40:24 AM

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AZIMAT 12/20/2009 11:29AM

    Good for you that you recognized a reality and are taking the steps needed. Why not give yourself every advantage? You are lovely, and i wish you the best!

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JORDANADDO 12/16/2009 3:31PM

    It's a sad but true observation in this image conscious society we live in. Even if this is one of your main reaons for losing weight you will find that you gain a whole lot more from the process emoticon

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