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Archive for July, 2010

Peggy Sue got married

Once in awhile I like to fantasize about being 18 again, only in my fantasy I’m 18 with 38 years of experience.

I don’t think I’d ever want to go back to my teen years unless I could go back with those 20 years of my life completely intact inside my brain somewhere. What would be the point otherwise?

There are some mistakes that could be rectified, but more than that I think it would be wonderful to be a young woman with the self-confidence and self-awareness I now possess. That would be the shit.

And? The guys would eat it up.

For reals.

*Sigh*

I’m not going to back in time, but I don’t mind at all where I am right now.

Life is good.

It’s about damn time.

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Journalists

Autumn does not know I’m a writer. I could tell her I’m a writer, but she wouldn’t know what to do with that information. I could tell her I like to tell stories and she’d probably respond by lighting up and begging me to tell her a story right then, one that involved a princess or a monster or both.

My father is a retired middle school science teacher. My mother currently works at a hardware store and spent most of my formative years working in a bank. Mom is the reader of the two, preferring biographies over anything else. My father spends his free time cataloging his extensive music collection and planning his annual trip out west. He keeps a journal during these trips, but the other 49 weeks of the year go undocumented.

Both of my grandmothers have kept diaries at one time or another, though from what my uncle says about Grandma D.’s diary (he peeked), she uses it to discuss everyone else’s transgressions. Recently Grandma D. gave my dad a journal my grandpa kept during his time in the army. This was during World War II and the journal was mainly a log of departures and arrivals, names of transport vessels and one brief mention of a young woman who kept him company during a furlough. There was very little mention of getting sick and spending over a year in a malaria camp in Australia. As my dad read the journal aloud to us, I couldn’t help but think it was a rather mundane account of an extraordinary time in my grandpa’s life.

A few days ago Autumn started carrying around a Post-It notepad and pen. She called it her notebook and I’d catch her scribbling in it from time to time. I told her she looked like a reporter. She had no idea what I was talking about.

“Do you want a real notebook?” I asked and presented her with one of the many little Springpad notebooks I brought back from BlogHer last year. She now writes in that and rips the pages out to give to me or Nathan. The most recent note was given to the dog and was lovingly placed on Molly’s pillow in the living room.

I had to take the notebook away from her last night. I found it in her bed along with her pen. “You need to sleep,” I said and placed the notebook and pen on her dresser. She was distraught but didn’t make any attempt to retrieve the notebook while I was in the room.

This morning the notebook was still on the dresser, but several pages had been ripped out and were strewn across Autumn’s floor and bed. I picked one up and observed the random grouping of letters she had scribbled on the page.

And finally it dawned on me that maybe I’m not the anomaly I thought I was after all.

We all tell our own stories in our own way.

Some people just tell them more often.

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Big girl britches

This week I finally retired the brown pants with the elastic waistband.

If you take into account the basic function of pants, meaning they need to cover my ass and the enormous white cotton granny panties I find most comfortable, then yes, I guess they did still fit and would continue to fit as long as the circumference of the elastic waistband remained less than the circumference of my hips.

*Snort*

But dang, those pants were baggy. They were embarrassingly baggy. These were pants I wore 60 pounds ago and they were pretty comfortable back then. I have a few items of clothing like that, things that more or less fit when I was at my heaviest and that I continue to wear now because they fit even better and do the job of covering what I want covered.

Like the purple shirt I’m wearing today. It’s been a frequent player in my weekly wardrobe rotation for a long time, but 60 pounds ago I could not button it. I also couldn’t hike the sleeves up past my elbow without unbuttoning the cuffs. Now I can button up the shirt and roll up the buttoned cuffs and when I do those things I realize this shirt probably did not fit at all 60 pounds ago. But I wore it anyway because I had exactly five outfits I could wear to work and those brown pants and the purple shirt were my Monday ensemble.

Last Monday or whatever day I last wore the brown pants, I passed my reflection in the mirror and finally realized they were no longer working for me. This morning I pulled them out of the dryer, folded them up and placed them on top of a pair of black capris I bought from Old Navy last year before my trip to Chicago. I had tried on the capris just for fun a few days ago. I knew they no longer fit and as I descended the stairs wearing them, Nathan watched in alarm as they slid down my hips.

“Those pants are falling down. You’re going to kill yourself!” he exclaimed.

“Relax,” I said, “they’re capris. I’m not going to trip over them.”

When I got to the bottom of the stairs I let the capris drop to the floor. I stepped out of them, folded them up and placed them on top of the dryer.

And so we have the beginning of my “fat clothes” pile.

I’ve been here before. It’s great to be able to discard things because they are too big as opposed to hanging them up in the closet with the hope they will one day fit again. In Weight Watchers they say keeping your fat clothes offers the kind of safety net you really don’t need. Get rid of the old clothes, go shopping and enjoy your new body, they say.

Seven years ago I did just that. I bagged up all my fat clothes and dropped them off at Goodwill. I went shopping and never once thought about the things I’d gotten rid of. At least not until after my pregnancy when I needed them again.

I’m never going to wear those brown pants again. I’m never going to wear the capris again. Even if I happened to gain all the weight back, I think I’d still rather go through the agony of shopping for something new than face the humiliation of becoming reacquainted with something that used to be too big.

So I should just get rid of them, right?

Right?

But…I’ve been here before. I know how this story could end.

I’m not trying to be a pessimist nor am I starting to fall back into old habits. This silly little problem concerning clothes that don’t fit and what to do with them is just one of many things on my mind right now.

That and a craving for a Hershey’s Special Dark bar.

As you can see, I lead a very complicated life.

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Lies and half truths

This week my physical therapist cut me loose.

When he asked me if it was okay if we “wrapped it up” I thought he was referring to my knee.

Yes, please do wrap it up. Let your hands heal me.

Ah well, I was kind of getting sick of him anyway. The smile and the dimples. You can only take so much of that.

The pain is not gone but it has diminished.  I suppose I might see more improvement if I actually did the exercises he told me I should be doing.

Last week I outright lied to him.

“Have you been doing your stretches at home?” he asked.

YES!

I answered immediately, maybe too quickly, because I knew he was going to ask.

I wonder if he could tell I was full of shit.

Hopefully he never finds this blog.

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A funny thing happened after I wrote last week’s post.

I went and lost 4.2 pounds.

In a week.

That doesn’t happen very often and I certainly didn’t expect it to happen last week after my whiny diatribe about the gynecologist.

I guess I was so weighed down with indignation that I didn’t realize I was kicking ass.

The best part is that I now weigh less than 300 pounds.

298.4 to be exact.

58.4 pounds total lost.

You will probably never encounter another person so thrilled to weigh 298.4, but I have not seen that 2 in front of my weight in five years.  You know, since I was pregnant.

Nevertheless, I am wearing a maternity tank top today. It’s one of the few I own that is not stained.

Shut up. It’s tucked in.

Oh yeah, I’m tucking in the shirts now.

This is a huge victory for me and I will be hosting a giveaway to celebrate. I just have to figure out what I’m going to give away.

So stay tuned.

298.4, bitches!

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My gynecologist is a pleasant woman. She’s petite and amiable and makes the job of an annual exam less painful by bursting into the room, laptop in hand, exclaiming “Happy Pap Smear Day!”

Okay, so she’s actually kind of a wacko, but that’s not the reason I wanted to strangle her this morning.

I hadn’t seen her in three years. A lot can happen in three years.  A lot has happened in three years, but since I’m now in full on “taking care of myself” mode, I figured it was time to get this unpleasant business out of the way.

And all would have been fine if she hadn’t started to lecture me about my weight.  I saw it coming like a tornado heading for a trailer park.

“One thing I really want to discuss, because it’s so important to your overall health, is the weight.”

The weight.

It’s like it has a life of its own.

I took some time to craft my response while she babbled on about exercise and diet. Should I take the defensive, more belligerent approach and put her in an uncomfortable position by asking “What makes you think I’m not doing anything about the weight?”  Because seriously, that’s what I wanted to. The woman pissed me off.

I may still be hovering just over 300 pounds, but three years ago I was at least 20 pounds heavier. That alone should have warranted an ‘atta girl, but she was just looking at what she saw sitting in front of her on the table.

And? AND? I’ve been seeing my primary care physician in the very same office regularly since I started Weight Watchers, and since his nurse weighs me every goddam time I visit, the gynecologist should have consulted those records prior to assuming I had made no progress at all in managing my weight.

If I hadn’t been naked under a sheet I would have walked right out of the room.

So I said, “Actually, I’ve lost over 50 pounds since October.”

“That’s great!” she exclaimed and proceeded to tap tap tap away on her laptop until she brought up my weight history.

“Oh yeah, I can see you’re 50 pounds down from your heaviest weight in ’09. Great job!”

Too late. You already made me feel like shit, lady.

This wouldn’t have stung so much if I hadn’t been right in the middle of a plateau. It still would have pissed me off, but I’ve been working as hard as ever without seeing much progress.  My weight has not moved in about six weeks and the last thing I needed was some Kelli Martin look-alike coming down on me for being fat.

My old OBGYN, the woman who delivered Autumn, was wonderful if only for the fact that she never lectured me about the weight. She was a little on the heavier side herself and I’ve found most doctors who struggle with weight issues are less likely to hound you about yours.  But as great as she was, her office was poorly managed and it wasn’t unusual for me to wait upwards of an hour to see her for a routine prenatal exam.

So I chose an office closer to home and wound up with this perky little Atkins disciple who only recognized my efforts after I pointed them out to her.

I’m still seething.

So on behalf of all the fatties out there, and there are a lot of them, I have a few questions I’d like to pose to the medical community:

Do you really think we’re oblivious to what the extra weight does to our bodies?

Do you think we enjoy being fat and strive to be as unhealthy as possible?

And really, do you think your lectures make any difference at all? Do you think that by telling us how bad all that extra weight is, your words will turn on some magic switch inside of us that will get us to start exercising and eating well?

Because I have some news for you.  If anything, these lectures only serve as an excuse for us not to schedule a return visit. Why do you think it had been three years since my last exam?

Losing weight is one of those things people can only accomplish once they decide it’s something worth accomplishing. They have to want it and they have to want to work for it. No lecture from a doctor they see once a year is going to make any difference in whether they stop eating whole bags of Chex Mix and start taking the dog out for walks in the morning before work.

I’d love to be able to walk into next year’s appointment another 50 pounds down, but making that kind of resolution just to SHOW HER isn’t going to help me in the long run.

I’m not doing this for anyone but myself.

I want it and I want to work for it.

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