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Archive for April, 2011

Cliffhanger

NEWS FLASH: I did not finish the work on the new blog.  I didn’t even come close. I have, however, been assembling enough fodder for my West Michigan Bloggers presentation in June. I’m going to be talking about rebranding/moving your blog. So far I am well versed in what not to do.

Like don’t let your mom talk you into going out to lunch when you should be working on the blog. She will hold you hostage, drive you to Kohls and talk you into buying a purse the shade of Pepto Bismol, which I LOVE, by the way.

Part of today's score. I forgot how dangerous it is to shop with my mother.

Kohl’s had a more subdued black and white version that I thought was more my speed, but I worried about it getting dirty and opted for the pink. I know you can’t tell from the Instagramness of the pic, but that’s a really, really bright shade of pink and not at all something I’d normally buy for myself. It’s not neon, but I do consider it a risky purchase for a woman who buys purses in shades one normally sees in a Holstein or a Guernsey.

Right now I’m all about taking little risks like buying pink purses and wearing heels to work. I cheated a little and wore Crocs from my car to the office and changed into the heels once I got to my desk, but dang, I wore HEELS to work and managed to actually walk in them.  I also bought several fancy shmancy new bras from Lane Bryant that actually do the job bras are made to do.  It turns out all those bras I was excited about finding last year no longer fit. I was wearing bras with bands two sizes too big.  The band was riding up in the back and nothing was being supported well in the front.

Of course my back is killing me now that I’m finally wearing proper-fitting bras. I’m hoping this is just something my body needs to get used to as I develop hardy boob-supporting back muscles, but right now I could use some Aspercreme or an Icy/Hot patch not to mention a massage (hint hint, Nathan).

So last week wasn’t a total loss. I’m a little blocked with the blog, which I can’t afford to be for long, but I have a new purse and my girls now have a better view of the world around them.

Oh, and I’m planning on getting my nose pierced to celebrate my 100-pound loss.

More about that later.

 

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Green goddess

This dress is making me wish I was a size 14 already.

If I was a size 14 already, this dress would make me wish I had the $425 to buy it.

Damn you, Kate Spade.

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I had a  very good weigh-in on Saturday and finally reached that 100-lb milestone. Woo hoo!

I can’t say if the good loss was due to eating fewer activity points. I didn’t completely abstain, which I guess isn’t abstinence at all. If one is practicing abstinence, one is not doing the thing from which they are abstaining, right? I mean, there’s no halfway in between abstinence and indulgence, is there?

The thing about consciously trying to not eat those activity points is that I felt just a touch of deprivation, which is ridiculous considering the number of Dove dark chocolate promises I consumed. Everything was counted, mind you, but I’m just saying that any diet infused with some dark chocolate here and there is definitely not one of deprivation.

This week I am logging activity points and will most likely consume them all. I’m heading to a Chinese buffet with my mom for lunch tomorrow and am eager to partake of the sushi nirvana she claims this place to be. I also had a run-in with a bag of potato chips this weekend. I’m not normally a potato chip kind of gal unless they have some derivation of a ranch coating on them, but these were kettle chips made with beer. I don’t even like beer, but apparently it kicks ass when used to make potato chips. There was just a touch of sweetness with a slight yeasty beer aftertaste. They were very good and before I knew it I had consumed way more servings than I should have. That’s when I closed up the bag and walked the chips out to Nathan’s car to await his ride into work this morning. I did not need those things in the house with me this week.

Of course what should I see when I got in his car to drive to the gym this morning?

That's right, BEER chips. And they will be riding shotgun with my husband as he drives to work tomorrow.

Sometimes my decisions lack foresight, but I managed to stay strong and the chips are now keeping Nathan company.

So…I’ve lost 100 pounds. One hundred and one point eight to be exact, though Weight Watchers sees that as five pounds less than I do since I was five pounds over my start weight when I started back in October of 2009. That I had to lose five pounds to get back to where I started may not mean anything to them, but it means something to me.

I have lost OVER 100 pounds, and if I can keep my wits about me at the buffet tomorrow, I might be able to maintain bragging rights at my next weigh-in.

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On the bright side

This week I’ve told three different people that I have no idea where I’d be right now if I hadn’t blown out my knee and lived with pain for two years.  One of the people was my supervisor. I had my review with her this week and after we were through talking about what we had to talk about, she told me I’m looking great and we moved on to small talk about Weight Watchers and how I’m finding success on the plan.

Two years ago during my review with this same woman, I sat in front of her, red-faced and weeping, and said I just wanted to put in my ten years and get the hell out.  I was miserable in the job.  Truth be told, I was just miserable, but the job compounded it all and the only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that I’d lose my pension if I quit before I had my ten years in.

So I was miserable and practical.

I know what you’re thinking. What does an unpleasant performance review have to do with your knee and where is this all going?

The knee injury marked the beginning of my descent into a severe depression. The knee injury was the capper of the suck-fest that was 2007. Nathan’s mom died in May, his dad remarried in September and I blew out my knee in December.  All events are well-documented in the blog if you care to read up on them.

At the time I hurt my knee I weighed about 70 pounds more than I weigh now. If the actual act of blowing out the knee wasn’t painful enough, I had to manage hoisting myself around on crutches in the middle of a Michigan winter. Eventually I moved on to a cane and then to no support at all, but I actually didn’t get rid of the limp until the following July.

The injured knee made everything more difficult. Climbing the stairs at home (nine going up, five going down), sex (which wasn’t a piece of cake to begin with) and taking care of my child were all activities that were affected because of the bum knee.  Autumn was only two at the time and I couldn’t even get on the floor with her to play. As little as she was, I couldn’t add her weight to my own for a simple piggyback ride around the house.

Then there was the time she ran away from me down the middle of the street and I couldn’t even attempt to try and catch her.

As time went on and I continued to not be able to do these things, I started getting more and more depressed.  I also started getting lonelier and lonelier since most of the people who I had thought were my friends seemed to have disappeared.  I have to admit to doing a very good job at repelling them with my surliness, sometimes using this blog as a weapon to air my frustration and disappointment at finding out they weren’t nearly as invested in my well-being as I was in theirs.

So all these awful feelings of betrayal, loneliness, inadequacy and self-loathing kept building up and building up like a giant zit about to explode all over the bathroom mirror.

And to add to all that, I hated my job.

I don’t need to tell you why I hated my job, but by the time I sat down with my supervisor two years ago, I was doing a piss-poor job and she let me know it.

I’d never had a bad review before. Never. Ever.

I had always been a good worker, but the injury, the depression and the isolation of feeling miserable and misunderstood took its toll on my work life as well as my personal life. That’s when I nearly committed career suicide by stamping my commitment to the office with that ten-year expiration date.

Ten years and I was out.

That review marked the beginning of the end of that very dark period of  my life. After that review I took a week-long leave from work and started getting the help I needed to pull my shit together. I started therapy and began talking through everything I’d been keeping bottled up. It was brilliant and painful and one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

Six months later I did the second-best thing I’ve ever done for myself.  I went back to Weight Watchers.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

So when I told those three people I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t blown out my knee, what I was doing was imagining what my life would be like now if I hadn’t blown out my knee.

Would I still weight over 300 pounds? Because I don’t now.

Would I still hate my job and be planning my exit in six months? Because I no longer do and I no longer am.

For the first time in…well ever, I feel as though I’m right where I belong.  I’m enjoying my job, I’ve developed great friendships with people who get me and have finally gotten to a place in my life where I believe I am capable of much, much more than I ever realized.

Like forgiveness.  Moving on.  Leaving the past in the past.  Letting bygones be bygones.  Whatever you want to call it, losing weight isn’t always about dropping pants sizes.

Of course this feeling of contentedness comes with a dread that someone or something might come along and knock me off balance again, but for now I’m going to appreciate, in a macabre sort of way, that blowing out my knee and living with pain for two years was just about the best thing that ever happened to me.

 

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Whenever in blue jeans

A few days ago I whined about how I haven’t lost any weight in six weeks. I’ve been through the Weight Watchers program often enough and long enough to know that the exercise and eating right are paying off in spite of what the scale is saying.  But when you’re stuck on a plateau, it’s hard to focus on the good things until you have that tangible proof you are indeed shrinking.

The other day I received that tangible proof in the form of these jeans:

You can’t see much of the jeans due to the jacket draped over my arm, but that underexposed picture was taken over six years ago in Las Vegas less than two months before I found out I was pregnant.

No, I did not get pregnant in Vegas. I got pregnant as soon as I got home from Vegas.  It was not an enjoyable trip, for more than one reason.

I’ve looked at that picture many times over the years and have wondered if I’d ever get back into those jeans. The last time I tried them on was in February, and while I could get them buttoned and I could get them zipped, I could not sit down without the risk of cleaving myself in two because the waistband was so tight.  So I put them back up in the closet to wait for another fitting after I’d lost more weight.

Since I haven’t lost more weight, I decided to pull out the jeans and see if they fit anyway.  They were still a little tight, but this time I didn’t feel as though a boa constrictor was wrapped around my belly.

I wore the jeans last night to a blogger meetup at a local Italian restaurant. After a couple of hours of sitting at the table, I was a little uncomfortable, but the jeans kept me from eating the entire plate of capelini, which was sort of the point of wearing them in the first place.

Oddly enough, the jeans did not keep me from eating five pieces of bread.  So maybe it was the bread that kept me from eating all the capelini.  Whatever the case, I wore the jeans and my kid now has leftover shrimp to eat at dinner tonight.

 

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A working vacation

I have all next week off from work. I will have the house to myself and have only two things on my to-do list.

  1. Balance my checkbook
  2. Work on the new blog.

When I say “new blog” that’s a bit of a misnomer since I’ll actually be importing all my old posts to the new site, but I will be setting up a newly-designed and newly-named blog on a new domain.  I’m doing all the work myself and at this point I really don’t know if that was a good idea. I figure at least for the initial roll-out whatever I manage to pull together will have to do. Also, I do like the notion of having complete creative control throughout every step of the process.  I’m funny like that.

The decision to move in a new direction came about last fall when Autumn started having problems in school. Normally I wouldn’t think twice about sorting through my parenting challenges by writing about them here.  I’ve found the best support here as I’ve written through my daughter’s infancy and on to her first day of kindergarten.

But what we went through with her during those first few weeks in public school went beyond anything we had ever experienced with her before and I suddenly found myself in a situation that was too personal to share. I actually wrote a very long, very passionate post that I never published about what happened, the abbreviated version of which goes something like this; Autumn started kindergarten in the Spanish immersion class and was transferred to a pre-k class about six weeks into the school year. She wasn’t ready for kindergarten, and while she will be returning this fall, she will not be in the Spanish immersion program, the reasons for which I am keeping private.  No matter how obscure my little blog is, I can’t post my version of what happened without the risk of damaging my relationship with the school. Autumn is going to spend the next seven years there, and no matter how unhappy I am with certain people, I am not keen on becoming known as “the acid-tongue blogger who trashed the school.”

And as I’ve said before, there comes a point in your child’s life when you have to embrace the idea that her stories are not your stories, and although you did have a hand in creating her, you eventually have to let her weave her own narrative as she will.  Right now that entails lots and lots of crayon drawings of various members of our family, including the dog.  She’s a great storyteller, though, and might someday start pounding at the keyboard like her mom. For now her audience is very, very small and I’m happy to keep it that way.

That being said, the new blog is not going to differ much from what you’ve been seeing here lately; posts about weight and weight loss and freakouts about the same.  A year ago I was very hesitant about documenting my efforts to drop the weight.  There’s so much more to me than being fat and I wasn’t sure I wanted to become a weight loss blogger.  I was happy writing about anything and everything in my own little niche-less space, but as I continue to grow (or shrink, rather) as a person, the blog grows, too.  I am not the same person I was two years ago, so of course it follows that the blog should evolve with me.

At this point I don’t anticipate being able to unveil the new blog by the end of next week, but I do hope to complete the hardest part- design and layout.  I’ve already changed my Twitter name and will be creating a new Facebook page.

Since I don’t want anyone peeking while I work on setting up my new digs, I won’t be revealing the name of the blog until I’m ready to go live with it.  I just wanted to let you all know there will be changes.

Of course I could have made this entry way shorter just by saying:

HEADS UP! BLOG WILL BE CHANGING SOON. KTXBAI.

 

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I was very much hoping to post that I had lost the 1.8 pounds that would bring me that 100 pound milestone.

Nope. I GAINED 1.8 pounds.

Shit.

So what went wrong?

For one, I did not follow through on the Activity Points Abstinence Plan I laid out for myself last week.  I ate every single one of those suckers. The plan fell apart after I weighed myself at my parents’ house Thursday night and realized my efforts weren’t paying off like I had hoped so I figured I may as well just eat the damned activity points.

Then I weighed myself at my parents’ house again Friday night, saw that my weight had gone up a pound and came home to drown my frustrations in cheese puffs.  That was before the dinner out at Taco Bell, of course.  At least I had the wherewithal to stick to the Fresco menu there.

There’s a reason I do not own a scale. Scales are instruments of Satan and the large doctor-type scale with the balancing weights in my parents’ bathroom is the worst demon of them all. It has made me doubt myself and this week I paid the price.  As I sat in the meeting and sulked, I went back through my weight log and realized I haven’t made any progress in the past six weeks. I’ve gone up, I’ve gone down, but essentially I’m the same weight I was at my last weigh-in in February.

Logically I know this is all bullshit. I’m making great progress. That I’ve stuck to the plan this long is progress, and since I’ve never managed to stick with the plan this long, I’m finding myself in virgin territory with this plateau. It’s messing with my head.

I know how my body works. It doesn’t like to give up the weight. It can put it on just fine, but when it comes to taking it off, it’s this flesh miser that only wants to reward me for my hard work about once a month.  I have one really good loss the week before my period and that’s it.  It’s almost like the body is saying, “Well, your next week is going to suck so I’ll throw you a bone.”

I do realize I can’t be completely indignant. A few weeks ago I experienced a great loss in spite of not eating as well as I should have, so maybe what I’m experiencing is just the result of too many batches of cookie dough and too many dinners out.

Whatever the case, I do hope to see a good loss at my next weigh-in. I’m proceeding with the Activity Points Abstinence Plan again this week and hope to stick to it. There were no birthday parties with cake, no dinners out and I made my latest batch of cookies Friday night, which may or may not have contributed to the gain.

I had better ease off on the cookie baking. At least until I reach my 100-pound milestone.

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