Once Upon a Fat Girl

Friday, June 30, 2006

Still Sleepy--But Buffed Up

I'm still so tired. It didn't help AT ALL that Kevin accidently woke up Ruby at 4 a.m., and the girl didn't go back to sleep. She watched the Disney Channel and gnoshed on her baba for an hour and a half, so I got to sleep until a whopping 5:30 a.m.

It REALLY didn't help that since I slept all afternoon yesterday, I couldn't fall asleep until 1 a.m. Yeah. Four and a half hours of sleep isn't enough for me. So I took a nap again this afternoon--two hours while Ruby napped.

Then we went to the Y and the kids swam while I worked out. I did my weight training, and 20 minutes on the bike. I also did five minutes on the elliptical trainer. Damn--that thing is so hard!

One funny thing: I usually do the lat pull down first--with 75 pounds. But for some reason I went to the chest press first and set it for the lat weight. I normally only do 40 pounds on the chest press. I set it for 75 and thought...OMG, why is this so hard? I took the little five pound weight off and did the whole set at 70. Then realized that I've been doing it at 40! I guess I'm stronger than I thought!

I had planned to do weights twice a week--but Bob Greene's book says that you get significantly more benefit by doing weights three times a week. So, I figured what the hell. My plan is to do one hour long bike ride and one hour long walk each week. Then three days of a shorter 20 to 30 minute cardio workout, and the weight training. And then two days off. I don't want to do a strict schedule...but I'll have to have at least one day between weight days to recover. This week so far I've done the hour long walk, two strength workouts and one shorter bike ride. (My weeks go from Monday to Sunday.) So tomorrow I plan on doing the hour long bike ride. Then Saturday a shorter walk or bike ride, and weights again. Then Sunday off. Ta da!

Another funny/odd thing: apparently my body is finally getting used to eating less food (knock on wood!) The past three days I've eaten exactly I wanted, when I was hungry, and stopped when I was full with no problem, no anxiety, no nothing! In analyzing my eating habits though--I have noticed that I need more food on weight training days. Maybe two or three hundred extra calories.

I'm going to bed early tonight NO MATTER WHAT! I'm taking an Excedrine PM, and I'm not letting Ruby go to bed too early. Poor baby. Swimming wipes her out, and usually means missing her afternoon nap, so she's been going to bed for the night at like 5:30. Hence the 4 a.m. wake up calls. Ugh.

In analyzing why I'm so tired:

1. I have done double the workouts this week as I have been (double the length, I mean.)

2. I do take vitamins...a multi, plus a magnesium/potasium, an iron because I'm anemic, C, B and fish oil.

3. I think I'm getting enough protein...about 20 percent of my calories, which is the upper end of what Calorie King reccomends.

4. It's freaking hot around here...H.O.T. like 110 plus degrees. So I've been drinking probably a little too much Diet Coke--so too much caffine.

5. I'm getting a little less sleep...maybe an hour or so...than I really need. I used to be right as rain on six hours a night. Now I absolutely need eight. It must be the exercise. I'm having a hard time managing to get the full eight. Need to work on that.

So here's to hoping that my body will get used to the extra activity, that I'll figure out a way to actually sleep eight hours a night (that means a ten p.m. bedtime, because Ruby is up at six most days...ugh) and that I'll be able to get used to drinking less soda and more water. Double ugh.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I'm not sure why--but I'm utterly and completely exhausted today. I can barely keep my eyes open. And that's with a good hour long nap. (Can I just say that there are definite benefits to having one daughter, and then twelve years later having the next one? My Sweet Adrienne took care of Ruby so that mama could take a nap. Isn't she sweet? I'm so lucky!)

I'm thinking maybe I over did it this week at the gym. I did two hour-long, fairly aggressive, cardio workouts in a row, and then weights yesterday where I increased all my weights by five pounds. It might not sound like much--but my body isn't used to so much movement. I'm thinking that maybe it's just saying "No more!" today. I listened and didn't go to the gym. I'm hoping I feel more energetic tomorrow. I'm definitely going to bed early today.

I'm curious whether any of you who have already been where I am now dealt with the same tiredness? Any ideas about how to combat it?

Cherry Garcia and How Normal People Eat

Learning how to listen to my body's signals has been real interesting. For instance--cardio exercise supresses my appetite somewhat. After riding the stationary bike or walking, I'm not hungry for a while.

But weight training? Oh boy--before I'm even done, I'm starved. Last night I ate three servings of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt. Not exactly a binge--because really, can 1.5 cups of anything constitute a binge? And also because with every bite I was paying attention to whether or not I was still hungry. I'd eaten a nice dinner a couple of hours before. Not a binge then--but definitely an indulgence. Luckily, at about 16 percent fat, it isn't the worst indulgence in the world.

Anyway, the most important thing is that at the end of the day I looked back over my Calorie King food diary--and I noticed that despite my Ben and Jerry's dessert, I stayed in my calories for the day. (I try to eat about 2000 a day, but I have an upper limit for myself of 2300 for days when I'm just really hungry, and that's where I ended up yesterday. The day before, after two days of heavy cardio, I only ate 1500.) It feels really good to realize that I'm starting to eat more normally. I knew I'd want that ice cream last night, so I ate less at dinner without even really noticing it. And I waited until I was hungry again to eat the B&J. Just two months ago, I would have gone out and found the nearest Big Mac Value Meal with a side of apple pie to go with my ice cream--because, if I'm going to 'break my diet' I might as well do it up big, right?

I'm not going to the gym today. I'm really tired, and I think I'm maybe over doing it a little today. I'm thinking of getting Adrienne and Nick outside with me to wash our new car--which will keep me from spending the whole day sitting right here in front of the computer.

I've been reading Bob Greene's Get With The Program. I figure if he could whip Oprah into shape, he might have something good to say about exercise. And mostly, he does. He advocates starting out small, and building on that. Which is what I've been doing--so you know, validation and all that.

I'm not sure about his nutritional advice. Especially the advice to stop eating at 7 p.m. That feels too much like a diet rule to me, and I'm going to choose to ignore that part. Otherwise, he doesn't tell readers to cut calories by a lot. Just to manage meals--eat a good breakfast, a moderate lunch, a snack, a moderate dinner, and if you're hungry another snack. He says that if you're hungry at other times, it's because you aren't managing your meals properly. You know--breakfast should be hearty enough to last you until lunch, etc. I'm not sure about this. It sounds good, but I noticed that it brought up my old dieting emotions.

I was talking to my best friend, Carol, yesterday about how much weight I've lost. And I was telling her that dieting has made me fat. Which is funny, because I really haven't been on THAT many diets. They've made me fat, because just the idea of one--just reading about Atkins or Nutri-system or Weight Watchers or whatever--just picking up the newest diet book--historically triggers huge binging for me. What? No chocolate--better to run to the store and buy a fist full of Snickers, because I won't be able to eat them on my diet.

Only, for the most part, I wouldn't even ever start the diet!

So Carol said, "I hope you don't burn out." She knows me so well. I tend to go like hell in the beginning of anything, and then just stop. But I told her--what will I burn out on? Even if I stop going to the gym, I'll keep losing weight. More slowly, but it will come off. Because I'm only working off about a pound of fat a week--I'm losing two to three.

Will I burn out on eating 2000 to 2300 calories a day? Nah. I never deprive myself, I never feel overly hungry. And I indulge on Cherry Garcia as needed. I'm truly not on a diet--I'm just eating like a normal person.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bowling for Fatties

Check, check--on the bowling and the weight training.

Bowling was a trip. I lost to a gaggle of little kids, but it was a lot of fun. I'm not sure it counts as exercise, but it's sure the hell of a lot more active than sitting around watching Netflix movies all day.

Poor Ruby. She got away from me during Adrienne's turn to bowl, and ran to her big sister just as Adrienne was pulling the ball back. Ruby caught Adrienne's bowling ball right in the eye. She has a little bruise on her cheek bone, and another one on her bone just under her eyebrow. I freaked out, but she's fine. Adrienne heard me scream her name and was able to lessen the impact, but not stop it all together.

That weight training program I'm doing is kicking my ass--in the good way. I added about five pounds to each of the exercises today (except for squats and lunges, which I not only can't use weights on, I also have to be a weenie and hold on to something while I do them or else I'll fall on my face.)

I got on the elliptical trainer afterwards and was able to push out a whopping five minutes. Then I felt like I might pass out. Two months ago I tried and couldn't do a minute, and that was fresh, so I'm improving. I read somewhere that you should up the resistance on the machine, because doing it on a 1 or 2 makes you go too fast and raises your heartrate up too quickly. I did a level 12 and was able to manage five, so maybe it's true. Maybe next time I'll try it fresh and see how many minutes I can manage so I have a real starting spot.

I was cooling down on the treadmill and this woman came next to me and said, "don't give up, it just takes baby steps."

I was mixed about that. I was happy to have someone talk to me, I'd love to make friends at the gym. This woman was my age, and she was nice enough. But for some reason, having her say that to me broke the spell that I sometimes manage to create when I'm working out. You know the spell, right? The one where my brain becomes convinced that I'm not really a fattie huffing and puffing away.

The funny thing is, contrary to what I read on other blogs, I've never been self-concious about working out. I don't feel weird wearing a swim suit at the Y, or lifting weights with the boys. I don't normally feel like anyone is noticing me as anything more than a woman trying to get in shape. But when someone says something--even when it's meant to be encouraging--it's like the fact that I really am at least fifty pounds heavier than anyone else there (including the men) comes into crystal clarity.

I'm not going to let that stop me. Won't be too long before I'm not the fat girl anymore.

Before and After

I had Adrienne take new pictures of me today, since I've lost 20 pounds. The first pictures were taken on May 20. I really, really, really wish I had taken some pictures on May 1. I'd already lost seven pounds when the first set was taken.

FRONT: I'm getting my face back! Whoo! I also can see a difference in my upper arms. If you look closely, the top is skin tight around my belly in the first picture and looser in the second one. I can mostly tell the difference though in my face and chest. My color is much better, too, don't you think? And for some reason my hair looks healthier.

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SIDE: Again, the biggest difference is my face. You can see here what I mean about my tits being smaller--but looking bigger. I can see a difference in my back, and the back of my thighs.

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BACK: The biggest difference in this picture is how my top fits. Look at how much lower down it sits on my back now. And if you look carefully under my arms in the second picture you can see gaps in the fabric, where in the first picture the top is like a sausage casing. I think my arms look a little smaller. Ooh...and look at the bottom of the pants...because they fit more loosely, they aren't quite as high-water.

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Random Thoughts

A couple of yummy foods that I've recently discovered:

Yoplait Whipped Chocolate Raspberry Yogurt: I love this. It tastes like desert :)

Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt: Only 170 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving...rich enough that one serving was enough for me. Absolutely delicious!

Athenos Lemon Feta Cheese: mmmmmm!

Dreyer's Whole Fruit Grape Popscicles: OMG...these things are perfect. Like heaven when it's 115 degrees outside.


I'm taking the kids bowling at Jillian's today. For $4.50 the kids get a lunch buffet, a game of bowling, and a $5 arcade card. Not bad. We went last week and I ate lunch there, too. But by the time my food came, the kids were done bowling. So today I'm bringing my own lunch.

Afterward we're going to the Y so the kids can swim. For me, today is weights. I really am enjoying the strength training.

Tomorrow and the next day I had planned on 30 minute bike rides--but I think I'm going to take tomorrow off from the gym. I don't want to burn myself out.


My critique partner just called to let me know that an agent has requested her first three chapters. Gah. I need to get my ass in gear. That's it. I have to. I'm so close to being done with my novel--and it's good. I know it is. I have ADD, and it's hard for me to do more than one thing at a time. I'm so focused on weight loss right now, that I'm finding it hard to switch gears and dive into my novel. But I have to. Today.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


So we went to the YMCA, and the kids went swimming while I went to the gym. The greatest thing about the Y is that they are swarmming with lifeguards, so I totally feel comfortable letting Adrienne take Ruby to the indoor pool while I workout. Seriously, they have like five lifeguards there, and the pool is only three or four feet deep.

Okay, so I decided to use the indoor track for my walk. It was great! It's 1/10 of a mile, and it only takes about two minutes, or less, to walk around. There is something about challenging myself every couple of minutes to finish the next lap a little faster--or even just about finishing a lap so quickly--that makes it about 1000 times less boring than the treadmill.

So for the first mile, I decided to walk a lap, then on the second lap run the back 50 yards of the track. Then another lap walking, etc. Two weeks ago I tried doing half the track walking/half the track running on every lap and only got about two laps done. This time I finished the whole mile that way, no problem. Progress I tell you. Progress.

The best part is that after that mile, I thought--you know I feel good. Let's do another mile just walking. Then I thought--what the hell, let's do a 5K. Thirty-one laps, or 3.1 miles. And I DID IT! Yesterday I did a sprint triathlon-length bike ride, and today I did a sprint-triathlon walk (with at least a tiny bit of running!) I can't believe it. If you could have seen me just two months ago, alternating between 2 and 2.5 miles per hour for 20 minutes, then needing a nap.

So my plan is to do three miles once a week. And every week add one more of the run/walk laps. So next week I'll do 6. Then 7. You get it. In ten weeks I'll be doing the whole three miles with one lap walking, one interval. Then fifteen more weeks until I'm doing the entire three weeks as interval, half walking/half running. Then I'll work on doing just one lap entirely running--and adding one a week, until 30 weeks after that I'll be able to run a 5K.

That's about a year. Sounds like a long time, but it will take me that long to get down to a weight where it's actually safe for me to be running that far.

As a reward to myself for reaching the 20 pounds lost mark, I went to the bookstore and bought a really cool training log. As I was walking around and around the gym today, I kept watching this family. It was a dad and his three teenage daughters. All three daughters were gorgeous and really fit (dad looked like a body builder)--all three were running on the treadmills. They looked like athletes, not just girls trying to be skinny. Every time I walked by them I thought--I bet they see me as just some poor fat lady huffing it around the track. But inside, I feel as much an athlete as they look on the outside. My body just needs time to catch up to my brain.

TOPS Update

Whoo Hoo! I'm down four pounds this week! That's a total of 20.5!!!

What a rush. I didn't think I'd make 10 pounds lost this month, since last week I was only down seven. But I did...plus one! And there are still four days in the month ;)

Off to the gym. I'm going to walk today, plus swim with the kidlings.

Twenty pounds! Whoo!!! Go me :)

Last week I rode my bike for 23 miles and worked out a total of 4.75 hours.

I'm considering starting maybe a Yahoo Group for the Fat Girls Tri Club. Because I'm getting a lot of emails and comments from people who are training for triathlon, and who also are overweight. So...this is a little poll--would you sign up for a Fat Girls Tri Club Yahoo Group? If so, what would you like to get from something like that?

Shrinking Shaunta

It's funny the parts of you that shrink, isn't it?

I've lost something like 18 pounds, which isn't much in the face of the 150+ pounds I have left to lose. But it's something. It must be. Because I've lost a bra size. Only, my boobs look bigger, because I've also lost some of the fat just under them, so rather than having just a gelationous belly/boob mass in front of me, I have a belly and boobs--seperate entitites. How nice is that? Really, I'm so excited about that.

Also, I think my feet have shrunk. My tennis shoes are looser. One thing that prompted me to try to get a handle on my binging was the scary fact that my feet and ankles suddenly started swelling up this spring. That never happened to me before. They'd just blow up like balloons--noticably bloated. It scared me. I'm happy to report that they have not swelled up since May.

I have TOPS today, and then I'm heading for the Y for a workout. I think I'll hit the treadmill or the indoor track today. I may try doing intervals again, just to see if my stamina for running has improved at all. Remember--about two weeks ago I could only do 6 cycles of 45 seconds walking (3 mph)/15 seconds barely jogging (4.5 mph). We'll see.

I have this goal: to get to the point where in the fall, when it is NOT 110 degrees outside, I can workout outside. That means feeling comfortable riding a real bike in public. I am afraid that I'm going to look like a circus sideshow on a bike. I have to get over that. Also, I want to be able to run outside by--lets say October.

I'll check in later with my weeks weight.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Numb Bootie Disorder

I did my fourth weekly long bike ride today. The first week was 45 minutes, then 50, and the last two have been 60 minutes. Last week I did 10.5 miles in 60 minutes...drumroll please...this week I did 18.03!!!! That means that I went longer than the bike ride required for the Pumpkin Man Triathlon next October. Whoo hoo!!!

The best part was that, while my bootie was completely numb afterward, I still had legs. I could have walked at least a mile. I wasn't dying, gasping for air and wobbly on my feet like I was that first week.

Joyce asked if I read Geneen Roth. I never have. Is she good? I think she writes about non-dieting, right? I'll have to check her out.

I'm reading a book by Judy Molnar called "You Don't Have To Be Thin To Win." Judy started out at about 330 pounds (she's 6'1", same as my sister Jill) and over three years lost 130 pounds and started doing triathlons. She even completed the Ironman Hawaii! She was Rosie's Chub Club coach. Anyway--I find her book very inspirational. The Amazon reviews complained a little about her being a high school athlete, saying that those coming from a non-athletic background wouldn't relate. I was a high school athlete, too. A swimmer and a runner, plus basketball and soccer. But I think that anyone could get something from this book. Some of the reviewers said that it must have been easier for her, since she had a background in athletics. Let me tell you--that is so not true. After ten or more years away from it, plus a 100+ pound gain, whatever athetic ability you once had is a ghost.

I do think I retain some benefit from being an athlete eons ago. For one thing I seem to be a little more flexible than people I know who were always sedentary. I move pretty well, despite my size. Also, I think that sometimes fat people who have never been athletic assume it comes easy for those who are, and I know better. It's a lot of hard work, no matter what you weigh.

Back in the day, when I swam for distance--like 1500 meters for endurance--I used to be able to run an entire movie in my head. I could 'watch' Top Gun or Dirty Dancing or episodes of 21 Jumpstreet (am I aging myself? hahaha) all the way through while I swam lap after lap after lap. The mechanics of strokes and breathing were so mechanical for me, and I was in good enough shape that I could go on and on and on without feeling like I was going to drown. My mind was free to wander. Sometimes I wrote stories in my head. Epic romances usually--I was sixteen. I want to get back there, to that place where I can lose myself in the water. It doesn't happen on a bike or a treadmill or walking outside--there is too much going on. Doing a long swim is like being in a sensory deprevation chamber. You are totally alone with yourself. I miss that.

On the bike today I was thinking about the moment when I decided that I wanted to be an athlete. It was in the seventh grade. I was twelve, and had been swimming for about a year. I wasn't taking myself too seriously though--it was just for fun. I never pushed myself. And at school in PE I limped around the track everyday for our mandatory 1/4 mile lap, coming in at the back of the pack. We had a teacher who was a beautiful, blond rower. I wish I could remember her name. Anyway, one day after PE she stopped me on my way to my next class and said that she loved my top, and asked where I'd gotten it. The Wet Seal. That was Friday. On Monday, just as class was starting, she said that she loved my style, that she'd gone to the Wet Seal and bought my shirt.

I'm not sure what made her take an interest in me. But she did. My family was falling apart, my parents going to court every other day it seemed like over custody. And this woman liked me, was interested in me. And I wanted to impress her. So I started running around the track. It took me a few months, but eventually I was faster even than the fast boys. She was impressed, and recruited me onto the track team. She told me I was strong and fast and had potential. The running improved my swimming, and suddenly winning at meets started meaning something to me.

I clearly remember that teacher telling me that I was an athlete. And I believed her. I worked hard to make it true.

I've noticed myself telling people in my life that I'm training for a triathlon, and I think I'm looking for that validation again. Sadly, I'm not really finding it. Except from Kevin, who never once has laughed at the idea of me running three miles. But when I told my dad, my sister, my brothers -- I mostly get polite nods and that's about it.

They'll see!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bats and Hawks and Little Brothers

We went out to my dad's place, about an hour outside of Vegas in Logandale. Hot as hell...literally. He has a thermometer on the porch, in the damn shade, and it read 118 degrees. In the SHADE, ya'll. Ridiculous.

Logandale is the country, about 1000 feet lower than Vegas, which makes it hotter. But it's in a lake basin and super fertile and green. Lots of farms and it's just super lush compared to Vegas and it's 'desert landscaping', which basically means rocks in your front yard.

We left about dusk, and just as everyone was outside (I have eight siblings, remember...and my nephews, and my step-mom, and a family friend thrown in) the bats came out. A zillion bats. And a few hawks diving for them. I got a little paranoid about those hawks...hoping they didn't get the notion to divebomb my baby. Seriously, they were that close. The bats were freaking me out. They came within inches of the people.

At one point in the afternoon one of my nephews got the idea to weigh and measure everyone. Oh yeah. Yep. I'm stepping on a scale when I easily outweigh the next heaviest person (Jill) by 75 pounds, and both of us are the only two who weigh more than 200 pounds. Not even. I was pretty proud of myself though that I didn't get any anxiety over it. I just said, "yeah, no thanks."

I didn't overeat either. I did eat one and a half of the best, softest, yummiest oatmeal raisin cookies in the world. Totally worth the 300 calories. I compensated by eating less at dinner--because I needed less since I'd eaten the cookies, plus a few chips and Kev's homemade salsa.

One thing that I've decided lately--I'm going to do my best to make sure that I eat the very freshest, best food I can afford. A nice salad, three or four ounces of grilled chicken breast with Montreal seasoning, and a chewy dinner roll--it was easy to skip the pork ribs. The cookies were delicious and worth the calories. I would have eaten two of them, but I shared with Ruby.

I'm starting to feel much more confident about my ability to stay at or just under 2000 calories in a day. I haven't gone over about 2300 calories since the second week of May. And even 2300 calories is okay--it's my outer limit. For those days when I'm just feeling hungrier. According to the calculators I've found online, my body needs about 3100 calories to maintain my weight at my current activity level.

I took today off the gym. Tomorrow my plan is to get in my 60-minute bike ride, plus swim with Kevin and the kids afterward. I'd like to do 15 miles in the hour. That's my goal. I did 8.5 in thirty minutes on Wednesday. (And by swim I mean splash around in the pool, which isn't exactly laps--but it's way more active than sitting in front of this damn machine, right? Right!) HAHA!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Dreams of Adventure

I'm reading a book called "Walker's Journal: Experiencing America on Foot" by Robert Sweetgall. This guy has walked across America SEVEN-times. The book was written about his 1984 11,000+ mile walk of the perimeter of the US, hitting all 50 states. I haven't gotten to how he managed Alaska and Hawaii yet, but I'm assuming he flew there, walked, and flew back. He did it to promote the importance of cardiovascular health and fitness. The book is pretty cool, because it's set up to encourage the reader to walk the 50 states, too. One mile for every 10 that Sweetgall walked. He walked 30 to 40 miles everyday!

I have two other long walk books on my TBR shelf. One is by Granny D, who at 89 (!) walked across the country to raise awareness for presidential campaign reform (!!) When I talked yesterday about the kind of old woman I want to be? Yeah. I want to be Granny D when I grow up.

The other is called "Sole Mates" by a married couple, Jerry and Cindy Schultz, who walked across the U.S. from Washington state to Atlanta Georgia to raise awareness for Habitat for Humanity. They were in their sixties.

For some reason, the idea of walking across the US appeals to me. Sweetgall was my age in 1984, but he was single. Granny D and the Schultz were older, and their kids were grown. That's what I'd have to wait for. Mamas with babies can't take a year off to walk. HAHAHA!

They all did it differently, too. Sweetgall had just a fannypack with him. The Schultzes had a support system of drivers who would load their supplies up in a car and drive it to the next destination, the next driver...maybe 50 or 100 miles away. I'm sure Granny D had some sort of support system, although I'm not sure.

I think what I like the best about the idea is doing something big--a big adventure. Maybe hiking the Grand Canyon? I really, really want to take my kids on a camping trip along the coast of California, and then back down on the interior of the state, hitting all the state parks. I want to kayake and go horseback riding. I found this website for a group that does Adventure Races in Nevada, California and Arizona. They sound so fun! One is 8-miles of innertubing (they give you a deflated innertube--you supply the air, and the means for propelling it. Oars, Fins, or just your arms and legs), followed by a 5-mile trail trek, using a map and a compass to find your way. How fun does that sound? There are also 20 to 30 mile races that incorporate things like kayaking, mountain biking, and rappelling, and take 24-hours to complete.

What are your secret adventure dreams?


Went to the Y today and did my weight program. I finished it faster this time. I'm not sure if that's because I was more familiar with it, since I did it Wednesday. Or if I rushed it and didn't get a good enough workout? I guess we'll see by the state of my muscles tomorrow! They are fine right now. Right after was Ruby's swim lesson, and we swam another half hour. I didn't do laps or anything, but swimming with Ruby requires constant water-walking.

Just like Wednesday, I came home and was exhausted. Sleepy-tired. Thank God, Ruby was, too, and I was able to lay down for an hour. If she wasn't, I think I would have collapsed. I wonder if maybe I need to eat more protein for breakfast on weight day? Does anyone else get sleepy after strength training? This doesn't happen after a cardio workout, for me. Especially walking or biking. I do get a little sleepy after swimming. I think it has to do with the body temperature changes.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Even More About Barnes and Nobel

Went to Barnes and Nobel again today (it's right next door to my house), determined to ferret out one book that might support my non-dieting.

They had Sonoma and Makers and several Weight Watchers diet books. There were books for diets based on blood type and pH balance, books for sugar addicts, carb addicts, and general food addicts. My Barnes and Nobel has an entire aisle dedicated to calorie counters and carb counters and protein pushers. Even some oldies like a book about the cabbage soup diet. Really. Macrobiotics, raw food, non-fat...it was all there.

But nothing...not one book on the shelf...about normal, natural eating. Not one book about how dieting makes you fat. About how all the billions spent on all those other books will 95% of the time be wasted, becuase the dieter will eventually eat again.

They did have a couple of triathlon and swimming books that I wouldn't mind having, but they were out of my budget for today.

I looked at a blog today, and read back into the archives. This guy (yes, a guy!) decided to lose 15 pounds in five weeks. And he came very close. Then he gained every ounce back in the week following his crash diet.

Stories like that make me shutter. They scare me. Because I'd rather stay fat then lose weight and regain it. Losing 170 pounds and then gaining it back is something I worry about.

There's another guy who is following the WLS diet, without the surgery. I read in his archives and found out he actually did the blended food for the first however many weeks. Really.

I want to be sane. I want to be healthy...physically and mentally. I want energy and vitality. I want to be a kickass 60-year-old woman playing in a yellow-polka-dot bikini in the sprinklers with my grandbabies. I want to be the crazy old lady down the road who goes out running every morning and climbs mountains to celebrate her birthday. Sixty years from now I want some pretty young journalist to ask me how I stay so spry--so I can tell her I eat and I play.

I'm not going to get there by making myself sick on crazy-ass diets that don't take in to consideration the fact that I need fuel to live the fabulous life I'm aiming for.

Please don't ask me why I'm so damn philosophical today. I have no idea. Maybe it's a sign that I've neglected my novel for too long...I'm waxing damn poetic on you guys. Will someone please remind me on Monday that I've reached my deadline for being lazy regarding my rewrite? Thanks!


Did thirty minutes on the bike today. Somehow I managed to do nearly twice the distance on the same settings. I'm not sure if that was a technical glitch in the bike's computer, or if that weight training session really worked (hahaha!) but I'm taking it anyway...8.7 miles! I also splashed around in the pool with my kidlings.

Tomorrow is weights again. Can you believe I'm actually excited about it? And on Sunday morning I'm getting my long bike ride for the week in. Then we're driving out for a family barbeque at my Dad's place.

I smell like cholorine, my skin is itchy, I need a shower. I ate Eggplant Parm for the first time in my life. (It was made by Cedarlane...very good stuff!) Let's hear it for trying a new veggie!

I feel fantastic. Today I feel like I can take on the world.


You need at least 2000 calories a day for your body to function properly.

Exercise can be fun. It doesn't have to be obsessive to be affective.

Dietary fat isn't evil.

Bodily fat isn't evil, either.

Carbohydrates are essential.

So is protein.

You can eat chocolate if you want to.

You can eat anything you want to.

If you give it a chance, your body will remember how to eat normally. Like a child who will stop eating when she's full, even if there is still half an ice cream cone left.

These things make perfect sense to me now. Why does the diet industry have to muck it all up, making everything so confusing and difficult to understand? At the Barnes and Noble near my house there is an section of diet books. Each of them different, many of them contridicting each other. None of them telling the truth. That if you stop eating when you're full, you'll lose weight. If you stop denying yourself 'good' foods, all foods become equal and you'll actually crave nutritious foods.

I've done tons of online reading the past two months, and nearly every personal site I log on to uses the words 'good' and 'bad.' I've had to conciously stop myself from doing that here. Women especially are brainwashed by society, the media, men, Hollywood--everywhere we turn around--into believing that fat is 'bad.' That women aren't supposed to weigh more than 150 pounds or wear more than a size 8. That our thighs aren't supposed to touch and our bellies should be concave.

So we beat ourselves up--killing ourselves to meet an unmeetable cultural standard. Trading happiness for waspish waists and skinny thighs. Or for the hope of them. Because since diets don't work in the long run 95 percent of the time, all the misery and work is for nothing. Maybe its even for fatter thighs and a thicker waist.

Kevin fit into a pair of pants this morning that were too small a couple of months ago. He can't believe that he's lost about 15 pounds, since he hasn't done anything to make that happen. Except he has. He's stopped binging, in support of me. He isn't bringing bags of chips and candy and Little Debbies home, because he loves me. Since he's eating more normally, his weight is sliding down with no other effort.

Okay. My rant is over :)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yummy Steak Fajitas

Here's what I made for dinner tonight...

Steak Fajitas

Flank Steak, cut in thin strips
Lime Juice
Cilantro, chopped

put the meat, juice and cilantro in a ziploc bag for an hour to marinate

Fresh poblano chili
bunch of spring onions
1 tablespoon olive oil

Cut the tops and most of the green off the spring onions. Heat a heavy skillet with the oil to a high heat (the oil shouldn't smoke though.) Put the veggies in and cook them until they are browned and yummy. Remove them, and use a clean towel to rub the skin off the pepper. Slice the pepper into strips.

When the veggies are done cooking, use tongs to take the meat out of the marinade and put it in the same hot pan. It's okay if some cilantro gets in the pan. Cook until done and browned. If there is too much marinade, use a paper towel to soak some of it up.

Two fresh, ripe avacados
1/4 cup bottled salsa
lime juice

Mix it all up! Guacamole...mmmmmm!

Two ripe tomatoes
One bunch green onions
lime juice

Chop the veggies and toss with juice and salt. Quick, no-heat salsa verde! (If you like heat, add a fresh jalapeno...mmmm!)

Small corn tortillas

Wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for about two minutes until the tortillas are soft and warm.

Put two tortillas on a plate. Top each with a few strips of meat, a strip of poblano, top with about a tablespoon of the salsa verde and another tablespoon of the guacamole, and finally one of the cooked onions.

Two fajitas has about 350 calories. So delicious! All this stuff would be really good on a bed of lettuce, too, with some red wine vinegar and a tiny bit of olive oil.

New Wheels!

A little background:

For a year we were a one-car family. That car was my elderly Saturn SL2. Worked out fine, because Kevin worked nights. He didn't go in until about eight in the evening, and was home before we woke up in the morning.

Then I got pregnant, and suddenly the Saturn wasn't big enough for two large adults, two medium-sized preteens and a carseat. Yikes! A neighbor at the end of our street put their even more elderly minivan (ugly, too...he used it as a work van for his painting business.) We bought it for $600.

With about $1500 worth of work, that van lasted for nearly two years. Then yesterday it bought the farm. The air went out...and the windows wouldn't go down. Some sort of electrical problem that waited until the temperatures were over 105 to rear it's head. Kev took the van to the shop, and was told that it was in such bad shape, they wouldn't even look at it.

Long story short...we bought a new-to-us minivan last night! A 2002 Ford Windstar. Do I wish it could have been some sort of Earth-friendly hybrid? Yes. Absolutely. I hope that eventually family-sized hybrids will be affordable to the regular family. It's kind of a weird feeling, driving around in this fancy-schmancy silver minivan with the automatic doors and quite engine. I feel like a soccer mom. Driving that old piece of shit--parking it in our inner-city driveway--actually felt sort of like a rebellion against that suburban-mom image. (Guess now I have to face the fact that...um...I AM a suburban-mom!) Ah well. Now we can drive to Disneyland in July without worrying about it!


Went swimming this morning. Big fun! Still can't do more than about 100 yards freestyle. But I still love being in the water. It is a little sobering to see the senior citizens swimming lap after lap after lap, though!

Nick is really getting in to swimming. Every time we've been to the pool this week, he actually gets in the lap lane and does some laps practicing for his Saturday swim lesson. His teacher is a pretty girl who is a lifeguard at the pool during the week...so I'm pretty sure that's part of it. HAHA!

I woke up a little stiff and sore this morning from my strength training yesterday. The workout I did, remember, was specifically designed for triathletes. And I can really feel it in the muscles needed for running/biking/swimming. Especially the front of my thighs and my chest. I'm hoping that the strength training will improve my swimming ability--because right now it's non-existent.

I'm feeling very enthusiastic and optimistic again about this whole thing. Like I can do this. I have way more engergy during the day--although I've noticed that I need more sleep at night. I thought I might need less, with exercise, but no. I've gotten about 6 hours of sleep a night since Ruby was born. I need the full eight now, or else I'm dragging ass by lunch. I'm going to have to start going to bed earlier I think.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Super Woman!


I did that strength training program today. Damn. That was the hardest, best workout I've ever had. Not hard like I couldn't do it. Hard, like I was sweating and when it was over I was used up. I feel like I could lift tall buildings...or something like that :)

I'm glad I don't have to do it again until Sunday. I'm thinking I'll fell this (in a good way) tomorrow.

The doctor's appointment went well. Adrienne is healthy, Ruby is healthy. Both are properly innoculated and won't be getting measles, mumps, ruebella, chicken pox or hepititis. The doctor gave Adrienne the OK for working out. She said at 5'4.5" and 158 pounds, its okay for her to lose a little weight, but she shouldn't go under 130. Which made me very happy, because that's what I'd already told her. She also reiterated to Adrienne that she's still growing and should not diet--and that exercising and eating a balanced diet would keep her at a healthy weight.

I love this doctor. She's moved all over Las Vegas, and I keep trekking my kidlings around to see her. What I love best about her is that whenever I bring in Ruby, she remembers Adrienne and Nick and their specific health concerns and asks about them.

Made a fun discovery today. This restaurant downtown, Jillians, has an arcade and a bowling alley. But it's one of those arcades that costs $1-2 for one game. Anyway, on Wednesdays and Sundays they have 'kids day.' For $4.50 the kids get a game of bowling, a buffet lunch and a $5 game card. We went today before the Y and it was a hoot. Especially the bowling...we all suck so bad! LOL

I ordered me a nice grilled chicken sandwich for lunch...but I was starving and it took TWENTY minutes for it to come. So I ended up eating a couple of Nick's chicken nuggets and a couple of mini-corn dogs. I stopped eating my sandwich when I was full...a little more than half...but it was so good I wished I'd resisted the crapola. I'm pretty proud of the way I'm getting the hang of stopping when I'm full. Even at restaurants.


I'm taking Adrienne to the doctor today for a well visit, to get a check-up before she really starts working out this summer. (She's really raring to go on the exercise, which is so fantastic!)

I'm feeling a little anxious about it. Do I tell her doctor--a beautiful, thin, fit woman--that I'm training for a triathlon and Adrienne is interested in training with me? Will she laugh? Will she look at my gigantic body and shake her head?

I can already hear the excuses in my head. "I know it doesn't look like I'm training..."

I'm steeling myself now to not make any excuses for myself--or negate my efforts with some depreciating comment about my weight. I do that, you know. Put myself down before anyone else has the chance. I think it's the Jolly-Fat-Girl Syndrom. Make them laugh so they don't hate you for being so huge.

Then we're going to lunch with my dad, and to the YMCA. My first weight training session, using that plan I talked about yesterday. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ironman Strength

So I was re-reading yesterday's post about whether or not I'd go to TOPS today. And I realized that it came off as sort of bitchy and know-it-all. I'm really sorry. I know that everyone has to find their own way, and I promise I'm not trying to judge anyone who is following WW or any other diet plan. I respect that everyone has to do what they need to do for themselves. I do want to present an alternative, but that doesn't mean that I don't respect other people's choices. I'm really sorry if I offended anyone.


I was nosing around Barnes and Noble this afternoon, and picked up a copy of Triathlete magazine. So cool! Just looking at the pictures made me get all excited.

There's an article in the July issue that gives a weight training program that six time Ironman World Champion (!) Mark Allen's trainer designed. Sounds intimidating, huh? But it looks pretty simple and straight forward, and easily adaptable for fat girls. There are twelve exercises:

Lat pulldowns
Leg extensions
Leg curls
Bench press
Lateral dumbbell raise
Calf raises
Dumbbell pullover
Backward lunges
Bicep curls
Tricep extensions
Leg presses

Google the exercises if you aren't sure what they are. Or better yet, pick up a copy of the magazine. I'm going to give this a try this week. The first phase is one set of 12 reps two days a week. There is no way I'm going to be able to do all those exercises on a day that I do cardio. So, I'm going to do the strength training on Wednesday (tomorrow!) and Sunday. Cardio on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Which gives me Friday and Saturday off--or to do fun stuff like swim with my kids...ooh or maybe go bowling or rollerskating or...

Here's this week's schedule:

Monday: Swim (100 yards freestyle, plus treading water, kicking, just general fun)
Tuesday: Short bike, 30 minutes
Wednesday: Strength
Thursday: Long bike, 60 minutes
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Strength

Fit and Fat?

Well, I couldn't resist.

I went to TOPS and I lost 3 pounds this week! (Yes, it's diety to care...but I care! Whoo!)

I've decided to stick with TOPS for a while at least. It's nice to get out by myself for a little while. And I like the old girls. They listened with interest to me talk about how I've stopped dieting, and about the benefits of exercise.

I went to Applebee's for lunch, and ordered a steak ciabatta sandwich. I was full after half, and brought the rest home. I was really surprised that I recognized my fullness immediately and didn't feel any anxiety over not cleaning my plate.

When I got home, I called the Applebee's 800 number to ask how many calories was in my sandwich. Turns out that Applebee's either really doesn't know how many calories is in their food, or they just won't tell. The guy I spoke with said "Applebee's uses so many regional venders that any number we gave you would be inaccurate." However, they DO provide information about the Weight Watcher's items. Maybe they don't use regional venders for those items? I'm pretty pissed about this. Enough that I think I won't be going back to Applebee's for a while.

I went to the YMCA after my TOPS meeting and did 30 minutes on the bike at a level 4 with random hills. I am definitely getting stronger!

I'm reading a book called "Losing It" by a journalist named Laura Fraser. The books takes a look at America's obsession with weight and the industries that feed them. The most interesting bit so far is this:

Studies on obese people who exercise, for instance-who live longer than lean people who don't exercise-may prove that inactivity is the cause of many of the problems we associate with obesity, not obesity itself. Steven Blair, an exercise physiologist at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, has done studies that show that if you exercise, your weight (up to a BMI of 40) doesn't put you at any increased risk for early death at all. It may turn out that obesity is, for the most part, a red herring in the health debate.

"Nobody ever dies of obesity," says David Levitsky, a nutrition and obesity expert at Cornell University. Obesity, he says, is often a marker for other health problems caused by a sedentary lifestyle, but is itself not necessarily dangerous. "If you're a large person and you do not suffer from any other health problems, then there is no reason for you to lose weight.

If a person does suffer from other health problems, however, then serious obesity may indeed aggravate the situation. Almost all of the studies that look at the health risks associated with obesity- ...high blood pressure, high cholesterol... or blood sugars, diabetes, or other conditions that often go along with being fat-show that those risks do increase when people are very fat, meaning about 100 pounds or so overweight. In particular, researchers have shown that having abdominal obesity-an apple shape-can be dangerous.

This hit home for me, because seveal times over the past couple of years I've thought about WLS. I've considered it, studied and researched it, dreamed about losing 20 pounds a month and finally being thin.

If my insurance would have paid for it, I think there's a good chance I would have had the surgery by now.

But it won't. So I've had a lot of time to keep thinking about it. And the fact is, I'm healthy. I have no co-morbid conditions for my weight to aggrevate. I don't have sleep apnea, or hypertension, or diabetes. No breathing problems or heart problems. Normal cholesterol and thyroid levels. Aside from some relatively mild backpain since I was pregnant with Ruby, and the hit to my ego over looking a way that American's pay tens of billions of dollars a year to avoid...I'm healthy. And getting fitter.

I told my TOPS group that I eat between 2000 and 2300 calories a day, exercise about 3 hours a week, and I've been losing 2 pounds or so a week consistantly for 7 weeks. She said, "once you get to a lower weight, you'll have to lower your calories to keep losing."

Or, just maybe, I'll have to accept that I'm a big, healthy person with a higher natural weight--rather than starving myself for a cultrual/societal/Hollywood ideal.

Monday, June 19, 2006


My favorite lunch right now:

Tuna salad (made with a tiny bit of mayo, pickle relish, red wine vinegar and lemon pepper)
Garlic Triscuits
Knudsen Doubles cottage cheese and pineapple
Claussin dill pickle half

(Don't forget to brush your teeth before you kiss anyone!)

Mmmm...full, but not stuffed. Perfect.

Just thought I'd share :)

I've about 90 percent decided not to go to TOPS tomorrow. I've had a very 'diet-y' mindset this week. Particularily the old...it's okay to eat too much tonight, because I still have five days 'til weigh in. Not good.

I'm also finding myself this week, more than the previous six, wanting to go on an actual diet, and then start natural eating when I'm less fat. Really not good.

I've been thinking a lot about Adrienne. What kind of message am I sending her with TOPS? I have a couple of years of influence left with her (really, at nearly 14, that's all) and I'd really like to instill in her the idea that dieting doesn't work. And that she should listen to her body's signals, not some printed out weight-loss plan, or points or anything else. TOPS doesn't have a diet it passes out to members, but every member I've ever met is on one.

I'm really starting to notice some physical changes, mostly I think resulting from the exercise I've been doing.

I woke up this morning, and cleaned my kitchen. At 7 a.m. Aside from the fact that I was doing something so physical before I had caffine--as I was washing the dishes, I realized that my back didn't hurt. For the past couple of years, whenever I cleaned the kitchen, especially the dishes, my lower back would start aching so bad I'd have to stop and sit down. Sometimes I cried a little. My back hasn't bothered me at all in at least a month.

I took Adrienne to buy some gym clothes, and parked between two stores. Normally I would have parked right in front of one, then drove the other end of the lot to the other store. I didn't even realize what I'd done until I was headed back out of the first store. It was just automatic.

I have to find a way to make this not be about the weight. That won't happen until I can stop weighing myself everyday and writing down every bite that I eat. Going to weight loss meetings seems like maybe it's just a step in the wrong direction.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Am the Champion!

Thanks you guys again for the great emails and comments. I'm feeling 1000 times better today. (I did take that nap, by the way, and I took a long one this afternoon. I guess I needed some extra sleep???)

I just got back from the YMCA. First...I love their stationary bikes. They have little fans to cool you off. They actually blow your hair off your face, and if I close my eyes I can imagine I'm actually racing! LMAO

I have been doing one long 'endurance' bike ride a week. Two weeks ago I managed 40 minutes. Last week it was 45. And today I finished an entire HOUR! I rode 10.5 miles, at levels 4, 5, and 6. (The other two weeks were at level 1 and level 2.)

I wanted to lift my arms in victory, like Lance Armstrong--or Rocky. I restrained myself, but inside I was doing the endzone dance!

We're headed out for a Father's Day dinner. Fish tacos! MMMMM!

I had a McDonald's ice cream cone today. And I realized why I've been losing weight. I realized that two months ago I would have eaten a double cheeseburger. Maybe two. Because...hell, I was ruining my diet, so I might as well do it up right. And today I wanted an ice cream. I was hungry. I ate the ice cream and it was perfect. And I was happy. I didn't feel that anxiety/panic about not having the burgers that I wasn't hungry for in the first place.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Thank you all so much for your emails and comments and prayers for my brother. A room finally opened up for him at the hospital and he was admitted about half an hour ago.


Today was Ruby and Nick's first swimming lesson. Nick is a YMCA Fish. He practiced kicking with a kickboard and got some help with his freestyle technique. Nick has pretty severe learning disabilities, and sensory integration dysfunction. I'm really hoping getting involved with swimming will be good for him physically and otherwise.

Ruby's class was a blast. We sang little songs to help the kids get used to going under the water, and started teaching them how to climb out of the pool. Ruby was so brave! She didn't cry at all, even when a bunch of other babies were.

I've been in a pretty 'blah' mood today. I didn't workout. Maybe I should have. Maybe working out would have given me an endorphin boost or something, and brightened me up some.

It all started this morning when I logged on to realtor.com to take a look at what houses are for sale in Las Vegas. The more I looked, the more I just wanted to scream. We have a decent income. Above the city's median of $48,000. Not way way above, but enough that you'd think we'd be able to easily afford a median house, right?

Oh so very wrong.

The median house in Las Vegas is something ridiculous like $310,000. That's a house that just two or three years ago would have sold for maybe $120,000. Talk about sticker shock. They even call it that in the newspaper. The people flooding our town from Southern California, having just sold thier ridiculously overpriced houses, can afford them, and think they're a bargain. But those of us who are from here? We've been priced out of the damn market.

It's so incredibly frustrating. I have this deep anger at the investors who drove the market up so much that all the joy has been sucked out of buying your first house. We no longer have affordable homes in Las Vegas.

So we wait. And wait. For the bubble to resolve itself. I did talk to a realtor today, who was the first one EVER to not try to sell me on the idea that Las Vegas still has a strong market. The big line is always "We have a strong economy, lots of jobs." Who gives a shit? We don't have lots of $100,000 a year jobs. Kevin is a damn craps dealer. If casino employees can't afford to buy a house in Las Vegas something is seriously fucked up.

So I started the day by biting off Kevin's head about wanting to move away from Las Vegas. I'd love to move back to Southern California where I grew up. And damn, if we're going to pay California prices, we might as well live in the real place, right?

Then I stepped on the scale. I've gained 2.5 pounds since last Saturday. I'm not sure why. I havne't binged. I've been exercising nearly everyday. It's possible, I guess, that my period (due in a week or so) is the culperate. Or that I ate something too salty the night before. Or that my scale isn't properly balanced. Who knows? We'll see what the doctor's scale at TOPS says on Tuesday. In the meantime, I'm trying not to have a full-blown freakout.

I think that starting next Tuesday, I'm going to make an effort to stop logging my food. That practice is making it hard for me to stop the dieting mentality. It's so hard to trust that if I don't maintain strict accounts of bites in and energy out, I'll stop losing weight.

I think I need a nap.

Friday, June 16, 2006

My Million Little Pieces

I was all set to tell ya'll about my fab day. About how the kids and I went out to lunch at a place called Jillian's that's part restaurant, part arcade/bowling alley. I had a California salad (grilled chicken, avacado and mandarin oranges on a bed of lettuce. Not great, but okay.)

I was going to tell you that we went swimming after, and I was able to struggle through six laps (two freestyle, one breast, one back and two kicking.)

But I got sidetracked by some wierd/bad/scary news.

My little brother is being admitted into a residential treatment center today for heroin addiction.

My sweet 25-year-old visionary brother. A year ago he was taking photography classes and dreaming about taking a train across the US with nothing but his camera and a backpack. A year ago he bought an 1970s RV for $700, with the plan of fixing it up and driving it to Alaska so he could work on a fishing boat and earn money for his dreams.

How does such a brilliant beam of a person end up in tears, terrified of what's ahead for him?

A year ago he started taking pain killers to self-medicate for depression. That progressed to oxycotin (spelling?) Three months ago he started using heroin.

My heart feels broken in a million little pieces. I'm not sure if it's the result of a Nancy Reagan and her "Just Say No" propaganda, or my mother drilling the anti-drug message into me from...oh, I don't know...birth? But I can't shake the idea that people don't recover from heroin addiction. That it's impossible to really quit.

I'm afraid for my brother. I can't imagine the world without him in it. If anyone knows anything about heroin addiction, and the chances for recovery, I'm really interested. Otherwise...please pray for him.

And do me a favor. Remind your kids today not to ever, ever take drugs. Ever. It's scary shit.

Progress...slow and steady

When I can stay focused in the here-and-now, I'm really happy. I've made some huge strides:

1. I can do 60 minutes of cardio exercise in a row.
2. I've lost eight inches off my body
3. I've lost 13 or so pounds
4. My size 26 pants are big enough that I can slip them off without unfastening them
5. I haven't binged in almost seven weeks
6. I feel lighter and healthier already
7. I've had small weight losses every week since May 1
8. My shoes are fitting better (!)
9. I'm looking forward to more rigorous exercise when my weight comes down

But then I start thinking...damn I have SO much weight to lose. So fucking much. Still have more than my entire goal weight to lose. And I get this little panicky/anxiety tickle at the back of my brain that says...no, it's never going to happen. Never. I'm always going to be fat and disgusting.

I'm trying hard to train myself to stop thinking of my body as disgusting. Or even too heavy. I read somewhere that people who start exercising with "losing weight" as the goal rarely are successful. They give up too quickly. Exercise becomes just another diet. But those who just want to feel better...who just want to be able to move more freely and breathe more easily...well, they find that weight loss is a side effect.

A side effect. Not the main course.

But my God, it's really hard to give up the "diet" mentality. It's really hard to kill twenty-five years of belief that eating cottage cheese and celery sticks will make everything all better. That fat girls aren't allowed to move their bodies for the pure joy of it--if we exercise it has to be painful, grueling, gut-busting hell. Fat girls can't take belly dance class or do yoga. We can't take a walk in the park, or go for a swim, or shoot some hoops. We can't do any of that, unless we are 'trying to lose weight.' It can't just be fun. And, we all know, 'trying to lose weight' ain't fun. So even roller skating and riding a bike become work.

What if my 'natural weight', the side effect of all this natural eating and fun exercise, isn't 150? What if it's 180? Or 200? Can I live with that? Will I start posting entries about how I have to cut out a couple hundred calories, stop eating Newman's Own Lighten Up Italian (and squeeze lemon on my salad instead), and increase my work outs, so that I can fit my body into what my society says is a perfect size?

Remembering that exercise and activity and movement is supposed to be fun has been a revelation. Going to the Y with the kids has really opened my eyes. Being a fat girl doesn't mean that I'm morally obligated to sit on my ass 16 hours a day. Fat girls can sweat and push their physical limits and revel in what their bodies can do, just like everyone else.

I've noticed something else. The very moment I look at a clock and calculate how many hours I have to go until lunch or dinner, I'm sunk. The urge to binge starts building up. I get that horrible not-full-enough feeling. It becomes impossible for me to tell if I'm really hungry, or just on a freak-out about the three hours to go until lunch.

I need a mantra. Something to calm me in those moments. Just calm my mind enough so that I can be aware of what my body is telling me (mouth hunger or stomach hunger?)

Here's what I'm thinking: "You can eat if you're really hungry. No one is taking your food away. Relax."

I'm taking the kids out to lunch with my dad today. And then we're going to the Y to swim. Adrienne asked if we're just going to swim, or workout. I asked what she wanted to do, and she said, "I want to work out a little. Maybe thirty minutes." I'm thinking maybe we can use the indoor track. She was bored by the treadmill (can't blame her.)

She had her cholesterol tested maybe a year ago, and it was 199. High. Much higher than mine. And her cardiovascular strength is not good. I have to stop feeling like I'm damaging her by encouraging her to want to be fit. I think I'll tell her today that if she eats when she's hungry and stops when she's full, and gets some exercise, her body will find it's natural weight.

She might be young and unjaded enough for the idea to make an impact.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Seafood Cake and Bean Salad

How can you tell I'm a writer?

Does the three posts a day give you a clue? LMAO

I just wanted to quick let ya'll know that my internet has gone wonky on me. It lost it's signal almost all day today. And the damn cable company won't send someone out until Monday. Grrr. So, you know, if I don't get my three posts in between now and Monday, I didn't want anyone calling 'round to the hospitals or anything. HAHAHA

I wanted to let you guys know that I changed my mind about Adrienne and TOPS. She doesn't need to be focused on her weight.

Have you ever noticed that once you eat something really fatty, it's impossible to get things under control again for the day, fat wise? I try to stay under 30 percent. Today is 44 percent (!!) Why? Because I ate two Burger King Tacos for lunch. Only 300 calories, but outrageous amounts of fat. So my calories were good for the day...very good...but the fat was out of control!

I made a scrumptious dinner tonight, and wanted to share:

Seafood Cakes

1 package of crab (you know, the foil packets that are by the tins of tuna)
1 package of tuna (the solid, albacore kind)
Diced onion to taste
1 egg
1 T of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (I used Smart Beat. I hate mayo and couldn't taste it which made me happy)
Lemon Juice
Garlic powder
Season salt
Seasoned Bread Crumbs

Mix up the mayo, juice, spices and onion in a bowl. Add the crab and tuna and egg, and about 1/3 cup of bread crumbs. Mix up. You should be able to handle the mixture well enough to form patties. If you can't, add more bread crumbs. It'll be sticky. Ok. Make your patties (I got five out of it) and coat them in more breadcrumbs. Put a little olive oil in a big pan, and brown them on both sides until they are warm through.

Holy God. These were so good. I ate three for dinner, and saved two for a sandwich tomorrow. They are super low in calories and fat if you use some kind of reduced calorie and fat mayo.

Marinated Bean Salad

1 can three- or five-bean salad (I used the five bean kind and it had kidney beans, garbanzos, green beans, yellow beans and something else I'm not remembering.)
Artichoke hearts
Green olives
Blue Cheese
Newman's Own Lighten Up Italian

Just toss it all together. A little cheese goes a long way, because it gets mixed up and has a strong flavor. I used about two Tablespoons for the whole salad. I used something like 10 green olives. So a serving only has two or three. Just enough to be a nice salty surprise. I love me some artichoke hearts. Use the kind packed in water. Dress with the Italian...maybe 4 Tablespoons. Refrigerate for at least two hours to let flavors mix.

Mmmmm. This stuff rocked. I just put some on a bed of lettuce. It was perfect with the Seafood Cakes. I'm thinking this is going to be the kind of thing that tastes so much better the next day.


What started me on this little odyssey in the first place was a simple pair of white capris.

The pair of size 24s I've worn three summers in a row wouldn't even close across my belly when I tried them on the end of April. I was miserable about it, but set out on April 30 to Lane Bryant to buy a new pair.

I grabbed a size 26, and bought them without trying them on. I couldn't face the humiliation of trying on my first pair of size 26 pants in a dressing room with multiple mirrors.

I came home and tried them on. They were tight. Uncomfortably so, although I could button them up and wear them. They left a red indention around my stomach. You know what I'm talking about...that itchy red ring that reminds you every minute of what a fat pig you are.

I couldn't bring myself to return the pants. There was no way in hell I was ready to buy a size 28. I'd switch to elastic waists first.

I have an odd body shape. Most of my extra weight is in my stomach and back. I looked at Lane Bryants online fit chart and (after losing three inches) my waist is at the high end of a size 24 (whew), but my hips are only a size 20. So a size 26 fit my waist by the skin of my teeth, but the rest of the pants didn't even touch my body, they were so baggy.

So two days ago I went to wear the white capris. And I could barely button them up. I felt like crying. I felt like giving up. I wore those damn pants all day, dealt with the itchy red ring.

I washed and dried those pants today, and as I was folding them, I realize that I'd accidently put on my old 24s!

Today I'm wearing those 26s, and they are too big. I can still wear them, but they are big enough that I can pull the waist a good two or three inches from my body.

Another issue I'm having is bras. First of all--they have those fit charts. You know...measure around under your boobs. Then measure at the fullest part of your bust. Take away the small from the large, and 1" is an A, 2" is a B...or whatever it is.

So my measurements are 44" (whoo! That's almost a four inch loss!) and 53". Nine inches. Putting me in something like a 44F. Yeah. In my husband's dreams. I'm wearing a 48D right now, and I can fit my whole fist in the cup with my boob, and still have more room. An F would be ridiculous. I'm a very full C or a small D. So what's up with the measurements?

Then I realized. I carry a lot of weight in my back. Measuring around gets my upper back fat in as well as my tits. I'm shocked that they don't have some sort of modified bra-fit chart for fat girls.

So I'm very close to being comfortable in a size 24 again. Maybe 10 pounds. Thank God. My world will feel right again. I've been a size 24 for almost ten years. Not that I won't be happy to go down to a 22.

I've lost 3 inches from my waist, 4 inches from under my boobs, 2 inches from over my boobs, and 4 inches from my hips. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Tri-ing with Adrienne--update

We went to the Y this morning.

Nick and his friend went swimming--just playing in the pool.

It took forever to sign Ruby up for the baby gym (basically babysitting.)

Finally, we made it to the gym. I am more convinced than ever that encouraging Adrienne to do this with me is the right thing to do. She isn't fat. But her cardiovascular health is as bad as mine was on May 1. She walked on the treadmill with me for 20 minutes. I did 3 mph the whole time, she did 3 mph for about five minutes, then went down to 2.5 for five and finally finished the last ten minutes at 2 mph.

I don't want her to burn out. I told her that we should work out together three times a week. Tomorrow we're going back, but we'll just swim and have fun. I signed Ruby and Nick up for swim lessons that start Saturday morning at 11 a.m. So I figure we can get there at 10 or so and try out the indoor track this time.

I told her if she sticks with it, I'll get her an iPod for her birthday in August. Is bribing a kid to exercise a bad thing, do you think? I didn't make it an ultimatium.

The good news is that as we were leaving, she asked if she could take swimming lessons, too. And she wants to workout with me again on Saturday.

Baby steps, baby steps.

I did 30 minutes on the treadmill and 20 on the bike. I also did some arm exercises on the weights. I really need some help developing a strength training program. My legs are going to end up Superwoman strong, and my upper body's going to be weak as a kitten. Tomorrow I'm going to swim laps, which works my upper body until my arms are like overcooked spaghetti.

Tri-ing with Kids

Adrienne brought her weight up again yesterday. I guess it's normal, with me being so focused on working out and my weight.

She said that she wants to loose weight. I asked what she thought she should weigh.

"I think between 115 and 120."

She's 5'5" tall. My heart sank. "No Baby. That's not enough."

"Well how much do you think I should weigh?"

Damn. What a slippery slope. "I don't think you need to lose weight at all. But if you want to exercise with me, and start eating healthier food...I don't think you should weigh less than 130."

Drama-queen-thirteen-year-old eyeroll. "Mom! I'll still be fat."

"You aren't fat now."


"Okay. We'll look up a weight chart when we get home."

Mostly, I hate weight charts. I think they're silly. BUT I knew that Adrienne would trust one, and that it would side with me.

We found one online. She weighs 160 now...the very top of the "large frame" range. We measured her wrist and figured out she has a small to medium build. Range: 127 to 141. Nice. I win.

It's so...hard. I look at my daughter and just see this gorgeous, perfect person. If I squint I can see past my Mama-glasses and realize that losing twenty--or even thirty-- pounds wouldn't hurt her. And being more athletic would build character and self-esteem, right? Competitive sports were such a huge part of my life at her age. But damn it's a fine line between encouraging her toward a healthier lifestyle, and risking sending her spiraling into an eating disorder.

Haven't you seen Oprah? Teenage girls who go on diets end up anorexic. Or bulimic.

"You are not to diet, Adrienne. Do you understand me?"

"Yes, Mama."

"You can eat healthier foods, give up junk food if you want to. But you are not to start counting carbs or skipping meals. You eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full."

"Yes, Mama. Can I go to TOPS with you this summer?"

Shit. Is she testing me? Does she want me to say, "Don't be ridiculous, Baby. You don't need TOPS." If I tell her she can come and weigh-in with me, am I encouraging dieting behavior that could spiral out of control? Am I starting a chain-reaction of behavior that could land her twenty years from now weighing 323 and crying into her Little Debbies?

ARGHHH! Seriously, this is going to give me an ulcer.

I told her she could come if she wanted to, but that I didn't think she needed to. And reminded her that she is 100 percent not to go on a diet. I think that she wants to spend some time alone with me--a commodity in short supply since Ruby was born.

We found out yesterday that there is a kids' triathlon that a city park is holding in September. Adrienne's age group, she'll be 14 then, will have to swim 100 yards, bike two miles and run one mile. Maybe its all my triathlon talk, but she's excited about it. Nick, too.

The triathlon I'm aiming for, the Pumpkin Man in October 2007, has a 19 and under age group. I'm assuming that 14 and 15 year olds will be allowed. Both Adrienne and Nick are wanting to do it with me. How fun is that?

We're going to the YMCA today so that she can take the manditory "fitness orientation" and have someone explain all the machines to her. Then we're going to walk a mile and swim a few laps.

The Y still has the same swim lessons that I did as a kid...you know, Guppy, Poliwog, Shark...Nick's level is Fish. He's still young enough to participate, until December. And the Fish lesson happens to be at the same time as the Water Baby lesson for Ruby. He'll learn to swim 100 yards and do the butterfly, and then move on to Flying Fish. The session starts Saturday, so we'll sign up. See how it goes.

Swimming is Adrienne's weak suit. She doesn't like to get her face wet. Even as a newborn, she hated it. She knows how to swim, but mainly does a sort of modified doggy paddle. I think she'll need the teen-and-adult swimming lessons, so that she can get used to the water and learn a proper freestyle. We'll look into that today.

The challenge is going to be when school starts. If she's still interested, we won't be able to get to the Y as often. Or we'll have to go right after school. And it'll still be too hot to workout outside. By October or so, my goal is to have bikes for me and Nick (Adrienne has a nice one already), so that we can all go on outdoor rides together. Maybe get a little seat for the back of mine so that Ruby can come along.

I'm getting myself all excited! Tri-training--brings a family together! Should we take a group before picture? Oprah might want to see one...you know after I write my bestselling "Tri with your Kids" book. HAHAHA!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Commercial for Binging

Have ya'll seen this Milky Way commerical?

Lordy, Lordy. Comfort in a candy bar. And the guy is even imagining human comfort. Okay, human comfort from a gorgeous Brazillian woman...but still. It's like an advertisement for compulsive overeating.

They might as well take out a billboard with the words "Eat Me When You Can't Handle Life" blazed across in three-foot letters.

A Nice Long Ramble

I think part of the reason I am still dealing with strong urges to binge is that I'm bored.

It isn't healthy to spend eight hours a day in front of the computer! I need to be doing something with my time other than looking up weight-loss related stuff, reading weight-loss blogs and fine-tuning my Calorie King log for the day.

Part of the problem is that I have three kids and my husband works a job and a half...I have very little free time. And even this early in the summer it's so damn hot that I hate to even think about going outside.

We joined the YMCA this weekend. And today is Adrienne's last day of school. We're headed for the Y tomorrow. Getting out, and away from food and food-related obsessions, will be helpful. Also Adrienne has expressed some interest in working out with me. She's too young to go to my gym, but the Y lets kids her age use the gym with adult supervision. They have a 1/10 mile indoor track that I'm thinking might be good for her and me to do together. Nick, too. No equipment to worry about them getting hurt on.

Adrienne isn't fat, but I she's talked about wanting to lose weight. I get all frozen and panicky when she does, because I don't know what to do. When I look at her, I see perfection. But she's 5'5" and weighs about 150. Is that fat? She wears a size 8. That's not fat. She's not fat. She's about the size I was at her age (I was 5'8" or 9" and 160.) But she isn't athletic like I was.

So do I encourage her to lose weight, when she says she wants to? I remember vividly when I was about 18, and had gained some weight after quiting my school sports--I weighed 175 or so--and telling my mother that I wanted to lose about 50 pounds. I purposely picked an outrageously large number (HAHA), fishing for my mommy to tell me that I'd disappear if I lost that huge amount. Instead she said, "good for you, Baby." And inside something died. I managed to hold it together until I could get alone in a bathroom, and then I cried and cried.

So if Adrienne says she wants to lose some, do I say, "I'll help, Baby?" Or do I say, "you don't need to lose a pound, Baby?" It's obvious that if she can maintain the weight she is now, she'll be healthier--even if she's 10 pounds overweight--than if she gets hooked on a dieting/yo-yo/10 pounds up, 10 pounds down lifestyle in the fucking eighth grade.

So I'm thinking that I can encourage a healthier lifestyle without risking inducing an eating disorder in my daughter. If she wants to walk with me, that's good. If she wants to just play in the pool, that's good too. Anything is better than sitting all day in front of the TV. And she can't eat fast food if I don't buy it. Junk food from the grocery store, either. It doesn't have to be about her, it can just be what we're doing now. Eating healthier. Going to the Y.

I've talked to her about training to do a triathlon with me. By October 2007 she'll be 15, which is old enough for a sprint distance (all I'll be doing anyway.) She isn't a strong swimmer--she's been afraid of water since babyhood. She knows how to swim, but would have to learn proper breathing and how to swim with her face in the water. I can help, and also the Y offers swim classes. She was interested in the triathlon thing. Might be fun! And if she thinks she's helping me by being my training partner (and she would be helping, big time), she might be able to get fitter and healthier without risking an ED. Right?

I ate lunch at a quarte to 11. It's now almost one. I'm not hungry, but my mouth is wanting to CHEW! Mouth hunger, not stomach hunger. I know I'll get some stomach hunger too early for dinner.

Help me think of somethings I could do during the day to manage extreme boredom! Here's a list of a few things:

1. Read a really good book
2. Watch a movie
3. Pull out the photography course that I paid $1200 for and haven't even opened the boxes!
4. Take some pictures of my kids
5. Practice my guitar
6. Work on my novel
7. Work on organizing my vintage clothes collection to get back to selling and making some money.

That's all I got for now. Any other SAHMs out there? What do you do to keep from losing your mind when the baby is napping and the big kids are doing thier things?

Tax the Fatties?

I really am taking today off the gym. My body is aching. I had a little sample pack of Excedrin PM that came with my regular Excedrin bottle. Last night I took a dose, because my legs were so sore, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep. That stuff is pretty powerful. It gave me that nasty sort of drowning feeling...you know what I mean? When you're falling asleep and can't wake yourself up? I hate that.

I've been thinking about the donuts at TOPS and realizing that I still have a ways to go on the "stop dieting" front. I can have a donut if I want to. I don't have to let them torment me. The problem (my brain keeps telling me) is that one won't be enough. One donut won't fill me up until lunch. One donut won't fill up the empty donut-shaped space inside me. One donut will open the floodgates. And that's on me. I'm still afraid of donuts. Until I get over that, until I can look at a garbage-bag filled with donuts and either eat one without guilt or realize I really don't want one...and regardless, be anxiety free...I won't be free of the diet mentality. Until I stop feeling either anxiety over eating a donut, or rightousness over not eating one, I will continue to be stuck in this mindset that has so far lead to me weighing more than twice what I weighed as a teenager.

I read this article this morning. I know the paper is British and they aren't talking about taxing Americans. But...how far away is that? And if we're going to tax 'fatties', why do smokers and drinkers get off free? How about all the Atkins refugees who are thin, but have high cholesterol? Or the those who have ruined their internal organs with diet pills?

It's so easy for someone who has never been more than ten or fifteen pounds overweight to say that obesity is simply a matter of self-control. And that those of us who are obese are gluttons who just don't care enough about the skinny people to lose weight.

Are they going to base the tax on a BMI chart? Will they tax the underweight? Will anorexics be taxed? Surely they are at least as much of a burden on the tax base as 'fatties'? Will there be a lower BMI number, underwhich the tax kicks back in? Or does this guy buy into the "you can never be too thin" mentality? What about body builders who have a deceptively high BMI?

Clearly, there will never be a tax on fat people. Because it would be an insurmountable task to keep track of the weight/BMI of every person in the UK/US/wherever. This guy's thought process, his justifications, are so simplistic and so offensive, that I wonder what made him hate the fatties so much. Was his mother fat? Was he a fat kid, teased by the bullies? Do fat chicks make him want to hurl? What? Where does prejudice like this come from?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I went ahead to the gym today after all. I know. I'm stunned, too. Me! I went to the gym when I'd already given myself permission not to. I did 1.5 miles on the treadmill at 3 mph. It's funny. My head is way into being an athlete. My body is so not there yet. I want to be able to run and swim like a superhero. But I can't. Not yet. It hurts too much, and my cardio endurance just isn't there yet.

I did notice something today. Beginning of May, when I first started this, when I went on the treadmill, even at 2.5 mph--after about ten minutes I'd get this horrible pain running from my hip down the outside of my leg. And today I walked 30 on the treadmill at 3 mph and the pain wasn't there. Totally gone. Nice!

I need some really good gym shoes. I have funky feet. First, they are ginormous...11W. Except they are only wide across the ball of my foot. The heel and arch are normal width. So, if the shoe fits the front of my foot, it's slipping and sliding on the back. And if it fits the heel...well, I'd never know because the front of my foot won't be wedged in.

Second, my feet are claustraphobic! I know that's weird. But it's true. I actually have panic attacks if I can't move my feet and legs properly. I've had nightmares about sleeping in a sleeping bag. I can't have sheets tucked in or wrapped around my legs in anyway. Should Kevin's leg touch mine (or worse, touch my foot) during sleep...forget it.

It's actually taken me this long to get to where I'm going to the gym because I can't stand to wear heavy shoes. Running/tennis/cross-training shoes are like torture devises to me. My biggest concern when we go to Disneyland is what shoes will I wear. And it's always flip flops. That's all I wear. Flip Flops.

As Kevin says, I'd never make it if we moved to Minnesota. To which I always reply, good damn thing we have no reason to ever move to Minnesota.

Anyway, I found a pair of gym shoes I can tolerate. They're really light weight, and they fit the ball of my foot comfortably without slipping and giving my heels blisters. They're a little too big on the arch...but I can live with that.

What I want is a pair of super light weight (feather light, like you can't even feel them on) running shoes with lots of ventalation that are fit perfectly to my foot. Any suggestions?

Jen: Yes, I'll be going back at least once more to TOPS. I'm hoping the donuts were some sort of one-time-thing. And if they weren't...well I'm hoping they don't make me too crazy. If they do, I'll have to think of something. Every time I've been involved with TOPS I've noticed a mentality that on weigh-in day all bets are off. Everyone goes out for a heavy, rich, fatty lunch after. And the donut thing (although I've never seen THAT before.) I think it goes with knowing you're going to be weighed once a week, so there's six days to work off that Smoky Bacon Cheeseburger and large fries. And maple bar.

Anyone know if Weight Watchers has the same dynamic going on? I'm not going to fall into it this time. It's a very, very diet-y way to think.

TOPS Review

The first thing I saw when I walked in the building for my TOPS meeting was...are you ready for this? I don't think you are...a huge HUGE like garbage-sized bag of DONUTS! What the hell is up with that? We're talking maybe five dozen donuts, sitting on a table, keeping maybe 10 loaves of wrapped up garlic bread company.


I walked in the room, which is inside the club house of a 55+ mobile home park...and saw eight very nice fat old ladies eating donuts.


Well other than THAT little detail, the meeting went well. I've lost another pound since Saturday...so a total of 13.5 down all together. The ladies were sweet as the donuts they were eating. One lady lost six pounds on her two-week cruise. Then they all started talking about cruises they'd taken.

I have the most acute case of motion sickness of anyone I've ever met. I was literally laid up (had to call in to work and everything) for THREE days after I went on that swinging Viking ship ride at a carnival. Gross. To me a cruise on the open sea in a big boat with piles of rich food would be a Stephen King nightmare come true. I was getting more than a little woozy hearing about it.

Maybe I'll feel different when I'm a senior citizen.

In other news, I'm eating Morningstar Farms' Buffalo Chicken Wings (that's fake chicken) and they are yummy! I've had them in my freezer for ages, afraid of them. But they have the texture and flavor of chicken. Nice. And only 200 calories for five wings. I'm eating they with popcorn and cherries.

Day Off

I am definitely going to TOPS this morning. The only thing that sucks is that my high weight won't count for the whole prom queen thing. Ah well.

I'm feeling much more balanced today. Thank God. I hate feeling so down. It just isn't me. I'm an eternal optimist, to the point of being irritating. So when I get to feeling like I was the last two days, it really throws me off my game.

I'm taking today off the gym. Which sucks, because Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are the only days I can get to the gym easily without jumping through hoops, since Kevin doesn't work those mornings. But my calves feel tight enough to snap. No more running for a while. I tried to push too fast. I'm back to walking and the bike, and an occassional swim.

I'll be back to let you know how TOPS went.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Yes. This is my third post today.

Yes. That is excessive.

Yes. This is my blog, so there. HAHA

I've been thinking about why I'm suddenly feeling a little discouraged yesterday and today. I thought about it as I ate pizza for dinner (Not feeling guilty about that...had enough to make me full then stopped, yo. Stopped. And stayed under my calories for today. Oh Yeah.)

I thought about it at the YMCA, as I used their indoor track and tried, TRIED, to run/walk. Now my calves hurt so badly, I'm afraid I might have really done some damage. And I was too exhausted after ten minutes (6/10 of a mile) to get in a decent workout. I also swam. One hundred ridiculous meters.

I came up with two things:

1. I have to put off running until I'm lighter. Not goal weight, or even close. Maybe 250? 225? Because rather than encouraging me, it's making me want to give up exercise. And I don't want to do that.

2. I think I need a meeting of some kind. Not because I want a program to follow. I really don't. But because I need the encouragement.

I thought long and hard today about joining Weight Watchers. All the cool kids are doing it. But I can't make myself. Counting points would make me give up this thing so fast ya'lls heads would spin. I'm even trying to get rid of the counting calories thing. Natural eating, baby. That's my goal. So I can't bring myself to pay $12 a week for a weigh-in and a sticker.

Then I rememered TOPS. TOPs is as much a part of my childhood experience as Disneyland and summer nights when all nine of us had a friend spending the night...that's 18 kids playing 'Olympics' in the living room by skating around the carpet in our socks.

My mother was a life-long TOPS member. I've joined three times. (Yes, that does coordinate with having three kids.)

What I need, I think, is the old ladies. Any time I've joined TOPS I've always been the youngest by--oh, 40 years or so. TOPS isn't as hip and cool as Weight Watchers. But it only costs $20 a year, and there is no program to follow.

I also need the recognition. You get charms, and little presents. And damn. They have ROYALTY like the freaking fat-lady prom. And I have 20 pounds more to lose than last years queen.

I could be the damn Queen.

Queen Shaunta the Ex-Lard-Ass.

Yeah. Has a nice ring to it, don't it?

There's a meeting tomorrow morning, which happens to work for me.

I can't bring myself to go back to my old meeting. I just can't. Not when I'm a solid thirty pounds heavier than I was the last time I weighed in--a year ago.

I think another reason I'm feeling anxious and discouraged is that six weeks is about as long as I've ever dieted before giving up and gaining it all back plus some. And despite the number of times I've said, "I'm not on a diet", I'm not really kidding anyone. Least of all myself. The "Not on a diet" part is coming--but it's taking some time.

Enough is Enough

I'm hungry. Goddamnit I want to eat.

Only I'm not really hungry, because I just finished eating. I'm mouth hungry, not stomach hungry.

I want to binge. I want to dive into a pool of Cherry Garcia. I want to drive down to Little Ceasers on the corner and buy one of those large pepperoni pizzas that they precook so you just have to walk in, pay your $5 and walk out. I want to make the rounds of my favorite fast food joints and surround myself with a Big Mac, Jack-in-the-Box tacos, Burger King fries and those little chocolate cakes from Carl's Junior.

And I do not want to share. I do NOT want to share.

Why? Why am I feeling this sudden, very unwelcome wanting to eat? Why am I feeling like such a failure? I'm not hungry. I promise I'm not. This isn't about starving myself or eating some crazy super low-calorie diet. I ate a salad with steak and blue cheese. My stomach is full, but not over stuffed.

God I hate that not-quite-full-enough feeling. I want to feel stuffed, so full that I can barely move, so packed with food that I couldn't fit in one more bite if I tried.

I'm on my way to the Y with the kids so that they can swim. I'm going to get a workout in.

Someone, please remind me that I can do this. I'm having a crisis of concious.

Today's affirmation: I do not need to binge, enough is enough.

Faking It

I'm afraid.

If I stop weighing myself, will I stop losing? If I stop writing down every bite that goes in my mouth, will I gain back all I've lost? If I stop caring, will I end up so fat that the local news will come tape the fire department cutting away a wall of my house to lift me out so that I can go to the hospital for an emergency, life-saving weight loss surgery? (Deep breath.)

I don't want to be afraid. I much prefer being optimistic and happy with small progress. I would much, much prefer to stop weighing myself every morning and several times during the day.

I have a morning weighing ritual. I always, always weigh myself very first thing in the morning--after I pee, but before I drink anything. I actually choose my pajamas for their light-weightedness.

I live in the desert. It's a dry heat, you know. I always lose a lot of water overnight and wake up desperate to pee and so thirsty my throat is sticky and sore. (And I'm always surprised when I go somewhere outside the desert to wake up without that feeling.) If I have to pee during the night--like when Kevin gets home from work and goes to bed at 4 a.m.--I will not drink unless I am so thirsty that I can't get back to sleep. If I must drink I take a swallow. I never drink my fill until after I've weighed myself. Ever.

That isn't normal. It can't be. Fuck. I'm a neurotic mess.

If I have a small gain from day to day, I automatically calculate when my next period is due. Within a week? I can relax. It's just PMS. Then I think back to what I ate the night before. Anything real salty? How about cheese or something else to activate my lactose intolerance? Something with too much grease that might have kicked in my IBS, even if I didn't go over my calories for the day? Do my hands feel swollen and stiff, like they do when I'm retaining water? If I can identify something--anything--then despite my weighing ritual, I don't let a gain ruin my day. I am a naturally optimistic person, and will reach for any excuse not to be upset all day.

If I show a loss? Forget about it. I'm full of light and rainbows and unicorns all day long. Until the next night, when I force myself to go back to bed thirsty so that I can get an "accurate weight" in the morning.

Damn. That's it. When Kevin wakes up, I'm asking him to hide the damn scales. (Yes, two scales. An digital one and a regular one. You know, for the sake of accuracy.)

The point is to stop the insanity of dieting, binging, compulsive overeating--and compulsive weighing. The point is to be sane. Losing weight is a side effect, not the main dish.

I'm going to have to fake that, until it's true.

What's your weighing ritual?