Once Upon a Fat Girl

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Busy Busy Busy...Whew

OOOOH man, I'm busy. Busy. And I'm taking Adrienne and Nick back to Ely tomorrow to let Adrienne stay with her grandparents so she can start school at White Pine Middle School on the first day. Then back home the next day.

More on Wednesday.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Leap of Faith

We heard from the realtor yesterday. We did not get our house. For about half an hour I was so devistated that I could barely breathe. Someone else is going to live in my house!

And then I made myself buck up. I called Scott's mom, who lives in Ely and whom Adrienne is going to stay with for six weeks or so, so she can start school on the first day.

Candice said what she always says. Don't panic. Take a breath. Everything will be okay. We'll find you somewhere to live.

Because there are no houses for rent in Ely. Honestly. There are a tiny handful of two bedroom places in the paper. But come on. We have three kids. Two bedrooms ain't gonna cut it.

So she called a few hours later, and said that she found a two bedroom that might work. It has a huge laundry room that would fit a bed for Nick for the short term, and a gigantic shed/garage that would fit all our stuff so we wouldn't have to rent a storage unit.

So. I'm going to take Adrienne down there Monday. This is a gigantic leap of faith--acting on the assumption that everything will work out the way I want it to. The assumption that if we just keep moving foward, something will pop up in our path to make everything okay.


My weight has completely stagnated. I'm happy I'm not gaining. But shit. I want to lose some more. I'm going to go back to weighing myself at home, like I did in the beginning. Going to TOPS gave me too much of a diet mentality. Mainly the idea that I can binge for two days as long as I'm good for the five days leading up to my meeting.

I'm also going to cancel my YMCA membership. It's $60 and we can use that money for other stuff (it costs $800 to rent a U-Haul from Vegas to Ely! Yikes.) And I'm going to be so incredibly busy the next six weeks that I'll have no time to get to the gym. It's cooling down a little here, at least in the morning and evening, so I can take a walk outside.

So, Saturday will be my home weigh in. Just like in the beginning. Today: 301.5.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Whoo...we're on our way!

Do you ever look around and ask yourself...Self? What the fuck have you gotten yourself into now??

We're moving. Really moving. To rural Nevada. My excitement level is off the charts. I want to be there NOW. I want to know right now that we got our house, that our loan went through, that we got a decent interest rate...all that good stuff.

I want to skip the entire packing fiasco and just, you know, go shopping when we get there.

Except...oh yeah. There isn't much shopping there! No Target. Gah.

And also...ahh...no Target. No Wal-Mart. No smog. No traffic. No fuckers breaking into your house and stealing your Target card then using it to spend $100 at 7-11.

But the packing. OH! The packing. I had a brilliant plan today. Pack the dining room/office. Yeah. Right. I did manage to pack my gargantuan desk. Two full trashbags and one huge lawn size bag of Goodwill goodies--and one medium sized box.

I have no idea what will happen with my weight. We're moving in six weeks, and let's just say that the Y isn't in the plans. There is just no time. I'm leaving on Monday to take Adrienne up there, so she can spend the six weeks with her grandparents and start school on the first day. Coming home the next day so that on Wednesday Nick can start school. Then it's just me and the Ruby-cakes packing our little hearts out.

My plan is this: Throw away half. At least. I want to move into my new house completely stream lined and organized. Nothing I don't love. That includes the clothes that fit me when I was 323 pounds and now, 25 pounds later, hang on me. It also includes the size 14-22s I'm holding on to for "Someday."

Another thing. I'm scared of winter. Makes sense to move in October then, doesn't it? I've never had a real winter. You know...negative degrees. Snow. SNOW! Ely is still the desert (read: Dry) so it doesn't get the heavy wet back-east kind of snow. And it doesn't get tons of it.

But still. COLD. and SNOW. How do I handle this? What do I need to buy?? Winter coats, right? And gloves. Real shoes. Scarfs. Hats. Long johns (seriously, we are that thin blooded!) Sweaters. Blankets (we use thinnish quilts year-round, I'm thinking they won't do in Ely winters.)

Help. Anyone? What am I missing?? Any winter/fall COLD weather tips?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Brothels and Horse Races

After an entire day of focusing on it--we've got our cards and accounts situated. The person who broke into our house used our Target card five times at 7-11s (did you know you could even do that??) Otherwise, so far we don't know about any other usages. They did steal a book of checks, so we had to close our accounts.

Asshole. How is it that people can do shit like this without even thinking about how it effects the other person?

I also spoke to the Loan Dude and the Realtor Lady. The Loan Dude said that with six months to save some money and work out a few debts, he could get us into a loan. The Realtor Lady spoke to the owner about a six-month lease option (we'd give her a non-refundable down and pay an extra $400 a month rent which would go toward our down.) She says she needs a couple of days to talk to her family and her accountant.

So we'll see. Either way, the plan is to move October 1, even if we have to rent something else. I'm bringing Adrienne down this weekend so that she can stay with her grandparents and start school on the first day with everyone else. My brave girl. She doesn't do well with being away from me. Ahh...the power of 14. She's growing up. There is the possibility that Kevin will stay in Vegas for four or five months with his parents (it's a 4 hour drive to Ely, so he'll be able to visit every other weekend or so.) I'm trying not to pout too much.

Here are some pictures I took of Kevin and the kids at the annual White Pine County Horse Races. (I tried to get a picture of the horses but it didn't work out...)

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And...the brothels. Northern Nevada is pretty notorious for it's fun houses. Kevin and I came across Ely's red light district, and couldn't resist! First, the signs were really neat:

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And...this one. HAHAHA!

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And the funniest picture of the whole weekend. When we came back around, we spotted this on the side fence of the Big Four.

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The big white utilitarian bra cracks me up the most.

I TOTALLY wanted to get out and get a better picture, but I was afraid someone might come after me with a shotgun or something. Being August, it was a warm afternoon and the doors were open. Looked like a bar to me. Funny, we only saw men inside. LMAO. I guess the girls were busy!

Home Sweet Home

We drove home late-ish last night from Ely, floating on a Rocky Mountain High. Looking at the million stars and trying to figure out whether we can afford the $20,000 a year pay cut Kevin will take when we move there.

Yes, move there. He was offered a job, and we found our house. OUR house...it's perfect. I've looked at umpty million houses here in Vegas in the past year, and I've cried at what we can afford. I took one look at this house in Ely and was instantly in love. That feeling that I've been looking for here and haven't even come close to.

So anyway...we get home. And the gate and front door are both unlocked. The sliding back door is sitting completely out of it's track and sitting inside the house. (This is particularily scary, because the sliding glass door thing is in my novel.)

We were robbed.

The contents of both my and Kevin's night stands were dumped onto our bed. Door keys, two credit cards and our wedding rings were stolen out of a lock box. Kevin's Play Station and a few of Nick's games were taken, along with Kevin's video camera and my Canon Rebel. They dug through our collection of medications.

So. We are moving. With a little luck, we are moving October 1st. I'm waiting to hear from a lender today. Apparently, it's complicated to move out of town, if you don't have a bunch of money for the down on a house. If we can't buy immediately, I'll start a search for a rental house. But we are so fucking out of here.

Here's our house. It was built in 1930...2400 square feet, 5 bedrooms and three bathrooms. Pictures don't do the outside justice, because it needs to be painted (badly.) But it's a really lovely house.

Our house has two bedrooms upstairs, and a full basement with a den, three bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room. The basement is built into the side of the mountain.

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It has a gorgeous backyard. You'd have to live in Las Vegas to appreciate grass this green in August. Because the back of the house bucks up to the mountain, literally, the back of our yard IS the mountain.

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Something else you'd have to live in Las Vegas to appreciate is the view from our front door.

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One of my favorite things about the house are the green slate front steps.

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The kitchen is perfect. You can't tell really, but the little tiles on the counter are green.

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We'll have an actual woodburning stove! LMAO

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And...seeing as this IS the country...a cat skin hanging from the freaking front yard tree. (We may have to put it in the offer that this sucker is removed before we move in. Gross!)

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I have some hilarious pictures of Ely's brothels. I'm just not in the mood at the moment. But I'll post them next, I promise.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


We're going to Ely this afternoon and coming home Monday night. Expect an update Tuesday with lots of pictures!

This afternoon we're hitting up the White Pine County fair...and then tomorrow is the annual White Pine County horse races. I can hardly wait! I read Seabiscuit a few months ago, and it got me all excited about racehorses. Plus, me and Adrienne watched Dreamer a couple of days ago. Horsies!

I plan on checking out the Ely thrift store for the first time, and attempting to find a yard sale or two.

We're looking at a couple of houses Monday. It's just for fun...for now.

Most importantly--my baby will be 14 tomorrow! FOURTEEN. *swoons* How did that happen?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mexican Bean Salad

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Ruby loves the bean salad I made the two days ago. It's so scrumptious!

Mexican Bean Salad

1 can black beans
1 can red beans
1 can white beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can corn
1/2 mild chili pepper (I use a pasilla or anaheim), chopped
1/2 white or red onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
1 bunch radishes, chopped fine

1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 TBSP salt
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
tobasco sauce to taste

Mix the beans, corn and fresh veggies in a big bowl. Whisk the other ingredients together in a smaller bowl. Toss it all together and chill. This stuff is seriously yummy...and it only gets better after a day or two. I suppose it could be made without the olive oil, or with less olive oil. Honestly though, it makes it taste really good, and most of the dressing usually stays on my plate, so with a serving you really aren't getting much oil. And all that good bean-y fiber totally makes up for it, IMO!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Diet Survivor: Lesson #5

I am posting about the 60 lessons in The Diet Survivor's Handbook by Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel.

Lesson #5

Become mindful of whether you are experiencing stomach hunger or mouth hunger.

This...this is my kryptonite. This is what catches me up every time. Stomach hunger is a hungry body. Mouth hunger is a hungry brain. And not hungry for education or information. It's your brain telling you that you're hungry. It's boredom or fear or joy or lonliness or anxiety or excitement disguised as hunger.

I've had a hard time deciding when I'm really hungry--stomach hungry. Because--if I want food, doesn't that mean I'm hungry? Isn't that what hunger is? Do I have to be uncomfortably hungry? Does my stomach have to actually growl? Is there a certain number of minutes my stomach has to feel empty before I'm really, really truly hungry?

It's enough to make a girl crazy. It's been easier for me to go by the clock. If I just ate breakfast at 8 and I'm hungry at 9:30--it's likely mouth hunger. If I ate lunch at noon and now it's 6--stomach hunger. I know I'm supposed to listen to my body and not an outside source for my signals to eat.

But I think my body is broken. I think my little hunger sensor is broken. I've knocked it off kilter with too many years of binging and eating until I have to lean way back in my chair just to get a good deep breath. I've upset it with too many nights of sitting in bed at midnight with a snack as large as my dinner. With too many starvation diets and days when I sat alone staring at my fridge, knowing that the next I ate I would STILL be hungry.

I think it's repairable. I'm already feeling better about deciding whether I'm stomach or mouth hungry without looking at the clock.

Do skinny people do this? Do they agonize over whether their brain or their body is hungry? Do they try force themselves to stop eating when there is still half a slice of pizza, because they are full? Or does it come naturally to them?


Collect stomach hunger experiences, so that you can learn from them

Hmmm. I've learned that stomach hunger comes with other feelings besides wanting to eat. I might feel a little cranky, or lightheaded. (Not overly so, but I don't feel like that at all with mouth hunger.) If I'm mouth hungry usually only something like Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt will satisfy it. If I'm stomach hungry I want food food...a sandwich or chicken or something.

When I'm mouth hungry the only symptom is...I want to eat. Usually something sweet. Or something crunchy and salty.

What about you? How do you tell stomach hunger from mouth hunger?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I spent all afternoon taking pictures of shoes and listing them on eBay. I think they turned out pretty well. I have some kick-ass sexy shoes up, if you can wear a 7 1/5. (I wear a 11 or these shoes would not be on the block!)

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Also...someone asked for size Medium clothes. I listed these two today. The sweater is a medium and the blouse is a medium to large. (The model is teensy...but the clothes will look even better on the right size woman!)

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Boo Hoo!

You can pretty much bet that if I don't post until 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday--I gained at TOPS.

A pound and a half. For a month, I've been floating around this 300 mark. 301.5 today. Gah.

I'm not sure what to do. One thing that might have helped--not eating an entire bag of caramel rice cake minis whilst watching Rock Star SuperNova tonight. That would have been a huge step in the right direction.

In my defense--I ate dinner early, so that I could eat with Kevin before he left for work. I was hungry. Eight hundred calories worth of sweet styrofoam wasn't a good choice. No. It wasn't.

Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I will make better choices. I will face down the fear that if I don't eat ALL the rice cakes, I'll never be full again. I will move. I will make choices that support my own self-care and satisfaction. Tomorrow I will do better--not for my diet, for me. I will make healthier (physically and emotionally and mentally) choices for me.

God. Someone give me a hug. Please?

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Love Affair With Old Clothes

Kevin and I made a decision yesterday--I'm going back to selling vintage clothing on eBay. I'm really excited. Late last year and the early part of this year, I was really into it. But, a few months ago I just suddenly took a nosedive. In retospect, I think I might have been dealing with some post-partum depression. I couldn't keep up the pace (50 to 70 listings a week, shopping with an infant nearly daily, modeling shoots.)

Anyway...today I got to both go through the enormous stock that I have in storage, and go shopping! Woo! I had some pictures already taken of clothing that I hadn't listed yet, so I'm starting there. (The redhead is Erika, my favorite model, she's 18 and has moved to LA to pursue her career. Join me in sending her some good vibes, huh?)

Here are the seven pieces I listed today (I have both black dresses up):

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You can check out my auctions here.

If you look at my feedback, you'll see that I hit a rough patch just before I quit selling. I did resolve all issues. I thought about posting some sort of an explaination on my auctions, but decided against it. If anyone cares to go past the first page of feedback, I have some pretty glowing reviews. And if they don't...well, I'll just buck up and take it like a big girl.

I'm so excited! I love vintage clothing. I love being able to shop without worrying about size. My best find so far was a vintage 1970s Yves St. Laurent coat:

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I bought it for $20 and sold it for just under $800! The money I make from selling my clothes is going in the Get-Out-of-Vegas pot. Woo Hoo!!!

EDITED TO ADD: I just made an executive decision to post pics of each weeks eBay listings. I'll update the link under "favorite posts" on the left each week. Betcha can't wait! HAHA

Diet Survivor: Lesson #4

I am writing about the lessons in "The Diet Survivor's Guide" by Judit Matz and Ellen Frankel. Feel free to post your own answer to the activity at the end to my comments.

Lesson #4

Pay attention to your fullness. When you eat from physical hunger and eat exactly what you are hungry for, you will also notice when your stomach feels satisfied.

This is a biggie for me. As I've said, the first two weeks of May were torture. Dr. Wendy Oliver-Pyatt, in her book Fed Up! talks about the anxiety that comes from not eating enough to be Really Full.

According to this website, I was eating an astonishing 4,040 calories to maintain 323 pounds. And let's face it. I wasn't maintaining, I was gaining. That's a huge amount of food. I was used to being Really Full. So Full Enough or just Not Hungry was actually causing some rather severe anxiety.

It took two weeks to get over it. Two weeks for my body to catch on that I wasn't going to starve it. In the past, during the thousand or so diets I've been on, I would normally try to cut my calories to somewhere between 1200 and 1600. Since May I've had a general goal of 2000 calories. At least 90 percent of the time I stay between 2000 and 2500. This seems like a whole lot. But that same website says that I can eat 3000 and still lose weight.

It says that to maintain a weight of 150, I'll need to eat 2600 calories, so I'm not sweating it. Why would I? I'm losing.

I've been making an honest attempt to eat what I'm hungry for. I'll admit that I do still make an attempt to make healthier choices. Low-fat Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt, rather than the full-fat ice cream with the same cherry-chocolate deliciousness. I think that's okay. It took me some time, believe it or not, to come to terms with that. It's okay to make healthier choices--it's not okay to deny myself to the point where I'm eating gallons of Cherry Garcia after attempting to feed my craving pretzels, carrot sticks, brownies, pizza and bologna sandwiches.

For me, the stopping point is when I feel a little full. I'd still like to be able to stop eating just at the point when I'm no longer hungry--but for my mental health, eating those few more bites makes a big impact.

The only time that I eat to the point of being Really Full--but never Stuffed anymore--is when I eat out. Last night Kevin took me to Macayos. I did manage to leave half a taco and at least half my rice and beans behind. But--I was at the point of Not Hungry after chips and salsa and a small bowl of tortilla soup. I ate to Really Full--half a taco and an enchilada. I'm a work in progress, for sure.

The Activity

Write down the sensations of:

Too Full
Too full hurts. My stomach feels distended and painfully full. I feel like I can't get a good breath. I feel a little sick to my stomach, both because I'm Too Full and because I'm disappointed with myself.

Not Full Enough Not Full Enough feels like deprevation. It triggers something from my childhood--a feeling of never having enough of anything. Not Full Enough makes me buy the king size package of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, because two isn't enough. It makes me buy the large popcorn at hte movies, just to be sure I have enough. I have a hard time eating something small--when I eat I want to be Full.

Just Right
Just Right makes me feel like a good girl. A little triumphant. I still have a tingle, sometimes (especially at restaurants), of anxiety because my brain wants Just Right to feel like Really Full. Just Right means I've had enough--but not too much. It means that I've stopped before I hurt myself with Too Full. Just Right feels like taking care of myself.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What I posted...

So...one of the authors of The Diet Survivor's Handbook commented on my last entry! How sweet is that? And she invited me to post something to her site. Here's what I sent:

Hello, my name is Shaunta.

I'm a wife, and a mother of a baby, a preteen and a teenager. Yeah. It's fun. Really, it is.

I'm a writer, just finished with my first novel. An ex-journalist who just can't put down the pen.

I'm a friend, a lover, my family's historian. I love photography and gardening and playing my guitar. I have eight siblings, two sets of parents, my ex-husband is one of my best friends.

And I weigh 300 pounds.

With all the things I have going on in my life--really good things--why is it that the last one is the one that defines me?

Why is it that I want to wear a sign sandwich-style that says "Yeah, but I used to weigh 323!"

I don't weigh 300 pounds because of my genes. Out of a very large family, only I am morbidly obese. I don't weigh 300 pounds because of a hormonal imbalance, or a 'female problem' or my thyroid. I've had it all checked. Twice.

I weigh 300 pounds because I stopped dieting on May 1, 2006. I have no doubt that had I continued to diet, I would weigh a solid 350 by the end of the year. I weighed 323 pounds because I started dieting when I was eight, and it took me the next 25 years to get there.

I binged my way through a fairly promising atheltic career. This is a secret that I've never told anyone before--I stopped swimming after my senior year so that I could eat. The four hours a day of exercise kept me in shape, in spite of the three or four candy bars I'd eat on my way home every night.

I binged through a lonely and traumatic childhood. Through a rough first marriage. Through three pregnancies. Through meeting the man of my dreams and becoming his wife. I binged through a quarter decade of living--starting in the third grade.

I stopped on May 1, because the number 323 scared me. And luckily for me, I came across a book about natural eating. It made sense--and I tried it. The first two weeks were pure hell. I started a blog--because I write. It's what I do. I need my blog to keep me sane through this. It gave me a place, everyday for two weeks, to talk about how scared the "not full/not hungry" feeling made me.

I started moving--not to lose weight, but because it feels good. Because deciding that I want to compete in a triathlon made me feel like an athlete again.

And 23 pounds came off. I know, I know...that's not the point. And really, it isn't. The point is that I'm not obsessed. I'm not making myself sick. I feel good. For the first time in a long time, I feel good. The anxiety that goes along with binging is gone.

Now, 23 pounds isn't much when you have 170 to lose in all. But for me, they are the most beautiful pounds ever. They tell me, every one of them, that I don't have to make myself sick anymore.

Time to get out!

I get in these funks sometimes. Actually, it happens every August. I stop going outside. The heat is oppressive. And since it's monsoon season, it's fairly humid (okay, I know that 20 to 25 percent humidity isn't much to some of you. But when it's 110 degrees outside, and you're used to more like 4 percent, it blows.)

I just realized that I have not left my house for five days. FIVE DAYS. Except to take the trash out. I haven't taken my kids anywhere. I haven't done anything outside of my home for five whole days.

That's just wrong. Every day I think I should take the kids swimming. But it's SO HOT. Our van is like an easy-bake oven. Even with the air on, the windows and the doors stay so hot, they're like reverse ice cubes, keeping the air hot. And burning my elbow and knee when I'm driving.

God. I hate August. Hate. August.

I actually gave birth in August once. August 20, 1992. Adrienne will be 14 in eight days. I'm not sure how we survived the drive home from the hospital.

And...damn, my baby is going to be 14 in eight days. *sob*

Diet Survivor: Lesson #3

Okay then...Project Get-Your-Ass-To-Bed is working. I feel much better today. Here is lesson three from The Diet Survivor's Handbook by Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel.


Lesson Three:

Ask yourself what you are hungry for and listen to your body. It's wisdom can guide you toward a good match.

Like most grown-ups, when I'm hungry I open my fridge or take a look in my pantry. Or I think about the half-a-dozen fast food restaurants with in a block of my house. It never occurs to me to think about whether I'm hungry for...say Cherries...that I'd have to run to the store for. In fact, even as I'm typing this I'm thinking, who would go to the grocery store just to pick up one thing their hungry for?

So the theory is that the body knows what it needs. If you feed it exactly what it's hungry for--viola, natural eating. This was a hard one for me to accept. Because lots of times, I told myself, I'm hungry for french fries. Or a big chocolate chip cookie.

But, the more I think about it. The more I really analyze the past three-and-a-half months, I realize that, even though I still don't run to the grocery store to fulfill every whim of my hunger--I don't actually crave the "restricted" foods like I used to. Because I have un-restricted those foods. Since I can have (and have had) a Big Mac, if that's what I really need--I don't need it as often. AND, since I'm paying attention, I've learned that I can have just the sandwich, or just the fries, because I rarely crave both at the same time. Or if I do, I can still be satisfied with whichever one I need the most at the moment.


The next time you are hungry, attempt to make a good food match.

1. Ask yourself what you really want in your stomach. Not just what you have in the house, but any food, any where.

2. If you can't identify that, ask yourself questions. Something hot? cold? salty? sweet? crunchy? soft?

Then...eat it!

Friday, August 11, 2006

What's Up?

Just a little chit-chat...look for Lesson three later today.


I've made a decision. I'm going to experiment with going to bed at ... gasp ... 10 p.m. I'm flat out exhausted. And there really isn't a good reason for it. Ruby rings in the dawn, so I'm up no later than 6:30. Going to bed at midnight, I'm only getting roughly six hours sleep. Clearly not enough. I laid down on my bed to read yesterday afternoon during Ruby's nap, and when I opened my eyes again, it was two hours later. And I was more tired than when I laid down. Ugh.

Also, I've been slacking on my vitamins, which I think is making the tiredness worse.

I want some energy, yo. Now.


I've been sending my agent query out everyday. Two letters and one email a day. So far, one rejection.


We're going to Ely in two weeks I think (I hope.) Just for the weekend (weekend after the coming up one.) I can't wait. I've never been in the summer before. I've already been offered a job as reporter for the newspaper out there. The idea of moving to this tiny, idyllic mountain town...gah. My husband would only have to work one job. My kids could ride their bikes outside with me being afraid of naked men with sledgehammers. And I could be a reporter again. We have a chance in hell of affording to buy a house there--and some day actually pay it off.

And...the further away we are from the nation's proposed radioactive waste dump, the better.

The stars are aligning for a move, I think. We need a change. We need to slow down.

We're planning to spend Kevin's November vacation in Ely, with a kid-less sidetrip to Elko, home of the Ruby Mountains. Elko would be my second choice for small-town living. It's bigger, has a Wal-Mart and a daily newspaper, a four-year university, and more casinos for Kevin to work at. However, it is very remote, a good 8 or 9 hour drive from the various grandparents and fathers that live in Vegas.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Diet Survivor: Lesson #2

I am working through the sixty lessons in The Diet Survivor's Handbook by Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel.

Lesson two:

Honor your hunger. It's your body's nautural way of telling you that it's time to eat.

This is a toughie. And it is the thing that kicked my ass hard for two weeks and continues to spank me on a regular basis. Because, you know, it's hard to honor something that you aren't even sure is happening.

"Am I really hungry?" I ask myself that a thousand times a day. Every time I think I'd like a cookie, or I feel a little twinge in the belly-ish area.

Am I hungry, or thirsty?

Am I hungry, or bored?

Hungry, or tired?

Hungry, or happy?

See?? Frustration city.

The flip side is asking myself, with half a ham and avocado sandwich still on my plate, whether I am full. And then stepping away from the yumminess if the answer is yes.

I wonder often whether skinny people deal with this. Were they just born without the hunger trigger? Do they have some kind of super-human will that makes it possible for them to leave half a dozen fries on their plate, or skip the cookies for dessert if they are full?

Today's activity introduces a hunger scale:

Very hungry
Somewhat hungry
Not hungry/Not full (the very very worst, imo)
Somewhat full
Very full

The idea is to respond to somewhat hungry or hungry by...eating. Haha. Waiting until the top two might increase the risk of binging.

Interestingly, the book does not go into when a girl should stop eating. Somewhat full? The dreaded not hungry/not full limbo? Can she actually eat until she's full? I'm going out on a limb here and saying the last two are to be avoided.

As my norm pre-trying to lose some pounds was to eat until Very Full--I'm going to knock it down to Somewhat Full and see how that goes.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Diet Survivor: Lesson #1

I've been reading a little book called The Diet Survivor's Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care by Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel (both Licensed Clinical Social Workers.)

The book is very interesting. It goes along with what I've been trying to do: Give up dieting. So, I've decided to write about each lesson...one a day...over the next sixty days. The end of each lesson has questions or tasks, which I will also be writing about here.

Lesson one: Welcome your body's interal cues to instruct you when, what, and how much to eat.

They call it attuned eating. Eating what you want, when you are hungry, until you are full. I call it natural eating. The hardest part, by far, is trusting my body to know when it's full. And the anxiety that STILL occassionally crops up when I get full with my plate still half full of what my Daddy calls "good grubbin'."

I mean, really--how am I supposed to leave behind half of a delicious grilled chicken breast or a nice hunk of cheese...just cause I'm not hungry? What kind of nonsense is that?

It gets easier though. The first two weeks were hell. The last two months haven't been so bad.

Children always eat naturally. The older they get, the less attuned they are to their eating. I've been thinking about why that is, for me. What happened on the way to 300-plus pounds?

My natural eating was derailed. By a mother who insisted that I clear my plate, and a step-mother and father who wouldn't let me have seconds if I was still hungry. Talk about conflicted messages.

It was also thrown off track by this little fear that I've had for as long as I can remember--the fear that I will not have enough. Not enough to eat. Not enough to be full. Maybe that comes from having so many siblings. Maybe it comes from being the big one, and so always worrying that I'm eating too much.

Where ever it comes from, I need to retrain myself. I have enough now. Enough so that every time I'm hungry, I can eat anything I want. That idea is finally starting to break through my boundaries. I don't have to eat ALL of it now...because I can have more of it when I'm hungry again, if I want. More than likely, by the time I'm hungry again, some other new delicous-ness will be beckoning.

End of the lesson activity:

1. Think of a time when you felt hungry and ate what you craved. How did it taste?
How did it feel in your stomach?

hmmm...when I was pregnant with Adrienne, 14 years ago (!), I craved Little Debbies fudge rounds and Kool-Aid pink lemonade. I ate them when I was hungry, but I have had a little pregnancy quirk all three times--I can't eat past being full, or I get sick. I can still remember sinking my teeth into the refridgerated goodness of those fudgy rounds. We kept them in the fridge, because let me tell you--Summer in Vegas is not a nice time to be pregnant. I needed to cool off. Those treats, and the tangy sweet lemonaid were absolutely perfect.

2. Think of a time when you felt hungry but ate something that you weren't hungry for in order to be "good." How did it taste? How did it feel in your stomach?

I've done this a million times. Ate carrot sticks, when I wanted chocolate. Or ordered a salad when I wanted a juicy burger. "Good" foods don't taste real well when they come with a side-order of resentment. Usually--I'd end up binging on some other crap, often the crap that I wanted to eat in the first place.

3. Think of a time when you weren't hungry but ate anyway. How did it taste? How did it feel in your stomach?

Boy. How many times have I done this? Bucket o' popcorn at the movies anyone? Or big bowl of ice cream whilst zoning in front of the tube? Finishing a yummy sandwich, just because it was yummy. The food tasted great. Especially the first few bites. My stomach nearly always suffered--you know that over-full, ouchie stomach feeling? Ick.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Just got back from TOPS. I lost 2.75 pounds this week. What a relief. Seriously--I had this fear that my losing streak was over. I need to realize that one week's gain doesn't mean that I'm going to immediately stop losing forever. So, I'm at an even 300. I expect to be below that next week. Yes! What I'm really looking forward to is being enough below 300 that there isn't a risk week-to-week of going back above that.

I did not excerise this week. The excuse Du Jour is that it's just too fucking hot. And it is. H.O.T. I have barely even left the house this week. I'm going to make an attempt at getting to the gym this week. Especially because the kids want to use the pool and school will be starting soon. When school starts my plan is to drop Adrienne off, then go on to the gym first thing. She only goes to school four days a week--so if I just squeeze in another day Saturday, Sunday or Monday--five days. Nice.

In other news...

I've finished my book ya'll! WOO HOO!!! I've started sending out queries to agents. Three so far. Got back one form rejection email. Damn. BUT...I'm not letting it get me down. No, I'm really not. Mel is reading it now and doing some last minute polish editing...but it's done other than that. Ready to send off to the world, in hopes of finding a home. A home, let's hope, that will result in a nice advance check for me--and a little paperback with my name on the cover. How amazing will that be???

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Five--but whose counting??

Well--I bit the bullet and went to TOPS after all.

I gained. Almost five pounds.

Strangely, I'm not as upset as I would have thought. I've lost 20 pounds. Even with the small gain, I'm down two...count them...TWO bra sizes. And one full clothing size. My measurements have not changed. I'm still healthier, and getting healthier still.

Today is a new day. A day in which I had a scrumptious lunch of Tequila Lime chicken at El Pollo Loco. Scrumptious, I tell you. Try it. It's low fat and compared to other fast food it's very low in calories.

Thank you all for the the encouragement! I'm feeling really good. Amazing, even. I'm not tired, for the first time in a few weeks. I'm just in a good mood. I love that!