Friday, January 29, 2010

Almost a Meg Ryan "O"....

Alright alright – let me warn you….to most this is going to sound like a normal Mexican supper. Now possibly – to a whole lot of others – this little supper is going to sound a lot like justification to binge (and you might be right) but to me – it was WAY more than that. I had an epiphany – yup – right there in the restaurant. I felt a little like Meg Ryan in that movie where she pretends to have the big O but I didn’t get quite that excited.  I was able to restrain myself.

Let me set the stage. I hadn’t eaten since 11am-ish. It’s 4pm-ish and my hubby and I are grocery shopping. While I am aware that the food gurus say never to grocery shop when you’re hungry – I threw caution to the wind and did it anyway. I know, I’m such a rebel. Yah – they’re right. By the time we get to the second aisle I’m drooling onto the shopping cart. It’s embarrassing to say the least. So this grocery store happens to have a restaurant that serves CHINESE, PIZZA, WRAPS, CHICKEN, MASHED POTATOES, SALADS, AND DESSERTS! It’s like a buffet for the overly famished – created just for little ol me! Now all along the plan was to get groceries and high tail it past this restaurant and go straight to Subway. I was going to stick to my diet come hell or high water. But we got there and OMG – have you ever seen Chinese food look like that? Has pizza ever looked so good? Has the skin on chicken ever been fried that perfect? I’m pretty sure not BUT my husband says “no – let’s be good and do Subway.” First I tell him I hate him and then my sane brain kicks in and thinks “Whew – crisis averted.” We go. We leave. He drags me away while I sob and hold my stomach like I’ve been starved for weeks. We check out. Subway sounds less and less appealing. In fact I hate Subway. Damn Subway and its subs under 350 calories.

Now be aware – my husband is NOT on a diet. Not yet. He starts tomorrow so technically today is his last hoorah – his “Last Supper”. Welllll that changes everything. That gives us a free license to gorge on anything and everything right? I mean tomorrow could never come and would you want your last meal to be deli meat wrapped in bread with chips that taste more like cardboard? NOPE. We decide on Mexican. Now this is the good part – the epiphany is coming! I order nachos, ground beef, lettuce, and cheese on the side. And yes – the serving I get is probably enough to feed half of Africa for a week but still….I cannot waste food in honor of those same people. I talk, I laugh, I eat. I’m getting full….and still I continue to eat.

Now – here’s the difference. Most nights before the meal even came I’d already be feeling guilty. I’d already be ticked at myself for having no will power. I’d already be un-enjoying myself. I’d already regret. But not last night. About halfway through another mountainous scoop of nachos I realized “I’m eating this – I’m CHOOSING to eat this and I’m CHOOSING to be okay with it.” Weirdest thing ever. I’m fully aware that the scale will be up tomorrow and my progress may indeed go backwards but I’m willing to take that risk. I was having a great time – laughing, reconnecting, sitting at a nice restaurant (not Subway benches) – and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Not even extra mayo on a cold cut combo. I walked out of there full – so full I was sick – but dammit I was glad I did it. Is that insane? Who does that while on a strict diet?

I do. You know why? Because a really smart woman told me once to stop waiting and putting things off until “I’m skinny”. Life is short, time is precious. The meal didn’t kill me and in fact, it made my night and I’m still committed to my diet today. When little regrets start to creep in (like when the scale indeed went up 1 lb today) I shove them back. I yell at myself in my own head – yes I am crazy – and say “nope – not this time – it was SO worth it”! I wouldn’t take it back. I’m not mad at myself. I’m not even cursing the scale. I didn’t even chop it into little pieces. I actually smiled when I saw it go up. Like “you think you’re gonna surprise me? No freaking way. I know you’re going up and I don’t give a damn! So take that! Me and Sheniqua are rocking today and you can’t change that no matter what you say.”

So there you have it – my little epiphany. Fine – so it’s not as good as it sounds but to me….if you really know me…….it’s life-changing. It’s a moment on this journey I won’t soon forget and it’s helping me forge on like no Subway sub could have done. Who would have thought?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Underneath the Blanket

Yesterday I read a blog recommended by a friend and I found it very thought-provoking. The woman was talking about body dysmorphic disorder (sp?) and how after you lose weight you can’t see yourself thin. That got me to thinking about me and my incessant need to still go automatically to plus sizes when I shop….I even convince myself the clothes are much cuter there anyway. How do you break a habit like that you’ve had your whole life – in just months or a year? Is it possible? Does any woman really do it? I mean YES – of course it’s part of the dream – walking into a store and shopping in regular sizes and looking good but to me that isn’t what happens. For me – it’s not that I don’t see myself thin – it’s that I don’t see myself as thin “enough”. There’s comfort in plus sizes because no matter what I pick up off the rack it’ll fit and it might be a little big but it fits. There’s no sucking in air, zipping zippers into skin, cursing in the dressing room, etc. It just fits. If I were to break the habit and go right to my real size – there’s a chance it won’t fit – just like it never did all those years before. There’s a chance I have to put it all back and then go to the plus section where I should have started anyway. There’s a chance the size I thought I now was – isn’t – not in this brand anyway and I can’t take that rejection – not one more time.

I think the perfect invention is a blow up life-size before picture of yourself that you could fold up and carry in your purse. Just imagine me standing in the dressing room thinking – “Are you freaking kidding me? I ran 5 miles every day this week and my fat @ss still won’t fit in a size 12?” – when suddenly before I break into tears and whip out the Twinkie in my purse that I could get out a picture of me at my highest weight and stand it up next to me while in that dressing room…..THEN – yes THEN – I wouldn’t feel like such a failure knowing I have to reach for the next size up. I could “see” it – right there in front of me. Because for me – I forget how far I’ve come, the hills I’ve climbed, the struggles I’ve faced and how big I was. I think we all want to forget it so we do…but remembering is part of the key. I suppose this is why people who are successful at weight loss carry a picture of themselves at their highest weight around with them. Forgetting doesn’t work….it’s pretty much denial that a fat me ever existed.

It’s the same with staying home instead of going out because you can’t find anything that looks good and you’re afraid of what people will say. I thought that would go away after losing 70 lbs – turns out no – the feeling is the same, just a different reason. Now I’m afraid I haven’t lost enough, still nothing looks right and my God what if someone notices and says something like “how much weight have you lost?’ You’d think that would be a celebration but for me it’s not. Saying I lost 70 lbs is flat out admitting I had it to lose. Saying I lost it is admitting to the public I was overweight. It’s like admitting I had a problem and who the hell wants to admit that? It’s all part of the journey I realize now – saying yes – I let myself go, I didn’t care, I had issues, I had problems, I didn’t make myself a priority, I wasn’t healthy – sometimes to complete freaking strangers….but every time you say it – it gets easier to believe. And every time I have to walk out of the dressing room and put the plus size clothes back and go get a smaller size – it gets easier to see.

Part of me loved the fat girl in me – because I told myself I was happy with me as me – fat and all - and confident enough to be fat in my own skin and know people still loved me. I filled myself with good lies every day and I believed them. It was a good fat world……until the sun went down and darkness fell and I was still fat. I guess now there’s a difference – I’m awake even in that darkness now. I’m doing this for me. Though I have lost almost 1/3 of what I was – I’m more of a person today than I was then. But I will never make the mistake of thinking that weight was just fat. It wasn’t – it was a symbol of a million things I couldn’t face or talk about or live with. Fat is like a blanket that covers you up and keeps all the ooey-gooey stuff nice and warm on the inside while you go on living on the outside. You lose it and it’s like someone stripped off the blanket and you have big arrows above you flashing and pointing like a neon sign saying “Look at this girl. Look what is under her blanket. Sins. Misdeeds. Imperfections. Lies. Pains. Heartaches. Come one come all – open for everyone to see!” It’s scary as hell. And beware - it's not like as a kid when your mom ripped off your bandaid in one swift move. Oh no - this blanket stripping is slow and drawn out - painstakingly slow at times.

I have told anyone who asks – losing weight is easy science. Calories in – calories out – work out – done. The emotional weight loss is a whole different story and it’s not for the feint of heart. That’s why I believe so many people gain it back. So many say well I stopped working out and I started eating cookies again. Sure you did but why? I believe it’s because the emotional weight loss was starting to take hold and facing that inner you that you haven’t seen in years is more scary than carrying around an extra 50 lbs. But if you want – blame it on the cookies – I’ll never tell….I’ve been there. Done that.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's just me and Drazil...feeling helpless.

Helpless. That is the definition of how you feel when someone you love is grieving over a loss. My best friend lost a pet today...and though I know no cliches will make it better - I find myself still saying them. Though I know no visions of pet heaven will ease the pain, I still tell her to dream about them. Though I know nothing I do or say will bring their dog back, I keep doing and saying things just so she knows my heart is breaking for her. Pets are really something aren't they? The first time I ever experienced losing one I thought - nope - no way - THIS feeling, THIS horrible heartbreak is NOT worth the pain. There is no way I'll ever have a pet again...and yet, here I sit in my own home with two of them knowing full well some day we will lose them.
Dear friends of ours lost their cat this last year too - they had her for 19 years! That's longer than most marriages last these days. 19 years every day...and then gone. Nothing anyone says can possibly help that hurt...but we still try. Pets are amazing...mostly to me because no matter what you look like, smell like, act like, talk like, or sound matter who you are every day - they love you more than yesterday. They become a guarantee in your life every day when there are few guarantees left in this world. When they leave you - the world feels sadder, shattered, not as joyous. But alas, the pain does heal and at some point we realize the pain of losing them was indeed worth the years of memories and love and understanding they gave us while alive.......and so we do it again....and we swear we won't love this pet as much as the one before so it doesn't hurt as bad next time - but you and I know that never really works. Rest in peace P.w....we will carry you in our hearts.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's just me and Drazil....feeling warm and fuzzy....

Call the cops! Alert the authorities! I'm having ANOTHER good day...that would be quite a few in a row if you've been keeping up. Amazing what a good diet, consistent exercise and trying new things can do for your soul. On a darker note...I found out yesterday my cousin who is also a dear friend to me is leaving for Haiti...he was given little more than 24 hours notice. He has an 8 year old and a 3 year old and in one day their world as they know it will change in drastic ways. While I am in awe of his loyalty and willingness to go where the government tells him too, I am more in awe of his ability to leave behind his babies knowing they will have difficult days ahead of him - without him. I know with everything in me I will never and have never possessed that kind of strength and the people that do are in a class all their own. For my part, I will pray - every day. For his boys, his mother who will take care of those boys and worry for her son every moment, for his extended family who misses him and for all those people in Haiti...though I know they'll need my prayers less as I now know my cousin and his comrades will be rescuing them soon. They couldn't ask for more competent heroes if you ask me. God Bless them all!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's just me and Drazil....feeling content.

Ah contentness.....what a wonderful feeling. To me it means that even if I tried I just couldn't find one thing wrong with my life today (well I'd still wish to win the lottery but that's a given). It's Calgon actually took me away. Wonderful. I'm coming out of my shell, stepping out of the box - opening every blind to let light in instead of preferring the dark. I'm going out tonight with just girls instead of being content to stay in and stay a hermit. I'm changing - one day at a time - in good ways. I can almost feel my heart growing...and what a feeling it is. And for me a big part of it is I have a best friend, a real one, a teammate growing with me, making changes, loving life, facing demons, reaching out...and honestly if you can see someone you love so much willing to do gives you the strength to do it too. I wouldn't wish anyone in this world a life without a best friend....

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's just me & Drazil...feeling slightly stoppable.

Isn’t it amazing how your mood changes from day to day so drastically? I mean honestly I think we’re all a bit crazy in that regard. In my blog yesterday I was high on life, flying in the clouds, nothing could stop me. I mean I spent most of the day humming “I am woman – hear me roar”.….and today….well, not so much. The day ended well. Sheniqua and I had a battle at the gym and I’m proud to say I won. She’s kind of a wuss and she just hangs there like love handles often do while I ran and sweated my fat baby’s ass off. Sheniqua was defeated if only for that one hour of the day – I owned her and she lost her power. I stepped on the scale this morning and I’ll admit it – Sheniqua took back her power. No change – so I smashed the scale into tiny bits and made a useless mosaic out of them. Well not really, but I wanted to. It’s good to report – mood and all – I am still motivated. I’m not giving up, I’m staying on track, I’m tracking food like never before thanks to my BFF, I’m still keeping up this blog which is a totally new thing and a major goal of mine and I haven’t had candy since Tuesday thanks again to my BFF and I’m just not willing to say the hell with it yet. I turned down candy yesterday, a 400 calorie muffin and even free Pizza Hut……now shouldn’t I get to eat a blizzard just as a reward for all of that? The ONLY reason I feel slightly stoppable today is a migraine has invaded my life again and once again I have been forced to remember I am a migraine sufferer. On days when I don’t have one I run around pretending I’ll never get another one…like I don’t even have to watch for symptoms and then BAM – I feel it. The tiny physical nagging that soon turns into a huge mental clamoring and the record starts to play…. I tell myself “it’s not a migraine, it’s just a headache.” Or “you can handle this, you just need sleep.” Or “you’re not going to have to take meds for this one, it’s going to be fine.” Or “if you wait long enough I’m sure you won’t want to crawl in a hole and die.” And they’re all lies. And it makes me sad. You can’t explain migraines to someone who has never had one…it’s pain like no other. If you’ve had a child and you know that restful, I feel great, this isn’t so bad moment in between contractions….it’s like that when you don’t have one. However, when you feel one coming it’s like that same fear of a contraction coming and you know you can’t stop it and you don’t know if you can get through it and no one can help you and you’d almost rather die than feel it again. This pain is debilitating and makes you instantly angry at the world – mostly because there’s no cure and you’ve got things to do, a life to live – and the migraine couldn’t care less. So yah, I’m getting healthy, eating better, sleeping better, working out – changing my life – and yet BAM the migraines still come and I come back to reality and realize I may never be 100% healthy and with every blink of my eyes the pain increases until finally I decide to take the pill…..I’ll do anything if it means this pain will stop….and yup I was the same woman who just a moment ago swore I could get through this. Excuse the rambling…..I think it’s the pain talking…..

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's just me & Drazil....feeling unstoppable.

Today I feel like some kind of army recruit….armed and ready for battle. This 15 lbs stuck on my body better be scared I tell you! I’ve got fruits and veggies at the ready, a treadmill routine down pat and a look in my eye that should scare any blubber away with just one glance. I had a revelation and today I’ve decided to name “my extra 15 lbs”….I mean after all it’s mine, I put it there, it’s often brought me comfort on the days I’m not loathing it and I’m eventually going to have to say goodbye to it. Yes – it’s time to make this personal…me against the cellulite. Hmm….now for a name. What about Betty? No….too sweet. Liza…no……too old. Oh I’ve got it….it shall be Sheniqua! Yup – that is just right. If I had a body fit for stripping and straddling stripper poles – my stripper name would be Sheniqua….and when I’m done Sheniqua will be gone and my stripper-like body will have appeared. Now no I have no dreams of running out and finding the nearest Bunny Ranch and becoming a resident or anything…’s just a metaphor and one I love. Call me crazy but did any of you ever see Demi Moore in that movie where she’s a stripper? Striptease I think it was called….um yah….who wouldn’t want to look like that? So yes – today is all about me and Sheniqua and my love-hate relationship with her. My best friend and I have a challenge going to see which one of us can go the longest without eating candy and for sure Sheniqua is going to hate that. Too bad Sheniqua – this is my time, my day, my year….you best be finding a new home soon because this one is foreclosing on you. What can I say….it’s a bad economy….you had to know it was coming right?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It’s just me…..feeling misunderstood…

Do you ever feel like you live all alone on this planet and literally everyone around you is an alien of some type? People say things and I think “what the holy hell does that even mean?” People do things and I think “who the holy hell even does things like that?” I just don’t understand and frankly I’m not sure I want to. And that makes me wonder if “not” understanding life means I truly do understand it. I’m a lucky girl with more than most and have more than my share of “alien” friends and family to love me every day but yet, I can still find it in me to feel unloved and misunderstood by everyone. I guess that’s part of my charm….I’m always trying to make people understand that oddness that is me and love me in spite of it. I have inner demons just like everyone else but I’m not content to let them grow any bigger. Demons are ugly anyway – why would I want them to get bigger? This blog is a way for me to dispel those demons – in letters and periods and exclamation points if necessary. I can’t promise you it’s going to be pretty but it’ll be interesting and probably embarrassing for yours truly but I’m going to do it anyway….and I hope in doing so my ugly inner demons leave and maybe take some of yours with them as they go. It’s worth a shot right?