Last night I was tucking my four-year-old in for the last time ever (coz he’s five today, y’all!) and I reached across him to begin the computer playing his lullaby music. I was wearing a tank top and Jude stopped me suddenly and asked, “What is that squishy thing?!”
I stopped, what squishy thing? Squishy things, in my mind, don’t belong in my son’s bed because squishy and slimy go hand in hand when it comes to children. Instead, he reached up, and began to lovingly stroke my batwing. Batwings, for those in a blissful state of ignorance, are those pouches of skin that hang like hammocks under your arms, rendering you incapable (or warned against) wearing sleeveless clothing. Like this:
Yes, I fuzzed out my underarm stubble. No need to get that gritty. But after one of my top ten bloggers posted bikini pictures of herself at a size 14/16, I felt like I should not be ashamed to define the term ‘batwing’ by using my own body.
Especially since my attention was drawn to it from one of the sweetest ever inquiries: “Mama, why are they so soft? What are they? Are they new? Why I never see them fore?” Followed up with scientific observations like: They are so soft! I like how they wiggle! Haha! Jiggly! Ooh! Shaky! And my favorite: I love them!
He loves them. I laid in bed for several minutes while my son stroked my bat wings lovingly. And this morning while I was getting dressed, there he was again. Telling me that this place on my body, which I see as flawed, he sees as lovely texture on his mama. It made me kinda like them, truth be told.
A common misunderstanding among the losers and the non-losers of the weightloss world is that if you compliment me on my weightloss that it is really a backhanded insult. What people worry about me hearing is, “You look so much better than you did back when you were a giant, hideous troll.” Listen, I know what you’re saying when you say I look good, or like I’m losing weight, or I’m looking fit, or healthy or whatever. What you’re saying is, “I am noticing you are making a healthy change in your life! Good job!” I get that. I like that! I NEED that.
I was never one of those fat girls who avoided dating because of my weight. Or life, for that matter. Certainly, being thinner gives me more confidence when considering my adoring fans (please point them out to me next time you see them because I am still looking for the section in the crowd with pennants and foam fingers reading ‘Go Team Lj!”), but I never have been excluded, bullied, mocked or teased because of my weight. I have always considered this luck, but lately I have been wondering if it is more my outlook and confidence. You don’t mess with T-Diddy Lj, you know. (Doesn’t that sound tough?! T-Diddy Lj? Hannah? No? Oh well.)
I think it’s also hard for people to understand my satisfaction with my life, like for most of it, thin or thick (I’ve lived most of my 39 years thick style). Yes, I am losing weight. Yes, I am enjoying the benefits of losing weight and getting fit (smaller clothes, being active, lots of energy) but I also have just always really liked myself. Rarely have I ever been caught moaning in my closet about how I hated how fat I was, I’ve never seen myself as less worthy, less pretty. That said, there have been moaning, self loathing moments, but they are far and few between. In my eyes, I have always been acceptable. I credit an amazing support system growing up and my husband with this confidence. Yeah, it’s me too, but the meta message I have always received is that I am enough, that I am pretty, that I have physical and intellectual value in this world.
Clearly my son agrees.
I wrote this back in January when I recommitted to becoming my healthiest self. I didn’t post it to my family blog (it just seems too self centered and not necessarily something I wanted tracked on Facebook), but now that I have this place it seems appropriate to go back to the roots of this project.
I get frustrated sometimes with weightloss. Like, why is it not coming off as fast as I would like?! Which is silly. I know why it doesn’t come off when it stops happening – move more eat less! But I get down on myself. I know when I look in my clothes I see different numbers, but I have never put the before and after results of my efforts over the past year plus side by side. I’m pretty amazed.
The woman who keeps the blog has a pretty typical Biggest loser kind of story – big girl gets fed up with fat and is determined to lose it in a year. She is successful, has surgery and looks absolutely amazing. Honestly, more amazing than I need to look. I’m inspired now, though. Reading her blog lit a fire under me again and I am chasing this thing down.
My goal for the rest of the year is 40 off before I turn 40 in October. That is a completely reasonable 4-5 pounds off a month. If I meet my goal I get to buy new boots. Pretty boots. NICE boots. 🙂 Since the New Year has begun I am down eight pounds, but my forty starts today. So technically it will be 48 before 40, but I think I can let that slide. [update: my current loss since 1/1 is down 17 pounds.]
I started out on the weightloss when my doctor told me that my fertility was being affected by my PCOS and my weight. He said if I lost just 5-10% of my body weight that I might get pregnant. I realized I had to make a choice – family or fat. It was hard at first. But after a while we got way into it, I lost about 50 pounds, and lo and behold, and baby came into our lives. Jude was born and I gained pretty much everything back. The gall bladder, the pregnancy, nursing and not exercising took their toll and I found myself passing an unmentionable marker again, pushing the seams of my 24’s. I started cutting back a little. A woman I know lost a pile of weight and inspired me to start trying in earnest. Last October I was 85 down, climbed a little back up through the holidays, and now I’m 80 down total. If you add all the gains in there I have probably lost closer to 160 or so. It just comes back so easily! But the incredible thing this time is that I can step back into dieting and monitoring easily, I don’t fight it anymore, and when I want a cupcake I have one. Or half of one. Or a bite at least!
This time, though, I am taking it out karate chop, biggest loser style. I’m going to try to make my goal without this meandering “Longest Diet In the World’ crap that I have been on for about 6 years now. I’m officially a midlifer now and I don’t have a bunch of time to waste anymore if I want to make a positive health impact on my life and my longevity.
To be at my ultimate goal I need to lose around eighty more. I can lose more, but I also want to be a realist about what I think I can maintain. Bradley and I walk every day but I think I need to start adding running intervals into that. I am starting weights and riding my cycle every chance I have. While listening to Katy Perry (shhhh. The time just goes faster when shes talkin’ ’bout last Friday night!).
So cheers for new beginnings and brightened enthusiasm on a lifelong project! And cheers for how far I’ve come! Looking back, I can’t believe it! I remember those days where I would sit, my knees would ache, I’d walk down a hill dreading the return trip… And the weightloss? It feels different now. It feels like I finally have control, like I can reign it in. It is a high unlike anything and it feels so so good. It feels right and it feels like it’s real, like it’s really going to happen this time. I believe it.
I saw this quote somewhere and laughed! So I made my first meme! LOL! It’s almost shameful how proud I am of that thing. Sheesh.
However, let’s bring it down. Let’s get serious.
I’m having a tough time.
I never realized how important it was to keep a clean cupboard without junk in it. Especially when I’m at the height of my cycle’s binging ridiculousness. Ugh. The Cheetos puffs are calling me. I’ll admit to having a serving of them today. I’ll also confess that I ate some ice cream. What I did not do, however, was eat cake. I packed that into Rubbermaid tubs, sent some home with my nephew and got rid of the temptation to swipe some icing by covering everything with lids and cling wrap. I also hid the cheese puffs. How ridiculous is that?
I made myself eat a super fiber filled and protein rich lunch of chili and that seemed to take the edge off. I noticed that having a diet of empty carbs and fatty protein (pizza) just made me feel more hungry all weekend. I could clearly see the relationship between diet, energy, hunger and cravings.
I spent my day making sure the pizza and cheesy poofs didn’t take permanent residence on my rear. I rode my cycle at a solid fat burning pace for 30 minutes, did the abs cycle, the sexy arms workout and then explored wii fit for the first time ever. Oh my goodness. It was like a St. Patty’s Day miracle, I tell ya’! We all made profiles and committed to our first workouts, so I scored a solid 10 minutes of aerobics. That was FUN! We ran all over downstairs as a family and got nice and sweaty. I’m sad to say I also learned my wii fit age. Suffice it to say I was unimpressed with the result. (48. No further comment.)
If asked, I would say I did a fairly good job this weekend. I’d like to say I was exceptional. That I didn’t consume extra calories, that I stayed within my food budgets. But I didn’t. I went over my calories both days this weekend. That said, I only went over by about 200 calories each day. Considering my allowance to lose is 1600 calories, I think 1800 calories isn’t too bad for this kind of weekend at this time of the month. So I’ll give myself a 50% pass. On exercise? I brought my A game and I earned a 100%. I exercised for 30 minutes yesterday and an hour plus today. Good job, mama!
Sleep has returned, quite possibly, for the first time in nine and a half years (that is how old my daughter is). When I became pregnant for the first time I lost the ability to sleep through the night. Babies didn’t change that. They just refined my brain’s technique of making me jolt awake over tiny little things.
The past few years have brought the pleasure of anxiety, depression and the resulting panic attacks. So not only could I not sleep, I would lay in bed worrying over the tiniest things (I can’t forget to bring $4.00 to work! Today I made a joke- funny or inappropriate?!), to big giant things (I don’t know if my kids know how much I love them! What happens after we die?!). It has not been fun. A typical night would have me asleep around 10:00, awake around 2:00, possibly asleep around 4:00, and awake again at 6:00 (or later on a weekend). Usually when I wake the first time I’m just up for the duration, though. I read trashy stuff on the Internet, blog and write emails that people always respond to with, “Why are you up at 2:30 in the morning?” I am a mom. That’s why!
This year I hit a bit of balance. My brain seems to be calming down and my life seems to be falling back into place (the short version of why I went crazy- national boards, had a baby then more college, then we built a house OURSELVES from the ground up, had an injured husband, I got a new boss, got another new boss, and, yes, another (final) new boss, challenging work situations, my parents moved out of state, his family dynamics changed dramatically and my cat died.). So this year I decided to take a year off of stress. Off of extra events, clubs and planning. I decided to not be in charge of anything except my class and myself. I dropped out of clubs, social groups and turned down invitations to most anything for about six months. I relaxed. It was the best decision I ever made.
Then, along came January, and I started exercising and taking care of not just the mental side of me, but the physical side. It has all combined to make me mentally peaceful and quiet, more tired, less broody and capable of extended hours of sleep again. Last week I only had three incomplete nights of sleep. This, from a woman who has slept through the night only about twice a year since the kids have come into our lives. Now, suddenly, I fall asleep at 10:00 and magically wake up at 5:30 or 6:00. It’s surprising and I love it!
And I hate hash tags, but for some reason I feel the need to include one, as a bumper sticker of sorts:
Today went pretty well.
I would say great except…
I decided that rather than fight temptation all day and be mad about messing up, I gave myself permission to eat as many veggies and (reasonable) dip as I wanted. But in between I did sample at least 30 of those Cheetos puffs. You know, the store brand ones that come in that giant see-through tub at Target? The mother of all Cheetos tubs? This one:
Yep. That thing is in my house and I ONLY ate about thirty of them. Frankly, I think I deserve a medal. Made of Cheetos balls? Maybe that would not be for the best. But it would be delicious.
I waited until later tonight to eat my slice of cake. I wanted to sit down and enjoy it rather than wolf it down and eat a second piece later. My cake was yummy, but I’m still definitely more of a donut girl.
Mostly, my boy had a fantastic day with his idols and friends. It was a pleasure worthy of enduring temptation. And we even managed to squeeze a walk in after all was said and done! Thank goodness! It has been two solid days of not working out and it was making me nervous!
My scale made a return this morning. The number reported was the same as the one from Sunday of last week. Sigh. No gain at least!
I just got through making this huge cake for a soon-to-be five-year-old I know, love and live with. It took three cake mixes and enough cream cheese icing to put any reasonable person into a sugar coma. It’s cute though. My son chose the theme of pirate-Mario-Lego, so that was fun to mix together.
Yeeaahhhhh….. So. This weekend’s goal? That thing’s pretty much it, right there. I can have a serving, but I can’t go nuts. On ice cream either. Fortunately I am not a cake person. But do you want to know what I am? I’m a Cheetos person. Guess what my boy brought home from the store? Cheetos- puffs AND crunchy! It is going to be a weekend.
(I made a huge cake because I LOVE baking. In the past, this is what I do when I’m bored. I tried to make a small cake, but this was about me getting to play with a medium that I rarely get to work with anymore.)
I’m feeling a little nervous because I’ve been so busy the past two days that I haven’t had time to work out. I’ve been counting calories, but no walks, rides or runs. And last night I had a dessert too. Bradley keeps telling me it’s ok, but this is how I got off track this past October. It was my daughter’s birthday, then my birthday, then thanksgiving, the holidays and before I knew it I was up 20 pounds. It flew in through my mouth and, fortunately, it’s already gone again, but I don’t want to do that again. I won’t do that again. That’s why I had Bradley get veggies and light dip for a veggie tray. Not for the kids- for ME!
So that’s why all the worry and all the over thinking.
It will all be worth it though. This will be my son’s first birthday with his pals. I’m excited for him to be the center of the action. I’m hoping they clear out that cake and those Cheetos!
I am not a woman who has a lot of experience with my abs. In fact, sit ups and crunches have never been a part of my fitness diet and over the past 39ish years, my abs have been allowed to do the bare minimum. And they liked it that way. They show up to work and hang in their hammock, benefiting from the extra Girlscout Cookies that insulated them. They were pretty happy.
I (meaning Bradley, of course) found this app simply called ‘Workouts.’ There is a video to go along with each workout, and each workout targets a specific zone. I’m just on the abs with that app for now, but also do the ‘Sexy Arms’ workout from the app ‘Arms Trainer.’ I like the way the guy talks all clipped and weird in it. Anyhow, I have been pretty loosey goosey on the abs workout up until now. Until this week… I buckled down.
The abs are revolting (and by revolting I don’t mean disgusting. The OTHER revolting).
This morning I was laying in bed, just minding my own business, hangin’ with the hubs when all of the sudden my stomach started hurting. Like, YOUCH! BIG TIME! I curled into the fetal position and looked under the covers. I saw nothing, of course, but I imagined my abs all contorted like squirming DNA or amoebas or something like that and I think I may have imagined (or seen?!) some ‘on strike’ signs or at least they were organizing… (Can you imagine?? Say Yes to Flab for Abs!) My entire core just seized up like a giant Charlie Horse cramp. I laid like that for a few minutes before I was able to finally make my way into the shower, requested a handy dandy back rub and it all let go after about 20 minutes and a lot of heat. It was INTENSE. Like labor. Yup, I went there.
But seriously, people. I gotta get those suckers in line! I’ll take a break while I heal because it is six hours later and I am still feeling that cramp. But in a day or so I will beat those suckers into submission. I think we have a war. (Who woulda thought I’d be anti-union on my own abs?)
Yes. To answer your question, I AM as tired as I look.
Sheesh. Walking dead here.
In any job there are times that are more of a challenge than others. It is conference week for me and I have conferences all lined up for tomorrow and I had VERY little time to prepare for them! I am wiped out! Add to that a staff meeting, an upcoming five-year-old birthday, my parents being in town, having brutal PMS, spirit week, school drama with the girl and keeping up with my diet/workout schedule… I’m tuckered.
I promised myself a day off from a work-out today but couldn’t stop myself from getting on the stationary bike and riding for half an hour. It started while I was waiting for Bradley to finish writing an email before we got in the hot tub. By the time he got downstairs I just had 7 minutes left on my ride so I finished It out. I’m glad I got on. I ate crackers today at work and some bonus chocolate at home and some mint m&m’s at school… The ride was necessary. And good.
But now I’m tired. Sooooo tired.
So, goodnight y’all. This girl’s gonna go crash into her pillow and create some real nice sleep creases on the side of her face. Maybe even some pillow drool coz that’s how I’m rollin’ tonight! Deep sleep.
I didn’t want to run today. In fact, Bradley texted me before I came home asking about a walk and I said no. Then, on my way home, the walk just sounded so much better than the stationary bike. I texted Bradley a tentative inquiry about a walk. He’s such a good man. Despite already walking everyone else, he said he’d walk with me too. Now that’s true love.
When I got home there was a steady drizzle. I ignored it and got dressed in my regular running gear (my jacket is water resistant). We headed out and walked for the first quarter mile, then we took off at a blazing 4.5 MPH! The rain felt amazing! I loved the way it freckled across my skin, pulling the heat out and leaving me feeling so refreshed. It reminded me of why I love swimming- I don’t feel hot and sweaty when I swim. I wish I had discovered this secret a long time ago. We ran about half a mile before we stopped and we walked the rest of the way home. It felt so good to jog again and prove that I can still do it. I’m taking it easy for now, though, while my hips adjust to this new activity level.
I’ve been thinking a lot about foods that are hard for me to say no to. It surprised me to realize some of them, like sour cream. I love sour cream on a tortilla chip, straight up. But what calls to me from my freezer is ice cream. I’m fine with fudgesicles, but a quart of ice cream (chocolate peanut butter, anyone?) calls me all the way from downstairs… “Oh Tamara… Come eat me…” ;). And if I open a can of olives, chances are there won’t be any left in there to keep for later. I love olives, ALL olives, but I have a special place in my heart for black olives. YUM.
I’m trying to be very intentional about the way I think about food. Hopefully by recognizing the things that trigger negative results, I can eliminate some of the poor choices I’ve made regularly in the past.
I said thank you to the people at my work today for their constant support of my progress. Everyone broke into applause, which I was absolutely not expecting… It felt awkward to talk about this personal thing so publicly, but it was important for me to let them know how much I appreciate their kind words.
What are you doing? How are you doing it? What is your secret?
Anyone who has dieted more than 25-30 pounds off knows the answer to this questions:
Eating less and/or moving more. There are crash diets and ways to lose a quick five or ten, but those ways aren’t usually a long term solution. To do it right and do it big takes an actual commitment to a lifestyle change, not rely on a quick fix.
I don’t do a program. I don’t do weight watchers or any other buy in types of things. I just count calories, say no to myself and sweat hard at least once a day.
It’s not rocket science, just basic science. Less fuel + more movement = fat burned as fuel. That is, as long as you don’t move so fast you burn muscle.
So, what do I eat? On a typical workday here is a sample diet. If I don’t include measurements, it’s because I had one serving.
Morningstar veggie patty
Whole wheat English muffin
1t Smart Balance buttery Spread light
3-4 veggie chik nuggets
4 slices apple
Chik nuggs (just a great source of flavor and easy vegetarian protein)
Usually have a stir fry or boca burger or salad-ish version of the family dinner-
Taco salad on taco night
Bun-free burger on hamburger night
Pizza night is 1-2 slices and salad
Fudgesicle (those are a totally reasonable treat!)
My ridiculous raw oatmeal thing. Nom nom nom.
More than anything it’s just:
*Cutting everything back to serving size (portion control)
*Eating a lot less processed food (trying, but tricky as a vegetarian with all the soy)
*Eating lots of whole grains (more brown rice, chia, quinoa, fiber filled pasta)
*Running walking, cycling lifting, stretching – not all, but some every day
*Making goals (5K, 40 before 40)
*Resolving to be determined to make my life better through weight loss and exercise
Something interesting- I am still eating full fat sour cream and peanut butter and I’m fitting it into my diet with no problem. Furthermore, I’ve decided to leave them in my diet. I like both of those things so much better than the diet versions!
Good news- I think my hip is healing well at last. I learned a tough lesson last week by pushing to run too much too soon, just like everyone said I would (you were right, Bradley)! Last night I was able to sleep on my hip for the first time and on Saturday I ran a quarter mile. So there is progress. But it will have to be slower than I like. Baby steps, right?
More good news?
I’m thrilled that I lost that pound! I had been hovering between the 5-9 range in the ones column for a few weeks. This weekend my weight hovered in the 2-6 range. Progress? I think so.