Saturday, January 30, 2010


I got up and ran this morning at 7:17; about 2.2 miles this time. One more benefit of getting up at 6:00 is clean-feeling lungs; it feels like they soak up less exhaust and smog. Yesterday I did not exercise in the morning...or the afternoon, so I promised my little family that I would dust off the lawn mower and attack the mole-hill, weed-mine ridden lawn with ugly patches of grass sprouting in early anticipation of spring. It looked like the awkward little pock-ridden pre-pubescent in serious need of some attention and acne medication. After digging, ripping, pushing, pulling, and raking I decided that next year I would rather run two 5Ks back-to-back instead of treating a three-month neglected lawn with hand clippers, and an old-fashioned push-mower. I was sweating from head-to-cankles, like a real prairie lady, minus the awkward dress--I sported my polka-dot-heart shirt, and the pink PJ cut-offs, too cute. I shouldn't complain too much--the push mower saves us hundreds in lawn care and it really is a good work-out. Speaking of saving, and grooming, my hair is now a solid two colors. After about one-and-a-half years of experimenting with home dyes and highlight caps, browns turning red, and zebra streaks going horizontal, it was time to call it quits. I will wait until I can afford a real hair professional to lighten my locks. My current hair color is what I like to call the trashy-two-tone. Right now I need to put aside vanity and soak up the opportunities to learn a few things. But when that time comes I am going to get a hairdresser, and a gardener, a good one, for now, I have another reason to break a sweat and burn some calories.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clearing my head

You may be wondering how I could lose the inches posted above in just a two-day period. Well it may be a measuring anomaly, but I'll take it. I think it could be real, though, because I am running every day and I have a lot to lose. Also I must confess to one thing, or at least, correct something I have posted. I said no sugar drinks or juice, but there is one exception, my other true love: fresh squeezed orange juice. There is nothing like it, it is literally liquid elation to the soul. Having lived in cold climates most of my life, I soak up orange season here like I will never see an orange again. I am a real snob now, don't you dare present me with Tropicana, or even Florida orange, they are NOTHING to my sweet, sweet fresh-squeeze...all things in moderation though. I limit myself to 8oz every morning with breakfast. I know, I know there is sugar in it, and probably lots of it, I am just trying to make BETTER choices. High-fructose concentrate, or fresh from mother-earth liquid oranges? You see my point? Anyway, lately the cravings for sweets and baked goods have been really been messing with my head. "I can just have one cookie, or just a bite, can't I?" But I am afraid one bite turns into two-dozen. So, when I get a craving, I step aside and think to myself, "Am I really hungry?," "Am I feeling lonely, and want some food to fill the void?," "Is that 50+ minutes of sweat this morning worth the cookies?" I have to reason with the blue monster inside of me and let him know that food is to nourish not to numb. I did have one cookie, I decided that one was ok. I ate it, and was satisfied, VICTORY! Let me explain: life is full of goodies, and I cannot avoid them completely--so I am really happy that I was able to eat just ONE cookie. It is all very psychoanalytical, but taking a moment to clear my head, maybe even swing on the hammock helps me to make better food choices.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Road-ent Rules

I have changed my goals a little bit on the right side of the page to show where I am at now. I ran to the gym again this morning and I discovered there is an indoor track circling above a basketball court. Not a very long track, but smooth, even, and out of the elements. I whipped one turn around that thing, and I was out of there. It's one thing to have A weird guy leering, but the two entire basketball teams of mid-life crisis, headband wearing jocks watching me bounce around above was almost enough for me to want to quit for the day. But I did not. I went on the elliptical again. I am trying to make peace with the gym, you see. It is weird and awkward, and sometimes I feel like a stupid hamster on a wheel going nowhere-FAST, but because of the gym, I can exercise even when it is pouring rain. I may not always live in such a sunny place as SoCal, so I must face my demons at the gym (mostly the 40-somethings with black, fingerless, weight gloves). And I read in this endurance magazine that it is important to change up the exercise especially when training for a race--safety for the joints. I will try to run outside about 4 out of 6 days, and tough-out the gym the other two. There is one more awkward thing that I have encountered though: seeing people I know. I have seen some of my husband's classmates, among others, heaving under some torture contraption in the weight room, and I know they have seen me. But we don't acknowledge each other. It almost feels like I am walking in on someone doing a #2, then later we both pretend it never happened, ya know, it just doesn't feel right to see people in that state. I know! They should make exercise stalls with little locks that are soundproof, so you can grunt, huff, puff, belch, and sweat without anyone giving it a second thought. Then I could fulfill my dream to run naked! (it's a joke, people). I just have to say thanks for all of your support, it really has helped me stick with it, even when it makes me feel like a dumb, cuddly rodent.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Inch by inch

I've heard the saying "Inch by inch, life's a synch, yard by yard, life is hard." It really hits home today because I did the unthinkable: I took my body measurements--hips, waist, bust, upper arm, upper thigh--ouch to the ego. So now I will post my inch loss as well as weight loss, sorry nosey-nosies, I am not giving you my current measurements, only the total inches lost each week. I know I am not giving the whole story, but if I did, you would all cry in your beds out of pity. Results are not coming as fast as I would like, but it's ok: this way is healthy, I am averaging about 2 pounds per week. I have to remember that fad diets and starvation may produce quick results but not lasting results, this must be a LIFE change. I will also add the count-down to my first 5K run, please cheer for me. On a happier note, I did a whole hour of cardio today. I ran to the gym, went on the elliptical (which is getting easier), then ran back home. I can defiantly feel my endurance level increasing. I always feel awkward when I have to run in front of a car at a stop sign. According to High School drivers-ed they are supposed to count to five-apple, but by two-apple they are glaring at me, I want to shout "I'm going as fast as I can, you are warm in your car, and I am out here working my butt, so just wait a couple of seconds!" The furry! Oh and I really need to change the songs on my IPod shuffle. Church music is wonderful, but it just makes me feel awkward hearing it while I run. And some of the punk-rock songs have a beat that is just too fast. It fills me with anxiety and kind of takes over my brain, "Beat fast. Must speed up now. Too slow. Speed, speed. More Speed." As you know, I like to laugh about my fat issues, so I created this silly cartoon, I hope it makes you laugh too.
The sad stool

Monday, January 25, 2010

My poor little finger

Obviously when you get fat, things change; I mean, ALL OVER. For example, my poor little finger has been caged by my wedding ring for a little over three years. I have not been able to take the thing off even for medical procedures which require removal of all jewelry when going under anesthesia. Before fatty-days I didn't like to take it off very often anyway, my spacey brain would lose it in a heartbeat. But it would be nice to be able to clean it thoroughly again. I thought it might be fun to measure the millimeters lost on my ring finger as part of my weight loss stats, like a waist line, but with my finger. I will call it my "Finger Line." Currently my finger line is 70mm; I will be plus-size ring shopping for my next anniversary. My friend recently showed me a funny website that features humorous pictures created using the very juvenile, grainy Microsoft paint. So I thought I would copy the idea and add some original artwork to my posts. And here is the first: I shall call it "The Sorry Sausage Finger"

A flying flatus

I stepped outside to bright rainbow sherbet clouds smeared over a Caribbean-blue sky. A perfect beginning to another long run--I did my 5K again this morning, and it was easier, and faster. I found that if I keep my eyes looking forward it is much easier to keep going and reach my goal, I know, I know another cliché' life-lesson from running. But really, I used to stare about three feet ahead of me on the ground when I ran. "Oh no, look there is a bumpy patch, what am I going to do, slow down? Hop over it?" So now I hold my head high and say, "Road, I don't like you, and you don't like me--with all your pot-holes and trickery--but we are going to do this, and I am gonna keep my chin up, and eventually my saggy butt, and attack your joint-busting surface day after day." Another great thing about exercising out-doors is the freedom to let my body relax. You see, as I have changed my exercise and eating habits I have become a very gassy girl. Don't you tell me I am being gross because no matter how proper you think you are, at the end of the day we all must drop our pants and do a #2, whew, anyway. At the Gym when I am swiveling on the elliptical, it is like a gas factory pumping the bubbles in my gut at a perfect rhythm ready to be released. But I have head phones on, and there are people next to me. I won't know if it is silent, but if it is silent, won't it be deadly? So I squeeze them in--which I guess ads to the exercise--workin' my glutes. Oh but the great outdoors receive my flatulence with such grace, whisping them away like an afterthought in the churning of the wind, like sound, and smell don't exist, all is free. I do have to be careful, however, about what I eat the night before; we don't want things to get out of hand, and on my underwear, ewww, I know. Just keeping it real. But hey, if it means I am going to lose weight, I will toot-toot-toot all the way home.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The skies have parted

The big rain storm has subsided and there is blue all around the atmosphere, great day for a run. I decided to do a real 5K this morning, (actually going on Google maps to draw out the course). I wanted to see where I'm at physically and if I could complete the daunting length without passing out and splatting on the pavement. I have signed up for an official 5K on Feb 20, just a little less than a month away; I really needed to try this out. When I visualized the half-way point and knew where my steps would take me, it was much easier to keep going. In contrast, when I didn’t have a specific goal or course it seemed like I could be going anywhere for no particular reason. I could write so many cheesy, cliché', motivational, life-skill speeches using running as a metaphor. "The longest journey begins with a single step," "Never begin a course until you can imagine the finish line," "Toughness isn't about how far you go, but how many times your hips jiggle in the ambivalent breeze." I made up that last one. The run went really well, and I burned a LOT of calories--by the end my hair was soaked like a cafeteria mop, and smelled like one too. Of course I encountered the snobbish marathon types; two in particular who jumped off the sidewalk and onto the street as if there was not enough room for their pencil-figures and my hippo-hips on the same path, pooh-pooh on you! Oh and I saw these eerie little stone garden statues. They looked like children who stared into the eyes of medusa to be trapped in their hard cages for eternity. At least have happy-looking children in your garden! One little girl was actually pouting against a brick wall with tears chiseled on her face. Sad! Creepy! I prefer the jovial gnomes with bright colored, pointy slippers. As I reached the finish line there was a large cumulus cloud that looked like a fat cheerleader in an excited stance with her pom-pom raised high in praise of my success. I looked away and chuckled and when I reached my front porch the cloud morphed into a big thumbs up, I know you don't believe me; I should have taken a picture. It was a great surprise, like someone looking out for me; knowing that I needed just a little more "At' a girl" for finishing the run. It feels nice to receive good vibes from above, and I hope they keep coming my way.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dear Mommy McMuffin Top

Dear Flabby,

What do you do about 'muffin top'? I don't eat any muffins, yet why does my backside look like a breakfast delicasy?
Yours truly,

Mommy McMuffin Top

Dear Mommy McMuffin Top,

I know how you feel. There are always spanks, but when I wear control tops such as these I feel restricted, and kind of like I am cheating. So what I do instead is buy extra long underwear that kind of works like spanks without the extra hip-squeezing layers. I pull em' up just below my bust line, granny style, to smooth out any bumps, and I wear an extra long t-shirt to cover up the pants which usually end up below my bust line too, to accommodate my bear-claw belly. So just keep that image in your mind and you may feel better about your muffin situation. There is also the top-muffin-top: the little roll of back fat that slips out from above my granny waist system--but the pants and undies just won't pull any higher without giving myself a very painful wedgie. So in the mean time I will just keep that top roll where it is and look at pictures of those wrinkle dogs to help remind me why I am doing this whole weight-loss thing.
-Mrs. Flabby

My weight in money

Some of you may be wondering why I wrote to myself in the previous post; well I didn't, I let me techie sister Cathy hack into my blog to place some ads and give me a Dear Flabby question. She is using screen shots of my blog on her website,, to teach people how to make money using ads on their blogs. Speaking of money, let me introduce you to Mr. Moo Cow, and tell you how he became a part of my life. I used to walk a lot, almost every day which sounds great. "So why didn't you lose weight?" Because I was walking to a doughnut shop. I decided that I needed to buy something else after one particular walk, and there he is pictured above. My idea: I would buy this cow, and put any money that I WOULD HAVE spent on doughnuts or fast food into his fat belly to save for a nice reward, like smaller clothes when the time comes. The fact that he is a cow is no coincidence. I know piggy banks are just classic, but I am feeling past the piggy phase in weight, I related to this engorged little cow sitting so lonely on the clearance shelf at Rite Aid. My daughter thought he looked pretty large too she said, "Oh mommy, look at the hippo!" So with the help of the ads, fast-food money donations, and a little from recycling bottles I hope to get something great as a reward for my success.

Dear Flabby:

Dear Flabby,

What do you do about 'muffin top'?

I don't eat any muffins, yet why does my backside look like a breakfast delicasy?

Yours truly,

Mommy McMuffin Top

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Peddle-boat sceanery

The gravel track was closed two days in a row due to heavy rain here in SoCal, so I had to suck in my pride (and gut) to show my face at the gym (membership is free for students and spouses, so that's nice). I took my chances on the elliptical, and it felt so foreign, Like I was pedaling in one of those swan-shaped boats and shifting the gears of a three-story farmer's tracker all at the same time. I couldn't wear my hoodie, way too hot, so I tried the best I could to cover-up my circus-sized bazoombaz, but it is difficult when my size surpasses the letters on the musical scale. I tried to stay focused and enjoy the tunes, but the weirdoes lurking! A twenty-something man with a shaggy dark beard/go-t/soul-patch thing decided to hop on the elliptical right next to me, when there were at least three others empty. I tried to keep a steady pace and just plug away, but I kid you not, this man was trying to race me. He would go in slow motion, and then cruise into a full-on sprint, all the while looking over at me, and the stats on my machine. Then he would do it again, and again. The circa-1980 jazzercise band around his head should have been a dead giveaway that this guy was weird. Banded heads: a sure sign of a Creepy Gym-going Jim. He was off within ten minutes, relief. The scenery wasn't great either. The elliptical machines faced the huge glace windows looking right into the weight room. I had full view of the "Grunters" picking up ridiculously large circles of weight to lift about twice with an "I'm-so-manly" grunt and red-puckered face. I did my best to focus on my workout until I saw something so bizarre I couldn't help myself. A 50-something white man in a full gray sweat get-up, HIKING boots, black leather gloves, and the cherry on top: a bright purple du-rag on his head. But hey, good for him going into that scary sweat-hole with those narcissistic meat heads watching themselves in the mirror; I for one do not have the guts to enter the weight room, yet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Flabby

Some of you may be wondering why I post so often. I know myself really well; and if I let the ball drop even for two days, the ball will come crashing down on my head--and these regular entries are keeping me motivated. Consider it like a daily column in a newspaper, I could never be Dear Abby, so you may call it Dear Flabby, and please if you have any questions I would feel honored if you addressed me as such. I must confess to something, I have sinned a great sin. I was feeling blue and I turned to a couple of old friends who make me feel better in the short term, but they have a terrible, terrible influence on me. Their names are Carrot Cake and Fried Chicken. I'm not just talking about a sliver of carrot cake, no, this was a 6x6 inch slice four inches thick slathered in 2 cm of devilish cream cheese frosting. And the walnuts, OH the walnuts, they were scattered perfectly in each bite to add just the right amount of crunch to the moist, billowy cake sponge. Drooling yet? What's even worse, after eating the whole darn thing, I woke up the next morning and said to myself "I have already eaten an entire piece, what's another one?" (Another one? Like 700 more calories, THAT'S another one!) So I ate half of the second and decided to throw it away. Now there is an art to throwing treats in the garbage: you must make sure the treat is sandwiched between oozing egg shells and rotting lettuce (or some other nasty combination) so that you are forced to LEAVE it there and not dig it from the trash--right now you're saying to yourself "I've never done that, that's disgusting," You. Are. A. Liar! I left her in the trash and decided that we could not be friends again, at least not in that quantity and not for a long time. After eating fried chicken and carrot cake two days in a row, I finally made a breakthrough: it does not feel good anymore. Such is sin, it provides a fleeting moment of content, and then the consequences crash down; my consequence being a heavy, nasty, bile-ridden stomach screaming "How could you do this to me, after all we've been through?" And then running after eating something like that? Talk about true anguish! This is a real change from my attitude in an earlier entry about fast food, read it and you will see. So I have come clean and committed to better food choices. "Dear Flabby, why do you eat bad food when you are working so hard with the exercise?" Well, I am still trying to figure that out, but in the mean time I gotta keep on at it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rocky BalBina

My husband had school off today in honor of MLK, and it was raining, so all odds were stacked against me and any motivation to go running. But I went, at about 7:30. I felt a little bit like Rocky Balboa with his determined strides and sweaty face with the elements crashing down, except I did not start my morning by drinking raw eggs, yuk! And I also passed on the opportunity to punch the carcasses on meat hangers--there are not many of those where I live--most people here are vegetarian. Anyway, I must tell you of an interesting fellow who crossed my path this morning. I shall call him the crazy, fishing professor. Halfway into the rainy run, along the sidewalk, I spotted a man with gray tattered hair flaring from a fisherman's hat, a striped polo, and a heavy-duty pair of cargo pants. He was stopped about 30 yards ahead and I thought that the gray mass next to him was a dog relieving itself, but as I passed, I saw that it was a plastic bag...full of plastic bags. He didn't say anything or even step to the side when I passed. I thought maybe he was collecting treasures that had fallen from the trees in the recent storm, ya know, observing, professor-like. He was a perplexing, weird little man, and I didn't give him a second thought until later when I was driving to the grocery store. He was crossing the street where I was stopped at an intersection. He had a grocery cart filled with bags, filled with bags. I finally realized he was crazy when I saw him muttering to an invisible companion. And his bare left butt-cheek was peeking out from a huge tear in his cargos--just flapping in the wind. Oh boy, poor crazy, fishing professor. After the run I felt really nasty, like I just jumped out of a murky swamp. So I shed the stinky clothes and stepped on the scale, and guess what? I AM DOWN 7 POUNDS. It was exactly what I needed to get me over the "I'm so sick of this" hump. Wooo Hoo, Go Me, Eye of the Tiger, and other such motivational thoughts!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A shout out, on a serious note

For a long time I didn't feel like doing anything. Sitting on the couch all day, or lying in bed seemed like reasonable options. Forget about the hair, it could be greasy for days, and the clothes--what clothes? I really should say pajamas. It didn't matter if a shirt was stained; make-shift shorts from a tattered pair of pink Old Navy pajamas were not out of the question. I think the way I dressed myself and even treated my body by eating garbage reflected how I felt inside. Call it the blues, post-partum, laziness, or whatever, but it was a reality for me, and now here I am overweight and turning things around. At some point I snapped out of it and thought, "Is this how I want my daughter to see me?" or "Is this the way I would want her to treat herself in the future?" And from this perspective I began to see my own worth. I wanted to give a shout out to someone who helped me probably more than she could ever imagine during this difficult time. She called me almost every week even when I didn't have anything to say, or didn't want to talk to anyone. She called me even when I didn't call her back, and during a low she got me probably the most thoughtful birthday present I have ever received. When I felt like no one else really cared, she was on the phone just to say "hi." I have felt so indebted and she will probably be surprised, but I have wanted to thank her for a long time, but every time I have tried to say it, I get a lump in my throat and want to cry. So here it goes: thanks Cathy, my big sister, for sticking with me when I wasn't fun to stick with. Cathy is one of the most down-to-earth, talented, kind people I know. Also she is very smart. She just started a webpage all about internet and computer security for moms: Take a look and write a comment, she deserves all the support in the world, and here is my little piece.

Friday, January 15, 2010

They honeymoon period

The honeymoon period as defined by Wikipedia: "The honeymoon period is the phase early in a long-term relationship with a person, place or thing that is characterized by greater than typical joy and lesser than typical friction. It is typically the first 3 months when a couple begins to date." Me and exercise have only been dating for two weeks and I am already ready to dump him. Don't worry I am not giving up; I made a commitment, but ugghh. It reminds me of washing dishes. I roll up my sleeves, sometimes even don a bright pink Williams Sonoma apron, feeling extra flirty and domestic; I pile in the dishes, pour over some sweet smelling soap and let the fresh hot water spill over the messy pile. "Some say love, it is a river, that drowns the tender reed," I sing/hum, or maybe some other soft rock favorite as I attack the dishes. I'm feeling good; I've got cheesy music in my head, but then a nose twitch. I need to scratch the stray hair away from my face, so I pull my hand out of the water and the smelly grime is now streaked across my cheek. "Just hang on a little longer," I say to myself, but the half-way point is the worst. The water is cold, there are food floaties trying to attack my pruney fingers and I am forced to dip my arms deeper and deeper into the sink which now feels like swamp goo. With the exercise, I got my cutsie outfit, the IPod shuffle, the good routine, but now the floaties in my head are saying "This is too hard." I am half way through my exercising "dishes"--they say it takes a month to form a habit, I’m on week two-- and right now I do not like the feel of the cold, eerie water. But as with dishes I suck it up, wash em’ up, and get em’ out. You may be wondering why I compare exercise to housework so often, well it is really simple: I HATE THEM BOTH! But they both must be done, and there is never an "end" date to either. Also the housework analogy helps me pinpoint exactly why I am feeling so irritated with this whole process. So I guess I need to wash up my attitude and continue hanging my big butt out to dry every morning at 6:00 a.m.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The sky is falling

I did not wake up at 6:00 this morning so my daughter and I went on a four mile walk at about 9:00. Normally she puts up a big fight because she doesn't like the stroller but today the stars were in line for me: it was ridiculously windy, like "Auntie Em, Auntie Em" windy. In fact we saw huge sheets of tar that flew off the roof of a building. She was happy to sit in the shelter of the stroller with the canopy fully extended and Pooh Bear swaddled snugly in her lap. We strolled around a strip mall and a "Mr. Miyagi" man complete with white goat-t muttered to her in a southern-mainland Chinese dialect. She looked at him, giggled, and said, "No, not that, that's so silly." With the wind came new jewels from the sky--fresh pecans from the tree in our back yard. We have a lot of fun collecting the nuts in buckets; it is also a great cool-down after a long run. I started eating a LOT of them; they are crispy on the outside and then melt in your mouth, kind of like fried butter (That’s a REAL thing). Cracking pecans is also good therapy, like punching a pillow which plays as a really irritating nemesis. Sometimes I get too into the cracking process and the whole nut splinters into a million pieces, and I all I have to show for it is the short-lived high that I get from destruction. "I am doing so well, snacking on pecans, running every day," then I burst my own bubble: I looked up pecan nutrition facts online. 10 nuts (20 halves) have 20.4 g of fat, and 196 calories. I can no longer pig out on these delectable tree-gifts, so I still crack them, but I am saving the little devils for pies, pies to thwart anyone else's goals to become thin. Next time you are outside, look out for flying pecans and a meticulously baked treat that will make me feel like I am losing weight by making you fatter, enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The downside of activity (part 1)

There are downsides to becoming more active, I mean as active as I have become. Don't mean to toot my own horn or anything ("Rootie-Toot-ToooT!"). For one thing I have to do laundry more often. My laundry situation is unique. I don't have my own washer-dryer, and I don't go to a public laundro-mat either. We live two doors down from our old apartment that's land ladied by the same person. I convinced her that we were too poor to buy a washer-dryer, so she let me keep the key from the coin-opp room attached to our old apartment. So, more laundry means more uncomfortable looks from the residents of the apartment building. They all know I am poaching their machine time. I tried to pretend that I still lived in the building, but the shopping cart full of ratty clothes gave that secret away, "Here comes Homeless Harriet." The location is too close to drive, and too far to carry my laundry by hand, so I was FORCED to use the Hobo Hotwheals to cart my linens. I have recently lost the shopping cart to an angry man who goes around with his truck decal-entitled, "Shopping-cart Salvager," or some lame name. So now I have to use the stroller that my daughter refuses to sit in. I get some great looks walking down the street with a stroller overflowing with clothes and a toddler skipping NEXT to me. I can only imagine what passersby think. "Is that lady crazy? Does she have an invisible baby in there?" Or, "That poor little girl. Someone should find her a good home." Hey hey, this is not a pity party. I love where I live and the budget adventures, so don't give me any junk about not being grateful and "When my husband was in school we had to walk up and down the mountain forty thousand times," I don't want to hear it. My point is, more sweat means more laundry and more reasons for people to think I am homeless, and frankly, it's cathartic to complain to ya'll about my goals and issues. So please for my sanity, keep reading and tell all your friends, and pray that I don't get hit by drunk drivers next time I pit-out my heart and polka-dot t-shirt.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Housework and yo-yo dieting

I am not a fan of fad diets mostly because I KNOW what they are like. They make me feel like I am starving, I dream only in pizza and chocolate (that includes daydreams), I become a very angry person, and I end up gaining most of the weight back and then some. I know you all know what I am talking about. If you have lost a lot of weight in a short period of time you are either in need of some counseling or on a fad diet, most likely the latter. Not only are these diets unhealthy by limiting complete food groups (especially favorites like breakfast meat and corndog poppers), but they make me feel like a complete failure and hopeless for any success with my body weight. Although I am really pushing myself with the exercise thing, right now I am taking it step-by-step with the food. I know if I say "No treats" or "Nothing fried," the little devil in me will sabotage the whole thing and I will be sitting on the couch in a pool of candy wrappers and French fry boxes with an extra twenty to lose. So what I have done is allow myself a little bit of everything, just less. And I have concentrated on eating slowly, so my brain can tell my stomach when to stop, not the other way around. I am trying to train my stomach to be a little more polite and stop screaming "FEED ME, FEED ME NOW!" Patience, little friend, patience. I wish that I could apply this same principle to housekeeping. As much as I yo-you diet with food, my clutter yo-yoing is one hundred times worse. I try the home Atkins diet: no carbs on the carpet, or couch. Or "The Daylight" diet which calls for cleaning everything up by 7:00, and no messes after that. Or my favorite, and LEAST successful, the "Binge and Purge." Here's how that one goes: I get a huge wave of cleanliness, usually after watching a TV show on Hoarding, and donate or throw away large amounts of items I don't need, then comes the emptiness. I fill up the holes in my heart with NEW junk from garage sales and other such thrifties. The "weight" gain continues; and I start over again. I am really happy about how I have been exercising, if only my house would stop the up and down cycle--maybe the mop and vacuum need to go for a jog. 

A friend like me

I am four pounds down now, YAY. I probably could be losing faster, but slow and steady wins the race according to a famous tortoise. I relate to his round figure much more than that snotty hare. The run was extra difficult this morning; I had to ignore squeaky knees, my lunar headache, and bloating. But I didn't feel as sorry for myself as I did the lady on a bike. She was stocky and had weird pants on with a gray sweatshirt hoodie choking her face; she looked like the flu-ridden Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite.  As I was running into the parking lot next to the gravel path, I gave her a how-do-you-do smile and she looked up and stuttered a response. For some reason her eyes stayed on mine, foreboding. Then she wobbled left, then right, lost her footing and tripped off the bike. She gave me a sheepish grin and shrugged. It wasn't really an accident as much as an embarrassing slip-up in slow motion. I hopped to her side and asked if she was ok. She quickly got back on her bike and responded "It's ok, I am learning the bike." She had a heartbreaking little voice with a cute accent. I gave her the best smile I could find and said, "Oh yeah, it's ok." She soared away like it never happened. Part of me wanted to stop her and say, "Hey, let's be friends, we are both awkward and out of place in this world of being fit, let's help each other out." But I didn't, I just thought it my head, "Hey I understand." and something in her face said that she understood me too. So they are not all bimbos and Barbies, some people are just like me: trying imperfectly to lose some weight and tripping up along the way.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Everyone should own a hammock swing

I was out the door this morning At 6:00; it felt nice to get an earlier start. The Unabomber crowd was sleeping, but the too-old-to-have-your-shirt-off racquetball weirdoes were there to fill in. I feel a little bit out of place right now; I am typing in the back room (the one I sacrificed cleaning to run on Friday) on a desktop instead of my husband's laptop. He had to steal it back for school; so I got my daughter fed and cozy on the couch with Barney and Friends. It's a nice excuse to not have to be in the same room as that awful music. Cousin Riff is my least favorite.  Check him out on YouTube if you have not seen Barney in a while. Anyway, I must tell you about my new best friend. On Saturday's run, I spotted a yard sale and saw a beautiful piece of junk sent right to me from Heaven, it had the beam of light surrounding it and everything. I ran towards it, and the hammock swing was mine-- $20 dollars and new in the box. Some of you will say I was ripped off, you are all wrong, WRONG. You don't count dollars with something so extraordinary. I hooked it up and was hesitant, "Will she hold me?" First I squatted, with most of my weight still on my toes, no squeaking from the swing, then I bent back a little more, it made a little "Errrrrum," but not enough to scare me away, and then FLOP, I let all my weight into the woven cords, and bliss! I actually laughed out loud when I realized it wasn't going to break. My daughter watched in wonder as I squealed like a school girl and said, "Careful, Mommy." After the run today I did a normal short walk and stretches then I treated myself to a hammock ride. I let the wind weave through my matted hair and exhausted fat rolls and watched the salt-water taffy sky unfold like a picnic blanket. I was weightless as a mouse fart in the wind. "It's just you and me now hammock, shootin' the breeze, soak it in, just soak it all in."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just for the record...

Some have said I am being too hard on myself...

To that I say this: I am not being hard on myself; I am just being silly about everything. Everyone has a different way of dealing with challenges. I would rather laugh than cry; in fact I feel better about myself than I have in a long, long time. I feel so confident in what I am doing that I can have a sense of humor and honesty about it, and this new-found frankness has helped me overcome obstacles just in this short time, Don't worry, I am very very happy. So please take my comments in stride and with a pinch of salt. But thank you so much for being concerned and offering your support.

Within range

I know I am too scared to tell anyone my actual weight, so I thought today I would describe how much I weigh within a range of characteristics common to the horizontal.  I am not heavy enough for the sit-in-the-chair-and-break-it stage, but I am not small enough to be walking around a pool in a bathing suit without people looking just a moment too long, and giving their bathing suit a tug--feeling sympathetically self-consciece.  I am not heavy enough to be forced in a mumu, but I am not thin enough to be comfotable in non-elastic pants.  Speaking of mumus, above is a picture of a fellow food freak on a particualrly "fat" day, yay Homer.  It reminds me of the three mumus I wore when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant--puchased by my mom .  I would wear terribly tight slob t-shirts and nasty pajama pants, and my mom baught me neon PINK, BLUE, AND PURPLE mumus, she said "Don't you think it's nice to just throw something on?  And it looks really classy; it has a nice line, better than those grungy things."  Those of you who know my sweet mom understand exactly how she would say it.  At first I wore them just to be nice, but then I fell in love.  No elastic, no bulging, just lots and lots of flowing fabric.  In case you are wondering, I put them in storage. I forced myself to say goodbye until next time, tear.  So I am fat enough to WANT to wear mumus right now, but smart enought to say no, enough is enough.  Ok, let's continue: I am not fat enough to pant when I walk accross the room, but I am not thin enough to wear a fited shirt without honest children thinking I am six months pregnant.  I am not fat enough to have to wear old-lady black Rebocks with cankles spilling out, but I am not thin enough to strut in stilletoes without wabbling (is anyone thin enough to wear those monsters?)  I'm not fat enough for blimp jokes, but I am fat enough for yo' mama jokes.  Ohh I could go on and on.  But now I will relax with my daily chocolate ration (two frozen squares of Hershey's) and dream of prancing by the pool in my purple mumu with too-dark nylons and black granny shoes. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Backhanded Compliments

I know it is awkward for people to be supportive when I am trying to lose weight. "Oh good for her, but what do I say?" So this post isn't to make anyone feel bad; I am sooo greatful for all of your comments and support, please keep it up. I read ALL posts. I havn't responded to many posts specifically because I am not sure if people go back to check the posts, I'm new to blog etiquite. Anyway, I have found that when people are trying to be supportive, they often end up putting their foot in their mouth in a big way. I THINK IT IS FUNNY, PLEASE DON'T HOLD BACK, I DON'T CARE. (I'll laugh now and resent you later, when I am skinier than you). Joke. Anyway, here are some "Backhanded Compliments," some that I have actually recieved, and some that I just made up which show the "spirit" of the comments I have recieved (again, not talking about blog posts). Please comment and add your own favorite backhanded compliments from the less self-aware among us.

Backhanded Compliments

“You really remind me of this girl on the biggest loser; she is really energetic and funny”

“If I were you I would never have the guts to run outside”

“You have a really pretty face”

“I love talking to you about my exercise goals. You are the only one I know who can REALLY say what it’s like to be fat.”

“You are so strong to be doing this, I mean; you have to work so much harder than everyone else.”

“You’re not like other girls who say they are fat to be cute, you are like really honest.”

“I love being your friend, cause I never feel threatened by you, you’re just so normal, ya know?”

“Now that I read your blog I feel a lot better about myself when I look in the mirror.”

“Wow, you gained almost 50 pounds after the baby? Your husband must be really, really supportive.”

“So you’re a little heavy, at least you don’t have to box up your maternity clothes.”

“At least you don’t have to spend a lot of time finding an outfit that is flattering.”

“Shopping must be such a breeze for you; there are only a few things to choose from.”

The beauty of darkness

My husband had to leave at 6:00 this morning so I couldn't run (and leave my daughter alone in the house, bad idea). So I told my husband in a groggy mutter "I'll do Tae Bo in like a minute, just turn off the lights," He had faith in me and granted my request, I failed him. I woke up around 8:00 am to my daughter singing imaginatively to her Elmo plush and a beanie baby she calls "Baby Bear." What to do now? I am scared to do Tae Bo in a small living room with a little monkey girl running around, I'm clumsy and someone would get hurt, I can't take her in the stroller anymore because she leaps out of it, no matter how fast I am going, (kind of funny but mostly sad). I gathered up all my excuses and reminded myself of how hard I have worked and that I have not missed ONE DAY since I started this blog. I planned on my friend Heidi watching Ally this morning so I could clean the back room still suffocating from Christmas, but I didn't--I decided to use the time to work on clearing the junk in my trunk instead. I knew that running in the daylight would come with new challenges, but I did it anyway, so yahoo for me!! One challenge was the heat. After about 100 yards on the track I had to ditch the black hoodie and run with only the bright pink tank and black pants. I could hear my mom saying "You need to wear a dickey with that." Define Dickey: A detachable insert to provide extra coverage to the front of a low-cut shirt. Mom was right, I really should have worn a dickey with that; I felt so exposed. Plus I didn't know it was Unabomber day at the gravel track, way too many creepy guys with bushy stashes, flannel shirts, oversized glasses, and wondering eyes. Also without my hoodie, I didn't have anything to anchor the tank top over my bulging hips, so I had to run Steve Urkle style and tuck it into my pants which rest about two inches below my bust line, cute. It may not have been pretty but it was worth it, and I think I almost ran three miles. Next time I want to sleep in I will just think of one of those creepy men leering at me and the beauty of running in the dark when most everyone is sleeping.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

An awkward dance

I just discovered a gravel path about 1/2 mile from my house and it is a perfect course, but now I have to face other walkers, joggers, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like people, I consider myself a very peoply people person, but when I am exercising I go straight into shy/weird mode. Like when I am listening to my music on high and feel like dancing a little bit, I do, for example Celine Dion today made me feel so inspired I had to pause and raise my arms on cue to "It’s all coming back to me Nowww, ooowww." So good! It just wouldn't feel RIGHT to hear the climax of that song and NOT do an over-the-top arm dance. After I feel the moment has been spent with the right enthusiasm, I jump right back into my running pace. Then there is the awkwardness of "dancing" around other people I want to pass. This man ahead of me was doing a steady fast-walk and I knew that I would eventually pass him, but at my pace I would move past him almost in slow motion, "And what if he speeds up just because he is feeling competitive." I blaze ahead so we don't have worry about talking or clearing our throats to break up the weird silence. And then have a new worry, "I know he is staring at my shaky butt, how UNCOMFORTABLE" So in my paranoia, I tighten my glutes and do a stiff trot ahead. Then there are the people who say hello, I'm pretty sure they say hello but it is hard to tell over the music so I offer an incoherent "Herahhum." They usually look at me bewildered and I press on. The most ANOYING runners are the tiny little ladies who run like the wind and I can almost feel the smug confidence piercing my love handles, it’s almost like they pass me and just BARLY look over their shoulder and say, "TAKE THAT." And I stare down in defeat. The more I run the more I will understand the appropriate "dance" steps and etiquette, but until then, look out for the slow, awkward, hand-dancing, girl in pink and black.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A new look

I finally followed the advice of my sister and bought some real workout clothes. They are surprisingly comfortable and FIT! But I do have one problem; I can't find a company that makes a GOOD running bra for a busty gal like me. The bras I see are mostly thin--almost tank-top like, tiny and meant for the spritely runners with ittie bitties. I guess if more big girls buckled down and ran there would actually be a market for big-girl bras. So every day I double or triple up. No one wants to see a chunkie's upper half doing jumping jacks at 6 in the morning-yeesh. (Nice image, you're welcome) So if anyone knows of a solid bra for biggie, let me know. I have pictures of the pants and top I picked out posted below, I wear a black hoodie on top--not quite Marathon Barbie, but not Homeless Harriet either, progress. I bought two pairs of bottoms, one pant length and the other Capri for when things warm up. I am not ready for the wispy track shorts, again out of courtesy for the neighbors. The pink top has a tiny pocket for my shuffle, very convenient, and the bottoms are a silky, lycra-spandexish feel and I don't get chaffing on my thighs, yay! The only problem with the outfit is that my bowling ball hips can’t keep the shirt down, I am constantly grabbing the bottom hem and FORCING them over the bulges, up and down, up and down, all the way home. It works kind of like a spring, when you stretch it farther than it should go, over my hips; it only has one option, BOIIINNG, up it goes. The best thing about the new look I think is psychological, it makes me think "Skinny person just going for the usual jog" instead of "Fat lady dyeing in her pajamas." Today I actually ran for an hour, so maybe this new look is tricking my mind into working a little bit harder.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dressing the part

When I gained weight my fashion sense changed drastically. About four years ago I put together a t-shirt quilt with all of my memories of high school and early college, almost 40 t-shirts from plays, sports, clubs, my American Idol audition, and much more. I only left 2-3 t-shirts for everyday use. Recently I have had to re-collect t-shirts and here is why: I have always liked T-shirts and grungy clothes, or as my family says "glargy" or "blarb" clothes, but in the last two years it has just gone too far, just way too far with the darn T-shirts. You see I was never planning on staying fat, so I never could bring myself to buy nice looking things in the size that actually fit me, it would be a waste because I would be getting smaller very very soon. Two years later I am swimming in T-shirts and maybe 4 nice-looking shirts still waiting to be thin, argh. My T-shirt addiction got so bad that I began seeking them out at garage sales; t-shirts with some weird stranger's memories and crusty sweat on them. In fact the t-shirt I wore today says "Tae Kwon Do Training Center" with a local phone number--25 cents from a garage sale 2 blocks away. Today in the parking lot a man saw the logo and said, "How long have to been in Tae Kwon Do?" Oh NO! he caught me in my lie, pretending to be an aspiring black belt when actually I think I am just a pink belt in stay-at-home Tae Bo movies--that’s the level where you shake the house and can only take 15 minutes. "Oh, uh, actually I don't do Tae Kwon Do." Then he looked at me with utter disbelief, almost disgust like "How dare she wear that shirt without EARNING it!" I tried to patch up the awkward moment by saying, "But I have always wanted to do Tae Kwon Do." As it came out of my mouth I regretted it and could almost hear him in the voice of Napoleon Dynamite saying "Idiot!" He didn't even say "Oh," or "That’s cool," he just looked away. Oh the shame. So I shall now EARN my stripes, and I found my first venue, the Riverside 5K run on February 20. I may not be able to run the whole thing but I will cross the finish line and earn that t-shirt by myself!

The weight of it all

I absolutely HATE weighing myself; in fact I hardly ever do it. And I never ever talk about numbers when it comes to weight. The last time my husband knew how much I weighed was when I was pregnant 3 years ago and I REFUSE to tell anyone now. A few people have suggested that I post my weight on the blog, but I just can't, call it pride or whatever you want. What I will do, however, is post the number of pounds I have lost once a week since I started this journey. And guess what, I HAVE LOST 3 POUNDS yayyyyy! I usually don't like to step on the scale at all, I just like to FEEL how much I weigh by the tightness of certain clothes, but I thought I would keep it a little more mathematical since I am putting so much into this change. For those of you who are really curious about the number I’ll give you a hint: it is 3 digits.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Technology from the view of a fatty

For this past week I have not listened to any music while working out, so today I decided to take my birthday money from my sweet mother-in-law and buy an iPod shuffle. I feel like it will help give me that extra push while running and distract me from the pain. It is a great little device that looks like a stick of gum and can be toted easily for running use. I thought of songs that make me feel pumped and ready to sweat, one of them being "Hot N Cold" by Katy Perry, then I got this crazy idea...I will make a VIDEO in my heart-polka dot running outfit and do a crazy dance to Hot n' Cold for your viewing pleasure. And I did it. I know I'm crazy, but I don't regret making the video as much as I regret actually going back and watching it, you know how the video camera adds about 50 pounds, yeah it was horrific, but very, very funny. I decided my self-esteem is too fragile right now to post the video on my blog, but I will...when things get better, er, smaller. Every week or so I will dance to the same song and then make a video montage of my progress, it will be MUCH more inspiring and I can then justify showing the first part of the video to all of you, my supporters, and any other person who may come across it. I think of it as a twist on the usual "Before and after" shots, and more motivating for me because not only do I see the sheer size of my hips, but I also see how they sway to the beat. So thanks technology for motivating me, but no thanks for ripping me from the sweet solace of denial. I may buckle and show you just 10 seconds of it just so you can see what I mean, but probably not.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Failed Rescue From the Trash

Thank you for all of the well wishes for my birthday. I think this thing is starting to work, I actually felt full earlier than normal after eating just a large portion instead of the 2 XL portions. Hopefully this is a foreshadowing of the change in letters on my clothing tags too. So it is my birthday, the one day when I am ALWAYS right and decide what me and my husband do, but there was a limit to that today unfortunately. I was getting ready to tug the strings of a heavy kitchen garbage bag, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a soft blue color, the blue that only belongs on medical scrubs, A NEW OUTFIT TO RUN IN. My husband had carefully thrown them away and covered them with papers that looked too well placed to be any regular tossed garbage--so he thought he could fool a real junk junkie, HAH! So I made the mistake of exclaiming the joy of my find, "Yay, scrubs, I can run in these, why did you throw them away?" I hear a big sigh of disgust, "No, Bina pleasse can you just keep them in the garbage, they have gum stains and they are gross, I know it’s your birthday but can you please, for me, keep them in the trash?" So I covered them up again with the papers and let them go, and daydreamed of what it would be like to run in FULL, matching scrubs. People would pass by and say "Oh there is another resident just rushing to the hospital, or there is a dental student late for class" Instead of, "Oh man there is that lady...from the looks of her outfit she is homeless, and she is trying think that’s a run." Oh and trust me, someday soon I will post a picture of my red, heart, polka dot outfit so you know what I'm talking about, really, it’s bad. Maybe tomorrow morning I will mix it up a little, and think of those poor lonely scrubs getting cold behind our little house in a garbage can, sorry little guys I tried.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A day of rest, and celebration

I'm a little bit nervous about tomorrow, the one day out of seven when I have decided NOT to exercise. Oh that reminds me, I need to make sure the duck alarm is turned off, otherwise I will get up with a racing heart pumped to begin my run--kind of like Pavlov’s dog that salivates every time he hears a bell. Not only am I not exercising tomorrow, is it also MY BIRTHDAY, the big 26, so that means no calories burned in the morning, extra calories because Sundays usually mean very rich food, and the treats that come with having a birthday. Maybe this will provide the great awakening that I need--convincing me that it really does FEEL better to exercise and eat right, doubtful. Or will this remind me of my evil ways when I indulge in all things creamy and rich and forget about the consequences? Maybe a little of both, either way I am breaking a good start of things, so wish me luck, and a happy birthday.

In the jungle, the quiet jungle

The duck did its job again this morning, but I wanted so bad to rebel. My husband turned off the duck and I thought YES "sweet escape." Nope. My conscience kept tapping me on the shoulder saying "You have a goal remember, and you have people checking on them...don't give up now." It turns out this little voice was MUCH louder than any digital duck could be. Off I went to the living room where I clad myself in the now stinky red, heart, and blue get up. Then I flew like a moose in the night. At about 200 yards I am feeling really great, patting myself on the back for doing it this morning when it was really hard. In the middle of the self-confidence daydream, I got these terrible wafts of air, the ones that could only belong to a skunk. "Just keep going, it will go away soon." Four wafts later I began to wonder if the skunks were plotting against me. "She'll never continue with this stench." (Insert squeaky evil laugh). Then about half way into my run, not one but two little bunnies scampered for their lives within about a block of each other. I guess I would be scared too if I were a little critter woken by a polka-dot-heart-red-blue moose. The last leg of my journey was smooth besides a few more pepe le pews starting their engines early...until the last 100 ft when two HUGE hawks swooped over me and landed on a telephone pole above (no joke). First I was the predator, now I am prey. Those over-sized buzzards can hear my panting and they are mocking me, "We'll be here to eat your flesh when you keel over." And how did they know it was the last leg of my journey? Perhaps the hawks were not after me but just picking up the mess of critters in my path that died of shock when they saw my frame wiggle by. Sorry digital duck, pepe le pew, bunnies, hawks, oh yes and that mangy dog that barks death at me, I must survive in this animal kingdom too, so expect to see me again very very soon!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mrs. Roboto

I guess I have to pat myself on the back for actually following through on my goals for three mornings in a row, but oh, the PAIN. "Wow she is already complaining a lot after only three days." Hey, Hey when you let yourself get to the point where I am, just three days of exercise HURTS. The muscles are tight all over, and as I walk around the house I look and feel a little bit like an old robot with squeaky joints--a plump robot like Rosie on The Jetsons. Except as my weight loss goals become priority, I find my house slowly GAINING weight, in trash, dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and crumbs on the floor so you win some you lose some. Too bad Rosie isn't here for real; she could do all the housework while I nurse my achin' bones. But then again, I would probably order lots of bad food that she pops out of her stomach ready to eat, so Rosie you stay with The Jetsons and I will try to suck it up and get some stuff done around here.

I wanted to shoot that duck

I think my husband turned Mr. Duckie alarm up a little louder this morning, just to make sure that this whole thing wasn’t just another one of my New Years "Tattoos" (see my first blog post). But I am almost positive this particular morning that darn duck was saying Fat, Fat, Fat instead of its usual quack, quack, quack. "What do I have here that could do some serious damage to that duck, 'TURN IT OFF' just isn’t working for me, let’s see I could hurl this Sudoku book at it, this pillow, I think my makeup bag is somewhere on the ground, or...maybe there is no way to get at the digital death-duck" So I get my big butt out of bed and put on my latest in the Fit Fashion line by Bina, the stained red pants of course, and a little heart and polka dot number that is supposed to be a night sleeper, but looks like a scary nurse scrub reject--which goes down to just above my knees, and then the crown jewel: my blue Cedar Point sweatshirt complete with pocket and hoodie. I actually ran for 35 minutes, but I didn’t leave happy; if that duck were a real duck it would be a pile of feathers and roasting in my oven right now for New Year’s dinner. Duck is a healthy option, right?