Archive for December, 2007


My friends, I do believe I shall weep – for joy.

I just got back from the mall. (Which is nearly enough to make you weep right there, and not for joy!)  I was NOT in the mood to shop, but I have several gift cards (no one attempts to buy me clothing anymore as my size keeps changing, only gift cards) and I need some stuff.  So I thought, “I’ll go scope it out, see what’s there that I might want to get…I don’t have to buy anything.”

Now, having spent over $200 (a figure that makes me cringe, because that’s, quite frankly, two weeks’ pay from Target), I am sort of stunned at myself.

But I’m okay with the amount (not that I paid for any of it myself!), because of the other number that accompanies it – an 8.  Yes, as in size.

Now…let me preface this by saying that when I started this whole journey a year and a half ago, I was in a 16 – or most of me was.  Some of me was sort of spilling over; I really needed to be in an 18 but couldn’t face it.  Even in October, I had edged back into a 12 after spending about two weeks in a 10.  The last time I was in single digits was…oh dear.  I don’t know.  High school perhaps?  And even then it was, like, a 9.

And now I am buying 8s…and NOT to “diet into”.  Not with the intention of being in them in a couple of months – which was the whole idea behind even trying any ON — but because they fit.  They FIT.  ME.  My butt goes in them and they zip and they button and they even LOOK OKAY.  Not like a sausage stuffed into a casing that’s way too small or the Pillsbury Doughboy in drag…just normal and okay and even sort of good!


I would say there are no words but, come on, it’s me.  There are always words.  Just not any that are sufficient.  I am literally nearly in tears at the prospect.  And I come to you with this because, frankly, only those of you in the blogosphere who are interested enough to actually read these ramblings can even begin to understand.  DH said, “That’s great.”  I’m sure he meant it.  But you know, he didn’t squeal, or jump up and down (well, I was on the phone, but you know I could have told if he were jumping, and he wasn’t) or rave or gush or…any of the things I’m doing right now.  Cause he’s a guy, and he doesn’t care much about weight or sizes, and he doesn’t really quite get it.  He’s proud of me, but he doesn’t get it.  He hasn’t felt the shame of realizing that you now wear a larger size than not only your mother but also your near-term pregnant friend…or that you can’t really effectively shave your legs because there are parts you just can’t get to because the fat’s in the way…or the horror of realizing that you’re actually paying attention to the weight limits in elevators and wondering if you’re the one who’s going to put it over…or other even more personal things that I won’t go into cause they’re too gross, forget humiliating.  No, I love him, but he doesn’t get it.  Which is all right.  Thank God for all of you who are on the same journey…and who are so wonderful…did I mention I’m weepy?

So anyway…at this point I would like to retract every whiny, complaining, childish thing I said or thought about Jillian’s workout (and I would very much like to retract that bag of potato chips I finished off last night but of course I can’t).  I am misty-eyed over my turkey on wheat (buying a smaller size makes it SO much easier to bypass the pizza and head for Subway!) …and I WILL work out tonight, no matter how tired or achy I am.  Because you know what?  I like this feeling.  I like it a lot.  I want to bottle it and sell it to everyone on the planet because if I could, trans fats and empty calories would be a thing of the past. 

So for the record – for posterity – for the future, when I get discouraged, note to self:

This feels amazing.  I feel so strong.  I feel completely empowered and overjoyed and proud of myself and my own work and the changes I have made.  I am humbled and contrite over the changes I have not completely made, and the lack of discipline of the past few days…I am resolved to get my head back in the game and focus.  (There is a very real possibility that, if I work really hard, I may one day see a -gasp – 6!  I have NEVER worn a 6.  I don’t care if I never do – but it’s electrifying to think it’s  even in the realm of possibility.)  I am alive with energy and joy and power and sheer happiness, and I WANT TO FEEL IT AGAIN.

Um, okay, I think that’s it.  I’m just overflowing…


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Okay, all I can say is, “Wow.”

I did my first “Jillian” workout last night.  The official review is in and it is “Oh.  My.  God.”

Okay, I thought I was getting to be in pretty decent shape.  I was pretty happy with the way my fitness level has improved.  I thought, “I’m ready to do this!  I’m ready for the next level!  I’m really scared!  But I’m going to do it!”

Well, I was right on at least one point:  being scared.

Okay, but really, all kidding aside…I am very sore today.  I am more sore than I expected to be.  I am more sore than I have been in quite a little while.  I am also really psyched about this whole process.  Even in absentia, Jillian totally kicked my ass, and that was just a Level 1 Beginner baby workout. 

The arm work wasn’t bad; I think my arms are in pretty decent shape.  I have to take home a heavier resistance band tonight, because the one I used last night just didn’t feel like it was enough.  So I got through those with no problem, except for the dumbbell exercises – I used a heavier weight than I have been using to be sure I was getting a good workout, and I felt those.  Not bad, though; I could probably go a little heavier but won’t for a while.  So those were okay. 

The lower body stuff was mostly lunges, which I hate with all my being and which do hurt my knees.  They were hurting last night and I really didn’t like it, but I made myself do them.  Today, my left knee is bothering me just a teensy bit when I do stairs, so I will probably back off a bit on those next time. 

The real killers, though, were the ab work and the jumping.  Jumping jacks, jumping rope, you name it.  It appears that Jillian, wonderful though she may be, Has Not Gotten the Memo.  You know, the “If God Had Meant For Me To Bounce, He Would Have Made Me Out Of Rubber” Memo.  What do I look like, Tigger?!?

So anyway.  That was tons of fun.  I actually did the jumping jacks on the rebounder (yeah, having a mini trampoline sort of negates The Memo, I know) and they weren’t bad.  But man, was I in for an education – I thought jumping rope would be sort of fun.  I was wrong.  I’m incapable of jumping rope.  I can “skip rope” even though it just feels so very unnatural…but jumping two-footed appears to be beyond my current technical specifications.  It was Not A Pretty Sight.

I did it though.  My sides still hurt from laughing at her “start with one minute and work your way up” suggestion; I started with 15 seconds and will work my way up SLOWLY.  But at least I did it.

Oh wait, no, my sides hurt from the AB WORK, not from laughing.  There’s one exercise that I thought looked so cool; I remember thinking when I saw it, “Oh, that’ll be great, it works all your abs at once.”  I seem to have forgotten that I don’t actually HAVE any abs…or so it would seem.  That exercise is not only difficult, it was damn near impossible.  I think I dislocated something doing it…  (Not really, but you know, it hurt.)

So by the end of the workout (which was only about half an hour but felt like 97 years), I was barely able to lever myself up from the mat on which I had been attempting the “Russian Twist” (similarity to Russian Roulette a coincidence?  I think not) and crawl to the sofa, grab my water bottle and attempt to ease my pain by drowning myself with it.  Unfortunately, I had already consumed so much water during my panting, sweating, groaning, not-nearly-so-much-fun-as-it-sounds workout, that there was a mere trickle remaining, and I only succeeded in making myself cough a little.

Oh well.  The upshot is, today I am sore…and my knees hurt some (though that COULD have something to do with the brand new oh-so-adorable but terribly uncomfortable high-heeled boots I wore yesterday and the identical-except-for-color pair I am wearing today, as well)…and I am quaking with fear at seeing what Jillian has in store for me tonight…but I feel pretty good about it.  I only wimped out on the last circuit; I did all three sets of every exercise up until that point, but only did one set each of the last one. (It was the jumping rope that killed my spirit.)  So I’m happy about that.

My workout tonight will have to come after four hours of Target, so t’will be interesting to see if my resolve is strong enough for that.  I also stayed up until 1:30 this morning reading two (yes two) new books that I got last night, both of which fascinated me so that I couldn’t make myself go to bed.  I got about halfway through each, alternating, and am still dying to pick them back up.  But while I can get away with blogging at work (hey, typing always makes you look busy) I think reading a book would be a dead giveaway as to my lack of industry.

As an aside, one of the books is called “Passing for Thin”; it’s by and about a woman who lost half her body weight and then had to figure out who she really was and adjust to life without fat.  It seems/seemed promising, and I blew through the first half like a hurricane, but now it’s getting depressing.  I’ll let you know how I feel after it’s done…meanwhile, anyone else read it/have thoughts on it?

And now I’m shutting up.  (You may now breathe your sighs of relief.)  🙂

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Stats, a day late…

Yeah, well, yesterday was sort of a day off, all right?  🙂

So here you go:

 Starting weight (this time around, mid October):  180.5

Last weigh in, 12/19:  165

Wed., 12/26:  164.5

Okay, if I have to do this a half-pound at a time, I will!  🙂  But seriously…considering the time of year, considering the fact that I have NOT been depriving myself and my workouts have been, shall we say, less than optimal – I am quite pleased.  I will absolutely take it. 

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Well, I’m back, after having taken a few days off for random and not particularly legitimate reasons…just too lazy to get on and read or write.  I’m in a sort of Christmas lull…not a funk, definitely, not the dumps, just sort of…relaxed.  🙂  I’m not down, I’m not exhausted…I’ve just been feeling sort of laid-back. 

This week is always one of my very favoriates here at work, because more than half the staff take the whole week off.  The staff members who do come in, are scattered among three or four floors, so there’s a good chance that you will either be alone on your floor, or with only one or two people to distract you.  This translates into either getting an enormous amount done (if you’re feeling industrious) or really being able to chill out and relax.  This year, I’m definitely going with the latter.  It’s been such a stressful six months…I haven’t had many opportunities to really not do anything and not feel guilty for not doing anything…so I’m taking this one.

Yesterday I balanced my checkbook, straightened out all my finances and figured out which of my many creditors are getting a bite of the Christmas bonus.  🙂  They all got at least a little, and they all got more than the payment due…but I am also putting some aside, because my mother’s turning 70 next year and I’m throwing her a huge family surprise party in Oklahoma.  So I have to pay for transportation for me, my kids, and her from West Virginia to Oklahoma, plus the expenses of the party which are not going to be a lot (big cookout at the lake), but there will be some.  And spending money, cause let’s face it, it’s not a vacation unless there’s shopping.  🙂  So I’m putting back some for that, as well as for birthdays at the end of January, when I will be broke.  I’m really trying to be responsible and plan ahead instead of just spending it all on shoes and movies.  🙂  So that took most of the day yesterday.  I also spent some time actually playing games (gasp!) which was awful yet wonderful.

Today has been given over to more planning, this time health and fitness and lifestyle oriented rather than financial.  I finally broke down and joined Jillian Michaels’ website, which I am rather excited about. I’m not sure why…it’s not like I don’t KNOW what I need to do – but she has got some really kick-ass workouts.  That’s mainly what I wanted from it…I think she’s an amazing trainer.  And from what I can tell so far, I will definitely be challenged.  None of the exercises by themselves are unusual or that far advanced over what I’ve been doing, but the circuits are going to be very demanding and challenging for me.  I think it’s going to really help me kick things up a notch.  So I’m a little excited about that.

Also, DH gave me a wobble board and a rebounder for Christmas…among other things…and I am mondo-excited about those.  The rebounder is going to be my jogger, which will allow me to do more running without worrying so much about the stress on my knees and hips – which is great, as both have been bothering me a lot.  The wobble board will be my “edge” during weight training, and it will definitely be a challenge.  I can’t even manage to balance on the damn thing yet, just standing still!  So I’m looking forward to all that.

I was also given a ton of gift cards (my new drug of choice, as I never know any more what size clothing to tell people to buy me, but always need clothing as I’m shrinking out of all mine, thank God) and I plan to wait until the January sales, then buy a mort o’ clothes in a size smaller than I’m in.  Same tactic I used last year, but hopefully even more successful this time as I’m already so motivated.  (Last year it…didn’t work so well.  It took me till this fall to get back into the clothes I bought then.  Argh.) 

So I have some plans.  I’m still working on the whole body image thing and accepting the things that I can’t change.  I’m doing a great deal of thinking and planning and what I’d like to do is have my head in a good place and a whole new – well, re-ordered – set of goals in place by the New Year.  That is, I want to check off what I’ve done, revisit the remaining goals, and see what needs to be adjusted or completely revised.  I’m feeling particularly strong and determined right now, so I am hoping that means the New Year will be rung in on a high note!

I have 2.5 pounds to go to my New Year’s goal, as of yesterday morning…we shall see if I make it.  I can’t begin to guess…that’s a lot in one week, for me, but as I’m starting my JM workouts tonight, who knows?  I’m not ruling anything out.  If I don’t make it I will not be broken-hearted; I am still really happy to have lost rather than gained during this season.  But if I do make it I believe I shall weep.  🙂

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Okay, it’s been a while – haven’t been online much lately, too many other things going on – but I’m determined not to waste the rest of this year just because next year is so close. So, today, so far, I have supported my healthy lifestyle by:

1. Turning down unhealthy crap in favor of some whole wheat pretzels, a low-salt V-8 and water for my morning snack;

2. Deciding to go ahead and buy new jeans (my old ones are too big), but to buy them slightly smaller than what I can wear right now, so I stay motivated to keep working hard;

3. Finally joined JillianMichaels.com, so Jillian can (by proxy at least) kick my ass for me! :) I need it kicked. From what I can see so far, her workouts are definitely going to be a challenge and should provide the next step up toward being really healthy and fit. I’m very excited, a little intimidated (okay a LOT intimidated) and somewhat scared, but still very excited. :) I think it will be worth the money. If not, I can always cancel, but…I’ll give it at least the first quarter.

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Finally Friday!

Okay, I promise I’ll quit with the cutesy weekday titles after this week.  🙂  But anyway…

I am actually somewhat stoked today, despite a completely inadequate night’s sleep that has left me groggy and with little energy.  I wore jeans to work, which is great because (a) I’m really comfortable and (b) I love how I feel in these jeans.  I won’t even speculate on how I look, because who really sees themselves objectively?  But I FEEL hot, so that’s what counts.  🙂

Anyway…it’s nearly Christmas, this is the last day I work this job till next Wednesday, and it’s payday so hopefully everything will go up from here. 

My thoughts this morning were all about empowerment…about loving yourself, no matter what your perceived flaws (or even real ones!)…about owning and loving the skin you’re in.  I have a very dear friend, a girl I simply adore for her wit and her upbeat personality and her sheer charm.  I’ve only known her about six months, but she’s completely won my heart in that time.  She’s 18 years old and sees the world through a wonderful mist of optimism and unsquashable (is that a word?) spirit, and I so admire that in her.

As an aside – and it is an aside – she’s quite heavy.  However, when I look at her I honestly don’t see that.  You can’t see it, through the sheer effervescence of her personality.  And I truly believe that she doesn’t see it either, and I admire that even more.  I couldn’t say that she doesn’t have moments when she has the same self-loathing and body hatred that we’ve all struggled with – but it doesn’t show, and the self-confidence she projects is the kind that can’t be faked.  She loves the world, she loves herself, and she knows she’s fabulous.  I keep thinking, “I wish I were so confident in myself and so nonjudgmental.” 

Wishing won’t do it, though.  I can wish till I am blue in the face and it won’t change a thing.  What will change it is taking a good, hard look at myself in the mirror and asking myself, exactly what IS it that I expect?  What is it that I think I want and need?  Do I NEED to be a size 2?  (God, no, and it’s a good thing cause I absolutely never will!)  Do I NEED to have zero cellulite and nearly zero body fat?  (See previous answer.)  Do I NEED to have delightfully perky boobs and slim thighs and perfect arms?  (No…it would be nice, but I don’t NEED it.)

The fact is, I’m 35 years old and I have two kids.  Realistically speaking, there are things about me that are forever, like the stretch marks and the curves and some of the sagginess.  It’s just something that happens.  That doesn’t make it a bad thing.  It’s just what it is, and it’s something I need to own just like I own the increasing muscle definition and decreasing circumference in my arms.  Those are battle scars, damn it, and I’ve earned every one!  Every single stretch mark either came from carrying one of my lovely daughters, or from taking off the weight I had put on.  Every single bit of sag came from soldiering through 35 years, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and sheer gravity.  Every wrinkle is a mark of life experience, trials weathered and survived and, hopefully, wisdom gained.

For me, right now, it’s a struggle against trying to be that hot 20-year-old, or to compete with her.  (As another aside – compete for WHAT?  What’s the prize in this particularly beauty pageant?  I’ve never understood that…)  It’s a struggle to find my feet as I undergo that transition (which, yeah, has been going on for a few years now!) from young to “mature” and embracing what that makes me – a real woman, not an clueless young girl. 

I think part of it is because so many of the changes in my body weren’t noticeable before, because of the fat.  Sounds silly, I know, but it’s true.  I put them off with “well, when I lose weight…” and now that I’m losing that weight, it’s becoming rather unpleasantly obvious that some of it isn’t the fat!  🙂

But I’m becoming strangely okay with it all.  I know that I have so many, many more wonderful years in front of me, so I don’t feel like I’m aging.  I am really in the very best, most wonderful part of my life, and I’m just processing through that, trying to get my mind wrapped around the fact that real life isn’t about how you look or how many friends you have or how often you go out or who thinks you’re hot.  (Not that my life has EVER been about that, but we have this bizarre media ideal…)  It’s a mental battle more than anything, to realize that while I am working so hard to undo the damage of the past 15 years, and am putting an enormous amount of time and energy into that, it is not with the goal of getting back the person I was then.  I don’t want that person back…she was young, scared, unsure, and simultaneously arrogant, know-it-all and a bit of a psychotic bitch.  (Okay, well, some things never change!)  🙂  I don’t want to lose the benefit of all the lessons learned, the heartaches weathered, the hard paths taken, survived, and learned from.  Again, I’ve earned it, damn it.  I’ve put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.  I want my badges!

So…whatever it is about the end of the year that turns me to introspection, that’s the focus it’s taken now.  Just in case you wondered!  So this coming week I’m going to try to be healthy, but I’m taking the focus – just for this week – off of losing weight and putting it on recognizing and accepting the changes in my body…with love, and without recrimination.  I want to identify what needs work, figure out what can be improved and note what can’t and must be accepted and lived with.  Then, when the New Year starts, I will have my focus renewed and can put the time and mental energy where it needs to be.

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Okay, I’m really down in the dumps today for some reason…no, not “some reason”; I know exactly why.  I am still sleep-deprived, having worked last night.  I got home and DH was still up, which is VERRRY unusual, so I got to spend a little time with him (plus!) but was up way later than I should have been (big minus!).  And today I am cranky, tired, and glum.

Another factor is that it was SUCH a crappy night.  I won’t blather on too much about Target management (at this store anyway), but let me just quote a very dear friend when discussing the particular person who was most of the problem last night:  “She couldn’t manage a damn lemonade stand on a lonely street.”

I love that quote.  So succinct, and so accurate.  To sum it up anyway, it was an incredibly stressful night and not because of too many guests.  This close to Christmas, lots of guests is something to be expected, and I really like to be busy.  However, poor management resulted in enormous stress for everyone there, and it was way worse than it needed to be.

I am rather proud, though, that I kept it from spilling over to the guests.  I was positive, I was patient, I smiled, I made jokes, and I treated everyone with respect and friendliness, even when their inattention or cluelessness dropped my speed score.  😦  So that’s a good thing – I am working on being better about not passing my own bad moods on to other people, so I feel that this is progress.

So anyway…that was last night, this is today.  Today, my goal is to (a) not eat an enormous amount of horrible junk (eating healthy may just be beyond me today); (b) find a way to summon enough energy to be able to work out tonight instead of just collapsing on the couch (lunchtime nap, anyone?); and (c) not get fired, shot or arrested for being an insane bitch. 

Ambitious, I know, but you gotta dream, right?  🙂 

And all whinging and complaining aside…it should be a good day.  I will find a way to make it a good day.  There will be joy, I just need to get my mind set and my eyes open so I don’t miss it.

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