Thursday, December 13, 2007

Confessions of a Steroid Junkie

Yes, I used to use steroids.

Remember I mentioned this the other day, that not all the weight showed up at once, although a lot did appear in a short period of time?

Well, steroids were the cause.


Back in college (boy, was I stupid in college, I gotta say that...) I lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with some friends (one of whom I still like and the other of whom I'd love to murder, still...) and we had terrible flooding problems. Every few weeks the toilet would start pumping cold water into our apartment... Nine times this happened. And the apartment complex would think about sending someone over to wet vac the floors... and sometimes we'd even get them in before the floor dried on its own.

We had mushrooms growing in the hallway. And blackmold EVERYwhere. And more bugs than you could shake a stick at. (And we did... shake sticks, that is. Honestly, we should have charged the damn bugs rent.)

When I was a child, I had asthma and I eventually outgrew it. Having this mold everywhere brought it right back. I spent a lot of time going in and out of emergency rooms for breathing treatments. And the common drug that the ER gives you for asthma problems are... steroids.

After my first ER trip, I went from the freshman fifteen weight of ... eh, maybe 135? to nearly 170 in less than 3 months. I literally got stretch marks from gaining weight so fast. No one bothered to tell me that weight gain was a side effect from the steroids. Nor did they tell me that long term use of steroids would make my bones brittle and completely fuck up my immune system. And over three years, while my asthma was bad, I was generally on 10 day runs of steroids every 8 weeks.

By my senior year in college, I was weighing in at about 185.

My boyfriend at the time, Chris, started making comments about his boss, who'd made a prenup with her husband that if either of them gained more than 35 pounds, the marriage was void. I took the hint for what it was and went on a diet. I lost... maybe 30 pounds. And then he totally dumped me for my best friend, who, I might add, topped me out in weight by about 40 pounds.

It didn't take long for me to gain back what I'd lost.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Step in Time

I must say, I wish it weren't so freaking dark when we go to take our walks. I hate winter, and I especially hate daylight savings time. It seems dreadfully unfair that one week it's 'getting dark' at 5:30 and the next week it's Pitch Black at 5:30 (without the screaming aliens, which is good, but without Vin Diesel too, which is bad.)

There really isn't a choice, though. It took me three years to convince my husband (with his long, curly black hair) that he ought to use conditioner because rinsing it out of his hair took an extra three minutes in the shower, which meant he had to get up a whole three minutes earlier in the morning. I never met anyone who likes to sleep quite as much as Thomas. Really. He could give Sleepy Dwarf a run for his money... So, getting up before Thomas goes off to work is Right Out.

I think, though, that I ought to get a new coat. Both Thomas and I have long trench coats (black of course.) Mine is made from wool and looks more like an 1820's man's riding coat, and Thomas's is microfiber and standard 'London fog' style. Still, they're both long and black, and we're both dark-haired, so I daresay we're impossible to see until someone is upon us. Now, we do walk on the sidewalk, and the only place we cross the street is Very Well Lit, but I always make snarky comments about pedestrians who aren't wearing anything light-colored, so I ought to stop being a hypocrite.

Besides, that long coat of mine weighs like 14 pounds, and is not comfortable to take long strides in (and it's a little big on me, because I'm so damn short, that my hands don't rest easily in my pockets.)

So... I want a new coat. Something like a jacket, rather than a coat.

And while I'm at it, something a little warmer than my cute and fluffy beret.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Coming in or Going out

We did our walk tonight, and I'm rather regretting it. It's about 40 degrees outside, and very windy. My face and ears feel like they're peeling right off.

I can't decide what's worse, stepping out into the cold and walking in the cold, or that ten minute spell after you get inside someplace warm, when your eyes are watering and your throat is burning and every bit of you that was exposed to the cold wind is tingling.

I imagine it'll be just as unpleasant in the summer, when it's 110 outside and 70 inside.

Time takes Time

It takes a long time to get fat.

I need to remember that. These pounds didn't show up overnight (well, ok, some of them did show up in a relative short period of time...) and they won't disappear in a short period of time.

I've never been tiny thin, though. Even in high school, I remember my friend who was a good three or four inches taller than me giving me massive amounts of shit because she weighed in at 98 pounds and I was clocking in around 119... But I wore a size 8 or sometimes a 10, and while I wasn't comfortable with myself - I had a stellar case of acne, and I was a smart girl in a redneck town - I wasn't particularly convinced that I was fat.

I was still fairly convinced that I was ugly, though. My father and mother both reaffirmed this opinion - my mother on a regular basis... "You know, we can get you a nose job when you're 16, if you want." Until then, I hadn't realized there was anything wrong with my nose. "Maybe you could start taking toner classes at the gym. Once you lose some weight and it's worth the effort." "I don't see why you can't learn to walk gracefully in heels, but until you can, you may not borrow my shoes." "God, your feet are huge, good thing you can't borrow my shoes anyway."

My father only did once, but I must admit, I remember it better... I was getting ready to go out for a trip to the mall with some friends, and was... oh, I don't quite recall, maybe fourteen or fifteen years old. I put on a bit of makeup and was wearing a red tunic and some black stirrup pants when my dad walked into the hallway on his way to the bathroom. "Wow," he said. "You have got to be the ugliest kid I ever saw."

Needless to say, I canceled my outing and spent most of the day sulking in my bedroom.

There's a part of me that wonders if I didn't pack on all the weight to ... I don't know, spite my parents. I mean, I already felt ugly, was constantly told I was ugly... why bother to try to stay thin, since I was ugly anyway? I mean, I liked to eat and I didn't like to work out, and why bother, since it didn't matter...

I do, however, remember with shock the first time I realized that I had gained a lot of weight. It was my freshman year of college, and my friends and I had gone shopping. I hadn't bothered to try on the pants I picked out. I knew I was a size 10. I'd been an 8 or a 10 for years... and I ended up having to return the pants and getting a 14. I remember wondering when that had happened. But I was in the middle of a lot of stress at school and my parents were finally getting a divorce. So I upgraded my pants and didn't worry about it too much...

That was... 16 years ago.

I hope it doesn't take 16 years to get rid of some of this extra weight.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Doesn't Take Long

So I've missed my first walk. Well, technically my third walk.

On the other hand, I had a lovely excuse. Friday night, my husband and I both came down with a nasty case of (suspected) food poisoning or some other nasty virus thing. In either case, neither of us was up to walking at all, any further than from the living room to the bathroom, or back to bed.

We spent most of our time passing each other in our activities. He'd be computer gaming and I'd be asleep. I'd get up, log in, and he'd decide to go take a nap which means that we spent the whole weekend not actually seeing each other much. On the plus side, Darcy didn't catch it (or eat whatever we ate... Thomas is holding out for bad Chinese food, but I'm not so sure) so we didn't have to deal with a cranky, sick four year old...

And I suppose it's not so bad, because while we didn't walk, neither of us ate much all weekend either.

Friday, November 30, 2007

This Time, HE did most of the talking...

So, I didn't really have time last night after our walk to write my entry about the walk... But I did take the walk.

Despite Thomas coming home in the world's most defeatist mood. You see, he's got this thing at work... management, I swear, has no brains.

This is the situation: Project X has to be finished at the end of the year. Most of the stuff for X is up at the other branch of the office - some 500 miles away. And it has to be moved down HERE by year's end. Company has a deal with Another Company to lease out the space where all this equipment is, starting Jan 2. So, we're not talking about a mushy deadline, either.

The problem is this: If the move isn't done by Jan 2, Thomas might lose his job. However, as soon as the move is complete, this other guy at the other office probably will lose his job. Which leaves Other Guy with absolutely no incentive to do his part of the moving job. So... strangely enough, he's not doing it.

Honestly, I know Thomas is upset right now, and stressed out. But I seriously doubt he's going to lose his job. For that matter, I doubt the guy at the Other Office is going to lose his job... but he's stressed out, and angry, and there's nothing I can do about it but nod and go "yeah, that's really stupid, I agree." On the other hand, because he was in such a bad mood, he did most of the talking and I concentrated more on the walking, and aside from our daughter, Darcy, tripping over the sidewalk once and getting mad at me and refusing to walk with me for about two whole minutes (she instead walked about 3 feet behind me with her arm over her face so I couldn't see her... of course, she couldn't see the sidewalk either, which wasn't exactly smart if she wanted to avoid tripping again... but hey, who reasons with a four-year-old?) it was a much faster walk than last time. And I wasn't nearly so out of breath.

I am trying to figure out the etiquette for moving over on the sidewalk when someone else is coming your way (it's easier if the person is jogging up behind you, since they move around you and half the time I don't even know they're back there until they start to pass us by running around on the grass). Apparently my brain is working differently from everyone else's.

I move to my right - as if I were driving a car and the other walker/jogger is oncoming traffic. However, the other runners/walkers have moved OFF the sidewalk, to the LEFT. This makes absolutely no sense to me... I left plenty of space on the sidewalk. The only thing I can think of is that - given the direction we're walking, they're moving to the non-road side of the sidewalk... not that there isn't a good three feet of grass on the other side of the sidewalk, plus the half of the sidewalk that I vacated.

This wouldn't bother me quite so much if people didn't glare at me, as if I was taking up the whole sidewalk. There's plenty of room there. I mean, I know I'm fat, but honestly, I don't take up the entire walkway. And I pay my taxes, so half the damn sidewalk belongs to me, too.

Ah well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Walk Around the Block

Well, my first walk.

I'm a little out of breath and rather overheated, but I expect that's normal. We walked a mile in about 20 minutes. From our apartment we went out to the left, over to the main road, down to the traffic light, and back onto our street. On our way we passed two joggers, a gang of sk8r bois, an abandoned pair of white Nike hightops, and an aggressive beetle which flew up the cuff of my pants. What is it with me and bugs that like to fly into my clothing?

I think the worst thing about it was that it's very chilly outside, and the house is Quite Warm, which makes for some uncomfortable transitioning. Also, I think I need new sneakers. My ladies Reebok's that I've had for like... four or five years now, I guess... seem to have an uncomfortable lump in the right hand side of the right shoe...

Note to self: buy white socks. I don't have any blisters now, but I will probably develop some. And I've heard nasty things about colored sock dye slipping into open blisters.

Note to self: figure out a way to carry a bottle of water with me that's not too uncomfortable.

Note to self: Let Thomas talk more. I talked almost the entire way, and while the walk itself wasn't too bad, the running dialog was a bit exhausting.

Third Time's the Charm

You know, I have two other blogs... both of them rather neglected...

One is my main blog, where my friends all go to look. Where I've gotten in trouble for posting some not particularly nice (albeit accurate) things about my step mother. Where people have found out things about me that I didn't want them to know (yes, my own fault, I mean, seriously...)

The other I made just so I could make comments on other people's blogs without having to go through a complicated anonymous commentary feature. I've used it a few times to say some vile things about my friends without having them know about it.

So, this will be my third blog (and fourth online diary, since I did write a hand-done html diary for a few years, the archives of which are all completely lost, and I wish they weren't.)

However, this is the only one where I have only one specific purpose in mind.

I wish to lose weight.

A lot. of weight.

I should say "I am going to lose weight." Or "I plan to lose weight." Perhaps I'm not really ready for a full life-change since I can only say "I wish."

I'm not talking about 5 pounds... or the Freshman Fifteen... I'm talking about probably a hundred pounds... that's a lot of weight to think about. My father constantly talks about needing to lose weight and the man probably weighs all of 140 pounds soaking wet. No, that's not me...

I am rather enormous. I wear a size 22. I'm just over five feet tall, maybe five three. If that. The last time I weighed myself (about five months ago at a doctor's appointment) I clocked in at 223 pounds. My 'ideal' body weight is 113 - 135 pounds.

Yeah. It's gonna be a long haul.

On the plus side: My husband of 11 years has decided he also wants to go on a diet. And the nice thing about it is that we decided this independently of each other, so right now, neither one of us feels pressured by what the other person wants. He has similar weight loss goals. He's 6 feet tall and the last time he weighed in, was coming in around 260 pounds. That was four years ago. I'm pretty sure he's gained weight since then.

Also, I know I can do it. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I came up gestational diabetic and had to go on a 1,500 calorie a day diet, plus injecting myself with insulin twice a day. My doctor told me I could gain NO weight while pregnant (which was, essentially, telling me to lose 30 pounds while pregnant!!). And I did it. When my pregnancy started, I weighed 237 pounds. When my pregnancy was over, I weighed 188. In nine months, I lost almost 50 pounds, and over the first six months of my daughter's life, I lost another 30. I got down to a size 16 jeans and almost into a 14. Then... I just let it go. It was easier not to worry...

You know what got to me... not the clothing sizes... or the aches in my knees... or the fact that I can't hold my daughter for more than a few minutes before I have to put her down again...

It was this picture:

What really got me is how weird and deformed I look... how tiny my head looks on top of this body that just expands in all directions around it.

I wear sleeveless shirts a lot, because I sweat. No matter what the temperature. If I'm wearing a shirt with sleeves, it takes about three hours before I have wet patches under my arms, despite changing my deodorant to a 'clinical strength'.


This is our plan, my husband's and mine. Starting today, when he gets home from work, we're going to go for a walk... we'll walk three times a week to start; Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I'm sure our daughter will enjoy it, she loves being outside, and I don't get outside nearly enough.

Heh. I wonder why.

In January, we're going to start attending Weight Watchers. We have several friends who've tried the plan and had success with it, and it's a balanced sort of plan that we think we can both follow.

Some other things:

At least for the time being, I don't plan to tell any of my friends that I'm on a diet. I have a couple of friends who mean well, but always manage to make me feel worse. One is the Lifetime Member of her weight watchers. I know that should be encouraging, that she's at her goal... but she was always such a tiny little thing. I mean, if you weigh 110 pounds, a two pound gain makes a huge difference. If I gain 2 pounds, no one would notice. Not even me. It's hard to feel encouraged by her, because she's ALWAYS been thin.

Another friend is a crummy dieter. For pretty much as long as I've known her, she's been on a diet, or just going to start a diet, or just given up on a diet... she cheats like crazy and she complains CONSTANTLY about dieting. It makes me want to eat an ice cream cake just to spite her. That's not her fault, and really, this is just about me. Her grousing about diets makes me want to eat the universe. So... I don't want to diet-buddy with her because I think I'd have to kill her, myself, or someone. And while I don't doubt being in prison would be enough depressing to cause me to lose some weight, there's got to be an easier way.

Also, I'm dubious about letting my dad know. Ditto on the always been thin thing. He's so skinny he disappears when he turns sideways. Also, he's a type-A Anal-Retentive fuckhead. He doesn't mean to be a fuckhead. But, he is, nonetheless, a complete fuckhead. I know he's trying to reform. And I appreciate it. But dieting is hard enough as it is without having to deal with fuckheadery, you know? He always wants to make things a contest. "Who can lose their goal weight faster!" Oh, come on, jackass, you can shave your eyebrow off and lose the weight. There's such a huge (pun intended) difference between 2 pounds and 100 pounds... there's no way I could win... I suppose if the contest is who can lose *more* weight, I'd probably win that without much trouble. He'd have to amputate a leg to catch up with what I could lose. But while my dad is keenly competitive, he's also not above stacking the odds in his favor. And he refuses to believe that men lose weight easier than women do, no matter how many studies have shown that to be true.

On the other hand, there's the great temptation to ask my dad to pay for it. Weight Watchers meetings are $40 a month, so for both of us, it's gonna take quite a large bite out of our budget. He could give it to us as a Christmas present, you know... but then, if he does, I have to report to him on how I'm doing, and he's going to nag me about failures (because of course, he's never failed in his life...) I don't know if it's worth the headache.

The last part of my plan is to keep this blog. I intend to post in it after each Weight Watchers meeting I have, and perhaps, after my 3 times a week walk.

So... wish me luck, if you want. Or not.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Watch Lynn's Progress

I am not currently tracking anything.

About Me

Hello, nice to meet you!

My name is Lynn C., and I'm a thirty-something stay at home mother who is in the middle of a journey towards health and fitness. When I started this blog, a little over a year ago, I wanted, desperately, to lose about 95 pounds. Much as I would have liked it to be easy and quick, it's been neither. A year later, and I'm still trying to lose that last 30 pounds.

In the meanwhile, I have learned a lot about nutrition, health, fitness, and weight loss. I'm attempting - with some good manner of success - to incorporate what I've learned into my every day life.

I follow Weight Watcher's program, but my personal opinion on weight loss is this: As long as the program is clear that losing weight takes eating less, moving more, and is a slow process, it's probably a good plan. I don't think any program that relies on "miracle foods" or restricting yourself from a specific type of food are good ideas, primarily because they're hard to stick to over time... Do research, pick a good plan, follow the plan to the best of your abilities, and accept that you're in it for the long haul, and you're much more likely to be successful.

I started this blog to keep myself in check, to remind myself of areas I need to work on, to ask for and provide support for other people going through the same experiences, and as a way to track my own feelings and thoughts.