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.