Gary Gygax died yesterday. I know most people don't know, or care much, who he was. But it's frightening for me to realize just how much of a difference he's made in my life; someone I never even met. (Thomas did, though. Meet him, I mean. At a children's fair, when he was about nine.) Now, admittedly, I never did much Role-playing in high school... my redneck town didn't approve of 'Satan's Toys' like AD&D or science fiction, or free thought, or reading, or being smart... (yes, I'm cynical, but I lived in the freaking buckle of the bible belt and got beaten with it rather frequently, so, you know, I'm bitter.) But when I got to college, it started to be a big thing of mine.
I met my best friend, Carol, through a class we had together: Introduction to Mythology. But I wouldn't ever have talked to her if she hadn't been reading a fantasy novel during breakfast one morning and I just sat down next to her and started being a pest. I didn't start reading fantasy novels until after I read The Dragonlance Chronicles when I was 12. The Dragonlance Chronicles were released by TSR (Gygax's company) as part of a novel and gaming supplement set. Even then, we might not have gotten to be close, except we started gaming together after that.
Through gaming, I got into the Sciffy club (Science Fiction and Fantasy Fan Club). From Sciffy... I met Thomas. I met Chris. I met Edwin. I met Toby. (of course, it's not all good. I met my ex-husband, Brent, through gaming. And my ex-boyfriend, Gideon. But hey, we can't all have ups, right?) I knew McKenna, and through her, I met all her boyfriends, including Ed, and then, through Ed, I met Leigh, who's now one of my best friends and definitely a big help to me on my whole diet plan thing - see, I knew I'd get it back to the losing weight thing...)
I play World of Warcraft.... now if there's anyone out there who thinks that Gary Gygax and his gaming system didn't have a huge impact on MMORPGs, please raise your hand so I can shoot you. Through Warcraft, I've met a lot of incredibly wonderful people, many of whom have been supportive of me through this lifestyle change, and during bouts of depression.
Gary Gygax changed my life. And I'm very, very sorry to see him go.
Enough about that. I've had some interesting things happen over the last few days that I'm finding to be very exciting.
First off, my friend Summer, who honestly was the first person who really inspired me with their fitness goals and dedication, wrote me an email yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I've had lots of people talk about their fitness regimes or their diet plans, or nag me to do the same. But there's a difference between being a pest and being admirable. My dad? Pest. Summer? Admirable. There's a difference between being a gymbunny (annoyance) and a workout queen (cool). There's a difference between doing something because you want other people to be impressed with you (boring) and doing something good for yourself (interesting). Summer and I have very little in common, aside from both being mothers and being in the same age bracket. She's fabulous and I'm not, she's fit and I'm not, she's fun and cool and quirky... and... well, you get the idea. And while this was sort of daunting at first (seriously, who wants to always feel like they're coming up short in comparison) she does have her problems, and she's very humanizing... I grew to love her entries about her kid (who is also fabulous!) and sort of skipped the entries about the t-tapping or the clothes hunting or the coupon clipping. And then I started reading them anyway... she's got a fabulous (there's that word again!) writing style that makes you feel like you're talking with an old friend over the phone and while you're barely getting a word in edgewise, that's ok, because she keeps making you smile. Anyway... wow, that was a long aside, wasn't it?? Anyway... she's into t-tapp, as I said, and she wrote me an email. She's been following along with my diet and exercise journey, and she's getting a newer version of the t-tapp workout and wanted to know if I wanted her old dvd so I could try it out. I said sure, and when I get it and try it out, I'll be sure to review it here!
Second of all, Scott "Q" Marcus sent me an email. Actually, he commented on my blog the other day, and then sent me an email... I've been reading Scott's blog since I started mine; he's one of the first people who made my blogroll list, and the only person who's had more than a month or two's worth of entries that I went back and read Every Single Entry. He's funny, he's realistic, he's not perfect... I grew up with two perfectionists. "If you can't do something right, don't do anything at all." was sort of the family motto. My father is a nuclear health physicist and while that's a job that doesn't hold much room for error, he took it too far. He expected nothing short of perfect from me, and from my mom, and his idea of that was 'if I'm not complaining about it, I guess it'll do." Can you imagine what it's like, never hearing a FUCKING word of praise, no matter how good you do? He's still fucking like that (sorry for the swearing here, but it pisses me off so badly). When we saw him a few weeks ago, he told Thomas how impressed he was with my weight loss and my dedication to the program and my determination. But didn't say one word TO ME. Somehow, that hurts even more than him not being proud of me at all. My mother... heh, we've talked about my mother, haven't we? Enough said.
Anyway, I was talking about Scott, wasn't I? Anyway, I think he's brilliant. And one of the things that has really struck me about his writing is that he's still human and normal. Those people who 'didn't like those high fatty treats anymore' or 'conquered the cookie craving by going for a jog'? Those people aren't human. I don't know what they are, but they're nothing like me, and I can't relate to them. One of the things I'm so scared of with this diet is that I'll never actually be able to enjoy eating again. I don't, right now, you know? I count everything and I think about everything, and food isn't something to be liked, it's something one has to do, and that's freaking depressing. I'm hoping that eventually I'll relax a little. Scott... after 12 years of maintaining a 75 pound weight loss... he still hears the siren's call of ice cream, or skips out on his jogging sometimes, or wants desperately to order cheese nachos for lunch. I can relate to him. I can understand him. And I can feel inspired by someone who is human and who did it anyway. Whereas I can't always be inspired by someone who'd rather have a carrot than a cookie.
Anyway, in his email, he asked me (and some other readers) for endorsements of his writing that he intends to dot the first few pages of his upcoming books with. (Could that sentence be any worse, grammatically?) So, I wrote a somewhat more concise excerpt of the above paragraph and emailed it back to him. And he loved it and is going to use it! In addition, he's going to send me a complimentary copy (autographed, of course) of his book when it comes out.
So that's really cool, and I'm very flattered. (Provided, of course, I can keep up this lifestyle change and still be doing it when the book comes out, otherwise I'll likely be disgusted with myself and depressed and not want to read it. But that's my problem, not his.)
I've really been surprised about how large (pun intended) this community is. I get support from my SaHM's group at the Weight Watcher's message boards. I get support here, from people who comment on my blog (I love you all! And I always, always visit your blogs in return, even if I don't have time to comment!), from people in the Healthy You Challenge... I'm constantly astonished, and even gratified to realize that I'm not alone, that there are lots of people out there, normal, wonderful people, with whom I can share my successes, bemoan my failures (feedback!), laugh with, cry with... it's amazing.
Even if this is as far as I ever get, it's been worthwhile.
What I've Accomplished in Two Months: A List
- I weigh in 13.2 pounds less than I did on January 3
- I have lost a total of 12.5 inches (waist, hips, thigh and arm)
- I have cut my soda intake down to no more than 3 cans of diet soda per day
- I have increased my water intake to at least 6 8oz servings per day, and usually 8
- I have increased my fruits and vegetables from maybe 1-2 per day to at least 5
- I have become significantly more active
- I can now wear a size 18 pants
- I dropped 1/2 a shoe size, from 9 to 8 1/2
- I can complete a 30 minute workout
- I can do 20 reps of 3 pound weights in a variety of lifts
- I can walk two miles
- I can no longer see my stomach over my breasts
- I can walk down stairs normally
- I can do 15 push ups
- I can make good food selections at restaurants
- I can help be supportive to other people without losing sight of my own goals
Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.Kay, Men in Black