Tuesday, July 29, 2008


There's a cutthroat world of infighting amongst Weight Watchers leaders.

It seems astonishing to me, but there you go.

I hadn't really though about it much, although some of the signs were there. I've seen Beth going through an audit (someone from Corporate came and sat in our meeting...) and had her ask me to attend a different meeting for one week so she could pad her numbers.

There's competition between the different leaders at our center. Beth's constantly telling us that we're her "best" meeting. I thought she was kidding. Or trying to make us feel better.

Yesterday, she told Thomas and I that the Wednesday night leader was still "claiming" us, and that she'd had to fight about it. (We signed up on a Wednesday night, and tried a couple of different leaders before we found someone we liked...) Certainly, I want Beth to be able to "take credit" for our retention as members. I'm quite sure we wouldn't still be attending meetings if we had to put up with the idiot on Tuesday nights.

I don't know why it didn't really occur to me that this is a competitive business. I mean, we all know that the Diet Industry is huge, hungry, and unethical. I'm sure even Weight Watchers has some deep dark secret somewhere...

And certainly, with this member-grabbing fight going on, there's definitely someone's job/raise at stake.

Turns out, we are Beth's best meeting. For the whole district, our center has the largest Monday meetings. Monday is apparently not a hot day for weight loss. Most people weigh in on Tuesdays, or Fridays. Beth's theory about this is that people want to feel less accountable for what they eat over the weekend... by weighing in before the weekend, they feel that they can eat more during the weekend, because they have "all week" to take it off. Or by weighing in on Tuesday, they've had "a few extra days" to behave after the weekend. I admit, I do this a bit myself. Thomas and I usually have a splurge meal/food item every week and I refuse to eat it on Sunday, because it'll "stick around" for my weigh in. Silly, but there ya go.

Beth is always telling us how much weight, as a group, we've lost. And praising us for our attendance and retention. (The Monday group has a 68% retention since January, and we lost over 72 pounds this week!)

Until Beth was telling us, however, that she'd had to fight to get us moved over to "her" numbers... it just hadn't dawned on me exactly how important these things are.

Especially, as she confided to us, Thomas and I are two of the "biggest losers".

(Thomas made 50 pounds yesterday... and I just didn't quite get to my 45 pound bling... by like .6 pounds.)

Monday, July 28, 2008


I don't drive very often.

Partially, it's lack of need. There's no reason for me to drive, most of the time. Thomas and I tend to do all our chores as a family unit (in direct contrast to every bit of advice both parenting and dieting magazines say, I take both my child and my husband to the grocery store, and we do just fine, thankyouverymuch.) and he usually drives.

Second, it's lack of opportunity. We only own one car, and Thomas takes it to work with him, unless I need it for something specific. I can't remember the last time I had to drive him in to work, and then pick him up later.

Third, it's lack of desire. I was in a bad car accident six years ago; like really bad. I spent three months on the sofa and three months learning to walk again, bad. The worst part about it was that it wasn't my fault. I wasn't speeding, I was following all the traffic laws, and some lady with a patience problem came and stole 6 months of my life. And I didn't have any control over it; it's not like there was a lesson learned there for me. "gee, I ran my car into a tree, maybe I shouldn't go to a Who concert and try to drive four hours home so I can go to work in the morning..." The only thing I learned is that people are stupid, vicious and unremorseful. (Honestly, I'd feel better about the damn accident if she'd ever once said she was sorry. I'd have trouble living with myself if I'd hurt someone that badly. It always upsets me to discover that people can just suck. I keep hoping they'll stop, but they don't.)

So, I'm probably behind the wheel... eh, maybe once a month? Twice if I have a dentist appointment and a girl's night in the same month.

Now, because I'm behind the wheel as rarely as I am, I don't... ok, bear with me, this doesn't entirely make sense... but I don't pay attention to it. The car, the driving... I pay attention to traffic, to where I'm going and make all the right decisions. (Well, except for that thing with the stop sign a few weeks back, but I did apologize to the driver I cut off by accident, but that's beside the point.) But I don't pay attention to the driving... to the physical state of me driving. I know that sounds weird, but I used to love to drive, pre-accident. And I enjoyed the feel of being in the car, and the windows open and pumped up the music. Normal stuff. That most people take for granted.

But I'm not really normal anymore. And I don't enjoy driving, so really, I haven't paid a lot of attention to myself in the car.

I was driving the other day, just down to the drugstore to pick up my script because I needed it and I'd forgotten it until it was past Darcy's bedtime, and someone needed to stay here with her...

Anyway, I got in the car, adjusted the seat, buckled my seatbelt, and started to back out of the space.

And stopped.

I looked down. I hadn't adjusted the steering wheel.

I used to do that, all the time. I had to tip it up to the point where the rim of the wheel obfuscated my view of the speedometer. Because otherwise I couldn't steer the car; the wheel would dig into my stomach.

Thomas has much longer legs than I do, and he likes the steering wheel in the lowest possible tilt.

I was driving with the steering wheel at the same tilt. And there was about four extra inches between my stomach and the wheel.

How amazing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Darling Clementine

My freshman year of college was not the things of which nightmares are made.

I know this, because my last two years of college were. (I worked full time in a gas station/convenience store plus attended school full time, plus had a boyfriend who, while a perfectly lovely man, was not the right guy for me.) It's been 12 years since the last time I set foot in that Exxon. I still have nightmares about it. (Usually ones where I am earnestly trying to convince someone that no, I don't actually need to work on my day off, I don't work here anymore, what are you talking about, no, really, I need to leave!) Talk about your post traumatic stress disorder! (Seriously, you'd think someone died in the bathroom and... no, wrong movie. As a note, if you have NOT seen this movie, please do. It's crude, rude, horrible, and side-splittingly funny. And why the hell don't I have a copy of it yet? Jeeeez.)

Woah, side track!

You should stop me before I wander into the woods somewhere and don't come back.

Freshman year. Back up... back up...

My freshman year was not a nightmare. Not really. But I didn't know any better yet, and I felt accordingly sorry for myself.

I had two roommates, that for the sake of them not Googling for themselves and suing me, I will call Thing One and Thing Two.

Thing Two wasn't too bad. She was a study-a-holic and a runner, and she was always doing some stupid sort of exercises in our dorm room. I cannot tell you the number of times I would open the door and nearly knock her over because she was jumping up and down in front of the door, trying to touch her fingertips to the wall just over the door frame. What that was all about, I've no idea. She was also completely traumatized after her first test, when she got a B-. You see, I went to a really good college, and the problem with concentrating a bunch of fairly smart people in the same place and then giving them all grades? Someone has to make up the middle and the bottom. What was once so easy (grades) becomes this horrible struggle. We were used to being the smartest people in the room, and now... not so much. We were used to sleeping (or daydreaming) through class and getting straight A's. I took this in stride and made it out of college with a low B average (some C's, a few D's and yes, I failed a few classes). Some people... not so much. Thing Two... was a not so much. She never actually flunked out of school... but she did drive herself nuts trying to maintain a B average. But this did mean, as a roommate, she was mostly ideal. I never saw her (except for the aforementioned boinging around in front of the door.) She was always in the library.

Thing One... oh, the stories I could tell you about Thing One...

Firstly, she wasn't originally scheduled to be our roommate at all. We had someone else on the original card sent out... who was a boy....


I discovered this, because we were given roomie contact information at the end of the summer, called both potential roommates to try and coordinate who was going to bring a microwave, who was going to have a fridge. You know... planning sort of stuff. (This did not go over well with either Thing Two, or with the BOY's mother who was wondering how her son got stuck in a girl's dorm. Needless to say, I ended up bringing both microwave and fridge, and NO, I didn't share my appliances with the Things.)

Anyway, I never got any contact information for Thing One. She showed up on Move In day with a frilly broomstick skirt and a huge attitude.

She owned exactly two cassette tapes. A-Ha, Hunting High and Low, and A-Ha, Scoundrel Days. She played them. Constantly. Back to back to back to back to back, and god help anyone who wanted to listen to something else. Anything else. Cats being squashed to death in an ironworks, perhaps.

Thing One never did her laundry.




She owned about 15 of those boomstick dresses and a variety of loose-fitting tops. She would get undressed at night, spritz the clothing with perfume, and hang them back up. (I won't even go into her bathing habits, or the fact that her toothbrush was pristine by year's end. You're welcome.)

When her parents came to help her move out at the end of the year, her sheets were so stiff and nasty they practically stood up by themselves.

Everything in the room reeked of sweat and her cheap perfume. I slept with the window open year round.

(On the plus side, she shared the bunk bed with Thing Two, and I had a loft on the other side of the room. About three weeks into our freshman year, I curtained off my part of the room. It didn't help the smell. Or the horrible music. But it did mean at least I wasn't expected to be social.)

My freshman hall had a virgins club. Out of the 21 young ladies who lived on that hall, only me and one other girl had already had sex. Ok, I'm not knocking virginity. I'm sure there's some value in it, somewhere. For someone. I guess. Really, as far as I see it, it's just what it is. There's nothing mystic about it, and I certainly don't believe in saving yourself for marriage. (Of course, I personally think that everyone who's considering marriage ought to live together for 6 months or so beforehand, because living with someone is never as easy as you might think... and divorce is a pain in the butt.) But these girls were not only proud of their status as "untouched", they were freaking obnoxious about it. They had little signs on their doors... One of the girls drew up little caricatures of the members and labeled them. Sister Thing One of the "Diet Coke Machine" or Sister Thing-Two of "the woo-woo curls".

Me and Jenn? Not. Popular. On our freshman hall. We were evil. And sinful. Jenn eventually got accepted into the virgins club by promising to abstain until marriage. She was saved. Oh, my fucking god.

My boyfriend came down to visit me a few times. I spooned my roommates out once... when he and I were done and I grabbed my bathrobe to go clean up in the ladies room, I stepped out of the room to find the entire. freaking. hall. sitting on the floor outside my room, listening.

On a Friday night. My god, ladies, don't you have something better to do? No, I would guess not. Sorry, I forgot.

(I suppose I'm lucky someone didn't decide to record it... )

Shortly after that, I made friends with someone else in a different dorm, who's roommate was seldom actually in their room, since she usually slept over at her boyfriend's place. I didn't entirely move in with Connie, but from time to time, when Thing One was being particularly obnoxious (or smelly, or that tape was just more than I could handle... I swear, if I ever, ever hear Take on Me again... I will hurt someone) I would sack out in Haldis's bed. (For those of you to whom that name looks familiar, yes, I stole it. And yes, the real Haldis was German, blonde, and busty. And occasionally scary.)

As my freshman year went on, my food choices - which started out as "Ick" and "what happened to the food they served on the parent's day thingie?" - got steadily worse. The vague attempts of the school to make and present healthy options were vile. I mean, boiling broccoli down into its component atoms does not make it appealing. I lived on bagels, cream cheese, pizza, soda, and the occasional pasta dish. If they hadn't overcooked the noodles too much. Grilled cheese sandwiches.

There were two places to get food on campus; the Market Place and the Caf. (Flush hard, it's a long way to the Caf, was common bathroom graffiti.) The Caf was all you could eat (but why would you want to) of various cooked foods, but you had to stay in the Caf. You couldn't take food with you. (again, why would you want to?) On weekends, for breakfast/brunch, it wasn't too bad. Waffles and pancakes and dry cereal and scrambled eggs and toast and bacon and sausage.

The rest of the time, I ate at the Market Place, which had a "dollar amount" system. You got like $3.75 for breakfast, $4 for lunch, and $5 for dinner. I don't remember the exacts. The food was slightly less than vile, and if you "went over" you could pay for extra. And you could take your food with you.

God only knows how much weight I'd put on, eating badly... I didn't weigh in at all my freshman year. I do know that I went from a jeans-size of 8 or 10 to a 12.

One day, towards the end of February, I walked into the Market Place for breakfast. I was struck by the smell of oranges... I don't usually like oranges, mind you. But they smelled wonderful.

There was a huge pile of clementines. The printed sign next to them read ".25 cents each/5 for $1." I packed a bag with 18 tiny oranges.

I took an extra bag with me for peels and ate them during class. I had an 8am, and a 9:30... then I went back to the Market Place for lunch and got another bagful.

Over the next few days, I got at least 5 more every time I had a meal and at the end of the week, I used all my "overage" money and brought three bags of the things back to my dorm room. It was probably the healthiest I'd eaten in months.

Yesterday, I wrote out a grocery list. We went to the store and just inside the produce display, there were some stacks of clementines in tiny crates. Each crate holds probably two dozen fruits. For $8.99.

Thomas hates citrus fruits.

I eyed the crate. I eyed the price.

I wondered how many clementines I might be able to eat before they went bad. I dithered around the produce section, getting bananas, apples, corn on the cob, avocados, onions, bagged lettuce, gem potatoes... and found myself back at the clementine display.

"I'm not going to help you eat those," Thomas said.

"I know." I dithered some more. I hate spending money on food that rots. I've taken great pride, recently, in the fact that I've cut our grocery bills down to about $180 a week, and we're wasting a lot less food than we used to.

Eventually, of course, I bought them.

I've eaten five already.

Not everything about my freshman year was bad.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Life, The Universe, and Everything

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

- Douglas Adams

Since January, I have lost a total of 42 pounds. I just... you know, had to mention that.

My weigh in, I was down 2.4 pounds. (Of course, just because it's not a race and all, I had a great week... and Thomas had a greater one. He's like .4 pounds away from his 50 pound star. Sigh.)

"It's not a contest, hon," Thomas says.

"Of course it's not," I retort. "That's because you're winning."

"If it'll make you feel better, I'll go out and eat two Big Macs this week."

"Oh, don't do that," I said. "Then you'll just lose 8 pounds and I'll have to kill you."

He passed his second 10% marker this week, too... I passed mine back in the beginning of July. The weight I'm shooting for now is 161 (with some special celebration at 169, where I officially stop being "obese"). Thomas is... maybe another 25-30 pounds from reaching his goal. I'm... not even halfway.

This gets a bit depressing sometimes.

You know, back in the beginning of this weight loss thing, I thought I was being all cool about the idea that Thomas would probably have an easier time of things than I did, that he would lose more weight, and that faster...

But it didn't happen that way. For quite a long time, I was either even with him, or just a little ahead of him. Even then, I knew he'd reach goal before me, having less weight to lose than I did... and I'm just not as sanguine about that as I'd like to be. I think the core of what bothers me about this is that he's NOT working at this at all. His habits haven't changed in the slightest. He eats what I put in front of him. I make his lunch for him, and that's what he eats. When we eat out, we tend to select slightly less bad for us restaurants (Red Robin, for instance, is Right Out!) but he still tends to eat the same kind of food. He usually gets ribs... baked potato instead of mashed or fries, and he usually eats his broccoli.

That's pretty much it. I'm the one who knows most point values off the top of my head; knows if something is Core or not, does all the menu and food planning, writes up the grocery list, does the entirety of the cooking, planned out our exercise program (if you can call walking 6.6 miles in a week a "plan") and generally gives us an active "event" on the weekends.

And I know - I know, mind you - that he would not be functioning this well on his own. Given his own lead, Thomas would mostly be eating take-out. Or not at all. He'd certainly never be able to do Core on his own; he can't cook worth a damn. Hello Smart Ones. And to give him credit, he knows it, too. He's more than happy to shower me with the accomplishments of our family; that we're eating better, getting healthier and more fit, and it's almost entirely my doing.

"You know what your problem is, hon?" He asks me last night, after I'd had a bit of a rant about some stuff that was bothering me. (The biggest one being that I was feeling bad about myself for throwing out half of my ice-cream the other night. The reason I was feeling bad about this was that I couldn't decide if I threw it out because I really didn't want it anymore, or if I threw it out to prove that I could. Thomas, in typical guy fashion, wondered what difference it made; if I didn't eat the calories, I didn't eat them, and my fat cells have no idea about and no interest in, my moral dilemmas.)

"I only have one? This is an improvement."

"You don't own your own achievements. You are entitled to feel good about your weight loss. You are entitled to be proud of that. It's all right."

"Thanks so much for your permission." Sarcasm, luckily, does not get the sheets wet when it pools all over the place like that.

"It's not my permission you need, sweetheart, but your own."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Oh, Say Can You C?

This is probably going to be a very girlie sort of entry, so if you're a guy with issues, go do something else today...




I hate that they exist. I hate that I have to wear them. I hate that they never fit. I hate that I don't know HOW to make them fit.

My first experience getting fitted with a bra was not pleasant, and none of my experiences with bras to date have been pleasant.

I was thirteen by the time my mom bothered to take me in to get bras. I'd had boobs since I was 11... I don't think my mom was in denial about my growing up; I think she was just too oblivious. Didn't really matter, I guess. She took me into some department store, handed me over to a saleslady and wandered off to do some of her own shopping.

My cousin had already rather gleefully informed me a year earlier that I already had "cooper's droop", which is to say that my nipples point directly at the floor... The saleslady (and I use the term 'lady' with substantial amounts of irony) confirmed this, although she didn't use the phrase "cooper's droop." She said "Well... how odd. I've never seen anyone's breasts do that who wasn't 90 years old." She seemed to find it quite amusing.

I was fitted with a bra. A 34C. In middle school.

I got very, very accustomed to having a bruise in the center of my back from guys snapping my bra-strap.

I got very, very tired of guys putting their hand on the bus seat and scooting closer, so their hand would end up pressed up against the underside of my thigh, and then looking at me like "What the hell is your problem?" when I'd try to scoot away, or ask/tell them to stop.

I got used to the not-so-subtle gropes, "accidental" bumps, and general harassment. I remember Rex S. once leaning over the back of my seat and whispering that he didn't think it was too cold in the classroom, so I must be thinking about him. (It took me weeks to figure out what the hell he was talking about, actually...)

I got used to the jokes... "Guy is dead in the band room with bruises around his face, how did he die?" "Lynn shook her shoulders at him from across the room." "Oh, look, it's Lynn!" "How did you know?" "Her chest came into the room five minutes ago." Har de har har.

When I was fifteen or so, my parents were drinking with my uncle Chris and his wife, Virginia. (Chris isn't actually my uncle at all, he's my Aunt Aradice's first husband. After they broke it off, my grandparents didn't disown Chris. In fact, Chris named his son after my grandfather... I've always thought of them as Uncle Chris and Aunt Virginia... this fact did NOT, however, keep me from rather enthusiastically kissing my "cousin" Henry a few times...) It was late at night, and all the kids were supposed to be asleep.

"So, Howard -" My Uncle Chris says to my dad, "We all know you married Ardelle, but you dated Aradice first."

This was news to me... I snuck a bit closer to the opening of the stairs.

"Yep," said my dad. He sounded rather disgusted. He and my aunt had a long history of not getting along.

"Why?" Virginia exclaimed. "You hate her."

"Yeah, well," my dad said, "I was sixteen at the time, and she had these enormous tits, and all I could think about was getting my face in 'em."

My uncle bursts into laughter. My mom and Virginia sounded horrified in their exclamations of shock.

"Get yourself a stick," my uncle says. "Lynn's built just like her aunt."

Great.... just what I wanted to know.

By college, I was in a 40DD. I stopped buying bras in sizes and just got sports bras. They were more comfortable. I hated all that underwire stuff that seems to always end up stabbing me in the ribs, or digging into the breast. I never could figure out what size I was supposed to wear anyway. Nothing was comfortable, or looked good. I gave up caring about it. I had an enormous, pointless rack. It was just another thing on the list of why I wasn't particularly attractive except for all the wrong reasons.

But you know, I got used to it. I've had more than one lover comment on my boobs, favorably and otherwise.

My ex-husband told me that my boobs were entirely too big, and in his opinion, more than a handful was wasted. I won't repeat what I said back to him because it was entirely too rude.

Guys at the Anime Club once said that I could easily compete with the nurses from Ogenki Clinic. (Go ahead, Google it if you're feeling daring, but don't say I didn't warn ya.)

After I gave birth, I did discover that my weird, ugly, malformed breasts had one great redeeming feature. They were great for nursing. The angle was perfect. I didn't have to do any weird twisting. I could lay Darcy on my lap, and just pop it right into her mouth. Up until she started biting me around 6 months, nursing was the easiest thing about being a new mom.

My nursing bra (which I still have for some odd reason) is a 48G.

More recently, I've been wearing a 44DD, and sometimes a 44DDD.

More than one person has told me to do something about my bra. (Yes, all of them were women... I don't know if guys don't notice, or if they don't care, or if they're just too smart to open their mouths and comment.)

Most recently, Leslie said something about them. I knew the new bras I got back in March (42DD, for those of you keeping track) were getting loose. I was latching them on the third set of hooks.

Once again, I ventured forth to look for something new. The original plan was to go shopping with Leslie and she promised to help me with this bit of women's lore that I can't seem to manage on my own. That fell through because her husband decided that they should sit down and talk about their marital problems on the day we planned our shopping trip.

I don't begrudge anyone the time to yell at their husbands, and certainly not after the weekend she was put through, but it did mean I was back on my own for shopping. And that I now had to take Thomas and Darcy with me (since we didn't have much time to get my shopping done, and I needed to get a new vacuum - long story; my mechanical aptitude was tested and found wanting, and I ended up with parts for the wrong vacuum that couldn't be returned, and the parts I needed weren't made anymore, etc etc, so, $40 later, I have to buy a new freaking vacuum anyway!) I didn't feel very comfortable trying to track down a saleslady (not to mention that I'm still very wary of salespeople and their inability to keep from making me feel like I'm just not normal!) to do a fitting.

I did my own measurements again, and I'm sure that, once again, I did them wrong.

I came up with a 40C.

A C?


Unfortunately, with my baconish sunburn, my shoulders have been exceptionally tender recently, and I couldn't tell you if it fits right. My shoulder hurts too much to wear it for more than about an hour. And the material is scratchy. I can't tell if that's my skin being too overly sensitive right now, or if it's just a cheap (not in price, but in quality) bra.




Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not a Race

Weight loss is not a race.

Weight loss is not a race.

Weight loss is not a race.

Weight loss is not a race.

Weight loss is not a race.

Which is a good thing, right?

I lost .6 this week. I'm beginning to hate these little trickling losses... especially when Thomas loses 3 pounds. And Leslie loses over 8 pounds. I feel.... I feel like a cheat. Even thought I'm not cheating. I've never had an 8 pound loss, not even the very first week I was on WW. And I don't cheat and I don't fudge and I don't eat three desserts on Saturday.

Thomas, me, and Leslie all earned new stars this week; I got my 40, Thomas got his 45, and Leslie pushed her loss to just over 50 pounds. (She only got 1 star, though, since she'd gotten over 45 before, and gained some back.) I know I shouldn't feel bad about this. I know. I KNOW. (And I know Leslie gives me that cockeyed look about it, especially since she is rapidly approaching 18 months on WWs.)

And I know, a loss is a loss, and I should be happy.

Please, don't make the mistake of thinking I don't know this.

I'm not even talking about that; I'm so over that.

What I'm not over is my attitude and why it sucks. I can't figure it out. I'm doing really well. My loss is about 1.4 pounds a week, I'm fairly consistently losing... If I can keep this pace up, I'll be under 150 pounds by the end of the year. None of these are bad things.

And yet, I seem to always feel like I suck, like I could do more, try harder, be more positive, whatever. And the fact that I'm just not always makes me feel worse.

I know there are people out there who would kill for the sort of weight loss I'm having, who are probably rolling their eyes at me even now and saying "My gawd, where does this woman get off?" (Ok, so my detractors are probably not from New Jersey, but I always hear that mental "gawd....")

The whole weight loss thing is partially a head game, and my head is just not in the game. It's off sulking on the sidelines and kicking dust at the umpire. I have trouble maintaining a good attitude, and it's not like I don't try... I'm sort of doing the "fake it 'til you make it" routine. I try to talk a good game, and I don't think Thomas knows that I spend entirely too much time stewing in self-loathing.

It's so stupid, and I think that's what's even more annoying about it. It's that I know I'm being an idiot, which just makes me feel more like an idiot. 'Round and 'round the mulberry bush.

I don't feel good about myself, and then I feel mad at myself for not feeling good about myself. And then I say "That is so stupid..." which is not helping.

I need to get the hell over myself.... and I started to say it wouldn't even take a stepladder, more like a step-stool, but that's pretty self-hating too, you know. I'm continually belittling my own mental efforts.

My weigh in was good. (mine, belonging to me, regardless of what anyone else did.)

My weigh in was good. (any loss is a good loss. I got new bling and I'm closer to my goal.)

My weigh in was good. (Yes, it was. And it is. 40 pounds in 29 weeks is damn good.)

My weigh in was good. (And even if the numbers are not impressive, which they are, I'm learning every day about how to eat and what to eat, and I'm not splurging randomly on crap.)

Fake it 'til ya make it.

My weigh in was good. I am doing good. I am doing good and healthy things for my body. I am getting healthier. I am getting more fit. I am getting better looking. I deserve this.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Impromptu Fun in the Sun Sun Sun

Yesterday morning, I roll out of bed to my phone ringing... (that link is to the ring tone I use for my phone. DO NOT CLICK if you don't want this earwiggy bit of music stuck in your head. You're welcome.)

I didn't quite get to the phone in time. Thomas and I had stayed up very late Saturday night watching movies with our friend Toby... but when I checked my voice mail, it was Leslie.

She said, and I quote, "I'm really not having a great weekend, and I don't have anything to do and no one to do it with - long story - but could we do something impromptu today?"

Of course, as tends to be typical, she didn't have anything in mind. (Not typical to her, mind you, just typical in general... if there's one conversation I've had entirely too freaking often, it's the "What do you want to do?" "I dunno, whatever you want is fine." GRRRRRRRRR. I swear to god, I'm going to make a list of activities, and write them all down and the next time someone asks me what I want to do, I'm going to give them the damn list and say "Just pick something, you indecisive noodle-head!" Why, why, why is it always me who has to come up with something to do? Is it because I actually DO come up with something?)

So, since she skipped out on us the last time we suggested Mt. Trashmore, we suggested that again... this time she actually showed up. It wasn't nearly as windy as the last several times we'd been there, so it took several attempts to get our kite airborne. Even then, it didn't want to stay up there.

So we tossed a ball around for a while - and Darcy let it fall down the side of the "mountain" a few times (Mt. Trashmore is, in case you didn't know, built on a mountain of trash... hence the name...) so we had to climb down the hill and then back up it a few times. Lots of work; I'm sure I got a lot of APs for it...

Then we walked over to the 7-11 and got some water and walked back to the park where Darcy went to play at the playground for another hour or so.

Leslie hinted around that she'd been having a big argument with her husband and he'd actually left the house and had been gone for a while. (I personally can't imagine an argument that bad - on the other hand, Thomas and I don't really have anyplace to go even if we were that mad at each other!) So after we finished playing at the park we headed over to her place and watched a movie on her freaking enormous television. (she has a slightly smaller freaking enormous television in the other room hooked up to their gaming consoles; including the whole set up for guitar hero and the drum set and everything. If you cut the smaller of her tvs in half, turned that half on its side, that might be the size of our television. Yikes! She says she's spoiled. I agree.)

After the movie, we went out and caught dinner at the Ruby Tuesdays. We split a tray of cheese fries 4 ways, which probably put me over my points for the week, but I'm not positive because once again I have turned into a slackasarus about journaling. I don't know what it is about journaling, but I just cannot seem to get back into it. We'll see, I guess, when I weigh in.

About halfway through dinner, I noticed my shoulders were stinging a bit, and when I took Darcy to the ladies room (for like the 9th time in 4 hours) I peered at my shoulders.

Sunburned. Again!

You know, I do use sunscreen. I promise, I do.

And still, I keep getting torched.

My freaking eyelids are sunburned.

I have gotten more sun this summer than in the last 10 years put together, I swear.

After dinner we dropped Leslie off, and she looked pretty sad to be headed back to that huge house of hers alone. (I don't blame her. One, that place is enormous, and two, I would be so totally freaked if Thomas left me and I had no idea where he was... but maybe they have a more tumultuous relationship than we do...)

All in all, it was a good weekend, and I sat on my butt a lot less than usual... now, if I could stop turning into an advertisement for Solarcaine (do they even make that stuff anymore?) I'd be fine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Relationships 101

(Subtitle: The Chances of Finding a Barracuda in my Pocketbook are not 0%)

I've thought for years about writing a relationship book, something along the lines of Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, only, you know, better. And without a stupid title.

There are lots of subjects to cover; how women talk to and relate to other women, how men talk to and relate to other men, how women talk to men, how men talk to women, the flowers thing, the toilet seat thing, the minimum asshole factor, communication... Yeah, I could write a book.

The biggest thing, I think, in relationships is communication. And the annoying thing is, most people agree. However, the missing piece of this is "what do we need to communicate about?" Not only that, but when do we need to talk about it.

Thomas and I tend to talk about our relationship issues at night, laying in bed, at 1am. It works for us. The house is quiet, there's nothing else going on, the child is not likely to bother us. The lights are off (never, ever discount the usefulness of being able to say something when your spouse can't see your face!) and we're focused on nothing else except each other. (Although we never, ever talk seriously about our relationship after sex. There's a time and place for everything; post-coital tends to be an emotionally vulnerable time, and it's not good to bring up issues when people are already emotionally overloaded.)

So, we're talking last night - nothing serious. Neither of us had any pressing issues to discuss, but it's been a busy couple of weeks and we just needed a little re-connection time. We talked over one of my issues with my mom (this is an old, old issue, and I don't think it'll ever be resolved unless I'm willing to get confrontational with my mother about it, which isn't likely, because I can't see getting the result I want - i.e., an apology and the admission that she was wrong to do it - and anything less isn't going to do anything aside from piss both of us off); we discussed Thomas's recent spot-bonus at work (an extra grand in "ya done good" money, which we'll get this next paycheck coming up) and what we wanted to do with that money; we talked about one of our friends who is being a complete pain in the ass without meaning to and what we'd like to do about it (we probably won't do it because said friend would not appreciate the interference, but we'd like to); we talked about Thomas's father, who is visiting next weekend.

Talking about Thomas's dad is always a touchy subject. It's like poking a bee-hive. Thomas so desperately wants to not care about his father. Rick... well, I don't know what he thinks; we've rarely spoken. This will be the first time Rick's seen his granddaughter since right before she turned one. It will be the third time I've ever laid eyes on the man. (Keeping in mind that Thomas and I have been together for almost 12 years now).

I let Thomas chew over the matter of seeing him again for a while, then changed the subject. He wasn't really getting anywhere, just spinning himself up.

"You know, I was talking about you the other day to one of my online girlfriends," I said.


"Mostly we were talking about you not being the stereotypical man."

"Yeah. I put the seat down," he snickers. "And I don't mind going to pick up your tampons from the store... I never quite understood that in other guys. I mean, considering that the cashier doesn't care, what you're saying by buying feminine supplies is 'hey, I got a woman at home!' How is this a bad thing?"

"Well, except for one thing."

"What's that?"

"You refuse, absolutely, to ever get anything out of my purse."


"If I ask you to get me something, tell you where it is in my purse, what do you do? You bring me the whole purse. I promise you, nothing in my purse is going to bite you."

"That you know of."


"Honey, I've watched you pull things out of that bag that you didn't know were in there. I do not want to be the person who discovers you've got a barracuda living in your pocketbook."

"I'm pretty sure there's no barracuda in my purse."

"But you're only pretty sure. Which means the chances are not 0%."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Out the the '80's

Goodbye Hair-bands, and hello Bell Bottoms.

Fashion horrors aside, I'm quite happy to see the number.... 178! 178! 178! (.6)

Still, that makes me down by my second 10%, so I've made my end of summer goal and it's only the beginning of July.

My next 10% goal - originally set for the end of the year - is to hit 161...

A slightly closer goal is to lose another 10 pounds and get out of the BMI category known as Obese and get to merely Overweight.

I'm going to set getting down to Overweight as my goal for the end of summer (end of summer being September 21st, not August 30th, whatever the school children might believe) with hitting my 3rd 10% by Thanksgiving.

(I've just hit the size 14s, even though I haven't bought any yet. I tried some on last week when I went out to do the laundry, I walked over to the K-mart. I'm not comfortable in them yet, they were ABITSNUG, but I can get them on and zipped.)

My goal past Thanksgiving is simply to maintain until the end of the year. Losing any weight during the holidays is complete and total gravy, and I'll be happy if I don't gain back more than 10 pounds.

So, that's my week. I missed most of the meeting, as Darcy was being a complete and total pill last night and we had to go outside and walk around the block a few times (which is quite a ways... have you ever walked behind a strip mall before? It's bulkier than you might think.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Pizza Problem

So, we decide to have pizza as our "splurge" meal this week.

Both of us tend to be pretty good about sticking to core. I eat between one and three points of non-core foods per day. Usually a few pieces of bread, and almost always a Popsicle. Thomas usually only eats points if I remember to give him a few. So, generally speaking, by the end of the week, we have at least 20 of our 35 "flex" points left.

Thus, we splurge.

Sometimes it's ice-cream from Coldstone. Sometimes we get McDonald's. (Although we only did that once. I can't say yet that I've conquered a cookie-craving by walking around the block, but I can say I have firmly decided that McDonald's french fries are definitely NOT work the points.) One week we got dough nuts. I don't really like dough nuts, tho. I mean, I really don't like Krispy Kreme (too many weeks eating leftover boxes of Krisy Kremes after football games... we sold the dough nuts to raise money for the marching band, and any leftover ones were eaten after the games. If you figure out that this often meant we spent more money buying them than we got back, you'd be right.) but I'm not too keen on cake dough nuts either. But Thomas likes them, and it's only fair that we take turns on the splurge.

(Yes, I suppose we could have different splurges... several people have mentioned this to me before. However; first, it's more fun to share. Secondly, if he brings dough nuts into the house, and I bring cheeseburgers... let's be perfectly serious here - chances are good that what's going to happen is that we have cheeseburgers AND dough nuts. So, we share.)

We were originally saving up our points this week for my dad's 4th of July cookout. He does this thing, every year, where he invites a bunch of his conservative, old, redneck sort of friends over to his house and they do what old, conservative rednecks do. Irritate the hell out of me, drink beer, and eat fatty, overly caloric food. I'm sure the irritation is bonus points. Heh. It's not their fault, really, but Thomas and I have nothing in common with these people. Nothing. We don't drink beer, we embrace technology, we think living out in the sticks nearly 40 miles from the nearest movie theater and shopping mall is the height of inconvenience. (My step mother has to take a cooler with her to the grocery store so her frozen foods don't thaw on the way home....) You couldn't pay me enough to live out there; my father, when hearing that his neighbor one farm over was thinking of selling his land to a developer? Went and bought the land. $50,000 on the spot. Just so someone wouldn't put up an apartment complex half a mile away from his house. (So people like my husband and I wouldn't be his neighbors, really. No, he never said that, I added that bit in myself.)

But the closer the weekend got to getting here, the more I really didn't want to go.

First off; I don't really like any of my dad's friends. It's taken me years to get around to liking my dad. (I've always loved him, mind you. I just didn't like him all that much. I'm sure you can appreciate the difference.) And my dad works at our relationship... his friends, not so much. They don't know that gay bashing, and talking about how stupid democrats are annoys me. And if they knew, they certainly don't care. And I just didn't think I wanted to sit through endless rounds of how stupid Obama is for thinking he can sit in the White House where some White Man ought to be. (For the record, I wanted even less to listen to them bitch about Hillary Clinton, even though I'm not too fond of her myself. But the cuts on women would probably be a little more than I could bear and then I'd feel like I had to defend her, which would have left a bad taste in my mouth.)

Secondly: With no computer and high speed internet access and no one I want to talk to, it is indomitably boring out there. There's nothing to do that doesn't involve getting sunburned, bug-bitten, or dirty. I'm a little more outdoorsy than I used to be (I've gotten more sun this year than in the last 10 years put together) but I'm still not really into fishing. Or putting mentos in bottles of diet coke. Or looking at tractors. Or whatever it is people do out there. I wouldn't know.

Third: Too much food options, and none of it healthy. I've been ok with making good choices, or at least better bad choices, when confronted with certain social food situations. None of them have been buffet style, however. And I love pork BBQ. And there's usually about 8 different kinds of dessert. And nothing is made low-fat or with calorie-friendly options. Baked beans. Coleslaw. Potato salad. Pasta salad. I knew that I either could do it (eat within my lifestyle change, that is...) but I'd be hungry and crabby all day. Or I could blow the lifestyle change completely and I'd be stuffed and crabby all day.

So, when it comes down to it, given that I don't want to see these people anyway; it wasn't worth it to drive three hours each way to be crabby and miserable.

I'll apologize to my dad later.

In the meanwhile, back to the pizza problem.

I like: thin crust. Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and anchovies.

Thomas likes: pan crust. Pepperoni and sausage.

We didn't used to worry about this. We ordered two pizzas, and Darcy ate a slice of each one.

We mutually hate each other's choice of crust. I think pan crust is oily and doughy and often tastes like it really needs to be cooked longer. He thinks if I wanted a cracker, what did I get pizza for? I'll eat pepperoni, but sausage, particularly Italian sausage with all those fennel seeds in it, blech! He thinks tomatoes should be treated reverently, respectfully... and smashed into bits and cooked for hours before eaten. Sauce only. And don't even get me started about the anchovy argument.

We debated getting two pizzas anyway, but I didn't think that would be a good plan. I love cold pizza for breakfast; even more than I like pizza the night we order it, I love getting up the next morning, grabbing a slice of cold pizza and... well, let's just say that if we got two pizzas, I figured we'd eat two pizzas, and then where would we be?

We ended up getting one pizza, on the regular crust (which neither of us particularly likes, but we don't hate it either) with mushrooms and pepperoni.

We'll see if there are other waistline problems with pizza tonight.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Testing, One Two Three

(Hey, I said I forgot my camera... but I did steal some photos from Jeanne, who was kind enough to bring hers... It's actually probably a good thing I didn't remember my camera. It's not working very well recently anyway. About 1/3 of the time, it doesn't actually save the picture to the card. I thought it was the card for a while, but when I replaced the card, same problem. Guess I need a new one. That'll take some interesting planning...)

I spent most of yesterday brooding. And not eating much either. Isn't that the stupidest thing? Not at all unique, as I understand it, though.

Who else goes through this little routine where they very carefully pick what they eat on the day of their weigh in, so that several ounces of whole wheat pasta doesn't show up (undigested) on the scale?


Around 4pm, however, I was a little too hungry for that. (I'd been seriously restrictive with myself; prior to that I'd had a bowl of cereal first thing in the morning, and then a bowl of tomato soup for lunch... bad me! Bad!)

I did weigh my sandwich, though.

It was a 3.2 ounce sandwich.

I was half-joking/half-serious talking to my friend Leigh about it. "Is it bad that I weighed my sandwich?"

"If it gives you some peace of mind, not in the slightest."

(I'm not, however, going to subtract that 3.2 ounces from my official weigh in number. That would just be silly.)

"You might want to think of it as being a test for maintenance, though," she continues.


"Well, you weren't counting points and stuff, but you are more aware of food and what you should be doing, even if you're not worrying about it too much. I mean, after all, you don't really want to be counting points and obsessing about your 8HGs for the rest of your life. So, if you lose, or maintain, you know you're getting the hang of what the rest of your life will be like. If you gained, you know you're not quite there. Either way, it's a learning opportunity."

I had to push my chair back from the computer and think about that for a bit (yes, 90% of my conversations don't actually take place with actual face-to-face interaction... )

I've been awfully focused on the numbers recently... how much of this, how little of that, what's my weigh in, what percentage of weight have I lost, how far do I have left to go, how long is that going to take...

The rest of my life.

That's a concept that I sometimes have trouble with. Frankly, I tend not to think about it too much, since the idea of spending the rest of my life eating whole wheat pasta and passing on buttered rolls and counting points depresses the living hell out of me. Conceptually, I understand... I will never be able to "eat like normal". This is my new normal. That doesn't make it less depressing. Emotionally... well, I think we've all been at that concept, looking at the road to good intentions and see it paved with hell.

On the other hand...

I had a great time this week. Really great. And the food I ate was good. I certainly didn't feel deprived. (Well, maybe a little, because of the dessert thing, but I'll get to that in a moment...)

Yes, for lunch on Thursday, I had a salad. Admittedly, I had a salad with grilled steak on it, and cheese and bacon crumbles. But it was a salad. Vegetables and everything. And it was quite tasty. I ordered my dressing on the side and dipped my fork into it... I did, mind you, scrape most of the cheese shreds out of the bottom of my bowl. And we skipped dessert for lunch (which I would not have done last year) on the idea that we'd have dessert with dinner.

I didn't snack all day on Thursday. We didn't make a special stop at any of the various taffy or candy shops. I didn't bring a bag of chips with me to eat in the car.

For dinner, I had the sashimi (raw tuna is nothing, if not core foods) and a tilapia steamer with veggies. (and butter and Parmesan cheese, but I didn't eat the butter, just the cheese). I was happy with dinner, and quite delighted with the sashimi (best. sashimi. Evah!) When it came time for dessert, our waitress rattled off a list of items that either contained allergens (welcome to the Household of Deadly Food Allergies) for me or Darcy (who the hell puts pineapple chunks in key lime pie? People, please!) or just didn't sound very good.

So we didn't get any.

The waitress tried to push the caramel flan on us, and I don't exactly dislike flan, but in thinking it over, I didn't really want it badly enough.

I did feel mildly deprived about that. So I got a candy bar on the way home when we stopped for gas. A 210 calorie candy bar. Probably 5 points for the whole thing. (6 if the fat grams fell on the wrong side of the line... I'm not entirely sure, I didn't double check it.)

We did a lot of walking on Thursday (and climbing up sand dunes is a crapton more work than walking on flat ground, let me tell ya!) and I was vaguely disappointed that the lighthouse we got to see was not open for climbing. I was interested to see if I really could climb 8 flights of stairs. We walked around at the life saving station. We ran around in the grass outside the Bodie lighthouse with Darcy. We walked all over the Elizabethan gardens. We climbed a sand dune When we went home, I was tired, but not miserably so.

Later in the week, we got ice cream; and I had a mint chocolate chip ice cream sundae with cookie bits and fudge syrup.

I couldn't eat it all. I made a fair-sized dent in it, but I probably only ate between 1/2 and 2/3s of it, then pushed it away. I was done.

I wasn't eager to weigh in this week. It was suggested by a few people that I use my "no weigh in" pass. But no, I think I needed to know. Even if the weigh in was terrible, I needed to know that.

Maybe I do have this thing in the bag, so to speak.

I was down, .6.

Maybe, just maybe... I can do this, for the rest of my life.