Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bad Attitude

"Are you sure?"
"I'm positive!"
"Only fools are positive."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm positive!"
-- Ferngully, Batty Koda and Zak Young

"Enjoy the journey..."
-- Beth

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
-- Winston Churchill

I could go on...

But I won't.

I have a bad attitude. I'm cranky, sarcastic, snarky, negative. I'm pessimistic. I hate everything and everyone. Yes, even you. And your mother. And your mother's pumpkin pie.


You know, you positive people out there. You suck! Your chipper little attitudes and your Lee-press on smile and your smug little quotes...

Bite me.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard it, since I started watching my weight: If you don't think you can do it, you can't.

A good attitude makes it all possible.

(And by assumption/default, a bad attitude makes everything impossible.)

Oh, puh-leeeeeze!

Excuse me while I vomit up sunshine, unicorns and sparkly vampire sex. (Sorry, been reading Twilight recently... and while I love it, don't get me wrong, it is very often completely over the top and morbidly cutesy, a combination I never thought I'd see.)

You do not. Need. A positive attitude to accomplish ANYTHING.

If there's something worse than constantly having cutesy little pithy phrases rained over me like some fluffy bunny jerking off rainbows onto my head, it's being told that I should work on my attitude.

Fuck. You. Forget that.

Weight loss is work.

Exercising is work.

Being happy is also work.

Question: Why do I have to do everything?

The simple answer: I don't.

I do not have to be happy.

I do not have to have a good attitude.

I can still accomplish my goal without it.

Now, I'll admit, Thomas has had an easier time of it... he has lost weight faster, easier. And honestly, except for that second meeting, he's been relatively laid back about the whole thing... now, one might wonder (and I do...) does his good attitude come from the fact that the whole thing has been easier for him, or has it been easier for him because of his good attitude?

He doesn't think they're related like that, not cause and effect, at any rate. He does think that my attitude (I freak out about weight gains, I get mad at TV commercials with food porn, I spend a lot of time wanting to bite someone's hand off...) makes things harder for me. That if I would relax a bit, it may take just as long, and it might be just as much work, but at least I wouldn't be so stressed about it.

(As a note, when I make the same suggestion about not stressing when it applies to his JOB... he's not so good...)

Honestly, I get a bit irate by the over-emphasis on "positive attitudes".

I mean, does anyone else feel like a freak show about this? Am I the only one who doesn't have a list of perky, pithy quotes stuck to my fridge? Who wants to shove "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" down some obnoxious idiot's throat?

Hi, my name is Lynn.

I have a bad attitude and I've lost 85 pounds.

(Lost .2 pounds this week... well "at least it's not a gain...")

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It Ain't Me, Babe

Go 'way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I'm not the one you want, babe
I'm not the one you need

I got one of those emails yesterday.

I'm fairly sure every successful dieter has gotten at least one. And it's not just the emails... it's being out in public and mentioning to someone that I've lost substantial amounts of weight. Or at a family gathering with people I've not seen in a few years...

"What's your secret? How did you DO it?"

"Weight watchers... and exercise."

"oh." Mutters something about how they should start dieting and wander away...

I get really tempted to say things like, "Oh, I just gave myself a ground glass and vinegar enema three times a day for a week."

Just to see what people say.

Losing weight is work. It's not easy, it's not always pleasant and it can be damned frustrating.
You say you're lookin' for someone
Never weak but always strong,
Losing weight isn't about what plan you follow. It's not about carbs, or fat or antioxidants. (Honestly, I don't even really know what an antioxidant is...) It's not about never or always. It's not about a special pill or a magic food or in just three minutes a day.

It's about portion control. It's about balance. Planning. Moderation. And mostly, it's about time.

Portion control: You can eat any food you want. The higher in calories, fat, and sugar a food is, the less of it you can eat. Know what a portion is. In the beginning, that means measuring, weighing, and generally annoying yourself. Until you know what a portion should look like. And sometimes it means continuing to measure. I know a lot of people who "know" what a cup of something should look like, and over time, their "cup" runneth over. I'd say even after you have a really good handle on what you're doing, every six months or so (or more often, if you find your weight drifting or stalling out) you should go back to measuring for a week or so. Just to make sure.

Balance: Yes, while Weight Watchers "points" can be spent on any sort of food, you should balance out your diet. (I am personally NOT in favor of any diet plan that restricts a certain type of food, no matter what type that is... ) Fruits, vegetables, protien, dairy, grains, even sweets. I know there are people out there who are gasping in horror at the idea that I believe you should eat sweets. I know, and I've heard all the arguments against sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc etc. And this is what I know; you don't get fat from eating too many tomatoes. And let's be realistic; if you are fat, you've probably been overindulging in high sugar, high fat foods. But I also believe that attempting to give these things up forever, for good, no more, never blacken my doorstop is not realistic. It is possible... and yet, it is possible that I will win the lottery. It is, however, not likely. And too many people throw up their hands in despair and quit when they can't get it 100% right. (That's a rant for another time, so I'll just bypass that today, shall I?) And in my opinion, even 57% right is good enough. Or certainly better than 100% wrong. Don't you?
Go lightly from the ledge, babe,
Go lightly on the ground.
I'm not the one you want, babe,
I will only let you down.
Planning: I believe planning is an essential part of any eating plan. I mean, it is an eating plan, isn't it? Thus, planning. Every week, I sit down and decide what dinners I'm going to cook; I don't necessarily decide I'm having tuna on Monday, chicken on Thursday and vegetable soup on Sunday, but I do plan out 6 or 7 "dinner meals". That way I know what to shop for. Planning means making allowances for days when you can't be 100% in control of what you eat and when. "Cookout at Dad's" means I need to do extra workouts, plan how much food I'm going to indulge in, practice what I'm going to say to food pushers.

Moderation: Take everything in moderation, even World of Warcraft.
You say you're lookin' for someone
Who will promise never to part,
Someone to close his eyes for you,
Someone to close his heart,
Someone who will die for you an' more,
But it ain't me, babe,
No, no, no, it ain't me, babe,
It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe.
- It Ain't Me Babe, Bob Dylan

I can't give people what they want. There is no magic pill, no special solution. It's hard work. It's learning yourself, learning your body. Learning what your triggers are. You have to make the decision to do it, and then do it.

And then keep doing it.

Even when you don't want to.

Especially when you don't want to.

(Had a good weigh in this week; I was down 1 pound. And I'm pretty certain that I've decided my goal weight is 131, which means I am only 2.4 pounds away from goal. Wooo!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vanity, thy name is Weight Loss

Thursday, I gathered together with a bunch of my girlfriends (all of us are on Weight Watchers... I'm such a trend-setter... Not entirely true, Leigh was doing Weight Watcher's before any of us, but she'd gotten to lifetime, then had a bunch of Real Life fall on her head and she quit, regained some of the weight, etc etc. Anyway... Thomas and I started Weight Watchers in January '08, Jeanne picked it up... April of that year? Carol in October... and I'm not quite sure when Leigh went back, but she's back at her goal weight... in our group of friends, we've relocated something like over 300 pounds...) There I go with those long asides again... sheesh! Anyway, the four of us (me, Jeanne, Carol, and Leigh) went clothes shopping at some of the trendy little shops up in Newtown.

Actually most of the shops there aren't terribly trendy, they just look trendy when behind the brick and class look of Newtown.

Carol's high school reunion is coming up soon and she needed a dress. I was in dire need of a few more pairs of shorts to get me through the summer, because honestly, three pairs wasn't cutting it, particularly when two of those pairs were bright pink and bright blue. There's only so many times I can wear the same clothes in a row before someone notices. Jeanne was short a few pairs of work-pants, and could have used another pair of jeans. I don't know if Leigh needed anything particular (she was a last minute addition because we didn't know earlier if she was going to get the time off from work) but wanted to hang out anyway.

We hit Anne Taylor first, where I immediately pounced on the saleslady. "I need your help," says I. I was wearing those grey-brown and white flowered pants that I got from Old Navy a few weeks back and a black top. The two items of clothing didn't clash, exactly, but it was the only top I had that even remotely went with the pants. "I need a top to go with these."

She took me around the shop and we looked at tops. (As a note, clothing salesladies are almost inevitably thrilled about weight loss... they can smell a commission a mile away and nothing says "new clothes" like 85 pounds gone...) We looked at various neutral shades, most of which were "not quite..." We looked at several different white shirts which they either didn't have my size or were too floofy for me. (I just don't tend to look good - in my opinon - in those 'romantic, feminine' styles. Probably because if I have too much froof on a shirt, I'll end up fidgeting with it. Or I won't iron it.) And then we found the perfect top. It was a white tank with some brown-grey crochet lacing around the collar. The lacing was almost the exact same shade as the background on my pants. Seriously, they looked like they were made to go together, it was that perfect.

After we found the Perfect Shirt, she insisted on showing me a bunch of other shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses... anything she could think of that I might possibly buy (I did mention that salespeople can smell a commission, right?) and I ended up picking up a black and white flowered sundress. I probably wouldn't have gotten it - it looked in danger of falling right off my chest - until Leigh came up behind me and adjusted the straps. I hadn't actually realized the straps were adjustable.

Then we crossed the road to Lane Bryant, where Carol discovered to her glee, they had absolutely nothing that fit her right anymore. Their lowest size is a 14/16 and all the 14/16 dresses were just too big. We found one pantsuit/jumpsuit thing that looked really good on her, but she was going to need like $20 worth of tailoring to make it fit. (The hem of the pants part needed to come up a good 2 inches, and the elastic around the bust was going to need to be replaced with some elastic that actually had a good grip. The top looked great, but was threatening to fall down the instant she took a too-bouncy step.) She did still fit in their jeans from there, so she got a pair of those, and (I think) a wooden chunky bracelet.

Jeane, on the other hand, who hates jeans... tried on a few pairs of the Lane Bryant jeans, and declared them terrible. I'm not sure they are, but they certainly are confusing. The sizes are all wonked - they retooled the sizes so that they start at 1, which is equalish to your size 14 in other stores, and go up from there - and then they come in three color-cuts. Red, blue, and yellow. (Not that the jeans are anything but blue and dark blue, but red is like extra butt and thighs, yellow is for extra tummy, etc.) So, while I think the jeans are quite excellent, you do sort of have to try on a red one, blue two, and yellow three, frequently, before you figure out what your size combo is. If you're not happy wearing jeans in the first place, the style-size-cut thing can be a bit intimidating. When I first bought pairs of the new styles (I only ever actually bought one pair, since I was on my way out of Lane Bryant shops just as the new jeans were coming in) I had a saleslady assist me with what sizes and cut she thought I should be in.

We left there and headed over to Old Navy, where I managed to score a sale or two. Technically, just one sale, but since I bought two pairs of shorts... I have figured out the 4/6 thing. Some of my shorts are 6s and some are 4s, and I couldn't figure out for a while WHY I could wear a 4 in some styles and not in others. It turns out that it's where the waist lays. If it's a high-waisted piece (ie, the snap fastens over or around my navel) I can wear a size 4. If the snap goes 1 inch below my navel (mid-waist) or around my hips (low waist) then I need a 6. It's not that I can't fasten a size four at a mid or lower, but I muffin-top over them. Yuck. I'm still working on tightening up my abs, but I may never get any better than this.

Carol and Jeane were both very excited to realize that they could, actually, shop at Old Navy. (Unlike me, where I spent a while in the Lane Bryant sort of nostaligically fondling the clothing that was never going to fit me again... I know a lot of prior fat girls bid a cheerful fair-the-well to Lane Bryant, but I always felt... comfortable there. For me, being in a fancy boutique is intimidating. Lane Bryant feels like home...) Jeane found a few pairs of pants, Carol got a very cute top and some tanks, and some very nice water bottles. (Which reminds me, YOU got a DEAL, girlfriend. I saw those exact same water bottles in Target on Friday for $17 a piece!!)

After that (we did shop til we dropped!) we headed down the street to J Jills, which was going out of buiness. Prices were marked down, down, down, and then 70% off after that!

Which meant I picked up a pair of silk pants ($6), a linen jacket ($9) and a really nice wool-cotten blend sweater ($11). If I'd bought them not on sale... the three items would have run me over $300. Nice.

We were all so enabling each other to spend money...


"Oh, that looks SO CUTE! You MUST buy it!"

I'm quite sure the saleswomen in the various shops were delighted to see us. I know I spent at least $100 total, the others similiar amounts or more...

You know, when I used to go shopping, it was this rapid, horrible event.

Run into the store, pick one or two things that weren't horribly colored. Often I didn't even try them on in the shop. Honestly. I would rather deal with the hassle of taking something back for an exchange than risk crying myself sick in the dressing room. (Also, I hated taking off my clothes in front of three mirrors. I mean, seriously. With bad lightening. So not like I ever looked good, but did we really need to go through all that?)

Now I go into the dressing room with anywhere between 8 and 10 items, try on a bunch of stuff, come out of the dressing room to look at it, solicit opinions, feel how it moves when I move, etc. We spent all afternoon trying on clothes.

And honestly, I couldn't have imagined a better afternoon.

Sushi. Shopping. Chocolate.


(As a note, despite not tracking and massively eating out all week while Jeane was in town, I apparently managed to get in enough activity points - the children's museam especially was a LOT of activity!! - I managed to drop weight this week... down 1.6. I'm back to less than 5 pounds til goal...)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

For your Viewing Pleasure

First off, the obligatory "fat pants" picture...

These are my "before" pants that Thomas and I both fit into. Size 24s. Can you believe it? I was astonished about 2 weeks ago when I was doing my measurements... my waist is now only 1.5 inches larger than my THIGH used to be. (Starting right thigh measurement was... 27 inches. My waist is now clocking in at 28 1/2).

And now... the "can I get away with this yet?" picture...

Also, just so y'all know, I think I've turned a significant corner in my getting fit journey.

I am no longer freaking out about a gain. (Yes, smart ass, that means I had a gain this week. 1.6 pounds, as a matter of fact.)

Not publicly. Not privately.

I am really... no longer fazed by a weight gain. This astonishes me. I never thought I'd get to a point where I was "whatever" about it. I don't... care.

Which is not to say I'm grabbing the chips bag and going to town with it. Just that I know the weight came on and I know I have the skills and patience to take it back off.

For me, this is a great, wonderful thing.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


When I was a child, like no older than nine, I developed a massive crush on my dad's best friend, Tip.

Tippy was sweet and didn't talk to me like I was an idiot. He was good looking, tall and thin, with a ready smile. I always looked forward to seeing him, and generally held him in my mind as one of the ideals of manhood. I think I gave up hope of getting him to notice me as a woman... oh, when I was like 27. Like. At my wedding.

I saw him this weekend, for the first time in like 2 years. (Last year, as you might recall, we decided to skip my dad's annual 4th of July BBQ because we weren't ready to face buffet-style eating...)

So, you know, the last time Tip saw me, I weighed in at over 200 pounds.

When he saw me, he gave me a big hug and kiss and said in my ear, "My god, you look fantastic!"

And when he went to leave, he picked me up and spun me around a few times. "You know I love you, right, kid?"

Watch out, Thomas... your competition is back.