Monday, December 26, 2011

I'm Supposed to Enjoy Life {more}

Ok, I enjoy life. I do. I enjoyed having my house full of family on Christmas Eve. I enjoyed Christmas morning with my husband and I super enjoyed spending Christmas day cruising the Intracoastal. I'm about to enjoy a few days in Orlando and then meeting up with some virtual friends in real life! But during just about every second of every one of those precious times, my weight was on my mind.

Just finding something to wear was enough to bum me out. I have all of our holiday clothes in a zippered storage bag in the closet. I knew that nothing in there was going to fit, but I pulled it down anyway and crossed my fingers. I have THE cutest holiday shirts in sizes ranging from large to 3X. None of them fit. None. So, I packed up my cute stuff and opted for a shirt that is kind of cute, but can easily be mistaken for a maternity top. And while I'm at it, what's with the little ties on the top of plus size shirts? Is that the 'it' trend in chubby couture? Do designers think that is some sort of flattering style accent? Seriously, I have so many shirts with random little ties at the neck. Some aren't even drawstrings, they're just sewn on so I can make a cute nauseating little bow at the neck. Is it supposed to distract from a second chin or something? Hmm..has Denise gained some wei....oh look! A bow! But, I digress...

The boat ride was fantastic and beautiful. The weather was perfect. But so many times I found the fat thoughts invading my serenity. Can I actually tip the boat over if I step on the edge? Can everyone upstairs tell when I move to one side downstairs? Will I fit in the bathroom? Can I climb that skinny staircase to the top? Am I taking up too much space on the seat? It is mentally exhausting to have to fight my brain to try to relax. A few adult beverages helped with that and I did end up having a nice time trying to figure out what the hell those people who actually live in the mansions that line the waterway do for a living. They are certainly NOT teachers, that much I know. Here I am starting to loosen up:

Even now, looking forward to taking a few days to road-trip with the hubs,  the excitement is overshadowed by my hips and thighs - a very common experience in my universe. Especially meeting people I've only really known online. Will they think differently of me when they see me in person? Do they have a mental image of someone all thin and put together? Will they assume I'm lazy and "less-than" because now they can see the real me? Will the small flaws in my work now become major distractions because they're linked to the person they see as large and lazy and unprofessional? I really can drive myself crazy with these kind of thoughts.

Then there are the pictures. My husband takes great pictures and I'm so thankful that he always has his camera and captures our family moments without fail, because if he didn't nobody else would! But oh man, the personal mental war raging in my mind is in full effect in the pictures. I feel like I'm enjoying myself and smiling in the pictures, but then when I see them the next day...I really see it. Beyond my puffy face, forced smile and honky tonk badonkadonk, I can see the sadness and pain in my own eyes. It's there, even if it's not evident to everyone else, I can see it. I can certainly feel it. The eyes are the windows to the soul and right now, they are mighty smudged. I don't want to spend another Christmas like this. Smiling for a picture I know I'll hate. Not wearing the cute Christmas shirts taking up precious real estate in my closet. Being upset that the cute clothes hubby gifted to me don't fit. Letting the spirit of the season be overshadowed by the size of my size of my ass. Not fully enjoying every single precious second with family and friends.

That being said, I haven't yet really "started" <---terminology well known professional dieter peeps, such as myself. I'm not pretending to have, either. I'm still enjoying my leftovers, eating the cookies I baked, looking forward to the restaurants we love in Orlando and Naples. But I have been making a concerted effort to drink more water. I can really go the entire day with out any water at all unless it's a sip to take a pill or used to brew coffee. I'm baby-stepping it. I'm also committing to writing here at least three times a week. Even if no one else is reading it (which is actually kind of sad to imagine) it will serve as a great record of my journey to remind myself of how far I've come next Christmas when I'm pulling on my cute shirt and smiling for pictures with as much joy in my eyes as there is in my heart.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm supposed to be surrounded by friends

Well, I outed myself and now I have some company! Hi TBTS friends! I wasn't sure I was quite ready to have guests, but I dig you guys. It's a bit scary to write publicly about my biggest disappointment, my biggest obstacle, my biggest failure. It's true that it's glaringly obvious to the people I see everyday, but online {with carefully cropped pictures} I feel like the person I really am supposed to be: witty, breezy, carefree. successful. I am those things in real life, but the weight just drags me down, physically and metaphorically. I can't tell you all how much it means to read your supportive comments and emails. I love how some of you also opened up about your struggles, weight-wise and otherwise. I always think of that saying - Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some type of battle.

I should clarify and let you all know I'm not exactly homebound and I'm pretty sure that I'm not a candidate for my own TLC special just yet. Have you seen those? The Half-Ton Teen, The 650 Pound Virgin, One Big Happy Family... I watch those with such a combination of fascination, pity, fear and strange understanding.
So, here's me currently. My team all dressed as Flo from Progressive for Halloween. I'm the fat Flo in the middle. Notice how I'm wearing a different apron from the rest of my team? I had to HUNT for one that  didn't look like a little baby apron on me. It's a little twisted in this picture, but it did fit. Everyone else could use a $6 apron from Michaels and I had to buy a $25 one from Sur Le Table.  That's enough of that nonsense. Last year I was a Starbucks barista, specifically because I could wear an apron. It's sad when you feel you look your best in an apron.
So, that's me currently. What should I be next year? I'd love for it not to involve an apron...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm supposed to move easier

Lately I've actually been finding it hard to move myself. Like flipping over in bed and getting up and down. I am carrying around some serious extra pounds. Not a few I wish I could wear skinny jeans pounds, but more like I'm finding it hard to do simple things pounds . I still can not believe I've gotten myself into this position. It's really pissing me off that I have to go back to the start and begin this whole thing over again. What's the alternative? Just be a big fat, fatty? I can't pretend I love myself this way or that I'm happy this way. More power to those who can. I believe there are people who can be large and in charge and full of confidence with a trunk full of junk. I can not.

Maneuvering in and out of restaurant booths is getting more difficult and it's next to impossible to look the least bit feminine exiting the car. It literally hurts my legs to squat down at this point. I almost feel like my skin is being stretched well beyond the point of its elasticity. Sitting on the floor is completely out of the question. That really bothers me as a teacher. Some of the best classroom experiences were those in which I was sitting on the floor with my kids. Currently, I have a director's chair that I sit in while the kids sit on the carpet in front of me. For one thing, the chair moans and creaks way too much for my comfort level and for another, there's such a distance between me the kids. It just feels very unnatural. I'm supposed to be on the floor with them or at the very least sitting comfortably with my legs crossed in the chair, not squeezed in so tight that I worry that the chair leave the floor, still attached to my rump, when I stand up.

I am so tired of sizing up chairs before I sit down to complete some useless mental math calculation of my ass width vs. the size and stability of the chair about to receive it. It's exhausting, embarrassing and pointless. The ass always wins. Always.

I keep saying that I'll start after the new year. Really, what's the point of trying to "being good" now, a week before Christmas? I am going to try to drink more water starting now though. I think I could be a little dehydrated. I seriously am part camel. I drink tons of coffee daily and next to no water. There are days when I literally drink only a sip or two of water to swallow a pill for a headache, which is probably because I need to drink more water! <--vicious cycle, anyone? Maybe if I start with some baby steps now, it won't be such a shock to the system when I really do "start". I usually jump into a diet with a cold-turkey, all at once, obsessive nature that seems to get me nowhere. This time I really want to do it differently so I end up with a different outcome. Wouldn't it be so nice if this time next year, I was writing  about shopping for something fun to wear for the holidays or actually being excited about going to parties or seeing old friends? The only thing standing in the way of that happening is me. I am my own worst enemy. I've really got to find a way to get along better with myself!

Continuing with my intake/output idea, here's today:
Intake
scrambled eggs w/ cheese
3 slices of bacon
english muffin w/butter
3+ cups of coffee
3 pieces of homemade pizza
2 small bags of Skinny Cow candy <--way better than I expected!! These are going to be a great snack/treat when I really get on some type of plan
(it's only 4:30)

Output
Well, I took two naps and suggested that we go for a walk, but never actually did so. This has got to change.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I'm supposed to know better

I know it's all about intake and output. I'm no diet dummy. I've been around the block a time or two. The problem is that I keep stopping at the bakeries and Starbucks on the block. I know what I'm supposed to do, how I'm supposed to do it and yet do I do it? No. Instead I bitch and complain and promise myself that I'll start tomorrow.

I think it would help me to see my transgressions in print. I'm going to add an intake and output section to my posts. Maybe it will embarrass me into being less piggish. I'm not going to pretend that I have no idea why I've gained so much weight, I know.
Here's the reason:

Today's intake
3 cups coffee w/half and half
2 scrambled eggs w/ cheese & homemade hasbrowns (no skimping on oil/butter)
Lunch out: 2 garlic rolls, shared pasta fagioli soup, giant slice of pizza
Starbucks venti cafe mocha w/whip <--this is a BIG part of my problem
Haven't eaten dinner yet, but I'm sure this list is not done yet.
*edited to add: way tooooo many Absolute & cranberrries at a bdparty followed by 2 chalupas and something called a "blast". ick.

Today's Output
um, I walked around the Christmas store and decorated the tree. Does that count?

So far, no one is following me, so no need for witty closing. The crickets don't really care how I sign off.
Toodles.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm supposed to be...

I think I have finally decided on a groove for this blog. If you started at the start, you already know that this blog has been a bit schitzophrenic in its development.  Now I  am settled on its direction (for now, ha!). The title has been Who I'm Supposed To Be for a while now but it didn't dawn on me until a few days ago, that each post should also have the same title. Well, not exactly the same, that would be way to confusing.

I think I'll title each post with I'm Supposed to be followed by something that I should be but currently am not. For example: I'm supposed to be someone who has her shit together. Now, they won't all be so vulgar (that's not bad, right? Just keepin it realz!) but that's the gist. Then I will post all the things I obsess about that fall under that category. I already have a bunch lined up in my brain. Like these little beauties: I'm Supposed to be Able to Cross My Legs, I'm supposed to be Someone Who Wears Jewelry, I'm supposed to Wear the Clothes in my Closet. Get it? I think I'll abbreviate the first part, because I'm already sick of typing all that out. Maybe I'll start with ISBSW and if you're one of the cool kids who actually started at the start and read this post, you'll know that that means "I'm Supposed to be Someone Who..." but as I type this I'm envisioning all of the people who won't have read this asking me repeatedly wtf that means. (see how I turned down the vulgarity there? Teachers call that differentiating. You can either say the real f-word to yourself, or substitute something more family friendly, like fudge for example. mmmm fudge. great. now I want fudge.)

The thing that makes me a little nervous is that I read The Secret (well, I listened to the audiobook) and according to Rhonda, I'm not supposed to think so much about what I am currently or what I don't like because I'll just attract more of that to me. She might be on to something because all I do is obsess over my fatness and I seem to keep attracting more fatness. I'll have to weave in some positivity to counterbalance...

So I hope you'll join me on this little journey. I have found so many great blogs of people who were already done with the struggle, which are so inspiring, but I've never really followed along with someone on the way down to slim town. So if you'd like to hang with me while I try it, you're are welcome to come along for the ride.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Going Fourth

Three Squares
I’ve been writing about many of my past experiences and dwelling on why they didn’t work. Then today in a waiting room, I read an article in which the author suggested that so many of us are running from our past or running toward something we want in our future instead of focusing on today. Just today.
Something so simple, yet so true. Does it really matter what I did in the past? They were just diets, things I ate, plans I followed or didn’t quite follow. In the grand scheme of things, they don’t have much impact on my life today. I suppose it might be nice for someone researching diet plans to read someone else’s experiences with those plans. I know that has been helpful for me in the past. If I were to continue to review these plans, my list would be very lengthy. I could discuss NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, Atkins, South Beach, Mayo Clinic, Slimfast, Gastric Bypass Surgery. Uh, that last one there throws a wrench in my plan of not dwelling on what I’ve done in my past. Yes, it does.
I did indeed go under the knife. In 2002, I had open Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery. I have the rope-like pink scar running from my breastbone to my belly button to prove it. I also have a forever altered internal plumbing system. My surgeon was amazing. I had counseling before and after the procedure. I met with a psychologist, nutritionist, the surgeon, and a support group once a month for over a year. I was successful. I lost about 140 pounds and I was happy, healthy, comfortable and confident. I was careful...until I got careless. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. I’ve allowed myself to to gain 90 pounds over the last 4 years or so. Insane and incomprehensible, even to me. So what do I do now?
I would like to adopt the mantra of focusing on today and letting go of the past, but to some extent I will always have to have one foot in the past. I am physically different from most other overweight people and I always will be. Even with one foot in the past, I can still take steps in the right direction.

Third Time's a Charm?

My love-hate, on-off relationship with Weight Watchers, which began in my adolescence, may have been my first dysfunctional diet hookup but WW and I were not exclusive. I also had an early dalliance with Overeaters Anonymous. I was pushed into this one by my mother. She worked with an OA member and apparently they had numerous smoke break chats about the muffin top I was cultivating while leaning against the brick wall of our local Winn-Dixie. I didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. I was going to OA with a total stranger and I was going to like it. I remember I was already firmly planted in the sullen, eyeliner-overload phase of teenage-hood, so when a bespectacled chunky little 50-something with the personality of a wet noodle came to pick me up, I was less than enthused. After an awkward send off by my mother and an even more awkward car ride to a local hospital cafeteria, I entered my first and last OA meeting. The actual meeting was a blur. What I do remember is getting lots and lots of brochures with a heavy emphasis on a “higher power” who would help me through my diet journey and nothing about what I should or should not actually be eating. There was also a lot of hand holding, crying and confessions. At this point in my life, I really didn’t have a lot to add to the discussion besides the fact that I just liked Doritos and Coke a little too much. It was all way too deep for me at that age.
To be fair to OA, it really didn’t get a fair shot from me. I was too young and too consumed with memorizing the lyrics to the latest Duran Duran songs to pour my whole heart and soul out to a room full of strangers. Besides that, I didn’t have a whole lot to pour out yet. In retrospect, there were actually issues that were causing me to stuff myself with potato chip sandwiches, but I just didn’t realize it at the time and as a moody adolescent I certainly was not feeling the urge to explore my feelings in a room full of strangers.
 I did learn a tremendously valuable lesson from the whole experience though. I may not have completely internalized it at the time, but this was one of the first experiences that crystalized the fact that you can not force anyone to do anything they are not ready to do. 

Second Post

Let me Count the Ways:
Let’s begin at the beginning. I always find that a good place to start.
The first real diet I can remember trying was Weight Watchers. It’s hard to find someone who will knock this program - and for good reason. WW is a sensible, easy to follow plan that does work. That being said, I’ve been a WW on and off about a billion times. After a while it becomes second nature to eyeball any morsel of edible matter and calculate points like a diet savant. 
Your mind becomes consumed with activity points, food points, flex points, fiber, SmartOnes, journaling, and the meetings. Oh the meetings. I’ve attended meetings in several different locations, but they are all strikingly similar: sweet senior citizens who very discretely handle your payment and accordion-folded weight loss log. Weighing in on the private scales while the leader or assistant either congratulates you for your stellar weight loss or displays genuine concern over your gain while you feverishly try to cram your log back into it’s protective plastic sleeve, hiding the number that defines you from the world. Surely that’s an activity point or two, no? The meetings themselves all consist of a combination of metal folding chairs, wood paneling, and a chalkboard. Being somewhat cynical and sarcastic and a pretty good public speaker and teacher, I always found it hard not to mentally critique the leader. I spent most of the meeting making silent snarky comments to the imaginary fat-fighting friend sitting next to me. I spent the rest of my time watching significantly overweight people trying to get comfortable in a folding chair straining under their girth. Can they not invest in something more fatty-friendly? Padded benches perhaps? Once, a leader asked us all to look around the room and notice how we were all sitting. Most of us had our arms crossed with our hands resting on our combo belly-lap-boobage area. She said that we were hugging our fat, holding on to it, afraid to let go of it. Actually, I was just trying to keep my ass centered on the chair and my arms off of the arms of the poor person next to me who was also trying to keep her ass firmly in the chair. How closely can you pay attention to the virtues of brussels sprouts when you are wondering who will be the first to collapse their collapsible chair? I’ve attended meetings solo, with best friends, my sister, and mother-in-law. Although I love her dearly, that last one was not the best idea. She adored the leader who had this absurd habit of stressing really important words in baby talk. Yeah, baby talk. My mother in law found this endearing and funny. I found it the perfect fodder for the sarcasm-lobe of my brain to go into over time. “Ok, people. Remember, it so, so important to weigh and measure EVWYTHING that goes into our MOUFS, K?” It was a good thing my arms were crossed in the perfect ass-centering position or I would have had to shoot my had in the air and ask, “Does the INCWUDE BWOCCOWI?” But I displayed spectacular restraint and lasted about 3 meetings before I decided it was better for me to quit than to let my mother in law witness the release of all my saved up sarcasm in a tirade that surely would have been quite a scene before promising everyone would “See Less of Me Next Week!”.
I have no problems with the program itself. I think it has all the elements necessary to help someone successfully lose weight. I actually lost 40 or so pounds a few different times with WW. Intellectually, I know its probably the best way to lose, but I just can not get geared up for it again. Sowwy Weight Watchers, it’s not you, it’s me. Really.

First Post

So the thing I want most in the world, I already have. My husband means everything to me. But that aside, the other thing that I truly want the most is to lose weight. Lose Weight. Two words that have defined my life for as long as I can remember. My entire life has been about either having to lose weight or being congratulated for having lost weight or being consoled or criticized for having gained it back. 
I’m almost 40. I’m facing a grim reality that half my life is over. An optimist would say that I have an entire half of my life to live. I’ll be an optimist, because to look at the flip side is just a little too depressing. Now how will I live this new half of my life? With envy and regret? With pain and extra pounds?  Or with the freedom and confidence that I know comes with weight loss? 
I’ve started this blog several times. And then restarted it. And then restarted it again. I’ve written, deleted, written, deleted. The first post I was content enough to leave standing is the one still posted. I started this blog in several different directions, but in the end, I’ve found it hard to define a blog that doesn’t yet exist. So instead of starting this blog with a clear direction, I’ve decided to just go with a stream of conscious kind of thing with an emphasis on my big booty - kind of like my real life. So here goes nothing - and everything.