Sunday, April 30, 2006
What a day. That race course was a KILLER. The first 3-4 miles were a gradual uphill climb. I did okay on those because I took them nice and easy.
The next 3-4 miles, however, were steep rolling hills that caught me by surprise. Sweet Jesus. Every time I wearily trudged to the top of one steep hill all I could see was the next one. I ended up walking about a third of a mile on a few of the really steep hills.
The last 4-5 miles of the course were mostly downhill which allowed me to make up some time and brace yourselves- jog the rest of the way in.
That's right. I probably jogged a little over 12.5 miles of the 13.2 mile race. Un-be-lievable. I am still stunned. Sure, sure...I got passed in the last mile by a spry 70-year old man. And sure, I still averaged a sloth-like 10:55 minute miles. But the furthest I've ever jogged prior to the race was seven miles. And that was once! So to be able to jog that far was nothing short of a miracle. I alternated between shock and euphoria the last 5-6 miles. I couldn't believe I was still running. I rarely ever say this, but today I will- I was really proud of myself.
The first 5-6 miles and the last mile were the hardest. Though I had a lot of energy the first few miles, it was extremely disheartening to trudge up to the top of a hill only to see a little sign that said "Mile 5." At that point it felt like the race would go on forever.
The last mile was the absolute hardest though. I was trying to pick up my pace a little just so I could finish the damn thing and go have an orange wedge, but my legs seemed to take on a mind of their own. Suddenly they felt really weak and ached like the dickens (heh, heh, I used the word 'dickens'). And because the last mile had a slight uphill grade to it, it just made it all the more exhausting.
I was able to sprint in the last 200 yards, but was virtually ignored by the crowd who were far too focused on a woman who had just collapsed 100 yards from the finish line (drama queen). The exact same thing happened again about 10 minutes later when Roy finished. The paramedics actually ended up blocking his way for a few seconds.
Post race, we all (Roy, my brother Joseph and I) commented on how much harder the course was. But here's the most amazing part- we all improved our times by over 30 minutes! I finished this race in about 2:25, my brother Joseph finished around 2:34 (he lost precious time queing at one of the TWO piddly Porta Potties), and Roy (who let's not forget, has two bum knees) finished at 2:35.
At our first half marathon three months ago, we all finished in a little over three hours (3:05 to 3:07). Based on that, my original goal had been to jog a little over half of this race and finish it in under 3 hours. So even though we were all waaaay more wiped out after this race, we were all on cloud nine afterwards.
Right now my knees really ache (those downhill miles really take their toll), and I have my usual post long walk/run headache. Roy even passed out on the sofa for two solid hours. To reward ourselves we're about to head out to the grocery store to get the makings for a nice veggie barbecue tonight (Fiber One is also on sale...2/$4!).
It's hard to believe what I did today. I may never beat this time again, and especially on a course this hard. But I do know this- today I ran over twelve miles. And I feel 'friggen great.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Woke up this morning and after half an hour of Benadryl-induced haziness (not a bad feeling, people, not a bad feeling...) realized that today was the day.
After two weeks of not weighing in, today was the day of reckoning. Before I went about my usual ridiculous pre weigh-in routine (use the bathroom and be sure to purge every last drop of urine, remove glasses and half-ounce scrunchee, disrobe, pray to God for mercy), I tried to pump myself up by remembering that no matter what the number was, to remember that I had enjoyed two wonderful, worry-free weeks for the first time in over a year.
So when I finally looked down and saw the number (which I am not revealing...EVER), I was stunned to see it was 3 pounds lower than two weeks ago.
I really couldn't tell you why. I just ate two back to back lunch buffets with my coworkers in San Diego. And when I elected to skip dinner one night in penance, they surprised me by bringing me back a giant slice of Cheesecake Factory Godiva chocolate cheesecake, covered in whipped cream. 1,500 calories of pure f**ing joy if I do say so myself!
So apparently, the moral of this story is- eat like a pig, lose weight. No really, I am kind of baffled. But I do have a theory.
And I'll use what happenned with cheesecake as the example. I had eaten like a pig at a late lunch buffet and decided to forgo dinner that night for a small plate of fresh fruit instead. When my coworkers got back from dinner and surprised me with their gift, I was initially horrified. They had unknowingly done the equivalent of presenting an alcoholic with a cold, frosty glass of beer.
I was going to do my usual 5-6 polite nibbles and then covertly stuff it in the trash when they weren't looking. But after a few bites, something inside of me just kind of snapped. I was sick of limiting myself to just a few bites. I was tired of having to watch Roy inhale every thing I really wanted to eat while I ate steamed veggies and yogurt. I really, really wanted to eat that f**ing cheesecake. I knew that if tossed most of it uneaten in the trash that it would torture and taunt me all night. This would have led to me feeling miserable all night and probably overeating in frustration/self-perceived starvation the next morning. So I decided to eat it and enjoy every last bite of it. And I did. I'm surprised I didn't lick the damn container. You could have heard my groans from three rooms away. I felt like a prisoner being given my first meal of solids in ten years.
And you know I felt afterwards? Content. Satisfied. Full. The next day I remembered how good that cheesecake tasted and ate a very reasonable breakfast and didn't feel my usual compelling need to overeat at the second lunch buffet.
For over a year I have steadfastly followed these three traditional rules:
1. Eat healthy foods most of the time.
2. Never eat anything I don't like.
3. No foods are off limits.
But here's what I think I learned- it's not enough. Because while I do love eating cottage cheese, yogurt, veggie burgers, fresh fruit and vegetables, being allowed only a serving or two of delicious junk food just wasn't doing it for me. I still felt deprived, frustrated and hungry most of the time. This would then lead to self-perceived hunger and overeating.
I have read about women who do this- they stop weighing in, stop counting calories. They learn to eat what they crave and feel satisfied as a result. Slowly the anxiety and feeling(s) of deprivation melt away, and the weight comes off naturally. Though I never outright scoffed at that approach, I saw it as such a high level of nirvana that I never dreamed I could attain.
Geneen Roth wrote about it in one of her books. For a period of time, all she craved was chocolate chip cookies. If she attemped to eat anything else like a salad, she would end up eating twice as much since she would eventually eat the chocolate chip cookies. So she finally decided to just allow herself to eat them for dinner. Just that- a plate of five warm, chocolate chip cookies. And after awhile, she was content. She had fulfilled her craving and could move on.
At first I thought it was nuts. Fun, but nuts. Then I realized that it might just work. But I was still too fearful to actually try it. I think the cheesecake incident was my first (albeit accidental) step toward doing so, and I'm going to keep trying it. That is- allowing myself to eat what I really want a little more often and see if it decreases my cravings.
In addition to that and no longer weighing in daily, I am going to take another leap of faith- I am going to try and live like a normal person. I am no longer going to focus so obsessively on health, fitness and nutrition. All that I've been doing the past year- scouring health, nutrition and fitness webpages, reading magazines and books, blogging, writing in my journal, counting calories, exercising daily, etc. are going to be decreased. Whereas they were once inspirational and educational for me, they have escalated to a level of harmful obsession. I think when you focus so intensely on something and 'fail,' it really messes you up. So I'm taking it down a notch. While I will continue to do some things, I will be doing them a whole lot less overall.
Will keep you all posted!
Thursday, April 27, 2006
The heart of Dahab...a sleepy, beachside town geared toward backpackers and divers. One of the main reasons we chose Dahab over the nearby popular Sharm el-Shiekh (which was bombed last year) was because we assumed terrorists would never be interested in such a small town. Obviously we were wrong.
Talking a peaceful morning walk along the Red Sea. We hunted for seashells and found what we thought was a camel carcass washed up on shore.
I couldn't help but get 'chicken skin' reading about the recent bombings in Dahab. Because Dahab is such a small town, nearly every picture I scrolled through on MSN.com was of a fish stand or restaurant I recognized. It was incredibly sad to see the sidewalks we strolled on stained with blood.
Nearly four months have passed since we were in Dahab. The vacation pictures have been printed, sorted and stowed away. The stories have been told and retold amid much laughter- the heinous 8-hour bus ride to get there, the amazing seaside resort we would never have been able to afford stateside, the terrifying 3am hike up Mt. Sinai, etc. But the bombings also made me remember all the other stuff I'd long since pushed out of my mind- the police officers that were stationed almost every 50-100 yards, the personal police escort that was shoved on us just to take a 5-min. shuttle ride to the bus station, the half dozen checkpoints we went through just to get to and from Dahab, having to unload the bus in the middle of the night and open all of our bags for inspection, etc.
At the time I was more bemused than anything else, I mean, c'mon, was all that really necessary? Wasn't it all just a show to put Western tourists and their dollars at ease?
Now I don't know.
And I won't even try to figure it out. But I do know this- the world is becoming a much smaller and more dangerous place. Stories like this make me want to take my kids (if I had them) and run for the hills. I'd be okay crapping in the woods and eating rusted cans of pork 'n beans for the rest of my life so long as I knew my kids would be safe.
I guess if there's one positive thing to come out of situations like this (and I feel like a heinous bastard even suggesting it), it's that I think stories like this make us go home and hug our loved ones a little more closely. Each day with them is a precious gift we should never take for granted.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I have somehow managed to become even more of a freak. In addition to my two taped up feet and bloody red eye, I can now add HIVES to the list. Two nights ago I got bitten by something and woke up with about 25 large welts covering my neck, chest, arms and leg. Over the last two days, each welt has blistered and become itchier than hell. They have attracted even more attention than my bloody eye- "Oh my GOD! You should cover those up!!!" "I'm getting itchy just LOOKING at you!" and "Eek! It's the cootie girl!" are my personal favorites.
I feel such love.
The only part of my day I look forward to is standing in the shower and letting the water pelt directly onto each bite. I have never felt such ecstacy. I have never groaned with such pleasure. My showers have gone from fifteen minutes to three and a half hours.
This whole incident has given me flashbacks to the last time I got hives. I know I've mentioned it here before, but I was bitten by bed bugs in Czechoslovakia back in '00 and ended up confined to the house for two months (according to the Czech doctor, I had "very, very bad case of mosquito"). They hurt so bad I was begging to die at one point. I couldn't sleep more than 20 minutes at a time. It took me over an hour just to cover my 200+ hives with calamine.
I've still never forgiven Czechoslovakia for it. Bastards.
Monday, April 24, 2006
For me, it was the time I ran 7 miles. It was on a cool, clear night in Honolulu. I was a freshman in college and was with my friend Duane. We usually ran 3-5 miles a few nights a week. But on that night, without speaking a word, we both seemed to catch our second wind at the exact same time. I remember feeling light, independent and free as I ran. I was practically gliding. It was a beautiful night I'll never forget.
I've held onto that moment for years. Anytime I saw a person in good shape stride past me I would mournfully think to myself, "Wow...I used to be like that too. I once jogged 7 miles." And whenever I would reminisce with coworkers or friends about how chubby and out of shape we had all become, that night was also my claim to fame, "I used to be able to jog seven miles...now I can't even jog one!" And then I would ruefully laugh, both embarrassed and proud. That night was my moment.
It's no secret that I've been in a rut lately. I've been struggling to feel good about myself and snacking way too much. The vicious cycle. So I've been in desperate need of something to feel good about.
And tonight, fourteen years later...I did it again. I jogged seven miles.
Though my calves and knees started to ache a little on miles five and six, I felt great. I knew I was gonna do it. It couldn't have been more fitting when on my last two laps, one of my favorite songs started to play - Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." You have to understand, this song has been my anthem for much of the past year. It's lyrics were a large part of what inspired me to stop letting my life pass me by.
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes,
I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)
I was so excited when I finished that I asked Roy to snap my picture even though it was nearly dark when we got home.
Right now, I feel good. I'm not sure how long this feeling will last, or how I'll even feel tomorrow. But tonight I have managed to simultaneously recapture a priceless moment of my past AND put a demon to rest. I am narrowing that painful divide between my 'fat life' and my 'normal life.' I have a second chance at life, and however painful it is, I will never give up.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
We went up there with my brother Joseph and his friend Lana. I think we all had a good time even though we spent half our time getting lost (we blamed each other for not bringing a map), ate too much (blamed each other for bringing too many snacks), and didn't sleep too well (blamed each other for snoring too loud). So all in all, a typical road trip.
As always, there are pros and cons to traveling with my brother. For example, while it's always nice to arrive at your destination in roughly half the time it ordinarily takes, you will also end up invoking road rage in about 40 other motorists along the way. He also prides himself on traveling freely and without plans (i.e. maps, plans or reservations). In this case, it nearly resulted in us having to get a $250/night hotel room and eating $26 plates of spaghetti at a posh restaurant Oprah frequents that he just had to (and did) eat at. Thankfully (because I know how he rolls and because I'm cheap) I secretly made back-up hotel reservations and packed a cooler full of food to avoid having to pay for either one of those purchases.
The night before we left I put forth a tremendous effort to cut up and pack a ton of fresh fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, Kashi bars, etc. (all of which I really do like) for the road. Would you like to know how all of that worked out for me?
Just f***ing great, thanks.
Not only did I eat it all, I ate that and MORE. But I'm not going to mope about it, I've already done that plenty of times here. And I've decided that in addition to no longer weighing myself every day, I am also not going to obsess about when I overeat either. Not only is it already too late once it's done, but it's also a vicious, pointless cycle.
By the way, the picture is of Roy and I in Solvang (about 40 min. north of Santa Barbara, or in our case, 5 min.), a former Danish settlement. We took plenty of pictures, but because I still look like a crazy, red-eyed monster, the selection was rather limited.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Not that I didn't handle my first fifteen minutes with grace and aplomb.
The first time Steve mentioned me and I saw my number of hits per day jump- I pranced around the house for days. By the end of the week, I was outwardly bragging to anyone who would listen (people in line at Starbucks are not very gracious about that by the way). By month's end, however, I learned it was much more effective to bully Roy into bragging about me so that I could stand off to the side pretending to look bashful and demure (not one person fell for this mind you, but it made me feel better).
In any case, because I have seen firsthand how fleeting fame can be (and particularly when you're untalented and mooching off the fame of others), I won't focus on it so much this time around. After all, no one has contacted me to write a book about losing weight. Or even an article. Well how's about a pamphlet, then?!!! Am I NOT EVEN GOOD ENOUGH to write one of those horribly boring health pamphlets in the doctor's office?!! I mean, I can see how it would be real hard to chose between thumbing through something I wrote or some tattered Good Housekeeping from 1987 with Valerie Bertinelli on the cover!!!!
My point is this- I am grateful for the mention from Steve, and hope some of you will stick around. We're a fun group here at The Lost Hawaiian. Yep...all six of us. And that's assuming my mother still reads this once a month when prodded to. For the most part, I am focused about getting healthly, losing weight, laughing and learning from those who are kind enough to reach out to me.
And so far nixing the daily weigh-ins continues to bolster me. Check back with me in another week though. If you never see another post from me it's probably safe to say the strategy didn't work out so well.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Since turning 18 his goal has been to go over 100 pounds. He achieved that on a diet that included 5,000 calories a day in protein shakes. "He was so happy," Kelley Chaffee said.
I think the greatest gift I could give my unborn child would be to run off and get impregnated by this man. Sure, it wouldn't make Roy too happy but hot damn! I would have a shot at being able to neutralize my own metabolism and fondness for food with this freak of nature's DNA! I mean, he has a 26-inch waist!!! (I did too, once...when I was SEVEN).
A poll at the end of the article showed that 76% of respondents reported having trouble losing weight (no surprise there). However, 16% also reported having trouble gaining weight.
WHO THE HELL ARE ALL THESE SKINNY B**CHES? And have they ever heard of Pringles?!!!
But enough of that. On a positive note, I have been liberated!!! And I don't mean sexually, I mean from the scale. Trust me, if I were to be truly liberated sexually I'd be writing all about me, Roy, 2 cans of whipped cream and six shaved midgets in sequined thongs (and sadly, this will never be the case since those damn midgets have staunchly refused to wear the thongs).
In all seriousness though, I think I've turned a corner. It's only been four days since my last weigh-in, but I already feel like the skip has returned to my step. Of course I'm a little nervous making this declaration since every time I think I've found the answer to something I find another deep-seeded issue that threatens it, but I have a good feeling this time.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I have hit my apex of frustration regarding the weight loss (or lack thereof). If I don't stop and get off now, I am sure that the apex will only continue to soar until I drive myself certifiably insane. I know I probably don't come across as straddling that fine line between 'determined' and 'nuts', but I am. And I've been there for two months too long.
It's difficult to express where I'm at. One the one hand, I am happier than I've been in years. I'm healthy, feel better than ever, and for the most part, pretty much have everything else going for me. In fact, I always used to swear that once I lost the weight, I would be unequivocally happy (yes, I know it's a common misconception, but bare with me). And you know, for about 4-5 months, I was. I thought I was the poster child for being able to prove that the adage "If I only I lost weight, I would be happy!" could actually be true for some people.
But over the past two months, once my weight loss started to inevitably taper off and I gained back a pound or two, my near state of euphoria came to an abrupt, jarring end. And really, is that so surprising? When so much of your happiness/energy is based the scale and it stops...why wouldn't the happiness also dissipate? So once again, I'm forced to reconcile that I'm really not all that different or smarter than anybody else...
While daily weigh-ins might have been powerfully effective for a year, I have to accept that they are not any longer. In fact, though this is sad to admit, for the first time in my life, I think I understand why many women become consumed by their weight and develop eating disorders. I have seen firsthand that if the scale tells you you're heavier, your body and mind feel heavier. It doesn't even matter what other people think. When I look into a mirror, all I can see are the areas I am still fat. I have completely lost my ability to feel good about myself.
The best way to describe the frustration I feel each day as I continue to eat and exercise well is this- unlike the many years when I ate mindlessly and didn't take care of myself...I do now. And I'm doing it better than I ever have before. So what happens when it still doesn't work? How do you get past the helplessness, frustration and desperation that pounds in your heart?
You start to blame yourself, and then you start to think, okay...well what else can I do? Should I start eating only yogurt and fruit? Buy some weight loss supplements? Join Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem? Stop eating out forever? Go to fat camp? Get a stomach band?!!!
Do you see what's happenned here? In a short period, I have somehow managed to completely 180 and start considering doing all the things I swore I never would! So if I, a nominally overweight, somewhat educated, somewhat sane person with a decent support network can be broken down so quickly and easily- who's to say I won't become a full-fledged depressed anorexic in the next 6 months? I certainly can't.
So I'm getting off the train, folks.
I have waffled with this decision for weeks. Months. I knew that it would be the best move for my emotional health, but I worried that in doing so- I was giving in new-age psychobabble like 'learning to embrace your imperfect body' and accepting mediocrity. Because I do still have some weight to lose. I want both my weight and BMI to be within the normal range. I want to eliminate that uncomfortable gut and chubby thighs.
But more than that, I want to be happy and feel in control again.
I'm choosing to live in the moment rather than putting my happiness 'on hold' until I lose those final, elusive 5-10 pounds that may or may not even make me feel better. Because even if I do, so what? What difference does it make if I'm a size 4 or an 8? Will my husband suddenly love me more? Will I suddenly be 'discovered' by Shape magazine and asked to write a monthly column? Will people suddenly hoist me up on their shoulders, chanting my name? Pro-bab-ly not, though really...it would be nice.
I've staged a self intervention and have spent the better part of two days deciding how/what I'm going to do.
1. No more daily weigh-ins.
The anal, Type A in me is bargaining for weekly weigh-ins, but since I've done such a bang up job in this area so far, I'm probably going to go with twice a month weigh-ins and focusing more on developing new fitness challenges and how my clothes fit as my measures of success.
2. Even less eating out.
75% of what railroads me emotionally are the after-effects of over-noshing at "special occasions." Restaurants, business trips and socializing. Until I am more confident at controlling my intake at them, I'm going to reduce these for now.
3. Less time to think.
Though my aim is not to avoid my problems by never having to think about them, I do realize I may have too much time on my hands to overanalyze and obsess. Got to stay busier.
As I'm looking at this list, I realize how simple my recovery can be. It's only three steps. Three simple little steps that by overlooking, had the capacity to make me feel miserable.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
When I first noticed it late Friday night (you know, after that rager at the bar...since I am, ahem...waaaay to cool to be sitting home on a Friday night...cough! cough!), I kinda freaked. You have to understand, this looks nothing like ordinary tired, red bloodshot eyes. This looks like someone dropped red food coloring into my eye and it froze in place. At one point (before I Googled it and became the world's foremost expert), I even considered going to Urgent Care fearful that I would wake up blind the next morning.
Apparently this can happen from simply sneezing too hard- which really then, is a miracle it took so long to happen since along with being blessed with 'man calves,' I have also been blessed with the gift of 'man sneezes' that can rattle ten-story buildings and cause permanent hearing loss. I won't even get into the man shoulders, man hands, man feet and man appetite that the good Lord has also blessed me with, but it's fairly safe to say I am not pleased. I mean, he probably didn't make me the ugliest person in the world, but didn't he feel just a liiiittle bit bad creating a half-man, half-woman beast and then also deciding to give me bad skin AND premature graying as well? I mean, jeez Louise!
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Bill Bryson wrote about his walk in the woods.
So today I...will write about my walk in the 'hood.
Obviously I don't live in a real, bona fide hood. I don't gang bang (anymore anyway, once Proof got shot, I decided to lock up my Glock and bandanas), I don't pass crack whores lying in the street (we move 'em to the side) and my car has never been stolen (apparently Dodge mini-vans are not hot ticket items in the underworld...who knew?!).
But as I've mentioned before, I do live in an town that is probably 60% lower/lower middle class and 80% ugly. Now that Roy and I have decided to resurrect our committment to walking (for our upcoming half marathon later this month), we've started strolling around the 'hood again.
Though walking is not a great aerobic or strength workout, and pret-ty darn boring, it does have a number of good points. It's low impact (Roy has feeble, old man knees), great for toning and endurance, burns a decent amount of calories (only because it takes so bloody long), and gives us a catch to relax and catch up (that is, if you consider my dominating 90% of the conversation talking about myself to be "catching up").
In any case, we are walking once during the week and once on the weekends. Yesterday was our first weekday walk in months, but we were able to do eight miles pretty easily. This is not a significant accomplishment for me mostly because A) I played college golf, where we often walked/played 36 holes a day; and B) I come from hardy farming stock that has 'blessed' me with man-calves that probably put most Olympic male weightlifters to shame.
I may never be able to ever buy a pair of knee-high boots in the winter, but damnit, I can walk from here to the moon without so much as a muscle spasm.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
But surprisingly, I haven't gotten any! This may be because I hadn't accounted for the fact that I cannot actually write- which is what led to my losing my once record-high readership (thanks to a brief mention from the Fat Man Walking website) of 1,000 hits per day at an alarmingly high rate. At one point, I had over 16,000 hits over a few weeks until I reloaded the page and accidentally reset the counter to zero. Since then, it's been a trickle in comparison. Clearly those people don't know I have my picture in this month's Arthur Frommer's Budget Traveler Magazine and was elected Youth of the Year in 1992 by my local Rotary Club!
Nonetheless, I occasionally (okay, constantly) flashback to my fifteen minutes of fame and keep expecting to get an email like this:
Hey lard ass! Maybe if you stopped feeling sorry for yourself long enough to actually put down that Ding Dong and START exercising you wouldn't be so pathetic! All you do is whine about how much you love food, how fat you are, and how unfair it is! Get a life!!!
Gary from Indiana
Of course I would ignore the email entirely since I am easily wounded and avoid senseless negativity, plus- why fuel the fire? Secretly though, I would love to respond with this-
PS - Get a life and stop emailing people you hate!
PPS - At least I don't live in Indiana.
Josie from shallow, fun-filled California
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
A giant scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream and caramelized sugar pecans, all floating in a sea of cinnamon apples, caramel sauce and chocolate croutons.
Let's take a moment and ponder that. Wow. What a concept. Absolutely brilliant. I mean, I love croutons. And I love chocolate. So why not make a chocolate crouton? Obviously this doesn't always work out so well. As an example, I absolutely LOVE mangoes. And I love peanut butter. But I can't seem to find any peanut butter-mango snacks anywhere. Trust me though, it's coming.
So the next time I cry here about not losing any weight, ask me how my not working out and eating a 23,000 calorie dessert instead worked out for me.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Anything more than that and I'm screwed. A large part of the intimidation is because yes, I'm new. But mostly it's because I'm very, very uncoordinated.
Do you remember when you went to your first dance in seventh grade? (Some of you may have gone to your first dance even earlier but I can't help that you were little whores...). Anyway, remember how scared you were to get out on the dance floor for the first time? When you finally gathered enough courage to get out there you made sure you were hidden in the middle of all of your friends so that no one would be able to see you? And when your pack of friends started to break up you got all paranoid and kept repositioning yourself to always remain hidden in the middle of the pack? I bet all you could muster initially was that awkward, infamous, and repetitious dance move of essentially rocking from one foot to the other- left together, right together, left together, right together...
After a few songs, you began to gather a little confidence though. You started to sweat, laugh, and get down! Pretty soon you were even okay with not having to hide in the center of the group anymore. You were laughing, hooting and hollering it up on the dance floor, starting to get crazy and have fun!
Yeah. Well that moment has STILL NOT happened for me. I'm still terrified, awkwardly trying to hide in the middle of the group, praying that the DJ dies or the building bursts into flames so the wretched dancing can end.
I've been told I'm not a bad dancer, and that *surprise*- I'm being too hard on myself. But the key words here are "not a bad dancer." I.e.- NOT A GOOD DANCER. So I avoid it. And if you avoid something long enough, then guess what? You develop a complex and find yourself exactly where I'm at- stumbling through every move/twirl/hop/pirouette and about 4 steps behind everybody else, trying to look confident but failing miserably.
But I'm gonna stick with it. I'll get it eventually and before long-I'll be bragging all about it, posting pictures of me stepping, inventing my own dance moves, entering a national stepping contest, running for President of the National Stepping Association and basically taking over the entire friggen world. One step at a time.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
In any case, I've been doing pretty good. When I wrote that depressing post last week, it was very raw and very real. I had just spent three miserable days battling the urge to overeat (and pretty much failing at that). It was one of about five or six 'all-time lows' that I've experienced over the past year. But a couple of recent realizations have somewhat pulled me out of the funk-
On Half of Me she writes-
"I have basically resolved myself to the fact that I lose all my weight for the month in one week and then plateau for the other 3 weeks, at least as far as the scale is concerned. So this is the week this month that I get to lose weight."
And you know, she's right! At least for me. I spend so much of my time moping over the scale each month that I tend to completely overlook the fact that I am still, albeit very slowly, slimming down. Most of each month, my weight doesn't budge. Yet over the last two months, I've actually bought a couple pairs of pants in a size small. A small! A year ago I was still buying everything in XL and being lucky to fit into that! So I have to remind my stubborn, pig-headed brain that toning up is as good as losing weight!
Next realization - I think part of the reason I've been so hard on myself is because I've been trying to be too self disciplined. I know that sounds odd, since those who don't know anything about overeating often think that self-discipline is exactly what overeaters need! What I am trying to say is that I am always trying to "eat the right foods" and "do the right workout." The problem is, this is difficult to rigidly adhere to over the long term. So when I inevitably stray (by eating too much or not exercising), I end up feeling like I've failed, which leads to depression and frustration.
I thought I was being proactive and setting myself up for success by preparing all of my healthy meals in advance, eating mostly health food and increasing my fitness goals. But in reality, I believe I was also setting myself up to fail. Because if I didn't accomplish what I had thought I should, I felt horrible. My standards didn't make any allowances for "real life". What about days when I just didn't feel like working out? Ate too much bread at dinner? Ate too many cookies? Surely it was because I was too lazy/weak! That must be the reason I didn't lose any weight this week! Damnit, something must be wrong with me! I must have a problem! Woe is me, boo-hoo-hoo on the blog, help save me everyone.
I thought that by not going on a diet like Atkins/South Beach and not labeling any foods as 'off limits' it meant that I would be more likely to avoid the deprivation/binge cycle that many people fall prey too. But I now realize that I've been doing the exact same thing by attempting to restrict my caloric intake/forcing myself to exercise each day. I know now that my so-called 'proactive and enlightened' approach is flawed, and can be as self destructive as being on a structured diet if not handled correctly.
So I've decided to listen to those who do know better and relax. On Thursday and Friday of last week I just wasn't feeling it. The thought of doing any cardio at the gym or going to spinning class exhausted me. So I took a leisurely walk on one day, and skipped spinning for light weight lifting on the other. I loved it. I didn't have to "force" myself to do anything and felt much happier. And of course I didn't gain any weight either.
So I didn't wimp out. I didn't cheat. I created a loving, pleasant environment for myself instead of a negative, disapointed one.
Cheesy summary analogy- This struggle is just like the races I walk/run in- there will always be ups and downs. It will never be easy. Once I get over one heinous challenge, there will always be another. But I figure if I just keep on running, no matter how slowly, I'll have to outrun my demons at some point.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Last week Wednesday I forgot to pack my socks. So I figured a quick (just pretend my top speed is quick) 2-mile jog on the treadmill would be relatively harmless. Obviously a BAD, BAD IDEA. For those of you knowingly shaking your heads and mumbling about my stupidity- thanks for nothing!!!
Around mile 1.5 the tops of my feet started to hurt a little. I brushed it off thinking I only had a half mile to go. By the time I was done, the pain had escalated to a full fledged sting. I took my shoes off and was shocked to notice that I had rubbed off the top layer of skin on each foot. I couldn't believe it. I used to run cross country in high school without socks (gross, but the cool thing to do), and I have walked without socks a couple of times- all without injury. But now both of my poor feet were bright red, raw, and ON FIRE.
That night in the shower it felt like someone was shoving daggers into my feet. I was howling and screaming like a woman giving birth. While some of you mothers might argue that pushing something the size of a cantaloupe through your vagina is worse, I'd have to disagree. And besides...this isn't about you!!! That sh** hurt like a mo'fo!
This has resulted in a series of leisurely work-outs. Yesterday I lifted weights, and on Thursday I taped up and went on a slow 4-mile walk. It was my first time walking around the town I work in, which is unfortunate because it's quite scenic. In it's heyday it was touted as the 'original Palm Springs,' the playground of the rich and famous. As a result, most of the homes in the area are well preserved, historic Victorians from the early 1900s.
Everything that day was perfect. The sun was shining, there was a cool breeze rippling through the air, I felt light on my feet, and I was heartily singing along to James Blunt on my MP3 player. The only thing is- I couldn't enjoy most of the houses.
Why? I really couldn't tell you. I love history (got my B.A. in it) and I love touring historic homes. But I've had this wierd affliction ever since I was a kid. Old houses and old furniture freak me out. I feel on edge and semi-claustrophobic (which I'm not). And I don't hate old stuff the way a shallow, materialistic person would, I mean the stuff just creeps me out. It's difficult to explain, it's the combination of the musty old smell, the cracks in the paint, the fact that dead people touched it...I really can't explain it.
I can sit on it, I can look at it (sparingly), I can even appreciate it, but I could NEVER own that stuff. It gives me goose pimples. I am aware that this makes me a borderline freak, but I'll tell you what made me feel much better- Billy Bob Thornton says he suffers from the same thing! He can't stand being around antique furniture either. This is awesome! I know most people wouldn't want to identify themselves with Billy Bob Thornton, but that old coot and I share a number of things in common- we both hate old stuff, we both have a love affair with Angelina Jolie, and we both wear vials of dried blood around our necks (what better way to show your love?).
Friday, April 07, 2006
Will update this weekend for sure!
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
I had a good time. No gambling. No buffets. And sadly enough, no table showers. I'm can't say I know what those are, but I saw them advertised at a half dozen Asian massage parlors, so I'm guessing they're real hot sellers there. If anyone knows what they are, please share. You will of course, remain anonymous (and we really don't need to know what happened afterwards for that extra twenty bucks....that's between you and Wai Lin.)
I stayed at the Tropicana and was given this funky, 1970's-style room that was clearly meant to inspire good times (wink wink nudge nudge). I had a king-sized bed with the headboard, wall and ceiling ALL covered by mirrors. Eeew. This made me have to run through "the routine" my germophobic spouse has faithfully performed for years now:
1. Immediately remove the entire bed spread. Do not, under any circumstances, allow it to come into contact with any part of my body or clothing. Using only two fingers and holding it an arm's length away- carry it over to a corner of the room and drop it there, never to be touched again.
2. Search all of the sheets and pillows for any hair and/or other unmentionables.
3. Do not remove shoes (a bad habit Japanese people have once we're indoors) until rubber slippers have been unpacked and slipped on.
I did really well eating one day, and kinda crappy the next. Still not feeling so hot about everything. But I'll share more about that later. It's late and granny's gotta get to bed.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
You know, I've never been a Disney fan. I have theories about that:
Theory #1 - I was rarely allowed to watch cartoons on Sunday mornings. (Oh, but don't feel bad for me...weeding the yard and getting bitten by red ants was much more fun). As such, any potential childhood animation/imagination was effectively stifled.
Theory #2 - Growing up in a small town with parents who valued crap like "a good education," "no junk food," and "using our imagination" meant we had no cable tv or comics in the house.
Theory #3 - I'm you know...kinda anal. I don't find cartoons very funny. Big, furry, goofy characters at theme parks tend to invoke more rage in me than silly happiness (I harbor particular ill will toward most of the Muppets- Beaker, Gonzo, Ms. Piggy, Kermit, & Fozzie all piss me off). Please tell me I'm not the only one.
Theory #4 - The usual- long lines, crowds, $59 admission, $10 parking, $12 soggy hamburgers, etc.
Whatever the reason, I've just never had any interest in Disney characters, theme parks, animated films, etc. I've never seen Disney movies like Finding Nemo, Aladdin, Toy Story, Beauty & the Beast, Monsters, Inc., etc. other than Lilo & Stitch, cause you know...gotta represent the 8-0-8 state, ah? Hawaii no ka oe and all that. Every trip I've made to Disneyland over the course of my life (about 15 visits) has generally been met with my own indifference.
But yesterday I had fun. Lots of fun. Perhaps it was because we got there early and enjoyed nearly 2-3 hours of a near-empty California Adventures park. Perhaps I just needed the break from life or more time with Roy (I only see him 2 nights a week and some weekend days), but we had a fabulous time. Got there in record time- less than an hour. Perfect weather. Sped through all the main rides in the morning. Got sick on California Screamin. Left the park to eat a healthy lunch in the car. Took a short nap to shake off the nausea (a requisite for those of us in our 30s). Felt refreshed. Took in the Aladdin musical (the first musical I've ever enjoyed...those sets were spectacular)! Hit the park for another 4-5 hours and then remembered why middle-aged childless couples don't stay until closing- we were clean tuckered out.
Afterwards, we decided we wanted to go home instead of staying over for a second day. I know it sounds wierd, but we had such a great time we kind of just wanted to go home and enjoy a relaxing Sunday together. Dealing with a second consecutive day of having my toes run over by strollers, having to push little kids out of the way so I could have my picture taken with Shrek before them...all too exhausting to think of. Plus we were just there a few months ago with my family. So I think we're just gonna sell our 2nd day tickets on Ebay.
Yesterday I had a great breakfast and lunch (healthy) and an indulgent dinner at Mimi's. Speaking of which, until 2004, I thought that restaurant was for old people. I think it was the architecture of their buildings and the whole Mimi's moniker. But I went there with a coworker a few years ago and LOVED it. The bread basket is like no other. Delicious. I had soup, a bowl/bucket full of pasta, and some of Roy's appetizer. Yum.
Thankfully my decadence last night and over the past 3 days has only resulted in a three-pound set back. That I can handle. Back in the saddle today. As we speak Roy is loading my MP3 player (yes, I'm too lazy/stupid to have learned how to do it myself yet) with new songs that I can pant out today on the track. It's my jogging day, so I'm hoping to amaze myself and beat last week's 5-mile performance. I realize I had a few bad days and a few bad months, but all is not hopeless. I'm gonna figure it out.