Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Moby Dick

It is summer now. The time that all fat girls dread. The time of bathing suits and tank tops and sundresses that when applied to anyone over a size 4 can only be described as a mu mu. But none of that seems quite as important to me this year. This year I am on a quest for the perfect pair of white pants.
Yes, I know, black is more slimming. Even a nice navy blue would be more flattering. But it's summer, damn it; and I've lost 20lbs and I deserve a good looking pair of white pants! I know they're out there. My friend Mary (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent) always manages to have the cutest wardrobe, white pants included, no matter how big her size. So I am convinced they can be found. I just have a few requirements.
They have to fit well. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? You would think so. But the more pants I have tried on, the more I have come to know that just because they fit, doesn't mean they fit 'well'. A winter (let's be honest- a few winters) of wearing elastic waist pants have spoiled me.
Second they have to not be denim - back to the fits well part. Besides what's the point of having cool summer pants if I'm just going to roast in them? But they also can't be so thin that you can see my Spanx through them.
And last, they have to not cost a fortune. Now there are some things in the fashion world that I am willing to shell out some scratch for. Good shoes, a fine purse, the perfect red, but not too red, lip gloss. But white pants is not one of those things. At least not this year. Now, maybe I am deluding myself, but I feel like I won't be fitting into these pants (and not in a bad way) next summer, so why should I pay a lot for them?
So to review, I want good fitting pants that are of a good fabric and that don't cost a fortune and also manage not to make me look like a marshmallow. Now that I think about it, these pants may not actually exist. But I am determined to try on every pair I can until I am convinced otherwise. I will either find them or die trying.
Well, maybe the dying part is a little extreme. How about this? I will either find them or get really pissed off and make everyone around me suffer while I'm trying. Yeah, that sounds more like it.

p.s. Here's a head scratcher for ya. I just ordered the perfect summer shirt from Old Navy. It was loose and flowey. It was the perfect ocean blue/green color. (Would look awesome with aforesaid white pants.) But it arrived on the big brown truck and when I opened it to try it on - it was completely backless. What the hell. Who the crap makes a shirt in a size 16 that you can't wear a bra with? Ass holes. Damn you, modelquins!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lies That Skinny People Will Tell You

* "Oh, I can just eat whatever I want and I never seem to gain any weight." Bull Shit. Unless if by 'whatever I want' you mean a pack of Marlboro's and a sugar free red bull.
* "Those Meringue Cookies are really quite good." No they're not. And everybody knows it. The only thing they have going for them is that they're fat free. And the reason they're fat free is because they are basically egg whites, a little bit of sugar, and whipped air. Who the hell wants to eat that?
* "Why in the world do you want to lose weight? You look fine." Come on. I know I'm not fine, you know I'm not fine. Let's cut the crap and just call a spade a spade. I'm fat and I could really use your support, not your patronizing. And if by telling me I look fine you are just trying to keep me in my place - well, then you are going to have to go. Sorry.
* "But you have such pretty eye/hair/toenails/whatever." Yes, I know that, but I want to have a healthy rockin' body too.
*"Once you get going the weight will just fall off." OK, I appreciate that you are trying to be supportive, but don't lie to me. I'm fat, not stupid. I know that losing weight is hard, but I'm stronger than that.

Things I Really Like

1. Curves. My Curves gym membership has been my salvation. It takes me only about 30-45 minutes a day. It's women only so it's completely non-threatening and my trainer is really great. She keeps me motivated and accountable with out being on my ass and making me feel guilty. Plus their weight-loss eating plan doesn't suck either.
2. 100 Calorie packs. Whatever brand or manufacturer, I don't care. There is something extremely satisfying about eating a whole bag of whatever. Plus the fact that I can lose weight while still eating Cheetos. Bitchin'!
3. Light Chocolate Soy Milk. Love it. I know it's not the same but it does fill in nicely for a chocolate shake when nothing else will do. Plus it's got loads of calcium and the extra soy protein makes it perfect for after workouts.
4. SPANX. Thank God for Spanx! They are not like the girdles of old that were so thick and crammed full of Lycra that by the time you actually got the damn thing on, you couldn't breath or set down, and forget about actually eating anything. No, Spanx just smooths you out so there are no bulges or bumps where there aren't supposed to be.
5. The Fashion Code. These two sisters were recently featured on the Rachael Ray Show. They have a system that takes you different body measurements (doesn't matter what size you wear) and gives you the right length jacket/sleeve/pant/necklace whatever to make you look your best.
6. Wii Fit. This has been a lifesaver for days when I couldn't get to Curves or when I just wanted a little something extra. The yoga is nice and I love the free run because I can change the feed on the screen and watch TV while I run and the remote keeps me on track. Awesome!
7. The Biggest Loser. Watching real people struggle to lose weight. Too good. And they do it in a healthy real way. Of course the workouts are exaggerated for TV (8 hours in the gym - come on.) But I can also see people who are way bigger than me have success. And I can be inspired by them. If they can do it, so can I. Maybe not as quickly or as publicly, but I can still get there.
8. Queen Latifah. How awesome is she? Did anyone see her on the American Idol Finale the other night? Holy Crap. She is a big girl and she was totally rocking a skin-tight, off the shoulder, black cat suit. And what's more she looked totally hot! Big girls can be just as hot and we don't have to hide it.
9. My Omega-3 supplement. Some times I can't always eat my daily suggested serving and it really does seem to make a difference for me, so supplement I will. Along w/ a daily multi, of course.
10. Quiet time. For me it's after my kids go to bed. Maybe I'll take a bath, or read a book, or talk on the phone with a friend, or just fold laundry in a quite peaceful manner. It doesn't matter. Just as long as there's some time in every day where I can take time, and just be quiet.

Here We Go

OK, so I'm losing weight. So, I'm like one of about a billion people out there trying to do the same thing. Why is it so damn hard? Why is it so easy to eat the 400 calorie doughnut, but so freakin' hard to run the three miles to work it off?
I don't know the answer to that. And to be honest I'm not sure anybody really does. Sure we all read books and magazine articles and watch TV shows and news specials that all claim to know the answer, but why is so often competing information. The truth is that every one is different. Our bodies are all different, and the reasons we got fat are all different, so why shouldn't the way we lose the fat be different for everybody too? Duh.
I am by no means an expert on weight loss. If I was I wouldn't be looking at my 30th birthday coming up at 220 lbs. But I am an expert on what doesn't work. For me.
Let's review what hasn't worked for me: Slim Fast (OK, but I gained the weight all back and more), Atkins (I would have ran over my grandmother for a cracker by the time it was over), The Celebrity Juice Detox (Torture), The Cabbage Soup Diet (let's just say I was not pleasant to be around for a time), Diet Pills of all Kinds (Never a good idea), Running (killed my knees), Alli (gross), MediFast (800 calories a day, what was I thinking?), Jenny Craig and/or NutriSystem (too expensive and unrealistic), Weight Watchers (too complicated). So you see, I really have tried it all. I have had limited success on a few of the plans but I always managed to gain back everything I lost and then some.
Right before I turned 29, I finally reached bottom. I just got fed up with myself. How had I let myself get this way? Well, (#1) I had two kids by the time I was 23 (the first when I was just 19). I love my kids dearly, but let's be honest - teenage motherhood is not the ideal situation. Add to that (#2) parental disapproval and (#3) marriage at 20 to a husband who works away for long stretches at a time. You could say that the deck was pretty much stacked against me emotionally. And we all know what emotional eating does.
So here I am 29 and fat. Not plus-sized or curvy or big-boned, just plain F-A-T fat. I have wasted my 20s on being fat and unhealthy. Am I going to do the same with my 30s? Hell no!
I have decided to take charge of my life and make my thirties the best decade of my life. Why should I look ahead to turning 30 with dread and humiliation, when I should be looking forward to coming into my own as a mother, a wife, and- yes- a damn fine looking woman? I'm going to be hotter at thrity than I was before I got married. Talk about a MILF. I'm bringing sexy back, baby.
Two weeks before my 29th birthday in November I weighed in at 242 pounds. Scary, huh? I even just now cringed a little bit just typing the number. What's even scarier was that I was having heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and aching joints. Not to mention zero energy. And I wasn't even 29. Something had to change.
So I took myself to my local Curves. (a gym just for the ladies) and signed up. Normally I would never have done such a thing on my own. I would have waited on a friend to join with me. But I suddenly realized that I had no more 'wait's, all I really had was weight and it had to go. Now. The first day at Curves I was surrounded by all this equipment and fast paced music and to be honest it scared the hell out of me. But then I looked around at the other women there. Some of them were older (like- your grandma old) and some of them were in really good shape and some of them not so much, but what I noticed most was that while everyone was really friendly - they didn't care about me. Not in a bad way, they just didn't care. Everyone was there for a reason and they were all so focused on their own personal struggles and goals that they just didn't have the time to care about what I looked like or what I was doing. And eventually that's what I did too.
I stopped focusing on everyone else and started focusing on myself. At first it was hard to tell my kids that I couldn't have that ice-cream with them or that they had to quit what they were doing and go to grandma's for a little while so that I could go to the gym. It was especially hard with my nine year old daughter (who happens to be super skinny - I don't even think she's mine)to explain that I was going to the gym and watching what I eat to lose weight without giving her any hangups about her own body. I eventually settled on telling her and her brother that I was just trying to get healthier so that I would have more energy and be around longer to be with them. And you know what? The more I said it, the more true it became. It stopped being some line I was feeding them do disguise my own selfishness. I realized that I had really been selfish by depriving them of the mom they should have had.
So that was then. Now it's the middle of May and I have lost 22 lbs. Slowly, yes. But that is OK. I still have about 40 more pounds to go. (yes- that will still leave me technically overweight, but maybe that's OK too. I will re-evaluate when I reach that goal.) And I am figuring out what works for me (a diet rich in Omega-3s, low fat dairy, whole grains, and vegi's and lots of cardio combined with weight training) and am proud of what I've accomplished. I am no longer ashamed of setbacks, but have learned to accept them as part of the process. I no longer think I can do this. I know I can!!! Corny, yes. But true nonetheless.