A Pink Skirt and Plates

When you’re overweight, you’re patently aware of your size, especially in a clothing store.  I think they’ve changed the sizes up as we’ve become a larger society.  I could be wrong.  I always thought a size 16 was smaller than what I look at in the mirror now.  I remember being a 14 after I had Matthew, before I got pregnant with Bekah.  When I look at pictures, I look small.

I’ve had a pink skirt suit in my closet for the past two years.  I love the style.  It has old-fashioned sleeves, the kind that are tight up to a couple of inches before the wrist and then fall into a flounce?  A button up front with two giant pink buttons and a collar you can either button up or let fall forward to form a v-neck.  It’s pink!  I HAD to get it even though I was too big for it.  Every few months, I’d take it out and try it on.  It was always too snug on top and definitely too snug around my waist and abdomen.  This morning, I took it out, just for giggles.  I knew it was going to be too small still because I haven’t lost that much weight or inches.  I took the skirt off the hanger and when I unzipped it, I thought, whoa, this is big.  Stepped into it and yep.  About an inch too big.  But I didn’t care.  I buttoned and zipped.  Slipped my arms into the top and I was crushed.  It’s so big that its TOO big.  I can’t explain the mixed emotions.  I wore it anyway.  Twirled about, feeling small, knowing it was going to get washed and then handed down to friends who are fighting the same battle as I am.  But I wore it once!

This is the second time I’ve done this in the past four months.  At the beginning of the summer, I had a pretty black dress, a bit longer than my calves, with small white polka dots all over it, sleeveless with a matching jacket.  Too small for me, too small for me, too small for me, then one day – Presto!  TOO BIG.  It just happened.

I’m fashion unconscious.  Both of those outfits could have hung in my closet for ten years and when I finally fit into them, I would have worn them regardless.  But I bypassed them both.  And they were two different sizes.  One is a 20 and one is an 18.   And I’m in a 16!!!

Celebrate!

Smaller plates have been very helpful to me.  We have dinner plates, salad plates, pasta bowls, etc.  I have a few large dinner plates left in my everyday cupboard.  As they break, I don’t replace.  Lately, Bekah and I have been wandering through the dishes aisle at the Family Thrift Center across the highway from us.  I specifically avoid dinner plates.  We buy salad plates and bowls only.  The girls and I eat off the salad plates now.  Matthew?  We still give him a dinner plate!

It’s important to realize my stomach can only hold so much food comfortably.  Filling up a dinner plate is detrimental to my waist line, but filling up a salad plate?  Not such a bad thing!  I fill my salad plate up only once.  I eat what my taste buds are craving the most, it varies from day-to-day.  We all know what we crave when we think of a certain dinner menu.  FAJITA BURGER!  I don’t even have to touch a french fry, but boy, that burger and me, we’re going to get up close and comfortable and it’s going to be sloooowww goood!  If I savor my burger, letting the flavors roll across my tongue, the texture of the guacamole, the sautéed onions, the cheese – treating each bite as if it were my last bite of food ever – I’ll be comfortably full by the time I finish only half.  Then I don’t take another bite of anything.  Not even the fries.  If I can feel the fries calling to me, I indulge in only one or two.  Just like with the burger, I savor the flavor.  If it’s a soggy fry?  EW.  I won’t even bother because there will be absolutely no satisfaction having a soggy fry on my tongue.

I picked up the pace on the elliptical rider today at the gym, managing to cover 1.5 miles in my 25 minutes.  Hannah let me borrow her iPod until I can get another one for myself.   Troy and I scheduled my training sessions for Wednesdays after work and Saturdays at Noon.  He had the nerve to suggest 9:00 AM workouts on Saturday.  I’m pretty sure everyone in the gym heard me laugh hysterically at that one!  I don’t know what he was thinking.

Are people awake that early on the weekend?

Emotional Eating

I don’t understand emotional eating.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  I understand when I stress, I will reach for food.  I’ve heard theories saying it’s because I am in full control of what I put in my mouth but feel controlled by the situation causing the stress.  So, eating becomes a form of control over my environment.  I’ve heard it’s because food is a comfort based on happy memories during my childhood surrounding food holidays and so, when stressed or feeling out of control, eating brings back feelings of happiness.

Those theories still don’t make any sense to me.   Unconsciously eating to eradicate feelings of inadequacy, etc.?  Eating didn’t make me feel any better, not ever.  I don’t get stressed and go on a food hunt, looking to relive moments in my life when I was carefree.  I think theorists forget how good food tastes.  The fudge my Grandpa Smith made every Christmas?   My jaw hurts just thinking of it!  There isn’t another fudge in the universe capable of producing the pure pleasure a piece of his fudge melting on your tongue can bring.  And his pizza?  My Mother’s Pennsylvania Dutch Apple pie with slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese?  Freshly spun cotton candy.  A hot cup of Milo made with real milk.  S’mores.  Cherry Ripe.  Fajita burgers.  Lobster bisque.  Cream of Poblano Soup.  Bekah’s spicy chocolate chip cookies.  The list goes on and on.

I Like Food.  Flavors.  Mmmmmmm.

I had a wonderful childhood.   My parents love each other and were devoted parents.  My Dad worked/works hard every day of his life to provide for us kids and my Mom.  My Mom gave everything to make sure us kids had everything we needed.  So, I don’t eat to compensate for a horrible childhood.

I was a healthy size 14 while married to the first, monogamy-challenged husband.  Yes, I could have trimmed and toned a bit but for the most part, I was all good.

I definitely tried to be ugly while I was married to my second husband.   If I could adequately explain the effect sexual abuse had on me….  I kept my hair boy short and my body tree trunk thick.  It never stopped him.  My marriages sucked.  Word of advice to any single mothers reading this?  Don’t ever marry for anything except pure love.  Reach deep into your soul and think hard.  If you don’t think anyone will ever love you because you’re ‘used’?  If you’re struggling to make ends meet and some guy proclaims love and devotion but all you can think about is being a stay-at-home mother and don’t believe you can take care of yourself and your children alone, so you agree to marry him?  Don’t believe any of it.  Wipe away society’s expectations.  Build your OWN expectations.  Decide what YOU want out of life, for you and your children.  And then go for it!  We are stronger, we are worth more, we deserve to be happy deep inside with a mate who gives as much as he receives and more.

Once I was divorced and on my own with four children, life got better but harder.  We’ve lived in seven different homes in the past ten years.  Evicted once (withheld child support because I refused to sign a document giving him one of the girl’s as a tax deduction so I had no way to pay the rent), no credit, no job history for 16 years, only making $9.00 per hour, we lived in a roach-infested, fire-ant friendly two bedroom apartment illegally (I found out having four children, two of each sex, and myself meant we should have a minimum of a three-bedroom apartment but my landlord was ‘nice’ enough to let us live there.  Every day I waited for CPS to come and take my kids.)  I got a better job and a second job and after six months, moved us into a house with three bedrooms, allowing Joshua to graduate from his high school.  He went to college.  Matthew moved to NY to live with his Dad because I was gone 60 to 70 hours per week working and with his ADHD and  Tourette Syndrome diagnosis, I was absent way too much to properly parent him.   I moved the girls and I into a two bedroom apartment.  It was then CPS called.  Did an entire visit; I was completely cleared of any wrong doing.  He grasped at this miniscule straw – I had no house phone.  He did this while I was attempting to get legal permission to leave the state with a promotion into management for the company I worked for.  I had a very nice social worker who actually apologized for having to visit my home.  She understood very clearly it was an attempt to prove me unfit so he could obtain physical custody of my girls.  I bought a throw away phone with a $20 balance, 911 use only, on her recommendation. Looking back, I doubt CPS would have taken the girls for no phone, otherwise they’d have confirmed I had one, but I was scared.  They never did.  I never received a follow-up visit or even a call by CPS again.  As my income increases, so has our quality of living environment.  We’ve gone without living room furniture and/or kitchen furniture on and off for the past ten years.  The girls have slept in dining rooms converted into a ‘bedroom’ by a couple of sheets quite often.  We ate green beans, macaroni and cheese, rice and whatever else KCM provided its domestic abuse clients with.  For years, Christmas was a blessing bestowed upon us by local churches who would ‘adopt’ us, same with school supplies.

We’ve come a long way, baby!

But even during all this, I didn’t gorge on food, growing exponentially with the burden of my responsibilities.  The weight of my emotional baggage during this was enormous!!!  So, no, I don’t get the emotional eating thing.  The only thing making the most sense to me is this:  I open my mouth, I put the food in.  I chew.  I swallow.  I repeat until I have enough inside to maintain the weight I gained while married to my ex-abuser.

I have become very aware of my intake.  I learned how to identify true hunger vs. thirst vs. desire to taste something yummy vs. eating because someone said you have to eat six meals per day vs. someone said you have to start every morning with breakfast vs. someone said you can’t eat sugar vs. someone said you can’t eat fat vs. someone said you can’t eat carbs vs. someone said ….  You get the idea.

I take full responsibility for everything going into my mouth.

If there was an emotional connection?  I’ve unplugged it.

Measurements

When I decided to write this blog, I did it for a few reasons.  First, I find it easier to maintain self-control and motivation when I’m in a group situation.  I’m not a loner.  I enjoy family and friends.  I like to share, to be a part of a bigger picture.  Second, I’m a feedback kinda girl.  I LIKE hearing praise and encouragement.  But, I also like providing praise and encouragement.  I derive much satisfaction when I help someone else realize their worth and accomplish their goals.  Third, I know I’m not the only person who struggles with weight loss and maintenance.  Many of the Schwalm girls struggle with their weight.  There are only a few of us who don’t!  So, if my public struggle can help anyone with their private struggle, even better!  Last, I am not ashamed of me.  I take full responsibility for every choice I made to bring myself to this point in my life.  Some were good, some were not well thought out, some were impulsive, some were just plain bad.  (There are five decisions I will never regret, their names are Joshua, Matthew, Rebekah, Hannah and Dallas.)  If my honesty helps someone else realize the choices they made also brought themselves to the same place with their weight struggle that I am in, then good!

People can be very cruel and judgmental.  We see it all over FaceBook; the American public is so opinionated about everything it seems.  Nobody knows how to play nicely in the sandbox.  Everybody is filling their own pail and refusing to share the shovel, throwing sand at each other and drawing lines in it.  It’s disheartening.  Why would anyone volunteer to share any part of themselves so publicly?  You open yourself up for a world of hurt.

So, I’m writing on Thursday night and replay my video in my head again.  And then I click  the “Publish” button.  What I shared was very personal to me.  I couldn’t even manage to articulate replies to my comments, although I will admit to crying.  I was waiting for judgment.  I was waiting for someone to demolish my dream, tell me I was ridiculous or tell me what I shared was somehow inappropriate.  And it didn’t come.  Thank you so much for the positive responses, via  comments, text messages, and private messages.  It meant the world to me.

I made it through yesterday.  Troy didn’t hurt me too much since we were doing baseline measurements and cardio only yesterday.  I was at the gym for two hours!!!  It won’t be long every time, only once a month for my evaluations.  My cohort in crime, Becki, came home from Israel finally.  Her office is next to mine at work and it’s been very empty!!  We went to the movies, catching the final Harry Potter before it left the theater.  We were both hungry, considered our options at the concession counter and agreed we’d rather go out for a late dinner afterwards.  Becki had a soda, I opted for water.  Dinner was worth the wait!  We went to Genghis Grill.  I piled on the marinated beef, onions, mushrooms, tofu, snow peas, green onions and baby corn.  Topped it off with Steakhouse spices and Kung Pao sauce with something noodlish.  I forgot what kind of noodle.  Anyway, it was PERFECT.  I ate all the beef first, remembering my promise to Troy to eat more protein for my muscles.  I ate everything else except the noodles.  I think I only had a couple of bites.  I was comfortably full and no longer feel the need or obligation to eat everything on my plate, whether I pay for it or not.

Below are the results of my Fitness Evaluation

  • Body Fat:  43.8%
  • Three Minute Step Test (heart rate): 170 beats per minute
  • Upper Body Strength Test:  35 pounds, 30 repetitions
  • Lower Body Strength Test:  104 pounds (?), I think I did 20 but he didn’t write it down!
  • Flexibility:  -2 inches
  • Planks:  50 seconds

Here are my Measurements (in inches):

  • Neck:  15.25
  • Chest:  44.25
  • Shoulders: 45.75
  • Waist:  45.50
  • Hips: 51
  • Bicep (R): 13.75
  • Bicep (L): 13.75
  • Thigh (R): 24
  • Left (L): 24
  • Calf (R): 14
  • Calf (L): 14

I took my own blood pressure this morning, since this is a personal health concern:

128/80

Resting heart rate: 68 beats per minute.

Hannah and I are off to get her before-school hair cut.  I’m going to take her to Ruby Tequila’s because, after reading my blog the other night, she feels it is absolutely necessary she try that fajita burger!

Motivation

I have this video clip in my head.

I’m walking down the aisle of a Safeway in Melbourne, toward the liquor shoppe.  I’m wearing four-inch pumps; he can hear me coming but he doesn’t know it’s me.  “That sound,”  he thinks while nonchalantly turning around, his rich brown eyes observing the black brushed suede of my pumps.   As his eyes to continue their journey, I take another step toward him, barely breathing.  His eyes sweep up my calves, the hem of my silky black figure-hugging dress brushing my thighs about four inches above my knees.  His gaze travels quickly to my eyes, recognition not yet evident, sweeping back down to the creamy swell peeking over my tastefully cut bodice.   With a mischievous smile and twinkling eyes, I tilt my head back, a throaty chuckle emanating from my barely parted lips.  He’s mesmerized.  His jaw is slack, his white teeth flashing behind lips barely evident through his thick black beard and mustache.  I reach out, placing my fingertips under his chin, closing his mouth.  “Hey there,” I say.  “Hey there,” he says.  I hear him take a very deep breath, his broad chest rising perceptibly beneath his starched white finely tailored pinpoint oxford.  He reaches for his collar, a couple of fingers disappearing behind his tie, tugging slightly to loosen it.  Our eyes meet again and the air crackles around us.  I feel the palm of his strong calloused hand graze over my hip before he flattens it up against the small of my back, gently nudging me closer to him.  When he exhales, “Donna”, my name whispered so softly from his lips, I’m lost.

It gets WAY better, trust me.

I’m not just a Mom.

I still dream of my knight in shining armor, coming to my emotional rescue.  But I replay this little clip in my head now and again.  It’s motivation for me.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not my ONLY motivation.  Losing weight is something I’m doing for ME.  I want to be healthy and fit.  But I’m a woman.  I need the reflection in my mirror to match how I feel inside.  It’s what I want.

I distinctly remember the shift in my thinking when I became a mother.  I call it “Mommy-mode”.  Inherently female thoughts went to the wayside.  I honestly didn’t know how to be a woman AND a mother all at once.  Maybe it’s because I wasn’t married to the right man.  Whatever it was, it eluded me for many, many years.  If you’d asked me what my dreams were between the ages of 21 and 35, I would have honestly told you I didn’t have any.  I wasn’t allowed to.

I dream now.  I want to become an English Teacher.  I want to teach English to children other teachers and even their parents have given up on.  I want to spend my summers in Italy and Spain, soaking up culture.  I want to be a Nonna!  I want sweet nothings and loving embraces.  I want a wrap-around front porch with two rocking chairs separated by a chess board, always a game in progress which I’ll lose but he’ll win, his eyes twinkling with delight as he whispers, “I love you, Donna”.

Eating Habits

Having struggled with my weight for so long, I was at the point where any diet not too outrageous earned a second look on my part.  I tried no carbs/low carbs.  (Boy!  Did I get sick!!!)  I’ve tried counting calories, measuring all my food, counting servings, counting points, blah blah blah.  I never tried any of those pre-fab, pre-packaged monthly installment food regimes.   A friend of mine joined a few years back and I tasted one of her muffins.  Cardboard has more flavor and probably way more fiber.  I tried brand name weight loss products from the grocery store but how many times can you eat the same exact meal?

So, last year my employer, Weatherford International, sponsored my participation in a program called Naturally Slim.  I don’t know how many people submitted applications (there was a screening process for potential candidates), but I was accepted along with a few others from my office.  We banded together for support and it was on!

I came out of the ten week course with an entirely different point of view on food:  how I eat, what I eat, why I eat, when I eat and more.  I’d have to look up my starting stats but I think I weighed 257 pounds.  By the end of the program I was down 30 pounds (Note:  I didn’t do any exercise!  I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I wanted to see just how well I could do with the educational tools the program provided before I added exercise to the equation.)  I was ecstatic!  Coolest thing ever?  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s.  All holidays with a food foundation, right?  Chocolate, turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, breads, pies, cookies, appetizers galore….  The list goes on.  I ate EVERYTHING I wanted.  You know how much weight I gained through the holidays?  Not One Pound.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Nothing.  This just doesn’t happen, right?

I own a food scale but it’s in that useless storage cupboard over the stove we all have, purchased when I participated in a weekly weigh-in diet.  I don’t use the scale; it’s just taking up space.  I don’t have a calorie counter/serving equivalent reference anywhere in the house.  I have real butter in my refrigerator.  I will not buy any “diet” food and certainly no “sugar substitutes”.

I am off the diet rotation forever.

I wish I could share details of this wonderful educational program – please, it is NOT a diet – because it has changed my outlook towards food permanently.  Many people have asked me about it, so I thought I would share.  (Disclaimer:  The Naturally Slim people didn’t give me a penny to write this blog.  Maybe they should?)

I didn’t go to the gym today, choosing instead to enjoy lunch at Ruby Tequila’s with Karen, a great friend of mine.  (Do you ever feel God has blessed you with a friendship?  I do.)  We ordered the beef Fajita Burger.  Description from their menu:  Mesquite fired beef or chicken fajita meat.  Served on a bed of sauteed onion and peppers, smothered in mushrooms and monterey jack cheese.  They don’t mention the avocado or the bun, which is rich with flavor.  It comes with a side of french fries which I asked to be cooked until crispy on the outside but not on the inside.  Nothing worse than a soggy fry, right?  We ordered one meal and two plates.  Weird, huh?  Karen and I split the burger onto our own small plates and ate the fries from the serving plate.  We couldn’t even finish the fries.  We were already full.

Did I mention I got on the scale again this morning?  I wasn’t going to get on the scale.  I fought it hard.  But its siren song played me this morning.  I got on.

2 2 2 . 5

That’s what I’m talking about.

Self-Analysis

I finally reached the point when I had to just get it done.  But, I didn’t arrive at this point standing in front of the mirror and observing to myself, “Whoa, you’re looking a little plump around the edges, Donna, you really should do something about this fat thing you got going on.”  If that were the only necessary step, I’d have been svelte and sassy my entire life!

I belong to this amazing family:  The Schwalm’s.  There are probably hundreds of us by now, spanning four generations.  My grandparents had nine children and their children have had children who’ve had children!  (Zero population growth?   Tis to laugh!)  Among us though, are several short individuals.  My Mom is five feet tall, my Aunt Deb is a little shorter than my Mom and the rest of us get progressively taller, past six feet even.  I’ve always been five foot four inches.  Recent chiropractic visits gave me another half-inch which I proudly claim, so now I’m a glorious five foot four and one-half inches!  But, I digress.

We used to lovingly tease my Aunt Deb about her inability to ‘slink’ because she was short.  (Definition of slink:  The ability to “work it, baby!”  Oh snap!)  Well, I can’t slink either.  I’ve only got four inches on my aunt, but all this extra weight prevents the entire slink thing from happening.  In my opinion, short people who are also obese have a really tough time pulling off sexy, it doesn’t matter what level of confidence we own.  Well, I am drop dead sexy inside and I need to see it in my reflection!

So, I have this great list of reasons why I am obese today.

  • I had four cesarean sections which have destroyed my abdominal wall.   (I’m a kangaroo.  Ugh.)
  • My ob/gyn told me I shouldn’t exercise my abdomen if it still hurt (I’m talking months after I had my boys, he still told me that!  Who am I to argue with a doctor?)
  • I made horrible husband choices.  The first cheated, the second abused me.
  • Taking care of one/two/three/four children is a lot of work.
  • I work hard all day; when I get home the last thing I want to do is work-out.
  • There isn’t enough time in my day to dedicate to just me.  (How selfish would I be?)
  • I had a special needs child.
  • I don’t have enough money, shouldn’t even THINK of spending any on myself (i.e. gym membership, workout DVD, etc.), not while I have children at home.
  • My boyfriend broke up with me.
  • I’m allergic to Texas.
  • Food hates me.

However, I needed to accept:

  • I gained 50 pounds during each pregnancy and only lost 25 after.  My pouch is real, but so are the 100 pounds I kept on.
  • My ob/gyn was absurdly out-of-date.  Good at delivering babies and great bedside manner.  But honestly?  I latched onto his “medical opinion” and didn’t let go.
  • Unconsciously remaining “fat and ugly” to keep my second husband at arm’s length never worked.  Tried it for almost ten years.  No bueno.
  • If I don’t spend a little on myself, I’m not going to live long enough to be a Nonna!  I want to be around when my grandchildren are born!
  • I can’t control the decisions other people make; I can only control my response to them.
  • A healthy, happy Momma is a better parent.
  • Food doesn’t hate me.  I’m flavor-addicted.  I NEED to taste.
  • I AM allergic to Texas.  The air in Houston is very unhealthy and my asthma diagnosis prevents me from exercising effectively outside, so I have to figure out how to do it inside.

Overcoming all my well-developed excuses hasn’t been easy.  This has been a long and arduous battle.

I got rid of the second husband – not because I needed to lose weight!  I gave birth to four beautiful reasons to never endure abuse and I’m pretty special myself.  Abuse is something I fell into; I certainly didn’t sign up for it.  But the gradual brain-washing I stoically endured took a great toll on me.  Group therapy at Katy Christian Ministries and their support system changed my life.  I needed time to lick my wounds, to grasp and overcome what I experienced, what my children experienced, gain an understanding of how he developed and maintained control of me for so long – Identifying Abusive Behaviors.  I couldn’t have done it as well and as swiftly as I did were it not for KCM.

There were many times I sunk into depression as I struggled to become a survivor of domestic abuse instead of a victim.  Depression is debilitating if not addressed.  I’m not shy.  I have suffered some very serious lows I just couldn’t manage to climb out of on my own.  Recognizing and accepting my weakness, I sought help from my doctor.   Short term medicinal therapy helped me get over some difficult hurdles.

Once my brain was healthy again, I had to be honest with myself and take full responsibility for what I put into my body.  I open my mouth and I insert food.  I chew it, I swallow it and I reach for the next bite.  I continue this process, mostly hurried, until I have over-eaten.  Nobody forces me to eat.  I do it all on my own.  And my intake level surpasses my activity level to such a point I have successfully maintained a 100 pound excess!!  Thinking positively, I can’t wait until I get to maintain a healthy 140 pounds because I have this maintenance thing down cold!

To that end, I was again at the gym today.  Troy, Obstructor of Obesity, confirmed I would be coming Friday for my second session of sweat and pain.  I proceeded to the elliptical rider, did my mini mile and went back to work.

I’m in a good place.  I suffered a bit of anxiety today while contemplating an open position within my company I feel qualified to fill.  Normally, I’d have calmed the vultures in my stomach with something to eat but I wasn’t hungry.  I didn’t eat.  Hurray!

Here’s the thing….

When I lose weight one week, my tendency is to sabotage the next!

I  did it!  WOOHOO!  CELEBRATE!  Now I can have two snack size Cherry Ripe instead of one or devour an entire burrito from Los Cucos!  Cherry Ripe (for the uneducated chocaholic) is an Aussie candy bar – rich chocolate, real cherries and yummy coconut decadence.  My Mexican food addiction?  Well, let’s just say I need a 12-step program.  (Seriously, I do.)

Paying attention to when I’m hungry and to what comfortably full feels like is what has helped me keep 30 pounds off since August of last year.  Celebrating because I lost 2.5 pounds very clearly undermines my progress.  So – first thing this morning – I made sure I hydrated to dispel my morning thirst-craving which is disguised as hunger.  I’m never actually hungry until 11:00 to 11:30 AM on a work day.  Today was no different.

Last night, I asked Hannah, my almost 14-year-old, if she’d make my lunch.  She asked me what I wanted and I gave her a detailed list.  Ham, hard salami and American cheese with mustard on rye, a snack bag filled with baby kosher dills and a few strawberries.   We have some delicious homemade oatmeal apple and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the house, but I deliberately didn’t include those in my request to Hannah.  I hate mornings, absolutely abhor mornings!  I will wait until the last possible moment to roll out of bed and into the shower, giving myself no time to make lunch.  I have NO CHOICE but to take what Hannah made for me.  I will not have any extra time to gather a few cookies into a bag to top off my lunch.  What a strategy, eh?

I lost track of time this morning at work and before I knew it, it was 11:30 AM.  I was feeling a bit hungry, but I wanted to go to the gym first.  I grabbed my keys and made my way to the gym.  Troy the Terrible was sitting at his desk to the right of the front door.  I saw him, he didn’t see me.  😛  I looked away quickly before he could meet my eyes, checked in and went to the women’s locker room to change, hightailing it upstairs to the elliptical riders.

I want to know who picks the stations we get to watch while exercising.  I’ve got an hour for lunch, I only get a 25 minute workout and I have to watch “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”, “The Millionaire Matchmaker” or, and now this one slays me, The Food Network.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me.

Common sense dictates if you’re trying to lose weight, watching cooking shows is a self-defeating pastime.  Have you ever watched a cooking show and not lusted after any or all of the dishes being cooked?  Unless you have enormous self-control (I’m overweight therefore, I don’t!) watching those shows will make you hungry when you’re not – makes stopping at the Whataburger right outside the gym seem reasonable!!  I must be hungry, I’m DROOLING.  Who wouldn’t be?

Another behavior which clearly undermines the hard work involved with losing weight.  And there it is, in front of the elliptical rider, my machine of choice.  (Note to Santa: I need an iPod, 32 gig minimum please, so I can close my eyes and ride instead of watching those televisions!)

I made it through though!  I went back to the office and ate my lunch; I didn’t even finish it.  I ate the sandwich, all of it, because I promised Troy the Terrible I would increase my protein intake after working out, but I couldn’t finish the snack pack of pickles and didn’t even open the bag of strawberries.

We’d determined yesterday thawed boneless chicken breasts would become stir fry tonight.  Mmmmm.  It was sooo good.  This recipe is a keeper.  As an aside, I needed a chicken stir fry recipe, I googled, found a link for a recipe – Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables on the Food Network – eye-balled it for appetizing ingredients, printed it and made it for dinner.  How to use and abuse TFN intelligently.  No need to torture myself watching it all day long.

So today at the gym, I walked 1.2 miles in 25 minutes.  I sweat like a pig (pigs don’t sweat though, do they?)  It felt really good.  My calves are only whinging; no mutiny in sight.  I think I’ll wear sneakers to work tomorrow.  Besides, I was expecting a package in the mail today and offered to pick up the company mail.  Barefoot, I made my way to the end of the sidewalk in front of our building and back again.  I didn’t realize how hot it was when I started out.  The trip to the box?  Not so bad.  The trip back?  Brutal.  I now have blisters all over the pads of my feet.  Yes, I will be wearing sneakers tomorrow anyway.

It’s almost bedtime and I made it.  Tomorrow is another day.

A Day of Rest

Woke up this morning and went back to sleep.  When I finally managed to climb outta bed, I wandered into the kitchen and opened the fridge.  The leftover spaghetti from last night looked very inviting.  I succumbed.  Breaking a bowl out of the cupboard, I filled it up with pasta, five bite-sized meatballs and a sprinkling of shredded parmesan.  Okay, more than a sprinkling.  I could barely see the meatballs for the cheese.  Poured a tall water, about 32 ounces, and went back to my bedroom.

After an exciting weekend of footy, I was anxious to see who won our weekly tipping competition:  Dallas or Donna?  Navigating to http://www.footytips.com.au/, I logged in.  Dallas.  Blah.  He’s up by four tips now and he’s closed the margin to three.  I’d been a cool hundred or more ahead on the margin and managed to get as close as two tips.  Not bad for a yank!    He’s native-born Australian, can watch local television and read the local sports page and I’m THAT close!  Yeah, I’m pretty amazing.

Once I determined I was going to have to tip more aggressively for the last four rounds and before I took a bite of my delicious spaghetti, I went into the bathroom.  This is where my scale resides.  I started at the gym last Tuesday, the day I met Troy, my personal trainer, aka Purveyor of Pain!  I’ll talk more about Troy later.  I spent three days at the gym: once with Troy (He gave me a taste of my future!) and twice to ride the elliptical rider for thirty minutes each.  I really don’t expect to see a change.  I’ve been hungrier than usual this week, only eating until satisfied, but still I know I ate more.  Tapping the scale with my big toe, watching the digital zeroes crawl across the screen as it zeroed, I stepped on.

2 2 5

I’m down to 225.  I lost 2.5 pounds!!!!  YES!!  When I got on the scale Sunday morning last week, I weighed in at 227.5.  I’m pretty certain I’m PMS’ing this week as well.  I should weigh MORE.  But, I don’t.

This is exciting.

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