Farewell

Instead of putting up a weigh in today I’m going to do something a little different.  I’m bidding this website and you all a fond farewell.  I obviously have some sadness about closing my website since it’s been a huge factor in everything that I’ve done over the last eight months.  The thing with it is that with every pound that I’ve lost I’ve gained something as well.  I got my confidence and my spark for life back.  Mentally I cleared up a lot of old baggage, some of which I wrote about here, much of which I did not.  I’ve made my peace with a lot of what took place in my past and with that peace I have been able to learn from those circumstances and now move forward.  I am no longer tortured by those instances and so I am able to assign them only the value that they deserve and leave them where they belong, behind me. 

So much of what I did over these eight months taught me things that will only serve me well for anything that comes up in the future.  Through the weight loss I learned that you give your best effort and then you wait for nature to take its course.  That’s all you can do, anything that you force is not going to last and it’s not going to be as rewarding as what you wait for.  Through the exercise I learned that you can’t quit every time things feel slightly uncomfortable.  There is so much to gain from pushing through discomfort and to not allow yourself the pride that comes with that perseverance is a shame.   I learned that it’s alright to not always have all the answers or to have everything figured out.  I’ve learned that actions speak louder than words, both mine and other people’s.  I’ve learned that change is not the worst thing in the world and that a little discomfort won’t make me burst into flames.  Most importantly I think, is that through a close friend I learned to place my trust carefully but fully.  I learned that there is a huge reward in doing that, a reward that I never would have discovered were it not for him. 

I don’t presume to have everything all figured out, not by a long shot.  I still have questions and uncertainties and I’m still learning how to be the best version of myself that I can.  I still have things to finesse and goals to achieve.  What I also have is the strength to do that without having to rely on the crutch that this website was.  I’m a visual person and I think of it like a pendulum of sorts.  I was so far to one side that when I let go and started making some changes, the pendulum swung back the other way, hard.  For the next eight months it would continue do the same thing but gradually slow down.  I don’t believe that the pendulum ever stops moving (nor should it) but it has certainly come to a much more relaxed and centered swing.  That center is where it is possible to have setbacks or rough days and still be able to cope and behave in a way in which you are still respecting yourself.  That center is the place where, more than anything else, I am the most myself.  When I feel things swinging out of control I need to bring it all back to here.  I can do that now, I know what it feels like and what I have to do to get here. 

It’s a harsh thing to say (and I don’t presume to take the credit for this thought!) but there is nothing left for me here.  I can’t grow by staying here, as comfortable as it is.  It is only by letting go of certain safety ropes and taking some calculated risks that I can build my future.  This website and how honest and forthright I’ve been was a calculated risk when I began and every person that I know in real life to whom I gave the address was someone that I was taking a risk in trusting.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that as nice as it is to stay in one place where it’s safe and comfortable is actually part of what I was required to ‘recover’ from.  Staying where it’s safe at the expense of living life is, in fact, not safe at all.    

I say that I no longer need to rely on the crutch that this website is but I definitely am not flying solo just yet.  I have a particular friend (I think I might have mentioned him here now and again! ;) ) who has essentially been holding my hand and leading me along the path this whole time.  No doubt all the work to do what I’ve done has been mine but he’s been there in a way that I can never fully explain.  One of the saddest things about this current situation is that our friendship has to change.  He’s been trying to tell me this for quite awhile and I didn’t understand it at the time.  He’d always said that his happiest moment would come the day I no longer had time to call or text message him.  I finally understand what that means.  I finally understand that it’s not him trying to make me feel bad or suggest that he doesn’t value the relationship that we have.  It’s perfectly clear to me now that it really is the best case scenario and an indication that I am achieving what I’ve been working towards.  It kills me inside though, it really does.   It feels like one thing has to come at the expense of another, that if I want a relationship of my own, if I want a life of my own where I am a central character then I have to let go of our friendship a little.  I have to let that friendship change in order to grow my own future and that breaks my heart. It’s already started though, whether I wanted it to or not.  Over the last little while he has been starting to let go, to stand back a little more.  Maybe it’s a conscious choice on his part or maybe it’s just the natural flow, I’m not sure.  I do know that I feel slightly adrift without that shelter.  I realize though that keeping things exactly the same is the equivilant of hiding behind fat.  It’s safe and secure and I know exactly what it feels like.  That’s not what I’ve worked so hard for though.  So I will take a leap of faith and trust that while the dynamic may change the fact will remain that we have a friendship that is solid and built on trust and honesty and that will never change.  Carey, never in life have I had a friend like you.  I know that you and I have talked about this before, how our friendship is a bit one-sided as far as support and guidance goes.  You don’t need from me what I have needed from you and that makes for a bit of an odd situation.  I don’t for one second believe that our friendship is any less because of that lopsidedness.  I owe you more than I can ever express, more than I can ever repay!  I am forever in your debt and you are forever in my heart! (and to your beautiful wife, “Thank you! In every way and for everything!”)

So what does the future hold for Lady Shanny?  Everything.  I hesitate to tell you all exactly what’s going on right now since I won’t be here to follow it up and that just doesn’t seem right to me.  What I can say is that I have “happy” in my sights.  It’s not all going to be rainbows and puppydogs, I’m not deluded.  But the happy that I’m getting to is a full-life one.  It’s not dependant on anyone or any one thing.  It’s a combination of doing the right things at the right times and letting everything work out in time, just as it’s meant to.

You all have been the most amazing support and you all have a hand in whatever success that I’ve had and will continue to have.  The life that I’m building is possible in part thanks to you!  The comments that you left and the emails that you sent and even just seeing you as a counted visitor to this site on a regular basis kept me going many a day.  You guys have taught me that there are real people out there who can care about someone that they’ve never met.  You guys have taught me that being honest and open is scary but so totally worth it.  Some of you have called me an inspiration.  Maybe I am but you all inspired me more than I ever dreamt was possible. 

If you want to stay in touch please mark down my email address:  ladyshanny at (gmail.com)I’ve left the comments open on this post since it’s only fair to give you guys the opportunity to say good bye as well (I’ll still be around to read them).  And if you don’t feel like it, that’s fine too.  Please know that you have all meant so much more to me than I can ever express!

It’s with a heavy heart that I hit publish on this post and walk away.

That Feels Better!

SHOPPING!  The day that I had been waiting for and banking on finally came on Friday.  My mom and I left for the US Friday morning and by 9am we were already well into the shopping.  Being that neither one of us are much for shopping, we did pretty well.  Here are some of my highlights:

First purchase:  This dress which is lovely.  (sorry the picture is so blurry)

Favourite Purchase:  This Puma vest  which was an awesome price (although I didn`t know how awesome until I got to the till!) and is going to get layered with the softest pink Puma polo shirt.  I think I smiled for about an hour after this purchase!

Most Surprising Store: I had no plans to go into Eddie Bauer but my mom wanted to take a peek and it turns out that Eddie and I have pretty similar taste. 

Most Amazing Moment:  Putting on a couple of size 6 items.

Most Costly Store:  Sephora!  Yikes! 

Hardest Things to Find:  Believe it or not (if you know me in real life) I had the WORST time finding shoes!  Nine West was alright but some of the other shoe stores that I can usually count on were a huge let down.  Until we drove 20 miles to another county to go to DSW Shoes.  SUCCESS!  I ended up coming home with 8 pairs of shoes altogether…which might seem extreme to some people but is just about right for me!  ;)

Since I put a picture of my closet up the other day when I was lamenting my wardrobe nightmare, I thought I would put up a quick picture of how it looks now.  I included the before so that you could compare:

    

All in all it was a pretty good weekend.  Giant apple fritters were eaten (OK, just the one, but still!) laughs were had and clothes were bought (including one size 6 skirt!).  It definitely feels better to have a wardrobe again!

That`s it for me right now.  I told you that there would be an announcement tomorrow but I may have to push that back a wee bit.  I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon and then I`m having someone over shortly after that which means that it`s pretty much a given that the rest of the day and into the evening will be spoken for. 

 

 

 

      

 

 

Spring Forward

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve updated.  There are some things brewing in the background that I’m not quite ready to tell you but stay tuned because there will be an announcement on Monday, May 5th. 

Spring Forward came to an end for me this evening. I was a teensy bit annoyed since yesterday and the day before I had managed to get into my Personal Goal Range and then today, not so much.  Overall I lost 6.4 pounds in the month of April which is nothing to turn my nose up at.  The goal was to lose between 8 and 10 pounds for the month and since this was only a four week month that goal was probably a little optimistic for me (I managed it in March though).  It’s good to have things to aim at though, right?

How did you guys do?

It’s Just Good And That’s Good Enough

The difference in how I feel mentally is night and day from this time last week (or even this time a few days ago).  As my previous post mentioned, I wasn’t quite moving in the right direction for anything that I am trying to achieve.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a little quirky (which is a nice way of saying ‘slightly crazy’) but I believe that everyone is.  I just let my quirks get out of hand temporarily and start to define me and how I was thinking and how I was acting.

So in the last few days after I wrote the previous post, I was starting to get back to my regular, non-neurotic ways but I was worrying a little about whether or not the trip back to The Main Road of Sanity was going to be a smooth one once the guy that I’m interested in came back from his 3 week holiday.  Was seeing him going to mess everything up in my head again?

I am happy to report that we had a lovely day together yesterday, laughed lots, did some stuff that we both enjoy and overall just enjoyed each other’s company.  It was good and that is good enough.  I’m not feeling any need to try and project past the next time we see each other or analyze every comment or look.  I don’t know quite how to explain how I’m feeling right now; almost like a weight has been lifted, or maybe it’s just that I’m back to the way that I’m supposed to be. 

There are definitely going to be some issues that we’ll have to deal with if this relationship continues to progress, but they don’t need to be dealt with right now.  Right now, it’s all good.  And that’s good enough.

Let Go

I have “let go” of my sanity!  Dude, not good!  In the last month I have gone right back to the anxious and neurotic person that I was for the last 4 years.  The only difference is that I’m doing it without the benefit of numbing that with food. 

I’ve been trying to decipher for the last week or so what changed in my journey that put me almost right back where I started, mentally.  You see, this journey wasn’t just about weight loss.  It was about getting my life back on track.  It was about moving past bad decisions and clearing the way for opportunities that I may not have had before.  I think what has happened is that I got too self-assured and too comfortable with how things were going and I “let go” of the reins.  The horse and buggy took off and now I’m left chasing after it.  Well dammit, that horse and buggy belong to ME and I’ll be damned if I’m going to void all my hard work and effort and just let it keep running to destruction.

So I’ve been sitting here thinking about what made me successful in my journey and comparing that to what’s changed. 

For one thing, I have always been a ‘fat person’ in my head.  It was part of my identity and especially in the last month or so I have had to shed that description.  I’m not fat.  Not even close!  It’s not an instant thing to then replace that with ‘normal person’ though.  The day that I looked in the mirror and really realized that I’m not fat anymore was the day when I lost part of the identity that I’ve carried for over a decade.  I sometimes wonder if that is part of the reason why people who lose a lot of weight put it back on really quickly.  It’s something that I wasn’t able to understand until now, why when you know how good you feel when you’re a normal weight, how you could ever go back.  I think this is probably a big part of the reason.   Fortunately I noticed that trap before I fell in.

For another thing, I have people telling me on a pretty regular basis how nice I look and while that’s lovely, it does certainly tend to shift the focus of the whole thing onto the image aspect.  Yes, it’s nice that I look better but it was never intended to be solely about the way that I look.  I’m still me, just in smaller jeans.  I’m still the funny, witty, loyal, slightly insecure person that I’ve always been.  The fact that people tend to notice the exterior before the interior these days makes me feel a little lost and without an identity.  It’s up to me to keep the focus of friendships and acquaintances off of the physical aspect of what’s happened.  Compliments are nice but they are superficial and in no way are they a testament to who I really am.

Also, in the last month or so it’s been picking in the back of my head that I am feeling totally exposed and like I have no protection left.  I realize now that that is totally my own doing.  In the last few years I’ve perhaps had less interaction with people than is generally healthy.  In this process of the weight loss I’ve been really honest with my dear friend and on this website.  It was something that was incredibly uncomfortable at the beginning but that yielded such amazing results that it was well worth the discomfort.  That has morphed into something that, again, has left my control and taken on a life of its own.   I went from one extreme of not ever telling anything about myself, to the other extreme of telling everyone everything.  That has to stop and I have to get some of that emotional protection back.  Less is more!

So ya, some stuff has gone a little screwy.  When I was running this evening I was thinking pretty hard about why I had done this and what I had hoped to gain from it.  I couldn’t seem to generate a thought about that though because the line that kept running over and over in my head was that I was feeling more lost than I had ever felt before and that just didn’t seem fair.  I’m not lost.  I may have veered off on a mislabelled side road but I’m on my way back to the main road again.  I may have lost a little of the respect that I had built for myself these past few months but I’ll get it back.  Some of the respect that I may have had from other people is probably a little tarnished but I’m committed to getting that back too.  Just like the fact that it is no secret that what I used to eat led me to being fat, it is no secret that certain mental behaviours are equally as problematic.  I can’t forget that I didn’t really change when I lost the weight.  All that happened was that I got to wear smaller clothes.  That’s it. 

If I have learned one thing from the actual weight loss it is that you put in the effort and you do what you have to do but then you wait.  You wait for nature to take its course.  You can’t force it or speed it along if you want it to stick.  It just is what it is, nothing more nothing less.  It takes as long as it takes and as long as you put in your best effort then you will get the results that you were meant to have.  That theory, without doubt, applies to every other aspect of life.  You put in your best effort and then you just wait.  Doing nothing can be infinitely more difficult than doing just about anything else and so it is an easy mistake to make to force an action when inaction is actually the best decision.

As far as my bad habit of examining and twisting and turning every little comment and action and look until I’m a neurotic little ball of anxiety?  I think the trick is to think of it a little like putting together a puzzle; you try a piece and if it doesn’t fit you put it back and try another piece until you eventually find the one that was meant to go in that slot.  You do not try to convince the wrong piece to fit, you don’t try and force it to fit and you don’t try to peel it apart to figure out why it doesn’t fit.  You simply try it and then put it back if it’s not the right one.  The piece is what it is, nothing more nothing less.  Actions, comments, looks, they are all puzzle pieces that are not meant to be examined at length and peeled apart.  They just are.  And unless that piece fits in the slot that you have available it ultimately means absolutely nothing.

It’s an odd thing because just these last couple of weeks I was engaging in the same type of behaviour that defined my life for the past couple years.  It was painfully familiar, these thoughts and actions.  I was doing to a ‘T’ what I had done before and in clarity right now I shake my head.  I was miserable and torn and ripped apart for 3 years because of it and then I walked right back into an almost identical situation and almost let it happen again.  I’ve noticed this time though, before it got me.  So in talking to my dear friend tonight I said that I was DONE with my desire for this other person.  My friend didn’t really believe that I could have flipped a switch so quickly as to be attracted to/infatuated with a guy on one day and then to be completely DONE several hours later.  My response to that?  I may still be physically attracted to this person but I am DONE because I can now see it for what it was.  A familiar behaviour in this unfamiliar little world I’m in right now. Painful and stupid, but familiar.   

So that’s a lot of stuff for me to chew on over the next couple of weeks.  May 2nd is going to be a well-deserved little vacation and while I do hope to be into my weight loss goal range by then, I am going to be spending a little more of my time focussing on straightening out this little kink I’ve run into than I am on the weight loss.

NOTE:  Comments on all posts are now closed.  The comments became a bit of a validation issue for me.  This website has always been for me.  I’m thrilled that people find inspiration or distraction or enjoyment from what I write but it really is just for me and having people comment on some of my most personal thoughts is perhaps not quite what I need right now.  Thank you very much for visiting me, I truly do appreciate it!

SPRING FORWARD: Weigh In #2

The difference between this week and last week is quite large.  4.6 pounds down from this time last week.  That’s quite a lot for this late stage in the weight loss although for the two week total it’s only 5.2 which is a little over 2.5 pounds down each week.  I’ll take it.  So, given what the original goal was (lose 8-10 pounds by the end of April) I’m doing pretty well.  I have only a little over 2 weeks until May 2nd so I’m going to go as far as I can in that time and then call it done.  I’ve totally come to peace with that.  I’m good with firm dates and firm timelines and firm expectations.  The airy-fairy ifs and whens drive me crazy.

After a short MSN chat with my sister tonight I’m going to try something that she suggested that will hopefully give me my sanity back as far as all the changes that are going on right now. 

Princess Sister says:  Maybe you should try living in the moment rather than discecting everything that’s going on.  That might make it more fun and things will fall into the proper place…instead of you trying to predict what that will look like.

Lady Shanny says:  I like everything to be all figured out and when it’s not it makes me neurotic!

Princess Sister says:  Pretty hard to live in the moment when you think you have it all figured out…makes it pretty hard to let something different happen when it isn’t what you’ve ‘figured’

That all makes perfect sense to me.  I’m torturing myself trying to predict how everything is going to go.  I’m torturing myself for not having my whole life all figured out.  And it’s making me crazy!  My dear friend said to me today that it sounds to him like I don’t know what I want out of life.  My answer to that?  You bet I don’t!  I totally overhauled a pretty big portion of my life in a really short time which opened up new opportunities that I don’t yet know what to do with.  So I need to figure it out, for sure.  I do NOT need to have it all figured out in the next week.  That said, I am going to settle the hell down and stop being an irrational, neurotic fool for 18 hours out of the day and see if that goes a little better.

 

A Little Scared

Where should I be right now?  In bed, long asleep.  Where am I right now?  Sitting on the sofa a little drunk and a lot confused. 

I know that I’ve mentioned this here before, but I’m at a point that I never, EVER thought I would get to.  The point where I have to decide if I’m done losing weight.  I know that, again, this is a great problem to have, all things considered, but it’s still weighing pretty heavily on my mind.  There is no real way to know if you will cross the line from healthy to sickly, weight-loss-wise, until you actually do it.  I would really rather not cross that line and so I’m having to tread gently as I move forward.  You see, according to the BMI Calculator I am just on the very inside of being Normal Weight (which means I’m on the borderline of being overweight).  To get right to the middle of my Normal Weight Range, I would have to weigh 150 pounds (which is another 22 pounds down) and that is just not reasonable for me. 

Realistically I realize that I cannot keep losing weight forever and still expect to be healthy.  In fact I think I’m probably right on the borderline right now as far as what will continue to look good and still serve me, health-wise.  I could easily continue right along the road that I’m on and keep my intake low and my output high and the weight would keep coming off, probably indefinitely.  There comes a point though when it truly is no longer necessary to keep taking weight off.  I realize all of that.  It is completely another thing to actually do something about it. 

I can look in the mirror now (sans clothes) and I’m pretty pleased with what I see. I realize that no amount of further weight loss is going to change my body type.  That’s something that I never really realized until just very recently.  I have the exact same body type and problem areas that I had when I was 75+ pounds heavier.  It’s all still exactly the same, just smaller.  I still have a tummy, it’s just much smaller.  The only way that I could ever expect to get rid of that is to do a whole bunch more exercise and start tightening and toning things up.  And then?  It might never be completely eliminated.  I’m actually alright with that.  I know where I came from.  I know how much good I’ve done for myself and I’m not in the slightest bit ashamed of the fact that I don’t have a model’s body.  I will wear a swimsuit this summer and not be horrified to let anyone see me in it.  I feel good and I’ve done well.  I’m healthy and I work at my fitness and I make good choices and I cannot expect my body to be anything that it is not. 

It’s the matter of now stopping the weight loss.  You see, I’ve been getting on the scale once per week for 31 weeks and expecting to see it go down.  And it has gone down every single one of those weeks save for 2.  That mind set of reduction is going to be a hard one to change since it’s driven everything that I’ve done thus far.  It’s going to be rough on me mentally to start seeing the scale go up a bit here and there because I am going to be in fear that it will just keep going up!  I have to somehow find a way to maintain my weight in my personal range.  Since my range is 170-160, I will have some room to wiggle around.  It’s going to be a matter of making sure that my weight is IN the range and then not worrying too much about it.  I know it’s actually a larger range than most people would take (WW lets you have a 2 pound range).  Since 160 is probably much too low for me, and I would not want to be anymore than I am now, the actual movement in the range is probably going to be from the middle to the high end (165-170). 

Honestly, this whole part scares the crap out of me.  I am heavily resisting putting the brakes on the weight loss.  In fact I’m so resistant to it that my dear friend suggested that I am walking a fine line of having a bit of a problem.  I truly do not have the kind of problem that he mentioned.  I am simply having a hard time flipping the switch from losing to maintaining.  Losing is an action that I have been really successful at.  It’s always nice to see a new number every week and to make progress, to buy new sizes, to wow even myself when I look in the mirror or look at photos.  It’s actually DOING something.  Maintaining what I’ve already done is the same amount of effort but there is no reward on the scale anymore.  If everything works out properly, my weight graph should just start to show a nice level line.  Since I would probably avoid flipping that switch indefinitely, I will continue to the end of SPRING FORWARD.  Wherever I end up by May 2nd when I go to Seattle is where I will put the brakes on.  Dear friend made a pretty decent point that since I’m going to Seattle that weekend to spend a whole bunch of time shopping and a whole bunch of money on clothes, where I am when I make those purchases should be where I’m to stay for the most part.  A switch of a couple of pounds in either direction shouldn’t make too much of a difference in the fit of those clothes.  The need to keep tailoring my pants and never having anything that fits is driving me batty and that just might be the catalyst I need to flip that damn switch!

I also have to remember that while the scale may not be moving, I am still going to be able to mark off improvement and progress in my running and whatever other fitness I take up.  I’ll be able to find a way to maintain my weight and still push myself physically.  At least that’s the plan!

So Dear Friend suggested two methods of going about this calorie increasing thing (because that’s the only way, short of ceasing to exercise altogether that I will stop losing weight).  The first option was to increase calories for every day of the week, spreading it out across all 7 days.  The second option was to keep everything locked down from Monday to Friday and then relax it all on the weekend.  I’m more inclined to pick the second option because it’s really the best of both worlds.  By keeping it on the level from Monday to Friday I’m keeping myself in the mindset of lower intake and higher output.  I would never really lose the momentum of what I’ve created in the last 31 weeks.  And then on the weekends (which, as I become less single, are going to be more relaxed anyway) I can relax and just let life happen.  Plus, when holidays or vacations come up I’m already going to be used to letting go for a couple of days and then getting right back on track. 

So that’s where I am right now.  Certainly not anywhere I ever thought that I would be.  Too skinny?  Ha!  You’ve got to bloody be KIDDING me!  And yet this spot I’m in of having to make that decision is proof that I did it and that feels good.  If you start out your weight loss journey as I did, knowing that there is never going to be an end point (which is, in my opinion, the only possible way to be successful) and that you’ll have to fight for your whole life for this then this spot that I’ve found myself in is one of the only indicators that the losing phase is over, that it’s time for the focus to change.

As I have done the entire time that I’ve been doing this, I’ve reassessed as I’ve gone along and made sure that what I was doing was still working for me.  I’ve tweaked here and there to get things to work exactly as I want them.  Tweaking this part is just going to take a little more time and focus.  One of the ways that I’m going to change things starting right now is to count points up rather than down.  If you are following WW you know that you start out with a balance ‘in the bank’ and then you eat out of those points all day and ideally you end up at zero by the end of the day.  Well since that need to end up at zero can be incredibely restrictive for me, I’m going to count UP.  We’ll see how that goes.

So as we can see, this is what happens when you have a long talk with a friend, skip exercise in favour of beer drinking and then sit down and type out a post.  Long and wordy!  Fortunately there is no hockey tomorrow so I’ll be doing a good hard run and working some of this stuff out in my head as I do it.

As always, comments are more than welcome!

At a Loss (UPDATED)

I’m sitting here in a position that I don’t often find myself these days.  I have nothing to do and nowhere that I have to be.  Run is done, dinner is made, eaten and cleaned up, lunch is made for tomorrow, tanning is done, groceries are purchased, there is no hockey game to go to tonight.  I have nothing to do! And not only do I have nothing to do right now, I’ve had nothing to do since noon today when I got home from my run.  So little to do in fact that I took a 3 hour nap!  Napping is one of my very favourite things to do on a weekend and it’s been rather seriously neglected these past couple of months.  Actually, I find myself not even really needing or wanting to take a nap which is something that I totally was not expecting so when I had the opportunity today to get snuggly in my bed, I took it!

So what do I do now?  Since I have a whole evening to do whatever I want, I’m going to watch a little hockey, have a bubble bath, make some tea, watch a movie, download some music.  Little bits of stuff that I don’t always have the time to do these days.  And I’m going to enjoy it!

I am totally looking forward to this week coming up.  We have playoff hockey on Monday and Wednesday night (I haven’t decided if I’m staying afterwards…poking a sleeping tiger and all).  I’ve switched my run days around to accomodate those games and I am interested to see what my performance is like with the rest days more spread out.  I also am looking forward to weigh in on Tuesday since I think there is going to be quite a drop from last Tuesday.  And then on Saturday, the guy I’ve started seeing is home from his holiday.  Since I haven’t seen him in 3 weeks, I’m looking forward to that.  I’m a little apprehensive about it but overall kind of excited.  So it’s going to be hopefully a fast week.  The faster the next two and a half weeks goes by, the sooner I get to go to Seattle and get some new clothes.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on here or not but I’m so growly about this whole clothes thing right now.  I know, it’s a nice problem to have, but it makes me insane because even though the reason I have nothing to wear is because I am getting smaller, it still means that I have NOTHING TO WEAR!  And with Seattle getting so close I am very resistant to buying anything until then, although I did have to break down on the weekend and get ANOTHER new pair of jeans (size 8 from The Gap) since the ones that I was wearing were getting ridiculous!  I also hesitate to wear any of the too large clothes that I have because I do not work as hard as I do to go about looking frumpy!  Which is a HUGE change for me from this time last year since I didn’t much give a crap how I looked when I left the house.  Now that I’m slowly picking things up along the way (tips from some unlikely sources) and learning to make the most of what I have, anything less is really rather unacceptable.  I’ll take a picture of my closet before I go and then hopefully one when I come back, the idea being that there better be a bloody noticeable difference in the ‘after’ picture!

That’s it for me for tonight, I have lazy things to do.

 

UPDATE:  I did some of my lazy things and then I started mucking around on the computer and decided to put up the closet picture.  I also did a new picture grid that I thought I would post as well.

The closet picture, from left to right:  3 pairs of Gap jeans, 2 of which are too big.  3 pairs of black dress pants, one pair of which is a little too big but still serviceable if I wear them right out of the dryer.  2 sweaters, 3 button down, long sleeved dress shirts, 2 t-shirts and 3 jackets one of which is too big but it’s so pretty that I don’t want to donate it.  As you can see from the top shelf, I have an over-abundance of coat hangers and an under-abundance of clothes to hang on them.  You can also see that the color palette in my closet leans more toward the fall/winter end of the color spectrum.  I cannot WAIT to go to Seattle!

And the grid picture.  I did this once already at New Year and decided that I would do it again now.  The difference between the top left and the bottom right (not the q-mark) is around 75 pounds (official number to be revealed on Tuesday).  The difference between the two bottom row pictures is about 30 pounds.  I put the question mark in as a place holder and will update the grid in another 3 months, we’ll see if there is any noticeable change.

A Good Problem

I have a friend who tells me that certain problems that I have are good ones to have when compared to problems that I was having a year ago.  The fact that none of my clothes fit is a good problem when it’s because they are all too big.  The fact that I am waffling about how quickly I am willing to progress with the guy is a good thing to waffle about.  Mostly because there were many, MANY a night when I wished that I could have been worried about that rather than the stuff I was thinking about.

The problem that I’m having right now though is that in the last couple of weeks I’ve become far more aware of just how far I’ve come and, really (without sounding egotistical and full of myself) just how good I look and that has created some new problems.  I realize that I have given myself a kind of power that I’m going to have to learn how to control. 

For one thing, I have the power and the ability now to create whatever body that I want to have.  I know what I have to do and how hard I have to work to ultimately do whatever I want with myself.  That one is a bit of a fine line because while it is easy to stay motivated when going after a specific goal, I have to make sure that what I’m doing to get there is going to be sustainable forever.  So if all of a sudden I start running 6k, 7 days a week to get down to a certain size, I have to be willing to do that forever.  Obviously, I’m not.  That’s the fine line that I have to walk. Increasing exercise will be an option as long as I do it slowly and deliberately and while bearing the future in mind.  As soon as I’m doing it blindly and with just one goal in mind, I’m going to have problems.  At this point I really don’t see myself increasing it much more than I already do, simply because I don’t have that much time to spare.  Already I’ve cut back from 5 days/week to 4 because I was having a hard time getting things done.  Plus, if I start to feel resentful about what I’m ‘forcing’ myself to do, it’s not going to last very long.  Similarly (although I have not done that, nor am I willing to), I could decrease the amount of calories that I’m eating in order to get the scale to a certain number although unless I’m willing to stay that low, calorie-wise, it’s not a reasonable thing to do. 

I’m also having a bit of a struggle with the guy thing.  First of all, there is the guy I’m currently seeing.  He’s great (as I’ve mentioned) and I am looking forward to seeing where this goes.  On the other hand, I have spent the whole of my twenties in a pretty bad place, life-wise, and now that I’m out of that and free, I’m feeling a little ripped off.  I didn’t do the dating thing and the flirting thing and I feel like I totally ripped myself off.  So when I’m standing next to someone (not the guy I’m seeing) who I have found incredibly attractive for the last 4 years, and he says things to me that flips my stomach and looks at me without bothering to cover up his attraction, it makes me feel good.  And it makes me want certain things from him which is weird because he scares the tar out of me.  He’s bold and a little aggressive.  He’s the kind of guy who is going to come to the table with what he wants and either just take it or charm it out of you.  I know what he wants and I know that it isn’t likely to be any kind of relationship with me.  I, obviously, am not going to/am not willing to go down that road but in a way it makes me really resentful that I’m not.  It makes me annoyed that I have had things happen that make it so that I cannot go the route of ‘fun for a short while’ because it would break me inside.  I need to let it be enough that I could make/let certain things happen because of how I look.  Isn’t that one of the ultimate goals; to be and feel attractive and to have it work in your favour?  It sounds slightly manipulative and maybe it is, but since I’ve never had the option of playing this game before now, I have more of a desire to do it than perhaps I should.  In my lucid moments, when I’ve come home and the haze of that attraction wears off, I know that by doing nothing, I’ve done the right thing.  I know what the right thing is in this instance and, like my dear friend says, if you have to talk yourself into it, it is probably not the right choice.  If you have to make excuses for why it would be alright and justify it to yourself and your close friends, if you know that people who care about you are not going to be impressed, then it is probably not the right choice.  In this case I have a good friend who has warned me about this particular person and the situation and has made some pretty obvious comments to try to preclude anything from happening.  While it annoys the shit out of me when people do things that they feel are ‘in my best interest’, I have to have a little appreciation for my friend because he can see clearly what I’m seeing through a fog and he’s throwing himself in front of me to stop anything from happening.  This is an exerpt from an email that I just sent to this friend:

Do I like Ray?  You bet!  I think he’s wonderful man.  He’s nice to me, he cares about me, he’s respectful and hasn’t given me anything to be concerned about at all.  I am definitely attracted to him and I miss him and want him to come back!  Simon is completely at the other end of the spectrum though.  I don’t know a thing about him, I don’t know if he’s respectful or courteous.  I don’t know if he would text me or call me or bring me coffee.  Similarly, Simon doesn’t know a bloody thing about me.  I don’t know if he would put up with my hangups and my intimacy issues.  The thought of dating him scares the crap out of me but that tiny bit of fear is a bit of a motivator to do it anyway.

I know what the right answer is.  I know that dating Simon is not the way to go.  I know that I’m still a little fragile inside and that, really, having anything to do with him would not do anything to strengthen that.  I can predict with a reasonable degree of certainty how it would go and it makes me shake my head that I would even give it a second’s thought.  But you see, I’m a little competetive and while that works out great for things like taking up running when someone tells me that I can’t do it, perhaps it is not the best theory for dating.  I know that Simon didn’t give one rat’s ass about me when I was fat.  I saw him every weekend for 4 years and not one time did he ever make any indication that he was interested in me.  That said, it’s a bit of a feather in my cap to be able to change that dynamic in my favour.  As in, “I changed me and now I will change your mind about me and you will see how lovely and funny and sweet and caring I am.”  I guess I should point out that I have no issue with the fact that men were not attracted to me when I was overweight.  Not only was I fat but I was unhappy and unhealthy.  It is not Simon’s issue that he wasn’t attracted to me before.  That is my issue and mine alone and I harbour no resentment for that at all.  He’s certainly not the only one who has decided that they now like the way I look.  I know that the Fat Acceptance people would say that he should have had an appreciation for me when I was fat, regardless.  I guess from my point of view, not only did I change my body but I changed my attitude and my outlook and my lifestyle and all of that will definitely make me more attractive.   

 

My final thought.  I was talking to one of the girls at work the other day and she had this to say: “There are three types of guys.  The ones who are infatuated with you and want to be with you constantly and build their entire world around you.  They like you too much and as women that annoys us.  There are the ones who don’t pay enough attention to you, who keep their lives seperate from yours and don’t include you unless they have to or it works for them.  They don’t like us enough and as women that annoys us.  And then there are the ones who just like you, pay attention to you in appropriate quantities and within an appropriate timeline.  They like us the right amount and as women that escapes our attention.”   It’s these men who are normal and appropriate that we should be focussing our time and attention on and yet we decidedly ignore that in favour of the two extremes.  Well this woman has the potential for a relationship with a guy who is right in that middle category and I am not going to screw it up with an extreme (in this case, I’m predicting he would be the ‘not enough’ extreme).

 

So yes, it is amazing to have someone look at me with undisguised desire in their eyes and say things to me that make my knees weak.  AMAZING!  But that’s exactly where it has to to stay.  I am not going to take the risk of undoing any good that I’ve done by allowing that look or those words to determine my actions.

A Lesson Learned

I learned a little lesson today.  If you are shopping for a bathing suit and you want to enhance what you have and detract from the spots that you aren’t so happy with, you are going to have to go somewhere other than the racks in the regular department stores.  Go to a store that specializes in swimsuits and be prepared to pay dearly for it.  It is worth every penny!This is the one that I got today.  You like?  I don’t know why it comes up as sort of a silvery-grey color here, but rest assured it is black and it’s lovely.  It’s made by Seafolly which is a renowned swimsuit manufacturer out of Australia.  It cost me a pretty penny but when it came right down to whether or not I was willing to pay that much for a bathing suit I had a little chat with myself.  “Self”, I said, “we did not lose all this weight and we do not work as hard in exercise and watching what we eat as we do so that you can wear an unflattering old lady bathing suit, so get off your debit card and let’s go!”  And then I came home and ran 4k for the second straight day.

So the running.  I finally, FINALLY have a new base point to work from.  I was having such a struggle to get to 4k over the last month and then on Monday it just all sort of came together and it was like it was meant to be.  I wondered if that was going to have been an anomoly and maybe I wouldn’t be able to do it again so I was apprehensive when I went out for my run this evening.  But lo and behold I was able to do it again.  I’m not going to say that it is super simple and effortless but all of a sudden that distance is reasonably comfortable for me to run.  Which is freaking AWESOME! 

I was remembering this evening when I first started out with the exercising, how hard that walk to and from work was.  How much I suffered and how that was the absolute extent of my ability.  And I was remembering in January when I walked 5 miles and that was the most I was able to accomplish.  I was thinking about how when I was first starting to run/walk that I didn’t believe there would ever come a point when I was thinking about anything other than how much agony I was in and how much I hated what I was doing.  And now?  I enjoy the time I spend out there (for the most part…I’m not going to lie, some days really suck!) and it’s the time when I do some of my best contemplating and thinking.  There is something about the physiology of exercise that, now that I’ve started to get a little bit efficient at it, creates a clarity that I don’t get at any other time. 

Additionally, since I’ve now been able to increase the exercise, I think I’ve come off the little ledge that I was on as far as weight loss.  It seemed to take me a really long time to recover from Fourth Week and my time of the month as far as the scale is concerned but what I actually think it was is a plateau that I could have stayed on indefinitely.  I think that I could have very well come to a reasonable stopping point and maintained quite nicely if I hadn’t been willing or able to increase the exercise.  Yes, I know, I don’t want to lose weight in my boobs and my curvy bits but more than that I really want to keep pushing myself in the exercise and that is automatically going to make the weight come off.  I’ll never be a waif and that’s fine.  But I can get fitter and that’s what I’m aiming for.

And finally, the guy.  He called me this evening and we had a nice chat.  He’s still out of town for another week and a half and that’s a little bit sucky.  But this evening after I hung up the phone the first thought in my head was ‘uh-oh’.  For various reasons and the way that the conversation went, when I hung up the phone I felt like he had managed to take down one of the small bricks in the barrier that I’m trying to keep up.  And that gave me the uh-oh feeling….in a good way…sort of…

 

What Was I Expecting?

First weigh in for SPRING FORWARD was not as solid as I would have liked.  Less than a pound…(-0.6)…but that’s still going in the right direction.  How did you guys do?  Sybil?  Ladybeams?  Kirsten?  (p4p, I know you’ll post on your own website)

I’ve been giving some thought to what I was expecting to have happen by this time when I started out to lose the weight.  I realized that I never really gave any thought to what I could expect to see when I got here.  Mostly because I have never BEEN here, but also that I had a certain concept in my head and that’s all I really cared about.  I never thought about what I would be faced with doing once I reached this point.  I didn’t give any thought to how I would move away from the losing and towards the maintaining.  I had no concept of how my body would look after losing this much weight.  I do have to say, without giving out too much information, that I really like the way I look, sans clothes.  There are certain parts that I want to tone up and in a perfect world I would fix immediately, but overall I would not be embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit at this point.  I’m not going to run out and put on a string bikini but I’m pretty pleased with how things have turned out.

What I need to do now is just relax and let the scale do its thing.  There shouldn’t be any major drops coming now, I’m pretty close to being as small as I’m likely to get.  I fully believe that I will end up losing more weight as the months go by but it’s not going to be anything huge like it has been.  Now I need to just concentrate on the status quo, increasing my fitness/cardio and starting to live in this new body. 

In a conversation with my dear friend this morning we were discussing whether or not I even should be losing anymore weight at all.  I have it to lose, but is it likely that I will lose it where I want to?  Or is it more likely that I will lose it in the curvy, girly parts and still have it where I least want it?  From that perspective I would not want to lose anymore.  On the other hand I’ve come so far and it might be a shame not to find out just how trim I can get.  I’m not sure which one I want.  In a study that someone posted, something like 90% of men, when shown pictures of sizes 8, 10, 12 and 14 women, picked the 12 and 14 women as the most physically attractive while the women picked the size 8 woman as the most appealing.  So while I would LOVE to be a size 8 (don’t laugh, I’m closer to that than you might think!), I don’t want to go so far as to not be attractive to the opposite sex anymore (that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it!).  But then you have to consider that the more attractive YOU feel that you are, the more that comes across as confidence and that is sexy as hell (or so I’m told). (plus, I’m already out of the 12-14 category anyway)

We’ll see.  I think that if I keep running and keep eating well then I am bound to continue to lose the excess fat that I have from wherever it decides to leave from.  It’s such a fine line on both sides though.  Do I stop now and start eating more so that I don’t lose anymore weight?  Or do I keep going until my body literally doesn’t have another ounce to lose and just stops of its own accord?  One of them I would be in complete control of and the other one just happens when it happens.  I know exactly what one of them looks like and the other one is a bit of a mystery.  And I know me and getting down another 12 pounds would certainly be something that I am willing to go after, but I know that I would NOT want to see the scale start to rise if I decided I didn’t like the way it looked or that it wasn’t sustainable.  I also need to realize that unless I’m willing to start going to the gym and training really hard, I am always going to be a soft (in a good way), curvy woman.  I think I could potentially get to that solid, completely toned up point, but am I willing to put in that kind of effort?  I’m not sure, we’ll have to see.

I almost wanted to withdraw from the April challenge (SPRING FORWARD) because I don’t think it’s reasonable for me to try and lose another 8-10 pounds in only 3 weeks.  I decided to stay in though because a targeted goal like that can’t hurt even if at this point it doesn’t seem like I’m going to come even close.

So onward we go, ever closer to whatever that final number ends up being.  Let’s get cracking!

Coasting

That’s all I’m doing right now and I think it’s going to be frightfully boring to read about (and yet I’m going to do it anyway).

I feel like I have this small reprieve of time to figure some stuff out and to get some stuff done before things are going to start moving along again.  I have until May 2nd to get another 10 pounds off and buy a bathing suit (Spring Forward, but don’t worry I’m not demoralized if I don’t get there) before I go shopping in Seattle.  I know that might not seem like a big deal but I’ve got some pretty specific clothing needs that I need to fill and that means that the 3 days that we’re there are going to be pretty busy. 

I have until April 19th to really get straight in my head how I want the next little while to go with the person that I’m seeing (he’s out of town until then).  I think it could go a couple of different ways and I’m waffling between them.  I think if I let it that it could get pretty serious pretty quickly.  While there are some aspects of that which appeal to me it’s perhaps not the most sound route to go, emotionally speaking.  I need to remember the mistakes I’ve made in the past and not let them reoccur and that is going to take some diligence on my part.  On the other hand this is a trustworthy person who honestly seems to like me and from that perspective it makes those same type of mistakes very unlikely.  This could also just all stay very casual for quite a long time and that is probably the safest route to go.  I’m not sure what I want.  I know that it can’t go speeding along physically because I have to be comfortable with everything before it happens but aside from that I’m just not sure.  The term ‘take it slow’ means more for me than just what happens behind closed doors.  For me it means how much I’m willing to let someone really get to know me.  It means how quickly I’m willing to let the real me show through.  There are parts of me that have been firmly locked behind closed doors and while this past year I’ve been cracking those doors open a little there are still definitely some things that haven’t come up (partially by design, I suppose).  Things that will come up when someone else is that close to you.  When they see you regularly or meet your friends and family they are more likely to end up finding out the little things about you that make up who you are.  Those little bits and pieces that I tend not to let go of might need to be let go of and handed to someone and that scares the wee out of me! 

I know that there are people reading this who think that I will overthink this thing to death.  Just so you all know, I don’t spend every waking moment agonizing over it.  But when it comes time to write these pages this stuff definitely comes up.  A friend said to me that often if you have to talk yourself into something then it’s likely not the right decision.  I agree with that to a point.  I have had to talk myself into everything this past year and they have all been the right decision.  Since I’ve spent so much time hiding or avoiding anything that made me uncomfortable, I have to talk myself into doing the thing that might feel a little scary at the time.  So yes, I may be trying to talk myself into having a relationship (there, happy now?!) with this person, but it’s not so much that it’s the wrong person, just that if I don’t consciously decide to do it then I will always pick the safer route.  And for me, the safer route is not always the right one.  Sometimes the right choice is the one that makes you feel the most scared.  Again, I can compare it to running.  Would the safest choice have been to sign up and pay for an 8k run before I had ever run a step?  No.  It was a decision that I had to talk myself into and then was scared about the entire time leading up to it.  But it opened a door for me that otherwise would not have been opened.  It made daily running something that I knew I could do and have done since.  So is letting myself get a little emotionally attached to someone the safest choice?  No.  But it could open up doors for me that might otherwise stay closed for an unknown period of time. 

I have a couple of weeks to decide.  I already know that I will take it very slow as far as the physical aspect goes because there is no other choice for me.  But I might consider letting myself be a little bit vulnerable and giving up a little piece of me to this person sooner rather than later.  (or, failing that, I might just hide under my blanket for the rest of my life)

One last thing, ladies.  Do you want a little bit of spa every day?  Go tanning!  Seriously.  It’s alone time, it’s warm and it smells fantastic.  And if I might make one small recommendation from a very knowledgeable friend?  Splurge on the expensive tanning lotion.  It’s worth every single penny! (if you are not a proponent of tanning, that’s fine….but please don’t feel any need to tell us all how bad you think it is for you!)

Almost There

Well, I think I’m almost there, weight loss wise.  I can pretty much say that this is what I’m going to look like now.  There are still a couple of pounds to lose but not much is going to change visually.

In some ways it’s been a lifelong journey and in other ways the last 7 months have gone by so quickly that it feels like I’ve just blinked and arrived where I am today.

I’ve updated the Journey in Pictures (note the new hair color!) but I thought I would also put up a side by side by side by side comparison from the last 7 months.  Starting at just shy of 250 pounds and today being at 175.

 

A Choice

…and if you’re faced with a choice and you have to choose, I hope you choose the one that means the most to you….

I heard that line in a song this morning and by this afternoon it had become very important!

I am currently being faced with a choice and the one that means the most to me is a matter of choosing whether to try and win the fight or to just walk away and forget it. 

Walking away means that I will swallow my pride.  It means that I’ll not worry about trying to get validation.  It means that I will stop blaming anyone else and just accept that I made some bad decisions and move on.  It means that I will stop waiting for an apology that is never coming.  And it means that I don’t get to be bitter about it anymore.  Read that line at the top again.  The choice that I have to make is the one that means the most to me and it means more to me to build myself a future rather than to try and squeeze a life out of the past.  I have to make the choice that may make it look like I lost the game.  I know that there is nothing there to win though, there never was.  I didn’t lose, I made the choice to stop playing and that’s totally different.

Fusspot!

There are some things that make me fidgety and uncomfortable to talk about in person.  Those things make me just as fidgety and uncomfortable to write about, only you can’t see me.  As sad as I was about the loss of my website over the past couple of weeks there was a teeny little voice in my head that said “Sweet!  Now you don’t have to worry about writing about ‘that’ stuff!”. 

Now that the website is back under my control I’m going to have to start making steps down that road because it’s my one last big area that I need to work on.   

<long pause while Lady Shanny sat here and stared at the screen for so long that the laptop powered down>

I really, REALLY don’t like talking about the intimacy stuff.  I’ll do it but it makes me fussy!  The dumb thing about writing about it is that I can hardly bring myself to do it even if no one else ever has to see it!  Potentially I could write it and then never publish it and yet I can’t bring myself to do it.  What is UP with that?  I have such a hold up about appearing vulnerable and weak that I won’t even let me see it? 

Fusspot!

The thing with this current….um….I’m not sure what to call it….dating thing I guess, is that I am being forced to look at upcoming conversations and events and make some decisions about them and what I’m going to do.  I know that I am not comfortable with the full-on intimacy that most people are fine with!  Right now, that is.  To be true, I was not comfortable holding hands with anyone until not so long ago either but now I’m fine.  To be true, I was not comfortable with someone rubbing my back until the other day and now I think I might miss that in the next couple of weeks.  Even from a friend perspective, I was not comfortable talking about certain things without wanting to change the subject or disappear into thin air, and now I’m getting better at it. 

I sort of compare this with my running.  I remembered the other day that if you always put in the exact same effort you will always get the exact same results.  If you never push your boundaries then you never improve your endurance or strengthen yourself.  Right now with the running I’m trying very hard to get up to 4k x 4 days/week and to do that I’m pushing just a teeny bit further every day.  Far enough to be beneficial but not so far that it’s killing me.  As I do that, the distance that I am completely comfortable doing gets longer and easier.  If I push just a teeny bit more every day then I will eventually get where I want to be.  Sure, some of it may make me slightly uncomfortable but not so much so that it is not feasible to keep going.  Could I go from 2k to 8k from one day to the next?  Not likely without getting disheartened or injured.   So I am going to apply that theory/logic to my issues with affection and intimacy.  To be fair, the fact that I am not currently comfortable with upcoming steps does not mean that I never will be.  It all is going to take time. 

This whole ‘Relationship Road’ is so scary to me but what I need to remember is that I am a different person than I was.  I’m older and wiser and smarter and more confident.  I’m not the young, naive girl that I was back then.  I know what I want, I know what I don’t want and while it might make me fussy and uncomfortable, I am willing to do what I need to do to make sure that I don’t let things spin out of control.  Sometimes in the moment it is easier to turn a blind eye to things that might be making me nervous or to avoid conversations that make me blush or get me fidgety.  In the long run I know how that turns out and it isn’t good.  I’m going to have to suck it up sometimes and say things that I don’t want to have to say because if I don’t then I’m not doing myself any justice.   Remember my friend who keeps telling me not to be soft?  I finally get it.  I finally get why he’s been pestering me about that.  If I’m being soft and letting things get out of hand, then who is in control?  Not me!  I need to be in control as far as I am concerned.  Not in control of everything, just in control of me.  When I give up that personal control then everything else is given up too and everything that I’ve worked so hard for disappears!  So no, I will not be soft and avoid things because they make me uncomfortable or fussy. 

There are things that I know I want.  For example, one of the things that I’ve mentioned on this site before is the desire to have someone to snuggle up next to at night and wake up next to in the morning.  The desire for that is strong enough that in the past I have jumped ahead to where I wanted to be and missed out on the building blocks that are neccessary for making it work.  There is a certain order that things need to be done in and part of those things are the conversations that make me nervous.  Part of that sequence is to make sure that I am doing everything in exactly the right order and not a moment before I feel comfortable doing it.  Doing things in order must give the whole thing a value that it wouldn’t have otherwise had.  It must be a way to increase the investment of both parties equally.  There must be a reason for the order and while I don’t know for sure what it is, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to follow it this time!  I don’t know how long this current ‘thing’ will last.  I don’t know how far I’ll ultimately feel comfortable going with this person.  I don’t know the answers and I’m alright with that (most days).  I do know that I will still stick with the right steps at the right times because it can’t hurt to start building myself some history that is not shameful or hurtful. 

*big sigh* 

The posts that I write usually have a good flow to them and there are connections between different sections to tie it all in but because this was so hard for me to write in the first place I’ve left it as it came out.  Were I to start editing it now I would doubtless be deleting more of it than I am publishing.  So my apologies for the choppiness, you’ll have to bear with me while I practice thinking about and writing this kind of stuff.

Little or Lots

It’s a little bit windy

I’m a little bit tired

It’s a lot sunny

I’m a little bit hungry

It’s a lot clean in here

I’m a little bit sunburned

I’m a little bit bored

I’m a little bit unsure

I’m a lot busy all the time these days (and maybe getting even busier pretty quick!)

I’m a lot looking forward to getting my hair done on Saturday

I’m a little bit jealous that Sister is going to Rascal Flatts

I’m a lot looking forward to this summer

I’m a little bit annoyed with my iPod

I’m a lot in love with my new iPod headphones though

What are you a little or a lot of?  What is going on in your life in littles or lots?  Share in the comments.  When I sat down to write this blog post it just all sort of came out all listy like this.  It’s actually a pretty decent way to take a quick life inventory.

So p4p named the April challenge (you guys should go thank her because otherwise you would have had a month of me calling it something stupid like Apocolypse April!)

So the new challenge is from April 1st to April 29th (for me it’s 5 Tuesday weigh-ins but you can adjust to fit your own weigh in schedule) and it’s called SPRING FORWARD.  The challenge is to lose 8-10 pounds through the month of April in whatever manner you choose, providing you do it healthily and intelligently.  Want to get on board with us?  Leave a comment so we can all cheer each other on!

March Madness: Final Results

(note:  Lacey, your email address you left in the Ask Lady Shanny box is not valid.  If you want an email back from me, please resend with corrected address)

Hi April!  Nice to see you!  Since you’re finally here, does that mean it’s going to start getting warmer outside?   

March Madness is over and I have my final tally ready.  I should point out that I was uber-annoyed this evening when I weighed since I am up over a pound and a half from yesterday morning.  Some things about being a girl SUCK!  But since I am honest and I report my actual weight I reported the higher number, what it actually said 5 minutes ago.  During March Madness I lost a total of 10.2 pounds.  That means that I surpassed my goal of losing between 8-10 pounds in March by 0.2!!!  Good job, ME!!!  How did you guys do?  Final results in the comments if you’re willing.

I received an email the other day asking me when I was going to post a new picture.  Since I am almost a full 20 pounds less than the last one, I think it’s time.  I have a hair appointment on Saturday and then I’m going to go and visit a friend of mine.  We’ll do the picture then and I’ll post it on Saturday evening.  I actually can’t wait to see it!  When the last picture was taken I figured I looked pretty good and that there wasn’t going to be much difference after that.  I think there will probably be a bit of a difference…especially since the yoga pants and jacket I was wearing in the shot are both too big for me to be wearing out in public anymore.  I’ve talked about skewed body perception before and until I have a picture that I can look at and examine and compare, I have a hard time really knowing what I look like.  Sure, I know that I’ve shrunk some but since I’m still me and I see me every day it’s hard to really know how drastic the change is. 

So now I need a goal for April.  I have the big out of country shopping trip planned for May 2-4 so I’m definitely going to want to be down as close to my final number as possible.  That said I will set the same goal for April; 8-10 pounds in a healthy and intelligent manner over the course of April (last weigh in would be April 29th).  At the outside of that range I would be at 167.4 which would put me right at the high edge of my self-prescribed range.  Any ideas on what I should call it? April Attitude?  Astronomical April?  OK, I suck at being creative like that.  p4p, want to name it this time?  (if you’re playing, that is) 

That’s all I have for you this evening.  Not because I’m waffling about the website again, don’t worry.  I’ve just had a rather bumpy afternoon, intestinally, and I’m feeling shaky and overall not so great.  I’ll be fine in a short while, I know what it was.  I guess what I learned today is that when you go to The Giant Coffee Chain and order your drink with soy, you should actually WATCH them and make sure that they make your beverage with soy.  Especially when the guy didn’t understand your order to begin with so you had to repeat it and then you get your beverage and notice that they did not write on the cup or the sleeve what you actually ordered.   So when an hour later you think you might be dieing, the chances are pretty good that they didn’t actually USE the soy beverage.  Right.  Lesson learned!  Thank heavens that today is a no exercise day in my schedule! 

Canvas

OK, I’m going to stop going back and forth on this website issue as of right now!  Yes, I was upset and sad that I had “ruined” what I have here by letting my address get out by accident.  And yes I was as much as mourning the loss of a sounding board and support and comaraderie.  Yes, I thought about moving to a new address, of getting a pen and paper and going totally private, of going to subscription only on this site.  I thought about it all.  And then, thank heavens, my dear friend came back from holidays and said in no uncertain terms what I had been skirting around and waffling about.  I can’t let this website die from the teeny off-chance that I might be being read by people I had never intended on seeing this.  And yes, it would have been easier if I had just not been a careless twit…but I was and now I have to move on.

And where I’m moving to?  Right here.  I’m not running away.  I’m very good at that, you see; running away when things freak me out or get too intense or require too much from me.  These last years of my life I have spent a good lot of time running away from thoughts and from people and from situations that scared me or made me uncomfortable.  And what did I get for my trouble?  Not a hell of a lot, that’s for certain!  I ended up fat and alone and incredibly unhappy.  So to run away from a teeny possibility that makes me a little squeamish when I have so much to benefit from by staying?  No!  I have learned from my mistakes and I’ve learned from the last 7 months that I am stronger than the need to always be fleeing!  So I am going to stand my ground and live my life and write about it all in the same way that I have been doing all this time.  A very smart 15 year old said today that this website is my canvas to express my media.  My media has and will always be writing and I plan to keep doing it right here.  OK?  Good.

I really think that my lack of writing has made certain things get all bottled up and then they weigh me down.  Literally!  For 5 days straight I stayed at exactly the same weight which was 0.8 pounds above where I left off from last week’s weigh in.  Yes, I know that is almost an insignificant amount of weight and could probably be attributed to water or salt or some such thing.  I sometimes wonder though if the weight of thoughts and the heaviness of heart have any effect on the scale.  For me to weigh in for 5 days straight without budging an ounce is weird.  I’ve also been having the hardest time with my running training.  I know there are good days and bad days for running but I just could not make it happen and I started to get discouraged and frustrated and teary about the whole thing.  I wondered if I was just setting myself up for failure or if my goals were so lofty that I was crazy to think that I would ever be able to achieve them.  What I think it was, as weird and unscientific as it may be?  The lack of somewhere to vent plus the sadness of loss as soon as I opened up these pages made for a miserable, heart heavy week in which very little could go right because I was the catalyst driving it into the negative.  Does that make sense? 

Moving along.

I came to the realization today that it would be incredibly easy to become completely wrapped up in another person before you even knew what was going on.  For me anyway.  I’ve always said that I either like someone or I don’t.  There is no middle ground with me.  If I like you, I like you a lot, I care about you and what’s going on in your life, I want you to be happy and I’ll do anything I can to help you get there.  If I don’t like you, I could give a crap about any of that and my face will usually give that away.  That said, it can be hard for me to maintain a certain amount of reservation where boys are concerned because I tend toward the same type of behaviour in those situations as well.  I become invested pretty rapidly whether you’re a friend or a friend+ and it goes completely against my nature to behave in any other way.  I’ve noticed that I have been, in a way, lieing to myself about certain feelings so that I can keep from becoming overly emotionally involved right off the bat.  I got to wondering today if that was even an acceptable defense mechanism or if I need to acknowledge what the feelings are and then find another way to cope.  Is denying what you’re feeling the same as running away from a situation because you don’t want to/can’t deal with it?  I think it might be.  I do know that I have to be particularly careful about getting wrapped up in another person because it can blind me to the stuff that I need to be paying attention to where I am concerned.  It’s a distraction when you don’t want to deal with things and that’s not any better than using food as a distraction.  The obvious goal would be to intertwine with someone else rather than be completely eclipsed by them and that is something that I think I might always have to keep in my consciousness.

One of the things that I’ve spent the last few days trying to deny is how unfulfilling it would be to be single and alone for the rest of my life.  I’ve always said that I would rather be single forever than settle for someone who wasn’t solid gold (yes, I know everyone has their flaws…you know what I mean!).  In my adult life I have engineered the opposite sex right out of the picture.  By falling for unavailable/inappropriate men, by letting myself put on that protective layer of fat, by constantly running away from everything, I made it so that I wouldn’t feel the good parts: the affection, the contentment, the knowledge that someone out there in the world cares about you JUST because you happen to be who you are.  I felt the bad parts: the sadness, the rejection, the depression and the heartache.  And you know what?  It was easier to deal with the bad parts than it is going to be dealing with the first taste of the good parts.  Those good parts when they break, burst into a million tiny fragments; shards that are designed to hurt for a long time.   Avoiding the good parts altogether is avoiding the possibility of that torture altogether, the only problem being that you can only accomplish that in a couple of ways: constant running or some type of self protection.  I’m done running away and I’m done protecting myself like that.  I’m put back together from what may have been a more broken version of myself and I’m ready to deal with the good parts and the possibility that it might hurt. 

I’m not there yet, some stuff still scares me and some stuff still makes me uncomfortable.  I’m still not completely adjusted to this new body I have or to the new way in which people will look at me or touch me.  I’m still not totally onboard with being completely unprotected emotionally.  I still have a hard time trusting people.  I’ll get there.  I have some of the dearest friends a person could ask for to walk parts of this journey with me.  And I have this website.  I don’t presume to compare text on a webpage with the love and support of incredible friends, but if you look at it as the canvas that my very young friend said it was then it becomes something more.  It becomes my life’s story and I’m figuring it out and writing it one day at a time. 

March Madness: Weigh In #4

I’m ever so sorry that I forgot to give you guys my March Madness update on Tuesday.  The goal of March Madness was to lose 8-10 pounds in the month of March (last weigh-in for me will be April 1) in whatever manner you choose, the only rule being that you have to do it safely and intelligently.  So far in this challenge I’ve lost 9 pounds leaving me with only 1 pound to lose this coming week to meet the outside parameter.  Not bad!  I really think that having an actual numbered goal to meet in a numbered period of time is a great idea because then you have something real to aim at. 

Now, moving on. 

Do you ever remember as a kid your mom saying to you, “No, you don’t need anything else to eat today.” when you were whining for a snack or a treat?  Do you remember if it was because you were bored or wanted comfort or attention?  I do know that this last week I’ve been whining for a snack or a treat in the worst way!  I’ve been working crazy long hours for the last 2 weeks and I think my snack needs are actually misread sleep needs.  Plus it’s Fourth Week right now which totally doesn’t help and it feels like FW has been dragging on forever! 

For the last two weeks, every morning I get up at a completely unreasonable hour, have breakfast over an hour and a half earlier than I normally do and then by 7am I’m starving.  What I’ve done is made my day about 2 hours longer but I’ve left my meals and snacks in the same places.  My brain thinks “It’s time to eat because normally we take our coffee break 3 hours after we have breakfast.”.  Unfortunately 3 hours after I have breakfast these days is still 2 hours before coffee time.  So I think even though my exercise has stayed the same I probably need to add in another small snack (and not just move calories around,sticking with my standard 1250) to avoid any ‘hanging on’ of calories.  I know long hours, routine change and added stressors can cause me to want to bury myself in food and not come out for awhile.  Purposely adding something else in to the day’s food will certainly help me stay content long enough to avoid that.

I think that this is all rubbing off on my exercise too.  The past couple of days I’ve had the worst time trying to convince myself to get out and run.  I’ve done it but I’ve been bitter and twisted about it.  And while I’m doing it I feel like I have a water buffalo tied to each leg, my breathing is very wheezy and the voice in my head that tells me I have to stop drowns out my iPod.  So is that from Fourth Week?  Or is it harder to exercise when you are mentally tired and when you’ve changed up your routine.    Not to be completely stupid, but I really don’t know since I’m pretty much making this up as I go along.  I’ve added an extra couple of hours to my day in the morning but I’m going to bed at a pretty reasonable time and I’m getting around 8 hours of sleep (sometimes a titch more).  If you shift your total sleep time up by two hours, are you getting less rest?  Or is 8 hours the same no matter what time you go to bed or get up at?  Does this all have any effect on performance in exercise?   I hope these questions don’t make me sound completely stupid.  Since I’m pretty much making this up as I go along, I’m bound to run into these bumps in the road.  This particular bump is going to go on for the next 4-6 weeks at least so I’m going to have to find some way to navigate around it.  Maybe like any change it will get easier as time goes by…maybe this is just the adjustment phase.  I think the first step is definitely eating a little more to make up for those extra hours. 

Do you guys have any thoughts?  Anything that you’ve noticed?  Have you had a hard time getting weight off when you’ve changed your routine even though you haven’t changed your calorie intake or burnoff?  Have you gained weight during the adjustment?

Sweet!!

I received this on my desk this morning from the girl that I work with.  How sweet!

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It’s a Potato Kind of Day

It’s funny because this has come up 3 times in the last week, me and my weird potato affection.  You see, I don’t normally eat potatoes, in fact I have very little desire for them most of the time.  But if I’m sick I want them (remember THIS post?) and apparantly if I’m feeling a little off, they help there too.  Today is definitely an off day.

Arriving to work at 6:20am this morning I found that the building was unusually cold.  It turns out that the boiler broke at some point over the weekend and wasn’t to be repaired until sometime late this afternoon.  I am cold enough all the damn time that I do not need to work all day in freezing conditions, it does not make me happy.  If I’d known I could have dressed for the circumstance and been less miserable but sadly there tends not to be any Boiler Breakdown warning!  Also I pulled a little something in my back yesterday and I’m overall feeling very Fourth Week right now.  So I came home and am now sitting here waiting for the potatoes to roast. 

<<interupted for dinner and nightly run>>

Having gone out for this evening’s run I have a question.  At what point is listening to your body and taking an unscheduled rest day a good thing to do and at what point is it the first step down a slippery slope?  Walking down my street today to get to my running area, everything hurt.  My back was tight, my knee was twingy, my yoga pants were prickling me and I had an upset tummy.  Post run, everything still hurts but has the lovely addition of what feels like a pulled groin muscle but is likely not considering that I don’t have the first clue how I would have done that!  All whining aside, I did manage to chalk up another point for my fitness simply by over-riding the voice that wanted me to come home and go to bed!  At the end I wanted to be done so badly that I sprinted the last 500 yards as fast as I could.  I guess that’s one bright spot because I never would have done that on a regular day!  I do notice that everything is getting easier and more efficient, from breathing to motion control to mental chatter.  Even the hill repeats are getting easier and I was pretty sure those were going to kill me when I started doing them!  I suppose that’s another good thing that came out of tonight’s run because I realized that even when I feel like sh*t I can still get a reasonable workout in without expiring on the side of the road.  It might not be pretty but I’m doing it!  So I guess I answered my own question: if you have to think about whether or not you should take a rest day off schedule, the answer is probably “No!  Don’t be soft, get out there and run!”

Blue

So this morning I went for my Sunday run.  This being the long run that I am starting to do once a week (the term ‘long’ of course being completely relative to what I do normally) to train for the 10k in July.  Anyway, off I went in the rain and the cold, jogging along until I could jog no more.  Teeny tiny problem with where I go is that I have no idea how far it is which is actually a giant problem for me mentally.  So in a fit of frustration I decided that I am changing the driving factor in my exercise routine.  I am definitely going to do the 10k in July and I am still going to run every day (except my rest days, relax!) and I’m still going to do the Sunday long run and increase it incrementally as the weeks go by.  But my motivation has changed.  I’m now going to run until I reach the point where I am no longer comfortable and then I’m going to push past that a little and then stop.  Maybe it will take longer this way and maybe that’s not how athletes do it.  But I am not an athlete.  I’m a former overweight smoker who happens to have lost 70 pounds and quit smoking.  Nowhere in that description is there any requirement that all of a sudden I have the ability to do crazy amounts of exercise.  Plus, not knowing exactly how far I’ve gone is really frustrating for me.  I’ve done everything else by tracking and watching numbers and this fuzzy distance-measuring nonsense is driving me nuts!  It doesn’t work with the previous motivation to run 10k in July without stopping however it does work with the theory that I’ve just described so that’s where I’m going to stay for now.  Continuous improvement is nothing to sneeze at even if I can’t tell the exact distance that I’m able to go.

While I was running around Mud Bay this morning I was suffering a little mentally. This whole website address thing has me pretty upset.  Not so much who might be reading it because I’ve never said anything on here that wasn’t honest.  When you maintain that level of honesty you really have nothing to worry about aside from people who might not normally have known stuff will now know the personal stuff.  What bugs me more is that I now feel like I have a filter on.  I feel like now I won’t be able to write quite like I did before, with nothing held back.  I guess I’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.  This little corner of the internet that I’ve made my own has been such a huge factor in what’s gone on in the last 7 months and it makes me so sad to think that I might have ruined that.

So Happy Chocolate Bunny Day (Sugar Free Chocolate Bunny Day at my house).  I’m going to spend the rest of it lazing about drinking copious amounts of coffee spiked with SF Caramel syrup to make myself feel better.

Unknown Readers

Remember back in THIS post where I mentioned that I am pretty particular about who I give my website address out to?  Remember how I said that a grand total of 7 people who know me in real life have the address?  Ummm….it could be significantly more people than that! 

As it turns out, I’m dumb and I’ve been tagging all my emails with my website address for…well….I’m not sure how long it’s been there.  I’m not even completely sure who all has received an email with that tag on it since I don’t keep sent items.

When I figured that out this evening I just about had a heart attack!  It’s one of those things where you KNOW something isn’t quite right but you can’t put your finger on it so you just let it go.  Because as soon as I realized what I’d done I realized that I have seen that website address on every email I’ve sent in the last couple of months and it never even twigged that people would then be able to click the link and read every thought I’ve ever had.

So once again I am forced to put up a disclaimer.  It’s either disclaim or close the website.  Don’t worry about commenting that you love me and you don’t want me to go, that’s not why I put that up there.  The fact is that I was so overcome with angst about not knowing who all had the address that I was nauseated and came about 1 click away from deleting the whole thing!  So instead I choose to disclaim!

I hereby no longer have any control over who in my real life has this website address due to my own stupidity.  Because I refuse to write anything but the truth (otherwise what point would there be!) if you, Unknown Reader, choose to continue to read this website, please realize that you are likely to find out all sorts of things about me that otherwise you may not have known.  You, Unknown Reader, will have a very private piece of my world and I won’t even know it.  You are now, by default, in the circle of trust.  Please don’t screw it up!

Where Did You Go?

More to the point, where did I go!  I’m still here.  Specifically where I am right now is sitting on the sofa in my jammies watching The Ten Commandments (1956).  I LOVE this movie so I will be right here for the next 4 hours watching it.

In all the things that have changed in the last 7 months there has been one common thread that I have been aware of but haven’t really noticed, if that makes any sense.   That commonality is that things are successful and more easily achievable when you are ready.   I do believe that it is possible to do anything at anytime but in my experience if you aren’t ready mentally or emotionally or physically then it is far more difficult and uncomfortable and you have less likliehood of maintaining your achievment. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that everything becomes clear given enough time and to force something outside of its natural timeline is simply putting undue pressure or stress on everyone involved.  Things tend to work themselves out if you are watchful for the small signs.  For example when I started to lose weight it was because there were several small signs over a short period of time that lit up what had always been a very dark path and I was able to make the decision to put my life back on course.  While the signs may have come in a short period of time I know that I was preparing for this for a good number of years before it happened.  Had I waited, or worse not noticed the signs, I do believe I would have missed the timing altogether and I shudder to think what would have happened.  But I did notice and I did slip through a small window of opportunity and I was absolutely ready to do all the work that came with it.  I’m not saying that because I happened to time it right that there was no effort or struggle involved, quite the opposite in fact.  

The same circumstance held true for quitting smoking and taking up running so if my theory is solid then shouldn’t it logically also hold true for dating?  I don’t believe that there is one person on the planet that we’re each destined to be with, I think that we can ultimately be happy with many different people (hopefully just one at a time though!).  What I mean by my theory holding true for dating is that for each relationship or each person there is going to be a natural timeline specific to that situation.  I think that a person has to be aware of what the timeline is and then just watch for signs and be ready to squeak through those windows of opportunity.  The opportunities to have certain conversations or take certain actions will naturally come up (or not, that’s a sign too), you just have to be paying attention to notice them and then act on them.  Not to say it might not be a little uncomfortable but it will be far less so than if you’re trying to jam something into an unnatural timeline.

So The Cleaning…

How many days have I been at this?  Cleaning every nook and cranny, tossing stuff I haven’t used or looked at, vacumming under furniture, polishing appliances.  And you know what it is?  It’s a crutch.  It’s a way to do something for distraction.  I have been craving a cigarette like CRAZY this evening because that is something that I used to use for distraction.  I’m already well entrenched in the eating plan so gnoshing isn’t even a consideration and now smoking isn’t either.  I’ve already done my run, made and cleaned up dinner, packed my lunch, picked out tomorrow’s clothes, remade my bed and started on my spare room.  And you know what I’m left with after all that is done?  My thoughts.  The stuff in my head that’s swirling around.  The serious stuff.

I’ve lived in a self-created bubble for the last 8 years.  I engineered my bubble to only have me in it, completely safe and unharmed.  And then one day I decided to pop the bubble and re-enter the real world with all of its hazards and scary bits.  (fortunately there are so many great things that counteract the scary bits)

I know that some of you are going to think that I am overthinking this particular situation and in a way I might be.  First of all I’m not used to doing nothing, to waiting to see how things are going to go.  I’m a do-er and a create-er and a manipulator (not in a bad way!).  I have always needed to try to control everything and make sure it’s all working out either exactly how I want it, or failing that, as unharmfully as possible.  This waiting to see?  Drives me! 

I got this on MSN from a friend of mine tonight: 

“but you need to decide what you want in life. And if it’s been awhile for you and dating you may have put things behind you because you didn’t think they were possible. If you think you want them then pull them out of the closet and have a damn good look at them!”

Well great!  Since you put it that way!  In the same conversation I also got this statement:

“a relationship with no future is not neccesarily a relationship with no value”

So which is it?  Have I had a tiny taste of what I’ve always wanted and now I’m going to have to make a decision and possibly send it away?  If what I want in life differs from what this person wants/is willing to give longterm is it alright to agree on that, know that there is an expiry date and then just let it go on as long as it can? 

There is quite a major stumbling block right from the get-go in this situation which makes all of these questions important in the early stages of this.  They don’t all need to be answered right this second but I’m supposed to have some clue as to what I want out of life by the time that they come up. 

I’m not good at this stuff.  And to be honest?  I don’t like it!  For now?  I’ve been trying to stay uninvested but I think that might be the wrong approach.  I am invested because I happen to like this person and it’s disrespectful to myself to keep denying that.  What I definitely do have to figure out pretty quickly is how far those feelings go.  Like I said before he is very nice to me and courteous and interested in me and sweet and it makes me feel content inside to think of myself as part of two people.  I just need to make sure that those feelings aren’t taking the place of or overpowering my feelings for the actual person.  I know that after a particularly dismal day today the one person I wished that I could see (and have a snuggle with…yes, I know, that’s very unusual for me!) was this person.  Unfortunately he’s on GY this week and that’s just not possible.  Would I still want that snuggle if it was possible, if he wasn’t on GY?  Or am I coveting something that I know is not available again?  Or, on the other hand, am I simply practicing for it to be OK in my head to want comfort from someone?  Then again, maybe it is simply just me wanting him and that’s all there is to it?

See?  I told you, this stuff gets me so twisted inside that I need distraction!

Comments are always welcome however please avoid any variation of        “just let it happen”        or        “you’ll know when it’s the right one”        or         “don’t overthink things”              because I find all those particularly patronizing.

March Madness: Weigh In #3

I had success this week, weight wise (I know, ONE day has passed since I said this was no longer a weight loss blog!) and the results page is updated.  I have only a range of 0.4 – 2.4 pounds to lose by April 1st and 2 weeks to do it.  I’m right on track!

I don’t have time to write anything much tonight.  I’m just waiting for the brussel sprouts to cook and then it’s dinner time. Following that I have an evening packed full of stuff since tonight is my rest night for exercise…HA!…there will be no actual resting!  I have to zip up to Costco, I’m making a cake for one of the boys at work…the one who brought me apple crisp last week, I’m getting started on cleaning my spare room up and the plan there is to be completely RUTHLESS!  I’ve been cleaning like crazy over the last couple of days.  Not that I don’t normally keep a pretty clean house, I do.  But it almost feels as though I’m cleaning out the last vestiges of the debris and detritus from ‘the old life’ so that I can move on in full into the new one.  I know, I manage to find symbolism in just about everything…it’s what keeps me learning and growing.  Anyway, I’ve been cleaning and while I’ve been cleaning I’ve been thinking and I have to say, things are coming up…well…cleaner!

Thanks to you guys who commented and told me that you’ll still be reading, I appreciate it!  I appreciate every single one of you! 

OK, the brussel sprouts are done now I have to run!

A Change

I knew when I started this website that it would have an end date, that if I were successful at what I was doing that it couldn’t go on forever.  Well, I’ve been successful!  More than I ever could have dreamt.  That means that this ‘weight loss’ website has served its purpose and is no longer neccessary.  I still definitely have food related issues and body image and weight issues but in the months that have passed I’ve sorted through most of them and what’s left are just small ongoing issues that need to be sorted regularly.   So what do I do? 

Writing is cathartic for me and without a doubt something that I will continue to do so I’m simply going to change my website.  I’m going to stop tagging as “Weight Watchers” and “Weight Loss” so if you were used to reading me in the Tag Surfer and still want to hear what I have to say, add me to your links.

What’s the website going to be about?  Ummm….ME!  It’s always really been about me but I’ve been hesitant to talk about things that aren’t weight related because that seemed unfair to people who came to read for inspiration or motivation in their own weight loss journey. 

I hope the reason that you guys have kept coming back is my honesty and openness in discussing issues.  I hope it’s because I try to get to the what and the why in order to sort things out.  That said, if you were coming here for strictly weight loss discussion I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed and I truly don’t mind if you don’t come back regularly.

I believe that my success in my weight loss has had to do with my complete honesty with myself and what I’m thinking or feeling.  Those thoughts and feelings come out on these pages and then I don’t have to keep them rolling about in my head.  That’s the idea behind where these pages are going now…the problem is that there are several people that I know in real life who read this website.  So here is fair warning:  IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW ALL THE PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT ME, STOP READING! 

OK?  Right. 

So now onto the topic of the day.  As I mentioned the other day, on Saturday I was invited out by a guy (that I’m interested in) to visit with a couple of friends of his and watch the hockey game.  I may not have mentioned how content that made me.  How nice it was to be the other half of a couple (not that we’re A Couple, just that there were two of us…let’s not rush it!).  How nice it was to have someone that I’m attracted to want to spend time with me.  When I explain who this person is to people, the first thing that I say is how nice he is to me.  That may not be as important to everyone as it is to me.  He is nice to me, courteous, gentle and respectful.  That is such a HUGE deal to me!  In this last year I’ve seen what love looks like and I’ve also seen what I’ve been doing to myself.  I made the decision that I deserved love and respect and kindness and that nothing else was good enough or worth my time.  While he and I have only been out a couple of times and I have NO preconceived notions of where that’s going to go or how long it’s going to last or what it’s going to turn into, I wanted to explain why it’s such a big deal to me that he’s nice to me.  Because I was right!  I do deserve that and if I take care of me then other people notice that I live out that belief.  And they are more likely to live it out as well.  Does that make sense?

Something else that I noticed that I’m sure has more to do with how I am these days than anything else is how easy it was to just relax and be there.  I wasn’t worrying about how I looked or worrying about making him think I was funny or smart.  I wasn’t worried the entire time what he might’ve been thinking.  I was just able to be there, watch the hockey game (and cheer!), eat chinese food and chat and laugh.  I’ve always, ALWAYS been the one who arranged or invited or cajoled or bribed the other person to spend time with me.  And now?  Although it was originally at my request that he got my phone number, he’s the one who asked me out, he’s the one who made the plans, he’s the one who made sure that I was comfortable the whole time.  That’s very unusual for me and I have to say, I liked it.  I’m not usually so much with someone else doing the ‘taking care’ of (not taking care of me neccessarily but of the plans, of the driving etc.) but for some reason I was totally alright with it. 

Now, as content as it made me, on the other hand made me really nervous.  I know I’ve said time and time again on this website that I have trust issues.  Mostly, I don’t trust people and it takes quite a long time and a lot of bravery on my part to give them a little piece of me and see what they’ll do with it.  Now add to that that I have affection/intimacy issues and I turn into a real prize!  No, really.  I feel dumb sometimes because other people seem to be able to do this stuff just fine and it makes me really nervous.   I do realize that I engineered my life a certain way after some very unfortunate circumstances many years ago.  I designed my life so that the only person in it was me and that was the way I was comfortable with things.  There came a point though when I finally recovered and banished most of my demons and decided that what I’d created was no longer enough.  It wasn’t good enough or fun enough of happy enough.  So I started making changes.  First to myself and my respect for me and my love for me and how I take care of me.  And once that started being successful I was able to start looking outside my self-created world to see what else was out there.  What I discovered is that once I started caring about me, other people started taking notice.  To be honest that alarmed me and still does a little bit.  It’s odd, but by making myself fat and unattractive I was trying to make myself invisible so that I didn’t have to deal with the things that bothered me or disturbed me or made me uncomfortable.  Now?  Just about everything I do makes me a little uncomfortable but the reward at the end is SO WORTH IT!!!! 

So back to the dating thing.  This person is so respectful and courteous and, again, is so nice to me that I do not believe I am going to have any problem when I explain to him that whatever road we end up travelling down we’re going to be going down it slowly.  There is no other option.  While I am now used to being slightly uncomfortable with some of the stuff that I have been doing, I have no intention of being uneasy or rushed or obligated.  It’s just not worth the struggle to come back from.  Again, not that I believe for one moment that I’m going to have any difficulty with this person, just that I have to enforce my groundrules and that means enforcing them with myself as well.  A large part of my previous dating experience caused the issues that I have now with trust and vulnerability and intimacy and affection.  I am finally, FINALLY able to work around and past that and I am not willing to let it get away from me again.  So the next time we go out (this coming weekend) I’m going to have to broach the subject somehow.  It’s going to need to be short and sweet and to the point.  I’m not sure yet exactly what I’m going to say.  I’m none so good with the talking but I’m going to have to do it because otherwise my nervousness is going to ruin something that hasn’t even had the chance to get off the ground yet.

So, that was the first post in the NON-weightloss blog that is Ask Lady Shanny.  I’ll leave all the features up as well as the Journey in Pictures and the Results page for the foreseeable future.  Since I’m not actually done with the fat losing yet I’ll still be using them and I’ll still update on Tuesday evenings.  I have no interest in turning this into a weight-maintenance blog, I think that would get really dull.  I have so many more things to work on and work through and this is the place that I’m going to do it.  I would love it if you stayed around for the next leg of this journey but if you aren’t interested I completely understand!

Master Bombardier

I happen to be very fortunate to know some really smart people.  One of these really smart people is someone you’re about to meet.  His name is Evann and he is an active member of the Canadian military.  Additionally he runs a fitness program in Kitsilano (unfortunately too far away for me to actually attend).  You can go and see his website at http://www.corporalpunishment.ca (that’s actually him on the front page) and if you happen to live or work near there, GO SIGN UP for the workout of your life.  He’s probably the fittest person that I have ever met and so I thought I would pick his brain a little.  I asked him whether or not he happened to have any suggestions for me for training to run the 10k in July without stopping.  The incredible wealth of information that I received back from him was so impressive that I had to repost it here (with his permission, of course).  The repost here of the emails are as they were received but I’ve removed some of the irrelevant chatter (all on my part) so that you can get right to the useful information (all on his part!).  The first part is more about run training and then it moves on to talking about caloric needs as it relates to weight loss.  The whole thing is pretty long but I think it’s well worth the read if you’re trying to lose weight while getting or increasing physical fitness.

Shanny Says:  Anyway, I’ve started doing Fartlek training and hill repeats as well as increasing my running distance.  Since 6 months ago I weighed 70 pounds more and only last month I was still a pack a day smoker, I think I’m doing pretty well.  I know that most people would probably go further or run faster or do it for longer but I figure that I’ll just gradually build up my endurance and stamina.  Since this is supposed to be a lifelong commitment there is really no time limit on how long it takes….except that I really would like to run the 10k on July 20th without stopping.  Any suggestions?

Evann Says:  I think its amazing the way you have been able to motivate yourself to stay fit – if everyone was like you though, we wouldn’t need people like me!  But it’s that kind of determination I like to see in people.  Plus you have someone to encourage you and that’s a prime motivating factor for all of us.

Okay, here are several suggestions:

1.  You mention running 10k “without stopping”   Do you stop now?  How far can you make it before you feel you need to stop?  If you’re always stopping, then you are always going to need to stop. Erase that need by slowing down near the end of your workout but keep moving forward even at a snail’s pace.

2. Run intervals along telephone poles.  Similar to fartlek, this will help you learn a tempo and force your body to deal with increased HR and energy output.  Run along the roads and alternate sprinting and running between telephone poles.

3.  Long Slow distance runs or LSD will increase your endurance. Run really slow and do your best to meet the 10k or more mark.  Do this twice a week at a casual pace, something you can still talk/sing during. Everyone always runs this too fast – its REALLY slow so always asses yourself as you go along.  Make your footfalls very ‘light’ and soundless.

4. No more than once a week, do a speed run.  You should be running hard and fast for a good long distance.  It’s okay to run hard for 1k, walk 500m and then run hard for 1k again.

If 10k is your goal, you need to be running 12k or more during your training so that race day seems easy.  IF you know the route of the run you want to do, go run it now and get used to the area so there are no surprises on race day.  Lastly, make sure you are eating enough.  Now that you are outputting more energy, you need to increase your caloric intake.  If you are running and working out 3 or more times a week or a total of 4-5hrs a week, you should be eating upwards of 2600calories a day.  You will need the energy to keep up with the expenditure and allow your body to build muscle.  You also have to eat after your workout to balance out the calorie-deficit you just created. So eat more than you did before you started running, not less.  

Shanny Says:  As far as the calories…I have issues with this…ask Kathleen, she knows!  I still have around 15 pounds to lose so I’m still on a bit of a restricted calorie intake and there is no WAY that I would increase by more than double.  I so wish that there was some way of knowing exactly how many calories a person burns.  I know that there are websites that estimate the totals but those are a little vague.  I would love to know the exact number that I burn.  I don’t do well with approximating because as a formerly fat (quite!) person I am now always erring on the side of caution.

Evann Says:  I understand about the calorie thing – all women have this issue, but trust me when I say that you WILL burn more by taking in more.  If you’ve gone from a sedentary lifestyle to one of activity, your  Mean-Caloric-Need has changed to reflect your activities.    Basically, our bodies like to stay in a certain range so before when you ate and did nothing your body responded by stating “this is the norm for me” and it remained in a certain state.  When you add more activity and don’t add more calories it states ” I need to hang on to my calories to keep in the norm” and the body therefore will not burn calories because it is unsure when the next intake will arrive.  If you are to eat a little more the body states ” I can expel fat/calories and use it as energy because I know more will be coming to replace it” 

It’s an odd thing but its how the body works.  Getting women and even some men to understand this relationship is the hardest part of fitness.

I eat a fairly high-fat diet – and I cant KEEP the weight on.  Nothing gets stored, it’s used as fuel and burns up before the day is even over. I’m actually anorexic by definition! When you start working out you can eat more, eat fattier, eat more carb-loaded meals, ingest more sugar all because of the increased activity you are doing.  But it seems so contradictory doesn’t it?

One more contradiction, or oddity:  You burn zero calories when working out.  ZERO.  NONE.  Contrary to what we think we know, what cardio machines tell us, not a single calorie is burnt while doing an exercise.  Our body burns only while at rest. So you may run 4km but you aren’t loosing any fat until later that night when you sit down to watch tv – that’s when the body says “okay time to let go of this stuff..”  and that is why its so important to consume calories because if you do not, then the body won’t release anything. The machine that tells you “you’ve burned 400calories”  should actually say “you’ve expended the equivalent energy that is found in 400calories of nutrition, please insert 400calories of food to loose weight now”      lol…  Because what you’ve done is create a calorie deficit which needs to be immediately replaced (creating that norm we talked about) so that the body doesn’t frighten and allows itself to convert its fat stores into energy.

It’s very hard to explain over email.. drawings are actually better. I hope it makes some sense to you.

Number 3:  Muscle weighs more than fat but if we increase our muscle mass, we reduce our fat even though we may gain a pound or two(of muscle) in the process.  Don’t think about your goals as being weight/fat indicated.  True muscle weighs twice as much but it also burns twice as much just by nature of its existence.  Since we know our body only burns at rest, would you rather have 12lbs of muscle to do the work for you or 2lbs of muscle and 10lbs of fat?  Sitting around breathing burns fat! So why not help out the body by increasing its ability to do so?   

Serious runners need to put on muscle to assist with their locomotion and to burn fat stores.  If you were to ask a tri-athlete to take off his shirt you would see more muscle on a skinny dude than you could imagine. ALL RUNNERS should do some form of weight training to gain muscle mass as this will assist with burning your fat stores.  Have you hit a wall with your weight loss?  Get in the gym or train at home… you’ll now burn more fat and lose more weight.

Shanny Says:  I do understand the idea behind eating to burn…I like to think about it like a car (do tell me if this is totally off base since I use this example on my website a lot!) where if you drive the exact number of km every day then you could probably figure out exactly how much fuel to put in to get you there and back.  But then if you decide to drive an extra 50k you are going to need to put in more fuel to get there.  I get that.  My problem is with determining exactly how much to add back because I have a really hard time determining how much I actually burned off.  There’s a bit of paranoia about eating more too.  My nature, once I become committed to something, is to become somewhat militant about it and I do not waver from my plan.  Since a person cannot live like that forever (I completely agree with that) you can get yourself to the point of burnout and then the whole thing goes for a shit.  Same with exercise, I think.  Even when I really don’t want to do it or I’m exhausted, if it’s not one of my preplanned rest days (Tuesday or Saturday) I go do it.  It’s not pretty but it gets done.  So it’s hard to then train yourself that it’s OK to add more calories or take an extra day off…because where does it end?

I’m still losing about 2 pounds a week which is not too bad.  Pretty soon I’m going to be done losing though and I’m going to have to figure out exactly what I need to eat to maintain.  I think that will actually be easier for adding back calories for exercise because you can keep increasing until the scale starts rising and then cut back a bit.  That’s the hope, anyway.

Evann Says:  While you are out there running around, there is nothing stopping you from throwing in a few pushups, sit-ups along the way.  Every bench you see should be an opportunity to do an exercise.

I suppose the car analogy works..  especially if you use it to eat breakfast, which no one ever seems to do.  Imagine the car being empty every morning but you have to go 4km – where are you getting the fuel from?  Would you rather burn fumes or actual fuel?  Put in some breakfast before your morning workout people!

It’s not that important to determine how much you burned off.  That’s a tactic on the part of the fitness industry to get you to think in that manner, become obsessed and then fail so that you need to buy another product or diet scheme. It’s really ok to ingest more than you burned – it won’t turn into fat, I promise.  Lets use some arbitrary numbers to illustrate this:

You ran 5km, creating a  500calorie deficit

You ate 650 calories worth of food, replacing the deficit and then some.

Your body now has 150 cal worth of energy left bouncing around in the tank so where does it go first for life functions such as breathing, digesting, and resting?  It goes for the available 150 in the tank.

-OR-

You ran 5 km, creating a 500 cal deficit

then you only ate 450cal worth of food meaning you never replaced the deficit, nor do you have any energy left in the tank.

Does the body look to it’s fat stores?  Nope, its too afraid to dip into these because you never replaced the deficit.

It holds onto fat in this case and it reduces the function of it’s breathing, resting, digestion and muscle growth because you left it with no fuel.

The second example leaves you with less energy in the day, reduced brain function, reduced muscle growth/repair, reduced digestion, no fuel for fighting illness, and on and on and on.

In the first example, lets say you ingested an extra 400cal – what happens?  Your functioning improves, more muscle growth occurs, more energy is left for brain function, etc.  In other words, the body WILL find a way to use that energy.   Oh, and it takes energy to burn fat so where do you think that energy is supposed to come from?

2 lbs a week is pretty good, more fuel means faster weight loss  ;)  

Think of a coal-fired stove that burns hotter the more you add to it – that’s your metabolism and fat burning ability.

So that’s the end of the emails at this point.  Evann certainly knows his stuff and instead of me espousing what I THINK is probably happening this is some great and accurate information about what actually DOES happen.

What do you guys think?  I’ll make sure that any comments get to him.

Pork Balls From Heaven!

I left a comment on p4pretention’s site just a minute ago and thought I would expound on those thoughts here.

We’re in the middle of March Madness right now so I had my whole weekend all planned out.  I had my snacks and my activities all laid out with the intent of staying RIGHT ON COURSE all this weekend.  Ha!  The best laid plans.

I woke up this morning at my regular time to have breakfast and then trot on back to bed for a little nap.  Problem!  The power went out at 6:30 this morning and didn’t come back on.  So my quick errands that I needed to run were delayed while waiting for power to be restored.  So I went back to bed which meant that coffee time and lunch time were delayed.  which meant that my water drinking fell behind (yes, I am THAT scheduled!).  Anyway, I zipped up to the mall to buy a new pair of work pants that fit (success!) and then came home.  At this point the plan was still salvageable.  And then?

I got a last minute phone call from a boy asking me if I wanted to go for dinner at his friend’s house with him.  He was going because they have an upcoming trip that they needed to finalize and he wanted me to come with him.  Ummm…sure!  Since I had no real plans to speak of I couldn’t think of any reason not to go. Plus, I quite like him and I liked the thought of spending some time with him.  (I’ll deal with the lack of notice thing at some other point…Shanny does not do spontaneous!)   So the plan?  Completely thrown to the wind!

Dinner ended up being chinese food (oh my God, so good!) and there was some pre-dinner, hockey watching beverages to be had.   (by the way, it turns out that chinese food and beer makes me crave a cigarette….)

When I got home this evening I sat down and did a bit of thinking.  I realized as I was sitting there eating, that with the exception of the boy (who, I sometimes wonder if he’s noticed), the couple whose house we were at don’t know that not so long ago I was 70 pounds heavier.  To them I’m just a normal sized person.  And that’s odd to me because this has been such a huge thing going on over the last few months.  It also makes it slightly more difficult when someone tries to serve you seconds and you refuse because they don’t understand why not and so they tend to think you’re being demure or polite.  They don’t know that to stay a normal weighted person that I run every night, that I weigh and measure everything that I eat, that I get on the scale every morning.  They don’t know the emotional and mental struggle that I’ve gone through to become a normal weighted person.  To them I just am. 

And now I get the weekend indulgence thing.  It’s not so much that I have to throw my entire plan out the window on Friday night, just that I can veer a little off course on the weekend without having to chalk the whole thing up as a failure.  Would I have said no to this date for the fear of having to eat off my self-prescribed plan?  No way!  Will I make it a habit to eat chinese food and drink beer every Saturday night?  Not so much!  Will I relax my restrictions occassionally so that I can actually live the life I have been working so hard to build?  Absolutely!

I’ll be back at some point in the not so distant future to talk about this boy thing.  I have some concerns/issues with the whole dating thing that I need to somehow get worked out.  I have wanted to write about it here for quite some time but I don’t quite know where to start or how to do that since some of the stuff is incredibly personal and makes me cringe to even think about writing it down (vulnerability and looking stupid and all that).

I should say that this particular boy is very nice to me, courteous, gentlemanly and sweet.  He has a good laugh, laughs at my silliness and clearly wants to spend time with me.  This is all so very different than what I’ve engineered in the past.  I’m also pretty fortunate that this particular boy had/has some reservations about us dating and so things have started out very slow and that’s just fine by me!  So far I’ve done pretty good about putting things into context and not getting overly invested.  While that might not seem like a big deal to some people it’s very much like swimming upstream for me!

Go, Run, Be Free!

There are not many times that I come across something on the internet that I believe 100% (except maybe some of the stuff that I write some of the time).  So when Comrade GoGo linked to THIS article I clicked through like a good blog-buddy expecting to gloss over a few paragraphs on someone else’s opinion. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

GO READ THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!

This guy explains in a way that I have not been able to, how what you’re thinking can directly affect how much weight you’re losing.  It explains why when a milestone pound drop or goal number is coming up that it takes 3 times as long as it normally does.  It explains why sometimes I have had to actually tell myself to ‘settle down, it’ll happen’ when I’m starting to get stressed over the weight loss.

GO READ THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!

It is quite long but well worth the read right to the end. 

I would not normally send traffic away from my own website with such vigor, so if you`re wondering why I`m so bent on this one it`s because it has played out to be completely true in my experience of losing weight and trying to get fit.

Stuff It!

I’m a little tired.  OK, I’m a lot tired!  Actually, I haven’t felt this whole body kind of tired since I started both Weight Watchers and walking to work.  That is why I presume that this spacey exhausted feeling is just my body adjusting to the new exercise routine.   Since the 8k this past Sunday I’ve been very diligent about getting out and getting my running training in.  My goal is to run a 10k in July without stopping and since that’s not a lot of time and my cardio is a lot of terrible, I started to do Fartlek training.  Go see p4p for a good explanation of what that is.

Part of what is making me tired is that there is a lot of stuff swirling around in my head right now from work stuff to a couple of instances of boy stuff to exercise stuff to body/weight stuff to personal stuff.  It’s a lot to focus on at any one time and it makes me want to just close my eyes and go to sleep…for a week!    Stop with the STUFF already!

I just about erased this post right now because it sounded particularly whiny but then I thought “this is my website and I am getting slightly “whelmed” with stuff and if I want to write about it I can!” (not OVERwhelmed…not yet…just….um….whelmed…)

One of the great things that I realized this afternoon when I got home was that I even though I want to just go straight to bed, the foundation of exercise is ultimately going to help me through life when it gets hard.  It’s a distraction for me because I can only think about what I’m doing.  It’s a constant from day to day and it’s also something that I get to do all by myself.  I know that I live by myself but at some point that is going to change and what the running gives me is guaranteed Shanny-time. 

I’ve seen it happen before where someone is completely dedicated to their health or fitness goals because they have nothing else going on.  And as soon as they get in a relationship or move in with someone or become otherwise distracted those goals become secondary and the focus becomes blurry and eventually just fizzles out.  I actually think it might be MORE important to continue on with your routine as a foundation to who you are as a person.  I know that I’m getting a little ahead of myself since I am quite a ways away from that sort of distraction but it’s something that I have to plan for.  The way I am and the way that I don’t neccessarily trust myself makes it neccessary for me to work things out in my head first.  That can sometimes cause little things to become far larger than they need to be but the value in the preplanning outweighs the occassions when I lose perspective on things. 

What do I mean by all this?  I mean that even though I am butt-dragging tired today I still ate properly and I am still going to go for my run.  Tired or stressed out is not an excuse for me to let everything slide.  No, it’s actually a reason to keep things as routine and regular as they are when I feel fantastic.  Maybe by doing something that usually makes me feel great I can trick myself into believing that I am not tired and a teeny bit stressed.  It’s worth a shot.  Plus, I have it together enough this evening to go and do my Fartlek while it’s still light outside which is like a little gift, just for me!  I’ll take it!

TiLT: Things I Love Thursdays #2



blueberries.jpg  Blueberries.  Specifically blueberries that have been heated up in the microwave for about 35-40 seconds (on high) so they are nice and warm.  Such a sweet and cozy morning snack!  I should point out that I am currently doing this with blueberries that have been frozen and then thawed.  I’m not exactly sure what would happen if you microwaved fresh blueberries.  Blue explosion perhaps?

woods.gif  Since this particular coffee shop is in the states, I can’t say that I’m loving it daily.  But I AM loving the travel mug that I bought from there.  It’s stainless and pink enamel and I love it!

facebook.gif  I haven’t always been a huge fan of this site but in the past couple of weeks I’ve definitely been checking it more.  I do love updating my status because it’s like a little exercise in condensed creativity every day.

sweet-pea-lotion.jpg  I love all the Bath & Body Works lotions but this is my scent of the moment.  It’s light and fragrant and reminds me of standing in a garden early on a summer morning when the sun is already warm on your skin but the dirt is still cool under your feet. 

joefresh.gif  This is a brand that you may have seen advertised on television.  It’s available in Canada at Real Canadian Superstore.  Why do I love it? You can buy really good quality work-out wear for very little money.  I know, it’s not the same as the expensive stuff, I understand that, you get what you pay for.  But if you are new to exercise or your body is changing and you are having to get new yoga pants every month then you might want to consider Joe Fresh!  The crap that they are showing on their website does NOT do this brand justice!

Feel free to participate on your own site or, failing that, in the comments here.

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