Sense of Style

As it turns out, I don’t have one.   😕

It’s a bit of an odd explanation as to why I do not have any fashion sense but probably a story that a few of you are familiar with.  As a person who has been overweight her whole adult life (and part of her teenaged one), the stores that I had to shop in and the caliber of that clothing was marginal.  In fact, the area that I live in has 2 decent plus-sized stores which are both wildly overpriced and both stock the exact same stuff.  If it doesn’t exist in either of those stores there is nowhere else to go.  So being somewhat limited in the choice of clothing does not breed a sense of style that readily. 

Add to that, that most of the time it wasn’t a question of whether or not the item looked nice it was whether or not the item fit.  If it fit, I bought it.  If it fit and looked alright, that was just a bonus.  If it fit and was ugly, I chose not to notice.

Now I’m not fat anymore (mostly) and it came to my attention today that my choice of clothing can be on the somewhat marginal side.  Since my head still has to catch up with my body, I was actually surprised that the reaction to today’s outfit was so negative (in a ‘your friend just wants the best for you’ kind of way). 

I left work early today and headed out to buy new jeans.  That’s all I was looking for.  New jeans.  At the time that I started shopping I still did not see anything particularly wrong about the jeans that I was wearing (besides the fact that they were a little too short and a lot too big).  But overall?  I really thought that they were alright.  And then I started trying on jeans.  What I discovered is that the jeans that I was wore to work today I was embarassed to put back on and walk around the store in.  I tried on about 5 pairs in Liz Claiborne and liked one.  I tried on about 8 pairs in Guess and liked one.  I tried on about 15 pairs in The Gap, liked lots and loved one.  The pair from Guess and the pair from Gap came home with me although one pair will be returned after I get the final opinion tomorrow. 

After the jeans shopping I decided to poke around and see what else I could come up with.  After all, I was already in the mall (yech!) so why waste the trip?  I got a couple of shirts from Jacob and a KILLER deal on a black trench coat.  Also, a couple of pairs of shoes.

A few things struck me during my outing.  First, I don’t actually hate it as much as I thought I did.  I suppose you tend to always hate something that you are not successful at and when you’re fat, the mall is like standing in a river and dieing of thirst!  Since most everything that I tried on actually fit, I felt wildly successful and didn’t get to ‘freak out’ stage.  Not the entire time…which was 5 hours

The second thing that struck me is that I have no concept of how big (actually, not big at all) I am.  I figured that the Guess jeans would be cut small so I grabbed a 12 and thought I could always go up a size if they didn’t fit.  Ha!  Down a size, missy!  Even after I figured out that I am a size 10 or 31 in jeans and medium to large (mostly large) in tops, every store I went in after that I still chose the 12 or the 34 or the XL.  Talk about not trusting yourself!  I also spent a great deal of time looking at myself in the mirror during this trip, in various states of undress.  I realized just how upset and frustrated and disgusted I used to get when shopping because I was being forced to acknowledge something that I spent a lot of time hiding from and trying to hide from other people.  Things aren’t perfect in naked-Shanny world, far from it.  But it is a hell of a lot easier to look in the mirror now that it ever has been.  In fact, it was brought to my attention by a couple of store clerks that I am very slow trying things on.  I don’t think it’s that I’m slow as much as that I’m actually looking at myself in the mirror.  I wonder how many women just take a cursory glance and then move on to the next item?

It also struck me just how hugely overweight I was before.  As of today I am officially down 12 sizes in jeans.  12 SIZES!!!!  I am now a 10 and in September of last year, when I started this, I was a 22 and they were on the snug side.  Do you understand now why my head is having such a hard time catching up?  I kept thinking during my shopping outing, “Just how fat WAS I???”. 

And last, it struck me that I am completely clueless about what I should and shouldn’t be wearing.  I know what looks outright bad but the rest just falls into grey area.  There are things I find that I love but I don’t know if they ‘go’ with anything that I already own and I’m not sure if they are completely off the deep end.  Safest is black pants and a top of some type but that gets boring after awhile.  I tend to pick the safest items and not take any risks as far as different types of clothing.  I’m also reticent to pay very much for the clothes right now because there is still weight to lose and that means that things will not fit properly forever.  The thing is, as my dear friend said, what I wear should be doing something to compliment all the hard work that I’ve done.  I do agree that the clothes that I wear should be flattering and lovely and not be the focus of any attention.  I agree that the clothes should get me noticed but then not be distracting.  How I go about that I haven’t the faintest idea!  I never believe the clerks in stores, they are not going to tell you that something looks terrible.  I can’t trust what I see in the mirror most of the time and the number on the tag is not indicative of whether the item looks decent on me.

I’m going to have to do some practicing because I have a USA trip planned for May and there will be some serious shopping going on.  I can reasonably expect to be mostly done with losing weight by then and anything else will really just be toning up and adjusting.  Anything after May shouldn’t really affect the fit of the clothes too much so I’m planning to spend some money.  This trip could go one of two ways:  I could amaze myself and find good stores and good clothes and good clerks and be very happy by the end.  Or I could buy all the wrong stuff, get it home and hate it or get it home and ‘someone else’ hates it and be out a bunch of money since I can’t really return the stuff.

OK, I have to stop dissecting this one now and get out and do my jog.  Please note that there will be no Ask Lady Shanny tomorrow because I’m zipping into the US with my sister first thing in the morning.  When I get home in the afternoon I have something to do and then hockey in the evening.  Sorry, that’ll be two weeks in a row that there has been no advice!  You guys seem to be doing alright though!

Stumped

It’s not even like the words are there and won’t come out.  There’s nothing there right now.  At all!  I have nothing of interest to write about.

This tends to happen when I am consumed with a new part of my plan and I am completely consumed with the jogging portion of the plan right now.  I amaze myself every night when I get dressed and go out and do the exercise.  I always said that I was not an evening exerciser.  Who was I kidding?  I wasn’t an ANYTHING exerciser before.  And now, when I’m already at home and cozy and relaxed, I put on work-out clothes and go outside (sometimes in the rain) on purpose and exercise.  It’s crazy!  This whole thing is crazy!  Me trying on a jacket and choosing a medium is crazy!  The reactions that I’m getting from men is crazy!  Me jogging over a kilometer at a time without blacking out or throwing up is crazy!  And then doing it again the next day is even crazier! The SO different way I feel and think is crazy!  The number on the scale that I haven’t seen since I was a teenager is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!

Like a friend said today, I’m the new and improved Shanny.  Not so much ‘new’ because a person doesn’t really change, but definitely improved. 

Actually, I was thinking about my success the other day and what I thought is that from the start I acknowledged my flaws and limitations and worked within those.  I planned for the things that would sink me and I made other arrangements.  As I’ve gone along week after week and month upon month I’ve paid attention and learned things about myself and my body and made adjustments where needed for those things too.  I think what’s key to my success is that I have not made myself miserable with anything that I’ve done.  I never force myself to eat things I don’t like, I avoid certain trigger foods, I made changes to my basic plan as I was ready for them and didn’t push myself too far out of my comfort zone all at once.  Because of that, I’ve never really suffered or felt deprived or tortured.  And that’s why I think that this thing is going to be successful well after all the excess weight is gone.  Because it’s not something I’m doing TO myself, it’s something that I’m doing WITH myself, with all parties in agreement.  One of the goofiest things that I think about is my napping.  It is a known fact that I loves me a good nap; a long nap, under the covers with no time limit.  I often think about the fact that I am aiming to get fitter and slimmer and that napping is not really condusive to that.  But then I think that if there was some kind of rule that said that I had to give up napping in order to be successful, I really would be miserable and tortured and whatever I was doing wouldn’t last long.  I know it seems silly to bank an entire lifestyle on a lazy past-time, but that lazy past time is as much me as the color of my eyes.  To try and change who you are when deciding to lose weight and increase fitness is a losing proposition.  It is my opinion that those who are the most successful when making any kind of shift are those who never try to alter who they really are but instead work to finesse certain aspects of their life.

Hunh!  I guess I DID have something to say after all!

Some Winning, Some Losing, Some Quitting

The Results page is updated. 

Alright, I think I’ve tortured you guys quite long enough.  Are you ready to hear who won the contests?

The Ask Lady Shanny contest didn’t end up being quite the motivator that I had hoped it would be but I did get some really good questions from you guys.  The winner by random draw is Comrade GoGo.  It’s actually quite fitting that she won because the column was her original idea!  The draw was random though.  Congratulations GoGo!

The Comment Contest was far more successful and in total there were over 200 entries.  The winner by random draw is Krystle.  Congratulations!

Both winners should send me their real name and mailing address so that I may forward your prize.  Comrade GoGo is the winner of a $10 Starbucks card and Krystle is the winner of a prize package that is still being put together.  As mentioned for that one, it’s going to be an assortment and all things that I love.  Once Krystle has received the package perhaps she would be willing to leave a comment telling what was in it so as not to ruin the surprise for her.  Please, do not leave your name or address in the comments, you can use the Contact page or the Ask Lady Shanny page.

OK, that’s out of the way, moving on to this week’s weigh in.  If you’ve been following along, you know that this was my last Weight Watchers weigh in.  I keep saying it because I want people to understand that this is not about quitting or giving up or calling it done, it’s simply because I am not getting anything out of it anymore that is worth $16/week.  I purchased my own scale last night and weighed on it immediately after I got home from the last WW weigh in.  New scale weighs exactly the same as the WW scale so we’re good to keep going with no adjustment.

The weight loss itself is clearly slowing down and even though I don’t understand it, when I step back and take a real look at the numbers, I truly do not have a lot of weight left to lose.  To get to my ‘WW goal’ I have less than 15 pounds to go.  That’s not a lot.  I’ve said this before too, I will not be stopping when I get there, but will carry on eating healthy and exercising daily and wherever my body chooses to stop losing weight is where I was meant to be.  I don’t know what that number is going to be but I’ll be patient and diligent getting there.  That said, I would really like to be down 8-10 pounds by the end of March.  I think that by having a concrete goal instead of this airy-fairy goal is going to help a little, at least I’ll know where I am aiming.  I could just set my goal as 174 which is the ‘end of the WW road goal’ but there is no time frame on that.  At least this 8-10 March goal is reasonable and time dependant.  If I don’t make it there, that’s fine, it will still be a good way of keeping on course.

So how am I going to do that?  Well, it’s been a secret long enough, I suppose.  Again, if you’ve been following along you know that I quit walking to work and then was having a huge struggle as far as finding consistent exercise that didn’t make me miserable.  I found my new exercise, jogging (on the street rather than a track) and have fallen a little bit in love with it.  I’m able to do more than I ever thought I could and it makes me so proud of myself every time I do it.  I like the feeling while I’m doing it and I love the feeling when I’m done.  I truly believe that this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now.  It might not last forever, it might be temporary like the walking to work was.  But I’ll take it while I have it and do the very best at it that I can!

So far every second day I’m jogging around 1.5kms and walking 2 and then on the in between days I’m just walking the whole thing at a very brisk pace.  I have it on good authority that I need to take any increase in speed and distance slowly and carefully to avoid any kind of injury, so that’s what I’m doing.  I’ll keep on with this arrangement of time and distance until March 9th.  Then I have a big exercise day (it’s a secret for now) and after that we’ll see where I am and how I can move forward.

I’m also going to make a slight adjustment to my meal plan and try to get more calories into the beginning of the day up to and including lunch and then less in the afternoon and dinner.  Being the complete GEEK that I am, I’m going to figure out some way to chart that so that I can see it on a daily and weekly basis.  Apparantly you are supposed to eat 75% of your daily calories before dinner and then nothing after dinner unless you are truly hungry and then a small snack that does not interfere with sleep.  Going to bed hungry is BAD!  Did you hear that Carey?  It’s BAD and counterproductive and can actually cause you to heal slower if you’re ill or injured.  Sleepy-time is your body’s recovery and replenishment time and not having enough fuel in you to do that makes it harder or impossible.

Anyway, I’m going to have to spend some time over the next few days figuring out how I’m going to adjust my caloric consumption throughout the day.  I’ll let you guys know if I have a breakthrough on how that’s going to work…or if I come up with the chart, I’ll share that too.

That’s it for me this evening.  I’ve been sleeping like CRAP these last few days and I’m exhausted.

Cosmic Joke, NOT Funny!

I’m totally drained (which it seems is a theme today amongst the blog-women that I read).  I have some stuff on my mind that is bothering me and I’m smack dab in the middle of Fourth Week.  Also, for whatever reason I have not budged on the scale over the last week.  Some days I think I’m eating too much and being too ‘lax’ (even though the most I’ve gone into the negative is 2 points in a day) and other days I think I’m not eating enough for the amount of exercise that I’m getting.  How does one figure out which it is?  Fourth Week is not a good week to be mucking about with changing calories nor is the week that follows FW, only because neither are a good indicator of what’s actually going on.  And yet tomorrow is my last weigh in with Weight Watchers and I would really like to go out on a loss.  I bought a scale today so that I could carry on my merry way without paying to go and stand on the WW scale.  I think my new one is probably pretty accurate but we’ll see for sure tomorrow.  And as I said before, the end of WW is not the end of my plan.  It’s just the end of PAYING for my plan.  I’ll still weigh at the same time each Tuesday and post the results here (I may weigh naked tomorrow and use that number, just to make myself feel better).

I had a terrible sleep last night (I woke up a couple of times, once standing at the side of my bed with the bedroom light on, my heart racing…not sure exactly what’s up with that!) and woke up completely out of sorts and feeling like my life is just some big cosmic joke and the laugh is on me.  That is not a great feeling, let me tell you.  I’m not going to get into it here because it has nothing whatsoever to do with the theme of this website.  Also, it’s a personal issue that I’m not completely jazzed about sharing with the whole world (no offense!).  I know in the past I have written some pretty personal stuff here and you guys have all been so wonderful about making me feel better and giving me your insight.  The thing is, this is currently going on whereas the other stuff was in the past.  I have a hard time discussing my current personal events at all so this one stays in the vault….for now.

I should be going outside to walk my route this evening.  I doubt that I will get out to do it tomorrow evening and I know that even though I’m feeling like it’s the last thing in the world that I want to do, it’s probably THE time that I need to go and do it.  So I’m going to go plug my bed in, do some dishes, go for my exercise and then come home and have a sweet coconut scented shower and get in my cozy-warm bed where I will hopefully sleep uninterrupted until morning.

Finally, the contest.  I know who the winners are but I really want to do a good post with the prizes and the announcement and I’m totally not feeling it today.  So stay with me.  The names were drawn this morning by someone I work with and I have them here.  Be patient!

Product Review

Do you ever have those days where even before you leave the house you know that you are going to be a menace to society?  That you are going to be short with clerks and impatient with other shoppers and just generally a bitch?  Ever have one of those days where everything you touch turns to sh*t?  You become buttery-fingered, things that you go to pick up become entangled, you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in the instant that you want it and then you flip out?  That was my day today.  Granted, I’m at the beginning of Fourth Week and this is the first time I’ve had to manage FW while also being a NON smoker.  Does that absolve me of being a jerk?  No, but it certainly explains it!

Once I got home I knew I was going to have to keep myself busy or I was going to end up chewing my way through my house.  Unfortunately, when you’re this crabby, it becomes a little harder to make yourself do anything.  That said, I did spend some time blog-walking, I made my lunch for tomorrow, I did some dishes and I cooked some rice. 

So having run out of things to do and not being interested in watching TV, I figured maybe I would start listening to the CD that I was sent.  If you missed the post about that, ultimately what happened was that I received an email from a marketing company saying: 

We’re currently working with SkinnySongs founder and lyricist, Heidi Roizen, to communicate with high-quality bloggers about her album entitled, “SkinnySongs.” It is our hope that you’ll be interested in receiving a copy of the album for review on your blog.

I agreed to participate and have been waiting for the CD to arrive.  It came earlier this week and to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t holding out that much hope for the CD, even though Heidi Roizen and the CD have both been featured on the Martha Stewart show.  Anyway, they sent me the CD with the understanding that I would listen to it and then review it here so I figured I’d better get at it.

As it turns out, I am an ass!  The CD is remarkable.  The songs are catchy and mild and easy to listen to.  In all honesty, they won’t be winning any Grammy Awards as there is not a lot of depth to the music (it reminds me of easy listening country music).  It’s the lyrics!  Holy Hannah!  On today, one of the most unmotivated and self-sabotaging days that I have every month, these songs put me right back in the correct mindset.  They are honest and real and true.  The whole time you’re listening you’re getting constant positive encouragement.  You’re replacing the negative or self defeating thoughts you might be having with more positive ones (Eg.  “you’re the boss, not the food, remember that with gratitude”).  I liken it to having a good conversation with someone in your support system.  It’s a musical conversation that renews your motivation and reminds you why you’re putting in all the effort and the sacrifice.  It’s like having someone stand in front of you and keep telling you that they believe in you and that they know that you can do it! 

I quite like this CD and would encourage you to pick yourself up a copy for those days when you’re not quite feeling the right vibe.  I do have one small critisism though.  It tends to come up a bit shy on the overall picture of both health and thin.  The songs are all about looking good, becoming thin, liking what you see in the mirror.  The lyrics encourage watching what you eat and getting some exercise.  They mention that it won’t always be easy, that it’s a long, slow road and that the reward at the end is totally worth it.  All of those are important messages but the thing that they don’t mention at all is anything to do with your health.  I would have preferred to hear messages about how losing weight and getting exercise will improve your overall health while also making you look fabulous.  It’s not all about what a person looks like in the mirror, we can be skinny and still be incredibly unhealthy.  The idea is to drop harmful excess pounds while ALSO improving your health and physical fitness.  

Overall, an excellent project that I think will help lots of people stay on track and get back their motivation if it’s run off for a bit!  Good job, Heidi!

You can go to http://www.skinnysongs.com/ to read more about the project and also sample the music. 

Quick Two Things

First, the comment contest is over, as is the Ask Lady Shanny contest.  I will do the draws for both on Monday.  I meant to do the draws today but I have to print out the names at work because I have no printer at home.  So don’t think that I forgot, I didn’t.  The draw will be done on Monday.

Second, Ask Lady Shanny is taking a short hiatus and will be back next week.

Stuck? Maybe Not!

Are you all losing as much sleep over my exercise dilemma as I am?  Since I quit walking to work to save my sanity (surprisingly, the same reason that I started walking to work) I’ve been stuck in exercise limbo, doing a little here and there but nothing consistantly or enjoyably.  I hate, hate, HATE my eliptical trainer and can hardly squeeze out 15 minutes (and that’s if I get on it at all).  I thought perhaps it was the issue of being outside so I decided I would start going to the track and learning to run.  That was almost as much of a hassle as the walking to work and infinitely more boring so I only did that a couple of times.  I decided that perhaps it wasn’t an outside issue as much as a boredom issue so I thought I would watch DVDs while I rode the eliptical trainer and maybe that would make it better.  Nope!  Big, fat, NOPE!

As I was sitting here tonight after dinner feeling lethargic and frustrated and overall displeased with my effort of late, I decided that instead of bitching about this all the time (and trust me, I’ve been doing some hardcore bitching) I’m just going to have to suck it up and incorporate it into my routine.  In fact, everyone that I’ve talked to who exercises regularly has said pretty much the same thing. It’s something that one has to do and so you just go and do it.  You may not love the actual act of doing it but you like the results and you know it’s important so you go do it.  Plus you should feel very accomplished and disciplined when you’re done…especially on the days you don’t want to do it.

That said, I thought I would try one more thing before I gave in and sold my soul to the eliptical trainer.  That one thing?  Genius!  Gold!  Exactly what I’ve been searching for!  I got a sweaty, hard-breathing 30 minute cardio workout and the time flew by.  I didn’t hate any of it, I pushed myself a little past what was comfortable and I got it done.  I didn’t LOVE while I was doing it but it actually felt enjoyable in a “wow, I’m totally impressing myself” kind of way.  I’m not going to tell you what it was yet because in a silly way I don’t want to jinx myself.  I’m not sure what exactly made it different but it certainly was.  It might have something to do with the fact that I didn’t set foot on the eliptical and I didn’t have to GO anywhere or plan anything.  It might be because I am now 8 days into my new smoke free existance and what would have killed me 8 days ago might be slightly easier?  I have no idea.  I don’t actually care.  I feel no need to examine the why.

So cheer for me a little tonight when you go to lay your head on your pillow and sleep soundly knowing that Lady Shanny is back in the game, exercise-wise!  😉

More Random Thoughts

Random Thought #1 ~ I had to work quite late this evening and I was reminded of a really simple thing that can throw all the best laid plans in the crapper.  The more tired I get the less control I have.  I didn’t screw anything up but I definitely had a harder time avoiding negative self-talk and definitely had a rough time keeping my portions under control when I finally had dinner.  For me, being tired messes with my resolve, it messes with remembering my reasons for doing what I do and it messes with my committment.  It’s crazy how something so inconspicuous could potentially mess up so much!

Random Thought #2 ~ Something else that I’m having to get used to (and yes, I’m sure there are worse things) is having people (guys)…um….how do I say this without sounding egotistical….looking at me.  It’s happening far more than I’ve ever been used to and I’m not really sure how to take it.  On the one hand it’s certainly nice to have all your hard work appreciated.  On the other hand it feels totally strange for me.  I was having a conversation with one of the guys from the floor today and he made some comment about my having ‘secret admirers’ out on the floor.  We were going through the names of some of the guys who I already know would be interested in dating me if I was willing and it started to kind of freak me out.  Without getting into too much detail, I’ll tell you that positive male attention has always made me feel like I am then indebted to the person and so they can pretty much do/say what they like.  That obviously is not acceptable nor particularly healthy.

One of the things that I am really going to have to start working on is how I allow this kind of attention to affect me (or not).  Since I can remember, I have always let that kind of thing swallow me up and then things start to spin out of control.  Certainly up to and including the recent past, I had not learned my lesson.  Now I’m very, very aware of what can happen if I let my head get foggy and if I let go of the control I have over the situation.  I will have to be very diligent about keeping things under control and giving them the right amount of attention. 

I am naturally honest about how I feel, mostly because my face gives me away.  I don’t generally feel the need or desire to try and hide how an action or a comment makes me feel.  When I try to counter that to protect myself, I can end up looking a bit flighty because I’m always doing it after the fact.  So one day you get me all excited and laughy and happy and the next time you see me I am perhaps a little more distant.  I get a little freaked out that I may come to enjoy someone’s company or value their opinion and then they disappear and I’m left behind, looking pathetic and feeling foolish.  That freaks me out!  If you never admit that you need anyone else then you can never be hurt when they go, right?  That’s the logic, as twisted as it may be.  The problem with that theory is that you have then manufactured an environment where you have avoided the hurt of being left but you’ve created a new hurt of being alone.

I know I’ve rambled a bit away from the first part of this Random Thought.  The synopsis is that I’m getting and going to get attention from guys because I look different than I did.  I need to be very careful how I let that attention affect me because I am prone to getting into situations where I feel like I forever ‘owe’ them something for it.  And finally, now that the attention is coming and there is a possibility that I will not be alone forever, I need to somehow start letting out a little rope at a time so that I can value someone and ‘need’ them and not be paranoid that when/if they leave that I’m going to be left looking like an idiot.  

Looking like an idiot or looking foolish or feeling pathetic, those are all together a driving fear that govern a lot of my actions and quirks.  The thing with it is that it’s a very obvious display of weakness to have a personal relationship (friend or otherwise) with someone and let them see that they affect you.  It’s like putting a big “You can hurt me” button on your forehead that they could potentially press at any time.  Again, it all comes back to trusting that the peson is not going to push that button on purpose and that if they do push it by accident that they are going to feel badly about it. 

Does any of Random Thought #2 make any sense?  I’m having a really hard time explaining what I mean about the looking and feeling foolish thing.  Picture it like standing in a wide open room with someone.  That person is there with you to laugh with and chat with.  That person is there to protect you if needed and you are there to take care of them as needed.  You both move around and do your own thing in the room but your paths cross often and the other person is still there if you need them.  And then that person disappears.  You are now left standing in a big, empty room all by yourself, completely vulnerable and alone, any sense of stability and consistency swept away.  Anyone who might have been looking through the window at the ‘relationship’ that the two of you had, can see what it meant to you and they will be able to figure out that you are now hurt.  That freaks me OUT!  Given that, it is sometimes much easier to create an environment where you never come to rely on anyone else because then you aren’t hurt when/if they go.  Again, there is a problem with that and it is that you then would never have the joy of a true friendship or the warmth of meeting someone else at heart-level.

It’s all very scary to me.  So scary that I often wonder if I will talk myself right out of ever letting someone in.  I lament the fact that I’m single and yet I do very little to change that.  I have tended to choose people who are unavailable or inappropriate for me because there is no risk of my actually being required to take a leap of faith.  That’s what it’s going to come down to though.  You can only protect yourself and make someone else prove that they are trustworthy for so long before you finally have to just close your eyes and leap and hope you don’t break your neck. 

Random Thought #3 ~ The ‘people looking at me thing’ started this Random Thought too.  OK, so guys are looking at me, some of them are outright staring at me.  Aside from being weirded out because of Random Thought #2, I find it strange because when I look in the mirror I still just see the fattie that I was.  Obviously I can see that I’ve lost weight and that I’m smaller overall (and in some of the wrong places) but for the most part I don’t see a difference.  I don’t think I’m one of the ‘pretty people’.  I know I have nice eyes and a decent smile and I have the occassional moment when everything has come together but I don’t think that is reason enough for the loads of attention that I’m getting.  I wish that there was some kind of fee that you could pay or pill that you could take so that for just a moment you could look at yourself completely unbiased and see what other people see.  It’s hard because any friend or relative that most of us have are biased and are going to tell us that we’re beautiful or pretty or cute.  And people who are not your friend or family member are not going to have that conversation with you.  Until the pill gets made or the fee gets paid though, I suppose I may have to rely on my Most Honest Friend.

Random Thought #4 ~ Download the song “I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys.  I think it’s been around for quite awhile but  she has the most incredible voice and the lyrics describe the kind of love that I want.  I want the kind of love that makes you smile every time you see the person.  I want the kind of love that makes the person actually miss you if they haven’t seen you during the day.  I want the kind of love that is fun and serious, huge and small, everything and nothing, all at the same time.  Here are a couple of the lyrics (in no particular order)

“Some people think that the physical things define what’s within”

“Some people want it all, but I don’t want nothing at all if I ain’t got you”

“Some people want diamond rings, some just want everything, but everything means nothing if I ain’t got you” 

“Hand me the world on a silver platter and what good would it be, with no one to share, with no one who truly cares for me”

Tuesday Update (UPDATED)

Alright, the results page is updated.  I’m pretty pleased with the result this week considering that I threw everything for a loop by quitting smoking.  Still down though and that’s all that matters.

As for the smoking?  It’s going really well and I don’t think about it all that often.  When I have the worst time is if I’m bored in the evening or when my frustration level at work goes up.  Other than that I’m not suffering at all.

As for the weight loss?  I think I might be starting to see a slow down in the losing.  As I said in an earlier post, I haven’t cut any more points/calories and I am still feeling content and satisfied.  I’m not sure if the losing is slowing down because that’s what happens or if it’s because of the quitting smoking.  I didn’t do anything different this week than I have in previous weeks so I’m not exactly sure what’s happening.  It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out over the next couple of months.

That’s it for me this evening, I have to go and clean up dinner, make my lunch and get to bed.

Update:  Alright, some things that I didn’t mention before.  First, there are now two charts on the results page.  The first one is the one that you’ve seen this whole time.  That one is now filled up.  It is devoted to the first 60 pounds.  Now there is a second chart just below it.  This new chart is going to take us through the final 20-ish pounds.  It has the WW goal marked on it as well as my goal range.  Just so you know, that ‘goal range’ is where I can reasonably expect to end up and spend the rest of my ife.  I might not get into it and I might surpass it (although I very highly doubt that), I truly have no way of knowing at this point.  It’s curious and I suppose we’ll all find out together. 

Also, I think my days of attending WW are drawing to an end.  I truly believe that there is no longer any value in it for me.  It’s $16/week to go and stand on their scale.  Please don’t think I don’t know how valuable that service was in the beginning.  It has been HUGE for the last (almost) 6 months.  It was motivation and excitement and completely neccessary for my success.  Now?  I’m strong enough to do this myself.  I’ll get a scale and I’ll weigh once/week and record the results.  But I don’t feel that I still need to pay or go to the meetings.  I’m not getting anything out of it AT ALL and sitting and listening to these crazy women wax poetic about 100 calorie packs of baked lays is driving me nuts!  Also, my goal of health overall and improving physical fitness are not supported (or truly encouraged) at the meetings so it feels a lot like going to an alcoholics meeting…I have no interest and it has no relevance in my life.   I had considered waiting until I had reached my goal so that I could be a lifetime member and show up if ever I needed the accountability or the motivation, but I would then have to wait, not only until I get to 174 or lower, but also add 6 more weeks of maintenance on top of that.  All of that equates to probably another $350+ before I’m done.  I’m just SO not willing to keep forking over money for something that is no longer providing me with value.  Again, at the beginning if they would have decided that it was $30/week I would have happily handed over the money.  But to everything a season and my season with WW has come to an end.  I’ll go to WW one final time next Tuesday so I can calibrate my home scale (which I suppose I will have to go out and buy before then) and because that week will be the final week in my weigh-in book and I like it when things are completed.  And then I will thank WW for all it’s done for me and move along in my own way.  I will still be following the points/calorie counting plan, I will still be writing down what I eat and how much I exercise.  The only thing I won’t be doing is showing up to the meetings.  Okay?  Alright then.

One interesting thing to note about the way that the weight loss is progressing.  I was moaning about it possibly slowing down at the top of this post so I thought I would see if that is actually true.  The first 12 weeks I lost an average of 2.816 pounds/week.  The next 11 weeks I lost an average of 2.036 pounds/week which is a difference of a little over 3/4 of a pound/week.  Not that I’m freaking out about that, I’m not!  I just thought it was interesting.  In fact, because I am so infatuated with charts, here’s one showing how the average weight loss per week changes each month.  As always, click to enlarge.  Once it’s put in chart form it’s very plain to see that the average loss/week is actually decreasing as the months go by (not exactly sure how to explain that second month though…).

avgweek.jpg

I Wonder……….

I wonder if I will ever be one of those people who actually likes exercise?  Or am I the type of person who will continue doing it because I have to and I like the results, but actually hate doing it?

I wonder at what point I will become less critical of myself and how I look?  I wonder when I’ll stop seeing a fat girl when I look in the mirror.

I wonder if all the effort and practice that I’ve put into becoming a better person will ever become second nature?  Or will I always be fighting against myself?

I wonder how I will adjust when I’m in a relationship?  I wonder if whoever I date is going to be tolerant of all my quirks without making me feel bad.

I wonder if I will ever feel comfortable having the weekends be unrestricted as far as food goes?

I wonder if I’ll ever feel comfortable not keeping big chunks of my life a secret. 

I wonder what I’m going to look like when all the fat is gone.  I wonder what the number on the scale will be.

Seriously?

Hi blog world.  I sure hope I still have readers after the jerk post that I wrote on Saturday morning.  Are you guys still there?

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time staring these days.  I can’t have a smoke, which isn’t too big of a problem (surprisingly) and I can’t sit here and eat snacks and junk, which isn’t too big of a problem.  But being turned away on both fronts has given me a really restless feeling so I end up sitting here just staring, waiting for the ‘urge’ to pass.  Overall the quitting has gone really well.  I’m into Day Four which means that all the nicotine from the last 11 years has already left my body.  Now it’s just the psychological that I have to deal with and it’s not going too badly. 

I’ll be interested to see how the weigh in turns out this week because not only have I been incredibly diligent about watching what I eat because I refuse to gain weight from the quitting but when I get bored of sitting here staring, I go and exercise or take a nap, both of which preclude eating.  For instance today I have already done my interval running training, taken a nap, worked on the eliptical, and done situps and push ups twice. 

On a completely unrelated note, I went to the Canucks game last night with a customer, his girlfriend and one of our salesreps.  We went for dinner at the Sterling Room first (formerly the Captain’s Club) which is a buffet.  I wasn’t super impressed with the food but the atmosphere was lovely and the dessert table I could have stared at for hours.  The game was incredibly rowdy but somehow we managed to win it even through all the penalties and fighting.  Since I was at GM Place I thought I would zip down to the Authentix store and pick up a ‘present’ that I owed myself from quite some time ago.  One of the things that I wanted to get myself when I lost 40 pounds was a Canucks t-shirt.  Just a plain navy t-shirt with the logo on it.  I had never gotten around to going down there to get it so last night seemed like a perfect opportunity.  Seriously?  It’s a good thing that I never made it down there.  The t-shirt that I bought is beautiful, but even as an XL it barely fits.  How bad would I have felt 20 pounds ago to get that shirt home and not be able to wear it?  It’s quite ridiculous really how small the women’s sizes are.  If I’d been thinking I would have bought a men’s small but I really just wanted a nice, girl’s fitted t-shirt with the Canucks logo on it.  And now I have one.  Fortunately for me there is still quite a bit of shrinking that I plan on doing so I’ll hang on to the t-shirt.  Here, take a look at it…the silver writing says “Don’t go through life without goals” and then in teeny print it says “Go score some”.

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Don’t Accept That! (UPDATED)

Ask Lady Shanny is updated.

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I’ve taken down the Fat Acceptance post that you saw here.  What I wrote and what I meant didn’t even come close to meeting up and it came across as rude, self-righteous and intolerant, NONE of which I meant.

 I would have just removed this post altogether, but there are some good comments that are worth reading.

My last thought on this subject for awhile is this:  There is a difference between BODY acceptance and the Fat Acceptance movement.  There are some people, some websites who preach that there are naturally thin people and naturally fat people and if you happen to be in the fat category, all the exercise and calorie watching in the world is not going to help you so you might as well just accept that you are going to be fat forever and quit stressing out and wasting your time.  THAT is what is absolute BULLSHIT! 

I apologize if my first post about this offended anyone, that certainly was not my intent.

I Quit!

That’s right, I’ve had it.  I quit, finito, no more, niente!

Before I get into the meaning of that though, let me just say that I am feeling infinitely better than I have been over the last few days.  I’m still incredibly stuffed up and still have the delightfully obnoxious cough but overall?  Aces!  I should mention that if you are so stuffed up you can’t breathe, getting on the eliptical trainer for 20 minutes and exercising at a speed equivilant to that of a ground to air missile is not advisable.  Not!

OK, so the quitting.  One of the things that I have always been slightly shameful of is that I smoke.  Yup.  Say it.  Idiot!  Over the last few days of being dead, it was difficult to breathe let alone smoke and the cough that threatened to crack my ribs was not helped in anyway by puffing on a cigarette.  So I haven’t smoked in a few days….or I should say I haven’t smoked MUCH in a few days.  Today, since I was starting to feel better, my sickness induced quit was wearing off rapidly.

And then it was like a light bulb went off in my head.  If I don’t quit now, today, right this very second, officially and forever, I will never get past the point I’m at right now.  Weight wise, health wise or relationship wise.  I realized that I had to decide whether I would be happy to have gotten part way there or if I want to get all the way there.  I know that if I gave up getting all the way to where I want to be in favour of smoking, I would never be able to respect myself.

 I recently read a book (Allen Carr, EASYWAY) and it outlined the following:

1.  Smokers are actually drug addicts.  It is not a ‘habit’ it’s a drug addiction and only by realizing the seriousness of it can it be conquered.

2.  Cigarettes don’t actually DO anything for you.   The only thing that happens is that the cigarette relieves the slight withdrawal symptom created by the nicotine leaving your body from your last cigarette.  As soon as you put the current one out you are going to be back in the exact same position in about 45 minutes, give or take.

3.  The actual withdrawal from nicotine is actually very mild and almost un-noticeable, akin to a slight empty feeling that can be confused with hunger.

This is obviously just a really brief rundown on the content of the book but hits the major points. 

When I started the weight loss thing, there were moments when I wanted to crawl out of my skin because all I wanted to do was come home and eat.  I know that feeling very well and it is incredibly strong.  But I beat that one and I’ll beat this one.  I refuse to be defined or guided or compelled to do anything by an inanimate object that is filthy and unhealthy and truly? Disgusting.  It also hurts my pride a lot that important people in my life think less of me because of an idiot choice that I made as a teenager and continue to perpetuate as an adult.  No more.  Not this woman!

I know that it won’t be all puppy paws and rainbows, I’m not deluded like that.  I know that there will be rough moments and probably a good headache or two, but I’m equal to the challenge.  I have goals that are not possible if I continue to be a smoker.  I love the weight loss, I do (and I’m not quite done yet) but I am driven right now to improve my physical fitness and see how far I can push myself and I can’t do that if I keep smoking.

On the weight loss note, am I scared I’ll put on weight?  No.  Having done WW for this many months now, I know exactly when to expect to be hungry and I know exactly what and how much I should be eating.  The only thing that causes weight gain is eating more than you burn and I have no intention of doing that.  Yes, cigarettes raise your metabolism but the increase is so slight that it hardly even registers in medical research.  Not worried.  Nope.

I  know that you will all support me and wish me all the best however I do not want to get into any discussion about this.  I don’t want to hear stories about other people quitting or how hard it is or how long you’ve been quit or how many times you’ve tried.  I don’t need advice or recommendations or website addresses.  While I appreciate all that for the rest of this website (and you KNOW I do!) I am not interested in any discussion on this front.  I just wanted to let you know what was going on.  Please don’t be offended but the only comments that I’m interested in seeing (if you feel the need to post one) is “Good Job” or any short and sweet variation therein.

One More Thing:  One of the things that I’ve always had that saved me from having to prove myself was smoking.  As a fat person, exercise was not something that I ever considered, moreso because I was a fat SMOKER.  By shear force of will, I have been able to remove some of the fat and learn to exercise in spite of the smoking.  But I’m still not on the same playing field as everyone else and I want to be.  What that means though is that when we’re all on the same level, I may still not be good enough.  I’m finally alright with that.  All I can do is my best in any given situation.  Right now my attention is focussed on evening things back up and getting rid of my last excuse.

Boo Boo Baby

Results page is updated.  Considerably better result than last week!

Please forgive the utter belly-aching that is about to go on here.

I am not usually the type to ask for help.  I do it when I absolutely have to, but I don’t like it.  I tend more towards the do-everything-myself-even-if-it-would-be-easier-to-let-someone-else-help-me variety of thinking.  Why am I thinking about this right now?

Because I am sick.  And I don’t like that I have to still do everything myself.  When even the thought of getting out of bed with this monstrous headache makes me feel sick to my stomach, I still have to do it.   The dishes still need to be done, dinner isn’t going to make itself, laundry doesn’t fold itself and get put away by magic.  I still have to do it because if it’s not me then it’s not getting done.  (yes, commentors, I realize that I don’t need to neccessarily do everything all right now, some stuff can wait until I get better, that’s not the point) 

It makes me sad in a pathetic kind of way.  So pathetic, in fact, that I was hesitant to write about it here because there are people who know me who read this.

I don’t NEED to be taken care of, I am perfectly self-sufficient.  Right now?  I wish more than anything else that there was someone here who could pick up some of the slack.  Someone besides me who would do the dishes.  Someone besides me who would make oven roasted potatoes for dinner.  Someone besides me who would remember to turn the electric blanket on before bed.  The quote “I don’t wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone” breaks my heart and yet is completely true of what I’m feeling right now.  I want someone to give a crap that I feel like death. 

When these things crop up, these desires that I have that are not currently being fulfilled, it hits home again that losing weight does not solve all of life’s problems.  I think it’s probably the same as when they say ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’.  Now, obviously I would like to be given the chance to prove or disprove that one for myself.  But losing weight does not change the fundamentals of who you are or what your life is like and I have had the option of proving that one.  Sure, it may seem like some things change.  What I believe actually happens is that certain parts of who you already were are uncovered and let out into the light and other parts are sent back into the wings where they belong.  I don’t think anything truly is different.  So yes, my clothes fit differently, I’m overall healthier (current illness notwithstanding) and more relaxed and I look about a bajillion times better.  But I’m still alone, I’m still doing it all myself and I’m still occassionally very unhappy about that.

Poof!

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” ~ Bernard Meltzer

A lot of what I write is inspired by conversations that I have with a particular friend.  I think it’s his willingness to call it as he sees it whether it is comfortable for me to hear or not.  This ability to tell me the truth as he sees it often gets me to thinking about things and then “Poof”, a post is born.  That’s what happened today.

We were talking about my apparant need to tell everyone around me everything that is going on in my life at the time.  I’ve mentioned that here before and how I will pretty much spill my guts about everything.  I think the reason that I do this is to flood people with so much information that they then just assume that I’m telling them everything and no one ever gets curious about me. 

Truth be told, I am a very private person.  Yes, I will tell you when I have a sniffle or what I did on the weekend or even what my current weight is.  But as my friend pointed out, I don’t so much as divulge a snippet of my private life.  I was trying to think back on when the last time was that I told someone something meaningful about my past.  I’m still thinking.

This website has been extremely cathartic for me since this whole life changing thing began.  I’ve always said that it’s completely honest and it is, to a point.  The words are my thoughts and feelings, for sure.  In a way though, it’s a sort of contrived honesty.  I can make you see exactly what I want you to see and nothing that I don’t.  You read what I tell you and you don’t get to see the look in my eye or my blush or the tear that I can’t stop from falling.  You don’t get to see me fidget and sweat and avoid looking you in the eye. You don’t see the first or second or third draft of the post.  You see the finished product and while it is the truth, it’s the truth in only the way that I choose to let you see it. 

That’s the problem that I have with talking to people, especially this friend who is very perceptive.  I can’t edit the words or manipulate them to make sure that I’m getting my point across.  I can’t adjust the tone until I get it just right.  I can’t cover up the look on my face or the emotions in my eyes with the keyboard and the delete button.  Once the words are out there I can’t take them back.  With writing, you get to read it in your own time and you are no where near me when you’re doing it  There is a certain vulnerability that one has when sharing things that make them uncomfortable or embarassed or shameful.  I don’t like that feeling and by writing what I have to say, the person gets to read it and I don’t have to feel those things.  I will admit, that is definitely a cop-out on my part.

I thought today about putting a whole huge rundown of my past on the website, from start to finish, soup to nuts.  And then I decided against it because that is something that I owe this particular friend in person.  Our friendship is grounded in honesty (and text messaging) and if it is to continue to grow then eventually I’m going to have to buck up and give up some information.  There is only so much deflecting and omitting that a person can do before it becomes dishonest and deceptive.

The upside of deflecting a conversation away from yourself is that you get to learn all sorts of things about the other person, which I love.  I’m thrilled when I get to find out about a good friend’s past or their family life or how they feel about certain things.  And if I love it so much, shouldn’t I allow them the same option? 

I really should practice this information sharing thing because I know that it one of my big downfalls in relationships and eventually I’m going to want to have one of those again and secret-keeping is not the way to go.

So, dear friend, be careful what you wish for….you may soon know more about me than you ever wanted to.  😉

Brownie Points

Or rather the lack of them.  I got up this morning, rode the eliptical trainer for six and a half minutes until I couldn’t breath and couldn’t stop coughing.  Got ready and went to work….only to turn around and come right back home.

I’m now snuggled under my electric blanket (cranked on high, by the way) with my teddy bear (you think I’m kidding but I’m not) waiting for the tea to brew.  I feel a little bad that I’ve succumbed and am at home on a work day, but here’s the thing.  In my particular office there are no brownie points for coming in when you’re sick.  No one cares.  No one notices. No one thinks that you are particularly dedicated to be at work serving the needs of the company instead of staying at home serving your own needs.  It’s not worth it.  There is no pat on the back or “Thanks for coming in, I know you aren’t feeling well but we/I sure appreciate it.”.  There is none of that.  And while I don’t need someone stroking my ego every day, if there is no appreciation for sacrifice, what is the point in making one?

My head feels like it’s going to blow off, my eyeballs feel like this horse-chestnuts.jpg, every time I cough I’m pretty sure my chest is bleeding and I have a fever.  Go to work?  Ummm…no thanks!  Stay on the sofa all day napping and watching Sex and the City?  You betcha!

Just for fun, here’s a picture of my teddy bear…008.jpg

Trying Something

In light of my rather obnoxious cough, which leads to my gasping for air, I’m going to try something new this week.  Instead of humping all my stuff to work tonight I’m going to drive for the week.  Here’s the thing though, I still need exercise.  So in the same way that I walk to and from work, getting exercise twice a day, I’m going to use the eliptical trainer that I have at the same times and for the same length of time.  (this way also I can gasp for breath and cough until I throw up in the privacy of my own home)

I’m sort of nervous about doing this but I really need to switch it up.  I can’t keep doing something that is making me miserable and resentful everyday, that’s the quickest way to failure.  So before I get so fed up that I quit altogether, I’m making the choice to make a change.  It’s only for one week, we’ll see how it goes.  I have to say though, even just the knowledge that I can go to hockey tonight and then come home and not worry about dragging my stuff around makes me feel really relaxed inside. 

So, we’ll see how it goes.  I’ve made the committment for the next one week.  I might switch back for next week….or I might wait until it’s finally nice outside….or I might not be walking to work at all anymore…we’ll see……

Penguin Gives an Update (UPDATED)

Good Morning, this is Penguin here.  Penguin thought he should let you know that Lady Shanny is sick!  Lady Shanny has a terrible cough, a very sore throat and is extremely stuffed up.  Penguin wondered whether Lady Shanny was getting sick when she went to bed last night at 6:45pm.   Penguin’s fears were realized this morning when Lady Shanny woke up and looked like she’d been flattened by a bus and sounded terrible.  Lady Shanny tells Penguin that she feels worse than she apparantly looks and is entirely unimpressed that she got sick.

Penguin is sending Lady Shanny back to bed now but before he does, he just wanted to let you know that the Ask Lady Shanny column has been updated this morning.  Penguin also thought that he would remind you all that the Ask Lady Shanny contest ends in just under a week and a half.  Penguin thought you might like to know that there are not many entries into that contest so your chances of winning are pretty good if you submit a question to the column.

UPDATE:  As it turns out, Penguin does not make a very good nurse.  What Penguin thought would make me feel better (squid smoothies, krill on toast, mashed mackeral) actually did not.  In between beating Penguin off with a stick and coughing my chest open, I pretty much slept all day.  I’m off to bed now, I’ll try to write something worth reading tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone for all the well-wishes!

One More Thing

This website has come up several times in my real life (as opposed to my bloggie life) and people want to see it.  I’m rather chatty and because this website takes up a lot of my time and there are some really good discussions on it, I do occassionally (read:  often) mention it in my real life. 

There are only a handful of people who know me in real life who also read this website.  In fact as of this evening there are 7 people who have the address out of the hundreds that come here every day.  I don’t give it out lightly and it’s hard for me to explain why when I’m talking to someone.  I can’t seem to express just how personal it is.

The words that I put out on these pages are straight out of my heart.  They are unscripted and unedited.  They are my truth, my opinions and my thoughts.  They are sometimes disordered, sometimes raw and sometimes funny.  Whatever the words are at the time that I write them, they are me.  Reading this website is knowing very intimately who I am.  People often ask me why they can’t have the address since I willingly put it all out on the internet for anyone to read.  I guess my main issue is with trust (it all comes back to that, doesn’t it?) and vulnerability. 

If I don’t feel like I can trust you or I don’t feel like I know you well enough, you don’t get the address.  If I have the slightest impression that you may use my vulnerability against me or if I’m even slightly unsure about how you’ll use the information, you don’t get the address.

So please understand that if you have this address, I have decided that I can trust you.  I’ve decided that you aren’t going to use any of the information for anything other than getting to know me and perhaps taking a little bit of me away with you when you go. 

Also?   If I gave YOU the address, I trust that you will never, NEVER give out the address to anyone that we both know without my permission.  I realize that by giving out this website to people I know in real life, that I am taking a risk.  It is a calculated risk and one that I think is ultimately helping to teach me how to trust people again. 

Maybe this is not a big deal to other people.  To me?  It’s HUGE!  I do not, as a general rule, share this type of personal information with anyone.  There are posts on here describing situations or circumstances that still make me embarassed or shameful, months and years later.  It is an airing of all the laundry that I have, dirty and otherwise, where weight, self image, trust, behaviours, friends, mistakes, struggles and achievements are concerned.

Occassionally I have second thoughts about anyone knowing me in real life reading this and I am tempted to close up shop and disappear.  Those thoughts are fleeting though and it would break my heart to take that step, so to the 7 people?  You’re in the circle of trust.

Recipes and a ‘Check Up’

As promised I put up two new recipes.  Both are really, REALLY good! 

I had a nice surprise this evening when I was puttering around the house.  I can’t remember if I mentioned it on here (and I’m too lazy to go searching for it) but there was someone that I had been interested in and between C’mas and New Year we went out.  He’s a very nice guy and I was glad to have the chance to test the waters as far as dating him.  After quite a long date we went our seperate ways with the unspoken understanding (I think) that we would not be dating again.  Totally fine!  You never know if you don’t try, right?  Anyway, this particular person called me this evening and the first words out of his mouth were “I’ve been on graveyards and I’ve missed seeing you.  I just wanted to call and check up on you.”  How sweet is that?  I LOVE being checked up on, especially when it’s unexpected like that.  Being checked up on gives me the warm fuzzies inside.

It makes me wonder though, why all of a sudden people are checking up on me.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I’ve become fragile or emotionally unstable, quite the opposite.  There are certain things about me that have changed since I started this whole thing.  I rediscovered my confidence and my inner flirt.  I’ve relaxed a LOT about things that I can’t control and I think overall I’m calmer than I was.  Maybe all those things make me more approachable.  Maybe the actual shrinking physically makes people more apt to want to ‘take care’ of me.  Maybe when you visibly care about yourself, other people care about you too.  I’m not sure.  What I do know is that I like it!  I like being checked up on when I’m not expecting it.  I like knowing that people are thinking about me at random times during the day.  I like knowing that the friend in the first paragraph looks out the window every morning at the time I’m walking to work and hopes I’m not freezing as I go over the bridge.  I like that another friend heard me say that I wasn’t happy (I don’t even remember saying it) and checked to make sure I wasn’t headed back down the depression road from this time last year (I’m not, don’t worry!).  I like that the stupid comment from a WW leader makes people I’ve never met before angry for how I was treated. 

I do believe that I am worthy of being cared about and checked up on.  My whole life I was always the one doing the checking up and the caring (to the wrong people, mind you).  Don’t get me wrong, I still check up and take care of my friends all the time.  But now?  I have better friends, more even friendships and I get the same in return.  Sweet!  (peas)

I still have trust issues and quirks and weirdnesses.  Sometimes I wonder if all those things make it hard for people to care about me.  And then I get a phone call from someone who has no motive other than just to call and see how I’m doing and have a chat.  Maybe I’m not so unloveable after all.

Did any of that make sense?  Does anyone understand what I’m getting at?

Let’s Have A Chat (UPDATED)

Wanna chat?  Alright.

So last night’s weigh in. Not good.  I was pretty twisted about it when I got home and I ended up going right to bed.  I’ve had some time to think about it and here’s what I’ve come up with.

First, it’s ‘that’ week and again, it’s trying to kill me.  Now, that shouldn’t be a reason for the gain by itself because it’s killed me before and I haven’t gained.  Add that I was off for two days last week which meant that I missed at least one day of exercise as well as having two additional lazing around days.  Add also that I increased my calories and still have to find a happy medium where I am simply satisfied and not over indulging.  So those three things all in the same week?  Um, ya, I’m not that shocked that I gained.

I was SO mad when I left WW last night though.  After I weighed, the leader asked me if I knew what had caused the gain because it’s quite unusual for me.  I proceeded to explain to her that I didn’t feel that the caloric intake that the WW program was prescribing was neccessary for me to have continued success and that I had increased it slightly.  I told her that I went to my doctor and that he gave me a calorie range to stay in.  And you know what she said?  “That’s crap!  WW is a proven program and there is no reason that 1200 calories would have caused you to feel uncomfortable.” 

I just about fell down!  Not only was I uncomfortable physically but I was very uncomfortable mentally.  I was feeling deprived all the time and starting to have anxiety about being able to follow this for the rest of my life.  I understand that WW is a program that has a lot of science behind it but it is still a basic program devised as a general guideline for millions of people.  I couldn’t believe that she had that kind of nerve!  I understand that they are supposed to guide and coach people who are on the program, but I’ve been doing it for 5 months and have had a pretty good success at it.  I’m not stupid and when I was explaining it to her I did tell her that I was simply no longer counting any fruits and vegetables.  It’s not like I told her I was going to eat a half a cheesecake every night!  Good grief!

So this week while I do recommit 100% to the next 7 days, I will also be paying pretty close attention and finding out where my happy balance point is as far as calorie range.  I think I’m a little over what I need right now and so I will adjust as the days go by and find the ‘spot’.  Since it’s the spot that I’ll be staying at for awhile I need to make sure it’s the right one!

Hmmm…what else can we chat about? I have TWO new recipes for you.  One is Sushi Salad and the other is Egg Muffins.  One came from my mom and the other from my sister.  Both easy, both delicious.  Tomorrow is the regular Recipe of the Week update day and so I will post them then.

UPDATE:  Damn, I almost forgot to tell you.  I had an email from my contact page yesterday from a communications and marketing company in San Francisco asking me if I would be willing to accept a particular music CD from them if I would review it on my website.  I thought that was SO COOL!  Is that the mark of being a successful blogger?  That people send you free stuff so that you review it on your website? 

Good night!

Dammit!

ARG!  I weighed in and was UP almost a pound!  I’m not sure if it’s the extra calories that I added back or the rocks that I feel like I have sitting in my stomach.

I feel like absolute crap right now and I’m headed for bed.  I’ve plugged in my blanket and I’m going to snuggle under it.

I’ll write more tomorrow, but for now I will say that I will give this increased calorie thing one more week and see what happens. 

This is Getting Old

This dragging my stuff to and from work, not having anything here during the week, not being able to shower at my own house in the morning, backpack packing, ugly clothes wearing, crack of dawn BULLSHIT is getting old!

I was so frustrated tonight when I had to get out of my cozy pajamas, pack up all my stuff for a week and go out in the cold and the dark to drive it to work that I could have cried! 

I’ve painted myself into a bit of a corner though because I can’t NOT exercise.  That was one of my concerns when I started doing this.  It’s not something that you can pick up and put down as the urge strikes you, it’s something that you have to keep doing.  I don’t mind the actual exercise and I DO have to keep doing it if only because the adjustment process was long and quite painful and I don’t want to have to go through that again.  Plus, your body becomes used to exercise and processes food accordingly.  Even mood, skin and overall feeling are affected by exercise. It’s like a drug in that you become addicted to it in a way.  The unfortunate thing is that the withdrawal process is incredibly short and painless which is why I am so frustrated.  I could easily talk myself out of doing this every day.  It sucks, trust me!  I could easily use the excuse that it’s a pain in the ass to drag my stuff around, that the conditions I’m getting ready in are not great, that it’s really cold and slippery out, that I’ve already surpassed any expectations that anyone had for my stick-with-it-ness, myself included.  Those are all excellent and believeable excuses and I have to consiously shove them out of my head on a regular basis, especially on Sunday nights because that’s all they are, excuses. 

The things that keeps me going are that I have an end date (September 1st in case you’re interested), I know the weather is going to improve and with summer brings lighter weight clothing so I might be able to carry it all with me on the first and last day of the week.  Also I’m currently shopping for/saving for a treadmill so that on September 1st I can kiss this bullshit goodbye! (if I had a spare grand sitting around right now I’d buy the treadmill and be done with this in a heartbeat!)

You would think that the thing that would really keep me engaged in this walking to work thing would be the weight loss, but surprisingly no.  The very extent of my miserableness right now is overshadowing the fact that, “the REASON that I am happy(er) with the way I look and feel is BECAUSE I work at it every day!”  And a major part of that ‘work’ is the consistent level of exercise that I get by walking to and from work on a daily basis.  So enough bitching! 

On another note, the deep fried turkey was incredible!  Just as incredible as I remember it from the last time we had it a couple of years ago.  Turkey, pork tenderloin (also deep fried) stuffing, potatoes, gravy and rolls (not a veggie to be had…this is a hockey team, don’t forget).  I ate a light dinner before the game and then had a small bit of everything and it was fantastic!  We also had some excitement at the arena and I was required to give first aid to one of the players.  If you know me in real life then you probably know I am not good with blood, mostly the flowing kind.  The injury that one of our players sustained was a gash on his chin (that ultimately required quite a few stitches to close) and I was the ‘chosen one’ to first aid him.  Strangely enough, once I realized that no one else was coming to rescue me from rescuing him, the queasiness passed and I just did it.  I was very impressed with how non-crybaby he was about it.  He was shaking a lot and it must’ve hurt terribly but I guess perhaps he didn’t want to look like a wimp in front of a girl.  I was definitely the wimpier of us!

That’s it for me.  I have a splitting headache right now and I’m going to cozy under my electric blanket…I may even leave it turned on all night long and swelter under it, just to make myself feel better.

More Info For You (and Me)

Since you all liked the info I gave you about what my doctor said, I thought I would fill you in on some of the information I received today.

My mom and I went to Well Beings Health & Nutrition Centre Ltd this afternoon.  Ultimately it’s a vitamin and supplement store near where we live but it’s head and shoulders above any vitamin store that I have ever been in.  All their staff are extremely knowledgeable about how different supplements and foods interact with your body.  So here’s what we found out.

Bananas:  not something that our bodies here in the western hemisphere are meant to digest because they are a tropical fruit.  They cause constipation and tummy upset.  The banana actually ferments in your stomach rather than digesting. 

Dairy:  not something our bodies are meant to digest.  Humans are the only creature that continues to drink milk (and eat milk products) after we are weaned.  Bovine dairy is terribly hard on the tummy and can cause upset and cramping as well as flare ups of skin disorders such as excema.  Dairy is also not the best source of calcium although it is the most convenient for most people.  A better source is dark green leafy vegetables such as chard, mustard greens, kale, spinach and arugula.  If you are set on using dairy as your source of calcium, switching to goat-based dairy is a better choice.

Coffee:  strips your body of magnesium, calcium and vitamin B’s.  You know how they say that consuming coffee around your time of the month can worsen cramps?  Well the decrease in magnesium is one of the causes of that.  Magnesium is the body’s natural pain killer and anti-inflammatory and without it, cramps, sports injuries and bruising are all made worse.

Multi-vitamins:  are good but the ones that you buy in the grocery store (centrum, one-a-day etc) are mineral coated and can be very hard on your tummy.  Get one from a vitamin or supplement retailer that is a gelcap or is incorporated into something like the Greens+ supplement.

So what are some good things we found out?

Vitamin B Complex:  can regulate moods (keeps them more even), help with cramping and assist in clearing up skin issues (excema, cracked lips)

Magnesium:  as mentioned above will assist the bodies natural healing and pain killing process

Acidophilus:  an excellent probiotic that you can take in pill form.  Will even out digestive issues and put the good bacteria back in your digestive tract.

Almonds:  an excellent source of calcium (which I already knew but figured that someone would like to know that his almond addiction has yet another benefit)

Now, if you go back to THIS post and read my menu you’ll notice that to follow these guidelines above I will have to cut out 2 yogurts, coffee, one cheese string and a banana (not to mention oranges which do terrible things to my skin from the inside).  I realize that these guidelines probably seem over the top and are cutting out some convenient and basically healthy foods.  I agree completely.  I will, however, be doing just what she said.  I’ve reached the point that I am able to make additional changes to my diet to weed out even more items that are not serving my body well.  I realize that many people would find these recommendations overwhelming and difficult to stick to, I might find that as well.  One small change every now and then though will combine wtih other small changes and over time you will have the healthy lifestyle and diet that you want.  It is entirely personal how far you want to go.  Some people will be happy with simply cutting out or reducing processed foods while other people are willing and able to take it to the next level.  Both these are absolutely fine.  It is a personal choice and whatever you do for YOU that makes you feel healthy and happy with yourself is the right choice.

All that said I am now off to eat deep fried turkey!

Spa Day

Update:  This week’s Ask Lady Shanny episode has been published.  Remember, for every question you ask you get an entry into the draw.  See the CONTESTS page for more details.

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I finally did it, I went to the spa for a massage. The spa I went to is renowned for its sanctuary like atmoshpere and its Roman theme.  I’ve been there before for minor things like eyebrow waxing and a haircut but going for an actual treatment is an experience like no other.  I’ll take you through the whole experience.  If you’ve been to a top notch spa before, feel free to skip to the bottom of this post (there is a question at the end).

When you are all checked in they lead you through a dim and windy hallway and it feels very much like you’re walking into a womb of sorts, a world completely away from your normal life.  It feels like you’re miles underground in an italian grotto complete with huge stone pillars and flowing waterfalls.  The ladies change room is lavishly decorated and outfitted with anything you could possibly need for pampering and comfort.  You’re given a locker and inside is a fluffy white robe and a towel as well as some accupressure sandals. 

My first stop was the eucalyptus steam room, located right in the ladies dressing room.  The warmth and fragrance of that room made the entire day!  When you go in it’s nothing special, just a small square room with a couple levels of benches.  You press the button on the wall and go and get comfy.  A couple minutes later a trickle of water from each of four faucets at the bottom of the wall starts and the room is quickly filled with steam.  I’m talking FILLED with steam so that there is no other stimuli in the room.  The roof starts to drip warm drops of water as the steam keeps coming.  It’s really quite incredible.  You can grab an iced eucalyptus cloth before you go in the steam room and the contrast of the two temperatures is nothing short of overwhelming! 

After I was done in there I went out into the lounge area and waited for my masseuse in a cozy chair up against a giant stone pillar.  Talk about making you feel tiny!

The actual massage was fantastic.  I’d forgotten how good it feels since it’s been over 8 years since I’ve had one.  The masseuse I got was a young man with the softest skin I’ve ever felt.  He had a very slight build which was very deceiving for how strong he is. 

Overall it was a nice experience but not one that I will be beating down their door to repeat.  Now, if I could just go and use their steam room I’d be there every day!  I don’t mind the spa but it’s certainly not something that I’m accustomed to.  Having people there specifically to fuss over me is not something that I’m all that comfortable with.  Don’t get me wrong, it was lovely, the atmosphere is amazing, it feels like time has stopped when you walk in to their inner sanctum.  I’m just not all that crazy about the sense of self entitlement that some of the women appear to have and I don’t know if you can fully enjoy the experience if you don’t have a little of that.

When I left I went and had coffee with my mom, came home and had lunch and then took a nap (we’ll discuss naps on another day but let’s just say that it involves changing into my jammies, getting right under the covers and having a long, cozy sleep).

Tomorrow I have hockey at 5:30 and then we’re having the team tailgate dinner that we missed over Christmas complete with deep fried turkey and all the trimmings.  I am definitely looking forward to that!  If you’ve never had deep fried turkey you’re missing out on one of life’s great pleasures.  I bought a couple of those hand warmers that you throw in your mittens…I bought one for each mitten…and one for each bum pocket in my jeans.  I should be nice and toasty!  Thanks Tarable for the bum warmer suggestion!

Now, on the topic of deep fried turkey, I have a question.  Having been significantly overweight, eating in front of people is not something that I enjoy doing.  Even though I’m now starting to appear at a reasonable weight I still have a bit of a hangup about it.  I always used to figure that people would be judgey, especially when the fat girl is eating something like deep fried turkey.  It came as quite a surprise to me that my friend had never heard of that particular hangup, so my question is this:  Do you have any hangups about eating in front of people?  Do you figure that people are going to be judging you either silently or out loud?  Or do you figure that if you’re overweight that it is no secret you like to eat so you have no issue with allowing other people to see?  If you’ve lost weight, do you still have the same issues?