Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Wanna Be a Hoochie Mama

On Monday, a warm 80-something degree day, I was driving through the parking lot on campus and observed the annual parade of young women in their warm-weather finery.  I marveled at the skin-tight skirts that barely covered vaginas, the tank tops that suggested the wearer spent her spare time on a street corner, and shorts that are sure to cause a yeast infection or two.  Now, last year I dated a guy who, when he met me for dinner after class and saw me in knee length shorts, a fitted tank top that most definitely covered my boobs, and a pair of flip flops commented, “You wear THAT to school?  Isn’t it a little revealing?”  In hindsight, I should have ditched him right then and there, but that’s a story for another blog.  What I ended up explaining to him was that my fashion choice was pretty conservative compared to what a lot of the girls wear.  What I didn’t say was that I WISH I could get away with sporting the hoochie gear!  Not that I want to give the impression that I’m a woman of the night, mind you, but there’s something to be said for having the confidence to rock that look in broad daylight in front of professors who you might need as a reference one day.
Believe it or not, there was a time in the not-too-distant past when I was in such great shape that I had no problem shimmying into a miniskirt, fitted tank top (no boob spillage), and strappy high-heeled sandals and strutted my stuff like a Robert Palmer mannequin (dark lipstick included).  Of course it wasn’t in broad daylight, but that’s part of the fun of getting all tarted up for a night on the town – you can transform yourself into anyone you want and the lack of adequate lighting just adds to the mystery.  Do the same thing at high noon and not many people will take you seriously.
But, I digress.  My yearning to dress in a way that would make my father turn over in his grave has only to do with the fact that I miss feeling confident about my figure.  I was looking at photos of myself from a couple years ago when I was (gasp!) 180 pounds and remember feeling so huge.  And I kind of was compared to my 160/165 pound fighting weight.  But at 180 pounds I never thought I’d ever get to 225.  Right now 180 looks like heaven to me.  One hundred sixty feels like a pipe dream.  I can’t even think about 160 – it’s too far away and will not let me enjoy the success I’m currently having.  Losing weight slowly is best for my health, and my doctor has reassured me (while rolling his eyes) that I’m still elastic and won’t have a problem getting rid of my double chin, so I need to be happy with that and just have faith that if I keep sticking with the program I will again feel simply irresistible.
4/18/12 – 210.6 pounds
Pounds lost in last week – 2.8
Total pounds lost to date – 14.8

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

May the Force Be With You

“What the scale gives you as a gift, it can also take away.”  Thank you, Yoda. 
These were the parting words I heard from the lady who weighed me in at Weight Watchers today.  She’s a petite older woman with the enthusiasm of Katie Couric (but not so annoying) and I believe she really cares how clients are doing – a customer service trait rarely seen these days.  She’s so nice that I feel bad when I tell her I won’t be staying for the meetings.  It’s not that I think I know it all, it’s just that this blog has been doing a good job of motivating me and I feel like I’m wasting my time sitting there.  But I feel like the weigh-in ladies don’t approve of my skipping out.  Each time I’m reminded that the speaker is “very good” and that we share the same first name (nice try), and that I’ll learn a lot, but I spend nearly every day listening to lectures, so if I’m not getting graded on this then I’ll spend my time doing something more productive.  I can appreciate their efforts to use guilt as a tool of persuasion, but having grown up Catholic, it’s going to take more than the implied threat of massive weight gain to get my attention.  Of course my indifference to guilt trips doesn’t keep me from trying to slip out as quietly as possible, avoiding eye contact with other clients, but I just don’t want them to think I’m not supportive of their choice to sit around talking about the wonders of Lite Cool Whip for a half hour. 
On a side note, have you ever looked at the ingredients in the Weight Watchers brand food (or Cool Whip, for that matter)?  Most of it is packed with junk I can’t even pronounce and the stuff I can pronounce sounds like “butter” and “salt”.  I have a problem with an organization that does a good job of promoting healthy eating, but then tries to sell us snacks that do not benefit our bodies.  I suppose I shouldn’t bash them too much, since I’m still willing to pay them every month, but I’m just sayin’.
Getting back to Katie Couric’s Yoda comment, she told me this after I stepped on the scale and saw that I had lost 4.2 pounds.  Having spent the last two weeks losing less than a pound each, I was surprised to see that I had reached my 5% weight loss goal, but I figured it may have been from the three days of walking I put in.  I certainly didn’t expect to hear that the scale might take back its gift from me.  Why couldn’t she tell me I was a good Jedi with “the deepest commitment” and “the most serious mind”? 
My surprise at losing 4 pounds came from knowing how I ate last week. The Easter Bunny forced me to eat jellybeans, Peeps, and Reese’s peanut butter eggs.  Obi-Wan told me this was a dangerous time for me, when I would be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force, but I didn’t heed his warning.  On top of that, I was forced to eat a regular omelet because the waiter seemed to think he could remember my order of an egg-white omelet instead of writing it down.  After I pointed out his mistake, he offered to bring me the correct version, but I couldn’t figure out how many points spit would be if the new omelet came back covered in it.  And because I was so ticked that whole eggs would cost me more points, I soothed my injured psyche by eating all of my toast and half of my home fries…with ketchup.
Starting today I have only 34 points per day instead of 35, so I have to really be mindful of what I eat.  For instance, it probably wasn’t a good idea to have a cup of Coconut Bliss Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge ice cream tonight.  I bought it at the health food store, so it was supposed to be good for me, but the serving came to 13 points!  Those marketing people are such tricksters.
4/11/12 –  213.4 pounds
Pounds lost in last week – 4.2
Total pounds lost to date – 12

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Goal Tending

I was 2-years old when Dorothy Hamill won a gold medal for figure skating in the 1976 Olympic Games, and 10-years old in 1984 when I saw the made-for-TV movie, Nadia, about Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, followed by Mary Lou Retton’s gold medal performance in that year’s Olympics.  Before discovering gymnastics, I spent every possible weekend watching Dorothy perform on TV.  My mom even had my hair cut in the Dorothy Hamill style so I could look like her.  When we moved up to the lake in 1979, I went ice skating for the first time and found my bliss practicing spins, sit-spins, and camels on the bumpy ice of Benedict’s cove.  A few years later when the 1984 Olympics catapulted my interest in gymnastics, I tore up the backyard with my endless cartwheels, round-offs, and somersaults.  I pretended that doing a bridge was the same as a backbend and somehow managed to escape serious injury as I hurled my body all over the place in an attempt to mimic the floor routines I watched the real gymnasts do; although, there was one little incident where a handstand in my living room turned into a flip with my foot ending up in the wall, me suspended upside down.  Too much velocity.
As much as I would love to perpetuate the image of my little-girl-self following her dreams to become a world class champion, I suppose I should admit that all of my success took place in my very vivid imagination.  Like most kids I knew, my parents could not afford to give me ice skating or gymnastics lessons, no matter how much I begged, but when I practiced my spastic moves, I WAS Dorothy and Nadia, and Mary Lou. 
The summer before fifth grade I found out that the town was holding a gymnastics program at the middle school gym for a few weeks.  This was my chance to be a real gymnast!!  My friend Kim (from blog post #2 – “A Little Slice of Humble Pie) and I headed to the gym on a warm summer night in all of our gymnastics finery, which for me was a navy blue, short-sleeved leotard (I also had a light pink one I’d steal from my sister).  Before us were mats and bars and beams and vaults…I was in heaven!  I couldn’t wait to impress the instructors with all the “moves” I had spent the last few years perfecting. 
Sadly, it didn’t take long for reality to throw a chalk bag in my face as I saw girls who were way more limber, acrobatically proficient, and, well…shorter.  I’ve been tall from a young age and it wasn’t lost on me that the reason I couldn’t do much on the uneven bars wasn’t because I had no talent (although that was a contributing factor), but because I couldn’t fit!  The bars were too close together and they weren’t about to move them just for my benefit.  The balance beam scared me, but the vault and I became friends.  I loved jumping on the springboard and flying through the air.  I’m fairly certain there was no grace involved in my performances, but I didn’t care.  At the end of the summer we got to put on an exhibition for our families.  I’m pretty sure mine was sitting there, shaking their heads, and wondering why I wasn’t discouraged by my obvious ineptitude.  It wasn’t as if I hadn’t already figured out that perhaps gymnastics wasn’t my thing, but I had waited so long to be a “gymnast” and this dinky little performance was the equivalent of my Olympics.
As I got older, I found new goals to pursue that were more achievable.  I started doing triathlons, ran a marathon, and found my niche in open water swimming.  Every season I found new races to do or worked to better my times on previous courses.  My life revolved around how I was going to spend my spring, summer, and fall.  But 2012 is going to be different. 
As previously mentioned, my January car accident has left me nursing whiplash and an injured quad.  While my doctor hopes I’ll be able to swim by the summer, he can’t promise me anything and has told me it could take anywhere from six months to two years to fully heal.  I’ve had to start thinking about what kind of goals I want to pursue and it’s been tough coming to terms with my current limitations.  I find myself resenting the guy who hit me (even though I know it was an accident), but then feel guilty because I know I’m luckier than a lot of people.  I don’t want to harbor negative feelings, as nothing good comes of it, so I’m trying to focus on what I can do and make goals out of that.  Here is my current list:
1.      Lose 5% of my original weight – 11.27 pounds  (only a few more pounds to go!)
2.      Lose 10% of my original weight – 22.54 pounds – and then aim for 5 pound increments thereafter
3.      Walk at least three times per week and ultimately increase the amount of time I’m able to walk.  Currently I can walk for about an hour and fifteen minutes before my quad starts to act up, so that is the time to beat.
My goal for the next week is to make an effort to exercise.  I’ve found that if I use up all of my weekly points and don’t exercise then I only lose about ½ a pound.  I’m happy to lose and not gain, but I can do better.  Baby steps. 
4/2/12 –  217.6 pounds
Pounds lost in last week – 0.6
Total pounds lost to date – 7.8