Monday, September 23, 2013

When Will I Not be the Chubby One?

If someone asked me today, I would consider myself  "chubby" right now. I've had past lovers call me "meaty", "voluptuous" etc., whatever suits their preference is fine with me. I get it, I've got some girth, and it's not all bad. I've learned to work with it and I've fought against it. When did I first realize that I had a little more to me than most of the girls I was friends with? Let's take a trip back to the early 80s shall we? A time of mom jeans, school lunches provided by McDonald's and The California Raisins.

I can remember the day clearly - it was the President's "Physical Fitness Day" we used to have in elementary school. I was in the third grade,  making me about 8 years old. I believe now the day or "tests" are called the President's Challenge or something similar. Just another day to make your slightly larger/slower/shorter/etc than average kids feel hundreds of levels below average in this competitive world.You know, the day you can wear casual clothes (if you're in a uniformed school, like I was at the time), and you spend half the morning doing various foot races and silly things like pull ups (yeah, right) or the "sit and reach"? What 8 year old can do a real pull up?! I'll tell you which one could not, and still can't!

This day of the year always gave me agita. I hated running. I knew I was not a dancer, a gymnast or naturally lithe and thin girl like some of  the chosen few in my grade. I come from Russian/Italian/Irish stock. I've got broad shoulders, thick legs and a penchant for eating potatoes. These things have not changed from ages 8 to 36. I've just learned to cook them better - the taters that is.

While most of my friends were getting ready in the morning and getting excited for a day of jeans, t-shirts, physical greatness or exertion, I was getting a stomach ache. I would get that sinking feeling in the pit of my gut just when we had to line up for events. My mental dialogue would be something like, "What do you mean we have to stand in front of a group of  our peers and just...hang from a bar? After doing that, you want me to lift myself up? Are you nuts? Sprints? Are there people chasing me?" No matter how hard I tried, I always felt like I had rocks in my calves weighing me down or the Stay Puft marshmallow man in an ill-fitting polyester gym shirt. I still do.

The only thing I was really good at was flexibility. Oh, I mastered that stupid "sit and reach" or "V" sit up as they may call it nowadays and was I was the best in my grade. Stick a ruler between me and the wall and I'll show that ruler who's boss and how bendy I can be.

This accomplishment of the day was no match for the height/weight percentiles though. When it came to me, if I remember correctly, we all had to get on a scale in front of classmates (not just your school nurse or teacher). Talk about hidden terror! Torture! Cruelty! My eyes scanned any open doors, prayed for a possible fire drill right at that very moment. (It was a Catholic school, so I had high hopes God took pity on me and my love for bread and grape juice.) My heart raced, my palms were sweaty, my nervous bowels were knocking on heaven's door and when I was finally called, it was all just a blur. 88 pounds was all I heard. There were a few snickers, a few sneers, a few chuckles. I was nowhere near the biggest in my class, but I had some meat to my bones. Even at 8 years old, I knew from that point on, I wasn't thin enough, light enough, fast enough or pretty enough. I felt frumpy.

I got home from school and the fun didn't stop there. Upon hearing my weight, my father started to proclaim "88 pounds! Big ole 88! We better start watching what you eat so you don't eat us out of house and home!" He would often send my friends who came to visit or pick me up for a sleep over with the same warning "Don't let her near your fridge!" , he'd shout with a chuckle. My bounce down the steps turned into a numb, slow moving drag of degradation. Apparently I was a beast with an appetite who shouldn't be let out. God forbid I end up without a snack on the streets of my small town and the arm of small toddler was nearby. I may bite it. Between that my mother's affinity for calling me out to have "truck driver arms", I was at a loss. I was living in a home that had a mother and grandmother that liked to cook and feed me, I was not athletic nor did I play an instrument. I was a thinker, a reader, a writer, and apparently an eater.

This all came flooding back to me this morning. I stepped on the scale and it read a whopping 188 pounds, almost 189. "Oh my god. Impressive," I audibly said to my dog while on the scale. This is THE most I have ever weighed in my entire life. The chubby kid in me came up to the surface again and I began to shut down. I didn't talk to the BF during breakfast. I'm distracted at work. I've accepted the fact that I guess 3-5 days a week of 50 minute workouts for over 6 weeks isn't doing anything yet. Weights and cardio should be sculpting me into something marvelous is my mentality.

I worked out Thurs/Fri/Sat and felt great. I felt strong. I'm doing all the right things, but the tape measure and scale are going in the wrong direction. I don't want my mind to follow. It's thoughts like these that can derail any exercise program in a heart beat. I'm trying really hard to fight those inner demons and just keep plugging away. I know these things take time. I know 6 weeks is not enough, but I just need to believe in the process for that little 8 year old girl back in the day.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Slow Carb?

Well, it seems as if I've been slow to update the past few days. Fear not, I have been working out and watching what I eat still! I had a great workout this past Saturday at the gym with weights and cardio, then spent the night at one of my friend's houses making them a wonderful home cooked meal with my famous meatballs and some angel hair pasta. Yes, there was wine, and yes I indulged in some pasta, but after a hard work out and only 2 protein bars that day, I ate my fair share.

Sunday I spent cleaning and prepping food, sauteed ground turkey, chicken legs, green beans, boiled eggs, salads galore for my week ahead. I am trying to ease my way off dairy and carbs for a bit. White carbs I should mention, no wheat, rice, potatoes or junk. I'll enjoy beans and nuts and plenty of veggies.

I noticed that I really like the worst fruits for weight loss, go figure! I know fruit is better than sugar and no one got fat by eating bananas and pineapples, but I figure I may try taking a break for a bit to see if it helps my weight loss.

I started to re-read the Four Hour Body and am thinking next week I will begin. The whole "slow carb" idea isn't completely lost on me, but I know cutting out ALL carbs for myself just doesn't have the same effect on my body as it did 10 years ago. I have leftover foods that only I will eat and some dairy, so I refuse to waste them. I've cut down to carbs at only one meal per day and am chugging water like a fiend all day at work. (By the way, my dermatologist said my skin looked great at a recent appointment this week -- it must be the Oil of Olay and H2O!)

My schedule just hasn't allowed me to get back into hot yoga yet, what with the chiro 2x a week and me actually being social on weekends again. This whole month my Saturdays are booked with old friends I haven't seen in forever. I am making the effort to reach out even though I hate the way I feel in clothes or social situations. I've been through the cycle before, and I know it will end. Baby steps.

Yesterday I squeezed in a 20 min leg work out with leg curls, leg extensions, weights squats and some quick bicep curls. It's better than nothing -esp since I had a business meeting during my lunch and a chiro appt right after work. I'm just so exhausted lately. Not sure why. I am eating so much spinach (iron!) and juicing and chomping on veggies, chugging water, working out -- I'm beginning to wonder if I'm not fueling myself properly again. I tend to shy away from anything but meat and lettuce when I'm trying to lean out. Perhaps I shouldn't feel so bad about that tiny sliver of frozen pizza I'm planning to eat tonight...We'll see.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Making a Beeline for the A-Line

Motivation. I hate this belly.
I never knew an A-line skirt would make me feel like such a stuffed sausage. I ventured out to Target a few weeks ago in search of a corporate presentation-ready outfit for work. I figured, what's better for my curvy figure than a nice Mad Men inspired A-line skirt? First of all, I was shocked to have to size up to a 14 because of my belly girth. Ugh. Usually I'm a 10-12 in skirts. This was a jaw dropper, and not in the good way.

It's a comfortable enough skirt, but it does not stretch. Bending down or sitting is pretty constrictive. I'm usually in loose flowy skirts these days, since I'm just so used to that material post surgeries. Now that my hernia is cleared up, I'm digging into the land of waistbands again - and painfully realizing how large my waistline has become again as well.

I was pretty good this past week though - slowly making changes to accommodate working out again. I left work half an hour early to meet up with my chiropractor on Friday - who then never showed up. I hate that. He's got a valid excuse, but when it costs me over $10 and 2.5 hours of my day to deal with a 15 min appointment, it really chafes my ass, pardon my French.

I wore my work out clothes there though, fully intending on working out around 7pm when I got back to Oakland. I did just that. Some weights, some elliptical, then I got home. Saturday I did my water aerobics class for the first time in a while, and boy did my shoulders kill. I had a hair cut appt in the city and met up with a friend for some day drinking though. I grabbed half a turkey subway sandwich for lunch and pretty much drank my calories for the day - shame on me. I was that girl on the train stuffing her face with a messy taco. I was a messy taco.

I had my first massage (deep tissue) since the car accident on Sunday and while it was amazing, it pretty much made me sore for about 3 days after. I fully knew I would be taking Monday and/or Tuesday off to recover. My back and left side were just too tender.

Yesterday at work I actually left my desk to go to the gym for 25 minutes and do a weights workout. I figured since I have a chiro appointment after work, I can at least do some weight training if not a full work out. Biceps and back were done! I got a good adjustment on my back and today I hope to work out after work with minimal pain. It's supposed to be...LEG DAY. I see a few sets of lunges, squats, dead lifts, leg curls, leg extensions and the good ole leg press in my future. Afterwards, if I can still walk, it'll be 20 minutes on the treadmill for some light cardio.

I may re-read the 4 Hour Body again by Tim Ferriss. I don't whole heartedly agree with it, but we'll see if slow carb is an option for me. My chiro managed to lose 23 pounds in 7 weeks. I know, right? While it may not be the same for women, I can only hope to slim down a bit before my friend's wedding in about 5 weeks. Man, time flies.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 9: So Many Fruits and Vegetables

I haven't been to the gym since Saturday and it's bugging me. I need to be better at planning. Tonight I am going after work and have decided on 30 minutes of run/walking on the treadmill if my hips can handle it and back/shoulder/tricep work for strength training.

This morning I had a green juice with my breakfast (an organic feta/spinach/egg white burrito) and some watermelon. My lunch/snacks at work today include cherry tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, half an avocado, chicken, romaine, red pepper hummus and a kiwi.I've been eating so many fruits and vegetables lately, I would think I should start feeling like Wonder Woman. But I don't.

My skin is starting to freak out on me and I'm not sure why - little red bumps here and there on my chin and cheeks. I've always had great skin and I worry when things start to go awry. I thought with incorporating so many veggies into my diet things would start to clear up - where's my miraculous juice boost, people? Am I allergic to something I don't know of yet?

My chiropractic appointment went well last night - albeit very short. My doctor is back after being gone for a few weeks so I'm glad to work with him again and see the lay of the land regarding my back and left side. It's been about 3 months since my car accident and I'm slowly starting to feel better, but I still have pain with certain movements or every day chores. I try not to let it bring me down though. Baby steps, right?

I bought a groupon for a month's membership to hot yoga today too. I'm excited to get in the hot box again and stretch out some really tight and sore muscles. I may attempt to go this Sunday. I'll be back later to post how my workout went. Hopefully this old body can keep up.

Here's my morning green juice recipe, I alter it sometimes with kale or leave out the ginger/lemon if I don't have it on hand:

1 cup organic baby spinach
1 bunch organic celery
1/2 organic english cucumber
1/2 lemon (no rind)
1 carrot
1 organic granny smith apple
1 inch of fresh ginger

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 8: Dare I Run Again?

So, I'm thinking about running the Oakland Hella-Ween 5 miler in October this year. The lure of the ability to run in a tutu while wearing a hot dog hat also is appealing. Costumes? Beer? A short run? Why, Yes Please!

All that is standing in the way is a $40 registration fee and well, my body. Will my knees be able to handle it? Will my hips/back/left ass cheek be able to sustain minimal damage? A year of body bullshit and two surgeries and a car accident really put a crimp in my weight loss journey. I'm hoping to get back on track and I know myself: If I don't have a goal or something to train for, I don't make the time.

You'd think the want, the need, nay, the sheer desire to not hate myself would be enough. It's not. I haven't worked out since Saturday. Granted, I hiked a bunch of steps on Sunday and did a ton of walking and manual labor Monday, but no gym time. I had a full day of work Tuesday and a baseball game to attend that night. Today, working and then I have to drag myself across the Bay to go to the chiro in SF. I won't be home until after 8pm. Going to the gym that late is not an option, as a matter of starvation and safety in these parts prevents me from waiting for a bus at 9pm on unsavory street corners. Sigh.

I should be setting my alarm for 5:45 am. I should be getting out that damn door in the morning by 6 to do a measly 30 minutes of running. I did it before, why can't I kick my own ass to do it again? Why did I have beer last night AND a cheese steak for dinner at the game? How is it possible for a person like me to have zero will power?! Today I'm really trying to dig deep down and pull it out of me.

Breakfast was an egg white scrambled with one egg, with some green peppers and onions and a green juice (cucumber, spinach, celery, carrot, green apple, ginger and lemon). I've had a handful of pistachios for a snack and must maintain dignity at an office lunch. I need to remember to juice and prep more as to not waste my produce. It's counter productive, which is all I seem to be feeling lately.

I just need to remember this.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 7: A Long Weekend

Today's Weight
183.4 lb

Well, considering I didn't restrict that much this weekend, I'm doing ok weight wise. I had a dinner with friends out in the city on Friday and I had some drinks. Thai food earlier that day for lunch made me eat a lighter dinner (as did my budget). Saturday I hiked early with the boy and hit the gym. Sunday though, we hit the Cleveland Cascade in Oakland and did stair work. Let me tell you, my knees did not like me. I worry when things like this happened but it could be more internal issues thanks to the car accident. I've never had knee issues that stemmed from going up or down stairs. I'm hoping it's just me being 30 pounds overweight and out of shape. Today it doesn't hurt as bad but it kept me from doing anything wild on Monday, which was Labor Day.

I spent most of Monday doing manual labor, ironically enough. Walking to and from the grocery store instead of driving and hitting up home depot. My task was to remove a ceramic soap dish that broke in the shower, which turned into me destroying 5 other tiles around said dish in the process. Well, now I know how to tile a damn shower.

Before embarking on the DIY project from hell I went to Target to pick up some bigger work out clothes and a skirt for work. I know I can't hide in stretch pants forever and had refused to dress for the body I'm in, instead always holding out for the body I had or want. It totally took the wind out of my sails so to speak. The utter horror I experienced in the dressing room really put a damper on my day. If I could bottle up the self-hatred I felt in that dressing room, well, it would have to be a really big bottle.

I remember last year at this time I was trying on size 8's and playfully boasting online (ok, bragging) that I was a full 3 sizes smaller than the year before. Well, here I am again, a size 14 and really hating the process ALL OVER AGAIN. I hated what I saw and it really hit home what I needed to do and how I needed to stay motivated. It just seems so daunting right now. Hoping my body sticks with me and doesn't crap out on me in some way again.