Friday, February 21, 2014

Clarifications

So, wow!  People still read this blog!  Thanks for the comment and the messages to me personally - they are very nice to get!

I figured that I'd clarify two things from my last post.  I wrote it hurriedly while on a conference call and there were two things that probably need clarifying.

First, when I said my family is happy except for my dad, I kind of need to put an asterisk next to that...because my dad doesn't really get happy about anything.  He's very factual and not emotional (think Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory").  And because he's a doctor he knows the risks of miscarrying in the first trimester so his first bit of advice was "try not to get attached." I shit you not.

But he's supportive of me.  He acknowledges that I'm pregnant, asks how I'm feeling, and lets me know that he's praying for me.  In my dad's book, this is VERY supportive.  But no, I wouldn't classify that as "happy."

Secondly, when I said that some the ladies in the Single Mothers By Choice group were jealous, it came off like I was thinking that they didn't like me because I was so awesome.  I mean, YOU know that I'm so awesome, but chances are these ladies haven't realized it yet.

This group is made up of people that are thinking about doing this, trying to do this, or actually ARE doing this.  And unfortunately, many, many people come to the group in their 40s wanting to have babies because they haven't found the right person yet.  And by then (and I swear I'm not trying to scare any of you), it's too late.  That's right - all the stuff people told me growing up of "You have plenty of time!" isn't true.  The reality is, we kind of don't.  Sure, you can look at the Halle Berry's of the world and think about how she is able to have fully healthy babies after 40.  But what you don't know is what goes on behind the scene - she probably had IVF done (which is SUPER expensive to the average person) to make sure that there were no genetic defects and was monitored by lots of doctors to make sure that the pregnancy was going along as planned.  Even then, you don't know how many tries it took to get her this far.

The average woman doesn't have unlimited tries and resources to get pregnant.

So when I say that they're jealous, what I mean is that I got pregnant on the first try.  Without any drugs to trigger ovulation or beef up my egg quality.  And sometimes it's hard to talk to another woman who has been trying for 5 years and has even gone down the path of egg donation (getting another woman to donate her eggs and then fertilizing it with donor sperm to put into the original woman to try to carry) and for me to say that I got pregnant on the first try.

It's not that they don't like me...it's that sometimes it's hard to have a conversation with someone that doesn't realize just how lucky they are when you want that more than anything else.

What they may not realize is that I get that too.  Having just gone through Valentine's Day hearing about everyone's plans, gifts, cards, etc. wasn't the most fun I've ever had.  Of course I want to get married and have a partner.  So I get it and I at least can recognize that I am lucky to be able to be successful on the first try.

So what am I most worried about?  That the yogurt that I didn't realize was expired until AFTER I ate it won't cause my baby to have to wear an eye patch for his whole life.  Or that because I feel fine and have no morning sickness that it means that something is wrong with my baby.  I'm worried that I don't eat nutritiously enough or that the two Girl Scout cookies I had last night will cause my child to struggle with weight their whole life just as I have.

From what I understand, that worry about my child doesn't go away.  Ever.

Even for Halle Berry.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I don't even know where to begin

Hi there!

So much has happened since I last wrote that part of me wonders whether it's even worth continuing on this blog...

First, the awesome boyfriend that I've known for years (and years) and was dating this summer?  Yeah...that didn't work out.  He is a fantastic person, but he has a significant drinking problem.  When he contacted me via Facebook, I specifically asked how long it had been and his answer was "a long time."  He also said that he and his ex had been over for "a really long time."  Turns out "a long time" is relative.  He stayed sober the entire time we were together, but when I left for a trip in the fall, I came back home to find him completely blotto-ed on my couch.  I nursed him back to health (which was probably the most traumatic experience of my life) and then took him to his parents.  He hasn't been able to stay sober for longer than 3 weeks since then and even then I think that was only one stint.

In some ways, it was hard to say goodbye to him.  Especially since I ostracized two people that meant something to me just to date him.  But going through what I did - all that worry and drama is just not healthy.  And I want a healthy relationship.  I might sound cold about it but I think that's because I've processed through it and to be honest, it feels like it happened "a long time ago."

Separately (and it's important that I stress that this is not linked to the breakup!), I resurfaced the thought about having a child by myself.  As you might remember (hello, post below from October of 2012), I've been thinking about this for a while and I did a LOT of soul searching in late summer to figure out if this was the right choice for me.

After researching lots of different methods, I found a choice that felt right to me.  I planned and was finally able to get the green light to try.

And I'm pregnant!

My first attempt worked and I'll likely give birth at the end of September.

I'm REALLY happy about this choice and sometimes feel overwhelmed...but from talking to my friends that have been moms, they all say it's normal.

It's tough to do this by myself.  I found out I was pregnant at 2 AM and called my mom and woke her up.  My first ultrasound where I heard the heartbeat had me in tears and more than a little wishful that someone else was there to share in my joy and relief.  I did record the heartbeat and sent it to my family.

My family? They're super happy.  Well, except for my dad, the doctor, whose first response after me telling him I was pregnant was, "You're kidding."  To be clear, he's known that I was going through the process...but I don't think he (or anyone really) expected it to take on the first try.

I'm not making it public on Facebook yet (so please refrain if you know me in real life).  I'll announce after I get the 12 week ultrasound.  I have a few more weeks to decide what to share and how.

There is a support group that I've joined - called Single Mothers by Choice.  They have a Denver chapter and almost all the women have been really supportive of me.  Others are jealous or just plain old cranky.  I guess they're allowed to be that way since they're pregnant too.

Anyway, I'm happy.  The baby is healthy.  And life is good.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Success by any other name...

Well, I weighed in this morning and I'm down another 1.6 pounds - making a total loss year since mid-April at just under 17 pounds.  I thought I'd feel really great about adding a ticker bar at the top of my page...because YAY!  16.6 pounds is great!  Only then I saw visually just how far I have to go and that was a bit depressing.

I think I don't see myself as big as I really am.  When I think of myself, I still envision the person almost 50 pounds lighter - the person who could go into any store and buy something that would fit (Abercrombie & Fitch doesn't count).  I was that person in 2009.  

And then sometimes things will happen and I'll remember all over again that I'm not as small as I think I am.

Like when I see a picture of myself full body view.  Or like when I ask that the person take it landscape-wise instead of portrait-wise (using the excuse that we want a close up of our faces!).

Or when I sit down in some movie seats and it's a bit more snug than what I remember it being.  Or when I sit in some chairs at restaurants and I'm keenly aware of how the side arm supports are digging into my chubby thighs.

Or like last night when I was watching an episode of "Dexter" and saw an actress wearing an attractive dress - one that really showed off the female form - and I realized that I would look *completely* different in it than she did.

But most of the time, I'm blissfully unaware of the rolls of chub on my back or of my tummy showing when I write higher up on white boards at work.

Sometimes I think that I've been yearning for my goal weight for so long that I'm not even sure I believe it's attainable any more.  I've been that weight exactly once in my life - and it was when I was younger and gaining weight right past that number.  It's a number so out of touch with my reality that I can't even relate any longer.  Does that even make sense?

I'm wondering if I should stop focusing on that weight and instead pick a good NEXT goal. Like I'd like to get below the next weight bar on a manual scale at the doctor's office.  I'd like to be able to go in for my next appointment and not have to say "it's the next one up" when they guess incorrectly at the first two numbers of my weight.


Perhaps I shouldn't focus on weight at all...instead go by the next pants size that I want to be.

All I really know is that I want to look and feel more healthy.  I want to be happy when I see my engagement and wedding photos and I want to be healthy so that getting pregnant (and healing from the c-section) isn't as much of a struggle.

I know that I'm on the right path.  I know that I'm doing it...perhaps one more step (or one less bite) at a time.  I know that I have the power to lose weight faster...by choosing to have more of a calorie deficit or by kicking my metabolism into a higher gear.

What do you all do?  Do you focus on your end goal?  Do you focus solely on the next smaller goal?  Is it weight based?  Size based? 

How do you define success?

Monday, August 26, 2013

1.2 pounds in 16 days

Hola!

Sorry for the brief hiatus...I mentioned in my last post that Zach's son was staying with us and it pretty much consumed any free time I had. Then, last Tuesday, I woke up to HORRIBLE sciatic nerve pain on my right hip. If you haven't had that, you are very lucky and I hope you never do! It is among the most painful things I've endured. It feels like someone stabs you with a knife, twists it so that pain shoots down your leg, and you feel like your leg is going to give out underneath you. Not fun. I got some muscle relaxers, pain meds, and Today I'm doing better and hope to be resuming my normal step count soon.

Despite the many trips to Taco Bell (Zach's son's favorite place to go), amusement park "food", trips to Dairy Queen, impromptu snacks and/or 4th meals, and the copious amounts of candy at the house, I somehow managed to lose weight while he was here.

To be honest, when I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, it actually showed a lower number - indicating that I lost more than 1.2 pounds. According to that scale, I lost 2 pounds. But I doubted that number so much because I knew that my eating had been erratic and definitely not as healthy as I usually am. Thinking that maybe I was a bit dehydrated, I rounded up to the nearest number. I figure if the 2 pounds are accurate, it'll all work itself out the next time I weigh.

I am proud that most times I ate only half of whatever was in front of me. Not only because it meant less calories consumed but because I actually was already satisfied and felt like stopping. There were times when Zach and his son would eat through "my" foods - like the 45 calorie bread, reduced fat peanut butter, or my Skinny Cow treats - very quickly rather than eating the stuff that we purposely bought for them. I wanted to yell "THAT'S *MY* FOOD! STOP EATING IT!" which obviously meant that something was being triggered. In reality though, there is always enough. And sometimes I stockpiled my favorite food and in the case of the peanut butter, I just went to Costco and bought two huge jars for them to devour. One time I told Zach that if he ate the second to last Skinny Cow treat it was his job to go and get more.

Although I've done a lot of mental work around food, I was amazed at how many times my desire to eat "my share" of something popped up.

Overall, I think I did fairly well. I racked up a ton of activity by going to batting cages, playing mini golf, playing at amusement parks, Dave and Busters, GoKarts, and human mazes. His son will be able to come and visit us over Christmas break so I'll have another shot at practicing a more balanced attitude towards food and being a sorta-step parent.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Steps

I mentioned last week that I've been tracking my calories on myfitnesspal and my steps on my fitbit.

I've put the last 30 days of my steps activity below...and you can see (even if you can't read the axis labels) that I've really "stepped it up" in my activity levels over the last week and a half.  The little one on the right side is today - and since it's not even 10 AM yet, I'm not down on myself for having it only be at 1500 steps so far.


I haven't gone way over my calorie limits according to myfitness pal in the past week, but I haven't been way under either.  Typically, I'm right around the limit.  Well, other than this past Saturday and Sunday...I didn't track anything so I have no real clue where I was.

My point is (and I promise, there is one), is that each step counts.  Literally.  Each time I choose the stairs or to walk around the building, it counts - everything adds up.  Somehow that makes me more motivated to execute on the healthy plans I have for myself.

Each time I choose to eat a Skinny Cow candy pack instead of a Snickers bar, I'm saving 200 calories - and that adds up.  Each time I choose to honor my body by not eating more (because I'm already satisfied, because I'm not really hungry, etc.), it adds up.

I believe that each step creates momentum.

In fact, I went to the GYN yesterday and was weighed.  I'm down a bit over 15 pounds since January and down 5 pounds since the beginning of July (per their scale and medical records).  I may not be making leaps and bounds, but these small steps are getting me to where I want to be.

In other (semi-related) news, Zach's son is staying with us for a little over two weeks.  He flies into Denver tomorrow night and flies home to New York on the 25th.  He's 13 and from what I remember the few times I met him years ago, he's a pretty calm, respectful kid.  Zach says he's awesome but a) most parents say that about their kids and b) he's not exactly around his kid a ton to know if the moodiness has taken place.  They talk regularly, but they're not exactly long conversations.  I'm pretty sure it involves a lot of grunting and ball scratching.  :)  So while I'm not exactly sure of how the next two weeks are going to go, I feel confident that it will all work out - one way or another.

Because he and I look to further our relationship, this is a necessary next step.  We need to see how we will all function as a family unit.  We need to figure out if there are any glaring issues facing us or if we have similar parenting instincts.

But just like losing weight is the next physical step in my journey to get healthier (and there are lots of little physical and theoretical steps that make up that big one), there are lots of little steps in the next two weeks.

The first step is picking him up from the airport tomorrow...and I'm excited to report back how all the other little steps progress.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DWF - Dating While Fat (Part One)

I weighed myself yesterday morning - and while I'm down about 10 pounds since the end of April, the first two numbers are still higher than I'd like to see.

I've been meaning to weigh myself for a week or two but the scale is on Zach's (the boyfriend) side of the room (it's a long story as to why) and he gets up later than I do so it's kind of disruptive to his sleep when I do it.  In fact, yesterday morning, Zach actually gasped and shielded his eyes when I stepped on the scale...but that's because I had to turn the bedside light on right by his head in order to read the number on the scale.  :)

My point is, I'm aware of how big I am.  And whether I'm clothed or not, the people I've dated have also been aware of how big I am.

I think I used to think that if I just wore black or a cardigan or perhaps accessorized better, I'd be able to somehow fool others into thinking that I was slightly big instead of obese.  The thing is, unless I'm dating a stereotypical pirate, the person had two eyes to see me with and even if they were only hugging me goodbye, they could also feel how big I was.

So, obviously, by the time that Zach and I got to the point where we were taking our clothes off each other, he was very aware of my size.

One day, after enjoying our lusty behaviors, we walked upstairs to get some water from the house.  Naked.  And while I was standing in my kitchen drinking water, he looked at me and said, "I'm so glad you're not one of those girls that has to always be covered up."  And I looked at him, laughed, and then continued to drink my water.

I totally used to be that girl.  In fact, his comment kind of took me by surprise - when did I stop being that way?

With every other boyfriend I've had, I've always felt self conscious of my size.  I've always felt that I had to apologize for it somehow by trying harder than another girl would to please her man.  I've tried to arch my back in bed to disguise rolls of chub.  I've pulled their hands away as they were feeling a part of me that felt particularly fat.  And I always wore a bra afterwards in an attempt to erase the memory of the huge floppy things that were where I wished perky boobs would be.

And yet, there I was, in my kitchen without a stitch of clothing on and feeling great.

I am very lucky that the man I'm with loves me.  All of me.  Someday (probably soon) I'll explain how we got to be a couple but for now I'll say that this has been a long time coming.

But I think what is key is that I never could have fully enjoyed that kind of freedom in love (and lust) if I hadn't have been able to be okay with my size first.  See, when I think of being intimate with past boyfriends, I think of all the stuff I mentioned earlier.  Not the emotion behind them wanting to touch me.  My pre-occupation with my own size was a barrier that separated myself from them - even when we weren't wearing anything.

I'm completely okay with my body.  And I'm finally at a place where I realize that I don't need the layer of fat anymore.  I don't need the physical distance from others and I don't need that comfort of isolation.

It's a weird place to be - accepting and non-judgmental of my body and yet having the desire to have it be different.  

This post was initially going to be about something else entirely - but I got sidetracked by my own writing.  I'll finish my thoughts later, but for now I want to share with any one out there that needs to read this right now: it is completely possible to be as big or as thin as you are right now and to still be loved and lusted after.

You are the only thing standing in the way of your own sexuality and sensuality.  If someone that you're with makes you feel "less than" because of how your body looks, dump the mother f*cker already.

For decades, I didn't think it was possible but I'm here to share with you at 36 years of age and in a size 20 body, it is possible and it is fabulous.  I've probably had it many times in my life but was too pre-occupied to fully enjoy it.

Take it from me, embrace your sensuality, shed the bra, snuggle up in the position that is most comfortable, even if it isn't flattering.  Let yourself bask in the glow of the aftermath.

It's so worth it.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Oh, hello!

First, thank you so much for the sweet comments!  I figured that after almost a year out many people would've moved on already.  I'm so glad to see that I still have a few friends out there. :)

Also, thanks for the comment about Feedly!  I'll definitely check that out in short order.

At the tail end of last week, I stopped by the store and bought a bunch of fresh veggies, fruits, and things that were healthier than what I have been eating recently.  I do find that when I'm more mindful of what I'm eating, I do better about stopping sooner (as in when I'm no longer hungry) and actually eating things that are good for me.  I also find that when I track my food intake, I eat healthier.

I've also bought and used a fitbit.  These little puppies are pedometers and motivators - all in one. 

I have a fitbit zip and I bought it on Amazon as it was a bit cheaper than other places I saw it.  This is what mine looks like (if it were in bright light and not slightly scratched from wear and tear):

So, why do I love it?

First, they link to my myfitnesspal.com account (I'm happyfunpants) and second, they allow you to connect with other fitness people.  So I'm just putting this out there...if you're on either and would like a "friend," let me know. As a side note, myfitnesspal.com is free and has a whole host of calorie/nutritional databases.  It's like Weight Watchers only with calories.

I try to challenge myself to do at least 6000 steps a day, with a few days a week at over 10000 steps.  I'm not always successful but it does encourage me to take the stairs more often than not and I've even started walking around my building when I'm on conference calls to up my steps.  It may sound silly that I'm so motivated by a digital number, but I figure this is a healthier encouragement than being obsessed with the number on the scale.

Sometimes I get caught up and frustrated because I remember that I was a person who ran a few miles every day - and now just walking to get to 10,000 steps per day is a source of pride.  I do miss running - and I'll get there again eventually.  But for now, I know that I need to do the smart thing and take it easy on my knees and just walk.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm in a better place or if it's just more realistic, but I'm realizing that I have a lot less pressure on myself to be perfect.

Besides, it's an unattainable goal anyway. :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An update

Hi!

I've appreciated your comments over the last 9 months.  I've sat down to write an update many times, but when I stare at the blank screen and start to try to figure out what to type, my mind goes blank.  Do I update everyone?  Do I jump into things as they are right now - as if no time has passed?

I'm going to do a bit of both.

I made the decision to not see a therapist anymore.  I haven't seen her in many months - and even then it was two sessions to check in about my methodology about a situation.  Ultimately, I realized I didn't need her advice - because I had the answers in myself - or her affirmation - because my good feelings about it were enough.

In fact, I think that's the best way to sum up my life.  Working on me, working on reinforcing positive behaviors, working on strengthening my inner voice and becoming more secure with who I am, what I want, and healthy ways to do it.

My house has has several issues (current one is black mold in the basement as a byproduct of water that we have NO idea where it's coming from) but each time I've handled the issues being as calm as I could be and recognizing the anxiety when it's popped up.

I've done a LOT of dating in the past 9 months. I used to be more vocal about the dates and especially about the train wrecks I met but when I went back to the place where I graduated high school (over Christmas) I ran into a few people that I was Facebook friends with.  They would say things like "I love your terrible dating stories!  They're so funny!" and that made me wonder if I was being pitied.  Moreover, it made me wonder if I was bringing a lot of this on myself.  I stopped posting terrible dating stories and started focusing on raising the bar of people I chose to date.  I looked at past relationships, realized my part in them (both the good and the bad), and then decided to change my actions - in a healthy and self-respecting way.

I've pulled away, in some ways, significantly, from people that I just don't feel good around.  I've basically categorized people in energy-givers and energy-takers in my mind.  And I've made conscious efforts to build relationships with those that feed me energy and positivity in healthy ways; those that I give the same things back to.

I've changed so much since I started this blog.  My mindset is completely different.  I stand up for myself.  I respect others but their opinion isn't more valid than my own.  I don't binge.  I don't feel shame towards myself.  I love myself.  I'm not nervous or anxious in normal situations.  I don't feel the compulsion to help others to the determent of myself.


And you know what?  That is so much because of YOU.  This blog has been instrumental in making me feel heard and validated.  It helped greatly to voice my concerns, my worries, my secrets, and my failures.  It's almost like I had this backlog of issues and words that had to come streaming forth.  I needed sympathy. I needed reassurance.  I needed you.

So before I go any further, THANK YOU.  Thank you for caring - in many cases about a stranger - enough to write and comment; enough to befriend me.  I didn't have to be funny - I didn't have to be anything I wasn't at that very moment.  I just was me.  And it was good enough.

So now what?  Well, I am in love.  I'm living with someone and it's by far the healthiest relationship I've ever been involved in.  I'm happy in my job; I work for a company that rewards and validates my work. 

And I'm fat.  No really, I am.

I've gained back every ounce of weight I had once lost.  In my defense, I've lost about 10 pounds in the last few months by being contentious of what I was putting in my mouth and trying to move more.

I no longer have a the extreme emotional connection to food like I once did.  I think I'm actually now one of those people that just needs to concentrate on any program and work it until I get in a more healthy range.  I'm trying to decide how I want to do that - if it's by joining Weight Watchers again or just staying on myfitnesspal.com and finding friends there.

What I do know is that I want to be healthier. I miss running. I miss not having to push out booth tables from my belly.  I miss not getting winded when trying to be active. 

And I miss reading your blogs.  I miss having the connection here too.  (side note: Google Reader went away...how do I capture all the streams of blogs that I want to read - those that are not all necessarily through blogspot?)

So I'm going to post - though I'm not sure how regularly.   And I'm going to make my outside match my inside - healthier. :)

Much love,
me

Monday, January 7, 2013

15% Enell Sports Bras

Hi peeps!

I have more stuff to write (and will do so shortly!), but I got this offer in my inbox today and I wanted to share it in case you all are intereseted.

The sports bras that I used often when I was running are by Enell...they're great for bigger women (especially busty ones) because they really hold 'the girls' to you.  Oprah had them on her list of favorite things a few years back.

The only downside to these bras is that they can be kind of pricey.

Ladies Only Sports has them for 15% off through 10AM MST tomorrow (1/8/13) .  I don't get paid anything...just came across it in my inbox.

Just enter 2013 as the Coupon Code if you're interested.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A hundred todays and a hundred tomorrows

Happy New Year!

I, like almost everyone else in the free world, am planning on watching what I eat and on moving more this year.  So congratulations to me!  I'm human and just like you. :)


I was thinking yesterday about the Scarlet O'Hara idea of "Tomorrow is another day." and wondered if thinking like that hurts weight loss efforts or helps them.  I still haven't made a firm decision, but I do think that there is power in framing things up in "todays" and "tomorrows."

As an example, yesterday I was faced with the option to take the stairs or the elevator to get up to where my cube is.  I thought about it, REALLY wanted to take the elevator.  My knees hurt.  I had just walked up two flights of stairs to get to the entry of the building.  Couldn't I just take the elevator this time?  But said to myself, "Tomorrow I'll take the elevator.  Today I'll walk up the stairs."

I went to a salad place yesterday for lunch but when I walked inside, I saw that the long line rivaled anything you'd find at Disneyland.  I quickly swore under my breath, turned around, and walked out the door telling myself I just didn't have that kind of time to wait in a line like that.  I got to my car and thought of all of the places that I could stop on the way back to work that would be quicker.  None of them were healthy.  And if I can't be healthy on the SECOND DAY of the new year, where is my dedication?  So I walked back to the restaurant, got in line and waited 38 minutes to get through the line and leave with my salad.  Each time I heard the two pretentious ladies who were in line in front of me talking about Kim Kardashian's baby, I reminded myself that this pain was worth it.  I told myself, "Today I'm making a healthy choice for lunch.  Tomorrow I may choose differently."

What I love about this is that it helps eliminate black-and-white thinking.  That I either have to be completely "on" a diet or "off" one; that I need to have everything planned out in advance.

Maybe I'll plan out everything tomorrow.  But today, I'm making the best little decisions I can.  Each time I'm faced with a choice today, I'm choosing the option that gets me closer to where I want to be tomorrow.


P.S.  I've figured out a way around our proxy server at work.  Know what that means?  I GET TO POST MORE OFTEN AGAIN! :)