A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plus Sized?

I have to admit the plus sized modeling industry confuses the crap out of me.

I stumbled upon an article online about an editorial that ran in a fashion rag (I don’t actually read fashion magazines because I have no desire for that kind of self-flagellation) about how a plus sized model could look just as good in sample sizes as a normal model. Here’s a picture from the shoot…

Okay when compared to the super skinny girl, yes I can tell the one on the right has a few more curves, but if they hadn’t put the two side by side I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea that the one on the right is a plus sized model. She just looks like one of those model gorgeous people to me.

What the heck is plus sized these days? Size eight? Ten? The girl on the right honestly can’t be bigger than a ten, can she? Is ten seriously plus sized these days?

I’m so confused… I thought plus sized was like; sixteen and up. I’m a twenty two – is there a new classification for that now as super duper plus sized?

Maybe my clothing labels should just say ‘wide load’.

As a side note, I also think the one on the right is legitimately a lot better looking, and I swear I’m not just saying that out of fat girl solidarity. I’d kill for those legs…

I'm in Trouble

This morning we had Christmas breakfast at the office.

It's now 10AM - and I have about 350 calories left for the whole day.

Oh crap oh crap oh crap...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Body Love

This is absolutely fantastic…

For the record, heck no that isn’t me… it’s a picture from an article that Teddi sent me on jezebel.com – original article link below:


I don’t have the guts to do one of these pictures, I wish I did… the first thing my mind burped up when I thought about doing one was “oh crap no, I’m way bigger than that girl!” Which is so stupid because it pretty much defeats the point.

The point is taking an honest photo of your body and then labeling it with the things you love about it, as is, right now.

I have these kinds of photos sure – I take full body mug shot type pictures of myself (or rather my husband does) to track my progress as I go. They are quite unflattering.

Since I don’t have the courage yet that the girl pictured above does I can at least give a list.

What do I love about my body?

It’s a harder question than I thought it would be. My face is easy, my mind no problem. But my body? Like – from the neck down? All I usually see is lumpiness, clumsiness, various and sundry injuries and shaking hands…

So what do I love about my body?

It can lift weights.
It can walk at 3MPH without stopping or slowing and as I found out recently it can even jog.
It brings my husband great joy both to see and touch.
It can dance.
I can use it to create things; like artwork, food, and most importantly of late – writing.
I can run up stairs with it.
I can hug people with it and I would imagine I must be fairly soft and comforting.
Its lap is my cat’s favorite place to be.
It can swim twenty or thirty laps in the pool nonstop.
It has pretty nice skin.

I guess that’s enough for right now. It’s true that only one thing on my list is visual. I tried to honestly come up with more, but my fair complexion was the only thing I could focus on right now as positive. Hopefully that will improve as time goes by.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dying to be Thin

I read a news article yesterday about a popular young actress dying of ‘natural’ causes at thirty two years of age.

Excuse me? Does anyone die naturally at thirty two?

Her heart failed is what happened, and a thirty some odd year old person’s heart is not supposed to just fail.

I’m neither a doctor nor a coroner and no I don’t know why this girl really died – but I can tell you the very first thing that flashed through my mind when I heard the news.

She was just so frighteningly thin.

I could remember standing in my doctor’s office with my son, and the doctor admonishing him to put on fifteen pounds (which thankfully he did). She explained that when the human body is underweight and runs out of fat to burn off, what the metabolism goes after next is the internal organs; like the heart. That’s what kills anorexics in the end, heart failure.

Hollywood has gotten to a place where it’s better for their actresses to be dead than possess body fat like a normal person. When is this insanity going to stop?

And it’s not just actresses suffering the brunt; young girls all over the United States are looking up at the big, bright screen and saying to themselves: “I have to look like Megan Fox if I want to get normal, cute boy to like me.” I say this because the Transformers movies were populated with relatively boy-next-door looking type actors and inexplicably, blindingly beautiful girls. Even the nerd girl was an Australian Supermodel type.

With respect to Megan Fox, who is admittedly a stunning young woman – the only person capable of looking like her – is her. And I hope she gets up every morning and thanks God for giving her the gift of her beauty.

Because looking like that is a gift, pure and simple. It cannot be achieved through starving yourself. Two percent of the female population of the United States is Supermodel sized (size two to four) and of that two percent, only a fraction is also beautiful (or odd looking) enough to qualify as a supermodel.

And they were all just born that way. Pure, and simple.

When I have achieved my goal weight I will be a fit 150 lbs.; which is a healthy body weight for a 5”7” woman. I will still be hopelessly, morbidly fat by Hollywood standards at that point.

When is this going to stop? I don’t know any other way to send a message other than to not go. Not go to films that inflict unfair standards of beauty on their actresses.

Say no to the Hollywood Starlet.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Week Before Christmas...

Twas the week before Christmas, when all through my kitchen
Many pots were a-stirring, filled with chocolate most richen.
Gift boxes were sat on the table with care,
In hopes that finished candy soon would be there.

Soon ingredients were nestled all snug in their beds,
of festive paper cups festooned with snowmen and Santa heads.
And me in my apron, and Ted in his cap,
Were wracking our brains for some festive gift wrap.

When from the depth of my spirit there arose such a clatter,
As I realized with dismay just what was the matter.
Away to my craft room I flew like a flash,
Tore open my storage bins and raided my stash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But some rolls of curling ribbon, Teddi left here last year.

And then, in a twinkling, I was back to downstairs,
Wrapping and curling and festooning with flares.
As I drew up my head, and gave a triumphant yell,
To see finished gifts for our co-workers, which turned out quite swell.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Snow

I can't remember the last time we had this much snow before Christmastime - I can recall dustings, flurries and the occasional fall of ice; but what we have today is a full on deep freeze thick blanketing of white.

Must be that danged global warming acting up. Oh... wait a second, that's not right - is it?


Outside my house the world is silent and still and the snow still falls. They say it will continue to do so all throughout the night tonight. Inside my house all is warm. I've been making Christmas chocolates pretty much all day, that's what I do instead of cookies - it's a lot easier. Bon Bons filled with preserves, white chocolate shapes bursting with crushed hard candy and cups upon cups filled with various nuts covered in chocolate of varying types.

And yes, I've had a few. Next year I'm going to have to come up with something else - this whole chocolate thing is just too difficult for me to resist.

Tonight we're having Tedburgers for dinner - also a bit hazardous, but at least their sort of small.

Well, back to the kitchen for me - I've still got two more flavors to finish today.

And lastly, a funny to enjoy on a snowed in sort of day:


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Slightly Off Topic

As some people know I've got some health anxiety issues; the embarassing name for this is hypochondria. Since getting hurt it's been acting up pretty badly - so I've decided to post an article I wrote last year about living with health anxiety. A friend of mine who'd read it recently told me it was good enough for publication, and that I should share it with others.

So without further ado; here 'tis...


I suppose the first fatal disease I developed was probably cancer...

In my early twenties I got chicken pox (yeah, it was weird to get it so late). It’s slightly more serious to get ‘the pox’ as an adult, so my doctor was proactive and put me on antibiotics and an anti-viral medication and I recovered nicely. However I was left with two swollen lymph nodes – one on the side of my neck and the other on the back of my head at the base of my skull. I had my doctor look at them and she was unconcerned.

I however diagnosed them as lymphoma.

Hours were spent looking up symptoms of lymphoma and comparing them to myself. Was I having night sweats? Were my ‘tumors’ growing substantially?

Time went by and eventually my paralyzing fear faded – but a weekend at the Mountains that entailed a vast number of mosquito bites made the neck one swell up a bit, and back I went running to the doctor. Only to have the doctor peer at all the bug bites and inform me that I might have hypochondria.

Other fatal illnesses would of course follow. Headache and dizziness brought on by my seasonal allergies? Well those just HAD to be a brain tumor. Hip hurting because of the hip joint birth defect I was born with? Must be bone cancer. Feeling a bit worn down? It’s got to be leukemia. Holy crap, one of my boobs is bigger than the other – I must have breast cancer!

Over the decade since I had chicken pox the lymph node on the side of my neck did eventually return to its normal size, but the one on the back of my skull is still swollen, and to this day I reach back and run my fingers over it – wondering what malignancy might be lurking inside.

Two years ago I broke my leg climbing into a fishing boat. During my recovery I noticed that my hands were shaking when I held them in certain fixed positions. I mentioned this to my doctor of course (having already diagnosed myself with Parkinson’s disease – I must be one of those early thirty something onset types) and she said I’d probably injured the tendons in my arms and wrists dragging around on crutches for two months.

In the following year I also noticed that I was twitching a lot – generally all over, but particularly I’d get these persistent ones in my thumbs that would last for days.

Dang – now I not only had Parkinson’s but ALS to boot – death within five years. And no number of additional trips to the gym lifting weights to show myself how strong and normal all my muscles still were would convince me otherwise.

Keep in mind this is all a good decade after I was supposed to have died from that pesky lymphoma I got when I was 21…

So where am I today?

I do have something wrong with me, two things in fact. The first and probably most serious is anxiety. Health anxiety. The second is a benign tremor disorder called Essential Tremor. And yeah, that one is a bummer because it’s incurable and probably will get a bit worse as I get older – but here’s the important bit… it can’t and won’t kill me.

The diagnosis of ET came from a neurologist, so that ones probably legit. He wants me to have an MRI done on my skull just as a follow up (he does not expect to find anything on it). But I haven’t made that appointment yet because I’m positive the technicians will gasp with horror when they see the dozens of MS lesions on my brain or the gigantic, fanged tumor that I believe must be lurking inside my skull.

If I sound like I’m making fun of myself, yeah – I am. Because part of me actually is aware of how incredibly, pointlessly dumb all of my fear is. I’m also aware of what anxiety can do to a body physically – from headaches, to dizziness, to twitching and tremors.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to get that part to be bigger than the anxiety part that chokes my life like weeds that daily infest an otherwise beautiful garden.

Because honestly? I have a good life. I have my faith, I have a husband who I love and who loves me with the kind of romantic passion you usually only see in a fairy tale. I have a great step kid who’s going to start college soon and an absolutely awesome extended family. I live in a safe, beautiful home and have dozens of friends. I have an okay job.

So why can’t I just let it go? Why can’t my faith in God be bigger than this?

I guess if I had those answers, I wouldn’t be here.

Thanks for listening…

Hi, I’m Carolyn and I am not dying of a fatal illness.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Foofy Food

As an afterthought, was it probably a poor idea to try jogging before my leg is healed? Yes.

Did I do it again tonight anyway? Um... yes.

I'm not exactly crazy, it's just obvious that in my eagerness to get where I'm going I have no idea where to draw the line.

In the good news department I had lunch at an extremely foofy french type restaurant and still didn't go over on my calories today. I ordered dessert, but gave away half of it. And crab cakes as it turns out aren't all that bad really.

The harder part was when I got home. I had my vegetable burrito stuffed with rice, tomatoes, onions and peppers and still felt hungry afterward. At that point I was at about 1,800 for today, as high as I should really go after such rich food. This resulted in the following conversation...

Ted: "Can't you just eat something that's zero calories?"

Me: "Nothing is zero calories. All food contains calories."

Ted (exasperated): "But I know some are worth zero, or something..."

Me: "That's POINTS, I do calories! It's more accurate!"

I guess the moral is never try to help a hungry dieter, we're hard to reason with.

However I ignored my impulse and stuck to my guns; I haven't eaten since dinner - and now I am going to bed. Where it's safe. Where I can't eat anything.

Touch and Go

Things might be day to day for a bit with me, at least until the Holidays are over. Gloria's right, this is a rough time - especially with all the other things on my mind.

Today was good though... overindulgence in a second slice of meatloaf aside; I came in at 1,568 calories today, and burned off a little over 200 on the treadmill at the gym.

Also, I tried something new - jogging.

Hanging onto the bars, tentatively hopping along at first, I managed to do a high impact (as in both of my feet were VERY briefly out of contact with the treadmill) light jog for the length of an entire song; specifically 'Black or White' by Michael Jackson.

And yes, I still listen to the King of Pop. I was born in '74... I can't help myself.

I also got back on the scale at my Mom's house and I'm still hanging in there at 255... just a mere five pounds away from the weight I've been claiming to be for the past couple of years when I was in reality thirty pounds heavier.

That means I still haven't gained substantially since becoming anti-motivated two weeks ago.

Meaning nothing is lost; I can still move forward and all this was just a brief pause.

And so I now give you an 80's moment - and a great workout song:


"Ain't nothing gonna break my stride"
"Nobody's gonna slow me down"
"Oh no - I've got to keep on moving"

"Ain't nothing gonna break my stride"
"I'm running and I won't touch ground"
"Oh no - I've got to keep on moving"

P.S. Sorry about the weird / scary little anime girl in the video - I couldn't find Matthew Wilder's original music video on You Tube. Go figure...

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Status Report

I’m going to be emo – apologies in advance.

It’s really hard to keep this up when you’re feeling down; it’s hard to care about myself enough to put as much work into me as this requires when there’s so much else on my mind. However in the interest of the promises I’ve made not only to me but to everyone else; here’s the situation:

I haven’t tracked my daily calories for over a week, although I did start back today.
I did go to the gym twice last week, but only twice – the goal is actually three to four gym workouts per week with daily core exercises at home in between.
I’ve been snacking between meals, and eating desserts.

I don’t think I’ve done that much damage, I haven’t gained back the twenty some pounds I shed, but I’m definitely not where I was on the motivation scale.

I am better with the injury; pain is a good deal less and I’m beginning to be able to detect hot and cold in my foot again – but for those who don’t know I have fairly severe health anxiety issues, so the constant worry about what horrible, incurable, neurological thing must be wrong with me has really sapped my will to care about what I weigh.

So yeah – that’s the status report, not great news.

I still haven’t given up though, and thank you to everyone who has bugged me lately to get back to posting – I needed the encouragement right now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

If you find my lost motivation, please send it home.

I feel a little guilty posting this after so many people have told me my attitude is so good…

Overall my attitude is good, this past week I’ve entered into my lowest point so far. It’s like being lost in a little bit of ugly woods; dark now but I know I’ll eventually find my way out again.

It also helps to know it’s due to three factors:

1) I have PMS (sorry for the over-share).
2) The actual day of my birthday was spent working like a dog for ten hours at a job I don’t really like, then fighting the hour long commute, eating takeout, and collapsing into bed. For some reason since turning 30 my birthdays have depressed me a bit. Although I did get a home made card from my dear husband and phone calls from parents, mom in law, brother, sister and a dear friend – all of that definitely brightened the day.
3) I’m in pain.

The injury mostly just felt weird for the first few days, but since Sunday it’s turned into actual pain. Not intolerable – just sort of there. All the time. A twin monster to my persistent hunger peering over my shoulder and drooling slightly.

Although now that I’ve mentioned it the hunger has been dogging me significantly less these days.

I had three days in a row; Monday Tuesday and Wednesday, where I topped the dreaded 2,000 calorie intake point. I also have not been to the gym since last Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving).

This is partly due to Ted being ill and my desire to run home to him after work, but I admit I’m also working through some fear. My entire right leg feels really weak and strange and I’m afraid that exercise is going to make things worse. This is in direct conflict with the advice my Doctor gave me; I just have to get back on the horse. I think I’ve officially fallen off it at this point.

I have to work on Friday so I think this week is a total loss – I’m hereby publicly promising to get my oversized butt back there this Saturday. I just have to get over this bump in the road and I think I’ll be okay again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Good News / Bad News

Bad News: My friend’s dog died on Sunday; she got hit by a car. It was nobody’s fault really, except maybe for the lawn guy who whacked a hole in their fence and failed to tell them. Matty was a good, cute, sweet, shy dog with red fur and it really, really sucks.

If you’d like to, you can read about her here as written by one of her owners.


Look for the entry for Nov. 30th, 2009.

Some people should own dogs; it’s good for dogs and good for the people involved – and these two friends of mine who lost their companion on Sunday are two who should own dogs. I may be a cat person but we’re all pet lovers; and I’m just so sad for them right now.


Good News: Our son Kyle turned 19 today. I never thought I’d have a child, but I married into one and I’m grateful to God for giving me this family – child included. The past nine years went by so quickly; he went from shy kid shorter than me who never talked to this incredibly bright, funny young man who towers over me in what feels like the blink of an eye.

Happy Birthday, Kyle.


Bad News: Ted seemed to be coming down with the flu, so I took him to the doctor’s tonight. Yes – Ted has the flu. Since I was already there, I got myself checked out too and I have an inflamed sciatic nerve (that’s the big one that runs from your butt all the way down the back of your leg to the foot). Four to six weeks healing time.


Good News: I asked if I could still exercise despite the injury, and the answer was yes – just go easy and stretch stretch STRETCH. The doctor actually recommended I stay active to promote faster healing.


Very Good News: I got weighed at the doctor’s office and I have NOT gained any weight since my last weigh in, which means I made it through Thanksgiving without adding any pounds.

So there it is… a good news and bad news kind of week.

C’est la vie.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Record Keeping

Okay, an unexpectedly useful part of this blog is that I can look back and see exactly when I seem to have begun damaging myself. I vaguely remembered mentioning awhile ago that the bottom of my right foot was hurting – went back and checked, and sure enough right there on October 23rd; bad sole of foot pain while using the elliptical.

Now the right foot and ankle hurts, the lower back hurts, and the entire right leg and side can’t feel hot or cold (mostly things just all feel vaguely warm).

This might mean no more elliptical – and that’s going to suck. That machine burns 300 calories per half hour for a woman of my size. However nerve damage sucks worse, so I’m just going to have to figure something else out. It’s possible the problem is just that a person of my generous proportion really shouldn’t be hurling themselves about quite so enthusiastically. Basically my stamina after a year and a half of regular gym visits has bypassed the safety protocols for my current size.

Best to lay off that machine until I’m smaller then try it again.

Which means what cardio to do now?

I love to swim; but I stopped lap swimming because I’m vain about my hair… the repeated chlorine exposure turns it into a dry, unruly mop.

The exercise bike doesn’t burn enough calories – barely more than 100 for a half hour.

That leaves the treadmill, or – I can join up with an aerobics class.

Since the treadmill tends to exacerbate my bad hip (yeah I have a bad hip like a little old lady due to juvenile hip dysplasia) it’s looking like I’m going to be investigating the class option.

God forcing me to be social again? Perhaps. Pushing my boundaries at least, definitely.

In happier news, whatever is wrong with me thankfully did not stop me from enjoying my birthday (and Kyle’s) at the indoor water park we went to. I climbed five flights of stairs five times during the course of the day – and that’s cardio for you. It’s funny how long it takes you to labor up there carrying your big inner tube compared to how quickly you go hurtling (and in my case screaming) through the pitch blackness to plunge into the pool below.

Loads of fun though!

And watching Ted tow people around the (not-so) lazy river had a high humor factor to boot. I even managed to coax him onto a water-slide. Hee.

35 years old (as of Wednesday) and I’ve finally had a pool party.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Important Tip: Don't Hurt Yourself

First of all the plan partially went out the window… I started out okay, breakfast wasn’t crazy. But I pretty much got to my brother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and ate everything in sight.

I think I may have even eaten part of a centerpiece that wasn’t actually food.

Also I didn’t do my floor exercises this morning, but I had a really good excuse for once. I think I’ve hurt myself.

I hit the gym hard Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights to prep for the day of big eating. And Wednesday before bed, I noticed that my right foot felt hot. Weird, but I got in bed anyway and fell asleep. An hour later I woke to use the bathroom and realized I couldn’t feel that the bathroom floor tiles were cold with my right foot – in fact, that everything I touched with my entire right leg felt either weirdly warm or caused a painful prickling / burning sensation.

Major panic attack now in progress I woke Ted up to tell him I had MS (yeah, I do that – for those who don’t know me. I can’t get a headache without assuming fatal illness; so having an entire side of my body go numb wasn’t a good moment.)

Ted, ever patient in the throes of sleep deprivation, listened to me carefully and though not a doctor – pointed out that it sounded an awful lot like a pinched nerve to him. Probably brought on by my being psycho on the Elliptical machine three days running.

Pinched nerve? Surely not… oh, but wait – come to think of it my lower back does kind of… hurt… ow.

So, yeah… my lower back is kind of messed up now, and I can’t feel hot or cold sensations with my entire right leg all the way up to my midsection. I know from other people’s experience with nerve pinches that Doctors have a tendency to go – oh, yeah… that has to heal on it’s own… so I guess I’ll wait it out and hope the freaky feeling goes away soon.

It didn’t ruin my entire Thanksgiving though it was a huge distraction all day.

The question is… I’m supposed to go to the gym tomorrow for full cardio and weight lifting. I don’t want to get off my schedule, especially with the day I had today. But what if I hurt myself even worse?

Maybe I’ll wake up totally fine come morning. Yeah, I think I’ll hope for that one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Side Note

I won’t call this a hard and fast rule yet, because it’s only a two month observation – but I’m going to keep on watching to see if it holds true.

Once again I’m a week before that ‘fun’ female time of the month, and once again I am on a plateau. I’ve been essentially the exact same weight for two weeks straight with no change whatsoever.

The Daily Plate affords me about 1,950 calories per day. On average, I eat 1,500 calories per day and am working my ass off at the gym.

I deserve to see a shift on that scale.

But it seems like no matter what I do; there are about two weeks out of every month that are going to be a total null for me from a weight loss perspective. Nothing is shifting when the hormones are in control.

I’m angry, I think it’s unfair. It feels like all the work I put in is completely meaningless for nearly half of every month.

Right now, I just need to bitch about it and be angry before I can move on.

It may suck that I’ve been dealt a hand that includes a body that gains and holds onto weight with the greatest of ease, but I’m aware there are far worse medical hands to be dealt in life than this.

Don’t worry - I’m not giving up. Tonight I just need to be angry.

The Plan

Thanksgiving comes – one of the top three difficult food Holidays in the year (the other two being Halloween and Christmas Eve / Day).

So here is the plan…

1) Set a realistic goal. I think a realistic goal for Thanksgiving week is to maintain my weight without any gains on the scale, not to loose. Although a loss would be fantastic, I admit.
2) More exercise than average. My average number of exercise days in a given week right now is four times per week. I’m upping that to daily. Thanksgiving day my gym is closed – so I’m doing a half hour floor work routine at home that morning, then its right back to the weights on Black Friday.
3) Don’t be dumb about when I weigh in. My usual weigh day is Friday – that would be really silly this week since it’s the day after Thanksgiving. So weigh in is tonight on Wednesday, and then the next time won’t come for a week and two days later on Friday again – giving my body time to process and recover from Thanksgiving Day.
4) Take the day off. Not a dinner off, but the whole day. On Thanksgiving Day; I am not weighing, measuring, calculating or otherwise obsessing over what I eat. I plan to get up and eat a slice of quiche (and maybe a bit of cinnamon roll), then I have a lot of cooking to do that should keep me busy until dinner. Thanksgiving dinner (and dessert) will be enjoyed, but at no point am I to feel overstuffed, bloated or in pain. I will not go nuts – I’m just not worrying about it for that one day. We’re going to my brother’s house, which means a lot of opportunities to wander about outdoors if the weather holds; they will be taken advantage of.

So that’s the plan. If it goes catastrophic it will be re-evaluated before Christmas Day comes. That one is doubly challenging since in my family it’s not only the Day that’s the hazard but Christmas Eve as well.

Still, I’m feeling calm and confident. Right now anyway…

Into the abyss!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why We Are Overweight

Today I went out to lunch for a co-worker’s birthday. Restaurants are hazardous – and here is why…

I ordered the tuna melt, thus avoiding the hazard of meat in a restaurant setting (when I eat meat I prefer to cook it at home these days).

The tuna melt consists of the following:

Two large slices of beefsteak rye bread
A cup of tuna salad
Two slices of tomato
Two slices of provolone cheese
Butter (on the toasted bread)

Usually this meal comes with a heaping pile of French fries. I asked the restaurant to substitute this with a side portion of sautéed spinach and mushrooms (which they sautéed in butter).

My friend Teddi asked the waitress for a ‘to go’ box for me, and thankfully had me put away half of this sandwich when it arrived; which I was thinking was probably unnecessary. I mean – how bad could a tuna melt with no fries be?

I got back to the office and did the math; that lunch was 592 calories.

Stay with me here… had I eaten the whole sandwich (just two slices of bread – a normal sandwich) and gotten the French fries that normally come with it, this would have been a 1,408 calorie meal! With over 90 grams of fat!

And we are not talking extravagant here… Americans eat this sort of thing for lunch on a regular basis, and think nothing of it. They then go home, and eat a hearty dinner afterward not even realizing that they have consumed in one meal, all of the calories and more of the fat then they should have consumed for the entire day.

Thank God Teddi was there to keep me from falling face first into this food grenade. Two days before Thanksgiving, to boot…

In other news; it finally happened – the unsolicited “hey… did you loose weight?” It came this past Sunday, from Pastor Jim (also known as Dad 2.0) at church – I think the way he put it was “you’re looking healthy” but I knew what he meant. I gave him a huge hug and thankfully managed not to weep for joy… but boy howdy – I was happy.

Lastly – I did not give a weight report last Friday and here is why. The night before (Thursday) I ate a garden sandwich from a local take out place near my house. Crusty roll, sautéed spinach, portabella mushroom, garlic, mozzarella… it’s a very tasty thing. It also packs in over 1,000 calories. Ouch. I had no business eating the entire thing; half is more than sufficient.

When I weighed in on Friday, less than 12 hours after eating it – the news was not good. Teddi and Liz; who were with me and witnessed my disappointment, absolutely insisted I give myself a ‘do over’.

Basically that huge sandwich was still with me when I weighed in, so Friday’s weight was thrown out for being an unfair barometer of my week. I will re-weigh this Wednesday evening, and then wait until the following Friday to weigh again once Thanksgiving has safely passed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I don’t like yogurt.

As a lifelong weight loss attempter this has always been sort of a problem. Can someone tell me why yogurt is the classic food of dieters?

It’s not particularly low calorie for the volume you get, and the light varieties taste like what I would imagine congealed Pledge might taste like; assuming you could eat Pledge and not die. I mean yes – it has calcium. But hello – the best way to put calcium in your diet is to eat dark green leafy vegetation; not yogurt.

Yogurt, cheese and milk all contain calcium – but green leafies kick their butts. Both milk and cheese give you a small quantity of calcium with a HUGE volume of fat comparatively. I’m sorry to say this because I absolutely love the stuff – but milk is baby food. Specifically it’s cow-baby-food. That’s why it’s full of fat for a growing infant. Adult animals of any type have no dietary use for it whatsoever. Yogurt has less fat than it’s better tasting cousins but still way more than a head of kale (kale wins at a zero fat content every time).

So what the heck is up with yogurt exactly? Why is it seen in the hands of dieters and on the menu’s of weight loss eating programs everywhere?

I think it’s all a huge marketing ploy by the Dannon company.

That said I’ve found exactly one kind that I like thanks to a co-worker; Yoplait Whips. These things don’t taste like yogurt, they taste like dessert – very intentionally. And they come in flavors like chocolate raspberry too. However make no mistake; I eat them as a dessert treat because they’re a lot cheaper calorie wise than a half cup of ice cream, not for any health benefit – because they don’t really have any. You only get 4 oz. for your 160 calories worth. They manage to pack 5 grams of protein and 230 mg. of potassium in there which is good; but mostly it’s just whipped sugar.

The consistency is a little funky; very light yet curd-like at the same time. I like it, but it’s not for everyone.

Anyway that’s my note for the day – down with milk products, up with dark green vegetables, and yuck to yogurt. Why waste any calories on something that tastes crappy just because all the other dieters are eating it?

Hopefully I won’t get taken out presently by a sniper from Rosenberger’s Dairy…

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chocolate Day

Some of my friends and I are having an extra–culinary–affair. Sounds deliciously dirty, doesn’t it?

What it means is that we get together and cook, or at least that’s the plan. So far there’s only been one official meeting of the ECA, and although cooking is wonderful I personally keep hoping we’ll get together soon just to eat new and intriguing foods.

Probably not the best idea for me, though.

Meeting one of the ECA involved heading over to Sandi’s house to learn how to make homemade chocolate candies.

Can you see where this is going?

I know I tend to be dense, I honestly didn’t think it would be that hard. But there I was; like the Panda Bear sitting in the middle of a bamboo forest it couldn’t chow down on.

Chocolate is my number one temptation food. I’ve mentioned before; I like the sweetest, fattiest, no-dietary-benefit-having chocolates the most. The milky, fatty chocolates. The white, non-cocoa containing, made-of-pure-fat chocolates. And hey, even though the dark, anti-oxidant-having variety is my least favorite – I’ll happily eat that too.

But oh no – I didn’t think it’d be that hard.

I’m not going to say it wasn’t fun, it was – and I proved to myself that I could endure about the most difficult food experience possible and get through it without blowing my calorie content for the day. I admit; I ate one and I intended to eat none; but when I looked it up later the one I ate was probably about 75 calories – not a Greek tragedy.

Although how sobering a thought is that? One chocolate candy is about 75 calories. ONE. And how easy is it to eat ten? Ten = 750 = half of the calories I can have in a whole day. Gone, that easy. Bam.

The worst part is that I think I was embarrassingly cranky all day. Nobody said anything to me about it, but… I’m pretty sure I was. I also skipped lunch. Note to chocolate makers; don’t skip lunch on chocolate day. Very, very foolish.

The good part was dinner. Awesome salads, great potatoes and smokies! For those who don’t know a smoky is a buffalo / pork / beef sausage from a local buffalo farm here in PA. If you’ve never had one – I weep for you.

I made pumpkin pie soup from a recipe I invented myself from cobbling together the parts of other recipes I thought were the most appealing. So – just in case anyone would like to have it. Here ‘tis…
And please note that since pumpkins are a huge butt-pain to dismantle; the pumpkin portion of this program can easily be substituted with butternut squash with no flavor harm done whatsoever.

Pumpkin Pie Soup

1 medium sized pumpkin
1 yellow onion
1 small ginger root
1 box of college inn chicken broth (48 oz.)
4 tbsp. butter
2 cups of light cream
½ cup of brown sugar
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. vanilla
A generous sprinkle of nutmeg

Dismantle the pumpkin; cleaning out all the string and seeds and cutting it into sixths (leave the outer skin on).
Pull out the seeds for roasting later as a garnish.
Spray a baking sheet (or two) with non-stick cooking spray and roast pumpkin pieces at 350 degrees for an hour.
Remove, let cool, and then peel off the skin and cut into chunks (the skin should be really easy to remove now).

Rough chop the onion and ginger root and then puree in food processor.
Melt butter in your soup pot, and then add the onion and ginger mixture.
Sautee until soft (about four minutes).
Add the brown sugar, thyme, black pepper, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well.
Add about ten to twelve cups of the chopped pumpkin, then cover with the chicken broth and mix well again.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about twelve minutes.
Insert immersion blender and blend until you have a smooth, thick consistency – adding the light cream as you go.
Cover and simmer for another ten minutes, and enjoy!

The entire batch of pumpkin pie soup contains about 1,663 calories – so if you eat a tenth of it, it’s 166 calories per serving. If you divvy it up into eights, its 208 calories per serving. You get the idea…

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Help From a Friend

I’m so far behind this week; I wanted to do a post last Friday and am just getting to the topic from that day now, on Tuesday. Oy! Chalk it up to my busy season at work. I’ve been coming home (in the dark – yuck), exercising, showering, eating, staring at an hour of TV and then pretty much going to bed.

At any rate; last Friday’s weigh-in put me at 257 total or a twenty three pound weight loss from my starting weight of 280. At this point I would say I’m very well pleased with my progress.

I’m a little concerned simply because the last time I made a significant weight loss attempt I got to the thirty pound mark and then gave up. I’m approaching thirty pounds now so a self destructive part of me keeps whispering that’s as long as my staying power is going to last. I know that’s irrational; but I’ll feel better when the thirties are done and safely behind me.

Also – still no unsolicited notices of “hey there… did you loose weight?” Nope, not yet. Although since most of my friends and family know what I’m doing that’s going to be a little hard to come by, I admit.

Friday I took a friend to the gym with me – which is going to put me on the topic of support and accountability. Previously I’ve talked about all the great support I get from my spouse, but there’s just something really helpful about going through it together with a friend who knows where you’re coming from. Lets face it – my husband is one of those males whose never given a thought to cutting back his calories and always maintains perfect body weight and cholesterol anyway… all while indulging in the occasional cheese steak. My friend and I however are of a similar circumstance although she’s a bit taller and has a WAY more athletic background. However we’re more or less in the same sized boat.

Basically we both know exactly what the other is going through right now. And what is it about doing something hard together that just makes it… easier somehow? I guess it’s that incredible human capacity for empathy, the thing that makes a man reach his hand back for a fallen friend. The way women encourage one another and celebrate each other’s successes. None of us want to be alone, we’re social creatures – we weren’t made to be alone. Looking at another and seeing in their eyes that yeah, they get it. It just helps.

And accountability is a wonderful thing. Just this week alone I’ve had two people say to me; ‘you know I noticed you haven’t put up a post in a few days…’ That provides more motivation than I can describe. I’ve willingly let the world (or at least my world) watch me at this endeavor and I have to say; it was a good idea. It’s keeping me honest.

The only downside to our joint excursion is that none of my bizarre gym habit people were on hand for me to show to my friend. Bummer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beat Down

I didn’t fully realize until recently how badly the culture we live in has beaten down not just me – but the people around me as well. On so many occasions of late, I’ve had a smart, attractive, funny, well loved person turn to me and admit that their self esteem is terrible.

And I, genius that I am, can only stare at them mystified and ask; “why?”

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is about our world that instills such a poor sense of self worth in so many truly worthwhile people.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

There’s the obvious reasons of course; if you’re a woman (and to a lesser degree this is true for men as well) the advertising and Hollywood industry holds up standards of eternal youth and beauty in front of our faces that we normal folk cannot possibly hope to achieve.

For example; I occasionally watch a clothing design show called Project Runway that’s hosted by the gorgeous Heidi Klum. She noted to one designer that his outfit had aged his early-twenty-something model by about ten years. She followed this up with saying “and model years are like dog years.”

Heidi herself, despite still being outrageously beautiful, is now too old to be a model – that’s why she’s moved on to hosting reality TV shows.

However I don’t think this is the whole picture… most of us look at movie and print ad images and sort of blow them off. I know I do. It’s like those people aren’t even real. And honestly, they’re not real these days. Go to You Tube and type in “photoshop makeover” and you’ll find hundreds of hits of people taking photographs of fat or in other ways unfortunate looking people and turning them into identical little model cut out dolls.

Even models aren’t beautiful enough to be models anymore – see the attached article and the photo that Ralph Lauren doctored of their ‘too fat’ model if you’d like proof:


Honestly – is this even attractive to anyone? The photo they doctored of this girl makes her look like some kind of bizarre Close Encounters space alien. What world are these people living in, anyway? Do they even know what men find attractive? Women who look like teenaged boys is not it, I can tell you that with pretty good certainty. It’s called BOOBS – look them up.

So if the fashion industry is just a joke at this point; why do so many people still feel so bad about themselves?

Is it Hollywood? The Hollywood ideal isn’t like the fashion industry’s ideal. In Hollywood women are supposed to look like women, not young boys. As thin and muscular as possible with huge eyes and lips and huge boobs is I think the perfection they’re looking for. But are any of us even trying to attain that? I mean – how can we? I have nice enough eyes, but they’re pretty small and there isn’t any way for me to make them bigger. I pretty much gave up on trying to look like a movie star since… well, lets be honest – I’ve never had any illusions about looking like a movie star.

I really don’t know where this is coming from, I wish I did – because then I could more effectively reason with the bruised souls around me. Then again, I’m sure they share my frustration as they try to ease my bruises as well.

As a side note; I just noticed that I’ve lost enough weight that the Daily Plate has recalculated my recommended calorie intake for a two pound per week weight loss. I went from a top number of 2,050 to 1,990 or so. Although I’ve set my own goal of roughly 1,500 per day, it’s kind of cool to see that little bit of progress in my tracking system.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Good Time Had By All

Sunday night we got home from Ubercon; exhausted but happy. For the unlikely folk reading this blog who do not already know me; Ubercon is a gaming convention in Edison, NJ that a good number of my friends and I trekked out to this past weekend.

A gaming convention, for the uninitiated, is one of those wonderfully nerdy events like a Star Trek convention where folk of like interest in the realms of Sci Fi, Fantasy, Computer gaming, tabletop Roleplaying Games and general costumed madness get together to celebrate the stuff they love.

Ubercon is a con that a few of the fantastic new friends I made this year (hi Liz and Tali) help to run. I mentioned to Ted on the way home that this is to them what the LARP is like to me and Sandi – a huge labor of love. We were so happy to be able to go share it with them and appreciate all the hard work they put in.

Also… best Con party I have ever been to. Ever. ‘Nuff said on that…

I’ve let myself believe over the past five years or so – that the time in my life where I’d feel really good about how I looked was behind me. That being admired was a happy memory from my twenties that I’d always take with me and appreciate, but that I had put to rest and had no need of any longer. After all I have the constant warmth of my husband’s regard and honestly it’s been more than enough. Ted makes me feel like the most beautiful thing in his world on a daily basis.

This weekend I rather awkwardly re-discovered the part of myself that doesn’t mind being considered attractive by other folks as well…

Let me explain.

The world of conventions isn’t really like the real world… the Hollywood standards of beauty don’t apply. As such, a moderate looking girl such as myself who can properly fill out a corset draws appreciative glances. And I won’t lie; you know it’s not the real world… but it still feels good.

This ties into my love of costuming… every day clothes are boring – but costumes rock! My mother instilled this love of non standard attire when I was little and she’d work every year to make me a unique Halloween costume. I was a dragon, a Unicorn, a gigantic egg (my sister was the chicken) all in costumes lovingly made by her hand. I looked forward all year long to Halloween and getting to dress up.

Then I became an adult and Halloween sort of went away… the chocolate was nice, but it’s the costume part that I truly loved and missed. Until I blundered into the world of RPG’s, conventions and Renaissance Faires and discovered – with joy – that these people dress up crazy whenever they feel like it!

In past years and at various conventions I’ve been part of an all-girl pirate crew, a gothy fairy, and this past weekend part of a roving Steampunk Science Squad (you need to see the attached pic to truly appreciate this one) among many others.

After putting on my costume I was acutely self conscious… Ubercon isn’t a huge costuming convention so there weren’t a ton of people dressed up. I kept telling myself it was okay because we had a purpose – we were passing out flyers for next year’s Steampunk LARP. It took time, but gradually I relaxed. By the time we got to the party that night I felt great. This is largely due, as usual, to my fantastic friends. When someone who loves you tells you you’re beautiful, you believe them. As awkward as it was for me (I’m better at giving compliments than receiving them) it was wonderful too.

For awhile now (and by awhile I mean years) I just kept thinking; why bother to dress up? You’re just gilding a fat lily. No matter what you put on it, it’s still just… fat. And that was just so, so silly. The crazy thing is; I’m only twenty pounds lighter. It’s a significant change but not that significant – I’m still 260 lbs. – and that’s a lot of woman. What changed that let me find the joy of costumes again is my head. I’m making positive changes in my life, so I feel better about myself – and that’s all I needed.

I’m not abandoning my effort of course; my goal is still to loose about 130 lbs. total before I’m done. But here’s the cool thing… I realized that I do not have to wait until then to feel good about myself. I can go ahead and do that right now.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Let Go

Another Friday weigh in – today’s weight: 260 lbs. With my (assumed) starting weight of 280, that puts me officially at twenty pounds shed. I’ve heard a lot this week about not putting too much weight (haha) on the numbers, but I really really needed this.

Today’s song…

Drink up, baby down
Mmm, are you in or are you out
Leave your things behind
'Cause it's all going off without you
Excuse me, too busy you're writing your tragedy
These mishaps
You bubble wrap
When you've no idea what you're like

So let go, jump in
Oh well, whatcha waiting for
It's alright
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So let go, just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's alright
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown


I was working out to this on the Eliptical today, and sort of crying like a big whacko too... I can only hope that the people around me at the gym who might have noticed my red eyes chalked it up to the general redness my face acquires when I exercise.

On a side note; I really like the older folks who are there with me on Fridays – but when they sit on the weight machines chatting instead of moving along and get in the way of my rotation; it’s really irritating.

And now I’m off to Ubercon…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Boobs is News"

I can type with my breasts. Not on purpose, it happens when I lean over my desk at work to reach for something far away while I’m working on a project. I’ll then look back at the computer screen and notice something to the effect of:

“bbbbbnnnnnnnnnnnnnnonooooooooooooooooooo……..” or just a whole lot of extra spaces since the space bar is the easiest key for me to activate with my womdigious mammaries.

I’m not saying I type well with my breasts, I’m just saying I can. I wonder if I’ll still be able to do that when I’m slimmer? Hey at least I’ve found a use for them; they’ve never done anything particularly talented before; like feed a child as is their purpose for instance. Thus far they’ve done little except sit around looking impressive in tight shirts and effectively filling out a corset.

Honestly I’m extremely well endowed; a recent nightmarish measuring that took place at a Department store revealed my cup size as triple D. TRIPLE. I thought I was a plain D, not even a double – but no, I was triple. The supportive friends who were with me and had to watch all the color drain out of my face at the revelation quickly tried to reassure me and remind me that men (most importantly my husband) adore huge boobs. We were there in the first place because they had noticed that I appeared to be wearing the wrong bra size. My cup was running over… and over… so to speak.

It’s not really the point though… to me it’s all just fat. I have huge boobs because I’m fat. I know this because when I’ve lost weight in the past, my boobs have always been the first thing to shrink.

Now for example as I’m approaching the twenty pound mark; I’ve noticed two differences in myself. One – that my wedding ring has started falling off; I briefly lost it in the freezer last night when I reached in for something. And two – that the new bras I purchased the day of the humiliating fitting are slipping off my shoulders and seem slightly too big.

And apparently I had fat fingers and didn’t even realize it… my hands do look big to me (not man-hands big, just female-big) but they never exactly looked fat. Except of course in pictures… more than once I’ve seen a picture that showed my hands and forearms and had to eye back and forth between it and the live image in front of me trying to figure out why they looked so pudgy in pictures.

My hands look so normal to me when I’m just looking at them; I don’t know if I’m seeing the truth in pictures or if it’s that “camera adds ten pounds” thing.

Anyway… there’s my hidden talent; boob typing. Sign me up for Letterman’s ‘Stupid Human Tricks’.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Last night, I was selfish.

I was supposed to go have a fantastic dinner with friends, followed by a fun RPG – and I bailed and went to the gym instead.

Okay I know it sounds more like I’m being a diet martyr than selfish but you have to follow my reasoning. For one thing, I have a lot of guilt when it comes to not showing up for activities where people are expecting to see me. I perceive that people are disappointed in me and put guilt on myself on their behalf – even when most of the time they’re like as not perfectly fine and respectful to what I decided I need to do.

But on top of that – my time at the gym is all about me. It’s for me, it’s focused on me. Most of what an adult woman such as myself does in a given day is not generally all about them; we’re either working for somebody else, or we’re home cooking for a group, or taking care of an errand or chore. These things are for us of course – but they’re also about the other people in our lives. The gym is totally selfish. It’s my body, it’s my goal, and it’s my dream.

Last night I favored it over the group of friends who I adore seeing and hanging out with – and I had to push past feeling guilty about that, because these are the same friends who totally have my back so to speak. They get it. They know what I’m doing and they’re there for me.

On a normal week this wouldn’t have been necessary but you see I’ve got a challenge coming up – a weekend away from home for the first time since I began. I’ll have another opportunity to exercise Friday morning but then I won’t get in my weekend excursion; so it was twice as important to squeak it in last night.

I’m actually not all that worried about the weekend away. There will be no less than five or six different people there watching out for me, like I’ll be watching out for some of them. And a few of us already have an agreement to seek out the hotel pool or weight room if available while we’re there.

So last night I was selfish, I was all about me. It’s like my determination to leave work early enough to get to the gym on a weeknight. Like my avoidance of certain buffet restaurants right now and my requests for healthy alternatives when invited to dinner. Somewhat contrary to my customary nature of people pleasing – but sort of liberating nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


“I just don’t understand how people won’t stay on a diet – they just can’t be bothered.”

That’s what I had to listen to today, and believe you me, I saw red. My response is that naturally slim people trying to understand why fat people can’t loose weight is a lot like me trying to understand why smokers smoke – why would I understand an addiction that I don’t suffer from?

Right now I want to put heads through walls.

Instead I’m going to say thank you. Thank you to small minded, judgmental, self righteous slim people – thank you. Thank you for believing I will fail. Thank you for thinking I’m just weak willed and a pig. Thank you because every second of your smugness pours motivation to succeed into me just to see your surprise when I prove you completely wrong.

Thank you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This is Halloween

Halloween actually wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be, and planning to get out of my house and go to a party was helpful – so I had no reason whatsoever to buy a single bag of Halloween candy. This is good, because in past years I have sat on my sofa all night eating mini-heath bars and watching Ghost Hunters Live while my butt slowly (or quickly) grew larger.

Considering some of my past binges sometimes it’s a wonder to me I’m not even bigger than I actually am.

So I purchased no Halloween candy, got up that morning and got the Ghoulash cooking in the crock pot, then ate my Big Saturday Breakfast (pile of broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage and snow peas glued together with a single egg) and off I went to the gym. After 35 minutes of cardio I was home and too busy with showering and making myself up as the Zombie Prom Queen to bother with any more eating – picture attached.

The party when we arrived was unsurprisingly saturated with food. Fried food. chocolate food, cheesy poof salty food, whipped cream covered food. I was absolutely terrified to eat anything for fear that the floodgates would open and I’d consume anything (and everything) in my path. However by then I was pretty hungry, so I had to eat.

I started out with a small bowl of my Ghoulash (not bad) and meandered my way through a fried chicken thing, a fried mushroom, Frankenstein’s fried monster, two bite brownies, a cupcake a single piece of Halloween candy, chips and some raw vegetables. In the end when I went home and tallied everything up I came out at around 1,998 calories or so – in short I squeaked by barely making it under my maximum… again.

As I’ve learned from the past few weeks, when I get close to my maximum I stay the exact same weight, I don’t loose. I can only hope that the rest of the week will go well enough that I’ll be able to make up for the indulgences.

As you can tell if you read my last post I was a bit discouraged last Friday; in fact I flipped out on my husband on the phone: “you don’t have to live with being hungry all the time!!! When you’re hungry – you can eat!!!” Yeah, it wasn’t pretty and I’m not proud of it. As if the way my body works is his fault. And to his credit; he’s been cutting back on late night snacks and skipping desserts just to support me. He didn’t deserve my freak out, but he was patient and kind and I haven’t quit despite the disappointment.

Gloria was totally right in her comment from that day; I didn’t get here in a day and I won’t get back in a week. I named this blog ‘The Long Road’ in acknowledgement of that – and yet still managed to forget.

Thanks all for the support and encouragement everyone… I’m still walking the road.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Another week.

Another week of persistent hunger, of painful feet, of wanting and not having.

Another weigh in at 264 lbs.

The exact same weight I was last week.

That's all today.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Invested in You

This one may be TMI for some people, so I understand if you want to skip.

For the rest of you, you’ve been warned…

I realized that I get ravenous before that time of the month. I’ve been watching and tracking and it hits like clockwork; week before hand I want to eat anything that isn’t nailed down.

Understand that at this point I’m sort of used to being hungry, it’s not bothering me – but this is different. This is a combination of hunger with an alarming drop in the willpower to ignore it. It’s a hormone-deep instinct to feed, preferably on as much fat as possible.

There’s got to be some scientific reasoning behind this of course… something to do with breeding and babies and keeping a baby healthy or just getting my body ready to reproduce in some fashion. I don’t know, but it’s aggravating as heck. It’s probably related to the same hormones that keep a woman from losing weight very effectively during that same week (mentally I’m preparing myself for another disappointing weigh-in on Friday).

Knowing it’s coming does help. But what helps the most is Ted. I wish I could recommend that every weight loser out there get themselves a Ted; but alas… there’s only one and I’m not sharing.

Yesterday was bad. I had my breakfast, I had my lunch (leftovers from our Anniversary dinner on Monday) and then went back to my desk for the afternoon of work. I had prepped a snack for myself for the afternoon – carrots. But as the afternoon approached I didn’t want carrots, I wanted carbs.

So I wolfed down some pretzels.

Still hungry I began fixating on the vending machine and all the fat and carbs it contained. Also on the huge plastic cauldron of Halloween chocolates that’s been sitting at the reception desk for nearly a month already.

Instead I opened up an email and sent up a cry for help to Ted. In minutes he was there for me; reassuring me…

“You can do this…”
“I am proud of you…”
“I am on your side…”
“I am invested in this, and in you…”

Whatever happens I know that my partner and best friend is invested in the process, in my journey and he’s pulling for me every step of the way.

It was enough.

Later that night; after my trip to the gym and a sensible vegetarian dinner – I was cramming tortilla chips and buttered bread into my mouth when the phone rang. Ted… he was headed home late from work and his spousal telepathy must have gone off because he felt the need to check in on me to see what I’d had for dinner and what I was doing now.

All I wanted was to get him off the phone so I could go back to eating buttered bread, but he could sense something was up and he didn’t want to let me go.

In the end he managed to salvage it for me; yesterday wasn’t one of my best calorie days – but I stayed within my top number by the skin of my teeth, by the grace of God and by the help of my husband.

This is nearly impossible to do alone; that’s why people go to group meetings, find people to be accountable to and support one another.

To all those out there who don’t have a Ted; I can’t stress enough the importance of finding somebody to be that for you. Somebody whose invested in you and believes in you, and your dream.

We can do this together.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

I went out to dinner for my anniversary last night to this incredibly kitschy tavern / bar near my house. Walking distance – so before and after the meal Ted and I got a walk through the crisp, clean smelling Autumn evening. It was really nice, and it burned about two hundred calories to boot.

And does this place love Halloween? Say Hallelujah yes it does…

It was coated, and I mean coated, in Halloween STUFF. Mostly those little button or motion activated figures that screech or move or cackle at you. I noticed the wait staff would go by, reach out and press a button on this one or that one in passing just for fun, trying not to get noticed by the guests. It was a good time.

I had chicken marsala with baked potato, broccoli, Caesar salad and a righteous little cup of French Onion soup (or nectar of the gods as I like to call it). I indulged in a dinner roll and dessert too; French Silk pie – my favorite.

When the meal arrived, I set aside half the chicken they gave me as well as half the baked potato; and packed them up for lunch at a later date. Walking home – I came to a realization…

I was full.

I mean uncomfortably full, stuffed full. I turned to Ted and said to him;

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but two months ago I could have finished off that whole dinner no problem without saving a full fifty percent of it for later on… yes?”

He nodded in agreement, replying “one of the things I’ve always liked about you is that you can eat a real meal like a guy – not just pick at food like a lot of girls do.”

Has the persistent hunger of the past month and a half actually made my stomach shrink? Could this be possible..?!

Although it was uncomfortable being overstuffed (ugh, I can see why I wanted to give that up) the realization was an extremely happy one.

Happy too was getting home to fill out my daily plate and realizing that with the walk; I was still 50 calories under my daily maximum. I had gone out expecting to go over, but because of all the calorie budgeting I had done the rest of the day – I still made it.

Plus I got French Silk pie.


“You - what is best in life?”
“To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women.”
“WRONG! You – what is best in life?!”

Monday, October 26, 2009

Seven Years Ago Today

I admit it; I’m a sucker for weddings. I can sit and watch endless hours of other people’s weddings on television – there’s practically an entire cable network devoted to people getting married after all. And there’s magic in a wedding dress; I’ve seen the plainest, biggest and frumpiest of people transformed into beautiful when they put on that gown. And it defies logic honestly; because wedding dresses are sort of weird looking if you think about it. Huge amounts of fabric frequently covered in sparkles and generally in a color that’s stark and unflattering to most.

And yet – put it on, and you’re nothing but beautiful.

I was no exception. As I’ve said before I had my gown custom made from combining two patterns that I chose with a hefty amount of creativity from me and my seamstress. I picked out a brocade fabric in a color called ‘candlelight’ which is ivory with the lightest blush of pale pink. The dress didn’t look pink at a glance, but it had a warmth to the color that helped keep me from washing out while wearing it. With my creamy Elmer’s glue-like complexion, stark white on me is just not a good idea.

It was beautiful, and I felt beautiful that day in a way I never had before and never have since.

Seven years ago at eleven o’clock I was at the salon having my hair twisted into a hundred big corkscrew curls and being fitted with a crown of Champagne roses and ribbons that matched my dress. It took forever, and while my stylist, Sabrina, was working… the rest of my bridal party finished up and one by one or in pairs started hitching rides from the salon back to my parent’s house.

Finally, it was completed and I thanked Sabrina and looked around. I was alone. Thankfully my mother had paid for everything in advance because I didn’t have a penny on me. I stepped out of the salon into the temperate, beautiful fall afternoon of my wedding day and stood there alone on the sidewalk; wondering how long it would take for someone… anyone… to realize they’d left the bride behind. Since my wedding started at two I hoped it wouldn’t be too long.

It wasn’t, but the humor value of being the forgotten bride on my wedding day still makes me chuckle. I think in total I was only standing out there five, maybe ten minutes with my big curls blowing a bit in the autumn breeze.

At two o’clock we were at the church. I’ve heard brides say they don’t remember their wedding ceremonies well; but I do. I remember speaking quietly and trying to keep my voice low pitched, clear and loud enough to be audible. My voice is high pitched normally and a lot of emotion can make it shoot up to subsonic levels. I remember Ted trying to get the ring on my finger, struggling a bit, and me giving him the ‘one minute’ gesture before screwing it fully into place myself (you can see me doing this on the video too). I didn’t cry, and I wasn’t nearly as scared as I thought I would be.

I remember feeling very calm, solemn and full – like standing in the presence of something wonderful.

I remember the expression on Ted’s face – like a man who’d been given a prize beyond his imaginings. I remember seeing how much he loved me in his eyes.

I remember dancing at our reception to “Dela” by Johnny Clegg and how much fun we’d had learning our choreographed moves before hand – and the way people clapped along with us.

I remember the food… not great, but good. I remember chocolate chip wedding cake and having my picture taken while I toasted the cameraman with a can of diet coke.

I remember Vlad up on his ladder.

I’ve been told ‘I love you’ before in my lifetime; but Ted taught me what it is to be shown love beyond the word of it; his love is in every action he takes.

On the inside of my wedding band it says 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

All these things he has shown me. He has looked at me every single day since that one and told me that I’m the most beautiful, most sexy, most desirable woman in the entire world. Every time he said these things, he meant them utterly. The force of his belief behind them is like a flame inside, I can feel it when I touch his skin. It resonates out to me, like two strings that vibrate to the same tune.

I have never spent one day hungering for attention, for affection, for love. I have never felt inadequate or anything less than treasured.

For all this and more, I thank you. You are the great love of my life and I long for another seventy times seven years to spend with you – no number can never be enough…

Happy Anniversary, Ted.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Tough Day

I don’t think I lost any weight this week. This can be attributed to the two 2,000+ calorie days I had, and even on days I stayed under I ate meals that were too big.

I seem to do a lot better when I eat small amounts spread throughout the day – basically keep myself a little bit hungry all the time. On days when I hoard up my calories for a specific dinner I want (like the garden sandwich from Palermo’s near my house – yum) I feel overstuffed and huge afterward.

I have no evidence of course, it just feels like whenever I take in a big bunch of calories all at once my body immediately stores them instead of using them; even if I’ve had less that day overall then I theoretically need.

Also – I went to the gym Tuesday, and I’m going right now on Friday for weights and weigh in. That’ll be twice this week and that’s not even half as much exercise as I need in order to see losses.

Lastly I seem to have hurt my foot. I’m flat footed and I know flat footed folk are prone to foot issues, but I’ve always been fortunate and had none. Tuesday on the elliptical the bottom of my right foot started hurting really bad; it had been a little tender previous to that but on Tuesday it went into overdrive and hasn’t let up. It’s tough not to get pulled down by that kind of thing; when you know you need to be moving a lot – pain or no.

So overall not feeling great about things right now; hopefully I’m wrong and the scale will surprise me, but I kinda doubt it.

Either way I’m taking off my shoes this time before getting on. Every ounce helps.


Back from the gym. I weighed in at 264 lbs. which means I lost one lousy pound this week, and if I hadn’t taken off my shoes I’d probably have been exactly the same as last week.

Knowing why this happened doesn’t actually make it suck less. Or make me think about all the things I wanted to eat this week and passed on in favor of losing weight; like French fries, a root beer float and the ever present Halloween candy that dogs my every step at the office.

Right now I feel like why did I bother?

Was I not hungry enough all week, or have I been at this long enough that the little tiny men with picks and jackhammers who run my metabolism have finally figured out that a catastrophic change is occurring and slammed all gears into brake mode?

I don’t know. I just know it’s not a good day today.

Yeah... that’s all for now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

When Garments Attack

You could say I have a love / hate relationship with clothes.

All right, if I’m being honest it’s more of a hate / hate relationship. To my defense, they started it.

First of all clothes never fit me. On top of being overweight, I’m high waisted, hourglass figured and long legged with chunky calves and arms. This means that pants slide up (in utter defiance of gravity) to rest way up high at my middle, almost under my boobs, generally leaving my white, thick ankles bare to the world. Sleeves stretch skin tight over my upper arms even as the shoulder seams are sliding down out of proper positioning and any boots higher than ankle simply never fit.

I mean what is up with clothes and gravity? If it’s supposed to stay low, it rides up. If it’s supposed to stay up you bet your butt it’s heading for the floor. Is this some magical property of fatness or do skinny people go through it too?

I’ve spent a large portion of my life in fear of flashing underwear. I’m not kidding. I stare sometimes in fascination at people who bend over or simply sit down and seem somehow unaware that not only are they showing several inches of skin in the back but also a yard or two of underwear material to boot. How can they not notice that? And I have to admit that particular epidemic isn’t limited to the obese, I’ve seen skinny girls (and guys) flashing the tight whites more than once.

I can’t just get into a car or sit down in a seat, I get into a car and adjust. Because invariably the action of sliding into the car seat hicked up my shirt in the back, yanked my pant legs up to my knees and left my bare back pressed to the back of the seat. When I rise, I’m yanking down. When I sit, I’m yanking up. It’s like my clothes are in a continual fight to get as far away from me as possible.

I guess I can’t blame them; I’ve stated my hatred of them so often – it’s no wonder they don’t like me. Even shopping is done with grudging acceptance of a necessary task because I’ve no desire to wander about naked either.

That’d be bad for pretty much everyone.

Then there’s the fashion choices available for the overweight. In short, they’re expensive, poorly made and ugly. Take bathing suits for example… obviously this is not going to be a flattering look for the overweight regardless; but what rocket scientist decided that what might make the situation better is to cover it with shiny, cheap, fake satin looking nylon stuff? Preferably with a big skirt to float around your ears the moment you get in the water and large, loud floral patterns to boot.

Also, what is so danged difficult about the concept of an hourglass? Am I totally mistaken or is this not in fact the ‘classic’ female shape? And yet when I actually find a pair of pants that fits over my impressive backside it’s invariably gaping open like a saggy circus tent around my waist. Note to the fashion industry: I am not shaped like a column.

Then there’s shirts… again, if they fit over my belly then they’re falling off my shoulders. Because a woman with hips my size must have shoulders like a linebacker to balance them out.

The end result is that I always wear clothing that’s too big for me. I know it makes matters worse, I know it makes me look larger and fails to show of my assets (read: boobs). But it comes from just wanting to hide. I want to drown myself in warm yards of cozy fabric just the same way you dive under your covers at night and yank them up over your head for comfort.

I am the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal – if I can’t see you, then you must not be able to see me either.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Remembering Mike

I had a friend named Mike who I met when I was in college; we were friends for sixteen years. He passed away a year ago, today.

I can remember at some point early on in our friendship I was complaining to him and his wife, my friend Melissa, about some slight that a thoughtless co-worker had made toward me. At the time I was working at Smalls Formalwear in retail, and our Assistant Manager was one of those very tall, very skinny guys who could eat an entire cow and remain the same size. He couldn’t abide ‘fat people’.

I don’t remember what it was he said or did that so hurt me, but I do remember Mike’s response. He, also a skinny guy himself, snorted with impatience as though he in turn couldn’t abide stupid people such as my Assistant Manager… and he said to me; “Carolyn – don’t ever let some idiot convince you that you’re not pretty.”

He said it with this amazing air of truth, as though it were quite plain for anyone with eyes to see – and anyone who couldn’t see it was too foolish to be bothered with.

I remember immediately feeling touched, and comforted, and I believed what he said because he said it in his no-nonsense way that simply brooked no argument. I was pretty, and my Assistant Manager was in fact, a real moron.

Years later he would spend the entire morning of my wedding day running back and forth from my parent’s house to the church in his car carrying messages, or supplies, or whatever needed carrying and generally making sure that everything was okay and running smoothly.

I guess that’s just the kind of guy he was.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I’m officially having a bad night.

It wasn’t a bad day actually it was a pretty good one. Church anniversary followed by brunch with my church family, and then a late afternoon of cooking up and enjoying a healthy dinner before getting caught up on episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” and a Bible study that Ted and I are involved in at our church. Ironically the study topic was Evolution – ironic because we’d been watching a show called Big Bang Theory right before hand.

Okay, well I thought it was funny anyhow…

My bad night began when I finally sat down to track my calories for the day. I mentioned I was at a church brunch right? Are people out there familiar with how most church ladies cook? I thought I did okay, one helping no refills and no deserts despite the chocolate cake looking fabulous and drool worthy. But as I tallied up the calories on the three yummy salads that I had consumed, I started to worry. By the time I was finished totaling up brunch, I was already at 1,000… not a place I like to be before dinner time.

Then dinner… sweet potato fries, mixed vegetables and a thin chicken fillet. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Add in the butter and olive oil from cooking. Then add in the Yoplait whipped chocolate mousse yogurt I had afterward; then two ounces of cheese from the plate of cheese that Ted was snacking on. Cheese is 100 calories, for one ounce. Just… one.

What do you get? 2,247 blasted calories – that’s what. About 500 OVER where I want to come in at the top of my range for the day!

Dangit dangitty dangit dang dang. I know better than to eat before I track, and I did it anyway!

I am so not happy.

Yeah I know, I know… it’s one day. But this hasn’t happened in a month, and you don’t know how scary this is.

I’m not kidding – it’s scary. I feel like I’m dangling over the precipice of eating control and could fall back over the cliff into gross overindulgence at any second. And today, it felt like I did.

What if I wake up tomorrow and can’t keep this up anymore?

The simple truth of the matter is… there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Yeah, I know I know… I’m being too hard on myself. But right now it’s all I can feel.

Here’s praying for a better day tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I realized today that there is a profound disconnect between what my body feels like it’s doing, and what it looks like it’s doing.

Let me explain…

Today; Sandi and I had our pictures taken quite a lot. We’re looking for decent photos to put on the website that my husband Ted is putting together for us for our RPG (read: role playing game) production company: Thalia Productions.

We wanted some fun, appealing photos of the two of us for the site and our friend Chris took them for us with his mighty fine camera and mighty fine skills.

They honestly looked great, from what I could see of them on the little camera screen, but I couldn’t help but notice something… In posing, I would feel like I was doing a particularly good or exaggerated pose; back arched, or hip out, neck cocked or what have you. However when I see the photo itself I always just sort of look like I’m standing there, lumpy as always, no matter how far I tried to push the pose.

I can only guess this is the result of my body being literally masked by a layer of fat. And I even remember being told this way back in acting class; that being overweight in acting is a heavy (haha) liability, in part because fat people aren’t considered pretty by the industry and the farther away you look from ‘standard’ the fewer roles will be available to you. However it’s also a liability because you have to push through that much harder for what you’re doing to be visible outside of your layers. Fat blunts you; like wrapping heavy cotton gauze all over your body that you then have to work through in order to be seen. I found that out the hard way today.

On the upside I have to say; I really didn’t think I looked bad. Fat yes, not posed very dramatically yes, but Chris did an amazing job, and I do have a pretty face.

I’m happy with how it went, but I have to admit I’m also looking forward to trying it again once I’ve finally freed myself from all of these stifling layers. I’m looking forward to leaving my cocoon, to peeling away all the protective layering, and seeing what I’ll actually be able to do and feel without them.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Moving in the Right Direction (yay meat)

Another Friday, another rotation in the weight room, another weigh in…

According to the Doctor-type scale at the YMCA I’m 265 lbs. as of today, which is three pounds down from last week and I think about fifteen pounds total from my starting point (the first time I weighed in I was 277, but that was actually a week after I got rolling – I’m guesstimating I was all the way up at 280 there at one point).

I forgot, or possibly lost, my trusty MP3 player today. You can imagine my dismay when I got to the gym and emptied out my gargantuan handbag in a frantic search for it. I’m hoping I just left it in the desk drawer at my office because getting through the cardio portion of my workout is completely boring without my music to inspire me.

I did notice however that I’m an awful lot friendlier without it. Partially this is because on Friday afternoons the wellness center is mostly populated with kindly older ladies who smile and say hello to me – and it’s virtually impossible not to smile and say hello back to people who remind you of your grand mom. They also make me feel like Hercules because invariably following one of them onto a weight machine, I get to move the weight level UP for once instead of down.

So yeah, I talked to more people, smiled at more people and had a few more laughs today than I would normally have being plugged in – but chucking along on the cardio machine without my music to back me up was a serious drag.

Feeling good, feeling strong. The pain from weight lifting won’t hit me yet for another 24 to 48 hours, and I got beef stew for dinner. Yum.

I had almost forgotten just how much I love a good bit of red meat – and stew’s a nice way to get it. The potatoes, carrots, onion, etc. all have a relatively low calorie cost. They’re cooked with meat, so they’re meat flavored (yay) and you wind up eating a relatively small amount of the actual meat. I found it very satisfying.

So – in honor of red meat and omnivores in general; here is the beef stew recipe I used tonight (with nutritional info courtesy of the Daily Plate):

2 & ½ lbs. cubed steak

1 & ½ lbs. red skin potatoes

1 large sweet onion

2 -3 cups baby carrots

2 tbsp. minced garlic

1 jar of beef gravy (17 oz.)

1 can of college inn beef broth (14 oz.)

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce (I like Lea & Perrins)

Salt & pepper the raw steak, then sauté in a tablespoon of olive oil until it’s browned and dump the meat and all it’s lovely cooking juices into a crock pot.

Chop all the vegetables and add them to the crock pot.

Add all other ingredients, mix well, and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 5 hours (low is better).

Very good if you’ve got some sliced fresh bread to dip into the juicy bits at the bottom. It was a tiny bit bland for me, so next time I think I’ll add some gravy masters to the mix. However as stew goes; it was quite English – warm and filling for a cold autumn night.

Nutritional Info:

Serving Size: About 2 cups

Calories: 437

Fat: 13 grams

Protein: 43 grams