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.