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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Greet the Rising Sun

While chatting with a friend recently she mentioned a decision to set her alarm and get up early three days a week for yoga before work.  For most people finding time to exercise is a challenge, for a single parent like my friend it’s very nearly impossible, so I was impressed with both her drive and dedication.

As I have countless times over the years I thought about how early morning workouts are impossible for me, since I already get up at 6:15AM to get on the road to work by 6:40AM.  This means that my workouts occur after work and before my shower and bedtime – I have my morning routine streamlined down to a 25 minute science.

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of difficulty squeezing the workout in.  I have a long commute and if it’s made longer by traffic I get home stressed and de-motivated.  Or I get home very hungry and when Ted arrives interested solely in food it’s very easy to say to myself, “well – I have to feed him!” and get right to work on cooking, skipping the workout in the process.  Suffice to say, once dinner is made, eaten, and cleaned up – I’m not doing anything but flopping on the sofa until bedtime.  As a result my workouts have dropped lately to about three times a week, which may sound good but is entirely insufficient to remove weight from my particular body.

So I did it.  I started getting up at 5:15AM and working out before a shower and the morning office departure.

I admit the first day was a bit of a shock, and since I spent the morning dragging around my office like a gigantic limp noodle I’m going to say that stories about having, “abundant energy all day!” after an ass-crack of dawn workout do not appear to hold true in my case.

However there are some really awesome benefits:

1)      Regardless of how my day goes, my required workout is done by 6:15AM.  Mission accomplished.  Even if I’m busy/exhausted/ravenously hungry after work I already have the day’s exercise in the bag.  The feeling of satisfaction knowing that is really nice.
2)      It sets me up for a good day nutritionally, allowing me to say, “I already worked out today – I’m not going to spoil it by eating that junk.”
3)      Although not energized, I’ve noticed that I do feel really relaxed and groovy.  Morning traffic and office politics seem to bother me less with the post-workout endorphins buoying my mood.
4)      If I do exercise after work, it’s a bonus workout!
5)      The evening of my first early morning workout I was soundly, restfully asleep by 10:30PM.
6)      Statistics prove that hyper motivated, annoying, morning-maniac exercisers have a higher success rate of following through with sustained weight loss.  Probably for some of the reasons listed above.

Since our stomachs are relatively empty upon waking, some scientists suggest that kicking up the calorie burn on an empty tank forces the metabolism to dig into fat stores for energy, upping the amount of fat lost during a pre-breakfast burn.  Others insist that the metabolism goes straight for our muscles, damaging them when there’s no food to burn and slowing our weight loss efforts.

The only thing everyone agrees on is that you should probably workout when it’s best for YOU, when you will consistently get it done.

So far I’m really liking my solitary, uninterrupted morning time to greet the rising sun.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Status Report: 2.6 lbs. lost, 51 lbs. total

At my group meeting this week my leader asked us for examples of non-scale based successes.  Meaning she wanted to know what we were feeling accomplished about that had nothing to do with the number of pounds we had lost.

Examples included getting to leave daily medications behind as health has improved, notable increases in stamina and new clothing.

I looked down at my lap, realizing I was sitting with my legs casually crossed the way any average person might.  I raised my hand, and pointed this out, “I’m sitting with my legs crossed.”

Among a class full of weight losers they understood exactly what I meant, and a murmur of appreciation and agreement rippled through the room.

It’s the little things that tear your heart apart on a daily basis when you are fat.  It’s the tiny, everyday realities that separate you out from other people over and over again, things that average sized people don’t even notice they are doing.  Things like not being able to ride the roller coaster, or shop in 90% of the stores in the local mall or get your seat belt to close in a car.  Things like being so fat that you can’t sit with one leg crossed over the other.

I broke into the 230’s today, and over the 50 lbs. lost mark.  I am almost halfway home.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Status Report: Scratch

The status report is late this week because, quite simply, there wasn’t anything to report.  I remain about a pound and a half shy of fifty pounds lost, just like last week.

In other news: I was fitted for a bra (again) today and discovered that my torso measurement has gone from 42 inches down to 38 inches – and it feels truly great to be under 40!  However my cup size is apparently a “G”.  I just kind of blinked at the Sales Representative, doing the numbers in my head…

Triple D, then E, then F, then… me.  Huh?  Aren’t cup sizes like that reserved for ladies who have had significant surgical intervention?!

Apparently “G” though just means DDDD, and we skip E and F for some reason.  Don’t ask me to explain, I was too busy hiding my sense of horror.  I’ve been wearing DD for years and thought that was huge.  I was fitted for a bra because all the cups on mine have been gaping open and I’d assumed the silly things had finally (thankfully) shrunk.  But no – as my torso shrank they have somehow grown two cups larger instead.  And no, I do not have the slightest clue how this is physiologically possible.

Perhaps I’ve been wearing the wrong, way too small-size for years and due to some strange fashion flub my way too small sizes have somehow all been freakishly large?  I really don’t know.

It shouldn’t have upset me, I’ve lost weight and in the spot where it counted (my torso) and that quite obviously showed.  I’m just tired of hauling around these useless, lumpy things on my front and I want them to shrink already – instead they appear to somehow be doing the opposite.  I wonder if it’s all the upper body weight training workouts?  If the muscles that support the chest and shoulders have increased in size, I suppose that would do the trick.

I’m going to assume that’s the case.  So… yay me?

Overall though the experience was really lovely.  The importance of a bra that fits correctly cannot be stressed enough.  Not only does it help your back and posture but all your clothes on top just look ten times better.  It defines the waistline beautifully – so I am extremely grateful for the intrepid friends and saleslady who spent time and consideration helping me learn to recognize exactly what a correct fit looks like on my changing shape and what that can do for me.

Lastly, I tried an experiment this week.  I got a tin of 72% dark chocolate wedges from Trader Joe’s, reasoning to myself that it won’t trigger chocolate binging because dark is my least favorite type, and two small pieces should be both satisfying and quite health beneficial.

I managed to stop my voracious binge on the stuff after eating about half the container.  Hey, small victory, at least I didn’t hork down the entire thing?

Chocolate though, in any form, obviously still needs very tight regulation in my life.

At least I know.

On the plus side, this will make dressing up as Wonder Woman in the future a heck of a lot easier.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Status Update: 1.8 lbs. lost, 48.8 lbs. total

My weekly weigh-ins and meetings fall on Wednesday, and for the previous two Wednesdays we’ve been having national holidays – so this was the first time I had weighed in since the one before Christmas.

Needless to say, I was sweating it. I hung in there until Christmas Eve and then I cracked like an egg, eating all the tasty holiday food and foregoing the daily workouts. This continued through New Year’s Eve until I managed to claw my way back into some semblance of a proper program last weekend.

Here I get on the scale two days ago and I’m somehow down almost two more pounds.

I can only attribute this to all the workouts, since I’ve been putting so much effort into muscle building all that metabolically active tissue must have burned through the extra calories and kept me from regaining every lost pound (which it felt like I was doing). Either that or it’s attributable to holiday magic of some sort. Could be either one.

I was also pleased to see that even after taking just over a week off of workouts, when I went to do it again I wasn’t a total hopeless case, I could still work to the level I had last been at. Apparently muscles don’t atrophy that fast.

All that being the case, this holiday was not completely like the ones that came before. At no time did I stuff and stuff myself with treats until I felt sick or in pain. Even though I indulged, I did it when I was actually hungry. I’ve got a naturally sizeable appetite so believe me, I can still put it away – but it wasn’t in the binging style of years previous.

Today I ransacked my closet, removing anything too big and some things that I’ve shrunk back into but just aren’t my style. And isn’t that a trip – I actually feel like I might have something resembling a style?

Or at the very least, I’m working on it.

This status report is brought to you by the creepy magical fairy snail.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Catch Fire in 2014

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook and I got sucked into reading it at 6AM Thursday morning when I was supposed to be getting ready for work. It’s long, but despite the unfortunately harsh language its well worth the read. I’ll wait.

To put it bluntly, it called me out.

I have been guilty of being that annoying person who prays for people (which, as a Christian, I believe is a very important thing to do) but sometimes fails to also be the change that those people need. I work with a fellow Christian who instead of going home on a cold night and watching TV or playing Tetris on her computer, goes to her church to watch over local homeless people so that they have a safe, warm place in which to sleep. She then gets up and goes back to work the next day, because calling Code Blue is dependent on the temperature outside, not on whether it’s a holiday or volunteers have day jobs they need to get to. These homeless people may not smell so great and possibly suffer from alcoholism or mental illness, but she names them friends and feels privileged and blessed to know them.

That’s fruit.

What am I really doing that shows I was even here?

These aren’t New Year’s Resolutions – I find that tradition a little pointless and silly. They’re just my goals for 2014 in no particular order:

  • Get paid for having written something.
  • Lose 50 more pounds.
  • Learn HTML.
  • Get involved in ongoing service to my community for the sole benefit of people other than me.

We’re not in this world very long. When we’re gone what will remain?

To use a very silly example – most people are at least aware of the song Friday by Rebecca Black. This is not a good piece of music nor a well executed video, but when Ms. Black is 90 she will be able to laugh with her grandchildren over that video she made when she was sixteen that actually got sixty-three million hits on You Tube. Whether it’s good or not she put herself out there and made something. She’s young, she’s learning, is there a chance that one day she’ll actually make a piece of music that’s enjoyable to listen to beyond humor value? *shrug* Why not?

Anyway, what have I done to put myself out there? What have you done?

In my writing classes my fellow aspiring authors love to trash Stephanie Meyers, the creator of the Twilight series. But Ms. Myers wrote a book series that was beloved by enough people to get it turned into a movie series too. Trash her all you want, she’ll go ahead and laugh all the way to the bank.

And what right do I have to trash what she created when I haven’t yet attempted to do better?

I adored The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Its sequel, Catching Fire, puzzled me and the third installment in the trilogy, Mockingjay, infuriated me. However the series is her creation, and if Ms. Collins wants to do the literary equivalent of creating a beautiful work of art and then utterly destroying it then that’s her right.

And again, who am I to criticize when I’ve failed to attempt any better?

Cheers and blessings to all for 2014! I hope your year is filled with positive growth spiritually, mentally and physically.

I want to do more than just wish the world was a better place this year. I want to try to make it one.