Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm a Lumberjack and I'm okay...

As I type this I am sore. I haven't felt a lot of soreness these past few weeks, but today it is here.

This morning I took BodyStep. The class was pretty good. I was breathing heavily and sweating profusely, so that is a good thing. The class instructor (Donna H) was a little loopy. She added all these dance hand moves to go along with stepping. It was fun, but made me feel like I was auditioning for A Chorus Line!

This afternoon we had wood delivered for the winter. They just drive up and drop in in the driveway, so I went ahead and stacked it. Normally I would have left this job to my hubby, but in my effort to be a better wife, and my generally pleasant mood lately I decided to do it for him. He probably won't like the way I did it, but it's done, nevertheless. So the two things combined have made my legs quite sore. K wanted to work out at the gym tonight, but I don't think I could work out any more and still be able to do anything tomorrow. My girls helped with the wood and they were so precious.

I've been eating pretty well lately. Lots of veggies and fruits with occasionally treats like candy bars or icecream. My goal is to feel normal. And normal people eat those things in moderation. So therefore, I can eat them in moderation as well. It will prevent me from binging, hopefully.

It's C's first night of ballet class and I'm excited for her. I confess that I do live out some of my childhood unmet desires through my kids. If I would have been thin, I would have enjoyed ballet. C is very gifted rythmically and if she enjoys it, I want to see her succeed at whatever she chooses. S is taking swimming, because that is where she is gifted. C will learn to swim as well, but she's not ready yet. I don't believe in forcing kids into things they are clearly not ready or have an aptitude for. At least not at a young age. When they are older I want them to try things to see if they like them, but now it is just too frustrating for them when they can't do something.

Off to get a snack...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How could I forget to mention the bicycle is a good invention

Thanks to the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the Blog Title today...

I was planning to head over to the fitness center today after lunch. Lunch this week has been turkey sandwich with Miracle Whip, lettuce, tomatoes and basil. Sometimes I have it on a wrap, sometimes in bread. And Miracle Whip? It really IS a miracle. It doesn't have much fat or carbs or calories per serving! AMEN! I side it with fruit and celery or carrots. Then maybe a few tostitos with salsa. It is filling and not too caloric.

So I was dressed and on my way out the door when I looked at my bike in the corner of the garage. It is a GORGEOUS day here. 66 degrees and bright sun! I said to myself "Why shouldn't I ride my real bike instead of the stationary ones at the gym?" So I did it. Now my bike is a Worksman Cycle and made for plus sized people. I bought at at It's great. Its an old fashioned "newsgirl" looking bike with a very wide seat and wide tires. Most bikes at a bike shop have tires that I was always afraid would pop under my weight, but not these! I recommend it! So I rode.

I rode 4 miles! I've learned a few things

1. Riding a road bike is much harder than riding stationary or spinning! You aren't having to pull all your body weight at the fitness center.
2. I am in much better shape from just this month of working out. A couple months ago I couldn't even ride down the street.
3. I probably could work harder in spin class knowing the first two!

We live a bit out in the country and have a 4 mile loop that is kind of wavy. I thought it would be easy since it's not very hilly, but I realized that wavy hills are almost worse because there is almost no coasting down a hill or chance to build up speed. It was very peaceful riding though..barely any cars between fields of corn and soy beans, feeling the sun, hearing the crickets chirp. It was really amazing. I did rest a few times and did walk my bike for one small hill towards the end because I didn't think my legs could take it! BUT I DID IT!!!!!!!!!

I am amazed at myself. I don't think I've ever ridden a road bike for 4 miles in my life.

Life is beautiful!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I am certifiably crazy. Last night, K wanted to work out, so we went to the fitness center and I took a BodyPump class. I was curious because I haven' t tried it yet because I was worried it was all lunges and squats and my knees don't like that too much! Remember I had already done the cycle class in the AM! Surprisingly, I could actually move today. (I'm sure it's because my leg muscles are already very well toned for being overweight)

Body Pump was run by a very nice woman Kiersten. (I think I would like her just by her name. I have never known anyone named Kiersten that was not cute and bubbly). The class used actual weights. Dumbbells and Barbells. I used a lower weight since it was my first class. It wasn't too bad, although I find it hard to control the barbell sometimes...especially when we were lying on our backs doing chest presses. My shoulders definitely got a work out. I did as much as I could with the squats and lunges. I had a little trouble changing the weights on the bar when we needed to. At least there was no ball involved!! I worked up a good sweat. It wasn't my favorite class, but I really did like the instructor. Today's a break day, unless I feel like working out tonight on the elliptical.

So the classes I haven't taken yet: Body Combat, Body Step, Step N Pump, RPM cycle. Body Jam and a bunch of Yogas that I haven't been terribly interested in.

I'm really looking forward to Zumba in the fall. :)

Oh, I saw a great t-shirt yesterday on someone: It says "I'd give up chocolate, but I'm not a quitter!" I love it!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I didn't die....and....I am not ashamed

Well clearly since I'm here typing I did not die today at the fitness center during Power Cycle spin class. 60 minutes. 277K Calories - this doesn't really seem right to me though. I thought it should be much higher. I did, at the recommendation of an old childhood friend, buy a gel seat cover at Walmart ($10) to help. My butt was still sore, but not nearly as much as last Friday when I took the class and only lasted 30 minutes. I cycled over 21 miles! It was such an exciting achievement. I even adjusted tension and cycled while standing a few times!!! Today's tears were ones of joy. I honestly thought I would pass out or have a heart attack cycling for 60 minutes. Uh, crap...I guess that means I can do it again....

Today's thoughts while in the sauna: (I really think of lots of things in there)
I must live like I am not ashamed of who I am. Only then will I start living like a normal person. What these means to me in the overweight life is that

-I do not hide in the dressing rooms to change at the fitness center. I change in front of my locker like everyone else. At the very least I am a walking advertisement of why people should not overeat.

-I do not bring my own supersized towel to the fitness center. Yes, I do need 2 of the small towels to wrap around my body, but I do it. Why should I have to do more laundry than healthy people?

-I use the sauna and steam room, wrapped in my 2 towels. I had been changing into my bathing suit to use them but then decided that unless I'm swimming, there's no reason to have to wash my suit! Someone came in fully clothes in workout clothes, so I could do that too, I suppose.

- I do not change in the shower stall. I walk through the locker room wrapped in my 2 towels. I hold my head up high. No one has yet to snicker and point.

- I do not stay at the back of the class and avoid eye contact with everyone. (I may start out the first class in the back for a better observation point) I ask questions of the instructors. I talk to the other class attenders, see what else they like at the fitness center. I am there to better myself and learn how to do it better. I am not there to be a wallflower

- I do not ONLY go to aqua aerobics. I really like water fitness, but I shouldn't limit myself to a pool with mostly ladies over the age of 50. I am overweight, but my heart works just fine.

-I do not give up because I can't do a move the instructor does. I am overweight so OF COURSE I can't do everything they do. But I can modify it and then ask after class if that is OK. The instructors can see that I'm trying and usually they say "Just keep moving" and will tell me if my posture is wrong or I'm going to injure myself with my modifications.

There is only one thing that I need to get over my embarrasment for and that is for the big balls. I know it is the best ab work I've done, but I can't yet bring myself to do abs on them when I'm on the fitness floor. In class with others, yes I'll do it, but by myself..I'm still shy.

Here's to feeling good about myself..physically and emotionally.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's not my fault...uh....really!

So I'm blogging twice today because I feel like it. I starting thinking about how much time I have spent blaming others for my overweight life.
-It's my mother's fault for leaving when I was a toddler
-It's my father's fault for never taking me anywhere except to bars and baseball games and feeding us garbage day after day.
-It's my brother's fault for being an ass and treating me like a second rate citizen, meanwhile having people fawn over his charming, but really fake, ways
-It's my grandmother's fault for feeding me cookies and not teaching me control. For allowing me to remain fat as a child and not finding ways to help me.
-It's my husband's fault for not loving me like I want to be loved. For looking at porn and making me feel so unattractive
-It's my kid's fault for screaming and crying and fighting and wearing down my every last nerve.
-It's the media's fault for stresses crappy food that we HAVE to try.
-It's restaurants fault for doubling portion sizes so we are really eating for 2 when we eat out
-It's all THEIR fault.
Um...well now that I think about it... after a certain point it became MY fault. I can give blame to the parents for not starting me off on a course for proper nutrition, but once I became a teenager, really it was up to me. A friend of my in jr. high's parents offered to send me to a "fat camp" one summer. They were going to pay for me to go and for the clothes. I didn't go. I was afraid. I was embarrassed. My father would have let me. Now I wish that I had gone. That was my fault.

When I moved out of the house at 18 I had every opportunity to buy healthy food and eat well. Instead I ate Ramen Noodles and Chips and Cookies. That was my choice.

When I got a job at an international bank at 20, I could have eaten the salad bar for lunch, but instead I got a sandwich with fries. That was my choice

When I got married, I could have chosen to make healthier meals instead of meatloaf and mashed potatoes and cranberry chicken. I could have chosen not to visit the Chinese Restaurant next door every other day for Lunch Special #31 - Chicken with Broccoli and Chicken Fingers
But I didn't.

When I went to college I did not have to eat 2 candy bars most everyday, but I did.

You see, it was someone else's fault, but for the past 20 or so years, it has been the choices *I* have made that has led me to the overweight life. It's very easy to pass the buck and place the blame. It is harder to recognize and accept that most of the blame lies with me. I didn't want to be this way, it's just what happened when I refused to take care of myself. It isn't out of ignorance. I've known what to do for almost all of the years where I was responsible. It's not rocket science: "Eat Less, Move More, Drink Water" I've tried WW 4 or 5 times in the past, but I am realizing, it isn't about a's about a lifestyle. People are healthy because they work at it. Noone else is making them. I want to blame myself for being healthy. I want to take the credit for THAT. But in all honesty and shame, I have to take the blame for THIS - the overweight life.

Sex and the Fitness Center

Notice I said Sex AND the Fitness Center, NOT "IN" the fitness center!! ;)

It must be said that working out has made me more amorous, or at least more willing to be amorous, than I have been probably since I first got married. I don't know if its the endorphins, or the fact that my body is getting more flexible and easier to move thanks to the classes but K is certainly glad for it! I know, this is a little more information that most people need, but I believe that it is important to acknowledge the changes in our lives as we work to improve ourselves! And this has been a very noted change. Prior to exercising, I rarely wanted to be intimate. My husband probably holds a record of hearing, "not tonight, honey." And honestly, most of our biggest fights have been my lack of desire for it. But at least for now, for the last few weeks, I've been more open and felt better and happier. Because nothing else has changed, I must contribute it to the exercise and feeling better about myself.

My K has been great. We worked out again last night...(another 2x day). I did 35 minutes on the bike, walked 1/2 a mile and did some arm work with the bands. I just enjoy him being at the fitness center with me. He's been a great encouragement regarding the annoyance of the scale not moving as fast as it did with WW. I used to lose 4-6 lbs per week on WW. (Of course I wasn't exercising then and gaining muscle AND I gained it all back) I'm a numbers girl, so it IS hard not to see that scale move much, but K has kept my spirits up.

Another rainy day. I'm probably going to miss my favorite class, Body Flow because I have to bring my daughter to test for the state preschool. There's another class tonight, but I'm not sure if K will be home in time to do it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sweat and Tears (No Blood)

Today I'm still sore from Monday's workouts (plural) so I wasn't sure about going to class. I wanted to go to BodyVive but the kids slept in until after 8:30! I couldn't make a 9:15 spin class so I was stuck with a 10:15 Total Body Conditioning. I liked this instructor a little bit more than Lisa (the last time I took TBC) but not as good as the first class which had a substitute. For some reason this is only a 45 minute class, but I still did sweat a lot again. The problem with this class was that she did a lot of lunging and squats , which kills my pre-arthritic knees! I modified the best I could. The tears came when we were doing tricep work with a weighted bar and I wasn't feeling it in my triceps but in my forearms. I got so sad that my body just doesn't work normally and the right muscle groups aren't working as they should because I'm so fat. It's just depressing. I generally never "feel it" the way the instructor says it is supposed to feel. I know as long as I'm moving and following the form of the instructor I'm doing fine and burning calories and working on losing it, but it still gets to me. I honestly am not sure exactly where my abs are because of the fat. I know I feel pain when I do sit ups around my belly button area, so I hope thats it. I guess I'm making muscles everywhere and anywhere...

I am drinking fountains of water for sure. This is what I wanted to do over a year ago when we got water service when I joined WW. Needless to say we had about 20 5 gallon bottles of water reserves at least when me moved to our new house in February. Now i am drinking probably near to a gallon a day! My husband is happy for sure that we are using up the water...although for now in the event of an emergency, you know where to go for water!!

The scale today said 285.3. (at 11:15 - after a workout and a shower, fully dressed) I'm not going to do a chart or anything. I just wanted to post it down so someday I can look back and see. Maybe I'll post my weight every 5 lbs or so. Or maybe just when I feel I need to see the number to keep encouraged. I'm encouraged now. I feel better about myself. I'm allowing myself the time to take care of me, something I've never done. Oh, I've had the time - (I was single until I was 29) but then I was just depressed that noone loved me and probably wouldn't because I was so fat. And I was worried that I would hate people if they started loving me when I became thin. So I remained fat. I did have a couple of boyfriends, some of which didn't treat me terribly well and certainly never made me feel unconditionally loved. I have that now, and 2 beautiful children who light up my world when they aren't fighting with each other! Today after my class, my oldest (by two minutes she'll tell everyone) asked me "How was the work out, Mom?" Both my girls are great encouragers and I'm blessed to have them. So now I'm trying. It's my time, even if there is sweat and tears, and even a little blood if there has to be.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hot Dogs 1 - Me- 0

I had a fight with a hot dog and the hot dog won. 2 hot dogs actually. I stood there with the hot dog in my hand thinking, I shouldn't have this. I should choose something else. But I didn't. I wanted it, I could taste it without even putting my mouth on it and I caved. I've been snacking alot this afternoon. Bananas, Pineapple, Triscuits. Mostly fruits, but still I'm snacking too much.

I guess 2 hot dogs are no that bad if they are my dinner. I promptly drank 32 oz of water to try to keep myself from eating more. I do notice that working out HAS increased my appetite. However, I don't think I was hungry today. Maybe just a little stressed and bored. Today was rest day from the fitness center. We had a play date with our next door neighbor. The dad stayed the whole time which was okay, but weird. I cleaned and did laundry..nothing too exciting.

I did make my yearly obgyn appointment and scheduled myself for a yearly physical with a new doctor. I really didn't like last years doctor. I am convinced I have hypothyroidism, so I'm going to push this new doctor on that. It was promising. The office told me I had to fast for 12 hours before the appointment so I get good blood results. Nowhere has ever told me that before, so I have hope that maybe these results will come back with something concrete.

I thought about doing a step class tonight..but my legs are kind of sore..and need a rest.

Scale is moving

Finally, the scale is moving. I know in my head muscle weighs more than fat, so it makes sense, since I've been taking these classes at the fitness center to strengthen me. But it is soo much more victorious to see a number going down! No fitness center today. We are going to hang around and get some much needed cleaning done! I'm sure lugging laundry up 5 small flights of stairs (on our split level) will count for something!

I'm eating somewhat better. Still eating carbs, but not drinking Diet Coke. I did eat a candy bar yesterday. I need to be normal and feel normal and that a candy bar won't kill me! I read a blog yesterday that said this woman lost 130 lbs by exercising 6-8 hours per day. That to me is obsessive. I mean, great job for losing the weight, but that, to me, is not a reasonable, normal way to lose weight.

My goal in life is merely to feel normal or seem like it in body and mind. Of course figuring out what is normal outside of body size is a tougher job!

Monday, August 24, 2009

2x - Not just the size today...

I've been a size 2x since about the 10th grade. I weigh about 40 lbs more than I did then, but I STILL wear a 2x. But today's post is not about size, but about the fact that I worked out twice today!!

I took a Total Body Conditioning (TBC) this afternoon. I did not like it as much as the first class I did. The instructor had us going up to the track a couple of times and doing a lot of work with that ball. I did not fall off, but the ball did manage to get away from me while I was lifting and squeezing it with my feet. Her class wasn't synchronized to music either so it wasn't as much fun as the last one.

Then this evening, my dear and darling hubby wanted to work out during Family Fitness time (where he can go to the center for free) and we went together. I did a little bit of the seated elliptical and some band exercises for strength, but mostly I walked the track. I met another obese woman named Debbie (I'm writing about it so if I see her again I will remember) who was working with a personal trainer. She was larger than I am and seemed liked she needed some friendly encouragement from another fat person exercising. I was very glad to give it. I'm good at encouraging. Then I asked K if he wanted to walk the track with me to finish, so we did about a mile together, side by side. It was like being on a date :). I have so much love for him at this moment.

Tomorrow is a day off from the center to rest my body and because there is not really a class I want to take or I think is a good idea to take after working out today. I'm sure I'll sleep wonderfully tonight!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Yesterday I took a break from working out because my muscles were beginning to hate me. We went into the city and had a wonderful day at the Field Museum as a family. I love those times. I also realized it is second nature for me to order Diet Coke with a meal at McD's. I did drink it because I was having a headache, but it's back to just water for me today!

Today I did the elliptical for 50 minutes. I don't know if there is a verb for it so I am calling it ellipticycling. Then I saunaed and steamed and had a very relaxing time.

I've been wondering if I have hypothyroidism. We've been temping every morning to chart my ovulation and my body temp is so low. Sometimes its been below 96 degrees. Crazy! So I did a search on that and it comes up a lot as hypothroidism. I've had my thyroid checked and never had anywork come back bad, but I'm beginning to wonder if they've checked everything...

Anyhow. I feel good. And somewhat happy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby Right Round...

In honor of my friend Susan's birthday I took a Spin Class today. It was called Power Cycle.
Susan loves to Spin and told me I should try it, so I did! I did not, however, cycle for the full 60 minutes. I did sweat quite a lot and did even stand up and cycle for about 15 seconds at a time every few minutes. The biggest problem...the seat made my butt sore!! After 30 minutes all I could think about was how much my butt hurt from the seat. I decided then to go to the fitness floor and I did a little more on a seated elliptical and then rowed 1000m. I still worked out about an hour, but just not in one class.

I'm not sure if I liked enough to do it again.

I'm a lot cranky today and want to EAT EAT EAT! I have however maintained a good level of food. I woke up cranky. I'm wondering if its from the lack of diet coke or not. My kids are quite whiny today and that just makes my brain say "EAT CHOCOLATE, GO TO STORE AND BUY IT, THEN EAT IT!" I resisted the urge, but it was hard.

We went to the library and I picked up a couple of DVD's on Yoga and Tai Chi so I can figure out some of the moves better before the next BodyFlow Class. I was thinking tomorrow I might do BodyStep...I haven't tried it yet.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The beginning is always the worst...

The first few weeks of weight loss when you are working out and gaining muscle are always terrible. I know this, I've been through it, but when the scale says the same it has for the last 2 weeks, I get frustrated. Now part of it is that I haven't been making good food choices, but I've pretty much maintained food consumption while adding exercise, so I should be losing. What I do know is that I am gaining muscle. Arm muscles especially. (I was sore 3 days after last weeks BodyFlow). But muscle weighs more than fat. It kind of sucks!

I've started today to make good choices. I'm limiting Diet Coke. I ate very healthily both at breakfast and lunch. I cut up carrots, celery & cukes to make them easily accessible. It's not entirely carb free - because I really, REALLY don't think I could maintain that long term. I'm going to do these things and see what happens. IF I continue to fail to ovulate than I'll try something else. It wouldn't be so bad if I liked cheese and yogurt and beans and other kinds of foods. But I don't...and a life of only vegetables and meat just sounds monotonous. I'm not counting calories. I have to feel normal and not obsessive.

I really want to try Body Step...I'm nearly afraid of passing out though - 60 minutes (yikes) Tomorrow I'm going to try the Power Cycle I think...

Baby, Stress & PCOS...

We just returned from a 5 day trip to Kansas City, MO to attend our newest niece's baptism. We have two new nieces born within a month of each other, but we missed the first baptism, partly because my sister in law told us about a week before it was to happen, and secondly because we really wanted to attend Baby K's since she is the first baby in that family. Baby K is beautiful and was so content in my arms, for the first time in months I have felt like I wanted to birth a baby. I nearly cried when we left her. She was just perfect (except for the poop she blew out onto my nice brown shirt).

Visiting the in-laws is stressful, which means I ate quite a lot of food...mostly chocolate cake with icing. I don't get along very well with my mother-in-law at all, so it just compounded stress. My husband was wonderful through the whole of the weekend though and allowed me my rants and loved me despite them. Why don't we get along? Well it may partly have to do with the fact that Baby K is only 8 weeks old and I overheard her talking to my FIL about when they were going to have another and wouldn't it be great if it was a boy? This is the same woman who after K and I told her that we were going to adopt because we hadn't gotten pregnant, pulled out every book on vitamin nutrition convinced this was why and then bought me a figurine holding a newborn, hoping it would bring me luck? Yikes. So I eat.

I don't get pregnant because I don't ovulate normally. The doctor said I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. As much as I know, basically I overproduce insulin which makes my ovaries not function correctly. I'm sure there is much more to it. It's common in overweight people. I have chin hair growth because of it. The doctors told me a year ago that I needed to have a low carb diet and that might help. But I was so depressed that yet ANOTHER thing in my life was so difficult that I stopped taking care of myself at all. I do get TOM, but not regularly. I never have.

However, my darling K and I really want a baby. So I am willing to try to eat less carbs. To lose weight so I can ovulate normally.

I did miss the fitness center quite a bit. I didn't go today because I was working on things for a church meeting I was leading. Tomorrow I think I'll go back to BodyFlow, although my arms KILLED me for three days after the last class!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Strong Mountain, Downward Dog

Today started BAD. That's a CAPITAL B-A-D. My husband was up taking a shower and getting ready for work and I thought, "Should I go back to sleep, or get up and be a good wife?" Now, to be honest, 99% of the time, I go back to sleep. But today I decided, I will get up and see him off. He had locked the door to the bathroom, so I knocked. He jumped out of the shower, unlocked it and hopped back in, leaving a wet trail on the floor that I did not see nor anticipate. (It was 5:00AM - I was so not awake.) The second I stepped on the floor my feet came out from under me. I really felt like life was going in slow motion. It felt like it took 1 minute to fall down, instead of about 1 second. On the way down my arm caught on our bathroom counter and now I have a huge bruise from my armpit, halfway up my arm towards my elbow. It hurt like heck, along with my tush which hit the floor hard. I suppose it would have hurt less if I didn't weigh so much. However, I literally crawled to my bedroom, sobbing. I was hurt but I think I was more upset that I had tried doing something good for my marriage, for my husband and it completely backfired. (Much like last year's snow shoveling incident, when I slipped and my butt was sore for 3 months.) I was upset that I had purchased great new workout clothes last night and I was excited to wear I had a huge bruise to go along with it. I was sad that my day of yoga and massage might have to be terminated. I called my husband an idiot. I'm sorry for that, but I generally do have the foresight to wipe up any water from the floor when I jump out, or at least stay on the rug. My K is sweet though. He stayed to make sure I was okay.

I sucked it all up, mostly because I wanted to wear my new workout clothes. Walmart - Danskins - $19 for the short pants and the top. I bought 2 sets. The 18/20 was stretchy enough to fit me! I was soo happy because JMS always makes me look frumpy. I went to BODYFLOW today. (another Les Mills class.) Can I say how much I HATE this name. All I can think about is TOM when I say it. I really liked the class though. It's a mixture of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates set to music. I couldn't do all the stretches and poses (too much body fat for some) but I really found it enjoyable. AND I sweated more than I have in any other class, go figure. It was team taught with some very nice instructors. Sometimes I felt they were looking at me and I felt judged for being overweight, but really I think I imagine this sometimes. I try to remember that if anyone judges me for trying to take care of my body, then that is REALLY STUPID.
I need to learn all these poses though...Downward Dog, Strong Mountain, Warrior II, Child Pose, and some others I already forget. I really want to take a friend along with me. I think she'd enjoy it.

After the class I showered and went to get a 30 minute massage. AHHHHH! I love massage. Finally, I went and got a cut and color...I'm a little bit more redhead now (My Irish eyes are smilin') So not a bad day. I even thought I little about food choices. I got a grilled sandwich at McDonald's and wiped off most of the mayonnaise!

Tomorrow we are off to see our youngest niece get baptized in Missouri. 8 hour drive....I think I'm going to miss being at the gym for 5 days.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I dragged myself out of bed this morning to make an 8:00 AM Bodyvive class at the gym. I'm sure I used up quite a few calories running around getting the kids breakfast and ushering the into the minivan. BodyVive is one of the Les Mills series of classes. The class was okay, with a very kind instructor, Kellie. The one problem - there were only 2 others in the class. It might be because of the time, but again it was 2 older ladies with me. The class is a mix of cardio, strength and balance. We used the elastic bands to do bicep, tricep and some leg muscles. We also did a lot of cardio with these purple play ground balls. You are supposed to squeeze the ball while doing the movements. I'm not sure why and I didn't want to ask because it seemed like something that is self explanatory. I sweated a lot, but caught on pretty quick. I would consider taking this class again. I watched a spinning class from outside. A girlfriend wants me to try it...I told her I didn't think I'd be too good. Now THOSE people sweat. So do the people in Step N Pump! I don't know if I'm ready to sweat that much in public. I prefer sweating in the steam room.

I'm not thinking so much about food intake, which I probably should, since one without the other won't get me very far. But I also think changing one thing about yourself at a time is easier than changing two, and that maybe if I can get one thing under control the second would be easier. Contolling exercise might be easier than controlling food. Sometimes I think that my brain is going to automatically just switch into healthy gear, but I know I'm kidding myself. The weight I am is years and YEARS of eating to mask pain, and I still deal with a lot of that pain on a daily basis. One day at a time I suppose.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How do you lift the crown of your head?

Today's class - Chair Yoga. My abs are sore from yesterdays crunches on a ball, but I figured how tough could chair yoga be. Well it's not very difficult for sure, but it really was very interesting.

There were 6 other people, all at least 20-30 years older to me. One man even had an oxygen tank with him! We had to grab a chair, a yoga mat, a strap, and a styrofoam like brick. Another day, another lot of accessories I've never used! The instructor was probably in her late 50's or 60's. She had a very mellow voice, but look to be quite cranky.

We were told to close our eyes and "let go"of our tensions and just think about breathing. I tried, but was distracting by the Japanese music in the background. I couldn't stop imagining Ralph Machio in Karate Kid II, romancing that Japanese girl. We then did some stretches to "open space in our body". Honestly, I'm trying to close space in my body, thank you very much! Lots of talk about connecting and how everything is about open spaces or something like that.

I really was confused about some of the instructions. How is one supposed to "Lift the crown of your head" and "push your tailbone down towards the floor" (while standing straight up). I tried looking at everyone else, but they were doing exactly what I was doing - which was really nothing.

I nearly cracked up at one point when the instructor said to let go of all the tension in our faces. This woman looked like granny cranky pants, so I had to stifle a chuckle when she said this. I could not contain a smile - I hope she wasn't looking.

The class went by fairly quickly, surprisingly. At the end she spoke some mumble jumble about letting "Mother Earth" support our feet. Well I certainly hope "she" does, lest we be living on the moon! I wonder if Christianity seems as strange to people who believe in New Age as vice versa. It's just weird to me. Then she ended the class with the words "Shanti Shanti", which I had to look up - meaning "peace, peace" in sanskrit or something like that. I couldn't help remember the movie Music & Lyrics with Hugh Grant where the music star kept saying that. I smiled again.

So to sum up - A cranky looking, soft spoken yoga instructor taught a group of 7, mostly seniors, how to stretch sitting in a chair, listening to Japanese music and ended speaking in ancient Sanskrit. It was interesting. I probably won't go back.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Conditioning Your Body

I took my first class at the swanky health club I joined. Well, I consider it swanky just because they provide towels, soap, shampoo, razors and even shaving cream. They have an indoor and outdoor pool, an awesome child care center, TV's on every treadmill and elliptical, a sauna and a steam room. It's the kind of place that if you need to pay for something they ask if you want it on your account. There's something that boosts my ego about having "an account". What that really means do I want it charged to my credit card on file, but still...I'll take it.

So I took the class TOTAL BODY CONDITIONING. My first question is, when will my body be conditioned? How many classes? Will it make me shiny & smooth? Ha ha. Seriously though, I asked the super skinny, well toned instructor, Darlene, if a person of my size could take this class. She told me cheerily of course! It's for all levels! Come in and become one of us!! Well I took the bait. I met another woman who was there for the first time - mom of 3, skinny, beautiful. So we laughed nervously together about what we were in for.

The instructor then told us to get free weights, one of these 9lb rods, a stretchy band thing with handles, and one of those big balls. At the mention that we were going to use those balls, I about bailed. It's bad enough being an enormous person taking a class with people who are half the size of me, but to be subjected to humiliation trying to balance on a rolling object...I was scared. I imagined the ball popping out underneath me...or at the very least popping under the pressure of my body.

However, it was not the ball that ended up causing me grief. It was the dumb 9 lb rod and lifting while squatting. I felt my arms were going to fall off. This confuses me because I am constantly lifting my 30+ pound children so I should not feel so much pain for such a small amount. Of course I am not generally lifting them over my head. So I did what any self respecting person would do...I gently put my bar down and walked out of the studio to do ... whatever would kill 3 minutes of time until the next set of exercises. I went back though..and the rest of the class went okay..even the sit ups while on the ball. They have a lot more traction that I thought they would. I finished my afternoon with a steam and a sauna. Ahhh.. I love my gym.

One thing that struck me today is that I easily forget that I'm supposed to be eating healthy for this gym thing to have any effect. I started out well...eating eggs and fruit for breakfast. But then I took the kids to Panera for lunch and had a Chicken, Cheese Onion type sandwich on a foccacia. It wasn't until we were done with lunch that I even thought - "I should have gotten a salad..."

Then I ate too much at dinner. My kids whining + burning burgers on the grill = stress = eating.
I really need chocolate though. It's not TOM, but I just want it.

Tomorrow I'm going to try Chair Yoga. That's sound just about the right speed for the overweight life. Hopefully 9 lb bars and balls are not involved.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blog Post One - Welcome to My Life

I used to blog. I've had a few attempts at it. I even blogged about weight loss about 2 years ago. I even had some faithful readers, but when I failed at losing weight, as I so often have done in my 34 years of life, I stopped blogging. Then, embarrassed about it, I deleted it, although I regret that now, because I had some darn funny posts. I blogged about kids' books for a while, but that wasn't nearly as fun...or funny.

So why am I here now? Inspired by Julie & Julia, the movie, I suppose. I don't have any grand hopes of becoming a writer or being famous, and God forbid, having a movie made out of my life. (It would be ridiculously sad and boring), but I do know that writing, and maybe even blogging, releases some of the tensions in my spirit. If I type my thoughts and post them, they become real, and not just some secret, pent up ideas swirling around my overly caffeinated brain. I'm too cheap to pay for therapy, although I probably could use a lifetime of this will be my therapy. Don't they always recommend you write your feelings anyway?

Here's the basics: I'm 34. I've been overweight pretty much my entire life. I have weighed over 300 lbs although I'm less than that now, but not by much. I'm a child of abandonment, divorce, alcoholism and neglect. I spent more time at bars as a child than at playgrounds. My dinners as a kid consisted of chicken nuggets, Hamburger Helper, and Hungry Man Fried Chicken Dinners (the one with the potatoes, corn & yummy brownie). I was fat by the time I was 5.

I have a loving husband, who is thin. Two beautiful, 4 year old daughters who I want to shield from having anyone tease them because of their "fat momma", while teaching them that beauty and worth come from the heart. I'm a Rhode Islander by birth, but transplanted to Chicagoland a few years ago.

I want to be healthy. I am not "OK" with my weight and my body. I just have very little will power and my emotions control me far too often. When the world seems to hate me, and when I hate myself, food makes me feel better....then worse....then REALLY worse... I don't drink regularly, I don't smoke and I don't do drugs. Food is my drug. (and the caffeine in Diet Coke).

I just ate half a bag of potato chips. Because I'm bored and need something to do with my hands.

I just joined our nearby fitness center. It is nice. Upscale. It has a pool. It supplies the towels. It has a sauna and steam room. It has child care. I hope it helps...