Sunday, April 8, 2018

Fat, Fat, Wind pants, Fat.

Back in the 90's a friend was describing the guys at his college. "They're all like frat, frat, wind pants, frat." Which lead to me and my friend Sarah describing ourselves as "fat, fat, wind pants, fat." And today I'm here to tell you that I am full-blown wind pants fat again.

I mean what else would I have been doing over the past 3 years? If I'd spent it getting skinny I'd have been here acting all authoritative and inspiring, giving everyone homework assignments to motivate you to be as happy and fit as ME ME ME! But instead I've been eating my weight in Reese's Cups monthly, making a charitable contribution to not one but TWO gyms that I never visit, letting the basement treadmill belt crumble from non-use, and so on.

Despite a few short-term successful efforts to lose a few pounds, I soared up to my highest-ever weight before I stepped on the scale on January 2nd, 2018. All 90-ish pounds I lost in 2013-14 came back, and they brought 12 new friends. And they were accompanied by stage II hypertension, back and joint pain, and some other unpleasant symptoms of fatness I'm unwilling to disclose. Even my super emergency fat clothes didn't fit anymore. The once roomy 2X's gave way for new 3X's. For the first time in my life, I honestly was afraid I was going to die.

I experienced the joy of vertigo in late 2017 which lead me to Statcare…my first doctor's visit in several years. They told me my BP was 164 over 100 and that I should see my regular doctor about it. Buttttt….I didn't have a regular doctor. And I was really embarrassed to walk into one this fat and with my brain ready to blow up at any moment. Day and night I worried about having a stroke or a heart attack. I knew I had to get it under control or see a doctor soon. But fall became winter, which became Christmas…and THAT seemed like a dumb time to save my life. There were cookies to be eaten, for crap's sake. But by January, I was ready.

On the morning of the 2nd I weighed myself, and that evening I had my BP tested. 163/98. Early Stage II on top, late Stage I on the bottom. Yep, I was a time bomb. I'd talked myself into thinking maybe it was just high at Statcare from stress and fear, not the 120 extra pounds I was carrying and the cheeseburger/fries habit I'd developed for brunch each day.

I went back to the only plan I've ever had long-term success with - low carb. I hate to call it Atkins or Keto because it's not necessarily either of those things, by-the-book. I try to stay around 20 net carbs a day, and I try to keep my fat high, my protein moderate, and my calories under 1200. I'm not like the Atkins people who can eat 3000 calories of beefy cheesy bacon bake….and I'm not a keto person who can drink buttery coffee and track incremental percentages and macros all day. I have to keep my calories low, and those calories have to be low-carb. Yes, I'm so fat, fat, wind pants, fat that I have to be on two diets at the same time.

But, it works. It's working. I've barely incorporated exercise yet. I WANT to run again but when I tried in February it killed my shins and ankles. I've gone to a couple of zumba and water aerobics classes. I bought a Sweatin' to the Oldies DVD, my 90's go-to workout that now feels unbearably long after the era of HIIT 20-minute boot camp workouts. But I'm not even exercising twice a week most weeks, other than walking the dog a mile every day.

Anyway, I'm down 32 pounds since January 2nd. My BP has dropped to 142/81. That's early stage I on the top, early pre-hypertension on the bottom. Not too far from normal-ish ranges. I'm ready to find a doctor and go get everything checked out. Maybe ask if I should be on a med for awhile or if it's ok to keep trying to do this myself. I don't feel like a bomb is ready to go off in my head anymore, which is reassuring. But I'd probably benefit from a real medical opinion and some bloodwork.

But man, I'm 40…this is the age where people start getting bad news. I know bad things happen whether you find out about them or not. But holy mammograms, I'm terrified to go. I know it's the wrong attitude, I'm working on it.

I went on a two week vacation to Hawaii and gained 8 pounds. I got right back on my plan when I got home and I lost 12 pounds in two weeks. Over Easter I gave myself a 3-day vacation from my diet, and I gained SEVEN pounds (THREE DAYS!), but I took off 9 pounds in the week after. I don't remember any point in my past when I was so easily persuaded back onto my diet after a break. Part of my motivation is Healthy Wager. It's a website where you can bet on yourself to lose weight. In fairness, they are essentially betting that you will lose, but they put a positive spin on it. You throw money into a wager every month and they figure out a payout based on how much you pledge to lose in a certain amount of time. If you fail, they keep everything. If you succeed, you win big. I have $1400 on the line, and the weigh-out day is the day before I leave for Cancun. So if I can peel off another 50 pounds by November, my trip will be paid for, courtesy of my fat. If I don't…I'm out $300.

Along the way you can do little group challenges. I just completed a 3-month, 6% weightless challenge and won $66. It seriously motivated me, so I just turned that money back over for a new challenge.

I haven't gone back to TOPS. I was too embarrassed to go back so fat, even though I know they understand more than anyone. But I also feel like it might be discouraging for them to see it. I don't want anyone to think "why lose all of this weight, everyone just gains it all back eventually." I've heard they aren't as motivated as a group anymore, anyway.

Plus since I last wrote, I was promoted to the top of my company, and it's not so easy for me to leave work early on Mondays to get to meetings. And I have a big, sweet, fluffy dog who I'd rather spend my evenings with. So I think the Healthy Wager thing has become my TOPS. Let's face it, I was in it for the prizes more than anything anyway.

I realize I'm writing this blog into the air. The few who followed have long faded-away, and I'm not brave enough to post a link for people who actually know me in real life. But last night I found this old blog and read some posts, and it reminded me how much it helped me to vent my frustrations and rejoice over my successes. So this is for me, my therapy. But if you have stumbled into it and you get some small amount of support or enjoyment from it…then I'm happy you're here.

Hopefully I'll keep this train rolling right back toward the world of normal clothes and fitting onto roller coasters and not having my thighs make a swishy sound when I walk in my Spanx.

Welcome back.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

diets are like tires

you know how if you spend $100 on a concert ticket you're pumped, but if you have to buy a new tire you're all "$100?!?! what a ripoff! it's no fun!"

so tonight i went to giant eagle because on sunday i bought only enough diet supplies for a few days. i wanted to know i was going to really do this before i invested. i barely had anything in my cart. some lettuce. broccoli. geek yogurt dip. laundry supplies. atkins shakes, bars and a few frozen meals. $100. i'm all "say whaaaaaat?! scan that italian-style pasta bake again, smalls!" but just a week ago it was nothing to get a large caramel mocha and egg mcmuffin in the morning ($7.50), subway for lunch, ($7), and chipotle for dinner ($9.75). that comes out to $121.25 for a week of food. but for some reason i'm all pissypants over an atkins meal costing $3.99. the meals i've eaten this week have broken down to about $12 a day. it's still expensive - $360 a month for food for one person is a lot. i could cut down on that by making more myself and not relying on the convenience foods. but i'm still saving money compared to my binge eating.

nobody has ever said dieting is cheap. i honestly don't know how a person COULD diet affordably. there are not many healthy foods that are cheap, unless you grow your own garden. but even then you have to account for sweat equity. it's unfortunate that our country can serve a box filled with two tacos, a burrito, a bag of doritos and a soda for $5.00, but a drive-thru salad and bottled water will set you back $8.00.

it's also sad that diets are an "industry." it doesn't cost more to make a protein bar than a granola bar. but people will pay more for one than the other.

anyway, i got some good, healthy food, and i am happy with what i'm eating. but damn, i wish it was cheaper.

i didn't go to the gym tonight. had a tough day at work, and the dogs were just so happy to see me. i couldn't bring myself to leave again. i took each dog on his/her own walk, so that's something.

weighed myself again this morning, down 2 pounds from yesterday. the first week of a diet is too awesome.

kind of unfocused tonight, but that's been my whole day. day 3, complete.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

it's all relative.

i woke up this morning with an already-improved attitude. i can't really put into words how much self-loathing i've carried these past several months. so even one day of doing the right thing made me feel stronger, more organized, and in control. my life has literally been a free-for-all with food at the epicenter. each day was kind of a dark, yet exciting world of opportunities for things to eat. would i stop for a milkshake? have some fries? try a new sandwich? get a fancy coffee? now i wake up and know exactly what i'll have, when i'll have it, and how many calories and carbs it will be. there is a lot of peace in that, which i had forgotten.

i got to work this morning, and this basket was the first thing i encountered. a listener of the radio station brings one each year, and it is filled from bottom to top with all of the best candies. no smarties or necco wafers in this basket, no sir. thankfully i still had my "new diet" resolve, so it wasn't too tempting.  i bet if i go back a year i'll find a picture of last year's basket. it seems like i'm always on a diet in april when it shows up.

later in the day, we also had muffins and pizza! sometimes i swear the universe is just working against me.

but i did have one really positive bit of news today. i was certain that i had gained not only the weight i'd lost, but about 10 pounds more. the way i look, the way i feel, the way my clothes fit… but since i felt more in control today, i had the courage to face the scale. i was 11 pounds less than my highest weight in 2013. so in my mind, it was a 20 pound "head start" on where i assumed i was. that was refreshing. that's two months of weight loss i won't have to endure.

a few friends were on my mind who have shared their similar struggles with me through the years. we all have at least 100 pounds to lose. so i've put a group together for the four of us, and we're going to tackle this together.  it will take at least a year, maybe even two. but i resolve to stay together and see each other through to the end, until we've lost a collective 400 pounds. we're going to put up $5 a week with the money going to the biggest loser each month. i am really excited about it, and i think they are too. this simply cannot be done alone. we need supportive people who understand…who challenge us and celebrate us. healthy competition is important as well.

i went back to the gym tonight. what a difference a day makes. i realized the treadmill i had last night had to have been calibrated incorrectly. last night when i tried to do my 5-minute warmup walk at 3mph, i was dying. my legs were on fire, and i had to bump it down to 2.5mph. even at my heaviest, i never struggled with 3mph before. i was so discouraged. i couldn't finish all of my runs, and i couldn't do them anywhere near a pace i could be proud of. but tonight i did all 8 runs with the appropriate amount of ease/struggle, and i know now that the treadmill on the end is not to be messed with. i followed up the cardio with a circuit of weights. and i don't know what is so hard for people to understand regarding the giant sign saying that area is for CIRCUITS ONLY. but ding-dongs are always popping in to use one machine, and always the one i need next.

came home and made my dinner - atkins shrimp pasta primavera and a salad. very satisfying and good. i have to hand it to atkins - their frozen meals are much higher in quality and taste than lean cuisines. i can't even deal with lean cuisine chicken. but atkins uses really quality cuts of meat. and i didn't have one shrimp vein in my meal tonight. you know those are poop chutes, right?

i may have a long road ahead, and today may only be day 2, but i feel like the progress i've made in the past 48 hours is incredible. my mind and body feel so much more at peace. i have hope again. i think i'll even find happiness again. just a few days ago, that seemed impossible. but now i'm in a place where "only" gaining back 70 pounds is a victory. when it comes to weight loss, it's all relative.

Monday, March 30, 2015

here i go again on my own.

if you've done battle with fat for your entire life, this story won't shock you.

i last wrote almost exactly a year ago. i was at my lowest adult weight. i was a running machine. i was about to accept an award for losing more weight in ohio than anyone else in tops. i had just won a contest to run a half marathon at disney world in november. i was 20 pounds away from losing 100 pounds. 20 pounds from my goal. twenty. pounds.

have you ever found out that what you thought was the best thing to ever happen to you was actually the worst thing to ever happen to you?

that tops award and that disney contest ruined my life.

wait. strike that.

i ruined my own life. the award and the contest were the catalysts.

when word got out about what i had accomplished, i got lost in my own shuffle. so many people wanted a piece of me. questions about running, advice about eating, please come speak at our meeting, i need you to write blogs every week, i need you to go meet this corporate sponsor, make sure you don't gain 5 pounds or you won't qualify for the award.

the pressure was immense. i suffocated in it.

and when i feel trapped, i sabotage myself. i rebel. i turn to food like a junkie runs to heroin.

so an hour after that award was in my hands in may, we left and went to the melting pot for chocolate fondue.

and i haven't stopped eating since.

for many reasons, the least of which is length, i can't go into the entire disney story. but it was not a fairytale by any means. it was exhausting, demanding, disappointing, and i was left to my own devices by my trainer. months went by without check-ins. and i was in self-sabotage mode, so i wasn't doing my long runs. i wasn't eating right. i was gaining, gaining, gaining. i stopped going to tops. i was too ashamed to get on the scale again. everyone had been so inspired by me and i was failing right in front of them.

long story short, disney came, and i was disastrously under-trained. somehow i completed the 5k and the half marathon. but not without pain, tears, falling behind the course-required time, and not without injury. i could barely walk for more than a week after the half marathon. i destroyed my knees, ankles and feet. i had no business finishing it, but determination carried me through the miles in the cold rain. that was november 8th. on thanksgiving i "ran" a turkey trot, 10 minutes slower than my best 5k time that i'd hit in june.

through the holidays i ate.

into 2015 i ate. not because things tasted good or because i was hungry, but because i was angry. i was angry about the entire disney experience. i was angry that i had gained so much weight. i was embarrassed to run into people i hadn't seen in awhile. because to the casual acquaintance, i was fat…then i was thin…then in the blink of an eye i was fat again. it all happened that fast.

and today, about a year after my last blog, i am as fat as i have ever been. i can't bare to get on the scale for the official number. but based on my clothes and the way i look and feel, i weigh as much--if not more--than i did before i started my diet 2 years ago. i spent 13 months losing 80 pounds, and i spent 10 months gaining it all back. all of it.

none of my clothes fit. i'm back in my "professional lady yoga pants," and thankfully it's been a cold spring, because i don't know what i'm going to wear when i can't wear hoodies anymore in the next few weeks. all of my fatass underwear are back in my drawer, and the victoria's secret undies are put away, along with my cute bras, swimsuits and dresses. i had planned a ski trip with my friends in february, and you wouldn't believe how hard it was to find plus size ski pants. the cute second-hand spyder coat i found last year didn't come close to zipping this year. i had to buy everything new. i felt like a fool out there, no one else my size was on the slopes. in november i was asked to co-host election night results on TV, and i turned it down because i couldn't stand the idea of what i'd look like and what people would say.

it's funny (funny sad, not funny ha-ha), when i run into someone who read about my successful weight loss story, but who hasn't seen me… they say "you look great!" and i know they are thinking "i thought she lost a bunch of weight??" i'm horrified when i see people who saw me even 6 months ago. i see their eyes look me up and down, and i can hear their thoughts. and they say, "you look great" because they are confused.

i hate myself right now. i'm at rock bottom. the only thing worse than being fat is having a short taste of not being fat and then blowing it. even if i had lost only a quarter pound per week for the last year, i would be at my goal now instead of back at the starting line. i went to the gym tonight and these feet that carried me through two half marathons last year can barely run for 60 seconds now. my muscles are dead. my fat flops up and down when i run, and i feel like everyone in the gym can see and hear me lumbering along, gasping for air, and they're thinking "look at that fat girl trying to run." they would never imagine i ran two half marathons last year. i took the 13.1 magnet off of my car because i felt like people were thinking "that must not be her car. there's no way that girl did a half marathon."

in my mind, i'm still the girl who was at the starting line of the half marathon last april weighing 161. in her size large shirt and only one chin. the girl who thought she was still so hideous, but now all photographic evidence to the contrary. i forget that i'm fat again. obese. morbidly obese. that this can't be undone in one marathon session at the gym like the weeks when i would gain a pound and then work to get it off before weigh-in. i have at least a year of work ahead of me. not just on my body, but on my brain. because there is clearly something wrong with me that makes me defeat myself. i don't know anyone else capable of doing what i've done in the past two years… losing weight that way OR gaining it back.  all of it. i didn't gain 10 pounds and panic. or 20. or 50. you'd think at some point along the way i would have woken up. but i just kept getting iced coffees and bagels and tacos and milkshakes. oreos and pop tarts and curly fries and burgers. pizzas and pizzas and pizzas. oh, the pizzas i've known this past year. sometimes i'd get an extra large on friday night so it would last all weekend. i called it "grocery shopping." then there's the beer. the wine. the margaritas. food gave me a little thrill. i would sneak it. if you only knew what i spent on half-price valentine chocolates on february 15th. there's still some left, because there was so much to begin with.

i know that if i'm ever going to have a happy day again, this has to stop right now. a lot of sadness is ahead for me this year. sickness in my family, a situation with a beloved pet, an ended relationship. the ONLY thing i can control is what goes into my mouth, and if i exercise. it's time to stop killing myself and time to start living again. for the past 10 months, i've been dead inside. time to wake up. i miss my tops friends. i miss my running friends. i miss a back that didn't ache and i miss having clothes to wear. there are items in my closet with tags still on them… i outgrew them before i even got to wear them. i miss not worrying when someone was taking my picture or if it would end up on Facebook. i miss WANTING my picture to be on Facebook. i miss feeling strong. i miss feeling pretty. i miss feeling like i have a chance in this life to meet someone who wants to love me. i miss the girl i knew for such a short time. i need to find her again before it's too late. i cannot live this way, i can't survive life feeling like i feel now.

so here i go again…. day 1, complete.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

still thinking….

i'm still not sure how to incorporate this blog into my new life as a spokesperson. i don't think i can even suffer through reading every one of my old posts. but i don't want to start linking to this blog on FB without a major review. so for the moment i'm thinking i will just keep this blog between you (my long-time and loyal readers) and me. and when i write a guest blog for the website where i won the contest, i'll post a link here.

it's been an insane week. not a lot of people knew what i've been up to for these past 11 months, and now everyone knows. i became a bit of an overnight celebrity in my hometown. a lot of people are now asking me for tips or advice, and i've been stressed out trying to help everyone. my training begins on monday. part of my prize is a training program that consists of short runs on tuesdays and thursdays, long runs on saturdays, and cross training on MWF. i get sundays off, hooray! i'll train for and run a 10k, then i'll get a 2 week break, and then i'll start a 28 week half marathon training. on november 8th i'll run a 5k at disney world at 7am, then a half marathon that night at 10pm. because i. am. crazy.

i'm nervous but excited, and i know i can do this. it's all just very overwhelming at the moment. i'm looking forward to a month or two from now when it has become the norm instead of this thing that's still out ahead of me.

my weight loss is still the same. lose some, gain some. lose it, gain it. still sitting around 162. i just cannot get myself into the 150's. it's all mental.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


you probably think i've been off the wagon again, but for once, my silence is for a positive reason.

i want to thank you for your eyes-tightly-closed wishes that i asked for on the last post, because they WORKED! on monday i found out i won a trip to walt disney world to run a half marathon on my birthday in november. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

it has been a whirlwind week, one i can't wait to tell you about. but because of all that's happened, i've been too busy to write. i'm too busy now, too, but i didn't want to leave you hanging.

i just wanted you to know that things are going to change around here a bit. i'm not sure how just yet, but i need to promote my journey on my blog so my sponsors can get proper credit. but i've never written this blog to be widely public, so i either need to go through and delete some things, or start a whole new blog, OR i will secretly write posts just for you guys here, and i'll write publicly stuff on another page that i will link you to. we will see.

this sounds dumb, but this week has felt like becoming a celebrity overnight. strangers recognize me on the street. i've had to sign my life over to my coach and sponsors for the next 9 months. i even found out today that i have to be very careful about what i do or do not post on my personal facebook as i represent these companies for the rest of the year. so i know there are things i've bared to you in this blog that wouldn't fly. cases of "the fuck-it's" come to mind....

so thank you for sticking with me, for your support, and for following me wherever i may be about to land in the blogger world. all 3 of you. ;-)

you can catch up on the hubub by visiting to see my essay and everything i've won.

thanks, everyone. i love you dearly!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

a good night for a bad run.

well, the gym was a bust tonight. but i'm just happy i got myself there. i didn't leave my house until 7:41, and i was trying to find an excuse not to go for 2 hours prior. two nights ago i pushed myself to run for 12 minutes, which was just barely over a mile. considering my lack of training, i'll take that time for now. tuesday night i followed that with 2 minutes of walking, then 5 minute run intervals til i was over 2.5 miles. the idea was to come back tonight and do 3.1. cha right.

i'm going to attribute it to today being day 4 of my fat fast. i have had almost no carbs and very little protein since monday. 44 total carbs in 4 days. plus only 1000 calories per day. so i probably just don't have what i need in me to have a hardcore workout at this point. tomorrow will be the final day of the fat fast. to celebrate, i made low carb cheesecake cupcakes when i got home tonight. i could basically eat 10 of them as my food for the day. unfortunately they didn't turn out as well as the first time i made them. i had to use a different sweetener, and that's all i can come up with as a reason. even the consistency of the batter was far different. more like a pudding than a pancake batter consistency. odd.

so anyway, i only made it 1.65 miles tonight. i used everything i had running the 12 minute mile. i walked for 2 and then tried to run again but only lasted 2 minutes. my ankle was hurting and my body was telling me no. so i moved over to the circuit and used the 10 weight machines. i should have done two rounds, but i was spent.

the great part of the day was speaking to my grandma's TOPS group. i didn't plan what i was going to say, just went in and started talking. somehow it all came out of my mouth logically and semi-concisely. i hope i didn't confuse them or give them false hope. i didn't really want to get into what type of diet i'm on too much, fearful that they'd only hear "i eat cream, ranch, bacon and mayo" and start adding that to their grains and starches. but of course that was their main question, so i was honest and said it's very scientific, and very "all or nothing." but for ME, i need a plan that is very black and white. for the most part, you either absolutely can or absolutely cannot eat any given food item on a low-carb diet. MOST foods aren't "semi-low carb."

since i try to stick to the 20 or less per day idea, i basically think of myself as having $20 in my pocket each morning to spend on my food for the day. each carb is a dollar. so i ask myself, "is this low carb tortilla worth six of my 20 dollars?

the fat fast was very easy monday-wednesday. today i struggled a bit. i saw pictures of food everywhere, and i wanted it all. tomorrow the nursing home that makes the amazing cookies is bringing lunch to the radio station. that may be very hard. i'll try to get out of there during that time maybe.

on saturday i'll reintroduce more carbs and protein again to give me some strength for sunday's race. as of now, i have two more pounds to lose by monday in order to have a loss at tops. but i would REALLY like to lose 3.2, because then i'll officially be in the 150's. i need that so badly.

last night i mentioned that i'm making a big decision. obviously it's a half marathon, and there's a lot more to it than that, but this is already long so i will save the story for another blog. but if you could just close your eyes real tight and cross your fingers and your toes and wish as hard as you can for my wish to come true, i could really use the good vibes. i'm hoping and praying for something HUGE to happen on monday. but if it doesn't, i have a plan B.

i'll leave you with the collage i took to show the tops group of my start, finish, and a couple of in-betweens where i was feeling good about fitting into my clothes better. i wanted to fit into that flowered dress SO badly. i'd gotten it as a gift from my mom and barely fit into it one time, then outgrew it. so pic 1 is trying it on to see how far i had to go. disaster. but not too long after that i tried again and it fit perfectly! sadly, it just as quickly got too big!