Sunday, February 28, 2010

Days 6 & 7: It's the Weekend Baby!

As I am sure most of you can imagine - there isn't the same work-load, class schedule here on the weekends.  We have a lot of time to ourselves (to attempt to use productively) and no set responsibilities.  One one hand, it is great to have a bit of a lull, after such a hectic week (hectic according to my body!!).  It is also a little scary having that much free time. 

Luckily, I have found my new outlet: Water Volleyball.  It is entirely different here, than anywhere else.  (I haven't gotten yelled at or berated once, which is a nice change of pace)  We play with a beach ball, and we play in water up to 5', there are a lot of participants (so there isn't a lot of area to cover) and you can have as many hits as you want/need per side.   I played Saturday and Sunday morning.  Very entertaining!!  I am glad I will have this to entertain me on the weekends, so I don't have nothing but free time - and get myself into trouble!

I also took another water aerobics class on Saturday.  It looks a little bit like the pic on the left, only with a lot less smiles, and a lot more waves.  Lots of interval stuff - so luckily no one has drown, yet! =)  My fitness guy wants me taking a water class a day, and then an aerobics class a day, or cardio 30-45 minutes.  I also get to fit weights in 3 times a week.  They are REALLY working to whip me into shape!  If anyone can, they can! 

I did learn a smidge about vitamins (which most people who don't live under a rock where health is concerned probably already know) but there are vitamins in the multi-vitamin that are water soluble and fat soluble.  That means you shouldn't take your multi-vitamin on an empty stomach, or even with breakfast in most cases - because you have to have some fat in order to absorb everything. (shout out to my parents - - the king and queen of vitamin intake)

Thank you all for your comments!!  They are so appreciated!  I love reading through them - and they definitely give me some chuckles, motivation, etc.  One note on the comment entry - - when you enter your comment, make sure to update the "COMMENT AS" line under the comment box.  There is a drop down menu there, and you can pick "Name/URL".  That will pop up a box that you can put your name in the name box, and hit OK.  Then everyone (most importantly, me - because it really is all about me.... right?)  knows who wrote the comments. 

Thanks everyone!  Talk to you tomorrow - as I start my 2nd week.  Time is FLYING!!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 5: my body may go into shock

Today was the polar opposite of yesterday.  No classroom lectures to attend - so that meant more time for exercise.  After a water aerobics class (with non-stop movement, and intervals) put my last aqua classes at LTF in Eagan to shame (Diego Bonita has nothing on Brian at FC) I stayed for the stretch class in the pool.  That was a waste of time.... more about joint movement, than stretching.  I guess it wasn't a total loss.  I found out you can get very close to falling asleep, standing up, in a pool.  I moved on to chair aerobics (harder than I thought it would be - my hip flexors were on FIRE!!!) and chair pilates (a lot of stretching and core stuff - which is totally what I needed) and then it was on to lunch. 

The DFC smokes their own turkeys, and today I treated myself to a turkey sandwich (well - kind of.  Only one slice of bread) with cheese and mayo.  Seriously - when would I have ever considered this a treat?!??!  Never.  Until now.  They even had a toaster oven, so I could melt the cheese on my turkey.  I am not going to lie to you - it catapulted me into a total euphoric state.  5 days here, and turkey with melted cheese makes me want to give people hugs.  The oddest thing is, the food isn't bad - - at all.  It is typically really good.  But just getting to have some of those faves - even in really small quantities, made me feel like there was hope for a somewhat normal future!  I know, I know  this is ridiculous.  But regardless of that - it is true.  It made my day.

After lunch had more exercise (seriously - if my body could speak it would have yelled "What the F**K are you doing to me?!?!?!?!") at my 30 minute session with Gerald - the fitness guy.  We went through a series of things for me to do, and he was impressed that I could get ready for the hip raise bridges (which make me have buns of fire - - but will hopefully get me closer to one sweet ass!) on the stability ball as quickly as I did (shout out to Stephanie for letting me attempt to do her workouts from Kristin - it really helped!).  When I was done with that, I did a lot of sitting around.  I talked to one of the interns who goes to LSU about the time he saw Shaq in real life.  That man, and his feet, are enormous!!  Then I moved upstairs for girl talk with some ladies, which poor Stan from England was caught in the middle of.  He was a good sport - and we tried to keep it as neutral as possible.  I am typing this at 6:50pm, and I am not entirely sure I will see 8pm.  Hopefully I have enough arm strength to wash my hair!  I am SO TIRED.  I had to back out on Karoake - they aren't going until 9pm!!!  That is entirely too late!  

I have learned there is a very wide range of participation at the DFC.  It ranges from people like me, who really want to get as much exercise, class time and healthy food in as possible.  There are those that only come for meals, and socializing - and tend not to exercise at all.  It is interesting to see how everyone operates.  I can't imagine having this opportunity, and not taking full advantage of it.  Maybe that is just my youthful (remember - - I am SO YOUNG!!) take. 

What else did I learn today?  I learned that Howard (who I mentioned yesterday) invented the "I've fallen and I can't get up" thing.  In real-life!  He didn't work for the company that manufactured it - but he invented it, and sold it to them.  I asked if that is how he could afford 5 wives and he just laughed.  I suspect, however, that it was. =)  I also met Gus, the NY Jets equipment manager.  He is leaving Sunday, but we bonded over our shockingly good seasons, and the sadness that comes with getting so close! 

What did you learn today?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 4: you've got to move it

"Inactivity is bad for your health.  Some exercise is better than none, and more time is better than less."
-Dr. Bill Kraus, Duke Cardiologist

Today was a race!  We had what felt like a ton of classes (very interesting: heart healthy eating, and over-eating) and trying to get in exercise as well!  Luckily the class schedule loosens up a bit next week (or so everyone says) so it everything doesn't need to be such a rush.  I was trying to get from an aqua strength class to my healthy eating class.  I had 15 minutes.  That seems reasonable - right?  Just shower off, get dressed and head up the stairs.  The problems come when you have to try and get a sports bra on a damp body.  It was a 5ish minute struggle, which I eventually won.  It was probably really pretty for anyone who may have witnessed part of that as well.  I am a giver - what can I say? 

The good news for me is, that they are very consistent.  They preach everything in moderation (diet-wise) and they just want you to exercise.  I think that seems pretty reasonable.  I haven't been drinking soda - but they haven't banned it.  They understand everyone still wants to have a life - - they are just going to teach us to live better lives.  Lives that include exercise, and eating well - - but can also include pizza and diet coke.  I am a little bitg in love with whoever came up with this system.....

I will have one big test tomorrow night - when everyone is going out to do Karoake at Champp's.  I will not eat french fries.  It will be fine.  (I am including that more for myself, than for you guys)  The other residents here are great.  A couple of the good ones have left already, and a couple more will be leaving in the next couple of weeks.  It is strange - I know - that I will miss someone after only 4 days - but I will.  You bond quickly in this environment.  At least people like "Sexy Jesus" (a guy named Clay from Manhattan, who was nicknamed Sexy Jesus by Manny - the self-appointed social director - because Clay has really long hair, and a beard.  Although he is Jewish - he is embracing the name.  It is pretty entertaining) will be here for my whole stay.

I also got the whole name of the super bowl ring owner.  Casimir Banaszek.  He and his sidekick Howard are really good entertainment.  Howard is on his 5th wife, and somehow has black and blue hair.  I can't figure out what he did to get that look?  It is a mystery.....  Howard has also taken it upon himself to monitor which machines I should be using in the gym.  Howard, who is probably 70-ish, told me today "you should use that eliptical..... I was watching you (I was on the precor machine, for just your legs) and you were going pretty good on there - like 120.  You could totally do the eliptical."  Thank you, Howard.  I appreciate you keeping an eye on me.

They have had a cartoon on a couple of the slides in our classes that I think is going to have to go in numerous places around my house.  It is a doctor, talking to his patient, and it says "What fits into your schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?"

Any new ideas about what we should all spend some time each day doing?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 3: I am so YOUNG!!!

For those of you that have had some struggles with your ever-advancing age, I suggest you check into DFC immediately.  I have been referred to as "young" no fewer than 5 times in the last 2 days.  For someone that is almost 35 - that isn't exactly the first adjective that comes to mind, when describing me.  It is lovely to hear - and I am going to embrace this (possibly last of my life) chance to be "young". 

That being said - my feelings prior to coming here, have been confirmed.  The average age is well above 35.  My "Experienced" fellow residents are fantastic.  Out-going, interesting and entertaining.  And, -they are all willing to share their experiences with us "youngsters".

Today I attempted the mat pilates class.  Emphasis on tried.  Some of the moves were a little challenging, considering my current mass - but I am going to stick with it.  I figure that will be a good way to monitor my progress - right?  I also got to have an introduction to the weight machines.  During this I was referred to as "Arnold" (as in Schwarzenegger) because I could life more than the people that I was doing the intro with.  Now I am totally not taking this seriously (LIES!  I am totally strong!!) because the other members of my group were 63 and 51 - - again, I am YOUNG!!

I also took part in something kind of cool today - it was a "female round table". Any female attending the program can come, and it is just a forum for people to discuss any topics they want in a totally confidential environment (what is said at the round table - stays at the round table.  It is a little Vegas, that way.)  It is kind of nice to get different perspectives, from such a diverse crowd (people from all over the country, all ages, etc). 

We still had a lot of classes today - but I got some exercise in as well.  There has been mention of Karoake tomorrow night - but I don't think they are going until 8pm, which is my approximate bedtime. =)  I will probably be sitting that out.

They are claiming it is supposed to snow here tonight - I don't know that I believe it.  It still feels pretty warm out to me!  I forget what it is like in the "south" when any sort of accumulating precipitation is mentioned.  I told them not to worry - I could run a carpool if there is snow on the ground tomorrow! =)  There are no snow days at FC!

Well.... it is off to shower and bed for me.  Take care everyone!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 2: Cleared for Take-Off

After 9 hours of sleep, I felt like a whole new woman.  I was ready for my 2nd day, despite what I think may have been a caffeine (no soda for >36 hours = a problem?) headache.  We had to fast from 7:30pm on Monday until after our blood tests this morning.  I have also been asked to take part in a research project - - there is a company that believes they have developed a drug that will predict diabetes up to 5 years in advance.  They are testing people attending the DFC to see if the levels that indicate diabetes (I am not smart enough to really know how this works - I just figured for 2 extra vials of blood, I would be willing to try and help!  They had me stuck with the needle anyway - so it really affects me in no way) decrease after following their program for 4 weeks.  I am interested to see what they find.  They will be mailing the results to me, when they have them.  I like free medical information.

After giving blood, we were off to breakfast, and the intro class by the director.  Then some fitness info.  More classes.  I think FC is my penance for not going to college! =)  I will be punished!!  (kidding -- but it is a LOT of classes).  Everyone keeps telling us that the first week is a bit brutal.  So many meetings, so many classes.  I did get to do some exercising today (who would have thought I would use the term "get to" about exercise?!?!?) and also got assigned to a some fitness classes.  Lots of water aerobics, so that should be fun.  I am also going to attempt some mat pilates.  I think of pilates as something done by skinny/graceful people - so I am certain it will be a great fit, as this describes me to a T!!  I am somewhat fearful I will stuck on the floor, unable to get up from fatigue - but that is why I am here, right?  To try new, potentially embarrassing things?

I am steadily getting to know more of the other residents.  Today I met Casmir (his last name starts with a B - and was on his ring, but I can't remember what it is) who was on the first super bowl champion San Francisco 49ers team.  I got to hold his ring.  It had SO MANY diamonds on it!!  (That is a football of diamonds on the top of it).  He has been here a couple of weeks already.  He also said that Rex Ryan (current coach of the NY Jets) is coming back next week.  I guess he was here for a week a couple of weeks ago - and will be coming back.  I will keep you posted.

Other than that, I have met a lovely lady named Marge from Wayzata - who I believe is the only other MN person here.  I have also had my Vikings Sadness used against me.  There is an intern from New Orleans working, and he had to bring up his Saints Super Bowl cap, and show it off today.  He is not very nice, and I let him know as much. =)

We had our first Nutrition class this afternoon, and I continued to struggle through completing my menus.  I meet with my nutritionist tomorrow, which will hopefully help!  I have no complaints, though.  Everyone, residents and employees, are so great.  Everyone is so nice, and for the most part they are very positive. 

Goodnight everyone!  Hope you are all well - and keep the comments coming!  I love reading them!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

The day was finally here!!  The first day of fat camp.  I was in the lobby, rearing and ready to go, at 6:50am.  My FC friend Norine and I took the shuttle over to the "center" as it is referred to by the FC leaders.  Breakfast (some sort of quiche with some extremely red bacon-y looking meat but overall delicious) and then on to orientation, menu planning (a bit overwhelming, I am not going to lie), behavior health intro and fitness intro.  I also had my medical assessment (review of packet #1 and 100% cleared for exercise) and behavior health assessment (review of packet #2 - and made it out successfully, without being committed to a straight jacket!  SUCCESS!)  It was a lot of info to take in - and I think most of us know how well I do with School-like situations - but was a good day.

So far - here are the things I know:
  1. the food is really good.  even though it is really low in sodium.  (I wonder if maybe that will help my feet not look like loaves of bread?)
  2. these guys are really realistic.  No talk of cutting out my diet coke/mountain dew.  they even mentioned having a drink when we go on our restaurant visit.  love it!
  3. all of the new people (or new returning people) are really nice.  I got very lucky.
  4. I have homework (putting my menu together for the rest of the week which could legitimately take me over an hour tonight)
  5. I almost fell asleep during one of the talks today.  Oops.
  6. the weather is AWESOME.  It is so warm.
  7. I am tired.  I think my drive has caught up with me.  Early to bed this evening!!
Sadly - that is all I have to share today.  Should be some good tidbits tomorrow, when I have my fitness (or lack thereof) assessment!  Stay tuned.....

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Valerie - a girl that works with my sister - had a photo album on Facebook titled "Sometimes".  I loved it.  The most sincere form of flattery is copying someone - right?  So here we go.....

Sometimes...  you are so proud of JaLisa.  1263 miles without one problem.  She is a really good "broad" (shout out to Cindy Anderson for bringing that term back into my life)

Sometimes...  it happens that the only time we are truly honest with people, and tell them what we think is great/magnificent/unique/envy-worthy about them, is when they are going through something major.  Wouldn't it be great if we told people how great they are, just because?  I'm going to work on that.

Sometimes...  you can't really believe you are where you are, about to do what you are about to do.

Sometimes...  I love it that my cousin Joel has been contacting me.  He has accomplished something extraordinary, and I appreciate his support.

Sometimes...  you have to sit at a bar to type your blog, and are surprised that you don't even want a beer - or a milli vanilli

Sometimes...  you channel Whitney Houston in your car...all by yourself... and you miss your usual road trip people (shout out to Stephanie & Marilyn)

Sometimes...  you are so optimistic about how great your life is going to be - you aren't sure what to do with yourself.

Sometimes...  you go to check in at FC, and it isn't scary at all (you all know about my crippling shyness - right?).  Everyone is so nice, and so helpful. 

Sometimes...  you get to drive with your sunroof open in February - and it is one of the greatest things you have ever experienced.

Sometimes...  when you are in your car for 20+ hours in 2 days, you start to talk to your car.  Like it is a person.  Seriously.  Sometimes you do.

Sometimes...  I am going to punch the guy (I believe mentally handicapped - which makes it even more hateful) if he doesn't leave me along and let me finish this blog entry.  Luckily the guy here for his Master's interview at the Divinity School (Churchy stuff) is his new target - and he has to be nice to him.  Jesus is making him.

Wish me luck everyone!  It is my first day tomorrow!  Any "Sometimes" to add?  I would love to hear them.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Weary Traveller

It has been a long day (that is putting it lightly).  I have been in 6 states, and put on approximately 1,000 miles. For reals, y'all!  The good news: I have the bulk of my drive done.  The bad news: I almost had to be surgically separated from the seat of my car, and my left eye looks like it got cut somehow.  Otherwise, all is great.  Mama Nature is my new BF.  I was a little weary when WI wanted to be very snowy, but the day ended up being a beauty!  (Doppler Darcy is going to be a REALLY good meteorologist! She was 100% correct!)  I believe I am currently somewhere in West Virginia, but figuring it out for sure is on my to-do list, before I get to sleep!

When one is up at 4:15, and on the road by 5:10 (so close to 5am, when I wanted to leave - AMAZING), and drives for approximately 16 hours - there are a lot of questions raised, and sights to document.  Below are a couple of the most notable.  (Hopefully the sister road trip works for the return trip - I like alone time, but this was excessive!!)

  • Drivers who aren't me: please use your cruise control.  It is a standard feature, in all cars on the road these days, and will save you from being run off the road by a travel-weary Natalie.  Especially disturbing?  The car with the "Harvard" sticker in the window.  Smart enough to get into Harvard, but not intelligent enough to enable the cruise?  Sad.
  • I saw 4 cars pulled over in the Chicago area.  This would not normally be notable - but I found it interesting that they were all small, red "sports cars".  I include this because I may owe my sister Wendy an apology.  According to the Chicago PD, her red Beretta may have, in fact, been a sports car. =)
  • Toll roads are ridiculous.  Not only did I spend $87.95 on tolls today (to drive on public roads, mind you) - but one toll was also the site of a bad driving scenario by me. I pulled up to a non-cash line, and had to back up in the toll area (seriously - thank God there weren't many cars) and pull over into another line, 4 lanes over.  Oops.  I blame the tolls.
  • Those of you that are familiar with LaLisa (my car) - or read Wendy's shout out - probably realize I am missing the passenger side mirror.  I have been for about 4 or 5 years now.  There was an unfortunate garbage can accident one morning - and the mirror didn't survive.  I haven't "found" a replacement, yet.  Anyway - I was driving down the highway when what to my wandering eye does appear???!?!!!??!  Another Grand Am with it's driver mirror hanging on the side of the car.  I think maybe it wasn't my fault that it broke?  It should maybe be a recall for this type of vehicle?  I am certain I am innocent - my driving is flawless (disregard the last bullet).
  • for a Saturday, there were a lot of buses driving in Kentucky.  The strangest bus was labeled "Mitchell (or some other name) Home School".  Why would there be buses for "home school"?  That doesn't make sense.  And there was more than one - so it isn't like one family made their own bus (sad in a whole different way)
  • The interstates through West Virginia are like the tracks at Kart Kountry (the go-cart track near Brainerd, where my family has been banned due to unfair treatment during Family Fun Weekend).  They zig and zag - sharp turns constantly.  I am thinking I put on about 58 miles, but only got about 12 miles in the direction of my final destination!
  • And finally - this tidbit on the sign in front of one of the hotels here in Beckley: Every Saint has a past and every Sinner has a future.  Thank you, EconoLodge.  That is brilliant. (please keep in mind that I am mildly delirious, so brilliant may not be entirely accurate)
Thank you to the FL Crew (Marilyn, Stephanie, Linda, Joe & Dan) for the text and picture updates.  It really helped keep the day moving!

Congratulations to my cousin Dillon, and his wife Janelle!  They had their first baby - a boy named Joseph John, today.  

This is all I can manage tonight.  It is time for rest.  I am looking forward to getting checked in tomorrow, and gettin this show on the road! (or off the road, actually)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fat Camp or Bust

I have this friend - let's call her Stephanie (because that is her name) - who would run herself through a series of panics every morning after the bar.  Out of nowhere -"Where are my keys?", and a few minutes later "where is my wallet" (not like she could lose that brick!  It is the largest wallet I have ever seen!) and then "where's my cell phone?".  I believe all items were consistently an arms-length away - but these moments of panic were still (or at least sound) very entertaining.

I am currently going through something similar - only instead of post-bar panic, I am having pre-FC panic.  What if I forget all of those packets I filled out?  What if something happens to my reservation, and I have nowhere to stay?  What if (God forbid) I forget some key component for my iPod??!??!!  (this would be the biggest issue for me!!)  What if I forget to pack underwear? (I lost my box of underwear for a couple of days after a previous move - and I know how tricky that can get!)  I am certain this all stems from the fact that I honestly have no idea what my life is going to be like for the next 4 weeks.  I am continually asked questions : what is your schedule going to be like?  how many other people are going to be there?  - and I have the same questions!!  I have no idea what is going to be going on with me!  I am excited - I know everything is going to be fine (they aren't going to do anything horrible to me) - - but it still causing me to be a bit of a nutter right now!

I am finishing up laundry and getting things packed today.  My plan is to leave Saturday morning at 5am.  I am hoping the weather cooperates, and I can get the bulk of my drive done on Saturday.  I have to check in at DDFC by 5pm on Sunday, and then I get started early Monday morning. 

I want everyone to keep in touch - keep me up to date on what is happening here at home - so please text, email, or comment often!  Wish me luck!! 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

shout it out, baby!

I have rediscovered my love of the shout out. (I totally forgot - - I love shout outs)  Be honest - you hear the term "shout out" and you know something great (and by great, I mean typically ignorant) is coming.  They are typically brought to us courtesy of professional athletes and rappers (shout out to: their hometown, God, their girl, their posse, Disney Land, their dog , Fruit of the Loom for always keeping them supported, etc)  I have used them throughout my first attempts at blogging, and it must be stated - I LOVE THEM!  In honor of my last day at work [for a MONTH (shout out to the Retrofit Companies) (see how fun that is!???!??!)] I figured I should do an entry with all of my shout outs to date....
  • Shout Out to the restaurants of Eagan.  I hope you are able to withstand the dip in sales, now that I will no longer be frequenting your establishments. 
  • Shout Out to Mother Nature.  Please give me great road conditions so my 21 hour drive doesn't turn into a 30 hour drive.
  • Shout Out to everyone who has sent me letters and emails.  The support and kindness I have received was not only unexpected (undeserved) and overwhelming (in a really good way).  Which brings me to...
  • Shout Out to putting yourself out there.  It is a little terrifying (and a lot mortifying) to let the world (a bit of an exaggeration, I understand) in on your inner-most thoughts and feelings - but I am telling you - it is TOTALLY WORTH IT!    
  • Shout Out to my co-workers.  Thank you for taking care of all of my crap, so I can go get myself fixed!  You are all fantastic!
  • Shout Out to Mitz (my cousin-in-law and friend) who made me a really fantastic "vision board".  I will be taking it with me, and studying it every day!
  • Shout Out to JaLisa (my car).  May our travels together be quick and incident-free.
  • Shout Out to George & Willy (my sister/roommate Mackenzie's kitties).  Meow away, and be as naughty as you like.  I won't be able to hear or see you!
  • Shout Out to my brother-in-law Ken.  He and my sister Wendy (who has to love me, she is my sister) are helping fund this endeavor.  It is unnecessary - but beyond appreciated!  You rule.
  • Shout Out to my friends.  You have indulged me on my farewell tour.  You are awesome, and fun, and supportive, and kind and, and, and.... I feel like you are all going to help me be better.  I love you all.
  • Shout Out to my family.  I have the most phenomenal grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, cousin-in-laws, etc.  I know I can count on all of you to help keep me on track!
  • Shout Out to the "Fat Intervention" group.  Mom, Dad, Wendy & Mackenzie - I love you, too.  I also appreciate the fact that you love me enough to go through something really unpleasant - just to take care of me.  (P.S. Wendy- this is WAY bigger than making you hand over your baby and go take a shower)
I can't believe it is already here!  Just about time to depart.  Do you have any shout outs? 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Reward Yourself

For the bulk of my life, I have been using food as a reward.  I am certain I am not the only person who has done this - but I am also very certain that it is a major contributing factor to my current predicament (that I am huge).  I aced that test - I probably need a donut.  I got a raise - let's go out to dinner (with the inferred: and completely over indulge).  I am another year older!!  Let's go out to dinner, and follow it up by consuming 4,000 calories in alcohol!!  (Added bonus for the birthday celebration?  You will be too hung over the next day to go work out - so it is even more destructive)  I just went to the gym and did an hour on the elliptical - I should probably go get a huge soda, and maybe some Cheetos.  None of my clothes fit any longer - I should probably go drink...  And regardless of what is going on - the diet is always starting tomorrow.

With FC (my ultimate "tomorrow") on the horizon - I have been challenged to come up with new and innovative rewards.  I am in complete agreement that getting healthier should be my biggest reward - and it will be - but I also like to have the carrot dangling in front of me (see how good I am getting already?  working veggies into my blog entries).  I don't have a ton of extra cash to go on elaborate shopping sprees - so I am looking for new ideas.  Do any of you use a reward system?  If so - I would love to hear your ideas for non-food rewards.  (if I was on Biggest Loser - you could insert the gratuitous Extra Sugar Free Gum speech here.  You want Chocolate cake?  Have a 5 calorie piece of gum instead.  Riiiiiiiiigggghhht.)   

I am going to stay on track, regardless of  the reward system (or lack thereof) that I come up with.  I will be recruiting friends and family to help keep me busy, and moving. (a couple of friends may even hire me to mow their lawns!  yippee!!  I can be 13 again!  Well, hello calorie burn while in the sun - nice to meet you)  Sadly - they won't fire me from the gym for not getting my workouts in (trust me -  I have been testing this for years!!  As long as you pay your monthly membership fee they don't care if you come in or not).  You would think they would miss seeing me - as delightful as I am - but they don't appear to.  Gym dates will be a regular thing - so everyone get ready!   

I am looking for your ideas - - Do you have any cheap (or free) reward ideas that I might be able to incorporate? 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"The key to change... is to let go of fear." - Roseanne Cash

I didn't believe I was a person who lets their life be dictated by their fears.  I don't tend to process every shred of new information, and turn it into another thing to fear.  Other than my extremely rational fear of mice (kidding - I know it is ridiculous, but that makes it no less terrifying) I don't think there is a lot that I am afraid of.  I have told my sisters that "knowledge is their enemy".  One sister hears of a shark attack, and is certain our deaths are near if we go in the ocean.  The other sister is absolutely positive that jellyfish are just waiting for us to go into the water, so they can take us down.  I have fallen victim to (well - really everyone that saw this picture suffered) from their neurosis on our final family trip before Wendy got married.  We went to Jamaica, and my sisters wanted to document the beautiful view with a sister picture in the ocean.  The problem?  When you are certain all sea creatures are waiting to attack, you are unwilling to go in water above your ankles.  Seriously.  This is just fine when you are a size 0-4, and look cute in your bikini.  It is NOT so fine when you are a size....ummm...not 4, and you have to stand in all of your bathing-suited glory next to them and smile pretty.  It has given all of us a number of chuckles since then - but still makes me roll my eyes at those silly sisters and their fears.

Since signing up for my trek to FC - I have been trying to look at myself honestly and objectively, and figure out what my fears are.  I figure that if I put them out there for the world (or the 5 people who willingly subject themselves to my "blogging") to see - everyone can try and help me conquer them.  Are my fears the thing that has been holding me back?  The hard part about this list of fears, is that there isn't anything that is concrete.  I am not trying to be able to will myself to bravery when I see a rodent (which includes, but is not limited to: mice, rats, chipmunks and squirrels).  This is much more scary - - I am trying to overcome problems within myself.  The problem is me and my brain.  The things I let out, and I have been willing to talk about, are one thing.  They are totally normal (money, living situations, etc) issues that everyone deals with.  I am thinking that my major hurdles are emotional issues - and that isn't something I am so good with.  I am an emotional cripple.  I have issues with expressing myself.  I am dead inside.  And even though I have these short-comings, I have to figure out a way to deal with these things:

  1. Breaking out of the "I've tried this before, and it didn't work" mindset.  Let's face it.  I am not a moron - I get it.  Eat less pizza, burgers and fries - and eat more fruits and veggies.  Drink more water, than beer.  I have tried Weight Watchers and LA Weight Loss.  Everything works - IF YOU DO IT!  I get that.  And I have done it.  And it has worked.  And then I stop.  I have even come up with my own medical condition: self-destructive personality disorder.  I use it to describe this situation.  
  2. Managing Expectations : I am going away for four weeks.  I am leaving my family, friends, work - everything - for four weeks.  I only have to worry about myself (still so amazing that I get to do this - it just doesn't seem real, yet) for a month!  My fear is that people are expecting that I will come back after 4 weeks as a completely transformed individual.  I will be half my size, and nearly to my goal.  Even if I lose 10 pounds a week (OMG - could you even imagine!?!?  That would be so rad!) - that doesn't really make a dent.  On the average person, 40 pounds would be a ridiculously high amount to lose.  When you are as.... insulated (shout out to hibernating for the winter!) .... as I am, it is a really good start - but probably not anything that is going to make a shocking amount of difference regarding my appearance.  I am worried that the people allowing me to go, won't think I did enough with my time there - and that sucks.  
  3. My Biggest Fear: Sticking With It: I have done this before.  I have been struck by the rare medical condition: self-destructive personality disorder, in the past.  I have gained back every pound I have lost, and then some (and by some, I mean a LOT of some).  I have chosen the path of least resistance (my couch) over working at a healthy lifestyle.  I have chosen dormancy over movement.  I have chosen easy over healthy.  The most exercise I was getting was from Knitting - and that doesn't really get your heart rate up!  I have chosen laziness over working.
Despite the things I have listed above - I am optimistic.  I am feeling really ready for this experience, and the changes it is going to bring.  I want to live a better life, and I am ready to grab fitness by the balls. (just seeing if you were paying attention)  I am ready to choose activity over inactivity.  I am ready to choose me over my couch.  I am ready.......  

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Enemy

One of the things I am looking forward to the most from my life overhaul, is that I will hopefully be able to fit my rear in the average public seat.  I am fine having a butt.  I believe a little "junk in the trunk" is a good thing.  I, however, have been well beyond junk in the trunk - and more like "enough junk to fill a semi trailer".  Not attractive.  Not something to aspire to.  That's not hot.

Who is this enemy, you wonder? Who has caused so much angst, that they have earned the rather extreme title: Enemy? Well, people - it is not a who - it is a what. What the what ....drum roll, please.... arms on chairs. For anyone who has had a large butt, or a voluminous caboose if you will, may understand what I am talking about here.  These devices of torture come in many shapes and sizes (just typically not a size large enough to accommodate my posterior).  This traumatic minefield is occasionally unavoidable, and therefore anxiety-inducing.  I live in such fear of the too-small seating, that I have taken to bringing my own chair to almost any outdoor gathering.  If the event is not at a friend's home, I typically do not attend.  How sad is that.  Editing social events out of my life, because of seating?  Really?  That is just silly, and is one of the changes I am looking forward to the most, on my quest to "Slim Down to Sexy".    Below are descriptions of a few of my least favorites.

 You are invited to a friend's house for a bar-b-que.  You arrive to find only the dreaded plastic patio chairs.  Certainly this glorified Ziploc baggie (both made of flimsy plastic) could not have possibly been designed to support rotund rear without splintering into a thousand pieces - leaving me laying flat on my back and feeling like a true winner at life.  In the event that I do chance it, and ease myself as gingerly as possible into the seat - the arms are now stretched out sideways (should you be able to complete compromise the original shape of something you sit on, and have it be a safe option?  I think not) to allow room for my gluteus maximus (maximus, indeed) and the tiny little baby plastic legs are shaking.  The chair starts to sway, as the plastic legs start to bow in.  It is incredibly uncomfortable, and just a recipe for disaster - and by disaster I mean me explaining to someone how I broke their chair with my ass.

That brings us to another trouble-spot.  Airplane seats.  Ahhhh - airplane seat.  You are truly a son-of-a-bitch.  This one is particularly horrible, because it also impacts the people/person sitting next to me.  Thankfully I have had great friends on my most recent trips, who have allowed me to keep the arm up, and spill my big butt into their seat.  It also makes you feel super-awesome to ask for a seat belt extender.  Nothing like announcing to the cabin "hey - did you notice how fat I am?  I can't even use the regular seat belt."  The panic I experience at the thought of having to sit by strangers is crippling. (not to worry - - it isn't bad enough that I hear, smell or see things no one else does)  I made a rule for myself a few months back that I was not allowed to go on another vacation until I could fit in a plane seat.  Being that there is still so much of the world that I would like to see - and it is hard to drive my car through the oceans - this is a big one.  Australia 2011 - - here I come!!

This winter has reminded me how great it is to have warmth and the sun.  The Twins will have an outdoor stadium this year.  Beers, sun and cute baseball players - who doesn't love that combo?  I will tell you who - my big butt and stadium seats.  They are a disaster waiting to happen.  I went to FL last March for spring training for my friend Jason's bday.  The weather was gorgeous, the environment was fantastic, the company was off the charts - and I was miserable (only to the point that my butt didn't fit in the seats - every other factor was fantastic).  I love sports.  I love players of sports.  Sidney Rice is one of my boyfriends. (I have a number of famous boyfriends who don't know I exist)  Football pants are God's gift to me.  It is a crime that I cannot go to the games, and see them in person.  Concerts are typically held in stadiums.  I will not have to skip another concert because of my ass-size.  The music industry needs me. 

I hope this entry didn't come off as a non-stop whine-fest.  That was not my intention.  I am starting a new segment of my life, and along with that comes full-disclosure.  All of the little things I kept to myself, because they were too embarrassing, need to be let out.  I am thinking it has to be therapeutic - - right?  I know that it is me, and me alone, who has gotten my butt to this point.  There is no one else to blame.  But hopefully I will be having an entry down the road of me sitting in a stadium seat, with the sun on my face and beer (or water) in my hand - and I will be cheering on my Twins boyfriend (Denard Span).  And you can bet there will be a picture, and a big smile on my face.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Farewell Tour

When you make a major life change, you have things that will inevitably be missed from your "old life". When you get to plan your major life change out a month or so, it allows you time to do your "farewell tour". The things that are included on your farewell tour are probably determined by the type of change you are making. People going in for alcohol abuse probably decide to go on one last bender. People trying to quit smoking will go buy a carton of cigarettes and smoke 3 at a time until they run out. When your big change is tied to fat camp your tour may include foods that probably won't be standard staples on your diet, and maybe having more cocktails than you are going to be allowed when you return.

That has been the last month of my life. I have referred to it as a "Bon Voyage to Delicious Things". It has included Carbone's pizza, El Loro, La Plaza, Buffalo Chicken Salad from Houlihans and Banana Cobbler from Doolittles (SO DELICIOUS). I even got to have my birthday dinner a month and half early (brats from Smokehouse Meats and chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting) I have recruited others to enjoy the majority of this trip with me - a group of us celebrated non-Valentine's Day (titled: What's Love Got To Do With It?) at our favorite bar (Coopers in Eagan) on Saturday night (lots of cocktails and some snacks). It has been fun, and the good news is - I am actually looking forward to doing some healthy eating, now.

I have also allowed myself to enjoy more happy hours than I had the last few months. I have done my part to keep Anheuser Busch in business. Ahhh - Bud Light, my old friend. I will probably miss you most of all. Not that I'm not going to get to have a few beers ... ever - - but I do understand it will be fewer (much fewer) and farther between. I am thinking it is worth trying to cut down on my alcohol consumption. It will save me money and calories - - double bonus!! Not that I haven't had some great ways of working around that in the past. I think it was back before Wendy got married, and I was trying Weight Watchers. I had the brilliant idea of saving all of my "points" for alcohol one night, so I at only carrot sticks during the day. Seriously. A group of us went to a beer bash, and then to the Wild Onion. After numerous beers, and a few jello shots for good measure, I FELL DOWN at the Wild Onion. Got off my bar stool, and fell in the middle of the bar. Awesome. Who can really make a great plan? I can. I should give seminars on smart living.

I am choosing to believe I'll actually be able to balance things out this time. I am older, which makes me wiser - right? So if you are out and about in Eagan over the next week, maybe I'll see you while finishing out my "Farewell Tour".

What is your favorite treat? Maybe I should try it before I leave?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Durham..... We have a problem?

Well ladies and gentlemen, it is one week (oh my GOD - ONE WEEK!!!) until I depart for FC. Guess who is not even close to ready? This girl. I know, I know - - how much is there to get ready for? I have to throw fat pants and t-shirts in a bag and head out, right? But I think the fact that I am going into this blind, with no real idea of what I will be doing, is causing some issues in me brain. I have been fighting my usual need to have all of the facts before committing to something. I know this is something that is going to be amazing for me - so I am trying to go with the flow, as difficult as that is at times.

I have always had a tendency to wait until the last minute to pack and prepare (procrastination was inherited from both parents - shout out to Sue & Steve). That is nothing new. But trying to figure out what I need for a MONTH is new. Who, at the age of 34.93 goes anywhere for a month? I will have a car, and can shop for whatever crisis item comes up - but I am trying to avoid an immediate shopping trip, because space is not an issue. (run-on/awkward sentence, anyone?) How many bars of soap do I use in a month? (I hate the small bars they provide in hotels. Oh yeah - P.S.-I will be staying in a hotel. They do not have housing for this program) How much laundry detergent do I use in a month? These are all things that are making my head hurt.

I also have some shopping to do. I realized yesterday that I only have 2 sports bras. Two. I am guessing that isn't going to be enough to get me through a week, which would be an ideal laundry cycle. For those of you that know me well, you will really understand - I sweat like a fiend! I am hoping that the sweating while standing still will dissipate with some weight loss, but when I exercise I SWEAT. Always have, I am assuming always will. I would sweat through my jersey and t-shirt during warm-ups for softball. (I know what you are thinking... It is amazing I am single when I have such sexy attributes. You are correct - it is amazing.) I would assume I will need some jeans and shirts for the restaurant visit, and when I have visitors (that's right - I have VISITORS scheduled!! Yippee!). I will also need to up my quantity of fupa-friendly underwear. I don't need to be worrying about underwear - - I have other things to focus on here people!

I have a lot going on this weekend, but I should probably at least get the suitcase out, and start loading it. I am not always great at staying on task - so please send your positive packing vibes my way. I am going to try and channel my inner-Stephanie (the most prepared person I know) and see if that helps...

Have a great weekend everyone. I have really enjoyed my first week as a blogger. Thank you for tuning in!

Have any ideas on things I should plan on bringing, that I might not think of? Please share with me in the comments section below!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

don't "STRESS" me

When a girl (can you be 34.92 and still be a girl?) out-weighs an average offensive lineman (one more admission in the never-ending exercise in mortification that is currently my life) – she is forced to take a cardio stress test before participating in fat camp.  I suspected this would not be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but not even I could have imagined what I was getting myself in to.

I mentioned the need for this test to my doctor (who is so magnificent – I think she wanted to hug me when I told her I was FC-Bound) she wrote me up a referral right away.  I faxed it in, and they called to make the appointment.  While speaking to Stacy from MN Heart, located at Fairview Ridges in Burnsville, I was told to “wear comfortable shoes - - they’ll have you running and stuff”.  I gave her a guffaw and a “yeah, right” and hung up the phone.  As the date of the test approached, I became more concerned about what these people were going to try and make me do.  Run?  I hadn’t attempted to run since I was supposed to keep the book for Ken & Wendy’s softball team, and was forced to attempt to play.  If you were there you will probably remember what a vapor trail I was, with all of my speed.  Seriously - - running?  Come on.  This might kill me.  Luckily, I’ll be in the hospital, so someone can save me when I go into cardiac arrest!

The morning of the test I head to the hospital early (thankfully – because I couldn’t figure out where to park!) and head inside.  I go to the cardio desk to check in, and am given an identification bracelet.  Is this necessary?  How long am I going to be here?  Oh wait - - when I probably drop from over-exertion, they’ll need to know who I am.  Good – we have our bases covered. 

I am called into the testing room by my kind of crabby nurse (we’ll call her Sunshine) and told to strip from the waist up.  Hold on!  WHAT?!???!?!  I couldn’t have heard that correctly.  Strip from the waist up?  Yep – including my bra.  No lie.  It is true.  So I get to hop on the treadmill without my over the shoulder boulder holder?  This is a nightmare!!  I was given a gown (or a cape, as Mackenzie referred to it when she originally thought I had to do it without a cape.  OK – that would have been worse….for all involved) that opens in the front.  They put a strap, with a large pack hooked to it, around my middle (most commonly known as a waist – but I am not calling mine that, yet).  Coming out of the pack are numerous cords.  Sunshine proceeds to stick approximately 89 patches on me (the majority around my left boob), and hook the cords to those.  Another bonus?  I got to hear “please lift your left breast”.  Sure – just let me grab that off my knee.  Awesome.  Anything involving lifting and your boobs is fantastic.  Sunshine explains that the tech is coming in, and what he is going to do. 

The tech, John (who is a total heart badge), comes in and has me lay on my left side on this bed/table.  We do a series of shots of my heart with their ultrasound machine.  Lots of: deep breath, let it out slowly, stop…..ok breathe.  Some of the shots have blue and orange over your heart – which makes it look like your heart is on fire – scary.  John tells me that we are going to get me on the treadmill, I’ll go until I can’t any longer and then I need to get back into the same position on the table so they can get “after” shots as quickly as possible.  No problem.  Right. 

So Sunshine comes back in.  She is at the computer, I am on the treadmill, then the bed/table, and John is at his computer. (similar to the photo on the right, with way less smiling)  I get the low-down - - the treadmill starts at an incline, and every 3 minutes it gets faster and the incline goes up.  Phenomenal.  The treadmill starts, and so do my boobs.  They are all over the place.  This is horrible.  There has to be a better way to handle this for women – right?  Come on medical professionals!  I am not going to get into how long I was on the treadmill – it is embarrassing.  I know I am supposed to get onto the table as soon as possible when I am done.  I can sit on the edge of the bed, and then kind of flip over to lay on my left side.  I tell (or huff and puff at) Sunshine that I am done.  I start to sit on the edge of the bed and the treadmill comes to a dead stop - - not a gradual stop like the ones at the gym.  So my lungs are on fire, I am breathing heavy, and now I have to grab the handle on the treadmill so I don’t topple onto the floor.  I am a vision of loveliness and grace.  I finally get onto my left side, and it starts again: deep breath, let it out slowly, stop……  I extend a challenge to anyone reading this.  Get yourself good and winded, and try and hold your breath.  It is really fun.  But I did it, and I am finally done.   

I get dressed (I have never been so happy to have a bra on), and Sunshine says I can go wait in the waiting area for the doctor.  I meet with the doc.  Everything is fine.  I am good to go.  I am cleared for FC! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

does anyone really need to know this much about me?

I understand that I am terribly interesting.  I have so many unique and wonderful attributes, that many wish they could bottle my charm to spritz on themselves.  I get it - -  I am lovely. 

When I received my acceptance call from DDFC (Duke Diet & Fitness Center), they mentioned a packet was being mailed to me.  I assumed it would contain a packing list, possibly a schedule of my activities, general program information, etc.  What showed up in my mailbox, you ask?  One welcome letter outlining the additional paperwork items I would need to collect prior to "check in" - and not one, not 2, but THREE packets of questions for me to complete prior to arrival.  The first packet masqueraded itself as an informational packet - with the expected packing list, a nice note listing the items to complete, some additional testing information, General policy info (changing your leaving date, canceling or not showing up), Code of conduct information (my favorite: I may not make threats, fight or engage in any inappropriate or unwanted physical contact with another person while on the premises), doctor release, directions, etc.  This first packet also includes a "Food Journal" that specifically states not to change your food intake prior to arriving at the center.  They are going to be super-impressed with my healthy eating, I am certain.

Onto the Medical questionnaire.  This should be fun.  First Question: how would you describe your health.  Crap.  Then there were a few essay style questions - what do you want to get out of the program, and the like.  Then it got into a lot of check boxes.  Yes/No questions, where you have to check a box - so they go pretty quickly.  The problem - there are 10 pages!!  From lifestyle habits - like do you smoke cigarettes, to endocrine questions, to skin, respiratory and cardiovascular questions.  This packet was pretty straight-forward - it just took forever!

The Behavioral Health packet was another story.  It had a couple of pages of repeating questions.  Then some questions on motivation, eating patterns.  It asked if members of my household, friends and coworkers knew I was starting this program (Check!!).  Then it got interesting.  One of my favorite questions was "have you ever seen, heard, or smelled things that others could not?"  Really?  Oh boy.  I wonder how hard it will be for some of these people to lift weights with their straight jackets on?  There were lots of other questions about my mental well-being.  There was an entire page about anxiety and depression - - can you laugh and see the funny side of things? (I think so...)  Can I enjoy a good book, radio program or TV program? (hello!  I love TV!!  Finally - it has paid off!!)  Can I sit at ease and feel relaxed (I am so good at sitting at ease!!!  My problem is NOT sitting).  Then it got to the Always/Sometimes/Never pages.  These basically listed scenarios and asked how impacted my daily life.  There was a question in this packet that asked "As a child, were you teased about your weight".  Saddest.  Any kid who grew up chunky/heavy did, and I guarantee they still remember it.  I emailed a friend about it, and she remembered one time for her, too.  At least adults usually aren't so mean.  Usually.

The good news is that the packets are done.  I answered the questions as honestly (which was really unpleasant at times) as I could.  I figured if I am going to lie to them, they aren't going to be able to help.  The people at Duke are going to know me better than anyone!  Lucky them!

Monday, February 8, 2010

You have to apply to go through this?

Some things requiring applications have always made me giggle.  I have wondered why one has to "apply" to do things that it seems to me - no one would want to do in the first place. 

I have had friends who have run marathons, and the application process always baffled me.  You want to run 26.2 miles.  You are willing to pay to do it.  You want to spend months training, go through numerous pairs of shoes, get up on Saturday mornings to go "practice" running up to 20 miles.  On the day of the event you could: lose toe nails, have your nipples shaved off by repeatedly rubbing against your shirt (unless you are Sven Sungaard - then you just go sans shirt) or spontaneously crap/pee your pants.  Willing exposure to these things is silly to me.  Having to "APPLY" to be able to do them seems even more silly!  (right now I am really wishing "Sillier" was a word)  The fact that not everyone that wants to participate, doesn't get to participate, is the most silly.  To my friends who have finshed: I do not write this to diminish your accomplishment - - you are all amazing.  It just seemed like a decent segway into my application process.

This has all been eclipsed by my new experience.  Who would have dreamt that applying to fat camp would be any more than: Are you fat?  If yes, you are in.  If no, you are still in.  I was somewhat surprised to find myself looking at an 8-page application.  It included questions from: have you ever been accused of being anorexic or bulemic (seriously? - - I am applying to FAT CAMP!!) to has anyone else told you that you might have a problem with alcohol use (uh oh) to have you ever been hospitalized with a psychological problem (oddly enough - not yet).  The doubts started to roll in.....  What are their grounds for not accepting you?  Could I be too fat for fat camp?  HOLY HELL!!  What if everyone went through Fat Intervention for nothing?!??!??!  Not to worry!  I was accepted (obviously) almost immediately. 

Onto the next super-fun part of this process: the mortification of telling everyone I am off to Fat Camp.  Everyone has been so great, and really excited for me.  I have received some of the kindest emails I have ever read.  Thank you to all of you for your encouragement.  Don't be surprised if you see my number pop up on your phone when I get back.  I may need help being talked off the Big Mac ledge.... =)  You are all amazing.  Having such a great support system makes this seem entirely possible.  

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It all began with a "Fat Intervention"

Saturday, December 12th.  I had received an email a week or two before, requesting a family meeting.  The topic of the meeting you ask?  "Something important".  Don't ask me how, but I knew the topic instantly - I have moments of being psychic.  I told my friend Stephanie at the gym that morning that I was pretty sure they were having a fat intervention later that day.  I was right. 

With my family sitting across from me (or at least it felt that way) - - the meeting began.  Wendy was the lucky one who got to speak first.  She was apparently greeted with an eye roll, head shake and a look at the ceiling from me.  I am certain that will shock those that know me well -  I am usually so calm, and cool as a cucumber.  And really - who doesn't love hearing that they have a problem that is so pronounced, that everyone fears they may die instantly.  It is delightful.  But as pleasant as it was for me, I can only imagine it was even more fun for my parents and sisters.  I am certain there were many super fun meetings and conversations about this prior to the actual FI, because I know the intervention itself had it's fair share of tears. 

Wendy had been kind enough to compile some information on some possible "fat camps" - and forwarded that to me.  After lots of researching and thought - and some input from a friend - I settled on Duke Diet & Fitness Center in Durham, NC.  I have a link to their website on the right side of this blog, for those that want to see where I will be going.  I check in February 21st, and am done March 20th or 21st.

Despite the embarrassment of the FI (referred to as "a love intervention" by my mother) and the subsequent mortification of letting everyone know where I was going - I feel really lucky.  Who gets to go work on a personal issue for 4 weeks?  I am excited to get this show on the road.  I am eternally grateful to my family for this opportunity - although my sense of humor may not always allow me to make it sound that way. =)  I love all of you, and appreciate this more than I will ever be able to properly show you.