Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Forgetfulness Part 2: The Pain

My brain has definitely betrayed me.  I thought it was on my side, but can now see that I have been duped.  One more thing I failed to remember is the pain that comes from slacking for too long, and then trying to get back in to exercise.  It reminds me of that first week of basketball practice back in high school where everything hurt, and muscles you didn't even know existed began to rebel!  That is what I am living through today.

Yesterday, YC had me do 4 sets of squats with added weight (like hauling this rear end up and down isn't enough!??!?), and then had me do 3 sets of lunges with a ball over my head.  My legs are KILLING ME today.  (What is the opposite of a Shout out?  Because that is what lunges and squats get today!)  I got out of bed OK - was shocked, actually, at how good I was feeling.  I had some breakfast and headed to the gym for an hour on the elliptical.  I was feeling great when I got done.  No problem...a piece of cake, right?!  Wrong.  Unbeknownst to me on my ride home, my legs were seizing up.  By the time I got to my house, I had to cringe when I put my first leg out of the car, and audibly whimper when I pushed myself (using both arms to help me) out of the vehicle.  Ouch.  Suddenly, tasks as menial as walking, were a challenge.  Getting on to and off of the couch, the toilet, the chair on the patio - all of them were painful!  All I kept thinking was - how could I forget this?  How could I have failed to comprehend that my body was going to rebel after so much time being stagnant?  How did I do this to myself...again!  If you just stick with things...you don't have to go through this excruciating "starting over phase" that is currently requiring facial contortions and a great deal of moaning to get me up from a seated to standing position!!  How could I forget?  I guess that portion of my brain must have been occupied by pizza cravings for the last 3 months?

Regardless, I am going to survive this.  I will get up tomorrow (God willing) and go back to the gym for more torture.  The only thing that is saving me at this point is that I don't have to meet with YC again until next Wednesday.  I am hoping by them I am able to regain the full range of motion, and use of, my lower limbs.

 Your positive thoughts would be appreciated at this time.  Thank you!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Yesterday my body was tired.  I guess that is to be expected when you go from nearly no activity what-so-ever to multiple days of 45-60 minutes of cardio, and a weight session thrown in for good measure.  The day had to be spent on my couch.  I was able to keep my eating in check - even going so far as to cut my baked potato in half (shout out to FC....good memories!)!!!  I knew today was going to be a challenge, so I tried not to feel too guilty for being a slacker.

Today I had my second "Fit U" appointment with YC (Young Craig).  I have discovered that working with someone so young does have it's advantages.  He hasn't worked with a lot of severely overweight people, so I don't think he has any preconceived notions of what we can and can't do.  He has been an athlete his entire life, and up until 2 months ago was doing strength and conditioning with the football players at his old college.  In a nutshell: he isn't going to taper the workouts down to fit what he thinks might be the right amount for a fatty to do.  He made that evident today when he had me doing lunges with a ball over my head.  Dude!  I have enough resistance just trying to get this body up and down!  Now you want me to hold an 8# ball above my head (P.S.  I have NO upper body strength...which makes this even more of a challenge) and lunge!?!?  You must be out of your mind!  But I did it, and I could do it!  Granted, I probably won't be able to walk tomorrow, but I'll worry about that later. 

So here is the thing about forgetfulness - I forget how great it feels to finish a hard workout.  I forget how amazing that slightly fatigued feeling is.  I forget how proud you can be of yourself for finishing something you weren't sure you could when you started.  Why is it that these same selective memory skills cannot be used where pizza is concerned?  I have never forgotten how much I love pizza - how good it tastes, how much I love cheese, the deliciousness that is thinly sliced cured meats.  What is that really about?!?!  I can so easily forget these feelings of accomplishment and being strong, but cannot get the memory of pizza out of my mind!  I can actually taste it if I think about it for a minute!  My brain, which protects me in so many ways, is really putting the screws to me on this one!

In order to help combat my tendency to forget, I have decided to purchase YC's services for the next few months.  My current gym offers 1/2 hour sessions for only $20/session (even less when you buy them in packages).  I will be signing up to work with YC every 2 weeks (I will have to do the weights on my own in between our sessions) for the next few months, and see where it goes from there.  We had to have a small talk today about our working relationship, and guidelines.  I had to ask him if he was sure he was ready to deal with me.  I told him I am going to do whatever he tells me to do, to the best of my ability, with a minimum of complaining (we both hate whining).  He is in charge of making sure I don't hurt myself, and can't be afraid to correct me when I am messing up.  I told him eventually there will be a bit of babysitting involved (right now I am able to self-motivate, but know the day is coming when I won't want to do it).  I don't need or want a cheerleader (one "you can do it!!" would probably earn him a dumb bell to the head!), and he doesn't appear to be the type.  He has agreed to not yell at me until I cry, and then want to talk about feelings (similar to the Jillian Michaels approach from the Biggest Loser).  All in all, I think we are set for success!  YC and I are going to be unstoppable!(hopefully =))

What are your personal trainer guidelines?  Or what would they be if you had a personal trainer?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Eyes Are Open....

It has taken me a while, but I think I finally figured something out!  When I am not sticking to the program (also see: shoveling things I shouldn't eat into my mouth and sitting on my couch) I don't have anything to write about.  That is why the entries have been so scattered.  I could only update when I had actually done something positive...and as you can see since I returned July 1st - that hasn't been much!  Now that I am back to embracing my de-Remus-ing, I will be trying to update more frequently. 

I realize this whole experience isn't supposed to be all rainbows and hearts and butterflies.  There are going to be days that just suck...there will actually probably be a LOT of those.  They will, at times, far outweigh the good days.  I am planning to share what I am doing and feeling - and do it honestly, with hopefully a little bit of an entertaining spin - on a much more frequent basis.  I no longer see the benefit in trying to put up a front like everything is going well when it isn't.  What/who is really profiting from me not being honest with myself (or any of you for that matter), and trying to make this whole process seem like it is much easier than it is?  I know I am not.  So enough with the crap!  I am looking forward to this... 

When I started out on this....ummm...adventure?  (Merrium-Webster have an adventure listed as: an exciting or remarkable experience - - so I guess that will work) Everything was so exciting, and I was filled with this overwhelming optimism for the fantastic changes that would soon be coming.  At FC it was easy.  Everything was on a schedule.  I didn't know anyone else, so what else was there to do but exercise.  Short of going back to my room, there was only 1 TV for everyone to share.  Your meals are prepared for you, and the gym is right downstairs....  I lost sight of the fact that I have a similar set-up cooking here in Milwaukee.  There is no one here to distract me.  My duties as far as the house goes are pretty minimal.  I really have nothing else to do but take care of myself.  I just wasted almost 2 months not taking advantage of my freedom.  I am working on trying not to be mad at myself.  I can't change the past - I can only go forward from here, right?  So I am giving myself a pass.  The only thing I can do now is keep this momentum I have recaptured.  

After my first full week of success in the healthy eating and exercise departments, I was rewarded today with a couple of entertaining sightings.  People watching is one of my favorite things!  I am constantly intrigued, astounded, repulsed and entertained by humankind.  On my way out of the gym today, I was walking by the front desk.  There were 2 older ladies (my best guess is 70+ year olds) handing in their keys and getting their cards back.  They turned around from the desk, and there was an adorable 22-ish year old boy (hat backwards, gym bag slung (that's right - slung) across his body, holding a basketball.  He pipes right up and gives them a "hey ladies...how's it going today?" while he stepped to the side so they could walk by.  I couldn't hold in my giggle!  Those two ladies just lit up!  I love it when people shock you in a really good way.  He made their day!  I was behind them as they walked out of the building, and I think he had them a little flustered...they couldn't remember where they parked.  My second view was of a very tall, well-built man (maybe 40ish?)..in a red shirt and camouflage pants, with a handkerchief on his head....backpack securely on both shoulders...rollerskating down the sidewalk.  You just don't see rollerskates on an adult, everyday.  It brought a smile to my face.  I guess I know how he stays in shape.

Friday, August 27, 2010


It is no secret that the last few months have been anything but easy for me, and my quest to finally rid myself of Remus (shout out to Amber for pointing out I used the wrong name!!  No idea what I was thinking!  Thank you.).  This jerk will not go away easily!!  I have had moments of brilliance, but they have been entirely too few and far between.  I have been lazy.  I have had spurts of motivation.  I have joined a gym.  I have spent hours sitting on my couch.  I have cooked nutritious things for myself.  I have eaten entirely too many things that I shouldn't.  I have brought things into my house which should be banned from my life (shout out to chips and pizza). I have given myself so many pep talks I was starting to feel like Tony Robbins.

But I never gave up all the way.  I never went an entire week without going for a walk or going to the gym.  (I know that may not be impressive to many of you...but for the girl that has started and stopped so many attempts at improving her health - that is a big one.)  I would get the occasional fruit, veggie or baked chicken breast mixed in with the crap I was eating.  Was I following my program from Duke to the letter?  No.  But was I at least trying, on occasion, to keep my goal in sight?  Yes.

It was that triathlon weekend.  Those few days were so great, for so many reasons, that something finally clicked back in to place.  Maybe it was the possible job opportunity, or just having a friend think enough of me to mention my name to her co-worker.  Maybe it was that kind of cute guy at the bar who gave me his number.  Maybe it was watching women of all shapes and sizes and ages (shout out my friends Stephanie, Darcy and Shannon - you guys are so awesome!) doing a triathlon - - committing to something, and accomplishing it.  Maybe it was playing with my adorable nieces, and realizing what I had been missing out on when I was less mobile.  Whatever it was, that weekend re-inspired me.

In the 2 weeks since then I have been eating on program, and exercising very regularly.  With my gym membership I get two "Fit U" sessions with a personal trainer.  I finally had my first session with young Craig yesterday.  He is young Craig (YC) because he is such a pup - he is 23.  I have this thing with certain people where I call them the name I think they look like, rather than by their real name (shout out to Jay, who I constantly referred to as Tim)....I am slightly concerned I am going to refer to Craig as Brian for the remainder of his days.  I am sure this will be shocking to all of you, but I can be a bit of a load to deal with on occasion (especially where exercise is concerned) - but I am happy to report I think YC is going to do just fine.  He seems pretty no-nonsense, like "just do it and get it done" - which is exactly what I need.  After talking over what my goals are (I went to fat camp, I've lost some lbs and I want to get healthy...I gave up on being a size 2 long ago -which got a smile out of YC), and letting him know I would like to not have completely flabby/jiggly arms, etc - we were off for 1/2 of weightlifting.  Lots of upper-body machines and weights - - by the end I was feeling exhausted and woozie (shout out water, and my brain remembering to bring it in from the car next time), but great!  ENDORPHINS!!  It has been a while since I have spent a torturous morning with Stephanie at LTF...so I was somewhat worried that I would lose my ability to move my arms today.  Good news!!  I still have full mobility of all of my limbs!!

It has only been about 10 days, but I already feel so much better...again!!  Is there some sort of shock therapy that would help me remember this feeling more accurately the next time (and unfortunately, I am certain there will be a next time) I go off the tracks?  That is something I will have to look into......

Monday, August 23, 2010

Victory: The Headshot

This whole process of recognizing you need to lose weight, starting the process, having some success, being ultra-committed, losing interest in the process, giving yourself pep-talks to keep going, remotivating and recommitting yourself, losing interest again, pep-talks, recommitting, losing interest - you get the idea.... this whole damn process can be exhausting.  That is it.  Going through a life overhaul is completely exhausting.  It is full of ups and downs, easy times and moments where you are sure you just cannot care enough to continue with it, highs and lows. 

There are so many times that it seems like there will never be an end to this process (which lets face it - there isn't.  This is a life change. It's permanent, baby!).  Where every necessary action (shopping, cooking well, eating well, exercising, etc) seems like more work than it is worth.  Where you feel like there is no way you will get to your goal, and it isn't even worth trying.

And then there are these moments where it all clicks - where everything seems right in the world.  Where you are shown that the hard work is paying off.  Where something you hadn't noticed in the past comes screaming to the forefront, and you finally open your eyes.  These moments will forever be remembered as victories to me.  They help motivate you to stay on program.  They make going to the gym that much easier.  They remind you of the possibility, and it is the possibility that will keep you on task.

Current (week of 8/16/10)
I, like many of you, use Facebook to stay in touch with.....well, everyone.  I decided last week that I needed a new profile picture.  I had been using the same one for a couple of years now, and felt like I could use an update.  The picture to the left is what I came up with.  It is no Glamour Shot and I am horrible with the self-portraits, but I thought it was OK.  I can still see the hint of a double-chin and my eyes only look mildly crazy.  When we compare against other photos of me, and grade on a curve, this is an alright shot.    I haven't noticed huge changes to my body.  Things feel a bit smaller, a bit less rotund - but when I look at pictures of myself I don't see a major change.  I just looked at pictures from my family fun weekend, and although I was able to hold back the tears this time, I was unjazzed (which is similar to not jazzed, but more severe).  I still look like a whale.  A slightly smaller whale, maybe - but a whale none-the-less. 

License Photo taken 04/2009
It wasn't until today, when I took my license out and actually looked at it, that I noticed just how much my face has changed!  The picture I took of my license with my phone is super-fuzzy, but you can still make out the extreme-sveltness that I am speaking of.  Finally - I noticed a difference physically!  It makes all of this crap that I don't want to do 90% of the time seem worthwhile, and it actually makes me want to move my rear!!  The next time I want pizza instead of my baked chicken, I am going to look at my license.  I wonder if the State of Minnesota (shout out to the DMV) would be willing to make me posters of this picture to post on my refrigerator, in my car (for when those damn fast-food restaurants call my name), on my alarm clock (for the many mornings when I don't want to get up when it goes off) - with a few extras to hand out simply because it is a sweet pic.  I think this is the first time I have ever loved my license picture.   

What was your latest Victory?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Burn A Little Extra

Lately I have been thinking about additional ways to burn calories.  Ways that don't necessarily feel like you are working out, but are still effective.  Everyone should move for 60 minutes every day.  Some will have to wait until I am in better shape.  Some just made me giggle when I initially saw them performed (but laughing burns calories, right?).  

I was driving down the road and noticed a large grassy area on the side of the road.  There was a road on the West end of the grassy area with a stop sign.  Chained to the stop sign was a 10-speed bike.  Completely out in the open.  No person anywhere that I could see.  Not a house around.  My best guess is that someone rode their bike to the bus stop, and chained it there to ride it back home in the afternoon.  Interesting new way to burn some cals.

The bicyclists of Milwaukee believe the own the streets.  They ride in the middle of the lane, and refuse to move over and let you by.  On Tuesday I was behind a gent (probably 25-30ish years old) with a tight gray tshirt (which accentuated his muscular back nicely, if I do say so myself) and had loose mesh shorts, tanned/muscled calves and regular tennis shoes on.  I was slightly annoyed that I was unable to get around him, but realized I should embrace relaxation...and just sit back and enjoy the view.

I have plans to ride in "Ragbrai" (an fun/quirky biking fest in Iowa) in July 2011.  I guess I better get my butt (literally) in shape, and round up a bike!

I was at the gym the other day and witnessed 3 - 50-somethings playing badminton.  I haven't played that since high school, and just the visual of people playing makes me laugh.  Not sure why.  Either the combination of the fact that I was so horrible at it in gym class, or just that flying birdie.  Either way, very funny.  There were two ladies playing against one dude, because apparently boys are better at badminton.  It was to be taken very seriously - one lady was even wearing a glove on her racket hand, sort of like a white-lady-Michael-Jackson (someone who was legitimately born a white lady, not someone who paid doctors to turn into one).  If I see them playing again some day, I may ask them to join.  They look like a pretty tight-knit group, but maybe they'll take pity on me.

I hope she kicked off the side of her foot!!
One thing about my dad - he is always a coach.  Regardless of the sport, or the people he is playing with, he is a coach.  He likes to conduct what I lovingly refer to as "skills clinics".  My sister Wendy has more than a small amount of my dad's personality in her.  I like to call Wendy "Junior" because of this resemblance.  Wendy is a great athlete.  She throws softballs so hard that there were boys on one co-ed team that were scared to have to try and catch them.  Cut to my niece Macy's 5th birthday party last weekend.  Macy is apparently pretty in to soccer (a sport no one in my family has ever played), and asked for a soccer ball for her birthday.  She got a super-cute one with shiny pink on it, socks with shin-guards, and two small soccer nets.  Her dad and my dad put the nets together at her party, set them up, and used the metal stakes provided to anchor them to the ground.  It started out nice.  Both of my nieces were kicking the balls into the net, and Wendy would toss them back to them to kick again.  At one point she told Jorey "good job, bud" and must have really gotten a hold of the ball for the toss back - - it was moving at about 95 mph, and ricocheted off Jorey's leg and almost scored, again.  Funny stuff...I got a good giggle.  About 5 minutes later I happen to glance back over, just in time to see the ball flying a million miles an hour at one of the mini-nets.  It was moving at speeds too advanced for the tiny stakes to handle - and all 4 were ripped out of the ground, the net lifting about a foot off the ground.  Wendy had decided to conduct her own skills clinic, and show Macy how to kick the ball off the side of her foot.  It would appear mini-nets for kids aren't meant for pregnant ladies with a ton of power.  Honestly, I laughed until I was crying.  Kicking the ball around with your nieces burns calories, but the laughter caused by your sister putting on a soccer expo burns more.  

There are always ways, other than the treadmill, to burn some calories - you just have to keep your eyes open!  Do you have an entertaining way to burn extra calories?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Triathlons and Turning 5

This last weekend I made the trip back to Minnesota....again.  It looks like I will be making the trek every 2-3 weeks for the next few months.  That is the great part about being so close...I can still make it back for everything!  I did have a concern about the volume of driving I would be doing....eating the whole time I was in the car.  When I have done road trips with my friends, it involves food - typically at least one stop at Culvers (any place that serves cheese curds or tator tots is a crowd (and by crowd I mean me) favorite) and also requires stocking up on snacks at a convenience store.  The good news for me is, I have gotten through my last 3 trips with only one stop, and have avoided buying food entirely on 2 of them.  For some reason I just can't talk myself into getting Subway while driving - so it is better that I learn to do without.  I think I will be OK.  I can do it! (my new mantra)

The purpose for the trip home this weekend was 2-fold.  I wanted to watch 3 of my friends do a triathlon on Sunday, and it was also my niece Macy's 5th birthday party.  I had given myself a stern talk the week before about getting in my exercise, and trying to not eat like a horse - and always have slight panic that I will make nothing but bad decisions when I am out of my own kitchen.  My friends organized a dinner on Friday at Chateau Hastings, which was great.  Lots of healthy options, some not-so-healthy options, but it satisfied my friend Marilyn's request that it be free of cream cheese!

It had been about 1000 degrees in Minnesota for a week, so I opted for staying at my sister Wendy's house in their fancy new basement.  I got up Saturday morning, and forced myself to go for a walk.  I was asked to take my nephew (a 70 pound boxer who thinks he is a lap dog) Reggie with me.  Now I am not one who likes to have to work around a dog constantly at my feet, and I NEVER want to be someone who has to walk with a bag of poop for my whole walk - but I said yes reluctantly.  He was so good!!!  You don't even have to keep him on his leash!  I was amazed.  By the time we got back we were both over-heated and tired.  He may be my new perfect exercise partner!

I went along to help with Macy's kid party at Chucky Cheese.  I was certain this would be my personal hell - but was delighted to find that it was really quite easy, and pretty tame.  Don't get me wrong - I am certain I lost some of my ability to hear due to the volume in there...but overall it was a really nice party.  Not nearly as many tantrums as I thought there would be, and I heard one of Macy's friends punched Chucky Cheese in the head - so that was pretty cool.  I tried to watch Jorey so everyone else could focus on Macy.  Except for the minor issue of her not being able to "find the slide" while she was in the tubes up by the ceiling, it was incident-free!

After a night out at my favorite old stomping ground (shout out to Coopers in Eagan - - I LOVE that place!) and not nearly enough sleep (about 3 hours) we were off to watch Darcy, Shannon and Stephanie complete in the YWCA Triathlon (I took a before picture of the 3 of them, but did not get their consent to put it on here - - so in an effort to not get myself into trouble, I left it off).  I had Nina as my co-pilot (shout out to Nina for knowing where we needed to be, and finding us a fantastic parking spot) and we arrived in time to visit with the ladies before the whole thing got started.  They all did such a fantastic job!!!  Darcy even finished in the top 50 of like 860+ people on the swim portion - - she is fast!!  I heard a rumor that one of them took a poll after the swim segment, to see if anyone wanted to quit.  Having no takers, they kept going...  I was amazed at the array of body-types at this thing.  The typical body-type that I envision when I think of someone doing a triathlon was definitely in the minority!  And all of these women, with ages as varied as their body types, were kicking ass!  It was so great, and inspirational, to watch.

Our spectating counterparts did not have as much luck in the parking department as we did - - they could have just parked in Eagan and walked from there and been closer.  After the race, we were asked to give them a ride back to their vehicle - and this is what we found.  It appears that if you have the wildlife license plates, you are allowed to park in the trees?

Then I was on to Macy's adult birthday party.  She is starting school this year, and is 5 going on 12!  I asked her if she felt any different now that she was five, and got told "it feels WAY different".  Seriously!!  The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so we were all outside.  I bought a ring toss game for Jorey, so we spent the bulk of the day playing that.  When she got sick of playing the actual game (which lasted longer than I thought it would with a 3-year-old as my competition) she made up different ones, which eventually turned into flipping her around my arm.  It wasn't long before Macy wanted in on the action as well.  I may not have gotten my walk in that morning, but I definitely got my exercise in!  Being able to play with my nieces was one of the major incentives for me to want to lose some weight - and I definitely felt like it was working!  Normally I would have just sat in a chair and watched them play - - it was nice to be in on it for a change.

It was a very fun/motivating weekend!  Now I am back in Milwaukee, feeling more inspired to move!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Because Yes Really IS More Fun Than No

I have been asked by a few people how to find the interview that Sarah Von Bargen did on her blog/website (yesandyes.org - - it is fantastic.  You should check it out regularly!).  Here is the link that should take you to it!  Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What a Pill

These days you can take a pill for just about anything.  Want to feel happy?  Take a pill.  Want to be less anxious?  Take a Pill.  Want to curb your appetite?  Want your wiener (in an effort to keep this PG rated) to work properly?  Want to get pregnant?  Want to not get pregnant?  Want to _____(you fill in the blank)?  Take a pill.  I am not saying you shouldn't take pills, and I'm not saying they shouldn't be offered. 

My only issue is that I have yet to see an advertisement for pills that will motivate you.  One that will make you crave working out, and allow you to save the time you spend each day that you currently spending talking yourself into going to the gym.  A pill that will make baked chicken breasts seasoned with Mrs. Dash (or other no-salt seasoning) and steamed veggies seem much more appealing than a pizza or burger and fries ever could!  Some genius out there must be sick of wasting all of this time in self-talk....or maybe I am the only one?  Maybe I am the only person that has to give themselves a lengthy pep talk to get their exercise in?  Some days it is no problem - I want to get out there - but those days are few and far between right now!  Maybe there is a diet pill on the market that deadens your taste buds, so you can't actually taste what you are eating?  So baked chicken and pizza taste the same?  If not - I would like someone to invent these drugs immediately!  Since I am making my ridiculous wish list, maybe they could also be a vitamin - so I only have to remember to take one pill a day?  (It is amazing how hard it is to remember to take my vitamins!!  I am starting to worry that my brain is shutting down!)

While I was at the gym today, daydreaming about my new pill that will make getting there a complete joy, I decided that I will try and use my tiny accomplishments as "pills" in the meantime.  When I don't want to go to the gym, or feel like it really isn't going to make that big of a difference if I go or not - I am going to remember.  I am going to remember what it felt like the first time I could put my ankle to my knee while sitting on a chair.  I am going to remember how excited I was (and still kind of am) to be able to sit cross-legged on the floor (granted, I am in sweat pants, and do it with my left leg crossed last {I had surgery on that knee in 9th grade, and it has been a bit of a pain lately} but they still cross!!).  I am going to remember how much easier it is to get to the floor, and get up from the floor.  I am going to remember how much easier stairs are now.  I am going to remember how nice it is to finally fit into that size smaller jeans (which it has been entirely too long since I got to do.  I need to get my butt moving).  I am going to remember how miserable I was, and how much better I feel after losing only 1/4 of the weight I want to lose.  I am going to remember "Fat Intervention" (which I can now look back on with a smile) and remember that people love me, and believe in me, and want me to succeed - and remember that I am also one of those people.  I am going to remember how good it feels when I am done, and get to walk out the door of that gym.

So if any of you out there can get on developing these drugs, I would really appreciate it!  Until then, I'll just have to keep figuring out ways to motivate myself. 

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


My family, like many others out there, tends to make food priority number 2 (out-prioritized only by picking an actual date for the event).  Every get-together requires much planning, preparing, delegating, etc - all where food is concerned.  Movies and television have painted a picture of Italian families, and their lavish pasta-prevalent meals - entire tables filled with different dishes, and everyone eating together.  How many back-yard fiestas have I watched where Hispanic families all come together with table after table of delicious looking food: enchiladas, refried beans, rice, etc. 

My dad's family has similar traditions with food - every gathering has to have a menu.  My grandfather is German, my grandmother is Irish - so the best I could come up with for a name for us was...Germ-ish (Ir-an just wasn't working for me).  Apparently, based on the food selections last weekend, the foods for these combined countries are: butter, sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, sugar and cured meats - with a healthy dose of cheese (oh my God - I LOVE cheese) thrown in for good measure.  

We had our annual family trip (Family Fun Weekend, or FFW) up to Breezy Point resort last weekend.  I knew going in, it was going to be a challenge.  Partially because the the bad food far out-weighs the good, but also because I LOVE the bad food!  I tried my best to hold it together, and I think I did OK.  Not perfect, but OK - and really - what more could I have expected?  I tried to stick to eating, only at meal times (unless my option was fruit - shout out to Cherries!).  And when piling up my plate, attempted to keep the servings smaller than usual.  It was hard.  I had Granny's potato salad and Karlene's chicken salad - which are 2 of my faves - staring me in the face at every meal.  I avoided the deep fried taco shells, and opted for a chicken salad.  I only drank one of the days, opting for water on the others.  I even avoided the snacky crap (dips, chips and crackers).  Had my lovely sister Wendy not made multiple bags of crack mix (a bunch of things like crispix, goldfish crackers (only the sweet kinds) and other treats, all with a sweet glaze - and then m & m's thrown in for good measure.  It is SO delicious, and SO addicting) I would have been home free!! 

I had plans to get up and walk 2 of the mornings that we were up there, but when we had a 6:27am tee time on one of the days, I decided I didn't need to go walk at 5am to get it in.  I did go the other morning, in what felt like 900% humidity - so at least I felt like I did something! 

Since before I left for fat camp, I have been nervous about this vacation, because I know it is typically crap (delicious, but not nutritionally sound) food and a ton of booze.  That works just fine for the rest of my much tinier, much more fit family.  This is what all of that fat camp training was for.  Being responsible for myself and my decisions.  I can't expect the world around me to completely change and adapt to me - I have to do that for myself.  The weeks prior to going to FFW had been less than stellar for me - I wasn't making the best food decisions on my own.  It was time to reign it in, and I think I did a pretty good job while surrounded by temptation.  The great news is, it got me started on making better decisions - so I could carry that over to my return home.  I had completely cleaned out my fridge prior to leaving - and was determined to recreate my "safe haven" upon my return.  With no tubs of cheese, potatoes, etc staring me the face - I am happy to report that I am slowly but surely getting back on track. 

While at FC, they kept reinforcing the myth that this needed to be an all-or-nothing deal.  If I went off program for a while (or 2ish months) I was destined to fail, and might as well give up.  That had been my experience before FC.  If I wasn't able to do 100%, I might as well do zero.  They were right. 

I don't know what weight I have gained back, if any.  My clothes, for the most part, fit the same (and I have learned the importance of putting on real pants every once in a while to gauge.  Wearing sweats every day will throw you off).  My gym has a scale I could use, but it isn't digital - it is like the one on the left - and I just don't have it in me to stand there forever and mess with it!!  Maybe when I go back tomorrow?  I need to weigh myself, to help keep me motivated, but sometimes it just seems like the probability for mortification is too high....

So I have survived what I perceived to be my largest hurdle, and I have exceeded my own expectations.  What more can you really ask of yourself?  I am proud of myself!  I can be responsible for my own actions, and sometimes I am stronger than I think I am.