Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Show Yourself!!

Let me start by saying - I am a huge fan of free speech. I tend to have an opinion on just about everything going, and am very grateful for the freedom to share them. I am also, typically, very interested in hearing what other people think. People, and their thought processes and opinions, intrigue me! I can't vouch for the fact that I will agree with you, or that I won't think you're an idiotic jackass - but I appreciate that you have the opportunity to express yourself as well. 

That being said - I do have one personal requirement to all of this free speech: it should not be done anonymously. If you have an opinion you feel strongly about, you should be willing to put your name on it. I do not value the voice of someone who only seems capable of sharing the truth according to them when they can do it anonymously. Say whatever you want. Have whatever opinions you want to have. As long as you aren't breaking any laws, go to town. But have the balls to own it. Put your name on it, or shut up. 

I first realized how dangerous anonymity could be when my cousin was in his first campaign. He has now gone through two elections to be the state representative of my home town district. During each campaign, people come out of the woodwork with erroneous claims, and slanderous comments. The common link? None of the people writing these things are adult enough to put their name on it. I am talking first and last name. Not "0034TpXY" or "BigTeddyBear". If you believe it enough to write it, then you should believe in yourself enough to take ownership. 

Tuesday morning I was greeted with my first negative comment on this blog. Negative is only part of it. My interpretation was that it was insulting, and condescending. I have pasted it below, to save you the effort of having to go back and read it. Now I am not for one minute going to say that this person doesn't make some valid points. The issues that I have are:
  • While I don't expect everyone that reads this blog to continually blow smoke up my ass, and be non-stop sunshine and butterflies - I don't want to take on other people's negativity. I am fighting my own on a daily basis.
  • The first paragraph is absolutely true. The rest, although it contains some decent points, is written is such a manner that I wouldn't listen to him/her regardless of intent. 
  • I understand that making a blog public to the world leaves me open to others' opinions and emotions. But I'm not trying to fix anyone else. I am sharing my story. What I am going through. I am also not asking anyone to fix me. I think there are people that can relate to what I am going through, because they are as well. There is comfort in realizing you are not alone. If you don't connect with what I am doing, or writing - please feel free to discontinue reading this blog immediately.
  • Please don't ever use the term "unacceptable" when referring to me, or my effort, again.
  • Please don't comment on the support or "cheerleading" provided by the people reading and commenting on this blog. They have created a community of kindness and support, that not everyone is fortunate enough to have outside of this location. If you don't want to be a part of it, or it doesn't satisfy your needs - I wish you luck in finding it elsewhere.
  • If you wanted to help, you would have put your name on this. If you were doing it for any reason, other than to try and make me feel bad, you would have included you own personal information. When you hide behind anonymity, you remove any relevance your words would have possibly carried. Be an adult. Take ownership of your words. 
To those of you that have stuck with me through the motivated, and unmotivated - I appreciate you. I am working to get back to the spot where I can be an inspiration to you, and myself. I will have moments where I need you guys to pick me up, and I hope I can do the same for you. 

Because of my distaste for this experience, I have changed some of the comment settings for this blog. I have it set up so I will have to approve the comments before they post. This is not because I want to edit those of you that leave comments - I want you to be completely honest!! Feeling great? Feeling pissed? Feeling frustrated? Disagree with something I said? Share it!! But I also want you to take ownership of what you're writing. 

If you use the "anonymous" feature, so you don't have to register as a follower of my blog, just put your name at the bottom of your comment and I'll send it right through. Negativity, hiding behind Anonymity, will be rejected. Not only on this blog, but in life.

 Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Dickwad

And here is the comment:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I Am NOT The Next Biggest Loser":


In reading your blog, it appears that you already have access to a gym, plenty of time to go to the gym, plenty of friends to go to the gym with you, healthy food options, and knowledge about weight loss. It seems that the only thing that BL would offer to you that you don't have in your life right now is people who really hold you accountable when you slack. Does that seem like a fair assessment? And is that what you need? Because there are probably a few people who read this blog who would volunteer to fill that role.

For starters, when I checked the MYA page, I saw that you've only moved 30 miles in the last 4 weeks instead of the 80 miles that you promised. That is unacceptable. We expect to see a minimum of 20 miles every week (and even that is probably a fraction of how much the contestants move on BL -- if you're not working, you could spend several hours each day on a treadmill or elliptical or in the pool or walking at the mall or around your neighborhood -- do it for an hour in the morning, another hour in the afternoon, and another hour in the evening -- even if you move at a pace of 2 or 3 miles per hour, you could be doing 40 to 60 miles per week).

Also, if you aren't doing it now, you should start calculating the calories that you're consuming each day. You don't need to share that in the blog, but I think it's necessary for you to do the math for yourself so that you realize how much you need to move in order to burn more calories than you're consuming and "slim down."

I realize this blog is supposed to be a place of support, but the type of support or cheerleading that you have been receiving here doesn't seem to motivate you on a consistent basis. There have been too many weeks of slacking (both in terms of exercise and diet) and too many excuses, and nobody calls you out on it. Maybe a less warm-and-fuzzy type of support (similar to the type provided by the trainers on BL) is necessary.

If you (or other readers) think this is harsh, think about how harsh it would be to go on BL and have millions of TV viewers watching and commenting about you. My words are nothing compared to being forced to stand on a scale wearing a sports bra and biker shorts while a giant scale flashes your actual weight for the entire world to see.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Am NOT The Next Biggest Loser

I would like to apologize in advance for the rambling below - but sometimes that is just how I roll!

There have been many times over the years that I have thought I should be on the Biggest Loser. There was even a time about 4 years ago that I attempted to make a tape and send it in. (Embarrassing - I know). My friend S. and I had often talked about trying out for the team shows (I have a grievance I would like to discuss with the BL people on this! Please call it "Duos" instead of "Couples". How are a father/daughter, mother/son, father/son, mother/daughter, friends, sisters, brothers, etc a "couple"? THEY AREN'T! Please change it immediately. Thank you). So when the casting was coming to Minneapolis, the discussion was had once again. S said she couldn't take 2 months off of work, so the discussion died there. My friend M from FC was contacted by the BL people, so I talked to him about it a little bit as well - but that didn't really go anywhere. And you needed a current photo - which I make it a practice to NOT keep on hand because I find them depressing as hell - so I had decided it was not going to happen.

While on my return drive to MN on Friday I received a text from my sister. I guess there were a few people who felt like I should go to the tryouts. Crap. So I spent the next 5 hours alternating between "no way!" and "why the hell not?". I put it on Facebook, and was greeted (not shockingly - because my friends are fantastic!!) with an overwhelming amount of support. How could I not do it after that? So I needed a picture. Shout out to Amy for meeting me, and taking a current photo. I got it printed out Friday night, so I could go if I felt the desire to. By the time I left my photo session I had pretty much been talked into it by Amy and my brother-in-law. Really - what did I have to lose? Yes, it was a waste of time (as I was certain I wouldn't get picked) - but as my very smart friend Stephanie asked me "have you ever wasted a day before?". Just so you know - the answer to that is: often.

At 5am on Saturday, I was up and in the shower. I assessed my chances - and gave myself about a 5% chance of getting chosen. At 7am (when the lines were supposed to be starting to form) I walked into the Mall of America. I found myself at 148th in line. Here is where a couple of things became evident:
  • I am more "generic" looking than I had thought. So much so, that a lady in the line next to me asked if the girl in front of me and I were twins or sisters. Uh-oh. About 5 minutes later the two ladies that lined up behind us asked the same question. Wow. I am really going to stand out! 
  • In Minnesota time 7am must mean 4am? Seriously. There was one woman who told the news crew (yes - there was a news camera and reporter there. I hid.) that she'd been there since 4am. That means she waited outside the door. In winter. In Minnesota. 
So I settled in for the wait. Interviewing started at 10am. I had some time to kill. I felt really lucky to be where I was in line - I was by very nice people, I could sit on the floor and lean against the wall and I wasn't trapped in the middle row. As time went by, it kept getting warmer and warmer in our little alley. I guess you can only  have so many overweight people in tight quarters before the temperature starts to rise? Shockingly - I wasn't even a complete sweaty mess. While chatting with my new friend J, she said something kind of interesting. We were discussing how many people would turn out for the call, and she said that MN is one of the most fit states. She works for the Dept of Health - so knows these things. I had never thought about that. I guess I am usually the biggest that seems about right. I fit in a little better when I lived in GA.

Anyway...we were finally given our short questionnaires. I went through and had mine done in about 5 minutes. I noticed - because I was the first one done - that people were spending a lot more time on them than I was. Is that a negative? Or a positive because I wasn't over-thinking it? Crap. Who knows. I did notice while walking around at one point that there was a girl who had a notebook with her. She appeared to have written out a little speech because it started with "hi, my name is....". I guess she didn't realize what a ridiculous farce this was going to be, either. It was at that point that I realized that some people had put a LOT of effort into this. And there were people there - like the gentleman whose stomach was hanging out the bottom of his shirt - that probably needed this more than I did.

The line finally started to move. My hands were clammy. I didn't feel nervous, so not sure why? It was about 5 minutes later that my new friend P said she'd heard we were going in in groups of 12. Twelve!?!? What the hell?!? I thought that seemed silly, and she probably mis-heard them. Nope. About an hour later I was to the front of the line. It is explained that we will go in in groups of 12, but everyone will have a chance to answer their question. This should get interesting. After talking new friends K and P off a ledge (they were super-nervous) we were taken in to the room where we got to line up again. 3 rows of 12 in the entry of an office area. They really like to pack a lot of fatties in tight quarters! Then the 3 groups in the interview "rooms" (not actual rooms, but sections of open space separated by cloth curtains - while a huge room sat unused) had to walk through us to get out. I started thinking whoever laid out the logistics of this thing could have used some help. That was the least of it, I would soon learn.

Finally group B (my group) was lead into one of the curtain rooms. There was a table, 12 chairs and ONE casting person - - we'll call her "Patsy". Before we even get started, Patsy warns us that if she has to cut it off, we shouldn't take it personally - but we need to keep things moving. There were about 4 rounds of questions asked. I get to answer all of the questions first. The highlights were that I got to share my weight and my occupation - two real bright spots for me. I do not believe I am exaggerating when I tell you that we were in the room for about 5 minutes. Seriously. Beyond getting to share my highlights - here were a couple of faves/questions from the "interview":
  • There was one girl in my group that sounded like she was going to cry when they asked our names. For reals, y'all. I wanted to tell her "honey, you don't stand a chance" - but thought better of it. She probably got a 2nd interview.
  • Patsy spent 1/2 of our 5 minutes with her back to me
  • What do they use as a basis to pick the people for 2nd interviews? You have a 1/12 shot with Patsy - which really turns into worse odds, because she saw a minimum of 200 people that day (probably closer to 300)
  • I am beige. I wasn't wearing anything crazy, I didn't have pink hair, I didn't look so sad and beaten down that they had to worry I might not survive one more rejection, I didn't come in hooting and hollaring, I didn't say anything crazy, I answered their rapid questions without crying. I had a stranger-twin for Christ's sake!
  • I'm too normal.
After being in the "interview" (absurd to even try and call it that!) room, I felt my chances were at about -15%. I knew there was no chance. While I was waiting to go into the rooms, one guy in the groups filing out of the rooms told his buddy "it doesn't give you a chance to shine". I actually laughed out loud. Partially because that is funny, but mostly because a dude just used the word "shine", and wasn't talking about the sun or his freshly polished car.

So I want to thank all of you, again, for being so wonderful and supportive! I appreciate all of you so much! But this is for the best. I don't have to wear next to nothing on national TV. I don't have to do their silly challenges. I don't have to worry about being arrested for assult after punching Ali in the neck because she is so annoying. It is for the best. There are other people that need this worse than I do. I might be moving at a snail's pace, but I can and will do this on my own. BL wasn't ready for me.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Adios, Wisconsin!

I cannot believe my time here is up! In some ways this 9 months has seemed to take forever - but in many more it really did fly by. I do not regret my decision to come here. At the time I did, I think it was the best thing for me to do. I was a mess,(that is not to say I am not currently a mess. I am more than willing to admit I spend much of my time in this category! =)) had recently lost my job and was trying to figure out what to do with myself. Basically - a little solitude did me some good!

I can honestly say, I have had enough "me" time for a while. I am looking forward to the hustle and bustle that is my life at home. I can't wait to go build amazing lego creations with my nieces any time I want to. I am looking forward to being able to see my friends and family with much more frequency. I'm ready to no longer be house-bound (totally my own issue), and get out - especially now that winter will *fingers crossed* be coming to a close soon!

Sure - there are things I am going to miss.... I'll miss YC. I'll miss the other people that work at my gym - they are all so great! I'll miss being able to go to the bathroom with door open. =) I'll miss....ummm....well - I guess that is all I'll really miss.

I look forward to having gym dates. I have learned that I like to do cardio on my own - because I am in horrible shape, and don't really like sharing the extent of of my anti-cardio strength with others! =) But I'll be doing weight workouts four days a week - and if you are anything like me, it is easier to get my ass to the gym when someone is expecting to see me there! I have had a few offers already, and am looking forward to it.

So thank you, Wisconsin, for the last 9 months. I might just come back to visit.

And to Minnesota - Let's get back on track together. That means - enough snow already! And for my part, I'll get my ass back to the gym regularly. Deal?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Curves Ahead

I was thinking today about what I want to get from my body. How I want it to look, what I want it to do, what I need to do to get it there. Regular goal-setting does NOT work for me, so I am maybe going to have to try something different. I am thinking a series of pictures, like I'm a 4 year old? Who knows..... It might just work. While searching for some images that might work for ideals of what I'd like my bod to look like...eventually...I came across the picture below. It made me laugh out loud, so I figure I should share.

Truth: it is true that not every man needs a size 0 "stick-insect" (shout out to Bridget Jones!)

if they're good enough for Pierce Brosnan, that's good enough for me
What helps motivate you guys? I am open to any and all ideas! I NEED HELP!