Twinks Gets Fit...

Monday, May 9, 2011

The one where I tear up over a reality TV show.

If you've been following the blog for any length of time, you've probably picked up on a few things:

1. I'm a sporadic poster.
2. My main focus these days is weight loss.
3. I call my daughter "Little" and adore her with every fiber of my being.
4. I overuse the elypsis.
5. I big puffy heart The Biggest Loser.

This season of Biggest Loser is by far, my favorite. I think all 5 contestants who are left at this point are wonderful people. There isn't drama or game play like past seasons. No mother throwing her daughter under the bus so she can reach her own goals (and ultimately win the show) :coughcoughHelencoughSeason7cough: I particularly love the sister team of Olivia and Hannah. They're quirky and fun and I totally relate to what they've each said about body image and the whole weight loss process. They're just really likeable people.

The transformations, both inside and outside are remarkable. The breakthroughs some of the contestants have to change their way of thinking and viewing themselves and life is really inspiring. It's like they metamorphosize into this healthier, far more positive version of themselves and the person they were before is almost surreal. As difficult as it is as a viewer to imagine them the way they were at the beginning now, I can only imagine how it feels being them and going through the process.

Actually, I guess I can. I'm in the middle of it. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm getting closer. I've come a long way since the start and I don't think I always realize that or give myself credit for it. For the past couple of weeks, I've had people at work I rarely get to talk to stop me and say "Wow, you're getting skinny!" One time and my mind will justify--"Okay, I'm wearing black. That's probably why," but when it happens on several occasions from different people, it makes me take another look at myself and try to see the difference for myself. I do see it. Sometimes. I feel it. Sometimes. The other times? I still resort to feeling inferior, self-criticizing, awkward. I'm getting better though.

Maybe that's why I have such an attachment and almost dependence on Biggest Loser during my weight loss. Sometimes the contestants explain the emotions they're experiencing and something clicks for me. I know just what they're saying because it's something I've felt, but haven't recognized or been able to describe. Sometimes it helps so much to know that you're not the only one to feel a certain way, know what I mean? It sort of validates the feelings.
Okay, so what exactly brought on the waterworks? Olivia. It was makeover week and she got a fresh looking short haircut. The girl (and her sister, though I was less thrilled with what they did to Hannah's hair) looks beautiful, even without the makeover, but it was how she carried herself, how confident and happy she was throughout the whole episode. Then she fulfilled a promise she made to sing on the show when she met her 100 lbs lost milestone. (She's an opera singer so it wasn't a threat like it would be if, say, I made such a promise.) And boy did that girl sing. She was so proud of herself, she just glowed and I thought: "I want to feel that. Yes, I beam with pride over my sweet, beautiful daughter, but I want to beam with pride over something I did, too."

I'll get there. I will. Soon.

For now, I continue to battle the stupid scale that refuses to reflect the effort I'm putting in. Or it's my body just not wanting to let go of weight as quickly or as I'd like it to. Either way, I've been on the verge of getting really frustrated, firing off profanities because I feel I should see more of a difference and because I know I won't make the goal deadlines I've set.

In other words, I didn't lose an ounce this week. Whiskey. Tango. Hulu.

(Yes, I know it's "Hotel" for H, but I like the sound of the above combo better.)

I suppose it's not about when you reach the finish line (though goal weight isn't the end of the journey because it's a lifelong commitment yadayadayada), but that you reach it, but I want to get there! Take away the unicorns, puppies, and glitter farts, and I really am frustrated. My good, positive attitude won't really let up and that's kind of annoying too. I keep thinking I should be really frustrated, but then my mind says: "But you should be happy with any progress and any weight you lose. Even if you don't lose a whole lot of weight, you're seeing a difference in the mirror." And all that crapola. I rattle off all those stupid justifications for not seeing a difference on the scale and then I can't seem to get out my, in my humble opinion, warranted frustrations with my weight loss seeming to stall and fluctuate up and down so much during the week.


Anyway, so the focus this week was to do things that make me feel good. Last week I dragged 38 pounds of clothes out of my closet and donated them (yes, I have a strange fascination with weighing things plus I thought it would be really cool if they added up to my weight loss to date...bummer) because I was tired of these clothes that wouldn't make me feel good no matter what I weigh hanging around. I'm lightening up, literally and figuratively. Things that bring me down don't have a place in my life. It took me a long time to say enough's enough to people who didn't have my best interests at heart, to refuse to base my happiness on what other people think of me. Yes, it feels awesome to receive compliments, but when it comes right down to it, what really matters is how I feel about myself. Speaking of compliments, I have sort of random people taking notice of my weight loss as I mentioned before.

Random coworker: "You're really looking awesome" or "You're really getting skinny" (or some variance of either)
Me: thinking "Thank you person I've never spoken to." Usually I just sputter out a thank you of some kind, occasionally reporting my total poundage lost to date if they seem to be receptive to continued weight loss dialogue.

Anyway, last week, my hair was feeling drab and lifeless. So I got a haircut. May I just mention that the haircut included a good 15-20 minute scalp massage and hand and arm massage in a dimly lit "Lather Lounge" complete with waterwall and an aquarium screensaver? Oh my. It's a small thing, but if it makes me feel better about myself and refreshed so why not? I should feel good about myself. I'm not talking about going for daily massages and having spa treatments on a weekly basis, though given the option for free, I'd be all over that...

But there I go again. I feel like I need to justify doing things for myself. Why is that?

I seem to be rambling/venting a lot in my recent McFatty Monday posts. I guess that's okay. It's part of the process. There should be research done to establish the emotional stages of weight loss, sort of like how there are stages of grief. It takes time to process weight loss because it really does completely change the way you think about food, exercise, actually basically everything. I've paid very little attention to fashion and my goal is still, first and foremost, to feel comfortable, but I'm beyond excited to get new clothes that I can feel good about wearing. Also, as I mentioned, it's a major adjustment to see yourself differently.
Something that came to me randomly was a theme in the movie (and book, which I haven't gotten around to) Eat, Pray, Love. While in Italy, she feels liberated by allowing herself to eat. And eat. And eat. Rather than diet to fit back into her clothes, she buys up a size in jeans (which she still has to squeeze into--lying on the floor, friend forcing the zipper up). This kind of perplexes me because I'm experiencing the opposite. Indulging in too many carbs and other food that wasn't very good for me is what got me to my heaviest and it made me feel awful and sluggish and self-conscious. It's liberating for me to eat better (meaning healthier) food, better portions, etc. Interesting, isn't it?

Oh well, just a thought. And now, an open letter to vent my frustrations.

Dear Body,

While I realize this week involved some out of the ordinary treats, this pattern of minimal to no weight loss that's been happening for the past few weeks has got to end. 50 lbs is fantastic, yes, but we have another 24 to go. It's time to step it up, not switch into weight loss hibernation. I would have thought the intense stair scaling would have told you that. I will accept that there may have been some inaccuracies in my WW points reporting due to the generic food search function, but I am rectifying that situation. I even bought a portable food scale so I can report with +/- 0.002 gram accuracy what I'm eating. There is no logical explanation why, even with slight points discrepancies, I shouldn't have lost weight this week. I exercised, I stayed within points. The WW folks even tell me to use up all my activity points, which I've never done. Was it the white rice in the sushi yesterday? Was it the empty calories I treated myself to in the form of a The Coffee Bean Original Mocha Ice Blended coffee drink?

I have been very patient with you as we've worked out our "issues" and I take full responsibility for my role in making both of us feel sluggish and self-conscious for the past several years. You'd have to agree, however, that it feels so much better to be rid of those 50 lbs and to feel much more fit. I feed you well, don't I? I'm giving you things that fuel you rather than slow you down for the most part, wouldn't you agree? I've cut my cheese intake drastically. I get my multi-vitamin and my healthy oils. 7 fruits and veggies on average per day isn't too shabby, you know. Most American bodies get far less. 

I can't do this without your cooperation. Help me help you.

What I did well this week: I ate realistically(?), I did the stairs several days, I planned ahead.

"What have you done today to make you feel proud?":
Monday-Took advantage of the weather and walked/ran for an hour and a half
Tuesday-Despite the cupcake incident of Tuesday afternoon, I made a healthy, yummy dinner to make up for it. (Turkey, zucchini, and cheddar burgers)
Wednesday-Found a cardio substitute that will help keep me active during the summer
Thursday-Ordered a food scale and on a non-food, weight loss note, was very productive
Friday-Allowed myself to be pampered and LOVED it. Took Deanna w/ me on my stairs routine and she spent the rest of the day telling people I tried to kill her on the stairs--I'm proud that not only are the stairs getting easier, but that I encouraged a positive change in a good friend.
Saturday-I really felt like an active momma. I can run around and be energetic with Little, which is what I want to always be.
Sunday-I realized some of the things I've been doing to take better care of myself are paying off.

Struggles: I did resort to eating my feelings on Tuesday when I had an absolutely awful afternoon. I made a conscious decision to attempt to bury my feelings under a heap of red velvet cupcake. Okay, two. I also succumbed to peer pressure and split a chocolate cupcake w/ Deanna on Friday, but it was far too rich and the sugar gave me a headache so I only ate 1/2 of the cake part. Are we noticing a pattern w/ cupcakes? I'm really not a sweets person, but cupcakes are just a perfect little bakery creation.

Motivation for this week? I'm busting through this plateau, people. Seriously. I'm sick of seeing the same number.
Holy long post, Batman!

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