Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I have come quite a ways. I remember thinking that 178lbs was it. I'd be happy being there again and that was that. I've gone 10 pounds beyond it and I am pleased as punch. But the walk hasn't been easy.

I grew up my entire life knowing that I was overweight. There existed no doubt in my mind that I was shaped rather like a hobbit. My medication made me so hungry and growing up in Europe where the chocolate is good and the diet tends to be meat and potatoes, it was surprising I didn't end up more of a balloon than I already was. And people thought that I may have had some sort of delusions of svelte-ness because I was frequently reminded of the fact that I was overweight, I had to lose weight, I had to drop pounds. Ohhh really. What a shocker. I had no idea. Gee.

And why did they have to remind me? Growing up was hard enough. Being a DD by age 16 is its own trial without having people call you 'Dolly Parton'. My back may have been sore but my little heart was in more pain and when I got it reduced (and the insurance paid for it), that was a large load off my chest in more ways than one. I still remember the surgeon analyzing me with his butcher eyes and remarking to my mother that I had a surprisingly small waist. I could have kissed that man.

It didn't get much better though and only when my first transplanted kidney began failing did my dreams of weight-loss become realized. The toxins would build and kill my appetite, smothering it in poison with a little cherry on top. And I began dropping everything, clothes sizes and pounds. When I became concerned and brought this up to the doctor, he gave me a cold glance and told me that I had 'plenty to spare'. He may have said that to attempt to be comforting to me, but boy am I glad I didn't know Tae Kwon Do then, I'd have broken my promise to only use it in self-defense and kicked his scrawny little pansy butt right back home to his mama's.

And it scared me. Losing weight like that was one of the most frightening things I had ever experienced. Laughable, right? I had wanted this forever, why was I not embracing this? Because I was dying. I wasn't losing weight in a healthy manner, I was dying. I would go on walks not for health but because it was and still is one of my favorite things to do and I would startle myself by seeing these skeletal hands swing back and forth. I remember standing in a bookstore and as I reviewed the latest in Japanese manga, I would lean against my hip and my elbow slipped easily inside my pelvis. That shouldn't happen. It scared me to bits.

So after the transplant, I had an appetite again and I took full advantage of it. I ate whatever I want because I was alive again! I was living! I had been dying for two full years and now I was coming back! My feet and hands were able to warm up on their own! I could distinguish hunger from nausea because the persistent, constant nausea was gone! And not having learned a thing from losing all that weight, not how to eat properly or to control portions or let myself only eat until I was comfortably, not overwhelmingly full, I gained all that weight and then some.

191 pounds is the largest I have ever been in my life. 114 was my weight just before my transplant so you know how far I'd come. And it wasn't like I decided "Yeah, I guess I better do something" when I hit 191. I realized that being that weight was dangerous and by heaven I didn't want to have to go through kidney-loss again, killing it because I couldn't control myself.

It's been a long and difficult road. I keep optimistic because I know I don't respond well to brow-beating and punishment. I focus on learning new things and applying them. Like how to listen to my body so I know when to say 'Enough, I'm comfortable now' and to drink water so that my body doesn't have to try to get that liquid from food. I've learned to eat better so my body gets the nutrients it needs without having to sift through junk*. I've learned that exercise is fantastic, it brings energy and joy. And I've learned that I must forgive myself and my body of the abuse I've put it through and in return, I will be able to progress.

Finally, I've learned that obesity does not just come overnight and neither does health. Baby steps.

*That's something I learned from 'You Are What You Eat' on the BBCAmerica channel. Sometimes we are hungry because we need particular minerals and vitamins and if we were to eat better, we'd need less but sometimes we don't eat better, just more and the body has to glean what nutrients it can through the junk and it isn't always enough.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I may not get the speed and momentum on a treadmill that I can get by walking outside but it's far too cold out there and far too fun in here! Allow me share some:

(Warning, content is offensive but hilarious)
Firefly Bloopers 2

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Saturday, January 19, 2008


If only I had taken a really good dump before I'd gone. Oh, I know, that's disgusting. Sorry. Anyways, I figure this being my cycle and all, by next Thursday I'll be down to a better weight. Heck, I'll be down two after working tonight at that salad bar. I walk a lot and don't eat much while I work. I'm kind of driven when I work, I don't think about food or water (until I'm wrapping up the food and putting it away for the next day, then I sneak some grapes and watermelon).

It was a good 5 degrees Fahrenheit when I stepped out to my car this morning to attend my Weight Watchers meeting. Frost stuck to my car like a melted sticker on wood, it was almost impossible to scrape and what I wanted more than anything, other than to curl back up in bed was a nice cup of tea. Herbal tea, of course. There are some marvelous sites for tea but my three favorite are:
-Adagio (I like Rooibos Berry and Rooibos Vanilla, mm.)
-SBS teas (their Tisanes are marvelous)
-Zhena's Gypsy Tea (I like Red Lavender best)

I grew up with Rooibos tea though back then, I knew it as Masai tea (those crazy Dutch and their peculiar naming of things *chortle*). It's naturally caffeine-free, is low in tannins and is known to be rich in various minerals. And it's just plain yummy.

Now to go drink up the brew I made.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So, checking in on the ol' scale to see where I'm at, I found I gained about a pound or so. Darn that KitKat binge! I 'punished' myself in that I told myself no chocolate today. I can have whatever else, but no chocolate. So I've had carrots and yogurt and I'm sure that if I weigh myself tomorrow, I'm going to be like 2 pounds lighter, but whatever. Maybe not, it's the moooon time again, if you get what I mean and I'm sure any ladies reading this or anyone with a wife/sisters/adolescent daughters will.

I finished up House Season 1 while on the treadmill (going slow 'cuz them blisters are really killer and awkward to walk on) and though I have Season 2 (thank you Borders, it was only $20!) I think I'm going to watch something a little more light-hearted and that doesn't involve things that drive me crazy, medically-speaking (you should have heard me this morning when House got a urine sample by poking a needle into the bladder without disinfecting the area or wearing gloves or ANYTHING! ARGH!). So! Onto Firefly and I can walk with my celebrity crush--

Nathan Fillon! Awww...he makes me wanna squoosh him.

Er, ahem, moving on. I found a really cool blog:
Roni's Weight Watch Page and she's got a real cute and upbeat personality. She also has a really neat recipe site:
GreenLiteBites and even if you're not a WW-er, it's not a big deal because she posts calories, fat (in grams) and fiber so you've got a good idea what you've got already right there. She's on my Bloglines blogroll now and I'm going to start trying a lot of her recipes. :D

On to a good rest of the week and lots of water.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Some more rather interesting articles.

Weightloss Blunders

You're eating less and exercising more. Why won't that belt budge? Even when you feel like you're doing everything right, there are certain behaviors that can still get in the way. Are you guilty of any of these habits?

1. Skipping Breakfast
Running late for work again? Before you bolt out the door on nothing but a cup of coffee, be aware that skipping breakfast can be bad news for weight loss. Chances are, you're going to feel hungry later, and that may be when you have less access to healthy food and are more likely to reach for a donut.

Antidote: Keep something on hand that you can eat on the run, such as fruit, yogurt or fat-free cereal bars. I like eating oatmeal in the morning. Sure, Alton Brown wouldn't feed the instant stuff to his horse but it does keep you full longer.

2. Feasting on Family Favorites
When your kids or spouse have a favorite family meal, it's hard to ban it from your menu list. Family favorites, such as lasagna, are often high in fat and calories.

Antidote: Serve yourself a smaller serving of the main meal and a large serving of vegetables or salad. It's also a good idea to try to find a lower-fat version of the family favorite. Or bother your family into eating with you. Nothing wrong with a little less of the fat and a little more of the veg!

3. Social Overeating
Eating whatever you wanted at a restaurant was okay in the days when people ate out only a few times a year. But these days we eat out every week, if not every day.

Antidote: Search the menu for meals cooked using low-fat methods, such as grilling or stir-frying, and ask for sauces and dressings on the side. That way you can control how much you have. And set a goal to drink a glass of water during your meal. You fill up more quickly and remain hydrated.

4. Not Counting Every Bite
A few potato chips while you open the mail. Just a sliver of cake while you help the kids with their homework. When we snack, we tend to be standing up or have our attention focused on another task. This can lead to thinking the calories "don't count." Unfortunately, they do.

Antidote: Set ground rules, such as "I don't eat in the car or while I'm watching television." And always, always keep track of everything you eat during the day. Knowing you'll have to write it down will make you think twice about having that one bite. I also find that planned portions help. I have 9 dark chocolate Hershey Kisses--oh stop making snooty faces, they might not be "quality" but they're marvelous--and they're 5 points. And since I know that it's almost half a point per chocolate, I can portion out more appropriately.

5. Expecting Too Much Too Soon
After several months of dedication you're down in the dumps—you feel the scale has barely moved. Expecting too much weight loss too soon is an extremely common blunder. A healthy rate of weight loss is up to two pounds a week. But many people aim for more than that, then feel like failures and give up when they don't reach that unrealistically high goal.

Antidote: Make "slow and steady" your mantra. If you really don't believe that one to two pounds amounts to much weight loss, lift two pounds of butter the next time you're at the supermarket. You'll realize how well you're doing.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I finally managed to break the surface of the 70s without being sick the entire week before, thus starving myself because when I feel like ick, I do not eat.

One thing that would really be awesome about losing weight is if I had a buddy to do it with. But I don't have a lot of friends and I don't have ANY friends who are really all that worried about their weight. I'm kind of in my own canoe and while it's fine to just paddle by oneself and do all my own steering, wouldn't it be nice if I had someone to just take a little bit of the strain off, to help motivate me and cheer me on.

But hey, that I got this far on my own? That's totally awesome. I'm going to the WW meeting again next week. I'm going to continue walking every day (except weekends--Saturday is WW day and Sunday is the day of rest) and recording my intake every day. I wasn't perfect last week but I can always do better.

One of my biggest struggles though is that I don't go to bed on time so I don't wake up on time and then I feel like walking for 45 minutes on the treadmill is a total time suck and I'd be able to do more if I just skipped it. What do you guys suggest besides just getting to bed earlier and getting up on time?

Also, what music do you recommend I put in my CD alarm clock? I have it set to a radio station but I hate it and I wake up in a bad mood. But I can't find a good CD that will wake me up and will help me transition into a good, motivated mood. Anyone have any suggestions?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One of the things that really has helped me out as I've worked on healing myself is getting gussied up. I have found a bit of love in putting on make-up, popping in earrings (even if it does mean having to reopen that dang hole if I don't wear them every single day), putting on my favorite and most flattering clothes. So I thought I would share a few things that I do happen to love most in part of putting on my 'armor', my guss.

Clinique's High Definition Lashes Brush Then Comb Mascara

Sure, it's not the green and pink mascara they sell in every magazine. I hear that the makers of that green/pink mascara bribe the mags to boast that they are the best-selling. I wouldn't be surprising, this stuff works far better than any other mascara I've tried, including the green/pink one. It really does help separate and define my blonde lashes. Ah the woes of having such long lashes but they're nigh transparent!


Whether I decide it's a day for curls or straight, I always put this stuff in my hair. I bought a small bottle to try out at Z's Cosmetology and though a little bottle set me back $9 (and that's cheaper than you can get it anywhere else!), it's marvelous. It makes my hair soft and sooo shiny. It also fights frizz, though when I spray down the floors and wash the dishes at the salad bar prep room, nothing can really fight the frizz then. But it's fine to put in the hair every day and only the smallest of droplets is really absolutely necessary. And it smells really really good. Mmm!

And Finally:
Oil Of Olay Complete All Day UV Moisture Lotion

I usually buy Mary Kay moisturizer for my skin but one day I was out! I had nothing for my skin and it being winter, that was Not Good News. So I headed out to my Walgreens, having to pick up my pill anyways and checked out their products. I heard OoO was pretty good and picked up this bottle. I got the Sensitive Skin one because I wanted to be careful. Well, at first I was dubious because it didn't seem very thick but now I'm hooked. It's not greasy at all and after two days of using it, my skin felt so nice and soft. And you can never go wrong with SPF 15!

Anyways, those are three things that I use every day to put a little shine and polish to my body and to make me feel a little bit more special. :) As I make my recovery, I know it doesn't hurt to reward myself for my hard work and give myself a few 'bennies' as Alton Brown puts it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My mother told me the above as I was losing weight and disgusted with my yo-yo-ing. It has become a rallying cry whenever I gain weight and a reassurance when I see that better weight again.

All this week I've been good with points and Monday and Tuesday I added walking with the good Doctor House. I love the treadmill. I love the ancient giant television. And I especially love TV on DVDs with subtitles. I also love fans that circulate air. When I move out on my own, I will either get my own treadmill or offer to take my parents' treadmill off their hands for them because honestly I am the only one who really uses it. And I want it to keep forever and ever as long as it doesn't break on me again.

Monday, January 07, 2008

I've done poorly, I have to admit. Discount chocolates and snow (which is all gone now, yay!) and too much sitting on my bum has made the pound count creep up. But I made some resolutions! Being the New Year, it's time to change some habits, drop bad ones, make good ones, etc!

So I resolve now to:

- Attend all my Weight Watchers Meetings.
- Walk every morning, blisters not withstanding
- Only check my weight twice a week so I'm not obsessing.
- Log in my intake as often as necessary in a day to keep up.

Yeah, only 4 but hey, I don't need a ton. And, of course, the above are negotiable depending on the ability to do so. So I will only NOT walk if my blisters get so bad that I can't keep up on the treadmill. Or I'll go to all my WW meetings unless the weather is so terrible that I don't dare go out, or I'm too sick to really want to pass it on to others and so on.

Hello New Year!