Sunday, January 23, 2011

Evactuate the dance floor....seriously, I'm really good, get out of the way-

Seeing as how I have set myself on complete diet self destruction, I figure it is time to rectify some of the damage I have caused to my body. After complaining, crying, and wishing, with absolutely no results, I realized that I was going to have to get my big butt moving. Step 1 was signing up for the "Get Fit Challenge" at work--our district is offering each school the opportunity to compete with other teachers to lose weight and get healthy....I see it as a way to get half off the price of a fitness boot camp. I think that paying someone $200 to yell at me for 24 sessions spread out over 12 weeks is the best way to motivate, after probably making me cry.

Since we have not gotten our "teams" together at work yet, I'm still on my own. I felt the best way to deal with that was watch the MTV show "I used to be fat"....I don't cry during movies, Lifetime or otherwise--I was actually accused of being dead on the inside because "Marley and Me" didn't cause me to run for the Kleenex...dude, the dog dies (sorry if you haven't seen it, SURPRISE!), it's called the circle of life. **cue Elton John's rendition on the 'Lion King; Soundtrack** This show, is about teenage kids who graduate high school, after being fat all their lives, teased, embarrassed, and singled out, and have decided to lose the weight before heading to college, in hopes of a new, healthy, and thin beginning. I made it ten minutes before I balled over the chubby blond girl heading to cosmetology school--by the way, ALWAYS get your make-up done by a chubby girl...think about it, when you have a weight issue, you know your stuff and how to make yourself look better, detract from the negative, trust me, they will make you look a stinkin movie star, but, I digress....This girl was tired of battling her weight, but, what got me was the part where her father told her as long as she was fat, she would never get a man, since they only look at your figure. 

Excuse me...I take pride in the fact that regardless of my size, I have NEVER had any issues attracting men. Granted, not all have been the best of quality, but, the few I've managed to tie down for more than a few months, looks wise, have been grade 'A' meat. My ex husband, good looking jock type, met me when I was freshly out of high school, I was still unruined from children and supersizing--but, through our marriage, the pounds started coming on. Our marriage ended due to his douchebaggery, not my waistline. I dated a few men after my divorce and before I met Michael...for the most part, I did well--in fact, one in particular was really really pretty...he was as dumb as a bag of hammers, but, as long as he didn't speak, he was really nice to look at. I remember thinking Paul was physically out of my league (being that I was a 230lb whale) HOWEVER, I had him on smarts, I assume that's why he stuck around as long as he did. Oddly, I actually broke things off with him when I moved across the state. When I met Michael, I had only been living in Austin for 5 weight didn't seem to matter, we just clicked on every other level *cue cliche song "You Are the Only Exception"--never heard it? Google it...Michael is adorable, at least in my opinion--I run everything by my best friend, so, before completely committing, I asked for the seal of approval, where Michael was immediately labeled as "hot," figure the 'ol bff hasn't been wrong yet.

After 6 amazing months, I found out I was knocked up--sorry, you can put lipstick on a pig, but, it's still a pig...I'm not going to use the term "blessed with a child". Straight up, we got hammered, threw caution to the wind, and well--it will be a magical story to tell Sammy someday. The pregnancy turned out to be a weight loss gold mine! I developed hypermesis, which, basically causes you to hurl every single day, for 9 GLORIOUS months! I delivered Sammy weighing less than when I had found out about the little miracle. Throw in breastfeeding for a year, chasing 3 older children, and running on coffee and prayers, I managed to keep losing, actually almost got under 200 pounds, which would have been the first time in almost 6 years. The rest of that story, well, you'll have to go back a few posts to find out the whole story on how the weight came back on...short story: in August I dealt with going back to work, a surprise pregnancy, then not pregnant, then a tumor wrapped around my right ovary, surgery to remove said tumor and right ovary, (not cancer, YAY, but, had it's own thyroid, which is less than 1% of all ovarian tumors, I'll make it into a medical journal before I get close to writing a best seller) not being able to do jack for 14 weeks, so, I ate cookies, fries, candy, and watched Big Bang Theory season DVDs.

So, now that I have been given clearance to work out again...actually, doctor gave me clearance in December, but, I had lots of holiday food to consume before I really felt comfortable committing to working out, anyway, it's time to get off my couch and get to it. Of course, I wanted to finish my MTV show about the "ex" fat girl first--she ended up losing 49 pounds over 99 days, and has since gotten under 200...seriously, I cried. So, all day yesterday, I thought about how to start getting motivated. First, I took my 6 year old and 18 month old grocery shopping after making a list of healthy meal choices for the week. When we got home, I was so tired from that experience, I put the groceries away then went to my room to cry over being fat and it's control over how I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally (something I do often). I then came up with a plan: When Michael took the older two boys to the Boyscout meeting on Sunday, I was going to go walking--So, today, I strapped on the Nike's, bundled up the baby, got a jacket on the 6 year old, and threw in my slightly retarded golden retriever for good measure. We walked about 2 miles in total--my neighborhood is on an incline, so, that hill was burning--doesn't help when the golden retriever hasn't been leash trained very well, let's just say the first mile was rough. When we got home, I still had energy (yay, endorphins!), so, decided to let the 6 year old take out the scooter and I played catch with the dog...who decided to run over to the poor, young muslim girl delivering food to our next door neighbors--she screamed, because, as we all know, golden retriever puppies are known for their viscous nature. Regardless, she would have been an excellent actress for "Cujo", I felt really bad that my dog ran over to her and stared at her, while she screamed helplessly and froze in terror. At that point, figured that was a sign to go inside, Sammy needed a nap anyway.

Trying to wheel and deal with a 6 year old on a scooter is like trying to bargain for an area rug in Mexico--you can break them down eventually, but, it will take you some time, energy, and charisma. Zach decided a fair trade would be playing our new XBox "kinnect" (misspelled on purpose, I'm not ignorant). We bought one game in particular that I thought would be fun--Dance Central. Basically, it's a very talented Avatar who dances, and expects you to follow their steps to various club, hip hop, R&B, and pop music tunes. Let's just say, that is a work out in ALL sense of the word!! Coolest part is the calorie counter, you pop in your weight (sigh), and it follows how much you move, then lets you know what you've burned off. After 4 hours, I had beyond burned off my breakfast! Zach started off with me doing the dance battles, but, after realizing he has no rhythm and was messing up my 5 star status, I distracted him with his gameboy and took over alone. When Michael and the other 2 boys came home, I was dropping it like it's hot--in fact, I got so good at it, I think I may become a professional hip hop dancer--Mofo Andi is in the house, holla!!!

In total, I worked my butt off for close to 5 hours--the fact that I'm already sore scares the hell out of me, I think Michael may have to carry me to work tomorrow. The thought of standing, clapping, conducting, or holding up a flute currently makes me shudder in fear. I already popped four ibruprofen, took a hot bath, and limped around the kitchen while making dinner. I am determined to do the same thing tomorrow--at least walking the neighborhood if all else fails. I had so much fun working out to a video game, walking the block, and playing with the boys and dog, maybe I can get fit without ever setting foot into a gym.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

fat girls + skinny jeans= fat girls in skinny jeans....

Being a chubby girl who enjoys fashion magazines, watching E!, catching up on the latest craze, and window shopping isn't easy. Let's face it, fluffy fashion is not the most couture, the selection is limited, and I've learned that once you weight over 200lbs, you're supposed to suddenly have an affinity for floral prints, elastic waist bands, or overly revealing bustiers. When empire waist came back into fashion, I was THRILLED, no more tight t-shirts, midriff baring tops, or the all too popular spaghetti strap tank tops (that are meant to be worn UNDER a shirt). I believe I bought every shirt in this style in every color--gave me a reason to not suck in, to feel in style, and to spend money on clothes. I thought the fashion world was finally going my way--until I was asked 6 times in the same week when I was due. Damn you designers, you even managed to make empire waist only suitable for skinny girls, touche. 

I generally hide behind my clothing, I am quite aware of the muffin top and do everything in my power to keep it tucked in my jeans. I have always thought that as long as I can fit into Old Navy and the GAP, my weight isn't too out of control--I do in fact fit into Old Navy and GAP, well, at least the shirts. After 4 boys emerging from my uterus, my stomach and hip region is in no way designed for low rise, mid rise, or diva style pants--unfortunately, I had to come to that conclusion one tearful day in the dressing room. I could buy the jeans, suffer the cursed muffin top, and scare small children, or I could suck it up (no pun intended) and hit the fat chick store in search of pants made for a "woman's" body. First stop, Lane Bryant, the clothes are gorgeous, but, uber pricey. I bought a few slacks for work, but, wasn't about to drop $75 on a pair of jeans I don't plan on wearing forever. This store is made for older, professional women, doesn't really target younger women, so, I was a bit limited. I did learn that although a chubby girl, I can not wear chubby girl tops--I have been blessed with a smaller chest and scrawny arms, these shirts swallowed me whole.

I did a little research and found a store called "Torrid"--there is one at the mall close to me, so, I decided to check it promised young fluffy fashion, so, I couldn't lose, right? As a fat chick, I have to take a stand-- just because they make it in your size, does NOT mean you should ever, under any circumstances, wear it. A mini skirt should not be available in larger sizes--when there is more fabric going AROUND, than up and down, you don't need to wear it. Don't tell me you can, that it looks good on you, I just wear leggings, no, no!!! Tube tops, tube skirts, tube sweaters (anything with the word "tube" that doesn't have "sock" following it), jeggings, and leggings is also a big no, girls, we just can't pull it off respectfully! Low rise ANYTHING, this includes bottoms and tops--As a fluffy girl, I have a bit more in the boob area than I had when I was 120 pounds, but, I don't need to flaunt what the fat Gods have given me (hopefully temporarily). If you are over 200lbs, and the word "skinny" is in the description, other than it being an oxymoron, it is a HUGE NO!!!! Fluffy girls, skinny jeans aren't meant for us!! They are meant for waify teenagers who like heavy eyeliner, bad haircuts, and cutting to relieve the stress. There are some women who can pull this look off over the age of 16--they are the minority, not the majority, fluffy girls, stay away from them!!!

Torrid has racks and racks of inappropriate clothing for big girls, why this extreme? Why not sell normal clothing in a larger size, why does it have to be so revealing? I had a very hard time finding anything that I felt I could actually wear on a day that didn't fall on Halloween. Halter tops in an XXXXL, NOOOOOOOOO!!!! Chubby girls, unless you are going a a Renaissance Fair, there is NEVER a reason to wear a top that laces up, ever--Leave a bodice for the time period intended and quit saying "In those days, being fat mean you were fertile. Marilyn Monroe was a size 12." Yes, true, but, by today's standards, Marilyn Monroe's 12 equated to our now, size 4, and the fat and fertile, well, those women averaged 140-150 pounds-I've done my fat girl excuse research, it didn't make me feel better either. I'm not sure if the women that wear these styles are just far more comfortable in their skin than me, but, I just can't picture myself wearing 90% of the items sold at this store. I ended up with a pair of jeans and some Hello Kitty underwear--I'll admit, I was pretty excited over the cartoon underwear, can never find the cute stuff in my size, I'm supposed to reserve myself to granny panties in pastels. I honestly felt a part of this store was exploiting those of us with a weight problem, attempting to give the big girls more fashion options, but, it's also setting many of us to be the joke of the club--the fat girl wearing the skinny jeans amongst the actual skinny girls wearing the skinny jeans, in the end, making us feel more out of place for trying to fit in.

The complete opposite end of this argument, is the fashion departments who have just put the most putrid items on sale for big girls--hence why I mentioned floral. I have never, not once, thin, fat, pregnant, or 12 years old, thought floral print was amazing--I have never once put on a dress and thought "you know what this needs? Roses and a HUGE bow!" Liz Claiborne, STOP, it wasn't in style during the 80s, and it isn't going to make a comeback now...unless I am 5, holding a basket full of rose pedals, and have a bride directly behind me, I don't want to wear a dress, shirt, moo moo, or any other item with flowers and bows. Just because I'm fat, does not mean, I have suddenly decided to look like a walking floral arrangement. Bows, are just, a no...I don't care who you are--unless you're a cheerleader or your name is Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, or Hello Kitty, don't sport a bow on any part of your body--except the hair, which is a delicate issue, and I like to think I can pull a small one off every now and again, although, would like feedback from my friends who think I can' bastards never came forward with the perm of 2000--ya'll let my drivers license let me know that was a mistake, thanks again. 

It seems there is an untapped market for fatty that lets us feel like we can fit in despite our bulging waistlines. I have never been one to think I can pull something off that I honestly can't...I won't try to pour myself into a smaller jean size because I don't want to admit that I've fattened up, I make sure I'm tucked, sucked, and folded into my clothing--nothing sticking out that doesn't need to be seen. I don't want to wear stretchy pants anywhere other than my home, I'm not planning on being a flower girl in anyone's wedding, so, bows and floral is not an option, and damnit, I would like Target to start selling the cute underwear above a size L--that Torrid underwear set me back $20! I'm tired of walking into stores that either try to hide that we're fat by making us dowdy and gardenesque, or make us feel "confident" by selling clothing meant to be worn in public, but is really just lingerie that would make a playboy bunny blush. Women, if you are a bit on the large side, be aware of what genuinely looks good and decipher that from the "I'll wear what I want" attitude---I can only believe so many people got dressed in the dark, don't own mirrors, or left their house in a hurry due to a fire and grabbed their much thinner sister's clothing.

Until next time,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Imagine this mouthwatering cheeseburger...not you fatty--

I have to admit, food commercials are killing's hard to stay motivated and enjoy tuna when you are watching happy people lick grease from their chompers while enjoying a McRib on tv, when I myself, would never actually want a McRib. In fact, I have never had any interest in trying a McRib, I think they look terrible, but, when you are convincing yourself that oatmeal is the BEST thing in the world, they look like the most delectable entree you have never tried and now can't stop thinking about. 

As my husband heads out the door to get the kids Happy Meals, I need to remain at peace that my homemade salad is perfect, just what I wanted. It has been a long day, I didn't feel like actually cooking, especially since I didn't walk through the door until 6pm, so, while the little ones get to eat bad, mommy must stick to "the plan." I have also had to stop watching tv and begin utilizing my box sets of my favorite television programs. I can't handle another commercial for food. I'm not sure if there has always been this many food commercials, or, if I just haven't noticed them in the past, probably because I was too busy eating what they were advertising. During my daily Maury Povich viewing, the only commercials I have noticed have been for Social Security or accident Lawyers, the Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute (anyone else interested in this? I'm all but convinced I should become a culinary expert...they have financial aide), and the angry black man with the sideways cap that tells me all I do is sit on my couch and talk on the phone all day, so, I should go to Everest College (your classroom IS your future job site!) and make something of myself. I assume their target audience is people on disability getting screwed out of their checks, who need to become electricians and professional chefs...I've become use to this steady stream of commercials and was upset when all of a sudden I heard the KFC jingle--"It's so, S-O G-double O-D, GOOOOOOD!" I felt that CW was now trying to trick me into now eating my weight in fried chicken, along with calling Everest Tech College, Wayne Wright, and nurturing my dreams of becoming a famous chef.

It's completely unavoidable...there are billboards, my mailbox is flooded with coupons for fast food, the commercials, my coworkers and their love for tacos, my children now enjoying greasy burgers and fries at the dinner table. I have to keep on the straight and narrow weight loss path, but, all I can think about is the double fried chicken that substitutes as the bread to hold the bacon and cheese in place, better known as the KFC heartattack combo. Before this diet, I never ate anything like that, in fact, the commercials repulsed me...I might be fat, but, that's even too far for me. It's now clear who the target audience is for these commercials: Chubby, music teachers, with four children, who have a love for bad daytime television, writing, and are trying to lose weight by NOT eating crap food that is advertised on television. Yes, networks, I have figured you out, and I will not let you take me down!!! I will lock myself in the computer room and discuss how much it is killing me to smell the french fries two rooms away, but, I will not indulge. I will yell at 6 year old who comes into room with ketchup on his fingers and fries on his breath, I will not cave. I will complain, I will drool a little, but, I will stay strong. I will continue to picture my chubby butt in the closet last week, weeping over the mass quantities of clothes on the floor, and the orb that constitutes as my stomach.

Aside from bad daytime tv, I also have a penance for gossip and parenting magazines...Two of my favorites: People and US Weekly, which are basically the same thing, but People has more touchy feely, true stories of real human diligence. Two weeks ago, I picked up the "Weight Loss" issue--I was thinking that there would be tips, diet plans, and honest accounts of how these people had lost the weight. Imagine my surprise when the former fluffies featured had lost the weight  with unrealistic life situations. I don't buy the "I lost 200 pounds by dancing!"...liar. So, I picked up a Parents Magazine and thought I could find some answers from other "real" moms. Moms who claim they lost the weight because they are just "sooo busy with the kids all day" filled this issue--if that was a true way of losing weight, I would be about 92 pounds. Moms that are able to drop the baby weight before they step out of the hospital sicken me...worse, are the ones who continue to lose weight and claim that breastfeeding and pushing a stroller gave them 6 pack abs--I nursed my youngest for over a year, carried him in a sling while climbing stairs all day doing housework, and pushed a stroller, shopping cart, or five year old who fell asleep in the car--by those standards, I should weigh less than my 8 year old.

I'm wondering what I'm going to do with my free "mindless" time now...if I can't watch trash television due to the food ads and smut magazines have begun to fail me, I don't know where else to turn. Don't get me wrong, I read a lot, but, real books don't count as my "mindless time"...those are for educational purposes, they help me expand my vocabulary and give me something to talk about other than my children or the Kardashians. When I can no longer enjoy a talk show dedicated to finding a hard working, toothless mother's 8th attempted baby daddy (as in, she's had 7 others tested, not actually has 8 babies), or a magazine focused on the love life of Reese Witherspoon, I don't know where else to turn. I guess I could watch CNN or read a Newspaper, but, that always had bad news--I live in Texas, so, the weather never really changes--I'm at a crossroads right now. I guess eventually I will grow immune to the food ads, that the delicious double quarter pounder will not tempt me, that I will see my carrot sticks as fuel for a healthy and better body. Until then, I guess I'll have to give up two more pleasures in my life to keep my stresses low and cookies out of my trachea.

Till next time,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Let me tell you how to lose weight....

So, on this quest to a smaller waste line, I have had many people give me their unsolicited  advice. Sometimes I welcome it with open arms, other times I would like to throw my supersized fries and diet soda at them--I've learned that there are some people, no matter how sincere they may be, who should  NEVER give advice on how to lose weight, keep weight off, or the best way to become healthy. Some are obvious, while others, not so much-

Ballet Dancers: When your diet consists of coffee, cigarettes, bottled water and the occasional carrot stick, and your workout regimen is more extensive than a professional athlete, you have no clue what a weight problem is. When going from a size 0 to a size 0.5 makes you a "total fat ass," I seriously don't want to hear how it's super hard to just take those 7 oz off. When I was attending college, the ballet dancers were in the same building as the music majors...don't get me wrong, I loved some of the dancers, especially the very flamboyant males, some of my favorite people. Yet, it was a known rule to avoid the second floor bathroom after lunch--this was the time many of the dancers would "get rid of" that coffee and carrot stick that was messing with their slim physique. Desperate times sometimes called for desperate measures and I would have no choice but to use this particular facility...I would waddle my chubby butt in there in time to see fresh, flush faced prima ballerinas freshening up. I always felt a little guilty knowing that the bagel sandwich I had just inhaled was worth more calories than they allowed themselves each month. 

Skinny People: In general, when the only weight problem you have ever had was the freshman 15 or the time you were pregnant, you have no clue what it is to be overweight. When one is afraid to check one's BMI for fear that they are mostly made up of cake and french fries, they can not relate to the person who needs to drop 10 pounds to get back into their high school jeans. I have these friends, who bounce right back after a baby, a wedding, a holiday, a Golden Corral. Whereas, I struggle to take off the 4 pounds I put on over the weekend. I have friends who tell me they know how I feel because they are so fat now...they can totally relate because they have put on 20 pounds since high school. Sorry, until you have put on enough weight to constitute a separate, full size 10 year old, you have no idea what I'm going through. I don't have a tummy pooch, I have a mass of blubber that could house a small Philippine family.

My Grandmother: It was all fun and games when I was in college and put on a few pounds. She promised if I took off the weight, she would buy me a brand new outfit. Seemed like enough motivation for a young, poor, college student--except, that steakburger trumps outfit. After I had my first son, I was able to bounce back, not "outfit worthy," in my grandmother's eyes, but, enough for people to say "wow, you took the baby weight off pretty quickly"...Once baby boy two, three, and four hit, I was no longer able to just consume cheerios and cry all day as I had with my first son. The weight was a bit more complicated to take off, and in all honesty, I never lost it after I had Zach (kid #3). For the last 14 years I was told how fat I was and how much I needed to take it off...then of course, there were her pointers on weight loss..."Just eat half the portions, eat only salad, don't put dressing, order only soup, skip desert, in fact, just skip food all together...have you seen what the ballerinas do to lose weight? They are just beautiful." Never mind the fact that as she was giving me her weight loss advice, she was also shoving Mexican food down my throat--I swear, she wanted me to lose weight, would tell me how fat I was every time she saw me, but, would feed me non stop when I would visit. Needless to say, I still haven't gotten that coveted outfit. 

Anyone from the Biggest Loser: I've watched the show, yes, they are "inspirational." Let's face it, if I was shipped off to a ranch for 6 months, given a personal trainer, full access to a loaded gym, a fridge stocked with health foods, no McDonald's, husband, children, or work stresses--you better believe my fat ass would make a complete turn around! Is it amazing how these 400lb people push themselves to the extreme to lose the weight, have 6 pack abs at the show finale, and look and feel amazing...I guess, but, let's face it, if they hadn't been selected on the show, they would be just like me...inhaling a box of Oreos while thinking "man, I need to get on that ranch. Tomorrow, life is going to change, you go Sunshine, I want to be just like you!" The last few seasons they have had contestants return to the show who put ALL the weight back on...well, ya, once Jillian Michaels and the gay guy, whose name is not as important, is no longer yelling at you, life goes back to normal. Life aint a big weightloss ranch--

Fat People: I wish I was kidding with this one. As a fluff fighter, I never give advice on how to lose weight to other fluffies--I've told people how I am trying to lose it, the steps I'm taking, but, I never tell them HOW they need to do it. I have had people who out weight me by a good 100 pounds tell me how I should lose the weight, give me diet advice...give me their "tips." Many of these people also believe that the Subway guy seriously lost 300 pounds by eating hoagies, I'm calling BS on 'ol Jared. Besides, was I the only one who thought he was less creepy looking when he was fat? Seriously, if you weigh more than me, I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm doing something better than you...

Last, but not least...MEN: Dudes, you have no idea what it's like to be a hormonal, menstruating, baby carrying, water retaining, salty, sweet, salty, sweet craving, cry over cotton commercials, boob holstering, girdle wearing, poor body imaged, female. When fat men can still get hot chicks according to every sitcom, movie, or commercial, where the fat chicks are the funny friends, home alone on a Friday night, eating chocolate bon bons, reading a new cosmo and weeping. When the average man thinks that a woman's ideal weight should be 110-115, you have a screw lose and have lost any privilege of telling me what is best. When men try to give me advice, not realizing, their bodies don't quite work like ours, I try to take it with a grain of salt. We were meant to carry and birth children, we are constructed to build up fat in our stomachs to house a fetus and protect it for 9 months...once said infant is born, we also have 9 months worth of fat building to now lose--and when you have an addiction to peanut m&ms and snow cones through those 9 months, that battle isn't going to be easy. My current and wonderful husband has always encouraged, supported, and loved me regardless of how much I gain or lose, I'm fortunate. Of course, I was once married to a creatine guzzling, powershake mixing, random vitamin counting, meat head who would tell me that if I just did what he did, the weight would come off--uhm, sure, I'll try it, but only if I can have the same backne, butt, and shoulder hair he was sporting!

The fact is, we don't have the same body chemistry as men. I know when my husband wants to lose ten pounds, he eats turkey sandwiches for lunch and gives up soda for a week--next thing he knows, he has lost too much weight...makes me want to punch him right in the throat. Thankfully, he has also learned to not tell me how to lose the pounds, or suggest things that work for him. He knows better than to try to advise the woman who went through 9 months of pregnancy HELL for our adorable little boy. I just wish more men had this same knowledge, understood that we just can't wave our magic wand, jump on an elliptical, and have a perfect beach body. I know Heidi Klum did it after her 1,000th child, but, she is a German engineered freak of nature. I'm sorry, but, I refuse to lock myself into a room with Elton John for 8 months, eat nothing but sushi, and workout 8 hours a day with a personal trainer like Elizabeth Hurley (that's how she did, I couldn't make this stuff up). Men, if you really think fat, dorky, guys end up with thin, hot, chicks--you are crazy. Just like I know Bridget Jones could hardly be classified as "fat" and Hugh Grant isn't going to be knocking down my door and getting into a fight with Colin Firth for my affection, although, a girl can always dream. 

So, next time you are about to hand out the weight loss advice, put yourself in the other person's shoes. Unless you went through the same struggles, don't try to pretend that the 6 months you tried to lose 10 pounds is similar. Many of you have written to me about your own struggles, and I'm glad that I have inspired you to go on a weight loss mission of your own--there are so many of us fighting the battle of the fluff and it's nice to know we're not alone in this. We should encourage each other, tell each other things that worked for us, and share recipes that are healthy and don't taste like ground ass. I know I'm not alone in this, I also know that the vast majority of us out there are trying to win the fluffy fight, and rock those jeans we once wore in high school....ok, college.....ok, from five summers ago.

Until next time,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Going to Southbeach to have a steak with Atkins, then take some Alli with Jenny Craig while doing some Weight Watching...

I believe I have tried it all...We all want that magic bullet, the quick weight loss diet or pill that is going to make all the fat fall right off. Fall asleep weighing 300lbs and wake up at 125lbs. So many of us have invested in pills, diet plans, books, guides, and exercise routines that seem like the perfect way to shed those pounds and keep them off. We don't want to believe that eating right and exercise is the only way to really win the battle of the bulge, that there has to be an easier way. I know we want to believe that, because Americans have spent over $34 BILLION dollars on alternative weight loss remedies. Read the fine print on these diet miracles...*results not typical*. Sure, the lifetime movie chick who was once married to a burnt out 80s rocker can now sport a bikini thanks to Jenny Craig, but, they don't show the personal trainers, meal delivery services, and entourage that has helped her obtain that perfect build-Jenny Craig aint that good.

Not to mention the food in some of these commercial diet plans...ever read what is in the perfect package from Nutrisystems? There is protein, some carbs, and about 12,000mg of sodium. You would have better luck losing weight sucking on a salt lick. I tried Nutrisystems back in 2006--my grandmother helped with the investment of close to $200 of food. I believe cat food had more a luxurious taste and far more nutritional value. I hit the diet and the gym full force, and started to GAIN weight. I called the hotline to ask what in the hell was going on. I had been eating their terrible food, working out an hour every day and was putting the pounds on....don't give me the "muscle weighs more than fat" crap, may be true for body builders, but, for regular fat people, it's a dirty, dirty lie. Anyway, hotline guy asks me if I had been following the diet? Of course I had!! Then he asks if I had been working out...again, of course. His response: "ooooh, that's where you went wrong, you can't exercise because the sodium in the food will make you retain water." What kind of crazy ass diet is this?!?! You can't work out because it will make you UN-healthy?!? Retarded, I threw my liquid salt in the trash and looked for another answer.

This led me to the insane trainer at the local gym....he had trained Gloria Esefan, he would help me drop the weight fast! Here's how: I had to wear sweat pants and a hooded sweatshirt WITH the hood on--not to mention the garbage bag I had to wear over my entire body (with arm holes cut out). I had to spend an hour on the eliptical machine EVERY DAY while wearing this awesome get up, and the weight would fall off. Oh, and the diet was the best--here it is for those that want to try it, mind you, this is ALL you eat, every day, until desired weight is attained: Morning--1 egg white scrambled, 1 piece 100% wheat toast, 1 banana. Snack: 1 protein shake mixed with water. Lunch: 1 grilled chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli, 1 banana. Snack: 1 protein shake mixed with water. Dinner: 1 grilled chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli, 1 banana. So, I ate the same crap over, and over, and over--worked out in a plastic bag, and had to drink 64 ounces of water a day. In one month, I dropped 30 pounds, in two months, I gained back 40. This diet was meant to help me shed a lot of weight fast, but not designed to actually keep it off--the minute I deviated from the "plan" the weight started to come back on with a vengeance, not to mention I've just recently started eating bananas again--

I have done South Beach (super expensive grocery bill), tried Atkins (I have to fry steak IN bacon grease?), did the "zone" (only thing that makes me like Jennifer Aniston is my great hair), I cooked myself thin, ate myself clean, tallied my weight watcher points, and bought baby wipes along with my Alli. I've tried switching from coffee to green tea, sweetened with Stevia, avoided refined flour and sugars, and did Zumba (thank God there is no photographical proof of that). I bought into Nutrisystems, purchased the program "30 lbs in 30 days," wept over the weight loss confessionals during 3am infomercials. I tried the Kimora body shaper, bought an ab roller, lept on the gazzelle, and have enough pride to NOT invest in the shake weight...I do have some common sense, that is just ridiculous.

Now before anyone tells me that the above mentioned worked for them, I'm not stating it doesn't work, I'm just stating it didn't work for ME (and the majority of the world). I WILL attest that the majority of the people I know use their ab-swing to hold laundry or as an extra chair in their garage-don't you DARE tell me you got six pack abs from that crap, OR, body builder biceps from the boflex, you are a dirty liar. Regardless, there is a small minority that has been able to stick to these crazy diet plans and pills and taken the weight off and KEPT it off, but, the majority of us, it ain't gonna happen. For a small time I thought about gaining an additional 50 pounds to qualify for the lapband or gastric bypass surgery, but the reality is, those methods are meant for people who are really left with no other options, who have fought long and hard and there is no way out. Purposely gaining weight so I can get my stomach stapled is asinine, and although contemplated, not enough Funyuns in the world to actually make me reach that point. So, I know I have to do it the old fashioned way---call various friends with children and cross my fingers they have been exposed to the stomach flu so I can drop in for a visit, eat right, cut portions, work out, and be realistic. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and be 145 pounds (gah, I wish)...I don't know if I'll ever be back down to 145lbs, that seems like a dream away--but, I would like to be back down to a point where I don't have to dig to the back of the clothing racks at Old Navy, I'll settle for the middle. 

In other news--I did not get the job at the Academy, and honestly, it was a blessing in disguise. The model lesson went pretty well, but the kids, oiy, the kids. Needless to say, I fled back to my "ghetto school" and told all my students how much I appreciated them!! It's so different to go from a group of kids that feel entitled, have never had to worry about how the light bill is going to get paid, if the landlord will show up with an eviction letter, to a group like I teach, who truly know what life is really like. I have been on either side of that door...growing up I don't ever remember struggling or suffering, I was pretty lucky. When I became a college student, a young mother and wife, and financially cut off from my dad (rightfully so, no complaints), then a single mother of 3, I found out rather quickly how hard life was. I have hit some high and low points and kept moving along. Hell, I've hit high and low points this week! In the end, life has been cruel and good to me--not usually at once. I know that fighting this weight battle will not save all my problems--wont make me smarter, richer, or have less of a crazy group of friends or family members. Yet, it will help me solve an issue that has held me back for many years...make me happier, give me a way better wardrobe, and give me a more active lifestyle. 

As the college football bowl season comes to a close and the Superbowl in my sights...I will be less tempted to indulge in chips, dips, and buffalo wings--as well as taco bell. I have been pretty good with the diet, only deviating a few times--I've even managed to lose 2 pounds! I want to thank all of you "followers" out there, I love the blog comments and web support on Facebook. It's nice to have so many support me on this journey, whether you know me or not. I hardly see myself as an inspiration, just another chubby girl trying to get through the day and not eat cheesecake. 

Till next time,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reality bites....I try not to bite back

Day 2, the reality of the situation hit...the second half of my job interview with A.J.A. is tomorrow-I have to teach a second grade music class. I have been teaching middle school and high school for the last 3 years, I have not set foot into an elementary school music program, EVER. I have been pinned a band director, not a music teacher--some may see it as a blessing, while others see it as the kiss of death, in my case, little from column A, little from column B. I did pretty well during the oral part of the interview, principal was super cool, I knew my stuff, and then, she said those ill fated words: "I think you would be amazing with our middle school band kids, but, I worry about the transition over to the younger kids, would you be able to handle it?" I forced back a smile and squeaked out: "Of COURSE, I love little ones, I think it would be thrilling to teach elementary music as well!" She was so excited and then said that she would like me to teach a lesson to a group of 2nd grade kids...I accepted, then frantically called the wonderful elementary music teacher at one of my schools. Thankfully, she handed me music, songs, and activities to do for my lesson, now, I just have to figure out how to be cute, peppy, and excited about cats, squirrels, and singing. I'm terrified....I barely passed singing in college, I'm terrible, hence why I focused on playing musical instruments. I don't think a room full of 7 year old kids will be too judgmental, then again, I've underestimated children in the past. 

The next task, of course, is finding something appropriate to wear tomorrow. I want it to say "I'm a totally adorable music teacher and a hardcore band director." I wore my killer interview outfit the first go round, so, now I have to dig for something else. The problem, most of my amazing professional attire is from when I was about 20-30 pounds lighter...let me describe my walk in closet: close to 200 pairs of shoes (they have never done me wrong no matter how fat I get), 30-40 pairs of slacks and jeans, 15-20 dresses, 10-15 skirts, and more blouses, tanks, sweaters, and shirts than I can count. When I count how many of those things actually fit me without looking or feeling terribly uncomfortable--let's just say, Bart Simpson has a more extensive wardrobe. Tonight, as I began digging through the mass piles of clothes, the sad reality of how much my weight has gotten out of control hit-and it hit hard. I lost count of how many tops I tried on, all were awful, too short, too tight, not long enough, can't cover all the bulges, showed off too much of my lower stomach blubber. When it came to slacks, only 4 reached wide enough to button, and only 2 that didn't make me look like a whale eaten by an even bigger whale.

The last few months I've managed to get by wearing jeans to work...because I'm only on each campus for a short period of time, the principals haven't given me any slack for it. After I lost the baby and had a giant tumor growing in it's place, I wasn't able to do much and because of the swelling from both the 8 week pregnancy (before it ended) and the 10 pound tumor, my "fat girl" jeans were all that fit. After I had surgery to remove the tumor, I again had swelling, but now, had to be careful about what rubbed against the stitches and now, scars. I hate wearing jeans to work, makes me feel sloppy and unkempt--I want to break out the skirts, dresses, and cute slacks I had bought before I started the school year, when it had all fit and looked great, before I gained 20 pounds. I refuse to buy any new clothes while I'm going through this weight loss/gain battle. Buying bigger only means I may eventually grow into it, while buying smaller for motivation, only leaves me more depressed. So, I'm stuck with what I have and I need to make it work. I narrowed the choice down to one that I hope screams professional, loves kids, doesn't eat bags of Oreos in one sitting, loves to sing and dance about cats and squirrels, doesn't mind getting on the floor, playing the piano, putting valve oil in trumpets, banging a drum, figuring out how in the hell to actually play a trombone, and doing it all with a smile. 

I had to break down though, as we all do...I just cried. I cried over my inability to control my appetite, for my laziness and excuses for not working out and eating better. Cried over the fact I can't run and play with my boys when they're riding their bikes because I get winded, that my knees hurt from standing all day at work, that I'm scared to sit down on little plastic band chairs or school tables for fear of them breaking. Cried for the comments I've heard strangers, students, and loved ones say about my weight...and in the end, cried over a fabulous wardrobe I have invested thousands of dollars in, that I can't wear. I guess when I have a weak moment and want to grab a brownie, I'll remember that dark place in my walk in closet where a pile of clothes laid and I stood in tears. I'll remember that the reason I'm losing the weight is for my health, to stick around for my boys, to stick around for my future grandchildren, help spread the love of music to future generations (who think Metalica was a band from the 60s and have no clue who the Lone Ranger was), to piss off my ex husband, to wear my damn clothes hanging in my closet, and to prove to the world that you CAN lose weight without being sent off to a ranch for 12 weeks while millions of television viewers witness your pain.  

Now, off to practice my 2nd grade singing voice, drink more water, pee another 6 times before I go to bed, and spend a minute or two with my sweet husband before I pass out in a benedryl induced coma. 

Till tomorrow,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fattest City vs Thinnest City....the real truth

As a proud Austin, Texas transplant, I actually originated from El Paso, Texas--known for it's mountain ranges, Mexican culture, and being one of the top ten fattest cities in the country. I could sit and blame the city I grew up in for my weight problems, but, blaming El Paso for my weight issues is like blaming vodka for at least one of my pregnancies...there may be a little truth to it, but, the decision was ultimately made by me. There are three things in life: Fact, Fiction, and Statistics. When this glorious title was handed over to my good 'ol hometown, these surveyors took a few things into consideration before reaching their "scientific" decision: percentage of overweight citizens, rate of TV viewing among residents, number of fast food restaurants, air quality and amount of  fitness centers in the area. So, if you enjoy watching tv, while eating McDonalds in a poorly circulated room, and no gym close by, watch out, you and your city are next on the fatty list. 

In a country where we pass a 24 hour gym on our way to Krispy Kremes, I'm not surprised that the vast majority of Americans are overweight. We are encouraged to save money with Sunday ads, coupons, and deals...ever notice those deals aren't for lettuce, tomatoes, or gym memberships? I got a stack in the mail today for roast beef sandwiches, a local Custard stand, pizza, and tacos. That was just the fast food portion--the local grocery ads--processed foods (10 for $10!), frozen dinners (why learn to cook?), off brand mac and cheese (4 for $1). Of course, why shop the freezer aisle when I can get TWO avocados for $3, what a DEAL!!! The market doesn't push healthy, it pushes junk, and as hard working, tv watching, kid rearing, exhausted from breathing in bad air,'s so much easier to throw a frozen pizza in the oven or stop for some super sized meals on the way home. I say this, because, I've been that person, I was a single working mom of three boys at one time, I'm actually surprised my children lived past the age of 5 without clogged arteries.   

Of course, there are the organic food shopping, recyclable bag carrying (what do they use for small trash liners...couldn't live without my plastic Target bags), gym loving, and sometimes self righteous folks who will preach that the reason we're fat is because we're lazy, stupid, and eat lard from the bucket. Let me lay out my life for you...I have a college degree, I have four children who all have a penis, over 100 band students, spread over 3 schools, that I travel to on a daily basis. My oldest is active in after school clubs and organizations, my 8 year old is active in Boyscouts, my 6 and 18 month old are just active period. When I am not teaching I am cleaning, playing, running, dancing, driving, and not going insane with the daily grind of 4 little boys who have me going in every direction. Throw in a husband, who lessens some of  the household load, but because he has the same genitalia as the others, can be as needy, stressful, and obnoxious as the younger 4--should I mention the super needy cat and I believe partially retarded dog? I have been cooking fresh dinners for my family for the last few years, we rarely eat out, and I don't do frozen foods. I make healthy lunches when boys are on breaks from school, fresh breakfasts and try to bake something for dessert at least once a week (this is where I get myself in trouble, damn you betty crocker and nestle). The only time I have ever dealt with lard was this past Christmas while making my mother's recipe for biscochos (she's from El Paso, lard is in almost everything)--I only ate 5 cookies out of the whole batch.

Just because I'm fat, doesn't mean I'm stupid and lazy, nor does it mean I have a frequent shopper card at McD's. It does however mean my life is sometimes so hectic that I cant make fruity smoothies for breakfast-so I grab a breakfast bar and coffee instead--no time for a well balanced lunch, so the handful of cheese-its, Hershey kisses, and a diet soda will have to do...and that there are nights that a happy meal and a quarter pounder will make my penis posse happy, and give me a few minutes to sit down. With a family of six, I don't have the money for the gym, or pilates, or a babysitter to do 10k weekend marathons or training. TRUST ME, I'm jealous of those that have that option, and I hope some day to do the exact same thing (not the 10k, I'm not crazy). I have some amazing friends who love the all natural diets, love the gym, are bubbly, and thin, and I want to kick them in the shins from time to time, but, they have never made me feel like a heifer by their words or actions...and I thank them for letting me super size without judgment. I wont classify all health freaks as a-holes as long as they don't classify all fluffy people as stupid and lazy...

My downtime is right now, at 9pm, when the boys are in bed and I can stop working, cleaning, cooking, and entertaining. I'm now prioritizing my life and finding a sliver of time to take care of me...This morning's breakfast and snack included a fiber bar, coffee (I wont give that up), yogurt, and a banana....all spread out over 4 hours. I drank 32 oz of water, which also mean 32 trips to the bathroom. For lunch I came home in between schools to spend a little time with the husband and the 18 month old, and eat a nutritious bowl of Old Fashioned (not Quick) Oatmeal, while watching Judge Pirro. Afternoon snack included an apple with peanut butter, and for dinner, my grand finale--I made broiled shrimp, quinoa (google it) with a fresh avacado (3 f-ing dollars), cucumber, tomato, red onion, and cilantro salad. Yep, that's pretty flippin healthy--currently I'm so hungry I could eat an entire bag of Oreos, but, since I cleared those out over the weekend, I am S.O.L. 

My next goal is to find time to go walking around my neighborhood, get the blood pumping, and start the exercise portion of this weight loss deal. First, I need to get the junk food detox under control and stop seeing my children as dancing chicken McNuggets....figure once I can get through a whole day without thinking about french fries, I can start moving, literally. I know I can find the perfect medium, it will just take time...but, isn't that what this whole mission is about? Until next time....


Monday, January 3, 2011

The beginning of the end....of cookies

I believe this is the 10th year I've committed to losing weight--possibly 11th. If I remember correctly, weight loss is the #1 New Years Resolution...up there with paying off all debt, saving money, and buying a dragon--all great ideas, all mostly impossible to achieve. It seems so simple, especially for those skinny, cookie hating, gym loving, protein shake drinking, 10 mile a day running, freaks who tell me I just need to get motivated. My answer: "tomorrow"--because tomorrow I will magically stop liking McDonalds, brownies, cake, cookies, Mexican food, fried chicken, potatoes, gravy, oooooooooooh. Throw in a love for gyms, running, spandex, Ps90x (is that what it's called) crunches, ab-flex, Jane Fonda, and yoga...yep, all that will happen "tomorrow."

Let's be real...tomorrow is still filled with the same crap you ate before, in some cases, it has chocolate cake. My excuse is generally centered around a stressful day, a birthday party, a holiday, a Tuesday--tomorrow turns into next week, then next month, then the dreaded "New Years Resolution." To be fair, I weigh less now than I did two years ago (I know, I was pregnant, come to think of it, when am I not?), but, I also weigh more than I did last year, guess that cancels out the "to be fair" option. So, I can blame it on 2010 being a stressful year...oh, it was, TRUST ME, it was. Then again, if I think back to the last decade: 2000, I had a baby, so, it was all baby weight. 2001: Still baby weight, hasn't been a year yet...what, I'm pregnant again--shit." 2002: I just had another baby, it's all baby weight! 2003: I went through a very turbulent separation, lost 50 pounds, reconciliation, I gained 45. 2004: I'm pregnant, SERIOUSLY?!?! 2005: It's all baby weight, oh, and I decided to go back to college to finish my's like the freshman 15 all over again! 2006: Student teaching, marital problems, an obsession with bread bowls from Quiznos and Uncle Baos Chinese Buffet with my best friend. 2007: COLLEGE GRADUATION!! Oh, and a horrific divorce, left with three broken hearted children, my first year teaching, and a new found love for beer. 2008: Screw this, I'm moving 700 miles away from everything and everyone I know...time to start over. Met the love of my life, magical...what?! I'M PREGNANT.....AGAIN?!?!? 2009: Just had another baby...lost 25 pounds during my pregnancy, an additional 20 after having him, and it spiraled downwards until.... 2010: Family issues, financial issues, deep depression, returned to work--I'm pregnant...again, but this time, lost baby--found out a huge tumor had grown as it's replacement. Heartbreak, depression, surgery, fertility lowered, resigned from job, placed in new school, more stress, tears, breakdown--recovery, children with unresolved "daddy issues," therapy, more tears--oh Lord, I can't even continue with the rest. Wasn't good, wasn't good at all.

What was good? was always good. Throw in some beer, a good Lifetime movie, I didn't have to move for the next 3 hours. I could eat, eat my feelings, eat my frustration, eat my problems, eat more brownies, chips, candy, eat, eat, eat--What I couldn't do, face that the current jean styles weren't the reason I couldn't buy a new pair, that a cami doesn't hide all imperfections, that I am a victim of the muffintop, and girdles, fine and dandy if you are only a few pounds overweight, but, when you're close to 85 pounds over the limit, just makes you look like a barrel. What did it take to finally get that wake up 10 year old. He took a picture with his phone, I was sitting on the couch, back turned. When I did my nightly scan of random texts, pics, and calls he had made, I stumbled upon this blob sitting on the couch "Who's the fat chick?? Oh crap." An innocent picture that my son thought was just a normal pic of his mommy...not one of her from the shoulders up, angled slightly, head up, chin out, usually with a child, husband, or pillow in front. It was me, raw, untucked, not sucked in (total joke, couldn't suck in if I tried), not hiding, completely oblivious--it was real, I was the fat chick. 

I've always hid behind my humor--if I make a joke out of it, I hurt less, beat the other person from pointing it out first. Then again, if someone is cruel enough to joke about my fat ass in front of me, then, they deserve to be throat punched...just saying. I can't hide anymore, I can't keep praying that skinny jeans will go out of style and baggy will make a comeback--I fear jeggings are here to stay, as terrifying as that is. I'm tired of walking into a store and getting that look from employees...fat people know that look--"Uhm, the socks are over there. The jewelry section is in the back. We don't sell jeggings in Shamu size." I would like to wear high heels and not feel like they are going to snap under the weight--wear a pair of jeans that I can tuck a shirt into, not my fat rolls...or wear a dress and not be asked when I'm due--by the way, when did THAT question or comment become socially acceptable?!?! I was always taught: unless you see a child emerging from the uterus, are sitting at a baby shower, or the woman has a shirt on with an arrow pointing down saying "BABY," you never, ever, under any circumstance, assume.

So, it begins-not first thing today, because, that is so cliche AND I had Mexican food for lunch...hey, even A&E let's their addicts shoot up one last time before the Intervention, I wanted tacos, shoot me. I wont say it begins tomorrow, because, well, that is ridiculous and makes my prior points moot. So, as of January 3rd, at 9:14pm (CST), it has begun. I stood on the scale, choked back the tears, and know that this will be a long journey. I will not be running any marathons soon, but, I have made the first step and installed the "My Fitness Pal" app on my phone--we all need a starting point. So here's mine-

Date: 1-3-11
Time: 9:17pm
Weight: 236lbs
Height: 5'8"
Age: 30 something
Mood: exhausted and hungry
Workout: Pshaw

Here goes nothin.....