What year is it??

Oh wow, I had forgotten all about this blog.  I’m sure you’ve all missed me.  All…five of you.

So yeah, we lost our weight.  I lost about 50 lbs, and regained about 10-15 or so, but I’m stabilized.  Jody lost about 60 lbs in 5 1/2 months.  He’s currently working out like a madman, cycling and lifting weights to shed the remaining padding and build some serious muscle.  He is looking pre-tty good *appreciative eyebrow wiggle*.

I wore my bikini to the beach.  Several times.  That’s the good news.  Bad news is that the body I found under all the fat is not the one I remembered from 10 years ago.  Ugh, God.  My skin fits a bit like a worn out elastic band on an old pair of granny panties.  My arthritis is kicking up for some reason, so that’s also just…great.  And of course, I just generally look 10 years older.  But all in all?  It ain’t bad.  I’ll take the floppy skin and saggy boobs and ass over the juicy peach I was a year and a half ago.  I was an unhappy camper then, that’s for sure.

I’ve also developed a newfound confidence that I had never dreamed of before my 40’s.  I’ve given myself permission to be imperfect, and I love myself for it.  I’m amazed that I really, truly do not give a flying fuck what people think of me.  I’m pretty much done with that, and I’m starting to realize what a gift that could be to share with other people.  To show them how that’s done.

I’ve been experimenting lately with something – just dipping my toes in – but it’s showing some real promise.  I’m toying around with the idea of not asking other people permission anymore.  You know, to do things that I want to do.  I always know the answer when I ask: a resounding ‘no’, usually coupled with a derisive snort and a shake of their head that I could be so stupid for even considering venturing outside my tidy little box.  And so I don’t do the thing, or be the thing, that I wanted to do or be, and they’re like, “See?  Told you so.”  Well…of course I didn’t achieve it…because I didn’t actually…you know…really try.

My whole life, I’ve been told I was too much, too much, too much.  I don’t even know what ‘too much’ really looks like, because I’ve only ever hinted at it.  I don’t think I’ve ever really cut loose with what I considered to be ‘too much’.  So.  The trick now is to pick some stuff to do, and just do it.  Lost the weight.  Check.  Bikini on the beach.  Check.  Go back to school?  Maybe.  I do have to wait my turn, however; kids take priority there.  Must start a list…

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We’re doing it

So Jody and I decided it was time.  Time to make the fat go away for real.  We signed up with the Limestone Weight Loss Centre on the Ideal Protein program.  His former boss lost a ton of weight on the program and highly recommended it.  It’s as expensive as fuck, but maybe that’s been part of the reason we’ve been able to stick with it.  Hopefully tonight’s dinner didn’t just blow it out of the water: waaaay to much food, including a new one, shirataki noodles.  If you’ve never tried them, I highly recommend it.  They’re made from white yam flour and have zero fat, carbs or calories.  You read that right: zero.  However, that may change if you eat nearly a whole package at a time.  And I’m hoping that they don’t cause us any gastrointestinal distress over the next little while.  We shall see.  But they take on the flavour of whatever you put on them and fill you right up.  I believe they contain glucomannan, a kind of dietary fiber that helps suppress the appetite.  Seems to work.  I’m stuffed.

Anyway, we’re doing well so far.  Tomorrow will be 4 weeks.  Jody’s lost about 20 lbs and I’ve lost about 15 since we started.  We’ve both lost several inches; Jody’s going to need a new belt pretty soon.  I’m shrinking, too, but not nearly fast enough.  As always.  I am having fun with coming up with new recipes, however.  We eat their pre-packaged meals in the morning and afternoon, along with two cups of veggies at noon, two more cups of veggies with our evening meal, which is a lean meat of some sort, and one of their snacks in the afternoon.  Lots of vitamins, tons of water, no eating after 8 PM and absolutely no deviation from the foods on the list.  Shirataki noodles were not on the list.  But come ON!  They’re frigging calorie free!  Give me some slack here.

I guess tomorrow’s weigh in will tell whether we’ve screwed ourselves or not.  I’ll let you know.

Brain Trolls and Learning to Grow a Vagina

I’m working on growing some backbone.  Or a set of balls.  Or as comedian Sheng Wang suggested, a vagina (because balls are weak and sensitive, but vaginas are built to take a pounding).  I’m not yet able to totally overcome my shyness about saying exactly what’s on my mind, probably because 40 years of experience has taught me that it’s a 50/50 crap shoot: either people nod and agree/applaud/laugh (if I’m lucky), or they’re confused, scared or outright offended.  I never seem to know which reaction to expect.  I suck at reading minds.

So sometimes when I come across some blogs or articles or whatever on the internet, I develop opinions.  Then the little trolls that live under the synapse bridges in my brain creep out and remind me just how often my opinions have backfired, leaving me writhing in unspeakable embarrassment until I can find some way to stuff it way deep, deep down in that place that only the trolls seem to know about.  You know that place: that reservoir of a lifetime of horrific social faux pas like thinking that wearing Aunt Mary’s crocodile print tan lace-up oxford chunky heels to school in grade 8 was you being a “trend setter” * or that time you remembered something truly mortifying that you left up on your (not-auto-screen-protected) computer to have a close relative find it, the first time you slip and accidentally say the F-word in front of your Mom and that sinking feeling you get knowing that – even though you’re both grown ass women – she always hoped against hope that those words never escaped your virgin lips, or for that matter, the time that Mom cleaned the shit out from under your bed…and went through every X-rated piece of it…and left nary a dustbunny underneath…and a well-worn bible lying on the pillow.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  That slimy pit of experiences that make our skin crawl and we wish we could erase from our memories.

I would really like to flip the trolls the bird and say what I like, because apparently, whether I try or not, I still end up embarrassing myself all to hell.  The following was my response to a blog post about how stupid people must be to buy into the validity of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality types.  Hopefully my husband doesn’t think I’m dissing him here.  I didn’t think it was a secret that we have polar opposite personality types, or that, regardless of my inability to make decisions and take charge like he does so magnificently, I, too, rock in my introverted, thoughtful, butterfly-and-rainbow-spattered way.

Oh for the love of God, just let me wear my pink spandex leotard and cape with the big INFP on the front of it and stop judging me for it already!  Maybe I like wearing my superhero outfit now and then.  I’ve got another one in hunter green in the closet with INTP on it when I want to flaunt my inner troll.  Personality typing isn’t meant to pigeonhole anyone; it’s just convenient for some people who aren’t so good with messy grey areas (which is what people really are).  In fact it just helps validate that there’s NO SUCH THING AS NORMAL.  There’s nothing wrong with them.  Some of them just prefer that you get to the effing point instead of going on and on with flowery prose like I’m doing right now.  If you’re still reading this, you’re probably not an ESTJ, like my husband.  An ESTJ will have finished my first sentence for me, summarized my argument and concluded the conversation without my having wasted but a single breath.  To make matters worse, he’s right about 80% of the time.  Maybe 85%.  I love the man to death, but obviously we have our areas of friction.  Slapping a convenient little label on him like that serves as my reminder that his personality is just as irreversibly screwed up as mine, and we need to find ways to meet in the middle and learn from one another’s strengths.  Do I set my clock by it?  Not remotely.  It’s just a fun way to make sense of some people you would otherwise smugly laugh at on the inside when they pushed the door marked ‘Pull’.  PS: My hubby thinks MBTI labels are dumb, too.

* I wish I had held onto those chunky heels of Aunt Mary’s; my daughter would have been delighted by their vintage grotesqueness.

Let’s try this again…

Okay so since my last post I cancelled my gym membership because my new boss had a different view of “flexible lunch hours” than my previous one, I got laid off from that job, and got a new job at the university with an AMAZING group of people.  Loving my new job.  As far as my health pursuits go, I didn’t do the PSYCH-K thing, I still ate a lot of crappy food and didn’t work out at ALL.  To my credit, I did do a prolonged fast.  Not the 30 days I had planned to do, but a 17-day juice fast is still pretty respectable.  I lost about 10 lbs permanently (I had gained back about 7 lbs after resuming eating).  It started out because I had a stomach bug and I couldn’t eat anything without it going straight through me.  The only solution was to simply not eat.  So I started juicing and just continued.

Let me tell you this: December is not the month to go on a fucking juice fast.  I had to sit through no fewer than 4 holiday dinners, drinking my juice and having to explain myself.  It wasn’t that bad, but I could have done without the extra temptation.  I loved the results, though.  My belly flattened out, my tissues lost their excess fluid, I felt thin, light and clean, and all my aches and pains from arthritis went away.  They were just GONE.

Then I started eating again.  I have come to realize something profound.  I am a food addict.  This means that I can diet all I like and I can even lose weight.  But the truth is this: you can’t get high on carrots and kale.  Chocolate cake and mac & cheese are designed to get you high.  Shitty food like that is a straight shot to your pleasure centre receptors in the brain.  Nutrient-dense foods like the aforementioned vegetables give you a nice even sense of well-being, but once you’ve felt that dirty, dirty buzz of warm, peaceful satisfaction that only comes from the hedonistic gluttony of burying your face in a heaping platter of sweet chili crispy wings – and unapologetically polishing them off and licking your fingers – you will always want it.  I am a food addict.  Until I change my thought patterns and get my warm fuzzies elsewhere, I will always gravitate back to my old friend the cheeseburger, who never lets me down.

In the meantime, my hubby and I are booked in this Tuesday to start the Ideal Protein Diet, a doctor supervised extreme-low-carb diet that promises 3-4 lbs of consistent weight loss per week for women, and 4-6 lbs a week for men.  With about 50 lbs to lose, I can expect 4 straight months of SUCK.  But hopefully the near instant gratification of consistent weight loss will keep me motivated, and I can look forward to a new wardrobe this summer, including a new bikini.

That’s right, 40 years old and strutting the beach in a string bikini.  Deal with it.  🙂

Workout 5 and 6

My daughter ended up in the hospital – in Perth – for something that was a bit of a false emergency, I had to cancel my workout.  Then I had my anniversary on the weekend of the 8th, 9th and 10th of June.  In a nutshell, my workout schedule was screwed for the week.  I caught up with Cindy the next Monday.

This was by far the hardest workout I had done, and I didn’t even work out that long or hard.  I actually had to bail out early.  I’m weird.  I cry a lot.  When I’m overwhelmed or my emotional litter box gets over-full, the shit starts to overflow and the result: I cry it out.  I can’s seem to help it.  The one biggest fear I have in this venture is failing to follow through.  I know how it starts: with one missed workout.  I missed my workout and didn’t work out the whole week, so I was starting to lose some ground.  Add to this a touch of depression at my failure, however small, and it was all I could do to keep from breaking down in front of Cindy.  How do you explain to someone that this is normal for you?  That just crying and getting it over with is like taking an emotional shit, and that you feel much better and so much more functional when you just get it out?  But no, everyone thinks you’re crazy and wants to call the friendly people in the white coats to take you away.

I’m pressing and pushing and pulling and straining at the weights, and they feel so damned heavy.  And I feel so heavy and tired and defeated.  Waves of self-pity kept hitting me, making my eyes blur.  I felt weak and shaky.  I went home that night feeling like absolute shit.

But I went back again and did my last workout on Wednesday night.  That was a good one.  Cindy really bumped up the weights and my arms, shoulders and legs were feeling it the next day.  I think the thing that contributed to the improved energy in this workout was being able to see some concrete results over the past weekend. 

My daughter and sister and I spent the weekend at a cottage.  There was a very steep boat ramp down to the water where the cottage owner was building a dock.  There was a pile of lumber at the top of the hill so we grabbed them, a few at a time, and traipsed up and down the hill taking them down to where he was working.  Picking up three 8 foot boards at a time was easy and going up the hill was virtually effortless.  I actually ran up the hill a couple of times.  I forgot how good that felt, to be able to just throw your ass into 4X4 mode and power your way up a hill like it was nothing.  It was awesome.

So that’s it.  That’s the last of my personal training sessions.  Now I have to make use of my gym membership and actually make good on my plan to use my lunch hours productively.  I have a follow-up with Cindy on August 1st at 4:30 PM.  I hope I have some results to show her.  I can’t seem to get my head around eating less crap and eating more healthy stuff.  It always feels like deprivation.  Maybe I should get in touch with Tracy about trying out some PSYCH-K to rewire my brain.

Workout #4 – Feeling pretty awesome

Cindy worked me HARD today.  I opened my big mouth and said I wanted to eventually do a chin-up.  So I did 8  pull-ups on the pull-up assist machine.  Tricep cables, crunches, donkey kicks, squats, leg press, lunges, pushups, plank, curls and military press…  Holy shit.  I am gonna feel this tomorrow.

I went at it with vigor today with enough energy left to dance my way in and out of the shower.  Then I came home and swept and mopped my floor because the furnace guy is coming to fix the AC.  Had a great big berry-almond-chicken salad from Wendy’s for dinner.  And followed it up with a frigging ice cream cone.  There goes that.  Had ham, egg, light cheddar and a smear of herb and garlic cream cheese on a giant cheese bun this morning.  Lunch was leftover skillet  beans, broccoli and chicken breast.  Not too bad today, but definitely room for improvement.  Need more water and fibre.

I need to get J going to the gym with me.  Once he gets onto it, he’ll remember how great it feels to ache the next day.  It’s honest pain and it means you did something productive the day before.

I’ve got another appointment tomorrow afternoon for an MRI.  This should be interesting to look at.  They always give you the CD to take to the doctor.  I wonder what my spine looks like…and all the rest of my torso.  I want to see what that big huge pad of fat looks like on the screen.  Maybe it will motivate me.

I think perhaps I’ll get into Kingston early and get my ass on the eliptical for a while.  Burn off some calories.  Maybe hit the sauna for a bit, which should be good for aching muscles.  But first things first.  It’s about 11:15.  Time to let the dogs out for a final pee/poop and get my butt into bed.

Tuesday – Food

No workout today, but I need to start thinking about what I’m putting in my face that’s hampering my progress.  I haven’t lost any weight yet, and I need to start focusing some effort there.

First off, I need a lot more water.  And fibre.  And protein and greens.  Lay off the shitty processed and fried food, lay off salty or sugary stuff.  Stay away from anything baked.  😦  Thinking about all the stuff I can’t have makes me make sad faces on the screen.  So…I guess I need to celebrate the stuff that I can have.  And there’s a lot of it.

  • Yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Berries
  • Apples, bananas, oranges
  • Master cleanse lemonade (it actually tastes really good)
  • Brown and wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Salad until it comes out my ears
  • Raw veggies and hummus or yogurt dip
  • SALMON
  • Ham and eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Green tea and matcha tea…mmm.  Yummy (sarcasm).
  • turkey
  • beans, peas and lentils
  • Hamburger soup
  • Broccoli
  • Real butter in moderation
  • Nuts and seeds
  • …and lots of other stuff I can’t think of right now.

Another thing I need to work on is portion control.  I need to get over this idea that I’m going to starve and that my stomach is the boss of me.  I need to say, “Look bitch, you can cry and whine all you want, but you are NOT getting a goddamned cookie.  No.”  I found it helpful when I was fasting to find substitutes for food.  Usually I eat because I’m bored, not because I’m hungry.  So instead, I “ate” a book.  Or I would indulge another sense, like my sense of smell.  If I stopped to think about it, I didn’t really need to eat homemade bread just because it smelled good.  There was something to be said for the pleasure of smell.  I had just eaten and wasn’t hungry, I knew that.  It was just a reflex, a bad habit, to assume that, to fully appreciate the bread, I had to eat it as well as smell it.  Si I started to nurture my other senses.

It’s all a matter of habit: breaking the bad ones, and making the good ones.

(One hour later…)

Okay, I’m back from lunch.  God these Tim Horton’s Iced Lattes are good!  Well they are.