Monday, July 30, 2012

Advice From a Future Former Fatty

It's been 6 weeks since I began embarking on this latest weight loss journey, and I'm proud to say I've dropped about 14 pounds so far.  I say "about" because the number keeps changing, mostly due to several factors that I've had to accept about my body.  In order to keep the scale on the downward slope, I must do the following:

1. Exercise every day.  And by exercise, I mean spend at least an hour at the pool with the kids AND walk for 30 minutes each night.  When I don't, I gain weight.

2. Maintain around 1200 calories per day.  I have found that I can eat ANYTHING I want, as long as I stick within the 1200- possible 1350 range.  1350 is only if I have a good day, exercise-wise.  If not, then 1200 is where I need to stay to continue losing.

3. Drink some water.  I CAN have my precious Diet Dr. Pepper every single day, but I need to limit it to one at lunch and one at dinner and have water the rest of the day.  I can even flavor my water with that MiO stuff (which is delicious, by the way), and I don't have any of the hunger I get with my soda.  I think it's because Mio is caffeine free, and it's sweetened with sucralose instead of aspartame.  I think aspartame has an adverse effect on me when I drink too much (excessive hunger, irritability, fatigue, etc.), and it's a shame I've only recently figured this out, because I've spent years (YEARS, people!) being a tired, grumpy bitch.  I thought I had mono for, like, 20 years, and it turns out I was just dehydrated.  (Side note: I seriously never used to sweat, and now that I drink hydrating fluids, I sweat like a pig.  I always just thought I was blessed.  Turns out, I was probably one step away from kidney failure).

4. Accept that I will have setbacks.  I will definitely come off of my health plan every single month, without fail.  And, I'm pretty sure you can guess when that is.  Every other time I've tried to adopt a healthier lifestyle, I get derailed by this female issue, and it takes me months to gain back the motivation and determination to start over.  And by that time, I've usually added 10+ pounds and compounded the issue.  The difference is, this time, I'm trying to manage my indiscretions within my calorie restraints, except for one day in which I just didn't.  My Fitness Pal has truly been a godsend with this.

5. Know that the scale is not the only measure of success.  The scale is a whore.  The numbers don't change much for me.  I'm not one of those people who can drop a shitload of weight over a few months.  It takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R for me to drop a few pounds, and usually I gain and lose the same 3 pounds for weeks before they come off permanently, and then I'm on to the next 3.  This has been the hardest fact for me to accept, and this is usually the final straw for me when deciding I'd rather be a fat girl who gets to eat delicious, heart-stopping, fat-laden foods versus a miserable, skinny bitch who gets no enjoyment from food whatsoever.  Two things are different for me this time.  I have actually stuck to this thing long enough to realize that even though the scale isn't moving, the inches are, because my clothes are fitting much better.  Also, I can budget my calories to allow myself to continue to eat what I want, but I just have to eat less of it.  This guy preaches the counting calories method.  I've been reading him for a while now, all the while trying every fad diet I could in order to drop pounds more quickly, but that shit simply doesn't work for me.  He hit the nail on the head.  He is a guy, though, and he works out more than I do, so he can eat 1800-2000 cals a day and still lose.  I really have to stay at 1200.  One day I'll join a real gym, though, and hopefully be able to increase my intake.

6. Track everything. I mean it.  Every goddamn morsel.  Every jumping jack.  Everything.  I mentioned it a minute ago, but My Fitness Pal is the one change I made this time around, and it's working.  AND IT'S FREE!  I have it on my Kindle Fire, my phone, and my computer, so I am always near something that will allow me to track every single thing I'm putting in or doing to my body.  The reason I love it so much is because it's so easy.  Everything is already in their system.  You just point, click, and add.  I used to use Sparkpeople, which is also free, but I like MFP better.  It's stripped down and very user friendly.  I highly suggest Sparkpeople as well, though, because it's also free, and it has tons of great articles and motivational stories.  I just feel like that one takes more time and effort to navigate, but I do read their tips and stories. The bottom line is whether it's pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or a website, hold yourself accountable.

7. Create an achievable goal in a specific time frame, and tell people about it.  Example, I am doing this run the Saturday before my birthday.  I did a 5k last year, and I felt so accomplished when I finished.  I wasn't the fastest, for sure, but I wasn't the slowest, either.  I also hadn't been training that long before I did it, so I'm hoping the longer training period will allow me to finish with a faster time and perhaps jog a good portion of it.  I have signed up for races before and not even shown up for them, so I've actually told people about this one, so I have to be there.

That's all I have for now, but I think it's pretty solid advice.  I hope to look back on this post in 6 months and still be following my own recommendations.  Ideally I'll be several sizes and pounds down and in a much healthier state.  And, by then I should have some before and after pictures that show a sizable difference instead of  a "well if I turn the picture sideways and squint a lot, it looks like my left pinky toe is slimmer" photo.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

PMS Crunch

I did a movie night for my kids last night, and I made a movie themed dinner, complete with hotdogs, nachos, and a little concoction I found on Allrecipes called Movie Theater Floor. I originally posted about this on my blog about my kids, but since this one is all about me being a fatty, I think it's appropriate to discuss the foods that help keep me in this condition.

I've renamed this concoction PMS Crunch, because the sweet/salty/chocolate combo is the tits at that time of the month.  Trust me, you'll want to use my recipe instead of the Allrecipes one, because that one calls for jelly beans, and some other nut bag put in Red Hots.

PMS Crunch

1 Bag of microwave popcorn (or about 3.5-4 cups of already popped)
1/2 Bag of Fritos
5-6 oz of nuts
3 Movie boxes of various candies (I used M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, and Butterfinger Bites- don't try to deviate from this awesome combo)
7 oz of candy corn ( I honestly hate this shit, but I could barely taste it, so you might as well include it.)
12 oz bag of white chocolate chips

Pop the popcorn (duh).  Make sure you get all the kernels out that didn't pop, so no one cracks a tooth.  Or, just buy the pre-popped bag of popcorn, so you don't have to worry about that.  Then mix it in a big bowl with the fritos, the nuts, the awesome candy, and the disgusting candy corn.  Melt the white chocolate very carefully, because if you don't, that shit will separate and be useless.  Put the whole package in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.  Take it out and stir.  Microwave again, and stir some more.  At this point, mine was melted.  I highly suggest that you stir for a while because the heat from the bowl will continue to melt it.  Once it's liquid, poor it over the popcorn/frito/candy mixture and stir, stir, stir.  You will have carpal tunnel and/or hand cramps by the time it's sufficiently mixed.  You're supposed to let it cool, but I say go ahead and have a sneak taste of it.  Oh, and it's really the Fritos that make the dish, so definitely don't forget them.

Here's what it looks like:
I know it doesn't look extra delicious, and the Food Lion popcorn I used is pretty wimpy looking, but seriously y'all, scrumptiousity!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Look Ma, No Duckface

This is what I spent my morning doing:
I colored my hair blonde, I styled it, I put on makeup, and then I took pictures like a self-obsessed teenager.  It took about 800 to even get this decent one due to my previously unnoticed lazy eye and crooked lips.  I guess I had a stroke that I didn't know about.  And, since this one is all fuzzy from the Instagram Hudson filter, you can't see my uneven skin tone, and my double chin is pretty well concealed.  All in all it's probably one of the best pics of me in years.  Notice there's no body shot.  Which brings me to this oldie but goody:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Obsession...It's Not Just a Cologne

Back in 1984, a little movie called Ghostbusters came out, and my Bill Murray obsession was born.  I'm sure there are some daddy issues wrapped up in it, since my dad died from cancer that year, but it's 28 years later, and my feelings still hold true.  It's a quirky crush, I admit, but you can't tell me that Bill Murray isn't one of the most amazing people on the planet.  Every fucking word in this sentence is a different link to his awesomeness, and I suggest you read them all. The last one is a link to a new coloring book that I must have (hint hint Kathleen).

Anywho, I knew that he had a home in Charleston and is co-owner of their baseball team, so I thought about dragging the hubs around for an obsession-fueled stalking adventure when we go to the beach next month.  I was Googling some things to prepare for our journey, and I discovered that the baseball team hosts an annual "get your fat ass kids off their fat asses" celebrity softball tournament, which is being held the Saturday before we go to the beach.  Luckily, Charleston is only an hour and a half away, so I am not opposed to making back to back trips to the coast in the hopes that my soul mate may be there, and I will possibly be able to capture him in a photograph, or better yet, have him take one with me.  I've purchased tickets for the whole fam under the guise that I'm bringing my kids to get them off their asses, but I will ditch those little punks in a minute if Bill Murray even coughs in my direction.  I'm sure with my luck he won't even be there, but $16 a ticket was a price I was willing to pay in the off chance that he will show.  He did last year.

Since this event is a little over 3 weeks away, I am definitely on crunch time to look the best I can.  So, I have stopped eating immediately and will resume again on August 5th.  I will subsist on water, dust, and air, and maybe have a little granola bar or something that morning, so I don't pass out with all the excitement.  And, who knows, maybe I'll end up with my own drunk karaoke dishwashing story to tell at cocktail parties.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Really Dedicated or Mentally Impaired

Based on how my knees felt after my walk this morning, I'm going with the latter.  It's been several days since I've been swimming (my normal mode of exercise), since my son split his arm open, preventing him, meaning us, from being able to go to the pool.  I felt an emotion that I've experienced a hundred times, usually after I've hurled obscenities at my children or downed an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Red Velvet Cake ice cream in one sitting, but relation to exercise.  The tides are turning children.  Pigs are flying and it's raining toads, because I actually felt guilty that I had not exercised in several days, except for the spectacle I displayed on Saturday evening, which totally counts, based on the bucket of sweat that poured from my body.  Anywho, I guilted myself into walking this morning, despite the fact that my knees have still not totally recovered.  They hurt a bit at first, but then they went numb, which I assumed was a good thing.  20 minutes later, the feeling returned, and the throbbing started, but I was so far into the walk it didn't matter.  I still had to make it home.  So, I hobbled down the street House-style and limped up the stairs.  They're recovering now, though, and unless my kneecap shoots out of my body at some point, I plan to keep doing this, since I think the fundamental issue with dancing was that my knees weren't strong enough to support my weight.

While my knees were burning, it dawned on me that I didn't look like Elaine at all on Saturday.  I can't believe I forgot about this, but this is for sure a much better comparison:
Also, for anyone who cares, this is the BEST workout song ever.  It's probably about getting stoned or smashed or something, but every time it plays on my Ipod, I can't help but kick it up.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dancing Queen

On Saturday, for a while I forgot that I'm a chunky 33-year-old mother of three, and dropped it like it's hot at a club with my neighbor.  It's been a long, long, LONG time since I shook my money maker, and that was many pounds ago.  Despite this fact, I got all dolled up in a borderline-slutty new outfit and put my inhibitions in the closet for the evening and really enjoyed myself.  So much so, that I didn't feel my knees screaming for me to stop.  I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point, all of my killer moves did enough damage to my knees that I could barely even walk yesterday.  I consulted my at home physician (WebMd), and concluded I had given myself Patellofamoral Pain Syndrome, commonly known as "runner's knee".  This is especially hilarious, given the fact that I can't even run a 10th of a mile without having an asthma attack. I'm better today, but my ego is seriously wounded at being reminded that I'm neither as young or as thin as I used to be.  All the more reason to continue working towards getting in shape.

How I think I looked:
How I really looked: 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

28 Days Later...

Not the movie, although I do feel like a zombie today.  I'm talking about my progress after being on the "medically supervised" plan for the past 4 weeks.  The good news: I've lost about 10 or 11 pounds.  The bad news: this place was a total rip off.  Anything I've done is due to my own determination and perseverance.  In fact, I stopped going to them a week ago, not even finishing the 4 week plan I paid for.  Following is a breakdown of what was promised and what I actually received:

The deal was for a 4-week medically supervised weight loss plan for 89$.  I was supposed to have bloodwork, and EKG, supplements, weekly B-12 shots and appointments with a physician every week to monitor my progress.  What I got was some old lady named "Skeet" (I am not making this shit up.  For shits and giggles, this is the Urban Dictionary definition of the word) who decided that based on my answers to the medical profile, I did not need the blood work or EKG to be done.  I surmised over our visits together that the real reason we skipped the formalities was that she was not a qualified medical professional and was squeamish, in fact, when it came to medical procedures.  This would later explain why I never received a B-12 shot.  Instead, I was given a weekly B-12 pill, which was delicious incidentally, and I found the identical supplement here.  I ordered them and have been taking them daily, as suggested on the bottle.  I'm pretty sure the reason for the shots is that they are more potent and last longer, but Skeet assured me that I should only take 1 of their B-12 pills a week, which I imagine was more out of concern for their overhead than my possible B-12 overdose.  I received a weekly package of vitamins to take, which I compared to my daily multivitamin, and they were practically identical.

At each visit, which lasted about 5 minutes a piece, I was given my packet of vitamins, weighed, and highly encouraged to purchase their nutritional supplements, which were not included in the 89$ I shelled out.  Keep in mind the 89$ was a Living Social deal.  The actual monthly cost for this place is $199.  So, like a moron, I paid extra for the protein drinks and puddings, which were actually pretty tasty.  I also happened to later find very similar ones on their competitor's website for about half the price.

So to summarize, I paid 89$ (regular price 199$) for a weekly B-12 pill that should have been taken daily, 4 weeks of a daily multivitamin, and weigh-ins with a lady named after a vulgar term for the rhythm method.  I never once saw a doctor, despite the fact that the term "Physician" is in the name of the organization, and according to their corporate website, a doctor is supposed to be staffed at each location.  I also paid for Lady Pull Out to harass me at every visit to purchase their fish oil because mine was sub-par, and get more supplements, and sign up for their 4 month plan, which was only $325 as long as I did it by a certain date.  I had to start telling that bitch that I'd left my debit card at home.  She even had the audacity to call me on the last day of the 325$ "special" to try to get me to come in.  I haven't been back since, and that's the last I heard from them.

In short, it's a big ol' scam.  I thought I would be receiving counseling from a real physician as well as having accountability with the weigh-ins, but their aggressive sales techniques and false promises just furthered my realization that I'm responsible for my own decisions.  I'm the only person I have to answer to, so I've continued to eat well and exercise, except for the past 2 days in which I've felt like donkey shit.  I'm back on track today, though, eating healthy and intend to go swimming with the kids later.  Oh, and I've been using this to track everything I've been doing.  It's the easiest tracker I've come across, and it's totally free, so I highly recommend it.