Sunday, July 25, 2010

Life is Sweet...and Ironic...

Anyone who knows me, knows I like to commemorate things with a tattoo. Apparently, I have had 22 life changing moments to date. Today, I made it 23 with an appropriately ironic tattoo that commemorates my new life. It's my ex-fat self laughing at the road blocks and voices of adversity, while my less-fat self appreciates the journey and all it's joys and sorrows. I decided to get a cupcake tattoo that says "Life Is Sweet" as an ode to this new life I am living. Kind of reminder of where I was, where I am, and where I still hope to be.

This is me getting the tat and wanting very badly to kick my oh so beautiful tatto artist in the face for the pain she was inflicting upon me:

It was two hours of mind bending pain that had me laughing, flinching, slightly crying and wondering why I continue to torture myself for the sake art. But the end result was totally worth it:

Life is sweet, and sometimes painful, but the final destination is still always worth the ride!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

For better or worse....

In just over a month my baby sister is getting married!! It's such an exciting time, but really makes me realize just how OLD I am getting! When did the little girl with bad hair, an enternal puss upon her face and an attitude that could induce murderous thoughts, grow into this beautiful woman who is about to be someones wife? I for one, am not having it. It simply can't happen because her being grown up leaves me no excuse NOT to be grown up. And being a grown up is highly overrated and exhausting.

Her bridal shower was a success and she got so much stuff, especially for her kitchen, that I think our families have single handedly raised the stock for Kitchen Aid. I keep trying to tell her that when you have fancy shit in your kitchen, people actually expect you to use it! So, while she is finding recipes to make me strawberry crepes, cakes that are perfectly round from her springform pans, and casseroles for days, here is her wedding party:

We are a rag tag team of bridesmaids, each with her own issues that you can't help but to laugh at. She couldn't get regular women who could just go pick out dresses and show up at the wedding. Oh no, that would have been too easy! Instead, from left to right she got the following:

Melanie (the grooms sister) - Probably the ONLY bridesmaid without a protruding belly, some sort of surgery or body dysmorphia issues.

Jacquie (Theresa's best friend of like a thousand years) - If being super tiny and having big boobs is a problem, than I wish all my problems were as serious!

Tracy (our sister) - due with our nephew anyday now! So when buying a dress she had to anticipate how early, or how late, she would go into labor and then somehow foreshadow exactly how her body would look just weeks later when the wedding rolled around. Ordering the dress size was a total crap shoot.

Theresa (the Bride!) - totally has dress ADD. She bought her dress last year when she went to visit my mom in AZ because she wanted mom to be a part of it. She has since spent the last year willing herself to continue to love it as a years worth of new styles have presented themselves.

Me - I couldn't buy my dress until the last minute because I didin't know how much weight I would have lost before the wedding. I finally bought a dress thinking I was in the clear with 6 weeks to go, and guess what, it's too friggin big!

Melissa (our lifelong friend) - Has a life busier than Obama's, I swear! She constantly has a million parties going on for various family events and just started a new full time job.

Amy (other future sister in law) - as you can see in the pics, she is currently like 5 months pregnant, which means she will be 7 months pregnant come the wedding and really, how do you buy a dress when you have no idea if you can get one made by the bridal shop, or Omar the Tent Maker? I, myself have been in this predicament before. Not a fun time.

You throw that together in a giant pot of are-you-fucking-kidding-me and it's a wonder and surprise that my sister hasn't murdered us all, and moved her wedding to a remote island where we couldn't find her. But I mean, really, look at these faces and tell me if you could be mad!

My niece Cailyn (Jr Bridesmaid), my niece Taylor (Flower Girl) and my daughter Danielle (Jr Bridesmaid) aka The Divas

Acting like asses after the shower

Practicing the walk down the aisle


Now, we are onto the bachelorette party, which in my opinion is the real reason we get married. You get to go out dressed like a total tramp, get shitfaced and make a complete ass of yourself and you can blame it on the fact that you are entering into the sacred land of holy crapimony....I mean, matrimony. Good times are sure to be had by all. Besides, walking in high heels, trying to maintain my balance after too many "good luck" shots, and possibly dancing on a stripper pole can subsitute for a workout, right?

Let the good times roll!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thinking Thin Mantra #7

So, thinking thin mantra for the day.....

Excuses leave room for error—and you don’t have time for either!

Let's be honest here: If we had a dollar for every excuse we have made on why we don't work out or why we can't stick to a diet, I would have stomped Oprah on the Forbes list. I am talking, I would have one house strictly for shoes to be displayed, Imelda Marcos style, a seperate house for my clothes and one to live in. I would be able to dress myself in hundred dollar bills (ya'll) and bathe in gold coins. Yeah, that is how many excuses I have made over the years.

And to listen (or read) to me you would think I stopped making excuses, because how can you drop 70 pounds while making excuses? I mean the surgery helps, but it doesn't do all the work. You have to turn off Jerry Springer and hop on a treadmill every now and again. And EVERY SINGLE DAY I find myself trying to create new and inventive excuses that will allow me to stay glued to the couch watching Wife Swap all day. Some days, it's just the reality that I am tired and don't feel like it. But I do it. Other days I try to get out of running by psyching myself out of my ability to do it. And then there are the days where I get really creative. Here are a few of the shameful ways I have tried to excuse myself from working out:

~My legs were prickly despite shaving them the night before so I can't focus on yoga when they rub together and irritate me.

~The sports bra that keeps my boobs from bouncing back and giving me two black eyes when I run was in the wash.

~I hyperextended my vagina while doing lunges so there is no way I am doing anything until that injury heals.

~I had a nightmare that I flew off the treadmill and through the drywall, spraining my ankle and causing swelling on my brain so horrible that they had to shave my head and remove part of my skull to keep me from dying. In turn, this leaves me with a giant bald spot that will either have to be covered with a yamaka (provoking religious inquiries) or I will have to face the world Sinead O'Connor style until it grows back. Neither thought appeases me. Plus they might have to put the "spare" piece of skull inside my abdomen so it remains viable until it can be reattached and I don't need anything being inserted that will make my stomach or thigh look bigger. Why chance it, right?

~And my favorite excuse for all things un-fun....I haven't pooped in days and that makes everything uncomfortable.

Despite my best efforts, I seldom give in to the devil on my shoulder that tells me to just relax for the day. Instead, I put on long yoga pants and the dirty sports bra, give my vagina a little stretch, put on a helmet for safety, and hope I don't shit myself while running. What else can I do?

Exercise isn't the worst thing in the world (I mean I was married to the world's biggest douch for 9 years), but it isn't something I wake up and spring out of bed for either. I can always find an excuse to fail, but I think it's finally time to find a reason to succeed. True, my life is a little emptier without cake, ice cream, milkshakes and tiny chocolate bars, but what I have gained from this change is so much more relevant to my life. To be able to chase my kids again, or take walks without feeling an aneurysm coming on, or to throw on a pair of pants without worrying about whether they hide my flab, is a pretty cool feeling. To squeeze by someone or something without knocking knick knacks off a table definitely helps too.

To look in the mirror without crying is something I never thought I would be able to do again. To face people and not fidget with my clothes making sure my giant badonkadonk is covered, or to smile for a picture and not have a face with so many chins that I look like a human sharpei is something worth setting all the other excuses aside.

Life is short and complicated. By the time we've navigated our way through it and figured it out, we are gone. We might as well make the final destination worth the long ride in a stinky car, with no air conditioning, only AM stations and two whiney kids in the back seat asking "Are we there yet??". Instead of bitching our way through it, roll down the windows, stop for ice cream and buy some duct tape for those nagging kids. I'm just sayin'.....

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thinking Thin Mantra #6

I fully admit that I am being blog blocked by life and children. Lack of time and energy has sucked all the funny out of me. If only it were that easy to suck the fat out! That's what summer has been to me - lipo for my funny! But I am here today ready to entertain and enthrall the masses so buckle up buttercup!

Ok, back to the mantras!

Thinking thin mantra #6:

Exercise is not your enemy. Fear of it is.

The thinner part of me nods her head up and down vigorously shouting "Yes! This is so true!!", while the never dormant fat girl in me says "Seriously? Exercise was created by Satan and since God hates Satan and wants me to be happy, maybe I should trade in the soy yogurt I am currently choking down for a soft fluffy donut!". Cause we all know Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so. And I am pretty sure baby Jesus doesn't want me miserable and hungry. On the flip side, my ass is sick of having its own zip code and my stomach is permanently lined with scars from tight jeans of years past, so exercise is a necessary evil.

I don't think it was ever exercise I was really afraid of, it was the fear of not living through it and making an ass out of myself. I set all these mental limitations for myself and as the years went by, the limitation list grew longer as my will and motivation further faltered. Pretty soon I was every fat woman in the gym that wouldn't run on a treadmill because I was certain that everybody in the gym was pointing and laughing at the fat girl and her jiggling cellulite. As if they were all size 6 supermodels with nothing else to do with their day. And if they did point and laugh, why did I really care? Wasn't the fact that I was there testament to my will to succeed in the world of less fatassedness?

I admit, I was a gym going short-timer. When I set my New Years resolution to lose weight, or went through my ok-this-is-enough-and-I-am-going-to-go-to-the-gym-everyday-until-I-drop-a-gazillion-pant-sizes phases, I was like a motivational speaker for all the women who start something that they never quite finish. I would start out going to the gym everyday. For like a week. Then I would rationalize cutting it back to 4 days a week by saying I didn't want to burn out. Week three excuses ranged from "I'm not losing enough weight because I am gaining too much muscle from working out too much" to "I have a hangnail and it hurts to lift the dumbbells". Eventually, you trade in strength training and cardio workouts for 8 oz curls of Coors Light on the couch while scarfing down a bag of Lays potato chips and an entire container of chip dip while you ponder why it is that the world is conspiring against your will to be thin.

I don't know if it was necessarily a fear of exercise as much as a fear of failure that kept me off that treadmill. I loved exercising, and I loved the way I felt when I was done, but I guess in the back of my mind there was this nagging bitch that beat it into my brain that I just couldn't do it. She was about as subtle as a hammer to the back of my skull in reminding me that if I hadn't done it yet, what made me think I could do it this time? So I gave up. Because I was weak and afraid. That scary little bitch feeding me oodles of negative energy was like a back alley crackhead who wanted to beat me over the head with a two by four and steal my dignity. And for years, I let my fear of running into her defeat me.

Even today, 70 pounds later, running three times a week, working out like it's my full-time job, I still hear her screaming at me from blocks away. And somedays I almost give in and hide. But then I remember that I am stronger than her now and I am pretty sure I can take her. The fear used to be what distracted me from the goal, but now that same fear is my constant motivator. Because this time it isn't fear of getting to where I need to be, it's fear of ending up back where I started. And I know everyone says they will never end up in that place again, but I intend to be one of the elite few who means it.

So suck on that back alley fat bitch.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This isn’t a race; slow down and enjoy the ride.

Thinking thin mantra #5 is:

This isn’t a race; slow down and enjoy the ride.

Um, really? Not a race my ass!! Everyday of my life has been a race towards, or away from something. And the ride? Don't get me started on the ride. It's like being on a Nascar racetrack, strapped into a five point harness, going 150mph with a drunk racecar driver through rings of fire. It's never boring, it never slows down and it is complete insanity. But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.

This journey, for all of its crazy turns and mind bending speeds, makes me feel alive. It makes me feel like I have a purpose, and with every changing day, it reminds me that I can determine where the road will take me. For a long time I was a passenger, sitting quietly, buckled in, watching the scenary as life passed me by. I never bothered to dictate what direction my life should go in. Turn right here? Turn left there? It was easier to let other people decide than it was to unstrap myself, open the door, jump out of the car and hitch a new ride to a new place. Because familiar is better right? Only, familiar landed me at a size 26W, miserable, depressed, unable to walk up a flight of stairs without my knees creaking and my lungs seizing. Familiar landed me on a surgical table fighting to get my life back. Familiar is for suckers. I choose the new and the unknown because at least it forces me to be present.

I fight for this life every single day. Every morning I choose not to be a passenger. I choose to get up, make the right choices, do the right things and turn on my internal GPS so I can get to where I have always seen myself going without the help of anyone else. That's not to say I don't appreciate the love and support of those who truly believe in me, it just means I have to learn to do it on my own for once.

I find that I am surrounded by a lot of backseat drivers on this little road trip. People whispering in my ear that I'm still not good enough. That I still can't do this. And somedays, those voices are loud little fuckers. So I have to remind myself that there are earplugs in the glove compartment. And I have to remind myself to put them in, crank up the radio, roll down the windows and find ways to drown out the naysayers. Because I am worth this struggle. I DESERVE this happiness. And I can't allow myself to be less successful or pretend to be less proud of myself because other people aren't happy with themselves. For this moment in time, it is all about me. At least in my car, while I am driving, the journey is about ME.

So I will enjoy the ride, but I refuse to slow down. I plan on moving ahead and breaking every speed limit until my legs give out and my heart can't take anymore. And when this journey is over, I plan on taking my last breath with a smile on my face knowing that I finally lived my life to the absolute fullest. So my advice to those who want to enjoy the ride with me is to either get in, buckle up and brace yourself, or get the hell out of my way because I won't be stopping for anyone or anything!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I am alive, I promise!

School has only been out for a couple weeks and I am already completely and totally overwhelmed with summer type obligations. Between dance recitals, baseball tournaments, basketball camp, baby showers, bridal showers and two kids who swear that there is "nothing to doooooooo, and they are boooooorrrrreeeeddddd", I haven't had a minute to think straight, much less organize a blog. At least not a blog that wouldn't make people shake their heads and wonder if I needed to take (more) medication.

We just finished a weekend baseball tournament for my son so that is over at least. This week is the final stretch to my sisters bridal shower, and my son is now taking a 5 week basketball camp two mornings a week. In three weeks, football season starts and shortly thereafter my sister gets married, the kids go back to school and I will sit here, with a totally wasted look on my face, wondering where the summer and my sanity went.

To top it all off, just when I thought I had my writing mojo going BOTH of our laptops shit the bed in the same week. One needed a new hard drive and one needed a new power cord. By the time I got even one of them back I had to fulfill my Facebook and gossip site addictions, and then catch up on over a weeks worth of the blogs I already follow.

Oh, and let's not forget that I am having runners withdrawal. I hurt my knee something fierce - probably the effect of still being a fat ass and not having ran in 20 years - and I had to take a week off to let it heal completely. And I thought I would enjoy having an excuse not to run, but it sucked. I couldn't enjoy yoga as much, and everytime I walked the treadmill I just wanted to hike up the speed and run it out. I tried once, and my knee instantly lit on fire, and I had to go back to a walk. But this week, come hell or sore knees, I am running. In 90+ degree heat no less, but I am RUNNING DAMN IT!! To date I have lost 65 pounds. I no longer have a single stitch of clothing left from my older and fatter life. The rest of it is going on eBay tomorrow and I am glad to be rid of it. I think I may keep just one pair of pants for my bad days. The days where I still don't feel good enough, and I feel like I haven't done enough, or the days where I still feel like the failure that I did 65 pounds ago. On those days I can put on the "before" pants and remember just how hard I have worked and just how far I have come.

And in tribute to it all, I am posting the following pic of me AND my daughter wearing a shirt that fit me before this entire journey began. For prosterity and for laughs.

Enjoy and I promise, after one more day of entertaining the kids and the husband, laying in the sun and being a lazy louse, I will be back!