Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Take this job and shove it...not really, but it's catchy!

I swear, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, or into a giant vat of ice cream (as much as that sounds like a purely delightful way to go), but rather I did the unthinkable. I got a J.O.B. That’s right, it was time to strip off my yoga pants and baggy t-shirts and start sporting my big girl clothes again.

The first week I harbored a lot of resentment both towards my husband for pushing me back to work and then towards myself for knowing I had to work if I ever wanted to shop again. It’s a necessary evil, and as far as jobs go, this one isn’t the worst. With a treat and a good trainer, a monkey could pretty much fill my seat for 9 hours a day and do a comparable job. Hopefully my employers don’t catch on to that (or to the fact that I am blogging on work time!) because I am sure a monkey would settle for a smaller hourly wage and a bunch of bananas.

I was also afraid that work might complicate my workout and eating schedule. Sitting on my ass for 9 hours a day when I was used to being out walking or cleaning the house could not be conducive to my weight loss. But, surprisingly, I am still motoring right along. I have to fight the urge to boredom eat every now and then but one afternoon stomach ache resulting from a package of Snackwells cookies set me straight on that one. No matter what I have to do after work, I still make sure to get my workouts in 4-5 nights a week and I’m proud that I am keeping motivated despite being completely exhausted.

Speaking of the weight loss front, changes are taking place once again. My body is transforming like a computer generated image everyday and I am pleased with it….most of the time. When I stop kicking myself in the shins over some extra skin or a belly that is still far from firm, I actually take notice of things like the fact that my “girls” are now smaller and perkier and looking more like the breasts of a 25 year old rather than those of a 50 year old Aborigine on the cover of National Geographic. My ass, while not yet considered small, is now average and can no longer hold a coffee cup on its ledge. My calves do not look like the calves of a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, but instead thin and feminine like a woman. I can shop anywhere and almost always find my size. I also notice, with some resentment and bitterness, that it seems the plus size world is finally catching up and making clothes for the youthful and fashionable plus size woman rather than the housecoats of grandmothers past. While I am happy that the beautiful plus size women of the world will now have the option of looking fashion forward, I can’t help but want to donkey punch the world for not releasing these options sooner. But I digress…..

Life in general is good. As it always seems to be if you look hard enough, long enough, and take enough initiative to make it that way. It’s not always easy, but every now and then you stop, take a breath and just realize it is what it is, and it will be what you make of it.

Now, really, I should probably get back to work……so, until the next time I am lacking adult supervision at work, enjoy your day!

Friday, October 8, 2010

90% Mental, 10% Fat Ass

There is a big difference between being fat in mind, and fat in body. I am no longer fat in body by most medical standards. The nurses don’t break out the big blood pressure cuffs anymore, and the doctors don’t end my checkups with the whole “you’re going to get diabetes/have a heart attack/stroke out on the toilet” speech anymore. But, mentally I am still the fat ass that I was 105 pounds ago. I still feel like people stare at me as if I don’t belong whenever I enter the misses section of a department store. I still feel a little embarrassed ordering food in a restaurant as if they are judging me. I still look for clothes to hide my body and I still hate walking away from people because I feel like they are staring in disgust at my enormous backside.

I still have trepidation about sitting in chairs, buckling seatbelts, and walking on treadmills for I am certain that the last six months has all been a dream and the moment I let my guard down and do anything without caution I will break a chair, need a seatbelt extender, or snap the belt on the treadmill.

I look at old pictures and can’t begin to remember or rationalize the life I used to live. How did I think it was ok to scarf down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every single night and sometimes follow it with a Butterfinger chaser? Why did I not see the damage I was doing everytime I devoured a Red Robins A-1 Peppercorn burger (2000 calories and 96 grams of fat, yessir!!), an order (or two) of buttery garlic and parmesan steak fries and a tower of greasy onion rings? The list could on and on and on…..just as the size of my waistline once did.

My greatest anxiety now is how to never end up back in that same place. Mentally, I just constantly tell myself I can’t have this because of the surgery, or I can’t have that because my stomach can’t handle it, but what about the day a year or two from now when that is no longer true? I don’t want to become the statistic that so many assume I will be, who starts gaining weight and old habits back after a couple of successful years.

For the most part, I am over my love affair and obsession with food. I no longer crave it more than I yearn for breath as I once did. I no longer turn to it for comfort, need it to feel socially relevant, or resent my inability to consume it. But every once in awhile, I will find myself bored and reaching for the chips or the chocolate or some other decadent little snack cake and I have to stop myself and wonder why I was doing it. Or, more importantly, how can I stop the instinctive action that has dominated me for most of my 35 years?

How can I take what I see on the outside and make it match what is on the inside? Is it unreasonable to assume that it’s even possible.

There is one thing of which I am absolutely certain, and that is this – obesity/overeating IS a disease, whether genetic or environmental. Naysayers of the (thinner) world, before you shake your empty heads, just remember that unless you have lived it or lived through it, you should remain open to its possibility. I myself can’t understand how someone becomes an alcoholic or a drug addict, yet the world is full of them and the rehab centers that help them.

If this is true – the addiction of food and its subsequent obesity – than would it be safe to say that I will always be obese, even if it is just in memory? If so, then I humbly present myself to the universe in a thinner shell and say:

“Hello, my name is Lisa and I am an overeater.”

And hopefully, this serves to remind of that from which I came, and how hard I have worked to get to this place, and how I never want to go through it again. From my ice cream stained lips to God’s ears.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

100 Reasons I Love Being 100 Pounds Lighter

This post is long overdue, slightly narcissistic and will more than likely make you wonder how I came up with the whole list at work and didn't get fired as I laughed and cried my way through it. I figured I would commemorate having finally lost 100 pounds last week with a list of 100 reason I am grateful to have done so. Feel free to pick and choose rather than gouge your eyes out after reading the entire list, or if you have time on your hands and you don't have ADD, read the entire list and see if you find yourself nodding along.

In no particular order:

1) I get a "do over" in life. I get this one shot to rectify all the wrong that I have done to my body in allowing it to get so fat and out of shape. I also get to correct all that medical science has done to contribute to my cellulite and ever spreading ass.

2) I can chase my kids again, and not just when they are in trouble!

3) I can steal a sweatshirt from my husbands closet and not worry about whether it will fit because I am bigger than him.

4) I can buy smaller shoes. No lie. I went from a size 11 shoe to a 9.5. I never knew feet stored so much fat. Perhaps my arches are just higher without an extra 100 pounds suppressing them.

5) So long full butted undies. Hello, cute little boyshorts!

6) Being able to bend over to tie my shoes without holding my breath. Seriously.

7) Never again having to get on an airplane and ask for a seatbelt extender circa my 2009 trip to Arizona on Southwest. The flight attendant gave me the wonky eye when I asked for one and I had to refrain from donkey punching him in the face since I just didn't have time to submit to a full body cavity search.

8) Being able to walk around without sweating or getting leg cramps. Sad, I know.

9) Getting undressed in front of my husband without shutting off the light or making him "turn the fuck around or you will never have sex with me again!".

10) My kids putting their arms around me and saying "Mom, you are SOO small now!". That never gets old.

11) Attacking clearance racks with the speed and vengeance of a jungle cat attacking its prey. Step aside and let me at the size L's and no one will get hurt!

12) Picking furniture/exercise equipment and NOT having to check the weight limit on it.

13) Having an ass that doesn't knock things over.

14) Having only ONE chin, and no turkey neck. Gobble, gobble!

15) Not having to shop only at plus size stores. Which generally entailed getting ass raped with ridiculously high prices.

16) Buying regular size panty hose. And having a weight that doesn't exceed their size chart.

17) Being able to spoon with the hubby on the couch without having to suck in my gut the entire time as half of me hung precariously over the edge.

18) Not having to squeeze in my gut AND my ass to get by someone in a tight space.

19) Being able to fit in restaurant boothes.

20) Holding up clothes and thinking there is no way MY fat ass will fit into that, only to find it does. With room to spare.

21) Owning a bathing suit that doesn't have a "dress" attached. Ick.

22) Being able to comfortably sit indian style without my stomach sitting in my lap.

23) Being called "Slim" by dad for the first time since I was 18. Seriously, better than fitting into skinny jeans.

24) Not having to hide behind people in pictures.

25) Smaller pants NOT made by Omar the Tent Maker.

26) Sitting in a plastic lawn chair and not feeling the legs bend beneath my girth.

27) Having to pull the seat closer to the steering wheel and not having my stomach touch it.

28) Hugging my husband and not being afraid to let him put his arms around me because I no longer have back fat.

29) Hearing my parents say they are proud of me, and knowing by the look on their face that they mean it.

30) Seeing my ex and silently laughing everytime I remember all the times he said I could never lose the weight.

31) Not sweating when I eat. Seriously, you would think I was a marathon eater scarfing down 100 hotdogs in 2 minutes with the way I used to sweat!

32) Saving money on take out food since I a) can't eat most of it and b) when I do go out I can usually just share food with someone.

33) Gaining knowledge I can pass onto my kids so they never have to struggle the way I did.

34) My daughter telling me I am beautiful and was never fat.

35) Being able to RUN up and down flights of stairs without holding onto the railing for dear life or having an asthma attack.

36) Not struggling between what I should eat and what I want to eat.

37) Wearing clothes just because I like them, and not because of what they will hide.

38) Wearing belts again. Especially since they are no longer the size around of a radial tire.

39) Having small, feminine hands again rather than stumps with sausage fingers.

40) Not being self conscious about eating in front of people. Except for those awkward moments that I drop food and it lands in my cleavage. That is always awkward.

41) Never EVER having cankles again.

42) Being able to cross my legs when I sit for the first time in 15 years.

43) Not leaving huge indentations in the couch where I sit that deform the cushion.

44) Wearing cute flats because I don't need heels to make me look longer and thinner.

45) Going for walks through town, rather than just around the block.

46) Wearing a necklace and not needing to attach a necklace extender.

47) Being able to run for 30 minutes and still feel like I want to do more.

48) Doing yoga and not having to do the "modified" version of the moves. Or crying when I can't hold the poses. Yeah, in the beginning I did that way more than I care to admit to. And couldn't even wash down the tears with a Little Debbie snack cake.

49) Going to the pool without fear of being harpooned.

50) When I lost 50 pounds I could totally see my body transforming. More than meets the eye.....

And *BREATHE*.....feel free to break for a snack. Let's all go to the lobby! Let's all go to the lobby! Let's all go to the lobby, and get ourselves a snack!

And resuming the insanity.....

51) Buying bras off the rack (no pun intended. OK, total pun intended!) rather than in a box or with cushioned 10" straps.

52) Not buying wide width shoes.

53) Never getting into someones car and hoping against hope that the seatbelt will buckle.

54) Not being ashamed to step on the scale at the doctors office. At one appt the nurse was going to bypass this ritual and almost lost an eye because of it.

55) Feeling beautiful for the first time in a VERY long time.

56) Hearing my sisters tell me how proud they are of me.

57) Not feeling like the "token fat friend".

58) Running in public without fear of people staring, laughing and pointing at me.

59) Curling up in the corner of the couch and feeling small.

60) Being able to zipper a pair of boots over my calves.

61) Learning a very important lesson - We must learn to eat to live, rather than live to eat.

62) Coming out of a lifelong depression thanks to exercise.

63) Buying/Ordering clothes that don't have an X in the size.

64) Being able to stand up without grunting.

65) Not having knee or foot pain after a night of dancing in heels.

66) Having an ass that looks like an ass, and not a shelf you can set your coffee on.

67) No lovehandles or muffin top!

68) Finding out who my real friends are, and making new ones. Gastric bypass patients are like a secret society and sometimes it takes one loud mouthed ex-fat ass to get them to open up about it.

69) Being able to ride rollercoasters again without fear that the safety latch will break against the weight of my body.

70) Being able to sit in a chair with arms and not have my thighs protruding out the sides.

71) Having my boobs stick out further than my stomach again.

72) Being able to wear corduroy pants and not worry about the friction from my thighs starting a spontaneous fire.

73) Finding that I did still have ribs and hip bones under all that fat.

74) Not having to suffer through wearing Spanx under dresses and fitted shirts.

75) When I had lost 75 pounds, I was no longer considered a "plus size gal" and could finally buy pants in the Misses section rather than the forbidden, tiny back corner of shame.

76) I no longer resent my skinny friends or want to slip them a roofie and fill them with carbs.

77) The day my husband could pick me up and not pop a groin muscle.

78) The look on peoples faces when they haven't seen me in awhile.

79) Being able to wear heels without the pain inflicted by my weight.

80) When I lost 80 pounds, my dad saw me for the first time in months and cried.

81) The look on my moms face when she came home for a visit and saw me in person for the first time since before surgery.

82) For the first time in a long time, someone told me I was "hot". I think that implies that I am also a MILF, which is slightly creepy yet exciting all at the same time.

83) Letting go of the fear of new things and adventures because my weight no longer inhibits me. This winter I want to learn to ski!

84) The surgery forced me to quit smoking which is something that makes my kids very happy. With the exception of the occassional "I've been drinking so a cigarette totally makes sense" smoke.

85) That food is no longer my comfort or my enemy.

86) That I finally set my mind to do something that seemed completely out of my reach, and achieved it without shortcuts.

87) That I finally feel like I can be the role model my kids deserve.

88) For the first time in a long time, not only does my body feel lighter, but so does my heart and that has helped me to break down walls and love more unconditionally.

89) The day my grandmother walked by me and didn't recognize me was the day I realized just how much I have changed and I loved it.

90) When I lost 90 pounds I only had 10 pounds and 2 weeks to go and my body gave me the one finger salute, closed the window and went on vacation. Bastard. But I didn't give up and only vowed to work harder.

91) I learned that I had more cheerleaders and supporters than I ever could have imagined.

92) When someone pays me a compliment I can finally just say thank you.

93) I purposely pick the further parking spot at the store because it feels good to be able to walk without pain.

94) Taking tub baths again because I can actually fit all of me into the tub.

95) At 95 pounds lost I was so close to my goal that I could taste it. But I was afraid to because I didn't want to risk gaining back any weight.

96) I finished my first 5K with a walk/run and didn't die. Even got a t-shirt to show for it!

97) Learning that in order to appreciate my successes I would have to openly share my failures.

98) Finding out I was worth investing time in.

99) I can walk by mirrors and windows and not be afraid to look.

100) It took me an extra week longer than I had planned to lose the 100 pounds but it was totally worth the weight (HA!). Being able to come up with 100 reasons I love my new life means I will release something into the universe that will always remind of where I started.

This has been a long and arduous journey. At times, I wanted to give up. I often wondered if I made the right decision. I've cried, raged, laughed, screamed, rejoiced and fallen apart on a weekly basis. And when I look at the road ahead of me, and remember that the journey is far from over, I don't want to lose sight of any of the emotions that have carried me this far.

My insecurities have kept me humble througout this process and for that I am grateful. Because nothing is worse or more annoying that a narcissistic ex-fat chick with a smaller ass and a big head. I still look at myself sometimes and feel every single one of the now 105 pounds I have lost, but that is a blog for another day.....