Never Again

This blog post is embarrassing. I’ve never weighed this much in my entire life.

On my wedding date, I was 241 lbs. This was after a rehearsal dinner binge, and I thought I was fat.

Little did I know…

I’m 290 lbs., according to the WW scale. 292.2 lbs. according to my home scale.

I gained FIFTY POUNDS since my wedding in May 2009. FIFTY POUNDS!!!!

You want to see what that looks like? It’s ugly and shameful.

My Before

I just can’t believe it. I went from this…

To, well, this. :-(

Pity party for one, please!

Bright side. I’m changing it. I’m treating my WW Points like money. I’m not going into what I’m going to call “food debt”, which will lead to weight gain. I’ve gained enough.

I’m done.

I’m going to give y’all updates every month with pictures, weight and measurements.

I might possibly need y’all’s help with some workout stuff along the way, too! (You’ll find out about that in later posts!)

Twenty Eleven…Two Thousand Eleven..

…however you name it, it’s another New Year. It’s also another new decade. Does that mean that my resolutions need to be 10x more awesome? I guess so!

Since I have my 101 in 1001 list almost done in May, I’m focusing my 2011 on those. As of 1/4/11, here’s my stats:

43 done
23 in progress
31.5 not done
3.5 can’t be done

So, I do have a good bit to go here, and the categories that need the most attention are:

Health/Fitness
Cooking/Baking

I mentioned yesterday that I’m redoing my priorities. Etsy isn’t my priority right now, so that got nixed. Obviously, I need to devote my energy mainly to my health. Cooking/baking will probably get done as well, but in my mind, I need to really ensure that I check some of those things off on the health/fitness category.

Stereotypical, I know. We ALL want to get healthier and better ourselves. I’ve made this a resolution for years, and the only time I got some success was pre-wedding. I showed myself that I can do it, so I need to just do it.

I rejoined Weight Watchers before Christmas. I’m hopeful that this will be my last time I’ll ever join again!  (I am the person who joins W/W for a month, then quits…then rejoins again.)

How many of you are on healthier resolution bandwagon this year? What are you doing to make it happen?

“Fatties” are people too…

I was a pretty skinny child. My passion for making my parents chase me around the house and yard contributed to my physique back then. Sometime around 3rd grade, though, I started to realize I wasn’t normal. I was getting fat.

I have no idea how it happened, but I look at my (now) size 24 self and realize that I am considered morbidly obese. I remember back in school, the kids would make my last name rhyme with fat. Fat A-(insert second syllable) was my name through most of school. I remember in middle school, this kid on the bus spit on my jacket, because he felt I was too fat to be on “his” bus.

Sounds insane, but it really happened.

Another big example I remember was waiting at the bus stop one morning, and one of the kids took my gym bag (actually ended up ripping it because I wouldn’t let it go), rubbed it in dog poop and told me that PE class wouldn’t help me so I shouldn’t bother bringing the bag to school. Bullying sucks…I don’t wish this type of bullying on anyone.

When I reached college age, bullying stopped. Everyone was magically more mature, but it was then that I realized maturity did not equal a fair society. The first time I went to the mall with my college friend, we were buying clothes. I remember going into Hollister and getting stares. I was a size 20 at the time. I could barely walk around the racks, since they kept them close together. I remember just looking at the regular sized clothes (helping my friend out), and when my friend went in the dressing room, an employee at the store told me they don’t carry my size, but Lane Bryant probably does. Rude, no?

When I worked at Lane Bryant through college, I realized that not all customers that shop there embrace the plus size. One lady came to my register to buy a gift card around the holidays, and while I was ringing her up, she told her husband if she ever fits in this store, she would just die.

I’ve seen it all…stares at the gym, stares eating out at a restaurant with my husband, even stares at the workplace…it’s everywhere. Society frowns upon the obese.

However, underneath my current size 24 body, I just wish I could wear a sign saying, I’m a person just like you. I have perfect blood pressure, good cholesterol, and while I eat ice cream from time to time, I’m making efforts to change for the better.

I’m sure most of you have read the Marie Claire article about the issues with an author accepting “fatties”. This article made me so sad. I actually was starting to love Marie Claire, because of their plus sized fashionista, who was starting to make me embrace the fact that I can still feel “cute” in clothes. However, since publishing this article, I feel like this was a huge slap in the face to the very readers that they have been trying to empower.

So, for the first time in a long time, I wrote to an editor. I had to. I couldn’t believe this article was published.

Ms. Schweitzer,
 
I recently came across an article titled “Overweight Couples on TV”, and would like to know why something of this nature was published. The author states that she finds it displeasing just for an obese person to walk across a room, and as an obese person, I find this saddening. I also find it saddening that she does not consider herself “size-ist”. If you think less of a person because of their weight, then that is a blatant discrimination.
 
I’ve been a Marie Claire subscriber on/off for quite a few years, and I’m just shocked that a magazine which writes about how a woman should feel more self-worth, is now publishing this. Do you not realize how many readers you may have just offended and brought down a few levels?
 
It’s hard enough to read magazines with size 0 women plastered across the pages, but now, to read this makes me feel like I am less of a person–compared to a stumbling drunk as she stated.
 
I really hope you will consider your audience when you publish articles of this nature. I’m fairly sure you’ve lost quite a few readers in the long run over this.
 
Sincerely,
::insert actual name::

That article brought back all of the bullying. It brought back the self-conscious feelings of “I wonder how many people find me gross”. It hurt, and it wasn’t fair.

The author tried to make up for it with an update (making excuses with her prior eating disorders and her perception of fat), but of course, you can’t take back how you really feel.

So, thank you Maura Kelly…thank you for making me feel equivalent to  “a stumbling drunk” and a “heroin addict” (her words…not exaggerating). And thank you for making those hateful feelings against “fatties” seem OK to have by having them written in such a huge publication. You kind of suck.

How do you feel after reading this article?

Junk Food Detox

As you might know, I’m currently trying to lose weight. There are numerous reasons for this, which I really don’t feel like writing about today. I also won’t tell you my current weight. I’m ashamed.

All I know is, I need to change. Doing the whole “diet” thing proved to be too difficult for me. So, I went back to my old Weight Watchers journal and reflected on the foods that do the most damage for me, calories wise.

My plan was to slowly eliminate the junk, one week at a time, one food at a time. I’m in my third week. It’s working amazingly.

First week, I went a little easy on myself and said “bye bye” to snowballs. That Monday, all I wanted was a wedding cake snowball. The great thing is, I didn’t give in. Not once. Today, a snowball would be nice, but I’m not CRAVING it. Bye snowballs!

Second week was hard. SO SO hard. Ice Cream. OMG…I LOVE ICE CREAM. However, I don’t love just 1/2 cup of it. I have no portion control when it comes to ice cream, and it’s always eaten so quickly. Just not worth it. It’s gone. No ice cream in the house, no ice cream on the way home. Gone. I don’t really think much about ice cream anymore, but, as a disclaimer, for those of you who read my food blog, there will be a recipe featuring ice cream going up next week. Of course, I have to try one. Just one.

I promise.

This week, I took it a step further. With pumpkin spice kisses out in stores,  as well as ALL of the Halloween candy, I had to eliminate it. Oh gosh, candy. I crave chocolate so bad. Tuesday, the hub’s coworker gave us a pack of Starburst. You know, the little 2 pack. I busted that thing open, realized I had a cherry and a lemon. I would save the lemon for last, because it’s my favorite. Put the cherry in my mouth, chewed and then realized, DARNIT…I ate candy. I slipped once and with my tummy saying “NOOO! EAT THE LEMON!”, I handed the lemon starburst to the hubs. There have been no more slip-ups since then, and I still feel bad about that stupid cherry starburst!

Next week will be fried food, including french fries. I’m not sure what will be after that, but, I do know that I won’t mess this detox up. I NEED to do this! :)

Further motivation?

Image Source

My local YMCA/gym is holding a weight loss contest. 10 weeks from October 7 through December 17, 2010.  This contest is all up in my holiday feast time, however, this is great. I’m embracing those dates. If I can lose weight during the most indulgent part of the year, I can do this for GOOD!

Once this competition starts, my junk food detox will definitely help me stray away from the temptations, and I’ll most probably be back on  Weight Watchers for this. I did this before my wedding. I can do this now!  

Check out these prizes! My competitive side is already ready to kick some booty for this!

  • 1st Place – Prizes valued at $2000 including a 1-year free membership to the YMCA
  • 2nd Place – Prizes valued at $1000 including a 6-month free membership to the YMCA
  • 3rd Place – Prizes valued at $500 including a 3-month free membership to the YMCA

Oh, and also, hubs and I have a little “fun money” wager. Whoever loses the most by November WINS $150 from the other’s “fun money” account.

Let’s go junk food detox!! :)

Stretching our Stomachs..

I know why I am the weight that I am. It’s simple. I consumed more than I should. There are/were a myriad of reasons why this would happen. If Mom brought home snacks, it was like survival of the fittest to get that last pack of the Fruit Roll-Ups. We drank soda Kool-Aid like it was water, and when it came to dinner time, Mom cooked so well, that I always wanted seconds or gulp, even thirds!

When I was getting to be a little more independent, I would eat at fast food joints, because my job just didn’t give me the time to just sit down and enjoy a meal. I would scarf it down, get overly full and just think nothing of it. College was much worse. All you can eat cafeteria everyday with all you can eat ice cream and all you can drink soda. At least I walked 2-3 miles, so I was blinded at the calories that I was accustomed to consuming. Out of college, I gained weight so quickly and just didn’t think anything of it.

That diet is still habit to me today, and when I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago, I was in for a shock. Our meeting leader talked about how portion control has changed over the years. No wonder why obesity is on the rise…we are stretching our stomachs year by year!

For example, today’s McDonald’s Happy Meal used to be the meal that adults would buy. Yep, that little hamburger and 8 oz. soda satisfied us at one point. Now, you drive to a fast food joint and there are QUADRUPLE patty burgers with 44 oz. gulper sodas. We’re eating/drinking 4x the amount that people 20-30 years ago would drink. :

Even the plates they sell at stores are 2 inches bigger in diameter than they were 2 years ago. I don’t want to eat on a 12 inch plate. I feel that it’s excessive, but at family gatherings, the big plates are ALWAYS brought out and we, of course, fill them.

Since joining Weight Watchers, I’m slowly learning and embracing that a deck of cards is the size of a proper serving of meat, a tennis ball = approximately one cup of rice/pasta, and your thumb = 1 oz. cheese. Looking that these portions make me panic a little, because they just don’t make me full yet. My stomach is probably stretched out like crazy from years of overeating, but I’m sure that my body will adjust eventually.

Can you believe how portion sizes have changed?  Look at this article for some comparisons.

Do split ends attract crude?

So, in case you are living in a cave, there was an oil rig explosion right off of the Louisiana coastline. 11 people died and many were injured. Working in the oil industry is a scary, scary thing.

My own father works for an oil refinery, and I worry for him constantly. In 1988, his plant had an explosion and apparently, all that was left of his office were oil splattered family pictures. He was due for work a few hours later. It’s scary and incredibly sad, so I’m constantly praying for those families who lost someone that day.

Now, there are millions of gallons of crude spewing through the Gulf of Mexico. Sure, it’s not Hurricane Katrina, but fishermen are losing their jobs, wildlife is dying and our fragile wetlands are diminishing at a faster rate.

Oh, and by the way, it’s almost June 1st. Hello hurricane season, Have mercy on Louisiana, because the last thing we need is the crude stirred up and brought further into land.

Ok, so now that I’ve lectured y’all,  there are ways to help. We’re all really limited though. It’s not like we can all just go out to the Gulf and help wildlife or personally stop the oil spewing out of the ocean floor.

You can donate your hair. Weird suggestion, but in fifth grade, I got a quart of crude oil to do a science experiment. I used human hair (got a haircut for the sake of a science ribbon), bird feathers (we had a bird house in our yard and well, there were feathers everywhere), spanish moss (hello, swamp!), and plant leaves. In the end, human hair and bird feathers (sadly) were most absorbent of the crude oil.

So, yes, hair really works, and salons are donating hair to make mats to absorb the crude. Also, PetSmart grooming salons are donating pet hair too. (Millie definitely needs a trim, too!) I found a salon near me that will donate hair, and I haven’t cut my hair since last June. So, needless to say, I hope my split ends can absorb oil.

Hair Clippings

I had about 3-4 inches to donate (depending on the outgrown layers) and wow, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I feel good about knowing that my hair, which is never long enough for Locks of Love, will actually benefit something so close to home.

Just ignore my 6th grader pimple face and focus on the meticulously styled coif. :)

New Hair Cut

Oh, also if you buy Dawn soap, there are codes on the bottle to enter online to donate $1 to cleaning birds. Easy enough..feel good about doing your dishes. I know I hate doing them, but heck, buying Dawn at least makes me feel sort of happy using up the soap. :)

Are any of you in the affected areas with the oil spill? Are you as worried as me?

Babies

I love babies. I love kids. I want kids….someday. Just not today or anytime soon, for that matter.

Ever since the wedding, my husband and I have had the questions/subtle/not so subtle hints as to when we’re bringing a baby into this world. It’s almost expected that once you get married, you are expected to have kids. Most married people sympathize, understand and are rolling their eyes thinking of the last time it happened to them.

It’s not just relatives and friends. It’s sometimes even strangers…people who don’t really know us, but think, just because we’re married, I’m now basically a uterus. A body part that will incubate and grow a baby. At baby showers, my belly gets stared at, as if I’m about to burst out and admit that I’m pregnant. What I want to SCREAM is “Nope, there’s nothing in there but an excessive amount of fat, people!”

I might be considered selfish. Heck, I spent 5 years in college studying a field dominated by men. You don’t see too many women kicking ass and taking names in my field. It’s a newer IT field too, so currently, the more I know and the faster I learn it, the better off I am, career wise. I don’t really WANT to take a few months out of this career driven momentum that I have to take care of a child.

Also, I’m scared. I babysat for years, but to know that I’m 1 of 2 people who will carry the most potential influence in this child’s life, scares me. I mess up a lot, and I think I need a little while to mature and be fully ready for this. 

I’m also scared for my and my future child’s health at my current weight. I’ve been told that I would be high risk, very possibly develop gestational diabetes and heck, adding weight to my current frame, I would be VERY sluggish. I’m already fairly sluggish feeling. It would be wrong for me to carry a child at my current weight. I’d much rather be healthier, providing the most optimum conditions in my body to grow/birth a baby.

So, here’s my apology to the strangers, family, friends…I do not expect to be pregnant anytime soon. Trust me, I’ll let you know when the test comes out positive.

Newlywed 30?

Before the wedding, I went from the 260s to the 240s. It was so awesome to lose that much weight and to notice my XL workout shirts loosening more and more. I was excited about the prospect of continuing my weight loss journey, fitting in a L tee, and possibly, shopping in regular clothing stores for the first time since I was in high school!

I should have known better. In May, at my last dress fitting, the seamstress politely told me that I cannot lose anymore weight or the beadwork on my dress would be affected. So, I decided to still work-out to keep with the routine, but to go back to eating junk. I know, weird thinking right? I did maintain though, and felt pretty darn slim on the wedding day!

Fast forward 11 months, my scale says 270.9 lbs. Why is that, folks? Because my month of slipping turned into that ugly habit that I’ve had for most of my life. I ended up quitting the Y, because I had better things to do, apparently, and well, cooking healthy just didn’t matter so much anymore (no dress to fit in).

So, I gained a newlywed 30 in less than a year. What am I going to do about it? Back on track…

I’ve been debating sharing these pictures on the Internet, but I joined Bobbi+Mike’s healthy train, so it’s not like I can hold these as a secret for much longer.

Before - Side

Before - Front

I hope to take pictures like this monthly in the same get-up to show progress. Heck, I just want to see some progress. These pictures are TERRIBLE, and I know I can’t live life like this forever. Wish me luck, folks. It’s time to lose this flab!

Is it OK to be Fat?

This is sort of ironic. I wrote about the judgey stares at the mall, and when I was halfway watching Nightline last night, I heard the anchor ask “Is it OK to be Fat?” I was glued from then on.

They had 4 panelists debating this issue. Kim Bensen, who has lost over 200 lbs. and MeMe Roth, who I had never heard of before (and don’t ever care to hear of again…you’ll see why), were on the side saying it’s NOT OK to be fat. Crystal Renn, who is a plus size supermodel, and Marianne Kirby, who has written a book on fat acceptance, were advocating that it is OK to be fat.

Both sides had solid arguments, but sometimes MeMe and Kim had my blood boiling. First of all, Marianne Kirby is a big girl like me. You could literally see some moments in the debate where MeMe and KIM (Hello?! Weren’t you “fat” before? Stop being judgey..)had a face of disgust looking at this girl.

MeMe kept making comments that being fat is not acceptable. You can control it…she kept pushing that anyone could be the ideal weight.

I don’t know about that. Her definition of ideal was just plain wrong to me.

“There’s a lot of studies looking at staying at a lower end of BMI [body mass index] perhaps giving us longevity and healthier longevity,” said Roth.

BMI…one of the most unreliable measurements of ideals, to this woman, is the ideal. SERIOUSLY?

After watching this debate, I wanted to seriously become BFF’s with Crystal Renn. I agree, that while being unhealthy is a bad thing, fat is not a bad thing. Fat to society is SO broad, and like she mentioned in the interview, she’s a size 12, in the best shape of her life. The size 0 she once was, was UNHEALTHY! I’m sure a lot of society considers Crystal Renn to be fat, but hey, she’s making mega bucks being a gorgeous, confident woman with curves. You go girl!

I’m sure some of you might not agree with me, so what say you? Is it OK to be fat?

Forget customer service, just be “healthy”

You might not know this about me, but my first job was working in a grocery store. Winn-Dixie to be exact. I worked there for almost 6 years, starting at a menial cashier and then working as an assistant manager, mainly in the cash office. Talk about stress!

Anyway, I worked there and the store strived to give excellent customer service. It was company policy and my store manager took great pride in having high marks within the district. I remember them posting scanning speeds per minute every week, and it was like a contest to get about 20-30 items per minute. It was crazy looking back how silly I was…

At one point, Winn-Dixie tried to motivate us. You would get points for good scanning speed, high manager remarks and hours you worked. You could redeem them for  things like gift cards and other random items. I remember redeeming my points for a car emergency kit (which resides in my trunk still) and a Tae Bo video set. Haha…Tae Bo was the shiz!

Getting to the point, we were rewarded for doing our jobs. It was motivating to make it a point to give the customer the best service available.

Now, enter Whole Foods.

See, Whole Foods…you think great company, organic, wonderful customer service. They aren’t rewarding for that, though. They are gonna increase your employee discount at Whole Foods depending solely on your health.

That’s right, your health. More notably, your BMI, which is the WORST indicator of health! All employees get a base discount of 20% off  in the store. If your BMI is lower than 30, you can get up to 30% off instead! Oh boy…oh BROTHER!

I’m really mad about this. My BMI is 35ish and because of my weight, if I worked at Whole Foods, I would be considered an unhealthy employee and given less of a discount. I know I’m overweight, but this blog brings up a good point about BMI. Apparently, Johnny Depp’s BMI considers him overweight…sigh….he wouldn’t get his 30% off for sure then!

So, I hate to be extreme, but I’m pretty sure I’m not shopping at Whole Foods for a while. This policy just grates on my nerves and seems a little discriminatory, don’t you think? Thoughts?