RSS Feed

Category Archives: Weight Watching

I go for a run. Or so I thought.

We had so many things going on that day, but I figured I’d squeeze in a couple of miles just to kick the day off right. When my husband gave the official eye roll of agreement, I grabbed my Ziploc bag with a cinnamon mint and my cell and was off and running.

phone in bag

Trot, trot, trot. I was cruising along, minding my own mind, trying to decide whether I should wear my navy and cream maxi dress or capris with this cutesy new top my mom just bought me – yes, deep thoughts, people – when my Runkeeper app announced in that warm, automated bank teller voice, “Five minutes, .5 miles with an average pace of 10 minutes 2 seconds per mile.”*

I wasn’t really paying attention because a 10 minute mile for today’s run was perfect. Until I turned the corner and almost collided with a woman I sort of know from either baseball or elementary school or possibly from the neighborhood. She could be a friend of a friend. I don’t know, but I knew her and she knew me and we said hello as she passed me by.

I followed her butt from a car length or so behind and started racing her in my head. I sped up a little, then worried that we’d have this awkward moment where we were running side by side. I’ll just cross the street if that happens, I told myself. I wouldn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Congratulating myself on this brilliant idea, I realized that in the minutes that had passed I was no closer to catching her than I was before. Hmm. Might have to speed up a bit more. Now I’m panting, still waiting for that moment where – oh, ha ha, here we are together – but I had made zero progress.

WTF?! I did a self-confidence check. I’m in decent shape. I’m pretty competitive. I’m not a speed demon, but I’m no slack. She didn’t even look like she was running hard, while I imagine a photo of me would reveal someone who looked like they needed medical attention.

At that moment, Runkeeper announced, “15 minutes, 1.75 miles, with an average pace of 9 minutes 17 seconds per mile.*” Well, that’s certainly faster. Yet, I’m still at least a car length – if not two – behind her.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, she trips.

I watched her fall to the ground and do a kind of half roll. My mouth dropped open, and I am definitely not thinking that this is the moment I catch up to her. I am going to make sure she is okay. I get a little closer and yell, “Are you okay?” but before I reach her, she is back up and on the move again, brushing herself off as she goes.

She doesn’t even turn around, but gives me a little half wave in acknowledgment. Within two minutes, we are back at our regular spots, her striding ahead, me lagging behind.

I’m pissed – no biggie, just a pelvic wall thing from the babies – and I’m frustrated. All my dormant competitive instincts now come alive. Oh yeah, let’s take it up a notch.

I do gain a little ground, but quickly realize as I huff and puff that I am not going to blow this house down. Besides, I wonder, what would I do if I actually caught her? I could probably only match her pace for about a minute, before giving some ridiculous little wave of triumph and slowly falling back to my rightful place behind her.

No. I was humiliated enough. I slowed and followed her swaying short shorts until I hit my block and turned.  She, of course, continued on, forever in front of me, just out of reach.

When I got home, Runkeeper clocked my fastest mile at 8:27. Not bad. I probably should run with her more often.

photo (1)

*Numbers are approximately accurate, just in case you’re checking my math. 😉

Scale. You’re going down!

I stared it down, but it remained standoffish. It just sat there waiting for me to make the first move. It was ready. I was not. For two weeks, I had trained for this day. Eating better, exercising more, mentally preparing for this moment. I took a deep breath in.

I could do it. One foot at a time. Go on. Go on. Big exhale. Okay, time to man up and step up.

Da da dummmmmm!

Da da dummmmmm!

It’s going to be good. Open your eyes. Look. You have to look! Now!

You’re kidding me.

No Freaking Way!

Two weeks of extra effort. Two weeks of making conscientious food choices over my usual conscientious food choices and what do I get?? Two pounds up. UP! I was trying to lose a few pounds and have actually gained two! I am going to lose my shit!

Wait, if I lost my shit, maybe I’d lose a few pounds. That’s one way to go. Ha. Go. Get it? Go. Double funny.

But really, none of this is funny.

I was about three or four pounds up to begin with. What used to be my heavy weight had sat its fat ass down and refused to budge, thus becoming my new average weight. In the beginning, I fought for my old weight like it was the last tub of ice cream in the freezer aisle – okay, not the best analogy – but, really, I worked out more, ate less ice cream, the whole bit. Still, no matter what I did, nothing changed.

After a while, I kind of got used to it. With all the other stuff going on in my life, something had to give a little, and it was the number on the scale. Even though, I was secretly waiting for it to magically disappear like it used to, I did my best to accept. That was until my husband booked us on a trip to St. Thomas with some friends at the end of August.

Sounds fabulous, right? Did I mention all the women going are thin? Yeah. I’m embarrassed to admit I considered bailing on that alone. Apparently, I’m that superficial. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to feel comfortable with my body, and I can tell you the exact times and places where I succeeded. Hawaii, 2000. Costa Rica, 2001.

People might say, I net out on the thinner side, and that may be true, but I don’t see it. I don’t want to tell you what I see, but it has kept me from basically wearing a bathing suit for years. It helps that I don’t like the pool or the beach, and with sun tanning out of favor, well, it’s a good cover for my cover-up.

It might be that I’m over 40 and despite my inhuman mother, my metabolism ain’t what it used to be. But I’m not throwing in the towel. No. I’m going to keep at it. At least till the trip. What else can I do? Except, maybe just lighten up.

Ah, if only.

Another run-in with the cops

The other day, I planned to meet a friend for what would have been our first run together. She c0-owns/teaches at the grueling Bar Method and is in tip-top shape. Just thinking about keeping up with her was causing me to sweat. So when she bailed, I was disappointed but also a bit relieved. Me vs. Me is stress enough.

Still, my friend didn’t abandon me completely. She introduced me to Runkeeper, a new app that maps your route and keeps track of your speed, distance and time. Excited, I put on my baseball cap, grabbed my cell and cinnamon mint and headed out, full of expectation and wondering if it would work.

Sure enough, at five minutes in, Runkeeper spoke. “.52 miles. 9 minutes, 32 seconds per mile.” It worked! But apparently, I wasn’t. Although, I knew it was completely unrealistic, I was secretly hoping I’d be clocking 8 minute miles or at least 8 ½. What you don’t know, you can pretend. Right?

At ten minutes, Runkeeper piped up again. “1.17 miles. 9 minutes 37 seconds per mile.” Oh no. I’ve slowed down. I needed to up my pace before the 15 minute marker. I began to feel anxiety, I mean motivation, to preform. I sped up a bit, and waited with baited, halting breath for Runkeeper to confirm it.

Instead, the phone rang. I checked the screen. Unless it’s one of the kids’ schools, I don’t pick up. It’s my alarm company. I’m picking up. “Hello?” I pant, still running. No way I’m ruining my pace.

“This is your alarm company. Your alarm is… The police …”

“What? Huh?” I really can’t hear with the street traffic and my heavy breathing. Plus my sweat is all over my phone now, making it slippery on my ear. I have to stop. Damn.

The alarm company repeats the information.  Apparently, my alarm is going off, and the police are on their way. Crap. I’m a solid 15 minutes from my house. I know, because Runkeeper just told me so with a pace of a little over 10 miles an hour, thanks to my abrupt halt. Hmph. Uh, not that I care anymore. I mean, my house might be  overrun with burglars. Why would I care about that?

About two minutes go by, before the phone rings again. Of course, it’s my husband. The alarm service has called him as well, and now it’s his job to repeat the information and just add some stress.

“The cops are there!” He exclaims.

“I know!”  I huff and puff in annoyance, as well as exertion.

“Hurry up!” he insists. “Uh, pant pant, maybe if I wasn’t on the phone I could move faster.”

Partly true. I don’t really think I can move faster. Plus, going back is uphill. Yeah, my impressive pace in the beginning was basically the downhill part of the run.

As I ran, I thought about the police at my house, waiting. I don’t know what it is with me and cops lately. First I had that incident with the bank fraud and was totally intimidated when I had to file a report. Then a few weeks ago, a cop showed up at my door, after my car was minding its own business parked  in front of my house and got smashed. Now I was running to meet them.

My phone rang again. The husband.

“Are you there yet?”

“If I wasn’t about to die here, I’d kick your ass.”

“Just don’t let them leave till they’ve checked every inch of the place.”

I hung up. Now I’m freaked out as well.

Dripping sweat, slightly hyperventilating, I reached home and found the cops sitting outside my door. I followed them inside for a walk-thru, which turned up nothing.

I showed one of them the crawl space in the basement. He didn’t have his flashlight and shrugged, “No one is in there.”

I said, “If this was a TV movie, there would be.”

He laughed.

I said, “That’s exactly what you would do in the movie. Then I die.”

He laughed again.

Damn.

After they leave, and after I again walked thru my house with a baseball bat checking every crevice like the idiot girl who absolutely gets dead, the next thing I did was check Runkeeper. Turns out, I got back to my house in 13 minutes. Not bad, considering it was uphill.

Now I’m totally looking forward to my next run-in with the cops. For speeding.

This app rocks

I love this app!

Come on, let’s go for a run. Yes, right now.

Good morning. It’s a lovely day out there. Perfect for a run. Now, I’m not the gal who loves her runs, I’m the gal who loves when they’re over. So chop, chop. The faster we start. The faster we end.

First check the sneakers. I am what some might call a ‘loose tier’ which means, I have a tendency to not give my all to the laces, leaving them apt to untangle. Trust me, I don’t need any more help tripping.

running sneak

Just some unnecessary information, my husband is a ‘tight tier’ which as you might imagine is the opposite of what I am. He’s actually quite condescending about it, constantly berating me and my children for our slack. When he ties a knot, Boy Scouts beware. You will be sleeping with your sneakers on forever. But enough of that. Off we go.

photo (55)

So this is my neighborhood. I admit to loving it. The trees, the people waving as I pass. The kids on bikes. The woman speeding down the street! Hey Bitch, that wasn’t even close to a complete stop! Are you kidding me?!

running stop sign

So we’re going to turn here and make our way down to the water. Isn’t this nice? Take a moment in your own heads to continue cursing out the lady who has no respect for stop signs.

Great. Now relax. Isn’t the water peaceful?

photo (53)

Oops people ahead. Beep beep. Nope. No one moves aside even a little. They are too busy chatting and enjoying the beautiful day. That’s okay, I’m feeling zen from the water. I’m not even going to push them in. 

running water

Look baby geese! So cute!!

running 1

Look out! Geese poop! So not cute!

running poop

Okay team, we’re past the half way mark, let’s head on up to the main road. This is the tough part where you need to keep your mind occupied because there’s not much to look at.

I’ll tell you a joke my 5 year-old told me the other day to keep you distracted.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because he didn’t have a car.

Yup. He made that up out of his cute 5 year-old brain. Let’s ponder his fabulousness for a moment.

So now, we’re up at the main road. Pretty typical looking. Lots of cars. Hope I don’t see anyone I know because, well, I’m not going to show you a picture of my outfit because I’d like to maintain the image of me running in matching, flattering workout gear.

Yup, that's me. I'm such a mess.  photo credit - www.victoriasecret.com

Fine, that’s me. I’m such a mess.
photo credit – http://www.victoriasecret.com

So tell me about yourself? Do you typically run? What do you think about when you do? Right now I’m thinking I’d like to stop at the ice cream store and get a cone of rocky road.

can you make out B&R?

can you make out B&R?

Really, I’m really so glad you’re here. Usually by this point I’ve deteriorated to mentally judging everyone one I pass, but you’re giving me positive energy. I didn’t even mention that teenager in short shorts trying to show off her vagina. I might be trying to impress you.

photo (54)

Guess what? We’re almost done. I think it’s gone so fast because I’m really entertaining. Maybe? Come on, I bet you don’t even feel like you worked out? One last hill and we’re back on my block. Let’s sprint this last stretch, shall we? You can do it. I’m right behind you. Ha. You fell for that?

Woo! Home Sweet Home. We did about four miles. Great job! Race you back to the ice cream store?

I’m so winning.

car smile

 

daily post

You really look terrible in that shirt. And fix your hair.

Yesterday, with the sun warming my face and last night’s ice cream still cool in my belly, I decided to take my running sneakers out of hibernation and hit the streets for my first run of the new year. Although I exercise regularly, I only run outside in fair weather. With the temperature nearing 50 degrees, my brain was itching for the fresh air instead of the stale gym odors that I had been inhaling all winter.

So I layered up and set out; one foot in front of the other, trip trapping down my street. It had been while, but it felt good. I missed going on autopilot through my neighborhood, while losing myself in my head. What would I think about today? I wondered and considered my options.

Should I wallow over my father’s declining state? That could get me through miles.

Or, should I think of snappy comebacks to the friend who recently said, “Wow, it’s so great that you can just go out without doing anything to yourself. I could never do that.”

Oh, I got it! How bout….  “You’re right. You totally look better with makeup.”

Wait! No! Better… “Thanks. It’s true. You really need self-confidence to pull it off.”

Hmm.. I’ll get back to that.

There’s always the to-do list. First shower, then supermarket, dry cleaners, stop for Dunkin Donut’s coffee, pick up kid…

Wow, figuring out what I’m going to think about has gotten me through over a mile. Yay. I should probably think about what to wear to tomorrow night’s School Social. Certainly not pants like the lady who just walked past me. Really? Flesh colored leggings? I don’t know anyone who can pull that off. I almost want to follow her and let her know that unless she’s auditioning for ‘What Not To Wear’, they should never be worn again.

In my college sweatshirt, skull cap, striped gloves and yoga pants that make my thighs look too heavy, I have no business criticizing anyone, yet I have to fight the urge to share my feelings.

Maybe it’s genetic. It would be something my grandma would have done. I can still remember her walking over to poor, unsuspecting strangers and saying things like, “Honey, no one’s going to tell you, but that lipstick color looks horrible on you.”

I always died a little, totally mortified, but now, decades later, it doesn’t seem like the worst idea. I mean, yeah, it can be seen as judgmental, but maybe it’s just being helpful. Maybe, sometimes we all need someone like that; a ‘truth teller’ in the form of a well-meaning stranger.

I mean who else would tell you these things? Certainly not your friends. No way will your friends tell you how fat you look in your jeans, or that –

Wow! The lady I just passed must be bathing in perfume.

What was I thinking? I might have blacked out there a moment. Oh, right, friends. They love you and don’t want to hurt your feelings. They can’t be completely honest.

I don’t know if the sweat has seeped into my brain, but I think this is a kick ass idea. I can open a school and train people on proper approach, having good ‘street-side’ manner, and of course, how to diffuse an offended person’s wrath. My people will be like secret agents. Employers will hire us to do an office walk-thru. Friends will hire us to say things they can’t say. It’s a public service. It’s genius!

I can’t believe it. I’m almost home. That was fantastic.

Wait, I just came up with the best comeback to my friend’s comment. Ready?

“You’re right. But you know, saying things like that is the reason a lot of people don’t like you.”

Boom!

Brutal Honesty. My grandma would have loved it. But would people actually appreciate the truth whispered to them by an unknown judge?

I don’t know, but i’ll have to think about it next time. I’ve just run out of steam.

Brittney, Let's talk about that bra. I'm here to help.

Brittney, let’s talk about that bra. I’m here to help.

I Get My Ass Kicked. Again.

I Get My Ass Kicked. Again.

There’s an instructor at my gym who makes me feel like a fat rat running with a team of ferrets. Stacy. She is a hard ass, who works your ass off. She has worked her own down to a nub. Just thinking about her makes my muscles quiver.

It had been months since I took her class, but just like you forget labor after enough time passes, such is case with Stacy. Yet, the minute I walked into her 8:30 am Sculpt and Burn, I knew it was a mistake.

The girls were far too perfect. The risers on their steps too high. Their body weight too low. And the music RPM was on crack.

We began the warm-up. No simple marching here. No sir, we go right into jumping jacks with weights. Seriously? I peed my pants after the first one. I mean, come on, jumping jacks and weights? Did none of these girls have babies?

I semi-followed along, wishing I had chosen a spot closer to the door so that I could scoot out unnoticed. But no, I hid myself in the far corner and now I was stuck – stuck doing squat jumps with weights. I really am not coordinated enough to combine aerobics and weights and move to Oh Mickey. I think that for the future health of my body, nay, for the future health of the world, these things should never be mixed.

The only thing I could do was hopefully make it till the end of class without passing out or slipping on my own sweat. To distract myself, I concentrated on all the women in front of me, who looked like a bunch of fitness models. Oh look, one of them is taking off her long sleeved, hot pink over shirt. With the blasting music and the hair flip, she looks like a combination ad for Victoria Secret and Gatorade. Victorade? Hmm. Is my brain all shook up or is that a good idea??

I look at the clock. Only 20 minutes have gone by?! Ugh!

I’m panting and dripping, and I’m fascinated that everyone is just doing this class. How? Wait. There’s a girl behind me who is completely backward. We go left. She goes right. We go up. She goes down. Yay! I’m not alone. At least I’m going in the right direction. Ha ha.

We switch to some kind walking side lunge, with weights of course. Stacy doesn’t even alert us to the change. She just does. Apparently, if you can’t keep up, you don’t belong. Don’t say it.

I look at the clock again. It’s only been 4 minutes since the last time I looked?! Gaaa! When are these side lunges going to end?!

As if reading my mind, Stacy literally tosses her five pound weights across the floor, and without wasting a hyper second, she reaches for the eight pound ones and starts up the Jacks again.

Ugh! I didn’t mean it. I want the side lunges back! My boobs are about to make a guest appearance out of the top of my sports tank, as the elastic has long ago stretched beyond repair, kind of like my abs.  I do a behind me mirror check. Yup, uncoordinated girl is still…uncoordinated. Whew. My misery does love company. I’m a little embarrassed with myself.

Mid jump, a poster girl for Lululemon just stops to add a matching headband to her already pony tailed hair. A moment later, she pulls out the pony tail, shakes her long blonde locks and re-ties it. I don’t think she’s even sweating. I look in the mirror at my own pony tail. It is a messy, pineapple bun tilted sideways on top of my head, hanging on for dear life, just like its host.

No! Not burpees! My nemesis. Come on! Down, out, jump. Down again. At least, there are no weights. Okay, I think I can. I think I can! I’m doing it. Yes! I look at the mirror during my jump up, but there’s only one person jumping in sync with me. Yup, it’s uncoordinated girl. The shame.

We move on to climbing man interspersed with push-ups.

I’m puffing and huffing and praying to be put out of my misery. I suddenly remembered I used to call her SS Stacy, short for skinny, sadistic Stacy. I’m having flashes. I start dreaming about a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts. I know I look spastic or drunk, but I might be about to pass out. It must be almost over. I look at the clock.

OMG it’s only been 8 minutes since I last checked!

I’m going to die here…

ass kicked 2

Weight of my World

Weight of my World

I just did it moments ago. I do it every Friday morning. It’s generally before 7 am and I’m naked. I pee first, then close my eyes and mentally prepare. I tell myself, “It’s going to be good. It’s going to be okay.” Then, cringing with fear, I step on the scale.

No, I’m not going to tell you what it says. I may be confessional, but I have boundaries, people. But honestly, the number doesn’t really matter (except to me of course, where it HUGELY matters), what matters is how my entire mood changes by 7:01am. Depending on that flat glass surface with a digital screen, I’m either fabulous or frumpy. Happy or miserable.

Friday after Friday, I’d cringe, exhale as much breath out of my body and step. Often, the number is happy, smiling up at me. But lately, it’s been two to three pounds up – and when it’s up, I am most certainly down.

Three pounds may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me, or to anyone in my house who has to deal with my cranky, fat ass. Don’t judge me too harshly. I grew up surrounded by the body disorder disease – my mother has it, my aunt has it, my cousins have it. It seemed to affect every female member in my family.  Only my tall, skinny cousin seemed immune, living on a diet of Oreo cookies and chocolate bars, until well after her third child was born. Then, she too, succumbed.

I remember once, as a young girl, noting my mother’s strange skin color. “Carrots.” She explained. “It’s all the carrots.” I don’t want to know how many carrots you have to eat before you start to turn into one, but my mom was well on her way. I think she tried living on broccoli as well, but she always looked better in orange.

So after weeks of seeing a number that used to be reserved for “I had better be pregnant,” I did what anyone would do – I stopped going on the scale.  I know you thought I was going to say I went on a diet. Screw that. I eat basically vegetables and ice cream, and exercise a solid five days a week.  But something had to go, and it was the scale.

I had always been amazed by people who just ate without fear of the scale. Now I was one of them, and for the first few weeks, not having to see the number eased my mind somewhat. I felt a little more carefree, my clothes fit and for the first time in my memory, I wasn’t my scale’s bitch.  It was revelatory. It was enough to make you want to celebrate! With cake!

As you might guess, my celebratory liberation ended as soon I began to feel that subtle tightening around my waist, my favorite jeans no longer my favorite. I knew, but I didn’t want to believe. So I gathered my courage, got naked, exhaled and stepped. It was a big step, and even though I was no longer happy, at least I knew where I stood. 2lbs fatter than the fat that made me shun the scale. Damn.

As I contemplated my next steps – no more peanut butter, two cups of ice cream a day instead of three – a funny thing happened, I got used to the new number. My old fat became my new average. I hated it, but accepted it in the way I accepted another load of laundry, annoyed but resigned. I didn’t know what to make of this development. For a long while I became depressed, not at the number any longer, but that I had given up and accepted a newer version of myself – an older, fatter one.

Twenty odd years at the same weight (give or take those same up and down five pounds), and I will forever teeter on the edge of weight anxiety. I am always afraid Friday morning when I step on that scale, but I’ve learned my lesson. I will not cover my eyes like a two-year old. I will step. Knowing is better than living in denial. My coping skills, if not my body image, have strengthened over the years. I am more okay with who I am than I ever was. Even though my body is a little softer, I’ve got a tougher skin.

Besides, there’s always next Friday.