Tuesday, January 31, 2012

True Confessions Tuesday

Dear Diary...

You want confessions?  I got confessions.  Probably more than I should, but that's what this post is for, right?  So, I'm not going to waste any time explaining that each week I write a post that dishes out all of my confessions of the previous week, or that I stole borrowed the idea from The Sisterhood, or that I'd love it if my readers did the same thing and then told me they did it so I could read their confessions and not feel so terrible about all of the stuff I spill out. 

Being that I didn't waste my time explaining any of that stuff, now I can hurry and get started...

I confess that I didn't finish cleaning out my closet last night because I totally forgot that Jelly had a dentist appointment at 4pm.  I didn't get home from that until 5pm, then had to help finish dinner, then had to eat dinner, and by the time that was all over I was done for the day.  Closet is the first thing I'm going to do when I get home today, or I'll be sleeping on the couch again.

I confess that my 4 year old is a rock star when it comes to going to the dentist.  She had to have a crown fitted on one of her teeth yesterday afternoon.  They gave her some laughing gas that made her funny and goofy.  It was hilarious to watch her crack up for no reason whatsoever.  She didn't even twitch when they gave her any of the four shots in her gums to numb them up.  She had the dentist and hygienist laughing their behinds off the whole time... which was actually pretty scary to me, because he was holding a drill in the mouth of my child!  She laid still and kept her mouth open wide while they drilled and rinsed and fitted...and she didn't whine a bit.  And she can't wait to go back to have the other one done in two weeks.  Crazy, huh?

I confess that I couldn't stick with the week of no junk food goal I set for myself last week.  But, you already knew that.  You know that I ate peanuts and candy corn just a day after making the goal, because I told you.  Well, that wasn't the worst of it.  I ate pizza on Saturday, and had a cheeseburger on Sunday when I went to play bingo.

I confess that despite my pizza and cheeseburger consuming, I have been eating pretty well.  Even the pizza and cheeseburger weren't outrageous with what I ate.  I had 2 pieces of pizza for lunch on Saturday (after eating no breakfast) and had the cheeseburger for lunch on Sunday.  My dinners each night have been healthy and I've been eating much smaller portions.  Is it enough to see a loss this week?  I don't know. That would be nice though.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:  The following confession is considered by many to be a TMI confession.  It involves the talk of bowel movements.  Read with care, or just skip over it.  Your choice.

I confess that all day yesterday, I couldn't stop pooping.  Not like diarrhea or anything.  Just that each time I went to the bathroom, I had to poop.  It was awful because I HATE having to do that in a public restroom - let alone the restroom at work.  Apparently, my body was on board with my Cleaning Out My Closet post I wrote yesterday...and it decided to do some cleaning out of it's own.  Yes, I know.  That's gross.  But stuff like that doesn't happen to me, so I had to share it.  I did warn you and said you should skip over this one.

I confess that even though I've whined about not wanting to turn 30, I'm a little excited about my birthday tomorrow.  Not that it's going to be a big deal or I'm going to do anything fancy.  Just because I somehow feel this birthday to be a milestone.  30 sounds so grown up.  Being 29, I was still a girl in my twenties - carefree and wild.  After tomorrow, I'll be a sophisticated woman in my 30s.  Ah, who the heck am I kidding? Like turning 30 is going to take the carefree and wild out of me.  Psh!

I confess that, for some reason, I have this strange feeling that I'm going to feel very different when I wake up tomorrow.  Not as in feeling older or anything like that.  More of feeling like it's the day I really have to buckle down and start making the magic happen with my weight loss.  Call me crazy (you wouldn't be the first one, or in the first 100) but this feeling has been there since a little before Christmas.  I haven't really said much about it, but I've got my mind focused on the fact that my 30th birthday will be the day that I magically transform into a weight losing, exercise junky, healthy eating superstar.  Now that the day is almost here, I really hope that's true.  All this time up to now, I've been telling myself that it's just a crutch I'm using to keep postponing what I've been wanting to do.  Well, now I'm only a day away, so let's all cross our fingers, toes, and anything else that's crossable that my mind finally lets me go and releases me from the barriers that have been preventing me from getting my mo-jo.

I confess that I'm, once again, nervous about this morning's weigh in for Biggest Loser and the weigh in that will take place tomorrow.  How crappy will it be to have another gain, especially on my birthday?  That would suck big time!  Although, if my previous confession is actually right and I do turn in to a weight losing, exercise junky, healthy eating superstar, it won't matter what the scale says tomorrow because it will mean that I finally start doing something about it and stop whining each week that there's another gain on the scale.  Maybe another gain will reinforce my minds decision to hold off until my birthday, and once it sees the damage it's done yet again, it will push me in to overdrive and let the barrier releasing begin immediately!

I confess that I've been so happy with the commenting that's been taking place this week around here.  After posting my opinion on the Georgia Ad Campaign, I expected some flack for it.  I got some.  Just a little.  But it was done in such a nice, courteous manner.  I want everyone to be able to express their opinions on what I say - even if they downright disagree with me - and some of my commenters this week showed that's completely possible without getting hateful.  I was also thrilled to receive a kudos on the post from the coach that works at my school.  I always forget that it's possible for people I know to read what I write - and to get a compliment on it is a very big deal to me.

I confess that the past two days at work (Friday and yesterday) made me realize how much I love working and interacting with kids.  I covered both days for the teacher that runs the computer lab.  My job consisted of greeting the kids as they came in, and then supervising them while they did their computer based learning programs.  It was silence pretty much all day long, and I about went nuts!  Yesterday afternoon, I couldn't help myself, and started walking around the room and helping kids out..regardless if they asked for help or not.  I'm just not cut out to be a watcher, I'm born to be a teacher...and teach I did!  I'm so excited to get back to being in the classrooms today and working with the kiddos, that's fo'sure!

I confess that I'm done with confessing today.  Be sure to check in tomorrow when I do a special birthday edition of Weigh-In Wednesday.  I'm not sure if there will be tears involved or not (hope for not), but you just never know with me.  I also have no idea how I'm going to make the weigh-in a special birthday edition.. but I've always got the ability to pull some tricks out of my hat.

Till next time. ;)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tonight, I'm Cleaning Out My Closet

Dear Diary...

Well, I had a very unexpected and eventful weekend.  Friday night, I got a call from my mom asking if I wanted to bring the kids over Saturday and us all spend the night.  I was quite surprised.  My parents are foster parents, they have two children of their own living at home and three foster children, and their house is now a little crowded.  Adding 4 more people to the mix (Hubby usually stays home), is verging on insane.  I immediately thought sometime was wrong.

Nothing was wrong.  Two of the kids were going to be away, my sister was going to be at a basketball game all day, my dad was working a twelve hour shift on Saturday, so my mom thought it would be nice for us to go over there and spend some time.  Isn't that sweet?

I hadn't really planned on doing much.  Mainly laundry, and cleaning out my overfilled closet.  I decided I could get the laundry and the closet done before I went to my parent's house.  Well, I got the laundry done, and I got the closet unpacked.  I started doing some sorting, but I realized that the closet was too big of a job to do before I went to my parent's.

When I started unloading the stuff out from my closet Saturday morning, two things popped into my mind.  1) Where the heck did all this stuff come from?  and 2)  I may have some hoarder tendencies.  Seriously, I found stuff that I bought years ago, has never been used or open, stuffed away in the back of my closet.

I have a walk-in closet, but not a large walk-in.  It's big enough for me to walk in to, and then I have clothes hanging all around me.  There are shelves above the hanging space.  Then there's the floor.  That's it.  Nothing fancy.  Although I'm pretty sure that I've always had the impression that my walk-in closet was 8 times bigger than it really is...cause that's how much crap I had stored in there.

I have a California king size bed, and I managed to stack up clothing about 2ft high over half of it.  I didn't realize I had so many clothes.  I cleared out everything that no longer fits me hanging on the shelves, and decided that I need to set it aside ready to be bagged up.  Not to get rid of, because I will get back in to those clothes, but I just couldn't see the point in leaving all of those clothes on the hangers and taking up space.  Once those clothes were cleared out, I was so shocked to see how few clothes I now have left to chose from.  I have TONS of clothes that will fit me once I lose some of this weight - cute clothes, too.  What's left are the last few traces of the size 18 pants and dresses that I wouldn't part with when I got down to a size 16.  Thank all things holy I didn't, otherwise I'd be going to work in pj's or sweatpants.

I started going through the junk that was stored on the shelves and on the floor.  I mostly found purses.  Lots and lots and lots of purses.  I've never hidden the fact that I have a serious problem when it comes to purses.  I decided that some of them had to go.  But, as soon as I thought about getting rid of them, I started having a mini anxiety attack.  You think I'm kidding, don't you?  I'm not.  I seriously, hold my hand on the Bible, swear that I started getting light headed and breathing a little heavy when I was faced with deciding which purses were going and which were staying.  Ridiculous, isn't it?  But, I sucked it up and threw some out.  Four.  I got rid of four purses that definitely got their use, were tattered, and just no longer needed to be held on to.  That was a very huge step for me.  Hubby was very proud, although I knew he was hoping for a much larger number than four.  After the purse incident, I decided to stop and go to my parent's.  I left the piles of clothes on my bed, I left the rest of the clutter on the floor, and just left. 

My trip to my parent's was a nice one.  I spent the day chatting with my mom on Saturday, while the kids all played outside.  Sunday, I went and played bingo with my mom and my grandparents.  I haven't done that in forever.  It was nice to get out and do something like that, especially with my grandparents.  I don't see them hardly ever, and my both of them are getting ailments that are affecting their health.  I realized that I need to start seeing them more, they are both in their late 70s and I just don't know how much time I have left with them.

Thinking of my grandparents really got me thinking about life in general.  They are both in their late 70s.  Have led pretty healthy, active lifestyles.  My grandpa still does all the work on his house, and they both go out walking around several times a week.  I realized that if I keep going the way I'm going, I may not get the chance to see my 70s.  I may not get the chance to see my grandkids have kids.  It was a lot that hit me all at once.

I really have to make the most of my life.  That means cleaning out my closet - both literally and figuratively.  I've got to let go of the stuff I've been holding on to.  There's something inside of me that prevents me from letting the overweight me move on.  I've got to quit worrying about the past, worrying about what I did to make myself the way I am today.  I've got to start cleaning that crap out, and creating a new life for myself.  One that's healthy, active, and happy. 

So, tonight, I'm going to finish the task of cleaning out my closet.  I'm going to bag up the clothes that don't fit me and post a big sign on the bags that reads:  TO BE OPENED VERY SOON.  I want to eventually replace those bags with all of the size 18 clothes.  I want them out of my life.  I am the only one that can do that. 

Before yesterday's revelation, I didn't have a great weekend with my eating.  In fact, I had a very crappy weekend with my eating that will no doubt result in yet another gain on the scale this week.  I have no excuses.  Just a lack of willpower.  I feel horrible for it - both literally and figuratively.  I'm bloated and feeling miserable, and I also feel a niggling of guilt that I haven't been able to shake since getting home.  I have just 6 more days until the gym opens.  I can chose to just sit back and wait until the gym opens, or I'll start doing something before.  I'm not making any promises.  I'll just see what happens.  Now, though, I'm going to keep those bags stored in my mind.  One day, very soon, I will open those bags and replace the contents with the baggage I'm carrying around now.  I'm ready to let go. 

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's Just Never OK to Stamp A Label On A Child... Or Their Parents

Dear Diary...

Yesterday afternoon, I came home from work and did some blog reading.  It's a great way to wind down from a long day at work - and I get to see what others have been up to.  When I started scrolling through my extremely long blog roll, two blogs jumped out at me straight away.  Mainly because it appeared they were blogging about the same thing.

The first was from Mrs.Fatass  and the second was Sean Wilson, both fantastic bloggers.  They were both sharing their views on the new Georgia Ad Campaign targeting childhood obesity.  I was shocked.  I hadn't heard anything about it... but just by reading their blogs, I knew that I didn't like it one bit.

So, I did a little search this morning and saw pages and pages of ads that look like this:

I'm pretty sure my heart stopped for a second.  The shock was just too much for me to handle.  My brain just couldn't comprehend the fact that children were being stamped with disgusting sayings like "Fat Prevention begins at home.  And the buffet line" or "It's hard to be a little girl.  If you're not".

My first reaction wasn't towards the messages that were stamped across the bottom of these images.  As despicable as they are, they hold some truth.  My first reaction wasn't considering the damage that will result for kids that are overweight and have to be subjected to these ads on the TV and around their town on giant billboards.  No, my first reaction was of utter disgust and went to the parents of THESE poor children who are standing in these ad campaigns.

Who are these children, and what the hell are their parents thinking?  I'll make a completely rash judgement call and say there was probably some money in it for them (the parents)... but what expense does that money come with?  I'm sure these kids go to school.  I'm sure these kids have some form of social network (and I'm not talking about Facebook).  I know lots of parents who would love for their child to be in a commercial.... but really?  A commercial that literally stamps their child with a label such as this one?  Someone fetch me a glass of water, I may pass out.

Sean and Sue (Mrs. Fatass) made great points in regards to this campaign that I'll hope you'll check out.  They both state that prevention begins at home, and parents should be fed some cold hard truth about the damage that's being done to children with the adults being the cause.

As a mother of three children, I think I have the right to make some points on this subject.

First, and foremost, I would never, ever, ever, ever, subject my children to such a disgusting, self-esteem crushing portrayal of a message as these ad campaigns.  Why would I want my child to look in to the faces of these poor children that have already been subjected to this horrible thing and think "wait, they may be talking about me"?

Second, prevention does begin at home.  Yes, parents are often the blame.  If I cram my face full of fast-food, eat 2 or 3 servings at dinner, and inhale a bag of chips in one sitting - then I'm showing my children that kind of behavior is OK.  It's not OK.  I'm the one doing the damage - and it's my duty to fix that damage.

Third, and I'm going to maybe piss a few people off here, not all overweight children turn in to overweight adults nor do all skinny children turn in to skinny adults.  Sometimes, there are other factors that do come in to play and even though the easiest thing to do is blame the parents, it doesn't fit all situations.

I will use my family as the scenario for this point.  I am the oldest of 6 children.  Three are girls, three are boys.  The last two are much younger than the other four, so I'm only going to talk about the oldest four siblings, right now.  When we were young, we ate the same foods.  My parents were far from being "healthy minded" people.  We ate large portions.  We ate candy.  We ate a lot of snacks.  My sister and I were always on the chubby side.  Far from what I would consider "fat" but we had a little extra weight on us.  One of my brothers also had a chubby side, one was always skinny.  Once my "chubby" brother reached a growth spurt at around 10, he slimmed out nicely.  So, there were two chubby girls, two skinny boys.  Same family, same foods.

In high school, I weighed about 140lbs.  That was considered "fat".  My brothers were both athletic.  They played football and basketball.  I was in the band.  My sister chose not to participate in any extra curricular activity.  So, of course, they toned up nicely.  Even though they both ate like horses, they were able to maintain a healthy physic.  My sister and I opted for other activities that involved less exercise, but I still wouldn't consider either of us to be extremely overweight..even if the "norm" that was portrayed by other girls of our age was to weigh 90lbs when we were 16.

Now, my sister and I are very heavy.  My brothers are still very toned and slender.  The worst damage to my sister and I happened after we moved away from home.  After we had been through some very tough times, we turned to food.  Don't remember that being something we learned from our parents, but it's how we chose to live with it. 

Now, let's add my youngest brother and sister in to the mix.  They were both on the chubby side as kids.  Once getting in to junior high, they both started playing sports.  Both are basketball crazy.  My parents feed them the same way my other siblings and I were fed growing up.  Large portions, a lot of fried food.  My sister started feeling the pressure from other girls in her grade that weighed 90lbs.  She was at that 140lbs mark, right where I was at that age.  She started to hate herself and the way she looked.  Oh, I forgot to mention that my sister was 5'6" at the age of 14 and is now around 5'8".  She started skipping meals.  She started crash dieting.  She now weighs around 110lbs, at 5'8" tall - and still thinks she has weight to lose.  Is that healthy?  NO!

My brother, again, is a big basketball player.  He's 15 and is 5'11" tall.  He weighs 220lbs. Is he fat?  No.  Do other people sometimes ridicule him for his weight?  Yes.  He's got some extra weight on him, compared to what my other brothers were like at his age, but he's far from being obese.  He's active.  He eats.  He's as healthy as a horse.

What's my point in dishing all this out to you?  My point is - there are often other factors that play in to a child's metabolism and their current weight.  Genetics has some to do with it.  Healthy eating has some to do with it.  Exercise and activity level has some to do with it.  And yes, the habits of parents are a huge factor - but even their lack of knowledge or living by a routine they grew up with is a player.

Before everyone grabs their pitchforks and torches and starts running towards parents that have children that are a little overweight (or a lot overweight), let's take a second to think.  Let's look at the situations being played out.

I know a few people that are healthy and active, yet their children are heavy.  I know parents that are morbidly obese and have kids that are skinny.  I know that I'm a parent of three children that are all different.  My oldest is tall for her age, worries about being fat, and used to get ridiculed for not being like all the other girls in her grade that were less than 5 feet tall and weighed 60lbs.  She's 5'4" (at 11), and is the perfect size for her height.  Now that she's in a school with kids just like her, she's having a much easier time with her self-esteem.  Butter is on the chubby side, which is a side effect of the medication that he's on.  We knew that he would gain some weight being on the medicine he's on, and it is monitored monthly.  He has to be careful with what he eats, and I take care of that.  Then, there's Jelly who eats cauliflower and carrots like they're going out of style.  She'd much rather have a plate of veggies than a hamburger.  But, she likes candy and sweet treats, too. 

All families are different.  All kids are different.  Our job as a parent is to set a good example.  What we need to remember, though, is that kids change overnight.  I know that it's hard on my kids to see their mother as overweight.  I'm working on that.  I just ask that we don't rush out and judge people before we know the facts, the story behind it.  We can do our part for our families.  There are ways that support can be given to families to educate them on healthy foods and an active lifestyle.  Putting innocent children in the line of fire, however, is not the way to go.  Neither would it be right to put parents in their place and run the same campaign.  Let's have some compassion.  That's all I ask.

Till next time. ;)

Friday, January 27, 2012

The One Where I Cry, Then Laugh, Then Realize I Might Be Going Crazy

Dear Diary...

It has been two days since I said I was going to go a whole week without eating junk food.   And guess what has two thumbs and couldn't even go two days?  In fact, who couldn't even go one day?   Yeah.  Me.  I ate peanuts and candy corn.  Mixed together.  Both days.

I want to cry.  Why?  Because I ate about a cups worth of candy corn and peanuts over the past two days.  Maybe it was a little more than that.  And I told myself that I wasn't going to eat ANY junk food this week.  NONE!  There's 150 calories in about 20 pieces of candy corn.  Which is about what I consumed each day.  There's 160 calories in a serving of peanuts.  I had probably two servings over the course of two days.  Together that's just over 300 calories in each days worth of junk food.  And I want to cry about it. 

For the past two days I can honestly say that apart from the junk food snacks, I have eaten very well.  I had a yogurt for breakfast both days.  On Wednesday I ate a big bowl of lettuce with tuna and light dressing as my lunch.  Yesterday I had a big bowl of lettuce, light dressing, and some low-fat buffalo chicken bites for lunch.  Dinners have not been the greatest food, but I've eaten a much smaller amount than I normally would.  If I counted calories, which I did just for this post, I ate about 1461 calories on Wednesday and 1548 calories yesterday.  And yes, that's including my junk food.

Now I want to laugh.  Yes, I'm weak and wasn't even able to go two days without being tempted by a sweet and salty snack like peanuts mixed with candy corn.  But, even though I did, I still ate less than 1600 calories each day - which would be my target number of calories if I were counting calories.  Crazy, isn't it?

Oh, and this is the part where I think I might be going crazy.  I don't want to eat junk food.  I want to believe that I can do something as simple as going a week without eating it.  Obviously that's not the case, but then I see that when I did give in to temptation - I was still able to maintain a pretty good calorie level.  It drives me nuts!!

I am torn between my junky snack being a curse and a blessing.  As much as I tried to stay clear of the snack all day long... it was in the break room all day.  I finally gave in later in the afternoon when my sweet and salty teeth were screaming at me.  Then I ate them.  Not just one day, either, but both days.  But then I think about my "usual" junk food temptations.  Pizza.  Burgers.  King size candy bars.  Donuts.  Handfuls of mini-chocolate bars.  Those are my usual go-to junk.  There are far more worse things I could have eaten besides a cup of peanuts with a few pieces of candy corn mixed in. 

Call me crazy, or weak, or full of excuses all you want - but if the worst thing I do each day is eat a handful of peanuts with a few pieces of candy corn mixed in, I'll be a very happy woman.  Will that happen every day?  Of course not... but there are far worse things I could be eating every single day.

Then I realized, this is what I've been telling myself all along.  This is the mantra I've been trying to develop and live by.  There's no reason I can't have a little sweet or salty treat here and there - it's what I choose and how much of it I eat that's key. 

Oh, and to boost my ego a little more, I walked the track at school yesterday.  Twice.  In heeled boots and a dress!  Call me crazy...which won't be the first time... but I actually decided to walk a couple of laps around the playground yesterday despite the fact that I was dressed in work clothes.  Do I advise doing that on a daily basis?  No.  I need to make sure I plan ahead and take tennis shoes with me... but I wasn't about to just stand there, like I always do, when I had 15 minutes to do a little walking.  It wasn't enough to work up a sweat, but it was enough to get my body moving.  Something that hasn't happened all too much in the past month.  I'm no stranger to the fact that a little movement can go along way. 

The nay-sayers and the people who think I do nothing but make excuses are probably having a fit right about now - but I'm actually totally OK with what I've done over the past two days.  I know I wasn't able to keep up with the smallest of goals.  In their opinion, maybe I proved  that I do need a little professional help when it comes to giving in to such a small thing as junk food the size of a peanut or a piece of candy corn.  But I'm not going to let their thoughts of me sway my opinion on the situation.  It wasn't the end of the world.  It wasn't a huge binge.  I'm OK and didn't eat a bazillion calories that are now going to be the cause of another 2lbs gain on the scale next week. 

If my head stayed in this mind-set every day, I'd be so much further along in my journey than I am now.  I let my mind take over way too much.  If I were to let this situation be a bad thing, it would eat at me... probably causing even more damage.  I don't want to do that.  A small light appeared to me far off in the distance this morning, when I sat down and realized how not bad the situation really was.  Yeah, the light at the end of the tunnel was barely noticeable... but I saw it shining.  If I can continue to focus on that very small light, then maybe I'll be drawn to it... making the light get bigger and bigger.

I reinforced, once again, why I don't like setting goals for myself.  For some reason, I just don't have much luck with it - which causes a situation of failure.  You would have thought I'd learned my lesson months ago - but I didn't.  So, I'm in a situation, again, where I set a goal I couldn't stick with.  So I'm going to say this once again... and pray to all things holy that it really sticks this time:  NO MORE SETTING GOALS!!  I know that sounds bad.  Goals are what lead people in the right direction, give them direction, give them something to work for.  That's what goals do for other people.  For me?  Goals seem to turn me around in the opposite direction.  Even losing weight can't be a goal for me.  It's a journey.  It will never end.  I will always be faced with struggles - even when I'm sitting here about 80lbs less than what I weigh now.  And yes, I said WHEN not if. There is no goal for me to reach... there's just a path I have to walk down.  A mindset I have to come to terms with.  I'm moving in the right direction, in my opinion, so that's a small win.  And I'll take it.

Till next time. ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dipping In to the Mail Bag

Dear Diary...

It has never ceased to amaze me how many emails I get from readers.  Each week I get at least two emails from someone that's read my blog and wants to offer a kind word of support, a few suggestions, or wants to give me a piece of their mind without doing it publicly.  What's that you say?  Two emails aren't very many.  Well, it is to me.  Any amount of emails or comments are always a huge deal to me.

Every once in a while, I get a few emails that make me cry.  Some in a good way, some in a bad way.  But I always read every email sent to me.  I try to respond to all of them, at least with a thanks or something along those lines.  Then, once every couple of months or so, I like to look back through some of the emails and share them here.  I do it all anonymously because I figure if the person has emailed me versus commenting on my blog, then they may not want what they have to say publicly shared with the world...or my other blog readers.  These past couple of weeks, I've received several emails.  Here are a couple now, with responses I either made to that person...or responses I've come up with now because I didn't think of saying it when I did respond...

Dear Joanna,

I have read your blog for a while now, and just wanted to write to you and ask you a few questions.  I'm not sure you'll respond, but I wasn't sure whether I should ask you on your blog or in an email.  I'm going with the email because I figure it the most personal of options that I have to talk to you.

I have always loved how honest you are on your blog.  You tell it like it is, regardless of whether or not you're succeeding.  My questions for you are: How are you able to be so honest?  Do you feel that sharing the bad stuff helps you?  Do you ever get bashed from people about struggling so much?

I only ask because I have started a blog, but I keep it private.  I don't let anyone else read it.  I do that because I've had a lot of troubles with trying to lose weight and then I write about them.  I'm worried that if I share those problems with anyone that wants to read them, then they'll judge me for being weak.  My reasons for struggling are similar to you.  I make a lot of excuses, and don't really have the motivation to do much about it.  I try to eat healthy, but usually can't go a day without eating some kind of junk food.  I've joined a gym at the beginning of the year, and I've been twice.  I didn't really like it because I felt so fat and thought people were looking at me and laughing at me.  I hate feeling that way.  That's probably why I'm so scared to share my blog with anyone.  I don't want people laughing at me or judging me.  

So, how do you do it?

A reader

And my response....

Dear Reader,

Thanks for the email.  I will be happy to answer your questions.  I actually get asked those questions pretty often.  Not necessarily for the same reason you're asking, but it seems as though many people wonder how I can be so brutally honest on my blog - even if it makes me look weak, uncommitted, or down right lazy.

So, here's my answers:

How am I able to be so honest?  Well, I tell myself that other people are probably struggling the same way I am.  Not everyone is able to jump on a weight loss band wagon and start losing weight over night.  There are lots of people (like myself) that's tried over and over and over and still struggle every single day.  I figure if those people can read of someone else in their shoes, then it will help them somehow.  Most people, regardless of whether they'd admit it or not, like honesty.  It's refreshing for them to not just hear the good stuff all the time.  I try to provide that for them.

Do I feel that sharing the bad stuff helps me?  Yes and no.  If you've been reading my blog, lately, you'll see that I'm in a pretty nasty rut.  I'm working on it, slowly but surely.  Being able to share my struggles helps me by getting it off my chest.  But even I get tired of reading negativity over and over and over.  And yes, I read my own blog often.  There are many times that I feel like enough is enough, and I should hold off on posting anything because there has been so much negativity or struggles.  Then, I get a comment or an email that says "Thanks for posting that today, I have been struggling in the same way and it's nice to know I'm not the only one".  Then I realize I have to keep being honest - regardless of how bad it is at the moment.  If it's helping one person and pissing off 100... I'll keep doing it to help out that one person.

Do I ever get bashed?  Oh yes.  I've got haters just like anyone else... but they are very few and far between.  I've received one nasty comment or email for every..maybe 50 positive comments or emails.  I'm sure that when people read my blog there are many people that stop reading because there's not very much success going on.  I'm sure that there are people that read and say a few nasty things to themselves.  But as far as receiving their thoughts in writing?  That doesn't happen too often.  When it does, I try to respond in the best way I know how.  I can't say that I've ever received a really nasty, full of hate email.  More along the lines of frustration than anything else.  I try to tell those people the same thing I'm telling you now.  My blog is about honesty.  Period.  If they don't like it, there are thousands of blogs that are more appropriately suited for them, I'm sure.

As much as it may not seem like it, I write my blog for me.  And that's something I want you to remember.  If you do decide to share your blog publicly - remember it's still your blog, and you're not writing it to please anyone.  I do know that I love the support and encouragement I receive - and that helps keep me with the mindset that I won't give up.  I hope I've answered your questions well enough to help you out.  And please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any more.


I received this little gem this week, which worked perfectly with the email above...

Fat Woman,

It appears to me from reading a few posts to your blog that you may be a fat woman all of your life.  I've never heard so many bulls**t excuses from a person that claims to be getting rid of the excuses in my whole life.  You should change the title of your blog to "Excuses of a mad, fat, woman" because that's all your blog really is.  I bet any amount of money that when this supposed gym opens up that another set of excuses open up as to why you can't go.  What person claiming to want to lose weight makes up the excuse that they're waiting for gym to open?  I don't know where you live, but if it's in America, I'm sure there are hundreds of gyms around you.  Just do us all a favor and stop.  It's depressing and annoying to read the same bulls**t over and over again.  You need serious help, if you ask me.  Maybe that's what you should be thinking about.  Getting some serious help instead of claiming to be trying to help other people.  You're not helping anyone, and it sounds to me like you need the help.

My response...

Thank you for your email.  While I appreciate all feedback, I will state that you are under no obligation to read my blog.  If you don't like it, please don't read it.

What my response should have been now that I'm thinking about it...

Dear Hater,

First off, I don't write my blog to help other people.  I write my blog for me, and if other people get something out if then WHOOP WHOOP to me.  While it pains me to do so, I have to agree with you on a few things.  Yes, I got excuses.  Just like a lot of people do.  The same excuses that they're dealing with - and sometimes, hearing that there are others out there that are struggling can sometimes be uplifting.  Nobody's perfect.  I also agree that it sounds stupid to be waiting on a gym to open up before I start working out.  

My reasons, though I don't need to explain myself to you, are because A) the gym is right across the street from where I work meaning I have easy access to being able to work out because I have a family and a life that often gets in my way when it comes to working out in a gym and B) it only costs me $10 a month versus the "hundreds of other gyms in my area" that charge at least three times that much and this fat woman is on a strict budget. 

I'm not sure of the why you feel the need to bash me or show how much animosity you have towards me.  I don't know your story, and I'm not in a position to judge you for it.  I'm not going to speak ill of you, because maybe there are things plaguing you that I don't know about.  But, I will return that back to you.  You don't know me.  You don't know the demons I struggle with every day.  Being able to come here and share those demons with anyone that wants to hear about them is a very therapeutic thing for me to do..and while I always love to help people, again, my blog is for me. 

I may need serious help.  But you know what?  I get that help right here on my blog.  Every time that I get a nice comment or email telling me to hang in there, or a word from someone who appreciates my honesty - it lifts me up and helps me stay with my journey.  This also pains me to say, but I also get that help when I receive nasty emails like yours - because it fuels my fire.  Not that I have to prove myself to anyone, but I will prove myself to you.  You'll see.  Or maybe you won't because hopefully you've stopped reading my blog if it annoys you so much.  Whatever the case, I'm sorry that you feel the way you do about me.  I feel sorry for the fact that you have so much hate in your heart for a person you've never met.  I hope that whatever is causing this anger is taken care of.

Joanna a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman!

Till next time. ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weigh In Wednesday

Dear Diary...

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain.  Lots of rain. It's so hard to get out of bed when you hear rain pouring down.  Especially when you know you have to go out in it...and it would be so much nicer to just stay in bed.

I got up, though.  I had to.  It's weigh in day.  That's not why I had to get out of bed, I have to work.  But back to weigh in day.  After standing on the scale, I realized the rain was perfect to accompany the mood I'm now after seeing the results.

First let me start off with my Biggest Loser results.  Last week, I weighed in at 239.0lbs.  This week, I saw 241lbs.  A gain of 2lbs which cost me $2.  I knew once I saw that number, my own weigh in would be pretty close.

Last week for my weigh in, I weighed 239.4lbs.  This morning, I stepped on the scale and wasn't at all surprised to see...241.2lbs.

That means I've gained 1.8lbs in a week.  And there are no excuses.  I completely did this to myself.  I'm big enough (no pun intended) to admit that.  I had several incidents of not eating right.  So, I can't be all shocked to see such a gain.

Now the rain matches my mood.  Dreary.  A little sad.  No, a lot sad.

I will admit I was really angry when I stepped on the scale yesterday morning for the Biggest Loser.  It's my competitive edge that kicked in once I realized that I was the biggest gainer.  It's even harder when I'm the person running the competition and the other participants come to me to hear how I did - expecting good numbers.  It's so hard to admit to them, and myself, that I let myself gain 2lbs.

Once it happened, though, it was quite easy for me to stay clear of any junk food yesterday. Any time I got the slightest inclining to grab for a piece of chocolate, or any other form of sweet treat I could get my hands on, I saw the number on the scale in my head.  I used it to fuel my drive, and rid off those pesky temptations.  Would one piece of chocolate killed me?  No.  But I am committing to a week of absolutely no junk.  I'm going to use the numbers to fuel that fire...and pray to all things holy that I don't ever see a repeat of this week again.

Seeing an even bigger number on my own scale was even worse.  Even though the gain is smaller on my scale.  The differences in the number are about the same as they've always been.  Although, right now I like the scale at work better....even if it does make me only 0.2lbs lighter.  That's neither here nor there, though.

Being that I've gained 1.8lbs, I now have to knock my Reward Jar in to a negative number.  For every pound I lose, I earn $2.  But for every pound I gain, I lose $2.  Which means I'm going to be sitting at a negative.  I've lost money before I've even earned any.  That's pretty sad.  But, I know that the number is only temporary. 

Despite the bad news of my gain, I feel very grown up this morning.  My normal procedure for gaining so much weight would be for me to sit here and explain how I'm carrying a lot of water weight, or I'm constipated, or Aunt Flo could be coming in the next couple of weeks which of course could be causing the gain...not really, but in my head.  That's usually my course of action.  But this morning I don't feel like stating any of those things.  OK, I know I just did state them - but only to give you an idea of what I'd usually do, and not what I'm actually thinking this morning.  I know that none of those things are to blame.  My choices are to blame.  My actions are to blame.  I am to blame.

And before you think that I'm saying that because I feel all sorry for myself - don't.  You'd be wrong to assume that I feel sorry for myself at all.  Am I sad?  Yes.  But I know the mistakes I made.  I know the choices I made.  I also know how to fix them, and it's up to me to do that.  I can't sit around here in self pity because of it.  I have to do something about it.  If I don't do something about it, then I have no one else to blame but myself.  And admitting that is a very grown up step for me.

Apparently, watching the Biggest Loser this season is having a small impact on my thought process.  I'm really diving in to this "No Excuses" motto that they are promoting.  Is it helping push me out the door to get some exercise in?  No.  Not yet.  But, being able to admit I have a problem is the first step in the right direction.  Right? 

I do have a problem.  I know that.  That's why this next week of eating absolutely no junk is a big deal for me.  I have to prove to myself that the small steps count.  The slightest of changes can have a big impact.  That's what I'm hoping for.  That's what I believe.

So, while I know I've said this many times before, and there's absolutely no reason why you should believe me now... I know I won't see that number again.  I'm kissing it goodbye.  I'm letting it drift away.  Maybe next week I'll be right back to where I started... but that's OK.  I'm OK with that.  It's as long as I keep going in that direction from now on that's the most important. 

Regardless of how many times I keep telling myself that.  I won't give up on believing it.  No matter how many times I falter, or have to swallow my own words.  I will keep moving forward.  I will start over as many times as it takes to let what I say actually sink in.  The gain isn't a sign of failure, it's a sign of weakness.  The strength comes from letting the gain go, and never giving up.

Till next time. ;)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

True Confessions Tuesday

Dear Diary....

Do you smell that, diary?  The smell is faint at the moment.  But being that it's Tuesday, I'm sure the smell will get stronger.  It's the aromatic, delicate smell of BS excuses.  I'm going to spill my confessions, and you know that following each one will be a nice, heavy, steamy pile of BS excuses to follow each one.  What's that?  There's no BS allowed?  When did that start?  Oh, it's always supposed to have been that way.  Well, I'll be.  OK, I'll give it a shot, but I can't promise anything.  So, here are my BS excuse free confessions...

I confess that this has been another extremely hard week on me in regards to wait loss.  What?  Oh, OK... fine!  I confess that this week I haven't done a darn thing in regards to my weight loss and it's all on me.  Happy now, diary?

I confess that I'm not going to be happy when I weigh in for the Biggest Loser competition at work this morning.  I know I'm going to see a gain, which means I'll have to pay in to the prize fund, and possibly have to buy this week's biggest loser a gift.  That sux!  Not for the biggest loser, of course.  I'm happy that they get rewarded for their hard work, and it will serve me right for completely slacking off. 

I confess that I had Dominoes for dinner on Friday night.  AND it was my idea to have it.  All because I wanted to try their new cheesy bread.  I did try it. I had about 3 pieces of it, 3 pieces of pizza, and 2 pieces of jalapeno bacon cheesy bread.  If I do the math, I'm pretty sure that I consumed about a gazillion calories.  And while it was good...it wasn't good enough to gorge myself on the way I did. 

I confess that yesterday I ate 3 pieces of Better Than Sex chocolate cake.  Why?  Hello! Did you not see the name of the cake?  It was chocolate cake soaked in condensed milk, smothered in caramel, topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with Heath bar pieces.  One piece just wasn't enough, and neither was two apparently.  Three was the magic number to fill my satisfaction.  While I will say that the name is inaccurate, the cake could easily be named Just As Good As Sex cake. 

I confess that I ate a very large helping of Humble Pie while watching the Biggest Loser last night.  HA! You thought I was going to talk about more bad food consuming, didn't you?  It was last week's episode that I DVRed.  I already can't stand a contestant.  Conda to be pointing fingers correctly.  The horrible part is, I think I don't like her because she reminds me of me!  Minus the bitchy "I'm better than everyone" attitude.  The way she immediately blames everyone and everything else for her downfalls, puts on this front that she's all big and bad....that's me!  And I have to admit that I didn't like myself very much after realizing it.  

I confess that it also really pissed me off to see one of the contestants leave the Biggest Loser show voluntarily.  Hopefully I didn't just spoil it for someone that hasn't seen it... but I really didn't say more than what was advertised on the commercial, so I think I'm OK.  It makes me mad, because this is supposed to be the season of no excuses, yet two people have basically quit the show - and we're only 3 weeks in.  That's two spots that could have gone to people who really want to be there, or the two people that are busting their behinds to get back there.  And no, it's irrelevant that I've done nothing but make excuses the past three weeks and have barely lifted a finger for my own weight loss... I'm not on the show that's offering people a life changing experience.. for free!

I confess that I've made a pretty lame deal with myself.  I've told myself that I'm not going to be too hard on myself about the piss poor attitude and commitment I've made thus far, and that when the gym is open I'll put all I have in to using the gym and catching up on the weeks I've let pass.  While it is a lame deal, and seeping with excuses, I really feel like the gym is the motivation I need...and once I have the gym, I'll be different.  I'll really be putting in the effort.  Don't ask me why... please.  It's just something that's going on with my head, and no matter how much I try I just can't shake it.  The gym opens a week from Saturday.  That's almost two weeks from now... but I truly feel in my heart that once I get to that day, things will really change. 

I confess that I want to amend the lame deal that I have with myself.  I want to add the understanding that there will be no more pizza binges or Sex cake binges or any other form of binges between now and when the gym opens.  I may not want to work out until I have the gym, but I sure as heck don't need to be continuing to eat the way I do.  While I have been pretty good at maintaining healthy portion sizes and choosing healthier foods several times a week, I need to be doing it every day of the week.  And while I still stick to my "there's no such thing as cheating" motto, I have to remember that if I want a sweet or salty treat, that I need a very small amount.  

I confess that I'm still drinking only water while at work.  A lot of water.  Like 60+ ozs of water every day.  That's a good thing.  Finally!!  A good confession!

I confess that, I hate to say it, but I think February 1st is going to be my real new year.  Again, please don't ask me why.  And, yes, I know that sounds like the biggest BS excuse you've probably ever heard.  But hear me out.  On February 1st, I turn 30 years old.  No, that's not why I think I'll magically say "OK, now I have to really buckle down and lose weight".  I can't really explain why I feel that way.  It's like a kid waiting for Christmas when they have absolutely no idea what they're getting.  They could be getting nothing but socks and underwear, but they don't care.  They still get excited.  And that's me.  Most of it has to do with the fact that the gym opens on Feb. 4th.  I have absolutely no idea why this gym will be different or why it's making me so crazy with anticipation or excitement.  But, for some reason - my own head, mostly - I just can't get the will to work-out until I walk in to that gym.  If I had a dollar for every time I've said "don't set a date to start" or "if you have a bad day, just start over tomorrow" I'd be a very rich woman.  I've said both of those things over and over...and yet, look what I'm doing.  I'm setting a date to when I think I'll finally say enough is enough and get moving.  Stupid, isn't it? 

So, while I've tried to refrain from the excuses... you all are very smart and are able to read between the lines.  Am I right?  I may not have spilled the excuses out in black and white, but they're still sitting on the sidelines cheering me on.  And while I'm in this mindset of my anti-excuse medication not kicking in until February 1st, I can still do what I can to make sure that next week's confessions are a little better.  What? I said that last week?  Oh.  I guess I did, didn't I.  OK, well I guess I'm going to say it again. 

I'm going to set a goal for myself this week.  Again, after I said I wouldn't be doing that this year.  I'm a complicated woman that changes her mind.  A lot.  I'm allowed to.  So, I'm setting a goal for myself.  Nothing too hard.  Just more of a focus helper more than anything.  My goal is to eat healthy all week.  That means healthy foods, healthy portions.  That means no fast-food, or cake, or junk food. 

It goes against everything I believe.  I believe that by swearing yourself off of something only makes you want that thing even more, until you eventually give in and then binge your way through it feeling guilty and hating yourself after.  I still believe that.  But I'm not swearing myself off of anything.. forever.  Just one week.  A fast from junk.  A body cleansing, of sorts.  And a mind cleansing.  I need to prove to myself that I can do something as small as avoiding junk food for a week.  Maybe that week will turn in to two weeks.  Maybe three... but I'm getting ahead of myself.  This is just about this next week.  Can I do it?  I think so.  No, I know I can.

Today I start my week long junk-food cleanse.  Let the challenge begin!

Till next time. ;)


Monday, January 23, 2012

I May Live in Farm Country... But I'm No Farmer

Dear Diary...

Well, it's been quite the eventful weekend.  So much to do, so little time...and all that jazz.  I didn't get to finish Ellen's book like I'd planned on....but I'm only a few chapters away from being done.  The part I read yesterday was just as fantastic as the first half - but I'll save that info for when I'm actually done with the book.

You'll never guess what I did yesterday.  I actually cleaned my house!  I know.  I'm just as shocked as you are.  OK, not that shocked.  A little dramatic aren't we?  Geez. 

Yes, I cleaned my house.  I sorted all of Jelly's toys and got them back where they should be.  Including those that belonged in a giant trash bag.  I then killed a gazillion dust bunnies...it was like a scene from a dust horror movie in my living room.  Dust bunny carcasses were everywhere... but they were given proper treatment after their demise.  Who knew that the vacuum served as a cleaning utensil and a dust bunny funeral home?

After I spent a couple of hours cleaning, I sat down and enjoyed the last 30 minutes of peace and quiet before the kids got home from church.  It's amazing how fast 30 minutes go by.  I just got nice and comfy, and BAM in flew three kids all hyped up on being gone without me.  The volume in my house went from calm to crazy in 3.2 seconds flat.

Peanut went to work cleaning her room, and the rest of us got ready to take my brother back home.  I've got to give Peanut some credit, here.  When I say "no more computer or tablet until your room is clean", she doesn't take that lightly.  She was pulling out crap from every nook and cranny in her room.  I was gone for over 3 hours yesterday afternoon, and she still hadn't finished when I got home. She was working her behind off, though.  Maybe now she'll see why I press the "if you just keep it clean" motto.  Who am I kidding?  That's what I've been saying for years....still hasn't sunk in yet.

So, where was I?  Oh yes, taking my brother home.  My brother is 15.  He likes to come and spend the weekend at my house on occasion.  Don't ask me why - because my house is boring - but I love it when he comes.  I think he likes coming to my house to have a break.  Part of it is a break from the fact that my parents are foster parents, and sometimes their house can be a little crazy.  The other part is the fact that my brother is a 15 year old farmer - and just likes a weekend off from having to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to feed chickens, rabbits, goats, and pigs.

Yesterday was a very rough day for my brother, though.  Friday, when I went to go pick him up, he asked me to take a look at his pig.  He's only had this pig for a couple of weeks...it was just a few months old when he got it.  Anywho, my brother knew something was wrong with the pig - and wanted me to take a look.  Now, I don't remember ever having given my brother the inclination that I knew anything about farm animals.  My farming knowledge extends to the point in which I know which animal is what.  That's about it.  I can tell a goat from a sheep.  I can tell a rooster from a chicken...sometimes.  I know what a pig looks like.  That's about it.  Yet, my brother wanted my opinion...so I felt it only right to oblige.

After taking a look at the pig, all I could say was "I'm pretty sure that's not right".  To which I was referring to the fact that protruding from the behind of the pig was a blood filled sac looking thing.  Not to get too disgusting here, but think of a hemorrhoid the size of a fist.  A large man's fist.  Thanks to the power of the Internet, my mom was able to look it up and found out that the pig was suffering from a rectal prolapse.  If you don't know what that is, I dare you to look it up.  No, wait.  I'm not that mean.  Save yourself the exposure to the most disgusting thing you've ever seen.  It basically boils down to it being that the rectum of the pig had completely fallen out of it's butt hole.  There, that paint the picture well enough?  Hopefully you're not eating.  I have a stomach of stone, and I was still highly disturbed from finding out what was wrong with the pig, and then watching videos of farmers who felt the need to share the issue with other people that ever enter the words "Pig prolapse" in to a search engine.

After seeing that the pig was in no immediate danger from the situation, we came home for the weekend.  My poor brother then spent the entire weekend worried about his pig.  We looked online for ways to treat the problem.  The options were slim.  He had the choice of trying to put the thing back up the rear end of the pig, or getting a vet to surgically remove it.  That option would cost a lot of money - and when my brother only paid $35 for the pig, he had to weigh the pros and cons.  Being the supportive sister I am, I spent a lot of time looking at more videos of the procedure that would be required for my brother to take care of the problem himself.  It was gruesome and disgusting... but I did what I had to do to help my brother out. 

When it was time to take my brother home, I knew he was dreading doing what he had to do.  Again, being the supportive sister I am, I offered to help in any way that I could.  Thinking that I'd be there for moral support.  He apparently didn't take it that way, and once we were at my parent's house he asked for my assistance in restraining the pig while he did what he could to reinsert it's a-hole. 

For over an hour, we tried everything we'd seen on the Internet.  We tried restraints - that didn't work.  We tried holding it down.  That didn't work.  Finally we just put food in it's face and got the pig to be still long enough so that my brother could give it a shot.  I really thought we had a good chance...until the disgusting thing popped.  I'm so sorry to be so gruesome, but I have to set the picture of what was actually going on.  Believe me, my painting the picture with words takes off about 80% of the actual horror that was happening in front of me.  Where was I?  Oh yes, the thing popped.  There was blood everywhere.  Regardless, my brother didn't want to give up.  We cleaned it up - and yes, I said we.  I was right there with him doing what I could while trying not to have my own insides fly from my mouth. 

Finally, my brother admitted there wasn't much else we could do.  The pig was losing a huge amount of blood - and neither one of us just knew how to deal with it.  He realized there was no other option but to put the pig out of it's misery.  I wanted to cry for my brother.  I could see how hard of a decision it was for him to make.  I saw a 15 year old boy become a man.  And a true farmer.

My brother has dealt with losing animals before.  He's gone out in the morning to feed his animals and discovered a chicken that's passed on or the traces of a coyote that's come for dinner.  He's even raised a pig for butchering.  But that pig was taken off to a slaughter house, and he had to have no involvement with the killing process.  He's also killed animals before.  He likes to hunt, and has been successful in bringing down a buck or two.  But it's very different when it comes to an animal he's been raising.  He's fed it.  He's sheltered it.  He built the entire pig pen with his own hands.  He cares for his animals while he's raising them - and having to make the decision to put one down was probably one of the hardest decisions he's ever made.

Thankfully, he didn't have to do the deed himself.  My father stepped up and did what needed to be done.  It was quick, but it didn't take away the immediate pain I had for my brother.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that if there had been no people around, my brother would have cried yesterday.  After it was done, my brother wanted to be the one to properly dispose of the animal.  He felt that he owed the pig that much.  I, once again, offered to help.  The silence that surrounded us while we were taking care of it was so thick. I did everything in my power to keep the tears pulled back inside my eyes. I knew then that I could never do what my brother does every single day. 

Yesterday, my brother became a true farmer.  He found out what it was like to have to deal with a lame animal.  He realized that some animals get sick, and when you're trying to be a farmer - you just have to take care of those situations.  And yes.  He could have had a vet take care of the situation.  But that would have cost hundreds of dollars that he doesn't have.  I knew he would have paid it if he had it... but he didn't and neither did I.  He made a tough decision, but I think it was the right one.  My heart goes out to him, and I realized that I could never do what he does at such a young age.  The amount of work that boy puts in to his little farm is remarkable.  I truly envy his dedication and strength.

My brother taught me a valuable lesson this weekend.  I learned that hard work often requires sacrifice.  But you can't give up because you have one bad situation arise.  You keep getting up every morning and doing what you can.  You move on.  You just can't give up.  Today is a new day for me.  I will take that lesson with me and remember it.  If he can put in the hard work it takes to raise a small farm at the age of 15, I can dedicate myself to losing weight at age 29.  I know it's apples and oranges - but when life gives you apples and oranges... you make fruit salad!

Till next time. ;)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Live... Love....Laugh....

Dear Diary...

Had a fun day yesterday.  I took the kids out and ended up driving all over the place.  We found ourselves at a little book store in one town, a giant book store in another, and walked around a flea market....something I haven't done in forever. 

I bought a few books to add to my collection.  My classroom library is going to have such an array of wonderful children's books.  I know it's going to be so hard to let the collection of books I've spent the past 5 years building out in to the world of children's hands.  But I'll do it.  It's what the collection was started for in the first place.

I even bought a couple of adult books.  Not that kind of adult, you pervs!  I mean books written for adults.  I don't do that very often.  I'm quite happy diving in to a book that's written for 3rd+ graders... but yesterday, I took the plunge and bought two adult books.  One was the complete collection of Edgar Allen Poe's tales and poems.  I like Poe.  Although the chances of me actually reading this book?  Very doubtful.  It's the size of two bricks stacked together side by side.  It's huge.  But it's a great book to have when I need snippets or poems of his work for a lesson I might or might not do and it was only $8.  The other book was written by one of my favorite people: Ellen DeGeneres.  The book is called Seriously...I'm Kidding.  I hadn't planned on buying the book, but once I saw it - and read the back - I had to have it.

I started the book last night, and before I knew it I was halfway through the book.  I just couldn't stop.  The only reason I did stop reading when I did was because it was almost midnight and the words on the page started blurring together making it impossible to actually comprehend what the words were.  It's the first book I've ever read where I was actually laughing out loud most of the time.  She's hilarious.  I already can't wait to get back to the book later today when I've finished cleaning my house.  Yes, I'm cleaning today... but I'm not talking about it.

Anywho, the book...it's amazing.  I would recommend it to anyone.  Especially someone who struggles with just about anything:  Work, appearance, family issues.  Even though she doesn't target these things specifically - except the appearance thing - the way she writes make you think about any problem that may be plaguing your mind.  She does a great chapter on becoming a CoverGirl model.  While it's absolutely hilarious, she really hits the nail on the head about wanting to look good, but doing it in your own way without feeling the pressure of molding to the ideals of what you think you should look like. 

Even though I'm only half way through the book, I already get a sense of the message she's trying to send.  Live life.  Love with all your heart.  And laugh....often.  She shares moments of triumph, moments that made her second guess herself, and moments of doing things she never thought she'd do.  Despite being filthy rich, she doesn't give off that vibe that I often get hearing about celebrity "problems".  You know, the ones where a celebrity goes on and on about their poor life when the whole time you're thinking "I wish I had those types of problems...you should take a second to live in my shoes".  I could relate to everything Ellen was saying.  They weren't surface issues, they were the issues that go deeper in to the soul.  And no, this is not a tell-all book that reveals her deepest, darkest secrets.... unless they are in the part of the book I haven't read yet. 

In just reading half of the book, my mood has lifted.  The mood that has been dwelling in me and has spread it's face within the blog posts I've written lately.  The poor me attitude because I just can't get in to the swing of losing weight again.  I now know that my recent mood is one of the reasons I'm struggling so much.  I spend so much time dwelling on the not-so-good.  I don't like to use the word "bad" because when push comes to shove, I'm not in a "bad" situation... it's just not going the way I'd hoped.  See, right there, I'm already turning my thoughts around.  Amazing, isn't it? 

Because I'm fixated on the fact that I'm not succeeding, I'm not succeeding.  My mind is jumbled with the would-a, could-a, should-a's.  Instead of focusing on the will.  The I will succeed mentality.  Not just that, but I'm too focused on the weight loss.  Instead of spreading my mind out on other things - I'm back to being obsessed about what the scale might say, the fact that I'm not putting in my best efforts, and that I'm failing.  It's consuming me and pulling me down in to a dark place which offers no escape... unless I just pull myself out of it.

I should probably note here that Ellen's book has absolutely nothing to do with weight loss.  It's not a weight loss book AT ALL.  It's not even a book that talks about what I just talked about.... dwelling on the bad.... it's just my translation of what I read and how it applies to me.  So, don't rush out and buy the book because you think it's going to give you all the information I just spewed.  It won't.  But do rush out and buy the book if you love a good, humorous read.  Maybe you'll be struck with an epiphany that's related to your life, maybe you won't.  I just don't want to be held liable for claiming this book is a miracle worker - when it's just my personal miracle worker. 

One of my most favorite chapters thus far talks about getting rid of stuff.  Yes, as in actual stuff that's accumulated around the house that you no longer need.  The stuff that supposedly holds sentimental value or the stuff that you might use one day, even though you haven't used it once in the 10 years you've had it.  Boy, could I relate to this one.  Hubby would probably say that I'm a closet hoarder.  As in, my closet looks like the beginning of a serious hoarding problem.  I have clothes that I've never worn but will wear someday.  I have clothes that I haven't worn in years, but I might one day.  And let's not mention the shoes.  I don't want to reveal how many pairs of shoes that I own that I've never worn, m'kay? 

Being in the rut of my weight loss plagues this hoarding problem.  I have clothes that I deliberately bought two sizes two small because they were my "goal clothes".  I look at them almost daily.  I tell myself that I'll get in to them.  Those I won't part with.  Then, there are the clothes that I've had for years that I will probably never wear.  They need to go.  There's absolutely no reason to hold on to them, and I really have no reason to keep them.  I did a great job of getting rid of the clothes that were way too big for me last year.  I was happy to rid them from my life.  When they went, I felt a weight lifted off of me.  Even though I can barely fit in the clothes that I still wear, I don't regret for a second getting rid of those old clothes.  Where am I going with this?  Oh yes, getting rid of the no longer needed.  I have to start letting go of stuff...and not just physical objects....regardless of how much I feel that I might need it one day. 

One of the biggest things I've had a tough time getting rid of is the comparison of my life now to the life I had just two years ago.  You may have noticed how much I compare myself now to what I was like when I lost 88lbs.  How great things were then to how not-so-great things are now.  I've realized that the more I do that, the more I'm slipping down in to my funk.  OK, I gained weight again.  I feel off the "I'm so wonderful" wagon.  I don't need to focus on getting back on that same wagon... I need to leave that one in the past and focus on the new, updated model.  I've got to dump the stuff I don't need anymore - and the first thing to go is that my life was so much better back then, and I'm an idiot for not still being there.  I just have to realize that the perfect Joanna from back then was the person that let me fall off the wagon, it's now my responsibility to move on and completely start over without comparing anything with "the good ol' days".  That's the first thing I'm dumping.  Right now.  This very second.  Poof...gone!

Isn't it amazing how much a little book can change my mentality so much?  I know.  Totally crazy.  It may be the fact that I've desperately been seeking for something to base this mentality on...and that it's been there all along just waiting to be set free.  But, I'm also big enough to give Ellen some of the credit.  I'm gonna probably finish the book today, so I'm sure you'll hear more about it.

Alright, got some things to take care of before I can read.  

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In My Opinion.... Yeah, I Read and Listen to the News

Dear Diary...

Earlier this week, I wrote a response to a blog post I'd read about loving who you are for who you are.  I gave my opinion on the post...just my opinion.  I tend to have those occasionally.  OK a lot.  I don't think there's anything wrong with having an opinion.  An opinion doesn't make me right.  It's just my take on a certain situation - how I see it, if you will.

This week, I've been reading a lot of opinions on the recent news story about Paula Deen.  I heard the news story that she'd revealed she's been living with Type 2 Diabetes for the past couple of years, and now she's a spokesperson for the diabetes drug that she's taking.  This news has sent a shock wave through the blogging community. 

The opinions I've read have all tended to agree.  It's no shock that a woman who has made a career of cooking some of the most unhealthy foods imaginable suddenly reveals she has diabetes - her main ingredient for just about everything is butter.  It's no shock that she's actually had diabetes for a few years now - I'm actually surprised she's dodged the bullet this long.  It wasn't really that much of a shock that she chose not to reveal she had diabetes until she became a spokesperson for the drug - before you hate, think of the celebrities that are endorsing weight loss products.  No, the real shocker came after she did an interview refusing to blame her eating or cooking for her getting diabetes.

I heard all of this discussed in great lengths on the radio this other morning.  The hosts of the show just couldn't believe that she was blaming genetics, race, and everything but her cooking on the reason she has the disease.  They reported that Paula has made several comments that her food was really meant for holidays...not something that should be consumed all of the time.  They said that she had actually made the comment that her show only records 30 episodes a year, which left 235 days to cook healthier, more appropriate meals. 

While listening and reading to everyone give their opinion, my mind went in a different direction.  For some reason, the first thing I thought was if I found out that I had diabetes, what would be my excuse?  Yep, you heard it right.  I immediately wondered what excuse I'd blame.  Would it be that diabetes runs rampant on both sides of my family?  Would it just be because of my genetic make up that riddles the women in my family to be on the heavier side which opens up the doors for weight related diseases like diabetes? Well, rest assured, I couldn't be happy with settling for any of those excuses.  I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if I found out from my doctor that I had diabetes tomorrow, my first thought would be:  I did this to myself.

My excuses would have to fall at my own feet.  I spend way too much time eating at restaurants like Golden Corral or getting dinner from Dominos.  I have spent the past several months with the inability to just eat healthy portion sizes.  I can't eat a piece of bread without smothering it in butter.  I know that I'm killing myself slowly each time I crunch my 3rd or 4th cookie between my teeth....and putting things in to perspective I should be thanking all things holy that I don't have diabetes - yet.

I am in no place to judge Ms. Deen for her statements.  I can't dig out my pitchfork and torch and join the mob that's pounding her for her statements.  I keep in mind that most celebrities are limited to what they can and can't say on TV.  Just think of the damaging effect that could erupt if she was to publicly announce that her cooking and her food is the direct cause of Type 2 Diabetes.  Would you want to continue eating anything she promoted?  I hope not.  Would lawsuits start appearing accusing Paula Deen to be the new cause of diabetes?  Probably.  It makes much more sense for her to blame an array of other things - that are all valid causes, I might add - and then promote the fact that her son is going to start his own cooking show that focuses on healthier options, and her options can still be consumed on special occasions.  That sounds much more warm and fuzzy and less life threatening. 

So, it's really irrelevant what people think...myself included.  Do I think that her eating is one of the causes of her disease?  Absolutely.  But if she's unable to come to terms with that - or is restricted by her PR reps to say it - I can live with that, too.  What I can do is face the fact that I could be her in a year or five years or even ten years if I continue living and eating the way I do. 

I have never eaten any of Paula Deen's stuff.  Not that I know of, anyway.  I don't need to - I have my own Betty Crocker living in my house.  While I'm thankful that Hubby a/k/a Betty tries his hardest to cook on the healthier side, I still have some problems with eating small portions.  He knows his way around the kitchen, and dang can the boy cook a mean meat pie, hearty chili, and stew.  He's also recently been having an affair with the bread machine.  Almost daily, I come home to the smell of freshly baked bread.  And even though my thighs get bigger just taking a sniff - I eat what he makes. 

Could I blame Hubby if I found out I have have diabetes?  Sure.  I could.  But would it be true?  No.  He makes the foods, but I eat it.  He's not tying me down and shoveling the food in to my pie hole.  I can eat the foods without fear....if only I eat in moderation.  That's the key.  I've been told by many nutritionists and doctors that I really don't have to take any food out of my diet - but it's how often and how much I consume of the "evil" foods. 

This approach has worked for me - very well, I might add - when I was having the most success with my weight loss.  When I was conscious of how much food I was eating, and limiting the amount of food I ate - I lost weight.  When I counted calories, told myself that there was food I couldn't eat, and used diet plans - I just couldn't stick with it. 

I know what you're thinking - neither of those scenarios really worked, cause I still ended up gaining weight.  That's a fair opinion.  I guess I should change that to say that I had longer success with using portion control than I did with the other options.  Once my portions started getting larger and larger, so did my waist line.  It was a mind game I often played with myself.  When I thought of certain foods as forbidden, my mind told me I had to have them.  Then I was plagued with guilt after eating the foods - because, let's face it, I would always give in to my mind.  I'm weak.  When there was no forbidden foods, I was quite happy making healthier choices and enjoying the occasional piece of pizza or donut.  My mind was able to shut off after a small amount - my cravings had been satisfied and there was no guilt plaguing me after.   

I'm still struggling every day.  I know that I will always struggle.  I will never be "cured" of the fact that if I eat more unhealthy foods than healthy foods, I'll gain weight.  It's science - and there's no arguing with the science of it.  More calories in plus not many out equals an increasing waist line and an increase in the possibility that I could end up with a weight related illness. 

So, in my opinion - and my opinion only - it doesn't matter what caused Paula's diabetes.  It doesn't matter how she revealed it or what she's endorsing now.  It doesn't matter that she's making the choice to not directly blame her food for her diabetes.  None of it matters.  All that matters is that I could be in her shoes some day in the near future, and the only way I can avoid that from happening is taking a cold, hard look at myself and STOP making excuses!

Till next time. ;)

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Apparently Have Lack of Movement Brain Fart Syndrome

 Dear Diary...

You're going to have to forgive me this morning.  For some reason, my coffee just hasn't seemed to have kicked in and I'm sitting here with a completely blank mind.  Unusual, isn't it?  You know that means I'm just going to ramble away with whatever pops in my head.  Otherwise known as a brain fart.

I slept like a baby last night.  For some reason, I was exhausted at 7pm and asleep by 8.  Not sure why.  It's not like I've been doing anything extremely strenuous that would make me that tired.  But I was.  Actually, it's probably because I'm not doing anything extremely strenuous at the moment as to why I feel so tired all the time. I just don't have much energy.  I just want to sleep.  I know if I started getting more movement in to my life, once again, I'd have much more energy.  I didn't even want to get out of bed this morning at 4...even though I'd been asleep for 8 hours. 

It's two weeks until my gym opens.  Two weeks!! That's such a long time.  That's two Biggest Loser weigh-ins that I can't afford to just sit around and do nothing.  Literally can't afford.  I have the opportunity to win $100+.  I've let the chance of winning these competitions slip through my fingers too many times.  If I have any hope of actually winning, I can't just wait with the mentality that I'll be able to pull big numbers once I'm working out at the gym. 

The weather is supposed to be pretty nice this weekend.  And my brother is coming to spend the weekend with me.  I'm thinking I might take the kids to the park for a while.  It will be good for them to get out of the house in to the fresh air.  It will be good for Momma, too.  If I just made myself get out and walk for a bit, that would be so much better than doing nothing. 

Let's not forget that my house is still in need of a serious scrubbing.  I hate having company over at my house when it looks the way it does.  It's embarrassing.  I know it wouldn't take long to get the house clean, if I really buckled down to do it.  But I always have this feeling that the minute the house is clean, it gets destroyed again.  That's what happens when a 4 year old lives with you.  She loves all of her toys...and plays with all of them.  All over the living room, back room, kitchen, office.  I'm pretty sure there's not a single spot in this house that doesn't show the signs that a 4 year old occupies the space with playing with her toys.  And bless her heart, she tries (sometimes) to help clean up her own mess.  But she's so overwhelmed by the amount of toys she has to clean up...she often just picks up a pile and moves it to a different location.  I can't blame her.  I'm overwhelmed looking at it - I can't imagine what it looks like to her. 

Someone said to me the other day "be grateful that she actually plays with her toys...my kids have tons of toys that I never see".  Yeah.  That's something I guess I should be grateful for.  She does play with those toys.  I didn't say this, but I bet her house is clean.  If her kids don't play with their toys, I bet she gets to enjoy a house free of obstacle courses and toe stubbings.  This goes to show what happens when you complain about having two kids that never played with any of their toys.  That was me a few years ago.  Then, I just had to have a child that made sure not a single toy went unloved.  Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

Well, don't I just sound like a Debbie Downer this morning?  Did someone switch my coffee to decaf when I wasn't looking?  I'm not in a bad mood.  Promise!  Just a little sluggish is all.  Even I can't be perky every day...right?  It is 5:15 in the morning, after all.  And when have you ever known a brain fart to be a good thing?  It stinks - just like real farts!

I've been thinking a lot these past couple of days about what I was like back in 2010 when I was Joanna - Warrior Princess.  I've been reminded of that spunk I had every day.  Every time someone mentions to me that they're thinking of joining the gym with me - or have done so already - I get all motivated and stuff.  I remember the days when people looked up to me as a fighter.  Someone who took weight loss by the horns, and was tackling that evil bull to the ground.  I've still got the talk, but now I gotta start walking the walk.  I've been sending out promises of whipping their behinds in gear.  A promise I don't intend of breaking.

The problem is, they've seen that I made the progress.  But they've also seen that I let it go.  It's going to be hard to prove to them that I've still got it, and my gaining back the weight was just a bump in the road and not anything that will effect their success. 

There's an opportunity awaiting me here.  One that I can't let go.  There was actually a time not so long ago when I wanted to dabble in being a trainer.  Not the pumped up, wafer thin trainers you often see (and fear) at the gyms.  No, a trainer that's still working towards her own goals...just helping other people along the way.  I now have this opportunity staring me in the face.  It's there for the taking.  It's time to grab those horns, once again.

OK, I feel much better now.  Time to go tackle some minds.  There's a storm brewing inside of me...and I know that once it's unleashed - there will be no stopping me!  And no, I'm not talking about the brain fart storm I just unleashed on you. 

Till next time. ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Just Can't Love Being Overweight

Dear Diary...

Something has been eating at my mind since yesterday morning, and I just have to get it off my chest.  I can't stop thinking about it...so I just have to say what I gotta say and be done with it.  Yesterday morning, I saw a comment on my Facebook page from a person who left a link to an article she wanted me to read.  Her intentions with sharing the article were with genuine concern.  She is a person who obviously cares about a complete stranger - so I went straight to the article to have a read.

The article was written by an author who actually wrote a book on self-image.  She's got a few books under her belt, actually.  But the article wasn't about her books.  It was about self-image.  The article was Ten Rules for Fat Girls.  Being that the author made it very clear from her first paragraph that  "if you want to talk about how fabulous weight loss is you've got a whole internet to do it" I couldn't leave my comments on her blog.  So I figured I'd bring it to my piece of the internet. 

I will say that I don't want to bash this woman.  Her underlying message presented with this post is heartfelt, genuine, and true.  She wants women to love themselves for who they are, even if they are overweight.  No on can argue with that.  She then offers her "rules" as to how to love yourself as an overweight woman.  As I read each rule, I understood where she was coming from.  I understood her concern.  I agreed with most of them.  I also had my own opinions on what she had to say.  Make sure you read the article.  It will make a lot more sense with what I'm about to say.  So...that's what I'm going to do now...

1.  You Are Not Obligated to be Thin, Healthy, or Pretty.  I agree.  I don't think it's anyone's business about how I look.  If they don't like it, they don't have to look at me...simple.  She makes some valid points about not consorting to a set image that's instilled in to many people as being "normal".    I don't feel obligated to be thin.  It's a personal choice I'm making for myself.  I do feel I have an obligation to my family to be healthy.  I created my children and gave them the expectation that I'd be here for them to take care of them.  When it boils down to it, though, I don't want to be healthy just so I live longer.  I want to be healthy because I feel better when I'm healthy.  I can do more stuff... like being active.  I don't necessarily have to be thin to be healthy, I agree with that... but I know that many of my ailments would cease if I weighed less.  And I already think I'm pretty...so no qualms there.

2.  Don't Talk Sh*t About Your Body.  This is probably one of the hardest things for me not to do.  I talk a lot of sh*t about my body.  I refer to myself as fat.  Hello! Look at the title of my blog.  I do it not because I hate myself, I just hate the way I look.  I disagree with her mentality that a group of women talking about their weight loss journeys is a sign of body hating.  When I'm talking about my healthy food choices and the success I'm having with making those food choices, I look at it as a victory for myself - not a bash at how I hate myself.  I enjoy reading blogs about different weight loss journeys and have many conversations with weight loss minded people about the plans or programs they use.  I don't automatically feel like they are bashing themselves because they are sharing their ideas and plans.  I actually know of many women that would argue that their eating healthy is a sign of how much they love themselves.  They treat their body as a temple and take good care of it.  They love their body because of the healthy food that goes in.  I definitely don't get the feeling when I read their blogs that they hate themselves because they chose to count calories or only eat certain foods.

3.  Don't Talk Sh*t About Other People's Bodies.  I can't argue with this one at all.  I believe in the whole glass houses thing.  I'm not about to talk crap about other people's bodies - thin or big.  It's sad to think that people are judged based on their body size or appearance, but it happens.  I just chose to not be one of the people that makes those nasty assumptions.

4.  Wear Clothes that Fit.  Oh, am I stickler for breaking this rule.  When I feel fat, I wear clothes that try to hide it.  I live in sweats and t-shirts.  I try to wear oversized shirts to cover my mid-section.  I don't like wearing anything tight.  However, when I lost a lot of weight, I felt a lot more comfortable sporting clothes that hugged my hips a little more...showed off some curves.  I loved how I felt and how I looked.  I just can't do that when I feel the way I feel right now.  I also refuse to buy more clothes now that I have put on more weight.  Not because I love being uncomfortable trying to squeeze in to pants that fit perfectly a few months ago - but because I was happy when I wore those clothes when they fit right, and I want to feel that way again.  Maybe it would just be easier to go that route, but then I wouldn't be happy...and that's what this is all about, right?

5.  Demand Better Treatment from Healthcare Professionals.  This rule is where she started to lose me, just a bit.  Maybe it's because I haven't been "tortured" by healthcare professionals in terms of my weight.  Have doctors expressed a concern about my weight and the complications it can lead to? Yes.  Do I look at that concern as "fat hatred" and a social propaganda of healthcare professionals trying to mold the perfect race that should be thin?  No, of course not.  I don't feel hated from my healthcare professional.  Or that my visiting him is a strain on his time or the economy.  In fact, on the rare occasions that I've had to see him, he's made many comments about how healthy I am.  But, when I have a family history riddled with diabetes and heart disease, I totally understand when he shares his concerns.  If anything, I'd feel that there was something wrong if he didn't.  His job is to keep me well.  I don't believe for a second that I'm receiving some form of bigotry when he mentions that losing a few pounds would take the strain off of my knees and would help prevent the diseases that run wild through my family members. 

6.  Find A Way to Move.  Another great rule.  Although I can't wrap my head around her statement that "evidence directly linking being fat with illness is sketchy at best", I agree that moving is key to a happy, healthy live - regardless of size.  I do agree that overweight people are often mocked when wanting to participate at gyms.  They often get ridiculed for not wanting to lose weight, and ridiculed when they try.  That I agree with 100%.  Although, I personally haven't ever received anything but support when I attend a gym or want to participate in an active hobby, I know it does happen.

7.  Stand Up for Yourself.  I agree that many overweight people are bullied and ridiculed because of their size.  I've lived with being taunted and laughed at because of my weight.  I don't like feeling that ridicule.  I wholeheartedly believe that people should stand up for themselves from body haters - and any other form of haters.  No one knows the many possible causes that a person can be overweight.  I'm one of those people that have struggled with being a overweight my whole life, but I also have demons that lead to the huge expansion of my waist line about 10 years ago.  Each person's reasons or demons are different, and no one should ever be ridiculed for that.  However, when I make a statement about how I don't like being overweight and someone offers a story of how they lost weight, I don't look at it as a form of bullying or ridicule.  When I share my story with people, I don't think that I'm bullying them in to wanting to be thinner or healthier.  I will never offer my advice without being asked...and I don't make anyone read my blog.  I also don't feel that when I read other blogs of woman that have succeeded in their weight loss that what they are really saying is "you're still fat, I'm not, ha ha".  Yes, I understand that I seek out that advice, but even when a complete stranger makes a comment on my blog with a suggestion or a piece of advice, I don't automatically feel like I've been bashed.  I don't believe that everyone is out to belittle overweight people when they offer words of encouragement.

8.  Deal With Your Fat.  OK, I'll be honest, this one made me feel a little sick to my stomach.  Hate me if you will, but I couldn't help it.  When I read about how I should take extra care of drying in between my fat rolls, and taking precautions not to get heat blisters between my thighs, I felt a little queasy.  Not because what she said was disgusting, but because I knew exactly what she was talking about it - and I hated it.  Label it how ever you want, but I just can't wrap my head around loving my fat rolls.  I just can't.  Believe me, I've tried.  I've often woken up thinking "so what if I'm fat", but a quick trip to the mirror brings me back to reality that I don't like my fat, never have, never will.  I want it gone.  I know that this is the whole point to her entire article, but I just can't find happiness in looking the way I do....and it's what motivates me to keep trying to get rid of it.  I don't want to have to buy a bigger chair, I don't want to take up two spaces at a movie theater, and I don't want a seat belt extender.  Not because I think there's anything wrong with any of those things - but because none of that makes me happy.  Call me vain, brainwashed, crazy...whatever, but I can never wrap my head around the thought of just being happy being overweight.  I'm happy trying to lose the weight...making the effort.  If that's bad...then I'm a bad person.

9.  There Are Worse Things In The World Than Being Fat.  This rule is short, to the point, and absolutely true.  There are of course far worse things than being fat.  I've made that point countless times over when I put losing weight on a back burner because other priorities fall in to the mix.  Although, I can't help but bring back the point that one worse thing than being fat is being dead.  And even though the author clearly disagrees with me on this:  Continuing to pack on the pounds could result in an early demise.  I don't want that to happen.  It's not the main reason I'm trying to lose weight though.  My reasons are purely vanity driven.  But, I will say that all of my reasons are purely for myself.  I don't feel pressured to do it - I want to.

10.  Don't Expect to Feel Awesome About Yourself Every Single Day Forever.  I don't live with that expectation.  Although, I will point out that when I weighed 212lbs I felt the most alive and wonderful I'd ever felt in a very long time.  Haven't felt that way in a long time.  I have good days, I have bad days...just like everyone else.

At the end of the day, this article is worth the read and the message is a good one.  I guess what I'm trying to say with all of this is that no one is forcing me to lose weight.  I don't hate myself because I'm fat.  I don't like the way I look or the way I feel.  I did a year ago, and I wasn't skinny then.  It was because I had made significant changes to my lifestyle.  I was eating healthy, I was active.  I was enjoying life, and loving how I looked.  I felt sexy.  I felt powerful.

I know that there is too much pressure on society as a whole to fit a certain body image.  I know that there is constant media about how the country is obese.  I know that my wanting to lose weight has nothing to do with any of that.  It all comes down to feelings.  How I feel, how I look.  My reasons to want to weigh less hasn't come from being forced in to thinking that I have to weigh less to be accepted by society or in order to be happy  It all stems from my own wants.  I want to be able to run long distances.  I want to be able to feel sexy in lingerie.  I want to be able to wear heels without fear of breaking an ankle or crippling my knees.  I want to be alive for my children.

Again, I was very happy with the progress I made in 2010.  I didn't transform myself in to a skinny, athletic goddess, but I made some serious improvements to my well being and my appearance.  I want that feeling back again.  I'm not happy.  I know the point of that article was to tell me that I should be happy about myself - but I'm not.  I don't think there's anything wrong with that.  My wanting to change is for me and me only.  I take no disrespect from people that are kind enough to share an article like this with me.  I understand, I do.  But, know that I am OK.  I do love who I am - as a person - and I just want to better myself physically. 

Till next time. ;)