Monday, November 22, 2010


Two years ago, I bought a pair of pajams.

Flannel pants and a short matching robe, in an awesome red plaid. I didn't wear them two years ago, however, because the pants didn't fit. My thighs threatened to break free of the fabric at every turn - not the best look, mind you - so I retired them to the "someday" corner of my drawer.

I wore them last week. It felt like a victory.

I got them out, because I finally had to throw away my favorite jammies - the Nick & Nora ones with the lawn flamingoes on 'em, all dressed up for winter. So cute ... so warm ... so too big for me now! When you can fit both of your legs into one leg of your pajamas, it's time to let them go.

But it felt good to be able to reach into the drawer and have something "new". Yeah ... that works.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weigh to go!

It's Thursday, and that means it's time to weigh in.

I have felt svelte this week. I can see it in my face. There's something about the way losing weight affects my face; my dimples show up. I'm prettier. It's like the real me is actually visible. I like it.

My clothing is starting to feel amazing. Even small. I put on my favorite winter coat today, and it fit perfectly. Last winter, I had to pray before I buttoned around the boobs. Now? Piece of cake. And it looks adorable.

Last night at the gym, I saw the young woman who sold me my membership. I remember telling her that my real goal was to get down under 200 pounds. She's awesome, by the way. So supportive! She now works at a different location, but she was always very inspiring to me. Seeing her at my gym just made my night! I hadn't seen her in about a year, so when she saw me, she gave me a big hug and said, "How much less of you is there?" Lots, I said. Still about 50 pounds total to go, but lots. "Are you sure you should lose that much more?" Wow. Then I broke the news that I am still technically obese, at 220 pounds. When I get below 200, I said, we'll re-evaluate, but for now, I'm going for 50.

It felt so good to be encouraged and recognized like that. I really have worked hard, and I'm glad it's showing.

Met a new trainer last night - Scott. He's funny and sarcastic, just the way I like 'em. It's important to me to know the training staff, because if I have a question or feel the need to die, I'd like to call them by name when I ask for help. So Scott asks me if I have any bone or joint issues. "Was it my sexy knee brace that made you wonder?" I asked, and he said no, he hadn't even noticed. He was asking because - get this - he teaches Boot Camp, and he wanted to invite me for a free session.

Translation: I look like someone who can survive Boot Camp.

I've seen Boot Camp. They work 'em like a mutha. So, while I turned him down because yes, I do have joint issues, and they don't recommend it when that's the case. But holy schnikes, that felt good.

Anyway, did my run, in the company of my girlfriends, Linda and Dee. Half hour on the treadmill, and at one point, I ran 9 minutes and 45 seconds straight, and did the occasional 60-second sprint. Followed the run up with a half hour on the elliptical, and 700 torched calories later, I was done. Felt amazing.

So when I woke up this morning, I almost couldn't wait to get on the scale. And there it was - 217.8. Point 8? What the hell? I'm just calling it 218.

Two pounds away from my initial 10 percent. A pedicure is within reach ... although I may change that reward and treat myself to a massage.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Needs and wants

I need new bras and underwear.

I want a new pair of jeans.

I need black tights.

I want a camel pencil skirt, and some new workout wear.

Of course, shelter and food comes before all of that lovely stuff, and really, there's not much wiggle room in the budget after that, but at some point in the not-t00-distant future, there will at least be a few new bras.

Today, I pitched several that are too big. And a few pairs of pajamas. These I will not replace at Goodwill. But as luck would have it, a dear friend has cleared out her own (very fashionable) closed and bequeathed to me some truly lovely pieces. A few are too small (and will wait in the cedar chest until it's time) but many are perfect. I have beautiful sweaters, a warm winter coat, and handbags to add color to just about every outfit.

I'm a lucky girl, in ill-fitting panties.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Whole Point

I weighed in today. I didn't lose any weight this week.

But I also didn't gain. This might be a miracle, after the heinous amount of Italian food I ate over the past week. This is cause for celebration.

Over the weekend, I didn't log my food. I know, I know - I lose when I track my calories. But there was so much going on, and so much delicious food, I gave myself a pass. And the thing of it is, in the past, this would have been the end. I would have given myself a pass for a weekend, and it would have been a forever thing. This is different. This is new, and this is how much I've changed.

Once Monday rolled around, I was back to tracking, full force.

I was also back on my regular workout regimen. Walking at lunch, at the gym in the evenings, and I even tried going for a run last night. Never again. It's dark out there, and not very much fun. Sidewalk? Is that the sidewalk? Yeah ... unfun. So running will take place at the gym, on a treadmill, unless there's a good weather day on the weekend.

So, what's the whole point? Eating well, most of the time. Everything in moderation. Doing things that feel good. Dancing, running, walking, lifting weights ... eating chocolate, and copious amounts of Italian food.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Running on Full

I honestly can't tell you how it started. Somewhere between the couch potato days of 2006 and today, I became a runner.

Not a good runner. Not a consistent runner. But a runner.

I suppose it began when work-friend Michael challenged me to be his partner in the Muddy Buddy relay. Easy enough; half of it was biking, and the running parts? Well, I could (and did) walk most of those. But then other opportunities arose; opportunities to run. And I did it.

Today was the Hot Chocolate 5k and 15 k in the beautiful city of Chicago. I ran the 5k, along with several amazing friends. My friends Diane and Simone, and my sister Kathie, ran the 15k. We're runners. Did you know that?

We took off from Grant park, and my friend Justin - who was starting with me - quickly became a blur. I was on my own, running through the most beautiful lakefront, surrounded by like-minded awesomeness. I felt completely free, comfortable in my body, and capable. And I thought, well this is new.

See, this never would have happened back when I was married. There would never have been enough money for me to join a gym, much less indulge myself in races that cost $45. My health was not important enough to be a priority - to me, or to the guy to whom I was married. So I got really good at sitting. I was an expert at Remote Handling. But I wasn't a runner.

Now, I have friends who are runners. I budget to buy new running shoes. I think it's fair to say, I am a vastly different person than a was just a few years ago. I've made good changes.

The inimitable Donna Thomas, in almost every Salsa/Funk class (which I try desperately never to miss) says "look what your body let you do today." And mine - along with some great buddies - allowed me to run. I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me in my running endeavors. Today was magical; look what our bodies let us do!

Usually, you find us in the upper-left side of Studio Two, dancing. Today, we ran.
This is me (center) with Linda Clegg and Dee Morel. I love you guys!

In closing, I have nothing more profound to offer, save for these lyrics from "You Run" by The Call:

So you run and you run and you run
and you never stop
and you work and you work
until you drop
you're in over your head and the pressure just don't quit
but you can't escape the reach of love

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Weight of the World ... or just my ass

Weigh-in day. Scared and excited. The result?


That's right, folks - I have lost a total of esaaaaaaaactly 20 pounds in 11 weeks. While I would love to turn out Biggest Loser-esque numbers, I'm losing at a rate that averages 1.8 pounds per week. Pretty damn good, in my opinion.

And I guarantee I've actually lost more fat than that, because I know I've built muscle. I haven't felt this physcially strong in ... well ... ever.

I'm four pounds away from my first 10 percent. When I hit 216, I get a pedicure. Good thing that didn't happen this week, because I can't afford it right now. But in a couple of weeks? Sign me up.

Anyhoo, it hasn't been easy. Taking on this weightloss challenge while also taking up running is probably the single most daring thing I have done in my adult life. Except maybe getting married, and I am pretty sure the weightloss thing is gonna have a better result than the marriage.

I ran last night, with my friend Linda. We completed a neighborhood 5k. It hurt.

Moving 220 pounds through the world is not easy. By mile two, my hips were killing me. My breathing was labored. My brain wanted to shut off. But I kept going. I felt kinda bad, because Linda is capable of running faster and longer than I am, but she's also a generous soul, and she kept my pace, and walked with me when I needed to. It mattered a great deal, and we made it. 3.14 miles in 51 minutes. Yeah, I rock a 17-minute mile.

So that's it for running, until the race on Saturday. Tonight it's salsa/funk with MaryAnn, and tomorrow is a night off, as I'll be heading into the city to stay with Diane prior to race day. I'm nervous and excited. And at the moment, still sore.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meanwhile, at the gym ...

A great workout last night. Pam is teaching Strictly Strength on Tuesday nights through November, and she's a real butt-kicker. It hurts, in the most delicious way. I may never be able to perform every move with the grace and dexterity she does, but she keeps me trying anyway. And this morning, I'm a little ouchy. No, make that a lot.

Between Strictly Strength and Salsa/Funk, workout friend Jill came up to me and said, "You've lost a lot of weight!" To which I replied, "Yes; 18 and a half pounds to be exact." She went on to say that I'm looking great, and I began to explain how it's really nothing because there is so much more work to be done.

Well, bullshit. Yes, there is more to be done. I have 50 more to go (70, if you take the "recommended weight" for my frame, but I'll be pleased at 50.) But I need to cut myself some slack. 18.5 is an accomplishment. Every day that I don't stray too far from my calorie count, every day I get in a good workout ... it's all an accomplishment. It matters.

So after Salsa/Funk, when Lesley (who hadn't seen me in three weeks) commented on my weight loss, I simply accepted it. Thank you, I said. There is more to be done, and it's hard, work, but I'm pleased to have accomplished what I have.

It matters. Little changes make for a big life.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm already nervous

So, the Hot Chocolate 5k is this Saturday. My goal is to run it all. I am not going to be able to do that.

To be fair, I wasn't terribly sure I would be able to from the beginning. But it's good to have a goal, right?

It's a little depressing to be as slow at running as I am. It just ... is. Nothing I can do except keep trying, right?

On Saturday, I completed a treadmill 5k with my friend Linda. Run three minutes, walk two, for 3.1 miles. It was rather exhausting, and it took me almost an hour to complete it. Of course that was with a five-minute warm up and cool down ... but still. I worry that I will be the slowest, fattest runner in the entire race. And I may well be. And that is going to be fine.

I will finish. I will eat chocolate at the end. That is all I need to know.