Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not Normal, Part II

We made it through a horrible four days. The worst was Sunday - the visitation, with an open casket. It was unreal - Ryan looked like he could just take a breath and sit up. The sobs coming from his friends, however, were very real. It was just so heart wrenching to witness the grief in that room. One thing we noticed is that like ourselves, many parents had accompanied their teenagers to the visitation. Of course, we all wanted to pay our respects to Ryan's family, but we needed to be there for our kids. It was all so, so sad. And what made me feel incredibly bad for Ryan's dad was something he said to Max as we were leaving the visitation - he asked Max to write down all of his memories of Ryan because he realized that he didn't know Ryan very well. Which fits with what Max has told me several times over the past few years...that Ryan didn't have a good relationship with his dad. At those times, I chalked it up to normal teenager/parent conflict, and figured that with time, they would develop a better relationship. Now, unfortunately, that will never happen.

Before the funeral services began, they had a picture slide show. It was hard to see Ryan as a toddler, wearing the same Oshkosh overalls that Max did. Playing with the same Little Tykes toys. T-ball and soccer, swimming...all the things little boys did growing up. I have a lot of empathy for Ryan's family. It is just so wrong to lose your child like this.

Max made it through the funeral better than the visitation, and, as a pallbearer, helped to carry his friend's casket to the grave site. Some words were spoken, and the boys all removed their red rose boutonnieres and placed them on top of the casket. They hugged Ryan's family once again and then gathered outside of the tent. As the minutes went by, Jeff and I observed them going from solemn to quietly talking to gentle laughter...and that was when we knew that they were moving on to the acceptance part of grieving. Max later told us that they started talking about what Ryan would have hated about his funeral (the country singer with the guitar) and from that moved onto funny stories about him.

Max will be ok. I think his friends will be ok. But I hope they never have to go through something like this again.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Not a Normal Post...

My son Max called me yesterday afternoon with the news that his friend Ryan had ended his life.

Ryan was 19 years old.

What makes this even more horrible is that the 17 year old brother of one of Max's friends did the exact same thing a week ago. Needless to say, we are all reeling with shock and sadness. We headed up to Denton (a three hour drive each way) last night to go and pick Max up, but hadn't gotten very far when he called - his friend had offered to drive him home, and they were on their way. So we turned around, got back home...and waited. What do you do? Besides cry, I mean. I was glad that Max came home. He needed to be home, and we needed to be there for him.

Today Max spent a few hours, along with another friend, visiting Ryan's parents. Tomorrow is the visitation, and Monday the funeral...where Max will be a pallbearer. He is just wrecked about Ryan.

While we were at the Men's Warehouse this evening getting another dress shirt for Max (he only owns one), another young man was there, buying clothes for the funeral. This shouldn't be happening. They should be buying dress clothes for dates and job interviews, not funerals for their friends.

I feel so useless. All we, as parents, can do is the best that we can. But sometimes, that isn't enough.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Recently, I was shocked when I saw some old pictures of me (taken 6 and 8 years ago) - I was huge! Now, because I haven't owned a scale in forever, I have no idea of how much I weighed. But I had good hair and cute clothes, right? Just bigger clothes. Whatever. That was a long time ago. I'm sure I was much smaller when I started this Journey. Just to be sure, I checked the pictures that my husband took of me when I got my bike last June. I mean, by then I had lost some weight, so how bad could I look?
Let me just say that it was bad. Really, really bad. I was huge. Very, very huge. And what is scary is that I didn't think I looked that big. I mean, really. I think the mirrors in the dressing rooms at Lane Bryant are bewitched to make you look good in their clothes. Either that, or I suffered from Fatorexia. You know how anorexics look in the mirror and see a fat person? Apparently I am the opposite: I looked in the mirror and while I didn't see a thin person, I certainly did not see that fat person who was in those pictures. I am shocked.

And glad that I'm not that big anymore.

Funny, but I don't believe those pictures could have motivated me to start losing weight. Because obviously I disassociated myself from that person. But I see her now. And believe me, that is the only place I want to see her - in those old pictures. Not in my mirror. But I wonder...how will I know the difference? What if I'm still fatorexic?

Someday, maybe when I'm at my ideal size (whatever that may end up being), I'll have to post the pictures. Until then, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Workouts - The Second Week

I've now had two weeks of workouts, and I have to say that I like them. I especially like the cardio...when I'm done! No, seriously, except for the horribleness that is the stepper, I like the cardio, but there is NO WAY I would work as hard on my own as Linda and Will make me. Apparently I need taskmasters to bring me to my full potential! Although I feel like I'm gonna die before my seven minutes is up on each machine, I'm glad that they are pushing me, because I totally would stop about three minutes in if I were in charge. Will I ever get to the point that I could join a gym and do an intense workout on my own? Bwahahaha! Not likely!

The strength training is a tricky beast - I start a set of say, 18 somethings (can never remember the names), and at the five count, I'm thinking "this is easy, I could handle way more than 18" but then it gets to the 12 count and I'm starting to really feel it and finally 18 gets there - whew! Then I do something else, and then I'm back to the original something, only now it's 22 - ut oh. So far I've been able to complete everything, but it is harder than it looks.

I was really sore from last week's workout until Friday morning. And after this Monday's workout, I could feel it, but was not as incredibly sore as last week. I figured the worst was over...wrong! I woke up Tuesday, sore...in different places! What is up with that?!? My thighs were no longer killing me, but my calves and the backs of my knees were - and these were the same exercises! The body is weird, I'm telling ya!

But, and this is so strange for me to admit because I am a lazy wuss, I kind of like the soreness. It makes me feel like I am making my muscles work for me. Obey my commands (ok, Brad's commands), my muscle-y minions!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh Hells No, This Cannot Be Happening...

...a plateau? Now? After I've started these intense workouts? Please god and Mary Lou (thanks, Lyn!) tell me no!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yes, I'm Still Alive, Although For a Few Days There I Thought I Might Die of Pain!

I started my 12-week workout last Monday. Every Monday and Wednesday, I do thirty minutes of strength training, followed by thirty minutes of cardio. And when I say cardio, I mean CAR-DI-O! Seriously, I though I was gonna die doing the cardio. Let me just say that when the trainer is having me ride the exercise bike, I'm going a lot faster than when I do it on my own!

Here are some fun facts:
  1. I liked the rowing machine
  2. I liked the "80's exercise bike"
  3. I did "Swiss crunches" using a big ball
  4. The plank hold does not involve a board of any kind
  5. The only reason I kept riding the spinning bike is because my feet were strapped to the pedals
  6. I walked on a treadmill and didn't fly off the back
  7. Boxing was fun
  8. Except when I was so tired I could barely move my leg to kick the bag
  9. The stepper is horrible and I hope it breaks down soon
  10. Die, stepper, die
  11. I used 6 and 8 pound weights - woot!
  12. My strength instructor Brad is cool
  13. My Monday cardio instructor Linda is cool
  14. My Wednesday cardio instructor Will was a high school classmate of my oldest son, Sam, and really should have been much nicer to me because of that
  15. I may have to call his mother
  16. I have more muscles than I realized...and they all hurt this week!
This was intense - I knew it would be, but holy hell, I really had no idea! My thighs (quads?) were KILLING ME until Friday. Every time I went to sit down, and then stand back up I wimpered like a baby. After Wednesday's workout, I stopped at the bank to deposit some money into my son's account - there were five steps that I had to climb to get to the entrance. Oh sure, I could have gone the long way around and walked up the handicapped ramp, but I took the short way. UP.THE.STAIRS. Ow ow ow ow ow. And I do believe I said that out loud. I didn't care who heard me. I just wanted to get that errand over with so I could go home and lie down. For several days. Unfortunately, I had an extremely busy week and had to keep moving, which probably was a good thing, but it didn't feel like it at the time!

One more story before I stop my whining: As I was "working my core" by kicking the bag five times per leg for what felt like an eternity (but was three minutes, I think), I got slower and slower - slo-motion would have been faster than me at that point. All I could think was how I had made fun of Joelle on The Biggest Loser for moving so slow in her workouts, and how that bitch karma was now kicking my ass.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Recently, I have had two friends who see me on a weekly basis express shock that I am still trying to lose weight. And I don't think they were just trying to be nice, either! Which leaves me wondering...are they really not seeing me, round stomach, large thighs, big arms and all? Or are they just remembering how big I used to be, and in comparison, think I'm so much smaller that I can't possibly need to lose anything else? It was kind of weirding me out, because I know that I'm no petite flower, by any means. I was sort of feeling like I had to defend my diet.

But something happened today that made me realize that it's all in the perception: After I finished my first workout today (more on that in another post), I was chatting with Linda, one of the cardio instructors. She was showing me a printout copy of food "blocks" and was offering, if I was interested (she wasn't pushy as all) to have Brad (the owner, and strength trainer) figure up how many of these blocks I could eat in a day. I think this is part of The Zone diet, although I'm not for sure, as I was a zoning out a bit after that workout (more later, I promise!). She said how it had worked wonders for her, along with the workouts, of course, and showed me some "before" pictures where she was kinda hefty. Not too bad, but still, compared to what she looks like now, big. I said that I was interested in the food block plan, as I had lost 60 pounds but was curious to see what this "block" plan could do for me...and it was funny, because I could see the gears in her head changing.

See, she saw me as an overweight person who was starting a fitness program, not as someone who has had some success with weight-loss and who is ready to step up to the next level. And that was just fine with me, because it confirmed what, deep down, I know...that I do still have a ways to go. So I'm not crazy. But my friends might be.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bad Things About Weight Loss, Part II

My 60-pound loss picture

While some parts of my body are getting smaller, others are appearing larger. Can you guess what I am talking about? Sigh. I have always hated having a big bust…and I swear, this picture made me realize that some things are not shrinking along with the rest. At this rate, I'm going to look like Carol Doda...you can Google her if you're not familiar with the name, but *fair warning* the pictures won't be safe for innocent eyes.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Good Things About Weight Loss, Part I

One word: Choices.

I have so many more choices now when it comes to shopping for clothes. I can go into practically any store (well, not stores like The Limited or American Eagle because, let's face it, I am too *ahem* mature for their selections) and try on whatever I want to because they carry my size. And then, I can pick and choose what I want to buy, instead of having to purchase something because I am desperate for clothes and it, whatever it is, fits. I can shop around for the best deals, because I am not limited to a couple of stores or tiny sections in department stores. Last Saturday I went to Macy's and was amazed as I moved from section to section, choosing items to try on. The selections were endless! And the cool thing? Every piece of clothing that I chose to try on actually fit. Un-frickin-believable! In the end, I only bought one thing - an up-to-the-minute, in-style now tangerine-colored cardigan that will coordinate nicely with several of my shirts. Just something to perk myself up...a little reward along the way. Yes, I'm definitely liking the choices!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bad Things About Weight Loss, Part I

For one thing, I have never been so cold in my life. It started before Thanksgiving – if I am not moving around, I’m chilled. So reading or working on the computer – two things I enjoy – turn me into an icicle. Going to bed has not been fun – we have a memory foam mattress, which is wonderful for keeping you cool at night during those hot Spring, Summer and Fall months (just keeping it real – this is South Texas, y’all). However, it’s become an icebox for me this winter – I suspect the combination of continual cold weather, my trying to keep the thermostat set at 68 degrees overnight, and my weight loss are all working to make me freeze at night. Even though I’m down 60 pounds, I have a lot left to lose…which means that there is plenty (believe me) of fat still on my body to provide insulation. So I don’t understand why I’m so damn cold all the time. I have resorted to wearing wool socks, yoga pants, a nightshirt and a cotton pullover sweatshirt to bed (quite the look, I must say), and sleeping under (in this order) a sheet, coverlet, down comforter and a blanket folded in half so I have two layers. The old me would have become a hot, sweaty mess sleeping with all of this, but seriously, this is what it takes for me to not be miserably cold. And yes, I realize it’s ridiculous, considering how much colder it is in many parts of the country. I cannot wait for April.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Resolutions Revisited

With a month into the new year, I though I'd revisit my resolutions to see how I'm doing. I've copied them and put my updates in bold.

· Meet with a nutritionist (I believe I can do this through my health plan) and go over my food intake, which leads to: My health plan no longer employs a nutritionist, so any nutritional counseling would have to come from my regular family practitioner – and as dieting doesn’t seem to be his “thing” I don’t think I will bother with him.

· Track my food intake and keep daily calories to 800 - 1000, with emphasis on protein and fiber (unless the nutritionist recommends otherwise). I’ve been pretty successful with this – some days I’ve gone as high as 1,200 to 1,400 calories, but overall it’s been right around 1,000.

· "Shake It Thursdays" - this means that I will drink my NutriMed 420 shakes and have my favorite 300 calorie garden veggie pita from Pita Pit for lunch, for a total intake on this day only of approx. 620 calories. Thursdays are my crazy busy days - I work from 9 to 6, then go to a meeting at 7:30, and I finally make it home for the night around 9 pm. It's just easier to not have to mess with trying to eat full meals on this day. This has worked well for me; I’ll continue doing it for the next month.

· I will not eat baked goods - I have too many opportunities at work (hellooo, cakelady!) with receptions, open houses and fundraisers, and if I just mentally know that these are not an option, then there will be no opportunity for overindulgence. Excellent policy to have – we had one reception, one open house, one staff birthday party and two meetings with treats. I’m going to try and keep with this until my birthday in June.

· Get back to taking a multi-vitamin every day. Yep – I even had to buy a new bottle as I finally finished my old one.

· Increase my exercise, which won't be hard at this point, seeing as I have not been doing my Wii Fit or riding my bike lately, which also leads to: Not so much. Very little bike riding – it’s just been too cold for me. Very little Wii Fit as well. Must work harder at this for February.

· Choosing a tiny bit of exercise (walking) over a great parking space. Yes – it’s funny how proud of myself I am when I park and walk a bit to a store!

· Read "Refuse to Regain" this month - even though I'm not at my goal weight, I don't want to go backwards at this point...which also leads to: Haven’t read it yet – got caught up in Dietgirl and other library books. I will read it this month.

· Get to my goal weight by my birthday (June 2) - oh, and finally figure out what my goal weight is...150? 130? I really don't know right now. I’m losing, so that is good. But I still don’t have a goal weight. Do I really need one at this point? Or can I just see how I feel when I weigh 150?

Overall, I've had some successes. What surprises me is that I've kept up with most of my resolutions for an entire month - not my usual M.O. Geez, maybe some of this is becoming a habit! I'm not used to having good habits...who am I, again?

Monday, February 2, 2009

You Meet Some Of The Nicest People Here In Blogland!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the sweet comments regarding my 60 pound post - y'all are so nice and I really appreciate that you took the time to celebrate with me!