Monday, July 30, 2007

Happy New Year To Me!

Now that I am starting to stumble out from the haze of birthday cake, presents and pampering, I can take a minute to think. Or more importantly, to blog.

Friday was my birthday. Birthday No. 29. Kind of a sobering number when you think about it. For a good part of the morning, I was rather bummed out. This is the last year of my 20s. All I could think was of how I had wasted yet another decade being fat.

I was fat at 19 and I vowed to change. That didn't happen. I was fat at 24 and I vowed to change. That didn't happen. I was fat at 27, and I vowed to change. Are you seeing a pattern here? I'm still not sure why it clicked during year #28, but it did and I'm running with it.

But what was most fabulous about my birthday (aside from the Benihana dinner, the bowling outing with my buds, the new Kate Spade from Mr. CCC and the ridiculously yummy Edda cake) was reading what my friends and family wrote in their cards to me. It really hit me that there are people in my life who truly, truly love me. They want the best for me and they're going to be there for me no matter what the number on the scale says. I was honestly touched and I wept like a little baby. Pathetic, really.

One thing that jumped out at me while reading my mom's message in my birthday card was where she wrote, "Happy New Year!" For a second, I thought she'd been sipping a little too much wine as she wrote my card or had sniffed too many magic markers at work...but she said something pretty interesting--a birthday is a new year for us as individuals. We all ring in Jan. 1 together, but it was on Friday that I really started my new year.

There's plenty of time between here and the Big 3-0 next July. Plenty of time for me to continue working towards the new me, the healthier me. (I was about to type "happier me" but you know what--it's time I stop equating happiness with my weight. I'm happy NOW. I have an amazing husband. Friends and family who care for me. A roof over my head, food on my table, and a job that while occasionally frustrating, allows me to be creative and do what I love. Save for a few ups and downs here and there, I'd say that all makes me pretty happy.)

My mom's message in the card really struck a chord and was just the kind of reminder I needed to boost my morale and keep me focused. Resolutions aren't just for January, right?

And mom did something even more important the day after my birthday. With my tummy full of cake and that aforementioned Benihana dinner, I was about to shy away from attending my Weight Watchers meeting. I was bloated after all that salty goodness of a meal but she told me to suck it up and go weigh myself.

"You'll know what you're dealing with and you can conquer it next week. Besides, you know if it's gone up, it's probably from all the food last night."

The woman had a point, so I went. And while this is no birthday miracle post, where I proclaim I lost a ridiculous amount of weight, I was pleasantly surprised to see I'd only gained 4 ounces. That's nothing. That's not even half a pound.

Every once in a while, you have to accept that life is going to hand you an extra four ounces (or two). I wouldn't have traded the amazing time I had Friday night for a loss on the scale.

As for the other glaring event in my life--Dobie is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow. I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. I am terrified. Terrified of the results, terrified of the possibilities, terrified of the risks. I spent a good chunk of the weekend holding him close, cuddling him and just spending time with him. It's really hard to accept how quickly this has happened--one day he's okay, the next he's in an ER, he gets better and then it's surgery. Poor pooch!

Whatever happens tomorrow is in God's hands and that's how I have to view it. I'm expecting to be a nervous wreck tomorrow waiting for the call from my family. But I know his vets have checked him from snout to tail to make sure he's able to have the surgery, so I am going to be positive and do a lot of praying.

Maybe you could too, pretty please?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Scenes from the Women's Department

With the celebration looming for Birthday, Version 29 and a hamper full of dirty clothes, I decided to treat myself for a new outfit to wear to party in...

Discovery No. 1--Something is happening!

Finally, finally, finally...after months of struggling, exercising, and eating right I've started shrinking! My first hint was while I was in the lingerie department at Nordstrom. With their Anniversary Sale going on and my favorite line of bras marked down, I figured it was as good a time as any to stock up. After noticing I could use a further hook on my regular size, I went optimistic and got a bra that was one band size smaller...and guess fit! It actually fit better than my old size so guess who started doing the happy dance in the fitting room? That's right...ME!

The news only got better when I finally made my way into the Big Girls Department and tried on a pair of jeans. After noticing my current size is gettin' a little saggy in the rear, I tried on one size down and hallelujah! They fit too! (Okay, I confess--there's a teeny bit of muffin top. But it's not a lot and it's nothing a good pair of Spanx won't fix. Besides--when I tried on my current size, it was too big, so I went with the lesser of two evils. Small bit of muffin top trumps a baggy butt!)

Discovery No. 2--More good people out there are starting to realize the world is made up of women who are bigger than a size 10.

And by good people, I mean designers. Today, I noticed there was a plus line from Calvin Klein and I bought jeans from the Michael Kors women's line. Wow...designers realizing even fat women like nice clothing. Only took a lifetime to get there, but they finally did.

Now Mike...think you can get more of your designer buds on board? Seriously. Let's look at the facts. There are millions of overweight women in the U.S. They have to wear clothes. Most of them would like to wear nice clothes. I don't know about you, but the business woman in me sees a market with lots and lots of money to spend. So make some bigger clothing and make some bigger profits. Isn't that a win/win?

Discovery No. 3--America's obesity problem is really, really bad. It's also heartbreaking.

While I was happily celebrating the fact I was going down in sizes, I watched helplessy as a girl young enough to still be carrying a doll had to buy clothing in the women's department. And she cried to her mom that nothing was pretty enough, that her friends would make fun of her, that she didn't like anything.

Her mother--extremely heavy in her own right--just told her to face it--this was the department where they had to shop and she was "much too big to shop in juniors." That only made the little girl cry worse. They finally left and as I made my way to the counter to pay for my jeans, the salesgirl just shook her head and said, "That was the saddest thing. That girl was only 10."

You've got to figure, at age 10, you're much too young to be doing groceries. You're much too young to be making your meals. You're still pretty dependent on the adults around you to feed and clothe you. Sure, you can ask for the junk, but your parents have to be able to say no. And when you get to the point you're not even a teen and you're shopping in the women's department, it's your parents responsibility to find a way to stop the madness.

I know that I'm completely to blame for the situation I am in. I am old enough to make the decisions about what I buy at the store and what I cook for my meals. I am old enough to drive myself to the gym. And I'm old enough to realize what I was doing to my body was anything but good. I was old enough to put a stop to it.

I've often told Mr. CCC that when we have children, I am hell bent on making sure they learn from an early age how important fruit and vegetables are. I want them to see fast food as an occasional treat--not a daily meal. I want them to play sports, to be active, to never experience the humiliation I went through on the playground when my classmates made fun of me. I never want my children to battle their weight and have the kind of unhealthy relationship I have had with food for most of my life.

Seeing that girl clutching a doll and rifling through size 2X tops only reinforced those thoughts in me. So maybe part of me is doing this for someone else--someone I have yet to meet, someone I have yet to hold but someone I already know I will love with all my heart.

Because after all, if I can't be a healthy example for my (future) kids, who will ? And I'll be damned if I ever have a daughter have to buy back-to-school clothes in a department I don't plan on setting foot into myself for much longer...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Who am I doing this for?

One of the best parts about becoming a blog-a-holic has been the discovery of so many other fabulous weight loss blogs....some of whom I've linked to on the left over there....

It's been so wonderful to read how others are making their way through the universe of weight loss. It's nice to know I'm not the only one fighting this battle. It's encouraging to read that just as I struggle, others struggle. It's inspiring to share in my fellow bloggers' successes.

Being overweight isn't something you can always talk about with your girlfriends. Especially when for so long, you've been the only chubby one in your circle. I can't tell you how many times in my life I've gone shopping with a girlfriend where she leaves with tons of bags from stores I have no business setting foot in while I leave the mall with a new pair of socks...or shoes.

But the blog world has shown me I am far from alone and there was no moment that hit more than this week when I read this from the fabulous Minx.

As she recounted the story of the cad who placed more value on her weight and her looks instead of on her stellar personality (and how she allowed him to do so!), I alternated between wanting to reach through my computer and smack some sense in to her and wanting to reach through my computer and give her a hug.

Why? Because haven't we all been there? Haven't most of us chubby girls allowed a man or his comments about our weight to dictate how we feel about ourselves, what we eat or how we act?

Minx's story hit me so hard because for me, that moment came when I met The Baseball Player. We never really had a relationship. Not a proper kind. We went on a few (err, okay, two) dates but for the most part, our interaction was limited to late-night sneaking around and me going to his place.

At first, I was so smitten by the fact that this adorable athlete was paying any kind of attention to ME that I played by his rules. More than once, a planned outing to meet his friends fell through. More than once, he cancelled weekend plans with me at the last minute. More than once, I went running when he called at 11 p.m.

I'm not exactly sure how long it took me to snap out of my funk and realize I deserved better but the moment came when it hit me that I was lowering myself and my morals for a guy who was embarrassed to be seen with me.

Not because I wasn't smart. He often told me I was. Not because I wasn't funny. I made him laugh. A lot. Not because I could discuss his beloved baseball with him more than any woman he'd ever met. He said so. Often.

No, he was embarrassed because while I had a chest he adored, it came with a large tummy and thunder thighs. One night while we were kissing, he ran his hand across my stomach and said he could help me come up with a workout plan to get rid of it. Seeing as how I've always been trying to lose weight, I agreed...and asked if he wouldn't mind coming to the gym and showing me. He was non-committal and never brought it up again.

After that, I began pushing myself in the gym. I tried to eat less. A few pounds came off, but I learned then one of the most valuable weight loss lessons a person can grasp--that until you are losing weight for yourself and for your health, it's just not going to happen.

Eventually, my brain caught up to my heart and I cut ties with The Baseball Player. Shortly thereafter, I met Mr. CCC, but while he pushed me to let him in my life, I resisted. He kept asking for dates, I kept putting them off. Why? Because Mr. CCC wasn't overweight...I kept telling myself he'd want nothing to do with me because of how I looked.

Eventually though, his persistance, his insistence that my weight didn't matter got through to me. We did go on that date and before long, I found myself working to lose weight again...and again, for him. Because I was afraid to lose him.

I lost weight and regained it and Mr. CCC didn't run. When he proposed, I was at my highest weight in a long time...I joined Weight Watchers and lost 60 pounds in preparation for our wedding. But because I still hadn't lost the weight for myself, that weight came back. Mr. CCC still hasn't gone anywhere.

This journey I'm on now is the first time I've set out to lose weight for myself. For my health. There's no wedding gown to get into. There's no man to attract. Yes, one of my goals is to get my body in the best possible state to make a baby, but more than ever, this time, I realized and accepted my weight was a ticking time bomb. I don't have heart disease or diabetes or high blood pressure because I'm in my 20s.

If I'm at this weight in my 30s, I know the outlook won't be so rosy.

Before, when I cheated on my diet, it was always the voice of someone else I'd hear in my head. The Baseball Player. My mother. My doctor. Now, when I reach for a cookie when I don't have any points left or when I try to dodge a workout, the voice I hear trying to nudge me back on track is my own.

It's not a man's. It's not another woman's. It's my voice and this time, I'm listening. Because this time--for the first time--I'm doing this for me.

(And for accountabilities sake--if you've been reading my exploits for a while, you know Saturday is weigh-in day. Just thought I'd let you know I'm down another one...that's 26 pounds since I started, 12 on Weight Watchers. Woo hoo! I'm finally starting to get back into Those Numbers I Have Not Seen In a Long, Long Time)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The High Cost of Being Healthy

This weekend, as Mr. CCC and I went through our expenses, I heard him sigh...

"I see you're back to Pilates?"

Considering it was Sunday evening, we were home balancing our checkbook and I wasn't dressed in my Pilates gear, I'm guessing he must have "seen" I was back in Pilates because he found the copy of the check I'd written to pay for my last class. I got a little rankled when he added, "I guess I have to add it back to our budget," in a tone that made it sound as if my $30 a week class was bleeding us dry.

I (politely) pointed out the only reason I'd taken a break from Pilates was because we'd gone to Hawaii and that I felt it was important for me to continue taking my weekly class so I'd be in better shape and continue on my healthy journey. I also pointed out (again, politely, lol!) that we're fortunate enough to be able to afford my Pilates class. Mr. CCC and I are blessed to each have good jobs that help us put food on our table, a roof over our heads, enjoy life and take the occasional Pilates class...

But the next day, I was struck again by money vs. health when I went to McDonald's for lunch.

Wait, wait, before you ask what I was doing at McDonald's for lunch, hold on...I have a good reason--their Southwest Salad with grilled chicken is YUMMY! And a not-horrible 9-points including dressing...

I ordered my salad and my bottled water and then heard my total--nearly $8. A glance up at the rest of the menu board showed me that a Big Mac, a large order of fries and a large sugary soda would have cost me half of my salad and water.

Doesn't seem right.

Again, I'm in a fortunate enough place to be able to get the healthy option, to pay for my salad, a gym membership, Pilates class and my Weight Watchers membership. But I know not everyone is. I know there are families struggling to put food on the table--and odds are, since processed, prepackaged food is cheaper, I'm sure they're eating more of that than the fresh veggies and lean meats you need in a healthy diet.

The more I thought about it, the more upset I got. We keep hearing about the obesity epidemic in this country, how kids are starting to develop diabetes at earlier and earlier ages, how the costs of all our health insurance is going to go up as people keep treating diseases caused by obesity. It's sad. Truly sad and just another one of those instances where we know and understand the system is letting us down.

Sure, not everyone can afford to drive a BMW or a shiny Lexus. And that's okay. But good, healthy food shouldn't be a luxury. There's just way too much at stake...

Oh...and a Dobie update...continue to keep us in your thoughts. His initial tests came back inconclusive. His first test didn't find traces of cancer, but doctors would like to do a biopsy to be 100% sure.

Our beloved pup is going to have some more tests Friday to see if he can even undergo a biopsy because of his heart condition. Keep sending us your positive thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Up and Down...

If I were to say the past 24 hours have been an emotional roller coaster ride, I would be making an understatement.

Last week, we had to rush our fabulous Dobie (a Doberman Pinscher who is convinced he is a lapdog) to his veterinarian...he was incredibly lethargic, wouldn't go to the bathroom and on top of some already existing heart conditions, we were worried. Some x-rays and bloodwork revealed Mr. Dobie had found a bone and made it a snack. We're not quite sure where the bone came from, because he's on a prescription diet so all he gets from us is his food, but we know last week was the Fourth...and our neighbors all had cookouts. Doesn't take a genius to figure out Dobie had probably been given or tossed the bone from prescribed some things to help him pass the bone, ease the pain and get back to normal.

Which he did--for a few days. Then yesterday, he was back to being very droopy, very lethargic and not himself. His vet was closed so we rushed him to an ER...where X-rays revealed his tummy was still full of gas and fluids. And there was a mass in his prostate that could have been missed on his last x-ray...or could have been misdiagnosed as a bone. I immediately lost control...

Why? Because if you've been reading my blog, you know my grandfather is battling prostate cancer. And what's worse--less than a year ago, we had to put our other dog down because of an advanced cancer that was untreatable. As the doctor explained the possibilites to us, I could only hug Dobie and cry...she wasn't 100% sure it was a mass, but she wanted to keep him overnight because he had a fever and she wanted to do another x-ray overnight. We agreed...that was last night.

This morning as I dressed for my weekly weigh-in, the vet called back. The second x-ray showed there was definitely a mass on Dobie's prostate. He had swollen lymph nodes and his abdomen was filled with liquid. She recommended more testing--including an abdominal ultrasound--to see what that fluid was. One of the possibilities could be blood from the mass having ruptured.

I was filled with absolute rage. This is what we went through with Papo (our other dog) in October. Because of Dobie's heart condition, he's been seeing his vet every month. EVERY MONTH he gets a workup on his blood, his heart...if he's had a tumor growing in his body, how could his regular vet NOT have caught it? And that's when the ER vet lowered the boom...on top of all of Dobie's health issues, she went through his paperwork and noticed he was 3 months behind on his heartworm test and 3 months behind on his Parvo vaccine.

Again--nothing but anger here. How could his vet have missed that? For heaven's sake, the dog just had his teeth cleaned last month. We're up to date on his teeth cleaning but not on a basic vaccine? My mom made the decision instantly to transfer Dobie from his old vet to the new hospital where he is at. He'll be visiting that hospital from here on out...assuming of course, he makes it through this battle.

My mind has not stopped working. I barely slept last night. My heart has broken in a million pieces because this absolutely amazing dog does not deserve to go through this. Our family, already dealing with the loss of one dog and adjusting to my grandfather's cancer, can't handle another loss. I can't handle it. Mr. CCC keeps telling me to be strong and to not assume the worst--we don't know if the mass Dobie has is cancerous. And if it is, it may be treatable. He tells me I am freaking out yet without having to...but I can't help it. It's just.too.much.

I was practically sobbing as I went about getting ready for my WW meeting...the only normal thing I've done all week...and up until yesterday, I couldn't wait to see how the scale has treated me. I have done great with my eating...I've tried a few new WW recipes Mr. CCC and I are both enjoying. I went back to Pilates. I even started lifting weights to go along with the cardio I've been doing. All in all, you'd figure a very productive week.

It was.

I stepped on the scale and had my biggest single-week loss since starting this journey...I was down 3.6, for a total of 11.6 on WW and 25 total since I started (then abandoned) Jenny Craig late last year.

I immediately burst into tears on the scale--here I was, in the middle of this godawful crisis with my dog, getting the best weight-loss week I've had yet. It meant so much, and yet so little all at the same time. The weigher asked me what happened and when I told her, she even teared up and hugged me too...For a moment, it was what I needed.

It's really hard for me to grasp that a month ago, I was packing my bags for Hawaii and I didn't have a care in the world. All the relaxation, all the stress relief is's completely back to reality, and a harsh one...

The only thing I can get my mind around is the idea of going to work out. My weight loss right now is just about the only thing I can control. I'm up for a promotion at work (yup, more for the roller coaster--I had my interview yesterday morning), there's so much happening with Dobie, and I have no say in anything that happens there.

But I do have a say about how I respond...I could dive head-first into ice cream, but I have to say, I haven't wanted to do that. Instead, my first instinct last night as anger coursed through my veins was getting to a gym as fast as possible. I needed to channel that anger into something productive. And the only thing I can control now is how I respond to all the challenges before me.

I'm trying to focus on that.

But if you're the praying type, could I ask you to keep Dobie and my family in your prayers? I have a feeling the next few days will be very hard on us and we could use all the prayer and healing vibes we can get...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Am I supposed to get naked to get skinny?

After forcing myself to work out on Friday when I most definitely did not want to, I told myself when I was done that it was time for a treat.

Determined to make sure that treat wasn't sugary or fried, I opted to get some things to make working out a little easier. And since I'm tired of shoving my clothes into The World's Tiniest Gym Bag and because I hate working out in men's t-shirts (many of which are just awful!), I headed to the mall.

No cute, normal-sized gym bags to be found anywhere. And workout gear for women was just plain limited in general...although the helpful clerk at Foot Locker suggested Macy's. Trudge, trudge, trudge across the mall to find an obscure corner of Macy's dedicated to workout gear. Some of which was actually cute.

I grabbed a couple of XL shirts and headed into the changing room. Where I could only laugh. XL? These shirts were XL? In what friggin country? Munchkinland? Lilliput?

Okay, strike one. I headed to Sports Authority next to see if I could get something there.

That wasn't a total failure. I did find a great gym bag which means when I get home from working out, my pre-gym clothes won't be wrinkled into oblivion. And it being Sports Authority and all, there was a ton of workout gear.


Grabbed a couple of XL shirts from Nike. Some UnderArmour. Other random generic brands. With nearly half a dozen shirts tossed over my arm, no doubt I'd be able to find SOMETHING that worked, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong! Again, the XL workout shirts were cut for teeny-tiny women who obviously, don't need to be working out. Or those who already achieved teeny-tiny status because they worked out. Whatever.

Strike two.

The whole episode was a repeat of my quest a few months ago to find a new sports bra. (And I thought swimsuit shopping had been depressing! I forgot about the sports bra excursions..shudder!). I just couldn't understand it.

Am I destined to work out in drab men's clothing forever? Am I going to always have to smoosh my boobs into a sports bra that's two sizes too small? Is there any quasi-fashionable workout gear for those of us that don't have supermodel proportions?

If the whole world is telling those of us who are overweight that we need to get off our butts and exercise, you think there would be clothing designed to help us do that, wouldn't you?

Apparently not.

Which brings me to my last-chance option. The mall I visited last week didn't have a Lady Foot Locker. The mall I'm visiting in a few minutes does. Cross your fingers.

I don't think I'm asking for too much, am I? Just a little something pretty to wear when I sweat because, well, if you know me, you know that I try to look pretty as much as possible. Even when I'm glistening with prespiration.

(Although please note: I am not one of those loony women that wears makeup to the gym. But fashionable pony-tail holders and rubber bands? Absolutely!)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Lucky? This is supposed to be lucky?

So much for the luckiest day in the century...

Wasn't that what astrologists, psychics, and numerologists dubbed this past Saturday? You know, 7-07-07?

Figuring that was the case, I dragged my carcass to my WW meeting on Saturday despite the cupcake binge, the margaritas and the two parties I'd attended in less than seven days. Hey, if it was the luckiest day of the century, I'd lose some good weight, wouldn't I?

Stepped on the scale and wow...was I impressed. I was down two.


All I could do was laugh as the weigher excitedly said, "Congratulations! You lost this week!

Two ounces is a loss? Oh come on. Let's be honest. I was one bathroom trip from staying at the same weight. Either way though, considering the week I'd had and my fling with cupcake temptation, it wasn't bad. I didn't gain and you know what, maybe there was some luck involved there.

It could have been a lot worse, but it was disappointing. Yes, I know I'd had more sweets and alcohol than I normally have, but I exercised my rear end off. (And yes, I did go exercise on Friday. I was completely unmotivated, I didn't want to be there, and it was a challenge to push myself as hard as I did, but I went...)

You figure with all that exercise, something more than two ounces would have come off. But the weight loss universe doesn't work that way. Sometimes you can work hard and nothing happens. Sometimes you DO pass up the treats and you're disappointed.

After my "loss" this weekend, I've tried to reassess and think about what it's going to take to really get on track...and it's going to take real discipline. Being as meticulous about my eating plan as I was when I started. Weighing everything. Counting everything. Journaling every bite. That's just how this program is going to work.

And I've also decided it's time to revamp my workouts...back to Pilates this week and stepping up the cardio. It may also be time to start working some weights into the routine.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Afraid to face the music

Last week, I was all talk.

I had perspective. I was proud of keeping my weight-gain under control on vacation. I was working out, I was ready to get back on track. It was on.

Okay, guess what? It's off.

For the first time since joining WW, I am deathly afraid of going to my weigh-in tomorrow. Why? Because this week has been nothing but challenge after challenge and I have not exactly risen to the occasion.

Saturday--a friend's birthday. Taquitos, quesadillas, margaritas and cupcakes. Monday--grandma's birthday. More cupcakes. Fourth of July--burgers as big as my head, chips, potato salad and oh yeah...even MORE cupcakes. (Let me just say it--I've been a cupcake whore this week!).

Let's just say yesterday was the first day all week I was comfortable with what I ate. I blew through all my flex points at Saturday's party. Wednesday's numbers were ugly.

And sure I've worked out, but every day I've gone to the gym I have had to drag myself. And I'm sitting on my bed right now knowing I should be on my way there now but I just don't have the mojo to go.

What's happened to me? Where did my motivation go? Has anyone seen my willpower? My ability to turn down cupcakes?

I just feel so lost and so afraid to face the music tomorrow. You think all of that would have me rushing to grab my workout clothes and get in the gym, but it's just not working that way. I'm at a complete and total loss. This was supposed to be the week I got back on track, put vacation behind me and got down to business.

For the past few weeks, as I've spoken with my friends who are working to lose weight, or I've posted on blogs about sagging motivation, I've always been full of encouraging words...ideas...suggestions.

Too bad right now it's so hard for me to listen to my own advice.

Okay, I am going to the gym. I am going to the gym. I am going to the gym...RIGHT NOW.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The questions we don't want to ask...

I have to start today with a confession.

When I started this blog, I did it with the intention of finding an outlet for my frustation. I viewed it as a place to inspire others and get inspiration myself. I knew it would keep me accountable and help me on my journey to becoming the best me possible. I vowed to be as honest and forthright as possible.

I haven't been doing that.

For the past few days, I've been going back and forth about something in my life and I've thought "Hmm, I bet it would make an interesting blog. I can't be the only one feeling this way, right?" but it's such a personal look into my life I couldn't do it. Then I realized I had a few more readers than I thought and I again told myself, "Well, I can't put that out's too personal."

But after an informal poll of my friends I realized--I'm not alone. And we were so relieved to hear most of our friends had gone through similar situations and shared the same fears so I found a little bravery and here I go...

It's always hard to accept when something in your life isn't right. Especially when the part that isn't right is...your love life.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I know I'm married to an incredible man. And I know I'm lucky to have someone like him.

Mr. CCC is as supportive and encouraging as anyone could imagine. He knows me better than anyone else. He understands me more than anyone else. He makes me laugh. He's a hard worker who wants the best for our family. For the most part, our relationship is exactly what I imagined when I thought about the husband and marriage I wanted.

But there is one thing that's so far from perfect and last night, as I watched fireworks, it hit me.

I ain't gettin the kind of fireworks I want.

You get my drift, don't you? Fireworks. Yeah, those fireworks. When there are fireworks, I can't lie. It's quite a show. All the bells, whistles, and shooting sparks you can imagine. When the show does start, it's usually very good.

But the problem is, lately, there aren't as many shows as I'd like. Sometimes I try to get things going only to find my partner in pyrotechnics just isn't in the mood. I can't help but thinking of all those jokes people make about marriage--about how once there are rings exchanged, sex disappears.

Maybe it's the fact a 14-hour day has him exhausted. For a few days there was the sunburn that meant no one, including the World's Hottest Woman, was going to lay a finger on him. The nights his allergies have him sneezing his brains out aren't going to work either. Cause nothing is as hot as dripping snot all over your other half, right?

There are a million viable explanations for the fact we're not together as often as I would like, but let's face it. When you're a fat girl and your man is mumbling "Not tonight, honey..." only one thing goes through you're mind.

He's not attracted to you anymore.

He doesn't want to be with you because you're heavy.

The idea of being intimate with you grosses him out.

You're ruining your relationship because you can't keep your disgusting fat face from stuffing itself. Way to go, CCC.

(Okay, so that's more than one thing).

Last night after trying to see if a lazy day away from the office would help us not be so tired, I tried to drop some hints to see if I could light a fuse and shoot off some sparks.


I rolled over with a sigh and tried to fight the tears and tidal wave of self-doubt. Mr. CCC heard the few sobs that managed to escape and was asking me what was wrong. For a while I tried to play dumb and said my nose was stuffed up. But like I said above--he knows me more than anyone else and he didn't buy it. Before long I choked out the words..."You don't want to be with me because I'm fat..."

He hugged me close, wrapped his arms around me and said I was being silly...that he was just tired...that he loved me no matter what I weighed or how I looked and he was just tired. But the little voice in the back of my head would not quit. Why is he always so tired? Why doesn't he want you? Don't guys want sex all. the. time?

Eventually, we fell asleep and I woke up this morning in a funk, still feeling very, very down on myself. Still wondering what was going on. Still thinking I'm as fat as a cow and my husband has finally had enough.

I know it was a little easier to beat myself up because this hasn't exactly been the "back on track" week I wanted it to be (Two birthdays + Fourth of July = too many sweets to pass up on!). I was vulnerable to start with and my husband passing up on some quality time with me just kicked me while I was down.

In confessing my disappointment to my friends (because let's be honest here--it's not the first time I've been turned down), I discovered more women go through this than I thought...I got a lot of encouragement and support from women whose weights run the gamut saying they've been there...and it stinks.

But even though maybe we've all been there and women of all sizes have body issues, when you outweigh your husband and he turns you down, you do feel lower than low. You start asking questions, you're at a loss. You wonder if things would be different if you didn't weigh as much as you did, even though deep inside you do know he's tired. You do see the sunburn on his skin. You do know he's worked a 14-hour day.

You still feel unattractive and I hate feeling unattractive. I hate feeling this alone, this desperate, this lost. I hate wondering if my husband isn't attracted to me anymore. And I know when I lose this weight, I won't wonder that anymore.

I'm not saying my life will be perfect when the weight comes off. I know it won't be, but I know it'll be nice to know the negatives in my life won't be automatically connected to my weight, as they are now. I'll be able to take a step back and say, "okay, he's not in the mood tonight...let's figure out why" or "Okay, so you don't have the confidence to do XYZ...let's change that."

But in the meantime, while the numbers are still up there, the weight is a built-in excuse. For everything. I just don't want that anymore.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Finding perspective...

Before packing up for Hawaii, the universe threw me a bone.

My last WW meeting was specifically about keeping on track on vacation. My leader--who is fabulous!--told us from the start we had three options--the first was to stick to our program completely. Stay within our points, weigh, measure and journal. Odds are, you do that, you'll lose weight when you come home. But understanding that most people don't want to work that hard on vacation, she offered us a compromise, option two.

Option two was to eat whatever we wanted, in whatever quantity we wanted and to not worry about counting anything. The catch? She wanted us to journal. Inevitably, the act of writing down what you eat keeps you on track. You'll reach for the chocolate chip cookie, but the idea of writing it down in your journal just might stop you from eating it. She suggested this was a pretty good vacation strategy and that most people who use it either maintain their weight or have a teeny, tiny gain.

Intriguing? Sure. But who wants to spend their vacation lugging around their WW point books and stopping to write everything down. I didn't. I wanted to escape my life. Completely. I waited for her next suggestion.

Option three was just my speed. Eat whatever you want, drink whatever you want, and don't journal and don't count. BUT try to make better choices. Go for the grilled chicken instead of the fried. Reach for the fruit instead of the chocolate at dessert. The key to option three though was that you had to be completely willing to accept whatever the scale said when you came home. Odds are, with option three, you're going to gain weight. And that could be a slippery slope. After two weeks of undisciplined eating, some people just extend it to three weeks, four weeks and never really get back on their weight-loss program.

But I knew my vacation was going to be just that--a vacation. As soon as I came home, I'd get back on track. So I set my goal--go to Hawaii, follow option three and do my best to keep my weight gain to a reasonable, manageable number. I told myself for 10 days in Hawaii, including a seven day cruise, if I could come back with a gain of two pounds or less, I'd be happy.

So I tried to eat reasonably. I enjoyed every dinner but opted to go lighter at breakfast and lunch. I exercised. I enjoyed every minute and every calorie. (There was one night in particular that involved a chocolate mousse dessert and an entire bottle of was nice!). But yesterday was time to face the music.

Since getting home, I've been back on track (save a side order of fries with my McDonald's salad the other day, sigh) and yesterday, I stepped on the scale wondering if I'd met my goal. Turns out--I had.

I gained 1.8 pounds on vacation. That's it! I was thrilled! At first, the weigh-in lady couldn't understand why I was so happy to have gained weight. Then I told her--I was back from a 10-day vacation in Hawaii, that included a week-long cruise.

Suddenly, she understood. And she actually said I'd made quite the accomplishment, that that small of a gain was actually pretty remarkable. I could only smile. I KNOW that! Talk about being willing to accept whatever the scale said...

I think it's the first time in my life I've ever been able to see the scale go up and know it's okay. It's the first time in my life the scale has gone up and I haven't flipped out. I wonder if this means I'm finally starting to accept the the scale is not an enemy. It's not a friend either. It's just a machine that takes a snapshot measurement of one small part of my life.

I know as long as I keep staying on track, keep exercising and continue to eat sensibly, I'm going to get this weight off. It's amazing how motivated I am--it's a motivation I haven't felt in forever.

I just need to keep that going and realize that like the tags in the clothes I bought before vacation, the number on the scale is just that...a number.

It's just a number....