Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Question.

Riddle me this...

Can fat people have "Fat Days?"

So many times in my life, I have heard people say they are having "Fat Days."  You know, those days when you tend just feel, well, fat. Perhaps you did not hit the gym, or you overindulged on your favorite foods, or just feel rather blah. It's mostly skinny people in my life that I have heard say that they feel as if they are having Fat Day.  I've never been one to say I am having Fat Day, as every day for the past 25 years  has been a Fat Day. I  remember Freshmen year of college, when my pre-Freshmen 15 dorm mates would overindulge at the dining hall they would unbutton their top button and you could actually see their bellies looking full, and they would exclaim, "Wow, I am totally having a fat day." I would look at them in awe, amazed you could actually see their stomachs expanded and that  not buttoning your pants any more was acceptable as long as you had too many grilled cheeses.  I spent so many mornings trying to get myself into my size 14s that needed to be 16s that it never occurred to me that I could let them hang open and claim, "I am having a Fat Day!"  But then it dawned on me, I don't think that 6570 consecutive Fat Days constituted an excuse as much as a Fat Life.

To me, saying I am having a Fat Day is the equivalent of saying I am having a "Brown-Eyed Day,"  a "Fabulous MAC make-up day," or perhaps a, "I could use a cocktail Day."  It is part of my identity, I never thought I could fathom what a Fat Day felt like, or a Skinny Day for that matter.  

Until today.  To give you a glimpse into my current life, I go to the gym 4-6 days a week, walk 3-4 days a week, and try to ride my bike 1-3 times a week, if this darned weather would cooperate (because clearly my struggle to breathe has everything to do with the wind, and not the fact that at 5'5", I outweigh most college running backs.)  My eating styles have changed drastically, I am all about lots of veggies  and fruits and no processed food, but without deprivation of the things I love (It's not a diet!! More to come on this later.) Normally I really kick butt while at the gym, and stick with my eating habit changes, but today was a different story.

While on the elliptical trainer, I couldn't get up to my normal pace. My legs felt like wobbly pieces of spaghetti.  Actually, these are my legs we are talking about.  So my legs felt like wobbly pieces of fettucine covered in a rich and creamy Alfredo sauce. I did 15-half assed minutes, then hopped on the bike. But there were these two horribly obnoxious guys behind me talking about Oprah!  Yes, OPRAH! and it was just driving me nuts. Note- Never forget iPod ever again. Plus, my toe hurt, so after 10 minutes on there, back to the elliptical.  At three minutes into it, I said, "Screw this, I am so not feeling it," hopped off, skipped my end routine of stretching and bolted.

In itself, it would not be so bad to take a day off at the gym.  However, I got home and remembered I promised my husband I would make him a key-lime pie, (Let me tell you, trying to LOSE weight while living with a man who is trying to GAIN weight makes for an interesting dynamic-more on this at a later date.) I make up the delicious crust and pie without a taste.  However, that sweet, delicious, gooey meringue called my name, and before I knew it, I was licking what was left on the spatula and swiping my paw at the mixing bowl like Pooh Bear in a Honey Pot.  Will came in, shocked at the sight of me with meringue all over my left hand and cream on nose.  He did not care that I indulged, but was royally pissed at the calories that he got cheated out of!  But the pie turned out amazing, so all is now forgotten.

The day passed, evening commenced, and I have a realization while sitting on the couch.  I was thinking of my half-assed gym efforts, my hand-to-hand combat with the remnants on a mixing bowl, the slice of key-lime pie (had to make sure it was as delicious as it looked) and realized something...

"OH MY GOD, I AM HAVING MY FIRST FAT DAY!"  Sitting there, I felt what all these healthy, skinny people have been jazzing about for so long!  I felt blobish, full, bloated and very Jabba The Hut-esque.  What should have been horrifying was absolutely amazing feeling! It meant I am finally in a habit of eating better and working out, and my body is letting me know it does not enjoy the day off I took today!  I had a Fat Day!

Reality came back to me though, and I realized if I couldn't have a fat day as a 16 squeezing into 14s, I sure as hell could not have one as an 18.  So I promptly got on the ground and started doing crunches, leg lifts, planks, and stretches to try to salvage as least part of the day.

That meringue was so worth it, though. When I die, screw riding a cloud and getting my Angel (Demon?) wings.  Just throw me on a pile of meringue.

Monday, April 27, 2009

An indicator

Ever since I decided I was going to start with all this healthy living crap of eating better and working out, I am finding almost daily signs of why I need to do this.

Today's indicator was when I woke up and hopped on-line.  Every day, like clock work, the first two blogs I check are:

Cake Wrecks- "When Professional Cakes go Horribly, Hilariously Wrong."  Because honestly, is there any better way to start the day than by looking at cake?? Even if they are tragedies, cake is cake.

Bacon Du Jour- Every day they take delicious bacon and wrap it around another food product and rate it.  Every day I get to read wonderful suggestions on how I can add more bacon into my life and diet. Quite frankly, it is important research to know how bacon and a McNugget, or Blueberry Muffin, or a Dill Pickle pair up. 

This is a problem, time for me to find new blogs to start my day with.  I do not think I am doing myself any favors by getting my brain started each morning with Cake and Bacon.  Although I think changing my routine will affect my moods in a negative way, because how can I not be happy spending my days thinking of cake and bacon.  I suspect that this is yet another indicator of why I need to do this.

Does anyone know if there is a celery blog out there?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No Pain, I Gain.

It is Sunday night and I am looking back on my weekend of over-indulgence and am already dreading the workouts I will have to do this week to make up for it.  Friday night I received some amazing news that I was accepted into my top choice MBA program, so of course I celebrated with a bottle, or two,okay definitely two bottles, of delicious Zinfandel. Saturday evening Will & I hosted a Wine & Cheese evening for the neighbors, and perhaps I went a little overboard with the brie. And the camembert. And the gouda. Damn it, there was smoked baby swiss too.  Plus various sausages and smoked meats.  And a few more bottles of red wine.  But it was a fun evening with wonderful neighbors, moldy cheese, cured meat and booze.

Speaking of my neighbors, I am just going to put it out there that they are awesome. We could not have gotten any luckier with our neighbors.  Particularly after the folks we dealt with in Japan, who included, "Play loud-ass rap music at 11 p.m. on a Tuesday night" Neighbor, "Filipinos who cook food that makes the whole complex smell like burning, rotten garbage while they look at our hound dog as a tasty morsel" Neighbor, and "NON-Stop terrible Karaoke Singing because we are running a bar girl training camp" Neighbor.  After dealing with those folks, I am truly grateful to have the good taste in music, non-dog eating variety of neighbors.

One of my neighbors is in the Marine Corps and shall henceforth be known as "The Gunny."  If you know anything about the Marines, you know this says a lot.  The Gunny is an incredibly fit and active person and generously volunteered to take me to the gym to show me how to properly use a lot of the machines, new exercises, and a new routine to break things up.  I am not one to turn down free training as I have been getting my knowledge from following another gym patron and her trainer around on the different equipment, and to be perfectly honest with you, I suspect that they are on to the fact that I am pirating the info  and plan to put a stop to it soon. So I was quite jazzed that The Gunny was going to provide me with information without having to feel like a cheap schmuck who does not want to pay for a trainer.

I was very excited about my upcoming gym visit, but as the week progressed, I started to get more nervous.  The first sign that this might not go as planned was that neighbor Jen, my Tuesday/Thursday gym buddy, said there was no way in hell she'd participate in this.  The same day my husband said, "Cari, are you sure you want to work out with a Marine? That's all they do. You might not survive." A few days later I caught him making sure my beneficiaries and will are current. Finally, on Saturday morning while we were waiting to go to the gym, neighbor Josh came out and flat out told me I was brave. And nuts.   I was already feeling woozy from the two bottles of Zin I had the night before, and all these warning signs made me want to run like hell.  However, I never had my chance as at that moment The Gunny & his wife came out and we were off to the gym for 1.5 hours...

...It's been more than a day since my workout with The Gunny and all I can say is "OW!!!!" Pain, pain everywhere!!  And I don't think he was even that hard on me.  We started off with a warm-up on the Elliptical, no problem for me.  But then we advanced to this awful hell machine. It's a slope, and you place your feet in these slides and sort of do lunges up and down the machine.  The Gunny said we were only going to do 5 minutes on Hell Machine, so I figured it would not be too terrible.  Sweet Jesus, I was so wrong.  After two minutes, I was literally sweating out a combination of wine and bacon grease, at 3.5 minutes I could feel my fat-laden heart getting ready to burst open.  Finally, we hit five minutes, then I had to do a 2-minute cool-down.  I thought death was imminent.  Especially since those 2 minutes actually took 4 minutes as the machine kept Pausing because I was going so slow. But I made it, and it was off to weight training.

The Gunny took me through a circuit of machines and showed me how to do weight training while still making it a cardio-workout.  I give him a lot of credit because when demonstrating the machines, he made the 40-pounds seem like a struggle to help me simulate how it would be for my flabby muscles, when it was probably like lifting Q-tips for him. I survived the circuit, then it was on to the Medicine Ball.  

When in my life did I get so uncoordinated?  The Gunny demonstrated these exercises and made them seem so simple, such as turning at the waist with the medicine ball.  However, when I tried it, his face was obviously pained at how wrong I was. He provided good advice on how to stay in proper form, such as keeping the ball close and elbows in. I found that pretending the ball was a succulent ham made it easier for me to keep it in my death grip. After what seemed like an eternity, our time was done since The Gunny had to get back for the  NFL draft.  Thank God for that, because I seriously think my muscles were going to rip at the seams.

My relief was brief.  I found out this morning that there are muscles all over my body! Because they hurt tremendously due to lack of use for years.  I had no idea there were muscles in my sides and hips and lower back.  But every single step, turn and blink reminds me.  On the bright side though, it was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. I had visuals of The Gunny screaming at me a la R.Lee Emery in Fully Metal Jacket, "Are you quitting on me? Well, are you Private Neiderman? Then quit, you slimy walrus-looking piece of shit!"  But there was none of that, and he was actually quite patient and encouraging to me.

The downside to my time with The Gunny, other than the obvious agony I am in today, is that I've realized I really need to step it up at the gym and will have to revisit Hell Machine again. For now though, I am going to try not to focus on what other pain-inducing exercises The Gunny has up his sleeve and go take a bath in Ben-Gay.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Billy Blanks and the Ultimate Taebo Experience

So today's shopping experience did not quite go as planned.  I did not get the strength-training exercise from lugging bags that I planned on as 1. The sandal designs out for this Spring and Summer are truly tragic. I don't know whether to wear them to the beach or step in the Colosseum and let Caesar decide my fate and 2. MAC make-up and some new sunglasses delightfully fit in my purse, (making it much easier to sneak new purchases past husband.) On top of not finding new shoes, I skipped the soft pretzel and went straight for the Cheesecake Factory. Whoops. But Jen and I split a piece of banana cheesecake, and banana is loaded with potassium. Plus, I do not get enough calcium and that sweet delicious whipped cream and cream cheese provided a nice portion of dairy to my well-rounded diet.  

I suspect that this deductive reasoning is why my nutritionist hates me.

Fortunately, I have a plan for days like this. While at my neighborhood Target a few days ago, I decided to purchase a few workout DVDs to supplement my gym routine in case I don't make it to the gym or want an extra boost.  I was hoping forItalic one of those dancing ones that teach you cool hip hop moves, as I have been dying to learn how to New Jack Swing a la Salt n' Pepa in the "Push It" video.  I settle for a Dancing With the Stars Samba Cardio Burn and the Billy Blanks' Ultimate Taebo Experience.

The next day I decide that I am ready for all Mr. Blanks has to offer.  I pop in the DVD, move the coffee table, and close the blinds to spare my neighbors the view of my gelatinous self gyrating around my living room. Five minutes into the video, I have not started the workout as I am completely intrigued by one of the back-up Taebo-ers who is a dead ringer for Scott Baio. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  From Happy Days, then Charles in Charge to Scott Baio is 86 and Desperate and the much-acclaimed follow up, Scott Baio is 86 and found an Egg Donor. I snap out of writing his career's epitaph in my head and start trying to keep up with Billy. 

For those of you who were once like me and terribly unfamiliar with what Taebo is, please follow my master explanation from the 15-minutes I spent with this DVD. Basically, it is a constant-movement, full-body workout made up of a mix of shadow boxing, aerobics, hopping, and turning.  Beginners beware, it is much more challenging than it sounds.  Billy has me working up a sweat to his 8-counts, doing side punching bag circles, uppercuts, jabs, all while sidestepping and turning.  I am keeping up, grunting, punching away at air, avoiding stepping on my dog Boris who decided he too was tired of a life of obesity and kept stepping RIGHT IN MY WAY!!! Billy and his spandex clad mafia featuring Sam's Choice Scott Baio are throwing out helpful hints, telling me to keep my arms up, turn my hips, bend at the waist, and keep those feet moving. Then Billy throws me for a complete loop, shouting out "Double Time!"  Now, what we were taking 8-counts to do are being completed in a 4-count time frame.  Eek! I am struggling to keep up, Boris gives up and goes outside to bark at the neighbors.  Left, left, left, turn right, jab jab. Good now, right, right, right, turn left, jab jab.  Uppercut, uppercut, uppercut, upperc...BAM!

I wake up a few minutes later face down on my carpet, confused as to why I am in my gym clothes with a head ache while this maniacal man in green spandex and Scott Baio are yelling at me from my TV. Oh right, I was doing Taebo.  And I completely just gave myself an uppercut straight to the middle of my forehead and knocked my own self out. Smooth.

So Billy Blanks certainly did provide me the Ultimate Taebo Experience.  I am proud that I unknowingly found a new way to get out of a workout, (self-inflicted head wound with a Taebo uppercut.)  However, this is not over for me and I will challenge Billy Blanks again...

...because I paid $14.99 for this DVD and Target would not take it back despite my complaints it was hazardous to my health. 

What this is all about.

I feel as if I should provide some sort of introduction or explanation as to what my blog is all about.  After 25 years of an overweight existence, I have decided to take control and start living an active, healthy lifestyle. It is not a vanity thing, as I know I am quite cute and fabulous despite the fact I've been shopping Plus-size retailers since I was 8 (I prefer to think of them as exclusive boutiques that only the best can shop at, as opposed to a mess of polyester and spandex for those who've fallen victim to the Arby's $5 Roundup.) Rather, my doctor ordered me to get my fat ass into shape because I have high-blood, high cholesterol, high sodium and my blood eerily resembles mocha-chip milkshakes.

So I've decided to document my journey via this site as a way to keep me honest (Inspired by Jen Lancaster's book, "Such a Pretty Fat." I highly suggest you read it as it's incredibly hilarious.) I figure that if I put it out there for my loyal readers (Mom and Dad) that I will have to keep up with the weight loss. If not, I will be humiliated all the way back to Lane Bryant, where my thick-skin sisters will shun and hiss at me for attempting to leave the clique.

However, the process of changing a lifetime of overindulgence and inactivity does have an upside beyond all the medical crap.  I've spent the better part of my life treating "Food in Casing Form" as the base of my Food Pyramid.  In Utero fetuses have a higher activity level than I do, what will all that turning and squirming and kicking they do.  I am getting muscle cramps just thinking about it. The experience is sure to be hilarious for those willing to laugh at my expense. And I encourage you to, otherwise I may fall off the turnip truck and into the gravy boat. 

Since I have started this lifestyle change in early March, I am down 16 pounds. So, I am off to celebrate at Nordstrom's with Jen. It's a work out on it's own, with all that walking around the shoe department, and (hopefully) lugging bags full of delightful sandals and footwear. I may need to stop for a soft pretzel to keep my strength up...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More choices please.

I am trying to set up my new blog documenting my life as an unemployed Navy wife on a quest to lose my Fat Girl moniker and am trying to set up my profile. Under occupation, there is no option of "Unemployed."  I tried to make up a career field for myself, but "Fitness Guru in the Making" was also absent. To further add to my frustration, the options of running a Beagle Rodeo and Neighborhood Loud Mouth were surprisingly missing.  I suppose I will continue to be a "Not Specified" until I can clear this up with the good people of Google and Blogger.