Tight Blue Jeans

The blue jean corset - this is not me

These are not my breasts

I really think tight blue jeans are the modern woman’s version of the corset. Think about it – they hold in all the jiggly stuff, you often need some assistance getting them zipped and when you take them off, everything comes flying out again!

The only real problem with blue jeans, besides being able to sit down, breath, eat or feel your toes after the first hour, is that you really need something on the top to hold in the resulting muffin top. When I’m moving down a size, and the jeans JUST fit – you know what I mean? When you have to lie down or jump up and down to get them to fasten, but by God, they fastened, so you can now claim that you are a size whatever? Well, when they are that tight, the muffin top is more like the whole loaf, as my nephew, Bradley, once hilariously pointed out.

I don’t like to leave the house when they are that tight. Well, UNLESS I have a very flattering shirt that hides the worst bits, am only going somewhere for a short time and expect to be mostly standing while I’m there and know that as soon as I leave I can safely unbutton them in the car.  I distinctly remember each time I’ve gone down a size in blue jeans. Starting with the size 28s that did not fit when I had my surgery last year. Then I had a pair of 24 and 22 and 20’s in a box in the garage. Wore those a few times (that was in the hallelujah days when I was dropping a size every 3-4 weeks). I bought a pair of jeans as my goal outfit (Calvin Klein 34’s – too big now!) and almost immediately started looking for jeans at the Goodwill. I have now bought, worn or donated about 15 pairs of jeans. Blue ones, black ones and white ones. Found one pair that was tan and another really pretty yellow pair.  I’ve been wearing the 14’s since my birthday in March. (Yes, I could sit, but no, I couldn’t breath or eat and I had on a beautiful blue linen shirt to hide the underlying sins and a Teez Her that sucked in the worst of the muffin top, I mean loaf.)

Yesterday I wore some Bandolino size 12’s that made me look tall and like I had a real butt. Not sure what the technology is, but that’s some powerful magic, because I don’t actually have a butt anymore.

Now I just need to invent a running girdle so my belly doesn’t flap when I run.  The first time I tried to run was downhill and I kept turning my head because I could hear someone pounding along behind me. Turns out that was my own belly.  Yep. Step. Flap. Step. Flap. After that I tried tighter and tighter exercise pants or bike shorts to reduce the flap volume. A couple of times I’ve resorted to wearing a regular girdle. Which is more comfortable than it might sound to someone who doesn’t have 15 pounds of belly flapping along with them as they try to huff and puff their way through a Couch to 5k program.  Now that I’ve lost more weight, the butt is starting to make its own silent but painful contribution to the concert so I really need that running girdle.

Nike, are you listening? I see a whole line of Fat-Lete Accessories: the Fat-Lete Running Girdle – holds it until you can burn it off. The Fat-Lete Leggings – we’ve got you covered from waist to ankle.  The Fat-Lete Corset – no black eyes for you (or innocent by passers). What I really need for cold weather though is a Fat-Lete All in One Miracle Suit: zip into this and watch as the miracle fabric instantly tightens to support boobs, butt and belly and create a sight that won’t frighten the neighbor children and dogs as you go running by.

There could be a whole industry created: Fat-Lete Yoga clothes – relax and let us worry about the bulge. Fat-Lete swim suits – show off your good parts and hide the rest. Fat-Lete bike shorts – never worry about what’s hanging down again. Fat-Lete scuba suit – now with built-in weight belts for neutral buoyancy that only you know about.

Well, breakfast is calling my name. Gotta get this day started!

Ran my first continuous mile

I’m starting to realize that I don’t push myself often enough.

I just ran my first continuous mile in 10 minutes 53 seconds – much faster than I thought I could.

I walked and recovered for 90 seconds, then thought, hang on, I think I can do another one. It was even faster! 10 minutes 43 seconds.

I walked, stretched and breathed and thought why not? Ran ANOTHER mile in 11 minutes 33 seconds.

3.2 miles, 3 running, the rest recovery time – all under 36 minutes. Which means I shaved 12 minutes off the 5k I walked/ran in the Triathlon in June.  I didn’t actually have a speed goal – just wanted to be able to run one mile, without stopping.

Like I said, I don’t push myself hard enough, often enough.

Today I did and to prove it I have a blister on my instep and another one on my toe. My back and legs are tight and I am beat. But I did it.  I ran a 5k. It was hard – I had to really push myself.  Not so much physically, though that was part of it. Mostly it was my brain. My brain that wants to set limits and past that “thou shalt not go”.

I felt elated and victorious when I finished. Walking back, singing The Climb at the top of my lungs and then punching the air to Eye of the Tiger. Then I started to feel overwhelmed with something else. I cried a little bit. I came home and got praise and hugs from Fred and Jacob. Fred made me a celebratory cup of tea while I had a soak in the bath.

I think what I was feeling was regret and fear. Not much. Just a tiny bit. Regret that I didn’t realize years ago that all this was within my grasp. That it was up to me to make it happen.

The fear is harder. It sounds boastful to say it out load, but I was feeling fear because if I can do anything, then that means I can make all my dreams come true.

I just have to push a little harder.

Train your mind, train your body

It’s Friday and that means that I survived another week of boot camp. Frankly, last night it was touch and go. Wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the night. Massive cramping in my shins and calves from the INSANE cardio workout last night. But you know what? I ran for NINE minutes last night at the start and another 5 minutes at the end. And I think that  tomorrow I’m going to try running a whole mile. Can I do that? Yes! I think I can do it. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Boy that feels better than “I’m not sure I can do this!” which is where I started. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I started with “Hell, I can’t do that.” Or maybe “Why would I do that?”

<insert big belly laugh here>

It’s all about changing your mind-set, right? So if you want to try this, figure out where you are on this chart, then start telling yourself the next one down. After a week, start telling yourself the next one until you get to Hell yes I can!

Training Your Mind (so you can train your body)

Level 1: Why would I do that?

Level 2: I should do this.

Level 3: Hell, I can’t do this.

Level 4: I’m not sure I can do this.

Level 5: I’m going to do my best, even if I fail.

Level 6: I probably can do this.

Level 7: I think I can do this.

Level 8: I can do this.

Level 9: Hell yes, I can do this!

Level 10: I can do anything!

Today is my day off, but tomorrow, I’m going to work on level 9!

Belly Dancing, Scuba Diving and Rock Climbing

I think it is time to mix it up a little bit! I’ve signed up to take a scuba diving class that starts this Friday. I’ve tried several times in the last 15 years to get certified, but I think that being in better shape and more in control of my body should help with the panic attacks. I hope the instructor isn’t reading this. I swear, nobody died – that time. This will be the first time I’ve tried it since my honeymoon in 1998. I think 12 years is long enough that I’ve forgotten why I was afraid.

Coincidentally, there was also a Groupon today for a 6 week course of belly dancing. So I bought one of those for $25. I can start the class anytime between now and the end of the year, so I can start after boot camp is over.  If anyone wants to do it with me, I’m looking at an evening course, 6:30-7:30pm starting sometime in October or November.  I am flexible about the day of the week (though I don’t think they have one on Saturdays, which is odd, so I’ll check on that.)

There’s also a Momapedia offer for Atlanta Rocks. That one is $60 for a month’s membership and rental and an intro lesson. I was thinking that since I signed up for the Warrior Dash next  spring, I really need to learn to climb over things. Again, I’ve got some issues, like vertigo, which MIGHT be a problem. (I think it might be something like that episode of Big Bang Theory when Sheldon tried rock climbing….) Still, I’m tempted to just TRY it.

I think those are all good signs. Wanting to try new things. Things that get me moving and having fun.

Speaking of getting moving, I am running late today. Stayed up late (too wired after boot camp and a just a tad sore) and then slept late. So gotta put my skates on and get out of the house.

Have a great day!

Post #100

I just noticed that I’ve posted 99 times so this will be number 100. I’ve been enjoying it, though the last week has been hard, because I’m tired and my schedule is off. I get so used to waking up early, exercising and then going to bed early. I LIKE that schedule. But with a 6:30 pm boot camp, I don’t even get home until 8pm. Then shower, dinner and some time with the family and I don’t get to bed until 11. And then I’m WIRED and it takes forever to read myself to sleep.

Am I whining? Oh crap – I’m whining! Okay – deep breath, positive attitude in, bad attitude OUT!

So I made yogurt Sunday night. It took about 15 minutes of hands on time and lots of time watching the cooking thermometer. Then I went to sleep while it cooked, and put it in the fridge before work. I came home at lunch to strain it and at dinner last night it was perfect.

But tiny.

One half gallon of milk makes about 2 cups of thick, creamy greek style yogurt. No wonder that stuff is so expensive. The milk alone cost me almost $4 and I really thought I’d have more. But by the time I strained out the whey, there wasn’t that much left. Apparently you can use the whey for baking, so I saved it and will try a nice whole wheat cottage loaf on Friday night for Shabbos dinner.

Boot camp was hard, but mainly in my head. Fighting my demons who really want to cheat and whine about how hard it is and oh, poor me! My arms hurt, my legs hurt, my knee hurts, blah blah blah. Enough. Just suck it up and do it.

I gained 2 pounds since last week, which I am putting down to muscle because I lost over an inch off my stomach. I have to keep measuring it, because it looks HUGE to me when I look in the mirror, much bigger than it ever did when I weighed 143 pounds more.

I know that is just my fat-head talk, because Fred posted some pictures from our trip to Vermont/New York and I look pretty good, I think. If I can figure out how to make them smaller on Jacob’s computer, I’ll load them up. I really need to get my computer fixed. Sigh. I’m whining again.

Okay, I’m going to see if I can get out the door and go swimming. Need an attitude adjustment!

Countdown to Surgiversary

I was trying to get in touch with some of the folks on the beforeandafterhelp.com board who had surgery in August of 2009.  I posted, but no response, so I sent personal messages to everyone and no one responded.

Oh well! I hope they are all doing great and their lives are so changed for the better that they just don’t have time to sit down in front of a computer.

As for me, I’m going to keep getting ready for my surgiversary:

  • I have lost 3 of the 2 pounds I gained while on vacation/off track – 2 more to go! Yay for me!
  • I’ve gained 2 inches in my stomach and my fat was flapping on my run yesterday.
  • Moved up to week 2 of the couch to 5k program and felt good
  • Getting my plans together for the 5k on August 26th – my version of a “birthday” party!
  • Signed up to get email about the London Marathon in April 2011 and the London Playtex Moonwalk in May 2011 yesterday
  • I keep battling my demons and have invited my husband to go with me to my weight loss therapy session today
  • Starting weekly sessions again – rather than bi-weekly – to get back on track
  • On day 2 of a partial LPT  – LPT all day, healthy dinner at night
  • Going to start measuring out all my portions again. I know I’m overeating when I don’t do that

Now – what should I do? I swam on  Monday, ran on Tuesday and today I slept through kickboxing, so I’ll have to see what I can find that starts at 8:30 or go swimming or power walking or lift some weights or do an ab workout. Yes, an ab workout to work on that belly flapping sound when I run!

Have a great day everyone!

Weekend Warrior

I finally got off my duff and exercised yesterday. Went to yoga class but was so crazy I couldn’t relax and had to leave. Went shopping at the Goodwill in an attempt to distract myself while waiting for the zumba class to start. MISSED the start of the zumba class so went in late and then couldn’t keep up.  But I stayed for 40 minutes until my knee started to hurt. I will try again next week, but be on time so I can try and keep up. I liked the music and the feeling of just having fun.

Then I swam for ONE MILE. I keep writing that down and thinking really? I swam 70 lengths of the pool. 35 laps. That’s 1750 meters. (I had to use a calculator for that.) I’m not sure why that makes a mile, but all the signs at the pool supported the idea. I used my zoomies for all but 3 laps, so my next goal is to try and do half the mile without zoomies and then work up to doing the whole thing without zoomies. If you don’t know, these are zoomers but I call them zoomies because I can’t remember zoomers 😉

So AFTER the one mile swim, I went home, had some lunch and then went out and hiked up and down Stone Mountain in 100 degree heat. In case you aren’t from Atlanta, Stone Mountain is a big rock that has a park around it and a trail up it that crazy people walk or run. I actually RAN down part of it. But I was afraid I would break an ankle on the rocks, so mostly walked. But I did it round trip, including a break for bathroom and water at the top in 51 minutes. A PB – personal best – for me!

Of course, all that was to make up for the two days before when I did NOT work out and for the 5 pounds I gained on vacation. I was worried that I seriously overdid it, but amazingly, I’m not even sore.  So I guess it just shows that my body is strong, stronger than I think.

But wanted to say thank you for the supportive comments – it is nice to know that if I give up, someone will come and kick my butt in a sweet and loving way.

I’m going to go running now and run to the bank and run to the grocery store for carrots. Because I can. I think I read a poem like this before, but this is my version:

The day may come when I cannot run

But this is not that day.

The day may come when I cannot swim

But this is not that day.

The day may come when I cannot climb a mountain

But this is not that day.

There are days when I push myself to see how far I can go.

There are days that belong to the warrior inside me.

Today is that day.

Update: Found the quote – Tolkien:

Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of Men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand! Men of the West!

Losing Weight While Traveling

I’m getting ready for a trip next week. We’re going to Upstate New York to visit with my friend and her family. We’ll laze by the pool, go out on the lake, take walks in the woods, sit on the porch and talk or curl up on the sofa and read. In past years there was also the fun of making cookies, cakes and other yummy desserts. I have fond memories of learning the Toll House Cookie recipe and laughing about the tea towel version that says yield one cookie – because we ate all the dough! That memory is decades old, but still makes me smile.

I still want to bake cookies; it’s part of our history together. But now we’ll share more! There will be two men and three small boys to help us gobble them up. I probably won’t make the decadent chocolate cake I made one year – but perhaps we can pick or buy berries and I can make a beautiful fruit crisp – substituting a little splenda for sugar will make it weight loss surgery friendly. I know there are GBS friendly pie recipes on the bariatriceating.com board. I just need to find one and be prepared.

Being prepared – planning – is how I’ve been successful and lost 142 pounds. I make plans and backup plans so that when Plan A falls, I’ve got Plan B ready to go. Continuing to be prepared is how I’m going to lose the last 30 pounds and keep them off. Some might accuse me of being a control freak, but I’m okay with that because I’ve also been in control of my weight for the longest period of my whole life. So here is my plan for my upcoming trip:

The small lake town where we’ll be staying doesn’t have a wide selection for groceries, so we’ll stop in Burlington and do a week’s worth of shopping to fit the “Lake Trip Menu Plan”  I’ll create tomorrow. Once I have the menu plan, I can send it to my friend and we can tweak it so that everyone will be happy with it. I love to cook when I’m on vacation and her husband and mine are both great cooks, so we’ll figure out who will cook what.  Since she’s a vegetarian who eats fish, then we can focus on lots of fresh, local produce and add fish, chicken and beef or bison if I can get it! If I recall, there’s a nice bakery selection at the store near the house and a kitchen garden that we can raid for vegetables, plus fresh eggs from the farm. If we pick up meat and fish to grill, plus the grocery items I can’t live without, we’ll do great.

Planning for exercise should be easy – there’s a pool, a lake and lots of lawn space for activities with the boys. I’m going to take my running clothes and sneakers, my garmin 305 and heart rate monitor, plus the Couch to 5k podcasts I’ve been following. For 5 days I can run in the mornings along beautiful farm lanes and through the woods. I used to do that when I was a runner (briefly) in high school. I’m looking forward to doing it again. Will make a great change from running around my neighbourhood. I can take my resistance bands and with very little space in my bag, get a great workout while I’m there. Add in a few situps and some tricep curls with anything handy that weighs 5 pounds and I can not only maintain while I’m gone, I can continue to make progress.

This is my packing list so far:

Food List:
Pack food items from home in a cooler bag for the airport/plane
  • Protein powder for 6 days – 3 servings a day
  • Protein powder for my oatmeal that I’ll make at the Lake
  • Shaker ball cup for making protein shakes
  • Bottled water (will have to buy this after I go through security check point)
  • Labrada Rock n Roll protein bars – cut into 4-5 pieces
  • Almonds – measured out in single servings ~24 almonds
Exercise List:
  • Resistance bands
  • Running shoes
  • Garmin 305 heart rate monitor with footpad and chest strap and charger
  • Running shorts and jog bra and a couple of teeshirts
  • Running socks
  • Swimsuit
Shopping List for Burlington:
  • Fage 0% yogurt
  • Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
  • Splenda with fiber
  • Splenda brown sugar
  • Splenda granular
  • Sugar free jam/jelly
  • Kraft 2% Cheddar cheese slices
  • Kellogg H20 pink lemonade packets
  • Lactaid milk – 2% for the boys and FF for me
  • Cereal for the boys
  • Whole wheat flour

I’ll keep adding to this list once the menu is finished.

Planning: Morning Exercise

Good morning! The Exercise Train on Bariatric Eating todday was all about how to get going in the morning. Because I’m an early morning exerciser it is important that I plan to get in my exercise session. I’ve tried exercising after work but no matter how many times I say that I’ll get in a workout later if I miss my morning routine, it so rarely happens. Mornings are also my writing and blogging time, so there are several things that I do to make sure I hit my goal to exercise 6 or more hours a week:
1. Get to bed early enough the night before. If I stay up until 1am, I can’t get up at 6 to write or work out
2. Set my alarm for 6. I often wake up earlier, but I want to make sure I’m up and at it by 6am
3. I also put out my clothes, because my husband is a night owl and I don’t want to be stumbling around in the dark, trying not to wake him up!
4. I have “bagitus” a workout back for every activity that I do: swimming, biking, running, kickboxing, yoga, weightlifting/circuit training
These bags are hanging on the hook in the kitchen and I have a tag on them so I can quickly gear up for the sport I am going to do. (If you are interested, you can check out the lists I made on a previous post.

5. Options! I always have a plan for what I’m going to do this week but sometimes when I wake up, I just don’t FEEL like it. Sometimes I push through that and sometimes I say “Okay, don’t want to do that, what are you going to do? Swim? Bike? Run? Lift Weights? Yoga? Kickboxing? Walk? Hike? Pick one!” And I have made it clear to the remnants of my obese self that NOT exercising, is just NOT an option!

6: Keep an eye on the clock while I’m writing. I could easily write for 10 hours straight if I didn’t watch the clock and make sure I get out the door on time. In fact, I’ve got 6 minutes now to finish this post, check my email and my buddies on Facebook!

Yesterday I did the Moe Explodes class at the Knuckle Up Fitness in Sandy Springs. HOLY COW! First – it was an evening class and I don’t normally do those. Second – it was so hot! And much harder than the biking, swimming and running I’ve been doing! At one point I was sweating so much and my face was so red, that I think they were concerned I was going to die.  But I didn’t and I’m not even very sore today. I can do so much more than I could before –  even 6 months ago. It is good that I am kicking it up a notch and getting to my maximum Melting Point again. I have a goal and I’m going to reach it. I just have to keep reaching for it.

Today’s exercise option? Another session of the Couch to 5K program. Then off to see my nutritionist, Alisa Winters at Laureate Medical Group, for my quarterly visit. Maybe I’ll bike over there…hmmm

I just need to lose this last 10 pounds

I was looking at my blog stats and just wanted to thank all my friends for visiting my blog. It makes me really happy to know that so many people are reading about my journey and cheering me on towards the finish line.

As of today,  11 more pounds to my doctor’s goal weight. Triathlon this weekend should put me in the “I just need to lose 10 pounds” category. Never been there before and I now have to apologize to all those “thin” people who used to say that. I was mentally rolling my eyes and thinking – jeez, how hard could that be, I need to lose 150?

But it is hard. It might be as hard as it was to lose the last 100, maybe as hard as losing the first 20. I have to get super precise with my calorie intake and calorie burn, and as we all know, I really struggle with tracking. (As seen by the many empty gaps on my Accountability page…sigh.)

And dang it, now I need to crank up my exercise again. Obviously, if I can anticipate finishing a sprint triathlon, then I am at the point where I should add something more to my swimming, biking and walking/running routine.

I’m thinking about yoga. My friend, Cricket, has these amazing muscles and she is completely toned and says it is all yoga. I asked for some advice and this is what she said:

I like vinyasa – you move with your breath. But there’s a hatha class that I like too – more of an isometric workout. Try some classes at your gym, but if you don’t finish the class feeling more balanced and peaceful, find a yoga studio (google is how I found my 2 favorite ones – check out Thrive Yoga and Sacred Space (both in Rockville, MD) to get a feel for what you’ll want to look for).

Fwiw, Dave Romanelli does a wonderful “wine and yoga” and “wine and chocolate” tour. He came to Sacred Space and I really liked him. He also is going to Atlanta in December, so check out Balance Yoga in Atlanta. Also, Jai Shanti looks interesting – a bit on the edge – but how can you not love a studio that has nude male yoga?

ISHTA is “Integrated Science Hatha Tantric & Ashtanga” and one of my Vinyasa yoga teachers follows that. I have this awesome book called “Breathing Space” that is inspired/features Alan Finger who is kinda the “founding father” of ISHTA (at least in the US, I think). Anyway – that book is a GREAT read, so enjoy that and think about what you want to get out of yoga.


I also did the Baron Baptiste “40 Day Revolution” – don’t think I could’ve done it on my own, but Thrive did it as a program that included support group meetings and unlimited yoga. It really was incredible – got you to think about *why* you eat and *how* you eat and how mindfulness about how/why you’re eating can make a difference. In week 3 or 4, they include a 3-day fruit fast (just fruits and fruit juice). It was incredible. I realized how many different kinds of feelings I was translating into “I’m hungry, I *need* to eat”. My appetite shrank. I acquired a love of better foods and honestly don’t like really rich, creamy, cheesy sauces, which is one of my healthy downfalls. After 3 days, I also found that – no joke – I could *see* better – I noticed the clarity and completeness of things. I can’t describe it, but it was really, really cool. And my appetite shrank. So, highly recommend that book too 🙂

I’m so psyched you’re going to try yoga – let me know how it goes

Cheers,
cb xoxo 🙂

Is that awesome or what? It’s nice to have friends. So that’s the plan: I’m going to try the yoga classes at my gym a couple of times a week – might as well get them for free if I like them. If not, I may have to mosey on over to the yoga studio or buy a dvd. Because I want those biceps!

Well, I’ve finished my water and my power protein oatmeal – gotta get moving to the gym for a 75 minute body sculpting class.