Thursday, January 28, 2010

Here to There

This lovely post is inspired by the inspiring Heather. Talking about being fat is hard. No matter what kind of person you are, your life and your values are judged by the size of your waist. No matter how open minded you are, I would bet that just about everyone has judged someone else for what they perceive is their relationship with food. There are people that think we shouldn't get health insurance because it is our fault we are fat. There are people who don't understand who fortunate genetics have been to them. There are also people like Heather who are willing to talk about something that too often isn't talked about. So this is for Heather.

Doing the Shred, or any exercise, when you're obese is hard. If you work out, consider doing it while carrying around your 32 pound toddler. Wouldn't be easy would it? Now consider trying to do it with three of them. That is what it is like to exercise when you're obese. (for this example, we're going with what I was overweight by when I started, around 100 pounds)

Your knees, while admirably (maybe) supporting the weight you carry, do not like extra impact. Your lungs, while hopefully successfully supplying your body with oxygen, likely don't have much extra capacity for things like jumping jacks or butt kicks. It feels incredibly defeating to realize that you can't do the things that seem to come so easily to other people. It can make you want to give up.

I was really lucky when I started doing the Shred. While I have never been awesome when it comes to cardio, I knew that my body was capable of doing a lot. Granted, I was twenty-three the last time I really made it do anything, but I knew I had it in me. The thing I learned very quickly is that you have to start somewhere when going from here to there. It is a path of small steps, especially to start with.

For my knees, I started taking glucosomine. I'm not sure if it did anything to help, but even if it was all in my head, it was worth it. I also took every low impact modification on the Shred that I could. I replaced higher impact cardio exercises with the low impact ones when I just could do it. (god I love punches) I almost immediately went out and got new shoes. I realized I couldn't do some of the abs stuff because of my flabby stomach, so I repeated the exercises I could do when it came to the ones I couldn't (I still do that some). I stuck with it long enough to see that the third time was easier than the second time that was easier than the first time.

I got a good sports bra (well, I had one, but had never used it). I got mine from Title 9. They have great options for the big boobed, or just floppy boobed. If you aren't getting hit in the face by your boobs, exercise is a lot more fun. I also got good wicking pants. For me, I could do XXL from Target. If larger than that, I found a great site in JMS.

When it came to walking and eventually running, it wasn't any different. I started walking half a mile at a time. That is like five blocks. That is nothing to people who are remotely in shape. However, it was huge for me. Every few days I pushed myself farther. I pushed myself faster.

The most important thing I did was get myself a cheering squad. I participated in the Shredheads. Real life, online, it doesn't matter. I have nearly completely given up, but I didn't because I had the support of a community. Last fall was hard, and I quit for awhile, but I am back here, getting up at 5:30 in the morning (two days and counting) because I know that when it gets hard, there will be people here to help me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Failing and Falling

So, that whole no sugar thing, yeah, I failed. I failed so much I have nearly given up.

I won't though, I will try again. I just think I bit off more than I could chew when we're talking about one of the roughest times of year for me. Not that if I want to accomplish my goals that I won't have to make it through the utter lack of sunlight that is January, it is just that doing much more than maintaining is tough.

So, I've scaled back my goals, at least until it gets nicer outside, and I'm just trying to stay fitting in all of my pants. I'm still working out more than I did the last few months of last year, and I've even started to try to change the schedule for that a bit.

Yesterday I did level 2 of the Shred before M went to bed. She did some stuff with me, and A helped her out some when needed. Tomorrow I try in the morning before she gets up, knowing that if she gets up while I'm working out, she knows what I am doing and thinks it is fun.

I'm buying some kid centered exercise DVD's off of Amazon so that we have things we can do together should my Shredding all the time bore her. I'm also trying to figure out how to include her in my walking when the weather gets warm. I'm thinking maybe a scooter for her birthday.

The only thing I still struggle with is diet. I know stress is driving my compulsion to eat, and that doesn't help. However, the larger issue is that I can't find good, affordable, quick to make food this time of year. Summer was so easy. I had the Farmer's Market, the fresh fruits/veggies and I had my grill to cook everything on. Now I want warm, comforting, and well, hibernation inducing foods.

Any good ideas?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hotdish: A mishmash of thing

Lots of little things I keep meaning to post, but never seem to have the time to do.

The big arse entertainment center. Glass front doors, units like the two in front turned sideways to fit our odd space, three unrelated shelves, brackets, hole saws, a coffee table, and a few trips to Home Depot, and voila, it fits the stereo, the TV and the only slightly ancient speakers. Artwork to the right, my own, professionally framed. Artwork to the left, done by a family friend up north, of a frog, very similar to my tattoo.


The second Ikea project of the holidays. M has a lot of toys, at least for how much she seems to actually play with them. We have a small house and hate having her toys in the living room. She is very good at putting them away (thank you daycare) but didn't have anywhere to put them. The on the floor, easily accessible by a crawler/short person stuff we had before didn't fit her toys, or work for her now three and a half foot tall self. We added a collection of baskets and boxes. Some were from Ikea, most were from Target. Find of the whole thing? The large cube system cloth boxes sold by Target fit exactly in the cubes, like not a bit of extra room except maybe back to front. That one I loaded via Flickr so if you click on it you see all of the cool notes about what is in the picture.

Lastly, my new very hip French Lafont glasses. One of my coworkers said when she goes to get glasses she just tells them whatever pair she can get for 99 bucks for a complete pair. I veiw things a bit differently. I've been wearing glasses for over 25 years now and to me they are a huge part of my "look". I treat them like jewelry. They have to add something to what I look like. I've been settling the past few years for what I can get with my crappy vision plan. I already pay extra to get special lenses because of my horrid eye sight, so I usually go to a chain and get some random frame that is OK, just to get it mostly paid for. This year was an off year, but I really needed a new pair of glasses, so I sucked it up (and used the rest of my flex account) and went to one of the hippest local shops, eyedeals, and got a cool pair of frames. The added benefit, they are made really well and should be worth what I spent. I think the purple and green really works for me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Food for the Soul

You wouldn't know it from the fact that I have a blog, or the fact that I work in a very service oriented field, but I am an introvert. I can talk and be loud with the best of them, but if I don't get my me time, I'm sort of a wreck. It also takes huge amounts of courage for me to go to any social event.

Due to that and some less than perfect timing (weeknights are hard) I didn't sign up immediately for the great blogger meetup/charity event that Missy organized awhile back. However, when the earthquake(s) in Haiti hit, and a last minute cancellation meant an opening, I felt like I had to participate.

I couldn't make it to the mixer earlier (which means I didn't meet as many people and didn't come home with a giant tomato can), but I did make it to the main event at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC).

You may have heard about them, they've been in the news a lot lately because their mission is to package nutritious meals to feed over a billion starving people around the world. One of the places they focus on is Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. In Haiti, 80 percent live in abject poverty. As in, not a little poor, but impoverished and barely living. It is a country with a complex past and a variety of issues. Issues compounded to the Nth degree by the multiple earthquakes lately.

So, FMSC is a Christian faith based organization that raises money to buy the raw supplies, locations, and shipping, and gets volunteers to do the work, and feeds millions of people around the world. I always struggle with the faith thing since that is not the path I have chosen, but while it is clearly a huge part of why they do what they do, it wasn't presented in a way that I had any issues with. Hunger knows no faith, so when it comes to helping those that it effects, I can easily set aside my issues with how some people represent their faith.

It was a great experience. I got to meet some new bloggers, I got to finally hug in person some of my favorite local bloggers. I even got to see that my shredding has inspired some others. Now I'm wishing I had been able to make it for the mixer portion. Maybe next time.

Photo credit Darcie Gust.

For other views on the evening, see Missy's post as well as the links to everyone else.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I love my bankers holidays sometimes. I had been looking forward to this three day weekend since I survived the holidays. It is like my reward for making it through awkward family situations. A has to work, but M and I have made a tradition out of going to visit him for lunch. Sometimes I've even braved the zoo.

I had visions of cleaning, of writing posts showing off my awesome new glasses, and of just hanging out with my best girl. She's been great lately. All cuddles and snuggles and I love you's after a pre-Christmas growth/development spurt had her nearly vomiting split pea soup.

It started Wednesday. My lovely dishwasher that is six years old refused to drain. It is a portable one, our odd kitchen won't house a built in one. Not to mention I like extra crap counter space. The repair will only cost me 1/3 the of a new one. Oh, and weekend of hand washing dishes. Which next to mowing the lawn is my least favorite part of not having a maid.

That would have been fine. Nothing a little lotion for my poor dry hands wouldn't fix. Saturday had other ideas.

According to the Dr. we are at phase two of what could be up to a 10 day stomach bug for M. She's hopeful her age means a faster recovery. What does phase two mean? Well, that would be the phase after projectile vomiting for a day, where they start to feel better, then get issues of a more southern variety.


Parenting is awesome! Any chance I could trade this one in for a head cold maybe instead? I'll even take a high fever for good measure.

Wait, no, I didn't mean that. Just get me through this. The repair man comes tomorrow to fix the dishwasher.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Here Lurker, Lurker, Lurker

I know you're out there. I see you visit my site. OK that is sort of creepy. I'm not a blog reader stalker. I swear.

Anyways, it is National Delurking Day, so I'm calling you out. Me, I've got family in town, so I may be a bit behind on my commenting, but I promise to comment on every blog in my feed reader, any any that visit here and give me a way to visit back. I'm not always the best commenter either, so I'm resolving to do a bit better with that too.

Thanks to Aimee for the great image.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Idle Hands

My first week (mostly) sugar free seems to have gone pretty well. I ended up eating a piece of good dark chocolate most days, just to get over the hump, and I didn't notice that the pasta sauce I used had sugar in it (Newman's Own of all things) until after I'd already enjoyed a decent serving on my whole grain pasta. I am beginning to feel like the withdrawal is waning.

The things I continue to struggle with are the ones that always give me trouble. One is my never-ending sweet tooth. When I did this before, I fed it with fruit. That is something I'm having and even harder time with. I am guessing it has a lot to do with the season. Dried is OK, but it doesn't take much and you've had too much. Along with that is of course the lack of good fresh produce in general. My big successes last summer had everything to do with the gigantic portions of fresh veggies I used to fill myself up. I think I'm adjusting, it is just taking time.

The other thing that always gets me is snacking when bored. When food is your comfort, it isn't just for stress anymore, it is for everything. That time, after dinner, before M goes to bed, that sucks. The time after she goes to bed, before my 8 PM cut off time for eating (which I have done a remarkably good job of respecting), is even worse. If I workout, I tend to be fine, but if I don't, I should install locks on the single serve bags of popcorn and dried fruit.

I've decided that the only way to resolve it is to keep my hands busy. If I'm focused on something else, then I won't be bored enough to want to nibble my time away. I should be working more on housework, but while a super clean house would be nice, I think it would leave me more miserable if all I did was clean.

Instead, I'm going to go back to doing some knitting. Not just any knitting either, I'm going to take on new challenges, as well as a really large project that is overdue to for my sweet husband. The first I started this weekend. They are a pair of cabled wrist warmers. I took this original pattern, couldn't seem to get it to work, then completely ripped it out a few times and reworked it in to my own pattern. There are still more improvements I'd like to make, so after I finish the pair, I may do it again. I just didn't want to start over another time when there is nothing really wrong with them, I just want to try more complicated cables.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sugar Free

One of the realities of being insulin resistant is that you are supposed to behave like a diabetic. As in, lay off the sugar already. It would be one of the things that I'm not so good at giving up, of course. Which may explain, other than genetics, how I got here.

I can give up fried food, I have many times, I can give up soda, done that before too, but ask me to give up my chocolate, cookies, and desserts, well you might as well just shoot me. I've quit smoking, I've quit bad relationships, but this is the thing that causes me the most issues.

After my initial diagnosis of insulin resistance last January, I spent the following February giving up sugar. It was hard, but I was determined. By March, I was exercising thanks to the Shredheads and allowed myself a little sugar, occasionally. By April, and Easter, I had a bag of candy in my desk at work. I was still losing weight, so it didn't matter, right? You don't even want to know what Halloween did to me. That combined with the whole sick for two months thing, and I'm back to being a regular sugaraholic.

However, as of today, it changes. I am back to being determined if it kills me. I need to jump start my ability to fit back into my pants, as well as give my mood a kick in the ass. That isn't to say this isn't going to be challenging. I'm giving myself one raw sugar in my latte. I'm allowing myself sugar as an ingredient in certain foods, but doing my damnedest to make sure it isn't there as HFCS or as a needless additive. I'm also back on the exercise kick. As of tomorrow, no more house guests. That means I can go back to working out at the gym as well as in the house.

Oh Jillian how I've missed you so.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Generally speaking, I suck at resolutions. However, I thought I'd try a few goals for the year. You know, easily achievable, but good to put down in writing. 12 of them, one for every month.

1. Move to my own domain. I own it, I own the hosting, I need to get off my duff and do it. It isn't like I have gardening to distract me when it is -12 outside.

2. Finish at least four knitted projects.
  • Hat for me.
  • Sweater for M.
  • Lightweight hat for A.
  • Mittens for my sorry frozen fingers that don't fit in to any women's mittens available.

3. Finish some sewing projects, at least three.
  • Dresses for M.
  • Quilt for somebody.
  • Maybe another quilt for somebody else. ( I should have a quilting foot for my sewing machine relatively soon)
4. Keep my house cleaner. This is a goal for the whole family, whether they like it or not.

5. Spend less money on crap. I want to start traveling again, that requires dough.

6. Get back to exercising four to five times a week and tracking what I eat. The holidays were fun, but I'm healthy now and want to stay that way, so I should get to it before I get the death flu again.

7. I'm totally stealing this one from an unnamed friend (you know who you are) but get rid of 365 things in the next 364 days. Not counting the stuff already in bags to go to the Sal Army. This may include the three bookcases I'm trying to give away. I may have to start a blog just to keep track of that, or better yet, a page when I move over to Wordpress.

8. Read at least six books, for fun. I have a lot of stuff I've gotten as gifts I have never read. That's silly, I should fix it.

9. Take better care of my skin. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

10. Wear jewelry at least twice a week. (I'm starting small)

11. Take pictures every day. I have the camera of my small dreams, I will use it. Even if it is to photograph the dust bunnies.

12. Grow an even bigger garden than last year. (there has to be at least one gimme, right?)

PS. Thanks for the amazing comments and support on the last post. Y'all are the bestest.