LilySlim Weight loss tickers

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Plus Sized Fashion - An Oxymoron

It could be that I live in a smallish city in the Midwest. It could be that I shop on a budget. It could be that I have never been what you might consider a trendy person. Whatever the reason, in my closet there aren’t a lot of clothes that I would wear if I had an alternative other than begging my mom to drag out her old Singer and whip me up some outfits.

In my town, we have one dedicated plus sized clothing store. One. Their clothes would best be described as “cute”. Not the look I’m going for at this stage in my life. There are a few discount stores and a few department stores with a rack or two of larger sizes, but with few exceptions the clothes are cheaply made but expensive to buy, and rarely are they actually attractive.

I used to get catalogs from Lane Bryant. Every couple of months I would take the scenic drive to the nearest Lane Bryant Store, 90 miles away. Some might wonder why I would drive almost 200 miles round trip when I could order to my heart’s content with a few clicks of the mouse. Well, I’ll tell you why: return shipping costs a fortune and most of my purchases didn’t fit. Even when I ordered the same top in two different colors, I usually got at least one that didn’t fit.

This is why I found myself driving along a deserted highway on a gorgeous summer day, headed for Lane Bryant with my newest catalog on the seat beside me. The cover of the catalog featured a pretty, though hardly plus sized, model wearing a dressy Capri-pant- and- floaty-top outfit that I thought would be perfect for an upcoming wedding. As I drove I put the whole look together in my mind: earrings, shoes, even my hairstyle. Imagine my disappointment when I finally got to Lane Bryant and not only did they not have the outfit in my size, they didn’t have the outfit at all. I waited while the clerk called in to the regional office, checking to see if it could be ordered. When she finally got off the phone the clerk told me that the outfit on the cover on their catalog wasn’t actually a Lane Bryant item. It was “representative” of styles carried in the store. The clerk had a list of item numbers for clothes the company felt would be good substitutes, so we spent a few minutes looking them up. One was a tube top, one was an oxford type button down blouse, and the third was a graphic print t-shirt. I was so appalled that a company would feature an item they don’t even sell on the cover of their advertisement that when I got home that evening I went online and cancelled my Lane Bryant credit card and removed my name from their subscription list.

After my breakup with Lane I flirted with the “Cute” store for a while, but ultimately I went back to shopping online (I’m still not speaking to Lane). When an item is truly awful I suck it up and pay for the return shipping. The rest of the time I make due. I know that to be politically correct I would have to proclaim that I want to lose weight “for my health” but the truth is, I really want some funky clothes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed.............

“So how’s the diet going?” you might ask. Here’s the thing: I’m not sure. I started the week full of energy and enthusiasm, ready to meet each challenge head on. I took at walk each morning as the sun was coming up. I packed healthy snacks for work and went over a week without visiting the vending machine even once. I got out on my bike every chance I got. I chewed sugarless gum when the cravings hit, and I cut back on soda in favor of iced tea or water. I roasted a whole turkey breast and ate white meat with green salads for supper, trading in my beloved bleu cheese dressing for balsamic vinaigrette. Pretty good right? I thought so, too.

One morning, I think it was Day 5, I was out walking and my capris kept sliding down around my hips. Now, I know that five days isn’t long enough to shrink out of your clothes, so I went home and tried on another pair of pants. They, too, were very loose. My original plan was to weigh in only once a week so as not to get caught up in the day-to-day fluctuations we all have, but I was so excited about my too-big pants that I locked myself in the bathroom and pulled out the scale. There was a FOUR POUND difference. Unfortunately, it was four pounds in the wrong direction. What the hell??? I guess my pants were falling off because I’d sprung the elastic or something. It certainly wasn’t weight loss. I was immediately angry and sad, and I vowed not to weigh myself again until Day 7. I decided my body must be retaining water or something because nobody gains four pounds in five days of clean eating.

Except me.

Here on Day 11, I’m still carrying three and a half of the four pounds. So that means my new goal is 46 pounds. That also means I have no idea what I’m doing.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It’s been raining for four solid days. Real rain, in big fat drops that just don’t stop. One of my favorite things is to cuddle in bed under fluffy flannel sheets listening to the rain on the roof. So it isn’t all bad. But I really need to get my butt outside.

My gym still isn’t set up.

It’s no one’s fault, really. Walker finished the cleaning, and I must say the garage looks so much bigger now. But before we got anything moved in our neighbor stopped by to invite us to participate in a group rummage sale. We hadn’t planned on doing anything like this, but my mom had a stack of boxes already tagged in her basement, so I collected those, set up some card tables, and we were ready to go by the weekend.

The first day went pretty well, but the rain started on the second day, so we didn’t move too much. My mom decided that since it was all set up she wanted to try again this weekend. So we still have tables full of, ahem, unique, well loved treasures, all over our garage.

This kind of thing is very typical for us. We formulate a plan, put said plan into motion, and watch it die a slow death as more pressing things crop up like so many dandelions after a rain. If we got bonus points for good intentions, we’d be winning the game. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Today I miss my Dad. He died a few years back. During his living years, I didn't see him very often. I didn't think he would leave such a big hole in my life with his passing, but I find myself thinking of him all the time.

My father was one of the most patriotic people I ever knew. He was a proud veteran of the Navy. He assisted with military funerals, he marched in Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades, he donated to every military based charity known to man, and he was proud to fly the flag. For a few years I lived next door to another proud veteran, a man named Rich who chaired a committee to decorate military cemeteries in the area for Memorial Day. My sister and I volunteered with Rich, and every year we met at the cemetery with our flags and our grave map and we flagged the graves of wartime vets. My dad was proud of our contribution, and I took to wearing a name tag with my dad's name on it while we worked. I knew he would have been out there with us if he could have been. And I'm sure he would have joined Rich at the VFW for a cold beer when we were done. Rich passed away last Thanksgiving. The veterans lost a dedicated worker when he died. I hope his flag is flying proud today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!

Walker was all for my idea to turn the garage into a workout space. Unfortunately, we didn't discuss specifics. Since he's still off work and unable to do much, he got started on the project right away. My plan was to sweep the dust off the floor and move my machines in. Walker's plan involves sanitizing the space, decorating it, and creating "ambiance" of some sort. So, three days later, it still isn't done. He vacuumed for hours today. I haven't been able to bring in so much as a single barbell. Sigh. At least he's occupied.

We did get out to the grocery store today. We're loaded up with fresh produce, a turkey breast, diet raspberry lemonade, and fat free frozen fudge bars for my sweet tooth. I'm not planning to follow South Beach to the letter, but rather to use it as a guide to making healthier choices. I took a walk tonight after supper, too. Baby steps.......

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Have Pedometer, Will Travel - on Foot, That Is!

My Goal: 42 pounds. Maybe a little more. We'll see when we get there. Geez, that sounds like a lot!!

My Tools: South Beach Diet Plan to be used as a guide; South Beach cookbooks; bicycle; free weights and body sculpting tapes; yoga DVDs; Walker.

My Challenges: a full time job plus a part time job plus Walker still recuperating plus a house and yard to take care of = not much time; a raging sweet tooth; limited budget until Walker can go back to work.

My Secret Weapons: Orbit Sugar Free Gum in Sweet Mint and Diet Snapple Plumagranate Iced Tea. Good things that taste like dessert but won’t wreck my plan.

So I'm taking the weekend to dig out my exercise equipment, plan some menus, set up a place to do my workout DVDs, and make a stock-up trip to the grocery store. I need a new battery for my pedometer, too. I'm thinking of turning the garage into a home gym but I need to talk to Walker first. I like the idea, though. We don't park in there so why not? Hmmmm.......

I'm excited to get started. In reality, I've already gotten started, though I'm not tracking anything yet. I'm thinking about every food choice I make, and I took time for a walk this morning before work. My plan is to add exercise to each day, and make the healthiest possible food choices. I don't want to do a "diet" per say, but rather, I want to make changes I can live with for a healthier overall lifestyle. And, let's face it: I want to fit into the clothes in the basement closet.

Ready, set, GO!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting Started.....

I stepped on the scale today.

One of the reasons I was hesitant to start a diet blog was simply: I was afraid to step on the scale. I mean, I literally felt sick at the thought of it. Why is that? It’s not like you can’t look at me and see that I need to lose weight. What difference should a number make? But it makes a world of difference to someone like me.

Many years ago, before I became overweight, I was talking with some friends of mine, a married couple. The husband was complaining that his wife – a smart, pretty, engaging woman – had gained “too much” weight since they got married. He was appalled that she now weighted nearly 160 pounds. I listened to them argue back and forth, until eventually the husband pointed at me and said, “She would never let herself go like that. You should spend more time with her!” The wife became understandably upset and left. I was uncomfortable, too, and excused myself shortly after that. The next day the husband came over and apologized for dragging me into their argument, and we moved on without discussing it again.

The thing is, it wasn’t being brought into the argument that bothered me, although I wasn’t thrilled about it. What really bothered me was, even though I easily wore a size ten, I already weighed more than 160 pounds. Had I said that, the husband might have shut up and the wife might have felt a little bit better. But I didn’t. Because I always, even before I needed plus sized clothes, thought my weight was too high. There was just no way I would have disclosed that darn number.

Today, I locked the bathroom door and pulled out the scale. The number, though scary, wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And now that I know where I’m starting from, I’ll know if I’m making progress. I guess I have no more excuses.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Walker Update

Walker got his staples out today. He’s doing well and is now allowed to drive, and to have a bit more activity than he’s been getting. He still can’t lift or twist his body, so golfing is out, and bike riding will have to wait a few more weeks. Overall, the news was very positive. The biggest problem at the moment is boredom. The doctor said Walker can push a lawnmower, since our yard is flat and the mower is self propelled. I have a feeling the grass will be getting cut daily........

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Mother's Back Yard

There’s something very soothing about my mother’s back yard. It’s long and deep and dappled with shade from ancient maples that meet overhead. It’s rimmed with flower beds full of old fashioned flowers like verbena and roses, lily of the valley and daisies. It’s scattered with shrubs big enough for a child to hide in, and hedges with secret passageways to lands unknown. It’s the kind of yard every grandma should have.

Mowing it is a logistical nightmare. Those ancient maples spring from roots just waiting to trip you up. The flower beds, so pretty to look at, are scattered randomly about the lawn. There are shrubs and downspouts and a clothesline…..but I love it. There are worse things than trailing a mower on a warm spring day, the scent of fresh cut grass filling every breath. All those obstacles force me to slow down long enough to appreciate the beauty in the day, the strength to do the work, and the willingness of spirit to commit to it.

Best of all, at the way-back of the yard, behind the hedges and the fence, there are railroad tracks. To this day, in time honored tradition, when we hear the trains approaching three generations stop whatever we are doing to wave at the conductor. And just as when I was a child, small enough to hide in the shrubs, he always waves back.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spring is in the Air!

Walker's surgery went well. He's home again, and bored silly. He has at least five more weeks of this and I have no idea how to occupy him. He can't do much at this point. Tomorrow, my mom is taking him on an outing to Sam's Club. Ahhh, fun times.

The weather has turned colder, but spring has definately sprung from all the rain we had last week. There are flowers blooming everywhere, and the trees have a translucent halo of new green. My favorite is when the flowering trees burst into bloom, and the air smells so sweet it's almost intoxicating. I love spring! Would I be horrible if I snuck my bike out and took a ride? I really want to......maybe while Walker on his outing. I won't tell if you won't!