Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beating a dead horse

My fat jeans are tight. Monday, I squeezed into a tiny corner in the Zumba studio where I couldn't see the mirror, because I couldn't bear to look at myself. For three days during Thanksgiving, all I did was eat.

I'm in a downward spiral. And it's spinning faster.

My heart isn't in this. My body isn't in this. I'm feeling lethargic, bored, depressed, defeated. And I don't know what to do about it.

The best thing about this whole journey was at the beginning when I really felt the chains of my food addiction begin to loosen. I wasn't losing weight by willpower. I was beating down the walls of shame, anger and self-loathing that I had built for so many years.

But now I feel like I'm doing everything I can to try to rebuild them. I stack a brick, remove it, stack it again, remove it. It's exhausting.

I'm trying to soldier forward. I don't even feel like blogging anymore. It's ridiculous for me to keep coming here and telling you guys how much I'm struggling every single time I write. That's not why you started reading in the first place--and no one likes a broken record.

But so I am. Maybe I need a new goal. Maybe I need a fresh perspective. I just don't know how--or where--to get it.

Thanks for sticking by me. Especially when, quite frankly, I'm just ready to give up on myself.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Yesterday, someone called me 38. It hurt my feelings. But it only hurt because it was true.

Yesterday was my birthday. And yes, I'm 38. I still didn't need anyone to point it out, thankyouverymuch.

I'm not always a big fan of my birthday. I always miss my mom. I hate getting older. And somehow, I always end up feeling sorry for myself. That's kind of lame, no? Because as they'd say, it's better than the alternative.

I think that part of my birthday hate in recent years comes back to the regret I often talk about. I'm a year older. Why did I stop time for so long by wallowing in my grief and self-loathing?

But this year, I think I need to stop that. I think I need to look at how different my life is as opposed to, say, 10 years ago.

Ten years ago, I was still trapped and hopeless. I never, ever thought I'd be where I am today. Maybe I celebrated my birthday with friends or my family. But I'm sure I went home and got in my own little food cocoon--and there was a long time before the butterfly even thought to emerge.

I guess birthdays are a time to get contemplative. I think I'm just tired of my contemplative thoughts being negative. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will say I'm thankful for another birthday. I am thankful for the people in my life.

And even though I sometimes like to dwell in regret, I won't do it this year. Because this year, I'm thankful that I'm me.

Sort of.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A day late and a pound gained

Well, not really. I was up .8 this week. That's not too bad. I'm kind of happy lately if I stay within a pound up or down. I spent last weekend at a lake house with some friends and there was a lot of grazing happening. To me, .8 is a victory.

Also? I'm warning you now that I may not weigh in next Tuesday. It's the day after my birthday. I will have cake. Maybe. But I'll probably weigh in anyway. Just a warning that it might not be pretty.

In Weight Watchers this week, we talked about what brought us to Weight Watchers. It's been a while since I started, but I think that remembering why I joined in the first place is important. I'm going to focus on that for the next few entries, but here's one for today.

Last night my friend LaTonia and I went to see Totem, the new Cirque du Soleil show. I've never seen a Cirque du Soleil show and I absolutely loved it. But boy, do they pack you in that tent. There are little chairs with no arm rests, which essentially leaves you bonding in a special way with the strangers sitting next to you. I cuddled up to LT, because I love her, and luckily after the show started we were all able to spread out into the empty seats.

I couldn't help but think that a few short years ago I wouldn't have been able to fit into that tiny chair. I would have felt terrible for my neighbors to have to share a seat with my extra spillage. Though I'm not at all where I want to be, and it seems lately I struggle more than not, I have those moments where I can see how far I've come.

And sitting in those tiny uncomfortable seats and not being mortified by my fat rolls invading my fellow Cirque-watchers' popcorn was one of those times.

Bonus recipe for today. Sunday night I made a fantastic pork tenderloin. It was super easy and super yummy. Knife not needed.

Here's the recipe:

Burgundy Pork Tenderloin


 2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cups red wine
1 (.75 ounce) packet dry brown gravy

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place pork in a 9x13 inch baking dish, and sprinkle meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Top with onion and celery, and pour wine over all.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  4. When done baking, remove meat from baking dish, and place on a serving platter. Pour gravy mix into baking dish with wine and cooking juices, and stir until thickened. Slice meat, and cover with the gravy.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Photo Phriday--Strong Legs edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

Last Saturday, I did the annual Strong Legs 5K benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. It was a gorgeous day and so much warmer than the previous two years. I walked most of the 3.1 miles through downtown Atlanta, with a few little runs here and there. I didn't finish in a time really worth sharing, but I was proud of myself for getting up and going anyway.

Here are a few pictures from the event.

With my friend and co-worker Jan before the race started.

My friend Elesha pushed me a little, even when I didn't want to sprint or run. Thanks, Elesha (she said begrudgingly)!

With fellow Foundation friends at the finish line.

With Estonia after the race.

With Kelly and Emily after the race.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Some things stay the same

Today, I weighed in and was the same as my last weigh-in. Though I wish I could have seen a loss, I'll always take maintaining over the alternative of gaining.

Honestly, I've been kind of noncommittal about my food lately. The other day I was reading through some old blog entries. I was struck by my enthusiasm, my determination, my drive. Where did that go? Am I just tired? Over it? Why can't I seem to put my heart into it and keep it there?

It's frustrating for me. And I suspect it is for you, too. One week I'm yelling in victory and the next I'm just meh. Alas, I just have to keep going the best I can. I think I might have to realize, though, that this is definitely not my best, and push myself a little harder.

Last weekend I did the Strong Legs Run (which will probably be my Photo Phriday entry). I did OK. I have been fighting a cold for a while, so haven't been as diligent about my exercise. Also? Friday I decided to drink a bottle of wine when I had a friend over for dinner. Oops. That may not have helped. Still, I did it. And that's what counts, right?

I went grocery shopping last night and planned for the week, which I haven't done in a few weeks. I made a chicken creation in my crockpot last night (threw in some chicken breasts, cream of broccoli and cream of mushroom soup and some frozen broccoli), which turned out pretty yummy. I'll probably eat that for a few days. I'm also going to make a meatloaf at some point this week.

Last night I made a salmon filet seasoned with my beloved Salmon Magic. I also made some zucchin, using a recipe I'd almost forgotten. It's yummy and simple, so I thought I'd share:

Sautee a little garlic (I used about a clove. Garlic and I sometimes don't get along, so you might want to use more if you love it) in some olive oil (I just sprayed my pan with my Misto) for a few minutes.
Cut zucchini into rounds and place in pan.
Brown zucchini on both sides.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

See? Easy-peasy. Forgive my less-than-exact recipe, but I just kind of eyeball all of it. The cheese gets a little gooey and crispy on the zucchini. It's good stuff.

What are you guys making this week?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Matters of size

I have a love-hate relationship with many things in my life. Reality TV. Cheez-Its. Facebook. Wine. Dating. Also on that list? Size tags.

I can remember being a size 18, thinking, "That's it. I will not let myself go any bigger." Then I said the same thing when I was a 20, then a 22 and finally, when I was barely squeezing myself into my size 24s. I hated those tags--the literal labels that I let define me.

As I started losing weight, those labels became a marker for me as I watched the numbers get smaller. The 22 that meant what I was doing was working. The 18 that meant I was finally back in the teens. The 14 that meant I could shop in non-plus-size stores. The 12 that meant I was smaller than the average American woman.

I've been a pretty solid 12 for a while now. Some days I'm sort of OK with that. Other days I long to be in the single digits (which, by the way, I'm pretty sure I haven't worn since I actually was a single digit). I'll see an infomercial for a weight-loss product where a woman portrayed as a success story cries about being a size 12, and thank goodness she found this AMAZING contraption/video/magic powder that finally made her a size 2. "Oh my goodness," I think. "You're crying because you were a size 12? I cried the first time I fit IN to a size 12."

So, how much does size matter? The right answer is that it shouldn't matter at all, right? The real answer--for me, anyway--is that I, unfortunately, let it affect me way too much.

A couple of examples.

My best friend is getting married in March, and I'm excited to be one of her bridesmaids. Those of you who have been in weddings before will probably nod your heads in agreement, but bridesmaid dress shopping is not the best for a girl's self-esteem.

First of all, I know not a single person will care what size I'm wearing in her wedding. All eyes will be on my stunningly gorgeous friend on the happiest day of her life. But thanks to some sort of twisted reverse vanity sizing, bridesmaids dresses tend to run small. And I had to buy a 16. It made me sad, even though it shouldn't. I mean, in some ways, I'm like the lady on the infomercial, crying because of a size I once was thrilled to have to buy.

And on the other side of the spectrum, I recently went to Kohl's and, at the insistence of a friend, tried on a size 10 pair of skinny black pants from the Jennifer Lopez collection. I'm in no way a size 10, but my friend had tried them on in a smaller size and they fit her. I told her that if they fit, I was buying them, no matter what they cost.

They zipped up with room to spare. Buying them was a no-brainer. Although leaving the tag on like some sort of deranged Minnie Pearl may have been pushing it. OK, I'm kidding. Sort of.

It was funny how I felt about myself in those size 10s. Sassy. Confident. Powerful. Very different from how I felt just a few hours earlier wearing my size 12 jeans.

I wish these numbers didn't matter. I mean, clearly clothing manufacturers aren't that concerned with consistency. Seriously, try on two of the same things in the same size at, say, Old Navy. I'll bet you $100 one fits and one is too small or too big.

I'm rambling, as usual. The point is that I know these numbers shouldn't define me. I know there are people, who, like I once was, would be thrilled to be wearing the size I do now. I need to try to remember that if something fits me well and is a size 14, I should feel just as empowered as I did in those size 10s.

But, for now, don't blame me for hanging that tag on fridge. With a heart magnet.