Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's been doin'?

Where did the 10 days since I last posted go?  Life is a whirlwind right now, in good ways.  Lots going on, and lots more coming, so I'll do my best to post at least weekly to stay accountable in the food realm.

Biggest news is that our daughter Jean flew home from the Dominican Republic on Monday and will be here for about 5 weeks.  We've been having such a great time hanging out and acting like teenagers.  I actually took yesterday off from work so she and I could the form of fixing an awesome frittata for breakfast, going shopping at Target, DSW and Famous Footwear, scrounging for awesome left over crock pot refried beans and more veggies for lunch, and then lying around watching HGTV all afternoon.  Heavenly.

As happens most summers, it's become easier for me to stay on track with eating.  I lost 3 pounds this past week as of this morning - weighing in at 207!  That's the lowest I've seen for awhile, and it makes me WANT TO KEEP GOING!!  I'm eating tons of veggies in many forms...roasted, sauteed, grilled, steamed, and using beans and low fat cheese as protein.  Lots of eggs, which I always combine with egg beaters to stretch out the volume without stretching out the fat.

I just read Lyn's post (at Escape From Obesity), and she said she's going to return to counting calories.  It was interesting, because that's actually what I realize I've been doing.  Not strictly, but broadly.  For one thing, when I want to eat something crappy, like kettle chips, I often won't even look at the calories per serving because I just don't want to know.  (Translate:  I want to eat it more than I want to leave it out.  In that moment.)  But I HAVE been looking lately and it's helping me decide to eat something different, or to hold off for awhile and try to distract myself from the kitchen.

This tendency of mine to avoid "the truth" of what I'm putting in my mouth became apparent when hubby and I went to Northern California last fall to visit our son.  We discovered that in almost all restaurants, the caloric contents of all foods served were right there on the menu, and they really smacked me in the face.  It definitely made it harder for me to order something that was over the top, calorically speaking.  Which was good.  Except if I really wanted something on a menu but just couldn't bring myself to order it knowing what I'd be consuming.  (Still good, but a downer to my inner binge-er.)  So I'm trying to have an awareness of calories in anything that isn't vegetables, fresh fruit, Gr. yogurt, dried beans, or lean meat.  While I haven't set a max daily C. intake, I'm definitely leaving things out I might not otherwise.  For now, it seems to be helping.  We'll see how it goes...I know better than to think, "Finally, I'm getting this!"

2 weeks from Friday, we're going to Atlanta for 10 days for vacation (a hot and steamy vacay, given Atlanta in July, right Tina and Tammy?) and to see the family.  The big news there is that Jean's very serious boyfriend, Cesar, is flying in and going to spend the whole week as well, in order to meet the whole fan-damily!  We're so excited about that, and Jean's 87 y/o grandmother is thrilled to death.  I'm totally looking forward to this experience.  How different does that sound from the last few years, long time readers?  Progress, self acceptance, and loving this family have ensued.  For now.  And I'm grateful.

Happy Hump Day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Armed for bare

No - I didn't make an ignorant mistake on the spelling of "bear" in my title.  I'm here to talk arms - not weapons/arms, but upper extremity/arms.  You know the ones - that women of a certain age, and Heaven forbid SIZE, often find to be the bane of their existences.  Especially as the average air temperature begins its annual ascent into the nether realms of the thermometer.

The idea of bare arms causes more than just minor consternation for this blogger.  I know I'm not alone in this, but the level of my bare arm neurosis likely puts me far out from under the bell-shaped curve.  For the last few years, my upper arms have gotten softer and droopier - I hate the term bat wings, but.... yeah.  It fits.

Now I've seen relatively thin women who have that loose skin under their uppers and it's no big deal (to me), but for someone who is about 40-50 pounds overweight, (and who seems to pack on weight in the most obtuse places) the loose hanging skin is icky.  I don't particularly notice it on others, nor do I judge it in any way, but on myself, it seems like I can literally feel it from the inside.  As long as I'm wearing a top with 3/4 length sleeves or at least all the way to the elbow, I'm unaware of these extra bundles I'm carrying.  But the minute I put on a mid-upper arm length sleeve or shorter (translate:  comfortable), I feel totally uncomfortable and hyper-visible in my fatness.

For these last few years, I've firmly (or flaccidly) refused to wear any shirt that didn't have sleeves to the elbow or below.  I recall being at my youngest son's college graduation last year, sitting out in the beautiful quad in 90 degree humidity, with my 3/4 length top on.  It looked great with my capris, until about 10 minutes in when I was so sweaty that the shirt was damp.  And I was miserably hot.

So here we are again with another heat wave bearing down, and I'm back in the hell of hating some part of myself.  Well guess what?  I'm tired of it.  I'm on a mission to de-sleeve myself (or at least shorter-sleeve) when  it's hot.  I'm tired of looking for clothes and not even considering anything that isn't 3/4 length sleeved.  I'm tired of looking in the mirror and seeing my arms as they are and honestly believing that someone who weighs 100 pounds more than I do looks better than I do because their arms aren't as bad as mine.  I'm tired of it all, and I'm earnestly trying to find self acceptance where I am now, along with the sincere desire to get to a leaner or firmer place.  But at age 58, there's a limit to how firm I'm ever going to get again.  Accept and find peace or hate myself and find endless misery that I keep bottled up inside.

I'm done.  Or I'm trying to be done - with all that body dysmorphia.  Because I know that while I'm overweight, I'm fortunate to be 5'9", which helps a little.  I currently wear size 1x or 16s.  Occasionally an 18 depending on the manufacturer and style.  Yes these are big sizes, but they are numbers.  They don't reflect in anyway who I am, how I treat people, if I'm worthy of love - or anything else other than I could stand to lose some weight.  No one else ever condemns me or judges me for my body (that I'm aware of) - and it's simply time for me to stop.  Despite my weight(and my upper arm), I can walk 5 miles pretty easily;  I have a physically challenging (at times) job that I manage without issue, and generally I get around very well and with plenty of energy.  I'm eternally grateful for this and I intend to continue to strive to get into better shape.  But I'm OKAY just as I am.

This has been on my mind for the last few weeks, but what prompted me to write about this morning is that I noticed 3 different women at work this morning in a way I hadn't before.  All 3 are attractive, neatly groomed and well dressed, and all probably about the same level of overweight as I am.  And All 3 happen to be wearing sleeveless tops (one a dress), and they all have big arms.  BIG arms.  And they look fine.  Just people among people.

That's what I want to be.  I already am that, but I have to take the intellectually certainty and allow it into my heart so that I can move that much closer to joining the human race and just being another bozo on the bus; another grain of sand of the beautiful beach.  This is the biggest inside job ahead of me, but I'm determined to bring that knowledge of my okay-ness into my essence.  And I'll be doing lots of wall push-ups while I'm working on it!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Still alive and kicking

It's been awhile!  I have so much going on that to even try to recount it here would not do justice to any of it.  I'm still reading blogs, but despite having so much going on, I don't feel I have much of interest to say!  Weird.  So I'm just checking in to say I'm alive and well and maintaining around 209 right now.  Not good, but better than I've been.  I haven't had any binges for several weeks and I'm thrilled about that.  (Hope I'm not jinxing myself by writing it!)

As a quick follow up, Mark made it to his destination of Tblisi, Georgia, and is just now settling into his small town that is pretty close to the Black Sea.  He had some interesting travel experiences in Istanbul airport, where he discovered that his airline was on strike, thus angering many humans of all different nationalities.  He said it was like bunches of wild animals at the ticketing area where he had to get his flight rebooked because his plane from New York arrived 2 hours after his connection left.  Sounds harrowing, and I'm glad I knew nothing of it until he sent us the "proof of life" email assuring us he'd arrived at his final destination.

The daughter in the Peace Corps who is supposedly coming home on June 18th still is coming home, but it may be temporary as she's applied for a couple of jobs in the Dominican Republic.  Wha??????????  I could try to explain it all, but it would cause disinterested 3rd parties to glaze over quickly, so I'll spare you.  Suffice to say that there is never a dull moment in the realm of adult kids!

I just don't have the ooomph to write much more as words are often so inadequate to recount the vividness and essence of the day to day experiences.  I'm really trying to knock off 4 more pounds in the next 2 weeks - it won't change the world but it'll put me solidly back in 14s and able to wear a shitload of clothes that are just a little too snug right now.  A girl's gotta be able to breathe, you know?

I'll be checking back in soon.