We Could Be Heroes ( Just For One Day )

I have to say I am overwhelmed, touched and at a loss. For the past week, I have received private messages, emails, and comments on Facebook. I have been told by several people I am an inspiration and a hero. No, my head hasn’t grown as fat as the rest of me. I am truly being told this, and it bewilders me. I’m just an ordinary woman who is fat and who is trying as hard as she can to get back in shape and undo the damage that has been done, by both an unhealthy lifestyle and hereditary heart disease.

When I was first thinking of this blog entry, I thought about just saying flat-out that these people were/are crazy. But then, I thought harder. I realized as I was panting and melting my way through Jillian’s cardio workout of Phase One of Body revolution, that yes. I am a hero. I am finishing what I started. I also realized that every single one of us, the tall and the small, to quote Dr. Seuss, are heroes.

Everyone of you that blogs. Each time you put your feeling out there, your life out there, for strangers to read and gawk at, every time you open yourself up, YOU are a hero. Those of you like my daughter Ariel, who battle extreme depression, every time you get dressed and make it through the day and go see your psychiatrist and your counselor, YOU are a hero. Those of you who are overweight, like me, each time you make a healthy choice, or do a workout, YOU are a hero.

Preachers and pastors, heroes. Those who stand up for the oppressed, who speak up for the bullied, REGARDLESS of the reason, heroes. Those of you who encourage others, heroes. Parents of children and teens, muddling through as best you can, YOU are a hero. Those who have been hurt by life, by love, who have been disappointed by friends, by family, yet keep an open heart and a sunny disposition, YOU are heroes. Those battling addiction, each time you choose not to do drugs, or drink, or overeat, or smoke, or refrain from a meaningless sexual encounter, YOU are a hero.

Those who teach, a hero. Doctors, lawyers, rich, poor, heroes everyone. I am not forgetting true heroes such as police, soldiers, EMS, firefighters, etc. I am just saying everyday, in some small way, each of us is a hero. Each of us inspires someone, even if we don’t know it or aren’t aware of it. There is not a person among us who is not a hero, even if it is just for one day.

Movin’ on Up

The sun is shining. The ice is melting. Georgia will have spring weather next week. We are supposed to have temperatures up in the 70s by Friday, the 21st. I can’t wait. I truly do not care if I ever see snow or ice ever again. Usually, I am not one to complain about the cold. I used to really enjoy cold weather. However, the older I have gotten, the more the cold makes me ache. I do love Spring and Fall. They are probably my favorite seasons. Spring feels so fresh and clean. Everything is being reborn. Fall is crisp and smells like leaves and bonfires and football games. I am anticipating Spring.

It is time for The Fat Girl Next Door to move on up. Today, when I got on my exercise bike, I found the pedaling to be very easy. That has NEVER happened. So, I decided the time has come to move it up a notch. Granted, I was only pedaling at Level 2, although I usually pedal a moderate 14 mph and on certain workouts, a vigorous 17-20 mph. Today, I kicked it up to Level 3 and was able to maintain a vigorous 17 mph for my 16 minute ride. On days I have a date with Jillian Michaels, I only bike 15-16 minutes to ensure I get a 45 minute workout.

I put in the dreaded Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30” DVD and began the 30 minutes of torture. I really prefer “Body Revolution”, because in Phase One, it truly is a little easier for me. I alternate it with “Ripped in 30” and I only do those workouts every other day. I know Jillian expects everyday, but a friend I greatly admire and respect, told me to wait a full day between anything having to do with weights. On my “off circuit days” I bike at a vigorous mph for 30 minutes and also throw in a walk outdoors.

Today, as I followed along with Jillian, I began to plan my blog. I made a mental grocery list and planned supper for the next two days. I reminded myself to send a message to Mufasa in Germany and have him call me. Then, it hit me. I was more than half way through my usual Week One exercise session. I didn’t feel like I was going to puke. I was sweating, but I wasn’t having to stop the DVD after every circuit to catch my breath and have a drink of water. I wasn’t even thinking, “OH MY GOD, PLEASE SWITCH TO FLOOR EXERCISES BECAUSE I AM GOING TO DIE.”

Then, I realized my weights were above my head like they were supposed to be. I was lunging and lifting without feeling a pull or strain. I had a HUGE moment of pride. Jillian wasn’t kicking my fanny. I was kicking hers. I was DOING this workout. She had NOT defeated me. I glowed at the thought of how the first day, I had collapsed in a soggy heap in the middle of pushups. I had to take a rest break after the FREAKING warm-up. I was always a beat behind Jillian, because I had to use the coffee table to pull myself up off the floor. I had done this! I was officially on my way to being RIPPED IN 30!!!! (years, maybe. If I am not too old then. Can you be ripped at age 76?)

Then, reality crashed in. My moment of pride gave way to a moment of horror. Dear Lord, I have to move up to Week 2. I suppose while I am at it, I had best buy another set of hand weights as well. It is time to move up in weight. I guess the 50 pounders just aren’t cutting it anymore. Ok, ok, I don’t use 50 pounders. I am pretty sure I can’t begin to lift 50 pounds, I use 3 pound weights. I guess I am going to move up to 5 pound weights.

I am still on Phase One of “Body Revolution” and think i will be there quite awhile longer. However, Monday, I move up to Week 2 of “Ripped in 30,” or as I call it, “Jillian gets revenge on me for daring to let my mind wander during one of her workouts.”

Disclaimer: I receive nothing from Jillian Michaels for talking about her or her products. Nothing free, no recognition, no promotions. I bought my “Ripped in 30” at WalMart for 9.99. Ariel brought me “Body Revolution.”

Misery Business

     So, yesterday, try as I may, I could not get a minute to blog. Alice was home sick, and she was at the stage where you feel just well enough to whine and be demanding. I spent my time making milkshakes, baking bread pudding, and preparing food she felt like eating. I also spent time at the crowded grocery store, because I live in Georgia- in the area forecasted to get an inch of ice. Saturday and Sunday, I was walking outside in shorts.Tuesday, I was in the middle of the crowded grocery store. I posted on my Facebook page, I truly went to the store to get a can of reduced sodium Cream of Chicken Soup and I walked out with my soup and a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk. It has to be Southern genetics. Storm=bread+milk. Even though I don’t eat white bread. I eat rye or flatbread or pita.

     At least my stove is gas. Even if we lose power, which I am praying we don’t, no one here will go hungry. We did get a good bit of ice last night and this morning. There seems to be a lull and I hope it stays that way. The thing about being in the middle of an ice storm, is I have the overwhelming urge to bake and cook. Of all the things I can’t do or am not good at doing, cooking is not one of those things. AND, I like to eat my cooking. Luckily, Alice and Mickey devoured the bread pudding, which was made with chocolate chips, custard and croissants. I ate half a cup for dessert. It was amazing.

     Today, I got up and made this for breakfast: http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2013/11/cinnamon-roll-baked-oatmeal.html Cinnamon roll baked oatmeal. People, I do not even like oatmeal and this was delicious. Great for a cold, winter, iced-in day. It tasted decadent and it is HEALTHY!

     So, why is today Misery Business? I have been planning this blog post for awhile. Being fat is miserable. Oh, not only do you have to deal with the fact there are virtually no cute clothes for the heavily overweight, you also have to deal with the snide remarks people make and the looks they give you. No matter what you buy to eat, you are going to get “the look.” You know the one I am talking about. The disdainful one that says, “why are you taking up space and breathing my air, fat person?” Try being a handicapped person with an invisible disease like heart failure. Summer is horrible. I swell, swell, swell in the heat. In order to grocery shop, I have to use the ride- on carts. I get plenty of looks and have heard people say, “If she would get off that cart and walk, she might not be so fat.” Fat-shaming and fat-bullying are alive and well and are the ONLY forms of bullying that seem completely socially acceptable. I even venture to say it is encouraged.

     Additionally, try using the restroom anywhere other than in your own home. Men, you have it a little easier. I have literally (and yes, I am using the word correctly) been almost standing on my head in the WalMart restroom, as I attempt to wipe my behind. Why? Well, I would LOVE to say because my arms are too short. However, I think it is because I have a giant stomach in the way. I have often wondered if I was just going to flip over and land flat on my back in the stall. Head down towards the ground, a$$ in the air, wiping my bottom like I just don’t care.

     I also keep a raw place under my breasts. Not fun at all. Misery Business, actually. Part of it is caused by being fat, the other is caused by being large-breasted. I was a 36DD by 9th grade and I was a size 7. The girls aren’t as perky as they were back then. In fact, I am pretty sure while they aren’t quite friends with my knees yet, they do have a fairly good relationship with my belly button. I wash under them 3x a day with Dial, dry carefully, blow-dry to make sure they are REALLY dry, (Aside, my hair sweats and my breasts get blow-dried.) and apply different remedies. Since I started working out, they are getting worse, due to the sweating. I do clean immediately after exercise. It’s one of those have to get worse, before I get better.

     Even friends can be vicious. I once had a friend tell me after heart surgery that I had “done this to myself.” I was just too heart-sick and tired to tell her that no, I might be fat, and it probably didn’t help, but I have hereditary heart disease. My grandmother, who was a size 4, had a two heart attacks. My uncle who is slightly underweight has CAD and has undergone by-pass. My great-uncle dealt with CHF all his life and finally died from it. My grandfather had PAD, a close cousin to CAD.

     I am changing my lifestyle for ME, though. It just won’t work if you are doing it for others. It has to be for you and for reasons that inspire you. For me, it’s small things. I want to wear a pair of real jeans. I want to ride a real bicycle again, outside. I want to buy a cute sweater and undies from Victoria’s Secret. I want to quit sweating just from climbing a set of stairs. Oh yeah, I want to be able to wipe my fanny in a restroom without having a close, personal relationship with the floor of the stall.

Disclaimer: I received nothing from either WalMart or Victoria’s Secret for mentioning them. I can’t wear ANYTHING from VS at this point, anyway.

 

Celebrate Good Times, Come On

     Well dear readers, it is Monday. For me, Monday is weigh-in day. I was really dreading today’s weigh-in. Because of my CHF, I have to weigh daily, to ensure I am not holding fluid. Any gain of 3-5 pounds overnight and I have to call my doctor. Regardless of what YOU may think, you can’t gain 3-5 pounds of fat overnight. If you show such a weight gain, it is water. Even though I weigh daily, if I see a loss, I still only log what my loss is on each Monday.

     All week long, I have seen a loss of half a pound. While any loss is a loss, I’d still like to see a little more than half a pound. I am aiming for at least 2 pounds per week after all. Now, half a pound is nothing to sneeze at or blow off. There will be weeks when a half a pound is a good thing. Shoot, as I continue on with my new lifestyle (not a diet) there will probably be weeks where I see NO loss. However, this was NOT one of those weeks.

     When I stepped on the scale this morning, I showed a loss of 5.8 pounds. That means in the last month I have lost 17.4 pounds! I now weigh 282.6. This was my best weight-loss week since I started. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I got back on the scale 3 times before I rushed to tell Mickey. Now, for those of you reading who are also changing up the lifestyle and trying to lose weight, please do NOT be discouraged if you are not losing the way I am. You have to remember, I started at 300. This means I am going to have high weight losses for awhile. Then, it will taper off.

     Losing the 5.8 pounds is not my only reason for celebration. Yesterday, I got the kindest, most inspiring comment on my blog. Someone told me they had just discovered my blog, had read the entire thing and found ME inspiring. People, I don’t think I have ever been an inspiration to anyone in my entire life. It made me feel so good. Better than homemade chocolate chip cookies, even. I have spent the last few years thinking of myself as a sick person who no longer had anything much to offer to anyone. I am sure I am not the only one of us who feels this way. I also bet I am not the only one guilty of eating my feelings. The point is, that kind comment gave me another reason to celebrate.

     I want to say, changing my lifestyle is harder than quitting smoking. Quitting smoking is difficult, to say the least. But like my sister, Judy said,  “you don’t have to smoke to live, but you do have to eat.”  I have worked hard for every single one of those 17 pounds. I have let Jillian Michaels kick my fanny until I was panting on the floor and dripping sweat. I don’t mean my body was sweaty. I mean drops of sweat have been dripping off my the tip of my nose and off my hair. You know it’s bad when your hair is sweating. (OK, so it was really my scalp, but having your hair sweat sounds tougher.)

     I also have to change the way I celebrate. For instance, Valentine’s Day is Friday. Mickey and I decided instead of rewarding me with food, like a supper out or a box of candy or anything like that, we are taking a getaway. Just me and Mickey next month at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. I am looking forward to it. Oh, we will have a nice dinner and we will gamble, but I have a month to prepare and it is life. I actually feel like I am living it, not sitting in my recliner watching it pass me by.

     Because I have so much weight to lose, I am going to reward myself when I hit a milestone. When I hit 50 pounds, I am going to the spa in town and I am going to have an hour long massage, as well as a mani/pedi. When I hit 75, I am going to treat myself to a fancy haircut, color and style. I am also hoping maybe I will need a few extra items of clothing.

     The point is, every single one of us has something we can celebrate daily. Did you have water with a meal instead of soda? Did you exercise even though it was really the very last thing you wanted to do? Did you eat a piece of fruit instead of a cookie or cake? Did you eat a serving of vegetables with your supper? No matter what you have done or haven’t done today, there is something to celebrate. Maybe you were like the sweet lady who commented on my blog and simply said something nice to someone.

     Speaking of something to celebrate, how many of you watch The Walking Dead? I was so happy to see it back on television last night. Love me some zombies and some Rick and some Michonne and ESPECIALLY some Daryl. If you watch, what did you think? I thought parts were a little slow, but I really do enjoy getting to “know” each character. Do you have a favorite character? Alice loves Carl. I even got her a Carl action figure for Christmas. Carl was very inexpensive. Daryl was over 40.00. Needless to say, we don’t have him.

Disclaimer: I have received nothing from the Walking Dead. I just love the show. Again, Jillian Michaels does not know me and I am pretty glad she does not. I receive nothing from using her products except some hair sweat. I also got nothing from Harrah’s. I did get a great deal on our rooms, but that is because I purchased a Groupon.

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby

     I have to admit. I am not the kind of weight-loss person that is going to give up any particular food or group of foods. For those of you that can, I say well done and amazing. But, that is just not me. I don’t want to ever say that I can’t have mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. I don’t want to give up fried foods and sugar. Obviously, I am not going to eat them every day. I may not eat them every week. But, I know they are there if I want them.

     Once, in 2012, when Ariel was getting ready to marry Eric, Alice and I went carb free for two weeks in order to lose a few pounds to fit in our dresses. It was a nightmare. Alice gets very cranky without her carbs. At the end of week two, we had both lost quite a few pounds. We’d also lost a few friends. I finally broke down and made Alice some cheesy mashed potatoes. Then, I ate some. Then, I went shopping for just a little larger dress. (Side note: Alice is NOT overweight. She THINKS she is, but she is not. Alice is curvy, but Alice is only a size 9…with a belt.)

     The dress shopping was interesting. I decided to try a pair of Spanx. My good friend Ursula took me shopping. I grabbed the Spanx and began to pull them on. They got halfway up my thighs and started to roll. I grabbed those suckers and yanked and pulled and jumped. They slowly moved up about a quarter of an inch. Sweat was pouring off me, and I kept jumping and tugging and contorting. Ursula finally grabbed my shoulders, looked me in the eye and said “Stop! You’re scaring me!! I’m afraid you’re going to have another heart attack.” That was the very end of me and Spanx. I honestly think My Fitness Pal should include putting on Spanx as a cardio workout.

     But, I digress. I do that a lot. The real thing refers, in THIS case, to food. I just don’t understand giving up REAL food for chemicals. Case in point, butter. Now, butter has a bad rap. I am not advocating that you go out and slather butter on everything, or cook with lots of butter. I am the Fat Girl Next Door, not Mrs.Butterton. Although, one of my most requested dishes used to be my roasted chicken with a pound of butter. But you know what? I am NOT giving you the recipe. It’s utterly delicious and very fattening. However, I am digressing again. It just seems to me that natural butter would be much better for you than whipped and creamy chemicals. I would rather have a small bit of butter on my toast, than a large helping of chemicals. It’s all about moderation people.

     I also don’t understand the fat-free and light salad dressings. Again, chemicals. Even the regular stuff on the shelves is full of chemicals and stabilizers. I have found a dressing I love. It’s Bolthouse Farms Salsa Ranch. It is in the refrigerator section of the grocery store and it is made with buttermilk and yogurt and salsa. Even Alice and Mickey like it. It isn’t fat-free, nor is it calorie free, but 2 tablespoons only have 45 calories and it tastes delicious! Bolthouse has a wide variety of selections and NONE are made with chemicals. They also have Vinaigrettes around 25 calories. You can find all the varieties here: http://www.bolthouse.com/products/dressings

     I have also pretty well given up sodas. Cans and bottles full of chemicals that were probably killing me. That;s because I drank a minimum of 36 sodas a week and honestly, it was more like 42-50. I drank at LEAST 6 a day, if not more. I still have the occasional Ginger Ale, because it settles my stomach and I have really battled nausea this week for some reason.

     Do any of you, dear readers, have a real food you prefer? If so, I would love to hear about it. I am all about hints and tips and ideas. Hope you are all having a great weekend!

 

Disclaimer: I have received nothing from either Bolthouse Farms or any butter company. No money, no free butter, no free dressing, no coupons to save money on butter or dressing, no mention of me on THEIR blogs. Nothing, nada, zip. Oh, and nothing from Spanx either. Not that I could get them on. In fact, if Spanx was aware of me, I would probably just be an embarrassment to the company. Nothing like picturing a fat, sweaty, red-faced, older lady jumping up and down and panting to sell your product.

I’m Not Sick; I’m Just a Little Unwell

     I was very disappointed in last night’s Super Bowl. I am not a fan of either team, but I hate runaway games. I want to see a good, close, fight it out to the bitter end game. Last night’s was boring. Even the commercials didn’t live up to their usual standards. I did enjoy the Radio Shack commercial with the 80s icons. The Budweiser ads were cute as well, but none were just simply amazing. However, I really enjoyed Bruno Mars at half-time. Best half-time show in years, at least to me.

     I woke up this morning feeling nauseated. Not a hangover, because I only had two glasses of wine, Each glass was consumed between 4pm and 6pm. After that, I switched to unsweetened tea with lemon. I thought maybe it was just the amount of different types of foods I had consumed. I tracked everything I ate though and nothing jumped out. I made my healthy bean dip and had a serving of it with some baked chips. Those were in individual serving bags, and I only ate one bag, so I didn’t OD on chips.

     I ate spinach dip, but I eschewed crackers and only ate celery, carrots and broccoli with it, so no real damage there. I had chicken wings, but mine were broiled and were served sans sauce. I had two brownie bites and two bites of cake. This was all spread out of 4 hours. There was no “pigging out.” I went over my calories by 400, but 300 of that was from my two glasses of wine.

     I finally narrowed it down, I think. I believe I am becoming lactose intolerant in my old age. I don’t seem to have a problem with fermented dairy such as hard cheeses, yogurts, even fro-yo. The last time I felt like this was about a month after my gallbladder surgery, which was in May of 2013. I went with a friend in June to try a new restaurant. For dessert, I had a slice of cheesecake and felt horrible afterwards. I have found that finishing milk after a bowl of cereal makes me feel slightly queasy. Ice cream and milkshakes all seem to sit very heavily on my stomach as well. The spinach dip I ate last night had cream cheese in it, as well as two appetizers another friend had made.

     I have no problem eating light today. I can’t stand the thought of eating much of anything. I had some green tea for breakfast. I was hoping it would settle my tummy. No such luck. I took a nap and hoped that would help. Again, no. I drank a bottle of water and that made it worse.

     I finally broke down and cracked open a Coca-Cola to sip. I haven’t had any type of soda in three weeks. I also have eaten a Jello cup. I used to be a soda addict. Seriously, I drank at LEAST 36 a week, if not more. It was probably more. I know 6 a day was nothing for me at all. I was a little nervous about sipping this one. Truthfully? It tastes way too sweet. So did the Jello. Not only have I not been putting much sugar in my mouth lately, I also haven’t put artificial sweeteners in my mouth either. My sugar intake has come from apples and blueberries and the occasional piece of 80% dark chocolate, which doesn’t taste sweet at all. I’ve gotten used to drinking seltzer water with fruit flavors. I am going to keep sipping the Coke, because my tummy is feeling less queasy, but I have a feeling it will take all night. 

     I am also using today as my rest day. Any movement makes me feel urpy. I also think it would be stupid to pick up weights or truck it outside on an empty stomach. This needs to go away though, so I can get back on track tomorrow.

     The good news? Didn’t gain an ounce last night. I had a great time with my friends and never felt deprived or even hungry. In the end, that is really what matters.

Disclaimer: Coca-Cola did not give me anything in exchange for mentioning the fact I am sipping their syrupy concoction to settle my nausea.No pay, no freebies.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

     Just checking in on this beautiful Super Bowl Sunday. Weather in the low 60s here, with lots of sunshine. Sunday is one of my two “rest days.” I really should call it my “light day.” I still want to keep moving, even if I’m not getting down and dirty. Jillian gets to sit all by herself in the DVD player. The weights sit all alone on the table. The bike gets a small rest. Rather than a moderate ride (13-14.9 mph) or a vigorous ride (35 minutes at 17-20 mph) I take a light ride. Just enough to keep moving.

     Mickey and I took advantage of the nice weather and took Marley out for a walk. Of course my “brisk” walk, is his regular walk. I’m right around 5’2 and Mickey is almost 6′. Not only am I on the short side, I have short legs.

     I am off to make some healthy black bean dip. Many recipe sites, like the one I got this recipe from, also call it Black Bean Hummus. To me, unless it has Tahini (sesame seed paste), it is NOT hummus, it is a dip. However, I am sure it is just a matter of semantics. If you’d like to try it, here is the recipe: http://www.pbs.org/parents/kitchenexplorers/2013/04/18/spicy-black-bean-dip/

     Hope you enjoy the game. I don’t have a dog in this fight, so I am watching it for the commercials and for Bruno Mars. Check back with me tomorrow so I can let you know of any snack damage I have sustained.

 

Disclaimer: Sadly, Bruno Mars did not give me anything for mentioning him. He doesn’t know I exist. Of course, I think I am old enough to be his mother.