Monday, August 27, 2012

Confessions of a Fat Girl

I've mentioned before about weekends being the hardest time for me. When I started this blog I promised myself that I would always be honest and hold myself accountable, so here goes. I cheated this weekend. Like not just a small hiccup, like a full-blown train wreck. On Saturday, I had pizza for lunch. Casey's pizza. Several slices.....What a disaster. Then (oh, yes, friends, there is a then) I had Taco John's for supper. I have learned my lesson, however, not only did I feel this huge amount of guilt, I felt physically sick. I had the worst stomachache and heartburn that began at my knee caps. I couldn't sleep but had no energy..... One day of my old ways and I felt like I had been ran over by a snow plow.....So not worth it.

Old habits die hard, apparently. The important part that I try to remember is that the next day I started from square one. This is one thing that definitely has changed. Past experiences say that I  would have continued down this path of destruction.. I would have considered myself defeated. No sense in trying right? Not this time. BOOM! Back on track!

I started Nutrisytem today. So far so good. I am amazed every day what I am learning about what healthy eating actually looks like. It's about being in control. Planning ahead and not putting yourself in situations that lead to bad choices (if only someone would have pulled me aside in college and enlightened me with this advice, which applies to far more than just food choices...baha). The best part about Nutrisystem is taking the food and making it into something entirely different ( Thanks for this tip, Whit). It's also pretty exciting to take the tiny (seriously, tiny) portions and making them into a human-size portion. For Pete's sake, I am not a Barbie. This girl needs some sustanence. For lunch tomorrow, I took the package of Red Beans and Rice and mixed with it one tablespoon of bread crumbs, one tablespoon egg whites, green peppers, and half a light string cheese. Then I took this mixture and put in in a Portabella mushroom cap and baked it for 30 minutes. Viola, a satisfying portion that is healthy and filling.

I am also surprised at what I am learning about myself. I can't bury my emotions in food any longer. If I am upset I cannot "eat" what is bugging me. I have to face it. Face whatever it is head on. After 26 years, this is a very foreign concept to me.Weird, how my career focus is on encouraging others to face and feel their emotions and all these years I have not practiced what I preached. Through all this I have had to remind myself that experiencing emotions is not a sign of weakness. There is a certain amount of bravery that comes with embracing your emotions for exactly what they are. I think I have cried more in the last three weeks than I have in my entire life. Only, this time I am not ashamed that I have done so. I am also learning that asking for help is not a sign of failure. Sometimes, we cannot do things on our own. It is a real and simple part of life. Ask for help when you need it. Don't be ashamed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

One Week-A day late.

Yesterday was my weigh-in day. Down four pounds this week. A total of eight since this whole ordeal began. In the grand scheme of things, four is not much, virtually nothing. For me they are hard won. Medals of honor, if you will. Four pounds closer to a goal that I only allow myself to think about in the comfort of my mind, far too large yet to even speak aloud. Although the scale may not be showing me the results that I want but I feel good. It has been forever since I have had this much energy. If I feel this good in one week, I am excited to see what the future holds.

 Ginika and I have been getting up at 5 am ( THAT IS BEFORE THE SUN COMES OUT.......I wasn't aware of this prior). We are doing that Monday through Thursday. We take Friday mornings off because the sleep deprivation begins to make us delirious by Thursday afternoon.  Getting exercise in first thing in the morning guarantees that I actually do it. Sometimes when I get home for the day I don't feel like doing anything.  Plus, being up this early allowed me to scope out the Amish (not even joking) hotties that were building a shop for the neighbors. I was fairly certain they would have thought I was the funnest thing since electricity but decided not to risk having them fall in love with me because my hair would look way stupid in that bonnet and I have never been able to pull off pastels. I also had an elaborate plan to microwave some hot pockets to take to them-show them how domesticated I could be...but again that bonnet haunted my dreams.

The truth is, I don't know why I waited this long to do all of this. I think that losing weight and being healthy is a lot like falling in love. It all boils down to timing. If the time is not right, it is not meant to be. It won't work out. It will not be successful. So similar to a relationship. Along with timing, it is about commitment. It is about work, hard work. It doesn't just happen. It is about consciously making good decisions. There is an easy way and a hard way........The choice is up to me.

On Monday, Jenny and I are starting Nurtisystem. Possibly the only diet that I have never tried. We got our first shipment of meals today, but I cannot start until Monday because let's face it, Who starts a new food program on a Friday? It will just throw off the whole feng shui. It also may take until Monday for me to process that I will be eating freeze-dried meals. Basically, I am an astronaut without the sweet gear.... I haven't read through all the information that came with it, but it sounds like it teaches lots of ways of incorporating healhty carbs, veggies, and fruit into the meals.

My new favorite:

Thank the good Lord for salsa season. Last Sunday, Mama Whitesel, Jenny, and I made about three gallons of fresh salsa. THE.BEST.SNACK.EVER. You can have a pretty good size portion for not a lot of calories. The fact that it is delicious doesn't hurt either.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Celebrate the Milestones

Good stuff first:

Over the weekend, Aunt Kendene contributed to the "Laura and Jenny are poor as hell fund" and got us some sweet new bikes. Let me take a few minutes to review with you the rules my parents have established for our new peddlers. Oh yeah, this happened, I couldn't even make it up. Here we go: 1. Hands must remain on the handle bars at all times, no exceptions. 2. No wheelies. 3. No taking bikes off any sweet jumps. 4. No giving rides to our friends on the pegs on our bikes. 5. No sitting on the handle bars and riding backwards (Now with this one they are just encouraging behaviors).  For some reason I get the feeling that the rules pertain more to me than to Jenny. For heaven's sake, I am still in awe that I can remember how to ride the damn thing. I am not going to jeopardize my limbs on the first day. I am gonna wait at least a week to start my "stunt riding".

Anways, If I could dispense any words of wisdom it would be this: don't get too busy to celebrate the milestones.  Tonight Jenny and I rode our bikes 1.3 miles. When we finished you would have thought we just completed the Tour De France. We whooped and hollared and truly celebrated.  Perhaps, this is because we only made it 4 blocks ( I think I am being generous in this estimation) last night and were celebrating the fact that we lived.....Regardless, we went farther tonight than we did last night. The plan is to extend it even more tomorrow night.

The point is whether we go half a mile or four miles, we are still going. It may not be fast.  It may not be attractive. We may have to wait until after dark to go, but by God we do it, which is far more than we were doing just a few short weeks ago....

Sad stuff Now:

I am only "officially" weighing in on Wednesdays but I have cheated and hopped on the scale a few times this week.The scale hasn't seemed to drastically moved. I feel like I am eating the right things and moving more than ever but nothing seems to happen. Slowly, I am beginning to see that the numbers on the scale do not define me or this journey. Have I lost 5 pounds this week? No. Do I feel better? Yes.

Reminder to myself:
The weight did not come on overnight nor will it leave in such a fashion............ 

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I know I am still very early in this process but I have to say it is going well. I am learning a lot about myself. Learning what works for me and realizing what doesn't.  There is something about this time around that seems different or maybe it is me who is different. I am seeing that it's not about deprivation. I eat when I am hungry. I eat what tastes good I just don't eat three helpings of it. I love to cook and am researching recipes and finding ways to tweak them to make them healthy. I quit drinking soda. I was only drinking diet but since I have stopped I don't crave sweets like I used to. Small, seemingly unnoticable changes that in a short amount of time have made a big different. I am not saying that the urge to eat badly has left. I would still do obscence things from some Taco John's Potato Oles but I know that if I avoid such tempations all together I am not put in a postion to make bad choices.

Weekends are going to be my most difficult times. It's not so bad when I am out and about but  I think I need to munch if I am sitting in front of the TV. I'm not even hungry, just bored.  Instead of doing what I would have normally done, I went out to the farm to harrass my parents. Changing my environment helped. It got my mind off the fact that I thought I needed to eat. Besides, for those of you who know my parents know that it's guaranteed to be entertaining. By the way, I don't know what I would do without those two crazies. They support me, they make me laugh, they love me even when I am least deserving, and they call me out on my bullshit, which we all know I need every so often.

 I have also realized that I will have to find a hobby. One would think that after 26 years I would find some sort of interest. Besides being awesome (kidding), I have no real hobbies. I dabble here and there in various things but nothing has ever stuck...Anyways, I'm open for any suggestions but please keep in mind that my patience is about as long as my attention span, just saying.

I began my morning with a walk. There is a profound serenity that comes with being up and going before the rest of the world.  It goes without saying that I have never been a huge fan of excercising but the more I do the more I look forward to it. There is a certain amount of clarity that comes with it; it doesn't matter what's going on at work, what's going on at home, all that matters is that for that hour there is only me, my Ipod, and the road.

Last night I had the pleasure of witnessing a 104 year-old take her first trip in a hot air balloon. This was an item on her bucket list. I was brought to tears being able to see the joy and excitement in her eyes as she took off on an adventure that she had always dreamed of yet probably never imagined she would get to do. Watching all of this happen, it cemented in my mind that I am doing the best thing for myself by getting healthier. At 104, that beautiful woman still had dreams and aspirations.   It really never is too late. I have so much I want to see and want to do. I want to get my doctorate. I want to write a book(s). I want to travel around the world.  I want to teach at a university. I want to be able to afford to build my dad the shop he has always wanted and my mom the addition she has always dreamed of. I want to fall in love and have babies. I want to see Jenny have babies. I want to watch my friends' babies, whom I love as my own, grow up and see the extraordinary things they will do with their lives.  If  I don't get my act together I will not get to see these things happen.......

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 1

Today was my official weigh-in day. I have been thinking a lot about the goals that I want to achieve with this new journey. To be completely honest the long-term goals are too lofty. I don't want to set myself up for failure by trying to look too far into the future. So, for the time being, I am going to focus on short-term goals. Hopefully the smaller goals will eventually open the doors for the bigger goals.

Below are a few of my near-future goals:

1) Survive the gigantic hill in Red Cloud that Nichole and I brave on our walks. This baby is steeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
2) Not get winded on said hill on our walks.
3) Eat breakfast-this is going to be one of the more difficult ones for me as I have never been a big breakfast eater. Unless you count 4 a.m. truck stop breakfasts on the way home from the bar (That's an entirely different blog all together though, isn't is?) I am going to sacrifice 15 minutes of my morning to eat a healthy breakfast.
4) No more fast food ( Subway doesn't count).
5)Walk or do some sort of excercise 6 days a week.

This list of goals is a work in progress, the plan is for it to continually be updated and expanded.

Right now I am super excited. I know what I want and I know that I want to get this done. The trends of my past dieting experiences have been that I start out so motivated and then little by little it dwindles and I am right back where I started. This is when I am going to have to remind myself that this is not a temporary fix. This is for life. I have to get over the fact that God did not give me a metabolism. I can ponder the vast unfairness of the situation, but at the end of the day, I am always going to have to be vigilant about a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes down to diet, I am just going to focus on balanced healthy eating in moderation. The sad part is that I know what I am supposed to be eating. I get it, calories in versus calories out...yada...yada...yada... I have taken numerous nutrition classes. I know the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle, but rationalizing the right things to eat with what I want to eat is a constant battle. Because I know this about myself of I will constantly have to self reflect. I am going to have to be brutally honest with myself-Do I really want that double cheese burger or do I really want to live to my 30th birthday?

Listen closely, children, now is the time for one of Aunt Lou's pet peeves. I am always taken aback when people approach me who automatically assume that all fat people are lazy and uneducated. The ones that think that if a fat person really wanted to be healthy they would just do it. To these fine individuals I just want to scream, "YOU MEAN TO TELL ME ALL I HAVE TO DO IS EAT LESS AND EXERCISE MORE? I FINALLY GET IT!  THANK YOU FOR FINALLY SHOWING ME THE LIGHT. YOU MUST BE SOME SORT OF PROPHET, LEADING ALL THE FATTIES TO SALVATION. ALL I NEEDED WAS SOME IGNORANT ASS TO PUT IT ALL INTO PERSPECTIVE!" (I love typing in all caps, makes me feel like I am yelling). However, we all know I am too much of a lady to ever say such words aloud.

All-in-all, the day was a success. I am proud of myself and the choices that I made.

One of my friends started my day out with this text:

You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

On that note, dear friends, here's to new chapters and new outlooks.

* I also want to thank everyone for the support, for the kind words, for the calls, for the texts. Knowing that this is not a battle I will have to fight alone makes it so much easier to face. I love you all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This blog is a chronicle of my new journey. A journey that I want to share with others. A journey that I realize will be happy and sad and ugly and beautiful-all mixed into pages and pages of my rambling....The only thing you need to ask yourself is, "Are you ready for this?"

 I am your typical 26 year-old. I am a social worker in a long-term care facility. I just finished up my Master's Degree in Gerontology. I have the greatest (craziest) family and friends anyone could ask for. Laughing is pretty high up on my priority list. I speak sarcasm fluently. I have a knack for singing the wrong words in every song and I can quote any Will Ferrell movie (be jealous). I am also harboring a long kept secret. I AM FAT! Okay, okay, it is not a secret. You just have to to have me in your line of vision to realize that I am 'Large and In Charge'. 

All my life I have had problems with my weight. If I had a dollar for everytime I have heard, "Laura, you have such a pretty face, if you would just lose a little weight...." I would have enough for Gastric Bypass, a hot-ass trainer, and some sort of brain surgery to destroy the part of my brain that makes me feel hungry. Name a diet, I have probably tried it...and probably cheated at it...and probably failed at it. This time, though, the stakes are a little higher.

The relationship that I have with food and my body is a love-hate one, at best.  I LOVE to eat. I HATE being overweight. I am even in this constant state of denial in which I  refuse to refer to myself using the "F" word. Call me anything, just don't call me fat.....Call it what you want: big girl, fluffy, hefty, plus size,  solid....regardless of the terminology that I have sugar-coated it with, the only fitting word for what I have let myself become is unhealthy.

I received news today, after a series of tests, that carrying around this extra weight has taken a toll on my heart. This news was quite shocking to me, as I thought my last boyfriend took my heart with him when he left years ago, but alas, apparently it's still there, just not in tip-top shape.

The news that changed my life, came at 9:29 this morning. My doctor's office called with the test results. After a complete and total melt-down and a heart-to-heart with a great friend and my parents, I have decided that the time has come-a complete and total lifestyle change is in store. I am going to stumble, trip, power walk, and eventually run (even if it kills me) down this new path. I am going to completely makeover my diet. I am going to (gasp) incorporate excercise into each and every day, and by God I am going to do it while continuing to be fabulous.....stay tuned ,friends, stay tuned.