Monday, November 25, 2013

The turkey is coming for me...

So, I have a confession to make.  In preparation for Thanksgiving, I had a fat week.  I needed to get use to eating a lot of food again right?  That makes total sense, right?  Okay, I'll admit that I'm just lying to myself to make me feel better.  I really don't know what happened this week, but I literally gave no fucks about what I ate.

I think what happened is I decided to reset my progress graph on January 1st.  Clearly my mind and willpower interpreted that as, "Let's just do whatever we want until then."  I can not continue down this road this week especially.  Thanksgiving is a dangerous time for those of us that are trying to lose because our willpower will be tested with each delicious plate that gets passed around.  Luckily, the way my family works is we don't have just one big meal, we just make sure there is ALWAYS food available.  Wait, that's not lucky that's HORRIBLE!  Okay, so time to go Twilight Sparkle and make a plan:

1) Get a smaller plate if possible.
That way you physically can't eat as much in one sitting.  This lengthens the time you are eating food, so you get fuller faster.  Scientific fact!  Anyone who has ever eaten at a dim sum restaurant or sushi boat place can testify to the longer meal = fuller faster = less consumed.  Also the act of getting up and walking will help digest your food and so you won't have as many digestion issues.

2) Don't have second helpings.
This one is going to be tough, but remember if you don't eat it now, you can have it for leftovers!  Now this might involve some preemptive saving for later, but if it is the dish you're bringing to the potluck, save some of it at home and bring the rest.  What the host doesn't know can't hurt their feelings! 

3) Stop when full.  Thanksgiving is about being thankful for all the good in your life, like health, family, and friends, not for stuffing yourself until you burst.  Now I know that a lot of us deal with the family that makes comments about our weight and then during these holiday gatherings are constantly shoving food on our plate.  Be firm and tell them no.  Again we live in a wonderful age of the refigerator and freezer.  Any of this delicious food will actually taste better the next day!

So now I just wait and try to be EXTRA GOOD before T-Day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Everyone's got issues

While I don't want to get into the feminism content behind this comic, I think it really encapsulates the helplessness people feel when they are judged.
One thing this blog has really helped me do is to minimize the amount of times I engage in "Fat talk".  These are the conversations that all of us have had in our lives that usually evolve into who hates themselves the most.  It usually starts with someone making some sort of innocent comment like, "man I feel fat today" and soon everyone is falling over themselves to reassure them that they don't look fat and they look WAY worse than she does.  The first part I don't mind at all, its the second part that turns into a nasty monster that eats away at my self confidence.  I have been working very hard not to scream at skinny people when they bemoan how fat they are, when I feel like I'm the whale in the corner trying not to take up space.  Before I used to get really mad at these people, but then I realized, they are just like me.  They have body image issues too, it just isn't as visible to the rest of us like mine might be.  When I think of these prompts that rapidly devolve into self-hate I realize that everyone has some sort of issue that they are dealing with.  The difficult thing about non-obivous issues is that they are just that, not obivous, and so people constantly invalidate them. It is this invalidation of the non-obivous issues that drive us further into our self hate.

For example, I feel like my weight is an obvious issue that I have to deal with, like the battle of the muffin-top or squeezing into tight shirts, but a not so obvious issue that I deal with is almost crippling low self-esteem.  I'm really good at putting on the face of a confident, awesome person, but I have a really hard time of accepting that I really am that person.  Whenever someone tells me, "No, you can't have low self-esteem.  You always seem so confident", I feel like that is telling a skinny person who truly feels they are fat, "Please, bitch.  You are so not skinny, look at this muffin top I'm rocking, now that's fat."  This invalidation pushes the issue and you find yourself entering into the whose fattest competition.

How often do you engage in Fat Talk?

In an effort to work on my self-esteem, I am working on my body image, both the actual presentation and how I view myself.  To help how I veiw myself, I am going to stay out of the Fat Talk scenario.  I just won't engage, because if I do, all the positive work that I have put in will become buried under new comparisons that I hadn't even thought of.  If someone give me the Fat Talk prompt, I will do my best to stay the hell away form the conversation.  If I must engage, I will keep myself out of it, instead tell the person how beautiful he or she is.  Lastly, I will work on focus on finding what I love about myself, rather than focusing on what I hate about myself.  After all, in the words of the fabulous Ru Paul, "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?"

Monday, November 11, 2013

My instant gratification monkey is named Mr. Chocolate Cake

If you ask anyone what is the hardest part of losing weight, 9 times out of ten it is forcing yourself to do things you don't want to do, like exercising, choosing healthier options, and not having that second helping of your favorite food.  In other words, the number one hurdle we need to overcome in our journey to lose weight is to not procrastinate about it.  I'm going to suggest that losing weight is like carving a statue, it requires a lot of hard work and grinding, but the end product is beautiful.

Tim Urban, the author of the blog, "wait but why" wrote an AMAZING two part blog post about procrastination. You might be telling yourself that procrastination has nothing to do with the struggle to losing weight, but it has EVERYTHING to do with it.  I procrastinate about going to the gym in that I make every excuse possible not to go or exercise.  For example, I'll forget my shoes or I'll put off my school work so when Mike asks me to work out with him, I can tell him I have to much work and I'm panicking about getting it done.  Then I feel bad about myself and I tell myself next time I'll remember my shoes and I'll get all my work done.  But it's a vicious cycle that's REALLY hard to break.

In Part one, he mentions that the procrastinator shares his thoughts with an instant gratification monkey.  This monkey is cute and adorable and has us wrapped around his devious little paw.  Whenever we have to make a decision, the monkey always produces more alluring alternatives that seem so much better than the daunting task of whatever is at hand.  For example, the monkey in my head, whose name is Mr. Chocolate Cake, is a staunch believer in we deserve that piece of cake even if we just stood for an hour.  He convinces me that I totally burned enough calories "exercising" (air quotes becasue today was the first day I officially exercised) that I can have whatever I want.  He's also the voice in my head that tells me, "hey you are over your calorie limit anyways, just don't count it."  Basically Mr. Chocolate Cake is a lying son of a bitch.  When we listen to the monkey, we end up in the Dark Playground, but in this case the Dark Buffet.  The Dark Buffet is filled with everything we want to eat, but in portions that we shouldn't have.  We give in and end up just feeling bad.  I gave into the monkey quite a few times in the last few weeks, I broke down and had a soda and I also had more that I should have this weekend.  Luckily I have an ally on my side, my body.  My body had been happy about what I've been doing, so when the monkey convinced me to do things I shouldn't my body reacted VERY POORLY to these decisions.  It hurt so bad praying to the porcelain God that I have promised myself never again. 

In Part two, he offers suggestions to outwit the monkey.  The key to defeating your procrastination is to drag the mokey kicking and screaming from the Dark buffet to the Happy Buffet, full of all of the new options that you now love and manageable portions of old favorites from before.  The first step of beating procrastination is to plan.  The monkey knows you really well, and if you make big vague plans like, "I'm going to lose fifty pounds by this time next year" he will smile and pat you on the head and say "sure you are."  You need to be specific about your plan, how are you going to lose weight, what do you need to support you, what will have to happen to make the plan a reality.  the most important thing is to break it up into small manageable parts.  Once you know the parts, then you have to DO it.  This requires the most effort, because Mr. Chocolate Cake keeps reminding you how easy it use to be and you can always enact this plan later, no need to do it now.  However, losing weight is like carving a statue, it takes time and consistant effort.  If you leave your work, the rock will stay how it is, but it might erode being exposed to the elements.  Sticking to our plan is chipping away at the stone, the efforts of one day might not seem like a lot, but when our plan is complete, the rough rock is a complete statue.

I know myself and Mr. Chocolate Cake knows me as well.  I let my emotions drive my actions, if I get frustrated I tend to stop or go back to the beginning for a do-over.  That is one of the reasons why I had such a small weekly goal of -1 pound per week.  I figured this goal would be easy to accomplish and so it would motivate me to keep going.  When I gained three pounds in the first week I was devastated and Mr. Chocolate Cake waved that cake right under my nose.  Luckily, the internet provided me with information of weight fluctuation and a coworker told me that it takes 5 to six weeks for the female body to get the message.  I also don't deal well with lots of changes, so I decided to just limit my calorie intake first.  Next is figuring out an exercise schedule, but if I try to do too many things at once I get overwhelmed and that cake just teleports to my mouth.  I see that everyday I am under my calorie intake I chipping away at the raw chunk of marble that will slowly but surely become the me that I want to be.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's hard to feel sexy when you are the biggest girl in the group...

[image removed so we won't get into trouble]

So last Sunday, my fellow cast-mates of the Producers and I were able to live a dream.  In the show, we have a prison set, that is bright red, and REAL prison bars.  So naturally, I took one look at it and immediately thought Cell Block Tango from Chicago.  I have always wanted to play Velma, and this was my one chance to do it.  I got out the fishnets, rocked the hotpants (which I had been rocking for two weeks in the Producers), and wore the only sexy black top I could find.  After bribing the techies with coffee we had the set, lights, and music going.  It was AMAZING!!!! I have never felt sexier and hotter than that moment lip syncing to Cell Block Tango.  My husband filmed it and was full of praise for how confident and sexy I looked and I felt really great for the first time in eight weeks.

Then I saw the video.  While I totally oozed confidence I couldn't help focusing on the fact that I was HUGE compared to the other girls.  I didn't think I was that much bigger than them, but seeing the stark comparison in the tight black outfits I definitely see why I wasn't considered to be a showgirl (and the fact that I can't tap).  The top I choose to wear was loose fitting, which I thought would help, but in retrospect, I should have gone with a corset.  Lock and load the girls and cinch in the unwanted bulge.  As it was it was on whole a very unflattering outfit, but my biased husband still loved it.

Seeing me in that video just reinforced why I'm really trying this time to lose weight.  I have an image of myself in my head and it so does not match what I actually look like.  I truly want to believe casting directors of COMMUNITY shows are willing to look past body, but let's be real, if you have two girls who are perfect for the role and one fits the costume, then you are going to go with the path of least resistance.  Please understand me all of my theater friends, I am not delusional in thinking that I don't get cast because I'm a big girl, I'm just saying I don't want it to be something holding me back.

With the success of our impromtu dance-oke to Cell Block Tango, the producer of the Producer is really pushing for Chicago.  That means I have about a year to stay on target and look like the woman I have in my head.  I can't wait to post the comparison photos! Now off to find a jazz class so I can really work to a goal! :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Post Mortem on Halloween - wanted to post this before, but was busy :-S

Okay, so I dodged the crazy candy rush of Halloween because I didn't go trick or treating and I wasn't home to hand out candy.  Also I was too busy to go to the grocery store to buy a bag of candy and I'm staying far away until the sale is over.  It's just too tempting.  :)  I love Halloween for the dressing up rather than the sweets, but they are always nice.  I was disgusted by the lady in North Dakota who handed out letters to "fat" kids and candy to "skinny" kids.  As someone who is on shaky ground about her body image, this would have destroyed my self confidence as a kid.  If I was a parent of one of these "fat" kids, I would be sending her a bill for the therapy my kid would need.  I understand what she was trying to do, but then she shouldn't have given candy to ANY child. 

Halloween is a tough holiday as many kids are just focused on getting as much candy as possible.  For me, the holiday is much more about dressing up and gathering with friends.  This focus on candy is also really hard on children who can't eat mainstream candy.  I love how one of my co-workers bought little toys and coloring books to hand out instead of candy.  However, she had a five-year old exclaim, "Are you serious?"  when he got the coloring book.  She took the book back and sent the young man on his way.  If I had been the parent of the sassy child, I would have been mortified.  It is a privilege to go house to house to receive gifts in return for prayers (according to the history of Halloween), not a right.  We would have been, "time to go home".  The fervor over candy during Halloween is just crazy.  Older kids grabbing handfuls of candy, some dumping whole cauldrons into their bags.  God, I sound like an old fart (*waves cane and yells at the kids to get off my lawn)  It's this fervor over sweets because it is the one day of the year where it isn't restricted that is the challenge during this holiday.  I say let them have candy all throughout the year, so they don't get rabid over it on this one day.  I know the sweet siren call of the forbidden fruit (yes Dr. Pepper, I can hear you calling).  If it wasn't restricted, then it wouldn't be so alluring.  So am I telling myself to drink soda? ;)

I applaud people who do the healthy choices during holidays and brave the criticisms from the juveniles.  I will probably try to be one of those people because in the past when we have had candy to give out, I ate more than I gave.  It is just too tempting.  Now that the Halloween craze has died down, it is time for the big holiday, the day that will really test my resolve and determination, THANKSGIVING.  My thoughts on my favorite culinary holiday next week.