To dance or not to dance

A friend of mine teaches a dance class and she keeps inviting me to participate. “You’ll love it” she says and after I explain to her again and again that I’m a total klutz, she laughs and reminds me that everyone says that.

I went yesterday morning, and today I’m nearly in paralysis. Truly, I’m sore everywhere and I’m moving very, very slowly.

As I entered the building, I was greeted by a lovely older woman. Someone you would think of as your grandmother. Silver hair, huge smile, soft hands. She helps me sign in and tells me where to change and then to “find a space on the floor.” She tells me that her name is Sylvia and she will help me as, and I quote, “it’s great to have someone older in the class.”  Hmm.

I don’t need to change my clothes, but I do find space on the floor and proceed to stand there like a dork waiting for something to happen. People filter in and I decide I have time to go to the potty. I step into the changing room by accident, and I almost crash into a lady who is changing her clothes right inside the doorway. She blocks the path and I smile politely at her while I notice that just beyond her lies all kinds of room for changing as the room is deserted.

She smiles back and tells me that she is just making “adjustments.” I locate the loo and do my thing and return to the floor. However, I cannot help but notice this lady. Everything matches. Her clothes, her water bottle, her mat, everything she has is color coordinated. And further, she’s wearing a headband and two wristbands. She looks like a refugee from an Olivia Newton John exercise tape from back in the 80’s.

The room fills with skinny bitches. There isn’t a soul in the room who needs a workout, because they only eat celery and carrots. They haven’t eaten a bag of chips or a box of cookies ever in their lives. They drink herbal tea only, and when they get all crazy they binge on a head of cauliflower which leaves them shattered for days, no doubt.

The instructor, my pal Beth, comes running over to greet, hug and exchange words of wisdom with me. Such pearls include take your time (oh I will, no worries there), and just do whatever I need to do (oh I will…).  She asks Sylvia to get me some weights and some resistance bands, and Sylvia promptly turns and runs to get me what I need like she’s being followed by someone with a knife.  She returns, running still, and leaves them in a corner until I need them.

The music starts and away we go. After about the 30th jumping jack, I’m ready to head over to Starbies to get my tea and something really bad to eat. I figure I’ve lost weight by now, so why not?

I notice Sylvia next to me, and she’s a go getter, she doesn’t slow down. I don’t know how old she is but she’s in fine form. I do my best but God almighty this is ridiculous.

At last it’s time for a break and I cannot breathe and already ache, but I’m determined to soldier on as we move to the weights and the resistance bands.

The music picks up after I’ve drunk most of my water – well, really I felt like I’d been in the Sahara since yesterday, and I chugged it down. I’m sweating like a pig at a roast, and notice few others seem to have broken into even a small line of sweat at the brow.

I pick up the weights and realize that these are for a bona fide weight lifter, like maybe an Olympian, and I realize immediately that I won’t last with them. They are 10 pounders and I’d prefer a 5 at the most. I whisper to Sylvia who tells me that 10 pounds are the smallest they have. Well of course I think, of course they are the smallest you have. I hoist and squat, hoist, squat, and when I finally put those damn weights down, I feel like a simian, like my arms will now be dragging behind me. But that isn’t the worst because we have yet to use the resistance bands.

I go and get those as Beth is reminding us how much these bands help us tone. I don’t need to tone I think, I need plastic surgery right now so I never have to do this again.

Resistance bands are like big rubber bands, and like a rubber band, some are more stretchy, and others – like the ones I had, do not move until you apply force. Lots of force, and keeping them open (stretched) is or should be the exercise. But it’s not. You stand on one end and pull the other end up to your ears. I knew that if I had to let go of the band once it was stretched that it would fly across the room like a comet and would probably kill someone, perhaps splitting them in two. On the other hand I had to let go and thankfully my foot held the band down or it might have ruined someone’s day.

Now Oliva with all of her coordinated outfit and gear has zero trouble keeping up, however she’s a flailer. Her arms and legs are everywhere and I swear she could wrap her foot around her head and suck on her big toe. She is everywhere and people move away from her. I’m not near her at all and am busy wondering what people will think of me as the token spaz for the day.

We continue dancing and of course at some point we are asked to face left, and of course I turn right, and Sylvia shouts, “no no my dear, the other way” and as we continue our rotation I screw up every way possible, and then realize that my back is to everyone and someone else says very loudly “oh look, there is someone new here!”  I just want this over with and finally it’s time to stretch.

I am stunned at what Olivia and Sylvia can do. They contort in every possible way. I can touch my toes just barely and I’m reasonably sure that I should now make my own exercise videos – I’m that good!!

I drag myself home, and today – well today is interesting.  I’ll be lucky if I can lift a fork to eat.

 

 

The White Pants and The Wedding Dress

Shopping. It’s a bit of a chore for me. I go on my own because when I get bored or tired I can leave and don’t have to wait for someone else to finish changing or looking. However there is another, more personal reason I go on my own, and it’s because I’ve never wanted anyone to know my exact/inexact size.

Labelling for women’s clothes is so frustrating and I wish there was a standardized system, but there isn’t. Your size with one label may be totally different to the next label. It’s confusing, and rarely leaves you feeling good about yourself.

My wedding dress is a prime example of the problem with sizing. In 1999 I married for the second time. My husband and I shopped for my wedding dress together, and while I could afford to buy a dress for $10,000, I just couldn’t justify that in my mind. Even now when I’m watching trash tv and see those wedding shows and hear what has been spent on dresses, I’m always a bit horrified. Especially since so many of those marriages end in divorce.

On a sale rack at a JC Penny, Larry (my husband) found my dress. He pulled it out and had a look over it as I was already trying on another dress. He brought it in to me and I put it on. It was the wrong size… too big actually, but as he held on to the waist and pinched he assured me that he knew a great tailor who would alter the dress. It cost $128.00. Now I can’t call myself frugal, but when it comes to clothes I love a deal, and I love something that lasts. Also, I’m hardly a fashion queen.

So I’ve digressed….

I’ve kept my dress because I want to wear it again. I want to shorten it and dye it black and then use it as a cocktail dress. It’s currently hanging there in my closet reminding me again and again.

And then yesterday, I was out shopping, and I saw a pair of white pants. I’ve never worn white pants, ever, never, and yet these pants grabbed my attention. They made me think of summer – not Ontario summer, dear reader, which I struggle with – I don’t live in Canada for the weather. Rather, these pants made me think of California summer.

The pants are not in my current size. It will take some work to get into them, but I visualize sliding into them, and feeling glorious and proud of me and glad I had to work my ass off to get into them.

And my cocktail dress…that too will be a signature moment.

Peace and love!

Nancy

The journey so far…

In 2012 I decided that in 2013 I was going to change the way I eat, what I eat, and discover why some foods are labeled ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ I’ve long needed to drop weight.

You need to know that I do not like the word ‘diet’ as in “I’m on a diet,” nor do I care for the cliché of “lifestyle change.” I’m not sure exactly what words I’ll use, but Health Journey works for me. Diet sounds so temporary to me, as though it’s something you’ll try to do to drop 5 or 10 pounds.

For myself, I need and wanted a jump start, an initial quick drop in weight followed by healthy choices with room for play.

I’ve never followed rules well. I’m simply the type that questions rules in adulthood. I know me though, and I have to have the ability to have a glass or two of wine, a gin and tonic, some fatty foods, however I also have to work that into the boundaries that I’ve chosen for myself. I have a plan for that, though.

After doing much reading and talking to my doctor, I chose a modified mostly liquid diet.  This particular food program is 28 days with the possibility of extending another 28 days. Primarily it’s a liquid protein, fiber and carbohydrate program with a main meal at lunch sandwiched between two shakes or smoothies.

On day 21, I’m down 11 pounds, and I’m thrilled to pieces. I fully admit that the first few days were not pleasant. I was very tired, and a bit cranky, but after that things got much easier.

I’ve had a few times when I’ve actively chosen to not participate in my health journey, and I have paid dearly for it. Immediately I put a pound or two on, and that may be retention if I’ve gone off-path with alcohol. I also feel like I’ve been run over by a train, and now I listen to those signals because I used to be able to abuse my body freely. It’s only now that I pay strict attention to how I feel.

Addiction

So, I consider myself an addict. Some of you may be offended by that, and that’s just too bad. In my heart and mind, it feels like addiction to me, and it always has. My addiction revolves around sugar and carbohydrates.

I believe in enjoying almost all things so long as it’s in moderation. My issue is that I cannot moderate myself when it comes to sugar or carbs.

I’ve read tons about sugar and sugar derivatives, artificial sugar, raw sugar, and syrups, and stevia and agave, etc.

If you can moderate your intake with those things, good for you, but I can’t and my actions make me feel like an addict.

I absolutely do overeat at times. I adore food, especially really great food that is comforting and tastes like heaven. And yes, sometimes I eat just to eat and I get very annoyed when I realize that I’ve eaten unconsciously. I’ve eaten food and not realized that I’ve eaten a whole box, or a whole bag, or the whole whatever.

Maybe you can relate. If you are an addict, I get it. If you aren’t stay with me, you don’t have to ‘qualify as an addict’ to read along.

I come from addiction. It’s in my genes. My parents were alcoholics, though thankfully they recovered. Couple that with depression which has a long streak in my family and it’s a dangerous issue.

Prejudices

I think that people – generally – have negative thoughts about those who are overweight, or fat, or obese, or chubby or whatever term you use. I know that in my pre-fat days, I had those negative thoughts about what those people were about. Often it went way beyond disgust and more into judgement about them. Sometimes that was right, but I’d suspect that often it was wrong.

It’s so easy to cast judgement until you walk in the other’s shoes. I hope to raise awareness about food, food addiction, the frustration of trying to lose weight, and the cycle of near desperation that you can feel.

Dear reader, you won’t be able to best me in whatever you’ve done in keeping your ugly friend – fat – on board with you. If you feel like sharing what you think or feel please do so in the comments section below. Comments are moderated so you may not see your post immediately unless I happen to be online at the time

Cravings vs. Compulsions

I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve meditated and prayed and I feel like I’m at my wits end.

I’ve started a semi-liquid diet. I don’t want to mention the name yet as I want to see how it goes. So far, if I use the products correctly and don’t sabotage myself, I lose weight. The bad news is that as soon as I’m off it, I do very poorly with food and self control.

I’m spoiled rotten and my addiction is so complete and so raw right now that I still feel right on the verge of being out of control.

Just recently I was talking to a friend who sells healthy vitamins and supplements and weight loss products and she told me that her products eliminated cravings. After the last few days I’ve realized that it’s not about cravings. I don’t have cravings, I am COMPELLED.  So it’s not like you want some ice cream and so you go and get an ice cream cone. I want a lot more ice cream than that, a ton more until I can’t eat it anymore. That’s not a craving, that’s an obsession.

I don’t believe that a traditional ‘diet’ would be any more useful than this one, other than on this one, I’m not hungry at all.

I want to change my life, which includes the way I eat and what I eat, and I must stop this obsession with mostly really inappropriate food.

If you break it down – crappy food doesn’t make you smarter, happier, sexier, prettier, or happier.  I often eat when I am not hungry, not even thinking about food.

Medically Speaking

I have no precise medical condition other than the obvious – obesity.

I am obese – oh how I wince when I read that and type it. I don’t think I’ve ever said it out loud, but now that I realize it I will likely push myself into admitting it out loud. I have high blood pressure and I’m a borderline diabetic. I’m frequently exhausted – not tired, but just worn out to a fine, sharp edge. I know that all of this comes from the choices I’ve made.

I wonder at times what motivates others to take this huge step to get healthy. Maybe you’ve started over and over again in your weight loss journey. There is a saying that goes “if you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.”

Owww, that hurts, but it’s true.

Maybe you are just starting and if that’s true, then I’m glad you are here, thank you.

Maybe, like me, your doctor has given you all of the information about where you are going should you keep doing what you’ve done for years. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. HA!  So sad, and yet true!

Maybe you are starting again. I share that, and get that, and promise that I am with you in many ways.

I do want to clarify with you. My goal is NOT strictly weight loss and I’m so glad to tell you that, to say it out loud. My goal is about learning to eat and appreciate healthy food, my goal is to be nicer to me, to learn how to eat properly, and to keep my weight off for forever.

This is a tough experience. It’s truly hard to lose weight.