Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Turns Out That "Close Enough" Isn't

Let me preface this by saying that I love Medifast.

This is QUITE OBVIOUSLY the best I've done on any "program" since I started this blog. I'm well overdue in providing details anyway, so please check out my latest post on my Review Blog for:
1. An update on how the program is working, and
2. An awesome discount on a starter pack if you'd like to try Medifast out for a month

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Like Chipping Away At An Iceberg

On Tuesday, it will be four weeks since I started using Medifast.

I was hoping I'd be able to tell you that I'd lost a full 20 pounds, but I think I'll still be just under that. Still. Nearly 20 pounds is amazing and great and incredible, right?

IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE.

But let me tell you the single most difficult thing about agreeing, finally, to really really do something about my weight.  It is not figuring out what to eat, or being hungry, or managing mood swings, or trying not to drink booze (although that would be the second hardest thing).

The hardest thing is facing exactly how far I have to go.

Once I left the land of the "normal-sized" clothing options and ventured into the plus-sized world, the landscape changed.  I stopped being concerned with which items were the most fashion-forward and became concerned with which items sucked the least.  I abandoned pants with buttons for the comfort of the elastic-waistbanded yoga pant. Long shirts with empire waists became my best friend for dress-up, (assuming I could find any that actually covered my boobs instead of having the girls fall below the waistline).

You know what the problem with these sorts of fashion decisions are? They are very forgiving. Too forgiving. You can gain 5? 10? Maybe even15 or more pounds and not really know it, not really notice it because your stupid comfortable clothes still fit.

I have heard (and seem to remember from my own experience) that, very broadly speaking, you can go up or down in sizes every 10 pounds or so.  I think that might be true when you're talking about the differences in non-plus sizes. 10 pounds can absolutely be the difference between a size 6 and a size 8.  Maybe between a size 8 and a size 10.

But apparently, this is NOT the case with the over size 14s.

I'm almost 20 pounds down and the clothes I own now are NOT falling off of me.  They're fitting better, sure. But they are still fitting.

DO YOU KNOW HOW RUDE THAT IS?

My point is that, at one point in my life, 20 pounds gone would have been a much bigger, much more noticeable difference than it is now. And of course it's still a big deal, and I'm pleased to have made such incredible progress in such a short amount of time, and I know -- believe me, I know -- that you have to start somewhere.

But man. Man oh man.  This just puts it all in perspective.

* * * * * * * * *

Decades. That's what I'm calling each set of 10 pounds.

Like, say I weighed 136 pounds (I do not). That's one decade. The next decade is anything in the 120s. Then the teens, etc.

The good news about these stupid almost-20 pounds I've lost is that I'm already in my third decade. My first numerical goal is to hit that fourth decade. I feel confident that I haven't seen those numbers on the scale since I moved here, and I am pretty sure that by then, my weight loss will be noticeable -- to others and to my friggin' closet.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just The Way It Is

Updated below.

As I was making my regular Facebook rounds, I saw something that first surprised me, then just made me feel awful.

I stewed about it.

Ultimately, I decided not to post a response there.  I don't know the people involved very well (and in most cases, I don't know them at all) and I have seen no good come from flame wars.  Plus, it's likely that anything I could have written there would fall on deaf ears. Or worse -- that someone would have engaged me in a hateful and hurtful "debate" that would have left me feeling even angrier.  And sadder.

But I can share it with you here, and you can feel what I felt and maybe you can come up with the perfect response. If there even is one.

(For context, the Original Poster (OP) is a man I went through grade school with and, quite obviously, a doctor.)


(cut for screenshot, no comments were deleted or altered)



A bad thing happened that could have happened to anyone, but a fat person is easy to point fingers at and ridicule.  Fat blah blah blah lazy blah blah blah tax dollars blah blah blah Oprah blah blah blah fat.

Sometimes I just feel it's a losing battle. Yes, it's sad. But it's nothing new.

Would you have responded? What would you have said?


::UPDATE::
The thing that shocked me so much was that the people I DO know from this conversation aren't assholes. They aren't hateful, and they certainly aren't without their personal issues (because who is?). I can't understand where the vitriol comes from. I do understand their feeling like "people need to get their shit together" but that's not really what comes across here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gratuitous Photo Of Eve: St. Patrick's Day


Of course, her onesie said: Kiss Me, I'm Irish.

It was the only day of the year we spent reminiscing about how we came very close to giving Eve a Gaelic name.  Yes, Eve was almost named Fionnuala.  In fact, we didn't actually know which name it was going to be when we got to the hospital.

Obviously, Eve won out for several reasons, and we've never regretted it. But we still like Finn, and still enjoy the idea of torturing Americans with both the spelling and pronunciation of Fionnuala.

Did I Tell You I Was Kind Of A Big Deal?

So I know you were all, "Kristy, you cannot possibly top having Promtacular! featured in The Napa Valley Register ABOVE the story about the potluck!"



But you guys. My star is on the rise.

Friday, March 26, at 1 p.m. Pacific / 4 p.m. Eastern, I am going to be the featured guest on an internet radio show called "Women Are Not Funny."


The show is hosted by the inimitable Kay Ballard, who you can read about here or follow on Twitter @kayballard.

I am certain you were wondering how you might have an opportunity to not only READ about me talk about myself, but actually get a chance to HEAR me talk about myself, were you not?  Well, here is that special opportunity you were waiting for.  You can actually listen to the show in real-time (Lord only knows what will come out of my mouth; I apologize in advance) by calling in:
Phone # to Dial: 757-201-9725 

Use Conf ID: 550702


The info is also at the site linked above.

In case that wasn't enough of me (as if such a thing even exists, HA!), after the show the recording will be available for download. It'll be like my blog in .mp3 form.

I'm telling you. If I get any more famous I'm gonna have my own show on HGTV.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jane Was Here

A few hours of extra time magically appeared before me this evening, and I have chosen to use them to delve back into emails I received and haven't yet replied to. Some dating back a very long time.

Over a month ago, a friend and former coworker of mine sent me an email I didn't know what to do with. I read it, opened the link, closed the link immediately, sobbed, shuddered, and stepped away from the computer.

My internet circle has been fraught with stories of premature babies.  And sadly, for every hopeful and healthful story about a preemie (Yay, Jonah!), there are the many others.  I won't lie -- I feel entirely emotionally unequipped to handle the subject matter even a little.

But you know?  Since today I had the luxury of worrying about my daughter's future self-esteem, I realize that the very least I can do is acknowledge those parents who don't get that luxury and consider myself lucky every second of every day I get to spend with my child.

Here is Liz's email:
This blog is written my my sister Sue's college roommate, Tia. http://ourgirljane.blogspot.com/

She had a difficult pregnancy, was hospitalized and gave birth last august to a 3 months premature baby girl named Jane. For the last 6 months, their family has been on a roller coaster of trying to maintain a normal life for their daughter, work, trips to Boston to the hospital. Well. Jane's lungs never did develop properly and last friday she passed away. She never got to come home.

...you can read the blog and cry too, but her request was that people near and far who were touched by her story, to send a card saying "Jane was here." to:
Tia McCarthy
5 Winter Street
Montpelier, VT 05602



The Best Reason? The Worst Reason? I Honestly Don't Know

Confession: I don't want Eve to have any memories of me being fat.

I don't ever want my daughter to be ashamed of her mother. And I am afraid that if I don't lose weight, she would be.

(Now, okay. Let's be real. By the time Eve turns 11, she will be embarrassed of me because of how I breathe.  Or, you know, how I blink. I remember being 11 and I remember that my parents were utterly mortifying simply because they had the nerve to exist.  But that's not what I'm talking about exactly.)

I don't want Eve to have to deal with other kids making fun of her because of something I am entirely responsible for and can entirely control.

But I'm not sure I'm right. I'm not sure that's a good reason to lose weight.

I KNOW that Eve's own body image will be based less on what I tell her and more on what I show her.  I want to be healthy, I want to maintain a healthy weight, and I want to eat good foods because I want to show-by-example great eating habits that she will hopefully employ throughout her life.

On the other hand, I do not want to teach Eve that being fat is inherently bad. I don't think growing up with a "fear of fat" is a healthy approach to living. (Case in point: Me.)  Isn't body acceptance -- at any weight (or appearance, for that matter) -- the ultimate goal?

I have noticed this: in my life, the people who are kindest and most accepting of my size are generally those who aren't overweight themselves but who have someone in their immediate family who is.  Maybe if I never lost weight, Eve would be one of those kind people.

But then, maybe if I never lost weight and also never seemed unhappy about, diminished by, apologetic for, or embarrassed of my body, my daughter wouldn't have to be, either. And maybe that's the healthiest goal of all.

Except...how do I do that?  How do I want to be totally not weight-conscious and totally weight-conscious at the same time? How do you encourage "health" without encouraging "fear of fat"?  How do you make one good without making the other bad?

And I mean, it's not like my losing weight will suddenly make Eve not have body issues. I'm just having trouble reconciling the notions that:

a) I am not happy as an overweight person and do not like being identified as fat. The idea of being someone's "fat mom" is horrifying to me;

and

b) I don't want Eve to ever feel horrified for how she looks, however she looks.


How do you do it? How did you do it?  How do you wish you could have done it?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Friday Night At Pigs & Pinot

Last year on Top Chef they showcased some event up in Healdsburg called "Pigs & Pinot" and Ish and I immediately Googled it and got on the email list to be notified for when it came up again this year.

The day that tickets went on sale, I literally sat at my computer hitting refresh until the screen appeared telling me I could buy them.

Photo from official website.
Quite obviously not from me, what with it being in focus and all.

This is how some people buy tickets to rock concerts. This is how I buy tickets to eat pork.  Perhaps my need to diet isn't exactly shocking.

Anyway, Ish and I had determined we really only needed to go to the Friday night dinner because that's where you walk around and taste the top 50 pinot noirs in competition with each other, and sample amazing pork-related dishes from great chefs. Like Charlie Palmer, who created the event, and like Top Chef's Bryan Voltaggio and Kevin Gillespie. And, yes, Tyler Florence.

So let's fast-forward to where we're now AT the event, and I remember that I am very, very, very bad at meeting "celebrities." This has never stopped me from walking up to them and introducing myself, of course.  The moment before I decide to introduce myself, I think it will go fine and I'll know what to say and maybe THIS will be the time I'm utterly delightful. Except then I open my mouth and suddenly I hear the things I'm saying and my meta-narrative starts so I have two simultaneous dialogues happening in my head and neither are going the way I'd hoped.

Dialogue One, spoken: Ridiculous things I'm saying to celebrity, who doesn't know me, hasn't met me, doesn't care that I have a blog or a child or grew up in Connecticut or whatever I'm babbling about...

Dialogue Two, internal: WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT YOUR BLOG SHUTUPSHUTUP OHMYGOD YOU SOUND SO CRAZY...

As I was approaching Bryan Voltaggio, I realized that the only thing I could think of to say was that I thought his brother was a giant asshole on Top Chef and I was totally disappointed in the show's finale. Luckily, I had the good sense to know that "God, your brother seems like a total douchebag" is not an appropriate conversational "ice breaker." So mostly I just sort of mumbled at him and took whatever food item he handed me and skulked away.

Unfortunately for him, Kevin Gillespie was a different story. He was the one chef I was most excited to meet (yes, above Tyler Florence). Of course I thought that he would be more approachable -- probably because I adored him and he just seems like a nice guy -- and that's pretty much the death knell for Celebrities Kristy Is About To Meet.

"If this...I mean...don't take this the wrong way, I couldn't mean it more...better...it's just...well, like if this were Disney World? Meeting you would be like meeting Mickey Mouse!"



Oh, yes. That actually came out of my mouth.  Mickey Mouse. The conversation didn't go far beyond that AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE.

Later in the evening, we got to meet Tyler Florence. Now, I realize he's like SUPER celebrity chef-man, but I am not that familiar with him.  Which is probably why I referred to him as Tyler Perry all evening and Ish had to keep correcting me.  Also, wine.



So just before I got to chatting with him, I scanned my brain for what I would say, and the thing that popped up was "YOU MADE HIS GRAVY AT THANKSGIVING!"

Which is true.  The first and only recipe of Tyler Florence's I've ever attempted was his made-for-imbeciles gravy (not what it was officially called but may as well have been).  Because this was the first year I attempted homemade gravy and I didn't really know how it was done, and he had a like, two-minute segment on the Food Network for how to do it so you can't screw it up.

And that's what I thought of as I met him and AS PART OF MY INTRODUCTION to him I blurt out "...and thank you for your gravy recipe."

Who? Who says that? Even when meeting chefs, gravy is not an acceptable topic of a proper introduction.

He looked momentarily stunned but then just went with it and asked me what the fuck I was talking about, only more politely.

So then I said that I hosted my first Thanksgiving this year and had never made gravy before and so I found his gravy recipe very useful, thank you.

And then he asked, "Which one?"

I hesitated.  I was not prepared for a follow-up question.

He asked, "The one we did this year, with the pumpkin?"

I must have looked like a deer in headlights.

He went on to explain this amazing-sounding recipe involving roasted pumpkin and deglazing and I just sort of stared at his hotness with my mouth agape. Because no. No, I did not use pumpkin in my gravy. I barely used gravy in my gravy.

"Oh...uh...no. I just...it was the really simple one. For um, beginners." I said with a note of shame.

And he replied with a note of disappointment, "Oh, THAT one."

I'M SORRY, TYLER PERRY FLORENCE!



So then I felt compelled to add, "But it was so great! I really appreciated it!"

AND THAT WAS A LIE. I DISAPPOINTED TYLER FLORENCE AND THEN I LIED TO HIM.

Because that gravy that you can't screw up? Oh, boy. I screwed it up alright. It was all gross and lumpy and separated. By the time it had been in the makeshift gravy boat for five minutes, the bottom half was a flour-y clump and the top half was an oily pool.

Surely it wasn't his fault. Surely the fault lay with the woman who had to rewind the uber-brief segment over and over in order to scribble the 3-step directions onto a piece of paper. Surely.


Not long after meeting not-Tyler-Perry, toward the end of the night, Ish and I had the opportunity to talk with none other than Ray Isle.  You know.  The WINE EDITOR OF FOOD AND WINE MAGAZINE. A delightful, smart, engaging man who WRITES for a living.

And do you know what I said to him?

That's right. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I smiled and nodded and let Ish and Ray discuss the finer points of wines and food and vineyards and the wine industry and Stanford and I did NOT interrupt or call Ray Mickey Mouse or say anything about blogging or Twitter or take an awkward photo.

I met a world-class writer and couldn't think of a single thing to say.

* * * * *

Overall, the event was wonderful and the pinots were great and my diet went on hiatus (as I'd planned for it to) for the evening because I'm sorry, but a) we'd been waiting for this event for a year and



b) see those things up there? Those are warm, bite-sized maple-glazed doughnuts with bacon.

Right.

Before I end this post, I figure I should add the following -- for anyone reading this who might actually be interested in food and/or pinots as opposed to what ridiculous things I said to celebrity chefs and didn't say to a world-renowned writer:
  • My favorite single food item -- doughnuts notwithstanding -- was the "Po'Boy Slider" as prepared by the chefs from Cyrus. I have never eaten anything more amazing in my whole life.  I know it's completely wrong to celebrate weight-loss goals by eating out, but whatever. We're making a dinner at Cyrus our next big outing.

  • The winner of the Pinot Cup was Woodenhead. I loved it. Ish preferred the runner-up, Williams Selyem.  


*Hurrah! I weighed myself this morning and I weigh exactly what I did on Friday morning. Not bad, considering.  I'm still 12 pounds down.

**Special shout-out goes to Lynae, who was at the event and introduced herself to us because she reads this blog. Meeting her/hearing that was kind of the highlight of my evening. I am certain I said entirely inappropriate things to her as well, but she was delightful.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Out Of Hibernation

I didn't know I was hibernating. That wasn't the plan. Actually, if there was any sort of plan when we packed up our CityLife and moved to Napa last year -- yes, a year ago now -- it was that I was going to spend my time "reuniting" with the internet as a participant, instead of someone on the outside looking in.

Let me back up.

My grand notion when I started working for BlogHer back in November of 2006 was that it would throw me head-long into the world of blogging. I mean, beyond my own blog and the handful of other blogs I read. I'd hoped that I would learn more about The Social Media Industry AND that my blog would become more popular in the process.

"In the process." Why? How? Through what process? I didn't quite know. Unfortunately, I never had time to figure it out.

When I left BlogHer 2.5 years later, the analogy I used was this:
Imagine an aspiring chef who's trying to become a better cook and thinks the best way to make inroads in her cooking career is to get into the restaurant industry...by becoming an assistant manager of a famous restaurant.

And so she learns the industry ropes. She learns who the successful industry mavens are, who's making waves, who's being successful, what isn't working.

She learns how to be very good at her job.

Meanwhile, she works with chefs. She hires chefs. She tries to help chefs, and is part of the restaurant that is making some chefs' careers.

But she is not a chef.

My apologies if that was heavy-handed.

It's just that I love BlogHer and I loved working for the company, and I always said that I was very fortunate to run events I'd actually want to attend. But in that respect, the events were always bittersweet, because I did, actually, want to attend. I wanted to meet other bloggers and chat with them and party with them and learn from them and yes, promote my own blog, too.

But while I was outside looking in, I never made the leap to "big blogger." Or, "bigger than I am currently" blogger.

Which isn't the only goal or only thing that matters or anything like that. It's just something I sort of thought would just magically happen, despite that I was pouring 90% of my energy into my job and not my blog.

And it didn't magically happen.

Anyway.

I stopped working and moved to Napa and thought I would dive in to being a blogger again. Not because I thought I could "be big" but because it's what I love doing.

Except, um? I didn't.

Maybe I was burnt out. Maybe I didn't know what to write, or who to read. Maybe I was just caught in that transition period between Working Woman and Stay At Home Mom, between Single In The City to Married In The Suburbs trying to figure out what my identity was supposed to be.

We interrupt the blog post to bring you a gratuitous photo of Eve.


But slowly, as Eve has gotten bigger and as I'm transitioning from "new mom" to just "mom" (read: I'm not as panicked every second that I'm somehow going to accidentally kill the baby), I'm blogging more. And more.

And I have launched Promtacular!

And I have even started venturing out of the house to go to "Tweetups."

And I am going to start working again, with these amazing ladies.
And I will be going to BlogHer in NYC in August.

And, um, why am I telling you all this?

Because I DO feel like I'm coming out of hibernation. Like all of a sudden I'm busy and doing things and have things to write about again (not that writing about my child's spit-up or my tacky prom dresses or the fact that I can't dress myself isn't also good stuff!).

And because it's interesting to be on the other side of it and realize just how much I did learn as "an assistant manager of a famous restaurant."

(Example: I found it fascinating to come face-to-face with someone who is a Social Media Consultant who doesn't have a blog, and an "industry guru" who has 148 followers on Twitter.)

I guess I just feel like I'm getting my voice back, and that I have a lot to say.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Wagon And I Have An On-Again, Off-Again Relationship

I wouldn't call it dysfunctional. Well, not exactly. It's more like The Wagon is this new man in my life who I'm fairly confident I'm going to end up with, I'm just not ready to jump 100% into the relationship with him knowing that we're going to get married. I want to prolong this flirty, new-dating thing we have going right now as long as possible.

Everyone's always telling me not to rush into long-term commitments.

Hi, and welcome to my analogy.

As of last Friday, I'd lost close to 11 pounds in 11 days. That's crazy. And great and wonderful and it feels fantastic to have hard work pay off so profoundly. It's very easy to stay motivated under these kinds of circumstances.

But even crazier is that it would have (or could have) been more if I'd stayed "on plan" the whole time.

I just haven't. Not because it's hard to stay on plan, though. I mean, it is, but that's not the thing. I didn't "fall" off the wagon, I purposefully and conscientiously stepped off it. There is a difference.

While I'm adjusting to this new regiment, I happen to have a series of social events planned, and I didn't want to feel I was denying myself them. (For the record? Ish and I are going to Pigs & Pinot this Friday night. It was an event featured on Top Chef, we've been waiting A YEAR to go, and it is costing us roughly a bazillion dollars. We're attending almost as a "vacation." The Wagon is not invited.)

But after that event, well. Let's be honest: I'm never going to cut wine out of my life entirely. But I do plan to get to a place where going out to dinner and ordering a salad is my idea of indulging. Or, okay, if not "indulging," at least not feeling like I'm missing out on something. I'm not there yet. But I will get there. I will. You know how I know? Because I almost am.

I can't even believe this is me writing this. Seriously.

The bottom line is that after only two weeks, everything has changed.

I feel different. My body looks different. I have more energy. I'm sleeping better. My appetite is almost completely changed.

I honestly feel like I've been on this program for a lot longer than two weeks, in a good way. And while I'm not quite down (officially) 10 pounds, I may as well be. Because I'm remembering what it felt like to lose weight before. Not all those other times when I wasn't especially successful, when I just lost a few pounds here and there. I remember what it felt like when I lost weight in college. I can't explain why it's like that now, or why I know this will be successful like it was then, but it is and I do.

Last Saturday night, I went to dinner and ordered something fatty and unhealthy, and I didn't like the way it made me feel. I don't mean I felt guilty about it (I didn't; this was my choice to make and I made it -- I stand by that). I didn't like the way it made me feel physically.

But not just that.

You know how sometimes you just order the wrong thing? Like, you go to a restaurant and can't decide what to get and then you pick something and it's just not what you wanted? And then you leave the restaurant with a slight sense of disappointment?

(Please indulge me this first-world/fat-girl problem for just a moment.)

I left the restaurant disappointed that I didn't have the grilled shrimp. Grilled shrimp! Grilled! Shrimp! I had amazing ribs and french fries (french fries are my favorite food on the entire planet), and I was disappointed about not ordering grilled shrimp.

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW INSANE THAT IS?

Two weeks in and I'm losing interest in french fries. Something is definitely working.




Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I Have No Idea How To Dress Myself

That's it. I have officially fallen into a fashion abyss and I can't get up. There are so many elements conspiring (YES I SAID CONSPIRING. THEY ARE OUT TO GET ME.) against me I am pretty sure I will be wearing yoga pants for all eternity.

Yesterday I received two catalogs in the mail that made me LOL for totally opposite reasons. One was a plus-sized catalog called "The Woman Within." (Note: Wwwrrrrrreeeeeechhh!) The other was Urban Outfitters.

And I realized I have three GIANT STRIKES against me when it comes to dressing myself and I should just give up and never leave the house.


Strike One: I am not 15.
I am not even 25 anymore. I am going to be 35 this year. *chokecough* And while I don't think this means I need to dress like a "mom" (whateverthehell THAT means), I am not convinced it's okay for me to continue to wear pigtails. I just, I have zero idea of what sort of clothes are age-appropriate, or if I need to worry about this, or if I even care about this. (Mostly I don't.)

It's just something I have to think about, especially as it relates to...


Strike Two: I do not understand current fashion trends at all.
Perhaps this is nothing more than a function of age, but I don't even know what I would be wearing if I was 15. I feel like current trends are totally eluding me. I couldn't identify them if you paid me.

The other day I was at a local shopping plaza when a gaggle of good-looking teenaged girls descended on the place, all from the local high school. Every single one of them was wearing a version of skinny jeans -- i.e., skinny jeans, super-tight jeans or leggings -- tucked into Ugg-like boots (except one girl who wore flip-flops). They paired these bottoms with bulky hoodies.

I don't really know what to do with this. I don't mind the IDEA of skinny jeans, because my legs are one of my best features (understanding that's relative, please). But I don't know how I could ever find jeans that fit my legs tightly that could EVER fit over my giant bubble butt AND my under-the-bellybutton pouch.

I'd essentially need the jeans to be made like a golf tee. Wide enough at the top to fit the golf-ball rest of me.

Pretty!

Anyway. Then I got to wondering if I should even be paying attention to what teenagers are wearing (See: Strike One). Especially since there seems to be this growing trend of wearing 80s styles semi-ironically, which I find hard to get behind since I lived through wearing those things UNironically the first time and haven't stopped laughing at myself since the 90s. You know?

So whatever. I received the Urban Outfitters catalog and got a brilliant idea. I thought, "Hey. I'm not foolish enough to think I should be wearing any of these outfits, exactly, but maybe the catalog can give me ideas about current trends so that I can interpret them for my age and size."

HAHAHAHAHAHA. No.

Here is their catalog cover:


Please to explain.

I don't even understand it. How can I "interpret" it?

I mean, call me old-fashioned -- and maybe this is just my nearly-35-year-old-self talking -- but pants? When did they become optional?

Seriously. I looked through this catalog and none of it made any sense to me.


I see this dress as $68 of confusion. It's tiny and flimsy and see-through and has a cropped(?) back(?). Which gives me a whole new body part to be self-conscious about.

Bottom line: I don't have the slightest idea how one would ever begin to make this age- or size-appropriate.

Because, lest we forget...


Strike Three: I am plus-sized AND losing weight, so I don't fit into anything.
I hate all the clothes I have because they're all giant, and mostly "yoga" and "workout" themed, despite that I don't do either. They're comfy alright, but I'm sure there's a way to be "comfortable" without looking like I could have slept in my ensemble.

Further, I have quite a collection of sizes of clothes in my closet, ranging from "huge and pregnant" to "not as huge as some other stuff" to "I bought this two years ago and still don't fit into it."

And I'm reluctant to buy stuff now, as I am seriously dedicated to losing weight and don't want to buy new clothes until they're a totally different size than any I've been purchasing for the last several years.

So, BUT! Despite that I wouldn't know what size to buy stuff in, THERE IS NOTHING TO BUY.

You know the screeds I could write about trying to find "fashionable" things to wear as a plus-size woman are endless, but they all come down to the same thing:
  • We want to wear what everyone else is wearing.
  • If you're going to make clothes in entirely different styles and colors for the plus-size set, please make it so that it COVERS the troubled areas, such as the upper arms. We don't want our upper-arm flab swaying in the breeze any more than you want to see it. Sleeves, please.
  • Just because I'm big doesn't mean I'm tall.
  • Where do you suggest I put the other half of my boobs? (The half that these shirts don't cover?)
  • We want to wear what everyone else is wearing. Oh, did I already say that? I THOUGHT MAYBE YOU DIDN'T HEAR ME.
I ordered a pair of boots from The Woman Within (*hurl*) online when they were the only ones I could find that were cute, not hundreds of dollars, and included exact measurements of how wide the calf was (and would thusly fit me).

Oops.

Now I'm on their mailing list and I received their catalog and I opened it thinking maybe there would be some fashion-forward options for me for spring. Something I could consider buying in a month or two.

Please forgive me if you disagree, but I was personally offended by the clothes in this catalog. OFFENDED. The clothes were AWFUL and the skinny models wearing them looked RIDICULOUS and because I cannot wash my mind's eye of the memory of the ASSAULT on my very existence, you will now get to share in the horror.

WHAT IS THIS???


Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

Oh yes, that white collar is BUILT-IN. Because you know how you were all, "Where can I get a tab collared like the ones that were popular for 13.5 minutes in 1998?"

Also? It comes in three other colors! "Mocha combo," "Plum combo" and -- not kidding -- "Blue Moon combo."

BLUE MOON. I can't capitalize that enough.

"Yoga" it is.


p.s. And what about hair?

Monday, March 08, 2010

For Better And Worse, The First Week Ends

I'm going to be doing Monday weigh-ins, because that's what all the Medifast people on Facebook do.

I had a bit of a rough weekend, but overall? I'm pleased with the results I'm seeing.


Edited to add: One week official weigh-in and 6.5 lbs down.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I'm Totally Famous

By now you're probably sick of me writing about weight loss stuff AND prom stuff, but my entire life has been overrun with these two things (which have NOTHING to do with one another, save for blogging) and so I have nothing ELSE to blog about.

Most of us might want to forget those decades-old prom pictures. The dubious hair and fashion choices. The dubious dates. Not Kristy Sammis. She wants to immortalize them for all time on the Internet.

Think hot pink satin, teal taffeta and sequins galore. Think big hair, mullets and press-on nails. Sammis loves it all. That’s why she created Promtacular.com.

Now, I realize that fame comes with a price, and I'm going to have to walk around all of Napa and Sonoma County with dark sunglasses and a wig on until the media buzz subsides and the paparazzi leave my doorstep. But this price is worth paying if it means bringing you such gems as these:



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On the weight loss front, let me just say that I should NOT be weighing myself every day, because it's crazy-making. I mean, on the one hand, I'm really interested in how this diet is effecting me day-to-day AND interested in seeing my progress every day.

On the other hand, the body is weird and effects of weight-loss are hardly ever immediate. This is what I tell myself when I eat less on Friday than on Thursday, yet gain a pound overnight. (The hell?)

So, I'm not planning to publish my actual weight-loss until Tuesday: The One-Week Mark.

That said, I have published an update about how the first five days have gone. You can read it here.

* * * * * *

Hey, P.S. If Promtacular! held an 80s Prom in San Francisco this summer, would you come?

Friday, March 05, 2010

The First Three Days

Alright. So I've been on this new weight-loss regime for three days (today will be day four).

It's a huge big giant change from what my otherwise "normal" routine is, and it's very effective. It doesn't surprise me that it's effective, though. Because that's the thing about these programs: if you do them, they work.

One of the anonymous commenters on my last post asked a very important question. I'm paraphrasing, but s/he basically was like, "Um, this is all well and good for losing weight. But what the hell are you going to do once the weight is lost?"

So I realized I should point out a few things.

1) I didn't gain this weight slowly, over time, where it just kept creeping up and I didn't notice and suddenly I'm wondering how I got to be THIS big. I have been *about* this size for over a decade.

2) When I successfully lost ~50 lbs in college, I kept most of that weight off for a few years. I wouldn't say gaining it back was a conscious decision, but I wasn't oblivious to it happening, either. (It followed meeting my first husband and the subsequent body-comfortability that comes with being in a cozy relationship.)

3) It's not that I don't know how to lose weight; it's that I just don't do what I have to do.

I don't need to learn portion control. I don't need to learn how many calories are in things. I don't need to learn what good fats are. I don't need to learn that eating less stuff more often is better than eating a couple giant meals a day. I totally know.

I just don't so much do.

I don't want weight-loss to be hard. So I constantly come up with new and better ways for me to "eat healthy" without sacrificing much. It usually works a little, slowly, but then I get frustrated. And I start on a slippery slope of "a little more of this won't ruin the week." And it wouldn't, if I didn't find a reason to say that every day.

Then there's also the occasional all-or-nothing mindset I get into, where if I eat something bad, I decide I've blown the whole day and may as well start fresh in the morning.

Ultimately, I believe I will be able to maintain my weight once I get where I'm going*. Getting there is the hard part.

Details about this diet so far can be found on my review blog, here.



*By the way? My goal is not to be "skinny" -- at least not right now. My goal is to be a happy, healthy, comfortable weight and dress size. One that lets me shop in normal (non-plus-size) clothing stores, even for bras. OH GLORY DAY.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Clean-Up Crew

I've been watching a lot of Hoarders lately. Have you seen this show?

Oh, I was horrified by the first episode I saw, but then I felt a compulsion (irony?) to watch the entire series.

Every episode tells the story of two hoarders. It shows their frightening, weird, scary, unsanitary living conditions. You see interviews with the hoarders, who seem all but oblivious to "how bad it's gotten." Then A&E sends in a mental health professional and a clean-up crew to intervene. They spend a few days trying to get the houses back to livable conditions.

The worst, hardest part of each episode is when the hoarder is about halfway through the first day's clean-up. That's when they seem to come out of their delusional "I just collect things" or "It's not that bad, it's not actually dirty" states of denial and realize exactly what a giant heap of insanity they're living with. That realization is hard and uncomfortable and most of them don't deal with it very well.

I am not a hoarder, but I am very empathetic.

(Do you see where I'm going with this?)

The dietary changes I made starting in January were good ones. But if I am being honest -- bleh, and who likes to be this honest, really? -- the changes I've made are the equivalent of a hoarder deciding to "straighten up" their kitchen. It's just not enough: it's barely scratching the surface.

Yes, losing 8-10 pounds and then plateauing is an okay start. And it might be okay for long-term weight-loss, too. IF I were only trying to lose 15, 20, even 40 pounds.

But that kind of weight-loss is, I think, the equivalent of a hoarder who decides to dust or do the dishes. Sure, doing the dishes is a necessary part of cleaning a "messy" house. It's not the same for someone whose house is bursting at the seams.

For someone whose house is bursting at the seams, something drastic has to be done before you can worry about washing the dishes. The the clean-up crew has to come in and make big, sweeping, necessary, (even live-saving) changes first.

Well, and there it is.

If I want to get anywhere near my medical-community-approved "ideal" weight, I need to lose about 100 pounds. Yes, 100.

Does that number seem insane to you? Because it seems damn crazy to me.

But then ugh. See, it is SO EASY for me to spend paragraph after paragraph writing things like, "I don't look like I need to lose 100 pounds," or "I'm still able to go to the gym," or "I'm not missing out on life at all because of my weight" because I've written those things here countless times. And you know? All of those things ARE true.

Hoarders who proclaim they "just collect a lot of stuff" are telling the truth, also.

So now what?

This is hard. Haaaaaaaaaaard. And I don't even mean the dieting part. Because I will stand by my statement that I am not miserable. I just want to lose weight because it's time that I lose weight.

What's hard is realizing just how much weight I have to lose. That means facing some pretty ugly realities. It's hard to let go of my comfy-cozy version of how I look, the version I "just walk around with" because I haven't prioritized anything else. It's hard to really see myself at the weight I actually am. It's hard acknowledging that the tips and tricks and general diet modifications that work for normal-people's weight-loss aren't ever going to be enough for me at this size.

It's hard to realize that I need my own, personal, clean-up crew.

But I do. Because this amount of junk? It's just not going anywhere without help.

The good news is: I've found the crew.

I'm starting Medifast today.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I am both scared and excited to be starting this program, and will be sharing the very real details of my experiences here. But because Medifast approached me, and is kindly providing me with the stuff I need, I can't write about the program details here (due to my relationship with BlogHerAds). So, I will be providing general progress reports and weight-loss updates, but any program specifics will be detailed on my review blog.