Monday, September 26, 2011

High school never ends.

Be warned I will be taking full advantage of the adult language disclaimer on the top of my page.

I'm overweight, clearly I realize this or I wouldn't have a blog devoted to trying to fix that. (Sure I am terrible at updating because I am easily embarassed when I screw up) I get that people find me unattractive but I don't really care about their opinions anyway. My boyfriend likes me and just wants me to healthy because he wants me to not die before I'm 30. (A little melodramatic I'd probably make it to 40).
But it's apparently offensive for me to be seen trying to correct this. Nobody looks good when they're working out if they're doing it right but yes I'm aware if you're particularly shallow the sight of someone my size jiggling sweating and puffing could be offputting but you know what? Shut the fuck up and go somewhere else! I was in the gym/ rec room in our apartment complex 3/4 through my 20 minute high intensity workout on the elliptical. (Medium stride for my height, 2nd highest resistance and averaging at least 55 steps a minute. ) When a bitchy blonde who couldn't have been more than a size 4 came in and decided that she needed that machine right now. Instead of asking me politely or inquiring how much longer the machine would be in use she decided that dissconnecting my headphones (my ishuffle was on a counter next to the machine.) and saying I looked "fucking pathetic" was the mature reaction to this situation. She continued to badger me with jabs about my love handles poking out (my top was too tight) and my chest bouncing (don't have a decent sports bra right now) and I told her politely(comparatively) that I had fifteen minutes left and to please take her hands off my stuff. Yes this added ten minutes to my workout out of spite. In retrospect that was not a mature reaction either but luckily I am pretty good at judging my fatigue levels and I had been contemplating either upping the resistance or going for longer and that was as good of a motivation as any to kick my ass harder,.

But seriously does she think this is fucking high school and just because she's conventionally attractive she has some fucking power over me? I was not a typical geeky doormat for popular kids back then and I sure as hell am not falling for it now. There is nothing pathetic about seeing my problem and trying to fix it.

That, right there is why I've ranted about how our society is so enabling for obesity. We say that we want people to get healthy and that it's not an aesthetic issue but god help you if you show that you're working on it. Being on a diet is passe and no one takes you seriously when you're working out in public. Well, society FUCK YOU! I'm overweight, I'm fixing it and I don't give a damn what you think of it.

"If i look back i am lost."
 Daenerys Targaryen, A Game of Thrones

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My workout routine.

So, for those who are curious. This is my new workout routine. Disclaimer:  this is not a beginners set but intermediates and ambitious newbies who know their limits and will take it slow in integrating these moves will find that they really punch up your old routine.

My Daily Workout Routine: Note I take a break to do a cardio intervals (jumping Jacks, mountain climber burpees etc ) and mini set of stretches between each group of moves to get a little bit more calorie burn out of this and to give my joints a quick break since they get a lot of stress from my extra weight. The cardio intervals are only 2 minutes long but they do help you get more out of the workout.  

Group 1: Cherry Pickers , Washing Machines,Side Bends. 3 sets of 10 reps each.
Group 2: Supergirl PlankReverse Squats, Side Planks, Jump Squats, 2 sets of 20 reps each.
Group 3: Plank PoseCriss Crosses, Fire Hydrants, Donkey Kicks, 3 sets of 10 each (excluding plank just hold the pose as long as you can  wile maintaining form at the beginning of each set)
Group 4:  Double Leg StretchSingle Leg Stretch, Side Leg Extensions, Side Leg Lifts, Side Leg CirclesRollups.3 sets of 10

Please let me know if any of those links are broken or link to the wrong demo.

That's my new daily form of torture, the only real difference between it and the old one is that Group 2 is all new and I used to have just regular squats ending group 3. But it does make a pretty big difference.

"Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?"- Bran Stark
"That is the only time a man can be brave" - Eddard Stark - A Game of Thrones. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Embarrassing Anecdote and a diatribe on Fad Diets.

So I tried today but I pushed myself a little too hard trying to make my routine more challenging and ended up hurting myself. Nothing major just embarrassing and it reminded me of something I want to talk about. I warn you the following concerns the uncomfortable subject of bodily functions and why eating right is really really important.

I was lazy last night after two days away from home sleeping on a terribly uncomfy couch so I just tossed some sauerkraut and pork shank in the crock pot when we got home in the afternoon and fell into a deep nap. Under ordinary circumstances, served with green salad this is a perfectly healthy meal. Pork shank is lean and kraut is a low fat flavoring with all the nutrients of cabbage. Unfortunately my body was stressed from lack of sleep and trying out some new workout moves. (Seriously reverse squats are evil but they get some hard to reach muscles in the quads, glutes and lower back) and when my body gets too stressed it doesn't digest things very well and I end up bloated and with diarrhea. Cabbage can cause such a reaction on it's own so my body was in for a double whammy (what is it with cabbage and beans, some of the healthiest things out there but they are so bad for bloating!)  So I had that unpleasantness and when I was finally recovered enough to work out (I thought) I started doing some of the new squats I added to the routine and I felt a terrible pain. I went to the bathroom and  was bleeding from my anus. (tried to warn you this was embarassing) I had torn it from the stress of the morning and the new moves. It's nothing serious but the little stuff like this that no one talks about it why it is so important to plan ahead and really think about what you are putting in your body. I know it's not fun to think about but the fact that people don't talk about this stuff is part of why extreme weight loss fails so often. This embarrassing and painful kind of experience is really discouraging if you don't realize how common it can be. The solution to this is of course more fiber and smaller portions of foods that cause me distress before I up a workout difficulty level. But it's annoying that I had to derail a day of progress for a dumb mistake.

Now, onto tonight's rant on Fad diets. When I was 17 a doctor got on my case about my weight because I was about 180 with a 32" waist and 42" chest and hips. (in short about where I am trying to get back to now.) I was in colorguard so I was dancing and marching and running to workout. I also worked as a CNA after school so I was on my feet a lot. I really wasn't unhealthy. A size 12 is hardly obese. But my BMI said differently so the doctor put me on the South Beach diet. The handouts she ended up giving me were so confusing that I ended up eating pretty much nothing but iceberg lettuce "salad" , celery and grilled chicken since it was a low carb based system. I lost a ridiculous amount of weight (about twenty pounds in just over a month) I got compliments left and right and I even went to prom with the guy I'd had a crush on for months (despite the fact that he had consistently not shown interest before.) But it was a terribly unhealthy way to function especially went I started taking an insane short term college class that had me waking up at 5AM to work 9 hours straight. The boy dumped me and my body pretty much just shut down on me. So I went back to eating the way I had been before which made me gain it all back plus some. Then college hit and so did cafeteria food and sedentary student life so I just kept getting bigger.

The Truth about Diets
[Via: Weight Loss for Lemondrop]

That's an extreme example but the concept is the same. When something offers you insane weight loss in exchange for paring your menu down to a single foodgroup or item. Avoid it like the plague! Your body is a finicky machine that needs a huge variety of different foods. While the old food pyramid was a little miss-stacked it was a good idea of how many different things your body needs to thrive.
Also, as I've said before anything that promises a result to good to be true, isn't. Weight loss is a slow grinding  process that takes commitment and serious, all around change. You can't just pick up a diet until you're where you want to be and then go back to your old life. It just makes it worse. That being said, remember this is a lifestyle, not a diet.
What the food pyramid should look like (No one ever remembers legumes) 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Extra Credits?

I didn't work out today since I've been with Riley all day and I'm not paticularly fond of working out in front of him; Well anyone really. That's the main reason I keep weekends as my recovery days. I am considering working out tonight anyway since I am alone while he's at game. I am just feeling so... gross. It's like I'm not doing enough and everyone can see what a half ass effort this is.

I know I am making progress I think this is mostly just guilt about how falling off the wagon and losing so much ground. I know intellectually that this is a slow process and that I'm going to lose track along the way it's just, well tiring. This is not a Karate Kid montage it's a marathon. I know I've said all of this before and I'm really just whining but honestly it's my blog and I feel like crap so that's what I'm going to talk about.

On a lighter note, taking that photo of me made me think that I would like to do a time lapse video of my weight loss process. In the media you see a lot of extremely unrealistic portrayals of weight loss (Yes I'm looking at you Biggest Loser and Extreme Weightloss Makeover!) and I want to show what a year of weightloss looks like. So from here on out, I will take a photo every day that I can until I have 365 of them to put into video together. This will be embarassing since it will make my setbacks obvious as well as how soul crushingly slow this process is. I know I will get there, one step at a time.

Alternate Spock: One man cannot summon the future.
James T. Kirk: But one man can change the present. - Star Trek TOS. Mirror, Mirror

P.S. I went to Trek in the Park in Portland today and they performed that episode. It was awesome!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 10: Meh

I worked out, I didn't mope too much and I am finally starting to hurt less and get some energy back, only two weeks into this routine. I know that doesn't seem like too terribly long to wait for results but keep in mind that I have been in pain, bloated and uncomfortable for two straight weeks on top of the sheer effort it takes to exercise in this heat anyway. Now that I am (hopefully) over the initial hill I can reap the benefits until I hit the next one.

That is all for tonight. This night owl's gonna go read a silly fantasy novel and try to fall asleep.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 9. Facing the scale

So I had to get on the scale before they would give me my shot. I was nervous because I have seen so little difference in my measurements or my fitness level and I have been slipping but I got an awesome suprise. I lost more than ten pounds!
I still have a long ways to go but this is a huge milestone and it total gave me the impetus to keep going because clearly I am doing something right. I know I said that the weight itself is not the goal and I have no magic number but it's still some tangible evidence that I am on my way to getting better. Also I have lost another half inch off my waist and two inches off the evil belly! That leaves 3.5 inches to go to my overall goal waistwise and a very long way to go on the actual tummy but it's a step and I will totally take it as a victory.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 8 off the wagon... kinda

First day with Riley out of town and I was trying so hard to keep busy that I thoroughly forgot to work out. I will be putting on a quick cardio workout and some yoga before bed since I am a total night owl when I am home alone but it's still hard not to feel like I'm already losing.
I do get really mopey when I am alone which is why I'm trying so hard to keep busy and keep myself distracted. Tomorrow I get my shot (birth control,) I'm not late for it but the withdrawl makes me kind of insanely depressed so hopefully my hormones will balance out and I won't be quite so self pitying and pathetic.
A single battle lost, but the war goes on.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 7 Went swimming instead so... Why Corsets?

So I went swimming instead of working out. It was fun but it doesn't make for a very exciting blog post so I want to talk for a bit about why my main goal is focused around a corset waist measurement. No, i's not just because I want to look slimmer. That is a great feature of corsets but the honest answer is that I am well endowed in the chest area and corsets are better than bras for support when they go over the bust and they are amazing back support. Yes I am aware that those are seen as excuses to justify them because they make you look slimmer but honestly I have naturally pronounced waistline and with a little work on removing my tummy pooch I rather like my figure. The way I'm built corsets just push the tummy pooch down so it's not a help in that respect.

I have been obsessed with corsets since I was eighteen but have just never had the money to purchase a decent one. I have been studying the skills involved and have made some passable experiments but just don't have the money to get the materials to make one properly. So I have been reading all of the resources I can and looking for a job in the hopes that I can obtain corsets for myself. I have two huge Amazon wishlists devoted to this obsession and I have pages and pages of bookmarks and notes on the subject. With luck, I will soon have the healthy physique and corset of my dreams.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 6

What Fitness is supposed to look like.
How I feel 
"Figures. All my life I've fought against imperialism. Now, suddenly I *am* the expanding Russian frontier."
"But with very nice borders."

Ivanova and Franklin,

This is supposed to be fun soon. Supposedly the benefits are going to heap upon me to outweigh the pain and embarrassment. In fact fitness propaganda constantly tells me about how much better exercise should be making me feel by now. Here's a breakdown of those benefits and why many of them do not apply to the obese trying to get back in shape.

1. Less Stress. No, exercise so far has been pretty darn stressful and the pain is throwing my whole life out of whack. I can't even do laundry without swearing like a sailor. 

2. Improves Mood. See above I assume that I don't have to explain why that makes for a terrible mood. 

3. Better Sleep. Not yet, mostly I'm being kept up with aches and cramps and when I do sleep it's restless and full of really weird nightmares from the adrenaline leftover by all the aforementioned stress.

4. Better Sex life. True so far but I think that has more to do with the fact that my boyfriend's leaving for a week than the exercise.

5. Better Overall Health. Yes, eventually this will make me more healthy that's kind of the point. 

6.More Energy. Bullshit I'm a living Romero movie right now. 

7. Lose or Manage Weight. Once again kind of the point. 

8. Better Metabolism. See above 

9. Decreases Chances of Disease. See above 

10. Better Concentration.  Lies! So, very sleepy! 

So yeah I am on day six and wondering when the hell this becomes a magical sparkly process that turns me into Cinderella because this "doing it the hard way" stuff is bullshit. 
Where's the application for a fairy godmother?! 
Yes I'm aware this is useless whining; but it makes me feel better. This process is not unbearable, just hard. And unfortunately the montage movie culture we've grown up with makes it seem like this much work should be yielding at least something. It is, I have lost 1.5 inches off of my waist which means I have 4.5 left to go. My stomach is also two inches down with quite a ways to go. That just doesn't seem like very much at all. 

Ok, enough self pity for one day. Onward to sewing! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 5

Kevin: Yes, why does there have to be evil? 
Supreme Being
: I think it has something to do with free will. - Time Bandits 1981 

My boyfriend made cookies.
I have failed the will save to resist them. I didn't quite critically fumble as I have only had five since last night. But still it's still frustrating to have them around. Remember how I said before that most people will just assume that this is a fad? Yeah, stuff like this is kind of the opposite of support. 

I also struggled with motivation and Newton's first law "an object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest." I gave blood yesterday which I do every two months. This time however,  since my body is stressed from working out it hit me hard. I slept in until noon and struggled with myself to get through this workout. I did, barely. My head was killing me but I forced myself to do my cardio lap and I ran into another one of my things that suck about being out of shape. 

Three times on my walk people tried to pull me aside or talk to me and got offended when I apologized and continued walking. They ignored the many joggers that passed me or came before me but because I was "just walking" I am fair game. Just because I'm not a seasoned athlete I don't deserve the right to be left the hell alone and get better. I know that this part of town is very social and people felt like they were being nice. But this was just frustrating. This is an extension of it being a faux pas to diet. Feel free to work out if you're already in shape but keep it out of public when you're not. I am already tired of this and I haven't been doing it for a full week yet. How the hell do people actually manage to do this without telling the rest of humanity to go away and die in a fire?   

It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past. - Ambassador G'Kar  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." -The Man in Black, The Princess Bride. 

I feel like I've taken a ride through the meat grinder from "The Wall". Legend tells me that eventually I will "hit a wall" and it will stop hurting but I have not yet encountered such a thing. I've made it through four days so far. I suppose that celebration should be held off until I reach a more significant milestone but every journey has to start somewhere. 

On the upside, unless my measuring tape has stretched I appear to be losing some serious inches off my waist and tummy. My initial goal was to lose 10 inches off my stomach by the end of the summer and my body, being in panic mode right now has decided to drop four of those inches already. This means I will probably plateau soon with this workout approach but I'm still feeling a serious burn and I added a 1 hour speedwalk that is mostly uphill to my regimen so that shouldn't be too big of a worry. 

My body is still adjusting but I know it will get better soon. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 3

Well technically I was pretty good on Saturday for a day of "rest" I went hiking and chased around a toddler and hung out with a friend who eats really good food. But today was the third day of my actual routine. I know that my weekends are just too inconsistent to worry about so they are my recovery days.

I am slowly discovering the things about losing weight when you're this far out of shape that they don't tell you on the Biggest Loser or in sparkly gyms that don't have a fat person in sight.

1. It hurts: I'm not talking muscle ache here. Your bones have so much stress on them from extra weight that throwing it around to try to get it the hell off hurts. My ankles and knees are aching like crazy as is my back. I can barely move to do anything else on top of every muscle in my body being sore.
2. It stinks: Beyond sweat, your body is secreting all the refined sugars and toxins you have built up getting to this point. Also your body is suddenly getting a lot of food that requires more digestion. (if you're eating well that is) So it will take a few WEEKS for it to learn how to process that kind of food without making your colon a wind instrument from hell. On top of that you are swallowing a ton of air while you work out. It's just darned unpleasant.
3. Once you're this big EVERYONE just assumes that this is a fad. Thanks to our cultural obsession with a sexy archetype pretty much everyone has tried to lose the weight several times before. (This does tend to apply more to women than men. But as a woman I'm gong with my own experience here) So no matter how serious you are this time everyone you look to for support will try very hard to conceal how dismissive they are being. If you are lucky you know someone who has already beat this or someone as dedicated to trying as you are. If not it sucks but it will be a while before anyone really realizes how serious you are and how much you need their support. This is why I am writing here I am creating my own support even if it's just talking to myself this point.
4.Admitting that you're on a diet is a faux pas. For a culture obsessed with skinny people we sure ostracize people who are dieting for being "too uptight" Once again this may apply more to women than men but it's true. If you're overweight and eating a burger it's ignored but if you order the dreaded salad there's something wrong with you. This double standard is one of the hardest parts of trying to get your body back on the right track. When holidays, get togethers and nights out are pressuring you to "splurge"
It is not bad occasionally. But it is such a large part of the social experience it's not quite rare enough to be considered splurging so much as cheating on your routine. It can totally derail your progress.
5. Motivation is a fickle bitch. You need to make this a routine or else you will stop when the bad starts to outweigh the good and your motivation begins to wane. I know I almost already fucked it up when I slept in late today. If you wait until you have the motivation or are "in the mood" you will never get better. To quote the great Gurney Halleck "Mood? What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises — no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting." This is a fight and for me surrender means very literal death. It may not be immediate but the sword is still hanging. 

This road is not easy but I'm going to make it. 3 days down so far, a lifetime to go. 

Friday, June 10, 2011


I managed two days in a row so far go me! Admittedly I'm about to go out of town for the weekend and fuck this up so I shouldn't celebrate too much but it's still a start.
Today I did two sets of yesterday's workout and hopefully I can manage three on Monday (it is not a bad idea to let your muscles heal over weekends) But now absolutely everything hurts. This is good because it means that I am good at what I'm doing and working out my whole body; but mainly it's really annoying. I'm also going to be making my usual walk today with the puppy but I'm going to take the long way since I'm not going to be meeting my boyfriend there so I think today should be pretty positive.
According to the fitness journal I use (which I think is a little optimistic) That should net me 1100 calories burned. Considering I'm only supposed to be eating 1,300 for a 1-2 pound loss a week (maximum healthy target) That sounds like a good day for me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New goal

So since I believe BMI is total hokum and "being healthy" is a pretty ambiguous term I need a specific goal to focus on.  I am not going to focus on a weight number (I don't even have a scale anyway.)

 My Short Term Goal:I want to lose enough inches off my waist and abdomen to get back into a size 16 jeans by the end of the summer.

 My Long Term Goal: Since corsets are my current obsession I want get my natural waist down to where I can currently cinch to so 32 inches or under. This second goal does not have a time limit because, well I have no clue how long that will take. But that is my goal, well that and get a job so I can buy the corset I want when I get there.
In case you are curious this is the one I want.

Ms. Martha's Corset Shoppe

So, yeah someday it will be mine!