Why This Time

Broadway.

I want to be an actress. Always have. It is literally the only thing I have ever wanted to be in my life. Even when I played with other careers, acting always snuck its little jazz hand in. Be a cook? Try to work at Food Network! Be a writer? Pick a character to cameo when my book becomes a movie (ha)! Be a mom? Fantasize about the twins being on Broadway so I can too!

I majored in musical theater in college and tried auditioning for about a year. I had two managers, both of whom sent me on call after call to play Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, and nothing else. I never played her once.

And I thought it was just bad luck. I thought it was just that casting directors wanted thin and I wasn’t thin and well doesn’t that just suck I guess I can’t be an actress.

But what if I can? What if being fat didn’t happen to me and it’s a choice and I can choose be an actress?

And it’s not completely about my appearance, though I’d be a fool to think that wasn’t part of it. But a large part of why I might have failed at acting the first time around was stamina. If I went through a dance call and couldn’t perform by the end of the day out of sheer exhaustion, OF COURSE they weren’t going to cast me. I wasn’t fit for the job. I wasn’t in good enough shape to dance for 3 hours a show, 8 shows a week.

Maybe it wasn’t my talent that stopped me, but me who stopped me.

So I’m trying to choose Broadway. And that’s a horrifying sentence to type that I deleted three times.

But when I’m working out and want to stop, I chant “Be on Broadway”, and it gets me through.

This is excruciatingly private to admit to the world on the internet, but there it is. I want to take control of my life and be an actress.

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Pinch Your Nose and Jump

As of Friday, I’ve lost thirty pounds.

For the third time in my life.

I’m really, really good at losing thirty pounds.

In college, I went from 220 to 190. I remember clearly the morning I saw 189. It legitimately freaked me out. “I can’t be in the 180s. That’s not me.” And I stopped dieting.

In 2014 (as documented on this blog), I went from 275 to 245 in an effort to conceive. I got pregnant with twins and was too overwhelmed with motherhood to bother taking care of myself.

In January, I hit 275 again and decided to take control of my life, for reasons I’ll explain in a separate post. Anyhow, on March 10th, I weighed 245.

And now I’m hitting this mental block about continuing. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m going to continue. But I can feel this itch of a hesitation, this numbing fear of losing more than thirty pounds that makes me just slightly more inclined to miss a workout, just an inch closer to eating an extra snack.

It didn’t help that the day after I officially lost the thirty, I ate out twice in one day. I didn’t go over my calorie count, but the salt retention made my scale read a half pound heavier than the day before. (I weigh myself every day. I’m a control freak that way.) So now I spent today avoiding bread and stuffing my body with fruits and veggies, hoping I release all of this salt.

I’m going to keep going, but I’m having trouble grasping the control I’ve sustained for the past two months. I felt in charge of every bite of food I had and on top of every workout, and now I feel like I have to take this one scared, slow decision at a time. I feel like I’m closing my eyes, pinching my nose, and jumping.

Gotta find me some floaties then.

Breakfast: Green juice, coconut milk yogurt, some grapes

Lunch: Stir fried tofu and asparagus

Snack: Half a pita and hummus

Dinner: Chicken cacciatore and zoodles

Dessert: Apple and peanut butter

Hanging On by my Finger Nails

When I talk about how stressed I am with people, they assume I’m giving up. They assume that by admitting I’m stressed and anxious and worried and preoccupied, I’ve given up in some way. But who said that being brave and persevering also included spouting self-help book cliches and letting emotions bounce off of you like you were made of titanium? Being brave and feeling the hard parts are not mutually exclusive.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

It seems I am among company.

Why is it so bad to talk about being scared? That does not make the fear disappear. It just eases the person trying to help. The feeling still bubbles and barks inside my head.

If tomorrow doesn’t end well, I will not give up. If tomorrow I do not get the outcome I want, I will not give up. Because the prize is worth the fear.

That being said, I’m hanging on by my finger nails. I haven’t been to the gym in two weeks, and the best I can do as far as dieting is not sabotaging myself. That’s the best I got. I eat to the top of my allotted calories, and don’t eat blatantly stupid things, but I can’t go further than that.

The Dog Days

There’s a song that I listen to when I want something. And not just want something, like, “Hm, I feel like a cookie, I should listen to this song.” But when I really, deeply, in my soul, in my heart desire something.

It took me 3 years out of college to find a job. And when I went for the interview for my current job, I listened to “The Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine on repeat to pump myself up, and it turned into me sobbing and crying and pleading with whoever was listening to give me the job. I got the job. And now I believe that hearing that song at random is a good omen.

Before my job title changed, I heard the song playing at someone’s desk in the department I was moving to. Good omen.

Before I got a raise, the song came up on Pandora.

So, this morning, I was heading to the doctor for blood work, and decided to listen to it. I put it on my phone, but didn’t feel like it meant anything. Listening to the song itself doesn’t bring good luck, it appearing at random does.

I switched to Pandora.

And the song came up.

If it were ever a sign for something, please, please, please, please, please to all of my grandparents watching over me, to whoever is in charge up there, to the Pandora gods – PLEASE let it mean something today.

10% Lost!

As of this morning, I am 247.9 pounds. I didn’t just kill the plateau, I obliterated it.

Next time I freak out about hormones killing my weight loss, please feel free to smack me upside the head.

The fun part of this weight: I have officially lost 10% of my weight. 10%!!!

According to Sparkpeople, I can now enjoy the following:

10. Better blood pressure
9.   Improved heart health and lower cholesterol levels
8.   Decreased risk for diabetes
7.   Enhanced sex life
6.   A better night’s sleep for those with obstructive sleep apnea
5.   Less pain associated with arthritis, joint disease and lower back pain.
4.   Better breathing
3.   Decreased risk for colon and breast cancer
2.   A healthier gallbladder
1.   More energy

(full article at http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=528)

In other news: Yesterday I ate like a crazy person. I don’t know where the decision came from, but sometimes in the morning I gave myself permission to have movie theater popcorn. Then all hell broke lose.

Breakfast: Scrambled egg and a biscuit (from a local cupcake place, they’re really friggin’ amazing)

Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich and a pickle (See me pretending I’m still dieting? Hilarious)

Movie: Regular size popcorn with butter. BAM day explodes. (Movie was amazing. I am Groot.)

Dinner: Split calamari with husband, half a calzone

After-dinner-I-hate-everyone-screw-the-world-snack: About 400 calories of peanut butter M&Ms.

According to Sparkpeople (where I track my calories) I ate about 3000 calories… My range is 1600-2000. Woopsies.

To be completely optimistic, I could have done a lot worse. A lot, lot worse. I could have eaten a bigger lunch, or eaten bacon with breakfast, or finished the calzone, or the bag of M&Ms. I’ve been known to down a large popcorn by myself before. So if on my worst day, I’m still able to show an ounce of restraint, that’s a win.

Well, I feel sheepish.

I recant my previous post. And feel really ignorant.

This morning, my weight leveled out and I’m back to 250. So, depending on my eating and whether I can keep my eyes open enough to go to the gym after work, I’m going to finally see that damn 249 this weekend. It’s been two weeks coming. And I’m coming for it.

YOU HEAR ME, 249? I’M COMING FOR YOU!!!!!! Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Losing my Grip

I finally ovulated on Monday. It’s been 3 rounds of Chlomid, months of Metformin, and 25 pounds lost, and I finally got the most BEAUTIFUL smiley face drawn anywhere ever on my little pee stick.

My husband and I were talking about it, and we realized that I may never, at least in my adult life, have ovulated. I don’t know what it feels like, how my body reacts, how to handle the hormonal shifts. I went on the Pill when I was 12 ish, and didn’t stop until we decided to start trying to conceive this January. I didn’t ovulate that entire time, until two days ago.

And that is the most wonderful, exciting, beautiful news.

But I am a single minded person. When my mind is consumed with something, it is CONSUMED. I couldn’t focus on anything else, even though it isn’t really an active activity. I have also never had this surge in cravings before. Last night, I literally told my husband to go to Wawa and “Buy me all the cake.”

I also can’t focus on exercising because I’m flip flopping between nauseous, cramping, exhausted, and starvation.

I managed to eat within my calorie limit (a miracle, and a coincidence, with no help by me.), but I’m currently up 2.5 pounds. Is this a bloating thing? A water retention thing? A “I-ate-every-carb-within-arms-reach-and-some-beyond-because-ya-know-carbs” thing?

Today, I am trying my damnedest to eat well. On paper, I am doing fantastic. I am well within my calorie budget. But every second is a struggle. Every other thought is “Screw it, you’re stressed, eat McDonalds.”

But I can’t screw it. Seeing my weight plateau then raise 2.5 pounds has been disheartening and exasperating. I need my grip back. I need to be on top of the situation again. But all I can manage is to not eat everything right now. All I’ve got in me is not eating bad things. I can’t excel, I can only coast.

But I guess coasting is better than drowning.

I’m not ashamed to say I need some encouragement, please.

Plateau, For Serious

This is the first week I haven’t lost any weight. I can hypothesize reasons I didn’t, but it probably doesn’t matter. Even so, I’m an obsessively logical person who likes answers, so here are my confessions:

I ate a bagel and coffee for breakfast every morning for a week. I thought that eating a big breakfast would help me not overeat the rest of the day, but maybe that was too many carbs for my body to start with.

I had two horrible eating days. On Friday, I commented about being Templeton the Rat. Then yesterday, my stomach hurt in the morning, so I was scared to eat until about 3 PM when I exploded in a sea of wanton destruction.

I had some weird workouts this week. On Sunday, I tried a kickboxing class, and had to quit halfway through. On Tuesday, I half assed my way through a half hour on the elliptical. On Thursday, I did 20 minutes of a video, and had to quit. On Saturday, I did 30 minutes of a yoga class and had to quit with a full blown asthma attack. I want to push myself, I want to improve, but it’s becoming a detriment to my calorie burn.

I under-ate my calories quite a few times last week. I may have slowed down my metabolism.

I think the biggest problem is I’m not a good finisher.

I’m great at starting things. I have huge aspirations, and am a chronic over achiever, but there’s something about succeeding that scares the heck out of me. I get intimidated or something when I see the finish line. And there’s a big finish line staring me in the face this week. And right when the doctor told me the end was in sight, I let my eating go haywire, because I “Couldn’t handle the stress”, or some similar bullshit.

Is it that I’m scared that once I succeed, I’ll be held to a higher standard? That I’ll have to recreate the performance? Or am I just so comfortable with where I am that failing is just more comfortable than succeeding?

I Can See the Future

I had my second workout-way-too-hard-almost-vomit experience this morning. But that’s probably from the mountain of cheese and carbs I ate yesterday more so than the yoga.

But afterwards, I was changing at my friend’s house, and saw my naked body in a full length mirror for the first time. And while at first I was disappointed and discouraged, upon closer examination, I found something amazing.

There is a shelf between my thigh and my hip.

My legs have gotten very tiny and muscular and powerful, and then there is a two inch shelf where my hips start on each side. So I put my hands over the shelf, found my hip bones, and for the first time…

I saw how small my body wants to be.

It was a revelation. I’ve always thought I was big boned, that my body was just meant to be wide and stocky. But now, looking at where my hips are supposed to land, I know it’s not true.

My body isn’t naturally fat. Which means I can take off this 27 year old winter coat blubber, layer by layer, workout by workout, and something glorious will be underneath.

And that’s amazing.