Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting Un-Fat Part II

Just FYI - I got the term "un-fat" from an acquaintance who mentioned that he'd begun a running program and was ready to stick to it... and he coined a battle cry of "Let the Un-Fattening Begin!". I liked it. Because I don't want to be skinny or even thin... I just wanna be UN-FAT. See? It works. By the way, said acquaintance has lost 40 lbs since his first day of un-fattening, which - all things considered - hasn't been so long ago. I only hope I can do half as well as he has!

DAY 2: Tuesday, July 14
For the first three weeks of this diet you are not supposed to do any strenuous exercise, which was music to my ears… mainly because I am hella lazy. I don’t like the gym, don’t enjoy working out, but I’ll do it because I think I have to. So, don’t let a doctor tell me I don’t need to exercise because I won’t! But then I realized that I’d probably have better results if I did a little bit of something, even if it was a quick walk or some light stretching. So, I grabbed Capone and we went for a stroll through the neighborhood. It was a fun time and I felt great afterward, so I’m sure I can continue to do this throughout the three weeks without any adverse effects. Besides, I think that mandate is really for people who’ve never exercised before. Unfortunately, I HAVE exercised before and probably should continue to do so because my body only takes a few days to fall completely out of shape!

No headache today, but I did experience a few… ahem… digestive issues late in the afternoon. Luckily, they didn’t really hit until I got home from work, so I didn’t have to torment my coworkers with that. Really, it was more embarrassing than anything and I’m not sure what exactly brought it on. Everything I ate today was rather tame, but something clearly didn’t agree with me! I’m happy I had no headache, but I also had a cup of coffee this morning. I tried sweetening with a little Truvia and some fat free cream and it was disgusting, so I poured most of it down the drain. But at least I got a little caffeine pumping through these veins.

I didn’t encounter a work-sponsored lunch today, but my assistant asked me if I wanted to head down to this Asian restaurant for a bento box, which I love! But I had to tell her no. I don’t really want to share the details of this diet plan with anyone because the last thing I need is to be discouraged by criticism and skepticism, so I’ve just been telling people “I’m on a new eating plan” and I’m leaving it at that. No further explanation required… respect it and be gone!

Dinner, my most liberal meal was great! Pork chop (the other white meat), broccoli, and salad. Yummy!

DAY 3: Wednesday, July 15

I’m a little discouraged because I don’t notice any difference. Now, you may be chuckling to yourself says “silly girl, it’s only been two days. Wtf are you talking about you ‘don’t notice any difference’?” Well… it’s just as I said… I don’t notice any difference. I lose weight quickly and my father even says that I can exercise once and you can immediately see that I’ve done something to help me get my body together. That should be even more incentive for me to do stuff, right? Wrong! Up to this point, nothing has lit a fire under me that burned strong enough to make me get off my ass and do something about my body. Well, until now…

Anyway, I don’t see a difference and it sucks. My clothes still feel the same, my tummy hasn’t gone down any (it’s usually the first thing to change), but I’m not gonna get discouraged. I’m just gonna remind myself that this is weight loss and weight loss takes time. Quick fixes are short term resolutions, but not long-term solutions. Yes, that’s it. And really, I’m doing well. Haven’t even thought of cheating even though the food is nasty! What I wouldn’t give for a burger right now!
According to my mother (who is still not on the diet pending approval from our doctor), it takes three days for the body to go into ketosis, which is the fat-burning zone. Who knew? So today is my first day of fat-burning. Seems like a lot of fat should’ve been burned by now, but hey… it’s only been three days! I still don’t feel a difference in my clothes and it would really hurt my feelings if I’d make all these sacrifices and then not lose weight! Ugh!

No headache tonight and no… digestive issues (thank God!), but I did have a weird rumbling in my tummy late this evening. AND, my stomach growled ALL DAY! But I went for another walk and it was nice. I don’t have my usual stamina (which wasn’t much to brag about to begin with), but I am walking pretty briskly, which the doctor says is fine. He has confirmed my suspicion that the limit on exercise is pretty much in place to help people who are not ordinarily involved in healthy eating and exercise to get fully adjusted to the healthy eating before they begin an exercise regimen (I had a hard time spelling this word for some reason!).

Dinner tonight was broiled lemon pepper salmon, spinach, and fresh tomato slices in a lemon/balsamic vinegar dressing. Wasn’t quite the burger I was craving earlier, but still delish!

DAY 4: Thursday, July 16
Alright, you beat it out of me. I cheated. Here’s what happened: I planned an event tonight… it was a cooking class in a gourmet kitchen. The menu consisted of six appetizer/small plates and I was involved in cooking all of them. One of the items was a mini Cuban frita, which was a mini-burger with ham, swiss cheese, roasted garlic mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and pickles. Then, you put all those ingredients into a panini press, which causes everything to meld perfectly… que sabroso! Given my cheeseburger craving from yesterday, I took one look at those things and knew I was a goner! I had to have one! So I did. Just one. And it was all that I dreamed that it would be… and maybe even a bit more! Thank goodness I got the recipe because I’ll be making them again once I’m able to be more liberal with my food choices (which won’t be for a long while, but at least this gives me something to look forward to).

Today, I had NO issues… no headache, no digestive issues, no stomach rumbling. Well, my stomach did growl, but it wasn’t the echoing thunder that I heard yesterday! I did so well sticking to the diet this morning, and I had gone into the cooking event with my eyes open. I figured that I’d have to eat at least one of the small plates. But, to keep it real, it probably shouldn’t have been the burger of all things! No sense crying over it now, though. Whats done is done and now it’s time for me to put this cheat day behind me and move forward!

Mommy finally got the okay to start the plan. Yay! She is ready to start, but is jealous because I am almost half a week ahead of her. I told her not to worry because I’m sure she can catch up, especially in light of my slipup with the cheeseburger tonight. She told me that eating that burger could’ve thrown my body out of ketosis and if that was the case, then it would take me another three days to get back into it. Ugh! I wish I’d know that before I ate the cheeseburger! I figured that I’d just ramp up the exercise, drink copious amounts of water, and eat right for the rest of the week and I’d be fine. Apparently, it’s not that easy! This especially sucks because today is the first day that I actually noticed a difference in my clothes and in my body generally when I looked in the mirror. It was a welcome sight! And now I may have counteracted the work that I’ve put in these last three days! Grrr!

The real test will be this weekend. Alcohol is not a part of my diet and even though I am a one-drink girl, that ONE drink has become a pretty big staple in my weekend activities. I’ll just get a mocktail (probably club soda with a twist of lime) and nobody will notice the difference… especially if they, themselves, are sloshed! So, I’ll be good. But the food thing… that’s gonna be hard. With some planning it doesn’t have to be difficult, but we’ll see how it plays out.

Tomorrow is Friday, which is Day 1 of the “real test”… will I last through the weekend? Stay tuned…

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ready! Getting Un-Fat Part I

I finally decided to do something about my body image. Like, something drastic. I’m not getting paid to big-up anybody’s company on this here blog, so I won’t go into detail about what I’m doing, but should I stick to it (which is the biggest “if” in the world!), then I should have some pretty spectacular results. So I figure since I’m doing something drastic, something that all people talk about doing, but most never do, and I also like to write, I might as well journal my experiences. Now, please know that this will not be easy for me. And I’m still going to write about all my romantic foibles, but I also think some people might want to know that I do more than sit around and complain about my job, write funny stories, and pontificate about men, love, sex, and relationships. For real… I do have other things going on in my life and this weight-loss effort is one of them.

I’ve explained that this has actually been an ongoing battle for me over the years. I started off as a skinny kid and progressed into a chubby tween, lost weight and became a slender teen, and packed on the pounds again in college. Since then I’ve never managed to get that “Freshman 15” (which in my case was more like the “Freshman 40”!) off my very small frame. And the fact that my frame is small actually exacerbates the issue… a bunch of extra pounds doesn’t spread well on a short person’s body. As such, I haven’t been happy with my outward appearance in quite some time.

Sick of being overweight, I decided to go on a healthy eating/exercise kick a few months ago in preparation for my 30th birthday. I stuck with it and shed about 11 pounds, but went through something (Hormones? Depression? Who knows?) that caused me to pack on half of that before I even left to go on my trip to the Caribbean.

Yet another failure, which didn’t sit too well with me. *sigh*

The worst part about it is that everyone in my family kept warning me that if I didn’t lose the weight before I turned 30, it’d be next to impossible to get it off. That’s NOT the thing that I wanted to hear from folks, but it was enough to kick my butt in gear. I’d had some success with the last diet/exercise program that I’d tried, so I considered just going back to that. But, then, my mom stepped on to the scene and my plans changed.

Now, I’m sure all our parents have quirks and my mother, God bless her, is no exception. Mommy is obsessed with the business of losing weight! She has every weight loss book known to man and every workout DVD ever made. Weight loss, health, and wellness are more than just hobbies to her, they’re passions. I think her fascination stems from the fact that she spent her whole life as a thin person and then put on a bit of weight later in life. She’s still not “fat”, but she definitely has put on a few pounds since her 40s. But please don’t get it confused, my mama looks great! She’s going to be 60 this year and I swear on a stack of Good Books that she doesn’t look a day over 45. Ask anybody!

Mom came to me recently and told me about a very extreme diet that her sister my aunt has been following and, in six weeks, Auntie has lost 25.5 pounds. My mother was encouraged by this news and decided that she wants to try the diet, too, but was afraid to take on the commitment alone. (My mom’s other quirk is that she always wants us to do things “together”.) My personal belief is that weight loss comes much easier when you have a partner, so I was all about jumping on this bandwagon with her. we took the plunge together and hopefully we’ll both have results worth writing about.

I haven’t decided whether I will blog about this daily, weekly, or sporadically (a.k.a. whenever I get the urge to write about it), but I WILL write about it. This post will cover the first four days and we’ll go from there.

I’m a bit shy about sharing this with the world, but I figure that if I mess up, the WORLD (cause every person on Earth reads my blog, right?!) will hold me accountable! That’s a great incentive.

DAY 1: Monday, July 13
Yesterday, Auntie came to talk to Mom and me about this new program that she’s on. It’s medically-supervised, so I’ll have to meet with a physician and a dietitian weekly, but it’s probably for the best. I have to admit that I’m scared shitless. I mean, this is a radical program, but luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of prep work or anything. All it’s asking from me is a little discipline… and that’s the though part!

Last night, I took pictures of myself in my one bikini and, let me tell you… it was NOT pretty! I want to burn my memory card so that there’s no evidence of the way that I look in a bandeau top and bikini bottoms, but if I burned the evidence then I’d have nothing to use as my “before” picture when I finally (hopefully) get to be an “after”. *sigh* I can’t believe I’ve let people see me naked and I’ve looked like this. I look at myself in the mirror everyday and all it took was a photo to make me see what’s been there for awhile. I tell you, a picture really is worth a thousand words! Oh well, it’s just more inspiration to get right!

It turns out Mom can’t start today because of restrictions as a result of a preexisting condition, so I’m on my own. This will be hard for me because this is a busy time for me at work with lots of fancy lunches and dinners and its going to call on my non-existent discipline and restraint! I was excited because it looked like the week would be clear of temptation, but as soon as I got in the office, I realized that I had a lunch meeting. The lunch was a great one – with shrimp, steak, chicken, grilled veggies, Caesar salad, fruit, and fresh-baked cookies and brownies. I thought about not partaking at all, but then I grabbed three shrimp, some grilled peppers, and a few lettuce leaves. Just having that little bite helped me to feel like I was part of the event, but I didn’t go overboard and didn’t break plan. I was SHOCKED that I had the discipline to be conservative with my portions. That’s usually a big problem for me. Even if I don’t eat all the food, I just like to see it on my plate. A full plate is just so comforting to me, but guess how I solved that problem? I used a smaller plate! I got one of the dessert plates (but none of the desserts!) And put my food on there. it made it seem like I was eating a lot more than I really was. I was proud of myself!

I left work and my head was pounding, but I’m not sure if that was a result of the diet or of the fact that I’d skipped my coffee this morning. It also could’ve been because I was hungry, so I went home and prepared a very quick and sensible dinner – Chicken with spinach and salad and that really hit the spot.

Auntie sent me a text tonight to check in and I let her know that everything was good and that I appreciated the support. She is my inspiration! I want to be like her!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Shallow like a kiddie pool

Welp! I’m still in mourning over Michael. That’s why it took me so long to come back to this blog and post something. I was emotionally-drained. I loved me some him. And now he’s gone. I was devastated! I didn’t think I’d be able to watch the memorial, but not only did I watch the live streaming coverage on CNN (brought to you by Facebook) DURING the workday, I DVR’d it and have watched it again several time since then. This can’t be healthy!

It was a life-changing moment, though… one that I will probably remember until the end of my days. And I’m not the only one who feels that way. On the night that Michael passed, the girls and I had dinner/movie plans. The details were sketchy and Michael’s death hadn’t been confirmed when we met up at the restaurant after work. While we were there, CNN broke the news that he had, in fact, passed away. We were sitting at the table, getting misty-eyed and talking about how unbelievable the news really was. Our cocktails arrived, and Teresa looks at me and says, “You know, no matter where life takes us, no matter where we end up, we will always remember each other because we were together when we received the news about Michael’s passing.” There was an empty water glass on the table, so each of us took a turn pouring out a little bit of liq for Mike and then we did a toast to him. Because the whole situation was putting a damper on the night and more than one of us were dabbing at our eyes with our cocktail napkins, we dashed off to see “The Hangover”, which left us crying (but this time because of laughter!).

But I am comforted in knowing that I’m not the only one who’s obsessed. The media can’t keep his name out of their mouths, so this will be an ongoing topic of conversation for the foreseeable future. There’s no doubt about that. But, I vow that I won’t dwell on it for too much longer. Instead of mourning so hard, I should just be celebrating the fact that God blessed us with such a tremendous talent. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Now, on to today’s post…

Major personal admission forthcoming:

I once broke up with a guy b/c he owned a cat. Okay, actually, he owned TWO cats, which turned out to be a problem for me. In my opinion, a straight guy wouldn't own a cat. And, if he wouldn't own ONE cat, he damn sure won't own TWO. I called him "Cat Daddy" behind his back. Not only did this dude just own the cats, he was also borderline obsessed with them. He gave them real names (Serena and Angelica), and he would talk babytalk to them and coddle them like toddlers. But they were cats. That sht was lame. And so I broke up with him. Now, of course, I didn't tell the dude that the reason he didn't stand a chance with me was because of his taste in pets. At the time, I made up some other reason for why things wouldn't work out (I can't remember exactly what I said), but we went out separate ways and I didn't miss a beat. And one day years later I was having a cup of coffee and thinking about my life when a memory of Cat Daddy popped into my head and I realized that sometimes I am shallow.

Nobody WANTS to be shallow, but all of us fall victim at one point or another, and I was saddened to realize that I'm no exception. So, anyway, I was faced with my shallowness again recently. I met a guy. Nothing new. The Earth did not move, and sparks did not fly, but he was nice and he seemed really into me. We met halfway through a bourgeois happy hour and within an hour of the first word spoken between us, he handed me his credit card and told me to buy drinks for me and my friends. See? Generous. At the end of the night, I was still debating whether I would give him my number, but he asked for it so nicely I felt compelled to give it to him. So I did. He sent the first text before I even made it to my car.

I noticed that he didn't use any punctuation in the message. And, while this isn't, like, a dealbreaker, it also didn't really work in his favor. I couldn't help but think that Mystery Man texts in full sentences and uses proper grammar, too. And then, I admonished myself for using Mystery Man as the standard to which I compare every single man that I encounter. I gotta stop doing that! And anyway, the punctuation thing was annoying, but it was a text and everyone knows that you use shorthand in a text message situation. No biggie.

He called me a couple of times and the conversation wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't the most stimulating. We had a few laughs, talked again the next night and had a few more laughs. On the third day after we met, he sent another text:

Guy: How was your day (noticeably absent punctuation)

Brown Girl: Fine & yours?

Guy: Not to bad

I stared at the screen on my Blackberry for a while. Did this guy really just type "Not TO bad"? Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a stickler for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. (even though you can't always tell from this blog, which I rarely edit or proofread before publishing!) So, it bugged me that he hadn't used the right to/too/two. But, again, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, this kid was supposedly a college graduate, so it had to be a slip of the finger. The next day, he text me again.

Guy: Playin bball today what are you doin (noticeably absent punctuation)

Brown Girl: Brunch & movies with a friend. What time is your game?

Guy: At too but I shouldn't be done to late

Okay, now if you're like me, the "too" and "to" mixup jumped out at you right away. What does this guy have against the extra "o" on the end of that "too"? How could he mix up "too" and "two"?? To make a long story short, we exchanged text messages a few more times over the course of a few weeks, but I noticed that this guy was consistently challenged by the difference between to/too/two. I don't know what's so hard about it because it's something most people master in elementary school! EARLY elementary school at that. And the fact that he kept getting those three words confused really bugged me!

Eventually, the texts stopped coming. He'd initiated all of them anyway, and it was my duty to respond whenever one was received, but soon I stopped responding and he stopped initiating.

Now, the truth is, if I'd really been feeling this dude, I probably wouldn't have let his difficulties with the English language get under my skin. But since I was on the fence about him anyway, it was enough to push me over the edge into "not interested" territory. So, again, I'm faced with the realization that I'm somewhat shallow. But I think I'm justified in finding this whole to/too/two thing disturbing. I don't think it's unreasonable to desire a man who has a basic command of the English language. Do you?

For the record, I think the cat thing was worse. I probably shouldn't have ditched a guy because he was showing so much interest in his pets. It probably just meant that his heart was kinder than most... Oh well, that's water under the bridge now.

For what it's worth, I did feel bad about ditching the dude with the language issues, but I'm a writer who loves words and would prefer my partner to have a similar respect for the English language. I think to/too/two is setting the bar pretty low, actually, sort of a minimum standard. The next guy that I allow into my life should at least be able to tell the difference between the three. And, if that makes me shallow, then I'll be that.