Monday, July 28, 2008

My date with Gym.

I woke up this morning feeling, well, like a waste of space...and a LOT of space at that. I was fed up with everything. It had been building for days and this morning it all came to a head. I was fed up with being fat, fed up with being single, fed up with being unemfuckingployed, fed up with my living situation...and the list goes on from there. I got on the scale for my weigh in and was kicked in the ovaries with a one pound loss. "Well, fuck you, too." I thought.

My morning progressed along just as blah as it began. Lunch time rolled around and I was still in what most would call pajamas. I kept thinking about the gym. Have been for days. This weeks mini mission for the Boot Camp I'm in charge of is simple enough. Just earn Activity Points as described by Weight Watchers. Do what you want, how ever intense you want, and count those points. I've done virtually nothing. I posted a message on the WW message boards about feeling like a slacker and one of the girls that posted back ended her response with "I wish I could be as motivating as you are." to which I replied, "How the hell is it that I can motivate others, but can't motivate myself?" Seriously! What the hell is my problem? I pondered for a second and then said to myself (upcoming vulgarity warning), "Self," I said, "Shut the fuck up. Stop being such a fucking pussy, get dressed for the love of God, and get your big badunkadunk to the gym!" Harsh? Perhaps. Effective? Very! I got dressed, grabbed my stuff, shouted a hearty "I'm going to the gym." to my Dad in passing, and drove the 15 miles necessary.

I walked in trying to look as though I'm there all the time and not draw too much attention to myself. I've only been to this particular location once before. I went up the stairs hoping that I remembered things correctly and that the cardio machines were up there. There were only about five people up there, four of which were on treadmills by the windows. The TV's in front of the other treadmills were all static so, figuring that's why everyone was over there, I joined them. Four guys and me. Got my music ready, stepped up on the treadmill, started it, looked up and out the window and, huh? The pool is down there. These guys weren't avoiding staring at static for the duration of their cardio fitness, they were staring at T&A 2008 down there at the pool. "Oh, I'm on to you now, pervs. Pssssh! Uh huh, I bet they're watching her. Look at her...skinny bitch in her little black bikini with her perfect tan and her blonde hair. She is skin cancer waiting to happen. Those tits have got to be fake. Oh, what's this? Well, hello Buff Daddy. Ohhhhh yeah, swim to mama." Buff Daddy, aka Sven, was a tall, blonde, tanned, muscular, speedo wearing, testosterone filled addition to the pool. I can't tell you if he was good looking, he was too far away and, really, does it matter? I've never wanted to be a towel so much in my life. He proceeded to swim laps and I proceeded to enjoy my workout.

Fifteen minutes later, shin splints kicked in. I pulled myself away from the view long enough to get in ten minutes on the recumbent bike so that my shin muscles could relax and then it was back to the treadmill. "What's this? Ohhh, the backstroke now. Nice!" Then my concentration was thwarted as Phi Beta Delta Kappa Gamma Ho stepped onto the treadmill next to me. "You have GOT to be kidding me. Does she shop at Baby Gap? Those clothes wouldn't fit a Cabbage Patch Doll for Christ sake. Are you? Is her? Her ass IS totally hanging out the back of those shorts. Daisy Duke wouldn't be caught dead in anything this revealing. Tramp. Oh, look, Sven is getting out of the pool." Fifteen more minutes on the treadmill, shin splints are kicking back in, view is leaving, seems like as good a time as any to stop. I did 40 minutes of resistance training in the women's only area and headed home.

On the way home I obviously stopped at our local crack dealer's house, because I passed my driveway and headed out to my brother's. I snagged my nephew and we started to go for our walk. He's been out of commission lately so it was good to see him feeling better and us picking up where we left off. This time we decided to walk the opposite direction to my aunt and uncle's farm. Once there we walked around a little and then headed back. For your safety I would now ask that you make sure you're seated firmly in your chairs so as not to cause injury. OK? OK. I kept having the urge to, well, RUN! Not only did I have the urge, but i DID run...TWICE! I know, right? It was at this point that I was glad that my nephew was in the habit of carrying around his mom's old cell phone. It doesn't have service, but it is charged and he could have called 911 if I either A. poked an eye out with the twins, or B. had a heart attack. Did I mention that I ran? Just checking.

We got back to the house after 45 minutes and sat at the kitchen table in the air conditioning. He brought me an Otter Pop and we sat eating them, playing Hungry Hungry Hippo (coincidence? I think not), talking and laughing. It was a good day after all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mic Check (tap tap tap). Is this thing on?

Check! Check one! Check two! Can you hear me now? I've been asked by a few to provide a recap of events that unfolded during my hiatus. So, now that I have your attention...

November: As you know from my entries, I moved home. My tragic roommate prompted it, but it was also to pay off debt, save for a house, and be able to go to school without Lola never seeing the light of day. It was only a matter of days before my weight loss efforts were completely and totally sabotaged.

February: I lost my job. As stressful as unemployment can be, it was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I'd spent the last year wondering when it would be my turn. I watched as colleagues...friends...dropped like flies around me. I watched as the company sank further and further into debt. I knew it was only a matter of time. February 7th was my time. Did I mention that I got NO severance pay? Pay me with what?

March: Towards the beginning of March I got a new tattoo. I drew up a pink ribbon in remembrance of my grandma that I lost to breast cancer when I was a freshman in high school. My sister took it to our tattoo artist and had him add the cherry blossoms. She got a smaller version on the top of her foot and I got mine on the outside of my left leg, above my ankle.
And, at the end of March, after about 14 years, I returned to school. College life at 32 and a Community College is a far cry from the drunken binges, parties, and dorm life I might have partaken in at 18 at a University, but the studying is the same. Since I no longer had a job I threw myself wholeheartedly into my grades. I pulled a 4.0 and was taking 14 credits. School life suits me. My brain was screaming for stimulation. It does not, however, suit my eating habits. My evening class schedule threw my dinners into a tailspin. I ate a lot of fast food and drank a lot of Starbucks.

April: My grandma finally lost her battle with Alzheimer's. As I stated when I returned from hiatus, it's easier to just let your loved one go then to watch them battle this disease. You lose a little more of them every single day. She's in a better place now.

June: I turned 32. Whoopdie doo. Spring term ended and I decided to take the summer off to really focus on trying to find a new job since that hadn't been going very well. There just isn't much out there that would pay me enough to ever be able to move out of my parent's house and afford the gas money to get to school. Most required a long commute and that's not cutting it unless they're paying well. I got on the scale to reassess what moving home and going to school had done to me. I gained more than half of my 30ish pounds back. Time to take matters back into my own hands regardless of who is and isn't willing to help me.

July: I just applied for a job with the City that I live in and it would be perfect. Maybe not mind blowing, but perfect for now. Fingers are most definitely crossed. I started another Boot Camp challenge on the Weight Watcher's message boards and am in charge of coordinating weekly missions for about 28 people. I keep track of all their info, award points for the effort they put out, try to keep them motivated and, hopefully, that keeps me on track as well. It ends on Halloween. I've lost about 9 pounds or so since I recommitted. I was at 339 as of Monday morning. 2008 has not been especially kind to me, but I'm here. I'm keeping my head up and taking it one day at a time. I'm trying to take control of my life and make 2009 one most definitely worth remembering.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fat girls can't jump.

I felt the palms of my hands start to sweat. There was a hint of perspiration on my brow. They were picking teams. At first the teams were decided by where ever you happened to end up when you walked onto the court (read: field). No rhyme or reason to it really. No pressure. No humiliation. Now, after two games had determined one team's suck value as being exponentially greater than the other's, it was decided that we should pick teams. Great. My worst playground nightmare revisited. I hung my head and walked over to the line up.

What you should first understand is that I was camping with my family. After dinner Thursday night various cousins, their friends, and their kids decided it was time for Volleyball. What you should also understand is that my oldest male cousin considers Volleyball to be a sacred sport. All rules should be followed and all pansies should be left behind. I used to play when I was in Junior High, but hadn't gone down that road since. Perhaps all the times I declined playing in the past was the reason I wasn't asked to play this time...or perhaps I'm just a pansy.

I went and got my camera and started taking pictures as they warmed up and called over more people to play. When I heard them say that they needed another player on one side I had an out of body experience when the words "I'll play." came forth from my lips as I put my camera away. Enthusiasm actually rang out, but I'm sure it was quickly deemed overkill after my first few run in's with the ball proved futile. Bumps sent the ball soaring to the left about 4 times in a row. My first set had such incoming spin on it that it went spiraling behind me instead of up or forward. It was all very tragic. The only things I really had going for me were my serves. Though underhanded, they were solid and consistent. We lost the first game and rallied a little for the second, but still ended up defeated. My inner Volleyball Diva gradually appeared, but I didn't feel she was ready to sustain the fatal blow of being left last picked for a team...again.

What had often been the case in my youth was that teams would be formed and if people were unaware of my playing ability, I was strictly assessed by my size. She's fat, she can't possibly play well. What they failed to realize was that when my arm is warmed up and my weight is put behind a softball, I can throw from center field to home with ease and when my lefthandedness and girth were put behind a solidly placed pitch, it didn't really matter how slow I ran because I will have at least hit everyone else home even if I only made it to second or third base. What they failed to realize is that my thigh muscles are huge from carrying around my weight and when put to use in kickball no one really stood a chance. What they failed to realize is that what I may have lacked in speed, I made up for in strength. Regardless, I was often left, well, last girl standing.

So there I stood, lined up in front of my family, resolved to be last again. The obvious first picks, the guys, the power hitters, the one's willing to dive for the ball and show their true appreciation for the game, were called out first. I am not one of those people. I am OK with that. A couple of the girls were picked and it was down to a straggling few. I got called. I almost had to ask them if they were sure. Who? Me? As the games progressed I steadily moved up in rank when they chose new teams. I wasn't last girl standing anymore.

We played for three and a half hours straight on Thursday and another 2 hours yesterday morning before I left. Between games people went off to hydrate, smoke, potty, etc. Yesterday I stayed and decided to see if the old girl still had some overhand serves left in her. Old girl does. I sent 6 in a row blazing over the net. Aforementioned oldest male cousin said, "Why the hell haven't you been serving like that in the games?" I confessed that I was a chicken shit and didn't think I still had it in me. He said I did. I had first serve when the next game started. I opted to break out the overhand serves. Untouchable. They soon realized that what I lacked in speed, I made up for in strength. I soon realized that I can't laugh and overhand serve at the same time. Oh well. Nobody's perfect.

I opted to only spend one night camping with my family because I didn't want to completely sabotage my efforts with the garbage we usually consume while camping. The calories I did eat while there were easily burnt off with all of my time spent playing Volleyball, but I thought it best to end my trip and head for home. It was only about a 20 minute drive home, but that is apparently time enough for my body to feel the effects of five or so hours of Volleyball. I got out of the car and my joints ached. My ankles, my knees, my hips, my wrists. After my shower I laid on the couch and I could not get comfortable. No matter how I seemed to lay, my hips were lecturing me on how 340something pound girls have no business lurching hither and thither at a moment's notice just to hit a silly little ball back and forth. My knees and ankles shook a stern bit of cartilage at me for running after the ball so often (uh huh, I said RUNNING). That my joints and I must first come to an understanding before making any repeated sudden movements. I tried to shut them up with plenty of ibuprofen, but it was too busy trying to console the pinched nerve in my neck that I've had for two weeks (yeah, I still played, even when said nerve gave me a headache throughout all of yesterday's game play). I hurt...and I didn't care.

This morning when I woke up I slowly got out of bed as the realization of what I'd done to my body thoroughly sank in. Every muscle hurt, every joint hurt, every eyelash hurt. Not excruciatingly so, but I hurt nonetheless. Every time I move today I am reminded of what I did...and I'm proud. Fat girls still can't jump, but at least this one got out there and tried.