Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Big Girl Wins! A Recap of the Past Year

After nearly a year of this blog being open (but rarely updated) I thought I’d pop in with a bit of encouragement from modcloth.com to expound upon some similarities and differences in my life since taking on the difficult task of getting in shape.

I gave up on triathlons because, gosh darn, you need to get good at this stuff one event at a time!

I ran my first 10k in February.

I am still a little bit heavy.

I still knock over stemware on the other side of the restaurant when I put a little shimmy into my ten square foot ass.

The difference is that I feel awesome about all of those stunning little personal performances and I’m still running.

Other people tell heartfelt teary stories about how changing their waist size magically solved their life. I weigh exactly the same amount as I did last August give or take five pounds, aside from slightly shapelier thighs my measurements have not moved an inch up or down in any area. Despite this I still value my progress more than anything else I’ve done in the past year, no amount of weight lost could’ve possibly changed my life as much as improving my level of physical fitness has. While my journey to become fit may not be seen as being as socially worthy as other women’s attempts to get thin it means much more to me than a number on a scale. I wake up in the morning without the debilitating aches I had previously suffered from bone fractures I incurred as a teenager, my orthopedist has not heard a complaint from me in six months but confirms that my cracked and battered bones are thicker, stronger, and more likely to survive well into old age. I have reduced my blood pressure from 118/76 to 102/60, protecting my heart and reducing my chances of a disease that killed both of my grandfathers.

In the beginning it was hard, I made fantastic excuses like “I just have to make it to the bank on time”, “the laundry needs doing”, “my oatmeal isn’t exactly the way I like it”, and “the sun didn’t rise properly today”, anything was good enough as long as I didn’t have to lift a finger or sweat in any way.

I was overtravelled, overfed, militantly lazy, and a ticking medical time bomb. I loved cake (okay I still love cake…) and daytime television. My natural enemy was the treadmill. To this day I am totally amazed that I didn’t drop to the pavement in cardiac arrest during the first attempt I made at jogging. By the grace of God I continued to huff, puff, and sweat painfully around my neighborhood for everyone to gawk at. The only difference is that these days I consider them lucky to see me gracefully hauling my girth up their street with none of the former flailing and choking sounds. I, at the very least, feel like I look fantastic. This is clearly impossible as I look just the same as I did before. The difference is that I feel better while doing it, I don’t doubt that I’ll make my full run or worry that I’ll suddenly drop into a dead heap from failing to pump blood mouse through my heart valves. I feel like I have a greater purpose than cheese puffs and Good Morning America. I am an athlete, and I deserve to show the world that being a big girl doesn’t mean your weak or lack essential willpower.

As an athlete I have, for all intensive purposes, changed my ways. I run three miles a day, six days a week, and have taken up American Tribal Style bellydance as a creative outlet for my newfound bodily respect. I plan to begin taking ballet for the first time in my life in the coming weeks. Getting in shape has given me opportunity to feel as beautiful as I really am without serious musculoskeletal pain. It has given me assurance and confidence. I can use the stairs if the elevators are full under the strong assurance that I will make it to the top without embarrassing myself by stopping on the second flight and sitting for ten minutes. No, I am strong, I am capable, and for the first time in my life I am completely certain that I am awesome.

Mostly I can finally feel alright laughing at myself for all of the ridiculous lose-fat-fast diet attempts I made when there was nothing wrong with me. I have curves and they're just as sexy and fit as other women's straight lines. Being big doesn't make me ugly and it doesn't make me fat. It just makes me who am, and I really like the driven person that I've become.

I plan to continue running well into the future, competing in events as I see feet. I have a new goal to work towards which is much more worthy than seeing every episode of Seinfeld. Look for me at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in 2010.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spaghetti Os Are Never the Answer

Spaghetti Os are the devils food, and they ruined my workout today.

I’m finally starting to work out vigorously, a weird attraction to the smell of chlorine not withstanding, I really enjoy my pool time. I still white knuckle my handle-bars when riding through traffic, except today, when my knuckles got the surprise of their jointy lives.

Last night was my brother’s birthday, so I didn’t get home until late, which means I didn’t wake up until 10:30. I decided it was close enough to lunch time and I wanted spaghetti os, because I was feeling sluggish and those are easy. I took my opener, I half cut the can and folded it up like I always do, because I don’t have one of those fancy automatic openers with a magnet. I took the food out of the can, but it in my microwaveable vessel, mashed the button, waited, took it back out and lowered it, and the top my hand, straight into the sharp edge of the waiting canlid.

Cue the screaming, cursing, and profuse bleeding.

My brother, first-hand-experience-expert in all deep flesh wounds gave me the brilliant advice of “just tape it back together, you’ll be alright, let’s go to the pool” which is exactly what I’ve done, however, it continues to ooze through the layers of it’s bandaid late into the night despite the cleaning powers of chlorine.

A few laps after getting into the swimming pool my spaghetti o lunch kicked in. That was not heart burn, it was heart a-bomb, I felt like I was about to vomit bile and acid and the remains of something similar to pasta. I struggled forth however, and I did get a good two mile swim in today despite the horrible discomfort, I was very pleased. Lesson learned, no more canned pasta-foods.

My hand seriously hurts.

~annA

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mmmm, Tuna and Illness

I am tuna whore. Hear me gurgle.

So, I guess I must admit my shame. For the last several nights in a row I have eaten recipes out of the Women’s Health magazine. I expect myself to break out in feathers at any moment.

This is mostly due to the fact that I was forced to cook vegetarian for a week when I went to Tennessee to stay with Todd who was being carved up by the medical institution.

Since being home I have been ill. Which means my training has been limited though I have been able to make it to the swimming pool to do my laps, and have been engaged in thorough house-cleaning efforts since I don’t like to just be still for too long (I get nervous). I’ve also been tired and my tummy is unhappy, so of course, the natural solution is tuna salad, easiest thing on earth. I’ve rearranged my tuna recipe so that it maximizes good fats while still being delicious, not to mention I put it between two slices of double-fiber whole grain bread. I read the South Beach Diet book while in Destin earlier this summer, and while I can’t seem to ascribe to the whole diet plan, I did learn something.

1 can white chunk tuna

1 tbsp of yellow mustard

1 tbsp of canola oil mayo

½ an avocado

1 tbsp sweet salad cubes (I use the splenda sweetened kind)

Salt and pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients into the food processor, process thoroughly, spread between toasted bread and enjoy.

Makes 3 servings.

Hopefully, I’ll be back on my feet soon, but I don’t want to push myself into serious illness here before school starts.

~annA

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Speakeasy Sundays, Excuse or Gift from God?

I really, really, really, wanted to go to the gym today after I finished up with the poetry workshop.

But my eyeliner looked so awesome, and I usually suck at applying make-up and I didn’t want to have to wash it off just so that I could go and get all sweaty, because it’s Sunday and I always go to the speakeasy on Sundays because I’m convinced that whisky, and diet coke, and every lime tree to ever bare fruit are definitive signs that God still loves me.

I did however call Dr.McKay’s (yes, I realize I love Stargate, my doctor’s name is McKay, and he is brilliant most of the time, I shit you not, though much skinnier and more mormon-like than his TV counterpart) office and have stress-kittens over him taking away the Stratterra that I felt was doing so well for me and giving me a horrible medication that turns me into such an inert passive-aggressive bitch zombie that I don’t even want to be around me which is why I can’t even force myself to take it any longer. I probably yelled at the answering machine for twenty minutes, even after it stopped recording. He’ll call me back tomorrow.

I remember being on the Straterra at the end of my first and last year teaching. I was 15 pounds lighter than I am now and felt motivated to go to the gym every-day after a predictably awful work day and I didn’t hate it, I also never ate junk food because Strattera gives me heart burn that no amount of Mylanta can clear up. What happened?

He put me on the Vyvanse, all of my friends and family began to avoid me, and I started having entire plates of cheese fries with extra ranch four times a week because I DESERVE EVERYTHING GODDAMNIT.

I stopped taking the Vyvanse a week ago, because it was damaging my usually untouchable ego.

This situation –will- be rectified. If I have to threaten doctor McKay with a hypodermic full of lard (just to make him feel my pain) I am getting my damned Strattera back, and with the approach of classes, which I have never missed so much despite being a career student, I will have the order, the schedule, and the sanity I need to actually ACCOMPLISH my lofty goals.

Even in the searing unbearable heat of South Carolina.

~annA

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Poetry Really Gets in the Way

My training has been limited the past two days. This is mostly due to yet another poetry workshop attended mainly by old people who do not take me seriously.

At least 30% of participants commented that they liked my outfit. The five or so people in the room that I know remarked on the awesomeness of my literary performance, which I doubt anyone else in the room listened to because they were too busy thinking “Psh, who does this young hipster think she is? She can’t possibly know anything. For God’s sake look at her earrings!” Tacky does not a bad poet make, you geriatric bastards. Yet I wish no harm on them. In fact I hope they suffer in badly kept nursing homes until the day they see a picture of me accepting my Pulitzer on the news, then they can rot in hell.

I did manage to do some crunches, and my diet has been slowly improving, though I have eaten two fun-size bags of chips today because that’s all they had at the snack bar, unless you expect me to eat one of those gritty quaker oats granola things.

Gross.

I drank water instead of soda though so that sort of makes up for it.

I’m starting to wonder if maybe getting the ADD meds situation sorted out will help so that I’m not “Ooh Shiny!” and get distracted by other things in my attempts to exercise.

~annA

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hating the Haters

It seems like ever since I started this project other people sent specifically to destroy my usually very good self-esteem have been scuttling out of the gutter like palmetto bugs, which of course means that they’re everywhere, impossible to kill, and have this amazing ability to covertly sneak into the tiny wedges of my life.

A woman artist who I have been working with for years asked me if I’d put on some weight recently (which you should never, ever, ever, ask an artist’s model because she will either deck you, switch into starvation mode, or if she’s me, spend months planning the downfall of your entire way of life) to which I replied “Yeah I gained about 12 pounds over the summer” her sudden response being a very enthusiastic “Oh my, that’s a lot of weight!” Catty British bitch. I believe this entire conversation totally overstepped her boundaries, as there is a certain unspoken contract that I feel comes with allowing someone to see you naked. I decided I was going to punish her for breaking it. I managed to sneak up behind her in the Earth Fare but was unfortunately interrupted by an acquaintance before I was able to shift her in the kidney with that pointy nail filey thing on my clippers.

Downright nasty people suck, but I really hate the ones that are sweetly ignorant.

Just a few weeks ago at Taco night at the Whig, my noshing was interrupted by a girl that had once taken a class with me in college who, with the innocent lilt of someone who has only the very best intentions, asked me if I was pregnant. I swallowed the urge to beat her with my chair and told her exactly how I felt on the subject of small children. They’re filthy, disgusting, they serve no purpose other than to drain the funds of their parents in the hopes that their offspring will one day validate them as human beings, which they never seem to do, and I’m a broke poet cum artist’s model who can barely afford 50 cent taco night. Hopefully, that girl will never speak to me again, best case scenario she’ll choke on a razor blade. Clearly, I lack the patience for a baby at this time.

What’s worse are the “such a pretty face” people, who try to nullify my fat by praising the virtues of my genetics. Not that I’m against people trying to stroke my ego, but you’re terrible at it. Stop. Right. Now. You are talking to a woman who gets up in the morning puts on her lotion and makes kissy-face at her gorgeous self in the full length. I don’t need your help.

Watch out haters. Because I’m riding my ten square foot ass right past your house.

~annA

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I. Can't. Breathe.

The worst thing about being an out-of-shape asthmatic on a bicycle is exactly that you are an out of shape asthmatic on a bicycle. Imagine me huffing and moaning, sweating profusely, and giving the finger to passing cars because Columbia has no bike lanes. How does anyone expect me to move quickly when my arteries are pumping nothing but strawberry mousse? Can’t you see the 10 square feet of ass I’m hauling here? I’ve got more trunk room than a buick! Get the hell out of my way! (this is the problem with being only part ethnic, you end up with weird mixtures of genetic traits like wicked Native American hips with a French bustline, I’m like a weeble wobble) It doesn’t help too much that I’m pretty well constantly dehydrated, because I love Mr. Jack Daniel more than life itself, or at least more than cake. Which I also love.

Last night I made a recipe out of women’s health magazine. I never do this because it’s bird food and I am not, nor will I ever be, a bird. I’m just not aerodynamically sound. It wasn’t terrible, sort of bland, I had this weird urge to douse the whole thing in cr√®me fraiche and eat it like soup, but I didn’t I sat down in front of Mulder and Scully and ate my dinner with a healthy dose of TV coma.

I have been avoiding exercising the way this project requires mostly if not entirely because I am lazy. I’m a well of excuses. My oatmeal wasn’t the way I like it. The garbage hasn’t been taken out. The sun didn’t rise properly.

Though I do manage to get up at 7am thinking that I’m going to ride my bike to the gym, I usually don’t become active until about noon. I sit on my porch swing and rehydrate while I read for several hours. So then I end up on the bicycle during the most disgusting part of the day leading to the image I opened this entry with.

Vicious cycle, gotta hate it.

~annA