Thursday, February 28, 2008


I'm back into the groove - well, this week at least.

After having a good run with the evening workouts, I have determined that the only way the exercising is going to get done consistently is if I go in the mornings. Sigh. I planned to go to the gym Monday night, but had a surprise meeting at work that was supposed to be done by 6, but was really done by 7 and by that time I was famished and could only think about going home and getting some food. I did manage to do crunches and some upper body weight exercises and some lunges.

Lunges are the exercise of the devil.

So Tuesday morning I got up bright and early and did the elliptical for 40 minutes. Tuesday night I did my crunches and weights routine. Yesterday morning I ellipticalled again. Last night we had plans and we got home late so no workout this morning, but tonight I will do the crunches/weights thing and tomorrow I'll go elliptical.

The big problem, well two big problems, with morning workouts are: A) I am SO not a morning person, and B) Now my schedule is basically diametrically opposed to Jason's. It was bad enough before when I got up about an hour before he did and wanted to fall asleep two hours before he did. Now it's even more skewed, and when I want to go to sleep at 11 because, hi, I woke up at 6:30 this morning and worked out and I'm tired, he still doesn't want to go to sleep until 2.

I can't really do anything about my schedule since I have one of those crazy job things that requires me to come to work at a certain designated time. Jason works in a lab and can show up pretty much whenever, but he's stubborn and a night owl and I know he's not going to shift his schedule. Another thing is since he goes in late, he works late, so we might see each other for an hour, maybe two, before I start getting sleepy. It just makes me kind of sad because I feel like I go to sleep alone and then I wake up alone (because he's not awake yet and only wakes up for about 30 seconds to say good-bye to me). I guess it's just not what I envisioned when I thought about married life. I know a lot of couples don't see each other a lot, it's just kind of a bummer.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Progress Pics

This weight loss journey has been going on for some time, but I've never really taken progress pictures. In April of 2006 when I had gained back some weight that I lost, I started exercising again and eating well so I took some front, side and back pictures with the thought that I would start taking monthly progress pictures. But that didn't happen. So tonight I pulled together some pictures to give an idea of where I've been.

December 2001

Earlier in 2001 I hit 235, my highest weight ever. I went to the doctor for migraines and for the very first time a doctor looked at me, concerned, and asked if I had thought about exercising. It was awful. I started working out twice a day, swimming laps in the morning and lifting weights on my lunch hour. I managed to lose a little weight and I think I got down to around 220 or 225, which is where I was in this picture.

August 2002

Taken about a week before I started law school. I had lost some of my workout momentum, my boyfriend went on a mission at the beginning of 2002, and I was neck-deep in depression (which I wouldn't admit for another year and a half). So I was still around 220 to 225.

Christmas 2003
This holiday was a doozy. I wasn't really in the mood to weigh myself, so for all I know I was back up to 230. The boyfriend and I had broken up and I was still so very sad and hopeless about it all. A few months later, I hit bottom, admitted that I was not really in control, and I started taking anti-depressants. Completely changed my world.

May 2004
At my roommate's graduation. I was probably about 210 or 215 here, having started dropping weight as soon as I started on the meds and felt like doing something besides sitting on my butt all day watching TV. I mostly see the loss in my face. I feel like that girl with the round face wasn't really me.

November 2004
Still working out and trying to eat well. I was definitely about 205. The weight wasn't falling off like I wished it would, but I felt strong and healthy and happy.

July 2005
Right after taking the Bar Exam, following a summer of super-healthy eating and swimming laps almost every day. This was my lowest weight at that time, about 185. I felt awesome! I fit into a dress I hadn't worn in 5 years. I had this moment of realization one day when I was standing in front of my mirror getting ready for something. I glanced over at a picture on my dresser of a friend and me at her bridal shower in the Spring of 2001 and I realized I didn't recognize myself. My face was very round, and my eyes... My eyes looked sad and searching and not like me. I looked at myself in the mirror again. I looked at my body that I had made fit and strong and I started crying. I felt sad for that girl who I was, and so very happy with who I had become.

Then follows an up and down period. See, I moved to DC, didn't have health insurance, went off the meds, couldn't find work, was trying to figure out if a brand new relationship was going anywhere. I felt the need to eat Chicken McNuggets from the McDonald's down the street often. In the Spring and Summer of 2006, I joined a nice gym and worked out a lot. I went from 199 down to around 190. By January of 2007, I had moved back to Boston, but I wasn't taking care of myself and I was back up to 207.

A friend and I decided to do something about our lack of activity and our weight gain. It's always good to have a buddy. I started swimming laps again, keeping track of what I was eating, and also, and this is probably pretty key, I got back on anti-depressants. By August I had lost 27 pounds.

October 2007

The key in all of this, if you haven't noticed, is that I have to eat right and work out regularly. Otherwise the weight just comes back.

December 2007
I gained back some weight. I think I was about 190 at this point. Following a holiday season of eating a lot of really yummy and really bad for me food, I was back up to 194.

January 2008
Two weeks before we left for India, I started eating healthy again and went to the gym almost every day. Then I spent two weeks in India eating extremely healthy and walking a lot. A lot. A week after we got back, I weighed in at 185. I'll take it.

And that's where I am now. I'm working out again, I'm trying to eat well (which I find to be easier when I'm on my own for an evening and don't have my husband around being a bad influence. Yes, that's what I'm all about. Passing the buck.) I'm also gearing myself up for a sugar detox - just as soon as I finish the last of my Valentine's dark chocolate.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fat and Image and Money

I just read a post on Big Fat Deal that got me thinking. In the article they quote the writer says:

You know that whole thing about how being superskinny is an ideal originated by the fashion industry and perpetuated by female competitiveness and like, totally NOT AT ALL what men are interested in etc. etc.? Well that’s bullshit, says a story in the March Elle by Amanda Fortini, a 5′6 woman who dropped to 100 pounds a few years back.
Then she goes on to remark on how many men hit on her. As the commenters to the post point out, she was in a niche group of people - wealthy New Yorkers - during her experience. Generally, though, I think it's safe to say that many, many men will find the skinnier woman in the room attractive. Many, many white men at least (and this includes my husband).*

But I wonder how much of this is a chicken and the egg type of thing. Sure, most guys seem to like the thin girls, but is that because of a natural inclination, or because for the past 40+ years we've had images of super skinny women slammed in our collective face as the ideal, and look at how beautiful she is and don't we want to be just like her with our hips and collarbones poking out like they could cut us? If you look at movies or art from much of the time before that, the ideal beautiful woman was shapely and curvy. Sometimes flat out fat. I often think of a movie I saw several years ago that was filmed in the late 1950's The main character's boss was having an affair with his secretary, the office bombshell. She was pretty outrageous looking even for the 50's and had very large hips, very large breasts, a huge a** and a tiny waist (well, compared to her hips at least). The boss was sleeping with her and all of the men salivated as she walked by. Today that actress would just be cast as the funny fat friend.

So I do think that media plays a role in determining what is "attractive" and I don't think an anecdotal story about how a woman who lot of weight right now got hit on a lot proves anything about men's natural inclinations because of course she got hit on a lot, she lost a lot of weight in 2008, following years of everyone being told that skinny, dangerously super skinny, is where it's at. Would everyone have had feathered hair if not for Farrah Fawcett? Probably not.

However, there's a lot more at play here than the media, in my opinion, although I do think the media perpetuates the ideal. Maybe it has more to do with thinness being a sign of social status nowadays. Fat people are seen by some as dirty, slovenly and often poor. It's a fact: veggies cost more than processed food. Being super skinny proves that you can eat super healthy and/or work out with a trainer several hours a day. Who has time to do that but independently wealthy people? Not so in, say, the 17th century, when plump, nay, fat was beautiful and ideal because it meant you had a lot of money to spend on food and didn't waste it all away by working in the fields or cleaning houses or the like. The term "Rubenesque" comes from paintings like this one, after all

"The Three Graces" painted by Peter Paul Rubens in the 1630's.

So maybe the obsession with thin says more about materialism than we might think. Another post I read earlier (Can't remember where, sorry) discusses how during a conversation about the ideal trophy wife or husband, the men agreed that the trophy wife would be a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover model, while the women agreed the trophy husband would be someone like the creator of Google. The point of that post was that the trophy woman was all about looks while the trophy man was all about money. I would argue they're both about money, just in different ways.

Anyway, just thinking...

*I hope this doesn't come across as racist in any way, but in my 20 or so years of being bootylicious, I always got many more appreciative looks from black and Hispanic men. I always thought I wouldn't wind up with a white man because when I was younger they never really appreciated my curves (kind of like I never thought I would actually manage to marry a Mormon with my liberal views. Go figure).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mornings = Bleh

Looks like the evening workout is the winner because I don't know if you know this, but morning is really early.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Let's Get Physical

I'm trying to decide if I should be offended that my husband asked me the other night, "So...are you going to go back to the gym...?" He assured me it wasn't because I'm looking rounder, but because he's actually been going 3 times a week since we got back from India and he said if he has to suffer, then so should I. Never mind those 8 months last year when I went to the gym and he sat on his bum while asking me to pass the potato chips.

But this is the same guy who hadn't been to a gym in 15 years and I am so proud. And as a bonus, his arms are getting stronger. Maybe I'm weird, but seriously I think one of the most sexy things in the world is guy arms. Not overly muscular, just firm so that you can feel the strength. Yummy. This morning I noticed Jason's arms are getting harder and I made him flex for me a few times.

So anyway, yeah, tomorrow I'm getting back to the gym. I always seem to lose whatever momentum I've built up when I start a new job. But this marks the third week of my new job (which is great, btw) and I need to figure out my gym routine. I'm trying to decide whether to go in the mornings or the evenings. Mornings means getting up an hour earlier than I currently am, which I hate so, SO much. However, at least then I'm done and I know nothing will keep me from getting to the gym later.

I do like working out better in the evenings, but it's not like I get out of work exceptionally early and then I'm always starving. Maybe I'll stock up on some pre-workout Luna bars. Tomorrow is the big day so I have to figure it out by the time I set my alarm tonight.

The good thing is, my workout plan of walking all over southern India and Paris and my eating plan of "everything in sight because I'm starving from all the walking" is still keeping my weight down. I know the last couple of weeks of sitting in an office again are going to catch up with me, though. I did manage to lose 9 pounds in the last month and a half. I think a big part of that is the non-processed, all-natural, mostly vegetarian fare that I ate while we were in India. It was all amazingly good. If I were going to be vegetarian, I think I would need to move to India. Or adopt an Indian mom to cook for me. Because, seriously, they know how to do vegetarian.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Progress Is A Beautiful Thing

After a week of working out, two weeks of walking a lot in India and Paris, and a week of doing nothing much except eating right, I'm down 7 pounds since the end of December. Yay! I'm only 6 pounds away from my low weight of 180.6 that I hit last June. However, my waist is 2 inches larger so I think I need to be doing some ab work.

Next week it's back to the gym.