Sunday, September 26, 2004

Where did September go?

My husband asked that question of me tonight when he looked at the calendar and noticed that this is the last week of September. I didn't have an answer for him, until earlier this evening when I was making banana bread (the healthy kind) to eat tomorrow and noticed that my cottage cheese had gone bad. My first thought was, "Hey, I JUST bought this!" until I looked at the expiration date and noticed that it was September 9. So, I ask the question as well...where did September go?

More importantly, where did this summer go?

This is what is plaguing my mind at 1:30 in the morning, and why I am up typing away. I have my plan laid out for my new weight loss challenge, my food is made, and I'm ready to get to it tomorrow and get serious. And I must. I even found my Body For Life book a few minutes ago, sitting over there on my scanner covered with papers and things.

As part of the Body For Life challenge, I went ahead and took new "before" pictures...after P measured me everywhere for later comparison. Which, of course, I know I will need in the coming weeks when the scale is either going up or not moving at all. I've been down this road before...I know very well what to expect. The frustration, the anxiety, the worry, the feelings of spinning my wheels and feeling like I'm getting nowhere. And I knew that it was going to be ugly looking at my pictures in comparison with my pictures from April. And it was. It wasn't quite the horrendous nightmare that I envisioned, but I just don't look the same as I did then. My skin was so smooth and tight it rather resembles cottage cheese on my butt. It's just so frustrating that a few months of living like a normal person and boom, I look like a normal person again. Five months ago, I wanted to look like anything but what I looked like, and now? I'd commit highway robbery to have a tight butt like that again. But I don't want to go through what I had to go through to get it again. My first reaction when I showed my new "before" pictures to P was that they were almost enough to make me go back on my precompetition diet. And of course, he reminded me of how much I had to suffer to get to that point that I did in April. He's right of course...and I don't want to go down that road again. No dairy, red meat, diet soda, sugar, bread, fruit or anything resembling anything with taste. Waking up in the middle of the night starving. Sweating after I ate. Not enjoying eating anything that I put in my mouth. Hating going out to eat or eating in front of anyone except my husband or my competitor friends. It just was a miserable existence for a while.

And I guess those "before" pictures I took today are going to accomplish just what they are supposed to...they are going to inspire me to buckle down, get serious and get this fat off as I know that it can be done. At least, I hope so. I can see it in the mirror. There is still fat to lose. I have had a sufficient break from the crazy body-building world. I don't want to go back to it in that sense, but I do want to concentrate on my transformation again as I am still not quite there yet. I started this journey at 228 lbs on December 16, 2002. As of yesterday morning, I'm at 166.5. If I was happy with the way I looked in the mirror, that'd be enough, but after seeing my pictures from today, I know there is still work to be done. I have to work to undo the damage I did this summer now. I just can't believe it only took a few months, and now my lean, tight stomach with the six-pack is gone, my toned legs and butt are gone, and that chiseled muscle definition that I worked so hard for is hiding under fat. Again. I guess in a lot of ways, I'm starting all over again from square one.

It's just so unfair. I know at some point I have to realize and accept that this will be a problem that I am going to wrestle with for the rest of my life and something I have to work at forever. I don't know why I thought I could just kick back, not go to the gym, eat what I wanted as long as I kept it within reason and as long as the scale stayed constant, not worry about it, but I think that's what my little brain thought. Surprise, surprise, there are other ways to gain weight that you can't see on the's called losing muscle to its own greedy appetite and replacing it with the fat that accumulates from taking in too many bad carbohydrates, saturated fat, and crappy food. It's Body FOR LIFE, not Body For Twelve Weeks or For A Few Years.

And get this...this is SO stupid! My friend S? The one from work that I inspired to change her eating habits and start working out? She started her journey in the mid 170s, and she informed me over sushi Friday that she is now at 154. And what's her secret to weight loss success? She eats protein bars three times a day, grilled chicken/vegetables for dinner, drinks a pot of coffee in the morning and smokes like a chimney, drinks on the weekends, and works out a few times a week. Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited for her that she is losing weight, but I don't understand why when I did it the strictest of strict ways, I hit a plateau that no matter what I did, I couldn't get past. I had to give up on my dream of gracing a stage as a figure competitor because I didn't have what it took to maintain that level of deprivation and discipline. I have more muscle mass than S does, and my bones are much larger, but yet, I'm jealous of her because she weighs less than I do and eventually, if not already, will wear a smaller size than I.

And this is even more stupid. I went to another weight loss board that I frequent, and noticed that there is a woman on there that started her journey some time after I did that has now passed me in terms of pounds lost. Just like that. And I'm jealous of her. Very jealous. Instead of feeling happy for her, I feel sorry for myself. It's so stupid!

I don't know that continuing to work with my therapist is ever going to help me get past these feelings. People can tell me until they are blue in the face that I look fine. My husband can tell me all day long that I have never looked sexier to him. But I will never believe it for myself. I have stopped reading Oxygen. I cut off contact for a while with my figure competitor friends. I put my princess shoes and my suits on a very high shelf in my closet. Going back down that road of obsession is not something that I want to repeat, but yet, here I am, nearly six months after putting it behind me and I'm still thinking about it. Thinking about how much I enjoyed the attention. Thinking about how much I enjoyed that feeling of my clothes nearly falling off.

Thinking about how much I loved feeling thin.

The poem that is quoted by the master chief in G.I. Jane has always been one of my favorites. I had nearly forgotten about it until I heard it last night in the movie. Here it is:

"I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself." -D.H. Lawrence

The message in that poem to me...don't feel sorry for yourself, just keep fighting to survive. And I guess that's what I'll keep doing. The alternative, giving in and letting myself become obese again, is a far more bleak alternative. It's the neverending challenge of my life. I just hope I don't become one of those women who keeps gaining and losing the same ten pounds forever.

Anyway. I just had to vent. I find it so amusing when I am told by so many people all the time what an inspiration I am for weight loss, how what I've done is so amazing, when I don't feel like it's amazing at all. And I certainly don't feel like an inspiration. To anyone. Least of all me.

I may not get on tomorrow until pretty late to post, so I'm going to go ahead and answer my meme for today...the Monday Madness. Tomorrow is going to be very busy. I have to take my oldest cat to the vet to have her teeth cleaned, I have a 10:30 appointment scheduled by Queenie for me to look at a roof that I inspected three months ago (and I know my mind won't be changed, but I have to go out there anyway), an appointment at 1 pm to meet with a vendor that I haven't worked with in over a year, and then I'll probably hang out at the office until Gabby is ready to go home. The vet's office is right around the corner from my office, so it doesn't make sense to go all the way home and then come all the way back.

Name THREE of your........
1. Pet Peeves People that call over and over again until they reach me instead of just leaving a message. People who drive on the shoulder of the road in bumper-to-bumper traffic in hopes of getting further ahead. People who think that their way is the right way no matter what and try to push it on you.
2. Favorite Sounds The ocean. Rain falling. A cat's purr.
3. Desk Items My Marvin the Martian mug filled with pencils and pens. My crystal vase filled with silk bluebonnets. My crackle lantern-style lamp that has a pink bulb in it.
4. Biggest Fears Becoming obese again. Being raped. Being attacked by a shark while swimming.
5. Biggest Challenges Realizing that I am a beautiful person on the inside and that it doesn't matter what I look like on the outside. Getting along with my mother. Having the courage to try to have children.
6. Newest 'Toys' My iRiver mp3 player, my newest digital camera from work which is an HP635, and my new footies from Bath and Body Works for lotioning up my feet.
7. Most Used Words Whatever, the f-word (a habit I'm trying to break...just call me Avril!), and late.
8. Most Mispelled Words Fort Worth (I always want to type Forth Worth), receive (I always want to type recieve), and seperate (I always want to type separate).
9. Favorite Disney Characters Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Nemo
10. Bookmarks on Your Homepage You can see the whole list right over there on the right!

Thanks for reading my little "poor me" diatribe. I'll try not to dump on ya too often. *grin*

And this pretty much represents how I feel right now:


Blogger Mia said...

Chin up, Erica. You have accomplished a lot in your weight loss. It is not an easy thing to do but you have come a long way. Good luck with this next step. You have done it in the past and you will do it again in the present and your future. Just take it a day at a time. I am cheering for you. I hope your Monday goes smoothly for you. I just loved the kitty. Looks like my Chelsea.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I know you said in your post that you don't feel like an inspiration when people compliment you on your weight loss, but I think you should be very proud of what you've accomplished. Good for you for setting new goals for yourself and reaching for them. You can do it!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

You already know how I feel about you and your weight loss efforts and battles. What I do want to comment on is your priceless kitty picture!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Annette said...

This whole year has sailed past - I can't believe we're almost to October!

You *are* an inspiration, Erica. Your focus and determination is incredible and I have no doubt you will conquer what appears to me to be just a conflict in expectations ;)

...and it's "separate" so you are unconsciously spelling correctly!

12:03 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Erica, I know exactly what you mean. I lost 20 lbs on Body for Life two years ago, and had never felt better. I went off the wagon when I got pregnant, and I'm sure I have gained most of it back. But you have done great, and you are a true inspiration! Just don't give up. As soon as I have recuperated, I'll be back on the wagon - we can do it together! btw, what websites do you visit for inspiration? just isn't what it used to be...

12:38 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh, {{{{{hugs}}}}} to you, sweetie. I know you said that hearing it over and over isn't helping, so I won't waste a lot of time telling you how fantastic you look and how you need to let go. You can only do that when you're ready. Just know that we're all here for you if you need a shoulder or an encouraging word. And if you want to talk about kids, you know where to find me. I'll have a LOT more experience in just a few weeks! LOL

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You always want to type separate because separate is correct.

7:07 AM  

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