Saturday, September 30, 2006

Tomorrow's my first reward!

Day One - Check. (35 minutes cross-train aerobics. 5 mins yoga.)
Day Two - Check. (40 minutes cross-train aerobics.)
Day Three - Check. (1 hr and 10 minutes walk. 3 miles.)
Day Four - Check. (40 minutes walk, 2 miles. 20 minutes cross-train aerobics.)

I like this short gaps between rewards, keeps me focused. :)

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Competitive, Creepy Guy.

I was halfway through my walk and enjoying myself immensely. The sun was almost down, well it was below the horizon but there was still that glimmer of lighter blue and reddish-pink to be seen, and the air temperature was perfect for walking. Warmish with a very slight breeze that was a couple degrees cooler than the air.

I had turned the corner that marks the halfway point of the three miles and at this point the path broadens to being approximately 6 metres wide. No nature strip at all, it's concrete from the buildings right out to the kerb. Now, I could tell this man wasn't happy with me being right up on him all of a sudden. I was several paces behind and about one and a half to the side, and he kept glancing back nervously. So, I did what any polite person would do that didn't want to slow down, I used the remainder of the very long length of the extra wide path to speed up and go around.

And it was like all those times when you do it in the car.. and the person won't let you back in. He kept pace with me!

So I sped up some more.
So did he.
So did I.
And he kept looking at me.
I was thinking to myself, “Listen, just slow down and let me past, and I'll be outta your way!” Could he do that? Nope.
So there we neck and neck as the path narrows back down to normal width. He was about the same build as me, with a good three inches of height over me. Being totally creeped out by now, and not wanting to have to dawdle behind him at his pace, with him all the while looking nervously back over his shoulder, or worse yet brush against him because the path was only just wide enough for us both, I put the head down, shortened my stride and went as fast as this little engine could.

I got about two metres in front and slowed down to a slightly faster than normal pace thinking I could now comfortably pull away from him.

Nu-uh. He sped up, AGAIN!

I said to myself, “Self, buggah this for a joke!” and took off again. Long past the point where my calves and ankles were begging me to slow down and a stitch was threatening I kept it up. Eventually I couldn't even see his shadow behind me at any point in the pools of street-lamplight So I slowed down to a slightly faster than normal pace. Kept that up for another half a block and then slowed down to a comfortable walking speed. Was another five minutes before I got up the courage to look behind me.

Silly bastard was nowhere to be found.

Felt good that I could out pace him though. Unlike that groovy granny that left me to eat her dust the other year. LOL

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Cool!

Day One - Check. (35 minutes cross-train aerobics. 5 mins yoga.)
Day Two - Check. (40 minutes cross-train aerobics.)
Day Three - Check. (1 hr and 10 minutes walk. 3 miles.)


At the start of summer this year it took me an hour to walk 2 miles. :D I believe that by the time this 12 week Streak is done with, I'd like to be able to do 5 miles in the same time as it just took me to walk three.

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Freeform Morning Thoughts.

Warning: This may get a bit rambly, but I'm just going where my subconscious will lead me today.

This month has been a little different to my usual cravings routine. Normally I want chocolate and cheese. This last week has been about eating meat, in particular sandwich meats like salami and ham, and drinking chocolate Nesquik. Nesquik I normally find far too sweet with that weird underlying saltiness factor going on. In other words I don't like it. I much prefer Milo or cocoa. But for five out of the previous six days I've had to have it. Odd, huh?

The last six days since going back to intuitive eating I've averaged (after exercise) 48g fat and 1920 cals. That would be 22.49% fat. Indeed it is a little higher than I would like, but considering it's a pre-menstrual week, not too bad at all. Not bad at all considering I've maintained this week. Yes, a PMS week with all that bloating! Extra bloating than normal thanks in part to the reduced fat salami I've been eating. A maintain. So that means next week there should be a pretty good downward swing on the scales. I know the scales aren't important, but this week it is a good thing. My clothes are fitting tighter thanks to the bloating, so there's no judge of progress there. But the scales are maintaining on a period week. For me that's huge.

It's been fascinating being able to eat what I want as I want it, and I find I don't eat as much as I would of something than if I knew that I was 'on a diet'.

I know I shouldn't be surprised by this as I've tried this experiment many times before, but somehow it still surprises me. Isn't that sad? I'm surprised that by eating healthily and naturally of what my body wishes to eat that I will head towards a healthy bodyweight. Shit, marketing gurus and society in general have a lot to answer for!

How did we get from a society where only the rich showed their curves due to the fact they could afford enough to eat and be plump, to where they show their affluence by not eating and show the world just how plastic and Barbie-like they can make themselves. Yes, even the men too.

How did we become a society that reveres the thin and ridicules the healthy? I don't honestly know. But it scares the hell out of me. I remember what my childhood was like, and the pressure was nowhere near as intense as it is now, and will be for any children my husband and I eventually have. Not just because it was thirty years ago that I was born, but because I also wasn't living in the heart of the same town as the Plastic Fantastics. A small concern I know, in light of all the current situations going on worldwide, but it's still a concern for me. People with a healthy self image tend to ask that one question, or hesitate the little fraction necessary to prevent them from doing really stupid things. I can think of so many things I did as a teenager and young adult that I perhaps wouldn't have done if I'd had the self-respect and inner fortitude to realise I deserved better than that.
{shrugs} Then again, maybe the negative experiences were necessary to fully appreciate the positive ones that have come afterwards.

I took my athletic build and body for granted. In fact I even loathed it at the time because it wasn't thin like the other girls in my peer group. Funny thing is, looking back at school photographs we were pretty much all similar in build. Some taller and thinner than others, some shorter and a little thicker. But pretty much all were vibrant, healthy, young things. It was my own self image distortion that was preventing me from seeing it at the time. My own hatred of developing curves and breasts instead of the comfortable and familiar gymnastic model I'd sported my whole life until then.

Two decades of loathing for anything feminine, especially in regards to myself. Sneering at girly-girls because of 'wasting' their time with beauty routines... but secretly being jealous and mystified by just how they accomplished all that they did with those feminine touches. Two decades of loathing my period for reminding me every month that I was no longer the carefree tomboy like I wanted to be always. Realising that I was never going to be able to compete with the boys at everything.

And you know what? I finally realised that's okay. Boys aren't better at everything either. They can't bear children or breastfeed no matter how much they'd like to be able to. They can't multi-task as well as women. And they certainly aren't as good at expressing their emotions, usually. (Yes people, I know these are generalisations, but generalisations do tend to be made for a reason.)

And the number one reason I finally decided it might just be okay to be a woman? Well, there'd be a tie for number one. Chocolate is pretty awesome stuff and bears mentioning. But the thing that may just touch that out, and definitely would if it was as readily come by as chocolate, is multiple orgasms. Or not even multiple, but several in succession, doesn't have to be piled up on top of one another, I'm not fussy. LOL I don't remember when my husband first said when it first happened, or indeed even when it did happen that first time, but I'll always remember that wistful look on his face when I explained to him what had just occurred. Isn't it funny how the mind works? I don't remember the actual occurrence too well, but I remember with great clarity realising that even though it may be easier for a man to achieve an orgasm, this was the one place that he couldn't follow. And that for a kid who'd had to tag along after nine older male cousins for so very long, seeing them be better than her at just about everything, was a very fulfilling moment indeed.


Maybe, just maybe I really am ready to start loving my true self. To accept my life as a woman. A strong healthy child I was, but now I'm ready to be a strong healthy woman. My sister-in-law does not ovulate. Maybe instead of hating my period for interrupting the perceived perfect life I had as a child, I should be grateful that I at least have the possibility of becoming pregnant naturally. A chance that she and many other women like her never even had. Resenting a bodily function that inconveniences me once a month seems ludicrous in the face of something like that.

I'll be thirty next month. I believe it's high time that I finally grow up and love the woman I am, instead of being jealous of the child that I was. My mirror shows me just how I perceived what being a woman entails. Fat, unfit, unathletic and unhealthy. All of those things I remember feeling when I realised as a child that yes in fact nature did apply to me, and guess what? I was a girl, and having breasts and a period had not only happened, but was inevitable. Now that I am all of those things I perceived myself to be at the age of ten. Yes, ten years old! My poor mother and father could never work out why their daughter all of a sudden thought she was hideous and fat. They'd done everything possible to ensure that she had a healthy outlook, strong body, and healthy lifestyle. Yet all it took was one stray thought to blast that carefully and lovingly built scaffolding into so much dust. So fleeting had been that original thought, that I hadn't even remembered it clearly until now. I did it to myself. I opened the crack that all the other crap used as a foothold to breach my self esteem and lay waste to my self respect. To enable me to become the morbidly obese woman you see before you today.

But you know what? I started it, so I can finish it. Over the past couple of months I've been working hard at understanding why I'm obese. I've worked hard at ferreting out and forgiving, or if not forgiving, at least recognising and dealing with, all the major instances that have helped contribute to my problems. I've made incredible leaps and bounds along the way.

But this?

Actually forgive myself now that I know I started the whole thing?

I don't know how long that will take. I don't yet know how I'll achieve that. I've long had the suspicion that it will be on the day that I finally regain enough fitness to be able to complete the combination of: roundoff, back handspring, back somersault. Yet again, it may not. It may come long before that. I don't know. But that's the fun of this I've discovered. It's about the journey, the destination isn't everything. And I'm determined to enjoy each and every day. And each and every day find something to be thankful for about being a woman. About being Me.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Beginner's luck, or can she keep it up?

Day One - Check. (35 minutes cross-train aerobics. 5 mins yoga.)
Day Two - Check. (40 minutes cross-train aerobics.)

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Streaker

Day One - Check. (35 minutes cross-train aerobics. 5 mins yoga.)

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Strewth! I'm not a piker this evening!

I've already discovered how motivating this streak is gonna be!

Here I'd been, after my hard day of running around doing a shitload of housework, thinking that surely I'd "exercised" enough for the day. You know how it goes? Rationalising with yourself how to get out of doing that structured exercise.

Well. I got up off me bum and did it straight away after posting about it.

I was ready to stop at 15 mins, but I just modified and kept going.
At 20 mins I thought maybe I should stop, and do 20 minutes of yoga... but the routine I know off by heart if only 15 mins, that would have left 5 more to go.
At 25 mins I thought, "Fuck it, there's only ten minutes left, and I can skip the 5 mins of situps in favour of 5 mins of yoga."

And I did!

Wow! I feel great.

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Streak!

No, not the one where you run through somewhere nekkid, although I'm sure they're rewarding in they're own way, I'm looking for something different. I'm talking about the streak that is an uninterrupted series of events. I'm gonna give myself rewards for doing as many days in a row of exercise as I can.

Exercise is so important for me to lose weight, be healthy, and sleep well.
So, my streak will be for doing 40 minutes exercise. Be it walking, muscle-training, swimming, even just a slow stroll on the days I'm tired, whatever! As long as it's structured exercise for 40 mins, then I'm good.

5 days: Special Bath (aka candles, oils, book, drink of choice)
10 days: Lunch at my favourite local sushi takeaway
15 days: A back and/or foot rub from hubby
21 days: Buy a book
4 weeks: Full body massage from hubby
5 weeks: Picnic at the beach
6 weeks: Sight-see along the coast for the day
7 weeks: Dinner at a restaurant of my choosing
8 weeks: Pyjama day!
9 weeks: Hubby does all the cooking for a weekend
10 weeks: Pampering Day
11 weeks: New lingerie outfit (Rrowrrrrr!)

and my ultimate goal for when I go three months in a row!

12 weeks: Full body massage, from a masseuse!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I can't get no, satisfaction!

But I tried, and I tried! For three long years I've been on the lookout for this particular food. Three YEARS! Eventually I despaired of ever finding some, especially when no one, not even managers knew what I was talking about. Even the organic markets or shops had no idea!

Then, several weeks ago I managed to discover through the help of some friends the name of this delightful food. (It helped that I described the damn thing this time.)

Yesterday, we were shopping at a supermarket we haven't been to in quite awhile, since their quality had deteriorated long ago, but it was an emergency and we were in the neighbourhood, so we popped in. I grabbed the things we needed and my husband zoomed on over to that section on a whim. And there it was! Hubby came towards me triumphantly brandishing a bunch of swiss chard.

Oh, how I truly ADORE that man!

This evening in my kitchen, anyone watching could have been excused for thinking, by the way I was acting, that it was chocolate that I was preparing. Urging the water to boil faster, plopping it in and giving it a stir whilst I hummed happily, wafting the steam to myself as it cooked.

And then, it was on the plate!

I gave myself a blister on the top of my mouth, I was unable to wait for it to cool before taking my first bite.. which I had to spit out because... it was too hot!
Sitting there and watching the bright green, plumply tender leaves and not being able to eat them was torture. But, it did give me time to reminisce on many good childhood memories that the smell evoked.
That first mouthful that I was able to chew and swallow tonight was bliss, pure unadulterated bliss. :)

It's honestly been at least 5 years since I've had it. It most certainly won't be that long between bites ever again, I can assure you.

Should be interesting to see hubby's reaction to his first sample though. It's a much stronger, dirtier, more iron-ish taste than spinach. Hope he likes it, if not, oh well, more for me!

I am curious to see what it's like in other applications, stirfry, casserole*, soups etc. I've only had it steamed/boiled before, which I do love, but my chefly curiosity has got the better of me. Some of the next bunch we get I'll have to try something different with, just because I can. LOL



*Lucky I proofread the post, I'd written that as asserole!! ROFL

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1st Weigh-in

Well, that's a bit of a bummer. Yesterday, which is weigh-in day I was up half a lb.

Last Week: 228.5 lbs (103.8kgs)
This Week: 229 lbs (104.1kgs)


Today I was up another 3 lbs. I know for sure the 3.5 lbs is definitely water weight though, since I'm due for my period some time in the next few days. Here's hoping it'll come off and show a loss for next week.

Picked a good time to start a new blog eh? LOL

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Low Fat Salmon Mornay.

Here's a salmon Mornay I made up as I went along today for lunch. Surprisingly I remembered to measure everything as I did it. LOL

(serves 4)

1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs plain flour
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 cups 1 % milk (or skim if you prefer)
1 tsp mustard
2 Tbs dry white wine, (or 2-3 tsp lemon juice if you don't drink alcohol)
by weight 4 oz (115g) reduced fat sharp cheddar/tasty cheese, grated
18 oz (510g) pink salmon, drained. (tuna, if you prefer)
3 Tbs dry bread crumbs
by weight 1 oz (28g) reduced fat sharp cheddar/tasty cheese, finely shredded/grated.


Method.

1. Sauté onion and celery in a saucepan until translucent.
2. Add butter, stir until melted and then add flour.
3. Stir until combined, cook for a minute or two, stirring continuously.
4. Add milk a little at a time, until all in. Stirring each addition until it thickens, before adding the next. You may like to use a whisk at this point. If lumps form, you're adding the milk too quickly.
5. Stir until sauce begins to thicken a little, then add the white wine and mustard.
6. Add the bigger portion of the cheese, stir until incorporated. Repeat with the salmon.
7. Turn off heat, pour mixture into a square baking tray, (9” x 9” or 20cm x 20cm)
8. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over surface of mixture.
9. Sprinkle on the finely shredded cheese.
10. Bake approx 20-30 minutes in a 375F or 180C oven. (or until golden brown on top)


I served ours over a cup of rice, with roasted butternut pumpkin and sauteed green beans.

Nutrition per serve. (does not include anything else you may serve it with, like rice or pasta)

Made with 1% milk:
Fat: 13.8g
Calories: 365
Fat percent = 34%


Made with skim milk:
Fat: 12.6g
Calories: 352
Fat percent = 32%

Made with 1% milk and tuna:
Fat: 9.35g
Calories: 379
Fat percent = 22%

Made with skim milk and tuna:
Fat: 8.15g
Calories: 366
Fat percent = 20%

If you do a vegetarian one, it's even lower in fat again. If you don't like fish, you can substitute chicken.

BTW Full Fat Tuna Mornay (not even salmon, but the lower fat tuna!) generally has at least 45g fat and 700+ calories per serve. Per serve!

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Something New.

I deliberately set out to cook a meal that was not reduced sodium, but low sodium. Easy you say? Yeah you'd think, but it also has to taste good, be fairly cheap, and also easy to cook.
Why? Well, a friend of mine, Gryphon, has high blood pressure and is on a low sodium diet. Most low sodium recipes are outside of her price range, since she and her boyfriend are college students. Hence the easy and cheap part of the equation.

Besides, I like a new challenge. Low fat luscious cooking I can do. Now, to try something a little harder. :)

I started to make a pork and veg stir fry for dinner, and then I realised that most of the sauces I would normally use are high in sodium.. yes even the reduced sodium ones are too high.

Then I thought of changing it to the simmered soy pork that another friend makes... just reducing the soy sauce waaaaay down. But then.. I thought, what if she doesn't want any extra sodium at all, perhaps she's on a day where as low as possible is good? So, I nixed the soy sauce, and decided to try to make it tasty without salt, but also still fairly low in fat.

One red bell pepper I sliced into fine strips, same with one quarter of an onion.
Sauteed them in a hot skillet with a little oil whilst I cut the pork loin into fairly thin, short strips.
Added the pork and stirfried it on high for at least 5 minutes, until brown and tasty.
Added some finely chopped fresh garlic and ginger (not paste or dried, fresh chopped!) cooked that for another couple of minutes until fragrant.
I poured water in until it was twice as high as the ingredients.
Added a couple handfuls of dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms.
Realising there still wasn't quite enough water I put in about another cup or so.
Once it came to the boil, I covered it, then turned it down to a simmer and left it for 30 minutes.
Came back and tasted it, and it was a little bland.
So, I went hunting through the pantry.
Cumin I didn't want to add as that would have been better at the start. Curry paste was out since that has a lot of salt in it. We were out of curry powder too, so couldn't use that. Besides another friend complained (jokingly) that all i do is post curry recipes. So I'm trying to even it out a little.
I grabbed the honey, and some garam masala (chinese 5 spice would do just as well.) Squirted in about a tbs of honey, and two generous pinches of the garam masala.. and then simmered it again for a good half an hour, until most of the liquid was gone and the pork was tender.

Turned out rather tasty if I do say so myself. Subtle, yet tasty, and NOT salty in the least.
I served it in a bowl like a stew, and had a baked potato on a side plate. YUM!

I'll definitely be making this one again. (Will post the recipe a little neater tomorrow, and with a nutrition break down!)

I think I'll also try a version where I add wine and fresh herbs instead of the asian spices.

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Christmas Day Challenge = New Years' Reward.

Well, now that we're almost successfully done with our novel challenge, my friend Kay and I are planning a new one. The novel challenge set up a trip for hubby and I to go visit her over New Years, only if we both successfully completed the first drafts of our novels by the end of September. (tickets have already been bought. If one or both of us failed, Hubby was to rip up my ticket and go by himself.) Kay finished the other day, and I'm just about ready to begin the endgame, so I'll definitely be done on time too. Yippee!
Considering we both found the motivation so good, we decided to do so again for weightloss. Although we both decided that NOT going at all would suck, especially since we did complete the first challenge, so we had to think of suitable motivation. We came up with things that we've both been really looking forward to doing whilst there... and if we BOTH get to our goals by Christmas day, then these things can happen.


1. Christmas Pudding - According to Kay, "Kada makes a brilliant traditional Christmas pudding, I don't want to miss that!!"

2. Pirates - (Kay says: love them, must seeeeeeee the purple pirate pants!!!) Simon Gallagher Trio actually. Mikado, Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore. She watched it last time we were here.. have to see it again and show all her friends the wonder of David Gould, and Jon English. Hubba Hubba!

3. Munchkin - A cardgame, that is super awesome fun, that hubby and I want to learn to play whilst we're there.

4. Cajun - A Restaurant in Kansas City that Kay's been wanting to take us to for quite a while now. Loverly crawdads, we don't want to miss that one either.

5. BILLY! - Billy Connolly DVD-fest. 'Nuff said.

These rewards may not look like much, but these 5 items are things we've been talking about and planning since her last visit here in Jan 2004. That's two years of anticipation! Can you imagine how bummed out we'll be? Especially since I'll be making the pudding and hanging it in November. Smells for me, and photos for her to taunt us with! If we fail.. into the freezer it goes. If we pass.. Mmm plum pud for new years!
Nevermind how much my husband will (rightfully so) bitch and moan at us. He's been looking forward to all these things equally as hard.
Notice that 2 of the 5 are food related...which you would think is strange, considering it's a weight loss challenge. It's not strange, honest! LOL

Goals!

Kay to reach 185 pounds by Christmas Day, Kada to reach 200 pounds by Christmas Day.
Definitely attainable goals.

Will keep yas updated as we go along.

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Progress Report One.

Weight: 229lbs, 104.09kgs
Body fat: 50%
BMI: 41.

All measurements are in centimetres.

Upper Chest: 104.2
Bustline: 121.5
Upper Right Arm: 45.8
Midriff: 98.2
Waistline: 107.2
Upper Hips: 133.7
Hips/Buttocks: 137.5
Right Thigh: 74.1
Left Thigh: 72.5
Right Calf: 44.2
Left Calf: 43.5

TOTAL: 982.4 cms

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Long time no see?

I s'pose I should let you know a little about the woman on this side of the monitor. I've been trying to come up with an introductory post for months now. But, with various family stresses last month, abruptly realising that the end date for a writing challenge I've got going with a friend actually has the deadline of 1st of October, not the 31st of October like we'd first thought, plus add in weeks of depression about my upcoming thirtieth birthday, and you end up with little inclination or brainpower leftover for writing anything other than that which I'm supposed to be writing.

Ooh lookit that! I found one I'd written weeks ago and forgotten all about. Yippee!

Now that it's posted I guess I can deal a little more with how I've been doing during the intervening time since first writing that.

I dropped from 238lbs down to 228lbs, then due to the aforementioned stresses I yo-yoed up and down between 232 and 228. I've maintained 229 for about two weeks now, and am really pleased with that. As you've seen from my past history, I've normally ballooned by a good five to ten lbs (if not more!) at the end of a depressive cycle.

Last week, I did something that I'm really looking forward to continuing. I joined up at the local pool. My first day swimming I forgot to put on sunscreen, so I spent all of last week avoiding the sunshine once more. But, I felt wonderful, I felt alive. Truly alive again! I LOVE to swim. The weekend was a lovely one full of together time with my husband, something we'd been neglecting for months. The chores had been wanting all our time, gluttonous things that they are, and like fools we'd been obliging them. Wonder why we were snippy with one another? LOL

Tuesday? Not so good.

Warning, the following contains puking!

Oh, sure at the time I had a good time. My mind was a little achy from all the writing I'd been doing lately, so I decided to have a Movie Marathon Day. Went to the video shop and returned what we'd watched on the weekend. I felt like a girly day. So I got all the really girly girly ones I'd been wanting to watch for years, you know, the ones you feel kinda guilty about liking. Some of which hubby said he did want to watch this weekend also, so some I'll be seeing again. LOL

I got some Mexican take away on the way home. A molito which I hadn't tried before (basically flat soft taco, fillings, then other flat soft taco sandwiched on top.) and some vegetarian nachos. Loved it!

Over the course of the rest of the day I had movie-type snacks. Popcorn, rootbeer and mini-chocolates.

Now.. bed time came, and I felt kinda OK, but definitely heavy in the middle. I turned down a delightful offer from hubby, because of how I was feeling. The brain was interested, but the body had it's own shit to deal with.

I woke up at 4am-ish coughing and spluttering. Oh god the acid reflux. It had never been this bad before. I shoved celery in my mouth as fast as I could. I didn't even take time to go to the sink and wash it. just brushed the dirt off and ate around the bits that were stuck good.
That cooled the fires enough so that I could put on my dressing gown/housecoat and head on out into the shared part to use the bathroom. Finished my business, praying fervently that I wouldn't need to puke, washed my hands... and then had to kneel.

Ralph, Huey, I called on both of them. Even god answered the great white telephone and told me to keep driving the bus... so I did.

Do any of you know what the more Asian types of ramen/noodle soup flavour packets look like? The ones that have the flavouring oils in as well as the dried veggies/powder? Well if you do then you know what my first two heaves looked like. Oil. Straight oil came out and floated on the surface of the toilet. "Ooh, look at that. How odd!" said my brain before I really got the business underway.

Now, I'm a champion puker, I puked a hell of a lot as a kid. What does it tell you that my mother would lay a towel on the ground before feeding me, feed me, then sit me up and aim and just wait for it? (yes I was allergic to the formula but the stupid nurse wouldn't listen. It fucked me up for many years. Sensitive digestion still lingers today because of it.) Up until about the age of 16 when my adult digestion settled in and i puked a whole lot less, I puked on average at least once a week, maybe more. (It probably helped that I stopped eating McDonald's, which I'm allergic to.)

So keeping that fact in mind, 'Kada is a champion puker', when I say this was the worst puke EVER, you'll know that's a pretty big statement. MY god, I've never had it burn that much. Puking straight vinegar mixed with habanero chillies couldn't have burnt as badly as this. And I thought I'd never stop.

It wasn't until I was done, cleaned up and back in bed munching on more celery that I realised the full extent of my idiocy. And the full strength of the epiphany. I swore up, down, left and right while it was happening that I'd never ever do anything like this ever again.

I even swore out loud to my husband and the universe that, unless there is medical reasons for it like pregnancy, I will NEVER binge again.

Any of those meals on their own would have been fine.

toasted ham and full fat cheese sandwiches for breakfast.

carnitas molito and vegetarian nachos for lunch (including fresh fried tortilla/corn chips, guacamole, full fat sour cream, and a shitload of cheese.)

rootbeers, buttered popcorn, and several handfuls of chocolates over the afternoon/evening.

But, put them together all in the one day, and what we have ladies and gents is a disaster. And the reason for the disaster?

Fear? : OMG I made that pact with Kay now I really really REALLY have to lose weight or I'm in big trouble.

Defiance? : I can eat what I want until the meal planner arrives.

Depression? : Oh god I'm thirty next month and there won't be a party. And I'm missing my family and friends. Am looking forward to turning thirty very much, not being able to have the big fancy dress party I'd always planned? Not so much..

Fear? : I'm almost finished the first draft. oh shit I'm really a writer, now I have to edit and get on with getting it ready to send out to publishers.



All of the above and more I'm sure. No more! For the first time I was able to visualise that bitch demon who's been controlling me for so long. I actually saw me slam her into a cage and turn the key.
I didn't imagine it was made of metal.. well I started to, titanium bars, lock, chains everything. Then I locked her in surrounded by something much harder, much better at keeping her contained.

She's in a cage built of Confidence. Self-Confidence.

Take THAT, Beeyatch!

So, yeah. I'm ready to continue along my journey to a healthy me. :)

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How did I become morbidly obese?

Well, that's a long story, I hope you've got some time to read it. (This was written about six weeks ago, I'm only getting around to posting it now. LOL)

Age 10. I got my first period. And had to wear a bra. Not the first girl, but the second to have to do so in my year 5 class. But, I didn't have any of those training bras, no AA or even AAA.. I went straight to an A cup.

All of a sudden my body was doing strange and inexplicable things. I felt completely and utterly embarrassed about the bra lines under my gymnastics' leotards. Horror at that time of the month when I also had to wear underwear.. and even worse, a big bulky pad! And the pain. Oh god, the menstrual cramps would leave me incapable of doing anything for hours on end. I'd thought having a broken leg the year before had been bad enough.. but that healed eventually, THIS I would be expected to experience every month for the rest of my life. YEARS!

Then, by twelve I had these things on the side of my body. Hips. Not my comfy bony ones, but these strangely curved ones. My breasts had increased to a C cup. I also had switched to calisthenics by now. Club politics between the adults (nasty shit) and my inner ear imbalance conspired to bring about the end of my gymnastics career. Make-up, mountains of hair spray, sequins by the tonne.. all very feminine things that I really didn't like.. but it seemed close enough to gymnastics to be okay. Gave it up after a couple of years. I wasn't really cut out for girlish-dancing stuff. If I never saw another tube of fake tan in my next three lifetimes... it'd still be too soon!



Switched to swimming and softball. Now these were two sports I adored. I did them for another six years, quite successfully, I might add.

One problem... the surrounding girls/women were all still lithe, long and lean. I was a size 12 with DD breasts, with curves to die for at 5'3”. Think Kate Winslet, Marilyn Monroe, Drew Barrymore, Tia Carrera, or Lindsay Lohan (pre-dramatic weight loss) standing next to Jamie Lee Curtis, or Twiggy and you kinda have an idea of what it was like. All perfectly healthy women.. some just curvier than the others. I didn't know any better. All I knew was that I was fat. I look back at those photos now and think my GOD I was sexy. Athletic body, but with womanly curves. Hubba hubba. It's no wonder the older boys and men all thought I was older and would ask me out, whereas the guys my own age had no idea what to do with me. Well, they would taunt me about being fat or a tomboy. Case in point: When I was thirteen, a guy at a cousin's wedding, after talking to me for half an hour was completely surprised when he asked how my HSC was going. (Higher School Certificate – Years 11 and 12.) and I laughingly responded that I was only in year 7! The delightful conversation ended rather quickly after that.

Articulate, mature, curvy, and fit, that's how I actually was, but I felt like a fish out of water.

Onto the scene had come a boyfriend, when I was 16. Oh the drama! I successfully combined year 10, boyfriend, swimming and softball, but year 11 came, and swimming became sporadic, before being ditched about 3/4's through the year. Softball I stuck out till the end of the year. My first attempt at Yr 12, I dropped out 1/3 of the way through. Stuck with the boyfriend... things were not good there, but I stayed. I put on approx 20 lbs due to emotional eating.

Year 12 came around again, the ending of the relationship, a series of friendship breakups.. and all of a sudden I was rudderless. I somehow managed to finish year 12, but I dropped sport completely. Spent my spare time writing poetry, reading, being awful to everybody.. and eating. Oh the eating! Not only was I eating enough for an athlete. . .but a depressed athlete. Over the course of that year I put on 22kgs (nearly 50 lbs)

To say I was unhappy and hated myself would be an understatement.

I took a job straight out of high school that involved odd hours and not much physical activity. My weight ballooned even further. I honestly don't know how high it went. But I was definitely in size 24 clothes.
Changed jobs within the same company, but this entailed a lot of physical labor. I dropped back down to 78 kgs (a happy size 16) but I was still comparing myself to my gymnastic body image. Nothing anybody could say would convince me that I was in fact quite healthy and deliciously curved. (kinda like Queen Latifah, post-breast reduction and losing a little weight.)

I found many new friends over the next 5 years... betrayed and left heart-broken by every single one. At age twenty three I left the job that had become completely hateful, quit my part-time nannying, and decided to follow my heart. I went to chef school. A clean start, to help me let go of the past.

Two abusive bosses and restaurants later (such a succinct sentence to describe 2 and a half years of hell!) I had no self esteem left whatsoever. During that time had also been a very bad friendship that ended on a spectacularly destructive note. There were good times, but they kinda got lost amongst the heavy drinking, partying, and the few potentially deadly situations we ended up in because of her. Trying to save her from self-destruction was not working. . .so I chose to save myself. I decided that I would have no friends, until I could find my true friends. (Just like I'd decided after finding my ex-boyfriend in bed with another woman, that I'd rather be single than in an unhealthy relationship.)

Around this time I met the man that would become my husband. Talk about lifesaving moments. If I hadn't met him and the wonderful group of friends that I did, over the Internet, then I honestly doubt whether I'd be here today at all. Language class also led to some wonderful friends there at home.

2001, with the help of a personal trainer I managed to get down to 80 kgs again. But over the following two years of a long distance relationship, I slowly and surely crept back up another 15 kgs. Moving to America to be with my husband in 2003 I thought that all my weight and self-esteem problems would be solved. You know? Happily ever after, and all that shit.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

In many ways, my downward, or is that upward, spiral was only just picking up speed.

Coming from a close and large, extended family with several friends that I would see often, it was a big shock to the system when I realised the actuality of living in a foreign country. Not only was there culture shock, but lifestyle shocks as well. No more going out for coffees, movies, or group walks. No roller blading down the esplanade. Not even any good parks or hilly bits to walk around in. To start with, even walking around the neighborhood was dangerous by myself. Several times I stepped off onto the road after looking the wrong way for traffic. Thankfully, never more than one step at a time before I remembered. The one time I'd gone more than one step hubby was there to pull me back in the nick of time.

The food all tasted wrong. The weather had no seasons. There wasn't enough rain. The friends that we saw most often got a divorce and one moved away and the other took to the single life with great glee. So that friendship kinda petered out. Then, there was dealing with the immigration stuff. Despite our painless and hassle-free change of status process, there's still something soul-shriveling about waiting years to find out someone else's decision on whether or not you can stay with your soul mate. Not to mention all the hoops to jump through. Every pleasure was slightly clouded with the fear of, what if they send me back home?

Not to mention the stress of getting married first in a civil ceremony, with non of either of our families there. There were friends which did help, but they were all hubby's long term friends. I'd thought I'd be okay with that, but the night before it's a shock to realise you're making a huge step.. without your parents present, and you've put yourself in that position, adding salt to the wounds. Hubby eventually dragged me to bed at some ungodly hour when he realised that each phonecall I mad was only making me worse.

Then the next few months taken up with INS stuff, coupled with planning an interstate wedding, with additional international guests also. Added in there was a friendship almost-break-up with one of the bridesmaids, and hubby's grandfather dying. The stress was unbelievable. But, the wedding was a success, and having my parents here for four weeks was bliss... then everybody went home, and hubby went back to full-time work.

NOW, was when the yo-yoing began in earnest.

I was 218lbs at the civil ceremony. Five months later I was 204 lbs when we had the church service. Less than two months later at Christmas time, I was 220lbs, and had to buy my first ever pair of size twenty two jeans, and they only just fit. I was horrified by the sheer amount of fabric in the thing.

Coming back from a lovely two weeks holiday with my -in-laws, completed the cycle. I had nothing else to look forward to. Wouldn't see my family until early December, a whole year stretched before me. I tried my best but over that time there were many days of hysterical crying jags, migraines, gorging, and just general unpleasantness. Interspersed with almost manic periods of calorie counting and exercising with a vengeance. A few visits with and from family and friends over that time also contributed to the manic mood-swings. Periods of up before and during the visits, and down times after.

We went back to Australia late in November, and spent a busy and wonderful four weeks with family. Unfortunately a friend also came with us.. and had complete and utter culture shock. That, coupled with his improperly-managed diabetes (which we didn't realize at the time was causing his horrific mood swings and general negativity) and it was hellacious. Thankfully he was only there for two weeks, but it was a very long two weeks. Our wonderful holiday that was meant to have been spent relaxing, was more like revisiting high school. Adding to the stress eating, was the usual eating that you do on holidays, plus the frenzied eating of all my favorite foods I'd been lacking. In those four weeks I put on 18lbs. Putting me at a new high of 236 lbs. (107 kgs)

Came back home and had my closest friend come and visit for a wonderful three weeks. This was when I sunk to my all time low in self-esteem and negativity. In my head I was thinking all sorts of nasty things, inexcusable things. It came to a head when they were able to walk up a lovely scenic hill and enjoy the breathtaking view.. whilst I was stuck in the car park in the stinking hot car with a book. We all knew that if I walked up that hill that in all probability that it would be the last thing I would ever do.

That last week of the friend's visit I lost 5 lbs.. and continued losing 20 lbs over the next two and a half months. Then came an unexpected pregnancy, and subsequent miscarriage at 5 weeks. I kinda gave up for a few months. What was the point? Every time I got my shit together, something happened to sabotage it.

I gained and lost the same 15 lbs over the next twelve months, despite increasing strength and fitness, I still couldn't break the emotional eating cycle. (more trips away and friends coming to visit contributed also)

Late 2005 I strained my groin.. and refused to let it get me down. During the rehabilitation I actually lost ten lbs. Christmas 2005 and I managed to lose 2 lbs whilst away with the sibling-in-laws. I felt on top of the world. Continued losing and increasing fitness until February 2006. We went and visited hubby's parents. We took our exercise tapes with us, walked nearly every day, despite it being subzero temps, and generally had a great time. I lost so many inches in that three weeks that I was fitting into new underwear and pants when we came back home.

But according to the scales... I'd gained six lbs in that time. Logically, I knew I'd gained a bunch of muscle tone, but emotionally I was devastated. I looked amazing, but inside I was flailing around, completely lost. It didn't help that we knew this would be our last visit to see his parents in his childhood home. They were moving interstate. I adore hubby's birth state, knowing we wouldn't be able to go visit there again as easily as we had done in the past, made us both very sad.

I also went off the pill at this time. The relief, and instantaneous difference was readily apparent to everyone I knew. Things that had seemed insurmountable just weeks prior were suddenly not so horrendous. I even lost weight, and my body was less squishy. My mood swings disappeared completely. My PMS was almost non-existent. It became apparent that a lot of the depression I had been feeling the last three years had been brought about by the pill.

Feeling lighter in spirit than I had in many years I now felt equipped to understand my obesity and its causes. Months of soul searching, plus a wonderful self help book helped me to get to the bottom of what's been causing me to eat myself almost to death.

I gained only a little in the next few months as I kept up the half-hearted exercising, but when my great-uncle died, it brought home the vast distances separating me from my family, and I sunk into my blackest depression yet.

I'm extremely glad that I had been off the pill for several months by now. I shudder to think how I'd have reacted with my hormones completely screwed up.

I hit an all time high of 238lbs(108.1kgs). Thankfully the depression only lasted for three weeks, and I climbed back up to good mental health. Feeling my emotions, and talking honestly about them, really did help me deal with them in a healthy way. Instead of sublimating them with food like I'd done in the past.

I'm currently feeling more myself than I've done in over 15 years. And for the first time in over twenty years, I actually like myself, and am happy with my body. I'm am uncomfortable with being obese, but I know that I've put myself in this position, and only a healthy lifestyle with good food, regular exercise, quality sleep, and emotional and mental health is going to allow me to have a healthy body. One day at a time I'm working towards the Me that I know I am. Each day, I make the healthiest choices I can in that given moment. I have a healthy relationship with food again. No food is bad, and no food is good. I'm applying moderation to all aspects of my life. Work, Play, Reading, Food, Sleep. I'm looking at having a long life full of things of good quality.

Listening to my body is making things easy.

Dealing with my problems and embracing my quirks is allowing balance in my life.

Loving myself has made all the difference in the world.


Endnote: January 2005 those size twenty two jeans wouldn't even go on!
December 2005 they fit comfortably.
February 2006 I threw them away because they no longer fit!!

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