February 27th, 2001

Dylan woke me up about 14 times between 3am or so and 6am when the alarm burned into my head.  I knew I was supposed to get up and hop on the treadmill while Eric was still around to watch the kids.  Tired isn't even a big enough word to describe how I felt, having just gotten to sleep at midnight.  The thought of walking, much less running, was more then formidable.  I pulled the covers over my head and prepared to slip off into another half hour of sweet sleep before the boys woke up.  Just as sleep wrapped it's soothing arms around me, I heard GEORGIA'S voice ringing in my head.  Georgia is not nearly as big as I am and most people who look at her wouldn't dream she'd be unhappy with her body, but there are changes she wants to hurt and they hurt her just as much as the changes I want to make hurt me.  Georgia has adopted as her motivation mantra the Nike motto of, "Just do it."  I heard her saying that.  Then I heard another of my cyber friends lean in and whisper, "Demand more of yourself than this."  Shit.  How can I get any decent sleep with THAT kind of passive aggressive crap going on?  So I hauled my ass up out of the bed, begrudgingly.  It took all my energy to haul the treadmill away from the wall and plug it in.  I had to rest before I put in the key and cranked it up.  I was watching a boring local morning news show, traffic, weather, almost nodded off running.  Around five minutes into it, I remembered reading in Bob Greene's stuff ("Making the Connection", with Oprah Winfrey) that to get results, I needed to exercise for at least 20 minutes in "the zone" between levels 7-8.  I knew I wasn't anywhere near a zone and my 5 minutes of warm up was pretty much gone.  As I cranked it up, I felt my body rebel instantly and saw a shadowy, hooded figure with a wicked big scythe come to stand by me as I ran.  I started to sweat at my usual 3.5 mph and that's when I knew I was hitting The Zone.  I never used to sweat at workouts.  I loved racquetball and had the longest, most elastic arms on the court.  My feet never moved.  I'd stroll for my two mile walks, trucking along at a pace so that I seldom even got winded.  Then I read what Bob said about how few overweight golfers there are.  Walking all day doesn't really do it.  You have to push yourself beyond what feels easy.  So when I started to sweat, I cranked up the incline and I felt my calves start a protest rally.  The most discomfort I feel in my body when I run is inevitably my feet.  I have some kind of congenital weirdness that causes me to favor standing on the outsides of my feet.  No doubt some funky positioning in the uterus is responsible.  The outer sides of my shoes are always more worn than the inner sides.  The heels are always worn down unevenly.  So when I'm running and my feet are having to repeatedly place levelly on the belt, my feet start to ache.  I have the same problem doing the yoga postures.  I imagine in some way it's good for my feet to use the muscles that are supposed to tug them in the right direction, but it's still achy.  The incline wasn't working for me this morning and I could feel it right away.  After 2-3 minutes of giving it a try, I went back to a level 3.5 and thought for a minute or two because although I was dead tired, I wasn't sweating like I wanted to.  Then I got brave and the voices in my head started again.  "Just do it."  "Demand more of yourself."  So I boosted the speed a little and for the first time in a long, long time, I broke through my 3.5mph limit.  I got up to 4.1 mph.  I was only there for 10, long, sweaty minutes, but I was there.  After, I had to take it down to 2.5 to regroup for about 5 minutes, but then I was able to get back up to 3.8 for the duration until my cool down.  Yes, I felt the brush of that scythe on my throat a couple of times during the 4.1 moments, but I did it, dammit!  I could have been just crawling out of bed to greet the day at the exact moment I was topping out at 4.1, but thanks to the voices in my head, instead I started out the day with a big personal victory.  The water has been slooooow going today.  The cravings have been jumping in from time to time, but the memory of that feeling is carrying me through.

"Would you talk to a small child or loved one the way you routinely talk to yourself about your body?  Probably not."  CHRISTIANE NORTHRUP, "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom"


February 26th, 2001

Not only did my meager water pill knock off the excess fluids I was holding, BUT I made my standing (barely standing) goals treadmilling last night.  I always strive for no less than 30 minutes, no less than 1.5 miles and no less than 250 calories burned.  If any of those are in deficit, I have to stay on until it hits the mark.  It helps to have something on TV that I like to watch because most shows are ½ hour, which is my goal.  If I go into the next show, it feels odd to not complete it (maybe I can work to an hour that way eventually).  Last night was The Simpsons and the last few minutes of Malcolm in the Middle.  I love to laugh.  One thing that I experimented with last night was a button I hadn’t tried called “power incline.”  It sounded pretty formidable and since it is really hard for me to push over 3.5 miles per hour, I decided to up the intensity a bit.  I remembered the words from a wonderful letter I received and they rang in my head, “Demand more from yourself.”  That didn’t sound formidable at all when I read it; it sounded reasonable, so, hearing that in my head, I cranked up the incline a bit.  Whoa!  I really started to feel the big muscles in my legs working instead of just my heart pumping.   

This morning, I woke up feeling decent at 6:00 and felt like exercising, so Eric got up to watch the kiddies before going to work.  I felt really good and full of energy (NOT a normal state for me).  I did found myself hitting my 3.5 mph wall again, so I remembered the words again and boosted the power incline up to full tilt for a third of the workout without lowering the speed.  I swear, there have only been two other situations in my life that have caused me to make noises like that and one of them was giving birth.  “Ahhhhhhh, Ahhhhhh Ahhhhhhhh, Aaaahhhhh!”  I’m glad Eric knew what I was doing in there!  But it felt GOOD in some weird kind of way.  I was demanding more of myself and DOING it.  When I hit the last ten minutes and took down the power incline to flat again, it felt almost like I’d gone from running to walking.  I was POURING with sweat and I could feel how hot my face was.  My chest didn’t hurt.  My lungs weren’t burning.  I just felt very physically challenged.  When I finished, I felt like I’d moved a mountain.  By the time I hit my 30 minute goal, I was at 265 calories and 1.6 miles.  Whew!   

Today has been good so far.  I made a double batch of chicken and vegetable stir fry last night so I’d have some left for today.  I figure that excepting the fiber element, it’s like eating a big chicken salad.  I’m on my FOURTH bottle of water (17 oz each).  I had a grain cereal for breakfast with 2% milk, a few pretzels for a snack and a big bowl of stirfry for lunch.  I get another snack at 3pm and have herb chicken and baked potatoes for dinner.  Today is a success day.  I may even do my yoga video as well tonight.  Tomorrow can take care of itself.  This happens one step, one choice, one day at a time.  I wish all of you could read the wonderful, loving, supportive letters I receive from people, but it would eat up all my storage space on my server to post them and no one is more precious than the other, so I couldn’t bear to leave one out.  If you are struggling with how you feel about your body, whether you are bigger, thinner or shaped differently than you want, get on our message board.  Share your secrets, your challenges and let’s help one another.  Jeez, if I can do this, anyone can!

70% of max heart rate:  This is the feeling you might get when you are exercising vigorously.  There is a definite feeling of the fatigue, but you are quite sure you can maintain this level for the rest of your exercise session.  Your breathing is deep and you are definitely aware of it.  You can carry on a conversation, but you would probably prefer not to.  This is the baseline level of exercise that you will maintain in your exercise sessions.  80% of max heart rate:  This is the feeling you might get when you are exercising very vigorously.  There is a very definite feeling of fatigue, and if you asked yourself if you could continue for the remainder of your exercise session, you think you could, but are not 100% sure.  Your breathing is very deep, you can still carry on a conversation, but you don't feel like it.  This becomes the feeling you should experience only after you are comfortable reaching a level seven (70%) and are ready for a more intense workout.  This is the level that produces rapid results, but you must learn how to maintain it.  Exercising at this level is difficult for many people.  Bob Greene, "Making the Connection."    Whoooo Hooooo!


February 25th, 2001

Thanks to everyone for their letters of support after a really crappy day yesterday.  I took a diuretic (I have only a few and don't like to use them) and it promptly peed away 5 pounds with the help of a gallon of drinking water.  That was a real relief, so at least I haven't lost any ground.  I'm at 213 on the carpet.  I've been thinking about Dr Phil's theory on stretch pants vs jeans and have decided to buy some jeans when the tax return is deposited on the 9th.  What am I afraid of with them?  Seeing a size that starts with a 2 rather than 1X or just XL?  Seeing how big my ass really is instead of how big the pants are after may ass isn't in them any more?  I'm going to get two pairs and I'm going to wear them.  I also want to go to Sporticus, our used sporting goods store here in Sac and get a simple weight bench to start some strength training.  At least if I'm doing a few different things a week, I won't get bored.  One of my friends wrote and suggested that since she too gets dismayed at depriving herself of foods, she just adds to her daily intake by eating gallons of salad and good foods.  That way, she doesn't give up her goodies, but savors them.  It would seem to reason that if you eat lots and lots of good for you stuff and think of it as still being able to have the goodies if you have room at the end of the day that you'd be working from a 'getting' standpoint rather than deprivation.  I like that.  Getting is good.  I remember when I tried the Carb Addicts Diet.  It was built around the idea of eating nothing with more than 4 grams of carbs all through the day (that encompasses about 4 foods), then you can have whatever you want for dinner in any amount, as long as you eat a salad when you start dinner and 4 oz of meat next.  I thought I'd eat the world given full liberties, but of course, once you eat 2 c of salad and 4 oz of meat, there isn't much room for anything else.  I gained 7 pounds during the 4 weeks I was on the carb addicts diet and I followed it to the letter.  I was constipated, never lost the craving for fruit juices (which, ironically, I seldom if ever drink) and had horrible breath.  My hair and skin was greasy, but I felt really grounded and centered, which was nice.   Yes, I drank all the water they suggested.  I have heard of it working for people, but it wasn't for me.  They severely underestimated how much meat and eggs I can eat in a day.  At a buffet, the manager has to come out and say, "I'm sorry, that's all you CAN eat for $6.99."

I'm still in the race, folks!  I insist on taking this to the finish line!

"The changes in the foods you choose come about as a result of changes in your consciousness, in your awareness, and in your willingness to love yourself and others.  When you no longer need to eat for a fix because of a quiet miracle happening to you mentally and spiritually, a Love-powered food style beautifully expresses your inner transformation in an outer sense.  Ultimately, the most important nutritional element is Vitamin YOU.  It is activated by contact with a Higher Power, supportive friends, an appreciation of life and every creature in it, along with supplementary doses of gratitude and wonder."     VICTORIA MORAN, "LOVE YOURSELF THIN"


February 24, 2001

I knew that this would be hard.  God knows that I’ve been doing it in some form for most of my life.  My first diet was in the fifth grade and I was given a little pocket calorie counter and told not to go over 1000 a day.  That began over thirty years of counting, measuring, sweating, weighing and failing.  Even when I looked really, really good, I still felt fat.  When I was 18-year-old, after having my second son, weighing 131, my husband (my first) said, “If you want, we can start saving up to get you a tummy tuck.  This was when he was a  two striper in the Air Force making maybe $1000 a month.  Although there have been a million times I thought I’d found the magic cure all, I don’t believe I ever really thought it was just going to melt away.  I followed faithfully followed protein diets that promised I’d lose 10 pounds a week and I ended up gaining.  They say, “all the fat you lose will be water weight.”  I’d be happy to lose some water weight and just FEEL thinner for a day.  

Yesterday, I was lying on my bed and I let my hand slide down the curve of my waist (I do still have a curve there) and it felt much deeper.  I was excited because I knew I’d been screwing off since about Friday and, convinced I’d been given some great stay of execution, my spirits lifted.  Then I realized that my curve was deeper because my ass and hips were considerably bigger.  No way, can’t be.  I haven’t GAINED in weeks and week and I’ve always had a set point of about 215 or so.  I went in to face the scale, which I haven’t done in a couple of weeks because I read I should chuck it.  ON the carpet it was 218.  I felt all the blood drain from my face.  Shit.  Now I’m on the upward swing.  My friend, Trish, came up for the weekend.  She is a Dr Pepper person and I’d allowed myself to drink it unlimitedly.  No diet sodas that weekend.  I had eaten some cookies a couple of times too and hadn’t really worried about watching what I ate.  I didn’t figure 2-3 days was going to be such a big deal and thought I deserved some “time off.”  Of course, I didn’t exercise while she was here.  She arrived Friday night and left Monday night.  That whole time, I went pretty much unchecked.            

Yesterday was a powerful day of reckoning on a lot of levels.  I was upset about the weight gain I’d learned about, so I took a good look at me and realized that not only were the scales saying I’d gained (and who knows how much I really weigh because I’m too much of a coward to put the damned scale in the shower on a hard surface and check for sure but it’s usually about 3-5 pounds off), but I was FATTER.  Not just heavier, but FATTER.  I was rounder and flabbier.  I felt my belly and knew that my “fat beard” or, as Eric calls it, my “Dunlap’s Syndrome” (Your belly dun lapped over your belt) was much larger than before.  I know that is classic of intense water weight and there are two reasons why that could be happening.  One is all the soda’s I drank causing me to retain fluid and the other is not drinking my water like I should and the other is that I’m getting ready for the mother of all periods.  I’m a nursing mom and other than one period I had after my tubal ligation when he was three-months-old, I haven’t had one yet.  Usually, they start up around at around 12-15 months, but so far, nothing.  For about two weeks now, I’ve been having wicked uterine cramps, sometime worse than others.  So I know my long lost friend is thinking about returning home.  Damn.  

Next, my husband came home to tell me that they’d had their meeting of the contractors that day.  One Friday a month, the company that hires contracted employees for MCI gets their guys together and buys them lunch somewhere, take the opportunity to have a little staff meeting in the process.  This week, the discuss was, of course, on the return to work after the layoffs and the assurances they were giving that this would not happen again.  This AND the new contractor who’d been hired who came to lunch as a meet and greet.  Evidently, SHE was quite a hit and the guys (there are 5-6 of them) all deemed her “quite f*%kable.”  (?!)  Eric was talking about how there weren’t many women in his field of Communications Engineering and had a hint of admiration in his voice when he said it (real or imagined).  We were on our way out to dinner when we were discussing this and I instantly felt my antennae go to full tilt.  “So she’s going to be on your team?” I asked.  My husband is responsible for heading a team that audits all of the communications systems MCI has in Sacramento and there are a LOT.  He has 4-5 guys on his team and they go from business to business making sure all the connections go to where they are supposed to go.  Now he has 4 guys…and a girl…with whom he will spend more waking hours than me.  Hmmm.  Is she married?  He didn’t know, she didn’t mention it if she was.  She’s well trained and has an interest in Sonet (don’t ask, it’s some obscure communications stuff that deems her fascinating).  Now, I have to hurry to explain a couple of things here.  First, my husband is not typical fare.  I’ve had my son, his best friend, tell me that when they go out to bars, women come up to Eric all the time (he’s a really fine looking young man) and it’s like he’s dead from the waist down.  He doesn’t even do that checkin’ ‘em out thing.  He doesn’t flirt, he doesn’t rate them.  He might talk to them like he would another guy, but to all impressions (and his friends, when he had’em, have volunteered the same info to me), he’s dead from the waist down.  He tells people all the time how happily married he is and brags to friends about how in love we are.  That’s great.  When we are together, he doesn’t comment on women unless I bring it up first.  Then he’ll usually find something that is going to make me feel better (“Yes, she has a GREAT body, but look at the size of the beak on her!”  “Sure she’s cute, but she looks dummmmmmb.”).  When he was dating, those things were not really of issue to him, but he always said he didn’t want that in a wife, even confiding it to me when we were friends before we were romantically involved.  

The next thing I need to explain is that my first husband, who I had perceived as the absolutely most faithful person in the world, left and our kids cold for a woman he met at work after an affair with her.  She was capable, she was not high and mighty like me, she was not into all this stupid spiritual crap and she was thin.  He made it clear when he was going out the door that my weight was very much of issue in his leaving, as was the fact that I enjoyed my spiritual path, as was my ineptitude at practical matters.  My ex was an Air Force lifer in the munitions field and so was she.  She now supports him and is still in the Air Force.  They married a week after Eric and I did.  She was in California, we were in Idaho, he went to Nevada on business and drove straight to her house and did her after lots and lots of phone conversations, bemoaning his horrible life.  I had asked him, the day before he left on his trip if he was happy (I was totally unaware that he was planning to go to her or even knew her again.  She’d been stationed with us in Southern California 10 years prior) and he smiled, hugged me and told me he was happier than he’d ever been.  Somehow, I took that as good.  Guess it just said horrible things for the prior 37 years he’d lived.  Up until the night he came back and I dragged out of him what was going on, I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles to ANYONE that my husband would NEVER, EVER cheat on me.  All of this piles up to meaning that despite being with a person who is night and day to The Goat, despite the depth of relationship that we have that is nowhere near what I had with The Goat and despite his assurances, I do NOT have good associations with husbands who meet competent, thin, f*%kable women at work.  To me, in spite of my best reassuring efforts, this does not bode well.  Needless to say, being the Witchy little thing that I am, Mr Eric will have a new job, better job and all male job in nothing flat.  Hide and watch, my friends – hide and watch. 

So we got to the Elephant Bar, a new African themed restaurant in town we’d been wanting to try.  I was still processing everything, so of course, instead of the braised chicken I was really wanting, I ordered the 13 oz charbroiled steak and garlic mashed potatoes.  I did get a side salad, so I considered that eating healthy in my confused and painfully bruised little mind.  I also had iced tea with artificial sweetener instead of real soda.  Baby steps. 

Eric and I changed subjects and talked about (BAD strategic move on my part) my fat gain.  He had noticed, but didn’t want to say anything.  We talked about Dr Phil’s ideas for how we accommodate being fat and set up our life to allow that.  We explored the limit options I had for change, given the fact that I am stuck at home 24/7.  We decided that I could make it absolute that I exercise and/or do the yoga tape every day.  No more days off, which may allow me to establish a routine.  Also, he made the suggestion that I not allow myself to eat at the computer.  (??!!)  That would be a good one, but I felt the tug of deprivation as he said it because I often have something to nibble while I write.  I further that to observing that I did most of my eating standing up in the kitchen, having just run in to grab something.  He suggested that I not allow myself to eat unless I’m sitting at the table, not even a crumb.  Yikes!  He asked where my biggest problem was insofar as what food, etc, gives me the biggest feelings of being out of control and that was NO contest:  cookies and soda.  Those are two places where I couldn’t draw a line if I tried.  I appease myself with diet soda, but the idea of being totally without even that is not acceptable right now.  Cookies are so hard to do without because I absolutely love them.  I can live without candy, even though I love it.  Cookies are my very, very best friends.  His answer was:  “Don’t buy them, the sodas or the cookies.”  (??!!)  What?  Not at ALL?  Not even to meet out a bit at a time?  “You’re not meeting them out, you’re having a full scale Welcome to Katrina party every time they’re in the house.  Just don’t get them.”  (low growl – not my stomach this time)  He mentioned how excited I’d gotten a few nights ago when I asked if anyone wanted anything and Dylan said he wanted green cookies.  I bought the green cookies, of which there were 10 large ones in a bakery pack.  These are wonderful Lofthouse thick sugar cookies with a good amount of frosting on top, color coordinated to the forthcoming holiday.  I’ve been through orange for Halloween, yellow for Thanksgiving, green for Christmas, pink for Valentine’s Day and now green for St Patrick’s.  He asked me how many of the ten cookies I’d bought that I’d actually eaten.  I’d had four.  There are six other people who live in my house.  Eric doesn’t count because he hates them to the point that he won’t kiss me until I’ve brushed my teeth after I eat them.  So I thought that’d be one for each of them and one to spare.  That was pretty generous.  I’d also bought earlier in the week two packs of fresh bakery chocolate chip cookies, each with about 25 cookies.  The packs were two for $5 and you couldn’t get the cheaper price if you only bought one.  Then it’d be $3.00 for a pack.  So I got two…and ate probably half.  I just love cookies and I’ve never found one that let me down…except coconut ones.  Yack.  Oh, and raisin ones.  Yack.  I’m also not a huge fan of ginger snaps.  But every other cookie in the world is wonderful.  “Just don’t buy them?”  How does one go about that? 

We continued coming up with ideas for a while, then he confessed that he wasn’t really sure how to encourage me without it sounding like he was nagging.  He affirmed what a vested interest he had in my success and how much it meant to him for me to lose the weight.  I thought he was past the weight being a big deal, but I saw in his eyes that it was.  The message was clear that I was letting him down by being fat.  He also confided that he’d walked through Macy’s earlier that day going to have his parking validated and had passed through the lingerie section.  He said that it had made him sad to know that I would very likely never wear those things; that normal sized panties wouldn’t even fit me.  I felt like I’d been physically beaten when he said that.  

When we got home, we were STILL talking about my fat and after two hours, except for the twenty minutes we talked about the new woman at work, I was getting a little bit tired of it.  He suggested that he watch the kids while I go treadmill or do the yoga tape.  I decided to treadmill and watched Jeopardy while I did my thirty minutes.  I was still wearing what I’d worn to dinner:  stretch jeans and a light, charcoal grey cowl neck sweater.  It started getting very warm as I built up a sweat walking fast at 3 miles and hour, so I took it down to 1.5 miles an hour to take off my shirt and work just in my jeans and sports bra.  I am totally uncoordinated and nearly wiped out just in the .5 seconds it took to slip the sweater over my head.  I continued on at it felt so much better to walk without the warm clothes.  Then I happened to look up at my dresser mirror, which was directly in line with my body on the treadmill.  I got a perfect, unprepared ¾ body viewing.  My first thought was, “Who is that giant woman in my bedroom?”  I started to cry when I saw that it really was me and wondered how it had all gotten so out of hand and how the hell I was going to get back from here.  It’s like when you drive and drive for so long and get so lost that you decide to just live in the next town you come to and set up a whole new life rather than try and get home again.  I was so round, like a beach ball.  I didn’t have a fat beard, I had a Santa Claus belly.  My giant, breastfeeding boobs actually LAY on my belly, juggling softly with the fast walking.  I took the speed up to 3.5 and felt like I was going to die, but kept going.  When I went into the shower after 30 minutes, I still was feeling horrible.  I thought about something I read, I think it was Christiane Northrup (Goddess on Earth) or it might have been the gal who wrote, “Fat is a Feminist Issue,” that said something like 80% of women who are more than 50 pounds overweight had considered self mutilation for more than just a random thought.  That means that the thought of just carving it off hangs out in our head for more than a fleeting, psychotic moment.  I told Eric that if I could go through surgery, have it all removed, sucked, nipped and tucked, then be sore as hell for a couple of weeks afterward, I’d do it.  The road ahead looks long and bleak and cold and not fun.  I know I need to do this for a million reasons, but right now, it’s pretty damned depressing.  I know I’ll feel wonderful when it’s done, but getting there does not seem like a good year and staying there does not sound like a good life.  Something has to click in order for me to do this and it’s not there yet.  Meanwhile, I’m going to do all the things I know I should do and fake it until I can make it. 

After The Mirror Incident, I went out to where Eric was sitting in front of the fire and told him what had happened.  I started to cry again and asked him to give me this chance and not to leave me or feel things for anyone else until I could lick this.  He was a little confused (since most of the drama had been in my head) and said that of course he wouldn’t leave me.  He then felt free to share his innermost fears (I regret whatever I did to green light THIS) and said that he was afraid he’d never again make love to someone who wasn’t fat and that the pretty clothes and lingerie would never come.  Normally, I’d just buy pretty fat lingerie, but he had curtailed this in the past, saying he felt it looked ridiculous.  He loves the soft, satiny things, but it’s the feel and not the look that interests him.  He wants to want the look.  He said that the overall look of our “package” as a couple was very important to him and he wants us (meaning me because he looks great) to look our best.  I did not respond well to this.  I guess there had just been too much weight negativity for too long.  I snapped at him to stop whining about it.  I was fat when he married me and losing weight had never been a condition of our marriage or our love.  No, that’s not all I said.  I also told him that there were many things *I* might never experience (and offered an example), but that I wasn’t insisting that he use extenders or have implants.  (My husband, I should hasten to add, is quite healthy in those respects and my examples of what I might not ever experience were probably not within the realms of comfort, but I was peeved)  He took offense at this and the night degenerated from there.  We were supposed to research a class we are teaching tonight.  He wasn’t interested.  We were supposed to have a night of unabashed passion.  He wasn’t interested.  All he wanted to do was to be alone, specifically, he pointed out, away from me, and work on his thoughts.  Couldn’t I give him that?  I told him we’d committed to do those things and we should work on them until we could.  He stared at me until I told him to forget it and just go smoke his damned pipe and think his deep thoughts and be alone.  He did.  I went to sleep and thought about how good it would feel to eat like Cox’s Army.  This is not good. 

It seems like there is always there is always something that puts off the weight loss.  I’ll wait until after we move.  I’ll wait until after the holidays.  I’ll wait until Eric goes back to work.  What am I really waiting for?  I know I’m not waiting for it to be fun or easy.  I don’t expect that.  I’m not waiting for the miracle cure because I don’t expect that either.  I’m waiting for something to click inside me and make it OK.  Meanwhile, everyone is miserable while I wait.  Meanwhile, I think about eating maybe 85% of the time.  It’s like a computer program that runs continuously in the background.  I feel like I can’t find the way out of this.  I think I’m just afraid of not feeling good.  Food always feels good and without that, I’m not convinced there will be anything that does feel good.  Right now, nothing else makes the empty feeling inside go away, even for a few minutes.  I need a new comfort measure and I’m not sure of what that can be.  I’ll keep you posted. 


February 20, 2001  9:45pm

Damn!  Gained two pounds.  I'm up to 215 on the carpet.  Yikes.  Got to buckle down on this because since I realized Callan Pickney is Satan, I've been screwing off on the exercising.  In fact, I should go do it now.  

I REFUSE to let this get me!



February 16, 2001  1:30pm

Hi Everyone, 

Whew!  What a week.  I keep trying to get to the computer to write and I keep getting foiled.  On Tuesday, I wrote a most eloquent, witty two hours worth of journal, then our electric company chose the unfortunate time of my proofread to enact a rolling blackout and I lost everything.  I hadn’t written it in MS Word, so no autosave (grrrr), so it was just *gone*.  What a waste.  Since then, it has been a matter of chopping through the brambles of family stuff to even get a seat at the computer, much less put together cohesive thought.  Don’t know if I can catch the groove again or not, but I’ll give it a shot. 

I received and tried out the Living Arts Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss that Abbie recommended on our Fatastic Message Board.  It was $17.00 including shipping from Amazon and worth every penny.  I knew we were off to a good start when the opening into included a trade logo that was “YOGAIA.”  Since I am an Earth Mother, nature-lovin’ kind, that was a quick 10-point rack up.  Suzanne Deason, who is featured in the tape, is far less annoying than the average fare for weight loss videos.  She has with her three other instructors who are of various ages and sizes (10 more points) who were easy to see and track through the progression of the video.  She is quite clear with her instruction and I liked the way she continually reminded people to BREATHE.  The postures were simple and I was surprised that I could work at an intermediate level for most.  Just when I was start to feel “enough of this” in a pose, she would end it and take us into another one, sometimes even before.  I could feel muscles stretching and lengthening and working, but in a good way.  She spoke often about resting on “the four corners of your feet” which I found to be a bit odd, but sure enough, the next day I was noticing that they had a rectangular look and by her power of suggestion, I felt more grounded into them.  I loved how she encouraged us to bring up energy from our feet into our bodies.  Good stuff.  I found that my tummy got in the way sometimes, for instance when we were doing the position “The Child” where you kneel, then drop onto your heels, then lean over onto the tops of your legs and rest your head on the floor with your arms to the sides. When I was doing this, it felt like my belly was jamming my ribs into my lungs and I had trouble breathing. 

Part way through, I started to get pretty nauseated and wasn’t still why.  I’m still not sure, but I read a few times on different sites to not do yoga positions within 3 hours of eating.  (?!)  Not sure why as no explanation was given.  I finished the tape despite the nausea and was pleased with the results.  I was pleasantly sore the next day.  Definitely worth the investment and will be a frequent addition to my fitness plan.  I’m wanting 3-4 times a week at least.  I also felt more emotionally grounded, which was nice.  Note to self:  Find out what “Namaste” means as she smiled and wished it on me. 

The next day, buoyed by my success with the yoga video, I decided to give the Callanetics video I’d had for a couple months a try.  In case you are not familiar, Callanetics is a system developed by Callan Pickney that involves a serious of near-isometrics to shape and tone from the deep muscles out.  The video started badly, with a panning view of Callan’s oh so perfect fifty-something year old body, including her feet in ballet toe shoes  (?!).  Fitness videos involving people who deform themselves does not score points with me.  In contrast with the yoga video, this one was already about 25 points in the hole.  Callan is of some European extraction evidently, although her accent traveled to make me wonder if she was Eurotrash trying to be American or the other way around.  She had the body of a pubescent boy with no curves whatsoever.  Down another 10 points for not looking like I want to look.  I want to look like Suzanne Deason.  Callan had all pretty people for her “students” including a lovely seventy-something-year-old woman who was only shown occasionally doing some modifications of the techniques to show how easy they are.  The poor old woman looked like she was going to keel over even doing the modifications.  The techniques involve stretching the large muscles and then once stretched, bouncing them in little tiny movements a few thousand times.  By the 3-4th technique (which was still in the warm up) I thought I was going to die.  By about the 5-6th technique I was convinced she was Satan Incarnate.  I made it about ¾ of the way through the video after having quit three times, only to start up again after feeling like a puss.  I finally gave up and set the video on fire.  Callenetics does NOT have my endorsement. 

I’ve lost 2 pounds since I first started the Fatastic Journey, despite my tumbles off the wagon.  I’m still struggling with the water and the other things, but I’m determined to stay pretty much on track.  I’ll let you know!


Fatastic February 10th, 2001

Karen, my best net bud, wrote and pointed out that I haven't fat journaled in a while, which made me realize that I might be doing *it* again, so I wanted to purge a bit (which reminds me of the fat person's joke:  "I'm a bulimic with Alzheimer's. . .I binge and forget to purge."  I have been binging, so here is my purge.  Actually, I'm working my way back again.  I stopped drinking regular sodas and have weaned to diet sodas.  If I go total deprivation, I have learned that I will crash and burn, so the diet sodas are a means of staving off the pity wagon.  I am drinking the water again and trying to like it.  I got my yoga tape (recommended by Abbie from our GH Lines of the Week) in the mail yesterday and will be using that today.  Also have my Callenetics set to try.  I did a lot of listening to Dr Phil, my guru and voice of conscience (more on that later) and a lot of strategizing about what I can do that will work.  In her book, "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom," which is a must have for every woman (Amazon.com!!),  Dr Christiane Northrup says that when she is asked what weight loss program works best, she recommends "the one you will use."  That prompted me to write out what does and does not work for me.  Deprivation doesn't, but neither does free range grazing.  I have to find something in the middle.  Sitting with a number of other overweight people and talking it out in face to face or real time meetings just doesn't work for me either.  I know it has great value for many, but I'm just not a team player.  Paying money for any program doesn't work while Eric is unemployed.  Fortunately, I ordered the video before the boom fell.  I like to run on the treadmill, but not every day, so I need something in between.  Sweating feels really good and my life isn't set up to cause much of that from a physical standpoint (financial sweating is a whole other issue).  I like weight training, but haven't done much of it.  I used yoga between 6th-7th grade (good ol' Lilias on TV) and lost a ton of weight and inches, but I don't know how much of that was yoga and how much was shucking off the last of the baby fat.  I remember liking it though and Abbie glowed about this tape.  I've heard of people having great success with Callenetics.  When I lived on the Air Force Base, I used to like to run and listen to books on tape while I did, so I can dig out my walkman and get some audiobooks from the library and maybe join the audiobook club (again).  When the tax check comes, I can snake aside $100 for a weight bench and put it in the garage to build up some stronger and leaner muscle tissue.  I can drink more water.  It may not seem like it, but I can.  I can take the chromium regularly instead of screwing off with it because I can feel the difference it makes in regulating my sugar and insulin levels.  I can stop making the cookies and eating half the batch (before they are cooked) and can limit myself to buying 1 cookie from the grocery bakery when I shop.  I can eat popcorn instead of chips again.  I can use a smaller plate for my dinner.  These are things that I can do without feeling deprived and while they may not be the whip crack fast track weight loss, they can't hurt and if anything, I get closer to the path to getting it done.  

For those of you who do not know, Dr Phil McGraw is a life strategist, psychologist and author who appears on Oprah (well, on her show, anyway) every Tuesday.  He shoots from the hip and is a pretty sharp guy from what I can tell.  His book "Life Strategies" literally turned my life around and I've recommended it to about a million people.  "Relationship Rescue" is just as wonderful and is valuable to everyone in a romantic relationship, whether they feel it needs rescuing or not.  Phil just did two shows on consecutive Tuesdays on weight loss.  He had some pretty good points that tend to strip away the whiney, victimy excuses that so many of us (me included) put on our fat selves.  One thing he pointed out this past week is that many of us set up our lives to accommodate our fat.  For instance, he asked how many people wear stretchy clothes.  Well, um, duh!  Of course we wear stretch clothes.  If we wear stretchy pants, they shrink down closer to a normal size after we take them off.  This makes laundry duty much more pleasant than having to triple-fold a pair of jeans with an ass the size of Texas.  Belts that could double as clotheslines and panties that small children use for building tents in the living room are also not a happy sight.  OF COURSE we stretch!  His idea was, "Buy regular jeans and refuse to buy a bigger pair!  Tell yourself, 'If I get any bigger, I'm naked and that's not a pretty sight!'"  Obviously Phil has not watched the marvel of how hard a size 22 woman will struggle to get a pair of size 18 jeans to snap!  Even then, I have many time just zipped as far as they will go and worn a baggy shirt over the mess it leaves underneath.  We don't buy bigger clothes, we just funnel into the smaller ones.  (eww, that's not a pretty sight either).  I can remember when I was running the 3 miles a day back in the 80s the first time I slipped on a pair of single digit jeans.  They were 9's and I sighed like a lover when they snapped nicely over my little tanned tummy.  Ahhhh.  What I wouldn't give to have the same effect putting on the 14's I'd shrunk out of at that time!

I refuse to give up on this.  I may fail on a daily basis, but I'm going to keep trudging.  At a time when food is sometimes the only nice thing in my day, it's hard to let go, but I can at least do these other things in the meantime to help get my body healthy.  

Bad sign:  I actually did the unforgivable and hung my robe on the treadmill yesterday!  That was the tolling of the bell that could signal the beginning of the end!  Time to get back on track!!


February 8, 2001

I apologize for not writing sooner. If you have read my NonSoapy Journal, then you know that Eric lost his job on Tuesday of last week, totally out of the blue, with no notice and no severance.  We just suddenly had no income.  We’ve been taking turns keeping the other up and trying to not let the fear pull us under.  We take one day and one bill at a time.  

You can imagine the coping skills I’ve used to stay happy so that I can keep Eric upbeat.  You’ve got it.  I’ve been eating like Patton’s army.  I guess I didn’t come journal because I was so upset that The Fatastic Journey had taken a left turn at Albucoikie and was lost on a rocky patch.  Maybe if I had journaled some of the mess out, I wouldn’t have eaten the mess.  I HAVE to come up with better skills for coping under stress.  It seemed like when my life fell apart in several areas (in one week!), I immediately went for the food again, just like I had in the past.  In fact, I used the crisis as an excuse to eat, justifying that if life was going to suck this much, then either it wasn’t time for me to try such an endeavor or that I deserved to eat just to get through.  Isn’t this how we end up staying fat forever?  We eat because our husband loses his job, our dear, dear son isn’t speaking to us, because it’s Wednesday, because it’s 4:00, whatever.  There’s always a reason.  

Yesterday, I had a bed-in, just like John and Yoko.  At about 9am, I got so frustrated with myself and my life that I grabbed a bag of pretzels, a big bottle of water and a bag of apples and crawled into my bed with the TV remote, my new GH Scrapbook from 1995 back and a big box of tissues.  The kids crawled over me and we watched bad PBS until mom’s shows came on.  I snoozed a bit when they did and tried to heal.  I told Eric I wasn’t getting out of bed until something good happened.  He brought me heart shaped cookies at 5pm, which was something good, so I gobbled my way through 5-6 of those and got out of bed to make dinner.  Got up this morning and had a few more cookies, got Delena out the door, fried up a couple of flautas, then got back in the bed for another bed-in.  Eric found out he can get a bit of unemployment = good news so I got up and vacuumed and answered some e-mail.  Back to bed, covers over head, watch the shows while the kids slept.  Eric got a call that MCI wants to bring him back to work (STILL boycott them, though), so he’ll get details tomorrow.  That was enough of a good thing that I got out of bed totally, but it’s getting late, so I’ll crawl back in soon.  

I also did the unforgivable today.  I hung a robe on the treadmill.  Yikes!  I haven’t used it in days or done any exercising other than turning over in bed to avoid bedsores.  Hanging clothes on the treadmill is the first sign of giving up.  I know I haven’t gained, but since I failed to lose any weight in the days before, I’m where I was when I began.  The scale says 215 on the carpet and I’m literally afraid to put it in the shower and find out what I really weigh without the buffer.  I’m betting 220-221.  I just don’t want to know.  I can’t believe I’m afraid of numbers.  I did continue to drink water, so I scored on something.  A few people wrote to mention that drinking ice water boosts the metabolism because your body has to work harder to warm the water to body temp, so that was cool.  Vanessa (our archivist) wrote to suggest that chewing a good strong gum took care of sugar cravings sometimes and it really did.  Not only do you get a sweet taste that is nice, but your mouth tastes nice, so you don’t want to eat as much.  

I’m not going to beat myself up for this slip up.  It’s one of many and probably won’t be my last.  What a weird and stupid two weeks.  It figures that as soon as I decide to get aggressive on eating better, life would pull out the big guns.  But I’m not going to go into self pity land either.  I wanted Dr Phil McGraw, my guru, on Oprah this Tuesday and last.  He was doing a two parter on getting real about fat.  “Get real about fat or your going to get real fat.”  He had some good points and I wish he’d do a book just on weight loss.  His big push was to figure out what was behind the eating and what you’re trying to feed with the food.  I’ve worked on this about a hundred times and I swear I can’t seem to find the key inside that makes me start sobbing in some great eureka moment and know what is bothering me.  I’m sure there is some big childhood revelation that is behind my eating, but I’ve not been able to find it so far.  He pretty much says that the whole thing of it being out of our control is BS and that we always have a choice to eat or not eat, but that *something* pushes us into the eating.  We have to find the something and disarm it.  Well, no sh!t, Sherlock.  Me thinks he might be onto something.  I love Phil and all, but I think he was reaching pretty far into the obvious there.  I wish my yoga tape would come from Amazon. 

So I’m back on the horse again and trying to learn to ride.  Sorry I shut you guys out of the loop.  One of the main reasons was that Eric was on the computer most of the time applying for a few thousand jobs.  I’ll get better with the journaling and keep you better informed.  I’m really proud of all of you who kept trudging while I sat in the puddle and cried for a while.  You guys rule.  Also, thanks for all the support, love, encouragement and suggestions.  I’ll lick this yet (bad choice of words, I guess).

January 30, 2001

I found a picture of my mother.  This was taking in 1978 when she was, um, doing the math, 35-years-old.  That's 4 years younger than I am right now.  I don't have any current pics of her (taken within the past 10 years), but will remedy that if I ever get to KY again (It's been since 1995 and she refused then).  She was at around 280 there and the four-boob-syndrome is clearly demonstrated.   It's uncanny how much we look alike.

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Today was hard.  I woke up at 6am with a headache and sore from upping my pace on the treadmill yesterday.  I was only able to do 10 minutes before my headache won out and I had to give it up for the time being.  I'm not terribly hungry, thanks to the chromium, but I've got wicked munchies, so some popcorn might be in order when I get back from taking the kids for a walk.  I've decided to long on an extra mile since I bugged out on the good run/walk this morning.  I'll fast walk the train-of-a-double-stroller to the park (about a mile) and then watch them play and fast walk them back.  Day by day, right? 

January 30, 2001

The letters just keep pouring in with love, support and ideas from the Fat column.  Joe suggested that we start a Fatastic Message Board so that everyone can hear the great ideas that people are sending me.  PLEASE, if this subject interests you, click onto the board and share your thoughts.  Post YOUR fat pictures and take this journey with me!  If you have succeeded, give us your ideas and post your before and afters!  We can do this!  Click above to get to the message board.



January 29, 2001

Katrina Photo Album
Past and Present
Where I've been and where I am now


Reprint of On-Line Journal Entry, dated:
January 28, 2001  10:00am


I want to talk about fat.  Specifically, my fat.  I suppose that each fat person is fat in their own way and for their own reasons, so I can only really speak from my own experience.  Fat is a very personal issue.  My husband, Eric, who is my closest friend and the only adult with whom I interact in person on a day-to-day or even week to week basis, is not fat and has never been fat.  He is fine and he is ripped.  Here he is:

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Before we married, he dated Barbie dolls exclusively.  All of his girlfriends were either petite and thin or tall and athletic.  He and I were best friends while he dated and he eventually married be despite my weight and the way I look (I am, mind you, a gorgeous woman.  I just happen to be quite fat).  I will always be able to say that he didn’t marry me for my body and is big enough of a man to overlook the physicals.  Still, I know that my body is not at all his physical preference.  He has been quite frank about that in some candid discussions and is extremely supportive of my weight loss efforts, which are many and varied.  He is also disappointed, gracefully so, when I fail again and again.  My first husband married me when I was 16-years-old with a slender, teenage body and large breasts.  I gained weight off and on throughout our marriage, usually packing on weight when he would leave (he was a chronic leaver) and taking it off when he returned and things went back to normal.  When we actually divorced for two years, I gained about 80 pounds within 3-4 months and it never went away.  We remarried when he returned from an Air Force tour in 1994 and he wasn’t very happy that I was still as fat as I had been when he left the states.  After a little over two years, he left me for another woman who was and is a stick.  Not one little brain cell rattling around in that little pinhead of hers, but he got his thin woman.  Who knows if he’s happy with his choice?  I don’t because we are no longer in contact.  Since I adore my current husband more than I could ever imagine loving my first husband, you can imagine the pressure I put on myself with this one, even though Eric works very hard to encourage me to lose weight without hurting my feelings. 

I am currently forty pounds below my highest weight and approximately eighty pounds over where I’d like to be.  My mother weighs somewhere over 300 pounds and has for as long as I can remember.  Both of her knees have been replaced due to the stress of bearing so much weight for so many years.  When she turned eighteen, she weighed 180 pounds, which was the lowest in her adult life.  She walked with a walker the last time I saw her, which was in 1995.  She went into a wheel chair after the knee surgery and has only recently started walking with a walker again (that’s a whole other story).  She is 58 years old.  I remember when I was young, if my mother was particularly sad, she’d pour a half bottle of Karo syrup into one of our big dinner plates and then plop peanut butter into it until the syrup rose almost to the flange.  She’d then mix it all together and sop (you Northerners may not know about “sopping” as it is a southern art form, but you can imagine) it up with a half loaf of bread, smacking her lips in sheer pleasure. 

When my father died in 1986, he weighed 347 pounds.  I know this because I remember reading the autopsy report where my father was reduced to “a 51-year-old obese white male, five feet, nine inches in height weighing 347 pounds with wiry gray hair…”    He died of a ruptured ventricle, which occurred due to blood building up in his heart.  The vessels were so densely encrusted with cholesterol deposits that the blood just couldn’t leave fast enough.  He was in the hospital for chest pains and was going to be discharged the next day after a balloon catheter exam.  He sat up, said, “My chest hurts” and fell back, dead before he hit the pillow.  My poor cousin, (it was his birthday) who was an orderly at the hospital, did frantic compressions on Dad, but because of the ruptured ventricle, Billy only succeeded in forcing out more blood into his chest cavity.  Dad never once at a breakfast that did not include eggs and sausage, ham, bacon or pork chops. My younger brothers are both very large men and are best friends with their forks. 

When I was ten-years-old, my mother began a series of surgeries that kept her in a constant state of in the hospital, recovering from surgery or getting ready to go into the hospital in the throes of some malady or another.  Mom had learned early in life that the only way to get attention in a family of nine kids was to be sick and that carried over into an adult life of hypochondria, much to the financial delight of her surgeon.  I do not belittle the painful life she led because it was very real.  Psychosomatic illness hurts no less than the real thing.  This left me with the job of chief caregiver in the Chapman Municipal Zoo and I was responsible for cleaning out all the cages and feeding the savage beasts (aka my dad and brothers).  (For those who may have missed it, my family did not run a zoo, that was my droll sarcasm over my young lot in life).  Fortunately, my mother had taken me aside at the age of about six, told me that I wasn’t much to look at, so I’d better learn to cook, perched me on the stool by the stove and taught me how to cook.  I am an incredible cook.  Back then, I only knew southern basic cooking, which meant, “fry it.”  “How do you cook a steak, mama?”  “Fry it, but dip it in some flour, salt and pepper first.”  “How do I make a poached egg, mama?”  “Fry it, baby.  Just crack it into some of the bacon grease from the tub on the stove.”  I was good at frying.  When I left home at sixteen, I was even better at it.  Years of pulling dinner out of the freezer and cooking breakfast for my dad and brothers before leaving for school served me well in the culinary expertise department.  My first husband was in the Air Force and we traveled the world.  As we did, I picked up many, many wonderful recipes and became an even better cook.  Many of my recipes and cooking ideas you can actually find at www.eyeonsoaps.com/AMC/recipes.htm.  When I pleaded with Paul (the Goat, for my long-term readers), when he was leaving me for the stick/She-Goat, to tell me one thing that I did better than the woman for whom he was leaving his family, he was able to say that I was a better cook and I was smarter.  So I got two points, but he still left.  I guess some things are just worth the cost of a TV dinner. 

People like Eric, my husband, who are not fat and have never been fat really and have never lived around a fat person believe that fat is a matter of math.  So many calories go in, so much energy is burned, the balance is converted to fat and stored on the body.  Despite every diet that comes along (I’ve tried them all, believe me) that attests to the contrary, this does seem to be the case physically.  As a collective society, we have learned a lot about the fine-tuning of that math, bringing insulin levels, fiber, water intake, hormonal levels and mental state into play, but the overall outlook is the same.  It all comes down to what you are eating, how much of it you’re eating and what you are (or aren’t) doing to burn it off.  But as I said in the beginning, fat is very personal.  There is a dynamic to being fat that defies the math of being fat.  It’s like a synergistic thing that is greater than the sum of its fat cells.  

It has taken me a lot time to admit two things about my situation.  On is that I would love to be lean, strong and healthy (although that one came first), but the other is that there are things I actually like about being fat.  I love the way my fat feels.  Sure, by Western ideals, I’m not supposed to say that, but from a tactile sense, it’s fabulous.  I lay on my back and my giant boobs fall heavily to each side and my belly melts into the mattress like ice cream pooling on a hot sidewalk.  I can make a little man with my fingers and walk him over my belly and have him sink in to about his knees.  “Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!”  He looks up at the wrong time and falls into my belly button!  “Yikes!” He gets distracted and falls into the La Brea Baby Belly Pit, never to be seen again!  Look!  He’s on the moooon, bounce, bounce, bounce!  Once small step for a fingerman and one giant leap for fingerkind!  My fat is soft and cuddly and makes a magnificent, cozy nest for my children to cuddle down into.  I wrap all around them like a warm, mommy blanket.  After my last baby was born (#6) in 1999, the skin on my belly stayed the same as it was right after he was born and feels kind of like bread dough that has risen to be punched down.  It just didn’t bother to snap back again.  It’s smooth and soft and gelatin-like.  

I love never having to think about what I’m going to eat.  I don’t have to furrow my brow and stare furtively into the menu of a restaurant and calculate fat calories versus carbs versus fiber and worry that I’m ordering the wrong thing.  I can say, “Hmm, what’s gonna taste GOOD?”  I can order appetizers and even a dessert if I want one.  A whole set of stressors is immediately eliminated if I choose to stay fat.  

Speaking of stressors, eating itself is a fine art form.  UCLA, I believe it was, was doing a study to determine the effects of heredity on weight gain.  They took in people who were pre-disposed to weight gain and targeted those who ate very little, but still seemed to gain weight.  They figured this would be the best demographic to work with to assess the effects of genetics.  They isolated the people for thirty days and preemptively verified with them that they tended to eat very little, but still gain weight, then provided them with access to a decent amount of food and monitored weight gain.  You know what they learned?  That these people were gaining weight because they ate more than they thought they did and were actually exceeding their daily output of caloric needs versus their energy expenditures.  Science has proven that we can totally jack our metabolism through repeated dieting to the point that it takes very few calories to sustain our overweightedness, so if we eat more than a sandwich in a day, we gain.  I’ll stand up and wave my arms and be the first to admit that I gain weight or, as is my norm, sustain my weight and don’t lose because I eat like a hog.  I love food.  Food is a very good friend of mine.  Lemme tell you what food is to me. 

Food is the one thing in my life that I can always guarantee will be good.  When I pop a chewy, soft, chocolate chip cookie into my mouth, there is only a sliver of a chance that it won’t taste good, but so far, that just hasn’t happened.  If I have a big, oversized, warm plate of homemade chicken pot pie, it’s going to give me a feeling of warmth inside as well and I’ll feel full and nurtured and sated, regardless of the status of my bank account or the laundry pile in my bedroom or the homework my daughter went to sleep on instead of doing. It is guaranteed 100% satisfaction with few variables.  I am a tortured Virgo living in a life that is seldom anything BUT variables.  I have three adult children who are a whole pack of worries unto themselves.  When your kids are little and right under your feet, you worry about everything, but you don’t even know WHAT worry is until your kids are grown, gone, out of your control, influence and protection.  They’re driving around 2 ton machines that can kill in an instant.  They’re walking into McDonald’s where some lunatic is no doubt ready to take out his disgruntled fat man, just fired from UPS rage with an M-16.  They’re sleeping with other people’s wives and courting disaster by giving some guy the finger on I-15.  They’re having sex without condoms, mulling over the idea of starting to smoke again and piercing that beautiful body I worked so hard to create and protect.  Once they break out of the Mommy Bubble, you don’t ever STOP worrying.  Then I have the three little children.  Delena, my only daughter, is eight and is Walking Hellish Angst Personified (WHAP for short).  The back of her hand is permanently velcroed to her forehead, her eyes are eternally upturned toward the heavens and her mouth is forever in a wail or a whine.  She argues absolutely every point that is presented to her and is the most tortured child on the face of the planet.  Her life sucks for ten thousand reasons and she’s not going to let a soul forget it.  She counts all those reasons instead of sheep as she goes to sleep at night and looks for new ones to add.  She’s not just nailed to the cross, she’s clamped to it with a series of C-clamps and the cross is jammed into a pile of kindling, been doused with gasoline and set afire on a raft in the middle of a shark infested ocean.  Woe is she!  From the second she doesn’t want to go to school upon opening her eyes in the morning, through the agony of not being able to eat a dinner of Pez and Pepsi at the computer through the devastation of having to turn off her beloved Facts of Life rerun to be in bed and asleep by 9pm, her life is a series of tragic disappointments.  She was having a tough day the other day and I eeked out $10 for her brother to take her to the movies.  When I picked them up, she was sobbing and when I asked her what was wrong, did she not enjoy the movie, she turned on me like a rabid dog and wailed that I had NOT given them money for REFRESHMENTS so how could she ENJOY the movie when she was STARVING?  *sigh*  You think it’s not going to happen to you.  You swear it will never happen to you, but then you find you have raised a brat, despite your best efforts. 

My two little boys are not bad kids, but they are very, very, very busy.  One is 3-years-old and the other is 16-months and what one does not think of, the other one does and radios it in.  They are a tag team that makes WWF look like the Mad Hatter’s tea party.  While I’m cleaning up the juice one spilled at breakfast, the other is flushing the TV remote down the toilet.  Dig out the remote and the other one is jamming the cat in the oven.  Get out the cat and there is an ominous crash from the bedroom where one tried to climb up the bookcase.  Rescue kid and bookcase and the other has stripped off his clothes, shimmied out a window you didn’t know was open and run to the park while your neighbor excitedly calls Child Protective Services.  It’s literally one thing after another after another in a long chain of catastrophes.  I told someone the other day that it was like praying the kid rosary and just going from one bead of disaster, to another to another to another.  If you lock yourself in THEIR room with THEIR toys and stay there the hold day, you can undo the rosary for that time at least.  The alternative, as my friend Karen suggests, is to lock THEM in their room with their toys and lock yourself in the bathroom turn on the shower and sit in the tub and cry your eyes out. 

Food is a wonderful anesthesia.  It gives you a warm, satisfied feeling in a world that is often devoid of satisfaction.  I don’t smoke any more.  Gave that up in ’86.  I don’t drink except for the occasional daiquiri every 2-3 months (sorry chat ladies, it was just an internet illusion), I don’t gamble and my only other excess is that I swear quite a bit.  I eat.  There are not many places for nurturing to  in my life.  That valve seems to be kind of one-way.  I have a theory about nurturing.  To go with my theory, you have to at least temporarily subscribe to my belief that men and women have specific roles in life and that while one can technically perform the tasks of the other, by nature’s laws, being born with a penis or a uterus pretty well gives you a natural predisposition to the integral roles of that gender.  It has been my experience that men are doers, fixer, analytical, left-brained creatures.  Women, on the other hand, are feelers, nurtures, life-giving right-brained people.  Like the yin and the yang, we have a predominance of our own gender role with the eye of the opposite within us.  In Latin, this was called the anima and the animus, the male or female self within us.  By that, I think that women are NOT by nature predisposed to those left-brained, male activities, but can develop them if we tap into that “eye” in our Yang and work that Yang muscle.  Men are, in my world, NOT by nature predisposed to those nurturing habits exemplified by the right-brained woman creatures, but can develop them if they tap into that “eye” in their Yin within and work that Yin muscle.  That leaves men, who have women in their lives, getting their nurturing, usually on a daily basis, but women, who have men in their lives, having to look elsewhere for it unless you have one of those men who are tapping their Yin.  We have to look elsewhere for it, but the oil is changed in our car and the icemaker in our refrigerator is working properly.  While this analytical versus nurturing may seem like a good trade off, for people like ME, who have no women in the house (except my precious WHAP), on nurture deficit.  So where do we get our nurturing?  From other women, of course!  We have girls’ night out, phone calls, cliques at work, message boards, sisters, moms, letters, best friends, prayer groups, PTA meetings and a thousand other places where we can be stroked, sympathized with, validated and loved.  MY problem is being a stay-at-home mom with limited computer time, zero phone time (I long ago gave up attempted an intelligent phone conversation with the Bowery Boys on the loose) and no friends or relatives around, there just ain’t no nurturing going on.  The cup isn’t just dry, there’s dust and moths and bats flying around in there.  Somewhere along the way, “nurturing” was heard through the din of my life and was interpreted as “nourishing,” so I eat to be nurtured.  Eating is, as I said, a wonderful anesthesia for the constant giving that my life demands.  It’s immediate payback. 

When I don’t eat and don’t have that nurturing, I get pretty raw.  I did find an supplement called chromium picolinate, the main ingredient in Ultra Chroma Slim, in fact, (hence, the ‘Chroma’) that is very good at grounding me down from the emotionalism of not having my food blanket to cuddle under and actually seems to jack with the opiate sensors in the brain that are satisfied by the nurture eating.  The herb Garcinia Cambogia is also quite good.  I take both.  It’s helping somewhat, so I’m starting to believe I might be able to do it this time.  

There are a lot of reasons why I am finished being fat, despite the positive side of it being cuddly and fun to play with and having the instant gratification to fall back onto. I want to be able to wear decent clothes, for one thing.  With the exception of Delta Burke, fashion designers of the affordable, K-Mart variety seem to think that fat people want to be seen in huge cabbage roses, puffed sleeves and giant sweatshirts with bears on them.  Forget trying to find any nice lingerie or eveningwear.  I want to wear real jeans that snap and have them be comfy again.  I also want to not look at the ass of them and wonder where they found SO much denim.  As I am getting older (40 looms this very year), I am starting to look out of place next to my younger husband and although he is growing a very nice beard, I want to at least look like we are something of a matched set.  Just the other day, he was thinking out loud and said that he wanted people to look at us and want to BE us, physically.  I told him they already do that.  Men look at him and think, “Damn, I want to look like him!” and women look at me and think, “Damn, I want to eat like a hog, be fat and still have a gorgeous husband.”  He allowed that it wasn’t quite what he was going for and asked how the treadmill was working out for me (bastard).  I want to be able to keep up with chasing after my kids and not sit at my computer chair, lazily snapping a whip in their direction.  I want to run my hand down my side and feel curves going “in” again, dipping at an actual waist.  I want to wear a belt.  I want to NOT have four breasts (Fat people around the world know what I’m talking about.  To translate for skinny people, fat boobs tend to not fit well in bras, so they bisect your breast, creating another breast overhang, giving the visual effect of having four breasts.  You can also opt for the sports bra – also called “giving up” and go with the uni-boob look).  I want to not having to automatically think, “F*#% You, Stick” when the teeny bopper checker at Albertson’s smirks as she slides my half gallon of Cherry Garcia across the electric eye.  I want to have sex and get thrown around a bit. The list goes on and I shan’t bore you further with it. 

My goals are not tremendously lofty.  I can still fit into an airline or movie seat comfortably.  I can sit in a booth at a restaurant.  I know and dearly love people who cannot and I feel their pain, knowing that they have even further to go than I do.  My boobs (all four of ‘em) still stick out further than my belly and are equal with my hip measurement, which has stayed exactly 10 inches wider than my waist measurement.  My weight is fairly proportional. I don’t have any desire to be thin, just a nice size.  I’d rather be as fat as I am now, honestly, than to have the skin and bones look of most soap stars.  I’m looking to get to 145-150, which means I’ve got my foot on the first step of the past to losing 70-75 pounds.  There are three things that I know about weight loss that are absolutely immutable and remain totally constant in the hubbub of everything else.  1)  You absolute have to drink a half gallon or more of water every day.  I hate drinking water.  I am a Dr Pepper, iced tea person through and through.  I will drink the damned water.  2)  You absolutely have to exercise daily, a specific aerobic exercise, not just house work or chores or the other things we tell ourselves will do the trick.  You can’t do it only 4-5 days a week because you’ll not follow through on the days you DO have to exercise.  If you do it daily, it will become part of your routine and is not negotiable.  3)  You have to eat a balanced diet that includes all the food groups and does not exceed 1200-1500 calories.  I would include a fourth to say that you have to find some place to get the nurturing that the food provides or you will go mad.  I’m still working on that one, but I may end up a Chromium Picolinate junkie before all is said and done.  

This time I am going to succeed, one day at a time.  I want this well under way by my birthday, September 5th and then I don’t ever want to go back again.  Fat has done its part.  It kept men at bay and disinterested when I was emotionally bruised and beaten and didn’t want to deal with them (Eric slipped through the cracks).  It has nurtured me when there was nothing else to do it.  It has allowed me to not have to think daily about what I eat or why.  Now I don’t need it for those things any more and my friend of so many years and I are going to have to shake hands and part, having both served one another well.  I’ll let you know how it progresses and I’d be lying if I said that right now I want a big glass of water and a chicken salad instead of a Dr Pepper on ice and a Big and Tasty value meal from McDonalds.  But hey, it’s not like I can never have those things again.  Just have to be careful and prioritize…for the rest of my life.  Damn.  But there are worse things.  Like your autopsy describing you as "an obese white female with long brown hair, weighing 300 pounds, five feet four, large body frame..." 

See ya!  Will write on topic soon.  Meanwhile, check out the other great writers we have.


January 29, 2001, 1:20pm

My name is Katrina Rasbold and I am a fat person.  I've called myself fluffy before, but the truest word is fat. I wrote an entry in my GH and OLTL journal about my decision to lose the excess weight I've been carrying around.  I was overwhelmed by the responses I received!  I've gotten so many letters of support and encouragement, as well as many people who are struggling with the same problem.  So many wonderful people have also written with their own strategies, suggestions and ideas and for those, I am truly grateful.  Keep'em coming!

I am going to reprint the original entry here to start this endeavor and I would like to suggest that all who are interested walk this path with me.  I'll be here to share the frustrations and joys, the tears and fears, the victories and setbacks.  I'll let you know the things I find that work and the things that don't.  I'll share reader input and ideas that I find in books and on the net.  I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, so be sure and have a physical before you get started if you have more than 20 pounds to lose and then lets do it together.  It will be fun to see, collectively, how much weight we can lose.  If everyone who reads Eye On Soaps daily lost one pound, that would be nearly 1000 pounds! 

The column above indicates how I'm going to do it.  I'll include some pictures and keep you up to date along the way!  Together, we can be the size we want to be, whether that's a 2, a 12 or a 22.  So hang those clothes in your closet instead of on that treadmill, dust off your running shoes and let's do this!