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Tunnel, Meet Light November 27, 2010

That was a pretty bleak post I wrote this morning. But you know what is so very awesome about being part of a healthy living community? You put your ugly stuff out there, and people come through for you. This is so very true. So first I got a bunch of supportive tweets. Then I got a phone call from my WW BFF (who also happens to be an awesome WW leader). She said, “It sounds like maybe you need to go to a meeting.”

Light bulb! I have not attended a WW meeting as a member in so very long. And that is something that we are supposed to never forget, that we are all members first. As it happened, HER meeting happened to be starting in less than an hour. So it got me out of my sad woe-is-me pajamas and into some exercise clothes (yay) and over to the meeting.

I felt like such a sad sack in that meeting, but it moved me. Something clicked. The theme was “Learning from Experience.” The thing is, these weekly WW themes can be SO DEEP if we let them be. I sat there and muddled and pondered and thought about what I can learn from this experience. I realized a few things. One, that I was not particularly enjoying my food these past few days because I was eating out of resentment. I wasn’t really savoring or tasting or enjoying my food, which is one of my own cardinal rules. So I vowed that I would really try to go back to savoring as much as possible.

I also realized that I had just been waiting, all this time, almost two years, to see myself stumble and FAIL. Because that little Gollum inside me has been lurking in there, chewing on dead fish and muttering, “You’re not all that, missy.”

Last night I stayed up and caught up on the Makeover Week episode of Biggest Loser. I just cried all the way through it. For those of you who have not been watching Season 10, there are these two women, Elizabeth and Ada. Elizabeth started out the season keeling over during the first challenge and having to be taken away by ambulance. Ada is this fierce Asian-American woman whose parents have been punishing her her whole life for the deaths of her brothers. Anyway, Elizabeth is often physically overwhelmed by challenges; she gets asthma and just has to stop. Ada is a total WARRIOR and really an unstoppable force but she clearly has all this hurt stuff inside. Her family is clearly still punishing her and they suck.

Anyway, in this episode there was this mega-stair challenge. They had to run up like 100 flights of stairs which believe me, is no joke. OR they could take this trolley train thing, for less credit. After like 50 flights of steps, Elizabeth was really struggling (oh I could relate!) and decided to take the train. She felt way behind and when everyone else was done, she was only at 70 and she just could not see doing those last 30 flights alone. She threw in the towel and then was really really upset with herself.

I’ve been that Elizabeth so many times. I’ve had asthma. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. I had pre-eclampsia and gall stones and messed up ankles and allergies. I always had stomach aches when I was little and I just never saw myself as a very healthy person. I would give up so easily. Even when I was on my high school track team, I’d often keel over IN THE MIDDLE OF A RACE and start throwing up or throwing some joint out of whack or whatever; ie not finishing because I was so afraid of coming in last.

But as I was watching I realized that I’ve also been Ada. I’ve felt like I’m not good enough (to live). And I’ve also been a fierce unstoppable beast in the gym. I’ve been all those things. They all live inside me.

After I went to the WW meeting I felt a lot calmer. I felt like I had a lot of things to think about (I still do). Then I went to the gym. I got on the elliptical for half an hour. It felt good and sweaty and clean. Then I got on the treadmill. After 12 minutes my feet and ankles were SCREAMING IN PAIN. I got off. I swore a whole bunch. I got back on the elliptical and did another 20 minutes.

So I got a good workout. But the running part sucked big time. I’m not quite sure what to make of that. I do know that I am determined to FINISH that damn half-marathon no matter what. I might very well be crawling.

To finish up on the Elizabeth/Ada thing: at the gym the next day, the trainers gave Elizabeth the opportunity to complete her final 30 flights on the stairmaster. And she did it and felt really great about herself. I was so happy for her. She also had her inner fierceness inside. I think we all do.

So I’m feeling calmer, better, sweatier. I want to thank everyone for the support you sent my way earlier. Everyone who texted me, tweeted, emailed and commented – you boosted me up a lot. WHICH IS WHY I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY. Thank you.

 

Gadget Love May 22, 2010

Y’all know I am somewhat of a gadget freak. I’ve tried to swear off buying any new ones but when Phillips DirectLife contacted me and offered to let me test-run their activity monitor, who was I to resist?

And now I am pretty much in love with this little thingie and all it comes with. Once my four month trial dries up I might just have to continue the relationship on my own.

Before, I had a Bodybugg because I got all intrigued by that after watching the Biggest Loser contestants wearing it. And I liked it pretty much. But I never ended up getting the individual support they promised because they do it by phone. The “coach” and I played phone tag like 4 times but I am very hard to reach on the phone.  So after all the phone tag I gave up. Also, you wear the BB on your arm and it always felt like a blood pressure cuff to me. (bad connotations) It got sweaty a lot. It wasn’t a big deal, but it wasn’t the most comfortable thing ever. Also, I felt like it almost gave TOO much information. So. After a while I sort of abandoned it.

Enter the DirectLife! I like it because it’s simple. It’s a little plastic white box smaller than a matchbox. It’s very light. It’s WATERPROOF! (I took it in the pool today!) You also have three choices of how to wear it: around your neck on a light cord, in your pocket, or hooked onto your bra or other piece of clothing. So it’s very versatile. I like wearing mine around my neck if I don’t have a pocket.

How does it work? It measures your micro-body movements so it calculates if you are walking, running, whatever. MOVING. Which is basically the point of activity. It probably does not have the same physiological precision of the Bodybugg, but actually, I do not care. My husband pointed out that you could “cheat” it by just holding it in your hand and bouncing it up and down, but dude, that is just cheating yourself. It’s like doing the Wii Fit from the couch. Yeah, you COULD, but do you really want to do that??

So I love the simplicity, the ease of wearing it. When you take it off, you plug into a little USB device on the computer. This turned out to be 100% easier than BB too, which was always having glitches and technical difficulties and causing me to re-install the software every five minutes (can you say ANNOYING?). So I love it. It goes right to the site and tells you your activity output by the day. You see the hills and peaks from the most active times. Then you can see the details from each hour, which is addictively fascinating to me. (WOW that’s when I took a walk at lunch! That’s when Shannon and I climbed up Lombard Street! That’s when I… ohhhhh. SAT AT MY DESK motionless for four hours.) It’s GOOD. And yeah, another great accountability tool.

But I didn’t even get to the best part yet. The best part is the fabulous, awesome, mindblowing coaching!!!!! I was assigned a coach named Jen. I was assuming that either I’d never hear from “Jen,” or that she would send me some one-sentence sound bites like, “Good moving today, Foodie!” But NO. I got an email asking about my goals and if I had questions. I sent her an email back. She looked at my activity for last Sunday. She noted that I was rather inactive between 2-5 and 6-8.

I said, “Welllllllll, I was taking a nap at 2, and then a shower (didn’t realize it was waterproof!) and then my show, I didn’t have a pocket and didn’t want the necklace on, but darn I was VERY active!” So she clued me into the waterproof and clip-on-bra thing. (um, in my case, clip-on-Spanx) She read my blog. She had such thoughtful things to say about my return to more than full time work, my fitness frustrations, my schedule, EVERYTHING.

She has emailed me EVERY DAY THIS WEEK. And they’re not just stock emails. They’re totally personalized, thorough, and all about me me me and MY situation. It has been so amazingly, astonishingly supportive and helpful. She’s also sent me some awesome PDF articles about various things we’ve discussed, New York times article about the hazards of sitting, etc. Just SO HELPFUL.

So I am over the moon about my little gadget and about the amazing support I’ve received from DirectLife’s coach Jen. They are a lot simpler than Bodybugg but in my mind that is a good thing, a very good thing.

 

Biggest Loser Season 9 Opening January 6, 2010

I can’t help it, I gotta liveblog. Who’s out there tonight, Pacific time?

Love the Tongan cousins! Love the Puerto Rican mother-daughter. SI PODEMOS! Love the identical twins. Love Sunshine & O’Neal. Damn, I love everyone. You go, people. YOU GO.

The guy who can’t put on his own shoes? How sad is that. And how said about beautiful Sunshine. GORGEOUS and she has never had a boyfriend or kissed a boy. I predict this is going to happen on this show.  There’s a lot of people in this season who want love.

I feel for them. I feel for them so much. These public weigh-ins? Are they different from doing it on TV?  Maybe. It ALL takes a lot of guts. But they can see the support in front of them.

OH, I love the @shrinkingjeans is heading up a commercial-break live workout. So far I’ve done a two-minute wall sit (BURN, thighs!), 90 crunches and at next commercial, it’s pushups (my fave, o boy).

Ali looks beautiful at the ranch. Their first challenge is a 26.2 mile bike challenge! OK, I’d be OUT immediately. (Shannon at the Fabulous Fatties could totally smoke this!)

Commercial time. PUSHUPS! AGH!

Just did 20 knee pushups and 20 toe pushups. Sweaty and a little pukey. But this is a GREAT way to watch Biggest Loser!

They’re in the bike challenge.  The 500 lb guy looks like he’s gonna fall off. Green team has got some major Tara Costa energy. Unstoppable. SI PODEMOS!

OK I just started sobbing when the 500 lb White team guy (Mike) finished his 26.2 miles. Crying more now that the two teams are in their limos. Sunshine and O’Neal! I’m freaking out!!

OMG. Bob & Jillian in the road! They stop the limos. THANK GOD.  I knew they couldn’t be that cruel.

I missed the squat challenge so I’m gonna do some planks instead. Now: imaginary jumpropes. (my favorite kind, the real kind make me trip!)

What a couple of little pranksters, Bob & Jillian pulling the fire alarm like a couple of kids. Snicker snicker! Big Mike picks up Jillian like she’s a twig. She IS a twig.

Into the gym. Twins on the elliptical! Everyone’s falling over. Screaming wall sits. Ha ha.

True confessions time. They’re bawling. I’m bawling.  I just finished my imaginary jumprope and I’m panting. Just broke 2100 calories burned today, yahoo. They’re now getting their Bodybuggs! Yay!!!!!! Wow!

I plank until my arms tremble. Feels great.

Weigh-ins: Green team starts out losing a ton. Thank goodness they actually lost and did not waterload. Yay. Si se puede! Migdalia & Miggy.

Holy crap. The Tongans have lost almost 50 lbs in one week!!! They do the now-familiar Tongan dance. Yahoo! I am happy for them. WOW. Orange team loses 43 lbs, up to 7.5%. Amazing! I like the Oranges. Meanwhile, I’m doing lunges with 8 lb weights, just like Jillian does on 30Day Shred. (you know, I normally do not like working out at night, but I am feeling good; I like this)

So, the vote comes down to the twins on the Brown team. Of course, how impossible is this? And how sad.  So it looks like they are voting to keep the guy on the ranch who has the job and the family. Which seems like the right thing to do.

OMG: he lost 100 lbs in two months and he looks so good. GOOD WORK James! He just said, “The gym has become my work.”  He’s got a cutie pie adorable wife, and now they cook together! Yay! I can relate to what he said. I feel like in some ways the gym is my work, too.

I love this show.

 

I’ve Got Mail! Yay! January 5, 2010


Mailbox

Originally uploaded by cindy47452

This morning, when I woke up and opened my computer, I found an email from my dear spouse. He usually wakes up about 2 hours before I do, and he likes to peruse the online news. Most days he will send me an article that he finds interesting, and about half an hour after I get up, he’ll ask, Didja read that thing I sent you?

Today he sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal. Basically it’s about the myriad benefits of exercise, in addition to weight loss. It’s the fountain of youth! It’s Prozac in sneakers, and chicken soup on a treadmill. In other words, it helps just about anything.

Regular workouts may help fight off colds and flu, reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases and slow the process of aging.

I immediately downloaded the article into my “healthy articles” file, and forwarded it to a bunch of other WW buddies. Then I stopped and laughed.

A year ago (just a year! really!) if he had sent me the same article (which he did, regularly, for about 3-4 years), I would have glanced at the title, read a sentence or two, snarled something hostile and punched the DELETE key. He did gently try to prod me in the direction of health and fitness for years, but I really was not having anything of it. I would respond by finding my own obscure articles about how moderately overweight people lived longer than normal-weight people, or about the prevalence of sports injuries (LOL). I was a prime example of that unfertile soil that is just NOT ready to sprout any seeds. (I think this was a Bible parable I learned at camp once, and it was also a song in Godspell)

I felt like HE wanted me to lose weight. (well, I guess he did. He did want me to be healthy) Which made me adamantly OPPOSED to the idea of losing weight. This fell into the “What, you think I’m fat?!?” category. Never mind that I KNEW I was fat. And miserable. And unable to climb stairs without getting winded. And only able to fit into elastic waisted pants.

That’s how it used to be with Weight Watchers, too. It’s a great program. It’s always been a great program. But for so many years I was just not ready to hear about it, think about it, much less DO IT. Now that I’m, as woo-woo types will say, “open to it,” it all kind of pours in and I’m like, “Wow! This is so great!!” I pore through the program materials and it all just seems BRILLIANT. Ha ha.

But it just does go to show that:

1. It’s all about timing.
2. You have to be doing it for YOU and not for anyone else.
3. When you’re ready, the teachers are there.

Another aside: The latest season of Biggest Loser begins tonight! How happy am I that Tuesday night is the ONLY weeknight I don’t have a WW meeting!! I’m getting my box of tissues ready. Yeah yeah yeah, I know we’ve been through the argument a hundred times before, but I stand my ground. I love this show and to witness people changing their lives for health. It does not fail to move me.

 

BodyBugg: It’s All Information December 28, 2009

I’ve been doodling around with my new BodyBugg for the past couple of days. Some people might think a device like this is the ultimate in obsession, but for me, it’s just more Information. Just like the number on the scale is just that: information (or as we say in WW, “Feedback not failure.”) I have been really curious about my REAL calorie burning in relation to what I’m taking in. So it’s been interesting.

The things I’ve learned should not come as a complete shock, but it has been illuminating.

1. I actually do burn calories while I sleep!! Of course I “knew” this on some intellectual level, but to wake up and see “486 calories burned” between 11pm and 7am, was… pleasing. :-) I think I had this naive belief that I only “burned” calories while I was exercising. Like if I went to the gym, it was so many hundred calories, but if I didn’t, it was… zero. Again, I KNEW that wasn’t true, but still, to see it confirmed was interesting.

2. All exercise is not created equal. Of course, I “knew” this one too, but really it has been kind of surprising. Also, the number of “calories burned” on the cardio machines at the gym bear little resemblance to what I am hoping is a more accurate count from the BodyBugg.  Of course, the machines say you burn way more. :-(

3. Comparatively speaking, an hour of Nia class burns a lot less (215!!!!) then an hour on the elliptical (420) which in turn is less than an hour of running on the treadmill. (550) Which is also sort of obvious, but another way I used to trick myself. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing Nia. It means that on Nia days, if I want to keep me In-and-Out ratio about the same, I need to eat a lot less. OR do a lot of other activity to balance it out.

The BB is pretty cool. It tells me the # of steps per given period (the only day I broke 10K this week was today, when I was running on the treadmill), a very elaborate breakdown of food and food types (I do eat way more carbs than I think I do!!!), number of minutes of “physical activity” or I guess what IT considers exercise, and then overall calories burned which can be broken down by period.

Also, see the graph where it says Cal/Min? That is interesting to me bc when I am on a cardio machine, I always try to aim for 10-11 cal/min. But according to the BB, I never achieve that. Even when I was running today, it only reached 9 cal/min at the max, and I was pumping it out. So that’s interesting.

Here’s a report from yesterday. That big spike in the middle is from when I was at Nia class. But it didn’t last very long, and I think most of the class was pretty mellow. But I did do a lot of walking around and shopping before and after, so you can see the little peaks around it. I think that is what saved it. Also,  I didn’t have QUITE that much of a deficit because I did not log every single thing last night. Apparently, it thinks I should be eating AND exercising more.

It’s all interesting. But then I’m a huge gadget geek, so I love this stuff.

 

Does Thinner = Happier? November 25, 2009

Tonight on Biggest Loser, Amanda (while bawling her eyes out) said, “I’m the happiest I’ve been in my whole life.” Ironic and odd, but true. I found myself nodding.

The conventional wisdom says that overweight people (who? Santa Claus???) are “jolly.” But you know, I had a cloud following me around during all of my overweight years. The heavier and less in-shape I was, the more unhappy I was. I’d say that I felt fairly grim much of the time, and had glimmers of happiness now and then.

I can pretty much say that this past year has been one of the happiest years in memory. I’m happy pretty much every single day. I’m smiling like a fool a LOT. I laugh out loud every day. I have some hard moments, but THOSE are the moments in an overall sea of feel-good. I think I must be just zipping along on endorphins or something.

I didn’t do a whole recap of BL tonight but I did watch. It was the 11th week and man was it moving. They kept flip-flopping between the before and afters.It was so moving. You know people have all kinds of disparaging things to say about this show. It’s “exploitive.” But do these people who went from wheezing, unhealthy and absolutely MISERABLE feel exploited?? Hell no. They feel like they’ve been given a second chance at life. And they HAVE.  And from previews of the “Where are they now?” show (airing tomorrow) I do think that more than 50% of them have managed to keep their weight off and stay healthy. I hope I can be one of those people, a year from now.

Speaking of a year from now, one of my newest goals is to qualify to join the National Weight Loss Registry. This is a group of people who have “lost significant weight and kept it off.” You have to have lost at least 30 lbs and kept it off for more than one year. If I can manage to maintain my loss until next August, I will be eligible to join this special group. I really, really want it. And it’s a great “eye on the prize” thing to keep focused on.

Tomorrow is my first WW group’s first weigh-in. I am excited for them, and nervous for them. I hope they get good news. I hope they had a good week. The thing that is cool about these at-work meetings is that everyone starts on the same day, so they are going along all at the same pace. I’m going to give them a big pre-Thanksgiving pep talk, but also remind them to enjoy Thanksgiving without guilt. I was interested to read the WW CEO’s take on Thanksgiving. I think it makes sense and goes along with my “be mindful and don’t suffer” motto.

I am excited about Thanksgiving. SUPER excited. My girls will be coming home, and friends and family will be visiting. We will have a combination of delicious low-point dishes, and some extra- decadent desserts (my girl is making Nutella pecan pie! YOW!). I plan to enjoy myself thoroughly.

I am so thankful this year. I am incredibly thankful. For my health, for my family. I am thankful that I chose to give MYSELF a second chance at life, instead of sinking low when I got that diagnosis. I am thankful to my awesome trainer. I am thankful to the myriad of great friends who have supported me during this journey, and who continue to stick by me. I’m thankful for my new job, which inspires me every day. And for the members I meet who are on the path. I’m just thankful for life. It’s really good.

————-Edited to Add:

I’ve mulled this over quite a bit since writing it last night. And I have come to a different conclusion. I’m not happier because I’m THINNER. I’m happier for two reasons: one, I am fit and healthy (and yes, filled with endorphins). I’m also happier (way happier) because my relationship with food has changed. I’ve been this weight before, and still tortured about food (I’m remembering this now). This is BIG. It’s HUGE. So it’s not about what size I am. It’s that my whole outlook on all of it has changed dramatically. Huh. I’ve never been in this place before, in spite of years of therapy and compulsive-food support groups and a million books read, etc.

So it’s not about being thinner. That just happens to be a coincidental byproduct. It’s more about how I approach ALL of it. Light bulb moment!!

 

Biggest Loser! Liveblogging!!!! November 4, 2009

I’ve missed Biggest Loser for the past 2 weeks, so here I am again.  This is the first time I’ve been liveblogging since minute one. Opening credits: My mom says, “Someone’s gonna get a heart attack there.” Heh.

Alison says, “Obesity is an epidemic. Your mission is to help stop it. You will do everything to help your fellow Americans in the next 7 days – you are going to Washington, DC. Go pack.” They jump on a Jetblue plane (YAY Jetblue!!). Rebecca wants to see Barack Obama. (so do I) Everyone’s excited because they can fasten their airplane seatbelts. Everyone’s very excited. Product placement: JETBLUE.

They’re in their exercise togs and now they’re charging to the Washington monument. Hi, Alison!  Jillian and Bob tell them they’re going to White House. Wooooooooo! They’re at the Jefferson Memorial. They are going back to individual teams now. No more teams. Rudy’s  psyched. They’re all pretty psyched. It’s good news so far. Shay is still the only person in the 400s. She has 2 lbs to go.

Pop challenge: Public workout at the Washington Monument. People need to get other people to get exercising. They need to pass out little stickers with their names on it. This pop challenge starts….. NOW! This looks so freaking fun. People are looking kind of dubious. The people are following people down the sidewalk: “Do you want to want to work out tonight?” It’s frustrating. Daniel can’t find anybody. Amanda is CLEANING UP. People totally recognize her! “You’re the girl from the finale!” She’s got a bunch of girls. Rudy gets a bunch of guys. Hilarious. Allen is seeking out the fire station. He wants to find his brothers. The firefighters are like… um. But they come around.

Liz (the “old lady”) is working on charm and guilt. Tracey is bullying people into taking off their Amanda stickers. People are thinking of changing to the Daniel team. They KNOW him. Ha ha ha ha! Amanda’s group is changing colors and going to Daniel team. They’re all turning into politicians!

OK, it’s time. People are lining up. The firetrucks are there! The firefighers have come through! OK, I’m tearing up. Let’s just hope there’s no FIRE in DC tonight!! There are tons of people there. It’s a crowd. It’s pretty cool.  Alison says it came down to ONE VOTE who won: It’s between Liz and Allen! Who knew? The old lady brought it! How the heck did she DO that?? You go girl!

Next, they bring up Bob and Jillian. Crowd goes wild. It’s exciting. Bob is pumped. He thinks he’s a rock star. Jillian walks through the crowd and yells at everyone. They freaking love it.  She’s yelling at a lady in tangerine clothes. They’re kickboxing. Bob is so psyched.  They’re doing mountain climbers! They’re speedbagging. It’s super cool, actually.  They’re doing planks! My favorite! How could would it be to do this every day. I actually love the idea of having daily workouts at the Washington Monument. Bob is standing on a fireman.

Liz gets to take her whole team to Subway and Jillian tells them to get Fresh Fit menu. O boy!

Next, the team goes to their Congresspeople. They talk about obesity among youth and children. Daniel shows off his size 54 pants that he wore in high school. They are impressed. We see him talking about his academics suffering because he’s unhealthy, depressed and having a hard time dealing with school.  He wants better health education. I have to say this is a great episode. Jillian says that Americans have no idea of what’s in their food because if they knew, they’d never eat it. Rebecca cries about being a 245 year old 14 year old.

WOULD IT NOT BE AWESOME if Congress would stop taking money from food corporations? It would be awesome. But unlikely.

Okay, moving on to the Big Challenge. They need to survive four challenges, and the winner gets immunity. They  first have to run a mile. Tracey starts having an out-of-body experience as she remembers her first day on the beach where she almost died. She’s scared. Liz gets to skip one challenge out of the three. But she says she wants to run. Liz says if she doesn’t get in the top six, she’s going to shoot herself for wasting her free pass. Mark, get set, gooooo…! to commercials.

They’re off and running. Allen and Rebecca take off. Daniel says he could run a mile in 12 minutes, but he’s in the dust now. Liz and Danny are fighting out sixth place. Shay and Tracey are duking it out for last place. Shay is trucking. She’s speedwalking at a pretty good pace. Go girl. They’re all flashing back to Day one, when they were dying on the beach. Most of them are just doing great. Rudy is RUNNING. He looks freaking awesome. GO LIZ. I’m getting weepy now. Because I think, I see myself. GO DANNY. Tracey is jogging about the same pace that I do.

Finish line: Rebecca, then Daniel, Allen, Amanda. Liz DOES get sixth. Wahoo.  Here comes Danny, Tracey. Flashback to her near death.  She flashbacks on making out with her husband. It brings her in. YAY. Then  here comes Shay at great clip.

OK, next challenge: They’re at the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. They need to raise funds: billions of PENNIES on the steps.  They need to race down the steps, pick up pennies, up the steps, put them in their bank. Damn. Pennies are hard to carry. Does Liz want to skip this one? YES. GOOD CHOICE I think. Only 3 of them get to participate in the next round. They take off down the steps.  Rudy has nice big paws, so he can hold a lot of pennies. Can they put them in their shirts? Rudy is double-stepping. Daniel: “Rudy has banana hands!” More like shovels.  Rudy fills his bank. Next spot goes to Daniel. Then it’s Allen vs Rebecca. Down to the wire. Alison is shrieking with excitement.

Bob says: when on vacation, run up and down stairs, then do tricep dips and other stuff.

Back to it: Rebecca wins it. Now it’s Liz, Daniel, Rudy and Rebecca competing for immunity. Part 3: US Capitol. Balance on a platform with a Pilates ball on their head.  Hey, they’re all looking pretty cool and Atlas- like. Daniel is wobbling from the get go. Rudy is standing on his brick and having a hard time. Liz and Rebecca are looking pretty zen, but then Liz almost loses her ball. Daniel’s off. Three to go. Rudy struggles, his ball is going. Rebecca is like an absolute statue. LIZ is out. Rudy and Rebecca have the last challenge!

Final challenge: whoever takes 206 steps quicker, wins immunity. Hm. I think my money’s on Rebecca. She’s smaller and has better cardiovascular health. Up and down up and down. Rebecca’s in the lead. Unless she falls down, I think she’s gotta win. This is where you’re at a big advantage the smaller you are. Tracey remarks she’s like a rabbit, she’s like a typewriter. She’s full of metaphors tonight! Rebecca wins!

Next: they visit Michelle Obama’s garden and start picking veggies for the Prez. I am insaaaaaaanely jealous. Next, they take hte produce into the White House. Jillian is wowed. As am I. They start cooking up the just-picked veggies. They meet the top Was2679265chef of the WH. They’re slicing basil, lettuce, making up a big salad. BOB IS WEARING A TIE!!!!!!!!

They’re eating a beautiful salad which costs $12 for all of them, and there are leftovers. OMG I am in love with this episode, and I repeat, SO JEALOUS.  Hmm, maybe I should gain 300 lbs so I can go on BL and visit the White House? OK, I guess not. But still: I would be so stoked to be in that place. Eating veggies from Michelle’s garden? OMG!

Last chance workout!  Jillian is happy they are not in teams anymore so she can torture everyone. They’re doing monkey walks down the sidewalk. Sprinting up stairs sideways, two at a time, etc, carrying Jillian.

Bob reminds them that weight loss sucks on vacation and they cannot let things slide just because they’re having a great time.

Jillian is training Tracey. She says, “It’s not secret I have not liked Tracey since Day one.” Wow. She says it is not about game play. She is trying to get T to changet her life. MAN, I love Jillian’s arms.  Tracey is sobbing and says, “Jillian is one tough cookie. But she has got the biggest heart. It is HUGE.”  I can see that. I’ve always seen that.  Another shot of the arms. What I would not give for those arms.

Bob and Amanda are thrilled to be reunited.  She’s sobbing about not going to prom. “She needs some extra attention, and I’m prepared to give it to her.” Um. I guess so. “I have faith in you honey.” Errrrrrr. Bob and Manda sittin’ in a tree… here we go. There is some major crushing going on here.

Weigh In: Rebecca goes first because she has immunity. She’s lost 4 lbs. She does a Snoopy dance. She’s excited to be headed to Onederland. Next: Shay is up. She wants to get to Threehundredland.  She loses 9 lbs, down to 393!! Wahoo! She sways back and forth like a five year old. Cute. She’s so psyched to not be 400 lbs anymore. She’s bouncy. Next up: Tracey. She’s down 3 lbs. Not too happy. Daniel’s next. He’s just had two bad weigh ins (+1 and 0). HOLY CRAP. He loses 11! What is that!!!  He says, “150 lbs ago, I didn’t have a NECK. My head just sat on my shoulders like a snowman.” Hee.  Next up: Allen. He needs to lose more than 5. And.. he’s lost 9!! He is looking so good. (my heart is doing a little happy dance right now, seeing Tracey on the bottom!) Danny is up next. He needs to lose more than 7. WOWEE: 12! He does it again!! This is the fourth week in a row for his double digit losses. Woo! Rudy’s turn.  He needs 7, he gets 9.  It’s good! YEAH.  Tracey is sending dagger-eyes at him. Liz’s turn. She’s worried. She needs more than 4. She gets: 3. Ugh. Aw  girl. She takes it with equanimity though. Now Amanda is up. In order to beat Tracey, she needs to lose more than 3. And….. Commercial. Everyone is praying for her. She loses…7!!!!! She’s ecstatic. She and Bob run off to have victory sex. (whoops, sorry, I just lost it there)

So it’s Liz vs Tracey. And all I can say is, if these bozos vote off Liz I’m going to bang my head against the wall. Liz says she is not the person to ask for help. Liz, do NOT pull an Abby.  Shay says she didn’t fight for it. Shay questions if she wants to be there. She’s fulla shit. Tracey gets up and sobs her face off. She sobs and pleads. Amanda thinks she’s apologizing. She doesn’t accept Tracey’s apology but she thinks Liz is a bigger threat. Oh gawd.

People, do NOT SEND LIZ HOME. The voting begins. Amanda votes for Tracey because she’s been betrayed twice. I like her being honest, and not saying “she can do well at home” or some such bull. Shay says she wants people to fight to be here, she wants to see passion. She votes Liz. What does she mean? She wants people to bawl their eyes out?? Danny of COURSE votes for Tracey, because he and Liz are secretly married. Daniel votes for Tracey! (I have to say this was a happy surprise) Rebecca votes for …Tracey. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alison as much as says, her game playing has coming back to bite her in the ass.

We see the flashback of Tracey’s beach collapse for the fifty-millionth time tonight. She says the sad person she was is gone. But unfortunately the psycho person isn’t. Oh well.  She goes home wearing a bright purple dress. She resembles a giant grape. (hissssss!) A helicopter is inexplicably taking her home. The last time she did this, she was being medivac’ed out. She reunites with her purple family.

Next: OH MY GOD. ANOTHER freaking flashback to the beach scene. And holy cow, she looks totally amazing. She looks super buff. That is impressive. She’s running that mile and looks great.  She ran it in 11:22, which is way good. Well good! I’m happy. She’s back where she belongs and will not be torturing the other contestants any more.

Next week: looks like Shay is biting the dust.

 

The Stress of Shame October 21, 2009

I almost lost it last night. I was scheduled to be a receptionist substitute at a “traveler” WW meeting; ie one in a remote location, not an official WW Center.  At those locations, they use all manual/paper tallies to track everything, instead of the groovy computer system that is now in place at Centers. I only did a few weeks worth of those before they did the switchover, and boy was I rusty. In fact, I ended up forgetting to do a very important step – marking down all product purchases on the product sheet. This is super important for reconciling the $$ at the end of a meeting. When the other receptionist counted up the money and checked it against the product sales, it was like $80 off. Because I forgot to mark it down. This resulted in everyone having to stay almost 45 minutes later, to fix the problem. I felt terrible. I felt like slinking under the carpet and dying. The other staff members were pretty nice to me about it, but to be honest, I sort of messed up their night. Everyone ended up going home late, after a lot of stress. Caused by me.

I don’t deal with this kind of thing well. AT ALL.  Guess what it makes me want to do?

I drove home down this main road I used to take, after teaching evening classes several years ago. Back then, I didn’t normally have huge problems, but it was still stressful to teach on some level. There would be ONE student who had some kind of issue, or some thing I’d forget to do, and all the way home I’d be beating myself up about it.  One night I stopped in at a Jack in the Box and looked for the most anesthesizing thing on the menu: Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges!! (omg, I just looked those up: 720 calories in a serving, 432 from fat! O boy!!) Soon it became a habit to just pull in to the drive-through on the way home and inhale a box of those. When I think of that now, it makes me really sad.

So what did I do with my stress last night? I started the evening with a full hand of nice fingernails. They’re down to little nubs now: chewed and torn away. Ah well, I didn’t EAT them so it didn’t cost me any calories.

All night I had recurring dreams of being horribly inept at one thing after another: I had to give a speech, but had brought the wrong one, and then I lost the pages, then I couldn’t work the AV equipment, and then and then…. AUGH I hate messing up!!! It upset me so much I couldn’t even do my regular Biggest Loser liveblogging last night. I did get home in time to watch the final hour, but I pretty much sat here and watched it like a blob. I didn’t really care one way or the other.

This morning, I went to my trainer and had a fantastic workout. THEN, FINALLY, I felt better. Much better.

I am glad that I did not veer into the Jack in the Box and take up old bad habits. I’m glad it didn’t really even occur to me, like it wasn’t a struggle to not do that. I just made a mental note as I drove past. But I still felt terrible.

I need to find ways to not freak out so much when I make a mistake.

 

Finally Bootless! October 14, 2009

I went back to my podiatrist today. The great news is that I get to put that damn cast boot in the closet! The other great news is that he says no surgery for now. The medium news is that I have to trade the boot for a brace that I must wear to do any exercise. I went out and bought it but it does not look very comfy so I admit I have not worn it yet. I will do so tomorrow morning when I go to see the trainer.

This is the longest I have gone without exercise since January. I worked out hard about twice in these past two weeks. I wanted to work out while I was on vacation last week, but it just did not happen, other than a long walk with my friends. I did have good intentions but with so many people to visit with in such a short time, I just mostly ended up sitting around and talking with dear friends and also my daughter, who flew in to spend her 19th birthday with me/us. It was truly blissful, lovely, wonderful, etc. We had a fabulous celebratory meal at the one and only Moosewood restaurant.

The upshot of it is that I gained a few pounds. I am not panicking, because it isn’t any more than I’ve gained on other “off” weeks I’ve had this year. But it’s bad timing because I am going to my WW leader training in two days. I sure as heck hope they will not weigh us, but they probably will. Aghh..

If anything was “worth it,” this was. But I really notice the big difference that these few pounds makes. I notice how it feels to not exercise in so long. (not good) Today I went to Sports Authority to buy my ankle brace and while I was there, I also bought a new fitness ball, a pair of 8 lb weights, and two new exercise DVDs: something called “Yoga for Inflexible People” (that’s me!!) and an on-sale Biggest Loser exercise DVD. I am very very anxious to get back to it.

Tomorrow morning!

 

Liveblogging Biggest Loser October 13, 2009

The contestants join Alison for a giant wheel of silver topped platters. The teams are going to be Blue vs Black. One person will get to pick the teams. Rut-roh. There’s a golden ticket under one of the silver platters, and the person who gets it gets to pick who are on the teams, and who gets to choose the trainers. There are various goodies and baddies under the other platter lids. People who want to participate will step forward. Dina is the first in. Rudy. Liz. Amanda. Shay. Rebecca. Allen. Danny. Coach Mo. Danny. Tracey? Of course. The only person who is not stepping up is Abby.

Rudy spins first. He gets a huge piece of chocolate cake! It is exactly 1,000 calories. AGH. He has to eat it. Num num num. Next is Rebecca: chocolate donut, 280 calories. It gives her witch teeth. Allen: chocolate cupcake! 100 calories. He says, “Sweet.” Enjoys himself immensely. Danny: GIANT cupcake with sprinkles. 780 cals! Yikes. Here comes Tracey. Coach Mo says an evil wind is blowing and he’s not the only one to feel it. HOLY CRAP, SHE GOT THE GOLDEN TICKET! Everyone is just blown away. People are shocked. They think she is a witch for sure. People are gasping and freaking. Coach Mo is sure there is voodoo going on. “It’s not natural. It’s supernatural.” Wooooooooooooooooo…..

Amanda is sobbing. She needs Bob. Dina and Rudy do not want to be separated. Dina feels she can’t count on anybody without Rudy.  Shay says, “people are about to go crazy” as they head toward Tracey and their new fate. Bob and Jillian learn about what’s going on and they are appropriately horrified. Tracey is grinning a psychotic grin.

Tracey wants to train with Bob. Bob looks glazed. Jillian is bummed she will not get to pound Tracey within an inch of her life.  Next: Daniel  goes to Jillian, Mo goes to Bob. Shay goes to Jillian. Tracey gets a few compassion points for putting them together. Allen goes to Blue. Then Abby. Liz is starting to cry. Tracey puts her on the blue team. She’s sobbing that she needs Danny. She puts Danny on the black team. Danny wanted Bob and Liz. He is devastated. Liz: “it kills my soul and makes me mad as all get out.” Amanda is crying because she won’t have Bob. Rebecca goes to the Blue team. She also breaks up Dina and Rudy. Niiiiiiiiice. That’s some very unhappy campers for ya.”

Liz: “She wants to win, she’s gotta do it at home.”

Bob hates the Black vs. Blue. He needs a big guy to beat up, and it will make him feel better. He’s going after Rudy.  Jillian is after Amanda. She wants to beat the crap out of the black team.  They’re puking. Jillian comes out to inspect her puke and make sure it’s wet. ???? Ugh.  Liz: “I have an agenda and my agenda is for her to go home before I do.” Liz freakin keels over on the treadmill. Ack. Lizzie’s down. Red as an apple. She says grimly, “I’ll live.”

She says, “My head’s on straight. Hell yeah. I got an agenda.” She wants immunity.

Dina hates the plyometrics stool. She doesn’t want to jump. I LOVE the stool. I love jumping up on stuff! So funny. Jillian says it makes your butt smaller. Cool. Dina walks out. Rudy asks, “What’s stopping you from doing it?” Dina doesn’t know. She can’t believe in herself. Rudy gives her a personal training session with Coach Mo looking on.  I love the Blue Team training the Black team. Rahooo!

Bob takes blue team to the grocery store. Of course they get some Jennie-O turkey products. We had some Jennie-O turkey chili tonight! Product placement from my very own house. They make wraps with some yummy roast turkey.

Next: black team heads up a hill. Shay says black team is the underdog, but they have bigger hearts. Alison: “good players help themselves, great players help each other.” It’s a relay race… where they are carrying one of their teammates. On a platform. They are playing for… videos from home. Tracey and Abby have to sit out.

Dina does not want to be on the platform but she does not want to be carried by others. Blue team carries Rebecca. Black team is carrying Dina. Rebecca says it is not like Cleopatra, eating grapes. Instead she is sweating and trying to hold on for dear life. They splash through mud. Amanda loses her mud in the shoe. Dina has to pick it up! She’s psyched. Blue team is starting to lose steam. Second mud pit, o boy. Blue team wins. Liz is happy but is still out for Tracey’s blood.

Holy crap. Rebecca gives her video to Dina. But Dina can’t take it because she has to get on the platform step on her own. She has to do it for herself. Blue team watches their videos. Of course, they cry. Tracey’s husband says he sleeps on the couch because he doesn’t want to be in the bed without her. He says, “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.” Is he going to be proud of her evil backstabbing ways?

Liz goes in to see Danny. She wants Danny to watch her video with her. But it’s HIS VIDEO! She switched her video for him. She is such a freaking peach. His whole family is losing weight: his wife and parents. I’m crying over Liz. He feels like a new man who can run a marathon. (watch what you say dude, they’ll make you do it)

Last chance workout. Jillian wants to build her team to work together. They’re pushing each other on these rolling platforms. Boy do I wish I was on that black team. Partner carries. Daniel’s all “yes ma’am!” Bob doesn’t like the team thing. He takes them to 24 hour fitness.  They do step class with weights, lunges. I want  to take that class too! Jillian is doing trust falls. Big fun!

Time for Dina to face the platform again. The whole team is on her. Jillian is wincing. What is the deal here? Jillian says everyone has their One Thing they can’t conquer. She says, “I have mine.” I am DYING to know. What is Jillian’s one thing that she can’t do? Very curious. I have a lot more than one. Jumping rope. Riding a bike in traffic, or on hills. Anything involving a ball.

Weigh In: Tracey loses 7. Nobody claps. Coach Mo loses 6. Allen loses 7. Rudy loses 8. Rebecca loses 7. Liz: 8. Go girl! Black team goes up. Abby loses 5, which is not shabby, but she is not happy. Dina loses 6. Amanda loses 6. Danny loses 10 and is off all his meds! Daniel loses 11! Go guy. He’s awesome. Shay is the last one up. She needs 8 pounds. She loses… SIXTEEN! Holy crapola!

Blue team has to choose one member of the Blue Team. NO BRAINER. Coach Mo is ready to sacrifice though. I can’t believe Liz voted for Mo!!!!! So did Rudy. And Tracey. And Rebecca. I can’t believe it!!! No way could I do it.

DAMN. Coach Mo goes home. I can’t believe it. He’s doing great. But you know? I do not agree with that vote. At. All.

 

 
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