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The Kitchen Sink

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Posted below is the blog I wrote today in it’s original form.
I wrote it as 1 blog.
Clearly it is 8 blogs.
For the brave and bored here it is in it’s original massiveness on the off chance you’re interested.
If not, I’ve posted them separately.
I recommend reading them separately or reading this one in multiple sittings.
Thanks for reading! :)

(Also if you figure out if there is a common theme do share. There probably isn't. This all just bubbled up simultaneously.)
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Everything And The Kitchen Sink
A Blog About Everything And Nothing.
Ten Blogs All At Once.
The. Longest. Blog. Ever.

Various Warnings

1. I’m about to ramble.
These were ALL of the thoughts that came to me today during my workout.
It was a long workout.

2. All of my blogs might be about the same thing, so if redundancy isn’t your gig… … … Seriously though, I keep notes on “percolating” blog ideas. When I read over them, some of the same ideas pop up over and over again in several of the future blogs. I haven’t looked over my notes today, but I might be about to write about everything I’ve ever thought of writing about.

3. This is not the redundancy I’m referring to, but it certainly applies: After 3 blogs in a row about clothes I am keeping the tradition alive and will make some gratuitous clothing commentary.
You’re welcome.

4. This will be absurdly long.

5. This is so long you might break your scroll bar.
Or your finger.

Ready. Set. Bloggeration...

I love top 10 lists. The first time I moved away from home, inspired by David Letterman and purely for my own amusement, I had a wipe board in my room that I would update with top ten lists I’d composed. I miss them. So I have decided to include one in my blog. Ready?

The Top Ten Titles This Blog Could Have Had…

10. All The Fame And Fortune Has Gone To My Head
9. My Own Wacky Little System
8. Transitions & Transformations
7. The Decision
6. Wonder Twin Powers Unite: Form of A Beast!
5. Goals Are Fertile
4. Holy Stabilizer Muscles Batman
3. I’ve Got More Than I’m Using
2. Everything I’ve Ever Thought About Anything
1. Seriously? Another Blog About Clothes?!?!

(I wound up using these thoughts as a sort of organizing springboard for my thoughts)

All The Fame And Fortune Has Gone To My Head

There are many things in life that I’d like to be really good at like playing the piano, playing the harmonica, playing chess, volleyball, cooking fast without recipes, applying makeup… the list is truly endless. I’m pretty sure we all have been granted some pretty amazing potential talents, but most of them take hard work and tons of practice to really develop. Some of those things, like most of the things on my list, I would like to develop further. Some I’ve taken action on, others none at all. One talent I seem to have, that I have not really worked on at all is writing. Unlike the list above, it’s not something I aspire to or even expend much if any internal energy on. Yet it seems to just happen. And I’ve been noticing as I’ve been writing these blogs how much I enjoy it.

A few weeks back a spark friend complimented me on my writing. I was kind of surprised by how much that compliment meant to me. It was one of the things that caused me to realize my enjoyment of it. A few days after that I was at a party and met and chatted with this one couple. Both of them were pretty creative and actively involved in pursuits around those talents including screen writing. I spoke with them separately. Each of them made some remark about me having a way with words and asked if I was a writer. I didn’t really answer the first inquiry. But by the time the second one happened, I thought back on my little blogging adventures, I took a deep breath, smiled and said “Why yes, yes I am a writer.” A week later I was surprised and somewhat validated with sparkpeople’s “Popular Blog Post”. I suppose I was previously acting like those folks who run but announce “I’m not a runner”.... Guilty! So here’s me going around confidently proclaiming “I’m a writer”. I would say that all the fame and fortune of getting a popular blog post has gone to my head, but it hasn’t. It just caused me to turn off my email notifications, because I obsessively check them anyway after writing a blog and well… my little Eh Dee Dee self couldn’t handle all of those notices! I really did enjoy sharing my mom and our story with everyone. So thank you for reading. :)

My Own Wacky Little System

I think the thing I like most about spark is that it has SOOOO many tools, yet I can pick and choose what I want to do. I have patched together my own little system. And it’s working. You may be surprised to know, despite my goal of wanting to lose 100 pounds or so, I’m not really dieting or counting calories at all. Well what is it I AM doing you ask? Not much. And yes, I’m losing weight slower than molasses. But I AM staying steady or trending toward losing. And that’s not nothing folks.

So what is my non-diet plan?

Overall, my plan is to make small changes.
Make them one at a time.
And make them permanent.

For me, the struggle with weight has less to do with overeating or eating poorly, though clearly those things are issues, than with my two bigger enemies: effectively and heathily dealing with stress AND life balance/ time management. When I’m stressed all good habits go out the window. And life being what life is stress happens. All of my major weight gains have occurred during seasons of stress. So I am really trying to make the changes slowly and steadily, to make them permanently a part of who I am so that when my boat gets rocked I don’t abandon ship if you catch my drift. And the time management thing: Planning meals and cooking are really overwhelming to me. I am more of a “free spirit” type when it comes to time/life management. This does not mix well with the sort of planning that healthy eating takes.

Sooo to answer the food question “What DO I do?”. Well so far I have only changed 3 things this year.
1. Stop ordering french fries with fast food meals.
2. Only buy sample size ice creams.
3. Drink me some water.

For the french fries thing, I haven’t restricted myself from going to fast food. I have a job where I am on the road a bit. If I don’t plan meals ahead and hunger strikes, I allow myself to eat fast food. I generally just get a value burger because it’s cheap and it’s food (okay, let’s not debate that last bit right now). But the french fries? They were not about a meal, they were all about the french fries. You know what I’m saying!

And the ice cream… Me and ice cream man… Shoot this hundred pounds might be one hundred percent ice cream! Back in the day, I used to live with a bunch of my girlfriends. All of us love ice cream. One of them, the most petite one, has what is in my mind, a strange zen like ability to eat just a few spoonfuls of ice cream straight from the tub and then put it back in the freezer. I bow in admiration. I have not the strength. Oddly enough, I can be perfectly happy with a small amount. But I can also mindlessly consume massive quantities. I’m not really into deprivation. Deprive me of something and all I do is think about it. Bad. Bad. Bad. So I don’t. My ice cream rule is this: I have to buy the sample size ice cream and never more than 2 per trip. Also I can have as many as I want but if it’s more thn two, I have to drag my carcass back to the store. I tell you what, I have never once this whole year gone back to the store. It has helped me avoid mindlessly eating large quantities. It has also helped me avoid stress consumption.

As for the water: Buy a water bottle with a straw. It will change your life. I swear.

Do I have more work to do? Sure. Will I get there? Yes.

The Decision

The hubs and I are going through a lot of changes in our situation right now. In terms of my positive health and fitness changes this has meant stepping back from exercise so that I could focus on some important projects. Despite the fact that my main personal gig is to “Do something every day”, I just did a 22 day stint of straight nothing. Didn’t lift a finger. During this 22 days I have reaped the benefits of my prior efforts. My weight has not gone up. In fact I’ve had my lowest weigh ins ever (since my December 2013 reboot). Despite the large time off, I wasn’t worried. I stayed mentally engaged in my goals even if I wasn’t working toward them as virgorously as I would like. And this is different from both my initial start on spark people in March of 2012 or my one time trying weight watchers in summer of 2009. It is different because I have made a crucial decision this time.

I have decided I will not give up.
Or maybe more accurately, I have decided I will keep getting back up.
No matter what.

I have decided that so thoroughly that the “time off” didn’t really shake me. There are a few factors that have contributed to the un-shakable nature of this decsion this time around. And I will surely elaborate on those in a future blog. But for the moment, I’d like to point out one major one:


So many people here on spark have overcome so much more, lost so much more, accomplished so much more. Seeing you do it has helped put a nail in the coffin of doubt that I could do it. You have inspired me. Truly. Thank you.

Wonder Twin Powers Unite

One of the best things that has happened since my December reboot is the unexpected cheerleaders that have come alongside me in the journey. I have never been much motivated by having “an accountability” partner. It leaves me feeling like I’m “in trouble” and like I’ve failed. But you know what two things really motivate me?

Tons and tons of gratuitous positive cheerleading and friendly competition.

For the boatloads of gratuitous positive cheerleading I have my friend Ellee to thank. She has overcome some major shizz. And has been a constant source of “You can do it” since I started. It has created a tremendous positive feedback loop for both of us. I want to encourage her, she wants to encourage me. And we do. And it’s great. She’s also had some non-time off time off lately. A couple of days ago she sent me a text with her get back on the horse plans. I can’t let that bus leave the station without me now can I? Thank you Ellee.

So previously I would have told you that I am not a competitive person, or that if I am that it is confined to board games… over which I can be ridiculous. Like I’ve-had-to-put-myself-in-time
-out level of ridiculous. That is until this past winter. My friend Judy and fellow sparker, mentioned to me that she was watching me rack up fitness minutes and was always trying to keep up. This one comment lead to us having a fitness minutes competition in March which helped inspire me to reach higher tougher goals. Little did I know how competitive I can be. I mean board games last an evening, but fitness minutes… that mess went on all month. And we ate up every second of it. Knowing that Judy was doing laps around her house made me go out and ride my bike or do an extra few reps at the gym. It was kind of magical and crazy how well that worked for both of us. So after my sort of fall off the wagon of the last 22 days, whose the person I gave a shout out to for motivation? Thank you Judy!

Seriously people.
Get yourself a buddy.
Find yo’self a wonder twin.
It will change your life. I swear.

And if you can’t find one. Be one.

Goals Are Fertile

Make some goals and they will give birth to more goals. Actually they are kinda like unneutered neighborhood cats. You’ll make some, chase after them and then before you know it you’ll make some more. And when you get serious about making specific goals the process will keep repeating itself.

It’s kind of amazing really.

Here’s an example: My initial goal of the year was to do 1000 fitness minutes per month. After I made it to two thousand during the shortest month of the year, I suddenly found myself upping my monthly goal. Was I insane? Now I didn’t make 2000 in April and I’m not going to make it in May. And I’m not sure if I’ll reach my goal of 24,000 minutes for the year. But I’m keepking the goal. I can’t let it go. And now, despite having 22 days of inactivity, and despite many life challenges, something is pushing me to try and shoot for 1000 minutes this month. I haven’t had a month less than 1000 this whole year. I can’t imagine it really. I remember back when 500 seemed like HUGE. I remember back when I wondered if I’d ever make it to 1000.

There’s some sort of interaction that takes place between you and the goal. The process of shooting for it changes you. And when you reach a goal and realize what you are capable of, it makes you want to push for more.

Goals man. Seriously.

Holy Stabilizer Muscles Batman!

So when I lifted weights today, I did the same amount of weight I was doing when I last lifted 22 days ago. Usually I’d let off some but I decided to “Beast It!” today as my hubs and his friend say. It was an upper body / upper extremity day. I do the smaller muscle groups of triceps and biceps last. Today I also decided to do free weight biceps instead of the circuit machine. Insert title…

Holy Stabilizer Muscles Batman!!!

I knew this in my head but now I know it in my arms. The difference between the circuit / universal machine and doing free weights is the insanity of all of those other muscles kicking in to stabilize your body while you lift that weight. As the kiddies would say: It was cray cray!

This is random. But I really enjoy lifting weights. I have no guns to speak of yet. But I will. Or maybe I do and they are just buried under the fluff. I must say I am pretty impressed with my hubs efforts of late. He’s been “Beast Mode On” at the gym lately. Though I must admit it’s a little irksome to watch him piling on muscle with the speed of a ticked off Dr. David Banner. How I wish jealousy was in fact a green eyed monster! ;)

Anyway. I’m back at it. Guns blazing.

I’ve Got More Than I’m Using

This might be one of my new motivating thoughts. I know every time I dig deep and even when I just scratch the surface a little more vigorously I always seem to find more.

Over the fall I was doing this gym routine I called “my morning triathlon”. It was kind of ridiculous but not hard. I rode my bike 3.5 miles to the gym. Did 25 minutes on the elliptical. Swam 10 laps. Rode my bike home. It might sound like a lot. And I suppose it is. The thing about it is I’m slow. I’m pretty much the slowest pedlar, slowest elllipticizer, slowest lap swimmer, slowest everything. You can do pretty much anything if you do it slow enough. How do I know I am that slow? Well besides seeing everyone and their grandmother lapping me, at the time I could do all of that and not feel tired afterwards. Despite the lack of spectacularness about my speed, I do feel like there is something there. I think there is something inside of me that might make a decent endurance athlete.

I see how much I’ve pushed myself this year. I’ve seen how much I’ve grown. But I know there is more. I know I am not all that I will be.

Today on the elliptical I was able to summon “more”.

I looked around at some of the people in my gym. Many of them have canes or visible disabilities. It is apparent from looking at their bodies that they must have physical struggles. Yet there they are pushing on. I strongly suspect that most of them are successfully staving off further physical issues by their efforts. I had this feeling today that I was surrounded by super heros. It was kind of awesome.

You can’t get past a barrier unless you provide more force than the barrier. Every time we mow through an obstacle we did it because we found “more”.

I think back on some of the time I’ve wasted in life or the times I had more but wasn’t using it, wasn’t operating at a fulerl capacity. I want to burn brightly. I want to be used up. I want to experience the fullness of what my body can do. And I know I’ve got more.

Seriously? Another Blog About Clothes?!?!

So I’ve written my last 3 blogs about clothes. Okay, so they haven’t been just about clothes, but clothes are playing a major role in each one. And yet there are still more thoughts and stories surrounding clothes.

I don’t know why.
Apparently clothes are a big deal.

So I’ve got more dress dreams...

When my hubs and I got married, money was tight and we had a group of friends take pictures. I am so grateful for all of the shots they got of our special day, but I still wish we had some professional pics done. I think I was about 220 when I got my wedding dress and about 230 on our wedding day. I keep thinking that as I head back down, when I pass through that size and weight again that we should do a professional shoot or two. Who knows if all the variables of life, mainly time and finances, will align to make that a possibility (Hubs is in a demanding program in college and photo shoots aren’t really in the time allowance). But I keep hoping. We’ll see.

You may have noticed that I have a list of “dream goals” on my sparkpage. One of them is to wear what I call my mom’s “Bermuda dress” to my hubby’s college graduation in May of 2016. There are two dresses, a blue one and a green one. Mom wore them on a cruise to Bermuda back in her early twenties. They are totally fab. This is sort of a crazy goal. Prior to my spark reboot in December 2013 and “The Decision” that went along with it, I have made fitting into one of these 2 dresses a goal several times in the past. But I’ve never made it. They are small. I’m talking estimated size 6 small. I fit into the blue one circa nineteen-ninety-cough-cough, but since then it’s been a dream. And for clarity’s sake, I’ve never fit into a size 6 in real life other than the couple times I pranced around the house wearing the blue one. Every time something big is going to happen in the future, a milestone age, a friends wedding, whatevs, I think to myself:

“Self, I’m going to try to fit into those dresses by such and such an event.”
It’s never happened.
And I’ve never been so far away from it.

Who knows if I’ll ever make it. But it’s okay. I got a back up dress. It’s a size 8. Yes this is also potentially crazy since I’ve never really owned size 8’s either. (I mentioned these were under “dream” goals right?) Though I think I might have once been a size 8 even though I never had any size 8 clothes. I went through a rather long phase when I was younger were everything I purchased was way oversized. I guess the 80’s left there mark on my fashion psyche for a time. No worries though. I have a back up for my back up and this one is not in the “dream goals” category, but the actual goals. It’s a size 14. I’m currently a size 20 or 22…(who knows with plus size potato sack sizing). Certainly at my molasses slow pace of weight loss I can get to a size 14 in two years. Right?

Anyway. There it is. More thoughts about clothes.

Told you it was the longest blog ever.

(If you click on the clothes one separately it has pictures of the dresses ;)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Fantastic blog. Slow and steady wins every time. I think you are going to be just fine, and in that dress sooner than you think x
    2094 days ago
    You don't really believe I read that entire blog, do you? The first hundred paragraphs or so were fun, though. You are a good writer.
    2198 days ago
    Not too long to read in one sitting! Awesome blog my friend! emoticon
    2201 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14518936
    Some of this is hilarious! I totally get where you're at!
    Love catching up with you.
    Keep on keepin' on! (I think this needs to be an emoticon!!)
    2203 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/23/2014 9:21:55 AM
    Ha.. you are so funny. My daughter is like you.. has so much in her list of things I would like to do in this life. As her Mom I could have told her from about 7 years old what her college major should be.. and I did but she reviewed the options and dabbled in them all. Fingers crossed she is on her last major... cause this is the one I knew she was made to do. I saved some of your blog for later.. as suggested.
    2203 days ago
    Not just a writer... a writer on exercise endorphins... watch out, Spark World! emoticon

    Thanks for sharing your deep and random thoughts!
    2204 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    You are really good at this writing stuff. I read the first one separately, then got the email and read the rest in the kitchen sink. Very engaging.
    2204 days ago
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