The Double Life of Elle

The Secret Confessions of an Extra Lusty Broad in a Stick Figure World.

Blog Yourself Thin February 20, 2009

Every time I have tried to lose weight in the past, I do great for a couple of weeks, then fuck up and fizzle out.  Then a year later, when I get fed up with the fat again, I always think, “If only I would have stuck with it last year, I wouldn’t be in this position now.”  I joined WeightWatchers.com last year in January probably feeling this way.  I fucked up/fizzled out (the last time I tracked my weight was March 17), but my original stats are still on my weight tracking page.  My initial weight last year was 305 lbs, my highest weight ever.  According to my WW Weight Tracker I have lost 18.4 lbs, which sounds great, but on January 15 I made a fresh start so I’m sticking with my weight loss numbers from that time.  I could have cleared my old weights on WWs but I wanted to preserve “the struggle.” 

It took me a whole year to find the right mindset for this challenge.  Now I’m not looking back with regret.  There was no way I could have lost a significant amount of weight last year, short of contracting a horrible illness.  Emotionally, I was not ready to deal with some of the issues that kept me fat.  I wasn’t ready to change my lifestyle, I just wanted my life to magically change.

Next year, I will not be saying, “If only——.”  And you, Lusties, are my witnesses. :) 

So I usually post 3 times a week (M, W, and F), but I’m thinking of adding a 4th post to the week, for food talk.  Recently, I have decided to try a brand new (healthy) recipe every week, and maybe the 4th post can be concerned with that.  I think blogging about cooking will help keep me motivated to actually do it.

And speaking of which, this whole blogging thing has been a truly essential part of my weight loss.  One of those cliched weight loss tips you hear all the time is to “keep a diary” to “work through your emotions.”  Well, that totally helps, but what really lights a fire under your ass is publishing your private diary for the entire world to see.  The single most important thing I have done to get this weight loss thing started, has been blogging.  I have a routine: every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I curl up with my laptop on the couch, organize my emotions,  and type away.  This blog has given me the structure that I crave, and it’s been a great way for me to truly see my own progress. 

So if you don’t have a blog and you want to lose weight, I suggest that you at least try it out.  And for those of you that do have weight loss blogs, I invite you to promote your blog in the comments.  Just write a little synopsis and leave a link.  Weight loss/Health related blogs only please.  I’m always looking for new blogs to read and new people to connect with and I need to add to my blogroll. 

Alright, Lusties.  I will see you Monday! 

Oh, yeah…I lost 2.2 lbs this week!  Woohoo!

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Fat Girl in a Little Chair February 13, 2009

Well, this week I really impressed myself.  Losing 2 lbs when I’m this bloated and crampy is just shy of a miracle.  I know that I can’t lose EVERY week, but I’m glad a gain didn’t happen this time.  I’m already a little emotional this week, and that might have done me in.  Who knows?  I’m down to 288.8 lbs, and when I tracked my new weight on WW’s, I had to recalculate my daily points allowance.  Before I was allowed 39 and now it’s 36.  That makes me feel great!  It really feels like I’m getting somewhere now.  Eighteen lbs to go to meet my first weight loss goal.  Go me!

Last night, my BFF and I went to see Jason Mraz in concert.  What an amazing vocalist!  I enjoy JM’s music and consider myself a fan, but his live performance was even better than his albums.  I am floored by his musical talent.  Seriously.  And he’s just so…adorable.  ;) 

I love going to concerts.  I do not love the itty-bitty chairs I have to stuff my ass into.  I also do not love sitting next to strangers and having my fat rolls flop onto their side of the arm rest.  Luckily, the seats at the concert were relatively roomy, and the stranger next to me was super skinny and all cuddled up with her boyfriend on the other side.  But of course we had to stand up a million times to let people squeeze by to find their seats.  Going to any kind of event in an arena/auditorium or even sometimes at the movies, can make a fat girl feel her fattest.  I feel like a giant bowling ball rolling through thousands of pins when I’m in a big crowd like that.  And when I have to slide into my seat kind of sideways (you know, you have to lower one cheek in the seat, and then squish the other one in to sit down), then I notice a Kate Moss look-a-like next to me only taking up half a seat–well, let’s just say, it doesn’t really help my self-esteem. 

I always try and talk myself into forgetting my body issues and just having a good time.  Who cares, right?  About 50 % of the time, I manage to do that.  The rest of the time, I start obsessing about my bulk and comparing myself to the thousands of strangers around me.  I really need to get a handle on the negative self-talk. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  See you Monday, Lusties.

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When Nature Calls February 11, 2009

I am dreading tomorrow’s weigh-in the way I used to dread lab practical exams in college and the way I used to dread chair tryouts in high school (yes, I was a band nerd).  Maybe it’s because for 3 straight weeks I have been losing so it’s only a matter of time before I gain a half pound or two.  Maybe it’s because I am afraid that if I see a gain, I’ll hop right off the wagon and eat myself into oblivion.  Maybe it’s because I got my stupid period yesterday and am retaining a large body of water. 

Yesterday, I also (FINALLY!) got the DVDs I ordered from Amazon.  Last night I did the “morning” pilates workout.  I would give it a B-.  It wasn’t  super-challenging, but the instructor really wants you to focus on correct breathing, something I didn’t even know that I was doing wrong in other Pilates workouts.  I definitely felt my core engaging when I got the breathing down.  There are 2 other workouts on the DVD which I didn’t even get a chance to watch, so maybe they’re a bit more challenging.  I also watched the Yoga video, but haven’t actually done the poses yet.  But it looks like a great morning routine to help limber up the body. 

That’s really the main reason why I wanted these Extra Lusty DVDs: to gain flexibility.  When I wake up in the morning, I can barely get out of bed.  Everything hurts, and I never feel rested.  My body feels like it’s gone through a trash compactor in the night.  My bones crack for ages. When I try and stretch my calves by flexing my foot, I get Charlie Horses.  Standing up in the morning and putting all my weight on my feet KILLS.  I am so stiff upon rising, that I have to limp to the bathroom.  I feel like an old lady. 

I know that doing Plus Size Pilates and Just My Size Yoga isn’t going to burn nearly as many calories as taking a spin class, but I need to condition my body before I start working out hardcore.  I will NOT let myself get injured this time.  I will NOT get shin splints and let them keep me from enjoying my workouts. I will NOT have to limp my way around the walking track because of a twisted ankle.  Don’t misunderstand me, I am not afraid of the pain of working out.  I enjoy feeling that burn in my butt and abs, and that heady, sweaty endorphin rush.  But there’s a difference between coming away from a work out and feeling that you’ve accomplished something and feeling that you might have torn something. 

In other news, I missed most of The Biggest Loser last night.  Thank goodness for FatBridesmaid’s Recap.  Since Joelle is out of the house, I’ve already found new people in the house to hate.  Well, hate is a strong word.  I find some people in the house annoying.  Laura of the Green team pisses me off to no end.  I’m so glad Jillian was saying all the things that I was thinking about her.  I enjoy her teammate Tara though.  Yeah, she’s probably a bitch, but she’s an awesome competetor and she’s not a complainer like “Cupcake.”  And the Yellow team.  How freakin’ annoying are they?!   Again Jillian was spot on with her assessment of Mandi before Mandi’s husband and kids showed up on the ranch.  It was a distraction for both team members.  They should both just go home.  Everyone on the Ranch has a family (granted, not all have children, but some do), but Yellow is the only team letting homesickness get in the way of changing their lives.   

And on one final note, Fatbridesmaid just blogged about Lent and her plans to exercise everyday for 40 days.  This has got me thinking about what I should give up for Lent (it starts on Ash Wednesday, Feb 25).  Giving up laziness and excuses like Fatbridesmaid, sounds pretty appealing.  Technically there are 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter but those 6 Sundays aren’t a part of the Days of Lent, so I would probably use those days as rest days.  If anyone else plans on making a Lenten sacrifice, do tell.  (BTW, I’m not Catholic, so don’t let your religion or non-religion hold you back from participating.)

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Fat Pics February 9, 2009

Filed under: emotional meltdown — thedoublelifeofelle @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was…emotional.  My PMS-y hormones made me morph into SuperBitch–the villainess hell-bent on destroying everything in her path.  I tore SH a new asshole Saturday…FOR NO REASON!  I was just frustrated and needed someone to blame.  I know I hurt his feelings (he got a little choked up) but he took it in stride like he always does (which makes me feel even more guilty).  When we argue, and I realize I have hurt his feelings, my anger deflates and I am immediately apologetic.  I was roaring for a fight this weekend.  I wanted us to yell and scream.  That’s how arguments went in my house growing up, and as an adult, I don’t feel like anything gets resolved until there’s a certain level of loudness to the proceedings (I know this is completely irrational.  I know it’s much more emotionally healthy to argue without all the drama, but I have no idea how).  I learned to handle disagreements that way and I almost need the catharsis.   SH and I managed to have fabulous make-up sex, and SH isn’t even slightly pissed at me (in fact, he’s out in the garage right now fixing my car).  I still feel pretty guilty though.  When will I learn to keep my mouth shut?  When will I learn a constructive way to vent my feelings without hurting the people I love the most?  Maybe I should make the time to blog on the weekends to relieve some extra pressure.

Well, I managed to take some pictures of myself, and I managed to figure out how to post them (you can also find them at the top of the page under the Extra Lusty Pictures tab).  It’s funny…I have been avoiding cameras for as long as I can remember.  I hate being faced with undeniable proof of my obesity.  And I think this has contributed to my lack of “weight awareness.”  I heard at a WW’s meeting long ago that overweight people tend to underestimate their size, while normal weight people tend to overestimate their size.  At the time, I thought it was bull-honkey because I’m constantly thinking about how similar I look to a beached whale.  It’s hard for me to tie my shoes because I have several rolls of fat preventing me from bending over without turning red in the face.  I am aware that I’m fat. 

BUT I avoid full length mirrors, I avoid having pictures taken of myself, I avoid looking at pictures of myself.  When I shop for clothes, I rarely try them on, because of all that fluorescent lighting and those 3-way mirrors.  I see other extra lusty ladies out and about, and I’m constantly thinking, “Am I really that big?  I can’t be.  She’s definitely bigger than me.”  Because I have avoided looking at myself, I have no true sense of my actual size.  I have kept myself in denial.  When I was cropping my pics to post on this blog, I couldn’t believe how large I was.  I really didn’t think I was that fat.  It’s the first time in quite a while, that I took a full body shot without hiding behind something or someone.  The reality of my size, and how far I have to go to look just “overweight” and not “morbidly obese” is more than a little depressing. 

I didn’t really want to post the pics, but I HAD to.  This blog is all about being honest with myself (and you!).  And hopefully, in the future, these pics will serve to remind me how far I’ve come.

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Weigh in #3 and the Problem With Exercise February 6, 2009

Filed under: goals,weigh-in — thedoublelifeofelle @ 11:51 am
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So in case you haven’t noticed…I’m down 2.2 lbs this week!  That brings my total to 9.8 lbs gone for good!  I have also added a ticker to my FatStats page that is tracking my short-term goal of losing 10% of my starting weight.  I’m not sure I want it there, but it will do for now.  I’m making it a point to take pictures of myself this weekend, and hopefully I will be able to post them here, so be looking for those sometime next week.

I still haven’t started a formal exercise routine, but I have been trying to move more (i.e. be less lazy).  And I finally purchased those exercise DVDs from Amazon I mentioned in this post, but haven’t received them yet.  SexyHusband and I have also been shopping around for treadmills and hope to purchase one after we do our taxes.  SH suggested a particular treadmill that was a little cheaper than the one I want to buy.  Little does he realize, one of the reasons I want to buy the more expensive one is that the weight limit on it is 350 lbs as opposed to the 275 lb limit on the cheaper one.  And yes, hopefully I’ll be in the 270’s in no time, but one of my long-term goals is to start running so I may as well buy the treadmill that can take more of a beating (plus it has a much longer warranty).  If anyone has any treadmill recommendations, please recommend away! 

I do not like exercising in front of people.  Logically, I know that this is stupid…but I get SO embarrassed when I’m working out in a gym or when I’m taking a walk outside.  This is one of the reasons I fail to stick to my exercise routines long-term.  I started walking around a few blocks of my neighborhood with my dog last year, and I freaked out every time I saw someone out in their yards or when a car would drive by.  Irrational, right?! 

My Sister-in-Law, just joined a gym and mentioned that she wanted her friend to go with her but she refused.  The friend in question is Extra Lusty and I told SIL, “It’s very hard for a fat girl to walk into a gym with a skinny girl and workout in front of everyone.  The shame is unbearable for some people.”  She’s another one that doesn’t quite get the the Fat Mentality, but her heart is in the right place.  She wanted to help her friend get the courage to go the gym by offering to go with her.    

Although not everyone struggles with the negative thinking as much as I do.  Kelly at Choosing Losing has a healthy self-esteem and can look at her body rationally and say, “I need to work on that” instead of “I hate myself” (she wrote a great post about self-image that I linked to).  Good for you, Kelly!  One of my goals is to reach that level of emotional health. 

I hope everyone had successful weigh-ins this week, and even if you didn’t, don’t fall into a funk of self-loathing!  Have a great weekend, Lusties!

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Fat Mentality February 4, 2009

Filed under: Fat Mentality — thedoublelifeofelle @ 11:32 am
Tags: , , , , ,

For the past 3 weeks, my weight loss journey has been consuming me (in a good way).  I have found a determination that I didn’t know I was capable of.  This is the longest I’ve “had my heart in” any kind of diet.  Constantly, I think about all the things that I’ll be able to do when I lose this weight: like getting out of bed in the morning without a painful struggle, going to a restaurant and not having to squeeze myself into a booth, and not having to pay a fortune for cute bras and jeans.   

But I can’t imagine myself thinner.  I told that to my BFF (best friend forever, for those of you who didn’t write those things on your binders  or add it as a “closing” in notes to your BFF in middle school).  

Her exact words were, “Not with an attitude like that!” 

She missed my point completely.  She used to be a Skinny Bitch (I mean, like size 4 skinny) and gained a lot of weight (100 lbs) over the past 5 years.  She has lived most of her life a Skinny Bitch, while I have spent my entire life being Extra Lusty.  Trying to imagine myself thin, is like trying to imagine a different nose on my face.   Plus, I have this fat girl mentality I’ve had for as long as I can remember:  before going out anywhere, I think about all the possible ways my fat is going to cause me problems or embarrassment….like breaking a folding chair at a cookout (happened!), slipping and falling (I can’t completely chalk that up to being fat, because I am such a klutz, but everyone who witnesses it just sees a fat girl rolling around on the ground), and worst of all, navigating my way through a crowded bar.  BFF still has the skinny bitch mentality and these kinds of concerns don’t even cross her mind. 

Does anyone else feel this way?  Or DID anyone feel this way before they lost the weight?  Does the “fat girl mentality” ever really go away?? 

Well, The Biggest Loser changes Extra Lusties into Skinny Bitches!  I didn’t get to watch the whole show last night, but I did get to see the weigh-in of the At-Homers.  I was yelling at the T.V. when the green team weighed in.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for Green, but Laura needs to cut the whining and crying.  And like FatBridesmaid mentioned on her LiveBlog, I’m glad Jillian called out Aubrey on the Yellow team for using that tired “I’ve gained muscle” line when she only lost 2 lbs in 30 days (FatBridesmaid hosts a LiveBlog discussion during the airing of The Biggest Loser, and also posts a play-play synopsis of each episode).   Later in the show, Aubrey said that she worked out 4-5 hrs a day when she was home and that her diet was the culprit.  I find this hard to believe.  I was sad that Carla had to go home because of Joelle.  Carla worked so hard and she wanted it so bad…unfortunately her partner totally screwed her over.  It looks like it cost them their friendship too.   My BFF talks about applying for BL all the time, and she has said that she would end up at her partner’s throat if they weren’t working hard enough because she is so competitive (think Tara of the Green team).  Since I enjoy being her friend,  I think I’ll pass. ;)   

I will be weighing in for the third time tomorrow, and I won’t lie to you…I am feeling the pressure.  This blogging thing, gives a person A LOT of accountability.  See you all Friday and have a very happy Hump-Day!

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the family that weighs together…ends up at each other’s throats January 19, 2009

I haven’t really told anybody in my “real life” that I’m “on a diet,”  for several reasons.  Mostly because (I hate to admit this, but afterall these are my secret confessions) I am afraid of failing.  Let’s face it, I have been down the dieting path before with other people witnessing me lose a few pounds then gorge myself into oblivion come Easter.  While this time I have a different kind of determination, I am not yet ready to explain myself to my family, friends, and co-workers.  Plus I don’t want them feeling obligated to comment on any lost lbs or if my clothes are fitting loosely.  When I do start losing weight, I want people to notice on their own.  That would be much more motivating than if they were all examining me under a microscope everyday. 

I have managed to tell a few people, including my sister-in-law.  We are about as close as real sisters.  She and I made a run to the market on Saturday and she surprised me by saying that she, too, had signed up for Weight Watchers Online.  SIL isn’t nearly as overweight as I am, but she has a few pounds to lose.  I told her that I was cutting down on all that prepackaged, processed, sugar-filled junk food that was staring us in the face at the supermarket.  Her approach consists more of frozen ready-meals, 100 calorie packs, Lunchables, and prepackaged pudding–so pretty much the opposite of my “diet.”  I try not to judge, but I can’t help it.  I definitely don’t say too much, because I’m a good 100 lbs heavier than her and what right do I have telling her how to eat.  Hopefully though, my healthy food choices will pay off and maybe influence her to make better decisions.

The first time I joined WW (the actual meetings), I joined with SIL.  I thought it would be great to have someone to go with, someone to share support with.  Wroooonnng!  The first week I spent counting points like a Nazi, eating loads of fruits and vegetables, etc.  SIL spent it eating things out of a box.  That first weigh-in she lost more than 10 lbs.  I lost 3.5.  I was absolutely devastated.  I couldn’t even be happy about my own loss.  I was pissed and wondering why I bothered to buy healthy, wholesome ingredients and painstakingly measured and prepared everything, when apparently the easiest way to lose weight was to let Lean Cuisine cook all your meals for you.  That weigh-in pretty much did me in, and after about 8 weeks of paying 13 bucks a pop to stand in line, get weighed, and listen to other people gripe about food I stopped going.  SIL and I stopped going together after 2 or 3 weeks, because her consistently high weight loss numbers and my paltry 1, 2, or even 0 lbs every week wasn’t very motivating.  Her smug attitude and her little hints that “some people just don’t work as hard as others and it shows on the scale” didn’t help things either.  I hated myself for not losing.  I hated myself for being so jealous that she was.  And I really hated the fact that my choice to eat so healthy didn’t pay off immediately.  It’s not that I didn’t want her to achieve her weight loss goals, because I did want her to find success.  I just wanted her to achieve them my way.  I’m a Leo, what can I say. ;)   

Now that my focus is not only losing poundage, but living a healthier lifestyle, low weigh-in numbers aren’t going to discourage me as much as they did the last time.  Slow and steady is the best way to lose, and if I would have stuck with the WW plan the first time, all of those 1-2 lb /week losses would have already put me at my goal weight by now.  Even though I have this mature new focus, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be exchanging stats with SIL.  I don’t want to risk sounding judgmental and bossy.  I think the best way for us to support each other in our endeavors is to just maintain our close relationship.  We hang out all the time and gab about everything from the inconsequential to the seriously emotional.  As much fun as we have together, it’s taken us a while to figure out that delicate balance between just enough time spent together and way too much.  And I think “dieting together” would totally cross that line, as it did last time around.   Although, she has asked if we could cook dinner together once or twice a week.  I have no problem with that, but I’m pretty sure she won’t be interested in anything I cook, and I definitely don’t want to eat a box of reduced fat Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Powder.  Perhaps I can think of this opportunity as a challenge to find a recipe that she’ll eat without picking out half the ingredients.         

Interestingly enough, my mother-in-law seems to be having the same reaction she did the last time SIL and I joined WW.  I happen to work with my MIL ( a thing I do not suggest doing), and the other day at work she had a giant package of peanut butter cups she was eating one by one.  One of our co-workers was going to lunch and asked if either of us wanted something.  I declined saying that I had brought my own lunch from home.  After our co-worker left, MIL asked if I wanted a peanut butter cup (she totally did this because I NEVER bring my lunch and she knew that since I had, I was on a diet.  this is not me being paranoid, this is how MIL operates…TRUST ME!).

“No, thanks,” I said not worrying about her agenda.

“Are you dieting, Elle?”  she asked already knowing the answer. 

“I’m cutting out junk food.”  

“Well, good for you.” 

She then left her open package of peanut butter cups at my desk–ALL DAY–and stopped by every hour or so to eat one!   She also went to McDonald’s and got a Quarter-Pounder meal, and ate it in front of me.  Hello?!  Sabotage, much??  I was good though.  I ate my meal from home and barely looked at the PB cups.  But I could still smell those fries.  Mmmmm.

She did the same thing last time.  MIL loves junk food, but I’ve never seen her eat so much as when someone in the family is dieting.  SIL asked her to join WW with us when we first joined back in 2006 and MIL got pretty angry.  I’m not sure if she feels like she’ll be left behind in Fatland if we succeed,  if she’s just angry at herself for not doing something about her excess weight, or maybe she just feels ganged up on. 

Of course, Sexy Husband knows about my diet.  He’s tall and good-looking and thin and has never once made me feel bad about my size.  Not one stray remark, not one “are you sure you should eat that?”, not one single word about my double-digit dress size.   He is unbelievably supportive in everything I do and has been a great cheerleader so far.  He is in the “adolescent psychology” field and knows a thing or two about low self-esteem.   I have to admit, sometimes I think he’s too good to be true.  I’m afraid that one of these days, he’ll wake up next to me and realize that he can do so much better.  Hot, skinny girls flirt with him all the time.  They see me and all my bulk and can’t possibly imagine I’m with him.  They just assume I’m some kind of lesbian comrade.  Either my husband is really good at checking out girls on the sly, or he just doesn’t do it, because I’ve never caught him eyeing anyone but me.

So right now, my support system includes SH (sexy husband), myself, this little ol’ blog, and in a vague sense, SIL.  I’m hoping that as time passes, I can widen that circle and not feel the need to keep SIL at arm’s length. I’m also hoping that MIL will stop trying to derail my efforts and be inspired by SIL’s and my progress instead of being upset and offended.