Posts from the ‘Diet, Exercise, Etc.’ Category

Getting Used To Life Not Being Fair

I was walking through the Kroger yesterday after work and beings it’s Holiday Time, there was a voice on the speaker trying to get people to donate to Second Harvest.
Second Harvest seems to do really good work in feeding the people of Nashville when times are hard. I’ve participated in their various food drives through the years and am always glad to support them and would encourage anybody to help them out.

I could not help but giggle though when I heard the thing on the speaker about giving to Second Harvest. The voice said “Do you know 1 in 8 Tennesseans are at risk for hunger?”

Really? How does that jive with the news earlier this year that Tennessee jumped from 4th place to 2nd place in the nation as the Fatty State?

I am not a statistician nor am I good with numbers but somebody please explain who is right here??? Who is at risk for “hunger?” Define hunger”. Usually, the people I see whipping out the foodstamps at the grocery store do not look like they’ve missed any meals.

The whole thing just made me laugh.

When it comes to matters of a weighty sort, it irritates me to no end because now, I’m at a point where FINALLY, I do not obsess over how I am not as good as this person or that one because I’m not thin. I have birthed 3 children and although I’m not what I think to be big as a house, the weight charts say I am.

I now can boast having some high blood pressure to contend with. Everytime I’m at the doctor, they point out I need to lose weight. I especially love when the doctor’s nurse (who is about one and a half of me put together) calls and says, in regards to my blood pressure management to “Reduce your weight.” Right on, Honey. I’m so encouraged by you since you are so slim and trim yourself. It’s just effed up.

For years, I beat myself up and always felt as though I were inferior to others. The day I married in 1989, my dress was a size 8. AN 8! Yet, in my head, I thought I was as big as a house.

It might’ve been because several months before that, the first time I went out to eat with my future in laws, we were walking through Rivergate Mall. My then future and former sister in law, who is Japanese and weighed all of 100 lbs, and the rest of them, stopped to get a cookie at the cookie shop.

I did not desire a cookie at the moment. At that point, I was not big on sweets. My then future, now former mother in law asked me if I wanted a cookie. I said no. She said to me, with a sort of “Bless Your Heart” tone…”Yeah, I guess you have to really watch what you eat.”

WTF? That was June of 1989. I weighed 130 lbs and fluctuated between a size 6 and 8. I was also 20 years old and I wanted her to approve of me. I was convinced I was a lard ass.

She further convinced me of my heftiness a year after I married her son.

I ran into her one morning right before Christmas, again at the mall. She said “I want to get you some clothes. But not jeans. You don’t look good in jeans.”

Ahh…the Good Ol’ Days….nothing says “love” and “acceptance” quite like your mother in law reminding you you aren’t Twiggy.

I know I need to exercise regularly. I know this. I know I need to eat smarter. I know I have to think about my health, especially now that I’m over 40 and I don’t want to be 75 -80 years old and being one of those that say “If I’d have known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” 

It especially hits home because the last few days, my thoughts have been with a wonderful family I’ve known since I was a small child who are, at this writing, sitting by the bedside of their 44 year old son and brother in a hospice in Ft. Smith, Arkansas,  waiting for him to die as a result of a brain stem stroke he suffered last week.

John was a good school chum of my sister. We went to church with them when we were really young. I was in Sunday School with his brother and later in the Franklin band with him and his future wife. As an adult, their father was my upline boss. They are such great folks and I’m so heartbroken for them with what they are going through. He was not what I’d call huge but he did enjoy food, wine and life in general. Probably too much.

In your 20’s and 30’s, you eat, drink, smoke all you want and it doesn’t seem to have a lot of effect on your body, at the time. Somehow, though, you cross that 40 Line, and you suddenly have to, like, THINK about all that.

These are things in my brain today…

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Interesting Pickshas Of The Week

This house was the first house on the street in my subdivision for probably 30 years.  They carted that sucka off and moved it away somewhere earlier this week.  The fact that houses can be scooped up, stuck on a truck and moved elsewhere is very fascinating to me.

Even more fascinating to me was looking on the Property Value Data and seeing what that house and the property it sat on sold for….$300,000.  It sat on the corner of Creekwood and New Shackle Island Rd. just across from the Glenbrook complex (where Target, Kohls, etc. are).  I wish we coulda bought that place when we moved here in 1996. 

I do hope that nice, middle-aged couple that lived there, for God knows how long, got ’em something really nice to shack up in. 

#2 has taken an interest in being a Dadgum Songwriter of late.  He’s even making his own sheet music.  Now, I do not know the reason he was so inspired by Jimmy Martin to write a song about him, but, I do think this right here was pretty dang creative of him. 

This is my pal, Landon.  Now if that’s not the best pacifier ever made, then my name is not Seesta Smiff. 

They had a Zumbathon at the Y last night.  Your Sista Zumba‘d for about 3 hours straight.  It was a fundraiser for the We Build People campaign and I’m telling you what, I had a big ol’ time (with Holly, Diana and Amanda).  This is me, Holly and Diana before the Zumba-ing commenced.  We was too tuckered out when we were done to take an After picture. 

 You talk about a fun way to exercise…that Zumba is really, really fun.  It’s not like you’re working out.  It’s like you’ve gone out dancing, for real.   I’ve gotten so into Spinning that I hadn’t been to a Zumba class in about a month.  We had us a good time, even though some of those moves, are not meant for 39 year old wimmin, such as myseff, who have given birth thrice.  I’m getting better at the shakin’ thing.  ‘Fo long, I’m gonna be able to do that hip shakin’ thing that Shakira girl does.

In Which Your Sista Discusses Her Working Out and Stuff

Now…for those of you out there who can run and bike like batshit crazy and stuff (:cough CLC :cough) these numbers will probably make you laugh.  But, for me, this is a record.   I know I would come in at the back of the line in a 5K but I’ve never had time like that before. I got tired by the end, but, I was pretty tickled for getting that first mile in in 11 minutes, thankyavurymuch.

I ran with my buddy Lance tonight.   Ol’ Lance is a good running coach.  He might arta look into taking up athletics on a more full-time basis.  I so dig his running mix.  It has really good music on it.  I had downloaded another treadmill training running thing and the music was the kind of stuff the Manchild listens to….screaming banging guitars or that techno-pop stuff that my stomach just can’t handle.   Lance’s thing has what they describe as “Alternative”.  I dug it. 

I’ve been going to Spinning classes the last coupla weeks and hello????  I love it!  I didn’t think I would but I love that Spinning. 

 

Chuck And Coke

I wish I had some groovy prize to give to my 100,000th Site Meter hit.  I can’t tell by the IP address exactly whom that lucky reader was.  If I could, I’d….give you a hug.  Yeah.  That’s it.

I did get a hug today from one of my most favoritest people EVAH.

That would be my good, good, GOOD friend, Brenda.

Brenda and I survived about 2 years in the trenches, working for perhaps the most slave drivinest woman you could ever meet.   That woman, as good a person as she is, nearly drove me and Brenda (and a few others) to become drankin’ people.  

I’ve got lots of funnies about Brenda.  She’s one of those people that is hysterical and doesn’t always mean to be.  She’s from Crossville and says “Twicet” for “twice.”  Most people you’d wanna smack for that but not her. 

 Brenda is perhaps one of the most Jesus lovin’ women you could ever meet.  For real, I don’t know that I’ve ever met a woman who is as in tune with thangs of a spiritual nature as Brenda.  I’ve never heard Brenda say “shit” even.  (That’s downright holy in the Book of Sista)  She’s as upright as the day is long.  Or something like that.

We worked in this particular area of my former employer where…not going to go into the details cause it’s just boring and tedious…but we were working, at times, days that began at 7:30 a.m. and would not see us getting off until 11:00 that night.  (Truth be told, I used the fact that I had kids at home to get out of lots of that.  But, I did my share)

It got so stressful at one point, Brenda said….”Oh boy…I think I need me some Charlie Daniels.”  She meant to say “Jack”.  She wouldn’t know Jack Daniels if’n he walked right up to her and kissed her smack on the lips.  Funny woman.

That was some kinda stressful gig.  All of us who worked there, during that time period it was hell on earth (where it was s’post to be Heavenly, of all places) every stinkin’ one of us had to go have some sort of stress-related medical test.  My Stress Test of Choice was an ultrasound cause they thought I had gallbladder problems.  Turns out it was just the ol’ Gastric Reflux.  I think Brenda went the Heart Route.  I can’t remember what the others had but we were a bunch of stressed-out girls.  Even so, we sho nuff had us a lot of laughs back in those days.  I guess we were so wired, we were slap-happy and near ’bout anything would make us laugh.  As horrible as it was, we were able to find the humor in that and just about anything else. 

The thing about Brenda…when I first met her, she was still reeling from a horrible, nightmarish divorce, after something like 28 years of marriage.  I can remember the days she couldn’t get through without crying.  I’m not talking a little misty-eyed…I’m talking break-down, crying that just made you want to sit down and cry with her.  Which we all did a time or two.  I can’t tell you how inspired I was by Brenda and watching her live out her life-long faith was a rather large influence on me.  Anytime I ever had something bugging me or whatever, I knew I could go to Brenda.  I also, to this day, know when somebody needs praying for, Brenda’s one you want doing that for you.  She’s a hoss when it comes to praying. 

 Brenda is just the best.  I miss seeing her and having lunch with her, but, we had a good time today.  First time I’ve seen her in about a year and a half.   I convinced her to come do a Spin class with me.  She works out everyday and is in great shape.  The teacher we had today was not as good as last week’s but we still got us in a nice little workout and she put up with me singing while spinning to Stevie Nicks.  Oooh baby oooh…just like a white-winged dove….I kept saying to her, when we were doing those uphill sprints…”Gosh Brenda….why’d you make me come do this?”  Heh. 

Like Nobody’s Watching

I just got back from an exercise class where we did what they’re doing in this video.

You talk about fun! Lordy mercy….my kids, my 14 year old daughter in particular, would have DIED if they’d have seen their mama doing this stuff. I think I might use this as a potential punishment in the future. Hmmm…that’s an idea. “If you backtalk me, young lady, you will have to come to Zumba class with me!” Heh.

It dawned on me whilst I was shimmying that my shimmy was rusty. Then it dawned on me that I have never shimmied on purpose, in public. All these dance moves, I’ve never done. That’s because I’ve never danced as a grown up. I want to emphasize that I can dance and have good rythym (I was spawned from two, very fine dancers) but because I never allowed myself to just let er’ rip, I sat and watched. Stoooo-pid.

When I was a kid, I LOVED the movie Grease. (Still love it) I mean, I wanted to step inside of Rydell High and hang with Rizzo, Frenchie, Sandy, Danny and the whole gang. It took nearly 30 years, but, I FINALLY did the Hand Jive today in that there Zumba class. I felt like Cha Cha when she and Danny won the dance contest trophy. It was fabulous. I’m sure I looked ridiculous but how fun….My co-worker Amy and I had a ball and will definitely go back.

Go Lulu!

Y’all…Lulu Roman has lost a bunch of weight.  She looks amazing. Not like the same person at all.  Unbelievable how poundage can change your appearance.  She tells about how she did it here.

I haven’t lost as much as Lulu, but, I’ve lost somewhere betwixt 20-25 lbs since September.  The Chipmunk Cheeks aren’t quite as chipmunky now.  Praise!

A Year Later

She isn’t an official blogger (perhaps she should look into that), but, this makes a good blog post.  So, I will let my sister tell a little about her journey. (I didn’t even ask her permission.  Hey…can I use your thing for a blog post?  Thanks.)

The past year has been surreal.  I look back and it doesn’t seem like it’s happened to me.  In a way, September 19, sandra.jpg2006, seems like just a month ago, and in other ways, it seems like a lifetime ago.

When I look in the mirror now, the person I saw a year ago is a distant memory.  Then I look at these before pictures and instead of being proud and thrilled at the transformation, my first reaction is to burst into tears at what I was.  I had talked myself into believing that I was ok as I was.  I had everything I ever wanted.  A beautiful family, I was able to stay home with the kids for the first time in my life.  Life was good.  But looking at these pictures I can see how not good I was.  Yes I was blessed.  And thankful.  But I was not good.  And it was not about how I looked – how I looked was the least of my problems.  I was slowly killing myself and had convinced myself that I was relatively healthy and in pretty good shape for a “big girl”.  But looking at that picture now, I see a big girl who was anything but healthy.  I was lucky.  Lucky that my blood pressure wasnt out of control, that I didn’t have diabetes, that my knees, not to mention my heart, had not given in from the strain. 

I also see someone who hid the misery behind a joke and a laugh.  It was so much easier to do that than to face the sad truth in the mirror, on the scale and the obvious damage I was doing to myself.

So God knew what he was doing when he made the last year possible for me.  And that story is a doozy in itself.  And as I look at these latest pictures, the first thing I notice is not a smaller body.  What I notice first, and what brings me to tears now, is the peace and happines that is visible (even if only to me) that has come through this process.  I am healthier than I have ever been .  I am taking care of my body in a way that I never have before.  I am exercising 6 days a week – which is probably the biggest surprise to me.  I am learning to push myself physically.  I never have done that before.  I always looked for a reason to go slowly, or stop early or not even exercise at all.  Now, I crave it.  I always thought that was malarky when I heard folks say that before.  But it is true now.

So wearing a smaller size and physically looking better than I did are among the gifts that this surgery has given me.  But those are far below the gifts of health, peace of mind, contentment and happines that it has given me.  But the greatest gift is the realization that in almost 30 years of being a prisoner to my weight, I never once had handed it over to God.  I had done everything from liquid diets to thousands of dollars of unused gym memberships, to diet pills, to you name it.  But never once did I give it up.  Until late June of last year.  I had been trying for 9 months to get my insurance company to pay for this surgery.  I had been turned down twice and was waiting  and waiting for their response to my third (and probably final) request for reassessment.  I remember praying for the first time for God to “remove this burden from me”. I had prayed for years and years for Him to help me gain control.  But had never handed it to him and said “here, take it.”  Three days after I prayed for Him to remove it from me, I got word from my insurance company that I had been approved for surgery.  Talk about a reality check.  It was like He said “what took you so long?”  I had been trying for almost 30 years to do it myself.  And when I finally asked him to show His power, He did – immediately.  And this surgery has done just that.  He has removed this burden from me.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  This surgery is not the magic bullet.  I can still sabatoge myself and gain the weight back.  But for the past year, the nature of this surgery is to completely make it impossible for you to over eat.  In that time, I have learned what I have to do for the rest of my life to utilize this tool in order to live healthily for the rest of my life.

So, all that to say, the person you see today not only looks completely different, but is completely different inside too.  And it is nothing that I can count as an achievement of my own.  I have been given a gift that I do not take lightly, and one that I intend to honor and be thankful for for the rest of my days.

Thank you my friends and family for loving me anyway.  Before, during and after all this.  I know there are times that I am not so loveable, but I am so thankful for the support of my family and friends.  That is among my most treasured gifts as well. 
Love,
Sandra

To date, I’ve lost 110 pounds.  Some day I will tell what I weighed when I started.  I’m not ready yet.  Maybe when I get to my goal.  I’d like to lose another 25 or 30 pounds.

Oh, and how bout the haircut??

sandra-after.jpg

The same person who I have heard say millions of times, “I could never get really thin, I’m too big boned.”  I always thought that was BS. She looks like she should be doing a commercial for laundry soap, doesn’t she?