Thursday, January 13, 2011

O, The Biggest Loser

One of my oldest and dearest childhood friends, Olivia Curlee Ward, is a contestant on The Biggest Loser with her sister, Hannah Curlee.  I grew up with these ladies though I was closer to Olivia than Hannah.  Hannah was the baby sister so mostly I just remember a lot of "Hannah!  Get out!" and the door closed behind her.  I'm so proud of them both and inspired by the whole cast of the show. 

Seeing truly fat people has been good for me.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and can like what I see.  I used to work out a lot so even though I've not gained too much, I see that all the tone has left and turned to fat.  Than I think I'm fat.  (In fact I felt bad for calling the contestants of TBL fat, yet I have no qualms about labeling myself as such.)  In the last 3 years I've gained about 5 lbs a year.  I have to put the breaks on that.  I also have to put the breaks on my language because I am not fat.  I am out of shape to be sure, but I am not fat.  I'm trying not to cry even as I write this because I'm still not sold on it.  When I see the contestants on The Biggest Loser though, I KNOW I'm not fat.  I do not have that commonality with them physically but inside I think we are very similar people. 

On this weeks episode one contestant, Arthur, was presented with the challenge of not eating donuts (even one that had fallen to the ground.)  He said the donuts were calling to him, Eat me!  I know that voice and yes, I have considered eating something that has fallen on the ground or even a piece of cake wrapped in a napkin that someone carelessly threw away.  I will hide that I am eating something "naughty."  Like an addict.  Then there is the constant weighing in.  I'm so afraid that I will get as fat as the fat person inside me.  I have a weight that I will not cross so I check everyday to see how close I am to it.  Just before the move I crossed it by 5 lbs., further reinforcing my belief that I am fat.  Thankfully, the lifestyle here has helped me to get rid of that 5 lbs but I am at "that weight" and so I am in constant concern for the crossover. 

I weigh myself first thing in the morning before I eat breakfast and then sometimes later on in the day before I take a shower.  Sometimes there is a third weigh in if I've just worked out.  Someone asked me the other day if ones weight really changes that much through out the day.  It does.  My weight can fluctuate from 1-4 lbs through out a day. 

This Tuesday the whole family was watching TBL and we had to pause it half way through and put our kids to bed.  We decided its a little too grown up for them to watch.  A Dr. on the show showed the contestants their inner age.  This really started to disturb Gabriel who was then concerned with when we will die.  Drew concerned me the most though.  While Gabe is a skinny lad (born that way, taking after his father) Drew was born a roly poly boy and he still is.  I have always watched his diet more than Gabriel's in part because he is so obsessed with food.  He also really wants to be a chef though and so I don't want to completely squash that love of food.  I don't like when after finishing one meal he starts to ask about the next meal.  Not that I have never done that myself.  I will go to bed full of anticipation for the awesome breakfast that I have planned in the a.m.  But Drew upset me when while watching the show he announced that he should be on the show.

"What?  No you shouldn't buddy.  Why do you say that?"  I asked.

"Because I'm fat."

"No you're not.  Where have you ever heard that?  Why do you say you are fat?"

"Well, we were going to play Alvin and the Chipmunks at school ant the other kids said I should be Theodore because I'm fat."

"Oh buddy, I'm so sorry.  You are not fat though, OK?"

"Yes I am.  Look at my hands and look at Gabe's.  My hands are much bigger than Gabe's."

"That's just how God made you," Aaron piped in.  "You know when your Uncle Matt and I were kids he was always bigger than me even though he is my little brother.  You and Brother are like Uncle Matt and I."

On that note we shut the show off from them and got them ready for bed.  When the kids were in the bathroom brushing their teeth, Drew got on the scale.  The sight scared me some.  I do not want him to start weighing himself.  He can not start that obsession!

"See, I weigh more than brother."

"Drew, get off that scale.  You do not need to weigh yourself.  We told you, Bug, you are just right.  God made you perfect.  He made you different from Brother but you are just right.  There is not a fat body in this house."  I winced inside.

"Well, I don't want anymore candy or ice cream or any sweets and I need to join some kid exercise classes."

"You can enjoy sweets, Bug, but you are more than welcome to cut them back.  That's a healthy thing to do.  And you can exercise when you play or by playing a sport, like when you played soccer."

"I want to play Little League Football in the fall."

"OK, buddy, that sounds like a plan."

So we tucked everyone one into bed and we prayed for healthy mindsets as well as healthy bodies and lifestyles.  I was washed with guilt realizing my verbage and habits were being picked up on by my son.  I have always thought that mothers of daughters should be so careful of that but now I was seeing the effects of this in my own son. 

"Mom, what do you think of yourself?"  Gabriel asked the next morning, "Do you think you look good or do you think you look fat?  Because I don't think you are fat."

"I think that I am out of shape.  I used to be stronger and healthier and I am dieting and exercising to try to get back to that,"  I said to him as well as myself.

"Good.  Because you are beautiful!"

I am on a mission to lose weight.  I have a wedding in March that I want to look good for.  I do not want to be the fat bridesmaid (I already get to be the short one.)  So, I have been upping the exercise and doing South Beach, which is a diet I have had success with in the past.  The first two weeks are very strict with the goal of breaking the bodies addiction to carbs and sugar.  For two weeks there are no grains, fruit, sugar or alcohol.  After that, fruit and some grains are allowed back into the diet.  (Oh and that glass of wine I love can return.) 

Monday went well enough.  Tuesday was Baking Day.  SO FREAKIN' hard to not eat the big beautiful buttermilk bread, banana muffins, and peanut butter balls.  Even the healthy salad one made had rice in it.  Waaagh!  But my friends would not let me falter. We even picked out South Beach friendly recipes for next weeks Baking Day.  That night we watched TBL and I was all upset about Drew-bugs response to it that I vowed to only weigh myself on Tuesday.  Once a week, just like the contestants.  They work hard not knowing if they are making any progress or not. 

Wednesday I went snow shoeing.  WHEW!  Very hard work out.  The hardest part was trying to breathe really.  It's been six months but I am still not acclimated.  Very frustrating....  My chest was hurting from lack of oxygen and the cold air.  Strangely, the pain radiated to my shoulders and neck.  I thought of Hannah and Olivia and how hard they were working and would not let that hill get the best of me.  Going down hill was much easier, of course, but still a good work out.  (PS I have amazingly patient friends who took a slower pace to wait for me.  They also said I did an awesome job!  So kind!)  When I got home I hit the shower.  That is my usual time to weigh myself.  I had two reasons to want to weigh.  One: I had just had a strenuous work out and two: I was about to get in the shower.  I pulled the scale out with my foot, from under my sink...then I tucked it back under there.  Olivia finds out in a week.  I will wait too. 

That evening is our weekly Pizza Night that we have with our friends.  I wanted pizza so bad!  There was also chips and salsa, cookies and wine.  The thing I wanted most were those COOKIES!!!!  These friends gave me permission to cheat. 

"Have a glass of wine or at least one cookie." 

They argued that deprivation makes the body think its starving and so will harbor the fat.  The thing is I did have a big salad so I did not think that my body thought it was starving.  I knew if Caren were there she would not let me cheat and I knew that Olivia was not cheating.  So I fought the urge.

Today I gave Drake a short walk and then went with Caren to a work out with her trainer.

"It's just like Biggest Loser!  You'll love it!"

It was definitely not the regular program.  We started with a circuit of 3 minutes on a treadmill, pushing a weighted sleigh across the floor and then sprinting down and up (pushing sleigh and sprinting 4X), 2 sets of 8 pull ups and chin ups, 200....whatevers...on this ski thing, and then up and down the stairs 10 times.  We did the circuit twice, lessening the amounts some on the second time around.  The next circuit had us jumping rope 50 times (which apparently I can not jump rope...), bouncing a medicine ball off a wall 25 times, 50 trunk twists with a medicine ball, lunges and squat presses with a tube full of water, 20, 20 and 20 of different exercises with this big weighted rope, and then we flipped a tractor tire down the length of the gym and back, only to slam it with a sledge hammer 12 times with each arm.  We also did that circuit twice.  But that's not all!  We then went into a room that had a long bar across the roof.  Hanging from that were stirrups.  We put our feet in the stirrups and did a variety of torturous exercises. 

I was dying from the first circuit.  I was totally ready to go home after that.  I kept thinking of O and Hannah and wondering how in the world were they doing it.  Ladies, my hat is off to you because you are much tougher than me!  Once home I again glared at my scale.

Not today.  When I get on Tuesday though you BETTER have good news for me.

I've decided to take all of this one day at a time.  I'm working on a lot here.  I'm trying to change my thinking, my habits, and my body.  I really can't wait for week three of my diet, when I can have some fruit and that glass of wine....Oo!  I think I can have dark chocolate too!  As I walked down to the bus stop I noticed how the snow was dingy.  Kind of looks like the cinnamon powder that they put on donuts....


  1. I understand, Sister and feel you pain. You made such a big deal about my weight loss while you were here. It should have made me feel good, but I hated that you were comparing yourself to me and you were feeling made me feel bad. You are beautiful in so many ways...but your ears won't hear that as mine won't either. I keep trying to tell myself even now that I'm at a good weight and don't need to drop more. But my ears perck up at every diet commercial I hear.

    No offense to your friends, but as I learned through my diet program friends and family will be your sabatours. Not intentionally, but they will. It was suggested to me to keep my diet quiet and if someone noticed my change in eating habits I had an answer ready for them. Sometimes it was the truth, sometimes it was I'm not hungry....etc. etc..

    Log your food and break it into food categories
    protein, carbs, fats, fruits.

    I am fighting through this process to keep my mental health in check and perspective. THAT is my hardest goal.

    I have different shaped kids and their eating habits and food preferences are different as well. What I bring into the home and choose to fix for them is my responsibility. This is not a jab at you, so please don't take it that way.

    I love you for your spirit, your vivaciousnes and your beauty; inside and out!

  2. Boo. I hate that I made you feel bad about how freakin' awesome you looked! It did drive home my lapse in diet and excercise though. When I was your neighbor it was the tiniest I had ever been in my life and now I'm the biggest. It was just so embarassing. And DO not lose anymore weight. We would not be able to find you.

    I know what you mean about friends being sabatours but I also think there is safety in numbers. In one week though I have figured out which friends are going to be in it with me and which ones are not. And it's not that they don't want to see me do well but I think they feel by supporting my diet they are agreeing that I am fat. And I don't have a single friedn who actually believes that. (At least thats what they tell me...see, I don't buy it either. Ha!)

    What my children eat is my responsibility. I agree. I think Drew could stand to lose weight but I also know that he is built and wired differently then Drew. We don't have a lot of snacks in the house because then I would eat them. The thing with Drew is I have to tell him he is full. He claims to be hungry even after he's had a full meal. He also asks for dessert after every meal even though we don't have desserts very often. A child who eat is so novel to others that they usually comply. Our family give Drew seconds and THIRDS. It really irks me. I've even told friends that I think 4 hot dogs was a bit much. Seriously? So I watch his eating very closely. He has recently had a growth spurt and I've noticed leaned out a bit. I think that will often happen as Drew grows.

  3. Oops...I meant that Drew is built and wired differently than Gabe. I have one child who could stand to gain weight and another who could stand to loose...and I feed them the same things.

  4. Michal,Your Boot Camp sounds Awesome!!! It is great you have friends to exercise with and enjoy the outdoors! Please remember that all these activities need to be fun, please do not compare your self to the other ladies! We all have differnet strengths and weakness. I love Bootcamps because you work your whole body and you challenge your self! I am I great at it? no not really but do I enjoy it? Yep...Wish I had one to join now! Boo on small towns! My last advice: Muscel Weighs more then fat! DO NOT use your scale to judge success!!!!!!! I have been training for a Marathon ( this Sunday ) since 6 days out of 7, seed work . hill repeats, and I have not run shorter the 13 miles on a weekend since September...have I lost weight? may be 3 lbs!!!! I am stronger! YES!and slightly faster ( maybe ) I have completed something I NEVER thougth I could.. I am proud of my self. You are blessed!

  5. I love my Aunt Marilyn! You and Art both are inspiring with how active you stay. (That sounds like your really old...I meant that you make it a priority.) Thanks for the tips and the kudos and I am so proud of you for completing that Marathon! I'm more suprised to learn that you've never completed a Marathon then to learn that you did. Ha! Love you!