Friday, July 28, 2006

phentermine (response to Belinda's comment)

You don't take phentermine with meals. It doesn't work that way.
I took 1 capsule as early in the morning as I could. They recommend taking it at least 14 hours before plan to go to bed that night. Otherwise you get insomnia (which I got anyway, even taking it at 7 a.m. and going to bed at midnight).
It works right way. That first day you will have different eating patterns. For me, it manifests as a profound disinterest in food. I still have the dreaded "head hunger" where I THINK I want to eat (it's related to the "eyes are bigger than your stomach" syndrome which I also have)--but when the food is actually in front of me I barely pick at it. I went from eating about 1/2 a restaurant meal to eating a 1/4 to a 1/3. (Depending on the restaurant.) I usually eat, for example, two or three potato skins. I would barely finish one.
I hardly ever have a problem with hunger--I don't sit around HUNGRY and wishing for food. Sometimes when I do my Slimfast, when I get home I want to eat, and I feel hungry, but it's an appropriate hunger. It's not some kind of overwhelming beast like other overweight people describe (those who say "I can't be on a diet because I'm hungry all the time"). With Phentermine, even if I do my slimfast, I have no hunger except the head-hunger previously mentioned.
Phentermine is a stimulant--it's an amphetamine related to speed. Be careful of other stimulants like coffee when you're on it. It's very easy to get wired and hyper.
One last word of warning--you'll notice the phentermine getting less effective. You'll sleep better, be less jittery and gradually you'll start to eat more. When you realize that you're back to eating the amount you were eating, and your weight gain slows or stops, STOP TAKING IT. Your body is accustomed to it and it' s not working anymore. If you keep taking it, hoping it will work again, you will get addicted. I have a friend who is addicted to it. She's been on it for FIVE years.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

fat is the new race

This is a very long editorial. I wish it was written by a real fat person, a person like me who can't take off her 200 lb fat suit and go out to dinner with her thin friends and laugh about what it's like to wear a fat suit.
I will post some highlights:
It is a small shop, and overcrowded. Her body fills the aisle, and making a sharp turn is impossible, unless she wants to bring a shelf full of baked beans clattering to the ground. Then everyone will stare..... As she approaches the counter, she is painfully aware of their eyes following her hand, waiting to see if, at the last minute, she adds a ... Mars ... to her basket. When she fails to do this, she can almost taste their disappointment....
She had planned on going shopping but, now, she cannot face it: the clothes that will not fit; the faux-kindly smiles of the shop assistants as she struggles with their tiny wares. Nor does she relish the thought of a bus, where her buttocks will spill over the edge of the seat like meringue over a pie crust. Exercise is out of the question. She is a good swimmer, but swimming involves the revelation - to other pool users - of her body, and all those Shallow Hal-style jokes about how much water she will displace....
Funny that I've never heard any jokes about what I look like at the gym...then again, it's a therapy pool, not a health club.
Even though I knew my flab was only fake, no one else did; it was humiliating to be, at best, invisible, and, at worst, the object of disgust. If wearing a lot of cotton wool is this bad, what must it be like to bear the equivalent in flesh?
Truly terrible, is the answer. You may think that you know this already, but in order to come even close to grasping a fat person's misery, you should probably take that imagined desperation, and triple it. Then consider your attitude to this unhappy person. Do you pity them? Or do you despise them? If the latter, do you feel able to say so out loud, in public? I bet that you do....
Open a newspaper, and a story will certainly be there (most recently, it was reported from the British Dietetic Association conference that the risk of fatal disease increases by one per cent for every pound a person is overweight). The seemingly well-established connection between fat and disease has meant - so far - that it has been somehow acceptable to criticise the fat; it's for their own good, after all. But now there are rumblings. The fat and their supporters have had enough of what they regard as discrimination. They are angry, and they are going to fight. They regard their cause as just. They believe that fat is the new race.
She says "they". It's us versus them. Makes me want to cry. We are all people.
Tax the Fat: (Journalist Giles) Coren argued that, because treatment of obesity-related illnesses now costs the health service so much money - some £1bn - there was a case for the fat, just like smokers, to be taxed. His argument wasn't especially subtle, but it was - at the time - funny and energetic. It was only afterwards that it occurred to me that it was also unkind....
(T)here are indeed striking parallels between ... 'identity movements'- those who campaigned for equal rights for black and gay people - and those who are working for fat or body-shape acceptance. 'There is an increasing level of consciousness in the media and the scientific community about the extent to which weight should be the focus of public health. There is more scepticism about the claims made for the connection between weight and disease, and about the idea that fat is a chosen state. People do not choose to be fat in any meaningful way; most of those who try to change their body mass fail.'
Yup, and because we are experts at failure, we are LOSERS in every way except the way we long for.
Then the editorial starts to go south. She started out in a fat suit, feeling what it's like to be fat (haha) and now she finds it disgusting:
He believes that the disgust I feel when I see someone fat eating a hamburger is a socially acceptable way for me - a new puritan - to express my anxiety about overconsumption. He thinks this should not be socially acceptable; but he also thinks it's neurotic because it's so trivial. I am a hysteric. 'Why focus on the man with the cheeseburger?' he asks me. 'The millionaire with a private jet is committing the greater crime.'
A HAMBURGER?! She is freaking out over someone eating a HAMBURGER?! Get a life. I saw a blurb today that said what Exxon-Mobile's extra profits (36% up!) were this quarter when it costs over $40 to fill a gas tank. But I'm a pig for eating a burger?
'Different groups have different stories. But if we accept that fat people are thought of as stupid, smelly, ugly, out of control, lazy, you can see the comparison [these are some of the stereotypes that were also attached to black people in the 1950s]. Fat people are discriminated against in employment, housing, in access to theatres and restaurants, and they are subject to cruelty - the crushing burden of fat hatred.' Like those who reclaimed the word 'black' or 'queer', (Marilyn) Wann (director of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance [NAAFA]) likes to use the word fat. 'Obesity' is offensive and meaningless; so is 'overweight'. Doctors who fear for the health of a generation are 'scare-mongering'; their research is 'junk science'. As for people like me, who see only clogged arteries when they see a fat person, we're beyond the pale. 'You can't hate people for their own good,' she says.
That is so true. And you know what? I don't have clogged arteries dispite the hamburger I eat every week. I have a cholesterol level of around 150. Don't judge by appearances alone.
'We don't have places of pride to gather together on a daily basis ... there's no fat-pride bar. When fat people experience oppression, we experience it alone and our first reaction is not to fight back, our reaction is to give money to fat-hate industries (Weight Watchers, stomach amputation, etc). Instead of demanding self-respect, we seek approval from our oppressors.'
That might be taking it too far. I don't want fat-pride parades. I don't want to love my fat. I just don't want to be hated for it.

In the middle of a witch hunt, it's dangerous to ask: what's wrong with being a witch?

As an on-the-edge-of-being-pagan, this really hits home. Many (most) of my friends are pagan and they face discrimation for wearing ankhs or pentacles. I've noticed that pagans don't care if you're fat or gay. There's a lot of fat and gay (and fat gay) pagans. A bunch of outcasts banding together. On the days I join them, I really do feel at home. But putting on a pentacle would just be one more reason for everyone else to hate me.

It's hard to shift a sneaky feeling that some fat-rights campaigners are merely dealing with their misery in the only way available to them - indulging in a kind of transference by making their weight our problem rather than theirs. They, of course, would say that this feeling is simply evidence of my own prejudice....
'I know ... that when a thin person looks at a fat person, the thin person considers the fat person less virtuous than he,' writes Judith Moore in her memoir, Fat Girl. 'The fat person lacks willpower, pride, this wretched attitude, "self-esteem", and does not care about friends and family because if he or she did care about friends and family, he or she would not wander the earth looking like a repulsive sow, rhinoceros, hippo, elephant, general wide-mawed flesh-flopping flabby monster.'
Imagine feeling like that. Think before you click your tongue against the roof of your mouth.

But the author doesn't think, does she? She admits that a fat person eating a hamburger makes her insane.

Eat less with smaller dishes

I've done this in the past, but not for the reasons this article cites. I've eaten off of saucers or snack plates instead of regular sized plates. Have you ever noticed your dish set comes with 3 sizes: small, medium and large dishes? I try to use my large dishes as serving plates and I usually eat off the smaller ones. I have some ancient square tupperware plates (maybe 7" square) that I often eat off of also. They are a little smaller than the medium (luncheon) plates that I have.
But this survey doesn't surprise me a bit. I would guess, too, that if they put out huge containers of food for everyone to sample, versus putting out smaller containers, that people would take more. If you put out a half-gallon of ice cream at a party, everyone will take one scoop. If you put out a 5 gallon drum, everyone will fill their bowl. Is that human nature or obesity? I don't know. I know at parties where there's a small cake, everyone takes one small piece and is happy. Including me. But if there's a large sheet cake I'll get another piece (if I like the cake, which is RARE) and so will lots of other people. I was at a wedding a few years ago where they did the strangest thing--they laid the cake and dessert out buffet-style in the room with the bar and I saw people with two or three pieces of wedding cake and a plate of cookies--and not to share. (The cake had fruit in it, which I don't like--fruit and cake are two different types of dessert-- so I didn't even have one piece.)
The amazing thing about this article is that these people were FOOD EXPERTS and they still gorged when given bigger bowls and utensils!
Want to lose weight? Try downsizing your tableware.
That's the conclusion of a new study that found that the size of bowls, spoons and other tableware influences how much people eat.
The study...involved 85 food and nutrition experts invited to an ice-cream social.
Each guest randomly received either 17-ounce or 34-ounce bowls and either two-ounce or three-ounce serving scoops. The participants scooped out the ice cream themselves.
Just doubling the size of someone's bowl increased how much people took by 31 percent....We also saw that giving people a scoop that was a little bit larger increased things by about 14.5 percent....
Even these food and nutrition experts, who were able to judge the size and calorie counts of their portions, couldn't help themselves when given larger bowls and scoops....
The fact that even they end up being tripped up by these cues just helps to show how ubiquitous and how subversive these illusions can be....(A) number of environmental factors that influence consumption, including the variety of food, music, temperature, and whether people are dining with a faster or slower eater.
Sometimes these studies are really stupid and they piss me off. I would have said this one was dumb, except that these people were food experts and they ate more.

weight loss surgery complications

This new article says 40% of bariatric surgery patients develop complications. But notice that the article is all about money. This is insurance company bullshit.
The most common complications were dumping syndrome, which includes vomiting, reflux and diarrhea; complications resulting from the surgical joining of the intestine and stomach, such as leaks or strictures; abdominal hernias; infections and pneumonia, the researchers found.
These additional medical utilizations are expensive.... Costs averaged $36,542 for obesity surgery patients who had complications in the six months after surgery, compared with an average of $25,337 for patients without complications.
Moreover, medical care costs for patients who were readmitted to the hospital because of a complication averaged $65,031, compared with $27,125 for those who didn't have to be rehospitalized..... Insurance companies could save a lot of money if they could reduce these complications....Even with a high complication rate, the surgery is cost-effective because losing weight reduces the risk of expensive diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The long-run cost benefits outweigh these complications.
How the insurance companies choose to save money on these surgeries is not to cover them anymore no matter what hoops you jump through.

too fat to be xrayed, part 2

I am SO far ahead of the news curve it's not funny. Review this entry by me back in October. Then check out this article on yahoo news:
More Americans too fat for X-rays, scans
More and more obese people are unable to get full medical care because they are either too big to fit into scanners, or their fat is too dense for X-rays or sound waves to penetrate, radiologists reported on Tuesday....Radiologists have their own term for it when writing up reports: "These images are limited due to body habitus." ...."For the patient, not knowing what is going on is a big issue. If you tell a patient 'I am sorry -- we just can't sit you on our CAT scanner', that is devastating to hear."
Tell me about it. Been there, done that!
I know there are people out there who think everyone overweight deserves nothing better than death and humilation, that it's our own fault for eating like pigs. But you know what, I don't eat like a pig, and I know a lot of overweight people don't. Some do--like that boy profiled in the "obese at 16" show I saw over the weekend, who pre-op was eating 3-4 servings per meal--like the people we've all heard of who eat multiple chickens washed down by gallons of non-diet soda for each meal.
Weight gain is such a downward spiral, spiraling the overweight person so far down some days it seems there's no way out.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

plastic surgery

I was watching "Plastic Surgery before and after"--I think it's on Discovery Health--over the weekend. I watch a lot of TV while in arts & crafts mode (I set up my table and my supplies, grab the various remotes, and go for it). They showed a girl who lost a vast amount of weight, I think about 150 lbs, by dieting and exercising, no bariatric surgery. It took her 18 months. Then she went for a full body lift. Her stomach and boobs came out so excellent, but then again she's only 22. She didn't have her arms done, but they didn't look too bad.
I was watching them draw on her--they did her thighs, inner and outer, her butt, her lower and upper abdomen and her boobs all in one operation. I think they said 8 hours.
Not that I'm lazy, but my question is, what if they did that full body lift surgery on someone who wasn't thin?
They not only cut off her loose skin, they also did quite a bit of liposuction. So why couldn't they do that to me, plus my arms. Yeah, parts of me would stay fat, the parts they don't do, like my calves and forearms and face (they could do my chin though--I think that's just lipo). But wouldn't that give me as much of a weight-loss boost as bariatric surgery? Even if it just trimmed 50 lbs off, by getting rid of the bulk around my hips and upper body I'd have so much more mobility to move around and exercise and lose more weight. I wouldn't mind that surgery at all (it's about the same price as the bariatric) because it's not rearranging any critical parts I might need later.
And yeah, it gets done on really fat people. Check out these photos (warning: VERY graphic).

I'm being quiet

I'm cat-sitting for a relative's cat while she's on vacation. It's a beautiful cat, big (not fat) and very fuzzy. Very lovable. However, one of my cats and him don't get along AT ALL. So the guest cat is living in my bathroom. Not ideal, but better than living in a small cage at a boarding facility for $25 a day. My bathroom is about 6x10, way better than a cage. But this cat's used to being an only cat/only pet and he demands lots of attention. It's hard to use the toilet when there's a cat in your underwear purring and head-butting you and trying to get petted. If you're standing up looking in the mirror, say combing your hair or brushing your teeth or putting on eyeliner, the cat stands on its hind legs and grabs your free hand in his paws and pulls at you to pet him. He purrs so loud I think people can hear it outside. I can't leave the window open for him to sit in unless we're home because it's on the ground floor so he's basically sleeping on an old t-shirt of mine in the sink when we aren't there, or trying to escape the bathroom to terrorize my cat. So I've been lingering on the toilet until my thighs go numb playing with this cat, and of course all my other pets are insane with jealousy because they can smell the cat on me and I'm spending less time with THEM.
One of my best friends is moving away--to the other side of the country-- in a couple of weeks. We've been friends for about 8 years and see each other at least a couple of times a month--she lives an hour away. We don't email each other much or talk on the phone, we DO stuff. I can't even envision life without her. There's certain things I only do with HER. I can do them alone, or with someone else, but you know what I mean? Certain places and events get woven into the tapestry of a friendship. The last few days, when I've not been dealing with Fuzzy Cat, I've been making her a going-away present. Arts and crafts are one of the few girl things I do. I made one for me first which came out like crap because I don't know what the hell I'm doing and the directions weren't very good, and then I made the one for her, which came out much better since I knew what parts of the directions were wrong in advance. So that's also been keeping me from blogging.

Monday, July 24, 2006

starting a blog (response to comment)

You can go to Blogger and sign up for a free account and get a blog like this. You can write about whatever you want.
Or you can go to Extra Pounds and get a free blog specifically geared toward weight loss, with lots of free extra weight loss tools. I find the weight tracker and exercise log helpful. The food log is cumbersome. I don't use the extra pounds blog since I have this one.

obese 16 year old

On Saturday afternoon I saw a show on Disovery Health called "Obese at 16" about a 411 lb boy from Texas. It'll be on again Aug 5 at 6 p.m. and Aug 7 at 5 a.m.
I watch all those shows, whenever I know about them. And I was watching TV anyway because I was doing some crafts. My husband was in the other room shouting comments. His comments were interesting.
He said the kid didn't try. He laughed at the terms morbid obesity and super obese. I pointed out that I am morbidly obese but he didn't believe me. He blamed the parents.
Basically the kid's mom said he gained up to 60 lbs a year. She said she put him on diets but he'd lose 5 or 10 lbs and then gain it back. (I have to wonder how they know this, since I've never seen a home scale that goes up that high and he had no idea what he weighed until he got to the doctor's office.) Supposedly he didn't eat anything extra.
The show focused a lot on how hard his life was, how he couldn't sit in a desk or go to amusement parks with his friends. How his insurance wouldn't pay $80,000 for surgery (it must cost more in Texas than up here) and how no one would do the surgery on him anyway because he's so young. It seemed like his parents didn't even try to get a loan or raise the money themselves, they just gave up, so the kid (Brandon Bennett) went to the media and of course found someone to do the surgery for free. Someone who hadn't done that many, actually, I think only a couple of hundred.
After he had the surgery, they showed a plate of his food, explaining that now he had to make do with only half a portion when in the past he ate 3 or 4 portions.
Huh?
I thought it was genes! I thought it was bad metabolism! I thought he ate normally?! Now they're admitting he ate 3 or 4 portions? His mom even said something about her food bill going down. YOU WERE FEEDING HIM. He obviously had no job and no source of income other than his parents so they provided him with food and money to buy more.
Also after the surgery he worked out in a gym constantly. If he fit into the gym equipment immediately after the surgery, he fit in it before the surgery, so what was the excuse for him not to go? I'm morbidly/super obese and I manage to haul my fat ass to the gym 3x a week. But as my husband pointed out, he probably got the gym membership for free too.
Yes, he lost weight and he looked better afterward and all of a sudden people were being nice to him who weren't before (plus they were on camera--always a big incentive) and he acquired a girlfriend.
He also took an entire year off from school to lose the weight
. Why? I don't understand that at all. As a teenager, he should have bounced back quickly and been able to return to school right away. Adults are expected to return to work in a week or so.
The doctor who did the surgery looks like an altrustic guy on the surface, but he's getting tons of publicity off of this. I bet every time that show airs in the Texas area parents of fat teenagers are ringing his office phone off the hook.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

sex, or lack thereof

One of my faithful asked about how being a moose impacts my sex life. Well, he didn't exactly say "moose", that was me.
I really don't have one. Like I've already said, my husband works 6 days a week and goes to school 3-4 nights a week. Friday is his night out with the guys--he rolls in around 2 or 3 a.m. and has to be at work at 7:00 on Saturday. (I used to do that a few years ago but I guess I'm too old now to party until dawn and be at work the next morning. Thank god I have Saturdays off at this job! ) You can imagine how tired & grumpy he is most of the time. He gets home from school around 9:00 and still has homework to do or tests to study for. Usually I'm asleep already and he's sitting in the bed reading textbooks.
In general, you can imagine that sex is uncomfortable in certain positions. Flesh gets in the way. My husband isn't a butterball like me but he does have a beer belly. If we hug I think our crotches are about 2 feet apart. Sometimes we get very creative with positions but we manage when it does happen. This is not going to turn into a porno blog so that's all your getting.
My husband says that it's not me or my weight, he's just tired and not in the mood, and I have to accept that or go crazy, right?
He has known me for a long time, over 20 years. He knew me when I was first fat, when I was thin and then as I got fat again. Right now I weigh about 150 lbs more than when we first hooked up about 15 years ago.
I have never been a very sexual being. I was 19 before I had sex, and that was with the guy who beat me up. I was thin then, and if another guy looked at me or flirted with me, it was my fault. (Not far off from the whole "she was asking for it" rape defense.) So although I worked out and dieted myself from around 180 down to 114 lbs and a size 4, it was detrimental to our relationship. It caused more tensions than it solved. Plus being on the Pill made it easy to gain weight and hard to lose. Eventually I refused to sleep with him anymore because he was cheating on me so outrageously and I went 2 years without sex. But the mental damage had been done. Eventually I stopped the Pill when I realized he wasn't going to give up his other women and then there was a huge blow-out where we finally broke up. (I had been literally begging him to let me go and he would say he loved me and would never let me go and I'd never find a guy to love me like he did. Well he was right about the last part, wasn't he? "It comes down to this--your kiss, your fist" Sin, Nine Inch Nails)
During those two years I kissed a couple of guys but that's it, and I was fine with that. By the time I had sex again I was back up to around 180, but it was a thinner 180 than before because I was still working out, hiking, etc. I know usually when people gain weight it's all fat, no muscle. I was a chubby size 16/18 the first time at 180 and the 2nd time I was more like a 14/16.
Since I had fallen out of the habit of sex, I guess I never got back into it. I tried the depo-provera birth control shots and they blew me up like a balloon to close to where I am today in about a year. Those shots are evil.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Extremely disturbing

As I was working out just now, there was an elderly lady in there with me. I've seen her many times before. In fact she's one of the people I suspect in the great Poop in the Pool duster. Anyway, she's a skinny old lady, in her late 60's if not early 70's. Thinning white hair with some grey left in it. Liver spots on her hands and face. On her arms and legs her flesh hangs slightly. She's not overweight at all...except in one area. Her belly. Her belly is round and tight and her navel protrudes and if that belly was on someone 30 years younger...even 20 years younger...I'd say she was pregnant. She walks like a pregnant woman.
Pregnant women and fat women walk differently because their weight distribution is different. A fat woman like me has a big belly, but I also have weight on my thighs and upper arms and big fat boobs. My belly is soft and hangs a little, and it's not round but more like a semi deflated water balloon. And my fat goes all the way around my waist, obliterating it. Pregnant women usually still have a waist when seen from behind. This lady has a waist from behind, she walks swaybacked, she has no globs of fat anywhere else on her body.
Anyway, she got in and out of the pool several times and walked right by me every time. It's either a pregnant belly or she's got some kind of wicked female-organ tumor. She looks about 6-7 months pregnant. I'm trying to remember how big her belly was last time I saw her. I remember thinking it was out of place then too but it wasn't so....huge...obvious.
I don't know what to think. It's not like I can ask her, excuse me grandma, are you with child? If not I think you should see a doctor pronto about that tumor.

well meaning people & anonymous posters

If I shut off the mean jerk, I have to shut you all off. All of my faithfuls post anonymously, meaning you don't have a Blogger account. Anyway, s/he has been silent for a couple of days.
I tried moderating every comment but it was just too much work. I got every comment twice in my email and it got very confusing.
I wish everyone would give me their contact info. I'd love to answer some of your notes off-line. I know if I follow a million links sometimes I can get to you, but those links aren't in the notification email I get from blogger--they are within each post's comments, not easy to get to.
A person who obviously meant well wrote earnestly to me saying I had to lose the weight while I was still in my 30's. Like it's a simple choice. I think I'll wear red today. I think I'll lose 200+ lbs. Like I'm not trying.
Today's Wednesday, I go to the gym. Tomorrow I'm going back to the doctor who did my veins for a follow-up.

Weight tracker

As part of my extra pounds account I get this fun free tracker. I am not sure if it changes here as I change my entries if I keep getting new code to paste. But it's kind of gratifying to see that I'm over 10% there (12%). So I only have to lose this amount of weight 8 more times. That seems so much more doable than other ways of looking at goals. Like if I've lost 10% of my starting weight yet (yes and no--I was there and then I slipped backward).
I was happy with my weight this morning when I got on the scale. After stopping my phentermine and then not working out for a month and then going away and eating 3 meals a day, I felt like I had gained weight. I didn't. I'm happy with that.
And I guess you'll all have to wonder what it is the little guy is running from in such terror. It's pretty funny. I wonder when it will show up; how much weight do I have to lose?


weight loss weblog

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

my vitals

From now on, these will be updated as people ask more questions. Original posting: 07-18-2006 (will move up if revised).



Age: mid-30s
Birthday: July (sun sign Cancer)
Height: 5'5 -ish
Weight: 330-360 (haven't weighed myself lately)
BMI: 60-ish
Eye color: I have eyes
Hair color: I'm not bald
Skin color: human
Location: Suffolk, CT, USA
Name: not Rosie Young but close enough
Other webpages: http://360.yahoo.com/wholelottarosieyoung, http://geocities.com/wholelottarosieyoung (not much there yet-I hate the clunky interface)
Religion: agnostic leaning toward pantheism
Sex: when I can get it
Orientation: straight
Marital status: Yes
Children: not human ones
Parents: alive for now (father terminally ill)
Jobs: web design, writing, photography, graphic arts
College: BA Communications
Pets: many (11 in various species)
Music: loud & dark (AC/DC, Korn, Godsmack, Nine Inch Nails)
Books: Regency romances, romantic suspense, time travel romance, suspense, mystery, historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, spiritual non-fiction
TV: Comedy Central & Discovery Channel family.
Vacation: Beach
Workout: pool
Favorite food: pizza
Dislikes: fish/fish smells, country music, pathological liars, men who hit women
Favorite body part: face
Least favorite body part: arm flaps

Roots of being irrational

I like to analyze myself, look at the irrational things I do (which seem perfectly rational when I do them, or at least justified) and try to find the root.
One thing I hate is changing plans. If something's planned, it's set in stone. I become very inflexible. If you call me up and say "hey let's go to the movies on Saturday--I'll call you later in the week" and you don't call, it's no big deal. Nothing was really planned. But if you call me and say "Let's go to Friendly's for dinner and get free ice cream, and then catch the 7:15 showing of Pirates of the Caribbean on Saturday" you've given me something to look forward to. Greasy food. Ice cream. Popcorn. Johnny Depp. If you then call me at 3:00 on Saturday and say you can't make it, or you want to go see a different movie, or go to a different restaurant, I will get very upset. It's already planned. It's in my head just how I want it. How dare you change it?
It's like a form of lying to me. Don't make plans if you don't have follow-through. I hate changing plans. I don't do it. If I say "let's go to Ikea and eat cheap hot dogs and buy ugly drapes" that's what I want to do and that's what I'm planning to do. I won't email you that day and say "Instead we'll go to Chili's and the mall."
Some things I can look back on and know why they press my buttons. For a long time I refused to go anywhere by myself or meet someone somewhere. This stemmed from a few incidents when I was around 12 when I was supposed to meet friends at the movies or roller skating or for pizza and they didn't show. I can say they didn't show up because they hated me or they never had any intention of coming (and maybe it was true) or I could say it was a loose group of a dozen kids and maybe everyone else changed their plans but me. (ah-ha! A hated change of plans, but unspoken). So the reason I wouldn't go anywhere alone was that I thought people around me would think my friends didn't show up and they would feel sorry for the fat girl waiting by herself. (see, there's that alone thing too)
I was around 19 the first time I ever went out to eat by myself on purpose. I brought a book (a tradition that continues to this day) and I was terrified. I just went to a fast-food restaurant, no big deal, got my tray and sat down and read and ate. I was sure everyone was staring at me and laughing.
But then I thought about it. I never looked around for people eating alone and laughed at them. Was it possible that no one cared? I've always worried too much about what other people are thinking.
I was in college before I went to a movie alone on purpose. If eating out by myself was terrifying, going to that movie nearly paralyzed me. I can't remember what it was--something based on Shakespeare I think--I went to an afternoon showing during the week and to my relief there were lots of people there alone. They smiled at me, I smiled at them, we watched the movie. No one laughed at me.
Now, of course, I do lots of things alone. I eat alone all the time, with my friend the book. I go to the movies alone, not often, but once in a while. I saw Brokeback Mountain alone (the 2nd time I saw it), and I also saw Return of the King alone at least one of the times I went. Usually my husband or a friend will come with me, but if no one wants to see the movie (or see it AGAIN), I will go alone. During the week on one of my half-days, of course; it would be too much to go on a weekend.
So it's ironic that I hate being in crowds or crowded when once I was so afraid to go anywhere alone. This weekend I did indeed go see Pirates and have free ice cream. I thought maybe the crowds would have died down. But they didn't. Usually at a movie I leave an empty seat between me and whoever I'm with (the "popcorn" seat--where we stash the food) for elbow room and because I hate being hemmed in. I had to sit right next to my husband and someone sat right on the other side of me, plus there were people in front of me and behind me. One other thing I dislike is people who talk through the whole movie, and those next to me were that. They hadn't see the first Pirates movie so they endlessly speculated on what could have happened. They stayed to watch the credits and as the names flashed by--Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom--they said "None of these names look familiar." Have they been living under a rock that they don't know who Johnny Depp is?

Monday, July 17, 2006

a reader asks me how fat I am

I have a BMI of around 60 and I'm in my mid 30's. So no, I'm not merely 20 lbs overweight and a wimp whining about my little 4 mile hike. I am super/morbidly obese. When I was merely 20 lbs overweight I would have distained that hike and gone up the trails along the bare rocks and cliffs. Even at 60 lbs overweight I would have gone the hard way.

Hiking

I got a new p/t job as a freelance travel writer and my first assignment was to cover a state park with lots of hiking trails. I said to myself, I can do this, it's an easy graded walk, I'll take some pictures, make some notes and my article will be great.
First off, it was approximately 100 degrees this weekend. I have trouble walking to my CAR when it's that hot out, much less slogging up a mountain.
Second, I can barely walk to the store at the end of the street. What made me think I could walk 2 miles up a mountain?
I'm obviously insane, because I gathered a few people to come with me for moral support, threw two digital cameras and a couple bottles of frozen Aquafina into my backpack with a pad and pen, and started up this mountain from hell.
I knew that I would have to stop frequently...okay, every 20 feet...and that my leg would probably hurt, but how long could this outing take?
It turns out I walk so slow (well, my movement isn't slow, it's the overall distance I travel in a period of time when I have to keep stopping) that I go less than a mile an hour.
I'd look ahead for the next large rock or bench and think "I'll stop there and have some water" but most of the time I had to stop and catch my breath halfway. And we aren't talking great distances here. I'm saying the rock is maybe 50 feet away (I'm bad with distances.) I finished most of my water on the way up.
I was astonished that my leg didn't hurt, didn't give out. Hardly swelled at all. It was my whole body which gave out. At one point I honestly thought I was going to faint. I have always been prone to heatstrokes, even as a barely chubby child. I know now that when I feel the pulse in my head that I have to stop and cool off. I went a little too far and my vision started to tunnel but luckily I found a place to sit and drink and slow my breathing. None of the people with me could have dragged my unconscious carcass back to the car (no motorized vehicles can access the trails, even an ATV).
When I finally got to the top where's there a lookout area, a crowd of boy and girl scouts was up there, shrieking and running about and being generally obnoxious and reminding me again why I have no kids. I was trying to take pictures for the article but I can't have any recognizable people in them or I need signed model releases, and for children I need them signed by the parents. I finally settled on the best view and went to the edge of the wall to take the photo. Some kid had left a pile of stuff there, no surprise, god forbid anyone else should want to lean on that section of wall. I'm standing there switching cameras and taking various views when the child who belonged to the items came over and climbed on the wall right in front of me. I explained that I was taking pictures for a magazine and could she move. Instead she started swinging her legs and kicking me. Nice. My first impulse was to give her a shove backward. The rest of the walls were by then completely occupied by brats with their scout leaders beaming at them proudly and ignoring the other kids who were screaming up and down all the trails leading to the lookout, scaring away wildlife and adults alike. The people with me caved in first and said they were starting down without me because of the unrelenting noise. You know, I was a brownie for many years and then a girl scout and we went on various nature walks and never did we scream or run. Perhaps they were going for a screaming and running badge.
I stayed and ventured a little way down each trail to take more photos (there's something like 40 miles of trail total at this place--I did a few miles last week on a different trail but there is no way I can do all of them, some of them are very advanced hikes up and across bare rocks and cliff edges). I was exhausted and dragging and still had to walk back down.
About 1/2 way back down I still hadn't caught up with my companions (they were waiting in the car-- how nice of them) and I'd forgotten my cell phone and I realized I wasn't going to make it. I was starting to stumble and my feet hurt. Worse, my water ran out. I still had a core of ice in each bottle but it wasn't melting fast enough. The choice was, do I sit and hold the bottles and try to melt the ice to get water or keep slogging downhill thirsty just to get to the car and go home? The backpack, which didn't bother me that much on the way up, was impeding me, unbalancing me so much. If I kept it properly on my back, it made me lean forward. If I hung it over a shoulder, I walked crooked. If I carried it by the strap, I lurched.
Basically the 4 or so mile round trip up and back, with the stop at the top, took me over 4 hours to finish. My friends claimed they made it down the 2 miles to the bottom in 20 minutes. They had to have been running. It took me well over an hour. I was about to give up and start begging everyone who passed me for a cell phone to call my friends to bring me water and take the backpack from me when I recognized a landmark that was only 1 switchback from the bottom. I came within sight of my friends' vehicle, still parked on the far side of the lot. "Move the car, move the car" I thought at them. "Turn on the A/C!" I could see their arms out the open window. They didn't move the car until I got close enough to call out and by then I was only 10 feet away so why bother?
They dropped me home and I could barely walk into the house. I went straight into a cold shower and upstairs to lay down in total pain. But at the same time I was (am) really proud of myself. There was no one anywhere near my size on that mountain. Mostly they were skinny college kids, young couples with dogs and the screaming brats of course. No overweight fatties. If I hadn't had to write that article, I never would have tried the hike, or I would have given up and turned back. But I had no choice, and I did it. Two days later, my feet, quads, abs and lower back still hurt. I am still hobbling. And I can't skip the pool today because of the challenge.
I am woman, hear me roar.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

time travel romances (off topic)

My best friend and I went to see The Lake House for my birthday. Neither of us are very girly but once in a while the impulse slips in and we go see sad movies or love stories (last one we went to was Brokeback Mountain) or have make-up parties.
I love time travel romances. I have read many of them and I've noticed an interesting trend. Why do women always go backward in time and men forward? You never see a woman from 1812 waking up in 2002. Even in this move, although they don't move through time (the dog apparently does but I haven't found any site which explain why), he's in the past and she's in the future. It just seems like it's a stereotype, that women like old-fashioned men and/or men like more progressive women from the future.
What does that say about our culture?
I wish I could write romance novels but the sarcasm creeps through. (I wrote a treatment and sample chapters of one in college for a creative writing class. The instructor said I had the formula down perfectly and my writing was great--but too tongue-in-cheek.) I'd write a woman comes forward one, or send a man back in time. I even wrote to a novelist who's penned many time-travel books and asked her and she said she had never noticed. Hmm. Maybe for some reason I've just never read a woman goes forward or man goes back romance? (The Michael Crichton book/movie "Timeline" about the castle in France doesn't count--it was a group of people and not a romance.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

losing something

I was on the phone last night with an out-of-state friend and we were talking about the fact that the edema in my leg is almost gone. It doesn't hurt anymore and is barely swollen.
That leg has been an excuse, a crutch, a presence for over 4 years. I almost don't even know how to act now that it's okay again.
Yesterday afternoon I went hiking. I had to stop a few times because I was TIRED, but that's no big deal. Tired can be overcome. Every time you move, you say "I'll go 10 feet farther next time before I have to stop" or whatever. But my leg didn't hurt. It didn't swell. It was fine.
I'm thinking of all the times I didn't do things because of my leg--because it hurt or was ugly. Now I have to find a new excuse if I don't want to go. Or maybe I do want to go. I had fun walking in the woods yesterday and I'm going again over the weekend.
This "lack of leg problem" is going to require a whole new way of thinking for me.

to commenters

I appreciate most of your comments and find them interesting...however...when you post anonymously, I can't respond privately. I can't go check out your blog if you don't put a link. I can't answer you except through a post such as this.
So, Erica, nice to meet you, please email me your live journal's link and I'll check it out. wholelottarosieyoung at yahoo dot com.
Thanks to everyone for the kind words about my girl. I'm still looking for another. Money is so tight, though--I need one that's free and local, not just free and I pay $150 air freight.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

final word on my girl

I got my girl's ashes back and also her final lab work. Basically she was poisoned by her previous owner. He fed her something which killed her. Not on purpose, not maliciously. In fact, it's not a food I'd ever hesitate to feed to my animals so I was shocked to hear about it. Everyone knows chocolate and chicken bones..but garlic and onions?
She's been out of my life now longer than she was in it. I opened the little box and looked at the tiny bag of ashes and bits of bone and just cried. I wanted to give her a good home for the last few years of her life, and have her be friends with my pets. Instead I have a $400 vet bill and a tin of grey stuff. I added her to my box of dead pets in tins, along with her photo, the only feather I have from her, and the paperwork I got from her other owner.
Bye bye, sweetheart. I enjoyed our 3 weeks together. Wait for me on the other side with all my other pets and my grandpa.

exercise challenge

I don't remember if I posted that my gym is doing a 5 week exercise "challenge". I put it in quotes because, as usual at that gym, it's about quantity and not quality. Between July 10 and August 19 you have to log in that you've worked out 15-18 times. For some of these people, "working out" is sitting on a noodle, with a float belt on, another noodle under their arms, clutching the float rope, and gossiping. Those "workouts" are given equal credit to my 60+ minute marathons, or the women who do 30 minutes of laps, or the other couple of women who do water workouts like I do. Oh well.
So I have 2 stickers, for Monday and Wednesday. Some people have 3 because they come every day. Those are the hangers and gossipers mostly.
I am up to 55 minutes. When I started again 2 weeks ago after a month off, 40 minutes was tough. I'm glad that it's coming back so quickly. I hope to be up to 80 minutes again by the end of the month.
It is amazing to me how my body responds to exercise. I knew I was getting flabby and weak during my month off and I found it very frustrating. Now I can already feel the muscles sleeking back up.
I am investigating a claim that taking phentermine with zoloft means the phentermine doesn't lose its potency. I would like to go back on it. However I need to know that I won't get addicted and so far no one can verify this. I see in my own body that when it loses potency I am becoming addicted.
I have been so depressed lately that I don't think I'll have a problem getting Zoloft. The hate mail continues to pour in from that one individual. Whoever you are, give it up, okay?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The wedding post

I went in to spell-check the wedding post (the spell-checker is a pop-up and some of the computer I use hate it so I spell check them separately from the one computer that allows it) and then I hit "save as draft" instead of publish and the entry vanished. Didn't get saved, didn't get published, vanished from my published files. I guess hitting "save as draft" on an already published post is a no-no on blogger. I'm used to my Yahoo email--when I save the same email several times, every version is saved as a separate file in my "drafts" folder. Well, I guess blogger doesn't work that way.
But because of the numerous (and still unending) attacks made on me over that post, which are distracting from the true purpose of this blog, I'm not putting it back up.
I went to a wedding, I had a bad time. Apparently that makes me a selfish bitch.

Let me tell you about some other weddings I've been to:

At a lovely outdoor wedding under a tent, the maid-of-honor's boyfriend got into a fist fight with another guy over the thrown garter. The maid-of-honor then got into a screaming match with said boyfriend and went storming out of the reception without even saying goodbye to the bride (her best friend) and then didn't speak to the bride again for 18 months. People who were there are still talking about it. Unfortunately none of it was captured on video.

At another wedding reception, the bride was in the bathroom crying because her shoe fell off and she couldn't even bend down to pick it up. Her face hurt from smiling at everyone. She couldn't pee without two friends helping her (one of them was me). She didn't get any of the food because she had to circulate and the only cake she ate was what her husband smashed into her face.

I cancelled my own wedding because, contrary to one what one person hatefully emails me over and over every day, our wedding wasn't about me and my husband at all. It was about what our parents wanted. What our grandparents wanted. What was "right" and "polite". We were given lists of people to invite, some of whom we had never even met and had no interest in meeting. Great-Aunt Maude's half-sister's children from the midwest. Celiacs and diabetics and vegans and alcoholics all had special requests for food and atmosphere and time of day. We were told we HAD to have a church wedding, which we didn't want. We looked at the lists and requests and said, "This isn't what we want to do. We want to have a very small event with just selected people." We were told "You can't leave out Great-Aunt Maud's half-sister's children" who you've never met and who don't even know you're alive "not if you want a present from Great-Aunt Maude." After a great deal of thought, we said we were going away for a 3 day weekend to plan our wedding and got married by a JP while we were gone. Then we sent wedding announcements to the huge list of "must-invites" and didn't even get cards or calls of acknowledgement from most of them. I have never regretted it. And no one was angry that I didn't invite them. Not even Great-Aunt Maude, who did indeed give me a gift.

cadaver exhibit

I recently went to one of those preserved cadaver exhibits that's touring around the US. I think there's 5 or 6 different companies that have put them out, and each one has a couple of versions.
Basically they are all the same: dead people cut up in a variety of poses and pieces-parts so you can see inside exactly what we look like. A friend of mine went to one in a different city than me and she described other exhibits than I saw, although it was the same brand of exhibit.
I thought it was fascinating. It was basically an anatomy lesson. Some whole bodies, flayed in various ways so you could see different internal structures, and then various parts, like hands or feet or brains, in different dissections. So you could see a skeletal hand, the muscles of the hand, the blood vessels of the hand, etc. Some things were whole and some in slices--there was a whole guy sliced up and stretched to about 20 feet long like he was a 3d MRI image.
I was really interested in the digestive system, for obvious reasons. I was hoping to see an obese cadaver--I saw a slice of one on TV and my friend said there was one at her exhibit, but the one I went to just talked about obesity without showing any obese corpses. Then again all these corpses came from China so how many 300 lb+ people do they really have over there? I think the bodies come from prisoners or homeless people (there's all kinds of controversary over the procurement of bodies for these exhibits apparently)--not many fatties there. I would also have liked to see some other pathology, like the disease my dad's dying of, but they didn't have that much. Cancerous lungs and a stroke brain (both black), that's about it.
After looking at the digestive system, the stomach, how the gallbladder nestles nicely against the liver like a kitten with its mommy, how precisely everything is calibrated, I can't help but think it's WRONG to get bariatric surgery. My stomach doesn't want to be chopped up. My intestines don't want to be left hanging and unused. My gallbladder wants to stay inside me not be ripped out and thrown away.
Cadaver exhibits: Body World | Bodies: The Exhibition | Body Exploration (no web site that I could find) | Bodies Revealed| Mysteries of the Human Body (aka Jintai no Fushigi Ten) (could not find website, at least not in English) | The Universe Within

death test for bariatric surgery

Someone came up with a test to see if you'll die if you have weight-loss surgery:

(T)he researchers found that five characteristics increased the risk of death or complications from bariatric surgery:

  • BMI (body mass index -- a calculation of weight versus height) of higher than 50. The normal range is between 18.5 and 25.
  • Being male.
  • Hypertension -- the condition is typically related to cardiovascular diseases, which can also increase risk.
  • Pulmonary embolus [clot] risk -- if patients have had or are at risk for having a blood clot in the lung, their risk may be increased.
  • Being over the age of 45.
(E)ach...characteristic is worth one point. Those patients with a score of zero are at the least risk, while those with five points are at the highest risk.

I have one point for my massive BMI. Not sure what risk that gives me. Does that mean 20% chance of dying? I don't think it works that way. I'd like more info, please!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

fat radio hosts

One of my faithful readers made a comment about fat radio personalities in response to my earlier posting about the opera singer.
When I was a teenager I went to a concert in New Haven and a female DJ from one of the rock stations came out to introduce the band and she was really fat. Probably as fat as I am today, and back than that was rare. People were booing her, screaming "get off the stage you fucking fatass." She couldn't even finish her introduction. I felt terrible for her.
The DJ's on the station I listen to now joke about how fat and lazy they are. But they are all men. Somehow it's still more okay for a man to be fat than a woman.

free weight loss site

I just opened a free account at Extra Pounds. Obviously I won't be doing much with their blog option, but there's trackers for food, weight, measurements, and activity which seem like they could be valuable.

gastric bypass makes you blind?!

If it's not one thing it's another:Gastric Bypass May Boost Blindness Risk
Here's the basics:
A boom in gastric bypass surgery could lead to an unwelcome trend: an increase in vitamin A deficiency among patients that raises their risk for vision loss.....Patients in the study had either intestinal bypass or gallbladder surgery, or surgery to remove tissue damaged by inflammatory bowel disease. Each patient had also taken vitamin A supplements, but still maintained poor eyesight.
This is the kind of stuff that worries me. Who ever said "well, you'll be thinner, but you won't be able to see it."

anti-jolly fat people

I've never thought that fat people were particully jolly or happy. If anything, it's a ruse because if we were our true selves, no one would ever like us--not being HUMAN and being FAT too. (Like recently when I showed my non-jolly human side on this blog and got a flurry of hate e-mails over what an evil selfish bitch I am.)
Now some morons paid money to show that fat does not equal jolly.
The study says breathlessly: Fat people are not more jolly, according to a study that instead found obesity is strongly linked with depression and other mood disorders.
I could have told them that for free. Hell, just about any fat person could have.
It goes on to explain earnestly: Depression often causes people to abandon activities, and some medications used to treat mental illness can cause weight gain. On the other hand, obesity is often seen as a stigma and overweight people often are subject to teasing and other hurtful behavior.
Teasing? Hurtful behavior? You don't say. I never would have guessed.

opera singer gets hired after losing weight

I clicked on this thinking it was about the HBO series The Sopranos, but I've actually heard of this case before. An obese opera singer lost her job for being too fat. That is so ironic because so many opera singers are overweight and I had always thought it was the last bastion of fat acceptance, the place where no one cared what you looked like, only what you sounded like. But this woman lost a coveted part because the directors didn't think she'd look good in the black evening gown the character was slated to wear. She had bariatric surgery, lost 135 lbs and amazingly enough, got the job.
I wouldn't WANT the job after that, but that's just me.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

couple of goals

Well, the seat-belt extender thing was a mixed goal. On my first flight, I fit fine in the seatbelt with a few inches to spare, but in the next plane it was exactly the opposite. I guess there is no standard size for seatbelts in different types of planes.
My leg is definately better. I walked everywhere on vacation because we didn't rent a car and basically I was in terrible pain every night from walking too much, way beyond what I am capable of, yet it didn't swell. That wasn't a goal--the goal was to get rid of the pain from my veins so I could work out again. But it's a welcome change.

being lied to

Gee, all my readers think I'm a selfish bitch. No one understood my point. My point was that I was lied to.
That's why I was upset. My cousin flat out lied to me. I didn't want to go to the wedding because I couldn't afford to travel that far, but he convinced me that all the things I was worried about wouldn't happen because he really wanted me there.
My husband works 50 hours a week and goes to college full time. I am very used to being alone. My job is solitary--I sit alone in an office all day. I don't have a problem being alone...except when I pay money to go somewhere with my husband and then I have to sit alone.
All the women at the wedding, except the bride's mother, were 15+ years younger than me. I had met them all before and we have zero in common. I had spent some time talking to one of them the night before, thinking we had a pleasant conversation, and she said something ugly about me to my cousin which he refused to repeat. I was seated next to her. No one was across from me.
I've been to many parties, weddings, etc where I wouldn't eat the food. I stayed. The food was just the last straw.
I've never been to a party where I was refused entry. Why would I stay? Would YOU?
My husband regretted agreeing to be the best man within a day of accepting. The bride went off on him over a bunch of stuff that wasn't his fault and remains angry at him. He wasn't happy about all the errands & tasks he was required to do as best man, much of which cost money we couldn't afford.
My husband just told me that my cousin didn't realize that the hostess had originally refused to let me in and he was extremely upset to find that out later. I don't know what happened to the food--he had told us what the menu was supposed to be and I said sure, I'll eat that, and when I got there it was totally different.
But you know what? Think what you want about me. Nobody's perfect, including me. Including you. I know I have irrational issues about food and being abandoned (and being lied to). That's why I have a therapist.
Sitting quietly & unhappily in the corner by myself is never an option. I speak up/out or I leave in a situation where I am uncomfortable. It took me years to (re-) develop the self-confidence and assertiveness to do this. I spent 6 years as a doormat and a punching bag with no self esteem, being lied to and cheated on, and when I did find the courage to speak up and question circumstances, being hit-ridiculed-isolated-punished for that. It took me a long time to understand that my feelings are always valid no matter what other people may say or think--and everyone else is entitled to their feelings/opinions also.

children are wimps

You know, I keep hearing about all the things parents do to "protect" their children.
As I child, I didn't have a helmet or pads to wear when I rode my bike. No one did. If anyone had come out on a bike with a helmet and pads they would have been ridiculed. Teachers gave out bad grades and used red pens to make errors on papers.
And now I see this article about how it's demeaning to call fat kids "obese". Overweight children are merely said to be "at risk for overweight" (When did they drop the "being" from "being overweight"? God I hate it when "overweight" is used like that.). Obese children are merely "overweight" to shield their fragile eggshell minds.
These ridiculous terms are what the CDC recommends.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

bunch o' quickies

I've been quiet because I stupidly took on a major freelance project and said I could do it by today and it nearly drove me to my knees. It was so much more complex than I anticipated. I've been doing nothing else for a week. Finally finished but I have an eyestrain headache like you wouldn't believe, and today I leave for vacation. Not sure about internet access at the hotel--they have it, but is it free?
My leg is doing great. Once in a while it pinches on some of the injection sites. The swelling is WAY down in my leg...I don't want to say it's gone, but it looks gone. Could this be it?!
The gym has an exercise challenge starting next week and if you work out 15 times during the challenge period (a month) you get a prize. I will work out at least 20 times during that period so I'm psyched to win. Me, winning an exercise challenge?! Hell yeah. Fat I might be, but I'm NOT lazy.
Anyway, in a few hours I'll know if I reached my goal of not having to use a seat belt extender on an airplane. If I have free internet access, I'll post tomorrow, otherwise look for something from me this weekend.
Cheers and happy 4th!