Archive for health

Biggest Loser Weigh In

Today was a wash out. Stress, stress and more stress.

I had plans to make some runs before heading to work for the registration and weigh in, but life had other plans. Like my car not working for instance. Fortunately it stopped working in my parking lot so I didn’t have to get it towed.

Because I lost all my phone numbers in a cell phone crash, I didn’t have anyone to call (except Mouse, but he was busy). So I looked up the bus route, then shoved my uniform into my bag and rushed out the door.

My commute is normally 15 minutes tops. Today it took an hour and a half on two buses. But I got there on time for the weigh in.

That in and of itself was depressing. 172.4 This means I GAINED about 5lbs since December. I wanted to cuss, but there were residents in the workout center so I couldn’t.

It didn’t help that our very awesome pastry chef made chocolate cake that BEGGED to be eaten (and I obliged), or that the pot roast that was served for dinner was tender and delicious.

But really, 172 is more than I weighed when I was 9 months pregnant. I was always the “skinny” one in my family (still am, sadly), so me being this heavy is really depressing. Most people can’t guess how much I weigh, largely due to how it’s distributed and the fact that I’m really good at hiding it (grow up in a family full of big women, you learn how to camouflage your weight). I really want to drop past a 12. A 10 would be great. Right now I’m a 14 nudging at 16.

This car issue might be the monkey wrench that throws me off. Depending on how much it costs to fix, I will probably have to put off getting a membership to a local gym for a while (I have a membership to another gym that’s all paid up, but the nearest one is more than 20 minutes away, and gas still ain’t that cheap).

The car issue also forces me to put plans to take The Kid to Disney World with some of my family this summer on hold. In total I’d need to come up with about $700 for that (it’s only that cheap because my cousin, whose plan this was, is renting a house for the week we’ll be there and will pay for that).

Two steps forward. One step back. Life’s a really bad tango.

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Biggest Loser at GH

So my job is having a Biggest Loser contest starting tomorrow. The prize is $400 for the women that loses the most and $400 for the man, plus $200 for the department that loses the most cumulative (we split the $200 between participants). I’ve decided to sign up. I figure if my own vanity won’t get my jiggly ass to the gym, the maybe the $5 registration fee will. My ultimate goal is to drop about 20lbs, putting me back in the high 140s and gaining some muscle tone.

So as of tonight, I am recruiting cheerleaders. I’ll be doing 12 weekly weigh-ins and I’ll let you know how I’m doing. I get paid this week so I’ll be hitting the local planet fitness to join ($10/month is nothing to sneeze at). I’ll probably be giving up my coke addiction (the drink, not the powder) since high fructose corn syrup isn’t all that good for you.

I will NOT give up my coffee though. You can take my coffee when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. You ain’t seen pissed off Hatsy until you’ve seen Hatsy with a caffeine headache. People have lost limbs. LIMBS I TELL YOU!

Protected: More about BDSM that you probably didn’t really want to know

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This weekend sucked

Not all of it. We finally got the tax return (turns out it got delivered to a house around the corner with the same house number, and since both of our streets start with the same letter…*shrug* we get a lot of their stuff too). H sent me out shopping. And The Kid was off with her Grandma J (my MIL) for the weekend.

All of this, plus the great weather, should have added up to an awesome weekend. Not when you’re me it doesn’t.

Two of my closest friends were in a funk (and still are) all weekend. One friend, I’m trying to get her husband to remove his head from his ass so that he can finally see that she needs help. I’m getting close but he wanted to whine about how hard he’s having it. Well it’d be a damn sight easier if she wasn’t beating herself up, now wouldn’t it. sigh People can be so flippin short sighted.

Then there was MT. I know he doesn’t come up much but check the Cast of Characters page. MT is one of my best friends and closest confidants and I knew he wasn’t in a good place but I didn’t know how bad it was until I checked my email this morning and found a note from him talking about he’s been lying in his bed all day playing with his gun (he lives in the deep south out in the woods…he basically needs a gun). My heart sank. Partly because I’m something of the cause of MT’s bad mood. (long story, SO not going into it here).

I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I’m not helping anyone anymore. People come to me for help and I show them the path for them to be able to help themselves but no one seems to want that. They want me to do the work for them and I can’t. I would if I could, but that’s not my path to travel. But no one seems to care about that. They all just want the easy way out. Hell I want the easy way out. But there is no easy way out. There is just life and all that comes with it, and God knows life ain’t easy.

I think I’m going to tune out for a while. Focus inward and start some of the healing that needs to go on in there anyway. My spiritual life is a mess and my personal life will be headed down that road if I’m not careful.

Wait…WHAT?!?

Leave it to the military to come up with something like this. I’ll admit, some of their past projects have been cool (like the heat ray for instance…I still want one) and others have lent themselves to hours of gut busting hilarity (gay bomb anyone?). But this…this is just…*shudders*

According to Engadget, the Department of Defense is setting up research to look into regrowing body parts. You know, like some lizards and worms do.

Except humans aren’t lizards or worms. Well…some humans are worms, but not in the literal sense.

The DoD is obviously out to create a super soldier. They’ve already sunk money into research that will keep soldiers from feeling the effects of fatigue so they can stay in the field longer with less sleep (never mind those harmful results of sleep deprivation…what’s a little psychosis amongst friends). They’re also doing research on advanced robotic limb replacements that will have all the fine motor skills that real limbs do…and then some.

They’re going to do this under the cover of helping soldiers who have lost limbs or have been shot. But let’s face facts, since the end of the draft they’ve been having a hard time recruiting kids, and with the never ending war going on, they’re having an even harder time getting and keeping soldiers. So if your troops can spontaneously regenerate limbs (which, I have to admit, is cool in an “I used to read X-men and wish I was a mutant with powers” sort of way), then you won’t have to worry about shortages due to lost limbs. Of course this research could be used to create perfect-match organs for people desperately in need of transplants, but, and I’m just being honest here, that sort of technology would only be available to the richest of the rich who can afford it. The other 90% of people who need it will have to pray their insurance will cover it or hope that some charity will take pity on them and help.

Now, the part that really scares me (aside from the images from Terminator II-when the liquid cyborg kept regenerating himself after being shot in the head-that keep playing in my mind), is that this sort of ability is genetic. Salamanders don’t learn how to regenerate. They just do. It’s part of their DNA. For this sort of technology to be used in the military, they’d have to find a way to alter each soldier’s genetic structure, and hope that there are no unintended consequences (like a squid-soldier who has seven arms). Doing each individual as they come in would be costly, and inefficient. And while the government and military seem to only function when they are costly and inefficient, eventually they are going to start “testing” on the general public. Which makes me think that No Child Left Behind will become No Fetus Left Unaltered after a time. It will be voluntary at first, of course, but then it will become compulsory. Or worse, they’ll just do it without the mother’s permission anyway. She can’t say anything about it once the baby is here right?

Yeah I know, that’s worst case scenario, gloom and doom type talk…but let’s be honest, if they find a way to do this, it won’t be long before this sort of thing plays itself out. We’re a country where the vast majority of our tax dollars go to military spending (more than education and health care combined in fact). We are, essentially, a military state. Our only recourse, our only known way to assert our will, has been through force. Since the first settlers dropped anchor. Hell, since the Conquistadors dropped anchor. If we backed off our military spending, we’d eventually be seen as the paper tiger we are. If African countries got themselves together and organised, they’d make us their bitch (talk about reparations). Hell, eastern Europe could take us, as disorganised and that area is. So we have to keep spending. Making out military bigger, stronger, faster (and whatever else they said in the beginning of the 6 Million Dollar Man).

Can you see the snowball?

Ok, I admit, I sound like a crazed conspiracy theorist. And I’m honestly not. I just like seeing the pros and cons of things and this has a lot of cons. Like a lot a lot. It’s not like our government and military are renown for their ethics. Especially when it comes to the medical field.

Anyhow, I can’t see this sort of technology actually being usable anytime in the foreseeable future. And those ranting, raving, foaming at the mouth, ultra religious right wingers wouldn’t allow for experiments to be performed on embryos, especially not when it comes to tampering with DNA and genetics. They’d see it as playing God and would raise Hell (how ironic) like no one’s business. Huh…maybe they have a use after all.

I’m growing resentful of my disease.

My mind is clearer now…at last, all to well, I can see where we all soon will be…

I’ve been on anti-deps since August, and with my meds and time there has come a lot of clarity and discovery. The one thing that I have recently begun to understand fully is that my depression has had an affect, not just on me, but on my whole family.

Four years. I lost four years of my life to my depression. Oh, I’ve lost more than just that on the whole, but those four years were the most important. Four years of a new marriage. Four years of new motherhood. Four years that I spent living in a fog, detached from the world around me while I drowned in this disease of mine. My husband, the sweet darling he is, stood by me patiently and helped me through those four years, rough as they were. In the mean time he sacrificed so much personally for me to get to where I am now.

My daughter suffered also she saw some of my worst behavior when I was in the depth of my depression. Imagine the earliest memories your child has of you is you screaming, crying and flying into irrational rages. I saw her face one day when one of these episodes happened and she looked at me as though I were a total stranger. And I was. I couldn’t even recognise myself when I was raging. That look was what convinced me to get on meds. I was slowly destroying my relationship with H and my daughter.

Now I look back and see what damage my depression has done. Some of it is totally irrepairable. There is damage to my marriage, damage to my relationship with my daughter, damage to friendships.

I hate that I have been given this disease. I hate that I allowed it to control me like that. I feel weak when I think about it. Like some stupid puppet; out of control of myself and my actions. I hate that I’m going to be on medication for the rest of my life. But I know it’s for the best. There is no cure for depression. You don’t grow out of it or get over it. You either handle it or let it consume you.

This is my life. The only one I get. I won’t live it ruled by this disease. I won’t let it decide how I feel everyday. I won’t let it destroy me, or my family any further. My goal is to repair and rebuild. My foundation will be the knowledge that I am not my disease. I am not the person it made me be on my worst days. I am better than that.

Ok…In all fairness to God and His(Her?) sense of humor

Yesterday was a much better day for me, emotionally at least.

Doing something I loathed doing to ensure someone I cared deeply about had a chance at happiness was the trade off for an episode-free day.

Normally it’d be about here that I throw in some pseudo-philosophical about life and making hard decisions…but my throat is killing me, my right ear feels like there’s something in it (there isn’t) and I’m not in the mood to be insightful right now.

Sure, God is still fucking with me (“Dance, puppet. DANCE!“) for shits and giggles, but that’s nothing new.

Thoughts on body image

(Warning for those who are faint of heart: the links below are from two Dom/sub blogs; if the idea of Dominant/submissive relationships offends you then I suggest you go and read another post because I’ll be referencing them throughout this entry. I am not here to promote their -or anyone else’s [not even mine]- lifestyle, but I speak on wisdom where I find it. Either read without judgment or keep it moving.)

Surfing around through wordpress I came across a blog about body image. He referenced another blog about it, so naturally I scooted over there and read what she had to say. She was on point with everything and her suggestions for helping with one’s body image issues were insightful. Of course, I had to speak on this myself.

I’ve always been an advocate for the destruction of the false beauty model as set by Hollywood and mass media. Everything I learned growing up goes counter to what Elle and Cosmo says I should look like. Guys I knew and met growing up much preferred curvy women (“Girls with some meat on their bones,” as they so eloquently put it). And growing up in a family that is largely from the south (Alabama, and Mississippi) and was dominated by women who were big, I was taught early on that “only dogs like bones, men need meat” and then had another helping of ribs, macaroni and cheese (baked, not from the box), greens and who knows what else heaped onto my plate because I was “too skinny” (I was, and for the most part still am, the thinnest woman genetically related to my family, with only one or two exceptions in my age group).

As a kid and teenager, I was afraid of being too skinny. When I hit 5th grade and saw girls my age blooming while I maintained my rail thin, tomboy figure, I got nervous that I would never “have what it takes” to net one of the cute boys in my neighborhood. Especially not when placed in competition with girls who had long since passed their training bra stage and whose hips and butts were rounding out nicely. (If you read my boob post, you already know how that story ends)

Even in college, after finally having caught up with (and in some cases surpassed) my female peers in the figure department, I was still an advocate for a curvier female population. Jessica Alba was on tv in those skin tight outfits showing off her lovely figure (which she subsequently lost after drinking the Hollywood Kool-Aide and decided to abandon any aspect that would hint of her multi-ethnicity…I’d call her a sell out, but that would be oversimplifying it). Jennifer Lopez was shaking her badunkadunk across stages all over the world to her Diddy-ised Latino-hip hop beat. Maxim came out and was profiling women with lush hips (though, not too lush). Then there was the girl-next-door homegrown good looks of Rachel Ray (I can’t stand her, but she is cute). Jazzyfatnastees. Jill Scott. Tyra Banks (I can’t stand her ass either lol). Curves were everywhere. I was delighted.

However, I was also broke. When I saw a flier in one of the campus food courts looking for young women to model nude, I decided “what the hell, why not?” I checked his site and all of his shots were tasteful. Nothing pornographic or questionable. It was artistic nudity. And I had no problem with that. So I shot him an email expressing interest (oh don’t look so shocked…at least I would have been getting paid, unlike those morons who do girls gone wild tit shots for a fucking t-shirt) and he asked me to describe myself. At the time I was 5’4″, fluctuating between 127 and 130, 36DD and a size 8 in jeans. I thought I was pretty damn thin and I looked good in shorts. He said he wanted more of an athletic body. Less curve, more of a flat stomach, etc etc. And I was willing to diet to give it to him, until I stepped back and thought to myself “Um, wait a second. There is nothing wrong with my shape or my weight. Why in the hell am I trying to lose weight that I don’t need to lose?” I admit, I could have used to some toning, but weight loss? Nah. So I flipped that idea the bird and settled for a minimum wage campus job answering phones.

I walked a lot in high school and college, so keeping weight off was never really a problem, but when I got married and moved to a new city (that I wasn’t familiar with), walking went out the window. Not long after getting married I got pregnant, and that’s when all my problems started.

My first trimester I lost 11lbs, dropping me down to my college weight of 131. The doc said this was normal and was because my body was just burning off fat stores for energy while it was preparing to carry my baby. I was fine. My sex life was fine. Everything was fine. Until I hit month five. That’s when I really started to show and my baby started moving a bit. Sex became uncomfortable and I was unhappy with my distended belly, but I tried anyway. Around 7 months I simply couldn’t bear the idea of showing my body to my husband, who insisted that I was just as beautiful pregnant as I was before. Even with all of his heartfelt assurances, I couldn’t accept that the whale I had become could be considered beautiful.

My pregnancy weight topped out at 161, which meant I had only really added 20lbs to my pre-pregnancy weight (about 140), but I was very unhappy with my appearance. Even after having my daughter and losing most of the weight I was unhappy with my stretch marks, love handles and saddle bags (all of which were a result of pregnancy). I was a stay at home mom and often too exhausted to work out. Plus there was no where for me to work out. I have a lifetime membership to Fitness USA, but the closest one is over 20 minutes away and gas prices were rising. I hated my body, and slipped into a deeper depression over it. Sex was almost totally out of the question. I felt completely undesirable (though my husband felt differently, he loved my extra curves). And though I kept up my banner waving for women with curves, I kept thinking back to my thinner high school and college figure.

I often spoke with my friends about having pride in our curves. Taking pleasure in the stretch marks that came from us bearing children. I was all but singing “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”. But away from all those people, my inner-voice became especially nasty.

Let me break in here real quick to explain my “inner-voice”. I have had depression since I was 12, and my depression often came in the form of a “voice” that repeated over and over about what a failure I was, how unattractive I was, that I was a disappointment to my friends and family, I was worthless, useless, hopeless. Most of the time I could tune it out (without the aid of medication), but it was a steady drum beat that never wavered from its typically self-assured tone, and when it got bad, I would believe everything it said. After I had my daughter, the messages of this voice grew nastier as my self confidence began to falter. I became not only unattractive, but unlovable. My husband was, of course, cheating on me (so my voice said), who wouldn’t? I was fat, ugly, unemployed, useless, a drain on our finances, a horrible mother…and on and on. And I believed it. No matter what my husband said to the contrary. This left him frustrated on many levels.

I knew I needed to make a change when a doctors visit revealed that I had hit 170. Years after having my daughter, I had gained 15lbs. And as I said earlier, my family is full of big women. On both my mom and my dad’s side. I accept that there is some genetic propensity towards holding our weight, especially after we have babies. However I knew I could choose how much of that weight was genetic and how much was voluntary. I also knew that the older I got, the harder it’d be for me to lose. So if I was going to take control of my weight, my life and, most importantly, my self image, now was going to be the time. I started working out (not just to lose weight but to help alleviate my depression naturally) and asked my doc for anti-depressants.

It wasn’t until after this that I began to believe my own hype about the beauty of curves again. Yes, I’m curvy, and yes I’m good looking (I’m too humble to call myself beautiful). No, my breasts aren’t sitting right on top of my chest, but you show me a 36DDD woman whose breasts are and I’ll show you some fake boobs. I still have a pooch from my pregnancy and I’m fairly convinced that’s not going to go away completely without surgery. I’m still fluctuating between the mid to high 150’s and low 160’s, but I’m ok with that too. I don’t pay attention to BMI results because I saw first hand how very wrong it is to gage one’s health (I had lost 6lbs, gained muscle tone, but my BMI went up two points saying I was at risk for obesity…that was when I flipped BMI charts the bird). My sex life is back on track and I love my husband all the more for sticking with me when I was at my absolute lowest.

I haven’t given up my fight against false beauty standards either. I refuse to watch shows like America’s Next Top Model. I don’t buy fashion magazines. I expose my daughter to women of all shapes, sizes, heights, colors and tones so she understands that we’re all beautiful. I don’t watch music videos (I don’t have cable, but when I did, I didn’t watch them). And though I can’t stand her annoying ass, I applaud Raven Simone for not drinking the Hollywood Kool-Aide and loving her body and herself, curves and all. It’s a small effort, hardly a dent in the mass media image machine, but it’s my dent, and it’s a dent I pass on to every one of my girl-friends and my daughter so they can add on to it.