Thursday, April 11, 2013

Where is the Corpulent Queen????

So when you are struggling to lose weight, change the entire way you look at food, get a 7 year old and a husband on board with said food, helping husband set up a business, setting up your own business, helping your mom in the wake of losing your dad and just overall changing your entire life....throw something else on the fire.

I am proud to announce, that I am officially an EX-smoker! Yep, I took the plunge and got the nicotine monkey off my back. I didn't do Chantix or patches or anything like that. No, I went cold turkey with an emergency e-cig in the glove compartment of my car. Because I went cold turkey, my writing, language and overall demeanor has been less than, shall we say, cordial. Actually, I have wanted to kick puppies. I have not kicked any puppies, husbands or children in the process of quitting smoking.

I didn't really mean to quit smoking, it just sort of happened. If I haven't mentioned it before, I have a lot going on. It was a Sunday, and we live in the middle of nowhere, so everything closes at nightfall it seems. I only had about half a pack of cigs left so I decided I would go pick up a carton while my husband napped and my son was playing his Wii. I got in the car, cranked it, put on the seat belt and lit up a smoke, which I normally do when my son isn't in the car. Then as I got out on the road it just seemed like a chore to smoke that cigarette. I finally just put it out in the ashtray and continued to sing along with Aretha Franklin. Then I had the epiphany: I really didn't want to smoke anymore. I hadn't smoked in over two hours and took two drags off of my "I have 20 minutes to myself and can smoke in the car" cigarette (i.e. the best cigarette ever) and I didn't want to smoke it. To be honest, I didn't want to smoke for the past several days. I immediately panicked a little, thinking how adverse I was to smoking when I was pregnant (yeah, I know, I quit when I was pregnant why in the hell didn't I stay quit???? I asked myself that alot.). I did the math in my head really quickly and realized it was unlikely I was pregnant. I was still wrestling with the question if I wanted to smoke or not smoke when I pulled into the gas station. Now I know what you are thinking: What's the big deal right? Well, like I said, I live in the middle of nowhere and the store is not just around the corner, and if I decided at 10 pm I NEEDED a cigarette there was no getting one. I got out of my car, got a drink and walked around the store so long I think they thought I was going to rob the place. Finally I decided I would buy an electronic cigarette, which would stave off any unbearable cravings until morning.

My husband was awake when I got home and I announced I was quitting smoking. God bless him, Hubs is always supportive, even though I am sure he was thinking "Crap!" I am pretty proud of myself that I haven't really been that irritable (yes I have had a few moments) and I haven't eaten everything in the house. Although, I do know why some people gain weight when they quit smoking: you get your taste buds back and everything tastes REALLY good! This has resulted in a few extra helpings when I would normally stop, but it's getting manageable. I'm also getting my sense of smell back as well, which means I look a bit like a bloodhound by sniffing around my house looking for the source of this smell or that. I haven't really had any overwhelming craving except for day 5. Day 5 was rough and I was on the verge of bumming 1 cigarette from a neighbor to get over the hump and thought "I can suffer today, or I can keep feeding the craving and prolong the suffering". So, like ripping off a bandage, I suffered through it and got over it. There are certain times of the day I miss it more than others, and there is a big lifestyle adjustment to be made as I usually used a smoke break when I really needed a mental health break, needed to think something over for a minute, needed a brief break, or needed to get my anger/thoughts/frustration under control.

As of this writing, it has been three weeks and the cravings are GONE!!! I don't even think about it anymore. Next week is my birthday, and this has been a great gift I have given myself. I encourage anyone reading to take that plunge when you are ready. It's easier than you think!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Creeping Crud

Ugh! That about sums up the past couple of weeks around my house. For those that don't know me, I have a super-charged immune system that breaks down maybe 2 times a year, usually around allergy season, long enough for me to get a summer cold and a winter cold. Because of seasonal allergies, I may get the sniffles a few times in between, but an actual cold is rare to me. Thanks to the super charged immune system, if I do get sick, I rarely stay sick for very long. A typical cold to me is about 2 days. This year, however, I have had back to back colds for about a month now. Not typical colds either, at least not for me. No, I have had the creeping crud for waaaaaaaaay to long and it has knocked me and my family on our collective ass! I am accustomed to nursing a cold for a day and feeling well enough to go about my day the next day. Not this time. This time, I find myself trying to go about my day by putting on a load of laundry and feeling like I need a nap after. This time, I get worn out and run down just by getting myself a drink of water. I have tried everything to get better, but yesterday I finally realized what is keeping me sick.

As I may have mentioned, my family recently completed building our new home. Due to the home's design and location, we have a wonderful cross breeze that blows through the house when the windows are open, so, given that I believe fresh air and sunshine are the perfect remedy for colds, I have thrown open the windows to take advantage of said fresh air. We live in South Carolina so the weather is beautiful right now and will be replaced with "OH MY GOD" hot in just a few weeks, so I'm taking advantage. In this new house, is a beautiful blue stained wood floor in the kitchen. It really is gorgeous, I'll have to share a picture:

Excuse the mess, that was shortly after we moved in, and that is my fat ass cleaning the kitchen, and my equally fat ass cat supervising.

Anyway, yesterday I realized I had to do some housework regardless of how crappy I felt, because we were going to be evicted when the health department condemned the house. The sunlight was shining in the back door and it illuminated a faint sheen of pollen all over my very pretty blue floor. I don't know how I didn't see it before, but there it was. Not only was there pollen all over the floor, but all over the table, the chairs, the light fixtures, everywhere! I could see my foot steps in the pollen. I am just enough of a neat freak to have had a panic attack and went right to work getting the stuff up. It apparently blew in with all the windows open and was trying to pollinate everything it landed on, including the people. Now, I'm not saying it's not a good idea to air the house out on occasion, but I'm feeling a lot better today than I have for about a month now. Hopefully, the rest of the house will start to feel a little better as well, but I am considering slipping everyone some Benedryl in their cereal just to be safe.

Monday, March 11, 2013

You Must Be Kidding Me!

I stepped on the scales this morning and it has not moved an ounce! This is both ridiculous and a wake up call. While overall my eating is better, it looks as though I need to take an overview of exactly when and how much I am eating and start journaling my meals. I hate food journals. They are tedious. What's more, my tendency to get obsessive about things poses a real problem during weight loss.  Check out my entry for the 5 Stupidest things I ever did to lose weight post. But, it is necessary. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying a plateau isn't to be expected, but plateaus usually come when someone has reached a leveling off point after a "significant" weight loss. This point comes for different people. A person with only 20 pounds to lose may hit a plateau after losing 10 pounds, but a person who has 100 pounds to lose shouldn't hit a plateau before at least 25 pounds in. Women are especially prone to plateaus, as certain biologic functions cause our weight to fluctuate throughout the month, but that's not the issue here.

I know I have not been drinking water as I should either. This is an issue with me. Diet soda is just so gooooooood! And I have a real affinity for coffee. I am not willing to sacrifice my coffee with real sugar and cream. I am a bit of a contradiction in that regard. On the one hand, I have no problem whatsoever drinking a  chemical filled diet soda, but on the other, I hate to defile my morning coffee with the artificial stuff. While I may not need to give it up completely, I don't have to drink it until 2pm each day. Maybe I might sleep better as well, if I cut down on the caffeine and sugar, and sleeping better also aids weight loss.

At any rate, here we go with the journal! Don't worry, I will spare you all the gory details of my food journal.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

And The War Is On. . .

With my treadmill.  It sits there, staring at me, mocking me, taunting me, daring me to climb on.  That great black, mechanical beast snorts and breathes it's song of evil against dripping fangs and the rattling cogs of torment.  Ok, not really.  It is an inanimate object, and the snorting and fire is all in my head, but it's scary as shit nonetheless.  I know from personal experience, if I just get on the thing, consistently, in a few weeks I will begin to, not only enjoy it, but actually look forward to it.  Those few weeks in the beginning however, will prove to be hell. I know my legs will protest. I know my lungs will feel like they can't take in enough air. I know my heart will beat so fast I feel like it will come through my chest. My feet will hurt. My skin will flush a very unflattering shade of red. I'll sweat. I'll cuss. I will tell myself "Fat ain't so bad" and contemplate throwing in the towel. But I also know I can't do it without him.

He doesn't allow me to use the excuse of "too hot", "too cold", "rainy", "safety" or anything else I can come up. He is here, he is in my bedroom so I don't have to get in my car and drive to the gym. My pictures don't care if I haven't done my hair in a month, so it's not like I have to look for cute gym clothes. My son and husband know where I am at all times so when they can't find something that's right out in the open they can easily come and find me. I can put on dinner, jump on the treadmill, stir the dinner, jump back on the treadmill, and do it all over again.

If I remember correctly, that's the reason I got the thing in the first place and it's exactly the reason I hate it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What a Crock!

I'm thinking of adding a couple of theme days to the blog, including a recipe day, and that got me to thinking about my crock pot.  Don't ask for the full run down on how I got from point A to point crock pot because a) I'm not a good enough writer to take you on that long and winding journey, and b) you'd lose interest somewhere around the point I was thinking about Harry Potter and how that ugly kid really grew into his looks.  Anyway, suffice it to say, the crock pot is useful to the dieter's arsenal because it will eliminate both the "I don't have the money to cook healthy food" and the "I don't have time to exercise" excuses.

First, the money element:

Crock pots are great for cooking cheaper (i.e. tougher) cuts of meat at a lower, slower temperature.  You can also cook leaner cuts of meat in the crock pot and still have it come out juicy without all the added fat.  Crock pots are also great for cooking big pots of healthy soups and stews that you can then freeze in individual bags for lunches and thus eliminate the excuse for popping out to get some dollar menu fast food. I don't care if everything IS a dollar, it's still cheaper to bring lunch from home.  And, because you are freezing your leftovers, you don't have the worry of getting burned out on eating the same thing for lunch tomorrow that you had for dinner the night before.  Variety is the spice of life!

Now, the time element:

How many people, especially women, give the excuse of not having enough time in their day to exercise?  Close to a billion.  That's just an estimate, but I'm pretty sure it's close.  It's no wonder.  I once worked outside of the home and I know from experience, sometimes moms don't have a chance to even sit down until around 10pm.  Forget about waking up early for exercise!  I never could do it.  I had to get up at 5:30 am as it was to get myself, my kid and my husband out of the door on time.  I had a 45 minute commute, one way, would often work overtime, come home and get dinner and a load of laundry started, help the kiddo with homework, clean the house, finish up dinner, eat dinner, clean the kitchen, do more laundry, do more homework, build a lego tower, get everything ready for tomorrow, lather, rinse, repeat. There didn't seem to be enough hours in my day to fit in exercise.

A crock pot can free up at least the hour you spend cooking dinner each night. You can just set up your meals the night before, throw it on before leaving the house for the day, and come home to a wonderful homecooked meal. It's almost like having a personal chef! Get some bagged salad and an easy side dish and you have dinner!

The only issue with crock pot cooking is finding healthy recipes that fit into a diet plan. To find healthier alternatives to crock pot recipes, one often has to dig a little deeper, but that's not to say it can't be done. Almost anything can be cooked in a crock pot with a little modification. I will be posting tried and true recipes on this blog beginning Monday under the heading of Monday Meals. If you have any you would like to share, please comment or send me an email. You will get full credit!

Monday, March 4, 2013

WARNING: This post may contain the "F" word.

Let's just assume every Monday post will contain the "F" word from here on out. Monday's suck. Monday weigh in days suck harder.

First, a disclaimer: my entire household has been sick this past week.  My son has been sick with seasonal allergies AND wrestling with getting a permanent molar.  So that's been fun. I don't care what doctors and dentists say, kids get sick when their teeth come in. Nearly every mother I have ever spoken with says the same thing and we can't all be wrong. My kid is no different. My husband has been working really hard, long hours because this is the busiest season for his business. As a result, he hasn't been feeling the best either. So I have two very sick guys to take care of. This has translated to grabbing what I could, when I could to eat. But, excuses are like assholes, we all have one. Right? Right! So that's mine.

Now, I crawled my fat butt on the scale today and I haven't lost an ounce! I have gained any, so I'm taking that as a victory in itself, but still I'm a bit disappointed. Oh well, back on the proverbial horse. Which leads me to the rest of my post.

One thing I have learned from being on one diet or another for the better part of my life is you have to keep going no matter what. As some of you may know, I am part of the forums at  A very wise poster on that forum (wish I could remember who), quoted a book she read that said: If you were cleaning your fine china and broke a single dish, would you break the rest of the set? No, of course not. Well, weight loss is a lot like that. You will have ups and downs, and you will have days when you just can't resist reaching for that bag of chips, but it doesn't negate everything else you've done. You just have to get back on the horse and pick up where you left off. Had I kept this in mind, I might have avoided gaining and losing the same 10 pounds over and over again.  So, for today, I'm just going to say "Fuck it" and move on to the rest of my week.  Here's to next Monday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Top 5 Stupidest Things I Ever Did To Lose Weight

I have been on a weight loss roller coaster for all but 15 years of my life.  For 4 years, I was, well an infant/toddler/didn't give a shit.  Then for over 10 years I figured things out and got healthy and fit.  Everything else has been one thing and another.  Therefore; I consider myself an expert.  But no one gets to be an expert without a little trial and error.  Below, I have outlined the highlights of my training.

5.  Dexatrim.

I'm sure many of you are thinking "So, we have all used diet pills", yeah, we have.  Unfortunately, I started my little diet pill journey when I was 9.  Like a lot of women, my mother was constantly thinking she was fat. Because of it, she was constantly on a diet.  An irony that is not lost on me.  Because she was always on a diet, she always had one diet pill or another laying around the medicine cabinet.  I knew I was a chubby kid, but around age 9, a boy named Tristan made me all tingly.  He also made me cry when he called me fat.  I think there was something about 2 x 4's, but I've tried to block it out.  Anyway, I wanted Tristan to be my boyfriend, but he wouldn't because I was fat.  My mom had just gotten back in her skinny jeans by popping a few dexatrims so I thought I would do the same.  Only there were a few hiccups with that.  You see back in the day, or rather prior to 2004, diet pills had Ephedrine, Pseudoephedra, Phenylpropanolamine, and all other sort of things they don't allow now.  They don't allow it now because people make meth out of it.  They also don't allow it because these things cause adverse reactions, heart problems, strokes...all sorts of bad stuff.  Another little thing they hadn't quite grasped back in the day: speed actually slows kids down.  The makers of Ritalin have made billions of dollars on this fact.  That will be relevant in a minute.

I'm not real sure what all was in dexatrim, but I do know the first time I took it, I sat on the couch and watched every episode of Gilligan's Island they ever made.  I didn't eat, so I took that as a good sign.  My mom didn't really notice at first, I guess because I left her alone for 12 hours straight.  The second time I took it, I sat under the kitchen table for about 6 hours just contemplating life.  Then my mother knew something was up and kept asking me if someone at school had slipped me a Quaalude.  Apparently, Quaaludes were popular in the early 80's among elementary school kids?  I assured her I had not.  But I said Quaalude over and over again because it sounded pretty.  When she finally got out of me what was going on, she thought it was funny.  See, back in the day, parents didn't freak out over stuff like that.  She called our doctor and he probably didn't freak out either, but I have always wondered if this is how they got the idea for Ritalin.  The ingredient in Dexatrim that gave Mom so much energy reacted much differently in my 9 year old metabolism and slowed me down.  Now, I may not know what all was in Dexatrim, but I do know one thing that was in it....Licorice Root.  Do you know what Licorice Root is?  It's a laxative.  A very mild laxative, but a laxative all the same.  So, combine a very mellow and slowed down 9 year old with a laxative, and it didn't take long for me to decide Tristan was a douche bag and not worth it.  Crapping yourself will do that to a relationship.

4.  The Cabbage Soup Diet

Not only did I have the joy of having a mother who was constantly worried about her weight, but I also had a very vain father.  When someone mentioned that he looked like he had gained a couple of pounds, he decided he needed to go on a diet.  My parents were divorced and I was living with my dad at the time (no, not because social services placed me there due to an unfortunate dexatrim incident).  I was always up for a diet in high school, so I thought I would join him.  Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the Cabbage Soup Diet, the basic premise is this:  You make a big ass pot of cabbage soup (along with some other veggies) and eat as much as you want for a week.  You also have days where you only eat certain things like bananas and skim milk, baked potatoes on another day, etc.  Well, the thing with the soup is there is no meat in it.  And you are only allowed meat on 1 other day of the diet.  I'm not saying vegetarian isn't the way to go (more on that later), but the cabbage soup diet doesn't replace lost protein.  I guess it was day 3 of the diet and my body was so starved for protein that I ate an entire jar of peanut butter whilst sitting in the floor of the kitchen.  Combine the peanut butter, with the fact I was bombarding my colon with cabbage, and well let's just say my Earth Science class got a lot livelier when I very loudly announced my presence during a test.  I will never forget that day.  I could feel it coming and I agonized to hold out just 15 minutes until I could finish my test and be excused to the bathroom, but the peanuts and cabbage would not be ignored.  I finally accepted my fate and silently prayed I could ease it out quietly.  No.  I couldn't.  Luckily, I was able to play it off and no one knew it was me....insert evil grin here.

3.  Anorexia

First of all, there is nothing about Anorexia that is funny.  It is a horrible eating disorder that affects a lot of people.  The only thing funny about Anorexia as far as I am concerned, is the fact that I thought I could make myself BE anorexic.  When I was 14, I knew a girl at my aunt's church who had been carted away to a rehab because of anorexia.  I thought, wow, I'll just try that.  I mean the girl at church was so thin, I just won't keep it up long enough to get sick like she did.  Yeah, teenage girls can be really stupid.  It took about 3 days for me to realize I was the world's WORST anorexic.  At least at 14.

2.  Bulimia

I told my best friend that I tried to be anorexic during a sleep over once.  She proceeded to tell me about how she could never be anorexic, but she knew this girl, who had a cousin (don't all teenaged girl stories start like that), who would eat whatever she wanted and then just throw everything up.  She was totally thin! Eureka!  That was it, we decided we were going to be bulimic.  We pigged out on Ranch Doritos and orange soda and then headed off to the bathroom.  My best friend then discovered she had a very low gag reflex and could not throw up no matter how far she stuck her finger down her throat.  This served her well later, but this blog isn't THAT R-rated.  I, on the other hand, didn't get my finger past my front teeth before I spewed like an Italian fountain.  As bad as I was at being anorexic at 14, I found out at 15 that I was damn good at being bulimic.  It was the start of a love affair that would wax and wane for the remainder of my high school career and on into college.  By senior year I was down 30 pounds and feeling pretty good about everything except my breath, which was always bad in those days.  I also had to shoot down pregnancy rumors when I fainted in Spanish class and later volleyball practice....but I didn't care, high school was almost over and I was going to be thinner by college.  Which leads me to:

1.  Low-fat/fat-free

Let me just start by saying: As a rule, I don't think Low-fat diets are a bad thing.  Especially, considering my family has a high heart disease rate.  Cutting out the extra fat and cholesterol is a staple of a healthy eating plan.  But if you take it too far, as I did, it can very easily end up on your top five stupidest things you ever did to lose weight list.

During the summer between graduating from High School and before college, my cousin, who was my frenemy cousin, called me up to brag she had lost 10 pounds "without even trying" because she was on this new low-fat diet.  It was, in her words, the easiest diet she had ever tried.  In 1990 (yes, I just gave away my age), low-fat and fat-free were all the rage and I'm sure I had seen the food labels but hadn't given it much thought.  She went on to describe how she only got 25g or less of fat from all her food each day, and the pounds were "melting" off.  I did some quick math in my head and realized she now weighed less than me.  You see, my cousin and I were close in age and while we were best of friends, we were also young women just learning about that competition women have with one another.  Thus, frenemy cousin.  It didn't matter to me that we had completely different body types, I, being 5'8" and her, being 5'3" and curvy.  No, that didn't matter to her or me, because we soon were dieting together.  Dieting together, for frenemies, means we were competing to see who could get thinner, faster, and all that mattered was what it read on the scale.  She was right in one regard, the low-fat diet was easy due to the abundance of low-fat and fat-free food products available.  I used fat-free everything; salad dressing, margarine  soup...everything.  I also quit frying and started baking all my meat, and ate tons of vegetables.  The weight was "melting off".

I dropped weight consistently for weeks.  Pretty soon I was looking really good, but thanks to the Bulimia I developed in High School, I couldn't see it.  I got obsessed with seeing the scale move.  Not long after, my cousin stopped seeing the scale move and gave up.  I WON!  Which I reveled in for all of two seconds.  I didn't care that I beat her at the weight loss game anymore.  I wanted to keep going.  I had a number in my head of what I should weigh (120) and nothing would dissuade me otherwise.  Pretty soon, I hit the dreaded plateau.  I waited it out for a week and hatched a brilliant plan during Freshmen orientation.  If cutting my fat grams to 25g made me lose that much weight, imagine if I reduced to 20g????  Sure enough the scale started moving again.  I also started moving when I took up jogging.  Only I didn't just take up jogging.  I ran....everywhere.  I planned my 2nd semester to allow each class to be as far away from the other as possible.  I would run, even though I had 20 minutes to get there, to my next class.  I ran everywhere.  I ran to the mailbox, I ran between classes, I ran to the library, I ran to my car.  Looking back, I now know why I didn't have a boyfriend - I was the weird girl that ran everywhere.  Needless to say, the weight continued to melt away, but it was slowing down.  No problem, I just cut my fat grams to 15.

Between my 1st and 2nd year of college, I had to get a job and drop out.  I'll spare you the reasons why, but I got my first big girl job working for an attorney.  I was still losing weight and still running everywhere.  The weight was continuing to come off, albeit slowly.  I would go two weeks without seeing the scale move and I was as depressed as if I had just broken up with my boyfriend.  Oh, except I didn't have a boyfriend, and that was fine by me because he may have wanted to take me to dinner and I ONLY ate what I made.  You can see how my thinking was about to get screwed up.  After about a month of seeing no scale movement, I decided to cut my fat grams even lower.  Only, I was already only allowing myself 10g a day.  To go any lower, I would have to cut out meat altogether.  So I did.  Only I didn't replace it with any other form of protein.  I only ate brown rice and mixed vegetables and was running over 5 miles a day, sometimes twice a day.  Finally, the scale started to move again.

My family started to worry about me at this point.  My aunt would ask me all the time "How much do you weigh now?  Don't you think you've lost enough?"  I just thought she wanted me to be fat.  When she would point out my protruding collar bone, I wore it as a badge of honor.  The fact that I was only 19 and already hobbling around due to severe shin splints, only proved I was willing to work for things.  Even my frenemy cousin would ask me things like "well what DO you eat" when I would tell her I didn't eat this or that.  It was easy to think she was just jealous because I stuck it out.  This was my reasoning.    I spent all my time either at work, or running.  Very little of that time was eating.  When the scale slowed again, I cut my calories by only having one meal a day, of 1 cup brown rice and two cups of vegetables, spaced throughout the day.

The last day I ate this way, I climbed on my scale before work and it read 140.  I could see my goal in sight and reasoned that I would fast every weekend until I got to 120.  I got to work that day and felt a little light headed, but it wasn't that much worse than any other time so I didn't think any more about it.  My boss brought me some paperwork he needed filed with the judge and that made me happy.  It was always a bonus to me when I got to take paperwork to the courthouse because it meant I got an extra half mile of walking round trip.  I took the paper to the judges office and was chit chatting with his secretary when the floor rose up and swallowed me.  I woke up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

My memory of what happened next is still, after 20 years, still a little fuzzy.  I remember there was a lot of people coming in and out of my room asking me if I ate today, talking about electrolytes and low blood pressure, vitamin deficiencies, etc.  I don't know exactly how long I was there, but I did finally come around and a nurse smiled broadly at me and asked me some more questions like my name and age to see if I knew.  I told her.  She was happy.  She then started hanging an IV bag since the one that was already going was empty.  I asked her what she was doing and when she told me I was dehydrated so she was hanging an IV.  "How many calories are in an IV", I asked her.  She never answered me, she just hung the IV and hurried out of the room.  A few minutes later, a representative from the hospital's eating disorders clinic and a psychiatrist were in my room asking me a lot of questions.  I agreed to check myself in, but only as an outpatient, just to get them to shut the hell up.

I was probably in outpatient treatment for about a month, making no progress with my counselor, even though I was eating a little more, reasoning I would finish losing weight after I got back to school in the fall.  My counselor suggested, again, that I join her during a group session and I finally agreed to go.  I remember sitting there, surrounded by the sickest looking women I had ever seen in my life and it just reinforced what I kept telling everyone...there is no way I was anorexic.  And it's true.  I wasn't an anorexic, at least not clinically.  I also wasn't bulimic since I had stopped binging and purging.  I was, according to my counselor, unclassified.

It turns out, going to that group session that day was the best thing I ever did.  We all sat around talking and "sharing", and I know I rolled my eyes multiple times thinking all these chicks were seriously whacked out.  I didn't hate myself, I wasn't "afraid" of food, and I hadn't been raped by my dad.  I felt sorry for them, but I was also really judgmental and thought they should "just get over it."  I was seriously not thinking clearly. Then we had a group exercise.  In the exercise, we were paired up with a partner.  We were to take a piece of string and cut it to adequate length we thought would fit around our waist and immediately put the string in a bag.  Then we were to estimate a piece of string adequate to reach around our partner's waist without letting them see the string.  Then we shared.  I watched as each woman/girl stood and wrapped her piece of string around her waist.  As you may suspect, the string would have probably reached around several times.  I was sitting there, smugly, thinking I could understand being a few inches off, but some of these bitches had to be faking it for attention.  Then their partner would take out the string they estimated, and the string would be much closer to fitting.  I was still smug when it was my turn.  I just knew I was about to win an argument with the counselor.  Then I wrapped the string around my waist....twice.  The clouds were starting to dissipate a little, but I wasn't quite clear yet.  In fact, I was mad.  Then my partner got up with her string for me, and as she held it there I thought she was just as deluded about my waist as she was about her own.  There was no way in hell that little piece of string was going to fit around me.  Imagine my surprise, when, not only did it fit, but was actually about two inches longer.

I don't know what happened in group after that, because I was too lost in my own thoughts.  I began to see how unhealthy I had really become.  My hair was thin, my skin was dry and I looked much older than my 19 years.  I was also way too thin.  I vowed to turn things around and get healthy even if it meant I had to throw away my size 4 jeans.

I'm sorry to end this lighthearted reflection on such a bummer, but I hope anyone reading this realizes how easy it is to get off track.  Even when we think we are doing good things for our bodies, it is far too easy to lose sight of what should be the  Don't get caught up thinking your self worth is dependent on the number on a scale or a clothing label.  Those things don't define you, and they don't ensure your happiness.  You can be happy in your own skin when you realize eating better is about LIVING better.