So here we are at day 14 of my September challenge – nearly two weeks. Actually more than two weeks when you consider I started the challenge August 26. In some ways, I’m doing well with this challenge, but not so well in other ways.
First of all the Forslean, which is a supplement that is supposed to help support healthy thyroid function and weight loss. I gave it a good try, I really did, but I stopped taking it over the weekend. You see, I was having uh – well, there’s just no polite way to say it: I had dark diarrhea continuously from the moment I started it. I know that is TMI. Way too much information. But there’s really no other way to say it. My digestive system didn’t seem to like that stuff. You may wonder how I could have such dire symptoms and not cease and desist sooner. Namely because I’ve gotten very, very good at ignoring what goes on with my body. It’s just supposed to work. Like my car. Until it doesn’t. Plus, I kept thinking it would go away. Not my body, the symptoms that I won’t repeat the name of because just saying it is a form of TMI.
Also, I don’t know if I can blame the ForsLean for this, but I felt very, very tired while I took it. Perhaps because it was a strain on my body – I don’t know. I just felt exhausted. I felt so exhausted, I even LOOKED exhausted to myself, which is rare. Because I felt exhausted by the end of the week, I blew it on exercise.
Well, I blew it there, and someone at the office brought in some Garrett’s caramel corn on Friday. I don’t know if you are familiar with Garrett’s, but it is a Chicago thing and the main reason I avoid certain sections of O’Hare Airport and certain blocks of Chicago streets. It has the force field of the Imperial Death Star: It sucks you in, and you have a face full of yummy deliciousness almost before you are aware of what you have put in your mouth. Other than corn, I don’t know what’s in it, but they make it using a Chicago Jedi mind trick. I promise. (Just an aside – is it at all possible to count Garrett’s caramel corn as a vegetable? Because, if so, let’s just say I didn’t have any problem reaching my veggie quota for the day. No? I didn’t think so…)
And then there were the many flavors of martinis and other inebriating imbibements I had with friends on Friday night. OK – Friday was a total loss. I don’t even know how to track all the alcoholic calories I consumed. I’m not sure I even REMEMBER all the alcoholic calories, to be honest. It was a loss, a waste, a Bacchanalian debacle of caloric overload. I blew it – BLEW IT, I tell you! I’m amazed I’m still on the plateau and not racing toward the obesity hell reserved for people who demonstrate exceptional levels of lack of self-control. Well, let’s just draw a respectful curtain over the scene and leave it with “Friday was not my proudest moment of this month.” (Not that cheating is an all-bad thing. Check out this article on why we benefit from it: blisstree.com/eat
. But there’s cheating, and then there’s a complete surrender of common sense and moderation, such as I indulged in on Friday.)
So I am off Forslean and STILL STUCK ON THE RUDDY PLATEAU. Help! I’m in the weight-loss equivalent of Utah! Plateau country. But am I giving up?
I am NOT. I am just too darned stubborn for that nonsense.
So to summarize: ForsLean – bust. Friday calories– in the stratosphere. Energy – subterranean. Weight loss – non-existent. That pretty much covers the “not so well” part of this week-two summary.
To move on to the “doing well” part. My energy level rose since forsaking ForsLean. And I am exercising semi-regularly – and looking forward to exercise. It is becoming less of a “have to” and more of a “want to.” Not that I’m quite at the “Yippee! It’s time to exercise!!!” phase, because I don’t necessarily like exercise; I just like having exercised. But finishing it really feels good enough (usually) to compel me to do it. Which always helps, right? So I own that I didn’t exercise for part of last week. But I’m making up for lost time this week!
While I have remained at a constant weight, I actually bought a tape measure and measured myself this week. I plan to measure myself again at the end of the month to record progress. As a matter of fact, a trainer who has kind of adopted me as a not-totally-lost cause recommended I throw out the scales, which don’t really seem to be working anyway since they are STUCK at the same number and just go by my measurements.
Since I last checked in, I have:
Done 94 minutes of cardio
Done 660 reps of strength training
Drunk 864 ounces of water (average: 123.4 oz. or 15.4 8-oz servings a day)
Eaten 56 servings of fruit/veggies (average: 8 servings a day)
Stayed within my 1200-1550 calorie range 4 out of 7 days.
Since Aug. 26, I have:
Done 286 minutes of cardio
Done 1365 reps of strength training
Drunk 2344 ounces of water (average: 123.3 oz. or 15.4 8-oz servings a day)
Eaten 129 servings of fruit/veggies (average: 6.78 servings a day)
Stayed within my 1200-1550 calorie range 13 out of 19 days.
I can’t say this is a by-product of ForsLean because I have these sorts of random thoughts frequently, but these are things that have come to my notice this week:
1. When you have to crawl up the steps of your front porch after exercise, you learn there truly is such a thing as “too much” when it comes to working out.
The secret of course is to learn your body so well, you discover that thin line between “going for it” and “went too far.”
2. Closure is grossly overrated.
Sometimes relationships have a definite beginning, middle, and end, and they close neatly like a nicely wrapped birthday package with no stray corners and no loose ends, the way they do in movies you see on the Hallmark Channel. You grow from them and you leave stronger. You may not leave happy the relationship is over, but you don’t leave wondering about it. It’s that tidy. There are those kind of endings. And then there’s the 99 percent that encompasses the rest of our relationship terminations. Most of the time, the end of a relationship is not bloodless or clearly defined. Counselors and therapists have sold us on the idea that closure is possible in the demise of every relationship, every situation, every time. And I’m here to say it ain’t necessarily so. Closure draws people into watching Oprah or Dr. Phil, but closure doesn’t necessarily follow the end of every relationship. I was talking to my friend Levi Friday about what happened with Iain – how I’m not really sure what is going on with him because we didn’t really end anything, it just kind of faded away. He was there one day, the next day he wasn’t. And Levi suggested I should ask him what happened so I could have some closure. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We had both had our share of alcoholic courage. Why not? And then I sobered up and thought about it. Because while I talked to Levi, I realized how and how long I’ve been holding onto the shreds of the few perfect memories and telling myself in my heart that, since Iain never really ended it, it never really ended. He left hope we would pick it up again one day. Except as one day has blended into another, I began to comprehend how false that hope really is. And I suddenly understood how the few times I have heard from him since April haven’t truly given me any reason to keep that hope on life support. How dead it really is. How it is time to let it go. So what would be the point of asking him about it? What is Iain going to say really? When a man doesn’t bother to end anything, but just kind of fades out of the scene, what can he say about it later? If (and this is a big if) I manage to lasso him, hogtie him, and sit on him long enough to get answers, what kind of answers do I really think are going to come out of his mouth? “It’s not you, it’s me.” (Which almost always means “it’s you.”) “You have a laugh that peels paint, and I couldn’t stand to listen to it anymore?” “Despite sharing my innermost thoughts with you five days out of seven in marathon sessions for six months in a row, I suddenly decided we’re not compatible?” “Despite acting as if you were my lifeline to all things good and lovely, I one day decided I didn’t want to live quite that much?” “You’re not perfect enough for me?” I mean – really. If the guy doesn’t have the courage to make a clean break to begin with, what exactly is he going to say that is going to make any difference once I pin him down and force words out of his lips? Is learning that he suddenly decided my thighs were too big for his comfort guaranteed to make me feel better about going into the future? Why this incessant compulsion to “know” at the end of it? I realized that I usually want to know because that gives me ammunition in forming my arguments to convince him to change his mind – and desperation is SO unattractive. And unnecessary, really. It seems to me most of the time relationships end because there is something going on in the mind and heart of the dumper – and that doesn’t have a damned thing to do with the dumpee and wouldn’t really help them even if they managed to pin the dumper down to the truth. The truth is, sometimes you get closure from breaking things off cleanly with the man you love – and the other 99 percent of the time, you have to make your own closure and work it out anyway you can. It’s not perfect, but it really is all you’re going to have. And that’s life. Life’s messy. Deal with it and move on.
3. I cannot trust myself with sharp objects.
If there is a gene for accidentally cutting yourself, I must have two copies of it. If an object cuts, I will manage to injure myself. Or do some kind of damage to myself. See, I kind of got impatient with my hair over the weekend and I sort of cut it. A little. Some. Forgetting, of course, that bangs just look plain silly on me because my hair is too curly. I mean, I used to cut my hair all the time in college, so what’s the big deal, right? I think my hair has changed since college. It used to be easier to make it look semi-decent.
4. I’m starting to see why being a bad parent pays off
My daughter told me this week she is thinking seriously about moving to Denton to live with friends. She honestly seems happier in Denton, and her closest friends live there. And I do want what is best for my daughter. In our family, we seem to have a lot of kids who never manage to leave home. My sister was one of those. She had her own apartment, but she remained unusually dependent upon my mother and seemed to arrange her life in a way that my mother was constantly taking care of her or rescuing her. I have cousins who only lived apart from their mom while they were in college. My uncle lived with his mom until his mom went to a nursing home. Then he became a homeless alcoholic. So having these helplessly parent-dependent people has never seemed like a good thing to me. It’s just that I have never lived so far from my daughter in all her life, and I am not looking forward to it. I feel lonely for her already. So much so that when I went into the locker room at the Y after working out last night and I heard Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl” playing on the sound system, my eyes teared up. That’s been Walys’s song since she was a little girl. I even use that as the ringtone for when she calls me. So what did I say to her when she told me she was thinking of moving north? I said, “Well, you really seem happier when you are in Denton, and if that is what you really want to do, I think you should do it.” Was that a lie? No. Because she is not a part of me, even though she has been a huge part of my life for 25 years. I have wanted from the time she was small for her not to feel like she has to shape her life and her plans around me, especially if that is not what is best for her. And I really, really want her to be an independent woman who lives in the way and in the place best suited for her. Even if it rips my heart out.
5. Just as a gym membership does no good unless you use it, vitamins and other supplements will not benefit my body just by carrying them in my purse.
Although they do sort of exercise the arm that carries the bag. So I need more practice taking them.
6. My mind makes random and strange connections
Like the word “blogger.” Seriously – doesn’t it remind you of booger? I’m just saying. After I began seeing Iain, who is from Scotland, I noticed a billboard that advertised “the Most Scots in Louisiana!” I could not figure out what they were selling until I realized it was actually advertising a casino – and it really said, “the most SLOTS in Louisiana.” Oops. Which goes to show we do see what we want to.
7. Stop exercising your gums and EXERCISE, damn it!
Do you ever notice how trainers will stand by a piece of equipment and give lectures, but if you ask if they are going to actually USE the darned thing, they look at you disdainfully and tell you they are “about to.” Even if they’re only going to talk some more before they do it. Like their client has first dibs on everything. It’s annoying. They should stop these little show-and-tell sessions. Especially during really busy times when there are a lot of people trying to use the equipment. Including me. Rant finished.
8. A woman at the Y told me her trainer said weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise.
(Though why she found this significant when she’s as slender and wiry as a greyhound, I have no idea.) I’m not sure I agree with this for a couple of reasons. ONE – when I was in my late 20s, I lost a significant amount of weight by doing one thing: adding regular, intense exercise. I didn’t change my eating much except to eat MORE. Of course maybe that sort of thing is only possible in your 20s. But TWO – that 70/30 equation does not take into account body chemistry, which can also affect success of failure at weight loss. (Ditch the diet: blisstree.com/fee
(This is another totally random thought, but notice how the writer on this piece looks a lot like Kate Jackson in Charlie’s Angels. No, not THAT Charlie’s Angels – the original with Farrah Fawcett.)
So let's just sum up by saying: it's been challenging. And I ain't done yet!