Monday, August 31, 2009

No, it's not a new perfume...I've lost 30 pounds...oh.

Apparently when I was spreading my fat free cream cheese on my whole wheat mini-bagel this morning I got some on my black dress and I now have a very Monica Lewinski-esque stain which happens to be right in the crotch area. Has anyone ever seen skinny person with a food stain on their clothes...seriously...ever? I don't think it happens. One more aside, I went to the eye doctor today because after my series of unfortunate events yesterday, I had to have glasses ASAP. The doctor told me to put my "little chin" up on the machine. She must have been referring to the first chin (cue the drum sound used for a punchline). I didn't plan on talking about that today so I will try to get to the point now.
For the past two weeks, a guy at church has approached me and with a quizzical look goes, "You look nice?" I am just waiting for him to ask me if I've had a hair cut or something but he never does. I've lost almost 30 pounds and there hasn't been one person that has asked me if I've lost weight that doesn't know that I'm trying. When you have as much as I do to lose, I have discovered that 30 pounds makes me NOT look more thin, just...less...sloppy. I have had to come to terms with this because I have come frolicking around people, in my clothes that didn't fit before that are now too big or my new jeans that are down one size, expecting some sort of weight loss parade with a Daughtry song in the background where people toss carrots and money at me but shockingly...this hasn't happened. Look, 30 pounds on some people makes them look drastically different. I didn't start at 160 pounds...I started at...well...way more than that. What is important is that YOU notice. I can tell a difference in my clothes. The dress I have on today for example...I would have never worn this dress without Spanx 3 months ago...I mean stuff was hanging out everywhere. Today, I am wearing it in all it's glory doesn't look bad. I don't care if anyone knows that. Don't get me wrong, it feels really good when someone asks you if you've lost weight but if they don't...who cares? You know what the scale says. Also, and this is one of my BIGGEST PROBLEMS, is when someone asks me if I have lost weight or tells me I look good...I RARELY just say thank you. I usually turn my nose up and tell them how fat I still feel or how I have a long way to go...especially if they catch me after I've eaten something bad and I am feeling all pouty. Why shoot down a free compliment? I have got to remember to work on that. Also, remember to be nice when people ask you if something is different. Don't scream or throw yourself to the ground screaming...I'VE LOST 30 POUNDS YOU FILTHY WHORE!!! (I've never done this) All you need to say is yes, I've lost a little weight. When they inappropriately ask you how much (and they will), you can tell them if you want and try to suffer through the facial expression they have that is filled with complete and utter shock.
I am currently losing at a rate of 3.2 pounds a week which is really good for the first couple months. I expect this to slow down as I progress to 1-2 pounds a week. I know that this is a slow rate but I am in it for the long haul this time and it has been my experience that quick fix diets don't last. So, if I don't reach my goal until 2 years from now...that's OK. Some days it will be a tough pill to swallow because 1 pound a week feels like nothing but I will know how to live and hopefully have a better chance of maintaining weight loss. So, if the guy that I like doesn't go, my you look like you've lost about 30're glowing...let's run off's going to be alright. I'm not doing this for him or anybody else...right?
I wanted to apologize for my bad habit of run-on sentences. I write like I talk. Try and keep up. Going to Sips N Strokes with my mom tonight to paint a picture of the Eiffel Tower (or something that looks vaguely like it). We are also going to dinner but I'm not sure where. It's pretty fun...makes you feel like an you get wine.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

One Cheat Day...(Thanks Jordan)

Today is cheat day. Everytime it comes around I take the words from the song "One Sweet Day" by Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey and transform them into "One Cheat Day." That's how much I love it. This morning my mother made bacon (it was turkey bacon), scrambled eggs with cheese on top, hashbrowns and she also made me a biscuit. It was delicious. Tonight for dinner she's making chicken parmesean, mac & cheese and fried okra so this day is completely out the window. Not only is my breakfast and dinner made up of food I used to eat on a daily basis but my lunch was quite ridiculous too. Because of my FAT OUT of 2009 over my favorite ranches, I had to have wings for lunch. Now, I ordered a snack size wings which is only 5 wings. The thing that made me go over the edge was the cheesy bacon fries that we got...yes...everything was dipped in ranch. I had to have the plate removed from me because I had this crazed look in my eyes like I may even ask people at other tables for some of their food. This is why cheat day has its downsides...I have no will power...I can't stop. This is why I have problems in the first place. I'm not just a binge eater or a comfort eater...I'm an all around professional eater so when I am given no boundaries (such as points) I get in big trouble. I do however find the treat almost as intregal to my weight loss as eating right during the week. The reason I believe that is because living off of grilled chicken, lettuce and diet food the rest of your life isn't realistic. The key is finding a balance. No nutritionist would probably ever recommend my Go All Out Sundays but that is how I do it and it works for me. Eventually, I may be at a place where I can mix my cheat day up and have it be on different days but I'm not there yet. I need consistency and a plan.
So, in the midst of eating today, I actually have a lot to do, which is why this entry will be a little shorter (my Dad will be happy). I am less than 3 months away from having a Masters and everything is sort of coming at once. I have to give a lecture and essentially prepare a book before I can be this afternoon I am also working on school. I have pretty terrible vision so I was going to put on my glasses and I was cleaning them and they snapped in half. I have to have glasses and I don't have an extra pair so even though it would look terrible I was even willing to tape them. I can't really figure out a way to do this. It broke more on one side and it doesn't seem like I can do it and still be able to see. My roommate and best friend Jordan felt horrible for me and suggested that I use his super glue. I opened the little devil and barely touched it and superglue went flying everywhere...All over my leg, hands, keyboard, mousepad, and sheets. One tiny, TINY squirt. I spent the next twenty minutes being rubbed down with acetone by Jordan and not in a good way either and even though I practically basted myself with the stuff...there is still a significant amount all over me. So, this afternoon has pretty much blown. I am going to try to get a little more work done before dinner even though I can barely see and every time I hit the "A" key, my finger sticks just a little bit. I hope my day is better tomorrow even though it will be a Monday.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

And the winner is...

I have lived in Alabama for about 13 years now but I am originally from Chattanooga and most of my extended family lives there. Today my grandmother, aunt and her husband all came down today for a day trip. As a family, we are all extremely loud and very honest with each other so it's always very interesting when we get together. We ate at Wings for lunch (a local chain in the state). Wings is one of my favorite places so again, it posed a challenge. While I was eating yet another grilled chicken salad with fat free Italian dressing, everyone else was enjoying cheeseburgers and wings. I was in a very foul mood (I really wanted to put "fowl mood" but avoided the pun for your sake) because I had already eaten a tortilla-less plate of fajitas for the 500th time the night before and wanted something delicious. Wings has one of the best ranches too. I can think of few things better than dipping a fried chicken wing into a cup of ranch and swirling it around before miraculously removing all the meat from the wing in one fell swoop (OK...definitely having Wings for my cheat lunch tomorrow). Anyway, I have plenty of time to fantasize about that later. The prime ranch made me want to create a top 5 ranches of all time list. I immediately was excited about the idea but stressed at the same time. I mean I usually get short of breath when someone asks me what my favorite movie or song is so imagine...IMAGINE me trying to narrow down my favorite dressing to a mere top 5...but I tried anyway.
I will start with 5. There are many good ranches but nothing says delicious like a homemade ranch. One of my best friends in the world...Whitney...her mother takes the dry Hidden Valley ranch mix and for some reason her mixture of mayonnaise and buttermilk assembles a very divine, worthy of my list ranch, that I LOVE to pour all over her famous chicken fingers. 4. Two of the places whose ranch I will highlight are local and I can't be sure but I think they also make their own ranch. I like a ranch that isn't too tangy but creamy and Southland Restaurant is so good on their country style salad. The salad bar begins with a huge block of cheese that you slice up and put on your plate. You then put the perfectly shredded lettuce on your plate, skip the veggies, pile on bacon and croutons and then drown the poor thing in their unbelievable ranch. 3. Wings. While their ranch is delicious and perfect for their famous Wings, it mostly made the list because I saw everyone wiping it off the corners of their mouth at lunch today and I suddenly acquired a nervous twitch. I was ACTUALLY afraid I may tackle my Dad just for his scraps. For the record, I like to leave as soon as we are done eating as to not harm anyone. 2. Honestly, all of these ranches run pretty equally so picking a number 2 and a number 1 was difficult. My number two choice is City Cafe. This is another local meat and three type place in Northport, Alabama. Students love it because it's cheap and everyone loves it because it is pure comfort food. They pile your plate with wonderful Southern Classics. My dish usually includes mac & cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, fried chicken breast filet and fried green tomatoes. The last two are unbelievable dipped in their homemade ranch. I just realized that I may never get to eat there again because my cheat day is Sunday and they aren't open. Jeez...I just teared up. for my number 1 pick. 1. Mugshots. Mugshots is a cheeseburger place which I may have mentioned before. Aside from The Cheesecake Factory (Dang...forgot about their's perfect in case you were wondering), Mugshots is probably my favorite place to eat. Their burgers are huge and are served on buttered Hawaiin bread. They also serve beer battered fries, both of which I dip in their ranch. It IS a little runny at times but the fries and burger soak it up.
I realize that the last paragraph makes me sound like I should be on the discovery channel while my friends deliver KFC to me through a window but it is rather theraputic to type my fatTASTIC ranch obsession out so I can see it in black and white. Needless to say, I don't eat these things anymore...or at least I haven't in the past 11 weeks. Even though I was discouraged today and wanted to eat everything in sight, I did lose 1.4 pounds last week which means I am down 29.2 pounds total. I was very pleased. Tomorrow is cheat day...a day I take very seriously and I usually get out of hand and then sulk my self to sleep but every last bite is worth it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Let's Get Physical

Well, it’s Friday and I could not be more excited. I get a two day break from work and exercise and well, that’s just a blessing. No, I don’t exercise on the weekends. I exercise every week day (with the exception of a day here or there that I sleep in). I set my alarm for 5:45 am and roll out of bed every morning and head to the local PARA Senior Activity Center. Now, I realize that I am only 25 but the ladies treat me very kind and it’s only $100 for the whole year. At first all I did was swim every day. Since I have a tendency to acquire swimmers ear, I had to start changing it up a bit. I like to swim because it is less impact on my knees who need a break from the rather large load they are carrying every day. I don’t however like swimming behind multiple grandgina’s (a coin I termed a while back that I’m quite fond of) in an overcrowded pool. So, some days I do the elliptical or the bike or the rowing machine. Don’t get any crazy ideas…I go in this building each day with the intentions of getting my heart rate up at least once and I am usually home by 6:30 so I can take a quick shower and nap before work. In general, I don’t place punctuality first in my list of priorities for my job. I really was raised better and in theory would love to get to work at 8 rather than leaving then but that rarely happens. One needs her morning nap. I will say for all of those naysayers who think that they can’t make time for exercise or that it doesn’t make that much of a difference. Unfortunately, you are wrong. I have fast forwarded through enough exercise tapes to know that they key to anyone’s weight loss is movement. I haven’t always been a morning person but in the last year I have had trouble sleeping and wake up early so I figured why not get the annoyance out of the way. Also, any week that I haven’t exercised as much or not at all, I can definitely tell in my progress. Since my butt spends most of its time wedged into an office chair or a couch or bed, it really pays to do a few minutes here or there moving it around. I bring my iPhone and watch episodes of 30 Rock to pass the time.

In the past few weeks I have become more internet savvy. By that I mean, I learned what a domain was and I have purchased two: one for this blog and one for my friends aunt who has cancer and that site will be This one isn’t up yet because as much as I have progressed in my technological insight, I need a little help. As soon as that site is up, I will certainly post it.

Tonight is Family Friday Dinner Night. I just named it that…there’s not a T-shirt or anything. My family and I are very close and I think that the primary element holding us together is food. We gather most every Fri., Sat., & Sun. for dinner. Don’t worry, I’m usually done early enough on Friday and Saturday to commit debauchery or sit at home thinking I am too old for all that. I digress. We eat a lot together and I don’t mean frequently (as I’ve already told you that), I mean we eat A LOT. Dieting is hard in the south…it’s borderline impossible when your mother is a cross between Paula Deen and Rachael Ray. My mother and I are a lot alike so naturally we clash sometimes and when we do I think to myself…self…what will you eat this weekend if you don’t let this go…because my mom doesn’t play…if you make her mad she will threaten to stop cooking. Luckily, on Friday nights, we usually go out to eat and I’m not tempted by anything with chocolate or white gravy. Stay tuned…you never know what the weekend could hold.

As a side note, one of my good friends runs a site that publishes art, photography, poems and other things and she graciously published one of my poems and you can view it here: . It’s the one with a lady bug at the top of it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What's in a title?

I wanted to use this blog to explain my title. You see there are few things in life that I am good at: eating, sarcasm, cooking, writing, complaining, self-deprecation and organization skills. I only claim to be an expert at one of those and that is absolutely eating. I am really, REALLY good at it. One of my special concentrations within my eating expertise is ranch dressing. I love ranch. I am the girl you have judged before that went up to the counter at pizza hut to ask for a cup to put her ranch in so she could dip every bite of pizza into its creamy goodness. Don’t get me wrong , I love sausage, fries from McDonald’s and cookie dough as much as the next girl but ranch is…well…it’s home. It’s comfort.

Here’s the problem…since I have began dieting and counting points, no matter what I do…there is no way I can justify having it. For instance, last night when I went out with friends (which btw, yesterday I said that I had allotted for beer, I meant the 64 calorie kind that resembles water, not the good stuff) and enjoyed grilled chicken tenders with mild buffalo sauce, naturally, there was something missing. Something in my genetic makeup shatters my heart the second I see a food that deserves ranch and I can’t have it. One tiny cup of ranch from the place last night is 9 points! NINE! To put that in perspective, I can have a DOUBLE cheeseburger from McDonalds for 10 points. So, there again, there is no justifiable way I could have gotten it. In general, I have been very good about consuming low fat and fat free products, but the healthier options for ranch are repulsive. Quite frankly they are a disgrace, an abomination even. They are sweet and grainy and I would rather have nothing at all (even though I did suck it up for a few bites yesterday…blech). As terrible as it sounds, my life without ranch is probably the most difficult thing I have had to face in my weight loss journey. On Sundays, I don’t count points. I figure I deserve a cheat day until that cheat day turns into a cheat week. So, occasionally, I have ranch on Sundays but usually it’s so ugly and I do everything but wallowing around in a tub if Hidden Valley that I try to keep the Sunday ranch moments to a minimum.

So, I thought that the title “my life without ranch” was quite the thesis statement to my new, little, turned over leaf. I posted some pretty terrible pictures of me on here and I will try to keep up with more recent pics so my progress is shown. The one where I look burnt in the prom pose and the one with the pregnant lady (note: I’m the one with brown hair)…are very recent which is most discouraging considering I have lost 27 pounds but I digress. Hopefully, the camera will be nicer to me soon. I think that is all for now. Tonight, I will go to Moe’s with my friend Jordan. If you don’t have one…Moe’s is a very yummy burrito joint similar to Qdoba and Chipotle. If you are wondering what I eat there…I get the Triple Lindy (type of burrito) “stripped” which just means that it has no tortilla. Luckily, I don’t eat beans or guacamole so I save fat there. Essentially, it’s rice, chicken, lettuce, onion, cheese and salsa in a bowl but it’s pretty good.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This isn't really the beginning.

I know that there are a million weight loss blogs out there so I am aware of my non-uniqueness. I am not yet a success story and based on my history of weight loss attempts, the chances of me turning into one of those heart wrenching success stories are not very high. Also, I know at this point, I am writing to myself. Despite my dreams of a Julie/Julia blog success, I realize that mostly my best friends will be the only ones reading my words. What I wanted to accomplish was a documentation of what it really means to try and lose weight. I don’t always eat the right things. I don’t always exercise. I consider my personal trials and triumphs to be directly linked to what is happening in my daily, personal life which I will also be sharing. Why do I want to lose weight? Well, I can tell you it isn’t for my kids because I don’t have or really want any. It isn’t for my husband because I don’t have one. Mostly, it’s because I don’t know life without a belly that extends past my jackets in the winter. I don’t know what space between my inner thighs would look like. I don’t know what my appearance would be with only one chin. I want to be healthy.

At this point in my journey, I have tried and failed several times. I went through a breakup (cliché I know) and didn’t weigh for three years. I decided I would take the plunge into weight loss again and tried a different program. I won’t name the program in case I ever say something not nice but just know that I use a point system. When I went the first time, I had decided on a number in my head that was in my mind a gross over estimation. Turns out I was only 3 pounds less than that. I won’t tell you what I weigh because I don’t think it matters. I wouldn’t want anyone to judge me or themselves based on a number that has nothing to do with them. I’m not embarrassed but I’m also not brave. I will tell you how much I lose as I progress. I am about 10 weeks into the program and I have thus far lost 27 pounds. Most of the pictures that are on the internet of me are from the neck up but here you won’t see those. These pictures are as real as it gets and I have to come to terms with them.

Just so you know some background…I live in the dirty south…specifically Alabama. I am 25 years old, single and I don’t care for long walks on the beach…obviously or I wouldn’t be fat. I have a job as a web catalog specialist (don’t ask what that means because I don’t know either). I am almost a graduate of Spalding University with a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Poetry. Don’t look for too many weight loss poems because in general they are emo and make people uncomfortable. I have a wonderful group of family and friends who all want me to have J.K. Rowling success. I have a crush. I am a liberal. I quite enjoy beer and tequila. I go to church even though I disagree with some of the politics and I have a Facebook that you can see all of this info on.

I won’t bore you with everything I ate today. I wouldn’t want to put everything in your face all at once. I will say that I contorted my points today and allotted myself 5 beers for tonight since I am going to play trivia. I also wanted grilled chicken tenders later and needed fat free ranch to go with them so I actually went to Full Moon BBQ where I know they have single packs of fat free ranch and walked right in and asked for a Diet Coke and one pack of fat free ranch. That was it. The girl looked at me less like I was crazy and more like that was the lunch I deserved to be having. Either way, I am very excited to have beer, chicken and broccoli the rest of the evening.

There are many things in my life that I have started and unexpectedly stopped due to major moments in my life like the Grey’s Anatomy finale, a trip to Cold Stone Creamery or a bathroom break. While I totally anticipate maintaining this blog as much as possible…it could be interrupted like the novels I’ve tried to write, the quilt I meant to sew and puzzle I never completed. Hold your breath…here I go…trying again and again.