vacations, susie and healthy eating

can the they survive together? probably. but, they didn’t this time.

i’ve had a good time while on vacation with friends. we’ve done something physically healthy each day by either walking around beautiful cities like Charleston or Savannah or when we did stay-put here at Edisto we did a Walk Away the Pounds three mile fitness tape on the vcr or my workout from Dr. Berger’s chiropractic rehab regimen. jacqui said that was harder than her version of the Walk Off The Pounds tape she brought. today, she and i walked about 4 miles which included exploring around the golf course, finding Hershey the lost-then-found-dog, continuing our walk through the resort into the jungle out to the beach and back to the resort.  we were looking for tarzan.

eating has been harder for me to control. major meals are fine but the snacking at night during cards and board games while having a light beer or Gentleman Jack has been a disaster. i’ve enjoyed the healthy snacks like apples, applesauce and popcorn, but have loved the Chex Mix, pralines, Benne Wafers, multi-grain saltines and freshly baked cookies. oh my…

we leave on sunday and the fun will end and reality will begin again. i own up to eating all the goodies and i expect to have a setback but will work hard and concentrate on being in control as i end my vacation from calorie counting and begin my intense plan to kick it up a notch for the last month of my FitnessWave challenge.

oh, the jeans i put on today were a bit looser than the last time i had them on. i wonder if i’ve hit on something new. the praline diet. mmm…mmmm…

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update on the Fitness Wave Challenge

just a short post to update you all on the FItnessWave challenge i undertook the beginning of February. i haven’t lost a lot of weight…5 measley pounds at last count. the amazing thing is that when i was getting ready to head out for vacation and started trying stuff on to bring – well, i discovered that clothes are starting to fit that i couldn’t wear for years. i had a brand new pair of jeans, tags still on, that i bought about 5 years ago. i try them on every year and then hang them back up. well, i put those jeans on friday and packed them to bring on vacation. they’re even a little loose in the caboose. my blazer can now be buttoned and is a little loose. terry is acting frisky in the parking garage staircase at the hockey games. i know…too much information. just wanted to share some success with this calorie counting and exercising. i’ve even broken into a run a few times on my walk. i don’t know what’s happened to me. but i like it. i love it. i want some more of it.  whoopie!!!!   less to come!

The Not-So Biggest Loser Part II

around 9am they started handing out wristbands to the first 500 people who would be the lucky ones to audition in front of the creative director at The Biggest Loser auditions. hundreds didn’t make the cut and were sent off in the cold rain to their waiting cars. they seemed to have melted into the sidewalk to us, though. huddled together under umbrellas we had formed our own little community, our weighty and wet nucleus from which we didn’t often stray with the exception of stepping out onto the empty sidewalk to check the line both ahead of us and behind us. bob had stepped out to check the line and said, “hey. the line isn’t going around the corner any more. a lot of people are just gone.” we looked down at our wristbands and knew we were the lucky ones. or were we?

our beacon from the beginning of our wait was the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon sign. we gauged our progress by how far away we were and then by how close we’d gotten to it. we were finally underneath the sign at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. we’d stood in line for seven hours in the cold and the rain. one of the sisters looked at us all and said, “you know, even if we don’t get picked, it was worth everything just to meet all you people.” what a beautiful thing to say.

the doorway was were we encountered our first ‘counter’. fifteen of us were let in about every 20 minutes, more or less. once inside we were directed up the stairs into the large bar room where there was a super-sized anaconda-like line that serpentined around the outside of the room, between tables and chairs, bar stools and pool tables. we stood, we moved. we sat in chairs, we moved. we sat at the bar, we moved. we sat in more chairs, we moved. we sat on benches and chairs and finally moved into the interview room. we were counted after each sit and move. fifteen. fifteen. fifteen. fifteen. i was given a questionable look a couple of times and was both complimented by it and insulted. these were my peeps after all. at the last station before the interview room, i took down a contact information from my new friends so we can keep track of each other and celebrate if anyone got call-backs.

the counter chick came out and gave us the rules. “put your personal items behind your chairs, be friendly, be loud, shine, speak clearly, speak up and be noticed. you’ll have about 7 minutes to impress the creative director.” total. not each one of us. all fifteen of us. at once. we were up against each other, so we wished each other well, and it was time to go into the room.

we suddenly became bouncy, cheshire-smiling chubbies as we entered the room enmass. we roped ourselves around three sides of the table. the CD and her mom were safe on the inside behind the enormous slab of shiney mahogony. she introduced herself and told us she was 25. not that it mattered, but i remember thinking, i’ve got underwear older than you, kiddo. as she spoke a commotion commenced behind us. she explained that another group of 15 people would be going through the same process that we would be going through just about 10 feet behind us.

we each had to stand, state our name, our age, how much weight we wanted to lose and our occupation. i was doing the math with the weight loss part and came up with 70 pounds which i knew was their lowest limit. i could lose that and not be considered anorexic easily. the occupation part had me stumped and i was contemplating that when bob stood up next to me and in his big booming voice said something like, “my name is bob and i have an issue with back fat.” that’s all i heard. i have no idea what else he said. i just know i never want to see bob without his shirt. i came up with, “my name is susie, i’ll be 57 in may and i’d like to lose 70 pounds.” i stopped, deer in headlights-type stopping. “bob, what else am i supposed to say?” the cd walked over to me and looked at my application. “sorry,” i said,”age and memory…oh! i’m a writer.” she smiled sweetly, most likely remembering her mom sitting close by. “it’s okay,” she said, “thank you.”

“now, this audition is about entertainment. it’s not all about losing weight even though we know that that’s a very important part of the show and very important to everyone here. we wish we could help you all but that’s just not possible. we need entertaining personalities so when you answer make sure you stand out.”

at this point you could feel smiles drop to the floor.

“i’m going to throw a topic out to you all and i want you to start telling me how you feel about it. stand and then talk about it. here it is: do you feel that there is discrimination in the workplace where overweight people are concerned?”

well, off they went. unfortunately for me, i haven’t been in the workplace since 1992. the instant cacophany of voices trying to spurt themselves to the top of the bedlam was fascinating. finally, a topper who turned into a time-munching whiner. “this woman at work lost a lot of weight and she started putting diet books and magazines on my desk. waa waa waa.” she went on until another woman had had enough, popped up and spouted off her two-croissants worth. my mind was swirling…what the heck can i add? i’ve got to say something and fast. the seven minutes were ticking down. bob tried valiantly to get a word in edgewise, but couldn’t manage to wedge himself any further than, “and how about….and how about…and how about…” each time he was bludgeoned back into his seat by a bigger mouth in heels. he elbowed me, trying to get me out of my stupor to voice my opinion of which i usually have many.

finally, bob gets a break and blurts out, “heck, aren’t we all tired of shopping at Lane Bryant?”

i looked up at him as if i’d never seen him before in my life. like he was wearing a polyester muumuu from you-know-where. “what?” i finally said. he shrugged and laughed. so did i. then i thought, what the hell? i don’t know what i’ll say if i can wiggle in there, but here goes, ‘and then…and then…and then…’. oh forget it.

a quick thank you and we were out the door again. it was 3:15pm. it was over. a lucky few might get a phone call for a second interview and all were encouraged to send in ten minute video tapes. bob and i didn’t get a phone call and have decided not to do the video. bob is drinking moccachinos and i’m counting a few calories and trying to keep up with a workout program. 70 pounds… damn. i coulda been a contender. i coulda been somebody.

the biggest…ok…the not-so-biggest loser part one

a couple of weeks ago my big-boned friend Bob called and asked if i’d go to the casting call for The Biggest Loser with him. “we could be a team. they’d call us The Improvisers.” at first i was insulted because i’d been working out a lot more and counting those damn calories. then i remembered the mirror after my morning shower. “where’s it being held?” “The Wildhorse Saloon up in Nashville.” i hemmed a little and hawed a lot. did i really want to get picked and put that embarrassing two piece get-up on in front of millions of people i didn’t know? i don’t even put those type of clothes on here at my own house. i close my eyes in the shower, for eclairs sake.

so we made plans, picked out our ‘look we’re really fat’ clothes, took the needed pictures of us being damn goofy together and ate a few cupcakes to add a few pounds. we’d both been dieting and had lost about 20 pounds over the last year. still, we are considered the dreaded adjective of obese. even by the WiiFit standards, but that’s another blog for another day.

auditions were last saturday, february 28th. the forecast was rain and cold. just when you’re hoping the weather man is wrong they hit it on the nose. TBL casting directors were going to start seeing people at 10am and were taking only the first 500. could there be that many fat people in the Nashvile area willing to be half-nekked in front of millions? oh yeah. nashville and beyond. illinois, indiana, alabama, mississippi, south carolina and more were represented. you weren’t supposed to line up sooner than 7am. “you’re kidding me, right?” i said to Bob. “heck no. we wanna be there early, don’t we? you come pick me up at 6:30 and i’ll drive the rest of the way,” he said. so i got up at 4:30 to make myself pretty and chubbier. it was colder than i’d planned so i wore layers. perfect.

as we drove to nashville the rain got heavier and the temp fell from a balmy 42 to 41 in less than half an hour. we parked in a parking garage/homeless bathroom and walked under Bob’s Packers umbrella which was big enough for the two of us. no joke. Bob also brought chairs which was the smartest thing i’ve seen him do yet. besides the Alec Baldwin impression, that is.

so, it’s 7am the official lining up time and there are already at least two hundred people in line. what’s up with that? hogging the line and breaking the rules. rumor had it that the people in the front of the line got there at 12:30am; with their kids. i have nothing else to say about that, but i think Biggest Loser has a different meaning for those people.

Bob’s iPhone kept us all posted on the dropping temperature. it was down to 37 degrees after two hours of sitting in the rain, water dripping down bob’s back at times (it wasn’t my fault). at 9 o’clock the line moved a little. we’d become friends with the sisters from Franklin, the former fit Marine, the massage therapist/nursing student/caregiver of a paralyzed sister and holder of four jobs total, the single girl who became an honorary sister, the quiet nineteen year old praying to be chosen, the two best guy friends who’ve been friends since high school and do everything together. (their wives are having babies around the same time.) they gained lots of weight together, too. everybody had a story. divorce, poverty, dedication to family, losing ones own self, stressful jobs… the list was fascinating.

we’d cheer when the line moved or when the rain would stop. we shivered together. we shared chairs, gum, umbrellas, stories, laughter, pictures, coats and smiles. while waiting in line, 105.5 The Rock parked their van at the curb and played music for everyone. we danced to the beat which helped us keep warm and the crew waved and smiled at us. ambling tourists and Grayline Tours stopped to stare at the line of people who had one commonality. we were obese. the radio crew started interviewing people and then i saw something i couldn’t believe. they were passing out Krispy Kreme donuts. “Hey, if you want to eat a Krispy Kreme, why shouldn’t you? It’s okay. Go ahead. Take one.” now, the people in line are all adults. they know right from wrong and good from bad. some of them took the krispy kreme and were given a corner of the radio stations banner to hold as they had their picture taken. i watched a severly obese man being interviewed as he leaned against a Do Not Park Here sign and smoked a cigarette. “Why do you want to lose weight?” he was asked. his facial features were lost in pounds of flesh and fat. his wet, soiled ball cap topped his head, his plaid shirt sagged on his short frame and his jeans had a high-water mark on them about mid-calf. “Why do i want to lose weight? You’re kidding me, right?” the camera kid shrugged his shoulders. “Well, i’ve got a one year-old at home and a family to take care of. This is why i wanna lose weight.” then he picked up his shirt to show his hairy, stretched out gut that hung over and covered the zipper on his jeans. the crew laughed uncomfortably. i turned away.

ouch and over it

well, i’d been doing very well keeping track of my calories and walking, stretching and getting into the Wii Fitness Game. two weeks ago on a friday morning i took the dog outside and twisted my knee. ouch. it swelled up pretty quickly since i tried to ignore it and didn’t put any ice on it right away. “No, this doesn’t hurt. it’s my imaginiation.” that night i had ice on the front and the back and i was cursing up a storm. it’s the same knee i’d had surgery on and i was pretty scared that i’d torn the miniscus. i kept it raised took an advil and whined. seems every time i get on track with an exercise program, i hurt myself. i’ve fallen off of treadmills, had heel spurs, hangnails… ha! they all stopped me in my tracks and i lost interest in my fitness program no matter how lame it might have been. this time i was down for about a week thinking the same thing was going to happen. then i went to my chriopractor and he told me what to take to help the inflammation. my knee felt better the next day. it was amazing. i took the natural antiinflammatory for a few days, twice a day and my knee is back to normal. no swelling or soreness. i’m going to start walking again. slowly at first and work back into my 45 minute walk. i’ve added a cardio workout from the cable exercise channel from the Biggest Loser series, too. it’s killer! i’m not giving up on myself again. i came through this injury and it didn’t keep me down for too long. i’m fighting back and going to get back into the routine. yippee for me.

lesson learned. don’t let an injury get you down and depressed. take care of it, still do what you can but be careful not to make the injury worse. i did upper body stuff with the sore knee. go find natural remedies. cremes and capsules for inflammation. my husband is even sold on them now. they worked on his sore back. get moving and get natural.