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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

4 years ago I got on a friend's scale and was absolutely disgusted with what I saw. That whole Nike commercial "Just Do It" was all I could think about when I decided that I was going to start running.

So I ran. I ran and ran and ran. I had just quit smoking and I thought this would be a perfect way to kick my lungs into speed healing. I had 2 ten minute breaks at work and a 1/2 hour lunch. So during each of these times, I went out running.

Boy was I slow too, but you gotta start somewhere. It took me forever but I finally got up to 4 miles without stopping. Although my I dropped 3 pant sizes, I still never saw a change in the scale so I talked to my doctor - or rather 'doctors'.

One doctor said I really have to increase my running to 10 miles a day. I thought this was a bit drastic but she looked pretty fit, so I tried, but as I said before 4 miles was my limit. I was running in the dark at 8pm with my dog, in the snow, in the rain, in the winter wind and cold, in the summer heat, you name it. I was faithfully out there 4-5 times a week. Mace in one hand, dog in the other.

And when I couldn't go running outside, I was running up the stairs 20, 30, 40 times in a row.

Still change in the scale.

I went to another doctor. I had my thyroid check about 3 times. Nothing wrong there. She said I really had to add strength training to my running. So I got some weights and started lifting.

I never had any intention of joining a gym as I had a bad experience of being locked into a long expensive contract years back. I really felt I could to this all on my own. There wasn't anything a gym had that I couldn't substitute on my own...

I even woke up at 5:30 am to jump rope in my stinky basement. Made my calves look really nice... But still... Nothing.

So I went to another doctor. He asked me what my diet was like, and I told him, and he said I really have to eat between 600-800 calories a day to loose weight.

I didn't think I would be able to make it through one of my days on 800 calories. But I tried. I started counting every calorie I consumed. I put myself on a 1500 calorie a day diet.

Not a single pound lost after 3 weeks.

I put myself on a 1200 calorie diet for 3 weeks.


1100... 1000-900!


At least I was the size I wanted to be when I got married. I wasn't as toned as I had hoped for, but I ran out of time for that. We went to Cancun for our honeymoon and although the Mexicans adored me, I was still uncomfortable and self conscious about myself. I told my husband that I was going to join a gym when we got home.

Within 2 weeks of coming home from Mexico, I was a member of Unique Bodies For Women, a gym dedicated to strength training. I figured along with my running, this should be the missing link to weight loss. The trainers even told me that their gym was enough of a workout and running wasn't even necessary anymore, but it was healthy for me so it would be great to continue.

Gyms and classes do offer something that I didn't have doing it on my own - a support group. If I pay for the gym or a class, I will go everytime. And once you get there, you work out. You don't get distracted by anything, you don't go easy on yourself and cheat on the number of reps you do, you work out. And the best part, you have a trainer there to push you along.

But the running was still something I was doing on my own. And I continued it, for awhile. Until I got spoiled with being able to work out inside a safe environment, away from creeps and the weather. Running for me was kinda losing it's step. Eventually it was a thing of the past.

So I went to the gym 3 times a week. I did the bike and the ski machine for additional cardio, but mostly lifted the weights. In six months I had my fat weight tested and it had dropped considerably. I was very excited to see this actual proof, as the scale had not gone down, but up.

I know, muscle weighs more than fat.

For the rest of the year I was faithful to the gym and my fat percent kept decreasing. I also discovered Tai Chi and Yoga. After 6 months of Tai Chi, I dropped it for more yoga classes. I was doing the gym 3 times a week and yoga twice a week.

Still no change in that bloody scale.

Again, I visit the doctor. I told him all I had done, continuing to count my calories and all my activities. He didn't even know what Tai Chi was but he was sure it didn't sound very cardiovascular. And yoga, well that certainly wasn't...

I didn't even try to explain that not all forms of exercise have to be about jumping around. And my yoga was very vigorous. It is a form of power yoga. You sweat and your muscles really burn holding those poses. But Western doctors don't always see such things as being beneficial and for the purpose of burning calories, perhaps he was right in suggesting I find an activity that was more "jumpy".

This is my week now:

Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday - Kickboxing
Tuesday & Friday - Strength training at the gym
Thursday and at home - Yoga

I work out 6 days a week and haven't lost a pound.

I am currently waiting for the money to buy my own punching bag so I can continue my kickboxing at home on the days I don't have class. Not because I think I need to do more exercise, but because I really enjoy it.

I love working out. I look forward to it, it feels good inside and out. It is just as much part of my daily routine as going to work. I would rather be exercising than sitting on the couch watching T.V., although I do enjoy my Sundays watching Charmed, then The Sopranos, then Deadwood.

As for my diet, I prefer to call it my 'healthy way of eating' because that's what it is. I have simply changed the way I eat. With help from the nutrionalist at the gym, I have a certain amount of each food group every day. I do not believe in excluding any food group; you just have to eat the proper amount.

An example would be Fruit in the morning, spinach salad with chicken & red wine vinegar for lunch, and an egg beater omelet with broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms for dinner. I eat lots of chicken and fish. I eat this way everyday because I love it and the more I do it, the better I feel. I do have bad things too once in awhile, but I'm only human.

I also believe that bananas are the key to life. I have 1/2 a banana every day before I work out and eat the other 1/2 within 45 minutes of finishing the workout. I can totally feel the difference if I skip this banana.

Plus, I drink so much water that I spend most of my day in the bathroom.

By the way, I have not lost a pound.

I can't think of anything else I can do. I weigh more than when I started doing anything. In fact, I think I weigh as much as I did that day when I got on my friend's scale and was disgusted. I don't look anything like what I used to, however. I guess it just goes to show you that the scale is not the important thing here. It's the size you fit into, but even more so it's how you feel.

I feel very healthy and will continue my eating plan and my exercise routine...

But the whole idea of having a goal for the last 4 years and never reaching it no matter how hard you try is so frustrating I can't even describe in words.

Was I never meant to be the size I want to be? Is my body fighting to hold on to calories because my daily life demands so much fuel? Do I push it too hard? Am I not pushing hard enough? What would I look like if I didn't do any exercise? What happens if we get pregnant? How hard would it be to loose that weight?

I give up on ever finding the answers to these question because I am so sick of asking them and hearing everybody's opinions of what they think I should be doing differently. It's as bad as hearing everyday the new "in" diet. Low carb, no that's not it - it's low calorie, no wait, it's low fat.

I was told from the time I was little, the way to be healthy is to eat right and exercise. To loose weight, you consume less and exercise more. I've done this, over and over and over again.

I guess I am who I am.

I have to let some steam off, or rather blog some steam off. It has to do with some people I work with.

Its not so much the nice people around here that just get on my nerves once in a while, like the Puerto Rican woman I share my office with that has trouble with certain English words and even more so, English expressions.

Like when she tells me she has had it with her boyfriend’s mother and is "cleaning her herself" of the whole thing. Or when she made the mistake of telling her friend a secret she wasn’t supposed to, she “got her leg stuck” instead of sticking her foot in her mouth… Or when she got back from the foot doctor to find out she has “fractured her foot in her bone sperm”, or when she tells me “I’m a person.” instead of “I’m a person who…”, or when she tells me her boyfriend has “Diabete” and she is trying to buy him healthy foods that have low sugar in them, like Fritos…

Or when she said she felt like she had a cyst coming up on her forehead so she was going home to put Vicks Vapor Rub on it...

...don't ask...

Vicks is her wonder drug. She thinks it will cure my eczema. The thought of putting Vicks of eczema is nauseating.

Nope, that's not what's bothering me today. And to surprise any of you who know my boss, its not even Butch who's bothering me today.

(Butch, Operation's Manager, a.k.a. Son of the president, a.k.a Jackass son who walked into his nice new office complete with leather chair and a $1000 a week paycheck as operation's manager, who bankrupted his last 2 companies, and has never managed a gun business before... You'll hear more about him when I have a good hour to blog and a lot of patience, maybe even a stiff drink by my side.)

It’s the front office manager, of whom I do not work for - nor does my assistant. She, as well as the whole front office, is convinced that MY assistant works for them. He is only supposed to take orders for the office IF he has nothing else to do. First and foremost, he is to do whatever I tell him to do.

So just a minute ago I was just talking about the advertisement that my assistant is helping me with, when the office manager said in her cutesy-baby voice,

"Buttt, that isn’t his job."

I just looked at her. Did she just say that my assistant’s job was not to help me?

Me) Yes, it is.

Her) Nooo. It’s not.

Me) Umm. Yes, it is.

I sooo didn’t want to say this next thing, but I had to:

“Butch said so.”

I felt like a little kid.

She said, “His job is to take orders.”

I said, “No, he works for me. If he has nothing to do, then he takes orders.

She gave me the look. That snotty holy-than-thou look, the 'I’m the office manager, you are the head of the computer department - don't mess with me' look. She shook her and looked down at her desk and SNEEEERED.

I wanted to say I saw that! But instead, I saw myself walking up to her and cracking her one in the head. Quick day dream, okay snap back.

I tried to stand there all cool and everything, but I could feel my face getting hotter and hotter. I looked at the other 3 people in the room and they got all quiet, pretending to be busy with something, but I knew they were all waiting to hear the next comment come out of one of our mouths.

I also knew that as soon as I walked out of there they would all talk about me. Funny how the front office has 15 people to answer 10 lines and take orders, but I have not a single soul except my assistant to run the entire computer department AND the website AND the advertising department, and no one seems to understand this.

She didn’t say anything else, so I took this as a victory. I'd won the battle but the war is not over.

Till next time, my dear. You’ll see, I will have my assistant and he will do what I tell him to, not you.

This is pissing me off today. Had to blog. Might not be too interesting, but at least I feel better.