Am I Skinny Yet?!?!

Before you roll your eyes or anything like that, I know I’m not fat. I’m just…a little thicker than I once was. It’s fine. It’s whatever. It’s driving me crazy.

I took this slow week at work as an opportunity to try something new–working out with a personal trainer. It’s not an entirely new concept. Back in 2009 when Justin was in Iraq and I was in the throes of postpartum depression, thinking I looked something like a beached whale whose belly had been attacked by a pizza cutter (an analogy I’ve stolen from my friend Nicole. Because it’s so unbelievably true, and the perfect way to describe it…unless you sew, then maybe you were attacked by a rotary cutter. Both are gruesome thoughts–sorry everyone). Thanks to the YMCA having an awesome program for military families who do not live near a post/base, I was able to get a free membership. I decided to treat myself with a personal trainer, who I met with twice a week. She was awfully nice, but honestly, it was more chatting and not so much intense working out. Which was fine at the time. By the time Justin returned, I was back to my happy 145 (still 20lbs more than I weighed when we got married, but let’s be honest, that girl is long gone. 22-year-old metabolism, you sure were amazing, and I’ll always remember the times we had together).

I also managed to get back to that magical number in 2013 when Justin was again deployed. Noticing a pattern here? I kicked my own butt, 4 days a week in our garage gym. Of course, the stress of Shea’s tonsillectomy also helped me drop weight fast.

And then I decided to get Mirena, and in the 2 months before he returned, I gained the 20lbs back.

“Justin, I lost 20lbs while you were gone!”

“I know!”

“And then I gained it all back right before you got home.”

“I know…….”

Little known fact: When men (and maybe women too, I don’t have a lot of experience with military ladies–Justin’s in the Boys’ Club known as the Infantry) deploy, they get CRAZY fit. Every time he comes home from a deployment, he’s all muscles and no body fat. I keep saying I’ll take the next deployment and he can stay here with the kids, but again, if he won’t let me take his fun little TDY trip, I doubt a deployment would be permissible. Plus the fact that I would be hiding behind things, shouting “STOP SHOOTING AT ME!!! WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU!?!?” And also, the heat. He compares the breezes in Kuwait to turning a hair dryer on hot and blowing it in your face. It sounds gross.

Right, well, along with the 3 days a week I normally lift weights with my work/workout friend, and the 4 days a week I normally run, I decided that I would also add Torture with Terry to my Tues/Thurs running days. Why not, right? I mean, his kettle bell class was evil enough, so why not triple the amount of time I spent with him each week.

Again, If you find yourself at Fort Knox, in need of any fitness related anything, he’s the man to see. Because he’s EVIL. But in a good way.

Of course, in being honest with him, I have subjected myself to something he likes to refer to as Cardio of Death. It’s evil. And my rapid heart rate makes him nervous:

“Your watch says your heart rate is 170…”

“Shh. Pay no attention to that.”

“Ok…” he says, wide-eyed.

“I did ask if you were CPR certified.”

don’t actually want to have to use that training on you!”

Ah, genes. While I get my sweatiness from my Dad, I most likely get my rapid heart rate from my Mom’s side. Test after test later, and all they can tell me is that I have a rapid resting heart rate. It’s 84 right now, which is pretty low for me–usually it’s between 90-110. It doesn’t do the weird fluttery thing it used to do once upon a time when I was a twig, or before I had kids. So there’s that. It makes cardio suck. Maybe cardio just sucks for everyone, but man alive, I dislike it. I would rather pick up heavy things all day. But cardio is good for me, and blah blah blah.

So, I climbed to the top of the Eiffel tower. On a machine that was evil. After I did the Jacob’s Ladder to nowhere evil. After I climbed a stairway to nowhere for 3 minutes, which was really more like 3 hours. But it was 3 minutes. In. Slow. Motion. Time goes SO SLOWLY when you’re being tortured.

There’s no talking. There’s minimal talking. Between gasps. This is NOT the hour of chitchat and gossip I “endured” at 26. This is sweat dripping everywhere, huffing and puffing, “Terry…I’m…Dying…” while he giggles and says, “it’s fine. You’re doing great! Look, you’re halfway there!” It’s the giggling and sinister smile that get me. “We’re going to do squats and throw this heavy weight around, and then you’re going to run a lap.” Sinister smile. Something like the Grinch, when he’s plotting to steal Christmas from the Whos.” Except, not as green. Equal amounts of evil plotting though.

Five minutes into my first session, as I paused in between pull-ups, some sort of evil burpees with a star jump WITH an elastic band around my ankles, AND running up and down the stairs on repeat, I honestly thought, “this was a mistake. It’s time to tap out and say, ‘sorry Terry. I was mistaken. I don’t need a trainer–I need a nap.'” Of course then he threw some hate toward my boys, Ben and Jerry. You might know them–their ice cream is DELICIOUS. I love them.

I survived. Barely. By the end of each session, my arms are curled up like a raptor, or a t-rex. I walk something like an ostrich. I’m SOAKING wet. And my inner-fat-girl is inside me crying, “we’re REALLY going to do this again?! Are you mad?!”

Every morning since Wednesday I have woken up at 5:30 (don’t judge me. I like the quiet before the world wakes up), and my head has said, “get your ass out of bed,” while my body replies, “please don’t make me!” I jumped on the scale this morning (because I only weigh myself on Saturdays and Mondays–otherwise I would become obsessive), and I’ve lost one pound.

ONE?! That’s IT?!?! No ice cream and 10 hours of cardio/heavy lifting/slow running this week, and I lost one frigging pound?! For all my hurt, and the agony of a week without ice cream, I wanted to be at my target weight by now.


Food Karma

I love food. I really do. My love for food outweighs my desire to be thinner, and I would REALLY like to be thinner. I can’t even attempt to deny it. Sweets will forever be my downfall.

Monday night, I let the kids each choose a place to get “special dinner,” which is a nice way of saying Fast Food. Justin was flying home from California (lucky–he never lets me go in his place on any work trips. Every time I say, “this time you stay home with the kids and I’ll go to,” wherever he’s headed, he just laughs at me. Not cool, Steeves), and we were at gymnastics until 6pm. So, after stopping at McDonald’s for Xander (his only requirement for fast food is a toy), we went to Taco Bell for Shea (her only requirement is Taco Bell. Every. Single. Time). Even though I told myself I wouldn’t do it, I went ahead and ordered a dozen (don’t judge me) Cinnabon Delights. They are so flipping amazing, and I really can’t help myself. Halfway home, I popped one in my mouth. And it was so……..


What just happened!? I waited a minute and tried to figure out what exactly was wrong with my taste buds. I smelled them.

Taco seasoning?

I ate another. Sugary goodness, followed by a definite Tongue-on-Fire sensation.

This is the Universe punishing me for deciding to eat those super unhealthy, amazing balls of empty calories.

Xander said I looked like a princess from Candy Land. I have a hard time being normal.

This is also not the first time Food Karma has gotten me. Back in early December, toward the end of my grocery trip, I decided to treat myself to a (small) container of Nutella. Did I need it? No. Did I have to be able to fit into my military ball gown in less than a week? Yes. At the register I realized the top was broken-no big deal, I’ll probably eat this little baby container in one sitting (I told you not to judge). Of course then the cashier opened it and pointed out that the foil was broken, and asked if I wanted to go grab another one. I knew right there, this was my dress sending me a warning across the universe. Stop. You don’t need to be “treating” yourself to a tub of Nutella days before cramming yourself into a dress that is already a tight squeeze!

Thanks, Karma. As it was, I spent the military ball breathing shallow, and by the time we got home, I was pretty sure I just might pass out from the lack of oxygen. How in the world did women wear corsets!? I like my oxygen plentiful, and my lungs to be able to fully inhale. But my dress sure was pretty.

This time, the universe was probably telling me to stop whining when the number on the scale goes up. Or stop eating things like Cinnabon Delights. Instead, Shea helped herself to them.

“Shea, someone made a mistake and used something spicy when making these. Are you sure you still want one?” She then ate it and told me it only tasted spicy because she had eaten Fiesta Potatoes. The next morning she asked for a couple more, and then told me they were only spicy because I warmed them up in the microwave. She does not believe in Food Karma. Obviously I’m just doing something to make them taste spicy.

I should probably stop telling the Universe my intentions. I send my skinny thoughts out into the world, and they aren’t coming back in the form I would like them to. I would prefer to just lift weights and run and eat unhealthy deliciousness, and still lose weight. Instead, it comes back to me in the form of food sabotage. Thanks, Universe. Maybe I should appreciate and accept my Food Karma. Maybe I should practice a little more self-control.

I’m a Beached Whale!

Summer 2002. I had a waist!

I used to be skinny. Didn’t we all? Society says we all should be, right? All women should be a size nothing, with a thigh gap.

Until you are, and then people think it’s ok to say things about your too-small size.

What I wouldn’t GIVE to be skinny now like I was 15 years ago. Even 10 years ago. I mean, I wouldn’t give up my ice cream. Or most foods. Ok, I love food, and if you tell me I have to give it up to be skinny again, I’ll have to take a pass.

When I WAS 115lbs, at 5’8, people saw nothing wrong with making comments about my being too skinny. Asking questions like, “do you ever eat?” Some would wait until I left the room and then would ask my friends if I was anorexic, and heaven forbid if I went to the bathroom after eating, because obviously I must have been making myself throw up.

Why is it so hard to accept that some people are just twigs?

I had some pretty awesome friends back in the day, and I earned some ironic nicknames: Shamu, Fat Chick, Chubby Fat-Ass. These names were given in response to the ridiculous questions people would ask my friends. Like, “does she eat? Does she have an eating disorder?” The people I was close to knew these questions drove me crazy! I was self-conscious enough about my bone-protruding figure. Their responses would be something along the lines of, “that fat chick? What are you talking about!? She’s HUGE!” I always appreciated the people in my life who stood up to the skinny-shaming in my defense.

Of course now Justin smiles and says, “oh Bubba,” when I throw my Fat Chick sweatshirt on. Not because I AM fat (he’d say otherwise. Because he loves me. He has the self-esteem of a 14-year-old girl, so he can’t say anything), but I’m certainly not the underweight waif I once was.

I’m writing this in honor of a young friend of mine. We work out together. She has the elusive thigh gap, and she’s somewhere in the most desirable size 0-2 range. And she hates it. HATES it.

I can’t take myself seriously.

Let me take you back in time, to the summer of 2015. I had just been hired on as a lifeguard, after my 6 year hiatus from aquatics. Starting back at the bottom. Easily 12+ years older than everyone. And here was this super skinny girl with a bubbly personality, who laughed at everything, and was obviously liked by everyone. I immediately thought, “if only 18-22 year old me had that confidence and was happy with her size. This girl knows what she has.”

Come to find out, she doesn’t. Protein shakes, cheeseburgers, and lifting, all in an attempt to gain weight and shrink her thigh gap.

Shrink her thigh gap?!?! Is she crazy?!?!

In the time that I’ve gotten to know her, I realized she is equally the self-conscious skinny girl I once was.

If it isn’t ok to walk up to a person who is overweight and say, “damn, you’re huge,” why is it ok to say to a skinny girl, “do you ever eat?” Or “you look like you just escaped a concentration camp,” or “where’s your butt?” These people aren’t funny, and they aren’t friends. It is not ok to make fun of anyone, but don’t for one second think that skinny equals happy. We all have our own self-esteem monsters we’re fighting.

Her frustration is not lost on me. I know all too well the way people talk. Is it jealousy, or envy, or do they honestly think it’s funny? We are told every day that we, as women, should be no bigger than a model size 6, and anything larger is “overweight.” So, why tease the girl who indeed IS the “proper size?”

Every time she complains (probably because she’s sick of the “too skinny” comments), and says, “I WISH I could gain weight!” I warn her-be careful what you wish for, because someday you’ll be in your 30s, and you’ll weigh 50lbs more than you did at 22. And you’ll wish you could just drop 20lbs without giving up your ice cream (this is by far, the most important stipulation to any serious diet and exercise plan–do I get to keep my ice cream). And you’ll think, “I wish I had been less self-conscious then.” Telling her these things is my way of telling 20-something me to be happy and comfortable being skinny.

Everyone, every day, should wake up and look in the mirror and focus on the positives! If we could just stop wishing we could be something else. You’re fabulous, whether you need to lay off the ice cream, or enjoy another pint.