Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

You know what? I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks.

Not like small rough. BIG, STEAMING PILES OF POOP, rough. I’m not going to go into too much into the craptastic details. But you can trust me when I say that things haven’t been the greatest.

I’ve repeatedly stated that I can’t wait for 2014 to be over; however, just like you can’t have a bad workout and give up for the week, day, month, year… you can’t blame an entire year for some crappy days (weeks, months, events, blah blah blah).

Besides, today, I realize that things are actually going my way! Seriously, I’ve got a few awesome things that I did today. And no, they aren’t BIG things. But I’ve always been a glass half full type of person, despite what life has thrown at me so why change that now?

Without further ado:

1. I’ve saved $450 of random cash this year in an envelope.

cash

CHA-CHING!

I can’t find the exact blog post but Suzan over at Welcome to the Nuthouse mentioned that every time she got a 5 dollar bill, she set it aside to save.

Following her lead, I did just that, occasionally throwing in other random bills along the way if I had extra in my wallet that I didn’t need immediately. A few times, bills came OUT of the envelope (emergency fund/no cash in the house/have to pay for piano lessons/etc.) but overall we did a good job of donating to our cause.

Saved money = good!

2. A few months ago that we switched from a .com to a .org and with that change, we changed the look of the blog, added a few awesome Chicks, etc. However, for the life of me, I couldn’t get the LIKE button on the bottom of posts.

I really, really like the like button.

Today I finally figured out HOW TO GET THE LIKE BUTTON BACK. I mean, it’s a little thing, but this was something that I wanted on the blog. And it’s there! Happiness is being able to figure out something that you couldn’t figure out before.

(Now, if anyone has any idea how to get Facebook to post a picture from a blog post rather than pulling a sidebar image… let’s just say I would be most grateful for the insight.)

3. Christmas Crazy is slowly dissolving in my house. And I can breathe again.

Ahhhhhh.

You cuties can go back to your spot, nestled in the attic, until next time!

You cuties can go back to your spot, nestled in the attic, until next time!

I’m taking down decorations, cleaning up the living room and finding spots for all the new toys and gadgets. I thrive with order and the chaos of the holidays really does a number on my sensibility.

4. Awesome, awesome, awesome workout with my trainer this morning.

My gym schedule is Tuesday/Thursday (with my husband going Monday/Wednesday/Friday). My Thursday last week was a bit on the busy side, what with it being Christmas and all. Last Tuesday I was injured (part of the craptastic story) and unable to make it. Therefore, I hadn’t really trained with my trainer since 11 days ago.

What was that I said above? Oh yes, I thrive on ORDER.

This morning’s workout was so necessary and so good for me, both physically and mentally. No doubt that I’ll be sore tomorrow and grateful for it!

Thursday is New Years Day so while they are closed, Dude has graciously offered up his Friday to me.

Mark December 30th, 2014 on your calendars, friends. Because today? TODAY I WIN.

Tell me your best news of today! Big or small – just share it with me. 🙂

How’s It Going, Bec?

Well, since you asked…

I’ve been meaning to post a status update of sorts for a while. You know, the skinny (or not so skinny) on how things have been since I rejoined Weight Watchers, if the foot is healed, how the gradual walking to C25K to eventual half marathon running training plan is working out, how I’m enjoying the beautiful summer weather.

But every time I sat down to write said progress update post, it wound up reading a bit like this.

I’m still fat*. 

My foot hurts. 

That half is so far away, I’ve got plenty of time. 

Oh, I’m slightly less fat**! Oh wait, nevermind, I’m the same amount of fat again. 

Why is Massachusetts hotter than the face of the sun? 

Does anyone remember why I wanted to run a half marathon again? I forget. 

God, I’m fat***. I wish I had a cookie. 

I’ll never run again. Stupid foot, I loathe you. 

Oh, cookies! I love cookies! 

Walk? In this humidity? ARE YOU INSANE? 

You know what is awesome in the humidity? ICE CREAM. WITH COOKIES. 

So, while all very true things that I have said, out loud, over the past few months, they don’t exactly make for scintillating blog post reading. But at the end of the day, that has been the state of this particular union.

I don’t want to write one of those posts where I swear to you, and to me, and to everyone in the universe that THIS TIME is the time, that starting now, everything will change. You say those things too often, and I do, they start to sound cheap and hollow. I have, however, starting to realize some things about myself, so I figured I’d share those. with you.

I avoid things that are uncomfortable. Confrontation, weigh-ins I know won’t be in my favor, exercise (especially in the heat), any type of food restriction. 

I am a complete creature of habit. I don’t fear change, but I find the action of changing uncomfortable, so… see above. 

I am a sheep (baaaaa, Jess). I started running because all of my friends were running. I’m not even sure I like running. (There was a time when I was pretty sure I loved running, even though I agree with Jess that is is boring as all get out). A huge part of the reason I want to run a half marathon is because all my friends have. I don’t think that is the best reason, and I don’t think it’s enough to get me across the finish line. 

I kind of like being fat****. Okay, no. I don’t like being fat. But I understand being fat. It is what I know. I have functioned this was for years. Anything that strays from this is change, and thus uncomfortable, and thus… see above. 

I really like cookies.

So, it turns out this is one of those rambly posts that sort of goes nowhere. But I think those are okay sometimes? I don’t know, I’ve had a lot on my mind and it feels good to unload some of it.

If you’re curious, the actual status update is that I’m down 1.6 pounds since rejoining Weight Watchers (at week two, there was another 1 at the front of that number), the foot is better but not completely, walking happens when it happens, and I loathe the humidity more than I can talk about.

*Don’t freak out, it’s just a word.

** Seriously, I’m not being all self loathing over here. Just a word, not a weapon.

***Fat. I’m fat. I’m talking about myself, so that pretty much makes it okay to say ‘fat’. But if you want to call me fat, that’s fine too.

****Fatty fatty fat fat 🙂

 

Fathlete

It’s called Couch to 5K, but I’m pretty sure that the person who named the program didn’t assume that the person in question was in a relationship with said couch that was so complex and intimate it was basically Couch-eo and Juli-Bec. My understanding of C25K is that it is intended for people who don’t run to start running, doing so gradually to build strength and endurance.

What I’m looking for is Morbidly Obese to 5K. Because it’s not that same thing. Run for 30 seconds? Kiss my…couch. Being an AOUS (Athlete of Unusual Size) poses many challenges, some of which all athletes face and some which are decidedly unique to the plus size exerciser.

I didn’t gain weight overnight. It took 28 years of yo-yo dieting and sedentary living to achieve, and the lack of exercise is a huge part of that. For years, I hated exercise in all its forms. Being fat and working out do NOT go hand in sweaty hand. As a  larger person, there are physical and emotional aspects of working out that make me run… errr, saunter… in the opposite direction. But, that needs to change in order to change my life. And writing my I am post definitely helped me to work things out in my head, so I’m hoping this will help get me past my exercise aversion again.

When I decided to write this post, I knew I wanted someone to write it with me, and I knew I wanted that someone to be Anne. Anne will keep it funny, and snarky, and she won’t let me be too much of a Pollyanna. But mostly, Anne will keep it real. Anne and I are signed up to run our first half marathon together next year. Anne and I take turns freaking out and trying to bail. Anne and I are a little codependent. And? We’re both ‘big’ girls. (Anne is giving me that look… the one that says ‘Bec, don’t try and pretty it up…just say fat.’)

So, if you’ve ever been out for a run and seen the ‘fat chick’ chugging along, sweating and looking like she’s going to die… if you’ve ever gone to the gym and seen that really big girl trying to do strength training… and if you’ve ever wonder what it’s like to be those people… well, this is what it’s like for these two fat chicks.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a list of excuses as to why we can’t work out.

Additional disclaimer: One of the authors of the post may be using this as such.

Pre- Workout

Plus Size Workout Clothes

Anne – Workout clothes are my own personal Kryptonite, as far as Fat Girl Workout Related Disasters go. Let’s be real, the right clothes for the job make the job a whole lot more comfortable. I’ve managed to cobble together a workable wardrobe of yoga pants and tops that usually get the job done, even if they lack all of the fancy bells and whistles that my thin friends can get for $12 at Target. The problem is, since I’m essentially working out in yoga pants and a t-shirt, there’s not much to stop me from turning my workout clothes into lounge clothes. Now, when I see my favorite workout pants, I don’t think “oh! I should go for a run!” I think “Hey! Guacamole sounds good!” or maybe “Ooh! A nap!”

Bec – Sometimes I think that Plus Size Activewear is as much an oxymoron as Jumbo Shrimp… which sounds delicious right now. You need fat girl clothes, take a right, the small section in the back. You need workout clothes, take a right, not as small section in the front. You need fat girl workout clothes… wait, you need what? Yeah. Plus size activewear is not easy to find, even online. In stores, it’s damn near impossible. And if you want it to be cute? Just don’t go there. Currently, my workout wardrobe consists of a couple pairs of ill-fitting running pants I ordered online and a bunch of men’s t-shirts. My face, you guys. I’m supposed to be cuter than this.
Sports Bras

Bec – I’ll admit, I feel like a bad Fat Kid on this topic. We did a Chick Chat a few months ago where I admitted that not only have I been able to find a sports bra that I love, I bought it at the Target that is five minutes from my house. Don’t hate me.

Anne  – I am convinced that no one in the sports bra industry actually has breasts. I can’t think of another valid explanation for why said industry has decided that my breasts don’t really exist. The thing is, I have the weight equivalent of a small toddler attached to my chest, so a sports bra is tied with “the right shoes” as the most important thing I put on before going for a run. So far, I’ve struck out at every retailer in a 30 mile radius. My best bet is to drive 50 miles one way to find a bra that isn’t actually the right size, but gets the job done, as long as I don’t take deep breaths.

Oh sure. I can go online. Are we sensing a trend here? I’m too fat, my breasts are too big. They don’t want me in this club.  I don’t even know who “they” is, I just know that before I can even get dressed to join in, I’ve been properly body shamed into wanting to curl up in bed with a Cadbury bar and Jennifer Weiner’s entire body of work.

During the workout

Jiggle

Bec – Last week at my Weight Watchers meeting, the leader discussed ‘the ripple effect’ and I was pretty sure she was going to show a video of me running. (She didn’t. Thank goodness.) Because there is a lot of…movement… that occurs when I run. In Zumba class, everything is supposed to be shaking, so it doesn’t feel quite so obvious. But on a run? It feels very obvious. I know that no one is watching me run, and that no one cares what I look like while I’m running. But still.

Anne – There’s nothing quite like feeling your every step reverberate through your entire body to add a little spice to a workout. I tend to lead with my jiggly bits, so I imagine that seeing me run from the front looks like a grown-up version of the Truffle Shuffle. I’ve embraced the jiggle, for the most part. Maybe it burns more calories?

Extra weight

Bec – I read something, probably on twitter, that said for every pound of extra weight on your body, it’s like 4 extra pounds on your knees and 8 extra pounds on your back. Which, I’ll admit, I thought had to be bull. But, I did some research… and it looks like it’s true. This article provides data on Osteoarthritis and knee pain and the links to obesity, and this article  relates obesity to back pain. We are by no means giving out medical advice here, but to me, this makes sense and helps to explain why I hobble down my stairs in the morning.

So, if day to day living with extra pounds is painful, think about working out while carrying the physical weight of two people. It hurts. Everything hurts. And when things hurt? They don’t feel good.

Anne – Personally, I’m pretty pain-avoidant. So when I’m doing something that hurts, I’m already going against my natural instincts. But when I’m doing something that I know will continue to make me hurt for a few more days? I’m basically turning off every survival instinct I have.

Post workout

Swoob

Bec – I didn’t even know this was a term until a few weeks ago when a girlfriend of mine, rather gifted in the boobage area herself, told me about a product she had tried that was amazing for ‘swoob’. I didn’t need an explanation, certainly I’m no stranger to boob sweat, but it did make me giggle. Swoob sounded almost cute.

It’s not cute, of course. Boob sweat is gross, as are its friends, Swass and Swelly. I know swoob isn’t just a fat girl issue. I’m sure that most female athletes get the swoob. I just feel like I probably get more, and that I am swoobtastic earlier on in my workout.

Anne – Oh, Sweaty Underboob, we truly have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, if I’m that sweaty, I must have been working hard, right? That’s a good thing! On the other hand, there is really no delicate way to sop up swoob, you guys. I mean, sure, when Bec and I get our half-marathon on, I’m sure I’ll have no problem re-adjusting the girls and getting rid of the excess sweat in front of her. At a 5K I’m running with male co-workers? Probably not my best plan. The kicker is, when I do a 5K with friends, we tend to bundle it with a breakfast after. So while we’re sitting around the table, laughing and basking in the glow of a race well-run, I am also marinating in a sea of funk. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to air things out in a cramped restaurant bathroom stall.
Chub Rub

Anne – For a fat girl, I have really good legs. I credit this to my dad, who also has great legs. Sadly, I will never be found zipping along a race route in one of those cute running skirts. If you were horrified at the idea of having to air out my upper bits post-run, you would be absolutely scandalized at the sight of me icing down my inner thighs to ease the burn of Chub Rub. The nice thing about Chub Rub is that it is the gift that keeps on giving. Swoob I can sop up and move on with my day. Chub Rub burns for days.

Bec – Ouch.

So listen. If you’re obese and trying to change that and you’ve faced some of these challenges, we feel you. I don’t think we have anything unique to offer in terms of advice, but we feel your pain.

And here’s the thing. All of those things that make it difficult to work out when you’re fat? We’ve got to suck them up and work out anyway.

If the extra weight and jiggle are problematic for you, find a local pool. Water workouts are effective, easy on the joints, and no one can see what’s shaking underwater.

Wear two sports bras if you have to. Rock those ugly sweatpants and too big tshirt until something cuter fits. Know that the reason they don’t make a ton of plus sized workout clothes is because most people assume that fat chicks don’t exercise. Prove them wrong.

Get yourself some anti-chafing products for the rub and some anti moisture products for the swoob. Or don’t. Be sweaty. Be funky and jiggly and dripping sweat and proud. Because in spite of the obstacles, you’re doing it. You are bettering yourself.

So, let’s all get out there and put the athlete in Fathlete! (Anne just rolled her eyes at me. And I totally deserved it).