Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's All Greek To Me

For some reason this weekend, I was really hungry -- and not just emotionally hungry; my stomach was growling and I felt light headed. Fortunately, I didn't go too crazy. I had some chocolate cake, but I journaled every bite. And tonight I went out for Greek food with a friend.

Many nutritionists recommend the "Mediterranean diet" because the countries in that area tend to rely on simple, but fresh and tasty foods. Our meal tonight definitely illustrated this. I had a combo kebab with grilled chicken and lamb chunks, beans, roasted potatoes and lemon rice; a Greek salad with balsamic vinegar and two small cubes of feta cheese (some places go completely overboard with the feta; and some hummus. I ended up leaving over the side dishes -- the potatoes, rice and beans -- and had only about half the meat. My friend and I then shared baklava for dessert, but between the two of us, we didn't even eat half. We each took about two bites and that was enough; I then brought my leftovers home to Jon and he finished them.

I feel as if I'm getting much better at this whole "eat when I'm actually hungry" thing. I'm not feeling a need to wolf down my food simply because I ordered it or it's in front of me. I'm okay with taking a few bites to get the taste and then saving the rest for later.

My walking is continuing to improve, as well. It's still not great, but I can walk about two blocks without the walker before I need to stop for a rest. I know that soon enough it will be four blocks and then eventually a mile. I'm still trying to find that balance between working out and not overdoing it. If I do too much, my ankle swells up and yells at me to stop.

Meantime, my jewelry making supplies arrived! I'm very excited, though I still have to order some stuff before I can officially start making items. But I've been watching a whole bunch of instructional items online and am very anxious to get started. It'll be good to try a new hobby that's challenging and different from what I usually do for fun (writing and music). I like the idea of being able to express myself in another venue. Plus, I'll be able to make some cool gifts for the holidays.

It's amazing how good it can feel to have a project in the works and something to look forward to. For once, I don't even care if I'm any good at it -- I'm just happy to be learning something new. Maybe this is really a way that I can overcome my eating disorder; to fill my life up with things like hobbies, interests, friends and love. As cheesy as that sounds, no amount of food can make up for that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Finding My Balance

At PT, there's this one therapist -- let's just call her "Jenny" -- whom I've nicknamed "Clueless Jenny" because she never seems to know what she's doing. She gives the best foot massages out of everyone there, but other than that, she seems to be off in her own world. She'd always ask ME where to put the electrodes when she placed a hot pack on my foot and just kind of let me do my exercises on my own with little input. She was always really sweet, so I just sort of shook my head and did my routine.

Well, this morning, all of a sudden Clueless Jenny turned into Drill Sergeant Jenny! I don't know where in the hell this came from, but she had this whole routine planned for me that was really, really hard.

First, I did 10 minutes on the treadmill (at 1.5 mph and an elevation of Level 3, thank you very much) and then 10 minutes on the bike. She then had me do a series of balance and gait exercises where I had to step over, through and around small cones. The exercises themselves weren't too bad (though I felt a bit wobbly when she had me do a side step), but the repetitiveness got to me, especially when I had to do figure eights around the obstacles. I was getting dizzy! My balance and equilibrium are still off, so I was seriously getting nauseous from walking and stepping in circles over and over again. I kind of liked stomping over the little cones, though -- it made me feel like Godzilla.

Once I mastered the cones, she placed these things on the floor that looked like file folders -- that were slightly higher than the cones -- and I had to step over, through and around those. By the time I finished with that, I was dripping with sweat! I figured that I was done for the day at this point, but Jenny had one more set of exercises planned for me. I had to stand and raise one leg -- and then balance using no hands. Yikes! I could do it for about two seconds, but that was it. My balance sucked even before I broke my leg, so I wasn't too surprised. But then she got this evil grin on her face and told me to do it with my eyes closed!

Seriously, though, while I may dislike these routines while I'm doing them, I'm happy that I'm being pushed and am proud of the work I've done so far. And I'm beginning to feel the results in ways other than how my walking is affected. Today at work, I had a really stressful day where a person whom I've been trying to get for a story didn't return my calls and I got blamed for her basically screwing me over. But when I later hobbled toward my bus stop, I realized that, as hard as that walk still is, I was feeling better. I was out in the fresh air, I was moving ... and the headache that I was getting all day disappeared. For weeks, walking has felt like a chore for me because it's been so difficult, but this was the first time since I've been back on my feet that I felt a glimmer of enjoyment from doing it.

I don't think that being physically fit will solve all of my problems: it won't make me beautiful, rich or get annoying sources to call me on time for a story on a tight deadline. But being in shape will at least help me DEAL with the stresses of life -- and I plan to keep getting that better balance, but physically and mentally.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mrs. Thighs Vs. The Treadmill

Remember how I said the other day that I was going to beat that treadmill at physical therapy? Well, this morning I did! Last time, I could barely complete 5 minutes of walking at .9 miles an hour; today, I did 7 minutes at 1.2 mph, and then raised the elevation to Level 3. After that, I did 10 minutes on the bike. My therapist says that on Thursday she wants to see me do 10 minutes at 1.5 mph. I'm so there!

Today was also a milestone for me because it was the first time I went out without the walker. It wasn't too bad; actually in some ways, it was easier because I didn't have to walk hunched over the walker and I didn't have to worry about carrying it. Other than that, my speed was about the same and I took plenty of rests. The only difficult part was when I was waiting for the bus. The bus stop I go to does not have any seats or stoops or steps or standpipes for me to sit on, so I went into the nearby cafe to wait (don't worry, I didn't eat anything; just got a water). I then went to the stop about five minutes before the bus came, but it was about two minutes late. I know that doesn't sound like much time, but it was hard on my leg and back. I leaned against a poll to relieve some of the pressure, but that only helped so much. Hopefully, doing the treadmill and walking without the walker will help me continue to strengthen my back so that I can stand for longer periods of time. I feel like I'm well on my way, though.

I'll probably be done with PT in a few weeks so I need to start thinking about my post-PT workout game plan. I definitely want to keep walking, especially since I want to do that half marathon next year. I'll go back to doing the BowFlex so I can get more a full-body workout. I also think I'd like to purchase an exercise bike. None of these things takes that much time, but if I mix them up and do them fairly regularly (like three times a week), I'll get in a good workout.

Today is actually two months since my orthopedist told me that I was allowed to put weight on my leg. I remember that I could barely stand that day so I've come a long way pretty quickly! It will be nice if a year from now, all of this is a distant memory -- and I'm in the best shape of my life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Grapes Of Wrath

At work, we just moved to another floor in our building, meaning that I lost my office and now have a cubicle. On the plus side, I'm near a lot of my co-workers, so it'll be fun hanging out with everyone. However, the new arrangement affords me very little privacy and there is a lot of noise. Everyone can hear everyone else's phone interviews and it won't be as easy to make personal calls. I'm missing my office already.

Still, I tried to get into the spirit of things, so when it was time for lunch, I offered the woman across from me some grapes. She accepted, but kind of chuckled when I handed her the package, which was fresh from the store; she found it amusing that I'd brought the entire package with me rather than taking out some grapes and putting them in a baggie or Tupperware.

I know that she wasn't laughing AT me or being unkind because she's a nice person. It's just that she's thin and has a difficult time imagining eating an entire package of ANYTHING, even if it is grapes. For me, though, eating grapes is a victory over eating candy.

After that, I felt a little embarrassed and put the rest of the grapes back into the shopping bag I'd brought my lunch in. I then kept sneaking grapes as the afternoon went on, praying that no one else would see what a pig I was being for munching on these things. Finally, I asked myself, "What the hell am I doing?" and ate the rest out in the open. I mean, these were GRAPES, for God's sake, not a whole chocolate cake. But you know what? If I wanted to eat an entire chocolate cake, as well, who are my co-workers to judge?

I know that many overweight people feel self conscious when they dine in public. I've never cared too much; out of all of my eating issues, dining in secret has never been one of them, believe it or not. But today, I could understand why some feel uncomfortable eating in front of others. I have to see these people every day and don't really want my lunch to become a topic of conversation.

Know what, though? I'm going to bring whatever I damn please, be it a whole package of grapes or an entire tub of berries -- and I'm going to enjoy my food. Let's face it, if my eating habits are all that people can think of to critique me on, then I can't be that bad a person!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fall Forward

This weekend, I really didn't do much. I spent a lot of time relaxing and writing and you know what? That's OK. I've been going out so much ever since I returned to work a few weeks ago, and my body -- not to mention my leg -- is feeling it. I think that resting my leg for a few days was a good call so that I can come back even stronger.

Still, I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming season and all that I have to look forward to. No, my spring and summer weren't the greatest, but my life has a lot more possibilities now that I'm back on my feet. Jon and I are planning a short trip to the Berkshires to see the Tanglewood Jazz Festival that takes place during Labor Day weekend, and my friends and I have talked about taking a day trip to go apple picking upstate. I'm not yet up to taking a long, exotic vacation (nor do I have the vacation days since I was out of work for so long), but I can still enjoy some short getaways and get a taste of the outdoors, which I think will be good for me, physically and mentally.

Meanwhile, I've been trying some new hobbies -- artistic endeavors that keep me preoccupied and keep my hands moving so that I can concentrate on what I'm doing instead of eating. Karen invited me to join her for a pottery making class in the city, so we're looking into that. I've never made pottery before, but it seems like fun -- and it'll give me a chance to make my friends and family homemade gifts this holiday season. I also want to try my hand at jewelry making. I've never done that before, either, but a few of the people in my office make their own necklaces and bracelets and again, it looks like fun. I've purchased some beads and a beginners' jewelry kit, which I'm waiting to arrive in the mail. I love writing and music, but I also love the idea of making something tangible. As a kid, I used to spend hours by myself drawing and painting, and making crafts, and it was a great way to pass the time.

Trying some new hobbies is yet another way for me to remind myself that there's more to life than food. For many of you who don't think about food all the time, this probably seems strange, but for me, it's necessary. Plus, it's somewhat symbollic, the whole idea of building things from scratch just as I'm building a new life for myself. OK, yeah, so I'm stretching a bit here, but humor me and go with it!

I know it's only August, but I can already feel a little chill in the air and am starting to see some leaves changing color. Fall won't be here for a few more weeks, but I'm all set to get a jump start on making this the best season in a not-so-great year.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How (Un)Sweet It Is

Well, folks, this is my 100th post! Woo hoo! Funny how long it takes to lose 100 pounds, but 100 posts can be churned out pretty quickly.

As a writer, I am proud of myself for keeping up with this blog and being disciplined enough to write in it 100 times. As a weight loss warrior, I'm proud of myself for putting my feelings on paper (on computer, anyway) and using this blog as a tool to help kick my bad eating habits. Though I don't have many readers, I really do feel as if my writing has helped me with my weight loss and I thank those of who do read me for following my journey so far.

I figured that in honor of this milestone post, I'd write about one of the biggest changes I've noticed with my weight loss, to date: I no longer crave sugar like I used to. Don't get me wrong, I still LIKE sugar. I still love sweets and chocolate ... but I don't feel as if I HAVE to have dessert or as if my day won't be complete without some kind of sweet. For someone who's always described myself as having a major sweet tooth, this is a really big deal.

Even with my past (brief) successes with losing weight, sweets were involved. I'd stock up on those Weight Watchers desserts like low-fat ice creams and diet brownies, and every night after dinner, I'd eat a couple. I'd stay within my POINTS range, but at least a few POINTS would be made up of dessert-type products each day. Now, however, I'm only having desserts or treats once or twice a week. Last Sunday, I had a low-fat fudge bar at my friend's house after dinner and then on Tuesday, at another friend's place, I had a small piece of homemade Hungarian cake and a spoonful of chestnut puree that she'd brought home from Europe. Other than that, though, I've had nothing sugary, unless you count fruit and the two cups of diet soda I drank. I've even tried to limit my intake of sweet, low-calorie water-like beverages like Crystal Light because I'm finding them too sweet, as well. Instead, I'm just having water.

It's interesting to me how my taste buds have changed. Before, I lived on salty, processed foods and overly sweet desserts that were filled with artifical sugars. But now I'm finding that I prefer my foods to be cleaner and simpler. I don't want meat drenched in cheese or sauce or for my vegetables to be fried beyond recognition. Again, I still like that stuff, but I'm prefering dishes where I can easily taste the flavors of what I'm eating. A touch of garlic sauce goes a long way when eating chicken breast; for me, it's just not as good when it's sauteed, fried and then drowning in butter and wine sauce.

Tonight my husband is making me his homemade vegetable soup with cauliflower, zucchini, turnips, parsnips, mushrooms and kale. I'm getting so hungry for it, the same way I used to get so hungry for pizza or Chinese food. I'll definitely eat that stuff again, but I like that vegetables and plain meats are now taking center stage. In only 100 posts, things have certainly changed.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Things I Did For Food

Joined Karen for Tex-Mex tonight. I got my usual dish -- veggie fajitas with broccoli, cauliflower, squash and peppers, but what's interesting is that I was craving it all day. Me craving vegetables; did you ever imagine?

During dinner, I showed Karen some of my old student IDs and driver's licencses that I still keep in my wallet and she could hardly believe how skinny I used to be. In her opinion, I was too skinny, even in my college ID, where I weighed about 115 pounds. She said that she liked the one of me from my senior year of college the best -- when I weighed about 140.

It's pretty telling that I can recall my life by my various weights rather than by just my memories. I'd like to change that. I'd like to be able to look at old photos of myself and think, "That's from when I was 40, the year that Jon and I went to Thailand," rather than, "That's from when I was 38 and weighed 220." This reinforces how much prominence my weight and food have had in my life and I'd like well, my LIFE, to be the central focus.

That said, I confided in Karen about some of the inane things I did for food when I was a kid, like steal packages of cookies from the back of the pantry or raid my friends' kitchens. The thing I'm probably the most ashamed of, though, is lying to my grandmother.

My mother's mother was a tiny woman, about 4'5" and sweet as anything. She was so naive and protective and literally used to make me wear my gloves and hat in 70 degree weather. She never had an unking word to say about anyone except when she was watching her soap, GUIDING LIGHT. Then she'd call the show's villainess a "snot nose," which trust me, was pretty racy stuff for my grandmother!

Anyway, when I was in the fifth grade, I went through a dark period where Istole a lot. I swiped earrings from friends, money from my parents and even shoplifted a couple of things from the mall ... and I stole from my grandma.

Toward the end of the year, my friend Lani and another girl in our neighborhood invited me to take a walk with them to this nearby deli. It was only a mile away from my home, but it was on a main road and I knew that my parents wouldn't want me walking all the way there without an adult. Still, I was 11, my parents weren't yet home from work, and dammit, I wanted to go! Unfortunately, I knew that if I asked my grandmother, she'd freak out. I mean, she became nervous when I went on my swing set.

Therefore, Lani helped me come up with a lie and I told my grandma that I was going to the mall with Lani's mom for school supplies. This was ridiculous because school was almost over, but my grandmother bought the story and gave me the OK. She also gave me $10 to buy my things.

With our money in hand, the three of us then made the trek to the deli. There, we gorged on pizza, cake and all sorts of other crap that they sold there. We were practically high from ingesting so much salt and sugar. We knew that our parents wouldn't approve of us sneaking over there, so we made a pact that we'd never tell anyone about our journey. I actually kept my promise for a very long time.

My grandma died when I was 13 and by that time, I wasn't interested in stuffing my face with junk. A couple of years later, I went through my scary skinny period and well, you know most of the rest. But I've always felt badly about tricking such a wonderful, trusting woman ... and for what? Shitty pizza and packaged cookies. Yeah, I was only a kid, but even then, I put food before my family. I suppose I can argue that part of me wanting to get away had to do with me being a pre-teen and wanting to have an adventure, but no, I can assure you that I was just going for the food. I think that for the entire walk over there, I was babbling about everything that I was going to eat.

I eventually 'fessed up about the lie when I was about 15 (I wasn't kidding about keeping the secret for a long time) and Lani sort of laughed at me, saying that she had told her parents years before and they hadn't cared. It still haunts me, though. No, it wasn't THAT bad a thing to do -- I mean, you should hear some of my husband and father's stories about the things they did as kids -- but I still feel dirty. The way I acted was like I was on drugs or something; I lied to a loved one, took her money and then stuffed myself numb with treats. Nice.

I'm a mostly honest person these days, save for a white lie now and then, but I wish my grandmother were alive so I could tell her the truth -- and give her back her $10. Karen says that she's sure that my grandmother forgives me, wherever she is, and she's probably right. My grandma wasn't the type of person to hold a grudge.

I, too, forgive myself for being young and foolish, but I also don't want to forget about it because it's important that I remind myself how destructive binge eating can be. I haven't taken money from anyone else for food, but I have done other shameful things like eat in secret or even take uneaten food out of the trash when no one was looking.

Food isn't something to be ashamed of, though. It's not something to hide or hide from. It's just well, food. But the memories you create from spending time with friends or family are a lot more fleeting. I don't ever want to put food before them again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Slow, Not So Steady...

Each week at physical therapy, they're reintroducing me to new exercises. The last couple of times they had me riding the bike; today they had me do the treadmill.

Now I've belonged to several gyms in my lifetime so I've logged plenty of hours on the treadmill. It's not my favorite piece of equipment; I'd much rather walk outdoors where I'm actually GOING somewhere, but I'd always use it as a warm-up exercise. Generally, I'd walk on it for about 20 minutes at a speed of 3.0 -- a nice, easy walk. I'd then adjust the incline a bit to get in some hills. Once I was done, I'd move on to the elliptical or weights and really amp up my exercise.

However, when I got on the treadmill today, I could barely do five minutes. Five minutes at .9 miles per hour! Yeesh! I've been trying to push myself with my walking, but when I was forced to do it a steady rate, I was huffing and puffing and my leg and hips felt like jelly. When I was finished, I collapsed into a nearby chair and the therapist quickly got me some water. I seriously think she was afraid I'd pass out.

I know I'm not 100 percent yet; I know that I'm recovering from a broken leg and torn ligaments and that I still have to rebuild my muscles. But it was embarrassing that what used to be my "relaxing" warmup exercise has become so difficult for me. The therapist even asked me if I've ever used a treadmill before and I wanted to scream, "OK, so I know I'm a fat blob, but I completed a 20 mile walk and a 10K not that long ago!"

The goal is for me to be able to walk for 10 minutes on the machine. The idea is for me to correct my gait so that I stop limping, but for me, this has turned into my personal vendetta: Mrs. Thighs vs. the treadmill. On Tuesday, I will do seven minutes and by next Thursday, I will be up to 10. And then that speed is going to come up, as well. I may be obese, but the former gym rat in me refuses to be showed up by a lame machine. I mean, the last time I belonged to a gym and was training for the 20-miler -- my beloved basement gym that was shut down so that they could build freakin' condos -- I could leg press 125 lbs. I used to enjoy showing up the men at the gym with my strength and they didn't know what to say. Fat girl had game!

Treadmill, I have called you out. It is ON.


One thing that I think a lot of overweight people have in common is a fear of mirrors. In my case, I don't mind looking at my face too much, but I become uncomfortable when I have to see the rest of my body. When I stare at all of the rolls and lumps and bumps for too long, I begin to look so misshapen. My body is not tight and compact as our bodies are meant to be, but juts out and hangs down at all of these weird angles.

Unfortunately, I've been forced to look at my body a lot lately because they have full-length mirrors at PT — and I'm not going to work out for an hour with my eyes closed. I've gotten a bit more used to it, but some days, I want to bash the mirror in — like today.

I'm wearing a pretty, flowing skirt and a turquoise top that's a bit more fitted than what I usually put on. Now that I'm losing weight, I'm trying not to hide behind enormous, baggy things, and most of the time, I'm pretty confident. As I looked at myself this morning, though, I was horrified. I was lying back on one of the weight machines and my stomach just looked so WEIRD. It was flat on the bottom and then rolled up into this strange bump that resembled a mountain. I don't know if it was the angle that I was reclining in or what, but I looked as if I were about to give birth to an alien!

Ever since then, I've been very self-conscious of this shirt. I keep pulling at it and wondering if all of my fat rolls are sticking out, and if people are laughing at me behind my back. I'm beginning to feel a little better, but that's because I haven't had to see a mirror in a few hours.

One thing I'm definitely looking forward to as I lose more weight is to feel more comfortable in my clothes — and my own skin. I doubt that I'll ever full be rid of my lumps and bumps, but I'd like to learn to love the ones I have.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have A Nice Trip

This evening, I got one of those dreaded calls from my dad; my mom had been taken to the hospital after tripping and falling on her face. The bad news: she had to have a broken tooth fixed (and she just had dental surgery literally about three days ago). She also has a hairline fracture on her knee and will need to wear a brace. The good news: she doesn't have a concussion, doesn't need surgery and can walk on her leg, despite the injury. Also, she and my dad can still go on their trip in the fall.

I don't know what it is with my family and why we keep falling and breaking things. Two years ago, my mom broke her wrist while hiking in Patagonia; my dad fell and sprained his ankle while walking around Easter Island (at least their injuries were "exotic.") Then my grandmother fell and broke HER wrist; and then this year, my mom and I were injured. I guess we're just klutzy people ... or perhaps we are cursed. Maybe I should change the name of this site to BROKEN Thighs Of The Beholder.

This isn't really about me today, but to bring this back to the theme of this blog for a moment, I did not binge, even though I was tempted. I was very stressed as I waited for my dad to call with news about the X-rays, but I forced myself not to buy chocolate and instead had a sensible meal of grilled chicken and rice.

Getting back to my mom, though, I'm glad that she's okay. I'm especially glad that the doctor gave her the go-ahead on their trip because she would've been really disappointed if she'd had to miss that. However, I think my family has filled our quota of keeping orthopedists in business. I'm all for us taking a break from anymore bad breaks for the time being!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Almost Famous

While I was growing up, I always kept a dream alive for those times when I felt alone or was picked on or thought that I was a freak: I'd tell myself that someday my differences would work for me and I'd be a great success. I'd make more money than the bullies who tormented me and would be a household name. I'd be famous -- and all of those people who'd ever treated me as if I were "less than" would be sorry.

Fast forward many years later and this dream still hasn't come true, at least not on the scale that I'd hoped for in my youth. I write for a well-known publication, play with a band and released a CD, but I'm most definitely not a household name. Until recently, this bothered me -- and I treated myself as if I were "less than" because I wasn't living up to some ridiculous goal that I set for myself when I was a kid.

Back in high school, I perforfmed with the band and orchestra -- and played three instruments, no less: the flute, tenor sax and clarinet. But as much as I loved music, I was in it for the awards that they gave out at school each year, and was disappointed when I didn't get anything.

Around 2003, I wrote a novel for teen readers. I was really proud of the work I did and managed to get a literary agent -- and almost sold it twice. But it wasn't quite right for what the editors of the various publishing houses seemed to want, and a sale never happened. I wrote a second novel -- which I liked -- but my agent hated it. She dumped me.

I was so bummed about this, not only because I believed in my work (and because rejection sucks), but because it was delaying my dream of becoming the next Judy Blume or Meg Cabot. I wanted to be an iconic author whom millions looked up to -- and whose work was turned into movies, like Harry Potter. I even knew which actors I wanted to cast as certain characters!

Having big goals is great, but when they become so big, anything else doesn't seem like it's worth much. Because I had this terrible attitude, I denied myself a lot of joy along the way -- the joy of playing music, the joy of writing. I was so into seeking others' approval that I saw myself as a "failure" and it left me bitter.

The point of this post is that I think this is yet another reason why I'm obese. Being full of regrets and disappointments has left many voids in my life -- and I often filled them with food. On those days when I realized I wouldn't be the Great American Novelist, I stuffed myself with cookies and during those times when I acknowledged that I wouldn't be a zillionaire, I crammed my mouth full of pizza or cereal. Then I'd have regrets about being fat and ugly and hopeless ... and the cycle would begin again.

The good news is, I've learned to let go of certain dreams and find new ones along the way. After getting so many rejections from publishers, I decided to complete a project just for fun -- just for ME -- and put together my CD. I'm not a rock star or anything like that and wasn't trying to be one, but I loved the challenge and had a great time producing the album. Only a handful of people have heard it, but I'm really proud of the work that I did -- and that's what matters. Not that I've never become as famous a flute player as James Gallway.

I've also taken my writing back and am finding the joy in that again. About a year ago, I began doing some online freelancing, where I write about any topic I want. I also started this blog. Again, not many people read my work, but I love writing and know that this blog has helped me a great deal with my weight loss.

That said, I'm concentrating on finding the joy in other things: being with friends, traveling, writing travelogues for my friends and family, singing karaoke ... I'm even thinking of taking some art classes. I doubt that any of these activities will give me great recognition, but I no longer care about that. As I get older, I'm learning to appreciate the simpler things in life -- as cliche as that may sound. I'm recognizing the many talents that I do have, even if my writing and musical skills aren't making national news.

Now that I'm letting go of those things that were weighing me down -- in ever sense -- I'm feeling lighter. I think it'll be only a matter of time before my body catches up with my mind.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fat Days

Most women I know -- and some men, too -- have "fat days," i.e. those days where no matter what you weigh, you feel bloated and heavy and well, fat. I'm having one of those days today. I didn't eat too much this weekend or have a lot of salt or anything like that, but I feel like I weigh 1000 pounds. It sucks.

It's frustrating, but I know that it'll pass and soon enough I'll be having a "thin day"; hopefully, more of these will come as I lose more weight.

Tonight I had an interesting conversation with a girlfriend about the effect our upbringing can have on our weight. I mentioned the battles I had with my parents over my size while I was in college and beyond and she wondered if my initial weight gain was partially done out of spite. She never gained as much weight as I have, but she's had her ups and downs on the scale, and her ups and downs with her parents, as well. I don't know for sure if I did gain weight as a form of rebellion, but I suppose it could've been the case. I just don't like to blame other people for what I did to my own body. As I've said before, I don't entirely agree with the way my parents handled things, but I'd rather forgive and move on. I definitely feel that us getting close during these past few months has allowed me to let go of some of these issues and finally start losing the weight for myself and not just to please them -- or gain weight to spite them, for that matter.

Still, it's nice having a friend who I can talk to about these things and who understands. Most of my friends have been very supportive of me --through my fat and thin periods -- but most have not had to lose massive amounts of weight so it's difficult for them to truly emphasize with what I'm going through. I like having someone who I can reach out to.

On a totally unrelated topic, is it possible for a cat to have a food addiction? Our cat, Maya, meows and meows at us for food, no matter how much we give her. She even managed to trick us each into giving her a meal, so she got two breakfasts! And she STILL meowed at us for treats. I don't know what her deal is, but perhaps she needs Weight Watchers for cats...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beware Of Boobs

While I was growing up, most of my girlfriends dreamed of having big boobs, but I was different: I already had them and I wished I didn't.

I think that at least some of my issues with my body began with my large breasts. I started developing when I was about eight years old and needed a bra by the time I was 10. I refused to wear one, though. Fourth grade was the year when we had to start changing in the gym locker room and I didn't want to look like a freak in front of the other girls. I wore an undershirt in place of a bra ... but that didn't work, because I looked like a freak, anyway, due to the fact that I was the only girl who had a woman's body. In fact, I can remember very vividly how one of the other girls announced, "Oh my God, you have like REAL boobs! You need a bra!"

Still, I refused to wear one until sixth grade. At this point, my friends and I were experimenting with makeup and wearing more grown-up looking outfits, so my bra was no longer a source of shame. In fact, I was rather proud of the way I looked -- probably one of the few times in my life when I have been, actually. I had a crush on the cutest guy in our class and I think he liked me back, even though he never admitted it because I was considereed a "brain" and he was a "jock." But during picture day, he took me aside and told me that I looked pretty -- and then eyeing my chest -- "like a real lady." I look like a complete dork in my picture, by the way, because I'm sporting a goofy, love-sick grin.

By high school, as you know, I had all kinds of issues with my weight and with eating, but I never minded having boobs. Mine were a perfect size, about a B-plus, and could fill out a shirt without being too big. Sure, I wanted to whittle myself away to nothing, but wanted my boobs to stay!

Then I began to gain weight and they started to become a real pain, literally and figuratively. As they expanded, they sagged, and my back ached. My shirts never seemed to fit right and my chest hung at an odd angle. Suddenly, I wished I weren't so well-endowed and could have a naturally thin, boyish figure.

These days, I have mixed feelings about them. As I lose weight, they're getting their normal non-saggy shape back, though I'm a bit concerned about how, at 36, my body will adjust to them. When I lose enough weight, will they hang there like pancakes? Will I need surgery? I hope not ... but I'm preparing for the worst.

Then there are times when they can be downright embarrassing, such as yesterday. I was wearing a V-neck T-shirt, so you could see a bit of my cleaveage; no big deal, right? Well, as I was eating my lunch, a grape fell into my chest and got lost somewhere in the cavernous expanse of my cleavage and my bra. I had to dig around to fish this thing out -- and of course, that's when one of my co-workers enters my office. I don't know if the person noticed, but I felt pretty silly feeling myself up!

Sure, it's a funny story now, but I can't say that I'll miss this sort of thing -- of being embarrassed by my body or having it humiliate me in ways I'd never expect. I'm sure that when I'm thinner, I'll still do embarassing things, but I'd at least like to have more control over it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Step Up

One of the exercises they have me do at physical therapy are step-ups, where I well, step up onto a raised platform so that I can practice taking stairs. However, I'm finding that the best way to get used to doing this is to simply walk up and down real stairs whenever I can.

Today I got in a lot of practice! I had to climb up a long, steep flight of stairs to get to the restaurant/karaoke bar where I met up with friends (believe me, I would've climbed a mountain to reach a karaoke bar; I'm that much of an addict). Later, I braved the subway for the first time since my accident, so there were many more steps there. I'm exhausted and in some pain, but I feel as if I got in a good workout.

I've found that one of the best ways to avoid overeating is to do karaoke. I mean, you can't eat when you sing, right? When I did eat, though, the food was plentiful and healthy. We had to each order $30 of food to get the room rate, so I got chicken terriyaki with vegetables, miso soup and vegetable rolls made with squash, carrots, seaweed and asparagus. Yum! I only had a few bites of the terriyaki because I'm trying to cut down on my sodium intake, but the veggie rolls were great. I don't like fish or seafood (I wish I did, but I don't), so they're the only type of sushi that I'll eat. I love that they're so "clean" and simple -- fresh veggies rolled in some rice and seaweed -- but are also tasty. They're also really low in WW points, which is a big bonus. I was tempted to order some of the fried appetizers, like the age dofu (fried tofu) or spring rolls, but am glad I got the veggie rolls instead.

It's been a good week in terms of seeing friends, but work is beginning to stress me out again. We got our schedules of upcoming assignments and I have some big ones on the horizon. I'm trying not to let it bug me to much, though. Instead, I've decided to use the schedules as a "goal post" for my weight loss, i.e., "By the time I get to this assignment, which is a month from now, I'll weigh X fewer pounds."

As of now, it's almost 2 a.m., so I am going to try to get some sleep. Then tomorrow, we're off to see Scott Pilgrim -- woo hoo! I'm tempted to do nothing on the weekend, but I think it's healthier if I force myself to go out, at least for part of the day. As I lose more weight, I look forward to having even more energy.

Fun With Closet Shopping

One of the best things about losing weight is being able to go "closet shopping," meaning that you can finally fit into all of those clothes that you have in smaller sizes (which I think almost all women, fat or thin, have!). Now I'm finally getting to that point where I can pull out some "old" things — many of which I've never worn before, but purchased because I was feeling optimistic.

For instance, I bought two dresses last April to wear for our 10th anniversary party. I order a lot of stuff online (love shopping on the Web), but stupidly didn't buy these dresses from a plus-size retailer. Instead, I got them off of Amazon, which was a mistake because I find that whenever regular-sized designers make "plus-size" attire, it doesn't fit well. They simply make the outfits larger, but don't reshape them to fit a bigger woman (i.e. most obese ladies do not have a cinched waist and need something to cover the stomach region). Needless to say, neither of these dresses fit, even though I ordered them in what was technically my size.

Well, this morning, I was able to get into them! Neither looked particularly great; both have very defined waists on them, so my stomach bulged out beneath, making me look pregnant. But I can now button them up the entire way, whereas I couldn't before.

That said, one of my immediate goals is to be able to fit into these dresses so that they actually look GOOD on me. I think this will take another month, but I'm up for the challenge.

Meantime, I have plenty of other "old" stuff in my closet that I look forward to wearing. Pretty soon, I'm going to be the best-dressed fat chick around!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Though I've lost weight in the past — actually, a lot of weight the last time I vowed to get back into shape — this time I've made a point to change WHAT I'm eating.

Before, I frequently dined on packaged meals and processed foods. I was a Lean Cuisine/Weight Watchers meal junkie and would often have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I loved them because I didn't have to cook, the portions were set and I knew exactly how many calories I was getting. Meantime, I also enjoyed eating low-fat hot dogs, slices of fat free processed meats and canned soups. I did eat fruits and vegetables and managed to stay within my WW Points limit, but my main stapes were ready-made meals.

These days, however, I'm trying to eat much more unprocessed "real" food. Don't get me wrong — I still have the occasional hot dog and add Splenda to my coffee. And I love M&Ms. But the frequency in which I eat these things is a lot less. I now love snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables and eat actual lean meat and chicken, not the sodium-filled, pre-sliced kind. I've also cut back on bread and pasta (though I like having some kind of bread for breakfast) and am trying to eat plain foods without a lot of sauce and gravy. Water has become a big part of my menu, as well. During my time off, I drank a lot of Gatorade because I was told that it's important to keep your electrolites steady when you're recovering from an injury. Now that I'm walking, though, I'm trying to stay away from sugary drinks and just stick with water.

What's interesting is that I'm craving sweets and carbs a lot less. I was a carb addict, but these days, I'm happy with just a little rice or one slice of bread. Last night, I had roasted chicken with a side of rice and beans, but after eating the chicken and salad, I only had a few bites of rice and was satisfied. After that, I didn't even feel like having dessert, even though we had frozen fruit pops in the freezer.

This is the thing, though — for me, no food is off limits. There are foods that are, of course, healthier, but I don't regard any as "good" or "bad." I can have a few treats as I did at the party the other day, but that doesn't mean that I "cheated" or have to beat myself up over it. It just means that I watch my portions and then return to eating clean meals. In the past, I'd feel so guilty if I had chocolate during a "diet," or would deprive myself to the point where I ended up binging on an item. Now I'm attempting to be more mindful of my food and enjoy it, but not use it as a way to stuff my emotions. I haven't entirely gotten past this issue, but I'm getting there and that's what is important.

I've been on diets where I've lost weight more quickly than I am now, but so far, this most recent lifestyle change has allowed me to find a decent balance. I still go out to eat and love trying new foods, but I don't overindulge. Nor am I starving myself. For example, I'm meeting Scott for Moroccan food tonight and have already decided what I'm having: gazpacho, hummus and chicken skewers with mixed greens. That's a full meal, complete with plenty of healthy ingredients. I know that I'll have a great time eating, but the main reason for going out is to spend quality time with a dear friend. The food is secondary.

I'm pretty confident that I can keep this up for the rest of my life. I don't want to give up the foods I love, but I don't want to give up my life for food, either, which is what I've been doing for the past few years. It IS possible to have a healthy relationship with food and a healthy life. I wish I'd figured this out sooner.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Feeling Better....

I think my questions about why I was in such a bad mood yesterday were answered by the fact that I slept for 12 hours last night! Obviously, I was just exhausted and needed the rest. My ankle is extemely swollen, too, so I my body was starting to rebel against me for pushing it so hard.

Now that I've had a good night's sleep, I can appreciate my week and yesterday's party a lot better. I wish I could've been more "in the moment" with everything, but I realize that it'll take some more time until my leg is 100 percent and I'm able to do everything I want.

That said, I'm just going to relax today and watch some sitcoms on TV. Doing something fun and mindless is exactly what my body and soul needs. Then it's back to the grind tomorrow, with me hopefully being even stronger than before...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mad At The World

Ever have one of those days where you just WANT to be angry with something? This is how I'm feeling today. I'm just angry -- and I don't have PMS so I'm not sure exactly WHY I'm angry, which is freaking me out a little.

For the most part, I had a nice day. PT went really well this morning and I spent the rest of the day at my friend Scott's house, where he hosted a wonderful party. The weather was gorgeous, the food was great and the company was friendly ... but little things kept nagging at me all day and the more I tried to not think about them, the more they bugged.

For starters, the elevator at the train station wasn't working, so I had to lug my walker down about 30 steps. No one offered to help and when I called Scott to pick me up at the station, he didn't answer (turns out he was in the shower). So now I was angry with him, with the elevator and with the passersby for not helping someone who was obviously struggling.

A few minutes later, Scot sent a friend to pick me up, so no big deal, and I know that the elevator breaking was just something that happens. I should've been grateful to Scott for getting me a ride when he could've just said, "Take a cab," and I should've applauded myself for getting down those stairs by myself ... but all of these feelings started to bubble up.

Once at the house, I needed to use the restroom, but the upstairs one was occupied and the grout was drying in the downstairs one. Again, I found myself getting angry over something that wasn't the end of the world. In fact, I wanted to throw a tantrum like a toddler (I didn't!).

Finally, I sat down outside and enjoyed a nice grilled veggie sandwich, somke veggie chips and salads. I had a few cookies, but stopped myself before I went into a full-on binge (remember, cookies are my weakness). It was peaceful and I started to relax a bit. Still, I was plagued with doubts about things all day. I was disappointed that no one, including my parents, commented on my weight loss. I found myself wondering if I was being social enough, since it was difficult for me to stand around and mingle with my leg still weakened. I was happy to see my oldest friend, Lani, there ... but she spent much of the time talking to other guests and I became angry with her for "abandoning" me because again, I couldn't really get up and follow her as she stood with people and chatted. I was angry with my husband for arriving later than he'd planned, and then giving my parents a curt hello rather than enthusiastically greeting them with a hug and a kiss.

Again, I'm not sure why I have so many negative feelings today. If I sit back and really think about things, nothing really bad happened. Lani and my friend Suzanne both made sure that I had food all day and the Lani gave us a lift to the station at night, so it's not as if she really abandoned me. It was a party and not her fault that I can't move well; it wasn't up to her to babysit me all night. Meanwhile, my dad told me that he wants to take my husband out to thank him for taking care of me after my injury. Yes, Jon's "greeting" to my parents sucked and was kind of rude, but he's a good man who's done a lot for me. As for me being social, I think a lot of other people were being quiet, too -- and many of Scott's friends came over to say hello. I mean, I was there for nine hours; it wasn't like it was going to be a crazy party the entire time.

I think that perhaps part of the reason why I'm feeling so low is because I pushed myself so much this week. Going out every night probably wasn't such a smart thing to do during my first week back at work. Also, I think that just losing the weight is affecting my moods. My body is in total shock right now with everything that is happening to it and I'm sure that my hormones are in overdrive. Plus, I'm now being forced to feel things rather than numb myself with binges. I recently read a great weight loss memoir called Hungry by Allen Zadoff where he shared that as his pounds came off, all of his pent-up feelings which he'd been "eating" away started to come out -- and though he was a grown man, he'd act like a teenager. I suppose this is what's happening to me; I'm experiencing every hurt and regret all over again ... so that a small thing like a friend talking to someone else at a party turns into a replay of me being abanonded my a friend for the cool kids back in high school. Or people not noticing my weight loss reminds me of how I always felt unattractive. Since I started gaining weight when I was about 18, I guess I'm emotionally stuck in high school, and I need time to catch up to being 36.

I know it's better to actually feel angry than to quell the sensation with food, but it still sucks. Losing weight is meant to be a healthy thing and this emotional roller coaster I'm riding is an awful side effect. I hope that I can get it together before my emotions completely spiral out of control ... because watching a 36-year-old fat chick kick and scream like a two-year-old would be a very scary sight to behold.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Survival Of The Fittest

Well, I survived my first week back at work. It was NOT easy. The job itself was fine -- they mainly left me alone so I could get back into the groove of things -- but the commute was killer. I did sooo much walking this week, just getting around the city, and my legs and back are feeling it. For me, two blocks is still a lot; I'm looking forward to Sunday when I'll just be able to elevate and ice my leg all day and let it heal.

The good news is, I got a solid report from my orthopedist yesterday. He says that my leg is in decent shape and now it's just a matter of me continuing to build up muscle. They told me that having back and hip pain is very common and that it would get better as I get stronger. I certainly hope so because I'm sick of carrying that walker around -- though I like being able to sit whenever I need to. Today I an old man who also had a walker that doubles as a seat and it was like, "Hey, buddy!"

Meanwhile, I'm eating well and the weight keeps coming off. Last night, I went out with my group of girlfriends and a few told me I look good (though not many people are mentioning the actual weight loss yet, perhaps because they're afraid of embarrassing me?). Karen and I then went out tonight and she said that each week she sees me, I seem to be smaller. I still have no idea how much I weigh (and I kind of like it that way, truth be told), but the pounds are coming off quickly, which for me, is unusual. My metabolism tends to be on the slow side, but I guess my body is still in shock from all of the sudden movement it's getting (not that I'm complaining. I'm taking full advantage!).

Tomorrow is Scott's party, so that will be a bit of a challenge. I'm glad that I have PT in the morning so I can get a workout in beforehand. But he always has a lot of food at his parties and this is an all-day affair.

I'm thinking that in a couple of weeks, I'm going to treat myself to a professional massage. I've had one (which was a total disaster, but that's another story) and now I feel as if I really need another. That will be a nice way to reward myself for all of my hard work.

Until then, I'm going to keep going and tell my legs to shut up when they protest!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pants On The Ground

I had a rather unusual problem today -- unusual for me, anyway. My skirt was too big ... and I kept fearing that it would fall down as I walked. I still wanted to wear it, though, because it's brand new and I'd like to get a few uses out of it before having to give it up. That said, I wasn't expecting it to be large on me already. I guess I should've ordered it in the next smaller size. Happily, it stayed intact after I rolled over the waist a few times, but there were a couple of close calls.

Having a problem like this is a good thing, though, as I'm usually concerned that my clothes will split from being too tight on me. Despite having to retire a skirt that I really like, it will be nice to buy smaller and more fashionable outfits.

What's really nice is that more people seem to be noticing the weight loss, though many aren't actually coming out and saying it. Still, I've been getting a lot of comments like, "You look good!" To be fair, I'm not sure if they're saying it to be nice since I had surgery and am finally walking again, but I choose to think they're saying it because I DO look good -- or at least better than I looked a few months ago.

My walking is still shaky, but I'm getting places ... slowly. I think my legs need a break because I was sooo tired today that I could barely move at work. Because I'm back in the city, my social calendar has suddenly filled up. It's fun, but at the same time, I'm looking forward to Sunday when I can sleep in and don't have to worry about going anywhere.

Tomorrow is the big day when I see my orthopedist. Hopefully, this will be my last visit, but I'm nervous that he'll tell me that something is wrong and I'll have to wear a cast again -- or even worse, will need more surgery. I don't THINK that anything's wrong since my leg feels good, but I'll rest a lot easier hearing it from him. It'll definitely be a little strange walking into his office!

I remember how just a couple of months ago, I wasn't sure I'd ever walk again, so being able to move is still a bit of a novelty to me. Here's hoping that a couple of months more from now, all of these struggles that I'm currently dealing with will also be a distant memory.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Big Wheel Keep On Turning

This morning, they FINALLY let me use the bike in PT! I've been asking them for weeks if I could try it and they kept telling me that I "wasn't ready yet." Well, I felt as if I were more than ready, and this morning, I proved it by easily doing 10 minutes on it. I took it slowly, but it felt really good -- and it helped that the radio was playing "Proud Mary!"

For the rest of the day, I was in a good mood and when I walked to the bus stop this evening it was, well, slightly less exhausting than yesterday. I still had to stop a bunch of times, but I made it there five minutes quicker than last night. Hopefully, I'll keep adding speed so that I can eventually do the walk in just 10 minutes again. I then got off at the "scene of the crime," a.k.a. my nickname for the spot where I fell, but I didn't hurt myself this time! Believe me, I was a bit jumpy, but this bus driver pulled all the way up to the curb for me so there were no potholes in my way. Phew!

What's interesting is how people treat you when you have a walker. When I was in the wheelchair, a lot of people were overly friendly. Now I get a lot of stares -- perhaps because I'm so large still or perhaps because my walker is a little unusual-looking and has a seat built into it (my favorite feature!). But most people are oblivious and won't move out of your way. Last night, for example, this woman was walking her dog right on the ramp that leads up to the door of my shrink's office. I had to call out to her three times before she acknowledged me and then she still didn't move! Basically, I had to plow through her. Then when I was trying to open the door to the office, people saw me, but no one offered to help. It was a little frustrating. Thankfully, the bus drivers have been helpful in picking up the walker for me as I get on and off the bus so that I can grip the rails with both hands.

What's nice, though, is that my social life is starting to feel normal again. I'm going out with friends over the next two nights and then have a party on Saturday. And then next week, I already have dinner plans for two nights. Thanks to Jon, my social life wasn't horrible while I was in the wheelchair, but I was definitely a lot more isolated. I love being able to explore the city and am glad I have that back somewhat.

My next goal is to feel strong enough so that I can ditch the walker. That and the chair have been lifesavers -- but I'd rather be out there without my"wheels."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Off To A Good Start...

Whew, I'm exhausted! My first day back in the office turned out to be a particularly long one. Happily, they didn't bog me down with work, but I got there early and then had to go to my counseling session afterward, But the real reason that I'm so tired is because of all the walking I did today. I took a car service in, but in the evening, I took the bus, so I had to do the 10 minute walk from my office to the bus stop (which took me about 25 minutes). Then I had to walk from the stop in Queens to my therapist's office (which took another 25 minutes). I probably walked about 3/4 of a mile ... which is like 10 miles for me. My feet are sore and I'm a little worn out, but I'm glad that I'm getting in better shape.

What was nice is that my shrink noticed my weight loss. It feels good that people are starting to see it, though it's still not so obvious. Some days it's frustrating because I FEEL thinner, but then I see myself in the mirror or see myself next to someone else and I realize how fat I still am. I was having one of those days today, so I felt better after my shrink gave me the compliment. I know that I shouldn't care about what others think, but the encouragement helps.

I'm happy to report that I also survived eating at the workplace today. Truthfully, I was kind of disappointed that my co-workers didn't throw me a welcome back party, but at the same time, I was glad that I didn't have to eat cake that someone made for me, just to be polite. Instead, I munched on grapes and string cheese throughout the day, and that kept me satisfied. When I came home around 9 p.m., I was starving, so I had my chicken and veggies, but I didn't feel the need to wolf it down. I had about half the entree and then put the rest away.

I hope that all of my walking today results in a big loss. As I told my therapist, I'm taking advantage of the fact that my body is still in shock from all of this sudden activity! It would be really wonderful if I could begin Fall a couple of sizes smaller.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Game On!

So in about 10 hours, I'll be off to to work, ready to re-enter the "real world." GULP.

I'm now sure how mentally prepared I am for this, but I'm defintely prepared in every other way. My alarm is set, my Metro Card is packed away, my clothes are all laid out for tomorrow and the car service has been called (I'm going to take car service in the morning and then try commuting by bus in the evening). I also packed my lunch of rolls with low-fat cream cheese, bananas, grapes and cheese, and I even have my dinner ready for tomorrow night (roast chicken with steamed veggies) since I have a counseling session right after work. Now all I need is a little courage.

I'm not sure why I'm so nervous about returning to my office. I mean, I've been at this job for 12 years, almost 13, if you count the internship I did beforehand. I've been working for the past month at home. And I know that everyone is excited to have me back. But somehow the idea of going off into the "real world" when I'm still feeling vulnerable is scary. The last time I commuted, I ended up with a broken leg -- and I've felt protected being in my nice, cozy apartment with my cat by my side.

But I know that in the long run, going back to work will be good for me. I do miss Manhattan and am looking forward to being back there every day. I'm also looking forward to walking around the city when my leg is stronger and I can cover more distances. For a while, I was circling three miles around the city after work each day, and I really enjoyed it. It was a time for me to get in shape and have some space for myself.

Still, I can't get rid of these butterflies in my stomach. I hope I can sleep tonight! I'll be back tomorrow to give you an update on my latest adventure...

End Of An Era

Today is the four-month anniversary of my accident .... and my last day of "freedom" since I return to work full-time tomorrow. I'm pretty nervous -- it feels like the first day of school!

I'd be lying if I said that I hated having all of this time off for my job, because I didn't. I liked having the time to do relaxing things like read or watch episodes of How I Met Your Mother, and I enjoyed having the time to write my own stuff. It was also a relief to not have to worry about deadlines and all of the other stressful things that come with my job.

But by having that "freedom," my real freedom was sacrificed in that my broken leg forbid me from moving around easily and doing a lot of things on my own. Then there were all of the painful doctor visits, my surgery and oh, yeah, having to have my bone popped into place. Yeeooouuuch! I definitely WON'T miss any of that.

Still, as much as it sucked to break my leg, this time off wasn't entirely horrible. In fact, there were a lot of good things that happened during these four months:

1. We hosted two awesome parties: our 10th anniversary bash in April and a house party in June.

2. We found some cool, new restaurants in our neighborhood (which Jon wheeled me to, always greatly appreciated. He really went above and beyond for me while I was hurt).

3. I got to spend a lot of quality time with my parents. Sure, the circumstances under which I was seeing them weren't so great, but I still enjoyed having the chance to catch up and feel like we're closer than we've been in a long time.

4. I got A LOT of freelance writing done, which is very cool.

5. I've become close with my friend/neighbor, Karen, who really took good care of me during this time off. We were friendly before, but now we're good friends. Many of my other friends, too, such as Amy, Scott, Lani, Suzanne and Marianna, were really here for me during this time.

6. I've lost some weight and am starting to get back into shape again. Before I broke my leg, I was kind of in a rut, but wanting to walk again has pushed me in the right direction.

See, so breaking your leg doesn't have to be the end of the world, and for me, it actually felt like the beginning of many new things. I'm anxious about tomorrow, but am determined to not let my job drag me into a slump once again. Instead, I'm planning to focus on everything else in my life and find my self worth through those goals. I think that if I do that, I can continue taking care of myself and becoming a better person.

For today, though, I'm planning to relax, take a long shower, relax ... and then go to bed early. Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day and I want to be ready to jump right in!