Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not Another Day-Update

Here's the weekly Fat to Fit update.

  • Ate my Belgian waffle with strawberries at the CNE. Walking for 8 hours back and forth along the complex more than compensated for it.
  • Been dealing with cranky pelvic bones all week. So bad on Tuesday that I had to call husband from driveway to bring out the crutches to get me in the house after the PWAC Guelph BBQ.
  • Skipped Wednesday workout entirely because I was still crippled and unable to weight bear on right side. Took it easy the rest of the week because it's still dodgy.
  • Had a really stressful, emotionally draining week...gave in to poutine...twice. Enjoyed every artery clogging mouthful.
  • Opted to watch Senator Ted Kennedy's funeral Saturday morning instead of working out. I made the right choice. What a majestic send-off to such a powerful advocate for the less fortunate, the marginalized and the forgotten.
  • Poutine and waffle notwithstanding, still no change in fit of clothes, weight on scale or BMI. Standing straighter. That's it.
  • Added jackknifes to my routine. After the Pilates I've been doing, they were easy.
This was not a great week in Wii land for a number of reasons. I did the best I could around injury, stress and unanticipated driving trips with my mom. I tried. That's all I got this week. I tried.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not Another Day-Update

Here is the latest Fat to Fit update. Not Another Day.

I took some flack last week about the use of the word "Fat." Many people took me to task for applying the word to my situation. I chose the word for several reasons:

  • It makes a nice alliteration.
  • It's what I see when I look in the mirror, regardless of what the scale says. (Yes, I do. No, maybe I shouldn't but it's what I see.)
  • It's what the Wii Fit Balance Board tells me every morning. Actually, it says "that's Obese" which is just a fancy way of saying fat.
  • According to a couple of on-line dictionaries I checked, alternative meanings include "plump", "obese". The word stays.
It's been a tough week in Wii Fit land. I actually missed a day of workout for the first time since I embarked on this little journey on July 13. I had to take my car in for service at the time I normally work out. By the time I got back, it was too humid and my asthma had kicked in and I was dizzy, woozy and likely to fall off the Wee Wii board if I'd tried to push through. It wasn't safe, it wasn't healthy...and the wee Wii still gave me grief the next morning for missing it.

In the quest to tone and tighten, (read, pushing past my common sense limitations of previous injuries) I reinjured a couple of things from my ballroom dancing days. I have managed to annoy my right knee to the point where running and the advanced step are out of the question some days, even if I only step up 3 inches. Running barefoot on hardwood has not been good for my knee, either (although it's been good physio for the foot I broke in the spring). The three middle toes on both feet go numb within minutes of being on the Wii Balance Board. Because I'm working out barefoot, I'm stressing the arches, which stresses some nerve around the toes which gets mad and goes numb. It's hard to hold a decent tree pose when your toes are freaking numb.

I've only managed to lose a grand total of 3.5 lbs since July 13. My husband is following Weight Watchers and doing either Wii Fit or Wii Active every morning. He has lost 15 lbs and who knows how many inches, but enough that it's noticeable. His pants are actually belted and sitting where they are supposed to on his waist, instead of tucked under the "tummy overhang."

While I am not following Weight Watchers, I have been very careful about what I am consuming so that I can trim calories and support him. He has always been able to wash the weight off in the shower when he puts his mind to it. I know that. I've lived it. I've seen it. Intellectually I understand that but it burns my butt when I'm working so hard and consistently. (Although in fairness to him, so is he). I had a day last week when I was ready to resign as a parent and ended up substituting suicidal/homicidal thoughts with a DQ Blizzard. (It was Miracle Treat Day anyway-so it was for charity) The next morning, instead of being the same or slightly up on the scale I was down 1.5 lbs (but had gained back 1 lb by the end of the workout...) The morning after I ate ice cream TWICE in a day, and ate Swiss Chalet complete with French Fries (but still no poutine), I reached my goal. I don't understand my freaking body chemistry, although I do know that I can go up as much as 3 lbs overnight. I've gone up 2 lbs in an hourlong workout that did not include stuffing my face.

I've added Pilates into the mix. I'm a singer, so I've already got pretty strong abs. Shocked the crap out of a muscle-head personal trainer one time because I don't look like someone who can do 70 situps in a minute. I can, I have and I did. It was my salvation on the Canada Fitness Award every year when I was a kid. (and the flexed arm hang doomed me to gold every single freaking year but I digress). If Pilates can't tighten the gut, nothing is going to.

I've had to really struggle to continue this week. I'm putting the effort in and I'm not seeing results. Yes, I know, it's Wii Fit, and is limited by the exercises that the Balance Board can track. Yes, I know, I should be at the gym, walking on the road, swimming at the pool, blah blah blah. I can't manage those things right now. Wii Fit I can manage. It may not be Body Bootcamp...but it's more than I've done in 4.5 years.

I know that I have some serious hormonal issues going on that are going to have an impact on my metabolism and subsequent weight loss. One of the meds I'm on right now has a side effect of weight gain, so at least that didn't happen.

I'm counting on stubborn and determined to keep me at this. I need to see some results though. Nothing is changing fit-wise, the scale is moving in glacial intervals downward, and the time is ticking on towards January and the slice and dice. I don't always make the best food choices, but I make much better food choices than I was making 3 months ago. I haven't touched Poutine, for example, although I just about mugged someone for their New York Fries Poutine at the mall the other night when the greasy-cheese scent wafted towards me as the fries were carried by me. Instead, I had really bad Pad Thai and ate half of it. We're going to the Canadian National Exhibition tomorrow, and I WILL be having a Belgian Waffle with ice cream and strawberries. It's one of my must-dos at the Ex and I'm not going to miss it. I suspect I will be walking enough to balance it out...and don't care if I don't. It's a once a year indulgence.

I'm wondering why I'm bothering to continue. Yes, I am setting an example for my daughter by taking care of myself physically. Yes, I know it takes time for results to show. Yes, I know I need to stick with it. Yes I know that I'm seeing incremental improvement in my ability to hold certain poses or do more reps...But doubt and "why bother, it's not working anyway" are creeping into my psyche and it's getting hard to hold them at bay. Couple that with injury, and you have one discouraged little blogger. Sigh.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Real revisited.

I've had something stuck in my craw for the last few days, and it's making me crazy. I need to write about it. Why does the world CARE so much about who the biological father of Michael Jackson's kids are? Why does it matter?

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will remember that I had a similar rant last year. (October last year, entitled Real) I am an adopted child and an adoptive parent, and the business of who the "real" parents are makes me homicidal. I've dealt with it all my life and dread it when it's my daughter's turn for ignorant comments about "real" parents. What does genetics have to do with parenting? So maybe I don't look like my parents-although people who don't know I'm adopted find a resemblance-and people are amazed at the resemblance between my adopted daughter and I. But what astounds me is that people feel the need to tell me that she looks like me. I don't give a tinker's damn if my kid looks like me or not. I care that she is a part of my life, because for a very long time I didn't think it would be possible for me to be a parent. Any adoptive parent will tell you the same thing. We don't care what our kids look like. We care only that we get to look at our kids, and marvel that they are, in fact, OUR kids.

My daughter can break my heart in a million pieces with a sleepy "I love you, mommy." My daughter can break my heart in a million pieces by refusing to sit beside me on the school bus for a field trip. My daughter can swell my heart a million times its size with a neat craft, a well-executed star fish float or riding her "big girl" bike. My daughter can bring tears to my eyes by graduating from pre-school, by going off to summer camp without me there for a couple of hours, and in a few weeks, by starting school. If that isn't the response of a "real" mom, I don't know is.

Was Michael Jackson a good parent? Don't know. I wonder about the "hanging the baby over the railing" incident, but he certainly did a good job of protecting them from the media circus that surrounded his every move. I was sort of caught off guard by the third child-Blanket-I'd forgotten or never heard of his arrival. And for what it's worth, "Blanket" sounds like a nickname that any parent any where sticks their kid with as a sign of affection when they're little. My daughter has several of those "cringe inducing when they're teenagers" nicknames. It certainly sounded like a name given in love by a parent.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what I think. His daughter, Paris, certainly thought he was a good dad, and if the grief on the faces of the other kids is any indicator, so did her brothers.

Genetics contributes certain character traits. It does NOT, however, make a parent. You are a parent when you sit up half the night with a sick kid. You are a parent when you cry at the first day of school, the first step, the first heart break and the first grandchild. You are a parent when you play the heavy and restrict candy after the first cavity, cancel a promised field trip because of misbehaviour, and sit up half the night waiting for them to come home. And you are a parent if you give your kid a nickname like Blanket.

So let me be clear. A real parent may or may not share DNA. A real parent may have grown the baby in the heart rather than the tummy. And a real parent loves their child with the fiercest, most over powering love possible. Michael Jackson was a real parent. He may have been a flawed one, but he was a loving parent nonetheless. We all make mistakes. Most of us don't do it surrounded by paparazzi. It doesn't matter whose DNA those Jackson kids have. They just lost their dad, and they need to be left alone now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I've been hearing, not the kind of voices that will land me in a psychiatric evaluation but those inner voices that keep me on the straight and narrow, or prevent me from being courageous.

For example, I have been knitting socks lately. I used to knit them, but I hated working with 4 double pointed needles, because I was forever dropping one, or losing stitches off the end or leaving ladders because I could never pull the yarn tight enough at the turn. A few months ago, Nathalie Nasr, one of the singers in the Grand Philharmonic Choir, and one of the fastest knitters I've ever seen in my life, taught me how to do the Magic Loop. Instead of knitting the sock on 4 needles, you knit it on a long circular needle. All of a sudden, I could knit socks: no more dropped stitches, no more dropped needles, and much more portable to throw in my purse and take with me to knit while I wait. I am still learning, however, and when a sock turned out much floppier than it should have, I realized too late that I had forgotten to do the decrease after turning the heel. At first, I tried to pretend that it was fine. Then I tried to felt it to fit. And then I heard the Voice.

Sr. Mary Alfred of Jesus was a nun at Queen of Angels Academy who went to school with Moses, or so it seemed at the time. She taught us needlework, and many's the time I sat in her room, unravelling completed work because it wasn't perfect. Imperfection was not an option. As soon as I tried to settle for "good enough" with that darned sock, Sr. Mary Alfred's voice appeared in my head. "There's no excuse for shoddy work, especially when you can fix it." she would say. I stalled a couple of days longer...and then ripped back the sock and I'm fixing it. I heeded the Voice.

My mother has always been concerned with appearances and apparel. Even when she was working in Ottawa during World War II, earning something like $75 a month, and then paying $40 for room and board, she managed to have her suits and skirts tailored and she wore cashmere sweaters. She didn't have many clothes, but she took immaculate care of them and she folded them very precisely, so that she would always know when her sister had borrowed her clothes, because her sister could never fold the clothes precisely the same way. My mother had definite ideas as to what was appropriate to wear, and she passed those ideas on to her only daughter (who is in turn, passing them on to the kid).

I've struggled with my weight quite a bit the last few years (Not another Day) and not everything fits the way it is supposed to. Sometimes I'm tempted to wear it anyway, and then I hear The Voice. I can clearly hear my mother stopping me halfway down the stairs when I was in high school and marching me back upstairs to put on something a little longer, a little looser, a little less revealing, a little more appropriate to the occasion...a little...whatever. While I have developed my own sense of style, her basic principles still guide me.

Appropriate also translated to maquillage in my mother's world. She wouldn't dream of leaving the house without at least powder and lipstick on. That was hammered into my head from when I was old enough to wear makeup, along with that fine line between being made up and being a clown. I have left the house a few times without makeup this summer, usually to take the kid to a water park where makeup is a hazard because chlorine and mascara are not generally a good combination. I always hear the Voice admonishing me for "letting myself go." Sometimes I shrug and go anyway. Other times, I scamper upstairs and do mascara, blush and concealer....because grooming matters and I want to set a good example.

Other voices are harder to ignore. When I am struggling with self esteem issues, it is the drunken voice of my father telling me that I am stupid, lazy, fat, ugly and a slut. I don't think he knew what the last one even meant, (and I was far from it) but it was hurtful and insulting, and so he used it. When I am struggling with body issues, I hear the voice of the man who molested me when I was 12-13, blaming me for his depravity because I chose to wore a turtleneck sweater that clung a bit to my breasts. It took me years to silence that voice. When I am struggling with professional self doubt, it is the voice of a former boss who did more to undermine and demoralize me in a year than anyone before or since. I was left with no real picture of my worth, my abilities, my value, my intelligence, my integrity or my professional qualifications.

I can often silence or ignore these other voices, but when I am struggling, the task of challenging and blocking them becomes more challenging. I try to replace it with the voice of my Grandma Harvey, who loved her grandchildren unequivocally, but wasn't afraid to kick our butts if she didn't like how we were behaving. We knew without a shadow of a doubt that she loved us with that fierce grandma love. We also knew without a shadow of a doubt that we would not be able to put something over on her. She knew more about the goings-on of her grandchildren than the respective parents did. She listened, she loved us, and then she set us straight.

I'm still trying to develop my own voice-to learn to trust my judgements, my instincts and my abilities and talents. Some days are better than others, but I will get there. I think I will add a new voice-one that I hear frequently from my stubborn and independent 4 year old daughter. "Oh yes I can" she will exclaim petulantly, when she has been advised against taking a certain action or acting in a certain way. I think I need to add a bit of petulant and defiant 4 year old back into my psyche. "Oh yes I can."

So who do you hear? Who is your Voice?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fat to Fit Update

It's time for another Fat to Fit Update. For those of you not following the playbook, here's the original post. Not Another Day.

  • I have not missed a day on Wii Fit yet, including the day when my pelvic bones copped an attitude and locked halfway through Hula Hoop. I still managed to do the Yoga and Strength exercises.
  • I have not had poutine, although I was sorely tempted last week.
  • I average between 45 mins and an hour each day. The minimum I will do is 40 minutes.
  • I'm not seeing any difference yet, but other people have commented that I look more svelte. Clothes might be fitting a tiny bit looser, but negligible for the amount of freaking effort I'm putting in.
  • Definite difference in my centre of balance. This is a good thing since I have wonky hips and pelvis from car accident.
  • Managed to scrape another pound off my butt. Not going to make the goal for tomorrow of another 2 lbs, without enema intervention, which is not on the option list.
  • I have managed to do the Rowing Squats, the Plank and a half-ass Shoulder Stand. I have managed to run for 3 minutes. I don't run; this is an accomplishment.
  • I'm really discouraged today. Read reviews that Wii Fit is not a valid fitness tool. Watched Hubby do Wii Active-no freaking way I can do the majority of the exercises on it. Lunges and a bad knee are not a good combination.
I'm going to keep at it. It's better than nothing. I will be walking small child to school a couple of days a week in a month. The kids around here walk to school. So will Vampira.

Could really go for pizza today. I will be eating salad instead. Sigh.