Going to the Gym is Like an Atheist Stepping into Church

And guys…I didn’t spontaneously combust. We went to the gym last night. After paying for a membership for several months and going less than once a month. We went back.

And I took a chance on zumba.

And despite the fact that I am in TERRIBLE shape.

Despite the fact that I have 2 bad ankles, 2 bad knees and 2 bad hip flexors.

Despite the fact that I was the chubbiest girl in the room.

Despite the fact that I could BARELY keep up with the skinny bitches.

I lasted the entire 60 minute class. And lived to consider going back.

Once I stopped staring at my stomach in the mirror and watching myself bounce around like a bowl of jello going on a joyride…I kind of caught on. And caught myself…Smiling. Exhausted. But smiling. It felt good!

(BTW, I hate it when I use my best line in the title. But I’m too lazy to change it and put something else up there. I feel like I let you guys down. Wait. I can make it up to you. Keep reading).

I did all of this crazy zumba-ing while injured! So on Wednesday when we were getting off the train, I slipped on the metal stair. The doors were still closed, the train was still moving, and if I hadn’t been holding on to the pole/railing/bar thingy for dear life, I would have fallen into the door, which would have opened, and I would have fallen out of a moving train to my klutzy death. But I WAS holding on, so none of that nonsense happened. Except that in holding on, I pulled every muscle from my wrist to my neck trying to rescue myself from a very embarrassing death.

Brian’s reaction?

Or should I call it, Brian’s lack of reaction?

“Did you hurt your ankle?”

“No”

“OK, good.”

He’s immune to my klutzy. I suppose that’s only natural when the word “ow!” comes out of my mouth more than any other single word.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tasty Tuesday: 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus Chicago Style Hot Dog

So one of my plans/goals for this year is to lose some weight and get back to looking like the Chrissy in this karaoke picture. As Weight Watchers has always been my go-to weight loss plan, I’m back at it. Back in the days of college I lost 40 lbs when Katie at Words for Worms and I did WW together. I was way skinnier back then to start though! It’s amazing how you think you’re big until you get older and look back thinking, SHIT…I was so skinny!

My biggest reason for always going back to Weight Watchers is the flexibility. I can eat the foods I love. I can eat cheese (and the good stuff, not that nasty plastic fake cheese you people call American Singles) as long as I account for it. The trick is in the tracking.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on a new site for my foodie-ventures (which has, of course, encountered some snafus)…and I think that it’s all going to be Points Plus calculated when it is officially up and running. I may end up having to start it as a WordPress.com blog if I can’t get what I want working soon. But that’s beside the point. /end internal dialogue>

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

So last week, I was jonesin’ for a hot dog like nobody’s business. And quite frankly, the thought of a diet dog makes me cringe. I’m from Chicago (ish) for God’s sake. So I’m willing to sacrifice the poppy seed bun for a whole wheat bun, but in no way on Earth am I sacrificing the meaty goodness of a Vienna Beef Hot Dog. Lucky for me, and you, on Weight Watchers, a small Vienna Beef Hot Dog is just 3 Points Plus.

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

A true Chicago-style dog includes the following ingredients:

  • Poppy Seed Bun (Steamed)
  • Vienna Beef Hot Dog (Boiled)
  • Mustard
  • Bright Green Pickle Relish
  • Chopped Onion
  • Sliced Pickle
  • Sliced Tomato
  • Sport Peppers
  • Celery Salt

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

You’ll note that most of those ingredients are 0 Points Plus! The poppy seed bun is 4 points (S. Rosens brand, if you will), but the whole wheat bun (Healthy Life) is only 2 points. (For the record, if I’m only having one dog, I’ll suck it up and use the extra 2 points…but I had 2 dogs because they were delicious and I’m a glutton.) Green relish can be full of points, but 1 tablespoon is 0 points…so measure wisely.  (I didn’t have any relish, which is sad, but you know…I survived. I also subbed pickled hot peppers for sport peppers because I was missing a few ingredients…so adjustments can definitely be made…)

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

One last thing: if you put Ketchup on your hot dog, I will forever judge you. That is all!

What are your favorite local “delicacies?”

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wordless Wednesday: I’m Going to be Skinny Again This Year

Skinny this year

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Wii Fit and Mii

I first befriended the Wii fit 1,117 days ago. It was my then-boyfriend, The Bartender’s Wii Fit. (Funny–I had a Wii, and he had a Wii Fit, but neither of us had both). I used it somewhat regularly after he brought it to my house–and by regularly, I mean that I would sometimes turn it on and step onto the evil machine that actually groaned when I stepped onto it!

After the machine told me that I was grossly overweight, and that my BMI was considered obese, I would then rock out the body test, in which the balance board would make me do things to test my balance and coordination. I have pretty awesome posture, if anyone was wondering.

So, I got a decent workout from it. Eventually, The Bartender requested the Wii Fit and balance board be returned to his residence (I think it was then that he realized he was on the verge of dumping me and didn’t want to lose his Wii Fit). For approximately a year and a half the Wii Fit Plaza remained unvisited on my Wii menu.

Cue unemployment, Weight Watchers, and all the free time I wanted, multiplied by seven. Well, shit, I need to do something with my time. So I bought the Wii Fit Plus and reacquainted myself with the sassy, groaning balance board. Of course, many of my mornings consisted of near-encounters with the Wii. The plan was supposed to go as follows:

1. Wake up.
2. Put on sports bra and workout gear.
3. Go downstairs.
4. Pour water.
5. Turn on Wii.
6. Weigh self/body test on Wii Fit.
7. Workout with Wii Fit activities.
8. Make/eat breakfast.

The problem was that steps 3-7 typically got a little muddled. Sometimes I wouldn’t make it back downstairs, because I went back to sleep. Sometimes I would pour water and then make/eat breakfast, forgetting about the Wii Fit full stop. Sometimes I would instead turn on a workout DVD, sit on the couch, and watch it.

But now that I’m a solid workout machine (OK, sort of/sometimes), who occasionally even lifts weights (thanks to Center Fit’s Restoring Movement Class), I’m back on the plans. Mentally AND physically. I’m back to working out regularly, eating healthy, and tracking my BMI/weight with the Wii Fit. That feisty balance board still groans every time I step on, but I’m also often amazed that somehow my weight is still managing to shrink.

I was inspired when I stepped on this morning (after having that HUGE internal debate whether or not to bother stepping on thanks to the mass consumption of unhealthy food this weekend, including a Monday dinner of an Oberweis shake…) But I managed to drop another 2 pounds this week. I must be doing something right.

What about you? What’s your fitness story?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m Not Crazy; I’m Hungry

A bout of insomnia last weekend made me think of this story.

During the second semester of our sophomore year of college, Penny and I decided that we were going to stop drinking as much, join Weight Watchers, and lose weight. As a team, this seemed incredibly possible. Mama Missy and her roommate were doing it. We could too.

So we joined up. We got skinny. We looked WAY hot. But… we cried a lot. We had given up the drink for water. Butter and cheese for cooking spray and butter flavored spray. Chips for veggies. The list goes on. This was when Penny and I came up with the Cinderblocks.

So it was strange that even though we were crying…we managed to get boyfriends. Sheila, Penny, and I all became non-singles in a span of 4 months–me being the last, of course. After a summer of wearing size 11 pants and medium tops, I felt like I was on top of the world. Sort of. On the verge of my first “adult relationship,” I moved into our junior year apartment.

This may seem a little crazy, but I was REALLY annoyed by the situation in the kitchen. Pots were in the same cabinet with bowls. Utensils were as far away from the stove as possible. Glasses were with plates and baking dishes, and other cups were with kitchen gadgets. It. Just. Didn’t. Make. Sense. Anyone can see that, right?

So when I couldn’t sleep one night…and woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning…I decided that it was silly to waste time that I was wide awake. I was going to do something. So I rearranged the entire kitchen. It took several hours. It freaked my roommates out. But it felt so much better. I felt much better. Maybe that’s when I started to notice my OCD tendencies, but whatever. I wasn’t crazy.

So I had my moments. We all did. After talking with my dad and the school health center doctor, I decided to try out Zoloft. I was told that it would take time to kick in, but really after 2 or 3 years, I don’t think it ever kicked in. I’m pretty sure that breaking up with Johnny for good and my minimized crazy were eerily related. But that’s a whole other story for another time.

So I went on some medication that was supposed to make me less “crazy,” but then my boyfriend broke up (for the first of many times) with me because I was “crazy.” Really, I think that I was hungry. I wasn’t eating cheese, because it would make me gain weight. I wasn’t happy with my lifestyle. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t indulgent. It wasn’t me. This is not to say that I would rather be the fat kid…But I would rather find a healthy way to enjoy cheese…err, to enjoy good food.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Middle School Misfit

When I was a socially awkward eleven-year-old misfit, I had two friends. My BFF since kindergarten, was significantly more popular than me, and adjusting well to the wonderful world of middle school. Our friendship remained intact, although I really didn’t see too much of her until high school. Another friend, I think, took pity on me and welcomed me into her life. Both were childhood friends from the neighborhood and complete polar opposites.

Don’t get me wrong. There were plenty of other children who were acquaintances or friends who went their separate ways with the segregated clique dynamic of middle class suburban middle schools. I just didn’t have a clue where I was or who I was or what I wanted…It took years to figure that out, and I’m still not quite sure I’ve gotten the hang of this thing called life.

I remember several things about sixth grade. The first is that I ate a lot of Edy’s Mint Chocolate Chip single serving containers for lunch. They were inexpensive and I had a tendency to hoard money, a habit that I wish I still had more control over. Long before cell phone bills, car insurance, and gas, I was holding onto money like Mr. Scrooge. As I was only eating a tiny container of ice cream most days for lunch, weighing myself every day to make sure I didn’t gain weight was a ridiculous habit. I never strayed from a 7 pound range that I would kill to be at right now (which still wasn’t “thin” by any stretch of the imagination).

The second thing I remember is while I was eating my Edy’s, I was typically eating it alone. In middle school, lunch seats were chosen the first week of school. They were then assigned for the duration of the year. There could be no more than six children to a table. Those were the rules. So, when the only friends I really had could not fit me at their tables, I accepted that with a dulled understanding.

Middle School Misfit

Yes, I had dirty socks, leggings (that were, by then out of style), probably boogers on the sleeve of that sweatshirt, and a bad widow’s peak. I was very much the epitome of not cool.

Then of course, there was picture day. It was 1994, so vests were somewhat trendy, but the combination of my outfit would not have been cool in 1987, let alone when I wore it. A purple turtleneck, remnants of my junior cheerleading days, layered with a cream colored knit vest. I couldn’t find a pair of pants to match this great ensemble, so I matched it with a pair of black spandex running shorts. Oh yes, spandex. Which leads me to the next thing I remember about being eleven and awkward: my first pair of jeans in six years.

After the debacle with the painted jeans from kindergarten, in which I refused to wear jeans ever again (due to the travesty that was outgrowing my favorite pair of pants), I decided that it was time to start dressing a little more with the times. My mother took me to Von Maur, which had just opened in the mall, and we scavenged the racks until we found a pair of khakis and a few pairs of jeans to try on and eventually buy.

Soon after my wardrobe change, I was finally coming into my own and making a few more friends. I even had a little clique of girls that called themselves my friends. By the end of sixth grade, I was still socially awkward, but at least I wasn’t alone.

Settled in with a group of the “bad girls,” I came into some really amazing friends. Amanda (the friend who likely took pity on me) was certainly the ringleader of the group. In sixth grade, she called my Crispy in the most endearing way. She was the first to smoke a cigarette, steal booze, and lose her virginity; one would think that hanging out with her would have sent me on the path of least resistance pretty quickly. But it didn’t. I maintained a sweet and naive innocence that stayed with me for several more years.

I spent many a summer nights sleeping over at her house and vice-versa. At all of the slumber parties, the girls would sneak out at around 11, and I would stay tucked into my sleeping bag. Part of me wonders if it was the fear of getting caught or the desire to sleep that kept me in the house. Some of the other girls would try to get me to drink or smoke, and Am would just look at them, wise beyond her years, and tell the girls, “it’s refreshing that Crispy is as innocent as she is. Why would you want to change that?”

At some point in the midst of seventh grade, Am and Jenny (my two besties at the time) were sitting in Am’s kitchen with me discussing our group of friends.

“I’m so glad that we’re friends. Our group is pretty awesome” Amanda had said to us. Jenny, the quiet one, smiled and told us that we were the best friends that she had ever had.

I told them, “It’s going to be so sad when we get to high school. I think that Kate is probably going to end up leaving our circle. She seems like she doesn’t really like hanging out with us anymore.”

“You’re probably right. But high school is going to be so fun. We’re lucky to have each other. We’ll be best friends for life.” Amanda had said with perfect confidence.

As the years progressed on, I ended up being the first to leave the group, making the cheerleading team in 8th grade, and becoming friends with a new group of girls. Thanks to Facebook, Amanda and I are reconnected, and I’m so happy to see that things are going exceptionally well for her. We had a million great memories together from grade school through middle school. She will always be a childhood best friend.

I ran into Jenny once in the lunch room, and it was one of the most awkward moments of my high school career. She and I had shared a really brilliant summer of friendship between 7th and 8th grade, but when it came down to high school politics, we just weren’t friends anymore. There was nothing to talk about.

Our junior year of high school, an announcement was made that Jenny had passed away in a car accident. I’m not sure whether drugs or alcohol were involved, but I know that she lived a lot in her young life. My mom and I went to the wake, and I was wearing my letter-man’s jacket. The stares that I got from Jenny’s at-the-time friends could cut through a rock. But it didn’t matter. She was my best friend in seventh grade, and dammit I was going to pay my respects.

Those girls hold a special place in my heart. They made middle school just a little less traumatic. We were all misfits, but we were friends.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

This One Goes Out to the Chubby Girls

Pushing 30

Can you write a memoir before age 30? Hell yes, you can. Especially when it sure as hell beats staring in the mirror at all of my silver gray hairs and attempting to pluck them from my head. Every. Single. Time. Seriously. It’s that serious. Sometimes, I stare in the mirror for 15 minutes in an effort to rid myself of the aging process.

As the way of the world is now digital, why go through all of the trouble of writing everything, then waiting months or even years for it to get published (if it ever gets published) when I can do it right here, right now. Whenever I freaking want to. Plus there’s no editor telling me I use too many commas. I like my commas. I like commas. And periods. And starting sentences with the word, “and.” Unless, of course, some wonderful publisher happens upon this blog and wants to publish my stuff. Then I would probably be willing to modify the use of  commas and all of the other concessions that we could discuss. I’m down. (I want to whisper “call me” and point to an invisible phone in my hand).

Pushing 30-Call Me

Call Me!

Besides, as I begin my written journey, I’m currently unemployed (thanks to a certain company that I used to be employed by) and I need something a little more practical than Bloons Tower Defense 5, Solitaire Blitz, and Plants Vs. Zombies to use up the time that I’m not spending hunting for the perfect copywriting job and writing a little freelance copy.

So I’ll start with the important stuff. About me. And my chubby childhood. (OK and my chubby adulthood). Ok, let’s just go with this blog. And why I’m writing it. This year I will literally be pushing thirty. As May 30 is now here, I will begin the final year of my twenties. My 30th birthday, coming in 2013, will also be a celebration of my golden birthday. I remember when it seemed like an eternity away (when 30 WASN’T my scary age), but now it just seems like it’s coming much too quickly. With almost 30 years of stories and memories: some sad, some happy, some strange, some a little drunk, and some just perfect, I’ve got quite enough to write until my thirtieth birthday.

I spent the better part of my childhood as the fat kid, and even though I eventually grew into my own skin, I still sometimes feel like the fat kid. I know, I know…I’m not supposed to say “fat,” but really, that’s what I know. Not to worry, a few months of Weight Watchers and I’m on the right track to greatness (and my ideal weight/size–which will not render me twig-like scout’s honor) and will of course lead to that ideal weight by the aforementioned 30th birthday.

I’ll be honest; I’ve never seen a blog through to completion. My longest running blogs were a personal daily blog on gasp Myspace and a foodie blog, which documents my love affair with breakfast. Neither of which are currently in production. Maybe I’ll be adding to the breakfast blog of joy soon. We’ll see.

Anyways, I’m very much looking forward to sharing my life with the world, and hope that you enjoy the journey as much as I do. As a side note, all names have been changed to protect the guilty…or the innocent…or me. So if you’re reading this…and you know the story is about you…relax. No one else does.

Until tomorrow,

C

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!