Friday, January 7, 2011

All I Wanted to Do Was Take a WALK!!! ... and other Weight-Loss Frustrations

It all started about a week ago when I suddenly realized that this year, in September, I will be 40 yrs. old. Actually, that's not true. It ALL started about my sophomore year in college, which is when "being fat" started to become an issue for me. At first, it was the "freshman 15"; except mine was more like the "freshman 30". After college, and over the next decade or so, I slowly and surely gained somewhere around 100 pounds. Then lost 70. Then gained 30. Lost 25. Gained 10. It was like a really bad, neverending card-game. And now here we are, in 2011, approaching my 40th birthday in September. And the idea of celebrating 40 while looking like the white version of "Precious" (based on the novel PUSH by Sapphire) scares the living shit out of me, if I'm being completely honest. And really, why the hell write any of this down if it's not completely honest, right? Right. Yes, I'm talking to myself. Shut up.

So because of all of this, somewhere around the beginning of January, a lightbulb went off in my head. (Not literally. That would hurt and I would probably die if there was an actual lightbulb inside my head. Don't be an idiot.) Oprah would call it an "A-Ha! Moment." But hey - that's why she has her own network and I have a rented apartment in Jersey. But I digress. My "A-Ha! Moment" happened, ironically, while watching a music video by the 1980's band A-Ha! No, it didn't really. But can you imagine? I'm not sure what you'd call that. An "A-ha Squared?" Who fuckin cares.

What I began to realize and fully understand during this "A-ha" moment, is that I am FAT. Yes, of course I already knew I was fat. I have known for years. Decades even. But this was different. Now, in this moment, I could FEEL all the terrible ways that my bad health was affecting my life. I started to actually feel that I could be, in fact, shortening my own life by being so careless about my health. Perhaps the idea of approaching 40 is what made me think this way; or perhaps I just had enough of my own annoying self getting in my own way. Whatever the case, I truly realized that I have NO OTHER CHOICE but to make some serious changes starting right now.

I came up with a plan of action and decided to post about it on Facebook in order to give myself some accountability. Well Holy Shit! You would think that I was OPRAH herself for all the many replies I recieved on that post. If all these same people that responded to my fat status message would only watch all my comedy videos and come to my shows - Hell, I'd be famous by now. If a known alcoholic posted: "Hey guys, Im considering giving up drinking, what do you all think?" and then received 67 responses of encouragement, ideas, suggestions; your first thought about that person would be "Damn, that guy's an alcoholic!", right? So, my Facebook status update 100% backed up my A-Ha moment realization of: "Holy Crap! All these people are coming out of the woodwork and replying! I must be REALLY FAT!"

My plan of action went into effect immediately. Everyone keeps telling me to take it slowly; dont do too much at once. But I suddenly feel like it is a huge emergency to get this going right this instant. So, to put it in basic terms, this is what my intentions are, at least to start:

1. Cut out all soda (Im a Diet Coke addict) and most sugar for two weeks just to get it out of my system and help the cravings go away; then slowly allow myself a very limited amount of soda after that - like once a week.

2. Portion control. (this is a big issue because I definately eat too much right now)

3. Switch from white to brown (whole grain/wheat breads, brown rice, wheat pasta,etc)

4. Get off my ass and MOVE. To start, Im alternating between a pool/swim routine at the gym that involves water weights, jogging, walking, etc ... and 2-3 mile walks here in my neighborhood. Some days Ill do both, but the goal is to always do one of these things.

On Monday; Day One of this awful new "no Joy" lifestyle; my husband and I went out for dinner with a gift-card we had. For the first time in probably FOREVER, I did not order soda at a restaurant. I got water. And no appetizer. We both ordered off the "Under 500 calorie" Menu. Mine was grilled shrimp with brown rice, almonds, and "mixed veggies." We both got the mixed veggies, which was a giant wad of disgusting broccoli. The only person who loathes broccoli more than I do is my husband, who only ordered that meal to help support me in my new eating habits. Sweet, but it won't last. The look on his face when glaring down a plate of broccoli told me that. I did not get dessert. I stared at the dessert menu for a good 10 minutes at least - longing for a piece of warm chocolate-chip pie. It is now Friday, and I still want that pie. Monday I discovered that going out to eat is BORING AS HELL when you can't eat whatever you want. How and why do people take part in this activity if they are eating broccoli and salad with the dressing on the side? It just is not enjoyable. All of the joy was taken away from the dining experience. When I go out to eat, I like to ... you know ... EAT!!! I can stay home and drink water. I would literally rather stay home if I have to restrict myself that much. Screw that. In the future, I will go out to eat way less often, and enjoy myself when I do.

Preparing for my first ever "exercise walk" was another story altogether. Jesus Christ, you would think I was prepping for a walk on the moon with all of the planning this stupid walk entailed. It started on Tuesday, when I attempted to go out and purchase items that I needed for my walk. I needed to buy new headphones for the iPod that have a special attachment thingy for my ears, because every pair my husband has immediately falls OUT of my ears 2 seconds after being put in. Apparently the inside of my ears are the only petite part of my entire body. My ear insides are so small, that they do not fit most iPod headphones. They pop out. Over and over again. This is incredibly annoying because stores do not have dressing rooms where you can go in and "try on" pairs of earphones to make sure they fit your ears. So you just have to guess. I have taken back several pairs in the past, and my husband now thinks Im some small-eared freak.

I also needed to buy new walking sneakers, which I could not find. Well, I couldnt find any in my budget, which is pretty much ZERO dollars. All the sneakers I saw were way above zero dollars, so I said to myself "Ah, I'll just stick with the sneakers I have now." Riiiiiight.

I had to buy sweatpants, or gym pants, to go walking in. This was another nightmare. Now, one would think that you would be safe buying XL and XXL stretchy workout type pants without trying them on right? (no fitting rooms in sporting goods store.) WRONG. I bought two pairs. I get home and neither of them fit. Not only do they not fit, but they dont even go over my giant ass. That is when you REALLY start to get depressed. When the workout pants you buy in order to get in shape because you are so fat - don't FIT you - because you are so fat. If Alannis Morissette were here right now, she would point out the irony in a song.

Lastly, I bought a pedometer to start tracking my steps when I walk. Stupid Dr. Oz who is apparently the God of all things Health, says you should try to walk 10,000 steps per day. That seems like quite a jump from my usual 46 steps per day, but I'm game. Let's see if this asshat knows what he's talking about. So I find the pedometer that LOOKS the least complicated on the shelf. It's $30. I get it home and cannot figure the damn thing out. My husband tries to figure it out, and together, we are like two 90 yr. olds looking at a foreign object for the first time. It made absolutely no sense. Input this, subtract that. Divide by 7. Add 5. Give your weight, then take 12 steps and multiply by 4. Spin in a circle. Really? I just want you to COUNT MY GODDAMN STEPS!!! Why is this so hard? I just want to WALK. I am going for a WALK. Walking should never, ever be this complicated. It literally takes us over 90 minutes to finally figure out all the options on the pedometer, and how to activate it and get it to work. I'm freakin exhausted and I haven't left the apartment yet.

Next; I put on the pair of old stretchpants I have, which are that annoying material where if you move a centimeter, cat hair attaches itself to them. So I spent a half hour brushing off cathair with a lintbrush. Then I realized the stupid pants have no pockets. I have an iPod, my cellphone, keys to the apartment, and a water bottle to carry. Where the hell am I gonna put all this stuff? My husband finds a wrist thingy that attaches your iPod to your wrist, so I ended up putting my phone inside that as well and looking like a hospital patient with all these things coming out of my right arm. I held the water, and made my husband buzz me into the building, so no keys. I looked at my husband and asked, "Am I ACTUALLY ready? Am I really leaving now?" He said: "I'm over this whole exercising thing you're doing. It's too exhausting for me."

Off I went. The good news is that the backdrop on our NJ street which sits on the Hudson River, is the New York City skyline. It is gorgeous, and the perfect motivation while walking. The bad news is that someone must have played a cruel joke on my iPod, because there was all this terrible music on there that I would never in a million years listen to, never mind PAY FOR. Taylor Swift, Boys to Men, Rick Astley? Seriously??? This must be a joke. Someone hijacked my iPod and played a joke, right? I still dont know how those songs got there, but I changed the music and ended up walking just under 3 miles. (2.9) I was soooo tired when I got home, I collapsed onto the couch and couldn't move for half hour. When I finally took my sneakers off, I noticed the gigantic blister on my left pinky toe. I NEED NEW SNEAKERS!!! But that walk was the start of something good. It was the first time in awhile that I didnt let a TINY thing stop me from exercising. In the past, I would have said many times "this is too annoying, its too cold, my pants dont fit" and used any of those reasons to NOT go walking. This time, It feels like an emergency, so I NEED to get it done.

I do not have a certain number of pounds I want to lose in mind as my goal. I do not have a pants size in mind, although right now just getting out of the XL category sounds like a dream. My goal is to celebrate my 40th birthday, and be really genuinely HAPPY at where I am in my life. My goal is to stay alive.


  1. You are awesome! This is all hilarious, painful, and inspiring to read at once. Also, your food changes sound fantastic and not incredibly overwhelming. Annnd ... I bet a lot of the folks who answered ur posts (incl. myself) are also dealing with weight issues. LOLOL, He said: "I'm over this whole exercising thing you're doing. It's too exhausting for me."

  2. Keley, I didn't know whether to laugh, cry so I did both. I am so happy you are taking this step. And the reason you are getting so many responses is that everyone is so happy you are taking this step, (not because you are really fat (as you put it), but because, as you ended your blog "my goal is to stay alive."

    That's the reason so many are responding...we all love you very much and can't imagine a world without you in it, especially my world!!!

    So, please, do not give up...this will be the hardest thing you do in your life, but the most rewarding.

    I love you.

  3. kelley, you are an inspiration--you and your petite ears. i am so proud of you for writing it all down, cause in some ways that's what makes it all the more real. wish i was near you so we could walk together and catch up...until then, i'll keep reading if you keep writing, my friend!

  4. Kelly, this is a GREAT entry. I laughed out loud and at the same time, wholly laud your woman-balls. Keep moving!! ;)

    Marie Logan from facebook.

  5. I love you. You face every situation in life with your amazing sense of humor. Going out to eat less often is definitely going to help you reach your goals - and yes, when you do go out to eat, eat healthy, but then treat yourself to that dessert that you're not letting yourself have all the rest of the time. :) <3

  6. Kelley: hilarious, esp about the earphones. I have a pair of earphones from my old Aiwa cassette player from the 80s (yes sir, those puppies are approaching 25 years old....and you know what, they FIT. They go over my head like a head band, fold in the middle, so I can adjust them to my head size, and they don't fall out of my ear). I hate shopping for earphones. I need a new blue tooth for my phone, but you know what....all of them have that blasted stick in your ear bit, and I'm not having it!

    Good luck with the walking thing, and the dinner thing. I'm hitting the diet also, as I've hit higher on the scale than I care to admit. We both are, actually.

  7. Hilarious, Kelley, but also inspirational. You CAN do it. And it WILL be worth it! I am doing it with you, too. The eating out thing, gets better. Some people, get a takeout box right away, and put half the meal in there. Automatic portion control. You don't have to do the under 500 selections, generally they ARE worse tasting. But you can modify off the others, like, no butter, they put butter on everything. I hate earpods. WHich is why I just listen to that psycho drill sergeant, Jillian, when I workout. Her screaming at me seems to be WAY more effective than those touchy feely kumbayah idiots on the other tapes I have. GOOD LUCK!!!

  8. This is brilliant! I relate completely. I keep trying, but I will never find that perfect pair of pants...

  9. Kelley, I am so proud and inspired by you! I know you can do this! Dave & I are got an app called Loseit (also a website, and it's something where you have to write everything you eat down, and it has the calorie count for everything-- totally helpful for me because so much of my snacking is completely mindless. It will also tell you how many calories you need to eat a/day to reach your weight loss goal. Check it out! You can have friends on there a la facebook, too. Also, Diet Coke has 0 calories -- you can drink it while you diet :). Love you! ~Marina

  10. This is amazing!! Keep're inspiring me to get back on the treadmill. I use every excuse too. I literally crack up at my desk at work when I read "Dr. Oz..says you should try to walk 10,000 steps per day. That seems like quite a jump from my usual 46 steps per day, but I'm game." Keep going and I hope that for your 40th bday you are geniunely happy because you deserve it!