The Little Engine That Could

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Haircut

As a whoo-hoo for 100 pounds gone, and the start of something much healthier and fabulous, I got a grown up haircut.

It's pretty. It's stylish. It will never look like this again (after I wash it, it will curl and be short, and I will not know what to do, and I will probably cry). But for now, it's gorgeous.


I had a date last night, kissed a cute boy in a bar for a couple hours. It was nice.

I was a total grown-up. I kissed, I had fun, but I felt no need to go home with said cute guy. He put on the full court press. I apparently outmaneuvered him.

When did it become okay for men to be disgusting on a first date? He was so pissed that I wouldn't go back to his place, and that I wouldn't let him come to mine that he said "I mean, you are really cute, and I had fun, but if you won't do (insert potentially degrading thing here) with me, then I don't know if this is going to work. I don't want a dead lay."

Oh yes, he really said that. ON A FIRST DATE.

I apologized (I apologized???) for not being interested in potentially degrading thing on the first date. I was no longer interested, and I went over to D's for a great night with the opera singers. And he went home to degrade his hand and potentially the face of another really pretty girl in a magazine.


I am looking to meet an attractive, single, tall-ish (over 5'9) man, with a job he likes, who is intelligent, funny, kind, generous, well-traveled (or at least knows about the world outside of his bubble), loyal and honest, who knows when to be a gentleman and when to be less than a gentleman. I am not looking for a Havard grad, nor am I looking for someone who is married to their job (or married at all. Did I say single, I mean single). Just a nice, normal-ish man who has boy qualities (likes to play, likes to have fun, likes to watch sports and hang out with the guys) and who has man-qualities (respects others, plays fair enough, pays bills on-time, knows his limit and respects others boundaries) and who wants to meet a sassy, smart, well-traveled, well-spoken, respectful ball of fire like myself.

Anyone.....? Anyone....?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Romantic songs notwithstanding.....

"....It takes emotional maturity to be capable of showing consistent, enduring love."

I read these words in my little white book today because I am looking for some kind of spiritual support. Because the last few days have been very busy, and good busy, but busy nonetheless. Our office is moving, and as much as I like change, I like change RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW than to drag it out slowly.

This just rings true to me. It takes an emotionally mature person to show love. Love, not romantic love, but love is what I am seeking in the bottom of that bag of cookies. As if that last one will have all the love I need for the day. I took my vitamins, and now I take my daily dose of love from the cookies, the chips, the other half of my breakfast wrap, the bottom of my coffee, etc. I can't decide when I am full, and then my body tells me-- too much, too fast and I throw up. I don't throw up often, but enough to know "You know better than this".

Yesterday I planned meals for 50-70 people for a conference that is two weeks away. Today I will do the same in Spanish for a conference 4 weeks away. I am trying to accommodate everyone's needs-- no cheese, no meat, no pork, no carbs-- and give them something for everyone. Everyone's needs but mine, because my need was to leave work at a decent hour, not eat a protein bar for lunch and go to the gym at 6:30. When I came home at 8, I had fantasies of chicken parm, chicken in lemon wine sauce, garlic cheese bread, and for sure I was going to order. I was going to order from the place down the street, eat my face off and then sleep well.

I took a moment. And thought about what I was doing. The bread takes up too much room in my pouch, the chicken will be good but too greasy, and oh-- YOU'RE NOT EATING CHEESE. Damn damn damn. I made a commitment to myself on the fools day, and I am not giving up.

I haven't been straight about my workouts-- from April 1 I have worked out 8 times. At the gym. And twice walking/ other activity. I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to do it right and be perfect, so shake up the etch-a-sketch, hit replay, power off power on, start over again. But no, it's not about starting over.

Where I am at right now is in the crosshairs of the bullseye. Underneath all the bravada of my words (Gym, Church, NO FRIGGEN CHEESE) is my desire to uncover, identify and release the behaviors that keep me in a state of "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not worth it". So here is a pattern. I start. It's perfect. Life gets in the way, I get tired, I don't want to. I do it anyways, then life really gets in the way. I don't, but go back, and maybe even lie about it. (Yes, those stairs are a workout, yes, swimming for 15 mins is a workout). Mainly lying to myself. Then I stop, but just for a rest, just for a day. Then life again (always ever encroaching on my fun) barges in and brings responsibilities with it. Son of a biscuit. So I go TOO BUSY< TOO BUSY and sit on the couch for a couple hours. Sleep more. Eat more. Stop being present to what I am eating. And it's now two days later, and I am tired and scared of the gym again.

Those skinny people really hate me for running on the treadmill. No really, every time I run, and they are walking, they go up just one more level to run. It's beautifully obvious.

Underneath all that-- I notice that I am the one that says how it is going. It doesn't mean anything that I can't keep my word to myself. I am starting again every day. I don't want to be the woman who paints a bulleye around her arrow and goes "I meant to do that". Because that's my friggen life. I haven't exercised every day, I am making it mean that I can't keep my word, that I can't keep a commitment, that I am not important enough to put myself first. And that covers up that no matter what I do, it won't make a difference, and I will always be this way, and I will gain weight back/ not loose anymore and I will have failed. That I am not enough, and that no matter what I do I am doomed.

I am scared, I am alone. I am not communicating. I feel crazy and sick. I am very tired and just want to pull the covers over my head and go back to bed. I VANT TO BE ALONE-- and I need to be around people. I am so lonely and doing this all by myself. I am angry and pointing the finger at anyone who is in my path.

Other people think I am crazy because I am doing so well, I am being inspirational, but they are just waiting for it to fall apart-- or have me fall apart. They are confused and annoyed. They have no idea on how to support me, because I am hiding all this crap. They are concerned, but if they show it, i will bite their hands/ heads/ feet off. And then eat a bag of chips, have a brownie, eat some cheese. They love me but can't show it, an dare scared to have the bigger conversations. They want fun Kim back, but she's gone.

I'm done with this. I can give up the alone, the crazy, the angry and just be where I am at. I can give up the idea of perfection, because I am perfect right where I am.

I invent the possibility of being a grown up. Because it takes emotional maturity to consistently show enduring love. And I am reflecting it all back on me first. I have to love myself, and treat each action as a love letter to me.

Being a grown up will have me live into a future that is bright and mature. I can still play little kid games, but that little kid doesn't run my life.

Emotional Maturity. Look into it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Who did a 5K today?

Yup. I did.

It wasn't outside, and it was not for a cause (unless "reduce Kim's ass" is some cause that someone is raising money for, but I doubt it) but on the treadmill , and it took me just under one hour, but I did it. I did it. And for part of it I ran (like 4 minutes of it) but it wasn't because I thought I should, but because I wanted to. My body was like "Okay, now we run" and off I ran.

That was cool.

Then my heart and lungs and knees said "Wait, stop, slow down a bit, umm, oww" and so I did. But I pushed a little first.

So the 30 day challenge is still going. I took a couple days off. I'm not beating myself up about it. Okay, I am a little bit, because why can't I be perfect and do perfect things and start the things I want to finish and vice versa. I guess it's part of the perfect make-up that's me.

5K today. And then tea with dear fabulous friends and then raise a toast to Mills, and then walk 25 blocks to almost home, and then grocery shopping and then home.

I feel really good. I feel really relaxed and very happy that I have had a weekend to just be and be relaxed. And get my nails done and talk to family and friends and finish my taxes and mail and whatnot. And take naps, long glorious naps.

Life is good. I walked a 5K. I might do it again this week.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day 9

And today, she rested.

When I got up this morning, I knew I was on for a very busy day at work and in life. And permission has been granted to sleep in on day 10 and not work out. However, that being said.....

The escalator at 51st and Lex-- you know the big giant long escalator? 3 stories down? Yeah, it was out. So climbing ensued. 104 steps. Sweaty at the top of the stairs,a nd yet so proud that I did it without too much pain. Yeah me!

Walked to the subway and home from the subway. The long way home from the subway.

Fell asleep after yummy meal (3 nights in a row) of Boston Market. I got a meal for 3 on Sunday night, and have had it every night but Tuesday. Tuesday I treated myself to dips and cucumbers at the Greek place down the street. I just ripped the rest of the chicken off the bone and I have over 3/4 of it left. Chicken corn chowder for the weekend! Yahoo!

Today will be gym tonight, treadmill/elliptical. And then tomorrow morning a workout and tomorrow night a workout (30 min abs). Long walks on Saturday and Sunday.

I don't have a spring jacket right now. All my jackets are too big, which I don't mind, but I would like to have a lighter jacket that I can wear for my walks. I did get some very cute clothes from Torrid (sale, all on sale) the other day. I am wearing a size 16 dress. Even in Plus-- I haven't worn that size since very early high school. Very early-- like freshman year. I do have to get some more work pants (I have 2 pairs) because I have conference season coming up and I'll be honest, I don't have enough clothes to last through a week without laundry.

This is not a complaint. Well, maybe a little one.

I broke through the plateau. Yeah me!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Day 7 and 8

Yesterday morning I was an elliptical girl for 30+ minutes. I give myself a little bit of an extra push-- I set up for 40, but I really only want to do 2 miles. So then I see how fast I can do 2 miles. And I did it in 31 minutes. Feeling good.

Yesterday I had an ultimate breakdown at work. I can't tell if it's just overwhelm, or I haven't had a chance to recharge, or what, but I'm three weeks away from one conference, six from another and I feel like nothing has been done. I know a lot has been done, but I don't trust yet. So today I decided that a 6:30 am yoga class would help.

Yup. That's me, going to bed at 10pm to get up at 6am to get to yoga class. And you know what, it might have helped. Except my wrists aren't strong enough to hold me up, and halfway through the class the instructor came over to me in the kindest way and rubbed my back "You are doing a great job."

And I sobbed. Right there in my modified child's pose, I just sobbed.

I'm doing the absolute best I can.
I surrender to the struggle.
I don't know how to win this game.
I can't remember why I want to win.
I am breathing.
I love life and the journey it is taking me on.
I am loved and loved again.
I am doing the best that I can.
There is no such thing as perfect.
There is no such thing as perfect.
There is no such thing as perfect.

How did this stranger know I just needed a little human contact and a moment of clarity and acknowledgment? Thank you stranger yoga teacher.

In my 'For Today' book I read these words.....
To do what others expect, so they'll love me, is to play it safe.

I've been doing this for years. I really heard a message from my aunt the other night-- learn the lesson, live your live, we go around once, make you happy.

Safe is limiting. Safe is "being good". Safe is being reliable. Safe is overcompensating. Safe is being generous. Safe is worrying what others think.

There have been unsafe moments-- it is entirely unsafe for me to go to the gym every day and work out in front of skinny people who hate me. It is entirely unsafe to be bored, say that I am bored and leave. It is unsafe to tell a friend "here's the boundary.". It's unsafe to have mom commit to a time to come into the city and hang out. And perhaps even spend the night. That's really unsafe.

I don't want to be hated, but I can no longer play the game of "love me, please". I can just be a good person, work on my journey and keep one foot in front of the other. Keeping my integrity, I have faith that God and the universe that works through Him will provide something magical.


And to work.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Day 4-6

I had to do a site visit over the weekend at a really nice place in Jersey. They had a pool, and so there was lots and lots of swimming. Not in the normal exercise swimming way-- not like laps and whatnot, but in running in the water, treading water, getting my heart rate up and doing a lot of bouncing.

I love bobbing in the water. I feel so soft and jiggly and it's the only time I like the soft and jiggly bits.

Day 5 was waling all over this complex looking at rooms, meeting space, etc. Again, nice. I was going to do "a legitimate workout" with running and treadmill and stretching, but decided that the walking was enough. It was 30 minutes of continuous movement.

I had an awesome massage. Deep tissue. Today I still hurt. Massage is so important to me, it wakes up my muscles and makes me feel great and loved. Someone else touching my skin has me clearly define the outline of my body. While on the table, I just breathe and let go over and over and over again. Let go of past traumas, let go of nasty somments, let go of the to-do list in my head. It's dreamy.

Yesterday, still having the car, I went to Target and was a very happy consumer. I loaded up on Propel water, mini muffin pans (for those Eggface bites), and the necessities that I usually don't get a chance to get because 1) too heavy to carry and 2) no room in the kitchen. Now I have room in the kitchen and a car (for the weekend) so away I shopped. I turned in my old printer at Staples and got a new one. It's sitting in the box still. I'll set that up tonight.

This morning I have to move the car and will go to the gym early. The elliptical for the morning, just to try something new. (Thanks Cousin).

Friday, April 04, 2008

Day 3

C. and I went to her gym and swam. I think I swam for all of about 15 minutes, but I swam. Not entirely hard, and it was crowded, but the kinks in my legs are almost gone, and I slept like a baby last night.

After the gym, I headed up to Broadway and saw Legally Blonde. I thought I would hate it. I loved it. It was pee your pants funny, and the girl who is Elle Woods is brilliant. And a dynamo! One scene I laughed so hard I actually did wet myself. But just a little.

If your sense of humor goes towards the obnoxious, this is your musical. (Sabrina, you'll love this-- get the music now!)

Thank you to S. for inviting, and to her fabulous friend for being great. I love the CD. I can't wait to see your own show!

I started to write a thing to Cousin regarding my slump. I have hit a number that I distinctly remember in high school, and can't move beyond it. I think energetically it is holding me back. When in high school, this number showed up around sophomore year, and that is when I started to discover and uncover boys, started to realize who I was. I had always known myself as fat, but I didn't realize that it left me out of doing certain things. In grammar school, I was left out of the "dating" (if it could be called that in 8th grade) because there were 21 girls and 11 boys. So really, I was in a good group of girls that had un-requited crushes on boys that didn't deserve my attention. Really, I liked those guys (Keith, Patrick, Stephen)? C'mon!

Then high school hit, and the first year was all about being acclimated. Just getting a group of girlfriends. Then second year, boys. Julie (one of my best girlfriends) was going out with Jeff, and that was weird because I kind of liked him too, and then I had crushes on so many boys. But as always, like back in grammar school, I didn't do anything about it. And I kept feeling like I was supposed to know how to interact with them and be forward, but I just didn't. Boys were competition for grades in school. Then while talking to one of my former crushes, he said his mom calls him "Compassionate" because he is my friend. I look up compassionate.

No one should ever feel sorry for me. I was enraged.

We didn't speak much after that. I thought evil things about his mom. I still do.

Another someone hinted that I would be better off thinner. My brother pulled me into his room and told me in no uncertain terms that unless I lost weight, I would be the fat girl at school. It didn't matter what my personality was, I would just be known as the fat girl. I didn't speak to my brother for 6 months after that. He didn't notice. Neither did my mom or dad.

I still kind of hate my brother for his brutal honesty. However, I was going to show them, so I became:
1) Junior Class President. I ran against the pretty girls, and won.
2) Second lead in every musical: Character actress, and the reason to go see the shows. People still talk about it today (thanks Sabrina!).
3) Junior City Council: I ran youth commission for my city for almost 1 year.
4) Camp Counselor: I worked at a really popular leadership camp and had the most clean fun you can have in a week.
5) Pretty dang popular. Everyone still knows who I am. I am unmissable. A force to be reckoned with.

I'm not sure if people knew me as the fat girl. People knew me as Kim. I dressed well, I spoke well, I was kind and generous. I was funny and could be mean. And I was fat. I do care how I was perceived, but not enough for it to matter.

So I'm back to that weight. And it has a hold on me. And I am looking at things I can let go of to move beyond the weight.

1) I don't really hate my brother. I wish he had shown me some compassion and encouraged me in a different way. And that he didn't get checked out with drugs and alcohol. He was my role model on how boys should act, and he was having sex with his girlfriend all the time, and I wasn't ready for that at all. So if boys wanted sex, and I was a very smart good Catholic girl, then I couldn't talk to boys.

2) I wish things would have be different at home. There was a lot of traveling and a lot of drinking. I didn't have someone to go to and say "I'm confused, what should I be doing" because I got teased a lot by my folks. They meant it lovingly, but it didn't help me-- I am a sensitive flower. I stayed in my room or went out a lot after 9pm.

3) I felt like emotionally I was on my own. I did have support, but I didn't know how to ask for it. More hugs would have been nicer. Less yelling would have been good. I absolutely felt like I couldn't trust the people who put me to bed every night because of the alcohol, but could trust the ones that woke me up in the morning.

I can let that go. I can't change the past, or how it has been perceived by me, but I can let it go. I am not that freshman that can't fit into the costume, I am not that sophomore going to weight watchers with her dad, I am not that girl getting up at 5:30am to go to the gym for two weeks and then abandoning it. I am not that person who wishes for "whatever may come" I make things happen. I am an almost 35 year old grown woman who is taking care of herself, who knows how to talk to men (and boys) and who is in a weight slump. And she is going to workout all those demons that are hanging on to this particular number.

I feel much better now.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Yesterday, I was feeling particularly good-- like I could take on the world. And I left work late (again, so what's new)-- mainly because my favorite guy is leaving the company in a couple weeks and I am sad sad sad that I won't be able to share anymore ridiculous stories with him while on the way out the door.

Ahh. Not quite office boyfriend. Goodbye!

But I got home at 7:15 and was at the gym at 7:30, ready for my first Club Strength class. You know, the one where you lift weights and put them down and up again, with bars and barbells and "8 more, seven-- down down, six-- down down," etc etc. I took that class. Since I had no idea what I was doing, I asked a girl in line "will you be my swim buddy?" and she said yes!

I am that cool!

She helped me get set up, helped with the weights, smiled at appropriate times when I was farting and lunging and squatting my way through the course. Oh yes, I totally tooted at least three times. When we went into cat pose, I aimed my keister towards the back of the room, so at least no one would pass out from the fumes. I can't help it people, I fart, and there is no holding it back.

At the end of the class I told the instructor it was my first class like that-- she was surprised-- "You kept up really well. Good job, I'll see you next week." Yay me. Although, I totally did the modified version of everything, but to be honest, I didn't care. I made it through a whole class and didn't feel like the dumb one in the back.

Walking home my legs felt like jello, my body already started to break down, and honestly I feel like I have to flu. But it's just the lack of muscle tone. It'll get better.

I woke up at 4:30 am with a raging headache and parched for water. I fell back asleep for a couple hours, but not enough to feel completely rested. And I feel like a tight rubber band. Remember having braces and getting the headgear or the bands tightened? That's what my whole body feels like.

Laying in bed between 4:30 and 7:00, I realized Maddie is gone. I've put her down somewhere, because instead of feeling sad all the time, I am angry and always feel like I am missing something. I am not sure if she will come back, but energetically, I can't feel her face, I can't feel her weight around my middle. I do miss that protection. Wherever you are, goodnight pretty girl!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Day One

I tried to be good and leave work at 6 and go work out. And I did work out, but i left work at 7:45 instead. 45 minutes on the treadmill and 5 minutes of running.

I woke up this morning with sore knees. And a sore back. And I didn't quite follow my food plan, but I only ate one chocolate bar instead of four. And no cheese.

No cheese. A whole day with no cheese. Whoo-hoo. And I put my FiberSure in both my half-caf and soup, so I am armed and dangerous.

Today, I am leaving at 6pm. And to the gym. And potentially a yoga or stretch class to get the balance.

So far, so good.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools

Today I promise not to be a fool.

I got back, and started immediately reading my email. I saw that my local yoga place was offering an opportunity to commit to a month of yoga. No prizes or incentives, other than "how would it feel with your new muscles, with your new balanced outlook, with you being your word." Although the prospect of all month yoga is terribly exciting, I would rather play my own game.

Here are the rules. This is for one month only.

1) Work out for a normal time everyday. This does not mean "the five minute walk to the subway" is a workout. This means workout clothes on, going to either the gym or for a fitness walk. Shopping is not working out as of yet. For me, normal is between 35-45 minutes and includes stretching.

2) If I happen to miss I day, I can go in the morning and in the evening to double up. Any more of that is just crazy.

3) I commit to this for one month-- I have a conference the week of April 28, but let's bring it on-- working out and conferencing. A whole new world.

4) 5 classes-- take on at least one fitness class a week to see what else is out there. I've gotten so boring in the treadmill/bicycle. I want to try yoga, kickboxing, weights, aerobics, water workouts, etc. Something new and different. It will be like recess.

At the end of this month, I want to drop another size and at least 15 pounds on the scale. At this point in my "golden period" I shouldn't be at the same weight I was a month ago, and I can feel carbs coming back in, and the excuses to have them. So along with the work out game, I also pledge:

1) 3 meals a day, 1 snack. This means no protein powder in coffee unless that is part of a meal or a snack, no late night crunching on the couch.

2) Reduce the amount of cheese I consume. I eat an enormous amount of full fat, very flavorful cheese. I can get by with a wedge or four out of my daily routine.

3) Plan dinner at breakfast. Meaning make dinner before hand so I am not coming home to eat through my fridge as I "make" dinner.

4) Measure out my food. No more eyeballing it. Lately I have had some concern about eating too much, and this is a way to remember what a portion should be.

5)Therapy, Support group or a meeting. My choice. Once a week to get the emotional/spiritual stuff excised.

I am really excited about this new game. It feels like clean living, clean eating. A spring cleaning for the insides and out. Anyone else want to join me?

And really, this is no joke. This is my life we are talking about here. My determination to stick with something for an entire month may actually create the space for something extra-ordinary to happen. Like getting my self confidence back in check.