The Little Engine That Could

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A calling

Last weekend James drove me up to Kripalu-- a retreat center. For two days I did yoga, went inward, quit smoking, ceased drinking, and learned about being resilient and answering my calling.

A calling, what is that?

Looking at my life I have had many mile markers along the way of who I am at my core. There have been friends that are no longer in my life that have pushed me into recognizing my gifts and talents. There are friends now that acknowledge my greatness and just want the best for me. I have a ton of people to support me, even though I have been feeling I just don't know what it is I want to ask for. There are things that I have always been attracted to that give me some direction on who I am at the center of myself.

Losing a job, most specifically this one, was and is devastating. And then to move into a space of 'I'll show them' and begin to look for something without taking any time to reflect was not a good idea. At all. And then spending spurts and fits of trying to distinguish what I could do, rather than create what I want to and can do, was fruitless.

This past weekend I got to grieve the loss of a dream job. And I got to accept that thing change and the universe always has signs up, it's just up to me to notice them. I also got to walk a labyrinth-- one of my favorite things to do.

It was snowy, the path was unclear. I was trying to remember how it should go (kinda like trying to find a job without reflection), but felt that even if I was on the wrong path (which I was) I should follow the person in front of me and not make waves. (Just like my last job, don't make waves when the new person comes in, just follow along.) I take a step and think "Courage" and then another step "wisdom". Wisdom, courage, over and over again.

My thoughts drift. The person in front of me is going to slow, leading us in the wrong direction. i should have gone first. I see an opportunity to jump the path and start again, and do. "I guess I have to do it over again" comes up-- that's fine, I can learn more the second time around. I enjoy this walk, no one behind me pushing me along, no one in front of me, just wandering. Fear 'I am never going to get to the middle. It's not leading me to the middle. I can't there, what if I never get there. Should I give up now?'

Take a step- courage, take another step- wisdom. Why do you think you have to follow some path, just because everyone else does, to get you to the middle? Just get there.
I got there, and the middle was quiet. I asked my question, and got my answer along the journey.

Create your own path.
Learn from your mistakes.
Trust your gut.
Take the lead.
Enjoy the journey, but know that yours is unique and no one elses'.

I looked up. Thank you God. Thank you universe. Thank you for having me be unplugged for three days, uncovering what I love to do, recognizing the good in myself that is having me move forward in this life. Bless this journey. There is no where to get to, Just look at the signs, answer the calling.

I have been smoke free for a week. I have been alcohol free for a week. I have turned down drinks, went to a bar and got diet coke. I am not my addictions. I went to WW this morning and although I am up 2 pounds over two months ago, I am working the program. And I am on my way.

30 day challenge-- I was diligent for 6 days, took one day off, then great for two, then a lug for three. Now, back on track. I am not my addictions.

Back to life, back to reality......

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Remember who I was

Last night I was looking at pictures of myself. Actually it was yesterday afternoon, just prior to getting my haircut because I wanted the same bangs I had years ago.

Looking at my round face surprised me. It was odd to see a different me than the one I have gotten used to over the last year. I can say now that I can see the difference, and I am different now than I was then.

I looked at her, she was brave, but sad. Lonely. Now, not so sad and lonely. Just anxious.

Anxious about gaining weight, becoming an alcoholic, being someone who can't help but sabotage themselves at every step. Anxious about what's next, not knowing, not being able to create the life I want.

Before, I could blame it on weight. Now, I can't. I mean, I can, I am still (what seems like eons) away from a goal weight that resides in the range of low overweight or "normal". I still have 70+ pounds to lose before a hard and fast sheet of paper can declare me "normal". As in normal BMI. I understand, I am tall, and have pounds of excess skin that could be a factor, but wen it is all said and done, at least 60 pounds have got to peel off before I can consider myself victorious.

So yeah, I guess I can still blame it on weight. But I don't. Now it is clear to me that the person I used to be was a little more resilient to anxiety. She ate it away, and did whatever she had to so she could have the life she wanted. Or what she thought she "could" have. So then, things weren't as big of a disappointment when they didn't happen.

I'm done posting about that.

Last night James had to peel me off the bathroom floor because I drank a bottle of wine in the span of an hour. I didn't get sick, just dizzy. And I laid down in my tiny bathroom and used a towel for a pillow and fell asleep. Not because I was tired, but because I was wasted. I had a flashback to being a kid and seeing myself do the same thing with my mom. As we went back to the bedroom, I kept asking where James was, because I was convinced that the person taking me to my bedroom was my dad. So wasted, altered reality.

Apologetic, and looking into his eyes this morning I saw his fear and sadness for me. This has to stop. It's everything I didn't want.

And it's entirely NOT who I was. This is a new facet of me, and I'm not pleased. And I will make changes, small changes, and nip this in the bud. Prune this wallow tree. Yes, I said wallow tree.

Off to walk. Or just get out of the house.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Something Big

Last night I shared with James bits of my blog.

I also gave him the address. I said "If you start reading it, you can never let me know" mainly because I don't want to ever censor myself. Not that I would, but knowing who my readers are is kinda scary. Because I would rather be as truthful as I can.

Everything I write is all in my head, it's the internal conversation that I have with myself. It's like taking the mute button and making it a speaker button. So there I am, my life on loudspeaker.

If you see this, Hi James. I love you. And I love that you don't judge me. I'll be home tonight to give you kisses at the door.

------
I am working through so many things this week-- the idea if I didn't have the struggle against my weight, what would my life be like. If I never lost another pound, what would my life be like. I got to that I would want to take care of my body-- to maintain the way it is right now. To treat it well, with good food, good exercise, being active. Feeding my creativity and my mind. To just be. OK. With. Myself.

It's nice to get there.

Its all a journey. A journey to me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is it bad?

is it bad to get moved by your own writing?

A couple years ago a friend comissioned me to write text for his most amazing dance solo piece. And we came across it the other day.


My life is written on the backs of sleeves full of tears and snot in lieu of Kleenex
Waiting on corners for him to show up
My life is written on ticket stubs and burned out metro cards and buttons from shirts I never owned
My life is written on the backs of coffee cups with red ring sides full of kisses shared with liquid happiness
My life is written on church bulletins and post-it notes in my mother’s handwriting written out in highlighters
My life is written on postage stamps to cards never sent to family members unseen and unheard
Picture perfect events that never happened while I was around
My life is written on white paper with black pen as I patiently wait for my cigarette to finish smoking itself
My life is written on the pills of my middle management wardrobe and “what do you do for a living”
Its written on the sidewalks of my worn shoes back and forth to make some money
My life is written on the empty boxes of food and banana peels that make up my pile of garbage
My life is written with cigarette stained fingers and spoken in acts of an addiction
My life is written on bathroom mirrors and plate glass windows, words following me everywhere till I have no where to run
There is no hiding from my life, there is no absence, no structure, it’s life

I collect these words as they trail after me, stuffing them into my body, eating them again and again, and throwing them up into small bits and pieces until finally someday, one day, someone besides me will be nourished by them

It's not as easy as a song, or as pretty as a picture, I can't touch it or feel its warmth or hold it as I fall asleep at night. I can't wear it like a cloak or funny hat, I can't smell it like the trash truck hurtling down my street at 4am.
I can't describe it other than black pen on white paper, written in my mother's handwriting, broken into my own language.
I had forgotten this girl existed. This sad and thoughtful and miserable person with a very good sense of picture painting in greys and blues.

At the time during this was written, I was working for a bank, not happy at all, on the second shift. I was miserable in my body, so so lonely, and just hoping that someday, one day I would figure out how to date someone, anyone. I ate too much, I smoked too much, I lived with roomates and was still pining away for some guy who's name I can't even remember.

It's nice to revisit her. She's still lonely. She can't believe that this relationship, this body, this life is going to last. She comes out every now and again, snarky, bitchy, whining, and angry. Like I said, nice to revisit, but not to stay.

However, I am moved by that person. Wow. I forgot she can feel and write. And so it goes. I'm in the process of uncovering great things about myself, and slowing down..... but how can I slow down when I have nothing to do all day but find a job--- well, dear reader, that is the key. Spinning my wheels is useless. So now I am enjoying the day and being productive without jamming everything in there.

She's a good writer. I like her.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Letter to myself

When "I don't want to you can't make me" comes up, I call it my "little Kimmie". She's a rough and tumble, rounded belly girl who is way too smart for her own age, she likes things like kitty cats (which her mother won't let her have), playing in tents made with gramma's high backed chairs, and singing songs that don't make any sense. She is super sassy, but cries easily because she doesn't understand why everyone doesn't like her. She hates the rules, although she follows them, she would rather be jumping in the swimming pool, or running through the soccer field or eating ice cream for breakfast, or watching tv with complete control over the remote.

She is not a fan of structure at all. And as an adult, when Kim needs structure, little Kimmie comes out and rebels. She wants to watch tv, she wants to eat chocolate, she wants to take a nap, she would rather be bored and by herself than with others, because again, she doesn't understand why everyone doesn't like her.

Here is my letter to her.

Dear Kimmie,

You are such a beautiful girl, although you may not think so. Your friends have longer hair and are much smaller than you, but you can protect yourself from anything except from your heart getting broken. Not everyone has to like you, and it will take years for you to understand that people just may not be interested in talking to you or being your friend. But that this their problem, not yours. You can love them and appreciate them all you'd like, just know, they may not return it.

What you should know about yourself as a 36 year old woman is that you are still beautiful. And you are so super smart. People comment all the time how funny and sassy you are, and it is a testament to you, for just being yourself along the way, that will have you feel comfortable in your skin. So you can hide in a little bit of that smile knowing that you turn out a-okay.

But, sassy Kimmie, you hate the rules. Rules are boring. Here's the deal-- you have lost a job you loved, but people you have met along the way are from all over the world-- you've travelled to Asia and Europe and South America, and you have hundreds of friends. And they like you for you! However, you have been sad, so so sad, and no one can do anything to make you less sad. You have a great boyfriend who will become your husband, and even he cannot get you out of being sad. You feel like crying alot, because it feels like those people who took away that awesome job were mean. And perhaps they were, but what they didn't see is how truly amazing you are. You really can do anything once you set your mind to it.

So here's the deal, there are going to be some guidelines I am going to set. I don't want to call them rules, but perhaps, just a structure you can work in. You will get time to write and daydream and sing songs-- just so you can fill up your pot of mischief and mystery. But as an adult, I am going to need your help in getting the adult things out of the way to have that time.

First, together, we are going to look at your resume to see what it is you have accomplished, and together we are going to write it in our own words. Then we are going to talk to people who are our friends, or that want to be our friends, to see if there is anything they may know about that will have you create that dream career that I want. You have to remember the house you created with the red door and the room to dream in is our goal, you created it, and I am holding onto it, so that together we can find it.

Second, we will have scheduled things that need to be done. There will be running and playing and discovering and thinking and writing and all of that, all of which you love to do, but sometimes we are going to be doing them whether you want to at that time or not. It's not a punishment, you haven't done anything bad, but it's just a way to keep things like school-- a time table. It'll be like PE or Music class at St. C, you hated getting dressed for it, or walking down the hall, but once you were on the kickball field or in the choir room, a whole new world opened up-- and it didn't matter that you didn't want to just before. You did it because you said you would. And you actually like doing it. So you can make all the faces you want, and be a sour puss, but you are still getting up and doing what you said you would.

Every week, you will have 3 hours of a free pass during scheduled times. You have to use this time wisely-- and in those three hours you get to do anything you want. It will be our special little date together.

I hope you can see that together we are going to make this structure work. I know there are things you don't like that I am doing currently, like smoking and drinking, and I will need your help with that too. remind me what it's like to be a kid again, and run and jump and play and enjoy new adventures, and together we can be the best Kim we know how to be.

I love you. In partnership and play--

Kim

PS: the best thing about being an adult is that NO ONE ever calls you Kimberly. So you won that battle!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Living MY Life

Yesterday I started with a new women's coaching program-- and it's pretty awesome. I am taking on three BIG projects-- 1) health and well-being 2) creating a passionate life (whatever that may mean is yet to be determined) and 3) Dream career.

I am very very specific about what I want in a dream career-- I forget that when I write things down and then forget about them, they somehow come together. Years ago I started writing about my dream man/ partner-- the nameless faceless bastard that I am going to make miserable for the rest of my life, and lo and behold-- James. It took 7+ years, but overall, a nice wait. I often say that before I wouldn't have been ready for a relationship.

Before. Before what? Before surgery-- perhaps. Surgery and all the steps leading up to surgery had me get my shit in order. I had to get super real with myself. I had to understand the games I was playing with myself, and clear them out of the way. And for 8 months work non-stop as if this were my goal. And I had to really address some of the underlying behaviors and thoughts that had me get to my top weight. So before surgery, yes.

But before something else..... at some point I made a choice to not be alone. To want a partner in crime. And I talked about who I wanted that to be, wrote about him, dreamed about him. Sometimes I tried to date him, but alas, it wasn't him. Because I was still coming from "I'm not good enough", and settled for men that were not in my best interest. Or waited for someone to like me first. This happened well after surgery-- but around Feb or so of 2008 I shifted. I was and am good enough to be in a partnership with a man who is crazy about me, who wants to hold my hand, who can be respectful and loving, and on and on. And for the first time, I BELIEVED IT TO BE TRUE.......And then I really began the search for him. It was like I was opened to some thing inside myself that said "Okay, now" and I jumped in the pool.

Before, what else? Before my mid thirties. Before coming into that knowing part of myself where I feel strong and wise and I have grays on my head and creaks in my bones, before when I was supple and lucious and round (which I still am, just less round). Before when I was nervous and awkward and loud and bold and "It's never going to happen".

Now I am looking at my "before" for my career. Before my last position, I was just doing things for other people, recently I am doing for myself. Before I was scared they wouldn't like me, now, scared doesn't even come into it, I have to work with all kinds. Before I punched a clock, now I am always connected. Before I did the same thing every day, recently I had new exciting experiences that had me see that work can sometimes be what you love.

Thus, dreaming of the career.

It's actually very interesting, tapping into the calm wisdom that is in my center, my heart, and not all in my head. A bit of advice for myself, slow it down. When I slow down, I actually get so much more accomplished-- just listening to what I need. When I feel I have too many options, just choose one and stick with it until it doesn't work.

Living MY life.

If you want to know my coach and her programs, here she is. Check out her site if interested (I should probably warn her about my blog..... hmmm.)

http://www.soulfulcoach.com/

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Living life when I want to live MY life.

James and I have been doing WW pretty regularly. And things are just not working. I lose, I gain, I lose. But it's the community that gets me through, the going to the meetings and talking about why we do what we do and having the insight to change the way we are doing things.

I've lost motivation to job search. I feel helpless, and yet I just want to sit in jammies all day and watch tv. And snack. And then feel bad about myself. And then look on facebook, and talk to friends and then feel bad, snack. I have been doing an enormous amount of drinking over the last couple of weeks and it's time to end that.

So we are getting ready for bed, which means that I am in bed, he is putzing around, getting coffee ready for the morning, brushing his teeth. I am watching a dvr'ed Law and Order (because I am obsessed). He comes to bed, I turn off the tv and we snuggle. I start to cry.

"Are you getting weepy?"
Yes.
Why, what's wrong?
Nothing, I just love you so much. I love you so much that I am afraid that some terrible accident is going to take you away and I'll never love anyone like I love you.
I hope you don't love anyone like you love me. I'm here for the long haul. I'm not going anywhere.

Then I tell him that I snack all day long, being unemployed sucks, and I have no purpose. And that I am changing up my routine-- doing a little detox off the coffee, off the soda, off the alcohol and a couple of days of liquids. Just to break the cycle of snacking. To get myself back to myself.

He says he's proud of me for recognizing that things have gotten out of control, but he makes no judgement on it. He says that because I say things have gotten out of control than they have, and his opinion doesn't matter because it's me who is going through it. He says he loves me no matter what size I am and to always remember that.

And then we fell asleep side by side.

---------------------

Yesterday I was talking to a friend that is doing this really cool program for women. It's a leadership institute for women-- working on goals and issues that mean something to us individually and working together. For instance, say I want to write a book, but I am blocked by it. I now have 10 women who can coach me on that, who can hold me to account. Say another woman wants to start her own business, 10 women to coach her. And on and on.

I wrote to my friend and told her it would be out of integrity for me to take on the program because of finances, but laid out all the things I could do in trade. And she said yes. And I am so freaking stoked!

Because really, for the last few weeks, I have just been living life. I want to start living MY life, saying how it goes, creating every day as something that pulls me forward and has me spring out of bed. It has me take on challenges and problems and solve them, create opportunities. I want that life.

My confidence has been shot for a long time, and I haven't reached out. So here it is....

It is time to live my life outloud.

Okay-- here's the plan. Journal every day, blog three times a week. Let you know what's up.
Right now, today, I am 271. I'm not happy with the number but everything fits well, an dI am active, going to the gym 3 times a week and toning up. I can lose 73 pounds. I can I can.

When I started, I thought it would be easy. Not easy. I wanted a running head start to lose the weight. Well, I got it. And now it's time to start running with it. 73 pounds is nothing.

----------------------

James says as we are falling asleep, just think that you only have 5 pounds to lose. You can do that. I know you can. I believe in you.

Wow. My eyes tear up with how much I love this man.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gym and Spiriual Reconnection

Yesterday morning I went to the gym and ENJOYED it. I did legs and then walked/ran for 48 minutes. Today I am a bit sore, but the nice thing is that I got a lot of stuff done yesterday-- namely nails and toes.

I went to a sister Circle last night. Now before people get all weird on me, this circle is just a gathering of women who are taking 2 hours out for themselves to honor the women that have gone before them. It has nothing to do with witches and warlocks and Harry Potter-ish things.

Think a puritan gathering of women who come together to sing and share and laugh and create.

I forgot how much I enjoy that. The candles, the sage, the calm of being in the presence of other women who are honoring themselves by creating intentions for the month on the New Moon. It's like wishing on a star, a little girl wishes being told to her best friend, and going back to a much simpler time.

Last night was a guided meditation on what we have forgotten, that part of ourselves that we have left abandoned. I found my creativity again. It was just waiting for me, and I picked it up and dusted it off, and so now it's with me.

Along the line from my move from So Cal to NYC (14 years ago), I decided that I needed to be grown up and not be creative. I decided that having a real job that makes money that gives me the life I want was more important than being creative. But really, I decided that my creativity wasn't worth money-- that I couldn't make a living being creative-- whether that's writing, singing, dancing, painting, acting, comedy, sculpting, etc etc. And because of that decision, I left my creativity up on a shelf in a room I moved out of long ago.

So when I was doing this meditation, I found that although there have been times when I have transformed my creativity to suit the job, and have written/ sang/ danced/ etc off and on, that I haven't cultivated it. I haven't given myself the gift of what I love to do-- to be expressed artistically. At the time I abandoned it, I felt that since I couldn't make money "being creative" then I had to let it go. Which now I know is not necessarily the case. Do I have to give up swimming or cooking or anything else I love to do because I can't make a living doing it? No. I can keep cultivating my creativity, feeding it, watering it, and letting it be-- to grow into something great.

I feel connected.

Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Me meet Old Me




Over the weekend, James decided to clean the apartment, which of course freaked me out. I mean, he moved in with me, so I should clean, because the place still very much feels "mine". And I for sure should clean because I am home all day, although I am interneting, interviewing, phone calling and job searching. But I am HOME ALL DAY so it should be done by me, right?

James explained that he too lives here, and wanted to clean and straighten the mess, not "my" mess, not "his" mess, but "the" mess. Our mess. So away he went, I worked on the kitchen for a moment, the office for a while, the closet, and then left him to clean the bedroom-- pulling furniture away from the walls, sorting out the garage sale stuff from the just throw it out stuff. During the course of his cleaning, he came across my trunk of journals.

He's asked before if he could read them, and I've said no. I don't mind him reading my work, but he only knows the new me, I don't want him to see the old me. I don't mind showing him pictures of old me, or having friends tell stories of my antics, or trying to explain to him my mindset I used to have, but I can't have him read my very very intimate thoughts. From just past college to now. He put the trunk in the corner and started piling things on it for the sale.

Yesterday morning, I went through each page from Sept 1995 through just before surgery. The sum of my thoughts and words are:
"I am going to lose weight, a pound a week, exercise more, quit smoking, get off the couch, start a diet"
"I failed at my diet, losing weight, exercising, I'm still smoking, etc"
"I hate that I am alone"
"My so called friends are anything but"
"I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up"
"I hate myself, my body, my decisions, my apartment, my roomates, my lack of roomates, my boss/schedule/job/commute etc"

The old me worked through so much garbage on self-esteem. She made plans and deadlines and goals. She wanted to be 260 (which is what I am about) and be able to run (I can) be a non-smoker (I am) have a boyfriend (I do) and have a job beyond her wildest dreams (I did, and am currently uncovering that again). I wonder if old me actually worked on this stuff, or just declared it.

Old me on her way to the new me created possibilities, she took courses that changed the way she looked at herself and life, she met people that impacted her existence and sometimes gave her a purpose much larger than herself, she learned to be an amazing coach in life and career, ask for what she wants, not lie, etc. Old me was the one that chose to get weight loss surgery. Little did she know she signed her death warrant.

New me appeared. She slowly got more confident, unrecognizable, pretty, thinner, older and wiser. New me is fun and frolicky, she has energy and everything she puts in her mouth she thinks about. She no longer eats automatically-- she thinks about food as fuel first and then taste. She takes her vitamins, she pays attention to her body and the aches and pains. She reads up on health, mental and physical, and works on her well-being. She says "no" way more often, doesn't feel guilty all the time, and has a solid relationship based on trust, fidelity and love. She has a good idea about what she wants her life to look like beyond just losing weight.

She is also scared that her new addiction is red wine and she is taking steps to correct that.

New me, meet old me. As I was reading my words I got so confronted that I lived that way for so many years. It's just a tape in my head, and it's playing it's greatest hits with me now-- along with a few new ones-- you haven't lost all your weight, you only made it to a size 18W, you should have done more, done better, etc. You should have never started smoking, drinking, eating ice cream, testing out pasta/bread/sugar. I can eat it all, minus very oily things, and not have an issue. You should you should you should.

That's all part of the old me trying to resurface. The new me says you made it to your old me goals. Now, time for new ones. Ones that are meaningful to you. Ones that are about life, work, relationships, health. Ones that have nothing to do with "when i get to this weight i"ll be...." and then fill in the blank. I am healthy, active, and strong. I have very slight amounts of being down, and yet that road is always just a turn off the highway of my life. I don't want to dwell there. Just visit when it's necessary to re-group.

I went through the journals. Ripped out the important things I wanted to keep. Tossed out the stuff that was old me, old negative me. The half filled journals, the directions on pages to places i'll never go again, the old phone numbers to people I can't remember how I know them, notes from classes taken long ago. I kept a very small box of things that were important to me.

It's not like I am trying to get rid of that old me. I just don't need her past clouding up my future. I know I will not go back to read most of it, so out it went. And it felt good.

The only room in the house that is not clean is the office. It's time. Oh boy, it's time.

I might let James read the old stuff I kept. Perhaps.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm feeling lighter already

I should start every blog entry with "Poor James". I was doing a feel sorry for myself dance last night and just cried and cried. Didn't smoke, but then we went for a walk and some ice cream. And kissing. And well, then, not so poor James anymore.

The job search continues. I realize I am focusing less on the job, and more on just getting my stuff out there. But for someone's whose business it is to create the space for personal development, I am not doing any. Today I did 5.5 hours on search, and now I am going to read up on new trends in the industry. I need to be able to talk about what it is I am meant to do, right?

Had a full breakfast with James this morning. Eggs. Turkey bacon. Biscuit. Then a full lunch. Half a chicken salad sanwich, a bowl of salad. Grapes. There is not a lot of snacking today. I'm not really craving a cigarette, I am just going to keep setting myself up to win-- doing what I know is right to make a difference.

Small changes. Tiny ones. It's making a profound difference on my psyche.

In other news, it's hot and sweaty and I have spent the day without air conditioning because I am crazy like that. I figure it should be summer, I should get some fresh air through here, no matter how humid it is. It's actually not that bad.

However, I need to shower. Headed to the Mets game tonight. The best $600 I spent on anything, 15 games x 2 seats in nosebleed section. I forgot how much I loved going to the baseball game. Regardless of who wins. Although, winning is nice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Busting through the numbers

Okay, so another thing I realized is that I am melting. and I hit my 2 year surgery anniversary.

So this is what's so:
I am at 267, which is 5 pounds over my lowest since surgery.
I can run around the bases in softball and not get winded.
I wear an XL t-shirt, an L tank top (old navy) and 18W bottoms.
I wear a 16W dress.
I am a non-smoker today.
I take my vitamins every day and rarely have missed.
I do not exercise more than 1 time per week. When I do I usually walk for 30 mins, and ride a bike for 25.
I often eat meals and drink water together.
I can eat anything. Seriously. Anything. Sugar, fat, refined carbs, meat, pasta-- you name it.
I had my ideal dream job and loved it, and got terminated because of the economy.
I have been laid off since February 2 and I am really tired of searching for a job and being so close to my refrigerator all the time.
I cook most meals every day and have turned into a pretty inventive cook.
I have a budget and keep to it (most days).
I have paid off $13k in credit card debt over the last year and have about $13K to go.
I am bordering on a transfer addiction of both cigarettes and wine. I have consumed more red wine this year than I have ever had in my life, and I crave it at times.
I have considerably cut back on my cheese intake, down from a drawer full of cheese to two kinds.


Some of those things I am proud of, some not so much.

Here's what my goals are for this upcoming year.
In 2010 on my surgiversary I will be able to say that:
I weigh less than 240 pounds
I am a non-smoker
I work out 3 times a week and use the Wii every other day.
I watch less than 6 hours of TV a week.
I do not drink anything with meals. I wait 45 mins after a meal to drink anything.
I only have alcohol on really special celebrations. And no more than 2 per celebration.
I take my vitamins every day and keep up with my blood labs.
I have been gainfully employed in a position for about 10 months that allows me creativity, freedom and the opportunity to make a difference, paying over $80K per year. I am stretched every day and my skills at networking, coaching and training are fully realized.
I have health benefits that are amazing.
James and I have set a date.
My credit card debt is paid off entirely.
I rarely eat pasta, treats (candy, cookies, ice cream), rice, bread and my diet consists mainly of a Mediterranean meals (fish, chicken, fresh veggies, feta, etc).

I can say I am happy right now in this moment. I am chomping on Nicorette and considering taking a shower because at 3:30pm I am still in my pajamas and have no motivation to get to the gym which is around the corner. Which I have all the time in the world for.

Laying in bed the other night, I was feeling around my new body. I am melting. My skin is melting, and I wonder how many more pounds I would lose if that skin went away. My guess is that it would be about 20 pounds (based on a friend who was the same size pre-surgery and dropped 100 pounds and had a lower body lift and lost 14 pounds at 5'3. I'm 5'9). So I reconfigured my "ideal weight) up top. Now, my ideal is in the 180's which would put me right about target.

Listen, I'll decide later on in life if I want a plasty surgery. I am not ruling it out. But for now, I would enjoy being employed and away from the fridge. Off to the gym.

Vacation

We went on vacation two weeks ago. I am still unpacking. It was a week in Arizona (I know, the middle of the summer) and it was magical in parts. And eye opening in others.

Started off the trip sitting across the aisle from one another, holding hands as we took off. This was James' first long trip, and of course, was a short trip for me. He has been on a few planes before to Fl and Canada, but me, well, world traveller over here. It was so very cute, he did a sign of the cross and said a prayer. I love him so.

After our snacks on the plane (I made sandwiches and brought along fruit and rice cakes) we landed and it was hot. Super duper hot hot hot. Spent the day napping and hanging out with C and her mom, enjoying the pool and catching up. The next morning we were off to Sedona.

Sedona. Oh glorious red rocks. My heart and eyes were opened to the beauty of the desert and the energy it has. Rather than give you a blow by blow, we did the following things....
1) Spent the day at the pool with books and magazines and rum.
2) Watched the sunrise.
3) Watched the sunset.

But this I will share. Up a road, into the hills a ways, we parked at a national campground-- picnic looking place. The sun was about an hour from setting, and the air was cooler than it had been during the day. I got out of the car and walked to the campground, just to get a better view of the red rocks, and be in the silence. No one was around. James got out, and we heard someone playing pan flute. Then the wind whipped up through the canyons and between us.

James is not one for new age and energy and all that. Of course, I am, but to each his own. We looked at each other, him with fear of the unknown, and me with strength and wisdom of a thousand years of lives, and spoke our vows on the wind.

Our eternal vows. I won't repeat them because we spoke with our hearts open, our minds connected, and to tell the truth, I have no idea what either of us said. What I do know is that I looked at that man in front of me and saw love, support, kindness, gentleness and truth. I saw forever-- and not just this forever, but the forever forever that lasts through time.

And with that, and tears in our eyes, our arms around each other, the wind whipped up against us and took our vows through the canyons and out into the world. One day, we will repeat them in front of friends, family and strangers, he in a suit, me in a dress-- but the wind knows what is in our hearts.

After that part of vacation, there was good Mexican food, good company with C and her family, a small snafu that lead me to take a stand for myself and not be bullied by another human. I saw Thunderbird, and am considering it for its MBA program. If I make the investment now when I am unemployed and have the time, I believe I can get more out of it in the long run. It's all choices.

Now, back to the WW. We don't have much liquor in the house, and our food bill has been reduced to about $75 a week because of finances. This is more than enough for the two of us to eat on, I buy most vegetables at the green market and am good for two weeks on fruits and breads. Meat might be an issue, but I am being creative. There's not a lot of eating out, or money for fun right now, because I want to be careful with finances. I don't want to have to ask mom and dad to cover me. I've got things I can sell and part with to make extra money. Cleaning out the clutter once again.

Weight-- doing good. Over vacation I gained .2 pounds, so that brings my total to 267.2. The next goal I am setting for myself is 259. I want to break into the 250's. And stay under that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday fill ins

James and I are off to a BBQ-- and we are bringing fruit. Usually I bring chips, dip, cupcakes, cookies, etc-- but we are bringing fruit. It's hot, tomorrow we weigh in, and both of us want the scale to show that within 3 weeks we lost 5% of our body weight.

Smoking-- quitting. Monday. Have to. HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO. On a good note, I went to the gym twice this week. Bad news, didn't really job search. This week, I promise.

Fill ins.
1. Turkey Meatballs and sauce make a quick and easy dinner.

2. (Some book written by the owner of Omega Institute about breakdowns that change people's lives) is the book I'm reading right now. ( I am terrible with titles)

3. July brings back memories of swimming at gramma's pool with my cousins, eating clam chowder for lunch and taking naps on the sticky carpet in our bathing suits while we watched Judge Wapner.

4. Cleaning the office was obvious.

5. They say if you tell your dreams to others, it puts an intention out there in the universe, and then you are compelled to put that dream into action. Your intentions create your world, so intend loudly, dream large and then follow through. Don't ever give up the dream.

6. Right now I'd like to think it over.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to BBQ with friends in LI, tomorrow my plans include WW and waking up late and Sunday, I want to make fresh blueberry pancakes and turkey sausage for breakfast!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Fill-in and Updates

James and I started WW. I lost 11 pounds. I'm happy and re-learning that all food is on-limits, and my pouch only holds so much. And that being out of work and home all day with a fridge is terrible for the waistline.

Cheese. Wine. I love you both. Time to moderate.

Fill-ins. Thanks for the push Rebel Saint.


1. The last thing I ate was a slice of pizza and a Mexican Shrimp salad.

2. Cigarettes is something I recently bought. (ooh, bad idea.)

3. When it rains, it must have been because I planned a party, because it always rains on my celebrations.

4. James was the first person I talked to today.

5. Hugs are delicious.

6.My hips are built for extra comfort.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with friends, tomorrow my plans include a picnic and beach time at a state park and Sunday, I want to lose 3 pounds at WW!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Monday begins anew

Yesterday was awesome. Backyard barbeque after a baptism, delicious charred meat and oodles of wine. Then home to sleep after watching the Tonys (or part of). Nice job.

Today I weigh 274.9.

Today I am doing a little clutter clearing-- I am playing a game called "A job by my birthday" which is June 14. This coming Sunday. Although there are a couple prospects, the real game is playing like I start work on June 15, and get bills and household stuff in order on my "last full week off". That way, there is nothing in the way after my birthday to find a job, interview or anything else that I might want to accomplish. No, "I really should do X".

What I would like is to create a position that would allow me to take a week before I started and head to CA to see family and friends. Take vacation, per se. Even the unemployed need some time away.

So, 274.9. That seems like a great number to start at. My new number. I am not running from it, I am running to health, vitality and peace. I am running towards unstoppable. I have a goal, 225 by Thanksgiving, which is 24 weeks away. A completely do-able goal. The bonus opportunity is that during this 24 week journey, I write at least once a week, journal 2 times a week and check in with myself every Monday morning as a temperature gauge. Other things that might help me along the way-- Weight Watchers/ OA/ Support Group/ Therapy.

Right now, I wear a woman's 18 at Kohl's (so 18W) and an X-Large shirt (a 1X fits a little looser from the plus department). My goal is to be entirely in the straight sizes by Thanksgiving-- a size 14 pant (not 14 W) and X-Large or L shirt. I want to purchase (or at least have the opportunity to purchase) a dress off the rack from Ann Taylor/ Banana Republic/ J Crew in a 14.

Just as a starting point. Thanks Mama of the Melts for the marathon anaology. That guy is in my city and I did my pre-op counselling with him. Its a reminder that going back to him would be a fantastic idea. It's a lifetime marathon-- there is not the room to sit on the sidelines and cheer, now is the time to get on the road and pound it out.

Much love.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Getting Unstuck

I took part of a very cool class over the weekend that I had done before (the Landmark Forum). I only took a part of it (which is not recommended) because I have some family obligations that I have to take care of, but the part that I needed some review with. Since 2002 I have been involved with Landmark, either coaching programs or being a participant in communications courses, the curriculum for living, seminars, etc. I can't say "it gave me my life" like some people do, but it really has given me a way to look at my life that has me be unstuck in all areas, if I choose to. This is the key.

So, there I am sitting in the Landmark Forum (which if you know, is a total feat for me. I hate being a participant, I hate the idea that for the next 3 days I am going to be sharing about my life with people I don't know, and then go out into my life and share with people I love about where I have been slimy or icky and then create something new. I like the creating something new, but I'd rather be a coach than a participant), and I am thinking about my life. Mainly about surgery, and the impact it has on me. From previous posts, you might understand that I have had it that I am stuck. Well here I am unsticking myself.

The what happened of my situation-- the bare bones-- is that I was grossly obese, 388 pounds at my highest (of record). I wore pants I had to order on the Internet, I lived in yoga pants and tank tops-- I had three pairs of the exact same stretchy work pants. I ate thousands of calories every day, smoked at least a pack a day, and delivery men knew who I was outside of deliveries (I once ran into a man in Manhattan who smiled and said "2R" which is my apartment number. I had no idea who he was until that night when I ordered a "snack" of a turkey sandwich, pint of ice cream and pack of cigarettes. Then I realized, he's my delivery guy from the deli.) I did not exercise except for the random yoga classes or treadmill adventures-- every now and again I would take walks. When I went to friend's places, I would sit in chairs with no arms and on sturdy furniture to make sure I wouldn't fall or break stuff. No one ever talked about my weight, except when I brought it up. I tried to diet, reducing calories, eating Atkins style, eating low fat, going on Weight Watchers-- and was usually great for a couple weeks. Then I would get some success, and then go back to old habits one by one.

My mom had surgery in 2007 in Jan. She was a different person, she lost so much weight and became my beautiful little mommy. I wanted that. I quit smoking in Jan 2007, and then had surgery Aug 2007. I lost 80 pounds by Christmas, and by June of 2008 I had lost 126 pounds. And then I met James and have been in an amazing intimate long term relationship for over a year. The first one of my life.

Just prior to meeting him, I smoked in Mexico and came back with that habit. And he smoked-- so it was okay for me to do that. And he's a bit of a big guy, so eating a little more was okay-- he likes curvy and soft. And for a year I haven't lost a pound. In fact, I have gained 10.
"But my body's changing and I look thinner!SO.
"But I am happier and have a boyfriend!" SO
"But I exercise more and am more active!" SO

I learned that I don't dump on sugar or fat, I can eat a waffle with syrup and butter and have a loaf of bread on the side with no issue except sleepy-- very sleepy. I can eat ice cream cones and strawberry jam and frosty's and milkshakes and cheeseburgers with buns and fries with ranch and and and and and......

I can do exactly what I did before and expect to get a different result. Ummm, that is the definition of insanity.

So here I am, sitting in that room, looking at myself. Coming clean. NO EXCUSES. Nothing is bad, nothing is wrong, it just is what it is. I realize (like past posts) that I am so afraid of going all out and failing that instead I put up insipid roadblocks to lose. Because if I went all out and failed, I would be devastated (what would others think of me), and I would have proof that I am not worth it and a failure. But with these roadblocks (one ice cream won't hurt, it's a small fry, only a glass of wine) plus lack of exercise (too busy, depressed, the gym will be too crowded) I am effectively committed to being overweight.

Committed, you say--- well yes. Look at what you have in your life, and that's what you are committed to. I say I want to be healthy, and yet, I buy cookies and don't exercise. I say I want to be an athlete, and yet I am the Olympic champion of Law and Order watching.

Nothing is bad, nothing is wrong, it just is what it is. I am still relating to myself as the six year old girl who's brother got fruit pies in his lunch when she got fruit. I am still letting that 6 year old run my life every time I let myself have a cookie or talk myself into a dessert or a bag of fries.

I have no plan, no regime, other than possibility. I am the possibility of being unstoppable. Nothing gets in my way, and if I stop myself, i remember what I am committed to.
And my committment.....

I am still working on that one. I know it has something to do with health, fitness, vitality, coaching, inspiration and getting what you want from life, but am still in the inquiry. For today, I am committed to living powerully and honoring my body and mind as the gifts that they are.

Unstuck-- yup. Today is a bright sunshiney day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I know why I am stuck

For those of you that have been following me for a while, you might remember Maddie.

I wrote about her before surgery. I wrote about her being 130 pound weight that I was saying goodbye to. Today I re-visited her and her story, and realized I am at the 130 pound mark of weight loss (or thereabouts). My skin is flabby and I feel deflated. And yet I have never felt more vulnerable, emotional, raw and surprisingly..... strong. Brave in fact.

I realize what I haven't done and what I need to do. Maddie was all past, there was no future written about her. She lived in-between binges and pushed emotions down with food (and as she got older, drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Mostly cigarettes.), and kept people away with her growing girth and snark. She is something I haven't said goodbye to yet, I keep thinking I have, until I have a particularly emotional conversation, and then, there she is, ready to eat an ice cream, take a swig of maple syrup, or devour a pizza (in small measured bites over the course of a day). She can't hide behind smoking (although she really really wants to) and she's tried the alcohol route and found it, well, lacking.

I now get to create Maddie's future. My future. Fuck calling her Maddie-- she's me, I'm her, I get to create my future. Everything is so wide open for me right now-- I have no job, my boyfriend is moving in this weekend, I have a little bit of money in the bank, and I have all the free time in the world...... to create a future.

So, getting back to my point, I know why I am stuck. I am stuck because I never believed it possible to lose 200 pounds. I never gave myself the chance to really go for it all the way. I keep testing it out-- a little sugar here, a little more cheese there, some wine, something to drink with dinner-- all of these things little roadblocks to keep me in check. To keep me from "hurting" myself. Because if I fail at losing 200 pounds, then I will be so devastated, I will really be able to prove to myself I am an entire failure. So these little roadblocks go up as a way to slow me down, "don't get ahead of yourself", and to keep me from the real disappointment. Because I can say right now I haven't done everything it takes to make this surgery and lifestyle a success, I've done "enough" but haven't put my all into it.

It's like this-- my fear comes from a place that says "Hold back because if you really put it all on the line, you might get disappointed. And then you will prove to everyone else that you can't do it." And then the entire makeup of who I am, my facade will fall apart, and people will finally see that I am not superhuman, but in fact just human with faults and vulnerabilities and failures.

I'm thinking about a conversation that touched me so much last night. "You did good work and that's what you should be proud of." Or at least that's what I heard. It touched me because it was validation for the work I accomplished, the role I was, the identity I created. February 2nd that got stripped away from me, and now I realize this is just another way to get to who I am. I am not my job, I am not my surgery, I am not my weight.

Let me repeat that in a different way, I am not what I identify myself with. Surgery, weight, failure, success, job, title, class, money, ability, etc. All that can be stripped away. What's left is who I am.

Now here's the fun part-- who is that? If I cannot identify myself with things outside myself, who am I?

It seems too much to manage right now, but to be honest, it's a great place to start again. To begin something extraordinary. I say "that is past, now to move forward."

Maddie's gone physically. I don't feel her around my waist, clutching me, anymore. She's holding onto various other parts of me, but I can entangle myself. I can honor her for what she has done for me, but she, in essence, has been reduced in force. It has nothing to do with her job performance, but instead her position of protector and stuffer down of feelings has been eliminated.

I feel super free right now. And I have not smoked in 10 days. And I am being sad and weepy and allowing that to happen. No stuffing anything down.

Begin again, it's a beautiful place to be. I get to choose to keep roadblocking myself, or I choose something different. I'm in the inquiry right now.

Again, a beautiful place to be.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

After the Dentist.....

So after the dentist (which really did nothing) I went into St. Patrick's Cathedral and sat. I had a couple of hours to kill, and being in a very beautiful almost quiet place might just be the place to calm my blues and have me get to the bottom of the blues.

I sat. I prayed. I prayed. I always talk to God in some unorganized way, I believe that organized religion is worthwhile for those that find it worthwhile, much like the biking (hiking, camping, singing, theater, BDSM, kite-flying, vegan, recovery, etc etc) community is worthwhile for those that find it worthwhile. I am not against nor for. My spirituality is uncovered in the shades of gray (grey?) that is between cake or death.

So I am sitting there talking to God. Pouring my little heart out.

"Why me, why did I have to lose my fabulous "I love my job" job? Why did you give me everything and then take it away? Why can't I find anything that I love as much, why am I sitting on a pew in a church with tourists swarming around me taking pictures, bawling.

Why does this keep happening to me, I find something extraordinary and then I lose it? This has to be my fault, right? How come I just didn't get along with that woman and suck it up, why didn't I play the political game and make friends and make nice with that other guy and jockey for a better position. Why did I have to be so sure of myself, why did I have to be so snarky.

I MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG, I AM BAD!!! THIS IS MY PUNISHMENT!

I know this is my fault, I did something wrong and my dream job got taken away and it's gone forever and it's never coming back and I am going to have to find something to pay the bills and I am scared that I won't get recognized for the good work that I do, and I am so so scared that James and I are not going to make it financially because he is so scared of trying to find something with his passion and it's taking everything I have to support him emotionally so that he can get up and move in here already and I am just so tired and so exhausted and I can't even eat to shove this all down, I can't drink and I quit smoking.
"

(bawling bawling, snotting crying, more why me's and finally, like a baby that cries themself calm, I sat. Sat for a hour. Just sitting, thinking, smelling the incense, rage-less against the world, taking in the sounds of people and marble floors and the cool cool of the Church. And calmed down. And said thank you)

"So I know you must have some delicious master plan that I am not privy to at this point but really, God, I love you and thank you for my health and my family and showing me that miracles do happen and confidence comes from self, not from others. But if you could just show me a sign of some sort that would have me know that I'll be okay and I'll get through this, I'd really appreciate it."


Upon leaving Church, having calmed down considerably, I tooled around before visiting a friend after work. I called my mom--the woman who two days after my layoff said "you might want to consider taking things you wouldn't normally take" and that "I can put you on my payroll again". I know she means well, but her words come at me and linger with me like little teeny tiny knives, and she has no idea that she's doing it. She says I am too sensitive, I say that I am human and don't think being mean is the same as being funny-- just because it makes you laugh it is not humor.

I don't know why I reached out to her, except I was sitting at a fountain in Rockefeller center wanting to smoke but not going to-- and I needed my mommy because I was about to cry again. At first she said "Don't be sad" but after I explained that I have nothing that will help me hold this down and it's just coming up-- she said-- cry all you want, baby. It's okay. You are going to be just fine, you'll find something better and it will be the next adventure."

She gave me permission to mourn. Actually encouraged me to mourn, to be sad, to get away for a couple days, to just be. That's my sign. My mom gave me that sign. She said "You have been trying to be brave and you just need some time away to regroup to be sad. You have to or else it's going to eat you up inside."

So, I am mourning-- full out crying and snotting and sad and angry and everything mourning. I loved loved loved my job, so I am sure there will be posts about it in the future. And yes, I have so many things to be thankful for, so I am going to do my best to be thankful and joyous for the things I do have, and contemplate on the things I don't, and grieve the things I have lost. And one day soon, I will pick myself up and dust myself off and say ENOUGH and begin again.

Until then, I am going to snot and cry over here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blue

I'm blue today. On the verge of tears. Nothing seems to be helping.

Maybe it's the dentist appointment that I have in an hour. That's probably it.

More later-- Just blue. I'm allowed, right? I don't have to always smile, right? I don't have to always look on the bright side, I mean, people do have shitty days, and maybe today is one of them.

Oh, and I quit smoking yesterday. So blue and angry and de-carbing. By the end of the week I'll have a whole new perspective, possibly even a sunny disposition, but for now, blue. And angry.

And bored. And confused, and upset and concerned and overwhelmed and underwhelmed and sad and tired and and and.....

but mostly blue.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Rose Candle

It was the end of 1996 or early 1997 and my gramma came to visit my parents in CT. It would be the last time she took an extensive trip from home, as she died in Jan 2001.

I purchased the Rose candle-- that stupid Diana candle-- the English rose.

I gave one to my mom and one to gramma. Gramma was staying in my room-- she had the comfy bed, she had italian ice that she scraped every night (which drove my father to distraction) and she read every sign along the way to and from the grocery, on long drives, etc (Dip, 55 miles per hour, Road Construction ahead). I guess as we get older, we will all do this things. How I miss it so.

Gramma wasn't feeling well. She caught a cold and had terrible nightmares. She had not been terribly holed up in her house yet, but was soon going to be. She needed to be in bed before mom and pop started on their nightly routine, which was to drink themselves into a stupor, turn up the TV and eat leftovers until about 1am, to which their passed out selves would haul up to bed and then wake up at 5am to start the day again. I still can't figure out how they never have a hangover.

I stayed in the room next to Gramma. One night, after a terrible nightmare, I walked into her room to calm her down and knocked over a glass on the nightstand, along with the asprin I was bringing her. Since I didn't have slippers on, I kicked the glass under the bed so that she wouldn't step on it, along with a few of the pills. She said "Just sit with me a while." so I did.

At the end of her bed I lightly rubbed her legs, talking about how my life in NYC was so different from college, and the people I was meeting were so exciting and lovely, and that I finally felt like a grown up in the grown up world I had always lived in. She told me that she wished I would have had more of a childhood and not have taken care of so many people, but that she understood that this was my purpose in life, and that no matter how scared I was of blood and needles, that I would always be a nurse of some sort, just like she was. And that she was proud of me.

I brought in the candle and asked her if she wanted me to light it. It smelled so good, like her hand lotion when I was a little kid that I loved so much, and I wanted to share it with her. It was getting late, and she said "Don't light it, just keep it open and it will be just perfect." I tucked her back into bed, making sure that she had a full glass of water next to her (in a plastic cup this time) and her slippers nearby for bathroom runs. The next morning, I could smell the rose candle in the hallway-- it was delicious, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I could take on the day, knowing she was right there, snoring lightly in my bed, because that CT house finally felt like home.

Years passed, she passed. I spent months and years missing her from the bottom of my heart-- of my soul. She was my best friend, I took care of her from far away and I surprised her with trips out to CA after I had moved to NYC, with little lunches and naptimes and cuddles and love. Sometimes I think the world will be so much of a better place if I can just crawl into her lap and tell her I had an accident and she will rock me and say "It's okay, I still love you."

When I met James, it was about 3 weeks before my birthday. For my first birthday with James, he gave me a bottle of Sunflowers. My last Christmas gift from Gramma was a bottle of Sunflowers perfume. It was like she blessed it from the heavens above and said "This one you can give your heart to." When I told my mom, we cried together, and this is how I know he's the one forever.

Over the summer, I found the unlit rose candle and brought it to my apartment. Tonight I have it burning, and all these great memories of Gramma come flooding back, swimming in her pool, the red chair, going on motorhome trips, olives in the egg salad, going to Mexico and eating homemade tortillas, the soft soft skin in her skirted bathing suit, her loving gentle and kind ways, her lilting voice, her square nails, her perfect hair, and all the best things that every girl should remember about her Gramma. She taught me how to make pancakes, how to be quiet when necessary, how to fight back and how to love with all my heart. It is because of her that I am generous and forgiving, for if she was nothing else, she was that.

So, I miss her. I always will. I can still see her face and hear her voice. When she died, my friend Dan held me in his arms and cried with me. The last words she said to me in her hospital bed were "I talk to you here (pointing to her heart). I love you forever."

I love you too. And the smell of roses has never been the same for me since.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Being Honest

I ate an entire pizza today.

I threw away the bread on all slices but 3.

And I ate the crust from the strawberry pie. I haven't gotten out of my jammies and need a shower.

Just being honest. I'm ebbing, I'm flowing. I'm speaking my truth. I have no control over food, other than if I eat too much I get sick.

I still love myself, warts and all. But today was a dark day-- nothing exceptional happened. Just pizza.

It's just a reminder that taking care of myself is a conversation I have to keep open and honest and loving. And keep enrolling myself in my health and fitness and most of all, that I am worthy. I am worth it.
I AM WORTH IT.

It doesn't matter what the IT is-- I am worth it.

I am worth:
the effort to get and stay healthy
being a non smoker
being an active physical adult
all the energy it takes to keep me healthy
an amazing new job
balance in my life
a clean house
bills paid on time
good healthy food
all my vitamins
a healthy relationship with people I love
the hard conversations
joy and love and happiness

I am worth it all. I'm fucking priceless and I keep the unheard voice telling me that "tomorrow" will be better. So for now, tomorrow will be better than today.

That's all. It's not a bypass on the brain. It's just rearranging the guts. Old habits die hard. I may have killed this habit tonight.

I am worth it.

Don't worry, just being honest. It's a good place to start-- to come clean.

Little Bit of Love

The Road Trip went great. I spent time with family, although never enough. Both James and I think that my brother doesn't like us-- he always seems distracted and angry, but I think that's just his way. James is such a grounding force, I got choked up when my niece wanted to go shopping, but I didn't have the money to go, and I went outside for some air. He came out and just hugged me-- we'll get through this. I love this man so much.

The trip back was full of rain-- the whole way. It sucked. Rain rain rain. We stayed overnight in Fredrickburg and had a lovely room, some TV watching and snuggle time. We are great road partners-- I am an awesome co-pilot. The one time I was driving, he upgraded me to the better cup holder-- it was delightful! That is love.

During my time away, I received some packages of vitamins and Avon. the vitamins are the ones that everyone is raving about, chewable calcium. I have to say, I'm not raving. I will mostly like fall in love with them soon enough, but for now, I am getting over the grit. It's better than the lozenges, and I will most likely use them as candies throughout the day, but come on-- it's not candy. It's vitamins. So of course, they are going to be slightly gritty and odd. However, a marked improvement over previous supplements.

I tried Click. I am buzzing. One shake and I have to run around my house cleaning and have so much get up and go. I love it. As a reminder to myself, Click is for the morning only-- because otherwise it would be too much.

Getting back into the swing of things. I have less than a month on my NYSC membership, and am going to work out every day until it's over. Then switch to Planet Fitness (for $50 less per month) . I am down a couple pounds over the last month, and am feeling stronger. Nothing like seeing arm flab in the rearview mirror to have me step away from the chips.

We made sandwiches and realtively healthy things for the ride down and back. In all, we did pretty good-- lots of cheese and crackers in the car for me, but I didn't eat too much during family gatherings. I had half of a cupcake at the Communion, and then wanted to crash out. Reminder that sugar is not my friend.

This morning, I tossed the rest of the road food away. Ecept for a lovely almost sugar free strawberry pie my aunt sent back with us. I had two slices last night, and am saving one for today and then I am tossing it. I just can't have that kind of sabotague in my fridge.

Job search: i am getting concerned. For me, for friends. I had a moment last night where I got really creative and thought of all the things I could do until the economy turns around again-- like working in retail, grocery stores, etc-- so I will keep my eyes open while I am searching for something spectacular. I feel like I should secure something in the next few weeks, but then that feeling goes away (doubt creeps in). I have to remember I am worth every penny that was paid to me by my former company. I did an excellent job, sacrificed a lot of time, and now am seeking balance.

Best quote of the trip: Sitting on the couch last night, I said to James:
"I Love you very much. You are my world. I opened the door to the outside for you, and you opened the door to the inside. Thank you. I will love you forever."

His response: (tears in his eyes) "Me too. You always say what I am thinking. Thank you for being my first love."

Awww.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Road Trip

Today James and I drive to NC to visit family and see my youngest niece (as of now) have her first communion. Ahh, how exciting!

I am packed, I need to shower, but lists are made and there are trains to catch to see my honey and stock up on some road food. We try to do it on the cheap, and on the healthy. Over the summer we went to Canada and did sammiches and chips, this time it will be a little different.

My list?

Ham, swiss (his choice, not mine), mini cheeses, rye, peanut butter, apples, grapes, celery, pretzel rods (again, his choice, not mine) yogurt and a couple sodas. Perhaps I might get some chips, but most likely will stick with fruits and veggies as crunchy foods.

I am also taking some WW mini bars. Those things are freaking awesome.

I love road trips. I made a playlist for our time, he has XM so we will be just fine with grooving in the car. Both of us love to sing with the radio anyhow, and I think we have some great driving tunes to get us by.

I'm excited to see the family. Nervous, because something always comes up, someone's feelings gets hurt, and there is never enough time. One thing I realized yesterday is that I am a missing in my neices and nephew's lives. I have no idea what they are into, what bands they like, what their favroite superhero is. These are important things to know. This weekend I made a promise to myself to get to the bottom of these questions.

Wish me luck. On the road, with the family, and staying on track. It's a bright sunshiney day, and I am just loving life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Updates and a Promise

Hey there everyone....

Well, Spring seems to have hit. This past weekend was chock full of spring cleaning-- the great wardrobe clear out, a little cash and a cute new dress purchased. I've gone through books and boxes and bags of things, things that I stuff away when guests come over. I have cleared out the carb monster from the cabinets, every now and again I'll have a cookie/ donut/ crackers-- but overall, feeling very clean and fresh.

I spent the better part of April temping at a hotel in the city. A very nice hotel. Where I worked as a Sales Coordinator in the basement. So all day I saw nothing but beige walls and the cafeteria. It was nice to have free food, but it's hotel food, so not great. I was happy when the temp job ended, the money was nice, but I wasn't making much more than on unemployment. And I wasn't able to job search or get emails or texts, because of security and well, being in the basement sucks. I did learn that hotels don't pay anything and think $950 for a standard room is reasonable. Really? Yes.

Yesterday I spent the day outside, basking in the sun, running errands. I just have to be outside when it's sunny and not humid-- it makes such a difference in my outlook. And considering my Vitamin D levels were a little bit low, it doesn't hurt to get a little sun. I found a great place to have my shoes fixed, and now have almost brand new boots and sandals for less than the cost of replacing them. Nice.

Sunday was glorious. James and I went to the park for a picnic and laid a blanket on the ground, ate grapes and meat and cheese and crackers, then he took a nap and I read. And we just got to be with each other without being on the couch (house poor) or going out (lack of money prevents this). For about $10, we ate and drank and loved each other and got some fresh air. We could have done it even cheaper, but it was a last minute thought, and it was a wonderful way to spend our 11-month anniversary.

Yes, I am still counting the months. We are almost upon a year of our first meeting, and I still can't believe it's true. I just love him so much, and I know he loves me. I am so lucky, he has no problem expressing his emotions, and he's such a mush, we get misty together. He cries, I cry, and we love each other. Life is grand. He is moving in slowly but surely, by the middle of May, he'll be here full time. Wow.

I am decidedly less of a big girl than before. It's been about a year since I have lost anything significant. I am on WW to keep a journal. I figured now that I have about 60-80 pounds to lose, I can do it like everyone else, diet, exercise, and use my pouch as a tool. I no longer have to beat myself up. I go to the meetings, I weigh in, and I listen. I am looking forward to getting to the 10% goal, and hopefully that will be before my birthday. I've gone back to the gym, I've got a plan, and I have some balance.

As for the job search, I go in fits and starts. My expectations have lowered, but I am looking. I don't have a lot of pride when it comes to work, I am looking to be at a great place, where I can make a difference, I make an impact, am valued, can influence others and makes a decent salary. I don't need to be rich, I'd like for both James and myself to be out of debt, and then save for a place of our own.

I think about the future and I see promise. I see lots of promise. So my promise to you is that I will write at least once a week. I have the time, I just avoid it because I feel like this blog was about uncovering myself during weightloss, and then when I stopped losing, there was a failure. But that is not true. I am still uncovering myself, in a beautiful and gentle way. Like I said, there is more balance in my life now than ever. I feel great about that.

So ladies, what's going on with you?

Much love--

Kim

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A lot of Time on my hands

Since I have begun the great job search of 2009, I have a lot of time on my hands. This marks the second morning in a row where I have woken up on the couch with all the lights on. I know I am not taking care of myself-- late night eating, drinking wine, smoking, doing all the things I know better than to do.

I still don't feel depressed that I lost my job. A little sad, upset that I don't have a schedule to adhere to. What I think I hate the most is the vast ocean of time that I have to fill in. Everything feels like an emergency, if there is a job that looks interesting, I get sweaty and start thinking about going back to work in a made up environment with bitchy new boss, and that gets me down. I think the last few weeks of working at that place was a bit of a blow to my ego.

Prior to December, I had a great boss who was understanding, sometimes too much, and I worked hard. I did all my work, and did it well. When the new one came on board, not so much. My time was managed for me, I was no longer doing the same things I had been doing before. And to top it off, I was burned out. I traveled a ton, I worked my little heart out, I didn't take sick days when I was sick, I just worked from home, usually late into the night.

Awww. That's over now.

So I have a lot of time on my hands. And am filling the days.

Today I have chosen to de-tox from the carb monster. And to let go of this old stuff that surrounds me. I have a resume to get into tip-top shape, and after that have a gym appointment, and then have some massive house clearing to do. I want to attack the bathroom first, without going into to much of it, when I clear my bathroom of filth, my world seems better. I can handle things, i don't hold on too much.

I now have the time to track food on fitday. And finish some projects. My days need to be broken up so that I actually go outside for a good portion-- either running errands or just getting out of the house. The stale winter heated air is no good to be in for too long.

I'm doing fine, but on the verge of slipping into a funk. I am pre-empting that with activity. Deadlines. Re-done resume by 1, gym by 2, bathroom cleaned by 4. Music playing no TV. No couch sitting. And drinking my 70 oz of water a day.......

And how are you? I want to thank everyone who gives me support and loves me. Thank you. You make this part go so much easier because I feel like I have a support system.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Keep on moving

I am hanging in. Smoking on and off. Wanting to quit, not wanting to quit.

It's Valentine's this weekend. I have for the first time ever, a Valentine.

(this is the part when I get the phone call and he breaks up with me)....... nope. The phone is not ringing. He is with me for good.

See, my world doesn't always have to completely fall apart.

Going on interviews, re-doing resumes. Breathing in and out. Applied for unemployment, will start getting that next week. And life goes on.

To the gym in the AM and then dog walking in the afternoon. And then a weekend with Mister.

I'm hanging in. Eating about 1800 cals a day. Not working out as much, but small steps.

Friday, February 06, 2009

What Did I Do?

Some folks who only know me from blog-space are inquiring, what did I do..... before the job was lost. So here goes.

I, in effect, ran a global training program for an Business Intelligence company that was not the CIA. If it were the CIA, I would still be employed. In fact it wasn't government related at all. I coordinated and managed training events-- from conception (we need a conference in Latin America) to wrap up (And here's three cheers from sunny Mexico City). I worked with experts in the field of investigations and intelligence internally, to get their experience translated to some sort of training-- either with interactive case studies for junior folks, or sales training for consultants for senior folks. I put butts in airplanes, butts in hotels rooms, butts in training rooms. I managed vendors and contracts, hosted cocktail parties, networked at meet and greets, remembered most everyone's name, managed a couple of international teams of admins to help the show run smoothly. I am, by all means, the most connected person at my former company. And everyone who worked with me knows that.

I worked with former CIA, FBI, international journalists, KGB, Secret Service, MI5/6, department of justice attorneys, DA's, think-tank-ers, French Intelligence, Spanish Intelligence, NGO, DEA (I know the guy who brought down Escobar), British Intel, Accountants, Japanese Royal Guards, corporate lawyers, military, investigators, consultants, gum-shoes, etc etc. At any given event, I was surrounded by people who during the cold war or coup were on opposite sides, and now because of my event, were drinking/dancing/laughing/learning together. I know some of the folks I worked with had extraordinary careers and lives prior to the company, and now their knowledge was being transferred to useful applications by me.

In essence, I got to host events, create training, and develop relationships with an extraordinary lot of folks who I will miss tremendously. I have had calls from around the world-- Japan, China, UK, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, etc, etc. I am missed.

I went to lunch with the Big City junior folks today. And I got to say goodbye in my usual fashion. With a drink in one hand, a smile on my face, and I'll see you again soon. I know I will.

And that is what I did. Makes me think I should write about the experiences I had.

Hmmm.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

This week

This week has been both good and terrible. On Monday I rested up from Superbowl with a massive headache (I didn't drink at all) and watched movies. Just had a day off. Then Tuesday I got the news....

"As you know, the economy is bad and we are facing cutbacks. We are eliminating your position."
And so on and so forth.

I was okay until I realized I had to have health insurance. Had to. No questions, absolutely had to. I started bawling. The nicest friend in HR had to go through the package with me, and I feel terrible for her, because this is like the last thing she wanted to do.

So I packed up my things, said goodbye to a lot of people I love and who love me and walked out the doors with my head held high.

Yes, I cried. A lot. I didn't do anything wrong, but damn it felt like it.

Then I made a plan. Working my network, asking for help. Telling my folks wasn't easy, but they are super supportive. Then James came over and I cried and wallowed, but not as much as he expected.

Wednesday I got up, put on tennis shoes, went to the gym and worked out. Then worked my facebook, LinkedIn, my connections. Got phone calls from around the globe-- Tokyo, China, Brazil, London, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Colombia, Hong Kong. Send resumes out to friends and co-workers for help, advice, consultation. Finally sat down to dinner at 7:30 and on the couch at 8. Fell asleep there.

Woke up Thursday, worked some more connections. Went to a great friend's house and played with her and the baby. Got baby hugs and kisses. Went to Dr. appt #1, got everything I needed there. Bought some candy (mostly sugar free) at Dylan's candy bar, and took the train home.

I feel great. I am not falling apart. Tonight I will Wii. In terms of food, I am doing super great. Eating at meal times, bringing snacks with me. Taking care of myself. And I am down a couple pounds.

I am sad I will not get the chance to see my co-workers turned into friends again. I don't know when I will ever be in far off places again. I am so happy for the ride-- getting to be on the great wall, seeing tango in buenos airies, hitting the disco in Mexico city, eating crossaints in Paris, shopping at Marble arch in London, sipping martinis in Shanghai over the Bund, sailing in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, swimming in the Mediterranian Sea in Majorca, sipping wine on the farm in BA, touring the war shrine in Tokyo, throwing plates at the Greek Place in Miami, shooting pool in Chicago, sweating it out in Minnesota, and boot scooting in Nashville. But what a great fucking ride.

Ahh, and life begins again. Thanks for the ping anon. I needed that.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I think I love you

I went to therapy last night. Just prior I thought it was a very good idea to get some protein in me, so I ate peanuts and m7m's. My own version of trail mix. After 2 handfuls and careful chewing, I got that pressure in my breastbone that is indicative of "I am going to have to puke".

Went to the not quite public bathroom and retched for 30 mins. Stuck my finger down my throat and had this foamy goop come up tasting of peanuts and sweet. As a WLS patient, you don't really throw up like before with amounts of puke-- you are like a cat that has a furball. And nothing feels better than when that crap that is causing the pressure is out.

So, this is time #2 of having regular sugar mixed with protein that had me get sick sick sick. Folks, the pouch is working. It is working. Sugar be gone. It feels terrible to know that I did this to myself, but awesome to say-- that's okay. It's working. Now stop testing the waters and eat in a way that will have you take care of yourself.

I've been writing down all that I have been eating for the week. And I am at about 2100 calories per day. And this was a good exercise to know a couple things. 1) I eat every 2 hours. Not that I am hungry, but that's what I do. Graze. A piece of cheese, a banana, multigrain chips, oatmeal, protein drink, sugar free chocolate bites, half a sandwich, pb and apple. 2) I don't drink enough water, and when I do, it's about 30 mins after the last graze. 3) I drink about 3 cups of coffee a day without even noticing it. 4) I cannot eat 2100 cals a day and think I am going to lose weight.

Project for the weekend and into the week: Eat 3 meals, 1-2 snacks. Keep writing it down. No bites, no tastes. In the "I'm hungry" phase between meals, drink water. Cut the coffee to 1 cup and after the morning cup, tea.

Sunday: Begin 2 week exercise program of 30 mins a day. 3 days Wii, 4 days gym. At the gym, do cardio AND weights. Start working on those muscles. Take one class. Just one.

And then let's write every day. Tell you, my friends how it is going. And then keep on me. If you haven't heard from me in a day, ping me "where are you?".

I know myself well enough to know I cannot be accountable to me. But to you, I bet I can.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday

Drinking coffee, perusing blogs.

I went shopping last night for bras. As an adult I've ever really only shopped in the plus sized stores. I went back to them to try on the smallest they had. Which fit well, so I bought them there.

The retail sales assistants used to be nicer to me when I was heavier. I asked one why the rack was turned the opposite way-- it wasn't easy to pull the clothes off the rack. And they were jammed. She said that she was following managers orders and that she didn't agree with it as well. When I went to check out, turns out, she is the manager. I pointed that out to her "Oh, so you are the manager?" She looked at me and said "I don't know why people like you shop in here. There are other stores for you."

I wanted to scream back 'I shop here because I am comfortable here. Because I am right on the verge of all of this being too big and it scares me, I have only known these sizes and these styles my whole life. I know how to put together an outfit from your clothes and look amazing, and shopping in the regular sized stores is like walking into the chocolate river room of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. I have no idea where to look, the colors are overwhelming, and what if I pick the wrong thing? What if I go to the river and fall in? What if those sales assistants look at me and ask if I am shopping for someone else? Don't you want my damn money?'

True-- i was being bitchy. It was really hard to pull things off the racks. But c'mon.
I smiled, didn't say anything, and moved on. Maybe she just said it in her head. Maybe she didn't say it at all. Maybe her withering stare will push me to never give them another dime.

I'm in-between. I've been in between for a very long while, and to tell the truth, it's comfortable here. I don't have to be entirely responsible for being a straight size yet, and I can't wear most of the LB things. I hated me when I was bigger-- that girl that really should try another store. However, I am still 100 pounds overweight. So I still have the big girl cred. I don't know if being in-between has me be comfortable or not, it's always just back and forth.

My end point. I want my end point to be 190 pounds. Or thereabouts. That would be another 75 pounds lost. It's not going to make me happier, but it's a goal to achieve. 190.

After surgery, there is still diet and exercise. And dealing with emotions and working on stuff, and being mad that chips are not a food group (I was never a chip eater before) and that no matter how much protein cream cheese has, it's not a meal when it's on a cupcake. I'm a lucky one, I don't dump easily. I in fact try to dump, try to overeat to teach myself a lesson, do a little mental flogging if you will. There is still portion control, and being an adult and saying that's enough right before its too much.

I'm healing. The scars of surgery have faded, but I am still healing. and so I ask of you to keep me in your thoughts, send me good wishes through the ether, and love me as I am. Because right now, it's really hard for me to do that for myself.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday is Gym Day

I didn't want to get up this morning.

I put myself to bed last night after having eaten 2/3 of a pumpkin cupcake. Blech. I felt gross, so gross that I spit out the last bite. I laid on the couch for a while watching Intervention-- love that show. Then off to sleepytime.

It was 10:30. Wow.

So this morning I woke up at 6:45 well rested. I got over 7 hours sleep (I read a little before closing my eyes), and felt great. I was talking myself both in and out of the gym.

I realize that when I go to the gym I make it a huge production. I should instead think of it like running to the ATM, or getting stamps. I don't need all this other stuff-- magazine, water, ipod, lock, etc-- if I am just going for 30 mins to do the treadmill. I'm not going on a twenty hour car ride.

Did my 30 mins. Feel good. Drank my coffee, feel even more awake than usual. Jump starting my day is not a bad thing for me. I have more energy and feel stronger.

No promises on when I am going to the gym again. However it's 13 weeks until Easter. So maybe I'll think of a little game to play in the next week or so. Not that Easter is a really big deal, but it might be fun to be born anew when the bunny shows up.

I'm not playing the de-lurking game. I read about 7 blogs a day, and so I will mention them here: Eggface, Melting Mama, Ammie, She's a Rebel/Saint, Elastic Waist (waa!) and two un-WLS related. I check in on others that don't post as much but love to hear what they have to say when they do. Hello all. Comment if you want, but there is no need. Actually, being a reformed actress, I like not being able to see who's out in the audience past the first row or two. Just clap and laugh when appropriate.

Happy Tuesday.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I don't like being fixed

That sounds strange. I am not fixed like a dog, so no worries there.

I have a friend who gives advice and is constantly telling me how things should be. I know it frustrates me because I do the same thing to other people.

We were having a conversation about her niece who's 12 and overweight, eating out of boredom and although active, not social. My friend is scared that she'll never be accepted because she doesn't dress right, she's sloppy and her fashion sense leaves a lot to be desired. She said "She's overweight and it will just be harder for her to get a boyfriend if she doesn't shape up now."

Now let's dissect this:

She's overweight: yes, she is. And she's active and in sports and not slimming down.

get a boyfriend:
what exactly does that mean? She has to go out and get one off the shelf like a rump roast before a storm? That she will not have the chance of being with other 12-15 year old smelly awkward pimply boys that are just out of video games to the real world of girls? Boys that are more interested in fart jokes and guitar hero than pimply faced, too much makeup wearing girls? Or boys that are so horny that all they want to do are things that no one at that age is ready for-- and then perhaps she can be another statistic, because, well, her family thinks that it is more important to have a boyfriend than not, so if that's how she has to keep him, then she will-- or else she'll NEVER GET ANOTHER ONE!!!!

if she doesn't shape up now:
so, if she doesn't take her loving aunt's advice, she will be forever reminded of her inability to shape up and that is why she is single, slightly overweight, living alone with her cat as the most important person in her life. Like her aunt. Because it will be TOO LATE.

Okay that was bitchy. But I think her aunt sees her own mistakes in her niece and wants to change them.

Have you ever watched the face of someone realizing that they have just said something so entirely inappropriate to the wrong person? My poor friend. As she's going on about this, I turn and say-- you've just described me.

Scene: about 1984, 5th grade, right after school, septemberish.
My mom picks me up from school, I get an ice cream cone at Mickey D's. Mom asks what was going on at school that day-- Volleyball tryouts. Mom is mad, why aren't you trying out, you like volleyball-- yeah, but that is for the skinny girls, the athletic ones. I'm not that. Maybe if I lose weight I'll do it next year.
Mom tells me to get on my PE uniform and we go back to school. I try out and make the team. I am good. I return home and my forgotten cone has melted all over my dresser.

Up until I write this, I was trying to make my mom the bad guy. I just wanted an ice cream, and she punished me. I mean, she did say some nasty things about weight while I was getting dressed, but that's besides the point. What she did do is not make me "wait until I had lost weight" or let me believe I was anything less than. She didn't encourage, but forced me to participate in sports in junior high. And she was right-- I was good.

I was also the tallest, fattest, fastest kid out there. I always started, and I played every game. I mostly wanted to sit on the bench and talk to the other girls, but NO I had to play.

See, i am trying to make my mom wrong. But wow, thanks mom for getting me out there, regardless of the words you used. I have confidence in my athletic ability and always have-- never letting weight keep me back from wanting to do things. And YOU did that for me. It might have felt like punishment at the time, but because of your belief in me, I can do anything, I am super graceful and I am not afraid to be the first one in the pool!

Anyhow, I tell my friend this and she goes white. Then she asks what would have made a difference for me.

1) Mom saying :
"You know my struggles with weight, and I am concerned that you are going to have the same struggles. The body processes food this way (and explain) and we need less because we are not as active (and explain that watching tv/ playing piano/ sitting on the couch expends x calories, while walking/ bike riding/ etc expends this much). And I need your help. I want to be a good role model for you. And I am afraid I have failed. So will you help me? I will plan meals and portions for us-- and it is going to seem like you are not getting your fair share because daddy and keith get more-- but it's because right now we just need less. You and I will have slow races with dinner-- who can chew their food the longest-- and we'll add up the calories we've expended through the day to see where we are. And then maybe we can cook together and you can plan meals.
Sometimes we will have treats. And when we have treats we can celebrate because treats are special. But if you have them every day, it's no longer special. Maybe once a week you can pick the treat you want, and have it, guilt free. And you can enjoy it. I will do the same, I promise I won't hide chocolate under my front seat of the car and pretend it's not there. It's a bad habit I have.
And regardless if you ever loose weight or exercise, I will love you. I will love you any size and any shape and I hope you will do the same for me. Because I am just trying to be the best mom I know how to be, and I want to be healthy and I want you to be healthy too. You didn't do anything wrong, we are just going to do something different and do it together. We are an unstoppable team. And I love you and am so proud of everything you do."
And then stick to it. If it didn't work out after a month, re-evaluate and talk about it rather than forget it.

2) Dad
"I love you. I know it's tough being a kid. Come over here and let me hold you. I miss you when I am on business. I promise I will stay home more. Do I ever tell you how proud I am of you? No, well i am. You make me so proud to be your daddy. You are my little girl and I love you."

3) Keith
"Do you want to go outside and play? I am sorry I made you cry. I promise I'll stop teasing."

That would have made a difference for me.

I guess what I want to say is that I don't like being fixed. And I am sure my friend's niece doesn't like it either. And I guess rather than treating weight and the abundance of it like a problem that is punishable like a crime, treat the stuff behind it- and then solutions will arise on their own.