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Friday, October 30, 2009


I keep turning the key in the ignition of this wagon thing, but it's not going anywhere. It just goes "rawr-rawr-rawr-rawr-putt-putt-die" over and over again.

Every now and then, the clutch will catch, the wagon will lurch forward in a burst of speed and accomplishment, and then it just dies again.

This is all quite frustrating.

However, I have more or less kept the thing from rolling backward. In the past, when the wagon wouldn't start, it seemed as though I would roll it to the top of the nearest hill and let it coast down in reverse until it was going too fast to stop. Finally, it would crash into Fat Me. Fat Me, sitting like a lump at the bottom of that hill, looking up the slope and wondering how in the HELL I was ever going to get to the top with a broken-ass wagon.

I need to look at this stalled out moment from a new perspective. Not one of failure and misery, but of mild success in preventing a full-on reversal of what weight I have lost. Though I have been hovering around the same weights for quite a while, now, they are (on average) about 10-pounds lighter than my stalling point weights of the past. I have dipped into the 280s before, but I have never LIVED in them, which is what I am doing right now.

As soon as I can kick this bitch into gear again, I will be well on my way to the 270s and closer to fitting into the jeans hanging on my bedroom wall than I ever have been before.

Let's kick the tires and light the fires, people.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Canned Motivation

129.0kg (284.4lbs)

"Have you lost weight?"

"You look great!"

"Wow, what have you been doing?!"

Canned phrases. Cliche chatter. Obligatory small talk.

Maximum motivation.

I went to a meeting yesterday with people I see very rarely (3-4 times a year) and several of them made a point of mentioning my weight loss.

As with any job-well-done, recognition and praise is a major factor in keeping up the same level of performance. Our meeting could not have come at a better time for me. It was nice to be amongst a group of people who were not afraid to offer up so much canned motivation without fear of embarrassing themselves or causing me embarrassment. The general Japanese feeling about mentioning someone's weight changing, either positively or negatively, revolves around that embarrassment and they generally will not do it. I remember when I went back to Kashiwazaki a couple of years ago (I had lost weight compared to the size I'd been when I'd left) and a math teacher who I'd always gotten along with said he'd been really surprised when he saw me walk into the school... and a female teacher smacked him and called him rude. As if!

When someone has obviously been working so hard to better themselves, let us know that you noticed!

This past week, for the first time that I can remember (of the hundreds of times I have started living a 'healthy lifestyle'), I suffered withdrawal symptoms. I don't know what was different... maybe it's just the fact that I am edging ever closer to 30 and my body is going to start doing things differently... but it was hell.

Physically, I suffered headaches, excessive fatigue, and occasional stomach pains. Mentally, I was in a bad place - depression, anger....

It was hard. It was hard to stick with it for the first three days. It's gotten easier. I've gotten my groove back (and just in time for the holiday season).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vanishing Act

When someone in the fat blogosphere disappears for a while, it is almost certainly because they have fallen off the proverbial wagon.

I fell off, ran behind it for a while trying to catch up, and then just tossed a Molotov cocktail at the fucker and danced naked around it while it burned.

This is usually how I operate. Whatever I do, whenever I do it, I do it to excess.

My very first time on a plane was from Newark to Rome. Eight hours as a first flight? Sure, why not.

My very first earthquake was the largest one in this part of Japan in 40 years. 7+ magnitude? Thanks.

EVERY time I decide to eat well, I aim for perfection (an inevitable downfall). I ate an M&M this morning, may as well eat a pile of fried food since the day is screwed.

EVERY time I decide to say screw it, I eat mini Kit-Kats by the bag full. And whole loaves of bread (a loaf is less bread in Japan than in the US, at least). And any pre-cooked (fried) food that is on sale at the supermarket.

When I got on the scale this morning, I was still under 290lbs. I was shocked that it wasn't much worse, though it was a pleasant surprise. And yet, I am thinking that it is more likely muscle atrophy than self-restraint when faced with white flour and sugar and salt and grease.

Jealousy and resentment are huge obstacles in my continuing effort to lose this 100 pounds. My Facebook status for the past 12 hours has been "Angela is tired of failing where so many others succeed with seemingly so little effort."

It's horrible, but it's true. I honestly cannot stand the number of people I know (especially in Japan) who know absolutely nothing about healthy eating, who actually hate vegetables, who don't exercise, who put in little to no effort compared to what I do.... who have lost significant amounts of weight.

It doesn't help that they can lose 20 pounds and it's immediately noticeable and amazing. No one noticed anything on me until I lost 50. And even then, I'm still huge. I honestly cannot even fathom keeping up the kind of effort I put in for another year. Or two years. And you know what? I know that it gets harder.

I know that as I lose weight, I will burn fewer calories when I exercise.

I know that my daily calorie allotment will get smaller.

I know too much to be even remotely hopeful or positive in this process.

Maybe if I knew as little as everyone else who seems to be successful, I would be successful too.

This is not as insightful as I usually try to make these posts, but I can't be deep all the time.

I'm working on being back on track today, but I have been working on that for days without success.

I hope that I can be more positive soon. Both for my sake and you readers.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fashion Show for One

You know what I'm talking about.

When you're feeling particularly slim (or particularly masochistic), you drag out all the clothes that you haven't worn in a while (or couldn't wear before) and you shake, shimmy, and squeeze into them, then parade yourself in front of your mirror, wearing mismatched outfits, sometimes only a top or only a bottom.

You tug. Pull. Cinch. Appraise.

Is this half a centimeter bigger than it was when I wore it last time? Is that because it got stretched out in the washing machine?

Did this fit this snugly last year? How the hell did I wear that in public? Oh, right, I wore a cardigan over it every time I wore it. No one needs to see the Michelin man living on my back. Guess we'll be continuing that tradition for the foreseeable future.

Yeah, you know.

I am putting a pair of pants into rotation this weekend that I bought during my trip home last Christmas. They were a little too small for public consumption when I bought them, but they're ok, now. (YAY!)

Today, I went prowling on the Lands' End website (they will ship to Japan! nowhere else, but Japan is ok.... ?!?!). Truth be told, I'm looking for something akin to a school uniform... both for Halloween and for the next fan club event that GACKT will be holding.

In the column of "the weird way that my body insists on losing weight" - my waist measures a women's (plus) size 18. My hips, however, measure out to be a 26. Thank you, proportions. You rock. So, I'm going to order a 22 and just.... hope for the best.

At any rate, I feel at least moderately successful in my one-woman fashion show - having discovered a pair of formerly un-wearable pants in the depths!!

This weekend is a weekend away. Here's hoping I keep myself in check.

(130.0kg, 286.6lbs - yes, another 3.5 pounds gone)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brighter Days

131.6kg, 290.1lbs

No, you don't need glasses. I am posting a four pound loss in a 24-hour period.

That's what happens when I get my shit together and stop eating everything within reach all day long and stuffing my face full of refined carbs and chocolate before bed.

When I woke up at 5:30 this morning (honestly, 45-minutes later than I want to be waking up for this whole 'healthy lifestyle' thing), I decided to forego my hit of downloaded trash TV (the new 90210...) and made a big pot of brothy vegetable soup, instead. I worked it out and the entire pot is under 1,000 calories... and I'm getting about 5 servings out of it, which is ridiculous and awesome. I just hope it's tasty, too.

Angela's Kimchee (Korean Spicy Pickled Cabbage) Soup

- 2 bags kimchee nabe base (maybe available in Asian supermarkets, but a pot of water with a container of kimchee tossed into it and boiled will do the same... and you can just leave the kimchee in the broth); total liquid is probably 2 liters or so?
- Sweet potato (I had 2 skinny ones; ~150g), sliced if they're skinny potatoes, chopped/diced if they're not
- Carrots (2 small-medium sized ones; ~250g), chopped
- Daikon (Mine was 1/4 cut; ~200g), quatered & sliced
- 1 block tofu (I use 400g blocks), cut into small cubes
- Mushrooms (shiitakes work well, of course; ~100g), sliced or diced
- 1 can black beans (rinsed/drained)
- Chinese cabbage (1/4 head; ~200g), cut into ribbons

You can add ANY kinds of veggies you like to this, really. I had some other stuff I'd thought of adding, too, but it was starting to overwhelm the broth! Toss everything into the boiling broth and let it cook/simmer together for a while for the flavors to mingle and the harder veggies to soften up. (Use common sense when adding your veg! Put the harder stuff in first so it cooks longer while you're chopping up the softer ones! I've tried to list them in a good order for you.)

So, yeah, for one serving of this soup (5 in my pot - they're big servings) it's about 190 calories, 4g fat, 30g carbs, 9g fiber, and 14g protien. I really couldn't ask for better stats on it.

Hopefully I'll be able to share other recipes with you as this thing progresses!!