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Friday, December 31, 2010


I went to a dietician when I was in high school. I think I've told this tale before. I hated her. But, I do remember that she told me in her reviews of my charts, I'd steadily gained an average of 10-pounds/year for several years to hit my 300-ish weight when I was 15 or 16. She said, "That doesn't sound so bad, does it?" I shook my head no, and was a little proud because, hey, at least it wasn't 20, right? "Well," she added, "If this trend continues, you'll weigh 400-pounds by the time you're 25."

Oh, well, fuck you, too, lady.

Fortunately, it did not continue (no thanks to my dietician, though). I actually did gain about 30 more pounds in high school. I graduated somewhere in the 330s. Girls from my high school graduate in white gowns. I looked like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Grad. Seriously, you should see the photos.

At any rate, in college I hovered between 290-300-pounds, depending on the day/year/finals schedule. I moved back home and was well into the 300s again before I left for Japan. In six years abroad, I managed to dip as low as 283-pounds when I was 28, a number I hadn't seen in more than a decade. I called that a 40-pound loss and was so motivated to continue, nothing could go wrong.

And then I lost my job and moved home again. The scale this morning? Around 343-pounds. I have gained approximately 60-pounds in eight months in this country.

I have been bored, depressed, angry, grieving, exhausted, and any number of emotional messes that can totally screw over an emotional eater trying desperately not to shove fistfuls of Tastycakes down her throat.

I chose not to articulate any particular resolutions for 2011. Why bother? The rest have always failed. In fact, I chose not to be awake when 2011 showed its (thus far ugly) face.

However, the fact remains that I will turn 30 in less than two months. I weigh more now than I ever have in my recorded weight history. I want to get better, but being healthy in my house is as effective as nailing Jell-O to a tree.

Still, I'll keep trying. Never mind the bloomin' onion from Outback last night, the sundaes from the night before, or the impending doom of a Domino's delivery tonight. Yeah, never mind that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Outside Looking In

I think you are worrying too much about your weight and thats maybe why you dont lose much weight :)
chubby girls can be beautiful also...just as thin girls
relax about it and eat normal, whenever you are hungry...

That's a comment made on another journal I keep. More private, friends only. The girl is young, German... thin. The comment is in response to a meme where one question was "One word to describe you" and I answered "Fat." I didn't necessarily answer that question on that day because I was feeling down and out about my butt. I would answer that question that way (on the internet) most days, simply because it's true. It's what people would remember. It's what they would say if I went missing and they had to describe me to the police. It is, for better or worse, one of my most defining features.

However, the comment got me to thinking (as comments usually do). Is that what skinny people think? That to "relax" and "eat normal, whenever you are hungry" is the cure for obesity?

For some, perhaps. Not for me.

There's a whole lot more to this mess than someone who doesn't have to deal with it could ever know.

How's this for you?

I have an eating disorder. If the first step is admitting you have a problem, there, I've just done it. *crickets* What? Oh, I get it. Girls with eating disorders are thin. Right. I see the problem here.

Your average person knows about anorexia, bulimia... in fact, your average person probably knows someone who has or had one of those disorders. The thing is, I would wager that more people know someone with Binge Eating Disorder. It's quite likely that you do. Hey, many of you know me.

I am self-diagnosed with this disorder. As mentioned in the article, most doctors don't or won't ask about the related symptoms. Not to mention, "Because it is not a recognized psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it is difficult to obtain insurance reimbursement for treatments." Super, yes?

Since coming back to the states, I've recognized all ten of the example symptoms listed on that site.

From the outside looking in, you see a fat chick... who doesn't seem to eat that much more than your average 'normal' person. You can't see her dropping $5 into the office snack box and eating a few packs of cookies on her break after everyone else has cleared out of the lounge. You can't see her ordering delivery on a day she packed her lunch... and then eating both. As with most things, you can't see what goes into making something - merely the result.

What's one word that describes you? Fat.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Losing the battles, losing the war

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more discouraging than being at a dinner table with people 1/2 or 1/3 your size who insist on turning down every piece of bread or chocolate offered to them. People who order salad and "couldn't possibly" finish it all. People who refuse dessert in the name of that chocolate chip they accidentally ate thinking that it was a poppy seed three weeks ago.

People who are better at being thin than I will EVER be, even in my wildest eating disordered dreams.

For much of my life, I was blissfully unaware that what I was eating was wildly bad for me. I was a fat kid, but generally, I was a happy kid. I was a fat teenager, and all fat teenagers are miserable. It's a universal truth. But, I was unhappy mostly because 99% of my peers were assholes who didn't have a drop of the milk of human kindness in their veins - as most fat teens' peers are.

I knew a little bit about diets and weight loss. I knew that when I went on the "Three Day Diet" with my parents when I was in high school, I lost weight. People lose weight when they only eat 500-900 calories a day 50% of the time (or more if you cheated and made it a Six Day Diet because you were that desperate). I also knew that I started passing out at the drop of a hat on that eating plan (I've passed out three times in my life - all three when I was eating an apple and some cheese for breakfast or a hot dog and some broccoli for dinner and not much else).

I knew that my friend who was born with diabetes was thin as a rail and always had been, and I envied her the disease. If I knew that M&Ms or Skittles or mini Snickers bars by the handful would probably kill me, I'd probably be thin, too. Can you imagine? I spent days as early as elementary school wishing that I had a genetic disease to help keep me thin, whether it could kill me or not. And I scoff at the reports of surveys of people saying that they'd rather lose a limb than be 20-pounds overweight. They'd rather be dead than full-on obese. "How ridiculously shallow can people be?!" I cry! I was one of them. When I was 10.

I knew that almost every boy I'd ever had a crush on had laughed at me. To my face. The ones who hadn't chose simply to ignore my existence, whether we'd been great friends before or not.

In college, I drank Slim Fast. I drank it religiously, until one morning my "breakfast" came gushing out into the sink when I brushed my teeth a little too vigorously. You never want to re-visit cappuccino-flavored protein shake from a can. Never ever.

In college, I gained confidence. I had a large circle of friends, most of whom were very trustworthy and awesome people. I had a boyfriend for a while (the first and only). I cut off my disgustingly long hair, which had been in a perpetual ponytail since elementary school. I started wearing t-shirts that let a little of my arm flab show. Hell, I started to wear tank tops.

In college, I went on Atkins. I was militant about keeping my life virtually carb-free. Until I stalled out on weight loss and then I wasn't. The idea of bacon and eggs everyday loses its luster when the scale mocks your efforts. Where's my damn Cap'n Crunch? Give me a @#$*ing BAGEL. And the weight came pouring back.

But the confidence never really left. I worked in an office for a year, brazenly confident in my work clothes (some of which I look at now and wonder what the hell I was thinking).

I went to Japan and was assaulted, daily, by swizzle sticks with nervous systems. Pixie sticks with false eyelashes. Twigs with strappy shoes and matchstick calves. Once I could understand enough of the language, I realized what many of them were saying about me and my confidence was shattered. No one could withstand six years of emotional and verbal abuse, could they? That kind of direct, unceasing onslaught would be enough for a wave to wear down a cliff to a mere rocky outcropping. I spent summers sweating to death in 3/4-sleeve black shirts that I could pretend hid the sweat and the fat and minimized the visual damage done by rolls in places no person in Japan is supposed to have rolls outside of a sumo ring.

I went to Japan and missed the United States' foodie movement in progress. I tried to keep up with it via books - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, The Ominvore's Dilemma, Food Matters, Harvest for Hope, Good Calories, Bad Calories... I devoured them as if they were the literary equivalent of the neverending pasta bowl at Olive Garden. OM NOM NOM KNOWLEDGE.

I watched PETA's infamous slaughterhouse hidden camera videos. I watched Supersize Me, Food, Inc., King Corn.

Basically, I found out that pretty much everything I'd ever eaten was bad for me. I had dreams of being the wife of a farmer like the Polyface Farms dude.

I seriously flirted with vegetarianism in Japan, but never committed because it's simply too much of a chore there. People don't understand it (and they don't want to), and they are not accommodating of alternative lifestyles.

I had high hopes of returning to the states, being able to read ingredient and nutrition labels with ease (in English!), having access to gyms and yoga classes and aerobics instructors because I had a car, totally rearranging (and improving!) my parents' lives through the auspices of perfect nutrition, the complete absence of HFCS and artificial sweeteners, and organic produce...

And then I actually got here and realized that my pipe dream rusted away the moment I set foot in this house again. I am dealing with two very stubborn and unadventurous eaters, one of whom mocks my food (and therefore my [praised by everyone else I know] cooking abilities) every chance he gets. In public. To our friends and relatives. Ain't that a confidence booster?

However, when I leave this house, I can do so fairly secure in the fact that a) I will not be the fattest person someone encounters over the course of their day (which was a given when I was in Japan) and b) I carry my weight well and look better than most who are my size (one small genetic blessing). It gives me a false sense of comfort. Complacency. It gives me permission to have a Tastycake (or a whole box) when I feel like shit about myself or my life, because, hey, it ain't as bad as that chick who has to ride the Hoveround at Wal-Mart because she's wider than she is tall. And then I feel a little better.

But then, a handful of times, I have gone out to eat with a group and there's that one person - that one skinny person - who is completely capable of making me feel like shit again.

It's irrational to hate that person. Just like it's irrational to hate the person that the usurping company placed at my former job in Japan. It isn't her fault, it's her company's fault. But I still hate her. Maybe it isn't the skinny person's fault that they're skinny.

Maybe it's genetics or maybe she really did have to work very hard at being thin for a long time. Maybe she actually deserves to be skinny. Maybe she threw in the towel a year ago, had half of her intestine removed and her innards sewn up into a tablespoon-sized pouch formerly called stomach and can't eat more than the molecules she can manage inhale while boiling salt water (in which case I DO hate her; cheater). Regardless of how she got thin, it seems as though she is shoving the issue in my fat face when she can't even stoop to putting one hand into the bread basket in the name of dinnertime fellowship and camaraderie.

Was I the only person who felt that way at dinner? (There were six of us, and five of us were fat.) Probably. I find that I am acutely aware of other people's stares, whispered words, muffled laughs, and the flick of disapproving eyes glancing at what's on my plate. Much more than most. But there it is.

This post meanders... but it covers a lot of things that have been floating around in my brain for a while. So far as the title goes... well, it's how things are going right now. I had a pretty good day today... until it wasn't. And that's how most of my days have been going. A new development (a full time job, YAY!!) should help to get things back on track for me, though.

I've realized that I've been wasting a lot of my time caring about people who don't care about themselves, and I simply don't have enough of myself to give to them AND still have some for me (which is why I know I will never have children. EVER.), and this has been screwing me over. So, I need to be done with that. I need to stop trying to satisfy other people and live to satisfy myself. That is how I succeeded before, and that's the only way it will happen again.

It's a hard lesson to learn, but harder on them than on me, I think.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Ok, yes, I feel huge, but that's not really what I'm getting at.

It's been 2.5-months since I last posted. With a post titled "Day 1." That would make today Day 75... or somewhere thereabouts.

It's not. If anything, it's some negative number. Day -20... or something. Because I've been moving decidedly backwards. I've hovered in very familiar territory over the past 75 days... Let's call it the Triple Crown (Triple Crown... ha... where's my jockey?), because it's composed of three 100s. Yes, dear readers, I've made nice with the 300-club again. I've been volleying between 300-320 for 10-weeks. No joke. I wouldn't joke about that. I remember certain optimism from early 2010, absolutely certain that I would never hit 300 again. My bad.

I am still unemployed. The number of resumes/applications I have sent off into the void for consideration is hovering nearer and nearer a triple digit. Flat-out rejections number in the teens, I suppose. I've been on three interviews, two of which rejected me and one never sent out anything even resembling a response (a Catholic school... way to be responsible, folks).

A lack of purpose and/or direction in my professional life makes it intensely difficult to maintain purpose and/or direction in my personal life. I imagine it's the same for many folks. The "why bother?" attitude permeates everything. I've stopped applying to positions that I see as a 'reach' for my skills and experiences, because writing cover letters is time-consuming and I'd rather spend that 10-minutes stuffing as many granola bars down my throat as humanly possible. And, frankly, it's the more rewarding activity of the two. The granola bars make me feel like a million bucks for the two minutes the chocolate lingers on my taste buds. The cover letters are 8.5x11 sheets of endlessly repetitive despair that lead to infinite depression in the case of the non-response, and a moment of acute pain (followed by bingeing) when a rejection letter actually comes.

I've been thinking about coming back to this blog for a while, now. I hate being that fat blogger who disappears for a while, then comes back with her tail between her legs, a hang-dog look, and 20 more pounds on her ass than when she last visited. It's like I fear that the Internet is going to smack my nose with a rolled up newspaper.

So, even though I hate being that blogger, here I am. I actually started this post with the intention of writing about TV. Television was my only respite from the place where I live when I was a kid/teen/young adult... and it is very much becoming so again. Of course, I am a fan of The Biggest Loser and Losing It With Jillian and the like... I've even given Dance Your Ass Off more than a passing glance (I'm not proud). But, the recent influx of fat-people-are-people-too! shows like Drop Dead Diva and HUGE are quite high on my list of escapist love.

HUGE is especially fantastic. Things I like:

- The fat kids at fat camp are ACTUALLY fat. Not like those 195-pound 8th-graders who used to go on the Oprah show bawling about how awful it was being SO FAT as a teenager. Then, Oprah would feel so bad for them that they got free tickets from the richest woman in the country to go to fat camp and get un-fat. I used to scream at the TV, "SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU AREN'T FAT!!!!" The HUGE kids... they really are. I wanted to go to fat camp, but we didn't even have enough money for me to get a basketball hoop; I tried to raise the most money in some charity event to win one and wound up coming in second. To a chiropractor. Who could've afforded to buy his own damn hoop. Asshole.

- Nicky Blonsky (the lead, the chick from Hairspray) is fat like me, which you almost never, EVER see on TV. Everyone else is that apple with toothpicks kind of fat that I've always envied (arms and legs skinny enough not to be ashamed of them... just a big belly and/or butt). No one realizes the benefits of skinny wrists and ankles, unless you don't have them.

- The skinny preppy kids at the neighboring tennis camp are ACTUALLY assholes. They didn't run into the fat kids frolicking around the borders of the two camps and suddenly have epiphanies that, hey, they may be fat, but look how awesome and funny they are! Let's be friends! Hell, no. They were cruel and vile and awful and I suspect they will continue to be. As they should.

- The portrayal of the ups and downs of being a fat teen, even one who is in a 'safe' environment surrounded by nothing but other fat teens, is spot on. The writers deserve major props for that. It's not easy to put that much truth and honesty and real-life-ness into a show and have it still be valid as entertainment.

All that being said, I highly recommend HUGE to those of you who get the ABC Family channel.

Meanwhile, I'll be over here, arguing with myself about the merits of going to Zumba on a day when I've eaten crap which will only cause side stitches and cramps.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day... 1?

It's not day one.

Not by a long shot. But anyway... my friend has said that maybe I should think about tracking what's going on in this house as I re-integrate into America, job search, try to rehabilitate my parents off of the fast and frozen food life... (as a means to a memoir later on)... and menu records are one way to do that.

Don't worry, I don't plan to turn this into one of those macro-photos-of-everything-I-eat-all-day blogs. ;->

2 cups Cheerios
1 cup skim milk
1 packet Splenda
1 piece Arnold Health Nut bread
13g JIF peanut butter
1 banana

2 (large) mugs coffee
1/2 cup whole milk between the two
2 packets Splenda

2 sandwiches (using Thomas' mini pita pockets, thin-slice deli turkey & ham, Swiss cheese, brown mustard)
Large salad (mixed spring greens, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes)
2 Tbsp Raspberry vinaigrette with poppyseeds

Handful of raw almonds
1 piece of Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate
1 string cheese

Oatmeal chicken
Mashed potatoes (instant - still clearing out the cupboard stocks) w/ instant chicken gravy
1 cup Broccoli
2 cups canned peaches in juice

1/3 bag Butter Lover's popcorn (again, clearing out the stocks... will switch to natural stuff later!)
Celestial Seasoning's Sleepytime tea

50 minutes Zumba

I've moved the good digital scale into the bathroom, finally, so I'll work on posting my weight tomorrow. I'll measure on the weekend. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Name, New Goals

Fat and Back Again... Wanderlust and Weight

I have been home for almost three weeks exactly. That dubious anniversary comes tomorrow, actually.

Things have been a bit of a mess. I won't lie. Living with others is something that I am simply not used to anymore (nor ever wanted to be again). Living with people forces you to be at least somewhat dependent on house-mates (relatives or not) for at least some support and cooperation.

While my house-mates (my parents) have been trying, much of it is with false gusto, forced smiles, and unhappy stomachs. I am dealing with VERY American palettes (too much sugar, too much salt, too much flavor/sauce/etc. on everything) which are unwilling to try new things. Hands reach for salt shakers or sweetener packets before even tasting what's in front of them. I have to resist the urge to smack them away. After all, I am not the parent.

One of the first things I bought when I got home was a lovely bag of organic quinoa, excited to have easy access to this superfood ingredient that I couldn't get in Japan. I haven't made it yet. I'm terrified to. If I have a slightly off result (as I did with the cous cous I made, because it had to sit on the stove in the pot for 20-minutes before we ate it), they'll never touch it again. I love it and I don't want that to happen... but I don't have enough experience with it to know for sure that I won't have a recipe failure.

Successes so far:
- Adding oatmeal to the weekly breakfast menu 2-3 times/week
- Reducing household restaurant/pre-fab meals to less than 3-4 times/week
- Integrating fruit and vegetables and other natural-type things into snack time



Stay tuned.

I hope to start posting meal plans/menus here... and I hope you'll keep following my struggles back in the land of the large.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

6 Weeks

How much can change in six weeks, I wonder?

Weight, that's for sure.

Job, definitely.

The continent you live on... apparently.

I last posted on March 9th. Since then, I lost my job, dove head first into the binge of the century, packed and cleaned and flew back to the US, and here I am.

A quick trip to the bathroom scale (after peeing, of course) tells me that I'm weighing exactly 300-pounds at the moment. Unsurprising after the month that I've had.

I'm not upset about that number - definitely not surprised. But, I am ready to go at this thing 100% again.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Way back at the beginning of this blog (wow, June 2009, how are you?), I made a pretentiously intelligent-sounding post titled "Food vs. Ph00d," wherein I more or less lay blame on chemically processed crap masquerading as food for making (and keeping) me fat.

I still believe that's the case, sure, but now there's supporting evidence regarding the whole mess.

Still, it hadn't occurred to me that my pithy respelling of the word food would one day strike me with another meaning.

Food as pharmaceutical. Phood.

See, there's a lot of stress involved in living in a foreign country. Even when one has lived in said foreign country for damn near six years. Regardless of how homey you make your home, it is not home. In fact, foreign-country-home and home-country-home have their own idioms when one is using English and living in a foreign country. When you go back to your foreign-country-home from work everyday, you "go home." When you go back to your home-country-home for the holidays, you "go home home."

A: "Are you going home for the summer holiday?"
B: "Home home?"
A: "Yeah."
B: "Nah, I'm just going to relax at home here. I need some down time."

Ya dig?

To deal with the stress of being "home" (vs. home home!) takes a certain level of finesse and some fine tuned coping skills that many people have in various forms. These include, but are not limited to:
  • creative outlets (crafting, art, writing, etc.)
  • exercise
  • pharmaceuticals (Paxil! Xanax! Prozac! oh, my!)
  • eating
Guess which one is my default? I wish it were any of the other three, but it's really not. It's food.

Food is my witch doctor, my shaman, my general practitioner, my babysitter, my therapist... hell, most of the time, it's my best. damn. friend.

Until it takes up residency in my ass. And thighs. And, more recently, stomach.

I need to oust the FDA in my brain (that's Food-as-Drug Administration). It's hard, though, since I already know all of the prescriptions so well. I guess it's kind of like changing careers in your 50s. It can be done, it has been done, but not without a butt-load of time, effort, and probably more than a few tantrums.

Problem 1: Get excited over scale success! Try on goal clothes "just to see." Goal clothes make me look like a stack of old tires forced into polyester tubing.
Solution: Take a therapeutic walk in awesome clothes that do fit, determined to keep going until the even awesomer goal clothes fit. Wind up at the grocery store buying everything that's on sale in the snack aisle, whether I like it or not, and pray that there's fried chicken on sale. Eat until I'm sick, though I don't really know why or consciously understand what happened. Wake up for school, determined to make it a better day.
New Solution: ??????

Problem 2: Students decide today is a good day to compare my arm circumference to their thighs. Or, God forbid, my thigh (that's singular - one thigh) to their waists. (Japan was a much nicer place when I didn't understand the language.)
Solution: Take 4 slabs of pizza toast and a box of chocolate chip cookies and call them all bastards in the morning, when I wake up with a sugar hangover of epic proportions.
New Solution: ??????

Problem 3: Wake up in the morning, decide I look 6-inches shorter and 3-feet wider than usual (thanks, kids!), even though the scale shows absolutely no change.
Solution: Prescribe "Why bother? It makes no difference..." dinner of 1 bag of granola (not 1 bowl, 1 bag) and pass out in carb-sugar stupor, oversleeping tomorrow's alarm(s).
New Solution: ??????

Ok, so, clearly we have a pattern here. I am aware of it.

I am working to find new ways to expend this stressful energy when it builds up. I have an exercise bike in my room that I have used maybe a dozen times since I came to Japan (in 2004), which is abominable. There is no reason for me NOT to be on that thing five days a week, if not everyday.

For now, my solution is to clean. It may be snowing like a bitch outside at the moment, but spring is coming, and I am clinging to that fact with claws digging in and knuckles white.

So, I clean. In anticipation of spring, of warmer weather, of sunny days where I can hang my laundry outside and open my windows.

F-U, mid-March snowstorm. You ain't getting Debu-chan down.

Monday, March 8, 2010


"Keel-ee calleya ku kah!" (You disappoint me!)

Oh, yeah... definitely time to get a move on.

I should take a photo of my garbage pile after a binge night. Hell, I could probably turn photos of that crap into some modern art exhibit.

Hmm... points to ponder.

Points to ponder while I try to pedal myself to Tatooine on my exercise bike, that is.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I've decided that I am facing a 1/3-life crisis.

Why should middle-agers (mid-) and college grads (1/4-) get to have all the fun?

Here's the score card that I have to look back on as I embark on this last year of my 20s.

+ I have visited 14 countries.

+ I have had a steady job for seven years and spent no more than one month unemployed after my college graduation in 2003.

+ I own a car and have an impeccable credit score that will help me get anything I want or need when I go back to America.

+ I've lost, and maintained a loss of 40-50 pounds since I graduated from high school 11 years ago.

- I have had one relationship (when I was 19) and have absolutely no prospects right now (and don't even know if I want a husband).

- I have had no children (but that's ok, since I don't want any... this is a negative because it's a societal negative from the standpoint of my age).

- I have not been able to wear clothes from the regular women's department since about 6th grade and appear to be no closer to that goal than I was in my college days.

- I've watched countless opportunities pass me by, either because I was overlooked due to my weight or because I held myself back, fearing that my weight would make it embarrassing or even impossible to do something.

I don't know how to compare those lists. Are they balanced? Does one clearly outrank the other? I simply don't know.

Still, this blog isn't about my existential crisis as I approach 30. It's about the exponential crisis of my ass as I approach an accepted metabolic threshold that I would rather not have to overcome weighing my current 290-pounds(-ish).

Even though there is snow in the forecast for my part of Japan next week, spring is on the approach and I can't help but harbor some faint hope that it will mean rebirth for more than just the flowers. I know that this won't happen without work - and fucking hard work at that (see previous entry for wagon analogy) - but the return of warmer weather might make it a little easier to urge my bones and muscles and brain into doing what needs to be done.

Namely, pushing one huge-ass wagon up one huge-ass hill.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


No, I've not lost 29-pounds. Nor have I lost 29-kilograms. (OH, to have lost 29-kilograms!!! Yowza.)

Don't worry, I haven't gained them, either.

I have, however, marked that many years on the planet. Yes, folks, on March 2nd, I turned 29. I'm usually quite happy about my birthday - I'm proud of being a Pisces, of being independent, of sharing my birthday with the likes of Dr. Seuss and Bon Jovi. This year, however, I kind of felt was a bit of a downer.

Now that it is March 4th, I have precisely 363 days before I turn 30.

And you know what? I don't want to be this size when that happens.

In fact, I want so badly to NOT be this size that the gravity of the situation has been pressing down on me, hard, and making it really difficult for me to do anything about it. Fat begets depression, depression begets fat.

At an outdoor concert, once, some random European guy (mostly drunk) popped into the middle of my group, held up his hand and put thumb to forefinger to make like an "A-okay!" sign and then he wiggled it and growled. Then he said, "Do you know what that is?" and he did it again. A-okay, wiggle, growl. With perked eybrows and puzzled expressions, we all shook our heads and waited for the answer to the riddle (which turned out to be a punchline): "IT'S A VICIOUS CIRCLE!!" he guffawed and then ran away.

It was hilarious. It made me laugh like crazy when it happened, and it still makes me chuckle, today.

That doesn't mean that I hate my own vicious circle any less.

Lately, I have been feeling my complacency. I feel it in my muscles, in my stomach, in my head, in my energy levels. The theory is actually quite simple: "Eat crap, feel like crap." In fact, that theory has been tested so many times that it has moved beyond theory and solidly into FACT.

I feel that it goes without saying that my February goals were laughable and a complete and utter failure. However, having scheduled workouts written in my daily planner and having to cross them off as I continually failed to do them DID induce some guilt about the whole thing and kept it at the front of my mind, even through the triplet of birthday celebrations endured through the end of February and beginning of March. Still, I basically hopped off of the healthy lifestyle wagon and onto the fried food carb bullet train.

It seems like that's a pretty good analogy.

Healthy living - that's a wagon. With one horse, at best, but usually even the horse is too tired to bother, so you have to push that bitch up the hill by yourself.

Crappy, yet delicious, foods and bad habits - definitely the bullet train. The station is crowded, ultimately it's too expensive, but damn if it isn't convenient and there are dozens of people just clamoring at the gate to help you get on your way. And once you're on it, you can just sit there and coast along. Straight to hell.

Eat crap, feel like crap.

Why is it so hard to keep something so simple in mind?

If that isn't going to work, maybe this will.

363 days

Ready? Go.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I always suffer some kind of serious meltdown around this time of year. At least, I have for the last few years.

The last two weeks of February are, basically, the worst two weeks of the year. You see, they fall smack in the middle of Valentine's Day (which I inevitably spend alone, making valiant efforts to ignore the fact that it's Valentine's Day) and my birthday (March 2nd).

Nothing like a one-two punch of being reminded of being alone and getting older to make a girl feel like eating the pantry.

At any rate, it's a pattern that I recognize, I should have realized it was coming or what was happening sooner, but I didn't. I've got its number now, though, and am going right back to plan today.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Full Disclosure

I concluded Monday's post with this tantalizing teaser:

The path to fat is clearly paved with good menu plans; though I am back on the straight and narrow today (with a nauseating weight this morning that I dare not divulge until I have re-lost it come Saturday's official weigh-in day), I must keep in mind that it doesn't take much to veer off the edge of the road and end up back in the land(fill) that is Food is Love.

Today was weigh-in day.

You want to know, don't you?

Monday - 135.6kg (298.95lbs)
Saturday - 129.6kg (285.72lbs)

My body's water retention ability is truly incredible. I have a friend who is convinced I should either go on The Biggest Loser OR volunteer myself for scientific research, because my body is clearly a mystery.

I mean, if you think about it... I weighed in on Monday morning... and then on Saturday morning... so that's really only five full days between the two. I lost more than 13-pounds in five days??

At the beginning of February, I'd decided that I was going to aim for 275 for my birthday (March 2nd). That is still within my reach, I think. It will take a heck of a lot of work and a lot of working out, but I do think that it's possible. Getting back under 280 is definitely possible.

In other not-so-new-news? Hot liquids may be the best health foods ever (with the obvious exception of heavy cream versions of soups and drinks). When I eat brothy soup or drink hot tea or coffee, I feel full for a verrrrrrry long time.

By the way... photos?

Senior year of high school (1999). Probably pushing 340-pounds:

Halloween (2009), hovering in the 280s. Not my favorite picture ever, but the closest to the other pose that I could find:

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Confessional

"Forgive me, blog, for I have sinned."

"How long as it been since your last confession?"

"Oh, not long enough, sir."

"Why do you say that?"

"Every week, I power my way through All Bran, fresh fruit, tasteless soup, pounds of tofu, chicken breast after chicken breast... in the hopes that my next blog will be a testimonial, but then the weekend comes, the week 2 curse comes, a blizzard comes, some poor sap who visited Okinawa and bought me cookies comes.... and I sin. And when I sin, oh boy, do I sin GOOD."

"Tell me more of these sins."

"Well, you see, blog, it's fried chicken. It's potato chips. It's cheese puffs and Doritos, potstickers and potato salad. I-I-I...I'm a junkfood whore, blog! Always letting them have their way with me! *sobs* Sometimes twice in one day!"

"Shh, shh... it's ok. The gods of health, diet, and exercise may be angry with you right now (as is your lower intestine), but you can still appease them. Do 15 Hail Willpowers and expel all chemical 'food-like-substances' from your system and bring me a testimonial next week."

"Thank you, blog, oh thank you... Hail Willpower, full of logic, fiber is with thee..."

Sigh. SIGH.

I'm as tired of typing up excuses as you surely are of reading them. But, honestly, who can keep their healthy lifestyle focus in the middle of the third record-shattering blizzard in as many months? I applaud those of you who can, I honestly do, but I do not count myself among you. I can handle being alone for hours, even days at a time. I can handle not setting foot outside my apartment for up to three or four days.

I can not handle silent contemplation of a salad with low fat dressing while 40mph winds blow snow/ice balls the size of BB gun pellets against my windows and deep down, I wish I were staring at a pound of lasagna piled high with some overly buttered garlic bread on the side.

I can not handle cooking (a healthy) dinner, clearing a space to work out in my small apartment, then working out when I get home two hours later than I'd planned due to the train's aggravating inability to cope with the weather. Salmon and broccoli and Bob Harper do not make for a comforting evening after waiting in the cold at a train station for two hours. Perhaps they should, but they don't.

Once I start down the sinner's path, I almost never turn back until at least two or three days have passed. Roads paved with hydrogenated oils, vats of corn syrup, and 15-syllable chemical miracles are the only ones I seem able to run on... everything else is a mere crawl.

Yeah, like that.

But you know what's weird? And works as a subconscious fiend, undermining everything I do?

The scale.

"Yeah, yeah, everyone hates their scale. Get over it."

Oh, no, friend. No, I don't hate my scale. I love it. I love it the first week I'm eating on a healthy plan and I drop weight Biggest Loser style. I get on it every single morning and I lose half a pound, a pound, two pounds. In one week, I lose 10. It's amazing.

And then? The week 2 curse.

Day 8, up half a pound. Excuse me? I did nothing to deserve that. I ate under my calorie target yesterday! Ugh, it's fine. It's probably water retention and rebound from being so awesome last week. It's fine. I have Zumba today anyway.

Day 9, up another half a pound. Wait, WHAT? I burned 600 calories in my Zumba class yesterday, what do you MEAN +0.5??? Hold on, calm down... I totally killed my muscles in that class. Killed muscles retain water like crazy for healing. Tomorrow, it'll be gone. I've got a 40-minute walk to school, now, so this will be a good week.

Day 10, no change. So, I've gained, and maintained, a full pound since I weighed in on Saturday and you're not going to give it back to me? Even though I had a 45-minute Zumba class AND a 40-minute walking commute to school? We'll see about that... oh, the students brought chocolate for the teachers from Tokyo Disneyland? Cute... I'll just keep it in my desk drawer here until I am here on a day where I know I have the calories free for it.

Day 11, no change, or another gain. Well, that's just uncalled for... ooh, who brought cakes from Osaka to school? Mmm, banana.... caaaaaaaake.

And so it continues. Around day 11 or day 12, with absolutely no help or encouragement from the scale, I start to get depressed. I want chocolate, because it will make me feel better, even if only for a fraction of a second. I take sips and nibbles that I don't account for in my food diary. I give up entirely on cooking my own food, because obviously it isn't doing me any good AND it's creating a pile of dirty dishes that I would rather not have to clean. At this point, it's almost the weekend, and the weekend mentality morphs "a piece of chocolate will make me feel better" into "the entire junk food aisle at the supermarket will make me feel AWESOME." And it does. I think.

I mean, Homer dreams about the land made out of candy because that's where he's happy, right? The small province called "Food is Love, Population: 1." It takes away the stress! Right? Maybe? Actively doing something to make myself fatter helps me to feel better about being depressed because of my fat?! (Error, error, does not compute. Logic failure in line 894.)

I honestly can't remember how it makes me feel. Because you know what? It's like being high. And then, it's like crashing so hard that I want to die. I oversleep alarms the day after a bender - every single time. Why? Because my body is too busy digesting Mr. 15-Syllables Chemical and converting sugar to ass-fat to bother supplying my brain with blood and Oxygen.

I know these things. Obviously, I do. My friend tells me that it's amazing how in-tune I am with my body (recognizing bloat in my face the moment that it appears, that junk food makes me oversleep, that Kit-Kats give me terrible gas - true facts!). What I find amazing is how in-tune I can be with my body, and how completely ignorant I can be when it comes to taking care of it.

Being so self-aware and yet so negligent has got to be some sort of psychological disorder. Isn't it? Kids run around slicing their arms open with box cutters, intentionally harming themselves, and it's a cry for help and/or attention. What does it mean when the intentional harm comes in the guise of Oreos and chicken nuggets? A cry for seconds?

The path to fat is clearly paved with good menu plans; though I am back on the straight and narrow today (with a nauseating weight this morning that I dare not divulge until I have re-lost it come Saturday's official weigh-in day), I must keep in mind that it doesn't take much to veer off the edge of the road and end up back in the land(fill) that is Food is Love.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Apologies for a second-rate post... this P.O.S. computer locked up JUST at the end of having written this blog for an hour. I didn't even tell it to post, I just clicked in the title bar and Internet Explorer flipped me the proverbial bird and ran off, taking my hard work with it. We all know... the second time is never as good.

Thank god it's February.

Honestly. Thank god.

I can barely stomach January, anymore. (And I know my pants couldn't take much more...)

When the world is focused on weight loss, I honestly want nothing to do with the weight loss world. Being bombarded 24-7 by news feeds ("No, Really, AIR is Making YOU FAT!"), over-eager newbies on dieting boards ("Frustrated!!! HELP!! I didn't loose pounds in one day!!!!!1111!!!"), and TV ("And in our next segment, headless fat person #239487235 waddling down the street, because no one in their right mind would sign off allowing a network to make them the face of American obesity... unless it's Biggest Loser.").

It bores me.

It exhausts me.

I spent most of January avoiding all manner of diet propaganda and even the diet board that I pay money to frequent. I don't think that anyone ever meant for 'enthusiasm' to be included in the list of things implied by "Too much of a good thing can be bad," but for me, it certainly is. I get annoyed by the constant thrashings with the Upbeat Whip ("YOU CAN DO IT!!!" "HANG IN THERE!!!!" "IT'S ONLY ONE DAY!!!!" yes, the Upbeat Whip consists solely of Caps Lock and exclamation points and platitudes) and by seeing the same question asked again and again and again.

Though a teacher by trade, and though I delight in providing well-thought-out answers to equally well-thought-out questions, I really can't handle the flood of Resolution Raiders who swarm the boards and ask questions that could just as easily have been answered by some strategic search terms in a query box. If you do feel a need to re-hash a question, throw us a bone and include some fact that shows you did your reasearch and remain baffled. Otherwise, the urge to send you to Google may become too strong and I won't be able to help myself.

(I also tend to avoid posting on boards because I have to preface most things with "In Japan..." and I think that makes me sound like a pretentious asshole. Though I do like to read through a good discussion here and there.)

Now that February has come, many of the Resolution Raiders have faded (only to return in next year's sequel, Raiders of the Lost Resolution XIII) and the internet is a relatively safe place to be. Only the occasional news story about which new sucrose is going to kill us all pops up between natural disasters of epic proportions and awards shows that people don't really watch anymore.

A related habit of mine, however, remains. When other people I know are doing well on their journey toward weight loss and a healthier lifestyle, I want to give up. I feel like this relates to my apparent allergy to over-enthusiasm and my inherently competetive spirit.

When anyone I know decides that they are going to straighten up, fly right, get fit, lose weight, etc., they are automatically months (if not years) closer to their ultimate goals than I am. I have absolutely no chance of attaining Health Nirvana before them. Even if I could operate my Healthy Lifestyle Engine at 100% efficiency 100% of the time, I would not catch up to my average pal operating at 100% only 50% of the time. Or 75% all of the time. Somewhere inside, I'm aware that it isn't a competition or a race, but usually, it still feels like one. Who in their right mind would enter a race they know they can't possibly win? It's madness.

This is a personal obstacle which I am working to overcome. So far, so good.

Finally, I'm going to try something new in February. Scheduling my work outs. I have had mentally scheduled work out routines for years and never followed through with a thing. However, I have a colorful new 2010 planner with big monthly pages and daily plan pages and I am going to try writing them down. I have scheduled exercise for the entire month of February, as follows:

2/2 (Tuesday) - Biggest Loser Cardio Max (I hate you, Bob...)
2/5 (Friday) - Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred (I REALLY hate you, Jillian...)
2/7 (Sunday) - The Method: Target Specifics with Jennifer Kries (a.k.a. Pink Yoga Bitch, or PYB - it's a term of endearment!)
2/9 (Tuesday) - BL Cardio Max
2/11 (Thursday) - Zumba class!
2/14 (Sunday) - PYB
2/16 (Tuesday) - BL Cardio Max
2/19 (Friday) - 30-Day Shred
2/21 (Sunday) - Zumba class!
2/23 (Tuesday) - BL Cardio Max
2/26 (Friday) - 30-Day Shred
2/28 (Sunday) - PYB

Overall goals for February are:

- 1,500-2,000 calories daily (will look at monthly average, assuming accurate logging everyday)
- Exercise (for the sake of exercise) 10 or more times
- Eat restaurant meals fewer than 8 times (less than twice a week)
- Have 4 or fewer alcoholic drinks (less than once a week; normally, this goal would not be necessary as I barely drink anything... ever... but there are birthday celebrations to be attended this month and I want a solid guideline for myself)
- 275 pounds (February 1st weight: 284.4 pounds)

Friday, January 29, 2010

I am the Tortoise, Coo Coo Cachoo?

I've seen the line in a few sigs on weight loss boards:

"If weight loss is a race, I want to be the tortoise."

It's a good motto. Much better than "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels," or, spare me, "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!" Those gems sound like thinly (oh, the pun!) veiled eating disorders, to me.

But the tortoise... I can handle being the tortoise.

An update from my post yesterday - I followed through.

I weighed myself this morning (I was up just over 3 pounds... which is WAY better than I expected).

I did not clean anything last night, I got home and just collapsed from exhaustion (Thursday is a 14-hour day for me), but I did get up this morning and take care of a little cleaning. Did some dishes, some general picking up of the living room... hopefully I can manage some laundry and more dishes tonight before I go to bed.

I logged everything I ate yesterday and have logged everything I've eaten today so far.

One day at a time.

Slow and steady wins the race.

And one last truth from Winnie the Pooh, via Pooh's Little Instruction Book:

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Talk is Cheap, Lies are Expensive

The wisdom of Green Day.

I talk a good game, don't I? I mean, look at that last post. Four solid, straightforward points on which I must focus to lose weight, get healthy, and remain so.

A resolution to accomplish those goals 90% of the time.

It's a shame that I excel at lying to myself.

Time for a big, honest slap in the face.

Lie #1: I'll get back on it tomorrow.
Who am I kidding? Tomorrow never comes! I have allowed myself to slip back into the perfection habit. The moment that something classified 'unhealthy' passes my lips, I see the day as wasted and dive head first into vats of fryer oil and cheese with reckless abandon. This must stop.

Lie #2: I can't have gained back much, my clothes still fit fine.
My clothes do still fit, though I have gradually fallen out of the habit of using my belt as much, since I don't need it to hold my pants up anymore. Clearly, I have gained weight back... how much? I don't know, because I haven't stepped on my scale.

Lie #3: I'm still ok, no one has noticed me swelling up like the Goodyear Blimp.
UNTRUE, UNTRUE, UNTRUE. I have noticed the sideways glances. The up-and-down appraisals. Gamblers rubbing their mitts together in anticipation of their winnings in the "bet she regains it all!!!" poll. I have gotten bigger and it IS noticeable. Even I can see it in the roundness of my cheeks in the mirror in the mornings. Instead of being a delicately pointed oval (I like my face shape when it's not swollen with fat and water retention), it's like staring at a fat, yellow-pink moon.

Action Plan:
- CLEAN HOUSE. A messy room is a surefire way for me to fail at other aspects of my life. In order to do this, I need to reserve my weekends and keep them to myself. I love having company, but it inhibits my getting things done that I would otherwise accomplish.

- LOG FOOD. I know that I am on a road to relapse when I stop logging my food on CalorieKing. I haven't logged steadily in weeks.

- WEIGH EVERYDAY. I perpetuate Lie #2 by never stepping on my scale when I am not logging my food intake. Instead of looking at numbers, I depend on the fit of my clothes to tell me how I'm doing. If I can still pull my pants on over my bulbous buttocks, everything is fine. NOT.

- STAY HOME. Going out to party, to eat, to travel, to visit... whatever... it is all an interruption that I do not need when I am floundering and gasping for air like I am right now. I need to stay rooted in my apartment for at least two weekends in a row. Enough time to re-institute habits and get myself under control.

Those are the basics; the keys to my successes in the past.

I can't afford to re-gain weight. The clothes I bought last year when I went home were bought to fit a slimmer, trimmer body. They comprise fully 1/4-1/2 of my wardrobe. A lot of my 'fat clothes' are worn out, stretched out, and just plain out of fashion. Having to re-stock a fatter closet from across the Pacific is inconvenient and unbelievably expensive. I won't do it.

I am logging my food today.

I will do something in the way of cleaning house this evening. Even something small is a step forward. I will weigh myself tomorrow morning (and scream). I will stay home this weekend and not have anyone over.

I will, I WILL, I WILL.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Resolve...



2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.

3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.

4. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions for 2010. Not in so many words, anyway. Certainly not in any public forums, like here.

Maybe I should have?

I've been drifting downward (not on the scale... in my mind, in my habits, etc.). I explained it in another journal as the mental equivalent of a triumvirate of appetite-inducing EVIL all converging on me at the same time (severe PMS, the general mid-winter desire to dig in, fatten up, and hibernate, and watching my town get buried under the biggest snowstorm I have ever experienced in my lifetime - 6+ feet in 2.5 days). Excuses... they are a talent, yes?

I didn't make a resolution this year because I have never been able to follow through with one (if I had, this journal wouldn't exist). See, I usually have that number 2 definition down pat. For the first few weeks, anyway. Number 4... that one comes on hard and strong for the first month or six weeks, too.

Number 3, though... action, course of action, method, procedure... that has been consistently absent from any resolution I have ever made.

So, let's talk action, shall we? Then maybe I can ACT.

  • In order to lose weight at my current age, weight, and activity level, I MUST eat fewer than 2,000 calories/day. Preferably, 1,500-2,000 calories/day.

  • In order to add the joy (and it IS a joy) of being FIT to my steadily slimming frame, I MUST implement an exercise routine. Ideally, it would consist of 30-minutes of cardio (in addition to any walking to/from work that I do) six days/week; a strength training routine three days/week; flexibility training three days/week. This most likely means at least 60-minutes a day, six days/week MUST be devoted to exercise.

  • I MUST drink at least three liters of water/day.

  • I MUST be in bed before 10PM six days/week, no later than midnight on the excepted night.


Four clear, solid points that should not be that hard to follow. But, as every person who has ever tried it knows... THEY ARE.

I am not resolving "to lose weight." I am not resolving "to exercise." I am not resolving "to go on a quest for the holy grail." Nothing quite so ethereal or directionless.

I resolve to aim for the 90/10 principle on the above four points. Aiming for dietary perfection is the equivalent of aiming to fail.

I resolve to accomplish these four healthy lifestyle points 90% of the time, and to forgive myself wholly for the 10% of the time I may not accomplish them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's All About Perception

Imagine I am hanging out with my unemployed, verge of bankruptcy, multiple childrens' mouths to feed friend. She is drinking water out of a paper cup and wearing denim shorts from Wal-Mart and a holey collegiate sweatshirt from Goodwill.

I am wearing obviously new and well-constructed clothes, expensive-smelling perfume, carrying a brand name handbag, and drinking a six-dollar-latte in a sparkly reuseable tumbler.

And then, I proceed to bitch to my friend about how poor I am and how making ends meet this month is going to be tough.

"That's rude," you tell me.

Yes, yes it is.

Now think about how rude it is when people with ten or twenty or even thirty pounds to lose stand next to me and complain about being fat. If they see themselves as fat, then what am I? Dumbo? Jabba the Hutt? Rush Limbaugh (heaven forbid!)? (*This entire thing is null and void if we are both enganged in self-deprecating 'I'm fat' talk or if I have previously acknowledged your fat as my friend. In that case, WE are fat together. And that is fine.)

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely respect that people with fewer than fifty pounds to lose come up against the very same walls and obstacles as I do. I understand that it can be just as difficult to lose ten pounds as it can be to lose ninety. I am more than willing to work with friends on losing weight and being healthy. In fact, I enjoy having someone to work through all of this together and to counsel and to talk things out. It makes it easier.

I do NOT, however, enjoy skinny people (relative to me) calling themselves fat. For the love o' crap, think before you even open your mouth. And then think some more before you decide to talk.

More on perception?

* Sometimes, I pick up an article of clothing and think, "My GOD that's HUGE... that is just going to be hanging off of me." Then, I put it on and it barely fits. Perception lies.

* When I watched the newest Biggest Loser, the 500-pound guy didn't look all that exceptionally huge to me. In fact, I was reminded of a few family members. Now, to my non-American friends, on the other hand... Perception is cultural.

* When I look at a plate full of good, nutritious, savory food, I think, "Surely, I can eat every last bite of that." And I do. When I look at a dessert the size of my head, I think, "If I eat all of that sugar, I will be ill." And I am. A friend can't make it through half a burger or a chicken breast without gagging, but can gulp a gallon of parfait without trouble. Perception is powerful.

I'm looking forward to a year of altering perceptions.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year, New Who?

130kg (286.6lbs)

I could say that I wish I had been under 280 when the new year started.

I could say that I had wanted to be 275lbs by Christmas time and then who knows at the new year.

I could say that my inability to do either of those things constitutes a complete and utter failure on my part.

But you know what? They don't. I am starting 2010 at a lower weight than I have EVER faced down a cold January and an even colder February.

I've never started a new year under 290lbs. Not in recent memory. Not since I surpassed 290 in the first place, whenever that was. (See, I'm not like other fat people. I don't remember what I weighed at various times in my life. I have vague ideas of when I was at my heaviest and the moments when I dipped to my lightest after that, but not "I weighed 200 pounds in 5th grade..." kind of stuff.)

I figure that I probably hit 300 somewhere between 8th-10th grade.

So, basically, I have not been under 290lbs in a new year since the early-mid 90s.

That is a long. Damn. Time.

And you know what? That makes this an accomplishment. Of epic proportions.

If I could maintain perfection, absolute perfection, over the next 12-months, I could enter 2011 at my (current/temporary/final?) goal weight of 190.

190 pounds.

That number sounds so low that it must be what I weighed when I was a fetus.

100 pounds lost in a year is a tremendous accomplishment (and one that few outside of The Biggest Loser campus rarely achieve). At this point, I'm going to keep a goal of 50-ish pounds in mind. If I could be in the 230s when 2011 is just around the corner, I think I could be quite pleased with myself.

Middle school weight, here I come! (I think if most people aimed to weigh what they weighed in 7th grade, they'd be dead... me, however, I'll just be dead sexy.)

Happy New Year!