Weigh In: Weeks 12 & 13 and BONUS! Life Update

Apparently, I don't blog on Fridays, even when I have a weekly reason to do so. I'm trying to avoid apologizing for not blogging, but I would like to give some reasons for it, at least as it pertains to the most recent Friday I experienced. But first, to the stats!

Original Weight: 312.0 lbs
Today's Weight: 297.0 lbs
Week's Change: +0.6 lbs
Total Loss: -15.0 lbs
And THAT is the reason I didn't post two Fridays ago. Because it is just too damn disheartening to write an entire post about GAINING weight for TWO WEEKS in a row, even if the gain is a measly half a pound. So I thought I would wait until the next week when I would have better news and write them both at the same time (as if becoming the pattern anyway). And then I began to fret about another gain and how desperately sad I would be to have to write an entire post about gaining weight for THREE weeks in a row without even a small loss to buffer the woe. 

But I also decided to make some changes. Because even though I was doing everything right, I was gaining, so I must have been doing SOMETHING wrong. I went to my leader, since, you know, this is EXACTLY why she's there and she suggested that I "eat more protein" and avoid sodium ("Campbell's soup isn't really good for you..." in a helpfully condescending tone). Then she helpfully illustrated that "some calories are better than others" and I had flashbacks to 9th Grade English and Animal Farm. Because, FINE, maybe some calories will keep you full longer and some add very little nutritive value to your diet. 100 calories of cake versus 100 calories of lean protein are going to give you different benefits. BUT! For the purposes of weight loss, in a program ENTIRELY BASED on the idea that weight loss is simple mat: calories IN - calories OUT = change in weight. Basically, I call bullshit. (Sorry for the swearing, Mom, but sometimes I just have to)

ANYway, her advice was obviously supremely unhelpful, but I still decided to up my game. I hadn't been going to bed at a reasonable time and I was kind of phoning it in with my packed lunches because I was so tired in the morning. I was still completely on plan and doing it right, but I was getting bored AND it didn't seem to be working. I made a schedule and a meal plan. I was going to get up at 5:00 am on Mondays and Wednesdays to go to the gym, since I'm paying for the membership and not using it. I was also going to go after my WW meetings on Fridays. And I did that Friday. That Sunday, I made these Egg Muffins I found through Miriel's blog so that I would have fast protein in the morning. I set an alarm on my phone reminding me to go to bed at a reasonable hour to get up for a workout. I sorted all of my snacks into individual containers with points labels (which I had been avoiding because it's a little bit of a time thing and I was lazy). On Monday, I was at the gym by 5:25. And then my week kind of went to hell.

I won't go into all the gory details, but my job has been tough for a while (read: since my first day) because the expectations expressed in my interview and my offer letter are rather different from the actual expectations of my position. So  I spent the majority of Monday and Tuesday doing someone else's job under the guise of cross-training and it was...tough. So Wednesday, I did not get up and work out. On Thursday, I woke up, looked in the mirror, and thought, "My hair's not that bad..." So I didn't even shower. That's the level of interest I had in my week. "But," I told myself, "You will take your gym bag with you to work and go to the gym on your way home on Thursday." Then a somewhat-giant-but-I-hesitate-to-actually-call-it-giant crisis happened at work at about 4:30 pm on Thursday and I did not leave the office until 10:00 pm.

So that was my week. BUT! Praise Jesus for these next stats:

Original Weight: 312.0 lbs
Today's Weight: 292.6 lbs
Week's Change: -4.4 lbs
Total Loss: -19.4 lbs
So that helped make up for that. I wanted (actually wanted, I know, what is wrong with me?) to go to the gym on Friday, but I was running out of time to get my license switched from Far North to Texas, so I got my exercise by frustratedly jiggling my leg while sitting in an uncomfortable chair for two and a half hours at a Driver's License Office. In related news, I am now officially a Texan. I also now have a library card and will soon have a local bank account. I spent the rest of the day reading books and finishing the eighth season of How I Met your Mother.

That paragraph is probably not what most of you would call a BONUS! Sorry. That's all I've got.


Weigh-In: Weeks 10 & 11

I could have SWORN I wrote Weigh-In: Week 10 right after it happened. Apparently, I wrote about polygamy instead. So here's another combo post. Week 10 was July 5th, my goal date for my 5% goal and here are the stats:
Original Weight: 312.0 lbs
Today's Weight: 295.6 lbs
Week's Change: -1.4 lbs
Total Loss: -16.4 lbs
HOORAY! I hit my goal right on the nose. I was pretty excited about this. I'd had kind of a rough food week what with the holiday and other things going on. But! I visited a gym that Monday and then joined on the 4th (Shut up, it totally doesn't matter that I haven't gone again since. Joining is half the battle, right?) and managed to get some activity in that week.

But, alas. Even though I did everything right the next week, something apparently caught up with me. Because Week 11 looked like this:
Original Weight: 312.0 lbs
Today's Weight: 296.4 lbs
Week's Change: +0.8 lbs
Total Loss: -15.6 lbs
Again, they don't take away your reward when you gain, which is good because I would be really sad and probably violent. But it's still a bummer because that's more than half of the previous week's loss. Anyway, hopefully this week will look better. I'm mostly behaving myself this week (except for that pizza last night) and I'm planning on heading to the gym tomorrow, if only to get my money's worth out of my monthly membership.

Sometimes, I have to remind myself of exactly how incremental this whole process is. And to tell you the truth, other than a little planning and going to the weekly meeting (well, and the program fee), it's not all that much effort or trouble. If I wasn't doing the program, I would probably be gaining, so it's still all worth it. I just have to remind my instant-gratification-wired brain that this will take time. SO. MUCH. TIME.

But it will be worth it.


Polygamy Math Is Exhausting

I realized yesterday that I promised you a Hibachi Polygamy story. Wow. That may be the weirdest sentence I've ever typed. Anyway. Here is the story of Father's Day Hibachi and My Mistaken Identity as a Member of a Polygamist Cult. Maybe cult is too strong a word? Polygamist Family? I mean, it's a a very unusual way of life and usually has religious roots and for these purposes it actually DID, so I'm calling it a cult. Whatever. If you happen to be a member of a polygamist family and you resent the idea of your lifestyle being called a cult, feel free to email me with angry comments. This is so not the point. Let's just begin, shall we?

Except. Sorry, I have a small problem to solve before I can tell the story. You all know I'm anonymous here and that I don't use real names very often. But this story is hard to tell without names and I don't exactly want to just make them up or use initials, which can be confusing (especially since Bean's husband shares initials with both his sisters, one of whom is a key player in this story). I often refer to Bean and Baby Bean, but what do I call her husband? Husbean? That seems an overly cutesy title for a man who is not my husband. There's a part of me that would like to give him a brand new name that is so ridiculous that everyone will realize it's fake, like "Aloysius" or "Fitzroy Von Gibbon, the Earl of Gloucester". Bean just calls him J on her blog, so I guess I'll go with that.

Father's Day Hibachi and My Mistaken Identity as a Member of a Polygamist Cult Family Cult

It's Father's Day. J decides that hibachi sounds like an excellent Father's Day feast and that he'd like to invite his sister and her family along. He invites me, too, and I'm like "Hey! Entertainment using food? Why not?" so I tag along. Now, let's pause to add some background: J's sister has seven children. The oldest is 18 or 19 and the youngest is about two months. Oh, and you should also know that she and her husband are pretty conservative, so all the girls wear long skirts or dresses and have long hair. And we're back in.

We pack up the adorable Baby Bean and head over to the restaurant, which Bean has thoughtfully called ahead to reserve a table because WHOA six adults and seven kids is a lot of people descending on your eating establishment, even if you don't have pretty rigid seating capacities at your grills. We arrive and are led to our grill/table without much of a wait which is very nice. With one infant in a bucket car seat, two little ones in high chairs, and the oldest nephew not in attendance (fine crazy boy, hibachi is delicious; more for us), we just barely fit around a single grill. We space the children around the table so that there is at least one adult within arm's reach and we're good to go. I immediately steal (with permission, which is basically borrowing, but whatever) the baby out of his car seat and marvel at how ridiculously small newborns are, especially when I've gotten used to Baby Bean who would be more accurately Toddler Bean.

Soon after we sit down, the grill opposite us (basically a mirror image so that the chef can access both grills simultaneously) fills up with several different families and couples. There's enough distance between our table and theirs that we can't really share a conversation, but we're all basically staring at one another. If we're not staring at our menus, which is the polite thing to do, strange man sitting catter-corner from me.

We're a slightly raucous group, as you might imagine, trying to get all of the kids to focus on their menus for long enough to pick something to eat. We also have a small hurdle to overcome, since at least one of the children is allergic to soy and hey, we're eating Japanese cuisine that may or may not have soy sauce on ALL OF IT. Anyway, we finally settle on a dish for every one and we give our order to the very nice and somewhat genuflecting waiter. The room is noisy and increasingly sauna-like due to the grills. When our salads and soup come, J calls for our attention and, as is the custom in many Christian families, we all grab hands and bow our heads while J offers grace.

I snuggle the infant in one arm and try to eat my salad one-handedly while helping the child next to me and also trying to avoid the STARES of Catter-Corner Staring Man. I make faces at Baby Bean and talk with the adults and ask the kids about school and church and whatever else you talk about with your live-in-family's-family's children. The chef comes and lights things on fire and makes a smoke volcano with an onion and does whatever hibachi-ing one would expect from a Hibachi chef. The kids are enraptured by everything he does and we're all enjoying ourselves immensely. The other table watches, too, because their chef hasn't arrived yet. Probably because he is currently cooking our meal. They all seem to be just as entertained as we are. Except for staring man, who is (predictably) still staring. At me.

Now, I should probably describe the nature of his staring: It's not exactly rude, except for the, you know, staring. His expression is not judgey or even curious. It's actually kind of blank. Like he's recently been hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat and he's trying to remember where he is. His mouth's a little open and he's mostly...bored. Which is sad for his wife and two or three children (I can't tell if the one on the other side of his wife belongs to his family or the next one over, because, unlike HIM, I am not looking at them enough to figure it out). Really, it seems like they dragged him out for a Father's Day celebration. He's just present and not much more. It's weird, but I give him the benefit of the doubt and think maybe he's actually staring off into space out of boredom and it just happens to be in my direction.

This is where I would normally make some comment about HOLY HELL HOW MANY WORDS HAVE I TYPED I AM SO TALKY SOMETIMES but really we all knew from my lengthy title up there that I was going to milk this for all it's worth, so let's just jump back in.

We eat a lot of food. I try sushi. I don't die. When the baby gets fussy, I jiggle him a little and try to soothe him, thinking this is probably a rare opportunity for his mother to eat a meal without a human attached to her. When it looks like she's close to finished, I hand him back to nurse. I eat some more, this time with both my hands, and I have a re-established respect for mothers everywhere. I help with another child. At various times, both mothers and J's brother-in-law leave the table to take children to the bathroom and/or change diapers. I take Baby Bean for a little bit so Bean can eat and so she doesn't have a high-chair-related meltdown. Baby Bean and I walk around the table, trying to stay out of everyone's way and chatting with each kid as I pass them. Staring Man continues to stare, his eyes following me as I pace with the baby.

J's sister gets up with her infant and we decide to step into the front room, away from the grills and the noise to help the babies cool down. I am overly warm, too, even though I wore my hair in a ponytail. I am regretting not putting it all the way up into a bun, since it has gotten so long that it's still past my shoulders when it's up. I'm chatting with J's sister and making faces at her baby and mentally cursing my hair when Staring Man comes into the room and approaches.

"I hope you don't think I'm rude," he begins unwisely. His tone is not confrontational, but it's been my experience that if you think you need to start a conversation with that phrase, you are probably going to follow it up with something rude. "But...what religion are you?"

"We're Christian," says J's sister.

"Jesus. We like Jesus," I answer at the same time (if someone asks about my religion, I prefer to point to Jesus, rather than getting bogged down in definitions of religion and misconceptions about labels).

"Well, but what kind?" Staring Man asks, slightly more pushy this time. "Tell me more."

"Uh, we're just Evangelical Christians," J's sister says. She shrugs and we exchanged a confused look. "We're just Bible-believing...Christians..." She's not sure what he's getting at or how to phrase it so he'll understand. I super-helpfully mumble my line about Jesus again.

Staring Man just (predictably) stares at us for a long moment. J's sister and I shift the babies around uncomfortably, unsure what's going on. Staring Man opens his mouth a few times and then closes it, as if he can't find his words. I wonder again about that baseball bat.

Finally, he whispers, "Like, polygamist?"

We blink at him.

"Noooo...?" I say slowly. I am slightly unprepared for this turn of events. "Just...Christians." J's sister looks stunned for a second. My mind races and I realize that I, too, am wearing a long skirt and have really long hair and have been holding ALL the babies. Huh. Maybe he doesn't know where I fit? "There are two couples and then me," I say. I point at Baby Bean. "There's her and her parents. I live with them and help out with the baby."

"That's my brother and his wife. My husband and I have seven kids," J's sister follows. "He's here tonight, too." She adds that last part in bewilderment and the man has the decency to look slightly embarrassed. Not very, but slightly. "We get asked about our religion a lot, but we're just regular Christians."

Now the man is uncomfortable and obviously doesn't know how to get himself out of this situation he's created. He continues to ask other, less controversial questions as if he didn't casually pry into our sex lives and just generally makes small talk to fill the awkward silence. Finally, he thanks us and heads back to the table. J's sister and I turn to each other with wide eyes and burst into laughter. J's sister immediately goes into "EwewEW!" mode because, "That's my brother." And all I can think is he must not have seen her husband at the table, although with all his staring, I'm not sure how he missed him. I mean, that has to explain it, right? One guy plus three women plus many children equals polygamy...?

J's sister had a pretty good laugh telling her husband the story, but allowed me to tell J, whose first response was, "He probably wanted to know how I managed to get you all to agree to it." To which  his sister very pointedly said, "Ew."

Later that evening, I texted my dad and told him Happy Father's Day and that his job was complete, as I had just been mistaken for a polygamist and there probably isn't a more...interesting standard by which to judge your parenting than that. He was just as baffled by the story as I was.

And, being the logical creature that I am, I continued to be bothered, not by the social or personal implications of what the man had asked, but by the mathematical stupidity it required. Even if he didn't see J's brother-in-law, there were still four adults at the table. There were eight kids. My first assumption would be three moms and one dad, which equals a married couple and two women without their husbands. If you split the kids among us, it's not like it would be ridiculous to think that we were three families of two or three kids each. I mean, I don't know about you and your life, but my first assumption would be multiple families, not multiple wives. OR! Even that there were two families, one heterosexual couple and one same-sex couple, each with four kids. I mean, I'll admit my brain doesn't go there as readily as it does to missing husbands, but it definitely goes there before it jumps to POLYGAMY.

I have since gotten over the math, but I still think from time to time about what happened later on the other side of this story. I can just imagine that man slinking back to the table and having to explain to his wife what he had just asked us and the horrified face she likely gave him. And I can just hear her saying, "Honey, you can't just ask people if they're polygamists."


Weigh-In: Week 9

Can we all pretend I posted this on Friday when I weighed in? So that I can get a gold star for following a rule I invented? Thanks.

To tell you the truth, all of my days are starting to blend together into a haze of work-related exhaustion. It's getting better each week, but I still don't have the brain power or the inclination to reach back into the memory bank for this time last week and talk about what I ate. So let's just skip to the stats:
Original Weight: 312.0 lbs
Today's Weight: 297.0 lbs
Week's Change: -1.6 lbs
Total Loss: -15.0 lbs
YAY! I got a five-pound sticker this week to go along with the other two and a few "Bravo" stickers I've gotten for speaking up in the meetings to talk about changes I'm making or victories I've had. Huh. That sounds really lame when I type it out like that, but I swear, in person, it's not so...childish. Everyone claps for you and it just feels really good. And STICKERS! Fine, it's a little childish, but who cares. STICKERS! [Also, rereading that gives me the irrational and unavoidable urge to clarify that the "five-pound sticker" does not, in fact, weigh five pounds. It merely symbolizes five pounds. Well, and it SAYS five pounds. And just to clarify my clarification, the sticker doesn't talk. When I say that it "says" five pounds, I mean that the text "5LB" is written on the sticker. And now I'm trying to pronounce "lb" instead of "pound." Elb. Lib. Ulb. Llllllllllbuh.]

I am one pound away from my first goal. One pound in one week. That's not too terribly difficult. Well. If I hadn't eaten like a maniac this weekend. Authentic empanadas and non-authentic queso dip! Burgers and other BBQ fare! Book Club Mexican Restaurant Food! Kammah's Tears Smiles (a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for those of you out of this particular loop)! Anyway, I went to the gym last night and I'm going to try to start my day there tomorrow morning. I'm not sure how likely that is when I consider how I've woken up the past two mornings.

It's looked a lot like this:

Elise's Morning Wake Up Routine, a Dramatic Reenactment:


The room is dim--all the curtains are pulled to blot out the beastly sunlight. In the bed is a sprawled lump, which is in fact ELISE asleep. On the nightstand is a charging IPHONE.

Buzzz! Buzzz! Get up! GET UUUUUUPPPP!


She bats at the phone ineffectively, finally managing to silence the alarm.


Seriously. I mean it this time. Get up now or no matter which button you hit, I will turn off forever and ruin you life by making you late for work while you're still under scrutiny from your new boss. Do it NOOOOOOOWWWW!

Fine. God.

She bats at the phone again, somewhat less impotently this time. She rolls onto her back and hold her eyelids open for fear of falling back asleep and fulfilling the iPhone's prophecy. After several minutes of slower and slower blinks, she flings back the covers with a groan.

This is the most terrible thing. I mean, seriously, this is the worst idea I have EVER had. Just awful.
(inaudible grumbling)
Whose idea was this morning thing anyway? It's such a bad one. The worst.

She stumbles to the door, but then stumbles back to the bed to turn it into some semblance of "made" so that the cat won't get into her sheets and leave her gritty presents. Finally, she exits the room after bashing various body parts on various pieces of furniture. Her eyes are closed.


It is ungodly bright in here. Elise stands in the doorway blinking and muttering murderously. There is a CAT here. It cries unrelentingly for Elise to turn on the faucet. Elise moves to the toilet to take care of business and the cat jumps on the counter to meow in her face.

Cat soup for dinner. That's all I'm saying.


The cat bumps her head forcefully against Elise. When this yields only a glare, it begins licking Elise's elbow.

(to the ceiling)
Worst. Idea. Ever.

Elise turns on the shower and steps in, glowering at the cat and, let's face it, the universe.


Elise emerges from the shower and wraps a towel around her body. While she was in the shower, the cat has turned into three cats. The door of the bathroom hangs wide open to the rest of the house. However, a dramatic change has taken place in Elise's visage and she looks much more human, if a little more damp, than before. She pats each cat good morning and exits the bathroom.


I think I might be reading too many TV scripts online these days. Which is to say, any at all, apparently. 

See you next week later this week with Weigh-In: Week 10. Alternately titled Did She Meet Her Goal Or Succumb to the Specter of the Left Over Ice Cream Cake in the Freezer?