Tuesday, April 14, 2009

During Pictures. Again.

This is my friend Sharon. We went to high school together in Richardson, Texas. It's freaky that I am old enough to have had the same friend for nearly 30 years. I met her in 9th grade in Algebra class. As one of many kids do not reach abstract thinking by 9th grade, she struggled. She's smart, always did her homework, but her brain just wasn't ready for Algebra in 1980.

I sat in the back of class and read, notably the trashy Flowers in the Attic series, never doing any classwork or homework. From time-to-time, I'd glance at the overhead projector screen, and it always made sense to me, and return to my book. I was not a good girl, like Sharon. But, I got As on all my tests. Mr. Ayers had learned early on that it was just best to leave me be. (I've paid my dues since then, obviously.)

I let Sharon cheat off me during tests. Then Mr. Ayers started handing out two versions of each test, so, she then she'd just hand me her test when he wasn't looking, I would do the problems lightly in pencil, and hand them back. She wound up passing Algebra. But before you think less of her, the story has an ethical and happy ending: Sharon, with her low threshold of guilt, retook Algebra a couple years later IN SUMMER SCHOOL, to make sure she understood it. She got an A. I thought she was crazy for doing that, but now I'm proud to have a friend who recognizes that there are no short cuts.

Sharon graduated in the top 10% of our 1983 class (over 600 kids graduated). I graduated in the lowest 10%. I'm not making this up. It caused a great deal of distress and angst - in my parents, not me. Sharon went on to college, then established her career, then marriage, then children. I, or course, did things is a slightly different order. Sharon worked for the Forest Service for a long time, before changing her focus to start her own business as a landscape designer and be home for her kids.

Sharon has always had a problem with her weight, in that she had difficulty gaining it. She suspects an overactive thyroid. I never had much problem with my weight until later on. I joked with her earlier this week that if would could somehow average our bodies, we'd make two normal people.

Sharon is more or less intruigued by my interest in multisport insanity, the way one is intruigued by a friend who has become involved in some sort of weird cult. Not enough to be involved in it herself, just interesting to watch.

In any case, look at me. Just LOOK at me. All of me. This is going to be my before picture, although, in this entire journey, perhaps it's more of a "DURING" picture. I know that for me, two things work:

1) I MUST track my food. If I don't, it's too easy for me to just start eating, eating, eating and the next thing I know I'm downing a few thou calories a day.

2) I have to have a program that lets me "earn" extra calories for doing exercise. On this day, we climbed a small hill behind my house called, "The U mound" (seen in the background of the picture of me, above) and I was distressingly breathless. I even had to stop once or twice to catch my breath. Time to get my butt in gear.
Last night, Baboo and I signed up for the AtomicMan Duathlon, near Los Alamos, New Mexico.

I've done this before, always the "Little Boy" course. (Yes, the two distances are charmingly named after the two atomic bombs that ended WWII) The little boy course is 5K run, 20K bike, and then a 4K run. The bike is hilly, on mountain roads with sharp turns and steep climbs.
The "Fat Man" course is a 10K run, 40K bike (including going down and then back up out of a canyon) and then a 5K run. It is essentially an Olympic triathlon with the swim having been replaced by a 5K run.

So guess which distance I signed up for. In two weeks. I expect to die around noon that day.

Hopefully, I won't, because these last pictures of my big fat butt are not what I want in a frame next to my casket.



  1. This will sound snarky. It is not meant to be. It comes from that place that pits all of us women against each other, the green eyed monster called jealously.

    I am NOT crying you a river. Not even a little. You look great. I have a LOT less leg length and A LOT more a$$.

    However, I do understand that it is about how you feel not how you look to others (which is still great. Jeez, could you maybe look a little frumpy or something? Throw a girl a bone!)

    So, you have, once again, inspired me to get off my big fat arse and do something. I must pull my head out of the sand and start logging my food again. Interestingly enough, ignoring the problem has not made it better. Odd.

  2. I'm so with you. I started doing the Sparkpeople food log and I'm just appalled with myself. How did it get so easy to pile up these calories?

    I too HAVE to keep a log.

    I too have to pay attention to what I shove in my mouth.

    I just can't allow myself to eat whatever moves me. Even when I think I'm eating well, it adds up.

  3. I really love the way you say, I need to do something (about a problem) and then sign up for a SCARY event in TWO WEEKS! Maybe I should do the marathon in July after all, even though I've only done 15km in training so far....
    LOL at RBR

  4. I really don't think you look fat. Really.
    I have always said you look strong.
    We all have the body image issue thing from time to time-or always.
    Just don't succumb to what you think others and society are thinking about you because really, they are not.

  5. i don't see it either girl! but i can understand that you have your own view of yourself. sometimes people tell me "oh you are so tiny, what are you a 4-5?" ... yeah right more like 8-10 (not even kidding, seriously). i need to work on the food-watch too, soo bad. i keep saying i need to and then keep backtracking on myself. good luck with your own food/exercise battle! for the record, i think you are strong and beautiful as you are!

  6. I'm not reading comments first in case everyone is echoing this, but uh, I look at that picture and see a very normal sized woman. I think you look great. Now, I don't know you in person and I know that it's more about how YOU feel, but dang girl, you're starting from a very good spot! I'm working towards my own weight goal too, so I feel ya. Tracking has made a HUGE difference.

  7. I know I'm way behind so you've probably long since solved this problem, but wanted to suggest trying out my Calorie Nazi. It's actually called Diet Power (dietpower.com)

    It's a point & click calorie counter application that not only lets you earn more calories for exercise, if you work out on a regular basis it takes that into account and adjusts its assumptions about your basal metabolic rate and awards you even more calories. And if you tell it you're on your period, it gives you even more calories.

    I really dig that it's got such serious mathematical algorithms going on. It actually learns about you as you continue to record data and adjusts itself accordingly - it's like nothing else I've ever tried (and I've done them all) and I have the most success with it than anything else, evah.


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