Category Archives: Chubby girl

draggin’ behind the wagon

I am so that girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead.  I’m either very, very good or I’m horrid.

No gym.  Fast food.  Smoking.

5 workouts a week.  Conscientious, wholesome eating.  Smoke free.

But lately, I’ve been doing something weird.  I’m not riding along on the wagon.  But I’m also not slothing out in my log cabin.  It’s more like I’m hanging on to the back of the wagon being dragged along behind.  I’m still working out diligently.  3 runs per week.  3 x boot camp.  1 Body Pump class.  1 spin class. So yay.  That’s good work.

But.  Oh, but.

I’ve been a scarf monster.  The treats I’ve indulged in!

And it’s so dumb.  I’m gulping down enough that I’m negating the impressive amount of exercise I’m doing.

It could be worse.  I could be eating too much AND wimping out on my workouts.  But I do fear that this bad behavior is a slow slide in that direction.

I have been making myself get on the scale each week.  Just to see.  And I think that’s a wise move.  So much easier to let it slip in blissful ignorance.  Instead, I scowl at myself in informed knowingness.

And then?  I don’t know…. maybe writing it down here will matter.
Hello, Blog-Maggie.  It’s me.  Real-Maggie.  I just wanted to tell you about how I’m struggling with my will power lately.  But I would like to do better.  So keep an eye out for me.  I hope that I can report something good back to you soon.

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two miles

Begin preface:

Last year, I was too fat to fit into my snow pants.  I was too fat for a lot of my regular pants, and they’d been banished to storage in the basement.

I was in a non-exercise realm, which extended into a continent of excessive eating, and shamefully, into the ghetto of cigarette smoking.

I don’t remember what the exact tipping point was, but around this time last year, I started making tentative little efforts to get myself back into the Land of Thinness and Exercise.

In May of last year, I started the Couch to 5k training program and on the Fourth of July, I completed my first 5k race.  I did it alone and no one came to watch, by my choosing.  It was very slow going.  I think a little over 38 minutes.

Then I did a 2nd 5k within a month, with a friend, who left me in the dust.  So I ran it alone, but the running was witnessed by others.

And then I met up with a girl friend to run a few times.  I ran with another friend in Seattle when I was there.  Still slow.  But managing to tamp down my shame enough to try and do it with other people.

In November, I ran a 10K with David.  An hour and eighteen minutes. Totally exposing just how slow I am to my super fit boyfriend.  He ran with me the entire time, which I appreciated immeasurably.  I think some little cheater walk breaks would have interloped if he hadn’t been there to keep me honest.

In December, I registered for Bay to Breakers, a 7 mile “race” in May.  David said he’d do it, too, so we’ve been doing a bit more running together lately, in vague preparation for that.  And then!  Very recently, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I wanted to do the Oakland half marathon coming up at the end of March.  Even if it meant planning to walk some of it.  And so we’ve gotten a bit more committed to doing a long weekend run together, completing 6 this past Sunday and 4.5 the weekend before that.

Which ends all the prefacing and brings me to my point.

I had a plan to go to my gym after work yesterday to do an “easy” 3 or 4 mile run on the treadmill.  But then, towards the end of the work day, David says that he wants to do a quick run and that we could do it together.  I agree to this plan.

He suggests that we do 2 miles.  And then he asks what sort of goal should we have.

“I don’t know.  What sort of goal do you think we should have?”

“20 minutes?”

“Um, well… the most I’ve done at that sort of pace is 1.5 miles on the treadmill.  That seems kind of a lot and fast.”

“21 minutes?”

So, with no small dread, I agree to this malarky.

And then we go.  David lets me set the pace.  He’s got the Garmin on.  I’m trying to be fast.  He says we’re doing some kind of pace in the 8’s.  I calm down a little bit until it’s some kind of pace in the mid to upper 9’s.  It’s fine for about 3 minutes.  And then it, along with my wind, just. starts. sucking.

I think about the girls who post their running stats for 10 mile runs with paces like this one for the entire duration and I think vile thoughts about them and about me.

I think about the ginormous cookie I ate from today’s free lunch.

I think, mostly, pitiful little thoughts of woe and desperation.

David, of course, is fine and able to talk to me.  Which he does.  Saying things like:

“You’re doing great!”  (LIE)

“You look really good.”  (LIE)

“You can totally catch that guy.”  (Biggest lie yet)

It was rife with terribleness and a very strong desire to stop.

And then I did stop, ’cause it was over.  2 miles completed.  And it was less than 20 minutes.  I wish I could feel proud of this, but it was so heinous.  How can you feel proud of 19 minutes of heinous?

So while not proud, I might say that I’m amazed.  Amazed that I didn’t give up and start walking in a snarl of vituperativeness.  Amazed that somehow David made me do it.

I’m also amazed, in a full of absolute dreadful sort of way, that this may happen again.


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I scoff at intuitive eating

I see mumbo jumbo about intuitive eating all the time, these days.  It seems like it’s just everywhere.  Or maybe I’ve just fallen into a really intuitive blog roll.  Whatever it is, it’s definitely starting to get my goat.   Just today, I wanted to virtually poo-poo at some blogger* who was writing about just how clever she was to be eating intuitively.  She details out all these plans to stop and assess her satisfaction level throughout the meal.  I was imagining this and realized just how impractical that would be.  If you ate JUST enough to not be hungry, how long would that last?  I was reading her post while I was eating my 10 am oatmeal.  A meal that I always have right at 10 am and that I’m usually pretty darned hungry for when it’s time to have.  So half way through it, I had a think.  ‘Am I still hungry?  Well, no.  I am not actively hungry right this second any more.’

I had some more thinks.

Should I stop eating this now?

Will I make it to lunch if I don’t finish this?  I totally doubt it.

Maybe I could have little spoonfuls every 30 minutes, just enough to abate the slightest twinge of hunger, but no more.

Because I could spend my entire day just eating little mini meals. Kind of like hooking myself up to a constant stream of nutrients with an IV!

And then I turned back into myself.

I get that no one’s really suggesting that we dose ourselves with little tastes of food just to satiate the edges of hunger.  Really, the whole idea sounds nice.  It sounds very normal.  Just eat when you feel like it.  Whatever.  No big deal.  But when you’re like me, it IS a big deal.  I can’t unmake it a big deal.
It seems that the origins of the idea are logical and well thought-out, but then begins spiraling into various states of disarray as it falls into the hands of women, looking for a way to stop forcing themselves into certain behaviors.  Looking for a way to not feel bad.  To not be undone by a foe, like the pint quart of Somoas special edition ice cream that I ran afoul of last week.
I would like to believe that one day I can get to that state of normal.  That it will be like that “fake it until you make it” saying… if I follow a plan and guidelines (created from information and math and not intuition) that mimics normal eating, maybe one day I can do it without having to think so much about it.

But until then, I just don’t think it’s realistic to suggest that we should just go around talking to our heads and bodies to access what we need.  While I don’t want to go haranguing strangers on my blog, I will say that *this blogger did recently talk about starting to eat a brownie and then decided that because it wasn’t The Best Brownie Of All Time, she spit it out.  She chewed it up and spat it out.  This was an intuitive eating victory for her.  People commenting on her post were all congratulatory of her wise decision there.  But I actually think that’s crazy.  And if that’s a demonstration of just how normal intuitive eating can be, I click the Dislike button.

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Exercise exorcisim

I went a little overboard on the exercise this week and maybe now I need a life preserver thrown to me.

I ate a lot on Thanksgiving. A painfully lot.

There were a couple of social outings with friends and there was more eating.  And drinking.

And even though I did run a 10K (for the first time ever) on Thanksgiving morning, I only worked out one other time over the 4 day weekend.

So my weight was only down 0.2 pounds as my last weigh-in.  Which is fine.  I was glad not to have gone up a little bit, really.

But I got all motivated to make sure that the next week would be better, and ended up doing 8 workouts in the past 5 days.  Boot camp at 6 am every morning before work, two running workouts and 1 Body Pump class after work.

The plan also included a spinning class today and a long run, probably 5 or 6 miles, tomorrow.

I am exhausted.  My knee feels like a balloon full of jell-o.  I’ve been getting home in the evenings in a state of collapse.  Being a horrible crank pot because I’m just so tired.

And now I am fighting with myself.  I really should not work out today.  I could use a rest.  But I could just go to spin class.  It wouldn’t kill me.  I could just do it and it’d be done.

The fact that I’m having this fight in my head is proof that I have gotten crazy.  Or is it just proof that I’m making excuses to not go to spin class?


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Under 30

The scale told me this morning that I had lost enough weight to be not obese today.  For the moment, I’m feeling pretty yay about having a BMI under 30 and trying not to think about the bazillion* pounds that I’d have to do away with to just be normal.



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I happened across this blog post from The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson.  Her post was about a story written in Marie Clare about some healthy living bloggers.  The point of the story was that these girls, these bloggers, were fairly obsessive and had unhealthy relationships with food and exercise.  It gave examples of destroying food in order to avoid eating it and of examples of excessive eating which was “earned” by excessive exercise.

Rachel’s post tells about the backlash to that story and her opinions on it, people’s responses, and in general, the responsibility of being a writer and in particular, a blogger.

So, I read the article.  Then I looked up the blogs of these six women.

I thought about what Rachel wrote.

And I can’t stop thinking about it.  It seems to me that the crimes of these women is that they obsess.  They think carefully about what they eat.  They make specific exercise goals and plans and they adhere to them.  And they post, every day, about what they ate or cooked and what sort of exercise they partook in.  Truth be told, I can’t tell them apart after reading a week’s worth of content.  I think they’re all training for or just ran marathons.  They like oatmeal.  And peanut butter.  A lot.

I can totally relate.  When I am “on the wagon” I think about everything I eat and the exercise I plan on doing constantly.  I am rigid.  I have a complete menu of what I’m going to eat for the week, and then that’s what I eat for the week.  I worry about deviating.  I know what exercise I’m planning to do.  I worry about trying to fit it all in.  I think about how I can try to incorporate other exercises into my schedule.

The thing is, though, that if I don’t obsess, then I’m off the wagon.  I can’t just be casual.  I wish I could.  I would love to be a person who just makes good choices, indulges only occasionally, and enjoys exercise.  But I’m not.  Or at least I haven’t been to date.

So which is worse?  Is it worse to have issues, but be working towards health and fitness?  Or to let the issues go and be fat?  If I have to choose one, I choose to obsess.


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universal truths

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any other scale you get on will always say that you weigh more than the scale you have a relationship with at home.

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Boot camp, Day #15

I have this grand master plan that I must fit in to my snow pants again in time to go up to Tahoe a time or two this winter.  Which means that I’ve got until New Year’s, roughly, to lose some uncertain amount of weight.  Because I’ve got no idea how much I weighed when I fit into those pants.  It was just less.

So “grand master plan” meant that I was going to try to lose about 5 pounds per month for a total of 20 by the end of 2010.  Totally reasonable, right?

The first few months of September were not being entirely amenable to the plan, so I decided to up my game and joined up with a local boot camp.

I had been pondering joining up for ages.  I walk by these women every day on the way to work.  Back when I did Couch to 5k, some of that motivation was to try and get myself boot camp ready.  And then I started doing some Jillian Michaels DVDs in the mornings.  And then I filled out the paperwork and I went.

And lo.

That first day was heinous.  It was non stop do this do that, get up, get down, push up, jump, run, skip rope, bicycles, burpies, mountain climbers, lunges, gasping for breath and wiping the sweat out of my eyes.

Almost all of the other girls are very, very fit.  I expect that I probably do about 2/3 of the workout that many of them do, because I’m so much slower.  I gnash my teeth at them and envision catching up to them.  And then I can’t even really see them any more ’cause they’ve run around the next corner already and then I think about maybe just walking a little bit for the rest of the way.

There are usually one or two other “fatties” there.  Without them, I think I may have bailed on boot  camp for all the shame.  It is so secretly good to have someone with whom you can meet eyes and you know that you’re both just thinking “shit god damn mother fucker.”

This morning was my 15th consecutive day, excluding the weekend times when I just concentrate on asking my knees to please hold it together.
Only 4 more days to go, and then a whole month will be behind me.  There’s a week off, and then it starts up again for another month, which I’m thinking I will go for.

It’s still heinous.  Each and every day.  I do feel pretty good when it’s all over, but Maggie being Maggie, I think the dread beforehand is a lower low than the post workout high is high.

It also gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, those snow pants can be squeezed into.  I will not be trying them on any time soon.  But I am hopeful.

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buttons: a sure sign of my pending doom

I love clothes.  Love them.  Which is a darned shame for three reasons that I will list here.  One reason for the folly will be discussed more fully.

1.  I should be using all of my money to pay off my credit cards.

2.  I am too lazy to create proper outfits.  Most days, it’s jeans and a vaguely interesting shirt, but I can’t manage decent accessories or shoes.

3.  I have a ginormous bosom (in addition to be generally rather plump) and it is quite challenging to find clothes that will properly span my form.

In particular, I have a penchant for vintage-y styled things, best suited for the more willowy types.  To hell, though with what’s best suited!  I will continually try to cram my more pillowy type into clothes that make me swoon.

Anything with buttons down the front is a sure sign of despair, since the best case scenario is that I’ll get an unflattering gap and pull across the chest.

See an example here:

To be fair, I was much, much thinner in this picture than I am now.  Probably about 30 pounds thinner.  But you can STILL see a bit of a gap in the boob area.
And yet.  And yet!  I find myself pining after this dress, even though it $179 and even though I have a feeling it would not even begin to close over my prow, let alone let me imagine that I can get away with wearing it with a few unseemly tugs.
How cute is this?  Little blue polka dots!  Oh, how I want!  And look how cute the real Maggie looks in it.

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All hot and bothered

Scowl am I today.

I got on the scale and the number it decided to tell me was the exactly same one as the number a week ago.  And I am bitter, as I was certain that it would be something ever so slightly nicer and that I would be pleased and encouraged and that it would be a secret good feeling that I’d get to carry around.

And yet.

It wasn’t a perfect week, but it seemed like it coulda been a pretty good one.  I did four of my Couch to 5K runs.  My work day eating was pretty darned close to perfect.  There were some transgressions over the weekend time, but still… I was convinced that it would balance out in my favor.

Granted, I don’t actually count calories properly, so some of what I’m doing is just guessing.  I know that I’ve been eating 200 calories worth of cereal and milk in the morning, but I also put a few walnuts and blueberries on that.  A serving of walnuts could have another 200 calories, but I’m definitely have a lot less than that.  But is it a quarter of a serving?  A tenth?  Shrug.  I dunno.  And I guess I’m just not at a point of caring that much.

So this week I’m still going to eat my walnuts and not worry about them, but how about I don’t eat 2 hamburgers in one go while tailgating?  How bout that Margaret?  Scoff.

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