No…I don’t feel gross. Never did.

A friend of mine posted this article about “Thin Privilege”, and I clicked the link, just reading my facebook feed like a dutiful friend/artist exhausted of coloring. It was a surprisingly good read, and it touched a part, deep down inside, that I’ve been ignoring.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of body issues lately. Not like you’d expect. Usually, when a girl loses weight, they’re just so excited to be skinnier and get new clothes and stuff. Which I have been. Excited to be down a jean size. Excited my clothes fit better…I have those feelings, but it’s not the only ones that are there. Becoming the skinnier me…it’s taken some getting used to.

Since I started losing weight, back in April, my eyes have been opened to a world of truths. So many people thought I hated myself and my body, and I didn’t realize how plentiful those people were who thought this. The judgement now, once I started shedding pounds, …they don’t feel like they have to hide it…to hide they were judging me as gross, lazy, slow, unhealthy…and so much more.

When I posted my progress (closing in on 40 pounds less now – Thanks, MyFitnessPal and Charles for keeping me company on my journey), there was a surprising amount of people who came out of the woodwork, assuming I hated how I looked before. I have gotten questions like “Don’t you feel less gross now?” or “I bet you get less tired going up stairs, right?” or “Doesn’t eating healthy just feel better?” or “I thought you were gonna have a heart attack.”

Now I KNOW that several of the people who have said these things are chock-full of love and such, but it hurt. These people I care about, and who care about me, thought I was living in this shameful bubble of self-loathing, but I was never that girl. Underneath all my flubber and jiggly bits, I am relatively healthy. I have a thyroid issue, but I don’t hide behind it, as I know I eat horribly and I don’t exercise. But down 30+ pounds I STILL EAT HORRIBLY…I just eat less…and I still barely exercise.

I was talking to a friend just a day or two ago about fat-shaming and how it affected her life. She’s slimmer than me, even at my current weight, and far more active. She had these friends, an elderly couple from Syria, who she would visit and take shopping and the like. But each time, the woman would look her over and point out stuff like “You look less like a cow today than yesterday”…and she finally had it “up to here” and severed ties. The woman followed her as she left, but my friend was done. Done being judged. Done having her flaws pointed out to her.

It’s not like we don’t know we don’t conform to the standard of beauty, but she’s one of the most beautiful people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. She’s kind and thoughtful. Her smile and laugh could light up a room, and she has a way of making you feel like you belong. She didn’t deserve the way she was treated.

It’s just…seriously fucked up. But I’m kind of glad it happened this way to me. It really opened my eyes.

The screwiest part of all of this is the fact I kind of miss fatter me. I’ve been big for a long time. I haven’t been not considered a ‘plus size’ since the sixth grade. I’ve always been comfortable with me, just as I am and as I was, haters be damned. But I knew that girl, for all the ‘flaws’. I know what stresses and life choices made me go from a bean pole to a curvy girl. But as I saw it, she was me. I lived my life to be happy, and this was the result, and I was and AM comfortable with that.

I started losing weight so I can improve my chances to have kids and those kids will have better health as a result of me taking better care of myself while they’re along for the ride. Not because I hated myself. Not for any of the reasons people assumed. Why no one assumed I would do something for someone other than myself is beyond me, but I guess we’re all conditioned to believe that we all hate ourselves and want desperately to be have that supermodel body.

I don’t plan on quitting the weight loss journey. I will get used to the new me. I will get to know this girl as I knew the one who was there in April. But know I love myself. I’m healthy. I’m motivated. I have goals. I don’t think I’m gross. I think I am fabulous. I am actually sort of vain. I check myself out in the mirror and say “how you doin?” channeling my best Matt Leblanc.

I think I shall end this rant here. I have vented sufficiently.

You can’t kill me…you can only make me stronger…unless you offer me cupcakes…full of poison. Then you’ll get me. I cannot resist cupcakes. Less I’m out of calories for the day.

-J.S.

 

 

Day 12 to Day 14 – Where have I been?!

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I realize I’ve missed a couple days, but it’s been kinda busy, so … my apologies. Been jumping through hoops and working on projects and trying to pack a lot into my days, and some of those days I have not gotten time to blog. I’ll try to do better.

GOOD things to report though. Sunday’s workout was pretty good. 31 minutes at 2.5 mph, 1.31 miles, 104 kCal burned. I had the gym pretty much all to myself – a perk of Sunday Workouts – up until the last five minutes, when househusband from the other day came in. Exchange of nods, but eyes on the prize. I think I’m gonna require a full 30 minutes minimum out of my workouts. If I am under 30 minutes, I’m sweaty and tired when I leave. 30+ minutes, I’m sweaty and tired, but I got a little more pep in my step after, which makes me think that 30 minutes is when I hit my stride. So if I can push through til 30, I can push beyond it. SO no less than 30 minutes, barring major owies.

I’ve been making preparations for the last few days (bloodwork, medical clearances, etc.) to schedule a surgery on my wrist. See, several years ago, like…circa 2007 and working at EA, I had a ganglion cyst form in my right wrist. Little bump, kinda hurt. I call it my “Full Sail Sports Injury.” (Joke being that Full Sail doesn’t have sports, and if they did, I likely would not have played them. I’m very funny.) It was agitated by repetitive stress between art, gaming (WoW), and gaming (QA tester at EA). For about a year I had it, til one day I had to turn off a fire alarm and forgot to use my brain. I grabbed my computer chair to stand on, and I fell, of course. I fell on my right hand, and the cyst burst – all internal, nothing gross or icky, ‘cept for the name ganglion. It’s a gross word.

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It was gone for a long time. Then, in 2010, it started to form again. It started small. And it stayed small, because despite my desk job making scrapbook paper, I had recently retired from WoW, and it got a rest. But it was there. Over time though, it started to hurt more and more. My wrist would get so sore I would put it in an immobilizer brace and my hand would lock up entirely. I think the cyst was pinching a nerve or something, but I’m no doctor. One night I couldn’t open my hand from Dinner until I fell asleep…and it released by morning…but at 2 am, it was still locked. Miserable. I knew I needed it taken care of, but I didn’t have insurance, couldn’t afford the surgery, since scrapbook paper design is not the most lucrative position. I just used my brace more, heat pack or ice pack at home – whichever felt best – and taking long PC-free breaks on my personal time to let it rest.

I moved to the card job, and it was more of the same. Clicking was far worse, and I was making vectors, so clicking…holy ow (not meant to be cow), was it painful. I powered through the pain, since there had been talk of insurance coming once the company took off. October 2012, the company sank, and still no insurance. So I played on. It would eventually go away, but it was then I realized it was getting noticeably larger.

It’s hugeness didn’t fully strike me til a few days before my wedding. My mother gave me a bracelet to wear, which I was glad to have, so the bump wouldn’t be in my photos, plus it was a beautiful bracelet, and from my Mama, whom I love dearly. I wore it proudly, and it hid the unsightly thing for the whole of the evening. It was a magical night. I didn’t even feel the pain til the next day from wearing a bracelet over it for all the hugging and posing and lifting my pretty, heavy dress. It was just getting out of control.

But still I did nothing. “It’ll go away, just like last time.” I was kidding myself.

A few weeks later, at the bridal shower for one of my dearest friends, the lovely Sommer (who’s now a full-fledged member of the wedded bliss club), the issue could no longer be ignored. By anyone, apparently. One of the guests, the daughter of another friend of mine, actually poked at it and said “What is that?” She didn’t look disgusted, but genuinely interested, which was unique.

I suddenly felt like the bearded lady. Very sideshow.

This was the final straw. When I looked at my wrist, I felt like I was looking at the spine of my undead rogue sticking through her cape:

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The pain in my wrist was now dull, but constant. It hurt nearly all the time. Anytime I do anything fun (pulling the trigger on a paintball gun, clicking my moves when picking spells to cast in WoW, placing windows in my Sims 3 Mansion, etc.) and that require finer detail or control (handwriting my wedding thank yous – those cards are small – or sketching intricate folds into a commission for my favorite art patrons) – the pain builds and builds til I can’t take it. I can only fill out 2 thank yous at a time. I sent out 90 invitations to my wedding. Do the math, when I want to thank everyone who came as well as those who sent gifts. I almost gave in to logical thought, and asked on FB if peeps would mind a printed version with a handwritten signature. People were understanding, but at the same time – I felt bad and all the love I felt that day from friends and family deserve the proper written treatment. I couldn’t do it. I’d rather be stupid late than cold. Just not me.

So that brings us to now. Now when I am playing phone tag with surgeons, waiting for estimates from surgery centers, and getting medical clearances. My thyroid levels were of specific concern, but they have stabilized, thankfully. I got my clearance this morning, now I gotta wait for Charles to get time off to come with me cause I’m gonna be doped up something fierce while the go in and cut this little bugger so it’s likelihood of return is less than 10%, which would be amazing. Since April’s wedding shower embarrassment, a second cyst sprung up right by the first. Now I look like this:
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Like what I did there? Anatomical references when showing weird body parts – kinda fun to me. Hehe. The second cyst is tiny and not visible in the shadow of is predecessor, but it’s there, and it’s growing, and it suuuuuuuuuucks. HARD.

I should hopefully be getting surgery either this Thursday or the Thursday following. Once I find out Charles’ schedule, I can get the appointment made. Once the surgery is done, I may be brief with posts, but heck, this one’s getting long and I didn’t even cover today’s exercise totals yet! Which were great!

First, a gym jam, cause I love to share music with you guys:
Not like, classic music here, but I love it. Very mellow and driving, nice for the last few minutes of your workout while you push through til you hit your goal time and start your cool down. The vocalizations in the background are mesmerizing. Serena’s kinda…cookie-cutter-young-pop-tartlet, but I enjoy her energy. The video is lovely too.

So after my appointment this morning, I hit the gym. I was feeling extra peppy to start cause the gym was empty save 1 girl lifting weights, and I had just gotten the all clear on my EKG and medical clearance. I was strong like bull.

I watched Weeds again, since it seems to be in a less … naked all the time … part of the show (showtime and HBO love them some bewbies.) and I knew it grabs my attention enough to keep my eyes off the time and all that. I realize it’s gotta be something I haven’t seen before, and it has to be something I’m invested in. The show’s definitely not aging gracefully, but it’s trying to stay alive, and I really wanna see where the characters end up. I went for 2.5 mph today, since my goal was time first, speed second. Once I get to where I can hit my goal at 2.5, I’ll move to 2.7. Then on up.

I walked for 42 minutes, over 7 laps, for 1.77 miles, burning 140 calories. Burn, baby, burn! I felt like the king of the world walking back to my apartment. I got home, and I started getting changed, and I realized something horribly embarrassing, which I’ll share with my blog readers, cause I love you guys and I share my shameface with the ones I love – My grey capris were sweat-soaked, and not in a flattering way. I looked like I had a cat face on my butt. Nose in the middle, with whiskers pointing outward. But you know what…the shame was ok. I still felt amazing, despite the minor embarrassment, because I walked my longest time. When I got off that treadmill, I was pumped. I felt awake and alive and…sweaty, but it was a great feeling.

I’m making an effort to improve myself, and it feels good. Really, really good.

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Met the hubbs and friends for lunch, and now I’m home again, blogging before relaxing and trying to knock out a pending commission for the sweet Lady Annmarie, my favorite “Pizza Bitch” ever. (That’s her superhero name, guys. Super Pizza Bitch. She is super. One of my best clients and favorite people, honestly.) I wanna finish it before the surgery so she can get the framing done. It’s gonna be the first piece I submit as a print on DA, order said print, then immediately take down once the order has shipped. I’ll explain this in November. Dunno how long I’ll be down for once I get the surgery done, maybe just a week, but I gotta get this one out the door.

Hopefully I’ll see y’all tomorrow and post some surgery updates. Wish me luck!

❤ – Panda

((EDIT: animated gifs – SOURCE: buzzfeed.com – I love them, their lists make me giggle))

Day 10 + Day 11 – Last Night Lost

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Good morning, everyone. First, my apologies for missing another day after promising not to miss another day. Unforeseen circumstances involving my internal organs deciding to hate me paired with a lovely migraine forced me to bed well before I planned. And when I woke up, I still felt so NOT rested.

Yesterday was not hugely eventful. Doing the phone tag dance with my orthopedic surgeon’s office. I have a cyst on my right wrist, and they are gonna remove it, but to get the surgery, I need clearances from my general practitioner and my insurance is giving mixed information to the doctor and the surgery center on my coverage and copay and all. Insurance is stupid confusing, but I found the packet from Fella’s work an I’ll be researching hard today so I can get this all settled on Monday and get the surgery scheduled. Good news is, once it’s done, I’ll have recovery time to do, which keeps me at the PC less. Which means I may find myself at the gym more.

Had a friend reach out to me yesterday about my weight loss goals with lots of suggestions on food to eat and apps I can use to track my progress and keep track of my caloric intake. I guess it’s about time for me to start monitoring that, cause they say exercise won’t help as much as change in diet. Gonna be sure to pick up some turkey and some tuna when I go to the store next. He also recommended Greek Yogurt. I’m not a huge yogurt fan, for those who know me. I was once on a yogurt diet for three months when I was younger to tend to a stomach issue. It was miserable. As my dad said once, “I didn’t get fat on yogurt.” It just wasn’t tasty. Is greek yogurt different enough from regular yogurt that it won’t be so nasty? Also, for any yogurt peeps who may be lactose intolerant like me, is it heavy in the lactose-y department that I’ll need to be popping lactaid in order to eat it?

I’ll be trying out the app he suggested, and I’ll report back with how it goes. He went from 210 to 190 with it + walking, so it likely did him pretty good.

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Did some fun WoW Stuff yesterday. Finished my Classic Raider achievement by finishing Blackwing Lair. I had been there before, but the guild I ran with never could get it done when we were the right level for it. I also ran Karazhan with my rogue after running it with my shaman, and have gotten 2 of the pets from there – The Lil’ Big Bad Wolf and the Netherspace Abyssal. I forget how to get the dragon after though. Not Netherspite, but the other one…Nightbane? Gonna haveta Google it.

Like I said, though, my night was cut short by sickness, so I crashed.

Dishonored-Game

This is my spectator game starting this morning. Charles’ PC is hooked up to our television, so this is my background noise for now. Seems a little heavy though. Just watched the beginning of the game, and I’m already depressed. Can’t they just make some games that don’t have as much…sadness? He’s playing it on the hardest difficulty to start. He always does that. Played IRON MAN mode on XCOM and my god, there was so my death. Once a soldier dies in that mode, they’re dead for good.

Today is planned to hold likely visiting his parents across town. I’m gonna get my SWIM on with any luck, and we’ll likely spend the evening over there til tomorrow morning, when I will be restarting my gym rotation of Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday. Once I get to walking at 3.0 more comfortably, I will be adding on Monday or Saturday to the rotation. I also still plan to get started on some at home exercises. Got any suggestions? Leave them in the comments! ❤

And before I leave you, I want to share this which was shared with me on facebook – a 24 hour LIVE stream of Giant Pandas in China! Not super interesting right this moment, since they’re sleeping right now, but it’s super cute. Check it out:
24 Hour Live Giant Panda Stream (from http://live.ipanda.com/)

See ya’ll tomorrow after my workout. Have a wonderful Saturday!

((EDIT: Tomorrow is visit the parents day. Today is veg-out-and-game day. Guess I should make lunch :P))

Day 6 + Day 7 – Netflix

SORRY I MISSED YESTERDAY! It just got away from me! I will include yesterday’s activity with today’s post! ❤

Yesterday was kind of a slow and low day. I am trying out a new schedule, exercising every other day to see if I can build up to every day, then keep pushing. Maybe one day I’ll get to jogging. That’s probably still a ways off. 😛 I did slow cooked BBQ Meatballs and made meatball sandwiches. Really simple recipe Bottle of your fave BBQ sauce, can of pineapples (in pineapple juice), and enough meatballs that everything gets covered. Cook for 6 hours on high in your slow cooker (Turkey meatballs get done a little quicker, but 6 will guarantee cookthrough, so better safe than sorry) then served on a roll with provolone cheese (or swiss or whatever. I like a mild cheese with BBQ sauce.)

Leftovers are great for pizza too. Just chop em up, put em on a flatbread, and put on some pepper jack cheese (I like a little kick with the pizza) or cheese of your choice, and throw em in the oven or toaster over til the flatbread turns golden on the edge. I made these for Joann’s farewell shindig before she left Orlando, and it was a hit, I think.  They keep for about a week, in my experience.

Chatted with Mum some yesterday. Leveled my lowbie hunter to 25 (GLYPHS ENABLED! WHAT WHAAT!!!!), and worked on some projects. My exercise yesterday was hauling my groceries upstairs. It’s brutal.

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And onto today!

Started the morning out with a doctor’s appointment. I’m happy to inform you guys that my thryroid levels have normalized and I am in optimal range. Doesn’t mean I have to take less meds or anything, but my body should start working better now. I do need to work on my blood sugar (on the high side) and cholesterol needs tending to (Doc recommends cutting fast food. Probably not a bad idea.). I also need to get my liver looked at. I might have something called “Fatty Liver”. :s Not a bad thing despite his name, but it means if I do, this number will always be a little…off. Hard to see if something actually were wrong. I’m putting my liver on a diet. 😛

Got my exercise on today. More people at the gym than anticipated. Someone was on my machine, so I had to use the other treadmill. It’s fine. I’m just a creature of habit.

I started listening to my music, but I was already feeling kinda tired, which is not the best way to start off your exercise, so I decided to change it up. My phone detected the leasing office’s free wifi, so I hopped on, and started up Netflix. Let me just say:

Netflix is pretty much the best thing to happen to my exercise routine so far.

1. I get to watch my shows (Watch Weeds right now, season 3. Not sure I love it, but I enjoy it, and I always wanna see more.)
2. Distraction from the numbers on the machine.
3. Good replacement for our powerless cable tv down at the gym
4. No commercials. ❤

I worked SO well. I was so into the story that I didn’t look at the panel on the treadmill for the WHOLE of the workout. When I got tired, I hit cooldown. I walked for almost 35 minutes at 2.5 mph, and burned 114 kCal while walking 1.44 miles. Woohoo! Thanks for the good workout, Mary Louise Parker.

Image compliments of The Place: Celebrity Photos

Image compliments of The Place: Celebrity Photos (LINK)

I’m gonna need to pick some more shows to watch now. Weeds is enjoyable but also not the most PG, seeing it’s a Showtime show about a drug dealer, but you know…
Recommend more shows for me? Pretty please?

Got a lot to do today. Work on commission pieces, more housework (It never ends) and waiting on a call from the doc back. A got a couple levels lookin’ a little low, so I put in to ask her a question about it, but she’s lunching, so I gotta wait to hear back…which likely end up as a game of phone tag, but come on…who doesn’t like playing tag? 😛

GYM JAM OF THE DAY:
“She’s So Mean” by Matchbox Twenty:

Can’t go wrong with a little Matchbox 20. I adore this group, and have since like…forever. I agree with one of the video comments:
“If you don’t like Matchbox Twenty, the terrorists win.” from “ThatDudeWithTheWords”

See y’all tomorrow. ❤

Day 3 – Ninja Training

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For those who can’t read this (despite its’ hugeness), let me type it out!

HOW TO BE A NINJA:
1. Be very quiet
2. Wear all black.
3. Master awesome skills.
4. Kick first, ask questions later.
5. Stay up all night, sneaking.
6. NEVER TELL ANYONE YOU ARE A NINJA!

So I picked this shirt out cause I was heading into my third day of getting in shape, and I was feeling a little like a bad ass. Just a little. Not a lot. Okay, okay, a lot. I get impressed with myself very easily. Even braided my hair cause it felt very ninja-like to me. I’m a special girl, sometimes.

Took Fella (what I usually call my poor husband instead of his name. Was even in our vows. Hehehe!) to work, almost ran out of gas, and made my way to Wawa. Once I finished fueling Kate up (Kate’s our car. The name’s a silly way we remember her plate number. A story for another time.), I made my way inside to get a bottle of water for while I worked on my fitness. I did my pimp walk up to the register, cause I’m awesome and life is good, and the cashier complimented my shirt and called me ‘young lady’ which was great for me, although I thought he might have been being sarcastic…NAH…I’m awesome.

TO THE GYM!

I get there, and you’d think they were giving stuff away for free. POPULATED!! People, people everywhere…even the tiny girl from day 1 was there, and she looked surprised to see me. She smiled and waved though. Kids love me…probably because of my being incredibly awesome. Thankfully, my machine was open. I mustered up my strength to start sweating in front of a crowd, put in my earbuds, and got to walking quickly.

That’s when it hit me – a shooting pain up my left leg. I grimaced a bit, but kept walking. Each time my foot hit the treadmill, pain – pain – pain. I tried slowing down, but no help. It wasn’t super safe to continue in this shape, so I slammed “COOL DOWN” after just 4 minutes. The girl on the exercise bike gave me what my brain could only interpret as “Oh, good effort, maybe next time” charity smiles.

Totally shame-faced, I was determined not to give up. I wiped down the machine, and put back on my pimp walk (Which is NOT walking like a penguin like I normally do). I was like “Pfft – this machine bores me” in the face, and I moseyed on over to the exercise bike. I got on and started hitting the buttons. Nothing happened. I thought “Maybe it’s not plugged in, like the TV.”

“You gotta start pedaling, then it turns on.” offered the charitable exercise bike girl. She seemed really nice, but I was in no mood. I smiled back, of course. Just because I was grumpy and embarrassed – it’s no reason to be rude. (Remember that kids!)

So I pedaled, thinking “Oh, my legs should work fine here. They’re not hauling my torso…totally sitting. This should be easy“.

No.

No.

No,

Not easy.

That’s when I realized it was on the easiest setting ta-boot.

But I am ninja-in-training. I must continue. I was sitting with jams and cool water, next to my new friend on the exercise bike. I am awesome. I am a ‘young lady’. I didn’t even have the shooting pain in my left leg anymore…It was in BOTH. Both legs were angry now, and they were having an “OCCUPY THE GYM” rally, wearing those Anonymous Guy Fawkes masks, with signs saying “GET OFF THE EFFING BIKE!”

The signs made up in my mind by these rebellious extremities were not particularly clever, but they were effective. I’m new to this exercise thing, and I did push particularly hard yesterday. I powered through 6 minutes of biking, with exercise bike girl’s encouraging gaze upon me, like she was watching an episode of ‘biggest loser’ hoping I’ll really make it and change my life forever. She seemed nice, but I soooooo just wanted to slap her in her whole face.

I was failing, and I didn’t want an audience. The gym was still packed, all the non-weight equipment had a user, so I was surrounded. That’s when it happened:

NINJA VANISH.

I blew outta there as fast as my wobbly, angry legs could carry me. Down past the pool. Past the soda machine, but I DID glance at the price. $1.50 a bottle? I think not. And it had way too many types of 7up, which hasn’t been good in years since they changed formulas…but I digress.

Once I got in the house, it was ice-n-elevate time, which is where I am now, writing this blog post. Here’s what I’m taking from today:

1. Go to the gym earlier, before everyone is up and their husbands or wives are off at work (I saw you, househusband. Don’t think you could hide from me when you snatched up my machine so fast!)
2. Hydrate before exercising. I was sooooo thirsty soon as I started sweating, and I can barely chew gum and walk at the same time. Trying opening a bottle on a treadmill and trying to aim for your face. I’m not coordinated
3. At least 1 new jam in the rotation each day. Something to look forward to. “OOH new song” helped me push through the last 6 minutes.
4. We get defeated sometimes, but it doesn’t mean we should stop trying. I have a goal, and I’m not gonna stop, no matter what pain and embarrassment come.
5. Be nice to people. It’s just the right thing to do. Put good out, get good back. (I love you still, exercise bike lady. Sorry for wanting to slap you in your whole face.)

I hope you guys enjoyed the gym jams. I’ll post more later today. Also, still waiting on more back on what else you guys wanna see here, but right now the art-stuff is in the lead, so I’ll probably do an eye drawing tutorial or something. Fun times.

And today, I will leave you with my power animal:
My Power Animal, Snorlax

Snorlax – Blocking your path since 1996.

Day 1 – Hot Mess

My day begins. I woke early to get myself put together for my first workout at the fitness center in my apartment complex. Long hair tied up and rockin’ the headband to keep my fly-aways at bay. Grey capris, blue tank, and good supportive shoes was my outfit of choice to start this little adventure. If I was gonna sweat, I would be as comfy as possible.

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I woke my husband, Charles, and got him moving on getting ready for work as I loaded up my phone with workout songs. I definitely got more than I needed, but I always like to be prepared. Once he was ready, I drove him over to work (which is about 5 minutes away) then returned to the house. I sat in my car for a little while, listening to the morning radio show on 104.1 serving as psuedo-mediators to a couple ready for divorce.

“We’ve been married 10 years” says the man. He then said how he fooled around with her sister and her girlfriends. They had a son who was 14 or 15, he didn’t know.

“It’s been 18 years” says the woman. She knew her son’s age. She was just over his behavior.

To this point in the show, I didn’t see what his problem was aside from having a bad memory and him being a little bit of a ho. But then, the host asked if he wanted a divorce, to which he said, “Well, we made a promise to be faithful…”

It began! “Funny he mentions being faithful” she said. All hell broke loose! Allegations of cheating (he admitted it) and painkiller addiction followed, with a lot of ‘Shut your mouth, woman!” It was a train wreck, but I had exercising to do, so I pulled myself away and turned the radio off.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself before you read about the sweaty part. 🙂 

I’m a 31 year old gal who lives in sunny Orlando (for about 9 years now). I have my degree in computer animation, but my dream job is concept art/character design. I do some freelance work from time to time, doing illustration and graphic design on the side. I’ve worked as a QA game tester, Scrapbook Paper and Die Cut Designer, and Greeting Card designer (as well as more retail jobs than I wanna remember).

I was born in Pennsylvania, to the world’s most awesome parents, as one of 6 kids. Our household was noisy and chaotic, and, despite all our issues, full of love (most days). My mom worked a lot, and my dad worked the same gig pretty much the entire time I was alive. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers. I have 3 nieces and 3 nephews. I have a big family and I always try my best to make time for them even though I’m far away.

Wedded Bliss

Photography by the lovely Iwona of http://www.iwona.com – Our Wedding Day – March 9, 2013

I got married to the love of my life, Charles, in March of 2013. He and I got together in 2004, but we’ve known each other since 1997. We met online, but not through eHarmony or any of those dating sites. My hubbs put it best when he wrote the story of our relationship for our wedding website (He’s a much better writer than I am):

“I first met Jaclyn in a forest, surrounded by strangers… But then I guess we were strangers at the time, too. It was a beautiful night, crisp and cool. My imagination was in full force, rendering this internet chatroom more vividly than any reality. As people around us chatted, we noticed each other and struck up our own conversation. I didn’t think much of it at the time… but I had made a new friend.

Over the coming months, we often. She became one of my most valued friends, and even though she rebuffed my flirtations (I was a teenager afterall), we kept in touch for years as I moved about the country and she fought with inconsistent internet access.

We met for the first time in person at the bus station. We were both nervous and anxious… but I did my best to exude confidence and keep my cool (I’ve been told I failed). She had the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen and her mild shyness was so cute. We made some awkward small talk as I proceeded to get completely lost trying to drive back to my apartment. I worked through the embarrassment eventually made it home, treating her to an amazing meal from McDonald’s along the way.

After a competitive few rounds of Soul Calibur, the nervousness was slowly fading away. I was becoming more and more convinced we could take the next step in our relationship.”

We’ve grown together over our 9 year relationship, and I couldn’t imagine what my life would be without him. (I have imagined it – I would be a 31-year-old crazy cat lady living in my cluttered childhood bedroom in my parents’ house, probably working at wal-mart. Not what I had in mind for my life, though hanging with the folks would be great. Love them!) My fella is my rock and anchor. He’s the Bunson Honeydew to my Beaker. I’m ready to start our life together and hope to soon have a family.

We’ve hit some obstacles on the way, but the most recent is health related. I was diagnosed last year with Hypothyroidism. I’m still learning about it myself, but I got my first of the “take these once a day forever” medicines to treat it. My weight is an issue as well, which only got worse with the hypothyroid. My senior year: I weighed 180 lbs. I was no small girl, but I was tall, and I carried it well. 13 years later: I weigh 324 lbs. (as of this morning) and am startin to shrink, and all this weight is getting harder to carry, both in shape and in wear and tear of my joints, including my pair of problematic knees. Doc says I wear my knee caps like they’re berets. Not a shining endorsement of how great my legs are holding up.

TL:DR for you guys out there – Big girl from a big family goes to school, falls in love, gets married, wants family, discovers hypothyroidism, bad knees, wants to get in shape to get a grip on health and start that family with the awesome-est husband ever.

FINALLY – ON TO THE SWEATY PART! 😛

I decided that, while I am unemployed and spending so much time at home, I should try to get into shape. I want a family pretty badly. I’m not getting any younger. The world has painted an image in my mind of how if I have a child and I’m over 35, that child with come out as a cloud of dust from my uterus shriveling up like a raisin as I wither into old-lady-hood. The way ‘they’ make it sound, by passing 29, I am pretty much done with life.  We both wanted to be married before we thought about having kids, and to wait for a time where we had the emotional and fiscal responsibility to care for someone more than we care for ourselves. I think it was the right choice, but it’s definitely not as easy to get preggers as my parents and teachers lead me to believe. (I know this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it is one-n-done, but I still feel lied to.)

After I turned off my radio, I hopped outta the car and hoofed it to the gym, whose door was locked. Like a crazy person, I cupped my hands to my face, and peered through the glass of the door. There were people in there! …All of which now probably thought “who’s the creeper outside watching me work out?” I meandered to the office for the code for the lock, and it was ON!

I found an empty treadmill and hopped on. Popped in my earbuds and dropped my bottle of water in the holder, and pressed “START”. It did nothing, so I pressed “START” again…about six more times. I looked up at the ceiling and thought, “Holy crap, I killed the treadmill. I got on it and it died.” That’s when I realized the speed was set to 0. I’m a genius, sometimes, lemme tell ya. I pushed the speed up to 1.5 and got to walkin’.

“SO SLOW” I thought, so I punched it right up to 4.

Even the little girl who came to work out with her mommy was giving me a look like “Girl, you’re gonna kill yourself on that thing!” She tilted her tiny head to the left, hands on her hips as if to tell me to set it right or get off of it before I hurt myself. The little lady was right, so I pulled the speed back to 2.5, then to 3. Three felt pretty good. I stayed at that speed for a little while, but ended up settling on 2.7.

“2.7 what?” I thought. “Is this measurement in miles?” There were miles listed in the display, as well as distance, calories, and LAPS. I don’t know the purpose of laps, really. I thought they’d be miles, like the distance and all, but they operated on a completely different scale. I watched them for a while, and was like “YES! 1 LAP COMPLETE” thinking I walked a mile, only to look to the right and find I had walked .2 miles. 😐 I was not amused. I’m still not amused.

So I kept on hoofing it. After about 5 minutes at speed, I was already sweating like I was in a sauna. “This is what death feels like, I bet. This very feeling, back and forth forever.” I tried to lose myself in my jams, not to think about the yelling I was getting from my limbs and internal organs.

Before long, I got to my first minimum exercise requirement – 15 minutes at speed. I slammed the COOLDOWN button sooooooo hard. My legs felt like fire, and I felt like I had just leapt into a pool filled with my own sweat. So unsexy.

So the stats for day:

FINAL SPEED:  2.7 miles/hour?
DISTANCE: .67 miles
CALORIES: 55 BURNED
WORKOUT TIME: 15 minutes, 2 minutes cooldown

Now to go undo it all by going to Popeye’s chicken for the first time ever. (I’ll have to work harder tomorrow. Also, pretty sure there’s a squirrel in my AC system. I can SO hear him crawling about in my ceiling. Not cool, squirrel, not cool.