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Monday, May 2, 2016

Fabulous @ 50: Where I am now.

Today on FB I was reading an article on weight regain after weight loss, and how huge weight loss wrecks your metabolism.

I thought I'd check in.

When I started my weight loss blog, the idea was to loose about 200lbs.  I pretty much struggled with that for a few years, starting in 2007 (almost a decade ago now!)  I started with cleaner eating, went to the gym (eventually for an OBSCENE amount of time every day) and tried out for The Biggest Loser.  After only getting down about 100 lbs (to close to 300lbs) I went for bariatric surgery.  I didn't lose as much as I wanted, even though the doctors warned me I might not get below 200lbs.

Eventually I did get below 200, down to 187, at which point my blood sugar started tanking dangerously.  That was 2010.  Then it was an adjusted diet, which pretty much ended up with me playing it by ear depending on how my sugar was.  The doctor recommended I add more carbs and fat in my diet.  I reluctantly did so, and gained back almost 25 lbs.

I've been stable at my current weight for over 4 years now, and am pretty confident that if there's ever a better way to deal with my blood sugar issues, I'll be able to take that 25 back off.

But in general, I've kept about 190 off, and that's something I'm pretty darn  happy with.

So here it is, my before photo, one of my nearly after photos, and me (literally) today, more wrinkled and more grey, but no  heavier:


The article I mentioned above was interesting to me because it followed Season 8 contestants from The Biggest Loser, a show that once motivated me.  I remember pinning my hopes on being a contestant myself, and having the show "rescue" me from myself.  In the long run, the only one who rescued me was me.

I think that a lot of us have a lot of unrealistic expectations from our weight loss.  We have these models of weight loss we see on TV (and sometimes in our lives) and, although we know the odds are against it, secretly expect our skin to be a little more elastic, our metabolisms to be a little faster, and time to stand (or run backwards) while we go through our weight loss journey.

Today I look at myself and wish for less wrinkles and less loose skin.  I wish for a narrower hip frame, and thicker hair.  I wish for better health, bones that don't ache in the cold damp weather, and maybe a smaller nose.

The thing is, losing weight doesn't mean that you're satisfied. It's not the answer to all your health issues, or meeting a hot guy, or finding your self confidence.  Losing weight means you've lost weight.  It also means that there are other struggles.  And sometimes it's just a temporary state.

I don't think I'd trade the 190 lbs or so for less wrinkles or better blood sugar.  But I also won't pay the price for another 25 lbs lost in worse blood sugar and more wrinkles.

There comes a point where we have to accept our biology and love ourselves for who we are.  That doesn't mean we don't try to get healthier.  It doesn't mean we don't do things that make us feel beautiful, healthy, or empowered.  It just means we do those things with love and acceptance.

Studies like the one cited at the beginning of this post might go a long way towards eliminating some of the stigma of weight regain.  I hope that some day the haters who haven't ever had to face the serious issue of obesity (who seem to overwhelmingly be able to eat a whole pizza and still fit into their size 4 jeans) will realize that the genes have more influence than the jeans when it comes to losing and keeping off large amounts of weight.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

and this is where panic starts setting in.

I move in 15 days and one hour.

The apartment I wanted to move into in Long Beach is no longer available. I'm going to ask for a larger apartment. There are a couple 2 bedrooms available.  I do NOT want to live in the projects.

The car SHOULD be repaired by Monday afternoon, if there's no damage to the engine beyond the timing belt.

This week is the last week of classes before finals.  I've also got three major events this week (including Saturday's garage sale) and next week is Mother's Day, my son's birthday, and graduation.

The Sunday after that (the day before the move) I hope to take the kids to El Rancho de las Golondrinas for a final farewell.

At this point it's all becoming very real to me.  The difference between yesterday and today (the month before the move and the month OF the move) is profound.  I feel the need to have everything clean and packed, and to start living out of my suitcase NOW.  I'm trying to plan meals with a minimal of shopping, and I'm trying to decide whether to take and send stuff back:

  • the big bag of dog food that's still unopened.  Maybe I should just take some canned?
  • the antacid from Kroger, it seems I may have enough to last for now.
  • the service dog in training vest for Cinnamon, is she REALLY going to get trained?
It's not going to save me a lot of money, since I'd be buying canned food for the dog, and I will have to replace some of it later (even the vest if we can go that way with her instead of getting a second dog)... but it might make me feel more proactive.  I suppose that's part of the panic.

There are a lot of little things. I thought about selling my folding wagon, but now I'm thinking I don't know how far away I'll have to park from my apartment, and on shopping days, if I'd be able to carry everything from the car to the apartment.  Seems like I need to make room in the pack for that instead.   And I'm sitting here looking at my felting stuff wondering if it's a good idea to bring it, or if it's just wasted space (as little space as it takes up)

I'm also thinking of picking up a couple books to read now and on the trip.  Light, fun, mindless stuff... just some brain candy to distract me.  

It's all the petty, little stuff that gets to me once the time gets closer.  It's funny how the mass of minutia overcomes the big fear:  I'm going cross country alone in poor health and will be living far from family and most of my friends, to live in a place I hated the last time I was there, without any apartment lined up, and with very few resources, after leaving an apartment and people I love.

... but I always have been a risk-taker. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Meow Wolf

Rather than buy Cay and Tay another something which they may or may not ever use... or even like... I decided on giving them an experience for their birthday.

So I brought them to Meow Wolf. Inside Meow Wolf is a HUGE installation called The House of Eternal Return. The whole thing is an interactive experience the likes of... well, nothing I've ever experienced.

Well, I experienced something a little like it in 1986 and 1987.




But this house, this old Victorian with openings to other dimensions and worlds, has more story, backstory and a backstory to the story that becomes mythology.  I spent a good 5 hours in there, and although I got a gist of the contemporary story and the mythology, I could only scratch the surface of the depth of information.

Newspapers with stories relating to the events surrounding the mystery of the house were in the living areas of the house itself.  Clues to supernatural and extraterrestrial events abound.  Some clues were in the house itself.  Some on the computers, some accessible through the website thecharter.org

Throughout the building are small areas where you can listen to the origin of all this... something dating back to the beginning of time, at least in the context of this imaginary multiverse.

There are much better photos on the instagram account for Meow Wolf: https://www.instagram.com/meow__wolf/,  but here are a few of mine, mostly from the alternate worlds beyond the house itself.  Oh, and this first one, outside Meow Wolf, of the girls.... since it IS their birthday and all.


inside the multiverse:

  
 


While I enjoyed taking photos, I quickly put my camera away and became absorbed in the stories going on around me.

Some of the areas seemed challenging to get to.  Ladders, crawling through fireplaces, etc.  But there were often alternate ways to get to everywhere in the exhibit.  The exhibit was not wheel chair accessible, and much of the charm was finding that narrow passage behind the blind curve, or walking over the uneven surface of a spongy, undersea landscape to get to an overstuffed sofa and the closet under the stairs.

One of the most important aspects of the House of Eternal Return was that it relied very heavily on the shared experiences of the visitors.  At one point I came upon a couple who were relaxing in what, as it turned out, was the trailer of the man who cracked open time space and stole beaches and whole suns from other universes to open what amounted to his own personal interdimensional travel agency.  They were bored, and didn't understand why it took them so long to build the exhibit, or why people were so enthralled.  They'd brushed aside the books and letters on the table, and had no clue that they were clues to the story.

So I said, "are you following any of the story at all?" and they said "there's a STORY?"  So I took them to listening station #1, and I told them about the narratives on thecharter.org.   Last I saw they were rushing around with the rest of us probing into everything.

I spent over 5 hours there, which is a heck of a lot longer than I'd have spent at a movie.  Tickets were $15 for an adult New Mexican, and $13 for seniors (Georgia joined us about half way in).  All in all (because at movie theaters we all hit the snack bar) we spent LESS than we would have for a night at the movies, and had a more interesting and rich experience (which isn't over yet, I'm still reading online narratives) and YES, there is food in the lobby (snacks, but there's a great food truck parked outside) and a small gift shop, where Tay gleefully purchased a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt.

Now, as I continue to delve more deeply into the story, my only concern with the day was the fact that I'd brought twins back into the Pastore house...