Got Juice? Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Got juice? Or netflix? I went through a documentary phase and netflix made a (surprisingly) pertinent recommendation– Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.

I am fascinated with the sheer amount of bad food Americans eat. My lifestyle– though better– still needs improvement.

I do love my precious-es…internet, and books. Once I tried to internet surf while running on the treadmill– not recommended.

I need to teach my children about informed food choices– now. Not that I expect them to always make the wise food choice– at 5 and 3, I’m just happy they have (mostly) stopped eating food dropped on public floors.

And that took 3 years of constant reminders before they (mostly) stopped that behavior.

Anywho. Despite generally liking fruits and vegetables, I find it to be annoyingly difficult to eat enough of them. Salads are yummy, but they do not meet the consume-while-driving criteria. Apples are portable—but they require a commitment. And remembering to place the apple trash where it belongs, else you will be hunting for what’s-that-smell. Or you will get ants in your car.

Good times.

I sneer at meal replacement shakes– full of artificial crap and just begging for an uncontrolled food-shoveling during the sensible meal.

Let’s face it, eating an entire large pizza has, at points in my life, made PERFECT sense. The perceived definition of sensible kinda being a large part of the problem.

Or, the fasting cleanses like the Master Cleanse, where you are advised to drink lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. And don’t forget the laxatives!

Oh– I’ve totally used both the aforementioned– often with weight loss success.

But, oh how they made me a monster hypocrite. At dinner, pleading with my uber-picky, clinically-skinny kid to please, for the love of not starving yourself, just eat, whilst sipping on my spicy sugar lemonade and NOT EATING. The master cleanse adds up to about 800 calories a day– all from the sugar maple syrup.

But juicing? Could I? Would I remember to buy fresh vegetables? Would I buy fresh vegetables, get distracted, not noticing until it was too late that the kale had slunk off to the gelatinous green smear of the Vegetable Dark Side?

Could I? Yes. Would I remember to buy fresh vegetables? At least enough to make a juice of some sort. Would kale launch a celery stalk offense, while screaming “LEEK, I’m your father”? Oh yeah– a couple of times.

Here’s what I learned.
1) Eating juiced fruits and vegetables isn’t that difficult. The fiber in that stuff is really filling and my stomach wasn’t actually hungry. My eyes were hungry, but my eyes were what got me into this flabby mess– they aren’t to be trusted right now.

2) I’ll stop adding milk and sugar, but I’m not giving up caffeine. I’ll even substitute green tea. But take away caffeine entirely? Nope. That’s not compatible with my life, my brain function. For the love of… I am prescribed amphetamines. Not. Giving. Up. Coffee.

3) At dinner, I ate a spinach salad topped with avocado. One, because I missed chewing and wanted to eat dinner with my family. Two, I didn’t want to stop running during the reboot and my body needed a bit more fuel oomph to handle both. On longer run days, I also made sure to have more carb-heavy things, like sweet potato juice.

4) Beets juice will make your urine red. While the Small People found this fascinating– it didn’t motivate them to try beet juice more than once.

5) In the beginning, the Small People wanted nothing to do with me, or my juice. Then I made apple juice–um, YUM. Now they will always at least taste. Children who would not take cash in exchange for one bite of cooked kale will drink Green Juice, served in a 3 ounce shot glass.

To make 3 ounces of juice, you use a lot of kale and other assorted fruit/vegetables. So much that those 3 ounces goes a long way (if not all the way) toward meeting a child’s daily vegetable requirement.

I feel like I’m finally winning one not-so-small food battle, which makes the 439th day in a row of PB&J a little easier to swallow (pun intended).

No Calzone, NO

How do I feel about this whole being fat thing? Meh, I am overweight; that’s reality, it’s not cruel, it just is. Some people like to run around saying they aren’t defined by their weight– liars. You are, I am, she is, he is. I am defined and categorized by my weight, in the same way I am defined by my sex, my height, my hair color. All are a part of the whole that is me. But none of them stand alone.

Does it offend me, deep in my soul, that I ran 42 miles in February and lost ONE pound? Honestly? Of course it does! I’m no masochist– I don’t run because I love it with the same love as I have for the internet, or my books. Puh-lease. Now I run because it helps me tame the ADHD that threatens to take my brain off into SQQQUUUUEEEE land. Now I run because it helps me tame the impatient short-temper that I get from being surrounded by the leg-humping, stalker-worthy parts of being a SAHM.

But I started running because it’s the quickest, easiest way to lose those last 20 (30) pounds, right?

Wrroonnnggg. Not if I finish off a 3 mile run with a giant plate of nachos. After a day of finishing the food-left-behind by obnoxious children who are stubbornly trying to disprove the “children won’t starve themselves” hypothesis.

I ran yesterday, 6 miles at a pace of 10:35 per mile. That’s approximately 850 calories burned, leaving 2650 in order to lose a pound this week.

We went to Mellow Mushroom for dinner last night where my fat cells tried to crawl over my common sense and convince my brain that we deserved a cheese calzone– all that running, you know you want it. At 820 calories that calzone would have wiped out an hour of running.

It’s not that the calzone doesn’t taste as good as skinny feels—it totally does, another lie perpetuated by the desperately delusional. The taste of that calzone, however is NOT worth an hour of running. Instead I ate a respectable 395 calorie jerk chick hoagie.

——>>> Shiny Squirrel! it occurs to me, just now, that I would have paid a helluva lot more attention in algebra if they would have started talking about something I cared about– weight loss– instead of trains leaving stations. Just saying. <<<<-------- Yeah, my weight defines me, to a large (get it– large?!) degree.

Individual perceptions define individual truths– anyone smaller than me sees me as heavy, anyone large than me sees me as healthy. The only person’s opinion that really matters in any of this is mine.

What cannot be determined by visual scan happens to be the weirdest truth; I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. Even Other Self, with all of her perky boobs and porn hair, was rotting her body with mountain dew, cigarettes, and booze. She certainly did NOT participate in any sort of consistent exercise, unless one counts smoking as bicep curls.

So, it’s with that strange reality–that I’m technically healthier, even at a heavier weight that makes me a winner. But I’m still gonna get back into those size 8 jeans, too.

Perspective

Perspective is easiest in reflection. Only 12 weeks left until I have to run 13.1 miles. To accomplish this, I need to increase my running distance by a little less than a mile each week. Which, though still a challenge doesn’t seem so impossible to me anymore. Even as I sport sore shins after yesterday’s not-quite-5-miles (ahem, 4.62) outside run.

JB did me a solid tonight when he listened to me talk about how I’ve been all running like Forrest Gump yet have only lost 5-ish pounds. I mean, really. I ran 4.62 miles yesterday morning AND went to the pool with the kids in the afternoon. Other Self could watch someone else do that, while chain-smoking from a chair, and still lose 10 pounds.

As I pointed all of this out to my supportive–but not in the gratuitous blowing smoke up ass way– husband, he threw out the hand signal for “Stephanie, shut up”. He proceeded to remind me that Other Self was holding on to the cliff of mental health by one broken fingernail. That Other Self was existing on adrenaline, Mountain Dew, nicotine, and adderall. In other words, Other Self was a teensy-tiny bit Bat Shit crazy.

Alright– so he has a point. A valid one, even. But Other Self, in those 5-6 months before getting herself knocked up, had finally morphed into the Ultimate Hotness (my definition by the way– because who else’s definition matters?)

She’s my control group; my goal. She’s who I look up to, when I’m looking down on myself. But then, in that way that all women have of cutting down other women, I remember that she never turned 30, since pregnancy had already killed her. Rather than repeating Other Self’s 29th birthday celebration– tequila shots in a bar named Hell–my 30th consisted of snarfing down a 16oz T-Bone steak followed by a chocolate cake chaser. Hiding my expanding abdomen in my muumuu…er, maternity dress.

Which is how I ended up laying on the floor, kind of whining about how it wasn’t fair that I’m not already 20 pounds lighter; after all, I’ve been running for 6 whole weeks already. I pontificated about caloric intake data, peppered with descriptions of my resting metabolic rate, finishing with caloric burn, only to sadly confess, “yet I’ve only lost about 5 pounds”.

Then my Quiz Bowl Team husband just tilted his head and said– “um, based on the equation you just gave me, your math is right.”.

Oh. Um. Crap on a stick. Since June 5th, I’ve run 48 miles and burned 4586 calories. And since there are 3500 calories in a pound… well.

I’ve got some more running to do until I find her again. ::absently strokes computer screen in a loving, yet creepy, way.::

But it’s hard to miss her too much, and celebrate the fact that I’ll never, ever see this me again.