Monday, August 29, 2011

It Is Not Lady-Like to Drool on the R train

Interestingly enough, my weight has maintained in light of a the craziness of the last week. Between a hurricane, PMS, and the usual shenanigans of being a 30 year-old stress eater who uses brownies as a means to maintain blood pressure, I'd say I'm pretty proud of myself.

Still 157.6
Still 5'5 (I secretly hope I will grow a few inches before the age of osteo shrinkage kicks in, so that said weight becomes more tolerable. A girl can dream.)

Today I showed someone my "before" picture. It's that picture that you constantly reference when remembering just how far you've come. It acts as a reminder that you are no longer a size 14/16, as mirrors don't always do the trick. Mine certainly fool me all the time. Additionally, it's also the picture you reference when you are deciding between a banana or a pack of oreos:

Usually the banana gets the square if I have this handy.

If I had to put a visual to said "fat girl within," this would be it. And although I do not look like this anymore, not a day goes by that I don't have a "fat girl" moment. Hence why I still go to a WeightWatcher meeting every week. I need to be able to vent about my struggle and how I sometimes find myself making poor choices. I also need to share with the world that "she" sometimes controls me and leads me to do the most INSANEST things, like how I blatantly wanted to school a random stranger on the R train on the proper methods of eating an oreo. True story.

It was last week Tuesday. I was so proud of myself as I went to the gym at 9:30pm that night, after working with a client. However, it was no easy feet to get there. I was feeling tired, drained, and in desperate need of my couch and the NetFlix DVD that awaited me. Nothing like Arrested Development to make you forget how un-f*cked up your life really is :)

I had planned to make a late night visit to the gym when I was getting ready for work early that day, so I had packed and taken my workout gear with me. However, the optimistic crazy that stared at me from my mirror that morning was now a crabby yenta who could remotely feel the nook on my super soft loveseat, created by my left butt-cheek and lower torso.

Something like this. Come on. You all know EXACTLY what I am taking about.

It was 9:15pm and I was wrapping up the organizing session with my client. She and I were making plans for the next session, something about helping her organize her closets, when she stopped what she was saying to proclaim the following:  "Claudia, you look great. Have you lost some weight?"

After my giggle fiasco, I thanked her and told her that I had in fact dropped some weight. That little reminder that hard work pays off (because above BEFORE picture apparently isn't enough sometimes) was the itty bitty adrenaline that I needed to get my butt to the gym at 9:30pm!

And indeed I went. I burned over 300 calories on the elliptical and did some weights. It felt so great to see that I had moved on from 10 lb weights and was now on 12.5 lb weights. Hey, I'm no body builder and for someone who had started at 5 lbs a few years ago (and had to revisit them back in July), I was uber proud of myself. I was also happy to see the wattle fat start to dissipate.

Allow me to explain. I call this wattle fat:

Not the under arm fat that we all battle in some way. I mean the bizarre bulge between the arm pit and bra cup/ strap. It reminds me of the wattle we see on our friend, the chicken:

I can't figure it out and no matter how toned my arms get, I am very aware that this obnoxious repercussion of one too many cheese fries is present.

However, that night, I noticed that the wattles were withering away! And I was thrilled!

I left the gym on a cloud like no other. I took a ten block walk to the R train, as it was now 10:30pm and the express train near the gym had stopped running. It was a lovely cool-down for my over worked muscles. The breeze was refreshing along Lexington Avenue and the mood was very much alive. I felt immortal.

The R train pulled up a few minutes after I had arrived to the station. I chose one of the yellow three-seater spots that were placed against the wall of the train. There was nobody sitting on the other two seats, nor the two-seater that's perpendicular to the trio I now sat on:

The whole section was mine. And I sat there planning the next amazing adrenaline driven task I would take on for the following day.

I was so caught up in my plan of epic endorphin proportion, that I hadn't noticed the young lady sitting on one of the perpendicular seats. She must have come on a stop or two after my arrival. The paranoid New Yorker in me instantly snapped out of my deep thought and made sure I got a good look at her. She was a young girl captivated by her book. Fair skin, straight black hair in a neat pony tail with long bangs adorning her fore head, effortlessly pretty and, without a doubt, a size 2. I breathed a little sigh of relief, thinking that my newly pumped arms, calorie burning calves, and dissipating wattles could take her down should she decide she wants to steal my gym bag.

I was about to turn away when something else caught my eye.

Freakin eyes. They ALWAYS get me in trouble.

Within her fair hands lived what appeared to be a familiar item. What appeared to be my kryptonite.

Instantly, the beads of sweat formed on my forehead. Slowly, but oh so surely, I was bumped off cloud nine and landed on familiar, yet unchartered territory. And, just to make matters worse, I decided to give Pavlou's dog some competition. My mouth started to water, and, like a classy lady of the millennium, I proceeded to drool:

It was an Oreo. A perfectly put together double stuffed oreo. I knew at this point I was staring intensely at the cookie. However,  had Bangy McTwiggy decided to look up from her tantalizing novel, I suspect she would have gotten up and ran for dear life from the sweaty, drooly woman who was blatantly gawking with no plan on stopping.

I decided I was better than this. So I snapped out of my trance, took a sip of water to, not only have a "reason" to wipe the drool of the side of my lips, but to also remind my palette that water does a body good, NOT an OREO.

This of course only activated my peripheral vision and as I stared aimlessly at the "Manhattan Storage" advertisement across from me, I was admiring the f*cking cookie.

Said admiration came to a crashing halt when I realized that Bangy was still eating the same cookie I had initially noticed. It had easily been 60 seconds since my eyes first saw its double stuffed goodness. A full minute. In a full minute, I have been known to inhale, in no particular order, a croissant, cheese sandwich, a failure for a side salad at Sizzlers, or a slice of pizza, still quite hot. And yet, she was still on her FIRST oreo.

I was now intrigued. How does one maintain such control? And then I saw her method when she went for her second cookie, at least a FULL 30 seconds later. She separated the OREO ever so delicately, placing one of the parts BACK in the packaging. She then focused on the part in her hand, and instead of shoving it in her mouth, used her fingers to break a piece off and then elegantly place said piece in her mouth. She easily made 6 pieces out of that PART of the oreo. It took her 4 train stops to get through half of it.

WHAT THE HELL?!?!?  It wasn't a delicate lilac that needed to be treated with exquisite grace. It was an OREO! A cookie made to take on the dangers of dunkable milk, the jaws of eager children, and the desires of PMSing women throughout the world. And this girl was treating it like a fragile crystal that carried the secret to world peace.

Rage. I was suddenly filled with rage.

May I add this was the most emotionally driven train ride I had experienced in some time? Not since taking the 7 train with a butt load of arrogant Yankee fans some months prior had I felt such homicidal anger.

It wasn't geared towards Bangy, though. I mean, sure, I wanted to grab the mutilated oreo out of her hand and show her how it was done! But the anger I was feeling was geared towards me. See, she was a healthy size 2 and I could see why. She enjoyed the cookie and wasn't treating it as a solution to her heartbreak, career stress, or family disfunction. She wasn't using it as a way to make up for not eating all day because her toosh was glued to her cubicle. She wasn't treating it as a partner in the artful dance of self sabotage.

The girl was simply enjoying the pleasures of an Oreo.

I caught a glimpse of my reflection from the "Manhattan Storage" advertisement. Endorphin Annie was not looking back. Instead, it was just me, a perplexed look on my face, a look that exemplified the mental conflict I had just had with the fat girl within.

Bangy left the train one stop before mine. By the time I exited the subway, I had cooled off and even laughed off the sitcom that just played in my head. It was funny. I was about to commit a felony over a cookie.

Yet it was also a reminder that "she" is still very much inside of me and that, no matter what, I can't deny it. I just have to face it, rather, "her" head on. For while I can break down and dissolve the waddle with time, I can not dissolve the fat girl within. I can, however, tame her, and, occasionally throw her a bone every once in a while.

Even if said bone comes in the form of a beautifully put together cookie with frosting that marries two chocolate disks of heaven.

(ok, I didn't write that last line. "She" did.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guess what?!?!?

My size 4's came out today, and I am wearing them!! I mean, I sort of feel like this:

But it doesn't matter! Because I feel like this:

All the way from Cloud 9,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So this girl walks into a bakery . . .

I've had a very intense few weeks. So much is happening with my career and major decisions have to be made. I'm feeling slight paralysis due to it all and it has heightened the desires of my palette.

Adding to this anxiety is the inevitable surgery I am going to have to face oh so soon, something related to my hip injury. I honestly won't know until the end of the month, but the anxiety of being cut into to fix a fracture is really driving me to second guess just about everything. Now listen, I know I will be fine, that it's a simple surgery that will better my life, and (the best news ever), my doc said that my recovery will be super quick because I am in good shape! So, I am really happy to hear that!

However, with all these things happening, it's been enough to throw me off of my healthy eating habits and also to make me second guess my working out. Last week I did not work out much at all, partly because I was dealing with a stomach ailment, partly because I was beyond exhausted from being so stressed, and partly because I was throwing a tantrum and did not want to do what would inevitably help me feel better. Yep, makes perfect sense :/

See, part of this process is recognizing behavior. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you continue eating two snicker bars a day that one will probably gain some weight. That isn't what this journey is about. It's about figuring out the "why". Why does one need two snicker bars a day when stress is heightened?

I'll let you know just as soon as I figure it out.

With all this happening in my environment and feeling like I am somehow losing control (or so it seems that way), it was nice to see that I still do have some power over my actions. It all became apparent this evening. I had a lovely late dinner with two dear friends who live in the neighborhood, both WeightWatcher ladies who inspire me every time I see them. It's always nice to catch up with them, to be inspired by them, and to also be reminded that it's ok to let out a good cry some times. I mean, it's been one of those months where crying is inevitable and necessary to keep going. And, now that I think about it, I haven't cried in a long time.

Actually, not true. I cried last Sunday when Daniel Murphy got hurt during the Met game. It's partly because he started crying. I can not resist a grown man crying.

It's kinda like seeing someone vomit. Chances are, you will vomit as well. The domino effect is inevitable.

Anyway, besides this, I don't think I have cried in a long time. And I am such a crier, and proud of it! I feel it helps release the stress that loves to imperialize the area between my heart and collarbone. And it makes it much better to face the obstacles presented to us on a daily basis.

So as I was venting to them about how I felt like I was drowning, I noticed one of them was on the verge of tears. And she opened up on how she has been feeling stressed as of late and all she wanted was a brownie. All of a sudden, I felt myself get into WeightWatchers mode, trying to talk her through this and trying to figure out what does that brownie represent. And all the while, I was secretly fantasizing about having a three way with said brownie and dark chocolate fudge.

We all talked out our issues over sushi and then walked over to a bakery to get some coffee. I had compromised with my friend and told her we could all split a brownie at said bakery. The three of us were in accordance with this idea, and I was AWFULLY proud of myself for suggesting such a brilliant notion. Not that long ago, I would have ensured that I'd have gotten my own brownie (and rainbow cookie).

One thing I knew for sure. I was gonna get me a coffee.

Ahhh Coffee.

I'm Colombian and am perpetually sleep deprived.  The photo says it all.

As we sat down at the bakery, my dear friend with the brownie craving received an important phone call and had to unexpectedly run out. She gave us big hugs and ran out just when the waitress came over. I ordered my cappuccino with skim milk and my other friend ordered a latte. When the waitress asked us if we wanted any dessert, my friend and I locked eyes and stared for a bit at each other, sort of trying to figure out what we should do: should we have the brownie in honor of our other friend, who couldn't be there? Sort of like pouring out a 40 onto an urban street, in honor of someone? Or should we do our bodies justice and save the calories for a nice big breakfast? The dilemma was upon us and I can see my friend was watching me, waiting for me to answer. And, all of a sudden, it all became very clear on what should be done.

"Nope. Just the coffees, please. Thanks."-Claudia Martinez

What the HELL did I just say?!?!  I turned down a BROWNIE! I, Claudia Martinez, turned down on a brownie. After having a very stressful Monday, I said NO to a brownie. Who the hell was I?!?!?

My dear friend just about applauded me and commented on how amazing my self control was. I was still in awe about what I just did. However, not wanting to dwell on the achievement at hand, we continued to talk about life and the happenings that make it worth living.

As I headed home after coffee, I felt like the cavity housing stress between my heart and collarbone got a bit airier. It could've been the airing out of my feelings, the cool breezy "after rain" air that danced around my torso, or the relieving pride of making a decision to say no to food, when it was to be used as a means to temporarily feel better.

Whatever the reason, it sure was a lovely change to feel OK :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekly Weigh-in: Hell Hath no Fury Like Forgotten Food

I have been trying to decide just how personal I would get on this blog. I mean, sure, weight loss and the raw true grit of it all is pretty personal. But when it comes to the components that make up my very blessed (and zany) life, I often feel like biting my tongue. That could simply be due to my oral fixation issues, or, as I call it, breathing. Or it could just be that I am shy and would hate to admit to the world that I am far from perfect.

It's true ladies and gents. I am with flaws.

There. I said it. That wasn't so bad.

This week has been the quintessential example of how far from perfect I am. I have spent the last few months eating pretty good. Salads, lots of protein, fruits, skim milk, complete cut down of alcoholic beverages, the avoidance of anything resembling a snickers bar, and eating 3-4 times a day. My body was finally becoming a well-oiled vehicle!

Last weekend, though, I decided to drag race this well-oiled vehicle off the road right into the sea of sabotage. And I can't swim. You can imagine it's quite a freakin miracle I am actually here to talk about it. In any event, here's what happened:

Last Friday around mid-day, I had a curve ball thrown at me. Prior to said ball, I had a great morning. I had worked out at 6am with AJ and had a pretty crazy, chaotic but productive few hours at work. I was kinda feelin pumped. Then, just like a douchy pitcher who had to prove a point, the curve ball came and hit me right in my head. I had found out some pretty disturbing news at work. News from unreliable sources that were potential rumors that could have been nothing more than speculations derived from a typo in an email from some intern in a different department. Therefore, it MUST be true, right?

I certainly thought it was. And I instantly became enraged. I sat in my cube for a good 60 minutes trying to figure out where life went wrong and why the hell I hadn't seen this curve ball coming my way. I was contemplating going to my second work out of the day (yep, I had scheduled two work outs that day because I was feeling motivated and excited the night before and because secretly I am perpetually on trial against my pansy self trying to prove to her that I have badass tendencies). Right away, however, the desire to go to workout went out the window. But I knew that, not only would I lose my deposit for the class, but I didn't want to let some stupid piece of information throw off my routine (and the deposit was $35 bucks. So, ok, it was more about the deposit than anything, but whatever. P.S.:I went to the class).

I had never worked out so hard in my life. I mean I made sure everybody in that class knew I was pissed. I felt like smoke was coming out of my nostrils and the flare that was brewing could not compare to any irate / overly abused bull in the obviously bored country of Spain (seriously, they can't entertain themselves with reality TV or something? Why the bull thing?!?)

After an hour of complete physical torture and cardio craziness, I left the class feeling somewhat less angry, and in a full on sweat. But I was still very perturbed. Additionally, I was now disoriented, light headed and somewhat clammy. Could anger have really driven me to this physical state of misery?

And then it occurred to me.  I quickly looked at my cell phone for the time: 2:08pm. TWO OH EIGHT P.M.!!!! And I hadn't had any food that day. I had completely forgotten to eat. All day. I hadn't so much as had a piece of gum. With all the chaos of that morning and then finding out what I did, I let my body pay for my feelings of rage and had worked out NOT once, but twice. The fact that I was standing upright and not collapsed in front of the Duane Reade on the corner of 57th and 6th was an outright act of the Good Lord.

I quickly ran home (as I had a half day of work) and had me a light salad with some strawberries. Of course that wasn't enough since it was now about 3:30pm and all I had was greens, air, and a handful of fruit. My body would have bitched slapped me with a stiletto if she could have. Instead, I felt it was just the solution I needed. I went about the rest of the day taking a long nap. It's usually what I do when I am dealing with the blues.

I awoke around 7-ish to meet some friends for dinner. I remember distinctly not being very hungry, however, the moment when one of my pals suggested pizza, my mood went from this:

to this:

All of a sudden, it's all I wanted. It was as if Food was punishing me for forgetting our special bond, and now was gonna, not only make me pay for it, but was gonna make sure I would never ever forget her again. I got dressed with a haste and ran out to meet the crew. We all ended up walking over to Singa's pizza, which is like crack for the Carbohydrate addicts that can never say NO to enriched flour. Never.

I had me a regular (8 mini slices all to myself) plain pie with pineapple and spinach (because the canned fruit and two leaves of spinach make this VERY ok!!) and a Coke ZERO!! Um, now WHY isn't this healthy?!?!?

After dinner we caught the movie, "Horrible Bosses" and it was exactly what I needed to relieve the tension I had built up over finding out what I did at work. I decided I would have to commit homicide to make everything ok. I mean, the movie made it look funny, so obviously this is OK, right??

After the movie, we all decided to walk home, which was a good 25 minutes. It was a lovely night and the walk did me well. When I got home,  I felt great because I now had a full tummy, a brewing plan of action involving wishful thinking and a potential class-A felony, and had done some cardio. All was ok.

Or so I thought.

My body treated the pizza indulgence just like the natives would treat an invading country threatening imperialism. Without welcome and with tremendous violent warfare.

I'll let the metaphor speak for itself.

Suffice it to say I didn't sleep much that night. Or for the rest of the weekend. I essentially spent the weekend and all through Tuesday recovering from my rendition of the War of 1812. And believe you me, Food ABSOLUTELY made her point.

This story sort of has a happy ending. As just like in any war, while they are horrendous moments, sad ramifications, and outright tears, there are also positive outcomes. I lost 2.6 pounds in what seemed like 5 minutes.

Weekly weigh-in: 157 lb.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Accountability and Confession

I'm saying this now, because I fear hormones and flutters may compromise the objective perspective I presently have, but . . .

I've met a boy. And it threw off my workout regimen. I was suppose to go to the gym last night. Instead I had a spontaneous date in a chic basement wine bar in the west side until 1am. I was also suppose to go to the gym this morning at 7:30am. Because my bed time was pushed out 3 hours due to said date, that did not happen, either.

More on the boy later.

For now, I must tell the world this because, boy or not, I'm a girl on a mission. And I can not stop and become a air head high school kid because of a boy.

Even if he's dreamy and funny.

Even if he's tall and sarcastic.

Even if I am convinced his dimples house the Holy grail.

Nope! I am a girl on a mission.

Wait. What was my mission again?

I think I need to see Yoda, STAT!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I step all over you . . . Yet you own me?!?!?

The fantasy of a love affair is enough to make any girl with self esteem issues lose all realm of reason. It sounds so fantastical, so passionate, so chemical. Emotions, intimacy, and desire all drive where said affair will go, how long it will last, and when the blinders come off, and the parties involve realize that the fact that homey doesn't have a job, lives with his momma, and thinks flossing is an option can completely diminish any idea of him being prince charming.

While not so "Notebook/John Sparks"-ish, my love affair does hold true to these characteristics.  There is definitely emotion involved, moments of complete glee, absolute rage, utter denial, none-stop tears, and/or false proclamations of "I don't give a crap." 

There, too is intimacy. I share private and vulnerable "Claudia", often being very nude and raw. Quite frankly, there can be no lies on my part. It's impossible, and believe me, I have tried. But he clearly shows me the truth, every time, and no matter the excuses, he lays before me the consequence of my decisions. No feelings are spared. And this hard-core lack of tact just keeps me coming back for more and makes my desire grow.  Such a cliche!

Desire. Don't get me started on desire. I yearn to feel him every morning and every night. If I am home for the day, I will go to him at least 4-5 times. It's an addiction of massive proportions, and I am at his beck and call.

Just like all love affairs, the only way for it to simmer down and fizzle is for it to be exposed to the public. It all becomes real and, when others are involved, all of a sudden accountability seems like a factor that should have been considered well before the wall (and under-roos) came down!

So, now it is my time to expose myself.

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, my lover:

My red and pink WeightWatchers scale. See, we've had a on-going on-again, off-again understanding for quite some time. We were oh so off-again for the first 7 months of this year. Now, we are on again. At first, it was quite an adjustment. You know how it is. When you are so used to being on your own, doing your thing, and eating a third donut from the pantry at work, to have to then accommodate this entity, who, at one point held a very important place in your life, but now, had to be re-introduced to your life, is a tremendous challenge. This was confirmed when I took my first step on the scale in 7 months, and had to come head to head and digest (without barfing) the hard truth.

June 15th, 2011: 169.7 pounds
I held my breath for 10 seconds. I just couldn't believe it. Granted, I had just returned from an all-inclusive vacation from the Dominican republic, but I had put on 20 pounds in 7 months. That's like 3 babies, or 2 cats (at least my cats), or 20-lbs worth of cheesecake! 

Suffice it to say, I was not a happy camper, and, again, while I had been a "pro" (no such thing, by the way) at this weight loss crap, and while I should know better, a nice and toasty snickers bar was looking mighty good the morning of my first weigh-in.

Never mind.

Anyway, with all that said and done, I knew the scale was a major tool in losing the weight. It just had to be in a more controlled and healthy way. On my terms, and for my benefit. 

Therefore, today marks the day that I will record my weekly weigh-in for the world (because it's news-worthy, kind of up there with J-Lo's divorce, the Kardashian butt-cheek, and this little national debt-ceiling side bar thingamajibby).

So here goes:

August 2nd, 2011: 159.6

In the course of 6 weeks, I've lost 10 pounds. And I am elated. And I am giddy. And I am grateful for my scale. 

It doesn't have to be a dysfunctional relationship. This time around, I want to treat it as a place to celebrate. Even if one week I don't lose, or, dare I say it, gain something. Because that means I am human and I have a pulse and I am alive. Hey, that's always worth celebrating!!

So I propose the notion of continuing this love affair, but knowing that it is healthy and that I have control. That I step on you, Scale, when I want. And that, ultimately, I realize my happiness is in my hands, not in the 3 x 4 digital box on the red and white device that goes so nicely with my dressing room wall color.