1

The Ballet Body (Booty?)

I’ve been taking ballet lessons, once per week, for three months now. And I love it. Like, crazy-want-to-marry-it-and-have-its-babies kind of love.

The thing is, I didn’t expect it to affect my body image so much. Even more strangely, it has impacted it in both directions.

The bad: typical ballet attire is skin-tight. Leotard, the aptly-named tights, and I get away with a wrap skirt to disguise my holster hips. So, while I’m wearing nothing but stretchy material pulled soundly around each bulge on my body, I’m in a room with walls that consist nearly completely of mirrors. And I’m expected to jump around in this environment.

This is a total buzz kill. At last week’s class I was leaning backwards on my elbows against the barre, and when I looked in the mirror, my stomach pudge in my black leotard looked more realistically like a spare tire than the one hidden in the trunk of my car. TRUE STORY.

Though, some of my anxiety was relieved after my teacher told me that the mirrors in her classroom are bowed outwards, making everyone appear ten pounds heavier. I breathed a sigh of relief after hearing that one, though my inner annoying voice chimed in with “The mirror didn’t create that spare tire!”

Most often, the mirrors don’t bother me. Honestly, I’m too busy trying to make my body move in ways it never has before. The after effect: I feel totally graceful nearly 90 percent of the time now. Walk to open the door of my apartment? No way, why not grand jete? Merely bend over to pick up an errant piece of paper? Pfft. Arabesque all the way. I point my toes when I walk, jump out of bed, step out of the shower, etc. I don’t turn around – I spin. I even stretch with my arms in the proper positions.

So I’ve come to the conclusion: ballet makes me feel pudgy, but graceful. And I can work on the pudgy part. 😉 I will never have the perfect ballet body. I’m not built to be a stick – I’m built to be a shaped more like a gnarly tree trunk. I don’t have a ballet body – I have a ballet booty, and I’m proud of it.

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9

I Just Can’t Quit You, 2XL Pants

As quickly as I’ve gone through clothing during this journey, there are a few pieces that I just can’t let escape from my closet.

In some cases, the reasons for letting these too-big reminders of my pudge days stick around are easy to understand. For example, my pair of 2XL purple pajama pants have escaped the trash bin because a) they’re extremely comfy and b) they match my bedroom decor. I’m a big loser; I like things to match. It makes me squee with creative joy when something that’s in my bedroom (in this case, my legs in purple pants) matches my bedroom.

Or, there are my sorority shirts. More commonly known as “letters,” I used to have enough of these to wear every day of the week during college, if I so chose (and often I did). If you’re a newbie to the fraternal world, throwing away letters is simply unacceptable. Doing so is the equivalent of using Old Glory to bag and toss your dog’s excrement on your evening stroll around the neighborhood. So I carefully bagged most of my letters and have them in storage with the rest of my old clothes, even though it’s not permitted to sell your letters to someone who is not a member of your sorority.

One sweatshirt remained at the back of my closet, like a stretchy gray reminder of my flab-but-fun days gone by. I reasoned that I kept it because, really, can sweatshirts be too big? Hardly. But recently, I felt empowered to let it go (to someone on whom it will also be too big, but let’s not go there).

Most of my previous bar/hookerwear wardrobe has remained unscathed as well. The glint of sequins and regret kind of seems to wink at me from the far reaches of my closet every time I open it. Tank tops, halter tops, extremely odd-strap tops… all worn previously (with a shrug sweater) to highlight my one good feature, my extreme cleavage. (As if my flashy bewb-age would somehow disguise the fact that I was fat from the eligible bachelors in the establishment? A.k.a. Look at my DDs. Be hypnotized by them. Don’t notice my fat rolls underneath. Oh, Old Lisa’s logic. So sad.)

Hiding in shame in a garment bag is my bridesmaid’s dress from my sister Stacey’s wedding. Don’t get me wrong, the dress is beautiful; I just regret the size on the tag. The process of trying on bridesmaids dresses was painful. Sample dresses did not come in my former size. Often, I was left to hang out and consult with my sister as the other two ‘maids slipped on dress after dress. I am grateful for the bride’s kindness, though; if there was a sample dress that I might possibly fit into, she asked me to try it on, even if I knew there was no way she could be considering it for her wedding. (I remember one particularly hideous pumpkin-colored number. Gag.) But on the day of her wedding, even if I hated my weight, I felt beautiful in that dress, with that makeup, that hair. So I keep the dress as a reminder of both celebrating a wonderful day with a wonderful couple, and to remember that there were days, even pre-Weight Watchers, that I felt like a beautiful person.

Size 20 remnants aside, it’s fairly rare for my clothes to actually fit me, anyways. As I type this I’m wearing a tank top that’s too big, layered with a t-shirt that’s too tight, pants that seem to be okay, and undies desperately trying to cling to my hips. Let’s not even broach the topic of my other lingerie item; I don’t think I’ve owned a brassiere of the correct size since this whole thing began. Either my cup is half-full or my cup runneth over, if you know what I mean.

That’s one of the things I really look forward to at goal weight – staying one size. Not having to shop for clothes and think “Okay, I have to buy this a little small because if I don’t, it will be too big in a few weeks and I’ll have wasted my money” would be fab. I can’t wait to buy a dress or a pair of jeans because they fit my body at that time, without worrying that as my shape/size changes, that particular piece of clothing won’t look as good.

So while my current wardrobe contains a pack of misfits, I’m content with the knowledge the someday soon, that’ll all change. Goal, here I come!

5

Week Seventy Results

Seventy weeks… for rizzle? Wow.

In all honesty I didn’t think I would lose this week. I lost so much last week that I thought my rate of flarb-loss would level off for a week and I’d be stuck maintaining.

But no! I lost a whole pound. It’s kind of fabulous.

Starting stats:
Weight: 247 lbs.
BMI: 36.5

Today’s stats:
Weight: 170 lbs.
BMI: 25.1

This week is serious business. I ordered my next reward, a smartphone (I switched out the Blu Ray player, a smartphone will help me so much with my weight loss journey!), and I’m firm in the decision that I can’t open the box until I reach my 80 lbs. loss milestone. Those three lbs. better watch the heck out – I’m coming after you!

3

Fabulous Friday #4

Well, Comcast, you almost succeeded in thwarting me – I experienced Internet failure for most of tonight, but it’s back up.

No, I didn’t forget about writing my Friday post, nor did I shirk my duty with my characteristic periodic laziness. 😉

But I am tired, so I’ll keep this post short and sweet. This week went well. Even though I was sick, I didn’t binge and let myself have whatever I wanted. I count that as a major victory right there.

So cross your fingers for me, please! I’ll see you at the scale tomorrow.

8

Week Sixty-Nine Results: Wahoo!

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

I LOST! *shakes it like Beyonce*

And I lost big. This week I lost 3.2 lbs. – proof positive that Weight Watchers works when you do!

Starting stats:
Weight: 247 lbs.
BMI: 36.5

Today’s stats:
Weight: 171 lbs.
BMI: 25.2

P.S. Did you know I’m far less lazy on Twitter? I generally post my results there on Saturday mornings right after I weigh in. http://www.twitter.com/thebroadbroad

18

Help Wanted

As the saying goes, I’m down, but I’m not out. I know that I can be successful and reach my goal. 

So I stocked my kitchen: 

Trader Joe's trip = mission accomplished.

Apples, peppers, bananas, and potatoes, oh my!

 After I filled my fridge and cupboards with good stuff that is mostly unplanned snack-resistant, I decided that I need a more personal outlet to get out issues that are non-weight loss related. So in the fashion of my old college notebooks, I handcrafted a journal that I’m going to use to try to pour my stress and troubles into: 

The front of my new "Feelings Trash Can."

  

Blank now, filled to the brim with "issues" later.

Sidenote: if you’ve never made a notebook or item similar to this, I highly recommend it. Grab some old magazines, and cut out images and items that appeal to you, even if it seems strange or you’re unsure why you like it. With a little glue and clear tape or contact paper, you end up with a book covered with bits and pieces of your personality, essentially – very cool. 

I even ate a cup of spinach this weekend for the first time EVAR. Yes, I’m that serious… I’m willing to eat plants. Sort of. When I was done with it, it looked like this: 

I'll take spinach puree for 400 please, Alex.

And after the addition of some chocolate Almond Breeze, a banana, and a cup of strawberries, the result was this: 

Yes, it really turned out kind of a black-ish color. I definitely was wishing for the wine behind it, instead.

I am committed to giving up every excuse and forcing myself to make hard decisions. But I know I can’t do this in a vacuum. 

So I need your help. I need you to share with me your best tips, your tales of triumph over tough situations. Anything you want to tell me, I’ll listen. I need the support of everyone who reads this blog more than ever.

5

Prior/Future PriorFatGirl Meetup!

This Saturday was all around super fantabulous (I’m aware that’s not a word, Sir Spell Check, kthnxbai). After WI, I scrambled to haul my behind from my hometown to The Beat Coffee House in Minneapolis to meet the amazing Jen from http://www.priorfatgirl.com and other women who have made/are in the middle of/are starting a weight loss journey.

Truth: I was extremely, extremely nervous. I’ve met plenty of people as Lisa, 25-year-old Wisconsinite who works in higher education, loves shopping, drives with more than a hint of road rage and disrespect for local vehicle noise laws, grew up in a town of just over 1,000 people and loves to laugh and talk your ear off once she gets to know you. Up until this weekend, I’d never met anyone as Lisa, that still-slightly-chubby girl who writes a blog generally complaining about all things weight loss, Tweets every five seconds, and basically displays some of her most private thoughts for the world to view.

So, anxiety. I had no illusions that anyone there (besides Nicole and Jess from the WW community/Twitterverse) would have actually read my blog/seen me on the message boards, and yet, I still agonized. If they had read my blog/seen my picture, would I measure up to their expectations? Would I be skinny enough, funny enough, etc.?

The morning of, I took my feelings out on my closet. I did the famous hanger-slam as I flipped through my wardrobe. I scoffed at outfits I previously raved about and flung the unworthy to the floor.

And then, I stopped. I said, “Eff it. Be yourself. Yourself does not wear skirts at 10 a.m. on Saturday.”

That was another moment where I knew I’d changed. Old Lisa would have continued to freak out until the moment her hand grasped the coffee house door handle, and actually, probably until the event was over and I was back, safe in the confines of my beat-up Saturn. Instead, I decided to throw on my trusty denim leggings, brown suede knee-high boots, and a tunic-length navy t-shirt with a new apple-green tank underneath for luck, and go in without the apprehension.

So I went. And Jen greeted us all with a hug, who isn’t put at ease by that? I introduced myself to people I’d never met, struck up conversations, and even confessed one of my worst fears (anonymously) on a notecard provided to us by Jen. Each of us then selected someone else’s fear to read aloud – another of my fears: speaking in public.

But New Lisa showed her face again. I walked to the front, spoke, and wasn’t even afraid to cast my eyes on the crowd in front of me. I felt at home amongst these women; they know what it’s like to walk down the path of weight loss.

So thank you so much to Jen, Amanda, and Lindsay from http://www.priorfatgirl.com, and to all the sponsors of the event (Mom’s Best Naturals, Popsicle, Smart Food, Funky Monkey, Fiber One, Amy’s Organics, Saiba Smart, Better Balance, Light Life, Orgain, and Barney Butter)! It was a wonderful experience, and I got to meet some amazing people and try some great new products. BTW, Barney Butter is now my new obsession. I’d never tried almond butter before but it was deliciousssss.

A special thank you to Nicole and Jess for introducing me to Tatters Vintage Clothing in Minneapolis afterwards – I bought the cutest brown plaid crop-jacket. (Plus, I think we all deserve medals for surviving those crazy-slippery sidewalks. Us FTW!)

P.S. Have you found me on Twitter yet? I’ll tell you way more about my life than you want to know. I’m @thebroadbroad, and Jen is @priorfatgirl, Nicole is @nicycle, and Jess is @jessinader. Those ladies are fabulously entertaining and interesting! You can also find Nicole at the-last-twenty.blogspot.com, including some pictures from Saturday.