Therapy Thursday

2 08 2012

I’m sitting in the waiting room at my therapist’s office. There’s this bubbling, gurgling Japanese water fountain in the corner. I think it’s supposed to make me feel more peaceful. On the end table, between two of the waiting room chairs, there’s a miniature Japanese Zen garden. You know the ones, those little square sandboxes with the miniature rake. It’s supposed to be calming to rake the sand around in different patterns. All I can think is that I want to draw obscene pictures. Maybe it’s some sort of Asian Rorschach test and my therapist will realize that I’m some kind of twisted. I decide to leave it alone.

I settle for the latest New Yorker instead. I don’t know why I always make this choice. I can never get through an entire article before my therapist calls me into  his office, but I always choose The New Yorker. What can I say? I like the writing.

My therapist is funny, and by funny, I mean funny weird. You can have your shoes on in the waiting area, but you have to take them off before you enter his office. The other thing that he does is he always asks me, “what’s new and good?” It pisses me off. Every time I go to see him I have to figure out what’s new and good. I figure it’s just one of his methods for making the weight of his job a little less dreary. I mean imagine having to listen to everybody’s problems all day long. It irritates me though, because sometimes, like today, it’s a real struggle for me to come up with something.

The angry couple I heard behind the wall leaves and it’s my turn. My Jewish doctor/Zen master calls me into his office. I slip off my sandals at the door and take my spot on the sofa.

“So, what’s new and good,” he asks.

Here we go.

“Um, I wore slip-on shoes today?”

“No, there must be something. Come on. What’s new and good?” he says. He’ll embrace my inner child but not my inner smart ass.

I don’t fucking know. I’d been wracking my brain all the way over to his office in my car, and I couldn’t come up with anything. Now, he waits. He sits there and waits. He’ll wait at $120 an hour until I come up with something, which is why I usually try to come up with something acceptable in the car.

Oh for fuck sake.

“Um, I’ve made it to all of my personal training appointments, three times a week, for the past three months?”

“Great! How does that make you feel?”

“Strong. Strong and still fat.”

“Strong is good.”

I can tell he’s trying to work with me here.

“I’m stronger than I was in my twenties.”

“That’s good, especially considering where you were last year.”

It’s true. A year ago, I was still broken, physically broken from a bicycling accident and emotionally broken from my divorce. I had done the right thing. I got a trainer for my body and a therapist for my mind. Things were looking up.

“What else is going on?”

“Well, I think I’m obsessing.”

“About what?”

“Well, there’s this guy I’ve been corresponding with through email…”

I start to tell him about My Stalker/Super Fan. I tell him how he’s charming, funny, intelligent, and…a complete mystery.

“He says he’s #100.”

“Do YOU think he’s #100? What does #100 mean for you at this point?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything about him. He could turn out to be a hairy troll beating off in a basement for all I know. The scary part is that I find myself looking forward to his emails and thinking about him during the day…and I don’t even know what he looks like! It’s ridiculous!”

“What is it that you like about him?”

“He’s hilarious. I laugh out load when I read his emails, and there’s this, sort of, in charge, kind of charisma that seems to come through in his emails. For the most part though, I feel like the rest of it is just one big Cinderella fantasy that I’m making up in my head, like he’s going to come sweeping in at the end of this and whisk me away to live happily ever after or some shit…Mr. 100. Whoo hoo! That shit NEVER happens to me. My life is never a fairy tale. It’s more like tragedy and comedy…or a horror story.”

“I hear a couple of things going on here. First, you need to base your decisions and feelings on reality, not fantasy.”

“I know. I know. I know. I need to reign it in. I know I’m falling into that fairy tale bullshit I was sold as a little girl. You know, the prince comes and saves the princess and they live happily ever after. I have a business degree for crying out loud. I can choose between two separate investments based on their net present value, but I can’t seem to evaluate a good guy from a bad guy. It’s like I’m hoping this guy will be my knight in shining armor or something and it’s bullshit! I know it’s bullshit!”

I can hear myself getting louder, ranting and rambling, and I stop and look at my therapist.

“I’ve just had really rotten luck with men,” I finally admit in defeat.

“I know. You deserve a man who loves you, but that love has to be based on fact, not fiction. Just like any of your other dates, if you’re really interested in this guy, you need to take the time to get to know him. Ask him questions. You’ll have to ask a lot of questions and meet face to face before you decide if what you’re feeling is real or not.”

“Yeah, I know,” I sigh and look out the window.

“But, that brings me to the other thing I was going to say, which is, do you think you could believe that something good could happen to you?”

“Oh,…well,…I don’t know.”

The question floods my mind with thoughts of how in love I had been with STBex and I have to fight back tears. Look how that turned out. How was I going to love again and be able to trust those feelings after I had been so betrayed?

“I hear you building this guy up to be a prince and then, just as quickly, writing him off because you don’t think he’s going to come through for you. What if you took time to get to know him, and he actually turned out to be a good guy?”

“That would be nice for a change.”

“And, that would be a good thing, right?”

“Yeah, it would.”

My therapist goes on to suggest exercises to refocus my attention when my fantasizing about My Stalker/Super Fan gets out of control, and, again, he reminds me to slowly figure out what’s real and what’s fantasy. I realize that waiting to meet My Stalker/Super Fan until date #100 is probably a good thing. You gotta admit: it’s slow. If Man #100 is really going to wait to date me, at the rate my dating is going, it could be another two years before we meet face to face. If My Stalker/Super Fan really believes he’s Man #100, he either has incredible perseverance, is unusually goal driven, or maybe he’s the one who’s fantasizing. There are long odds on Man #100.

I slip my shoes on as I leave my therapist’s office and exit into the sunlight to head to my car. My mind feels more clear…at least for now.

Photo here.

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Trying to Take Off the Tonnage Tuesday

13 12 2011

It’s been a while since I posted a weigh in, and this one’s not going to be pretty. I’m totally pissed at myself and frustrated. Back in summer and fall, I was slowly losing weight, a pound here, a pound there. The last weight I posted here on my blog in August was 242 pounds.

Then I started making trips out to Eastern Washington.

You know how when the oxygen masks fall down from the ceiling of an airplane, they tell you to put the mask on yourself before helping anyone else? Well, apparently, I am not good at taking care of myself when I’m taking care of someone else.

Being in Eastern Washington meant that I left my personal trainer behind and missed my workouts. Shuffling around the block with my uncle was NOT the same as hitting the gym. Finally, it seemed like all we did when we weren’t taking care of my uncle was EAT!

First of all, on my trips over, I developed a bad habit for hitting the Dairy Queen in Yakima. Then, when my uncle was in the hospice facility, I would skip breakfast at the house so I could get to him earlier in the morning and would opt for a trip through the Starbuck’s drive-through instead. Although the daily coffee Frappacino and spinach feta wrap helped me finally earn my gold card, they were disasterous to my waistline. Finally, my aunt is a big believer in dessert after every meal, and I am horrible at saying no to dessert. Just horrible.

Well, let’s just say I’m paying for it now.  I weighed myself and I am ashamed to say I am a hefty 252. My heaviest weight ever! It makes me want to cry.

Time to start over.

My alarm is set for 5:45 a.m.. My gym bag is packed. I have a date with my trainer tomorrow morning.





Man #23, El Jefe, Part 1

12 12 2011

Believe it or not, on one of my trips back to Seattle about a month ago, I managed to take time out from school and work to have a date, two dates as a matter of fact. (Which is why my dear readers will be getting the recap in installments.)

I know! And you thought this dating blog had gone completely sideways, never to right its course.

Man #23 found me on Match.com. He sent a wink and then an email and thus started our volley of communication. I looked up his profile and discovered that he lived in the Portland area. Normally, I ignore winks and emails sent to me by men from other cities, but I decided that Portland might be close enough to see what this guy was about.

He was going to be in town over the weekend, and wanted to know if I would meet him for coffee.  We had left the actual meeting time up in the air during the day, because I was busy with something I was doing with my kids. I told him I would send him a text message when I was free, and if he could still meet, I’d be open to it.

So, that’s what I did. I quickly received a response that said, “I can meet you in ten minutes.”

Oh shit. What if I wanted to change clothes or at least run a comb through my hair? I quickly changed my clothes, jeans, brown shirt, turquoise and brown necklace and bracelet, earrings, and leapord ballet flats, and I was out the door. I ended up feeling as though I would be late, so imagine my surprise when I arrived at our rendevous point and did not find him there.

We agreed to meet at one of the largest Starbucks stores in Seattle. Big mistake. The place is always completely packed. I walked in and didn’t see anyone looking remotely like my date’s picture. I sent him a text, “Walking into SBUX now. Are you here?”

No answer.

I started to feel self concsious. Since I didn’t receive a response, I started to think that maybe he was there, saw me walk in, and decided he didn’t want to meet me. I decided to play it cool and get in line for a coffee.  I ordered a skinny peppermint mocha, tried to nonchalantly look around while I waited for my order, and then, tried desparately to find an open seat once I had my hot little drink in my hot little hands. I managed to find an open chair where I had a clear shot of the door.

Ten minutes. No answer.

Sipping slowly.

Twenty minutes. No answer. I scrolled back through my text messages to see when he had sent the “I’ll be there in 10 minutes” text.  It had been forty minutes.

I ran out of sips. My drink was gone, and I was well past my fifteen minute threshold for tardiness. I got up, threw my cup away and headed outside. For whatever reason, I decided to send him another text, “Leaving now. Let me know if you still want to meet.”

I had only walked a few stores away and was looking at shoes when he called me. He had gotten lost and had just received my text message from earlier. I let him know that I was in a store about a block away, and if he started to walk in my direction, I would meet him halfway.

I started walking and this time found him. He was about my height, 5′-10″ ish, dark brown eyes, olive skin like I like, and jet black hair so thick it almost stood on end. He explained that he had gotten lost and asked if I was upset. I assured him that I wasn’t upset. (Secretly, I realized that these things don’t upset me much anymore. I just leave. After 22 other dates and 77 more to go, I seem to be taking the “men are like buses” stance on being stood up, knowing that, good or bad, there will be another man along shortly.)

We agreed that the crowded Starbucks setting seemed suboptimal and opted for having a relaxed conversation while strolling slowly past storefronts. It felt very Italian passeggiatta-like.

Like me, he was a little thick around the middle. The time I’ve spent in Eastern Washington has managed to undo all of the hard work I’ve done with my personal trainer, and I feel just as chubby as ever, although arguably stronger. Like me, an injury had hindered Man #23’s ability to work out over the past couple of years. It turned out that before his injury, he had run marathons, and before my injury, I had cheated death on 2nd Avenue by riding my bike to work. A couple of years ago, I took a header on Lake Washington Boulevard, which left me unable to lift or turn my head for over a week, and even after four months in physical therapy, I’ve never been quite the same again.

From blown out calf muscles, his from running, mine from dodgeball, we both suffered occasional plantar fasciitis.

Quite the pair, wouldn’t you say?

In a way, I think I felt I had found a kindred spirit. Both of us had been much thinner before, and could sympathize with the effects that injuries had had on our bodies. We had a good conversation, although at times, it felt as though Man #23 was interviewing me. I wasn’t afraid to call him on it, and he confessed it was probably a side effect of his work. I tried harder to ask him more questions, and discovered enough to know that I wouldn’t mind going out with him a second time…

…And, El Jefe decided to stay in town an extra day to take me out again.





Still Here, Still Dating

19 09 2011

Hello Readers,

You may have noticed that I haven’t written anything in over two weeks. I apologize for my absence and my inconsistency. Life is getting in the way of my storytelling. My MBA program is starting up again this week, and, of course, professors always want to get classes off to a good start by assigning work that is due on the day BEFORE classes begin. (How do they even get away with this!)

I’m also in the process of studying for my securities licensing exams. Is that investment taxed as ordinary income or as short or long-term capital gains? NAV, POP, TSA, SIPC, FDIC, SAR, IRA, FRB, FINRA,…WTF?  Wish me luck.

Somehow, with everything else going on, I continue to make it to the gym for my workouts. Zach is yet again switching up my workouts to shock my body out of its comfort zone.  He continues to torture me with the body ball.  (The gym is actually running a 40% off promotion on personal training  for anyone interested.)  AND, I can vouch for Zach; he’s awesome (even though he keeps torturing me with that DAMN ball.)

Finally, I’m sure the real question is whether or not I’m dating.  The answer is yes.  I will write about my date with Man #21 soon, and, I promise, you will all have a good laugh at my expense.  Let’s just say that dating sucks.

Tonight, I am enjoying a nice Cabernet Sauvignon while writing papers for my MBA classes.  I don’t know if stream of consciousness and creative writing works for business classes, but we’ll find out! The Cab is from Terra Blanca in Benton City, a stop my son and I made along our route from our last trip to the Tri-Cities.  It was my 22-year-old son’s first wine tasting, and we had a really good time.  Cabernet is NOT what the doctor ordered and NOT part of my prescription, but a girl needs some sort of relief from the horrors of dating.

I anticipate being single for the rest of my life.

Salute!

Photo here.





Fabulously Fit Friday

26 08 2011

Weight Loss Weigh-in Wednesdays are going through a bit of an overhaul. After some feedback from readers, it is apparent that they want me to do more dating and less reflecting on my weight loss efforts. I have decided I will not write about my efforts at the gym every single week.  This is a DATING blog after all. Although getting back to my dating weight is important due to the inverse relationship between my weight and the number of men who will want to date me, it is merely an additional step, along with many others I am taking this year, in my journey to renew, rediscover, and reinvent myself.

That said, here are my thoughts regarding the status of my workouts.

I remain committed in spite of the fact that my weight loss seems excruciatingly slow. I’m still getting out of bed at the crack of dawn so I can get to Experience Fitness, get my workout in, shower and change at the gym, and rush off to work. The results, although slow, are becoming more and more apparent to me. I can walk longer and faster than I could a few months ago.  I’m lifting heavier and heavier weights.  My balance is improving.

Oh, and I’m not whining quite so much as I was in the beginning.

The truth is; I probably have not been the easiest client to train.  When I started, my bad knees limited what I could do. I had a bicycle accident that wiped out my left knee and a snowboarding accident that damaged my right.  My personal trainer, Zach has spent a lot of our time together having me do exercises that will help me stabilize me knees, and now I am finally getting strong enough to move on to heavier leg work.  Hopefully, now that I’m doing more leg work it will help increase my metabolism and help with the weight loss.

Then there’s the work to strengthen my abs. Zach, knows that I hate all exercises done on the stability ball.  Every time he rolls that thing out, I just know he’s trying to piss me off.  He claims he’s trying to help me strengthen my core, but I feel like he’s just trying to torture me.

So this week, he’s been away from Experience Fitness, and I’ve had a substitute trainer.  Before he left, Zach wrote out my workouts, and guess what?  There were plenty of stability ball exercises.  Besides the fact that any exercise done on a stability ball feels twice as hard as the same exercise done on a stable object, like a weight bench, one of the other reasons I hate the ball is because there is no graceful way to get on and off of one.

Ok, so the sit-up with medicine ball reach that I had to do this morning was not so bad.  The reverse hyper-extensions, however, are a whole different matter. For the hypers, you have to lie on the ball on your stomach, and then raise and lower your legs.  If you’re tall and overweight, like I am, getting down to place your stomach on the ball can be a bit of a challenge.  Picture a belly flop with control.

Think about that for a second.

I always feel bad when my stomach hits the ball and it gives a little bounce.  The other option, which I prefer when I am already on the floor, transitioning from the mat to the ball, is to kneel on my knees, place my upper body on the ball, and roll forward.  This seems better in some way, but it still feels awkward.

Finally, there is the execution of the hyper-extension exercise itself.  It was not so bad when Zach was having me do this with my legs together and straight.  I felt sort of like a dolphin swimming. Now, however, to make things more difficult, he wants me to lift my legs up and out to the sides. Seriously? In public??? Are you fucking kidding me?

I just keep telling myself that someday, SOMEDAY, I’m going to have the nicest, most toned ass you have ever seen.

But my lewd behavior does not stop there. Oh no.

The next exercise I had to do today was something called hamstring 3’s. These were again done with the stability ball.  With the hamstring 3’s, I have to lie on my back on a mat, place my feet on the ball and lift my pelvis off of the mat. Next, I have to roll the ball in to bend my knees and pulse my pelvis in the air 10 times. Then, straighten my legs, lift my pelvis, and pulse for a count of ten, and finally, the piece de resistance, with my feet still on the ball, lift my pelvis off of the mat and roll the ball in and out by bending and straightening my legs ten more times.

Nothing with this much pelvis thrusting should be this difficult!

Finally, remember a couple of weekends ago when I went to see “In the Next Room – The Vibrator Play” with my girlfriends? Well, today, a friend of mine informed me that this story is also a fancy pants British period drama.  (I need to go see this one too even though I know how it ends!) As you may recall, from my previous post, back in Victorian times, vibrators were used to cure “female hysteria” which encompassed a wide variety of symptoms…

Faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble“.

Now, I don’t know if I’m hysterical or not, but I do know a cure for what ails me, and, with all of the exercises I’ve been doing at the gym, when I finally start dating a man with whom I’m interested in having sex…

…I’ll be prepared.





Weight Loss Weigh-in Wednesday #7

3 08 2011

I lost a pound this week.  242.  Woo hoo! Celebrate my little success with me, please.  A round of meal replacement shakes for everyone!! 

Cheers!

This is slow going. There’s no “Biggest Loser” excitement here, no gimmicks, no 12 pound per week losses, but I am sticking with it, getting stronger and staying focused.  You should see my biceps. Arm wrestling anyone?

I don’t think I would feel right now if I didn’t get my workouts in during the week.  Zach and the staff at Experience Fitness have definitely become part of my routine.

I also had a blogging first this week.

On Monday, when I was at Experience Fitness for my personal training session, I was standing at the front counter after my workout, filling out my cardio log, and talking to Zach.  A young woman approached me from the side, and hesitantly said, “Oh, my god, are you the blogger?”

“Yeah.”

“I found your blog through the gym’s website, and it is so good.  I’m supposed to be working and I’m reading your blog instead. It’s so good.  You’re famous.”

She was sort of gushing and I was sort of blushing. 

“Thank you,” I said smiling.  My friends have told me they enjoy my writing and I’ve had comments here on the blog, but this was the first time a complete stranger approached me and told me they were enjoying my stories.  It was pretty flattering, although it totally caught me off-guard.

The woman introduced herself and we spoke briefly about the blog.  She said she recalled from the blog that I was working out in the mornings with Zach, but she seemed surprised to actually see me there.  It was really cool to feel the energy of someone who was so enthusiastic about my writing.  Zach briefly got caught up in the dialogue too.

“Zach is going to be famous too,” I said, trying to divert some of the attention away from myself, “you know, he and Thor are the only individuals where I use their real names.”

“Oh, that’s nice,” Zach said as he was walking away.  I think he was blushing too.  (I had asked him when we started training for permission to use his real name. So, don’t worry; he knows he’s part of a blog.)

As I walked home I wondered if I had seemed friendly and open.  I hoped so.  You never know how your responses will sound to a stranger when you’re caught off guard like that.  Then I started thinking, most of the time I’m so sarcastic in this blog, why would anyone expect me to be nice???

But, I AM nice.  I really am.  And, I hope I’m perceived that way (at least most of the time.)

Coming soon:  Apricots and Misdemeanors, and Man #19, Thor’s Buddy.

Also, My Dating Prescription now has its own Facebook page.  Go LIKE it, please, and share it with your friends.





Weight Loss Weigh-in Wednesday #6

29 07 2011

Yes, I do realize that it’s Friday.

I figure I need to get back in this blogging game at some point, and I want to keep certain things consistent around here.  Plus, Weight Loss Weigh-in Wednesday just seems to sound so much better than Fighting My Fat Friday.

That would get your attention though, wouldn’t it?

Sad to say, there has been no weight lost on this weigh-in Wednesday.  The stress of the past two weeks may have something to do with it. (Plus the fact that my aunt seems to have an afternoon ice cream habit and she likes to have an accomplice.) 

I can proudly say, however, that while I was in Eastern Washington, I went for a hike 6 out of the 8 days that I was there. Hiking in Eastern Washington is definitely different from hiking in Western Washington.  I’m used to the sheltering canopies of conifers and moisture, not sand dunes.  I made sure I was up and out by 7 a.m. everyday in hopes of getting my hike in and getting back to my aunt and uncle’s air-conditioned digs before the heat really kicked in.  Plus, instead of worrying about cougars and bears, I had to watch out for coyotes and rattlesnakes.  Luckily, all I saw was a jack rabbit, coyote poo, some quail, and LOTS and LOTS of sage brush.

I started my personal training with Zach back up this week.  It was good to get back in the gym, and now he’s switching things up on me a little.  We’re moving from exercises that emphasis strength and balance to exercises that will be faster and provide a more cardiovascular emphasis.  For example, he made me do mountain climbers today, which seemed to make every ounce of fat on my body jiggle. Also, instead of regular shoulder presses, he gave me a lighter weight and had me press them alternately and faster.  He also threw a new core exercise at me, which I hate.  I know it will be good for me, but ab exercises are the worst.  It could have something to do with the fact that most of the weight I carry now seems to be in my stomach and my ass.

Zach always demonstrates the exercises for me before I have to do them. So, this morning, he got down on the mat and showed me how I was supposed to sit up on my butt, feet raised, torso raised, medicine ball in hands, and take the ball from side to side twenty times while keeping my feet and torso up.

“Oh, this is going to suck,” I said.

He dropped his head, smiled, and laughed, and said, “You can’t hate every exercise.”

“No just the hard ones.”

You would think that, at some point, one’s ass could become large enough to provide a nice stable base, like a blob of Silly Putty slapped down on a table to make the bottom flat, but no such luck.  My ass was not stable at all, but somehow, I managed to do three sets.  It wasn’t pretty though, let me tell you.  There were some pretty unattractive grunting sounds coming out of me. I didn’t let any “f” bombs fly though; it was too early in the morning for that.

One of my friends stopped by to buy fresh eggs this morning, (my chicken’s eggs, not mine,) and commented on how toned my arms are getting.  I briefly gave him a gun show.  The weight loss may be slow, but I’m still seeing things get redistributed.  I’ll discuss back fat versus lats at a later time.

Anyway, I’m back at it.  I have a couple more posts in the hopper and will try to work on them this weekend.

By the way, one of my subscribers asked me last time I posted about my weight loss whether the toes in the picture above were mine.  For the record, these are not my toes. Judging from their appearance, I would say these are the toes of a man. Don’t ask me how I know, I just feel like I know. You know??  In case you are wondering, my feet are, unlike the rest of me, relatively slender; my toes are painted; and, I have a toe ring.

Have a great weekend!  It looks like Julember in Seattle may finally be over.








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