Man #24, The Actual Date

17 02 2012

I apologize that it has taken me so long to recap my date with Man #24, but I felt I needed to give you the back story about how we got set up and how I was getting pressure from my friends for this to, not only be a good matchup, but to also provide good material for a romantic comedy. (Hence Man #24’s tag – The Leading Man.)

To be honest, I anticipated that The Leading Man and I would have a good date. The friends who set us up happen to be very intuitive about these kinds of things, and I usually trust their judgment. Like I said, however, I was extremely nervous. The last time I had seen Man #24 had been before I had gotten married, started feeling depressed and trapped, and started drowning myself in emotion-deadening amounts of food and red wine. Therefore, he was not going to see the thin, sexy woman to whom he had last spoken. He might not even recognize me.

Oh dear god.

When we set up our date, The Leading Man said he was willing to meet me somewhere near my neighborhood, and I appreciated this a lot. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I have strong feelings about the things guys can do to make themselves look considerate from the very beginning, and offering to meet a woman on her turf is just one of them. By this, Ladies, I do not mean meeting a man at your house. (Geez, that would be scary.) What I mean is, if a man lives a half an hour away, he should not expect a woman to drive out to see him sight unseen. I’m okay with meeting a man halfway between his place and mine, but it’s always appreciated if he will make the extra effort to allow me to stay in neighborhoods in which I feel comfortable.

Sorry, guys. Maybe this doesn’t seem fair. But, your gender isn’t the one getting raped every 60 seconds in this country, so I don’t want to hear any whining and this is not something on which I’m willing to compromise.

Anyway, sorry for that tangent/soap box moment, but I just wanted to say how pleased I was that The Leading Man was willing to let me pick our rendezvous point without any pressure.

He mentioned that he was hungry for Thai food, and I was trying to think of a good Thai restaurant that had the right “first date” vibe somewhere in the U District. Unfortunately, there is a plethora of Thai restaurants in the area, but none of them have the kind of ambience I thought was comfortable for a first date/two people catching up after a long time kind of date. Most of them have these little, vinyl kitchen chairs to sit on, and I felt we really needed a booth. After himming and hahhing for a couple of seconds, I asked him if he would be willing to forego Thai in exchange for meeting at Schultzy’s instead. (Yes, I realize this is my third date in 24 that has been at Schultzy’s.)

He went for it, but then I felt bad for bulldozing his Thai food desires.

Although he said it was fine, I was conscious of what I had just done and felt I was not off on a good foot.

On the night of the date, I put on some dark-washed jeans, a brown top with three-quarter length sleeves, cute leopard spotted shoes, turquoise, brown, and gold necklace and bracelet, and gold earrings and headed out the door. Again, if you’ve been reading from the beginning, you may have noticed that I’m less anxious about sucking everything in these days. LONG gone are the Spanx! I still care about my appearance, but I am no longer willing to wrestle with compressive undergarments when I am out on a date.

The Leading Man and I met and talked for a few hours over beers and fries about everything from our friends and their crazy ideas to dogs to the legalization of marijuana to Ken Griffey Jr and beyond. The conversation was really fun and easy and I enjoyed it a lot.

At the end of the date, The Leading Man walked me to my car, gave me a kiss on the cheek and a hug and said we should definitely go out again. I said, “Well, next Saturday I’m invited to a party where everyone who comes has to perform a talent. You’re welcome to join me.”

He passed.

I admit; that would be a lot of pressure…

… but maybe we can go have Thai food.


Rom Com, Scene 2

6 02 2012

So, in the romantic comedy that is my life, I anxiously awaited my date with Man #24. I remembered the last time I saw him. We had both been at a party at our friends’ house. It was summer and I remember what I had worn and what he looked like. I was in a turquoise linen skirt that I had purchased in Italy and a wrap-front halter top that probably showed a bit too much cleavage, and he had been in a light-colored pair of pants and white shirt and had his hair in a long ponytail. It was 2006, before my emotionally turbulent relationship with STBex, and I was about 80 pounds lighter than I am today.

This last fact had me extraordinarily nervous to meet him again. I’m sure that’s the me he remembered, and I dreaded the thought of the first moment when he saw me again. What would he think? Various scenarios and self-critical thoughts went through my head. I really didn’t feel like being rejected again because of my weight.

I talked to my friend again, and ask her what she thought he might think about how much weight I’ve gained.

“His weight’s gone up and down too. He doesn’t seem like someone who judges people like that.”

This didn’t really bring me any comfort. Anyone who has done any online dating at all can tell you that even the fattest guys on still want a woman who is “athletic and toned.”  I went into a brief period of self-loathing and grief, mourning the woman I used to be, the sexy one in the halter top and skirt.

Perhaps as a way to put my guard up, I said, “You know, I’m not usually into guys with ponytails.” (The only exception had been a Mexican tamale with a ponytail like Antonio Banderas in Desperado, and even that had been short-lived…but yummy.)

“Oh, he doesn’t have the ponytail anymore.”

“Oh that’s good.”

“Well, our phone conversation went really well, so I’m looking forward to our date,” I said. Secretly, I was thinking it was SO much easier to stay fat and introverted instead of going out to meet someone who had seen me in my former hotness.

But I did it. I screwed up my courage, put my big girl panties on (really big), and went to meet him at Schultzy’s in the U District.

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.

Weight Loss Weigh-in Wednesday #2

22 06 2011

Well, it seems the scale does not want to cooperate with my efforts this week. I was 247 when I weighed in this morning.  When I went to see Zach, my personal trainer at Experience Fitness, I asked him if he would also take my fat percentage measurement again.  My fat percentage was also up slightly at 40.2%.

This sucks. It used to be so easy for me to lose weight. Now my 43-year-old metabolism is definitely showing.

Zach spent a good deal of time today encouraging me to not concentrate on the numbers, but rather, to focus on how much stronger I’m getting, how my cardiovascular endurance is increasing, how my balance is improving, and how I’m feeling overall.  He said it is very common for a person’s weight to go up initially and the important part is to not get discouraged.  He also pointed out that a two pound weight gain is rather insignificant.  It could be due to a whole host of factors related to the regular fluctuations in a person’s fluid levels. 

In other words, I might just be bloated.

Anyway, I’m going to keep my spirits up.  In the meantime, I’m going to pay more attention to the diet part of this equation.  This also means that I need to rethink my dates.  My nutritionist told me I could have one glass of wine per week.  That means that if a date wants to go out for drinks I will need to nurse my one drink through the whole thing.  I’ll also need to try to steer dates toward more non-food related activities. This may actually end up being a good thing, and maybe it will result in more creative date ideas.

Besides, there are only so many Happy Hours a girl can go to before it starts to become a little dull.

Gonna Fly Now

1 06 2011

Cue the Rocky music and then come back and start reading.

My alarm goes off at 6 a.m.. Thank goodness daylight savings time makes it light outside by 5 a.m. or I’d never be able to haul my ass out of bed.  Hitting the snooze is oh so tempting.  I have to get up though; someone is waiting for me. 

I’ve decided the time has finally come for me to lose some weight.  I have approximately 80 pounds to lose, and the situation has not been getting any better.  It’s time to get back to my “dating weight,” so I have enlisted the help of Zach, a personal trainer at Experience Fitness.  He is expecting me to arrive at the gym by 7 a.m..

Oh, fuck!  Accountability, and the fact that I hate being late for things are the only things that get me out of bed. 

Although I never seem to get to bed before midnight, I roll out of bed on six hours of sleep.  I shuffle off to the bathroom to find my eyes and wash my face.  I put my contacts in, wrap my hair into a ponytail, and put on my workout clothes.

I wonder out to the kitchen.  There is no way I will make it through a workout without breakfast.  I’m a bitch without breakfast.  My nutritionist told me to eat within one hour of getting out of bed.  She wants me to get 21 to 28 grams of protein during breakfast.  It’s the one bit of advice that I’ve found easy to follow. 

I usually keep a stash of boiled eggs in my fridge, but today I whip up a protein fruit shake.  It’s actually tastes decent if I toss in a dash of vanilla extract to cut the nasty taste of the rice protein powder.  Vanilla almond milk works too, but it’s sort of high in sugar.  I gulp down my shake, take my vitamins, grab my bag, and head to Experience Fitness to meet Zach.

I walk in and, of course, I am the fattest person in the gym.  This is what it’s come to.  This is how far I have let myself go, but although I talked about losing weight before, I don’t think I was ready before now.  There were a lot of emotional issues wrapped up in my weight gain over the last four years.  I’ve said this before, but eating and drinking were the things I did to deaden the way I felt about my marriage. 

When my husband left, I didn’t think anyone would be attracted to me because of my weight.  For a while, I continued to sit home eating and drinking as I had during my marriage.  It was easy and comfortable and didn’t require me to change.  Of course, my therapist threw a monkey wrench in the whole pity party when he prescribed that I go out and date 100 men.  I think I needed to work through my feelings about all of that before I could get to the point where I would walk back into a gym again. 

What I’ve come to realize over the past four months is that I don’t have any problem finding men to date.  In fact, regardless of my weight, I don’t have any problem finding men that want to go out on second dates. (That wasn’t supposed to be part of the plan.) 

In addition to the emotional eating, however, there was also an element of wanting to become invisible involved in my weight gain that I need to address.  There are few more effective things a person can do to become invisible in the U.S. than to become obese.  It’s weird, but during my first date with the Financial Planner, we ended up talking about Afghanistan and the wearing of the burka.  I had stated that if I had to choose between being able to fly and being invisible, I would rather be invisible.  Although I’m sure a burka is hot, cumbersome, and restricts one’s peripheral vision, I think the anonymity it would afford might actually be refreshing.

I was not always fat.  Throughout most of my life, I was relatively thin.  That’s me in 2003 on the right.  However, I was never very comfortable with men looking at me on the street.  When I was thin, I was afraid that men were only interested in me because of my looks. I didn’t trust their intentions.  The other comfortable thing about being overweight is that I feel like men are more interested in me because of my personality or my intelligence than my looks.  Whether this is really true or not is irrelevant.  What counts is how it feels to be able to walk down the street without attracting attention.  Right now, I have 80 pounds of burka fat protecting me.  I’m going to be forced to deal with those feelings as the pounds come off, but for right now, I will just acknowledge that I need to learn to fly instead of be invisible.

I’m sure as I go through my weight loss journey other emotions will come up, but for now, I feel ready to take my weight loss goals seriously.  Here’s where I’m starting.

I arrive at Experience Fitness, Zach weighs me, and it turns out that I am actually 248 pounds, not 240.  Ok, so that means I have 88 pounds to lose.  Here’s what I currently look like on the left.  Luckily, Zach didn’t take one of those Biggest Loseresque pictures of me in my workout clothes.

I have borderline high blood pressure.  Ironically, my cholesterol is good.

I’m on the verge of being asthmatic, which my doctor directly attributes to my weight gain.  The problem is bad enough that she prescribed an inhaler for me last year.

I have knee pain and back pain, partially due to my weight gain and partially due to a series of accidents involving a snowboard, a bicycle, and dodgeball. (Don’t ask.)  I’ll probably have more stats for you later. 

Zach is searching for that pinchy fat thing.

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