Saturday, March 11, 2006

Stuck between two steel beams

What happens to you when you get stuck between two steel beams?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it's not a common problem for most women. But that's what happened to me last August on my last project.

A little history - most of my life, I studied ballet, jazz, and modern dance and was in great shape. In college, I worked out almost every day and by the time I graduated I was in the best shape of my life. No, not from 12-ounce curls, from actually working out.

Then began the yo-yo years....I've never been super skinny except for maybe once or twice in my life, and those times it was from some wierd eating on my part. Like the spring during my senior year of high school, I decided to give up sugar for Lent and subsisted mostly on Wheat Thins and diet lemonade. I was looking pretty hot by the summertime, but my stomach still turns now to look at a box of Wheat Thins. Blech.

After Monkey Man was born, a series of family events sent me into a funk that lasted for a few years. I really, really let myself go. Seriously, I could eat my weight in cheese or ice cream or whatever you threw in front of me. And I got bigger and bigger. The bad part was that if you had told my friends how much I really weighed, they never would've believed it because I "didn't look fat". And in all honesty, I would look at myself in the mirror and not think that I looked overweight at all. Yeah, you can use the "baby weight" excuse for a while, but after 4 years you really need to rethink your strategy.

Back to August. So I was out in the building I was working on and trying to work on punchlist items. Basically a punchlist consists of things that either still need to be completed or need to be fixed before the building occupants move in. I was in one of the executive offices and attempted to look at one of the structural elements which required me to bend up into a small cranny.....



I panicked a little bit and finally wiggled my way out of it. Talk about feeling humiliated. Thank God none of the guys were out there because they would have teased me mercilessly. I went slinking back to the trailer and spent the next two hours on the verge of tears.

The very next Monday I signed up at Weight Watchers and began my weight loss journey. I had great support from Joey and my friends which made it so much easier, especially when The Devil Also Known as Molten Chocolate Cake would call my name. I also started wearing the hell out of our treadmill and found the release and endorphins were awesome.

Forty pounds. FORTY POUNDS. That's a huge freaking bag of dog food from Costco. That's slightly less than Monkey Man weighs. And that's how much I've lost so far. I swear it has been the best thing I've done for myself in a long time - I feel younger, I'm not wheezing when I walk up the steps at the office or at home, and I can finally fit in cute clothes again. According to WW, I still have probably 10 pounds to lose to get to their maximum weight for my height - but I feel good where I am now, so I'm not sure if I'll push on or not.

The best part has been the reaction of the people around me. I think when you see someone every day, you don't notice the changes. Well, about two weeks ago my company newsletter came out with a very embarrassing picture of me with my project team from last July. I resembled a beached whale, albeit a beached whale with a very cute Chico's outfit on. Ever since then, I have been showered with e-mails and people stopping by my office and saying DAMN you look skinny! It's been awesome to have my hard work recognized. I think the best one so far was from Sylvester, one of the laborers who worked with me on my last project and would leave Little Debbie Nutty Bars on my desk because he knew how much I loved them. I saw him about 2 months ago (30 pounds lighter) and he did a double-take and said "Damn girl, yo ass is gettin' too skinny! Ya better eat some cheese and gravy, I likes my wimmen with a little meat on der bones."

Ah, ya gotta love that. Thanks, Sylvester. And step away with the Nutty Bars. NOW.

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