Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Just in time for March Madness, my own Sweet (Size) 16

My brother and I usually go a couple of months without seeing each other and then when we do, I have put on more weight and he has lost more hair. We love each other in our own way, so we don't say anything, but I am just looking at him thinking, "Where the hell did his hair go?" and he is looking at me thinking, "Where the hell did that double chin come from?" We are 25 and 22 respectively. It is a sad situation. However, unlike my brother who had the misfortune to dive into the wrong end of the gene pool, I can actually control my weight. Theoretically.

Cleaning out my closet at my father's house is like visiting the Cupcake Body Size museum. Oh, here's my size 10 Junior Prom dress. Here's the size 12 suit I wore at my high school graduation. I thought that eventually my body would just reach its natural weight and plateau. However, the numbers kept going up.

The sad thing is that I was looking at many older photos of myself and I looked great, but I never saw it at the time. I always felt just a little bit bigger and a little bit fatter than the other girls. When I was a size 8, they were a size 4. When I was a size 10, they were a size 6. When I was a size 14, they were still size 6.

This has got to stop. I hate shopping for clothes. I have close to zero confidence that men find me attractive. In all of my early teenage fat scenario nightmares I never thought I would wear a size 16 pair of jeans, but now I do. Also, I have many things I'm looking forward to this year, including Smarty's wedding and I want to start feeling better about the way I look. So I am setting a new goal to lose 40 pounds this year (I think I set this goal last year too. Uh, but this time I really mean it.)

This is not going to be easy. I am a picky eater, I have a wicked sweet tooth and I hate to exercise. Also, I am cursed with a terrible metabolism and some very curvey genes. But I'm going to start taking baby steps. Tonight I am going to tour a gym and get a membership application. Tomorrow I will eat a healthy breakfast.

I've never been able to lose a substantial amount of weight, but I never had the power of the Cupcake Mafia behind me. You guys are amazing. When I needed to know how to remove a stripped screw from a door frame, you were there. When I needed a recipie for Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting, you were there. When I needed advice on how to craft a story pitch for public radio, you were there. In short, you guys come through for me, and I know you'll come through for me this time as well. This will continue to be a blog about cupcakes, because life without cupcakes isn't worth living. But this will also be a blog about a girl who is trying really hard to get through her day without running out to buy a candy bar at the kiosk on the corner.

In the meantime, I think it's time to stock up on fudgesicles.


Beta said...

Oh Cupcake, I respect you so much for putting so much honesty in your blog. I think most people are uncomfortable sharing their self-doubts in such a forum. By the way, I was trying to de-clutter last weekend and in pouring through random boxes and folders, I found a wallet-sized senior portrait of you! It's the one where you're standing and leaning against a windowsill or a wall. I think you're wearing a black top. You look HOT in that photo! Really. Just thought you should know.

Anonymous said...

You go girl! Let me know how I can help. I have lots of soup recipes that you may be interested in. They'll freeze great and fill you up without as many calories because of all the water. And they taste so good you'll never know they're jam packed with vegetables.


Muk said...

I use the crude, but effective calorie counting method.

1. Find out approximately how many calories daily you require to achieve the desired weight (i.e., your current weight - 40 lbs.). There are a gazillion websites with these calculators.
2. Add to that any calories burned during exercise that day.
3. Don't exceed 1 + 2.

It can be tough to figure out how many calories are in everything you eat, but you get the hang of it over time.

Also, you will be hungry at times for, say, two weeks. Then your body acclimates and actually has trouble exceeding your new caloric intake.

It doesn't inherently promote a balanced diet, so you need to keep an eye on that.

Also, alcohol has a shitload of calories. Keeping tabs on that is always a pain in ass.

Good luck... and ping me if you have any questions.

AJWP said...

I just started my own healthy eating campaign! Great minds, huh? Here's what I'm doing (I call it The Diet of Plenty): I drink at least 4 16-oz. glasses of water and eat at least 5 servings of fruits/vegetables each day. I haven't limited my intake of sweet or Fry, but I find that I'm eating less junk food because the healthy stuff fills me up. Also, I've cut way back on my hardcore Diet Coke habit. It's been 3 weeks now, and I'm going strong! Best of luck to you with your gym/healthy foods decision.

Sheena said...

Indeed, cheers to you!

Lots of water is key. As is the exercise, which ultimately improves your overall mood, which improves your overall health (the whole mind body connection mumbo jumbo).

I dislike most gym -going (unless it's Pilates or Yoga or something, I get very bored very quickly). One simple way to get some exercise is subtract a subway stop. I do this at the end of my day when I need to get some physical activity in and it's nice out. I'll walk from the office on 28th to Union Square, then get off the subway a stop or two before my own. Helps clear my head after a long day as well. I mean, it's not an hour on the treadmill, but a little here and there can go a long way.

Good luck!

Lexa said...

I made the same decision about 10 weeks ago when I saw a number on the scale I swore I would never pass. I have always had a ton of issues with food, so I joined Weight Watchers. For me, it really makes sense. Writing down everything you eat really keeps you accountable. And I can still eat cupcakes! I am down 19 lbs. and couldn't be happier. It may not be for everyone, but I think WW has taught me one crucial skill--write it down. Not wanting to write down that I had 5 cookies has kept me from eating that many in a sititng. Staring the truth in the face is hard. Good luck Nancy.

Cupcake said...

Thanks guys, I really appreciate your tips. Feel free to keep sending them in. And congratulations on losing 19 pounds Lex, that's awesome.

Obstacles: five servings of fruit and vegetables. Just. Not. Going. To. Happen. But I do think I'll start having fruit salad for breakfast. I saw a nutritionist about a year and a half ago and she told me none of my calories should come from drinks, so no fruit juice to count towards those servings. And I don't even want to talk about vegetables.

How can I get an idea of how many calories I am burning per day? I really like the subtract one subway station too, Sheena. I do this sometimes when I've felt particulary cooped up in my office.

My baby goals are whole grains whenever possible, drink more water, no empty calories from beverages, fried food only once a week and something sweet only once a day. I know that sounds insane for a grown-up person, but if I just had one cookie, or one mocha or one bowl of ice cream a day it would be a big improvement over my current habbit of jonesing for something sweet every 10 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading Spectacularly Normal. I was shocked at the not-so-subtle passive bitchery of your "friend". She goes on about being "morbidly obese" then lists her size, 4/6 next to yours, 16. Nice.

Cupcake said...

Note: the post Anonymous is refering to is here.

Anonym, I think the point Irina was making is that she has difficulty finding clothes that fit her well and it makes her feel fat. I think that is something that the majority of women can relate to whether they are a size 4 or a size 16. Maybe men feel the same way too, I don't know.

Do I think it's harder for a size 16 woman to find good clothes than her size 6 counterpart? Yes, and I'll never be convinced otherwise. I'm still a little bitter because I was considering buying a Searle dress for my Maid of Honor duties until I saw that they were only avaliable up to a size 8. Size 8. And you know they probably run small too. This to me is even more insulting because it is almost as if the designer doesn't want his design to be dennegrated by the likes of some fatty wearing it.

The point is designers design with one form in mind. If that works for you, you're a lucky gal, otherwise we're left feeling "abnormal" which usually translates as pretty shitty. Even if I ever got myself down to a size 4, I still wouldn't be able to buy clothes that fit me right, because I'm so short (even petite sizes are designed for someone 5'3"- I'm 4'10"). The amazing thing to me is that we as women put up with this. No one ever says "Hey, your clothing sizes are totally weird and unrealistic for the majority of the population!", instead we spend all of our energy trying to cram our bodies into those designs and looking pretty stupid.

I know that Irina didn't mean any harm and if you read a little further in her blog it is clear that she has overcome some very serious food/body image issues and she probably still struggles, so kindly step off.

LunachickNYC said...

This post reminded me of the time my friend and I cleaned out my closet and found clothes ranging from size 4 to size 22. She held up the 4's in front of the 22's and slowly said "Your heart should have exploded by now"

a girl like me said...

Good luck cupcake! I love the Diet beverages for keeping track of calories because it gives you something tasty without the guilt.

I also think Coffee is a free food - I refuse to incorporate it (not the full fat lattes, but more the skim flat white with sugar free vanilla syrup ones).

Irina said...

Nancy, I just notice this string of comments through mybloglog stats. Yipes! Someone definitely got the wrong idea about what I was trying to say...YES it is totally effed that no one is saying: hi, change your designs PLEASE. I, of course, would never presume that it's harder for me to find clothes. Actually I'm the only woman in my family below a size 16, so I understand where you're coming from.

As you pointed out, there are unfortunate means by which I've managed to stay "small"...not that I'm excusing anything or looking for sympathy.

Anyway, thank you for understanding and for defending me. I think it's awful to feel badly about yourself. No matter what size you are. It's worse that most designers validate that feeling.