Thursday, October 8, 2009

Week 15 - Mean Girls- Oct 8th 2009

I confess I was a mean girl. I made fun of girls for their clothes, their hair, their make-up and it continued into high school. I was thin as a child, but due to a severe case of ADHD, I was socially awkward and picked on other kids to draw the attention away from me. In high school I was caught making fun of a girl who was pregnant. The poor girl was in the bathroom stall and I was at the sink with my friends. She came out in tears and I just stood there...looking her in the eyes. Three months later I was pregnant and my battle with weight began. The last 12 years I have been the target of judgment and sideways looks. Karma is a witch! I tried to make amends at my 10 year reunion but that was futile. I think some things are just unforgivable. I have changed dramatically over the years, but I wonder how many of my mean comments are remembered by a girl I no longer know.

My daughter is beautiful; she is physically fit and plays soccer. She has a great sense of humor and is a pleasure to be around. She came home upset because some girls at school had started some rumors about her. I used to think getting pregnant and fat was my punishment for being mean. Now…I can’t help but wonder if Karma isn’t genetic. Could part of my penance include watching my daughter endure the wrath of the new mean girl clique? I know it’s ridiculous. “Girls are mean” I tell her, but how many moms in the 90’s had to utter that same clichĂ© to their daughters after one of my tongue lashings? I tell her to ignore them, knowing that will just fuel the fire. I tell her it doesn’t matter what those girls say, her real friends will love her no matter what, also knowing that a rumor can spread like cancer; causing even her closest friends to ponder the rumor’s legitimacy.

She has started to focus on her weight. She is 5’5” and weighs 114 pounds. She is thin by any calculation. She asked for her own TeamFitness membership and I see her sweating as she runs on the treadmill beside me. She is my biggest supporter and is full of encouragement, but it’s becoming apparent she is at the gym trying to lose weight. My words mean nothing to her. At 15, only the words of the mean girls matter.

I have to be honest, my first thought when she came home and told me about this was to drive over to Baskin-Robbins and talk about the situation over a hot fudge sundae. The ice cream was to make HER feel better, not me…right? Instead, we went to subway and shared a foot-long turkey on whole grain. We then went to Team Fitness and discussed healthy reasons for working out. I shared with her that a good cardio workout released endorphins and would elevate her mood after a bad day, kicking a bag will help her release pent up anger, and that silence on Xena (my elipticle machine) could clear her head and help her come up with good responses to use next time the mean girls came calling.

Today, she came home excited. The mean girl had started in on her in math class. My daughter confidently turned around, and in a voice loud enough for the whole class to hear, asked her “Did you practice that in the mirror? How long did it take you to come up with such a funny comment? Did everyone hear that? She asked if I bought my shoes at a thrift store because they are so ugly! Let’s all sit here and admire how funny she is!” She told me the class was laughing at the mean girl. Her teacher broke it up, but winked at her as she got the class settled down.
I am not sure what is more difficult, being a mom or losing weight, but the two share something in common- small victories. I know she will have bad days and someday her heart will be broken and I think the biggest victory I can achieve as a mom is my daughter sharing her day with me!

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 254 pounds
Previous weight: 220 pounds
Current weight: 220 pounds
Current Weight Loss: -0 pounds Grrrrr!!!!
Total weight loss: 34 pounds

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Week 14 - Change Oct 2nd

I lost TWO pounds! It has been a week full of stress and was convinced I had gained weight, but when I stepped on the scale I lost two pounds. I have not been able to get to the gym all week, but I have really been watching my food intake, cutting my calories down to 1500 to compensate for my lack of movement. I am very happy to report I actually turned down a pink frosted shortbread cookie! I have never done that before. The old Lacie would have licked the frosting off and carefully dunked it into my coffee, savoring each light, buttery and delicious bite. My cubicle was filled with the sound of giggles as shortbread was being consumed in mass quantity. I reached in my lunch bag and pulled out my fresh cut cantaloupe chunks. I didn’t even miss it. I would say that is a definite change!

This week, “change” has been the underlying theme. My son and the changes he is going through, my husband getting a lay off notice, my work statement changing this week, yet again…and I am reminded of those motivational posters promoting the ability to embrace change. After a really chilly soccer practice, I came home and took a bubble bath to warm up. I was laying there…basting my stomach sticking out of the water like a Thanksgiving turkey, thinking about my journey. The changes I can see in my body, the changes in my attitude and although I am not there yet, I am proud of the changes I have made in my life.

My top 5 list of changes so far:
I no longer have to unbutton my pants and find a sturdy support to tie my shoes.
I don’t have to soap up my finger and pull until it turns purple to get my ring off.
I can jog up the stairs with a load of laundry.
I don’t have to pretend I need to use the restroom to get out of walking with co-workers to a meeting. I walk just as fast as they do now.
Water is no longer just an ingredient in coffee, I drink the stuff now…a lot…and with out mixing it!

My top 5 list of changes to come:
To be able to wrap myself in a normal size bath towel without the triangle of stomach and thigh sticking out.
To buy a bra with thin straps that doesn’t dig in like a rubber band around a semi filled balloon.
To never…I mean ever…have to find a hiding spot to pull up my panties that rolled down my stomach.
To never have my husband back the car out of a parking spot because another car parked too close and I cant open the car door wide enough to squeeze in.
To have “married couple quality time” with the lights on!

This is my journey. Twice this week I almost quit, I almost gave up, I almost decided the fight wasn’t worth the win. Then I decided to change my mind…to focus on why I am going through this. The seasons are changing which means I’ll need to be more creative with my diet as less fresh fruits and vegetables are available and the weather is getting colder which impacts my outdoor activity some. The one message that is clear this week is I am not changing back, no matter what life throws at me…I can’t…I wont!

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 254 pounds
Previous weight: 222 pounds
Current weight: 220 pounds
Current Weight Loss: -2 pounds
Total weight loss: 34 pounds

Week 13- Drugs and Pie Sept 24th

Week 13
Drugs and Pie

I’m just going to put it right out there…being a mom is tough sometimes. We are expected to know every birthday and anniversary of our families…and their families. We are supposed to know pant, shirt and shoe sizes of each child, remember doctor appointments, their friends names and who is dating who, as well as what each child will and will not eat. We drop them off at the lake, take them to practice and shuffle a car full of teenagers to the mall, after we have worked a full day for a boss who doesn’t understand how difficult his “simple” requests are. We do this everyday and it becomes our routine. But every once in while, we have a day that halts our routine…that shakes us to the core…that makes time stand still. A day when we reminisce, recalling the day they were born and vividly remembering holding our fine haired babies and gazing at their tiny fingers in our hands.

I rushed to the ER to find my 16 year old son lying in a hospital bed, eyes closed, and very still. The heart monitor was beeping wildly, lights flashing, displaying a heart rate of 41 as the nurse rushed by me to check his vitals. She told me they were still waiting on the tox screen to know definitively what he took. My son, the boy I grew and taught how to use a fork and tie his shoes, was laying motionless in a hospital bed, hooked to machines, and I had to verify he was breathing. I sat there in the hard plastic chair, a fabric curtain separating my life from the bustle of the ER. The man on the other side of the curtain was vomiting and there was a child screaming somewhere close. I started to pray. I stared at his face and his giant man feet hanging off the end of the bed. I started to cry and found my thoughts wondering back and forth from how did this happen to what type of pie the cafeteria had. Then I became fixated on pie, I craved pie in my core…I was no longer focusing on my son which I recall was a lot easier. The difference now versus 13 weeks ago is that I recognized almost immediately my intention to emotionally eat. I continued to pray, asking for divine intervention for both our addictions. I was relating to my son in a whole new way. I knew I was addicted to the feeling of full, probably the same way my son feels when he is high. I knew my son needed to be admitted into a rehab facility, and recall wishing the insurance companies and employers would recognize food addiction and cover that cost of rehabilitation.

My son is now in detox and he is not happy. I am assured this is a normal phase and as soon as he detoxifies his body and we are speaking to him, not the drugs, he should start engaging in his group sessions. I will be transporting him to Oregon this week to a locked facility. In Washington, a 16 year old has the right to refuse treatment and leave rehab any time after detox… similar to the way I have quit diets after a week. I know this is going to be a difficult journey for him; I know he will get angry or stressed and want to give in. I know it’s going to take a new strength for him to face life’s challenges sober…I will be there for him every step of the way. It will be through tough love and a shoulder he will beat this…the same way I am overcoming my addiction. I appreciate the text messages telling me to get my butt to the gym, and a listening ear when I need to talk. Tough love is tough. Whether you’re the giver or receiver of the words you don’t want to hear, it is the crucial element of any recovery program. I will not enable my son, nor do I expect any one of you to enable me. I may hate you for dragging me out of bed at 4:00am, but I recognize you are helping me get my life back. Thank you.

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 254 pounds
Previous weight: 225 pounds
Current weight: 222 pounds
Current Weight Loss: -3 pounds
Total weight loss: 32 pounds

Week 12 -The Wallet - September 10th

Week 11
The Wallet

We had the most fun at the 2009 Aflac Iron Girl 5K event on Saturday. I went with four ladies from Team Fitness and I have to say it was a spiritual event. Green Lake was a sea of pink and the estrogen power could be felt, almost physically, hanging in the air. After we registered, received our super cute race shirts and Quacking Aflac duck, we went shopping. We all bought matching pink fleece Iron Girl jackets that we wore proudly.

17 minutes before the race was to start I felt the water take effect. I ignored it for another 2 minutes when I decided I better go now unless I want to find a bush after Mile 1. The line was hundreds long! The row of Honey Buckets were in constant motion, switching from vacant to occupied every 30 seconds, as I was obviously not the only woman who had carried children and doubting my ability to run and not pee my pants. The sea of people laughed as the Master of Ceremonies announced the race was delayed 10 minutes due to the long lines at the bathroom.

I made it back to my teammates seconds before the national anthem and the race began. I felt the excitement pulsing in the crowd as we inched forward in the shoot, towards the start line. Finally breaking free from the herd, my feet were in motion. I felt like a graceful gazelle leaping through the field, past the Honey Buckets until I was adjacent to the lakes edge. I was running! I trained for this! I knew I was going to beat my Auquafest 5K time of 45:21. The energy around me was infectious- ladies were smiling, husbands were on the sidelines with strollers and “GO MOMMY” signs! There was cheering and a general feeling of pride and power resonating from the runners. Then it happened…In just a matter of seconds I lost control of my breathing…I started gasping for air…I started to panic…I was sure I was going to be the only person in history to suffocate herself while running. I started to walk and sing “The Climb” by Miley Cirus. Not only is this my 100 pound journey theme song, but singing will help to regulate your breathing quickly. As I rounded the bend I saw the glorious halfway point water station. I approached the watering hole, grabbed my Dixie cup of refreshment, and took off again, pacing myself this time with a jog/walk.

I crossed the finish line, arms in victory, with a final time of 44:06. I beat my last time by a 1:15! They called my name “Lacie Carroll- 5K” and the photographer snapped my picture! I was a celebrity! Someone put a medal around my neck and pointed me in the direction of the water. I did it!

I came home to find my husband cleaning out the garage. After some parading around in my medal for a few minutes, I jumped in to help clean up the graveyard for bicycle parts, empty cardboard boxes from birthdays past and the general chaos of sporting equipment “put away” by six year olds.

I found my red wallet hiding in a beach bag from last summer. I was convinced some thug had stolen it. I unzipped my treasure and pulled out my old driver’s license and looked at the weight. It read 235 but I knew I was more like 250 pounds in the picture. I pulled out my old Costco card and studied it. Even through the grainy photograph I could count numerous chins. Then I pulled out the receipts! Oh My GAWD! Nine receipts from fast food joints, 3 receipts for single candy bar purchases at 7-11 and one grocery receipt from Safeway. I scanned the long list of evidence detailing my eating disorder. Three bags of chips, Oreo cookies, break and bake cookies, two cases of pop, pork ribs, ice cream and one bag of Caesar salad to highlight a few of the items. I showed my husband and he started laughing, reminiscing about the good ‘ol days. He misses the Twinkies and beer. He has the metabolism of a fruit fly and has never had to worry about his weight- he has had to make several sacrifices to support me and I love him for the support. But I digress…

It’s been a tough week this week, not due to a major eating holiday or an emotional event, or even stress at work- it’s THAT time! I was Hungry all week! I know that in Week 4 and Week 8 I gained weight due to my cycle. This is week 12 and sure enough I gained 4 pounds! I was like a food vacuum. I stayed on track for most of the week, but hindsight being what it is…realized I may have consumed a few too many “diet” calories. Four 100 Calorie dehydrated Oreo snack packs and two Skinny cow ice-cream sandwiches are still 600 calories. Monday, I couldn’t wait until I was at my desk. I needed to eat breakfast on my way to work. I was craving chocolate at 6:00am. I took the S’more flavor diet bar out of my purse and took a bite. I was hungry! Let me tell anyone reading this thinking about diet bars as a meal replacement- THEY ARE NOT A MEAL! I took one bite and as I pulled it away from my mouth I realized I had eaten half the bar- so I chewed it to liquid form. I continued to take TINY bites from then on…feeling like a squirrel holding my tiny little bar trying to isolate the miniscule flakes of chocolate. I was still hungry! Once I got to my desk I ate a banana and a yogurt...and another 100 calorie snack pack. I was close to 500 calories. It’s been like this all week.

Today as I write this, I am officially past the Week 12 cravings. I am back on track. I had a normal size serving of Total this morning and was completely satisfied. I’ll have my grilled chicken spinach salad with onion dressing for lunch and eat some hummus and pretzels (18 to be exact) for my 200 calorie snack this afternoon. Dinner will be a lean turkey breast with a small portion of roasted red potatoes and fresh green beans. Dessert will only be ONE skinny cow ice cream sandwich.

I challenge everyone to pull out last weeks receipts and really look at what you’re buying…you may be surprised!

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 254 pounds
Previous weight: 221 pounds
Current weight: 225 pounds
Current Weight Loss: +4 pounds
Total weight loss: 29 pounds

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Labor Day BBQ

I had my Superwoman bracelets on today...well figuratively speaking. I was armed with angel food cake and Fat-Free Cool whip. I had the BBQ all mapped out- I would only eat the healthier items, I would bring my own dessert and I was not going to drink! FAILED! I got there and was introduced to something called jalapeno popper dip. heard me correct. It's made with cream cheese, sour cream, garlic and jalapenos. It's served with tortilla chips. It's like the Gods of everything fried squeezed the stuffing out of those poppers into a warming pot and the heavenly glow was a BBQ beacon that led me astray. As if it were not a big enough food sin- it was served with optional bread! WHAT? Carbs and cream cheese? I was a goner! I didn't just dip, I got a plate and inhaled! Oh us fatties know about inhaling food- we can clean our dinner plate before the skinnies have finished chewing their first bite. We try to slow down when we notice we are half way through...but it's too late. I ate that beautiful creamy goodness so fast that I had a tortilla chip go down whole, ripping my esophagus, my body begging me to chew my food...I just drank a little water until the chip softened and continued to shovel. And that was just the appetizers...

I knew I was in trouble after my second beer and the chili dog with cheese. I couldn't stop my self. I buttered my corn-on-the-cob and sunk my teeth in. Who would have thought the corn would have done me in? Maybe it was the melted butter foam or the salt I added. I was full. I knew I was full. I had the feeling that us food addicts eat to get. That internal stomach expanding, need a nap, unzip your pants and find a sweatshirt feeling I hadn't felt in months...and I knew I was about to pay the piper. The gurgling started...then the hiccups...then the sweaty palms...oh God I was about to blow. I asked the Hostess for a private bathroom and barely made it in time before I started to violently vomit.

After my body ejected the poison I had just inhaled I felt my eyes well up, the tear fall...then the sobbing. I was face to face with my addiction. I was so angry with myself. I felt like a small child taking gulping breaths after a spanking. I forced my self to look in the mirror- eyes red, vomit on my shirt and vowed to myself to remember this moment. My stomach ached, I looked like a troll doll and I reeked. I didn't just fall off the wagon, i rolled down the hill into a valley.

As I was rinsing out my mouth with the Sponge Bob bubble gum toothpaste I found in their children's bathroom, panic set in as I realized I needed an escape plan. I had to go back downstairs!!! I washed my hands...and the spots on my shirt and told them i felt like the flu was setting in. It wasn't a lie, I really did feel like I had been run over by a truck. The Hostess, also a very good mom, produced a ear thermometer out of her Mary Poppins bag and stuck it in my ear before I could protest. Thank god it read 99.9 degrees, an obvious side effect of my ordeal upstairs. We gathered our children from the backyard bouncy house and left before couples game night began. My total lack of self control ended the family fun for everyone. I was humiliated and very sad. As a fattie, just starting to make friends again, this was a very disappointing end to the evening I was so looking forward to.

I refuse to give myself grace on this one, or repeat the cliches we often tell ourselves to feel better. I will remember this night...the night I threw chili dog up all over myself at Family Fun Night!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I just uploaded all my articles from

I write this article weekly and new ones post each friday. I'm excited for this blog because there are just some days that I want to write.

Week 10 Sept 4th, 2009

The picture you see posted was taken at my heaviest weight of 254 pounds. I remember the shock when I saw myself full-size on my computer monitor when we got home from vacation. I couldn’t believe that was me. I couldn’t believe how many chins I had, that my stomach stuck out farther than my breasts, and I couldn’t believe I let my emotional eating and food addiction turn me into something I didn’t recognize! Those pictures were taken one year ago, in August 2008. I remember reviewing those pictures while eating a plate of nachos. I was horrified, but still kept shoveling…and ignoring… and hiding. I wasn’t ready to confront the food addiction. My Ah-Ha moment came while in the car waiting for my husband to run into Safeway. I was playing the “She’s fatter than me; She’s thinner, but I have better hair” and the famous “They still make those pants?” game. I started counting the fatties and skinnies. The fatties far outnumbered the skinnies and for the first time I realized I was not alone. Lake Stevens had a weight problem and I knew that if I was able to tell my story, I might be able to inspire others to get off the couch. That I would finally be accountable to someone other than my husband who loved me at any weight and told me I was beautiful at a size 22. That’s when I approached the Journal and TeamFitness with this idea.

For the past 10 weeks I have been tallying 2 different weight loss totals and after some encouragement from the ladies at the gym, I’ve decided to combine them. This journey for me didn’t start 10 weeks ago, but almost 4 months ago. I started my diet and exercise program while working out the details with the Lake Stevens Journal and TeamFitness.

As of today’s weigh in I have officially lost 30 pounds total. I have lost 2 pants sizes and three shirt sizes. I just bought the cutest pair of “Seven” jeans in a size 18! The sweater I am wearing is a size XXL, not a 2X or 3X but a size found on the racks the skinnies shop at! I have run a 5K and am doing the IronGirl on September 12th. My life is changing…slower than I would like…but I am winning the battle! I only lost a pound this week and I was disappointed. My co-worker used the analogy of a ball bouncing down a flight of stairs. Some weeks I bounce up high, sometimes low, but I am continuing to bounce down that flight of stairs.

This week I met Roenah. She read my article and found me on Facebook. She discovered I worked at Boeing and contacted me with an email. We are now buddies and work out everyday together at TeamFitness. If you’re a fatty you understand the loneliness associated with your weight. You stop going out with friends because you can’t find anything to wear, you hate being the biggest girl in the group, and God forbid someone see you eating in public! Roenah has lost 46 pounds and she is an inspiration. We instant message each other several times a day and discuss our breakfast, snacks and general mood disorders. Today we completed the 5K loop on the treadmill together and the time flew by. Having a buddy to work out with has made all the difference. She forced me on the treadmill even though I swore I would never get back on that dangerous machine after I sprained my ankle in Week 3. I also met Angie, Sarah and Jen in the Ab Lab. These three skinnies are not only beautiful, but my biggest cheerleaders.

I think it’s ironic that I am making friends at the one place I feared the most. To all of you feeling sorry for yourselves because you’re a fatty, hiding in your house because you think the skinnies will judge you, or make fun of you, or revel in the weight you put on since high school- just stop it. Get up, join a gym, and face those fears. The lonelier you are the more you eat. It’s simple math!

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 254 pounds
Previous weight: 225 pounds
Current weight: 224 pounds
Current Weight Loss: -1 pounds
Total weight loss: 30 pounds

Week 9 - Aug 28th, 2009

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Thinning out may be hazardous to your health! Being a full time working mother with two kids in sports, a family to feed and that forever pile of laundry, can be quite stressful. Life is a balancing act us sports mommies (and daddies) know well!

I wasn’t ready for the day to start when my alarm went off. It kept beeping and I kept snoozing. I played the “5 more minute game” at least four times before my husband, standing over me with the overhead light on, asked if I planned on going to work that day. I stared at him with my most pathetic expression, and proceeded to tell him I thought I had a fever. I told him I was sure it was the beginnings of the Swine Flu and I shouldn’t infect my co-workers. He arched his brows and had his “Get your butt out of bed” face on. So I grumpily said “FINE” and threw the warm, cozy, down comforter off me. I had to take a power shower and do the famous Lacie 5-Minute face and hair. Needless to say I was not looking my best. I arrived at work to an email storm and one email direction from my manager who was currently in Japan. The direction was vague and I had no way to contact him for clarification due to the time difference. I immediately prioritized my day, plugged into my IPod and got to work. Before I knew it, I looked up and I was three minutes late for my carpool. I finally got home and had two sips of coffee before my son called from the lake and said he needed a ride home- back in the car! I did the mental math and decided I still had just enough time to get to the gym before I had to take my daughter to soccer practice. I completed my 45 minutes on Xena and did a little weight work and looked up and it was 6:15- she needed to be at the soccer fields by 6:30. I was really late! I ran out of the gym, jumped in the car, called her and told her to meet me at the curb. I pulled up, she jumped in and off we went!

We arrived at the soccer fields at 6:43. Coach Rob told Kacie to take a lap. I looked at her apologetically and mouthed “Sorry”. Coach Rob pointed at me and said “You too Lacie…you know the rule!” Dang it! I was hoping the Coach was a little preoccupied to remember the parents had to take a lap with their child if they brought them late to practice! Luckily, I still had my fancy workout clothes on and plugged back into my IPod. I was happily jogging along the back side of the field when out of nowhere…Intense PAIN on the side of my head! I woke up to concerned faces asking me if I was alright. I couldn’t see and reached for my glasses, which were gone! Someone put an ice pack on my face and I asked what happened. There was one man who kept apologizing over and over so I turned my head in that direction and asked “Did you do this?” He said he was indeed the culprit and that he had kicked the soccer ball that knocked me out cold. Another woman who had found my crushed glasses frame and one lens was desperately trying to get the lens back in said “yes...that would be my husband”. She was busy giving directions to the crowd not to come any closer. I shut my eyes trying to make them all disappear. My biggest vocabulary pet peeve is the misuse of the word “mortified.” It should be reserved for the utmost in humiliation. Spinach in your teeth at a family dinner is not mortifying; spinach in your teeth while giving a presentation to a group of vice presidents is mortifying. I was mortified. I just wanted to get to my car. I called my sister and she came to pick me up. She immediately took me to the walk-in clinic where I passed out again while handing the medical receptionist my insurance card.

Little tip from me to you…If you ever want to speed up the walk-in clinic process, just pass out. I came to and everyone was running…the doctor even came to me in the waiting room and before I knew it I was on a gurney being rushed to the ER. I underwent a CAT scan and some eye tests and was observed for hours. I am happy to report no traumatic brain injury but I am down a pair of Chanel frames.

Here’s the lesson for today. Get out of bed when the alarm goes off. Faking the Swine Flu only leads to a bad hair day! Avoid perfectionism…If you have to cut your workout a little short due to family obligations…accept it and add a little time tomorrow. Each day is unpredictable and if we don’t allow ourselves a little grace now and then, we end up getting knocked out cold by a rogue soccer ball!

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 242 pounds
Previous weight: 228 pounds
Current weight: 225 pounds
Current Weight Loss: -3 pounds
Total weight loss: 17 pounds

Week 8 - Aug 21, 2009

I knew something was wrong! This may be my ranting week. I am so tired of family practice doctors dismissing us fatties because we are well…fat. Doctors tell us that if we diet and exercise all our complaints will just disappear! Really doc? I’ve never said I was a genius, but I am practiced in the art of common sense, and common sense tells me if all medical conditions were related to fat then the skinnies should be in perfect health and never need to see a doctor. Is he trying to tell me that skinnies never suffer from unexplained exhaustion, muscle and joint pain, pain in the abdomen or the need to get up and use the restroom three times a night? That my hair falling out in the tub is because I am fat? Unacceptable! He actually told me I would feel better if I lost some weight! That was my PMO (Peeved me off) moment. I told him I had been dieting and exercising for three weeks and still the symptoms were getting worse. He said a lot of women say they are dieting, but it’s the hidden calories we consume when clearing the dishes or making lunch for our children. I am normally not a violent person, but I did have a brief moment when I wanted to take the BIC pen out of his hand and stab him in the eye. I left the office shaking. Now how do you go home and tell your husband about that one? I was humiliated. It went like this… “Yeah...Joe…Um…I guess…Um… I am just really fat.”

I refused to accept this. We know our bodies and we know when something is wrong. I had been working out for weeks and I was still exhausted all the time. My calorie intake was optimal and I still was having a hard time getting a consistent weight loss going. I decided to take charge of my health care. Now if you have never done this, let me tell you it can be quite scary. I had myself diagnosed with all sorts of rare and potentially deadly diseases. Medical websites should be used with caution. I finally came across a site for diabetes. It listed my symptoms and I became very educated. I knew I didn’t have diabetes; however, I matched all the criteria for Insulin Resistance (IR). I searched for a doctor and found the name of one Endocrinologist that kept surfacing on the message boards. I called the number and he had a new patient cancellation the very next day. I was in week 4 at this point so I had printed my articles from the journal website so I looked legit. I brought my food and exercise journal so he could see what I was eating. I brought pictures…I was not going to be blown off again! He walked in the room and shook my hand. He talked with me for over an hour and ordered tests. He believed me! He said I was a mystery and he was the investigator. I went to the lab and donated a half gallon of blood. He was leaving no stone unturned. He also ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen which showed a considerable amount of cysts on my ovaries. My Blood Glucose came back high, as well as my hormone levels. I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS) and Insulin Resistance (IR).

This condition affects millions of women who never get diagnosed because their family doctor dismisses their concerns. IR is pre-diabetes. It’s the stage right before your cells shut down for good requiring insulin therapy. Research has shown that IR and PCOS are related, that for some reason the IR wreaks havoc with your hormone levels and cysts begin to form on your ovaries. This condition is often diagnosed when a women begins to have trouble conceiving.

We know our body converts food to energy. Insulin is released by the pancreas when we eat sugars, fats, carbohydrates and proteins. At some point, my body stopped responding to the insulin and my pancreas is working overtime- releasing more and more. It’s like driving a 20 year old gas guzzler, you need more gas to go the same distance as a fuel efficient car. My body is seriously confused and is turning the food I eat into stored fat- especially around the midsection. According to my endocrinologist, the fact I am losing any weight is shocking.

He prescribed me a drug called Metformine. This drug is like a key that unlocks my cells to accept the insulin. I have also been started on a medication to shrink the cysts. My diet is great, I am exercising, this should be the third piece of the puzzle as many patients tend to start losing weight after treatment begins. Today is day two on the medication and nothing to report so far. The petty side of me wants to march into my family practice doctor’s office and shout “SEE…I told you so!”

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 242 pounds
Previous weight: 227 pounds
Current weight: 228 pounds
Current Weight Loss: +1 pounds
Total weight loss: 14 pounds

Week 7 - Aug 14th, 2009

BUSTED! I was so busted when I walked into work Wednesday morning. I didn’t even get to my desk when my two co-workers held out their hands with tiny bits of chocolate in them. My first thought was oh man…I forgot to lick my desk clean! A good friend of mine is doing the Susan G. Komen 3-day and she asked me to sell candy bars for her. Now…this is something that you don’t say no to unless you literally have had your heart surgically removed, but come on…asking a fat girl on a diet to sell king size chocolate bars for you? It was bound to happen. I ate one delicious king size Baby Ruth. I chose the bar because it had peanuts, you know, loaded with protein…and chocolate! I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those pesky telltale bits of creamy goodness that fell behind my keyboard!

This is by far the longest I have ever stuck to a diet and I owe it all to the shear humiliation I would feel if I were to give up. This weekly article gives me strength, gives me hope, and gives me tangible results to look back on and feel proud of. It is not easy…I have no idea how the skinnies do it. It is a constant battle every day not to cheat, not to rationalize a bite here and there (or an entire candy bar) and to get my tired butt to the gym. I think the people who say it gets easier are either completely delusional, naturally thin, or are just cruel…possibly all three. It does not in fact get easier…the more weight I lose, the easier it is to justify skipping a day at TeamFitness.

I have to give a little shout out to my mother. She called me the other day while I was in the middle of a PMS meltdown. I was irritated at work, the husband, the kids, I was not being pleasant at all. I was ranting about the bank teller who told me I couldn’t possibly live at my current address because she had never heard of the street and she’s lived here her entire life. My mother told me I needed to let it go and I needed to get my butt to the gym. I said “NO…I’m not going!” like a toddler asked to pick up her toys. She started out nice, then went all tyrant on me. She told me to get to the gym or I’d be grounded. I’m 34 and the woman still scares me. She said if I didn’t get to the gym immediately…if not sooner…she would drag me there by my ear. I’m 5’7, I tower over the woman, but she can jump high and that motivated me! I found my keys and pouted the entire way. I was not in the mood! When I got there, someone was using Xena (I’ve named my elliptical machine). I am confidant Xena belongs to me. Xena is beside me in this battle, we are weight warriors, and someone else had the nerve to be on my machine when I showed up! I was certain this person, and you know who you are, deliberately chose Xena to add to my already dreadful day. So I waited. I just stood there giving this person the “look”. Now mind you, I realize this person probably didn’t recognize the bond Xena and I have, but I took it as a personal attack and I was ready to cause a ruckus. The person who was sweating all over Xena finally dismounted and I plugged in. I made it 30 minutes before I went to do my strength test on KOKO. I am happy to report I have increased my strength 10% in 7 weeks. That accomplishment definitely improved my day.

I guess it’s safe to say that mood definitely plays a role in motivation. Mood affects my food choices and it affects my energy level. When you spend all day irritated at other people you don’t have much left for yourself. Short of medication, I’m not real sure how to avoid this next month. I guess I will just mark that week on the calendar and make sure to call my mommy when I need a little motivation!

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 242 pounds
Previous weight: 229 pounds
Current weight: 227 pounds
Current Weight Loss: -2 pounds
Total weight loss: 15 pounds

Week 6 Aug 7, 2009

Why do the clothing manufacturers think fat people want their gym wear covered in Disney characters, Gold lame appliquĂ©, or bold phrases like “Big and Beautiful?” Clearly, if big was indeed beautiful, we wouldn’t be buying the clothes to work out in!
Do Nike or Reebok believe fatties aren’t worthy of chocolate brown yoga pants and a coordinating pink tank long enough to stretch in? We fatties want to look as good as the skinnies at the gym and it starts with stylish gym wear. I don’t care who you are, little magic fairies are not appropriate after the age of six. I went on a shopping spree to celebrate my 10% loss. I came back with ankle socks. The eight hours of dedicated “me-time” left me very frustrated.

My very good friend Lee Ann, bought me a gift to celebrate my 5K. I opened the bag and to my surprise was a beautiful red and white Adidas outfit. It was a size 1X. I was so surprised! I immediately asked her where she found plus size work out wear. She told me Fred Meyer had a whole section dedicated to the size that needed the clothes the most. I drove from Burlington to Northgate looking for workout wear and Fred Meyer had them all along. I am happy to announce I have some good looking outfits to sweat in.

I lost two more pounds this week bringing me to 229 pounds! I didn’t believe it at first and stepped off then back on –figuring I was standing wrong on the scale. I told myself it was just water and that I weighed at the right time, never mind that I weigh at the same time every week, Tuesdays at 6:00 am at TeamFitness. I don’t know why I feel the need to dismiss my own success. I am in the 220’s- it’s been years and I am proud! It’s really difficult to say that out loud. Men have no problem announcing their success. Matter of fact they usually don’t let it go. They require admiration and praise for loading the dishwasher or going to the market and picking up ALL the items on the list we made them . When is the last time a mom walked into her living room and announced she just did a load of whites and stand there waiting for her family to admire her sorting ability? We just do the things that need to be done and even though the white load came out whiter than white- we dismiss it as no big deal. If the family notices the socks are whiter than normal, we don’t say “thanks,” we give the bleach full credit. Not this time…I’m taking the credit!

My Stats for the week:

Starting weight: 242 pounds
Previous weight: 231 pounds
Current weight: 229 pounds
Current Weight Loss: -2 pounds
Total weight loss: 13 pounds

Week 5 Jul 31, 2009

This has been a full week and I am thrilled to share the details. I jogged/ walked the Auquafest 5K on Saturday. It was the hardest, most invigorating experience of my life. We arrived at 7:30 am to register. I was extremely nervous as we walked to the gazebo in the center of town. My stomach was churning as I saw all the skinny people with their tiny little outfits pinning their race numbers on their designer jerseys. To my surprise no one gave me the “what’s the fat girl doing here” look. I only saw encouragement and smiles. As I walked up to the registration table, my heart sunk because I saw the labels on the race t-shirt boxes and the largest size was extra-large. My husband purchased the shirt and said “You’ll fit into this soon!”

My number was 126 and I pinned it on proudly. I was ready. I was hydrated, had my protein and carb breakfast and had my ankle professionally taped. The starting line was up by Mt. Pilchuck School and as I looked at the giant hill I remembered last years Auquafest and how winded I was heading back to the car. As I was walking up, I wasn’t winded, I didn’t get tired and I wasn’t breathing hard. I knew at that moment I was going to be ok. I had a tank top made featuring the Lake Stevens Journal and the TeamFitness Logo with this website address and my 100 pound goal. I was proud and looked at my husband and said “Lets do this thing!”

My husband is physically fit and I asked him to run this race with me to keep me motivated. I’ve been married to this man for over 10 years and had never seen this drill sergeant side of him. After the race officials gave us the instructions through the bullhorn and the buzzer went off- he went all military on me. He kept telling me to “pick up the pace,” “keep running,” and “don’t give up.” My favorite line was about 2 miles in when he looked over at me and said “You didn’t come here to quit did you?” He was amazing and there would be no way I would have finished it without the Jogging Nazi pushing me beyond what I thought I could do. The last half mile everything changed. As I was jogging around the corner, the Boy’s and Girl’s Club came into view. Something was ignited inside of me. I can honestly say the emotion was beyond description, somewhere between exhilaration and exhaustion. I saw my friend Sarah waving at the corner. My husband pointed to the finish line and two ladies who saw my shirt and told me I was an inspiration asked if they could run me in. That fueled the fire! I have no idea where I found the strength but I gave every ounce of energy to the finish line. All four of us crossed and I burst into tears. I had finished the race. I came in 166th with a time of 45:21. I wasn’t last- and I couldn’t breathe! Sarah took a picture of me as I was leaning on my husband for support. I am so proud of that picture!

This really was a banner week. I hit the 10% mark of my 100 pound weight loss goal. I have lost 11 pounds, lost 2.3% of my body fat and lost a total of 17 ¼ inches. I lost an inch from my neck and each arm. 31/2 inches from my hips and 21/2 inches from my waist. My clothes are getting baggy and a co-worker asked me yesterday if I am losing weight. TeamFitness has become like family. I have even made skinny friends- something fat girls never do. I’m meeting people in classes and am really starting to enjoy working out. I have renamed it to “thinning-out” since the term “working out” sounds so negative.

If any of you are contemplating getting up off the couch, come “thin-out” with me. I’m usually there around 5:00pm and you can always find me in the AB Lab on Monday and Wednesday nights.

Starting weight: 242 pounds
Previous weight: 235 pounds
Current weight: 231 pounds
Current Weight Loss: -4 pounds
Total weight loss: 11 pounds

Week 4 July 24, 2009

Week 3 Jul 17, 2009

I lost the doughnut hole battle today. That little clear plastic box of fried glazed dough sat there- taunting me with their buttery smell. I remained strong for over an hour- wielding my self-control sword and silently trash-talking the holes. I tried to calculate the calories, but honestly had no idea how many hours I would have to work out to justify one little hole.

As the meeting went late and our fearless leader kept droning on, assigning action items to anyone who made eye contact, I was searching the room. I noticed how absently my coworkers were popping these nuggets into their mouths. I was officially obsessed- I needed a hole and I needed one now. As I reached for the box my coworker said “See, one won’t kill you”. That was all the justification I needed. As I chewed the little balls of grease (5 total), I was so disappointed in myself. Almost as abruptly as I consumed those calories, the meeting ended. I was so close to winning the temptation battle.

I confessed my doughnut sin today to Mark, my fill-in fitness guru while Mike is on vacation. He told me not to beat myself up. To let go of the hole, and move on. My penance was 45 min on the elliptical machine. Mark told me that if I felt that strong about the doughnut hole, I should have just eaten one and enjoyed it. That depriving myself and not fulfilling the craving sensibly, would cause me to overindulge. So- note to self- I eat 5 times the amount of food when I finally indulge a craving.

I weighed in today and lost three pounds this week, bringing my total to 8lbs. I am very proud of what I am doing. I looked in the mirror this morning and actually saw small muscle lines in my upper arms. My arms are still considerably bigger than the body builders on the floor of the gym, but they are getting smaller every day. I used to take a deep breath before climbing the stairs to the cardio machines- getting winded near the top, now I can easily jog up them. That’s after 3 weeks! Imagine what I will be able to do after three months? I have already increased the amount of weight I am lifting on the KOKO machine and am averaging about 2500 pounds in a half hour session. KOKO is computerized and gives you a readout at the end of each session. My life is changing and I welcome this change of life!

Starting weight: 242 pounds
Previous weight: 237 pounds
Current weight: 234 pounds
Current Weight Loss: 3 pounds
Total weight loss: 8 pounds

Week 2 July 10, 2009

One! Just one pound! I stepped on the scale this morning and just one pound lost. I worked so hard this week. I was at TeamFitness every morning at 4:30am then went back after work at 4:30 pm. I was very angry. I couldn’t understand this obvious slap in the face by my metabolism. I started to cry and was on the ledge ready to jump when Mark, a personal trainer, came up to me and asked what was wrong. I sounded like Beaker from the Muppets as my voice became higher until my words were no longer audible. He calmed me down and took me off to the side.

We talked about my week and what I could do to adjust my food intake. We figured out I was not eating enough protein and I was eating entirely too much fruit. We talked about adding a protein shake and how my body metabolizes all the fruit I was inhaling. Let me tell you I am addicted to sugar in every form and while fruit is good for you, it should be treated as a sugar and limited to more fibrous fruits like apples and oranges. I was eating an entire cantaloupe over the course of a day along with 3 -4 types of berries. I learned that my body will burn the calories of an apple during the breakdown and digestion process. If you blend fruit or drink fruit juice, it’s even worse. The body will absorb the calories because little effort is required during the digestion or breakdown process. Basically, your body doesn’t have to work very hard to use the sugar as it’s absorbed almost instantly which will affect your blood sugar levels.

All day I’ve obsessed over my one pound loss this week and decided to feel good about my one pound gone forever. I imagined a pound of butter smeared all over my arms or a pound of chunky cottage cheese on my thighs and decided I needed to change my attitude. I’ve been doing Zumba, a fun salsa cardio class. I’m kickboxing and lifting weights. I can feel my self getting stronger; I even made it 20 min on an elliptical machine! I am learning how to control my heart rate and the staff of TeamFitness is so supportive. I have so much to be proud of that I’ve decided to write that pound a Dear John letter.

Dear One Pound,
I am leaving you behind. I no longer have the energy or time to obsess over you. You’ve done nothing but weigh me down for years, and frankly I am tired of seeing you in the mirror. So good bye and good riddance! I am also tired of your dead beat friends hanging around, eating chips and drinking beer on my sofa. I will no longer support or enable you with excuses. Pass the message along, I will be kicking each and every one of your friends out, until you and all of your free loading couch potatoes are out of my life forever. I am a strong, highly capable female and I will work diligently, no matter how long it takes, to get my life back.

Your Ex- hostess!

Starting weight: 238
Current weight: 237
Weight Loss: 1 pound

Week One - Jul 3 2009

My name is Lacie Carroll and I am fat! I have tried every fad diet, I have tried ignoring the fat and I am especially good at denial (I’m not that big…this shirt hides it…). I’m 34, married and have three kids, a full time job, am a student, and I have a mission. I have steadily gained 10 pounds a year for the last 10 years and I am ready to lose it. The problem is I had no idea where to start…until now.

Are you, perhaps the kind of person who accomplishes nearly everything they set out to do? I am a person not accustomed to failure. Failure is not in my nature in all areas except weight. I have tried to take matters in my own hands and failed…and tried again…and failed…tried…and failed. Which is why, when I turned my attention to my ever-growing weight problem, it was like being hit on the head by a grand piano while standing in a meadow. “Where the heck did that come from?” How could this be any harder than anything else I have attempted? This is an area in my life where I know the answers to the problem. YOU know the answers. WE ALL know the answers…but we just don’t seem to do it. We know we need to drink plenty of water, shop the perimeter of the grocery store and move our bodies…much more than we do. And yet we sit on the couch, eating our carb soaked food items out of a plastic bag, watching the Biggest Loser and make plans to start tomorrow.

This weekly article is my personal journey and battle against food addiction (and possibly couch addiction). My personal war on justification and rationalization. It’s my commitment to myself, my family and all of you to not give up. Quitting is easy. I once quit a diet after 1 day because I couldn’t stomach the freeze dried, pre-packed mail order food delivered to my doorstep. I’ve made promises to start walking every night after work and instead came home and took a nap. Every time I fail, it reinforces the “I can’t” attitude that’s kept me in a size 20 for years.

I realized the things I needed to motivate me into action. I needed the support of my family, a local facility to force me off the couch, the professional advice from people who are trained in fitness, nutrition and life style coaching, and above all, accountability to my friends, family, and the greater Lake Stevens area (if you’re gonna go…go big). Maybe we can start something here, a community dialogue or just a few folks to commiserate with the struggle of weight loss.

If your fat, I know you will relate, if your thin but think your fat, you will relate. If your thin you might find the personal turmoil interesting, much like the unspoken urge to see the carnage as you drive by the scene of a car accident. In the same light, I am making my collision with my personal demons public, in hopes that my journey will inspire others, and I hope to gain the encouragement from all of you also. Nothing is more motivating than the potential shame I would expect each of you to heap upon me should you see me scarfing down Oreo’s in isle three.

Starting weight: 242
Current weight: 238
Weight Loss: 4 pounds