Pampering My Feet

I’m hard on my feet, especially the heels.  Because I have super-wide feet (10 4E) with narrow heels, it’s hard to find shoes that actually fit well; looking cute is pretty much out of the question. I shop at Zappos mostly because I haven’t had any luck finding shoes that fit in local stores – and the choices are very limited.   Birkenstock clogs have been my go-to shoes for winter weather; the only problem is that the heels are exposed and, well, it’s winter.  I stay warm enough in spite of that, but the heels have been looking and feeling cracked, dry, and unhappy.

So I splurged today on the works at the nail salon, pampering myself with a fancy schmancy spa pedicure that included all kinds of things.  It started with a mud mask for the legs with callous softening cream on the heels which were wrapped in tissue and then the whole leg/foot was wrapped in plastic wrap.  The toes also got cuticle softener, were wrapped in plastic and then wrapped up in a hot towel, with the whole foot/leg placed in plastic bags to soak in the whirlpool foot bath for 15 minutes.

It was a good start.  After that, the wrappings were removed and I had callous removed, legs exfoliated, cuticles tidied, more callous work, oils and lotions and massages every which way, more heel work, followed by hot stones and towels and more massage, and fresh aloe was rubbed on the legs and heels.  All this while sitting in the massage chairs with little buttons to make the back knead, compress, etc.

She finished up with vitamin E capsules opened and the oil rubbed on my heels, which were wrapped in more plastic while the toes were polished with my current favorite OPI color (“Oui bit of red” from the Paris collection).  The toes dried in one of those little UV/Heat stations while I got a 15 minute back massage.   It was a splurge of a visit but the relaxation and pampering were well worth it, and my feet feel amazing now that they are finally unwrapped from layers of plastic wrap.

My feet put up with a lot from me and I take them for granted.  I got used to going for regular pedicures about 8 years ago when my weight and extra rolls kept me from bending over easily to do a good job keeping my feet from looking as though they’d been attacked by gnomes.  Paying someone else to give me a pedicure is so worth it, with pumice stones, cuticle care, and nails trimmed, groomed, and painted pretty colors.  Unlike a manicure, a pedicure will last for weeks and in the winter, that makes me happy every time I take off my socks 🙂

The Green Dress

In the back of my closet I have some clothes leftover from a smaller life, things that meet the Vickie test of “would I buy it again?”  At this point the only things left are out of season clothes, having already tried on and am wearing or gave away winter things.

One of those favorite clothes is an emerald green 2-part dress, a simple tank dress with a cute little short-sleeved jacket with some embroidery in matching fabric.  I loved that dress and wore it often because 1) it was cute, 2) it was comfortable and breathable, and 3) I look fabulous in that color.  I bought it 6 years ago when I was at my lowest weight, some 30 lbs lower than where I am now, and even wore it when my WW leader and I were on local TV filming a July 4th segment on tips for watching your food while at holiday picnics and parties.

It fits.

I have no idea how this happened.  I mean, I’m still 30 lbs over that 2004 weight – but my body shape has been shifting a lot in the months since my surgery.  I haven’t really lost any weight in the last month but it’s fallen off anyway – I’ve lost 2″ in my hips in the last MONTH.  Believe me, I’m not complaining, but my brain is having a hard time wrapping itself around the fact that my body doesn’t look the way my brain thinks it does after years at the high end of the plus sizes.

People who are very large need to lose a LOT of weight before anyone notices, and that’s hard.  We wear those X sizes (1X-5X or more) and each covers 2 dress sizes if they actually made dresses for people who wear a straight 30 (they don’t).  So you can easily wear the same thing through a 35-45lb loss, assuming it was a bit on the snug side in the first place.  Most of my big clothes were relatively shapeless anyway, since I didn’t want to flaunt my original shape.

I don’t really want to wear shapeless now even though I know I’m still very fluffy and have a long ways to go.  Others may, and do, see me as obese (which I am), but they don’t have the perspective of knowing the amount of weight already lost, the distance already come.

But I’m having trouble knowing how to dress and where to shop.  I need to be careful with my money and not go crazy buying clothes that won’t last me as long as those X sizes.  I’m tired of shopping in fat lady stores and really really want to find some nice petite plus pants, which is almost impossible.  I may go out today and try a few places for one or two pieces since my other pants look like clown pants and are now too long as well as too big.

It’s a good problem to have, don’t get me wrong.  But there is a lot of adjusting to do.  I’m doing the “inside work” as well as the food/body work – but it also requires work to get the eyes to understand what they actually see.  In the meantime, I have a lovely green dress that I won’t be able to wear to the family wedding in June.  Guess I will need to go shopping 🙂

In Which Anne Expounds on National Politics

Abstract:  If you live in Massachusetts tomorrow, vote tomorrow and be sure it’s for Martha Coakley.  Anne expounds on national political parties.

In case you hadn’t heard, tomorrow is election day in Massachusetts to fill the Senate seat vacated by the late Teddy Kennedy.  The seat has been Democrat for as long as I’ve been alive, almost all of that time held by Teddy.  My Republican family hated him but I didn’t, and was proud and pleased to have voted for him during my years in Boston.  He was a good man and worked hard for the country and for the people of his state.  His loss is huge, especially in this year of health care reform.

I know not everyone likes the plan coming out of the Senate (my family certainly doesn’t).  It’s not perfect by a long shot but with so many people without any health care at all, it’s important.  The Kennedy vote matters if this is going to pass, even if Kennedy isn’t the one to cast it this time.

So the election tomorrow is crucial.  I completely support Martha Coakley for the position and wish I still lived in Massachusetts so I could vote for her.  Her opponent doesn’t pay health care costs for his current employees and has vowed to be the 41st vote against the health care bill if elected and sworn in by the time it comes to a vote.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not an “everything must be the Democrat way or the world will come to an end.”  Yes, I am a political liberal.  But I’m also a realist and watching the Congress just tires me out and makes me want to clean house of both parties.  All they do is wrangle for votes and do their best to make the other party fail or at least be ineffective.  Votes are stalled.  Nominees are held up for months or longer, leaving key positions vacant rather than let the government and judiciary run efficiently.  Both parties are wrong for doing this; they don’t help anything except making themselves look strong and purposeful even when they really look stupid.

I want health care to pass and move to the implementation stage so the Congress can actually pay attention to some of the other huge issues facing our country, including how to create jobs, fight two wars, provide long-term aid to quake devastated Haiti, and a thousand and one other things.  I don’t expect it will happen.  The Republicans want Obama to fail and the Democrats to be swept out in the mid-term elections.  The  Democrats want to save themselves their seats and to try and do as much as they can before the Republicans take over again.

Just think of what we could accomplish if the parties actually worked together instead.

The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon

Oops – I wrote this a week ago and wondered where it went. Voila! The Draft folder.

The dishes were all in the wrong place when I went to get a bowl for breakfast this morning.   Nope, the dish fairy didn’t magically move things overnight while Tessie and I were curled up in bed.  Everything was in the exact same spot it had been in since I moved here almost 3 years ago.  I just realized I needed it to be different.

For most of my life I’ve used dinner plates, pasta bowls, and cereal bowls for my meals, but I haven’t done that since being banded.  My portions are small and I’m only cooking and plating for one, so there’s no need for the big dishes.   And for some odd reason, moving the big dishes to a higher shelf and bringing the smaller ones within easy reach gives me more shelf space so I can also rearrange glasses, mugs and ramekins.  So it all works.

Yesterday I got my new Creme Brulee set in the mail from Amazon, the source of all goodness without having to outside to shop.  I bought it so I could make protein souffles but realized when it got here that the ramekins are a perfect size for other things as well, and the base pan is 8×8 so it also can do double-duty.  Yayy for smart shopping 🙂  And now I have room for those little ramekins in the cabinet.

New Year’s Thinking

Saturday is my official weekly weigh-in day, although I usually weigh myself every morning.  This was the first one of the new year which was cause to look back and take stock of the year just passed.  A lot has changed:

  • January 1, 2009:  weight 305 lbs
  • April 3, 2009 (day I started WW again):  weight 310 lbs  (up 5 lbs)
  • October 29, 2009 (surgery day):   weight 261 lbs (lost 49 lbs)
  • January 2, 2010:  weight 236.2 lbs (lost 73.8 total with 24.8 lbs down post-op)

I didn’t start the year with one of those crazy goals of losing 65 lbs in a year.  I try never to create goals that are so specific and big because that makes them look impossible before I even start.   I just knew that I was unhappy at that weight and both disgusted and scared that I’d gained back 95% of the weight it had taken me 2 years to lose  from 2002-2004.   I was also tired of being unhappy, disgusted and scared.

But my wake up call was hearing from the orthopedic surgeon that I needed a knee replacement but doing it at that weight, there was no guarantee that it would last more than 3 years.  No way in hell I would do that major surgery without reassurance that it would last at least 15-18 years.   It’s a chicken and egg thing for many of us:   in order to lose weight, we need to exercise which is hard when the joints are bone-on-bone.  But repairing the joint requires us to have lost considerable weight first – which is hard to do with the bad knee.

So instead of beating myself up and saying, “Oh, I’m lazy and terrible and need to lose 160 lbs by the end of the year,” I just did one thing at a time.  It’s a lot more impressive looking back and seeing what was accomplished but I can’t say I mapped it all out.  I’m a big planner but this time my brain is in a completely different place and the results just follow from taking one next step after another.

I haven’t added as much exercise to my lifestyle as I need to, and am taking a next step to change that, too.  I got a Wii console and Wii Fit Plus for Christmas and now that Christmas is packed away, will be setting that up so I have an at-home exercise option.  On dark winter days I just want to come home after work and hunker in with the cat.  But there’s no reason I can’t do exercise videos, Comcast fitness on demand on the cable, and/or Wii Fit to get the blood moving.  Is it the same as a gym workout?  No, of course not.  But for a couch potato, it’s a change in the right direction.

Not a goal but an expectation for 2010 is that I will drop my weight into ONEderland for the first time in 30 years.   With that will be a complete wardrobe change, since everything currently in the closet, dresser, and storage bins will be too big.  I’ve already packed up and given away clothes that I’d been saving for some day if I ever lost weight and there’s not much left to pull out.  While I won’t invest in a full wardrobe, I’m going to need clothes!  Especially with a family wedding and a national conference to attend within the next 6 months. I can finally start shopping in stores with prettier clothes with better fitting options – and I’m going to take them.

I am not the same person I was last year.

  • I’m smaller and taking steps to continue my positive directions with body image and size.
  • I am eating healthier and in realistic portions.
  • I am happy with and proud of what I have accomplished.
  • I have more self-confidence and pride in my appearance.
  • I walk faster and with less pain.
  • I am treating myself with respect, both mentally and physically.

I’m going in the right direction and know I will accomplish what I’ve set out to do, no matter how long it takes.