Jul 252011
 

I have tried to write a blog about this a couple of times over the past couple of months.  What I ended up with was a bunch of half finished ramblings that I just couldn’t complete.  (Honestly, this one has been sitting in my drafts for weeks…)

I have been having a bit of an identity crisis.  It started at the end of last summer.  My husband and I both came to the same conclusion at the same time that we needed to overhaul how we were eating.  For me, it wasn’t about weight loss.  As you know, or most of you know, or those who have read my blog or have seen me on TV etc. etc. know, I am perfectly happy being a big woman.  However, how we were eating wasn’t nurturing or providing good fuel for our bodies.  It was, “yummy, this tastes great…why do I feel so crappy food…”  We had done low-carb in the past and had felt great.  Like my doctor has said to me about low-carb eating,  and I’m paraphrasing, “It’s a great way to eat but it’s hard to sustain as a lifestyle.”  And, he’s right!

I have written about the litany of diets I had been on in my life…all stemming from the disdain I had for my body.  The difficulty I had growing up feeling like I didn’t fit in.  The pain and anguish I felt from being different and teased etc.  And, believe me, I am so fortunate!  I didn’t have it nearly as bad as so many people have and do.  There was always this feeling that there was something wrong with me that I needed to fix. I was reminded all the time by family and society that I needed to lose weight in order  to: buy clothes, have a man, have friends, be happy, get a job, etc. etc.

When I was on Oprah years ago discussing being fat the producers had asked me to gather some pictures of me from my childhood and to also go through my journals for pertinent entries (read, high rating nuggets) from growing up.  Here’s what I discovered.  First, I wasn’t that fat.  I really wasn’t.  Certainly, I was plump but I wasn’t FAT.  Secondly, from my journals, I was ALWAYS on a diet – I would talk about the diet being hard and that it was going to “work” this time or I would be beating myself up for “cheating.”  So, so sad!!  I was miserable and lonely and sad.  Oh, and I was totally in love with Scott Baio!

Not to tell the same stories over and over again.  But you know about the epiphany I had before moving to LA.  When I realized it was time to stop hating my body and punishing my body for not being how I thought it should be or rather, how society thought it should be, and start loving it.  I have talked about it in my one-woman show. I have talked about it in magazines.  It’s a story I tell.  Suffice it to say, it was like, ENOUGH!!  No more yo-yo dieting for the sake of dieting.  No more making myself wrong for being who and what I am.

Since that time there have been ups and downs in my weight.  Certainly, I lied on Oprah.  Funny, I think we all did.  There were 4 women on the show and I don’t believe any of us told the truth about our weight.  Which is funny.  At least for me it is, I can’t speak for them.  But I will happily tell you how much I weigh but please don’t ask me my age.  I hate lying 🙂

me_aug_2010

August 2010

Jump to last summer.  I had been in the dumps all summer.  It started around my birthday, June 1, 2010 and it rapidly spread throughout the summer.  So, by August I was miserable.  My husband had some family visiting from the UK and we snapped some pics the day they were leaving.  We had gone to breakfast where I had eaten every buttermilk biscuit the restaurant had slathered with butter and homemade jam and then gone outside to snap some photos before they headed to the airport.  As soon as I downloaded the pictures I was shocked.  I looked ill.  I looked like someone had inflated me and then rubbed my face until it was all shiny.  It wasn’t my size that made me look bad…it was that I clearly hadn’t been taking care of myself.  Honestly, at that point I weighed 30 pounds less than I had on Oprah years earlier and I looked awful.  Clearly it wasn’t the weight…

With that, my husband and I decided to start taking care of ourselves.  We decided to eat what was nurturing and what provided fuel.  Now, I am not going to lie.  It has been very rough for me eating low-carb.  I am not a fan of meat.  I always joke that I am one bad piece of bacon away from being a vegetarian again (I was one for 17 years…).  The joke being there is no such thing as a bad piece of bacon.  I believed that until I got really sick from a bad piece of bacon a couple of weeks ago.  I still eat meat…not thrilled about it…but I haven’t eaten bacon since.

It has been 10 months of eating low-carb.  Lots of chicken.  Lots of vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, salads.  Eggs – boiled, scrambled, poached, crustless quiche etc.  We have gone off a couple of times for a planned amount of time.  We were in San Francisco for a week where there was no limit to what we could eat.  I savored a sour dough asiago twist from Acme Bread Company like it was turkish delight.  My husband was in Florida and ate whatever he pleased.  We were in Vegas and the same was true.  But overall we have chosen to eat low-carb like a lifestyle and eating the other way, “the regular way,” as an occasion.

me_july

July 2011

The results have been astounding.  My cholesterol is SUPER good.  My blood sugar is awesome!  My blood pressure was 100/56 at the doctor a month ago.  All crazy good results.  Really!!  I have also lost, as of this morning, 70 pounds on my scale.  I keep reminding myself it isn’t about weight loss.  That is a slippery slope that can only lead to no good.  I know what it’s like to get on and off the scale looking for some kind of affirmation that I am good and have done the right thing.  But if the scale doesn’t move – which it won’t everyday.  And, if the scale moves up that’s okay because it isn’t about that.  It’s about living a healthy life.

Funny though, I have been reminded of the book Thinner by Richard Bachman aka. Stephen King.  As my clothes are getting bigger and bigger and my body is changing I keep wondering when will the weight loss end.  At some point, I would think I would stop losing.  I have no designs on being a thin person.  I know genetically I will never be thin-thin.  I will always have what my mother called “the Brounstein Curse” – Big-Ass Small-Breasts.

I know there will be people who will read this and who will congratulate me on my weight loss.  And, while that will make me crazy (yes, crazier than I already am…) I know they don’t really mean that there was something wrong with me that needed to be fixed. Right?  Gah. We’re programmed funny.

In some places in Africa I would be revered as a Goddess and people would bring me slaughtered goats and milk as offerings to sustain my amazingly beautiful and large body.  I am not heading to Africa any time soon.  So, I will stick with eating well and ignoring all the “you shoulds” and “you shouldn’ts” and the “you look so good…” with the inference being it was a shame about how I used to look but now I look better…  And, when my driver’s license comes due next year I will have to change my weight since for the first time since I got my license I actually weigh less than it says.

Jun 292011
 

Okay, how many blog posts am I going to start and then “Save Draft” only to never finish them?  Yeah, it’s a rhetorical question that has no answer.  I guess there is an answer – MANY. I feel like the word “interesting” is overused when describing life.  And, yet, my life has been filled with interesting events over the past couple of months since I actually posted a blog.

more_than_3I produced my one-woman show, More Than 300 Pounds, in May.  I did a staged reading.  I rented a fabulous theatre space, The Little Victory at The Victory Theatre in Burbank.  I sent out nearly 2,000 postcards to industry people.  I made a real go of it.  This was going to be it!  This was going to be the moment when someone like Judd Apatow or Kevin Smith was going to “discover” me and these last 15 years of trying to bust through were going to be a blip when Jay Leno asks me about my “overnight success.”  It sounds great doesn’t it?!  When I went to the bank and sucked out a HUGE amount of money out of my dwindling savings to produce this show I just knew I was making an investment in my future.  So, when my mom and sister showed up and a friend, who has been my friend since the second grade, and a handful of other friends it ended up being a really expensive exercise in showing my friends and family how great I am.  Out of the nearly 2,000 postcards I sent I received one RSVP from an industry guy who knows my dad.  And, that was that.  My husband has reminded me that it is and was a great thing I did.  I can tell people I did this.  I wrote this.  I produced this.  I…well, you know.  I did it.  Yay ME!  (That and $2.15 will buy me a Vente drip at Starbucks…)

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People say that when life is uncertain that that is the best place to be.  That when you don’t know what’s next you can create new things.  And, being in the midst of it…blah, blah, blah…it can be difficult to kick up your heels and say, “Yippeee, life is uncertain.”

It stands to reason, kind of, that if you know what’s coming then you can’t have it any different.  Of course, that doesn’t really make sense since life really is chaos and  anything can happen at any moment that can derail what you know.  But I like to think at this point in my life, with all the uncertainty and ups and downs, that something exciting and wonderful is coming.  I suppose it really is, “what you make of it.”  So, if it includes asking people if they want their non-fat latte with or without foam, then life is pretty sweet because it’s better than the alternative.

The Wheel of Death

 Life in Los Angeles  Comments Off on The Wheel of Death
Feb 212011
 

I know, I know.   Where have I been?   A friend called me the other day and said, “Do you realize your last blog entry was October 26, 2010!?”   Yes, I know.   I know.

Wheel of DeathJohn and I used to have annual passes to Disneyland.   We would go all the time.   On our first trip we stayed down in Anaheim for a couple of days and spent a lot of time at both Disney and California Adventure.   Having an annual pass gave us the opportunity to go for a couple of hours on a Saturday night just for coffee and the parade and the fabulous people watching that you can only find at Disney, without the pressure of having to get on a ride or making every minute count like you do when you save up and go once every couple of years.   So, on our first trip to California Adventure we enjoyed everything we could together.   I am a bit of chicken when it comes to rides.   Not just because I’m afraid of the ride but because of fitting.   Yes, there are some rides that just won’t accommodate my ample rear end.   (Years ago, I had an experience at Universal Studios where I didn’t fit in the seat on a ride.   I managed to get the seatbelt around me but clearly I didn’t fit in the seat.   The ride took off and I held on for my life during the whole thing.   It scared the crap out of me.   Really, did I want to be a headline?   “Fat woman plunges to her death on a kiddy ride at Universal…Film at 11!”)   So, even if I had a desire to go on California Screamin’, the roller coaster at California Adventure, it is unlikely I would ever attempt to even get into the seat.   What if I didn’t fit?   What if the alarm didn’t go off when the belt didn’t go around me?   Did I really want to die at Disney?   Surely, if I died they would compensate John quietly as only Disney can…     I decided to be a gamer and get on the Ferris wheel at California Adventure.   How scary could it be?

I was feeling brave so I said, “let’s go in one that slides.”   Here’s how it went. We get in the bucket.   I am feeling fine.   I am sitting Lisa_scream2across from John.   I have a water bottle next to me on the seat.   We start to move…slowly.   I feel my heart starting to pound and my hands starting to sweat.   I looked around for something to hold onto.   There was nothing.   I pushed my fingers through the small holes of the cage.   My eyes were wide.   I looked at John terrified…pleading.   Then as we started to rise I said in a shrill voice, “This may not have been such a good idea!!”   Then my water bottle fell over.   John calmly said, “Honey, we are going to slide now.”   At that moment the bucket slid backwards and we started to swing. I started to shriek and scream like only someone in a horror movie could.   It was a lifetime until we finished the revolution.   They stopped the ride and let us off.   As I stepped off I said to John, “Do you think they know it was me?”   I am pretty sure they have a picture of me in the operator’s box with a big red circle with a line through my face.   For full disclosure, they have a picture like that of me over at Splash Mountain at Disneyland too.

Why bring up the Wheel of Death now?   Because lately that’s a bit how life feels.   Not bad.   Nothing that’s going to kill me.   Definitely some excitement and some fear and some joy and some uncertainty all wrapped up with a “Have Disney Day” smile.

New Amsterdam to Old Amsterdam

 Trip to Amsterdam  Comments Off on New Amsterdam to Old Amsterdam
Oct 212009
 

I arrived in New Amsterdam yesterday morning.   Tuesday morning rather.   I am a bit confused on what time or day it is.   The redeye was crazy from LAX to JFK.   It was supposed to be “wide open” and it wasn’t.   Lots of last minute travelers got on that flight.   So, my stand   by for Business Class ticket rapidly turned into a coach ticket.   Luckily, the gate agent took pity on me and left the seat next to me open so I didn’t   have to squeeze.   The flight was on a Boeing 757.   Those are particularly long planes but not generous in width.   I did look at the bathroom on board and decided it would be best to just wait the 6 hours.   It was fine.   The flight attendant graciously brought me a seatbelt extender and we were on our way.   I didn’t sleep much on that flight.   The seat in front of me was barely inches away from me.   I was fortunate that no one was sitting in the seat in front of me so I didn’t have someone’s head pressed against my belly for the flight.   The snack was pretzels, or peanuts or cookies.   I had club soda.

We landed in NY at 7:30.   I wandered around the terminal for a little while.   I found a food court and got a little breakfast and a bottle of water and planted myself.   I made some calls.   Then I realized somewhere along the way I lost a prescription.   It is possible I left it at home but it is also likely I left it on the plane when I was searching my bag for something else.   I went to the Delta customer service desk.   They called the gate to find out the plane I had been on had already left for San Francisco.   If the meds were left on the plane it is doubtful I will ever see them again.   I then went to the Delta SkyClub and bought a day pass.   It was a lovely place to sit and relax for my very long layover.   I was hoping for a couch or a loveseat so I could have gotten more comfortable but the big chair was fine.   I dozed off and on throughout the day and then got the shuttle from the terminal to the new Delta terminal to catch my international flight.

I did get Business Class from JFK to Old Amsterdam.   It was very nice.   The seats aren’t that wide and the arms don’t move so I did find it to be a snug fit.   I had to get out of the seat to pull out the remote for the TV and I did have to get up to plug in my headset.   But once in the seat it was mostly comfortable.   There is at least 3 feet between the seats so you can recline fully and not be bothered by any other passenger.   There was no one sitting next to me so I was able to use the seat for my purse as well as use the tray for my meals.   I was envious of people who slept on the sides in the chairs.   I suppose I could have figured out the logistics and done it myself but I never did get fully comfortable.

The meals and service in Business Class is night and day from coach.   They brought us menus before we took off and the champagne and beautiful wine choices flowed throughout the flight.   I didn’t drink on the plane as I was so confused and tired from travelling for so long and from not sleeping.   I didn’t want to add alcohol to the mix.   The food choices ranged from crab cakes with pasta to beef tenderloin with lemon risotto.   Amazing!

I think one of the flight attendants thought I was pregnant.   I was sitting in my seat with my arms folded over my belly.   As she walked by she patted my hands and said something in a very sweet tone.

We landed at 5:25a this morning, Wednesday.   We taxied for what seemed like an eternity to the gate.   Customs was a breeze here.   They asked why I was here and for how long then stamped my passport.   My luggage was some of the first pieces off as they were the last ones on.   My bags didn’t get on the flight until my stand by seat was approved.   It worked out perfectly.   Then there were two lines to go to.   One was for people with goods to declare and the other was for those with nothing to declare.   There was no one working the line for people with things to declare and no one was there to ask if you really didn’t have anything to declare.   I walked right through with my bags on a cart.   My sister and BIL were on the other side of the door.

From there we took a train to the city and then walked around 10 blocks from the train station to the boat.   It was interesting to be walking in the dark at nearly 7a.   the sun didn’t start to warm the cold sky until around 8a.   Then the sky started to glow a beautiful light pink.   The air this morning was very cold.   It has since warmed up to a lovely 50 degrees.

To say that it is beautiful here is a ridiculous understatement.   It is absolutely breathtaking.   The boat is gorgeous.   We opened the windows on the boat and fed ducks on the canal.   Their cat sits up top in the sun room (what would be the steering room if there was a steering wheel.)   I have taken pictures and will post them over time. We are going to go venture out and do some shopping today.

I am very tired.   I haven’t lied down since Monday morning when I got up at 7a.   It is now noon on Wednesday here which means it is 3a at home.   It is funny to think my husband is home sleeping in our bed and I have already showered and started my day.   I am sure I will sleep like a stone tonight.   I brought my own pillow which will make sleeping anywhere easy.

Let me know if there is anything you would like to know or any pictures you would like to see.

Oct 162009
 

Since not making my flight to Amsterdam Wednesday night, and now having 3 days before I try again, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start a blog.   Originally, I was going to keep a daily handwritten journal.   I still may do that.   Old habits die hard.   I figured this would be a great way for family and friends and any interested party to follow my adventure.   This will be the first of many posts.