Wednesday, July 15, 2009

44-38-44; Or, Jo Has A HOLY SHIT Moment

Welcome to the inaugural Wednesday Whine here at Head Nurse.

I bought a swimsuit the other day. Not just any swimsuit, but the swimsuit I've dreamed of for years: A very modest tank top (black, with red seaming, but you can't have everything), shorts that come midway down my thighs (solid black), a keypocket in the shorts (closes with Velcro!); in short, the only thing I could wear that covers nearly as much as a swim burqa without looking like an idiot. (I should mention here emphatically that swim burqas are the bomb. The only reason I would look like an idiot is that I am Not Muslim. It would be like me dressing up in, oh, a kimono. Or a hula skirt. I would not be workin' it.)

I got this swimsuit in a size 16W.

I am not pleased by this.

Not at all.

Now, I'm fairly mobile. I'm short and stocky and still quite strong, despite not having seriously lifted (read: lifted at all) since Atilla moved off to the Big City. But I am Not Happy with wearing a size 16W.

I should mention here emphatically, and not at all parenthetically, that I am not fat hating. People come in different shapes and sizes, period. What is healthy for a woman who was born to be a 16W is much different from what is healthy for me, who has the bone structure and genetics to be a size six. I am not fit or healthy (look at that waist measurement: it speaks of increased risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes) at the size I am now.

So it's going to change. I thought about starting another blog to chronicle what I'm doing fitness-wise and diet-wise, but I got stumped by the title. "Fat, Flatulent, and Forty"? "Dammit, No, I'm Not A 16W"? "Holy Shit, That's A Lot of Beer"?

I decided to just do a weekly check-in here. According to SiteMeter, I get about 10,000 hits here a month (Hi, everybody!) and I am going to need every single last one of you to keep me accountable. Weight Watchers might be easier and more personal, but I am counting on the level of impeccable snark that you guys have displayed over the last five years to get me where I need to go.

Because not everybody wants to hear a blogger whine about how haaaard it is to do 3 miles in 44 minutes on the treadmill (Dammit! I used to be able to do it in 25!), I'm segregating the Wednesday Whining posts with a tag, with title, and sticking to one day a week. Y'all can scroll on by if you don't want to read about what I did with my treadmill during the past seven days.

It's scary to do this. I'm scared it's too personal. I'm scared I'll fail. I'm scared that there's some weird metabolic thing that has nothing to do with Cheetos or sedentary living or too much Mirror Pond going on, even though I know that that's highly unlikely. I'm frightened of putting this much of my not-anonymized life out on the Intarwebs, though you've read damn near everything else I've done in the last five years.

Join me. Bitch away in the comments about the cramp in your lats or how much you hate eating frigging vegetables in the morning.

One very important note: Anybody who posts fat-hating or attack-dog bullshit will be deleted. I don't care if it's about me or toward another commenter, it's going to go. Save your keystrokes for something else; you get a predetermined number in this life. (I wouldn't be this cranky about it, but I've been reading comments about Regina Benjamin and whether she's qualified to be Surgeon General because (*gasp*) she's fat!)

Next Wednesday: First week's schedule, goals, and comprehensive bitching about shinsplints.


Bardiac said...

Go you!

I'll read and cheer you on.

Has Max offered to run with you?

Jo said...


Thanks. No, Max does not run indoors on the treadmill, and with highs of 107, it's too hot for anybody to run outside, especially in a fur suit.

Maha said...

All sorts of good luck! You can do it! Just think of how much faster you will be able to run away from work when its quitting time :P

Anonymous said...

I'm a newish reader and soon-to-be (mature) nurse (NCLEX scheduled 7/23) and I salute you! I like The Instinct Diet which I will be using to lose 60 lbs. I'll stayed tuned to your effort.

Yr sis said...

Can I start? Thank you.


Thank you very much. I feel better now. No, wait. No I don't.

Crazed Nitwit said...

I think we must be sized the same. I have the bone structure etc to be a size 6(which I was for most of my life). Hit forty and back to college 3 years later and I think my metabolism committed suicide.

Let's go. Anything that might motivate me would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

Today I spoke to a guy about the South Beach diet (Me six weeks, 15 Lbs) - he said that just the word "Diet" makes him bristle.

I told him that I don't think of it as "Dieting" I think of it as "Living."

Looked at that way, it doesn't seem like such a big deal.

You can either eat whatever you want, or you can live longer.

I can still eat a little of the things I like; I just don't want to have dug my own grave with a fork and spoon.

Think about it friends! You know about "Denial" - not the river in Egypt.


Jo said...

Good luck! :-)
Will be here, cheering you on :-D

Do you weigh your food? Not in an OCD / Calorie counting way, but in a making sure that you aren't over cooking way - I started weighing the rice and pasta that I cook last year (rather than pouring into the pan by eye), and was shocked to discover that I was cooking double the recommended serving.


I had a weight issue after my daughter was born. It took two years to try and get the weight down. I felt miserable during the time I was bigger, as I am small in stature and structure. My first thing to go is my face and I develop double chins.
However I did find when I lost weight was, don't let yourself get bored, keep busy. Exercise doesn't have to be painful, go out and boogy.
Small meals, and yummy food like Thai, or Chinese food.
They have it right, fish, or meat with veges and rice/noodles.

How many truly obese Asians do you see outside of Asia? You don't generally its heir diet. Give that a go for a month or so, and never eat breads,pastas etc during that time,,, see what happens.:)
Its not so painful as enforced diet regimes.
Good luck

Urbie said...

Hey, Jo -- this sounds great. I wouldn't say I've ever had weight problems, but I do tend to fluctuate within a 20- or 25-pound range (i.e., I'm usually around 155-160, but have ranged from a low of 148-ish to 175 or so). The Mrs. and I have had good results whenever we go to a low-carb regime. Have you read Gary Taubes's book on the whole issue of fat, cholesterol, heart disease, weight, and whether it really has more to do with insulin, endocrinology, and stuff? (I've had some issues with it -- my cholesterol is "very high," and my doc wanted to put me on a statin, but he also described my HDL as "enviably high" and said that the ratio of total/HDL is more important than just the total cholesterol. But I digress...) Looking forward to hearing how things work for you.... -- Urb

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Maybe your quest will help me STOP EATING WHILE ON THE TREADMILL. I think walking while eating, negates the calories!!


Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion. Dig a hole. Let me explain.

When I need to lose a couple, the tread mill or the gym just doesn't do it because each of them is only going to last an hour at the most and they only exercise a small part of the bod at a time. And they are boring.

My favorite exercise is heavy construction. It works everything and can last all day and I've got something to show for it afterwards. Unlike picking up a large pice of iron and putting it down IN THE SAME PLACE!

Now, you may not have a large construction project lined or the tools to do it, but anybody can get a shovel and dig a hole.

On digging days, eat only protein. Absolutly NO carbs or starches. (That omlet you described would work). Have at least a gallon of Crystal Lite chilled. Drink it often. Work not to fast but steadly for 6 to 8 hours. Try to skip lunch. Or at least make it very small. This is because you will not want to work after a largish lunch. Have a big salad for supper. Rinse, repeat for another pound or two.

Remember, there is a lag. You will not see the difference on the scales for a couple of days. I think this is because of all of the water you drink during the exercise.

Anyway, works for me.
Good luck.

Gretchen said...

Hey, me too. Not overweight and I won't post my size, but thin and squishy, 47 yrs old. Just decided today to *really* do something about it. So I'll be with you in spirit even if I don't say much. Just do it!

Penny Mitchell said...

We got yer back, babe!!!!!

alicia said...

I'll bitch with you! I recently lost 15 pounds and have stopped there for awhile but want to loose more. I was a 14W now I'm a 10W lol... I am very small in height so I should loose another 20 pounds. Recently I tried to just cut back and exercise more and it works out a lot. About the scared to fail part, you are going to fail, we all do because we aren't perfect but what is important is how bad you want to feel good and be healthy for the future. It takes time and its not easy but its worth it. YOU CAN DO IT!! My mom is almost forty five and lost 50 pounds just by exercising three times a week and sticking with the food pyramid. Just find out what works for you!

good luck,


Anonymous said...

Im in the same boat, well, a littler bigger boat. Im a size 18 who could be a size 8. You should check out It is a FREE website that was started by some guy with a lot of money to support people while they get fit. Its bitchin'. It is awesome to see people get in shape, and there is a niche group for everyone.

danielle said...

First of all - where did you get the suit? SOunds like what I have been looking for....second of all, unfortunately age does make a difference - in our metabolism that is. I have read so many times that dieting is bad because diet = die. And then I look at the nice fit rich person who says this....

Anonymous said...

I'm rooting for you, Jo!

Dr. Alice said...

I just went to my physical and got put on BP meds for the first time in my life. I need to lose, too (a LOT more than you, I am sure) and will cheer you on. I may start posting my own efforts on my blog; it would help keep me honest.

RehabNurse said...

Good luck!

I had to do a low carb diet. I love bread, but it just loved hanging on me in the oddest places. I love my wheat beer and other assorted alcoholic goodies, but have to watch that, too.

A note to all: rehab nursing is very physical. If you do it AND go on a diet, you will most likely lose weight.

That's why I'm still doing it...30 lbs. later and lighter. Walk, transfer, flip...just be careful!

Reality Rounds said...

Good for your! You have my blog support. I thought of joining weight watchers mostly for the social support, so I think it is a great idea.

Laura said...

I'll come out and say it: I've forced myself to stop caring about my weight. I decided that worrying about a number, be it pounds or pants size, ultimately encourages unhealthy eating on my part (not anorexia, but still not healthy). To get to and stay at my "ideal" weight I have to consistently eat under 1200 calories per day, plus exercise. Pretty sure that's not good for me.

I now focus on what I eat, my activity, and how I feel. Am I eating things that taste good and are nutritious? (This also includes no labeling foods as inherently "good" or "bad".) Am I eating when I'm hungry and until I'm full but not eating when I'm not hungry or until I'm overfull (harder than it sounds!) Am I getting activity in ways that make me feel strong?

I'm not always successful. I sometimes go through periods where I don't eat as well as I'd like out of sheer laziness. My activity has been hampered lately by a sprained ankle that is refusing to completely heal. But I haven't weighed myself in well over a year and I'm just fine with that. I'm much happier by trying to live a healthier life than by trying to meet some number on a chart.

Leaf-Nosed Bat said...

Good luck, cousin. I'll be rooting for you all the way.

Leaf-Nosed Bat said...

p.s. I'm ever at the ready to be a character witness on your behalf against anyone who challenges your assertion that you have "the bone structure and genetics to be a size six."

Anonymous said...

Wow, you've hit a nerve this time, Jo! Is this a record number of comments?

And it so happens that Mr. R and I began South Beach this week, and so I am going to be cheering and losing along with you (hopefully). So far, so good. As of today, I'd like to lose about 34 pounds.

Go, Jo and all of Jo's commenter minions.


Laura L. said...

Best of luck to you! In 2006 I lost over 30lbs (from a sz 14 to a 6-8) and have been able to keep all but 5lbs of it off. I still want to lose another 10 but man, I love to eat! My only words of advice are: Don't follow an official diet! Ok, let's call that an opinion for those who swear by things like low carb diets and will want to argue.
As I see it, cutting something out (carbs? sugar?) for a specific amount of time will only make you go back to it when you've reached your goal weight. Cut something out of your life completely and you'll only crave it and eventually binge on it (for these purposes I'm only talking food here, people!).
I follow the Julia Child school of thought: Everything in moderation. I gave up NOTHING. Ok, I rarely ate crap (meaning junk food and ESPECIALLY sodas) to begin with but did I say I love to eat? I've never given up butter, bacon, cake, sugar, or big juicy steaks (I am a Texan after all!). First and most important rule: Learn what a proper portion is and stick with it. Second rule, pretty much same as the first: Eat less.

No more rules.

Lose weight; smile when you look in the mirror.

We are all rooting for you! :)

Samantha@UNB said...

Soon to be nursing student here and I'm in the same boat. My turning point was needing a size 20 pant when starting a summer job at the grocery store. This will change! I'm living at the bottom of Hell Hill and have to WALK to classes! *shock and horror*! I will be following you and cheering you on! Good luck Jo!

Rat said...

I am so, so with you on me. I just had to buy a (insert gasp here) an 11 in a dress. Not good. Now I can do without some foods, but beer? Holy Crap! How do we work with the five basic food groups?

1. Sugar
2. Grease
3. Starch
4. Fat
5. Alcohol

And not in that particular order.


Anonymous said...

You can do it!
Keep it simple -- just try to create a calorie deficit each day by burning off a little bit more than you take in. Don't do deprivation; everything in moderation. Don't do exercise you hate; find something that feels like what your body's meant to do, then it'll feel like a treat, not a chore.
You can totally, totally do it, and you will!

Sara said...

gooooo Jo! best wishes to you on your journey, and i will do whatever i can to support you along the way.

honestly, in one of your posts you mentioned how much weight you had gained since becoming a nurse and it freaked me out. i've been concerned about this since becoming a nurse almost two years ago, and despite hitting the gym 4-5x a week, my weight has slowly crept upwards. nothing serious quite yet, but enough to wonder if my scrubs or shrinking or if maybe i'll have to go up a size the next time i get some.

honestly, i think our profession makes it hard to lose weight. there are the rushed meals, the missed meals, the constant reminders that "hey, there are donuts in the break room!"--i'm know i'm terrible at turning down free food.

rather than being role models for our patients, we're reinforcing bad habits ourselves. not good.

anyway ... enough rambling. good luck, again, and i look forward to your weekly Wednesday Whine.

Raspberry-Scrubs said...

YOU GO GIRL! Believe me, I am and from the looks of it everyone else is here to support you on this journey. I'm working myself on the same thing too :o)

And I wouldn't have said that you looked like an idiot if you would have wore the swim burqa :o) I own one and LOVE IT. Then again, I'm Muslim but I have a lot of very conservative friends who are not Muslim, own it and believe me they loved it for the comfort and modesty. Most actually have a detachable hijab or headscarf so you still are covered without having to cover to the extreme like we do.

Best of wishes to you and have a wonderful weekend!

joey said...

Beer is a HUGE culprit. I've put on 10 pounds in like 4 months just because I have been drinking beer instead of a glass/two of wine.

Pat St. Jean said...

Hang in there! I've got a family history of heart disease to motivate me as well as not going up another size. Trying to do the burn more calories than I take in diet. Hopefully the Wii Fit will help too! Just don't make unrealistic goals, improvement's improvement!

Kim said...

Ah, you can do it!

I was a 16W last November, I just bought a suit size 14 Misses last week.

Richard Simmons - that's how I did it, but that is just 1400 calories a day (almost like an ADA exchange diet). I now fluctuate between having lost 25 - 30 pounds and I am gearing up for the last half.

Slow, steady and a process, not a sprint. You will feel better almost immediately.

I'll be checking in! The only thing to hate about fat is what it can do to your health.

Good luck. You WILL make it. : )

Anonymous said...

Jo, I am rooting for you!
I lost 60lbs. about 10 yrs ago. Have kept it off mostly, up and down 20lbs. I am currently at my lowest and have been there for a year.
There are several ways of thinking that work for me; it's not a diet or temporary thing, it is a change for life; physical activity is not for weight loss, it is for health and keeping my mental and physical abilities as long as I can. Portion control is important. I avoid most carbs most of the time. Mostly I have reduced my portions by half of what I think I need. If I am still hungry after 30 minutes then I can eat more. I remind myself that it is good to feel hungry, I enjoy my food so much more then.
Anyway, these things have worked for me but it took a long time to figure them out. For a long time I could lose weight or gain weight but maintaining weight was a real problem, one that I am not sure I have licked yet. I do weigh myself every day(and log it onto a spread sheet, psycho I know!) because I can really fool myself into thinking I am not eating too much and doing too little if I don't.
I wish you all the best and am looking forward to your reports/progress!

GingerJar said...

I too need to lose *gasp* 40 lb's. Maybe then I wouldn't need statin drugs. My bp has been high every since I was in my 20's and I was not overweight (only weighed 120 lbs), my mom is thin, her mom was thin...but my father's genetics leans towards the obese and diabetic...Guess I just need to work harder.

Good Luck.

Girl Noir said...

Gah! I am right there with you. I need to drop some weight, but beer and potatoes and butter and pies etc etc etc are just too goddamn delicious. My dad dropped over 100lbs over the course of three years or so, and is now a triathlete - he makes me feel like I've actually got a shot at doing something similar.

Good luck! I'll be following right along. Well... more like trying to keep up. :-)