Friday, January 30
Are YOU ready to lose some weight???
There are many options, but I only endorse the ones that I know are healthy and will work. Only the best for MY wonderful readers!!!
Disclaimer: ANY DIET will fail if YOU DECIDE TO LET IT. It doesn’t matter which ones of these programs you like or choose- if you don’t have a big butt load of determination, then you will not find the success you are looking for. Also, exercise is key. You won’t see results if you do diet OR exercise alone. You have to do them together.
Before you start looking at these options, please read this post about my journey.
Weight Watchers: This is the program that I am using. I admit, I tried it in the past with no luck. But this time was different, because of my attitude alone. I recommend the online program. Under $20 a month, and all the tools you need. (PS- I heart my WW calculator. I use it almost every day!)
Jenny Craig: This program is fine, if you have money to blow or don’t have to feed an army of kids like I do. The principles are great, but the cost is high. You have been warned.
Nutrisystem: Same feelings here as I have with Jenny Craig. Good, but costly. (You are better off with Weight Watchers, in my opinion.)
TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) : Great program- LOW COST ($26 annually) in most cities, but I have not personally met someone who had success with them. That does not mean they aren’t out there, that just means I’m socially stunted.
Walking: NO COST, and really fun if you have a gaggle of girls to do it with. I have a walking group here in Danville, Illinois, but you can start one ANYWHERE!!!!
Fat Girl Yoga DVD: Officially this is called “Just my Size Yoga with Megan Garcia” and I highly recommend it. Have from the first time I completed the DVD. It’s hard to find, and only on Amazon. Check your local library to see if they have it first before you buy it.
It's Fun to Sweat at the YMCA: Get a membership for your whole family. Seriously. Think you can’t afford it? YMCA’s have financial scholarships available. Call and ask. You’ll be glad you did. I personally belong to the Danville Family YMCA and I love it!!!
Unpaid Procuct Endorsements-
Products and foods that I live on: I covered these in a post a while back. Linking it up so you can see what Charlie can’t live without.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, contact me at email@example.com to let me know if I missed something major. I am sticking with programs available in both cities and rural areas, which explains why the list is limited.
I DO NOT ENDORSE diets that are impossible or unhealthy to follow, like fad diets, pills and supplements (other than a daily multivitamin), or low to no carb diets. These things are not good for you in the long run, and dieting is a lifestyle change, not something you do for 6 months then go back to your old ways. Trust me on this one, folks!
Contact me with letters or personal stuff at:
If you call- please please please be respectful about the times of day you ring me. Thanks!
I always answer emails. I'm an email junkie. Or make me a friend on Facebook. My badge is on the right hand side of the blog, (over there ----->) and let me know when you send the friend request that you came from the Triple B- Big Butt Blog.
Otherwise, if that's too much effort, just leave a comment on one of my stories. I do my best to reply to every comment left on my posts. But if I don't, there may be a reason why. If your email is not enabled on your google profile, or you leave it anonymously, then I can't get a hold of you and I will not search for how to contact you.
If you would like to get a reply but don't want to enable your email address for whatever reason, leave your email addy on your comment, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Cause I try to be good like that.
You support me, I want to support you back too!
Have you ever wanted to have a rip roaring bellylaugh-fest at your function? Are you tired of boring speakers that turn your audience into sleepy listeners that have been lulled to serious state?
Would you like to take a chance on a God fearing, family loving, diet hating, exercise loathing optimistic, humorous gal like me?
Then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “Speaker” in the subject line. My only requirements are the cost of travel and a love offering for churches, or a small fee for other groups. And I’m willing to travel just about anywhere.
ESPECIALLY PARIS AND HAWAII.
If you have a particular topic or theme that you would like to discuss, mention that in your email, and I’ll see if I can whip something up. I’ll work with you.
Cooperate events, church functions, MOPS groups, ladies days, whatever…I have a whole arsenal of humor brewing.
We can make your special event a hit!
So shoot me an email, and let's see what we can work out!
(I also can talk about subjects like abuse, domestic violence, divorce, and the prodigal son syndrome, but these topics aren't as funny. Just wanted to throw them out there so you don't think I'm a one note speaker!!!)
I started this blog as a joke. Operation Shrink Charlie’s Big Butt was a Facebook status that got shocking laughter after I had lost my first 12 pounds, and was working the diet at 226. (If you do the math, I started at 238.)
After that, the blog simply took on a life of its own.
And so did the diet.
It has been a heavyweight championship fight from the beginning. I have struggled with weight since I was 8 years old, always being too fat for my age/height/life. It took a really bad picture of me on Christmas morning to wake me up and show me the light.
I could do this. I could lose the weight. I just had to make the diet a priority. Which isn’t exactly easy.
Because my life is brimming with good things and distractions.
Like marriage. I happen to be married to a super hot and wonderful fella, Matt, who loves the stuffings out of me.
And the kids. Amy, Natalie, and Tim, who are all 10 and under. Super smart, and it takes a lot of work for Matt and I to stay one step ahead of them.
And my faith. Which should really be top o’ the list for good things, because Jesus has saved my not-so-scrawny neck more than once. And more than twice. It’s impossible to keep score at this point of my life all the miracles He has thrown at me. But He keeps sticking around, so I do too.
And school. I was attending Lincoln Christian University till I couldn’t afford it. But I’ll make it back one of these days.
And my music. I am a self proclaimed song writer. Sure, I can’t play piano worth a crap, but I do it well enough to get the point across, while only slightly embarrassing myself.
And I keep writing on my books. I have one completed manuscript and 3 other books in progress. Including the weight loss book “Dancing from Fat to Freedom.”
So the diet had to become a priority. When this blog started becoming a cult classic (at least in my own mind) I realized that this did something more than tell a funny story about diet and exercising. It brought a community of women together. All of whom are struggling with weight, just like me!
So “About Charlie” really couldn’t have happened without the people “Around Charlie.”
The comments and emails and phone calls are my support system, my life line, and the reason I keep working this diet. I keep counting calories because of you. Because we all need to know that it can happen. That we can conquer the weight.
I’m just the (idiot) lucky duck who is going first!
67 pounds and counting!
Dear Quincy Coleman-
Please don't sue me for using your song "Take a Chance."
It is my unofficial theme song, and when I walk my 8 miles, this is the song I start with. And end with. And usually repeat 2 or 12 times along the way. Watch the video and you will understand!!! I think you are top drawer!!!
Your biggest fan, Charlie
So my story begins where the last yoga tragedy left off. I ordered a new yoga video, "Just my Size Yoga," and it arrived after a lengthy trip in the UPS truck, which I was thankful for. It sat on my desk for a good couple of days, where it taunted and frightened me. I finally decided one afternoon to give it a whirl. After all the only thing we have to fear is fear and health, right?
Now, it is a well known fact that I am not a dog person by nature. I had an encounter with a german shephard when I was 2 years old that gave me a life long aversion to dogs. But Maxi Pad is a different story. For one- he is not the brightest crayon in the box. In fact, he is a few dimes short of a nickel if you ask me. Very sweet, very loving, very lacking in intelligence. I have never personally owned a dog, so I never thought about what could happen when you attempt yoga in the same room with one. Max is pretty calm, so I wasn't too worried. That was my first mistake.
Enter "Puppy." Puppy is our rambunctious and psycho cat. She gained her name when her kitty personality resembled that of a dog. She plays fetch, she sits at the door and waits for us, and anytime I am gone for a length of time (or even just a quick bathroom trip) she acts like she hasn't seen me in years. I really can't stand the cat, but I don't have the heart to get rid of her. Yet.
Back to the story. I decide to give the new yoga video a try. I opened the dvd, popped it in the player, and prepared myself for the end of the world. I was really gunshy after the last yoga experience. As the video started, she talked about the positives of yoga and health benefits, and yadda yadda yadda. I wasn't going to believe it for a second. I know that yoga instructors are liars. Flexible liars. She seamlessly moved into the warm up, and I tenaciously began to try the moves. Meanwhile, Maxi Pad is lying on the couch (which he had peed on earlier that afternoon. 3 different cushions) and Puppy has found a bone that does not belong to her. Maxi Pad, being a good sport, gave her a little growl, but really didn't care. Or didn't understand. Either way, he was too comfy to make a move. As I am stretching and beginning to feel optimistic about the new yoga video, Puppy decided to carry the bone, in her mouth as a good catdog should, and sit on the couch next to Max and show off that she was licking his rawhide goodie. The problem with cats is that they have no idea that a bone is heavy. So about halfway across the living room, she drops the bone on the floor. Which I stepped on. OUCH!!!
I (gently) tossed the bone onto the couch next to Max and keep stretching. We are learning how to transition without killing yourself onto your knees, and because it is "Fat Girl Yoga" I can actually do 99% of what I am supposed to! This is great! I got reabsorbed into my new calming sport, when all of a sudden I hear a thud. The bone dropped on the floor. Puppy and Maxi Pad, both highly interested now, jump onto the floor where they each attempt to get the bone first. Our living room is not that big, so before I know it, I do a step back, in lunge formation, and I hear "MMMMEOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!" Whoops! Sorry Puppy! I pause the dvd, pick her up and love on her for a minute, then start the dvd back up while she goes into the kitchen to see Matt, my husband. He's a sucker for animals, and she knows it.
Now, animals are much like kids, especially when it comes to all things being fair and equal. I had loved on Puppy, and now Max assumed it was his turn. So as I am in an unflattering wide stance, he comes up under me and starts nuzzling my thighs. I am not comfortable with this sort of attention. I have read Leviticus, people, and no good can come from a an animal nuzzling the netherlands. Not even if his name is Maxi Pad.
So I tried to shoo him away, while determined to keep yoga-ing. I told him "go lay down," and "go get your bone." But nothing seemed to distract this dog. He kept nuzzling. I had to stop the dvd again, sit on the floor, and rub his belly before he tried to rub mine.
Finally, he laid contentedly on the floor, and I got back to the work out. It really wasn't too bad, folks! I stretched out on the floor, proud that I was over 75% done with the workout, and I hadn't passed out or pulled anything yet! Until Puppy raced back into the living room and decided that Max's floppy basset hound ears would make a great chew toy. You know how on old cartoons, anytime there's a fight, it's a ball of wind and dust and the occasional limb? That's pretty much what happened. They rolled on the floor, gnawing and yapping at each other. Now, not being well versed in the animal kingdom, I had no idea they were both playing and it was totally harmless. All I visualized was my husband's boss arriving to pick up a basset hound with only one long ear. So I picked up the cat, Max lunged for her, and knocked us all back onto the floor. Where I landed on a bone. No offense, but we all understand that bones in the butt are never comfortable.
I yelled for Matt to separate me from the animals, and just like Dr. Doolittle, he snapped his fingers and 2 angelic animals raced to his feet and on his lap and settled down. Sheesh. I turned off the TV, grabbed a bag of frozen peas for my rumpus, and finished the session with my usual diet coke and 4 advil.
For the record, I actually have a long standing history with Puppies and Maxi Pads. Although I have never owned a dog, I have had years of experience with maxi pads. One of the joys of motherhood was explaining the application of one while 3 toddlers (who were 3, 2, and 1 at the time) watched with wide eyes because they had picked the bathroom lock with a toy airplane and caught me. I told them it was a "Mommy Diaper" and the kids said "OK" and left. I never gave it a second thought. Till 4 years later.
I wish I could tell you I had the imagination to make this one up, but credit for what you are about to read and see must be given to our son, Tim.
One night, he was in the bathroom messing around when he was supposed to be asleep, and I heard him rattling paper. I yelled across the house "GO TO BED!!!"
"Ok, mom. In a minute!" If you have had the pleasure of meeting Tim, you know that the child is a thinker and a schemer. (maybe a little like his mom?) Anyhoo, I didn't believe him for a second.
I yelled again, "GO TO BED, TIMOTHY!"
He walked out of his room with his hands behind his back. THAT is never a good sign.
"Sorry, Mom, but Pumpkin Pie Puppy (his beloved stuffed animal) needed a diaper, so I just used yours."
A picture is worth a thousand words.
3 pictures equals BLACKMAIL.
Saturday, January 17
I decided it was high time to purchase a new scale. Perhaps a digital one, so the verdict wouldn’t be open for interpretation. With my faith in the diet progress partially restored, I began the preparations to head to Wally-world. And preparation it takes.
First of all, the weather is currently at 0. That is before you tack on the wind chill. When you add (or subtract) that in, it is a whopping –15 below. It’s butt freezing cold. This means I have to bundle up. In pairs. 2 pair of gloves, 2 hats, 2 sweatshirts, 2 pairs of socks. And even though I had all the extra padding on, I decided at the last minute to throw on a bra. For good measure.
Next on the list of preparation, is the 98 Windstar van, whom I have not-so-affectionately christened Neve. Her full name is Neve R. Working, but I often refer to her by other names (which are unfitting for a preacher-in-training to repeat). Neve has a laundry list of problems that may arise at any given moment. Her most recent issue has been somewhat of an emotional journey. Neve has recently proclaimed her sexual orientation to us. She only goes straight. Something is wrong with the power steering, and it takes brute force to make her veer to the left. Or the right. The past week I had to ice my elbow from attempting to driving her. Of course, they were already sore from the yoga incident, which didn’t help matters at all.
I know this vehicle isn't particularly safe, but then again, neither is letting me stew around the house wondering how much I weigh. All bundled up, I went outside to warm her up. I attempted to open the driver’s side door, but it was frozen shut. Undaunted, I pulled and pulled until I was almost out of breath. She was stuck tighter than my thighs in a pair of size B pantyhose. Finally, out of sheer frustration, I slammed my body against the door to break the invisible barrier. Sometimes it’s handy to be overweight! The door popped open, and she started without a hitch.
I came back inside to throw on a little makeup. If I didn’t, I would see somebody I knew at the store and WISH I was wearing makeup. I ran a brush through my hair and put on a sock hat. Then another. My hair was static crazy, but the sock hats would hide it from the gazing eye of the public.
After waiting a few more minutes, I made a quick trip to the bathroom, kissed the hubby and kiddos goodbye, and hurried outside to begin my trek. Before actually driving anywhere, I had to put more power steering fluid in. Not taking a clue from the door, I assumed Neve would pop up her hood like usual, but the ice and freezing temperature made her too shy to reveal her motor. After attempting to pry and pull the hood open, I decided that my big butt could be used for more than material for blogging, and I jumped on the hood to smother Neve into submission.
However, there was ice on the hood, and I had on a slick jacket which covered my derriere. So as I sat down with gumption, there was an immediate loss of traction, and I slipped off the hood and landed on the brick street. My big butt thankfully broke the fall.
I eventually got the fluid in, and hurried back into the van. I cranked up the heat and headed out. 3 blocks later, I realized that I was still freezing. The heater was blowing cold, and there was nothing I could do. No matter! I kept on driving, shaking my head at the lunacy that is my life. The steering wheel was stiff, but not too bad yet, and I made the first 3 turns with relative ease.
I got to Walmart just in time. I found a parking spot, close to the front, and attempted to gently guide Neve into it. She didn’t like that spot apparently, and refused to turn. I turned the wheel harder. Still nothing. Finally, I used so much force that Popeye would have been proud. Neve groaned and grunted, but was finally in agreement to park where I wanted to. It was at that moment the oil light came on.
Irritated, freezing, and irritated, I headed into Wal-mart for some retail therapy. I was determined to warm up and be happy, regardless of the Neve’s poor attitude. Plus now, I had to buy some oil. I reached down to pull out my list. If I don’t have my list, I will forget half the things I needed to get, and the hubby gave me a few extras to get, “since you are going.”
Once in my pocket, I couldn’t find the list. I looked in the other pocket. Not there. I had on a hooded sweatshirt over my other sweatshirt, and it has a huge pocket. Not in there either. The list was at home on the computer desk. By this time, my tummy was feeling gurgly. But I knew I needed a scale, and that was top priority. So I decided to start with that and play the rest by ear.
Our Wal-mart had just undergone a facelift, and I didn’t know where some things were, but I knew where the scales should be- with the bathroom stuff. I hoofed it to the plumbing department, and searched for the holy grail…um…scale. It wasn’t there. So I looked in the exercise department. Still nothing. Boy, wearing my coat was a bad idea. I was getting hot! I took off my coat and gloves, and kept searching. Maybe it is with the small appliance stuff! That’s on the other side of the store. I pushed the cart over there, but still, my search was in vain. I was getting hotter by the second, and my tummy was having issues. Shew-eee! I pulled off one of the sweatshirts and a sock hat, and kept looking. I tracked down an employee who took me right back to the plumbing department where I had started. The scales were right there. UG!
By this time, my stomach was more than gurgly. It was calling a 5 alarm emergency. I should know better than to eat so much broccoli! Leaving the employee behind with the scales, I said, “OK, thanks” as I ran with my cart down the aisle, heading for the bathroom. I made it to the bathroom in the back of the store, which was conveniently closed for cleaning. That meant I had to hurry to the front of the store. This time I ran steering the cart with one hand, holding my backside with the other in the vain attempt of keeping things together till I was safely in the bathroom. On my way, I noticed a towering display of scales in the middle of the main aisle. I made it to the bathroom, but just barely. 5 minutes later, I was dripping buckets of sweat, and had to remove the sock hat that was hiding my static crazy hair. The sweatiness did little to tame my coif, and I looked like I had just finished touching one of those electromagnetic orbs. Meanwhile, I was soaked. I couldn’t tell if I was overheated because of the heat I had just produced, or because I was coming down with the flu.
I finally made it back to the plumbing department for a scale, cursing my plumbing the entire way, where I picked out something digital, cheap, and black. I assume that if black is slimming on me, I might weigh less on a black scale. I then began the arduous task of remembering everything else on the list that was at home. Paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc. Once I thought I had everything on the list, I headed out to the check out. I had just put everything on the conveyer belt when I remembered. OIL! I proceeded to put everything back into the cart, headed to the automotive section, and picked up 2 quarts and a funnel. The funnel dropped out of the cart, and as I bent over, I realized the broccoli disaster wasn’t over yet. Leaving the funnel on the floor, I headed to the front of the store, only to discover that now THAT bathroom was being cleaned. I raced to the back…AGAIN…and made it to the bathroom. I went back to auto, got my forgotten funnel, and remembered I was going to buy a measuring tape to measure myself. As if I wasn’t already miserable enough.
It was in the sewing department that I ran into a friend. She sweetly asked me how the diet was going. Me and my upright hair answered her, and we chatted for a minute or 2 while I tried to play it cool. I eventually made it to the check out, and back outside to needy Neve. I loaded up the groceries, and pulled out a roll of paper towels so I could check her oil the proper way.
I filled her with more power steering fluid, checked the oil, and low and behold, the oil was full and didn’t need refilling. I got back inside, muttering some not so nice things, started her up, and then gas light came on. Sigh. It was starting to feel ridiculous.
Now filled to the gaskets with gas, oil and power steering fluid, Neve and I made it home safely. I thought the adventure was over as I brought the groceries inside. I even smiled a little. At least I am getting good material for the blog, I thought to myself. Perking up now that I was home, I went out to get the last load. My hands were full, and I still had to shut the back of the van, so I put the paper towels in my teeth for a brief moment and slammed the hatch door closed. The door caught the corner of the paper towels, and because I had opened them earlier, 7 rolls went flying into the snow, under the van, and into the street. Sheesh.
I got inside after crawling on my belly in 15 below weather to find all the rolls, some of which were wet and ruined, and finally, it was all over. I had my new scale.
I pulled it out of the packaging, stripped down buck naked in the dining room and weighed myself.
I really wasn’t surprised to find out that I weigh “Error.”
Monday, January 12
Now, what is missing? I have a diet, food, support....oh, I guess I need some form of exercise. Um......this was going to take some serious thought.
As I began to explore all of my cardio options, I had many things to consider. Mainly that I am not in shape. At all. I'm not even a round shape anymore. I look like a lopsided blob of playdough. With big boobs. It's sad really, those gravity defying mounds of moosh that have lost all motivation to stand up for themselves. They keep me from jogging, for fear I will snap a strap and cause catastrophic damage to an innocent bystander.
So running and jogging are out. How about a great exercise video? Well, I still own an original copy of "Swearing" to the Oldies, on VHS, but it never really was as fun as Richard made it out to be. No, no, I need something nonstressful, something easy...something that won't leave me yelling at the TV, begging for mercy. And Billy Blanks, while fantastic to watch, would leave me immoble for days. This I knew from past experience. So it had to be something that was mild, calm, and not to extreme. The answer seemed easy. Yoga!
Thankfully, we have video on demand, which offers an array of exercise routines, including yoga. There was a great option that promised it was "perfect for the beginner." I excitedly watched the first few minutes as the skinny instructor promised many serene health benefits from yoga, and it seemed peaceful, cozy, and easy. So I took off my shoes, went back to the beginning, and dove right in.
It started with some easy stretching. "Swing your arm up and around your body!" No sweat! "Other side!" Easy as pie! "Now, bend down, touch your toes and breathe deeply."
Hmmm, this is a bit problematic. First of all, I can only touch my toes if I remove the girls from their harness and let them swing free. Touching toes is not a viable option. Then there's the issue of my tummy. You see, when I bend over, my "chubby tummy" compacts into my chest, which as I understand, houses my lungs, making a full breath a bit tricky. OK, well I can gloss over this one. I raise up a little like the hunchback of Notre Dame, and breathe. That's much better.
"Next, put your arms behind your back, lace your hands together with your fingers, bring your hands over to your left side and touch your elbows together behind your back."
OK. This is do-able. She's doing it and it looks really easy! So, with the vain imagination that I might secretly possess circus-like flexibility unbeknownst to me, I attempt to follow her smooth as silk instructions. I got my hands behind my back, laced the fingers together, and brought them to one side. Sort of. My arms didn't warm up enough, apparently. The room, however, was warming up quickly. I tried to at least bring them them over as far as I could. But fitting them around my plus size hips was tougher than I anticipated. Never the less, I was determined to at least touch the elbows. I gave them a good "ooomph" and there they were. One inch closer to each other than where they started from. Who knew they were so opposed to meeting one another? At this point, with my shoulders searing in pain, I paused the routine and rechecked the description. "Perfect for Beginners." The term "beginner" was quickly rising up for philosophical debate. But desperate for 30 minutes of exercise, I pressed play and pressed on.
"Now, we are going to do the downward dog. Lay on the floor propped up on one knee, bringing it under your chest as far as you can, keep your arms as far as possible on the floor, and lengthen your core by stretching your entire body as long as you can."
I paused the show and checked the information again. Seriously, this is for beginners? What do you go through in the advanced yoga routine? Do you have to work out on a 15th century torture rack?
Avoiding using my unsocial elbows and fire pulsing shoulders, I plopped on the floor as gently as one can without the assistance of arms. Then I got into a very painful and unflattering position, when I realized I had to unpause the video. Crap. The remote is 3 feet in front of me. But I worked really hard to get into my downtrodden dog, and I needed to get the remote without changing my position. Relying on my "Twister" skills, I tried to keep left foot on carpet, right foot in between boobs, left arm on floor (the whole 4 inches I could) and right hand on grey play button. By the time I got the show back on, I was in such an un-yoga position I had to pause it and reposition my self again. This time, I had the remote safely in my bra, where I could press the play button with my chin.
"OK, you are in downward dog! Now we are going to lift up the leg that is on the floor and hold it there until we feel it burning a little. Try to lift it up as high as you can."
This was an unfair situation, because the leg in question was already burning. As I raised it up as far as I could, I realized that I could still feel the pile of the Berber carpeting. I needed to get it higher. The skinny girl in the video had hers practically above her head!
So I pushed a little further. I didn't look to see how high I got, but it was off the floor. I think. And at that moment, the muscles between my thigh and my hip (right where you stop shaving on a good night) began to quiver and throb. CRAMP CRAMP CRAMP!!! The downward dog became the "down on the floor, panting and rolling like a dog" as I tried to find any position to relieve the cramp in a place I never knew I had muscles.
Laying on the floor, sweaty, panting and unable to move, I was forced to watch skinny finish her routine because I couldn't bend my angry elbows to reach the remote, now buried deep in the inner sanctum of my bosom. Finally, as the video was ending she gave her salute to the sun. I gave her a different kind of salute, but it was quick. The upward motion of my middle finger set my shoulder on fire again, and I had to cool it off by drinking a diet coke and 4 Advil.
I then ordered "Yoga: Just my Size" from Amazon, which promised a fair and equal opportunity to yoga regardless of size and shape, and am praying that my body recovers by the time it gets here. Needless to say, I didn't pay for rush shipping.