Friday, February 26
Wednesday, February 24
Today, my words are a deperate plea.
"God, SPEAK TO ME!"
I actually wrote this song for my friend Jennifer last night, but the second I finished writing the last chord on my sheet of music, something happened that made me sing the words to this song inside my head. And heart. It may not seem like major stuff to anyone else, but to me and Matt and our family, we are facing an ongoing battle that we have been fighting for 7 years. I keep asking God "why are things turning out like this? Where are you? WHEN are you going to come in and be my Christ in shining armor?"
Yet He remains silent for now.
So today, I am posting a song that describes quite perfectly what I am feeling and doing today. I am seeking. I am asking. I am listening. Because you have to pay attention when God speaks. He is but a whipser above the waves and crashing of the ocean that we know as life.
I'll be back tomorrow, and we will get back to the dieting thing. But for today, would you join me in prayer (regardless of your religious persuasion) and lift up those who need to hear a clear word? There are MANY of us out there today. Maybe if we bow our heads-
our ears catch what He is telling us.
Tuesday, February 23
They have to deal with loud mouth Charlie. And pee-nut Charlie. And too lazy to put concealer on Charlie. But they deal with me.
Before I begin disparaging myself, I better update you on my list.
1. No coffee after 2pm. I actually ended up drinking coffee till about 4 (but only because I had to deal with kids and enforcing a chore chart) but had lots of water. Hence, the conclusion story of the post today.
2. Drink more water. At least a half gallon a day. CHECK!
3. FOLD MY LAUNDRY. I only got a load folded. I will be watching a movie later on and doing nothing but folding! However, you can now step on 80% of my living room floor without tripping!
4. Take a vitamin. (Did that.) (Gotta do that again today…)
5. Make 3 healthy choices about food. I chose water over orange juice, did NOT stop at McDonalds after walking group (don’t look at me like you’ve never done something like that) and did NOT eat an entire sleeve of Oreos. I only had 4. That is an accomplishment in itself. And they weren’t even double stuffed. (Otherwise I would have eaten a whole sleeve!)
6. Find my treadmill under the laundry that is spilling over from the loveseat.
Location: Still Unknown…
7. Take weights tonight to walking group. Did that. Paying for it today too! I couldn't pick my nose if I tried!
8. Go to walking group early and get in few more laps. Did that also. Walking group starts at 8. I went with Tricky Nikki at 7. And we walked our little tooshies off.
9. Do something wonderful and unexpected for Matt. Love notes on Facebook. Can’t beat that!
10. Write one encouraging email complete with scriptures. Still working on that… but one of you may be getting an email soon!
OK, quickly, I want to announce that Matt and I are a couple of proud new uncles and aunts. Matt’s sister gave birth yesterday to little Lexi! 8 pounds, 13 ounces. 21 inches! (I know! OURCH!!!) Mama and baby are doing great, and Daddy Mikey-Mikey is most likely hanging on for dear life, cause little girls will do that to ya. Big brother Lucas is very excited about Thomas the train. Excited about Lexi? Notsomuch. (Can you blame him? He’s 3!) But isn’t Little Lexi a vision?
OK, so last night at walking group (see? I eventually get around to my original points!) Tricky Nikki and I went early. Which was good. We needed some girl time, just the two of us. By 8, Kara showed up, then James (he’s like my little brother) came as soon as he was done eating at the Deeeee-Lux. (Oh heavens, that is the only place I will EVER eat fish. Cause they will deep fry anything you ask them too. Yummy. It doesn’t even taste like fish anymore!)
Now, I had purchased something at Bath and Body Works for my Grandma before I started walking, and they agreed to hold it at the counter for me till I was done. So after the group march, Nik mentioned that she was going to hit the restrooms before heading home. I said “Yeah, I should do that too!” But did I? Please, you all know the answer to that already.
I foolishly waddled to the van with James and Kara, and Nikki calls my cell phone. She says “Hey, don’t forget your Grandma’s stuff!”
So James offers to walk me back in. And I am so thankful he did…because by the time I picked up Gma’s bag, I was not going to make it back out to the van. In fact, I barely made it to the women’s restroom.
WHICH WAS CLOSED FOR CLEANING.
I shot a look at Nikki, who laughs and said “They weren’t cleaning it a second ago!”
I had but brief moments to assess the situation.
Steps to the mall restaurant bathroom from current location? TOO MANY.
Steps to the men’s restroom? THREE.
So James went in there, made sure it was all clear, and I raced in to pee. Ahem. Finish peeing. (Thank you, baby Jesus, for Poise pads!) Frustrating thing about the men’s bathrooms at our mall- they are not built for women. I don’t know if you were aware of that. Urinals aside, their stalls are narrow. I think this is because 99% of men in our locale do not carry purses or diaper bags.
So as I was reaching for toilet paper, I cracked my elbow on the metal box that keeps the TP under padlock and key, cried out in pain (cause hitting your funny bone is never as funny as they make it out to be…) and then stood up to get the heck outta there. It smells funny in the men’s room. As I stood up and unlocked the door, the metal door came flying back at my face and smacked me square on the corner of my glasses, shoving them into my eyeball.
By then I was terrified to even wash my hands for fear of causing an apocalyptical flood (cause by that point, I felt like I was being punished for being in the inner sanctum of masculinity at the finest retail outlets Danville has to offer…) so I grabbed the Sweat Pea antibacterial gel I carry in my walking fanny pak (you think I mean sweet pea? C’mon! I had been walking for two hours!) (and we will discuss the fanny pak at a later date. It's not bedazzled or anything. Plain black.) and skedaddled out of there. James and Nikki were guarding the door, laughing, but I didn’t care. I got to pee. And in usual Charlie Fashion- I really didn’t care where.
(Places Charlie has peed: Outside (done more than pee outside), on trees, in a coffee can while riding in a van, in cups, bowls, an old Big Gulp container, on broken porch swings, men’s restrooms, in the jungle of Haiti, and once in a parking garage in Arizona. I was 6 months preggers, and NO ONE had a public restroom. So I peed there. Which was great till a voice came over the intercom saying “This is NOT A PUBLIC URINAL! STOP PEEING!” Like I am able to stop it once it has started… Silly parking garage monitor!)
So that’s the story. The moral?
Go when you can. Pee-Lieve me!
Monday, February 22
Because in order to swing, one of 2 things must happen. Someone has to push you, or you have to start pumping your own legs. Legs I can do. It’s the rest of me that has trouble with exercise!
The past few days I have been considering what exactly it is that I want to accomplish. I want to lose weight. I want to be healthier.
But more importantly, I want to finish what I have started.
This is coming from the Queen of unfinished business. I don’t finish much. I have a chore chart made for each of the kids, and I don’t enforce it daily, much to Matt's chagrin. I have several books/plays/musicals started, waiting for me to write more than just the titles and a few rough ideas. And they are sitting on my computer. Doing nothing.
One of the greatest things I struggle with is laziness. I don’t mind telling you a bit. I am not the person in the “office” who does the day to day mundane tasks. I am the big idea person. I have no idea how to accomplish these visions of greatness, I only know they are possible.
Last year, when I lost the first bulk of weight (pun intended) I was fueled by the hot fires of desperation. I NEEDED to lose the weight. But now, with a large part of it gone, I struggle with the idea that I look like the average woman. A little jiggly around the middle, but not too overweight anymore. I mean, I KNOW THE TRUTH. That I still struggle with being a fat chick deep down inside.
Cause here’s the thing. All the affirmations in the world can’t convince me that I’ve changed or that I have done “enough.” Other people can compliment me till they are blue in the face. They can show me the proof that things are different. I can even show you pictures like the bikini shots below next to the pics of where I started. I LOOK at the changes. But I don’t see the changes. Because deep inside my being, I still crave horrible foods. I still choose apathy.
And that is a mortal sin. (I think. Mortal sins aren’t actually in the Bible. They came along 400 years later or so… I am such a nerd)
Breaking the bonds of apathy and laziness are one of the hardest things to do. If you struggle with sexual temptation, you can isolate yourself and do nothing. If you are struggling with lying, you can say nothing. If you are struggling with laziness, and you do nothing, then you are only hurting yourself. It’s a quandary for sure.
So- in order to do things correctly, I am going to give you a list of my daily to do’s. Goals I am going to shoot for. Things that are important to me. Not so much because they are helpful to the diet, but because they are going to help me unlazy myself. I can’t think of a better way to get out of this rut of doing NOTHING.
(Now, I will say that post show blues hit me pretty hard last week. Matt and I worked for months on Talley’s Folly, and last week, after the kids went to bed- we didn’t have lines to run or characters to build. That threw me for a bit of a loop. So I am not apologizing for taking it slow and needing some time. I had to have closure. However, I cannot stay on the mountain top forever. I have to move back down into the valley and start climbing the next mountain. That’s just the way life is!)
Now, here are a few of the daily goals I want to accomplish.
1. No coffee after 2pm. I was doing great on this for a long time, but now I have gotten back in the habit of drinking it all day long and not drinking water. Which is bad bad BAD!
2. Drink more water. At least a half gallon a day.
3. FOLD MY LAUNDRY. Seriously, it’s all sitting on the loveseat right now. I’ve been meaning to do it for a week, but it’s so easy just to dig thru the pile and find what you need. Except socks. They get lost on the loveseat.
4. Take a vitamin. (just did that, so CHECK!)
5. Make 3 healthy choices about food. That could mean opting for an orange instead of a Weight Watchers approved ice cream treat, or eating a salad with not too many goodies on it or even chosing to have the dressing on the side. My friend Melissa does hash marks. She gives herself a mark everytime she choses something healthy over a poor choice. I like that. I could rack up a bunch of hash marks by the end of the day!
6. Find my treadmill under the laundry that is spilling over from the loveseat.
7. Take weights tonight to walking group.
8. Go to walking group early and get in few more laps. (That one remains to be seen. Depends on the house schedule with the munchkins.
9. Do something wonderful and unexpected for Matt.
10. Write one encouraging email complete with scriptures.
So there’s the plan. No time for napping or “poor me’s” today. Just a woman on a mission to get herself active again. What do you guys do to get yourself back in the swing of things?
Seriously, I’m looking for ideas…
Saturday, February 20
It was a warm summer day, and there were 3 travelers hitting the very big city of Indianapolis. (Hey, any place that had more than a strip mall and a walmart was big to us…) Each of us had something special in mind that we wanted to get that day. Tricky Nikki wanted to get a bloomin onion and sautéed mushrooms. Our friend Tim wanted to get the phone number of a Hooters waitress. And me? I wanted a bikini top that actually fit.
And so the 3 road trippers began their journey in a purple Dodge Shadow on that summer day. We were headed to Indy because there was a specialty store there that sold ginormous bikini tops. And I was determined to find one. Tricky Nikki was determined to help me pick the best one. Tim was there in the hopes of getting a phone number from a waitress at Hooters (any waitress would have been fine with him) and he was our comic relief.
It was the first time I ever let a guy be involved in the arduous task of swim suit shopping, but we let it slide. We were determined to have a wonderful day. Bathing suits and all. Because we knew that this would be one of the last times Tim would be healthy enough to go on a trip like this. His health had been declining over the last couple of years, and we all knew it.
Tim had Cystic Fibrosis.
He was my first French kiss, my first accompanist, my first puppy love. He was a wonderfully high spirited guy with a passion for music (he played anything he could get his stubby little hands on- but excelled at piano and violin) and was always quick with a joke. He used to belly laugh until he started to cough so hard that it scared us all, then he’d look around and say, “I didn’t die. It wasn’t THAT funny.”
My kinda fella.
We spent a good 2 hours in that “Especially for girls with big coconuts” swim suit store, and Tim suggested I try on every top in the place. He thought it was pretty funny, me coming out with stuff hanging out in not so flattering places, and Nik would say “NO WAY” and Tim would say “Well, wait a second. Let me have a second look. It might work…” Cause that’s the kind of guy he was. He was 100% alive, making the most of every opportunity. He lived life to the fullest until he passed this life in 1999.
I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without him. Or Nik’s. We were smitten with him. (although me more than her.)
I remember that last summer he was with us, we went out every single night for a month. We were so exhausted, but none of us cared. We were having a great summer spending time with our friends. And I’m so glad we did. I even forgave him for all the times that he made sing Sarah McLachlan's song “I will remember you” while he watched me bawl my eyes out as he played the piano for me. Or made me listen to that stupid Aerosmith song from Armageddon. Ug. He loved to make me cry. He found that particularly amusing.
One night, when Nik was doing something else, Tim and I went out by ourselves. He took me to the covered bridge restaurant just over the border in Indiana, and we held hands as we looked at the river below. It was sweet and innocent. We talked about everything- living, dying, love… and with the conversation about love he told me he didn’t want to die alone.
That was when I told him “So why don’t we get married? I’ll stay with you to the very end, Tim. I’ll stay right by your side. You won’t have to be alone.”
He got tears in his eyes and said “Charlyn, you want kids. And I can’t have any cause of this stupid CF. And I’m not going to do that to you. Me dying is bad enough. You need to go find happiness, and have all the babies you want. I know you love me, but this is not how it’s supposed to be. I’m going to love you back by saying NO.”
And I got it. I understood. This wasn’t a journey anyone else could take for him. He had to do it alone. And we walked on, looking at the water and the moonlight on that covered bridge.
Pretty soon we decided we better leave. (Mostly because we were trespassing… ahem) As we were leaving the bridge, I grabbed a nickel out of my pocket and looked at a star and said aloud “I wish we could find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis before it’s too late.” And I tossed the nickel over the side of the bridge.
It landed on one of the bridge trusses below, and the moonlight shone on the nickel like starlight. It never came close to touching the water.
And Tim looked at me lovingly and said, “Good job, Charlyn. Now I’m really gonna F%**%$ die.” (Tim had quite the vocabulary)
You may be wondering how this story about Tim and me and Tricky Nikki involves dieting. Well, it’s got quite a lot. Nik’s sister, Tracy (aka: the Skinny Witch. Although when she says it she doesn’t use the word witch… hee hee- Tracy makes me laugh a lot!) is doing the Great Strides walk to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. And she asked if Nik and I wanted to do the walk with her. Because she knows I am trying to get back on the ball with the dieting thing. (178 today, so there is minor progress FINALLY) And I decided that I would be honored to walk in Tim’s memory. Cause I loved him a lot. I named my son after him. And Big Tim would have gotten a bang out of my Tim. They woulda been 2 peas in a pod, those boys.
So I signed up to walk. My goal is to raise a measly $150 dollars. Which is a drop in the bucket for what it’s gonna take to cure this disease. But I want to do what I can. If you want to help support my cause, there is a donation button on the top right of the blog. All donations are tax deductable, and I would greatly appreciate it. The walk is on April 17th in Urbana IL.
There’s how it correlates with dieting in one way. Now here’s the other.
I bought my first bikini since that trip to Indy 12 years ago. As Amy (our oldest daughter) and I were at walmart, we looked and found one that would probably work. FIT me, anyway. I didn’t care if it looked good or not. In fact, the worse it looks the better (And I am so in luck with that!) because the goal is humiliation. I seem to respond to making a fool out of myself on the world wide web (thank ya, Al Gore) and once I put something out there that makes me look really bad, I change. I make it better. So it was bikini time.
But as we were looking at the different bikini styles last night, it really made me miss Tim. Cause he took the pain out of swimsuit shopping. He made it fun. So I couldn’t help but smile as I posed for the trainwreck pictures you are about to see below. Life is all about living- for better or for worse, and laughing through it all. I learned that from Tim, who managed to live his short life with absolute gusto.
So without further adieu, the moment you have all been waiting for. Charlie making the next very public step in her journey. Nothing to hold in my middle. My flabby flappy tummy. My goal is to be presentable in a bikini by the time summer rolls around. Or at least by August 8th, my birthday. One day we are going to look back at these pictures and go “Wow! Look at the changes!” But for today, we are all going to look in horror, and pray that our eyes don’t bleed. No makeup, no girdle, no fancy hairdo to take the edge off. Just a hair don't and an attitude of complete humility.
If these don’t spur me on to change, I doubt anything will!!!
Painful, huh? But it's still LOADS better than where I started from! Remember?
But, oh, yeah, this still smarts like you wouldn't believe.
Moving on to the ever painful side shot. Tummy and butt in full view.
Yes, it's better than where I was last February, but still... I gotta get back on it.
So there it is. My next step in admitting I have a problem and being willing and ready to change it. I need to work on toning and getting rid of all the jigglies. Cause now there's loose skin. And I am not about to get surgery to remove it. So that means I need to work. And work hard.
And we all know how much I like hard work...
I guess I better go workout, huh?
Thursday, February 18
She gains weight back. That’s what happens.
What happens when she admits that she’s struggling on her openly public blog and tells others that she is frustrated?
She gets some swift kicks in the rear. Loving kicks, but MAAAAN! Let’s just say it’s a bit tender on the backside at the moment.
Which I could not be more thankful for!
I am not exactly what you could call a self motivated person. I have a nasty habit of starting things and then abandoning them before the end. Which you all know. You’ve seen it.
What I didn’t see was the profound effect it would have on you readers. And to be honest, it amuses me and cracks me up. A real friend tells you if you have stuff in your teeth.
And real friends tell you things like “You are allowed a day. But you are going to get over it and get back to business.” Or things like “Quit feeling sorry for yourself and pull it together.” Or even when you say you aren’t going to walking group, one friend might even mention on Facebook “What happened to the new you?” Southern accent implied.
Those are the keepers!
So I have officially gotten out of the rut mode and have decided that this weekend Matt is going to retake pictures of me in a bathing suit (cause nothing snaps a girl out of her “I’m sick of dieting” funk like stretch marks and abused lycra)and I am going to retake measurements. I promise you that there has been a gain in that department. I know that my waist went back up 3 inches over the last few months. And although I was a little less poundage this morning, (6 ounces) I was STILL at 179. Because I neglected walking group last night and let myself feel sorry for myself just one more night and soothed myself with Papa John’s. (Yep. That’s how “new” the new me really was!)
What is the lesson I need to take away from all of this? (There must be a lesson or it would have been pointless to experience it!)
1. I SUCK at commitment.
2. I am blessed with friends who don’t tolerate my crap.
3. I am not done on the diet yet. I still have a ways to go.
4. My friends REALLY aren’t afraid to tell me they won’t tolerate my crap.
5. I need to quit saying I am going to get back on the ball and actually DO IT.
6. I need to stop thinking that food tastes good. Because while it tastes good, it does NOT look good when it is plastered to my thighs.
7. Sinus medicine is great for clearing things up.
Sometime this weekend you can expect a FULL DETAILED report on my measurements, and most likely embarrassing pictures of myself half dressed. (Sports Illustrated will be knocking on my door, I’m sure. Probably handing me a robe…) But I will get through this.
I guess I just needed a little help from my friends. Thanks, gang. This one’s for you! (and before you even ask- that is not me singing. I only wish it was...)
Wednesday, February 17
Now in all fairness, this has nothing to do with how well the diet works. It has everything to do with how I work. I suppose that you could say that I totally got caught up in the hype of Mardi Gras, except that I am a breed of Christianity that doesn’t participate in Lent. (I do, however, take pride in celebrating Lint. You should see the size of the Lint ball I am collecting from the dryer…)
But, back to Fat Tuesday… 179. I am not even joking. And now you know why I feel like a pseudo failure. I know, I know. It could be a lot worse. IT HAS been a lot worse. But today, shortly after my mountain top experience from the play and Valentines weekend, 179 is a little hard to swallow.
What was not hard to swallow were the Domino’s Bread Bowls that Matt and I ordered last night at 10 o’clock. And consumed to the bottom of the box. Or the cupcakes that we STILL have on top of the fridge that were left over from Sleepy Creek this weekend. Or the regular coke.
If it sounds like I am whining a little, you might be right. I kind of am. But it is a whine born out of frustration, and that is far from bad. Analyzing the bitter and sometime unpleasant truths brings freedom. You can’t break free till you realize you are enslaved to something. So I gotta break this prison of fat down. Face the truth. I have let my circumstances and feelings dictate my diet and energy level. And that is NO BUENO. Every fiber of my being wants to bash myself over and over about this. But I’m not going to fall into that trap. Instead, I’m gonna get to the bottom of the problem.
If I go back and read all my posts from the last year, from January to June when I was really rocking the diet, there are a few elements there that I have not carried over into this year.
1. Dieting is fun WHEN IT WORKS. Rather, when I am working it. But the second I get stuck on a plateau or have a gain, like I have been experiencing for days weeks months now- it becomes a chore. It takes the thrill of losing a pound away from you. I have gained and lost the same 8 pounds over and over again. Probably have experienced an extra 40 pounds in weight loss with those same 8 pounds. When did I start to lose the fun factor? When I started stressing out a little too much. I eat when I am stressed.
2. (My mom is going to go ballistic with joy when she sees me admit this one.) We stopped going to church. I know, that seems like something silly, but we haven’t found a church to attend regularly. That really is a big issue with me. Faith is important. You have to believe in something. Not to say that I haven’t experienced God in mighty mighty ways over the past few months. Because I have. He and I have gotten very close. But I have missed being a part of a body. I replaced things like family and walking group with having my soul and spirit refreshed with worshiping in a body of believers. Like I said, I am looking at the things that have changed that may (or may not) play a part in why I am stuck. I wonder if this has anything to do with it?
3. I saw that I was coming down to the wire of the goal, and thought I might lose my bloggy audience. You all have no idea how this blog has changed me. You are precious to me, and I didn’t want to lose you because I got skinny. Not that that would happen, and I know I am going to hear about that on my comments forum. But it’s the truth. If I couldn’t turn to you gals, I think I just might lose my mind. This blog has transformed my opinion of what is important in life- I know that it’s gut wrenching honesty, being honest when it’s ugly, and being myself. Drama crazed slightly to completely neurotic Charlie, no holds barred. This blog has wiped away any fears I ever had that I wasn’t accepted by other women. I should send you all a thank you card for every time you ever clicked on this blog. All 11,000 times.
OK, I’m going to stop there for today, because I have a crap ton of laundry to do. But that’s where I am today, folks. It’s appropriate for Ash Wednesday I guess, wearing the sack cloth of grief and all.
But the weird thing is that I’m not sad. I’m just mad. I’m frustrated. And the difference is all the difference. Frustration stirs a girl to action. It breaths fire in your desperate bones and makes you reach out to something great. It determines the course you are about to set out upon.
So- no lectures about diet foods or getting exercise. Simply a woman who is admitting that she has done more than blow it. She has set herself back by a month, and is saying that she wants to do something about it. She wants to change. She wants to grow past this point. She wants to lose these pounds she has gained back and be the example I know I can be.
Fat Tuesday may have been delicious- but no amount of food in the world can equal how delicious I can look if I get my big butt back on track.
Tuesday, February 16
This was the set. Isn't it amazing? Joe and Dawn at Sleepy Creek Vineyards whipped this out in 2 days. You may also notice that there is writing on the boat. It says "Talley Ho" to which I made the joke that they named the schooner after me. Cause I'm ornery like that.
This was me chugging a bottle of bootleg gin. It was really water, but I got to show off my chug-a-lug skills. I grew up with 2 brothers. (One of whom decided to get appendicitis on opening night. We are a very dramatic family!)
This is my favorite picture from the photos we took. You may notice that one of my girls is glaringly higher than the other. I will tell you that it's because of the dress. Whoever made it (and it was NOT ME) cut it on the bias incorrectly, so the dress was crooked. I subsequently had one bra strap adjusted all the way up, and one all the way at the bottom. But it still looked like that. I couldn't fit both my boobs in the same place at once. So it looked like I was severely lopsided. But I managed. And Matt made sure to try and help adjust me backstage whenever he could.
See all the grey in Matt's beard? He added that. SOME of it. The rest is because he is married to me. He had 2 grey hairs when we met. Since then, he has become VERY distinguished! This is the scene that he was on ice skates. Yep. Ice skates. Which was pretty darn funny. He is not what you would call a beautifully coordinated person.
And after seeing some of the pictures of me in a lopsided dress, I have become more convinced than ever that I have got to finish this diet to the bitter end. The photos I did not post here were less than flattering. So it's back on the wagon for me. Weight Watchers, exercising, and serious Biggest Loser workouts. Lee Ann has been working out twice a day, and she is looking SOOOOOO GOOD! So I think that I better get back on the ball before I get out of the habit and gain all this weight back.
Sunday, February 14
Last evening, the second night of Talley’s Folly, was no exception. On either account.
See, it started when I skipped a line in the first act of the show. It got us a little mixed up. Right off the bat. I mean, it was the like the 10th line in the show. One that I know in my sleep. But I missed it. And it got me all riled up. Which wasn’t the best thing that could happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I am supposed to be pretty huffy during this show. My character Sally has got some deep deep issues. (Kinda like me, I suppose...) But she’s a lot more of a witch than I am.
What I shouldn’t have done was go immediately to the “actor’s area” (our makeshift backstage- the room where they make wine at Sleepy Creek Vineyards) at the beginning of intermission instead of going directly to the bathroom like I usually do. Nope, Charlie was so riled up that I was determined to go backstage and discuss with Matt what the line was that I had dropped.
So we talked about it and figured out that because we had missed that line, we missed some others too. It was a snowball effect. Before anyone who was at the show last night thinks that they got gyped, nothing that we missed was important to the story. Actually, it was what we call “filler dialogue.” It only added to the story, but missing the lines didn’t take away from anything. You still got the whole story. We just accidently made a long story shorter.
Matt and I went outside for a minute to get a breath of fresh air and cool off a bit. (Poor Matt is doing the show in a suit. He was hot from the moment he put the jacket on!) So the second we stepped outside behind Sleepy Creek, I realized that an even bigger mistake I had made for the evening, more massive than me forgetting a line, was that I had not already gone pee.
See, Dawn and Joe, who own the vineyard, have been extremely hospitable. They have made certain accommodations for me about the bathroom, since there is only one. Because I have to share it with the audience, they barricade it off till I get a chance to potty first. I pee exactly twice during a 20 minute intermission- once at the beginning, and once at the end. It’s just what I do.
But because I had foolishly chosen not to pee but to figure out the line I had missed, that meant I was left in a desperate situation the moment that cold air hit me.
I had to go pee. And I had to go RIGHT THEN.
I knew there was a line at the bathroom, and there was no way I was going to be a diva and insist that I could cut in line because I was the “talent.” (And I am using that term loosely.)
Now, there is this old porch swing, slated for the burn pile, on the ground behind the vineyard. And I know from previous experiences that peeing outside can be messy. It splatters and splashes on your legs. Since I was wearing off white hose, that would have been bad. Instead I got the genius idea that I could pee sitting over the side of the porch swing on the ground, using it to brace myself and put some distance between the splatters and my costume. Matt ran inside to grab a couple of napkins for me and then helped hold the swing steady so I could assume the position, with my rear end hanging over the back of the swing 2 feet from the ground.
What I didn’t account for became glaringly obvious within two seconds after I finally started to pee.
1. The fact that when the cold air hits your cheeks, you lose all semblance of control. There is no easing into a gentle potty break. It’s more like Niagara Falls. Forceful and dangerous.
2. The slatted back of the porch swing, which did NOTHING to stop the splatters. I could feel hot liquid hit the backs of my legs immediately. Which turned to cold liquid in an instant. All over the backs of my legs and onto my shoes.
3. My sweet darling husband would immediately recognize the dilemma of this situation, quickly determine if he stayed there holding the broken swing steady- he was going to get splattered and sprayed too, from the sheer force. So he let go of the swing.
4. WHEN MATT LET GO OF THE SWING, it became top heavy, and pitched backwards towards the snow and puddle.
5. When the swing pitched backwards, I made some sort of ninja leap upwards, midstream of course, and immediately heard the worst sound a person in this position can possibly hear.
Yep. My dress, the costume, started to pull apart. It was tight anyway, and that’s totally my fault for not getting my butt in gear with the diet. But the fact remained that the dress had just experienced something traumatic.
Meanwhile, I am not ashamed to tell you that I finished peeing. I was already committed. And it was gonna happen with or without my permission.
I am also quite happy to report that Matt was standing there the entire time LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY at me. Happy valentines day to you too, honey. You are there when I need you most. Albeit giggling like a 5 year old. (But can you really blame him?)
We went back inside, and by then I am really panicked. We checked my dress, and one of the seams had pulled away from the other on my back. But it wasn’t ripped. It was just almost ripped. You can see light through the seam, but it’s not noticeable unless you know where to look.
I then grabbed a stack of napkins and started to wipe away at the obvious splash marks on the back of my legs and dress. Praying that God would have mercy on my pitiful soul at that moment, I wiped with everything that was in me. I got the majority of what would have been noticeable.
Sitting down to wipe off my pee covered shoes, our director Donna walked in. She picked up pretty quick that I was doing something odd. I think the dead giveaway was Matt pointing and still LAUGHING. I explained matter of factly that I had peed outside because it was an emergency, and she jumped into action, looking for spots on the dress for me to dry. Poor woman. What a hornet’s nest for her to walk into. She will never cast me again, not because of my lack of talent, but my severe lack of bladder control.
We got through the second act without a hitch. Or a rip. But tonight, on the last night of the show, I have learned my lesson.
I am going to be a diva and pee before anyone else.
Friday, February 12
Sunday, February 7
For those of you who don’t speak theatre, Tech Week, or commonly referred to as “Hell Week” in the theatre circle, is the week when you put costumes, lights and sound together for your show. It’s the week of on stage disasters to happen for most shows. Something usually falls or breaks, someone gets hurt, a speaker blows… the usual case of Murphy’s Law.
And you all know how prone I already am for accidents.
So say a prayer that it all goes well.
Tech Week is also the week for late night rehearsals. It’s really hard with kids who need to get up for school the next day. But it’s one of the sacrifices we made for the fact we have had limited rehearsals previously. For the most part, Matt and I were able to practice at home, which has been nice. Our kids have helped us memorize lines, and they know when we miss something. It’s been a family project, getting Mommy and Daddy put together for this show.
But because I am a veteran theatre mama, I know that if you aren’t organized to the hilt, tech week becomes a disaster for your home life too.
So these are the plans to keep this ship running during a very tiresome week.
1. Prepare all uniforms for the week today, including matching socks, underwear, etc. All we will have to keep track of are shoes and gloves.
2. Crock pot meals. These are a life saver for tech week. I only need to prepare them in the mornings, and we can still eat as a family by 5pm. Unfortunately, the diet is going to have to take a back seat this week. It’s convenience foods all the way for now.
3. Strict homework and bath schedules for the kids. Thankfully, family members will have the kids this week, so if we miss a bath time, Grandma and the aunts can make sure it happens. We will have to be out of the house by 5:45 every night, and may not get home till late. So the best thing to do is make the time I’m home run as smoothly as possible. And accomplish as much as I can.
4. Mama’s gotta rest. That means I’ll be napping through the day. I’ve been running on empty lately, so don’t expect much from me. I’ll be busy sleeping.
5. I’ve got to keep from getting too nervous. Seriously, when I get nervous about a show, I poop like crazy. And it’s not an “I have plenty of warning poo” but a “RUN, FORREST, RUN!!!!” type of situation. I’m sure there will be a fun bloggy post about that next week.
So there’s the run down. I hope that everyone has a wonderful week, and please feel free to leave me comments on here and tell me how things are going! I’m way behind on emailing you guys back, but please know I read every single comment that you leave and they all make me smile!
Hanging in there so far-
Wednesday, February 3
OK, today has been a bit better than yesterday, but not that much. My morning yesterday consisted of getting kids to school early for music lessons, meeting Micky and Lee Ann at the YMCA, then to the Doctor’s office.
I will get back to what happened at the Y, but first--- I have to tell you that I was reminded at the doctor’s office that my last OB/GYN appointment was in ’08. SERIOUSLY??? I swear if I close my eyes that humiliation feels like no less than 2 weeks ago- in fact 2 weeks ago was about the time I finally got that sticky jelly off me they insist on using. I keep thinking I am on top of stuff like OBGYNs in my quest to be healthier. Apparently, I am falling short when it comes to stirrups. Selective memory is acceptable when speculums are involved, I think…
So, back to the Y. Micky’s daughter is taking this weight lifting class so she can start using the weight equipment. THAT MEANS Micky has discovered the proper way to use all of the machines that we usually flail on. And if Micky knows something you don’t, she is going to tell you about it. Normally it’s a charming quality, but yesterday- well, let me start from the beginning.
We got on the treadmill, where I did my usual incline of “Ridiculous,” the point at which my thighs and legs are usually begging for mercy after the first 10 minutes. So I was already good and worked up and the sweat was starting. Add to that my frustration about not losing a single pound from Monday to Tuesday, regardless of behaving, and I became a terror in the weight room. I attacked that treadmill like it was a chocolate cake with white homemade icing (my personal favorite). We hoofed it for about 20 minutes, and to be honest, with my period being so immanent (still waiting on Wednesday), I was what I like to call a space cadet. And since I was walking pretty much up a wall due to the intense incline, I jumped to my senses when Micky said “Hey! Stand up straight!” I jokingly said “Thanks, Mom!” and did stood up straight for the rest of my torture session on the dreadmill.
After that we hit the “Easy, girl” machines. They are called the “Lifestyle Machines” which makes them sound more approachable. And Micky now knows how to use them. Knowledge is power, right? Not today. Knowledge was downright dangerous.
It started with the leg machines. Micky said that she learned we are supposed to hold the weights up (or down, depending on the machine) for 2 seconds before we release the weight. In theory it makes sense. You are holding the muscles in motion longer to get better results.
However, in practice this makes it downright impossible to do the weights I have grown accustomed to lifting (yeah, the weights I have been accustomed to lifting twice last week… gimme a break!). So I had to pull back and lower the weight I was lifting. Yet the funny thing is that I felt like I worked twice as hard as I did last week! (And we all remember how sore I was last week!)
I ran into someone I know at the gym (who today at the grocery store asked to remain nameless. Smart lady! She’s got enough class and principles to know better than be associated with me!!!) and of course, Charlie and her big mouth got to yacking.
Now, talking while working out is important for 2 reasons. #1: I don’t want my heart rate so elevated that I can’t talk or carry on a breathy conversation. If I can’t talk, it’s too much. And #2: Talking helps distract you from your present agony. Twice when I was in labor, Tricky Nikki came in while I was in HARD labor, and she had me talking. My body relaxed and both times I pooped out a baby 30 minutes to an hour after she left. Talking makes extreme pain tolerable. (Incidentally, Nikki also pooped out a baby 30 minutes after I left the hospital while visiting with her when she was in labor with my nephew. Weird, huh?)
Anyway, extreme pain happens when Micky is making sure you are getting a proper workout on the Lifestyle Machines. She gives you this look that straightens you up. QUICK. She was working me good. And I was sweating buckets.
Consequently, I had a bad case of swamp boob. You all remember swamp boob, right? Well, I also got a bad case of swamp crotch. Same principle, different location. Equally disgusting, no matter where it is. To top it off, I was wearing light grey yoga pants that- while they are supposed to keep you cool- it keeps you cool by pulling sweat off your body and dropping said sweat on whatever is below you. Like a Lifestyle Machine bench. Leaving a wonderful mark on the bench that looks something like a wet curvy W.
So there I am at the YMCA, acting like a crazy person, working her butt off, leaving it glistening on the bench, and talking a mile a minute, looking like I peed my pants. Which technically, I kinda did with one good push on the inner thigh machine. But I dribbled a bit when I was helplessly spread eagle (much like being at the OBGYN in the stirrups!) on the machine. Micky threatened to take a picture. I threatened her right back if she did.
Now, enter in the woman who shall remain nameless. We had already been talking up a storm in the gym, and it was obvious that Lee Ann, Micky and I knew what we were doing (cause Micky was telling us how), so this very sweet lady asked me how to use that particular inner thigh machine. I got on the machine and showed her exactly how to use it, and stood up. That was when I saw my “ring of perspire” on the seat. She saw it too. Humiliation was inevitable, so I looked at her with apology in my eyes.
All I could do was say, “Sorry. I have butt sweat going on today.”
Leave it to me to sweat the truth.
** Charlie is going to be taking a bloggy vacation beginning this weekend. I hope to write you briefly to keep you updated, but due to the strenuous schedule of Tech Week for Talley’s Folly (Opens Friday February 11th. Have you got your tickets yet?) I will have to let something slide for a week. And since I go through so much underwear lately, it can’t be laundry. I will be returning on Monday Feb 15th as faithful as ever. Till then, the blog is gonna be hit and miss. Thanks for understanding, and I hope to have great things to tell you when I get back!**
Monday, February 1
And I admit that would have made for some great blog posts!
Nevertheless, I felt it was prudent to step back for a few days and not to bring you into the drama of my life over the last 4 days. Cause no sense getting me and you all riled up. Me being out of sorts was enough.
So. Here’s the point of all that:
Matt and I had a fight yesterday.
Which is pretty epic. I can say in all honesty that we have one good fight about every 3-4 months. It’s rare. And I love that about us. Having been married before where fights were everyday, it’s a nice change of pace to have fights not be the norm of day to day existence.
More importantly than the frequency of our fights, is the WAY we fight. I’m not bragging here, but need to illustrate that this is a good way to face dieting. So I’m going to give you a preview of how we bicker with each other.
Charlie says something erroneous. Matt looks at Charlie with laughter in his eyes. Charlie gets frustrated because Matt is laughing. Matt realizes that this is an issue which needs discussion. Ground rules are then laid. No yelling. No screaming. We sit on the couch, facing one another, and take turns. If someone is missing something important, the other person has to repeat it till they understand exactly what they mean. We don’t take cheap shots at one another, but discuss things fairly calmly until we come to an understanding. If Charlie starts to cry, Matt is required to hold her immediately. Discussion continues while Charlie is bawling into Matt’s chest hair, wetting it with tears and snot. (It’s hard to be mad when the man you love is holding you in his arms loving on you, even though he’s frustrated too.) Then Matt and Charlie remind one another of why they are in love, and say nice things. Matt says something profound about Charlie, and Charlie realizes what a dunce she has been. All is forgiven and we are then free to enjoy the next 3 to 4 months fight free.
That’s pretty much how it happens. No attempts to knock the wind out of the other guy’s sails, no pulling the rug out from the other person- just an honest look of how the things we do make the other person feel. Then once we completely understand what the issue is, we fix it. We fix it for good. There may be some gentle reminders of the actions we need to take to fix it, but we don’t need to have another fight about it again.
How in the heck does that relate to dieting???
OK, we will start from the top. “Charlie says something erroneous.” Something like “I can’t lose weight. I’m stuck. I can’t do this anymore.” Anyone else been there?
Sensible Charlie (who is the part of me that is mousey and often gets overshadowed by gregarious Charlie) laughs softly and says “Look at what you have already done! You CAN lose weight, you HAVE lost weight, and you are being ridiculous!”
Charlie says “This is serious! I always think I have turned over a new leaf and can do it, but it’s too hard! This particular weight I am stuck on (which is 170-174) is refusing to drop! I’m seriously considering cutting my losses and just staying here so I can enjoy a (insert expletive here) FRENCH FRY!!!”
Sensible Charlie understands that this is serious. Of all the things Charlie can do, giving up is the last thing she SHOULD do. “I know, I understand this is how you feel. But it’s not so bad. I think the problem is (and this is a verbatim quote from Matt during our fight yesterday) you give these great emotional speeches about how you have seen the light, and why things are going to be different this time. Then you get busy, get sore from working out, or get wrapped up in things that you have blown up in your head, and forget about the light you said you just saw!”
(And for the record, Matt knows me better than I know myself. I am a sucker for a good inspirational speech!)
Charlie says “I do THAT?”
Sensible Charlie says “Yes, you do. Everytime! But that’s the part of you that is so tender. You want to find hope. You can see a good inspiration from a mile away! But when push comes to shove, you look the other way and ignore the lessons you have learned.”
Charlie says “I do THAT TOO?”
Sensible Charlie shakes her head and smiles. Then she looks Charlie straight in the eyes and says (and this is another direct quote from Matt yesterday) “Your problem is that you can fly. But you don’t know that you can.”
This is the point in the fight with myself that if I had chest hair, I would bury myself in it and bawl. Because Matt sees that about me. Sensible Charlie sees that about me. Yet I can’t see that about myself. What’s up with that???
Truth be told, I’m just scared. I know, I have talked about this till I am blue in the face, and I’m afraid you are all sick of hearing about it. But it’s the gospel truth, and I can’t move forward till I understand this completely. I am scared. I am scared. I am scared.
I’m terrified, really.
Of what? Of being thin. Of doing what I say I’m going to do. Of not having any excuses why I am not doing something wonderful and great with my life. Of getting really close to the end and then getting the rug pulled out from under me and failing so close to the finish line.
I think it would be different if I had been thin during a portion of my life, but I haven’t. I’ve always been Fat Charlie. I’ve never had the chance to meet Thin Charlie. I’m worried I will turn into one of those snobby people who doesn’t understand what being thin is like.
I once had a friend in school that lost a bunch of weight. After she did, our friendship became distant. I felt like she was judging me with contempt. She was successful, so why wasn’t I reaching for the stars too? We’ve never been able to get back to the close friendship we once had.
Of course that’s not my only fear. But it’s a biggie. I like change. But only so much of it. I can handle things up to a point. But there ALWAYS comes a time when I say “enough” and pull myself away.
I am standing on the edge of the diet “ENOUGH” right now, and I am desperately trying to look for an escape. I’m not going to. I’m not going to quit, I promise. But this blog is about utter honesty, and I will not keep ANY TRUTH from you. We are fighting this battle together, and that means that you all get to see the ugly. (And oh, is it ever ugly!)
Truth is, regardless of past headway we have made- I feel like a failure right now. I haven’t lost a pound. I’ve gained a bit, but am holding on to my 174. Not good. Not good at all. And so I feel like the biggest hypocrite writing to you about the wonderful changes and attitudes of weight loss and how to achieve it. Because I am not achieving it myself. So I feel like a loser. And not in a good way.
How in the world do I get past this?
A. I have got to accept that my body is comfortable here in the land of 170s and it’s not going to move down without a fight. A BIG FIGHT. So I need to get ready for that fight.
B. I have got to understand that dieting is as much about losing weight as it is about losing the strongholds of my mental attitudes. I think, therefore I am. If I think I am stuck, I will be stuck. I have got to break free from that negative mentality.
C. I have got to remember that I am surrounded by a group of women I cannot live without, who are cheering me on, and reminding me with every blog hit that I can fly. I just don’t know it.
D. I have got to learn how to fly.
E. I need to start my period and take some Midol so I don’t get whiney like this. It happens every month.
There’s my crazy, sweet friends. I have no idea why ya’ll keep reading this blog when I get like this. But thank you for sticking with me. Your support of my journey puts another feather in my wings. And it gets me one foot further off the ground.
Sulking less and less with every word-