Diary of a Fat Girl

Finding Adventures in Weight Loss – and a Miracle Diet?

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Diary of  a Fat Girl – Day   54

Weight:  231 lbs. 

An amazing 18 pound weight loss since April of this year, and changing my diet has made the most impact by far.   Thus, I am quite proud of myself.  A pat to myself on the back and a boost to my ego; I am ready to continue this adventure!

Recently, I attended two special events.  One of the events was the Renaissance Festival (Ren Fest) in Holly, Michigan.  Richie and I met up with a couple of friends from Indiana for the Ren Fest.  Then, we would go camping in Ludington State Park with one of these friends and another from the Sanilac County area.  Both events have tested my newfound vegetarian diet to its limits, and each event had a very different and unique outcome.

The Ren Fest was a delight.  Michaele and Ron invited my husband and me to join them at the Wenches Washing Well in the fairgrounds.  Since it was my first time visiting, I thought a little research was in order.  I perused the Internet and found the website that I was seeking.  After much reading, I discovered that the weekend we were to attend was themed the Buccaneer Beer Fest.  We were encouraged to dress in era appropriate attire.  Richie was so excited that he dug out his pirate hat and shirt and went hunting for his sword.  I turned to my Halloween costume from last year.  If Richie was a pirate, then yes, you’ve guessed it; I was the tavern wench. 

Ahhh, a very striking wench was I!

It was a cold and blustery Saturday.  Dressing warmly was a challenge, and I still have rolls of fat flopping all over the place.  To dress era appropriate meant that I had to squeeze myself into special form fitting under garments; sucking in my gut until all the rolls are tucked away and giving me a slimmer look.  If I failed to do this, then the flimsy fabric would cling to every curve, exposing my fat rolls as I walked against the wind.  The costume was a one piece single-layered fabric made of polyester and felt.  It had a burgundy skirt, white blouse, and a black overlay with a white cap.  This fabric was not warm and I had the brilliance of mind to consider a pair of form fitting capri for warmth; unlike my kilt-wearing friend who didn’t bother to bring a jacket for the occasion. 

Then I dug out my boots.  The black platform army boots were not exactly era appropriate but it was stylish and would keep my feet warm.  I grabbed a pair of my fluffiest, softest, and warmest black socks and slid them on my feet.  I reached for my boot and began to place it on my left foot.  Then I tried to squeeze my foot into the boot.  I stood up and pressed my foot down, shoving my heel into the boot.  I sat back down, grabbed the boot with two hands and pulled as hard as I could.  Out of breath, I stared dumbfounded at the boot. 

What was wrong this boot?  It fit last year and this year I have been losing weight. 

Maybe it was the socks.  Yeah, that’s it!  The socks are too thick. 

I ran to the bedroom and grabbed another pair of socks to replace my black cozy ones.  The socks I grabbed were thin fabric and white.  Then I went back to the boot and tried it, again.

I struggled, jabbing my heel as hard as I could; repeating as I did before, until I felt sheering pain run up the back of my leg.  I finally gave in.  I looked at both of my feet and it was like a flashlight clicked on inside my head. 

Ah Ha!

My weight problem was staring right back at me.  I remember discussing this issue with my doctor.  Women’s feet do swell.  They swell in the summer, they swell when they have too much sodium and carry excessive water weight, and they are more noticeable when a woman is pregnant or fat.  My doctor obviously didn’t use the word fat, however that is how I feel each time I look at my left foot.  Both feet swell, but that left foot looks like it could carry enough water to fill a 50 gallon fish tank.  That foot has made me feel fat every time I put on a pair of shoes.  I nixed the boot idea and moved to a black pair of tennis shoes.  At least the costume was long enough to distract from the painful eyesore that I call my feet.

Once at the fair, I was thrilled to learn that the vendors had vegetarian menus and I was able to choose broccoli and cheese soup in a bread bowl for my lunch.  We had great laughs, watched a jousting event, attended the Dead Bob Show, took pictures and shopped.  After the Ren Fest, we made our way to a local Panera where I ordered a salad, macaroni and cheese and a green tea.  Good friends, good food, and good fun were enjoyed by all that day.  I was swept up by this magical experience, and I was terribly disappointed when the day ended.

Then real life kicked in and I discovered a hectic schedule ahead of me.  I had to prepare for a camping trip with two more friends, complete the invitations for my sister’s baby shower, shop with my sister for her registry, help organize a welcome home party for my grandfather, and still maintain a social calendar while completing chores during my writing breaks.

I think you know where this is leading.  Yep, you guessed it!  I skipped the gym.  Not just one or two days here or there.  No.  I literally took two weeks off from the gym.

At first, I thought that I would just work out at home.  However, our tiny little 2 bedroom house with four adults, two cats, and two dogs would not accommodate anything more than arm curls and leg squats.  I quickly discovered that Yoga was impossible.  I attempted to move my mat from the floor to the bed so I would have more room for the extended poses.  However, the bed offered no stability and I shuffled around too much to accommodate the standing poses; essentially ruining the Zen-like atmosphere one needs during Yoga.

To make matters worse, I had instructed my mobile fit to focus more on the weight loss around the abdomin area and less focus on toning the other areas.  Computers are flawed by the humans that create them, and it gave me the exact opposite than I had requested.  Frustrated and irritated, I gave up on it and just put all my focus on my upcoming trip.

I should have known from the moment my friend told me of his two relatives passing away within a week of each other that the camping trip would be challenged.  I was saddened by his great loss but determined to hike the sand dunes and watch the beautiful sunset over Lake Michigan.  I was not going to allow anything to stop me from this lovely destination.

While keeping an eye on the weather, I informed my second friend of the untimely circumstances of grief.  She took advantage of the moment and encouraged a trip cancellation due to the cold and rainy weekend ahead of us.  No one likes to tent camp in freezing wet weather.  Again, I had my heart set on this trip and even turned down a cozy warm weekend at her lake-side home for the cold and moist wilderness.

Therefore, it was just Richie and I adventuring to Ludington.  We had been there on multiple occasions before and it would be a perfect weekend getaway for the two of us.  I took the afternoon off of work and arrived home to a fully loaded van and my husband waiting for me.  We hopped into the van and he turned the engine over.

Click click click click click!

The battery died.

Our trip was delayed by 45 minutes while my father-in-law, brother-in-law and Richie scratch their heads trying to figure out why the vehicle wouldn’t start.  Once the battery was charged and we were on the road, I quickly discovered that my grieving friend from Indiana was headed towards Port Huron at the exact same time.  We would be able to connect in Lansing for a brief stop before we made our way in opposite directions; thus, delaying our trip by another hour and a half. 

It wasn’t meant to be a quick stop.  This friend and my husband had a long standing duel ahead of them.  After some brief witty banter about miniature weapons over coffee, and armed with a wooden stick that was similar to a samurai sword, my husband challenged our friend to an honorable death in the parking lot outside of Barnes & Noble.  This same friend was none other than the kilt wearing individual we met at the Renaissance Fair.  Ron felt that it was absolutely necessary to replicate his vision of a stealth Ninja by donning a kilt and wielding a Nerf sword. 

Just in case a visual aide was needed, a picture has been included for your enjoyment.

The outcome was not pretty and the Ninja failed to end the battle the honorable way.  Yes, my husband is still alive, and so is the Ninja!

By the time Richie and I reached our destination, the sun started to dip below the horizon giving us very little light to pitch our tent.  Working quickly, we laid down the tarp and pulled out the large 8-person tent and laid it over the tarp.  Then I heard the dreaded words that no camper ever wants to hear the eve before a down pour.

“Honey, where are the poles?”

Anyone who has ever camped knows that time is of the essence if you want to erect a tent before night falls.  I was frustrated because I packed everything and assumed that the poles would have been rolled up in the tent when it was packed away the previous year.  Or at least that is what my girl-scout mom has taught me over the years.  Always be prepared!

Thankfully, I was, and Richie had no clue until I pulled out the second tent.  Stifling a giggle, I carried this tent to the oversized tarp.  I erected this tiny yellow, blue and green dome in five seconds flat, and when he finally looked at the thing his jaw dropped.  It was only 5 feet long and the package stated that it slept two people.  Richie is 5’8” and I am 5’6”; a challenge for the both of us.  We would have to spoon each other and sleep on the earth since our full size air mattress would not fit inside these cramped quarters.

“You make do with what you have,” I told him as I prepared the bedding inside of this tiny tent.

Then he laughed, and stated in a sing-song voice similar to a Chris Farley impression, “Fat guy in a little tent… fat guy in a little teennt.” 

The next day was indeed a rainy day.  However, we were able to enjoy ourselves with lunch at the House of Flavors in downtown Ludington.  I was please to discover a veggie wrap served with a side of sweet potato fries.  Then, we “pigged out” with the This Little Piggy ice cream trough; a theme that the House of Flavors is well-known for.  My husband and I shared these two scoops of ice cream on a banana in a small wooden trough. 

Since the majority of the downpour had stopped by 1:00 pm, we decided to visit the Historic White Pine Village.  We soon discovered that we had the whole place to ourselves and created our own history lesson in this three hour tour. 

The following day we ended up at the beach where we took a couple of photos, and I managed to include a most recent one of my weight loss.  With this photo, I compare myself to what I looked like when I started this weight loss adventure and I can’t help to feel some pride in my accomplishment.  Watching the numbers on the scale decrease is nothing compared to seeing the physical result.

After packing up the campsite and on our way home, we stopped at the Old Hamlin Restaurant in Ludington for lunch.  I had asked for the soup and salad bar; a delicious meal to end delightful trip.  We never did get to walk the trails, canoe along Lake Hamlin, tour the Big Sable Pointe Lighthouse, or even watch the sunset, but we turned a washed-out trip into a fun time for the both of us.

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When I returned home, packed up the camping gear in the storage unit, and settled back into my routine, I revisited the scale which revealed an amazing five pound weight loss since my last weigh in.  I re-evaluated my eating habits and discovered that I no longer eat larger than normal portions.  I actually stop eating at the normal portion size because I am now full on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  I crave healthy foods, and some of my once favorite junk foods no longer have a satisfying taste to me.  Chips are too salty, and, dare I say it, ice cream is too sweet and leaves me feeling weighed down.  If I can hold onto those feelings, I see myself avoiding more of these snack foods since they have become unappetizing to me. 

What a wonderful feeling this is!  Of all the “miracle” diets that are out there, who would have thought that vegetarianism is the one true miracle diet?