Sunday, December 26, 2010

Must-do list for 2011

Hello All.

I hope you all had a nice Christmas (or whatever winter holiday/event you celebrate) and are ready for 2010 to come to a close and 2011 to begin. 2011 is going to be a busy year for me and is already filling up it seems. Thinking of all I have to do/accomplish before July is already stressing me out... so I have decided to portion it out into bite-sized pieces and see if I can chew & swallow it all a bit better.

First up is to make some serious efforts towards the goals I have set out here in this blog. I really DO want to be fit by the time I am 40 and have about 15 months to do it, which is plenty of time if I will make like a Nike ad and JUST DO IT.

Second, I need to get moving on the study pile for my upcoming exams. I have about 6weeks left before my exam dates and have yet to really knuckle down to the books. It really is go-time and all my months of half-assery are up. Comps are not something I can just cram for the week before. Once I am ABD (All But Dissertation) things will be better.

Then in no particular order: I need to clean & organize the house, get my dissertation proposal finished and approved, plan my research trip, and get funding to go. Somewhere in there is a HS reunion in San Antonio in June, a wedding, and Lupe's 40th birthday in August. So far nothing is on the books yet for September - December - haha.

Part of what helps me to be honest is to keep posting here. Thanks for being so supportive and encouraging me this year. I hope to have great results to report back to you on all fronts! Some things for you to look forward to me posting about:

  •'s My Plate - a food diary/calorie counter/activity log I started using.
  • Comprehensive exams (and how I do).
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Research travel plans
  • a possible honeymoon/1st Anniversary trip
  • a resumed exercise/activity routine (I can't be out of shape in Europe, I will have to walk everywhere and don't want to be the Obese American huffing and puffing from place-to-place.)
I also got a webcam from Lupe for Christmas so may venture into the world of vlogging as well.

So many adventures await!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I have been a dizzy, disoriented, grumpopotamus all day.

So, just so you know... steroids are not my friends. I have felt really awful all day today. Yesterday I started the steroids and took all 6 pills, I felt fine, no problemo. I took my muscle relaxer before bed and slept really, really well. Then it was time to get up... I just couldn't. Lupe left me in bed & went to work (I usually take him so I can keep the car.) I finally got up at 10am and felt like I had been on a 3-day drinking binge. I took my 1st steroid (5 total today) and had a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. Man, I have felt tired, dizzy, and disoriented all day. It is like being drunk or really hungover... not fun. I was also told that I can't take any over the counter pain meds while on the steroids so my shoulder really hurts!!

I am being a whiny baby. I don't like feeling this bad.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

And so it has come to this (as I knew it would)...

So... those of you who follow me on FB know that I went to the Dr. yesterday and that I have a bone spur in my neck (on one of the cervical vertebrae) which is causing all kinds of havoc in my left arm, back, and chest. What I left off of the FB post was that I also have a set of cervical ribs. I am some kind of lizard throwback since the only creatures with cervical ribs are lizards and birds. I seem to single-handedly (ribly??) prove the theory of evolution...YOU ARE WELCOME Mr. Charles Darwin. :) Evolutionary hilarity aside these extra ribs can wreak some serious havoc and the one on the left side is quite possibly impeding a nerve or two. So I am on some steroids and muscle relaxers with instruction to use my left arm as little as possible. No lifting, carrying, pushing, or pulling is allowed. No handbags, no coffee, no nothing. Go ahead, give being one-armed a try. It is more difficult than you think. Anyway I go back to see my doc on Jan 14 to see what is next. It could be physical therapy; it could be an MRI and surgery. I will keep you posted.

What sent me to the Dr. in the first place is a much more interesting story (maybe, I mean having lizard ribs is pretty interesting as only 1 in 200 people have them.). Because of the numbness and tingling in my left arm accompanied by severe pains in the left side of my chest and back my natural reaction was "oh shit, is this my heart?" Some of you know that my father died of a heart attack when I was 21. He was 43 and as far as we could tell it was his first and only heart attack. Now, his father died at age 55 of a clot in his aorta, so as you can see there is some heart history on my paternal side. My father was a heavy drinker, a smoker, was a bit overweight, and ate a not overly nutritious diet. For several years he complained of left arm/shoulder tingling & pain (hey, maybe he had lizard ribs, too!), indigestion, and general chest pain. The military doctors told him he had residual nerve damage from when he flipped his car at age 19 and they gave him every antacid ever manufactured (OTC & prescription). Turns out he had been having little heart attacks all along. The day he had the "first" heart attack they told us they just needed to balloon an artery or "worst-case scenario" do a bypass, but when they opened him up 3/4 of his heart was already dead and there was nothing they could do. The End. So you can understand why when I have chest pains and numbness in my left arm, with a bit of indigestion thrown in, I get a bit panicky. And of course panic/anxiety only made my chest hurt more.

So, the Dr. visit.

First off, my heart is fine. It sounds fine and the EKG showed a normal rhythm. (WHEW) My lab work from my recent physical is all great. I am super healthy . In fact all of my stuff it where it should be (lizard ribs aside). My cholesterol & triglycerides are normal, my blood sugar is good, everything is great. I am a picture of health on a chemical level...


and you knew this was coming as much as I did.


Yea... I am basically undoing all my genetic gifts by carrying around about 125-130 extra pounds. Not to mention that the bone spur & lizard rib pushing on my nerve are aggravated by the extra weight load. So it has finally happened, my Dr. has told me I HAVE to lose weight. I see her again on 1/14 for the neck issue and I am sure she expects to see a decreased number on the scale.


Yesterday sucked.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting the right start to my day

Ok, most of you know I am NOT a morning person, but the combination of Lupe moving to a day shift (7a-3:30p) and the truck deciding to break to the tune of $1000+ in repairs has made me have to get up EARLY in the mornings (on days when I need the car). So, here I am, Mrs. Grumpy AM having to get up, get dressed(ish), and drive by 6:30am... BOOOOOO! >(

The cold weather has finally arrived in TX, at least for a few days, and it was 24-degrees when we walked outside this morning. Me. No. LIKE. When I got back home, around 7:20am, I wanted something hot and substantial for breakfast as opposed to my usual 2 cups of coffee. But what is quick, easy, doesn't require breaking out multiple pots, pans, bowls, and/or other appliances?



I fixed myself the yummiest bowl of oatmeal this year! It was rolled oats, dried cranberries, cinnamon, walnuts, and a small amount of butter & a spoon of sugar. It was SPECTACULAR, delicious, nutritious, and FAST! I am actually full and satisfied and WARM all over. Yay for oatmeal. I need to see if I can keep this up each morning. I like hot cereals... Cream of Wheat, Grits... mmmmm

Do you have a hot cereal you like? Any recipes you want to share?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

She posts! She Scores!

I received an e-mail from Shutterfly just now stating the following:

"Thank you for your participation in the Shutterfly share project promotion.

We’ve confirmed your entry and are pleased to provide you with a discount code for $25 off your next order at"

I am so excited! This is my first "compensation" for stuff on my blog! WOO WOO!

Of course, I have already ordered my Christmas cards from them, but I KNOW there will be SOMETHING else I want to print... like photo books of my ADORABLE nephew!!

If you have NO IDEA what I am on about go see this post and then come back. It will make more sense then.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I just wanna see a 6! (the number not the size)

I didn't weigh today. I am not sure if one should weigh everyday. I don't know if it is helpful or discouraging. A friend of mine was on an eating plan that had you weigh everyday then at the end of each week you averaged the weights to see what your weight was and would then compare your averages week-to-week (or something like that). Supposedly that method helped to overcome daily fluctuation, etc. Some people say weigh daily, others 1x/week, and still others say not to weigh yourself at all. Me, I just want to see a 6 as my middle number next week. I want to drop out of the 270-zone! It will be a big boost for me to maybe be at 268 next week!

So, weigh-ins? Do you do them? If so when, how often? What are your thoughts on it all?

Thursday, December 2, 2010


270.3 this morning... seriously! Grading mid-terms must make me lose weight!! haha It could be the no-soda thing, though. We shall see.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I don't know how this happened, but I am going with it.

So, I have been holding steady at 275lbs since stopping all form of healthy anything and though not happy about that was at least relieved that the scale never went up. So imagine my shock and elation when I stepped on the scale this Monday morning (on a whim), after Thanksgiving weekend no less, and the numbers read 271.5!


I have no idea how that went down, but OK!

I have not had any soda since the 21st, so that could have something to do with it. YAY WATER!

so, that is all... happy me!

a sneaky peek at our 2010 3-Day Thank You card to our donors!

Classic Black Christmas
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at
View the entire collection of cards.

Disclaimer: I will receive a $25 gift certificate from for posting this preview of my card on my blog.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mylynka - The Doctoral Student

So along with my ongoing quest to be fit y 40 I am in the middle of the process of getting my PhD in Transatlantic History. So far I have completed 2yrs of a Masters degree complete with a thesis on Marie Antoinette and her Image. I have just finished 2 yrs of doctoral classes and am now preparing for my Comprehensive Exams where I will be in a room for 3 days answering huge questions with nothing more than what ever happens to stick into my brain. It is daunting to say the least. The good thing is that recently I have set my committee of professors (3 who give me questions and 2 who are additional readers), set my topics/questions, and set the date.

So, beginning Monday Feb. 14, 2011 at 8am I will start day 1 of 3 of the written portion of the exams. I will choose one of my 3 exam fields (Cartography, Intercultural Transfer, Atlantic Revolutions) and will have 8hrs to answer the question given. The next two days I will do the other two fields. Thursday will be a day of rest before Friday. Friday is the oral exam! At 11am I will go into the conference room and all 5 professors ask me to defend my answers and answer more questions (usually there are 2 to choose from on the written and whichever you DON'T choose they ask you in orals.).

Yea, I am freaking out a little bit. I have about 12 weeks to get my readings together, get organized, and get to reading. I have really slacked off all semester and am glad my advisor made me set a date. It was the fire I needed lit under my booty!

So, Feb 14-18 I will be tackling the following:

Atlantic Revolutions:
1. What is the field of "Atlantic History" and how is it useful to historians of the 17th, 18th, and early-19th Centuries? What are the criticisms/objections to this new field of history?
2. How did the Haitian Revolution impact the Atlantic World?
3. What is the "Age of Atlantic Revolutions"? How is it defined and what is its importance to Atlantic History?

Intercultural Transfer:
1. What is the difference between Atlantic and Transatlantic History? How does the field of Transatlantic History challenge the idea of traditional national history. What are examples of Intercultural Transfers in Transatlantic History?
2. How was travel and travel writing important to intercultural transfers? Are there gender differences in travel writing?

And for my Cartography exam I need to know all about the following:
1. The Cartography of Early Modern France, 1500-1800
2. The Nineteenth-Century exploration of the Upper Nile
3. The Dutch East India Company at the Cape (South Africa), 1642-1800

SO... If I drop off the Earth for a week at a time you know why!! :)

Next blog: The Dissertation

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Wow! What is THIS? A blog post.... from me?

Well, I have decided to keep on trucking. I fell off the Get-Fit-By-40 wagon, but realized it can be caught again. I fell into my usual routine of being REALLY gung-ho and all about it, for about 2 whole weeks.. ok maybe a few more. I made a some really great breakthroughs and got over my fear of being in a swimsuit. I got over my fear of being the only fattie in aerobics class. Then, I don't know what happened (well, I kinda do), but




I stopped eating healthy.

I stopped exercising.

I stopped believing I could do it.

About the same time as I stopped exercising, I began to freeze up about my doctoral exams. I was so worried that I would fail my exams and that fear paralyzed me. I was so afraid of failing my exams that I couldn't even open my books and notes and get started studying. I pretty much stopped doing everything. I should have just kept blogging - it IS cathartic and therapeutic (for me) and I do get a boost from your comments, advice, and cheers!

SO, Now what?

My original plan was to be in a really good place for the 2010 Holidays. By that I mean that I thought by now I would be "used" to eating healthy and in an exercise routine so I could better resist the holiday temptations and over-indulgences. But hey, there is no time like the present and who says I HAVE to overeat? So, I am heading into the "holiday season" with an open mind and the word "moderation" on my lips.

And about those exams, I am back on track... but that will be the next post.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What do you do when you are busy-busy?

Hi! I have not forgotten about my blog, just been busy.

I have found the past two weeks have been really busy and unexpected things have cropped up pushing my time over & causing me to miss scheduled classes. I love going to the exercise classes that I have been posting about, but have been unable to go the past few weeks for a variety of reasons. I have made a few of the water fitness classes, but not the land-based ones.

It is hard having a set workout schedule, I know, and I feel bad that my workout buddy (the awesome Liz D.) gets abandoned when I can't make it. I am also afraid that if I don't get back into a routine I will just stop as that has been my modis operandi in the past. (Perhaps by posting that that will prevent it from happening.)

The next six days of my life are booked with a 5-day cartography conference and an all-day volunteer opportunity at the Dallas Cowboys -Tennessee Titans game squeezed in on Sunday. The conferences are 8-12 hrs a day with 3-meals provided and no real opportunity to leave. I also have to be professionally dressed, so it is not like I can run off for an hour of super sweaty BOSU Blast and come back fresh as a daisy.

I am not a get-up-at-4am-to-get-in-a-workout type of girl, so with that in mind my question to you is this:

What do you to to ensure you get your workout in?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Total disclosure

Hello All,

I have been offered my first product for free in exchange for an honestly written review and decided I had better post a disclosure statement to cover myself before going any further. If you are a blogger and receive products for review, providing a disclosure is a nice way of letting your readers know that you are (or are not) paid, influenced, or otherwise swayed by the things you review/write about/give away in a contest. Is also required by the FTC (more on that here).

Thanks to Dani at Living Outside the Stacks for getting me squared away on this! (She rocks!)

My disclosure statement is below. To get your own go to


This policy is valid from 04 October 2010

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact mylynka(at)

This blog does not accept any form of advertising, sponsorship, or paid insertions. We write for our own purposes. However, we may be influenced by our background, occupation, religion, political affiliation or experience.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to

Friday, September 24, 2010

What a week!

Wow! Has it really been a week since I last blogged... time sure has scampered by! I guess that is what happens WHEN YOU WORK OUT 4X IN ONE WEEK!! :D

So, for the first time in about 15 years I have worked out 4 days in a row! I am very pleased about that. Monday was Latin Dance + Stretch and Relax, Tuesday was Water Fitness, Wednesday was BOSU Blast, and yesterday was Water Fitness. Today is a down day as I will be traveling to San Antonio for a friend's wedding. I have a feeling there will be some reception-dancing-as-cardio tomorrow night! :D I just have to say a word (or 140) about Wednesday's class. BOSU is described as:
  • Take strength training to the next level with this total body workout using the BOSU balance trainer, a multidimensional training device that integrates core training, sports training and balance training. Come bounce and sweat in this fun new type of workout.
It was AWESOME! Led by Rafaela, the wonder instructor, BOSU was the butt-kickingest class ever. There was cardio, there was strength training, there was stretching. There was Mylynka sweating like never before and experiencing muscle failure for the first time since the Army (1994). I had some difficulty getting onto the BOSU at first, mainly because it is hard to stand on this:

But, Rafaela, TWI, leads class in such a way that all fitness levels can participate. We did all kinds of cardio then used weights to strengthen our back & arms. There was a time, during one of the triceps exercise
(the one where you have the weight in your hands and you arms extended over your head and you lower the weight behind your head & back up), that I thought "NOOOOOO!" when she said "ok, give me 8 more.. and 7... and 6... and 5" .

Something cool happened to me, though, in the BOSU Blast class that I didn't expect. When I got to a point (during the push-ups) where I thought I couldn't go on a voice inside of me said "Keep going, you WANT this." I was so tired and so sweaty and my arms were shaking and I just pushed past it (pun unintentional) to do 4 more modified push-ups. I DO want it!

I DID those last 8 triceps ones & I felt so proud of myself and so happy to have made it all the way through without quitting!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Exercise Slump

This is just a quick one to document the fact that I have missed the gym 2 days in a row. This bears documenting because I actually feel bad about it! For the first time in my 38yrs, I feel bad about missing exercise! That, at least, is good.

Wednesday I completely over-scheduled my afternoon with professor meetings and student organization stuff and failed to book in any cushion time. Needless to say EVERYTHING ran over by at least 30-minutes and I didn't even get to pick up Lupe until nearly 5pm, completely missing my 4:30 Group Strength class (and standing up my new workout buddy, Liz. - I did text her so she wasn't completely stood up.) and then late for dinner & a movie w/friends.

Yesterday I opted not to keep the car because I didn't have any errands to run or meetings to attend. Well, Lupe ended up working a 12-hr day because a simulator was down and they couldn't get it running until today! So he didn't even get home until after 7pm, so no water fitness. :(

I need to dig out my belly dance fitness DVDs & hook the WiiFit back up so that I will have a back-up plan for these kinds of unexpected gym absences.

I don't want this 2-day slump turn into the "never go back to exercise" thing that has happened often in the past.

On a good note, I have my comprehensive exam fields set and will blog about that later. Now, I have a baby shower to prep for!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Today's fitness class (which I am trying for the very first time at 4:30pm CST) is Group Strength - A full body integrated resistance training class designed to improve functional strength, coordination and balance using free weights, barbells, CorePoles, BOSU trainers, stability balls and more.

I CAN'T WAIT! I cannot believe I am this excited about exercising. I hope the excitement doesn't fade!

I am so glad the universe saw fit to reduce us to one vehicle and also cause a power outage at our home that Thursday a few weeks back forcing me to the gym where I met Rafaela, the wonder instructor, who has made me see that I don't have to be 20 and skinny to join in the exercise classes! I am also glad that my husband is going to the gym, too. We only have 1 running car so when I pick him up from work we go directly to the gym Mon-Thurs. It is really a win-win!

Ok, I am off to pack our gym bags (yes at 10:30am) as I have a full day scheduled with meetings with 2 professors about my comprehensive exams and dissertation topic, a lunch date, a meeting with the new THSO president to hand over the rest of the duties to her, husband pick-up, 4:30 exercise class, 6:15 dinner at Chuy's with friends followed by an 8:10pm showing of the latest Resident Evil movie in 3D on the IMAX... whew, I am already tired!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Post-work out recap


So, yea, my previous post with the over enthusiastic exercise schedule is kinda silly. What can I say I got excited. I realize (with the help of your comments) that i need to relax, ease on into the classes, and not set such a rigid schedule or I run the risk of quitting. So thanks for keeping me on the right path lovely readers! :D

That said, let me now regale you with the tales of triumph from yesterday!! HUZZAH!

My plan was to pick Lupe up from work and head to the gym for the 4:30 Ultimate Conditioning Class. We got there at 4pm & Lupe headed up to the machines to start his workout. I saw Rafaela, my wonder instructor, and she told me she wasn't teaching that one. I thought I would go anyway & she checked her instructor's schedule to see who was leading it... Turns out the guy who leads it is "really tough." She suggested I take the 5pm Latin Dance class with Charlotte instead. She assured me I would like it and be able to work at my own level (unlike Ultimate Conditioning - duh!) I KNOW I am not at the Ultimate stage yet. Her Stretch & Relax class was immediately after the Latin Dance, so she encouraged me to come to that to get a good post-workout stretch before going home.

SO, what to do for the approximate 30mins?? Well, I am no fan of the old treadmill, so opted to walk the indoor track at the Mavericks Activity Center (MAC). I figured a 30 min walk would be a good way to kill time, instead of sitting on the available computers & checking e-mail/Facebook. Nine laps equal 1 mile. I didn't count laps, but walked a full 30 mins. it was a nice way to warm-up before the cardio.

Speaking of... WOWZA! Latin Dance with Charlotte was HOT! And by that I mean the dance moves were sexy, the music was pumping, and I was a hot, sweaty mess! It was SO FUN! It totally kicked my butt & all my other parts, but it was fantastic! Of course going in I was worried that it would be all Dance majors and other fit-types, so imagine my extreme pleasure when I walked in and it was a hodge-podge of people. There were the young, the older, the black, the white, the Hispanic, and the Asian... fit, fat, and varying stages of in-between. Even Dean Wright was in my class (she is the dean of the College of Liberal Arts)! And Charlotte... she was great! She told everyone not to worry if they were not in step or were going the opposite direction of the class. The important thing was to keep moving & get your heart-rate up! I LOVED THAT!

And that is what I did. I am no fancy dancer. I am not good at the steps, combos, etc. So I just kept going, jogging or marching in place, or doing some variation of the steps so I was working it! I sweated myself out to the Black Eyed Peas, conga-ed to Gloria Estefan, got my groove on to Michael Jackson, and salsa-ed and kick-boxed, too. And after the class she came over & introduced herself, told me I did a "great job back there," (classic fat-girl position is at the farthest point back in the class) and said she would see me next week. She didn't ask me if I was returning, she told me I was coming back. I kinda liked that!

I followed up with a really nice 20-minute stretching class which was exactly what I needed after shaking my bon-bon for 50 minutes! Lupe was waiting for me when I was done and we went to a local Vietnamese sandwich shop for a yummy & pretty healthy grilled chicken and veggie sandwich and some strawberry boba tea. A great way to finish up.

I am really looking forward to tonight's Water Fitness class and Wednesday's Group Strength (lead by Rafaela). I will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My projected workout plan

So, I have been looking over the UTA Group Exercise Schedule and have decided that I have both the time & the desire for 2 workouts a day on some days. I remember ages ago that that is what Oprah did when she lost all her weight. If this can work for the Mighty O, mayhap it can work for me. This is my plan, tell me if this is good, bad, or ridiculous. I also know my limits, so I am keeping that in mind. I just am ready to not be obese. I have planned out a mix of aerobic exercise, strength training, and walking, with a down day on the weekend.

Monday: Kickboxing (12-12:50pm) then Jump & Crunch (5:30 - 5:55pm) followed by a 20-minute Stretch & Relax class.

Tuesday: Walking in the morning & Water Fitness at 5pm

Wednesday: Walking in the morning & Group Strength (4:30 - 5:20pm)

Thursday: Walking in the morning & Water Fitness at 5pm

Friday: Morning Yoga

Saturdays: Off

Sunday: Walking and maybe Group Strength and/or Yoga

Friday, September 10, 2010

What a breakthrough can do.

Howdy & good morning!

So, after completing a successful week and a half of water fitness I am so excited about exercise. And GET THIS: I am going to try other classes. I found out that Rafaela, my incredibly awesome Thursday night instructor, leads a lot more fitness classes at the campus gym. Sooooooo.... I spoke to her last night and asked about the classes. My inner comparison queen had questions that were keeping me from attending. Questions like "Is the class all fit 20-yr olds in spandex?" and "Will I be the only fat person in there?".

Come to find out none of the above is true!! The classes are a hodge-podge of the un-fit & fit. My inner comparison queen/ mean girl sulked off in a huff. HA!


Rafaela, who I really like as an instructor, teaches the very classes I am interested in and told me she gives all kinds of modifications for all levels of fitness. So I have looked at the class schedule and it looks like in addition to Water Fitness I will be embarking into BOSU Blast, Kickboxing, Jump & Crunch, Stretch & Relax, & Morning Yoga next week! You can see the class descriptions HERE if you like.

I can't believe I am SO excited about this! I am really looking forward to it. I didn't go to the classes previously because I was afraid of being the only uncoordinated fat person in there... come to find out there are a lot of body types in there (according to Rafaela). I am no longer letting my fear of being gawked at/laughed at get in my way. I mean I am going so that I can be healthier, if someone wants to ridicule me for that then they are missing the point. Besides, I have noticed that the only one who cares is me... and I am changing that daily!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

InnerMeanGirl you don't win - NOT TODAY!

So some of you know that I am doing the 40 day Inner Mean Girl Cleanse, well this week's challenge is to give up Comparison. You know, comparing yourself to others, comparing yourself to your old self, etc. Last week's challenge of giving up gossip was a piece of cake compared to this one. My IMG is the QUEEN of Comparison. Oh man is she good. I can remember from way back that she would rear her head to point out that I was the only redhead in class, then as I got older she would look around the room and point out that I was the fattest one in the class etc. It is something that has been a constant and I never realized how powerful she was.

Well today, today was the mother-load! The day started off with no sleep (Lupe wasn't feeling well and we were both up most of the night) and then our power was out. No power meant no coffee, no internet, no A/C. No doing the things I wanted to get done today. So after a time we packed up the laptops, pumped Lupe full of decongestants & allergy meds and headed to the Coffee Haus for food, coffee, and the internet. Caffeination and feeding accomplished we headed home to see if we had power... we did not.

I decided that the Universe was forcing me to go to the campus and get to the Water Fitness class I have been putting off. My honey, feeling a lot better for having rested & medicated, went with for moral support and got a spousal membership, too. He wandered off across campus to get his gym ID and I went to the pool.


Who was at the pool? Like 100 Army ROTC kids all doing some sort of water survival PT... DOUBLE WHAMMY! Here. At. The. Pool. 100 young & fit people. Inner Mean Comparison Queen was having a grand ol' time. Not only was I bemoaning (in my head) the fact that 100 fit people were at the pool and I was supposed to go put on my skirted (ugh), size 3x (triple ugh) suit, BUT I had been in the Army! I was a young, fit, Army of One at one point in my life and look at me now. FAT! FAT! FAT! It was all too much to bear. I left the pool almost hyperventilating. I went outside, I had 30 mins before my class... I could figure something out. No phone, as I had left it in the car to charge, so no distraction... hmmm what to do. I watched the Army kids come in & out of the building, Sr. ones barking at the Jr. ones, two guys on hallway mop duty hollering at the others to "stay on the carpeting!" and the random "HUA!" as people did well.

I had to face my fears. I had to go in. I had 15 minutes to get in my suit and get to the pool. Straggler female cadets were changing while one yelled at them to MOVE IT! I circled around the changing cubicles the anxiety building up in my chest until I thought I might pass out. I finally went into one at the very back, facing the back wall and sat my bag down. I pulled the little plastic curtain closed and faced the wall. And I cried. I SOBBED. I put my arm out onto the wall for support and cried silently in that busy changing room. I was so upset at everything. How had I come to this point? I weigh 275 pounds & now I have to stuff my fat ass into a skirted, fat lady swimsuit and waddle down the hall full of fit Army cadets to the pool. How am I going to survive??

And then it happened. My inner whoever said, "Suck it up Kilgore! Shut the FUCK up with all this goddamned whining and crying and get your ass in that swimsuit. You can cry in this stall for an hour or you can put on that suit, walk down that hall, and go to that class. You make the decision RIGHT NOW to do something about your situation or you never will!" And that was it. I took off my t-shirt, I wiped my face off and I put on my swimsuit, and the cute matching flip-flops. I grabbed my cute matching towel, threw on my cover-up, grabbed my bag of clothes, took a REALLY DEEP BREATH and went to the pool. And you know what?


No one looked at me funny in the hall, no one made a comment, no one gave me a second look. NO ONE CARED! HA! There were no hot babes in the class to compare myself to... double HA! There was 1 old guy, 1 older lady, and the big-boned instructor! That was it! And they were so welcoming and the gals loved my suit and that my toe polish matched. We hopped in the pool and 50 minutes flew by! We ran, we jumped, we did arms and legs and abs, we did push-ups, we did stretching and I had so much fun and I couldn't believe I was so worried about it! Maybe it was the exercise endorphins, maybe it was kicking my Inner Mean Girl square in the taco, or maybe it was finally owning who I am, but I walked from the pool building back to the gym to meet Lupe in my swimsuit & cover-up and I didn't care who saw me. I actually ran into someone I know and wasn't even mortified.

I WAS TRIUMPHANT! And I am so ready for Tuesday's class! I think I will WiiFit tomorrow because I can't wait to work out! I want to exercise! I want to make a healthy change! I want to live my life! YAY!

Now, I am going to bed because I am TIE-ERD! :D

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Heavy and Cathartic Posting - reader beware!

NOTE: Basically today's blog is a cathartic release. It was originally to be about getting back what you give and how if you only put in 10% you are probably only going to get 10% or less back in the form of results (which is how I am currently rolling), but it took its current shape organically and became a cathartic release blog. So just be forewarned that it is kinda personal and heavy at times (starting with #3), although there are some funny bits, too.

Ok, so 10%... or Why You Can't Get Very Far on Good Intentions:
  1. I am not making any progress (273.0 today) because, honestly, I am not making any effort. I am not going to make progress if I don't make any effort. I say this because I know this. I know this because I practice this. I practice this because when it comes right down to it I am lazy. Don't worry, this is not a "poor Mylynka" or a "bash Mylynka" post. This is a whoa... "this is who I am and I gotta change this" post. I have this idea that the good intentions are just going to carry me through. Of course, that is not realistic. But I have intentions and that is good!
  2. My life is not a movie. I would love for all of my exercise, healthy eating, weight loss, and healthy living to flash by in an awesome movie montage set to motivational she-can-do-it music (hey, even Rocky had a montage!!). At the end there is me, my shiny hair blowing in the wind, in my smaller-size workout clothes, fist-pumping the air on a sunny All-American day! Wooo! Then I can live that better, healthier life I crave. The positive from this is that at least I can envision me in that healthier place (goofy movies aside) and can use that as a goal. YAY!
  3. I have realized that I am a HUGE time waster. I waste MASSIVE quantities of time and still manage to give the impression that I am SO busy and SO productive. I have started to feel guilty when people I know and adore (who lead very full, very busy lives, waaay busier than mine with jobs, kids, spouses, dissertations they are writing) comment on the fact that they have no idea how I get everything done. The truth is, I DON'T. I don't get everything done. I am overwhelmed by the amount of housework that needs to be done, the school work I have let lapse, and that the body care I intended to begin a month ago has been left by the wayside. Instead I have buried my head in the sand (Facebook/Twitter/the internet) and have let the summer fritter away. And why do I do this???
  4. I AM AFRAID TO SUCCEED! There it is out. I said it. You know my deepest, darkest, fear. On the outside I project confidence, on the inside not-so-much. I think that I am afraid to succeed because I am afraid to fail. I can pin-point the naissance of this to my sophomore year at Ramstein High School. I had been placed in the Advanced English class with the "smart kids." I was terrified, was I a "smart kid"? I didn't think so at the time. We were given our first assignment - Write a composition. ( I forget on what.). I PANICKED! Composition! I don't even know what that is!! I can't do that! I am not smart enough to do that! (Ridiculous now, I know!) So I ran to the counselors office and got placed in a "regular" English class that was boring, non-challenging, and an easy A. I always regretted that decision. I feel this way a lot. Like I can't do great because then people will expect me to do great and will find out I am a huge flaming fraud. I am terrified of taking my doctoral exams because I am afraid I will fail them, that everyone will know that I am not as knowledgeable about History as I should be at this level. Oh dear.... I am all panicky just thinking about it. (Or maybe it is the 3rd cup of coffee making me jittery. Naaah!)
  5. So, what to do about this??
  • As a first step I started the Inner Mean Girl 40 Day Cleanse this week. It is a self-improvement workshop for women that is taught by Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo and hosted by Stacy of The Mom Renewal Project. The purpose of the workshop is to encourage women to rid themselves of six toxic behaviors and replace them with habits that encourage self~love and respect. (footnote - I took this description from Dani's blog.) I think this is just the jump start/re-start I need to get back in my Fit-by-40 game plan AND a great program to get rid of my Inner Mean Girl (who needs a name, by the way) and stop letting her dictate a lot of my thoughts/behaviors and let me live a happy, healthy, full life. She is a fearmonger who needs to be stopped!
  • As a second step I just blogged about it. Put all my fears out on the 'net. Let it be known. It feels a little terrifying and a little freeing all at once.
Ok, so off the couch and on to unload the dishwasher, then reload it, do some laundry, sweep & mop, vacuum, and change the cats' box. We'll see what happens after that!

PS I may be feeling more awkward than usual today and inclined to purge myself until I am emotionally raw because Aug. 27th usually gets me down. It is the day my father died in 1993. It seems harder this year, probably because of our recent wedding. erg.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This is a must read from the Wall Street Journal on belly circumference and health!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First official funk

Today's weigh-in: 271.8 I am not going to complain about a 0.4lb gain. I didn't lose, but I am not upset about going up a little under 1/2 a pound either - probably bloat from yesterday's pizza. This weekend was pretty stressful so I am not gonna candy coat it - I ate like total crap on Monday and am not working out at all. I am in my first official funk of this endeavor.

Maybe the opening up to "everyone" was a trigger, maybe it was my stressful weekend, maybe it is just something in the alignment of the planets and my chakras, but yesterday and today were giant suck bombs! I mean no sleep the night before, sit in your jammies, don't shower, do absolutely NOTHING, and eat a Big Mac & fries (& later cheesy bread) as your meals, sit in front of the computer all day, wish you had ice cream and then beat yourself up for being a big, fat, lazy, fat-ass blob kind of day.

WOW! That felt great...

Ok, seriously that word-vomit tirade felt good, freeing... better. I am having insomnia again and my mind is overwrought with too many stressors (which is why I am currently sipping a double-strength cup of Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea) so here I am at nearly 1am.

I have some things to deal with, to get situated, and it just seems like I have a lot of pressure on me right now, but I think it is all probably self-induced. This is perhaps my cue to begin exercising. Yea, I said begin. I have not tackled that yet. I think I could handle my pent-up stress, or at least have a place to let some of it out, if I would do some form of exercise. I know I would feel better and would probably sleep better, too.

The time to exercise is coming. I have felt the desire building for a week or so. My body wants to exercise. I am getting restless. I am remembering how good it felt when I exercised regularly, how it made me feel about myself, and how it made me want to do it more. I think the breakthrough is near. I have been visualizing lacing up my shoes and walking around the block, slipping into my swimsuit (without judging myself) and feeling the cool water as I first dive into the pool, feeling that wired-tired that comes after a workout. I am getting kind of excited about it.

Look out... there may be a "My First Workout" post on the horizon!!! :D And Hey! I think I just flipped my funk!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Opening up to "everyone"

I decided to go ahead and open this blog up to the world, and by world I mean Facebook. Posting here in the safe realm of just a few people who I know will be supportive has given me the confidence to go ahead and "go public." So, if you are new to this blog welcome. If you have already been here, thanks! (and I know you will have my back if someone is being unnecessarily mean!)

Why am I so nervous??

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just a link to make you think!

The article HERE gave me some serious food for thought. It asks you the 5 Ws of Weight Loss and really sets "ze little grey cells" a-spinnin'.

Let me know what you think!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday already? I need some time management!

Where does the time go? It is already August 4th! ACK! It is already Wednesday this week... What happened to my Monday & Tuesday? Time is flying by and I have nothing to show for it. I really need to get myself on a set schedule.

So when do you guys work out? Mornings before work? In the afternoons when you get home? On your lunch hour? Before bed? I am trying to figure out a "perfect" time and don't know when that is. It should be easy for me as my time is very unstructured right now - the pitfall of being at this point in my academic career... no scheduled anything! I am on my own to finish up some loose-ends (papers) and to study for my comprehensive exams. I need to make and adhere to a schedule of some sort every day or else I will never finish anything... getting fit included.

SO, a few things I could use some comments on:

  1. Workout times - what works for you and why?
  2. Time management advice - what works for you and why?
  3. How do you make yourself stick to your plans for #1 & #2 above?
Oh and on the friendly advice of a reader (thanks E.) I am going to schedule an appt. with a Dr. and get a physical & medical greeenlight before getting too much further in this fitness quest. It really is a good idea, I mean you generally get the car looked at before a long road trip, right? Besides, there may be some other things that I need to address that I don't know about. I'll keep ya posted!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Showing some sort of self-restraint

So, some friends of mine are going through a really tough time. They have had a pretty shitty year with deaths in each of their families, other craziness and now they are having to close their business. I love them both dearly, they are both such good and kind people and a lot of fun to boot. It just kills me that everything is super sucky for them and there is not much I can do except be there for them as a good friend.

I want to go into the kitchen and eat brownies and ice cream. But, I am proud to say that all I have done is acknowledge that desire, not give in to it. Instead, I took some vitamins, drank some lemonade and am going to channel my pent-up energy, frustration, anger, etc., into cleaning my home office. It needs it BADLY!

This still sucks though.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thank you Universe!!

I weighed myself today... 271.4. WHAT?!? Sweet! Now, I know not to get too excited, it is probably water loss, or post-menstrual debloat, or whatever, but... it is NOT 275, so that makes me happy. And it is nice to see a wee bit of progress. It is like the universe says, "I see you are interested in making an actual, healthy effort this time Mylynka. I grant you a 3.6lb loss."

Thank you Universe!! I will accept the gift graciously and not waste it! Besides 2lb per week is generally accepted as a healthy/safe amount to lose and makes it easier to keep off, is it not? So, I started this journey 10days ago, so I am on track. YAY ME!

Ok, some random things:

  • I bought a towel & flip-flops to coordinate with my swimsuit. I haven't ever really done that before, but thought that it may motivate me more and make me feel better about going to the pool for lap swims and the water aerobics classes in the Fall. I found myself kind of apologizing to the sales lady in Vera Bradley because I thought it so silly to coordinate towel & shoes to my aqua swimsuit. She (an older lady) said, "Dear, there is nothing strange about that. It is like when you decide to start walking on a treadmill and go buy brand new tennies before you start. Whatever it takes to get you going, right?" And I thought, yea... whatever it takes, I like that attitude. Here are my new swimsuit accessories, they were even on sale - DOUBLE WIN!

  • I need a designated water cup. Several years ago, I read that you will drink more water if you have a designated water glass. It can be as plain or as fun & funky as you desire. Maybe it is Waterford crystal, maybe it is a gimme cup from your local sports team, but it is your designated water cup. As silly as it seems, it worked. I got a cool glass goblet from Pier One. It was clear with multi-jewel toned and gold, raised glass nubs in a diamond pattern on it and a blue stem. It was unlike anything else in my cabinet and it WORKED. I drank a lot of water out of that thing. I don't have any idea what happened to that goblet, but I need a new water goblet for sure! I will find something awesome and when I do I will post a pic of it and I will drink lots of water out of it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Eating patterns & other observations

Hello Monday thanks for being here to let me start anew!

This weekend was ERG! for a number of reasons and I let it be an excuse to eat a half a bowl of queso compuesto with chips & tortillas from Chuy's for lunch and half an order of cheese sticks for dinner on Saturday as a way to soothe my soul/anger/PMS/I'll-do-what-the-hell-I-want-screw-you attitude. I know eating to soothe emotion is no bueno, but is probably something I have done my entire life and am just now learning to try and stop and assess the situation before proceeding with the feeding. These are some things I have been noticing over the past few months leading up to my realization that I need to regain control of my life:
  1. I eat mindlessly - if I have a bag of chips I will just eat & eat them, but if I have them in a bowl I stop when the bowl is empty. OR for example, just the other day, at Lupe's office, I took one of each of the varieties of mini candy bars (snickers, kitkat, twix, rolo, midnight mars bar, and 3 musketeers) in the front desk candy bowl and ate them all in a matter of minutes when I really didn't want them, I was just bored waiting for Lupe to get off from work. This relates to observation #2.
  2. If it is there I want to eat it & I want to eat it all - chips, cookies, candy, et cetera. If it is around I want to eat it all, all of it until it is all gone. Cookies for breakfast w/my coffee. Maybe 3 more with an afternoon cup. 3 more after dinner.... So I have to NOT buy such things. I remember getting a coffee mug full of mini candy bars (those damn Snickers again) as a Christmas gift from a coworker several years back. Every day that mug tormented me. I wanted that candy so badly, but had said I would only eat 1 piece a day. Of course, I ate the contents of the mug in one afternoon... and felt a mixture of guilt and relief about it. Guilty that I had eaten probably 15 pieces of candy in one sitting, yet relief that it was no longer there preoccupying my mind! Sad, but true.
  3. I have a tendency to "wolf" my food down - I used to blame the Army for that, having to race through chow to get back to whatever we were supposed to do next. I realize that that is a convenient excuse, but I really wasn't in the Army long enough to develop that kind of long-term habit. I have noticed over the last few months that when I eat, I eat 3 fries at a time, or a pile of chips at once, or I eat my piece of toast/slice of pizza in 3-4 bites, stuffing it all in so I can have more. I act like I won't get to have more, or that someone is about to take it away... I cannot explain this, but I am sure it relates to the 2 things above. I have been more conscious about how people around me are eating and compare it to what I am doing. It is interesting.
  4. Places I have been frequenting (to eat) are full of obese people - yea, I really noticed this the week after the wedding when Lupe & I went out to Fossil Rim Wildlife Preserve. We stopped in a small town at the Dairy Queen for burgers & ice cream and I was looking around while we were waiting for our food. Everyone in there (with the exception of 2 of the teen employees) were obese. I am not talking a little fat, I mean HUGE. Embarrassingly huge. Had a 100lb on me at least. Even the children were big. It was sad. I registered that as I ate my Peanut Buster Parfait and filed it away for later. But then I started noticing it more and more in the places I go... with the exception of the Thai place, the Indian place, and the Lebanese place... hmmm... notice an ethnic pattern?
  5. I am lazy - I opt for the quick fix every time. Today I am at home with a fridge full of fruit & veg. I was hungry and just ate a bowl of cottage cheese and some cheddar popcorn, because it was easy. :(
ok, that is enough for today.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What I really look like...

I think we all have an image of ourselves in our mind's eye. We have an idea of how we look to others. I have always felt that I look fine. I think, "cute top, fun shoes, funky jewelry, pretty hair...," or whatever when I am getting ready to go out and then I head out the door. I never give much thought to how big I am. I think that because my friends and family love me they don't see the fat they just see me, if that makes sense. I mean, obviously they see that I am fat, but it isn't what defines me or my relationships. But, I am becoming more and more aware that I am the only really fat person in the group (unless I am at my aunt & uncle's house) and I don't like it. I don't REALLY feel that I stand out that much from the others until I see photos from a get-together.

This is from last night. Now, I know that it is not a flattering angle etc., but still....

Images such as this just really make me realize that I need to see the REAL me and do something about it. I don't want to literally take up 1/3 of a couch anymore.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My own personal HELL.

Lupe's brother is coming to town this weekend and bringing home a new girlfriend and her 6 yr old daughter. They want to go to Hurricane Harbor (the Six Flags water park in Arlington) on Saturday...UGH! I have been agonizing about going for 2 reasons: 1) I am very, very fair. HELLO! Red hair. Freckles. I will fry in minutes, even with my SPF 50! and 2) BATHING SUIT IN PUBLIC!!

Now, I have a new bathing suit that I had to purchase in Toledo because we were supposed to go to the yacht club to swim. So I was doubly tortured by a) having to go to Wal-Mart, and b) try on & purchase a swimsuit!!



It was my own personal HELL!

And swimming at the yacht club... yea, that NEVER happened.

So, I have a god-awful swimsuit. It probably isn't that bad, but let me just tell you, swimsuits for the plus-sized are well.... terrible to begin with, then you add the quality of Wal-Mart, well you see where I am going with this. Most plus-size suits of decent quality that I had looked at previously run in $100-$150 range. My Wal-Mart suit was one of the most expensive on the rack... a whopping $32.... and it has a skirt.

A skirt.

On my swimsuit.

This is how I knew it was time to make a change. I have become so fat that my swimsuits have skirts...

So me, my skirted suit, and my gallon jug of SPF 50 will be sitting under some sort of awning/covered picnic table on Sat. Of course, I can take comfort (?) in knowing that the obesity rate in the United States is so horribly high that I will not be the only size 24 in a bathing suit there.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Feeling the love & Lazy trumps everything

You guys (who responded on FB) brought me to tears, the good kind. It is nice to have such great support. Please do feel free to comment here.

Ok, so yesterday I made my mind up to make changes, and as Dani pointed out in her comment to my first post, I need to make small ones. I used to be the type of person who tried to make all the changes at once (I am gonna take diet pills, drink 88oz of water, exercise 2hrs a day, only eat baked chicken breast and veggies.... ugh!) and that is one of the reasons I have continuously failed. My biggest problem with myself is that I know what I need to do to be healthy, I just don't do it. That is because LAZY TRUMPS EVERYTHING! Lazy is easy.

So here is a list of things that I should do (and WILL do in the coming weeks/months/years) - in no particular order:
  1. Drink more water - I like drinking water so this is really no problem, I just have to DO it.
  2. Exercise regularly - I have a habit of exercising for about 2 weeks then quitting; I don't know why I quit.
  3. Get 8 hours of sleep - I am a night owl. This is about to change when Lupe's work schedule shifts to 6:30am - 3:30pm.
  4. Stop eating late at night - this should easily rectify itself for the same reasons as above.
  5. Eat 5+ servings of fruits/veggies a day - I love fresh food, good food, even raw food. I am not that picky of an eater. I am just lazy and convenience foods are made for the lazy.
  6. This is a hard one - Spend less time in front of the computer/TV - I have to make a REALLY conscious effort here. I love socializing and the 'net has made it SO easy to while away a few hours chatting to various friends scattered about the globe. I don't watch a lot of TV, don't even have cable... so this is really about the time I spend online. There, I said it.
Each of these things should be easy to integrate into my daily living. It looks easy enough here in blog posting land, but I know that it isn't as easy as it looks at first. Yesterday I did stock up on lots of fresh fruit and veggies and have a menu for the week all set up in my head. So, I am off to a good start. Now, about getting away from the computer...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today = 275.0

Hello & Welcome to my little corner of the net. Oh sure, I am on Facebook and I g-mail chat and stuff, but this is a place for me to vent, document, and do whatever I want. What I want is have a place, for now, to talk about my desire to be fit by the time I am 40 (in 1.75 years). I have been steadily gaining weight (and yo-yoing it off & back on) ever since the Army, um, let me go for failing 2 PT tests in a row in 1993. What can I say, I have never been a runner. I aced the sit-ups & push-ups... was "an excellent soldier and Russian Linguist," but apparently not quite finishing the 2mi run on time is no good for defending one's nation... but that is another blog totally.

Today, the day that I knew was coming finally came. I weigh 275lb! I knew I was getting close as I have been hovering at 268-270lb for months, but today the number was there - 275.0 - on the home digital scale. It is time to do something. I am a mere 25lb from 300 and that is NO GOOD!

I have been mulling this over for a few weeks, noticing things, getting irritated, wanting to make a change for the better (all of which I will address in future blogs). Today that day happened. Today I start fresh. I accepted that 275lb for what it is and made the choice to move on. So this is my space to talk about it, to make peace with being morbidly obese, and to document my progress as I change my life, my health, my eating habits, exercise plan, and my future.

Won't you join me?