You Are Ssstthsthththsssthsooooo Beautiful

Let the record show that I am not a teetotaler. When I go to a Rangers game, I sure do want to eat a hot dog and crack open an ice cold beer. At the end of a long hard day, I love to sit back and sip a nice glass of wine to take the edge off. I don’t have anything against alcohol. I also don’t have anything against people who chose to abstain from drinking. These are personal decisions, and to each his own. As Jen, A PriorFatGirl so aptly puts it – “My body, my decision. Your body, your decision.”

Now, that having been said, let’s just have a real honest little chat about my less than glamorous experience in Uptown a couple weeks ago. The urban meet-n-greet-n-get-way-too-friendly-way-too-fast scene known as “the bars,”  was, as I’ve already said, a relatively unexplored territory for me. Had I done it before? Sure. Had I ever enjoyed it? Heck no. I was always the girl who ended up having some inebriated goober wander my way to ask the inevitable “Hey, izzatyerfrind? Sheeees so hot. Can I.. dooooya think I havachanz? Can, can you tellerIthinksheezhot?” I once was at a bar with a group of girlfriends and some random guy bought shots and had them delivered to everyone I was with. Everyone except me. Awkward much?

Suffice it to say, when invitations for a night on the town go out, I generally make it a practice to be busy re-organizing my sock drawer. But hey, it’s time to try new things right? Throw caution to the wind. Put on the war-paint we call makeup and head out to get mah par-tay on. We started the night at the far end of the Uptown strip at a well-known karaoke bar. That was actually pretty fun. The entertainment was beautifully bad, everyone was fresh and in good spirits. We all ordered drinks and caught up on the weeks events and made fun of the guy doing his best to belt out a really warped version of a current pop song.

After we’d finished the first drink and the initial mingling had been taken care of, we moseyed on down the street to a more crowded pub. Now, when I say crowded, I’m being pretty generous. Generally speaking, I like to believe (perhaps naively) that I own a certain amount of air space around my head. My air, my air particles. I don’t particularly want to share them with you, and if you’re taller than me, I definitely don’t want to be sharing my air with your armpits.

By the time we finally squeezed our way through the deck and up to the bar, I was already starting to feel tense. When everyone started ordering their next rounds, I realized that someone needed to be the designated driver. The bar tender leaned over the sticky wooden counter to get close to my face. He wiped the back of his hand across a sweaty forehead and then wiped his nose. “WHAT CAN I GET YOU!!??” he bellowed.

“Water,” I said dryly.

“WATER?” he rolled his eyes. With his tainted hand, he grabbed a tumbler and tossed three ice cubes into it. Then he grabbed the soda hose and filled it about halfway up. He picked up the tumbler and forcefully slammed it down in front of me. About half of what had been in there sloshed out the side, and the haphazardly placed lemon fell off the edge of the glass. By the time I looked up from the damage, he was long gone. I grabbed what was left of my “drink” and walked over to join my friends. Since there was no seating available, they had stationed themselves near the door in a tight little circle. I squeezed in between two of my friends.

“WHATDIDYOUGETTODRINK?

“I got a water.”

“WHO’S HOTTER!?”

“Oh, nope. Not what I said. Nobody’s hotter. I said I got water.”

To be fair, we were having some good laughs at that point.  There were a few funny stories that got told – inside joke type of things that everyone is already familiar with. It pretty quickly devolved into everyone just staring at each other and smiling though. The louder it got, the harder it was to hear each other.  Thirty minutes later, we had put down our glasses and were making our way to bar number three. I think my fun-meter had peaked earlier in the evening. Old Lady that I am, I kind of wanted to be in bed by now. I started to have an inkling that maybe this  just wasn’t my bag.

Bar number three turned out to be another karaoke bar. Only in this one, the music was ear-splitting loud. (Admittedly, I am a misfit in my generation. I hate super loud music. The only time I really enjoy it is if I’m rocking out in my car for a limited amount of time.) I drank another glass of water. Liquid courage had set in, and we were introducing ourselves to the people around us. Karaoke was quickly becoming a team sport. During a particularly deafening chorus of “I’ve Got Friends In Low Places,” I excused myself to sidle up to the bar for a refill on my agua. Suddenly, a beefy arm from out of nowhere was smashed up against mine. I could feel my air particles being sucked away. I turned my head to look at the intruder.

“Hiiiyaaayyiii. Pretty lady. Yer a prettylady.”

“Ok, thank you.” I turned back to the bartender.

“Hey, did I tell you that you are sssthhhsssththsooooo beautiful?” As he slurred out the “s,” spittle flew from his mouth and onto my cheek. I wiped it away with one hand and turned to face him again.

“Can I buy you a drink? I love to buy beautiful ladiessssththhssss a drink.”

Ok, first of all, you spit on me. Game over. Second of all, I’m pretty sure you’d propose to a pineapple right now if I put one in front of you and told you it’s name was Lisa. So why don’t you take your crazy eyes and go dance with that ficus tree in the corner and leave me the heck alone.

“No thanks. I’m the designated driver tonight.”

It seemed like the night went on forever. My hair and clothing had started to reek of cigarette smoke. By the time everyone agreed they were tired and it was time to go home, I couldn’t have been more relieved.

All in all, here’s what I discovered about myself that night:

  • Drinking to excess reminds me a lot of eating to excess. I’ve fought hard to learn how to enjoy good things in normal, healthy doses, and that goes for everything I put into my body. If I can see that it doesn’t make sense to devour an entire pan of brownies, why would I think it’s ok to inhale 5,6,7,10,12 alcoholic drinks?
  • My air particles, not yours. Definitely not your armpits’. Nuff said.
  • If you have to be drunk to find me attractive, I have a hard time being flattered by your advances.
  • I’ve worked hella hard to get my body into this shape. I know exactly how many veggies, how many nights and weekends at the gym, how many drops of sweat, how many pulled muscles, how many stupid trees, how many dollars spent on trainers, tears shed over crumbled self-esteem, and hours spent sifting through my “thought life” and retraining my mind to focus on truth and positive thoughts it took to get my body to where it is now. This body is the product of hard work. And you don’t get to just touch it for free. So back off Jack. Do not slide up behind me and try to put your hands in places where they don’t belong. Get sober. Ask me on a proper date. Take me out for dinner. Ask me about my interests. Treat me like a lady. Appreciate my mind. THEN we can talk about you appreciating my body.
  • I didn’t feel any better about myself as a result of that experience. But I did smell like a dirty ashtray when I went to bed.
  • For a lot of people, the bar scene is where it’s at, and that’s cool. More power to you. For me, not so much. Live and learn, and then blog about it.

One more thing – I didn’t always see things this way. Experience is a great teacher. I’ve arrived at these conclusions because I have made the mistake of not respecting myself or my body in the past. Some lessons are learned the hard way.

You can follow me @LDunkster

Operation Fix Tornado Damage

I sure do love ya’ll! I am blown away at all the responses on the To IUD or not to IUD post from yesterday… blown away! I made an appt to have the IUD removed but am waiting for a call back from my doctor to talk about it before then too. I am scared that if I have it removed and don’t lose the weight, then where does that leave the blame? On me —  ah, such is life!

In fun news, I’m super excited to share with you this picture:

Ohhh shizbiz, going over final approval to begin Operation Fi... on Twitpic

It’s a picture of Carlos and our general contractor, Jacob, who stopped over last night. Jacob brought with the paperwork for us to sign to begin Operation Fix Tornado Damage! Guess when it starts?

TODAY!
TODAY!
TODAY!

Yep, today they begin putting a new roof on! Initial estimates is that the cost to fix everything from the tornado is $50,000 but Jacob estimates it’ll go a little higher… how much higher is unknown at this point. Thank GOD for insurance!

In other news, I had my appointment with Jenny, my therapist, this past Tuesday and was immediately reminded why it is so important for me to go. I’m not crazy but here’s my thoughts on therapy:

They are the experts!

They are trained in how to figure out all this mumble jumble that goes on in my head. And better yet, they can connect dots in my life when I didn’t even know there were dots to connect! I am a FIRM believer in that therapy is no a sign of weakness – in fact, I cringe when people even use “therapy” and “weakness” in the same sentence, including when someone tries to defend therapy as not being weak, because even associating the two words in the same sentence implies that some could consider it as weak… how is THAT for a run-on sentence?!

I have a lot of ish going on in my life. But I’m not unique. We all lead pretty hectic lives. I’m 1,000% confident that if you read my blog because you too struggle with your healthiness journey, you WILL find therapy a benefit. And, in my opinion, it is very important to find a therapist who’s specialty is in disordered eating because he or she will get it. It being the true source of the healthiness struggles — they won’t tell you “oh you should go home and try to eat intuitively” but instead, they will dig deep and get to the source!

Back to my own journey, I had a great catch-up appointment with Jenny and will begin seeing her weekly after the long holiday weekend which is perfect timing because we are coming up on the two year anniversary of mom’s death already {whew, holy shizzznuts — did I really just type that?}

Alright friends, here are some posts I owe you:

  • The real cost of skin removal surgery
  • One Step, One Breath: a priorfatgirl get-together (August 2011)
  • How I avoided the vending machine by pulling my pants down
  • The day I deleted Twitter
  • Update on Operation Fix Tornado Damage
  • An adult sleepover
  • what else? anything you want/need me to cover?

And with that, I’ve got a run to get in and then a SERIOUS day of work ahead of me! Remember… if you ever want to know what’s going on real time, feel free to stalk me by watching my updates at www.twitter.com/priorfatgirl.

To IUD or not to IUD: That is the question

I initially wasn’t going to bring this up here on the blog – it’s about birth control. However, in light me experiencing some symptoms I’m now beginning to connect directly to my healthiness journey, I figure it’s time to talk about it.

I’d previous been on the pill for 10+ years. Relationship or not, I’ve just always taken it.  Right around the time Carlos and I got engaged, we had a pretty extensive conversation about our future together and without going into details, we decided to find a long-term approach to birth control. Enter the IUD.

In my own words, an IUD is an implantable contraceptive – done during a quick office visit, it is immediately effective and does not require a daily interaction. After conversing with my doctor, I decided to have the Mirena IUD for a few reasons. First, it is a 5-year IUD. After 5 years, I make the decision to take it out and do something else or continue with another implant. The Mirena releases hormones which, in my own words, I assumed would be an easy transition since I was already used to taking hormones from the pill {ergo used to reduced “period” like symptoms such as bleeding & cramping.} One of the benefits of having the Mirena is that most experience no periods after having it inserted.

At the end of January, my IUD was put in. I’m not going to lie, the insertion was horrible. I almost fainted when I sat up – the doctor saw my face go white and ordered me to lay back down. After about 10 minutes of laying, I was fine, the pain went away. It was more of a internal pinch…a little pinch inside where I’ve never felt a pinch before so I think my body was just caught off guard. I went home and spent most the evening on the couch in the fetal position with cramps like I’d never experienced before.

Over the next three days, the cramps went away. I never really felt the IUD but more just sensed something was there. Within a few weeks, that feeling too went away and I had no more “feeling”  of it. However something happened. I broke out. Blemishes. Acne. All over… on my face and on my upper thighs. I’ve never been one to have much of a problem with acne so I was beyond frustrated and embarrassed.

Six months went by.

And something else changed.

At first, I didn’t connect the dots. But the past month, I have fought like bloody hell to eat right and be conscious of the foods I’m giving my body. I had 2-3 small mishaps but nothing that would cause anything like this. My workouts have been from 3-5 days a week the past month. Despite the past month of really focusing, there has been no change for the better.

6-8 pounds.

Depending on the day, I’ve gained anywhere from 6-8 pounds and cannot for the life of me get rid of them. Stress you say? What if I tell you the recent tornado stress is only a continuation of the stress I’ve been under for the past two years {no joke, no lie – it seems to be one thing after another, I just don’t share everything.}

The real problem:

6-8 pounds doesn’t seem like that much. In fact, I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself you wish you only had 6-8lbs to worry about. But consider this… I now have some pants that I can no longer fit into because of the weight. Dress pants and jeans I cannot wear anymore because they suffocate me and leave red indent marks around my stomach. I’m not complaining about the “vanity” of the 6-8 pounds. This is about weight gain caused by medication, weight gain caused by by hormones, weight gain caused by an IUD.

The drawbacks to the IUD:

  • the weight gain (not related to a poor diet or lack of exercise)
  • the acne/blemishes (while it has calmed down considerably, it is still there)
  • the moodiness (I didn’t realize this but Carlos says he notices I’m more sensitive)

The positives of the IUD:

  • no daily pill taking
  • no worrying if I don’t take it at the same time every day
  • no period or cramping, no monthly cycle effect
  • long term approach
  • easy to use, like the commercial “Set it and forget it”

So what’s next?

My decision is a little more serious then asking for a different pill. I would have to go in and have the IUD removed, then find a new birth control method (go back on the pill? Try something else?) Although this is a very personal decision for me (Carlos is supportive no matter what I decide), I thought I’d get your thoughts on it because I know some of you may have experienced something similar:

  • Has a medication/medical choice ever resulted in a weight gain for you?
  • Have you ever changed a medication (birth control or other) because of a weight gain?
  • Have you ever had to consider the pros & cons in regards to a medication and make a choice based on that list?

I’ve had a few conversations with my doctors nurse and have a call into my doctor because ideally, this would be a conversation to have with him — but you know me, I often seem to share TMI with ya’ll!

Thoughts? Opinions? Comments?

Comment disclaimer: I’m looking for respectful comments only – I have a right to delete anything that is judgmental, rude or out of line. I’m aware that this post will drum up a lot of questions related to my decision to get an IUD, why I chose what I did and so many other questions. I opted not to have this post be a 2,000 word post so will do my best to answer questions in the comments. I ‘m an expert with my body but not yours. My body, my decision. Your body, your decision.

 

My weekend, picture heavy!

“If you can’t excel with talent, triumph with effort.” ~ Dave Weinbaum

Off-da! (yeah… I’m Minnesotan!)

Things have been go-go-go here lately!

This past Thursday I headed out West…. South Dakota… with a couple of girlfriends for a sorority sister’s wedding. We drove about 4 hours and close to Sioux Falls, SD, we picked up a fellow Greek friend from high school, Dooley, to continue our way even further west to Deadwood, South Dakota.

Thursday night, we drove about 6 hours total and ended up in Chamberlain, SD (AKA the town that has nothing) to crash for the night. While in Chamberlain, we had dinner at a small diner and headed up to a rest stop to check out the view. Beautiful is all I can say.

Chamberlain, SD

I’m not a small town gal. I’ve always lived near the cit, but I can absolutely appreciate the views the country gives you… stunning.

Our overnight in Chamberlain was nothing to brag about. We were all exhausted from the drive and just ready to hot tub, then crash once we got to the hotel. The car ride was good for catching up with my girlfriends, Steph (former roommate), and Sheena. And it was really nice to catch up with Dooley… I hadn’t seen him since I graduated…. 3 years ago. The beauty of it is, we were all able to pick up where we left off. It was really great.

On Friday, we woke up bright and early to get on the road to Deadwood, SD. We decided that we wanted to drive through the Badlands on the way there. SO glad we did! I had seen the Badlands as a child on a family vacation, but it was SO long ago, so I didn’t really remember it.

It was so fun driving through the Badlands and stopping often to check out the sights.

Besties!

The View

Um.. yikes!

Steph and I

Hey! It's me!

Sheena, making me VERY nervous. I had to scold her. ;)

Dooley, rock sittin'

Steph and I

After we were over the Badlands, we continued on our way to Deadwood, where Abby would be getting married.

We arrived into Deadwood around 3pm. After checking into the hotel, meeting up with Brian and Stacy (a sorority sister and her boyfriend), Sheena, Dooley, Steph, and I decided to drive through Spearfish Canyon. OMG, let me tell you. SO beautiful! I WISH I had taken some pictures, but about half way through our drive through the canyon, it started storming and hailing. BIG hail. I got pelted in the ta-ta and that was no treat – it literally left a mark! After that, we decided it would be best to NOT get out of the car to take pictures.

After our drive through the canyon, we met up with the whole crew (there were about 9 of us) decided to go out for dinner. It was pretty low key, but it was lovely to catch up with my sorority sisters. It made me realize how much I miss college.

Saturday was wedding day. Sheena, Steph, and I woke up semi-early to go into town and do the tourist-y stuff. It was a lot of fun, but before ya knew it, we were headed back to get beautiful for Abby and Beau’s wedding.

Their ceremony was held outside and it was absolutely beautiful. Simple, but so, so pretty. And of course, the bride was stunning.

Abby and her dad

Abbs giving someone "the look" - so cute!

THE kiss :)

The ceremony was perfect. My favorite part was during the vows. Abby started speaking and then decided she didn’t want to speak them into the microphone because she was crying, so she whispered them to her husband to be – it was SO sweet and touching. Ahh!  It was rather toasty out.. I think that’s probably what caused my eyes to well up. My eyes weren’t crying, they were sweating!  ;)

After the ceremony, it was party time! :) Abby and Beau sure know how to throw one heck of a party! We had an absolute blast!

Dooley, Sheena, and I

The beautiful bride and I (yeah, yeah-I'm whiter than white!)

The girls

The whole night was spent boogy-ing down and enjoying some delicious beverages. Sheena and I stayed “responsible” and kept the drinks to a minimum since we knew we had a 10 hour drive ahead of us the next morning.

I can honestly say this past weekend was one of the best that I’ve had in a LONG time.

And as many of you know, I began my new job on Monday and since it’s all been training, training, training, information overload, I can’t really say if I love it or not yet… BUT I can say that I have a very good feeling about it. I think I will really like it and I think I will be good at it, which is an awesome feeling.

As much as I loved the last company I worked for, I did NOT love my job. I wasn’t stimulated, I felt like I was sitting stagnant, and most days, I was just plain BORED. I know I made the right move to accept this position and I feel so confident that I will excel at this position… I cannot explain how good that feels. :)

Well, with that being said, I need to head out…. on to training day number 3! I’ll be back soon – that is, if my brain doesn’t explode from all of the information being CRAMMED into it! ;)

Thank you for your patience in my absence… I had very, VERY limited internet connection in SD and really… I wanted to just live in, and enjoy the moment… and I’m so glad that I did.

I hope you guys all had an equally fantastic weekend!

xo!

Twitter: @MNLinds