Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keeping it Real (aka Raisins & Spice)

When I first started this blog I intended it to be a journal of my life.  I knew that meant it would be mainly about my kids and life as a working mother...but I hoped it would evolve into more than that.

Of course I also knew that if I this really was to be a journal about my life I would have to be honest and keep it all real. And that meant not pulling any punches...especially about myself. it real as I can get.

Being fat sucks.

Wow..that was like ripping off a band-aid. Writing has always been my therapy but I have avoided this topic because it's always felt way too personal. But with all the recent changes in my life now just felt like the right time for me to finally start writing about it.

Let's start with a funny story...both funny ha ha and funny ironic.

A few years ago I went to a comedy club with a couple of girlfriends. One of the comedians was a very funny young man named Ivan Decker. He told this joke (and I'm clearly paraphrasing):

"I love instant oatmeal. I always buy the variety many great flavours all in one box. You got your Apples & Cinnamon, Cinnamon & Spice, Maple & Brown Sugar...all so yummy.  Then the day inevitably comes when you go to the cupboard, open up the box and see all that's left is Raisins & Spice. I mean...why do they even put it in the box. Nobody really wants just put up with it being there because you know the better flavours are there too. It's the same when meeting women in the bar. You walk in, spot a couple of hot girls at the bar - real Maple and Brown Sugar types. You walk over and start to chat. Turns out they aren't available but would like you to meet their friend...Raisins & Spice."

Okay...I didn't do the joke full justice...but you get the gist of it I hope. I laughed loudly (along with everyone else) because was funny and pretty accurate analogy. But it hit home too...because in my life I was always Raisins & Spice.

Getting fat happened slowly for me. I mean I was was never the thinnest girl in the room. Especially since I "developed" at the age of 10. In high school and college I was curvy...and very proud of it. I was comfortable in my body.

When I graduated college I had put on the typical college 15 (okay maybe 20) but that was okay.  I was newly engaged and beyond happy with my life...and then I think I just let myself get way too comfortable.  I was engaged so didn't have to worry about first impressions on dates or in the bars.  And he was Latin so when my curves got a little curvier...he didn't seem to mind.

My clothing size continued to creep up but I was never really a fashionista anyway so it was never a big problem...until the day I realized I could no longer shop in "normal" stores.  And let me tell you...stepping into a plus size clothing store for the first time was a real eye opener. I was expecting to find the same clothes that the other mainstream stores were carrying...just bigger. Boy was I wrong.

Instead I was faced with polyester, elastic waistbands, caftans and even more polyester. In a nutshell...I had fallen into my grandmother's closet. And for a girl in her mid-20's that was a nightmare. And that's when I started to realize what I had done to myself...

After that day my weight was always on my mind.  Any room I walked into I checked to see if I was the fattest one there. I practiced smiling techniques in the mirror to find the best way to hide my double chin.  I felt embarrassed and ashamed of the way that I looked.

Looking back now - remembering how bad I felt at the time - I am pissed off at myself for never managing to take control at the time. I was young, I had no kids, it would have been so easy.  But I didn't make the changes I should have to correct the pattern.

Instead I made half-hearted attempts to control it...I joined a gym and for a few months went everyday. Until I got a cold, had to miss a week, and then just never went back. I tried yoga, tae-bo, step class, spinning, etc. - you name a workout craze and I tried it. I did cleanses and diets. And all of that was enough to plateau my weight but it never went down.

And then I got pregnant. I'm not going to lie...getting pregnant was like being given a get out of fat jail free card. I was eating for was okay to wear pants with an elastic waistband...I was too nauseous to exercise. For once...I didn't have to worry about how big I looked.

I don't think I ever managed to even look pregnant the first time around. There was no cute little baby bump (even though I longed to have one) there was just more fat. And it was far from a healthy pregnancy - I developed high blood pressure and eventually delivered my lovely girl 7 weeks early after being diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.

Looking at my daughter through the plexiglass of her incubator in the NICU I knew that her early arrival into this world was my fault and I hated myself for doing that to her. Hated myself for the fact that my weight issues contributed to her first days being spent in the hospital instead of at home. It was a pretty dark time for me...

I vowed that I would fix this. That I would put every spare minute I had into getting healthy and losing weight. Of course any parent will tell you that finding time for yourself once you have kids is next to impossible and that's exactly what happened to me. My best intentions were all for naught.

For the past almost 7 years since I became a mother my life has not been about me.  And it has provided the easiest excuse for me not to deal with my weight issues.

"I don't have time to exercise."
"Who has time to make different meals for me and the kids."
"When they just get a little bit older it will be easier."

Yadda, yadda, yadda...

Let's call a spade a spade was mainly bullshit. All of those excuses might have been valid at some point but the real bottom line is that I have been lazy.

But no more...

It is long past time for me to deal with this.  To face my issues head on.  To keep it real.  To get healthy.

So I have a few goals for myself in 2013. First off - I'm going to Las Vegas in August for a birthday celebration weekend. That's 5 months from now and I'd like to be down at least 20 pounds by then...maybe 30.

The bigger goal is training to compete in the NeverLand 5K in Disneyland in January. Running has never been my thing...hard to run when you are carrying all this extra weight. But I have decided it will be my thing because its something I can do for free at almost anytime. Fewer opportunities for me to make excuses.

my pretty new motivational running shoes...
Plus...what better motivation than the prospect of another trip to the happiest place on earth...where my kids will be cheering me on at the finish line as I accomplish my goal.

This time around all of my plans are much more realistic - basic common sense eating and exercise goals.  Little changes that can make all the difference.

I will document my journey on my blog. So in between posts about my lovely girls you get to hear all about my struggle to become the woman I know I should be. A strong, active and healthy mother that is a role model for my girls. A confident and sexy wife for my hubby who - bless his cotton socks - has heard me say "I am finally going to do it." so many times before and is still my champion.

But most importantly I am doing this for me. So that when I see my reflection in the mirror I'm not shocked by the reality of how I look. So that how I look on the outside finally matches how I feel on the inside.

I'm doing this so that I never feel like Raisins & Spice again. And trust me...thats some true motivation.

I will get back to my Maple & Brown Sugar days...


  1. laura mckercher castonguayMarch 17, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    You can do it Kelly!! One step at a time -start slow and build! I am down 17 lbs since January so your goal is totally attainable! Very proud of you!

  2. You are a Rock Star!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us and for inspiring me to get off my butt!!

  3. Great post, Kelly. Inspiring and truthful. I saw a post by you in my fb feed, which led me to your page, which led me to your blog, which led me to this post :). I'm hoping to join you guys in August and your post has inspired me to try matching your weight loss goal. You're a courageous mama and I'm rooting for you!!!

  4. Ummm...they don't put Raisins and Spice in the variety pack anymore. I actually just stumbled on this blog because I was searching for an explanation of why they took it out of the variety pack. I seem to remember it tasting good when I was a child. It certainly had to be better than the plain one, right?