Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meltdown: Day One

This is the story of a couple of pudgy mid-lifers, both about 16 pounds overweight and relatively out of shape ... who are about to melt 128 sticks of butter off of those inflated bodies. Meet my husband Mike and moi, Michelle. We are native Californians, transplanted to Austin, Texas 12 years ago, where we quickly learned that the state entree, chicken fried steak, was worthy of a search for the best in town. The rest is history.

Increasingly frustrated with countless failed attempts over the past few years to not only take the weight off, but worse, to watch the pounds pile on and on ... we've decided to have another serious go at it but THIS time, we're making ourselves publicly accountable (and most likely, regrettably humiliated) by blogging about it. Sort of like turning up the heat. Which will hopefully melt the butter.

Coincidentally, Mike and I both
need to lose 16 lbs. to get to an ideal weight. Reality check: that being an ideal weight for this age, not that of our 25 year old, long-gone bodies. So we're thinking maybe this is the perfect time for both of us to get on board, support each other, eat the same, and yep ... add a dash of competition to get to the finish line. And stay there.

And you may be thinking ...hey, 16 lbs. doesn't sound like a lot to lose, what's the big deal? Just do it. After all, there are so many people who have so admirably lost loads more ...75, 100, 150 lbs. even! I can't imagine the courage and determination it must take to lose a tremendous amount of weight and my hat goes off to these folks. I wish I knew why it's been so hard to lose this weight, but I don't. What I do know is that at some point along the way this mere 16 lbs. has somehow morphed me from fairly-normal-looking-lady to linebacker.

It's got to go.

So ... 16 lbs. to lose = 64 sticks of butter. Or, 32 lbs. collectively = 128 sticks of butter. Imagine strapping on 64 sticks of butter. You got your duct tape and you got your 64 sticks and you start taping. Where would they go? Me, I got 39 sticks around the belly, 20 on the linebacker shoulders and neck, 2 on each cheek and one under the chin.

We all know that "diet" is a 4 letter word, meaning "temporary eating plan." I-stay-on-the-diet-until-I-reach-my-goal-and-then-I-can-chow-down sort of thing. Fuhgeddaboutit. Our weight loss plan will not be specifically Weight Watchers, South Beach or Atkins plan (all great ones, for sure) but of the Common Sense variety. Not just your basic cheeseburger + bread pudding = regret. But stuff we already know works and have continually chosen to ignore. Stuff tailored specifically to Mike and me with a little wiggle room so that we don't give up due to absolute deprivation and frustration.
Oh, and that exercise part too. Mmmph.

128 sticks of
melted butter deadline? December 31, 2009.

I'll be posting our progress every few days along with silly photos and smart-alecky remarks. I hope you'll follow us as we begin our meltdown ... be our cheerleaders, share your insights and maybe even find our journey somewhat useful to your own. Because it's not just about the 128 sticks of butter. It's about this transition that all mid-lifers are faced with; that confusing place between young and old. Suddenly there's the extra girth, the double chin, the blond gone gray, and we're reeling from the shock that we're no longer our young familiar selves. Acceptance of aging is important but it's also a slippery slope. Butter makes it even more slippery. Let's figure it out, people.


Jody said...

I think I already told you that I walked Lovey around the Rose Bowl twice this week (so far). It's 3.1 miles, but with her, it's at least 4.8. So, if you're doing this, me, too. Sort of. I'm going to find my scale... somewhere... and chart the start weight. OK, 148 (at night, after eating two servings of Pumpkin Crunch Custard that I baked today). Fair enough. Hope my dog likes the stuff.

You're my inspiration!

Bernadette said...

Way to go Michelle! I love the idea of putting it out there for all to see and share. I've been hanging out the last couple of weeks with my 22 year old nephew and realize everything he does is exercise. If we walk down the steps he always does 3 pull ups on the rafters. When we swim he's doing core exercises in the water. It's inspiring to watch!

Jen said...

Congrats on the new blog AND the new endeavor, Michelle! May as well make it fun, huh? Love the butter metaphor. :-)

I only started exercising in earnest about six years ago. The first thing that ever really "took" for me was rowing and now I can't imagine life without it (or climbing either). What sorts of sports do y'all like to do? Find something you love and then it won't feel like a chore.... Also, be careful not to feel as if you both have to exercise together or even do the same sport.

I don't know what the drive would be like, but if you have any interest AT ALL in rowing, it's a full-body workout and very meditative. The membership at the Texas Rowing Center is incredibly affordable. :-)

I'll be cheering you both on! ... And watching that butter melt!

Bonnie said...

How fun for you and Mike!!!! Way to go, I am with you all the way. I look forward to reading about your success, and the pictures will be great to see....

Love ya,

WonderWoman said...

I am loving this, but then, I really love butter. This was an absolute joy to read. Yes, I'm cheering you on - both of ya!!!!

WonderWoman said...

By the way, I'm an avid walker and eat pretty darn healthy. What's up with this middle age spread I'm experiencing? I need YOUR help!

Fragrant Liar said...

YAY! The "butter" is going to melt away! You go, girl. Maybe when it's a little cooler too, we can walk together. We have much to talk about!

Hugs and best of luck to you both.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Okay, I want on this bandwagon. Can I start next week? And only 16. I'm so jealous.

Jody said...

So, today, having finished off the Pumpkin Crunch Custard (Hey, it had eggs and pumpkin in it), a personal trainer came to my door and I agreed to get started with him. He and his wife have a "deal" for $30 per week or a one-time fee of $90. What? OK, so I'm going to join their merry band and figure out what to do with them, because I know I won't work out without supervision. And I'll never lose any sticks o' butter without help. Their web page is Pray for me.


Debbie said...

Michelle, everything you do seems to have a bit of flair, fun and creativity! Cutting back on portions is key for me and I have to make some kind of commitment to exercise - so, I'll keep referring to your blog for inspiration and start tomorrow.

Jocelyn said...

You guys are awesome. Losing weight, no matter the amount, boils down to the same traits: resolve, determination, honesty, and a willingness to whine about how unfair it is that SOME PEOPLE can eat chocolate and look like sticks while the rest of us blimp up.

I'm all over your new mission--good luck!

MJ's doghouse said...

I am sure you will both do awesome...and I love butter. And...dont forget that teh frangrant liar would really like some of your Esty stuff for her birthday....

Elizabeth O'Brien said...

I disagree that your writing skills are rusty. On the contrary! You're a gifted writer, which is why this blog is so inspiring and fun to read. Wow—is Mike a handsome dude! I wanna see a photo of you in the old days! Please post one. Let's get some before-and-afters going!
I think this is such a clever vehicle for holding your middle-aged selves accountable for reasonable weight loss. I'm laughing out loud hen I read your saga!
Hang in there,
Elizabeth O'Brien