Feeling Out of Sorts

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Oct 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

The last few weeks have been really strange – I just haven’t felt like myself.  No major changes, just lots of little things have me out of my normal routine.  And I’m such a creature of habit – I LIKE routines.  Routines are comforting to me – at least to a point.  There are times in my life where I like to shake it up a little bit (and during the entire transition, I second guess myself and wonder why I didn’t just stay in my comfort zone where i belonged).  But for the most part, I like to get up at the same time, have the same breakfast, go to work at the same time, drive the same way…you get the idea.  If I have to even take a detour that takes me down a different road, I sometimes have a little panic attack. 

Anyway, the last few weeks have definitely had me out of my routine.  Two weeks ago, I spent the first part of the week on travel in Washington, DC for work.  And for a woman who doesn’t like change or surprises (I should mention here that I also don’t like surprises.  That includes gifts, surprise parties, unexpected visitors…I even wanted to know the sexes of all of my children before they were born.), I do like to travel.  Well…I like traveling once I get wherever I’m going.  And I like planning a trip.  I just don’t like packing or getting to the airport/train station – that part REALLY stresses me out.  Part of the control freak in me, I guess.  This trip, I took the train to DC by myself – something I’ve never done before.  I did enjoy the train much more than driving and I do like Washington.  It’s such an amazing city – everyone there seems to have a purpose – a place to be and a job to do.  I stayed in a really nice hotel and got to catch up with some friends while I was there, too.  Wish I had some money to spend – there were some fantastic stores near my hotel…but I’m sticking to the budget.

The day after I got back from DC, I went on an amazing 3 day Christian retreat called the Walk to Emmaus.  I can’t begin to describe what a wonderful spiritual experience I had – I felt surrounded by God’s unconditional love in a way that is unlike anything I have ever felt before.  I didn’t know anyone going in to the retreat, but came out feeling so close to the women I met there.  I’d like to volunteer to assist others in the future with their walks and hope that I can make their experiences as wonderful as I found my own.

But as incredible as my spiritual experience was, the actual physical experience was not as incredible.  After staying at that fabulous 5 star hotel in DC, the accommodations at the retreat were much more…rustic.  And during the weekend, we experienced a “double nor’easter” (whatever that is) – it basically amounted to temperatures in the 40’s and driving rain for 4 straight days.  Oh…and did I mention that the buildings were only heated with space heaters?  And that we had to move outside from building to building to eat, sleep, worship and even go to the bathroom? 

So after a weekend of very little sleep in a confined area with lots of other women while spending time outside in the cold, driving rain and no heat…surprisingly, I got very sick with the flu when I got home.

And I’ve been sick for the last 9 DAYS!!!!  It’s been weeks now since I’ve been in my normal routine – I haven’t been exercising because I’ve been away or I’ve been sick or I was in physical therapy for my hip.  And while I was away, my eating habits were off too.  They fed us SO much while we were on that retreat!  The food was fabulous, but they gave us dessert at EVERY meal!   And I felt so bad wasting the food that they had cooked for us – plus it was SO good…

But so far, so good.  I haven’t gained any weight – I guess I really only ate bad for those 3 days.  I’ve picked back up on the exercise – I’m not sore, so I guess I wasn’t away from it as long as I thought I was. 

I’m looking forward to feeling like myself again. 

Oh…and here are some “before and after” weight loss photos.  Andrew went to homecoming this weekend and when I saw this photo of him and me, I remembered that I had this other photo taken at his 8th grade graduation about a year and a half ago.  Thought they would make an interesting contrast – this was June, 2008:


And this was last weekend, 50 pounds lighter:


I got thinner and Andrew got much taller…



Posted by Kathy Torrence on Oct 4, 2009 in My Adventures in Dieting

I suppose that’s the theme of all of my posts lately – sorry about that.  Real life gets in the way of blogging, I guess.

I missed wishing a happy birthday to my dear husband Michael last week.  We celebrated with a dinner at Guillermo’s in downtown Pitman.  Pitman is undergoing a resurgence, of sorts – in the last few months, several new restaurants have opened and we’ve been lucky enough to try them all (maybe that’s why I haven’t had to time blog). Funny thing is, since it’s still a small town, we ran into several other people we knew at dinner.  And for days afterward, friends and neighbors stopped us and said, “We saw you eating dinner at Guillermo’s on Friday night.”  I guess they saw us through the window?  Life in a small town – can’t get away with anything.

Speaking of which, I’m sure everyone was concerned with exactly what was on my plate since my weight seems to be the other big topic of conversation in town.  I reached my goal weight last week – I’ve lost a total of 48 pounds since January 1st.  It took a lot of hard work and certainly didn’t happen overnight – if you do the math, I lost about 1 1/2 pounds per week on average. 

I’m finding some very interesting reactions from people…

The first thing people ask is HOW I lost the weight.  They are expecting to hear it was some magic pill or secret diet plan.  When they hear it was eating healthy, counting calories and exercise, they are usually disappointed.  Problem is, there is no secret – we all know how it really works to lose weight, it’s just no fun to do it. 

People are amazed that I have the time to exercise.  They think you need hours of time and an expensive gym membership.  I don’t belong to a gym.  I have 3 kids, work a full time job and commute an hour each way every day.  But I am probably in the best shape I’ve ever been.  I just take about 20-30 minutes each day and try to hit all the major muscle groups plus mix in a little cardio too.  No special equipment – just some videos and a whole lotta sweat.

Some people have taken me aside and asked if I’m ill or depressed.  They make me look them in the eye and swear that I’m okay.  I never expected that reaction.

Other people keep staring at me and tell me that they can’t get used to seeing me this way.  Or that they can barely recognize me.  I have to admit, sometimes when I look in the mirror and catch a glimpse of myself, I feel the same way.  I have two badges at work – one photo was taken 1 1/2 years ago and the other was taken a month ago.  They don’t even look like the same person.

Another very strange reaction that I didn’t expect was the reaction from men.  As much as people try to tell you that weight doesn’t matter in how attractive someone is, the awful truth is that it does.  Even though I am happily married and WAY past my prime (at 41, I’m certainly not a head-turner), all of a sudden, I find that I’m getting cat-calls, those awkward stares and smiles in a way that I didn’t get almost 50 pounds ago.  And the truth is, it makes me uncomfortable.  Maybe I should be flattered, but the other day when a group of men told me to turn around so they could see my rear in my jeans, I was thinking “sexual harassment”, not flattery.

The best part of the whole weight loss thing is going shopping.  I walked into Gap yesterday for some new dress pants, flipped through the sale rack, pulled out a few pairs of size 6 pants, took them into the dressing room and they fit perfectly.  I kept spinning around in the mirror and looking from all angles – I was very proud of myself.  Me – in a size 6.  I NEVER thought that would happen again.  I wanted to say to the sales girl when she asked how the pants fit, “You don’t understand – I just lost ALMOST 50 POUNDS!  I’m not your average size 6!  I’m not like those girls who are naturally skinny!  I had to work really hard to get here!!!!”  But I didn’t.  I just said, “They fit perfectly.”

So now the challenge is, how do I stay here without gaining any weight?  I also don’t want to lose too much more either – I want to be healthy, not gaunt. 

This week has been particularly hard for me because I have been having some issues with my sacroiliac joint and have been instructed to stop all exercise for at least 2 weeks while I’m in physical therapy.  I don’t want to get out of the good habits I’ve formed and I don’t want to put on weight from extra calories not burned.  So I’ve been cutting back a bit this week – no dinners at Guillermo’s for me.  This is going to be a real game of balance while I try to settle in at this weight…wish me luck.

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