Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Tag: history

I’m not that kind of person.

Recently, I stepped back on the scale after the holidays.  I’m not going to lie and say it was pretty, but 180.8 is not the worst I’ve ever been, and I needed some time to relax the food rules in December, and it’s a starting point.  Onward and downward.  At least, I’m trying to keep this attitude, but Zliten can attest to the fact I’ve had some mini-tantrums about it.  Rational brain does not always triumph over the feels, sadly.

Then, I think about where I’ve been.  I write a similar post most Januarys, and perhaps I should just link those and be done with it, but every year I gain a different perspective of what has happened over these last 8 years (gosh, has it been that long?) since I just barely fit in size 24 jeans and made that fateful new years resolution.

This year I had an epiphany on a run, as I am wont to do now that I rarely listen to music outdoors.  I really should stop saying this phrase:

“I am not the kind of person who…”

Because I end up breaking the rules I set by saying that often.  Year by year, I break down a lot of these barriers.  If I stayed “not the kind of person who” of 2007, I’d be a very very very different person.  For example…

2007:  I’m not the kind of person who…

…is fit and active.  I started the year here, at 265 lbs…


…and ended here.  At 210 lbs I still had a long way to go.


However, the difference was night and day.  I went from a walk around my apartment complex taking my breath away to 4-5 days of cardio and 3 days of weights being just part of the routine.  Tracking my food (which I started using Spark People in September) helped me limit my intake enough to steadily lose weight.

2008: I’m not the kind of person who…

…weighs less than 200 lbs as an adult.  I hit “onederland” (199) right before my 29th birthday in February.  Best birthday present EVER.

And, I continued to ride the momentum all the way down to 160 by the end of the year.


…is a runner.   I don’t know why, but this year I decided I wanted to try and run a mile, something I hadn’t done since 8th grade and certainly not something I ever enjoyed doing before.  I almost passed out after, but I ran that mile in about 12 minutes – a far cry from my best of 7:50 of my childhood, but I kept at it and could run 5-6 miles at a time by the end of the year.

2009: I’m not the kind of person who…

…runs races.  I did my first 5k in Februray and the bug bit me HARD.  I was sure I would be the oldest, heaviest, and slowest one there.


Not so much.  In fact, I followed someone that could be my grandpa the whole race and couldn’t catch him, but I placed decently well in my age group (top half, IIRC).  That year, I completed 3 5ks, a 10k, a half marathon, and a 5 miler.  Zliten joined me for one of the 5ks and that sparked a desire to do triathlon at some point in the future.

…wants a froofy white traditional wedding dress.


Funny that, when you feel like you actually look gorgeous in your dress, most little girls revert back to wanting to feel like a princess.  Who knew?

2010: I’m not the kind of person who…

…is into triathlons.  After a disappointing second half marathon when I got sick, I thought about the idea of training for a marathon, and those long runs over the hot summer sounded terrible.  However, I wanted to sufficiently large goal to tackle, so I signed up for my first sprint and olympic triathlon at the same time.


After battling the terror of open water swimming, and the most painful 4 hours and 4 minutes of my racing life (and coming in something like 3rd to last), I was so hooked.

…can be the leader of a team.  Well, it took a lot of guts for me to ask for the promotion when I wasn’t sure I was up to it, and even more blood, sweat, and tears to constantly do things that professionally scared me (read: talking on a microphone in front of the company, leading meetings, etc), but it was an exhausting and enthralling year getting my legs as a Producer.

2011: I’m not the kind of person who…

…would lose weight and gain some back again.  I hit my low of 150 one day in April of 2009, and from there, it slowly crept back on, and this was the year I started to really notice and couldn’t stop it.  My body found it’s happy set point around 175 and it still doesn’t seem to want to budge without drastic measures.

However, I’m also not the kind of person that lets myself get so frustrated about that and give up and regain back ALL the weight.  175 and fit is so much better than 265 and without hope.


…would have a husband that’s into racing.  Well, that changed quickly once he got a taste of triathlons this year.  For someone who hated running and swimming, he sure did like racing tris.  I wasn’t one to question.

2012: I’m not the kind of person who…

…wants to really do long distance races.


True, I have fondness for the short stuff, but I completed a metric century, a half ironman, and a marathon.  And I didn’t hate any of them.  Kind of the opposite.

…races every other weekend.


We did 24 races in 12 months born out of a silly idea we had while drinking one night, and while it was TOO MUCH RACING, it was fun to conquer a huge big goal like that and stay healthy enough to start and finish that many races in a year.

2013: I’m not really the kind of person who…

…doesn’t smoke.  I had gradually whittled down my consumption to only when drinking and switched to the organic kind (which sounds like bullshit even to me, but I could SO feel the difference in comparison) but letting go of it completely was hard.  But I smoked my last cigarette at a 2012 NYE party and haven’t had once since.

DISCLAIMER: I still use an e-cig while drinking sometimes.  I’ve done my homework.  The juice I use is not the one with all the harmful crap in it that’s all over the news.  Nicotine is a stimulant similar to caffeine in terms of effect and danger without all the other crap in it.  The delivery system is essentially like a rescue inhaler.  I won’t say it has no risks but as an experiment of one, I see a WORLD of difference between that and cigs.


…has the balls to scuba dive.  It sounded awesome and terrifying at the same time, but after some conversations with Zliten about our upcoming vacation, which included a trip to Bonaire, which is one of the most beautiful places to dive in the world, we spent valentines day in class and on my 33rd birthday, I got certified.


So worth it.  I still have trouble getting down sometimes with touchy ears, but it just takes patience.  I’ve now seen 40-80 feet underwater in Aruba, Bonaire, Key Largo, Cozumel, and the Bahamas.  It’s worth it to see this stuff up close.

…does something dumb enough to get injured enough to DNS races.  I now have a few rules: a) try not to get that drunk b) don’t get that drunk ever on cruises c) don’t get that drunk ever on heels.


I would definitely say I have a healthy respect for what it takes to come back from an injury and will do all I can to not get there again either through being an idiot while drunk or being an idiot with overuse.

2014: I’m not really the kind of person who…

…places in my age group.  Well, I usually don’t.  But as of this year, I’d racked up a women’s OA win at the indoor tri, a 1st place at a 5k, a 2nd place at a half marathon, and finally placed 3rd at Gatorbait, my first AG placement in a tri.  I’m finally at the point where I’m at least considering fighting for 3rd at small races, which is fun.


…could give up grains or batch cook.  This was the second year of batch cooking and I feel like I hit my stride.  I stopped attempting the super fancy stuff (tikka masala from scratch is phenomenal, but takes so long) and went with easier stuff that didn’t take all day.


I don’t want to say what I did was low carb starting in August, but I ditched the rice, pasta, and bread, and turned to fruit, corn, and potatoes as carb fuel.  I wanted to hate it, but I ended up finding it kept my stomach more even, helped my triathlon race nutrition, and took some weight off (before I went on vacation and holidays and fucked it up).


…volunteers at races.  We’d done it once or twice, but this year, we did much more.  It’s a lot of fun being part of a triathlon while not always racing it.  Plus, cool tee shirts and stuff!

In 2015, I wonder…

Currently, I’m not the kind of person who keeps an uncluttered house.  But I’d really like to be, if I can find a way to do it without giving myself an ulcer about it.

Currently, I’m not the kind of person who runs every day.  But for 17 days so far, I have been and I’m kind of loving it.

Who knows what kind of person I’m not – but I will be by the end of THIS year?

What kind of person are you not?

Chasing my Shannon…

I have to have this conversation with myself once every few months lately, so you get to get in on this one.  Lucky you.

1995 - right before I quit gymnastics

So it’s been another 2 months since the wedding, and just like every vacation this year, I was able to quickly drop the “bloat weight”, and then seeing the scale go down starts to get me excited.  If I can drop the 3-5 lbs to get me right back around that 153-154 that I’ve been hovering at, maybe this is the time.  Maybe this is finally that month where my body is going to start cooperating and we’ll see some low low 150’s, and then that magical day I’ve been dreaming of – when I step on the scale and see 149.something.  And I’m not leaning on the counter.

And every time, I am doing great, I see a low 153, maybe even a 152, and then I GET STUCK.  Here I am now, bouncing around in the low/mid 150s.  Where I have been since about April.  To give reference and numbers because I love that stuff, I am 5’5″ and 150 is the tippy top of normal range for me via BMI.  However, when I was a serious gymnast at age 14ish, I was only about 30 lbs lighter and I was a muscle beast.  The only difference in my body now (besides the extra weight which I am convinced is ALL in my tummy) is I’m a D cup instead of a B, which all in all, ain’t so bad.  My

1997 - Diving Senior Year (what is my penchant for sports wearing almost nothing?)

back then go-to size was 7.  My now go-to size is 8 (which we all know is bigger because average sizes are bigger but still).  I have once again become a muscle beast.  I am a capable athlete.  While I wouldn’t dream of being able to do a straddle press to a handstand, girlfriend back then wouldn’t dream of being able to run 13 miles.

So why isn’t that enough?  Why is it absolutely imperative that I get down to some number that I’ve set for myself?  What wonders is life going to hold 20 lbs from now?  I’ve already had the reality check that life still sometimes SUCKS some days even when you are a healthy weight and for all intents and purposes financially comfortable.  Removing those two worries from life does not guarantee happily ever after.  Will I be able to run faster?  Probably a little but I highly doubt I’ll be rocking 5 minute marathon miles.  Will I finally love and accept my body wholly and completely and nary once look in the mirror ever and go, “ugh, that stomach is NOT hawt” and suck in my cheeks and wish my face looked more like that?  Probably not.  At about 120 and 10% body fat at 14 (you couldn’t pinch an inch anywhere, I had a 6-pack, the only fat in my body was in my boobs), I was still not thin enough as a gymnast compared to my 80 lb teammates.  But without doing something drastic, it just wasn’t going any lower.

Fall 2007 - Yes, that is me, not Violet turning into a blueberry. 30 lbs down, believe it or not

It’s not that I don’t appreciate where I’m at.  I’m not discounting the work I put in to lose 110+ lbs.  I appreciate how life changing and wonderful that is.  The thing is – I got the ball rolling Sept 2007 with a 8 lb loss that month, and never stopped losing each week EVER until about a year later.  So while it was effort, I already had the inertia.  I knew in my head that it was going to be hard to get going again so I just kept doing it.  I was very right.

I also don’t discount the work I put in within the last 20 lbs lost going from huffing and puffing through a 5k at around 11-12 minute miles, to now cutting that time to 8:30 miles and being able to go over 4x that distance.  My body looks and feels and handles completely differently in the last year.  Clothes that fit last winter 10-15 lbs ago hang off me.  Every pair of pants I own fits, even the “skinny jeans” I bought myself this spring that didn’t quite work when I weighed a few lbs less.

Jan 2008 -200. Starting to feel strong.

But the scale just keeps taunting me.  I’ve tried eating less, I’ve tried eating more, I’ve tried intuitive eating, I’ve tried strict calorie counting, I’ve tried rest weeks, I’ve tried everything that doesn’t involve giving up food groups or foods of one color, ie, things that to me feel like sane, reasonable eating I can do for the rest of my life.  I’ve posted a week of my intake, and the comments were somewhere between “yum” and “I’m getting hungry just reading, eat more”.  Sadly, the best progress weight-wise I seem to make are rest weeks from the gym where I barely do any working out and I restrict my calories down super low (1300).  When I start working out more and thus eating more (even if the calories I take in are way less than the extra calories expended), I go back to 154.

July 2008 -175 - muscles starting to peek out...

It’s to the point where I need to make a decision – spend the few months between the next half marathon and when I start marathon training going back to baby workouts and a 1200 calorie diet to see if I can take off the last 20, or just take a stand and say this is it.  I don’t know what else there is.  My thyroid and all other tests came out fine.  The numbers show I should be making progress.  I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that I cannot eat as much as any of you out there and lose weight.

Jan 2009 - 160 - First mini in public that wasn't a costume since college!

Option one sounds painful (I am so addicted to exercise I actually don’t feel right in the head after rest weeks), but so does option two, because it feels like giving up.  I still have a dress I can’t fit in.  I’m still “overweight” BMI-wise.  My tummy still poofs out all funny under the belly button.  I still have something I’m pursuing in my head and I’m not there yet.  It’s not just a number.  I just want to get to that point in my life where I don’t get up every morning wishing I was smaller.   The sad thing is I have never been there, so I can’t say when it will be.  I have always been the Merry Lou Retton in a world of Shannon Millers.  Stocky, muscular, and powerful looking at our best.  But you gotta wonder, did she ever just wish she had that typical, emaciated gymnast body?  My theory is that at some weight, I have to lose the “stockiness” about me and just look badass.   But how far do I have to go to do it?

June 2009 - Around 155, right before starting my half marathon

It’s just part of my insatiable mega-manic personality.  I always thought the line, “somehow I feel like I was destined to be more” seemed cheesy, because don’t we ALL feel destined to be more?  I’m trying to think of a way to say this that doesn’t make me sound like a horrible, self-deprecating person, but every day that I am not extraordinary, I am a failure to myself.  Can I add to that “in a good way”?  Like, the drive in me to be more, do more, be something amazing pulls me along by the nose.

That’s the quirk that had me in the gym 4-7 hours per day 6 days a week, or got me mostly straight As in school, or had me working 100 hour weeks without prodding, or now that has me working towards running 26.2 miles.  It hit me recently that no, not everyone feels “destined for more”.  Some people are just continent to be themselves and live their lives and are genuinely happy.  Sometimes I really am jealous of them.  Most times, I cannot imagine not having this crazy drive to do and to be more.

Oct 2009 - 155ish - getting married and looking pretty hawt doing it

But I have this crazy bail button that keeps me from completely fulfilling my evil genius tendencies.  I cannot give myself over completely to the crazy.  Too close to the flames and I start feeling the burn.  Once I start getting too far gone I pull the crazy-chute.  I quit gymnastics and spent the last 2 years of high school being normal (if you can call normal honor roll, various clubs and activities, varsity diving, and two part time jobs).  I quit the crazy job and now work a 40 hour week unless I am required to work more.  NaNoWriMo made me throw a tantrum and I haven’t opened up the document since.

That’s one reason I’m trying to take the running at a safe and sane pace – I want to continue for a long time.  The 3 runs a week program is feeding both my mega-crazy side (I am positively shredded after each workout) and my eject button side (I never run 2 days in a row), and the time commitment is less insane than last time.  So that is mucho bueno.

And the most recent - still around 155 - about to Turkey Trot!

So in summary – I’m just feeling a little bummed about what the scale is saying to me, realizing it’s the last month of 2009, where I was damn sure I was going to find my goal weight and stick with it because I was impossibly close.  I have surely found A WEIGHT to stick with, but not the one I was hoping for.  I just need to figure out what to do without triggering the crazy – if 1200 calories is good then 1000 calories is better and 750 calories IS BEST and fainting while running means I’m working hard, right?  (I’m not there at all, believe me, but I acknowledge that I can get stupid focused to the point of losing my perspective sometimes.)  I also don’t want to trigger my eject – the fuck it, I am done with this healthy living bullshit, I am going to do something completely different.  I don’t want to go back to stuffing my face and not leaving my apartment unless forced.

Thank you for allowing me to lay on the proverbial couch here and vent.  Now, I wanna hear from you.  What’s working for you right now?  How do you know (or will you know) that you’re at your proper and happy weight?  Has there been a time in your life where you were utterly and completely satisfied?  Any advice?  Since I am broke and can’t afford a nutritionist, life coach, head shrinker, or the like, I turn to you – internetties!

Rainbows and sunshine next post, I promise!

Once Upon a Time in Reno…

(yes, I’m going to give the neuroticism a break today – enjoy!  Please also ignore any funky formatting and pretend it’s just *artsy*.   Yeah, that’s it…)

…there was a boy named Zliten and a girl named Quix.  They both worked at the “other mall” in town for after school jobs their junior years in high school.  Quix worked at Hot

High School Senior Quix

High School Senior Quix

Topic.  Zliten worked at Sweet Factory.  These stores were right across from each other.  Zliten liked the crazy clothes and rebellious items in Hot Topic, so he was often in the store browsing and purchasing the wares.  Quix had to get her candy fix occasionally, so she could be found in Sweet Factory getting a few sour ropes or some sour balls (I guess that shows what a sour girl she was).

After running into each other, Zliten found another reason to go into Hot Topic – to blush at the silly girl with the dark hair in the leather pants and try to make awkward conversation.  Being that this silly boy, beyond being a little socially awkward, also was sporting a bit of a mullet, she would try to avoid him (and send other coworkers over if she needed a candy fix).  He was relentless, but she was probably the most stubborn person you would ever know.  One night at a party,

High School Zliten

High School Zliten

she fixed him up with one of her best friends and they started dating.  Then, a few months later, she started dating the dreamy looking guy at the Orange Julius stand.

None of her friends or family liked this guy, but being the stubborn girl Quix was, she stayed with him, on and off, for about 3 dysfunctional years.  Zliten and said friend went away to college together across the country, broke up a year later, and scattered.  Zliten came back to visit a few times to see his mom, but was living a few states away and liked it that way.  Quix dreamed of a guy who was awesome and romantic and wouldn’t treat her like poop and would sit out on her balcony and ask the stars if they would please please send to her someone like that.

Then one day, Quix was hanging out with said boy, then ex, trying to do the friends thing – by the way – which only seems to work with responsible, patient people. It happened to also be the day that Zliten called

College Zliten: or Heath Ledger, you decide.

College Zliten: or Heath Ledger, you decide.

my cell (gotta love the brick I had in 1999) letting me know he was in town for a few days and wanted to escape his dwelling for a bit if anything was going on.  Being not patient, nor responsible people, Quix and Jerky McLiarPants started screaming at each other not too long after, and she left all upset.  She just needed to talk to someone, and his number was the first on the list having called just a bit ago, and she invited him to coffee.

It just so happened that Quix’s play was closing that night, and she was hosting the wrap party at her next door neighbor’s house (don’t ask).  She got him two tickets.  He

Sadly, the ONLY college Quix pic I have thats online.

Sadly, the ONLY college Quix pic I have that's online. That would be me with the whip.

brought a date, she was trying to catch the attention of the male lead that she had been crushing on ever since the play was cast – but the two ended up together.

Fast forward through all the college awkwardness, and we both picked up and moved to San Diego two weeks after I graduated.  Because it sounded like a neat place to live and it was anywhere but Reno.  Not because we had any prospective jobs or ways to make money.  But we found a little box, and got temp jobs testing video games after the credit cards ran out, and found out we were living in a great place to make a run of having that be our career, so we

Now we race together...

Now we race together...

figured that would be awesome.  Who wants to go back to graduate school and deal with academia politics when you can legally dream up ways to kill people (‘s avatars)?

Through that time, I was proposed to with onion rings and ring pops and the like.  There was never a question that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Zliten – but I always imagined *things* about getting married.  For some reason, I had the age “30” in my head.  And getting my own life together first – including having a job title I was proud of and – probably more importantly – I was not getting married fat.  Totally vain, I know.  I could be immortalized in time skinny and together... together...

poor and think “gee, glad I got that awesome job promotion the next year” and proudly hang the pictures up on the mantle.  If I was rich and fat, they’d just stay in a box somewhere.

I finally agreed to a promise ring, which slowly got too small as I got bigger.  Then, after things snapped into place in my head and I started project: deporkify and we had enough cash saved up to do the ring right, we finally got engaged.  We bought the ring on a cruise to Mexico in March 2007,  and then we surprised my mom by Zliten proposing at dinner that night.

I worked dilligently on losing weight and then last year, we finally set a date.  May 9th, together... together...

2009.  And then we kept changing our minds on what sort of wedding we wanted and didn’t set anything up in time, so then, we finally set another date last December.  October 4th, 2009.  And you’ve gotten to experience the frantic whirlwind since then.

So tomorrow, my dear Zliten and I, love of my life, king prince of silliness, hop on a jetplane with FOUR bags in tow (but hey – it all fits – YAY!) and a few days after that, we become Mr. and Mrs. Zliten.  After 10 years (almost exactly to the date of the play closing), 3 states, 7 apartments/houses, and a whole lot of fun times, we’re finally making it official.  Sure, I may not be at my “goal weight” and I

...wear hats together...

...wear hats together...

struggle with the fact that I could do more/be more and I’m stagnating at work, but the truth is, I’m not doing too badly.  And it’s not as if this is the best I’m ever going to be in my life, oh no – just try and stop me.   There are promotions to go after and races to run and get PRs and muscles to tone and all sorts of wonderful adventures yet to be discovered.  Just with another ring on my finger and my wonderful husband at my side.

Have a wonderful week, blogland.  I will be back with many pictures and stories to share.  Though I have been told that it is absolutely inappropriate to tweet at my wedding (lolz, getting married now bbiab, kthx?), feel free to follow me on twitter or friend me on facebook if you think it might be interesting to hear how Vegas is going, I tend to update those a lot on vacation.  Anyone want to share wedding day memories?  How did you meet your significant other?  Inquiring minds want to know…

...and will be getting married here together in just a few days.

...and will be getting married here together in just a few days.

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