Scroogy Reads

So… last week Bestie introduced me to Goodreads.  I was already aching to get back into reading fiction.  (50 Shades of Grey took me months to finish).  So, I got a few books at the library and then checked out the website.  I think it’s my new favorite thing.

You rate books you’ve already read, can even write reviews, can tag books you want to read (really helpful, because I’m always forgetting that one book I’ve been meaning to read once I get to the library or book store), and then the site makes recommendations on books you might like based on those you’ve read/reviewed/tagged.  There are even quizzes and trivia games and discussion boards about books.  I’m a geek in love.

Well, I read Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout first.  It was a light read, and I gave it a light review.  Then I read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.  Here’s my review:
Okay, Peeps, well…  I am a lifelong fan of vampire fiction and for the past 10 years or more I have also been a fan of historical fiction.  So, I was drawn to the idea of this book.

I read it very quickly (even though, due to the fact that I accidentally put a hold on the LARGE PRINT edition at the library, I was distracted by the font and format).  I was very curious to see how Seth Grahame-Smith would weave the vampire legend into the life of one of America’s most influential Presidents.  I was even more interested in how Abe would end up befriending Baltimore Legend Edgar Allen Poe.  So, for those reasons, I flew through the pages until the last few.  And for the most part, I was highly entertained.

Yes, many, many artistic liberties are taken with historical events.  But as a vampire fan, this sat well with me, especially knowing how several of my favorite vampire characters were already tied to the Civil War (Stefan Salvatore from Vampire Diaries, Henry and Aidan from Being Human, Bill Compton from True Blood).  I could easy swallow the idea that the dark, brother vs brother, bloody war would include preternatural elements.

As the book came to its conclusion, and I began to guess where it was headed, I read more and more slowly.  I just didn’t want to see it happen.  But, it did.  Although, I suppose it was a fitting end to this version of Abe’s life.  Maybe my reluctance to see it go that way lies in my curiosity about how he handled Henry’s “gift” and how exactly did he go on to do the things Grahame-Smith credits him with.  Maybe there should be a sequel…??

Next up…  Hunger Games!!!  I’m very excited.

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Power Up (bloop bloop bloop)…

Aw, yeah, video game style.  I love Super Mario Brothers.

I found this quote on another blog last week, “Power… comes from below. Power picks up a towel and serves. Power chooses the less glamorous choice. Power is not so insecure that it needs the final word. Power does not need control.”

The context of the quote was about Mutuality, which I don’t know much about, but I think it has something to do with Women and Men in Ministry (my faith is another thing I’m searching and learning about).  Once I feel more certain, I will probably blog about this too.

So the quote brought so many ideas to mind.  I’d like to examine two, a personal one, and a more global one.

Anyway, firstly, ever since my anger post a couple of months back, I’ve been doing some soul searching on my power in relationships and the power I give up to others and the affect it has on my Mojo.  And also on the concept of what is personal Power.  Here are my thoughts…

Do I give up power?  Hm…I really don’t feel like I do.  I feel like it takes a stronger person to grin and bear it and put aside pain and anger and resentment and try to make the most of life.  I read a Chicken Soup for the Soul story ages ago which had a basic moral of “Happiness is a decision.”  I totally believe that to be true.  Why wallow in anger?  Why let that steal any moments away from you?

Other people think I’m passive aggressive and a door mat.  So, I’ve examined myself and looked deep and decided, that well, maybe I am passive aggressive.  Because I HATE conflict.  But I am not a doormat.

Yes, many times I let Hubby or my friends or a family member have the last word in an argument.  I do so because I know I’m right and I don’t need them to agree for it to still be true.  I take peace in my certainty.

Now, there are times when I do fight back and usually those are the times when I’m less certain about my arguments.  The times when I’m still fighting with myself over the issue at hand.  Or, it could be that I’m caught up in a new emotion or set of emotions and haven’t processed it, so I’m more apt to lash out.

There ya go Peeps, during those times when I am letting it go, when you think I’m giving in or giving up?  Just know I’m taking my own red and white polka dotted mushroom and bloop bloop bloop!  😀  I’m powering up.

Because, no, I don’t believe I give up power because the only power that exists is within me.  Wow.  Perhaps I’m full of shit.  Haha.  See, I started watching this Morgan Freeman: Through the Wormhole about perception and reality and it’s totally twisted me up.  Haha.  Again, that’s a subject for another blog post.

But switching gears here and going back to the quote and the other, global, idea.

I believe also that the real strength of our world, our society, comes from the SILENT warriors.  The housewives, the teachers, the firefighters and police officers, the garbage men, the mail carriers…  The everyday men and women who get up everyday and go to work and earn a living and spend their paycheck on groceries and electric bills and clothes for their families.

I think if our nation took more time to bail out these people and less time bailing out the bankers and corporations and those LOUDER, supposedly powerful folks, then the economy will bounce back and be stronger than ever before.

Note that I emphasized SILENT and LOUDER.  See, Peeps, I didn’t just do that to be shouty.  If more regular folks used their God given voices, their Constitutional rights to vote, to protest, to engage in our world, then the real Power will be evident.  Look at me getting all political.

But, honestly, I think that the voices of the few extreme left or extreme right are not the voices of the real people with the real strength.  They are just the loudest. Loud and fighty doesn’t mean valid and powerful.

In this case however, we can’t just rest on our own resolve and let the world think what they may.

C’mon, Power Up!  There are even those mushrooms with the spinny things that make you fly!

(No.  I do not do drugs.)

(Anymore 😉 )

Lala the Entrepreneur

My oldest daughter (by a whopping 12 minutes) is a genius.

Today’s reason is that she has developed a 3 step skin care regimen that she plans to sell in stores and at online.com.  (Her words about the website name).

First, you use the all-plastic Ariel toy to “scratch” your skin.  Second, you use the mermaid toy with “real” hair to “fluff” your skin.  Lastly, you use the Chinese take out menu to “wipe” it.

She has demonstrated this wonderful system on her own cheeks, on mine, and on Loopsy’s. Complete with the “feel how SMOOTH!” part at the end.

It’s outstanding how youthful and smooth their faces look and feel after Lala’s demonstration!  😉

I think she’s a genius.  And that I keep the TV on waaaaaay too much.

Mother Nature needs to take a long walk off a short pier

So, I’ve been a weepy stupid mess for about a week now.  I thought it was Father’s Day and I couldn’t really make sense of why THIS year it was affecting me so much.

Then, at bedtime last night, BOOM!  Aunt Flo.  Grrr.

I’m going to just go ahead and lay it out there…  I have the Mirena IUD and I only see Aunt Flo a few times a year, but when she does come…  Watch the fuck out, Peeps!

I feel really bad for Lala and Loopsy.  I think there should be some sort of free childcare out there for Mommies during this time of the month.  Where the kids can watch videos on a loop of their mother acting kind and sweet and cuddling with them and singing songs and doing projects and laughing and having fun.  Just so they don’t have to see this shit.  Or endure the grouchiness and the unpredictable blow ups.

And while they are playing and surrounded by the sights and sounds of their Real Mommy, this version of me, Scroogy Mommy on Steroids, can hide a darkened room with a Big Gulp of red wine and about 2 dozen Berger Cookies and some Doritoes.  I could watch reality TV and bitch as loud as I want at the dumbasses.  (side note: Anyone see The Glass House last night?  I seriously have never hated a reality contestant more than I hate that Alex kid.  Then again, that could be Aunt Flo’s fault as well.)

*sigh*

Seriously, Mother Nature?  Seriously?  Gah.

That would be nice.

Shout out to the rest of the fellas…

It takes a village to raise a child.  According to Hilary Clinton.  But, I think she’s on to something, Peeps.

My Mom raised me pretty much on her own after my stepfather and then my actual father passed within a year of each other.  But, since yesterday was Father’s Day, I took some time to reflect on the other fellas that made a difference to me growing up.  And the ones that still do make a difference.

First, there is my Uncle Ed.  Wow, I am already tearing up, dammit.  Uncle Ed is my mom’s sister’s husband.  He and my Aunt Kathy started dating when I was a few months old.  I was a junior bridesmaid in their wedding.  I was adorable.  haha.  But, really, Uncle Ed has been a constant in my life.  Someone sure to make me smile (or more accurately, to laugh until my face hurts), to listen, to share generously.  We can’t agree on religion or politics, but, that’s okay.  So, Happy Father’s Day Uncle Eddie.  I love you.

While we’re talking uncles, I can’t forget to say Happy Father’s Day to my Uncle John.  He’s also my mom’s brother-in-law, married to my Aunt Josie (my godmother).  Uncle John is a quiet fella, a gentle man.  He’s more apt to show you affection by teasing you about wearing ugly shoes than by giving a hug.  He reminds me of Hubby that way.  In a lot of ways, actually, haha.  That’s why we chose him to be Lala’s godfather.  I’ll always be grateful that he, more warmly than I could’ve predicted, welcomed Hubby into his family and home.  He even purchased Yankees gear for him.  Which had to be a bitter pill to swallow for a die hard Orioles fan.  Thank you, Uncle John.  I love you.

Then, there was my Grandpa and my mom’s uncle, Uncle Buddy.  These two men could not have been more different.  Grandpa was an introvert, Uncle Buddy, the class clown.  Grandpa showed me the art of the quiet observer.  Uncle Buddy taught me a lot of naughty jokes.  I can’t imagine my childhood without them.

But now that childhood is LOOOOONNG gone (I’m old, yo), there are still a few gentlemen that mean a lot to me and mine.

First, there is my mom’s husband, Jim.  He and I had a rocky start.  There was never a father/daughter thing between us.  And that’s okay.  He loves my mom to the nth degree and they really enjoy each other.  They travel and go to festivals and are regulars at TGIFridays and Mom is loving every minute.  Jim and I are forging a true friendship that grows closer and more meaningful with each passing year.  He’s a proud and loving Pop-pop to my girls and nothing could make him more precious to me than that!  Happy Father’s Day, Jim!  Love you.

Second, there’s Brother.  My first playmate.  Oh my…  I’ve got to stop crying.  Damn.  Ugh.  Ok.  My hope for the future is that we get back to that closeness we used to have.  I love you, bro.

Lastly, but not least, is Hubby!  My main man.  The love of my life.  Lala’s and Loopsy’s hero.  I’ve written about him here before, and I’m sure to write even more, so I won’t go on and on.  But, I do want to say Thank you, babe, for working so hard and making smart decisions and doing all that you do to support our little family.  I’m forever grateful.  Happy Father’s Day!!!

Thanks fellas.  I don’t know what I’d do without ya!

I miss you, Dad

Gah!  I’ve known I wanted to write this since my Mother’s Days posts last month, but I have no idea where to begin…  I’ll just write an open letter to my Dad, I guess.  Here goes nothing, Peeps:

Dear Dad,

Hey.  Long time no see. Bah-dum dum! (That was drum thing, what’s it called?  A rim shot?  That sounds wrong.) 

Anyway… do they have wi-fi in Heaven?  I’m sure there’s some way you’re able to read my blog up there, or right here over my shoulder maybe?  I just got chills.

Dad, whenever I think of you, I usually think about how much has changed in the world since you passed.  Dude, it’s crazy.  Cell phones.  Lap tops.  Super Sizes at Mc D’s have come and gone.  3D televisions.  Imagine watching football on that, Dad!  Oh, yeah, Baltimore has a football team again.  Do you guys get the Ravens games in Heaven or is St Peter more a Steelers fan?

And I also think about the times in my life you’ve missed…

High school, road trips to visit colleges, graduation, my whole Salisbury experience.  Would I have gone to Frostburg instead if you’d been here?

My first love, first heartbreak.  I wonder if you would’ve been the “I’m gonna pummel the jerk!” kind of Dad or the “Let’s go get plastered and bowl!” kind.  I’m thinking it would be the latter. 

Finally getting my driver’s license.  My first car.  You worked in the car business when I was a kid.  I’m sure I would’ve been driving a Subaru or a VW years before I bought that ol’ Honda!

My first job, first teaching experience, deciding that teaching wasn’t for me, finding a career that was for me… You were kind of a job hopper, from what I remember.  I wonder what advice you’d have given me.  I wonder if I’d have gone into the financial world earlier or later or never..

Meeting Hubby and falling in love for real. I know you’d have liked him.  He’s good people.  And into sports.  And Mom says you and he would’ve made a good commentator team.  Although Mom and Brother more than fit the bill, I would’ve given anything for you to walk me down the aisle.  I know you really were there on our wedding day, drinking a St Pauly Girl and singing along to the Beatles.

Your granddaughters being born on your birthday.  Lala has a dimple in her chin, just like yours, Dad. 

I also think about the things I missed knowing about you.  I never got to know you, adult to adult.  I don’t know what you wanted to be when you grew up, your dream vacation/car/home, how you feel about gay marriage or immigration or the debt crisis, if you were a reader or not (how do I not know that?), how you wanted to spend your retirement…  You are an enigma to me still, an incomplete picture.  I hate that I never had the chance to fill in the blanks.

Bottom line, Dad.  I miss you.  Every day.  I used to be angry that you chose not to take care of yourself.  That you chose to smoke and eat pizza and fries and chocolate shakes and chose not to exercise.  I felt you chose those things over Brother and me.  But I forgive you now.  You were human, and flawed, just like me.  And the final and most important thing you taught me is that life is short.  So for that, I am grateful.

Love,

Scroogy

A Fire in My Belly

Hubby likes to say this when he’s attempting to push my buttons (ew, not like THAT, Peeps, geesh!).  I mean when he’s trying to get me riled up.  We’ll be watching TV and he’ll call one of my favorite characters or contestants a terrible name and I’ll get my panties in a wad and he’ll say, “Just tryin to put a fire in your belly!”  And he’ll laugh at me and pretend to smack me and tickle me and it’s kind of adorable, believe it or not.  (You have to know Hubby to understand.)

This post, however, is not about hubby or his antics.  It is about a real (okay, figurative) Fire in my (figurative) Belly.

When I began my Mojo journey, I started at the brain.  I read some self help books, tried to turn to my faith, researched a connection between the brain and obesity or other illnesses.  I started taking supplements like fish oil and B complex and Gingko (still take the fish oil and the B vitamins, dropped the gingko).  I started deep breathing exercises and prayer/meditation.  I started using certain essential oils to inspire clarity or calm.  Some of these techniques worked, but most didn’t.  

Finally, I don’t recall what the spark was, but a fire was lit.  Actually, perhaps it was when I saw something in the mail from a local hospital about Bariatric Surgery.  I started thinking, this is it.  My only hope.

So, I started researching surgical options, bariatric centers, success stories.  I resolved that this was what I wanted to do.  To save my life.

I went to an information center at Johns Hopkins.  I met with a surgeon.  I decided that a gastric sleeve was probably the best option for me.  (Google it, Peeps.  I’m really no good at putting links in my blog.  It never works.)

One of the first steps in the process of bariatric surgery is to be on a 6 month physician supervised nutrition plan.  This is to show the surgeons and your physician that you are willing to make a permanent change and that you will be compliant with medical advice, post-surgery.  I was nervous about meeting with my doc, because he is famously “no bull shit” about weight loss and he is also a Medifast coach.  I KNEW he was going to tell me to iksnay on the urgerysay and just do Medifast.  I was willing to go over his head and see a Hopkins physician who would green light the operation.

But, to my surprise, my doc was cool with the idea.  He nodded and agreed and added his own knowledge when I babbled on about my research into gastric sleeve surgery and ghrelin and protein and blahblahblah.  He peered at me over his spectacles, one hand on my shoulder, the other on my knee, like a wise old father figure and he said, “I see that you really want this Scroogy.  I know you can do this.  Here’s what we’re going to do…”

Long story short, he and I worked together over a few weeks to create a nutrition plan that was, yes, based on Medifast, but with real food.  He commended my research and my commitment.  I felt empowered.

And powerful I was…  I had that fight.  The Fire in My Belly.  I lost 45 lbs from Sept 29 to Feb 2.  In 18 weeks, even through the holidays.  But then…  Ugh.  I dunno.  My fire went out.  I’ve discussed this on this blog before, and I still am not sure why it happened.  And I’ve been struggling to get it back ever since.  

I’ve even posted many, “I got this, Peeps!”  posts in the meantime, but honestly, I was doing the whole “fake it til you make it” approach.  I just didn’t have that fight back.  Not really.

But, this week, I feel it.  I really do.  No lie.  I swear.  😉

I’m going to Change My Fate.

I’m going to save my life.

I’m going to really live and enjoy myself and my body and what it can do, what I can accomplish.

I’m going to be an author.

I’m going to see the world.

I’m going to see my kids grow up and get married. 

I’m going to dance the Roger Rabbit at my grandkid’s wedding and amaze all the youngsters.

Sunday night’s show, the one I blogged about so extensively on Monday, really did give me inspiration.  Jacqui’s story could’ve been my own.  Her struggles and emotional barriers are so so similar.  Watching her, I was reminded of that fight I had inside me back in the fall and early winter.  It was like looking into a mirror and saying, “Oh, THERE you are….Where have you been?” 

I am capable.  I have the tools, I always have.  I deserve the chance to do and to be all those things I dream of. 

See, my fire is back.

(PS…  Since Monday, I’ve lost 3.2 lbs and counting)

 

 

 

Lala & Loopsy, Will you please clean now?

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I love Dr Seuss.  Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Leave Now?  is the inspiration for this post title.  And as I look around my living room, I see upwards of a dozen Dr Seuss books scattered across the floor.  Damn.

My girls do love to read, but the reason the books are all over the place is that they like to build “bridges” with them and skip across the room on them, staying off the carpet (which has transformed into Goopy Gop).

And so, soon, the nagging will begin to get them to clean up the mess they made.  It will be a lot of whining and excuses.  And I’ll bargain, threaten, bribe…  And only if I hit on the right incentive will they comply and clean up.

Now, I will admit that these exchanges are partly my fault because for a long time, I’d clean up for them.  I wanted their toys and books put away a certain way and didn’t want to have to re-clean after they did it the wrong way.  (Stop laughing.  I am not a control freak.)  Also, especially at the beginning of my weight loss/ Mojo journey, cleaning up was a major exercise for me- all that bending, reaching, stretching, carrying, walking up and down stairs…  So I was glad to do it, to work up a sweat and accomplish a household task at the same time.

But, alas, this means that I taught my kids the unfortunate lesson that Mommy will eventually clean it up herself.  Well, as of the past few weeks, much to the Twinsies amazement, Mommy’s all “oh hell to the no!”

If you are a FB friend, you probably saw a series of posts a few weeks back in which I lamented my messy house and the lack of help from the girls.

I told them that I would NOT give them fairy braids or pig tails until they cleaned up.  I would NOT get out the play doh or the markers or any other art project until they cleaned up.  For some reason, they looooove watching me play on the Wii- especially Super Mario Bros.  So, that was also off limits until the chores were done.  So was the play ground, playing in the yard with bubbles, going shopping with Mommy (they love shopping carts).  But, no.  Didn’t work. No go, Peeps, no go.

Then I went the “if you don’t take care of your things you don’t deserve them” route.  I grabbed a large black trash bag, and in a rage, put everything on the living room floor into it and hid it in my closet.  It’s still there, by the way.  That didn’t work either.  Lala said, “It’s okay, Mommy.  We don’t need so many toys anyway.”  Wily Little Monster.  She also told me, when I threatened to do the same with her bedroom floor, “I’m a big girl now.  I don’t need toys anymore.”  *sigh*

How did she get so clever in the art of negotiation/manipulation?  I blame Ruby, from Max & Ruby.  Just because I don’t like that bossy little brat.  Haha.

So, taking away the toys didn’t work.

I tried bribing them with ice pops or Smarties or with these cute ice cream push pop kit dealies:

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That just resulted in more whining on their part about how I never let them have anything fun.  And I ended up feeling hella guilty for attempting to use food as reward.  As a chubby chick myself, really, Peeps, I should know better.  Double Damn.

In the end, I was frustrated and resigned to the fact that I’d probably have to clean up after them until they go to college.  And I started to feel bad for their future dorm mates and wondered if I should start saving for a cleaning service along with their tuition.  I turned to my friend Burnett’s Cherry Vodka for solace.  😉

Then Hubby started his two week vacation.  He woke up one morning and filled up their kiddie pool.  That’s when I uttered this magical phrase, “We can go in your little pool if you clean up your room!”

Aaawww, Yeah!!!  That’s all it took!  They cleaned up everything in their room, in the upstairs hallway, in the play area.  It probably took less than 30 minutes and they had put everything in the proper bin, bucket, shelf, and were getting all greased up with SPF 50.  Amazing.

So, now I’m looking at my living room floor, filled with The Cat in The Hat and Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches and Egg, and other Early Reader books like Are You My Mother? (in both Spanish & English).  And I’m wondering which incentive will work to get these books shelved…

I’m gonna go with “Want to watch Mommy play Just Dance 3 on the Wii?”  Kills two birds with one stone.

Wish me luck, Peeps.

Extreme Makeover: Scroogy Edition

Anyone watch Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition?  Its one of my favorite summer shows.  Last night’s episode was incredible and a real inspiration for me.  One that may just save my life.  I’ll recap for you Peeps that missed it:

This week’s makeover is Jacqui.  She’s a 30-year-old wife and sales department manager for a health & wellness company.  She is more than 200 lbs overweight and currently struggling with infertility.

During her introduction interviews, she takes a moment to look at herself in nothing but her skivvies for the first time in a zillion years.  She starts hyperventilating and says she might be sick.  She can’t believe that the camera people aren’t running away to vomit.  She is horrified at the state of her body and can’t imagine how her husband finds any of that attractive.  Hm.  Been there, girl friend!  Still there some days.

Then Jacqui reveals that she was a fairly normal weight until she was 14.  That’s when she was raped at a party and began to feel like she didn’t deserve any better.  Yikeys. Poor kid!  At this point in the show, I’m already feeling a kinship with Jacqui and I begin to wonder why I started gaining weight as a child.  Hm…  I was actually underweight until I was about 10.  Worth a ponder at some point, I think.  Stay Tuned, Peeps!

Next, Jacqui describes her marriage to Shawn as wonderful.  He’s the first man to ever make her feel special.  He interviews that he loves her, but is worried about her weight, worries he’ll lose her.  She goes on to say that she feels like a burden to him and sometimes considers divorce just to make his life easier.

They both discuss that she has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which is related to her obesity and renders her pretty much barren.  She again mentions leaving him so that he can go on to have kids with a healthier wife.

Gah!  If my size had made it difficult for me to get pregnant, I think I’d be so depressed.  I can understand how she feels because having kids was something I always dreamed of as well.

Another dream Jacqui reveals is that she’s always wanted to be a singer or musician, but people discouraged her because her size would hold her back.  Who are these people?  What?  Have they never seen an opera?  Haha.  Fat lady singing, yaddayaddayadda, you get me, right?  *sigh*  Good times.  Aaaaanyway…

So at this point in the show, Chris the Wonder Trainer surprises Jacqui at a cafe or bar or something where she is watching her friends’ band perform.  He walks in playing an acoustic guitar and singing to her and it’s friggin adorable.  He sings that he’s chosen her for an Extreme Makeover and it’s off key and pitchy, dawg, but it’s just the cutest thing ever. Hubby and I debate over whether Chris is gay or not, but it really doesn’t matter.  A guy + a guitar = adorable.

He asks her to promise to commit a year of her life to this journey of weight loss and healthy living.  She promises and cries.  I tear up a little too.  Jacqui really wants this, you can tell.  Nice.

24 hours later, Chris and Jacqui are at the California Health and Longevity Institute for a week of Boot Camp.

First step is to weigh in.  In the cargo bay.  On a freight scale.  Holy shit this is humiliating.  I think Chris does it this way to shock the client, to give the enormity of their obesity real gravity.  See what I did there?  I laugh to hide the pain, okay?

Jacqui weighs in at 355 lbs.  She says, “What kind of person doesn’t understand how to take care of their own body?”  Aw, Jacs…  I had a similar thought when I began my diet back in September.  How could I be so dumb?  Blah.

She goes on to say that fat people have to be nice or happy or kind in order to get others to look past their size and give them a chance.  Hm…  Maybe.  I’d like to add funny to that list.  Or snarky.  I’ve met a few fat snarksters in my day.

Second step is a nutrition lesson with Paulette.  I want Paulette to live with me and cook for me because everything she makes looks scrumdilliumptious.   This time she makes a shrimp and broccoli pasta- shrimp has more protein and less something bad than other meats and the broccoli adds bulk to the meal so you can get away with only 1 cup of pasta.  I gotta say that I’m already doing these kids of tricks (adding veggies to brown rice or whole grain pasta so that there’s more food to eat with fewer calories).  So, I feel pretty awesome.  😀

Chris explains that for the first 90 days,  Jacqui will be eating 1500 calories a day- 5 meals, low sugar, controlled sodium, etc.  She’ll also be working out 6 days a week for 2 to 4 hours a day.  He says that she’ll be at a  3500 calorie a DAY deficit and therefore could lose 1 lb each day.

Third step is the medical testing step.  They put her in that weird space capsule thing to get a reading on her body fat percentage.  They test her lung capacity and her blood pressure and all that.  They try to draw blood for the rest of the tests, but can’t hit a vein because of her fat.  Eventually they decide to tap a vein in her foot.  Wow.  Jacqui is humiliated.  They don’t pull any punches at the Cal H&L Inst, yo.  They also do some fertility tests and the doctor tells her that if she does the work this year, her fertility should return and that at that point next year, she’ll be more apt to conceive.  Jac cries that other doctors told her that gastric bypass was her only hope.  Aw, again, Jacs.  Tear.

Step four Chris takes her to the gym to customize a workout.  They hit the recumbent bike (I want one), do the pushing a weight across the floor on a dolly thing, do some sit and lift dealies with 12 lb hand weights.  That looks hella hard.  And apparently it is because Jacqui breaks down at this point and says she cannot go on.  Every client does this on this show, at this point.  And every time, Chris pulls them through it.

This time he asks her why she is doing this.  She says she’s doing it for her husband.  To have kids.  To take her power back from her rapist. To finally stand up for herself.  Wowsa.  Good television right there.  She continues her sit and lift dealies with new aplomb.

Next we see Chris and Jacqui going home for days 8 to 90 of phase 1.  Chris’ team has renovated her garden, her kitchen, and her living room.  Gone are the lazy stuff, the bad foods, the TV, and the couch.  Now she has fresh veggies, a healthy pantry, and a home gym.  Where do I sign up?  (I looked.  You have to need to lose at least 50% of your body weight to apply.  So, not me.)  Also, I’d miss my TV.  Can’t she watch while on the treadmill?  Geesh!!

Also, Chris moves in for the rest of phase 1.  Nice.

He writes his Phase 1 Goal for her is a 90 lb loss.  If she meets this goal in 3 months, he’ll pay for her & Shawn to finally take a honeymoon.  To Ireland.  Oh heck yes!!

We see a montage of Chris & Jacqui working out, video blogging, all that jazz.  Then it’s time for the Family Letters Meeting.  They do this every episode too.  Chris asks Jacqui’s family to write her a letter about how her weight worries them and what they wish for her.  Always a tear jerker segment and this time is no exception.  Her Dad cries.  *sigh*  Love.

Next we have another workout/video diary montage.  Jacqui says she’s working out 4 to 5 hours a day and she feels the 90 lb goal is just so overwhelming, she can’t believe she’ll be successful.  Chris tells us that she’s down 42 lbs in 42 days and that he wishes he could tell her that, to give her inspiration, but rules are rules.  I wonder how he weighs her without telling her anything.  Must have a good poker face.

Chris takes Jacqui to a community theater.  She says she loves to perform, but hasn’t even been to watch a performance in years because she doesn’t fit in the seats.  As a challenge, Chris has her sit in all 300 seats.  About midway through, she wants to give up.  “What happens if I can’t do anymore?” she asks.

“I don’t know.  What happens?” He counters.

“Then I am a failure.”

Chris interviews that he’s worried that her fear of failure might bring this whole journey down.  He knows that she will stumble, everyone does.  What will she do then?

This, my Peeps, is the point I am at in my own Mojo/Weightloss journey.  I stumbled, big time, post holidays and I just can’t get out of my own head, get back in the groove.  I keep trying though.  I won’t give up.

Chris asks Jacqui in the theater, “What happens if life isn’t fair?”

“I keep going!”  she replies.  Me too, Jacs, me too!

After the 300 seats, Chris tries to get Jacqui to sing on stage to an empty theater.  She refuses.  She explains that when you’re overweight, people are already staring, already judging.  Why put yourself out there on purpose to invite criticism.  She just can’t present ONE MORE FLAW.

Okay.  Yes.  She explained my feelings perfectly.  Wow.  Ugh.

They end the rest of phase 1 with another workout montage.  We see Jacqui working out with Shawn, with her mom, with her sister.  She’s got one hell of a support system.  Awesome.

Weigh in has finally arrived.  Her family is there to witness as Jacqui smashes her goal and shows a 92 lb loss.  She is down to 263!!!  Woop woop!  Ireland awaits, but not until the 6 month weigh in.  Chris says that he has set up a challenge for her at her 6 month point- a 100 km bike ride through the hills of Ireland.  Squee!  How awesome is that?  It’s totally awesome.

Her Phase 2, six month goal is a 50 lb loss.  Easy peasy, Jacqui says.  She gives Chris a goodbye gift.  It’s a bracelet that reads EMPOWER.  She tells him that she always had the tools to change her life, but he showed her she could use them.  Now she feels powerful and strong.  You go Jacs!

We see her continuing to work her ass off, literally, and she decides she’ll need to either quit or go part-time so that she can meet her goal.  Shawn says, “I got this.  Quit.”  Yeah, Shawn!!!

We see Shawn interviewing her for her video diary.  He keeps asking her how it feels to be smoking hot and how did she get so beautiful.  It’s just so sweet.  Love it.

We also see her riding a bike at a local park to train for Ireland.  She just has this fierce determination that is inspiring.  Now I really want a bike.  Dammit.

Now it’s the 6 month weigh in.  In Ireland.  The scenery is breathtaking.  Shawn is by her side.  He can’t keep his hands off of her.  Cute!

She crushes this goal too and loses another 53 lbs.  Down to 210 now.  A total loss of 145!!!!

That is a person.  A grown person.  Good going, Jacs!  I really feel like she’s a new friend.  I love her.

Chris sets her phase 3 goal of 32 lbs loss.  It would put her at 50% her original body weight and she’ll more than qualify for the skin removal surgery.

She says, confidently, that it’s no problem.

She and Shawn enjoy their honeymoon.  He even carries her over the threshold.  They look so happy.  I’m happy for them.  I long for the day Hubby and I can do these things.

At some point, Chris shows Jacqui and Shawn some clips of her journey.  Shawn cries.  Jacqui says that she felt like she was drowning, but now she knows she can do things.  I again, totally relate.  At this point, I feel sometimes out of control and lost.  I need to focus, to resolve.  If Jacqui can, maybe I can too.

Shawn offers to join Jacqui on her ride.  She jokes that he couldn’t keep up back home!  He counters that he just didn’t have the proper bike shorts.  haha.  She worries that she’ll fail.  Nonsense, he says.  Literally, he said, “Nonsense.”  I thought that was just hysterical.

It’s the day of the ride and Chris interviews that this challenge with bust the lid off of Jacqui’s potential.  They are riding through the Gap of Dunlow and it looks like torture to even walk it.

As they begin the steep climb into the Gap, Jacqui falters.  She interviews that at that point she had two options: 1. Get pissed and ruin the rest of her ride; 2. Get back on and try harder.  I am beyond impressed that she didn’t have a third option of quitting and going for a pint and some pub chips.  That’s probably what I’d do.  What?  No!  Stop that.

Anyway, she finishes the 100K, and enjoys the rest of her honeymoon.  Too much for her liking, though, because she gains 7 lbs.

We see her going through phase 3 and being very frustrated, still working her butt off and eating well, but still second guessing her progress.

She interviews (probably the most significant statement for me) that once her weight is no longer an excuse for her not to achieve her dreams, what then?  Then she’ll be the reason for her failure and she’s terrified.

Me too, Peeps, me too.  Could THIS be really what holds me back every time I see my goal in sight?  Am I using my obesity as a crutch?  I think I might be.  Damn.

Before the 9 month weigh in, back at the California Health & Longevity Institute, Chris forces Jacqui to sing an impromptu song in front of a random conference room.

Chris says, “Life starts at the end of your comfort zone.”  Damn.  That should be on bumper stickers or tee shirts.

She sings and gets a standing ovation.  She’s still pissed at Chris.  Haha.  Little bastard.

Next she sees the fertility doctor who tells her that her chances have gone from a 94% reduced fertility to a rate identical to someone without PCOS.  Yeah!!!  Baby making time!!!

But, first, she gets on the scale.  A real one this time, not a freight scale.  And she has lost 35 lbs.  She’s down to 175, a total loss of 180.  She’s lost more than she currently weighs.  She definitely qualifies for the skin removal surgery.

Before she’s wheeled in to surgery, she interviews that she used to feel bad about being proud of herself.  But now she feels she is worthwhile.  I hope to feel that way too some day.

The doctor interviews that they will remove 6 square feet or 2 and a half vertical feel of extra skin.  Holy Jeebus.  That’s a lot.

We don’t see Jacqui again until the 12 month weigh in.  The BIG Reveal.

Chris tells a packed house at some theater type place that Jacqui was his perfect client.  And she was, Peeps.  I’ve never seen an episode of this show where the client didn’t stumble and fail to make a goal.  She was a monster.

Jacqui comes on stage and she’s just flipping stunning.  She looks like a different person.  She radiates happiness and confidence.  She locks eyes with Shawn in the crowd and mouths, “I Love You.”  He looks like he could just burst with pride.

She tells everyone that her personal goal weight was 155.  Chris says that he felt that goal was a bit lofty.  Jacqui gets on the scale and…

148 lbs!  A total loss of 207 lbs.  She is my hero.

My new inspiration.  I won’t be deleting this one from the DVR….