Story Time.. And An Announcement

This is a story that has nothing to do with losing weight (kind of), Fat Girl Wunning, or training.  In the past, I’ve used this platform to tell stories, that were a little more serious, or had more meaning than my adventures while working out.  This is one of those stories.

This is a story about why I have been married for so long, and haven’t started a family yet.  A few years ago (beginning of 2015 to be exact), after months (years?) of going through doctors appointments, consultations, meetings, and having serious conversations with numerous people, my husband and I decided that having a child of our own would be a long, costly, emotional, and potentially dangerous (due to my health at the time) journey.  After our last appointment with a well renowned IVF doctor, who told me that they wouldn’t do implantation on me because my diabetes was so bad, we left defeated.  It was the weirdest feeling though.  We each knew that the other one was equally as upset as the other, but we didn’t say much.  I remember driving home, and we got on the high way, and he turned to me and said, ‘Ok, let’s do this’.  THIS was making an appointment with an adoption agency.  An agency that happened to be very special to me.  We were going to find out what it would take for us to adopt a child.  In the same short, quiet conversation, we also agreed that it was time for me to do whatever it took to get healthy.  It wasn’t a long conversation, it was one of those ‘we both just knew’ conversations.

The next month, we were sitting in a meeting room in the adoption agency office.  We were talking about the route we’d want to go in an adoption, what it looks like financially, what it looked like time wise, and what it would take paperwork wise.  If you have no clue… it was a lot. All around.

Over the next few months, I spent every extra moment in my life tracking down original documents, filling out paperwork, documenting our finances, and getting letters from work/bank/friends/family.  We did more background checks then any one could ever imagine.  We had our fingerprints taken multiple times, each.  We had several in office meetings with social workers, and nerve wracking meetings in our home to prove we were allowed and ‘good enough’ to be parents.  Finally, after a lot of work and time, and money, we were approved to adopt.

Next came making profiles to show potential birth moms how awesome we are.  Seriously… like online dating.  We had videos, pictures, and stories.  We had multiple websites, a hard cover copy of our story, and I even updated a blog with life events so that people could see how interesting we were… and maybe they’d pick us.  Again, after a lot of work, time, and money… we were live, online, and ready to be the chosen ones.
** Side note:  I saved ‘outtakes’ from our attempt at making the video profile.  The company needed just 3 minutes of us talking, and it took us about 2 hours to do because we can’t take anything seriously.  I will honestly keep those videos for the rest of my life… they just show how ridiculous, hilarious, and embarrassing we are together.

Over the next year we had just a handful of potential placements.  None were promising enough to move forward on, even though we tried.  There always seemed to be an obstacle in the way.  Each case had a new set of things to make us worry, or get us excited, or even make us jump the gun on buying things to ‘get ready’.  In fact, after one potential placement, to calm our nerves for the next one, we purchased furniture for a babies room.  All of a sudden I became that person.  The person who had an furnished nursery and no child to put in it in the foreseeable future.

After the first year passed, it was time to renew some paperwork, get fingerprinted again, do a couple more meetings, and oh… pay some more money.

In the meantime, we were starting to see that we were having issues with the agency.  They weren’t working with us the way we thought they should be.  They weren’t communicating.  They didn’t seem to care, to be honest.  At the same time, I had been working to become healthier.  I was doing it for my future.  My future family, and the future of my own health.  Parts of my life were going really well, and parts just seemed to be at a stand still.

At the end of 2017 I had had enough.  I decided that 2018 would be MY year.  OUR year.  I wasn’t waiting around for my own life to begin.  I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life waiting, and taking care of other peoples children (which, btw, I love doing).  I had always wanted to foster children, so I contacted DCF to see what that would look like.  After a meeting with a social worker, it was made clear to me that I couldn’t work with both the adoption agency, and DCF, at the same time.  I had to make a choice.

I don’t tell you this because I want to bore you with details.  I am telling you because when people come up to me and say, ‘when are you going to have a family?’ or ‘you’d be a great mom!’ or ‘why don’t you just (fill in the blank)’, they don’t know what the fuck I’m going through or what the fuck I am thinking or feeling…  People have no filter, and the thing is, this whole process was so emotionally draining that I couldn’t even talk about it.  My own family would want to know what was going on, and I didn’t want to have conversations.  I just wanted to fast forward time, be able to say that I had adopted a child, and live a happy life.  I didn’t want any ones opinions, or ideas, or comments.

So let’s fast forward a bit.  We left the agency, walking away from a shit ton of time/money/emotions/hope, and started to work with DCF.  Over the last ten weeks, we have taken classes to become foster/adoptive parents.  We finally found a place with amazing social workers, a group of people who were like minded and looking to do the same things we were, and hope.  That whole ‘Things happen for a reason” saying, was very clear to us in many ways.  In fact, over time, we have slowly told some people that we were doing this.  Some of Mike’s customers would share their own stories about adoption or fostering.  The more we talked about it, the more we realized that so many people that we know, have been touched or affected by fostering or adoption in some way.

We slowly started to gather some things we would need for a child to live in our home.   We have some clothing for boys and girls from newborn to age 5… just a few things, but more than what they will have when they come to us.  Toys and books are starting to fill some shelves, and a rocking chair is waiting. People have been incredibly generous, and they fill our arms and cars (LITERALLY!) with stuff!  It’s been a pretty eye opening experience to see that there are still some really good, generous people in the world.  We are so grateful.

Last month, we finally finished our classes, and graduated as approved foster/adoptive parents.

So, here’s the announcement:  We are officially going to be fostering (and hopefully someday, adopting) children!  We are looking forward to being able to give a happy, and safe home to a child in need, for as long as it may be.  If we become a forever home, we will be forever happy and grateful… but knowing we will be a comfortable place for a child to land, during a time of incredible need for them, we know we will feel like we have made a difference.

Moral of the story:  You never know what someone is going through, so don’t assume anything, ever.  Years and years have gone by, and many people have had no clue what we have been going through.  We are incredibly excited, and scared, and nervous, and thankful, and grateful… and we know we are in for the ride of our lives.  On the same note, I have become a healthier ME, and I am no longer diabetic.  Yes, I could possibly carry a child on my own.  No, I’m not ready for that.  Please… don’t ask people things like that.  It’s an incredibly sensitive, and emotional topic for many people.  I shouldn’t ever have to explain, and basically prove, why I don’t want to carry a child right now.  This was our choice.  This was our path… and we couldn’t be more excited, for whatever it brings!  Everything Happens For A Reason…

 

Photo Cred goes to Cassandra Marcucci Photography!  Thanks, girl!  You’re the best!
www.cassandraphotography.com
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Can’t Make This Up

If you follow along with Fat Girl Wunning, you know that some how, some way, I can make any work out session into a complete shit show.  Between hitting Franz in the crotch, almost falling off of a treadmill, swearing with no care in the world, or almost kicking Franz in the face, there is always something utterly ridiculous that happens.

This week was no different.

Get your imagination pants on and picture this…  It’s Upper Body Murder day, and I am still in the first half of my work out.  Franz tells me to get down in a plank position, with my legs wide apart. This will help me keep my balance because while I’m planking, I will also be doing rows with a 30lb weight.  This is a new exercise for me, so I was focusing a lot on how I was keeping myself up, how many muscles hurt, and oh, lift that weight the right way so you don’t have to hear Franz yell at you.  That’s when it happened.  I hit myself directly in the boob with the weight.  Straight shot.  Thirty pounds.

I sat up, clutching my flapjack, and looked up at Franz who was laughing at me.  It hurt.  I made that known.  Franz just continued to laugh.  I got back in the plank position, to finish my sets.  I continue with the other arm, and then switch back.  Three reps in, I smack the flapjack again.  This time, some how, I managed to keep it quiet.  No need to egg Franz on, and give him something to make fun of.  But dammit… weights to the boobs hurt!

Next up on the WTF Happened At The Gym Today list is when my shirt strap broke.  Same day as my Flapjack incident, my brand new gym shirt decided to steal the show.  All of a sudden, the adjustable strap was loose.  I go to tighten it, and it completely opens up.  The itty bitty plastic piece that holds the straps in place, had broken.  Super convenient timing.  Lucky for me, the broken strap just made me look stupid in a shirt with one strap hanging off, and it didn’t effect the whole ‘coverage’ aspect.  You bet your ass I drove right to the store I bought it from, and returned it that night.  (I also bought two more… maybe that ONE was defective?? 😉 )

Oh you thought we were done?  We’re not.  The very next training night was Lower Body Murder day, and holy moly Franz had it out for me.  As I sit here now, writing about it two days later, my legs are STILL throbbing.  Anyways, I did the entire work out, and my legs are like jelly, and in true Franz style, he has me do the hardest thing last.  You know, like when he’d have me push his ass on the sled, down the green…  On this day, Franz puts me on the leg press machine (or what I call the Birthing Baby Maker).  He adds 250 pounds of weight and tells me to do four sets of 25 reps.   TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS.  I’m pretty sure my life flashed before my eyes on multiple occasions.  I was dying.  Complaining and swearing the whole time.  Wanting to fast forward time to when I was done, and I could roll off the machine and lay on the floor… to die.  On my last set, I think I got to number 16, and I pushed my legs up, and locked them in place.  I couldn’t do it any more.  Franz was tired of saying, ‘one more’, ‘let’s go’, ‘don’t stop’, etc. Instead, he said, ‘Remember that time I poured water over you when you were on the floor?’  I started laughing… then it hit me.  Franz stood there with his water in his hand and said, ‘KEEP GOING’.  I unlocked my legs, did three more reps, and stopped to cry again.  That’s when the nice luke warm stream of water came down on my face, soaking my chest, and running down my back against the seat of the disgusting machine.  Water splattered all over the floor, and the only thing I could do was laugh.  I was holding the weight up with my sore feet, and wobbly legs, and laughing so hard while trying to wipe the mix of sweat and water out of my eyes.

Then I hear it.  ‘FINISH, ALLY!’  Ok, ok… I struggle to get going, but I push out the last few reps, lock up the machine, and roll out of it like an old lady.  I was finally done.  Done, but I couldn’t walk.

Listen, if I can do it, YOU can do it.

Wun.

A Jewish Tradition

Before I begin, I want to take a minute to explain this blog entry.  The last couple of weeks have been pretty awful, and I really haven’t been up to writing about anything funny.  Yet, the more I thought about it, and the more time went by without me writing, the more upset I was with myself.   First of all, I felt like I would be letting down my followers, because obviously FGW is their only source of laughter, joy, and entertainment, and also because this is my outlet.  This is the place where I get to laugh at myself, speak freely about my life, explain to people why I am the way I am, and sometimes, on rare occasion, I talk about the serious stuff that happens in my life.

About a week and a half ago, I lost my Papa.  I would love to go into what he meant to me, and what I’ve been going through emotionally, but in reality, I’m writing this to get myself out of the funk I am in.  If I start writing about how sad I am, I will never get back to making anyone laugh, including myself.  Instead, I wanted to look at the happier side of things.  To do what I do best, and write about the (if you will) ‘funny’ parts of my experience with his passing.  To be honest, nothing is funny about this situation, but as I thought about what I wanted to write, I just thought about this one part of the Jewish tradition, that is still lingering with me.

So let’s begin.  It is tradition, when someone passes who was Jewish, that you bring something ‘sweet’ to the family.  You know, instead of flowers that you can look at, and enjoy, we prefer something to sweeten our day.  Coffee cake.  Cookies.  Candy.  Toffee.  Fudge. More candy.  Brownies.  Candied nuts.  Tiramisu.  More Candy.

You get the point.

After the funeral, it is tradition to sit Shiva.  This is a time when people come to visit the family, pay condolences, share stories, have a prayer service with the Rabbi, and… bring and eat sweets.

For four days straight, I was surrounded.  Every where I looked there was candy.  I wish I was kidding, and I also wish I had photographic proof, because it was THAT ridiculous.  I couldn’t turn my head 10 degrees without another bowl of candy being there, in front of me.  The dining room tables were covered in delicious treats.  If our days weren’t ‘sweetened’ by the treats surrounding us, then our blood sure was.  I’m serious.  And the fact that I have NO self control, made the situation even worse.  When I say that I couldn’t stop eating this shit, I’m not kidding.  ‘You’ve been watching what you eat for a long time now, you probably don’t even want that crap!’  Bullshit.  I. Ate. It. All.

Every day that went by, during Shiva, I ate more.  I lost all control.  After Shiva was over, you’d think I’d get back on track, but no.  Sugar is some addicting shit.  I have been craving sweet, ever since.  In my attempt to control myself, I have been eating sugar free popsicles, no sugar added fudgesicles… and FUCKING GELATO.

Now, I would like to turn this back to my Papa, for a moment.  During the time that he was sick, I noticed, more than ever, that he was a sucker for anything sweet.  I would watch him eat cookies before his soup for lunch, dig his hand into the (always full) bowl of M&Ms next to his chair, and choose the BIGGEST chocolate in the box when it was passed around the room.  I always knew he had a sweet tooth, and I knew that it trickled down through my family, but I really truly started to see where I got my own sugar addiction from.  My Papa.

I’ll never eat an M&M again, without thinking about him.

 

On a lighter note, I’d like you to take a moment and picture this scene in your heads:

My family is sitting in my Nana’s living room.  We are all gathered early for the first day of Shiva.  We have set the table, and made coffee.  The candy bowls are full, the coffee cake is cut.  One problem.  The freezer is full to the brim and ‘what if someone brings something that needs to be frozen?!’.  In true form of my family, there is only one logical solution.  Eat the ice cream.  I mean, the containers are taking up space, and we have to make room, so we might as well start eating it.  As I scoop a small amount of ‘Chocolate Peanut Butter You’re Going To Die’ in a bowl for myself (while listening to my family say, ‘ALLISON, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!- As if they should be doing it either), I look around to see every adult, sitting in a chair, placed on the outside perimeter of the room, with a bowl and spoon.

Apparently, laughter isn’t the best medicine.  It’s sugar.

 

I love you, Papa.  Thanks for making my world, and my family, so amazingly sweet.

IMG_5801

RGF

RGF.  Resting Gym Face.

Franz actually requested that I call this entry “Resting Gym Bitch Face”, but it didn’t seem to roll off the old tongue as easily.

I make dumb faces in all aspects of my life.  When I take pictures of myself, I make dumb faces.  When I see people do dumb shit out in public, I make dumb faces.  When I am listening to my friends/family/Franz speak, I make dumb faces.

So, it’s no secret that I would make dumb faces when I am at the gym.  Oh god there are so many reasons as to why I would be making faces… One of which being- I’m listening to Franz.  Like, when he tells me over and over again to STARE at him while he demonstrates an exercise, even though I can see him in the mirror I am looking at.  That definitely calls for a ‘face’.  When I am struggling to lift weights, I make a face.  A very clear, ‘WHYYYYY MEEEEEE’ face.  And please, have no doubt in your mind when I tell you, that my best faces are when I am resting between sets.  When I am struggling to catch my breath, and not die.  Those are the best ‘faces’.  That’s when Franz will laugh at me.

Franz will not only laugh at me, but will follow up his deep belly laugh with a comment about my face.  His head will be back, while he laughs uncontrollably, and holds his stomach.  When he catches his breath, he will look at me and say, ‘You look so dumb.  You’re faces are stupid.’

Do you know what that is?  Love.

Yup!  That’s love.  He knows that I can’t be mad about what he says, because he knows that I know all about my dumb faces.  I know I look stupid.  Sometimes, I even catch my own face in the mirror, and I laugh at myself.  It’s hard not to.  I look ridiculous.

With that being said- I need this shirt.IMG_1277

I Thought You’d Never Ask

On numerous occasions (FINE! Every time..) at the end of training sessions, I am so exhausted by the end, that I dramatically collapse on the VERY CLEAN AND OBVIOUSLY VERY COMFORTABLE floor of the gym.  Franz hates this.  First of all, I think (I know) it embarrasses him.  I just literally spaghetti legs straight to the floor… I guess it could be somewhat embarrassing for a trainer, but whatever.  Secondly, he’s grossed out that I have no problem laying on the floor, and normally, I would probably be grossed out too.  I mean, let’s be honest, they can clean that place all they want (and to their credit, they do keep it clean!), but it’s still a gym.  Dirty sneakers, sweat, spit… it’s inevitable that it’s everywhere, and on everything.  Gyms are gross.

Anyways, Franz is so used to seeing me collapse into a pile of death, that he doesn’t even say anything any more.  Instead, he let’s me lay there for a few minutes, heaving… usually mumbling some inaudible words, and then typically closing my eyes and wishing I was in pajamas.  At the end of my pity party, Franz will normally chivalrously extend his hand to me, and seamlessly pull me up to my feet, as if I am a rag doll.

So let me set the scene for you from last weeks ‘Lower Body Murder Day’.  Franz had basically made me do 2,762,046 squats, and 9,613,763 dead lifts.  No, I’m not exagerating.  My body was sore and weak, and my legs were jelly.  My mouth, however…. worked perfectly fine (between the heaving breaths).  As we walked over to ‘the green’, to where the death sled was sitting, I opened my unfiltered dumb mouth, and said, ‘Ugh!! Can’t you think of ANYTHING else for me to do?!  All you ever have me do are squats and pushing the fucking sled!! What do I pay you for?!’

Now, let me be clear.  I know what I pay him for.  He knows that I’m kidding when I say that shit.  I throw that specific comment out there on the regular, because I know how dumb he thinks I am when I say it, and it makes me laugh, inside.  Also, don’t you worry, because in turn, Franz has plenty of things he says that ‘get back at me’, for what I say to him.  It’s a very healthy, dysfunctional relationship.

Anyways, I mention my kind words of wisdom, and he responds by pulling a TRX rope from it’s home on the wall, tying it around the sled, and says ‘Of course I can think of new things for you to do!!  Today, you’re going to pull the sled… backwards.  And yes, I’ll be standing on it’.

I literally almost died on the spot.  I mean, part of me was like, ok, going backwards won’t be that bad.  I can do this.  My legs are strong, and I can handle pushing this man-beast while he takes a free ride across the gym.  As I reluctantly get into position to pull, my body reminds me just how weak I am at the moment.  I am so tired, and now I have to pull this meat head and a steel machine, down ‘the green’ and back again.

I start to pull on the handles at the end of the rope, and get some momentum.  By momentum, I mean, we were moving- but very, very slowly.  As I pulled backwards, my toes jammed into the front of my sneakers, my legs shook, my breath was severely shortened, and I complained- The. Whole. Time.

I got to the end of ‘the green’, and bent over, hands on knees, trying desperately to catch my breath.  For once in Franz’s life, he took my complaining seriously, and told me I didn’t have to pull the sled back, that this time, I could just push it.  Awe… so sweet. I can just push it now…’.

Again, I get myself into position, take a deep breath, give myself a pep talk, and start to push.  I’ll fast forward to when I got to the other end of the gym, and Franz hopped off of his throne atop the sled, and I collapsed to the floor.  Like usual, he allowed me to lay there for a moment, and suffer.  Then, Franz reaches his hand down towards me, and says so sweetly, ‘Would you take my hand….in training’

Then, without skipping a beat, as he lifted me from my death bed, he followed up his own proposal with, ‘I thought you’d never ask’.

I’ve never been more in… love?

365

If anyone knows me, or have read some of these blog entries, then they would know that I suffer from ADD.  I am (almost…good lord) 35, and it has taken me my whole life to find my own ways of doing things: To stay organized, to stay on task, to stay motivated, to stick with something.  In a previous post, I mentioned what it’s like to have ADD, in my world.  You can read about it here, Snow Days, ADD, and Anxiety.

This year, I stuck to it, for the most part.  I haven’t given up on training, or trying to be active.  I stuck to my guns, and didn’t eat pasta or rice AT ALL.  I gave up drinking all alcohol (except for the few tiny sips here and there to help taste test new craft brews…oh how I miss beer!).  Sure, I have my moments where I give into myself a little.  We don’t need to call it cheating, or slipping up, because in reality- this is life!! Shit happens!!  Birthdays, holidays, celebrations of all kinds… days when you just need something to make you feel better… we all have those.  You’re not cheating.  You’re living.  So, in 365 days, I have definitely allowed myself to ‘live’, but I have also given myself the opportunity to succeed, in ways I never thought I could.

Now, all of this is tacky, sentimental crap, is building up to something that seems so dumb, but to me: This. Is. Success.

For 365 days, for one whole year, I have tracked my food in the app “My Fitness Pal”.  Everything I eat.  Every recipe I ever came up with (BTW: If I post a recipe on here, you can search for it under the brand name “Allys Own” on MFP).  Every ounce of chicken I weighed, or grape I counted out, was tracked.  I had my times where it would have been too much to track, like I said before, it’s not a slip up.  I was aware that maybe I wasn’t doing the best eating, or I was out to a restaurant and it was easier to just track a well-educated rounded number of calories, vs. actual food items; But, this wasn’t habit.  Habit was entering food as I ate it.  Searching for nutrition facts online.  Creating recipes, and adding them into the app.  That was habit.

Secretly, deep down, I couldn’t wait for the moment the app told me that I had tracked for 365 days.  I literally wanted balloons to fly across the screen….but they didn’t.  I just got a quick update on my app that said, ‘you’ve tracked for 365 days’.  Well, that was disappointing- but none the less… I DID IT!!!  ADD be damned!!!! I stuck to something!

They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  I would like to adjust that for myself.  I’m pretty sure that maybe at the three month mark is when things become second nature, for me.  So, here’s to 365 more days of tracking.  Here’s to 365 more days of working hard for a better me.  Here’s to 365 more days of living my life, and letting funny shit happen, so I can keep writing about it.

Cheers! WUN!image1

…and no, I don’t want to be friends with you on MFP.  Find me somewhere else.  The only person who has access to seeing this crap is my nutritionist!! 😉

Education

Franz always wants me to pay attention to what he says, and learn, so that ‘You can do this on your own, and you don’t always need me’.  Yeah ok, Franz.  As if I’d push myself half as hard as you push me.  As if I’d finish a set with as much determination, as I do with you.  I wouldn’t.

I have, however, tried to pay more attention to the things we do, the names of the exercises, and why they are good for my body.  At least I am trying to understand what each lift of a kettlebell, squat, pull-up, or sled push is doing for me.

The other day, on Upper Body Murder Day, Franz walks over to a resistance band that is tied to a steel pole.  He says, ‘Ok, this is new.  You’re going to do rows, like you normally do, except this time, you’re doing them fast.  Speed Rows.’  He says this while demonstrating what they should look like.

‘What’s the point?  What do speed rows do for me, besides make me look stupid while doing them?’ I ask. (Yes, I had to add the last part. It IS me, we’re talking about!)

‘You’ll see when you start doing them’, he replied.  Normally he would answer my question with a well thought out, thorough response as to what this work out is doing to my body, where I should feel the strain in my muscle, and just how many parts of my body I am working, while doing it.  Not this time, though. Not when I actually asked for an explanation.

I grab ahold of the band, and step back into position. Before I pull, Franz says, ‘Don’t let the band pull you back in’.  He was probably having flashbacks of my feet flailing about while trying to do pull-ups, using the same kind of resistance band.  Anyways, I start to pull the band in row formation, rapidly back toward my body.  It was definitely harder than it looked, and I definitely felt it, in my arms.  My core was feeling it too, because I was unknowingly keeping myself super tight to ‘engage my muscles’ (as Franz would say, usually while smacking my ‘abs’ to make sure they were tight).

I ask again, ‘So what is the point of doing it really fast?’

‘Because… it’s awesome.’ Franz replied.  Oh…. ok then.

So, the next time I am looking for a new work out routine, that I most certainly won’t do by myself at the gym, I’ll just look around for anything that looks ‘awesome’ to do.  Cool.