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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Cha Cha Slide

Scene: Lower Body Murder Day at the gym.
Characters:
Me- Kicking, screaming, swearing, crying, complaining, and sweating like I’ve never sweat before.
Franz- Barking orders, rolling his eyes, visibly annoyed, laughing at me.

The whole time I was working out (and complaining), Franz was barking his orders.  “Left leg, come on!”  “Ok, right leg this time”.  It didn’t occur to me until I was doing my very last work out of the session, laying on the birthin’-baby-maker (leg press machine), and Franz has me using one foot at a time to push up the weight.  Ten reps, then I switch to the other leg.  Each time I switch legs, Franz barks his order. That’s when it hits me.  I realize that he sounds like he’s actually reciting the lyrics to the Cha-Cha-Slide.  I start laughing so hard, tell him, and from then on, everything he says just sounds like he’s about to break out in dance.  Pretty sure he finished off with “Cha Cha, real smooth…’. Always nice to have something to make us laugh through the pain, right?

I swear to God that when I go to the gym I have NO intention of complaining.  In fact, I try really hard to be positive, and tell myself that I can do it, and I know why I’m doing it, and taht I absolutely positively won’t complain, this time…. and then I do.  I really do appreciate Franz and his ability to just deal with my nonsense.  I wouldn’t do what I do, or be as strong and capable as I am, if it weren’t for him.

However, when I am there, I hate life.  I hate Franz.  I hate having to do what I’m doing.  I hate the pain.  I hate the sweat in my eyeballs.  I hate it all… but I ALWAYS come back for more.

I guess if every day could feel as fun as doing the Cha-Cha-Slide, then I would be alright.

For your viewing pleasure…. Cha Cha Slide

 

Cha-Cha and wun.

RGF 2

RGF.  Resting Gym Face.  I have written about it before, and I am going to say it again.  I have a serious Resting Gym Face.  The other day at the gym, Franz told the other trainers, ALL about my RGF.  His actual words were, ‘I don’t even know what her normal face looks like, because she always has some dumb look going on’.  #helovesme

In reality, I have Resting Bitch Face, in general.  Recently that was proven to me over and over (and over and over), while I was on vacation visiting friends in Arizona.  I was there for a good friends wedding, and spent a lot of time with her, and some of the other girls in the wedding party.

It all started the night I got there, when we went out to dinner.  I had been up since 5:30 am Boston time, and it was 7 pm in Scottsdale.  If you’re slow on math, that means that it was 10 pm back in Boston.  I was tired.  I was hungry.  Apparently, I had RBF.  The bride snapped a lovely photo of me, laughed her ass off, showed everyone, everyone laughed THEIR asses off, and then it began.  Their mission to take as many pictures of my RBF as possible.

At the end of my 5 day trip, an album was shared to my phone with 35 pictures (btw: this was only from ONE persons camera), exclusively of my faces.  It was really really difficult, but I narrowed the images down to the top 6, including the one that started it all.

Let’s start from the top and work our way right…

  1. RBF at dinner the first night that I was there.  The image that started it all…
  2. RBF face in Sedona when I caught the bride taking a photo of me during lunch.  This was actually a series of about 6 images.
  3. Dumb face during the cocktail hour of the wedding with one of the best bridemaids around.
  4. Your Fat Girl Wunning making her best face while waiting in line for Ice Cream for 10 minutes, and then I didn’t even buy any.
  5. Back to the first night, where the restaurant made a mistake of having a wooden cut out, and I took full advantage.
  6. Finally, while walking in Sedona, I stopped to say hello to a mannequin on a bench.  We had a thrilling and hilarious conversation.

rbf.jpeg

So this may not have been totally about the gym, but I sure do hope that I could make you laugh on this lovely day.

I’d like to thank the contributors to this lovely entry.  The bride herself, Steph, and her lovely husband Josh, and two of the best bridesmaids I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing matching dresses with, Jen and Cassandra.

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Also, just because I can’t be the only one having all of the fun here, I decided to add my favorite gem of the bride, who also made some incredible faces, during our time together.

I love you Stephie, xoxo! -‘popcorn’.

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Shock

So, I was going through my phone, deleting albums and pictures from many years ago.  I’m not quite sure how one can have 17,600 photos on their phone, but I do.  Anyways, as I was going through pictures I came across one that I took of myself during one of my MANY attempts at starting a weight loss journey.  When I saw the picture there were so many emotions.  First of all, I felt sad.  I couldn’t even believe that at one point I looked like that.  Why did no one ever say anything to me?  No one has a problem telling me I’m too skinny, now… so why not tell me how unhealthy I was, before??

Besides being sad, I was in shock.  My shock came from the realization that even being the person who lived in that body, even I didn’t know how bad it was.  Isn’t it amazing how easily we put blinders on things we don’t want to see?  I mean, I truly do not remember myself like this.  It’s funny to me, because last year, I went through some old medical paperwork, and came across a visit summary from my doctor, and written on it was my weight.  The number was one that I absolutely do NOT remember weighing.  It was higher than I ever remembered.  It was a shock to my system… just like seeing this photo.  If I think about it, the doctor visit, and the picture were probably around the same time in my life.

I haven’t gotten to the part where I am happy with how far I’ve come.  Probably because I haven’t allowed myself to believe I was that bad, before this journey.

So, thanks to date stamps for pictures, I know that the picture was taken in February of 2011.  I was 27… about 6 days from my 28th birthday.  If I think back on that time in my life, I remember that I was super unhealthy, but I still tried.  I drank a lot, my work schedule was all over the place, I stayed out late and had a terrible sleeping schedule.  I was basically a hot ass mess.  The picture basically proves that.

To help myself see how far I’ve come, I found an image from April of 2018, and made a comparison shot.  I also like to think about everything that has changed.  My work schedule is in MY control now, not in the control of a retail company.  I gave up those sugary margaritas and shitty hangovers from staying out drinking.  My sleeping isn’t any better, but it has nothing to do with my partying.  For the most part, things are different… and that’s why I am different.

So, without further ado, and with much shame and embarrassment, I share this side by side picture.  I’m sharing because I know that someone out there needs to see it.  Someone will look at this and say, ‘If she can do it, so can I’.  That’s all that matters to me.

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#seriouspostshappen

wun.

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.

The People At The Gym

Every time I start at a new gym, I kind of assess the people who are members.  It has nothing to do with their ability, weight, age, etc.  It mainly has to do with if they can handle me, and my mouth, being in their space, while I work out.  I’d be lying if I said that I thought I was a pleasure to work out around.  I know I’m not.  I swear, make a scene, complain, huff..puff… I’m a mess.  So, I assess the people around me.

This new gym has kind of a strange clientele, when I’m there.  Mostly older people, on the cardio machines, and a few people, usually a little younger, on the weights.  Oh, and there seems to be some sort of child gym training session going on at the same time I am there…which seems wildly inconvenient since I have the mouth of a trucker.

While getting to know the gym, and assessing the people, Franz tries to keep me on my best behavior.  It really isn’t something he can control….but he attempts to do it anyways.  During his latest attempt to control me, I met another staff member, when he was walking by us, and decided to stop for some comedic relief.  I don’t know his name, so we will call him Bob.  Everyone knows a Bob, right?

Bob has heard me tell Franz to shut up, and heard me complain, and heard me whine, and watched me lift, and watched me struggle.  Yesterday, Bob walked up to Franz to make a little ‘ha-ha’ about me, and Franz took it upon himself to tell a story.  A story about how he thinks that I look like the Hulk.  Not the Hulk when he is fully muscular, green, and scary big.  More like the Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk part of his identity, where he is basically moaning and groaning and making insanely ugly faces.   Bob agrees with Franz, that yes, I sound like the Hulk, and then turns to me and says that I’m much too pretty to be the Hulk, and instead, I must be Wonder Woman.  Well, how P.C. of you, Bob.  Oh, and thanks Franz.  If I didn’t think I was ugly when working out before, I know I am now.

Besides Bob, I seem to entertain many other people who are on the cardio machines, while I am lifting weights.  From begging for my life when struggling to lift over my head as my arms shake, to telling Franz that I dream about killing him, I’m sure they have no idea what to think about us.  Yesterday, I was switching between doing ten pull-ups, and then down to a bar, that was about 6″ from the ground, where I would do push-ups, and back again.  I was on my last set of pull-ups, and I was struggling.  I did the whole ‘kick your foot up as if that will help you lift yourself’ move, and I almost kicked Franz in the face.  Right on queue, we both start dying laughing at each other, and can’t really catch our breath.  Somehow, I finish the pull-ups, and turn around to head down to the bar.  As I hop down, an older woman gets off the treadmill, and walks past Franz.  As she passed, she says ‘Oh!  Is she your girlfriend?’

Nervous laughter, ‘No, I’m her trainer…’, Franz responds.

Then he looks at me with the death stare.

‘People think I am your WEAK boyfriend, because of how you talk to me!’, he says.  I start laughing, because she didn’t say anything to me…. It wasn’t like she said, Oh, be nice to your boyfriend.  No, she was making sure that I wasn’t hurting his feelings.  This much taller, bigger, and stronger man.  THAT’S whose feelings she was worried about!!  Amazing.

Ladies and Gentlemen… I have done my job.

 

Oh, besides making a scene when lifting, or when accidentally punching Franz in the baby maker, or crying for help when I feel like I’m truly dying… I also had the entire gym looking at me when I screamed because I almost fell off the treadmill.

And on that note, we’re done here.

 

#wun

Size Matters

Get your damn minds out of the gutter….

Some poeple can remember what they weighed, or what size clothing they wore WAY back when they were in High School, or even Middle School.  My best friend and I talk about this a lot.  She can remember what she weighed at all sorts of times in her life.  When we talk about it, it always makes me really think, because I really can’t remember things like that.  Personally, I think I blocked those numbers out of my head.

The only things I really remember are certain shopping trips to the good old Natick Mall. Headed to popular clothing stores, and hoping and praying they would have my size on the rack, so I could shop with my friends.

At one point in time, they did.  That was back when I wore a size 9.  I don’t know why, but I remember this number; Like, it’s engraved in my brain.  Size Nine.  This was back in my freshman and sophomore years of High School.  I even remember this cute little blue skirt that I had, that I was so happy to be able to wear.  It was light blue, and short, and had a cute little slit on the right thigh, and had a zipper back.  This was also the same skirt that my teacher told my parents I couldn’t wear, because it was distracting, so I would hide it in my backpack to change into, when I got to school.  NO ONE can stop a wanna be fashionista.  Not even a Spanish teacher.

Sorry, I am teetering off the mountain called ‘THE SUBJECT OF THIS BLOG’.  My apologies.  Anyways, size 9.  As health issues arose, and my body started showing it’s challenges, my size 9 became a thing of the not so distant past.  Numbers got bigger, and I didn’t remember any of the sizes of my clothing.  Like, if you asked me what size I was in senior year of High School, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.  However, I would be able to say that it SUCKED finding clothing.  Nothing fit.  Nothing cute, anyways.  Shopping trips with friends were complete inner torture.

Part of being Plus Sized means finding the right cut, and fit for clothing, and stores that sell them.  It took me most of my plus sized adult life to find Torrid.  Torrid is a store that services curvy girls sizes 10-?? (I forget).  All I know is, I spent all of my money there.  I had more clothing than I can explain.  I created a fashion style with their clothing.  In few words: I was addicted.

As I started to lose weight, I had to sell all of my clothing.  All of my pretty, well cared for, loved, beautiful, expensive clothing.  I also had to create a whole new wardrobe and learn to dress a whole new body.  Still trying.

Today, I had to go and buy nice black pants, for an event, because since I had to sell all of my clothing… I have nothing when I need it.

I’m in Express, and I try on some cute black skinny pants, and like usual, my awkward body makes clothing shopping challenging, and the fabric is swimming around my knees and ankles.  The cute little sales lad says, ‘What size are those?’

‘8’, I reply.  (STOP.  Right here… can you believe that??  I can’t)

‘Do you have some room in the waist?’ he says.

I proceed to stick my fingers into the waistband and pull the pants away from my body, just like my Nana used to do when we would do back to school shopping at Marshall’s.  Sure as shit, there’s space between me and the fabric.

‘Uhh… a little?’ I answer.

‘You should try a size 6’, he says (And I actually waited for him to snicker, but he didn’t.  He was serious.)

‘Listen…. if I am a size 6, then we are going gambling.  Cows are jumping over the moon, and pigs are actually flying…’ I reply, in true Ally style.

He looks at me like I have 10 heads, laughs a little to be polite, and walks out of the dressing room to retrieve the pants that surely won’t fit me.

When he returns, I take them into the dressing room (kind of dreading taking off my boots and jeans AGAIN), and I slide them on.  So far so good… but come on… they won’t button, will they?  Yes.  Yes they did.

Size 6.  A new number to engrave in my brain.  The shock hasn’t really worn off…. and even when I modeled them when I got home, it was a shock all over again.  Size 6.

Truly, the size doesn’t matter.  Seriously.  It’s how I feel about the clothing.  I never looked at the sizes in my plus size clothing and got sad thinking about what I wore… I was so happy in my clothes.  It’s just moments like today, when I will look back and remember how I felt.  Just like the blue size 9 skirt from freshman year, these pants will remind me of this feeling, forever.

 

I still think about that skirt….