Hospital Gown Couture

I’ve never been a follower of high fashion…but boy did I get the opportunity to sport one of the world’s finest garments over the weekend…got top-of-the-line evening wear called the hospital gown.

As if it isn’t enough that you already don’t feel well when you’re forced to wear one of these things…then you’re required to put on the most ungodly, unflattering piece of fabric ever invented. I am convinced that even Brooklyn Decker would look horrendous in a hospital gown. Surely whoever invented them never had to wear one.

I now know why everyone in the ER looks sick…put that awful spoiled, split-pea soup color on anyone and they’d look queasy. Couldn’t the gown at least be a pleasant color…a happy color? Something that doesn’t remind you of cafeteria vegetables or boogers?

Hospital gowns come in three sizes: short, shorter, and don’t bend over. I got to wear the third one…yes, the don’t bend over version. Who designed these things anyway? A doctor that got some kind of amusement out of seeing patients waddle around in socks and a pseudo-shirt with two strings in the back and their butts exposed?

Okay – I admit it – I’m modest. If I had wanted to be a stripper or taken up some other exotic profession, I would be doing it. However, I’m not – I’m a curvy woman who doesn’t like exposing her body to strange people – even in an emergency. I do not like having my rear end or anything else exposed and spent most of my time trying to make sure all points are secured just in case there is a windstorm in the hospital.

I guess the rear end needs to be easy to access in the event an emergency occurs, or an injection is needed…which it was…twice. Thankfully by a female nurse who subsequently got to hear my excuse for unshaven legs (she kept assuring me she’d seen worse) and dry, pale skin.

In an environment that is so stressful and serious, seeing patients walking around in comfy outfits would be an instant way to improve the mood a little…bedazzle them…cover them in Spongebob Squarepants or Strawberry Shortcake…something to not have everything so dull and depressing!

Side note: Having large arms sucks in a medical setting as well. On more than one occasion I had my left arm in a vice called the blood pressure cuff which was crushing what was left of my bicep. I pointed out to them that I thought I was being strangled by the blood pressure cuff but they assured me this was ‘normal’ (in whose world?)

I realize that medicine is a tough business – it is hard to meet and greet complete strangers and look at personal parts of their bodies – and not throw up sometimes. Or it must be hard on the nerves to work on people and do intimate things to them without acting scared or horrified that you’ve just cut the wrong thing for instance!

It’s probably not fun either to deal with sagging bodies, flatulent old ladies, and people who are terrified of having anyone do ‘things’ to their bodies – but come on. Dignity should start WAY before dying – we are not inanimate objects here. We are feeling, breathing people – we were before we came in to the ER.

The least some hoity, toity medical company could do is come up with something to wear that doesn’t make you feel like less of a human being. I think the fabric has got to be 100% Egyptian cotton…….or Italian linen would be nice….Armani, do you need a charity, honey?  Any type of garment with full coverage would be better. Make it like a comfortable pair of pajamas with conveniently placed access points. Hell, the lingerie industry has figured out the “easy access” concept. Even standard boxers have access. Shouldn’t be that difficult to create for a medical setting….Million dollar idea, perhaps?!

From the result on the scale this morning, there was at least less butt to expose! Finally lost more than an ounce or two!

And when this is all over…I WILL look like Brooklyn Decker in a hospital gown. Now if I could only get Andy Roddick to return my calls….

“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.” ~ Dolly Parton

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Say Cheese!!!

They say the camera adds 10 pounds…guess I need to stop eating cameras. 🙂

Know one reason I want to be skinny? I want to have a spur of the moment picture taken and not be absolutely mortified after I see it. I absolutely hate having my picture taken. Well no, that’s not entirely true…I like having it taken, I HATE seeing the end result.  I’ve never thought of myself as a photogenic person…I can make a picture look ok if I hold my head the right way or tilt my chin at the perfect angle.

Seeing a photo of myself these days makes my self-esteem drop to the lowest level possible. I have a vision of what I feel like I look like…then I see that photo and it starts…the slew of insults I give myself: “You’ve got more chins than a Chinese phonebook! You look like you’ve got an intertube around your belly! Are you storing food for the winter?! You’re 3 times the size of the other people in the picture!” And so on…I know it sounds mean…I know it sounds awful…and it is.

I need to take a class in head angles…body position…the perfect smile. I can take 2 photos 30 seconds apart and look like a completely different person from one to the other.  See below…1st picture…squirrel cheeks…2nd picture…better cheek bones and only 1 chin.

Squirrel Cheeks at the finest!

30 seconds later...only one chin!

Why does it seem like such an act of God to look attractive in a photo?  Just to clarify, I am not comparing my photogenic ability (or lack of) to that of a magazine photo of a model. I know they’re so nipped and tucked and adjusted and photoshopped…I’m talking about real life people.  My family is quite photogenic.

I’ve always been so jealous of the rest of them…my sister is amazingly beautiful. You could take a picture of her in a sweat suit with leaves in her hair and she would look amazing. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a bad picture of her. EVER…step-sister is the same…beautiful from every angle. Cousins, aunts, uncles, dad and my mom especially…all so photogenic!  What happened to me?!  I’m not calling myself ugly…I’m calling myself awkward when there’s a camera around.

Just came across an article on the 9 steps to taking a good picture….I shall share with you.

1)      Being photogenic refers to the ability of appearing very attractive in photos.  – Well, duh! If I knew how to appear very attractive would I need to read the other eight?!

2)      Focus on what you’re wearing.– Guess naked or spandex isn’t a great choice for me right now.

3)      Mind your complexion and grooming.- Well you saw my eyebrows in the picture above…as for complexion…well, where’s that number for Proactiv?

4)      Keep your face in equilibrium. – If I knew what this was…I think the right side is bigger than the left…should I turn my head to the side?

5)      Work the angles. – 90 degree tilt?

6)      Get rid of a double chin.– Supposedly resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth helps with this…it makes me look like I’m choking.

7)      Focus on your posture. – This inevitably ends up looking like I’m contorting my body…and you can see the discomfort on my face.

8)      Relax.Translates to me looking high.

9)      Think happy thoughts.  – Having my picture taken does not lead to happy thoughts…it leads to panic…and nervousness.

 Perhaps I’m being too critical. I do feel like I’ve got an above average appearance – but also feel I am automatically discounted due to my robust size. As if wearing a double-digit size automatically makes me less smart or less capable than my svelte counterparts. It shouldn’t be all about outer appearance…but for someone who has struggled so much with the negative internal dialogue, I’m ready to look at a picture of myself and be satisfied.

If I’m going to get to that point though, I have to refocus. I’m struggling with concentration. Diet has been all over the place the last week. Same with the exercise….I think I can, I think I can….still went down a little.

I will not let myself stop moving forward.  Still having a hard time with the planning part. Seems like I need to get back into checklist world again to get myself started…My focus has apparently been on Spring Break…school is back in session. On the syllabus this week – getting under 230.

“I’m not overweight. I’m just nine inches too short.” ~ Shelley Winters

Damn the weekends!

I love the weekend. I love not having to get up to the horrid squawk of an alarm, having an excuse to stay in my pajamas all day,  or go out late and overindulge in a selection of adult beverages. I wish they lasted longer and passed by slower. But weekends are extremely hard for me. I’m out of my normal routine and my eating suffers severely. Sometimes I go on a food spree and don’t get right until Monday.

“Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” ought to be playing loud and proud in the background. When it comes to me and my trigger foods…rumble it is! I act as if I’m never going to eat again. From a quantity standpoint, I bet I could give Joey Chestnut a run for his money…although he’s got me completely beat on the speed. I love food too much. Love the taste of it too much to not savor every bite. But is savoring 1,000,000 bites a day on Saturday and Sunday really necessary, Hannah?

Trust me, it’s not like I sit on the couch inhaling a full-size bag of potato chips or licking every morsel out of a Costco size can of chocolate frosting. My meal selections just aren’t as diet friendly as one would hope. Saw a good analogy earlier in the week to describe them…”more Paula Deen than Rachael Ray.” Ohhhh, the butter!

And it never fails, these weekends just keep coming around every 5 days. (Thank goodness!) I’ve got to find a way to work through them instead of having an out of body experience for 48 straight hours….finding it hard to fit back in my body at the end of the weekend. There’s not any room!

By Friday night, I’m sick of counting calories, prepping vegetables and washing pots. Healthy dishes take planning and prep time. Come Sunday morning, the guilt comes crashing down. By Monday I’m clinging to the back of the wagon, cursing my lack of will-power. Without fail, I get that awful guilt-ridden feeling that all my hard work and exercise during the week is for nothing. I know I have to break the cycle, but I’m struggling in my attempt.

Down 0.2 this week...not great...but better than a gain.

This never ending cycle of undermining my efforts is starting to get on my nerves, not to mention ruin my weight loss. I’ve got to stop sabotaging myself and my progress. There seems to be no rest for the weary…or the weary just can’t rest when it comes to weight loss. I will not give up!

“I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.”  ~Author Unknown

God Bless the Pork Belly!

No, your eyes did not deceive you. I did say God Bless the Pork Belly.

If you want to get me all hot and bothered, whisper “pork belly” in my ear. I ordered this at a restaurant for the first time last week. It was beyond slap your momma good. I was with my mom and it warranted an action far more grandiose than smacking her. (Side note: I would never intentionally slap my mom.)  If you’ve never had it before…you’re missing out.

I’m sure you’ve had bacon before (pork belly is the cut used to make bacon), but this is completely different. Let me try and describe it for you.  Ok, close your eyes…ok, no, don’t. Guess it’s a smidge difficult to read with your eyes closed.

So, the pork belly…. Imagine a ribeye steak that tastes like bacon.  The texture was more like a steak – a steak with a crispy topping.  It’s such an amazing textural experience.  You have a nice layer of meat, a nice layer of fat, another nice layer of meat, another nice layer of fat, and then you have a thin crispy layer on top that’s crackly when you bite down into it.

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

Doesn’t it look beautiful?!

I feel like I needed trumpets playing while that picture is being viewed. It needs Ariel from The Little Mermaid in the background singing. Streamers and confetti should be raining down.

I considered making a deal with myself while I was eating this. I honestly believe I could give up every unhealthy horrible food and/or beverage that I have EVER craved or eaten just to allow myself a taste of pork belly every once in a while.

While eating it, I had another thought…as delicious and pristine this pork belly was, I reminded myself that pigs aren’t normally eating fried and processed foods. I’m not saying that I want to get my belly in tip top condition so that it’s delicious to eat, but it did make me wonder how ungodly the human stomach must appear with all the hydrogenated, fried, processed, fermented crap that we (mostly I) have ingested in one lifetime.  It’s almost like being in 2nd grade again and looking at the lung of the smoker vs. non-smoker….”Here, Ms. Hayes, is the belly of an organically fed pig…notice how flawless and succulent…now here is your belly, all crusty and gangly from the bologna and French fries you’ve eaten in your lifetime.”  I need to strive for that perfect belly! On the inside and out.

Aside from my belly composition epiphany, you may now be asking yourself, “why is her blog post for this week about one of the most fattening things on the planet?”  Well, yes, this is a blog about weight loss. But this is also indirectly a blog about food and I need a little humor after this week’s result.  I went the wrong way on the scale this week…though not by much.

I needed this to refocus myself.  I’m sure I could have burped an extra time and not gained as much. Nevertheless, I was not careful about what I ate last week. That compounded with the fact that I had been eating almost nothing the week or 2 before really bit me in the ass. I know now that I need to keep my metabolism up so that if I do happen to eat 300 more calories than the day before that my body just doesn’t immediately decide to prepare for famine and store food for the winter around my belly button.

I need to plan better. I want to tell myself that I’ll make the best possible option at the last minute, and I should know by now that I don’t.  It’s not even that I make a bad food choice…I don’t make a choice at all. Eating 1 meal a day is catching up with me.  For those of you that are working on or have been successful at weight loss, what are some of the tips and techniques you have for staying focused food wise or making sure you plan ahead? I know it sounds simple to just say that I’ll plan out everything I’m going to eat 7 days in advance, but I don’t know how realistic that is all the time. Perhaps that’s the problem I’ve had in the past.

Aside from battling some type of food-borne illness or bug or whatever it is that keeps rearing its ugly head every few weeks with me, my attention is completely refocused. I’m going to work on the planning aspects of the diet and hope to get some great feedback from you all on what I can do to not make this organizing-what-I’m-going-to-eat so overwhelming.  I did take a very small step backwards…well the scale did, mentally I’m still moving in the right direction, but despite a slightly higher number, I feel thinner and my clothes are fitting better. My body has never made sense…gain weight and lose inches! I’ll take it though…here’s to getting everything back on track next week!!

Until next time…HH

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again, only this time more intelligently.” ~ Henry Ford

If you could choose one…

Happy Monday….Just wanted to let you know that  my normal Monday post will be delayed a day…I’ve been under the weather today so haven’t had a chance to get everything together.  Just a little more time to keep you in suspense.

But in the meantime…Here’s a little hypothetical situation for you to vote on…

Until tomorrow…….