Thursday, November 29, 2012

Large and in charge

I can't hear the phrase "Large and in charge" without thinking of my grandpa. What a character that man was! In my family, we often quote him, and laugh at the funny way he would say things.

I got to spend the last two years of his life living with him, and in that time I certainly brought him new experiences. I taught him how to "yoink" something if he wanted to steal it from me (mostly licorice), we did "Kateflix" where I would leave DVDs for him to watch on top of his tv which he would then put on the hallway divider when he was ready for more, and I brought the term "large and in charge" to his attention. He could never quite grasp the fact that the term was really just something dumb to say and didn't mean anything on a deeper level. So he would ask, and I would try to explain.

Grandpa: "Large? And... In Charge??? What does that mean?"

Katie: "It doesn't really mean anything. Just like, if something is big and commands attention, you might say that."

Grandpa: "But... IN CHAAAARRRGGGEE???" (long, drawn out emphasis on "charge", like saying it in that way would bring some clarity or something)

Me: "ummm, yeah, it's really just more of a saying than anything. Because it rhymes. It's really just kinda dumb."

Grandpa: "But WHAT does it MEEEAAANNN???"

Me: "Nothing, Grandpa."

See, I wish that my Grandpa was alive today, because I would tell him about the new jacket that is my early Christmas present from my parents, and I would say that it is large and in charge. Inevitably, he would ask, "But what does that MEEEAAANNN???" and I would answer, "it means that this jacket is a size large. And it is in charge of making me incredibly excited!" And then I'd probably add a "Boom!" for good measure, because that's how I roll.


Now to make this jacket too large...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Downsizing one's wardrobe is a complicated matter. Especially when one is aware that one will be in one's current size only temporarily before further downsizing is required, and one does not have massive amounts of money to spend on clothing.

Okay, enough with that ridiculous formality. Winter is here, and I am facing an interesting dilemma. All of my jackets and sweatshirts, with the exception of my very thin pink one that I bought and flaunted in this post: Out with the old, are hilariously big on me. I keep this huge pink snow jacket in my car for emergency coldness, and had to bring it out the other day when my aunt and I were having a garage sale and freezing our butts off. It was a 3X, and really looked quite comical. I should have taken a picture, but I didn't. I think I need to go hunting around at the Salvation Army and the Goodwill for some cute used jacket that I can spend a minimal amount of money on and then do the same thing when I need a new one next winter, until I am the size I want to be, and then I'll splurge and spend money on something I know I'll be able to wear until it's unwearable.

I have, however, been thinking about investing in a good new sweatshirt that will maybe fit me snugly now and then be a decent looseness in the future. I've been eyeballing different sweatshirts here and there, but on Friday at Disneyland, I found the one. I had a coupon for 20% off, and they have a Jack Skellington sweatshirt that I had admired for quite some time, so I was able to save some money on something I love! My friend Andrea (whom I call Andreawesome... because she IS!) has the same sweatshirt, and wore it that day, so when I bought mine that night, we matched. I might be a dork, but I still think it's fun to match with my friends sometimes.


I love my new sweatshirt, but the best part of it is the size. I used to have to buy men's sweatshirts in XXL. Well, this is also a men's sweatshirt, because that was all they had, but the size? A SMALL!!!! I was expecting to fit into the Large, and when that was too big, I tried on the Medium. I was a bit incredulous that even that one had some room in it, so I tried on the small, and then I tried on a different small just to be sure. But it fit! Small was the right size!

I am fully aware that I am not a size small in women's clothing. I am also 100% content with the fact that my body will never be a women's size small. My build is large and muscular, and I am perfectly fine with that. It's not about comparing myself to other women and what sizes their bodies are. I look only at myself: the way I looked in the past, the size I know my own body to be capable of achieving, and the way I feel. I know that I still have a lot to lose, and I will work on losing it until it's gone, but I am happy with my body for now. And every pound I lose makes me feel better, which is the real goal anyway!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The dangers of association.

Last week I went to visit my parents in Tucson: the land where I become paralyzed to exercise and always gain a few pounds. Whenever I'm there, I can feel the inactivity creeping over me, like a straight jacket holding me down while someone shoves Eegee's down my throat. Okay, so the person feeding me the Eegee's is myself, but if you've ever had Eegee's and then lived away from Tucson and couldn't have them anymore, you would understand why that's something I don't stop myself from having the few times a year I'm there.

You know how songs and smells can bring you back to a specific time and place? I can never hear Crazy by Aerosmith without momentarily becoming my 13 year old self, riding my bike around the block with one of the girls that lived down the street, singing at the top of our lungs with our arms above our heads, the wind blowing through our hair, and feeling so cool... until I needed to grab the handlebars to keep from falling. I never completely got the hang of that hands-free thing. In the same way, there is a certain mixture of smells that, when duplicated, allow me to close my eyes and feel the presence of my beloved grandmother, if only for a moment. Those associations are strong. They're powerful. Magic, even.

But sometimes associations can have a negative affect. Let's go back to the year I moved to Tucson. I was 13, and had been playing soccer for years. I was good. I was in shape. I was a normal active kid. The week we moved, it was 117 degrees. That is a bit hotter than normal, but with temperatures regularly around 110 in the summer, you can imagine that the most appealing place to be was inside. Inside the refridgerator, that is! So my level of activity was still high at first, but it started declining pretty quickly. I joined an AYSO soccer team, and that turned out to be a joke. My coach regularly showed up to practice in heels and a mini skirt. It was like Soccer Coach Barbie. I wasn't being challenged, so I didn't improve. By the time I started high school and went out for the soccer team there a year later, I was already out of shape and too hot to stick it out, and I quit before the season had even officially started. That was the beginning of a lifestyle of laziness that certainly wasn't challenged when I gained 150 pounds over the following ten years. I moved back to California when I was 23, and it wasn't until I lived here again that I started exercising and eating healthfully. So the entire time I lived in Tucson, I was lazy and ate whatever I wanted. When I go back to visit, I have to fight the urge to act that way again. And the weather doesn't help. So yeah... bad association.

This trip, however, was wonderfully different. It probably helped that it was the end of October and cooler than those dreadful summer months, but there was also an element of exercise that I wish I could maintain all the time. I got to see my dear friend Courtney, whom I have loved beyond explanation ever since we first met during my sophomore/her freshman year of high school. We have always had the strongest bond, and we completely adore each other. She lives in Belgium half the year, and it is rare that we are in Tucson at the same time, but this happened to be one of those times, and I was so happy to be able to see her. It was an especially precious time, because in just a few months, she'll be having a baby girl, and I love getting to see the people that I love when they're pregnant.

Here we are my senior year.

We spent an evening together, shopping, eating dinner, talking, laughing, crying, and swimming in her amazing pool! We didn't keep track, because we were talking while we swam for quite some time, but Courtney estimated that we swam 80 to 90 laps. It was a wonderful workout, but the best part was the company and the fact that it didn't feel anything like a workout! If I could exercise with Courtney all the time, I would have already lost the remaining 60 pounds I want to lose! However, she is back in Belgium, and I am in LA. That makes exercising together quite difficult! But this inspired me to find workout partners. If exercising with a friend can beat the powers of association that make me lazy in Tucson, they can certainly kick butt here in LA where I like to be active!

Who wants to work out with me??