Becoming She-Hulk

The Journey to Prove that 40 is Worth Celebrating with a Bang!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

36 days... it's not easy being green?

Kermit may have been right!

One of the peskiest things that remains to solve is exactly what type of green make-up to use to cover most of my skin when I dress up as She-Hulk. A friend of mine who teaches Theater Arts in the USA is looking into some possibilities for me, since this is way out of my field. Searching for information on the Internet doesn’t really help as much as being able to ask questions from someone who works with a product on a regular basis.

After all, I don’t want everything I bump into before and after getting on stage to turn green... I also won’t have an army of make-up artists to help me get ready for this, just a friend to reach the spots I can’t! I’m hoping to find something that won’t turn all runny under bright lights or in warm rooms, so a more professional caliber make-up is pretty much a must. If it can’t stand the brightness of Hollywood...

What is my biggest fear other that having something go wonky and having the colour leach into my skin for a souvenir? Assuming I do find a kind of make-up that can be applied and removed fairly easily, I am hoping it won’t do too much of a number on my complexion. I don’t really want to be a walking mass of pimples for weeks after this, especially pimples or blackheads with green undertones!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

37 Days.. and time for a giggle!

This morning, I figured out why they recommend taking a day off to rest!! We went in to do Day 5 which is a repeat of Day 1’s chest, shoulders and triceps... all of which got a workout last night with deep water running and taking desks apart! I did “train to failure” on most of my sets because I just didn’t ave the full strength to match last time. Since I’d rather laugh than whimper, I figured this entry would aim for funny rather than whiney.

Here are 10 things that She-Hulk would be able to relate to about being REALLY tall...

10) Whamming your head on the exit sign or overhead bins on an airplane as you enter or disembark.

9) Struggling to find shoes in size 12 that DO NOT come with a 4 inch heel. That makes me 6 foot 9 inches and would make her 6 foot 11!!

8) The item you cannot find in the grocery store always turns out to be on the BOTTOM shelf.

7) One-size-fits-all panty hose never does... Even the TALL brand height chart stops at 6 foot 1!!

6) During kitchen parties, where the top of the fridge makes a comfy height on which to lean your elbow, you will invariably find that dust bunny no one has bothered to chase since they cannot see the top of their fridge!

5) You just cannot relate to a “standard” women’s inseam which is 30 inches when yours is at least 36 inches!

4) Your friends always want to walk about 5 paces behind you in the mall, just so they cannot watch other people’s expressions AFTER you walk by.

3) When you are standing up in the bathroom stall to zip up your pants and can look over the top of the door, at least one person waiting in line will peek down to see if you are standing on the toilet. At this point, I usually open the door, smile politely and say “No, this is ALL me!”

2) You finally meet people after your husband (or in She-Hulk’s case, boyfriend) has always referred to you as “The Little Woman” and people realize you ARE NOT!

1) No... I never did play basketball.... yes, the weather is just fine up here... Actually, I’m only 4 foot 29....

Friday, July 29, 2005

38 Days...

Today was our “rest day” from weights in the 3 days on/ 1 off routine I am following, but our favourite cardio workout is held every Friday night. It’s called Deep Water Running. Basically, you put a flotation belt around your waist nice and tight to help keep you buoyant, you get into the deep end of the pool and you do running, biking or cross country ski moves. It is almost the same as if you were on land but with cupped hands to help you move forward. We do all kinds or exercises including sprints, accelerations, longer intervals to help develop endurance... all without the wear and tear that you get on land. I love it, but it is the most intense cardio workout I do and could I ever feel the muscles I’d been working out all week!

I also finally found the rich deep blue spandex that I needed for the Fantastic Four costume that I’ll wear as She-Hulk. They also had the white in the same heavy weight that will hopefully look nicer than the thin stuff the other stores had. It was fairly expensive, but I figure if this is really fun, I have my Halloween costume for the rest of my life until I begin to lose inches from old age!

I also found a reasonably priced soy protein powder for those afternoon protein shakes to keep me from losing lean muscle tissue as I cut down on other calories from fat. Not that I am above the occasional sugar sneak. After the workout tonight I would have loved to stop for a nice big ice cream cone... but instead came home and had an ice milk fudgesicle. Far less calories and nice chocolate taste. I thought this would be a bit harder than it is but the dream of being in good shape up on stage is far stronger than the momentary cravings. It was the same when I stopped biting my nails before I got married. Every time I wanted to gnaw on them, I reminded myself that people would be looking at my hands with the nice new wedding ring on it ... and that chewed up nails would kind of ruin the picture. Same trick here because in the long run, nothing really tastes as good as it feels getting ready to bring a dream to life.

My sister gave me a wonderful book about getting younger in 365 days and today’s entry was all about microscopes or telescopes. As many people get older, they want to look inwards and have some time for themselves. Others decide to look outwards and follow crazy dreams. I think I know which category I fall into!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

39 Days and Counting...

Today’s workout was legs... all legs. Exercises to target everything in glutes, hamstrings and quads. Nick and I both made little whimpering noises walking down the stairs after the workout and again at home when we carried the stuff from the grocery order down to the freezer in the basement.

I can really feel the definition in my arms and shoulders from the other 2 days. Tomorrow is rest day. No weights while everything recovers, but we’ll do the deep water running class in the evening for some awesome cardio!

Groceries were quite a bit more expensive this week. Eating “clean” is more expensive than eating junk that’s for sure! I did change some of the things around a bit. Eating 5 slices of cantaloupe in one day when the suckers are over $3.00 each is just not going to happen!

We dropped by to check my measurements with the lady who is making the Fantastic Four costume that I’ll be wearing as She-Hulk. It is featured briefly in the graphic novel and is actually quite modest, though dated compared to the new outfits from the movie. I don’t quite have the Hollywood budget! Finding the right shade of blue spandex is proving to be a bit trickier than we expected. There are lots of shades of Royal Blue out there, but I don’t want to have a Cookie Monster coloured outfit! There are 2 more stores to check in town on Saturday, one of whom carries a lot of fabric for figure skating outfits... so that sounds promising.

Hmmm! I’m supposed to have a handfull of nuts as my evening snack, so I’d better go nibble on a few. Good thing the kids are in bed or they’d try to mooch most of them!

I can’t believe I looked like that once!!!

So how did this all begin? As I said yesterday, it started with the frustration of beginning to feel frumpy. I’d had two kids and many people were telling me that I’d better get used to having that kind of body...

Even though I love my daughters dearly and rejoice every time they learn something new , start off on a new adventure in life, or chase a new dream, it doesn’t mean that I am ready to give up on my OWN dreams!

This was my reality years ago. Tonight, my upper body is pleasantly sore... not only from this afternoon’s back, biceps and ab workout, but also from yesterday’s chest, shoulders and tricep workout. The new training program that I’ve cobbled together from two excellent sources is really going to give me that last burst of definition and diet that I need to look awesome on stage 40 days from tonight.

Yet, today again was a reminder of how far I am from the norm of most women... and probably why I identify with She-Hulk so strongly. The meal plans for the women training in these two sources are 130 lbs. Having lost 42 pounds since this picture was taken and kept it off for over 3 years, I still maintain my weight between 175 and 180 lbs. The only times in my life that I have been below 170 since reaching adulthood were on the day of my wedding (sheer nerves) and right before gallbladder surgery when I could only eat steamed rice and vegetables without triggering an attack!

The other thing I have found confusing is trying to convert the caloric requirement into Weight Watcher points. After being a Lifetime Member, and leader for over 3 years, I find it hard to count to 2,500 calories compared to counting points. Luckily my Regional Manager knows how to get answers to questions! I had visions of having to learn calories for foods instead of points all over again.

One of the reasons I can relate to She-Hulk is that she truly is built on a different scale. Actually, looking at John Byrne’s magnificent artwork, I certainly wish that portions of my anatomy defied gravity that well!! Having been an average size, she actual prefers to be She-Hulk and by the end of the graphic novel that inspired me can no longer be anything BUT big and green.

I have stood out in a crowd since I hit 6’2” at 13 years of age. My 6’3” grandmother always told me to stand up straight and be PROUD of my height. Boy, can I ever relate to She-Hulk...

It’s going to be a good costume idea for Dragon*Con..... I would have made a rather odd looking hobbit!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It Started With A Crazy Dream...

A few years ago, when turning 40 still seemed rather nebulous, I had a crazy dream about celebrating it with a BANG! I'd been getting back to the gym after the birth of my second daughter and didn't want turning 40 to be something that I did with a whimper. I also didn't want the word "Frumpy" to become part of my vocabulary.

I remembered how I felt the year I turned 20, when the Sensational She-Hulk graphic novel by John Byrne (Marvel® Graphic Novel No. 18) came out. Suddenly, I had someone that I could relate to! I stand 6'5" in my bare feet and here was this 6'7" bright green powerhouse that not only reveled in her newfound strength and stature, she came up with the line that stuck with me "Besides, I'm six foot seven and bright green! People are gonna stare no matter how I dress!"

Suddenly, I felt like I had permission to stop trying to dress fit into some "one size fits all" mold, since all that really meant was the nylons stopped a good 5 inches south of their proper destination. I could have FUN with my height... I could put on 2 inch heels as long as I remembered to duck a bit more in doorways.

So here I was, at 37, with the crazy idea of taking off all the extra weight I'd put on having 2 children, building up some muscle and then someday, in the year I turned 40, painting myself green and getting up on stage at a major Science-Fiction/Fantasy Convention as She-Hulk.

Tomorrow, there will be just 40 days until the dream becomes reality. Welcome to my adventure!!!