Becoming She-Hulk

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

4 days... The costume is almost ready!

I had the van today to run errands with the girls while Nick was at a special meeting for all teachers in the District down in Sackville. He was able to car pool and with the price of gas soaring by almost 17 cents a liter today, that was a good thing!

I managed to find a salon that could squeeze me in for a wax & rip. Tonight, I tried on the costume again after all the alterations that she made to get it to fit just right and things looked AWESOME! I get to pick up the whole kit and caboodle tomorrow night, just in time to throw it in my suitcase and be ready for my early Friday morning flight. The end of our subdivision, where we'd normally cut out to the highway and take the fast route to the airport, will already be cordoned off for security reasons for the Rolling Stones concert! Guess my cab fare to the airport will be a bit higher...

We even got groceries tonight so that I know Nick won't have to go out and about much during the weekend. We had an awesome workout again at the gym tonight and I guess I am about as ready as I will be for Sunday night after our leg workout tomorrow.

I am sure that tomorrow will be full of last minute things, packing and reassuring the kids - Bethany still minds it when I go away.

5 days... who would have thought?

I can still remember my first con... in Halifax, Nova Scotia during my years at Mount Allison University. A bunch of us who played D&D on the weekends piled into a car and drove 3 hours to be there. As a Fine Arts student, the fact that I could go to a Con and make more than a month's worth of groceries by selling artwork, was thrilling!

I met Marv Wolfman in the hallway of that Con when he stopped me to comment on the fact that he now knew what She-Hulk or Starfire looked like walking down the mall. That comment stuck with me... and in a strange twist of fate, I noticed that he is going to be at Dragon*Con this weekend. Talk about full circle!

I had another costume fitting tonight and we discovered that I've lost another inch through the waist... so even though the scale isn't changing that much, my shape still is. She's still tweaking the fit through the bust, but we practiced a few moves in the costume and the white collar of the Fantastic Four costume doesn't bounce around as much as we worried it might! The muscles looked good in the suit! Tonight I was leaning an arm on the counter and Nick suddenly noticed how defined my tricep was. He even dragged me to the mirror so that I could see! What fun!

I really feel for all the struggles that my costumer has had over the past week and a half. Her son has had more surgery on his hands and luckily it looks as if the leg tendons will repair on their own. I know that somehow the costume will be ready to go with me... we are SO close now.

Gosh... I am getting SO excited about this!! When I first picked this crazy goal over 3 years ago, it was as a way to be sure that I'd keep the weight off for a long haul. How could it suddenly be this weekend? Where has the time gone?

Monday, August 29, 2005

6 days...Will Blond Be More Fun?

A funny thing happened today at the hairdresser's...I decided that I was tired of the red colour I usually put in my hair before a show to jazz things up a bit and have some fun. I was born blond and got progressively darker as I got into my 20s. After I had kids, my hair lost most of its blond and just went plain brown. For 3 or 4 years, I've toyed with various shades of temporary red rinses... but maybe this approaching 40th birthday is making me bolder than ever.

So here is a look at the blond short hair that I'll be sporting for the next little while. I waited until AFTER the family wedding because I didn't want to show up with any funny dye jobs. Come to think of it, it would have actually worked if my hair had gone a funny green colour!

Erin and Bethany are fascinated, but still mystified. Bethany keeps looking at me and then hugging me to see if I feel the same. By bedtime tonight, she announced that she liked the blond "until it grew back out to normal", so I guess that's about as much approval as I am going to get from my 6 year old.

I also picked up my tickets from the travel agent. They were the only set of e-tickets,receipts and insurance info that I couldn't find in the file from all our travels this summer, but it turns out that I'd booked that trip so long ago, to take advantage of a great price I found, I'd asked them to keep the ticket in the safe so I wouldn't misplace it here in the house!
One more reason to love my new lateral file system. Finding things is MUCH easier.

Am I starting to get excited? You bet! Today's workout was just AWESOME! Now I just need to wrap up a few loose ends before I leave for Atlanta on Friday morning. Hopefully the hotel will have a computer so that I can blog right down to the end!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

7 days... One week from tonight!

We arrived home safely and the girls are in bed after a whirlwind weekend in Montebello (between Montreal and Ottawa) for a family wedding. I haven't even unpacked most of our stuff yet and can't believe that one week from tonight I'll be up on stage painted green. Do I remember where I put this set of plane tickets? Will my family survive the Rolling Stones invading Moncton while I am gone? Will the hurricane mess up travel up and down the coast this week?

I had SO much fun meeting new people this weekend who'd never met a woman my height... There were also some friends of the bride who were rather tall yet quite surprised to discover that they were average or short in OUR clan!! We laughed about the different challenges that height, or lack thereof, can pose. We basked in the glowing happiness of the bride and groom. I stocked up on hugs from my brother and sister who both live overseas (London and Lausanne), snuggled my new nephew, tickled my niece and danced past midnight.

It was fun to try the awesome gym equipment and even more satisfying to have people comment on the killer wedding outfit I'd found! The 3 inch heels were a hit too... I can see why She-Hulk refuses to wear flat shoes!

I'm off to bed and hopefully tomorrow's entry will be more coherent!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

10 Days... Count Your Blessings!

I went for my second costume fitting tonight. I was feeling rushed because there was still so much to do before the girls and I get on the plane tomorrow morning for a family wedding in Ottawa. They are so excited, I think their feet barely touch the ground in between leaps and skips.

The minute I walked into my costumer's house, I knew that something was wrong. She looked so pale... As she showed me the costume and explained that she wasn't as far along as she'd hoped, she almost burst into tears. Tuesday night while I'd been there, she was making seafood chowder with her son and his girlfriend when he decided to zip up to Blockbuster to rent a movie. On the way home, someone backed out into the road suddenly, just moments from home, blocking both lanes of traffic. Her son was unable to avoid crashing into the car and flew off his motorbike, smashing his arms and one leg. His hands were also very badly crushed and his right wrist completely dislocated.

I just hugged her and told her how amazed I was that she'd gotten anything done! She then explained that it was good therapy to keep her mind off things between hospital visits.

Her son has had one round of surgery on his right hand and is scheduled for more on his left hand in the next few days, but he is understandably angry at how his life has suddenly been turned upside down. The artist in me just wanted to tuck my hands in my armpits and hide in a corner somewhere. The costume is going to be AWESOME, but how I ache for her son and what she is going through trying to be strong for him.

Life can throw us curve balls when we least expect them. Sometimes when we hear of tragedies, we help however we can. Other times we can only tuck someone in our prayers and say a quick thank you that it didn't happen to us.

We really do have to count our blessings each day instead of list our complaints!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

12 days... I Tried On My Costume!

Here is the image from the John Byrne Graphic Novel that I am basing my She-Hulk Costume on. It's a classic... and not quite as dependent on having killer abs as some of the newer fan art. One of the things that I loved about his version of She-Hulk is that she had muscles, but also hips! She wasn't some skinny mini toothpick... but a 6'7" woman with some oomph to her!

Trying on the rough of my costume today was SO COOL!!! The lady sewing it is a truly talented woman who can invent a pattern from a drawing like this and make it 3-D. We modified it a bit tonight because she discovered I'd lost an inch in the waist area from my original measurements that she had on file. We also checked to make sure that the white yoke part of this costume (easy to draw but more difficult to figure out how to move in) wouldn't move around too much when I flexed.

I go for another fitting on Thursday night before we leave for Ottawa on Friday. I have a wonderful family wedding to look forward to with my 2 girls and she will be able to work on the final details while I am gone before I pick up the completed costume early next week. Yahoo! I guess I don't have to worry about wearing rags!

I did have a slight qualm about that wide white horizontal line when I first tried the costume on. I bet that's why they did away with the classic style costume in the Fantastic Four movie... even Jessica Alba's body would find that wide horizontal line a bit disconcerting! Once I got the boots and gloves on, it looked much better and quite true to this drawing. I can't wait to try it on once all the seams and edges are done. I do have a few pinholes in me tonight from trying to remove pin-adjusted spandex carefully!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Lucky 13??

13 has always been my lucky number, but today just felt odd. I can't believe there are 13 days to go!

Nick is back at work full time now and today was a full day session for all of the administrators in the school district he works for. By the time he got home at 7:15 pm, neither of us had the energy to go to the gym for a workout. I was busy all day with one large graphics project for a client that needs to get wrapped up ASAP. Instead, we decided to juggle the workouts around so that tomorrow is an all-over one again.

Our garden actually had a wonderful yellow squash ready to enjoy, so I made a huge veggie and shrimp stir-fry for supper with some sushi rice... and then watched the girls pick out all their favourite vegetables.. which certainly did NOT include the yellow squash or the zucchini from the Farmer's Market on Saturday. I used to hate some vegetables as a kid, but I have really learned as an adult that when at least half of my plate is fruit or vegetables, I feel a whole lot better. There are also so many wonderful colours to eat! The kids tease me that sometimes I stare at my plate as if I want to sketch it or photograph it instead of eat it...

That's about it for tonight.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

14 days...Out Of The Mouth Of Babes!

Kids are so incredibly frank and honest...

Yesterday we went up to Shediac to see some friends of ours, Bethany's godparents, who have just bought a cottage and are fixing it up. Their little three year old was totally baffled by both my height and my short hair. She kept saying "You the tallest man!" but then staring in puzzlement at my chest, since I was very obviously had bumps there like her Mommy. We finally explained that women could be both tall and have short hair! What a riot!

Today was my godson's birthday party. He is about 4 months younger than my youngest, Bethany, so she always hits a birthday before him. He celebrated the fact that he will soon be 6 (next weekend while they are away) and invited both our girls to his bowling party. It was fairly quiet when we dropped the girls off. My friend, Karen, insisted that Nick and I have some time to ourselves during the party instead of staying to help, so we took her up on that offer and had some quality couple time.

When we went back to pick them up, it was total bedlam! Again, I was swarmed by a bunch of little kids who looked up at both Nick and I and then over at our girls. "Yup! You're right...they are REALLY tall!" one replied to our girls. There must have been some explaining about why Erin and Bethany are so tall for their age.

Kids notice stuff and comment on things without the many layers that we add as adults and I find that more refreshing somehow that adults who just look startled and unsure of what to say other than "Do you play basketball?" Kids delight in something different and share the wonder in it. I can still remember being in line at one of the Harry Potter movies and having a child in line ask me if Hagrid was my Daddy! I just smiled and replied that my daddy WAS very tall, much taller than me, but that he was thinner than Hagrid and not as fuzzy!

I hope I never completely grow up and lose all my sense of wonder... life would be pretty dull. Look how much fun I'm having at the thought of playing dress-up!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

15 days...Everything's falling into place!

It's funny how the pieces always come together in the end. I was able to talk to a good friend who teaches theatre in the USA last night and make a decision about what make-up to use for painting myself green. Someone had warned me that the water based make-up I'd originally chosen might not handle me sweating on stage for any length of time... but in the long run, it's not as if I have to be green for a whole day or under hot studio lights for hours and hours. Being able to blend two basic types of make-up will give me the look I need without spending Hollywood budget prices to get myself there. This is a dream, but it's not an unlimited budget!

This friend was also able to give me great tips on which type of wig to buy. He pointed out that it was more important to get the right style of wig in black than it was to find the green colour. There are ways of giving a black wig green highlights, which can be washed out later, rather than having green filaments that cannot be styled the way you want.

I guess tonight's blog is really a thank you to all the people who have given me the encouragement and advice along this road that I have needed in order to make this dream a reality. I could not have done this alone... so THANK YOU!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Only 16 days... I lost count...YIKES!!!

I guess that I lost count somewhere along the way during our travels. Two weeks from tonight I'll be having supper with my friend Teresa and some wonderful stitchers who love our cross stitch designs. (My kids still think that it is hilarious for Mommy to have fans!) 16 days from tonight, I'll be up on stage painted green...Yikes!!

It felt awesome to get back to the gym today and my whole upper body can vouch for the fact that it was a great workout. I truly love weightlifting in a way that I never took to team sports. Perhaps it is the loner in me who remembers what it was like to always be the last kid picked for teams. Perhaps it is because I am Type A enough to love seeing if I can match or improve on what weights I did the last time. Perhaps I am also narcissistic enough to love watching the evidence of my body being sculpted by my own efforts in the mirrors as I work out. For whatever reason, this has been a real adventure and certainly not something I intend to abandon completely once this is done.

I also discovered the hard way that I am allergic to something that is in the protein powder mixes. At first, I thought it was only a reaction to the whey powder in the newer supplements that I'd bought. I had a rather severe reaction in Charlotte to a protein smoothie I bought at a cafe to the point where it became tricky to breathe. (Kind of like Nick does with chocolate!) Thursday morning, I had a protein bar that I bought from the New Balance tent sale which produced a similar but milder reaction, so I was pretty positive that it must be the whey. Today, when it came time for our smoothie snack, I was careful to use the soy powder supplement... but again the same throat tightening that is definitely NOT cool. I wonder if it is actually one of the amino acids that I am allergic to? I shall certainly check it out with my family doctor soon, but it looks as if it will be more protein from natural sources like meat and nuts... Sigh! I can still make the protein shakes with the frozen fruit, yogourt and skim milk, but they are a bit harder to justify without that protein boost.

Isn't it also funny how hard we can be on ourselves. I have been so positive about how things are shaping up for this crazy dream and then tonight, after the workout and a healthy supper, I found myself thinking how much further along I had hoped to be. Being in the USA for 10 days away from a kitchen where I could cook my own meals certainly made it harder to stay on track, and yet I absolutely refuse to do anything weird chemically to lose extra water etc. I can still remember the death of one male bodybuilder about 15 - 18 years ago. He'd taken lots of diarrhetics to try to lean out before a competition and his kidneys shut down completely so that he died very suddenly. I am willing to limit myself on some things for the sake of this dream, but not to put myself at risk. After all, once this is over, I have to start planning for 50!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

18 days...Home Again And Back-Up Plans...

It feels SO good to be home again! This past week of traveling has made me realize so many things about how skewed portion sizes have gotten, how hard it is to eat healthy when things are busy or you are traveling, how strange many people find it to put a goal ahead of momentary pleasure, how much I missed my own home and bed, how much I love watching my kids explore new places, how glad I am to get back home where eating properly is easier...

That sounds like quite the list and it is probably partly the weariness of being on the road to get home for 2 days. The kids slept in the car and have been bouncing off the walls since we got home, while Nick and I have been trying to get suitcases into the house, the hamster cage cleaned, the bare essentials put away for now with the rest to tackle tomorrow etc.

In the midst of this chaos, my costumer called to say that she'd been missing two crucial measurements, so she wasn't going to quite be ready for me to try everything on tomorrow as planned.

My first instinct was to panic... but being a creative type who sometimes pulls off stupid deadlines, I am willing to hope that she will get things done on time.

I also realized that I have the ultimate back-up plan for anything Hulk-related. If worst comes to worst, I can always just shred some regular clothes... right? After all, it worked on the Hulk TV series every week for ages!

I think everything will feel much better after some sleep on our own mattress!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

20 days... Green Wig Frustrations

I couldn't get in touch with a real person today at either of the wig sites. Partly because of how the phone works with the pre-paid cards here and then those endless loops of messages that never let you take to someone who can actually answer questions. I miss those days of dealing with real people all the time.

It is time to head home now... Even though this trip has been both business and family fun. I miss my own computer, I miss the gym and my pre-paid computer minutes are about to run out!

I can't wait for the fitting of my costume when I get home!!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

21 days... My Boots Are Made For Walking!

Computer problems plagued the hotel all weekend and there were a lot of grumpy people in the hotel when the wireless system went down along with the 2 computers in the lobby!

Today was an awesome day! The show wrapped up last night and this morning was full of goodbyes. We checked out of the room under the reservation with the show and than back into the same room for a 2 night "Stay and Play" package that gave us 4 passes to Carowinds to enjoy today in the hot, muggy Monday weather.

We came back, still soggy from being soaked to the bone on several rides almost 7 hours after we left, to discover that my white boots for my She-Hulk costume had arrived!! Luckily I asked about them at the desk because the lady thought I'd already checked out from the show (which I had) and didn't realize we were still here!

What fun to try them on. These "Nancy Sinatra Go-Go Boots" were indeed made for walking! The 3 inch heel isn't that hard to get used to because I have a new pair of summer shoes with the same height that I have adapted to.

Now if only I could find a 3rd and perfect alternative for the green wig! The one that is the right dark green colour is LONG like CHER hair and the one that is a better cut and length is too light and a bit too Kermit coloured!!!

Hmmmm! Well, at least the boots look fabulous!

Friday, August 12, 2005

24 days... Back to Basics!

What chaos it is getting ready for a trade show with the girls underfoot!!! This is the first time I have ever had them along and the learning curve is vertical for everyone, but I did know what I was getting into... sort of... almost... ok... maybe not quite!

I don't think I was still for more than 10 minutes today and kept taking the stairs or finding parking spots farther away than we needed to get more exercise. I discovered that the bathtub is the perfect height to do tricep dips from and so every time I thought of it, I went in and did a set if I was between other things.
If only it was as easy to find a good place to do incline pushups! The king size bed is just a bit to high of a slant to plank down for those, so I've been sticking to the traditional push up.

Tomorrow and Sunday will be absolute chaos with the show going on and meals being sporadic between breakfast and supper, so we've planned out some snacks that we can eat while standing, writing orders. It does pay to plan ahead!

I've spoken to quite a few people (including those that e-mailed or left comments) about the sheer idiocy of healthy food being more expensive that junk... If everyone is feeling like this, why don't we speak out more? Why don't we vote with our feet? I include myself in that question too... What will it take for us to take a good hard look at the way we eat as a society and change things for the better?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

25 Days...You can find workouts all around you!

What a fun day! We had a healthy breakfast a the hotel with low-fat yogurt, fruit, a veggie omelet made with egg beaters and spiced chai tea then headed off to take my chart and order form masters to an Office Max for copies. We walk the stairs at the hotel all the time and make a game with the girls about not taking the elevator.

After we left the Office Max, we took the girls downtown to Discovery Place and had a wonderful 5 hours of exploring the hands-on science centre. There were workout opportunities everywhere from hauling our own body weight as we sat in a chair and pulled hand over hand on a rope and pulley system... to peddling bikes to generate sound, power and enough air currents to make things float... to seeing how long you could hold a chin-up pose for (I liked the bar to do a few hanging ab moves).. to racing our kids up a 3 flight spiral staircase on several occasions.

We found a healthy section on the menu at a restaurant later in the day too, so there is hope for keeping on track. Most of the snacks during the Manager's hour here at the hotel are very salty and not very healthy, so I picked up some low-cal popcorn to nibble on tomorrow night so that I don't feel deprived or puffy... what horrible alternatives!

Nick and I are going to spell each other later tonight so that the other can either workout or swim. I think I may just pull out my powerband and try to see if I can do more push-ups etc. than yesterday. What me... Competitive?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

26 days...lost a day in transit!

I've arrived safely at my trade show for the cross stitch side of my life after a day that started at 3 am EST. The Embassy Suites hotel is wonderful except, horror of horrors... NO FREE WEIGHTS!! It's a very good thing that Donna and I planned for this! She showed me all kinds of stuff that I can do from push-ups and dips with the hotel room coffee table (although this one is a glass top!) to leg presses and cross-overs. They excercise room here has treadmills and a bike, but the last thing I want now is too much cardio!! Luckily, I brought my power bands along, so I do have a bit of resistance stuff. IF Nick and I were alone, we'd head to the nearest gym and get a week's membership or something. As it is, I think that diet will play a MUCH bigger role in keeping me on track this week. The airport food was hideous today and we did manage to get a few groceries for a healthy supper... but the first thing we did after we got checked into the hotel was to find a Chick-Fil-A (I hope I spelled that right!) for lunch because the kids and Nick just LOVE that restaurant. Ok... I'll be honest... I love the waffle fries and lemonade that came with my charbroiled chicken wrap! Once is enough for me though.
Trying to figure out the hotel computer and pay for minutes was another treat. I really wanted this to be a daily blog, but if the interface remains this slow, I may go out in search of a faster internet cafe or something!
Isn't it hard when technology hasn't quite caught up to what you envision??? Heaven help me when they finally get holosuite technology!!! I'll write programs and stories so complex for people to wander into that they'll never want to come out!! Heh! Heh!
Ok...I'm not even sure if this blog makes sense after more than 16 hours on the road. I'll check in here tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

28 days... Why is it so hard to eat healthy??

I've been eating lean for over 2 weeks now... loading up on healthy food, especially good carbs and lots of lean protein to make sure that I don't lose lean muscle mass as I am training and dieting down to show off my muscles on stage. It has been a VERY eye-opening experience into how expensive or difficult it can be to get healthy food in our mass market, convenience, price and speed above all society!

I was prepared for the fact that our grocery bill would jump and it did by at least forty dollars a week. I knew that I'd have to make careful choices if we ate out, but what I began to notice is how cheaply you can buy food that is so terrible for you! Most places offer a burger, fries and a soft drink for less than four dollars, while healthy meals cost at least six to eight dollars! Healthy food, such as salads, at fast-food restaurants is often wilted, past its freshest, or too easy to hide under heavy calorie dressings and cheese that take it into a high calorie choice.

The final straw hit me tonight when Nick was checking out the airline site to find out the weight restrictions and discovered pictures of the morning and afternoon snacks that are offered on the plane. Both were so hideously bad for you that they almost made me want to gag! Chips, pepperoni sticks, candy, packaged danishes... Yuck!!

If we want to change our society to one where eating healthy is not only for the wealthy, then we need to take a good hard look at the fact that the food we need to eat to stay alive is big business to many companies. WE are the consumers!! We need to speak up and ask for better choices or healthier alternatives... We need to start slowing down to actually prepare meals from basic ingredients and savour eating them instead of gulping them down to get to somewhere else... We need to value the bodies that we have and take pride in how we care for them...

If not, then it really is all about what is cheap, fast and easy.

Monday, August 08, 2005

29 days until THAT Sunday Night!

Gosh! Sunday, September 4th suddenly doesn't feel that far away, even though there are lots of things between now and then... a trade show with my family in the USA, a cousin's wedding near Ottawa and then Dragon*Con. Yikes! There are quite a few plane rides in my near future!

Most of what I need to get done before heading off to the trade show is now under control and it should be interesting trying to train on hotel gym equipment while we're gone. Donna showed me a whole bunch of exercises that get back to the basics even if there aren't a lot of free weights. My own body can act as that with basic push-up variations, tricep dips, squats etc. It will be a big help to have Nick along and hopefully the two of us can encourage each other to stick to the lean diet and keep moving amid the trade show chaos. The girls are very excited about coming along with us and haven't quite figured out that it will be work as well as vacation.

Erin seems a bit nervous about Grade 5 this year and I keep encouraging her to just face the year head on and try to make the best of it. Sometimes we let our fears build things up in our heads until we imagine something far worse that reality would ever be.

What is the true sign of a hero? Someone who faces their fears and does the right thing anyway... even if it is hard or dangerous. Super powers aren't the only things that make someone a hero... I see plenty of heroes around me all the time who have absolutely no powers at all!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

30 days... One Month to Dreamtime..

One month from today...

At the Farmer's Market today, after an AWESOME leg workout that was draining and energizing at the same time, I tried to explain to the lady who made the fajitas why I wanted only the chicken, salsa and peppers on my order... no cheese, no sour creme etc. She is used to people slathering their fajitas with all of these things. I tried to explain that I was in training. She asked if I was competing for something and then when I explained about wanting to dress up as this comic book character called She-Hulk in one month's time, I got the typical blank look. "There was a girl Hulk?" is the usual response.

By the same token, I went into our local comic shop to leave behind my list of what I have in my collection. They've been looking for a few things lately and there are a few things in my collection that I would be willing to part with for cash. Punisher #1 being one of them. I bought it and thought it would be too violent to ever catch on. Hah!! The staff there was asking me how training was going and how many days until She-Hulk etc. How they couldn't wait to see pictures etc. At least they understood this crazy dream of mine. It is rather hard to explain to most people though!

How do you begin to explain that this character tapped into something about what it is to live COMPLETELY outside the norm of most human females? To be able to relate to someone who is so far outside the box that she is completely comfortable with the attention?

Nick and I were in the convenience store today paying the phone bill and one of the ladies there that is always a bit freaked out about my height said "Wow! This is your husband? How tall are your kids??" It made me realize that my daughters will face the same challenges and exhillarations that I did about being outside the norm. I hope and pray that they take to it with as much joy as I have been able to. I love my extra inches, but I also would hate to think what it would be like going through life resenting what genetics and selective breeding ( ie. tall marrying tall) have produced. Inches are something you just can't undo, so you might as well have fun with them!!

31 days... Training Buddies!

It helps to have people to encourage you! Nick has been wonderful pushing me to do more reps when my wimpy side wants to quit. I really should have trusted him when he told me to switch to lower reps and higher weights now that there is just a month to go... but it is funny how sometimes we don't listed to the people who are closest to us, even when we should.

Donna is the fitness trainer at the gym we go to and a good friend. She's been off competing in the World Masters Swimming competition and today was one of the first days that she could look over the program I have been following thus far. Guess what? She told me exactly the same thing as my husband! More weight, less reps and build those muscles with just a month to go...

So today, we punished our back, biceps and abs until I was ready to squeak. Of course, diet continues to play a major role in being able to define muscle and unbury it. Nick and I are getting a wee bit sick of chicken, tuna and egg whites, but it does cause us to be creative with our meals. It has also been eye opening as to how much junk can actually sneak into your day if you aren't careful. He's discovered that the perks of training and eating with a wife who wants to be She-Hulk means that pants and shorts fit a whole lot better... and he may just have to get some new clothes for back to school!!

I can't imagine trying to keep myself motivated all on my own. It is far more fun to have the encouragement and support of those who are close to you... and someone telling you that you can do just one more rep!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

33 days... Nothing tastes as good as this feels!

A comment by a friend got me thinking today. We were at Subway and I was being careful to stick to my diet leading up to being She-Hulk. I'm actually eating more food than normal as I build muscle, but far less fat, sugar and other junk. Clean eating is definitely not cheap, nor is it always easy to follow at restaurants, but this was actually pretty easy. I got my 6 inch oven-roasted chicken in a whole wheat wrap and loaded it with veggies instead of cheese and sauce. Add a bottle of water and it made a truly healthy choice. My friend was quite surprised that I didn't feel deprived and commented that "Nothing is worth giving up if you really like it!"

She has a point in a way. The whole time I was losing the 42 pounds I took off, I still included chocolate. Today I did indulge in a cookie, but not the pop and chips or the other goodies offered later.

I think there is a difference when you have your eyes set on a goal that means a lot to you. Being careful right now about what I eat isn't so much about dieting (certainly not when I am eating MORE than I usually do) but about wanting to get the results I need in a healthy way that doesn't resort to chemicals or extreme measures. There simply isn't a food out there right now that tastes better than this crazy dream I am aiming for!

I got out The Sensational She-Hulk graphic novel again today after an awesome leg workout at the gym that still has me whimpering a bit as I go up and down stairs. I love the pose that she is striking on the cover because she is sleek and panther-like instead of masculinely muscular. I discovered Richard Avedon's photos of bodybuilder Rachel McGlish around the same time as this comic came out and both of them were defined, cut but still incredibly feminine... She-Hulk was just more on my scale! With arms and legs as long as mine, I doubt I could ever put on the sheer mass that a smaller torso could bulk up with, but I am feeling incredibly proud of how the muscles I have are getting more and more defined during this countdown.

Now that we're in the gym almost every day (3 days on, 1 day off) instead of our usual 2 or 3 times a week, people are starting to notice and ask about why Nick and I are training so hard. When I explain what I am going to be doing on Labour Day weekend, it is fun to watch people's reactions. Most of them are puzzled but supportive. It sure is a lot less risky than taking up skydiving!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

34 days... The inches are already built in!

I've been looking on the internet for answers to make-up questions and discovered that there are entire worlds out there in cyberspace that I never knew existed! There are bulletin boards about She-Hulk, fan fiction etc. and some very helpful people. Some of the discussions about why there should be an animated movie about this character, instead of a live action version were interesting, especially about how hard it would be to add a foot to most body builders or other women!

I had to laugh at this because I have always lived with those extra inches and couldn't just take them away with special effects! I actually met Marv Wolfman, back when he was writing the Teen Titans comic series that I collected at Halcon in Halifax. He stopped me in the hallway with the comment "Oh My! Now I finally know what She-Hulk or Starfire look like at the mall!" Apparently the sight of me walking down the hallway in garb, a head above most of the crowd, brought that home in a whole new way that drawings just didn't quite capture.

If I was an introvert, I would probably be bothered by the extra inches I carry, but as an irrepressible extrovert, I just LOVE them! People who get to know me and spend time with me on a regular basis adapt. Today, I met a few people who were just baffled by the extra inches and wondered how on earth I survived. I guess I've never known anything else. I've always been tall and I am perfectly average in my family, so I just see it as being built on a different scale.

Tonight my oldest daughter started asking about dances that she'll be allowed to go to this fall in Grade 5. That brought back a wave of memories of slow dances where the guys put their heads on MY shoulders instead of vice versa... but that's just something that both my daughters will have to take in stride. These inches aren't going anywhere, so we might as well have fun with them!!

Monday, August 01, 2005

35 Days...These Boots Are Made For Walking!

The Internet is actually an amazing tool when you need to go hunting for size 12 women's boots with a reasonable heel. I can wear size 11.5 comfortably if they are wide, but only for shoes. Boots and sneakers really need to be that full size 12 or my toes start to hate me and I walk funny. I somehow don't think She-Hulk with a limp would be as impressive...

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a site that had just what I needed at
This afternoon, I was able to talk to one of the salespeople to figure out when I needed to order them so that they would arrive at the hotel in Charlotte while I am there. Trying them on to be sure and being able to return them from within the USA is SO much easier than having them go through customs more than once. Since we're actually going to be in the USA for over a week. I'll also be able to claim them as part of my allowable goods and bring them back with me rather than paying the extra customs and HST on a mail-order.

I looked at some of the thigh high boots for future costumes, but there just isn't anything between a flat 1.5 inch heel (BORING!) and the spike 4 and 5 inch heels! Even if I was shorter, I'm not sure I could walk in those things without killing myself! When I think about some of the odd and uncomfortable things that women have worn and continue to wear in the name of fashion and looking good, sometimes I am glad to be way out of the "norm" and able to decide, as She-Hulk did, to wear what I want!!