Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Body, Your Body, Any Body!

So, I was thinking the other day, how can I get myself motivated so that I can motivate others? I subscribe to several weight management (I don't like to call it "weight loss" because I don't always lose weight) newsletters which, for some reason, (probably the Big Guy up there trying to drop a few hints to me) seem to be quite interesting and helpful. I found the following quote from a newsletter I receive from Bob Greene.

"I know that I became overweight because I was out of touch with my body and because I had developed a food addiction. Now, I'm constantly checking in with my body to determine whether I want to eat because of hunger or because I have some emotion that I want to avoid. To me, health means having a healthy relationship with my body and that means nurturing it and not abusing it, and enjoying what I eat. To nurture my body is to feed it foods that will give me energy and nutrients."

Emotional eating....hit the nail two feet into the wood for me! I very rarely eat because I am hungry...I am hardly ever hungry. I love food! I really love sweet things, and eating sweet things can sometimes be a full-time job for me! I try not to think about anything while I'm eating. That's my problem! While I chew and savor, my mind is on the food and nothing else. Food is my "happy place" that I go to when I need a break from reality. The problem with that is, I spend most of my time on break and very little time dealing with real things. And, boys and girls, can you tell me where this kind of thinking takes one? Duh......

So, let's get that healthy relationship with food that was mentioned above. Telling myself that I ONLY WANT food that is going to nuture me and give me energy, will be one of the hardest things to do. Sugar gives me energy, and I feel nutured whenever I eat chocolate. So what's the big deal? Maybe, just maybe, I could think about making substitutions here and there. Ya think? Grapes are sweet, sort of like sugar, and they don't signal the brain to eat mass quantities like some cookies or candy will. Brushing hair is a form of nurturing, so are manis and pedis, no? Do ya think I could come up with a solid or a liquid that actually made me feel loved? It's possible that picturing water going through my body and picking up the gunk so I can "eliminate" it, could be a form of loving myself.

But, let's not get carried away here, Missy! We don't want to get a big head, now! I've spent almost my whole life abusing myself with food! It ain't gonna change overnight! "BUT I WANT IT NOW!!!" cried Verushka. "Patience, my dear!" If I can manage to substitute "healthy" and "nurturing" foods for the processed, sugary junk to which I have become accustomed, maybe...just maybe I could learn a little patience instead of stomping my feet and demanding immediate results. Wow! What a concept!

They say it takes 21 to 30 days to change a habit. Well here goes.....

Oh Simon, You Knucklehead!

I am a really, really big American Idol fan. I am glued to the television during the season from the first episode to the last. My family suffers, my friends suffer, and my blogs suffer during this time. I do not take phone calls or accept dinner invitations if the show is going to be aired. (Get a life, right?)

To honor the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, American Idol repeated its episode where the top 13 contestants sang one of Michael's songs. As I stated above, I was glued to the television, did not take calls, and tightened up the bladder muscles until commercials. I thought each and every contestant did a great job. Some were very good. Some were AWESOME!

The Hubs and I watched last night, and as was with almost every single episode throughout the season, yelled back at the TV every time Simon Cowell opened his mouth. We love to hate him. Yes, Simon does have some credibility, but in many cases, he contradicts himself just to get a boo or two from the audience.

We thought that it would be fun to make a You Tube video by going through a bunch of this past year's episodes, pulling out Simon's nastiest comments. After each of his comments, we would inject five seconds of our responses to his comments. I don't know about you, but with my limited technical abilities, I'm not sure I would be able to complete this task within this decade. So, instead, we have chosen to list our responses to the more flagrant comments of his.

"Oh Simon, you knucklehead!"

"You're crazy, Simon!"

"Unbelievable, Simon!"

"HOW can you say THAT!"

"Well, if it's a singing competition, then why are you CRITICIZING WARDROBE?

"Well, if it's a singing competition, then WHY ARE YOU CRITICIZING DANCE?"

"And your professional opinion is backed up with WHAT?"

"How can you call it a DISASTER when they made it their own and POURED THEIR BLEEDING HEARTS OUT?"

"Just say it was the wrong song choice and be DONE WITH IT!"

"You are starting to GET ON MY NERVES, SIMON!"

"If you say that once more, I'm GOING TO SCREAM!"



Wouldn't this make a hilarious You Tube video? Come on video techs! Get to work! Here's the script, now have at it!

Danny, you stole my heart with your very first song! I'll be first in line when your album comes out! Good luck on the summer tour!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fry An Egg on The Sidewalk!

Its sizzle time here in the Midwest! We are cookin’ today! Thanks to Doc Brown (Back to the Future – 1985) for inventing air conditioning…whew! I just cannot imagine how people made it through the heat 100 years ago. I know how they made it through, but trying to imagine how to keep one’s sanity when in a constant state of sweating amazes me to no end. I especially applaud those who were full-figured like me who possessed those wonderful love handles, folds and parts that came in contact with each other when walking! I would have been one of those really cranky ladies who screamed at everyone!

I remember visiting my grandmother in New York during the peak of the summer. Coming from Southern California, which had a much dryer atmosphere, I really hated the humidity. But having deli sandwiches for dinner every night was a real treat for me! She also served these great lemon sugar cookies for dessert each night. For the right food, I would put up with almost anything!

I was an attendant at my cousin’s wedding in Harrison, NY, when I was young and stupid. The reception was at a home on Long Island. Humidity and body of water…what a great combination. After the reception, I accompanied my cousin, her new husband, and various friends on an outing which was held from midnight to 6:00 a.m. We toured the Lower East Side of New York City. There were only supposed to be about 100 people attending this event, however, over 1,000 showed up. Fortunately, we had New York’s Finest chaperoning the event, in autos, on horses and on foot. At 2:00 a.m. in the morning, the temperature was 92 degrees and the humidity was 92%. What a treat! I remember coming home, lying in the back seat of a car at 6:30 a.m. the next morning. I was tired, drenched, and unaware of my surroundings…and I did not have any trace of alcohol in my body since it had left me through perspiration eight hours earlier. Pure and simple exhaustion! I slept for 12 hours!

How, do you ask, does this have anything to do with my blog? (I am trying to write posts that have some sort of continuity with self-improvement, be it weight loss, organization, or dealing with really whacked family members.) I guess I just wanted to share a part of my memory while I still have it, and at the same time offer up stupid things not to do.

Please stop by again when I discuss how not to fight City Hall!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


As far back as I can remember, I've been a saver (collector). I would call most of my stuff a "collection" of some sort. For instance, my mom took a picture of me sitting next to my first collection of dolls when I was about two. I held on to all the dolls I ever owned until it was suggested that I share some of my dolls with those less fortunate.

I shared my Barbies, their hand-made prom dresses, the doll case and everything else with a younger friend down the street. At the time, I felt good about giving them away as I no longer played with them. Today, I want to puke every time I think about it!

My mom saved my favorites dolls in a cardboard box and gave them to me when I moved out. Some of them are still with me. My favorite stuffed Teddy had been in the box for 10 years and then I read about all the bugs that crawl into stuffed animals after a long time. I bit the bullet and threw Teddy out. My Raggedy Ann was the one doll that I took to bed with me and on trips and sleepovers. Some would say that she was "well loved". When I was 30, I put her in the washing machine to clean her up a little. Her face exploded. I was devastated! A good friend knew how much I loved my Raggedy, so she bought me a new one. I still keep it in my nightstand.

Tiny Tears is still with me, but her plastic is getting old and beginning to crack. I keep her wrapped in a blanket inside a plastic bag, and away from the elements. Do you think she can breathe? I also had a baby doll that would move her legs and arms when you wound up the musical knob on her back. My brothers broke the knob on this doll's back when I was 10. I was devastated! But I still love to look at her.

When there are four children running around ones house playing "Fire Drill", "Hide and Seek" or "Catch Me, Catch Me" one often tries to detach oneself for a brief moment. One would steal away to ones bedroom, lock the door, and immerse oneself in ones collection of books that one never had time to read, but would someday. One would pick out the book that one wanted to read first and set it on ones nightstand, just in case one had five minutes sometime during the next year.

One's brief moment of detachment was over..."Moooooooooommmmmm!" cried the wee one, "he's hitting me!"

"I am not hitting" yelled the big one, "I'm tickling!"

"No, you're not tickling" squealed the middle ones,"you are hitting and pushing and licking!"

"Ewwwwwwwww", one thought. "How delightful is that?"

One loves her mom job! One could read anytime for the rest of ones life. But how often could one experience the sounds of joy showered upon one by ones precious little cherubs?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Day in the Life of Ed, Wonder Girl!

You know the terms, “Murphy’s Law” and “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another”? Well, I think I should have given Ed the middle name of “It’s always something!” She is one of those really creative and gifted people with a decent dose of ADD. There are always at least three or four things happening simultaneously as she travels through her day. And, there are always at least three or four excuses for whatever it is that she didn’t get done. Sometimes, she actually thinks that the three or four are all related, and attempts to integrate them. (Like eating, talking on the phone to her BFFS, applying mascara and pulling up her fishnet stockings) This type of behavior no longer gives me gray hair. It causes me to pull out the gray hair that I already have from the first 17 years of her life.

As an example of her day, let’s begin with her first item of business…getting out of bed. Her cell phone alarm has three snooze alarms set. If she is not up after the third snooze alarm, her radio alarm clock across the room will go off in at a decibel level loud enough to be heard in France. If she manages to make it to the door of her room without falling over the carnage left from the day before, she will be almost certain to successfully navigate the hallway and stumble into the bathroom for her shower.

After removing her contacts (which as all good contact wearers know…should be done when retiring the night before), she places her hands on the wall and feels her way over to the tub. She turns on the faucet and pulls out the knob to warm up the shower. The water is freezing! She sits down on the john with her head resting in her hands and her elbows resting on her knees while she is humming some new goofy song from the radio. If she does not fall asleep, she will stand up in a few minutes and step into the tub.

After showering, blow drying her hair, inserting contacts and applying the first layer of make-up, she saunters downstairs to the family room.

“Good morning,” she says with the ever-familiar morning voice groan. “I’m sooooo hungry!” she complains. After microwaving an Eggo waffle, Ed steps into the downstairs bathroom and applies my eyeliner and my mascara while she inhales the waffle.

“Mom,” she mumbles, spitting out pieces of waffle, “I’m staying after school today to make up a test, and I have to work at 6:00. Is my uniform clean?” Well now, you can just imagine the sweet little thoughts going through my head at this point! “I didn’t get to the laundry last night because I was trying to get my history notes from Jack over the phone, and he kept changing the subject! Also, I was working on my math homework, when I realized that I left my book at school, and Jack had to give me the problems in addition to the history notes.” (Jack is a good friend, and the love of her life. She set up her class schedule this year so she had as many classes with him as possible. This would assure that she got to see him quite frequently and could depend on him for notes.)

“I don’t know, sweetie. Have you checked your floor lately?” I replied with a snicker. “If you get it started in the washer before you leave today, I will put it in the dryer when I come home for lunch.” I am so fortunate to work very close to home. I can drive it in two minutes, or walk it in ten. I usually drive. Hey, what is more important…getting 20 minutes of exercise, or having a leisurely lunch? Let’s get our priorities straight, here!

The kids have very strict rules about driving while talking on their cell phone. I absolutely forbid it! So, on their way to school, Ed passes her phone off to Katya (her sweet little sister) and has Katya make calls to the BFFS, relaying messages to and from Ed. At the same time, Ed is driving “Big Red”, which is a 1977 Volkswagen Bus with a manual transmission. While driving, Ed is reciting her one-act play performance for her theatre class, listening to the morning DJ’s make fun of celebs, and picking Eggo waffle out of the cracks between her teeth. She notices every bird and large insect within 50 feet of the car. She must fight the urge to stare with wonder.

Once she begins her school day, Ed’s demeanor has begun to settle down and she can sit still, listen to and hear what the teacher is saying, and maybe, if she’s lucky, she can also take notes! Her morning routine is successful until around 11:30 a.m. Once she has eaten lunch, she can focus in her afternoon classes, as well as after school homework time (which rarely takes place until 9:00 p.m.).

When Ed comes home from school, her uniform is miraculously clean and pressed. She drops her current ensemble on the floor in her room, pours herself into her uniform. She grabs a granola bar as she darts out the door to drive to work. Once there, she feels completely at home…filling orders for blizzards, sundaes, burger/fries/drink meals…as she hears the orders come in from the drive-thru. The grill cook announces his completed orders, and she bags them as she calls out the order number. The laughter and squeals of the “Under 10 year old” club soccer team who just finished practice can be heard with “Surround Sound” quality. She stops and gives them all a “hey!”

It is closing time and the counters and floors have been cleaned, toppings have been replaced, and the ice cream cakes are all safe in their freezers. Ed makes the five minute drive home, quietly crawls upstairs, drops her chocolate covered uniform ensemble on the floor in her room, and collapses into her nightly coma. In eight hours, she will begin a new day, full of adventure and challenge.

Thank you, God, for making Katya so calm and low-maintenance!