Damn Nature! You Scary!

January 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, Skeleton Trees, Weather) (, , , , , , , )

I missed a few days there. Sometimes the weekends get away from me. And then whole weeks get away from me. I had the interviews. I’ve done all the legwork I am going to do for now. I actually started this posting before the one below it, so if it seems out of order or confusing, it’s because I failed to edit the things that already happened from the things that were about to happen. I will say that I am feeling better about the whole job thing. As usual, I underestimated the time it takes, the scheduling issues and the typical paperwork that goes along with actually getting hired for a job. It’s been well over 20 years since I had to do the whole formal procedure. So I continue to plug along.

And by plug along, I mean that I went to the doctor, and as I expected, he would not clear me for a few weeks. But he gave me drugs. And rescheduled me for next week. I am sure he does not believe that I will follow through with my care, but time will tell. He said the meds should make a difference within the week. I will let you know. I think my BP machine is way off from what their machine says, so when I go pick up my new prescription I am going to try the BP chair that they have in the drugstore. Don’t worry, I still had some pills left from my last attempt at controlling this problem, which I failed miserably at doing, so I am pilled up times 2. Last night and this morning. I guess I feel fine. I have to drive today so we’ll see how that goes. I was also given orders to eat low sodium. Watch that salt. Typical. No junk. The usual. He didn’t really mention the weight thing, but we both know…

The best part was the activity/exercise thing. He said I need to get active and get moving. But not crazy, strenuous, over-the-top, crap like I have been doing. Walk. He said. A light jog. But do not get yourself huffing and puffing, because guess what?? NOT GOOD for the BP yet. It’s too much. I have been given the ok to take it a little easier. It does no good to skyrocket your heart rate and BP when you already have naturally high numbers. I guess I could burst a blood vessel or faint at the very least. Once the BP is better, you can go back to the big stuff. I really do feel kind of stupid, because I should know better. But the cliches are true. I definitely stink at taking my own advice. But let’s move past this, because I hate dwelling on my own idiotic mistakes and I have other things to do today. One of which is returning some women’s blouses that make me look like a flowing pregnant middle aged dump. And unfortunately, I have to break down and buy some new jeans. I very nearly ripped the belt loop off of the one pair that is supposed to be stretchy. Now I have a big hole where the front pocket meets the loop and I am flashing the people with my white, pasty, roll of blubber that is trying to escape from the waist band. Not pretty.

So as you know, we had some snow over here. Came down on Friday and tapered off, leaving the cleanup for Saturday morning. We went to bowling and when we got home, at about noon or so, Stevie and I decided to go walk in the woods. We were just there, and we figured the trail itself wouldn’t be too snowed over because of all the trees. We were excited to be the only car in the parking lot, which was plowed so we thought that was a good sign. And as we started there was a set or two of footsteps, not brand new but visible, so we thought someone obviously already walked the trail and if we just follow their path we will be fine. As an extra precaution we made sure to make a huge mess where we were walking so we could always just turn around and follow our own steps back out. We were even careful not to veer off the set path too much so that we didn’t get confused later. Good thing.

We made it to the pine trees before we started losing the path. Above is the picture of the first bridge and the small boardwalk you have to cross before you get to the creek that Stevie was playing on last week. The creek is totally covered in snow now. Or it was. It didn’t even have any animal tracks yet. The creek is below. One with Stevie, one without. We liked the way the shadows were laying across the fresh snow.

As we continued to walk, the snow was thick in places and I’m sure we weren’t exactly on the path that the nature preserve people laid down, but it was close. When we got to the pine trees the footprints really got dim. But there’s only one way to go through and we knew where we were going forward so we kept at it. I’ll just throw in all the pics, as I type so I can use them and you can kind of see and compare from past photos if you can remember or care to search.

Just past the pine trees is an open area. It looks much bigger as you peer through the trees but when you get up to it, it’s not really open at all. The way the trees have grown and then appear to have died out there, they look like they are reaching for the pine trees. Kind of bending towards them with outstretched arms. The limbs were covered in snow and gave the scene an even more desolate feel.

It was so bright and sunny though, it was almost blinding. It should have seemed clean and happy. The sky was blue behind the trees and the air was warmer in the open areas. But it was really cold and shadowy under those pine trees and it felt heavy and dark. I was hoping we would not have to walk back through there because the way the snow was laying it was hard to see our tracks even though we were right there, practically still standing in them. As I look at the picture above now, I think of hula dancing and I can see, what looks like a face, in the tree that is right in the center. The more I look, the more faces I see. It didn’t look like that standing there in front of them. It looks like there are faces in both waving trees and then another one on the left side, along the edge of the picture, maybe a third of the way up.It kind of looks like someone is hiding behind the tree, peering out.

So we took the pictures, but we didn’t really see any of that as we were walking. We kept going to our favorite picture spot: The Path! The path of tall evergreen trees! This leads to a lake, which then leads to a nature out crop that goes into the marshlands that are really tucked away inside the forest preserve. Luckily we were far too lazy to walk all the way through. Another good thing. I am sure the next time we go, when I can wear gym shoes because the winter boots I have hurt my feet and ankles really bad, we will have pictures for you. Can’t wait huh? Yeah I know. Here’s more trees:

Well that one takes up alot of space. From here, if you go directly to the left, there is a very long boardwalk that takes you through the next part of the woods. And here is where we had our trouble. It seems who ever walked before us decided to stop just at this tree line and go back. At least that’s what we are guessing. No more tracks. But since the boardwalk can only go in one direction, we figured, what the hell. The path will probably be pretty clear as it kind of goes in a big loop. WRONG. Once we got to the end of the planked path, we followed the treeline to a little sitting bench that sits at a turn. We continued on for maybe 100 or 200 feet when we decided we were not on the path anymore. We were walking over branches and stumps and trying to not fall or twist an ankle. There were footprints, in single lines, going here and there, so we picked one set that looked like they were heading for the creek and started to follow them. We were now very careful to make as big a path as we could and to NOT veer off or change directions. At this point we could not see the bench anymore and we could not tell at all where we were in relation to the original trail. We know that there is a huge, brand new bridge structure that was just completed before winter, somewhere in front of us, but even going forward, we could not see any sign of it. And it’s really huge. Like, way bigger than it needs to be. It actually looks too big for what it is going over. And it’s a bright yellow, fresh wood color, that sticks out in all that pure white we were surrounded by. If I was cold before or my feet were hurting in those boots, those feelings were totally gone and being replaced by anxiety and a nervous feeling that we are truly lost in these stupid woods. I knew we had our footprints. And I knew we had hours of daylight left. But still. Standing there, looking around, trying to find anything that looks even slightly familiar, and finding nothing but more trees and no clear path, is a sick feeling. Far off in the distance we could see movement that looked like deer running. And they were. Because they were being chased by those same two dogs we had come across on the path last week. They approached us fast and friendly, sort of, but wary at the same time. Kind of like they thought we were going to try and catch them. They were German Shepard’s, brown and gray, and when we first saw them they really looked like wolves, or at least coyotes. But even though these dogs had tags, they still didn’t look healthy or domestic. They were skittish and briar tangled and looked wild a few days ago. They are either lost or they get to roam. Either way, they stayed away from us on this day.

I was pretty much done with taking pictures and kind of sorry I brought the stupid camera with at all. Now I had to carry it and we needed to make a decision. Keep plowing ahead hoping to somehow run across the creek and one of the bridges, and possibly running the risk of crossing back over tracks that we already made and following them in an endless circle, or just going back the way we came before we got even farther into the trees. Since we really had no idea which direction we were going and we had no map of the trail to generally guide us from the bench point, we decided the best way was to just go back. Even that felt nerve-wracking because it occurred to me that if it started to snow again, or the wind started picking up, our fresh new tracks could be brushed away in a few minutes. So we tried to go fast but in a controlled fastness that did not lead to panic. Here’s another picture of the trees with the nice blue sky that doesn’t look scary at all.

Usually it takes us about an hour to walk all around the 3 mile loop. Even with starts and stops. We were already out there for over an hour when we got past the boardwalk. The snow was pretty deep and it is a workout to walk in. Going back we were trying to hurry but we were getting tired and our feet and calves were aching in the same way they do when you walk on sand for a long time. Our pants were wet above the boots and starting to soak through and it felt colder and breezier. You would think borderline freaking out would keep you warm, but you’d be wrong. You don’t really think about being cold, but it’s not the same thing. Once we got to the boardwalk, we felt better. It was easy to follow the path we had made. Then we just walked, without stopping, all the way back to the creek and the first bridge. Finally. Now we could take a minute to stand there and laugh about how dumb it is, and easy, to get “lost” in the woods. Oh, and here were the people! Now they come. Here’s a man and a woman. Here’s two more guys. Here’s an old man and a woman. And here’s a whole family! Three adults and two little kids. All of them had cameras hanging around their necks like I did. We told all of them how far we went and how if they follow our tracks all the way until the end, they will abruptly stop in the middle of what seems like nowhere, and unless they are braver than we were, they should turn back at the bench. We practically ran out of the woods once we saw the nature building, but stopped long enough to take one more picture, before Stevie swished all the snow off the top:

So that ends my gripping tale of being lost in the woods for 2½ hours after the first major snowfall of our Midwest winter. FYI, in case you don’t live in this area, the next day it rained. And rained. We had about 45 degree temps. Thunder, lightning, the whole shot. All the snow got melted away. Except the really tall snowplowed piles. They just look like gray, dirty mounds of disgusting, scattered all around the neighborhood. Then it snowed lightly, again, to add a fine white powder to the top of the crap piles and dust the grass one more time before it warmed up (yesterday) and misted a fine rainfall over the whole mess, trying to melt it away for good. It’s sunny and bright right this minute and I am going to look outside… right now… and tell you that the snow that remains, is piled on yard corners, next to the driveway entrances, or hiding in the shade.

As usual this took way too long to type and is probably way too long to read all the way through. So, if you stuck with me this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel a story can’t be told in just a few sentences. It needs paragraphs and pages and many many run-on sentences to drive home my pointless points. Be glad that you don’t have to actually listen to me tell the tale. At least here you can just click off the site and be done with it. Good golly! Maybe I should put a quick sum-up at the bottom of the page for the people who skipped the middle and are just looking to see if we made it out alive.

For the scrollers:

STOP HERE!

Long story short version: Big snow. Went to the hiking trail. Followed a set of previous footprints until they disappeared. Took some pictures. Went off path. Then had no path to follow. Got lost. Saw some potentially rabid dogs. Backtracked. Saw more people. Made it out safely.

Does that short version seem too long? I don’t know anymore! I just want this to end! I must get up and get out. Later gators! The End.

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XXL Food on the loose!

January 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm (Candy, Day to Day, Giant Food) (, , , , , )

For a while there I was putting up a picture of large size food every few weeks. Click over there to the right on “Giant Food” and you can see some of it. Then we stopped going places that serve giant food and I have had to rely on finding an XXL versions of every day ordinary foods to fill up the space. This is not a difficult thing to do. Even though the world is still kind of talking about healthy eating, smaller portions, NOT super sizing anything, you can still find companies to make big food if it will sell. And it does.

I bought this giant Snickers bar for my daughters Christmas stocking. She does like Snickers, but not this much. It was mostly to be funny. Last year we found the giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Two cups in a big wrapper that weighted one pound total. It was gross and I do not know why I didn’t take any pictures of it! It’s not like me. And maybe I have a shot somewhere. Since then, I’ve switched computers and some pics are on the new one but a lot are still on the old one. I just started transferring them last night. Anyway, if I find one, I’ll post it. Something to look forward to. But for today. I did take pictures of the Snickers bar and I did record its stats for your enjoyment. Or horror. Some extra info: That is an over-sized dinner plate the bar is sitting on. And it’s been cut already.

First off, it cost $9.99. Ten measly bucks for a diabetic Merry Christmas! It was about 9 inches long, about 2 inches high, give or take for slope, and 3 inches across. Weighing one pound. Not exactly pick it up and take a bite. 16 ounces of chocolate, peanuts, caramel and nougaty tooth decay. The package says to “slice and share” though, NOT to sit on your couch with your favorite movies and a 2 Liter of Pepsi  and gnaw on it until it is gone. What would you drink with this? You have to drink something because it’s so sweet and gooey. Water, milk, coffee, beer, wine…hmmm.  I personally didn’t eat a flake of that Snickers bar. I’m not really a fan of that particular candy bar. It gets in my teeth and molars and feels like a dentists drill. But, as a family, we tried to destroy it.

Anyway, it says to cut into 9, one inch pieces, at 230 calories per slice. But we’re just gonna go ahead and pretend we ate the whole thing in one sitting. When we wake up at the hospital, this is what we will have done to ourselves:

 Eaten a grand total of 2070 calories. Not the most some people have probably eaten in one sitting, but a lot for a “snack”.

99 grams of fat.

225 grams of sugar.

You would be getting some protein, iron and calcium but sheesh, have some yogurt with peanut granola and raisins. Won’t make you vomit after an hour either! These are not outlandish numbers for one meal. If you go to a restaurant and have drinks, it is possible to eat the same amount in numbers as the above, but hopefully you will have spread it out over time and bathroom breaks and dancing or something, I don’t know, along with appetizers and entree’s and desserts and maybe salads and cheeses if you’re fancy. A thick, creamy soup could also help boost your score. But that’s off the point. Here are some comparisons I did just to make it more real and give perspective. I love when they do this on TV and in cooking shows!

This one giant bar is equivalent to eating NINE regular Snickers bars. Nine!

Or eating just over one stick of butter. One whole STICK of butter, plus one more tablespoon.

Or eating 56 sugar cubes. FIFTY-SIX!!

Purely calorie wise, you could eat TWENTY bananas! Or TWENTY packets of plain Instant oatmeal! Or an entire  loaf of bread. Or an entire bag of potato chips and still have some calories left to have dip with that!

Obviously I have nothing better to do this Sunday. I put the Nutrition info below too so you can see for yourself and do any math you feel necessary. Or check mine if you like.

I actually do have something to do today. Another family thing. It’s my brother’s birthday next week but we are all gathering today to have drinks and food and pie. It’s not exactly going to be vegetables and salad, but I for one am bringing a tasty snack that uses a Jalapeno pepper as its base. It’s green and has health properties that I am sure counteract the unhealthy aspects that cream cheese, a cocktail weenie, and a bacon wrap bring to the table. I also think there will be a taco dip. That usually has lettuce and tomato sprinkled over the top. That’s halfway to a salad!

Life is a slice of cookies and cream pie with a whiskey chaser. That makes no sense. But that’s life today. And I’m struggling for a good ending here. Pancakes in the morning (with blueberries–that counts as fruit!!) and party food and alcohol in the afternoon. I will be WALKING from the house to the car and back. (Exercise!!) And I plan on lathering my hair extra vigorously in the shower! (Cardio! And an arm workout!) I really need to get going here!  Enjoy your Sunday wherever you are! It looks nice outside even if it’s still cold! Get up get out get moving! Later!

And in case you were wondering: We never finished the whole Snickers bar. It got cut up into small pieces, at various times and chewed a bit, but in the end, after about 2 weeks, and a quarter of it leftover, I ended up just throwing it away. Have a great day!

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BREAKING NEWS! Did any of you guys know that there are bones UNDER your skin??

January 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm (Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Exercise, Losing the Fat, Run. Walk. Weights., Unemployed Posts) (, , , , , )

Sorry if I alarmed you with my punctuated and capitalized headline. This is supposed to be a funny site. If you build it, they will come. More like if you wish for it in one hand, and **BLEEP** in the other…

Yes, already off topic, funny site, although you really couldn’t tell from the last few days or weeks. I still haven’t heard anything about that job, so let’s just get that right out of the way first. Maybe later. Maybe Monday. It’s frustrating and nerve wracking. I mean I can take rejection. That’s one of the reasons I post here. Nobody would pay for this, (I’ve tried—although I might be better at it now, and I should try again) so I just give it away for free. Besides it makes me feel better. Free psych sessions courtesy of the internet. Put it out there and it can’t bother you anymore! Anyway, like I was saying, I can take rejection. I am all for the school of  “rip it off fast.” You know, the whole band-aid metaphor. Give me the bad news. Or the good news. Then we can start making plans for the next thing. But it’s the waiting that kills me every time. So, nothing there yet.

As for these, so called, bones, I am happy and surprised to see that, 1.) Most of mine are still nestled safe and secure under the layer of “thick” skin I posses and cultivate all over my body. And 2.) A few of them are trying to surface for air. As I stepped out of the shower and started combing the rat’s nest on my head that I refer to as my hair (although my mom will, definitely and loudly, stick with the “rat’s nest” description. Or, maybe not a whole nest. Perhaps just a slightly built nest. But I digress.) Anyway, I noticed as I was moving my arm up and down I could see this sort of, roundness and pointiness, at my shoulder level. As I investigated further, I recognized that it was my long lost shoulder muscle and the end part of my collarbone. The parts that give you the look of having a “ball” on the top of your arm and a bone that kind of sits on top. I also noticed my collarbones are trying to make their way out from under my neck fat. Nice image! But there it is.

Again, I was going to give up and NOT exercise today because I hate it. And I want to sit on my butt and feel sorry for myself. I don’t want to listen to a cheery girl tell me to “give it all I got.” I got nothing. So I forced myself to get up and just start. I told myself I could always do it half-assed or quit altogether. I did not wear anything good or even put on shoes. The funny thing was, it did feel like crap at first, no lie, but then it felt good and I felt less bad. So I finished Miss Firm, did some extra ab stuff and some girl push-ups (I had too. The man ones are making me feel like a weakling, the count is still under “1”), took a shower and was amazed to notice these extra bumps trying to make space on my body. It’s subtle, to be sure. No Miss Universe contests just yet. But it made me feel really good that after only 5 days, I can still snap back to even a small semblance of good health and shape. My years are numbered here and I have got to just stay at a livable place, so I don’t have to keep re-building the boat every time I go out onto the water. That’s some kind of mixed metaphor or something, but I like the way it sounds so it stays in without editing.

That makes Day 5 of exercise. In a row. In case you missed that count. And Work Out 2, of the Firm’s, “see results in 10 workouts” sticker promise. I have low hopes for tomorrow. It’s Saturday and we have plans. Bowling starts again and there are things to be done, but maybe if I plan it right, I can keep the pace. Gotta keep the ship sealed tight if you don’t want any leaks. Rump frump frump. That’s supposed to be like a stodgy man giving you the business. Huuh-rumph! Later.

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Denial Ain’t Just a River in Egypt

January 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm (Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Exercise, Losing the Fat, Running Stuff, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , )

I will let you decide which noble and majestic, wild beast I will be currently comparing myself to. I’ll give you a hint: It’s not Marty. (That was a layered hint. See, you have to know first of all, that that is a pic of an elephant and a zebra. Then you need to know about the very funny, but child-oriented, movie called Madagascar–the first one–which means you either: have to have kids, have no kids but love cartoon movies, or either have kids or not have kids but LOVE Chris Rock. “Oh I could hang here. I could hang here!” That’s my favorite quote and I have been perfecting my perfect Chris Rock impersonation. It is magnificent!) Much like that elephant above.

I do have a fantastic memory. And I am strong and powerful. And coincidentally, I kind of have a big nose. Luckily, my teeth are good and no tusks are growing out of my head just yet. Unfortunately…I am in current possession of a larger-than-life body to lumber around in. I can deny it no more.

The catalyst for this sudden realization, was clothes shopping at the mall over the weekend, as it most always usually is. It was not, as previously reported here, my mother’s gentle and loving, reality wake-up call, that she gave me a few weeks ago. You can read the whole post here if you want, but if you don’t like to jump around, I can sum it up by telling you she pretty much told me I was a big fat, fatty-bo-batty, in plain, clear English and said I should do something about that. Even though that doesn’t sound funny, it was actually VERY funny. In fact, it still is pretty funny. It makes me laugh just typing it. Only a mom can tell you that you are a cow and it only stings for a second, then it turns into hilarious laughter and a trip to the Starbuck’s to add another winter layer to the protective hide. But back to the mall.

A while back I went to buy some “interview” clothes. And I had the chance to wear them to a job fair and to Thanksgiving dinner. Then my daughter helped me wash the clothes and shrunk my perfectly fitted blouse into a shirt that I could barely get over my arms and shoulders, much less button again. When I say, perfectly fitted, I mean that it was already snug. EXCUSE ALERT!! I have very broad shoulders and a large ribcage with extra boobage, that none of my sisters or mom have. So that’s what I tell myself when I can’t find a nice button up blouse to fit me properly. No matter, that when I look at past pictures, I don’t seem extra large (in women’s clothes–yes, shameful secret, I have to shop in the misses or the women’s section. The juniors are mostly beyond my range and style threshold now. Also, I like my pants unripped and not looking like they got dragged through a dirt pile before I wear them.) Anyway, the point here, is that I was looking for something to wear in case I need to go on an interview. I kind of decided to look on a whim. We were there because my son wanted a suit coat and shirt and tie to wear for his 8th grade graduation pictures this week. (Yay!! Almost there!! He found everything he wanted in 15 minutes. Fits perfectly. Looks sharp. Not so for his mom. Sad face.) I know I know. Just get to the point.

As I was wandering around from store to store, department to department, trying to find a basic blouse to go with plain black dress slacks, I realized that:

1. I felt like a giant dumptruck. I was grossly dressed in ill-fitting jeans screaming for mercy, ripped up shoes and a hoodie, with frizzy hair (sorry A, I know that hurts, it will get better), little make-up and a bad attitude. My own fault. Plus that dread cycle coming up has put me in pity mode for a few days. I hate it, but at least realizing it helps make it go away for me.

2. Patterns are the staple in women’s clothing and they can not only be ugly as hell, but they have the ability to make you instantly feel like an old lady with one bad color scheme.

3. My son and BF are hilarious. They meant to be funny with their comments about the clothes and my size issue. I was gently told I should consider something “not so fitted” especially if the buttons will be straining to stay buttoned. Even when I am standing. OUCH. What??? I have not been totally in the dark about this, but you know, bloating and not drinking enough water, and blah blah blah. My daughter’s new favorite phrase is, “You just got hit by a reality truck!” Well, I got hit by the truck, run over, and then it backed up and ran over me again. It was really the, “Are we going to have to go to Lane Bryant?” comment that pushed me out into traffic. It was said in a totally joking manner with no sarcasm or malevolence at all. But that one stung. Like, I almost cried, stung. And I have a pretty thick skin, like an elephant, metaphorically speaking. Sometimes it completely sucks to be female. For the record, I do still fit in the regular store sizes, I even have a two to three size  leeway before I have to give up the general department store or move to the Plus size section. I tried the clothes on, so I know. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with Lane Bryant stores or clothing. It’s just the next level of dressing nice for the bigger girl and NOT resorting to stretchy pants and sweatshirts. Which IS terrible. But that’s not going to happen.

4. My daughter is hilarious and dashed around the clothing racks looking for the perfect blouse because, “It’s not a big deal mom, just start exercising and eating better and it will be fine. You know you can do that.” and just like that, on and on, while she picked stuff out, matched things up and made me try them on while she determined which is the best. All while trying to cheer me up and soothe my hurt feelings with humor and the promise that after we shop we can go eat our last meal of fried greasy food because fried food always makes you feel better. My little Buddha.

I will say, for myself, personally, or for anyone who has the variety pack of kids, and this is most definitely a MUSH ALERT (skip it if you must): I feel extremely lucky to have a boy and a girl to raise and be raised by. They each bring their own unique personalities, and, still being formed, world views to the table along with some staggeringly stereotypical behaviors and ideas, that I can only attribute to their basic gender and gene pool that combine to make them the perfect balance between never wanting them to grow up and leave my sight and life or sending them packing to their dad’s for a long vacation. The definitely keep you grounded and aware of the world even when you don’t want to be. And most of the time they don’t even know they are doing it to you. Yes, I would like to order two of the offspring reality trucks to be delivered to the mall on Sunday. Schedule a drive-by and then a basic run-and-back-over, for about 2 pm. I’ll also take a Diet Coke while I wait. Thank you!

In the end, I bought a few different blouses. I need to dress better anyway. I look like a…well, I don’t know what I look like. I have no style whatsoever. I have been counting on the fact that the whole rest of my life will be in a scrub uniform so who cares. My daughter says I am just a real basic mom. I stay the same. “You’re just the standard jeans and black t-shirt mom. The simple mom. With the same clothes every day and the black shoes.” She struggles with the words but she means it in the most positive way. And since I’m so evenly proportioned, body wise, symmetrical, is what she means. I don’t really get fat in any one area, I just kind of “puff up”.

Now, tell me, who would NOT like to be described as “puffed up”? To make a long story, even longer, I faced my fear. Woke up yesterday, sent the kids to school, did my usual coffee/Words/computer/job search/money search/throw in a load of laundry morning and then suited up to hit the trail for a brisk four mile walk/run. Break the barrier. Start the exercise process again. Ease back into good health and healthy eating. Again. But, before I left the house, I took pictures. Horrible, shameful, lumpy pictures. So bad, I already warned my children to stay off my phone and not to be looking at all my pictures lest they be scarred for life. Nothing naked. It’s clear enough, without the nudity, that I need help. I mean, if we are facing our fears the proper body image is necessary. I have a distorted view of myself as my BF will gladly tell you is true. It’s not what you are thinking though. I see myself as far BETTER looking and THINNER than I actually am. Weird right? I always think I am smaller and weigh less than I actually do. AND, I am always very surprised when I see myself in a picture or in a mirror because that is not how I view myself in my own head. I don’t think I look like a model or anything. I know I don’t. I just over estimate my looks and body size. Probably my sense of humor and skill at writing too, but that never stops me from typing word after endless word. Let me just pause here, to say thank you, if you are still reading this, because with my attention span, I am not so sure I would still be reading me. And also, I hope there are not too many errors, because I really doubt I will go back and check it. Also, I am getting nervous this is taking so long because I have to walk to the library today as my exercise. Briskly, walk to the library. Change it up. Stay fresh. So I don’t quit on the second day.

Back to the post: I did good yesterday. One hour for four miles. Not groundbreaking. Not record setting. But it was outside (45 degrees—50-55 today! Unbelievable) and I did sweat. Then I came home and did something even crazier. Even more dangerous and fear inducing. I weighed myself. On a scale. An actual scale, with numbers, that tell your weight in pounds. I usually judge my weight by the jeans I can fit into. I have the 8-10-11 multi-pack of jean sizes. Different company’s but surprisingly accurate in helping me gauge my weight to within a few pounds. The only problem with my system is that I only have 5 pairs of jeans total to wear and weigh by. Four now. I lost the 10’s in the thigh rub incident of a few days ago (a tragedy I transcribed here some days ago, in far more words than necessary, as is my custom). It’s really a complicated system and sounds kind of confusing when you say it out loud, but the 10’s were the fat jeans. Pushing the highest weight I could go basically while staying UNDER 200 pounds. That is very important as that is the magic number for me. I have never, and will never (hopefully) see that number on a scale. Even pregnant I never hit it. And I tried. Long story…my boy decided to come three weeks early and spoiled my gain plan. Anyway, the 11’s are stretchy. Spandex is a wonder material. So even though the size is technically larger, my butt needs to be smaller to fit in them. But one of the 11’s is stretchier than the other. So it’s a matter of how stretchy do I want them and how comfortable will they be for the whole day? That’s the middle weight. The 8’s are the smallest. Again supposedly with Spandex, but one pair is decidedly stretchier than the other, by far. One pair I feel perfect in.

The other pair though, gives me, what I like to call: The JMT’s. That would stand for Jumbo Muffin Tops. Or “Juffins” as me and Stevie like to cackle about. One day, recently,  the muffin tops were really spilling over and we were laughing about how they jiggle when I laugh and get worse when I sit and how I need a tighter buffer shirt to wear under my real shirt to try and skim them over, like frosting on a messed up, cracked and crumbly lumpy cake. I said, ” I don’t just have muffin tops, I have jumbo muffin tops. I have Juffins!” and we laughed hysterically. I am sure I am not the first or only person to have come up with that, but I’m taking credit in my world because I never heard it before and I said it and my daughter and son were there when I did. So that makes it official!

Got all that? Here’s the key to the whole thing. The weight was not as bad as I thought. And even if it was, who cares. I was ready to cry and curse all the delicious food in the world and my lack of willpower and laziness anyway. I still will. Probably forever. Nobody can be good ALL the time. Nobody. The point is I am aware. It is reality. It is not nice or pleasant but it’s OK. I will not reveal the number. It’s too much. But I will say that it is less than my top preggy weight and that is a miracle in itself I will not take for granted. And in the spirit of almost-full discretion, I weighed after the exercise and butt ass naked. Not pretty but I needed any help I could get for this. On the other hand, I am pre-menstrual though and I am a gainer beforehand. I have gone as high as five or six extra pounds. Which I always thought was such a croc and makes no difference, but when you are only 5 foot 5 on a good day, standing rimrod straight and you are over 40, it makes a whole hell of a lot of difference. Obviously I have enough sense of self to not let things go crazy crazy and it also means my jean theory works pretty good. But I need to go buy smaller jeans if I want to keep this up. I read in a magazine that the French ladies tie a ribbon around their waist before they eat and when it gets tighter they stop. Same concept with my jean system. That waist band can only dig into your belly flab for so long and for only so far before it becomes painful and medically dangerous and you must stop. I could bust a spleen sometimes, I wear them so tight.

Alright. For real now. I have to end this. I have stuff to do and miles to walk. My legs is sore! And the temp is up to almost 50 degrees! And it’s sunny! I must go outside! I must stop using so many exclamation points! Thanks for making it all the way to the end! You all get 100 bonus calories to use as you please! Have a great afternoon and I’ll chat back here later with the rest of the stuff I had planned. See you on the sidewalk.

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Just because this starts a whole new year. One week late.

January 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm (Body and Brains!, Books, Day to Day, Exercise, Losing the Fat, Movies, Phone Camera, Pictures, Skeleton Trees, Unemployed Posts, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

And because I get to combine all my favorite things. A chunk update. Another weather update. And pictures from my phone. Of the sky. At sunset. With a lot of skeleton trees. This is what 55 degrees in January at dusk looks like this year. It was warm today too. I don’t generally go for the no jacket thing just because it’s hotter than usual. I’m the first one to yell pneumonia. And we’re all being lured into poor health by good weather. But I’ll admit I was only wearing a zip-up hoodie and I was getting kind of hot outside. The sun was shining down so bright that I was getting crabby and drowsy. The warm sun just makes me want to lay down in it and take a nap. Like a snake I guess. Or a fat middle aged non exercising chunk of fun. Here comes the chunk part! It’s a tough week. I’m more tired than usual. Kind of achy and greasy. And I was particularly sick of feeling sad and depressed. So I spruced up this old carcass a bit with some new hair color (sorry Amanda…I know you are the only one who should be allowed to fix my hair but I swear I cannot drive for two hours, pay for gas and tolls and feel good about myself until I get a job…the box has to be the cure for now…it looks good by the way. The kids didn’t even notice. They thought something was different but couldn’t put their fingers on it until after I told them. My theory on home hair coloring, or anything really that you try to do yourself, is that if no one notices anything different it’s a good job. Only the glaring mistakes or radical change gets any attention) and some good hygiene and hair removal. However I also ate a bunch of crap that I shouldn’t because it was here and I had to get rid of it by next week when the real work on chipping away the fat cells begins. You will all be happy to know that I managed to eat, er, get rid of, all the chips and dip and most of the cheese/sausage/cracker stores. I also disposed of an entire box of Whitman’s Dark Chocolates, with my daughters help, who interestingly enough HATES dark chocolate but was able to power through and help me save our household for the greater good. I also drank the rest of the wine from the other night and am currently working on the final two bags of Ghirardelli chocolates while washing them down with Jack Daniels. I haven’t cooked in a week or worked out. In fact we have been staying up way too late watching the bad movies we love so much. The kids have to go back to school Monday and I should be working by the next week. (That’s very wishful thinking as I am making it my sole purpose in life–well besides eating all the food in the house—to have a job in another week or two.) I will have a full report on the snacks because I took pics of them. Really. For instance, I found this GIANT potato chip in the bag. I mean it was really big. I don’t think I have ever seen one this big. So of course I took it’s picture. With the dip container and the TV remote for scale. I also took pics of the sky and some more trees, big surprise. And I have a movie list if you’re interested! We watch BAD movies. Like B movie bad. With old stars like Debbie Gibson and Tiffany in them. Or Lorenzo Lamas. Remember him? And they usually are battling a giant crocodile or a sharktopus, you know a shark-octopus hybrid, or a giant squid against a giant snake. Some are better than others and some are just terrible. This is how we spend family time. As for tonight, I have to try and hurry this along, because the BF is on his way with another sack full of fast food from the local greasy spoon and we have a special night of, All New Releases!, to watch. They have to be back tomorrow so we have to plan our time carefully. I actually feel a little sick right now from the food I ate today. I know this is not something I should even say out loud, but I cannot wait until I get my dang period! (pardon my french). My appetite will disappear, I can get some energy back and hit the gym instead of the Dunkin Donuts, and burn off the winter weight. From about 10 winters but who’s really counting anymore. I only have about 10 pounds to lose (for each winter) so it’s pretty do-able! I’m excited. Oh! I almost forgot! I finished a book! A reading book. Not a school book. It was the Denis Leary one. You might have read about it here two years ago or so. Sadly, that’s how long it has taken me. I finished it last year. Made it just under the mark too. Like December 29th or something. I still recommend it for anyone who likes Denis Leary. It is funny and easy to read. Even my mom’s brain surgeon said, “that guy is something else…” and he chuckled. So there you have it, a brain surgeon endorsement! I’m just not good with the whole concentration thing in sentence and paragraph form without a lot of pictures to break up the words. Except for when I type. I can really string some letters together huh? I put a picture of the book below so I wouldn’t ruin my sunset shot. Oh! And I also found my first street money of the year. One penny and one dime. I will try and keep that up to date now. Just as soon as I tally up last year and post it under its proper heading. There’s just no excuses for letting all you loyal readers down. You want to know these silly mundane things that have no benefit to anyone.  And I cant even keep up. And truthfully I am not doing much else besides sitting around and thinking about doing stuff. I’m lucky we have laundry. Alright, seriously, let me wrap this up. I know the BF will be here any minute and I want to catch up on my Words With Friends (evil evil evil—addiction in smart phone form) and BeJeweled (the other evil in the world of computers and high tech gaming–that was meant to be funny. BeJeweled is hardly high tech. It’s really no-tech. It’s pretty though. Match the gems for one minute. Try to score as many points as possible. Why, oh why, would that ever be addicting??) Ok, I think I hear a car in the driveway and my liquor glass is empty. Using the words from my son’s first book that he really liked…breathe and think…relax and run…om shanti shanti…Until later…

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Weather Update!

January 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, For Amanda, Holiday, Losing the Fat, P90X, Weather) (, , , , , , )

Going with a blue theme.  And continuing with the “people reflected in ornaments/windows/etc..” theme. That’s Stevie. I am still trying to take down the decorations, so I have to use up the rest of these holiday themed pictures. I figure I can push it another week and that’s really it. Also, I meant to update the weather yesterday because I know my cousins depend on me to fill this internet space, and their valuable time, with information they can easily get by walking outside. Plus it’s been real nice. Like unseasonably nice. So nice that there is talk now of: “THE HORRIBLE WEATHER TO COME!!” Dun dun dun. We love predicting blizzards and snowfall that will be higher than our houses. Eh. I say it’s fine. It’s not really a matter of, one month of nice equals 3 months of crappy. It all depends on the winds and the atmosphere and the isotopes and all that meteorological stuff. If the world wants to warm up and top off right about here, I’m good with it. I’ll take rain and wind over white-outs and sleet any day. Anyway, it was a balmy 45 in the daytime yesterday and dropped to about 33 or so by night. It was very windy but I thought it felt kind of good. So imagine my surprise this morning when it was snowing! And some even stuck to the grass! Right now, at 5 pm, Monday, it’s cold. Not ridiculous cold, 23 degrees, (which I guess is pretty cold actually), but it’s not snowing. And it’s not too windy so it feels ok. Besides, I hear 50 degrees is on the way again by the end of the week. Yay! Global warming!

So that’s my update for now. No phone calls for any jobs today but I’m sure they will tomorrow. This is the year of positive thinking, all day, every day. I’m also going to go to the store and buy myself another interview blouse. I love Stevie doing the laundry for me, but she washed and dried my already snug blouse, and now it’s a little too small for me to stuff my upper body into. You know that scene in Tommy Boy? Fat guy in a little coat? Picture sausage arms in a black fitted blouse. Three quarter sleeves are not sexy when they are  so tight your forearms have fat rolls. And speaking of rolls…I also need to purchase a pair of jeans (or two). I’ve lost another pair of jeans to the “thigh rub hole”. That’s where your jeans wear and tear at the place where your legs touch at the upper thigh area. Not everyone has this problem. Some people actually have a space between their legs and the material never touches. I say good for them. I am jealous, but can’t seem to ever exercise enough to open that gap. I guess it’s a lipo thing. But back to me. I am not now, nor have I ever been, one of those people. I am a thigh toucher. A corduroy avoider. I cannot be making noises while wearing my clothes (swish swish swish) c’mon, some of you know what I’m talking about. Besides that, I have other stuff that needs to be done on the big transformative 2012. Like get skinny. Well, not skinny. I am aiming for pre-child weight. I’d say baby weight but it’s been 14 years so that’s kind of pushing it. It’s probably attainable as long as I stop welcoming the day with Krispy Kreme doughnuts. (So tasty though, and if you microwave them to just the right temp you can literally smoosh them into a small enough lump that can fit into your mouth whole! That seems healthy!)

OK this wasn’t supposed to be this long. This is my third paragraph of winding this up. My kids have left again to go have dinner with their dad, and the BF is on the way with Chinese food. We were supposed to go to the gym as part of the new year, new you, but since they left unexpectedly and it’s really still kind of sort of a holiday technically legally recognized based on the fact that all of the banks and libraries are closed and there was no mail as an excuse to continue the bad habits until tomorrow when the year officially begins, this is what I am doing for just one more day. Posting. Eating. And half-ass laundrying and undecorating. I did manage to throw alot of junk food away today and will send the rest packing with the BF to his office tomorrow. One thing done. I even cleaned out the garage a little bit and have much garbage prepared for the morning. Two things! And now I will really end this post so I can clear a space on our table so we can settle in and let the food shoveling begin.

PS. For Amanda: Guess what the BF was getting me today at work? Are you ready for a really really really really long winter of annoying posts?? Are you? P. 90. X. 2. Yep. TWO. T-W-O. The second version. Doesn’t matter if I can’t even finish the first set. I shall attempt 90 days of one and then 90 days of two. I will fail I am sure. BUT. I can annoy you with it for 6 months!!! Happy New Year my darling sister!!! XO XO XO, or should I put, P90 X-O (hee hee hee) Forevah!

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Last post of the night…

July 31, 2009 at 8:39 pm (Celebrity, Day to Day, Exercise, Home Improvement, Pictures, Windows) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hold on, let me get a drink for this….

Ok. If you read this in any kind of dailyway, I pretty much list off my activities for the day. So, even though I had good intentions when I woke up this morning (early , so that I could watch the WGN Morning News—I even texted what kind of underwear Pat Tomasulo should wear to co-host his first Regis & Kelly Show on Tuesday—sad), basically I did nothing. The road to Hell…

Drank coffee. Bitched and moaned when I had to take the car to the brake shop, which we desperately needed. Grumped about having to go buy windows and stain and rocks for the house to make it look nicer. Hated the lunch I ate, even though I picked the place. Was bored at the Pet Store getting feeders for the cannibal Oscars (which are getting big–I’m going to do a before and after post when I sober up in the morning because I’ll never find the old pictures in this condition). Sat inside and played BeJeweled on the computer and Facebook while the BF cleaned off the roof, gutters and patio in the blazing midday sun. Perked up a little when we had to go get the car, brand new brakes—so nice!–only because I knew we had to go right past a liquor store! Yay! Happily walked around said liquor store picking up various drink items for tonight and tomorrow. Drove car home thinking about making delicious martini’s and laying across the couch like a lump. Sitting here, right now, drinking second martini and typing about the things that I won’t be finishing up tonight. Like…

The laundry.

The kids room. So close too! Got it painted and ready to re-build. Got proof too! See pics below! I was going to save them for the big before and after unveiling, but who am I kidding?? I might not even finish that room now until Sunday or Monday. HA. All I have to do is hang curtains and move the furniture back. Oh Cursed Vodka!!

Another thing I didn’t do was run. And I feel bad about that. It’s been 2 days; three when I wake up tomorrow. (I did paint for those two days—today was just pure lazy) It’s going to suck running around out there for 4 miles, maybe more, as punishment, with a hangover and reeking of booze sweat but I can’t get behind. I have a five mile race in one month and you saw those butt pictures. Eee-yew…did any one else just feel a chill?? Goosebumps. Or giant lumps (of fat in my pants—yuck). I’m not even telling you where those pictures are or linking it. Find it yourself.

What I am going to do though, is finish this up, post those pictures (the walls and windows really did turn out nice–good work SoberLisa!) and make some moves on my BF. (Too much information???)

Like Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, once said (and she totally rocks):

“One drink makes me want to go to bed.

Two drinks makes me want to go to YOUR bed.”

Goodnight, Chicagago!

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Monday! Music for Smashing Fat!

March 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm (EFS) (, , , , , )

We made it! The whole weekend! Did NOT eat anything from a fast food place, a restaurant, a roadside stand, a cart at the park—nothing! Day 6 dawns rainy and chill but we feel good. Hungry yes, but not AS hungry. It’s weird. Pounds have been dropped. Won’t have an official count until Day 8–start of cycle 2–second week of the smash. But it’s already exciting because bread is involved and peanut butter and bananas!! 2 more days of the leany lean and then it’s like a party of food. So me and boyfriend are talking about all the stuff we COULD have, like pizza, burgers, ice cream, bacon, pancakes—cause that’s what you do…when I first started BFL a year ago, I would hoard food magazines like Bon Appetit and Fine Cooking and Food and Wine, and I became obsessed with cooking shows (Guy Fieri and Tyler’s Ultimate; Bobby Flay and Alton Brown–the food gods sent from olympus) and I would just read or watch and dream whenever I was hungry. Which was always. It was like food porn. And I thought, man, a good music list could come from this. We can’t eat any of that stuff. Glamour Eggs are like, egg whites with mushrooms. Bleah…I just shove a hard boiled egg into my mouth, try not to choke, and move on. Takes like 30 seconds. More time for exercise. The OTHER healthy component….circling back around to the list….we can’t have the bad because that food goes right to the fat already stored in the body. Just attracts right to it like a lumpy fat magnet. And that’s the list. Took the long way to get there, but here we are, the Hanging Out In The AdiposeList:

1. Fat Bottomed Girl / Queen

2. Fat As A Fiddle / Chris Difford

3. Fat / Weird Al Yankovic

4. Big Fat Woman / Mudcat

5. Big Belly Mamma / Albert Smith

6. Big Girl, Skinny Girl / CX Kidtronik feat. Rockola

7. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) / Mika

8. Big Bad John / Jimmy Dean

9. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother / The Hollies

10. Heavy On My Mind / Back Door Slam

11. Thick-Necked Man / Crash Test Dummies

12. Thicka Than A Snicka / Meech

13. Overweight / Blue October

14. The Weight / The Band

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Hanging Out In The Adipose

March 23, 2009 at 12:52 am (Music Lists) (, , , , , )

1. Fat Bottomed Girl / Queen

2. Fat As A Fiddle / Chris Difford

3. Fat / Weird Al Yankovic

4. Big Fat Woman / Mudcat

5. Big Belly Mamma / Albert Smith

6. Big Girl, Skinny Girl / CX Kidtronik feat. Rockola

7. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) / Mika

8. Big Bad John / Jimmy Dean

9. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother / The Hollies

10. Heavy On My Mind / Back Door Slam

11. Thick-Necked Man / Crash Test Dummies

12. Thicka Than A Snicka / Meech

13. Overweight / Blue October

14. The Weight / The Band

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