Monthly Archives: January 2017

Food, Glorious Food!

Everybody has a stumbling block and mine is weight loss. I’m torn between wanting to lose weight and my love of food. I must admit, my love of food usually wins. Despite what Weight Watchers wants us to believe, a lot of things taste better than skinny feels.

Several years ago, on the day after Thanksgiving, I posted on social media that I was eating leftover pie for breakfast. A not so friendly “friend” commented, “Do you not care about yourself?” As a matter of fact, I like myself SO much that I think I deserve pie for breakfast! Where does this idea come from that if you eat, you must hate yourself?

For as long as I can remember, food has been a reward. My family didn’t eat out much when I was growing up, but on special occasions, we went out for pizza. If my softball team won a game, we’d all go get ice cream afterward. Food is not a punishment or sign of self-loathing. Did your mother ever say to you, “You sit there and eat that cake until your attitude improves”? Did your dad say, “That’s it! You’re grounded. You’ll be eating extra helpings for the rest of the week!”?

Down here in the South, we show love with food. My great-grandmother always encouraged her guests to have an extra slice of pie and would be hurt if they turned her down. To say no would be rejecting her love. Maybe that’s why I don’t deprive myself of the foods I love.

I’ve written about my happy fat life before (read here ) and not much has changed. I’m still sabotaging my own weight loss. I’d rather eat chocolate than chicken. I prefer potatoes and pasta over parsnips and purple cabbage. Bread is better than broccoli. Carrot cake beats carrots. I could go on like this all day.

So when you see me carrying a few (ok, more than just a few) extra pounds, don’t jump to any negative conclusions. I’ve just been showing myself a lotta love for a lotta years.

I Don’t Want To Be Pretty!

In my family, anything you say can and will live on forever. When my oldest daughter was little, she had unruly hair that could only be tamed with a barrette. But, she didn’t want the barrette. So it became a two person job. One of us would distract her like a rodeo clown while the other wrestled the hair accessory into position. The distraction would continue until she’d forgotten that her hair was being forced to comply, then we could get on with our day. One time, I don’t remember who, but someone told her how pretty she looked with the barrette in her hair. She ripped it out, threw it on the ground and yelled, “I DON’T WANT TO BE PRETTY!”

Fortunately or unfortunately for her, she’s still pretty. No barrette required. That was nearly 30 years ago, but we still quote it to this day. We say it as a joke on days that we don’t feel like doing hair and make up. But I also say it as a true statement. I don’t care about being pretty, maybe because it’s never really been an option, but I’d rather be seen as smart and/or funny. Ok, leave out the “or.” I’d rather be smart and funny.

I’ve always been average looking. A handful of people might have found me pretty at some point in my life, but there’s an equal and opposite handful of people who find me repulsive. Overall, I don’t think I register with most people at either end of the pretty/ugly scale. I’m just sitting in the middle keeping the scale balanced.

I discovered in high school that boys were intimidated by pretty girls, afraid to talk to them. I had a slew of boy friends, not to be confused with boyfriends. Because of my non-intimidating appearance, boys talked to me and I gained an insight into the male species that pretty girls will never have. This may be why Halle Berry has had three short-lived marriages and I’m approaching my 15th anniversary.

We expect the beautiful to stay that way forever.  We’re always disappointed when our favorite attractive celebrities start to fade. Carrie Fisher had to tell her fans to stop debating about whether she had aged well or not, whether she was still hot. The pretty have that burden. But for us average looking girls, aging doesn’t taking anything away from us. When I run into old friends, they can say with all honesty “you’re just as pretty as you were back in high school.”

Of course a person can be beautiful and smart, or attractive and funny, or even all three. But how surprised are we when that actually happens? When you find out that some pretty celebrity graduated from Harvard, do you roll your eyes and assume that she was coddled by starstruck professors? I don’t know about you but if I read an interview of a gorgeous actor and he uses a few big words, I’m all “oooh, I didn’t know he was smart too!”

Don’t worry if you’re not pretty or handsome or beautiful or good-looking. Beauty fades but smart lasts a lifetime, or at least until senility sets in. And funny is forever.

 

I Resolve To Be Resolute In My Resolutions

There’s something about a new year that makes us take a long look at ourselves, decide we’re not good enough and resolve to change. A new year doesn’t always mean January 1st. It could be a Birthday, anniversary, fiscal year or Rosh Hoshanah. Whatever it is, it makes us want to start something new or renew something old.

We’re several days into the new year, and I still haven’t started on my resolutions. If you’re like me, you only make these decisions to change when the calendar changes. Whether it’s a new year, new week or new day… no one decides to change in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. The reverse is also true. After I’ve made a change, and then fall off the wagon, I have to wait for a new day, or week, or month to get back on again. For example, if I’m on a healthy eating kick then eat a candy bar, I’ll say “well I’ve blown it today. May as well eat junk for the rest of the day and start over tomorrow.” We seem to think that whatever wagon we’re on won’t roll through town again until next week, like an Old West stagecoach. Why doesn’t it run every 20 minutes like a bus?

We call the desire to change a “resolution.” The follow through is usually called “failure.” Making resolutions is the easy part. Sticking to them… not so much. If you went to the gym this first week of the year, it was packed with folks who have resolved to get healthy. By Valentine’s you’ll have the place to yourself.

Maybe we should make a resolution to stick to our resolutions. In that spirit, I resolve to be resolute in sticking to my New Year’s resolutions. But first, I have to decide what they are. I have the usual cliche resolutions… eat better and lose weight. By eat better, I mean better for me, not better tasting. If I eat better tasting, I won’t attain the resolution to lose weight!

More importantly, I want to reconnect with the organized person I used to be.

Once upon a time, my books were grouped by height and my CDs were stored alphabetically. My bills and important paperwork were filed in a drawer in labelled folders which were, of course, alphabetical. I am so organized that my mother makes fun of me for having an orderly junk drawer. I have never “cleaned out a closet” in my life. I don’t even know what that entails.

Then I married a disorganized man. He has many wonderful qualities, but being organized is not one of them. He buys tools, can’t remember where he put them and buys more. My closet is organized by short sleeves, then long sleeves, then pants, etc. But  when he puts away the laundry (which I appreciate) it goes in the closet in no particular order.

I didn’t realize that there were levels of organization but it turns out my organizational skills are far outweighed by his lack of them. He has won the order vs. disorder battle but I’m preparing for a rematch. I’m not trying to change him. I just need to step up my game.

I don’t recall when I lost touch with her, but I know that organized girl still lives inside me. I picture her trapped under a pile of paperwork, and lost tools, the way they find hoarders trapped in their homes. I’m going to pull her out from under all of that stuff (and put it where it belongs) then together we can conquer all the things that need to be done. I see a label maker in our future!