Archive for the ‘weighty issues’ Category

My Grandmother, my mom’s mom, was a large woman.  And a short woman, which contributed to her largeness.  She had all kinds of theories about why she was so large, including the one about being made to eat everything on her plate at every meal.  Which makes sense when you consider that she was a young girl when the Depression hit, and every morsel of food counted.  And I sort of buy into that theory, because what you do as a child has a tendency to stick with you as an adult.  You eat everything you can because that’s what you’ve always done.

My mother, who is fortunate enough to at least have some height on her frame, is a large woman, too.  The reasons my mother is heavy are fairly easy to pinpoint – genetics, poor food choices, lack of exercise.  And she eats when she’s dealing with her emotions.  Good day?  Let’s get ice cream!  Frustrated?  Have some cobbler.

I recognize this tendency in myself, too.  While my mother never rewarded me with food (for I am not a dog), I was witness to the kitchen capers that came about as her way to deal.  I try really hard to not repeat this because she’s fat, and she’s unhappy that she’s fat, and so she eats because she’s unhappy.  I don’t want that future for myself.  Adding to the complexity of this tendency is that I really like wine.  I’ve been known to have a conversation with myself about how early is too early for a glass of wine.  Alcohol at 9am isn’t a good idea, even though a lot of the world’s best literature was conceived in a bottle.  It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.  It doesn’t end well, is what I’m saying.

I have a theory about it, of course.  It’s like picking a scab – you know better than to do it, that it’s just going to prolong the healing process, and maybe leave a scar to boot – but you do it anyway because at least it’s something to do.

We don’t do a great job of sitting quietly with our emotions.  Our emotions scare us, particularly the ones that are on the darker end of the scale.  And our emotions are reactions to things that are going on in our lives, and a lot of that stuff we’ve got no control over.  So we eat, or we sleep, or we drink, or we shop, or we do any of a number of things that have become our medication of choice.

They say that recognition of a problem is half the battle.  I’m not so sure.  I think it may be a battle in and of itself.


— Mox

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Prelude:  6:45am — A thoroughly unsatisfying bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios with almond milk.  I know it’s not going to hold me until lunchtime but I eat it anyway.

9-ish am — Working from home.  Stomach begins to gurgle.  Try to stave it off as long as possible.

10-ish am — Oh, what the hell.  Go into kitchen and make a smoothie.  Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, vanilla yogurt, pineapple juice, and flaxseed oil.  All in all not too unhealthy save for all the sugar.  This will hold me for a while.

Noon — headed to the salon for a haircut, I start to think about what I’m going to grab for lunch.  Nothing too heavy, since I am cooking dinner tonight.  Trying a new recipe.  Plus that smoothie I had a couple of hours ago is keeping me from being too ravenous.  Settle on grabbing a chocolate malt from Sonic.

12:35pm — headed back out into the oppressive heat (seriously, is there no spring around here?) with my current plan for said chocolate malt still in place.

12:42pm — Knowing that the chocolate malt is not going to hold me until dinner, I begin to rethink my plan.

12:42:12pm — even though they put malteds back on our local Sonic menu, they don’t have the malt powder yet.  Because whoever runs our local Sonic wishes to deny me the malty goodness I so deserve.  I learned this on Sunday when I tried to order a malt.

12:43pm — maybe I’ll just get mozzarella sticks instead.  And a cherry Dr. Pepper.

12:44pm — or maybe chicken strips.  But just the strips.  If I get the meal it will come with fries and I don’t care for Sonic’s fries.

12:44:30pm — And the cherry Dr. Pepper.

12:44:36pm — could I substitute onion rings for the fries?

12:45pm — the onion rings give me heartburn, though.  Sooo not worth it.

12:46pm — I definitely don’t want a burger.  Hm.  Do I even have any money?

12:48pm — Wait.  I do have some gift cards from Wendy’s.

12:49-12:59pm — (proceeds to drive past the Sonic and make a path for Wendy’s instead)

1pm — Order the new berry almond chicken salad.  Feel virtuous.

1:05pm — Tell the cashier I need the almonds for my salad.  She tries to give me pecans.  I hand them back to her and tell her they’re pecans and she insists to me that’s what goes on the salad.

1:06pm — consider a snarky response — after all, it is the berry ALMOND chicken salad, is it not?

1:06:22pm — but no.  Proper nut topping secured, I head out for home.

1:17pm — enjoy my much healthier lunch.  Try not to wonder if it’s helping me to lose weight.

1:37pm — ponder when Sonic is going to get that damn malt powder in.



— Mox

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Over the weekend I went to a hotsy-totsy wedding.  The bride’s parents and grandparents are multi-millionares and my husband is one of their many employees, so it was incumbent upon me to put my best foot forward. 

Here is where working an ultra-casual job in an office full of guys and being on the mommy track comes back to bite me in the butt. 

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I probably should go buy a dress for this shindig, and it’s a good thing I did.  When I looked in my closet I discovered that I do not own any winter dresses.  Summer dresses, sure, since I wear dresses and skirts a lot in the summer.  But in the winter I am all about being warm and comfortable, and there is just not anything warm or comfortable about a dress, hose, and heels. 

It’s honestly been so long since I’ve shopped for a dress that I was a little verklempt about it.   I loaded my arm with several likely contenders and tried them on, all of them.  I made Spawn go with me and endure the sight of me wiggling into and out of all these dresses, keeping me away from the frilly ones (for I am not a frilly girl) and the ones that made my butt look big.  I purposely stayed away from the obvious party dresses, since chances are I’d never wear a party dress more than this one time, and instead settled on a red sheath-style sweater dress with a portrait collar.  It did a pretty good job of balancing what I am beginning to recognize as my mother’s hips.  Add to that some off-black hose, black pumps (because even though high heeled boots would have been apropos, again, I would not have worn them again) and my handy-dandy sequined black party clutch (don’t ask how long I’ve had it)… good to go. 

this dress, without the funky-weird belt

I felt a little like a character in The Great Gatsby, that much-maligned book of my high school English class, you know, in the club and yet so very far out of it.  Somehow we managed to get ourselves seated at the same table as all the big suits in my husband’s company — the CEO, the VP of Operations, the VP of Marketing, and so forth.  Good thing I’d had a glass of wine and remembered to bring my A-game chitchat. 

While there was a wide range of fashion points in the 300+ guests at the reception, I could see that the default setting was very much “Cocktail Party” and to make matters worse, the VP of operations is from Turkey, as is his wife.  His gorgeous, gorgeous wife.  Tall, willowy (after two kids), with a mass of black curly hair piled on top of her head, kohl-rimmed eyes, and a shimmery one-shouldered cocktail dress accessorized with over-the-top glitzy jewelry.  And who do you think she sat next to at dinner? 

Gorgeous women often do not know that they are so striking.  It is the plainer of women who are forced to stand alongside of them who recognize it.  And even though I overheard the CEO tell my husband that he had “married up,” I still felt short, fat, and very, very plain. 

I am by nature not a fan of the dress-up-and-make-small-talk circuit, so I for one was very happy to see the evening begin to devolve as it tends to do when there is an open bar. 

— Mox

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So I went back to the gym this week. 

With Spawn being out of school for the summer and me running all over creation, plus trying to work, plus the five million other things that got in the way (like, oh, life), I fell away from the gym.  I’m one of those people who, if I can’t get to the gym in the morning, I’m not going to go.  So I didn’t go.  All summer. 

And then I didn’t go the first week of school, when I could have gone, because it was just too hot.  And I know that sounds pretty whiny, but when the predicted high temp is in the upper 90’s and the heat index is well over 100, and the walking track is unairconditioned… well forgive me for whining but no.  Not going. 

So I went back on Monday this week.  Thought I’d ease back into it.  The weather had broken (albeit temporarily) and the walking track was calling my name.  That, and my lard butt and the feeling that if I didn’t get back to it I was going to morph into my mother at an increased pace. 

There are a lot of sounds in my head sometimes. 

The first couple of days were okay, as all I did was walk.  But on Wednesday I decided the time had come to revisit the weight room.  Quickly I discovered that my former level of weights were just too much for me, so I had to dial it back.  Did my reps, felt good about it.  Went home and slept really well last night, for the first time in quite a while. 

And then, this morning. 

I am the human question mark.  Please do not ask me to reach that thing on the top shelf for you, because I cannot raise my arms over my head. 

This is going to make it more difficult to do 12-ounce curls. 

— Mox

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This has got to stop.

Day Two and the kids could have gone to school today.  Guess who is elected to stay home on a day such as today?  The person with the lesser job, that’s who. 

Oh the joys of being home on a snow day. 

I will be the first to admit that I am not a cook.  I think cooking is highly overrated, at least on a personal level.  I love to watch cooking shows.  I love to eat.  I love for someone else to cook it.  And clean it up, for that matter.  But me, as a cook?  Nah. 

So on a snow day, when I’m pretty limited as to what I can do to keep myself from losing my everloving mind, I sometimes venture into the kitchen.  I’m always surprised to find that my hand-me-down 25-year-old stove works.  Oh, the things that come out of the kitchen when I actually have time to slow-cook!  Meatloaf, pot roast, homemade soup, from-scratch sweetbreads and cupcakes.  My husband, unaccustomed to such things as a ready dinner when he comes home in the evening, often wonders if he’s living a Twilight Zone episode. 

Seriously, y’all, I am going to weigh 500 pounds before spring gets here. 

I have not heard if school will be in session tomorrow, but my waistline is seriously hoping it will. 

— Mox

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I have the answer.

Over the past few years, perhaps to my detriment, I have developed an aversion to uncomfortable clothing. 

This means that I have eschewed belts, high heels, and suits.  I embrace anything with spandex in the fabric.  I love dresses with no waist.  Long, tunic-style knit tops.  Boot cut pants.  Kick-ass boots.  Funky jewelry. 

I love the fact that I don’t have to dress like a college graduate looking for that first job.  Back in those days I clung to a certain fashion groove because it helped me to fake it, looking like I knew what the hell I was doing.  In the 20 years I’ve been out of college, I have acquired a certain amount of knowing what the hell I’m doing.  I’ve gotten more comfortable in my skin, and more relaxed in my clothing choices. 

Consequently I have gained 17 pounds in the past two years.  Hmm.  Still, I refuse to wear pants that cut me in two.  Waistbands should not hurt. 

Just last month I bought a few new things to rotate into my closet, since I can no longer wear my fully-lined wool pants.  Hey, it was either that or go naked.  Trust me, I made the right choice.  Since I am always on the hunt for a great pair of khakis, I tried on a pair of khaki-colored jeans (with spandex and boot cut, amen) in the Next Size Up from what I usually wear.  And the Next Size Up?  Was too tight on my thighs.  Ordinarily I do not have a problem with pants being too tight on my thighs, with the notable exception of just about anything khaki in color.  Weird, but true.  So I went up One More Size from that.  Which fit my suddenly ponderous thighs and therefore I bought them. 

Only now they’re too big in the waist.  Especially since I am now working on the weight machines at the gym to try and tone my “core”. 

The Secret To Feeling Thin is this:  larger sizes.  No one knows what the number on the tag is except me. 

I feel positively lithe in these pants.  And with my kick-ass boots I feel pretty tall, too. 

And that, my friends, is my wisdom for the day. 

— Mox

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Make that double-ow. 

Every so often I make an attempt to do something out of my comfort zone.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I guess the important thing is that I try to get off dead center once in a while.  And I’m not much of a risk-taker, anyone who knows me well will tell you that.  Yet some of the times I’ve felt most alive have been when I’ve stepped out of my little box and tried something new. 

Last night my new thing was trying out some of the machines at the gym.  Oh, don’t laugh, I find the machines and the weights to be intimidating as hell.  Most everyone in there seems to know what they’re doing, and I have this annoying habit of assuming that I stick out like a sore thumb in a new situation where I don’t know anything. 

Hey, what can I say?  This is why I read a lot. 

Over the weekend, my husband suggested to me that I meet him at the gym so he could show me the machines and tell me how to work them.  Which was a great idea, considering the most I’ve ever done is to walk into the room and look around, like I was looking for someone, because all those bars and seats and weights and stuff make absolutely no sense to me.  I mean, you look at a bicycle and you know what it’s for.  Same with a treadmill. 

So while Spawn was at art class last evening, I met my husband in the weight room at the gym and he proceeded to teach me how to use the machines.  But first he had to find out what muscle groups I wanted to work out.  Um…?  All of them? 

Yeah.  I have no idea. 

Usually I’m not so indecisive, and he can tell you that straight up.  But having no idea what any of the machines do, I had no idea what muscle groups I might be wanting to work on.  Since he’s working on his core, and I’ve been complaining about lower back pain (the kind you get from bending over something and then straightening up) (like, oh, laundry baskets), he settled on teaching me machines that work my core muscles. 

If it had been anyone else working with me I might have “um-hm”ed a bit too quickly, just to not let on what a doofus I am about this stuff and slink away quietly after a reasonable period of time.  But this is the man I have known for 25 years.  He’s wise to my tricks by now.  He just kept telling me, over and over, how to do the workout, how many reps to do, which machines (thank god there were only three, I couldn’t have learned any of the others), until it started to click.  And then he suggested to my grateful ears that I go walk the track for a mile or so, which is something I know how to do. 

I like to walk because it’s the basic formula of putting one foot in front of the other, and there isn’t a whole lot I can do to look like an ass.  Besides falling down, of course.  Which I have done.  And do.  But it’s my default exercise, and if you can’t manage the left-right-left thing then you are in trouble, indeed. 

I knew when I went to bed last night that I was going to pay for my weight machine experience, since my little wimpy noodle arms were already feeling the vague ache you get from using muscles you didn’t know you had.  So I took a couple of Tylenols, a hot shower, and went to bed.  This morning, I felt it.  Not as badly as I thought I would, but it was there.  Which means either a) I didn’t do enough reps or b) I’m in better shape than I thought.  As much as I would prefer to think b), I know better. 

Another piece of good news was my husband’s suggestion that I don’t do this weight machine thing every day.  THANK GOD

— Mox

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