Monday, June 30, 2008


I must apologize for my last entry. It seems my uncanny ability to offer witty witticisms is on vacation, and I have been experiencing writer's block. Luckily, I just had a wonderful piece of caramel banana cake, and I'm feeling better...

...ummmm.....anyone want to hear a joke??? (sound of crickets chirping)

really!! I'm interesting dammit!!


Once upon a time, a certain lady we all know was blessed with jury duty on one of the hottest days of the year. "Yay!", she thought, "No office clothes for me today!" She listened carefully to the pre-recorded message telling her what sort of dress was acceptable (no jeans or tee-shirts), and chose a respectable pair of khaki shorts and a nice sleeveless shirt. Alas, at the check-in she was told her dress was "inappropriate" - her shorts offensive, and "her belly hanging out". In shame, she was forced to call home for a pair of pants as the man behind her (wearing jeans and a flannel shirt) was waved ahead.

Of course, this heroine was me. I was very upset when this heavy woman pointed out my belly as if I had displayed it purposely. While I have always felt overweight, I had never felt fat. Well, not portly fat anyway. Ultimately, I began to lose weight...six months later. (On a side note, it was also the day I realized a man must be given detailed instructions when he is expected to pick out pants for his loved one.)

During those six months I started feeling that I looked huge in photographs, I was unable to squeeze into my own clothes, I hated to see my reflection in store windows, and I developed an acute awareness of furniture creaking in my presence. I tried desperately to eat less, but continually thought of food. The negative thoughts were making me crazy!!

Suddenly, I had a new thought:

Realizing that cupcakes will be eaten and making choices to allow for the calorie splurge allow one to be healthy and human. Finding fun ways to be more active makes one look forward to working out rather than forcing movement. It wasn't until I began thinking positively that my body started to cooperate with my brain. Small, easily achieved goals that ultimately lead to a healthy lifestyle are key to losing weight.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Party Planning

Ahh, summertime! The time for flowers, sun, and BARBECUES! Upon the suggestion of one of my adoring fans (ha!), I have painstakingly researched this topic. I have found that it is exceedingly difficult to track calorie consumption during an outdoor schmorgesport. I have tried counting calories in my head - which can be done with some accuracy when one is sober, but increases in difficulty as crown royal flows in the bloodstream. I have tried counting calories using dots with a sharpie on my wrist. While effective, this has obvious downfalls related to the nerdiness and sharpie stains on one's clothing. I have tried making healthy choices, but I am always beaten when confronted with delicious, homemade concoctions. Anyone who can choose a plateful of celery over a chocolate brownie or fresh cut french fries is just not right in the head. Time and time again, my sensible eating throughout a week is sabotaged by a shin dig or soiree.

For my past few battles with banquets, I have grudgingly (double ha!) filled my plate to the brim with various edibles in an attempt to come up with an average number of calories per plate. This is all for science, of course. My theory here is that a paper plate can only hold so much due to its size and durability, so if I can establish an average number of calories per plate, then I can just count plates. I have been using this strategy for years in order to limit my alcohol consumption. (I have had a few mishaps over the years, but it generally works well. I developed this plan in my sophomore year, rationalizing that if I can no longer count the number of beers I have consumed, then I have consumed enough.)

I have been to two parties and a funeral over the past month, and I have diligently piled my (full size 10-in) plates to the brim with ham and baked beans, meatballs, bacon-wrapped scallops, potato salad, and whatever else I could reasonably squeeze into the allotted space. In the name of science, I stuffed all the flavors into my mouth, and savored each one. The results are surprisingly consistent, which validates my theory considerably. Each plate was very close to 1000 calories.

I know!! It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I have eaten so much each time, but now I know. And so do you, constant reader!! Those plates of hot dogs and potato chips add up fast. And this does not include dessert. (By the way, most desserts have around 350 calories on average...)

As the fourth of July rears its grilling head, I offer the following advice: PLAN ahead, put all your food on a PLATE, and indulge in life's PLEASURES.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I may have a problem. Since last Wednesday, I cannot stop thinking about, dreaming about, and finally eating p-i-z-z-a. Maybe if I spell it out*, my brain will not register the temptation? So, back to Wednesday: (picture Wayne and Garth as they prepare for dream sequence.)

This was the day after my fateful and near-fatal tire rupture on I-95. (Ok, so maybe it wasn't that bad, but I like to add a few alliterative adjectives for dramatic affect.) At lunchtime, a co-worker drove me to Sears to retrieve the car with its brand new tire. Sears happens to be in a "town center" (i.e. outdoor mall) which has several eateries, and since I had a craving for p-i-z-z-a, I went to Carmines and picked a delectable Sicilian slice with a beautiful piece of fresh mozzarella cheese and a lovely leaf of basil on top. It. was. Delicious!! Too delicious! If the "town center" were closer to work, I would have gone back for a mid-afternoon snack, but luckily it is 15 minutes or so away.

...So I had to wait until after work. Yes, I returned to the shop for a second wonderful slice, but alas, they were out of the Sicilian. That did not stop me, of course. I opted for a chicken alfredo slice which did not quite satiate my craving.

On Thursday, leftover p-i-z-z-a was placed in the kitchen. Some of the slices had green peppers, olives, onions, and tomatoes piled on top, so it took little time for me to convince myself that it was practically a salad. With sauce. and cheese. and crust. and, under all those healthy veggies, about a quarter pound of sausage and pepperoni. (Honestly, I didn't know that was there!! If so, I may have hesitated for approximately 30 more seconds.) As it stands, I inhaled that "salad" in about 2.7 seconds. But at least my craving was over right??

Wrong. Today, I innocently decided that the recycling should not wait until the weekend, so I put the stuff in the car this morning for lunchtime transport. I got all the way through the process, and started to head back to the office when I realized that I was fairly close to the "town center" again. And...I finally had my second slice of that Sicilian. Oh so good. Oh so high in calories. But oh so good. Do you think they put heroine or nicotine in the sauce??

Tomorrow I will eat my soup. Really. I hope.

*This technique is blatently stolen from Jen Lancaster's new book "Such a Pretty Fat". This girl is hilarious in her blog and her book, and I can't wait to read her other two books.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Milk of Tangerine

As promised, I tested out Rita's sugar free ice today. There are many down sides to this treat. First off, apparently many Rita's do not offer this option because the concoction requires a special machine. Second, whenever I have seen sugar free on the menu at various franchises, it has always been "Tangerine" flavor. Upon tasting the tangerine, I am now convinced that they plan to make other flavors, if only they can finish up this one tub of tangerine. But I am fairly certain that anyone naive enough to try it once did not make that mistake twice.

Basically, sugar free ice is the tastiest laxative I have ever eaten, and way more effective than Milk of Magnesia.

Luckily, my mother warned me of this possible side effect, but I had decided that I owed it to my constant readers (all 4 of you!) to try it anyway. I reasoned that my stomach is surprisingly cool with a number of synthetic sweeteners, and other people are overly sensitive.

I was wrong. I think it would be best to leave it at that.

So, substituting sugar free ice for the calorie laden sugar water that is the regular ice, is not an option. (Unless I am feeling a little "backed up".) Unfortunately, I will have to treat my Rita's indulgences as I do all the others: enjoy, savor, and log it in.

Did I mention how ignorance is bliss??

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ode to the Man in the Jeep

Oh, man in a yellow jeep,
thank you for not being a creep
when I broke down in rush hour traffic
and worried of a death quite graphic.

Oh, man in a red tee-shirt,
thank you for not being a flirt
when I struggled to keep down my skirt
as my tire smeared me with dirt.

Oh, man with your trunk full of tools,
you efficiently stuck to the rules,
removing the bolts one by one,
till in no time you were done.

I'm a liberated woman, it's true,
but had it not been for you,
I'd be changing that tire still,
as cars zoomed by for the kill.

Thank goodness chivalry has not depreciated,
for your kindness was much appreciated!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dear Dad...

....Thank You For:

- refusing to buy sugar cereal when I was little

-taking me on walks and telling me about the types of trees and birds in the woods

-letting me play volleyball with you

-blasting the Beatles throughout the house

-teaching me to change a tire, jump a car, and ride a bike (when all else fails)

-being patient while I learned to drive

-helping me move

-helping me study

-helping me

-being a great Dad!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Starting Over

I just worked out my spreadsheet. Not so hot this week. I may have mentioned how I have never actually managed to go more than two weeks in a row of meeting my goal for calorie intake. So, four weeks ago, I made my new goal to go four whole weeks with "Good Job" flashing up on the bottom of my charts. So close!!

....Yet so far away. My awesomely delicious cookie dough birthday cake from Coldstone Creamery (Thanks Tiff!!) and a spur of the moment get together last night have sabotaged me. I will have to try the next four weeks, I suppose. My reward, an overly expensive ($50! Isn't that crazy?) gym bag that looks like it might actually fit my change of clothes and shower accessories will have to wait. I do think I will give myself partial credit though - I managed to go three weeks, and that is still a record. So perhaps a new shirt or a book I have been wanting....

My instructor for Body Attack said something sort of inspiring today: She said people are always telling her that they would give anything if they could look like (insert pretty person's name here). And her reply is always, "Really?? Because I can make you look like that, but you're going to have to work for it."

I think the cake and beer was worth it. It's all about choices, and I'm still committed. That gym bag will be mine!!

One What? (Part II)

Ahhh...the wait is over! My loving Adam provided me with a small rice cooker as part of my birthday gift. I am not certain if this was because he was tired of eating the chewy, and sometimes crunchy rice that I have placed before him, or if he recognized my desire for this handy gadget based on context clues, like "I wish I had a rice cooker." Let's assume the latter.

One thing that stopped me from purchasing a rice cooker for myself was the lack of kitchen space for yet another appliance. But Adam found a "mini" one made by Rival which fits nicely on the closet shelf. Apparently, Rival is either not an American company, or a bit disenchanted with the common US system of units. Or perhaps the company is hoping to devise a way for rice cooker owners everywhere to become dependent on the special "rice serving cup" which comes with the appliance. Whatever the reason, the instructions caused me to screw up when making the rice.

In my own defense, the instructions: "1. Measure the amount of rice you would like to cook. A 3/4 cup measuring cup is included with your rice cooker. The "rice cooker" measuring cup makes 2-1/4 cups of cooked rice." OK, so far so good. No real indication of how many servings that is, but OK. "2. Place rice in the pot and add the corresponding amount of water. For example, if you are making 3 cups of uncooked rice, add water to the "3" mark on the pot." Hmmm...I find the little labels on the pot and see they are labled 1,2,3. I am not making 3 cups, I am making 2-1/4 cups right? I fill to just above the 2 line. This was my downfall. Being an experienced preparer of rice, I realized that the ratio of water to rice was unusual, and I corrected the error without incident. I am making 3/4 cups of uncooked rice. Is the special measuring truly necessary?? Compare this with the instructions on the rice bag: "Combine one cup of uncooked rice, and 2 cups of water." I think the average person could figure this out without introducing new units of measure like "rice cooker measuring cup."

After I had fixed the water error, Adam noted that said measuring cup is marked with lines indicating 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4. I had just filled it to the top according to the instructions. It turns out, I was right on that one. Filling to the 3/4 line on this device gives you 3/4 of 3/4, or just over half a cup. Simple as pie, eh? I think Rival may be a co-conspirtator with Chefmate in a sinister plot to require the use of special measuring devices for every appliance.

The rice turned out perfect, though the instructions gave no indication of how long it would take to cook, so this time, the other food wasn't ready yet. How's that for irony?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flowers Are For Skinny Folk

Driving home from work today, I saw a woman in flowered capris, as is the current popular style. Allow me to rephrase - it is a current popular style for some people. For this poor woman, the capris transformed her moderately oversized ass into a rounded, flowered beacon, visible for nearly half a mile. I feel for this woman. She probably doesn't even know what's lurking behind her, and it is just not the type of thing people will tell her. She looked (at her front) in the mirror at her otherwise normally proportioned body, and thought "These look all right."

I have been there. One day, our unsuspecting flower with catch a glimpse as she turns in just the right angle and realize the horrible mistake she had made. It can happen to the best of us.

One thing I found to be immediately noticeable after the first month or so of my diet was that my own clothes appeared to fit better. I often suffered the wedgies, tight spots, and unsightly bulges of clothes that weren't clinging properly to my body. Warning - this is extremely subtle, so you will have to pay attention as you begin losing weight. It is not as though your pants will suddenly slide off your body. But I encourage you, my fellow loser, to pay attention to these subtleties, because they keep you motivated when the scale is refusing to budge.

Now, it has been about 6 months since I began, and I have noticed that I have been wedgie-free for some time. (Of course, that could be the underwear I mentioned a while back...those suckers are on top more than ever...) I have even nearly conquered the bulging of the stupid pockets on some of my gym shorts.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Eeek! A New Decade!

At approximately 2:45 this afternoon, I officially left my roaring twenties behind...and said hello to....30...

Phew! There, I said it. This is not really as traumatic for me as I thought it might be when I was Jamie's age (she's 16, and would like me to mention her in my blog - You Rock, Jame!). Honestly, I am much happier with my life now than I was when I was 20. As my constant readers may know, (and I actually have at least 3 or 4 of them now!) I am fairly happy. I jest often about my trials and tribulations as I struggle to lose the caboose, but I really have a (mostly) healthy body image. I also have a great guy, a loving family, and a job that pays the rent without making me overly insane (mostly).

My birthday was always my favorite day of the year when I was a child. Sure, Christmas was a close second, but my birthday was all my own. When you have a few siblings, it is nice to have one day a year in which the focus is where it should be: on ME!! Also, my birthday was often either: the last day of school (yay), the first day of summer (woo-hoo), or a fun day at school like field day. So this made it fun for everyone. Just like Christmas morning, I would wake up at the crack of dawn and be too excited to sleep any longer.

So now, I guess I am a grown up (though I still think I have a lot of growing to do!) I go to work on my birthday. Like every other day. Kinda poopey. Still, I woke this morning, and like I always do, tried to determine what day of the week it is. For one millisecond, I thought, "It's my birthday!!" and had a tinge of that old excitement.

Then I went back to bed. It was the crack of dawn after all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

OK, I Admit It!

Many of my friends have told me stories of decidedly absent-minded things they have done since becoming mothers. They sometimes call these events "mommy moments" and they include things like burning carrots, getting into the shower fully clothed, and forgetting money when they go to the grocery store. While I do not refute the evidence that motherhood, or rather the sleep deprivation that comes with the job, has an effect on brain function, I offer a different theory: we are all nitwits. Yes, because I too have ended up in the checkout line with a cart full of groceries and nothing but a pretty face to pay for them. And as far as I know, I am not a mother.

I am a nitwit.

You are a nitwit. We are all nitwits.

Tonight was no exception. I made plans to meet a friend for her birthday, and made certain that I double check the email for the scheduled meeting time before leaving work. The only thing I forgot to check was the name of the bar we were meeting at. Duh! So after parking the car and walking to the general vicinity of the bar (it wasn't there), I called Adam with surprisingly few details to aid a Google search for the place. He valiantly accepted the quest, but to no avail, and I went home. (Of course my friend replied to my messages as I walked in the door. At least I was in the right neighborhood.) I say it again: I am a nitwit.

If someone ever had a contest to find people who had poured apple juice on their cereal, walked 20 blocks to an ATM in 90 degree weather sans ATM card, drove to Rite Aid for a forgotten item and realized they were wearing pajamas en route (kept going), and went to a meeting on the wrong day, I would win. I have come home with icky shrimp flavored versions of otherwise tasty items which I had picked up accidentally. I have driven to Pittsburgh to see a concert and left the tickets on my door in Baltimore "so I wouldn't forget them." I have gone away for the weekend and left my purse at the apartment. (My grandma had to give me gas money to get home.) I have made cookies without key ingredients. (They really couldn't be classified as cookies when they were done...) I have ordered menu items at restaurants which clearly listed an ingredient I disliked in the description in the menu.

The thing is, I know everyone has these experiences...only most people have better excuses.

Hope you had a happy birthday, Jess. I owe you a drink!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Steady....Wait For It...

I am trying SO hard to be good right now, but my stupid rice is stupidly NOT COOKING. I buy the brown rice because it is supposedly good for you, but it is consistently uncooked when I prepare it. This is because the other food cooks according to its instructions, while the rice does not. Normally, I am too impatient to wait it out, and I endure the comments from the peanut gallery regarding the "chewiness" of the rice. Today, it is still so hard, it is not edible, even though the water has evaporated and seconds ago, the smoke detector went off.

This is extremely dangerous to my fragile tummy. My friend made me banana cupcakes (thanks Maria!) which look delicious, and I want to eat them. I also want to eat some chips and salsa, some peanut butter bread, and a few almonds. I tried the counting thing again, with limited success (I had a few cherries and a strawberry and still haven't made it to 29.) I tried a glass of water, but my thoughts have wandered to me vittles, waiting for me to devour them. I am...blogging. So far this has been working....better go check on the rice again. But this is decidedly NOT the healthier option when you take into account the hundreds of calories consumed during this unbearable cooking time!!