Friday, November 25, 2011

Annual Thanksgiving Thought

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are now ready to brave the next holiday season… Christmas. More about that subject later. Today, I‘d like to talk about some of the things I’m grateful for. Like most of you, this has been a financially challenging year, with a lot of changes, some more welcome than others, so it’s been easy to get a overwhelmed by all those problems and difficulties.
In order to keep my balance, and my sanity, I decided to start paying attention to the many good little things that happen in my life every day. The things I don’t often consider, but that make my life a little bit brighter. 

 Gift 1 – No snow. I’m not a big fan of snow. I don’t mind it up in the mountains, or hanging artistically in the bare branches of the trees, but I cannot stand it underfoot. I hate to drive on it, I hate to walk on it and I don’t really like to shovel it.  I prefer to visit it on special occasions, and then return home without the threat of slush or black ice. So far this year the snow has been very considerate and stayed off the sidewalks and streets .  I’m grateful that we are still snow free.

Gift 2 – Do you ever wish you could thank the person in the next car that lets you move into a crowded lane or pass into the street from the grocery store parking lot during rush hour? The one who doesn’t honk, even when the light turned green 2 seconds before and you haven’t hit your accelerator pedal yet. I love those drivers who don’t feel the need to ride up my tail pipe on the freeway if I don’t change lanes as quickly as they might wish, or who manage to avoid an accident, even when it’s me that’s made the mistake. To all considerate and kind drivers on the road, I’m very grateful to you.

Gift 3 – A baby’s smile. I don’t believe there is anything that can make me feel more important and of more value than when I’m standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, and a little one in the cart ahead looks up, meets my eyes and offers a huge toothless grin. It’s like somehow I was chosen from among all the other shoppers to receive that angelic manifestation, or that the innocence of youth saw something in me worthy of joy.  So to all the sweet and happy young children that smile at strangers, I’m grateful to you.

Gift 4 – Everyday there is something that goes my way, some bit of luck or chance of timing that makes my world go a little smoother. Hitting all green lights on my way to work, getting the last discount blouse in my size on the shopping rack, enjoying a full night sleep with a really sensational dream, or stepping out my front door just in time to see the most spectacular sunset ever. I am grateful for all those little, almost meaningless moments that mean so much to me.

Because Christmas is now on its way, bringing the temptation to get lost in the stress and guilt of creating the perfect holiday with less and less resources every year, I think it’s important to keep our eyes open for those exceptional instants that happen every day. I’m trying to keep that attitude of gratitude going through the next month and into the New Year.
What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

We Have Overcome!

A few weeks ago, I sent out a call to all my faithful readers to help get our economy back on track by going out and spending. I explained that according to the radio… which we all know is second only to Google in being an authority on generally everything… we as a nation were headed for another recession because consumer confidence was down and we were afraid to shop.

Thanks to my small but faithful following of readers, last quarter consumer spending was up by 2%, as reported by - the radio. We did what no politician or economic guru has been able to do. By getting out there and spending money, we are saving our economy.

I must humbly take credit for getting this economic reversal going, but I could not have done it without all of you and your tireless feet, shopping the heck out of stores and malls through the country. Only in America can we go out, with basically no money in our pockets and shop our country back onto the road to recovery.

I have been asked by several sources if my success in this great economic achievement has inspired any more lofty political aspirations. In fact, I have been getting letters from the Mitt Romney campaign for weeks. I haven’t actually opened them, but I’m certain he’s concerned about his chances in running against a woman shopper-of-the-people like myself.

For the record, I do not plan on running for president. I feel like one of the first qualifications for a leader of the free world is to have a handle on keeping their own house bathrooms clean. So, for at least another four years, or until all my kids move out, I will not be running for any public office.

I am, however, available for any White House dinners, shopping mall grand openings, or private consultations. I am an American, and I must do what I can.

One last note. I can only take credit for this startlingly good financial news, with the understanding that I can’t be accountable for everything. After all our hard work, should the economy dip again, Mr. President… we know where to place the blame!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Halloween Tale of Terror

With Halloween fast approaching, I thought this would be a good time to share one of the most horrifying Halloween stories that ever happened to me. Please don’t read this in a darkened room, and it’s best if you make certain that you’re not alone. You have been warned!

Back in the year 19 something, I was in my last year of elementary school in the town of Pleasant Hill, California. Across the road from our school was the local police station. It was an old building then though I’m sure it’s since been replace with something made of steel bars with lots of glass. Back then they used a remodeled old house with a very dark basement. Every year, the police officers and their families would convert this dark basement into the “Basement of Horror!”  It was a great Halloween activity and the money they raised was used for charity.

This particular year I chose to dress up as a Chinese maiden in a silk kimono top and matching silk pants. After our traditional Halloween party at school, my friends and I decided to go through the police station’s “Basement of Horror!” and though I never much liked being frightened, I was more concerned about letting down my friends then any possible fear factors.

My memories of the tour are pretty vague for the most part. I remember huddling in a group with my friends as we passed through each scenario, screaming when one creature or another would jump out or touch us. But there was one moment that is etched into my memory permanently.

As we came around a corner, I saw a large white wooden coffin leaned up against the wall. I don’t know what it is about a coffin, but its mere presence gives me the creeps. Of my group of friends, I was the one standing closest. I tried to move away but my friends and I were pretty much hemmed in on either side and by masses of other scared kids.

The coffin door swung open and a corpse stepped out of the box, right next to me. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs. Suddenly I had a strange sensation in the lower half of my body. No, I didn’t wet myself. Even worse. I looked down and my silk Chinese pants were now sitting in a puddle around my ankles where they had slid off, leaving my bare legs and pretty pink and yellow panties for everyone to see. 

Truthfully I don’t know who was more startled, me or the teenage boy who was playing the undead zombie. 

My fight or flight instinct had kicked in big time, and fighting wasn’t a consideration. I had two options, simply run out of the room leaving my pants and any dignity I had left behind or I take a few precious terror filled moments and pull up my pants before making my mad dash.  I chose the second option.

That pretty much ended any future visits to haunted houses, gardens, basement, forest or any other October attractions for me. However, I’ve often wondered about the boy playing the spook. I imagine he went home to his family, proud to inform them, that he had been so frightening, he had literally scared  some poor little girls pants off.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

When is A Truth Not A Truth - When Deanne Writes it!

It has come to my attention that last week’s blog raised some concern among my extended family. While this is a good thing, it means they are reading what I write, it also caused me to take a look at my writing style, and realize that maybe I should clarify what is actually fact and what is exaggeration/fiction/humor/bull each week in my blog.

For the record none of my children were in a car with a bunch of drunken smokers who crashed into a tree. If they had been, I would hope they’d been wearing their seatbelts or at least taken out a sizeable life insurance policy with me as beneficiary, because if the accident didn’t kill them, I would.

What did happen last week, was I got into a discussion/argument with my indignant and testosterone filled youngest  teenage son who asked why I had the right to come up with punishments for him. I took if form there.

In my blogs, I like to take a little event from my home life, then blow it so out of proportion that the child or adult in question wouldn’t recognize it should they stumble across the story on the web. 

For example, this week’s blog is based on an exchange between my nearly 16 year-old-daughter and myself.  She came into the kitchen and announced that she would be going to school early to attendance school to make up a couple of absences. She explained that 4 tardys equal an absence, and that her science class is held out on the far side of the school in the green house where it’s hard for her to get there one time. That’s it, a very normal somewhat boring parental exchange.  

And then I started to work on it….

The Secret Inner World of the American Mom

I don’t know if it’s because the media is constantly reporting on all the ill’s befalling our society, or a kick back to my own teenage days where I watched my friends and other school mates participate in risky and sometime dangerous behaviors, but I have grown into an extremely paranoid mom. I suspect my children’s motivates and behaviors at every turn as I try to keep them on the straight and narrow. 

Take for example the exchange with my daughter last Thursday night after dinner.

“Mom,” she announces with that casual sing-song voice she uses when she’s trying to play down some soon to come confession.

“Yes?” My ears perk up at that tone in her voice.

“I missed some classes this last month, and I have to go to attendance school tomorrow morning to make them up.”

Missed some classes? When could this have happened? I think I know my daughters every move. If she wasn’t in school she’d be home sick or with me at the dentist. Unless…
Had she started to cut classes?  Had those wild friends of her convinced her to leave the campus and walk down to the Purple Turtle for a burger? No, teenagers don’t cut class for food. Maybe she went to get a tattoo? If she has a tattoo I’m going to murder her. 

What if they didn’t walk? What if they got a ride from some crazy 16 year-old boy driving his parent’s mustang while he kissed his girlfriend up in the front seat, trying to stay on the right side of the road?

I tried to control the panic in my voice. “When did you miss class?”

She flips her head and grins. “I didn’t miss class, you know that. But I was late a few times. Four tardys are counted as missing a class.”

She was late? That could only mean one, or two… or several things. She was smoking grass under the trees by the end of the field with her new druggy friends. Or she was busy texting a guy, maybe a Senior guy and lost track of time. I’m so going to take away that cell phone of hers. Or maybe she was being harassed at school. Why wouldn’t she tell me about the bullies?

“It’s right after lunch” she continued. “So it’s hard to get there and eat too.”

Bulimia!!!! That sounds just like what someone would say who was busy throwing up her lunch every day. I had to get her to a therapist right away. If only I’m not too late!

 “Uh where is the class?” I ask, trying not to let her see how anxious I am.

“Way on the other side of the campus. I have to run the whole way. But I told my teacher I’ll try to be better at coming on time so I don’t have to go to attendance school again.”

I can breath. She is making responsible decisions. She is the good girl I always thought she was.

“Well thanks for letting me know,” I say as casually as I can. “It’s good to know I can always trust you.” 

She slides out of the room, smiling from ear to ear as her younger brother makes his way in…

“Hey mom, do you remember that rule about not driving in the car with drunken smokers unless you’re wearing your seat-belt? Well…..”

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Rules of the Game

I read a bumper sticker the other day, posted on the back of a fifteen passenger van, driven by a woman with half of her hair pulled out, and a strange glazed look in her eyes. The message read, “Better Ask Your Teenager NOW, while they still know everything.” I smiled at her in motherhood induced sympathy. 

“You’re just trying to totally mess up my life aren’t you?”

That is how the conversation with my fourteen-year-old son began late Sunday afternoon.
Apparently he felt that his discovery of a loop-hole in a family rule deserved my admiration, and not the immediate punishment that actually occurred.

“You think you know everything,” he continued. “What gives you the right to just pull a punishment out of the air, whether it’s fair or not?”

An interesting question.

In my defense I didn’t cut his hands off, lock him in a dungeon or place him on bread and water for the duration of the week. I simply grounded him from playing computer or video games for the last four hours of the day, a punishment that was dramatically extended when he wouldn’t stop arguing his point.

How do parents come up with the punishments, meant to teach their young people that stupid choices bring unpleasant repercussions? My sixteen-year-old daughter suggested that a family counsel should be convened where all possible rule infractions could be considered, and an appropriate punishment decided on by popular vote, our pet dog being given the tie breaker responsibility in the event of a stalemate.

“So, the curfew is at 12:30 a.m., and everyone but the child in question, is smoking and drinking in the car, when suddenly a deer jumps into the middle of the road, causing the driver of said vehicle to swerve into a ditch, thus causing the said stinky but sober kid to show up at 1:15 a.m. What, if any, is an appropriate punishment? And can some of it be commuted if said child can prove that they were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident?”

There in lies is the challenge, to come up with an appropriate punishment that is both humane and just, while at the same time severe enough to at least make a teenager think, before they go jumping into a car full second-hand smoke and drunken teenagers.

In real life, the results of stupid actions aren’t always as mild as a simple grounding or a few extra hours of house work. They can be major big deals like income loss, jail time or death. And if we as parents don’t get these lessons drilled into our kids now, while we at least have a little control over them, we’ll have to sit and watch them screw up for years and years to come.

And so, with all the love and compassion I can muster, I give him my answer.

“The same supreme power who sent you to me in the first place, who let me love and care for you, and who will hold me responsible if you don’t learn right and wrong before you walk out of my front door for good, He is the one who gave me the right… and you’re still grounded.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Plan for Economic Recovery

On my way home from work the other day, I heard on the news that the majordomos of the financial world are predicting another huge dip in the already downward spiral of our countries economy. This time it isn’t due to those greedy credit card companies, dishonest bankers or even Obama who, according to a number of my acquaintances, is responsible for everything bad, from  world hunger to my favorite summer TV show being cancelled. 

No, this time the fault is ours, yours and mine. According to this news report consumer confidence is down, and shoppers are keeping their purses closed and their wallets firmly entrenched in their back pockets. In other words, if we want to pull our country out of this economic depression/recession/slump/really really bad time.. the answer is simple. We need to all get out, and spend more money. It’s American.

I love this idea. It’s like saying the only way to lose weight is to eat your little heart out. What a concept. Now I’m not an economist, CPA or MBA. In fact, my main claim to fame in the financial business world is that I know where the news radio channel is so I can listen to it on my way home from work. But I figure, if some guy says it over the air waves then it must be true.  

Which is what brought my husband and me together in our last discussion/fight. 

“It’s simple mathematics,” he said. “If we have only so much money coming in and you spend so much plus two hundred dollars, we’ll be in the hole.”

“That’s easily solved,” I counter. I have been listening to that news radio station faithfully for weeks now. “We just raise our debt ceiling, and it will all work out.”

How could he respond? To deny the truth of my statement would be… well un-American.

Which is when I made my astounding proposition. Everyone should go out and spend money, now. Have a good time, and let the big bucks flow. A country wide shopping-palooza, if you will. Max out our credit cards, then raise our debt ceiling, and go out and do it some more. If we all hand over our hard earned cash, and sign our names to our checks with all the consumer confidence we can muster, the big shot on the radio promised that our countries economy would be back on the rise once again. It’s the patriotic thing to do.

I can’t imagine why Obama hasn’t already suggested this.

My husband is curled up in the fetal position, his head in his hands. I think he’s overwhelmed by the audacity of my plan. And it will work too, if only I can figure out where all our disposable income has been hiding for the last few months....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This Just In


Apparently I missed something really exciting. For those who want to purchase The Latter Rain, the author is giving my blog readers a limited time 20% discount on the purchase. That is really really good! To take advantage of special price, go to to order and put Tour in the coupon code. That's all you have to do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review

The Latter Rain: Using the Book of Isaiah As the Key to Unlock Bible Prophecies That Are Relevant Today by James Conis.

I had the opportunity this last month to read a new non-fiction book by author James Conis. Conis is a brave writer who took on a very challenging subject, symbolism from the book of Isaiah as a key to unlocking the symbolism in the Old and New Testament.

There is no doubt that Conis knows his stuff, and it was interesting to read the selections of biblical verses, many from the Old Testament, that he used to support his insights. I was particularly interested in the section on receiving revelation, where he spent a great deal of time talking about women in the scriptures who had the gift of revelation. We have so few females represented in the scriptures, and it was refreshing to know that Conis had taken the time to find them and bring their contributions to light.

I did have a couple of problems with the writing. There seemed to be a lot of repetition as Conis explained various points. Not in the sense of using a point or scripture to make different points, but in explaining the same point several times to make sure the reader understood the concept.

I also had some trouble figuring out exactly where the writer was going sometimes, and who his target audience was. Sometimes it felt that he was directing this book to an LDS audience, and other times is appeared that it was pointed to readers that were unfamiliar with the LDS doctrines.

The writing on the whole though was easy to follow, and he had some very interesting insights into Biblical symbols that I had never heard before and found very interesting. I think this book is definitely a beneficial addition to the library of any individual who is studying the Old Testament.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

She's Back

Like my favorite TV shows, I’ve been on a summer hiatus for the past five months. And like those same TV shows, I’m ready to get back into the weekly groove again, unless of course I’ve been canceled, but that’s another story.

And, speaking of stories I have the opportunity this week to review a really interesting non-fiction book by Jen Brewer.

Real reviewers start their blogs with a summary of the book or the back cover blurb. But since I am only a fake reviewer, I’ll jump right into my thoughts. If you want to read the back cover blurb, go to Amazon or buy the book.

Brewer’s book All Diets Work that’s the problem approaches a common issue with American men and women, yours truly included, the difficult if not statistically impossible challenge to lose weight, especially when you’ve moved into that “next” stage of life.

This book is not a diet; in fact one could say it is the anti-diet book. Now before you get to thinking that this women espouses chocolate chip cookies for breakfast and buffet-it till you drop, let me warn you. Jen Brewer has an RD after her name which means that she is a registered dietitian. It is from this stance as a professional medical person that she expresses the opinion that ALL DIETS WORK… but with the caveat, only if we can stay on them for life.

Brewer promotes a much more healthy and holistic method of losing weight, one which I personally agree with. It’s not about dieting; it’s about learning how to eat right and figuring out what obstacles are getting in the way.

The book is divided up into four basic parts: Introduction, Principles, Tools and Tool Box.

Right from the beginning Brewer says we don’t have to read the book through but can pick and choose the subheadings that interest us. I ignored that counsel entirely and read the book cover to cover and I was glad I did.

This book is a little gold mind, littered with all kind of words of wisdom and creative ideas. Let me share one that literally reached out of the book and pinched me on the nose.

I like seconds at dinner. I don’t know why, but I can’t be satisfied with just one plate of food. It makes me crazy, and I try so hard to resist the urge, rinsing off my plate, leaving the room. But before the evening is up, I’m back for that second helping.

Now we could spend time psychoanalyzing this food neurosis of mine, but instead Brewer had the perfect suggestion. Eat on a little plate. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? And guess what? It works. I get my seconds and keep my calories down too.

Would I suggest you buy this book and read it? NO! Not unless you are sick to death of dieting and looking for something else, something more long term and real. The suggestions in this book are written for normal people like you and me.

The writing is fast paced and easy to follow. There are clever illustrations throughout and Brewer has collected some really clever weight loss quotes that add a touch of humor. At 123 pages it’s an easy read and at $10.50 on Amazon, it’s a steal.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Revolutionary Diet Plan

I’m pleased to announce that due to a miraculous life changing event that occurred this week, I am currently in negotiations with four different publishing houses for my new book Get Sick and Lose the Weight.

Last week was not the first time I became aware of the strange and yet natural connection between physical illness and weight loss. My sister lost an amazing seven pounds in four days because she was fortunate enough to contract the stomach flu.

But it wasn’t until last week when a pain motivated trip to the ER led to a 2:30 am appendix removal surgery, that the idea really began to take shape. Getting sick, really sick, almost always results in weight loss.

I’ll admit, I don’t understand how the weight loss community has missed this loop hole for so long, but their oversight simply translates into my success.

Once the anesthesia wore off and the morphine had dulled the pain of having a puss filled appendix pulled out through a small hernia in my belly button, I found that the selection of liquids I was offered for breakfast, tea, bullion, clear juice and green jello, had no appeal. Really, I wasn’t even hungry.

It’s been four days now, and the phenomenon continues. Most foods taste bland and uninviting and after a few bites I don’t want to eat any more.

I have watched with satisfaction as the numbers on the scale seem to be falling away at an unbelievable pace. What can I say, I’ve discovered the secret to successful weight loss.

Now I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are one or two negative sides to this eating plan, but hey, what diet worth its carbs and fiber doesn’t?

There is a certain degree of discomfort associated with things like surgery and illness, but as the old saying goes, ‘No Pain, No Gain’ or loss as in this example.

And with the pain comes a certain amount of financial output for such things as medical care, pharmaceuticals and loss of productive activity… but just remember that it’s all for a good cause, a bum that looks hot in a pair of tight jeans.

The real tricky part, is acquiring the medical emergency in the first place. I should also point out that problems requiring surgery aren’t always appropriate for weightless. A coma for example might work for dropping a few dress sizes, but since you’re unconscious, it’s not like you can enjoy it.

In my new book, I recommend illness instead. Keep your ears open for friends and loved ones who are fortunate enough to catch some debilitation and highly contagious illness, then offer to nurse them back to health. Avoid hand washing, touch your own face often and if appropriate kissing is highly effective for sharing germs.

Now, I need to caution that this diet is not doctor recommended, and if you are one of those wimps who avoid pain and aren’t willing to be laid up for days and weeks of recovery time, then I can only suggest you stick with the old fashioned method of less calories in and more energy out. But for the few adventurers who are willing to risk it all for a half inch less around your waist, my new weight loss plan is guaranteed to work… (or kill you).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Falling off the Wagon

Okay, it happened and I’m ready to admit it. I took a nose dive off the wagon of my diet this last week and broke my fall on a package of double stuffed Oreo cookies, a cube of butter mixed with a little bit of baked potato and a peppermint shake from my favorite fast food restaurant.

It’s a tough world out there for those of us who were blessed with a little more fat than everybody else, although according to statistics (and I always believe those things) our numbers are growing.

Sometimes it feels like there is an army of marketers out there with the singal minded goal to keep us chubby and eating.

Case in point, it’s almost impossible to watch a TV program without being inundated with ads for fat laden, calorie horrific foods, being daintily eaten by super models with thighs so thin, they could thread them through the eye of a needle. Just what I need while I’m munching on my after dinner snack of raw carrots and water.

And when I’m feeling discouraged or overwhelmed or discouraged and overwhelmed which is more often the case, I don’t crave an apple or a nice green salad without dressing. No, I want pasta and brownies. Sugar, simple carbs and chocolate.

I don’t know why the stuff I love like See’s candy and double bacon cheese burgers with a side of steak cut fries has to be so unhealthy. If we can send a man to the moon, we ought to be able to invent food that tastes decadent but is actually good for you!

A lovely dream, but not very realistic. The facts are the facts, if I want to lose weight and be healthier (and I do), I have to eat fewer calories than I expend. End of discussion… sigh.

So where does that leave me? Sitting in the mud of my over indulgence with a sore tummy and jeans so tight I have to unzip them to breath? Or ready to rise again, dust the cookie crumbs from my face and hands and get back into the wagon of self control and healthy choices?

As Mary Anne Radmacher say’s – “Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”” And since she’s the same author who said, “Begin each day as if it were on purpose” I think she knows what she’s talking about.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Scale of the Scale

So, after nearly two months of relatively strenuous dieting, with only a few (well maybe more than a few) slips off the wagon, I am down 6 pounds, or maybe 8 pounds or perhaps 4.5 depending on whether I’m weighing myself on the doctor’s balance beam scale, my daughter’s precision digital scale or the WII fit action board scale . This opens up the obvious question, if the scales of justice are blind why aren’t the scales of fat?

All weight measurement appliances are not created equal, and can vary as much as five pounds. Plus the time of day, and the current temperature in the room can also affect results of the machine. And let’s not even go into the difference between weight based and spring based machines. The point is, some scales weigh you less than others.

With this in mind, I decided to go shopping for the most weight favorable scale on the market.

“You could always just set our bathroom scale lower than 0,” suggested my husband.

I shook my head and smiled. He just didn’t get it. I wasn’t looking to cheat by making 395 (basically -5) my starting point. No I wanted the confidence of knowing that my scale was honest and true… but lighter.

I approached a clerk in a high end department store and asked for their most user friendly scale. “I’m looking for something that will match a sky blue bathroom. I’d like the weight displayed in numbers that are positioned well in front so that I don’t have to pull back my breasts and belly just to see them, and since my eyesight isn’t what it used to be I need print that is large and bright.

“I’d prefer a voice enhanced model that would say something encouraging each time I weighed myself. Perhaps ‘Well beautiful, look who got up this morning. I’m so proud of you.’ And if a little electronic smiley face appeared, well that would be great too.

“I’m searching for a scale with some degree of artificial intelligence, so that on those days when I’m a little down or overly hormonal, the scale can take that into consideration. Then, rather than giving me my weight, it could politely suggest that my day would go better if I pass on the weigh-in and go straight to the chocolate.”

The cashier, a fellow woman with a few pounds to lose herself, was nodding her head understandingly.

“And most importantly,” I continued. “I’m looking for a product that weighs on the light side.”

The saleswoman put a gentle hand on my shoulder, her eyes full of sympathy and compassion. “I know just what you mean. The problem is we don’t have any scales like that, and I’ll tell you why.”

I nodded encouragingly.

“Bathroom scales are designed by men.”

Ahhhh that explained it. How could any man, regardless of how in touch with his feminine side he claimed to be, ever understand the weight measurement needs of a woman. Perhaps some day when girls choose science class in high school over creative dating, a woman will design the scale of our dreams.

In the mean time, I’ve devised my own scientific system for weight-loss accuracy. I now weigh myself in kilograms, and at 104 K I’m feeling pretty darn hot.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Skinny on Wieght-loss

You know what’s funny about going on a diet? The HUGE number of people, out to make a buck, who think that fat people are either naive or desperate enough to buy their outrageous claims. The other day I saw an ad on TV that promised me rapid and easy weight loss, and all I had to do was rub a special cream made of whale eyeballs and spotted owl feathers on my pockets of fat seven times a day….

Where do I sign up?

Another clever weight-loss guru suggested eating cotton balls. Yes, those little puffy white things you use to remove nail polish and mascara. The idea was that with your stomach full of indigestible fiber filaments, there wouldn’t be room for anything else … like say food. It makes me gag even to think about it.

I loved the diet that promised you could sleep your fat away.

Now there’s a lot of scientific evidence that getting a full eight hours of shut-eye a night helps control chemicals and hormones in your body related to over-eating. But this clown suggested something more along the line of hibernation. Cause see – if you’re asleep you can’t eat, just ask a bear.

Perhaps my favorite was the diet that recommended eating anything you want on even days and then fasting on odd days. As if the body didn’t understand the concept of roll-over calories.

Believe it or not, the best diet advice I got came from my son’s basketball coach and he wasn’t even talking to me. The eighth grade team was playing against a team from a neighboring town. This was the third time the two had been matched up, and both times the other team had won. The boys were hungry to even the score and the parents even more so.

Right from the start there was something different in that game. The ball seemed to be charmed and the team jumped ahead quickly. The score for our side soared, and at half time one of the happy fathers pulled the coach aside and asked him what the boys were doing differently this game.

His answer?

“This time we are trying to win not trying not to lose.”

I thought about that a lot, and I realized there is a subtle difference between the effort to win and the effort to avoid losing.

Applying it to my weight loss efforts, I’ve tried to look at this whole experience as a journey toward better health, not an attempt to shed a quarter of my body weight. I’m focusing on the foods I should eat that will give me energy and health and provide the most bang for the least calories.

The second best diet advice I got came from a conference I attended, where the speaker explained that when we stay focused on a goal or an idea, our body naturally works toward that same goal.

So in other words, my body is not the enemy and isn't purposely trying to thwart my dieting attempts by subterfuge and manipulation? Wow, what a relief.

Okay so none of those tips will help me shed seven pounds in seven days, or allow me to “think” the fat away, but maybe they will help me face this experience more honestly. I didn’t get fat in seven days, what makes me think I could get thin in that same amount of time?

Oh dear, I just looked at the clock and it’s time to rub whale eye/spotted owl cream on my pockets of fat again… gotta go.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To Starve or Not to Starve

Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.  ~Author Unknown

 When I was young there were certain foods one would associate with going on a diet. For example, breakfast might consist of a half a grapefruit sprinkled with fake sugar and a side of hard, dry, toasted wheat bread. Lunch could be a scoop of non-fat cottage cheese, some carrot sticks and a couple of melba toast crackers. At dinner a moderate green salad, filled with raw vegetables and drenched in a tablespoon of gelatin filled fat free dressing and half of a boiled chicken breast were expected to hold one over till the next morning. No wonder I grew up to be fat.

The problem is, I enjoy eating. A night out at a good restaurant gives me more pleasure than fitting into a pair of skinny jeans… not that I’ve ever actually fit into skinny jeans but I can imagine how it would feel. I crave things that burst with flavor, creaminess that comes from honest to goodness real cream and sugary sweetness with no strange aspartame after taste.

Still, I’m way overweight. How overweight, you ask… well according to the free online weight program Fitday that I use, if I get too much fatter I will move past the Body Mass Index of obese and fall into the black hole of BMI hell. That is bad! My feet get sore each night after carrying around my bulk all day, and I had to buy a second full length mirror just to make sure that I was wearing the same shoe on both feet.

To make matters worse, losing weight is hard. According to one expert, the number of people who go on diets compared to those who actually lose and then keep off the weight is so low, it is statistically impossible. And if you add on the sluggish metabolism that comes after menopause… not that I’m admitting to any such age related situation myself… well, you might have a better chance just playing the lottery.

Oh sure you can down pills or liquids that make your heart race and trade in sleep for early morning reruns of I Dream of Jeannie, or you can buy yourself a gym membership and live there all day for months, camping out in the parking lot during the four or five hours when they shut down. You can even subsist on cabbage soup and lemon water for 42 days… well I couldn’t but perhaps you can. The problem is that the weight lost with these methods isn’t actually lost as much as it’s hidden behind your couch cushions waiting to spring back onto your hips and thighs the second you stop.

So what’s a girl to do?

I suppose that once again I am called upon to execute the impossible. To find a way to please my palate, shed that unwanted baby fat (the baby just turned twenty), and beat the odds. I must be the next bulbous shinning light, the portly purveyor of truth, the overflowing full figured freedom from fat fighter!

In other words, they might want to start looking for someone else to play Santa Claus next Christmas.

This is the first in a series of humorous looks at the mission to find and release the skinny hostage held against her will within the fat inflated body of her charming but overweight captor.

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