Friday, November 25, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
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
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
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 http://www.thelatterrain.net to order and put Tour in the coupon code. That's all you have to do.
Monday, September 12, 2011
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
“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
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.