Category Archives: weight

Sticker Shock

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Last week, I volunteered to work at the book fair at The Girl’s school. It was fun – helping kids pick out books is awesome (Yay, books) and watching them make their decisions was highly entertaining. I especially loved when little kids picked out longer, chapter books or when a tiny little princess girl surprised me and got books about Star Wars and the Titanic. I love that they provide a free book to every kid, so no one leaves empty-handed.

What I didn’t love was something that was being sold. Up near the checkout, there is always a desk with pencils, erasers, sticker & bookmarks that the kids love, because there isn’t one of them who wants to come home with change – they NEED to spend it all. And in the collection of stickers, there was this:

Dear Scholastic Books – usually I love you, but this? Really? REALLY? Don’t you think our girls have enough to worry about? I mean, I get that it isn’t talking about anyone’s body, but anyone who has lived on earth in the last…I don’t know…forever, knows this is a mainly used in the context of women and their weight. And while one can argue that nothing about this sticker is making a statement about anyone’s weight, at the very least, it makes a mockery about people who are (needlessly or not) worried about their weight or struggle with poor body image. It’s like getting it from both sides: “Don’t be fat!” but “Don’t let anyone think you care about being fat.”

I guess you could argue that making fun of fat worries is a positive thing, but I don’t agree. For one thing, body-image is not always a rational thing – there are 24 million people suffering from eating disorders who can attest to that (20% of anorexics will die from their disease). And when someone feels bad about themselves, making fun of them is very much NOT helpful. And then, some people do have to worry about their weight – not because society tells them it’s prettier to be thin, but for health reasons. Making fun of them is very much not helpful.

Scholastic’s corporate mission reads:

The corporate mission of Scholastic is to encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy, the cornerstone of all learning. With more than 90 years of experience supporting the learning lives of children, today Scholastic remains committed to providing quality, engaging educational content in digital and print formats for the next generation of learners, and the families and educators who guide them.

I’m not sure how this sticker fits in with “encourag(ing) intellectual and personal growth”. It might seem like a cute, funny statement to the folks that came up with it, and who knows – maybe I’m over-reacting – but I’d venture to say that the humor is most likely lost on 5 – 10 year olds, anyway. But maybe not the damage that insecurity and body-shaming can do. Having a sticker like this in school makes it OK – makes it normal to joke about weight issues. And I’m just not comfortable with that. Raising my daughter to be a strong, confident person is hard enough without something like this.

And even if there is nothing at all wrong with this sticker – even if you don’t find it inappropriate or insulting, why not have positive messages available to kids? Sell stickers that proclaim how smart or strong or kind my daughter is – not how fat she (or her notebook) might look.
You can do better, Scholastic. See – it’s not that hard:

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Britain’s Got Wankers

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REMINDER: My March of Dimes Giveaway/Raffle for Maddie is still going on! Join in!

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The internet has been all abuzz with Susan Boyle. If you are the one person left who is saying, “Who the fuck is Susan Boyle?” – she is a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent. She is a dowdy 47 year old woman who, in a pre-performance interview, admits that she has never been on a date, never been kissed.

She comes out on stage to perform and talks to the judges, telling them she always wanted to be a professional singer. While the judges roll their eyes and look disgusted, the entire audience laughs at her.

The she starts to sing and she is incredible. She blows everyone away. Within a couple notes, the judges’ faces completely change – the audience is screaming and on their feet. The hosts are asking, “You didn’t expect that, did you?” It’s all framed as a “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” story and it’s touching and sweet and warm and fuzzy.

NOT.

After I saw the video, I just wanted to say, “Are you fucking kidding me??

Everyone in that video, other than Susan, came off as a COMPLETE FUCKING WANKER!! I’m not touched or moved by that. I’m disgusted. I’m disgusted and embarrassed that we – as a society – are so caught up in how people look that we associate appearance with everything – intelligence, success, character, and now talent.

I get that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Hell – I just wrote an entire post about that. But I will admit, I can see how it happens sometimes. Not that it’s right, but it’s understandable. For instance – when someone is dressed shabbily, you might make assumptions about his wealth or success. This is the very thing I wrote about in my “Need” post (only backwards). It’s wrong, but I can see how one thing might logically point to another.

But when we start judging peoples character and personality and morality and intelligence based on their physical appearance, we’re getting into dangerous territory. And worse than judging is actually acting on it – in this case – laughing and mocking her. It hurts. I’ve been there. I am overweight now, but I grew up thin. I gained weight in my twenties and then lost it all again. Then gained. Then lost. You get the picture. And I can tell you in all honesty, that people treat you differently when you are more attractive (in my case – thinner). People are friendlier. Salespeople are more helpful. When I was thin – they couldn’t wait to help me. With extra weight? They barely look my way, and they are sometimes downright disdainful. When you are thin, you can eat and entire 12 course meal with no hands and no one cares. Try eating a funnel cake when you are fat and see the looks you get. When you are what society has decided is unattractive, people assume you are stupid and lazy and boring and – most of all – unworthy. Unworthy of kindness, or friendship, of courtesy, of respect.

But hair color and tattoos and clothing style and skin color and weight and boob size have nothing to do with who that person is inside, and most people would agree it was wrong to assume differently (even if their actions speak otherwise). So why, then, is this video different? Why should I be “moved” because a bunch of assholes were impressed by someone’s talent?

Why on Earth should I be surprised by her performance? Why would the hosts assume that “I wasn’t expecting that?” I wasn’t aware that talent and physical beauty/youth/big boobs/whatever were somehow related. And regardless of how surprised everyone was, regardless of how they cheered and applauded and complimented her after she sang? What matters is what happened before she sang, when she was treated like a joke – something to be mocked and not taken seriously.

And now she’s being lauded and paraded all over the internet and TV and newspapers and magazines while everyone involved pats themselves on the back for the “inspiration” of it all. But meanwhile, this treatment is no better than the boos and jeers that she got before she ever opened her mouth – it’s focusing not on her talent, but on her appearance. It’s like an old-time freakshow – “Look – the beast can sing! Put down your pitchforks – the monster is worthy!” So what does that say? That it’s OK to mock and ridicule the ugly or fat or tall or short or black or white or bald or disabled person, as long as they don’t have a special talent?

I hope Susan Boyle milks this for all it’s worth. I hope something good comes out of this for her. And then I hope she tells the whole world to fuck the hell off.

Here is the video, in case you’ve missed it (it can’t be embedded)

16 Days of Glory Exhaustion

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I am an Olympic addict. Other than football & hockey, I don’t do a lot of sports watching on TV -even the sports I like. And most of the Olympic sports wouldn’t hold my interest at all during the other 1,445 days. But during these 16? I’m like a crackhead. Every night, I end up staying up too late because I can’t stop watching. And the next morning, I am scouring the TV and internet for more, before dragging my tired ass to work. It’s out of control, this exhausting myself over shit I don’t even care about.

There are very few sports I don’t get excited about during the Olympics. These are usually the (what I consider to be) non-sports And sometimes basketball, because I’m sorry – I just can’t feel the Olympic spirit for a bunch of millionaires. I know it’s hard to distinguish between professional and amateur athletes nowadays – especially given how different countries treat and support their athletes – but with basketball, it really bugs me. I have a tendency to root for the underdog when USA is playing. I guess I should have more USA spirit, but meh. They can go home and cry in their great big piles of money.

I’m a little disappointed that there are no pornstaches on the Romanian men’s gymnastic team this year like there were in Athens, because that shit was funny.

Also disappointing? Lack of good diver package shots. But since I care about you all and I know you would appreciate one, I will dig an old one out to share:

And on to the non-sports. Don’t let me say right off the bat that I am not talking about the actual athletes here – they ARE athletes and most of them could probably kick my ass. But the “sports”? Not so much.

Rhythmic gymnastics – I’m looking at you. Sorry, but I just don’t get it. I used to be a gymnast and I have a hard time comparing a full twisting double back flip with dancing with a ribbon. Besides, I can’t help but to picture Will Ferrell in Old School. I’ll admit, the way they balance that ball with their body is cool but it’s more Cirque de Soliel that Olympic Sport.

Synchronized swimming is another. I don’t care for it, and I picture Martin Short in a life jacket and nose plugs (“Hey! I know you! I know you!”). Seriously – if you have not seen the SNL skit with him, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer, you are seriously missing out. Go watch. Seriously, Go

I have warmed up to synchronized diving, so I’m taking it off my non-sport list, but it better watch it’s step or it’s going rght back on. Because it’s cool – I mean – it’s hard enough to dive alone, much less in tune with a partner. But it’s still a little Bob Fosse.

Trampoline. Fun. Not a sport. It’s a tool that is used by people training in other sports. Divers and gymnasts use trampolines. I’ll admit – the tricks they do are pretty cool and are definitely hard, but still.

Badminton? Well, it’s a backyard game to me, but I get to say shuttlecock a lot. Also – rowing IS on my list of sports, but I had to mention it because, “coxswain”!

Ping pong. Seriously? You can call it table tennis all you want but it’s still ping pong. It’s in my basement. And if it’s in my basement, it can’t be an Olympic sport.

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Moving on…

I was at my sister-in-law’s house last week and as I was driving out of the neighborhood, I saw a hawk flapping around near some bushes. I thought it was hunting something so I turned around to get some photos. It turned out that the poor thing was injured – he appeared to have a broken wing. In lieu of the girl’s suggestion that we call the Wonder Pets, I got one of the neighbors to get the number for the fish and game commission, so we could call for a raptor rescue. But I took a few shots while we waited:

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In other news, I ate pizza (with mushrooms and hot peppers. . .mmm) for breakfast. Florine Marks is probably rolling over in her grave. You know, if she were dead. She’s not dead is she? I don’t think she is. I’m going to have to go look it up. And I tell you, if I find out that all this time I have been watching and counting and drinking eleventy gallons of water a day and she died all huge and floppy and needed one of those giant caskets, all bets are off, dead, fat Florine!

Bleh

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Bleh – that about sums up how I’m feeling. Bleh blah blech.

I was home sick for the past few days which always gets me down – more for the use of precious vacation days than the actual sickness. Then, this morning, I watched as my paycheck was direct-deposited, then immediately shuttled out to every bill imaginable, leaving me with nary a cent. I have a reimbursement check coming which was supposed to be deposited on Monday, but a mistake was made (they say mine, I say theirs) and the damned thing got mailed instead of deposited. So now I’m fucked until the check comes, gets deposited, and clears. So bleh.

Also pissing me off today:

The asshole with the following assortment of delightful stickers on his asshole-mobile: “Give war a chance”, “You want my guns? Come get em”, “Peace brought to you through superior firepower”, “F the UN”, and my own personal favorite: “Kill ’em all – Let God sort it out”

My neighbors. I am surrounded by assholes. We have the stuck-up assholes on one side you literally don’t speak to us. They walk around doing yard work and manage to always have their backs turned to us, so they don’t have to acknowledge our existence. And they have been known to completely ignore a sweet toddler saying hi. Also – they once told us we were not allowed to be friends with their dog.

Then we have the dickheads on the other side who let their dickhead dog run free and shit all over our yard and tear up our garbage like a dickhead. And she steals things off our porch and then they act all put out when our stuff ends up in their yard and they have to bring it back. once, they found a doll that they assumed was oours (it wasn’t) and she brought it up and stuck it head first in a bucket of water that was on our proch. If that had been my baby’s doll, I would have cut a bitch. They suck. He’s a dick and she’s a closet drunk. And one day when they cut through my yard to talk to the assholes, I’m going to shoot them. OK, not really. But I might throw rocks. Or poo. Their dog leaves enough of it. The first thing I will do when I win the powerball is get a big-ass fence around my entire property all the way down into the woods so drunky can’t walk through my yard.

Then there are the people across the street. They are actually nice people – the only ones out of all my neighbors that were kind me when mr b was in the hospital/nursing home/wheelchair. However, they currently have a dog that would love to kill and eat you. And it gets loose all the time. It’s obviously tied up, because it will be running around with a collar and rope still attached. But clearly, whoever is doing the tying is either a) a double hand-amputee, b) Johnny Tremain, c) retarded, or d) subconsciously trying to rid themselves of the beast (understandable). My last encounter with Lord Voldemort involved him chasing me around my tree while I distracted him from my terrified children, protecting myself with the only thing nearby – a garbage can lid – and screaming like a banshee. In the past, I have also warded him off with Mr. Clean, bleach, and a 10-foot tree trimmer. Normally, I’d be stirring up all kinds of shit. But folks? These are the good neighbors.

The Standoff – see, mr b and I are having a standoff in our house right now. Four weeks and four days ago, he made chili to take into the office for the weekly staff meeting (they take turns). Why do I know exactly how long it has been., you ask? That would be because the chili that overflowed onto my nice stove is still on my nice stove. I asked him to clean it up and he said he would. And I didn’t push it because I know it’s a pain (I did the same thing the week before). But then a few days went by. And then a week. I mentioned it to him again. He’ll do it. Another week. Pleaded. He’ll do it. After three weeks, I told him that under no circumstances was I ever going to be cleaning that chili off the stove. Ever!

At this point, his defense was along the lines of “I’m doing the best I can” (no – he’s not – at least when it comes to that chili) and “You know, I have so much work to do in this house” (yes – he does. There’s trim and painting and beams and staining and a million other things. But none of them have even the slightest thing to do with the fact that hot chili all over the stove and didn’t clean it. For three weeks). So now, here we are at almost five weeks and still my stove looks like a frat house stove. I have cleaned the kitchen many times in the interim, scouring everything but the stovetop. I refuse.

Does anyone remember the Everybody Loves Raymond episode with the suitcase*? Please tell me you do. Because this is my life right now. Except not funny. Part of me would love to just clean it and be done, already. But I can not. I am not the maid and I refuse to behave like I am. If he doesn’t care about it, then I will pretend like I don’t either. Like my kids, he has become accustomed to me giving in and doing it myself and I have news, kids – those days are over. And he sure as hell needs to realize that saying you will do something does not count as actually doing it.

*Oh – and speaking of suitcases, we have three in our bedroom that are taking up space, but haven’t been unpacked (his stuff). They’ve been there for months. And he keeps saying “We need to put those suitcases away.” Riiiiight. . .we. I’m getting the cheese.

I could go on and on about the pissed-off-ed-ness, but I realized that I haven’t shared my one tiny bit of good news: I am down 18 pounds! Woo-hoo. Only 53.4 more to go! Woo. . . . bleh.

Woooooo! And also – Ewwww

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Now, I know it’s my first week and I always do well on my first week, so I should take it with a grain of salt, but still. . .6.8 pounds, baby!!!!!! Wooooo! Go, Me! The only problem is I want some pie to celebrate. . .

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Also in Wooooo! news:

I have officially changed the dog’s name from “Rocky” to “Barko Ruutu”

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And finally, a scene from my house:

What is THAT?

Is that a. . .????

Oh my God, it is.

No. it can’t be.

Oh. My. God. It IS!!!!

I’m gonna kill that cat when I catch him.

Stupid cat!

Asshole.

I can not believe that he actually…

Oh, wait.

It’s just Toto.

Now repeat this, oh, thirty-seven thousand times a week and you have my life. And if the girl didn’t love The Wizard of Oz as much as she does, Toto would be a goner.

PS. Please ignore the disgusting carpet. It is very old and being replaced with something lovely and non-disgusting.

Not a Moment Too Soon

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Well, I went to Weight Watchers tonight and let me tell you – it was not a single minute too soon!! Because, damn, I’m a disgrace. Not only have I gained back all the weight I lost, I gained an extra six and a half. Because I’m an overachiever, you know. But I went, so it’s a start. Not a great start, mind you, but a start nonetheless.

As always, I stayed fore the meeting, even though I hate it. Not since my very first group back in 1995 have I ever really benefited from the “support” of the meetings. That group and leader were awesome. Since then, the meetings have been sometimes interesting, but mostly irritating. The main thing that I get from Weight Watchers is getting my fat ass on a scale that someone else is looking at. But even though I really don’t get the “support” part of the meeting, somehow they help me. Maybe it’s like giving myself a time out: “young lady, until you lose this weight, you are going to sit through a session of fatasses anonymous every single week!” Or maybe having 30 whole minutes of doing something that doesn’t involve picking someone up, dropping someone off, cleaning, working, or wiping someone’s ass just helps me recharge a little. Or maybe I’m just waiting for the day that the know-it-all gets in a kung-fu fight with the loud talker so I can snap some photos and share them with you.

Anyway, as predicted, the meeting was full of mental rejects and jackholes. The leader is less than charismatic; devoid of any personality whatsoever. There are the women that talk during the entire meeting (not that I am really paying all that much attention anyway but it’s rude). There is the woman who is making excuses, which is annoying because we are at weight watchers for Christ’s sake – we’re fat – we have heard – and implemented – every single excuse you could come up with. I really don’t care one way or another if you lose weight. I care if I lose weight, so whether you are “pulled in so many directions” is of absolutely no consequence to me. And also? Spare me. You’re young, unmarried, working part-time and without kids. Let some of us old, tired, married mothers with full-time jobs and 2 hours of commuting talk to you about “being pulled.”

And there is always at least one “educator.” You often see educators at sporting event, where they talk loudly about their superior knowledge of the game, in order to share the wealth of their great and deep encyclopedic (and often incorrect) mind. But an educator at weight watchers is far more painful. Because at a sporting event, you can get away with saying, “shut the fuck up, douchebag.” But at Weight Watchers? Not so much. So you have to listen to them drone on and on about everything there is to know about weight loss and exercise, ever, while only dreaming about kicking their ass. And as a bonus, many times more than one educator are BFFs and come together and they love to casually mention their BFF escapades so that everyone knows that they are BFFs (in addition to being brilliant). Like we give a rat’s ass!

Then, there is the woman who Will. Not. Shut. Up. And this is coming from one of the all-time greatest talking talkers, so believe me – she is long fucking winded. And stupid. It’s a super combo that leads to fascinating conversation. Except for the “super” part. And the “fascinating” part. And the “conversation” part, since she’s just flapping and yapping about honey mustard and some fucking cake and how she only ate two pieces (????) and honey mustard and daddy and honey mustard and honey mustard and honey mustard! And it’s kind of the opposite of “conversation.” And she seems like she might just be a few card short of a deck, and you know people who are a few cards short of a deck don’t give a shit about social norms and self-awareness and don’t even fucking notice the eye-rolling and death stares being thrown their way and the just keep on talking about the god-forsaken honey mustard, and the house plant of a leader is no match for this mental giant and Oh My God, why couldn’t I just keep the damned weight off and save myself from this horror?????

Good times.

Oh – and I almost forgot the best part. I walked in and was quite happy to see a rather short line at the scales. But then I saw something that made my blood run cold. A man. There was a man working the scales! I’d rather have a man examine my cervix than weigh my fat ass in a weight watchers. And yes, I know that everyone who works there is a member, so they’ll know what it is like. Whatever. But let me tell you this – they should never let a man work the WW scales unless it’s an all-male meting. Because men are clueless? And they do not know how to act. Case in point – in the past, hen I have lapsed and gone back to weight watchers (sadly, yes, it has been more than once), the women at the scales are extremely reassuring. They see the terror in your eyes and they cheer you on and let you know that getting there is the fist step and that you shod be proud for taking that step. A man? Acts like you have informed him you will be dining on his testicle when you explain to him that you are back after a long absence. And when you try to break the tension by joking, “I’m up a few pounds since last time” (hahaha), a man will raise his eyebrows and say, (I fucking shit you not) “You have a lot of work ahead of you.” Weight Watchers apparently fails to realize that:

Man working scales + Cranky fat bitch = someone is getting punched in the face.

If you run into Florene Marks, let her know for me, mkay?

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After that barrel of monkeys, I was almost killed in a fiery death crash by a phenomenon known as “Two Assholes Having An Asshole Contest”

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But then I came home and was cheered up by a funny comment (and let’s be honest here, any comment cheers me up, given the dearth of them that I usually face, so one that makes me laugh? Gravy).

And then I got cheerier when I checked the mail and found a letter informing me that my little photographer has won an award at the regional level.

And then the little photographer came home from his karate testing night and informed me that I was looking at a newly crowned blue belt. Yay for the boy!

"Oh, Gyoza, I Think I’ll Miss YOU Most of All"

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I have finally gotten disgusted enough with myself that I decided to go back to Weight Watchers. It has worked for me in the past and I know it will work again. Losing it has never been the biggest problem – it’s maintaining that gets me every time. I know – lifestyle changes – what the fuck ever. It’s a diet. And it’s all psychological for me. Last time, I lost 35 pounds and then hit a plateau. For months I couldn’t lose any more. But I was happy, since I was still 35 pounds less than when I started. Then I took two trips in a row and gained seven pounds. And that seven pounds got inside my head and killed me. So here I am right back where I started (or even worse off, probably) and I could kick myself for being such an asshole. I can deal with being a little overweight and still looking attractive. But I have once again reached that point where not only my body disgusts me, but my face does, too. I have gone from being a “such a pretty face” girl (you know – she has such a pretty face for a fat girl), to being an old, haggard, puffy, scaly, droopy, pig-faced beast. So weight watchers it is.

I’m going tonight and hoping that it’s a small, empty meeting. That’s one of the things that got me last time – the meeting I went to (the only one I could make) started getting so crowded. And it was full of know-it-alls and loud talkers and morons and snobs and fucking idiots. So not heading back after my seven pound gain was pretty easy. Of course, ever since I decided lat last week that I would join the Wednesday meeting, I have made the very wise and mature decision to eat like a fucking asshole. I have been shoving everything not nailed down into my piehole for days now. Bagels? Check. Easter chocolate? Check. Gyros and chips and wings and chitos and gyoza? Check, check, check, check, check. Way to stretch out the stomach just in time to start a new diet. But I refuse to head into my forties looking like Jabba the Hut. Wish me luck.

Oh, gyoza, I think I’ll miss YOU most of all.