Category Archives for "Health"
About a year and a half ago, I wrote this post where I lamented my cholesterol levels and my aversion to setting limits and my inability to manage goal weight because I am genetically incapable of moderation. I could lose weight with no problem but maintaining it was an entirely different story, a story brimming with failure, loathing and cheesecake, culminating in a size 16.
After I wrote that post, I decided to embrace the chub because, well, why the hell not? I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I don’t even drink anything stronger than water. No coffee, no pop, no iced tea. I don’t text while driving, I don’t watch porn, I don’t have my nails done, I don’t sleep around, I don’t buy lottery tickets, I don’t collect anything other than dust and I’m not into shopping sprees unless it rains down $100 bills and when was the last time that happened? I mean, other than in Nate’s mind before he hops online with a credit card? Except for Real Housewives, food is the only vice I enjoy! If I’m going to die, I’d rather do it fat and happy than thin and miserable, right? So I continued to lumber toward the plus size department, popping my Simvastatin and following it down with a pasta carbonara chaser.
And then two things happened.
First, we took a trip to New York City where this occurred:
For the moment, let’s ignore the Empire State Building sprouting from my head, shall we? And the haircut that looks like I went ten rounds with a rabid weed whacker and lost. And the fact that Nate looks like PeeWee Herman’s uncle.
Let’s concentrate on the fact that while I am quite a bit shorter than Nate, I am at least twice his girth. If this photo were a map, I’d be the Atlantic Ocean.
Second, we went for ice cream at the canal, where this occurred:
I spy a watermelon with arms. And cleavage.
When I saw these photos, I simply could not believe I was looking at me. Me. Where the hell had I gone? I mean, besides up to the dessert bar far too many times? When I asked Nate how he could have let me get to that point, he had nothing to say for himself other than “I love you, no matter what the scale says,” to which I responded EVEN WHEN IT SAYS OH MY GOD, GET THE HELL OFF ME, YOU’RE GIVING ME A HERNIA? WHAT THE HELL KIND OF HUSBAND AND SMALL APPLIANCE OWNER ARE YOU?
And so in August, 2009, I experienced a whopping case of déjà vu and commenced my second journey with Weight Watchers and last week, this occurred:
The first time around with Weight Watchers was seven years ago and then, it took me less than five months to not only lose forty pounds but to maintain it for six weeks and become a lifetime member. This time around? Not so much. It took me ten months to simply lose those same forty pounds thus proving my theory that losing weight after forty is not so much a bitch as it is a raging, hormonal, vitriolic, scum infested, fetid, shit spewing, soul sucking, castrating hag.
Over the course of ten long months, I lost forty pounds, three chins, two spare tires and went from a size 16 to a size 8 and sometimes, on those few days a month when neither Mother Nature nor I are on the rag, a size 6.
I feel … well, lighter! Not as sluggish. I hollered HOLY SHIT, WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN? I MISSED YOU GUYS to my neck and ankles when I first spotted them and now we’re inseparable. I don’t wheeze when I go upstairs or put on pants. I can give myself a pedicure without passing out. And I can now see my legs when I’m shaving in the shower which results in a lot less sightings of Chewbacca around these here parts.
A few observations about this journey:
I’ll write another post detailing the foods and snacks I ate and some other tips that I learned along the way, in case any of you are interested. For now, I’m enjoying looking down and actually seeing my feet without resorting to using magic mirrors. Seeing as how I’m on maintenance and it was maintenance that drop kicked my ass all over the kitchen last time around, I’m not going to raise my fist on this blog and proclaim anything ridiculous like As God is my witness, I’ll never be fat again. Not only because I don’t want to set myself up for public failure but also because it’s really hard to type with one hand. Besides, honestly? There’s no fun in going all Scarlett O’Hara when Nate continues his refusal to dress up as Rhett Butler. I mean, really. What’s the point?
At Helena’s last dental appointment, her dentist observed that as Helena was almost ten years old, she would soon begin losing another round of baby teeth in the coming months, specifically those baby teeth located immediately next to her barely used adult teeth. After a minute during which my skin crawled up one side of me and down the other, I nodded silently and mentally prepared myself for the waves of horror, gagging, hysterical sobbing, emotional turmoil and all around psychological trauma that usually accompanies the shedding of deciduous teeth in our house. Then there was Helena’s reaction to think about as well.
Turns out, my kids are totally OK with having body parts fall out of their orifices and pretty much rank the whole process of losing baby teeth right up there with Christmas and snow days. In fact, they’re not above buying Chiclets and hot gluing them onto their gums in order to prolong the entire disgusting cycle.
I don’t do teeth. I mean, I don’t mind my own and I don’t mind looking at other people’s teeth if they’re shiny and white and permanently affixed in a smile that is at least two feet outside of my personal space but loose teeth? Or teeth that are wobbly? Imminently rootless? Have we met? I don’t feel an affinity for anything that falls out or is yanked out or is spewed out of my kids’ mouths unless it sounds like I love you or YAY! It’s my turn to do the laundry! But stuff like spit, vomit, excuses, teeth, and the words “boogar,” “fart” and “Oh yeah! I forgot! I need to make a pioneer costume and bring in 12 pounds of churned butter by tomorrow morning for school,” are enough to make me gnash my own teeth right down into my liver.
By the way … did you know that puppies lose their teeth? Why did no one tell me this before we brought Oliver home? THIS IS WHEN YOU FIND OUT WHO YOUR TRUE FRIENDS ARE.
I couldn’t remember the details of this second phase of baby teeth shedding from my eldest daughter Zoe, having successfully blocked out the entire episode with loads of therapy and Xanax so with Helena, I had no choice but to assume her second set of deciduous teeth would be much like her first. I mean, we all know the drill, right? First comes an excited hollering of MY TOOTH IS LOOSE, MOMMY! LOOKIT LOOKIT LOOKIT accompanied by a tiny little movement barely noticeable to the naked eye. Then comes a slightly bigger movement that could actually constitute the beginnings of a wiggle. Then comes a full fledged wiggle, followed by a bigger one and then an even bigger one until one day, the tooth is suspended outside the child’s mouth by a thin, bloody, sinewy, stubborn membrane which is then poked and prodded 24/7 by an overeager tongue attached to a six year old who has already spent the tooth fairy money six ways to Sunday in her head.
The entire process takes about three to four weeks until one day the six year old comes running off the bus yelling I LOST MY TOOTH, MOMMY! LOOKIT, LOOKIT, LOOKIT and flinging her backpack onto the kitchen table whereupon she proceeds to yank everything out of it, including a cheese stick from three weeks ago. She continues to desperately search for the tooth which, as best you can understand from the hysterically happy shrieks now bouncing off the ceiling, is secured inside a bright yellow, plastic, mini treasure chest, courtesy of the school nurse. And no sooner do you get this piece of information when you see a flash of bright yellow whiz past your face as the mini plastic treasure chest flies through the air, plummets to the ground and breaks open at which point, you can do nothing more than stand there in frozen horror as the tooth in question rolls out, grows fangs, cackles and then scampers across the floor to plant a big, wet, juicy, french kiss on your big, bare toe.
I’m a little fuzzy on what happens next but I’m pretty sure it consists of lots of yelling and screaming and crying and scrubbing of feet with bleach before you eventually pass out from the grossness of it all and ultimately winds up with your six year old standing over you with concern written all over her face, over which she has scribbled MOM! ARE YOU FINISHED? I’M NOT ALLOWED TO GET COOKIES ALL BY MYSELF, YOU KNOW.
But I’m here to tell you that the second phase of deciduous teeth is nothing like the first phase so be forewarned. First of all, that adorable six year old who labored for an hour over a colored picture to hang in her bedroom window to help the tooth fairy find her bedroom in the dark of night? She has turned into a 9¾ year old who uses the tooth fairy’s OCD tendencies to her advantage when negotiating the fair market value of her tooth, based on three sound principles: (1) time is money; (2) every minute the tooth fairy does not have to spend in a hazmat suit while using salad tongs to retrieve a tiny piece of dead enamel from under a pillow increases the value of that dead enamel exponentially; and (3) a tooth that can be thrown down the garbage disposal before witnesses is worth far more money than one that simply vanishes into thin air one day, only to magically reappear one week later in the most unlikely of places like, say, atop the tooth fairy’s cream cheese bagel, coincidentally on the same day that the 9¾ year old was grounded earlier for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which was practicing psychological warfare without a license.
Second of all … the teeth themselves are a whole different animal. These teeth can do in thirty seconds what it takes the first set of baby teeth three weeks to accomplish. Like this past weekend when Helena walked by me and said in passing Hey mom, I think I have a loose tooth and I managed to keep my skin from crawling out the door while responding Are you sure? Which one? and she stopped dead in her tracks, slapped her hand to her mouth, turned to me with blood gushing down her chin and replied DA ON AT JUS ‘ELL OUT O’ NY NOUTH and sure enough, there in her hand lay the bloody remains of a tooth that had indeed bit the dust at warp speed.
And then there was last night when Helena sat down next to me with 23 teeth in her mouth, got up to get ice cream and sat back down with 22 teeth and a gaping bloody crater in her mouth.
I’m not sure what’s going on but we’ve got cream carpets here so I re-purposed Helena’s Easter basket by making her walk around with it hanging from her nose at optimal level, just in case.
Yesterday, I flew off my treadmill for the last and final time and as I was sitting there on the cement floor looking about wildly for my both my knee caps, left elbow and all my wits, I pondered why my treadmill likes to occasionally fling me through the air like a warped frisbee:
Hypothesis: I have lost so much weight that the treadmill cannot distinguish between me and air and shuts down automatically.
Conclusion: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. I kill me.
Hypothesis: The GFCI breaker is tripped.
Conclusion: The culprit about 25% of the time. Nate has replaced the GFCI breaker but it still trips occasionally, causing the treadmill to stop dead in its tracks and hurl me across the room and before I know it, I’m french kissing the cement floor and/or wall, depending entirely on the degree to which I was doubled over with muscle cramps while jogging at the time. I don’t even know what a GFCI breaker is, but I’m thinking whatever it is, it probably suffers from an inner ear infection that throws off its balance. Nate tells me to reign in the crazy, that the GFCI breaker has no human attributes and that it’s probably just a wiring issue. I like my explanation better because it means the damn thing has ears so it totally hears me when I holler YOU MISERABLE STUPID ASS PIECE OF CORRODED SHIT from way across the room where I lay prostrate after having been tossed like a hacky sack by the treadmill, thanks to a certain miserable stupid ass piece of corroded shit.
Hypothesis: The treads of my ancient sneakers, once rough and deeply creviced, have gone all Benjamin Button on me and are now smoother than a baby’s bottom.
Conclusion: Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding! Winner winner, chicken dinner!
Let me introduce to you my sneakers.
They look about ten years older than they really are which, come to think of it, is the hallmark of everything I own, including my entire wardrobe, upstairs carpet, hair and that general area between my neck and my knees.
You know, I could just spread some bacon grease on the bottom of my sneakers before mounting the treadmill and be done with it. It would serve the same purpose but at least then, I could have a little snack in between my heart attacks and charley horses, especially while lying prone on the ground with nothing better to do than grow compound fractures all over my body.
I can’t believe I actually said “mounting the treadmill.”
I should write sport porn!
Or porn for sport!
I’m not sure what happened here but I feel compelled to actually type the words I DID NOT GNAW ON MY SNEAKERS SO SHUT UP out loud lest you think my compulsive eating habits include rubber, plastic and foam.
Because they don’t.
But only because I don’t have enough Weight Watchers points for those kind of delicacies.
Although they’re probably loaded with fiber.
Food for thought!
So yesterday was the last straw and I decided then and there while bleeding out on the cement floor of my basement that there was no point in me losing weight and getting healthy and abstaining from scarfing down a dozen donuts at one sitting if all it got me was winding up dead as a size 8 from a particularly nasty case of blunt force trauma.
So off to Dick’s Sporting Good’s I went and came home one hour later with these:
ASICS. My first pair of honest to God, real, live running shoes.
I kind of feel a bit athletic! Well, at least my feet do.
Like athlete’s feet!
As long as that’s not the plural of athlete’s foot because I most definitely do not have that. I am allergic to fungi of all kinds.
Except mushrooms. Love me some ‘shrooms!
The edible kind. Not the other kind.
I fully expected to pay well over $100 for a pair of good running shoes and I was pretty proud of myself for being able to walk into Dick’s Sporting Goods of my own volition knowing that fact, without having to hold an actual gun to my own head. Because money and me? We’re tight. So tight that you usually have to use a crowbar to wrench it free from my cold, dead hands, even while I’m alive. We don’t part ways easily or frequently, money and me, which pretty much explains the existence of my entire wardrobe, several pieces of which probably experienced the eighties much harder than you ever did.
But these ASICS were last year’s model and on sale and I picked them up for $60 and I did the happy dance all the way home but not in my brand new sneakers because I didn’t want to get them dirty.
I did, however, wear them last night on the treadmill and I was not flung, tossed, thrown, heaved or hurled anywhere. I’d like to attribute that to my new shoes and not to the fact that the GFCI breaker apparently gulped down some amoxicillin and held its miserable stupid ass piece of corroded shit equilibrium in check.
So far, these shoes are totally worth $60. Now, if they can manage to beat my shin splints into submission, they’d be worth $100 and then some. No crowbar necessary.
Exercising to lose weight is like someone strapping a two ton smelly gorilla onto your back and six inch stilettos onto your feet, right before using a cattle prod to force you to climb a fifty story rock wall during a monster hail storm while singing Don’t Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?
Losing those last ten pounds feels exactly the same way except someone greased the goddamn wall with Crisco when you weren’t looking.
I’m about seven pounds away from my goal weight and in an effort to shed those seven miserable leeching little shits, I’ve ramped it up on the treadmill and now do a straight thirty minutes at a 6.5° incline, ten of which are spent walking briskly and the remaining twenty spent cramping, crying, cursing and conjuring up hideously gruesome ways to decapitate an expensive piece of exercise equipment in its sleep, all while drowning in gallons of boob sweat. This twenty minute ride into the depths of Hell is known as jogging.
My body wasn’t meant to jog on a treadmill. It wasn’t meant to jog on anything, period. I know this because if God had meant for me to move faster than a sloth, He would have birthed me with actual, real live legs instead of short, stubby wannabes perched atop ridiculously weak ankles attached to feet with arches so low, they’re half way to China as I type. Let’s not even mention the triple D’s that tower mere inches above the entire mess. There’s not a bra alive that’s got the cajones to tackle this particular job.
He also would have given me a little better coordination so that I could keeping jogging and not strangle myself with my own earphones while attempting to change the song on my iPod because as much as I adore Van Morrison, and I really do, I simply cannot psyche myself up to WORK THROUGH THE PAIN! PAIN IS BUT A MOLE ON THE ASS OF HEALTHY while listening to Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.
I just started watching The Biggest Loser this season and I’ve decided that I need Jillian or Bob or someone absurdly good looking with zero body fat and great hair to help me exercise. Someone to ignore the tears streaming out of my eyes and the vomit streaming out of my mouth, someone to scream IF THAT’S JUNK IN YOUR TRUNK, THEN YOU ARE A BUICK in my face to motivate me and that someone had better be someone other than Nate and not just because he hides his body fat under a layer of denial or his hair is receding whether he admits it or not, but because if Nate ever screamed anything in my face, he’d better do so while wearing a cup and having a few extra testicles waiting on standby. Unless whatever he screamed sounded exactly like YOU ARE SO TOTALLY HOT AND I’M BUYING YOU A NIKON D90 TODAY.
I get that the main premise of The Biggest Loser is to help obese contestants lose weight. Well, that and to make gobs of money and push Jillian Michaels onto the general public to the extent that she is now the Rachael Ray of fitness, except that Jillian wouldn’t be caught dead saying Let’s make it really YUM-O by adding a little bit of MYFA which is short for MOVE YOUR F*CKING ASS. But I don’t get the whole mentality behind the elimination aspect.
The contestants who lose the least amount of weight each week are up for elimination yet, aren’t they the very ones who need the show’s help the most simply because they didn’t lose the most weight? And apparently, it’s OK to slack off on a week you have immunity so that you can save up your weight loss for the following week because that’s just “playing the game” so long as you cop to it when you’re standing on the scale as Bob and Jillian are staring at you, horrified, as if you’ve just shoved an entire pizza down your throat with a puppy attached to it without screaming MOTHER MAY I first.
But you better not play the game two weeks in a row because then you’ll be accused of *gasp* playing the game instead of trying to lose weight.
But isn’t the whole point of being on the show to win the game?
And you win the game by losing the most amount of weight.
But you can’t actually win the game unless you play the game strategically.
And if you play the game strategically, there will be some weeks when you won’t lose as much weight.
Blink. Blink. Stare.
Ethical dilemmas aside, I love the show, even though it makes my head hurt. When I watch it, I think I can do that! If she can do it, I can do it! Holy shit, do I look like that in a tank top?
Above all else, what I really want to know is … where the hell is all that skin going?
This past spring, summer and early fall, I was briskly walking an average of two miles a day around my neighborhood, in a desperate attempt to get healthy and lose weight to compensate for the four decades prior during which I made no such effort other than simply willing the weight to disappear off my frame. The exception to this was a brief stint six years ago when I became obsessed and lost forty pounds and my mind. Both were temporary. There was also the exception of my early twenties when God happened to be in a good mood and bestowed upon me an impressive metabolism and a smokin’ hot body.
Within the last two months, the weather has turned cold and miserable. So much so that I decided to use our treadmill instead of walking outside because exercising is hard enough to handle without having to worry about hydroplaning or frostbite.
Using the treadmill meant that I had to walk downstairs into the bowels of our basement and find the damn thing, no easy task because it was disguised as dust and cobwebs and hidden under a blanket of mislaid intentions and abject failure. Nevertheless, I cleaned it up, plugged it in, blew a few circuits forcing Nate to change something called a GFI and I’ve been using it several times a week for the past two months. The treadmill, not the GFI. I don’t know what a GFI is or what it does, other than cause the power to go out in our upstairs bathroom at which point the hair dryer stops abruptly and my teenage daughter screams IS MOM EXERCISING AGAIN?
While I like the fresh, clean air I get while walking outside as opposed to the dark, damp, musty ick I inhale in the dungeon that is our basement, I do prefer the actual workout I get on the treadmill, for several reasons:
With regard to preparing my muscles, I make no distinction between exercising outside or within the confines of our basement. Either way, I baby them. They’re stretched and loosened up beforehand, pampered afterward with a thirty minute soak in a steaming hot shower, kneaded and massaged before and after and sometimes even during, and they get a steady diet of heating pads and narcotics and, if they’ve done a particularly good job, a cookie or ten. Above all else, they get the satisfaction of knowing they’re contributing to the well being of their host without whom, they’d simply be a big puddle of goop.
So why the hell do they continue to piss, moan and complain whenever I ask them to repeat the same actions they’ve done countless times before? Why do they act as if I’m asking them to do unspeakable acts for the first time, like some prissy little prima donna virgins? Why are they all “OW OW OW OW OW” and “Oh my God, get off me!” and “You’re going to do what with my what?” and “I’m hemorrhaging!”
And why do they simply up and die whenever they feel like it? As in, OH YEAH? WELL, SCREW YOU, YOU INSENSITIVE MORONIC ASSHAT. WE’RE OUTTA HERE. It’s not so bad when this happens outside because more than likely, someone will see me lying in a convulsing heap of charley horses on the sidewalk and call 911 or a marine biologist if I’m looking particularly whale-ish that day. But down in the basement? Where no ever ventures unless they need Christmas decorations or to find the source of a smell?
I’m S.O.L. and thus, have no choice but to go through the five stages of grief:
Denial: Oh my dear God, what the hell are you doing? Are you serious? Here, have some Icy Hot. No? Ooooh, looky looky! Vicodin! Yummmmmy! Get up, c’mon! You guys did not just fail me. No, you did not. No way. Not happening. Nope. I’m not listening. Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na.
Anger: For shit’s sake, what the hell? I’ve done everything for you! EVERYTHING, you ungrateful pieces of dung. Fine. Stay fat and lazy and covered with cellulite. Who cares? Not me. You like being mistaken for a beluga whales and dragged off to the zoo every summer? Fine. FINE. Don’t come crying to me when you get sick of eating octopus. I hope you choke on it. And don’t even think about asking me to drag your asses back home because hey, thanks to all of you, I have no muscles. Just call me Gumby. Happy now? Bite me.
Bargaining: If you let me walk upstairs and get a cookie, I’ll never exercise again.
Depression: No one will even come to find me until they run out of underwear. I miss cookies. Wish I’d have known my last one was really my last one. I would have enjoyed it more. Too late now. Not that it matters since I can’t feed myself anyway. Atrophy sucks.
Acceptance: At least I don’t have to cook.