Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I'm teaching my first Zumba class on Friday, May 6th.

I am scared to DEATH.

Since finalizing the details with the owner of the facility where I'll be conducting my classes, I've felt sick to my stomach and had nothing but doubts about my ability to actually pull this off. I have been absolutely dreading that day and looking at it as something I just have to endure if I'm going to make it as an instructor.

But I reached a turning point this week. I began to believe in myself and actually started to look forward to that first class. Why? Because I finally made peace with making mistakes.

Am I going to screw up? Yes. I'm fairly certain that I will. But nobody is going to pull out a gun and shoot me. Will people stay away because I didn't execute every routine perfectly? Maybe. Am I going to let it stop me from being a Zumba instructor? No. Because everybody has to start somewhere. It's time I start facing my fear of failure and addressing this little perfectionist problem that I have and just ACCEPT that I'm going to make mistakes.

I attended a class this morning by another newly certified instuctor. And guess what? She screwed up. There was no gunfire. In fact, I'm fairly certain nobody even noticed, focused as they were on getting their own steps right. Did she stop and apologize? Did she berate herself? Did she fling herself upon a sacrificial altar where the crowd could rip her entrails from her prostrate form and dance naked with them held aloft under a full moon?

Uh, no. She simply....moved on.

And absolutely nothing calamitous happened because she made a mistake. That's what I have to remember and embrace as I prepare to take on this challenge.

I am a huge fan of  le bon mot, so naturally, there are several quotes that I plan to adopt as my talisman against the doubt and uncertainty that constantly threatens to come creeping back.

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes"
~Oscar Wilde

"The greatest mistake in life is continually fearing you will make one."
~Elbert Hubbard

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing."
~John Powell

Though the challenge is new, the fear of failure isn't. And I realize I've let that keep from doing a lot of things in my life. But I faced that fear when I joined Weight Watchers. I certainly didn't do that perfectly. I made mistakes. I had weak moments. I screwed up. But I still lost weight. Why? Because I simply picked myself up, dusted myself off, and moved on. And now here I am, 75lbs lighter.

I'd call that... hmmm..., now what is that thing that so many people achieve because they aren't afraid to take risks and try new things? Oh yes...SUCCESS. I am a SUCCESS at weight loss. And because of that, I have the courage to try this other thing that I'm probably going to make mistakes doing and dare to believe that I can also achieve SUCCESS at it.

Wouldn't you think I would have figured this out before 42 years of age? Sheesh.

Now I'll share a small victory with you. I have, thus far, shied away from trying to choreograph an entire routine. I have adapted routines that I knew, but never have I created one from start to finish. I was afraid that if I tried it and couldn't do it, all that old insecurity would come galloping back and I'd be finished before I even started.

But I finally decided to give it a go. And you know what? I did it. Granted, it's a very simple warm-up routine; nothing complex or face paced. But I did it. It's the very first song in my class line-up. I thought it fitting to open my debut class with something that signifies a new, bolder, me.

The song I used is the one below. If you want to see the routine, you'll have to come to my class. If you're in the Atlanta area, email me for details.

What could be more fun that watching me learn from my mistakes??

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Changes

At first, it's hard to see the changes.

They are not profound or life altering when you have such a long journey ahead of you. But small things, such as being able to paint one's own toenails without becoming hypoxic, become big milestones. A person has to have something to celebrate each and every day, or they simply cannot keep going.

This is why Weight Watchers teaches their members to celebrate "non-scale" victories. Because sometimes, no matter how many times you talked yourself out of eating a whole bag of caramel covered Bugles and ate exactly five caramel rice cakes instead, the scale refuses to cooperate. And that just suuuuuuuuuuuuucks. So if you can remind yourself that the pants you are wearing used to be standing up only pants, but today you had to put on a belt in order to avoid looking like a middle aged hip hop devotee....then you can believe yourself when you tell yourself it was worth it.

But the big changes do come. And sometimes they are startling.

There is a habit I got from my father, who perhaps got it from his father or his mother, but who really knows...when I am lost in thought or concentrating deeply or even just zoning out, I sometimes place my hand at the base of my throat and rest my chin at the juncture or my thumb and forefinger. I have no idea why. I am rarely aware that I am doing it.

One day I was reading, doing the weird throat thing, unaware as usual, when I noticed a largish lump on my chest. A spear of fear sliced through my belly. Those of you know know me well, know that I am acutely aware of ny odd or ominous changes in my body and always assume the worst. Thus, the strange lump was obviously a harbinger of some horrible disease and ultimately, my doom.

What the fuck is that??? Is it a tumor? A bone growth? An espohageal anamoly? Sweet Jesus what IS that?? Could it be scleroderma? Neurofibromatosis? Proteus Syndrome?

Clearly, Google is not a boon for someone with my erm...tendencies.

I probed ginergly, assessing, mentally listing the characteristics of the lump; firm, non-spongy, immobile, seemingly elongated, somewhat curved...

And then, quite suddenly, my racing heart slowed, my hands stopped trembling and the roiling in my stomach subsided. Because I realized that the mysterious lump on my chest was, in fact a rib; one of the uppermost, attached to my breastbone.

You? Are a neurotic dumbass.

I berated myself for being such an idiot, but really, I didn't care at that point. I was just glad I was going to live. I probably don't have to tell you how traumatic it was the day my tailbone made it's presence known. Anything in the ass area can send me into a tailspin, (heh) so let's just wasn't pretty.

But mostly, the changes are exciting and uplifting and really, really gratifying. One thing people don't really realize is that you lose weight in  your feet. Yes, your feet. My feet have shrunk about a size and a half. And now I can wear all kinds of delicate, strappy, distresssingly insubstantial but moutwateringly beautiful foot confections. I don't even care if I can walk in the damned things. I just want to stand there and revel in the slutty glory.

That kind of makes up for the fact that I'm cutting my knees and ankles to ribbons because I'm completely unaccostomed to shaving around bony protuberances.

It's going to take some time to get used to this body, but I'm not giving it back.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Life's A Bath and Then You Die

Yesterday evening, still stiff and sore from my instructor training, which consisted of seven looooooooooong hours of pretty intense physical activity with few breaks, I lowered myself into a steaming hot bath with a geriatric groan, followed by a long sigh of supreme satisfaction. I sank down slowly until the water covered all of me, something that used to be an impossibility. Even if I stuffed a washcloth into the overflow drain, the water still wouldn't rise high enough to cover the quivering mound of my stretchmarked belly. It never failed to make me feel like a beached marine mammal, although I never allowed the word "whale" to fully materialize in my mind.

I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation of being fully immersed in the hot, fragrant water. Is it the womblike peace that makes bathing so primally satisfying? I think it must be. The flashes of lightning and the distant rumble of thunder fed expectant air through the window above the tub. It smelled green and alive. I breathed deeply, savoring the tang of spring and the promise of rain. I felt fully relaxed for the first time in days.

And then I noticed a worm in the bathwater.

I sat up abruptly with a mighty slosh.

"Where the hell did that little fucker come from?!?" 

It was just a little inchworm, but I was indignant that the squirmy little bastard had invaded the sanctity of my bath and tainted the water with his...worminess. I had been outside earlier, securing items in the yard in anticipation of the coming storm. He must have fallen into my hair from one of the trees. Not his fault then; just an accident of fate. He was probably as indignant as I was at finding himself afloat in scalding hot lavender scented water inhabited by a creature several thousand times his size who could crush him with one digit.

It did occur to me to do just that, truth be told.

But as I sat there wondering what on earth to do about the worm in my bathwater (scream for my husband, use my bathbrush to fling him out the window, pulverize him with the pumice stone), something struck me. He was doomed, clearly. And yet he struggled valiantly. He refused to accept that he might meet his end there in my bathtub. He refused to accept that he might never see his wife or his wormlings ever again. He fought as if there was hope, though of course,  there was none.

Suddenly, I pitied him. Without another thought, I scooped him up and deposited him onto the edge of the tub. But it was too late. He was completely still, no evidence of inchiness remained in the tiny segmented body. Then I felt profoundly sad for that little worm. Lately I too had felt as though I was being swept along by forces over which I had no control; my stroke, husband's job loss, my mother's death, Diminutive One's continual persecution by cretinous bullies.

"Poor little worm..." I lamented. "....he fought so hard." 

To my astonishment and chagrin, I felt myself near tears. I scolded myself for being so stupidly sentimental over a worm, though of course I knew deep down that my sorrow wasn't just about the demise of a little purple inch worm. But as I sat there mourning, there was a twitch. And then a wriggle. And then a full fledged inch. He humped and straightened slowly; testing, unbelieving perhaps, that he had actually survived the maelstrom of my bath. And then he began to inch away from the puddle in which he lay with frantic vigor.

I smiled hugely, unbelievably cheered by his remarkable resurrection. I watched him go on his merry way and resolved to relocate him to the window sill when I was done bathing so he could make his way outside.

After a lengthy soak, I finished my pampering; a minty mask for my face, a vigorous pumicing for my feet and elbows, eyebrow shaping and thorough depilation of all the areas that had been sadly neglected in the past weeks. I didn't skimp on the expensive shaving cream I favor, and revelled in the rich, creamy feel of the inch thick layer of  foam on my legs. The suds were flying as the razor skimmed along my newly muscled calves. I admired the clean, sleek look of them.

Lost in my hedonistic ablutions, it took me a few moments to realize that Wormy was nowhere in sight. When finally I did, I was gripped by panic.

"Oh My God, where is WORMY?"

And yes, it did occur to me that my undue concern over the welfare of a worm was a bit cuckoo bananas. But nevertheless, I scanned the bathroom for signs of his inchy purpleness. He couldn't have scaled the wall to the window sill, he hadn't descended to the floor. And then I saw it. A single mound of creamy white foam on the edge of the tub, probably flung astray in my depilating zeal.

"Oh Wormy no....please, no, NO......"

But yes. I had inadvertantly buried wormy under an avalanche of shaving cream, thus ending the life I had celebrated only a short time earlier. There would be no resurrection this time. Morosely, I emptied the tub and rinsed his corpse along with his foamy grave down the drain. As I watched him slip over the edge, I thought to myself...

"Well that really sucks."

The moral of the story? Hell, I don't know. I guess that...sometimes, no matter how hard you try, no matter how well things are going, some bitch with a can of shaving cream can come along and fuck it all up.

I sure hope my next bath is less....eventful.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


As of 7:00 p.m. EST Saturday, April 2, 2011.....

I am a certified
Me. This girl....

But I'm not really that person anymore; inside or outside.
This is who I am now...

My body is strong and fit. And I won't lie...that's an AMAZING feeling. But the changes that have taken place inside are ten times more life changing. Eighteen months ago, I would never have had the confidence to walk into a Zumba class, much less a gym full of pysically fit people pursuing a fitness certification and truly believe that I belonged there. And it wasn't just because of being fat. It was because of not believing in myself and my ability to change my life; to take control of my future. Changing my body was HARD. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. But it made me see that if I can do that?? Sheesh...I can do ANYTHING baby.




People say to me..."You are an inspiration! But I could never do what you have done."  

Bullshit. You can. If you want to. If you really and truly want to. You too can do...