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.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Magic Potion

The other day in the grocery store, I ran into an acquaintance I hadn't seen in a couple of years. We used to see each other regularly because our boys attended the same school and played ball for the same park. But then they moved on to different high schools and Pubescent One decided to take a break from baseball in favor of seeking gainful employment; the ultimate goal being...WHEELS.

I said hello to her and watched her struggle to figure out who I was. Then her jaw dropped.

I have to tell you in all honesty, that NEVER gets old.

She exclaimed over my transformation and then asked the question I've grown used to hearing over and over.

"But how did you do it?"

This is always an awkward moment for me. Because some people are genuinely interested. Some people are really looking for answers. But some people are just being polite. And some people? Some people want me to tell them that it was magic; a pill, a shake, a shot. Some people want to hear something, anything other than the unvarnished truth of the matter. So I never really quite know how to answer that question.

I noted that she had gained weight; quite a bit in fact. So I thought she might be one of those looking for a solution. I told her about Weight Watchers. I told her about Zumba. While I was speaking, I saw the hope in her eyes die. I had guessed wrong. She wasn't seeking answers, she was seeking salvation. She had her heart set on a magic elixir that would melt the very flesh from her bones and restore her body to it's formerly taut and youthful state.

I don't understand why people ask me when they don't really want to hear the answer.

The truth is this:

I ate less. I learned how to make healthy choices and control my portions. I made exercise a priority in my life (that's the one people really hate to hear). I learned to regard being strong and fit as it's own reward and not just the byproduct of burning calories. I stopped looking at eating healthy as a means to an end and began to look at it as a new and lasting lifestyle. And I kept going week after week, even when the scale didn't always seem to reflect the effort I was putting in. I celebrated small victories as though they were huge triumphs. I learned how to suffer setbacks gracefully and move on. I learned that it's all up to me. And and on the weeks that I faltered and that scale told the tale, I learned to lay the blame at my own doorstep. Accountability can be a real bitch, but it keeps you honest.

It's hard work. It's balance. It's perserverance. It's sacrifice. Sometimes it's denial. Sometimes it's being grumpy because you really want a damned cookie, but you've already exceeded your intake for the day. It's learning to live with the grumpy and understanding that you can't feed every negative thought or feeling away. It's figuring out that food is not your friend or your lover or your confidant or your shrink.

It's HARD, folks. Damned hard. One reason I became a Zumba instructor and that I plan to become a Weight Watchers leader is that I don't EVER want to have to do this again.

But has it been worth it?

God yes.

"Worth it" doesn't begin to express how I view the journey that I have experienced. I'm aware that describing it as a  "journey" is terribly hackneyed and hopelessly cliche, but it really and truly has been one. I  learned a lot more than how to lose weight. I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to. The victory over my body gave me the courage and the confidence to conquer a lot of other demons as well. I have grown as I have shrunk. And though it was a long and arduous road to get where I am today, I would have missed so, so much if I hadn't walked it.

So if you ask me how I did it, I'll tell you, with the caveat that you may not like the answer. I could lie to you...I lied to myself for long enough. But I wouldn't do you the same disservice that I did myself.

If you're fat, you're going to die a premature death from heart disease, diabetes, stroke or other obesity related illnesses. That's not hyperbole. That's not a scare tactic. It's plain truth.

But you can fix it. Right now. Today. I know it's a scary thing. I know it seems impossible. But you can.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. " ~Lao Tzu

Click here for the magic potion.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


A long time ago, Husband and I had a forum type website that was centered mostly on parenting that was populated mostly by women. It went balls up in the face of some pretty nasty fighting. We closed it down and moved on without much regret. Though I was glad to be done with it all (too much work, too much stess, no money) I did and do miss some of the truly amazing women that I met there.

Oh there were psychos and shrews, make no mistake. In a community with thousands of women, you find an amazing variety of crazy. There was even one instance in which we were contacted by the FBI, because one of our members had faked cancer and received thousands of dollars in donations which she spent on various hedonistic pursuits. She used our site to cultivate friendships and garner trust and then defraud hundreds of people. I know, right?

There were political activists, peacemongers, ecowarriors, militant parenting proponents of every classification, perverts, poets, writers and artists. And did they all co-exist peacefully and respectfully in our little corner of cyberspace?

Hell no.

But in the midst of the back stabbing and rumor mongering and bitch fighting, there was some really awesome communication taking place, and true, deep, lasting friendships being formed. Even the superficial chit chat was gratifying because sometimes it just feels good to connect with other people on any level, especially for those of us who felt isolated and alone.

So although, as I said, I was not sad to put that behind me, I do miss some of the people.

Some of them I became real life friends with and remain in close contact with to this day. But there were over 1,000 women on that site and I lost touch with most of them. Sometimes I hear of one or another through mutual acquaintances, blog posts,  Facebook, etc.

Recently I was saddened to hear that one of those women passed away after a long, arduous bout with cancer. She's not the first person from that community who has died. One committed suicide. Another died of cancer. One was murdered by her husband. Those are just the ones that I know about.

I wasn't particularly close to her, but I do remember her, mostly because she had a peculiar screen name. And I don't like it when anybody I know in any capacity, dies. It freaks me out people. Badly. Because if they can die, I can die and you all know how I feel about dying.

But this woman....she faced her death with courage and grace and that truly awes me. I admire her so much for going into the unknown with faith that whatever lies beyond is better. She made a choice and her choice was to live as well as she could until her body could not sustain life anymore and then leave this world with a legacy of strength and wisdom and hope.

You have no idea how much I long for that kind of....CHRIST, what is that? What makes people able to surrender their fear and uncertainty and just believe that it will be okay. Whatever it is, I want it. But I don't know how to get it. Please don't say God. Please don't say Faith. Please don't say asking the Lord into my heart. There are plenty of people who face death every day without God. They die well. They die at peace.

That's what it is...peace. I don't know how to make peace with the whole idea of just not BEING any more.

It terrifies me. Truly.

I'm sad that she had to die. But I'm happy she was able to do it so heroically. Because it is heroic, in my opinion, to face death and not dissolve into a weeping, shrieking, hysterical mess, who begs for just one more day, hour, minute, second of life on this earth. I would. If ever you hear that I've committed suicide, don't you believe it. Somebody murdered me for sure. Because I would fight death tooth and nail and I would never, ever invite it. The very idea is absurd.

But I have to thank her. Reading about her last days and moments has brought me a kind of peace, knowing that people can die without fear. Maybe I'll get there one day. Heroes inspire us every day and I suppose then that she is my death hero. I aspire to be as fearless as she.

What do they bury heroes in? Whatever it is, I hope it's something that bears witness to her courage and grace.

A smile, perhaps.