Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's all this?*

Blog? What blog? I have a blog?

(Next thing you'll be telling me I have a third child who I've forgotten all about. Yuh-huh--it could happen. I'm just that loopy. Once we were at Disneyland with Sara's family and I was in charge of keeping track of two of the kids. Well, eventually that responsibility had to be taken away from me and I was then put  in charge of keeping track of zero kids and just making sure I didn't get lost.)

*Please say in a British accent, preferably as if you were a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. 

P.S. There's no point to the picture, other than I look like a complete dork and it makes me laugh. Well, maybe it is relevant. I'm 4 years old there, by the way (in case you were thinking it was taken last Tuesday).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Size: L (L is for Limbo)

When Sara was here way back in January (that seems so long ago), we went to Target. I think we were there mainly so Sara could give it (Target) a big "I miss you" hug, but we also purchased a few items. As it was still freezing cold here way back in January, Sara purchased some tights. I thought I would enjoy owning some tights also, so I picked up a package of Target tights and checked the back to see what size I should buy to fit, well, my size.

Here's what I saw:

For those of you who can't read Blurry, here's a translation (I'm near-fluent in Blurry):

4'11"-5'5" 100-130 lbs Small/Med

5'5"-5'11" 130-175 lbs Med/Tall

5'5"-5'11" 190-240 lbs 1X/2X (I'm not positive it says 240. It's 2something though)

Back in January, I weighed about 184 lbs (I'm not sure of the exact number, but I'm too lazy to look it up.)

Do you see the problem? The tights skip from 175 pounds to 190 pounds, with no size offered for those weighing between 176 lbs and 189 lbs. Yeah--those who are under 4'11" or over 5'11" and under 100 lbs or over 240 lbs are also tightsless in this situation, but at least there are specialty stores for them (or the girls' department for those under 100 lbs). What am I to do? Where's my neither-here-nor-there store? I haven't done any research since to see if all tights have similar size gaps. Now that spring is here (kinda), I have no use for tights.

And now I have a goal for this fall '09 (other than somehow acquiring several millions of dollars [which I will totally share with you--I'll at least buy you some tights]): to fall below 175 pounds so I can get me some of them fancy Target tights.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I think Hallmark can see inside my house

A few days ago I got this card in the mail from my friend that I used to go to the gym with when I lived in Southern California. She lives in Japan now, and ergo carries the title of My Only Friend That is Usually Awake at the Same Time That I Am. Because of this, we chat on Skype a few times a week. Every once and awhile we talk about how little we like exercise compared to how much we like to eat. See why we're friends? Food = awesome, exercise = necessary evil.

Anyway, I don't really have a point to this, I just really liked the card and wanted to share it with you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bad Idea of the Week:

Eating 1/2 a box of Trix cereal (dry) in one sitting. (Hey-- Lost makes me anxious...and munchy).

Good idea to counteract the bad idea:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Skinny Buns

Get this. (I read somewhere that the secret of successful bloggers is that they start each post with a forceful command.*) You know Carrie Fisher? The actress/writer/gold bikini-wearer? (Of course you know Carrie Fisher. Who doesn't?) I just heard from her very mouth that she was offered the role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy with the caveat that she lose 10 pounds. The thing is, at the time she weighed a mere 105 pounds. Sure, she's 5'1" tall, but that's still incredibly skinny. Shame on you, George Lucas and Star Wars casting agents!

I hate Hollywood. (Except for when they make an enjoyable film--I like that part.)

P.S. My source for this information is an NPR podcast of "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" episode, which originally aired on January 31st of this year.

*I made that up
. The actual secret of successful bloggers is that they tell outrageous lies.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Never Give a Half-Baked Answer to a 4-year-old

Conversation with above 4-year-old tonight, just before bed:

4-year-old (In sweet lispy 4-year-old voice): "Mommy, what does 'fat' mean?"
Me (In an absent-minded, lazy voice): "It means 'big.'"
4-year-old: "Mommy, you are very, very fat!"
Me (In a paying-attention-now voice): "Honey, many people don't like it when you call them fat. It means they are...uh...bigger than they'd like to be."
4-year-old: "Mommy you are bigger than me!" (OK. I can agree with that.)

I suppose I should have told her that "fat" means, "having too much adipose tissue." (see below). That would have cleared things right up.

P.S. I really don't have a problem with the word "fat" myself (not that I want people yelling it at me in the street), but I don't want 4-year-old to start telling anyone who is larger than she is that they are "fat."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Product Review: Wheat Thins Fiber Selects

I know you value my opinions...about everything. So based on that, I decided to sample a new food product and write about it. You're welcome!
Have you ever had Wheat Thins? Sure you have. Everyone's had Wheat Thins. 
Do you like Wheat Thins? I don't--not really, anyway. I suppose I would eat them if I were starving, or if I ran out of popcorn and there was something good on TV (is it possible not to eat while watching TV? I really need to find out.)
Still, they're not my favorite cracker. They're kind of anemic tasting. (Can something taste anemic if it doesn't have blood? What does anemia taste like, anyway? Don't tell me if you know.)

Well, in spite of my lackluster feelings about Wheat Thins, I decided to give the new Fiber Selects 5-grain version a try. It helped that I had a good coupon that made them cost $1. 

Guess what? They're tasty! I really like them. In fact, I will certainly buy them again (no, I am not on the take from Nabisco). They have a nice, nutty crunch. I like the large grains of salt on the surface. (I'm a fan of salt.)

What about nutrition, you ask? Be patient! I'm getting to that. 
Here's some of the nutrition info from the box:
1 serving=13 crackers
Per serving:
4.5 grams fat (no saturated fat) 
30% of calories are from fat
22 g carbohydrates
5 g fiber
2 g protein

What's exceptional about those numbers is the fiber gram count. 5 grams of fiber is a lot for a serving of crackers. Most crackers have little or no fiber, even those with "wheat" in the title. (Did you know that? Does it annoy you like it annoys me? Are you annoyed that I'm annoyed by  stupid things?)
For example, regular Wheat Thins have 1 gram of fiber per serving. Wheatsworth crackers (made from stone-ground wheat!) also have 1 gram of fiber per serving. Multigrain saltines have NO grams of fiber per serving. Triscuits are better than most, with 3 grams of fiber per serving (and, they are delicious)(also, never try to eat them without a drink at hand--they will always get stuck in your throat).

What's so important about fiber? Well, that's a subject for another post. I could go on and on about fiber. I love fiber. What can I say? I'm just a regular girl. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Twisty brain, twisty body

An artist's rendition of me. Honest.

Does anybody out there love yoga? I keep thinking I should love yoga, and I want to love yoga, I just, well, have never done it consistently enough to find out if I do. Every time I do it, I like it, but since that only happens about twice a year, I can't say for sure if there's a potential love connection or not.

I think one of the reasons is that I haven't done a lot of it is that every yoga DVD or tape (Holly gave me some for Christmas once about 100 years ago) I've had has always been, like, a whole hour. For someone with an attention span like mine (see also: gnat), that's a really long time. Here's the thing about my brain--ok, fine--one of the things about brain is that it might have no problem doing something that takes such a long time, and it might even like it, but good luck, my friend, trying to talk it into doing it again. Even if I liked it. My brain sometimes is not my friend.

I found something neat today though. I have read about their yoga, well, downloads in several places, with the consensus being that they're good, so I decided to go check it out, mainly because I had read that they have 20-minute sessions. My brain likey 20 minutes waaay better than more than 20. And guess what! Turns out the 20-minute sessions are free! At least a whole bunch of them are (I haven't exactly checked out the site extensively). I'm almost as cheap as I am easily bored, so this seems like a good combination for me.

I downloaded the three beginner sessions, and I'm going to try one of them tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Words to Eat By

I just love folksy sayings, don't you? There's nothing like some homespun wisdom to inspire and instruct a body.

You know what I mean? Stuff like:

"Birds of a feather have lots of feathers."


"A penny saved is still just a penny"

(Inspired yet? I know I am!)

What about this gem?

"What's good for the goose is good for the French hens"

and let's not forget:

"A stitch in time leaves you with a holey clock." (That one has always been a comfort to me.)

This past weekend has certainly been governed by another of my favorite proverbs. Let's see if I can get it right. Oh yeah:

"You are what you EAT

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This is more interesting than anything I have to say

So I was going to write a "Confess and Assess: Sara Edition" post, but I can't find anywhere the paper where I wrote my measurements down, and heavens knows I am waaay too lazy to just take them again.

Instead, while I'm off searching through the random stacks of paper I have on every flat surface, read this article. It's about the boys' basketball team at a high school in a small town in New Brunswick, Canada. One of my very dear friends sent it to me, as that is the town she grew up in and the high school from which she graduated.

I kinda disappeared last week, because my mood spiraled into a pile of crap (figurative, thankfully) brought on, best I can tell, by the combination of hormones (ttom doesn't want to stick to any sort of schedule, it would seem) and my husband only being home for 3 days of the last month. Let me just say that there are days I handle his absences better than others. This past week was a few of the others. Reading that article though was a good reminder that maybe my life isn't as difficult as I sometimes seem to want to make myself think it is. Please don't think that, by posting this article, I am telling anyone to "suck it up" because their problems aren't "as bad" as this town's. I am a firm believer that you can't compare suffering (except maybe in extreme cases, i.e. hangnail vs. multiple organ failure--in that instance I might have to call you a whiner).

I am grateful whenever I find examples of people who carry on and succeed in the face of great difficulties. The circumstances may not be the same, but I think that we can gain something from stories like this to use to make our own lives better, even if it's just to give our loved ones an extra hug.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Simple Life

I've decided I would like my goal list to be the same as my nephew's. I saw it posted on my brother's fridge last night and was struck by its straightforward simplicity. Maybe I'm making life more complicated than it needs to be.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Confess and Assess: Part 2

Waaaay back in November of aught eight, I posted my measurements and other general information about my health and weight loss efforts. Since three months have passed (wow!), I decided to do it again. I LOVE putting personal information on the internet! (Almost as much as I love sarcasm!)

Today's information:
*Weight: 182.5
*Height: still 5'9"
*Exercise regimen: finally working on it
*Best thing I eat regularly: oatmeal
*Worst thing I eat regularly: chocolate
*Husbands who weigh less than I do: Joel
*Nights per week I get enough sleep: one or two
*Number of aches and pains: three
*Water consumed daily: around 64-80 oz.
-Upper arm: 14 inches
-Neck: 13 3/4 inches
-Bust: None of your diggity dang business
-True waist (smallest part): 33 3/4 inches
-Waist at belly button: 35 inches
-High hips (at hipbone): 42 inches
-Largest hip measurement: 44 inches
-Thigh: 26 inches
-Knee (just above kneecap): 17 inches
-Calf: 15 inches
-Ankle (why not?): 9 inches

Compared to last November:

-Weight: 3.5 pounds down.
-Upper arm: same
-Neck: 1/4 inch smaller (be gone, neck fat!)
-True waist: 1/4 inch smaller
-Waist at belly button: 2 inches smaller
-High hips (at hipbone): 1.5 inches smaller
-Largest hip measurement: same
-Thigh: 1 inch smaller (per thigh)
-Knee: same
-Calf: 1 inch smaller (per calf)
-Ankle: 1/4 inch bigger (why?)

Overall progress. My most annoying trouble spots--my hips and arms--haven't budged yet. Considering most of the positive changes I've made over the past 3 months have been food-related, and I've only just started exercising regularly, I'm pleased with the results. Not gaining weight over the holidays was a thrilling development.

I think I'll do this monthly from now on. I need the accountability.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amy Lawson, Come on Down!

Dear Amy,

Holly and I are busy putting together the prize packages for the contest that you dropped out of after three weeks. By "Holly and I," I mean "Holly," since I already mailed her my part of it; when it gets to her is up to the post office gods.

But back to the quitting. We understand. That's ok. Really it is. We've quit lots of stuff before, too. Mostly crafts. But also lots of weight loss-related things. For instance, weight loss. I think it's safe to say that we've both been lifestyle-changing (that's the PC way to say "dieting" nowadays, right?) most of our adult lives. Honestly, the only reason I didn't quit the contest is because Holly makes my kids really cool cakes on their birthdays and occasionally mails me shoes. If I had quit, the shoe pipeline would have likely dried up. (P.S. Holly, when are you going to give me those black shoes I borrowed in December? And the red ones. I want those, too. The End.)

We were pretty excited when so many people joined our contest and even more excited to see how many of them actually stayed with it the whole time. (Did you know that your sister stayed with it the whole time? Yeah, she's really great.) And Holly and I have been grateful the whole time that you gave us a mention/entire post on your blog which is what ultimately sent a large portion of those people to our blog. After that post, our readership increased sizeably, and our hits started coming more from Google Reader and less from people searching for this picture. I am not kidding. For most of this blog's existence, the majority of the people that have looked at it were really looking for Igor. And anytime we see a hit from the UK or northern Europe, we can pretty much guarantee they want Igor, not us. I can't explain it, and I'm not sure I want to, but that's how it was. Until you.

So we want to thank you. Since you did quit the contest, we can't technically send you a prize, but I hope no one will mind if we send you a present. It's not much, and there wasn't even close to a dozen dollars spent on it, but it's something I think you'll like. I originally bought for my son, but once I realized the treasure that it truly is, I quickly distracted him and stashed it away for me to keep, only occasionally bringing it out to show people on webcam so they can see the sheer awesomeness of it.

Here, I'll give you a hint:
And some clues:

  • My son is obsessed with the movie Cars.
  • I bought him a 10-pack of Cars cars at an Egyptian toy store for 35 LE (Egyptian pounds; that's about $6.29).
  • Copyright laws in Egypt means nothing.
  • Egyptians frequently manufacture and sell things that are made to look like licensed products but clearly are not.
  • Many Egyptians don't speak English.
  • Best I can tell, most of these companies that both make these products and don't speak English, have some sort of aversion to hiring native English speakers to, you know, proofread.
  • Often, hilarity ensues.
  • Best. children's. toy. ever.
Why am I telling you all of this, you ask? Because, if you want this really great truck (I promise you; you're going to want to hide it from your child lest he break it, uh--in the interest of full disclosure--more than my son already has)(but he just broke of one of the high-quality ladders on the side; the text is still fully in tact), and I think you do, we need you to please e-mail us your address to myweightisasecret at g-to-the-mizz-ail dot com, and I will send it on its way to live at your house.

Why didn't I just e-mail you privately, you ask? Because it's my day to post, and I can't think of anything to write about. Simple as that.

Never change except for the better (what? you mean I'm not signing your yearbook?),
Sara and Holly

P.S. I have a picture of the side, too, but thought I'd let you decide whether or not you want to see it before it arrives at your house. If so, lemme know, and I'll post it. If you want it to be a surprise, I'll wait until you have it before sharing with the class.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I have a bone to pick with Nordstrom

A few times a year I get a catalog/big ad booklet in the mail from Nordstrom. I think they'veseen the palace I live in and realize I'm made of money, and they want some of it.
I shop there once in a while (mostly from the clearance racks), so maybe that got me on the list.

This past fall's catalog horrified me, and not just because of the prices or the hideous leopard-print loafers (look at me! I'm sassy and sensible at the same time!).

Specifically, I was horrified by the legs on these models:
And let's not forget this model (I think she's in the top photo as well, but that doesn't really matter):

First, I want to invite these girls over for hoagies and chocolate milk (the thick kind). They need nourishment. Second, I want to ask Nordstrom why they are using impossibly thin models to sell their clothes.

I know. I know. They're models. If they're not impossibly thin, they're not worthy of the title. I know that, but I don't have to like it. (Don't get me started on the topic of plus size models. Yeah...a size 12 model [who is probably at least 5'10" tall] does not wear plus sized clothing.)

And really, I don't even expect or want companies to use average size 12-14 women in their ads for misses' and juniors' clothing. I understand that clothing is displayed to its best advantage on a slender frame. I just want there to be a line between slim and starving. Is that too much to ask?

Young women have enough pressure in life without the subtle (and not-at-all-subtle) message coming from the fashion world: "Your body isn't right. You don't meet the ideal." (Raise your hand if you thought you were fat in high school, whether you were or not.)

The bodies of the girls in the above photos go beyond thin. There doesn't appear to be any flesh on their limbs, let alone fat. I worry about their health--really I do. I don't blame the models themselves for these ads--they are just doing their job (which is to look pretty and try to stand upright using the energy gleaned from 1/2 a saltine and a baby carrot).

What's the solution? I don't know. I don't know if I have the the time to figure it out...not today at least--I have things to scrub and polish.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Food of the Week (Week 2): Clementines

"Oh my darlin'
Oh my darlin'
Oh my daaaaarlin' Clementine!
I will peel you
Then I'll eat you
Very yummy

Have you had a clementine (a seedless variety of mandarin orange) yet? Why not? They are delicious! They are little! They are cute! 

Have you, like me, ever not eaten an orange because you didn't have the energy to peel it?
Well, clementines are the answer to this dreadful dilemma. They are so, so easy to peel. You won't even believe how easy they are to peel. My niece told me her Weight Watchers leader says all you have to do is sneeze and they're peeled. That's pretty close to the truth.

This is clementine season--right now. Hurry, because I don't think it lasts much longer. I buy 5 lb boxes at Costco, but you can get them at just about any supermarket. Don't be put off if the clementines seem a little squishy. That is likely because there is often space between the peel and the fruit (hence the ease of peeling). Just watch out for mold or crushed fruit that may have contaminated the whole bag/box. 

Here's what you get from a delicious clementine (besides deliciousness)-

3.5 ozs of fruit (2 very small or 1 very large):

50 calories
1.7 grams fiber
80% of your RDA of vitamin C
B vitamins
juicy goodness
a delightful citrus fragrance

1) Yes, I did create a bonnet for a piece of fruit. You wanna make something of it?
2) I also rhymed "you" with "you" in my "song." Sue me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If I don't put them in therapy, I'm not doing my job

Just now I was regaling Holly over IM with my "I'm Such a Great Mom" story of the day. It involves me lying to my daughter and convincing her that I really did see the entire assembly that her class sang in this morning when really I left as soon as her class was done. In my defense, I had just sat through the whole thing just before that when her sister's class did the exact same thing in the exact same assembly, so I really did see the entire thing, just not at the same time she saw it. (This also made it easier to supply information that only someone who had clearly been at the show could have known.)(Details are important when you're lying.)(But not too many; then you sound desperate.) An hour of watching other people's children perform entirely too long dances all while trying to keep my 2-year old both happy and quiet (you try it; it's worse that trying to both hula hoop and apply eyeliner) was more than enough for me.

So, to sum up: I rule. Thankfully my mother can give my kids free therapy.

I do have some good qualities as a mother though, so I going to share a few of the ways I think I'm succeeding in helping my kids be healthy.

Some of my prouder parenting moments:

My kids don't know that you can add sugar to cereal. I'm talking Corn Flakes here, people. The kids eat them completely plain and like it. When I was a kid, there was always an at least inch-thick layer of sugar silt at the bottom of the milk.

Last year, my oldest daughter came home from a church youth activity where the lesson had been about healthy eating. The woman who taught the class had a picture of Adam and Eve displayed, with a sign that said, "Adam and Eve didn't eat Ding-Dongs." After telling me about it, my daughter asked me, "Mom, what's a 'Ding-Dong?'"

My older son has started getting up at 6am completely on his own just so that he'll have time to play Wii Fit for 15 minutes before school and get all his morning stuff done, too. He's done it for almost 3 weeks now without missing a day. This is the boy that usually acts like I sacrificed his favorite animal in front of him whenever I say something like, "Time to wake up."

While they really do take after me (and I take after my mom, whose father once told her "You would rather read than run"), they are much more physically active than I ever was as a child--and they actually like it.

They have been known to turn down soda pop for water.

They stop eating when they're full. And usually don't want more than one serving of dessert. Whenever that happens I have to remind myself that the fact that they are little clones of my husband is proof that yes, they are actually the children I gave birth to, and no, they were not actually switched at the hospital.

My older son has become a smoothie-making whiz. He'll whip them up for anyone at the dropof a hat, and he loves to try different fruits and other flavor combinations. (I will neither confirm nor deny that I sometimes only pretend to drink them.)

This one isn't health-related, but it makes me laugh, so I'm including it: My kids accept it as completely normal that when someone is drinking too much or too quickly, you say, "Easy on the Pepsi, Fuller;" when you have to clear your throat in order to say something, you follow it up with, "Welcome to the Pit of Despair; don't even think about trying to escape;" and if you're in pain, you adopt a British accent and say, "And that really hurt, Charlie, and it's still hurting."* That's just to name a few.

My kids are just cool. Or seriously messed up. Either way works, because the bottom line is that they make me laugh, And as long as I'm entertained, it's all good.

What are some of the ways that you help your kids to be healthy? Are they more healthy than you were as a child? Also, tell me something funny they do or say. I love me some funny kid stories.

*If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here. My 2-year old was quoting it to himself in bed last night--"Chaw-wee eat me!" Hi-larity.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I exercised today. Guilt made me do it...or gratitude--you pick. Last night my niece Annie was here and she was bemoaning (great word, bemoaning) her injured knee and the way it keeps her from her beloved exercise. (Annie lost a boatload of weight in 2007 and has kept it off for a year.)

So today, when I was (yet again) contemplating not exercising, I decided in honor of Annie I'd better stop being a whiner and be grateful that I can exercise. Sure, I'm as out-of-shape as a reject loaf at the Wonder Bread factory* (that's my favorite bad analogy EVER!), but at least my body has working joints and muscles. So I did rejoice exceedingly as I treadmilled this morning: hurray for knees! hurray for ankles! huzzah for hips! 

*Touring the Wonder Bread Factory was my favorite elementary school field trip of all time. Paper hat with Wonder Bread circles? Check. Tiny load of Wonder Bread for each of us? Check. 
But I don't think I've purchased a load of Wonder Bread in my entire life, so their advertising ploy didn't work. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And not really one to this one either

Today I think I had a personality-altering blow to the head, because I spent the bulk of the day--get this--doing some of the things that are constantly in my head as Things I Should Be Doing. Weird, huh?

Anyway, to further go along with this theme of acting completely unlike myself, I'm also going to go to bed soon (it's just after 9pm here; maybe I didn't so much change my personality as age 50 years? Where's my Geritol?).

But before I grab my prune juice nightcap and go shake my fist at youngsters and their devil music as I toddle off to bed, I'm going to share with you my new favorite quotation:

"We do not suddenly become
what we do not cooperate
in becoming."

William J. Bennett

'night, you crazy kids. As my grandma used to always tell me on my way out the door, "Don't do anything I can't do on a bicycle!"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

There is no point whatsoever to this post*

Consider yourself warned.

At 10 o' clock last night I was packing up the veritable mountain of stuff I had to mail off (mailing packages here is such a pain in the kiester that I tend to save it up until there's so much that I just can't put it off anymore)(well, I could, and I usually do, but this time I didn't). One of the boxes was to send to Holly containing the Egyptian part of these nutritious prize packages. It also contains my mom's walking stick. She couldn't fit it in her luggage, so I told her I'd mail it to her, but it didn't fit into any of the boxes I had, so I slipped it into the larger box heading for Holly. So hey, Hol, when the box comes, can you call my mom and have her come get her stick? Thanks. But I digress. Try not to be too shocked.

As I was getting ready to tape up the box, I realized I hadn't included the most important thing! The trash! I couldn't exactly promise bona fide Egyptian street pickings and not follow through, now could I? I mean, if you're denying yourself figgy pudding because it might get between you and your own piece of garbage (or, say, because it's figgy pudding, but work with me here), you want your trash, dangit! But you know what I don't like doing? Going out at night by myself. Especially to, you know, pick stuff up off the ground. Lucky for me--and you winners, you--my husband was home this weekend.

I gotta say, he looked at me really, uh...bewilderdedly...when I told him what I wanted him to do. I think for a moment or two he thought I was kidding. You may not have guessed this about me, but I kid a lot, so I can get where he might think this. But I was serious. And he is a seriously nice man. Holly is not the only one who goes along with my harebrained schemes. So he took his little flashlight (or, as our 2-year old calls it, "The Ghostlight! Aaaaaaaaaahhh!")(Said 2-year old is a little obsessed with Cars.)(That was a little bit of an understatement.)(So was that.) and went and foraged on the streets around our house. My husband loves me very much.

As a(nother) side note, Eminem just came up on my iTunes, and my husband thinks it's really funny that I even have Eminem on my iTunes. What? I don't strike you as someone who would like really crass rap? Have you never met me? Besides, it's just one song. Plus it's the clean version. So there.

But rest easy friends, the trash is on its way! Also some stuff that's not trash (I hope)(I have a really hard picking things out for other people). Yay for prizes! And yay for everyone for doing this with us. I'm thinking that if those of you who didn't win want to join us again for a Springtime contest, I might offer a piece of garbage as a participation prize. Mostly because a) they're funny (and really isn't that reason enough?), 2) they're free, and III) I've clearly proven I can get my husband to do some pretty crazy things for me, so why not?

P.S. I just noticed that dh's Facebook status update is referencing my Eminem. I can't complain though; I might need him later. That trash ain't pickin' itself up!

*Told you.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Food of the Week (Week 1): Edamame

I know most of you are sushi-eating urbanites who have been eating edamame from the womb (though I have yet to hear of a pregnant woman who craves edamame specifically, but it could happen). If you are in this group, feel free to skip this post and 

I interrupt this post about healthy food to tell you that I just looked down at my left arm to find it covered in brown goo (don't panic--it's not that kind of brown goo). Also covered in brown goo? The left side of my favorite ragged sleeping t-shirt (the one that just says "Dude" on the front). Wha? My confusion lasted only a moment and I was able to use my excellent deductive reasoning skills to deductively reason that several of the chocolate chips I was eating (hey, I'm human) must have fallen between my arm and my shirt and melted there. You'll be relieved to know that Clifford the Big Red Couch was unscathed. 

Back to talking about soybeans. Edamame=green soybeans. Edamame (pronounced ed-eh-MAH-may...I think) is a much funner word than soybean. Soybean makes me think of tofu. And tofu, while it may be reasonably tasty when prepared with skill, is almost never fun. (Prove me wrong, folks. Prove me wrong.) 

Here's what you do. You go to the store. You buy some frozen in-the-shell edamame (you'll find it frozen in the freezer section) and you heat it up. You can even do it in your microwave--no fancy edamame steamer or boiler needed. Then you sprinkle it with a generous amount of course salt such as kosher salt. Then you take one of those ugly, hairy pods that looks like something your 6-year-old has in his/her "nature collection" and you use your teeth to remove the delicious little soys inside. Yummy! It really is. (Don't forget the salt.)

Here's what you get*:

1. 6 grams of fiber (woo! fiber!)
2. 11 grams of protein
3. oodles of vitamins and minerals
4. a mere 120 calories
5. a pile of discarded hairy pods for your little one's "nature collection"

Try it. You'll like it! (If you don't, try some chocolate chips instead.)

*in a 1 1/8th cup serving (in shell--1/2 cup shelled)


Here's the situation that inspired me to write about green pods:

Earlier this week I was getting Joel's food ready for him to take to work (Egg Beater sandwich? Check. 2 cups grapes? check, frozen diet meal for lunch? check.). He requested a bowl of edamame to snack on. I got it for him, and as he was putting it and the other food in his backpack, Laura (age 4) ran up to him and said, 
"Mommy's going to give me a treat!"
Joel said, "What is it? Edamame?
Laura, laughing (and without missing a beat), replied:

Silly Daddy and his made up words!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not that quarters are all that heavy, but still...

Last week I spent the part of a morning doing 3 things they say you should never do: I colored my own hair, cut my own bangs, and cleaned up a month's worth of eyebrow growth all at one time. Practically the only thing I didn't do was give myself a bikini wax. I'm not really sure what I was thinking. I guess it was kind of like the time (this is a true story; you can't make up stuff like this, folks) when he was a little boy that Holly's husband thought to himself, "Now would be a good time to put this quarter in my mouth," which he did and then promptly choked. Luckily his mother was nearby, picked him up by his ankle, and with a firm upside down shake, dislodged the quarter. Best I can figure, my brain decided that last Wednesday would be a good time to spend an hour or so doing tasks left best to professionals.

It turned out fine though, don't ask me how. The color's good (though I haven't worked up the nerve to do the highlights yet, so I'm currently missing being blonde), my bangs turned out better than they should have, and I don't look constantly surprised, so I really can't ask for more.

Something else I like to do that the all-knowing "they" say you shouldn't do is weigh yourself more than once a week. Not me. I weigh myself everyday, usually twice, sometimes more than that. For some reason, it helps me stay aware of reality. Or at least more aware, since saying I'm aware of reality is like saying I'm blonde. Two things I don't do, however, are let what the scale says effect my mood, or trust any weight other than the first-thing-in-the-morning-no-clothes-pre-breakfast-post-bathroom-use weight as the real thing. Every other time I weigh during the day, it's more out of curiosity than anything else. In fact, one of the reasons I weigh right before I go to bed is because I like to see the big drop that happens overnight. And then when there isn't a big drop, that's usually a clue that I ate too much sodium the day before or didn't drink enough water or didn't get enough sleep.

I think because I get on the scale so much is the reason the number of the day doesn't effect my mood. I've done it so many times that it's made it so the my weight has become just a number, a way to gauge how I'm doing. I will admit, though, that the fact that I spent over a year within 5 pounds of the same weight got pretty darn frustrating at times. But since I know that I wasn't being consistent with my diet or my exercise or (all to frequently) both, I knew that my "plateau" was due to my own actions, not the scale, and therefore I was frustrated with myself, not the scale.

Another benefit to my frequent weighing is that I've noticed some patterns in my weight. For instance, I know that after I have a drop into new territory (like last week's final weigh-in where I saw a number I haven't seen in yearsandyears), I tend to go back up 2 or 3 pounds and then work my way back down over the next couple of weeks (if I'm being consistent that is). So this week, I've been trying to be extra careful about what I eat and how hard I workout, because I'd really like to keep up my momentum. I was thrilled last week because I was finally back into the 140s, but I don't consider myself fully into a "decade" until I'm closer to the middle of it. But a big success for me this week has been that I haven't seen the 2-3 pound jump I usually see after the drop. In fact, I'm hovering right around the new weight still.

I read an article several years ago that really changed how I felt about getting on the scale called Why the Scale Lies. This information is probably one of the biggest influences that turned my relationship with the scale into a diagnostic tool and helped remove a lot of the emotional aspect of it.

One more thing to remember: this is just my experience. My issues are not your issues (and you should be grateful!) and something that works for me might not work for you. My hope is merely that maybe the way I do something will help you evaluate the way you do something and see if it is truly working for you. If it is, great! If not, at least you know.

Also, there's really never a good time to put a quarter in your mouth, no matter what Joel says.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dum, dum, dum, DUM! And the winner is...

Sun Productions! (Do you want me to reveal your real name Ms. Sun Productions?)

She lost a whopping 6.1% of her body weight. 
We're ever-so impressed. And also awestruck. 

In second place is dcfullest, who lost an amazing 4.23% of her body weight.

In third place is Patty, who lost an outstanding 4.07% of her body weight. 

Will the three of you please send your contact info to myweightisasecret at gmail dot com ? Thanks! The most amazing prizes in all the land are coming your way. Eventually. 

Kudos to Hannah, Sweet Escape and Katie who all lost more than 3% of their starting weights during the contest. 

A big old hearty pat on the back to Rachel, Maureen, Rachel R., Heather, Wendi, Marie, Renee, Sara (yes, that Sara), Holly (that's me!), Amy Lou Who, Joolee, Tiffany and Gina Lee for persevering and making some positive changes over the past couple of months. I am impressed with how many either lost weight or maintained at a tough (and delicious) time of year. 
A less hearty, but equally sincere pat to Kelly, Katy and Diane, who all weighed in the week before last, but didn't show up at the final weigh in on Friday. All three of them lost significant amounts of weight!
(If any of you want to know what your final percentage was without having to do actual math, send us an e-mail at myweightisasecret at gmail dot com. 

Thanks for all your comments, insight and good humor. 

Thanks to those who kept reading even though the contest got away from them somehow. We'll expect to see you next time. (cue menacing music)

And last but not least, a huge lump of thanks goes to Amy Lawson of Amy Lawson Inc. for writing about the contest on her mostly-famous blog and bringing many of you to us. She may have thrown her scale down the basement stairs, but she'll always be a winner to me. Also a quitter, but a quitter in the best way possible. Thanks, Amy Lawson!

Keep fighting those pounds, folks. It's worth the effort. Honest! And please come back for more Diet Cake anytime. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Coming up...

Tomorrow by noon (Pacific Time) I will post the winners for the contest. Woo!

I'd do it now, but I've been doing math (I should have made you figure out your own percentages) and my brain is too fried to write a post more interesting than this one. 

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Butter Soup

Not to be confused with Butter Face.

My mom's been here visiting for the last three weeks (in fact, she just left for the airport, sob), and in an attempt to think of something new to do (three weeks is a long time, and if you can believe it, even pyramids get boring) I signed us up for a Lebanese cooking class.

It was a one-day deal, and the teacher showed us how to make six great dishes. I went into the class under the impression that Lebanese was my favorite of all the Middle Eastern cuisines I had tried, and I left the class positive of this fact. Every recipe was just as good as--if not better than--the last, really easy, and very healthy.

One of my favorites--which I honestly didn't think I'd like, since I'm not a huge fan of lentils--was her Red Lentil Soup. I swear it tasted like it was butter-covered butter with butter filling, but it wasn't just completely butter-free, it didn't have any other fat, either! So I guess another name for it would be Magic Soup.

Red Lentil Soup
by Sahar Melhem

1 cup red lentils
1 tomato, cut in large chunks (seriously, I think she cut it in half and that was it)
1 potato, peeled, cut into large chunks (same)
1 carrot (take a guess--cut in half, and she didn't even peel it)
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. cumin
salt (to taste)
pepper (just a little)

1. Wash the lentils until the water runs clear. Put lentils into saucepan and cover with water (about an inch; it's supposed to be a creamy soup, so don't add a lot unless you want it to be more watery)
2. Put lentils on the stove over medium-high heat
3. Add the vegetables and bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until everything is very soft (or how we worded it in class "'til mush"), about a half an hour
4. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly
5. Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth
6. Pour through a strainer (she said this isn't necessary if you peeled your carrot)
7. Put back on the stove
8. Add water, cumin, salt, and pepper (she used quite a bit of cumin and salt, but this soup can really take a lot of flavor, if that's what you like)
9. Heat through

Serve with lemon juice squeezed over each bowl (optional; I preferred it without)

A couple of other notes: She said you can add an onion, too, if you like, but make sure it is really small, and just cut it in half, like everything else. Also, after step 6, you can freeze the soup to use later. If you do this, thaw it and then proceed with step 7 (you may need a little extra water).

What now?

Bring on the cookies! Yee haw!

Nah. Just kidding. (Kind of.)

First of all, if you didn't post your final weight and you should have, please do it! It's not too late. 

Once we've figured out who is who and what is what, we'll announce the winners of the First Annual Diet Cake Holiday "Ho Ho Ho We're Fat" Weight Loss Contest. Then we'll send those winners some sort of fabulous prize, which will include, but not be limited to, Egyptian trash. 

All of you, winners or not (oh gosh--you're all winners, but you know what I mean), figure out what's next in your battle to get/stay slim, strong and healthy. 

We'll keep posting here at Diet Cake. Maybe some of it will be helpful. (It could happen!) I hope you'll keep reading and letting us know about your successes and struggles. 

I'm thinking another contest is in order...maybe sometime in the spring. Won't that be fun? (Answer: of course it will)

Friday, January 23, 2009

This is it, folks!

Just as all good things must come to an end, so must all great! things like this great! contest. (I emphasize great! just in case you didn't know how truly great! it is.)

The great!est part about it is how many of you stuck with it! Really, Holly and I are totally impressed. Thank you for sticking with us.

And now for the fun part--weigh in! Post your weight in the comments, and tell us what you're most proud of from the contest.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bob Harper would tell me to get a pack of Extra gum

Do you ever have those days where everything seems to be clicking--your eating's great, you exercised hard, and you're just feeling like you've got it together--and then you eat the house? Yesterday was one of those days for me. It felt like I was doing everything right and then when I got up from a short afternoon nap (which, if you know me, you know I only took because my body sneaked it up on me; you know, sitting there one minute, waking up the next. I almost never nap voluntarily; it seems like such a waste of quiet), bam, I ate 2 brownies, 2 pieces of french toast with butter, a bowl chicken alfredo, and some pudding. It's a darn good thing those brownies were the last 2, or I'm sure I would have had more.

I don't really know what drove me off of my plan. I'm sure part of it had to do with the tired (dh and I have been up late every night this week watching the 2nd season of Lost, the bane of my existence and I love it, plus I got up at 2 am yesterday to see dh off on another of his trips). Another part of it is probably because my mom's been here for 2 weeks and will be here for another. Don't get me wrong--I'm enjoying having her here, but it does throw me off my routine a bit. Her being here is also why the brownies, alfredo, and pudding were also here It's the price I pay for not having to cook, thank you very much. I can't blame the presence of the food for why I ate them though; my mom of all people understands turning down food for the sake of eating healthier/losing weight. Mostly I'm just disappointed in myself, because I really was feeling like I was in some proverbial groove yesterday. I do need to give myself a little credit though, because I didn't eat any more french bread than that, I only had one bowl of pasta, and it was a small bowl at that, same with the pudding. No points for the brownies though (would those be brownie points?), since it truly was a good thing they were all gone; baked goods are my undoing.

Anyway, today I'm moving/have moved on. I'm noticing a bigger urge to eat more today though, and I don't know if it's related to yesterday at all. Mostly I'm just trying to ride it out. That involves staying away from the kitchen as much as possible and trying to find other things to do. My room is really clean right now. Though if I start filing, you'll know I'm really in trouble. That's a sure sign of desperation!

What do you do to keep yourself from eating when you know you dont need it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Penultimate Weigh-in!

An artist's rendition of me. Honest.

You know the drill--post 'em if you've got 'em. Also share with us something you learned this week.

I learned that bellydancing has almost nothing to do with the belly. Who knew!? Not I. All the motion comes from either your hips or your--get this--knees. Knees? Never would have guessed. But it's true. You only use your abdominals to keep your back straight and chest elevated (or as my teacher kept saying, "Boobies!"--and then she'd point both index fingers up--"To the ceiling!")(cannot wait to see what google hits we get for that).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's my birthday present to ME! (I'm so happy!)

Name that movie!

My birthday is next week. I'll be 36 years old. Yep! Closer to 40 than 30. Twice the age of the kids starting college in the fall. 

I was thinking that our weight-loss contest shouldn't end until after my birthday. I know--it's totally selfish. I just want some kind of motivation to avoid a birthday-week snarf fest. (I'm not going to reveal the exact day of my birthday--my age is enough info for the internet). 

What do you think? 

The contest is supposed to end this coming Friday (January 16th). Does anyone object to extending the deadline to Friday the 23rd? (We'd have the final weigh-in on that day.)

I haven't even consulted Sara about this, so possibly she'll be the one to object. 

Any strenuous objections? Concerns? 

Those who are already doing really well are the ones whose opinions I'm most interested in, as they potentially have the most to lose if some sneaky dark horse decides to lose 10 pounds next week. 

Talk to me.

P.S. That's a picture of me on my 10th birthday. It looks like I'm about to blow out a few blood vessels along with the candles. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

You should know how dedicated I am

Tonight our power went out. It happens a lot, so it's no big deal, but tonight it happened just as my husband and I were going to watch our nightly disc of Lost. I was also going to ride the bike while we watched, because I haven't gotten any formal exercise done yet today (I traipsed around some pyramids for awhile and hauled 10 bags of groceries up and down 5 flights of stairs, but can't quite get myself to count those as my day's exercise).

I don't like exercising to nothing, as I get bored easily, and I wasn't interested in using my iPod tonight, so what I did was strap on a headlamp and fish out a magazine I've been reading.

As I am also easily entertained, I thought it was so funny I had dh take a picture of me. As I also have very little shame, I'm posting it here for you.
The power came on about a minute later. Makes the story way less funny. Oh well. It probably wasn't that funny to begin with (see also: doesn't take much to amuse me).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The post in which I write all about ME ME ME!

"Wait," you say, "Isn't that what all your posts are about?" You may have a point there, but I'm going to ignore you.

Lots of bloggers create a 100 Things About Me post when they reach 100 posts. We're somewhere around there, so I thought I'd go ahead and do that. Sara will be cringing when she reads this and wondering if she has to do it too. No, she does not. But if she doesn't, I will do it for her. That should strike fear into her heart (and possibly her stomach, too). 

I'll try to include some weight-loss and/or health-related facts in the list to keep it relevant. 

One of these things is a lie. If you are the first to guess which once, I will give you a prize. The prize may or may not be imaginary. 

1. I like pizza
2. My favorite color is blue, but red is a close second.
3. I am the oldest of four children.
4. I am bossy.
5. I have two children, both daughters.
6. I want more kids, but I'm scared.
7. I feel great guilt over the condition of my barbecue.
8. My husband is my best friend.
9. My husband is shorter than I am.
10. We're both OK with that. 
11. I wear heels on occasion, sometimes very tall ones.
12. I bruise easily
13. I've colored my hair twice in my life, both times with demi-permanent drugstore color. The first time it was a deep burgundy red. The second time it looked exactly like my natural color and nobody noticed.
14. I got better tips at my waitressing job when I had red hair.
15. I love thrift stores.
16. The smell of thrift stores makes me gag a little.
17. I don't use the library anymore because I always get huge fines.
18. I buy my books at thrift stores instead.
19. I like to cook.
20. I hate to cook.
21. I am both fascinated and disgusted by politics.
22. I think I'd be a good politician if I could get past my fear of everything (including criticism) and my inherent laziness.
23. I will never be a politician even if I accomplish those things.
24. I procrastinate. A lot.
25. I am getting better, but it is too slow a process.
26. I am definitely a late bloomer.
27. I have lots of wonderful friends who I don't deserve.
28. I neglect my friends too much.
29. I really like being thin, but I don't like doing what it takes to get there.
30. I need to do it anyway.
31. I was a total, glasses-wearing, bad-hair, bad-at-sports nerd in elementary school.
32. I did not like elementary school.
33. I was sometimes teacher's pet, but never the number one teacher's pet.
34. I watch a lot of TV.
35. Almost all the TV watching I do is with my husband.
36. I love to dig in the dirt and garden.
37. I never have enough time to make my yard look the way I want it too.
38. I don't manage my time very well.
39. I like sparkly jewelry.
40. I like jewelry in general.
41. I like stuff, but I know it isn't important to my happiness.
42. I love office supplies
43. Especially Sharpies
44. Paper is nice, too
45. I was really poor when I was growing up.
46. I lived in rich neighborhoods.
47. I worry about wrinkles
48. I wear a lot of sunscreen.
49. I don't tan.
50. I have an iPhone. I didn't think I wanted one, but my husband gave me his old one.
51. I like iPhones now.
52. I am a worrier.
53. I don't worry nearly as much as I used to.
54. I wish my feet were smaller.
55. But I think my height is just right.
56. I am painfully shy.
57. I have trained myself to be much more outgoing than I used to be.
58. It's still hard.
59. I hate making phone calls.
60. All of my bath towels are at least 8 years old and falling apart.
61. I can't stand that there are hungry and starving people in the world. 
62. I like dogs, but I don't want the responsibility of owning one right now.
63. I love the smell of libraries.
64. I like rainy days, but too many in a row makes me depressed.
65. I like to hike, but I hardly ever do it. 
66. I like reading movie reviews and watching movies, but I don't go to many.
67. I rarely see a movie twice. 
68. My favorite movie is It's a Wonderful Life. I have seen it many times. 
69. I think some of the most self-righteous people in the world are famous actors.
70. I admire the ones who realize they are just fallible human beings after all. 
71. I have lots of strong opinions, but they are not all set in stone.
72. I am not always right.
73. I once had a job where I read (speed-reading style) newspapers all day. 
74. I didn't make enough money at that job.
75. I had LASIK 4 years ago.
76. Before that my vision was about 20/1000
77. I had mono when I was in high school and was sick for a really long time.
78. I didn't graduate with my class and had to go to summer school before I could get my diploma.
79. I was a Girl Scout when I was a kid and loved it.
80. I'm a pretty good cake decorator, but I don't want to go into business. People act shocked when I tell them this.
81. I have an Etsy shop where I sell vintage accessories. It's called She's Fancy. 
I haven't told many people I know about it yet. I don't know what I'm waiting for.
82. I think "fancy" is a funny word.
83. If you can make me laugh, I'll probably like you.
84. I have 2 brothers, 1 sister, 1 step-brother and 5 step-sisters. 
85. I love movie popcorn, but lately it's been disappointing.
86. I'm a Mormon. I'm also a Christian.
87. I'm finally OK with all the people who say you're not Christian if you're Mormon. Oh well.
88. I like candy. My particular favorites are chocolate, sour candy and black licorice.
89. I've been a member of Weight Watchers for almost 2 years.
90. I like looking put together, but I rarely do (look put together.)
91. I like being alone, but I wouldn't like it permanently. 
92. I dropped out of college.
93. I used to yearn to finish college--now I don't care.
94. My mom was right--I do regret not practicing the piano.
95. I used to want to be a ballerina, but I was not a very good dancer.
96. I want to write a novel, but I don't want to do the work. Yes, that is a contradiction. 
97. I am prone to post-partum depression and depression in general.
98. Yet I still think of myself as a basically happy person.
99. My living room has yellow walls.
100. I think people can change for the better, even though they often don't. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

My kid made me eat it

Sometimes my 4-year-old daughter drives me bonkers. At such times, I want to 1) hide, and 2) eat everything in the house. Today was one of those days. So many questions, so much whining (just like her mom!), so much scattering of toys and books and crumbs...

But I didn't give in to the temptation to eat the chocolate chips in the cupboard or my 10-year-old daughter's Halloween candy (obviously she was switched at birth--a child of mine couldn't possibly hang onto candy for over 2 months). I did try to hide, but there aren't many places to go in a 1500 sq. foot, 1 story house. Locking myself in the bathroom doesn't work--she just patiently scratches and kicks and "MOMMY MOMMY MOMMYs" at the door until I come out.

Then there are times like this that make me want to keep her forever and ever, and forgive all the crumbs and whining. Keep your eye on the short angel--that's her. No wonder I resisted the chocolate chips.

Contest Day 36 (really?)--Weigh-in

You know the drill. 

I'll be back when it's actual morning and not fake morning (12:14 am) to post my weight. 

Do check out the previous post. The blog I linked to is hilarious. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm tired--here's a link

I told Sara I'd blog daily while she was traipsing around Luxor with her family this week. Uh...good thing Sara knows me. Her expectations are generally very low. 

If you haven't looked at this site, you should:

Start with the earliest posts and work your way to the present if you have the time. Be sure to read the descriptions. They're the best part. 

Here's one of the cakes I made before I got into cake decorating and became the world's foremost expert. This cake is, uh, interesting. I had a lot to learn back then:

The year was 1999, and for my mom's birthday I wanted to make her a cake decorated with these marshmallow daisies I saw on the cover of Woman's Day. You know what I can't make out of marshmallows? Daisies. You know what I can make out of marshmallows? Bunnies. I showed the cake to Joel before we left for the party, and seeing his confused expression I said, "Bunnies just happened!" Well, they did. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I can never get enough whine

I wanted to make sure Sara didn't miss her kids too much, so I made sure to whine as much as possible while she was here*. I think I covered pretty much everything.
"I'm tired." 
"I can't believe I have to wash dishes again."
"I have shin splints."
"My head hurts." 
"I'm cold."
"I'm hungry."
"I'm too full." 
"My preschooler broke my nose with her hard head." 
"My nose hurts."
"I want apple pie. Why don't we have any apple pie?" 
"My lips are chapped."
"My nose is dry"
"My nose is full of dry boogers."
"My feet hurt." 
"My elbows are dry." 
"I can't do pushups because I have a thingy on my wrist and it hurts."
"There's pie in my hair." 
"My hair hurts."
"Why did I eat so much pie?"
"I have a hangnail."

Sara really enjoyed it. She likes her best friends whiny and annoying. 
Or maybe she was just holding her rage inside. Come to think of it, she did laugh a little too hard when I stepped weird while walking into the living room one evening and fell into a heap. 

I am nothing if not introspective, so all that whining got me thinking. "Is whining ever OK?" I thought to myself, "Or is it just a form of vocal self-pity that should be abandoned at all costs?"
Well, I honestly can't see myself quitting with the whining entirely, so I think I've decided to support conditional whining.

Sometimes we need to let off some steam--complain a little. It helps us feel better in some cases. However, it can go too far. When whining goes beyond letting off steam and veers into poor-me-why-is-the-world-against-me-all-the-time-in-everything-I-do-life-sucks-and-I'm-a-miserable-failure territory, then it's time to shut up and regroup.

Whining can make it all worse. It can alienate you from your friends and family (ever been around a whiny toddler or teenager for a while and wanted to ship him/her off to Siberia at the first opportunity?). It can reinforce any sense of misery or hopelessness you already have. It can make you forget what's good in your life and forget the needs of others (many of whom probably have far more reason to whine than you.) 

In short, I think I'll allow myself to whine from time to time, but only for a short while, then it's time to figure out what to do about my problems and take action instead of wallowing in the negative verbal soup (like alphabet soup, but more metaphorical). 

So, Sara--sorry to have avoided the epiphany until after you left, but I'll try to keep up the reluctant-Pollyanna behavior until your next visit. 

*Note: I am not implying that Sara's kids are particularly whiny. But, they are kids after all. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Not too late...

I know you're hiding in a corner, recovering from a chocolate coma and trying to remember if you ate those M&Ms that rolled under the couch on Christmas Eve yet or not, but you should pull yourself up (lean on the wall if you need to) and shuffle off to the bathroom and weigh in. 

Come on--you can do it! 

Why? Um...cause I said so? (There are other reasons, but I don't have time for that much typing right now. So for now, just go with "because Holly said so.")

Friday, January 2, 2009

Contest Day 29: Weigh it...weigh it good.

Hello! Sorry I didn't start the thread earlier.

Post your weight! I know you don't want to, but do it anyway!

If you don't do anything else this year about your weight (though I hope you and I both do lots), at least resolve to start facing the truth.