Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fierce Chairs, Drips and Bob Dylan

180.2 lbs. Not a word. Not a bloody word.

By the way, the “G” in Kenny G? Yeah; that stands for “GAG”! THAT is jazz like Britney Spears is hard rock. Monk, Davis, Gillespie, Brubeck, People. 88.1 KKJZ or www.jazzandblues.org online. Consider it homework. There will be a quiz. Duke Ellington? Extra credit.

Interesting sighting this morning: the actual edge of my rib cage. YES! I never thought I’d see it again and had been investigating the cost of putting its picture on a milk carton, but when I “fully engaged my core muscles” (formerly known as “sucked in my gut”), there it was! Well, the outline of where it will be. Nobody’s going to mistake me for Kate Moss, but at least I can see things that are supposed to be there and not just in my imagination. Happy dance, happy dance!

Well, I am stiff and sore in some interesting places. It was Yoga Day, aka Tibetan Twister (with an element of “Simon Says,” apparently. Never work ahead of a yoga instructor. They don’t like it).

Lila likes to start her class off with an invocation (just something else about her way of doing things that keeps me coming back) and told us that today’s class was about joy. I am usually quietly joyous in her class because I so enjoy being there.

There were the usual suspects and there were the usual greetings of “How’s your shoulder?” “That color looks great on you,” “Are you going to hit the Early Bird at Denny’s?” (well, it’s a mixed age/mixed ability group). We were settling in to our usual spots and  oh joy, we are joined by about a half-dozen young women with noses in the air and who promptly set up camp at the front of the room and blocked my view of Lila (Remember, when it comes to learning yoga, I am Monkey See, Monkey Do. The more polite term is “reverse engineer.”) Lila even had to move one of them out of her spot. I had to interrupt my practice because one of these stuck-up floozies set up camp so close to my ALREADY ESTABLISHED mat that she nearly kicked me in the face.

And thus, we had our first round of Competitive Yoga. How do you play? Simple: it’s regular hatha yoga combined with looking contemptuously at the other students in the class. Oh and don’t make eye contact, don’t smile. Lila talks about our “sweet energy” that we bring to the room and they definitely didn’t have much sweetness.

Whatever. That’s their deal. I felt FANTASTIC after class. Seriously. I needed it. My upper back has been knotting up like a Boy Scout earning a merit badge (they used have to earn merit badges in tying knots, you know. How old are you? What are you doing here?) Given the tension I’ve been experiencing, I needed this. I needed it badly.

I was ready for standing poses today. I even practiced a bit before going to class. I could actually grab my foot and jam it into my crotch while standing. Yes! Grab my toe and extend my leg? Yeeeeah, not so much. But when we hit that Tree Pose, I was loaded for bear and ready to go.

Nope. Somebody cut down the forest. No Trees. A lot of Chair Pose, though. WE are told to "tighten up the perineum" while in Chair. Honey, I'm way ahead of you. Perineum, sphincter, anything to keep from interrupting the class.

How about this: Half Moon? Never heard of it? Let me enlighten you: get on all fours. So far, so good. Extend your right arm, palm facing inward. Okay. Now extend your left leg. AND HOLD. Just when you’re ready to go back to all fours, the new instruction comes: “Now extend that right arm to the side like you’re signaling for a turn and extend that left leg so it’s parallel to the arm.”

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME????? My wrists and shoulders are already screaming!!!! And this is the point where I nearly got kicked in the nose.

But, of course, if you’re advanced in your practice (I am not. Let’s just be clear. I am not an advanced yogi), you can always pull that leg off and really extend the right arm. Reattaching the leg is part of the vinyasa flow, especially if you can do it in Dancing Warrior (balanced on one foot. Not the one you removed).  

What made this even more interesting was the musical background. Think it’s going to be sitars and chanting? A little “Gandhi” soundtrack with a dash of Ravi Shankar? Not so much. We regularly stretch and breathe with Pearl Jam. No, I’m not kidding.  And the Beatles (which, if it’s “Here Comes the Sun” with George Harrison it just works. Come to think of it, we get a lot of cuts from “Abbey Road”). Today, the sound system cut out for a few minutes and cut back on with…Bob Dylan. Yeah. It was a slow tempo but, God love Bob, his voice has not improved with age. I caught a couple of eye rolls from the drop-in girls when Dylan came on. The regulars were desperately trying not to make eye contact with each other to stave off giggle fits (We’re bad. We’re really bad).

To emphasize the joy, along with the Pearl Jam (I have to investigate because the songs she chose were GREAT. And they did have Eastern instruments like tablas and sitar), she hit us with reggae. It wasn’t “Jammin’” or “Iron Lion Zion”, but it worked. Of course, I found myself in Down Dog not so much stretching and holding the pose as bouncing to the beat.

At the end of the class, the Drop In Drips all grabbed their mats and headed out the door without so much as a word to Lila or anyone else. It’s a shame, really. Why go to all the trouble of attending that class and working out if you’re not getting anything out of it?

Screw them: We of the Purple Mat Platoon (and it’s a variety of shades) shall return on Thursday and try not to make eye contact during Down Dog.

Monday, June 27, 2011

If You Don't MInd, It Don't Matter

180.2 lbs. Yeah, I kind of earned it. But hey, it’s not 179.8!

(I’ve always hated vampires: bloodsucking fiends who never die, drain you of everything and then make you one of them. Instead,  I went to law school.  Ba dum ching!).

Yes, that was me on the treadmill flipping a double bird at a commercial starring AHole Rodriguez (Number 13 of the Pinstriped Damned). It’s a reflex.

To the two girls (early 20s) who were standing 10 feet away from me and whispering furiously about me (I heard “fat” and “gross”). Yeah, I could hear you. I’m fat, not deaf, you dimbos.  I hope a St. Bernard poops in your shoes.

Today is a day of frustration and self-directed anger. No, I didn’t binge on anything and yes, I  went to the gym and worked (frustration is a great way to push through your mental barriers. Of course, if you find yourself choking the ever-loving shit out of someone, perhaps there are better ways to channel the anger. Just sayin’). I will not go into details, but it has nothing to do with the plateau or body. The additional 4 ounces are courtesy of a dry roasted peanut binge yesterday. With wine.

Luckily for me, one of my Facebook friends posted a video of Will Smith talking about success. I’ll see if I can link to it from here, but he spoke of work ethic and persistence and emphasized a difference between talent and skills. He said that skills were developed through hours of working at your craft (whatever it may be). I’d never thought of it that way.
There's Will.

He also told a story about his father making Will and his brother (I don’t know what Will’s brother’s name is) rebuild a brick wall. To the two boys, it seemed like an impossible task that would take forever, but they did eventually rebuild the wall, one brick at a time. As Will said, “You’re not looking to build he whole wall. You  go in and you lay that brick the best, the most perfect way you can. And then the next one. Eventually, you will have built a wall.” (I’m not quoting verbatim. I don’t remember it well enough).

I need to remember this advice.

Right now, I’m working to master a task that, frankly right now, is like juggling jellyfish: they squish around and when you think you’ve got a handle on them, they sting you.

(Again, I don’t remember exactly what he said) Will also spoke along the lines of the Law of Attraction:  visualizing things the way you want them and just declaring that you’re going to succeed.  Where you go in the mind, you can follow in the body. It’s called “manifestation.”

Look, when I started the weight loss project, losing 40 or 50 or 100 lbs. seemed nearly impossible. I can still hear the voices telling me I’m too old to do it, I’ve been sedentary for too long and I’ve failed too many times before this, why should I expect a different result?  And yet, here I am scrapping to get to the 50 lbs. down mark which is HALFWAY to 100. If I’m shooting for 80 down, hell, I’ve already passed that halfway point (a couple of times to be truthful. I don’t like spikes and plateaus. Did I mention that I don’t like spikes and plateaus? I really don’t). I mentioned that I had pulled a bunch of jeans from storage that, way back when I put them in there (years ago), it was with the thought that I was foolish to hold onto them; who was I kidding? I’ll never fit into those jeans again. Well, I got into 3 out of 4 pairs of them yesterday, so I must be doing something right.

“The Little Engine That Could” is about overcoming obstacles through positive thought and persistence (Note: you can overcome a lot of obstacles this way, but you may wish to rethink if your goal is to smash your head through a brick wall). Belief in self is the cornerstone of success. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” has been heard so often in America that it has become trite. The sentiment may be a simple one, but very often, the simple concepts are the ones that become powerful mantras (which we then try to strip of their power through mockery).  I will adopt this concept, but rephrase it for my own purposes: “ I’m going up that motherfucking hill and when I come back down, I’m going to punch Jillian Michaels in the face.”

Step 1: You’ve got to KNOW you can before you show you can. Then you get to punch Jillian Michaels in the face.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Be Who You Are

Fuck it, I’ve had two glasses of wine and that makes me verbose.

Okay, I’ve already posted today’s thoughts on still being 179.8 lbs. for the eighth straight day in a row and frankly, if you’re looking to drop weight, that blows.

I have reestablished a friendship with one of the guys from my high school class. He and I used to have to defend the Red Sox against the Yankee fans (in a cruel twist on God’s part, Vermont is the border territory between Red Sox Nation and Yankee Hell. Proctor High School was as evenly divided). I forget the current circumstances that lead to his comment and I don’t remember it verbatim, but it was to the effect that “Gee, I never got the impression that you really cared what other people think about you.”

That could explain so much.  Like the fact that I’m sitting in a hotel room on my own at the age of 50, somewhat tipsy on two and a half mugs (I don’t have any wineglasses) of wine and more than 10 grams of peanuts (Yes, this is how I cheat and probably the polar opposite of the intermittent fast I was contemplating today).  

In vino veritas. By many, many people’s standards, I am a huge failure.

I think not.

I COULD HAVE played the game in high school to be more popular, just letting someone else dictate my choices for me and going with the flow to avoid trouble (that could be why I don’t want to eat fish and find salmon especially yucky: too much like cannibalism). There was an incident in tenth grade where the class was supposed to have completed projects for biology class. I started on a family tree and that involved traveling down to Massachusetts with my parents to visit a town hall for records and the cemetery where my grandparents were buried. However, the class (read the cool kids) had decided that they weren’t going to turn in projects, so I didn’t turn in mine and never heard the end of it (even though I graduated high school over 30 years ago). My father called me a sheep for falling in and that stuck. It stuck for years. Last time that happened.

Here’s the thing: you make choices as you go through life and whether you realize it or not, these are determined by your priorities. There’s a line in “Three Kings” where the rogue soldiers are deciding whether or not to go back to Karbala after gold Saddam Hussein stole from the Kuwaitis. Major Gate (George Clooney. Sigh) asks them, “What’s the most important thing in life?” The final answer comes up to be “Necessity.”

Here’s my necessity: to blend in with the crowd, I would have had to subsume or eliminate large chunks of my personality and who I am.  I could not live with myself if I did that.

My philosophy has been that no matter how hard or how bad the truth may be right now, the consequences of a lie, when found out (and they are inevitably found out) are ten times worse. If I put on a particular face now to achieve a certain goal, maintaining that fa├žade is going to be extremely costly (if not monetarily, then in terms of self-respect and quiet worry over being discovered) and there’s no telling how long I can maintain it. Might as well tell the truth and get it out of the way.

I have been told to dial back my personality at work. I can be professional, although, under circumstances of great stress, such as the two times I’ve been in the ass end of an ambulance, my response is to keep the one-liners coming. That’s not hiding who I am, that’s just not being the class clown (which, according to the late, definitely great George Carlin is really “Dig Me”) and disrupting what other people are trying to do. Took me 48 years to learn that one. 

The quote that made me worship Bette Davis was something I read in Newsweek when I was 11 or 12 years old. She said, “There are two kinds of women in the world: Ladies and broads. Me, I’m a broad.” And so am I, Miss Davis.

I am highly opinionated (which most people say like it’s a bad thing), intelligent (notice I did not include “highly” with that particular adjective) and uncompromising on a lot of things. According to a lot of sources (some of them divorced at least once), these qualities are not particularly suited to getting promotions, boyfriends or a big group of friends. One former boss, whom I liked a lot, told me a couple of things in a meeting, “Thatchuh (she was from Bahston), I love ya, but you’ve got no patience for carelessness or stupidity” and “You are so critical of everybody. You’re technical smaht, but you’re not people smaht.” Actually, I was critical of her Ass Kisser in Chief who did nothing, even the stuff to which he was assigned and what work he did do, he sucked at it. I believe this was a meeting in which she told me I wasn’t getting a promotion. And frankly, in a business environment where you were handling other people’s money (sometimes quite a lot of it), there was no room for carelessness and stupidity or promoting  someone whose sole skill was fawning all over the boss.

Men…this kind of starts out as one of those “A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar” jokes. One day, after hitting the outlet mall in Tilton, NH (which is your basic, generic outlet mall: nothing special except for the lack of sales tax), my grandmother, one of my law school friends and I were heading back to take Gram home when, after some discussion about a point of law, my grandmother (admittedly of a different generation with different priorities) said, “You know, men don’t like women who are too smart. You shouldn’t discuss such things in front of them.” (This while Hillary Clinton was our First Lady. Kind of disproves that theory right there) My friend, we’ll call her Sally, blurted out, “That is such bullshit!”

You know, that’s not the first or last time I’ve heard that particular piece of “wisdom” (the thing about women should hide their smarts. Not the part about it being bullshit. Which it is). However, it’s a piece of “advice” that I could never stomach:  for years, one of my central beliefs has been that the only thing I have had going for me is my brain and if I denied, I would have nothing else to offer. Has spending my adult life alone been damned difficult? Is Elton John the Gay Godfather? Nobody has sufficient sexual skills or providing abilities to overcome my need to be who I am.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you have to be yourself and true to yourself or you’re no good to anyone.

Time to stop. The buzz is wearing off.

A Long Time Ago on an Ass Not So Far Away


For the record, I resent Beatles and Rolling Stones music being used for advertising. “Pictures of Matchstick Men” by Status Quo, okay. They could probably use the money. “Here Comes the Sun” NEVER! It’s Michael Jackson’s GD fault for having bought and then lost control of the Beatles catalog. Sir Paul? Ringo? Yoko? Olivia? Please, please, please pony up to buy it back and prevent the music from being further desecrated. For the record, if they wanted to sell heavy duty (or doody) diapers with Britney Spears’s “Oops, I Did It Again,” that would be poetic justice and such a statement.

I mean, ferchrissakes, I even shifted things around a bit; I did the weight training and cardio yesterday, Saturday, instead of Friday. I overindulged last night (someone had pigs in a blanket. I love a good hot dog. However, they’re loaded with fat and sodium – even Trader Joe’s chicken sausage sets off the alarms on My Net Diary. I only ate two. Three).  Nothing moved. I had wine. No effect.

Frustration is a daily part of my existence: I am not, nor have I ever been, a patient person (except when socializing cats and getting them over behavioral problems. If you have a great purr, I will forgive a lot). I don’t have a “relationship” (which has become a hijacked term to mean an ongoing intimate sexual arrangement with another individual. There are other kinds of relationships, but you have to cast about for other terms to use because that one has been moved. Sort of like “Christian” no longer just refers to an individual who believes that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God. It now means a born-again or Evangelical with right-wing political beliefs and zero tolerance for anyone else’s beliefs or opinions. I have not been able to describe myself a Christian since the late 70s when it took on this extremely limited meaning. Not being an Evangelical asshole, I resent this. A lot), so, yes, I have an intimate relationship with a particular kind of frustration. I’ve undergone job droughts and the dry up of cash flow.

This time, though, I am angry and unfortunately, it’s setting off some old, buried reactions to hitting the wall, so to speak. I’ve been having the “If it’s not going to work, why fucking bother?” thoughts. That ain’t good. I have, for the sake of reaching a goal, omitted some pleasures from my diet, such as the aforementioned hot dogs, alcohol (I am not a heavy drinker, but there are times when it’s nice to sit back with a really good glass of wine or a beer (although that’s more or less out for the gluten content, but there are gluten-free beers. Whole Foods, Man),  cheese and Arnold Palmers (half iced tea, half lemonade). We are trained, from a young age, to believe that if you make sacrifices and work hard to achieve a goal, you will be rewarded by reaching that goal. Couldn’t prove that by me this week.

I looked at the medical websites about tightening skin post-weight loss and they were uniform about “Lose 1-2 lbs. per week and the skin will have time to tighten on its own as you go.” Well, given these plateaus, that seems like the average, so maybe this isn’t an issue.

If this story was “Star Wars” (IV, V and VI, the REAL ones, not those crappy prequels. Seriously, George Lucas, the last great screenplay you wrote was  Episode IV, despite some of the dialogue), the part of the Death Star (Original and Version 2.0) would be played by the Great White Belly.  Of course, we know that the Empire started REBUILDING THE FUCKING THING WHILE WE WERE HANGING OUT WITH YODA.  (Yoda being played by the voice in my head keeping me out of the hot dogs, beer and Cheetohs and telling me to get to the gym).

8 days with the same numbers and I am sorely tempted to go over to the Dark Side. Darth Vader doesn’t have a light saber; it’s a cheeseburger from Red Robin with the bottomless steak fries (they have wicked good sweet potato fries, by the way. Limited time, unfortunately, but I’ve emailed them asking that they consider making them a permanent part of the menu).

Emotional eating is rearing its ugly head.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately, either.  I don’t know if it’s a function of having reached a particular stage in life (unconfirmed because I haven’t had the dough or the health insurance to go to a doctor) or something else. When I started seeing the acupuncturist in January, she treated me for sleep issues (I have had sleep apnea) and I was sleeping through the night for 7.5 to 8 hours without a problem. And I felt FANTASTIC. Now I’m wondering if this is related to the plateau. There are a lot of studies that indicate disrupted sleep is involved in weight issues.

Today was supposed to be Pilates class and I slept VERY badly last night. I couldn’t even make it through “Sunday Morning” on CBS and that’s one of the few network shows I watch faithfully. If we are to “honor our bodies” and proceed accordingly, then I did the right thing by rolling over and going back to sleep for a couple of hours. I’m still undecided about heading in later today for a couple of hours of cardio. We’ll see.

I saw a group of friends last night (warm, dear people whom I love) and got a chorus of “You look fantastic!” which is a pat on the head that I needed. Another boost came from what I wore: my somewhat dressy/nice clothes (it was a casual gathering, but these guys deserve better than a ratty Beatles T shirt and shorts falling off my ass) are too big. Remember that I pulled a quartet of jeans from storage a couple of weeks ago? The Levis and the Calvins? Well, where I was unable to zip up when I pulled them, last night I wore the size 13 Calvins (I haven’t tried the size 12s). Yeah and this morning, I could get into the Levi 917s. There’s still flab overflow and it’s like having an iron band around the middle BUT I CAN WEAR THE DAMNED THINGS!!!!! There have been times when I didn’t think that was going to happen.  

Even certain pieces of jewelry fit better: I have a short strand of silver pearls that are Wilma Flintstone sized. They were given to me 3 years ago and didn’t fit. Now they hang a bit like they’re supposed to do.

Okay, these advances are great, but I’d still like to see the weight go down.  There’s circumstantial evidence to prove something and there’s direct evidence, okay? Circumstantial evidence is: “We found a gun in the guy’s apartment, it’s a match to the murder weapon and the victim had an affair with this guy’s wife.” Direct evidence is: “We found the guy standing over the body with the smoking murder weapon in his hand.” The jeans, the pearls, the body reshaping: that’s all circumstantial evidence. The weight? That’s direct evidence. I need the direct evidence to prove my case (to Darth Vader, if you will. I’m kind of blending “Star Wars” with “Law & Order”, but it works for me) to myself that this is working and worth continuing.

That goddamn Death Star isn’t going to blow itself up, you know.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Once More Unto the Priest

179.8 lbs. GAH!!!!!

Dear Axe Body Spray: I think it is shameful how you lie to young, desperate, zitty men about your product, particularly since your product causes my nostrils to sting and eyes to water worse than Ron Burgundy’s “Sex Panther” cologne* (*Yes, I know it was really Paul Rudd’s character. Spare me the correction emails). Angels do not fall from the sky, young women do not pull off their bikini tops for horny nerds unless considerable amounts of Red Bull and vodka are involved. I should report your ass to the FTC for false advertising.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”

“Oh, for the love of God: don’t you understand what a RESTRAINING ORDER means?”

“Since this is supposed to be anonymous, how can you possibly prove I am that person for whom you got a restraining order. You’re not even supposed to know my name. What are you, a Peeker Cheater?”

“Oh, Jesus Christ.”

“Don’t bring your boss into this.”

“So your Red Sox lost to the PIRATES??? HA!”

“And the soon-to-be former owner bent your Dodgers over a chair like the Monsignor and…”

“HEY! Don’t go there!”

“You started it.”

“So, what’s the big sin today? Evil thoughts about people who stick gum on the elliptical? Pride over your accomplishment? By the way, I notice your progress.”

“I thought you weren’t supposed to be able to see me through the screen.”

“You didn’t sa “OOF!” as you got into the confessional. I figured it wasn’t such a tight squeeze anymore.”

“It’s not, Father, and thank you. But I am angry.”

“What, another plateau?”

“Yes, how did you know?”

“I read your blog. And yes, I click on the ads, hoping the income will make you go away. And yet, here you are. AH CHOOO!”

“ Bless you, Father.”

“That’s my line. So tell me about the anger.”

“So, I’ve been VERY careful about what I put in my mouth, I have done at least one Monster Burn this week and I’ve been stuck at the same god damned…”


“Sorry, Father. The same LOUSY weight for days. You know, I’ve got that My Net Diary and it ASSURES me that between what’s gone in the mouth and what’s been sweated off the butt should result in a loss of x number of ounces per day. However, the numbers don’t change.”

“Are you cheating?”

“On whom? I’m single.”

“(Annoyed sigh). You know what I mean.”

“Well, I am today, Father.”

“Oooh, let me guess, you did less than 5 hours at the gym and ate 3 bean sprouts instead of 2. You naughty girl. There’s a special place in hell for you.”

“Hey, leave the sarcasm to the professionals, Father.”

“You know there are people who are 1) actually Catholic, 2) truly wish to unburden their souls and 3) actually want absolution and will do penance. You are preventing me from ministering to my flock.”

“Your flock is at the beach. It’s just you and me. So about the cheating…”

“Go ahead, but be advised, I’m gonna lay such a penance on you…”

“Whatever. I started a new job this week and that makes it necessary to shuffle my schedule, not to mention there’s a huge amount of stress because I want to do this RIGHT. Employment is good. Unemployment, not so much, especially when the benefits run out. I was doubly anxious because I was frustrated with myself for not being better at the job and because I wasn’t on my usual gym schedule. I just hit the emotional wall yesterday and…”

“Let me guess, TWO chocolate almond horns?”

“You got it.”

“I can understand that. Those things are really, really, really good. What else?”

“Wine, Father.”

“Oh, please.”

“No, Torquemada said ‘Once a month’ and I had a glass on my birthday. She said it slows down the metabolism and since I’m working towards a goal, yada yada yada, eyes on the prize…”

“How much?”

“One coffee mug. I don’t have wine glasses.”

“Anything good?”

“Mosby Vinyards Sangiovese.”

“Ah,that’s good stuff. Did you at least have it with a filet mignon?”

“No, Father, veggie burgers. And they SUCK.”

“You’re killing me. That’s a crime against humanity.”

“You’re telling me.”

“So, for the first time since you started this odyssey, you indulged in a little rebellion. Big friggin’ whoop. Come back when you’ve committed something interesting, like lust.”

“I lust in my heart.”

“Unless you’re Jimmy Carter, it doesn’t count. And frankly, if you got laid once a while…”


“You wouldn’t bother me so much. What else?”

“The cheating continued in to today. I had more wine.”

“Did you record it?”

“Well, if your weight goes up tomorrow, it’s your own damn fault.”

“It would be something different on the scale.”

“Yeah, but as bad as you are on a plateau, I don’t want to be within 10 miles of you when you spike. Are you sure you’re not on the rag?”


“Jeez! Relax, Francis! Just asking.”

“’Relax, Francis?’ Have you been watching ‘Stripes’ on your IPod?”

“Yeah. Love that movie.”

“So, what’s my penance?”

“If I let the punishment fit the crime, I’d be busting into your sanctum sanctorum on a regular basis and driving you nuts. And you know, since you’re not actually Catholic, I could probably step outside the 10 Hail Marys and Stations of the Cross boundaries and give you something really creative, like a 20 mile hike. HOWEVER, you and I both know that there is a Bible passage to address your plateau concerns.”

“Which one?”

“This, too, shall pass. Just chill, keep on keeping on and tell me a six letter synonym for ‘hemorrhoid’.”


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Toot Toot Beep Beep Yeah

179.8 lbs. If you’re a regular here, you know what I’m thinking. And you should wash your brain out with soap!

I love cats and have known my share of Mighty Hunters. However, despite all the tales of mice, bunnies, chipmunks and the occasional hornpout (apparently, when my mom and her siblings were still kids, my aunt’s cat, Peter, would go fishing and my grandmother would fry up his catch for him), I believe I have heard the winner: a friend just told me her cat brought home a turtle the other day and now regards it as his pet. Top that.

 Due to training for a new job (Yea! Work is always Yea! Mama needs new bras and Victoria’s Secret isn’t trying to sign me up as a model. Neither is Lane Bryant, but their stuff is lousy, anyway. We’ve covered this ), I was unable to get to the gym in my usual dark-thirty timeframe  and had to go in the late afternoon.

Let me tell you, I would rather bobsled naked at the Olympics (which, if you really know me, taps into my hatred of being cold and my refusal to be unclothed even for me) than do that again. I’d rather sleep with Rush Limbaugh. I’d rather cheer for the New York… you get the drift.

First, there was the fight for parking spaces in front of (or as close to possible to) the front door. One would think, were one a rational human being, that it might be a good strategy to park upstairs or far away from the door to, I don’t know, get a little bit more workout on the way in and on the way out. After all, that’s why we’re there.

Apparently not.

Horns, fingers, obscenities and the idiot who parked a Jeep Compass over two spaces. Dude, it’s a fucking Jeep Compass aka Piece of Shit That Caused Chrysler to Ask for a Bailout and Hire Eminem to Make an Ad For Them in a Desperate Hail Mary for Sales. I’ve driven one. Rosie the Elephant couldn’t make a bigger pile of …yeah, I know; too many vulgarities already (important language note: “shit” and “fuck” are vulgarities. “Jesus Christ”, “hell” and “damn” are considered blasphemies. Next week: the difference between “can” and “may”). However, I stand by my review.

Then, there was the gang of girls catching up with each other JUST inside the doors and blocking traffic in both directions. I waited a moment, thinking they’d finish and head off in separate directions. Nope. I had to escalate the “Excuse me” until I almost sounded like Gilbert Gottfried. I got a “tsk” and snotty “Excuse US!” as they moved.

Crowded? Oh yes. Did this cause people to behave more courteously? Naooooooo. The machine hogs were out and about, the “exercise buddies” who took up machines side by side and spent 2 minutes doing the exercises and 10 minutes chattering in between (Note: lots of places tell you to work out with a friend so you can keep each other motivated. Bullshit. I haven’t seen it work yet). And there were those who had to check email, Twitter, texts and tell their friends about all the assholes at the gym in between reps. Sadly, they neglected to mention themselves in the report.

I managed to work in my weight training routine (although I was so frustrated with myself over the new job skills I’m trying to master that I could have tossed a Rotating Staircase of Death across the room. I keep telling you: you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. I’ve been known to get sarcastic). Luckily, there were a couple of kind, hunky guys who let me work in on the machines they were using. One even stopped me when I tried to reset the machine to his settings, telling me it was easier for each of us to remember our own settings, but it was kind of me to offer. I needed that little pat on the head.

My routine is to get in an hour of cardio after the weight training. Unfortunately, the Thundering Herd was in the house and all of the functioning cardio machines, regardless of breed, were occupied. Besides, I wanted to just get the hell out of the gym (pretty sure I saw Peppermint Bitch on my way up, so steam room was out of the question). So, Friday, I’ll double down, especially if this lousy plateau doesn’t break. Monster burn? Oh, yeah. GODZILLA burn. Tokyo doesn’t stand a chance. Neither does The Great White Belly.

Even though I’m stuck on yet another plateau (and a friend assured me that a plateau is the body’s way of preparing to drop more pounds. I’ll believe it when I see it between the toes), I can see things that keep me going. I don’t have to squint to see my collarbones. Those nasty inner thigh flap for which no one has come up with an insulting term (like “muffin top,” “cankle” or “ turkey wattle”) have SHRUNK. Wow. Those suckers haven’t changed in years and my legs have never been a problem area. Ladies, those two thigh machines that are like a trip to the gynecologist without the stirrups? They really, really work! Throw in a few leg presses, too.

My butt is changing shape. Again, not really a big problem area (everything’s a piece of cake compared to the Great White Belly), but it’s getting some definition. And the GWB is still collapsing. I can suck in my gut to the point where it almost looks flat. I do not expect six pack or washboard abs out of this, but it’s heartening to know that I can potentially make all the flab go away and the Truly Nasty Overhang with it. When it comes to clothing, I’m a fan of tailored, clean lines, no ruffles or flourishes and I guess I’d like to see that in my body lines, too.

When the job gets rolling, one of the things to be considered will be (gulp) dating. I say “when the job gets rolling” because I’m thinking of Eharmony (or Match.com. I have a friend who met her husband on there). Despite one week after turning 50, Mother Nature decided to turn on the surprise sweat machine (bitch) and randomly cut the switch to brain cells in charge of memory (short term stuff like “Okay, how many sets have I done so far?” and a particular actor whose face I recognize: I know him from “Chicago Hope”, he’s been on “ER” and “Aw and Order” and has a three-part name but I’ll be damned if I can remember it. He’s not Rocky Carroll or Obbe Babatunde. DAMMIT. The fact that my father has dementia makes these kinds of lapses even more unsettling), I am an optimist. There are 6 billion plus people on this planet, slightly less than half that are men ( and no, I don’t know what the gay percentage is) and they can’t ALL be assholes.

And I hear George Clooney broke up with his girlfriend. You know, it’s got to be my turn sooner or later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Day in the Life

179.8 lbs. Let’s see, South Beach, Atkins, Cabbage Soup, Beverly Hills Fruit Bat…nope. Can’t find the rules for the Tasmanian Devil Plateau Buster Diet. How am I supposed to know how much dynamite to swallow?

Saw some interesting clothing at the gym today, both on men. One was a guy in solid blue from head to foot, all the same shade. Either he’s a huge Dodgers fan or really, really anxious for the new Smurf movie (may it crash and burn. Those little blue bastards give me the creeps. Smurf them). The other guy was wearing a San Francisco Giants cap, but the cap was made in Dodger colors. Obviously, camouflage. Hey, it could save his life. It works for chameleons.

Despite the current plateau, I felt bold enough to wear a sun dress out in public today. Granted, I’m not happy about the bra straps on display (they’re nude, but I’m the whitest woman in captivity, so pretty much anything shows). Nobody stopped me. As far as I know, there was no snickering behind my back. The cops didn’t stop me (maybe my time spent the other day served a purpose. We shall see). I was rewarded for going out on this particular limb by not encountering any resistance to me wearing what I want. And yes, when somebody mocks your clothing choices, they are resisting your choices. Even me when I talk about women wearing big furry white boots over skintight leggings (or dainty, lacy tops over big, leather boots. I still don’t get that one). Be that as it may, I feel it is our fashion duty to resist all Ed Hardy clothing. Initially, it was intriguing to see tattoo designs incorporated into fashion, but it was over-licensed and as quickly over-exposed  and old hat as “The Macarena,” Smurfs and the cast of “Jersey Shore.”

For the record, some of the gentler Beatles tunes and especially "Here Comes the Sun" work nicely as yoga background.

And no, I’m not wearing any shaping garments except for the afore-mentioned bra. It’s supposed to be in the high 90s over the next few days and that is just begging for a truly hellacious rash. Granted, it could be argued that a girdle could lead to weight loss under such circumstances, but I wouldn’t do except on a $1,000 bet. Go ahead, bet me: I could use the dough.

The Greek chorus in my head (which is also the one that I’ve recently stopped from telling me I need to put on lipstick and mascara before leaving the house. It’s a feminine chorus.) is scandalized at my audacity. How dare I walk around with being reined in (BTW: I keep seeing that term misspelled by professional writers on websites such as CNN, MSNBC and the LA Times. The LA Times is particularly bad with such matters, as well as factual errors by their bloggers). How dare I expose my arms? Ugh, the world will end.

Well, my wearing a sun dress ended the world about as effectively as the Rapture prediction for May 21. Of course, that guy has amended his timetable to October 21 (the Mayans are suing because that screws up THEIR end of the world prediction. This is like all the state primaries piling onto February and March to steal a march (bad pun) on New Hampshire, which has a law that states its primary shall be first in the nation. These friggin’ people give me a headache, but I digress). Maybe my wearing the sun dress precipitates it. I’ve got the power (which reminds me of some more songs to add to the “Workout Tuneage” playlist).

It was Yoga Day and (per the orders of Torquemada. I’m not afraid of much, but the Pushy Peanut is high on the list) I also put in some quality cardio time. I found one of the newer yoga regulars on the treadmill next to me and as we were discussing how much we love Lila and her class, the guy on the other side of me started quizzing us about the class. Seems he’s wanted to give it a try, but was intimidated by the notion of practicing among advanced students (like me. Right. Some of those poses, I make a yak on ice skates look graceful). WE assured him that Lila was the way to go and in fact, the classmate had joined because he’d been urged and pushed to do so by one of the other guys in the class because, well, it’s mostly women and testosterone evaporates in the presence of overwhelming estrogen. There’s scientific evidence. (On the flip side, I’ve done stand-up comedy…surprised?...in lineups so testosterone heavy that I was able to call up meaningless sports statistics during the night. We’ll see if the new guy shows up.
Oh, yeah: I managed to actually JOG for over 5 minutes. This is progress.

I’m still having issues with the balance poses IF I keep my feet together as I’m supposed to do. If I widen the stance, I do better, but the one-legged stuff still needs work. Never mind the forest: if this Tree falls over in yoga class, it makes a noise. In fact, it makes a lot of noise that sounds like George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television.” (Interesting fact: in the law text book that covered the Supreme Court case included those seven words in a footnote. It would have been cheaper just to buy his album).

One of the other regulars, a nice lady with shoulder issues (we both have to modify quite a bit) and I got into a bit of trouble at the beginning of the class when we were working core muscles (the new buzz term for abdominals, lower back and butt) in the Boat pose (balance on your butt with your legs in the air and reach up with your arms) and both of our Boats kept capsizing. This wouldn’t have been a problem except that we’d catch each other’s eye and giggle.  At the end of class, she told me I had very beautiful legs. That was nice. (By the way, Guys? Women can tell each other we look good or we admire various body parts or clothing without thinking it makes us sexually attracted to the complimentee).

On top of these good little bits that happened today, I’ve also got a new job (Yea! And that’s the correct spelling by the way) that will allow me to continue my intense physical training schedule. That and the fact that the gym is open 24/7 (it’s part of the name).

I need to look into whether it is possible to tighten skin after a substantial loss without the help of a plastic surgeon (which I may need anyway due to the nascent turkey wattle (aka a Reagan) under my chin. I’ll find out who took care of Ann Coulter’s). I’ve been watching “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” and those folks are undergoing the program with an eye towards earning skin removal surgery. Of course, they’re starting out from weights like 651 lbs. and 500 lbs., so the skin’s been stretched pretty far. Now that I type it, it seems a little squicky that people would compete for such a thing, but the guy who was featured last night said that he’d like to inspire people who watch the show. I give him credit for dropping 300 + lbs. in 12 months. He literally worked his ass off despite  a very prominent abdominal hernia on display on top of a week in the hospital to deal with pneumonia. He wanted the  new body enough to just keep pushing.

And so do I.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meditation From a Ladies' Locker Room

179.8, but it's down from the spike.

What follows is a repeat of a blog entry from my Myspace account dated at least 4 years ago.

     You wouldn't believe it to look at me, but I do hit the gym and work out (No, really, I do. I have the stinky sneakers to prove it. For the California audience: sneaker = tennis shoe. Don't worry; I'll have you speaking English in no time). I have also been in ladies' restrooms at numerous times in my life (without a doubt, the filthiest, most disgusting restroom is in a Taco Bell in Long Beach on the PCH. Coin-operated and can rival the ones in Trainspotting and Desperado). I find the behavior of women in these places to be both fascinating and universal. Men, if you want to know what happens in a ladies' room (or ladies' locker room), you will now find out without risking a Peeping Tom charge:

1. There will always be the oral hygiene fanatics. Women who bring toothbrushes and Crest to work. I really can't knock this - dentists want us to brush after every meal. However, there are the fanatics, as mentioned, and they not only brush but floss. This exceeds the boundaries of what is acceptable in society; nobody wants to see THAT far down your throat. I'm waiting for someone to give herself an annual check-up after lunch.

2. Makeup artists. Most women, if they care about appearance, will have a tube of lipstick or some powder to re-apply at lunch. In my case, it is determined by whether the men around me are worth the extra effort (generally, the answer is "no," even with initial attractiveness. It's not that familiarity breeds contempt, it's just that you get to see why they're single in the first place). The most extreme case came when I was working for a Fortune 500 company. I saw a woman wash her face and completely re-apply her makeup. Lady, you've GOT to be kidding me: nobody, but nobody in that office merited that kind of devotion. She had the full-size makeup train case including brushes and lash curler. If this was the travel kit, I'd hate to see the home edition. Of course, in her defense, she really, really needed the makeup.

3. The Adjustors: Men, we know you enjoy playing with the tatas. If you saw what I see, you'd treat them with a little more respect. Women will emerge from the stalls, wash hands while grimacing (makeup check) or stretching face (pore and potential zit check), then reach into bras and push, pull, shove, fluff (I can't think of a better description for the action), shake and tug. Doesn't matter that it's a public space. Doesn't matter if it's a room full of strangers; we're all female, so clearly, it's a safe space to maul the goods. Mine? Very well-trained; they stay where I put them and don't wander around like other women's do. One day, there will be a sign "$1000 reward for return of my boobs. They must have wandered off between 8 AM and noon because when I was groping for them after lunch, they were missing.Please help: they're too small to be on their own."

And, my personal favorite, the universal: The Ass Checkers. Someone please explain to me why my fellow females feel it necessary to whip around and stare at their backsides in locker room mirrors. It's there, Madam, I assure you. It's that white, lumpy thing under your "Hot to Trot" tramp stamp, right (and that's looking a bit runny these days). Weren't you just struggling to pull Spandex over it? And these women don't do anything after studying their posteriors. No tugging of pants or other adjustments, they just give it a narrow-eyed stare. Maybe squinting at it makes the thing look smaller - most of the ones being checked can be seen from the space shuttle. "Roger that, Houston. We've got the Great Wall of China, Zack just spotted a hurricane over the Atlantic, I see Donald Trump's ego and, hey, Zack, would you say that's a woman's ass down there? The big thing in hot pink? Yep, that's confirmed, Houston, we're seeing ass."

And that's it for now

Sunday, June 19, 2011

No, Mr. Belly, I Expect You to Collapse (Read. You'll Get It)

179.8 lbs. About GD time. Mind over matter.

I have this movie scene playing out in my mind, something out of James Bond (probably because USA Network has been playing James Bond movies every day. Yesterday was “Goldfinger,” THE James Bond movie, I don’t care how dated. But, as usual, I digress). My body (especially the Great White Belly) is the villain in this piece and looks like Gert Frobe (Goldfinger. He was not an attractive man in my opinion) and my brain is Bond tied down to the table with the laser beam headed for his favorite parts (Sigh. Sean Connery. I had a thing for Timothy Dalton for years, but Connery is The Man. Even if Daniel Craig in a bathing suit makes me go stupid. By the way, that takes a lot). There’s that immortal exchange, “Do you expect me to talk, Goldfinger?”

“No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

Without the zingy John Barry score, my brain managed to escape from the death trap and force the body into giving back 1.4 lbs. of the 2.4 it was hoarding. I didn’t have James Bond’s nifty swell gadgets, either. Nope. Because the scale read 181.2 on Friday, I push it into a Monster Burn: one and a quarter hours on weight training, 45 minutes on the Rotating Staircase of Death and an hour on the elliptical, pushing it. This was good for 1962 calories and I was on the first weight machine at 5:15 AM.

And yet, despite all that work, the scale did not move yesterday. Ask me if I was angry (pissed off is just high level annoyance. I prefer to be annoyed in those cases). Go on.

Yeah. Oh, yeah. So, given the body’s intransigence, I socked it with a cardio session at 8:30 PM. Rotating Staircase of Death, Baby.

Goldfinger sucked out of the plane. However, not being gay, I will not sleep with Pussy Galore.

Today was Pilates day and (brace yourselves), not only did I complete a Pilates Roll-up, but I DID ALL OF THE ONES REQUIRED IN CLASS. LEVEL 2!!! AND LEVEL 3!!!! Huzzah! AND I was able to perform most of the other exercises at the intermediate level!

There was one low point (my fault): we were doing a squat series of exercises and my back and my butt were both complaining loudly to me. The instructor (the usual sweet, kind lady, not the JMPD from last week) told us to “push our tushies” down a bit more. I said, “My tushy hates you right now.” Fortunately, she forgave me, but this is not the first time the ass had an exercise opinion.

I used to live in Concord, New Hampshire and had started walking daily with one of my friends. We’ll call her Sally (she looks like she could be named Sally). Concord (pronounced “CONkerd.” Martin Sheen never quite got it right on “West Wing” and he was supposed to be FROM there) is hilly. We got to the worst on the walk (I cannot remember the street name, but it ran up by the hospital) and she was way ahead of me. She was ahead of me because I had to stop, bend over and not barf while puffing and panting. Sally turned to call back and see if I was okay. I told her, “My ass hates you and so do I.” Fortunately, she did not take offense and we are still friends. Of course, we haven’t really seen each other in a few years.

With success (sustained success, even) at the Pilates Roll-up, this only leaves sustained jogging and the Push-up as the remaining activities to be conquered. I discovered during class today that my right side (from the hip down) is not as strong as my left side and I’m pretty sure it’s because of the knee (and I do admit to babying it). That may present an obstacle to running/jogging, we’ll see.

I was talking to another friend last night, Annie, who just had surgery to repair the meniscus in her left knee. She had expected to get off the operating table and a day later, be able to get into her high heels and life would go on as before. It’s been quite a rude shock to her that she must now undergo physical therapy and it’s challenging. I was telling her about Pilates and my challenges and now, the gauntlet has been thrown down: I am now to work on mastering the “Man” push-up while she sticks with her PT and doesn’t expect to jump up and run. And believe me, there will be monitoring.

Ay yi yi.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Memo from Brain to Body

181.2 lbs. Again. Yeah.

Dear Body,

You were given fair warning yesterday as to what would happen if you declined to shed even part of the 2.2 lbs. spike in which you saw fit to indulge. I told you in person and I put it in writing through this medium.  You cannot claim to have been blindsided.

You have been getting fed very carefully, both in terms of what and how much. Unless you’re indulging in sleep eating (which I, the Brain, doubt as we are neither on Ambien nor named Jethro Beaudean), there is no good acceptable explanation for this behavior. Suspected problem foods have been eliminated, yet you persist in defying me.

Body, you know how important success is in this project. In fact, you are recipient of the benefit; I, the brain am merely guiding the actions. We did what you wanted for 20 years and look where it got us: 224 lbs., weak, on the verge of serious chronic health issues and completely miserable and alone. You put me, the brain, in charge and we’re actually achieving something.

You’ve been happy with the changes. Frankly, I’m delighted to look better in our clothes, everything is tickety boo and we’re on track, but…

You decide to act up. You decide that, despite agreeing to do things my way which, according to My Net Diary, should have us losing nearly a pound a day, you’re going to retain a lot of material and throw the program into reverse.

I’ve got news: I will not be deterred, merely delayed.

The 4:30 wake up call? That’s on you, Pal.

Hour and a quarter of weight training? To the point where your muscles were trembling and screaming from lactic acid burn? All you.

45 minutes on the Rotating Staircase of Death? After the weight training? Wouldn’t have happened if you’d seen fit to give back even part of the gain. Did you enjoy the swampy socks? The river of sweat down the back of your neck? You thought the muscles were screaming during weight training, they were singing an octave higher by the time we got to the 30 minute mark. You were BEGGING to stop. Should have thought of that yesterday. You knew today was weights and cardio, yet you chose to ignore the warning.

Just to make sure you got the message, we hit the elliptical for an hour. More sweat, more damp clothes, more groans and protests from the muscles. And yeah: when it’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” or “Humans Being”, the command is “push it.” You know the drill: if the tempo is driving, we’re going to hit it harder. Same goes for “Nutrocker” and “Tessie.” We must show proper respect for the national anthems of the Bruins and Red Sox. Funny how most of the shuffle songs today were in the “push it” command playlist.

And now you feel exhausted from the hips down. Oh, by the way: nice try on trying to get the rhomboids and trapezius muscles to knot up and go on strike. If you noticed, they got some extra attention today. You’re welcome.

So, Body, since you chose not to part with your water or fat hoard (we are not part of a camel, even though that came up in yoga yesterday. As did the Beatles from Abbey Road), there were consequences. And those consequences entailed 1962 calories burned, according to My Net Diary.

By the way, Body, if today’s little adventure does not cause you to give up, there’s always tomorrow. I’m thinking 2 or 3 hours of cardio.

Fair warning.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Love the Smell of Red Tape in the Morning

181.2 lbs. For no good reason. If I don’t like what I see tomorrow morning, a Monster Burn is not out of the question.

And the rest of the day didn’t get much better.
There is a bumper sticker that says, "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup." I'll settle for someone's head on a platter.
After yesterday’s cop run-in, it became my duty, as a lie abiding citizen, to clean up a mess created by the law enforcement community.

As a reminder, my license plate number has been flagged for every cop to stop the car looking for Felon Asshole (not his real name) and demand an explanation from me as to why I am not HIM (yes, his real gender). I have gotten tired of answering the question “How long have you had the car?”, “did you lend your car to him?” and “Do you have kids who may have lent the car to him?” I have also tired of edgy, overly defensive cops who get cranky WHEN I AGREE WITH THEM AND ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS. If I’m driving normally, I’m not a fan of a cop car suddenly speeding up, cutting off traffic to get behind me and hitting the lights and sirens. (Yes, I do have a few speeding tickets in my past and when nabbed under those circumstances, I figure I have it coming).

At the suggestion of the cop who scared the shit out of me yesterday, I took my driver’s license and registration to the local police station and asked to see a detective. I’ve watched a  lot of “Law and Order.” Detectives. Smart guys. Yeah. I would get this problem solved. Here I am, being a good citizen and working with the cops to solve a problem not of my creation.

Was the detective helpful? How do I put this? Does the phrase “screen door in a submarine” give you an idea?

He showed me the warrant, which had the perp’s name and address on it and said, “You’re not Felon Asshole.” (such an astute observation) As I had before, I assured him that 1) I’ve owned the car for years (and I doubt Felon Asshole is driving around with a Red Sox bumper sticker), 2) I don’t know Felon Asshole, 3) I’ve never loaned the car to Felon Asshole and 4) nobody has ever crawled out of my womb who had loaned the car to Felon Asshole (Look, I’m getting the signs from Mother Nature that I will not ever have kids, but I am now tempted to find a way to do so JUST SO I CAN GROUND HIM). Since I had proved, to a detective, that I was not Felon Asshole, perhaps he could fix the system glitch that had caused the problem?

That’s about as likely to happen as the Whoredashians and me becoming besties.

The detective’s best suggestion: I should go to the DMV and switch my plates so I wouldn’t have these hassles. The alternative was for Felon Asshole to be picked up and the warrant would vanish.  Right and who’s going to pay for that? He gave me a slip of paper with the warrant number and the date on it, saying he couldn’t identify the issuing court. I asked him, since they had Felon Asshole’s name and address and there was an outstanding warrant for him, why didn’t they, just for a giggle, GO ARREST HIM? I got something about “service hours.” Really? Arrests on felony warrants are only made between 8 and 5?

And he wished me good luck as I left.

In between yesterday’s run in and this morning, the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay D Bags and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup (thereby causing the destruction of Vancouver). As wonderful as these events are, they didn’t solve my cop problem.

The morning started with a phone call to DMV. Anticipating the usual kinds of hold, I made sure I’d gone to the bathroom and had adequate food, water and something else to do while waiting. To my surprise, after being told my wait would be less than 10 minutes, IT WAS. And the guy was (brace yourself) NICE and HELPFUL. (Maybe that idiot who said the world was going to end on May 21 meant it was a slow collapse and actual help from the DMV was one of the first signs). Unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything for me and told me that it would be $20 to swap my plates, but that would be easily done.

I got on the phone to LA Superior Court, the one nearest where Felon Asshole lives. The woman who answered the phone was about to give me the brush. I forget why she changed her mind (it might have been something about the “What’s the number for the Chief Clerk of the Court and did I spell your name right?” that changed her mind. After 30 seconds, I learned that the warrant was issued by LA Metro Court. A cop in the Valley cannot figure out that LAM means Los Angeles Metro. It is indeed a Byzantine and cryptic prefix. This information was apparently on a need to know basis and the cops don’t need to know what courts issue which bench warrant. Especially since, you know, THEY ENFORCE THEM.

Okay, let’s look at the scoreboard, shall we? LAPD? 0 + incompetence. DMV? 5. LA Superior Court” 1 + attitude. Will our last contestants enter and sign in, please: LA Metro Court.

The number I had been given by Superior Court landed me in the civil division. The lady there gave me the number for criminal and tried to transfer me. I got somebody’s voice mail message that sounded like it was in Farsi. I left a message (and I have not heard from that guy, even though I said the matter was urgent), hung up and dialed the number.

Enter Anita Attitude. I introduced myself, explained the problem and said, “I believe that someone in your office made a mistake and that’s why my license plate is on this warrant.” Anita took this well, getting huffy and telling me, “We don’t make mistakes.” Again, I had to answer questions about how long I’ve had the car, no, I don’t know Felon Asshole and no, nobody I know loaned him my car. Anita got even huffier and started to tell me I had to come down there, but I heard someone in the background. Suddenly, it was “Here, you talk to my supervisor” and I was put on hold. For 10 minutes. I never did talk to the supervisor, but Anita came back on the phone sounding (OMG) pleasant. “You right (No shit). Someone put the wrong license plate number on this warrant (NO! SAY IT AIN’T SO!). My supervisor (name withheld until I actually hear from this woman as promised. Was supposed to be today. Want to hazard a guess as to whether I have? Right.) will get it fixed in 20 to 30 minutes.

And that’s where we left things. We’ll see if I get pulled over again.

Oh, the weight loss? Not my biggest concern today. I went to yoga, did a half-hour on the Rotating Staircase of Death (I had intended to do 45 minutes, but I wasn’t in the mood) and a half-hour on the treadmill.

And Felon Asshole? You have earned yourself a pantsload of bad karma. Wear a cup.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Total Eclipse of the Fat

178.8 lbs. Now THAT is the way to start off the day.

And may I say, it is a good day to be a Boston sports fan. The Killer B’s got it done on the ice. And (if I could find it) I may fit back into my Bruins jersey (buried in the bottom of a blanket chest, I think. Definitely in storage). Real men wear black and gold. And big Bs on their chests.

It is the day of a total lunar eclipse and an astrologer friend of mine recommended burning a candle to capture some of the energy. Sort of like the first spring day where you can open the windows and let the breeze through. Cleansing energy. There is an old Crystal Gayle song called “Ready For the Times to Get Better” and that certainly applies.

I am excited to be 45.8 lbs. down (yes, the tenths count) since I started. My BMI has dropped 7.2 points. I am champing at the proverbial bit to hit 174.6 or the 50 lb. milestone. Okay, this is 4.2 lbs., which may be in a few days. I am not planning another Monster Burn for a couple of weeks, having done one on Friday (it’s not a good idea unless your name is Manny Pacquaio).

The dividing weight for normal BMI is 159.6 lbs. That’s 19.2 lbs. I started 65 lbs. beyond that point. That’s 29% of my body weight gone. Right now, I’ve lost just over 20% lost. Actually, that number made me pause and absorb it for a moment. I have  deliberately lost 20% of my body weight. And I’m over 40, 45 and 50 years of age (Okay, well, not by much in the 50 category).

Many years ago (15 to 20 counts as many, I think), I saw a CNN piece on the Senior Olympics. There was one man who was 67 years old and built like a brick shithouse. What caught my attention about him was his story: he said he’d been seriously overweight all his life until 5 years prior, his doctor had told him to get moving or die. By my calculations (and as we know, my math sucks), he was over 60 before turning his life around. It’s never too late to improve things. Age does not matter. Satchel Paige: “Age is about mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”

Hey, if an 8 year old can get Botox, why can’t a 50 year old get fit?

I got a wee bit bold today: I have a sun dress I bought on Ebay. The shade of green is not flattering to me (I’m surprised nobody gave me a coupon for a free liver transplant), but it has a big picture of Buddha on it and it was under 10 bucks. With a forecast of 80 degrees, I wore it.

And got stopped by the cops. Again. The stupid bench warrant that has somehow entangled MY innocent car. Anyway, I had to go visit the local police station (Bear lair? Breaker, Breaker, good buddy.. aw hell, I remember the CB radio craze of the late 70s. I’m of a certain age. I get it. Work with me). The best advice I got? “Get new plates at the DMV so the cops will stop stopping you.”

This is the kind of nonsense I’d like the energy from the lunar eclipse to clean out.

Despite the Greek chorus in my head (“You need a girdle for that”, “your bra straps are showing,” “are you really going to wear that?”), the cop who stopped me was LAPD and not the Fashion Police. Nobody chased me out of the UPS Store or the police station.

I’m getting bold enough that if I have to go back to the police station or courts, I’m seriously considering doing it nude.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'd Like to Thank the Academy

179.8 lbs. Good to be back on track.

Today, although not a weight training day, turned out to be something of a monster burn day. Let me explain: a Monster Burn Day (usually on Monday because the human ear seems to be attuned for alliteration and Monster Monday sounds good. It just does) is one in which my caloric output (according to My Net Diary. Get it, get it, get it. Online and as an app) is 1600 calories or greater. My game; I get to make up the rules. I am under a significant amount of stress right now and just as a way to cope, I hit the gym a couple of hours ahead of the yoga class and stair stepped myself silly (More alliteration) then hit the treadmill for an hour because I didn’t want to miss “The Closer.” Yes, really. Well written show, I love the cast and this was one I hadn’t seen. With 45 minutes on the Rotating Staircase of Death, an hour on the treadmill (with a couple of short bursts of jogging. Half-hearted, but they count) and Tibetan Twister with Lila, I burned 1435 calories. Since it didn’t reach the true Monster threshold, it was a Gossamer burn. Any Looney Tune addict will tell you that Gossamer was the red heart-shaped monster with sneakers whom Bugs Bunny gave a perm. With dynamite.

By the time I got to yoga, I was pretty tired. There were a couple of stretches in Child’s Pose, but since the best yogi in the class was in the surrender position, too, I didn’t feel so bad. I may be able to hold Tree for a couple of seconds but that “grab your toe and extend your leg” is not yet on my radar. My older sister used to be able to play her leg like a guitar (that was years ago and you have to give her props because she’d had some serious knee surgery years before). Maybe she should try it.

One of the TVs in the ladies locker room is always tuned to E! (which should change its name to K! if they add one more fucking Whoredashian reality show). After class, “Ice Love Coco” was on and two ladies were busy dismissing Mrs. T as “chunky” and “big.” The one making the chunky comment needed at least 2 bath towels to wrap herself (more like 3. That is a challenging tuck. 2 is difficult. I speak from experience). And yes, I do judge others, but I don’t have the stones to call another woman “chunky” if I’m a resident of that territory myself.  Glass houses and all that. Chances are, Coco T (would that make her Hot Cocoa?) is significantly smaller than the two snipers. You know the old adage of the camera adding 10 lbs.? Some of your favorite actors and actresses could use 3 or 4 cameras on them at all times. And maybe a free coupon to Hometown Buffet. These are some seriously thin people. For the record, the only reality shows I watch are “Deadliest Catch” and “Mythbusters.” Tough as nails fishermen and guys who packed enough explosive into a cement truck to vaporize it are my kind of entertainment. Besides, Sig Hansen’s a hunk.

But enough of that.

This is where I get a little preachy. Feel free to step out.

I think one of the reasons I’ve been more successful with this weight loss project than I have on previous ones is that I’ve learned to incorporate gratitude. As I’ve mentioned, I have watched “The Secret” many times and read/listen to Jerry and Esther Hicks and Abraham (a group of non-physical entities she channels. Even without Abraham, what she says makes sense to me and works for me). And “The Secret” is just a slicker, better-marketed version of the Hicks’s body of work, but that’s not important here. The idea is that if you’re grateful for what you have, you will attract more of it. Abraham speaks of “want” not in terms of things you don’t have in your life but desire, but as being happy with what you have (and you don’t have to be happy with all of it). They also speak of feeling the feelings you would have for those things you don’t yet possess, but desire to obtain. One of those feelings being gratitude for them.

I tell you, today was a big day of gratitude:

 I am grateful when the scale went below 180 lbs. again and I am happy and grateful every day I stay below the 200 lb. mark and I look forward to every drop of the numbers.

I am grateful that I have the time right now to devote to this project and that I have a prospective job (cross your fingers, Gang) that would permit me to continue the yoga class. The pay would also permit me to continue the gym dues and maybe (if I save), I can up for more sessions with Torquemada.

I am grateful for the unexpected income that permitted me to join the gym and work with the personal trainer. I can’t wait for the next gift of unexpected cash.

I am grateful for the information I got from Dr. Brain Chemistry that I’ve used to choose supplements which have 1) eliminated cravings, 2) eliminated emotional eating, 3) helped me get off my ass to work out and 4) improved my skin (warts are literally falling off. 3 grams of flaxseed oil per day). I will continue to use this knowledge.

I am practically giddy because I can fit back into my Levi’s and Sonny McLean’s shirt and Jimmy Buffett concert shirt. I have some really nice clothes in storage and I cannot wait to get them out and wear them again. And have some of them become too big. And I’m grateful that I can add items back to my wardrobe and save money on shopping.

I am grateful for the “your face is thinner” comment I got today.

I am grateful that I have a clean, safe, quiet place to sleep and I look forward to remaining here until I can upgrade it (I’m in an extended stay hotel. I want my own apartment).

I am grateful for every follower on my blog, every share, every hit, every time someone reads it. I am grateful for the kind, supportive comments, especially those from folks I don’t know. Thank you; I am doing this for me, but it’s nice to have a SINCERE cheering section. Especially the one I have.

I am grateful to see the changes in my body’s shape every day and to see evidence of increased strength (flexibility and balance, they’re coming along).

I am grateful for the good choices I’ve made with respect to food. Even the kale and the broccoli. (Well, maybe not the frozen broccoli).

I am grateful for the therapist and acupuncturist I worked with in St. Louis, for they got me started on this path. I look forward to having health insurance so that I can find their counterparts out here in LA.

I am grateful for my Zune (Zune: Resurrection) and playlists that keep my feet moving (and if you’ve been on the elliptical next to me, I’m not having a psychotic break, I’m just grooving to “Nutrocker” or “Tessie.”)

I am grateful to see my BMI dropping weekly (except when it stalls).

I am grateful for Trader Joe’s because most of my food comes from there.

You get the idea. I am grateful for all the little markers that tell me I’m on the right path and the blessings and pieces of good fortune that come in at the right time.

And I am looking forward to tomorrow morning. We’ll see what the numbers are.