Going to the Gym is Like an Atheist Stepping into Church

And guys…I didn’t spontaneously combust. We went to the gym last night. After paying for a membership for several months and going less than once a month. We went back.

And I took a chance on zumba.

And despite the fact that I am in TERRIBLE shape.

Despite the fact that I have 2 bad ankles, 2 bad knees and 2 bad hip flexors.

Despite the fact that I was the chubbiest girl in the room.

Despite the fact that I could BARELY keep up with the skinny bitches.

I lasted the entire 60 minute class. And lived to consider going back.

Once I stopped staring at my stomach in the mirror and watching myself bounce around like a bowl of jello going on a joyride…I kind of caught on. And caught myself…Smiling. Exhausted. But smiling. It felt good!

(BTW, I hate it when I use my best line in the title. But I’m too lazy to change it and put something else up there. I feel like I let you guys down. Wait. I can make it up to you. Keep reading).

I did all of this crazy zumba-ing while injured! So on Wednesday when we were getting off the train, I slipped on the metal stair. The doors were still closed, the train was still moving, and if I hadn’t been holding on to the pole/railing/bar thingy for dear life, I would have fallen into the door, which would have opened, and I would have fallen out of a moving train to my klutzy death. But I WAS holding on, so none of that nonsense happened. Except that in holding on, I pulled every muscle from my wrist to my neck trying to rescue myself from a very embarrassing death.

Brian’s reaction?

Or should I call it, Brian’s lack of reaction?

“Did you hurt your ankle?”

“No”

“OK, good.”

He’s immune to my klutzy. I suppose that’s only natural when the word “ow!” comes out of my mouth more than any other single word.

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Wordless Wednesday: I’m Going to be Skinny Again This Year

Skinny this year

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

It’s Not a Resolution Because I Said So.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.

But I do make plans.

I have BIG fucking plans this year, kids. Big ones. Huge. Rock-my-world-massive freakin’ plans.

It’s going to take some time. And a whole lot of work. But in the end, I’m going to be more awesome and super proud of it.

10 Awesome Things I’m Going to do THIS Year.

Putting on the granny panties and the British accent(catch the reference and I’ll give you a cookie):

Number 1: Obviously will lose 20 lbs.

Number 2: Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket. Finish master’s degree. Sure, it’s a useless degree when it comes down to my future career not being teaching…but it’s still a master’s degree. And I’d like it to be completed. (I mean really…it’s one silly little thesis. How hard can it be? I write for a living.)

Number 3: Will be published. Thanks to the wonderful folks at Life Well Blogged, this will happen in the near future.

Number 4: Will publish a book. Will write a book.

Number 5: Will self-publish the aforementioned book.

Number 6: Will get an amazing job. (I feel as though I should put this one a little higher on the list…but I mean…at least it’s on the list, right?)

Number 7: Crap! I still need 4 more things… Will take at least 3 internet vacations. Yes. That’s a good one. I like my internet vacations. Going off the grid. Maybe at least one will involve a beach. There’s no internet on the beach.

Number 8: Crap! I still need 3 more… this is not as easy as I thought it would be… OH! I know! Will attend awesome blogger event…Blogher 2013. And meet bloggers. And give hugs to strangers. Done and done.

Number 9: Will make money on blog. I don’t care if it’s $5 or $5,000…I will make dollars.

Number 10: Will win a million dollars from McDonald’s Monopoly. 13 is my lucky number. This is the year of my golden birthday. 2013 is it, guys. I can feel it. I’m going to be a big winner this year.

What are your big plans?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sometimes I Cry

Last night I had a major meltdown. Major. Meltdown.I bawled my eyes out for an eternity. I still have some wicked puff surrounding my eyes, and that’s not pleasant for anyone. Let’s hope some coffee and eyeliner will do the trick. (Disclaimer: Brian did NOT make me cry. He was actually very good about the whole thing…even though he keeps telling me that it was some serious crying and that normal people only cry that much when someone dies.)

Of course, I started thinking about myself and crying. It’s been a long road of emotional skydiving in my young life…for mostly stupid stuff. But not all. When I was really young, I cried a whole lot. I remember hyperventilating more times than I can possible recount. My mom would have to stop yelling at me and try to calm me down so that I didn’t die. As you may have noticed, I was a pretty dramatic child.

Then I got a little older (grade school) and nothing in the world could make me cry. My favorite movie was Steel Magnolias, and I had a girl crush on Julia Roberts (in all her Shelby-pink glory). I may have only been 6 or 7, but I loved that movie…and couldn’t understand why it made Mama cry so darn much. My grandpa passing away didn’t even trigger a tear.

I used to tease my little brother ruthlessly for his tears. He and Mom would watch movies and cry together…and I would just look at them like they were crazy. I was hardened. At 7, I was ready to take down the world. I had been teased for not being as cool as some of the other kids…I was a little chubbier than some of the other kids…and everyone loves to tease the chubby kid…So I didn’t cry…I’ll show them. Some day.

So I remember the first movie that made me cry. It was a movie called Fluke…about a man who dies and is reincarnated as a dog, who goes back to find his family. I was 13…and it was about the saddest thing I had ever seen. I bawled like a baby. I bawled like I hadn’t cried in years. I was a hot mess.

Then, throughout high school, I would get stressed, but I didn’t cry much. Except when Leonard DiCaprio died…both times. Although I have to say, that I can’t stand Claire Danes’ crying. It’s ridiculous. Even now, 15 years later…she still has the most ridiculous fake cry. It makes me so frustrated! Because I love her in every other aspect of her acting career. Just not the crying.

When my first boyfriend came around my junior year of high school, that was when the crying really started. Apparently, I had been right to stave off the swarm of suitors (LIE) and stay without a boyfriend…even though my mother was convinced I was a lesbian at 13…(Just because I do not want to talk about boys with my mom, does not a lesbian make. I still love you, Mom!) I saw all of my girlfriends crying and whining about dudes…and I wasn’t down with that. I was a busy girl.

Why I Cry

So boys made me cry. A lot. The Goat. The Ethiopian (AKA Tex AKA Johnny Cash AKA The Rockabilly Greaser). 6’6. The Chiropractor. The Scorpion. The Old Guy. Tiny. The Pike. The Bartender. The Drug Addict.  The list goes on and on. I look forward to introducing you to them.

And movies make me cry.

And sad songs make me cry. (And happy songs, too-depending on the memory they invoke.)

And Disney makes me cry. In a good way.

And death and illness make me cry.

And I’ve just become this wave of emotion that cries a lot. Happy or sad. Tears.

I don’t have any images of myself crying…but I’ll leave you with my favorite video ever.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Glamour Shots

Confession Friday: Yes, this happened.

As promised, more ridiculously embarrassing photos are provided in this post.

When my cousin, Rachel, and I were 7 and 11 respectively, our aunt in Kansas invited us out to visit her. Our first vacation without parents! This sounded promising. After weeks of preparation, shopping, and excitement, we were loaded onto a Southwest plane at Midway Airport (back in the days when you could accompany people all the way to the gate without a ticket.)

Aunt B picked us up and drove us to her home. We were greeted by her dog and our uncle, and told that our older cousin may stop by to say hi. It was all so much fun. Aunt B had planned all sorts of great things to do during our stay. We would go to her makeup store, and visit her salon (she owned her own cosmetics line, a store, and a hair salon), and she wanted to take glamour shots of us. Barbizon here we come!

So we went to the shops and got our hair done at the salon. For the first time in both Rachel’s and my lives, we had our hair dyed. Rachel told the ladies that they could do whatever they wanted with her hair, but I was more wary of the ladies with the scissors.

I informed them, not too quietly, that I was NOT very adventurous, and that they better not hack all of my hair off. Even more so, they could not do crazy layers. I was a nervous Nelly who hated change. I allowed them to do a little face shaping, but that was it. Rach ended up with a feathered haircut resemble something Farrah Fawcett would be proud of.

Then we went home with our new ‘dos and raided Aunt B’s closet. She wanted to dress us up like Barbie dolls, and that seemed okay to us. So we had a variety of outfits for our photo shoot prepared. I’ve included some of the high quality photography below.

And remember, we were 7 and 11
So maybe my future career as a model got a little off track…

For the record, when I was 11, I swore that I never wanted any of these pictures shown to anyone. Ever.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Wii Fit and Mii

I first befriended the Wii fit 1,117 days ago. It was my then-boyfriend, The Bartender’s Wii Fit. (Funny–I had a Wii, and he had a Wii Fit, but neither of us had both). I used it somewhat regularly after he brought it to my house–and by regularly, I mean that I would sometimes turn it on and step onto the evil machine that actually groaned when I stepped onto it!

After the machine told me that I was grossly overweight, and that my BMI was considered obese, I would then rock out the body test, in which the balance board would make me do things to test my balance and coordination. I have pretty awesome posture, if anyone was wondering.

So, I got a decent workout from it. Eventually, The Bartender requested the Wii Fit and balance board be returned to his residence (I think it was then that he realized he was on the verge of dumping me and didn’t want to lose his Wii Fit). For approximately a year and a half the Wii Fit Plaza remained unvisited on my Wii menu.

Cue unemployment, Weight Watchers, and all the free time I wanted, multiplied by seven. Well, shit, I need to do something with my time. So I bought the Wii Fit Plus and reacquainted myself with the sassy, groaning balance board. Of course, many of my mornings consisted of near-encounters with the Wii. The plan was supposed to go as follows:

1. Wake up.
2. Put on sports bra and workout gear.
3. Go downstairs.
4. Pour water.
5. Turn on Wii.
6. Weigh self/body test on Wii Fit.
7. Workout with Wii Fit activities.
8. Make/eat breakfast.

The problem was that steps 3-7 typically got a little muddled. Sometimes I wouldn’t make it back downstairs, because I went back to sleep. Sometimes I would pour water and then make/eat breakfast, forgetting about the Wii Fit full stop. Sometimes I would instead turn on a workout DVD, sit on the couch, and watch it.

But now that I’m a solid workout machine (OK, sort of/sometimes), who occasionally even lifts weights (thanks to Center Fit’s Restoring Movement Class), I’m back on the plans. Mentally AND physically. I’m back to working out regularly, eating healthy, and tracking my BMI/weight with the Wii Fit. That feisty balance board still groans every time I step on, but I’m also often amazed that somehow my weight is still managing to shrink.

I was inspired when I stepped on this morning (after having that HUGE internal debate whether or not to bother stepping on thanks to the mass consumption of unhealthy food this weekend, including a Monday dinner of an Oberweis shake…) But I managed to drop another 2 pounds this week. I must be doing something right.

What about you? What’s your fitness story?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m Not Crazy; I’m Hungry

A bout of insomnia last weekend made me think of this story.

During the second semester of our sophomore year of college, Penny and I decided that we were going to stop drinking as much, join Weight Watchers, and lose weight. As a team, this seemed incredibly possible. Mama Missy and her roommate were doing it. We could too.

So we joined up. We got skinny. We looked WAY hot. But… we cried a lot. We had given up the drink for water. Butter and cheese for cooking spray and butter flavored spray. Chips for veggies. The list goes on. This was when Penny and I came up with the Cinderblocks.

So it was strange that even though we were crying…we managed to get boyfriends. Sheila, Penny, and I all became non-singles in a span of 4 months–me being the last, of course. After a summer of wearing size 11 pants and medium tops, I felt like I was on top of the world. Sort of. On the verge of my first “adult relationship,” I moved into our junior year apartment.

This may seem a little crazy, but I was REALLY annoyed by the situation in the kitchen. Pots were in the same cabinet with bowls. Utensils were as far away from the stove as possible. Glasses were with plates and baking dishes, and other cups were with kitchen gadgets. It. Just. Didn’t. Make. Sense. Anyone can see that, right?

So when I couldn’t sleep one night…and woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning…I decided that it was silly to waste time that I was wide awake. I was going to do something. So I rearranged the entire kitchen. It took several hours. It freaked my roommates out. But it felt so much better. I felt much better. Maybe that’s when I started to notice my OCD tendencies, but whatever. I wasn’t crazy.

So I had my moments. We all did. After talking with my dad and the school health center doctor, I decided to try out Zoloft. I was told that it would take time to kick in, but really after 2 or 3 years, I don’t think it ever kicked in. I’m pretty sure that breaking up with Johnny for good and my minimized crazy were eerily related. But that’s a whole other story for another time.

So I went on some medication that was supposed to make me less “crazy,” but then my boyfriend broke up (for the first of many times) with me because I was “crazy.” Really, I think that I was hungry. I wasn’t eating cheese, because it would make me gain weight. I wasn’t happy with my lifestyle. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t indulgent. It wasn’t me. This is not to say that I would rather be the fat kid…But I would rather find a healthy way to enjoy cheese…err, to enjoy good food.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Come On Everybody Let’s Mousercise!

If you’re anything at all like me, you aren’t really big into exercising. I’ve recently come into a really great gym that gives me the motivation to work out, though my current work schedule doesn’t always allow for me to make it to the gym for my preferred classes.

Prior to this, my workout routine consisted of a multi-step process. One of the things that I would tend to do when the motivation would strike me is to buy a workout DVD. First, I’d wake up in the morning and put on work out clothes. That was the first step in work out motivation. Then, if I made it to step two without stopping at the computer to check Facebook, I would put the DVD into the system. Step 3 is my favorite part. Watching the aforementioned work out video.

Yes, that’s right. I felt the need to watch through the entire work out to get a feel for how it was going to play out. After a few viewings, I may have been be ready to actually test the system out. Maybe.

A memory I recently pulled from the depths of my brain, thanks to the Disney-mania that is my excitement for the upcoming Disney 2012 trip, really resonates in my mind now.

When I was a wee child, I used to wake up before the sun rose and sneak downstairs to watch TV. The Disney Channel was my preferred TV experience. If I was lucky, I’d be up by about 5 AM, just in time for Mousercise.

What is Mousercise, you ask? It was only the epitome of Disney programming in the early to mid 80’s. Mousercise was a children’s work out television series, hosted by a sassy woman named Kellyn. Her high energy at 5 AM astounded me, and I wanted to play too. Even Mickey woke up for the work out. My favorite part was, of course, the opening credits, which I’ve embedded, below.

What really strikes me about this memory, though, is the fact that I would sit on the couch and WATCH Mousercise unfold. Sometimes, I would participate in the work out activities, but mostly, I was a big fan of observation. Typically I would spent the first 5-7 minutes working out, but then I would sit down on my chubby American girl ass and watch as Disney tried to get me to be healthy. Sometimes, I vaguely recall, Kellyn would give healthy eating and other tips that I would follow with the best of my ability. I really loved Mousercise. I was very sad when it was over.

As promised:

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Pride and Prejudice – Love, Heart, Love

I’ve always been an avid reader. I read my first classic novel (Little Women) in the fourth grade and haven’t stopped since. Having just finished the worst book that I have ever read in my entire life (hello there, Fifty Shades of Grey), I felt the need to write about a book that wasn’t started as Twilight fan fiction… my favorite novel of all time – Pride and Prejudice.

The Movie Before the Book?!

My sophomore year in high school I took choir. By far one of my favorite classes, with one of the best teachers, choir proved to be more beneficial than just musical knowledge. Mrs. Kartwright was a sassy ginger who danced around the choir room cracking jokes and inspiring us to learn, love, and live.

During midterm testing, we would be stuck for several days without a proper teacher (as she was in a small room for the voice testing). Mrs. Kartwright gave us the time to watch a movie. Oftentimes, the movie would be musically related–Second semester we watched Oklahoma, because one of our performance songs came from the musical.  The first semester midterms, Mrs. K introduced us to Pride and Prejudice… you could say she was a little obsessed with the movie. I couldn’t help it; I agreed. I fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy as fast as Jane fell in love with Bingley.

The famous white shirt scene. Mrs. K bragged about it. Bridget Jones swooned over it. I love it.

But the Book was Good too!

After more than a week of watching the greatest love story of all time unfold (the 1995 BBC version), this wonderfully long movie-six 55 minute episodes-led me to want to read the book. Best. Book. Ever. I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time that spring, and it was everything I wanted it to be. Quickly, it became my all time favorite book. I read it again the summer before junior year during the week I was at cheer-leading camp, and once again the summer before college. I’ve read it at least 2 other times, and will likely read it again one day.

Elizabeth Bennet Reincarnated

During the spring of junior year, my best friend, Kat and I went to go see this random movie that she was talking about. I didn’t really know what it would be about or whether I would like it, but I thought I would go see it anyway. While watching it, I started to see striking similarities to Pride and Prejudice. The name of the publishing house was Pemberley Press. Mark Darcy was played by Mr. Darcy, himself, Colin Firth. The plot modeled that of P & P, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Bridget Jones’ Diary turned out to become one of my favorite movies.

Wait, This is was a Book Too?!

Yep, as it turns out, Helen Fielding, with her respect for Pride and Prejudice, wrote a fun novel using a similar story arc. This is what I call high quality fan fiction. Loving the movie, I knew that I had to read the book, where I found even more similarities between Bridget Jones’ Diary and Pride and Prejudice and quickly realized that it literally was a remake of my favorite novel.

Bridget was a character that I heavily identified with–no pun intended. She was not-quite-thin, clumsy, and always spoke before she thought. My hero. And she still got the guy. My best friend Penny and I would spend hungover Saturday afternoons watching Bridge and Mark fall in love. We even named our schefflera plants after Bridget and Shazzer.

Back to Pride & Prejudice

I purchased the BBC movie on DVD for myself so that I could watch the love affair of Elizabeth Bennet and Mister Darcy as often as I wanted to with shorter versions of my own making. My personal favorite version was the Darcy version in which I skipped past any scenes that did not include my beloved Colin Firth.

If you have not read Pride and Prejudice, I highly recommend that you do so. Of course, you can always start easy by reading Bridget Jones’ Diary, but it won’t be nearly as awesome if you haven’t started the journey with the original.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Bald Elephant

When I was in the fourth grade I did something unbelievably stupid. One of those things that you sit there for hours looking back on and think to yourself, why in God’s name did I do that? It’s even worse, when you don’t remember how you did it.

I vaguely remember being downstairs in our powder room, but after that it’s all a blur of nothingness. But I know that I did it. I remember the aftermath. I remember my mother SCREAMING at me for what I had done…but when she asked me why I did what I did, I told her (quite truthfully) through sobbing tears that I didn’t know.

I had no idea that I had even done it, let alone why the hell my stupid ass did it. I mean really, what nine-year-old cuts a giant bald spot in the crown of her head? And doesn’t even realize it. I had really bad bangs back then (it was the early nineties, so cut me a little slack), and was likely making some valiant attempt at trimming what one of my college best friends lovingly dubbed “the radar dome.”

Proof of the “radar dome” bangs

All I know is that with scissors in hand, I ran upstairs to my mother and informed her of the unfortunate situation that was my lack of hair in a circular section on the top of my head. It was bad. Real bad.

Luckily, moms are known for their quick thinking and improvisation skills. Not to worry, I had plenty of thick banded headbands to hide this silly spot. No one would ever know. Well, until I told my grade school best friend, Kelly. My mistake, I know…but I was nine.

Now, I can’t confirm how this happened for sure, but since kids are mean, even to their friends, and girls love to gossip, even when they’re nine, I’m pretty sure it went something like this: She told one girl, and several boys overheard, and before the day was out the entire fourth grade knew about my stupid bald spot.

I don’t remember much else, other than an out of body experience watching the events unfold in the lunch room and the unfortunate small blond child by the name of Taylor Smitty (whose real name has haunted me for years whenever I think of the cruelty of children in my own coming-of-age, but I have created a pseudonym for-because I am nicer than he was).

Young Taylor, the clever little boy that he was, decided that because I was the chubby kid, and I made a huge judgment error as a result of my then too-trusting nature, this would be the perfect opportunity to bring me to the front line of teased and taunted children at Madison Elementary. So, that day at recess, in front of the entire class, he proclaimed me the bald elephant. (I told you he was clever–because obviously a bald eagle wouldn’t make additional commentary on my small weight problem.) I vaguely remember my headband being torn off my head to showcase my new ‘do.

This teasing went on for several weeks, and not once did I cry. In fact, for years after this torment, I neither cried, nor trusted a single soul with a secret. I was done with the miscreants of grade school.

Were you ever bullied? Did you ever do something ridiculously stupid without realizing the repercussions?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!