A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Freak Show Fat

It’s something I’ve said often, I guess to comfort myself: “Hey, I’m not even so fat that I’m stare-worthy. I’m not like, freak show fat.”

I’ve always said this because I honestly don’t notice a lot of people staring at me, but maybe that says something too. I’ve heard that the fatter you are the more invisible to the people around you. So maybe the fact that people are deliberately not looking at me should tell me something.

I went to a carnival recently and got on the big, swinging boat ride with my son and a friend. It caused two abject moments of horror. The first was before the ride began, when we had to pull the lap bar down and secure it – it wouldn’t lock in place because I was in the way. The ride attendant came over and forced the thing into proper position with a loud ‘click’, painfully crushing me. Although it hurt, I was extremely grateful that he didn’t just tell me to get my fat ass off the damned ride in front of forty some odd 90 lb. high school teenagers.

I enjoyed the ride, and then it ended and the second part of the horror began – in order to release the restraint bar, you have to push it down even further to release it’s lock, and then swing it upward.

I’m sure it wasn’t more than two to five seconds we sat there, trapped by my fat, while those around us got up and left the ride – before I took matters into my own hands (I’m a pretty strong Scotswoman) and forced the bar down on myself until it released.

I was bruised the next day.

But the pain to my body wasn’t nearly so bad as the pain to my spirit. This is what I’ve done to myself. If this isn’t the very definition of “freak show fat” – then I don’t know what is.

I am that person.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Water Less Boring

I drink a lot of water under normal circumstances but particularly this time of year when it’s so HOT outside. Usually I average between eight to ten, eight ounce glasses per day.

Water is in all ways good and good for me, but after my sixth or seventh glass a day it gets a little boring. So here are some recipes for sprucing up your water bottle at work or at home to keep your taste buds engaged that do not involve ingesting a lot of artificial sweeteners.

The faux-mojito: Add ice cubes, ¼ a lime and a few leaves of fresh crushed mint to a bottle filled with fresh water – close up lid, shake thoroughly and enjoy.

The citrus refresher: Add a wedge of your favorite citrus; lemon, lime, orange, mandarin, grapefruit, etc. with ice and water, shake thoroughly and enjoy. Mix and match them to suit you or to change up the flavor. Always leave the skin on your wedge as the oils in the skin are where a lot of the flavor is.

Berries galore: Add whatever berry suits you to water and ice, shake thoroughly and enjoy. My favorites are raspberry and blackberry. If you go with cherry or blueberry you’ll need to slice them open first to get at the juice.

Herbal tonic: Add crushed, fresh rosemary or basil to your water and ice, shake thoroughly and enjoy. Any pungent herb like thyme would also would also work well for this – those are just two that I particularly enjoy.

Quart sized bottles of seltzer are particularly cheap at around fifty cents a pop, so if you’d like to add a few bubbles to your mix that’s a good way of keeping yourself hydrated as well.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Business Not Wanted

I just got back from my yearly vacation to my parent's shore house in Sea Isle City, NJ. I walked a lot, fished, sat on the beach, ate ice cream, slept in, read on the porch and can honestly say that a good time was had by all.

While my husband and I were wandering the promenade (it's not a boardwalk in Sea Isle because it's made from cement) I noticed a hoodie sweatshirt I wanted in one of the gift shop windows. It had that appealing blend of creamcicle orange and magenta colors, and was overlayed with a Hawaiian flower print in black. On the chest a simple logo saying "Sea Isle City".

I pointed it out to Ted and he immediately tried to make me go in and buy it (I don't ask for much and very rarely clothes, so when I see something I like he always encourages me). I demurred, it won't fit.

In frustration he pointed out that I can't know that until I try. So... sighing, I went inside and did the obligatory look through the racks. It came in small (size 8) medium (size 10) large (size 12) extra large (size 14) and that's it.

No big shock to me of course, but Ted of course felt bad for getting my hopes up. He further worsened the problem by trying to convince me to squeeze the size 12/14 one over my head.

Walking back to the house, sans shirt, I wondered again why these shops so frequently opt to leave money lying on the table. The thing retailed for almost $30 - it's not worth that much, but I'd have bought it because it was pretty, decent quality and had the name of my favorite seaside home on the front. Walking back, I saw far more people a lot closer to my size 22 than to the sizes they actually had for sale in the store.

So why isn't the store ordering them for the flabby folks like me who are actually walking up and down that promenade?

Or is it not the stores, but the distributors not even offering such sizes for them to procure?

Ted's suggestion was for me to "go all Morgan Spurlock on their asses", and try making a "Supersize Me" style documentary about why the clothing industry isn't, apparently, interested in making money - if that money is coming from fat people.

Their goal is wealth, is it not? So why is my sized 22 money no good to them?

I don't know, Morgan managed to change McDonald's menu and perhaps the face of the fast food industry forever... maybe Ted's idea isn't half bad...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is There A Secret?

Here’s the thing; no carbs. You avoid all carbs and you’ll be thin.

Here’s the thing; no fat. You avoid all fat and you’ll be thin.

Here’s the thing; no sugar. You avoid all sugar and you’ll be thin.

Here’s the thing; no meat. You avoid all meat and you’ll be thin.

Recently I was talking to a friend about my 20 grams of fat or less per day diet plan and he was quick to tell me I had it all wrong, sugar was my enemy. If I cut absolutely all sugar from my diet I’d finally attain the goals I wanted.

My response was more or less “get in line”.

I feel like I’m working my way through every trick in the book, and I’m about ready to eat the book itself.

Or I could try all of them at once but then… I have a feeling there wouldn’t be anything to eat at all. That would work of course, but not in a good way.

The problem isn’t actually that they don’t work, they do work. But some of them *cough*Atkins*cough* are seriously unhealthy. And some of them, like Ornish’s 20 grams of fat or less per day, aren’t satisfying in the long term.

So for me, the problem is that nothing has been sustainable. After a bit of time passes I get worn out from feeling hungry all the time, or dying for a bite of sugar or fat and getting only celery. And I fail.

Since the alternative is turning into a big gigantic side show freak I’m still trying of course.

So… weight loss attempt #415: eat small amounts of calories many times per day rather than few large meals. I’m attempting this one because danger comes with hunger, maybe if I don’t let myself get really hungry – I won’t binge.

I’m going on vacation tomorrow and will be away until next week – so I probably won’t be paying huge amounts of attention to what I’m eating. However I should have a status update on how this one is going once I really get into it upon my return home. Today was pretty good I think – I just ate my 135 calorie late afternoon snack (toast round with spreadable low calorie cheese).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Caring: 24 / 7

When I wake up first thing in the morning I’m ready to go. I care. I’m fully committed to having a healthful day.

I go downstairs and pack my lunch, still fully committed. I load up my lunch box with fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, sometimes a few nuts, dried fruit, sandwiches made from roasted red pepper and 35 calorie cheese wedges, a little peanut butter for my bread rounds, apple butter, healthy leftovers, salads made from wheat, herbs and vegetation, salads made from artichoke and beans.

Obviously not all of this on the same day, but those are the types of things I have on hand all day at work.

All day at work I care. I eat my healthy food, I drink my water, I feel good. I avoid the doughnuts, the bagels, the soft pretzels, the chocolates, the cakes. When someone is kind enough to bring a fruit or vegetable tray to celebrate a birthday instead of butter cream cakeness – I have a bit.

I’m committed, I care, and I feel good.

Then the end of the day comes… the five PM hungry time.

I get in my car and drive home, and during the hour long drive the hunger builds, and the caring drops.

I get into the house, and I no longer care.

It doesn’t take long to spoil an entire day, nor does it take much – a few too many crackers, a handful of tortilla chips, some sugar wafer cookies. I know how fast the fat calories build.

I binge, and then I know it – that half hour lapse in caring has spoiled the whole day. From a weight loss perspective, that day may as well not have happened at all.

So then it’s all wasted – and what does it matter if I have a second helping of something at dinner or eat the meat I made for Ted and Kyle instead of a vegetarian alternative?

In a twenty four hour period, my plan is ruined by the half hour per day when I’m hungry and can’t seem to care. Every day is day one, and every day I ruin it.

How do I care – 24 / 7?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010


No, I'm not referring to any transformation of mine. Mine is still hopelessly stalled.

I'm referring to the Transformation of the humans in the Transformers movies. You see, I loved that cartoon as a kid. I had toys for Jazz, Bumblebee, Ravage, Starscream - just to name a few. I vaguely remember that the cartoon had a few human characters; a fairly typical looking boy and girl of youngish teenage years. They weren't the point of the series and were fairly forgettable but I understand why they had to feature a bit more heavily when the film went to the big screen, to give the entirely human audience somebody they could relate to.

I also generally like the work of the director of the movies; Michael Bay - who also did Armageddon, Mystery Men and The Rock. Basically I enjoy a good explosion or slapstick superhero film on a Saturday night.

At any rate when the first Transformers movie was coming out, I really understood the casting choice for the human lead - he picked a kid named Shia Lebouf who looked more or less like a normal, cute boy I'd have run into back in high school.

Here he is covered in mud and holding the mystical box of whatever from the film:

They paired him opposite an equally typical looking high school girl played by Megan Fox, pictured here fixing cars in a miniskirt as most high school girls are prone to do:

Sure - that's what all the girls in my high school looked like. What... wasn't yours the same?

Anybody picking up on my note of sarcasm yet?

The film featured one other female character I can recall - a nerdy hacker girl who just happened to look more or less like an Australian Supermodel; pictured here with one of her fellow male hacker characters:

Is anybody else picking up on the gross imbalance yet, or is it just me?

I did pay to see the film, I even had a big, warm fuzzy moment when Optimus Prime showed up and his beloved, familiar voice BOOMED across the theater in Dolby stereo. But part of me couldn't stop noticing over and over... that in the Michael Bay world; men are allowed to look normal but women are not. And it never stopped bothering me.

Now, surprise surprise, it turns out the insanely pretty Megan Fox (and I fully admit the girl's beauty is nearly supernatural) is a bit of a difficult person to work with. So, Michael Bay has decided to replace her.

This time, he skipped actresses altogether and went straight for a Victoria's Secret underwear model instead. Observe:

Point of the story here... will Michael Bay be getting one more penny of my money?

No-transformin-way. Not ONE MORE PENNY.

I'm done with this crap. And the only thing Hollywood listens to is the almighty dollar. I can't be the only person who wants to see talented actresses in movies who actually look human, can I?

Anyone out there agree?