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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


My time scouring the internet for new and useful information on health and weight loss has turned up the following possible (and scary) side effects related to the daily consumption of artificial sweetening agents:
  • The taste of sweetness in the mouth triggers a release of insulin in the body.  Since there’s no actual sugar being consumed, that insulin will cause blood sugar to be stored in body tissues.  Because actual blood sugar does not increase, this can cause hypoglycemia or hyperinsulinemia, both of which  cause the consumption of more food at the next meal.  Due to these effects, overall calorie intake increases over time along with body weight.
  • The natural  feeling of fullness and satisfaction is not achieved with the consumption of artificial sweetener as it is with sugar, leading to a dissatisfied end state and cravings for more sweet.
  • Population based studies have turned up evidence of increased overall weight gain among diet soda consumers over time.
It is important to note that the actual scientific experiments performed in the studies above were performed on rats, not human beings.  Still, the results are disquieting.

Personally I only drink diet soda (two to three cans a day) at dinnertime.  Dinnertime is also the meal at which I habitually overeat.  Breakfast and lunch are not my trouble zones, and breakfast and lunch for me are almost always accompanied by water.

Is the diet soda stimulating my appetite?

Following my long tradition of using myself as a guinea pig (since no one else will let me experiment on them) I have given up artificial sweeteners as of two days ago.  So far I feel fine, about normal.  Maybe a bit headachy but my insomnia has been bad lately so I blame that more than withdrawal.  It’s also possible that since diet soda was my main vehicle for the delivery of caffeine that my headache is just caffeine withdrawal.

Note that I am not going to chow down on real sugar instead, that stuff (although natural) has its own host of health problems attached.  I’ve started drinking flavored seltzer with dinner and adding squeezes of citrus or crushed mint leaves to my water.  I get bored with plain water all the time and I figured a few bubbles may ease my soda cravings – I’ve been drinking it all my life so I have no illusions that quitting cold turkey is going to be easy.

I’ll check back in a month and see what, if any, effects this has had on my hunger impulses.  Assuming I haven’t been committed or arrested by then.

P.S. I already miss gum.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I am the most beautiful woman in the world.

Since beauty is subjective, believe it or not, the above statement is true.  It’s only true according to Ted, but that doesn’t make any it less accurate.

It’s also true that there are many people who find my figure repulsive and would sincerely beg not to have to see me in a swimsuit.

C’est la vie.  As one of my favorite drummers once said: “I prefer not to count the people that think that I suck.”

Chances are that you, as a woman, have at some point in your life seen a fellow woman somewhere and quietly, in some part of your psyche, felt that you were either superior or inferior to her.  You may have done this because she looked homely to you, or was older or younger than you are, or had a face you thought was pretty, or hair you found beautiful.  It is very likely that your brain regurgitated the chemical set to make you feel this because she possessed either more or less body fat than you do.

You didn’t do this because you’re a bad person, you did this because you’ve been conditioned to weigh and measure yourself against the females of your species around you since the day you were born.

I have done this.  I’m about a hundred pounds overweight but it’s still easy enough to find a woman who is bigger than me.  On the flipside, I’ve also seen women bigger than me and marveled over how beautiful they were, but on occasion I have been guilty of thinking, before I could stop it: “whew… at least I’m not that big.”

Maybe they weren’t carrying it in a way I thought looked good or maybe they didn’t appeal to my particular beauty aesthetic.  I can generally find something lovely about most women, but I admit it’s not universal.

I automatically, with no ability to stop it, believe in some part of my subconscious, that anyone thinner than me is also in a certain sense – better.  There are multiple reasons for this; the first being that I’ve spent my life besieged by imagery of slender women as the ideal and epitome of beauty.  I can’t get through a grocery store checkout without having to stare at ten different magazine covers trying to tell me how I can lose weight, lose weight, lose more weight!  More personally, since I’ve been struggling to be thin since I was around fourteen, I see that thin women already have something I’ve been working to obtain for well over half my life.  Since they have achieved what I could not, they must be better than I am.  I suppose that to my brain it’s like the obvious fact that someone with a Doctorate is more educated than me, they know more.  Similarly someone thin has (in my subconscious) done more work and conquered the gluttony that besieges me.  They have willpower, they have control, they are strong where I am weak.  They are able to not eat.

To be honest with you, right now as I write this I am feeling slight guilt for planning to have the audacity to not think upon myself as inferior to skinnier girls.

Human females have the exact reverse power dynamic to almost every other animal species on the planet – the littlest of us is considered to be the most powerful.  I think this is largely due to the fact that we live in a world where we no longer need to defend ourselves physically in order to survive.  A beauty aesthetic agreed upon by a collective, rather than actual bodily prowess, determines our pecking order.

The reverse can also be true.  There is a counter movement that praises the curvier woman and demeans the slender.  Although this tactic is temptingly comforting to us heavy types, it still simply reinforces the exact same belief that we’re superior or inferior to one another based on nothing but the mostly arbitrary fact of how we look.

I don’t think men are the primary source of this problem.  We’re all responsible as a society of course, but in my experience it has rarely been men taking the reigns of this hate show.  When I have had fat taunts chanted at me in grade school, when I have been ostracized from the rest of my group by clothing stores, when I have read something on the internet or watched a news report that spewed vitriol and ugliness about people like me, it has almost always come from women.  I firmly believe that those women are regurgitating this filth (toward the slender and heavy alike) because inside they truly do hate themselves more than anyone else.

That isn’t something to get angry or outraged over, that is something to truly weep for.

As for men, despite my lifetime of being overweight, I have never gone lonely for male attention when I desired it.  Men (at least the ones I choose to hang out with) seem to find my particularly lush figure as either erotic, adorable or simply as okay as any other female figure because GIRL = GOOD!

I admit I do hang out with particularly cool guys.  The guys who thought otherwise in my presence have usually been kind enough to keep their opinions to themselves.

So why do women do this to each other?  Not being a sociologist or a psychologist I can only guess that it’s related to the same animal instinct that causes mountain goats to butt heads and lions to try to eat one other – we have an evolutionary instinct to be on top.  Humans though are much more than just our collection of blind instincts, we can fight this.

My challenge to you is this: pay attention to it.  When you feel yourself doing it - stop, and gently reinforce the truth.  No I am not better, no I am not worse – we are all merely different.

We have to teach ourselves to be so much more than a blind pecking order based on visual imagery.  We have to fight every day against our gut instinct to weigh and measure ourselves on a value scale based entirely on a body that is only going to wither and rot. 

What about you will remain?  In some systems of belief, absolutely nothing - which leaves behind only how you lived and treated yourself and others while you did it.  For me, what is inside is eternal, but this body will be so much dust in a mere eye blink of geological time.  I have a responsibility to care for it while it lives, but in the end of things it will not matter.  Certainly how it looked on a beauty scale decided by one small-minded and selfish culture will blow away like so much chaff.  I believe that if you can stop finding yourself superior or inferior then you can also begin to stop hating yourself as well.

I am not better, I am not worse.  I am simply here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tech is Great

Until it breaks.

Then it’s just about the most frustrating thing in the world.  For Christmas, my husband bought me a Smartphone.  I’d been wanting one for awhile and we hit up some of the post-holiday sales to get me a good deal on a really nice new one.

For the past six months it’s been great, I’ve enjoyed my new phone immensely.  I work in a place where you’re not allowed to use your computer for personal reasons even while on lunch break, so it was good to be able to retreat to the lunch room with my phone and check my personal email and other internet based things.

As Smartphone users go though, I’ve been pretty boring.  I barely use Twitter, I’ve downloaded about five APPs since purchase (hello Angry Birds) and I text fairly infrequently.

Yesterday morning, I noticed that my phone was hot to the touch.  I’m not an IT tech like Ted but I know enough to know that heat and computer devices are not a good combination.  By the time lunch rolled around and I pulled out my phone to go check my email, the battery was nearly dead and it was declaring that I had, “no service”.  Since I had unplugged it from charging that very morning before driving to work, I knew something was seriously wrong.  I turned the unit off.

This morning it was about as active as a rock, even plugging it into the wall I couldn’t garner a response from it, so – I called Verizon.

Here’s my problem; I don’t mind that the unit died, computers do that.  They’re wonderful but persnickety and sometimes tech just fails, even tech that’s only six months old and has been gently used that whole time.  What I DO mind is being talked to like I’m an idiot.

Yes, I realize that customer service people have difficult jobs and do talk to a lot of idiots who do dumb things.  (What do you mean my phone won’t work after I’ve dropped it in the toilet!?)  However, when I tell you that the phone is not broken because I’ve stupidly downloaded an untrustworthy APP I would appreciate being believed.  I haven’t downloaded any APP in the last month so I find it beyond the realm of unlikely that the copy of a Rovio game I acquired last month has suddenly caused my name brand phone to spontaneously and irreparably break due to incompatibility.  I would also thank you to believe me when I tell you I am smart enough not to download things from untrustworthy sources ever, either to my home PC or to my Smartphone.

I have been using a computer successfully for the past twenty years now, I am not new to this rodeo and I am also not a moron.

Basically Verizon’s advice on how to avoid your phone breaking is that it’s all usually the fault of users downloading bad APPs that we’re too stupid to avoid, so never download APPs even though running them is half the purpose of the device.

Whose an idiot now?

After getting lectured on correct Smartphone usage all the while performing a master reset on the device, as the touch screen then proceeded to stop responding, the customer service rep on the phone finally reluctantly agreed to send me a new unit.  They refused, however, to send me a new battery as well.  Apparently sending out a new phone and battery at the same time to replace broken ones is, “against their policy”.  So even though they admitted the battery becoming hot is a problem and that it shouldn’t be doing that, I’m getting only a new phone into which I have to put the old battery which may in all probability fry the new one just like it did the old one.

When that happens, then they will send me a new battery as well, and I guess another new phone too.

Oh – and since today is Friday none of this can happen until Monday, so I have no phone for the weekend.

But remember – it’s all my own fault and I’m the idiot, not them.

UPDATE:  After I told Ted this entire story he became irritated on my behalf and called Verizon back to complain.  They promptly apologized and agreed to send us a new battery with the new phone, as well as knocking a discount off our next bill and informing him that they would be reviewing and retraining the rep that I spoke to.  Basically he had an ENTIRELY different experience from mine.  While I am happy with the results I'm also somewhat offended because I believe his completely different experience resulted from his voice being obviously male while mine is obviously female.  Both of us are kind and polite in conversation both in person and on the telephone.  He does not agree, and plans to teach me his technique for getting stuff done while making everyone love him at the same time.  We shall see.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dr. Misfortune

My husband has a fictional alter-ego: a brilliant but extraordinarily unlucky super-villain named Dr. Manfred Misfortune.  While cleaning up some files yesterday, I stumbled across the Misfortune Manifesto as written by Ted almost ten years ago.  Seriously... how could I do anything but fall completely and utterly in love with this man?



By Doctor Manfred Misfortune

When I take over the world, the following directives will be enacted and enforced (unless something goes wrong, of course):

  1. I will abolish the little red strings that are supposed to open Band-Aids and never work.

  1. Households with cats will get a tax cut…but those with dogs will get a tax hike. Evil geniuses favor cats, not dogs. Did you ever see a dog on a Bond villain’s lap?

  1. Scientists (mad or otherwise) will get preferential treatment in bank lines, car wash lines and fast food lines.

  1. All sports teams will be dissolved and all sports will be outlawed, except badminton. Robotic gladiatorial combat will become the new international pastime. 

  1. I will appoint the Panda as the Minister of Punctuation. If the Panda says no, the immediate execution of the offender will take place.

  1. Top hats will be brought back into style.

  1. All men are to have goatees. If you cannot grow a goatee, one will be appointed for you.

  1. Smoking will only be allowed at the base of rockets (not the Rocket Base, the base of the rocket) or at the place of annihilation by Thermal Death Ray®.

  1. Fish Slapping Day will replace Valentine’s Day. All births will take place on Labor Day and everyone shall get a bottle of wine on Arbor Day. July 26th will hence forth be known as Emperor’s Day and all places of business will be closed to celebrate (except Fuddrucker’s Hamburgers).

  1. All future Tom Cruise movies will be banned, all past ones will be collectively erased from history. I shall create a time machine to accomplish this. Oh wait…apparently I already have and it’s gone poorly. Tom Cruise is now President and Scientology is the national religion. Whoops. Excuse me while I fix this…oh no, now I have a tail. Let me try this one more time…@h, th@t’$ b3tt3r. 


  1. Scallywag.