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, August 29, 2012

Disney Makeover

Disney has decided to partner with Barneys New York to include their iconic characters in the store’s Christmas holiday sales campaign this year.

As the characters will be drawn wearing real, high end, high fashion runway clothing they have been physically redesigned to look the part.  In short, to look like “real” fashion models.  It was deemed that their familiar body shapes wouldn’t look good enough in couture.

What do you guys think?

As for me, I’m honestly speechless with horror.  That’s a first.

Minnie Mouse
Daisy Duck

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't I Have Anything Nice To Say?

It’s been gently brought to my attention by a couple of folks that I seem a bit… er… angry, of late.  I think the subtext of this is that my caring friends don’t want me to wallow in the negative, or let the world get me down or make me give up.

I always walk a fine line between struggling to accept myself at any size and feeling as though the “fat acceptance” movement is just a well organized way of admitting defeat.

I realize that I’m a contradiction: I believe in fighting for acceptance and equal treatment for people of every size, but I also cannot truly accept the size that I am and desperately wish to join the ranks of normal weight people.  I want encouragement, and yet I want to be left alone because it’s my problem.  Mine.  Not yours.

The truth though is that the anger is a symptom of me flirting dangerously close to the edge of really giving up, and obviously people can read past all my ranting and see that.  I apologize.

I’m going to try to be more positive and find some more helpful and hopeful things to write about.  For now, I’m reading a positive and encouraging book called Half–Assed.  It’s the story of a normal girl losing an extraordinary amount of weight through some pretty everyday means.  It’s written by Jennette Fulda, who encouraged me (unwittingly) to start my own weight loss blog three years ago.

Her weight loss blog (www.pastaqueen.com) is still up, though no longer being added to because she’s in the maintenance part of her journey these days.  I encourage you to buy her book, she’s quite funny and has a lot of helpful thoughts.  Her more current blog (about life, the universe, and everything) can be found at the lower right corner on my blog list and is called JenFul – it’s updated pretty regularly.

Also, here’s my updated list of lifestyle changes – just because I haven’t posted it in awhile:

1)      No chemical sweeteners
2)      Low caffeine
3)      Low meat (3 to 5 servings weekly)
4)      Low refined sugar (3 to 5 servings weekly)
5)      Healthy snacking (no bags of snacks in front of the sofa)
6)      Five half hour exercise sessions weekly (or more if possible)
7)      No abusive thoughts or language toward me!

And three new ones:

8)      By-weekly weigh ins (the batteries died on my scale and I haven’t replaced them)
9)      Mandatory 15 minute wait before second helpings at dinner
10)   Don’t eat when not hungry!

My plan might seem simple because I don’t have to weigh measure and write everything down, but it’s starting to get to be a lot to remember.  I think I need to carry around a cheat sheet or something.

Also… that last one?  About not eating when not hungry?  It’s the hardest of all.  For real.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wellness Report Card - Year Two

The company I work for, as part of its health benefits program, offers us wellness counseling with a company called Well Now.  If we sign up, we get a break on the cost of our health insurance, as well as biometric screenings and a “Health Risk Assessment”.  It’s all private, between the employee and Well Now (bypassing the actual employer) and I always like to save a little money, so I signed up last year.

The Health Risk Assessment tracks things like whether you smoke (nope) and drink regularly (nada) how stressed you are in life (hey, who isn’t?) and whether or not you drive like a maniac (no comment).  Then they compile that data with your blood test results and factor in your BMI (oh how I hate the BMI… so useless!)  Last year I was a little disappointed in my results – despite a good blood screening, minimal bad habits and normal blood pressure they scored me as a “C” for health based I think solely on my weight.  My doctor was disappointed too, she told me she’d score me as a “B” (thanks Doc!)

This year I signed up again, the health coaching was really useful and encouraging to me and I still love a discount.  However I am expecting the same grade as last time in advance because I’m not any lighter than I was last time around.  Hopefully they don’t drop me to a “D” for failure to improve.

I know I need to set that grade aside and look at the facts instead.

This year I’ve devoted myself to regular exercise despite the setback of a serious ankle sprain.  I’ve given up artificial sweeteners and cut my caffeine intake to almost nothing.  I include healthy fruits and vegetables in my daily diet and I have stopped eating white cane sugar treats on a daily basis – limiting them to one or two times per week.  Snacking… eh, still trying to get a handle on that one.

I’ve also successfully recovered from a nasty bout of anxiety disorder and moved myself forward professionally by becoming a grad student.  Okay, it’s true I don’t yet love what I see in a mirror, but still there’s a lot to be happy about!

In short, I have made some real positive improvements over this year.  And despite not being smaller, I know that I am healthier and stronger than I was the year before.

For this – I award myself one pat on the back (and, in two weeks, a couple of new piercings too).  I also got myself a really slick red snakeskin patterned cold shoulder shirt to go dancing in with my girlfriends next weekend.  Yay rewards!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fat Amy

Hollywood has yet again gifted us with a girl-buddy-movie-dramedy (comedic-drama) film populated entirely with walking female stereotypes.  It’s called Pitch Perfect.  Thank you so much!  We’re ever so grateful!

Following recent trend they’ve thrown in a single overweight character to show how forward thinking they’ve grown to be (YES, we realize you do exist!  Don’t you love us?!)  And once again the overweight female character’s sole purpose in the film is to be funny because she’s fat.

Lets take it point by point, shall we?

First of all, for your viewing pleasure… the trailer:

Every female character in the film looks like a walking stereotype to me (The Slut, The Dumb Girl, etc.) but I’m going to focus here on the fat one.  These are my people, the other stereotypes can get their own advocate.

Point One – Her name isn’t Amy, it’s “Fat Amy”.  She’s not allowed to have a normal name, we’re going to label her right up front so that you see straight away this isn’t a character, it’s a FAT character.  The joke being that she insults herself before the “bitches” around her can do it, thus proving her superiority.  Note to film writers: yes, we fat folks do sometimes do this.  We do not do it because we’re well adjusted and accepting of ourselves, we literally do it in the hopes that if we make people laugh with us maybe they won’t laugh at us so very much.  Then we go home and cry ourselves to sleep.  Thank you so much for making such a funny and witty joke of it!

Point Two – “I’m super good at bikini carwashes!”  She then illustrates the point of how her amazing fat girl boobs can be used as human loofas for scrubbing down people’s automobiles.  The wit knows no bounds! (And apparently no self respect, either.)  I guess we’re supposed to be cringing and giggling at this point at the very thought of her in a bikini too.

Point Three – “Don’t put me down for cardio” because fat people NEVER exercise!  Ever!  We don’t walk, dance, swim, lift weights and go to group classes in an effort to be slim like perfect, perfect, YOU!  We just SIT and EAT all the time!  That’s why we’re fat!  And don’t you forget it!  Isn’t it funny?!  To illustrate the point, Amy attempts to run while lying down, because fat people love to call attention to ourselves by being intentionally and flagrantly lazy during group exercise attempts.  The only truth in this is that the fat girl might, realistically, attempt to sneak off and exercise alone because she’s ashamed that she might sweat more than everyone else or not be able to keep up.  Oh, the hilarity.  My sides are hurting!

Point Four – “Got game by the pound” accompanying said song lyric by grabbing and shaking her fat belly, because in case you forgot, she’s fat!  And she’s showing it off by groping and jiggling it at you.  Groundbreaking stuff here.

The only joke the writers didn’t seem to seize is the opportunity to show fat girl desperation when a boy wants to kiss her.  She doesn’t jump and drool all over him she turns him down, which surprised me.  Of course she’s excessively mean while doing so, but maybe that character is supposed to be a jerk who deserves it – I don’t know.

The actress playing “Fat Amy” (and by the way, IMDB actually lists that as the character’s name) is Rebel Wilson, she also appeared as one of the two fat female characters in the movie Bridesmaids.  She’s a beautiful Australian girl with long, flaxen hair and big eyes.  It breaks my heart that this kind of visual insult is the only job available to her in her chosen profession.  It breaks my heart that she was willing to take it.

Her role in Bridesmaids was about the same, she was the walking joke of an unwanted roommate to the movie’s slim main character whose main job was to get rashes and do gross things to prove how unpleasant she was to live with.  That movie also had Melissa McCarthy as the fat bridesmaid who could beat up anybody (because fat is exactly the same as muscle… no, really) and wanted to eat three foot long subway sandwiches during sex.  Yep, that’s exactly what we do – call attention to our gluttony during an act in which we are already uncomfortable because there’s no clothing available to hide behind.  Spot on!

I beg you, if anyone out there is listening to me, the only voice that the jerks who purvey this kind of trash will listen to comes from your wallet.  Do not go see movies that negatively and stereotypically portray women like this.  Show them that you want to see fat people portrayed as real people instead of walking fat jokes.  Show them that you want real, creative humor that isn’t an insult to your intelligence – not just the same regurgitated filth over and over and over again.

This crap from Hollywood needs to stop.  Seriously.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Holding Out For A Hero

Today the news broke that Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France cycling competition, was stripped of his titles due to doping and drug trafficking.  He has decided not to fight the allegations which is considered about the same as a confession of guilt.

Lance is responsible for many good things in the world; one of which is the Livestrong Foundation that offers many free health tools for common folks, including the Daily Plate calorie and activity tracking system that I’ve spoke so highly of in the past.

I was reading an article this morning on how hard it is to see a “hero” like Lance fall among this massive web of lies.  They also mentioned Joe Paterno, former head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, who was dismissed posthumously when it was discovered he’d been covering up a sexual abuse scandal for years for the sake of sports.  The statue of him that had been erected in his honor on Penn State’s campus has been removed and put into storage in disgrace.

I’m sad about Lance, I admit – I like the guy.  Joe I care less about.

Mostly though I’m confused as to why sports “heroes” exist in the first place.

Athletes are people who are worthy of admiration; they put an incredible amount of work and effort into their physical development for the sake of a very specific goal.  However, there’s absolutely no reason why these people should ever be called “hero” in the first place.

Joe Paterno was really good at guiding players to win a game.  That’s it, just a game.  He made people happy and provided entertainment, maybe he helped positively guide the lives of some young people while he wasn’t busy destroying the lives of others – but there’s absolutely nothing heroic whatsoever about football.  Ever.  End of story.

The people who play it do so because you can make an incredible amount of money doing it as well as get famous and be considered important.  That is neither a self sacrificing nor heroic motivation.

I can go a little easier on Lance because he at least used his fame and money to try to make the world better and healthier; inspiring cancer survivors to fight the disease and helping everyday ordinary people to achieve the best in health for themselves – but he was still never a hero.

A hero runs into a building that’s on fire, rather than out of it, just because it’s more important to them to save the life of a fellow human being than it is to stay safe.

A hero stands shoulder to shoulder with ten other complete strangers lifting a burning car so that one of them can crawl inside and drag a person to safety.

A hero is a group of ordinary civilians on an airplane deciding that putting a stop to terrorism in their midst is more important than protecting their own lives.

A hero is a soldier who trains, struggles and sacrifices for minimal pay, all to endure the most horrifying of living conditions and stand between unimaginable harm and the people at home who they love – because somebody has to.

A hero is somebody like my husband who doesn’t ignore the elderly stranger in a grocery store parking lot who seems to be struggling, but stops to ask her if she needs assistance and then goes home with her to put her groceries away and make absolutely sure she’s safe.

A hero is a Doctor with the skill and courage to put in the incredible amount of time and dedication to learning the intricacies of the human brain so that they can remove a tumor from said brain and restore a dying human being to an athlete.  Lance Armstrong’s doctor is a hero, Lance is not.

I don’t think that the term “sports hero” should even exist in the first place.  Granted, I’m not much of a sports fan.  I like the Olympics and I enjoy ice hockey but that’s about it.  They may be inspiring but the purpose of these people is entertainment and as such, they’re no more heroic than Lady Gaga or Pee Wee Herman.  When they screw up and self destruct their lives, we are not witnessing the downfall of a hero – we are simply witnessing yet another human being succumbing to the flaws that plague us all.

If we weren’t making far too big a deal out of these people in the first place, it wouldn’t seem like such a tragedy.

I still believe that people should be paid based on societal importance as well as for skill.  That means the salaries of professional sports players need to be switched with the salaries of those who teach our children – which one is really more important?

Which one is really a hero?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Not Hot

Its amazing how one simple comment can manage to turn an entire morning sour.

When I drive to work in the morning, I frequently listen to Preston and Steve’s morning radio show on 93.3 WMMR.  They’re funny, they provide entertainment news, and when they get too raunchy (which happens occasionally) I just change the channel.

I haven’t precisely met these guys, but I have seen them up close.  The company my husband used to work for won a contest to have them come out and broadcast from a location of their choosing and I went out to watch the show.  It was a really fun time, and they seemed nice.  In appearance, they both look like the tall, broad bodied Philly guys you see drinking beer and yelling at football on a Sunday afternoon.   I don’t know them so I can’t say what they’re truly like – but on air they tend to come off like they view women as an entirely separate species from men, not just a different gender.  In other words, there’s people – and then there’s women.

Last Wednesday they were discussing the tendency to look at boobs, which according to research is something that both men and women do when they’re on display (ie. when a girl is wearing a low cut shirt).  I can’t argue that point as I myself have noticed that when a woman has an outfit on that leaves a lot of them hanging out there or if her cups runneth over, I do glance.  It’s not sexual interest on my part, it’s just a kind of reflex.  They’re there, they’re out, so your eyes automatically drift over the area.

If people look at my own chest I don’t notice it, not even when I’m wearing one of my low cut shirts.  To be honest I even don’t notice the trend when I have one of my corsets on, which do display the twins rather nicely.  I’m either oblivious or I’m somehow escaping people’s tendency to look.  My husband looks at me of course, but he’s flat out obvious in his abundant admiration so that’s impossible to miss.  If he’s ogling other women as well, he’s so subtle about it that I have never once noticed him do it.

At any rate the conversation was about boobs, the fact that they’re pretty, and that all of us seem to like to see them.  Simple enough.

I’m trying to remember precisely how it was put, but I’m paraphrasing.  At one point during the discussion one of the guys said something to the effect of: “You look at them even if the woman isn’t hot, if it’s a big girl that doesn’t make any difference – you still look.”  He wasn’t trying to be mean when he said it, the statement about heavier women was relayed as though it was a factual matter as obvious as the blue color of the sky above.

I’m sad to report that this offhand, bigoted remark managed to tank my entire mood.

Believe it or not I actually do sometimes manage to forget that I’m fat.  I can go about my day feeling like a reasonably pretty, leonine thirty-something of decent height with an epic, ruby red dye job and an amazing rack.  And then boom, you hear something like this and are forced to remember the truth:  oh… right… I’m not hot.  Sorry, I forgot for a few seconds there, I’m so glad you reminded me.

Yeah, I know – it’s just the opinion of one small minded jerk.  Big girls are not hot – period.  Yeah, I know a lot of open minded, amazing men who think this kind of generalization is flat out stupid.

Look, I get that everyone is entitled to their own opinion on attractiveness.  Personally I can see beauty in almost everyone.  This is because I look for it.  I look at a person and ask myself – what’s beautiful about them?  When you deliberately do this it’s actually pretty easy to see.  And this isn’t to say I don’t have my preferences, most of my friends are aware (with fond amusement) of my fascination (*cough*obsession*cough*) with pretty guys who look like Tolkien elves.  Sure, generally I don’t like hugely muscled guys – but I’m not blind, Vin Diesel is still very attractive to me despite this fact.

The point is that my particular favorite type of male appearance doesn’t prevent me from seeing the beauty in each and every one of my male friends in their unique and wonderful ways.  Heck, I was watching an episode of Deadliest Catch the other week and it occurred to me that one of the Captains was attractive.  He was a big, grizzled, fuzzy fisherman guy who was missing half a finger – but he had a warm, appealing personality and nice eyes, and I realized I was sitting there thinking that he was really cute.  My personal preferences do not prevent me from seeing the beauty in variety.

I am not married to some unrealistic fantasy elf.  I am married to a very real, tall, gorgeous, rumply nerd with silver hair like the pelt of a timber wolf and graceful hands.  His face is the most beloved to me in all the world – and as such it’s also the most beautiful.

This radio dude made a sweeping generalization on what is allowed to be hot that I would never make.  Not even just in everyday, private conversation, let alone on a public radio show where many of the people listening to me might be “big girls” or “big guys”.

And as always, it’s totally okay to negatively stereotype an entire group of people so long as it’s fat people.  If he’d said: “You look at them even if the woman isn’t hot, if it’s an Asian that doesn’t make any difference – you still look.”  Think that would go over with nobody objecting?  Of course not, because it shouldn’t.  It's bigoted as well as being obviously untrue.  Although it's also bigoted and untrue for heavier women, nobody seems to care and it's perfectly fine and acceptable that this asshat announced it on morning radio.

So thanks dude, you just broadcast to a portion of your listener base that despite whatever else about us may be true – whether we’re sexy, or funny, or beautiful, or stylish, or brilliant… in your opinion if we’re also big, we’re not hot.  End of story.

Thanks.  Thanks for the reminder.

Dressed up for the guy who appreciates me, and whose opinion on the matter is the only one that counts.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How Small is Small Enough?

I really like Tyra Banks.  She’s a smart, savvy business lady with a great personality.  She had a long, successful career as a fashion and runway model before aging out of the industry and moving on to television.  I even like her show: America’s Next Top Model.  The segments with teen girls endlessly squabbling don’t interest me, but I love watching the creativity of the fashion shoots and then getting to see the finished product afterward.  I don’t usually watch daytime TV but I’ve seen a couple episodes of her talk show too and everything I saw focused on being positive and bringing awareness to important issues.  If I did watch daytime TV, her show, much like Ellen Degeneres’, would have been at the top of my list.

This is what Tyra looked like when she was modeling for Victoria’s Secret in 1997:

She recently stated in a letter to today’s models, that her size four body would have been too big for today’s fashion industry – in which the expectation is to be a size zero.  This is current Victoria’s Secret runway model, Chanel Iman:

I admit I can see the difference.  Tyra has boobs, curved hips and thighs and her body is more traditionally feminine looking whereas the current model is more of a boyishly straight column.

They’re both extremely beautiful people, and which you like better is really just a matter of preference.  They’re both slim, and to me anyway they both look healthy.  Tyra looks sexier to me, but there are probably plenty of people who would find Chanel sexier and that’s okay – to each their own.

I personally know a couple of people for whom a size zero is really their natural, healthy size.

It is, however, nowhere near the most common size for an average adult woman.  What Tyra was pointing out in her letter is that expecting models to ALL be a size zero is to inform the majority of them that in order to work in their chosen career, they need to deprive themselves of adequate nutrition.  It also means that the industry is still promoting the idea that the ultimate in beauty is to be zero.  Even then, what few bits of flesh remain on such slender bodies is studiously removed via photoshop to create a perfectly unblemished and smooth final product.

I’ve watched Tyra struggle with this on Top Model, trying to figure out if one of her contestants is just one of the naturally skinny types or if they have an eating disorder – it’s an exceedingly difficult  call to make.  I have seen her send girls home because she believed they were putting themselves in danger.  Right or wrong, she didn’t want to take the chance with a life, and I find that admirable.

My question though, is why has this trend in fashion gotten worse over time instead of better?

Despite criticism being heaped on the fashion and beauty industry for its ludicrous standards and expectations, some things still remain constant: politicians will lie, prices will rise, and women will always be expected to be thinner.

A few are fighting back.  In Israel models have been banned from runway jobs if their body mass index is less than 18.5 and Vogue has recently agreed not to use models who “appear to have an eating disorder” in all 19 of its worldwide editions.

But how can you say who “looks” like they have an eating disorder?  That’s a bit too vague for my taste.  And as I’ve pointed out before, using the BMI to determine anyone’s health is about as accurate as strapping a paper sundial to your wrist in order to accurately tell time.  Sure you’ll get a vague idea, but only a VERY vague one.

Occasionally the fashion industry will twitch a bit at some of the negative backlash and make token gestures like these, but overall the girls are still getting skinnier while the actual population gets heavier and the two are looking less and less alike.  When they do make concessions they feel hollow to me rather than bespeaking real change.  Even Tyra who I do admire, when casting “plus sized” girls on her show (and by plus sized, I am sadly referring to sizes eight and ten) will constantly focus on building those girls up in self esteem as though they must naturally hate themselves.  She tells them over and over how beautiful their bodies are and refers to them as “fiercely real” which, first of all implies that their more slender counterparts are… what?  Not real or fierce?  Secondly it focuses constantly on their size, which isn’t even big, it’s just slightly closer (but still below) what is average.  Why does so much fuss and attention have to be paid to their size at all?  They’re all equally gorgeous, so why can’t they all just be models instead of getting weighed, measured and slotted into the appropriately labeled box?

I can only assume that it must still be cost effective to advertize product on the most slender body available or else they wouldn’t still be doing it.  People must not want to see what fashion would look like on their own imperfect body even though in countless polls they have claimed to want exactly that.  The end result is that some of us have become so detached and bitter toward the fashion industry that we perceive it as something that relates to a whole different species of animal rather than to ourselves.

Despite what a bad dresser I am personally I actually do love beautiful clothes.  I wear glasses made by Michael Kors, who is one of my favorite designers.  Recently a friend of mine admired them (they are after all, quite cute) and I mentioned that I love the things that Kors makes, but since he, like most designers, hates fat women – the only thing I can have from one of his collections is glasses.  Part of me feels guilty for even buying them, because in a sense I picked up the one tiny breadcrumb he was willing to throw at me.  In retrospect it makes me feel pretty cheap.

Michael may or may not actually hate fat women, I don’t know – but that is the impression that he and all the others give by refusing to dress us.  They leave money lying on the table, because losing a sale is far better than seeing their lovely things on a hideously fat body.

There are layers upon layers of complicated reason as to why I despise shopping for clothes.

As for runway models, obviously they are not meant to reflect the general population and never will be.  But even a size four or six does not reflect the general population which tends more toward the ten and twelve end of the scale.  For models, apparently, sizes four and six are now too big.

What’s next?  Where is there to go after zero?

By and large I can’t boycott the fashion industry because it’s already boycotted me first.  Victoria’s Secret is one of the few high end stores that makes my size and I don’t shop there.  I made it clear to them years ago that I wouldn’t be shopping in their stores until I see some women in their ads who look average.  Keep in mind, I didn’t ask them for plus sized models – just average sized ones, and so far even that has been too much of a concession to make.

In the end I’m just one person screaming into the wind.

Until these people stop making money hand over fist, they’re not going to stop and it’s not going to change.  Basically thin people need to stop handing them wads of cash, but… why would they do that?  Why would they even care?  The fashion and beauty industries need to be struck at the bottom line for change to happen, assuming there’s anyone out there besides me who actually gives a crap.

And what would I do if after achieving my weight loss goals suddenly all the beautiful clothes I’ve always desired became available to me?  If suddenly I was welcomed into high end couture stores with a smile rather than given a puzzled or dismissive look?

I’d like to think I’ll be strong enough to continue to tell them all to sod off until they stop promoting beauty ideals that are unattainable for most of us.

Some days, I’m not so sure.

Edit:  I hereby publicly apologize to Michael Kors - as a reader was kind enough to show me, he in fact does design and carry a very attractive plus sized clothing line available at Macy's.  Go Michael!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chemically Sweet Side Effect

It’s been just over a month since I kicked the chemical sweetener habit, and I feel pretty good.  I’m sleeping better than I have in years.

Most nights I’m sleepy and getting in bed at 11:00 to 11:30PM, which is about an hour and a half earlier than what has been my norm for the past few years.  I also fall asleep faster and feel less fidgety while lying in bed.  Last night was the first bad night I’ve had since kicking the habit, and I was still asleep by 1:30PM, so I still got five hours.  A bad night for me previously usually meant no sleep at all.

During detox, I did have a headache for eight solid days.  Not a terrible one, on a one to ten scale I’d grade it at about a three – but it was very consistent.  Then it cleared up, and I’ve been fine since then.

Occasionally I will gaze longingly at Ted’s can of Coke Zero, but other than that I’ve been fairly free of cravings.

There has been one downside: I am absolutely ravenous for refined sugar sweets.

Not being a doctor I’m taking my best guess at why this is.  Every day since my teens, I’ve had artificially sweet drinks on a daily basis, which means my tongue (and brain) were getting a signal that said: YAY, SUGAR! every single day.  Granted it was a fake signal and probably messing up my metabolism, but I still became very used to having sweet stuff (aka dietary crack) on a daily basis.  Twenty years worth of used to it.

Suddenly, that signal is completely gone.  When I drink, there’s no YAY SUGAR! there’s just water, or the refreshing, bubbly citrus of flavored seltzers.

So I’m craving sweet rather desperately.  Every day.  This unfortunately means I’ve been indulging in ice cream, or water ice, or a bag of MnM’s, or sugar laden hot chocolate every day.

So now I’m confronted with another addiction I’ve got to break to get through this.  My brain needs to accept that refined sugar and the taste of SWEET! is for special occasions only, not for daily use.  So, here we go again, another day another detox.

And I still miss chewing gum.


Footnote: As a reward I got a new piercing.  Well, technically I had an old piercing fixed that had clogged up with yucky scar tissue, but isn’t the hoop cute?!  I’m getting a third set in September as a reward for my sugar detox.

Kick bad habit – get jewelry.  Sounds good to me, no?

Friday, August 3, 2012

I Don't Get It

Being a somewhat non-confrontational type, I traditionally don’t put these kinds of controversial opinions on my blog, but this solution seems so freaking simple to me I’m really not getting why it’s so difficult for apparently everyone else.  The never-ending debate is exhausting and I figure I must be missing something.

The government has no business, nor qualifications for deciding anything about the relationship status of its citizen’s personal lives.  The government is run by a bunch of amoral jerks fighting like rabid dogs over power and a popularity contest – are these really the people who should be making relationship calls for anyone?

From the government’s perspective, all that should matter is that two, three, ten, twenty, I don’t care – a whole town full of people who are consenting and at least 18 years of age come to them and say: “We wish to bind our lives together legally.”

Why they wish to do this is not the governments concern, nor is anything that goes on in the bedrooms or social lives of the people who asked.  Their gender; be it man, woman, or “other,” also need not apply.  All they should care about is:
A)    Is this fully consensual?
B)     Are the people involved of legal age?

Those criteria are met?  Great!  Then the government goes: “Okay, here’s the documentation so that you can do that.  Process it, turn it in, and you’re all set.”  I admit it’s not romantic, but at least it’s simple.

Then those people are legally bound and may enjoy the benefits under the law that such a recognized union represents.  They will remain bound until one of them dies, or they decide to process paperwork dissolving their union.

Are they two lifelong friends?  Are they a man and a woman?  Are they two men or two women?  Do they have a romantic relationship or just a business partnership?  WHO CARES?!  Doesn’t matter!  Why they wanted the union is nobody’s business but their own.

Then, if two people would like a marriage, either as a religious ceremony or as a non-religious one, they are free to find a church or non-religious officiant in line with their own beliefs, and have one.  The government should take no more interest in it than they do in baptism or confirmation (which is to say: none).  Individual churches are free to officiate marriages (or refuse to) in line with their own beliefs.  The government will not be required, or able to force a church to perform a ceremony that isn’t in line with their beliefs, nor block two people from having one in a church that agrees to it.

In short: I do not believe that it’s the government’s place to approve nor disapprove the personal relationships of it’s citizen’s.  Should they legally recognize a consensual partnership of some kind?  Yup.  And that’s it.  Hey, guys?  Yeah, you up there on capital hill?  Keep us safe, keep the roads intact – and otherwise, butt out.  Thanks!

Yes, I realize that gay people are still going to have a hard time getting a marriage ceremony in a mosque or deeply conservative church.  Hey, I’d love to have had a bat mitzvah, they sound like a hoot – but not being Jewish and all I doubt I’d be able to find a synagogue to give me one.  Such is life. There are still liberal or non-denominational churches available for such things, or non-religious official types who can be hired to perform whatever lovely wedding ceremonies a couple would like, I’ve been to quite a few.

The point is that by making marriage none of the government’s danged business I genuinely believe that this problem would be solved.

Everyone is free, nobody’s rights are getting stomped on, and everyone is happy.  Right?  Every single person (religious and non-religious alike) I’ve proposed this idea to has thought it was a decent solution.

So WHY is it so hard to make happen?  As far as I know, nobody is even fighting for it because they’re way too busy finding inventive ways to tear one another apart.  Am I missing something?  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.