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 26, 2016

Happy Birthday


I wish I could write poetry. You make me want to. I want to create beautiful things for you on this the anniversary of your birth.

The past fifteen years have flown past us, and I wish for fifteen hundred more. If there is one thing with which I've truly been blessed in this life, I know it to be love.

I love you, I'm so grateful for you, I will always always always be with you.

Happy Birthday, Bee.



If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;        
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
That when we live no more we may live ever.

-Anne Bradstreet "To my Dear and Loving Husband"

Friday, July 22, 2016

Beetnik Frozen Food Review

Beetnik products have a lot of variables going on that I really don’t care about, such as being certified USDA Organic, Gluten Free, and Paleo approved. I chose them simply because their sodium content is phenomenally low for frozen food (below 300 mg. each) and I am trying to get my sodium intake below 1,500 mg. per day without totally giving up the convenience of a frozen lunch. As a result my first comment on a lot of these is probably going to be, “tastes bland”, because my overly salted American palate is not used to foods that aren’t pickled in salt.

The store I purchased them from sells them for around $6.00 / entrée.

Organic Moroccan Seasoned Chicken Stew (Ingredients: chicken, sweet potato, carrot, bell pepper, lemon juice, olive oil & spices-garlic, cumin, turmeric, ginger).
280 calories
160 mg. sodium
9 g. fat
4 g. fiber
25 g. protein
Taste: It smelled really good and the chicken had fantastic texture, also the portion was generously sized for less than three hundred calories. That’s where the good news ends because the flavor was bland (of course), and unpleasantly sour. The ingredients listed are all tasty ones so I have no idea where the weirdly sour flavor was coming from. Maybe too much lemon juice? I won’t be buying this one again. Bleh.

Looked tasty, but no.

Organic Peruvian Seasoned Chicken Stew (Ingredients: chicken, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion & spices – garlic, cumin, basil, pepper, cayenne).
130 calories
240 mg. sodium
1 g. fat
2 g. fiber
23 g. protein
Taste: Rich with tomato flavor and hot! Probably not so spicy to someone who eats hot food a lot, but as I am a casual consumer of spicy food it was enough to make my nose run. The taste was complex and good though, not bland and not sour like the other stew I tried. A very thin consistency, really more like a soup, and it looked absolutely nothing like the picture on the package. This one would be better with a chunk of Italian bread and a dollop of sour cream or some rice mixed in, and I will probably purchase it again.

This one seriously did not look like the picture on the box.

Organic Sesame Ginger Chicken (Ingredients: rice, chicken, onion, bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, broccoli, honey, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, green onion, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, pepper, tamari, salt).
270 calories
280 mg. sodium
3 g. fat
2 g. fiber
18 g. protein
Taste: This was easily the best of the three I tried, and also the most satisfying (probably due to the presence of rice). It wasn’t spicy, but seasoned just enough to be flavorful and not bland at all, yet still very low in salt for a prepackaged food item. Their chicken remained good and fresh tasting throughout, and the vegetables were still bright and perky despite being through the freeze/thaw process. I will absolutely get this one again! Yum!

We have a winner!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Age and Size Paradox

We were celebrating a birthday at work today, which got me thinking about how incorrect our attitude toward age is in the society I live in.

In my mind, the more years of experience a person has the more valuable they should be. Younger people are certainly lovable and interesting and creative and intelligent – but they haven’t yet had time to ripen and season, to earn the wisdom or experience or learning that their elders have achieved.

Since our society is obsessed with beauty, and youth indicators like bigger eyes and fuller lips are currently considered more beautiful, that seems to be what primarily matters to us. As such it’s hard to grow older because people feel as though they lose something every year instead of seeing what they gain with each passing year in the value of what they know and have seen. I’ve felt it myself as I stare into the mirror and notice my thinning lips, the network of laugh lines road mapping their way across my forehead, and the way the skin on my chest is taking on the consistency of crepe paper.

I find our whole attitude toward aging to be pretty messed up. Just as I find it messed up that the largest in physical stature among us are paradoxically seen as the least in social stature. What if humans were like lions or other apex predators, with the biggest standing de facto at the top of the pecking order?

Maybe it’s easier for me, being married to Ted who is turning 57 this month and aside from being annoyed with the occasional ache in his back and lessening ability to tolerate heat and humidity, couldn’t really care less about the number of birthdays he’s had. He likes his birthday and to celebrate it, but the number of candles on his cake is irrelevant (so long as there’s cake).

And maybe it’s easier for him than most people too, since if he bothered to dye his hair darker he would look as young as or younger than me – his face is boyish and unlined, his hair full and soft, and his body is firm and tall.

But what if a lined face, a softening figure, and a receding hairline were considered breathtakingly gorgeous as markers of the worth of a person’s experience in life? What if we gained value with each passing year instead of feeling as though our social currency is slowly running out? What if we waited hopefully as young people for the day we would become beautifully mature? What a world that would be.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Pasta Conundrum

I’ve made it pretty clear at this point that I’m not a fan of fad/crash diets like Paleo or Atkins, and I absolutely think that HMR is a bad idea. That being said, I acknowledge that every body works in a unique way and if something works for you in a way that makes you feel great and is sustainable long term without causing dangerous weight yo-yo’s, then cool. Listening to your body is key.

I’m not an anti-carb or even low-carb eater. I think carbs are part of my balanced diet, and I like them. They do need to be limited somewhat because they tend to be very calorie dense, but outside of that I think carbs are yummy and great.  However, something weird is going on with me and pasta.

I make pasta about once a week for dinner, and then portion out the leftovers for lunch at work for the next couple of days. At dinnertime I’ll prepare myself a bowl, eat it too quickly and feel as though I’ve eaten nothing at all, then go fetch myself an entire second bowl. It’s like when I eat pasta the mechanism that tells me I’m full just completely shuts down. Afterward, I feel uncomfortably bloated, bubbling, and sick.

At first I thought it was just because I was eating too much, but I came to realize I was bloated, bubbly, and sick even after eating my carefully measured portions of pasta at lunch.

Thankfully this can’t be celiac disease, true celiac is still fairly rare and I do not suffer from it or any other kind of food allergy. I eat bread and plenty of other gluten containing products daily with no problem whatsoever, but pasta apparently does not agree with me so I’m thinking I’ll have to eliminate it from my diet.

This makes me sad as I love pasta, it’s a quick easy dinner that provides plenty of lunch leftovers, but it’s just not worth the cost – it causes binge behavior and makes me feel awful afterwards. In keeping with my own advice to listen to my body, it’s got to go.

Now to come up with some tasty pasta alternatives that the guys I live with will actually eat...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Irony of David Wolfe & the Avocado

Recently I was discussing my favorite food, the avocado, with a friend – and he pointed out that the avocado does not actually make sense in the human diet.

Curious, I asked why, and he explained that as a fruit it doesn’t work with us the way it biologically should. It has a seed that is far too large for a human animal to swallow and later deposit with a convenient pile of fertilizer to grow elsewhere. In fact, the avocado’s golf ball sized seed is actually poisonous to human beings.

I then inquired as to what type of animal was supposed to be eating the avocado, and he replied with ground sloths, an extremely large, now extinct type of land mammal also known as megatherium. I did a bit more research and turned up this interesting article.

That's a big sloth...

After the disaster that caused the ground sloths and other megafauna to die off, avocados survived against all odds probably getting spread about by smaller animals like big cats for a while until being discovered by us primates who began deliberately spreading their seeds and farming them for their deliciousness.

Not only did we farm them, we genetically modified the heck out of them. The avocados that megafauna used to eat were much more seed than flesh and we’d likely barely recognize them from our gator pears of today. We’ve manipulated the avocado to make it produce a much smaller seed with much more delicious green stuff for us to feast upon.

This led me to thinking about David Wolfe...

One of my least favorite modern snake oil salesmen is named David “Avocado” Wolfe. I’m not going to link to his site because I don’t want to send him any traffic, but feel free to peruse this article about him. In short, he’s a food scaremongerer who sells an unhealthy dose of orthorexia along with sham products on his website like “David Wolfe Nutrition Certifications” that help you convince people that genetic modification of food is evil and bad for you despite their being no hard scientific evidence of this (and yes, I have looked for it), vaccinations are deadly, and chocolate is “an octave of sun energy that lines up planetarily with the sun”… or something. He’s right up there with the Food Babe when it comes to anti-science hokum. And this stuff can be deadly, particularly the anti-vaccines part.

It always annoyed me that he calls himself David “Avocado” Wolfe, because I love the avocado but I do not like him very much. One of the only things he and I agree on is that the avocado is both delicious and healthy to eat, but he pollutes its goodness by attaching it to his name.

The gorgeously ironic part is this:

David Wolfe has named himself after a food that has a poisonous seed, which should have become extinct along with the creatures that ate it thousands of years ago, and he is apparently ignorant of the fact that it was artificially preserved through exactly the kind of genetic modification and deliberate human food tinkering that he espouses to be “toxic.”

I find this absolutely hilarious.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thank You, Target!

On the occasions when a retailer happens to give me exactly what I’ve been asking them for, I make a point of rewarding them with my business. This is why last weekend I went shopping at Target.

Lately I’ve been seeing Target swimsuit ads on TV that feature a bunch of people of different shapes and sizes having fun by the pool while wearing cute swimsuits.

These folks:

No big fuss is made over their variety of body types, they’re just a bunch of people who enjoy the beach and want to swim. Some of them are wearing a one piece, some two pieces. The cuteness of the suit is not limited by the smallness of its wearer. A bikini body appears to be a body with a bikini on it. And that’s it. To be honest the first time I noticed one of these ads I felt happy tears welling up in the back of my throat.

The larger sized ladies in these ads are just normal people who need a bathing suit to swim in, and that is precisely what I’ve been asking for from clothiers: to just feel normal. Not to have to special order everything online where I cannot try it on first, not to search in vain for my size only to find the only things in my size are made from cheap, horrifyingly ugly fabric, not to pay five or ten or twelve dollars more for a size 18 because OMG IT’S A SIZE 18 YOU HEIFER!!

To be fair, Target has failed miserably in the past. They are the retailers responsible for this Photoshop fail where they were so eager to give their slim, teenage model an impossibly narrow rib cage and enormous thigh gap that they literally mangled her:

This debacle occurred back in 2014 and I think it’s safe to say that they’ve learned from their mistakes moving forward.

So yes, last weekend Target got my business, and my sincere thanks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

You Just Can't Win

Last weekend I went to see the new Disney movie, Finding Dory, with a friend of mine. It was cute and funny and touching and exactly what one might expect from the sequel to Finding Nemo. Dory was the standout character from the first movie and it was a wise move to feature her in a sequel.

One of the previews we saw was for Disney’s new film Moana, the story of a Polynesian Princess. My friend and I both thought it looked cute and worth watching, and I was pleased to hear Dwayne Johnson voicing one of the characters, a demigod named Maui.

I was later dismayed to find out that a wall of complaints is already hitting the internet about this movie and it isn’t even out yet, due to Maui’s non-standard body shape.

One camp is offended that Disney is “fat shaming” all Polynesians for depicting them as looking like Maui. To be honest, I didn’t actually think Maui looked fat – just extremely dense and powerful in a cuddly sort of way. It’s true that he doesn’t particularly look like Dwayne Johnson, but it’s a voice acting part – he doesn’t need to. And why does one Polynesian character looking a certain way mean all are supposed to be seen that way? The title character Moana, also Polynesian, is a very petite size.



The other camp of complainers is whining at Disney for promoting “unhealthy lifestyles”. This always crops up and never fails to make me want to scream. Of course any glimpse of a character with a bigger body in media doing anything but focusing solely on becoming smaller is going to cause permanent damage to children. Said children will no doubt proceed immediately to their kitchens and inhale mass quantities of food if they get the slightest inkling that it’s in any way, shape, or form okay to be anything but whippet-thin. Makes perfect sense. We mustn’t allow that.

I find both of these camps of complainers to be thoroughly exhausting.

If the general public continues to be so quick to scream a multitude of complaints at every depiction of a human being that differs from cookie cutter standard then I think animators are likely to say, “to hell with it” and just go back to drawing all their characters with a waist circumference that matches that of their neck. Because that’s totally realistic and healthy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Quest for Maximum Support

Women have complicated relationships with their bras. Well, some of us do. Some of us feel no need for them at all and to those women I say: I sincerely envy you.

I don’t feel comfortable without one, and many times I don’t feel comfortable with one either. My eternal quest seems to be to locate the perfect sports bra that both halts all movement and doesn’t cost a fortune. This is roughly about as simple as locating the mystical rainbow-farting unicorn.

This past weekend my husband needed to pick some stuff up at a store and I tagged along with him. As he swiftly and effectively located the items on his list, I lingered in the women’s sportswear section – noticing that they had Champion sports bras on sale for a remarkably low $25.00 price tag. They also had my size in two different styles, both labeled as “Maximum Support”.

Part of me just wanted to buy them and go home, but the wiser part of my brain knew better, so I ducked into a fitting room with my potential prizes.

In both cases the size was, in fact, spot on correct. They fit well. That’s where the good part of this story ends.

One of them had a zip-front closure. This seems like a quick and easy solution for a sports bra which you need to get out of easily after it’s been soaked through from sweat, however getting it on in the first place proved nigh impossible. In order to close it I had to hold the zipper in a closed position with two hands, then use two other hands to actually pull the zipper up. In other words, to properly operate this bra you need four hands. As I am a standard model two-handed human, that wasn’t working for me.

The other one featured a pull-on-over-the-head configuration. While these seem simple, I’ve learned from past experience that the slightest moisture on one’s skin can cause that to go very bad very quickly. Also, I feel as though yanking bras on over my head stretches them out of shape a lot faster. Additionally, it was a pull-on-over-the-head bra that for some silly reason also had hook and eye closures in the back. So after pulling it on you had to blindly grope behind you to get them closed.

Who designs these things?

Sadly, Champion’s idea of “maximum” hold in either case was an outright laugh riot. If I tried to do Zumba in either of these bras I’d have suffered a knockout blow when one or both halves of my frontal landscape swung upward mid-jump and socked me in the head.

Sigh. The quest continues.

Looks deceptively simple, doesn't it?

If you think it's nigh impossible to get one of these closed while blindly groping behind you, you would be correct.