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

Friday, January 13, 2017

That Awkward Moment You Realize Your Dad's in the Illuminati

Just before Christmas my Dad asked me to carry and deliver a trophy for him to someone at the company where I work.

It’s a bronze cup, 103 years old, engraved with the name of the organization and the names of all the previous winners over the past century. There’s a silver and a gold cup too (and possibly others) and the others are worth considerably more than the bronze I’d been asked to deliver.

The organization is called ‘The Mixers Club’, and they consist of the movers and shakers of Philadelphia industry who get together now and again to play golf, eat and drink fine food and drink, and decide how things are going to shake out insofar as local business is concerned.

In short, they’re our local branch of the Illuminati.

And my dad is one of them.

So I did what I thought was the only proper thing having come into possession of one of their holy relics; I captured it pirate-style on behalf of the office grogs of the world. Currently, I’m using it to decorate my cubicle. I had a Santa hat on it for Christmas, which was quite charming.

So far there’s been no backlash on account of my theft, but if you don’t hear from me for an extended period of time then I’ve probably been… grrrk…


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Nerd Group Fitness

“One does not simply walk into Mordor…”

This is the basis of the extremely nerdy, Lord of the Rings-based walking challenge a friend of mine proposed at the start of this new year. That we, as a group, collectively try to cover the 1,779 mile distance between Hobbiton and Mount Doom.

He got the idea here.

If we’re doing it in a year it comes out to just under five miles per day (10,000 steps), which is the recommended amount of movement for an adult human anyway. Figuring out where we'd be in Middle Earth as we cover distance is just a fun way of keeping everyone interested and motivated to move. All you need to participate is a movement tracker of some sort and a bit of commitment.

At first we had some confusion over how to keep track of everyone. A Fitbit group would work, but not everyone uses a Fitbit, so we eventually settled on a Google spreadsheet where folks can log in each day and report their daily mileage and steps. It averages us all together so we know where we are as a group as well as individually.

I’m thinking of giving myself a reward at journey’s end for reaching Mount Doom. Technically, it should be a ride on a giant eagle’s back to Minis Tirith but since those are hard to come by I’ll try to think of something indulgent and frivolous that I normally wouldn’t get for myself (that isn’t food).

“Home is behind, the world ahead,
and there are many paths to tread
through shadows to the edge of night,
until the stars are all alight.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seasonal Defective

The most difficult part of the year for me falls between January 2nd and whenever spring arrives. The triple-threat festivities of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all packed away and there’s nothing to do but wait it out. A two to three month period of lingering cold, dark, and grey is just not my thing.

Snow is pretty, but when it hasn’t freshly fallen everything just looks very dead (I know the trees are just asleep, but they still look dead). Additionally with my long commute a fresh snowfall usually means driving danger, hassle, and long waits in traffic ahead.

It’s hard for me to stay warm during this time. I’m okay when I’m actively wrapped up in a lot of blankets and planted firmly in front of a space heater, but outside of those circumstances it’s not a question of if I’m cold, but rather how cold am I at the moment. I really, really don’t like being cold. It bums me out.

I like to walk outside, but the abovementioned aversion to cold stops me. I also don’t like to walk after the sun is down so since the sun is down all the time in winter there’s precious few outside walks to be had.

When I get home from work, it’s cold and dark. I am having really serious difficulty getting changed into lightweight workout clothes and leaving my house in the cold darkness at 7PM to go to the gym. I really want to, I know it will make me feel better, but in the moment I’m struggling against a profound desire for space heater induced hibernation.

I’m really struggling not to gain more weight, both because of my decreased physical activity and because being cold and huddled under blankets makes me want to eat nonstop. I’ve no need for additional blubber like a bear but my appetite doesn’t seem to want to be convinced.

A friend recently sent me an article about the wonderful Danish concept of hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) which means a good deal more than just getting warm and staying warm during a long winter. The Danes know how to not just survive the winter but embrace it with, “a relaxed, cozy time with friends and family, often with coffee, cake or beer.” Hygge, apparently, cannot really be described, it must be felt.

I need to learn to feel it. But I also need to feel my way off of my butt and back to the gym before I become permanently hygged by my couch.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Forbidden Question

My husband and I started going to a new church a while back. We like it, and we plan to stay.

During the morning greeting a few weeks ago, a kindly older gentleman (I would estimate between 80 and 90 years of age) in a very sharp suit greeted me enthusiastically and after Ted and I introduced ourselves he asked me a question.

“Are you expecting?”

Yes, the question. The forbidden question. The one that should not be asked of a woman unless she actively has a baby coming out of her body at that exact moment in time. And even then, probably not.

Despite a lifetime of obesity this was, in fact, the very first time I’d been asked the forbidden question.

My response was to give a short laugh and reply, “oh no – I’m just fat.”

He was mortified. He apologized profusely, wandered off, and then came back to apologize again. On one hand he was really old enough to know better than to guess at such a thing, and on the other hand I felt really bad for him.

I also felt bad for myself. I went home and took the expected long, unhappy look at my round, saggy stomach. I also acknowledged that the real reason for the query was probably because I’d been wearing  a pair of jeans that were two sizes too large for me, and were thus creating a fabric pooch over a belly that really doesn’t need extra emphasis.

I know, wearing too-big clothes is a bad idea. And no, I’m not going to stop doing it.

That being said, it happened. It was uncomfortable for everyone involved, but I moved on.

Also, something occurred to me. What had the gentleman really been thinking about me? Not that I was fat, or that fat was a bad thing. He’d been thinking that I was young and vital enough for childbearing and that I looked like I was full of life.

Is that really an insult? Should it be?

We view “looking pregnant” as a bad thing. But it isn’t, and it shouldn’t be. There are people out there who would give almost anything to look pregnant. I have a round, soft, womanly belly. It’s not flat. Barring surgery it will never be flat. Flat is not its natural state. Flat is not, I would guess, the natural state of most women’s bellies.

I looked young, healthy, and full of life. I choose to take that as a compliment.