A Tale of Two Women

It’s Whiny Wednesday.  Fair warning:  I do have a need to talk about something (someone) and this tale is sure to be loaded with snark with a few dashes of vitriol for good measure.  So, if you don’t want to read any further, it won’t hurt my feelings.  However, if you’re in the mood for some head shaking, guffaws, and drama, read on.

body imageThere are two women, Ethel and Maude, who are related by marriage.  They each have their own little lives, and their own families to deal with.  You would think that they might be good friends, but no.  Maude can’t really stand Ethel because of a variety of reasons, mostly because Maude thinks Ethel is a dumbass.  At first, Maude wondered if her dislike of Ethel was misplaced, since Ethel is skinny and sort of has the body Maude would like to have.  But Maude’s husband has said if she ever lost that much weight, he’d divorce her because he doesn’t want to have sex with a skeleton.  Maude thought that was pretty funny, but after spending more time around her, she’s decided the dislike is rooted in the stupidity of the other.

Ethel is stick thin, and her bone structure is small.  Maude, in all reality, could never be that thin without looking like an anorexic, and she knows it and has determined that she doesn’t want to be skinny anyway  She wants to be strong and fit, something Ethel in all her skinny glory, isn’t.  Over the last months, Ethel has started complaining about her body because she’s gained weight since she moved to the area, developing a nice pair of saddlebags (which you can totally see because she’s always wearing leggings) and a bit of a belly (big enough now it looks like she had to lay down to zip her jeans).  She even has a pair she keeps wearing that she can’t button, and then wears a little shirt that shows a little belly (and her undone jeans).  She thinks she’s so sexy, but it’s just sad.  She likes to make like she’s a supermodel if you see her pics on FB.

She knew Maude exercised at home, so asked if she had any old DVDs she could have so she could get in shape.  So Maude, being the nice gal she is, gave her 2 of her older DVDs that she didn’t use.  For all her complaining about wanting to get in shape, Ethel has only used the DVDs once.  Another time, she also went for a little run-1/4 mile and used her husband’s weights. And a time after that, she went for a little walk (4 miles).  These events occurred weeks apart from each other, after which she spent the rest of that week complaining about how sore she was from her exercise.  Maude just shrugged, because she knows how it is when you start a new workout, in shape or not.  Ethel thinks she’s healthy and fit because she’s not overweight, so doesn’t get that she isn’t healthy at all because weight is only one indicator of fitness.  She thinks she’s in such great shape, but Maude could probably toss her across the room without breaking a sweat.  Maude may be fat, but she’s strong as hell.

But you can’t talk to Ethel and explain these things, because despite a lack of education, she thinks she knows everything.  Like how Nutella and fried potatoes are essential food groups, and skinny means she’s healthy.   Seeing Ethel and hearing her complain about her body, yet does nothing about it only annoys Maude these days, and it just pisses Maude off to no end that Ethel is determined to make her kid just like her, by saying things like, “oh, you don’t like to eat that” just because Ethel doesn’t like it.   Just like doing all sorts of things for Ethel and her family annoys Maude because whatever they gave, it wasn’t good enough, what they wanted, or they wanted more.  Ethel pesters their mother-in-law to ask Maude for things or information, but Maude doesn’t have time for such ignorance or these annoyances because she’s on a mission.   Oh, she still does what she can (family’s family and all that), and tries to do it with a gracious heart, but still gets annoyed to have to be doing anything at all for that lot of ingrates.

See, Maude has spent most of her life overweight and out of shape and the last couple of years complaining about it.  She spent some time blaming her husband (his snacking), her kids (no time), and genetics (family is overweight too).  She spent probably too much time in negative self-reflection, wondering why she could never lose weight, and why she was a failure.  Recently, she realized she was doing waaaaay too much complaining and beating herself up for past failures and not nearly enough DOING.  So, she decided she’d had enough of making excuses and rationalizing her shortcomings away.  In short, she decided to quit bitching, because no one else was going to be living her life but her, and if she wanted to have a good one, she’d better “git-to-gittin'”.  So, she put on her big girl pants and decided to make her own destiny instead of waiting for someone else to give it to her, unlike Ethel, who didn’t want to learn about her new home (hers was so much better), learn the language (she hasn’t bothered, other than a few phrases), and expected her in-laws to help her find a job (which they did, and then regretted it when she acted like she was too good to work there).

Maude doesn’t think she’s better than Ethel, but she knows damn well she’s smarter and more determined.  Smarter being the sticking point-Maude knows that the random efforts Ethel makes toward fitness are not going to get her in “bikini-ready” shape.  Maude knows that to make it with anything-whether it is making a new life, or transforming the one you have-you have to want it, and you have to work hard for it.  Maude struggles with the slow pace of her weight loss, but knows the number on the scale is not the be-all-end-all of her journey to fitness.  She’s keeping her eye on the prize, because with every workout, she feels how much stronger she is getting.  She feels how rock hard her thighs are getting, and sees how her butt is looking more and more awesome with every set of lunges and squats.  She admits to flexing her biceps in the mirror to see those proud little bumps she never had before.

Whether it was more money, more fitness, more time, more things, Maude often dragged herself down thinking about what she didn’t have.  But realizing her wanting never got her anything but more heartache, she’s changed the way she thinks.  Maude now likes to keep her focus on what she wants and HOW she’s going to get it, instead of WHY she doesn’t have it.  Maude looks at Ethel, and sees a shadow of her old, unhappy self, who often wondered why she didn’t have “it”, whatever it may have been.  Ethel only sees what she doesn’t have and WHY she doesn’t have it and who’s to blame for the lack.  Oddly enough, she’s never the one at fault.

I can already see who’s going to get their “Happily Ever After” 😉

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My sad diet revelation

Good morning, folks.  It’s Whiny Wednesday and I have another whine for you.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy my misery!

My clothes are getting looser, and I can now wear a some of the smaller things in my closet without feeling like a slug caught in a straw.  I even wore a pair of old capri knit pants this weekend that I haven’t worn since before I got pregnant with my second.  But, as much as I loved that I fit into them, they have inexplicably become too big, even though I still weigh more now than I did when I last wore them.  I swear, I can pull the waist band up to my boobs and still not have a camel toe!

shoulder padsAnd, back to the underwear.  I am a fan of the “hip-hugger” style underwear.  Not too low, not too high, covers my butt, and don’t ride up.  My hubs has been poking fun of my undies, because apparently, they don’t fit.  I either have them pulled up to the small of my back (har har har), or they sag so it looks like I’m saving room for a-ahem-download.  After I feared my husband might die from the lack of air from laughing so hard, I decided I should probably dig out some better fitting ones.  So I did, and I’m glad I already had some brand new skivvies that didn’t fit when I bought them, but fit great now!

And the saddest news of all: not only is my ass shrinking faster than the rest of me, but my meager amount of boob has decided to jump ship as well.  I was reminded of my grandmother, who has shoulder pads sewn in every shirt she owns.  She told me once how she used to use her spare shoulder pads as bra stuffing back in the day.  I briefly thought about following suit.  Briefly! I swear!

I haven’t tried one of my smaller bras yet as I’m not sure which box they might be in.  Mostly though, it makes me sad my boobs are going away.  Everyone loses weight differently, I know that.  I’m still trying to figure out the way I lose weight.  Apparently, it is slowly, and in immeasurable amounts as I can’t tell from the scale or the tape measure, but my clothes don’t lie-they are looser every day.

Right now, I’m just relishing the saggy seats of my pants, the baggy legs around my thighs, the way my shirts no longer cling to my gut.  “Soon, so very soon!” I croon to the totes of clothes.  My current wardrobe will be finding its way to Goodwill,  and by the time I move this summer, I will be wearing a “new” wardrobe of my old clothes.

 

 

 

 

And where-exactly-am I supposed to find that?!?

Hello, fans, it’s Whiny Wednesday and I’ve got a humdinger for you today!

I’ve mentioned before that I love to cook.  I enjoy finding new recipes and making them for my family.  I especially like finding recipes that are quick and easy to make.  I have a couple of cookbooks that are sort of my go-to books.  If the recipe isn’t “healthy”, I try to find ways to cut down on the fat or calories.  It’s not always easy, but if I can shave calories by skipping the butter, or make it healthier by using whole grain pasta or ground turkey, I do it.  What makes it harder is finding “special” ingredients.

One of my new favorite cookbooks is the Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook.  It’s where I got the lentil salad recipe from last Friday.  I enjoy the cookbook, I’ve tried several recipes and they all turned out great.  Even better, the kids actually ate them.  There are two reasons why I bought this particular cookbook, mostly having to do with “quick” and “easy”.  I liked reading about the eating plan, most of the recipes have a picture, and most of them sound like something I could serve my family. They also include serving sizes and calorie counts for each recipe, which I love.

What I wasn’t counting on was the amount of “special” ingredients that several recipes call for.  Now, some of these things aren’t too bad, and I could justify buying something a little pricey because I knew I would use all of it, or whatever.  But there are a quite a few ingredients that the recipes call for that are simply not going to happen.  And it’s not just because this bottle of Meyer lemon infused olive oil costs $20.  Yes, that’s right.  $20 for a bottle of lemon flavored olive oil.

meyer lemon EVOOOne recipe calls for “all-natural marinara (preferably low-fat,  low salt, no sugar added)”.  Another calls for all natural barbecue sauce sweetened with agave or honey.  Nitrate free lunch meats.  Salt-free seasoning blends-and we’re not talking Mrs. Dash either, but exotic flavors like a curry blend.  All natural 100% fruit spreads in weird flavors.  Tamarind flavored brown rice crackers.  You get the idea.

My annoyance comes from the fact I can’t find most of that shit in this little town I live in, and I’m not driving an hour-plus one way to try to find it.  I have to make do with what I can find right here, in my own town, at my local store.  Do you know I went to 3 stores looking for all-natural plum jam?  3!!  That’s when I decided to just settle and buy the only plum jam I could find-Smuckers.

I hate feeling like I have to settle for things, but if you live in a small town like me, or in a rural area, you may feel a little despair when trying to plan interesting and nutritional menus.  I know, not everyone is into “fancy” cooking like me, and maybe it is just me.  But I LOVE food.  I like to eat-haha that’s how I got here.  But just because I’m not eating a bunch of junk everyday and trying to eat clean doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my taste buds.  Just because I’m eating healthy doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy food that’s delicious and packed with flavor.

I can’t help but feel a bit defeated when I want to try a recipe and it asks for stuff that I just can’t find around here.  But as I’ve come to try more recipes from this particular book, I’ve realized I have already  ditched the “all or nothing” about the food.  It’s weird to realize that, because in the past, I would have been completely hung up on the fact that “The Spice Hunter” seasonings are unknown in these parts.  Or that I couldn’t find all natural barbecue sauce sweetened with agave, or tamarind flavored crackers.   I buy and use what I can find. If it’s Heinz Chili sauce, then by golly, that’s what’s going on the meatloaf. If it’s Smuckers plum jam, then so be it. It messes with the calorie count, sure, but I’m not going to let it stop me from making the recipe and trying something new.

The lesson here is that there are always going to be things you may think keep you from trying something new or different.  The answer is that there is always a substitute.  Can’t find that special ingredient?  Find something similar, use less.  Too easy.  Can’t do full squats because your knees feel hurt like the devil? Try a demi-squat.  Can’t keep up with a challenging workout? Slow down, focus on your form, and do what you can.

See?  There is always something you can do, so you don’t have an excuse to do nothing.

 

Mirror, Mirror

I’m trying to be a good little blogger and post more regular-like because it helps me stay focused on my own goals of improving my fitness and building my business.  Today is Whiny Wednesday, not necessarily for bitching, but we all have those times when we just need to unload-we can’t all live in a Disney movie!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection lately.  I didn’t have a particular question in mind, I just wanted to figure out more about the “why” of me.  You know, actions, reactions, processes.  That sort of thing.  I don’t have anything definitive, but I’ve gotten a better sense of myself.  I’m the kind of person that inwardly seeks perfection, yet on the outside, I give off a “I don’t give a shit” vibe.  I think that dichotomy has made me continuously miserable, so I’m trying to change that by trying to make the outside match the inside.

011Part of changing my outlook was to see myself as I really am, not how I want to be, or how I should be, but me.  Just me.  I’ve known for a long time that I have really low self-esteem.  There.  I said it.  I don’t know how it started, or why, but here I am, and I look in the mirror and I don’t like what I see.  I think about my day, and I don’t like what I did.  Not good enough, because inside, I’m striving for this almost unattainable level of perfection that is just not humanly possible.

Back in the day when I lived in Fairytale Land, I used to cut out pictures from Victoria’s Secret catalogs and post them on my mirror so I could “be inspired”.  What a crock of shit!  All it did was make me depressed because I think I knew I could never look like that.  Too skinny.  Too tall.  Too busty.  No matter how much weight I lose, I won’t look like that.  I’m short, and I’m stocky.  I have hips, for crying out loud!

But you know, back in high school, that kind of thing didn’t bother me.  I was comfortable with myself, and I knew I wasn’t Helen of Troy, but I didn’t think I was ugly, either.  But, somewhere along the line, I must have decided I wasn’t worth it, and just gave up on myself.

I think a lot of women-and men, too-can relate to that.  As a woman, who became a wife, and then a mother, I forgot where I fit in the grand scheme of my life.  Work, family, friends, all that took precedence over ME.  ME!  The most important part of MY life!  I forgot to make time for myself, and then when I realized it, thought, “oh, I’ll fix it later.”  And then later became tomorrow, became next week, and before I knew it, here I am, on my way to 40 (!), and I still haven’t put myself first.

Guess what? Later’s here, right now.  I’m done not liking the person in the mirror.  I’m done feeling sorry for myself and making excuses about not exercising or eating crap.  I’m determined to put myself first for once and see how the chips fall.  I have a plan, I have support, I have everything I need to change my life and my mindset.  I’ve discovered “perfect” is just perception, and I’m done trying to be perfect for other people.  I’m going to be perfect for me.

A.H.