Monday, June 20, 2016

Ode to the Points


(A found poem is made from an already published piece – an essay, a newspaper article, a journal, someone else’s poem.  The “poet-to-be” selects words, phrases, or lines that strike the poet, then restructures that collection into a new, free-verse poem.  I took my journal where I track my daily food intake for my WWs diet to create the following “poem.” It is made from food entries, their point values, and thoughts. As you will see, the diet started off religiously but soon gave way to temptation.)


Week One
·       Thirty Daily Points Total.
·       ¼ c oatmeal – 2 points.
·       Greek Yogurt – 3 points
·       WW cheese stick – 1 point
·       One serving of cod – 1 point
Week Seven
·       Track More. Don’t Lie to Yourself.
·       Office donuts!
·       2 T RF peanut butter – 6 pts
·       McD’s Egg White Delight (sandwich only) – 8 pts
·       Strawberry dessert – 5 pts
·       Hair done
·       Size 12 pants!
·       2 HM chocolate grahams – 5 pts
·       Whataburger Jr. – 11 pts
·       2 IHOP Harvest Grain pancakes (no butter, no syrup) - 12 pts
·       Small bag of chips – 5 points
·       Yikes!
·       Three prunes
·       Stick. To. The. Plan!
·       Turkey – 1 pt
Week Sixteen
·       Minus twenty-one lbs!  Only fifteen more to go.

·       ¼ cup oatmeal – 2 points

Monday, June 13, 2016

I Am Sorry, Orlando

I was going to write the weekly blog about something funny.  Maybe about husbands or diets or my allergy to milk and what it does to my social skills.
I was going to write the weekly blog about TV shows, summer reads, or how to write a steamy love scene in your next romance novel.
I was going to write the weekly blog about my persnickety ways, my attempt to be alluring, my dislike for boiled okra.
I was going to write the weekly blog on something outrageous, maybe about how nothing over a size 16 should be called petite or iffy body piercings for women over fifty or a dozen nifty things I found on Pinterest to do with old pantyhose.
But I usually write my blog on Sunday mornings and post it on Mondays at 6 am and I woke up this Sunday to find the world had gone crazy again.
Some lunatic took it upon himself to rid his part of the world of people he did not like and took the lives of over fifty people just because he deemed himself  better than them.
Some loser who aspired to a radical group that didn’t know he existed, some wife beating, egotistical nobody who grew up to be the epitome of the school yard bully went into a bar/night club and took the lives of others just because his soul and mind were full of hate and loathing.
He should have pointed the gun at himself first.
I was going to write the weekly blog on some silly nonsense, a play on words, a jumble of sentences to make my readers laugh or giggle or ponder the world around us. 

I just couldn’t find my funny this morning. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Liver and the Pursuit of Thinness


          I have ingested liver and enough steel-cut oatmeal and rice cakes to choke an elephant. I consumed a grilled cheese sandwich once where both the “diet butter” and the “diet cheddar” refused to melt.
I have wrapped myself in Saran Wrap, tried an electrode belt around my waist, and I bought a Thigh Master from Suzanne Somers. 
          I have done The Grapefruit Diet, the Hard Boiled Egg Diet, and the Cabbage Soup Diet. If the plan had a number in its title, I waded through all of them – 3-Day, 7-Day, 14-Day Diet, etc.  I did Adkins and South Beach, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig.  
          All of this in the pursuit of thinness.
I started this odyssey in the late seventies after I packed on thirty pounds of “baby weight” after birthing my three kids.  My family doctor suggested I try a 1000-calorie diet, handed me a mimeographed sheet listing a handful of boring foods, and sent me home with a prescription for some fat, black pills that the FDA has since banned.  I took the pills for three months and lost all my weight along with my ability to sleep and blink.
In my obsession to be thin and healthy, I was killing myself.  
I grew up eating starches and sweets.  My taste buds preferred fried versus fresh or broiled, and any vegetable on my plate had to be disguised in a cream of mushroom cheese sauce. My side dishes were either tortillas or slices of white bread. Salads were considered a garnish.
I didn’t need a doctor or a celebrity to tell me why I was overweight.  I didn’t need a plan or a pill or a product. I needed common sense and motivation.  I needed to change my diet, my mind set, and my life style, but I needed to do it right. I needed support, encouragement, and accountability.  I needed guidance.
Over the years, I have joined, quit, and rejoined Weight Watchers so many times I have lost count.   
Back in 1974, the plan required I eat liver once a week. It was considered “good for you.” In the 90’s, WWs introduced the Fit and Fiber plan. I gained on that plan because it gave me license to overeat high calorie foods, but at least I was regular.   
I have outlasted all the celebrity WWs who have rolled off the wagon over the years: the Duchess of York, Jennifer Hudson, and Charles Barkley. I have stuck with Points, Pro Points, Points Plus, and now the Smart Points. I have eaten my share of Smart Ones.
And I am still a returning member.

I love WWs because it changes with the times.  Gone is the liver; fruits and vegetables are the new must-eats. WWs uses the latest science in weight loss, control, and maintenance, but it also takes into account a dieter’s psychological needs. I need a nonjudgmental support system, especially if I plan to kick this pesky fried liver and onion habit.  

Monday, May 30, 2016

I Look Like HoneyBunch


We have all seen pictures where the owner looks just like his pet. Well, the same can be said about couples who have been together for a large amount of time. 
I was with my ex for twenty-nine years and I can vouch that may not be so in all cases, which is a good thing. I would peer at my ex when he was not aware and prayed vehemently that theory was not so, and if it was, I hoped his looks would morph into mine and not vice versa.
The same can be said about pets.  Not all owners look like their pets, especially when the human had nothing to do with choosing the family cat or dog.  In my case the family pet became mine only because the children abandoned them after they stopped being cute and became too much work.  There was only one link between the two of us. Fluffy was the dog and I was his servant.
To look like each other, the pair has to seek the connection.
HoneyBunch and I have been together for almost ten years and it is amazing how similar we have become.   
We met late in life so we are both growing grey.  While others around us continue to dye their hair, we have decided not to fight it.  Alone together in a room of young people, everyone assumes we are a couple, not just because of the color of our hair but because we seek each other out. 
We like each other and we like the same things. We mirror each other constantly both in opinions, speech, and mannerisms. It tickles me to hear him speak like me and I am surprised to find myself voicing his opinions to others.
We have grown to match each other in size. I cut his salt and fried food intake to less than half, and he increased my fruit and vegetable consumption to 100% and it shows in our clothes. Because of it, he has gained a little weight and I have lost a little and we met in the middle.
I buy most of his clothes, so it does not surprise me when we both head out the door on a date and we are dressed in matching colors or outfits.  My taste in clothes shows in our wardrobe.
Yes, we have become one of those couples who look and dress and act alike, and since I like him, I do not mind it at all.  


Monday, May 23, 2016

Anniversaries


There is something primal about anniversaries.  We have this emotional need to remember births, deaths, marriages, divorces – milestones in our lives.  The passage of time is both a blessing and a bane in our existence.
There is a need-to-know status to anniversaries that pepper our married and family lives.  God save the husband (or the wife) who forgets a wedding or engagement anniversary, and who doesn’t remember the day the divorce came through or that marked our retirement or resignation?  
My dear mother-in-law celebrates Valentine’s every year as the day my father-in-law proposed.  It gets more press than their actual wedding day.  All I remember is that HoneyBunch proposed sometime in late September and we married two months afterward. I feel like such a romantic slouch for not marking the exact time and day the dear man popped the question.
Birthdays were big in my family when I was a child, so I did the same with my three.  Their birthdays were circled on the family calendar in red marker and the entire day was considered just that – a red-letter day. It started with birthday wishes, cards, presents and ended with a special dinner, cake, and outing.  I keep the birthdays of relatives, friends, and famous people who I have crushes on.  
I remember the day I bought my first house (and every house after that).  I also remember the days I sold each one and drove away from the title company with a hefty check in my hand.  I remember the day I bought my first “cool” car.  I bought a silver convertible out of rebellion when I turned 45 that January.  I bought my red Jeep in December 2001 to celebrate my divorce, and I bought my maroon Altima in October 2014 just because I wanted to prove my independence.  
There are some sad days marked on my calendar.  The three times I stood and watched my youngest leave on deployment to the middle east are on there, but so are the three times I drove to the airport to pick him up afterward. The day we lost our baby grandson to a terrible household tragedy is marked, so are the days we said goodbye to my dear grandmother, my amazing father, and my handsome older brother.
It’s because people and events matter that we mark anniversaries. We measure the memory across time.  We celebrate it occurrence and for a few hours we relive the moment. Good, bad, sad, or happy – it documents our lives.