You may have heard of The Blob. It’s an old horror flick about, well, a blob that goes around sucking people into it. There are several iterations of the same villain, such as The Creeping Terror, which was so scary that the actors would willingly help out by climbing into it. But the Blob I’m talking about is like me, cause that’s how I feel when I have little energy but am still expected to do things.
I spent a while thinking of what color to make Blob. First I considered black, but I’m not that far gone, and Blob is not emo, just blobby. So then I considered other colors like yellow (too sunshiny), brown (too poopy), red (too bloody), pink (too frilly), and gray (too bland). I finally settled on lavender, cause it looks grayish, but with bits of purple trying to poke out.
I don’t feel that sad most of the time now. I know I can do things, heck I even make plans sometimes to do the things. But then this inertia sets in and my body says “Haha brain, yeah we like sitting.” An object at rest tends to stay at rest, especially if said object is me, and it doesn’t really have anywhere it HAS to go other than dropping and picking Things (ie children) up at school. So after said chore is done in the morning, it’s easy to drop back into bed, but not easy to get out. So I sort of have to slime my way. Here it is in four simple steps.
I used a similar method for getting out of bed when I was very sick with pneumonia. I’m not that sick now, though I am getting over yet another respiratory infection and the antibiotics that treat it by making me all nauseous. But really, this was happening before any other physical cause. So I’m thinking blob might be a slight lack of motivation on my part.
I can blob my way to the kitchen, sliming around, grabbing a bowl I keep clean, avoiding the pile of dirty dishes, and then sliming back to my computer where I do important business. Like surfing the internet or drawing blob pictures. But inevitably I will need to do something like say – those dishes. Or the laundry. Or get those groceries. Or maybe try to join a gym because I am very out of shape and exercise gives you energy, right, if you can get enough energy to do it! The gym is, literally, one block away from me. And it’s open 24 hours a day.
But it’s never that simple! You can’t go to gym until you have clothes to wear to the gym. So you slime over and wash clothes. And yay you have a shirt, an exercise squeeze-you-too-tight bra and yoga pants that show all the wrong curves! Great. Missing just one thing. Something you really ought to have a lot of no matter what you do.
It is really bad for me to lose something important like underwear, especially when it is really hard to find underwear that fits right. As of late, it has been harder than buying jeans, and nothing should be harder than that. So I tried on type after type until finally finding one with no elastic in the waistband at all (as it should be) and of course they don’t have my size, which is monster size according to Wal-Mart. Keep in mind I wore a size 8 when I was 5’7″ and 130 lbs. That is considered X-large right there. I have to wonder what really obese people wear, cause while overweight, I still consider myself relatively normal. I guess they have to follow Babar the elephant.
I don’t want to have to go to the Big Store with Babar. I don’t trust stores that let in elephants who steal the purses of old ladies. So that means I must try to not get any bigger. Or blobbier. So after all that laundry and underwear searching (Alice does not go commando), I am way too exhausted to think about the gym. I’ve also worked up an appetite.
Speaking of appetites, another thing I could do to improve energy is to not eat so much not nutritious food. They say eating healthy (green) things makes you have more energy, or some such nonsense. So I make a pledge to find out what food constitutes healthy that I can force myself to eat. This lasts five minutes until my husband brings home Cocoa Crispies cereal. Really? What was I supposed to do? They were THERE.
So I have these two creatures I have to face: motivation and self-control. You might have met these two before if you’ve read my blog in the past. They have names.
I’ve been slightly blobby for a while now, but I always had somewhere I had to be in the past. Someone to check to make sure I was not blobbing 24/7. I don’t have a parent or a boss standing over me now, so that someone is going to have to be – yikes – me? They say pick a friend and ask that friend to hold you accountable for doing stuff, but yeah, I don’t have a lot of friends, and those I do have I don’t dislike that much. Also some of them have blob issues as well.
Have any advice for blobs? Feel free to offer it in the comments below! I will slime over and read them – eventually!
Maximum Squirrel Overload
It’s Monday, ya’ll, which means another full week OF DREAD. I like to be prepared, so I started my dreading early – Sunday night – when my anxiety reached top notch and I had to decide how to calm it down. Oh, sure, there are lots of ways, but you have to be able to GET to those ways in order for it to work. For instance:
Music can be calming. But once you reach Maximum Squirrel Overload, you are kind of past that. No kind of music, saying you were calm enough to find a music player, is going to make you feel better. There are a few types of music. Sad music: bad idea cause you are already anxious and probably depressed about being anxious and sad songs won’t help. Happy music: bad idea too because what business do people have being happy when you are freaked out? Then there’s rap music most of which I think is best classified as Angry music because there is much talk of popping caps in posteriors. Popping a cap might help with anxiety, but the jail time afterward would not, so don’t try it. Also, what are your chances of being able to find the gun?
I love when people say to work out your anxiety or depression with exercise. Look, people, I have no idea where any of my sweatpants are, and if I did, they would be dirty. Then I would have to wash them. And dry them. And put them on. That’s way too much work when your mind is going 1,000 miles an hour. You are already getting a mental workout, and trying to add physical to it can be too much. I guess the best way to describe it would be to expect someone to solve 500 quadratic equations, cure Cancer, and write a symphony, then tell them they had to do this all on the treadmill or elliptical. Now yes, if you manage to get to a gym before you reach Squirrel Overload, you have a chance of physically beating that anxiety back, but if it comes on suddenly, it’s just way too late.
Hot, soothing beverage!
This is usually my best bet, except this time I could not make the cocoa because even though I had cocoa packets, I did not have milk. Well, I had milk, two half gallons, but they had both expired. Saying I was able to force myself to pour the milk (which might come up in chunks which milk should never do) down the drain without barfing, I couldn’t because there were already dishes in the sink. So first I would have to put the dishes in the dishwasher. Except the dishwasher is full so then you have to put the dishes up except that they didn’t all come clean, so they have to go back in the sink. No one wants milk curds on top of that. So forget it. Finally I drove to McDonald’s for some, but they “broke” the machine. I would break it too if I worked there, but still. I had to drive yet another place before I finally got my cocoa. Then I remembered I hadn’t taken some of my pills, so I swallowed them with cocoa only to swallow them wrong and get heartburn. Once I had finished taking care of the heartburn, I managed to go to bed. That, my friends, is way too darn much work.
The last thing I feel when under Squirrel Overload is funny although I probably act rather amusing and or terrifying (it’s such a fine line) when under the influence. This morning I was not as sparkified, just dreadish, and telling myself that I just had to go to work for a little while even though I wanted to stay home. So I drove my Things to school and somehow the conversation diverted to dead dogs because – are you really surprised with us? Anyway, we discussed Where the Red Fern Grows which is a classic children’s book because it involves two dead dogs AND a dead child (for more on the dead dog topic see my post on dead dogs in literature. It’s a real romp.) And the Things, who were both forced to read this book, reminded me that the bully in the book was killed and I was like oh when he was mauled to death and they said no, an ax fell on him. Which is such a great image there. And I was like, dang, that author had some sort of personal vendetta against dogs and boys named Billy. And Thing Two said, “Mom, it was just an AXident.” Get it? Well, we did, and we laughed, because we have problems. But not as many as the author of Where the Red Fern Grows.
So the dread is still there, but at least I made it to work. And when I think of that horrible pun about an ax falling on a kid, I smile. I guess when you are on Squirrel Overload, it helps to have a couple of Things handy. I’m willing to rent them out.
Sad Pony Exercise
Hi. It’s me. Sad Pony. Alice was too lazy to write a post today so she told me to do it. Of course. I’m her willing pony slave. Hooray. Today’s post is supposed to be about how to exercise when you’re a sad pony.
Exercise. Right. I’ll get right on that after my nap. Oh. Wait. It’s Squirrel.
Hi, hi, hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hiiiiiiii! What’s up??? Hey, hey, hey! Whatcha doing, Sad Pony, huh, are you writing a post? Really? Cool! Can I help, can I, can I?
Oh I promise I’ll be good and not talk if you want and not bounce on your head or leave poopies all over the bed okay okay okay? Huh?
Fine. You’re supposed to talk about exercise. How do Squirrels exercise? Ohhhh, we do it all the tiiiiime! It’s so great, really, it’s great, see first we run, like this – see I’m running across the telephone wires. Watch meeeeeeee! Wheeeeee! This burns off like 800 calories a second.
Fascinating. Oh my. I must make a phone call. Yes, see, hear I go, vrooooom, vroom, and I’m on this side of the pole now lookie I’m on the other side of the pole, now I’m back again, now back to the first side, now . . . oooooooouchhhhhh electricityyyyyyy, I’m feelin’ the burn!
Oops. Oh, Sad Pony, do it again! That was incredible! I think I saw God!
It’s not even fun to torture you. Now let’s jump up and down! Come on, Sad Pony! Jump up and down!
Let me think. No. Awwww, look, watch me, I’m up, now I’m down, now I’m up, down again, up, down, up down! Oooh I’m feelin’ it now! You don’t know what you’re missing OMG I’m skidding across the floor into the wall owwwwwww!
You tripped on my hoof. Oh dear. It’s okay! I’m up again! Sad Pony, are you just gonna sit there and stare at that picture of Miss Four Eyes all day? Are you? Huh? Oh, hey hey hey, let’s run over to Miss Four Eye’s blog, huh? Let’s do it! Let’s go!
Okay. I am right behind you. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Here I gooooooooooooooooo!
I thought he’d never leave. Time for that nap. You burn calories while you sleep. That’s sad pony exercise. Now go away.
- So you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole . . . (aliceatwonderland.wordpress.com)
My Big Fat Manifesto
I’ve been on this weight-loss journey a while, and I figured I should let you know my results. You know, as in how much weight I have lost. Here goes:
Unless you count the random five pound loss, or the fact that, I swear to you, I can step on scales, then wait a second, step on them again, and get different answers. I’m not just talking about one scale either. I think scales are powered by tiny evil fairies. And what the hell with the pants sizes? I wear a size 14. When I try on pants in this size, a few fit, some are loose, and most are tight. The same size. Sometimes even the same size in the same brand. The clothing industry: also powered by evil.
Have I exercised more? I think so. I go up and down on that. When my asthma acts up, I don’t do as much. Asthma makes it even easier to do my favorite activity since becoming a parent: sleep. Sometimes I don’t do as much because I’m just tired and lazy. But other times I manage to at least get myself on the exercise bike I bought. I’m determined not to let that thing become a coat rack. I love the calorie counter on the machine. It tells me I burn 100 calories with about ten minutes of relatively light pedaling. Some people in the reviews said they thought this calorie counter was slightly off. Pooey to you people, mine is just right.
What about nutrition? I do try to eat more fiber. On the other hand, I’ve also eaten out more than I should. I read an article, though, that says this is not my fault. McDonalds has subliminal advertising that tells you to eat their fries and kill your parents. You just play their commercials backwards and you can hear Ronald saying this, plain as day. The fast food industry: clowns = evil.
In all seriousness, there is one thing I do not like about this journey. And that would be the feelings of shame. Shame that you are not as skinny as you should be. Shame that you ate a milkshake. And cookies. And . . . good Lord stop eating already! Shame that you didn’t exercise enough. Shame that your clothes don’t fit. Shame that you, single-handedly, have caused the medical industry to implode because they have to treat your sorry overweight behind. Because, you know, skinny people are never ill.
According to the BMI, which is totes accurate, I am overweight. My GP told me I could stand to lose 30 pounds. My OBGYN told me she thought that was too much. 15 pounds would do, but she wasn’t seriously worried. Even the medical establishment can’t agree on this crap. One day I was lying around feeling blue. Thing One asked me why I was Sad Pony. I told her it was because I hadn’t lost weight. She said, “Aw, Mommy, you’re perfect.” I knew I liked that kid for a reason.
My blood pressure is low. I have perfect cholesterol readings. But according to some, I’m going to drop dead of a heart attack any second because eek – overweight! But while I do not have a perfectly slender figure, I’m not obese. These people are the ones who are looked at with absolute disdain. They are judged by both sides of the political divide as inadequate. Lazy, weak-willed, hideous creatures who should be shuttled off to live under rocks. If they could fit under them.
Does this mean I’m advocating for “fat pride” and think people should just eat twinkies all day long? No. But I don’t understand the shame put on overweight people by our society. Heck, even what is considered overweight has changed drastically over the years. Now the ideal weight for a woman requires that said woman have no behind, no breasts, no curves. A stick figure. Just what every man wants, right?
That’s why I like Sir Mix-a-Lot. Sure, you could say the guy degrades women, but hey, he likes big butts and he cannot lie. I like a man who likes big butts. I happen to have one of those, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and I salute you for your stance. My husband seems happy enough with my behind as well. I am the one that is unhappy.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to lose weight. Determination has helped me get through three degrees, two pregnancies, and several depressive episodes. But here I am slumping. I add work, kids, house, chronic allergies, depression, and reality shows, and man, I feel like I’m carrying a huge weight all the time, and I’m not talking about the weight centered in said behind. I’m talking about the weight on my shoulders. And I’m incredibly fortunate. I have a great support system and I have a job with benefits. I don’t want to think about women who don’t have that, yet hate themselves because of what a number on a scale, or a BMI reading tells them.
After judging Jillian, Devil Trainer from Hell, I decided to be fair and watch an entire episode of Biggest Loser. Is it inspiring that these people lost tons of weight? Sure it is. But is it worth it to do it that way, that drastically? I don’t think so. The hell these people are put through at Camp Snoopy Fat-Butt is not reality (Thank God.) I watched the people stepping on the scale after one week on this ranch. One week. And the expressions of sadness when they only lost eight or nine pounds. WTF? Any reputable medical doctor would say one to two pounds a week is optimal. But these people are dropping over 20 pounds a week. Healthy? I don’t think so.
Yet America cheers them on. Way to go, Fatty! As long as you lose weight, who cares how you do it? Who cares what it does to your metabolism, your heart, your mind? Skinny is king. Even anorexics are looked on with less vitriol than those with a few extra pounds, yet who is the healthiest? Remember the Amazon I talked about at the gym? That lady had probably forty pounds on me easy. Yet she could move like nobody’s business, and left me panting in the dust.
Yoda has a saying, one I love so well. “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?” Here’s this freaky little green guy about two feet tall, yet he can lift star ships out of a swamp. Likely no one would ever look at that little runt and think he could do something like that. But the media, and popular culture are like whiney, short-sighted Luke. It’s too big! Luke was tall, handsome, and in great shape. But compared to Yoda, especially, he was a total nit wit. I’m surprised Yoda didn’t dunk him head first in the swamp.
That’s what I’d like to do with popular culture that says those I know who are categorized as obese are not worthy of respect. Who says that they don’t deserve medical care because don’t fit into a certain size. Who makes women my age feel like failures because after making and cooking the bacon and taking care of the kids, we don’t look like the models on T.V. Who makes girls as young as my twelve year old daughter not want to step on the scale.
Is this just an excuse not to lose weight? No. It’s just a frustration. I’m still trying to get healthier, because that is better for me. If pounds come off with it, that would be great. But I’m not beating my head against the wall any longer. It hurts too much, and I have enough on my plate of life to put too much stock in what’s on my dinner plate at the moment. I’m a mom, and I’m tired, and I just want to feel good about myself for who and what I am. And until I feel that way, it doesn’t matter what my size is.
Exercise Videos: The Good, the Bad, and the OMG Part One
First off, confession time. I have not been good Alice this past week in regards to nutrition. There were milkshakes, bruthahs and sistahs, and fast food, and sometimes veggies were nowhere to be seen! There are many excuses, some of them pretty good, but mostly I just have to start over again and move forward. I have, at least, still been exercising. So we’ll talk about that.
Okay, if you remember last time I talked about the gym and how there were other people and it kind of sucked. But there are alternatives! You can, with today’s fabulous technology, exercise at home all by yourself with the exception of any annoying family members that might pass by and laugh at you. There are ways to avoid this. For instance, working the abdominals tends to release unwanted gas. Good way to clear a room.
One way to exercise at home is to use exercise videos. There are eleventy billion of these things on the market, though, so how do you know which one is the right one to use? That’s fairly easy. You use the one that least makes you want to vomit. This means going through trial and error at times. Also, you can read the reviews on Amazon until your eyes start to cross because 80 people think that “Get Great Abs with Jesus” is as great as the Second Coming, while 80 others just don’t believe in it at all. So what to do?
I have the solution. Or a solution. I have tested some of these videos out, and right now I’ll tell you my favorite one. It’s rather old, as I originally got it back in the 1990s, which is when, sob, some of my readers may have been born. This should not be humanly possible. Anyway, this “oldie but goodie” is a video by former bodybuilding champion – back in the dark ages I can only assume – and certified fitness trainer Tony Little.
Now you might be thinking – a body builder? Yuck! But he’s got a back story – about his back. See he hurt it in a near fatal auto accident, and was in chronic pain. So he left bodybuilding (this was probably not the worst thing ever, considering) and got depressed and ate a lot of twinkies and gained a lot of weight.
But rather than drown in a Hostess coma, he decided to turn his life around and design a non-impact exercise format (I’m liking the idea of not impacting things) that he could do even with an injured back. He has several videos, but my favorites are his Fat Free series which contains two videos – one for upper body, and the other for lower body. No part of the body is safe.
I have the VHS versions, but you can get them on DVD still. But you lose something in the DVDs, namely getting to watch him move around at super fast speed. Anyway, there are several things I like about his videos. (1) He’s a man, not a teeny-tiny bouncy cheerleader that you just know is going to talk smack about you with her other teeny-tiny bouncy cheerleader friends as soon as you’re done. (2) He teaches you all the exercises at once before he starts on the routine, so you can learn them, but not have to go through the training every time you do them later. (3) He’s a goof and yammers through his videos about believing in yourself, but actually seems sincere about it. (4) There are three exercise levels, so you can start slow and work your way up.
The best part, truly, is when he’s demonstrating the exercises. He has a model friend (I bet she’s a bouncy cheerleader) come in to help him. First he does the exercise himself, and then he has her demonstrate it. Sometimes she goofs it up, so he fixes it for her by manipulating her arms and legs like she’s a puppet. I love this so much that sometimes I rewind and watch it all over again. You know, to, um, get the technique down. He advises you not to use weights immediately (I think this is an excellent idea as I could easily kill myself with one) and to make small movements, not fling yourself around where you can break your neck. I love it when he tells the model to stop doing that, she’s going to pull something.
In other words, I trust the guy, because I know he’s been through some crap before. He’s more concerned with you doing it safely, than he is in you keeping up with fast dance moves and observing how hot he is. And trust is fairly important, especially when you’re dealing with someone on a T.V. screen. He doesn’t hide much, and he’s fairly self-deprecating. If it’s hard for him, he admits it. At one point during one of his videos he nearly trips on his carpet and keeps filming, laughing goofily at himself the whole time. It’s hard not to like this goofball, even if he does make you do lunges that screw up your quads so that you’re walking like an old lady for two days.
The only problem I have is that they’re fairly long – roughly 35 minutes each if you’re just doing beginner level. So fitting them in can be a bit of a challenge. But I usually feel better after I’ve done them, and I know they work because back in the nineties – sigh – I used them for a while and I was actually in shape. So I’d recommend this one.
There are other videos, as well as video games that can help you get in shape. Wii pioneered the dance games. They can be pretty fun even if you look like an idiot. I’ll continue to review different videos and games and give you the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m willing to do almost anything, and especially willing to skewer any exercise guru who really sucks. So if you have anything you want me to try, let me know in the comments below.