Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Go Take A Walk

You know that Pilates thing that I was doing? Well, I'm still doing it. It's still awesome. This is some kind of record for me, you know, having loathed exercise with an intensity normally reserved for cockroaches and okra for my entire life. I love how strong I feel when I'm doing Pilates. I love how I can bend and flex my body, seeing the flatness of my stomach and the square solidness of my quadriceps. Mostly, though, I love the ease of the movements.

For a while, the ease disturbed me. I figured it was because I didn't think I was actually doing anything - you know, moving around, but accomplishing nothing fitness-wise. I was actually relieved to have soreness in my muscles after that first class - that sensation was at least familiar to me. Soon, though, after each class got easier and easier, it hit me that I was still a little perturbed about why this exercise thing was so easy.

So you know I'm mental, right? Exercise being easy is not something that most people fret about. It's usually a cause for celebration, or a signal that one is, perhaps, physically fit (gasp!), no? Well, it really bothered me because for years, exercise has been impossible for me. Not just hard or difficult, but impossible. There was joint pain, horrible grinding from my bones when I climbed so much as a flight of stairs, and serious shortness of breath from walking any faster than a mosey. My blood pressure would skyrocket from exercise-induced hypertension - you should have been at my cardiac stress test! I freaked out the cardiologist.

Yet, still, at every turn, I was lectured by health professionals, friends, and family about the benefits of exercise. "Just take a walk," I was told. Sure, folks, just take a walk. Fuck you! They had no idea of the pain that followed a walk - the Advil afterwards, the 2-day recovery from muscle pain, the worry that I'd have a stroke from raising my blood pressure from walking a mile. Just take a walk? Just fuck off, asshole.

So why the bother now? Why am I peevish about exercise being easy when it was once impossible? I should be celebrating, right? Well, I think it's one of those angers against society that just has nowhere to go, so I'm sending it out to the blogosphere - the great internet void, as it were. I'm angry, void. I'm seething with it, and I'm not at my most articulate.

See, I'm on the other end of that equation now - exercise just isn't that taxing and I no longer literally fear for my life. See, I still have 20 pounds to lose before my BMI is "normal." My amount of extra weight is kind of average nowadays, and exercise is easy. If this had always been my perspective, then I wouldn't have a problem with hearing the advice that I used to - Just Take A Walk. If this had always been my perspective, I would be cheering the imbecile professional trainers that counsel the morbidly obese to just move more and eat less and they'll soon be at their target weight. If I had never suffered through the mortification of not being able to climb 2 flights of steps last year when my classroom was on the fifth floor of the school building, I would have no problem recommending that obese people just "take the stairs" instead of relying on the elevator. If I had never been Super Morbidly Obese, I would be like the majority of ignorant fitness hacks out there, mindlessly droning "YOU CAN DO IT!" when I really didn't know that the Super Morbidly Obese sometimes Just Can't Do It. I wouldn't be so bothered by NutriSystem, Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss and all of the other huge weight loss corporations that prey on the desperation of the obese, promising miraculous weight loss while using beautiful slender people in their advertising that only had 20-30 pounds to lose when joining the program.

I just wouldn't know, like so many others just don't know.

All at once, I'm grateful for the perspective, and pissed off at the ignorance of the general population over what the Super Morbidly Obese endure daily. Sometimes I still feel like a spy for the SMO, going incognito and passing for normal. I'm glad of the perspective, though.

And the next time that someone tells me that losing weight is easy? I'm going to tell them to go Take A Walk.

I think you all know what I mean by that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My own brand of crazy

So I had a Jewelry Party tonight. Some of you may remember a Pampered Chef party I had a couple of years back.You know, the one where only 2 people came?

Well, my turnout today was more than two, but less than 10. I'm improving! This time, 10% of my invitees showed up!

I was thinking about that Pampered Chef party this morning when I was vacuuming my drapes - yeah, I have my own special brand of crazy when it comes to these parties. I vacuum everything. Today? I even bought a new vacuum because the old one wasn't working and I didn't have time to get it fixed and I really needed to vacuum, people!

Yeah, that pesky ol' dirt problem I have. It just never stops.

So now, for the second time this year, my house is clean (ok, for realz, only the first floor is clean. The second floor and the basement are pits, tips, pig sties, reasonably neat.) and people have witnessed it. I have done my wifely duty for another year.

Let loose the dustbunnies of war, people! I can't live in this clean of an environment. Time to slob it all up again.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

No big surprise here

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Thanks to Upyernoz for this one. Yeah, I fucking say "Fuck" too fucking much. Fuck off.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pilates, part infinity

Oh, fer chrissakes!

It's not often that you'll hear (or see, in the case of blogging) me say things like this, but I fucking love Pilates. I'm actually good at it! All the balance and flexibility that I've had is finally useful in a "sport," or athletic endeavor. I feel like super-Pilates-woman now. I may even buy my own mat.

After giving myself a break from last Thursday until now (because I'm easing into it, right?) I was able to do all of the exercises without wincing. Plus, we had a different teacher tonight - some guy named Jim* - who went totally hardcore on us.

See, Jim had us use this prop that he called a "Magic Circle." It's a flexible metal band bent into a ring that has a pad attached on either side. One is supposed to put the pads between one's ankles or calves or thighs (!!!) depending on the exercise. Kind of funny to have this device clamped between my wide-spread thighs and have Jim say to concentrate on looking through the Magic Circle between my legs. Makes me feel like I've grown an eyeball in my va-jay-jay.

Then, there was the whole pushup with the leg extended thing. The other teachers had us do it from a table position (which is the position that I've been lovingly calling "doggie style" for the last 18 years). Jim, though, had us do a regular pushup, and not the girlie knees down pushup, either. Sadist. I could do it, though, and I did. So there, Jim.

This will probably be my last Pilates Post, as I really don't think there are going to be any more breakthroughs in the exercise world. Except, does the new Crystal Light commercial make you want to dance, too? I want to get up and shake my groove thing (yes, I'm aware that I just "dated" myself. Shut up, peanut gallery) every time it's on.

*totally not the WCM

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pilates, part 2

Oh my screamin' stomach muscles!

So I didn't think it was much of a workout after the first class. It was fun, but not quite a workout for me. Sometime during the second class, I started to feel my abs - and not in a "mmmmm, nice" kind of way. It was more in a "hey, there's something there! And hey! It doesn't feel great!" kind of way.

Today, after the second class, I can hardly recline without wincing. Reaching above my head causes my brow to furrow and squatting down to tie Miss Peanut's sneaker made me groan under my breath.

It may not make me sweaty, but it's doing something dammit!

And, you know what? I kind of like it, which is more than I can say for most exercise.

Tonight's the third class. Pray for me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Has anyone out there tried this exercise? Mat method, not ginormous BDSM-frame Pilates, that is. I just tried a Pilates class tonight, and quite frankly, I'm not sure what to think about it.

Here's the scoop - parts of it were quite easy and other parts quite difficult. The single moves, like leg lifts or extensions, or lying on your stomach and pretending to swim, were nearly effortless. The combination moves, like doing a push-up with your left leg extended behind you toward the ceiling, well, if I had balls, they'd be busted.

Here's the thing, though: at no point did I break a sweat. I flushed, sure, but that's in my genetic makeup - we merely have to think about physical exertion and we attain a rosy-hued complexion. Does it really count as exercise if you don't sweat? I can tell you that I already feel my muscles in a way I hadn't before the class, but I feel like I really didn't do much because I'm not drenched in perspiration.

Am I doing it wrong or something?

Monday, June 11, 2007

In which some of my worry is alleviated

Ok, so I sent a lengthy email to the Superintendent of my school district, as well as putting in a phone call to his office with a request to call me and let me know what was going on with my job before the close of business today.

Being a kind and considerate man, he called me back today and let me know what was happening with my job.

I will be moving completely out of my current building and completely into the IB high school.

While I cannot pretend to be sad about leaving a building that is marked by infighting, chaos, and snark, I am very sad about leaving some of the people I worked with there. The group of dedicated teachers that I used to hang with - some of the finest I've worked with anywhere - will, no doubt, be gracious and welcoming to my replacement. (I heard that the split-time position will be taken by someone with less tenure. Tenure's a nice thing to have in situations like this one.) This is the kind of people that they are.

I can only hope to find a similar crew at the new school. One thing I am looking forward to is seeing all those familiar faces. Since I've already taught many of the kids that are going to be in my classes, I won't have too many surprises. I hope that some of them have grown up a tad in the interval (boys. ugh). I hope others haven't changed too much, because they were awesome.

Well, I'm going to be a high school teacher now. I spent 10 years at middle school, maybe I can spend 10 years at high school.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Scorched Suzy

One of the weirdest things I've experienced during the last Year of Rapid Weight Loss is that sometimes the weight disappears from odd places and I don't realize its impact until I actually experience pain.

Last night, for instance, the WCM took me out to dinner (I know! He actually parted with cash! Voluntarily, even!) at Champp's at our local retail emporium. I discovered that they have really hard wooden chairs there as I sat down rather abruptly and banged my tailbone, since it was no longer cushioned by an ample derriere. Ouchie.

During our dinner, our car baked in the hot sun - it seemed to be more particularly on the passenger side of the car. Since I was wearing Bermuda shorts, and they are quite long, I didn't really think about the hot seat upon which I would soon be recumbent. The second I put my already bruised tushie on the seat though, I received a second shock to my already sensitive nether regions: my twat got burnt! See, before WLS, my twat was always held away from the seat by the amplitude of my tuckas. Now, she made direct contact (well, through the Bermuda shorts & panties) with the hot seat and got momentarily scorched. Ouchie, again.

On hearing my yelp, the WCM turned to me and asked very solicitously "burned your Suzy*?" Yep, got it in one. Bastard never offered to kiss it and make it better, though.


*my mother-in-law always referred to her twat as her "Suzy." It always makes me giggle - why not Pamela? Josephine? Magda? My theory is that it was her husband's first extra-marital girlfriend's name, and she was cleverly calling her a cunt. The WCM doesn't think that his mother was quite that clever though. I tend to agree.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

I don't think this woman's husband is safe...

Standing in the checkout line at Target yesterday, I saw the woman in front of me slam her purchases down on the conveyor belt with sufficient force to make it bounce. Her purchases?

3 (slightly crumpled) boxes of Midol
1 super jumbo box of tampons

Something tells me this woman's husband is going to have a PMS weekend!

My Life? It's Craptacular!

So the last three days have been completely craptacular in this old life of mine. Allow me to elaborate:

First, it has been suggested that I am no longer needed at my current school on a full time basis, so I will probably be spending my time traveling between two schools - my current one and the IB high school in my district. Frankly, the thought of traveling between the two of them just makes my stomach churn. Intellectually, it's a good enough move. Emotionally, it's a sucker punch to my self-esteem.

Second, I will no longer have the lovely large and spacious classroom that I specifically designed for myself with the architects when our building was renovated. No, that area is being given over to an alternative program entering my school. Everyone on my wing of the school has to pack up their classrooms (for the third fucking year in a row!) and move to a new one. A smaller one. One without a huge wall of cabinets for storing all of my props and supplies.

Third, my father suffered a very painful fall (from the top of an aluminum ladder after nearly electrocuting himself) and broke four of his ribs. He was lucky he didn't puncture a lung with the way that two of the ribs were completely snapped.

Fourth, and last, bit of craptastic suckage, my credit card is dead. The WCM called our bank and asked for a new check card as his was damaged. The fuckers deactivated my credit card (different accounts, different numbers - hell, different fucking color!) in the process and can't electronically reinstate it. I have to wait the 3 business days to get a new card. Fucking wankers.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Where I discover I'm proud to be an American after all

I got this on a Weight Loss Surgery message board that has an undeniable Christian bias. While normally, this does not bother me and I can skim over posts asking for prayers and quietly roll my eyes at people who are content to sit back and let Jesus take the wheel, this offended me on a level I didn't even know existed. It brought out my patriotism - something I haven't really displayed in, like, ever. I think a big part of my shame over patriotism is that so many of the Hard-Core Patriots in my country are also big Jesus Freaks, and I really don't want to be lumped in with them. However, a bit of graffiti I saw scrawled on a wall the other day and this post combined to dig deep and exhume the love I have of the United States Constitution. The graffiti? "Patriots love their country, not their government." The post? Read on:

Mary's Lamb

Think carefully aboutwhat you will be reading.
This is a new one for me...

Mary! had a little Lamb,
His fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
The Lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school each day,
T'wasn't even in the rule.
It made the children laugh and play,
To have a Lamb at school.

And then the rules all changed one day,
Illegal it became;
To bring the Lamb of God to school,
Or even speak His Name!

Every day got worse and worse,
And days turned into years.
Instead of hearing children laugh,
We heard gun shots and tears.

What must we do to stop the crime,
That's in our schools today?
Let's let the Lamb come back to school,
And teach our kids to pray!
If you agree, please pass this on. It is said that 86% of Canadian,American & British people believe in God. Why don't we just tell the other 14%to be quiet and sit down???? If you agree, pass this on, if not delete. God Bless you.

This was my response:

I don't have a religion, I don't want a religion, and I don't want a school where my daughter is required to attend to force a religion on her - whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or Zoroastrianism.

I think it's wonderful that you have faith and that you believe so wholeheartedly in your God. May it always be so. I, however, found the last bit of your post to be really offensive (Why don't we tell the other 14% to be quiet and sit down). Frankly, being quiet and sitting down is just about as Anti-American as it gets. We are guaranteed the right of free speech from a bunch of men who refused to be quiet and sit down when ordered to do so by King George. Women have been given the right to vote by other women who refused to be quiet and sit down. Anything we've ever been given has been due to the persistence and tenacity of people who refused to be quiet and sit down.

We have also been guaranteed freedom to practice the religions of our choice. This is wonderful, as it means that you can be a Christian, my neighbor can be a Jew, and I can be completely anticlerical and we can all coexist in the same country. This same right also means that the government cannot meddle in your religion - it can't tell you you can't practice it, you can't meet whenever you want in your own facilities, or you can't worship whoever you like. The government has to stay out of your religion.

Now it gets sticky when we come to education, as the government is educating your children. Unless you'd like the government to choose the religion offered in schools, then perhaps you'd like to agree with me that they should just stay the course and not have any at all. After all, they could mandate a religion that you find offensive. This is one of the fundamental reasons that the Separation of Church and State exists.

That said, I reiterate - don't want one, don't have one, and as long as I'm a proud American, NO ONE IS GOING TO FORCE ONE ON ME. I will not ever sit down, shut up, and passively have anyone elses dogma shoved down my throat.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

She Gives Fat a Bad Name

With my apologies to Bon Jovi, I really have to vent here about something that's been on my mind for a while. I never could pinpoint what it was that bothered me about it - or more specifically why it never bothered me like I felt it should - but I had one of those brain-shaking, eye-popping epiphanies the other day.

See, I work with a woman who just never stops eating. Her students would always talk about hearing the rustle and crunch during their reading time in her classroom. They would complain that most of her assignments revolved around food and eating, and that they always had to bring food in for projects. My other coworkers would poke fun at her, too - they'd share "Funny Jane* stories" during our lunch period. Usually, these stories would revolve around Jane's obsession with food and eating. This would sometimes discomfit me, as Jane and I were about the same size - rotund - but my colleagues, when they picked up on my discomfort, would rush to assure me that Jane and I were not in the same league. They weren't specific about how we were different, just that we were.

Oooookay, see here's where it gets a bit sticky. I think one of the few differences between Jane and me is that I kept my overeating private. Whenever we'd have a luncheon - inservice days, birthdays, etc - I would put a decorous amount of food on my single plate, certainly eating it all, complimenting the chef, and would admit my gluttony by taking two desserts. I certainly never took anything away with me - that would just be admitting to gluttony. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't make a stop at Starbucks for a Venti Iced Caffe Mocha and a slice of marble pound cake later. I just didn't want to look like a pig in front of my coworkers. Jane was way more upfront about her eating. At any of the above food-related gatherings, Jane would have 3 plates, piled high, and take a couple of desserts for the road. I silently marveled at her brazen attitude, and sometimes admired that she didn't seem to care what other people thought about her.

Since I've lost a lot of weight (133 pounds to date), I've been even more uncomfortable about the "Funny Jane" stories, because I don't like to mock other fat people.** So much has been said about Fat being the last socially acceptable prejudice, and those that say it can just line up and bite my wrinkly, sagging, flat-formerly-fat ass. It's not socially acceptable, and no matter how many Funny Jane stories I hear, I won't still inwardly cringe at the there-but-for-the-grace-of-my-surgeon implications of them.

Anyhoo, my revelation came during the latest Funny Jane story. Final exam week started on Friday, which means that we have half-days. Students are waiting to eat lunch at home, opting instead to go to the gym and play basketball or hang out on the bleachers with their friends instead of eating the foul slop hot lunch served by our cafeteria. This is where it gets sticky (and watch the pronouns here) - Jane asked LaQuisha*** to go get her lunch before LaQuisha headed to the gym so that Jane could eat it. LaQuisha, bless her, just laughed and said "Oh, Miss Jane, you so funny!" and hit the gym.

When my coworker, who witnessed this exchange, related this latest in the Funny Jane compendium at our lunch hour, I was completely and utterly gobsmacked. (Side note - there is no word in American English that compares with the British "gobsmacked" for expressing the slack-jawed, bug-eyed astonishment that I felt in that moment. Gobsmacked - your word of the day.) It finally hit me, during those brief moments when I gaped in horror at this latest tale, that Jane was just completely shameless. No shame in her game. She stooped to asking a kid for her lunch. Jane's not hurting financially - hell, I know for a fact that she went out to lunch with other coworkers after the kids were dismissed.

What finally hit me - the brain-shaking epiphany? Is that people like Jane make all of us (and when I say "us," I mean women of size** in general) look bad. It is people like her that keep the stereotype of the insatiable slovenly glutton alive and well today. They make us resort to the subterfuge of eating miniscule amounts in public while gorging ourselves in private. They make us the butt of jokes - the last socially accpetable ones, remember? - by playing into the public's negative stereotypes of fat people.

Frankly put, she gives Fat a bad name.

*obviously, her name's not Jane.
**I'm still fat in my head. I will be for a while. Don't judge.
***not her name either, but representative.

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